Category Archives: Cryptozoology

Enoch: A Bigfoot Story

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I really considered giving this blog another title but, in the end, I decided I could not.  This is a post about the book by Autumn Williams and my thoughts on what she and her witness “Mike” had to say but I want to state, up front, that this is not a review.  This book was written back in 2010 so some of the information in it may be outdated but I do not think that what I gleaned from the work will be effected by the age of the book.

First of all, I want to offer belated congratulations to Ms. Williams for what is a very well written first book.  She does an excellent job of blending her internal dialogue and struggle with the stories and opinions that “Mike” is sharing with her and I think that she handles the narrative like a professional journalist.  I had just completed Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air previous to reading Enoch: A Bigfoot Story and I think the two compare favorably.

That is as close to a review as I will get though.  Anyone who has been reading the blog for a while knows that I am of the opinion that Sasquatch is not a native of this particular plane of reality.  Looking back at the archives, there are so many articles with bits and pieces of my thinking on Sasquatch that I can not cite just one that outlines my feelings on the matter.  I think that, given some of the witness reports, at least some of the giant creatures that are being seen out there are more on the paranormal end of the spectrum.  “Flesh and blood” creatures do not disappear in a flash of light when shot at, for example.

Regardless of my opinion though, I read Ms. Williams and Mike’s words with great interest.   It is quite obvious to me that Mike is either the mother of all tale tellers, weaving a story so complex that I, a fiction writer of sizable novels, would need Evernote to keep track of what happened when, or he has had an ongoing set of experiences with something.

Is his interaction necessarily with a giant ape / relict hominid?  No.  I could very easily make the case that Mike has stumbled on or close to a portal to the Otherworld and he is dealing with manifested creatures from that realm.  There is no reason why a Sasquatch in entering our realm could not bat Mike into the swamp and Mike’s behavior : leaving food offerings, being, for the most part, very deferential of Enoch and others of his kind, not overstaying his welcome, developing a loving friendship with the being  and a willingness to go into a really wild place to interact with the being(s) could just as easily describe the life of a Faerie Seer as it could a Sasquatch witness.

Long story short, though, whether he was interacting with a giant ape, a relict hominid or some species from the Other Side, his experiences are valid and instructive.  Ms. Williams’ small appendix at the back of the book giving advice to people who think they might have Sasquatches on their land could be a primer for people seeking to interact with the spirits of their land but that is not really the point I wanted to make in this blog.

I have taken the spirit view of Sasquatch for some time but I have always said, too, that I am willing to be surprised.  What I found most pleasant about this book was the repeated advice from the author to would-be witnesses not to chase these creatures.  I have said on more than one occasion, and Ms. Williams supports this on almost every page of her book, that the person most likely to view a Sasquatch is going to be living like a Sasquatch.  Why do you suppose that hunters seem to see these creatures all the time?  Because witness testimony seems to indicate that the Hairy Ones are hunters.  If I am looking for deer and the Sasquatch is looking for deer then chances of our paths crossing increase exponentially.

Mike, of course, really did create the perfect storm of opportunity to see and interact with one of these creatures.  He basically plopped himself down in a swamp and stayed there for long periods of time, not running around hooting and hollering and banging on trees, but simply living.  As he and Ms. Williams both note, his temperament was such that extended separation from humans did not bother him and it shows in the way that he took himself out to camp and simply stayed.

Once he learned his lesson about technology and the Sasquatch, he also quit trying to film the creature and simply relaxed and enjoyed his company.  I agree with Ms. Williams wholeheartedly that all the tech in the world is not going to ‘prove’ that Sasquatch exists.  Nothing, short of a body is going to ‘prove’ to the scientists and other skeptics that these creatures are real and such a scenario would be a nightmare for the creatures and for the human who brought the creature in (not that I think that a human with a gun could manage it).

