The Driskill Hotel Named Texas’ Most Haunted Location

A recent Yelp ranking has listed the Driskill Hotel in Austin, Texas, as the most haunted location in the entire state. Their rankings were decided based on reviews as well as other data from allegedly haunted locations around Texas.

This makes a lot of sense as the Driskill Hotel (built in 1886) is rumored to be very haunted. Specifically, Room 525 is said to be exceptionally haunted as there are stories that a bride committed suicide in that room after her fiancé called off their wedding in the early 1900s. But this story is also connected with hauntings in room 329. Guests have reported seeing the bride’s ghost towing her luggage up and down the hallways.

The original owner and who the hotel is named after, Jesse Driskill, is said to haunt the location. According to author Monica Ballard, Driskill is often seen in a room that overlooks 6th Street and Brazos. One guest claimed that Driskill was standing in his room smoking a cigar and looking out the window in the middle of the night.

Many years ago, a young boy was reaching for his ball when he fell down a bunch of stairs and tragically died. People have heard disembodied giggles as well as the sounds of a ball bouncing against the walls.

Probably the most famous ghosts are that of former President Lyndon B. Johnson and his wife Lady Bird Johnson. The couple actually had their first date at the hotel in 1934. They returned to the hotel many times throughout their lives and apparently they still visit after death as both of their ghosts have been seen in the ballroom and their reflections have been spotted in the mirrors.

There is also a haunted painting that is located on the 5th floor of the hotel. It shows a little girl holding a letter in one hand and a bouquet of flowers in the other. It is said that the picture is of former U.S. Senator Temple Lea Houston’s 4-year-old daughter who died accidentally at the hotel. Many people have claimed that when they walked by the painting, something sinister would grab on to their coat-tails until they left the hotel.

With all of that alleged paranormal activity, it’s not surprising that Yelp listed the Driskill Hotel as the most haunted location in Texas. As for the other most haunted sites, The Driskill Bar is listed second, while Moonshine Patio Bar & Grill in Austin; Menger Hotel in San Antonio; and Clay Pit in Austin round out the top 5. Ranked 6 through 10 are Miss Molly’s Hotel in Fort Worth; Monteleone’s in El Paso; The Emily Morgan Hotel in San Antonio; The Adolphus, Autograph Collection in Dallas; and The Alamo in San Antonio.

The full list of the top 20 most haunted locations in Texas can be viewed here.

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China’s Second Hypersonic Missile/Spaceplane “Defies the Laws of Physics”

“The simplest way to imagine this new weapon system is to imagine the space shuttle, put a nuclear weapon in the cargo bay and then don’t bother with the landing gear. (It’s launched) and it glides back to Earth just like the space shuttle, except for when it gets where it’s going, it goes boom.”

Just a few days ago, the Financial Times revealed that China launched a hypersonic missile test in late August that allegedly circled the globe in low-Earth orbit before coming close to its intended target. China immediately denied it, saying it “was not a missile, it was a space vehicle.” Before the cable news shows could get riled up about what Jeffrey Lewis, a professor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, described as an armed space shuttle, the Financial Times dropped another bombshell about this hypersonic bomb carrier – there was a second prior test in July.

The spaceplane is a glider so no exhaust.

“On July 27 the Chinese military launched a rocket that used a “fractional orbital bombardment” system to propel a nuclear-capable “hypersonic glide vehicle” around the earth for the first time, according to four people familiar with US intelligence assessments.”

Should we be concerned that China has twice tested a “fractional orbital bombardment” “hypersonic glide vehicle”? An unnamed person told The Financial Times that the first test stunned the Pentagon and US intelligence, while another said the two demonstrated a new weapons capability which the US does not currently possess – one that appears “to defy the laws of physics.”

While the rest of the media is addressing this news as an indication of an “arms race,” let’s look at the potential of this “hypersonic glide vehicle” to be seen by unsuspecting witnesses worldwide as a UFO. Since it’s a glider, there’s no exhaust to be seen. It appears this is a one-orbit vehicle so one would have to be looking at the right spot to see it. There’s nothing so far on its gliding altitude, but it’s obviously high enough to not create a sonic boom as it passes over at five times the speed of sound – unless it is descending towards its target. Despite being a glider, it appears it can be controlled and it can change direction at that high speed. While that’s not as impressive as the maneuvers made by the ‘Tic Tac’ UAPs seen by U.S. military pilots, it could be what one source said was a sign of defying laws of physics. Finally, don’t forget that the U.S. Air Force has its own secret spacecraft – the X-37B space plane that has been in orbit for over 500 days multiple times. Even with the secrecy surrounding it, it has been spotted by amateur astronomers.

