Friday, August 29, 2008

Crypto at The Anomalist

Check out The Anomalist today. They have a number of good crypto posts today, on Bigfoot, lake-monsters and much more.

As it's a holiday weekend here this weekend, I'll now be offline until Tuesday. Have a good holiday!

Bigfoot Radio: Tonight

I'll be discussing my Bigfoot (and general crypto) research on the Beyond the Grassy Knoll radio show tonight from 10PM to 11PM Central time. Here's the link.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Neil Arnold on UK Big Cats

In the wake of the seemingly escalating reports of big cats on the loose in the vicinity of Britain's Cannock Chase woods, Neil Arnold, author of the book Monster!, offers his thoughts and opinions on the controversy to the local media. As always, Neil has insightful comments to make.

Bigfoot & The Paranormal 3

The third and final part of the interview that the Blogsquatcher recently did with me on the issue of Bigfoot and the paranormal has just been posted online and can be found here.

And as I say in the interview with respect to the controversy surrounding the question of whether or not Bigfoot has paranormal origins:

"I never judge people on their beliefs, because I don't -- none of us has the answers. But I would say that, regardless of whether or not bigfoot researchers agree with me or not, I think the one thing they most would agree with me about, is that at some point, pretty much every bigfoot researcher has come across at least one case of the type that I'm talking about. I would defy you to find a bigfoot researcher who has never found a case that has even the smallest aspect of weirdness to it. I think in everybody's files you're going to find one like that. Either it was seen near a Native American burial ground, or it had glowing eyes, or something weird happened."

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Mabus Scarab - Tonight

At 7PM Central time tonight, I’ll be doing an online Q&A at the Almost certainly we’ll cover a wide range of subjects of the Fortean kind. Check it out and join in, if you can. Here’s the link.

Today in Crypto

Here's a good round-up of what's afoot in cryptozoology today, courtesy of The Anomalist:

Alaskan Mystery Carcass Photo Cryptomundo. Here's a photo taken July 22, 2008, of the mysterious smooth-skinned corpse of an animal that washed ashore in Alaska. Is this the body of the legendary "beast-walrus" spoken of by the Inuit tribesmen? Elsewhere at Cryptomundo, Loren Coleman comments on a supposed manuscript written by a west coast Bigfoot personage in Beckjord's Bigfoot Sex Book and presents some humor arising from the recent Georgia Bigfoot scandal in Cartoons Celebrate Cryptomundo & Loren vs Hoax. With images.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Weird Weekend: Online

Over the course of the last few days, CFZ Director Jon Downes has had the truly unenviable task of editing and posting all of the lectures from the recent Weird Weekend to YouTube. Here's the link. Be prepared for a long viewing session!

Future CFZ Activities

Jon Downes updates us on what we can expect to see from the CFZ for the rest of this year. It's looking good!

A Crypto-Interview

Yesterday, fellow-Fortean, author and good friend Marie Jones interviewed me about my cryptozoological research.

We covered a lot of ground, including my research into werewolves, phantom black-dogs, the issue of giant birds in the US, the legends of still-surviving mammoths, what drives me to continue my crypto-research, why I think that at least some of the unknown "animals" in our world have paranormal origins, and much more.

The interview has just been posted to the Para-Explorers site that Marie runs with Larry Flaxman, and can be found right here. I hope it entertains and informs you!

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Weird Weekend

By her own admission it's slightly late, but here's Corinna Downes' review of the final day of last week's Weird Weekend gig. And as they say, better late than never!

Jones Reviews "Woods"

Author Marie Jones has written an excellent review of my new book, There's Something in the Woods, which can be found in PDF format at the following link (it's the second link down on the page):

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Darkness Radio Tonight

I'll be discussing my cryptozoological research on Darkness Radio tonight. For details of time etc., see:

The Paranormal Bigfoot, Part 2

Part-two of the interview that the Blogsquatcher recently did with me on the issue of Bigfoot and the paranormal has just been posted to his blog. Here's the link. As with part-one, it covers a lot of controversial ground, this time including Tulpas, thought-forms and much more.

Friday, August 22, 2008

A Mutilation of the Big Cat Kind?

Only a few miles from that mystery-saturated woodland in central England known as the Cannock Chase, a sheep has been found violently mutilated and killed; something which, as this new story shows, has bolstered beliefs that there is a big-cat loose in the area.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


The description of this beast all sounds positively Lovecraftian to me!

Me and the Paranormal Bigfoot

A few days ago, I was interviewed by The Blogsquatcher on the controversial issue of Bigfoot and the paranormal, a subject that features heavily in my new book There's Something in the Woods (Anomalist Books). We delved deeply into the issue of strange phenomena associated with Bigfoot; as well as the surprisingly large number of reports of the so-called "British Bigfoot." The Blogsquatcher has just posted the first-part of the interview on-line, and which can be found at this link.

Karl Shuker: Interviewed!

As I mentioned here last week, I was recently asked to write the Foreword for Dr. Karl Shuker's new book, Dr. Shuker's Casebook: In Pursuit of Marvels and Mysteries, which delves deeply into not just Karl's usual arena of cryptozoology; but into a whole range of other Fortean mysteries, too.

A couple of days ago, I caught up with him to arrange an interview on the subject of his new book, and here it is. Enjoy!

NR: Karl, you are generally known for writing about cryptozoology, but your Casebook is a bit different, in the sense that it also covers UFOs, ghosts, and much more. What prompted you to write it?

KS: I’ve always been interested in mysteries of many kinds; and it was my zoological background that led me into cryptozoology. But, I’ve always wanted to write about other things in terms of books; and I did do that in The Unexplained back in 1996, at the height of The X-Files. I’ve also actually written a lot of articles on non-crypto subjects – several hundred of them, in fact. But, whereas a lot of the crypto articles had been incorporated into compilations, none of the non-crypto ones had been, until now.

KS: Well, I was speaking to Jon Downes one day, the publishing-director of CFZ Press, and I asked Jon if he would be interested in putting these non-crypto articles into book form, and he said “Yes, definitely.” We did think about it being completely non-crypto; but then I thought it wouldn’t really be a book of mine if there was no crypto material in there at all. So, there’s actually quite a few chapters in the finished book on cryptozoology as well as the other material.

