In the early hours of Saturday morning, good mate (and author of Big Bird! and co-author with me of Monsters of Texas) Ken Gerhard drove up to my home from San Antonio.
The reason: we were both due to speak at the first ever Cryptid Fest, organized by Mike Roberts in the 10,000-acre McGee State Park, in the heart of Native American land near Atoka, Oklahoma.
Since Oklahoma is only a couple of hours' drive from where me and Dana live, all went well - that is, until a certain company whose map-service I had used to get us there took us to an entirely different part of the park, and we ended up getting lost for about an hour amid its tree-shrouded, winding roads and tracks! But, I digress!
When we finally arrived (around 2PM), we were pleased to see that the audience was settled in, and things were progressing in fine fashion: Paula Schermerhorn was speaking on UFOs and ghosts, followed by Amanda Wagaman on a variety of paranormal phenomena.
After Amanda, it was time for Bill Rebsamen, whose presentation was as unique as it was entertaining. Bill discussed a whole wealth of Cryptids, but did so by illustrating them with examples of his own, excellent artwork. And, if you aren't familiar with Bill's art, you really should!
Following Bill, was me, on some of the high-strangeness-style creatures within Cryptozoology, such as Mothman, England's spectral Man-Monkey, Goat-Men, and Werewolves.
Then, Ken gave the headline presentation, on strange, winged-monsters - that's right, those huge and mystifying giant birds that seem to pop up here, there and everywhere from time to time.
Right around 7PM, we grabbed some food, before the next part of the conference began: a night-time quest for Bigfoot. Given that there have been significant reports of the beast from the very location where the conference was being held, this seemed a good and logical idea.
And, although I didn't personally experience anything unusual that day or night, there were those who heard strange noises, found tracks, and even thought they saw dark figures in the woods.
In other words, it was a fine, insightful, informative, fun, and monstrous event!
If you couldn't make this year's Cryptid Fest, I'm pleased to be able to say there will be another one next year - don't miss it!