It looks like the chances of mistaking China’s “fractional orbital bombardment” “hypersonic glide vehicle” or whatever it is for a UFO are slim. As for it really is? Good luck getting a straight answer on that.

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The Strange Disappearance and Death of Judy Smith

Some mysterious disappearances and deaths seem to draw in all manner of oddities and strange clues. In September of 1996, fifty-year-old Judy Smith, born Judith “Judy” Eldridge, was the happiest she’d been in a long time. After two unhappy, failed marriages, one which had left her divorced, without a job, and with two small children to raise alone, she had finally married her true love, a successful lawyer by the name of Jeffrey Smith, who she had dated for around 10 years. The two had met as she had been taking care of his dying father as a home-care nurse, and it had been love at first sight. In April of 1997, the two newlyweds planned a trip together to Philadelphia for a pharmaceutical conference her husband planned to attend, but it was also a bit of a getaway for the two, something they had been looking forward to, with them planning to spend the rest of the week after the conference visiting friends in nearby New Jersey and having some fun. On April 9, 1997, they arrived at Boston’s Logan International Airport, and from there would unfold a series of strange events that would lead to tragedy and a great unsolved mystery.

At Logan, they had a bit of bad luck when Judy realized that she had forgotten her ID, making her unable to get on their scheduled flight. It was reluctantly decided that Jeffrey would proceed to Philadelphia, and that she would take a later flight and meet up with him later. The two would meet in Philadelphia that evening without a hitch, and the next day Jeffrey went to the conference while Judy went off to do a bit of sightseeing on her own, planning on visiting Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. The two made plans to meet back at the hotel at 5 p.m., after which they were to meet some friends for dinner. At the time it was the most normal thing in the world, with no reason to suspect that anything out of the ordinary would happen. They parted with a kiss, and Judy headed off at 9 a.m. with the red backpack she always carried, but little did anyone know that this would be their last goodbye.

Judy Smith

That evening, Jeffrey got back to the room at 5:30 p.m. but Judy wasn’t there. At first he just assumed that she was running late, but when an hour went by with still no sign of her, he became worried. He then thought she might have attended a party downstairs and lost track of the time, but when he checked the gathering she was nowhere to be seen. He grabbed a taxi and traced the route her tour bus had taken, hoping that somehow he would spot her, but it was in vain, and so he contacted the authorities. They were told that it was too soon to declare her as a missing person, but the situation was made more serious when the following morning arrived and she still had not. Jeffrey would complain to then Philadelphia mayor Ed Rendell and John Perzel, a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, about the lack of official action being taken, and detectives were put on the case. A preliminary search of the area turned up nothing, calls to hospitals were futile, and as the days wore on, flyers were posted everywhere as the disappearance became a high profile case that was splashed all over the media.

With this added publicity, over the days and ensuing weeks there were numerous sightings of the missing woman from around Philadelphia and beyond. In many of these cases, she was described as looking confused and disoriented or behaving strangely. Staff at the Society Hill Hotel claimed she had stayed there and that she was so bizarre that they called her their “weirdo of the week,” apparently masturbating in front of an open window, gesticulating while naked, speaking in gibberish, and claiming that she was going to have money wired to her from “the emperor.” These sightings ran the range, from her wandering aimlessly, to eating at restaurants and shopping for clothes, but none of them led anywhere, and police wondered if any of these tips were useful or credible at all. They originally suspected that she had had some sort of mental breakdown or midlife crisis and had run off, but as the weeks passed by, the investigation was beginning to shine suspicion on Jeffrey, with detectives starting to wonder if she had ever even been in Philadelphia at all. Talking to hotel staff showed that only one employee could corroborate Judy having stayed there, and it was claimed that police had found the very few articles of women’s clothes in the room to have been unworn, and there were no cosmetics. One detective on the case would say of this line of investigation:

I don’t think she’s in Philadelphia any longer, if she ever was. We had a lot of people searching; if she was here very long, we would have found her. Or if something happened to her, we would have found her body. She was supposedly here one night, then went off by herself the next morning. But she had friends at the convention, and nobody saw her. There were so many strange coincidences you don’t know what to think. She didn’t get on the plane with him. They meet in the lobby. They go to breakfast separately. And she doesn’t have much female stuff in the hotel room. When you look at the statistics, 85 to 90 percent of females who are murdered are killed by someone very close to them: a family member, spouse, boyfriend. Statistically, we have to look at Jeffrey Smith as a suspect, until it’s proven that he is not a suspect.

