When one thinks of the Sunshine State three things typically come to mind: Disney World, spring-breakers and elderly retirees. Yet most vacationers never set foot outside the infamous amusement parks or pristine beaches. Just beyond major tourist destinations are millions of undeveloped wetland acres. Gators, Burmese pythons, wild boar and endangered panthers call the region home. Some individuals claim that there is another species inhabiting Florida’s swampy terrain, an unaccounted Bigfoot-like creature called Skunk Ape. Native tribespeople were familiar with this beast long before European explorers arrived. According to Seminole legend, a monstrous being referred to as ‘hairy man’ roamed the encompassing bush. Supposedly, in the early 1800s, one particularly violent battle between early settlers and a Skunk Ape resulted in several men’s fatalities. Encounters with the elusive cryptid continued for centuries but gained notoriety after a series of sightings occurred over sixty years ago. On December 22, 2000, Sarasota County Sheriff’s department received two mysterious photographs from an anonymous source. Dubbed the “Myakka Skunk Ape Photos,” these unnerving images depict a large bipedal hominid. Accompanying the peculiar portraits was a letter from the photographer. She identified herself as a senior citizen who snapped several pictures in her backyard and had concerns for the safety of her young grandchildren. Witnesses describe the bog-inhabitants as having muscular bodies covered with red-tinged fur. They are estimated to reach heights of over seven feet tall and weigh a staggering four hundred and fifty pounds. Many who have experienced firsthand nocturnal confrontations recount glowing red eyes. Skunk Ape’s name derives from its unpleasant scent. Those within close proximity frequently report a strong foul-smelling odor, similar to methane gas or rotten eggs. Over three hundred and twenty observational reports have been filed with the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization. Washington, California and Florida, respectively, comprise the top three states where Sasquatch sightings most frequently occur.My partner, Clint, and I traveled to an undisclosed rural Southwestern location in search of the reclusive animal. Our tightly packed truck more closely resembled a circus clown car than an expedition vehicle. With enough supplies to survive post-apocalypse, the journey away from civilization began. Idly peering out the passenger-side window, I realized this landscape was a stark contrast from my days on the Jersey Turnpike. A seemingly infinite mosaic of picturesque farmland and grazing cattle sprawled hypnotically. As the miles progressed, my mind drifted into daydreams of Skunk Ape. If this revered brute truly exists then it most certainly could thrive in such a remote place. Suddenly my cryptozoological musings abruptly halted as we made a sharp righthand turn. Completely covering the bumpy dirt road was a thick oak hammock canopy. Spanish moss hung from twisted tree limbs and created a hauntingly beautiful scene. In the distance we could see a quaint lakeside cabin; we finally reached the destination. Our fearsome protectors, two toothless senior chihuahuas, curiously inspected their new territory. While we unstrapped our canoe from the roof racks a back-woodsy looking woman slowly approached us. “Y’all taking that thang out on the water?”, she asked through her thick southern drawl. Confused, Clint replied we were planning to, and asked her if there was problem. The woman laughed and said, “Naw, it’s fine but I seen gators here bigger than that dingy”. It wouldn’t be long before we realized this lady wasn’t exaggerating.Later that night I sat alone on the front porch serenaded by a symphony of crickets, tree frogs and howling coyotes. Thousands of stars shimmered above casting an ethereal glow atop the water’s rhythmic surface. Despite the balmy and tropical evening temperatures, there was a deep chill which I could not ignore. An unshakeable sensation washed over me: something had been closely watching. Leering from the abysmal darkness a sentient presence could be sensed. Unexpectedly, a tree branch snapped from deep within the shadows. With my heart racing, I hastily gazed towards the tree line ahead. Dead dried leaves and palm fronts crunched beneath what sounded like two heavy feet. Frozen by a state of apprehensive excitement, I remained still and listened intently. The swift movements traveled further away until they eventually became inaudible.On the following morning we ventured to a National State Park. Many bizarre and unexplained disappearances take place within these sites each year. Below the sun’s pleasant rays, we briskly walked towards a nearby thicket. With each step the scenery became more wild and dense. After hours of hiking whilst scouring for prints or hair samples, a popup thunderstorm quickly developed. Towering nimbus clouds shaded the area and cool gusts of wind provided much-needed relief from overly persistent misquotes. Onwards we noticed an unusual structure erected amongst the trees. In the middle of nowhere, miles away from any designated trails, stood a massive cage. Galvanized steel beams supported the peculiar enclosure. Weaved wire paneling wrapped around all four sides creating a barrier from the outside world. Standing about fourteen feet tall, this industrial cell starkly contrasted against the surrounding greenery. Lush foliage consumed the weathered metal and produced a dilapidated appearance. I couldn’t help but wonder what purpose the holding pen might provide. Perplexed, we cautiously turned to look at each other. At that precise moment we noticed an eerie silence radiating throughout the forest. Instead of chirping birds, rustling branches and buzzing insects, an ominous stillness engulfed us. It felt as if someone had pressed a universal mute button. Intense feelings of dread formed in the pit of my stomach.Hastily we checked the time only to realize several hours had somehow passed. Both of us felt extremely disorientated and pulled out a trusted compass for guidance. Instantaneously, the device spun erratically in every direction when attempting to relocate our main route. By this point the dreary skies completely opened and colossal raindrops started plummeting down. For a lengthy period it seemed we were merely running in muddy circles. Thankfully, the distant parking lot slowly came into view. Relief ran through my veins once I spotted the truck: we were not going to be a chapter in one of David Paulides’ latest Missing 411 installments.During my week-long expedition I searched for Skunk Ape by foot, car and boat. Although I was unable to find definitive proof of such a creature, I am more confident than ever about its existence. Take Florida’s cougar population for example. Millions of people reside here but few residents have ever set eyes on the rare felines. An animal with intelligence that parallels or surpasses humans’ could most certainly choose to remain undetected. After all, they inhabit inaccessible areas teeming with gators, poisonous snakes and deadly insects. Perhaps on a future voyage my luck may change. This quest for Swampsquatch is far from over and I hope to one day come face-to-face with these enigmatic jungle-dwellers.Do you believe in Skunk Ape or have an experience you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments!
Within central Africa is a territory known as Congo Basin, a sprawling tapestry of dense jungles, flowing streams, flooded bogs and vast savannas. Over ten-thousand varieties of tropical plants cover the land, thirty percent of which are unique to this area. Inhabiting these five hundred million acres are a plethora of endangered wildlife including gorillas, elephants and chimpanzees. A total of four-hundred varieties of mammals call the region home. According to many indigenous people there is another elusive species that roams the deep Congo, a creature known as Mokele-mbembe.
In the Lingala language this name translates to “one who stops the flow of rivers”. Based on eye-witness accounts, the semi-aquatic monster is described as closely resembling a sauropod. It possesses a long snake-like neck which is supported by a round grayish-colored body. They can reach heights of over thirty feet and frequently pluck leaves from tall trees. Some allege there is a spike atop the ancient being’s head. Natives both revere and fear this enigmatic and territorial beast. Some claim Mokele-mbembe is supernatural in nature and should be avoided at all costs.
