The Midnight Train Podcast
Creepy West Virginia

Creepy West Virginia

June 21, 2021



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Ep. 106

Creepy West



Today's episode takes us to a place that birthed one of your lovely hosts. We're not talking about hell, we're talking about the great state of West Virginia. That's right Jon was put forth into this world from good ol' West Virginia. In fact we're pretty sure Isaiah might be my grandpappy.  For those of you that are from out of the country or from the US and don't know much about West Virginia, we're gonna talk about the history of West Virginia and then get into the creepy! 


The area now known as West Virginia was a favorite hunting ground of numerous Native American peoples before the arrival of European settlers. Many ancient earthen mounds constructed by various mound builder cultures survive, especially in the areas of Moundsville, South Charleston, and Romney. The artifacts uncovered in these give evidence of a village society having a tribal trade system culture that practiced the cold working of copper to a limited extent. As of 2009, over 12,500 archaeological sites have been documented in West Virginia. The Adena provided the greatest cultural influence in the state. For practical purposes, the Adena is the Early Woodland period From the years of about 1000 B.C. to about 1 A.D. according to West Virginia University's Dr. Edward V. McMichael. 


In 1671, General Abraham Wood, at the direction of Royal Governor William Berkeley of the Virginia Colony, sent the party of Thomas Batts and Robert Fallum into the West Virginia area. During this expedition the pair followed the New River and discovered Kanawha Falls.


The Treaty of Albany, 1722, designated the Blue Ridge Mountains as the western boundary of white settlement, and recognized Iroquois rights on the west side of the ridge, including all of West Virginia. The Iroquois made little effort to settle these parts, but nonetheless claimed them as their hunting ground, as did other tribes, notably the Shawnee and Cherokee. Soon after this, white settlers began moving into the Greater Shenandoah-Potomac Valley making up the entire eastern portion of the State and just fucking everything up for everyone one. They found it largely unoccupied, apart from Tuscaroras who had lately moved into the area around Martinsburg, WV, some Shawnee villages in the region around Moorefield, WV and Winchester, VA, and frequent passing bands of "Northern Indians" (Lenape from New Jersey) and "Southern Indians" (Catawba from South Carolina) who were engaged in a bitter long-distance war, using the Valley as a battleground.


Orange County, Virginia was formed in 1734. It included all areas west of the Blue Ridge Mountains, constituting all of present West Virginia. However, in 1736 the Iroquois Six Nations protested Virginia's colonization beyond the demarcated Blue Ridge, and a skirmish was fought in 1743. The Iroquois were on the point of threatening all-out war against the Virginia Colony over the "Cohongoruton lands", which would have been destructive and devastating, when Governor Gooch bought out their claim for 400 pounds at the Treaty of Lancaster (1744).


During the late 17th and early 18th centuries, a growing demand for beaver sent trappers up and down the Kanawha region's tributary creeks by canoe and raft. Trading posts were established at the confluence of the Ohio and Kanawha Rivers at Point Pleasant, West Virginia where, in the mid 1780s, Daniel Boone resided for several years. Likewise, St. Albans, West Virginia, at the confluence of the Kanawha and Coal Rivers, became a point of trade. In the late 18th century, the steel trap increased efficiency, and beaver became scarce. A shift to exporting the state's other natural resources began. Kanawha salt production followed by coal and timber could be seen on the waterways.The logging industry furthered the river shipping industry. A horse-drawn logging "tram" with a special block & tackle for hill-side harvesting was brought into use, allowing expansion of Crooked Creek and the opening of a wooden barrel plant at the creek's mouth. In the 1880s, this tram and other steam machinery were used for collecting timber used as railroad ties in the railway construction along the Kanawha river. Railroad spurs were built throughout West Virginia, connecting mines to the riverboats, barges and coal-tipples.


In 1861, as the United States itself became massively divided over slavery, leading to the American Civil War (1861–1865), the western regions of Virginia split with the eastern portion politically, and the two were never reconciled as a single state again. In 1863, the western region was admitted to the Union as a new separate state, initially planned to be called the State of Kanawha, but ultimately named West Virginia.


When the First Wheeling Convention met, 425 delegates from 25 counties were present, but a division of sentiment soon arose. Some delegates favored the immediate formation of a new state, while others argued that, as Virginia's secession had not yet been ratified or become effective, such action would constitute revolution against the United States.[16] It was decided that if the ordinance were adopted (of which there was little doubt) another convention including the members-elect of the legislature should meet at Wheeling in June 1861. Even before the American Civil War, counties in northwest Virginia had desired to break away from Virginia to form a new state. However, the federal Constitution did not allow a new state to be created out of an existing state unless the existing state gave its consent. Soon after the Union government declared that the Restored Government was the legitimate government of the Commonwealth, the Restored Government asserted its authority to give such approval. It authorized the creation of the State of Kanawha, consisting of most of the counties that now comprise West Virginia. A little over one month later, Kanawha was renamed West Virginia. The Wheeling Convention, which had taken a recess until August 6, 1861, reassembled on August 20, 1861, and called for a popular vote on the formation of a new state and for a convention to frame a constitution if the vote should be favorable. In the election held on October 24, 1861, 18,408 votes were cast for the new state and only 781 against. At this time, West Virginia had nearly 70,000 qualified voters, and the May 23, 1861 vote to secede had drawn nearly 54,000 voters. At first the Wheeling politicians controlled only a small part of West Virginia. However Federal forces soon drove the Confederates out of most of West Virginia. On May 13, 1862, the state legislature of the reorganized government approved the formation of the new state. An application for admission to the Union was made to Congress. On December 31, 1862, an enabling act was approved by President Lincoln, admitting West Virginia on the condition that a provision for the gradual abolition of slavery be inserted in the Constitution. President Lincoln issued a proclamation admitting the state at the end of 60 days, on June 20, 1863. Meanwhile, officers for the new state were chosen, and Governor Pierpont moved the Restored Government to Alexandria from which he asserted jurisdiction over the counties of Virginia within the Federal lines. 

In recent years, there has been serious talk about the possibility of certain counties in the Eastern Panhandle rejoining the Commonwealth of Virginia. Frustrated by bad economic conditions and what they perceive to be neglect from the Charleston government, this movement has gained at least some momentum. In 2011, West Virginia state delegate Larry Kump sponsored legislation to allow Morgan, Berkeley, and Jefferson counties to rejoin Virginia by popular vote.



So there's a somewhat abbreviated history of west Virginia and it's formation.  I know it may not seem abbreviated but there's a long history to the area and we wanted to hit the big points to keep our passengers better informed! So with the history of the region told… Let's get into why we are all here… The creepy shit!!!


Our first stop on the creepy West Virginia tour starts at a place of much fun and enjoyment, an amusement park! Well, what used to be an amusement park anyway. We are heading to Mercer county and a visit to Lake Shawnee Amusement park.  The southern West Virginia park was abandoned in 1966, after the accidental deaths of two of its young patrons. But it seems Lake Shawnee's haunted history reaches much farther back. Mercer County was home to a Native American tribe until 1783, when a European family's attempt to settle the land sparked a violent turf war. The patriarch of the family was a farmer named Mitchell Clay, according to the Wyoming County Report. While he was out hunting, a band of Native Americans reportedly killed his youngest son, Bartley Clay. A daughter, Tabitha, was knifed to death in the struggle. Eldest son Ezekial was kidnapped and burned at the stake. Mitchell Clay enlisted the help of other white settlers to seek vengeance for his family. After burying his children, he murdered several of the Native Americans. Centuries later, in the 1920s, a businessman named Conley T. Snidow purchased the site of the Clay farm and developed it into an amusement park. He built a swing set, a ferris wheel, a water slide, a dance hall, and a speakeasy. He also added a pond and swimming hole, complete with canoes.A little girl in a pink ruffled dress met her end after climbing into the circling swing set. She was killed after a truck backed into the path of the swing. Another little one, this time a boy, drowned in the amusement park's swimming pond. According to Visit West Virginia, the park's rides were responsible for a total of six deaths. The park eventually shut down, but its structures were left to rot and rust. After 20 years, another businessman approached Lake Shawnee. Gaylord White thought the sleepy meadows seemed ideal for future neighborhoods. But, as construction crews tore into grass and soil, they unearthed bones and Native American artifacts.


It turned out the amusement park sat atop an ancient burial ground. And most of the skeletons belonged to children. Archaeologists believe the remains had been there long before settlers moved west. So with that history in mind is it any wonder Lake Shawnee ranks as one of the Travel Channel’s “Most Terrifying Places in America.” ABC goes even further. Their experts declared the property one of the “10 Most Haunted Places in the World.” So what kind of stuff happens here? Well, let's find out. There is no shortage of strange stories coming from visitors like people getting horrible vibes, seeing ghosts, or feeling the presence of evil spirits. Scariest Places on Earth filmed there in 2005. However, none of the psychics would work on the property at night, claiming that the energy was so dark it was making them sick. Swimming is no longer allowed on the property but, of course, there are still those idiots that try it anyways. Many reports day that while attempting to swim it felt as if someone, or something, was trying to pull the people down into the water and drown them. There are tons of reports of seeing the ghost of a little girl playing on the old swings. Most people agree that it must be the ghost of the little girl in the pink dress. There are also reports of people seeing ghostly children playing by the ferris wheel. Some report the sounds of children laughing or Natives chanting. And then there Moody's favorite, the conversion stand food! Well not exactly, there's no conversion stand anymore but people have stated that they can still smell the concession stand foods aroma in the air. Then there are the shadowy figures that many will say they are on the old ferris wheel and swing rides still adorning the park. When the Discovery Channel filmed, Chris White, descendant of Gaylord White, says one of its investigators got stuck in the old ticket booth and went into such a panic she had to go to the hospital in Princeton. “She couldn’t get out and she was yelling for help,” he said.


“It was a push door and she was pushing.”


White won’t speak of any personal “creepy” Lake Shawnee experiences. He does, however, say his father had an encounter with the little girl who lost her life on the swings 49 years ago.


“Dad was on the tractor mowing the field and he kept feeling a weight on his shoulders,” White said. “He didn’t know what it was, so one day he felt the weight and he turned around and the little girl from the swings was there. She was in a ruffled dress and she just appeared. He wasn’t scared, but the only thing he could think of was, ‘Well, if you like this tractor so much, I’m going to give it to you.’


“So he got off of it and left it sitting there. It’s still sitting where he left it in the late ‘90s.” 


Creepy shit for sure!


So where to next you ask? Well, how about the Silver Run Tunnel #19 near Cairo WV. Silver Run Tunnel is located along the North Bend Rail Trail. Before the Civil War, the Rail Trail was–as the name implies–a railroad. According to West Virginia State Parks, the railroad was sold in the ’80s, and construction of the recreation trail as it now began. The trail stretches 72 miles and has 10 tunnels. The tunnel in this legend is also known as Tunnel #19. According to, the tunnel is 1,376 feet long. Locals say that the tunnel is almost permanently damp and foggy. The tunnel is home to the legend of the lady in the white dress. The legend of the lady in the white dress goes that she was a bride who was riding on a train with her groom, and either she was pushed or fell from the train and died.


One early account guess as follows: In 1910, a young engineer was making the 169 mile midnight westbound express run along the Baltimore and Ohio tracks starting in Grafton and heading toward Clarksburg and then, Parkersburg. When the engineer came upon the short stretch of railway at the entrance to Tunnel #19, in the light of the moon and headlights, he saw a woman in a pale dress with raven-colored hair and golden slippers walking along the tracks. Horrified he would hit her, he tried desperately to stop the train by throwing the brakes into emergency. He could not stop in time.


The engineer would later report to watchmen at the Smithburg Tunnel about 36 miles west that he and the fireman jumped from the train, but a layer of fog on the tracks seemed to swallow up the pale lady. Crazy shit!


 “And there’s a saying that goes along with the tunnel. If you watch the trains, and the train slows down, they see the ghost, and the engineer has never seen the white lady before, but if the engineer just barrels on through the tunnel, he has had an experience with the ghost, and he’s not going to take it anymore,” explained Jason Burns, a West Virginia storyteller, “Because the ghost has a habit of standing in the tracks, and when the train stops to check if it has run over somebody, there is no one there. So the engineer gets ticked off that he has stopped his train for this person who is obviously a ghost, and so they would just barrel through the tunnel as fast as they can next time, so they don’t have to worry about it.” In one particular instance, an engineer stopped his train a few times, thinking he might have run over somebody. Like the other engineers, the man decided to go quickly through the tunnel to avoid falling for her trick again.


“Well, on the way to the next town, usually there’s people waving at the trains along the tracks anyways at this time period, but he starts noticing that there was an inordinately large amount of people following his train, and some of them are on horseback, and some of them were yelling and waving crazily,” said Burns, “When he finally gets to the town, Proper, and stops his train, there’s this group of people that has literally followed him most of the way down the train tracks, and they’re like, ‘Where is she?’ and he’s like, ‘Where is who?’ and they said, ‘The lady,’ and he was like, ‘What lady?’ and they said, ‘The lady in the white dress,’ and he said, ‘you mean the ghost back in the tunnel?’ They said, ‘No, the ghost that was riding your cow catcher for the past two and a half miles.’ Apparently, the ghost had a sense of humor because she was allegedly sitting on the cowcatcher of the train, and if people were standing by watching the train go past, she was waving at them.”


And now for something completely different… Except for not! We're gonna stick with tunnels and head to Dingess tunnel! Dingess is an unincorporated community in Mingo County, West Virginia. The community was named after William Anderson Dingess, a pioneer settler. As of 1894, Dingess contained two hotels, eight boarding houses, four restaurants, four groceries, four sawmills, and a school with two teachers and about 100 students. 133 coal miners lived in Dingess. The community once garnered a reputation for being a lawless land. From 1900 to 1972, approximately seventeen lawmen were shot to death in the area which stretches fifteen miles along Twelve Pole Creek. The Dingess Tunnel was built in 1892 for the Norfolk and Western Railroad, largely by African American and Chinese immigrant workers. Legend has it that residents of Dingess, who didn't take kindly to outsiders, used to hide in the hills just outside the tunnel and shoot any dark skinned passengers aboard the train, according to internet reports. No records were kept but it’s estimated that hundreds of black and Chinese workers died. In addition to the murders, workers also died during construction, and at least two trains collided on the tracks there, causing more deaths. These crimes and accidents still haunt the area and earned the tunnel its terrible nickname: "Bloody Mingo." The dark history of the tunnel loaned itself well to macabre tales told during Halloween. Eventually, the stories grew, and the celebrations turned horrific. Almost as if the area proved once again to be untamable, the youths of the town took to mischief. They would spend Halloween night building bonfires in the middle of the tunnel. With the smoke pouring out, the town itself was virtually blocked off from outside assistance. The tunnel served to keep the residents locked in for the night. From there, the nightmare continued. There would be rocks thrown through windows, buildings and vehicles set on fire, and other acts of damaging mischief. The dirty deeds would carry on throughout the night, but by the following day, things returned to normal. It was like a real life “Purge” movie. In recent years this activity has for the most part gone away, but many of the locals still tell stories of those horrific nights. Sabrina Daniels, known locally as the “Mountain Medium,” and a host of others interested in the paranormal happenings at the tunnel including the “Relate with Nate” television crew, a local news show, hoped to make contact with that energy during a recent investigation at the infamous 3,327-foot tunnel. Countless times they entered in, both on foot and in vehicles, to the dark, dank, stone tube cut through the hill. Countless times they called on the spirits within to make them aware of their presence as they dealt with leaking water and enhanced echoing of even the quietest voice. And, if the evidence is any indication, countless times they were successful.  “I can feel the emotions of the souls here,” Daniels  said while taking a break between one of the many trips in and out of the tunnel on the night of the ghost hunt. “I feel sadness, but I felt peace with them. I didn’t feel any doom or anything, except in the middle (of the tunnel). What I felt there wasn’t anything that has tasted life. There’s a difference there. I’ve always felt the negative energy through the middle.” since things went down that they claim were paranormal. A light flickered, then came on and shut off, seemingly by itself here. Strange audio picked up through the wireless mics there. The sound of a train whistle, although no railroad line is anywhere in the immediate vicinity, echoed through its expanse. Eerie images caught on photos taken within the tunnel’s claustrophobic walls showing what appear to be flames rising up from beneath. What appeared to be shadows of workmen, perhaps even the image of a lantern in what could be construed as the window of a train show up in the far distance. As the crew nears the tunnel’s midsection, all notice an extreme and sudden drop in temperature, a tell-tale sign of the presence of poltergeists, or what the locals refer to as “haints.” So yea another creepy tunnel. I guess it makes sense there are a bunch of creepy haunted tunnels given the fact that there are mountains everywhere in WV.


Next up is a bird… It's a's a uh...UFO? We are talking about the Flatwoods monster! The encounter made the local and national news, scaring a wider swath of people. Then it prompted a U.S. Air Force UFO inquiry, part of a project called Project Blue Book that dispatched a handful of investigators around the country to look into such claims. The May brothers Ed, 13, and Freddie, 12, had been playing in their schoolyard with their 10-year-old friend Tommy Hyer. After noticing a pulsing red light streak across the sky and crash on a nearby farm, the three youngsters ran to grab the Mays boys’ mother, then high-tailed it up that hill to check out where the light had landed. A few other boys, one with a dog, showed up too.


They ran back down—in sheer and credible terror. 


“Seven Braxton County residents on Saturday reported seeing a 10-foot Frankenstein-like monster in the hills above Flatwoods,” a local newspaper reported afterward. “A National Guard member, [17-year-old] Gene Lemon, was leading the group when he saw what appeared to be a pair of bright eyes in a tree.”


Lemon screamed and fell backward, the news account said, “when he saw a 10-foot monster with a blood-red body and a green face that seemed to glow.” It may have had claws for hands. It was hard to tell because of the dense mist. Lemon said he aimed a flashlight in that direction and momentarily saw a tall "man-like figure with a round, red face surrounded by a pointed, hood-like shape". The group said they had smelled a "pungent mist" and some later said they were nauseated. 


“Those people were the most scared people I’ve ever seen,” said local newspaper publisher A. Lee Stewart, in that 1952 news story. Stewart himself had marched up that hill with a shotgun after witnesses told what they saw. “People don’t make up that kind of story that quickly,” Stewart said then.


According to UFO writer Gray Barker's account, the next day, A. Lee Stewart, Jr. of the Braxton Democrat claimed to discover "skid marks" in the field and an "odd, gummy deposit" which were subsequently attributed by UFO enthusiast groups as evidence of a "saucer" landing.


After investigating the case in 2000, Joe Nickell of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry concluded that the bright light in the sky reported by the witnesses on September 12 was most likely a meteor, that the pulsating red light was likely an aircraft navigation/hazard beacon, and that the creature described by witnesses closely resembled an owl. Nickell suggested that witnesses' perceptions were distorted by their heightened state of anxiety. Nickell's conclusions are shared by a number of other investigators, including those of the Air Force. 


Fuck that… It was a UFO and an alien. We all know this! In celebration of the legend, the Braxton County Convention and Visitors Bureau built a series of five tall chairs in the shape of the monster to serve as landmarks and visitor attractions. The town of Sutton also houses a museum dedicated to the monster legend and offers promotional merchandise. 


Now you're gonna need some place to stay while checking out all these creepy things… So why not a creepy hotel? How about the Glen Ferris Inn? The Glen Ferris Inn began its life in 1839 when Andrew Stockton received a license to operate a "common room" to cater to the stagecoach traffic through the area.  Prior to that year, the site probably contained a home as early as 1810, which at some point partially burned, and was reconstructed as Stockton's Inn.


In 1853, the common room expanded into what is now the Glen Ferris Inn.  During the Civil War, soldiers from both sides stayed at the inn, as did two future presidents of the United States.  It is rumored that the home even served as a makeshift Civil War hospital between 1863 and 1865.


After the war, aluminum production began in the area, and Union Carbide purchased the inn, expanding it with a 10 room wing in 1929.  Additions were built in the 1960s and again in the 1980s, before a local family purchased the inn from Elkem Metals in 1996. 


The inn is thought to be haunted by a ghost of a Confederate soldier with a long beard, nicknamed The Colonel. He is a friendly and playful ghost, known to close doors behind people, make the birdbath water bubbly and frothy, and walk around with audible footsteps. His apparition has been seen from the waist up.


In 2018, a young couple stayed several days there and planned to have breakfast with the day manager when they were departing. The manager was told by the desk clerk that the couple departed in haste at 4:30 that morning and left an apology for missing the planned breakfast. The reason?


They had awakened in the night and saw a man with a long beard who was wearing what appeared to be a uniform sitting in a chair across the room.


Another story we found goes as follows: " I have worked there in the past (2002) and it was one of the experiences that I had that caused me to quit on the spot. I was a waitress in the dining room and it was around 7:30pm. There was no one in the dining area when I first looked but all of a sudden a little boy in a grey civil war type suit was sitting at one of the tables. I walked over to him and asked him if he was waiting for someone and he shook his head no. I asked if I could get him something and he said in almost a whisper "chocolate milk, ma'am" I walked into the kitchen and got his milk, brought it back to the table and he was gone. I asked the cook if he had seen anyone come in and he said that he didn't, so I then went up front and asked the desk clerk if she seen anyone and she said no as well. I realized that it was a ghost kid. I told my manager that I was done, I couldn't deal with ghosts, grabbed my stuff, and high-tailed it out of there as fast as I could."


Creepy! Sounds like a place you should check out. Apparently their rolls are fucking fantastic.. So there is that too.


What creepy place would be complete without a Creepy road! Well West Virginia has route 901. West Virginia Route 901 is a 5.5 mile stretch through farmland in Berkeley County. Formerly known as County Route 3, locals are familiar with this short state highway. However, it has been immortalized in publications like Haunted West Virginia: Ghosts & Strange Phenomena of the Mountain State as a destination full of ghostly activity. The area wasn’t a battle site, but may have been a campsite for soldiers during the Civil War. 


    In the recent past a couple was driving Route 901 near Spring Mills Plantation late one evening in October. Near Harlan Run the couple entered a bank of fog and the interior of the car became quite cold. The fog began to take on a greenish hue and suddenly, the car came to a stop; the engine went dead and the headlights shut off. The couple was left in cold, silent darkness.


From out of the darkness the couple was stunned to see the form of a bedraggled Confederate soldier appear. He held his back as if he’d been wounded and he appeared to notice the couple as he neared the front of their car. With a thump he laid his hands on the hood and peered pleadingly before collapsing leaving bloody handprints on the car. The husband opened his door and walked to the front of the car to help the pathetic figure who now lay prone in the roadway. When he reached out to the poor soldier the figure disappeared along with the bloody handprints. The couple quickly left vowing never to drive that stretch of road in the dark. Another plus about this road is the fact that the Hammond Mansion is located there. The Hammond Mansion was built between 1838 and 1845, and was home to Dr. Allen C. Hammond and his family.  It was an L-shaped brick federal style building.  It is rumored that another family lived on the property in the 1700s, but was attacked by bears.


The Hammonds were among the few Confederate supporters in an area which was largely under Union occupation.  While Dr. Hammond and his sons were off fighting in the War (his son George was with Company B 1st Virginia Confederate Calvary and died during the war), the ladies remained in the home.


Legend states that during this time, the ladies shot, sniper-style, several Union soldiers.  As a result, the ladies were captured and locked into the brick, windowless slave shack on the property.  The order was given to get rid of the women, meaning to take them out of the area, but the order was misinterpreted, and indeed, the women were gotten rid of.  Fire was set to the slave shack, killing them all.


Also during this era, the home served as a Civil War hospital.  When a typhoid epidemic broke out, victims were sent here, and quarantined on the summer porch.


In 1978, a fire gutted the home, leaving little more than a brick shell.  In its state of disrepair, the home became a favorite shelter for the homeless population, and one vagrant did freeze to death in the area of the summer kitchen.


It  is this homeless man, and the women who tragically died in the fire, who are said to still roam the grounds of the mansion.


The house WAS eventually restored, and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Spring Mills Historic District, listed as for sale.  Also in the district is another haunted location, the Stephens-Hammond Mill at Falling Waters.  It is said that the mill, once used by Gen. Jackson, was home to ghostly lights and sounds coming from the second and third stories of the mill, even though the floors of the upper levels were rotted away.  The mill is now torn down. So there you get a nice little 2 for 1!


We're gonna throw some quick hitters in here for ya now! 


Screaming Jenny:

Legend,  has it that Jenny, a poor woman with no family, lived in a shed along the B&O Railroad in Harpers Ferry. She barely had enough money to eat, and the shed stayed cold during the winter months. One day in late autumn Jenny was drinking broth over a fire and trying to stay warm. She was so focused on the broth that she didn't notice a spark had flown up from the fire and caught her skirt on fire. Her skin started to burn, she leapt up and threw the rest of the broth onto the flames, but it did little to put it out. She began to run along the train tracks to Harpers Ferry station, trying to find someone to help her, but it wasn’t long until her entire body was alight with fire. Overwhelmed and screaming in pain, she mistakenly rushed onto the tracks, when a train came around the corner and ran her over. To this day, every year on the anniversary of her death, an engineer has rounded the corner to the station and seen a women completely on fire and seems to be hit by the train. When the train stops, there's nobody there! It’s now one of the most haunted places in West Virginia!


The Red House is an imposing 2.5 story brick structure located in Eleanor, WV.  The original structure was built around 1840 by the Ruffner family, but there is reason to believe that the house may have actually been built as early as 1825.  The house, with its converted slave quarters and North and South Wings added by the Federal Government during the 1930s, now is home to the Eleanor Town Hall offices.  The right (North) wing, serves as the town hall section, while the left wing (South) serves as the Homestead Room, available for rent for parties, meetings, etc.  The original middle section of the house is being readied for a future museum dedicated to its New Deal Homestead history.


The town of Eleanor took possession of the Red House, or Ruffner House as it is commonly called, in January of 2001.  Earliest records from the Eleanor town website say that the structure was home to the Samuel Earl Gibeaut family in the 1890s.  In the 1920s, it was owned by Frank Fitzsimmons, then passed to his brother Chris and family.  While Chris and his family briefly moved out of state, a family of Boldens lived in the Red House.  Chris returned to the home, and then sometime it was acquired by the C.H. King family.  C.H. King and his wife Ruth had a large family and farmed the land.  The King family was living on the property at the time of the New Deal, and the home was acquired by the Federal Government.  In 1946, the government deeded the title over to the Washington Homesteads for use as an administration building, and later, it came into possession of Dr. Lyle Moser.


