In the beginning of things men were animals and animals men. ~ Algonquin saying

"For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much — the wheel, New York, wars and so on — whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man — for precisely the same reasons." ~ The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

On UFO Mystic: Was “Flix” the White Bigfoot From Space a Hoax? The FBI Knows… Maybe…

I have a new post on a (supposed) Bigfoot creature from outer space, and a strange comment left by someone who allegedly was paid a visit by the FBI due to his interest in this story. Was “Flix” the White Bigfoot From Space a Hoax? The FBI Knows… Maybe…

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Gagging order for scientists probing dolphin deaths | Mail Online

Gagging order for scientists probing dolphin deaths | Mail Online

200 dead dolphins washed up on the shores of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida this year; 90 last year. Half are young dolphins or stillborn...

Beetles take over Surfers Paradise Local Gold Coast News | | Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

 Thousands of beetles swarm an Australian beach at night; scientists say they are fresh water insects and are baffled as to why they'd appear on a beach. With video clip:
Beetles take over Surfers Paradise Local Gold Coast News | | Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

Release the Kraken, er, Meme!

The meme has been released that the chupacabras mystery has been solved, thanks to skeptic Ben Radford's theory that a witness confused/overlaid imagery from a sci-fi movie onto some kind of creature she saw but was unfamiliar with. Of course, nothing  has been "solved" instead, an interesting theory has been presented that may help explain part of a complex phenomena. But, for those who need to find closure to mysterious events, this theory will be held up as proof the chupacabras was only a case of misidentification.

No one will ever know what's really happening here; trickster afoot within the weird works that way. Still, there are those who persist in finding answers in order to close the door on intruding events from other realms.

What if the witness had indeed seen something that could be compared to the creature in the movie Species? It is possible the creature did look like the Species figure; because it was that weird. But, as I've pointed out, to my eye the two share as many disimilar features as they do similar ones. Plenty has been written about Hollywood and government working together to release information  disinformation on covert topics, like UFOs, aliens, war crimes and so on. That wouldn't quite explain all of the characteristics of the Species creature; the chupacrabas descriptions are as alike as they are different. And I'm not seriously suggesting Species was an intentional Hollywood/government disinfo movie.

It could be that the witness Radford references did see something out of place and unknown -- Forteana is full of out of place creature events -- and the closet she could get to describing what she saw was to compare it to something accessible to most in pop culture. Because she saw Species, comparing the chupacabras  with the movie image, doesn't necessarily mean there wasn't a cryptid running amok at the time.

Lair of the Beasts: Manipulating the Monster -

Nick Redfern on the chupacabras. Now we're talking! The theory that the chupacabras was a man-made -- or manipulated -- creature, an aftermath of humanity's hubris, has always intrigued me, and it's one I have no problem seriously considering

Lair of the Beasts: Manipulating the Monster -

Frontiers of Zoology: "Chupacabras" before Chupacabras

Frontiers of Zoology: "Chupacabras" before Chupacabras

More on origins as well as explanations regarding language and the hairless creatures now called "chupacabras" from Dale A. Drinnon.

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Two Chupies

Leaving aside for the moment the idea that the 1990s Chupacabra lore began with one woman's viewing of the movie Species, we are left with many aspects of that mystery, including the "new chupie."

It seems the chupacabras mystery died down for awhile, the one we were familiar with at first: spines on the back, short creature, sometimes large red glowing eyes or wrap around alien-gray type eyes, etc. Then the chupacabra moniker reappeared, but this time what was called the chupacabra looked to be a mange ridden canine. Throughout the United States, hairless dog like creatures were being called "Chupacabra" and shot on sight.

I'm not sure why this shift took place, and I haven't come across any thoughts as to the whys of this change. I think some of it has to do with shows like Monster Quest, which in itself took a turn in its presentation. At first, the series seemed like a good old fashioned unexplained monster kind of show, then it shifted to bozos with guns who loved nothing better than picking up some still alive squirming fish or other animal while laughing at how gross it was before killing the thing or tossing it back into its habitat without a thought. Gratuitous jollies seemed to be the point, and some shows really offended me in their caveliar and exploitative attitude towards known creatures: bears, feral dogs, wild hogs, etc. Somewhere in this MQ started calling these disease ridden canines "chupacabras" or, maybe it was the residents themselves. Not understanding what they were seeing, and why, they named these new "intruders" with something they were familiar with, a label that connotes mystery and danger.