Police also claimed that Jeffrey had refused to take a lie detector test, and that he had acted “suspiciously” under questioning, although they did not elaborate. Of course Jeffrey, as well as both his and Judy’s friends and family, adamantly denied that he had had anything to do with it, or that he would ever willingly hurt his wife. They were described as happy and in love, looking forward to a future together, and furthermore Jeffrey was morbidly overweight and plagued with numerous health issues, making it seem unlikely he would have attacked her physically. In the end there was no hard evidence to charge him with anything, indeed with no body there was no evidence any crime had been committed at all. Other theories were that she had been kidnapped or committed suicide, but there was nothing to point to this, she was an unassuming, had no enemies, and was not a suicidal person. There could be found no obvious reason for why she had vanished, and the months ground on with no sign of Judy except sporadic sightings. However, this was all about to take a strange and tragic twist.

Five months after Judy had vanished, a father and son out hunting stumbled across the macabre sight of human remains out in a remote area in North Carolina’s Pisgah National Forest. The skeletal remains of a woman appeared to have at one time been buried in a shallow grave, but some had been strewn about by scavengers. What was obvious is that the body had been wrapped in a blue blanket, and that there were noticeable punctures and lacerations to the bra, which suggested the victim had been stabbed in the chest, but the cause of death was never determined. There were also found a backpack and nearly $200 in cash, as well as a pair of Bolle’s sunglasses and a diamond wedding ring. At the time there was no connection at all made between these remains and Judy’s disappearance, so everyone was in for quite a shock.

When dental records were checked, the remains were found to be those of the missing Judy Smith, but this was baffling for many reasons. One was that the location where her body was found was 600 miles from where she had last been seen, and furthermore there was no reason for her at all to have wanted to come to North Carolina, let along hike way out into the remote, forbidding wilderness. According to Jeffrey, the blue backpack and sunglasses were not hers, although the wedding ring was. It was also seen as odd that the red backpack she had been wearing when she had vanished , and which she always wore, was nowhere to be seen. Oddly, the clothes she had been wearing when she died were not those she had last been seen with in Philadelphia, and they were also new hiking clothes, including jeans, thermal underwear, and hiking boots, that had all recently been purchased, leading police to believe that she had actually bought the clothes in North Carolina and then hiked out to that spot rather than just being dumped there. Dumping also seemed to be unlikely because the spot was in a rough area far from the nearest road. What was going on here?

Making it all even stranger was that there were found to be at least four witnesses in the Asheville, North Carolina area who claimed to have spotted Judy in town. One was a retail clerk who actually spoke to her when she had come in to do some shopping just a few days after she would have vanished in Pennsylvania, and she said of this encounter:

She seemed very alert to me. She was very pleasant. I didn’t see anything about her that would indicate that she wasn’t right in any way. She told me her husband was an attorney and that they were from Boston. And that they had been in Pennsylvania and he was at a convention. And she had decided to come down here.

Rather eerily, a camper also reported seeing her staying at a campground in the same general area where her body would be found. If this is true, then it suggests that she had voluntarily ran off to come to this place, but there was no discernible reason for why she would have just abandoned her family to come out to this remote area that she had never been to before. Police now believed that, for whatever reasons, Judy had come out to North Carolina and then met with some sort of foul play while hiking in the wilderness, but why, and who would have done it? Considering that the diamond ring and cash had been left behind, robbery didn’t seem to be the motive. Had this perhaps just been a sick individual who had preyed on her for no reason other than their sick amusement. Police would soon learn that the serial killer Gary Michael Hilton had left one of his victims tied to a tree not too far from where Judy’s body had been found, but there was absolutely nothing else to link him to her death.

Authorities for a long time still considered Jeffrey a potential suspect, but he would die in 2005 to take any secrets he may have had to the grave with him. In the end, we don’t know exactly what happened to Judy Smith. We don’t know why she wandered off to find her way to a place far from where she had said goodbye to her husband. We don’t know why she was in North Carolina, nor why she got new hiking clothes to go out exploring in the wilderness. We don’t know who killed this unassuming middle-aged woman or why. All we do know is that she went out on a sightseeing trip and ended up dead, and that the answers will probably forever elude us.


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The Creepiest Cars of All: Haunted or the Vehicles of the Men in Black?

As I have said  on a few occasions, there is a distinct possibility – some might very well say a probability – that the Men in Black are nothing less than full-blown time-travelers. Keeping that carefully in mind, it’s worth taking a look at an aspect of the Men in Black controversy that has not been addressed yet, a lesser-known aspect: the modes of transport that the M.I.B use when they are in in our time-frame. Interestingly, they are almost always seen driving old-style, 1950s-era cars. And the cars are always black – most appropriately. There’s something else, too: witnesses to the M.I.B. and their vehicles state that the cars have the ability to vanish from view – as in quite literally. Even to take to the skies. Not unlike the DeLorean that Michael J. Fox’s character, Marty McFly, drives in Back to the Future, the cars of the Men in Black are here one second and gone the next. That may very well be because those “Cars in Black” are exiting our time and into another realm – and vice-versa. In light of all that, I’ll now demonstrate how easy it is to see how and why the M.I.B., and those mysterious cars, go together – and all in relation to time-travel. Welcome to the world of the C.I.B. – the Cars in Black.