Westerners first began catching wind of the unaccounted herbivore over two hundred years ago, a time when dinosaurs remained undiscovered. Explorers who traveled to the distant landmass heard legends from nearby citizens regarding an unidentified forest-dwelling animal. One early account occurred in 1776 when French missionaries discovered huge footprints in a rural location. These tracks were similar to the size of an elephant’s, about three feet in circumference, with long claw-marks present. Each church member was perplexed as to what could have created such bizarre impressions. An escorting priest then shared he previously encountered the source firsthand. According to the man of god, he observed a prehistoric-looking brute feasting on vegetation.
During the early nineteen hundreds a German Captain, Ludwig Freiherr von Stein, was visiting the remote district. Trusted Congolese leaders warned von Stein of an enormous reptile that lived nearby. Independent sources all recounted an identical character adding further validity to such grandiose declarations. Despite extensively searching the surrounding wilderness the respected commander was unable to find hard evidence of Mokele-mbembe. Von Stein interviewed many tribesmen and chronicled his findings. In 1959 science writer Willy Ley published this section of von Stein’s report:
“The animal is said to be of a brownish-gray color with a smooth skin, its size is approximately that of an elephant; at least that of a hippopotamus. It is said to have a long and very flexible neck and only one tooth but a very long one; some say it is a horn. A fewspoke about a long, muscular tail like that of an alligator. Canoes coming near it are said to be doomed; the animal is said to attack the vessels at once and to kill the crews but without eating the bodies.The creature is said to live in the caves that have been washed out by the river in the clay of its shores at sharp bends. It is said to climb the shores even at daytime in search of food; its diet is said to be entirely vegetable. This feature disagrees with a possible explanation as a myth. The preferred plant was shown to me, it is a kind of liana with large white blossoms, with a milky sap and applelike fruits. At the Ssombo River I was shown a path said to have been made by this animal in order to get at its food. The path was fresh and there were plants of the described type nearby. But since there were too many tracks of elephants, hippos, and other large mammals it was impossible to make out a particular spoor with any amount of certainty.”
By 1932 news of the alleged saurian was spreading throughout Europe and the Americas. One British naturalist toured Likouala in hopes of catching a glimpse of the obscure giant. While traveling by canoe he began hearing intense and frightening sounds. These bellowing roars were completely different from any organism he had previously encountered. Although a lengthy investigation was conducted the thunderous source was never identified and the researcher returned home empty-handed.
That same year Ivan T. Anderson, famed zoologist and biologist, embarked on a journey to the mysterious land. As he and his endemic friends leisurely paddled down a river they began hearing haunting noises, comparable to loud rumbles produced by an earthquake. Suddenly the water beneath burst into an eruption of bubbles and a gargantuan shape emerged. Anderson said its head alone was the size of a hippopotamus and resembled something that should have gone extinct thousands of centuries ago. His aboriginal companions were familiar with this primitive entity. They informed their traumatized companion that the mythical breed goes by the name Mokele-mbembe.
Less than two decades after this bizarre incident an equally intriguing sighting took place. One warm summer day a group of English soldiers went swimming at Lake Barombi in Northern Cameroon. As the men were cooling off in the picturesque oasis an enormous figure surfaced nearby. Terrified, the troop frantically swam towards land. Once safely on shore they watched in horror as a pair of massive reptiles emerged from the murky abyss. Each possessed scaly skin and long necks with the larger specimen bearing a horn. Observers were utterly perplexed as to what these strange amphibious habitants might be.
Another fascinating case involves a reverend named Eugene Thomas. Since the 1950s he had journeyed to Congo Basin repeatedly on various mission excursions. Over time the clergy built a sincere relationship with local residents. Twenty years into his frequent trips one group of pygmies recounted a disturbing tale. Apparently, not long ago, abominable reptilian beasts began to intrude on their territory. Fishing, a vital source of sustenance, became increasingly difficult with creatures’ constant interference. In order to protect themselves they made the decision to erect a spiked fence around their waterside settlement.
Soon after, a rogue vertebrate broke through the defensive barrier. Alarmed tribal members began to throw spears and fatal wounds were inflicted. Dozens of victorious warriors harvested its colossal carcass succeeding the slaying. That night a feast ensued and many men, women and children consumed its meat. Those who ate the flesh quickly perished of a terribly agonizing sickness. Remaining pygmies who had not ingested the tainted fare were horror-stricken and utterly terrified. Following this tragedy, frightened survivors drew the conclusions that Mokele-mbembe was a paranormal spirit. Interestingly, during the early 1980s, remains of a sharpened fence were found surrounding the village.
Japanese trailblazers trekked to the exotic continent in 1988. Their goal was to capture footage of the fabled Congo inhabitant. Jose Bourges, a renown environmental official, led the expedition. While filming areal footage over Lake Tele, a videographer noticed something anomalous beneath the plane. He examined the strong wake and attempted to focus on whatever was creating this disturbance. Unfortunately, in his eager and excitable state, the cameraman did not initially remove the lens cap. Ultimately only fifteen-seconds of footage was captured. Viewers of the brief clip are torn: some believe it’s merely an elephant, others feel something entirely different was recorded.
Writer Rory Nugent visited Africa to study the world’s largest swamp. In December of 1985 he spotted a peculiar form moving across the lagoon. Closer inspection revealed it was in fact the legendary critter. Nugent moved his boat to get a better view and watched in fascination while taking several photographs. Before he could get closer look accompanying Congolese guides demanded him to stop at gunpoint. Back at camp they instructed him to destroy all the film which had been shot. Due to superstitious beliefs, locals felt that keeping the pictures would anger Mokele-mbembe and put them in great danger.
Doctor Roy Mackal, biochemist and evolutionist, dedicated his life to the pursuit of cryptozoology. Mackal was determined to prove the existence of supposed African dinosaurs. Interviews were conducted with tribes throughout multiple nations. These groups had no communication with each other nor the outside world. However, each person shared identical descriptions of the creature ranging from physical appearance to behavioral traits. During another excursion he presented flashcard illustrations to dozens of residents. Some were familiar, such as hippos, others like American black bears were completely foreign. They recognized domestic inhabitants but could not identify overseas varieties. Shockingly, when shown a rendering depicting a brontosaurus, they positively identified the sketch as Mokele-mbembe.
Science teacher Peter Beach was determined to uncover tangible proof of the shy vegetarian. Whilst exploring a muddy shoreline in 2006 he stumbled upon abnormally large footprints with prominent claws present. Surrounding canopies with abundant foliage had been completely stripped at heights in excess of eighteen feet. Giraffes, the only reasonable culprit, do not occupy this part of the country. Perplexed, Beach took snapshots to document his peculiar findings. Plaster castings were made from the unique impressions. Further analysis of the tracks has brought forward more questions than answers.
