Friday, October 25, 2013


Hello again, folks. Last time we spent the road traveling with Ethel Rudkin chasing Balls-of-Light and Will o' The Wisps on the lanes outside Willoughton in Lincolnshire. For me it was fun, and it seems such adventure was fun for Ms Rudkin as well. She loved mysteries, and the folklore which went with them, but mainly she loved Encounter Stories --- and in that she is exactly our kind of "girl". I wish that she was still with us, and could tell us of all her travels.

She did leave us at least one piece of writing with a richness of detail: her Lincolnshire Legends monograph. For those of us who don't have a copy, we are still [potentially] blessed with her article, "The Black Dog", from FOLKLORE, June 1948. As I am so blessed [what a privilege to be able to read such resources as this "off the shelf"], I am naturally going to see what I can do to share the great lady's insights. 

This, as you see from the label, is one of four maps from the article. It's a little bit of a fooler if you take it in too quickly. The Black Dog sightings are marked with a "star", i.e. *, and the bulk of the marks, "dots", are locations of villages with certain place name endings. Ms Rudkin was trying to find if there were patterns in her collection, and looking for "historical" connections was one thing that she tried [mostly, not entirely, unconvincingly for me].

The red circle [drawn in by me] shows a cluster of Black Dog sightings around her own town of Willoughton. This is a phenomenon commonly seen in the research into anomalistic encounter mysteries. If there is an active interested fieldworker about, that person will uncover a pile of reports. Even though Ethel Rudkin never had a Black Dog encounter herself [not for lack of trying], many friends, neighbors, townsfolk told her of their own [or their own family's] incidents. The other smaller circle drawn in by me on her map indicates Atterby. I put this in as a reminder to you readers about the Mystery BOL which traveled [travels?] between Willoughton to Atterby on The Old Leys Lane.

The other thing to understand about the map is that every * indicates a "spot" where a Pookha has been seen, not necessarily only one time. Some of these locations, although seeming to be wonderfully "fixed", have seen many encounters across a lot of years.

What I want to do is tell the stories, or at least a few of them --- THAT's a relief isn't is? I can just sense you all thinking, when is this Clown going to get around to the good stuff? OK. 

.... hmmmmm...... looking at these cases I can't suss any logical order to present them. Each has something different to say. I guess you'll have to put up with a random dis-order.

A). An acquaintance of Ms Rudkin told this encounter which happened in about 1916. She was going from Willoughton to nearby Kennington to be with a friend who had pneumonia. This was a short-ish uphill walk, and it was dusk. About halfway up this hill, there is an Ash tree with a hole in the hedge which lines that lane. As she passed, a large and shaggy black dog came through the hedge and followed her. It came quite close, but this lady was a dog lover and didn't mind. She did not, however, try to touch the strange animal. The dog paced closeby, and left her when she reached the top gate. She stayed with her friend for a few hours, and began the walk back home at around 10pm. She was a bit worried to be walking that late, and the husband of her friend accompanied her just a short way. When she reached the top gate, there was the black dog. Upon appearance it came right up to her and padded its way alongside down the hill. When they arrived at the Ash tree and the hole in the hedge, the dog veered right into the hole and disappeared. The lady thought that it was awfully nice that the big black dog had waited for her all those hours. 

Indeed. "Nice" hardly covers it. 

B). A case with a similar feel to it was told to Ms Rudkin by another native of Willoughton about his father, and from the same general timespan. This took place along a footpath to the south of town. His Dad was going out early in the morning to thrash "corn" [wheat]. It was still dark but there was a bright Moon. On this journey, the Black Dog suddenly appeared and trotted alongside. This continued until they reached am Elm tree where the dog seemed to disappear. At just about that moment, his Dad heard a loud cracking/scratching sound, as if the hedge was being broken. Curious, he got to an entry point through the hedge and searched for the source of that sound --- he found nothing at all [of course]. 

