Archive for the ‘strange happenings’ category

History’s Greatest Mysteries, Roswell: Parts 2 & 3

January 2, 2021


Happy New Year, intrepid explorers!  History’s Greatest Mysteries on the History channel has now devoted three episodes to their investigation of the Roswell incident in 1947, and for the sake of conciseness and brevity, I’m going to combine discussion of S1, Ep. 6 and 7 here, as they represent fully four hours of airtime.


The second episode in the series (S1 Ep. 6) was titled, Roswell: The First Witness – The Memo. The investigation by History Channel was headed by former CIA operative Ben Smith, who did provide some new or at least lesser known information. For one thing, two sites are involved in the Roswell incident, one the “debris field” on the rancher’s land, and the other an impact site 25 miles away where the alleged UFO finally came to rest after “skimming” the intervening distance like a stone in a damaged condition. The impact site is where it really gets interesting as there were said to be both debris and alien bodies located there.  General Ramey referred to in the episode title is seen in photos as holding a folded memo that may have referenced bodies recovered.


Now Jesse Marcel, the first government witness on the site, claimed in a 1980 TV interview that he had been forced to lie about Roswell. A body language expert consulted on the footage did not find Jesse Marcel’s testimony to be deceptive, and said that he believed what he was saying. Other officers have testified as well to the presence of alien bodies, which were spirited away by the government to Hanger 84. The Ballard Funeral Home in the area contended to have provided three child-sized coffins for the transport of said remains, but were rebuffed in their efforts for further information. The military attributed a disc supposedly recovered as a misidentified Mogul weather balloon, and this remains the standard official explanation.


Jesse Marcel’s journal was found by a handwriting specialist not to be written by Jesse himself, yet it was considered important enough to him that it was carefully preserved for decades among his possessions. Cryptographers failed to discern any decipherable “code” in the journal, although the presence of a private encryption code remains possible, one which may have been developed by and was known to only someone in Jesse’s “inner circle” in the 509th bomber group. Efforts to identify who that person might have been were stymied by limited samples of handwriting available known to be that of specific people; in some cases, only a signature was available and confirmed.

The third episode in the series (S1 Ep7) titled Roswell: The First Witness – The Writer looked at the interactions of Jesse Marcel with his family and others that he trusted, revealing that he told the same story with the same details to such individuals. He was open with his grandchildren and cousins, and even drew a picture of an alien that he had supposedly seen. That picture did not survive, but a family member drew a picture of the picture, the image resembling a classic “alien gray.”  Pieces of debris had reportedly been stashed in a water heater in the house that Jesse occupied at the time, but that house has since been sold outside of the family, and its new owners would not permit inspection of the property when approached by the investigative team; one can hardly blame them.  Upon viewing the debris field wreckage, Jesse repeatedly told others that it was “not of this world.”

The final episode also incorporated consultations with an accident site investigator, who felt that whatever crashed into the terrain wasn’t lightweight, and that “scarring” of the ground observed couldn’t have come from a weather balloon. Strange magnetic signatures were found in the area of the crash site, which could have been caused by a plastic or neoprene layer, which would favor the weather balloon explanation. Alien “bodies” and their removal reported by local people had been explained away by the government as experimental crash test dummies dropped from aircraft to research pilot exit and survival procedures.

A private but earnest UFO investigator in New Mexico who had studied the phenomena for 20 years contended that seven UFO crashes had occurred in the general area over several years due to high powered radar in use in the area by the military base that caused short circuits or something similar in the unknown craft.  His father had owned the bar where the rancher had initially come following discovery of the debris on his fields. The private investigator had joined a team combing the sites in question and had samples of unknown debris, but a piece taken for analysis could not be determined to be otherworldly. 


While it could not be conclusively determined who wrote the journal possessed by Jesse Marcel, the base adjutant Patrick Saunders seemed to be a likely candidate. He was in charge of assigning troops to clean up the debris field, and his daughter when interviewed said he knew that the debris wasn’t a weather balloon. Her father was also described as being involved in the subsequent cover-up and even file alteration.


Why then had so many people possibly participated in apparent misrepresentations and a cover-up? Government threats reported to their careers, safety, and even families were powerful motivators. Military people tend as well to have a strong sense of duty, of obeying superiors, and of protecting the country. As Jesse Marcel is reported to have repeatedly said, “there are things that this world is not ready for.” 

