A Mysterious Vanishing Ship in the Caribbean

The vast seas of our world have become hotpots for numerous unsolved mysteries. It seems to go without saying that these vast expanses of ocean should draw to them tales of the unexplained, and for centuries the sea has provided numerous strange mysteries we are nowhere close to solving. Ranking high among these are those countless vessels that have gone off over the horizon to never be seen again, or to return with bizarre clues. One of these was a vessel that was legendary in its region at the time, which would sail off only to be found later with no crew and plenty of oddities that have never been solved.

Back in the 1930s, a shipwright and captain by the name of Reg Michell was living on the island of Bequia, which is a part of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, in the Caribbean, when he decided that he was going to design and build the largest sailing vessel the region had ever seen. At the time, Bequia was a center for whaling, and was also a major boat-building mecca, its shipbuilders considered among the best in the world. Among these, Mitchell was among the most respected of all, a hulking mountain of a man, by some accounts 7 feet tall, who was known for his incredibly well-crafted boats. On this occasion, he set about the monumental task of constructing a colossal vessel that was 165 feet long, weighed 175 tons, and sported three impressive masts. It was named the Gloria Colita, and at the time it was the largest wooden sailing vessel the Caribbean had ever seen, a monumental display of shipbuilding ingenuity.

In 1939, the Gloria Colita embarked on its maiden voyage, sailing to British Guyana and then to Cuba, awing all who saw the massive vessel. This would become the ship’s main route, collecting rice at British Guyana, then going to Cuba to pick up shipments of sugar to then take to Mobile, Alabama, in the United States. In Alabama, the crew would then load up on lumber and bring it back. By all accounts, the Gloria Colita and crew were very good at what they did, and became renowned throughout the region. This would go on for two years, the tale of the giant ship becoming almost legendary, but then it would take a dark voyage that would push it into the realm of strange unsolved mysteries.

In May of 1940, the Gloria Colita went about its usual route, loading rice in British Guyana as usual, then making its way this time to Venezuela, which was not part of their usual routine and the reasons for which are murky. Once they arrived in Venezuela, Reg mysteriously fired his entire crew and gathered up a new one, composed entirely of Spanish-speaking locals. The vessel then departed to head on to Mobile as if nothing had happened, where it loaded lumber as usual and headed for Havana, Cuba. However, it would never reach its destination, and this is where things would get weird.

When the Gloria Colita did not arrive as expected, it caused not a little concern, as this was a huge ship that was rather famous in the region and which was hard to miss. There were great efforts made to locate the ship but these turned up no signs of it, despite the fact that this was a fairly busy trade route. Indeed, no one seemed to have even seen the Gloria Colita, and it would not be until two weeks later that the ship would finally be located under very mysterious circumstances. The vessel was found by a United States Coast Guard plane, drifting aimlessly in the Gulf Stream about 150 miles south of Mobile, and when shops were sent to investigate there was found to be no one aboard. The ship’s rigging and rudder were gone, and although the log was still there, there is no mention of what happened to them. Indeed, all of the belongings of the estimated nine crew members had been left behind, with no clue at all as to why any of them would have wanted to have left the ship. Additionally, all of the cargo was still there and properly stowed, discounting the possibility that this had been the result of piracy. There was even food on the table and Mitchell’s dog was found alive wandering about the ship. It was as if they had all just evaporated into thin air.

The Gloria Colita was towed back to Mobile to be sold for scrap, and in the years after there would be much speculation as to what had happened to the crew. One of the main theories is that the ship had been hit by a sudden rogue wave, which had managed to wash all crew members overboard. Another idea is that there had been a mutiny, and that Michell had been killed, after which the crew had escaped, but why would they have done this? Other more outlandish theories point to them being captured by a German U-boat, being sucked into a portal, or even being whisked away by UFOs, but no one knows for sure. Neither do we know why the Captain had taken his ship on an unscheduled detour to Venezuela to change crews, and it is all rather baffling, indeed. What happened to this ship and its crew? Where did they go off to and what was the meaning of the mysterious detour and changing of crew? We may never know, and the mystery of the Gloria Colita remains a compelling but little known oddity.

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The Legend of Boggy Creek: Could There be a Better Bigfoot Movie? Nope!

Ask most people to name a Bigfoot movie and, in all likelihood, they will reply: Harry and the Hendersons. There’s very little doubt that the 1987 production is the one Bigfoot-based film, more than any other, to which the general public relates to and has an awareness of. Many people might be surprised to know, however, that more than fifty movies have been made on Bigfoot and other cryptid-apes. The list includes The Snow Creature, Snowbeast, Willow Creek, Creature from Black Lake, Abominable, The Sasquatch Gang, and The Wild Man of the Navidad. Ask those within the Bigfoot-seeking community for their favorite Bigfoot movie and the response will likely be a very different one to any of those I’ve highlighted above. Numerous Sasquatch aficionados have a particular fondness for a 1972 movie titled The Legend of Boggy Creek. What makes the movie stand out from so many others of its type is that The Legend of Boggy Creek is based upon real events that occurred in and around the small town of Fouke, Arkansas in the early 1970s. No one knows more about this than Lyle Blackburn, the author of the book, The Beast of Boggy Creek and other cool, cryptozoological books.