(Nick Redfern)

Dr. Josef Allen Hynek, a well-renowned UFO authority who died in 1986, was provided with the details of a fantastically-strange MIB encounter that occurred in a small Minnesota town in late 1975, and that falls firmly into just such a category. Ironically, no UFO was seen on this particular occasion, but the chief witness was harassed by the driver of a large, black Cadillac on a particular stretch of highway, and who nearly forced the man into an adjacent ditch. The irate man quickly righted his vehicle and headed off in hot-pursuit, only to see the black Cadillac…lift into the air and, quite literally, disappear in the blink of any eye. See what I mean about the parallels between the world of Hollywood and the domain of real-world time-travel? UFO expert, Jenny Randles, who penned an excellent book on the M.I.B., The Truth Behind Men in Black, investigated a very similar affair that took place in the U.K. in the summer of 1981. In this specific situation, the witness, a man named Jim Wilson, had encountered something odd – but not too amazing –in the night sky, and was, unfortunately, visited by two Men in Black. They were, of course, the pale, skinny, sickly-looking M.I.B. that terrified Albert Bender way back in the 1950s. The two men told Wilson – in stern and creepy fashion – that all he had seen in the skies above was a Soviet satellite orbiting the Earth; specifically Cosmos 408. And, that he had better keep his mouth firmly shut.

(Nick Redfern): not a bad car at all!

The whole thing would have come to an end, except for one thing: the M.I.B. wouldn’t leave. Night after night they would carefully position their Car in Black – a Jaguar car of 1960s-era vintage – and stare intently toward Wilson’s home and with mad-dog eyes. Wilson’s anxiety levels began to rise. No surprise there. When things got too much Wilson called the local police. After seeing the vehicle positioned outside Wilson’s car several times, and then managing to get a good look at his license plate – which the police were quickly able to confirm as being totally bogus – they carefully closed in, with the intention of speaking with the pair of MIB and finding out the nature of their game. Unfortunately, they never got the chance to do so. As two uniformed officers approached the vehicle and prepared to knock on one of the windows, the black Jaguar melted away into nothingness. There was, not surprisingly, a deep reluctance on the part of the officers to prepare any kind of written report alluding to such an event in the station log-book. Just like the Men in Black themselves, even their vehicles are seemingly able to perform disappearing acts of a near-ghost-like nature.

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7-Foot-Tall Ghostly Figure Photographed at the Haunted Spofforth Castle

When paranormal investigators were exploring Spofforth Castle in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England, they took a photo of what appeared to be a very large shadow figure.

Just days ago, when the Project Reveal – Ghosts of Britain paranormal team investigated the castle, investigator Darren Ross snapped the very creepy photo of what looked like a 7-foot-tall shadow in the corner of the building. Additionally, they captured a growling sound when they conducted EVP recordings.

“There was definitely something there, I’m not sure if it was the woman or not, but we believe there was something,” Darren said in reference to the story that a woman was allegedly pushed through a window to her death at the castle back in the 1700s and who is said to haunt the location. “It’s alright until you actually hear something, then it makes you jump,” he added. The team did say that they will be returning to the castle in the future for another investigation.

(Not the ghostly figure captured at Spofforth Castle.)

Dating back numerous centuries, Spofforth Castle was the main seat of the well-known Percy family until the late part of the 14th century – they were one of the most influential and important families in the northern part of England. William de Percy (who was a favorite of William the Conqueror) constructed a manor house on the property in the 11th century although the building is no longer there.

The castle also has a long history of paranormal activity. The most well-known entity is that of a “half ghost” that appears as a bluish-white hue and is often witnessed standing on a small parapet at the top of the tower before falling towards the grass path beneath it. The ghost disappears before reaching the ground; however, the creepiest thing about the entity is that it is missing the bottom half of its body.

Sightings of this apparition have been reported as far back as the 1960s and 1970s when a bunch of school children and their teacher witnessed the falling ghost, as well as two people who were having a picnic who also reported seeing it. It is believed that this is a ghost of a female.

So, did the paranormal team capture photographic evidence of the “half ghost” or perhaps another entity haunting the location? You can decide for yourself as the picture of the ghostly figure can be seen here.

