“Spring Heeled Jack” figure spotted
A few months back I wrote a post about the stories behind “Spring Heeled Jack”:
Read again if you would like to http://the-magic-bullet.tumblr.com/post/8770716757/legends-of-spring-heeled-jack-reports-of-his
Haunted Wandsworth. Picture: James Clark
Paranormal experts and monster hunters have been queuing up to give their interpretation of a mysterious “dark figure with no features” spotted in Ewell last month.
Scott Martin and his family were travelling home by taxi on Tuesday, February 14, at about 10.30pm when they saw the terrifying figure they have likened to the legendary Spring Heeled Jack dart across the road before leaping 15ft over a bank as they approached Nescot College on the Ewell bypass.
The couple, an accountant and a manager of a building company from Banstead, their four year old son and the taxi driver all reported seeing the same figure.
So spooked were the family that their son was too scared to sleep on his own that night while the taxi driver admitted he didn’t want to drive back alone.
Theories put forward to explain the apparition include the road being haunted, natural scientific phenomena and even that it was an alien life form.
Jack Bowman, 32, writer and director with the Wireless Theatre Company who produced a three part radio series on the legend of Spring Heeled Jack, said: “What absolutely intrigues me about this is that Spring Heeled Jack hasn’t been seen since 1986.
“He’s pretty much been forgotten but here in 2012 he is being talked about again. I don’t for a second doubt that the family was terrified or what they had seen.
“He’s probably a physical phenomenon. He was witnessed by two people, a child and a taxi driver so he’s something physical which rules out any ghosts.
“A scientific explanation might be that he was an extra terrestrial entity for example and possibly an alien.
“If he came from somewhere with greater gravitational pull he would be able to jump higher.”
Neil Arnold, 37, a self proclaimed full time monster hunter and author who has been investigating strange phenomena for 20 years, said: “I don’t think that what they saw has got anything to do with Spring Heeled Jack.
“He began life around 1837 pretty much around Kent, London and Surrey and basically attacked people.
“He dressed in very dark garb and a black coat. They said he used to spit blue flames in people eyes. Most of the time he would attack women, rip their clothes off and then run off.
“About three of four years ago I got a report of a woman driving when a dark figure walked across the road and she crashed her car to avoid it. I spoke to her and she was absolutely terrified. So witnesses are clearly seeing something.
“The trouble is that stuff happens all the time and it never gets explained.
“I would say if this was a normal person, something which seems unlikely, then we are probably dealing with a haunted road or road apparition of some sort.
“People used to say Spring Heeled Jack was an alien or a ghost. I’m not sure but I think he could have been a prankster which got out of control.”
The original story was one the most read articles on our website epsomguardian.co.uk over the past fortnight.
One reader said: “The theory was that SHJack was an alien from a heavy gravity planet. No explanation in either case of how he got here.
“Possibly the planet he is from regards him as a criminal and he’s sent here because he is as insane as we are.
“With only one of his kind here it would be a kind of hell.”
UFO Researchers Seek ‘The Truth’
With so much planet hunting and spotting going on, we are in a showdown to see whether the universe is perhaps chock-full of extraterrestrial life.
Distant starfolk is one thing. Having ET stopovers here on Earth, via UFOs, is another. And that was just the topic du jour here at the 38th Annual International UFO Symposium, subtitled An Estimate of the Situation: The ET Hypothesis, held August 10-12 and sponsored by the Denver-based Mutual UFO Network, Inc., or MUFON for short.
As a yearly affair, the symposium provides a platform for specialists and investigators that delve into UFOs, purported military cover-ups and denials, physical evidence surrounding UFOs, as well as those “high strangeness” encounters with alien visitors.
The MUFON summit brought together more than 500 people – a true gabfest for the flying saucer devotee.
Passion for the truth
James Carrion, MUFON’s International Director, said the organization is fervent about resolving the scientific enigma known as unidentified flying objects.
“To me, it’s all about the truth. I have a passion for the truth,” Carrion told SPACE.com.
Still, after decades of pursuing “the truth” behind UFOs, Carrion admitted that the quest is befuddling. “Why is it always within out of reach…kind of there, but it’s not there?”
A new MUFON initiative being implemented this year is outreach to engage mainstream scientists, Carrion said, to assist in taking a more detailed look at the data. An open letter to the professional scientific community is now being drafted, to be issued before year’s end, he said.
“We have to gain respectability here … so we’re trying to kick-start intellectual curiosity out there,” Carrion added. “We know that there are folks in academia who have an interest, but they don’t know what to do with it.”
The MUFON strategy initially centers on the hypothesis that UFOs are human-manufactured and then evaluate the data amassed to date against that premise, Carrion advised. “If this triggers your intellectual curiosity … help us out,” he said.
Carrion said that MUFON is also forming two research teams: One to dive into the history of “UFOlogy” and government archives, the other to probe into the abduction encounters.
“I’m a skeptical believer,” Carrion pointed out. “I’ve never seen a UFO. But I’ve read enough of our own evidence. There’s something real to this. To me, it’s an issue of what is it?”
Tell it like it is
For nuclear physicist Stanton Friedman, there is no doubt that some UFOs are alien spacecraft. Moreover, the subject of flying saucers, in his view, represents a “Cosmic Watergate” - a colossal government cover-up.
Friedman is a globe-trotting lecturer on UFOs and is the original civilian investigator of the celebrated UFO crash case in Roswell, New Mexico. That out-of-the-blue happening supposedly occurred some 60 years ago, in 1947, involving no less than two crashed saucers, strewn debris and recovered alien bodies, he reported at the MUFON meeting.
“I come on very, very strong. I’m not an apologist UFOlogist…I tell it like it is,” Friedman told SPACE.com. He senses that a “big sea change” is taking place on several fronts.
“My overall impression is that people are more ready to accept [UFO visitation] because the world has changed…space travel being an important part of that,” Friedman noted. “What I’m saying is that the notion that most people don’t believe in UFOs isn’t true.”