NR: On the crypto and mystery animal front, what does the book contain?

KS: There are a lot of very diverse crypto chapters in the book: there’s some very interesting material on mystery animals of what we call Senegambia – the collective name for Senegal and Gambia. Some of those are almost certainly true crypto animals, others are more paranormal. There’s a similar chapter: on animals of the Australian Dream-Time. As with the Gambia, some of those are physical, others are distinctly supernatural, and some are mythological. There’s also a chapter on reports of Unicorns: living, cryptozoological, and man-made. In fact, until I got into this, I didn’t realize how many types of unicorn were on record throughout the years.

KS: On the subject of Fortean zoology, I talk at length about what have become known as winged-cats. That’s a real pet-subject of mine, and I managed to find the explanation behind the winged-cats. In that chapter, you have the most detailed, comprehensive coverage of winged-cats anywhere, ever. And also photographs that have never been published before.

KS: There are also chapters on ghostly creatures. I’ve looked at some very unusual ones, including a kind of bipedal wolfman – with the head of a wolf and the body of a human – that has been reported in various areas of the UK; and which is similar to the Bray Road beast in America.

KS: I also cover the story of the Woolpit children. Woolpit in Suffolk [England] isn’t a million miles away from me; so I went to Woolpit myself. There are a lot of stories in books about these green children that we read about from time and time again. But no-one ever seems to think to visit the place. They just repeat the same old stories over and over. Now, Woolpit is a corruption of the words "wolf-pit." These pits were built at the time, the 11th century, to catch wolves, which still existed in Britain in the wild then. And it’s in one of these pits that the two green children were said to have come from.

KS: I found one thing that was very intriguing and that no-one has ever mentioned before. In the church at Woolpit, St. Mary’s Church, if you look around the church it has a lot of carvings of strange animals. This was quite unexpected, as I’d never read that anywhere. One of them, which was a very dominant carving at the end of one of the pews, is of a creature which is basically a monkey with wings. And a winged-monkey in a church was somewhat unexpected.

KS: One thing led to another, and I thought to myself: we have a story here of two green children who emerge from a mysterious, twilit green land. And on the other side of the pond, in America, we have the story of The Wizard of Oz in which we have the Emerald City where everyone, including the children, is green; and a flock of winged-monkeys that chase after Dorothy. Now, the story of the green children of Woolpit has been well-known for a long time. And I wonder if some acquaintance of L. Frank Baum, who wrote The Wizard of Oz, visited Woolpit, mentioned the green children legend and the winged-monkey carving in the church to him, and perhaps inspired, at least in part, The Wizard of Oz.

NR: So-called Sky-Beasts and the work of Trevor James Constable feature heavily in the book, too. What are your views on all this?

KS: I suppose looking at it from a zoological standpoint, almost every square inch of the Earth has life that has evolved to live in it: on land, in lakes and oceans, in caves. The only area where there seems to be a conspicuous absence of evolved life-forms, actually living exclusively there, is the sky. Of course, birds and insects fly in the sky; but they don’t live there. But then along comes Trevor Constable, and others, with the idea that perhaps UFOs – which we tend to think are either things like weather balloons, lenticular clouds or alien spacecraft – are a type of living creature: a living UFO that lives all its life in the skies, and that perhaps comes down occasionally out of curiosity and we see them. It’s an extremely radical theory. One of the big questions is: what would they feed on? The answer is energy. They’re energy-consuming creatures. But plants do something similar: they photosynthesize and get their food directly from energy. It’s all very speculative; but I find it a fascinating concept.

NR: Moving away from cryptozoology, you also discuss Doppelgangers in the book.

KS: Yes. And I start that chapter with a quote from a Hans Christian Andersen story called The Shadow, in which a person’s shadow separates from the person concerned and takes on a life of its own. And ultimately it has a sinister ending: the shadow replaces the man after he is executed. And although that's just a story, a lot of people have seen, and are seeing, their own doubles, or other people’s doubles. One of the theories is that these aren’t separate entities, but are perhaps an extension of the person themselves.

NR: How about the "Winged Men" you talk about in the book?

KS: There’s a whole chapter on these that asks: are they genuine crypto-creatures or something more paranormal? I mention the famous ones such as the Mothman and the Cornish Owlman. But I also mention the more unusual ones. I think my own personal favorite is Batsquatch, as the media called it. Batsquatch was seen in 1993 on Mt. Rainier. The witness said their car stopped, the engine cut-out, and this huge, winged monster with a wolf-like face with fangs came down in the road, and then rose back into the sky. And of course Mt. Rainier is where Kenneth Arnold had his iconic UFO sighting in 1947.

KS: I also stray into some of your territory and mention the Big Gray Man of Ben Macdhui, and the British Bigfoot side of things. As you know, formerly living in much the same area as me, the Cannock Chase in Staffordshire is quite a center now for seeing these hairy man-beasts. And yet you would think that, in a place like the UK, it would be impossible to have a genuine, physical, corporeal man-beast. And this is where the “zooform,” paranormal angle comes in.

KS: I’ve always been very interested in this aspect of cryptozoology: black dogs and similar creatures. I also talk in the book about reports of dogless-heads, headless dogs, and the Hairy-Hands: giant hairy hands that have tried to wrench the steering-wheel of cars away from drivers in Dartmoor, England. The Monster of Glamis is in the book; so is Herne the Hunter, who has this head of antlers, and a pack of black dogs with him as he rides across Windsor Forest, England . It’s supposed to be a legend, of course, but there are reports from England as recently as the 1950s.

KS: And just going back to the black-dogs: this ties in with the chapter in the book on the Australian Dreamtime animals. They have a story of the Mirrii, which is almost like a kind of marsupial black-dog, which looks like the British black-dogs with glowing eyes. And it will try and lure people into the water to kill you, just like some of the creatures of Irish and Celtic legend.

KS: I’ve always focused on the more corporeal, flesh-and-blood creatures. But the more I’ve looked into these other animal-like forms, there’s no doubt that these, such as the black-dogs, are not physical. How could they be with glowing red eyes? And Batsquatch: there’s no way we’ve got something like that. None of this makes normal, biological sense. So, some of these creatures are definitely not flesh-and-blood.

