Monday, August 22, 2011

There is a sad note in the UFO news today as Budd Hopkins, the very famous UFO abduction researcher, died yesterday at the age of 80. Loren Coleman has more on Hopkins' death and the loss of others this summer who were involved in researching UFOs and other anomalies, with Another Gone: Budd Hopkins Dies. And Bill Chalker celebrates his life and contributions in Budd Hopkins: June 15, 1931 - August 21, 2011: a fascinating life: "Art, Life and UFOs". Finally Coleman remarks on the passing of yet another notable investigator involved in research that transcends the norm withMind Scientist Helmut Schmidt Dies.

Richard Freeman begins a series that shows cryptozoology isn't all fun and games. Freeman quickly exposes his own encounters with danger in the wilderness, including a cobra bite. Then, with the words, "Some who venture into the heart of darkness pay the ultimate price: they are swallowed by the wilderness, vanishing as if they had never existed," he launches into the details of two cryptozoologist who chose to go it alone. British Captain Leicester Stevens and his giant wolf-dog hybrid Laddie disappeared in Africa searching for the Mokele Mbembe in 1919, and Russian geologist and cryptid seeker Vladimir Pushkarev drowned while hunting the Almasty in Siberia, alone, in 1978. Then in Swallowed by the Wilderness (Part Two), the concluding instalment, Freeman tells of the 1917 trek into South Africa by Oxford-educated Peter Grayson, the trials and tribulations of Grayson's party and how Grayson decided to go on alone, never to be seen again. Was Peter Grayson the victim of the monster he sought, the "grootslang" that guarded the Wonder Hole? Elsewhere, Dale Drinnon continues linking together the worldwide tales of dragons and the equally worldwide tales of sea serpents in Taotie (Tao T'ieh) Dragon Faces.

Jason Offutt concluded his story of one family's encounter with the unknown in California, noting that the family's experiences and description of the property involved mirrored a very similar report he had written of another California family two years ago. So, Offutt put the ladies of the two families together and they visited the site of the home they both had occupied during the terrible days and nights their families were terrorized by an evil gnome. Would it turn out to be the same home? Would there be major changes? And would the terrifying gnome still lurk on the banks of the Tule River? Elsewhere, in a tale that stretches from semi-cryptid-like encounters to beings from other worlds, Mike Clelland relates a curious case of contact beyond the grave that might have something to do with extraterrestrial interest in the human experience, as explained in Mac Tonnies, Anya Briggs and Owls. Meanwhile, Lisa Lee Harp Waugh draws on the tales of Louisiana, Texas and the Old Country, making use of the fantastic illustrations of Ricardo Pustanio and such references as Brad Steiger's expanded edition of the classic The Werewolf Book: The Encyclopedia of Shape-Shifting Beings and other monster-related tomes to give an in-depth history of a supernatural creature in The True Curse of Loup Garou.

Taking Sasquatch from the tabloids to the science journals

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