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A Mysterious Murder and a Haunted Hotel Room

Sitting in in downtown San Antonio, Texas, USA, is the historic Gunter Hotel. Opened on November 20, 1909, it was financed by local rancher and real estate developer Jot Gunter, along with a group of investors, and it was envisioned as being a grand pillar for the fast-growing city. Indeed, it certainly was a palatial sight, designed by the renowned St. Louis architect John Mauran and at the time the eight-story, 301-room hotel largest building in San Antonio, eventually further expanded in 1924. It featured all manner of facilities, including a café, barbershop, a restaurant, lounge, meeting facilities, exhibition rooms, tennis courts, an observatory, and even a petting zoo and subterranean jail. Before long it was a beacon for rich businessmen and other influential people, driving further growth for the prosperous city and becoming a vital part of San Antonio’s burgeoning business center. Over the years its cellar would also serve as a speakeasy during Prohibition, and although it would fall into disrepair in the mid-1900s, it would eventually be restored, and now sits on the National Register of Historic Places. Over the years it has attracted celebrities and VIPs, including actors, writers, and even Presidents Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman. The hotel also has a hidden dark history and is intensely haunted, indeed considered to be one of the most haunted places in San Antonio.

Gunter Hotel

The haunting at the Gunter Hotel is mostly focused on Room 636, which has a dark history permeating it involving a spooky unsolved murder. On February 6, 1965, a blonde man in his late 20’s came into the hotel to book a room for several nights, signing in under the name “Albert Knox.” He was given Room 636, and over the next few days he was frequently seen coming to and leaving the room with a beautiful tall, blonde woman, who was always dressed in elegant, expensive outfits. At the time this wasn’t particularly strange, as lots of customers at the Gunter Hotel were rich and had trophy wives or mistresses, but things were about to take a dark turn.

On the morning of February 8, one of the hotel maids let herself into the room, despite the fact that the “Do Not Disturb” sign was hanging on the door. She would soon regret her decision to ignore the sign, as she found Mr. Knox standing in the bedroom next to the bed, which was absolutely covered in blood. The man then apparently gave her the sign to be quiet by putting his index finger to his lips, and then bolted right past her out of the room while holding a large bloody bundle of sheets. The maid didn’t stick around to see what sorts of horrors were lurking in that dim room, and quickly went off to tell the hotel manager, who would then notify authorities.

When the police arrived, they were met with a rather grim and macabre sight like something out of a horror film. The bedroom was absolutely splattered with blood everywhere, on the floor, the walls, and furniture, and the bathroom was also found to have scattered bits of human remains on the floor, in the tub, and clogging up the toilet. Also in the bedroom were empty bottles of wine, olives, and cheese, blonde hairs, nylon hose, and women’s underclothing, as well as a .22 caliber bullet lodged in the wall, which was strange since no hotel guests had reported a gunshot. It seemed as though the woman had been killed in the bedroom and then butchered in the bathroom to take the pieces back to the bedroom, which looked to have taken many trips because there were bloody footprints going back and forth between them. He had then flushed some down the toilet and then wrapped the rest in those sheets to run off. Since it had taken nearly 40 minutes for the police to be notified and for them to arrive, the killer could have been anywhere at that point, and gotten rid of the body. Further confounding efforts to find the killer, the name on the register, “Albert Knox,” turned out to be an alias, leaving the police with little to go on.

They would eventually track down a suspect a 37-year-old unemployed accountant named Walter Emerick, who had raised suspicion at the St. Anthony Hotel, just blocks away from The Gunter, when he refused to let maids come in to clean his room. Police took this as a possible lead, but when they went to the room to question Emerick, who had checked in under another alias, this time the name “Robert Ashley,” they hear a shot within. Emerick had taken his own life. When fingerprints were checked, it was found that they matched those of the killer at The Gunter, and a bloody t-shirt was found in the room, but the murder weapon and the body of the dead blonde woman from room 636 were nowhere to be seen, and indeed the body would never be found at all, despite a massive search. Making it even stranger is that the victim has also never been identified, and no missing reports were ever filed for her, making her a bit of a ghost. She also seems to have become quite the literal ghost in the following years, as she has supposedly relentlessly haunted the room ever since.

Ever since the unsolved murder, Room 636 has been besieged with all manner of paranormal activity, including moving objects, lights turning on and off by themselves, and the bathtub and sink also turning on and off. Guests have reported coming back to find their room completely in disarray as if it had been ransacked, or of being mysteriously locked out or in their rooms, with keys not working and the lock unable to be undone. Spookier phenomena are the sounds of banging and hammering in the walls, the voice of a woman whispering in the ear, and sheets ripped off of the bed. The apparition of a tall blonde woman has also been seen in the room, often appearing in the shadows, or creepily in the mirror, often with arms outstretched. Some have claimed she will also appear in photographs taken in the room. The entity especially seems to dislike men, and will focus much of her activity on them. Not only guests, but also housekeeping staff have had paranormal experiences in the room, and it has at times been so intense that maids have quit not long after being hired. In modern times, the room has been split into two separate rooms, and the activity continues in both. Is this woman being tethered here after death, perhaps due to the violence of her crime? Or is this all spooky urban legend orbiting a real unsolved crime? It is hard to say for sure, but still incredibly weird, no matter what the truth is.