This same person told his son that although he knew of no one else who had seen the Black Dog just on that path, that it had been seen several times trotting alongside a walker on a different nearby lane, either joining you or leaving you precisely at the same spot, a place called The Old Yard Close gate. . Ms Rudkin noted that this encounter had occurred there many times, but did not precisely follow the "modern" road, but rather seemed to preferably follow the track of the older lane. In reports about the "other end" of this Black Dog trackway, the entity seems to disappear at the position of another Ash tree. Ms Rudkin says that she lives very near there, and [you can hear the sadness] never has had an encounter along those lanes herself. The curse of the scientist-analyst methinks. One "studies" something, and one puts a little "distance" between oneself and the happening. 

C). A tough-minded fellow, a mining foreman by occupation, told her that he had seen the Black Dog several times in the same location at a corner of Gainsborough Lane in Willoughton. He said that the thing would join you on the lane at a particular point and walk alongside. If the Dog went ahead of you, you'd see it turn into the [seemingly impenetrable] hedge, and hear a great "crackle just as if a bullock was pushing his way through". This experience was common enough that the foreman didn't always watch the Dog continuously as they walked along. On those occasions, he'd still hear the "crackle" and the Dog would be gone. 

Ms Rudkin mapped these areas closely and to her eye, the Black Dog{s} walked old tracks between fields --- tracks which were in place in the 1700s and probably FAR FAR earlier. 

D). There is a town in the eastern area of Lincolnshire named Boston. This case is from there. Once again it is an incident told by the son of a father who had experienced the event. This fellow's Dad was a Methodist lay preacher and used to walk many miles to do his duties for the church. He was also an unusually strong man who feared little. One wintry Sunday evening he was returning home alone on something called Mumby Long Lane. He got one of those "I'm being watched" types of feeling, and very intense. Just as he entered Mumby Long Lane "apparently from nowhere", a large Black Dog came up to his side and trotted along. Despite his physique and will, this really unnerved him, and he wished it would go away [Rudkin says "tried to get rid of it", but doesn't say how]. 

This accompaniment continued despite his fears all the way down that lane, whereabouts, at the end, the Black Dog "mysteriously vanished". Later, when the preacher had a bit more relaxed state of mind, he felt that, although scary, the big Black Dog was there to protect him. 

E). In the 1930s, several times near Kirton Lindsey: Ethel Rudkin was attending local history lectures when the Black Dog was mentioned in one of them. It was said that the dog had been often seen near a farm SW of town. During the discussion the local schoolmistress whispered to Ms Rudkin: Does it MEAN anything if you see it? {This query seems obviously a concern about whether The Black Dog presages something like Death or Ill-Fortune}. Ms Rudkin said "No" and the lady noticeably relaxed. Then she admitted that she herself had often seen the Black Dog if she was cycling back home alone in the evening. 

The schoolmistress lived in Manton, a village closeby and directly north of Kirton Lindsey. As she would cycle the three miles, a large black dog would appear and pace alongside, trotting on the verge of the lane. Just as suddenly, it would disappear. Being a schoolteacher, she could ask all her students who possessed such a dog. No one did. 

F). Belle Hole, a farm just west of Kirton Lindsey: The Black Fairy-dog was seen "frequently" and was said to live in a hole in the bank of a stream. The locals place sticks over the hole as indicators of when the Dog has entered or emerged. Whenever the Dog is seen in the evening, locals go to the hole, finding the sticks strewn about. Once, most unusually, the Black Dog entered the kitchen of the farmhouse, much disturbing the wife. The wife, referring to the Fairy Dog as a "Boggart", stood perfectly still until it walked out of the kitchen again. Also unusually, there was a case nearby where the Boggart was seen by more than one person {an old couple} as they walked along a lane. The Black Dog, as normal, trotted alongside. 

