Tag Archives: Nick Redfern

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.

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Thoughts on Werewolves or Bipedal Wolves?

Anyone who has been reading my blog for a while knows that I have a special place in my heart for legends of werewolves and other shape shifters. I ran across the following blog from erstwhile Fortean investigator Nick Redfern on Mysterious Universe the other day. I could not, of course, resist the desire to comment (or to use this lovely picture that Mr. Redfern included with his blog).

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I actually addressed the subject of werewolves back in 2013 in a post entitled Werewolves: A Magical Perspective. Reading through Mr. Redfern’s post, I had to admire his flexibility of thought. In the article that I cited for the magical perspective piece, he argues that werewolves and such like must be creatures of the Otherworld. In the recent article from Mysterious Universe, Mr. Redfern argues exactly the opposite – that there might be some animal, similar to a thylacine, indigenous to North America that is causing the Manwolf and werewolf sightings.

Now, certainly, Linda Godfrey, the well known writer on the Manwolf phenomenon, has posited that one explanation of these bipedal canid sightings might be a timber wolf mutation/adaptation that caused the animals to stand on their hind legs and adopt a bipedal gait. Anthropologists have great fun theorizing about why the first hominids decided that bipedalism was the way to go. If I really wanted to push this idea to its limits, I might theorize that one of the canid species of North America is developing human or near human (or, perhaps even greater than human) intelligence and has adapted bipedalism to provide greater visual and other sensory input for that growing brain. I will never say that something is impossible but I do feel that there are other and perhaps better solutions to this conundrum.

As interesting as such a theory might be, I am still bound to point out that there are sightings on the books that simply can not be explained by reference to a flesh and blood animal. While the thought of a cryptid canid roaming the woods of North America is enough to make me want to get out my hiking gear, such a cryptid would not account for witnesses who tell us that the creatures appear in their bedrooms (Manwolves in the Bedroom) or persons who have experienced a seeming shape shift in progress (The Creature of Mud Creek Road).

As with all things paranormal and Fortean, I think that we can not look to just one explanation for these events. We have to break out of the either/or mentality and instead espouse a both/and way of thinking. In the case of werewolf and Manwolf sightings, I think we can posit one or more of the following:

1) There is a cryptid canid loose in the forests of North America (and perhaps Europe, for the sake of the werewolf myth in the Old Country) that is bipedal and, at the very least, threatening, if not downright dangerous to humans.

2) There are creatures of the Otherworld coming through portals/window areas and some of those creatures either naturally appear as bipedal wolves or they have adapted that shape for the shock value. Remember that many Otherworld beings feed on energy and terror would certainly be a potent food source.

3) There is the possibility that First People, desiring to protect some of their sacred sites created these beings (thought forms) or summoned them from the Otherworld as guardians of their respective areas. Thought forms are notorious for going off on their own if not given a proper dissolution date or if the creator of the thought form dies before dissolving his or her creation.

4) There are magicians in the world capable of forming an etheric shell that could be made to resemble a wolf or Manwolf. Sighting of someone working this type of rare magic would likely result in a report of seeing a human shift into something other.

5) There are magic workers in the world as well as Faerie beings who can use the power of glamour to make a human being see whatever the worker wants them to see.

6) Finally, there is also the remote possibility that there are actually people in the world who are capable of making a real, physical transition from one form to another. As I have said many times before in these pages, I feel that the power outlay for such a transformation would require the assistance of a Major Being (god, archangel, etc.) but I could be wrong and I do not want to take this completely off the table. As Linda Godfrey says, though, I am waiting for someone to demonstrate.

I have not even listed the cases of mistaken identity, mental illness, willful deceit and what I call “I want to believe” syndrome where the person sees something mundane and translates it, in their mind, into a paranormal event. If we set aside the skepdebunker mindset, which longs for an easy, ‘reasonable’ explanation, then we are forced to admit that the issue is enormously complex and that we have to take a multifaceted approach to it. As with all things paranormal, I don’t think that we are ever going to see a Unified Field Theory. Instead, what I hope for, is more researchers who are willing to say, “well, it could be this but it could also be that and, if we think on this, we have to consider X as well . . .”

So, I say to Nick Redfern and Linda Godfrey and all the others out there researching this phenomenon and others, keep those theories coming! Half the fun of looking at the things that go bump in the night is seeing researchers think outside the box.