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Some of the World’s Lake Monsters That You May Not Have Heard Of

Over the last couple of days I’ve written articles on two of the most controversial creatures of Cryptozoology: mysterious apes and equally mysterious flying winged-monsters. The ones I chose to pick were the lesser-known ones. There is, however, another category of beast that’s worth looking at. That’s the lake-monsters of our world. So, with that said, you can guess what today’s feature is about. That’s right: the lesser-known (far less, in fact!) creatures of our lakes. Forget Nessie. Forget Ogopogo. And, forget Champ, too. Here are the ones you probably haven’t heard of. But, that are definitely worth addressing – as you’ll see right now. Although far less well known than its counterpart in Loch Ness, Scotland, the mysterious beast of Lake Storjson, Sweden, has been seen on far more than a few occasions. The late cryptozoologist, Mark Chorvinsky, said to me in an email, more than a few years ago number of years ago: “Fisheries officer Ragnar Björks, 73, was out checking fishing permits on Sweden’s Lake Storsjön when he had the fright of his life. From the placid waters a huge tail suddenly broke the surface near Björk’s 12 foot row boat. The colossal creature attached to the tail appeared to be 18 feet long, grey-brown on top with a yellow underbelly. When Björks was alongside the monster, he struck at it with his oar, hitting it on the back. Angered, the creature slapped the water with its tail and the rowboat was thrown nine to twelve feet into the air. ‘At first I didn’t believe that there was any monster in the Storsjön…but now I am convinced.’

Chorvinsky said to me: “Does Nessie have a relative in Lake Storsjön in the mountains of Northern Sweden? A large unknown creature has been seen in the lake for over 350 years. Since 1987 the Society for Investigating the Great Lake has collected some 400 reports of “Storsjöodjuret,” as the Swedes call the monster. There is no clear picture of the beastie. Some witnesses describe a large neck undulating back and forth that looks like a horse’s mane; others observed a large wormlike creature with recognizable ears. Reports of the creature”s size range from 10 to 42 feet in length. Like the Loch Ness Monster, one of the numerous theories is that during the Ice Age 15,000 years ago, the monster may have become trapped in the Swedish Lake.”

Make mention of Scottish lake monsters to most people and it will inevitably conjure up imagery of the world’s most famous unknown water beast, the Loch Ness Monster. It’s a little known fact, however, that there are more than a few Scottish lakes with legends of diabolical creatures attached to them. While many of the stories are decidedly fragmentary in nature, one of them is not. Welcome to the world of Morag, the resident beasty of Loch Morar. It’s a creature that very much resembles the Nessies of Loch Ness. Indeed, and in all likely, they are the same type of creature. After all, what are the chances of there being more than one type of monster in Scotland’s lakes! At just over eleven and a half miles in length, it has the distinction of being the deepest body of freshwater in the British Isles, with a depth of just over 1,000 feet. Unlike Loch Ness, the water of which is almost black, Loch Morar can boast of having practically clear water. It takes its name from the village of Morar, which is situated close by and specifically at the western side of the loch, and which was the site of the Battle of Morar – a violent, death-filled confrontation between the Mackenzie and MacDonell clans.

(Nick Redfern)

As for the monster, Morag (or, more likely, the Morags), the tales are many. What makes them so different to the ones coming out of Loch Ness, however, is not the descriptions of the creatures, but that such reports are often hard to uncover. Unlike Loch Ness, Loch Morar is an isolated, seldom visited loch. It is bereft of much in the way of a large population, and not particularly easy to access. The result is that tourists to Scotland very rarely visit it. The same goes for native Scots, too! For that reason, just like Las Vegas, what happens at Loch Morar is very often destined to stay there. Nevertheless, there are enough classic cases on record to strongly suggest strange things lurk in Loch Morar. Now, onto England’s Bownessie.

A resident of Lake Windermere, England, Bownessie was hardly ever heard of before 2006. In terms of the publicity stakes, however, it has certainly done a great job in catching up. As for Lake Windermere itself, state the following: “The lake is 10.5 miles (17 km) long and 1 mile (1.6 km) wide and has an area of 6 square miles (16 square km). It lies in two basins separated by a group of islands opposite the town of Bowness on the eastern shore and is drained by the River Leven. Part of Lake District National Park, Windermere is a popular tourist center with facilities for yachting and steamers operating in the summer.”  As the above data demonstrates, Lake Windermere is much smaller than Loch Ness; yet, that has not stopped a mysterious creature from appearing in its depths, which extend to 219-feet at their deepest. Now, with that all said, let us take a look at the saga of Bownessie and how and why it has become a monster of the modern era. One of the first people to have encountered Bownessie was a journalist named Steve Burnip, who saw the creature in 2006. He said of his close encounter of the monstrous type: “I saw a straight line of broken water with three humps. It was about twenty feet long and it went in a straight line up the lake. I nudged my wife and watched open-mouthed as it gradually faded from sight. The water was not choppy, so I know it wasn’t the wind, and I know what the wake from motor boats looks like and it wasn’t that either.”