By 2009 researchers once again undertook the quest for Mokele-mbembe. Credible informants relay that during dry seasons the cryptid hides in natural caves. Air passages are dug along the riverside and eventually dry out becoming similar to concrete. Such structures ensure they have ample air supply to last through lengthy hibernative states. Investigative parties located several of these formations along the muddy embankment. Implementation of a fish finder provided further fascinating discoveries. Numerous serpentine figures moved below the dismal depths. Experts were extremely baffled by the specimens’ astonishing size. Unfortunately, severe thunderstorms forced the team to abruptly abort their mission before definitive data could be obtained.
Much of the Congo remains unseen by human eyes. Earth’s final frontier is filled with dangerous predators, deadly insects, armed militias and extreme weather. Such factors cause much hindrance on further exploration of this rugged terrain. It was not until 1998 that the four-thousand pound Javan rhino was recognized. Only five years ago, in 2013, a quarter-ton pygmy tapir was positively identified. It’s entirely plausible that an unknown species is avoiding detection within the depths of Africa. However, until hard evidence surfaces we can only theorize and evaluate spectators’ testimonies. For now Mokele-mbembe will remain one of the world’s greatest mysteries.
Do you think it’s possible that dinosaurs still exist? Share your thoughts in the comment section!
Reincarnation is the belief that our souls may experience many lifetimes of existence spanning across the centuries. Cultures around the world speak of life after death and have chronicled this phenomenon in sacred writings. Ancient Egyptians, Aztecs, Greeks and Romans each described a “transmigration of souls”. Both Buddhists and Hindus abide by the laws of karma: good actions will lead to a positive reincarnation while bad intentions will create an inauspicious future. The concept of rebirth is an intrinsic part of Native Americans’ faith. Might it be plausible that such claims could be true or is this simply a case of mass wishful-thinking?
Many regions in Asia have a traditional ritualistic practice of marking a loved one’s body after they have passed away. Soot is often placed on the deceased relative in hopes that they will rejoin their lineage in another embodiment. Those born with a corresponding birthmark are said to provide evidence that the departed individual has returned. One such example was illustrated in a 2012 paper submitted by psychiatrist Jim Tucker and psychologist Jürgen Keil. These men conducted a study of parents with children who were born with markings matching those applied to a family member. A boy from Myanmar, named K.H., possessed a distinctive birthmark on his left arm. His grandfather had been painted with charcoal in the exact same spot and had died only eleven months before his grandson was born. When K.H. was only two years old he began calling his grandmother Ma Tin Shwe, a name that only his grandfather had used. Strangely, the toddler addressed his mother as War War Khine which only her beloved elder had called her. While pregnant with K.H. she had dreamt that her father visited by crossing over and said “I want to live with you.”
Former Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, Dr. Ian Stevenson, dedicated his career to the quest of discovering scientific evidence of reincarnation. Through his academic work he was able to find over three thousand examples of past existences. By using advanced facial recognition as well as birthmark observation, he was able to analyze similarities between the living person and their supposed previous incarnation. He shared his findings in a publication with the scientific community after studying two hundred and ten cases. Nearly eighty-eight percent of all children had a birthmark or birth defect where a mark or mortal wound was sustained by the deceased. Postmortem reports were used as verification and supporting documentation.
Hypnosis & Past Life Regression
Hypnosis is a natural state of selective awareness involving focused attention to access the unconscious mind. Some researchers feel that this tool can lead to uncovering spiritual memories long forgotten. One of the best-known examples involves an American named Ruth Simmons. In 1952 the woman was in a session with her therapist, Morey Bernstein, when he took her back prior to her birth. Ruth abruptly began speaking in an Irish accent and said her name was Bridey Murphy. Supposedly Bridey lived in Belfast, Ireland during the nineteenth century. Ruth shared a number of details about her former life including the names of two grocers she purchased food from: John Carrigan and Mr. Farr. A librarian searched Belfast archives and discovered both men listed as local shopkeepers in the 1865 city directory.
Another bizarre hypnotic occurrence involved Dr. Brian Weiss. His association with a patient named Catherine is outlined in the book “Many Lives Many Masters“. Amid one regression Catherine informed the doctor that she was in an “in between state”. According to the reincarnate, his father and son were present. Suddenly she said that his daughter was named after his father and that his baby had died as a result of heart complication. Dr. Weiss was shocked because Katherine knew his dad’s unique Hebrew name, Avrom. She also described his son’s terminal medical condition in great detail. Since the psychiatrist was a private and professional man he never shared personal information with clients. Katherine had no way of knowing his firstborn’s demise was a defective heart at twenty-three days old. What transpired that day forever altered the course of Dr. Weiss’s career.
Physical Ailments, Deformities & Chronic Illness
There are many ailments and illnesses that individuals suffer from which cannot be accounted for by modern medicine. Some believe the root cause of many issues can be traced back to remote planes of existence. Michael C. Pollack, Ph.D., had chronic lower back pain which grew more excruciating by the day. Essential routine tasks became nearly impossible to complete. Through a specialized therapy session he learned that in three previous human forms he had been killed by being knifed or speared in the lower back. As Michael began to process what had happened to him, his physical body began to heal. Physicians were baffled by the miraculous and unexplained recovery.
Therapist Nicola Dexter found numerous correlations between present-day maladies and prior lifetimes within her clients. One bulimic patient had perished from swallowing salt water in an alternate reality. Other investigators suggest that common afflictions can be derived from preceding incarnations. Those with asthma passed away due to smoke inhalation and reoccurring migraines may be linked to perishing from head trauma. Fibromyalgia is a condition which is still not fully understood by health specialists. Some feel this disorder is the consequence of a soul not having enough resting time between various lives.
Esteemed psychiatrist, Dr. Ian Stevenson, studied hundreds of birth defects across many countries. Over time his investigation lead him to the conclusion that most birth defects are formed by “unknown causes”. While in Turkey he met with a boy who recalled a distant time as another man who died of a shotgun wound. Upon locating hospital records Dr. Stevenson affirmed that the person had in fact been killed by a bullet to the right side of his head. The child had parallel injuries sustained by his murdered counterpart: a malformed ear (unilateral microtia) and hemifacial microsomia, an underdeveloped right side of the face.
Reoccurring Nightmares & Phobias
Millions of folks are plagued by irrational fears that seemingly derive from nowhere. Frequent phobias include falling, heights and darkness. Yet some aversions are completely perplexing and appear to defy all logic. While there are a number of complex psychological explanations for such feelings, certain instances may be attributed to horrors endured on Earth. J.D., who wrote “Healing Past Lives Through Dreams,” was severely claustrophobic and realized that when his legs and arms were restricted sheer panic would ensue. Further exploration showed him that in another lifetime he had been hog-tied by enemies, wrapped in a blanket and shoved beneath floorboards inside an abandoned building. A terrifyingly slow death ensued which would haunt him for ages to come.