In Native cultures, the Hairy One may be scary monsters used to keep children in camp but they may, just as easily, be seen as guardians of the woods.  The First Nations folks see these beings as a separate people, a spiritual people, in much the same way that Europeans, a little more than a century ago, understood the Faery to be a people who lived side by side with them and sometimes interacted with them (and even interbred with them – try that without some sort of physical interface).  In Iceland, to this day, there is tremendous respect for the elves who are believed to live in stones and other natural features of the land.  There is a common theme here; it is a theme of relationship.

As I said earlier, the Celts and other European peoples, not so long ago, behaved toward the “Little People” much the same way that Mike behaved toward Enoch.  They offered food on a regular basis, spoke about them with respect (and obliquely so as not to draw too much attention), interacted with them when given the chance but always kept in mind that these were a strange and powerful people that you did not want to anger.

I have hammered at the idea of respectful interaction with spirits in these pages and I would like to take this opportunity to extend my urgings to the creature known as Sasquatch.  Folks, I do not care whether the Hairy One is a giant ape, a relict hominid, a spiritual creature or some combination of the above or none of the above, interacting with such a being would be a sheer privilege and that privilege should be treated as such and not squandered in the provision of some concept of ‘proof’.

 

 

 


Review: Wood Knocks – various authors

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I have made my views on the creature known as Sasquatch plain in other articles for this blog. I have made it clear that I think that at least some of the giants people are seeing in the woods are kin to the Faery and do not belong completely to this world. In the parlance of modern paranormalists, I think Sasquatch is an inter-dimensional being that is capable of walking into our world and back out of it, pretty much at will.

That said, I greatly admire the work of the people who actually go into the woods looking for the creature and who spend their time talking to witnesses, setting camera traps and even flying drones hoping for a glimpse of the elusive ‘booger’. While I think that a lot of them just might be tilting at windmills, it is still admirable that they have the strength of their convictions and are willing to walk their talk.

The new anthology from Leprechaun Press, Wood Knocks, Volume 1: A Journal of Sasquatch Research is a collection of articles from the sorts of people who have devoted their lives to exploring the strange and especially to looking for cryptid creatures such as the Sasquatch. The anthology is an easy read, at just over 200 pages, so do not expect extensive or detailed articles, but it is packed with information that new and experienced Sasquatch aficionados will find interesting and informative.  In my view, the cover art by Sam Shearon is worth the price of the book, all by itself.

The meat of the book is quite good as well.  Whether we are talking Sasquatch amongst the First Nations people (David Weatherly) or hunting the Orang-Pendek in Sumatra (Richard Freeman) or talking about the presence of Sasquatch in Wisconsin and its surrounding areas (Linda Godfrey), the writing is, with one notable exception, crisp and there are cases in the book that I had not heard of, side by side, with some of the old standards. I enjoyed this chance to ‘touch base’ with the work of many authors that I admire and some that I did not know.  Freeman’s article on the Orang-Pendek made me think that the Sumatrans may have a genuine undiscovered species in their midst.

Having said that, there is one article in the anthology that is a confused, rambling mess and could have easily been cut from the line up with no damage to the work. As I noted above, readers will be able to discern this one quickly and will have to decide for themselves whether the tidbits of information in the article are worth the pain of reading the disjointed ramblings of someone with entirely too much research and not enough space to present it cogently.

I would have been quite happy if that article had been cut and the other writers given more space to present their research. I had the feeling, in several of the sections, that the authors had a lot more to say but were unable to do so due to the editorial pen or space limitations or both. This is a real shame since, as I mentioned, there is quite a lot of original research amongst the articles. I would have been particularly interested to see Micah Hanks spin his thoughts on abductions out further and Nick Redfern’s article on infrasound was interesting but too short.

Wood Knocks is noted as volume 1 of a journal of Sasquatch research. If this is going to be a continuing series of works then the series is off to a good start and, with some minor tweaks, I can see such a series becoming a respected reference amongst those Sasquatch researchers willing to flex their minds a bit and look at new ideas, even if they do not agree with them.