With a long and somewhat incomplete history as to ownership of the house, legends of this structure abound.  One legend states that a slave was murdered on the uppermost staircase landing.  Another legend states that tunnels run from the house to the nearby Kanawha River, as part of an Underground Railroad stop.  To date, evidence of such tunnels has never been found.  However, one legend DOES seem to make itself known to employees and visitors.  That legend is the ghostly overseer, protector, or guardian angel of the Red House.  Employees have dubbed him "Sam," and say that Sam likes to be heard, but not seen.


In recent years, however, it appears as if Sam, or perhaps some other resident ghost, DOES like to be seen!  Eleanor citizens walking along the town's sidewalks past dusk have been reporting seeing a man standing in one of the upper windows of the Red House.




The Captain's House, located on Juliana Street in Parkersburg's historic district, was built by George Deming, prior to 1860.  George was born in Connecticut in 1806, and was an accomplished Master Mariner.  Shortly before the Civil War, Deming left New England, and took his young family to Parkersburg, where he built at least two homes.


This home, sometimes referred to as the "Markey House," is the oldest, and is built in a classic New England style, with a small front yard, and narrow halls and a low ceiling, reminiscent of a ship.


Deming passed away in 1861, possibly due to the typhoid epidemic which was sweeping the area.  Deming's young son also passed away sometime during this time period.  Both are buried two blocks from the house in the Riverview Cemetery.  Deming's gravestone has an elaborate ship carving, and along with his birth and death dates bears the claim that he is a direct descendant of Myles Standish.  Unfortunately, the son's stone is too worn to accurately see the dates or name.


It is believed that  since Deming was in his 50s at his time of death, yet he had several young children, his wife was probably much younger.  There are no records of any other Deming's in the cemetery, so it is believed that she moved away shortly after the death of her husband and son, and remarried.


The Captain's Home has since then acquired a reputation for being haunted.  Rumors abound that subsequent owners have been driven mad while living in the home, which has undergone extensive renovations over the years.  While these rumors seem largely unsubstantiated, the home still has paranormal activity associated with it.  Workers restoring the home reported seeing a child's footprints in the dust in the attic, although no children lived in the home at the time. The dust was cleared, and several months later, the footsteps would reappear, although no children had even set foot in the closed off section.


Another strange anomaly seems to be the glow of a fire reflected in the home's windows.  People looking at the window see the reflection of orange flames whipping about, and other weird light anomalies, which are attributed to the Captain's pipe burning.


Oddly enough, the Captain isn't confined to his former home.  Residents have seen his apparition in various parts of town, often walking with his head down, and wearing a black overcoat.  He is seen at times in Riverview Cemetery, and some claim, even in the Blennerhassett Hotel.


Gotta have a bridge story right? The town of Wheeling, among other attributes, boasts the longest single span stone bridge in the United States.  The famous bridge:  The Main Street Bridge, constructed between 1890 and 1892.  Some sources say that bridge was constructed to replace an earlier bridge, one built in the 1840s.  There isn't much there to confirm this though.


In any event, the building or rebuilding in the late 1800s was quite a spectacle for the townspeople.  In an effort to enforce safety, a sign was erected which read "Danger! No one is allowed to loaf on this bridge by order of the Board of Public Works."  Pat Weir, the city's watchman, was giving the task of policing the bridge, and dealt with more than one smart-alec who insisted that they were loafing on their own free will, and not by order of the Board of Public Works, thus, it was okay for them to be there.


Whatever diligence was taken to ensure safety unfortunately couldn't prevent at least one fatal accident from occurring.  Dominick Carey, a contractor from the Paige, Carey & Co. of New York apparently fell from the bridge while heavy stones were being moved.  It has been theorized that the scaffolding gave way, and Carey fell into the icy Wheeling Creek, which feeds the Ohio River, being swept away.  


Carey's body was never found, but that doesn't mean he was never heard from again...Witnesses say they encounter the apparition of the unlucky contractor on the bridge, as well as another possible spirit. 


Allegedly, either the new bridge or the bridge it supposedly replaced, saw another tragic accident.  A gentleman leading a team of horses across the bridge stopped to fix a loosened hitch.  When he dismounted, he spooked his own horses, and they trampled him to death.  Witnesses have reported being approached by a man who asks "Have you seen my horses?"


Ok one more for you and we'll wrap this up! This next one is a little church with some cool stories. St. Colman Catholic Church is located about 15 miles away from Hinton, in an area of Irish Mountain named Sullivan's Knob.  Maurice Sullivan was the first settler in the area, purchasing 435 acres of land from the Gwinn Family in 1855.  The following year he was joined by the Quinlan family, and then several other Irish families.  Together, they turned the small, isolated community into a thriving Irish farm settlement.


The community  was largely of the Roman Catholic faith, and church services were held in private homes, provided once a month by a traveling preacher from St. Patrick's in Hinton.  The community pushed for a church of their own, and in 1876, Sullivan deeded over 1 acre of land to Bishop Joseph J. Kain for use as a church and a cemetery.  The cemetery unfortunately came first, as in that same year, John Quinlan passed away and was buried on the grounds.


The church was built the following year and consisted of a hewn log structure.  The cemetery is unique in that it has a "Lost Souls" corner for unbaptized babies.  The name St. Colman comes from a Gaelic saint, and the church became known as the "little Catholic church on Irish Mountain."


The church never did gain its own preacher, and continued to receive services through St. Patrick's in Hinton.  In 1928, the church was refurbished.  Clapboard painted white was erected over the hewed logs.  In 1983 it became a registered historical site.


Visitors to the church in recent years have reported unexplained cold spots and cold mists that are actually seen.  Some have reported these cold mists will take an almost human shape, and that sometimes they will stop and pause on pews by visitors, as if sitting beside them. 


Paranormal groups have investigated and found numerous things. There are stories of small children's ghosts in the lost souls area of the graveyard. They also report sounds of children crying or laughing. There are stories of objects like balls being moved. Again stories of figures sitting in the pews. Sounds like a cool creepy little place. 


So with all those stories you may be wondering why we didn't talk about the more well known haunts like Harpers Ferry or the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic asylum and others like that. Well if you've listened to our other creepy episodes you'll know we like to find less talked about stuff to explore. With the history of this state going back as far as it does and all the strife and hotties of the civil war in the area, it's no wonder there are tons and tons of creepy and supposedly haunted places in west Virginia. We are definitely coming back for seconds here and we actually have a couple of the spots in this state on our actual list of episodes, so we'll definitely be back to West Virginia. 


Top ten horror movies set in west Virginia

The Union Screaming House

The Union Screaming House

June 15, 2021



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A story from a Union Screaming House Survivor 

By Steven LaChance, 2004

“Do you believe in ghosts? I used to be like many of you. I was a true skeptic. A true disbeliever. That was me until three years ago. Now I do believe. I wish I didn’t. It would be easier for me to sleep at night. Even now, three years later, I am still woken up in the night by the memory of the screaming man, the child in pain, and the dark ghostly image that turned my world upside down and changed my beliefs forever. I do believe in ghosts.


It was in May 2001. I needed desperately to find a place for myself and three children to live in Union, Missouri. Our lease was up at the apartment where we had lived for two years. I was a single father, and I was about to find myself and my children homeless. Like many, I had answered just about every ad in the newspaper for rentals. One evening I received a call from this woman telling me about this house. She said it was a rather large old house that was in very good shape. She invited me to an open house which was to be held that coming Sunday. Sunday rolled around. You can’t imagine the surprise when my daughter and I rolled up in front of this large old white house. We walked in. The smell of cookies baking hit us immediately upon entering through the front door. To our surprise, we were standing in a living room with cherubs surrounding the top of the walls all the way around the room. All of the original woodwork was intact and a large wooden pole ran to the ceiling creating a divider which separated the living room from the family room. The house had two floors with three bedrooms, and a large family kitchen with a mudroom that led to the back door. The upstairs bedrooms had a breezeway that could be accessed from all rooms.


The basement had an old butcher’s shower and a fruit cellar. It was more house than we ever imagined for the price and immediately made up our minds that we had to have it. Anyone who has lived in an apartment for two years with three children would understand our desperation. We had to have this house.


We spoke with the landlady and she gave me an application to fill out. There were many people there looking at the house so we knew we would have to compete to be its tenants. I handed my application to the landlady. “You understand the responsibility that comes with living in an old house such as this?” she asked. “Oh, yes I understand. It’s beautiful.”, I quickly replied, not really understanding to what I was agreeing to. “Well then I will get back to you,” she quickly retorted and was off to peddle her wares to another of the visiting house hunters. She was a strange old lady and the way she showed the house wasn’t in a real estate type manner. She showed the house as if she were showing a museum. We felt like we were on one of the house tours often given each year for charity.


A week went by before the phone rang one evening. It was the strange landlady overly excited to tell me that she had selected me, my daughter and two sons to live in the old house. I was to meet her that following day at a restaurant to settle all of the paperwork and payment. I thought this was a little strange and I was a little disappointed because I couldn’t wait to see the house that would now become our home.  The papers were signed on the following day. That weekend was Memorial weekend and we were all set to move in.


It seemed like years before Friday came that week, but we were finally there. Moving day. The move was a normal one and before we knew it all of our belongings were hidden safely inside the old white house. I was removing the last few items from the moving truck when a car slowed down, almost stopping in front of our new home. From the window of the slow-moving car, the passenger said, “Hope you get along okay here,” and then sped up and drove away. “What do you think of that dad,” my puzzled daughter asked. “Friendly neighbors I suppose,” I replied as I shut the sliding door to the truck.


The first night in the house went by without fanfare. Maybe because we were so tired from the move or perhaps because the house wanted to draw us in a little closer before beginning its series of attacks and assaults upon me and my family. The next morning started like most any other day. Except I did notice one strange thing about the house. Each of the houses’ interior doors had an old-fashioned hook and eye latch, but not on the inside of each rooms doors to keep someone out. The latches were on the outside of the rooms doors, as if to keep something in. “What is it dad?” my youngest son asked from behind. “Oh nothing,” I replied and went about the business of unpacking our things.


The first incident happened in the living room when I was hanging a large picture of two angels. My daughter thought that this would complement the cherubs that surrounded the room. I hung the picture and turned to walk away. Crash! I turned to see that the picture had fallen to the floor. Re-hanging the picture once again, I turned away. Crash! The picture was once again on the floor. Hanging it for a third time, when I started walking away I felt a rush of air and something hit the back of my ankles. “What the hell…?” I turned to see the picture lying at my feet. More determined than ever, I hung the picture again and stated loudly, “Stay there dammit.” I had to laugh because I was alone. Who did I think I was talking to? The kids were playing on the front porch.


“Dad come and see this,” my daughter’s voice rang through the front door. I stepped out onto the porch. “Sit down and watch this,” she said excitedly. “Watch what?” I replied. No sooner were the words out of my mouth when my daughter pointed to an old man walking down the sidewalk toward our house. However, when he reached our property line he quickly crossed the street and continued his walk on the opposite sidewalk. “They don’t like walking in front of our house dad. Isn’t that weird?” my daughter, breathless with excitement stated. And right she was. I sat on that porch for a good three hours watching our neighbors cross the street away from our house any time they walked along our street. A couple of times I motioned as if to say hello, but they just dropped their heads and continued on their way at a brisker pace.  “Maybe they are uncomfortable with new neighbors?” I rationalized trying to make sense out of the senseless situation. We went inside for dinner and the rest of the night went normally without incident.


Sunday. The kids came home from church excited because we had set aside the whole day to work on our yard. This was a big deal for us because the only outside area our apartment provided was a front balcony. We mowed the grass and cleaned out the leaves from under the porch and in the front yard. Strangely enough, the trees seemed to be shedding their leaves as if it were Fall. Strange tree behavior, I thought, and made a mental note to mention it to the landlady when I talked with her next. I asked my youngest son to go inside and bring out the garden hose from the basement so we could clean off the walkways and wash down the weathered white of the house.


A few moments passed when I heard him screaming from inside the house. Running frantically into the house, I found him standing in the kitchen shaking, in the middle of a  puddle of urine. “What’s wrong? What happened?” Looking at me with the scared eyes of a child, he said, “Something chased me up the basement steps.” “What chased you?” I asked, already thinking the overactive imagination of a little boy was at play here. “I don’t know daddy, but it was big.” Me and my other two children checked the basement but found nothing except for the garden hose that had been dropped during his frightened escape. “Let’s get you cleaned up,” I said. Naturally, there was teasing from my other two children about the proverbial basement monster. “Better watch out when you go into the basement because…” The glare of my eye finished my middle boy’s sentence. The rest of Sunday and Monday went without any other incidents and we were so happy those first few days in the house. My daughter was making plans about gardens, decorating, and my boys thought it would be easy to walk to their baseball games because the park was very close. It was a normal, happy time which, unfortunately, did not last for long.


Monday came. The last week of school for my kids and a long week of work for me. Each day we would leave the house and return each evening to find every light in the house turned on. I blamed the children for leaving the lights on in the morning. However, on Friday, my daughter and I sent the boys to the car while we toured the house making sure that every light was off. That night we returned home to again find every light burning. When I walked into the house I was a little shaken – there being no logical reason for all of the lights being on other than there was someone in our house. Searching the house in a panic, I found nothing.

“Daddy, it’s cold in here,” my daughter stated from the living room. What was she talking about? Sweat was pouring down my back and across my brow. However, when I stepped into the living room, the temperature dropped a good thirty degrees. That was the first time I felt its presence. I can’t describe it any better than it felt like an electrical current running through my body, bringing tears to my eyes and bumps to my arms. It passed quickly. I remember thinking, “What the hell was that?”  Soon, my daughter stated, “Daddy it’s getting warm in here,” and sure enough the temperature was rising as I watched the thermostat climb. That night my children slept with me – what little sleep I got.


Sunday night.  We were sitting in the living room talking. I was getting ready to take a trip the following morning to Indianapolis for work and we were discussing their plans for a stay at Grandma's. The kids had their backs to the living room, for which I am still thankful because the memory of what happened next still haunts my dreams to this day. I noticed it first out of the corner of my eye. A quick glance. Something moving, standing at the kitchen doorway that led into the family room. Not something – someone. I looked toward it again. It was a dark figure of a man, even though there was full light. He was solid in form except there was a moving, churning, dark gray, black smoke or mist that made up his form.


I looked down because I was sure I wasn’t seeing this and that my eyes were playing tricks on me. One or two good rationalizations and we could go on with our lives without incident. A few moments passed and I was sure that when I looked up again that it would be gone. But, he was still there and he began to move.


Moving into the family room and pausing in the center of the room, his form was still a mass of churning, turning blackness. He stood there for what seemed an eternity, but in actuality, it was only a few moments and then he melted into the air. Gone. I remember the thoughts that were racing through my head. ” I have two choices. We could run out of the house screaming into the night like those crazies you always see in the movies. You know the ones that are always based on fact. Or, the other choice, we could get up quietly, leave the house and figure all of this out.” My hands were shaking uncontrollably. “That’s what we’ll do. We will go quietly, orderly as if nothing was wrong”


Standing up on shaky legs, I said in my calmest daddy voice,  “Let’s go get a soda and see grandma.” My youngest was instantly excited at the prospect of a soda before bed and the older two looked at me as if I lost my mind. “Come on guys, it will be fun.” Thank God, my car keys were on the coffee table in front of us. We moved orderly out the front door and I turned to lock the door,  when a loud painful scream of a man came from inside the house. It sounded as if he was screaming in pain, so loud that it could be heard throughout the neighborhood and the dogs began to bark. To hell with orderly, “Get in the car!” I screamed at my children.


At a dead run, we headed to the car and to drive to my Mom’s house, which is still a blur to this day. I was in a panic and I knew that we had to get away from the old white house. But before we were away from the neighborhood, my youngest son, in a very scared voice, said, “Daddy the basement monster is standing in the upstairs window.” I looked back and sure enough, the black form was standing in the window watching us leave.


That night we stayed at my parents’ house. Early the next day, I gathered my things and left for my business trip. I had a whole week of rationalizations by the time I returned home to pick up my children. Where else were we to go? I had put everything I had saved, and then some, into the move. We had no other choice but to go back to the big old white house. Besides, after a week of talking myself out of the events of that night I was ready to return, so on Friday night we returned to the house. The weekend went by without incident, though we got very little sleep.


I was taking another extended weekend to make up to my kids for my week away. On Saturday we explored the big shed at the back of the yard and in it, we found a number of personal belongings that appeared to belong to different people. My parents convinced me that maybe it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to call the strange old landlady and ask her some straight forward questions about the house.


It was to be one of the most awkward and strangest phone calls of my life. Once I was able to reach her, I carefully chose my words and asked in a normal voice if any of the previous tenants had ever mentioned a ghost. Well of course, she said at first that she could not remember. However, she went on to say that one female tenant had claimed that her dead father came to visit her, but the old woman always thought she was crazy. The landlady said that some of the stuff in the shed had been left behind by the girl, but she couldn’t get her to come pick it up.


The other stuff in the shed evidently belonged to a man who had lived there but left in the middle of the night, leaving behind his things. But, no she had never heard of anyone talking about the house being haunted. I asked her how long ago did these people live there? And she said, “Not much more than a year honey, why do you ask?” The phone call wasn’t of much help. And it didn’t calm my fears much, but what else could I do?


The rest of the long weekend came and went. I actually had convinced myself that it was just a one-time ordeal because nothing more was happening. That was until Monday night. I was on the phone with my mom. The kids were off playing in my bedroom which was located on the first floor. While on the phone, I began to hear the inside doors rattling. Listening closely, they rattled again and I yelled at the kids to quit playing games. I told my Mom that everything was okay, just the kids playing tricks. They rattled again, this time harder. So, I scolded the children this time louder to behave and stop playing tricks. At this time they rattled louder, but before I could scold them, my daughter’s scared voice cut me off., “Daddy, I’m in here reading and my brothers are asleep.”


Now I will try to recreate what happens next to the best of memory. Some of it I remember clearly. Other parts are a blur to this day. Just as soon as I heard my daughter the temperature in the house instantly dropped a good thirty degrees. With it came the feeling of the electrical charge running through my body. Along with its energy a horrible stench that I cannot describe permeated the room. And then, the screaming started – softly at first, but building in momentum. I yelled through the phone to my mother to come help – we were getting out. Then the whole house began to shake and come alive. From above, I could hear something large coming down the stairs. Boom. Boom! BOOM! The screaming of the man over and over. The screaming of my daughter, “Daddy what is happening!” Along with this came the thought that one of my two bedroom doors connected to the stairs. BOOM! BOOM! It was coming down those stairs! I had to get to my children! The whole house was alive with noise. The floor beneath me was shaking as I made my way to the bedroom door.  I felt something behind me and I knew I didn’t want to turnaround to see it! BOOM! SCREAMING!  A new scream mixed into the man’s scream – this one from a child. BOOM! SCREAMS! BOOM! I made it to my bedroom door but it wouldn’t open. By this time I, too, am screaming. Throwing myself against the door it still wouldn’t budge. I continued to throw myself against the door again and again until it finally slammed open.


My daughter was in shock by this point. I instructed my middle son to grab his brother and run out the front door and head for the car. BOOM! BOOM! SCREAMS! My daughter won’t move and I finally had to slap her to bring her to life. Finally responding, I grab her and head for the door as I hear the other bedroom door slam open behind us. It was on our trail and I knew I couldn’t let it reach us. The whole house was still shaking and alive with noise and something big on our heels. When we reached the front door and out onto the porch, I slammed the front door behind us. As we got into the car we could still hear the noise coming from the house. I drove away and parked at the top of the street where I could still see the house and wait for my parents to arrive. We could see “it” searching through the house. Searching! Searching for us! It’s blackness moving from room to room methodically.


That was our last night in the house. My children never returned. When I returned to get a few of our things on several occasions I never went alone. Everyone I brought into that house with me would also witness something happen. A scream. Whispers. Pounding from the floor above. It was not selective anymore at who it let hear its fury. I remember what the old lady said to me as I turned over the key.  Standing there, the whole side of my arm and torso still bruised from throwing myself against that bedroom door, she said, “Some people are meant to live in an old house like that. And some people aren’t. I never thought you were the old house type.” And I guess she was right.

About a month after moving out of the old house a friend sent me a website address that she wanted me desperately to see. “Put John T. Crowe, Union, Missouri into your search engine,” she said. When I did, the face of a man came onto my screen. The same face that showed up in a picture my brother took in the fruit cellar one afternoon while I was packing for the move. The man was famous. The land itself is famous, with a history dating back to the civil war.


About a year ago, someone I know saw a police car race up to that house one night and witnessed a family running out of its front door in their nightclothes.


As for the house today – the old lady turned it into a dog kennel this past fall. I guess she ran out of people that could live in an old white house like that one.


You see I do believe in ghosts. I still drive past that house every once in a while and when I get enough nerve I look up at the upstairs window and it’s there. Watching. Waiting. Angry. Sometimes its screams still wake me from my sleep, its infectious scream creeping into my dreams, turning them into nightmares. I still don’t sleep very well. In my dreams I see a faceless man standing in that basement washing away blood from his naked blood-covered body. Grunting. Panting. Breathing.


The breathing you’d hear when you were alone with it in a room. The breathing you would hear when you knew it was there. Heavy. Labored. Breathing. Yes, I do believe in ghosts. I do believe in ghosts. And maybe you should too?


Submitted by Steven LaChance. Updated: March, 2017 who wrote a book about his experiences called The Uninvited. 


Ok, so who was this captain John T. Crowe? Well, we found his actual obituary from 1923.


Obituary for John Thomas Crowe

from the Republican Tribune, Union, Missouri

April 20, 1923

Captain John T. Crowe died at his house nine miles west of Union Monday night, April 16, 1923, aged 81 years, three months and nineteen days having been born in the home in which he passed away, December 28, 1841.

Captain Crowe belonged to one of the most highly respected families of the county and one that perhaps has been as long connected with the progressive spirit of the county as any of the many prominent families that have left their imprint upon our county’s progress.

Captain or Judge Crowe, as he was sometimes called, belonged to one of the oldest families in the state as well as in the county. His great-grandfather, Godfrey Crowe, was born and raised in Germany and came to Missouri in 1796 and settled in St. Charles county.

Michael Crowe, the grandfather of Captain Crowe was born and reared in St. Charles county. He married a Miss Green, the daughter of Col. Jas. Green, who was born in Virginia and came to Kentucky, where he took part in the Indian troubles and was a close companion of Daniel Boone. When the latter came to Missouri, Colonel Greene came with him and settled in St. Charles county, towards the close of the 18th century. Michael Crowe and his wife came to Franklin county in 1808 and settled near Labaddie. March 1, 1818, he was killed while loading a log on a wagon. The father of Captain John T. Crowe, Martin Luther Greene Crowe, was born August 18, 1818. A few months after the death of his father, he was married to Jane Catherine Jump, daughter of Samuel Jump, July 25, 1838. The father died November 14, 1890 and the mother, February 7, 1891. Martin L. G. Crowe was elected county assessor in 1854. At the expiration of his term as assessor he was elected county judge and in 1859 he became county clerk and served faithfully in that capacity until January 1, 1871.

To Mr. And Mrs. M. L. G. Crowe, six children were born: two died in infancy, one son, Samuel, died in 1886 at the age of almost 30 years, Mrs. William Leiser, the only daughter, died in Montana a few years ago and one son. George Crowe is at present living in Nogales, Arizona.

When the father took charge of the county clerk’s office in 1859, his son, John T., although only 18 years old, immediately became his father’s assistant and main reliance and remained to the office until President Lincoln’s first call for 75,000 men to serve three months. John Crowe was one of the first to respond to his country’s call. At the end of three month’s service, he returned to Union and enlisted in Co. E, 26th regiment of Missouri volunteers infantry. This company was organized in the southern part of the county in December 1861. It was recruited by Robert C. Crowell, who desired and expected to be captain. At the election of officers, however, John T. Crowe, who was just twenty years old, was almost unanimously elected captain. But owing partly to his youth, but more largely to the loyalty to his older friend, positively declined any office in his company whatever. He accepted, however, the position as adjutant for the regiment. He took this because he realized what all others knew, that owing to his office experience and education he was better fitted for the place than anyone in the regiment. He was appointed 2nd lieutenant of the company June 26, 1862 and six months later was transferred to company I and promoted to first lieutenant, August 22, 1862. He became captain of the company June 23, 1863 and remained at the head of his company until the expiration of his enlistment, which was December 25, 1864. He lacked three days of being 24 years of age and was one of the youngest captains in the service.

Soon after its organization the regiment joined the expedition under General Pope against New Madrid and as an officer Captain Crowe took part in the following military activities: Battles of Tipton, Farmington, Corinth, Iuka, Port Gibson, Missionary Ridge and in Sherman’s famous march to the sea and through the Carolinas.

The late Judge Ryers, who made a study of the army reports told that the official records of Captain Crowe were among the very best of any in the state. When he reached Union after the expiration of his enlistment he was commissioned adjutant to the second military district of Missouri. When the war was over he came back to Union and resumed his duties in the office of the county clerk and continued to relieve his aged father of as much of the work as he could. He retired from his duties as deputy when his father’s term expired, December 31, 1870.

In 1868 he was admitted to the bar of Franklin county but did not enter the regular practice of law. In 1872 he was elected sheriff over John R. Roberson. He was reelected in 1874 and in 1876 he was elected probate judge over H. R. Sweet and served until January 1, 1881 when he was appointed deputy internal revenue collector at a much larger remuneration than he had received as probate judge. He served as deputy revenue collector until the election of Cleveland when he retired to the old homestead and where he has made his home practically ever since. He was elected as representative in the legislature in 1890 and served the county faithfully in the 36th general assembly. He was by nature a great lover of agricultural pursuits and sold all his real estate in Union and lived the remainder of his life on his farm which was well fitted with modern conveniences.