KS: One of my favorite non-crypto sections of the book, because I’ve just come back from there, was investigating the mysteries of Easter Island. This was a lifelong ambition that I fulfilled in April; and I did a lot of investigations with the local guides. I found out to my surprise that a lot of what we thought we knew about the mysteries of Easter Island, and that has been reproduced in many books, is in fact totally wrong. A lot of it stems from the visits of Thor Heyerdahl back in the 1950s. Unfortunately, some of the local people, with a wicked sense of humor, told him various things that were not true at all. So, I expose a fair few of those in the book.

KS: Also, I’ve always loved stories of miraculous icons – religious icons. Obviously, everyone has heard of the Shroud of Turin, but I discuss others like the Veil of Veronica and the Gabriel Feathers. So, there's lots of things in the book that I've investigated that hopefully people will find as fascinating as I do.

NR: And a final question: are you pleased with the finished book?

KS: Yes. I love cryptozoology and I always have done and always will. But when you have so many other interests, and you want to write about them, doing the Casebook has given me a great chance to do exactly that. I’ve had a great time doing it. (Note from Nick: To learn more about Karl and his new book, here's his website address. And here are the Amazon US and Amazon UK addresses where you can purchase the book right now.)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Crazy Bears!

Here's an interesting post over at The Anomalist today:

Crazy Bears and UFOs Alien Seeker News. Some years ago, James C. Wyatt of Memphis, Tennessee, sent author Brad Steiger a copy of his grandfather's journal, dated 1888, which contained some startling entries, written in straightforward fashion, which, if interpreted literally, may indicate an association between Bigfoot-type creatures and UFOs. The grandfather was told by Native Americans at the time that "Crazy Bear," as they called the Bigfoot-like creature, had been brought to the "Big Woods" from the stars.

Uncanny Radio

Tonight, I'll be on Uncanny Radio with hosts Linda Godfrey & Steve Sullivan. The show will air at 8 pm Central, streaming live from or on webcast at and (where people can leave blog comments). I'll be discussing my new book, There's Something in the Woods.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Corinna & The WW

Check out Corinna Downes' Female of the Species blog for various posts on, and reviews of, her hubby Jon's Weird Weekend gig.

Alien Worlds

The new issue of Stuart Miller's Alien Worlds magazine includes a 4-page article from me titled UFOs, Crop Circles & Cryptids: What the Hell is Going On? The subject matter is my new book, There's Something in the Woods. And, in the pages of the article, I delve into the links between weird creatures and Crop Circles; as well as some of the stranger, fringe-based crypto stories I have uncovered.

The Blogsquatcher

Yesterday, I was interviewed extensively by the Blogsquatcher on the subject of Bigfoot and the paranormal. He has already posted a pre-publication piece on the interview - which can be found here - and you can expect to see the whole interview (possibly spread over several days) posted at his blog soon.

The CFZ: A New Office

The Center for Fortean Zoology has a new office. Nope, the group isn't moving to new pastures! Rather, it's an off-shoot of the main Devon office; but one dedicated to all-things cryptozoological specifically in the vicinity of the English city of Manchester. Here's the link where you will find all the details , as well as a review of last weekend's Weird Weekend gig. Be sure to keep checking it out!

What's On With Raven

Many thanks indeed to friend and fellow-researcher of the strange, Raven, who is doing a weekly round-up of things I'm up to (or at least those I can tell you about! LOL). Here's the first post. Thanks, Raven!

On the Radio

I'll be discussing my cryptozoological research on Darkness Radio this coming Sunday night from around 9PM Central Time onwards. For more details, see:

Monday, August 18, 2008

Profiling Mike Hallowell

Back in June, I posted a story on Mike Hallowell's new book Mystery Animals of the British Isles: Northumberland & Tyneside. As I mentioned, Mike's book is the first in an ambitious series of books from CFZ Press that will, eventually, see the strange creatures of each and every British county profiled in what will probably be a forty-volume collection. And Mike's work and his book are featured in a new article that has just been published in the British press. Here's the link.

The Mass Monster Mash

On Saturday October 18, I'll be speaking at the annual Mass Monster Mash gig on the subject of Bigfoot in Britain. Here's all the details of the event, location, website details, price, and much more. Check it out if you're in the area; it looks like it will be a great event!

MASS MONSTER MASH Paranormal Infotainment that brings the fear back to Halloween!


Five Outstanding Researchers Set To Speak On Paranormal Phenomena

Watertown, MA -- When darkness falls on Saturday, the 18th of October, 2008, five experts will speak about unexplained phenomena at the Hibernian Hall in Watertown, Massachusetts. The topics of discussion will include Mothman, Weird Massachusetts, Haunted Baseball, Phantom Hitchhikers, the Loch Ness Monster 75th Anniversary, the Bridgewater Triangle and Bigfoot in England! It's time for the third annual "Mass Monster Mash", New England's premiere paranormal conference!

Esteemed cryptozoologist and popular author Loren Coleman will present his detailed research and chronology from his book Mothman and Other Curious Encounters of the incredible Mothman sightings, a series of odd encounters with a winged humanoid that took place in 1966 in Point Pleasant, West Virginia. Some feel that this "flap" indirectly caused several fatalities, including a massive bridge collapse. Loren will refer to the hit movie The Mothman Prophecies and give a current assessment and perspective of one of the classic historical cryptozoological mysteries of our time. He may even defer to the "Houston Batman" incident as well as the "Lawndale Thunderbird". Coleman, the world's greatest living paranormal researcher, will provide unique insight into his research of this unexplained incident that rattled an Appalachian community 32 years ago. As he will be making a rare Boston appearance, he will be available to sign copies of his books, including his culture-changing masterpiece Mysterious America, considered by many to be the seminal book of cryptozoology. It was Coleman who dubbed the anomalous area in Southeastern Massachusetts as the Bridgewater Triangle, which was prominently featured at the 2007 Mass Monster Mash along with Loren's presentation about the "Dover Demon". He also created Cryptomundo, the premiere cryptozoology web site on the World Wide Web.