Psychoanalyst, Carl Jung, proposed that dreams reveal far more than they conceal. Unlike Sigmund Freud, Jung felt the purpose of dreaming was to integrate our conscious and unconscious lives. Numerous reincarnation proponents allege certain horrific slumbering visions stem from far back concurrences. Men and women who have nightmares about burning alive very well could have perished in a fire. Drowning-related themes sometimes indicate the dreamer lost their life in a body of water. War casualties oftentimes see themselves back on the battlefield each evening after drifting to off. When our minds are in a state of rest latent memories can more easily surface. What is seen while in deep sleep is frequently a last-ditch effort to attempt healing old wounds before they manifest into physical, waking reality.
Handwriting & Linguistics
Handwriting, much like a snowflake, is unique and one-of-a-kind. Even identical twins have completely different print styles. Courts of law use handwriting analysis experts to authenticate signatures and written statements in order to convict criminals. Taranjit Singh, a six-year-old from a rural Indian village, claimed that his real name was Satnam Singh. The child stated that he was from Chakkchela, a location forty miles away. Based on the juvenile’s testimony, he was actually a Class 9 student and had been killed by a scooter on September 10, 1992. Additional minute details were known including the name of Satnam’s dad, Jeet. As the story progressed he vividly described blood-soaked schoolbooks and precisely how many Rupees had been in his wallet that fateful day.
Due to his son’s persistence, Mr. Singh decided to investigate. Weeks later a teacher surfaced and informed him that there really was a Satnam Singh and he had in fact succumbed to injuries sustained in a horrible accident. Through this newfound information Mr. Singh was able to track down the late boy’s parents. Confirmation was made on every single allegation little Taranjit had made. Astonishingly, when the youngster was shown a collection of photos he was able to positively identify Santam. Dr. Vikram Raj Chauhan, a forensic scientist, reached out the Singhs wanting to obtain further evidence. Samples of Santam’s handwriting had been taken from an old notebook. Comparisons were made to Taranjit’s and a startling discovery was made: it was a match. Colleagues who inspected the script unanimously agreed both sets appeared indistinguishable.
Thousands of miles away professor Stevenson was further examining such mysteries. Xenoglossy is an anomalous phenomenon where affected subjects are able to speak in a foreign tongue without any knowledge of the language. In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Stevenson worked with a thirty-seven year-old woman called T.E. During hypnotic regressions the woman maintained she was a peasant named Jensen Jacoby. Despite never learning the dialect, T.E. could both answer and respond in Swedish while conversing with an interviewer. Steven administered a language aptitude test, two polygraphs and a word association examination. Each assessment was passed by the intriguing lady. Friends and family were questioned and they all confirmed that T.E. had no exposure to any Scandinavian vocabulary.
Reincarnation is a very polarizing topic. There are those who believe due to religious reasons while others lean towards science and remain skeptical. Although society may never obtain hard physical evidence regarding this mysterious subject it’s important to asses the testimonies that have come forth. People in nearly every country on the planet, of all spiritual backgrounds and ages, have experienced unexplainable anomalies. However, until tangible proof surfaces, society will be left to draw their own conclusions. Perhaps with the our current technological advances that day might arrive sooner than expected.
What are your theories about reincarnation? Do you think you have lived before? Share your thoughts in the comments!
For centuries people have been disappearing from National Parks and forests under incredibly chilling circumstances. Author David Paulides, a former Los Angeles police officer, has painstakingly investigated this bizarre phenomenon for over nine years. Missing 411 is a book series which chronicles incidents which seem to defy all logic. Hundreds of unusual missing persons cases have been analyzed and share eerie similarities. Frequently the victims’ bodies are never recovered, other times they are found deceased in puzzlingly unexpected spots. Those lucky enough to survive have no recollection of the events that transpired. Thousands of strange vanishings have occurred and only a handful of individuals have surfaced with any memories intact. One such example is the mystifying case of a young California boy.
On October 1, 2010, three-and-a-half-year-old ‘John Doe’ and his relatives were camping by a popular fly fishing location near Mount Shasta. Around 6:00 PM the child’s parents realized their son had suddenly gone missing. According to Mr. Doe, his youngster was ‘there one second and gone the next’. They scoured the area he had last been seen in complete panic-stricken horror. After hours of feverishly searching the little boy still had not turned up. Now desperate, the distraught father decided to call local police deputies and United States Forest Service officers. Rescue personnel combed the forest well into the night yet there was no sign of the toddler.
Five hours after John had disappeared authorities found him laid down on the brush directly next to a trail that had been previously searched. He appeared to be in a dazed, semi-conscious state. Mr. and Mrs. Doe attributed this to exhaustion and were simply grateful their little one returned physically unharmed. Medical staff gave full clearance so the freshly reunited family were permitted to return home. Everyone’s lives quickly went back to normal. Yet only a few weeks later the small boy would share a disturbing tale about his terrifying ordeal.
One day John’s grandmother Kathy, who is called “Kappy,” was playing with her grandson. Suddenly he looked towards her and said that he didn’t like the other Grandma Kappy. Confused, she asked him what exactly he meant. John explained that while he was lost in the woods he had been taken deep inside a mountainside cave by a woman he thought was Grandma Kappy. She led him into a cool, dark spider-infested room filled with motionless humanoid robots. Scattered across the floor were dusty purses, guns and various types of other weapons.
As John anxiously faced his ‘grandparent’ he noticed an eerie light radiating from her head. In this moment he realized she was not his real granny. Kappy firmly instructed the boy to defecate on a piece of paper. When he refused she became increasingly agitated and repeatedly requested him to do so. Eventually the grandma-lookalike succumbed to frustration and moved onto a different topic. Allegedly, she informed John that he had been planted in his mother’s womb and was actually from outer space. Shortly after this extraordinary account she took the boy back outside to a thicket and advised him to wait for help.
Upon hearing this disturbing story, an outraged Kathy called her son and demanded to know what he was allowing her grandchild to watch on television. Mr. Doe lamented that he had heard an identical recollection only a few days prior. Initially the two chalked it up to an overactive imagination. Yet the more Kathy thought about it the more John’s story perplexed her. What kind of TV show would feature some of the ludicrous topics that the boy described? Even more chilling was the idea that she might have some kind of doppelgänger assuming her identity in order to abduct innocent victims.
With those particular thoughts in mind, Kathy decided to share a haunting experience of her own. Only a year before she had gone on a camping trip within close proximity to where John’s ordeal occurred. In the morning she awoke face-down in dirt. Somehow she had been inexplicably removed from the sleeping bag within her tent and transferred a short distance away. Upon rousing, she felt an intense pain at the base of her neck. Two puncture wounds were present and the surrounding skin was red and inflamed. Another friend who accompanied her on the excursion suffered a matching affliction. The pair originally attributed these injuries to a possible spider bite.