While no physical evidence of a UFO incursion or any “smoking guns” were found in the investigation, regardless of personal beliefs one is left with the impression that many key players in the Roswell incident carried a great and terrible secret about which they were both troubled and conflicted…

 

History’s Greatest Mysteries – Roswell: The First Witness – The Journal

December 15, 2020


The History’s Greatest Mysteries series is for me a mixed bag, with some episodes being captivating, and others less so unless you have a riveting personal interest in the topic under consideration such as D.B. Cooper or John Wilkes Booth.  The individual episodes are all rather expanded by most television standards for similar fare, clocking in at a movie-length two hours. Still, when the topic gets around to possibly new information on Roswell, the mother of all UFO sagas, my interest is definitely piqued, and I’m along for the ride.  That ride began with the Season 1, Episode 5 episode of History’s Greatest Mysteries titled, Roswell:  The First Witness – The Journal.

While what happened that July morning in 1947 in New Mexico will likely always be controversial and probably unknowable, we are left with the fact of rancher Bill Brazel finding his field littered with a massive amount of strange and unusual wreckage.  He wondered whose responsibility it would be to clean the wreckage up, and noted that his livestock avoided the debris field.  We animals have instincts about such things, ‘ya know! The rancher presented some of the wreckage to sheriff George Wilcox, who suggested reporting it to the military.

The first official military man on the crash scene was Jesse A. Marcel, an intelligence officer, who privately is reported to have thought that the debris was not of this world, and showed pieces of it to his wife and son, apparently retaining some.  The metal pieces were light but strong, and had shape-retaining characteristics when efforts were made to crush them.  Fiber optic-type filaments were also recovered that were unknown at the time, as were I-beam items with strange, hieroglyphic-type inscriptions on them. While the local authorities initially leaked stories that the military had a “disc” in its possession, the story was soon recanted and replaced by a government military version that the wreckage was nothing more than fragments of a weather balloon.  Jesse Marcel was reportedly sworn to secrecy by the military, and forced to participate in a cover-up.  Local residents were also reportedly warned to keep quiet about the incident or be charged with treason; surviving locals of the time continue to be tight-lipped, but generally convey that there’s more to the incident than the official account; they won’t talk, but will give you under the table a name of someone who will.  Mac Brazel, the son of the rancher, was said to have been forced to give up what crash debris he possessed, and to keep quiet or face imprisonment.  Agents appearing for retained debris reportedly said they wouldn’t take it from the family, but wouldn’t leave without it.  

Now Jesse Marcel kept a private handwritten journal which was cryptic, with speculation made that it may have held coded clues as to what actually transpired in the Roswell investigation.  The History Channel investigative team led by Ben Smith, a former CIA operative, consulted a forensic document examiner, who found that the document was genuine, and entirely written by Marcel. 

Using a magnetometer and ground-penetrating radar, team geophysicists investigated the Roswell debris field scene, finding a patch of ground with a high magnetic reading, a distinct anomaly. In a future upcoming episode, possible hidden clues in the journal and other questions regarding the Roswell incident will be further considered.  The History Channel investigation is hampered by incident details being strewn over three generations of people, with many key players being deceased and hard evidence not available. Whatever beliefs one may have about the veracity of the government’s account of Roswell, the eyes of Jesse Marcel as he poses with the “weather balloon wreckage” in the vintage photograph below appear to speak volumes…


 

“History’s Greatest Mysteries” on The History Channel

November 14, 2020

 

If you, like myself, are drawn to strange stuff, and might confess to watching an occasional episode of MonsterQuest or Ancient Aliens, you might be interested in a new show scheduled to debut on The History Channel in my area Saturday night November 14th at 9:00 p.m., History’s Greatest Mysteries.  Featuring Laurence Fishburne who will both host and narrate, the series will get into some of the strange and loose ends of history, such as the Roswell incident, the Shackleton Expedition, the sinking of the Titanic, and similar stories. 

The first episode will get into the strange story of hijacker D.B. Cooper.  While not all episodes are likely to be equally intriguing, they’re going to have three episodes alone on Roswell, for cripes sake!  I’ll withhold my coveted Pawprint of Approval rating until I’ve actually seen a few episodes, but History Channel usually does have good production values, and this new series just might be worth a look… 

 

 

Mysterious Creature Stalks Canadian Moose?