Lyle notes that on May 3, 1971, the Texarkana Gazette “…printed the first in a series of hair-raising reports about a monster that allegedly haunted the woods near Fouke. The monster was said to be a large, hairy ape-like creature that walked upright on two legs. It stood nearly seven feet tall, had glowing red eyes, gave off a rank odor, and occasionally let out a horrifying shriek.”  The description of the monster, said Lyle, “…was not unlike that of Sasquatch or Bigfoot, but this creature had a decidedly Southern slant in that it seemed to be leaner, meaner, and hairier. As more reports came in, it was apparent that the thing – whatever it was – preferred the proximity of Boggy Creek, a ruddy tributary which snakes up and around Fouke like a long, forked tongue.” It wasn’t long before a certain character, a man named Charles B. Pierce, became fascinated by the story of the monster of Boggy Creek, a monster that provoked numerous encounters in the wooded neighborhood in mid-1971 (it should be noted, too, that Lyle has cataloged reports dating from 1908 to 2010). The story of the making of the movie is almost as fascinating as the story of the creature itself.

 

Born in 1938, in Indiana, Pierce moved to Arkansas, with his family, when he was still a child. Having a love of movies and the world of television, Pierce worked, variously, as an actor, producer, director, and screenwriter. His skills contributed to such well-known television shows as Remington Steele, the re-launched, 1980s version of The Twilight Zone, and MacGyver. It is, however, for his 1972 movie, The Legend of Boggy Creek, that Pierce is most well- and fondly-remembered. To say that Pierce was enterprising in his effort to bring his brainchild to fruition is an understatement. Unable to finance the movie himself, he secured funding – of a six-figure nature – from a trucking company. And, instead of using a cast filled solely with actors, he elected to use some of the real eyewitnesses to the creature as part of his cast. It was a gamble that could have led to complete and utter disaster of both a financial and critical nature for Pierce. Instead, The Legend of Boggy Creek – released on December 6, 1972 – achieved cult-like status, and reeled in more than $20 Million in the process.

Nick Redfern and Lyle Blackburn (Photo: Denise Rector)

Several sequels (best forgotten) followed, none of which came anywhere near to the level of the original. Charles B. Pierce died in 2010. As Lyle Blackburn’s work and research demonstrates, however, the monster of Boggy Creek lives on. As does its legend, of course.

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Rare Dinosaur Bones Found in Oregon are a “Really Big Deal”

Rare dinosaur bones that were unearthed in Oregon have experts describing them as a “really big deal”. After several bone fragments belonging to dinosaurs were unearthed in loose rock on the Bureau of Land Management land close to the town of Mitchell last year, researchers conducted another dig at the site that began on June 15th of this year and lasted 12 days.

It was during this most recent dig sponsored by the University of Oregon that a foot bone belonging to a 103-million-year-old ornithopod was found by Christine Broz who is the mother of a University of Oregon scientist and was helping her son dig at the site.

She explained how she found the fossil, “We were asked to kind of clear down this one area next to where they had been finding some other things.” “And I just saw something that looked different from all the other rocks that I had been seeing and the texture looked different and the shape looked symmetrical.” She went on to say that “It was surprising, and I didn’t really understand the impact of it in the beginning. And they kept saying this is a really big deal.”

While the bone looked like nothing more than an ordinary rock, experts knew that it was a significant find as University of Oregon professor Dr. Gregory Retallack noted that it was “slightly chipped”, adding that, “…in there you can see that spongy bone texture, that texture that you get in the ‘T’ of a T-bone steak, that’s really the characteristic that it’s bone instead of rock.”

As for the ornithopod that the bone belonged to, Dr. Retallack stated that they were large herbivores that measured approximately 5 meters (16.4 feet) and weighed around 1,500 pounds (680 kilograms).

At the end of their 12-day dig, the team unearthed 30 more dinosaur fossils. Gregory Carr, who is an amateur paleontologist with the North America Research Group, talked about the findings, “We may just have a dinosaur foot floating around here,” adding, “It may be more than that, we may have pieces of backbones and stuff.”

But, of course, further analysis of the bones need to be conducted in order to know exactly which species of ornithopod these bones all belonged to as Dr. Retallack explained, “We’d like to be able to name this ornithopod, but in order for that we need a tooth or some diagnostic piece. We’ve just started looking at the material and started seeing what it means.”

The reason why these bones are such an exciting find is because there haven’t been many dinosaur bones found in Oregon so far. This is because the state was covered in water for the majority of the time that dinosaurs roamed the Earth. To put this into better perspective, the first ever dinosaur bone found in the state only occurred around six years ago.

A video about the discovery can be seen here.