But did, or do, these canines pose a threat? I don't know. I'm not familiar enough with the situation. However, I am fascinated by the shift in language and how that labeling affects both humans and animals (an uneasy, suspicious one, it seems, at this point) in this case.

Chupie Solved Post-script

In discussing this episode with my spouse, he made the observation that Radford was looking for something to "solve" the mystery, and found it by latching onto the fact the witness had seen the movie Species some weeks prior to her sighting. How much earlier did she see the movie? What other potential things could account for the chupie sighting? Did Radford go looking for this and pulled it out -- er, "lead" the witness in other words, akin to what UFO abduction researchers who use hypnosis are accused of doing? Asking the leading questions until you find yourself where you want to be in the explanation paradigm?

Interesting thoughts. But, as Radford commented on my first post on this topic, there are about "two chapters" worth of analysis that I am unaware of, not having read his book.

Radford: Are Chupacabra Recollections Real? : Discovery News

Not content to have "solved" the Chupacabra mystery, Radford is now looking for witness accounts prior to the 1990s. Article begins:
As reported here on Discovery News and elsewhere, the origin of the mysterious vampire beast el chupacabra can be traced back to an eyewitness who saw the 1995 film Species, which featured an identical monster.

As I commented in my previous post no it can't, and no it doesn't.

But, Radford, one of the new, improved, benign forms of skeptics, (who, like Joe Nickel, present themselves as "paranormal investigators" not skeptics) offers a reward for anyone providing proof of earlier sightings:
I'll offer a public $250 reward (plus a signed copy of my book Tracking the Chupacabra) for the first verifiable written evidence of a blood-sucking monster called the chupacabra (or chupacabras) that dates before 1990. It must be a published, dated reference; I can be contacted via Discovery News.

Well, at least he hasn't offered up the owl as an explanation for the mystery.

Are Chupacabra Recollections Real? : Discovery News
Thanks to The Anomalist for link.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

From Inexplicata-The Journal of Hispanic Ufology: Mexico: Exanguinated Sheep in Veracruz

A bit of synchronicity; right on the heels of my post last night (see post below) on the chupacabra, this morning's Fortean news brings us this story from researcher Scott Corrales:
Inexplicata-The Journal of Hispanic Ufology: Mexico: Exanguinated Sheep in Veracruz

(thanks to Lesley at Debris Field for link.)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Chupacabra: (Un)Solved Mysteries and Imagery

About fifteen years ago, I was working on my final folklore project in graduate school, focusing on cataloging the ways animals appear in paranormal, UFO, and Fortean narratives. Sometimes animals appeared as mundane entities as “witnesses”, other times, the animals were themselves supernatural or “others.” Here’s a small bit about the Chupacabra from the paper, tentatively titled My Alien Lizard Lover: Animal Motifs in UFO and Fortean Narratives:
The Chupacabra (goat sucker) is the creature of legend unto itself. Described as three to four feet tall, with large, “wrap around eyes (not unlike the eyes of the gray aliens) with a spiny ridge on its back, the Chupacabras has been a part of lore in the Latino community for a few years, originating from Puerto Rico, which has folkloric traditions of vampire type creatures who attack animal and humans alike. Chupacabra punctures its victims; rabbits, goats, chickens, and other small creatures, in the neck, draining the victim of all blood. Recently the stories have included attacks on humans. In the past two or three years, stories of Chupacabras have made their into Latino ethnic beliefs in the United States, as well as crossing over into non-Latino (Anglo, etc.) groups. Cooper’s Dictionary of Symbolic and Mythologic Animals gives this definition this definition of the goat sucker birds:
An evil and ill omened nocturnal, and therefore allied to the powers of darkness: said to drain milk from cows and goats.. Goatsuckers can embody the souls of people unable to account for crimes committed while in human form; their cries are said to be the wailing of the ghost expiating the sins.” (Cooper; 1992: 114) Cooper does not give any cultural reference for this however. But the parallels to the term Chupacabras and the concept of a creature draining an animal of fluid, as well as its avenging nature, are obvious.

Many personal experience narratives combine the presence of Chupacabras with UFOs and extraterrestrials. “A lot of Mexicans believe in extra extraterrestrials, so that’s what they think they are” (Arizona Daily Star, Sunday, May 11, 1996) “Others think the Goat Sucker may have come from outer space of is the mutant progeny of some mad gene-splicing scheme.” (Dudley Althaus, Register-Guard, May 14, 1996)

Tensions within the narratives of Chupacabra include the fear expressed by telling these stories, and the satiric songs and cartoons that have become an industry.