Re-Blog: Tulpas, Thoughtforms and Monsters, Oh My!

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This is a blog that I wrote back in 2013 but, given some of the rumblings about thought forms I have been hearing on-line, I thought this was a good time to re-post it.  

I am an inveterate podcast listener. The job that puts bread on the table can, at times, be very repetitive, requiring little in the way of thought, so I often spice up my day by listening to one or the other of the paranormal podcasts on the Web. The other day I was listening to an interview with the noted paranormal author, Nick Redfern and the discussion turned to the place of tulpas in monster lore. I realized, as I listened to this show, that while I had referred to these beings obliquely in some of my posts, I have not dedicated a post to this subject.

First off, a point of definition. In my view a tulpa and a thought form are the same thing. The only difference is that the term tulpa originates with the Tibetan esoteric tradition while thought form is used in the Western traditions to describe the same process. You will also sometimes see Western magicians refer to a thought form as a servitor. While some people will quibble and say that each of these concepts is a slightly different thing, I am going to throw them all into the hash together and refer to them, from here on out, as thought forms.

So what is a thought form? Pared down to basics, a thought form is a being of desire, visualization and imagination (see Magical Use of Thought Forms: A Proven System of Mental & Spiritual Empowerment by Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki and J.H. Brennan). To create a thought form, the magician pulls an image from his or her inner storehouse of images (imagination), visualizes it powerfully and in Technicolor detail (visualization) and empowers it to perform a certain task or tasks according to his or her desire. Simple enough until one realizes how flabby human visualization skills have gotten since the advent of television and film. The other skill that the magician must master in order to work effectively with thought forms is the skill of placing limits on them and de-constructing them once their purpose is finished.

What can a thought form be used for? Almost anything. As I mentioned, some modern magicians refer to these creations as servitors because that is precisely what they are supposed to do – serve the will of the magician. Thought forms have been used for everything from helping a writer with inspiration for a project (no, I do not use thought forms for this purpose) to providing a soldier with actual physical protection in battle. In general, a thought form is not visible to the majority of people (some psychics can see them) but, if you read enough magical lore, you will find stories of magicians who created thought forms that were not only visible but were able to physically interact with this world. In chapter 3 of the excellent book I mentioned above, one finds the story of a Tibetan lama who, after considerable effort, managed to bring a yidam, a type of meditation deity, into physical manifestation as part of his movement toward enlightenment.

That chapter is instructive not only in telling the reader about the possibilities of thought form creation but also in bringing to the attention the knowledge that the process of thought form creation is not as easy as it sounds. In order to do this type of work, one really has to be able to make an image real in the mind and then be able to infuse it with all the force of desire, directed by magical means so that the being is limited in its scope. This is important since magical lore also tells us that a thought form created without proper limits can take on a sort of life of its own.

One of the best known stories in this regard also comes from Tibet. One of the early theosophists, Alexandra David Neel, journeyed to Tibet and, during her stay there, worked on the creation of a tulpa (thought form) in the image of a short, fat, jolly monk. After several months of meditation and practice, this tulpa manifested and was seen by David Neel and others. David Neel also reported physical contact from this thought form on a number of occasions. Eventually, though, the monk began to take on a darker aspect and David Neel was forced to learn how to take the thought form apart and re-absorb it. I suspect that this had to do with David Neel’s not having a clear desire for the thought form when she created it; the being was an experiment and so did not seem to have a distinct purpose other than to assuage her curiosity.

Now, how does the creation of these magical beings tie into the world of the paranormal? I think that an excellent example might be some of the Manwolf sightings around Native American mounds in the Wisconsin/Michigan area of the United States. Archeologists argue about what purpose the mounds served but they are agreed that these were sites of importance to the indigenous people of that period. I think it is entirely possible that some of the Manwolves reported in those areas are actually thought forms, created by ancient shaman as guardian spirits for the mounds. If such a thought form were created by a group of shaman, given the assignment to guard the mounds indefinitely and then turned loose to do that bidding, there would be no reason for the thought form to dissolve. Over time, it would take on a single minded life of its own and the only thing that would prevent it from doing its job would be a lack of energy. It would have gotten a powerful shot of energy in its creation and would have been “fed” periodically by its creators but when those people died or moved away, the thought form would have languished and dissolved unless it found alternate ways to feed itself – such as scaring the heck out of people and feeding off that energy.