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Wobbling Moon, Bisexual Algae, Olympias Found and More Mysterious News Briefly — July 13, 2021

Mysterious News Briefly — July 13, 2021

The lost tomb of Olympias, the mother of Alexander the Great, has finally been discovered in the Tomb of Korinos in northern Greece. She knew him when he was just Little Alex with the poopy toga.

In the ongoing argument over whether phosphine gas detected in the atmosphere of Venus is a sign of life, new research has found it could be from volcanic activity on the planet’s surface. There goes any chance of recruiting astronauts from Pompeii.

Release notes for the long-awaited beta version 9 (v9) of Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) software warn that “It may do the wrong thing at the worst time.” Sounds like Tesla needs some beta test drivers who are also parents of teenagers who do the same thing.

NASA scientists are predicting that a wobble in the moon’s orbit starting in 2030 will wreak havoc on the tides in coastal areas where climate change is already causing high waters and flooding. Time to update the old song: “When the moon gets the shakes, watch those high tides it makes … that’s a warning.”

The government of California is trying to shut down HAM radio operators who provide free emergency communications during disasters that are often more reliable and far-reaching than other networks. No surprise here — free HAM means no pork for the politicians.

Archaeologists exploring a subterranean cave in Gabon discovered the skulls of medieval-era adults who altered their appearance by removing their upper four front teeth as an indicator of their social status. Were they known as the rich whistlers?

According to a new study, dog puppies are born with an innate aptitude for understanding human gestures that wolf pups raised by humans will never achieve. Unfortunately, there’s no innately learned hand gesture for “don’t pee on the carpet.”

Fossilized teeth from extinct sand tiger sharks that hunted in the waters off the Antarctic Peninsula tens of millions of years ago are helping scientists solve the mystery of why the Earth 50 million years ago began shifting from a “greenhouse” climate that was warmer than today toward cooler “icehouse” conditions. They’re trying to narrow the timeframe down to the exact days so they can call it a prehistoric Shark Week.

Specialists from the Arsenal Design Bureau – a subsidiary of Russia’s Roscosmos space agency — have proposed the creation of a nuclear power plant at a future Russian Mars base. Call it Marsnoble and see how many cosmonauts want to work there.

University of Tokyo scientists collected green algae (Pleodorina starrii ) samples from the Sagami River and found it has three distinct sexes – ‘male’, ‘female’, and a third sex that the team have called ‘bisexual’ – making this the first time any species of algae has been discovered with three sexes. That explains the parade in the Petri dish.

The post Wobbling Moon, Bisexual Algae, Olympias Found and More Mysterious News Briefly — July 13, 2021 first appeared on Mysterious Universe.

New Navy Witness Says He Saw a ‘Tic Tac’ Operating Underwater

When it comes to the Tic-Tac UFOs, the USS Omaha and the USS Nimitz and their pilots and crews have gotten all of the publicity. However, there have been other ships in the same area with pilots and crew members having their own encounters, and one recently came forward with a new story concerning the crafts that have the Navy, the Pentagon and politicians in Washington most concerned – underwater and transmedium ships. Is it time for the rest of us to worry too?

“I was staring into the water from above when a large, fat, white ‘Tic Tac’ object, approximately twenty feet in length, suddenly appeared in my view below me, moving right and darted into the depths as fast as it appeared. I couldn’t really comprehend what I saw. It was definitely a solid object, but when it descended, its forward end rapidly collapsed in on itself and disappeared.”

A port side view of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS CARL VINSON (CVN-70).

E-4 Petty Officer John Baughman was station onboard the USS Carl Vinson, a Nimitz-class supercarrier, in 2010 when the ship was in Haiti delivering humanitarian aid after that country’s devastating earthquake. At that time, Baughman was a Gunner’s mate on a break and doing what all sailor’s do on break – looking out across the main reason why they became sailors. He tells UFO researcher Ryan Sprague on the Trail of the Saucers web page that he expected to see the usual – ““Everything from sharks, dolphins and whales to giant squids, sea turtles, and swordfish.” Instead, he saw an unidentified submerged object. Being a well-trained crew member, he reported the sighting to his immediate supervisor, who told Baughman:

“Everyone sees weird shit in the ocean.”

Weird – yes, but this was not ‘shit’. While the 2004 Tic Tac encounters by the USS Nimitz were still a decade away from being exposed to the public, there’s little doubt that they were known among Navy personnel, especially crews and pilots on supercarriers. However, his superior’s response reflected the philosophy of the day – don’t talk about UFOs or you’ll be considered strange, ridiculed … or worse. Still cautious today, even after the Pentagon report confirming there are things about and below the surface that it can’t explain, Baughman told Sprague he’s not sure what it was but that shouldn’t stop anyone from reported unidentified flying or submerged objects and helping the military and private scientists and researchers figure out what they are and how to respond.

Still image from the footage of the “tic-tac” UFO

“It’s hard to come to grips with something like this, and I still feel somewhat insecure about it because it doesn’t make sense. But at the same time, more data points, even as basic as my story, could help solve the mystery of whether they’re foreign adversaries playing mind games, non-human entities, or the myriad of other possibilities.”