Another seemingly unique event occurred here when a nurse was needed at the farm. When she finished her service, she put the children to bed and left for her home in Kirton. But during the pre-bedtime meal, the children talked of the Black Dog and asked her whether she was scared of meeting him? She said "no". Asked what she'd do if she really DID meet him, she joked that she'd "put 'im i' my pocket." The Dog appeared to her on her way back and danced around her saying "put me in yer pocket... put me in yer pocket...." This was the single case in all the sixty-odd incidents where the entity is reported as having spoken.

G). Early in the 20th century, a lady [the mother of an acquaintance of Ms Rudkin] had walked from her home in Old Crosby towards the nearby village of Scunthorpe to do some shopping. All of that went normally, but when she was returning alone much later in the day, a large black dog suddenly trotted up to her and began walking alongside. Very shortly she came to a place on the road where some roughian laborers were standing around. They made little attempt to conceal their feelings and the lady heard them say that if she didn't have that @#%#(@ dog with her, they could think of a few things to do with her. The dog accompanied her all the way to her home gate, and she called to her husband to come see the fine companion --- but it had disappeared. 

H). A last odd one. A lady and her courting lover [they later became husband and wife] used to meet near an area called The Fishpond. They'd separate at the village of Blyborough and walk their separate ways home. She would go along the lane to Grayingham. Once, as she was walking past The Fishpond, a large Black Dog showed up and began following close behind. Not being the dog-lover that most of our witnesses were, this irritated her. Her solution was to slow up so that the Dog would get alongside. It did. She then quickly used her umbrella to take a violent swipe at the thing. 

She nearly fainted when the umbrella passed straight through the Fairy Dog with no evidence of contact. Apparently unperturbed, the Black Dog continued to pace alongside the lady until they reached an Ash tree further down the lane, where she thought that it not only vanished, but may have actually gone INTO the tree. 

Well.... quite the anomaly. Is there anything further we can say? 

Can these be "normal" dogs? Sure --- a FEW such cases might be. I'd suggest that none of Ethel Rudkin's cases are. 

Could these be due to human stupidity, lying, incompetence? Sure --- just like UFOs. But I doubt that any of Ethel Rudkin's reported cases are. 

Are they Biological/Cryptozoological? Well, let's see: Big Black Dogs which seem to disappear.... Dogs which are seen over decades doing the exact "filmstrip" sorts of behavior? Dogs which are never seen on "the other side of the road" even, or past that certain tree, or even lying about lazily as dogs do. Biological? Not hardly. 

So what's left? You already know the answer. 

The Black Dogs/ Pookhas have certain characteristics of several paranormal phenomena. They are a bit like the Trickster. A bit like the poltergeists. A bit like the Ghost/apparitions. A bit like the Fairies. One begins to wonder whether all or at least some of these things are in the end the same things. There seems to be an array, or a spectrum, of such spiritworld (?) or Middle Kingdom (?) entities, which intersect with our own reality in their own limited ways. And they seem to be a spectrum in terms of their benignity as well. 

Maybe this is a thought not entirely devoid of worth.... maybe we "moderns" should at least entertain the possibility.

The Olde Folks of Ireland and Britain thought that much of these mysteries were based within the activities of The Neutral Angels --- the group of spiritual creations who would not choose either God's side or Satan's. These Neutrals, or Middle Kingdomers, or Faerie Worlders became paranormal beings invested still with free will and a form of existence which continued to allow them Moral Choice --- Good, Bad, Indifferent. Like we humans, some of these "souls" are "better" than others. The Ouijans seem pretty much bad guys. The Tricksters seem pretty much knuckleheads. Maybe the Pookhas are some of the Good Guys. 

  As to that: I need to read more to earn an opinion, but my current feeling is that the Evil Black Dog [like Black Shuck etc] concept is bogus. Those tales seem to be MUCH LESS of our real-data encounter incidents and much more folk stories, fairytales, and fisherman whopper tales. I say this because that picture of the Pookha is NOT what I read in the incidents that I view as "good old fieldwork". 