Both Kathy and her travel companion became violently ill. In fact, she was so sick that she could not even muster the strength to pack her things. Her mind raced as she desperately tried to recall what happened mere hours ago. Only one thing surfaced: glowing red eyes. While she was drifting into slumber she remembered seeing several creatures gazing through the darkness. At the time she assumed they were produced by a herd of deer. Following this traumatizing outing, Kathy felt completely drained of her creativity and emotions. Several months would pass before she felt like her old self again. Admittedly, Grandma Kappy would have dismissed her episode had John not come forward with his firsthand encounter.
Legends and lore pertaining to Mount Shasta have existed throughout the centuries. Indigenous tribespeople chronicled a fallen race of prehistoric giants that were said to inhabit the region. Others claim beings known as Lemurians use local caves as entrances to an underground crystalline city called Telos. Some allege a large energetic vortex is present within the territory. In modern times there are many UFO and Bigfoot sightings reported. Each year twenty-six thousand visitors flock to this revered mountain from countries across the globe. There has been alarmingly high numbers of curious missing persons cases within this picturesque terrain. While John Doe’s incident seems unbelievable it’s important to consider the odd history and happenings afflicting the area. An open mind may be the only thing that will finally resolve this age-old mystery.
What do you think is responsible for the unusual disappearances in Mount Shasta? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
During the late 1980s a man by the name of Bob Lazar, a former Area 51 engineer, went public with supposed inside information. What he revealed would make him an extremely controversial figure, even amongst ufology enthusiasts. There are those who believe Lazar is a government pawn whose purpose is to spread misinformation across the masses. Others speculate he’s merely a profiteer who fabricated stories in hopes of financial gain. However, some feel that perhaps this whistleblower may in fact be telling the truth.
Robert Scott Lazar was born on January 26th, 1959 in Coral Gables, Florida. He holds degrees in both physics and electronics from MIT as well as California Institute of Technology. Much of his life was spent living in Las Vegas where he dabbled in a number of scientific pursuits in attempts to better understand propulsion. After experimenting with chemistry and fireworks production, Lazar assembled a jet vehicle capable of land speeds in excess of three hundred and fifty miles per hour. Monitor newspaper featured Lazar’s twenty-two thousand horsepower car on its front page.
At this time, in 1982, Lazar attended a lecture at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. Doctor Edward Teller, inventor of the atomic bomb, would be speaking. Both of the science fanatics met afterwards and quickly struck up a conversation. As luck would have it, Dr. Teller happened to be reading that very issue of Monitor paper. When Lazar pointed out the article he was advised to submit his resume for consideration. Within a few days the eager physicist was hired and became an esteemed Los Alamos staff member.
Five years later Lazar found himself working at S-4, a location one hundred and twenty-five miles north of Las Vegas and fifteen miles south of Groom Lake. Often called Area 51, or “Dreamland,” the region has captivated the masses for generations. According to the propulsion systems expert, he was recruited by the Department of Naval Intelligence to work on a secret program called Project Galileo. Unbeknownst was the fact that this specific employment opportunity would permanently turn his life upside-down.
Reaching the remote destination required quite an arduous commute. First he would drive to McCarran International Airport in Nevada and enter the EG&G Special Projects Building. An unmarked plane would then fly directly to Groom Lake. Upon landing, Lazar would embark on a windowless bus which drove across the desolate desert before finally reaching S-4. Entrance was only granted upon approval of an incredibly thorough security check. Once inside the facility he noticed a total of nine hangars built into a mountainside. Each possessed perfectly camouflaged sand-colored doors. Lazar did not have full clearance and was escorted into one of the installations by his superior.
He was led into a specific room where one hundred and twenty-two briefings were presented. A stern commanding officer instructed the new hire to read every single document. While making his way through the paperwork, a brief synopsis was found about various operations being executed at the base. Upon completing his assigned task he was informed that his position was replacing two individuals recently killed on the job. These men had been working on a craft and for unknown reasons they cut its operating reactor. The detonation caused a massive deadly explosion which could be felt from far away distances. Officials deceitfully told nearby citizens the tremor was an aftereffect of nuclear testing.
On Lazar’s third day he was brought into a building which housed nine different flying saucers. Initially he blamed experimental military technology, which would explain the massive amount of UFO sightings. However, once he physically entered a vessel all rationalizations quickly dissipated. There was an inexplicable ominous feeling that radiated throughout his entire body. Such a strong emotional response truly perplexed the left-brained scholar. Even stranger were the impractical tiny child-sized interior seats. Further meticulous inspection brought forward a startling conclusion: these vehicles could not be of an earthly origin. Contrary to his initial belief, S-4 crew hadn’t been manufacturing the crafts… they were reverse-engineering them.
During the coming weeks Lazar continued to work on several eerie devices. Each was cool to the touch and appeared to be made out of some type of metal similar to unfinished stainless steel. No noticeable seams existed so it seemed as if the craft was manufactured from a mold. Over time he discovered how the flight capabilities functioned. Every machine generated its own gravitational field and turned surrounding gravity waves in reverse polarity to that of Earth’s. Invisibility could be rendered by traveling faster than the speed of light.
On the flying device’s floor was an antimatter reactor which controlled all movements. A compound with the atomic number of one hundred and fifteen, undiscovered in 1989, served as its fuel source. Element 115 allowed the spaceships to drag points together from anywhere in the infinite cosmos. UFOs created an amplified nonlinear distortion in both space and time. Vast distances could be navigated in mere seconds. Since the apparatuses function by warping space itself infinite momentum is achieved. Limitless energy is provided through a purposely created environmental distortion.
Lazar gradually gained more knowledge regarding the mysterious activities occurring at S-4. One night he witnessed an airship performing a dazzling test flight. His colleague explained that these particular UFOs originated from Zeta Reticuli One and Two, a binary star system located thirty-nine light-years from our planet. Another occasion led to him being shown autopsy photos of an otherworldly being. Some type of organ had been removed from the creature’s open chest cavity and Lazar described it closely resembling the typical Grey Alien. Allegedly such entities are responsible for creating modern man through centuries of genetic alterations to our simian ancestors.
Eventually an inside source recounted what would become the most troubling story of all: a human-extraterrestrial war. Only ten years earlier military personnel and martian visitors maintained a working relationship. Yet the professional data exchange program would soon come to a screeching halt. One fateful day security officers attempted to gain entry into a designated ET part of the grounds. Each were equipped with sidearms which, according to Lazar, would have caused a massive explosion. When subterranean aliens attempted to stop incoming armed guards a fight ensued. Sixty-six faculty members lost their lives and prompted the decades-long correspondence’s abrupt ending.
Six months after his inceptive enlistment Lazar decided to leave S-4 Base for personal reasons. Before parting ways high-ranking directors threatened his life and stated that if anything were disclosed there would be major repercussions. Weeks later the ex-employee was shot at by an unmarked car while driving on the highway. Following the harrowing incident he reached out to KLAS, a Las Vegas TV station, where he gave an interview with investigative reporter George Knapp. Lazar rationalized that if he turned up dead succeeding his speaking publicly it would look incredibly suspicious for government officials. Self-preservation was his ultimate justification.