Kudos to Ryan Sprague for getting John Baughman’s story into print. He’s asking others – military, ex-military, private citizens – to report sightings and offers a place on his website to do so. As Baughman found out, “Everyone sees weird shit in the ocean” … but only the few and the brave report it.

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A Deconstruction of the Infamous Spontaneous Vanishing of David Lang

The world of paranormal and Fortean literature is littered with all manner of strange and fantastical tales, and many of these have become mainstays that are written of again and again. Many will read such amazing tales and gasp with astonishment and believe these stories as being perhaps real, but there at times seem to be just as many bogus stories taken into the canon as those that are truly mysterious and warrant further research. The world of the strange is sadly peppered with questionable cases that have gone on to be embraced as real, and sometimes it is worth calling out a story that needs to be retired from the discussion. One account widely reported on that is most likely a pure fabrication is one of the most beloved stories of an anomalous vanishing out there, which is undoubtedly odd, but which is likely no more than a figment of the imagination.

One of the most well-known supposed mysterious disappearances to ever appear in Fortean literature is that of one David Lang, who was supposedly a farmer who lived on a rural property near Gallatin, Tennessee. For those who have never heard the tale, the story goes that on September 23, 1880, when Lang was strolling across a field near Gallatin, Tennessee, when he suddenly just blinked out of existence as his wife, children, and two men passing nearby in a buggy all looked on in disbelief, just ceasing to exist as if erased from reality in full view of all of these witnesses. When the whole area was checked, they could allegedly find no sign of where David had gone. Making things even weirder was a reported fifteen-foot diameter circle of yellowed, dead grass where David had disappeared, and faint ghostly voices heard by his children seven months later in the exact spot where he had vanished, which they claimed belonged to their father. Prolific paranormal author Frank Edwards would famously write the gold standard of this case in his book Stranger Than Fiction, saying of it:

David Lang had not taken more than half a dozen steps when he disappeared in full view of all those present. Mrs. Lang screamed. The children, too startled to realize what had happened, stood mutely. Instinctively, they all ran toward the spot where Lang had last been seen a few seconds before. Judge Peck and his companion, the Judge’s brother-in-law, scrambled out of their buggy and raced across the field. The five of them arrived on the spot of Lang’s disappearance almost simultaneously. There was not a tree, not a bush, not a hole to mar the surface. And not a single clue to indicate what had happened to David Lang.

 

The grownups searched the field around and around, and found nothing. Mrs. Lang became hysterical and had to be led screaming into the house. Meanwhile, neighbors had been altered by the frantic ringing of a huge bell that stood in the side yard, and they spread the alarm. By nightfall scores of people were on the scene, many of them with lanterns. They searched every foot of the field in which Lang had last been seen a few hours before. They stamped their feet on the dry hard sod in hope of detecting some hole into which he might have fallen — but they found none. David Lang was gone. He had vanished in full view of his wife, his two children, and the two men in the buggy. One second he was there, walking across the sunlit field, the next instant he was gone.

The strange tale was supposedly a sensation at the time, later appearing in the July 1953 issue of Fate Magazine and being written about by Harold Wilkins in his book Strange Mysteries of Time and Space (1958), and both Wilkins and Edwards claimed that this was a real and true account of a very anomalous and strange event. It all seems like such an amazing story, and for years it was treated as a genuine case of unexplained phenomena, and still is, but over time it has become apparent that it probably never happened at all. Researchers who have investigated the case have found that there is absolutely no record of a Lang family in Gallatin, Tennessee at that time, no news reports from the era mentioning the case, and no missing person reports filed at the time for a David Lang, making it pretty odd. It has now gone on to mostly be thought that the fantastical story was a fiction created by the writer of the original Fate Magazine article that mentioned it, a man named Stuart Palmer, as a journalistic hoax. Palmer had claimed that he had heard the tale directly from Sarah Lang, the daughter of David Lang, and for the most part people accepted this as fact. The case of David Lang would go on to become a recurring case in any discussion on paranormal vanishings, and has become entrenched in the lore of Forteana, but how real was any of this? As it turns out, probably not very.

It is thought that Palmer probably lifted the idea for the tale from a book by the enigmatic author Ambrose Bierce, specifically the short stories called The Difficulty of Crossing a Field, and likely elements of another story called Charles Ashmore’s Trail, both of which Bierce included in his 1893 collection of short stories Can Such Things Be?. For anyone not familiar with Ambrose Bierce, in the late 1800s he was one of the most popular writers around, a celebrated Civil War veteran who was also a journalist and prolific author who wrote not only books and short stories, but also a wide array of newspaper articles and essays, and he appeared in publications as varied as the New York Journal, the New York American, the San Francisco Chronicle, and Cosmopolitan. Such was his popularity at the time that he has served as the inspiration to many other notable authors, including the greats Jack London and Joaquin Miller. Although his works remain more obscure and hard to get in more modern times, he was once known very well-known, particularly on the West Coast of the United States and especially for his work concerning the world of the bizarre and the supernatural. Indeed, the author was rather obsessed with death and the paranormal, which is rather prominently featured in his stories, with many of them including ghosts and other strange occurrences. Much of his work was also known for its very realistic tone, a carry-over from Bierce’s experience as a journalist, which gave the stories a convincing weight that at times made people believe that his works of fiction were actually factual pieces.