August 5, 2018


Here we go again…another sighting of an alleged unknown creature, this one supposedly stalking a moose!  The encounter occurred July 29th in Gaspesie in the Quebec area of Canada.  As usual, only a blurry, indistinct, out-of-focus image of the creature (circled) is available for perusal.  It is said to resemble Tolkien’s Gollum or perhaps the Rake.  The thing spotted was said to have moved in an inhuman fashion, shaped like a hunched-over demon and about six feet in height.

Skeptics say that the thing was most likely a splat on the window of the vehicle from which the picture was taken, and it simply appears superimposed from there by the treeline.  It is not known if the moose suffered any ill fate from the encounter.  I for one would be more excited if the moose had appeared accompanied by a flying squirrel named Rocky who wore aviator goggles…

“Haunted Cabin” on”Terror in the Woods

December 11, 2017

 

The Haunted Cabin episode of “Terror in the Woods” (S1/Ep8) was basically a ghost story, but with a side order of cryptid thrown in.  The story was pleasantly scary and creepy, and I like that!

In deepest Kentucky in the Red River Gorge, a rustic cabin sat in the woods on an abandoned logging road that married couple Bill and Charisse chose as kind of a retirement retreat.  Bill held the fort while Charisse worked hard for the money at a city job about two hours away.  Now Bill was a college grad, not some yahoo, and he put up a security camera outside the cabin.  One night around two to three a.m., said camera picked up a sporadic green mist that seemed to morph in and out.  We, the viewers, were shown the actual footage, and it did look like a floaty mist to me! Alerted by the security camera, Bill went outside and thought that he saw a ghost…

…other creepy things then transpired.  Bill’s TV and Playstation came on twice by themselves!  Now Bill was suitably creeped out by this. I mean, would you want ghosts messin’ with your PlayStation?! They’d stay on it for hours, and leave slime all over the console and controllers, for cripes sake! Bill then did what any sensible person would do, and spent the night in his car.

A week later, Bill’s trusty security camera showed a ball of white light that seemed to come out of the ground and which floated along the area; ghost alert! Viewers were also shown this footage. Bill trucked into town, speaking to and showing locals the footage; not surprisingly, they thought it ghostly.

Now comes the Bigfoot alert; walking outside his cabin in the woods, Bill hit a tree with a branch, and thought that it was answered with other knocks. Bill experienced fear and panic, since ghosts and Bigfoot make for a full paranormal schedule. A friend later visited him, and they found strange footprints with four digits and hooked claws; pictures were taken of this, which viewers of the episode were again shown.

His wife later returned to join Bill, and things went smoothly for a time until they heard howling and barking of a guttural, hellhound nature. They tried to record the commotion, but the sound stopped. Later when watching a ghost show on television, the two decided it would be a kick to casually try and summon a spirit themselves. Be careful what you ask for, because a loud knocking then came to their door, although nothing was there when the door was answered!

So our protagonist again went to the nearest town, showing the locals and woodsmen his latest videos and pics of the strange footprint.  Not surprisingly, they couldn’t explain them but agreed that they were freaky.  It was learned, however, that the cabin Bill and Charisse had bought was built for an ailing daughter who died in the cabin.  The cabin has since continued to be plagued by paranormal activity…spooky!  

“Hunted by Bigfoot” on “Terror in the Woods”

December 4, 2017

  

The S1/Ep2 episode of Terror in the Woods on Destination America was titled Hunted by Bigfoot, and was an hour-long account of a personal encounter with the legendary cryptic creature.  In Adams County, Ohio two men both named “Mike” and their son, Jordan, hunted for Bigfoot on their own, equipped with portable voice recorders and amplified listening devices.  On October 11, 2014 they drove deeply into the woods, initially setting up by a bridge where they mimicked Bigfoot howls in an effort to lure them in.  They successfully recorded howls, tracking them deeper into the woods and ending up in an isolated graveyard at night where they again set up.  Knocking on a tree with a baseball bat, they got a response perhaps sixty to seventy yards away.  Half an hour later, they heard a howl.  Footfalls and a whistling, aggressive howl were perceived coming in two different directions.  Coyote sounds were heard joining in, one apparently in distress.