Nearly thirty years have passed since this bizarre firsthand experience made headlines. While skeptics remain critical of such claims Lazar maintains his authenticity. In 2003 Element 115 was positively identified adding further validity and potential supporting evidence. Recently a physicist named Dr. Robert Krangle came forward and stated that he did in fact work with Lazar at Los Alamos Laboratory. Perhaps with the progression of time additional professionals will open up about their own involvement. Until then whatever transpired in those Nevada hangers remains mere speculation and will provide endless intrigue for conspiracy theorists.
What do you think of Bob Lazar and his extraordinary tale? Share your thoughts in the comments!
For over a century the mysterious disappearance of David Lang has left researchers perplexed. The events that transpired are more comparable to a Twilight Zone episode than a missing persons case. Yet oftentimes the truth is stranger than fiction. After all, similar occurrences continue to happen to this day. Hundreds of eerily parallel cases are described in the Missing 411 book series. Perhaps the best way to determine what is currently happening is to take a look further back in time.
During the afternoon hours of September 23, 1880, a farmer by the name of David Lang and his wife Emma exited their Tennessee home. Playing outside were the couple’s two children: eight-year-old George and eleven year-old Sarah. They watched while Mr. Lang crossed the field and approached his animal stables. At this moment a horse and buggy traveling down the road became visible. Occupying the carriage was Judge August Peck, a family friend, and his brother-in-law. When the youngsters saw who had arrived they immediately stopped playing and eagerly ran towards the vehicle. Judge Peck was known for bringing gifts whenever he came to visit.
Although these guests were unexpected, the couple was delighted to see them. Mr. Lang waved as he turned around and walked back towards the house. Suddenly something unbelievable happened mid-step: the man completely vanished into thin air. One moment he was there and the next he simply ceased to exist. His utterly shocked wife screamed in horror. She, her children and friends all witnessed this bizarre disappearance.
Hastily the three adults sprinted to the area where Mr. Lang had been last seen. Despite painstakingly scouring every square inch of ground, nothing turned up. Emma Lang had now become incredibly distraught and was brought inside in attempts to calm her down. An emergency siren rang and alerted local neighbors who quickly formed a search party. Concerned lantern-equipped citizens worked feverishly into the late evening hours.
Detectives, police officers and bloodhounds arrived at the scene. They stomped their feet trying to locate any craters to no avail. For weeks crew members thoroughly investigated the pasture but there were no signs of the lost farmer. A land survey showed that beneath the soil was solid limestone free of sinkholes and caves. There were not any wells, marshes, quicksand, trees or boulders present. Now the plot had thickened. How could a fully grown man simply dematerialize during broad daylight, never to be seen again?
Several months later George and Sarah Lang noticed a strange anomaly precisely where their father had disappeared. There was a perfectly formed circle about fifteen feet in diameter where all the interior grass had turned yellow and stopped growing. Even stranger was the fact that resident animals refused to walk through this specific spot. Creatures such as vermin and insects completely avoided the area. When George placed a noisy cricket inside of the circle it immediately fell silent and swiftly jumped out. Upon leaving, the arthropod began chirping loudly once again.
Puzzled, the daughter decided to call out to her beloved parent. Both she and her brother were astonished when they heard Mr. Lang respond by faintly yelling, as if calling out for help. Soon his voice began to fade away before dissolving into silence. Excitedly the pair ran off to fetch their mother. She too could recognize the distant voice of her husband. For four days the family listened intently to the far-off replies until they eventually became inaudible.
There was never any memorial or funeral service held, perhaps due to wishful thinking that he may someday resurface. Mrs. Lang was never the same after her husband’s departure. Given the haunting memories that surrounded the farm combined with her fragile mental state, she decided to move away. After she and her children left the property was turned over to Judge Peck to rent out. Out of respect for Mr. Lang, the field was left untouched and remained that way until his wife’s passing.
Fifty-one years later Sarah Lang was interviewed by mystery novelist Stuart Palmer. In 1953 the story gained public attention after it was published in Fate Magazine, a popular publication that featured obscure topics. According to Fate, their story “How Lost Was My Father?” was a direct derivation of the previous 1931 account. Harold T. Wilkins released Strange Mysteries of Time and Space in 1958 and Frank Edwards wrote Stranger than Science one year later. Ultimately since few records have been located, investigators are left to study the work of these authors.
Whatever happened to David Lang remains a baffling mystery. Some speculate that he stumbled into another dimension. Others believe the man was abducted by aliens in a forcefield-concealed UFO. Skeptics say that the entire story is a work of fiction and nothing more than a mere hoax. As the decades continues to pass it becomes increasingly difficult to discern what really transpired that day. Given the number of strange disappearances that continue to occur, this is might be a case that should not be so easily dismissed.
What do you think happened to David Lang? Share your thoughts in the comments section if you have a theory of your own!
For centuries legends of ghost ships have fascinated the masses. Haunting true stories of the Mary Celeste and Flying Dutchman perpetuate an age-old mystery. There are countless cases of unnerving oceanic anomalies, as seen in film, literature and through oral recollections. One of the most disturbing of such tales is that of the S.S. Ourang Medan. Her ultimate fate is nothing less than bizarre and continues to perplex modern-day mariners.
Located in the Indian Ocean, between Malaysia and Sumatra, is a trade route known as the strait of Malacca. Each day nearly two hundred and thirty ships navigate this narrow stretch of sea. It is one of the busiest ports in the world responsible for transporting a quarter of the world’s traded goods. Pirates plagued the area for years and stories of vanishing boats added to Malacca’s mystique. One particular vessel would give the channel a chilling reputation which remains over seven decades later.
In June of 1947 passing barges received a series of troubling SOS signals. While the source of the call was unknown their message was clear and concise: “All officers including captain are dead, lying in chartroom and bridge. Possibly whole crew dead.” Following the distressing message was an eruption of Morse code tones which could not be deciphered. A final bone chilling statement was then made: “I die,” accompanied by a deafening silence.
All nearby ships were instructed to remain alert and report anything unusual to authorities. Despite the cooperation of many seafarers, nothing out of the ordinary was initially discovered. Dutch and British commanders worked hastily to triangulate precisely where the alerts had been transmitted from. They were able to pinpoint Ourang Medan in a remote part of the ocean, miles away from all established shipping lanes.
An American merchant vessel, Silver Star (formerly known as Santa Cecilia), was closest to the estimated location. Crew members immediately set off on an altered course and headed towards the distressed boat since its message had been so dire. Only a few hours later she was visible drifting aimlessly on the horizon line. Upon closer inspection of the hull it became apparent that there was not any visible external damage. Several attempts were made to contact the occupants to no avail.