While The Difficulty of Crossing a Field shares many beats with the Lang story, involving a farmer who similarly evaporates into thin air, perhaps the best-known example of this realism is Bierce’s short story Charles Ashmore’s Trail. The story is written as if it is a real account of something that actually happened, and concerns a young man named Charles Ashmore, who on a snowy November night in 1878 leaves his family’s farm house in Quincy Illinois to go get water from a nearby well. Charles does not return, and his concerned family go out to look for him. Since a fresh snow has just fallen, there are footprints clearly visible leading off towards the well, but they abruptly stop halfway there. Calls out into the icy dark remain unanswered. There is no sign of Charles anywhere, no further footprints, and no trace of him having fallen down in the snow. He has simply blinked out of existence. Nevertheless, thinking that the young man has somehow managed to reach the well and then fallen in, the father and older sister make their way to the well only to find a clean sheet of unbroken ice overlaying it. Making things even spookier yet is that 4 days later the mother goes to the well to collect water and can hear the unearthly, disembodied voice of her son calling out from thin air at the spot where the footprints had ended. This haunting, ghostly voice would continue to call out from the ether from time to time before eventually disappearing completely. It is another famous case often listed as genuine in Fortean literature, but which is no doubt a complete fabrication by Bierce, merely written in the style of a real account.

Ambrose Bierce

This strange story might be very familiar to anyone with an interest in mysterious vanishings, as it has often made reappearances in different permutations as a real case, and has influenced many other strange accounts that are supposedly “real,” including David Lang. One such supposedly real case that stemmed from these tales is the case of Oliver Larch, sometimes called Oliver Lerch or Oliver Thomas, who similarly goes out to a well behind his house, this time on Christmas Eve and in Indiana, and also disappears into thin air, in this case after a strange bright flash of light. When the family go to investigate, they then notice that the boy’s tracks stop in the snow halfway to the well and his terrified voice can be heard shouting from the air “Help! It’s got me! It’s got me!” from somewhere in the air above them before silence. Often mentioned as a true story of the strange, this is almost certainly a spinoff the Ashmore story penned by Bierce. It also sounds very, very similar to the David Lang case and undoubtedly influenced the account, along with other tales, in particular The Difficulty Crossing a Field.

Although in Bierce’s story The Difficulty of Crossing a Field, the vanished man’s name is Williamson and the event happens in Alabama, almost every other detail is exactly the same. Bierce followed up on this story by claiming that he had interviewed experts such as a scientist named Dr. Maximilian Hern, who theorized that the vanishing was caused by a “void spot of universal ether,” which were speculated to be spots in the fabric of reality that lasted only a few second but destroyed all matter within them, vaporizing anything unlucky to wander into one. Bierce also said that he had interviewed other researchers who said it was caused by a magnetic field that had transported Lang to another dimension. It was all very convincing, but all fiction. Interestingly, Bierce always claimed that the story of Williamson itself was actually in fact true, and that he had written his own story to be based on it after hearing the tale as a child and being fascinated and inspired by it, but this was likely just his usual effort to make it all seem as realistic as possible. Bierce was known to not only write in an authoritative, convincing way, but also added to the whole air of realism in his stories by doing things such as providing supposed follow-up interviews with family and witnesses to the strange events, as well as investigations of the sites themselves. In fact, his short stories were often not presented as short fiction at all, but rather mistakenly put forth as real, journalistic accounts. This realism has caused some of his stories to be sourced as real events, which is a testament to Bierce’s skill at weaving tales that blur the line between fact and fiction.

Both the Oliver Larch and David Lang cases have been in different permutations persistently reported on as real events that actually occurred, and are often referenced as factual in many works on the strange and unexplained, yet they most likely have their origins in Bierce’s original fictional short stories, or were at least heavily influenced by them. This was the extent of his power to convince people that the situations in his fiction had really occurred, whether he did this intentionally or not. Although Bierce had a genuine interest in the paranormal, and unexplained vanishings in particular, and also wrote many of his stories in a way that made them seem as if they were based on real events, they were probably totally fabricated or at best fact mixed with good amounts of fiction, as many of his stories were known to be. It is often hard with Bierce’s work to tell where the line is between the real and the fantastical. This has caused many of his stories to be picked up as real disappearances that actually occurred, often changing slightly over the years, and muddying the waters for those looking for the genuine article with real sources, blurring the line between what is reliable information and what is not.