A New Manwolf Sighting

Linda Godfrey, the noted writer on all things werewolf/manwolf/dogman, posted this excellent sighting to her blog on 24 July. This report has it all: a midnight encounter with something unknown, a subsequent call to the police who not only believed the witness but advised her to be careful (with the unspoken implication that there had been other sightings) and footprint evidence that indicated a pattern of the creature “hanging out” around this home. Ms. Godfrey even included a witness sketch that will, if you are not a complete skepdebunker, raise the hair on your arms and the back of your neck.

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One of the things that struck me about this sighting was this paragraph:

They (deeply impressed canid footprints) were also very evident in the mulch around her house, especially under several windows. One of the windows belonged to the couple’s young teen, who has a special needs disorder. The teen had been telling the woman that there was a “monster” peering into the window almost every night for a month, she said, but it was never there by the time she got to the room, so she thought the teen was imagining things. She does not think that any more, she added.

So, this ‘critter’ has enough juice to give itself physical substance and has made itself known to the lady of the house, in the middle of the night, resulting in the woman’s complete lack of sleep that night. Additionally, the creature has been playing peek-a-boo with the above-mentioned teen, disappearing before anyone, other than the child, could see it. I think we can safely assume that the woman’s inability to doze off that night and the child’s reference to the ‘critter’ as a monster places this being firmly in the ranks of the Intruders. This one, like so many of its kind, seems to feed off fear and it has had an open season food source with the developmentally disabled teen (and now the mother). I’d love to see someone place a circle of rock salt mixed with some silver shavings around that house (both etheric repellents), give it a good strong magical charge and see what our midnight visitor had to say then.

Now, there are a subset of people who have suggested that the manwolf/dogman is a tulpa – a thought form – created by ancient shaman or other magicians to guard certain sacred sites. Given the behavior of some of these beings, I think this is a valid assumption. I am thinking, for example, of the 1950’s sighting in one of Ms. Godfrey’s books, where a gentleman is confronted by a manwolf standing on top of an Indian mound (if I recall correctly) and actually growling something that sounded like words. The witness got the message and backed off and there was no further interaction with the beast. Such an encounter clearly marks the actions of a magical guardian.

I do not think, though, that we can use this thought as a universal field theory of big hairy monsters. The behavior of some manwolves is entirely reminiscent of the Phantom Black Dogs of the UK, for example, in that they seem to favor cemeteries and other burial sites. Given that these creatures are often described as black or dark gray, I have been given to wonder if they are not an American iteration of the PBD, perhaps bent into a slightly different shape by the energies of this land. PBD’s, while sometimes scary to the percipient, do not usually cause harm (yes, I am aware of the very notable exceptions) and may, in some cases actually act as way-faring guardians, especially to women wandering alone at night. The PDB is strongly associated with death and, in some counties of the UK, the lore indicates that to see one portends a death in the family. I have not noted any such correlation amongst the manwolves here.

Coming back to our witness in Hartland, though, I do not see this ‘critter’ being a guardian. First of all, a thought form requires a lot of energy and concentration to form and then maintain. While the thought form of a skilled magician can certainly seem as real as the person sitting next to you, very rarely would one become powerful enough to actually clothe itself in etheric substance so that it could have the mass to make the paw prints seen at the scene. Essentially, we would be talking about a thought form that had escaped the control of its maker, developed a way to feed itself energy and eventually became strong enough to take on etheric substance. It is unlikely almost to the level of impossible for all three things to come together and stay together for this long.

In addition, if this were a programmed magical guardian, it would not be peeping in windows and startling people in the middle of the night. It would be responding to its programming, appearing when the humans breached its perimeter (wherever that might be) and doing its level best to either scare them off or do damage to keep them away. That damage might range from manipulating energies in the area to cause psychic anxiety all the up to physical harm (usually done by effecting the etheric body of the person). If this were a guardian that these people had accidentally provoked, I think they would know it.

As I said above, I think that this is one of the Intruders who is projecting a form that is guaranteed to give it plenty of fear energy to feed on.