On January 16, 1860, John T. Crowe married Minerva M. Breckenridge, a daughter of Asa Breckenridge, a most highly respected citizen and relative of the famous Breckenridge family of Kentucky. To this union four children were born, Asa B., a prominent merchant of Sullivan; Martin Luther, who was killed in a railroad accident October 17, 1890; Maude, the wife of R. L. Allen, a banker of Farmington; and Nellie, the wife of Lilburn W. Brown, with whom the father made his home on the old homestead. Mrs. Crowe died in July, 1874. On March 9, 1877, Mr. Crowe was again married, this time to Miss Sarah E. Hendricks, a member of an old and honored family. To this union three children were born; Addie, the wife of Fred Lyford, a civil engineer living in Iowa; and John and Howard Crowe, prominent business men of Southwest Missouri. The second wife died September 18, 1895. In addition to the six children above enumerated captain Crowe is survived by one brother, George Crowe, of Nogales, Arizona, who arrived at the bedside just four hours before his brother died. He also leaves sixteen grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Captain Crowe had been a prominent Mason since early manhood. He was a member of some three or four old soldiers’ organizations and always attended their meetings as long as he was able to do so with comfort. Captain John T. Crowe was a patriot in the fullest sense of the word and proved it by his facing the enemies of this country in the most trying circumstances. He was always courteous and amiable in society and was always a gentleman. But above and beyond all he left a family that are each and all an honor to themselves, their country and the communities in which they live. No man could leave a greater or nobler heritage to posterity.


Paranormal groups and the Catholic Church were called in to investigate the home. Historically, the home was supposedly built on the remains of a slave quarters cabin from the pre-Civil War era. Within five hundred feet of the home was an older cemetery, while across the street in a separate home, a violent ax murder once took place.


Paranormal groups have documented dozens of EVPs and photographs of the activity in the home. Such documentation has not come without a price, while some investigators have been bitten or scratched. The Catholic Church issued a rare 156-page report on the home claiming it was indeed manifested with a strong demonic presence.


The Screaming House was built in 1932 and was placed upon the actual spot which once held the slave quarters. In all historical documents, you will not find one incident where the Captain admittedly was a slave owner. The slaves were always listed as belonging to his wife Minerva who came to Union, Missouri with her family from Kentucky. There is talk of Minerva having improper relations with at least one of her male slaves which may have led to her death and the deaths of all of the young male slaves on the property. One of the sources of this atrocity was an actual member and heir of the Captain himself. Captain Crowe sold his land in Union, Missouri to A.J. Saey who later became the first Governor of Oklahoma. Captain Crowe moved to Beaufort, Missouri where he spent the rest of his years.  Below you will see the grave sites of the Captain and his beautiful wife.


Standing on the hillside overlooking Union City Park is a huge Nursing Home. In its day this building was used as a Civil War Hospital and was also used after the war as the County Poor House. It is a well known fact among Union residents that if you don’t know where one of your ancestors is buried they are most likely buried in one of the mass graves in the city park. One of these mass graves is not far from the Screaming House.


In 1974, a replaying of a modern Lizzy Borden case took place almost directly across from the Screaming House on the next street over. A woman took an ax and killed her husband. Once she had completed her dirty deed, she took a gun and committed suicide. You might be thinking that a woman using a gun to commit suicide is uncommon, but not in Union, Missouri. Several women have ended their lives at the end of a gun. Another house across from the Screaming House a man committed suicide in front of his young nephew with a gun. So all in all there is plenty of  reason for the Screaming House to be haunted. It seems the land on and surrounding the house is just bad. If you speak to some of the residents of the town who will talk about the haunting. They will tell you that you get an awful feeling from the home and some claim to even get physically ill when they are near it. Others will tell you that not only the house is haunted but the entire neighborhood as well.


It seems that Union, Missouri is rife with axe murders.


From Sue Blessing at


“A story from an 1875 issue of The Record first alerted me to this murder, as the woman accused of the crime was then being housed in the jail at Union. I was particularly drawn to the case because the account stated the perpetrator was the widow of Capt. William Eads, whose steamboats had plied the waters of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers in an earlier era.


William Eads Sr., and William Eads Jr. were both riverboat captains. It is possible she could have been married to the younger Eads, who died in 1863 at age 27, but this is mostly speculation.


However, the case was an interesting one so I began searching for more information. I’ll start at the beginning, drawing on at least a dozen resources. The murder was said to have taken place on April 1, 1872. At the time, Mrs. Eads was living on a farm in Jefferson County with a hired man by the name of Joe Howard, two children she had adopted, Louis Merrill Taylor, age 6, and his sister, Mary Josephine Taylor, age 13. Also living in the home was Charles Eads, a young man she had raised and apparently given her surname to. Whether she had any children of her own is not known.


According to an 1875 issue of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Mrs. Eads was very abusive to the young children, often cuffing them about. One day, two or three eggs were missing and she accused young Louis of taking them. He denied having done it and told Mrs. Eads the dog was the guilty culprit. Not believing the boy, Mrs. Eads became enraged. She picked up an axe handle and struck the child over the head. He fell to the floor dead. Howard and young Eads came into the house and, after seeing what had happened, volunteered to bury the body.


Mary Josephine had been churning butter in the next room, but had seen the killing. She ran away and hid. She was found and threatened with instant death if she ever told anyone. As was the case with several aspects of this story, there are two versions as to what happened to Mary Josephine. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch version, she was sent to live with her Uncle Eldridge who lived 3 miles northwest of Camden Point in Platte County.


The Record told a different story. Not wanting to kill Mary Josephine, Mrs. Eads came up with the idea of sending her off into the wilderness and leaving her to starve to death. Eads and Howard put the child on a bareback mule and took her 40 miles from the scene of the murder and left her in the woods far from civilization. In the meantime, Mrs. Eads left her farm home.


After much suffering, Mary Josephine found her way to a house but, because she feared for her life, did not tell the whole story. She asked for help and said she wanted to go to the home of her Uncle Eldridge, who lived in Platte County.


The plot thickens. Mary Josephine’s Uncle Eldridge had no respect for Mrs. Eads because she had been caught in a conspiracy to have her parents done away with so she could get her hands on their fortune. Mary Josephine opened up to her uncle and told him everything. Both Mary Josephine and her uncle kept their own counsel until the day young Mary Josephine spotted Charles Eads in Platte County. She told her story to the authorities and Eads was soon arrested. Her uncle believed Eads had come to Platte County with the intention to do him harm.


While jailed, Eads wrote a letter to Mrs. Rebecca Boltinghouse, 2620 Papin St., St. Louis. The Platte County sheriff at once suspected that Mrs. Boltinghouse might be Mrs. Eads. He contacted the St. Louis chief of police and it was determined that his suspicions were right. Mrs. Eads, age 40-plus, had been living as the mistress of Frank Boltinghouse, a 24-year-old brakeman on the Missouri Pacific Railroad.


Mrs. Eads was arrested. Frank Boltinghouse came to the jail to see her and they had a good cry together. They decided to get married and the ceremony was performed in the police captain’s office. Mrs. Eads, who had been living with Boltinghouse since November 1874, was expecting a baby.


Both Mrs. Eads-Boltinghouse and Charles Eads were jailed in Union for a time because an affidavit alleged the crime had taken place in Franklin County. The scene of the crime, however, was Jefferson County, and they were eventually sent to Potosi for trial. She was charged with killing young Taylor and Eads was charged with assisting her in concealing the body.


A change of a venue took the case to St. Francois County where Mrs. Eads-Boltinghouse was found guilty of murder in the second degree and sentenced to 20 years in the penitentiary. Due to a defect in the charge on which she was tried, the judgment was arrested and both Eads-Boltinghouse and Eads were remanded back to Jefferson County to wait for the grand jury to act on the case. In the January 1877 term, Mrs. Eads-Boltinghouse was again indicted, but Charles Eads was released. A second change of a venue resulted in the murder trial being moved to Iron County where she was tried and found guilty of murder in the second degree. She was sentenced to serve 10 years in the penitentiary.


According to a list of prisoners published in the Warden’s Report, Rose B. R. Boltinghouse, white, born in Ohio, entered the penitentiary on Nov. 23, 1881. The 1888 Goodspeed history gives her complete name as Rosabelle Rebecca Boltinghouse.”


So, what the hell is going on in Union, Missouri? Axe murdering women… a creepy captain that just won’t go away. Whatever it is that’s haunting the area, it’s a pretty amazing story and we want to know what you think! Is this house just someone’s overactive imagination or is the Captain still lingering about, attempting to wash the blood from his hands, screaming and moaning, warning anyone that will listen.




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The Rendlesham Forest Incident with Jeff Butchko

The Rendlesham Forest Incident with Jeff Butchko

June 7, 2021



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Ep. 104

The Rendlesham

Forest Incident


Tonight we talk about what is perhaps the most well documented ufo sighting, and depending on who you talk to, one of the best examples that aliens have been to earth! Hot damn! Not only is it well documented, the credibility of those involved, with a few exceptions which have weeded out, is pretty much as good as it gets. Not only that, but... it wasn't just a couple of people that witnessed part of this event. At least 80 people saw it, first hand, and that doesn't include people from the town and area surrounding where this incident took place. We're of course talking about the one, the only, the Rendlesham forest incident!!


    Most of our story and info today comes from an amazing book we found called Encounter in Rendlesham Forest written by Nick Pope with assistance from two of the main players in the incident, John Burroughs and Jim Penniston, both retired from the United States air force. Nick Pope actually worked for the British ministry of defense investigating UFOs, alien abductions, crop circles and more. So, basically Moody’s dream job.


So, the Rendlesham forest incident was actually composed of two, count em two, sightings in just a couple of days span. We’ll discuss both incidents and then talk about theories and such. So let's dive into it.


The Rendlesham area was home to two military bases, Bentwater and Woodbridge. The two bases were separated by roughly 300-400 yards of forest… The, you guessed it, Rendlesham forest. The forest itself was pretty thick and dense. Both bases were run by the US. Both bases were speculated to house nuclear weapons. It was never confirmed or denied. Many people believe that's the reason for this UFO visit. Nuclear power seeking aliens! Amazing. Also it gives even more credibility to those involved being that they were in charge of a pile of nukes. Or were they?


On the night of December 26 1980, John Burroughs, who was an airman first class, saw strange red and blue lights on Rendlesham forest outside of the gates of the base  while patrolling the east gate of the Woodbridge base. At first Burroughs thought the lights may have been a civilian aircraft that crashed. He began the prices of running the report through the proper channels to investigate the lights. First he reported to staff sergeant Bud Stefans, who then ran it too sergeant Crash McCabe, who in turn got a hold of sergeant John Coffey, who then ran it up to the on duty flight chief which was staff sergeant Jim Penniston. 


At this point Penniston decided to head out and check out the situation himself. He headed out to the east gate with his driver Edward Cabansag. As they arrived at the east gate, Bud Stefans would make a strange remark. He said "it didn't crash… It landed." White this was going on they had the control tower check around with their radar and also contact other air force bases in the area as well as Heathrow airport to see if they saw anything. Turns out about 15 minutes before the lights were seen, a "bogey" was seen on radar but disappeared as it got directly over Woodbridge. Penniston, Burroughs, and another dude named master sergeant Chandler headed into the forest while Cabansag hung bag. As they got closer to the lights all of their radios began to malfunction. It was as if something was trying to interfere with the radio signal. In order to trust messages back to the base, Chandler went back to the Jeep while Penniston and Burroughs pressed on. As they walked further into the forest they described a change in the air as they drew closer to the lights. They said it felt like the air was charged with electricity and the hairs on the back of their necks and arms stood up. After this they said it became hard to walk, as if they were wading through deep water. They finally made it to the source of the light in a small clearing. They say there was a sudden explosion of bright light except that it was completely silent. Both men hit the deck and waited for a minute to be sure it was safe. When the men stood up they saw something unbelievable. Penniston claims they were looking at a small triangular craft roughly 9 ft tall by 9ft wide resting on tripod-like legs. He said the way it looked was similar to our lunar lander. On the side of the craft he says there were a bunch of blue lights while a white light was on top. The craft was completely silent. Penniston decided to approach closer. He described the area around the craft as a "bubble field". As he entered the field he claims that all of the ambient noise in the area ceased. He described it like the air was dead. The static charge he had felt earlier was even stronger. He claimed to turn and yell to Burroughs but Burroughs was just standing and staring at the object. Penniston said he thought he was going to die. In his head he thought this object a weapon. He didn't know if his radio was working so he decided to pull out his notebook and start documenting the incident that way. As he got nearer to the object he said he saw strange symbols on the side of the craft. They appeared to be etched into the side of the craft. Penniston said the symbols were not recognizable. He said at best there was a passing resemblance to Egyptian hieroglyphs. 


     Being a real man's man, Penniston then decided it would be a great idea to touch the object. He said that it was smooth like running your hand over glass but the symbols were rough like sandpaper. He then claims that as he touched the symbols the lights became blindingly bright and when he took his hand back the light went back to normal. After this Penniston stood there and just tried to document the situation as much as he could in his notebook.


After a bit the craft began to lift off the ground. Penniston said everything seemed to move in slow motion. After a few minutes the craft made it over the top of the trees. After clearing the trees it silently flew away at what was described as an impossible speed. Literally…Penniston wrote in his notebook "speed-impossible". 


So you may be asking yourself… What about Burroughs… What the hell was with him? Well, despite standing only about ten feet from Penniston his recollection of the event was completely different. Burroughs maintains he saw something. He claims that after the silent explosion of light and he hit the deck, he saw no craft whatsoever. He said he saw a red oval sun like object in the field. He also claims that unlike the up close encounter that Penniston had, his encounter lasted only seconds. Oddly enough this was his official statement. In his original statement taken roughly 72 hours after the incident occurred, he had included a speech of a craft that looked very similar to Pennistons sketches from his encounters. Since people will point to this as a sign that this was definitely a real event and that his official statement was cleaned up a bit to try and cover up the true nature of what happened. 


At this point both men agreed that after the initial silent light explosion they saw a light rise into the sky and headed ready over the coast. After the craft took off the two men noticed something else. Although this was the middle of winter and the ground was essentially frozen, they were able to see three indentations on the ground. This told them that something extremely heavy had been there. On top of that the indentations created an almost perfect equilateral triangle, claimed Penniston. As they looked around more they noticed that there were many broken branches on the trees around the clearing where the supposed craft had landed. These branches were broken from low on the trees all the way to the tops!


When they returned to the Jeep to meet up with Cabansag and Chandler, the two men would find out something else that's pretty crazy. The two men figured they were gone for five or ten minutes out of radio contact. In all actuality they were out of radio contact for a whopping 45 minutes!  What's more, not only was there lost time, the two men's watching were running 45 minutes slow, it's like time stopped for them during the incident.  Cabansag and Chandler had been in contact with the base checking in, which was even more proof the men had been gone much longer than they thought.


On top of all this they found that others had seen something crazy as well. We'll talk about the things they might actually have seen later when talking about possible explanations! 


That night there was another incident reported. Two other men reported seeing lights in the forest as well. They claim that when they went to check it out a bright light engulfed them and their jeep stalled out. They could not get the Jeep to start again. 


The USAF was obligated to call British authorities to report that they had gone off base to investigate the incident. So instead of informing the military they called the local police for some reason. The police in their official report that upon receiving the call they had found a place where it appears that a craft had landed. 


As one would expect the next day the men involved were getting quite the ribbing from everyone else. At this point another major player would enter the picture. That morning Colonel Charles Halt reported for duty at 5am. The aforementioned Sergeant Crash McCabe, when asked by Halt what was going on, said "Penniston and Burroughs were out chasing UFOs all night. Halt recommended that they use the term unexplained lights instead of UFO so that things would not get out of hand. Immediately paperwork concerning the night's escapades were pulled and classified as secret. This included indecent and complaint reports as well as security blotters. The off thing about this is that normally this would have to go through Colonel Halt, but he was not made aware of any of this when it happened. They were pulled by base commander Ted Conrad. 


Major Edward Drury thought that the entire thing was just a Christmas prank, but after talking to Penniston and Burroughs, and getting more of the story, as well as hearing about the bogey on the radar, he decided to investigate a bit. He took some guys with him and went and took some pictures and checked out the site. They kind of figured this would be the end of the whole situation but in actuality it was only the end of the first of the two incidents!


The next day on the 27th, there was a combat support group awards ceremony scheduled for the evening at the on base bar called Woody's. That night during the festivities lieutenant Bruce England who was on duty came in and grabbed Colonel Halt, pulled him aside and told him that the UFO had returned.  Halt decided that he would check this out for himself. He gathered a team of men that were still sober and called in sergeant Monroe Neville's and Master sergeant Bobby Ball to join the group. Halt had the men grab some floodlights. But mysteriously the floodlights were not working. Now while it must be said that some of the portable flood lights were out of gas, not all of them were. The ones that had gas and by all accounts should work were simply just… Not. At this point Halt took his team to the original landing site instead of where the men were setting up the lights and where the new sighting was. While all of this was going down Halt was recording everything with his portable tape recorder. They used Geiger counters on the area to see if they could detect any kind of radioactivity in the original landing area. While they did find a little bit of a spike in the reading it was definitely not a significant sign regardless of what some people would have you believe. Another issue is that they were actually using the wrong type of Geiger counter to get the readings they got. Now you can hear this on the 18 minutes of recordings that were made available to the public. 


Also in the recordings you can hear the point when the men again see a strange light. One man refers to how there's light that is there and gone then returns again. The men sound legitimately dumbfounded by what they are witnessing. Halt behind to describe what is going on on the tape. The last roughly 4 minutes of audio available is this prob of the encounter. Halt at one point describes the light as shooting a break of lights to the ground, which you can hear on the recordings. Later, according to Halt's memo, three star-like lights were seen in the sky, two to the north and one to the south, about 10 degrees above the horizon. Halt said that the brightest of these hovered for two to three hours and seemed to beam down a stream of light from time to time. The other strange thing about Halt's recordings is that while only 18 minutes of recordings were made available Halt supposedly had around 4 hours or more of recordings from that night which he claims will probably never be released for us to hear. 


Not really knowing what to do with all of this the Halt sent a memo to the Ministry of Defense and tried to get the British involved but they were not having it. The memo can be found online and we will post a picture of. Halt claims that the U.S got rid of the copy her head sent to the higher ups as they deemed the incident did not warrant further investigation. 


So what the fuck happened in Rendlesham forest. Well it depends on who you want to believe. There's a ton of skeptics obviously, then there's guys like Moody who are fully on board for the UFO theory. This incident is rude with theories, detractors, conspiracies, people who claim they were the ones perpetrating the hoax… It's kind of crazy. Let's look at some of the theories on what happened and what the skeptics say. 


   There's one story that we can put to rest for you right off the top. In December 2018, David Clarke, a British UFO researcher, reported a claim that the incident was a set-up by the SAS as a revenge plot on the USAF. According to this story, in August 1980, the SAS parachuted into RAF Woodbridge to test the security at the nuclear site. The USAF had recently upgraded their radar and detected the black parachutes of the SAS men as they descended to the base. The SAS troops were interrogated and beaten up, with the ultimate insult that they were called "unidentified aliens". To enact their revenge, the SAS "gave" the USAF their own version of an alien event; " December approached, lights and coloured flares were rigged in the woods. Black helium balloons were also coupled to remote-controlled kites to carry suspended materials into the sky, activated by radio-controls." However, Clarke's investigation concluded that the story was itself a hoax. This story still gets tossed around in some circles even though there is absolutely nothing to back it up.


  That's were several locations that claimed they had a hand in the hoax. One man claims he rigged an old cop car with  lights and sound equipment and drove around in the forest to essentially fuck with people. No evidence of this was ever proven. Another man that local people described as "a character" claims that he was driving his truck around with a load of manure in the back and what the men saw that night was… Wait for it…. Burning shit. Also no evidence of this being true was found. As far as these two cases go… We would like to think that if you're approaching this case, that either way you believe, real or fake, you would at least agree that these airmen would be able to tell if it was a car driving around or burning manure In the back of a truck! 


Speaking of knowing the difference between things… Some skeptics like to blame this whole incident on a lighthouse. Y day that the strange lights were actually the beacon from a lighthouse on the coast. Now we can concede that on the second night, some of those guys probably mistook the lighthouse beacon for something more. In the Halt recording you can hear someone say that he sees a light, then a short time later it's gone, then a short time later it's back. The intervals actually live up with the revolving time of the lighthouse beacon. So at that moment in time yes it's likely that those men saw the lighthouse beacon but the lighthouse didn't account for the rest of the witnessed phenomena. 


As far as the lights in the sky that Halt said they watch in the sky…the skeptics say nothing more than stars. The bright lights off in the distance are often blamed on stars when talking to people looking to disprove the incident. But what of the beams of light coming from the stars? According to many it was atmospheric distortion causing it to merely look like a beam of light coming from a craft. As far as the scientific basis of these arguments, we can't speak to that. While they sound good we don't know. Could be plausible explanations for sure. But again it feels like a high ranking long serving airman  would be able to tell the difference between a star and a strange light.


Another explanation often offered for the lights seen the first night is the debris from a Russian satellite falling to earth. This is confirmed to actually have taken place on the night Penniston and Burroughs had their experience. This could definitely explain lights in the sky but how did it explain the craft they saw and the speed and maneuverability of what they reportedly saw.  Granted that's if you believe the men. Also that same night there was some meteoric activity which some point to what the men saw in the sky. This activity was also confirmed to have been actually taking place at the time. 


So while these explanations all seem like possibilities to explain perhaps some of what was seen, they don't really explain everything. 


Then there's the  cover up talk. Many of the witnesses have conflicting statements. The statements they made the night of the first incident are different from the official statements the government has on file. Burroughs' original statement included a sketch of a craft that very closely resembled what Penniston also sketched and described. Only problem is in his official statement he claimed to see no craft, only the ball of light. Edward Cabansag, who was there with the other gentleman that night, would later claim that his official statement wasn’t actually his. He said that as he was waiting to give his statement officials came to him with an already prepared statement that he was persuaded to sign. He claims he never even read the statement. Then there are the missing reports and paperwork the next morning when Halt had arrived. Why did they take them so quickly and mark them as secret without him being informed as he was usually a part of that sort of thing on the base? Were they trying to hide something or, as some would say, prevent embarrassment. Another odd thing is that Penniston and Burroughs have been fighting to get health records released for years. They have been blocked at every turn. We have a picture of one request sent to then president Barack Obama, asking for the records to please be turned over to the men. Why will they not let these men have these medical records? We could go into some of these things in much more detail but for now we just want to get these things in here without making a 4 hour episode. Maybe a bonus will get into all of these little side quests. 


As the years went by both men have stood by their stories. Some say that Pennistons story had become inconsistent throughout the years. And while some things may be a little different from here to there the bulk is consistent according to most. A couple of things about Penniston. Penniston usually refers to what he allegedly encountered as being ‘a craft of unknown origin’ but has specifically and repeatedly denied that it was extraterrestrial. So where was it from? After undergoing regression hypnosis in September 1994 he seems to have become convinced that it was a craft from tens of thousands of years in the Earth’s future. According to what Penniston told the hypnotist, it contained our distant descendants returning to obtain genetic material to keep their ailing species alive: ‘They are time travellers. They are us,’ he said. There's Jon's favorite theory! Another thing is his binary code. He had filled many many pages in his notebook with binary code that he claimed was being sent to him telepathically. Penniston claims to know nothing about binary code. And from what we've read, they were supposedly able to date the pages and writings to the right time frame as people claimed that he wrote this much later in his notebook as a hoax to further his story. The crazy thing is when he finally had the binary decoded it did reveal a message. It is supposedly as follows :




52 0942532 N 13131269 W








16 763177 or 26 763177 N 89 117768 W


34 800272 N 111 843567 W


29 977836 N 31 131649 E


14 701505 S 75 167043 W




37 110195 N 25 372281 E




ORIGIN 52 0942532 N 13131269 W




So where are these coordinates? 

 They are as follows: Caracol, Belize) (Sedona, Arizona) (Great Pyramid in Giza, Egypt) (Nazca Lines in Peru) (Tai Shan Qu, China) (Portara at Temple of Apollo in Naxos, Greece) (Hy Brasil)


 Brasil, also known as Hy-Brasil or several other variants, is a phantom island said to lie in the Atlantic Ocean west of Ireland. Irish myths described it as cloaked in mist except for one day every seven years, when it becomes visible but still cannot be reached. So what does it all mean? Well if you're up on ancient aliens theory these sites hold some water… If you are not a believer then it doesn't matter that much but still very compelling. The origin year 8100, did that mean this craft was from the future? 


To this day there is no shortage of people constantly calling Penniston a liar and trying to poke holes in his stories and pointing out any type of inconsistency they can. That is all to be expected. You can dig deep into this incident and find support for whatever side you believe in. We wanted to present the facts as told by the men who lived it. Whether they were lying, saw something and extrapolated things from there, or truly had an extraterrestrial experience isn't ours to say. None of us were there so we'll never truly know. But given the amount of people that witnessed something that night and who since of these people were out measures for a very compelling tale. 


The Long Island Serial Killer

The Long Island Serial Killer

May 31, 2021



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     So here we are again. Dipping into the world of true crime. Unsolved true crime, our favorite! Today we are looking at a decades long unsolved case.  Many women have gone missing, their bodies turning up around Long Island. No one is sure who's doing it or why. There are many theories as to the identity including a doctor and a dirty chief of police. We’re going to discuss all of this on tonight's episode. We are talking of course about the Long Island Serial Killer. Also referred to as The Gilgo Beach Killer or the Craigslist Ripper, The LISK is an unidentified individual allegedly responsible for the murder of  between 10 and 17 women – and one man – and the subsequent dumping of their bodies along the Ocean Parkway over a period of nearly 20 years.


    On May 1st 2010, Shannan Gilbert, a sex worker went to a clients house for a meet up. It wouldn't be long before things went awry and Shannan went missing. Sometime after she arrived to her appointment, she ran from the house and took off screaming. She ran to another house on the street and banged on the dorr. The man who lived there looked outside and saw Shannan hysterical  on the porch. Shannan was screaming and the man was having trouble understanding her aside from her asking for help. The man was very confused and said he would call the police for her. As he said this and turned to walk to his phone, Shannan began screaming again and took off down the street. That is the last time anyone would see Shannan alive. While Shannans body would not be found for a year, the search for her would turn up something incredible, the evidence of a serial killer operating for possibly decades in the Long Island area.


   In December of 2010, police officer John Mallia and his canine companion, a german shepherd named Blue, were searching for  Shannans body on their own time in the dunes of Ocean Parkway on the South Shore of Long Island. Mallia and Blue came across a body. The body was not Shannans but it was a body that started a search for a serial killer. They found the skeletal remains of a woman stuffed into a worn burlap sack. The horrifying discovery led to a police search of the Ocean Parkway  between the towns of Gilgo Beach and Oak Beach in Suffolk County and the area of Jones Beach State Park in Nassau County. Two days later three more bodies,all female, were found dumped among the dunes. Suffolk County Police Commissioner Richard Dormer was quoted by news media as saying: “Four bodies found in the same location pretty much speaks for itself. It's more than a coincidence. We could have a serial killer." 