Bierce’s work was often sourced in many other articles, journals, and books without anyone being none the wiser that it was all based on a source that was questionable at best and bogus at worst, but it would all snowball into the stories being taken as fact with little questioning. The fact that so many books on the paranormal and unexplained have frequently mentioned these stories that are based on fictional accounts does not bode well for the other myriad similar cases of people vanishing into thin air, and one wonders if a lot of these tales are similarly colored with fiction or even complete hogwash. With these strong indications of unexplained phenomena being treated as real based on fictional sources, it is hard with these bizarre accounts of spontaneous vanishings to separate what might have actually happened from what is pure fancy. At the very least some of these cases must be taken with a grain of salt.

Palmer would later defend himself and his Lang story, claiming that the Lang account was actually true, and that it had in fact  influenced Bierce’s stories, but it is more likely that the opposite is true. It is now thought that Palmer reworked Bierce’s stories and this became the seed for the Lang story, which merely borrows elements from these tales to create a story being passed off as true. And so a long beloved staple of many works on Fortean phenomena and the unexplained turns out to be almost certainly based on a fictional account. To this day the Lang case is often brought up as a real and true account, held up as a bizarre actual event, but it is most certainly not. What can this tell us about other beloved accounts out there? There seems to be the very good chance that many others are similarly based on fictional accounts that have taken on a life of their own, and it just goes to show you that it is best to have an open mind, but not so open that your brain falls out.

 

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Gloucester’s Haunted New Inn Hotel is Now For Sale

An allegedly haunted hotel, pub, and restaurant in Gloucester, England, is currently on the market for £1.65million (just under $2.3 million in American funds). The New Inn, which is located on Northgate Street, has three floors with a total of 36 rooms. According to the listings page by Savills, the building was constructed around the year 1460. (Several pictures of the New Inn can be seen on the listings page.)

And it is rumored to be quite haunted. In fact, late last year, it was reported that a ghost was caught on camera during a paranormal investigation. The Gloucester Paranormal Investigation Services was live-streaming their investigation of the New Inn when viewers reported seeing a ghost. The figure, which was believed to have been a man wearing a cap, was seen standing behind a window watching the team while they were conducting their investigation. (A picture of the alleged spirit can be seen here.)

Lead investigator Paul Cowmeadow described some of the entities who are said to inhabit the hotel, “We know that there is a chef at the New Inn and we seem to have come across three different men called John.” “One of the men called John is a gatekeeper which used to reside at the New Inn and is generally picked up by the coffee shop area in the building as it is today.”

Other ghostly activity associated with the New Inn include a spirit who hangs out in the loft area, as well as another who allegedly pushes people and who apparently killed several pregnant women (with his baby) by throwing them off the hotel’s balcony while he was alive. There are rumors that the women’s bodies were hidden behind the cellar walls but there is no evidence of that.

A different male ghost wearing dark clothes is said to haunt the Oak Suite by moving objects in the bathroom and making the four-poster bed drapes move on their own. He is often seen standing in the middle of the room. Guests in that room have also experienced sparkly lights and one person even claimed that the spirit actually got in bed with him.

Sudden cold spots have been felt in the hotel in addition to hearing ghostly children playing outside in the courtyard, and unexplained footsteps have been heard inside of the building. One employee who was staying at the hotel claimed that a child’s ghost was communicating with her daughter.

With all of that paranormal activity, whoever decides to purchase the New Inn may have numerous ghostly guests who refuse to check out.

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24.02 – MU Plus+ Podcast – Furey’s Great Escape

We continue the incredible story of J. Frank Norfleet who after a shock sophisticated scam loss, sets about pursuing a gang across the United States. Using methods of disguise, and through sheer tenacity and persistence that he manages to end up in a chase worthy of a Hollywood film.

We also discuss drunk faefolk and hear the latest theory about an old Japanese curse and its influence.

This episode is EXCLUSIVE to Plus+ Members. To join, click HERE.

Norfleet: The Actual Experiences of a Texas Rancher’s 30,000-mile Transcontinental Chase after Five Confidence Men
The Mark Inside: A Perfect Swindle, a Cunning Revenge, and a Small History of the Big Con
That ancient Japanese curse that looms over the Tokyo Olympics
The Cluricaun
Kitboga Youtube
I Tricked This Scammer Into Video Chatting
The post 24.02 – MU Plus+ Podcast – Furey’s Great Escape first appeared on Mysterious Universe.

Retrieved UFOs and Dead Aliens: Have Their Ever Been Any? Nope

When it comes to the matter of UFOs, there’s one thing that could solve the entire riddle in a moment. I’m sure you can guess what it is. It’s a crashed UFO and its crew (dead or alive). Over the decades, dozens of claims of such secretly retrieved craft and bodies by military personnel have been made. Unfortunately, no hard evidence of this type has ever been found. No corpses. No ship. Even the world’s most famous crashed UFO story – Roswell, of course – has nothing but testimony and claims to support it. The fact is that we have no evidence that any UFO has ever fallen to Earth and been recovered. Over the years, I’ve pointed out why I don’t believe that any kind of UFO ever crashed outside of Roswell, New Mexico in 1947. Like it or like it not, the Roswell event was a top secret military experiment. That’s all. If the “best” crashed UFO case has fallen (as it has) then what does that say about all of the others? The answer is “Not a lot!” With that all said, let us take a look at some more reports of what have become known as “UFO crash-retrievals.” Let’s begin with the Aztec, New Mexico totally-non-event of March 1948.

