Archive for the ‘unidentified’ category

“Sasquatch Planet” on Monsters & Mysteries Unsolved

July 26, 2016

 

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The subject of Bigfoot is well-worn terrain on most paranormal shows, and the third episode of the Monsters and Mysteries Unsolved series sought to take us there yet again by examining Sasquatch evidence and encounters, and wound up taking a rather skeptical overall tone.  Steven Kulls, a former private investigator, had his own personal encounter with a supposed Bigfoot in 2011.  Returning to the location of his sighting in the Adirondack Mountains of New York with thermal cameras, a “bionic ear,” and a digital video recording system, Kulls and his team established a security perimeter but failed to discover anything.  They were quick to point out that their failure to discover Bigfoot didn’t mean that he wasn’t out there…

In Pocatello, Idaho a group of high school students saw what they thought to be a Bigfoot at a distance, taking video footage of the same as well as a photo of a footprint.  Their footage was examined by biological anthropologist Dr. Kathy Gonder, who thought that the creature filmed was massive and reflected fluid body movement, although she rather thought that the thing filmed was a bear.  One of the students in the group claimed familiarity with bears, however, and disputed that the sighting was that of a black bear.

Another sighting briefly covered was that of a Canadian woman who in 2007 heard a screaming creature off a deer trail, hearing it running and breaking branches.  She fled to her vehicle following this uncomfortably close encounter.  A mammalogist and anatomist pointed to such aggressive behaviors as being typical of the great apes.

Dr. Joe Nickell, an author and investigator, felt that Sasquatch and Bigfoot are basically major myths that show analogues in other cultures, and have basically migrated between cultures.  Mammalogist and anatomist Dr. Sarmiento echoed this, feeling that belief in Bigfoot fills a void, a need to believe.  In summation, most of the experts presented felt that available evidence for Bigfoot’s existence falls far short of the standard of proof required.  Needed are bones, a carcass, or clear and convincing camera trap evidence…

“Alien Encounters” on “Monsters and Mysteries Unsolved”

July 1, 2016

 

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The good news is that at last there’s a new paranormal show airing new episodes, but the jury is still out on “Monsters and Mysteries Unsolved,” which debuted on the Destination America channel with a first episode titled, “Alien Encounters.”

Now don’t get me wrong…I really want to like this show, but I’m not sold yet.  There are some things that I liked, such as the inclusion of actual astronomers, astrophysicists, and other credentialed people on the show.  The episode simply didn’t have a great flow or direction to it, bouncing around episodically and unevenly from one UFO sighting to another without much unity to it in a manner I found unsatisfying.  Some of the material was old, familiar stuff; considerable time was spent on Roswell, for example, without adding anything new to what we’ve already heard many times before.

Reference was made to the “Phoenix Lights” sightings in 1997 when a large, delta-shaped object was witnessed flying in a mile-wide formation by hundreds of people in Arizona, with more individual lights later seen.  Aspersion was cast upon the official explanation of the lights as being “military flares.” Also covered was a December 1980 incident at Rendlesham Forest in England where strange lights were seen on successive nights and investigated by the military. Another 1975 incident from Pensacola, Florida involved a former U.S. Marine pilot on a training flight who observed a round, red object with defined edges that moved unlike anything he had seen before or since.

To me the most interesting segments of this show involved the efforts of special effects photographer and movie maker Doug Trumbull, who is taking powerful investigative equipment in a specially modified vehicle to locations deemed favorable to UFO sightings. Perhaps through his efforts and others like himself, more credible investigations may be performed.

In my area, Monsters and Mysteries Unsolved airs Thursday at nine p.m. on the Destination America channel, which is kind of paranormal central for shows of this type. Spread the word, and hopefully upcoming episodes will be more satisfying…  

Bigfoot of Wood County: The Phantom of the Forest

April 5, 2016

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Not to be confused with the Phantom of the Opera, the Phantom of the Forest as presented in S4/Ep11 of Mountain Monsters is yet another Bigfoot clone standing about 6-1/2′ tall and weighing in at about 500 lbs. with brownish gray fur.  First seen by the Shawnee Indians in the 1700’s, the Phantom is reported having a special attachment to deer, and by some accounts has been seen riding them despite the obvious weight overload that would be involved.