A rising star - and arguably one of the most versatile paranormal authors in the world today - will be speaking for the second time at the 2008 Mass Monster Mash. Writer Jeff Belanger will once again dazzle the audience with some of his classic legends. Belanger is widely recognized as the most prolific author working in ghost research today. A frequent guest on Rob McConnell's radio show the X-Zone, Belanger is an eloquent speaker who articulates the most chilling accounts of alleged ghost and poltergeist activity. His web site Ghost Village is one of the most popular ghost activity and research portals on the Internet. Jeff's lecture will be entitled "Weird Massachusetts". No, he won't be talking about the state's liberal politics or moral promiscuity. He'll tackle some of the Bay State's greatest paranormal mysteries in its 350-year history. He will be selling his vast array of titles that encompass poltergeist activity such as "The Ghost Files: Paranormal Encounters, Discussion, and Research from the Vaults of".

Another prolific author, paranormal expert, government agitator and professional monster hunter is Nick Redfern. Nick was born in Great Britain and now resides in the United States. He has appeared on more than 60 TV shows to promote his numerous books (including the Sci-Fi Channel). He has traveled to Puerto Rico to search for the legendary Chupacabra and he has appeared on MSNBC with Keith Olbermann. He has lectured at a variety of conferences, including the Laughlin UFO Congress (in 1998 and 2001); the Mutual UFO Network Conference in 2004; the Aztec UFO Conference in 2003; the Texas Bigfoot Research Conference in 2004; at numerous events for the British-based UFO Magazine between 1997 and 2000 (now closed); and at the UFO Crash Retrieval Conference in Las Vegas (in 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006). His many book titles include Three Men Seeking Monsters, Memoirs of a Monster Hunter, and his newest title There's Something In The Woods. As it has always been traditional for the Mass Monster Mash to have a bigfoot element (Stan Gordon in 2006 and Don Keating in 2007), Nick's lecture at the Mass Monster Mash will be entitled "Man Monkey: In Search of the British Bigfoot".

Dan Gordon first experienced the magic of Fenway Park in the summer of 1975 when his father took him to his first game. With a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, Gordon studied global baseball culture in Japan, the Domincan Republic, Cuba and Nicaragua. His writings on baseball have appeared in the Providence Journal, Fort Worth Star, San Juan Star, NINE, Elysian Fields Quarterly and Scribners Encyclopedia of American Lives. Gordon recently published the popular Cape Encounters: Contemporary Cape Cod Ghost Stories. His lecture will be the same title as his newest book: Haunted Baseball. He'll talk about such tales as: The historic Spring Training ballpark in St. Petersburg, where Babe Ruth and his teammates still roam the field, the ghost encounters at Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, and Dodgers Stadium; the beloved Cleveland Indians trainer said to have revisited the team in the form of a seagull and eerie player stories from road-trip hotels they insist are haunted.

The Loch Ness Monster will be having its 75th birthday celebration at the Mass Monster Mash. "Nessie" came to the public's attention on June 5th, 1933 when a young maidservant named Margaret Munro supposedly observed the creature for about 20 minutes at about 6:30 am. She spotted it on shore from about 200 yards and described it as having elephant-like skin, a long neck, a small head and two short forelegs or flippers. The sighting ended when the creature re-entered the water. Although sightings of the creature on land around the loch reputedly date back to the sixth century, modern interest in the monster was sparked by a sighting on July 22nd, 1933 when George Spicer and his wife saw 'a most extraordinary form of animal' cross the road in front of their car. They described the creature as having a large body (about 4 feet high and 25 feet long), with a long, narrow neck, slightly thicker than an elephant's trunk and as long as the 10 to 12 foot width of the road; the neck had a number of undulations in it. They saw no limbs because of a dip in the road obscuring the animal's lower portion. It lurched across the road towards the loch 20 yards away, leaving only a trail of broken undergrowth in its wake. And finally, in August of that same year a motorcyclist named Arthur Grant claimed to have nearly hit the creature while approaching Abriachan on the north-eastern shore, at about 1 am on a moonlit night. Grant saw a small head attached to a long neck; the creature saw him and crossed the road back into the loch. Grant dismounted and followed it to the loch, but only saw ripples.

There will be a tribute to Scott Norman of Cryptosafari, a classy cryptozoologist and friend to the Mass Monster Mash, who suddenly passed away this year. Artist Bill Rebsamen has created a wonderful portrayal of Scott's work. Scott was lucky enough to encounter a Pterosaur during one of his expeditions. He also searched for the legendary Mokele-mbembe.

Back again as a co-host at the Mass Monster Mash will be Matt Moniz. Matt has over 20 years experience investigating paranormal phenomena. He has a "Forrest Gump"-type litany of involvement with historical UFO, ghost and paranormal case investigations and has even tried to pick up a phantom hitchhiker! Matt will chat specifically about that legendary entity, namely the Red-Headed Hitchhiker of Route 44. As a chemist, Matt analyzed soil samples from the famed "Bentwaters Incident" and was acknowledged accordingly in the book “Left at East Gate” by Larry Warren and Peter Robbins. He will be bringing soil samples from that area where an alleged UFO landing took place 27 years ago. Matt was also featured in the popular books “Witnessed” by Budd Hopkins, and “Glimpses of Other Realities” by Linda Moulton Howe. Matt will be reporting live from the Mash for the hit fortean radio show Spooky Southcoast that is hosted by Tim Weisberg and Matt Costa.

Some other special guests will be on hand for the Mash.

Christopher Balzano, who is a staple at the Mass Monster Mash, is an expert on paranormal phenomena in New England, director of the "Mass Paranormal Crossroads", author of the book Dark Woods and a recent recording artist. Chris will be on hand (he lives in Florida now) to meet and greet the conference attendees. Chris has also written about the Dover Demon case and is a collector of urban legends, such as the "Red-Headed Hitchhiker of Route 44", Ghosts of the Bridgewater Triangle, Ghostly Adventures, "Pukwudgies" and "Killer Clowns". Balzano has spent countless hours researching the Bridgewater Triangle. His latest book is Picture Yourself Ghost Hunting.