(Nick Redfern)

Now, let’s take a look at Big Wally – the lake-monster with the least hair-raising name of all! On November 5, 1885, the Wallowa Chieftain newspaper ran an article on its resident monster, which has been given the distinctly non-monstrous name of “Big Wally.” It is said to dwell in Wallowa Lake, Oregon, an approximately fifty-one square-mile body of water with a depth of around 300 feet. The article states: “A prospector, who refuses to give his name to the public, was coming down from the south end of the lake on last Friday evening in a skiff shortly after dusk, when about midway of the lake he saw an animal about fifty yards to the right of the boat, rear its head and neck up out of the water ten or twelve feet, but on setting him it immediately dived. He ceased rowing and gazed around in astonishment, for the strange apparition which he had just seen, when it raised about the same distance to the left, this lime giving a low bellow something like that of a cow. It also brought its body to the surface, which the prospector avers was one hundred feet in length. The monster glided along in sight for several hundred yards. It was too dark to see the animal distinctly, but it seemed to have a large, flat head, something like that of a hippopotamus, and its neck, which was about ten feet in length, was as large around as a man’s body.”

The story continues: “Now this story may have been coined in the imagination of the narrator, but he was very earnest in his recital. However, it is a known fact that there is a tradition among the Indians that the lake has a big sea cow in it, which on one occasion, many years ago, came up one evening and swallowed a young warrior and his dusky bride as they were gliding over the surface of the lake in a canoe. And to this day an Indian of the tribes who formerly frequented its shores cannot be induced to go upon its waters. The lake has been sounded to the depth of 270 feet, and it is a bare probability that some monster does inhabit its unexplored depths.”

It’s unlikely that this was a hoax – on, or by, the newspaper – as other reports have since surfaced. In 1978, a couple by the name of Bryant saw Big Wally on not just one occasion but two! On the first occasion, they saw three hump-like protrusions break the surface of the lake, albeit briefly. Some months later, the Bryant’s watched an approximately twenty-foot-long, snake-like animal circle a certain portion of the lake for several minutes. Three years later, Bert Repplinger and Joe Babic were amazed by the brief sight of a three-foot-long head and neck that broke the surface of Lake Wallowa. While the number of sightings of Big Wally is scarcely anywhere near the likes of some of its far more famous cousins, the fact that occasional reports continue to surface is a fairly good indication that the lake is home to something unusual. Exactly what it may be, however, remains unknown.

The post Some of the World’s Lake Monsters That You May Not Have Heard Of first appeared on Mysterious Universe.

Singer Claims to be Seduced by Charming Yet Sinister Victorian Ghost

If a single person wants to date a ghost, is there a dating site that can help? An OKPhantom? eHauntingme? Coffee Meets Boogel? A singer-songwriter in the UK didn’t need to use a service – she claims her ghost, a Victorian soldier, came to her. Did HE use a dating service? eIncubus?

“I’ve always been fairly skeptical of the paranormal and things that can’t be rationally explained. Over the years I’ve had a few ghostly encounters, but I had always brushed them aside and thought nothing more of them.”

In an interview with LADbible, Brocade – a one-name goth-singer-fashion-designer-personality from Oxfordshire – tells how she wasn’t looking for a ghostly romance and would probably question the motives and the existence of a ghost attempting to pick her up (can you google a ghost?). But that was before one restless night when she was ‘propositioned’ by Eduardo.

“I was lying in bed unable to sleep… I rolled from side to side in bed, trying to switch off from both the storm and an argument I had had with one of my friends. Then out of nowhere I felt a warm sensation in my heart, it was burning hot. I touched my chest and it was roasting, clammy almost, and the warm sensation ran down throughout my body. Then the whole room fell cold. I sat bolt upright, had tears streaming down my face and was shaking almost uncontrollably. It felt like someone was present. I couldn’t see anything so I reached for the bedside light and something grabbed at my hand to stop me.”

That ‘something’ was Eduardo, a 35-year-old soldier who died after falling down a well. (Were there no collies to call for help in the Victorian age?) It didn’t look like Eduardo had made a good first impression on Brocade, but she claims he managed to save the ‘date’ by whispering “I love you” before disappearing.

“Days later I’ll notice love hearts in the steam on the shower.”