The four bodies would all be identified as women who used craigslist as a means to get work as escorts. Maureen Brainard-Barnes, 25, of Norwich, Connecticut, was an escort who advertised her services online. Maureen was last seen on July 9, 2007, saying that she planned "to spend the day in New York City." She was never seen again. Maureen worked as a paid escort via Craigslist to pay the mortgage on her house. She had been out of the sex industry for seven months, but she returned to the work in order to pay her bills after receiving an eviction notice.  Shortly after her disappearance, a friend of Maureen's, Sara Karnes, received a call from a man on an unfamiliar number. The man claimed that he had just seen Maureen and that she was alive and staying at a “whorehouse in Queens”. He refused to identify himself and could not tell Karnes the location of the house. He told Karnes he would call back and give her the address, but never called again. Karnes said that the man had no discernible New York or Boston accent.


Melissa Barthélemy, 24, of Erie County, New York, went missing on July 10, 2009. She had been living in the Bronx and working as an escort through Craigslist. On the night she went missing, she met with a client, deposited $900 in her bank account, and attempted to call an old boyfriend, but did not get through. Beginning one week later, and lasting for five weeks, her teenage sister, Amanda, received a series of "vulgar, mocking and insulting" calls from a man, who may have been the killer using Melissa's cell phone. The caller asked if Amanda "was a whore like her sister." The calls became increasingly disturbing, and eventually culminated in the caller telling Amanda that Melissa was dead, and that he was going to "watch her rot." Wow...that's pretty fucked up. Police traced some of the calls to Madison Square Garden, midtown Manhattan, and Massapequa, but were unable to determine who was making the calls. Melissa's mother noted that there were "a lot of calls to Manorville" from Melissa's phone around the time of her disappearance. That detail comes into play with one of the suspects.


Megan Waterman, 22, of South Portland, Maine, went missing on June 6, 2010, after placing advertisements on Craigslist as an escort. The day before, she had told her 20-year-old boyfriend that she was going out and would call him later. At the time of her disappearance, she was staying at a motel in Hauppauge, New York, 15 miles northeast of Gilgo Beach.


Amber Lynn Costello, 27, of North Babylon, New York, a town ten miles north of Gilgo Beach, was a prostitute and heroin user who went missing on September 2, 2010. That night she reportedly went to meet a stranger who had called her several times and offered $1,500 for her services


After these four bodies were found, police widened the scope of their search. As they did this more and more gruesome things were found. In late March and early April  of 2011, four...yes four more bodies were found. One body was found about a mile east of where the first four were located, and three more on the north side of the highway several miles further down. What differed about these four was that none of their remains were encased in burlap, as the initial four had been. And again, Shannan Gilbert, whose disappearance had initially sparked the search of the area, was not among them. Suffolk County Police expanded their search into Nassau County in an effort to find more potential bodies.


Of these four new bodies only one has been identified. That is the body of Jessica taylor. Jessica was 20 years old and also worked as a prostitute. She went missing in July of 2003. When they found her body it was missing its head and hands. They would later be found at guessed it...Gilgo Beach.  Another female body was found and named Jane Doe 6. She was found dismembered. Next body found was identified as a young asian male. They dubbed him simply John Doe He had died from blunt force trauma. The fourth body is not thought to be related to the LISK for one main reason. It was a child. A toddler between the ages 16 and 24 months and dubbed “Baby Doe,” had been found wrapped in a blanket and showed no visible signs of trauma. Suffolk officials have not ruled the baby’s death a homicide, and speculate that it was unrelated to the alleged victims of the Long Island Serial Killer, as it obviously did not fit with their established modus operandi in any discernible way. 


On April 11, the search in Nassau County intensified, and soon afterward a set of partial remains were uncovered – bones found by a police dog – as well as a separate skull from yet another possible victim; this brought the body count linked to the alleged Long Island Serial Killer to ten. On April 22, police found two human teeth while hacking through thick brush alongside Ocean Parkway with machetes and chainsaws; officials had reported previously that the dense vegetation in the area was making their search difficult.

These partial remains have never been identified, except as "Jane Doe No. 3," and "Jane Doe No. 7." The remains of "Jane Doe No. 3" were discovered in a plastic bag near Jones Beach State Park; DNA analysis indicates her to be the mother of "Baby Doe."

DNA also linked "Jane Doe No. 7," whose skull and several teeth were recovered at Tobay Beach, to a set of severed legs found in a garbage bag on Fire Island in April, 1996. On September 20, 2011, police released composite sketches of “Jane Doe No. 6” and “John Doe” in addition to photographs of matching jewelry worn by both "Jane Doe No. 3" and “Baby Doe” in hopes of identifying the victims.

In December 2016, authorities linked the DNA of "Jane Doe No. 3" to the unidentified torso of a woman found in Hempstead Lake Park in 1997. The victim had been dubbed "Peaches" under the Hempstead Lake Park investigation, so named for a tattoo on the woman's chest. According to a recent Long Island Press report, investigators said that "Peaches'' was a black woman between the ages of 20 and 30. Her torso was discovered by a hiker who found it stuffed in a plaastic bag inside a green Rubbermaid container on June 28, 1997. Because no head has been found to match "Jane Doe No. 3" or "Peaches," police have not been able to release a composite sketch of what she may have looked like.


At this point, authorities began to speculate that the alleged killer was someone familiar with law enforcement techniques, as the phone of one victim was used to call the deceased’s sister several times; however, the calls were too short in duration to be traced, and the locations used – such as Manhattan’s Penn Station – were too highly trafficked for anyone in particular to stand out. Several other bodies discovered in other areas of Long Island have been speculated to be the work of the Long Island Serial Killer and are being considered by authorities, although without any hard evidence linking them, the connections are considered speculation, and nothing more.  The bodies found are as follows: 


  • On June 28, 1997, the dismembered torso of an unidentified young African-American female was found at Hempstead Lake State Park.
  • On March 3, 2007, a suitcase containing the dismembered torso of an unidentified Hispanic or African-American washed up on a beach in Mamaroneck.
  • Tanya Rush, 39, of Brooklyn, whose dismembered body was discovered in a suitcase on the side of the Southern State Parkway in Bellmore, NY. It is theorized that these last two are at least related two each other due to the suitcase disposal tactic.
  • On March 16, 2013, 31-year-old Natasha Jugo disappeared after leaving her home in Queens; on June 24, 2013, her body washed up on Gilgo Beach

Shannan Gilbert's body was eventually found. She was found in a marsh about a half of a mile from the client's house that she disappeared from. Investigators maintain there was no foul play in Shannan’s case. They say she got caught up in the muddy brush and bramble of the marsh and drowned, per NBC.They speculate that she accidentally wandered into the swamp in a drug induced panic and got caught up and drowned. Her family however thought this was a bunch of fucking malarky. Mari, her mother, and the Gilbert family's estate lawyer, John Ray, believed Shannan was killed. Her purse and cell phone were found a few days earlier, just a quarter mile from where she was found dead, per Oxygen. Police won’t budge on the drowning theory, but after the police-ordered autopsy, the medical examiner ruled her cause of death inconclusive.  Her mom Shannan’s death was linked to the 10 other murders based on the independent examination conducted by former New York City medical examiner Michael Baden, MD. Dr. Baden said there was no evidence indicating Shannan drowned, succumbed to the elements, or overdosed—the theories Suffolk Country authorities were pushing, per NBC. One piece of evidence that could settle these conflicting theories could be the recordings of Shannan's 911 call, during which she reportedly told the operator, "They are trying to kill me," according to Former Suffolk County Chief of Detectives Dominick Varrone. In an interview with 48 Hours, he recalled, "She's saying, 'There's someone after me; there's someone after me.' It's a girl who clearly believes...she's in harm's way." Shannan’s last client, Joseph Brewer, and neighbors in Oak Beach made additional calls to the police that evening as well, according to Oxygen. The Gilberts lawyer eventually was able to listen to the tapes and says they are a valuable resource in the case. The police as of now from what we can find have still not made the tapes public and the family’s lawyer is barred from discussing what was said on the tapes. In a shocking turn of events, Mari Gilbert was murdered in 2016. Mari was stabbed to death by her other daughter and Shannan’s younger sister, Sarra, in July of 2016. Sarra, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia, was sentenced to 25 years in prison in 2017 after pleading not guilty by reason of insanity. 

Ok so there's the rundown of the victims they attribute to the killer and some other possible victims. We know what you’re asking yourselves. “Hey guys, I know that the case is not solved but they do have some suspects right?  There's gotta be someone right?” Well there are a couple suspects and theories and we’d be happy to run through some for you. 

So there are four main suspects we're going to talk about here as they are the four that most people seem to gravitate towards. Whether the cases against them are be strong or not, there the best anyone has right now.

First up we have Dr. Peter Hackett. Hackett became linked to the case of Shannan Gilbert after he called her mother, Mari Gilbert, after Shannan's disappearance. Hackett was once a “big shot” in his private Oak Beach neighborhood—but after that phone call, Hackett found himself linked to the unsolved Long Island murder mystery.


Hackett — the former head of the Suffolk County Emergency Medical Services — had become an integral part of the private, secluded Oak Beach community by the time Gilbert, a Craigslist sex worker, disappeared in May 2010 after meeting a client in the community. 

“He was sort of the local big shot in Oak Beach,” Robert Kolker, the author of “Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery” said in an interview. “He raised a family there, was their emergency services guy, their security guy. Anytime there was anything going on he was helpful.”

When Hackett called Mari, Shannans mother,  a few days later, she claimed the doctor told her he had interacted with Shannan the night she died. Hackett, who police have said is not a suspect, initially denied ever making the call, but later admitted to calling the Gilbert family after phone records showed he had placed two different calls in the days that followed her disappearance. In two letters to “48 Hours” in 2011 he denied ever seeing Shannan that night but said he had called the family to be “supportive” after getting Mari’s number from Shannan’s boyfriend and driver when the pair came to the neighborhood to look for Shannan in the days after she disappeared.

“During my conversations with them they asked that I call the family,” he wrote. Hackett denied any contact with Shannan and denied providing any medical treatment. Hackett said in his response to “48 Hours” that he had been at home sleeping with his wife the night Shannan disappeared. 

“There’s no proof that he even saw her that night, but he did call Mari,” one person close to the case has said during an interview.

Police have said that they do not consider Hackett a suspect in the killings, according to The Long Island Press. However, Shannan’s family, who has maintained the woman's death was not an accident, believes the doctor may have had something to do with the woman's death and filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Hackett in 2012. 

The lawsuit alleged Hackett took Shannan into his home in the early morning hours on the day she disappeared and gave her drugs. Due to the “control exercised” by Hackett, Shannan’s family believes she “experienced pain, suffering, anguish, agony, and knowledge and fear of her imminent death,” according to the lawsuit.


“Upon information and belief, on or about May 1, 2010, at Defendant Hackett’s aforesaid address, Defendant Hackett induced, coerced, overreached, and persuaded Shannan Gilbert to enter his aforesaid premises and to accept the aforesaid treatment and medications he provided and administered to her,” the lawsuit said.

Hackett’s attorney, James O'Rourke, has denied Hackett had anything to do with Shannan’s death and called the allegations against him contained in the lawsuit “categorically false.” 

So there's that weirdo…

Next up we have a one James Bissett. Bissett was one of the suspects of the case because he was the main supplier of “burlap” in the region of Long Island and the killer used burlap to strangle women whose remains were found in the area during the investigation. And they were also found stuffed inside burlap sacks. However, Bissett could not be interrogated as he took his own life while in his car at Mattituck park right after Shannans body was discovered. Sounds pretty shady to us. 

Next up we have John Bittrolf. He's a pretty good candidate on the surface. 

John Bittrolff is a convicted murderer and a suspect in the Long Island Serial Killer case. In July 2014, he was charged with the murders of Rita Tangredi and Colleen McNamee. He is also a suspect in the murder of a third woman, Sandra Costilla. Bittrolff became a suspect in the unsolved murders after his brother, Timothy Bittrolff, was partially matched to DNA found on the bodies in 2013. Timothy Bittrolff submitted the sample after violating an unrelated order of protection, in 2013.

On July 5, 2017, Bittrolff was found guilty of Tangredi and McNamee's murders. He was sentenced to two consecutive 25-years-to-life sentences on September 12, 2017. He is imprisoned at Downstate Correctional Facility.



After Bittrolff's sentence, the case's prosecutor announced that Bittrolff was also a suspect in at least one of the 10 murders attributed to the unidentified Long Island Serial Killer (LISK) in New York's Suffolk and Nassau counties. Suffolk County District Attorney's office prosecutor Robert Biancavilla released a statement noting that Bittrolf was likely responsible for the deaths of other women, and that "There are remains of the victims at Gilgo that may be attributed to the handiwork of Mr. Bittrolff, and that investigation is continuing". Bittrolff was a carpenter who lived in Manorville, where the torsos of official LISK victims Jessica Taylor and Valerie Mack were recovered. The remains were discovered roughly three miles away from Bittrolff's home. He was also a hunter who seemed to enjoy killing and mutilating animals, and reportedly once "cut out the heart of a deer he had just shot and ate it raw in the woods". Another link between Bittrolff and the Long Island Serial Killer case became apparent when it was revealed that the grown daughter of Rita Tangredi, one of the women that Bittrolff was convicted of killing, was reportedly "best friends" with Melissa Barthelemy, who was one of the first LISK victims discovered strangled and wrapped in burlap at Gilgo Beach. Barthelemy's mother also reported that Melissa "had a lot of calls to Manorville from her phone" at the time.

This guy seems as good of a suspect as any. 

The fourth guy on our list is James Burke. Burke was a police officer when the investigation started and was elected as chief of police in 2001. From then, the investigations into the Long Island Serial Killer (LISK) apparently started getting murky. After all, James Burke refused to let the FBI examine the killings. As per the New York Post, an agent believes the reason for this was the Chief’s already fraying relationship with the Bureau for having assaulted Christopher Loeb. At that time, Christopher, an admitted heroin addict, had broken into James’ department-issued SUV to steal his duffle bag. When the Smithtown native was brought into custody, he was tied to the floor and violently beaten by James. In a podcast, Christopher claimed that the bag contained sex toys, pornography, and what seemed to be snuff films that could link James to the LISK.  

In 2016, James Burke was sentenced to 46 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to depriving a person of civil rights and conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice in connection to the Christopher Loeb case. That same year, an escort also came out to pose allegations against him. She said that in 2011, she partied with James at an unknown Oak Beach home, where they engaged in “rough sex.” According to her, there were various drugs at the place, and she saw James use cocaine on a few occasions. These claims are significant as it puts James in the same area where a possible LISK victim disappeared.In 2015, before James Burke was sentenced to severe 46 months along with three years of supervised release, he resigned from his post. Plus, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons records, he was released from behind bars in 2019. As far as we know, James is now following his relief requirements by regularly meeting with his probation officer and providing them with his monthly income and expense statements. Along with that, as he hasn’t faulted, we assume that he is also cooperating with the authorities when required. James has not made any public statements or appearances since his discharge. But a source told Newsday that he “has not decided on any plans… but to take several months to relax… with boating in the summertime… and stay out of the limelight.” Even though James’ reputation has taken a hit, especially with Vice calling him a “sex-obsessed narcissist” and a “middle-aged bachelor with a vulgar disregard for social niceties,” the facts remain that there is no concrete evidence that ties him to the serial killings. He's another that seems like a pretty good candidate. 

In 2020 investigators released information on another piece of evidence. Police from Suffolk County released a photograph of a black leather belt with the letters WH or HM imprinted on it. The leather belt, which was found at a crime scene, police believe is linked to the murder investigation. The initials written on the belt likely belong to the perpetrator. The police commissioner said that the belt was found “at the initial stage of the investigation” along Ocean Parkway on Long Island. 

So there you have it. A somewhat truncated tale of the LISK. There's a ton of info out on this subject. There's a Netflix documentary, a bunch of Podcast series, and a couple books. We got information from about 15 different articles online. While most of the information is consistent from article to article we did notice there are some discrepancies in a few of them so we tried to make sure the info we put in the episode was the most consistent throughout. And Also Logan Is “cute” says Moody...


To horror movies set in new York


The WOW! Signal

The WOW! Signal

May 24, 2021



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Today we take a little break from all the murder, witches, ghosts, creepy places, and all of the other horror to bring you an episode that's on the lighter side but still could be rooted in creepiness! We are gonna take a look at the WOW signal! What is it? Where did it come from? Is Owen Wilson involved? Well hopefully we'll find out… Maybe not… Who knows!


Some of you have heard of the wow signal and you may know a little about it already, hopefully we can give you guys some more insight today. 


The story starts back in 1959 when two Cornell university physicists, Philip Morrison who was a professor of physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is known for his work on the Manhattan Project during World War II, and for his later work in quantum physics, nuclear physics and high energy astrophysics and Giuseppe Cocconi, who was an Italian physicist who was director of the Proton Synchrotron at CERN in Geneva. He is known for his work in particle physics and for his involvement with SETI. These two nerds speculated that there might be a specific radio frequency that an intelligent extraterrestrial life would use if they were trying to make contact. That frequency is 1420 megahertz.


That frequency was chosen for a particular reason, it is the same frequency naturally emitted by hydrogen. Now if you're up on your elements you know hydrogen is the most common element in the universe. It stands to reason, therefore, that hydrogen and thus its frequency would be familiar to any intelligent civilizations in the universe. 


Then between 1965 and 1971 The Ohio State University Radio Observatory carried out the Ohio Sky Survey. Data was collected using the Big Ear radio telescope. The observatory was a Kraus-type (after its inventor John D. Kraus) radio telescope. 

The observatory was part of The Ohio State University's Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) project. Construction of the Big Ear began in 1956 and was completed in 1961, and it was finally turned on for the first time in 1963. The survey was primarily at a radio frequency of 1415 MHz, but data was also collected and evaluated at 2650 MHz and 612 MHz. Only one "channel" or band of frequencies was sampled for each frequency. The antenna was oriented to one declination at a time, (a declination is the angular distance of a point north or south of the celestial equator) and as the sky drifted past the meridian field of view, radio energy from that area was received and detected. Signal power was plotted on an analog chart recorder and also digitized and recorded on magnetic tape for later processing. A given declination was observed for a number of days before the telescope was moved to another declination in a systematic fashion.


The area surveyed was from declinations 63 degrees north to 36 degrees south, with a resolution at 1415 MHz of roughly 40 arc minutes in declination by 10 arc minutes in right ascension (RA). Over the course of the Survey, 19,620 sources at 1415 MHz were identified, of which 60% were previously uncataloged.


Some of the objects first identified by the Ohio Survey included quasars, objects of intense radiation and power at the edge of the then-known universe. The archived data subsequently permitted these and other sources to be reviewed over several years of observations. Later, the LOBES survey used most of the same apparatus as the Ohio Survey, and was able to automatically determine and verify the sources first charted by the Ohio Survey.


After the Ohio Sky Survey, Big Ear was put to use for Ohio State's SETI  research program. The search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) is a collective term for scientific searches for intelligent extraterrestrial life, for example, monitoring electromagnetic radiation for signs of transmissions from civilizations on other planets. Now we are already getting kind of nerdy so we are not going to get into the history of SETI and all of the people that were involved throughout the years. It would basically be its own big nerdy episode. It's pretty awesome and interesting to get into if you've got the time to get into it. Actually, it sounds like an awesome Patreon Bonus. But for now the basic description is all you need… People looking for intelligent life throughout the universe. Because, well, there isn’t a whole lot here on earth. The Ohio State seti program lasted from 1973-1995 and made the 1995 Guinness book of world records for the longest running seti program. It was during this 22 year run that the WOW signal came into being. So with that history out of the way let's get to the signal itself… There's going to be some sciencey stuff so get ready to get your nerd on!  


On August 15, 1977 as Big Ear was scanning the heavens, it received a remarkable signal. Astronomer Jerry R. Ehman was sifting through data for several days and came across the signal. On a piece of printed tape with mostly 1s 2s and 3s there was the occasional higher number and then he noticed a line that contained the following sequence, 6EQUJ5. Ehman circled the section in red and wrote a little note in the margin... one word… that word? It was “poop.” No one knows why he wrote “poop” next to the sequence, either. And of course that’s stupid and I made it up. No, you silly fuckers! The word was, of course… “WOW!” The signal seemingly came from the direction of the constellation Sagittarius and contained the expected hallmarks of extraterrestrial origin! Aliens, bitches!!


The sequence string 6EQUJ5, commonly misinterpreted as a message encoded in the radio signal, represents in fact the signal's intensity variation over time, expressed in the particular measuring system adopted for the experiment. Got that? Good. 

The signal itself appeared to be an unmodulated continuous wave, although any modulation with a period of less than 10 seconds or longer than 72 seconds would not have been detectable. So basically the letters and numbers  represent how strong or intense the signal was as compared to the constant background noise. If the signal was longer than 72 seconds any modulation in the signal would not have been able to be detected. 


Ok so the intensity of the signals were measured at a signal to noise ratio. Basically they would constantly measure the noise coming through to determine a baseline reading to compare any received signals to. The signal was sampled for 10 seconds and then processed by the computer, which took 2 seconds. Therefore, every 12 seconds the result for each frequency channel was output on the printout as a single character, representing the 10-second average intensity, minus the baseline. So essentially every 12 seconds a series of numbers were printed out giving the researchers an idea of how strong any signal that might be received was as compared to the baseline noise. 


The numbers and letters were part of an alphanumeric system set up by the researchers to determine signal strength. If there was just a blank space that meant the signal was between 0-1. This means a signal between the baseline and one standard deviation above the baseline. So essentially there's no signal but the baseline noise coming back. This is why when you look at the printout there are mostly spaces and 1s as there was no signal side from baseline noise coming back. The numbers 1 to 9 denote the correspondingly numbered intensities (from 1 to 9); intensities of 10 and above are indicated by a letter: "A" corresponds to intensities between 10 and 11, "B" to 11 to 12, and so on. So we know that was a bit tedious but that information is needed to understand just why the series of numbers and letters was so incredible. The wow signal had the highest intensity measured at the value of U. This means that while most of the returns were between 0-2 deviations above the baseline the WOW signal hit U which means it was around 30-31 deviations above the baseline! So in layman's terms imagine you're watching your tv at a volume level of 1 and all of a sudden it hits a volume of 30 that's kind of what we're dealing with. And if you're wondering, the frequency that the WOW signal was detected at was indeed around the 1420 that we mentioned earlier. The frequency that was suggested as the most likely for use by an intelligent civilization trying to make contact. 


The length of the signal does not necessarily mean that the 72 seconds was the total length of the signal though. The Big Ear radio telescope was only adjustable for altitude (or height above the horizon), and relied on the rotation of the Earth to scan across the sky. Given this fact, sure to the speed of the Earth's rotation, any signal could only last a max of 72 seconds until the rotation of the earth took the radio telescope out of the way of the signal. The signal strength would be shown to get gradually louder then gradually softer as the telescope approached and then went away from the source of the signal. This is what we see with the WOW signal. 


Though the signal came from the general direction of the Sagittarius constellation, due to the telescope's design it was not possible to pinpoint the location exactly. The Big Ear telescope, which featured two feed horns, each receiving a beam from slightly different directions, while following Earth's rotation. The Wow! signal was detected in one beam but not in the other, and the data was processed in such a way that it is impossible to determine which of the two horns received the signal. The region of the sky in question lies northwest of the globular cluster M55, in the constellation Sagittarius, roughly 2.5 degrees south of the fifth-magnitude star group Chi Sagittarii, and about 3.5 degrees south of the plane of the ecliptic. The closest easily visible star is Tau Sagittarii. If you know what all that means… More power trip you… if not, were with you! No nearby sun-like stars were within the antenna coordinates, although in any direction the antenna pattern would encompass about six distant stars. 


So now after all that… What the fuck was the signal? Where exactly did it come from? Was it aliens?


Many different hypotheses have been put forth over the years although none have really gained traction with scientists and astronomers due to the strangeness of the situation.


One hypothesis that was presented early on was that the signal was actually a signal generated from earth and reflected off of some space junk and picked up by the telescope.  Ehman has said: "We should have seen it again when we looked for it 50 times. Something suggests it was an Earth-sourced signal that simply got reflected off a piece of space debris." Ehman backed off of this suggestion after further research showed an Earth-borne signal to be very unlikely, given the requirements of a space-borne reflector being bound to certain unrealistic requirements to sufficiently explain the signal. Also, it is problematic to propose that the 1420 MHz signal originated from Earth since this is within a protected spectrum: a bandwidth reserved for astronomical purposes in which terrestrial transmitters are forbidden to transmit. 


The reason Ehman suggested this theory is that they searched for the signal again many times and were never able to find it again. This lead to a few other hypotheses like the signal was a rotating signal similar to a lighthouse beacon or that it was just a one time signal shot in our direction like maybe something knew we were scanning! 

In a 2012 podcast, scientific skeptic author Brian Dunning concluded that a radio transmission from deep space in the direction of Sagittarius, as opposed to a near-Earth origin, remains the best technical explanation for the emission, although there is no evidence to conclude that an alien intelligence was the source.


Speaking of looking for it again, there have been many attempts to locate the signal since it was found. As stated Ehman and his crew searched for it many times to no avail. 