The reports that I admire are the reports which give me a strong feeling of Witness Credibility and investigator discipline and competence. I get that, strongly, from Ethel Rudkin and Diarmuid MacManus [and a scatter of others]. AND, in those reports, The Black Dog, the Pookha, is NOT the menacing fire-eyed beast lurking in the woods --- not at all. Neither MacManus nor Rudkin have fire-eyed dogs. Rudkin's only glowing-eyed dog is NOT a Pookha, but an in-the-bedroom ghost apparition, and a far outlier to the rest of her cases. 

As I say, maybe there's something to the more demonic class of Hounds-from-Hell but they [if they exist] are not the Pookha. 


But... it's almost Halloween...

so believe in scary dogs as you will. 

Happy Hallow-holiday folks, and may all your encounters be Pooch-like.

Friday, October 18, 2013

WILL-O-THE-WISP: a small matter.

Nothing profound here, but maybe a bit of interest....

In a form of "sinful desperation" in search of intellectual stimulation, I have engaged in the immorality of spending too much money on myself --- in this case for a lengthy run of FOLKLORE magazine. I wasn't even sure that there would be much of interest per dollar spent, but at least on that front I can say that quick early perusals indicate a fair harvest awaits. Hopefully, this will encourage some worthwhile entries in time.

But today, to begin, something small..... I picked up one of the latest volumes and there was a Pookha article inside. As the Spirit Dog is becoming one of my favorite Faerie entities, that made me smile. The references indicated an older article in FOLKLORE much further back --- the article by Ethel Rudkin, which all the crypto-pros know about, but which is the sort of thing that amateurs like myself must discover for themselves by luck. This is now of course rumbling about in my head asking for a Pookha-oriented blogpost.

But, it's not a "quickie", so it needs simmering. Instead, in that same FOLKLORE volume {#49, 1938} was another Ethel Rudkin article --- a short one entitled "Will o' the Wisp".

Ethel Rudkin turns out to be one of my favorite types of people: a romantic collector of encounter stories, happy to travel "into the field" to speak to real people at length, and then to write it all up so that the rest of us can be enlightened and thrilled by it all at the same time.

If it were not for interviewer-explorers like Ethel Rudkin, stay-at-home bums like myself would have nothing to do our "academic" armchair theorizing about. There should be a Hall-of-Fame somewhere for these folks.

Back in the 1920s and particularly the early 1930s, Ethel Rudkin began to try to save the "legends" of Eastern England, particularly Lincolnshire, from the grinding oblivion encouraged by Modernism. Although her study of the Pookha stories is deeper and more well-known, she also collected several incidents of what the UFOlogists call BOLs in the area around her home.

This is the general area of most of this BOL activity. The teardrop marked "A" is Willoughton, the home of the main informant for these tales. On the rightside of the map is Atterby. Drawn acroos the middle of the picture horizontally is a straight-ish road called {intriguingly} "Old Leys Lane". What you see marked as "A15" was once a road called Ermine Road. In the straight stretch between Ermine Road and to the left across Old Leys Lane was where the BOL would regularly be seen.

Prior to the publication of this article, the Light of Old Leys Lane was seen many, many times, and most often in the night in Wintertime. [Whether it still manifests, who knows? Ms Rudkin was of the opinion that as the road becomes more auto-traveled the phenomenon might stop]. It always moved on the road, suspended above it, but not high [perhaps belt-to-shoulder height]. It was described as like a bicycle lamp in size, height, and color. The informant's daughter had seen the BOL often, and in her case it was between 8&10pm. Many others had. One young man, who lived in Atterby but was wooing a girl in Willoughton was so afraid of the thing that he'd take the by-ways instead of the Lane, costing him much walking time.

Perhaps the key incident involved an Atterby policeman just getting off duty. He spotted the "bicycle-light" coming up Atterby lane, and decided to wait on it. The Light came on all the way to his position, But when it got abreast of him, IT SIMPLY WAS NO LONGER THERE! Well, now, just the sort of thing that we like around here on this blog. Weird. Strange. And completely impossible to figure out.