As with all the theories I discuss on this blog, I do not think that thought forms constitute the universal field theory of the paranormal but, given what is known about them, they should certainly enter into the consideration of any paranormal investigator.


Movie Review: Minerva Monster

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As most of you know, I am an inveterate podcast listener and I could not help but hear about the folks over at Small Town Monsters and the series of films they are making about classic Sasquatch encounters.   I have listened to the interviews with interest and last night (15 May) I finally had a chance to go on Vimeo and rent the first in this film series.

I am not a fan of the “let’s run around in the woods, scare ourselves silly and do ridiculous things to attract Sasquatch’s attention” genre.  I watch the show that must not be named when there is a locale that I want to see and I can tolerate 45 minutes of people trying to pass off coyote howls and owl calls as Sasquatch vocalizations.  I am not totally against this mis-named show – it does raise awareness of Sasquatch and make people think about the creature – but I would think that people who spend as much time in the woods as these folks do would have better woodcraft.  I suppose it is simply a matter of generating suspense for viewers whose idea of the great outdoors is their backyard but I find it irritating after the first episode or two.

Having said that, I can assure you that Minerva Monster does not succumb to the temptation to copy the “successful” formula.  This movie is a straight up, serious documentary with no narrator about a classic Sasquatch sighting that happened in and around the Cayton property in Minerva, Ohio area in the summer of 1978.  The entire story is told from the perspective of people who were there and who witnessed the events or their aftermath.  Even the background on the town of Minerva is handled by the mayor and a local historian so that, often, the viewer feels as though he or she is simply sitting in a room with the person on camera, hearing their story.

I enjoyed the fact that there was no attempt to sell a particular viewpoint.  The cameras recorded whatever the witnesses told them no matter how outlandish. The most blatant example of this occurred when testimony was presented that indicated that the ‘monster’ was seen in the company of two large cats!  Anyone trying to present the bipedal ape or relict hominid angle would have cut this testimony but the director, Seth Breedlove, leaves it in and let’s the audience parse out what they make of it.

Another good example of this insistence on witness voice is the fact that no one in the film comes out and says that the Minerva Monster was a Sasquatch (or Bigfoot).  Some people say that they looked into the Sasquatch phenomenon after the episodes but most of the people in the film are of the opinion that something was there, something was seen but they really have no idea what it was.  I found this willingness to not try to explain the witness sightings and the findings most refreshing.

There were a number of other aspects of the film that were well done.  The closest that the documentary comes to computer animation is a series of drawings about events that are being discussed but which could not, of course, be recorded.  I believe these may be renderings from the talented artist who did the movie posters, Sam Shearon, but I am not certain on this point.  The production values are quite good for a small production shot on a tight budget.  As you would expect, there is nothing fancy in the camera work and sound but everything is clear and the only glitches with sound come from outside sources that could not be screened.  The background footage of the areas being discussed was useful in helping me visualize what the witnesses were talking about.  I would have liked to see a little more of the Cayton’s property and how it relates to the surrounding area but, again, given the limited resources for the film, editing decisions had to be made.

I would whole-heartedly recommend this documentary to anyone interested in the Sasquatch phenomenon and an in-depth presentation of a case that created a storm of media attention.  Not only does the film cover the sighting itself, it also talks about the aftermath of the sighting. The Caytons were faced with “yahoos” with pick up trucks full of beer and guns wanting to go on their land to hunt the creature, people blocking the street where they lived hoping for a sighting and subtle but pervasive ridicule in the town.  We often forget that sighting of an unknown anything can change people’s lives and not always for the better.