Robert H. Gray looked for the signal in 1987 and again in 1989. Gray is a data analyst, astronomer, and author. He wrote the book The Elusive Wow: Searching for Extraterrestrial Intelligence. Gray heard about the WOW signal a few years after it had been discovered and contacted Ehman. He went and visited Big Ear, and spoke with Ehman, Robert S. Dixon (director of the SETI project) and John D. Kraus (the telescope's designer). In 1980 gray set up a commercial telecommunications dish in his Chicago backyard and started scanning the skies for some trace of the wow signal. He began to run and monitor his small SETI Observatory regularly in 1983 but still could not find a trace of the wow signal. In 1987 and 1989 he led searches for the wow signal using the Harvard/Smithsonian META radio telescope at the Oak Ridge Observatory in Harvard, Massachusetts. In 1995 and 1996 Gray would again search for the signal. This time he would pair up with Kevin B. Marvel and use the Very Large Array radio telescope in New Mexico. Kevin B. Marvel has served as the Executive Officer for the American Astronomical Society, the largest professional organization for researchers in astronomy and related disciplines, since July of 2006.  He began work with the AAS as Associate Executive Officer for Public Policy in 1998 establishing the Society’s public policy program becoming Deputy Executive Officer in 2003.  Before taking up a position with the American Astronomical Society in 1998 he served as a postdoctoral fellow at the California Institute of Technology's (CALTECH’s) Owens Valley Radio Observatory. He received his Ph.D. in Astronomy in 1996 from New Mexico State University.  So you know… This guy knows his shit.  The Very Large Array, or VLA for short, is a centimeter-wavelength radio astronomy observatory located in central New Mexico. Astronomers using the VLA have made key observations of black holes and protoplanetary disks around young stars, discovered magnetic filaments and traced complex gas motions at the Milky Way's center, probed the Universe's cosmological parameters, and provided new knowledge about the physical mechanisms that produce radio emission. Gray became the first amateur astronomer to use the VLA, and the first individual to use it to search for extraterrestrial signals. In 1998, he and University of Tasmania professor Simon Ellingsen conducted searches using the 26-meter dish at the Mount Pleasant Radio Observatory in Hobart, Tasmania. Gray and Ellingsen made six 14-hour observations where the Big Ear was pointing when it found the Wow! signal, searching for intermittent and possibly periodic signals, rather than a constant signal. No signals resembling the Wow! were detected. In 2011, Gray published the book The Elusive Wow: Searching for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, summarizing what is known about the Wow! signal, covering his own search for the signal, and offering an overview of the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. In 2016, Gray published an article in Scientific American about the Fermi paradox, which claims that if extraterrestrials existed, we would see signs of them on Earth, because they would certainly colonize the galaxy by interstellar travel. Gray argues that the Fermi paradox, named after Nobel Prize-winning physicist Enrico Fermi, does not accurately represent Fermi's views. Gray states that Fermi questioned the feasibility of interstellar travel, but did not say definitively whether or not he thought extraterrestrials exist. This guy is like the king of searching for the wow signal. He, more than anyone else, had kept the dream alive so to speak of finding this signal again. 


In 2017 a new theory emerged that got people talking. The headlines all over science publications read that the mystery had been solved. Everyone dove into this theory. Antonio Paris, of St Petersburg College, thought discovered the explanation: a pair of comets. The work was published in the Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences.


These comets, known as  266P/Christensen and 335P/Gibbs, have clouds of hydrogen gas millions of kilometres in diameter surrounding them.


The Wow! Signal was detected at 1420MHz, which is the radio frequency hydrogen naturally emits.


Notably, the team had verified that the comets were within the vicinity at the time, and they report that the radio signals from 266/P Christensen matched those from the Wow! signal. They used three of world's biggest radio telescopes: the Parkes radio telescope in Australia (210 feet or 64 metres in diameter), the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in West Virginia (140 feet or 40 metres in diameter), and Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico (the world's largest at 1,000 feet or 300 metres in diameter). In his paper, Paris wrote that comets will, under certain conditions, emit radio waves from the gases that surround them as they zoom closer to the sun. According to the study, Comet 266P/Christensen was in about the right position on the right day in 1977. 


Several astronomers, including Ehman, think Paris is wrong about the comet. Ehman looked at Paris' study with Robert Dixon, who directs the radio observatory at The Ohio State University (Big Ear was destroyed in 1997). Two big issues are that the signal didn't repeat, and it appeared for such a short time. Ehman noted that the Big Ear telescope had two "feed horns," each of which provides a slightly different field of view for a radio telescope. 


"We should have seen the source come through twice in about 3 minutes: one response lasting 72 seconds and a second response for 72 seconds following within about a minute and a half," Ehman told Live Science. "We didn't see the second one."


The only way that can happen, he said, is if the signal was cut off abruptly. A comet wouldn't produce that kind of signal, because the gases that surround them cover large, diffuse areas. Nor would the comet have escaped from the radio telescope's field of view that fast. 


      The other issue is the frequency of transmission. Paris said he has shown that comets can emit in that range, but Seth Shostak, a senior astronomer at the SETI Institute, is skeptical. Shostak used to study emissions from neutral hydrogen in the 1,420-MHz range, and is less sure the emission would look right. Comets may not generate enough hydrogen to make a bright enough signal like Wow!.  


"I don't think anyone ever found such emission from comets," Shostak told Live Science.


In late 2020 another theory came about.  A star! First, some background. Back in 2013, the European Space Agency launched the Gaia space observatory to map the night sky — to determine the position, the distance, and the motion of stars with unprecedented accuracy. So far, Gaia has mapped some 1.3 billion stars, allowing astronomers to begin creating the most detailed 3D map ever made of our galaxy. The mission is expected to continue until 2024. Gaia’s new star map has significantly improved our understanding of the galaxy and the stars within it and this gave amateur astronomer Alberto Caballero an idea. The Gaia database is now significantly more detailed than the star catalog that John Kraus studied in the 1970s. Perhaps the new database might reveal the source of the Wow! signal, he reasoned. So Caballero repeated the search, looking for Sun-like stars among the thousands that have been identified by Gaia in this region of the sky. By Sun-like, he means stars that share the same temperature, radius and luminosity .


The search returned just one candidate. “The only potential Sun-like star in all the WOW! Signal region appears to be 2MASS 19281982-2640123,” says Caballero. This star sits in the constellation of Sagittarius at a distance of 1800 light-years. It is an identical twin to our Sun, with the same temperature, radius, and luminosity.


Of course, Caballero’s work does not mean that 2MASS 19281982-2640123 must have been the source. He points out that there are many stars in that region of the sky that are too dim to be included in the catalog. One of these could be the source. And there are some 66 other stars in the catalog that Caballero identified as potential candidates but with less strong evidence. These match the Sun’s temperature but data about their luminosity and radius is currently incomplete. So future data releases from Gaia and other mapping projects might yet reveal them as matches. For the moment, 2MASS 19281982-2640123 is our best bet and a good candidate for future study. Caballero says an obvious goal would be to look for signs of exoplanets orbiting this star. It could also be prioritized for study in the radio part of the spectrum. 


So what else could it be? Could it still be an alien signal coming from a distant planet?  Ehman isn't convinced it's aliens, either. There are many phenomena that show sudden appearances and disappearances of radio signals, including fast radio bursts (FRBs), which are mysterious radio bursts with hotly-debated astrophysical origins that generate irregular signals that last only milliseconds. Fast radio bursts are intense bursts of radio emission that have durations of milliseconds and exhibit the characteristic dispersion sweep of radio pulsars. The first was discovered in 2007 by Lorimer, although it was actually observed some six years earlier, in archival data from a pulsar survey of the Magellanic clouds. It was dubbed the “Lorimer Burst”. Many FRBs have since been recorded, including several that have been detected to repeat in seemingly irregular ways. Most FRBs are extragalactic, but the first Milky Way FRB was detected by the CHIME radio telescope in April 2020. When the FRBs are polarized, it indicates that they are emitted from a source contained within an extremely powerful magnetic field. The exact origin and cause of the FRBs is still the subject of investigation; proposals for their origin range from a rapidly rotating neutron star and a black hole, to extraterrestrial intelligence. If the Big Ear picked up only the tail end of such an emission, the data could look similar to the Wow! signal, Ehman speculated.


"The issue with the feed horns is something no one can explain, including me," Paris said. "There is some data out there to suggest the issue is at the telescope end and not the phenomenon itself." So it's possible that the signal could have been caused by a glitch in the Big Ear telescope.


Was that E.T. or was it not E.T.? Nobody knows,” Seth Shostak, senior astronomer at the SETI Institute, tells Astronomy. “Nobody has ever found another explanation for what that might have been. It's like you hear chains rattling in your attic and you think ‘My god ghosts are real.’ But then you never hear them again, so what do you think?” Most importantly, Shostak says that if the signal wouldn’t have had Wow! written across it, no one would’ve ever heard of it. One-off signals like this were common back in the early days of SETI, when observatory computers were too primitive to notify astronomers of discoveries in real time, or perform rapid-fire follow-ups. 


Despite uncertainties on signals picked up from across space, scientists continue to look for signs of alien life. For instance, NASA's TESS mission hopes to find exoplanets. The effort has already led to the discovery of “hot Saturn” planet TOI 197.01. Lead author Lisa Kaltenegger, a professor of astronomy in the College of Arts and Sciences and director of Cornell’s Carl Sagan Institute, said that life might exist in different types of worlds, but what we know is that there is a world like ours who can support life. Thus, it makes sense to search for Earth-like planets.


So all this being said we found a race of aliens originating from the constellation of Sagittarius. These guys could have been the ones that sent the signal. You wanna know about them… Well we gonna tell you about them either way. 


Bellatricians are one of many races stated by people to be an actual, existing species of extraterrestrial life. As such, they appear in alien conspiracy theories, most notably those expressed by Sheldan Nidle and his life partner, Colleen Marshall. 


Bellatricians are stated as being a bipedal dinosaurian/reptilian hybrid with scaly, multicolored skin that seems to possess a sort of luminosity. These scales are similar in design to those of a crocodile and can be green, yellow, brown, or even red in coloration. With this in mind, green and yellow are the dominant scale colors. Overall, they are very scaly and bony. A large bony crest surrounds their upper head, while a small bony crest runs up the middle of the back and connects to the larger crest found on top of the head.


Their eyes are large and protruding, and can be either red or dull yellow in hue, resembling those of Earth's reptiles. They are set forward on the face just above and to either side of their very small nose. These eyes have been stated (by Colleen Marshall) as "conveying more warmth than I had ever thought possible".


Their mouth has thin lips that run from one side of the head to the other, presumably filled with razor-sharp teeth. Ears are tympanic in nature, like a frog's; the only sign of their existence is a circular patch of extra-smooth, 3 inch (7.62 centimeter) diameter area on either side of the head just behind the eyes.


Thin hands are attached to their arms, and are armed with six long, clawed fingers. The feet have five toes which end in small yet very sharp claws. While they do possess a tail, it is short, only extending to the feet, although it is thick like that of a crocodilian. They exhibit sexual dimorphism, with males being slightly shorter than females.


This reptilian creatures are notable for their great skills in leadership and diplomacy. They speak in a very coarse and guttural tone, their speech filled with deep growling and hissing noises. They require between 5 to 8 hours of sleep daily.


The Bellatricians migrated from the constellation of Sagittarius around 25 million years ago into the area surrounding the constellation of Orion. They are now found some 112.5 light years from Earth. For the past 6 million years, they were in charge of all the former Alliance forces for our sector of the Milky Way Galaxy. However they were finally accepted into the Galactic Federation far more recently, approximately 3 years ago.


Former members of the League of Orion, it is stated that the Bellatricians presented themselves as tyrannical overlords in the Milky Way galaxy for eons. During this time, they were the oppressive ruling class for the Draconian Empire. However, now they are attempting a transformation, and aspire to be accepted as trustworthy members of the galaxy. They are now a very curious and benevolent group that wish to connect with Earth and exchange perspectives on our shared history. They are also open to connecting with those who wish to have an experience during dreamtime. It is proposed that the more open and accepting that humanity can be, the more likely we are to attract an "otherworldly" experience.


The Bellatricians have expressed their sincere desire to make amends for the atrocities they have performed throughout the ages. They are trying their hardest to let go of their natural self-serving attitude and are learning to embrace the joy received when in service to others. They wish to have a gentle introduction to those who can open their hearts, and forgive them for what they represented in the past, and instead accept who they are today. They are very solemn and serious beings, and thereby do not grasp the concept of humor, especially that which is derived from the misfortune of others. 


So what about their technology?


Here's what we know:

Scout Craft: Look like dew drops and beetle, and can vary in length from 100-400 ft (30.5-122 meters).

Mothership: Look like large tadpoles, and very enormously in length, from 1-400 miles (1.6-640 kilometers) across.


Could they be the source of the signal? Jon believes they are!


There we go passengers! A little bit more light-hearted and nerdy episode for you guys. With all of the alien talk around these days we figured this would be a fun episode to speculate upon! What do you guys think? Let us know.


Scariest space movies

SPECIAL EPISODE an interview with a Joplin Tornado Survivor

SPECIAL EPISODE an interview with a Joplin Tornado Survivor

May 22, 2021

This is SUCH a special episode for us! We had the pleasure of interviewing a survivor of the catastrophic tornado that ripped through Joplin, Missouri ten years ago, TODAY! 


Thank you, Andy.


Please check out the pictures he sent to us over at under our blog section. 


Again, thank you Andy. You're a hero.

Creepy Sweden

Creepy Sweden

May 17, 2021



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Well here we are… On to the next 100 episodes. Hopefully we can make these next 100 even more enjoyable than the first. We've noticed more passengers joining the train from all over the world. Canada, Australia, Great Britain, Hong Kong specifically, Taiwan, you name it! One of these places that seems to be listening a lot and that we've been on the charts in for some time now is Sweden. Now if you've listened for a while you know we have a little sub series that we like to do about places. We call it our creepy series. We've done creepy Texas, Creepy New Jersey, Creepy Canada, Creepy Australia etc. So we figured, what better way to kick off our second century with a creepy episode for one of the places that we have been getting lots of love from. That's why today on the train… We're headed to Sweden… More specifically… Creepy Sweden!


 First off let's talk a little about Sweden itself. Sweden has a very long history that we were going to discuss but honestly there's no possible way to do the history of this country its due justice given the amount of time we have but we’ll hit some basic points. From 8,000 BC to 6,000 BC, Sweden as a whole became populated by people who lived by hunting, gathering and fishing, and who used simple stone tools. Dwelling places and graves dating from the Stone Age, lasting until about 1,800 BC, are found today in increasing numbers. The Viking Age (800–1050 AD) was characterised by a significant expansion of activity, in Sweden’s case largely toward the east. Many Viking expeditions set off from Sweden to both plunder and trade along the Baltic coast and the rivers that stretched deep into present-day Russia. The Vikings traveled as far as the Black and Caspian Seas, where they developed trading links with the Byzantine Empire and the Arab kingdoms. Christianity first reached Sweden with a mission led by Ansgar, who visited in the 9th century, but the country was not converted to Christianity until the 11th century. The various provinces of Sweden were absorbed around 1000 AD into a single unit, but the crown began to gain significant influence only during the late 13th century. In 1280 King Magnus Ladulås (1275–90) issued a statute authorising the establishment of a nobility and the organisation of society on the feudal model. Trade grew during the 14th century, especially with the German towns grouped under the leadership of Lübeck. By the mid-16th century, this group, known as the Hanseatic League, dominated Swedish trade, and many towns were founded as a result of lively commercial activity. However, the Black Death, which reached Sweden in 1350, led to a long period of economic and population decline. In 1389, the crowns of Denmark, Norway and Sweden were united under the rule of the Danish Queen Margareta. In 1397, the Kalmar Union was formed, with the three Scandinavian countries under a single monarch. However, the union (1397–1523) was scarred by internal conflicts that culminated in the ‘Stockholm Bloodbath’ in 1520, when 80 Swedish nobles were executed at the instigation of the Danish union king, Kristian II. The act provoked a rebellion, which in 1521 led to the deposition of Kristian II and the seizure of power by a Swedish nobleman, Gustav Vasa, who was elected king of Sweden in 1523. The foundations of the Swedish state were laid during the reign of Gustav Vasa (1523–60). The church was nationalised, its estates confiscated by the crown, and the Protestant Reformation was introduced. Power was concentrated in the hands of the king and hereditary monarchy came into force in 1544. After the death of the warrior king Karl XII in 1718 and Sweden’s defeat in the Great Northern War, the Swedish parliament (Riksdag) and council were strong enough to introduce a new constitution that abolished royal absolutism and put power in the hands of parliament.

Eighteenth-century Sweden was characterised by rapid cultural development, partly through close contact with France. Overseas trade was hard hit by the Napoleonic Wars, which led to general stagnation and economic crisis in Sweden during the early 19th century. In the late 19th century, 90 per cent of the people still earned their livelihoods from agriculture. One consequence was emigration, mainly to North America. From the mid-19th century to 1930, about 1.5 million Swedes emigrated, out of a population of 3.5 million in 1850 and slightly more than 6 million in 1930. Industry did not begin to grow until the 1890s, although it then developed rapidly between 1900 and 1930 and transformed Sweden into one of Europe’s leading industrial nations after World War II. Late 19th-century Sweden was marked by the emergence of strong popular movements that included the free churches, the temperance and women’s movements, and above all the labour movement. The labour movement, whose growth kept pace with industrialization in the late 19th century, was reformist in outlook after the turn of the 20th century. The first Social Democrats entered government in 1917. Universal suffrage was introduced for men in 1909 and for women in 1921. Plans for a welfare state were drawn up during the 1930s after the Social Democrats rose to power, and put into effect after World War II. During World War II, a coalition of Sweden’s four ‘democratic’ parties (excluding the Communists) formed the government. After the war ended, a purely Social Democratic government resumed office under Per Albin Hansson. Under Social Democratic leadership, but in close co-operation with the other democratic parties, a series of reforms were carried out in the 1940s and 1950s that together laid the foundations of the Swedish welfare state. At the same time, there were calls for a modernization of the 1809 constitution. A new Instrument of Government was adopted in 1974, stating that all public power is derived from the people, who are to select the members of parliament in free elections. The monarch is still the head of state, but in name only. In 1979, an amendment to the order of succession gave male and female heirs an equal claim to the throne. Accordingly, Crown Princess Victoria is next in line to the throne, not her younger brother, Carl Philip. It may not seem like it but that's the brief history of Sweden taken from So now let's get to it… the creepy side of Sweden and the hilariousness of Jon saying swedish names and words!

First up we are going to visit Borgvattnet Vicarage or BORGVATTNET SPÖKPRÄSTGÅRD IN Swedish. In northern Sweden, there is a small town called Borgvattnet that may be home to one of the most haunted buildings in all of Sweden. In this slightly remote town consisting of just fifty full-time residents, the closest city is Östersund and the trains only run there on weekdays. It may not sound like much of a tourist destination but the strange and intriguing Vicarage draws visitors every year. a vicarage is usually the house where the priest and clergymen lived. This place is said to be one of the most haunted places in Sweden from what we’ve gathered. The building was put up in 1876 but it would be 51 years before the reports of hauntings started. in 1927 when the resident vicar reported strange happenings including his laundry being torn from the line. In the 1930s, Hedlund's successor, chaplain Rudolf Tängdén, claimed to have seen the ghost of a woman in the house, and in the 1940s the subsequent chaplain, Otto Lindgren, and his wife said they experienced paranormal activity including weird sounds and moving objects. A woman staying there in 1941 reported that she said with an uneasy feeling as if someone else was in the room with her. She noticed that there were three old women sitting on the couch in the room! She jumped up and turned on the light. The three ghosts were still there but the woman described them as"more blurry". In the mid 1940s another chaplain moved in, Erik Lindgren. He kept a journal of all the things that happened to him most notable are his rocking chair issues. He brought a rocking chair with him to the vicarage but unfortunately couldn't use it much. When he would sit down in the chair something didn't like it and after a short time would push or throw him forcefully out of the chair. In the early 1980’s the renowned site caught the attention of an outsider priest named Tore Forslund,the  Spökprästen, or ghostpriest! He was a writer, poet, Lutheran priest, street musician, and editor of the magazine A Voice Crying in the Wilderness, that he founded 1957. Forslund could often be seen on the streets of Sweden playing his favorite instrument, a concertina. He called Sergelgatan in Stockholm his "central sanctuary". His nickname, "the ghostpriest", came to be during a period when he worked as a priest in Borgvattnet. He offered to relieve the village of the ghosts that were said to reside in the old parsonage. He was strongly against the occult phenomena that existed in the district. He ended up leaving the swedish church abs going out on his own after his expectations at the vicarage could not be met. Ghost hunters international visited in 2009. Tales of the supernatural have been around here for years and have continued until present day. Things have moved, screams have been heard, shadow people have been seen, and the old rocking chair keeps on rocking. The legends surrounding the origins of the haunting tell of abused maids and even of babies buried in the backyard although it is now also said that the old vicars themselves haunt the house. Today the vicarage is run as a small bed and breakfast for those curious enough to stay the night, with the option to rent the whole house. Anyone who makes it through the night will receive a diploma to mark their honor according to the website Atlas Obscura. 

Ok so that's creepy. Let's see what else we can find!

Frammegården in Värmland's Skillingmark homestead is a place for midsummer celebrations, singing and dancing. But the farm has a gloomy history. Once upon a time there was an execution site where the farm was built. And for many years, Frammegården was a home where the old and sick of the area had to live their last days.The experiences are different, but what comes back is that the door to the attic opens, slippers move, human voices are heard, knocks, sobs, footsteps and mumbles from the overhang. In the house's guest book you can read about the visitors' experiences. On the lower floor is the "corpse room", a smaller room with a stove and a narrow bed. At least one person has died here. Upstairs is the room with "the crying bed". The story from the 19th century tells that people who came to the farm heard crying and found a woman with her dead child in her arms. The other story tells that two children must have been locked in a small attic room and there died of starvation or possibly frozen to death. Then it is believed that they were buried in the basement, and that may be why the terrier Benny Rosenqvist says that he met something really horrible down there.

- It was probably the worst, most penetrating evil I have encountered in my entire life, he says.

Mats Olsson has his own theory about why the children were killed.

- At that time, one could believe that mentally retarded children were possessed by the devil, and then it was not uncommon for them to be kept secret and, in the worst case, killed.This also happened in the 19th century. Many visitors have said that they have seen or heard children in or near the house. A family says they put up a beach ball, a football and a tennis ball in a row. Suddenly, the beach ball moves with high force into the room and against a chair leg. All  members witnessed the phenomenon. Many believe that the farm is haunted by the last owner of the farm and can attest to energies and strange inexplicable events. Inside the house there are furnishings and furniture that are up to several hundred years old, and most of them have some myth attached to them. For example, the spinach is upstairs, a kind of piano that is said to have the same manufacturer as Carl Michael Bellman's, tilt. Bellman is a swedish singer and songwriter. According to frightened guests, it sometimes plays by itself. And maybe it's the house's invisible guard sitting in the antique rocking chair and rocking to the music that was once heard in the room? And who is it that always moves on the old slippers that are never left in the same place where they are left? 

These places sound pretty awesome!

Storsjöodjuret (Swedish pronunciation: [ˈstuːʂøːuˈjʉːrɛ], literally "The Great-Lake Monster") is a lake monster reported to live in the 300-foot-deep (91 m) lake Storsjön in Jämtland in the middle of Sweden. The lake monster was first reported in 1635 and is the most famous lakemonster in Sweden. When the only city located by Storsjön, Östersund, celebrated its 200 year anniversary in 1986 Storsjöodjuret along with its offspring and nest became protected by law, a law which was revoked in 2005. Like the Loch Ness Monster and Lake Champlain's Champ, Storsjöodjuret has been described as having a humped back and a long neck and tail. It has grayish-brown skin with a yellow underbelly, a dog-like head, and a body anywhere between 10 and 42 feet in length, according to people who claim to have seen the creature. Similar to claims that Nessie is actually a plesiosaur, one popular theory contends that Storsjöodjuret is a leftover from prehistoric times. During the Ice Age, the story goes, the animal got trapped in the lake and survived to present day. The legend of Storsjöodjuret is significant for its longevity. The earliest recorded mention dates back to 1635, when the vicar Morgens Pedersen immortalized the creature in a folktale that describes two trolls brewing a concoction that creates "a strange animal with a black serpentine body." In an 1878 sighting, a local mechanic reportedly saw something craning its neck past the water's surface. He described it as having a "snake-like head that was larger than what I figured the neck could support." 

The Frösö Runestone depicts a serpent-like creature. Frösöstenen, the rune stone,  is the northernmost raised runestone in Scandinavia  and Jämtland's only runestone. It originally stood at the tip of the ferry terminal on the sound between the island of Frösön and Östersund. The stone dates to between 1030 and 1050. The Lake Monster has had such a grip on the public imagination that in 1894 a hunt for it was organised by a special committee put together by King Oscar II. However, the Norwegian whalers specially hired for the job came back empty-handed.  We found this first hand account of seeing the monster online and wanted to share it. 

            "It just so happens that I live by this very lake myself (lake Storsjön – The Great Lake), and it also just happens to be a fact that I´m a witness myself. Yep, I saw a large animal in the water back in 1977, twice within 40 minutes in the same location (a harbor at Frösön, an island in the lake). This happened on August 10 1977 when I was 16. The first sighting was a quick one, from two blocks above the harbor. I witnessed the back of an animal rise in the water, about the size and shape of a Volkswagen. When I got down there (on my bike) it was gone, but I saw three other witnesses who were clearly in shock of what they had just seen down there. 40 minutes later, as I went down to the harbor a second time I saw it again, this time swimming past the harbor. I could follow it at close range (10 meters or so) for some 300 meters. It was three meters long above the surface, in two parts. First a small part, then some water and then a bigger part (clearly the back of this animal). It had dark skin like that of a whale. It swam straight forward, no sign of any moving to the sides or up and down. Like so many other witnesses before and after this event, I had the classic “like a boat turned upsidedown” sighting that day.


I was not alone. Two girls my age was there, a boat came towards us (the animal dived then) and they started to circle around so clearly they had seen the animal as well. In fact, there could be any number of witnesses, I was far to busy looking at this thing at the time to pay much notice on the area around me. But we are talking about a place with lots of buildings, with balconies facing the waterfront."

Sightings continue to be told about this guy even to this day! What could it be? We love us some cryptids!

Speaking of cryptids we have one that sounds metal as fuck! The Halengamen, or translated to the Halen Vulture, que ripping guitar solo! No it's not named after the late great Eddie van Halen obviously but still… awesome! Halen-Vulture is a cryptid animal of southern Sweden. The Halen Vulture is reported to be a living pterosaur. This animal is very similar in looks and behaviours to the African cryptid pterosaur called Kongamato. The Halen Vulture is said to look like a vulture with leathery skin, just like fish scales, instead of feathers. Instead of perching onto a tree, this animal is reported to dive under the water to catch fish, and it is said to stay under the water for some time. It is said that it can fly so fast and with so much power that it could easily devour boats. The animal is also said to be very excellent at flight. The Halen Vulture is reported around Lake Halen near Olofström in Blekinge, Skåne (Sweden). The area around Lake Halen is a natural reserve which still holds areas of unexplored nature. The nesting place of this mysterious animal is said to be on the island Stora Norrön (the Great North Island). This has supposedly been the animal's nesting place for centuries. The Halen Vulture has been told about for centuries, and in the 1970's it was adopted as a mascot for a local school and thereby named "Halengamen" (the Halen Vulture). In later years, the animal even got it's own unofficial latin name, "Sarcorhampus Papa Halensis" and even a scientific description. Some say this creature has already gone extinct, but others claim that the creature still exists and sightings are still reported!