Ms Rudkin found other things worth noting. The area we've been talking about is just south of the village of Kirton-in-Lindsey as marked in the upper portion of this map. Ethel Rudkin may have herself lived in Lincoln. Between them, at about the teardrop, is Cammeringham Top [or Hill]. This structure was {is?} also associated with a BOL, called the Cammeringham Light. From the language in the article, it sounds as if Ms Rudkin's own postal carrier had an encounter with this thing. He saw the light at Cammeringham Top and it continued to pace him, bounding up and down near the hedge which ran along the west side of the road [then called Middle Street]. Suddenly: Vanish. The carrier stopped and searched off the road but could find no sign that anything had been there.

In another courting calamity, a young man from Willoughton, who was amorously involved with a girl in Kirton, felt that he had been chased so badly by a light, causing him to run all the way back home to Willoughton, that from then on he talked a friend into walking the way with him, his friend spending the courting time drinking while the other did whatever he and his lady did [not recorded].

The last BOL story recorded was of a BOL at Harpswell [you'll have to locate that yourself, I forgot]. This thing would appear, cross a fish pond, move along the grass at the foot of a hill, and sometimes break at an angle and race off towards a cottage before disappearing.

So...? Well, the "natural process" theory will need a lot of help to "solve" this one, methinks. In this case things like the piezoelectric rock-squeezing speculations of Michael Persinger are particularly hard to swallow since the countryside [like Lincoln Ridge above] is not quartz-rich igneous rock, like the granites, but "low-energy" sedimentary rock, like limestone. Also, the main informant, and presumably everybody else involved, was very familiar with swamp gas-type firelights, as there were marshy areas elsewhere which produced that phenomenon. The informant remarked how different the color and motion characteristics were.

And, so.....?

By the way, Ethel Rudkin kept a travel diary of all this stuff, which she later published....

Hmmm.... I don't have this in my resource collection, and......

It would be a really nice Halloween present......

Monday, October 14, 2013


Folks: This is a rare moment when I'm recommending a new "product".

Larry's book has just been published. He writes in his notice to some of us:

  "This is the best book I have ever written. It can change lives by giving

hope and meaning."

I don't do this, but Larry is special.........

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Stumbling in Ivan's Bigfootsteps

I'm still pretty uninspired, but "good" old Catholic Guilt still operates unrelentingly and so I feel in arrears on creating a new post.

So what to do? Belatedly an old memory surfaced. When I received the SITU Sanderson notebooks et al, I thought: sometime on the blog I should just pull one off the shelf [semi-randomly] and tell the folks what's inside. Not a brilliant thought, but maybe, occasionally, leading to something interesting. Therefore here such a randomness is. Whether it's interesting, I'll leave to you.

Ivan was probably best known for his knowledge which led to writings about ABSM-type creatures in North America and around the globe. Why not start there? For a sample, I picked his three-ringed notebook marked "ABSM Oregon". Why? Not really being spontaneous, I was probably still influenced by that last blog entry I wrote about Sasquatchs around Sweet Home, Oregon. What-the-heck, right? Good as anyplace to start......

What's an "Ivan notebook" like? Every one's somewhat different of course, but the theme is that Ivan was sitting in New Jersey at a focus point for a lot of correspondence containing "Hey you might find this interesting" types of things, and rapidly reading and making executive decisions about where to stow such materials so that it was just possible that he might be able to find them again was critical. These were his filing-&-survival-of-sanity systems.

Everyone with large files knows that you make a lot of errors this way, and Ivan wasn't immune. In this "Oregon" file were materials about Bigfoot cases in Washington reported in Oregon newspapers.  Oh well, nice to see Ivan was a human like the rest of us.

Here are the types of things in this particular file; after this I'll try to describe some of the incident details.