As noted, the video is available for purchase or rent through Vimeo On Demand but if, like me, you are impressed with the film, then you can purchase a DVD here.


Why Do We Need A Sasquatch?

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I’ve noted previously that I listen to a podcast hosted by Shannon LeGro, Ryan Sprague and Sam Shearon called Into the Fray.  The linked episode is the St. Patrick’s day edition of the podcast and features an appearance by well known podcaster Micah Hanks of The Gralien Report.  The show ranges widely over a number of topics and is well worth a listen.

I was intrigued, however, by a question that Micah Hanks brought up during the course of the discussion.  He asked, setting aside the ‘reality’ of Sasquatch and the hunt for evidence, even supposing that there was no actual physical creature that we could point to and call a Sasquatch, why is it that human beings have had some version of this creature in their folklore for literal centuries?  I think that is quite a good question and it got me to thinking.

As with all good questions, this one does not have a single answer so follow along as I jump down this rabbit hole for a moment.

I think that Mr. Shearon has a valid point.  Since the human being became more ‘civilized’ and spent less time being afraid of being eaten in the night, it seems that our species of hominid has delighted in scaring itself.  From the ancient ‘fairy’ tales and ghost stories to big budget, epic scare-fests like Jurassic World, we seem to delight in scaring the beejesus out of ourselves and those around us.  What better way to spice up a trip into the woods than inventing a creature that moves through the forest like a giant wraith and might just snatch you when you are not looking?

In relation to the idea that we like scaring ourselves, that fear can also serve a useful purpose as Sasquatch makes a terrific booger man.  In cultures where human children do not spend all their time indoors, glued to video games or cell phones, stories often arise that are designed to prevent kids from wandering too far from home or going into certain areas.  I suspect that Sasquatch, along with a host of other creatures serves this purpose in some societies.

I think that another factor that springs up, also related to fear, is the fact that the wilderness, particularly at night, can be a scary place.  Even if there are no giant bipedal apes running about, there are still plenty of sounds and movements in the bush that get our attention and make our imaginations run wild.  While our logical mind seeks an explanation for what we are sensing and for the creepy feeling of being watched that humans sometimes get, our story telling brain cannot help but invent monsters like the Sasquatch to fill the dark corners of our mind.   Again, we circle back to the fact that we love to scare ourselves.

I think, too, especially amongst modern victims of the ‘we now know almost everything there is to know’ scientific establishment, there is a need for mystery, a driving need to have something that can not be easily explained, dissected, put in a box with a custom label, archived and forgotten about.  I think that there is a strong desire, despite our apparent worship of science and technology, to thumb our noses at the establishment and what better way to do that then by believing in and developing lore about a creature that so-called science dismisses outright and with extreme prejudice?

Related to this idea, is the thought that, humans are explorers by nature.  I see no reason why the species would have spread as it has if we did not have some instinctual chip in our heads that made us constantly ask, “I wonder what is over that hill?”.   Linked to this desire to explore is a curiosity that makes us want to see what actually lives in the deep ocean and possibly even the vast reaches of space.  Why would we be excited about going to Mars or some other planet unless we truly are a curious and exploratory organism?  Unless we have been paralyzed by the instinct squelching ‘publish or perish’ atmosphere of academia, humans have displayed a talent for contriving reasons to go ‘over there’ and one of the reasons we see more and more today is the search for Sasquatch.

In short, I feel that there are numerous reasons why Sasquatch is found in human lore.  The Hairy Man represents something visceral and real to us.  In my own view, it is a representative of the very spirit of the forest and this is why, if there were no such creature and even if there were no such legend, I believe that people would have invented it.


Some Thoughts on Manwolf Reports in PA

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If you happen to be a follower of Lon Strickler’s famed Phantoms and Monsters blog, you have no doubt noted that there has been a distinct uptick in sighting of upright bi-pedal canids in Pennsylvania in recent months.  I have a weakness for all things werewolf /  shapeshifter so it seems fitting that my first post back address this phenomenon.