Lake monsters and dinosaur cryptids… Sounds like our kind of place. 


How about some more creepy places! These will be some quick hits since there are tons of reportedly haunted places which makes sense given the age and history of these places!

Bäckaskog Castle in Kristianstad Municipality, Scania, southern Sweden, was originally a monastery built in the 13th century. It was transformed into a castle in the 16th century. The castle is located on the isthmus between Ivö Lake (Scania's largest lake) and Oppmanna Lake. The monastery was closed down by the Danish Crown in 1537 during the Reformation. In 1584–1653, the noblemen Henrik Ramel and his son Henrik Ramel Junior gave the castle its present appearance. At Bäckaskog Castle in Skåne, you can stay overnight and join a guided ghost hunt. Several ghosts are said to live within the castle grounds. One of them is the horse of Karl XV, who was shot after the king died in 1872. During the nighttime, the horse can be heard galloping, which has been observed by guests and staff. Bäckaskog is also said to be haunted by an old guest, named Elvira. She is supposedly sneaking around during the night and can be recognized by her black veil, which she was forced to use for the rest of her life after her accident with broken glass. Room 19 is said to be the most haunted at Bäckaskog with many reports of doors and windows opening without a logical explanation.

More fun words ahead..

Hjortsberga vicarage in Wämöparken is infamous. The old vicarage was originally built in 1757, but was moved and rebuilt in Wämöparken 1941-1942.

Throughout history, several of the Church's men have testified to horrific experiences that are said to have originated in the spirit world. In Hjortsberga vicarage, furniture has been moved and impressions have been left in an old cradle. Mysterious footsteps, children's voices and dog barking have been heard. Hjortsberga vicarage is said to be so haunted that even the horses from the nearby riding school refuse to pass outside.

A priest who lived in Hjortsberga vicarage has told of steps on the stairs without any human being appearing, door handles being pushed down, books suddenly falling off the shelves, the doorbell ringing incessantly even though it was empty outside the door and the dog going insane , raised rag and chopped wildly in the empty air. After trying to drive out the spirits without success, the priest could not stand it and moved from Hjortsberga vicarage.

In the 1980s, Commissioner Bengt Randolfson claimed that he heard eerie cries of children, saw a female ghost coming walking up a flight of stairs and how books fell from bookshelves into empty rooms.

Next up Furunäset hotell. The building was constructed in 1893 and designed by architect, Axel Kumlien who in the year of 1886 traveled to Luleå, Piteå and Skellefteå to find a suitable place to build on. When the medical board decided to build a hospital in the northern part of Sweden there were many conditions that needed to be sustained. The prospective hospital would have a central location for both Norrbotten and Västerbotten, well-functioning transportation links as well by land and at sea.


There had to be good and cheap supply for food. Plenty of water and sufficient water was also a requirement. The building ground had to be good and sheltered from northern and southern winds. After careful considerations they found such place on the island Pitholmen, two kilometers from Piteå city. During the inauguration of Furunäset hospital it was considered to be the most magnificent building in the northern part of Sweden.


All the fantastic conditions were fulfilled, the central and windproof location, good transportation connections and finally good food and water for everyone. In 1987, the property housed a hotel and conference and a business park with then about 70 companies and 550 employees.


Short History about Furunäsets as a hospital. It was the 20th of October 1893 as the steamer “Rurik” added at a newly built harbor in Piteå River. There was not an unusual sight for the people who lived in Piteå to see the steamers park at the dock filled with cargo this time of year. The unusual thing about this time was that the steamer was filled with 74 men who were received by uniformed staff to take them to Furunäset Hospital. A week later it arrived the same amount of women to the same harbor, with the same conditions. The people who came to Furunäset Hospital were called “insane” and they came from overcrowded hospitals around Sweden. With this new hospital and these patients, the modern mental health care had established in the northernmost part of Sweden. Many of the patients spent most of their adult life in the hospital area and their memories and experiences of the place are off course different. Furunäsets history contains both bright and dark stories. Stories that are equally true and equally important to narrate and remember. Nowadays, it’s a hotel and conference center where you can stay overnight. However, the place is still referred to as haunted by many and attracts ghost hunters from all over the world. Guests and staff have reported the sound of rolling beds in the corridors and footsteps that are getting closer. Due to its history as a mental hospital and numerous ghost reports, this has to be one of the most haunted places in Sweden.

Now for something...a bit different...a ufo tale! IN KRONOSKOGEN, A SUBURB OF the Swedish town of Ängelholm, a memorial was erected in 1972, to remember an alleged UFO-landing seen by Swedish ice hockey player Gösta Carlsson on May 18, 1946. The memorial, which is built of concrete, consists of a model of the UFO and a concrete base. Gösta Carlsson claimed that during his encounter with the aliens he received recipes for natural medical remedies which made him healthy. According to Carlsson it was based on this knowledge that he founded pharmaceutical companies Cernelle and Allergon. He later established the first professional ice-hockey club in Sweden — Rögle BK. Not everyone, even those who believe in aliens, agrees with Carlssons claims. Clas Svahn of UFO-Sweden, a group dedicated to investigating UFO sightings in Sweden, investigated the claims and found no convincing evidence.

Did it happen? Who knows but still cool and creepy!

Speaking of UFOs, the Spökraketer, also called Scandinavian ghost rockets) were rocket- or missile-shaped unidentified flying objects sighted in 1946, mostly in Sweden and nearby countries like Finland. Many countries would also see these ghost rockets, in fact over 2000 sightings were reported. Now we have to say that many of these sightings have been attributed to meteors. Many reports came during periods of meteor shower activities. However, most ghost rocket sightings did not occur during meteor shower activity, and furthermore displayed characteristics inconsistent with meteors, such as reported maneuverability. Although the official opinion of the Swedish and U.S. military remains unclear, a Top Secret USAFE (United States Air Force Europe) document from 4 November 1948 indicates that at least some investigators believed the ghost rockets and later "flying saucers" had extraterrestrial origins. Declassified only in 1997, the document states:

"For some time we have been concerned by the recurring reports on flying saucers. They periodically continue to pop up; during the last week, one was observed hovering over Neubiberg Air Base for about thirty minutes. They have been reported by so many sources and from such a variety of places that we are convinced that they cannot be disregarded and must be explained on some basis which is perhaps slightly beyond the scope of our present intelligence thinking.

"When officers of this Directorate recently visited the Swedish Air Intelligence Service, this question was put to the Swedes. Their answer was that some reliable and fully technically qualified people have reached the conclusion that 'these phenomena are obviously the result of a high technical skill which cannot be credited to any presently known culture on earth'. They are therefore assuming that these objects originate from some previously unknown or unidentified technology, possibly outside the earth".

The document also mentioned a search for an object crashing in a Swedish lake conducted by a Swedish naval salvage team, with the discovery of a previously unknown crater on the lake floor believed caused by the object (possibly referencing the Lake Kölmjärv search for a ghost rocket discussed above, though the date is unclear). The document ends with the statement that "we are inclined not to discredit entirely this somewhat spectacular theory [extraterrestrial origins], while keeping an open mind on the subject".

Aliens…. It was aliens.

Glimmingehus in the most southern part of Skåne is the best-preserved medieval manor in Scandinavia. The building was commissioned by the Danish nobleman Jens Holgersen Ulfstand. It was built as a fortress in 1499, when Skåne belonged to Denmark. Archaeological finds suggest that Ulfstand lived a very comfortable life at Glimmingehus. Some of the most expensive objects available in Europe in the early 16th century are here, including Venetian glass, Rhineland glass and Spanish ceramics. Ulfstand would no doubt have appreciated the fact that the castle still lives on as an important medieval centre. The fortress has long been named as one of the most haunted places in Sweden with several different ghosts and guises. The little girl in the blue dress is perhaps the most commonly sighted by guests. It’s a bit creepy because the staff always replies that there is no little girl in a blue dress. Another ghost that can be seen here is the “White madam”. There are said to be spirits of black rats (a species which is extinct in Sweden), a big hen with chickens, and a ferocious  big dog. The dog is said to be the ghost of a castle lord who sometimes turns into an animal. Three translucent ladies from the 18th century and a cart drawn by six horses are also to be seen. 

Here's some quick hits of weird odd things to see as well in Sweden. They may not all be creepy but they are still kinda odd. 

There is a Devil's Bible (The Codex Gigas) in central Stockholm and it’s around 400 years old and the biggest medieval manuscript ever known. The Codex Gigas means literally “the huge book” and it truly deserves its name, the book is almost three ft tall but about a foot and a half wide, 620 pages, and weighs a whopping 165lbs. According to a legend, the Devil's Bible was handwritten by an imprisoned monk in Böhmen (current Czechnia), who got the devil's help to complete the work in one single night. If that isn't impressive enough, look for the page with a full-colour portrait of the devil himself!

Pressbyrån's Museum – Sweden’s most secret museum

A museum dedicated to Swedish convenience store chain Pressbyrån doesn’t sound too exciting, right? You might have to rethink, since Pressbyråns museum has a two-year waiting list, its unknown and still somewhat trendy according to the evening papers. Inside the museum, you can find out more about Pressbyrån's over 100-year-old history, read headlines from old newspapers, see old tobacco vending machines and find out how Pressbyrån became the most common Swedish convenience store.

Sweden's smallest church is only about 1.5 square metres and was built by a former crafts teacher, Rodney Sjöberg, who wanted to have a new project after retirement. His father was a pastor and where Lillkyrkan stands today was a former Mission Covenant church.


Rodney started to build Lillkyrkan in the year 2000 and finished four years later. The church has been blessed by a bishop and is now available for baptisms and weddings.

GROWING HIGH ATOP SWEDEN’S FULUFAJALLET Mountain is a Norway Spruce that sure doesn’t look like much—but this little tree is an estimated 9,550 years old, and goes by the name of Old Tjikko.


Located in Fulufjallet National Park, Old Tjikko began growing in this harsh tundra shortly after the glaciers receded from Scandinavia at the close of the last ice age. To put that into perspective, this lowly shrub was growing as humans learned to plow fields, domesticate the cat, and—2,000 years after it first took root—our ancestors begin learning to smelt copper. Though the tree may have spent millennia as a shrub before the climate warmed enough for it to grow into the spindly tree we see today, scientists had a hunch Old Tjikko was part of an ancient clonal organism. When setting out to establish the tree’s exact age, they carbon-dated the roots system beneath the tree itself, revealing the true age of Old Tjikko. Researchers have also found in this area a cluster of about 20 spruce trees, all of them over 8,000 years old. To add even more to the charm of this scraggly nine thousand-year-old tree, Old Tjikko was named after discoverer Leif Kullman’s dog.

So there you have it, sone pretty creepy places and some fun odd places in Sweden. There's sooooooo much history here and so so so many places that could have made it into this episode. We kept them mostly sorry and sweet so wet could talk about as many as we could. We will definitely be revisiting Sweden though in a future episode. 


To swedish horror movies

The West Mesa Murders - 100th Episode!

The West Mesa Murders - 100th Episode!

May 10, 2021



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Picture the scene: It's a beautiful day outside, you're walking your dog and soaking in the sunshine, it's relatively peaceful and quiet, and you're enjoying your time out with your dog. What could possibly ruin this moment. Well what if your dog started acting strange, pulling you towards a spot in the dirt. He keeps pawing at it and won't leave it alone. Eventually he unearths a bone. No big deal you find animal bones all the time on your walks. But this bone seems different, it's too long, too big to be an animal bone. You get kind of creeped out. But has that feeling completely ruined the moment, maybe not yet but it's about to get worse. On a whim you decide to take a picture of the bone and send it to your sister who is a nurse. Your good time is officially ruined when your sister confirms your suspicions, the bone is, in fact, not animal, it's human. A human femur to be exact. This is the exact scenario that led to the discovery of one of the, if not the, largest crime scenes in American history and a series of crimes that would as of yet, go unsolved.


Christine Ross was the unfortunate soul that came across the body in the scenario described at the outset of the episode. She was walking her dog Ruka in an area that had recently been cleared out for a new neighborhood to be built. After the bone was found she called the police and that's when things get crazy! So let's get further into this story!


The West Mesa is an elevated landmass lying west of the Rio Grande stretching from south of Albuquerque northward to Bernalillo in the state of New Mexico. A large portion of West Mesa is part of Petroglyph National Monument and is bisected by Interstate 40 and Historic Route 66. There are numerous subdivisions with new homes being built on the lower portion of the West Mesa as the City of Albuquerque continues to expand further to the west. Further west on the mesa are the mobile home communities of Pajarito, located to the south of I-40, and Lost Horizon, located about 1/2 mile north of I-40. The bodies of 11 women and one unborn child would be uncovered in West Mesa. It would take a year to identify all of the victims. Police would follow many leads but to no avail. We're going to look at the victims then discuss the most likely suspects and evidence did them being there killer and even discuss how this may be connected to a small sex trafficking ring that could be part of a larger global ring!


The story may start earlier than you think. In the early 2000s, in an area called The War Zone, a tumor began to spread about a killer in albuquerque. There were stories of a killer roaming the streets and murdering sex workers. The war zone is an area now known as the international district. It is one of the most diverse areas of the city. It is also one of the poorest areas in the city and has a high crime rate. A 1991 article from the Albuquerque Journal described East Central as "a loose-jointed carnival of sex, drugs and booze" with drug dealers and prostitutes operating openly. In 1997, the city put up barricades in the neighborhood to make it harder for criminals to get in and out. Eventually, thanks in part to efforts by neighborhood residents, the crime rate decreased and the barricades were removed. In 2009, residents who resented the War Zone name persuaded city leaders to officially re-brand the area as the International District, highlighting its diverse community rather than crime. The first International Festival was held later that year. Despite these changes, crime has continued to be an issue in the neighborhood. 


It was here in 2004 that Cinnamon Elks, a sex worker that often worked in the war zone, came to hear a crazy story. She had told her friends there was a dirty cop murdering and decapitating sex workers and burying their bodies on the West Mesa. Soon after she related this story she disappeared. 


Years before the bodies are found, police detective Ida Lopez found that a number of sex workers were going missing. She began to compile a list, which included Cinnamon Elks, and began to try to bring notice of the issue to light. Lopez had a list of 16 women that had gone missing. When the body's were found Lopez feared the bodies were the same women on her list. She was partially correct, 10 of the 11 women identified we in fact on her list. 


For homicide investigators, the case posed challenges from the start, said Dirk Gibson, a communications and journalism professor at the University of New Mexico who has authored numerous books on serial killings. Years had passed from the time the women and girls disappeared, probably limiting available evidence.


“You can’t have a colder cold case,” Gibson said. “In this case, there was almost nothing but bones.”


Let's take a look at the victims. All but one of the women were sex workers from New Mexico. Many were known to live hard lives. Several were mothers. None of them deserved what happened to them. 


Jamie Barela, 15, was last seen with her 23-year-old cousin Evelyn Salazar heading to a park at San Mateo and Gibson SE in April 2004. Neither woman was ever seen again until their bones turned up in the mass grave site on the West Mesa in 2009. Jamie was the final skeleton to be identified, almost a year after the first bone was found. But Jamie’s mom believed investigators would find her daughter’s body long before she was named. Unlike the other West Mesa victims, Barela had no known prostitution or drug arrests.


Evelyn Salazar was reported missing on April 3, 2004, by her family. She was 23 when she disappeared. She was the 10th victim to be identified, and her 15-year-old cousin Jamie Barela was the final one to be identified.

The two were last seen together at a family gathering and then went to a park at San Mateo and Gibson. Salazar liked camping and outdoor activities, was a good cook and taught her daughter how to roller skate, according to her obituary.


Michelle Valdez:

The last time Dan Valdez saw his daughter Michelle, he asked her to not stay away too long. Michelle Valdez had a daughter who she cared for deeply, and had a big heart, Dan Valdez said.

“Michelle was quite a gal, she would give you the shirt off of your back if you needed it,” he said. “She was good-hearted, kind, and didn’t deserve what she got.” He said he couldn’t remember exactly when she got involved with drugs. But she started disappearing for days, sometimes a week at a time. Later it turned to months. When she did show up, he would give her small sums of money — even though he knew she would use it on drugs — in the hopes that she would come back again.

Eventually, she stopped altogether. Dan Valdez reported her missing in February 2005, when she was 22. Her bones were the second set to be identified in late-February 2009 after investigators started digging for bodies. They also discovered the remains of Michelle Valdez’s 4-month-old unborn baby. Michelle had dreamed of one day being a singer, her mother said, or maybe a lawyer like her aunt. “Drug addiction certainly wasn’t the lifestyle she wanted,” Jackson said. “She wanted help, but she didn’t have money or insurance, so it was very hard for her to get it.” 


Veronica Romero was 27 when she was reported missing by her family on Valentine’s Day 2004.


Her family laid her to rest in July 2009 after her body was one of the 11 unearthed. “We’re putting her to rest finally, but considering what’s been done, and now we’re finding out more of what’s happened to her, and it’s sad,” family member Desiree Gonzales told KOB-TV at the time. “She was hurt real bad.”


 Julie Nieto grew up in Albuquerque’s South Valley and Los Lunas, and loved chile peppers and jump rope. She later went to Job Corps, which teaches under-priveleged young people different professions. Her mom, Eleanor Griego, said Nieto started doing drugs when she was around 19. She tried to get her treatment to no avail. Griego says she last saw Nieto, then 23, in August 2004 at Griego’s dad’s house. She left behind a young son, who Griego said she had doted over. Two years after Nieto went missing, her sister Valerie Nieto was found dead in a motel on Central Avenue after overdosing. “She couldn’t handle it. She was depressed all the time, crying all the time,” Griego said. “That was the only sister she ever had.” 


Doreen Marquez loved jewelry and fashionable clothes and had a huge personality, according to her friends and family. She went to West Mesa High School where she was a cheerleader, and later had two daughters who she was devoted to, throwing them extravagant birthday parties. But as the girls got older, Marquez’s boyfriend was jailed and she turned to drugs. She spent less and less time with her daughters, leaving them with her sister or other family members.


“I had kicked her out of my house. That was the last time I saw her,” Julie “Bubbles” Gonzales, Marquez’s sister, said in an interview last year. “I just told her, ‘You know, it’s better if you just go. Whenever you feel like you’re not going to use, or you just want somewheres to come and eat, shower, or whatever, my door is open.’ And she never came back.” Garcia said the last time she saw Marquez, she told her she could help her deal with her addiction. But Marquez refused. Unlike many of the other women whose bones were found on the West Mesa, Marquez didn’t have any prostitution arrests. But police believe she engaged in it nonetheless.


When Diana Wilhelm didn’t hear from her daughter on her birthday in August 2004, she knew something was wrong. But it would take nearly five years for police to confirm what Wilhelm already believed — her daughter Cinnamon Elks was dead. Elks, who was 32 when she went missing, was the third of the West Mesa victims to be identified after the first bone was found in early 2009. She, like many of the others, had a string of prostitution and solicitation arrests — 19 total, with 14 convictions. She was friends with at least three of the other victims — Gina Michelle Valdez, Victoria Chavez and Julie Nieto.


Syllannia Edwards stands apart from the other West Mesa victims. She had no known friends or family, and was a runaway from foster care in Lawton, Okla. Edwards, who was 15, was the only African American victim. She never knew her father, and last saw her mother when she was 5. Police believe she may have been a “circuit girl,” meaning she was traveling along the I-40 corridor as a prostitute. Early in the investigation, a tipster told investigators Edwards was seen in Denver in the spring and summer of 2004. The tipster said she had been at a motel on East Colfax Street in Denver. “They were high-prostitution areas,” then-APD spokeswoman Nadine Hamby said in 2009. Police believe she may have been travelling in a group. “We’ve received information that Syllannia was associated with three other females and that she may have gone by the aliases Chocolate or Mimi,” Hamby said.

Early on, investigators hoped Edwards’ background, because it’s different from the other victims, would provide the details needed to crack the case.


Virginia Cloven grew up in a small trailer heated by a wood-burning stove in Los Chavez. She was funny, loved doing her makeup and was a favorite at school. Tragedy struck the family when she was in high school. Her brother was shot and killed in a homicide that would later be ruled self-defense.

Virginia Cloven ran away from home a week later, when she was 17. Another brother ran away too. “They said they couldn’t stand it anymore,” Robert Cloven said. At first Virginia Cloven lived with her grandfather in Albuquerque, then moved in with a boyfriend. He got hit by a car and went into a coma, and soon Virginia Cloven had lost her home and was living on the streets of Albuquerque’s International District. One year, she called her dad asking what he wanted for his birthday. He asked her to clear up her citations and then they were supposed to meet in Albuquerque. They last heard from her in June 2004. She called to say she had a new boyfriend who had just gotten out of prison and that she was probably going to marry him. “We said we’d like to meet him, but we never heard from her again,” Robert Cloven said in 2009. “After that, everything just went dead.” Robert Cloven reported his daughter missing four months later, in October 2004. She was 23 at the time.


Victoria Chavez, 26, was the first woman whose bones were identified after they were found on the mesa — before the public learned the women were likely murdered by a serial killer. “To have them come and knock on my door, I was devastated,” stepfather Ambrose Saiz said at a memorial event in 2009. “I never thought it would end like this. I just had that hope.” Chavez’s mother reported her missing in March 2005 after she hadn’t seen her in more than a year. The mother also said in the missing persons report that Chavez was on probation and was a “known drug user and prostitute.” She had five prostitution convictions, according to court records.


Sheriff’s deputies investigating the disappearance of Monica Candelaria in 2003 heard from her friends that she had been killed and buried on the mesa. It turns out, those friends were right. When the 21-year-old never showed up, detectives turned it over to the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office cold case unit. The case stayed cold until she was identified as one of the women found on the mesa in 2009. She was last seen near Atrisco and Central in Southwest Albuquerque. Deputies said she lived a “high-risk lifestyle” and may have had gang ties. She had been convicted of prostitution once, according to court records. But her obituary highlights a happier side. “Monica enjoyed laughing, joking, taking care of babies, and spending time with her family,” the obituary reads. “She will be remembered as a loving daughter, mother, granddaughter, niece, cousin and friend who will be truly missed.”


11 women who all list their lives too soon. Most likely in a terrible manor. The police have not revealed the causes of death of the women. It was difficult to figure out how the women died and they are keeping that nugget to themselves to use as a gage of the beauty of claims and tips. 


After several years of nothing some suspects started popping up. Some  actually fit the profile very well. Even still no official suspects have been named. Here's a look at some of the suspects that police have checked out. 


Lou Fred Reynolds, who police said was a pimp, died of natural causes on Jan. 2, 2009. Police found pictures of several West Mesa victims at his home but no physical evidence linking him to the murder. Reynolds, of Albuquerque, was arrested in 2001 and in 1998 on suspicion of promoting prostitution. Reynold was supposedly very focused on some of the West Mesa victims back when they were still missing. Lori Gallegos and Amy Reid both have connections to the mystery. Reid's sister and many friends started to disappear around the same time. Gallegos's close friend Doreen Marquez vanished in 2003. Gallegos said her search led her to Reynolds who supposedly ran an escort service. "When I met Fred Reynolds I wasn't looking for a suspect of a murder case at that point I was looking for my friend that was missing," said Gallegos. In October 2008, he showed her pictures of Doreen. He also had photos of missing women he claimed he was looking for. "He told me he was a former heroin addict himself and this was the reason he wanted to help the women that worked for him, he wanted them to have a good life," said Gallegos. Reynolds passed away a couple months later from health complications. What came as a surprise to Gallegos was Fred Reynolds was one of the names initially mentioned as a person of interest in the case. Reid who also knew Reynolds and considered him a friend. She said there is no way he was involved. "He wasn't violent and he wasn't abusive and he wasn't in anyway a killer," said Reid. Reid said Reynolds was someone who truly cared about the missing women and wanted to help find them.


Another really suspect was Ron Erwin. Erwin has a connection to I've of our previous episodes. He is a photographer from Joplin Missouri. Erwin fell under a cloud of suspicion in the serial murders case investigators from New Mexico showed up at his properties in Joplin armed with search warrants. In the first interview he has granted about the matter, Erwin told the Joplin Globe he does not know how he became a suspect in the case, only that the experience has resembled a nightmare. “There’s an old ‘Twilight Zone’ episode,” Erwin said, “where a man wakes up to the world he’s always known and suddenly nobody recognizes him and he’s running around trying to say, ‘Don’t you remember me? I’ve known you for 40 years,’ and all this.


“Well, that’s what my life’s been in that time,” he said during the interview at the office of Joplin attorney Phil Glades.


“I don’t know how it all got to that stage before it suddenly exploded that morning,” he said. “I don’t know.”

Erwin spent the better part of a year trying to prove his innocence behind the scenes. He hired lawyers in Joplin and New Mexico to advise him, even though he has never been charged with the murders, and he declined all interview requests.Erwin went to Alexandria, Va., in December to have the polygraph exam administered by former FBI polygrapher Barry Colvert. Glades said Colvert determined that Erwin was not being deceptive in his answers regarding the West Mesa murders. The results of that exam were provided to Albuquerque investigators a few months later when they asked, as a last request, if he’d be willing to take a polygraph. While no real reason was given to the public about why Erwin was a suspect, it is said that he was seen often at the fair in Albuquerque where the women were known to frequent and men were known to pick up prostitutes. Erwin and his attorneys provided the Globe with a copy of the final page of an Albuquerque police report dated June 26 of this year that concludes: “Ron Erwin is not a viable suspect in the killing of the 11 victims located at the 188th Street S.W. site.”


The paragraph specifies dates in 2004 when victims Veronica Romero, Evelyn Salazar and Jamie Barela are known to have disappeared. The report states that detectives were able to verify that Erwin was in Joplin on both the day that Romero vanished and the day Salazar and Barela turned up missing.


“I believe there weren’t too many specific dates in this case, but those were two of them,” Erwin said. “And I was able to account for all my days in 2004.” 


“Why he was a suspect — that’s all in sealed warrants, that’s still part of our pending investigation,” said Sgt. Tricia Hoffman, spokeswoman for the Albuquerque Police Department, in a phone interview. “But, at this point, we’ve been able to eliminate him as a viable suspect.” 


So at least they know who didn't do it. 