Newspaper clippings, and in one case Ivan objecting to the contents of a clipping....... 

A letter with some case details {wish there were more items like this }, and a drawing of what a witness said that he saw.............

...........An ABSM creature report notice from NICAP via a letter from Dick Hall ---- Lord alone knows how that happened {Dick was close to Isabel Davis and CSI-NY way back then, and Ivan may have made some request for such cases through them, I suppose}, and a transcript of a witness interview. [This first affair is not documented in the letter I/we have, as this letter is TO Dick, but it shows some sort of correspondence about NICAP files involving bigfoot creatures].

A rather interesting-looking and apparently private study of ABSM myths for the Mt. St. Helens region --- haven't read this yet but will before closing this blog entry.

And a frankly weird claim of seemingly endless Bigfoot interactions with wild theories in a private essay....

So.... let's "deliver" some of the details.............

Ivan had mentions of somewhere in the vicinity of 20 bigfoot reports in this notebook. The reason that I'm not giving a hard number is because the way some of this stuff is written up, it's nearly impossible to count when a separate incident worth noting appears [ex. should I bother to count something with one toss-off line?, or things which say: there have been several other reports...?] I realize that it's not that big a deal, but I wanted you to get a rough idea of what he was looking at.

The case above was interesting to me. In it, a guy [pictured], visiting Eugene from Tulsa, OK was doing some camping between Eugene and Bend, OR at a location called Linton Lake. The precise date is obscure but it seems to have been 1973. During the night he was awakened by sounds outside...........
and occasional thumps and pulls at his tent. He wasn't brave enough to jump out and confront whatever it was.

After the sounds died away, and with the morning light, the witness exited his tent to find his shovel and lantern stolen and small, unusual footprints all about the area. These prints were easily traceable and they led into the woods where they joined up with a set of much bigger prints, which the witness decided would have been the mother's. [on no real grounds].

This event allegedly occurred in early August of that year. Not long prior, in late May of 1973, a woman who was hiking near Linton Lake observed a very large humanoid form, covered with dark brown hair, running on two legs at tremendous speed up the side of a hill and into the forest.  So, OK, not a multiple witness situation, but at least something to cogitate upon.

Quite a few other cases mentioned had at least some details. There was, apparently a veritable Flap of Bigfoot sightings around The Dalles in the Spring of 1971. In one instance four adults watched a Bigfoot come down a hill across rocks and a road and walk across a field near a mobile home park. The "thing" crossed near an 8' tree which it [the Sasquatch] was marginally taller than. Upon investigation by the Sheriff's department, a large footprint was found [the area was grassy and this was tough.]

Two nights later, the thing was apparently seen again in the same area by a school music teacher, along with his wife. He studied it through a rifle scope and drew the picture that you see halfway up above this part of the entry. Well known Bigfoot researcher, and Ivan Sanderson friend, John Greene, interviewed all these witnesses and more, and concluded that the reporters were reporting accurately what they saw, but refused to speculate upon a solution to what it was [in public, anyway].

Another "case" involves Charles Edmonds, pictured at the left. This is not a "case" at all, but the reporting and opinions of a Portland-area anthropologist, who was collecting Sasquatch-related information and was nettled that the academic community wasn't willing to research anything like this. [big surprise to all of us, eh?] Edmonds' own bigfoot experience amounts to footprints that, in one case, he was shown in 1963 at the Lewis River in Washington, and ones found by his wife shortly thereafter in about the same location. His INTEREST seems to have been originally piqued by 1960 sightings around Albany, OR. These sightings seem to be part of a claimed series of incidents around Albany, named [by Ivan] the Conser Lake affair.