When the apprehensive rescue party embarked the ship they were greeted by a nightmarish scene. Littering the deck were dozens of corpses. Each man had an expression of sheer terror with bulging, panic-strickened eyes and mouths agape in silent screams. Every deckhand’s arms and legs were extended in distorted positions as if they were trying to fight some unknown source. Even the resident dog had his lips peeled back in an aggressive teeth-exposing snarl.
Silver Star’s squadron anxiously meandered through the interior. Inside of the bridge they found the captain’s body. Remaining officers were discovered dead in the wheel house and chart room. Engineering staff remained at their designated stations and the operator who made the initial emergency call was sprawled out over his transmitter. Just like their comrades on the upper deck, these men also had looks of utter horror and bizarre limb contortions. While it was obvious all crew members had suffered agonizing deaths, it remained uncertain what caused such grisly demises.
Equally mystifying was the state of the deceased. Although an SOS had been recently made, the bodies were decomposing at an alarmingly unnatural rate. Even stranger was the frigid temperature engulfing the entire barge. During that hot summer day temperatures had reached well over one hundred degrees. Readings performed upon the schooner revealed a bone-chilling forty degrees. The entire search team were completely perplexed as to what had happened to those poor souls aboard Ourang Medan.
A decision was ultimately made to tow the watercraft back to port. However, shortly after departing smoke began to billow from the tethered boat’s lower deck cargo hold. Immediately a quick-witted commander cut the connecting rope. That critical decision would save countless innocent lives. Within seconds Medan exploded with such tremendous intensity that she was propelled from the water. Pieces of the vessel began to break apart as she sank into the murky abyss, never to be seen again.
Since this enigmatic occurrence countless investigators have searched for answers. Some have made connections to the infamous Philadelphia Experiment and suggest covert military testing is to blame. Others speculate that the ship was transporting Tabun, an extremely toxic nerve-suppressing chemical manufactured during World War II. Skeptics question whether these events ever took place.
An official US Coast Guard report was released in a May 1952 issue of Proceedings of the Merchant Marine. As time continues to pass the truth of Ourang Medan becomes increasingly difficult to ascertain. She and her crew took their secrets with them when they descended into the dismal depths. With modern sonar technology constantly evolving the wreckage may eventually surface. Until that day arrives, this is a case that will ultimately remain unsolved.
What do you think happened to Ourang Medan? Share your theories in the comment section, I’d love to hear other opinions on this mysterious topic.
For hundreds of years animals around the planet have fallen prey to some truly baffling deaths. Corpses of cattle, horses, sheep, rabbits, goats, pigs, bison, deer, elk as well as dogs and cats have surfaced with disturbing similarities. These victims have bloodless incisions created with laser-like precision. Their eye sockets are hollowed and internal organs have been meticulously extracted. Frequently removed are parts of the lower jaw, lymph nodes, tongue, rectum and genitals.
Reports of such incidents date back to the nineteenth century. During the evening hours of April 21, 1897 one of the first well-documented case occurred in Leroy, Kansas. A rancher named Alexander Hamilton was awoken by an odd humming noise coming from his field of cattle. He and two of his friends went outside to investigate the source of this peculiar sound. What they witnessed shocked them: a UFO hovering above the pasture.
According to mens’ testimonies, the craft was around 300 feet long and cigar-shaped. It appeared to be made of a translucent material with six occupants visible inside. When the airship approached a young cow, it cried out and attempted to escape but instead became entangled in fencing. A rope was caught around its neck and extended upwards. According to Hamilton, “We tried to get it off but we could not. So we cut the wires loose to see the ship, heifer and all, rise slowly, disappearing into the northwest.”
The following morning a neighbor located the creature’s butchered remains in his yard. There were no tracks leading to the body despite being surrounded by soft, impressionable earth. An affidavit signed by ten respected members of the community stated “for truth and veracity we have never heard Hamilton’s word questioned.” While many skeptics dismiss this story as an elaborate hoax, Hamilton maintained his sincerity until the day he died.
Nearly a century later the topic of mutilations once again entered the public eye. On September 9, 1967 a disturbing event occurred in San Luis Valley, Colorado. A horse named Lady (who was mistakenly called Snippy in the original news article) that was missing for two days had resurfaced. When her ravaged carcass was discovered there were several disturbing anomalies. Both the neck and head had been carefully skinned and the bones showed no trace of bodily tissue. All exposed skeletal system was so bleached that it appeared as if they were exposed to the sun for months. Internal organs such as the brain and heart had been completely removed.
Despite the grisly scene, there was not any blood or sinew present. Between Lady and the nearest hoof prints was a distance of over one hundred feet. Prior to her disappearance, there had been spike in UFO sightings in the area, a common trait in many supposed abduction cases. On the day the horse went missing, a local Superior Court judge and his wife witnessed strange lights in the sky. Three bright orange objects moved in a triangular pattern at astonishing speeds.
Over the years the number of strange deaths increased; from 1975-1977 approximately two thousand cattle had been maimed. These slaughterings spread across twenty-two different states throughout the US. If human beings were responsible they would require incredible skill levels and tools which did not exist during that time. Even operating room physicians would struggle replicating incisions of this caliber. Given the number of cows killed and the vast amount of land covered, it is highly unlikely that such a task could be accomplished by a group of people.
A percentage of these cases can be ruled out through reasonable causes such as predators or pranksters. However, more often than not, there are several mystifying traits which are repeatedly seen.
• No foot/hoof/paw prints are found leading up to or leaving the scene. There are no signs that the animal was moved to another location at the time these injuries were sustained.
• Abnormally high levels of radiation are present in the area where the dead body is located. Scavengers and flies avoid the carcass.
• Wound has cauterized edges. These cuts are created with laser-precision which rule out carnivorous attacks. Surgeons equipped with the proper tools and staffing would have a difficult time replicating these cuts.
• Exsanguination: all blood has been completely drained.
• UFO sightings & blacked unmarked helicopters are seen before, during or after the mutilation takes place.
• Missing internal organs: certain innards have been removed. Most commonly taken are reproductive and rectal organs.
• A perfectly made circle surrounding the remains.
• Jaw cuts which reveal the critter’s teeth. Surrounding glandular tissues and tongue are usually taken out.
Over the decades these barbaric killings have continued to transpire worldwide. Many who study this phenomena ask themselves one question: why? While theories are abundant there are still no definitive answers. Some speculate it’s for the purpose of genetic testing or DNA harvesting. Others feel that it’s a bizarre extraterrestrial science experiment. Whatever the reason, it’s cruel to kill innocent beings only to dump their slain corpses.
What do you think is happening to these animals and why are they being harvested? Share your thoughts in the comments, I’d love to hear what you think.
Each year hundreds of people go missing in United State Parks and National Forests. Most investigations are eventually solved through reasonable causes: foul play, drowning, suicide or an animal attack. Others aren’t quite so easy to dismiss. Many of them are not merely perplexing but outright disturbing. The Missing 411 books take a deeper look into these specific situations which seem to defy all logic.