First of all, I had a chance to listen to Mr. Strickler and his colleague, Butch Witkowski, discussing these cases on Beyond the Edge Radio the other day.  Mr. Witkowski noted that he had been in contact with First Nation elders of the Tsalagi (Cherokee) nation and that they had told him, without reservation, that he was tracking a skinwalker.  I believe that they might have mentioned to him that he was crazy for doing such a thing.

Perhaps it was simply my perception but Mr. Witkowski seemed a little dismissive of this warning in the interview.  I would encourage him not to be and I will explain more about that in a moment.  Suffice to say, that if a medicine person tells you something is dangerous, you can bet your ass that he or she is correct.  While I am not certain that these beings are skinwalkers as I know them (I am more familiar with the skinwalker of the desert Southwest), I am sure that this elder was trying to drive home to Mr. Witkowski the seriousness of his warning.  The being that we think of as a manwolf or dogman can be a dangerous creature to pursue.  I would strongly advise Mr. Witkowski to wear the protective amulet given to him by the People, and, should he come into contact with one of these beings, to keep a respectful distance.

Here’s why.

I had been considering the manwolf ‘uprising’ in Pennsylvania for several days and, as often happens when I have something percolating, I found an answer in meditation.  This morning (Friday 29 January), as I allowed myself to sink into the quiet, I became aware of spirits around me, specifically those of my ancestors.  For some reason, when the ancestors come to play, it is almost always my First Nations ancestors who appear.  I do not have a lot of Native blood but apparently there is enough for ‘them’ to pay attention to me.

As I said, I felt the ancestors come in and then one of the guardian spirits that I work with came and dragged me off to show me something.  In this case, I was given to understand that this related directly to the manwolf epidemic in PA.  I was shown an “Indian Mound” in vision and then a hole in the side of that mound with a shovel sticking in the dirt.  The message was plain: someone had opened one of these mounds and released the spirits that guard it.

I agree with one of Linda Godfrey’s theories; some of the manwolves are ancient guardians bound to these mounds and assigned to protect them.  These beings are fierce and, depending on the amount of energy they have accrued to themselves, I think it highly likely that they could manifest physically, even if only for short periods of time.  This being (or beings) is not pleased with what has been done and will not rest until it either sees the mound sealed in a sacred manner or it runs out of energy to manifest.  It may be appearing to people to scare them and feed on that energy.

My advice to the investigators of this case: tread softly, especially if you see a manwolf, and see if you can find the source of the creatures disturbance.  As with certain hauntings which are exacerbated by renovation in the home, this creature has had its ‘nest’ kicked over and is not at all happy about it.


Short Follow Up: Alert – Cryptid Roaming Denver Suburbs

I caught this report on Phantoms and Monsters this morning after my own blog posted. The being described in this post sounds very similar to the thing that I saw snatching people off of pathways in the vision reported in my blog this morning. I think that this percipient is quite lucky that he did not become one of the missing and I will be interested to see the witness’ sketch.

In my own psychic impressions, I thought this being might be some predator out of the Faery realm (as I have often mentioned, the Faery can be entities of great power and not all of them take kindly to humans) but, in some ways, the speed and ‘shiftiness’ of the being remind me of the many skinwalker reports from the desert Southwest. The short black fur over black skin reminded me of the manwolf reports specific to people seeing the beings in their homes (this would be the ‘Anubis’ sort of manwolf).

In any event, I would not assume that this being and entities like it are harmless. Remember that some astral entities have the ability to wrap themselves in etheric substance as they come through and are therefore able to cause real physical harm. If you see something like the being described in the Phantoms and Monsters post, do exactly as this witness did, do not run (may invoke the predatory response) but move carefully and quickly away from the entity and out of its sight. Only try to record the event if you can do so safely. A spectacular video is not worth your safety.