Tim Binnall is the producer of the Binnall of America Audio Podcast and webmaster of the very popular internet portal Binnall of America that deals with "esoteric" phenomena. Tim is a webmaster for Coast to Coast with George Noory and he will be back to meet-and-greet the speakers and attendees while again serving as the Monster Mash Ambassador. He was a vital participant in last year's conference (and recognized as such with an award) and his company was enjoyed by many.

Film producer Aaron Cadieux may be on hand as well. In 2006, he screened his film "Inside The Bridgewater Triangle" at the Monster Mash and received critical acclaim. He is recognized as one of New England's up-and-coming film producers and has just released his latest documentary "The First Patriots", dedicated to King Philip's War.

Chris Pittman, a Massachusetts folklorist, paranormal investigator and a recent recording artist is considered by many to be the foremost authority on the Bridgewater Triangle. His extensive exploration of this anomalous area, research into the Dover Demon and encounters with black helicopters make him a fascinating and enigmatic guest. His brief lectures at last year's Monster Mash and Mass UFO Show were riveting. Both he and Chris Balzano may be on hand to autograph their CD entitled "Mysterious Bridgewater Triangle".

Joining the Mash once again may be defending Monster Mash trivia champions (and the "belle and beau of the ball") Arlene Nicholson and Thomas D'Agostino, author of the books Haunted Rhode Island, Haunted New Hampshire and Haunted Massachusetts. Arlene and Thomas (who is recognized by his peers as the most comprehensive New England ghost historian) will be available for questions during a book signing.

Ned, the hyperactive janitor-at-large from Paraforce (played by comedian Steve Russo) will once again disrupt the proceedings. We are hoping that he limits his use of Homer Formby or at least uses it in a responsible manner with proper ventilation.

This event was created and produced by philanthropist and paranormal gadfly John Horrigan. Horrigan has a vast history of paranormal exploration and is considered by many to be a leading popular historian and public speaker.

The Mass Monster Mash is a celebration of Northeastern legends and folklore, using lecture, film, exhibits and trivia dedicated to strange occurrences with a mission to entertain and captivate anyone who is looking for spirited pre-Halloween fun! Doors open at 5:30 PM with the program beginning promptly at 6:00 PM and concluding by 10:30 PM. Also, this may be your only chance to pick up the "The Bridgewater Triangle" CD that was produced by Steve Russo and created by event producer John Horrigan, Chris Pittman and Christopher Balzano. The Mass Monster Mash is accessible by public transportation. Admission is $25.00. Tickets are limited and will not be sold at the door.

For more information: or call 781-916-9223 or log on to

Bigfoot - The Latest

You'll have noticed I haven't commented on the Bigfoot-Body saga for a few days. There's a good reason for that: despite the press conference, we're still not really any closer to having actual news on the affair to report - merely just opinions, thoughts and ideas of the "It's a hoax/No it's not" variety. And I suspect that the real developments will come if and when the "Fox News Invite" goes ahead. So, until then, I'll keep referring everyone to The Anomalist, where the latest links and posts can be found.

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Body of Bigfoot

Check out The Anomalist: they have just now posted numerous new stories on all the latest news concerning the "Bigfoot Body" controversy.

Corinna on the WW

As these two new posts from Jon Downes' wife, Corinna, show, the build-up to this weekend's Weird Weekend gig is going well! Post One and Post Two.

Big Cat UK

As these two new stories show, the Big Cat of Britain's Cannock Chase woods, and the surrounding areas, is still prowling around. Here's story one and here's story two. Having grown up only a couple of miles from the Chase, I can safely say that if a large exotic cat wanted to hide out in the area, the woods in question offer a perfect location, and a good food supply of wild animals too.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Bigfoot Body Latest

Here's the latest on the "Bigfoot Body" from a friend of mine, Micah Hanks, who knows Tom Biscardi and who spoke on the phone with him today.

The "Body" Saga

Despite my best efforts, I've been unable to access Cryptomundo today (doubtless as a result of huge traffic figures). Nevertheless, you might have better luck; so here's the latest links from Cryptomundo (and elsewhere) via The Anomalist:

UPDATE: Bigfoot Body Video Cryptomundo. Loren Coleman reports a YouTube video has been posted of Tom Biscardi's FoxNews appearance from Wednesday, the announcement that some DNA results may not be ready in time for tomorrow's press conference and a warning that the film documentation of the scientific research on the Bigfoot body must be conducted "in the light of day" to be fully accepted. And, in a further UPDATE from a different source: Skepticism Mounting Since the Georgia Bigfoot Corpse Press Release at Phantoms & Monsters includes this link to The Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization: Georgia Bigfoot Body Hoax, where further links lead you to Bigfoot Discussion Board - Major Media Hoax in the Works: Biscardi and and Here's How the Bigfoot Body Was Debunked. But...isn't that a tongue sticking out of the mouth of the supposed Bigfoot body in the freezer? If you've been unable to access the Bigfoot Video post at Cryptomundo, you will find the Tom Biscardi FoxNews film at Video: Georgia Bigfoot on FOX News.
UPDATE: Policeman's Claim of Bigfoot Sighting a Headache for Boss AJC
Policeman Matthew Whitton's claim to have the corpse of a Bigfoot he and his partner dragged from the woods of northern Georgia seems to be having an impact on the police department he works for in Clayton, GA. The police chief of Clayton is getting far too many calls about Whitton's hobby. Meanwhile, there's a new revelation about documentary filming of scheduled scientific research on the body allegedly in the possession of Whitton and Rick Dyer in Claim: Dead Bigfoot Stored on Ice, and there's a good take on the controversy in the Beliefnet report Bigfoot and Chupacabra Double Feature, including commentary by skeptic Michael Shermer. For other commentary: Body of Bigfoot Found in Georgia, Claims Group and Everyone Awaits the Evidence on Bigfoot. Also, be sure to tune in tonight for Nick Redfern's stint to talk about his new book There's Something in the Woods, and the unfolding Bigfoot Body saga on Paranormal Radio with Captain Jack.