Scott Lee Kimball  is a convicted serial killer from Boulder County, Colorado. He is serving a 70-year sentence after pleading guilty in 2009 to the murders of 5 people. All four victims died between January 2003 and August 2004, while Kimball was on "supervised release" after a prior check fraud conviction, serving as an FBI informant. In December 2010, Kimball told a cousin that he had been proposed as a suspect in the West Mesa murders in New Mexico, which were committed during the same 2003-2005 time period. He denied involvement. Even though he's denied involvement, he has boasted about committing other murders although authorities have yet to uncover direct evidence to back up his claims. 


Another suspect, and one of the most viable ones was Lorenzo Montoya, we say was as he was killed while in the act of committing another murder. When Lorenzo Montoya was killed in 2006, the bodies of the West Mesa victims had not yet been found. Police Chief Ray Schultz said at the time that police had been looking into him in connection to prostitutes who had vanished from the city.


He has since been named as a possible suspect in the West Mesa deaths.


That’s likely because, like another possible suspect Joseph Blea, who we'll get to in a bit,  Montoya cruised the East Central corridor and was known to be violent.


His first prostitution-related arrest was in 1998 when he picked up an undercover detective posing as a prostitute. He offered her $40.


She took him to a motel room near Washington and Central, where officers arrested him.


That apparently didn’t deter him.


In 1999, vice detectives watched him pick up a prostitute near Central and San Mateo and followed him to a dark dead-end road near the airport.


Police believe they caught him in the act as he was trying to rape and strangle her.


Montoya had apparently never planned to pay her — he only had $2 in his wallet.


He was arrested, but the case was later dismissed.


About four years later, he was still at it. Detectives watched him pick up a prostitute on Central Ave. and arrested him. The woman told officers he paid her $15.


By that time, Montoya already had a history of violence.


According to a domestic violence form his girlfriend filled out after an alleged assault, Montoya repeatedly beat her.


The woman said he had also done “gross things to me,” but didn’t detail what they were in the document.


She wrote that Montoya threatened “to kill me and bury me in lime.”


That threat may shed light on Montoya’s last crime.


In December 2006, he invited an escort to his trailer and killed her, according to a search warrant affidavit.


“She was bound by the ankles, knees and wrists, with duct tape and cord,” a detective wrote in the warrant.


When the woman’s boyfriend came to check on her, he shot and killed Montoya. The woman’s body was found outside Montoya’s trailer partially wrapped in a blanket. Her legs and wrists were wrapped in duct tape, and a thick layer circled her neck. An unrolled condom, pillowcase, and the woman’s belongings were in a trash bag in the trunk of the car Montoya had rented. Inside Montoya’s trailer, investigators found duct tape next to his bed. They also found hardcore pornography and some homemade sex tapes. One of those recordings shows Montoya having sex with a woman and the tape goes black. In a following scene on the same tape, the camera is focused on Montoya’s bedroom wall.


The camera doesn’t capture what’s happening, but the audio captures what sounds like tape being pulled from a roll. At least one trash bag is opened and there’s minutes of rustling noises. Police have sent that audio to the FBI and other crime labs for enhancement, but haven’t been able to determine what Montoya was doing. Two years after Montoya’s death, the decomposed remains of the West Mesa victims were found.

 Montoya was immediately a potential suspect. But police have never detailed conclusive evidence tying him to the crime. Police spokesman Tanner Tixier said detectives tested Montoya’s living room carpet for DNA of all the victims found on the mesa and it came back negative. They also found nothing suspicious in his financial records around the time that the women went missing. Although Montoya’s family has declined to speak with the press, some of their comments were captured in interviews recorded by police the day he was killed. His mother expressed disbelief that Montoya could have done what police accused him of. And his girlfriend told them through sobs that she was supposed to be at Montoya’s trailer the night Hill was killed, but she had canceled because she wasn’t feeling well.


“He was very aggressive when he was younger, but he changed a lot,” she said. “He was good to me.”


Police announced in October 2016 they were looking for two escorts shown in one of the sex tapes.


“We need those two women identified,” Tixier said. “We’re trying to figure out if they are still alive.”


Next up is the aforementioned Joseph Blea.  Joseph Blea caught the attention of investigators almost immediately after the first remains of the West Mesa victims were unearthed.


April Gillen, Blea’s first wife, contacted police seven days after the discovery of a bone on the mesa and said she thought police should look into him.


They already knew a lot about him.


Blea is currently serving a 90-year prison sentence after he was convicted of four sexual assaults unrelated to the West Mesa case. He’s faced other sex-related charges as well, including accusations that he raped a 14-year-old girl he knew with a screwdriver. That case was later dropped, according to online court records.


And his DNA was found on a prostitute left dead on a curb in 1985. He’s never been charged in connection with that crime.


Police knew him even before many of those allegations surfaced — they had run across him more than 130 times between 1990 and 2009, and many of those encounters were along the East Central corridor known for prostitution and drugs, according to a search warrant affidavit unsealed late last year.


It’s an area many of the victims reportedly frequented.


In one report six years before the West Mesa victims went missing, a woman who had been walking on Central Avenue said Blea called her over to his car and exposed himself.


Police found rope and electrical tape on his passenger seat.


In the weeks after the victims’ remains were found, detectives with APD’s Repeat Offender Project tailed Blea for four days as he appeared to stalk prostitutes on the stroll.


“On two separate occasions Mr. Blea drove Central Ave from the west part of Albuquerque to the east part of Albuquerque,” the detective wrote in the warrant. “He slowed and circled the block in areas where prostitutes were working. He did not approach any prostitutes but appeared to be closely watching them.”


When detectives interviewed a prostitute who knew him, she said he took her to his house and tried to tie her up. She said she didn’t let him.


About eight months after the West Mesa murder investigation began, detectives searched Blea’s home and collected women’s jewelry and women’s underwear.


His wife, Cheryl Blea, told police he enjoyed wearing women’s underwear when having sex. She said she had on occasion found jewelry that didn’t belong to her or her daughter in their home. And she said her daughter had found women’s underwear hidden in their shed.


In a 2015 interview with the albuquerque Journal, Robert Cloven, the father of victim Virginia Cloven, said some families had noticed the women’s jewelry was missing.


Detective Mark Manary, who is the only investigator on the West Mesa case full-time, won’t say if the jewelry or underwear found at Blea’s house matched any of the victims’ DNA.


“Due to this being an ongoing criminal investigation this question cannot be answered at this time,” he said in an email in January 2016.


Blea also reportedly discussed the West Mesa case with others.


When detectives interviewed a former cellmate, he said Blea told him he knew the victims. He said he had paid them for sex acts.


“Mr. Blea spoke poorly about other identified victims, calling them trashy,” officers said cellmate Monroe Elderts told them.


Blea told Elderts he hit one of the victims when she tried to take his money.


Most of the evidence detectives present in the search warrant is circumstantial, but there’s one piece of physical evidence they believe may tie him to the crime.


Officers digging up the bones found a plant tag for a Spearmint Juniper next to Virginia Cloven’s remains.


Detectives traced that tree tag to a nursery in California that sends plants to Albuquerque, and Blea’s business records indicate he bought plants from nurseries that sold the California plants.


It’s unclear if detectives were ever able to directly tie that tree tag to Blea.


Blea began his lengthy prison sentence for the sexual assault cases in 2015. He is appealing his conviction in those.


His former attorney, John McCall, said Blea says he had nothing to do with the West Mesa murders.


“We dealt with issues relating to all of this,” McCall said in January 2016. “But it doesn’t seem like they really had any conclusive evidence regarding Joseph Blea. He’s denying involvement in West Mesa consistently.”


Authorities believe that the women may have been involved in a large interstate sex trafficking operation. According to the El Paso Times, the presence of Syllannia Edwards among the victims has led authorities to believe that sex trafficking gangs could have been involved. Edwards was from Oklahoma, but was known to have been in Texas and Colorado before ending up in Albuquerque. It is unknown, however, if she traveled on her own or was trafficked there. Several arrests and convictions in El Paso, Texas, indicated that Albuquerque is part of a broader sex trafficking route that includes the states of Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas, as well as the Mexican city of Juarez. According to New Mexico State University, the FBI has investigated long-haul truck drivers as suspects in murders of sex workers along major highways, and authorities have reason to believe that Edwards was one such victim. The El Paso Crime Stoppers office received an anonymous tip in 2010 that a suspect whose last name was Cota had killed a girl nicknamed "Mimi" and "Chocolate," both of which were names Edwards was known to go by. Despite the tip, however, the West Mesa Murder case remains unsolved.


So what about this Cota feels anyways. The following is taken from a new Mexico state university article.


  A truck driver who used to belong to El Salvador’s military special forces allegedly could be linked to serial crimes of girls and women in El Paso, Texas, and Albuquerque, New Mexico, according to a Crime Stoppers tip included in court documents related to the appeal of Texas death row inmate David Leonard Wood.

The tip, which is part of the Crime Stoppers report, refers to Wood’s case and to the West Mesa murders of Albuquerque.


The report states that the victim or victims of the alleged suspect, whose last name in the Crime Stoppers report is Cota, were nicknamed “Mimi” and “Chocolate.” New Mexico authorities had identified one of the 11 victims that were found in shallow graves in Albuquerque’s West Mesa in 2009 as Syllannia Edwards, whom police stated may have used the nicknames “Mimi” and “Chocolate.”


The West Mesa case remains unsolved.

Edwards, who was 15 years old, was reported missing in 2003 in Lawton, Oklahoma. Police there said they considered her an endangered runaway. Police said she was also seen in Aurora, Colorado in May of 2004, and may have been associated with prostitutes in that city. It is not known when and how Edwards traveled to Albuquerque.


“Edwards was killed sometime between 2004 and 2005 and then buried in a mesa located adjacent to 118th Street SW in Albuquerque,” police authorities stated. “(The Cota) suspect would lure the females with narcotics,” the tipster told Crime Stoppers.


An anonymous caller provided the tip on Feb. 22, 2010 to Crime Stoppers of El Paso, Inc. According to court records, El Paso Detective Arturo “Tury” Ruiz, who was assigned to follow up on the tip, went as far as to prepare a grand jury document so that he could request more details about the tipster’s information. An official with the Albuquerque Police Department confirmed today (Sept. 13, 2016) that the El Paso Police Department had shared the 2010 Crime Stoppers report with authorities investigating the West Mesa murders.

No further comment was available due to the ongoing nature of the investigation.


According to the Crime Stoppers report, “The caller (tipster) advised they have information regarding the crimes for which a man named David Leonard Wood will be executed soon. The caller advised (that) the suspect [Cota]… is responsible for these crimes.”


“The caller advised two of the victims’ nicknames were Mimi and Chocolate,” the Crime Stoppers report stated. “The caller advised the suspect never admitted to killing the women, but did admit to having picked up the women and paid them in exchange for sex.” “The caller has reason to believe the suspect … is responsible for the West Mesa, NM murders as well … (and) may also be responsible for several murders in Milwaukee, WI,” the Crime Stoppers report stated.

The tipster claimed that the suspect had been a member of El Salvador’s military special forces. The tipster further alleged that the suspect is “very violent” and “exhibits a very strong hate towards women.”


The tipster told Crime Stoppers that Cota allegedly once boasted that “You will see me all over the news one day.” The suspect, the tipster alleged, used to be involved in drug-trafficking, and had a relative that was arrested on drug charges in California. The tipster alleged that the suspect ‘s nickname was “El Tigere,” was between 55 and 56 years old (in 2010), had a thin build, reddish hair, and drove a light burgundy-colored van.


The suspect reportedly worked as an interstate 18-wheel truck driver, and had lived in Albuquerque and West Oakland, California.  


Wood was convicted in the deaths of six girls and young women who disappeared in 1987 in El Paso. Their bodies were found in shallow graves near what is now the Painted Dunes Golf Course in Northeast El Paso.

The victims were Ivy Susanna Williams, Desiree Wheatley, Karen Baker, Angelica Frausto, Rosa Maria Casio and Dawn Marie Smith.


Three others who went missing in 1987, two from Northeast El Paso, and one who lived in nearby Chaparral, New Mexico, were Melissa Alaniz, Cheryl Vasquez and Marjorie Knox; they were never seen alive again. El Paso police said they had suspected Wood in their disappearances.


Wood has steadfastly denied killing the six victims and denied any connection with the disappearances of Knox, Alaniz and Vasquez. After his conviction by a jury trial, Wood was sentenced to death, and was scheduled to be executed in 2009. The Texas Criminal Court of Appeals granted him a stay the day before he was to be executed so he could prepare his appeal.  


There is thought that the same person responsible for the west mesa killings was also responsible for the cringes that Wood was convicted of. 


So there you have it… the unresolved story of the West Mesa killings. Who did it? Why did they do it, where are the rest of the missing girls? We may never know.


Sources for today were an amazing special article series from the Albuquerque Journal, the New Mexico state university article on the Cota suspect, the El Paso times and their article on the subject. Those were the main sources although we did find some smaller bits scattered around various random websites. 

Horror movies filmed in new mexico:

“Half-Hanged” Mary Webster

“Half-Hanged” Mary Webster

May 3, 2021



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 Rumour was loose in the air,hunting for some neck to land on.I was milking the cow, the barn door open to the sunset.I didn’t feel the aimed word hit,and go in like a soft bullet.I didn’t feel the smashed flesh,closing over it like water over a thrown stone. I was hanged for living alone for having blue eyes and a sunburned skin, tattered skirts, few buttons,a weedy farm in my own name, and a surefire cure for warts; Oh yes, and breasts, and a sweet pear hidden in my body. Whenever there’s talk of demons these come in handy.


The rope was an improvisation. With time they’d have thought of axes. Up I go like a windfall in reverse, a blackened apple stuck back onto the tree. Trussed hands, rag in my mouth, a flag raised to salute the moon, old bone‐faced goddess, old original, who once took blood in return for food.The men of the town stalk homeward, excited by their show of hate, their own evil turned inside out like a glove, and me wearing it.


The bonnets come to stare, the dark skirts also, the upturned faces in between, mouths closed so tight they’re lipless. I can see down into their eyeholes and nostrils. I can see their fear. You were my friend, you too. I cured your baby, Mrs., and flushed yours out of you, Non‐wife, to save your life. Help me down? You don’t dare. I might rub off on you, like soot or gossip. Birds of a feather burn together,

though as a rule ravens are singular. In a gathering like this one the safe place is the background, pretending you can’t dance, the safe stance pointing a finger. I understand. You can’t spare anything, a hand, a piece of bread, a shawl against the cold, a good word. Lord knows there isn’t much to go around. You need it all.


Well God, now that I’m up here with maybe some time to kill away from the daily fingerwork, legwork, work at the hen level, we can continue our quarrel, the one about free will. Is it my choice that I’m dangling like a turkey’s wattles from this more than indifferent tree? If Nature is Your alphabet, what letter is this rope? Does my twisting body spell out Grace? I hurt, therefore I am. Faith, Charity, and Hope are three dead angels falling like meteors or burning owls across the profound blank sky of Your face.

12 midnight

My throat is taut against the rope choking off words and air; I’m reduced to knotted muscle. Blood bulges in my skull, my clenched teeth hold it in; I bite down on despair Death sits on my shoulder like a crow waiting for my squeezed beet of a heart to burst so he can eat my eyes or like a judge muttering about sluts and punishment and licking his lips or like a dark angel insidious in his glossy feathers whispering to me to be easy on myself. To breathe out finally. Trust me, he says, caressing me. Why suffer? A temptation, to sink down into these definitions. To become a martyr in reverse, or food, or trash. To give up my own words for myself, my own refusals. To give up knowing. To give up pain. To let go.


Out of my mouth is coming, at some distance from me, a thin gnawing sound which you could confuse with prayer except that praying is not constrained. Or is it, Lord? Maybe it’s more like being strangled than I once thought. Maybe it’s a gasp for air, prayer. Did those men at Pentecost want flames to shoot out of their heads? Did they ask to be tossed on the ground, gabbling like holy poultry, eyeballs bulging? As mine are, as mine are. There is only one prayer; it is not the knees in the clean nightgown

on the hooked rug I want this, I want that. Oh far beyond. Call it Please. Call it Mercy. Call it Not yet, not yet, as Heaven threatens to explode inwards in fire and shredded flesh, and the angels caw.


Wind seethes in the leaves around me the tree exude night birds night birds yell inside my ears like stabbed hearts my heart stutters in my fluttering cloth body I dangle with strength going out of me the wind seethes in my body tattering the words I clench my fists hold No talisman or silver disc my lungs flail as if drowning I call on you as witness I did no crime I was born I have borne I bear I will be born this is a crime I will not acknowledge leaves and wind hold onto me I will not give in


Sun comes up, huge and blaring, no longer a simile for God. Wrong address. I’ve been out there. Time is relative, let me tell you I have lived a millennium. I would like to say my hair turned white overnight, but it didn’t. Instead it was my heart: bleached out like meat in water. Also, I’m about three inches taller. This is what happens when you drift in space listening to the gospel of the red‐hot stars. Pinpoints of infinity riddle my brain, a revelation of deafness. At the end of my rope I testify to silence. Don’t say I’m not grateful. Most will have only one death. I will have two.


When they came to harvest my corpse (open your mouth, close your eyes) cut my body from the rope, surprise, surprise: I was still alive. Tough luck, folks, I know the law: you can’t execute me twice for the same thing. How nice. I fell to the clover, breathed it in, and bared my teeth at them in a filthy grin. You can imagine how that went over. Now I only need to look out at them through my sky‐blue eyes. They see their own ill will staring them in the forehead and turn tail Before, I was not a witch. But now I am one. 

Later My body of skin waxes and wanes around my true body, a tender nimbus. I skitter over the paths and fields mumbling to myself like crazy, mouth full of juicy adjectives and purple berries. The townsfolk dive headfirst into the bushes to get out of my way.

My first death orbits my head, an ambiguous nimbus, medallion of my ordeal. No one crosses that circle. Having been hanged for something I never said, I can now say anything I can say. Holiness gleams on my dirty fingers, I eat flowers and dung, two forms of the same thing, I eat mice and give thanks, blasphemies gleam and burst in my wake like lovely bubbles. I speak in tongues, my audience is owls. My audience is God, because who the hell else could understand me? Who else has been dead twice? The words boil out of me, coil after coil of sinuous possibility. The cosmos unravels from my mouth, all fullness, all vacancy.


Creepy… That was a poem written by Margaret Atwood about today's subject, Half hanged mary webster.  We figured it would be a good way to set the tone of the episode. Kind of lengthy but awesome nonetheless.  So who exactly is Mary webster? Why do they call her half hanged? Well let's find out shall we!!

 Mary’ Webster was born Mary Reeve, daughter of Thomas Reeve and Hannah Rowe Reeve, in England around 1624. The family migrated to Springfield in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and Mary married William Webster in 1670. He was 53 and she was about 46. They lived in the Puritan town of Hadley, Mass., 20 miles north of Springfield along the Connecticut River.     

William and Mary Webster had little money, lived in a small house and sometimes needed help from the town to survive. No records exist of Webster having had any children. 

Poverty and neglect did not improve Mary’s fiery temper, and she spoke harshly when offended, wrote Sylvester Judd in his 1905 History of Hadley.

“Despised and sometimes ill-treated, she was soured with the world, and rendered spiteful towards some of her neighbors; they began to call her a witch, and to abuse her,” Judd wrote.

Mary Webster supposedly put a spell on cattle and horses so they couldn’t go past her house. The drivers found her and beat her so the animals could pass.

She once walked into a house and a hen fell down a chimney into a pot of boiling water. She had a scald mark on her body, probably from the hot water, but her neighbors called it the witches’ mark

All of this was happening here years before the infamous Salem witch trials. Essentially this was one of the big precursors to the witch trials as Cotton Mather, who was a New England Puritan minister, prolific author, and pamphleteer. One of the most important intellectual figures in English-speaking colonial America, Mather is remembered today chiefly for his Magnalia Christi Americana (1702) and other works of history, for his scientific contributions to plant hybridization and to the promotion of inoculation as a means of preventing smallpox and other infectious diseases, and for his involvement in the events surrounding the Salem witch trials of 1692–3. He would write about an incident with Mary Webster and Philip Smith. Smith was a judge, deacon, and a  representative of the town of Hadley. These writings by Matters plus a few others would serve as the catalyst that pushed people to the insanity that was the witch trials. We’ll talk a little about the consequences of these writings a little later but let's look at the incident that Cotton Mather would write about first. 


Given the stories from earlier about her supposedly causing animals to not be able to pass by her house, and the witches mark, plus her overall “go fuck yourself” attitude, it's not a wonder given the times that thing's would get kinda crazy.

Eventually, the various stories and Mary’s apparently unpleasant behavior reached a critical mass: Mary was examined on suspicion of witchcraft by the county court magistrates at Northampton on March 27, 1683.  The following is from the record:


"Mary, wife of William Webster of Hadley, being under strong suspicion of having familiarity with the devil, or using witchcraft, [had] many testimonies brought in against her, or that did seem to centre upon her, relating to such a thing;"


The courts at Northampton, as they had done in the previous case of Mary Parsons, decided that they were not equipped to handle such a case, so it should be sent to the Court of Assistants in Boston.  She was sent to Boston in April of 1683, where she waited in jail until her court date on May 22nd 1683; Gov. Bradstreet, Deputy Gov. Danforth and nine Assistants were present.  The record of the court reads:


"The grand-jury being impannelled, they, on perusal of the evidences, returned that they did indict Mary Webster, for that she, not having the fear of God before her eyes, and being instigated by the devil, hath entered into covenant and had familiarity with him in the shape of a warraneage, [fisher or wild black cat of the woods] and had his imps sucking her, and teats or marks found on her, as in and by several testimonies may appear, contrary to the peace of our sovereign lord, the king, his crown and dignity, the laws of God and of this jurisdiction -- The court on their serious consideration of the testimonies, did leave her to further trial."


After the indictment, Mary was returned to jail again to await her trial on June 1st, 1683.  The record of this court appearance reads:


"Mary Webster was now called and brought to the bar, and was indicted To which indictment she pleaded not guilty, making no exception against any of the jury, leaving herself to be tried by God and the country.  The indictment and evidence in the case were read and committed to the jury, and the jury brought in their verdict that they found her -- not guilty."


Thus Mary was decreed innocent, although her neighbors were perhaps less than overjoyed to have her return to Hadley.  Perhaps in an early example of Western Massachusetts’ discontent with decisions made by Boston, the residents of Hadley clearly disagreed with the Boston court’s verdict.

On January 10th, 1685,  Lieut. Philip Smith died under supposedly mysterious circumstances.  Smith was a prominent member of the Hadley community, and had probably had encounters with Webster.  Apparently Mary was suspected of having caused the death, and some residents attempted to hang her for it.  At this point, the explanations of what happened vary depending on the source.   Philip Smith's accusations, afflictions, and death were described within a few years in a publication by Cotton Mather “Memorable Providences, Relating to Witchcrafts”. Mather names Smith but not Mary Webster. Mather describes how some friends of Smith "did three or four times in one night go and give Disturbance to the Woman."  A little bit about Cotton Mather real quick.

Born on Feb. 12th 1663 into a family of renown New England Puritan ministers, including Rev. John Cotton and Rev. Richard Mather, Cotton Mather seemed destined to achieve fame. His own father, Rev. Increase Mather, also held a position of prominence as a well-admired political leader, minister of the South Church in Boston, as well as the presidency of Harvard College. Excelling in his entrance exams in Latin and Greek, young Cotton began his schooling at Harvard at only 12 years of age. After receiving his M.A. at age 18, he felt called to a life of service in the clergy. A terrible stutter, however, forced him to delay entering the ministry and the demands of preaching, and instead he entertained the notion of becoming a doctor. Encouragement from a friend eventually pulled him over this speech impediment and back to his calling, although medicine remained a key interest throughout his life. Mather preached his first sermon in August of 1680, and went on to be ordained by 1685 at age 22. Besides his involvement with the witch trials in Salem during the 1690s, Cotton Mather is remembered as one of the most influential Puritan ministers of his day. Never achieving his father's success as a political leader or president of Harvard, Cotton made his mark through his efforts as a master of the pen. By the end of his life, he had published over 400 of his works, ranging from the subject of witchcraft to smallpox inoculation. His publication, Curiosa Americana(1712-24), demonstrated his abilities as an accomplished scientist, and earned him election to the prestigious Royal Society of London, England. Although his efforts of encouragement in smallpox inoculation were met with much resistance and nearly killed his own son, he is recognized as having been a progressive medical advocate for his day.

n regard to the Salem witch trials, however, it was Mather's interest in the craft and actions of Satan that won him an audience with the most powerful figures involved in the trial proceedings, several of the judges and the local ministers in Salem. Before the outbreak of accusations in Salem Village, Mather had already published his account, Remarkable Providences (1684), describing in detail he possession of the children of the Goodwin family of Boston. Mather actually took the eldest of the children, 13-year-old Martha, into his home to make a more intense study of the phenomenon. Later scholars have suggested that this book in fact outlined the symptoms of clinical hysteria. It was this same hysteria that provided the behavioral model for the circle of "afflicted" girls during the trials in Salem. Mather, however, used his experience with Goodwins to further his notion that New England was in fact a battleground with Satan. Similar themes appear in his sermons and in the Preface to one of his children's books, in which he warns young readers: "They which lie, must go to their father, the devil, into everlasting burning; they which never pray, God will pour out his wrath upon them; and when they bed and pray in hell fire, God will not forgive them, but there [they] must lie forever. Are you willing to go to hell and burn with the devil and his angels?". Thus, the subject of eternal damnation weighed constantly upon Mather's mind, and it resonates in his own diary accounts. Scholars suggest that Mather's dramatic descriptions the devil's activity upon the young Goodwin children may have led to the first cry of witchcraft among the young girls in Salem Village

Although Mather was not directly involved in the proceedings of the Salem witch trials, he wrote a letter to one of the magistrates in the trials, John Richards of Boston, urging caution in the use of spectral evidence. Mather was also the author of the "Return of the Several Ministers," a report sent to the judges of the Salem court. This carefully-worded document advised caution in the use of spectral evidence, saying that the devil could indeed assume the shape of an innocent person, and decrying the use of spectral evidence in the trials, their "noise, company, and openness", and the utilization of witch tests such as the recitation of the Lord's Prayer. However, the final paragraph of the document appears to undercut this cautionary statement in recommending "the detection of witchcrafts". Thus, in Bernard Rosenthal and Perry Miller's opinions, the courts interpreted the letter as Mather's seal of approval for the trials to go on.

Ok so back to the Mather at hand….