The Conser Lake Area

This business is loaded with controversy. The local newspaper in a later year decided that the entire event was caused by knucklehead teenage boys, who admitted to hoaxing it. This is the case where Ivan got wind of the mockery and responded querying the newsmen. Unfortunately we don't have any responses from them. The response by the newspeople has a distinct stink about it. These sightings were reported originally NOT by teenagers but by adult citizens and in particular one farmer of local land. Edmonds did the fieldwork, interviewing several witnesses [taking audiotape testimony] and going into the farm areas. It was his opinion that there were multiple witnesses to a creature which was about 7' tall, 400 lbs, standing erect, very fast, 19" feet etc. He even noted that a fingerprint had been taken from a dusty sill on the farm where most cases had occurred. In some cases the footprints left seemed to have a "cloven" shape to them.

The biggest confusion here seems to be the testimony of the boys which came later. They introduced elements of the creature being white-haired not brown, being shot at, and disappearing into a small lake {I am not sure if it was the teenagers who introduced this, but it is remarked upon in the news stories in those sections where they are being talked about.} The news editors took the teenage admission of the hoax of the white Sasquatch and the shooting to be indication that the whole thing was a hoax. Maybe it is, but one can't come to such a conclusion through some Johnnies-come-lately remarks.

Briefly, there are a few more cases perhaps worthy of note:

A). In 1942, an academic and his wife {Don Hunter} were planning to go hiking near Three Sisters Wilderness Area at Todd Lake. There they saw a very tall standing figure which took off running on two legs at stunning speed;
B). Around the same year, two hunters { Edwards above and companion} were SE of Ashland, OR when Edwards heard noises nearby, and his friend received a blow in the back which sent him tumbling down the hill. Edwards then saw a large hairy [brown] 7' tall "ape" running downhill. Here the story gets confusing. Edwards remembers seeing what he thought was a human, or at least several items of human clothing in the ape's arms, but his companion is certain that the thing didn't pick him up for any time;
C). In 1959, three witnesses were flying over remote Horseshoe Lake in the Wallowa Mountains. They saw a hairy humanoid tearing away at the carcass of a dead animal. The witnesses watched this action through binoculars.

One last thing:

I'm not sure of where this exactly refers to, but since it's in this "Oregon" notebook, I reproduce it here.

I'm also not sure that this is a true date, but if 1900 is real, then this reference is plenty interesting. 

So what have we here? Typical American Sasquatch hunters say that we have some rare biological lifeform of the great ape or Gigantopithecus variety, which somehow has evaded all the scrutiny of our swarming population by astonishing stealth and cleverness. Some of the witnesses though think that what they've encountered has a spiritual or paranormal aspect about it. The Native Americans would generally agree with that. For them, these are entities either purely of the Spirit World, or former members of the physical world now placed into a reality which sometimes manifests to us and mostly does not. 

In the precise area that we have been visiting, the Native Americans of the Yakima area see these entities as the Selahtiks, a tribe of unfriendly natives, huge, naked, and hairy even in their day, who have generally been banished from the lands of the more noble tribes [themselves]. This legend is still very much alive in the Yakima-Klickitat area, as in one of the cases written about above, the Anglo-witnesses had two friends among the Yakima, who when told about their sighting said: Oh, you've seen the Stick {Selahtik} Indians. They are dangerous if aroused. 

So, we come down to our four typical hypotheses: Hoaxes-&-Stupidities? {some few of those, but no};  misidentified "ordinaries", like bears? {some of those, but not enough}; rare undetermined physical biological species, like a relict Gigantopithecus? { maybe; just doesn't seem to fit some of these things}; some forms of the Native American folkloric Spirit Entities, having a paranormal quality? ... regular readers know that I tend to get pushed in this direction a lot [on just about everything but UFO core cases]. Can Bigfoot be the Selahtiks? Not Wendigo/Witiko --- THAT's violent and cannibalistic, plus the Native Americans have single stories containing and contrasting these two entities. Can Bigfoot be "Faerie"? One source of Jerry Clark's "Experience Anomalies"? 

" If you go down to the Woods tonight.................."

Mind the Monsters, friends. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Of Friends and Smorgasbords

Hello, folks.