Also, the media is giving UFO sightings a much fairer shake than in the past, Friedman suggested, citing not only Roswell coverage, but the reporting of UFO sightings made at O’Hare Airport late last year and more revelation concerning the Phoenix lights saga of March 1997.
“I don’t look for advocacy…I want fairness,” Friedman added. “I feel the world is ready. I’m outspoken, yes. But I try to make it a rule: Fact in hand before mouth in gear.”
UFOs as visitors from afar would be a simple, easy-to-grasp explanation, suggested George Knapp, an investigative reporter for KLAS-TV in Las Vegas, Nevada. But he wonders if there isn’t a mind-bending finding waiting at the bottom of the UFO barrel.
“It seems to stay one or two steps ahead of what we can do…from airships to the saucers, to giant flying triangles…almost teasing, taunting, or inspiring,” Knapp told SPACE.com. Given cutting-edge physics, talk of the multi-verse and parallel universes, along with threshold biological and computer work, there are fundamental paradigm shifts ahead, he said.
“Although we can’t figure out a way to get there…doesn’t mean they can’t figure out a way to get here,” Knapp said. Involved in UFO reporting for some two decades, Knapp said he’s committed to the journalistic credo that the public has a right to know.
“But you know what? Maybe not! It goes against everything in my professional life that I believe. What if it’s not something we should know? That the truth is so unsettling that our social institutions would, in fact, crumble,” Knapp confided.
Knapp underscored the prospect that perhaps we Earthlings live in the middle of some other kind of intelligence. Perhaps our planet is nothing more than a cosmic drive-in theater, he added, and UFOs skim in and out of our skies just to watch goofy movies.
“And if it’s something else - like they live here among us and everything we do is like being in a glass shower - people are going to go crazy. So maybe there is a reason for keeping this secret…and a need for government cover-up which I believe there is,” Knapp said.
Knapp’s on-air investigative work focuses primarily on government corruption and organized crime. But asked about the angle that his next investigative piece on the UFO phenomenon will take, he quickly responded. “Nothing I’m going to tell you about.”
Albert Bender and International Flying Saucer Bureau (IFSB)
In 1953 a man by the name of Albert K. Bender was running an organization called the International Flying Saucer Bureau (IFSB) and editing a little publication called Space Review that was dedicated to news of flying saucers. The IFSB had a small membership despite its rather grandiose title, and Space Review reached at best, no more than a few hundred readers. But they were all deeply devoted to the idea that flying saucers were craft from outer space.
In common with other true believers, these saucer buffs were convinced that they were in possession of a great truth, while most of the rest of the world remained in darkness and ignorance. They felt very important, and thus it was with a sense of surprise, even shock, that they opened up the October 1953 issue of Space Review and found two unexpected announcements: “LATE BULLETIN”.
A source which the IFSB considers very reliable has informed us that the investigation of the flying saucer mystery and the solution is approaching its final stages. This same source to whom we had referred data, which had come into our possession, suggested that it was not the proper method and time to publish the data in Space Review.
The second and more shocking item read: STATEMENT OF IMPORTANCE: The mystery of the flying saucers is no longer a mystery. The source is already known, but any information about this is being withheld by order from a higher source. We would like to print the full story in Space Review, but because of the nature of the information we are very sorry that we have been advised in the negative.
The statement ended with the ominous sentence, “We advise those engaged in saucer work to please be very cautious.” Bender then suspended the publication of Space Review, and dissolved the IFSB. The tone of the announcements would have been familiar to anyone who had much experience with occult organizations. Occultists often claim they are in the possession of some great secret which, for equally secret reasons, they cannot reveal. Even the appeal, “please be very cautious” was not unique.
It made those engaged in “saucer work” feel more important. After all, who is going to bother to persecute you if you are just wasting your time? Shortly after Bender closed down his magazine and organization he gave an interview to a local paper [in] which he asserted that he had been visited by “three men wearing dark suits” who had ordered him “emphatically” to stop publishing material about flying saucers. Bender said that he had been “scared to death” and that he “actually couldn’t eat for a couple of days”.
Some of Bender’s former associates tried to press for a more satisfactory explanation, but to all questions he replied either cryptically or not at all. This state of affairs created considerable confusions among the flying saucer buffs. What were they to think about such a strange story? Some were openly skeptical of Bender’s tale. They said that his publication and organization were losing money and the tale of the three visitors who ordered him to stop publishing was just a face-saving gesture.
Yet, as the years went by the “Three Men In Black” began to sound more respectable and they took on a life of their own. Some of Bender’s friends first thought that the Men In Black were from the Air Force or the CIA, and indeed Bender’s original statements do seem to sound like [the men could have been] government agents. But after a while the Men In Black began to assume a more extraterrestrial, even supernatural air. Finally in 1963, a full decade after he first told of his mysterious visitors, Albert Bender elaborated further in a book called “Flying Saucers and the Three Men In Black”. It was a strange, confused and virtually unreadable book that revealed very little in the way of hard facts, but did significantly enhance the reputation of the Men In Black as extraterrestrials.
The book also introduced into the lore “three beautiful women, dressed in tight white uniforms.” Like their male counterparts in black, the women in white had “glowing eyes”. But even before the publication of Bender’s book in 1963, the Men In Black (or MIBs as they were known to insiders) had already been reported to be visiting others besides Albert Bender. By now they have been reported so often that they have become an established part of the UFO history.
The Men In Black, naturally enough,wear black suits. They also usually wear sunglasses, presumably to disguise their “glowing eyes”. Most of them are reported to be short and delicately built with olive complexions and dark, straight hair. They are often described as “Gypsies” or “Orientals”. Most MIBs are reported to travel in groups of three and usually ride around in shiny, new, black cars, often Cadillac’s. These cars are even supposed to “smell new”. Sometimes the MIBs pose as investigators from the CIA or some other government agency. They may flash official- looking credentials, but these can never be checked out. Occasionally the MIBs display badges withstrange emblems on them, or have unrecognizable symbols painted on their cars.