The three decided to leave when the creatures appeared to be drawing closer.  They stopped for a deer on the road who appeared to be fixated on something in the woods.  Howls heard appeared to shift in front of them as if they were being pursued.  One of the men, recounting that he “was excited and scared at the same time,” saw a shadow or dark shape about six to seven feet tall standing by a tree which howled.  One of the men pulled his sidearm and went to the treeline where he heard a great inhalation of air followed by a deep, intense roar.  He fired a round into the air before they resumed their escape in the vehicle.  The son, Jordan, said that the night was life-changing…

“Terror in the Woods” Werewolf and Demon in the Woods

November 23, 2017


Terror in the Woods does not refer to the state of the weeds and brush in my backyard, but is rather an entertaining if uneven offering on the Destination America channel network, your gateway to the paranormal!   While not the best paranormal show I’ve ever seen, Woods is certainly not the worst, and is probably worth a look if you’re into this kind of thing, especially in light of the dearth of new show material involving cryptids.

Now the Werewolf and Demon in the Woods episode (S1/Ep5) featured two segments, the first of which involved two campers, David and Lisa, who while traveling on Roanoke Island in North Carolina encountered a wolf-like creature with glowing yellow eyes that was about four feet tall and challenged the male of the pair who investigated sounds that he heard outside of his camper and the vehicle that he was pulling it with.  Things got freaky when the beast stood up upon two legs, which increased his standing height to about seven feet.  The wolf-thing then approached the guy, closing the distance while ambulating on two legs!  In the best Clint Eastwood tradition, the guy then pulled a magnum and fired a round at the creature, believing himself to have struck it in the shoulder.  This seemed to annoy rather than deter the beast.  When he perceived a second creature growling, the unhappy camper perceived himself to be outnumbered, wisely retreated to his vehicle, and beat a hasty retreat.  Later at a gas station, the motorist asked another person if he had ever seen something strange in the woods, and the reticent stranger admitted that he had.  This is the stuff of urban legends!

The second segment, Demon in the Woods, involved college-aged geo-cachers who carried their search for buried objects into the night where they found evidence of a satanic ritual in a clearing in the woods.  Discovered was a fenced-in circle with hanging objects around, similar to those portrayed in The Blait Witch Project.  The guys heard growling, grunting sounds which seemed to encircle them, and they took off running.  The tale-teller, Davey, went back for a straggler, and was again surrounded by a sound that seemed to pursue them as they fled.  Limbs and sticks were heard breaking as the duo fled.  While there was no physical presence seen, the sound seemed to be palpable, and shook them.  They felt that something was trying to drive them out of the woods.  It was later learned that a demonic cult held sessions in the area that they had visited… ooh!  (Face-palm scream)

So be careful when you go out in the woods, for “the nights are dark, and full of terrors.”  And that’s the way that I like it! 

 

The Blood Skull and Woman of the Woods on “Mountain Monsters”

June 5, 2017

 

When we last left Buck in the previous episode, he had gone solo to the “Three Rings,”  and encountered the mysterious “little girl.”  Well, it turned out that while Buck was momentarily distracted, she conveniently vanished. Meanwhile, ailing team leader Trapper re-entered the scene, and collected Buck and Huckleberry.  He directed them to collect Jeff, which Willy and Wild Bill did, pursued in their truck by the other team.  Jeff related that the rogue team had a building deep in the woods where secrets resided,  and Buck was sent by Trapper back to the shed where photos of the AIMS team had been found on the walls.  Stripping these pictures off the walls, Buck found the words, “Find the blood skull,  find the Woman of the Woods” painted on the walls.

The Rogue Team’s cabin described by Jeff was found by the rest of the team, and Willy and Wild Bill entered it, guns at the ready.  In a back room of the cabin, they found skulls decorating the walls and a topographical map of the dark forest.  Buck then called Huckleberry from the woods, relating that he felt a foreign object was the cause of Jeff’s frequent nosebleeds; Buck had remarked in a previous episode that he knew why Jeff’s nose bled, and he may have received this knowledge as ‘the chosen one” from the little girl during his “lost time.” Well, Jeff was reclined on a table, and in a gross scene the team used a forceps to extract what turned out to be a small skull-like object from his nose…there was screaming and blood. — Yes, the secret of the Dark Woods was not under Jeff’s nose, but up it!  Eww!