Elizabeth Casals, in her article “Chupacabra Weekend” (UFO Magazine) writes of her search for personal narratives in Mexico about the Chupacabras. No one would admit that they believed such lore, but Casals did find “souvenir stalls, their shelves pile high with plaster piggy bans and cowhide wallets. And racks of T-shirts. Several styles of Chupacabras shirts caught my eye: particularly the one that read “Beware - the Chupacabra will get you.” (Casals, 1996:30) Obviously tourism is good for the Chupacabras business, whether or not the lore is believed by locals. She did find a woodcarver who had carved an image of the Chupacabra.

People within this tradtion are usually reluctant to talk about the Chupacabras and are afraid of being ridiculed. A superstitious belief that they will invite the Chupacabras into their lives by discussing the creature may be the motivation for keeping silent on the Chupacabras, particularly towards outsiders. Yet, as happens so often in folklore, there are contradictions. Humor, satric songs, and cartoonish images often the fear an and unease about the unknown. The Chupacabra is an unknown, and is believed to be causing damage to people's pets as well as humans. By creating a story that this Chupacabra is, indeed a creature, and, that the creature is a “pet” of the aliens, some order has been made out of the chaos of harmful, unexplained events. The Chupacabra has been given a place and a definition.
The paper is over sixteen years old, and of course, I was writing within the context of approved-by-academia and the confines of my subject area, folklore. (I also notice in looking this over that a lot is lacking as to citations, style, and so on. ) Which, as I commented on the C-Influcence blog, required a particular mind-set regarding one’s philosophical treatment of paranormal-UFO events:

I loved the academic realm of folklore as a discipline, but, had a few major problems with it at the same time. I am not an academic, and , when in college, decided to not follow that path. I’m simply not wired that way; can’t deal with authorities, politics, 9 to 5 job milieu. . . but that aside, I found a huge problem in folklore studies -- as an academic pursuit - that seemed ironically contradictory. On the one hand, collecting stories while remaining nonjudgmental was encouraged. At the same time, it seemed to me folklore couldn’t decide what it wanted to be. Professors wanted conclusions, they wanted a psychological analysis. Well, I’d say, I’m not a psychologist, I’m not a psychology student, I’m not even taking any psychology classes. While I could give a sort of every-woman’s, educated take on, say, UFO narratives using psychology (Jung, etc.) it wouldn’t really be worth much. If not psychology, sociology, if not that, science, they wanted something. Pointing out that folklore, while utilizing those areas in some ways, is not those things, -- well, we just went around.
 To the above, I will add that the aknowledgement of these things as possible, let alone real, was simply not an option.

At the time, Chupacabras was big news in both the marginalized and fringe cultures of paranormal studies, as well as the mainstream news. Usual explanations from the latter group for Chupacabras included “cultural or sociological anxiety”, good old superstitions, and a sudden misunderstanding of predators and their affects on domestic and livestock, ranch and farm animals. As these stories do, Chupacabra faded away a bit, and for reasons I haven’t yet figured out, morphed into a new kind of Chupacabra: the canine type animal reported as a Chupacabra reported  throughout the United States.

Skeptic Benjamin Radford, in his recent and supposed solving of the chupacabras mystery, writes that one of the early Chupacabra witnesses, Madelyne Tolentino, had seen the movie Species a few weeks before her sighting of the Chupacabras, which Radford found “suspicious.”:
To me, that was the smoking gun," he said. "It can't be a coincidence that this Chupacabra that's now popping up around the world just happens to look exactly like the monster in this sci-fi film."
As usual with the kinder, gentler skeptic, the new tactic is not to accuse the witness of being mentally ill or a liar, just... “confused.”:
But Radford said he doesn't think Tolentino is a liar or hoaxer, just that she confused something she saw in a movie with something she saw in real life. 
There are similarities; but there are also differences. Like breasts, numerous tendrils upon the head, and the height of the entity, which is quite tall.

This same explanation -- of imagined creatures from an entertainment venue -- was offered by skeptics when Barney and Betty Hill described their encounters. An Outer Limits episode: "The Bellero Shield" aired on February 10th, 1964, a couple of weeks before the HIlls experienced their UFO sighting and abduction. Again, there are similarities to the aliens in the television episode, but differences as well, including height. Contrast the Outer Limits creature with drawings of what the Hills saw made by both the Hills and other artists.  Googling or otherwise searching out these images, and comparing and contrasting them for yourself will reveal that there are as many differences as there are similairites. (For a related article on imagery, see my Betty Hill's "The Supervisor": A Visceral Reaction, for UFO Digest.)