The purpose of the visits seems to be to get people who have seen UFOs to stop talking about them, of somehow to confuse and frighten the witnesses. People who worry about MIBs tend to lump all sorts of mysterious visitors into the category, even if they don’t wear black, have no glowing eyes nor show any of the familiar MIB characteristics.
The primary qualification for the Men In Black is that they be of unknown origin, and that they appear to act oddly and vaguely menacing. Some of those who write about UFOs and other strange phenomena rather casually mention “countless” cases where people have been visited by Men In Black.
In reality these “countless cases” are difficult to pin down. In fact, there really seems to be a rather small number of MIB cases where there are any details available at all. The impression given by the writers is that the publicized cases represent only “the tip of the iceberg”.
Beyond these, say the writers, are many “more sensational” cases, the details of which cannot be revealed for a variety of reasons. In any event solid evidence for a vast number MIB cases is lacking. But we are, after all, dealing with beliefs as much as with reality, and ‘impression’ is an important one.
Who Really Engraved Dighton Rock?
The tide receded in the Taunton River exposing a sandstone rock that has been speculated about for centuries.It was possibly a glacial remnant of the Ice Age that was deposited off the Berkley, Massachusetts coast over 10, 000 years ago. In 1680, the curiosity of Reverend John Danforth caused him to draw out markings found on the large rock for further study. This remarkable sketch, now at the British Museum, has helped verify the authenticity of petroglyphs incised on the rock. Ten years after Danforth, Reverend Cotton Mather wrote a book titled, “The Wonderful Works of God Commemorated.” In it he describes a curious rock, partially submerged, in a New England river bed He also mentions the dimensions and strange, deeply engraved characters that look like ideas of others who were presently unknown. His details describe Dighton Rock.
When it was brought up to the surface and out of the water, the six sided rock measured approximately 5 feet high, 10 feet wide, and 11 feet long. Its weight is about 40 tons. His sketches were not quite accurate. The inscriptions were on the side facing the ocean and, apparently, only a few feet of the top was exposed for a few hours before the sea level would rise and hide the rock. He preserved on paper only what he could see. Once it was taken from the water, complete carvings could be seen, but this would not happen until 1963.
Scholars and historians throughout the years have given their own interpretations from Biblical to babblings, but the intense work the lines and drawings would require plus the location in the water, make the latter less applicable. In 1916, Professor Edmund B. Delabarre resided nearby. With much study, open interpretation from others including Native Americans, and finally frustration, he was about to call it a farce until 1918 when he spotted something he hadn’t detected before. A date of 1511 with the name Miguel Corte Real, as leader of the Indians, and a Portuguese shield all came to light. He dove back into research and began to believe some of the Indians’ stories combined with earlier researchers.
Vikings, Phoenicians, American Indians, Portuguese, and even Chinese have all arguably been given credit as the creators of the engravings. Some are quite preposterous as claims, but others hold some real merit. Dr. Manuel L. Da Silva, formerly of Portugal before becoming an American citizen, also a noted doctor and historian, has done many years of research along with his wife, and spoken about Dighton Rock with expertise. His observation that Portuguese people were in the area before Columbus came to the new world is due to past generations of eastern coast families in Canada and the United States having Portuguese names. This includes Native American tribal names. He has also done comparative research in writing characteristics.
Danforth’s early copies have helped determine the original surface before vandals had defaced portions of Dighton Rock. To prevent anyone from further damaging it, a glass case and walled museum was erected around it. A large plot of land where it now rests was designated Dighton Rock State Park once it was moved and enclosed in 1963. In 1980 it garnered a position on the National Register of Historic Places.
Our Lady of Fatima and the Miracle of the Sun
The Miracle of the Sun is one of those events that was witnessed by as many as 100,000 people in 1917 on October 13th in Fatima, Portugal.
The miracle was told by Lúcia Santos and her cousins, siblings Jacinta and Francisco Marto. in the area that it would arrive on the above date at noon who were given this information by Our Lady of Fatima, one claim that most newspapers claimed was ridiculous, however, people flocked to the area on the off chance that the miracle did occur.
According to tales of the time, Our Lady of Fatima came to the three children on May 1, 1917 telling the children that she was Our Lady of the Rosary, which is another name that Our Lady of Fatima goes by, as well as a combination of the two. The woman told the children of the coming events and urged them to go tell the others. It was believed that this was a sight of the holiest of those that people believed in and instantly many people believed the children. In order to illiterate the point, the children said that Our Lady of Fatima came to them every month up until the miracle occurred.
Our Lady of Fatima is the one that people believe to be involved in other miracles and warnings of the Miracle of the Sun. The most notable is that the Lady of Fatima gave a warning of the second war, by lighting up the sky in such a way that many people believed that there was a great fire going on and called the firefighters. A little over a month later, Hitler seized Austria. To this day the Lady of Fatima is viewed as one of those figures that if people have the opportunity to see, they are seeing a miracle.
The Miracle of the Sun is the most notable miracle of Our Lady of Fatima. During this time, people claimed that there was rain clouds and a torrential downpour occurred. The clothes of everyone standing there waiting for this miracle to occur was soaked and the ground seeping with moisture. Then, just as suddenly as the clouds had appeared, they rolled out suddenly and the Sun shown. However, it was the manner in which people reported the Sun that gave the occasion the title the Miracle of the Sun. Suddenly, everyone reported that their clothes became dry almost in an instant, while the moisture on the ground was no longer there. Other people reported that the Sun was making the entire area seem as if the colors of the rainbow danced along the ground and on the bodies of those standing there witnessing it happen. However, even other spectators reported that the Sun seemed to be moving as if it were dancing. Still, others, never reported seeing the Sun do anything differently than what it would normally do.
Those that were at the event believed that it was the end of the world since the Sun seemed to be getting closer and closer. After the event occurred, the number of people who had witnessed something were still amazed at what they had seen. Still, those that had been standing right with these people who reported seeing such actions, did not see a thing. There has been many speculations as to whether this was a true miracle or not. Some newspapers of the time claiming that it was a made up story to get people to believe that the children were lying and had never seen Our Lady of Fatima. Still, despite the criticism, people still believe that the Miracle of the Sun occurred.