Thinking about Holographic Projection

I have discovered the wonders of Oyster, an application on my iPad, that allows me to pay a monthly fee and have access to any book in their system. Although it is best used for hunting up a good novel to read, I have found several interesting paranormal titles as well. One of the books that I have had a chance to peruse recently is Nick Redfern’s Keep Out! Top Secret Places Governments Don’t Want You To Know About. While a great deal of the book is highly conjectural, I did find the following quote from the section on the Montauk research facility on Long Island quite interesting:

As for Bigfoot, and the notion that the Montauk team learned how to project imagery of such beasts from the dark depths of the human mind into quasi-physical form in the real world, isn’t that just too outlandish to warrant even a solitary comment? Not everyone thinks so. One of those who offered commentary on these matters is a man who features significantly in another chapter of this book: Gabe Valdez, a key player in the story of the alleged underground alien base at Dulce, New Mexico.

Valdez has uncovered information that leads him to believe that many New Mexico Bigfoot sightings are actually the work of a covert arm of the U.S. government possessing the ability to create holographic imagery of the hairy man-beasts. The purpose? To deter people from getting too close to some of its secret underground installations. It is fascinating to hear such a theory coming out of the mouth of a respected police officer who was consulted by the FBI on cattle-mutilation cases at Dulce in the 1970s. Even more fascinating, Valdez’s position on Bigfoot eerily parallels the stories surfacing from the Montauk research community.

I have maintained for some time that some UFO sightings around the country are simply people spying top secret military aircraft. I’ve also noted in my In Response to Alien Infiltration Vs. Mind Games post that it is quite conceivable that some abduction experiences are the result of government/military mind control experimentation. While Mr. Redfern does not cite a source for Gabe Valdez’ contention about holographic projection, I think that the idea deserves careful consideration.

First of all, let me be clear, I am not proposing that all Sasquatch and other paranormal sightings (i.e. the Manwolf and various other ‘monsters’ seen throughout the world) are simply the result of governments trying to protect their secrets via the use of advanced imaging tech. There are far too many sightings of such beings scattered across too broad a range to make such a contention tenable. What I am saying is that it is possible that some sightings are the result of military or intelligence groups trying to keep civilians out of areas that they do not want discovered or investigated.

We would like to believe that our governments operate entirely above the board and with total transparency but such a view would be totally naive. Declassified documents and information collected through acts like the US FOIA are constantly showing us that, in some sections of government secrecy is the default. Given this sort of institutional paranoia and access to cutting edge technology, we can certainly conjecture that classified agencies within the government have reached into their black bag of tricks in order to prevent incursions on their installations. In addition, I think it is reasonable to assume that these agencies might be developing weapons to use against our enemies and be using civilians as test subjects.

If one wanted to keep people out of a specific area, what better way to scare people off than by having them come face to face with what appeared to be a real live physical monster? If, for example, one were tasked with protecting a top secret establishment that was testing cutting edge military aircraft, prototypes that were far in advance of vehicles that we have flying right now, one might establish that base underground with very limited and difficult to find access (first ring of protection). The site might have conventional physical security measure like clear zones, fences, razor wire, lighting, alarms and patrol personnel (second ring of protection). Before anyone got that far however, the insightful planner might want to establish a third ring of protection by scaring any but the most determined intruder out of the area before they ever encountered the hardened perimeter. The use of psychological warfare methods – such as our holographic projector theory – would fit nicely here. If people are frightened away from the area before they ever realize there is anything out there, so much the better.

My counter to this idea is that, if the place became known for a particular type of ‘monster’, it might actually draw interested investigators into the area. I find it far more likely that these covert agencies are simply testing their psychological warfare operations on innocent civilians.

The idea of using holographic projections to frighten people may seem far fetched but we know that CIA, in a well documented case involving Major General Edward Lansdale, used the myth of the aswang to good effect against Filipino rebels. Lansdale planted stories of aswang attacks near a rebel stronghold and then arranged fake vampire attacks in the area to scare the rebels into abandoning their position. This event occurred in the 1950’s. Imagine what a psy-ops group equipped with holographic projectors could do to an enemy with a native superstition. I have to wonder if some of the reports of werewolf/manwolf type creatures and other monsters in the Middle East, during the recent conflicts there, were not experiments or actual operations of the psychological warfare units. After all, the djinn of Arabic legend are known shape shifters and beings that frighten the heck out of many people in Muslim countries.