Much of the story was pushed and prompted by a notorious character who was well-known to the FBI: Silas Newton. At its website, The Vault, the FBI says of Newton: “Silas Newton (1887-1972) was a wealthy oil producer and con-man who claimed that he had a gadget that could detect minerals and oil. He was cited as an authority in Frank Scully’s book Behind the Flying Saucers, a work that claimed to report on several UFO crashes in the area of New Mexico. In 1950, Newton said that a flying saucer crashed on land he leased in the Mojave Desert; however, he revised his claim in 1952, saying he never saw a flying saucer but had only repeated comments he heard from others. These files detail the FBI’s investigations into Newton’s fraudulent activities between 1951 and 1970 [italics mine].”

The so-called “FBI Hottel memo” that allegedly revealed a cover-up of the Aztec UFO crash, but that was just nonsense.

How about the 1953 Kingman, Arizona case? Over the years, the case has surfaced time and again – with several researchers believing that the case had merit. It didn’t then and it doesn’t now. The story of the crash of an alleged UFO in May 1953 – on the fringes of the town of Kingman, Arizona – is one of the most controversial of its kind. But, how many people really know how the “crashed saucer” saga began? I thought today I would share with you just how the whole thing took off, so to speak. The genesis of the story can be traced back to early February of 1971. At the time, Jeff Young and Paul Chetham were two new and enthusiastic UFO investigators who were digging into a truly sensational story that, if true, strongly suggested intelligent life existed outside of the confines of our own world. These amazing revelations came from a man named Arthur Stansel, who was a good friend of Young’s family and who claimed to have had personal, firsthand knowledge of a crashed UFO and alien body recovery near Kingman on May 21, 1953.

If you read the early, 1970s, material on the Kingman “case,” you’ll see that Stansel (while wasted on drinks, I should stress, and now dead) changed his description of the shape of the “UFO.” One minute it was small and shaped like an aircraft fuselage. Then, he altered it to the shape of a classic Flying Saucer. Make your mind, man. U.S. Air Force files demonstrate that in the same precise time frame of the Kingman crash – specifically, during the Atomic Energy Commission’s Upshot-Knothole tests that Arthur Stansel played a role in – the military was secretly test-flying drone aircraft in the Nevada/Arizona area with monkeys on board. While the image of an unmanned drone aircraft packed with a crew of monkeys flying across the deserts of the Southwest might sound laughable and bizarre in the extreme, official papers establishing that such tests were indeed undertaken have surfaced.

The papers were released into the public domain via the terms of the Freedom of Information Act, and are housed at the United States’ National Archives, where they can be viewed and studied by the general public and historians – which I have done. A document titled Early Cloud Penetration, dated January 27, 1956, and prepared by the Air Research and Development Command at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, states in part: “In the event of nuclear warfare the AF is confronted with two special problems. First is the hazard to flight crews who may be forced to fly through an atomic cloud. Second is the hazard to ground crews who maintain the aircraft after it has flown through the cloud…In the 1953 Upshot-Knothole tests, monkeys were used so that experiments could be conducted on larger “animals nearer the size of man. QF-80 drone aircraft were used, their speed more nearly approximating that of current operational aircraft.” There’s no doubt that the Kingman “UFO crash” was born out of rumors of what really happened: the crash of an aircraft with a poor, little monkey on-board. Now, there’s the “Spitsbergen” controversy.

If there are two things we can say for sure about reports of alleged crashed UFOs, it’s that (A) there are a hell of a lot of them; and (B) many are highly controversial in nature. And one of those cases that falls firmly into category B is alleged to have occurred off the coast of Norway on the island of Spitsbergen in mid-1952. It’s a case that a few UFO researchers accept as being genuine, but that a great many believe to be nothing less than a complete and outrageous hoax. There’s another possibility too, however: that the story was a deliberate, government-created “plant” to confuse the truth about tales of UFOs crashing to earth, whatever that truth might really be. By far the most intriguing aspect of this saga, however, came from none other than the National Security Agency. From the NSA I obtained a translation of a 1960s Russian media article on the UFO subject. Contained within the article, I was interested to see, was a passing reference to the Spitsbergen incident, which stated:

“An abandoned silvery disc was found in the deep rock-coal seams in Norwegian coalmines on Spitsbergen. It was pierced and marked by micro-meteor impacts and bore all traces of having performed a long space voyage. It was sent for analysis to the Pentagon and disappeared there.” This was certainly a new slant on the case; but what really caught my eye was the National Security Agency’s reaction to the mention of the Spitsbergen story. Instead of dismissing the matter as a hoax, a still-unidentified NSA agent circled the paragraph of the article referencing Spitsbergen, and wrote in the margin the intriguing word “PLANT” in bold capitals. In other words, someone in the NSA knew that the case was not real: it was a bit of well-placed disinformation to worry the Russians into thinking America had a crashed high-tech UFO (or more than one…) on its hands.