Faith Healing: An enduring yet controversial practice
Throughout the history of humans, faith healing has played a major role in the diagnosis and curing of illness.
According to the New Testament, one of the earliest doctors using faith healing was Jesus Christ, who healed the blind, lepers and the deaf, among many others. Since the life of Christ there have been other faith healers who have invoked the power of God or the Holy Spirit for purposes of healing.
Ancient cultures also often invoked higher powers for healing purposes. The Egyptians practiced pseudo-scientific faith healing procedures, and often invoked the power of different gods for different ailments.
A number of rituals and practices are used in faith healing. These include praying, anointing, blessing, exorcisms, religious readings, the use of amulets and laying hands on the sick person. Specific holy book verses are reportedly better for healing, and certain oils are infused with healing power. Some prayers will be made one-on-one with an ill individual, while other types of faith healing advocate large groups of people praying over an individual. Some faith healers using faith healing in conjunction with Western medicine, but others rely solely on faith healing.
Accounts of mysterious and miraculous faith healing can be found throughout history. After being told he could not be cured, a doctor in 1887 was miraculously healed of heart disease. In 1991, an American woman experienced the powers of faith healing when her prayer invoked God to remove a suspicious lump from her breast. The woman, after visiting a doctor on a Friday afternoon, focused her energies on healing over the weekend. When she went back to the doctor, the lump had disappeared completely. A Canadian woman witnessed the power of faith healing by prayer after she came to God and asked for her sister to be healed. Shortly after her prayer, the woman reported feeling “as if a heavy weight” had been lifted from her. Her sister, who had been for 10 years afflicted with mental illness, was miraculously healed by the power of God, according to the woman.
In the present-day Middle East, faith healing is practiced alongside modern medical procedures for both physical and mental illness. Many healing practices in the Middle East are performed by women, and some women make pilgrimages to the shrines of saints who they can invoke for healing. The use of amulets, small pieces of paper, cloth or other materials, is common in the region. Prayer and chanting is also common.
Scientists who have attempted to study faith healing have produced conflicting results. A 2001 study on persons with rheumatoid arthritis concluded that patients who received in-person prayer showed “significant overall improvement” in their condition. A later study, on the other hand, determined no effect of prayer and criticized the earlier study for misinterpreting data. Although many scientists and theologians believe that practices such as faith healing can not be accurately measured by scientific means, others continue to study the phenomena.
Critics of faith healing argue that it is not a reliable form of treatment. Thousands of people have died after relying on faith healing, including a number of children. In the United States there have been numerous cases of children from faith healing households dying as a result of Measles, bacterial infections, diabetes complications and pneumonia, among other diseases. As a result many parents have been charged of neglect and even homicide and manslaughter after refusing treatment for their children.
Despite the controversy surrounding it, faith healing has been an enduring force and will likely exist for many years. Like the mysteries of other metaphysical phenomena, the mysteries of faith healing will very likely remain forever unsolved.
The Fresno Nightcrawler
The Fresno Nightcrawler
In late 2008, Jose, a Fresno resident, was woken late at night by his dogs barking in a very unusual way. When he checked the CCTV fitted to his house, he saw two odd creatures walking across his lawn. Jose was terrified but kept the tape and, eventually, approached Univision 21, a local TV channel about the incident. They, in turn, contacted Victor Camacho, a local UFO investigator and member of international body MUFON whose talk on the case brought it out into the open in 2008.
That holy trinity of separation, investigator to confidant to witness is very common, the information still held frustratingly out of arm’s reach and the situation isn’t helped any by some of the editing choices made on the video. For no readily apparent reason, a second of footage of an animatronic grey alien is used as a scene buffer, Camacho even apologising for this. Even worse, the footage itself is never spliced into the report. Instead, at several points we watch the footage from Jose’s CCTV camera being played on a TV which is in turn being filmed by another camera, the image all but lost beneath huge pixels, interference and a frankly surreal editing decision. It’s not even like the rest of the film hasn’t been post-produced, after all someone thought a second of animatronic Grey would be a good idea, but for some reason no one thought to splice in the original footage.
What’s tragic about this is that the Fresno Nightcrawlers might just be something incredible. The camera watches a tall, thin creature with no arms walk slowly across the lawn, stop and then proceed onwards. A few seconds later, a creature which looks for all the world like a billowing pair of trousers follows it, the flaps of it’s clothing, or body, clearly visible blowing in the wind. It’s less than two minutes long, you can barely see what’s there but what’s there looks strange, different, alien. If it’s a fake, it’s a great fake and the more you look, or squint, the more you see exactly how odd these creatures are. There’s a natural gait to their walk’ and they appear almost relaxed, ambling through Jose’s garden in the same way that people browse in a shop. They look confident, assured and crucially you see them moving for a relatively long time, something which is all but unheard of with most ‘alien’ videos. A couple of seconds, if you’re lucky, is usually all you get but here you get a clear view, a locked off camera and a chance to take a good look at whatever is using Jose’s lawn as a shortcut. Or you would do, if anyone had thought to encode the original film and upload it. Instead, you’re left squinting at something which might be incredibly important, on a TV screen, being filmed and shown on another TV screen. The million ring circus strikes again, the truth stays just outside the light.
James Burne Worson disappeared into thin air
On September 3rd, 1873 James Burne Worson, a man from Warwickshire, England, literally disappeared into thin air, leaving no trace as to how it happened, or where he went. Or so the legend goes.
Worson and two friends, Barham Wise, a linen draper, and Hamerson Burns, a photographer, were returning from a local pub after a night of drinking when Warson brazenly boasted about his skill as a long-distance runner. His friends then made up their minds to challenge Worson and decided that in order for him to prove his skill, he should run, non-stop, the 40 mile distance between Leamington and Coventry that night.