I’m not attempting to thoroughly analyze the merits of either case; but the point is, imagery within popular culture is often used to “explain” mysterious encounters. It’s silly to state images don’t influence us on many levels, every day, far more than we know. That is a whole other topic. At the same time, to throw about images from movies and television and use them to “solve” mysteries is just too simplistic.

I find it ironic that images and symbols are influencing us -- speaking to us --- every moment of every day and often in insidious and spooky ways, manipulated by the powers that be, and yet we remain ignorant of all that. At best, if we notice it at all, we label it “conspiracy theory” and move on. But the skeptics, and not a few UFO researchers, are quick to point to images as the cause for what’s perceived during paranormal or UFO encounters. This easy explanation takes care of everything in one fits all theory, and we no longer have to deal with the pesky supernatural, Fortean or UFO event.

Owls at Mike’s Prattle

Owls at Mike’s Prattle

I didn't know Mike had this blog as well! More on owls, from Mike Clelland...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Legend of the Chupacabra: Mystery Solved? - ABC News

Staunch skeptic Benjamin Radford has single-handedly solved the mystery of Chupie. All by himself. Oh, and excuse me, I stand corrected: Radford isn't a skeptic, he's a "paranormal investigator." I do wish mainstream media and others who are guilty would stop calling skeptics who look into cryptids, the paranormal, UFOs, etc. "paranormal investigators." They are skeptics, at best, debunkers at worst.

The Legend of the Chupacabra: Mystery Solved? - ABC News

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife:Wolf Death; Unknown Cause

ODFW - News Release

The exact cause of death for the Imnaha wolf found dead in early March is unclear.
Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory ran several tests on the carcass looking for injuries, disease and toxins but test results did not point to a specific cause of death.
The only abnormal finding was some internal hemorrhage in the wolf’s chest cavity. Forensic analysis did not point to a clear cause of the hemorrhage but biologists believe the hemorrhage may have contributed to the wolf’s death.

Rest of story at site.

"Heavens above, they're desert flying fish " in Australia

As The Anomalist commented about this link: "There's nothing like a good ol' fall of fish from the skies to warm the fortean heart" and that is the truth! Heavens above desert flying fish, of a fish fall in the desert.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Wondering about blue pigs and more, from Dr. Karl Shuker. Delightful and interesting article. (thanks to Lesley for link)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Strange Frequency: Beeping, Bird Visitation, Radio Noise

I had a very strange experience last night. I spent much of the night sleeping little; listening mainly to Coast to Coast and the news coming in on the earthquake in Japan, and soon after, the tsunami warnings. Earliest reports were warnings for Hawaii and the Washington and Oregon coasts; later, California and Alaska.

I was compelled to listen through the night because of the sheer tragedy and immensity of another overwhelming earth disaster, and also, because we had planned to drive to the coast that day (approximately fifty miles from our home) and spend the weekend there. I was also concerned about my mother and friends on the Oregon coast, as well as family living up and down the Pacific coast.  I tried to sleep, managed to doze off for a while but kept waking up, turning the little transistor on again. Throughout Coast to Coast local tsunami warnings came through, announcing beach and school closures for the Oregon coast.

At one point, a deep beeping sound woke me up. This beeping was deep within me; not from an external source, not an acoustic anomaly. It was inside of me. It became louder, and with it, I saw a large dark bird come flying towards me. All I could see was the shape, no details. Slowly flapping its huge wings as it came towards me, as the beeping got louder and louder. A glowing whitish-blue light or "halo" surrounded this bird. This bird vision was indie my head, not external, but it was definitely connected to the beeping sound. At first I thought the bird was an owl; and it might had been, but it seemed to be something else as well. What, I'm not sure. I had conflicting responses to this bird; one, that all this was pretty damn interesting but as the owl, or bird-creature, came closer, along with the light, I became a little scared and tried to shut it out. It sort of exploded when I did that, and I had the feeling this bird-like creature was both frustrated with me and disappointed that I chose to ignore it.