Given what we know about government psy-ops, I think that the use of holographic projection or other psychological warfare techniques are issues that we need to keep in the back of our mind while speaking with witnesses.


Psychic Backlash: Considerations

I could not help but notice this interesting article by Nick Redfern on the Mysterious Universe website. Let’s begin with a quote from the article that sums things up:

Sometimes, when a person becomes immersed in an investigation to a very deep and significant degree, the phenomenon under the microscope appears to realize that it is being watched and responds in violent, and sometimes even deadly, fashion.

It says something about our modern day indoctrination into materialism and scientism when people make statements like this. Since the paranormal world is not a world that can easily be placed under a microscope and examined, since it can not be taken apart and broken into its constituent elements, since it consistently operates in a way that confuses we modern humans and often seems to refuse to respond to the laws of Newtonian physics, humankind is forced to draw back from it and use one of its great defense mechanisms – turning the blind eye (also known as ‘if I ignore you; you aren’t there’).

There will always, though, be those folks who are curious. People like myself who are fascinated by the unseen and/or the strange, people whose imagination is fired by the idea that there might be forms of life out there that we do not yet fully understand, people who are willing to set aside the religion of materialistic scientism for moment and see what native peoples and folklore and (gasp) magical texts have to say about a world that most people do not see. Some of these people go on, take the plunge and enter into the magical world. Others are not quite able to do that but, with varying degrees of open mind, continue to investigate. Some of the investigators actually end up out in the field, trying to look directly at the things that most people try to ignore and often do ignore with great success.

As someone who lives in a world where spirits of all kinds are just as real as the consensual reality that most people agree to, I confess to giggling when I read an article like this. I know that I should not but really . . . you stuck your nose into a serious paranormal occurrence and something happened! Shocking!! Just because something does not register on the K2 meter or refuses to come out and play even though you leave bait behind for it, does not mean that it does not exist and it can not effect this reality.

I have, of late, been doing some serious evocation work (I may write about it at some point if the being I am working with is amenable) and I have seen some things happen in my life that I can only attribute to the workings of that being. Granted, much of what has gone on has been serious internal change for me and a process of realization that was triggered by this work but I have also seen some serious, “real world” changes happening around me. While the people in the article complained of psychic backlash, I have seen things take a definitive turn for the better as the result of my interaction with this Otherworld being.

If, however, I had been fool enough to go and jam a stick into a hornet’s nest of negative activity, then I would not have been surprised at all had I gotten stung, not once, but repeatedly. I know that I sound like a one note choir sometimes, but I can not stress enough the benefit of having someone on every investigation team (or at least available to the solo practitioner for consult) who knows the ins and outs of the Otherworld. Stop for a moment and think what happens if you lock eyes with another person who does not know you. At the very least, you are going to make that person uncomfortable. If that individual has an aggressive bent, then they might just see your staring as a challenge. If this is true of every day human beings, why would it not be true of beings who live in another world and who seem to play by very different rules from ours (at times). You might not get punched in the jaw but a being of the Otherworld, even one of limited power, can certainly manipulate energies so as to make you uncomfortable or worse.

I support people who investigate these mysteries. I understand the intellectual curiosity that provokes people to dig into these areas, to try to see what it is that people are reporting first hand. I also know that dealing with Otherworld beings can be extraordinarily beneficial but the investigator, whether he or she likes it or not, has to follow the same rules as the successful evocator. The evocator spends time and effort coming to a good knowledge of the being that they seek to evoke. The investigator must ease into the investigations in the same way, trying, once natural causes have been set aside, to determine what is being dealt with and if there is any need to shield themselves (or others) from possible harmful repercussions.


Thoughts on The Real Men in Black (Redfern)

A while back, I published this post on the Men in Black. In that post, I gave a brief overview of some of my thinking on the subject and put forward the seemingly wild conjecture that the MIB might actually be entities moving into our world to try to move us away from the clutches of the Intruders. As I noted in that article UFOlogy is not one of my primary areas of interest but I do find the MIB phenomenon interesting as a sort of modern day monster story so I picked up a copy of Nick Redfern’s book The Real Men in Black to glean more information.