Worson, who was three-sheets to the wind, did not want to embarrass himself after such conceit, and promptly accepted to the challenge. It was agreed that Wise and Burns would follow along closely behind and keep watch from their horse and cart.
So the race began.
Worson managed the first few miles cheerfully, laughing and carrying on animated conversation with his challengers, when unexpectedly, his footing gave way and he stumbled, falling forward to the ground and then giving out the most ungodly scream. Without any warning, before Worson had time to collide with the ground below him, he disappeared into thin air, leaving nothing behind.
Burns and Wise, who were understandably stunned, hurried quickly to the nearest town to report what they had just witnessed to the authorities. They returned to the scene with scouts and searched the woods for many hours that night and though the area was thoroughly explored in the following days, the body of James Burne Worson was never found, nor an explanation for the manner in which he disappeared. That is to say of course, aside from the act of disappearing altogether.
This legend, often stated as fact alongside other “true” stories of mysterious disappearances, is most likely derived from a short story written by American author Ambrose Bierce titled An Unfinished Race, in which it ispositioned as a factual retelling of the tale. This is unlikely, as the first known materialization of the the strange yarn appears in Present at a Hanging and Other Ghost Stories, written by Bierce.
While the legendary tale of James Worson may have a fairly lackluster explanation, the story itself retains a bit of it’s eeriness when juxtaposed against the rather strange disappearance of Ambrose Bierce himself.
In the October of 1913, At 71 years of age, Bierce left his home in Washington DC to tour the Civil War battlegrounds, eventually passing into Mexico and joining the army of Pancho Villa as an observer, witnessing the Battle of Tierra Blanca during the Mexican Revolution.
His last known correspondence with the world was in a letter written in the Mexican city of Chihuahua in December 1913, sent to friend and San Francisco journalist Blanche Partington. He closed the letter by saying, ”As to me, I leave here tomorrow for an unknown destination,” and from that point, was never heard from again.
To date, no search has turned up any substantial clues about what exactly happened to Ambrose Bierce. Some say that he was executed by firing squad in the town of Coahuila, others that he committed suicide, and still, there are many who believe that he never went to Mexico at all.
Despite the arguments about the fate of Bierce, the one thing that investigators do agree on is that he left no trace. In an odd bit of foreshadowing, Ambrose Bierce had effectively vanished into thin air, much like his literary creation of James Worson.
Bloody Mary is a ghost or witch featured in English folklore. She is said to appear in a mirror when her name is called three times or sometimes more while in a dark room, depending upon the version of the story, often as part of a game or dare.
One of the more common ways participants attempt to make her appear is to stand before a mirror (usually in the dark) and repeat her name 3 times, though there are many variations including chanting more than 3 times, chanting at midnight, spinning around, rubbing one’s eyes, running the water, or chanting her name thirteen times with a lit candle. In some versions of the legend, the summoner must say, “Bloody Mary, I killed your baby.” In these variants, Bloody Mary is often believed to be the spirit of a young mother whose baby was stolen from her, making her mad with grief, eventually committing suicide. In stories where Mary is supposed to have been wrongly accused of killing her children, the querent might say “I believe in Mary Worth.” This is similar to another game involving the summoning of the Bell Witch in a mirror at midnight. The game is often a test of courage and bravery, as it is said that if Bloody Mary is summoned, she would proceed to kill the summoner in an extremely violent way, such as ripping their face off, scratching their eyes out, cutting their head off, driving them insane, bringing them into the mirror with her or scratching their neck, causing serious injury or death. Some think if she doesn’t kill the one who had summoned her then she will haunt them for the rest of their life. Other versions tell that if one chants her name thirteen times at midnight into a mirror she will appear and the summoner can talk to a deceased person until 11:08a.m., when Bloody Mary and the dead person asked to speak to will vanish. Still other variations say that the querent must not look directly at Bloody Mary, but at her image in the mirror; she will then reveal the querent’s future, particularly concerning marriage and children.
Bloody Mary Worth is typically described as a child-murderer who lived in the local city where the legend has taken root years ago, somewhere in the west. There is often a specific local graveyard or tombstone that becomes attached to the legend and a destination for legend trips.
On the other hand, various people have surmised that the lore about taunting Bloody Mary about her baby may relate her tenuously to folklore about Queen Mary I, also known as “Bloody Mary,” whose life was marked by a number of miscarriages or false pregnancies. Speculation exists that the miscarriages were deliberately induced. As a result, some retellings of the tale make Bloody Mary the queen driven to madness by the loss of her children. The mirror ritual by which Bloody Mary is summoned may also relate to a form of divination involving mirrors and darkness that was once performed on Halloween. While as with any sort of folklore the details may vary, this particular tale encouraged young women to walk up a flight of stairs backwards, holding a candle and a hand mirror, in a darkened house. As they gazed into the mirror, they were supposed to be able to catch a view of their future husband’s face. There was, however, a chance that they would see the skull-face of the Grim Reaper instead; this meant that they were destined to die before they married.
Eric and Pam Ellender Murder
The 1991 murders of Pam and Eric Ellender in Louisiana leaves the family with so many unanswered questions.
Christopher Prudhomme was arrested for the killings, but the family feels that there is more to the murders and more people involved than just Prudhomme. The family has asked that the investigation be re-opened. The Ellender’s were found murdered in their bedroom, dead of gunshot wounds.
Pam Littleton and Eric where married after college. They owned a home by Pam’s parents and Eric worked for her father. Pam and Eric had an infant girl a year after they were married. Every day, Pam and the baby would walk to her parent’s home so that they would never miss one moment of their granddaughters growing up. On February 11, 1991, Pam visited her mother and received a phone call from Eric saying he was home from work at 8:45pm and Pam left her parent’s home.
The next day, Pam never showed up at her parent’s home and no one had heard from Eric. Huey Littleton got a phone call from his mother saying that something was wrong, that she had the baby, and the Ellender’s were in their bedroom, and told him to call the police. The police went to the house and found Eric and Pam dead of gunshot wounds to the head and the baby was left alive in her bedroom.