The month of September has slipped by. Much good came of it in my life I am happy to say. Whether it did much to "inspire" blog writing, I cannot tell --- maybe some ideas will bubble up as we walk the path.

A clearly nice thing was the gathering of my UFO researching friends in mid-September. They came from Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Connecticut, and Michigan. That is something to contemplate a bit. Each one of us wanted to be there --- genuinely. Friendship and a shared passion. A community of wonderers, explorers in our fashion. ..... and a place to be with one another just to be ourselves with no agenda within nor without.

Above are most of us: Bill Murphy in the yellow hat, and swirling around the circle "deasil" [with the Sun, clockwise], Linda Murphy, Mark O'Connell, Sue Swiatek, Rob Swiatek, Don Schmitt, Steve Purcell, Richard Thieme, the Hero of the Book [Robert Powell], Jan Aldrich, and Eddie Bullard. I and my Kalamazoo UFO buddy, Dave Ford, are the only ones not on that side of the lens. Mark Rodeghier and Jerry Clark, and Barry Greenwood couldn't make it due to other big responsibilities, and SITU saver John Reed had duties with his Mom in upper Michigan at the last moment. My other Kalamazoo UFO buddy, Will Matthews, was recovering from a flu following flying back from Europe, and spared us the experience.

A veritable feast of friendship and a smorgasbord of talents. My guests were so friendly that they even said that the smorgasbord of the picnic feast was good. ... I have my doubts about my hosting skills, but at least I gave it a try.

I mention the names for a reason. We are people trying to do something which is easy and hard at the same time. We are trying to bind together as a true community. That we live far apart makes it hard, but that we like each other and thirst for the mysterious magick which grows in community makes it easier.

UFOlogists tend to be far too insular. Even the good-hearted ones carry their burden essentially alone. Much less Joy occurs than should be... and much less trust and cooperation. There were thirteen of us at the get-together. There could easily have been five more. I hope that this community grows and it will. Bill Chalker, far away in OZ, is already a virtual member, though we all wish we could see him in person. A new fellow has just "joined up" through Jan's good graces and maybe we'll see him next time. I wish that Fran Ridge of the NICAP site could get free time to come one of these weekends too. And there are many other friendly, trusting and sharing people that I hope will become part of this community.

This is important, even though it's difficult to precisely describe why.  That book was important. It would have never happened without the nine names on the cover being a community, plus several others not so "displayed" there. That book is not the only thing which can happen because we stand stronger together than we do apart. As my youth has trickled away, I need friends, encouragement, the feeling that I'm part of something --- our team, our community --- bigger than myself. These wonderful folks will get me to squeeze out what little is left to me, and do so happily.

There is something {anomalous?} about just being with one another, relaxing and sharing a meal. Spontaneous "natural" talk and getting to know each other. That happened all over my driveway, the backyard, the garage that holds Ivan's SITU, the basement which holds my research files. We grew together and just had a rollicking good time.

Where can Eddie Bullard have a one-on-one with Don Schmitt, and with no care whatsoever should Bill Murphy and Richard Thieme join them? .... and "romantically" do it while leaning up against the files containing the "ghost" of Ivan Sanderson? Had Jerry been able to make it, where else could the rest of us be enthralled by he and Eddie being engaged in a Clash of the Titans over whether there were  any "good" 1896 airship cases or not?

And how else could one inspire a very busy group of creative UFOlogists to actually come together [rather joyfully] to envision making a website which would contain the rare and unique treasures of each of our file collections, so that others might share in the information and hopefully be inspired to create on their own UFOlogical insights [or, even better, alongside us]?

These were the Best-of-Times. I'm hoping for many more. I'm hoping that we will create the sharing website. I'm hoping that this community will grow. I'm hoping that some of you will benefit, and maybe even be part of this walk into the mysteries.

Will we really contribute anything? The future will decide. In the meantime, we can at least enjoy ourselves trying.

If not, why are we doing it?

Blessings, friends.