Paranormal Radio: Tonight

Tonight, from 8.30PM to 11.00PM Central Time, I'll be speaking about my cryptozoological research - and my new There's Something in the Woods book - on Paranormal Radio with Captain Jack. I'm sure we'll get into the "Bigfoot Body" saga too...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Weird Weekend - 6

Here's Jon Downes with more on the Weird Weekend speakers at this coming weekend's conference:

Richard Freeman is one of Britain's few professional cryptozoologists. His interest in unknown animals reaches back to his childhood and he has had a long and varied career working with exotic creatures. He was head curator of reptiles at Twycross zoo in the Midlands. In 1996 he took a degree in zoology at Leeds university and after graduation moved to Exeter to work full time as the Zoological Director of the Centre for Fortean Zoology, the UK`s only cryptozoological organization.

Matthew Williams is the one man who is legally entitled to call himself a `crop circle maker` after his conviction a few years back for doing just that, Matthew is making his third visit to the Weird Weekend. He is a film maker, lighting engineer and all round good egg, who as well as giving us a lecture on the links between mystery animals and crop circles, is also providing the AV services for the whole weekend.

Dr. Gail-Nina Anderson is an elderly Goth who has spent a lifetime carefully nurturing her natural streak of morbidity. Trained as an art historian and now based in Newcastle, she works as a free-lance arts lecturer and journalist, covering areas of literature, film studies and visual culture. Main employers are Sunderland University, Northumbria University Gallery, the Tyneside Cinema and assorted local papers, but this pattern tends to mutate on a regular if erratic basis. She is a long-time member of the Dracula Society and has lectured more often than she can remember on the literature, cinema, folklore and imagery of vampires. When this palls, she varies it with fairies, angels and dragons. Her academic specialism is the art of the Pre-Raphaelites, especially Rossetti, and she has organised and written the catalogues for two exhibitions of Victorian art. She also runs courses on the supernatural in film and literature and has had several short spooky stories published (one in Russian, though she's not sure why) plus the occasional poem. She is a regular contributor to the Fortean Times magazine and associated Unconventions, so has delved into the world of the weird and the ways we perceive and categorise it. Her hobbies are collecting mourning jewellery and drinking red wine.

Oll Lewis is the Ecological Director of the CFZ, and at 26 is both the youngest, and newest, member of the team. We know what to do with these young turks! We put them on a stage and get them to talk about lake monsters.

Michael Woodley has been an avid fan of Cryptozoology for as long as he can remember. He credits his early fascination with the discipline as being the catalyst for his life long love of Biology. He has published scientific articles on subjects ranging from Environmental Engineering to Physical Anthropology, and is the author of The Limits of Ecology: New Perspectives from a Theoretical Borderland - a book of essays on Theoretical Ecology, and In the wake of Bernard Heuvelmans - The history - and future - of sea-serpent classification. Michael holds a BSc degree from Columbia University, New York. He is currently studying for a PhD at the University of London, where he is investigating plant-bacteria interactions.

The Bigfoot Body - Today

Here's the very latest on the "Bigfoot Body" saga via The Anomalist:

August 13 BREAKING NEWS: Georgia Rickmatt Bigfoot Where Light Meets Dark.
It didn't take long for the breaking Bigfoot news to draw analysis, and the detailed analysis of the initial photos claiming to be those of that Bigfoot body that has been on ice in Georgia are very revealing. With photos, measurements and comparisons. Is it possible the photos released thus far are fakes intended to build up the suspense or muddy the waters?
Has Bigfoot Been Found? The Inquisitr.

Following yesterday's Bigfoot Body: "Georgia Gorilla" Will Shock the World story from Loren Coleman at Cryptomundo that site has become difficult to access, possibly due to heavy traffic, but persistence will eventually pay off. Keep trying to be rewarded with the latest updates on this historic story. Among other stories concerning this breaking news story, Cryptomundo offers Georgia Gorilla: Bigfoot Body"s First Photo! Meanwhile, the story is beginning to take hold in the mainstream media, as seen in PALO ALTO: News Conference to Discuss Claims of 'Bigfoot' Find and Purported DNA Evidence of Bigfoot to Be Revealed in Palo Alto Friday.

Dr. Shuker's Casebook

Just recently, fellow-author and seeker-of-the-strange Karl Shuker asked me if I would write the Foreword to his new book, Dr. Shuker's Casebook, and to which I quickly answered "Yes!"

Well, I can tell you that Karl's new book is one not to be missed - at all. The official publication date of the book is this Saturday; however, as I won't be around at the weekend, I figured I'd go ahead and give Karl's book the publicity it deserves a couple of days early.

And the best way to do that is to copy below for you my Foreword to the book that will give you a good indication of the many and varied stories that it contains.

So, here it is: my
Foreword to Dr. Shuker's Casebook

Whether it’s due to the fact that we both hail from the mighty and majestic West Midlands (oh yes, it is, I assure you!), or simply that he is a damned good researcher and writer (or both!), I always look forward to a new book from Karl Shuker; and this one most definitely does not disappoint.

And so when Karl asked me if I would write the Foreword for his new book, I quickly said that yes, indeed I would.

Whereas pretty much everything Karl has published so far has been on cryptozoology and weird and wonderful animals, Dr. Shuker’s Casebook is a little different. Yes, it is full to the brim with tales of strange beasts; however, Karl also delves into other areas of Forteana with which he is not generally associated.

This, however, is a very good thing, since we get to learn about a variety of other mysteries that are of interest to Karl. And, indeed, there are enough of them to fill Birmingham’s glorious Rotunda and Bull-Ring several times over!

So, what do you get for your hard-earned pennies?

Well, I will start with those highly unusual, and almost legendary, winged cats. Karl provides excellent historical background on these unusual critters, carefully separates fact from fiction, and legend from reality, and gives the reader a fine study of this peculiar phenomenon. Even if you’re only vaguely familiar with the winged-cat controversy, this is one you won’t want to miss.

And what, I hear you ask, about the mystery animals of Senegambia? Encompassing hairy man-beasts, giant bat-like entities and much more, they collectively make great food for thought as Karl reveals the strange stories of some little-known and elusive beasts of a distinctly exotic and far-off land.