Chris Prudhomme, 18 years old, was found with Eric’s car in Baton Rouge with three friends. Detectives interview Chris about the gun. He told them he used an automatic shotgun. He said that the gun was loaded. He said that he then went and shot Eric and Pam. He said that he was glad that he had killed them. Seventeen days later, he was found in his jail cell dead from hanging.
Huey Littleton is a licensed private detective and felt that there were too many lose ends. He found that Chris had belonged to a satanic group called the S.K.A.T.E.R (Satan’s Kids Against the Establishment). A girlfriend to one of the men in the group had told Huey about a meeting, where the group was concocting an alibi. The witness said that Chris and another guy broke into the house to steal, but high on LSD, they found the gun and killed the two as they slept.
Huey interviewed over 100 people. One witness, Nickie Alderson came forward and said that the S.K.A.T.E.R members had a party in the home after the deaths. She had seen people partying in the home and Chris was one of them. She asked whose house it was and Chris told her that he didn’t know. She said everyone was standing and sitting around and they were in their own worlds. There were drugs visible and they were snorting it off the table.
The next day, she saw the house on the news and realized that was the house she was at and saw what she did. However, the sheriff didn’t see it as reliable information. They had never seen any signs of a party in the house when they arrived. Another witness came forward and told that more than just one person molested the bodies of Pam and Eric sexually. Those facts came from a guy named Kip who was at the house.
Chip said that he had seen a video of what was going on at the house with the S.K.A.T.E.R members. Since Chris was dead, the next suspect in line was Atkins, who was with Chris when he was arrested in Baton Rouge. Atkins told Shawn Moody what had happened at the house. The wife was shot first and the husband was second. Atkins said that Chris did not shoot the Ellender’s, but was taking the rap for the leader of the S.K.A.T.E.R.
More people had plenty to say about the murders and the freakish party that was held after Eric and Pam were murdered. Then a girl named Pearl taped a conversation with her cousin Kim Manuel, who described the scene in the house that she herself was also in with the members. She said that Chris shot Eric and another guy shot Pam. They were going to kill the baby, but a girl that was there said no and took the baby into another room.
The grand jury heard the tape and return two counts of second-degree murder against Kim. Some felt that this was a way to get Kim to point fingers at others. One lawyer said that he felt that it was a scripted tape recording. Pearl stands by what she recorded. One year later, all charges against Kim were dropped, but she could be charged in the future.
Huey Littleton was disgusted that the charges were dropped and police have said that he no longer has any credibility with them. Sheriff Wayne McElveen said that they feel sorry for Mr. Littleton. But he has gone to far with finding witnesses that they don’t feel are telling the truth.
Huey feels that there was a cover up and destruction of evidence in this case and he will not rest until all involved are brought to justice. In 1995, three men were arrested for their involvement in this case. The case is still being pursued by the attorney generals office.
If all these people were involved and in the home, where did the evidence go and why are there no fingerprints anywhere in the home. This is a case that has three indicted, one dead and possibly more still walking around the streets.
The Virgin Mary Crying Blood
The Unsolved Mystery Of The Virgin Mary Crying Blood What causes the Virgin Mary Statue in California to cry blood tears?
People from everywhere wanted to see the statue that has become famous for weeping tears of blood The faithful people are calling it a miracle, while others are a bit skeptic. People have taken pictures and brought their families to see the weeping Virgin Mary in hopes of getting a glance at Virgin Mary Crying Blood. The statue is located in Sacramento at the Vietnamese Catholic Church. It was reported in 2005, that the miracle of the crying Virgin Mary was a blessing for all to see.
The tears of blood roll down her cheeks onto her robe. This statue is located outside the church and has become a part of history. The statue tests the faith of all who come to see it. Some believe that because of the state of the world has caused the Virgin Mary to weep tears of blood because of all the losses of life. Others believe that this was a mechanical achievement from parishioners. Many answers were needed before many would believe that this was indeed a miracle of faith.
For someone that has reservations about the weeping statue, it would be clearly obvious that the blood is flowing from the eyes when you look closely at the Virgin Mary. It does not appear that the statue has been touched in any way. Is it possible that the way the world is today has bought about another miracle to help people see what is wrong and how it affects the religious beliefs of many? Is it possible that this is a sign from God? Is this a sign that God wants the world to stop all the crime that has taken over? There are many stories about weeping icons that are seen as a miracle, but what does it mean?
Is this a sign from God that there is too much bloodshed? If you ask people who believe, they will tell you that they believe this is a sign that things have to change in the world. They will tell you that God wants love and peace in his world. If you ask people who do not believe, they will tell you that this is a new way to attract attention from the Catholic Church. No matter if you believe or not, one cannot mistake the tears of blood rolling down the Virgin Mary’s face.
Other miracles have been reported all over the world. It is possible that the belief in God does have a stronger present in the world. It is also possible that the people that have seen this incredible appearance are the ones that are chosen to save the world. Everyone has a different opinion of the weeping Virgin Mary, but the one thing that everyone can agree on is that it is a miracle that cannot be explained. This is just one of the fascinating unsolved mysteries that we may never know why or how this happened.
Unsolved Mystery Of The Phoenix Lights
How could thousands of people be so wrong about what they saw on that night back in March of 1997? In Nevada, Phoenix and Tucson, you could se the lights that lit up the sky.
No, it was not the city lights of Nevada, it was something in the sky. This mystery was called the Phoenix Lights. The span of the lights was said to be three hundred miles. The lights were seen between 7:30 PM and 10:30 PM. Two things were reported. A triangle shape appeared to be passing over the state while stationary lights were seen in Phoenix. The government described the Phoenix stationary lights as flares being dropped from a A-10 Warthog, many people had doubts.
One of the persons that saw a UFO, carpenter square shape in size, was the governor of Arizona at that time. The reports would soon become hot conversation as people described what they had seen. People in Prescott Valley and Prescott described seeing a large object blocking the stars in the sky. It was described as being huge. The cluster of lights that everyone had seen could not have been a plane or flares. The National UFO Reporting Center did receive a confirmation from an astrophotography that saw a V-shaped clutter of lights move from the northwest to the northeast.