As I have said in other articles, Mr. Redfern’s work sometimes passes into ‘what horrors have we yet to discover’ mode but the man is trying to make a living selling books. He has to appeal to a wider audience than just egg-headed folklore geeks like myself. Despite this tendency to the sensational and a habit of re-using cases throughout his many books, Mr. Redfern is my go-to person if I want a fairly wide ranging, informative, easy to read introduction to a topic. This author did not fail me with The Real Men in Black; the book is well researched and provides an extensive bibliography for anyone interested in exploring the subject more deeply. Be forewarned though . . . one of the points that Mr. Redfern makes repeatedly in this book is summed up in a quote from Fortean researcher Brad Steiger:

The Men in Black are real, and if you truly devote yourself to pursuing this, then one can become in great danger. We’re up against something that none of us can truly comprehend.

While I am not sure how dangerous the MIB are, it does seem that paying attention to them draws their attention to you and that attention can be distinctly creepy. Be aware of this and prepared to deal with it if you choose to research this topic in any depth.

About the book . . . it is divided into two sections. In the first part of the work, you will find a general overview of the history of the phenomenon with special attention paid to Albert Bender, Gray Barker and John Keel, the writers/researchers who brought forth the MIB myths as we have it today. Mr. Redfern then goes on to provide a sampling of cases from the seminal time period of the 50’s up to the present. In the second part of the book, Mr. Redfern brings forth the many theories about who the MIB’s are and where they come from. This section ranges from real life agents of government to over-enthusiatic members of UFO research groups on to the more sinister concepts such as demonic activity, tulpas/thought forms and/or time travelers from our distant future.

In the section on demonic intervention, Mr. Redfern speaks to what I think is the real point of the MIB mystery (setting aside the government agents for a moment). In this quote, the author has been speaking to Ray Boeche, an Anglican priest who has spent time studying the UFO and MIB phenomenon in depth:

Boeche cites the words of the late author/researcher Ivan Sanderson, whose influence on paranormal research still resonates nearly 40 years after his untimely passing. Sanderson asked: Are the Men in Black extraterrestrials, the descendants of extraterrestrials, or even the agents of extraterrestrials? Or, he wondered, do we need to allow for a totally new category of intelligent beings that are interacting with us? Boeche answers that “we must acknowledge a different category of being. We must awaken to the realization that we are caught in a web of deception, and that the web is closing in on us. We are being watched, probed, and manipulated by forces from outside our known physical universe. We are not alone, and we may not like it much when we find out what sort of company we have” (Boeche 1994).

While I put hellish demons fairly low on the list of possible Intruders, I think that Fr. Boeche is quite correct. There is too much of the UFO phenomenon and particularly abduction experiences that screams of Otherworld manipulation to ignore the thought that the Intruders have simply slipped into a guise that will make more sense and be deeply frightening to the modern homo sapiens.

The MIB could very well be entities from the Otherside as well, bent on keeping humans from the nasties that wish to prey on them but unfamiliar with the mechanics of moving through the etheric and into the physical. A being that was not comfortable with a physical form and not familiar with how to make it move would have all the hallmarks of an MIB – the form that is not quite right, awkward gait and posture, unawareness of social conventions, the feeling of the creeps that people get around them (human intuition recognizing something “other”), the hypnotic effect some MIB’s seem to have and their ability to disappear seemingly at will. In addition, a powerful entity from the Otherside might also interfere with electrical communication devices and, given that these beings seem to interact with humans only when they come through to warn someone off and have no social skills, what might be meant as a sincere warning to walk away from a dangerous situation could easily be taken as a threat or perhaps even voiced that way.

Again, I am not saying that my theory is the correct one. I would still be inclined to deal with an MIB as I would any Intruder unless I was absolutely convinced that I was correct. Still, in all that I have read about these beings, despite the horror they engender in some, I can’t help but feel a little sorry for them since they are so obviously out of step with what is going on around them..


Back to the . . . past?

What is one to make of a sighting like this one made by cryptozoologist JC Johnson in the Four Corners area? I find this sighting particularly interesting since there are multiple witnesses, a fact that helps to cut down on the possibility of mis-identification (at least in my view, skeptics would of course fall back on the tattered mass hallucination ‘explanation’ if they did not boldly assert that this experienced outdoorsman had seen a bear and mis-dentified it.) While I am not at all sure what this group saw, I am convinced that they saw something quite unusual.