Sky-Beasts is an excellent chapter and one that addresses the theories of researchers such as Trevor James Constable, who suggested the idea that bizarre life-forms might very well soar high in the skies above us, and may perhaps be responsible for at least some UFO reports. Today, Constable’s theories are sadly forgotten by many within Ufology, and so it’s highly refreshing to see Karl turn his attention to a subject and a theory that perhaps has implications for both the UFO controversy and cryptozoology.

Merfolk – strangely humanlike entities that are said to roam the world’s oceans and seas - also feature prominently in Karl’s book. Of course, any mention of mermaids inevitably provokes furious debate. Fortunately, Karl knows a great deal about this topic and is able to discuss the matter in a fashion that both informs and intrigues. As for how the mysterious Aquatic Ape fits into this story, well…I’ll leave that up to you to find out.

The famous ‘Green Children’ of Suffolk’s Woolpit also come under the Shuker microscope, something that leads to such questions as: were they feral children, the denizens of the fairy world, or – if such a thing were possible – something even stranger?

Tulpas – creatures of the mind, thought-forms, or however you want to term them – are a particular obsession of mine. And to see that Karl has devoted a whole chapter of his book to this particularly controversial topic was a fine surprise for me. If you ever mused upon all the fuss that the Tulpa issue provokes, Karl provides the perfect study of the subject, and a look at some of the more significant tales of a distinctly mind-monster kind.

Flying humanoids such as Batsquatch, Mothman, Owlman, Britain’s little-known Monkey-Bird, and the Flying Man of Russia also have pride of place. The thorny (or should that be horny?) issue of unicorns is dissected, as are frog-falls, ball-lightning, will o’ the wisp, earthquake lights, various other aerial puzzles, and ghosts and specters.

Then there are those weird messages from space: manuscripts, papers, artifacts and even Joe Simonton’s famous faerie pancakes. Doppelgangers: they’re here too; as are the mysteries of Easter Island, the wonderfully-named Vegetable Man, the Monster of Glamis, and menacing, spectral werewolves.

In other words, Dr. Shuker’s Casebook is a fantastic and rich collection of oddities that will fascinate everyone with a thing for Forteana. And now, turn the page, turn off the lights and by the flicker of an old candle and a full moon, enjoy the book!

To learn more about Karl and his new book, here's his website address. And here are the Amazon US and Amazon UK addresses where you can purchase the book right now. I'll be interviewing Karl next week about his book, and will be posting the interview right here.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Micah Comments...

Micah Hanks is a good friend of mine who lives in Asheville, NC. Tonight, he comments on the "Bigfoot Body" controversy.

Bigfoot Body - Pictures!

Here's the very latest, courtesy of Loren Coleman, on the Bigfoot-Body: Photos and more...

Corinna & The WW - 2

And here's Corinna with part-2 of her own, personal diary-report of what's afoot at the CFZ as the Weird Weekend looms ever closer.

Corinna & The WW - 1

Jon Downes' wife, Corinna, has been making her own unique comments on the build up to the Weird Weekend gig.

Here's an extract from Corinna's post of Sunday at her Female of the Species blog:

"As he did last year, Jon has asked me to post a regular update on the preparations and actual event that is the Weird Weekend. So, this is the first of the, what I plan to be, daily updates that will record the ups and downs through the last week, as seen through my eyes. In four and a half days, the traditional cocktail party that precedes the annual Weird Weekend will be underway in our back garden. This year it will be the weekend’s 9th birthday so things should be somewhat passĂ© in the organisation stakes by now. So are we ready and waiting? I could say, ‘but of course we are – we have had enough practice at this sort of thing after all. We are so laid-back. We are catching up on a spot of reading, painting our toenails, laying in bed until mid-day, and thoroughly enjoying a spot of pre-weekend relaxation’. As I said, I could say that. However, I may tell a few white lies occasionally, but to state the above would be a blatant whopper of a black one. Of course we are not ready! In truth, I suppose, you can never really be totally ready for an event of this kind, but can only hope that what you have achieved is enough."

Here's the rest of Corinna's post. And keep checking out her blog for more on the WW!

More on the Bigfoot Body

We need to still be cautious, but check out the latest from Loren Coleman on the "Bigfoot Body" story. Could it actually be the real deal - finally? There's a press conference in a few days time, at which point we may know more. Keep watching and reading. And check out the comments section at Loren's article - it's already into 3-figures, such is the interest!

The Beast of Bexley... back.

Raven Interviews Neil

Over at Raven's Mysterious Haven, you can find an excellent interview that Raven has conducted with Monster! author Neil Arnold. Neil discusses his views on the differences between cryptids and the more paranormal zooforms; how and why he got interested in cryptozoology; his views on the cryptozoological research field and the people in it; his own large, exotic cat encounters; his favorite books in the subject; and much more. Here's the link to the interview.

The Weird Weekend - 5

Today we have two Weird Weekend speaker profiles from Jon Downes: the first on Dr. Karl Shuker and the second on Mike Hallowell.

And here's Jon:

"Dr. Karl P. N. Shuker (born 1959) is a British zoologist living in the West Midlands, England. He is currently working as a full-time freelance zoological consultant, media consultant, and author, specializing in cryptozoology, for which he is internationally renowned. During the course of his continuing researches and writings, he regularly travels worldwide, and also appears frequently on television and radio.

"Shuker has authored many hundreds of articles, and twelve books, including the cryptozoological works Mystery Cats of the World (1989), The Lost Ark: New and Rediscovered Animals of the 20th Century (1993; expanded in 2002 as The New Zoo), and In Search of Prehistoric Survivors (1995), as well as two worldwide bestsellers - Dragons: A Natural History (1995; reissued in 2006), and The Unexplained (1996; reissued in 2002).

"During his writings and researches, Shuker has been the first cryptozoologist to bring to widespread public attention a considerable number of cryptids that were previously little-known. These include the Sri Lankan horned jackal and devil bird, Gambo the Gambian sea serpent, Goodenough Island mystery bird, New Guinea ropen and devil pig or gazeka, Scottish earth hound, Indonesian veo and horned cat, New Caledonian du, Irish dobhar-chĂș, Shatt al Arab venomous mystery fish, Zanzibar makalala, Ethiopian death bird, Zululand kondlo, Arctic North American waheela, Kellas cat, Mongolian Death Worm, Hungarian reedwolf, Fujian blue or Maltese tiger, Welsh cenaprugwirion, bigfin squid, St Helena sirenian, Timor Sea ground shark, and crowing crested cobra."