An experienced aircraft flyer reported that he knows it was not a plane because it was moving slower than a plane and was only about one thousand feet above ground. Everyone saw the magical lights move across three states. No one was more surprised than the governor was. He never came forward. He held a press conference to say that they caught the person responsible. Of course, he would later go onto say that it was bigger than any aircraft he had ever seen and he knew his aircrafts. He said there was no way that what he saw was flares or an aircraft.
Was it a space ship flying over the earth seeing what we were doing? Was it looking for someone to analyze? Because there seems to be a logical explanation to the lights, we may never know what the truth is and what is not. One pilot for the National Guard said it was he that night dropping flares. The report of this explanation was not published until July of 1997. Everyone that seen the lights no it was not flares or an airplane. They saw lights in the sky that moved differently than planes and were shaped differently.
Is it possible that some day we will experience first hand an alien encounter? Could the government prevent this? Is there a cover up to hide the truth from us? If so, why? Why should we not be allowed to know that aliens have landed or that they are indeed visiting our skies? The Phoenix Lights are a mystery that may have already been answered behind closed doors. Will it be to late when we are finally told about all the mysteries around the world that come from the skies? It may already be to late.
The Salem Witch Trials and the Hauntings in Salem
The Salem witch trials occurred in colonial Massachusetts from 1692 until 1693.
The unusual actions of three young children sparked a series of inquisitions and executions unlike any ever experienced before or afterwards in America. So fantastic was the event and consequences of the trials, that they are still remembered over three hundred years later.
The whole scenario was prompted by the actions of three young girls. The girls suddenly began to display strange behavior. The unusual behavior included convulsive seizures, screaming obscenities, throwing objects, and uttering unusual and peculiar sounds. Doctors were called in to examine the girls. After careful examination, the doctors could not find any physical reasons for the actions. Europe and colonial American both had strong religious beliefs that taught that the devil gave supernatural power to his followers, and that the followers of the devil could at will control the actions of other people. With this mind set, the Puritan communities of Massachusetts came to the overwhelming conclusion that their colony had become overran with witches.
With this sentiment running amuck, officials started pressuring the young girls to reveal the names of the witches that had the girls under their control. After much questioning, the girls named a slave, a homeless beggar, and an elderly woman. The elderly woman and beggar both adamantly denied the charges, but the slave confessed. This ignited the great witch hunt. All three women were taken into custody, and other witches were sought. The girls were once again pressured to give more names. The girls accused a prominent church member. The community was stunned that witchery had infiltrated even the core of the church. The woman was brought before the officials for trial. The girls were brought in for the questioning. The girls began to imitate every movement or action that the woman did. If she bit her lip during questioning, the three girls would cry out in pain and would also be biting their lips. If the accused shuffled her feet, the girls would also make the same movements. Others in the assembly began to complain of not being in control of their movements and suffering from unexplained pains. This brought a swift verdict of witchy to the devoted church member.
The accusations and trials continued and led to over 200 people being accused of being practicing witches. Some of the accused were as young as four years old. Nineteen people were executed by being hung from the neck, and one person was executed by being crushed under rocks. Several other people died while in custody awaiting trial.
After close family members of officials began to be accused, it was decided that it would be better to allow practicing witches to run free than to unintentionally execute one innocent person. With this new direction of thinking, the colonial governor disbanded the inquiry being conducted by the local court.
Suspected paranormal events seem to permeate from the area. Buildings and other locations associated with the witch trial have an extensive history of being haunted. One location known as Gallows Hill has been the site for strange events and hauntings since the time of the executions. Observers are convinced that it is the persons condemned as witches that haunt the site. Saint Mary’s Cemetery is known for strange noises and a fast moving, glowing light that moves about the cemetery. The cemetery is also documented to have an overwhelming feeling of evilness. The feeling of evilness is contributed to the negative energy from the hauntings. Numerous homes and buildings that are associated with the events or persons of the trials are documented to be haunted by people that played major roles in the events.
The Salem witch trials occurred from a misunderstanding of the actions of children. The Puritans’’ belief of supernatural power being given to followers of the devil seemed to be the mostly likely answer to a problem that seemed to have no answer. The sad outcome of the witchery inquiry has led to countless reports and tales of hauntings, ghost sitings, and paranormal occurrences. As with any significant event, the people and happenings will live on through the retelling of the tale and the hauntings that the event invokes.
History on the Ouija Board
The Ouija board possibly derived from the French and German/Dutch words for “yes”, oui and ja), also known as a spirit/fire key board or talking board, is a flat board marked with the letters of the alphabet, the numbers 0-9, the words ‘yes’ ‘no’ ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’, and other symbols and words are sometimes also added to help personalize the board. It is a registered trademark of Hasbro Inc.”, which markets and distributes the Ouija Board as part of its line of board games. It uses a planchette (small heart-shaped piece of wood) or movable indicator to indicate the spirit’s message by spelling it out on the board during a séance. The fingers of the séance participants are placed on the planchette, which then moves about the board to spell out words or become physically manifested. It has become a trademark that is often used generically to refer to any talking board.
Following its commercial introduction by businessman Elijah Bond on July 1, 1890, the Ouija board was regarded as a harmless parlor game unrelated to the occult until American Spiritualist Pearl Curran popularized its use as a divining tool during World War I.
While Ouija believers feel the paranormal or supernatural is responsible for Ouija’s action, it may be parsimoniously explained by unconscious movements of those controlling the pointer, a psychophysiological phenomenon known as the ideomotor effect. Despite being debunked by the efforts of the scientific community, Ouija remains popular among many young people.