Eduardo has a romantic way of apologizing, but Brocade answers the main question of why she stays with him.

“Our intimate moments are very empowering – he gives spine-tingling orgasms.”

Of course. Eduardo also inspires her songwriting, but can be a bit paranoid and jealous – he fears her family will call an exorcist and he gets mad if she writes songs about mortal men … she finds pages crumpled up. Brocade followed up her LADbible interview with another on the This Morning talk show, where she answered the same questions, but dealt with more skepticism. It’s easy to assume Brocade is merely using this to promote her music, fashion designs, podcast and more, but she could also be helping the many people today who are having problems dealing with their gender, relationships or attraction to non-conventional partners.

“I think people need to be open-minded, physical presence in the traditional sense isn’t necessarily all it’s cracked up to be. Many mortals are in relationships where they aren’t actually present and many love those who they can’t be with. It’s a difficult thing to get your head around but perhaps some souls never truly pass, and maybe there are ghosts trapped in the afterlife who need love and affection just like living humans.”

Sounds like Brocade is trying to be friendly to ghosts in troubling relationships as well. What does Eduardo think of all this?

“My biggest fear is that he’ll expect too much from me and kill me so I’m a spirit too.”

And that is where Brocade is no longer a role model for those in troubled relationships or having identity issues. Whether you believe she’s in a tryst with a ghost or merely seeking attention, any talk of killing on popular talk shows in these strange times is even more troubling.

Maybe an exorcist isn’t such a bad idea after all.

The post Singer Claims to be Seduced by Charming Yet Sinister Victorian Ghost first appeared on Mysterious Universe.

Newfound Gas Giant Orbits its Star in Just 6 Days

A large gas planet has been found that is hot and has a very short orbital period. By studying data collected by NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), a team of international astronomers found a new gas giant that’s been named TOI-530b.

The newfound planet is only about 17% smaller than Jupiter, with a mass that is about 0.4 Jupiter masses. It takes just 6.4 days to complete a full orbit around its host star and orbits at a distance of just 0.052 astronomical units (one astronomical unit is the distance of Earth to our sun). Additionally, the planet has an equilibrium temperature of approximately 565 Kelvin (557 degrees Fahrenheit or 292 degrees Celsius).

(Not TOI-530b)

The team of astronomers, who were led by Tianjun Gan of Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, found a transit signal in the light curve of an M dwarf star called TOI-530 (also called TIC-387690507) that’s located about 481.5 light-years away from us. Upon further analysis, they discovered the gas giant TOI-530b.

The star is approximately half the size and mass of our sun with a temperature of about 3,659 Kelvin (6,127 degrees Fahrenheit or 3,386 degrees Celsius). Its bolometric luminosity was measured at 0.049 solar luminosities which means that it is one of the faintest stars that can be accessible by spectroscopy equipment here on Earth.

In their paper, the researchers wrote in part, “We report the discovery of TOI-530b, a transiting giant planet around an M0.5V dwarf, delivered by the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite. … We verify the planetary nature of the transit signals by combining ground-based multi-wavelength photometry, high resolution spectroscopy from SPIRou [SpectroPolarimètre InfraROUge] as well as high-angular-resolution imaging.”

(Not TOI-530b)

They went on to say, “TOI-530b is the sixth transiting giant planet hosted by an M-type star, which is predicted to be infrequent according to core accretion theory, making it a valuable object to further study the formation and migration history of similar planets.”

Their research was published in arXiv where it can be read in full.

According to NASA, to date, 4,531 exoplanets have been confirmed; there are 7,798 planetary candidates; and 3,363 planetary systems have been found. Those are a lot of planets outside of our Solar System – will we ever find life on any of them?

The post Newfound Gas Giant Orbits its Star in Just 6 Days first appeared on Mysterious Universe.

26.16 – MU Podcast – The Incan Masters

We often talk about how western cultures have lost their connection to the spiritual realm; however it seem that is also the case for many traditional cultures. After following the teachings of the descendants of ancient Inka, one anthropologist have endeavoured to bring the concept of the luminous energy field and its influence on each and every one of us to modernity.

Then for Plus+ we take a look at the hidden story surrounding the alleged ET kept captive at S4 and the legends of time travel portals and “looking glass” technology.


Shaman, Healer, Sage: How to Heal Yourself and Others with the Energy Medicine of the Americas
The Heart of the Shaman: Stories and Practices of the Luminous Warrior
The Four Insights: Wisdom, Power, and Grace of the Earthkeepers
I am Infinity!

Plus+ Extension

The extension of the show is EXCLUSIVE to Plus+ Members. To join, click HERE.

Michael Schratt
Out from under Majestic
Looking Glass
The post 26.16 – MU Podcast – The Incan Masters first appeared on Mysterious Universe.