Meanwhile Buck had again been seeking the little girl by returning to places where she’d been seen, and spotted her again.  The girl pointed to a grapevine and stump “throne” within which was…the blood skull, seen but fleetingly.  Buck also caught a brief glimpse of the Woman of the Woods, who did not appear to have eyes, but rather flaming orbs or perhaps empty sockets. Returning to his truck, Buck found it occupied by the skull-masked figure who had earlier held him and two team members captive in a shed.  If all of this seems a bit Grimm to you, some say that the current story line has been a hillbilly re-construction of the Little Red Riding Hood tale…

“The Secret of the Little Girl” on “Mountain Monsters”

June 3, 2017

In the previous episode of “Mountain Monsters,” Jeff was seen wandering around three large grapevine rings in the Dark Forest while carrying a torch.  In S5/Ep7 it was learned that Jeff had met with the boss of the other team, and had been shown a ritual for the Three Rings constructions that was supposed to draw the “little girl” of great interest to that other team.  Buck in that meeting with Jeff shared his “lost time” in the woods when he ditched his cameraman and wandered about in a trance-like state following which time he was not immediately aware of what had happened.  A video was on Buck’s cell phone from that time which showed the enigmatic little girl, who it was deduced was the key to what the other team was looking for.  Jeff was sent back to tell the other team that he knew someone who had talked to the little girl.

This lure worked all too well, with the other team descending on the AIMS base camp with firearms, threatening to burn them out if they failed to surrender Buck, who had hidden in the woods near the base camp.  Managing to steal one of the other team’s trucks, he led them away in it, and hid until the next morning.  Meeting at that time with Huckleberry, Buck decided to go back north to the Three Rings area alone, with the rest of the team asked to create a diversion in the south to lure the other team away.  They did this by setting off trip wires of the other team, and dropped a tree across the road to slow that team’s exit, setting it afire for dramatic effect.

Arriving alone at the Three Rings constructions, Buck lit the torches that were there and walked through the Three Rings as described in the ritual to lure the little girl.  Reporting that it got colder after he did so, Buck remarked in hushed tones “She’s here,” and we were shown a fleeting, blurry monochrome image of the little girl at a distance as seen through one of the rings.  The season finale is coming soon, and hopefully too will be the end of this long, drawn-out saga that seems closer to The Blair Witch Project than cryptobiology…

“Mystery Lights” on Monsters & Mysteries Unsolved

July 31, 2016

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Unexplained lights of unknown origin, mystery lights appear without warning or explanation, and were featured in a recent episode of Monsters and Mysteries:  Unsolved.

…Marfa, Texas, for example, is considered a mystery light “hotspot.” While the glowing orbs usually appear bouncing around on the horizon, in a 1994 incident the Marfa lights appeared to chase a moving vehicle, leading some to speculate that there was an intelligence behind them. Dr. James Bunnell, a former NASA engineer and Marfa lights researcher, has constructed autonomous viewing stations, and feels that the lights represent a chemical process going on.

On Brown Mountain, North Carolina, lights have been seen for hundreds of years, and have been considered spiritual, a kind of residual haunting. A more scientific perspective is that granite deposits in the mountain create electromagnetic fields that power the phenomena in a piezoelectric fashion. Dr. Dan Caton, an astronomer at the Dark Sky Observatory, considers the lights to be related to ball lightning. Footage captured by paranormal researcher Joshua Warren on Brown Mountain was examined by Dr. Onad of Princeton University, who thought the light source high energy, and possibly related to gamma or x-rays.

Lights have also been associated with earthquake activity in places like Japan. Dr. Freund in studying the phenomena there found that rocks produce electric current when deformed and pressured.

Mystery Lights in the sky have been studied by Project Hessdaler in Norway for over two decades. The lights are found to interact with the landscape in strange ways, and to move like anything known on Earth. This leads us to a UFO connection, with author Nick Redfern noting that WWII fighters saw luminous “foo fighters” felt to exhibit intelligence. Many pilots since have witnessed mystery lights. In an example cited, Dr. Torres in Manston, England in 1957 engaged a target at 32,000 feet; although himself traveling at almost Mach 1, the target eluded him, and was estimated to be moving at Mach 10. The pilot was told not to talk about his mission, which was finally declassified in 2006.

So whether you believe that mystery lights in the skies are a natural process, spiritual, or of extraterrestrial origin, heed the advice of 1950’s sci fi movies, and watch the skies! Doing so has got to be better than watching reality TV, right?