Traveling to Wood County in West Virginia, the AIMS team first met with “Dan,” a farmer, who described an encounter where he heard gunshots following which he saw a number of dead deer, the apparent victims of poachers who were in a truck.  The eyewitness then saw a Bigfoot at the tree line who charged the poacher’s truck, lifting it up on two wheels and causing them to beat a hasty retreat.  During their first night’s investigation, the team saw a bent-over tree, then heard a crash with a tree being thrown down near them.  They felt themselves being observed, and shortly thereafter heard gunshots apparently aimed in their direction, presumably by the poachers.

The next day, the team returned to the general area, finding what they called a homemade silencer commonly used by poachers to mute gunshots.  They also found a handwritten note tacked to a tree stating, “Something’s stalking me,” and signed “Ernie.”  Meanwhile, “Wild Bill” in a used police cruiser that he had picked up met with “Willy,” and together the two constructed a “Pyramid trap” to cage the Bigfoot.  Also that day, “Buck” and “Jeff” met with the poachers by their invitation, keeping an armed “Huckleberry” in the background as backup.  The poachers claimed sighting the Bigfoot, said that he had torn up their buddy pretty badly, and announced their intentions of killing him.  “Buck” took the poachers to task for being poachers, which resulted in a Mexican standoff of sorts with guns, and colorful language being exchanged before the poachers departed in their vehicle, issuing threats. 

 On their final night’s hunt, the team following their usual procedure split to flush the beast towards their trap, but Buck, Jeff, and Huckleberry came under fire from the poachers.  In a cornfield, Buck was grabbed from behind presumably by the Bigfoot, and fell, losing his radio.  When the team reunited by the trap, they found it in the process of being knocked over by a heavy equipment operator, who claimed that he had been paid $1,000 to demolish it that night by people he didn’t know were poachers.  Allowed to leave, the heavy equipment operator a short time later radioed the team on Buck’s dropped radio, mocking them and relating how much he had enjoyed knocking over their trap…

Having been outwitted both by the Phantom of the Woods and the poachers, the team was again fruitless in their quest, but seemed to take comfort in thinking that eventually the Phantom would catch up with the poachers, and clean their clocks.  The episode was really more about the conflict with the poachers than the Bigfoot…

 

Bigfoot of Lee County: Raven Mocker, Parts I and II

March 16, 2016

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Once again, we are off to the Bigfoot races on the S4/Ep08 installment of Mountain Monsters, the Raven Mocker. First seen by Cherokees in the early 1700’s, this Bigfoot variant is described as standing 7′ tall, weighing 500 lbs., and having black fur with all-white eyes. Where it gets freaky is that this Bigfoot is a kind of shape-shifter that can enter the soul of a raven, seeing from the aerial perspective of that bird, like the warg or “skin shifter” on Game of Thrones. Furthermore, they could change into any animal. Before a kill, the Raven Mocker is said to call out like a raven. They are said to consume the hearts of men. — Creepy, huh?

Well, our “hard-core hunters and trackers” first interviewed “Mike,” an outdoorsman who reported seeing a wrenched-off deer’ s head hanging in a tree. In the same vicinity, he reported seeing 16″ footprints, plus smaller ones apparently those of a human female! This raised the unanswered questions of whether the Bigfoot shape- shifted to a human female (a really bad date), or traveled with a human female who had a thing for big, hairy guys.

During their first night’s hunt, the team saw a tree structure, heard humming and then an “evil laugh,” perceived something running, and saw a number of humanoid-shaped stick constructions hanging.  The next day, they found raven prints, and when team member “Buck” made a raven call, tree knocks were heard in apparent response.  A bow hunter named “Scott” was interviewed who reported seeing a dead buck with a broken neck.  He produced a photo showing a blurry dark object against a dark background.  During the daylight hours, “Willy” with the assistance of “Wild Bill” had constructed a “steel cage raven wing trap” which was baited with deer meat.