And concerning Mike Hallowell, Jon says:

"Mike Hallowell was born in South Shields, Tyne & Wear, in May 1957. He is married to his wife, Jackie, and has three grown sons. Mike runs his own media firm - Thunderbird Craft & Media - and is a full-time writer, broadcaster and paranormal researcher.

"Mike was the founder of the Twilight Worlds Paranormal Research Society, but left the organization in 2003 after disagreements regarding its running. Mike is now the patron of The North East Ghost Research Team.

"Mike is a regular contributor to/columnist with many journals, newspapers and magazines, including Contemporary Review, UFO DATA, Magonia, Paranormal Magazine and VISION. He frequently appears on radio and TV, and has starred in several documentaries.

"Mike's first book on ghostly phenomena was Ales & Spirits, which detailed the history of over twenty haunted public houses. He has since written Invizikids; The Curious Enigma of “Imaginary” Childhood Friends which was published by Heart of Albion Press in 2007.

"His book Mystery Animals of Northumberland & Tyneside was published by CFZ Press in 2008. He has co-authored with Darren W. Ritson, The South Shields Poltergeist: One Family’s Fight Against an Invisible Intruder (Sutton Publishing).

"Mike has interviewed many of the leading lights in the world of paranormal research and alternative spirituality, including Uri Geller, Jon Downes, Stephen Holbrook, Richard Freeman, Cliff Crook, Colin Fry, Tony Stockwell, Timothy Good and Nick Redfern. Mike also writes the UK's longest-running paranormal column in a provincial newspaper. WraithScape appears every Thursday in the Shields Gazette, which also happens to be the oldest provincial daily newspaper in the British Isles."

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Bigfoot Body...

Thanks to Loren Coleman over at Cryptomundo, here's the latest on the "Bigfoot Body" story.

Holy Flying Humanoids!

Nope, it's not the Mothman. It's not the Owlman, and it's not even Batsquatch. But it is a flying humanoid...and with video too!

"Woods" Reviewed

Linda Godfrey (author of The Beast of Bray Road and Hunting the American Werewolf) reviews my new book, There's Something in the Woods.

Monsters of Kent

Check out Neil Arnold's excellent Monsters of Kent for some intriguing updates on strange creatures seen in Neil's home county of Kent, England, such as giant snakes and a black leopard.

Hunt the Dogman

I received in the mail last week a copy of an excellent DVD titled Hunt the Dogman: The Director's Cut from friend, author of the book Mysterious Kentucky, and fellow seeker-of-the-strange, Bart Nunnelly.

Bart's film (made by Grendel Films) is an excellent one, and as you will guess from its title, is a study of a diabolical beast that roams the woods of Kentucky.

The Dogman is one of Bart's particular interests, and we follow him on his quest for the truth of the creature as he seeks out interviewees (including various eye-witnesses and author Linda Godfrey), undertakes on-site investigations, and takes us on a road-trip into the unknown.

The film is packed with data, testimony and more that will be of interest to fans everywhere of cryptozoology, werewolves and strange beasts. Bart's story is very much a personal one (his mother discusses her own encounter on-screen), and one filled with enthusiasm, a passion for the subject matter, and some stunning revelations on the Dogman, the Beast of the Land Between the Lakes, and the Spottsville Monster.

Copies of Hunt the Dogman can be purchased at the link above.

Uncanny Radio

This coming Wednesday night, I'll be recording an episode of Uncanny Radio with hosts Linda Godfrey & Steve Sullivan. The show will air and be available the following Wednesday, August 20, at 8 pm Central, streaming live from or on webcast at and (where people can leave blog comments).

I'll be discussing my new book, There's Something in the Woods.

The Weird Weekend - 4

Jon Downes reveals more on the speaker-list for the Weird Weekend, which kicks off on Friday:

"Matt Salusbury is a freelance journalist. He is secretary of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) London Freelance Branch and deputy editor of the Freelance, the newsletter and website for freelance journalists, and he represents freelance interests on various union policy-making bodies. After fifteen years as a teacher of English as a Foreign Language in Holland, Turkey and the UK, he recently left the profession to work as news and features editor of the English language teaching industry magazine English Language Gazette, where he now writes about how dreadful the industry is, and how appallingly it treats its teachers. He is a frequent contributor to Fortean Times.

"Matt is acknowledged as an expert on subjects including education in Iraqi Kurdistan, the Metropolitan Police's Forward Intelligence Team and Trotskyite UFO cult the Posadists. He learnt the rudiments of zoology at his mother's knee – she was in one of the first intakes of female zoology undergraduates at Oxford in the early 1950s. His collection of model dinosaurs, while modest by the standards of some other CFZ members, now totals something in the region of 300 items and occupies most of his bedroom walls."

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Weird Weekend - 3

Here's Jon Downes to tell you about yet another of the Weird Weekend speakers, Geoff Ward:

"Geoff Ward is a journalist, author and musician who lives in Somerset, England. He has been writing the weekly Mysterious West page in the Western Daily Press newspaper since the autumn of 2004, and has a weekly programme of the same name on Glastonbury Radio, the new online station.

"In 2006, his book, Spirals: The Pattern of Existence, was published with an introduction by the best-selling author Colin Wilson, with whom Geoff has a website project running. Geoff has a deep and lifelong interest in earth mysteries, literature, psychology, philosophy and the ancient wisdom. He has an Hons degree in English and is currently studying for his MA.

"Geoff will be talking about the researches that led to his book, showing how spiral energy fields are all around us and within us, patterning our very existence, from microcosm to macrocosm, determining structures from the tiny vortices of sub-atomic particles and the DNA molecule to the awesome 'island universes' of galaxies where stars are born and the conditions for life created.

"The protean spiral is nature's most favoured pattern of growth and most efficacious deployer of its energy - life-inducing, life-protecting and life-supporting. It is also the age-old intuitive symbol of spiritual development and our identity with the universe found in societies throughout history."