In conclusion, the following needs to be noted: all of the cases above are well-known in Ufology. Also, each and everyone of them are (a) problematic and (b) total garbage. Flying monkeys, the wild claims of an alcoholic storyteller, a government plant, and the words of a shady businessman watched by the FBI for his many and varied illegal activities: those are the real stories. It’s not looking good for Ufology. This tells us something about Ufology when, despite the fact that none of these incidents ever happened, they’re still considered “the real deal” by so many in the subject.

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The Real Truth About the Famous Haunted Dybbuk Box is Revealed

A dybbuk in Jewish mythology is an evil spirit which can possess a living person – most often a male spirit that sexually invades a woman on the eve of her wedding. The dybbuk went on to possess popular culture by way of the Dybbuk Box, which first came to light in 2003 when its then owner Kevin Mannis tried to sell an old wine box on eBay that he claimed to have bought in 2001 from the granddaughter of a recently deceased Holocaust survivor named Havela. According to his description, Mannis was told the grandmother always kept it shut and out of reach because there was a dybbuk inside it that would cause bad things to happen.

Tales of the bad things that happened (you didn’t think anyone listened to the warnings, did you?) have popped up in articles, books, podcasts and movies (The Possession) all the way up to recently. The long list includes rooms mysteriously ransacked, disembodied voices, visions of an old hag, mysterious scratch marks and bruises, strange smells, inexplicable health problems, the stroke of one owner, famous people terrified by it and more. (An excellent account of the alleged history can be read here and one on a recent celebrity opening can be read here.) Kevin Mannis has now come forward with the real story – and may also be worthy of a movie of a different kind.

An ‘Indiana Jones Opens the Dybbuk Box’ movie?

“I am a creative writer. The Dybbuk Box is a story that I created. And the Dybbuk Box story has done exactly what I intended it to do when I posted it 20 years ago. Which is to become an interactive horror story in real-time.”

In an interview with Charle Moss for Input Magazine, Mannis reveals that he made up the tale of the Dybbuk Box and explains how he did it. While he indeed bought it at a garage sale in 2001, the seller was an attorney who said it was a wine box. Mannis himself made the famous carving on the back is his creation, as is the mysterious stone inside. What about the two locks of hair?

“That’s my hair, yeah.”

Matthew “Shaggy” Christensen, who worked with Mannis at a bar called Club Underground in Beaverton, Oregon, confirmed what Mannis told Moss – the two locks of hair in the box were his.

“Kevin is one of the most brilliant people that I’ve ever met. The specific box was Kevin at a low point needing some money. And in his brilliant mind came up with an incredible story that he knew would sell. And it became the phenomenon that it is now.”

Curt Morris, another friend from that time, confirmed Mannis’ story as well, giving the primary reason why he did it. Mannis was not a millionaire in the mold of Forrest Fenn and his famous treasure chest, but a man with a fancy box in need of a few bucks and a change of luck after some bad experiences.

“At the time I created the Dybbuk Box, it was during Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement,” he writes in a Facebook message to me. “I created the box whilst praying and asking for forgiveness for all of the sins that I had committed that I knew about, and, perhaps even more important, the sins I had committed that I didn’t know about.”

No wine in the box.

Mannis told Moss of a few truths in the story. He really did give the ‘Dybbuk Box’ to his mother on Halloween and she did have a stroke shortly after. She also lied for her son in interviews about the box. However, one of the subsequent owners, Jason Haxton, after hearing Mannis’ confession, still believes the box has a power.

“I always call it a wish box. Whoever created the Dybbuk Box gave it a power to do something. The creation of the Dybbuk Box and its story created a ripple effect in people’s lives. The sum of the Dybbuk Box is greater than he ever imagined.”

Current owner Zak Bagans, host of the Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures show and proprietor of the Haunted Museum in Las Vegas where the Dybbuk Box is displayed as “The World’s Most Haunted Object,” is much more vehement about its authenticity despite Mannis’ confession.

“Since owning the Dybbuk Box, there have been countless documented experiences people have had with it. Not just from myself, but my museum staff, my fellow crew members, visitors, and most notably, Post Malone.”

Earlier this year, rapper Post Malone shared on “Late Night with Seth Meyers” that he was at the museum when Bagans touched the box and a sensation passed through him to Malone’s hand on his shoulder – which Malone believes transferred a curse to him … his plane made an emergency landing, he was robbed and involved in a car accident.

You shouldn’t play with what you find in boxes.

How can a fictional story concocted to sell an ordinary wine box cause all of that?

“There is more to this powerful, cursed item. Its story is still being told.”

And sold. Always the marketer and promoter, Bagans emailed Morris that he will keep the story alive.

Who do YOU believe?

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