Author of the series, David Paulides, is a private investigator who served as a Los Angeles police officer for over twenty years. One day he stumbled upon some shocking information from a park ranger. They informed Paulides about a series of bizarre missing persons cases happening within the National Parks. According to this source, these individuals go missing under very unusual circumstances. Law enforcement officials and park service management were doing everything in their power to keep these events concealed from the general public.
When Paulides attempted to obtain a list of missing people in Yosemite National Park he hit the first of many roadblocks. He was told that there is no such document because the Department of Interior does not keep any record of missing people within their park systems. To obtain this information would cost him $34,000. A list missing persons for the entire United States park systems was a staggering $1.4 million. Paulides did not oblige and instead filed hundreds of Freedom Information Acts. Some were accepted while others were denied for unknown reasons.
As the investigation progressed the more mysterious it became. One of the first things that was discovered were the presence of “clusters” throughout the country. These locations are hotspots where individuals disappear at surprisingly high numbers. Concentrated areas are present in many states including California, Colorado, Washington, Georgia, Michigan and Arkansas. Fifty-two clearly defined geographic regions have been identified.
After meticulously researching thousands of cases, odd similarities and patterns emerged. Certain baffling parallels were seen repeatedly despite the incidents transpiring thousands of miles from each other. Some of the common links are difficult to rationalize and not easily dismissed. These perplexing characteristics leave far more questions than answers.
- Search dogs behave strangely. Oftentimes these canines cannot pick up a scent, or simply don’t want to. In other instances they begin tracking only to lay down and stop searching as if the person had vanished into thin air. Cadaver dogs are unable to locate a corpse.
- The body is found in an area that has searched before. In many instances the missing appears in a location that has been thoroughly searched dozens, if not hundreds, of times. It is not uncommon for the deceased to surface on a main trail that is utilized by hikers on a daily basis.
- Travel uphill instead of downhill. The missing is often found at high levels of elevation, such as mountain peaks. Frequently the victim will travel an astounding amount of miles through treacherous terrain in a time period which seems humanly impossible.
- Weather-related phenomenon. Shortly after the individual goes missing the forecast takes a drastic turn. Torrential rain, lightning, fog, sand storms or blizzards occur which delay search parties.
- Missing clothing. Shoes, pants, shirts and jackets are often removed, even by children who are too young do so themselves. Paradoxical undressing cannot explain why a person would do this in a temperate environment. Clothing that is found is sometimes neatly folded.
- High amounts of plane crashes. Search planes and helicopters seem to crash at abnormally high rates during these specific cases.
- Extreme ends of the intellectual scale. On one side there are well educated people such doctors, psychiatrists and physicists. Others have disabilities such as autism or Down Syndrome.
- German ancestry. Those with German heritage appear to go missing at much higher rates.
- Boulder fields and granite. A high number of men and women vanish in boulder fields or areas with huge quantities of granite. Yosemite National Park is the largest of all clusters and also happens to be the biggest source of granite on Earth.
- The victim is retrieved near a body of water. Another common factor is the presence of water. Bodies are often discovered near oceans, lakes, rivers, streams or swamps.
- Berry picking. Strangely, this is a reoccurring theme shared amongst several cases. Those who are picking berries seem to go missing at higher rates.
- Not feeling well or being tired. Prior to the disappearance, friends and family state the victim had informed them that they were not feeling well or tired.
- Being last in line. One of the most recurrent of all traits are those in a group who happen to be the last in line. Others who were with the missing report seeing them mere seconds before and suddenly they had vanished without a trace. No one ever reports hearing any sounds such as a gasp, scream or an animal.
The NPS employs over 20,000 Americans and brings in an annual revenue $92 billion. If patrons knew what was really happening within the park systems it could have devastating financial consequences. Paulides has never stated who (or what) he believes is responsible for these incidents and merely presents the facts. Readers are left to derive their own conclusions based on the information presented. Theories as to what is taking these park-goers include Bigfoot attacks, alien abduction, thunderbirds, secret underground government bases or cannibalistic wild men. Whatever the source may be, it’s probably best to avoid being last in line the next time you visit a National Park.
Covering nearly 2,000 square miles of southern Florida is a freshwater marsh known as the Everglades. There are tales that this area is home to a number of mysterious cryptids. Supposed inhabitants include Skunk Apes and anacondas so large that they can swallow alligators whole. Indigenous tribes speak of some lesser-known creatures. According to the Seminole, ominous owl-witches and werewolves roam the swampy land.
Stigini, also called Ishtikini or Stikini, are sinister shape-shifters which usually resemble a massive great horned owl with dark menacing eyes. During the day they appear as ordinary people but once the sun sets they transform into a nine-foot tall feathered being. The metamorphosis occurs through vomiting their souls and internal organs each evening. By night they hunt for victims so that they can eat mortal’s hearts to take on their appearance. These entities are essentially zombies whose sole existence is the consumption of human flesh.
Although the translation of Stigini means horned owl, they can also take on the appearance of other animals. On rare occasions they resemble bear, wolves or coyotes. Certain Seminole groups warn that speaking their name aloud puts you at risk for turning into one. In certain cases only revered tribal elders are permitted to tell these stories. Other communities treat the mysterious lore more casually and even use the fable to frighten children into behaving.
Similar myths are shared by various cultures around the world. In Mexican folklore the Lechuza is a large and magical bird who seeks revenge on those that have wronged her. West Virginia has legends of Mothman, a mysterious winged humanoid who is said to be an omen of impending doom. Greek mythology spoke of Strige, a wicked vampiric screech owl forced to live in an upside-down world. Other Native Americans believed that Thunderbirds had supernatural strength and powers.
Hatcko-tcapko, also referred to as Long Ears, is a werewolf-like beast. They wander the desolate marshlands by moonlight. Eyewitnesses accounts state that these beings are donkey to ox-sized and has a fusion of both deer and wolf features. As the name may imply, its ears are enormous and pointed. Long thin legs support their oversized hooked paws. At the end of Long Ear’s grey fur covered body is a bushy horse tail.
Those who encounter this creature describe smelling a foul odor when they are within close proximity. Similar to many reported Bigfoot encounters, this putrid scent is a frequent sign of its presence. Seminole were cautious to never get too close to Long Ears because of his ability to infect people with deadly diseases. Despite Hatcko-tcapko’s horrifying appearance and dangerous nature, he is not believed to be malicious.
Florida’s monsters of yesterday have been replaced with viral modern day alternatives: cannibals, zombies and living dinosaurs. Indigenous people could have merely been describing their own bizarre encounters in an era before the internet or cable TV. Roughly 200 species are going extinct each day on Earth. It’s entirely plausible that unknown animals lived in the Everglades centuries ago. What’s even more intriguing is the possibility that some may have survived.
If you’re ever had any strange encounters in rural Southern Florida feel free to share your experiences. I’d love to hear your thoughts!