During their final night’s hunt, the team followed their familiar tactic of dividing into two groups with the hopes of driving their quarry from different directions towards their trap.  One group found broken tree limbs and apparent wear to logs.  Things became freaky and the usual confusion ensued when team member “Huckleberry” claimed to feel the touch of hands on his back, and heard “Buck’s” voice imitated; the Mocker mocking, I presume.  A nasty foot trap was encountered in the ground, together with a deer head lodged in a tree, and a constructed structure on the side of that tree.  Team member “Jeff” claimed that he saw a face in front of him, with a ball of fire coming out of its mouth.  This was supposedly captured on a thermal camera image, which was again less than revealing…

Contending that they had found something that was “not human” and “supernatural,” the Raven Mocker saga was continued in another episode airing two weeks after the first.  Seeking guidance from recovering team leader “Trapper,” the team was admonished to go back to their “Native American roots,” and seek answers from where there was physical evidence of the Raven Mocker.  Returning to the woods in Lee County, Virginia at night, the team encountered again the “burning man” style tree structures, as well as footprints in the mud that were smaller and appeared to be those of a woman.  They heard mocking-type laughter, and then team member “Huckleberry” was brought down by a grapevine-type snare trap.

The following day, the team met with local researcher “Jeff,” who told them tales of the “Woman in the Woods,” an old barefooted woman who wears a cloak, and is supposedly followed by death.  They were advised to confront her in a Native American way.  As a lure, the team decided to take from the woman some of her possessions, and they rounded up some of the tree structure figures.  After gaining possession of these, a handprint was found on “Willy’s” arm, meaning that he, like “Jeff” and “Huckleberry” who had earlier been touched, had presumably been marked for death by the “Woman in the Woods.”

Well, the team then constructed several Native American styled huts, protecting them with sage and accessories like dream catchers, snake skins, and turtle shells. They put on “warrior faces and battle uniforms,” which meant quasi-Native American garb and rather badly applied “war paint.”  The men marked for death assumed places in separate huts and performed protective ceremonies, after which time a Bigfoot roar was heard together with tree knocks.  “Jeff” the team researcher seemed to be targeted, with his dream catcher jerked and the roof of his hut brought down upon him.  In a daze he was led off by someone in a cloak, and found by the pursuing team members at the base of a tree, bloodied and freaking out.  Following a bit of a hysterical reaction, “Jeff” related that the “Old Woman of the Woods” had shown him how and when he was going to die, and then told him that he was free.  This presumably got the rest of the marked men off the hook, and his associates seemed to feel that “Jeff” had taken one for the team. – – Are you not entertained?

Perhaps more merriment and mystery will follow in the next episode, when we are promised the Phantom of the Woods…

Bigfoot of Wirt County; The Ash Man

March 8, 2016

  

The Bigfoot Edition of Mountain Monsters continued on Ep07 of S4 with the Ash Man, a 600 lb. Bigfoot who stands about 7′ tall, is 3′ wide at the shoulders, and has blackish gray fur.  The creature was first described in the 1700’s by the Shawnee Indians, with the label Ash Man attached as the Native Americans described him as seen through the smoke and ashes of their cooking fires.  Team member Huckleberry had an encounter with the creature 46 years ago in 1969, and felt himself shaken and scarred by the encounter and its aftermath.

The team went to Wirt County, West Virginia, conducting the investigation and hunt on Huckleberry’s lands and farm.  During their first night’s investigation, the team found a nesting area and multiple piles of stacked rocks, a Bigfoot sign.  Huckleberry felt shaken by such discoveries, and couldn’t continue further at that time.  The following day, Huckleberry and Jeff were out in the woods when a small log was thrown at them, and they found a footprint and handprint, presumably those of the creature.  Rob, a hiker, was interviewed, reporting an encounter with a 7′ tall creature with black hair.  The eyewitness produced a picture showing something large and blackish seen through trees.

Meanwhile, trap maker Willy and “Wild Bill” had constructed a rather large “wooden fortress” trap.  That night, bacon was cooked as bait, with “Wild Bill” serving as cook for the affair, complete with a ludicrous chef’s hat that he managed to catch on fire during the proceedings yet wore the remnants of during the following hunt.  The team split into two groups at that time to flush the Ash Man out, and Huckleberry’s group found itself the recipients of large branches and rocks thrown from above in their general direction.  While dashing through the woods in pursuit, “Wild Bill” managed to get himself knocked to the ground by a blow from a tree limb.  “Do I still have all my teeth?,” he asked.  “Yep, they’re both still there,” quipped a team mate.   Via radio they called for reinforcements from Willy’s group, and the usual yelling, waving of guns, bad camera angles, and wild ATV ride followed as the creature was flushed in the direction of the trap.