Now, the article is titled “Relict Dire Wolf Sighting” and I am able to accept the possibility that JC Johnson and his fellow paddlers actually saw an extant example of a supposedly extinct species. They were in fairly deep wilderness after all and, as much as we would like to believe otherwise, humans do not have a complete catalog of all the interesting critters running around this planet. Personally, I would not be at all surprised if the thylacine actually survived its alleged extinction and it would not surprise me to find that the dire wolf had been pronounced extinct prematurely. If the coelacanth can come back from its Mezozoic extinction then anything is fair game in my book.

When we look at the sightings of things that look like dire wolves, though, we also have to consider witnesses who claim to have seen everything from mammoths to sabre-toothed tigers. Any aficionado of Nick Redfern’s books will have come across some interesting tales about sightings of prehistoric creatures. If I recall, Redfern’s book Monster Diary actually had a whole chapter on sightings of prehistoric beasts that appeared to the witnesses to be ghosts or specters of some sort. I am minded, too, of the work of Linda Godfrey where, in her discussion of manwolves, she also reports on encounters with what she calls bearwolves and relates them to the prehistoric amphycyon.

So, in some cases, like the one we are looking at, the witnesses seem to see a solid flesh and blood animal while in other instances, the creature appears more spectral in nature. Sounds suspiciously like the Phantom Black Dogs of British fame – sometimes appearing as a dog so real one could reach out and pet it and at other times only manifesting as the sound of a dog trailing the witness or as a ghost hound that could be seen through. PBD’s are, very obviously, creatures of the Otherside but a wooly mammoth or a dire wolf?

As I said, I am not ready to say with certainty that these sightings are not examples of relict populations of some of these species but I would like to propose an alternative solution. Does anyone recall the BBC science fiction series Primeval? In that show, a series of anomalies opened throughout the British Isles (and later throughout the world) allowing creatures from both the past and future to access our time. While the show is pure fiction, we have talked enough about the premise of portals to the Otherside in these pages to look at the idea that portals might just be admitting more than the Intruders and other spiritual beings.

One of the things one learns very quickly, in doing magic, is that time is actually quite relative. I can not count the number of times that I have been in meditation or ritual and felt that I had been there for hours only to discover that only a few minutes had passed. Conversely, I have had the experience of thinking I was only spending a few minutes working an exercise only to discover that an hour or more had passed. Spirits are notorious for not “grokking” human time schedules – one of many reasons why you have to be very specific with spirits about the time frame for a working while at the same time using time referents they understand such as sun and moon phases or other natural cycles.

So, time has little meaning on the Otherside. In addition, you have to remember that almost all magicians are agreed that anything that has existed at any time has imprinted its energy on the “astral” somewhere – thus the talk about things like the Akashic records where all human actions are supposedly recorded. So, let’s take a look at a couple of scenarios . . .

Let’s say that Jane Doe is out for her morning run in Seattle. She is traveling along a marked path that leads through some dense brush. The run is going well, her body is flooded with endorphins and the rhythmic motion of her movement is putting her into a trance-like state. What Jane does not know is that she has a touch of clairvoyance from her Irish grandmother. As she sinks into a trance her inner vision opens – just a little – and she looks straight into the astral and sees what appears to be the shade of a saber tooth tiger, stalking through the brush. She is fully locked into the vision at this point, can actually “hear” the creature crunching through the brush and perhaps even smell it. Viola’, strange sighting report and very frightened witness.

In the case of JC Johnson, we have someone who is traveling along a river that has known Anasazi sites. These people were a mystery themselves since they seemingly vanished in a short period of time. There seems to be a good correlation between portals and Native American sites, particularly the prehistoric sites such as Anasazi ruins or the Midwestern mounds. We do not know, really, what triggers some of these portals or why they manifest certain creatures (stuff for serious magical research, actually) but, in this case, the portal in the area coughs up the fully manifest (i.e. it looks like a physical animal) dire wolf. Note that in the sighting, the dire wolf seemed to follow the paddlers for a while and then was lost to sight. Perhaps it went back to the portal, or perhaps, it simply lost congruence and disappeared.

Now, please remember this is wild conjecture on my part. I have never heard of any magician summoning a prehistoric animal into manifestation. But given all the strangeness out there, if we really stop to look, this idea of portals or window areas carries a lot of weight, especially when it is coupled with magical theory.