One of the first mentions of the automatic writing method used in the Ouija board is found in China around 1100 CE, in historical documents of the Song Dynasty. The method was known as fuji 扶乩 “planchette writing”. The use of planchette writing as a means of ostensibly contacting the dead and the spirit-world continued, and, albeit under special rituals and supervisions, was a central practice of the Quanzhen School, until it was forbidden by the Qing Dynasty. Several entire scriptures of the Daozang are supposedly works of automatic planchette writing. Similar methods of mediumistic spirit writing have been widely practiced in Ancient India, Greece, Rome and medieval Europe.
During the late 19th century, planchettes were widely sold as a novelty. The businessmen Elijah Bond and Charles Kennard had the idea to patent a planchette sold with a board on which the alphabet was printed. The patentees filed on May 28, 1890 for patent protection and thus had invented the first Ouija board. Issue date on the patent was February 10, 1891. They received U.S. Patent 446,054. Bond was an attorney and was an inventor of other objects in addition to this device. An employee of Kennard, William Fuld took over the talking board production and in 1901, he started production of his own boards under the name “Ouija”. Kennard claimed he learned the name “Ouija” from using the board and that it was an ancient Egyptian word meaning “good luck.” When Fuld took over production of the boards, he popularized the more widely accepted etymology, that the name came from a combination of the French and German words for “yes”. The Fuld name would become synonymous with the Ouija board, as Fuld reinvented its history, claiming that he himself had invented it. The strange talk about the boards from Fuld’s competitors flooded the market and all these boards enjoyed a heyday from the 1920s through the 1960s. Fuld sued many companies over the “Ouija” name and concept right up until his death in 1927. In 1966, Fuld’s estate sold the entire business to Parker Brothers, who continues to hold all trademarks and patents. About ten brands of talking boards are sold today under various names.
Most religious criticism of the Ouija board has come from Christians, primarily evangelicals in the USA. In 2001 Ouija boards were burned in Alamogordo, New Mexico by fundamentalist groups alongside Harry Potter books as ‘symbols of witchcraft’. Religious criticism has also expressed beliefs that the Ouija board reveals information which should only be on God’s hands, and thus it is a tool of Satan. A spokesperson for Human Life International described the boards as a portal to talk to spirits and called for Hasbro to be prohibited from marketing them.
In the murder trial of Joshua Tucker, his mother insisted that he had carried out the murders while possessed by the Devil who found him when he was using a Ouija board.
The Ouija phenomenon has been criticized by many scientists as a hoax related to the ideomotor response. Various studies have been produced, recreating the effects of the Ouija board in the lab and showing that, at least under laboratory conditions, the subjects were moving the board involuntarily. Detractors have described Ouija board users as ‘operators’. Some critics noted that the messages ostensibly spelled out by spirits were similar to whatever was going through the minds of the subjects.
In the 1970s Ouija board users were also described as “cult members” by sociologists, though this was severely scrutinised in the field.
Use in literature
Ouija boards have been the source of inspiration for literary works, used as guidance in writing, or as a form of channeling literary works. As a result of Ouija boards becoming popular in the early 20th century, by the 1920s many “psychic” books were written of varying quality often initiated by Ouija board use.
Emily Grant Hutchings claimed that her 1917 novel Jap Herron: A Novel Written from the Ouija Board was dictated by Mark Twain’s spirit through the use of a ouija board after his passing.
Also, the poems written by Patience Worth, an alleged spirit, contacted by Pearl Lenore Curran, for more than 20 years, were transcripted via a ouija board.
G. K. Chesterton used a Ouija board. Around 1893 he had gone through a crisis of skepticism and depression, and during this period Chesterton experimented with the Ouija board and grew fascinated with the occult.
Poet James Merrill used a Ouija board for years, and even encouraged entrance of spirits into his body. He wrote the poem “The Changing Light at Sandover” with the help of a Ouija board. Before he died, he recommended that people not use Ouija boards.
Former Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi claimed under oath that, in a séance held in 1978 with other professors at the University of Bologna, the “ghost” of Giorgio La Pira spelled the name of the street where Aldo Moro was being held by the Red Brigades in a Ouija. According to Peter Popham of The Independent: “Everybody here has long believed that Prodi’s ouija board tale was no more than an ill-advised and bizarre way to conceal the identity of his true source, probably a person from Bologna’s seething far-left underground whom he was pledged to protect.”
In London in 1994, convicted murderer Stephen Young was granted a retrial after it was learned that four of the jurors had conducted a Ouija board seance and had “contacted” the murdered man, who had named Young as his killer. Young was convicted for a second time at his retrial and jailed for life
On the July 25, 2007 edition of the paranormal radio show Coast to Coast AM, host George Noory attempted to carry out a live Ouija board experiment on national radio despite the strong objections of one of his guests, Jordan Maxwell, and with the encouragement of his other guests, Dr. Bruce Goldberg, Rosemary Ellen Guiley, and Jerry Edward Cornelius. In the days and hours leading up to the show, unfortunate events kept occurring to Noory’s friends and family as well as some of his guests, but these events would likely be considered coincidences. After recounting a near-death experience in 2000 and noting bizarre events taking place, Noory canceled the experiment.
The Mars Volta wrote their album Bedlam in Goliath based on their alleged experiences with a Ouija board. According to their story (written for them by a fiction author, Jeremy Robert Johnson), Omar Rodriguez Lopez purchased a Ouija board while traveling in Jerusalem. At first the board provided a story which became the theme for the album. Strange events allegedly related to this activity occurred during the recording of the album: the studio flooded, one of the album’s main engineers had a nervous breakdown, equipment began to malfunction, and Cedric Bixler-Zavala’s foot was injured. Following these bad experiences the band buried the Ouija board.
Other musically related uses: Early press releases stated that Vincent Furnier’s stage and band name “Alice Cooper” was agreed upon after a session with a Ouija board, during which it was revealed that Furnier was the reincarnation of a 17th century witch with that name. Alice Cooper later revealed that he just thought of the first name that came to his head while discussing a new band name with his band.Brandon Flowers, the lead singer of The Killers, believes his death will be associated with the number 621 (which is also his birthday, June 21) from having used a Ouija board.
First Lady Nancy Reagan was reported to frequently consult a Ouija board, along with psychics and astrologers