Then, I heard, again from that same, deep-within place inside me, the sounds of voices talking on the radio. So I told myself it was the radio; I still had it on, the ear buds in my ears. But the radio and ear -buds were both on the night table, and the radio was off.

I cannot describe how this was not a dream. It was not a dream that I awoke from, it was not a hypnogognic dream, it was not a dream then I awake to find I'm really still dreaming, ... none of that. None of that. I was completely awake. The radio talk within continued; I tried very hard to listen to make sense out of it but the voices were indistinct.

Thunderbird Synchronicity
After I wrote this, I visited The Anomalist to find this link to a post from Loren Coleman at Cryptomundo: Tsunamis and Thunderbirds, which explores the stories of Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest and earthquakes:

It is amazing what Thunderbird folklore may tell us about past tsunamis, says Ruth Ludwin, a University of Washington scientist. Her research has found that Thunderbird and other cryptid stories and traditions “could relate to a large Seattle fault earthquake around A.D. 900 and specific eyewitness accounts linked to a mammoth 1700 earthquake and tsunami in the Cascadia subduction zone.”

“Along the way, I picked up a lot of stories about landslides,” she said. But she couldn’t find anything that seemed to match the 1700 event, until she took a closer look at the story of Thunderbird and Whale.
“It’s a story of the underworld versus the over-world,” Ludwin said.
The Whale was a monster, killing other whales and depriving the people of meat and oil. The Thunderbird, a benevolent supernatural being, saw from its home high in the mountains that the people were starving. The great bird soared out over the coastal waters, then plunged into the ocean and seized the Whale.
A struggle ensued first in the water, the tribal tale says. “The waters receded and rose again. Many canoes came down in trees and were destroyed and numerous lives were lost.”
The Thunderbird eventually succeeds in lifting the evil Whale out of the ocean, carrying it “high into the air (and then) dropping it to the land surface at Beaver prairie. Then at this place there was another great battle.”

On the Coast
After phone calls back and forth and following news reports we decided to drive to the coast, which turned out to be a beautiful drive. The tsunami warnings for this area have been lifted. As I'm typing this I'm looking out at the shore, listening to the ocean.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Monday, March 7, 2011

Cryptomundo � Flamingos Fall From Skies

Cryptomundo has a great report on flamingoes falling in Siberia.Cryptomundo � Flamingos Fall From Skies

Animal Die-Offs and the Fortean Conspiracy Matrix on Binnall of America

My new Trickster's Realm column is now up at Binnall of America: Animal Die-Offs and the Fortean Conspiracy Matrix.

At the start of the New Year, we saw several stories of mysterious bird deaths, along with mass die-offs of fish and other marine life. Stories of large flocks of birds falling to their deaths and other large groups of animals dying were coming in literally every day, sometimes a few in one day.

As with mass UFO sightings and other Fortean phenomena, the mainstream media offered downright silly explanations for these UADs. (Unexplained Animal Deaths.) Fireworks startled birds from their sleep, causing them to drop to their deaths. It was too cold. It was too hot. No food. Disorientation due to severe climate change. Poison. Confused birds, drunk from eating fermented berries. And the most calm, rational and sane response from authority: it happens all the time, it just doesn't get reported. Humans, being pattern seeking creatures, create synchronicities or conspiracies inside of otherwise mundane events.

It's not that many of the above explanations are invalid; in some places, it was climate that caused animals to die off, and we know animals can get drunk eating fermented fruit. Fish kills are not uncommon. The government admitted setting out poison for birds in South Dakota.

But there are no coincidences, and within the context of a Fortean conspiracy matrix, these animal deaths are very strange indeed.

The rest at BoA!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Massive animal cloning research project ended due to 90 percent death rate and 'unnecessary suffering'

This is very sad, and so goddamn unnecessary, all just so humans can get bigger yields of food from other creatures. The only good thing about this article is that the cloning research has stopped. The horror is that it took them 13 years to figure out this was an workable idea in the first place.

Taking a tangential trip here, when I read this article to Jim, he said, "It didn't work because there's no soul matter..." meaning, the cloned animals lack "soul matter." This talk of souls has been big in our house lately; Jim is working on a section in his novel about souls: the origin, the matter, who wants them when we're done with them (if, indeed, we ever are done with them) and so on. At the same time he's been working on that, I've been reading Nick Redfern's Final Events and am at the part where he discusses the idea of souls and the aliens, or entities/"demons" who want them.

Massive animal cloning research project ended due to 90 percent death rate and 'unnecessary suffering'