Arriving back at the trap, the team found that the Bigfoot had apparently been caged only temporarily, with a large hole torn through the 14″ logs of its construction.  “We shook him up,” proclaimed Huckleberry.  One might say, however, that their plans to catch the Ash Man had gone up in smoke…

The Great Fire Ape…

March 1, 2016

  

The Bigfoot Edition of Mountain Monsters on The Discovery Channel continued with the AIMS team minus recovering leader Trapper heading to Pendleton County, West Virginia is search of the Fire Ape, an 8-1/2 foot tall, 700 pound Bigfoot variant with reddish fur first spotted over 200 years ago by Native Americans.  This creature is drawn and enraged by fire, with mythology maintaining that humans originally stole fire from the beast.

The team first interviewed Jerry, a landowner and eyewitness who set off fireworks.  Following that, his dog took off after something, and the man spotted a reddish thing that was apparently the cause of the dog’s attention.  On their first night’s investigation, the team observed a mashed down “ambush spot” in the weeds, and heard something on the river bank which they pursued, resulting only in Buck falling into the creek.  

The reported events of the following day commenced with observations of Wild Bill’s self-training activities, which included running madly around cones.  “I don’t know if he’s training, or going insane,” commented another team member.  A catapult snare trap was then constructed by Willie and Wild Bill while the rest of the team returned in the daylight to the creek, seeing wild daisies move and hearing grunts.  They interviewed Mark, an outdoorsman who reported having lit a fire by his cabin, thereafter hearing a commotion and supposedly seeing the creature entranced by the flames in his fire ring.  He later found an 18″ footprint of which he had a picture.  Reuniting, the team then tested their trap using Archie, a burlap Bigfoot they had made.

On their final night’s hunt, the team then lit torches to draw the Fire Ape, and set up a fireworks station to further lure him.  They found crossed trees, a usual Bigfoot sign, and were knocking on trees to draw a response.  It was then that the episode’s producer appeared, all in a dither, to report that the sound man, Pablo, had vanished! Investigating, the team found the sound guy’s mic cover and sound boom, but where in the world was Pablo?  They decided to light up their fireworks to distract the Fire Ape, thereby allowing the presumed apprehended Pablo to escape.  Team members thought that they heard Pablo yelling in the distance, after which time they also felt they had heard the Bigfoot yell.  

Eventually Pablo came stumbling out of the woods, muddied and shook up.  His contention was that he had been blindsided and knocked down by the Bigfoot while following the group in the rear and wearing headphones that apparently muffled the sound of the creature’s approach.  Needless to say, the Fire Ape escaped without even a photographic image being recorded.  Pablo, apparently, was none the worse for the wear, but wished that he was back in South America…

“Scariest Moments” on Mountain Monsters

February 24, 2016

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I, for one, am generally not keen on “Greatest Hits” episodes of any series as they are usually thinly veiled efforts to repackage old material and stretch out a season.  The “Scariest Moments” installment of Mountain Monsters (S4/Ep05) was no different, being essentially a brief synopsis of six different and unrelated previous episodes.  I’m not going to comment on the episodes as I have previously posted on many of them.  For the sake of reference, however, the episodes covered were on the Hellhound, the Cherokee Death Cat, the Cave Creature, the Bear Beast, the Shadow Creature, and Hogzilla.

The summaries provided by these episodes may be helpful to viewers trying to get a brief feeling for the creature involved, or a general sense of what the show itself is about.  It can be striking how similar the episodes really are, both in terms of the methods involved, the flow of the action, and the outcomes.  In only one of the six episodes profiled was the creature being pursued actually captured, that one, Hogzilla, turning out to be a rather large but perfectly ordinary pig.  

The scariest incident I can remember in the time period covered involved team leader Trapper using self-dentistry to extract an aching tooth using pliers!  The series will return to new episodes this upcoming weekend with one called, the Great Fire Ape.  It will probably be at best a mediocre ape, but one that makes a monkey of them all…

…and by the way, the theme song for this show is called Mountain Man Town  by the Last American Cowboys…