That's The kind of man we're dealing with when it comes to his feelings and beliefs.

Mather claims that it was only during this night of vigilante violence perpetrated against Mary Webster that Smith was able to sleep peacefully. "Upon the whole, it appeared unquestionable that witchcraft had brought a period unto the life of so good a man," Mather concludes. Cotton Mather's book was published in 1689 only a few years before the infamous witchcraft trials of 1692 and it followed a similar book recently published by his father, Harvard president Increase Mather in 1684. As early as 1681, Increase Mather had met with "ministers in this colony" and begun soliciting far and wide for instances and anecdotes of witchcraft. It is not known to what extent Increase Mather's solicitations (and the implied doctrinal views in support of the real power of witchcraft) may have directly influenced the circumstances in Hadley in 1683-4. According to Thomas Hutchinson, prior to Increase Mather's book, it had been decades since anyone had been executed for witchcraft in New England, despite the occasional slur or spurious accusation. While many would go on to say they regretted their actions during the witch trials, Mather would stubbornly stick to his guns and repeatedly call for more trials and executions. As late as 1702 Mather would use the incidents of the Mary Webster Philip smith incident to try and rile up the people about witchcraft.

Mather claims that Mary Webster had it out for Smith because:


"He was, by his office concerned about relieving the indigences of a wretched woman in the town; who being dissatisfied at some of his just cares about her, expressed herself unto him in such a manner, that he declared himself thenceforward apprehensive of receiving mischief at her hands."

Smith’s illness is described at length, and perhaps most important are Smith’s own suspicions about what has caused it.  From Mather’s telling, it is easy to imagine how distraught and suspicious Smith’s family and friends would have been:


“About the beginning of January, 1684-5, he began to be very valetudinarian. He shewed such weakness from and weariness of the world, that he knew not (he said) whether he might pray for his continuance here: and such assurance he had of the Divine love unto him, that in raptures he would cry out, Lord, stay thy hand; it is enough, it is more than thy frail servant can bear.  But in the midst of these things he still uttered a hard suspicion that the ill woman who had threatened him, had made impressions with inchantments upon him.  While he remained yet of a sound mind, he solemnly charged his brother to look well after him.  Be sure, (said he) to have a care of me; for you shall see strange things.  There shall be a wonder in Hadley! I shall not be dead when it is thought I am! He pressed this charge over and over.”


From the description, it is obvious that Smith is suffering in the extreme, and the very visible struggle he endured with his illness no doubt appeared to the Puritan audience as a fight with the devil.  Whatever the cause, he suffered fits and delirium, sure to frighten not only him but also his nurses and watchers:


“Being become delirious, he had a speech incessant and voluble beyond all imagination, and this in divers tones and sundry voices, and (as was thought) in various languages.”


He cried out not only of sore pain, but also of sharp pins, pricking of him: sometimes in his tow, sometimes in his arm, as if there had been hundreds of them.  But the people upon search never found any more than one.


Mather explains that some of the witnesses to Smith’s outcries tried to test the theory that Webster was involved in an interesting way:


"Some of the young men in the town being out of their wits at the strange calamities thus upon one of their most beloved neighbors, went three or four times to give disturbance unto the woman thus complained of: and all the while they were disturbing of her, he was at ease, and slept as a weary man: yea, these were the only times that they perceived him to take any sleep in all his illness."

There were continuous strange occurrences in the man’s sick room: (We’ll go through these and break them down)

  •     Gally pots of medicines provided for the sick man, were unaccountably emptied
  •     audible scratchings were made about the bed, when his hands and feet lay wholly still, and were held by others.
  •   They beheld fire sometimes on the bed; and when the beholders began to discourse of it, it vanished away.
  • Divers people actually felt something often stir in the bed, at a considerable distance from the man: it seemed as big as a cat, but they could never grasp it.

All of these strange incidents, combined with the strange occurrences after his death:

  •     The jury that viewed his corpse, found a swelling on one breast, his back full of bruises, and several holes that seemed made with awls.
  •     After the opinion of all had pronounced him dead, his countenance continued as lively as if he had been alive; his eyes closed as in a slumber, and his nether jaw not falling down.
  • Although he died on Saturday morning, on Sunday afternoon, “those who took him out of the bed, found him still warm, tho' the season was as cold as had almost been known in any age”
  •     On Monday morning they found the face extremely tumified and discolored. It was black and blue, and fresh blood seemed running down his cheek upon the hairs.
  • Divers' noises were also heard in the room where the corpse lay; as the clattering of chairs and stools, whereof no account could be given.

These symptoms would have been pretty fucked up and disturbing to anyone, especially the Puritans with their limited understanding of disease and death.  In this culture, the only reason one got sick – especially in such a visible and painful way – was because of a punishment from God, or the involvement of the Devil.  If bad things were happening to good people, then witchcraft was afoot.  Mather ends his discussion of the case with the sentence: “Upon the whole, it appeared unquestionable that witchcraft had brought a period unto the life of so good a man.”

So getting back to what the men had to "disturb" Mary and supposedly get Philip smith to finally rest, we find out how she was really treated, being accused of being a witch and the rumors of her involvement in Smith's death. 

The practice of beating or restraining a suspected witch to prevent her from further mischief was a popular practice.  Similar activities are referred to in the Salem witch trials.  In referring to the “disturbing” of Mary Webster, Thomas Hutchinson, in his History of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, describes the incident like this:


"While [Philip Smith] lay ill, a number of brisk lads tried an experiment upon the old woman.  Having dragged her out of the house, they hung her up until she was near dead, let her down, rolled her sometime in the snow, and at last buried her in it, and there left her; but it happened that she survived, and the melancholy man died."

There are various stories and takes off this incident. The most popular of which seems to be that she was hung and left overnight and when the men came back the next day she was still alive. They cut her down and she was let go. The stories say that she lived for anywhere between 11 and 14 more years. But from what it seems 11 is the most accurate as her death is reported to be 1696. This date is pretty interesting because after all she had gone through she then would live throughout the incidents of the Salem Witch Trials. Although the trial took place about 130 miles away, we figure she would still be a little wary of the goings on and, rightfully so, stay the mother fuck OUT of Salem. There is no record of her thoughts or feelings on the witch trials but we would imagine she was very on edge. Especially considering that her experience helped directly contribute to the hysteria that lead to the trials. Years later Margaret Atwood would write the poem we read in the opening of the episode and also if her name sounds familiar outside of that poem, it's probably because you are a fan of The Handmaid's Tale. You see Atwood is actually one of Mary's ancestors and dedicated her novel to Mary Webster and would say "But she is slightly a symbol of hope because they didn't actually manage to kill her. She made it through."

Scariest movies about witches



The Real Men In Black

The Real Men In Black

April 27, 2021



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Tonight on the Midnight Train we are exploring the world of the men in black. That's right we're going to be talking about the best Johnny Cash cover band to ever live!!! Oh wait… Wrong notes… We're actually talking about the real men in black tonight… Not the movies… The good stuff. 


So first off.. Let's get into what the men (and women) in black may be, then a few fun encounter stories!


So many people have theories on who or what the men in black are. These theories range from the mundane to the insane! Government agents, to paranormal, to extraterrestrial and everything in between. Government agents seem to be the most prevalent answer to who the men in black are mostly because of the circumstances behind their appearances. 


     If you don’t know already, the Men in Black, also known as the MIB, are men from a secret government organization aimed at keeping the existence of aliens away from the public eye. They are typically bald, going as far as even not having eyelashes. All are required to wear a plain black suit and black fedora as to keep from arousing suspicion and to intimidate individuals. They speak in a very monotoned nature and never reveal their true identity. Some have reported them calling each other by identification numbers rather than name. The Men in Black idea was accepted by many in the conspiracy-prone UFO community, partly because it seemed to legitimize the truth of eyewitness reports. No matter how outlandish their story, if an eyewitness credibly claimed that he or she had been threatened, the story seemed more plausible. After all, if the story was bogus, why would the government take an interest in the eyewitnesses, much less try to silence them? They typically come in groups of three barging into homes and brandishing a badge of some sort. It seems their only purpose is to rattle and disturb  the target individual. The men seem to already know about the experience and even know details that the individual may not know. After initially questioning the individual on the experience, there is generally some sort of threat made to try and encourage the individual to keep quiet. Often they say that it is for the good of the individual, the country or even the world. Occasionally some have even claimed it was for the good of the universe.  Most people believed that the MIB were just what they claimed to be, a secret branch of the air force.  But it seems to some  that as the strangeness of  the sightings increased, people who experienced the MIB and other researchers started to think that this was much more than a simple branch of the government. Some started to notice that the MIB seemed to be distinctly...unhuman. Skin has been reported to look like plastic or rubber, and as stated earlier they seem to have no hair including eyelashes and eyebrows. They walk and move around in a clumsy manner and seem to struggle with basic human interaction. They seem to misuse common english words and display strange and disturbing body language. So with all this being said, where did all of these stories begin, well let's find out. The very first recorded brush with the MIB came in 1947 from one Harold Dahl. 


      Dahl was fishing with his son and dog one day. He saw six strange looking and unidentified craft in the sky. As they stared into the sky, Dahl claims one of the craft dumped what he described as molten lava onto the boat. The substance landed directly on the dog killing it. Dahl and his son both suffered severe burns and had to be hospitalized. After Dahl recuperated he had the presence of mind to collect some of the material that was left on his boat after the incident. After this Dahl was greeted at his door one day bya man dressed all in black. He demanded Dahl forget everything that he witnessed. After several more visits Dahl was compelled to listen to what the man said and left it alone. 


THis is kinda crazy!


   The next and one of the most infamous accounts we are going to talk about is that of Albert Bender. This one gets pretty crazy, so buckle up passengers. Bender's experience is one of the earliest and most well documented  accounts of the MIB. He was an office clerk and served a brief stint in the military during world war 2. After he returned he moved into his fathers attic. Bender would eventually be the founder of  the first major civilian UFO investigation group, the International Flying Saucer Bureau or the IFSB. He brought the group to the forefront of the ufo investigation community with the publishing of a periodical The Space Review in 1952. Soon like minded individuals began contacting Bender from all over the world with their own UFO stories. As the IFSB became more and more popular, its popularity would ultimately be the thing that found it completely shut down!


     Bender would find himself on the receiving end of some very strange phenomena. It began with a strange phone call. Bender picked up the phone and as soon as he put it to his ear he felt strange, and a chill went up and down his spine. He repeatedly asked hello but no one responded but he knew someone was there. He felt dizzy and hung up and went and laid down. He sort of forgot about the call until a little later in the week when he decided to take in a movie. It was just past midnight when the movie ended and he began to walk home. He couldn't see anything but he could feel someone, or something, following him.  He sped up to make it home and quietly made his way to his room. When he opened the door to the attic he was hit with an extremely foul odor, and that's not all. He was also presented with a floating orb in the middle of the room. H switched on the light and quickly the orb was gone. Bender was not sure what had just happened, was it just in his head, was it a strange paranormal phenomena? Well, he soon realized it couldn't have all been in his head. As he looked around the room he could see that there were wrecked items all over his attic room. His files were all over the floor, laid out as if someone had been looking through them all looking for some sort of information. While this incident was shocking an unsettling Bender kept pushing forward with his work with the IFSB. A few weeks later he yet again had a strange incident at the movie theater. He was sitting in seat and had the feeling that someone was staring at him, but upon looking around the theater he couldn't see anyone particularly looking in his direction. Then as he continued to look around he was shocked to turn back around and see a man, dressed all in black, suddenly occupying the empty seat next to him. It was as if the man just popped into existence. His appearance was just as strange as his arrival. He had a long black trench coat, black fedora, and most strangely his eyes seemed to glow unnaturally in the darkness. As with the phone call and the last theater experience, Bender began to feel sick. He closed his eyes as the room began to spin. When he opened his eyes again the strange man was gone. He tried to rationalize the experience any way he could and get back to watching the movie. Soon though he got the same feeling of being watched. He began to look around and soon to his dismay he found that the same strange man was sitting directly behind them. He was staring at Bender with anger in his eyes. After this he got up and headed home from the theater as he was thoroughly unsettled. For the next few months strange things would continue to happen. Then came the day the MIB contacted him. 


       Bender decided to develop a “Contact day” with his followers and fellow members of the IFSB and the ufo community. He felt that contact could be made telepathically with the occupants of the UFOs if the whole of the group would set aside a specific time to all stop and continually repeat a memorized mantra directed towards the UFOs. he put out a bulletin in the space review asking all to join him on a specific day and time to do this. You can find the mantra online and oddly enough it was also the basis of a pop song that was ultimately made a hit song by the Carpenters. At any rate on the designated contact day at 6pmhe laid down in his quiet attic and started repeating the mantra. The third time he repeated the words he felt the temperature in the room drop and he developed a terrible headache. The headache was followed by a terrible sulfur smell. He says shortly after this he passed out. Next thing he knew there were flashing blue lights and his headache was worse. All of a sudden the headache was gone and he found himself floating above his own body. He was having an out of body experience! He began to hear a distinct voice. The voice stated:


                      “we have been watching you, and your activities. Please be advised to discontinue delving into the mysteries of the universe. We will make an appearance if you disobey.”


       Where did this voice come from? This did not seem to be the response from an e.t. he was looking for. Bender mentally asked why whoever the voice was coming from was not friendly to him as he meant them no harm. The voice responded:


                            “We have a special assignment and we must not be disturbed by your people!”




The entity left Bender with the following remark:


    “ We are among you and know your every move. Be advised we are here on your earth.”


    After this he opened his eyes and was back in his body. In that moment he could have sworn he saw a figure dressed all in blck in the corner of the room. As he gathered himself he saw nothing though. Was it just a crazy dream, maybe but there was something about this incident he couldn't shake no matter what he did. Over the next few days he became physically ill and could not sleep. It was as if something was sucking his lifesource out of him. He wrote everything down and locked it in his safe until he could figure out what to do.He eventually decided to publish the incident in The Space Review. He went to get the letter he had written detailing his incident  from the safe but it was gone! There was that same strange sulfur smell emanating from the safe ! He couldn't figure out what was going on, but he would soon get his answer! A week or so later he had the same sort of incident he had before. He saw the blue flashing lights and ended up floating above his body again. This time though he was more aware and could look around the room. As he did he saw three figures dressed all in black wearing fedoras emerged from the darkness. One of them spoke to him and said the following: 


           “You have dedicated yourself to the solution of the strange problem of unidentified objects in your atmosphere. Your interest is deep and sincere, and you have devoted many hours to it. We also know that such interest and determination may lead to something that could bring you harm. We also know that you are a very good contact for us on your planet earth. You are an average person and we know that anything we tell you will not be believed by anyone you might tell. You are not a person of great renown on your planet , therefore we have nothing to fear at present. We have a purposefor being here and we will be here for some time yet. We must not be disturbed in our ultimate goal. As you see us here we are not in our natural form. We have found it necessary to take on the form of your people while we are here. This is mainly used as a means of returning here without being detected by anyone. We have made numerous contacts on earth with craft  and at present we have craft hidden on your planet. We have gone to great extremes at times to frighten off your earths people and it has resulted in their deaths. We Have also found it necessary to carry off earth people to use their bodies to disguise our own! We wish to keep in touch with you and tell you many things as one day you will write about this and we are certain no one will believe you, but you will be much wiser than anyone else on your panet. You will know what is out there in space and you will know what the future holds for your mankind. You will see all three of us again, but we will not tell you our names as they mean nothing to you. Refer to us as numbers 1,2,and 3. We will answer according to number. We will leave you with a small piece of metal similar to your coins. It is to be kept in a secure place of your own. We wish to have you come with us at a time to be announced soon. “


Bender then woke up and found himself clutching a strange piece of cold metal. This made it hard for Bender to believe that this was just a sort of dream. 


After this incident Bender seemingly went from a man hellbent of proving the existence of UFOs to a man who wanted nothing to do with them! His colleagues noticed this change and everyone thought it was strange to say the least. All Bender would tell everyone was that he was visited by three men of authority who convinced him it would be best to shut down the IFSB. Without giving any other explanation or reason, Bender tendered his resignation as head of the IFSB. Author Grey Barker wrote a book about Benders experiences and the last days of the IFSB titled “They Knew Too Much About Flying Saucers”. It was Barker who was the first to put forth the theory that there was a secret organization actively trying to silence those who had experienced anything having to do with UFOs. As Barker continued to dig into what had happened to Bender, he became convinced that the government knew much more than was ever let on. He even became convinced that the government may have cut some kind of deal with ETs. He placed the blame so to speak for these theories on the shoulders of Dwight D Eisenhower! This timeline is interesting to conspiracy theorists because at this time, eisenhower was in the middle of his first term as president and if you keep up with your alien conspiracy theories like we do, you'd know that it is claimed that Eisenhower signed an official treaty with an extraterrestrial civilization at this exact time! Barker was one of the first to bring this theory out to the mainstream. 


    While this may all seem crazy just maybe it's not as crazy as you might think! After Barker started talking about his theories and Eisenhower, he would soon get his own visit from the MIB!! According to Barker a man dressed all in black showed up at his door with one of Barkers brand new business cards demanding to know what the card was all about. The card identified Barker as chief investigator for the now defunct IFSB. After Barker gave the man his explanation, the man told him that this card was found on a  man that was admitted to a local hospital. The man had no identification on him, only the business card. The man claimed he was following the business card as a lead to find out who the man was. Barker told the man he did not know the john doe.  The man in black seemed to accept this answer and left his office. It dawned on Barked that it would be virtually impossible for an unknown man to have his business card as they had only been printed a couple days earlier and he had not given but a few out. This made it hard for Barker to swallow the excuse the man gave to be there. 


       At this time even though the US branch of the IFSB was shut down, the Australian and British branches had chosen to forge ahead. The director of the Australian branch, Edgar Gerald, would be the next to experience the MIB. Soon after Bender resigned, Gerald began to see a black Cadillac routinely parked outside of his office. Soon he would see the car more often with a strange pair of men dressed all in black sitting inside. It seemed everytime he looked out of his window, these men were staring back at him. He began to receive strange phone calls shortly after the car started showing up. He knew that the two were connected. He then started experiencing harassment in the form of..well...poltergeist activity! He would hear strange unexplained knocking sounds in and around his home. Household items began to disappear and reappear in strange places. This strangeness continued for the next few weeks until it entered into the realm of physical violence. Gerald was pushed down the stairs by an unseen force. This occurred in public at a popular department store. 

After this incident Gerald became a believer in the fact there was a campaign to silence those that sought to expose information about UFOs and resigned his post at he Australian branch of theIFSB. Bender and Gerald had frequent conversation and it is thought that Bender let Gerald in on more of his secrets than anyone else. This led many to speculate that the MIB went after the next man up in the chain of knowledge. While Barker had changed his mind on the validity of Benders claims of the more paranormal aspects of his story, he still believed the MIB to be just a strange branch of the US government. But many would speculate that Geralds experience thousands of miles away would lend credit to the theory that the agency was more than just something from this planet.


So are the MIB simply humans working for the government? Aliens masquerading as humans? Humans masquerading as aliens? To those who have experienced these men and women, that is one of the most frustrating questions.


Cynthia Appleton was a british housewife with no previous interest in the paranormal. Her tale began on November 16 1957. She walked into her living room and felt an immense feeling of oppression. Cynthia watched as an intense illumination filled her home. She then experienced the phenomena of missing time. She looked at her clock and noticed it was an hour later than she remembered yet she had no memory of what had transpired in that hour. Had she been daydreaming for an hour? She didn't know how else to explain it but two days later she experienced another incident. As she went upstairs to check on her sleeping child, she stopped to admire the strange color the sky had become. At that time she felt the same feeling she felt two days earlier. She then heard a strange high pitched humming sound that seemed to come from everywhere all at once. The sound intensified and it felt like it was vibrating through her body. She said the vibration became so intense she felt as if her body would be torn apart. Then, just as quickly as it started, then phenomena ended. She then noticed a haze swirling around the room until it started to pixelate. All of a sudden a holographic projection snapped in to focus of a strange man. The man was described as nordic looking and wearing a spacesuit which would resemble those of the Apollo missions even though the Apollo missions were years away. Cynthia was terrified but the being repeatedly told her to not be afraid in her own head. And after a minute she found she was calm and not afraid. The being informed Cynthia that it came from a planet called Gharnasvarn. The man then drew a holographic screen out of thin air to show her pictures of his planet and people. Shortly after this incident the man would return with two others, notas a holographic projection, but in a black Cadillac. The three showed up and when Cynthia answered the door she saw them dressed in all black attire. The nordic looking visitor was now there in person and dressed in full MIB garb right down to the fedora! From February to August of 1958 there were frequent visits that took on a more decidedly MIB feel to them. During the course of one visit, one of the men told her he'd been hurt and showed Cynthia his finger which appeared to be badly burned. He asked Cynthia for only a glass of warm water. She brought him the water and he proceeded to dip his finger into the bowl then squeeze some sort of gel on his skin and it was instantly healed. The trio then left the house. Cynthia then noticed that the man had left a piece of skin in the bowl of water. She gathered the piece of skin and the artifact was sent for testing. The skin was deemed not to be human but it closely resembled that of a pig. Later , when it was found that human and pig DNA were very similar, some would speculate that the skin was actually grown in a lab. The skin tissue contained proteins similar to those used to grow skin in petri dishes. This led to speculation that the MIB are not natural born human beings but clones grown in a lab!! That's a crazy ass tale to say the least!

If you are into aliens and spacemen you undoubtedly know the story of the Solway Firth spaceman. But what a lot of people don't know ist that the Solway Firth incident also spawned a MIB meeting! 

On May 24, 1964 Jim Templeton, a firefighter from Carlisle, Cumberland, took three pictures of his daughter on a trip to Burgh Marsh. There was nobody else in the area except two old women sitting in a parked car at the far end of the marsh. When he went to get the pictures the clerk who gave him his photos back made a remark about how the pictures were great but that it was a shame that one of the best ones was ruined by the man in the background wearing a spacesuit . He pulled out the pictures and was shocked to see that what the clerk had said was indeed true. He saw the picture of his daughter with what truly looked like a man in a space suit right behind her looking right at the camera. Jim was confused and alarmed so he went to the police station to see if they could clear this up. The police were baffled as well. The photo was sent to a lab where it was determined that the photo did not contain any double exposure or any kind of a superimposed photo. The man in the image was indeed there in real life when the picture was taken. Theories began to pour in. Many claimed that the individual was not detectable by the human eye because it was popping in out  of dimensional space so fast that it was only detectable by the split second timing of Jims camera shutter. After the story gained traction and speculation ran wild, the MIB made a visit. Later that summer they received a phone call from a man saying he had some questions about the photo and was interested in investigating the incident. Jim was interested in getting to the bottom of the incident and agreed to talk to the man. A couple days later a black car pulled up to Jim's house and two men dressed all in black came to the door. They were polite at first but as the conversation went on the men seemed to become irritated and were demanding that jim get into their car and take them to the spot where the incident happened. He agreed and got into the car with the men. When they got to the spot the MIB started grilling Jim about every detail of the day. They even asked about  seemingly menial details such as exact weather conditions and even what wildlife was present at the time of the photo. They seemed to be specifically interested in the behavior of any cows and sheep at the scene. The men then essentially accused Jim of lying when they started to continuously ask him who the man in the photo really was. The men repeatedly demanded to know where the man he collaborated with on the photo was. When Jim answered that he had no idea who or what the man was, the men eventually looked at one another and just shrugged and the men turned and walked back to the car. Jim watched as the men got into the, dumbfounded at what had just transpired, and realized the men were about to leave him. He shouted after the men and jogged towards the car but the two men just took off at a high rate of speed leaving Jim there by himself. Jim then had to walk several miles back home by himself. 


On august 3rd 1965 Rex Hefflin was running the road as a California highway inspector. He was concerned that a tree had fallen in front of a railway crossing sign. Hefflin was afraid people would not slow down and use caution so he radioed to dispatch to have them send a tree removal crew. When he tried to send his message he realized the airwaves were dead. He had thought this was a temporary issue so he tried again. Just then he noticed something out of the corner of his eye. When he turned to look he saw an unidentified object moving across the sky in his direction. It was very close to him yet it made no sound. He estimated that this floating skyscraper, as he called it, was about 150 ft. in length. He quickly snapped three photos of the craft before it left his field of vision. Many say these photos were the best detailed close up photos of  a UFO ever taken. The pictures showed detailed closeups of complex machinery on the bottom of the craft as well as a searchlight  shining down onto the road. All of these things would have been pretty hard to hoax back in 65. 

Hefflin himself was actually not that impressed with the photos as he thought that what he had seen was just some as yet unknown military or government craft. His friends however did not share this view and convinced Hefflin to take the photos to the papers. Once the photos were out for all to see Hefflins life began to change. Soon he was being bombarded by UFO researchers asking what he'd seen. Then he had to deal with officials from local military bases asking to examine the pictures. After seeing the pictures the military officials handed them back to Hefflin, but this would not be the last “government official” Hefflin would encounter. Soon after  the military brass examined the photos, Hefflin was approached by a man claiming to be from the North American Air Defense Command or NORAD. The man was dressed typically of the MIB and flashed some sort of official lookin badge. The man claimed he needed to borrow the pictures for study. Since the other military officials had returned them, he didn't hesitate to loan them to the man. After several weeks of no contact or word on when he would get his pictures back, he contacted NORAD. When he called though, he was guaranteed no representative of theirs had visited Hefflin. They told him that in fact they were not responsible for the evaluation of UFOs and therefore would have no need to collect pictures of UFOS. Hefflin then realized the man who took his photos was an imposter. But who was he and where was he from? Since this incident , through the freedom of information act, there have been several memos uncovered that showed that the US government was just as confused and interested in the MIB tale and were actively seeking to unmask the imposter. So much so that an official memo from the Air Force was titled Impersonation Of Air Force Officers. This memo showed that the Air Force did not know who this person was and that they were concerned that he passed himself off as a NORAD official. The memo mentions Heflins encounter and another subsequent incident involving a man dressed in fatigues intimidating civilians and even police officers that had witnessed a UFO. The imposter informed them that they did not see what they thought they saw and that they should not speak of the incident. They did not know the identity of these imposters. The memo implored any Air Force personnel  that witness this type of activity or hear others talk about it, to send all reports  to the Office of Special Investigation, or the OSI. 


That same year the University of Colorado began the conden report led by Edward Conden. It sought to investigate the best information from the Air Force's own investigations of UFOs, project Bluebook. Hefflin’s UFO sighting and subsequent meeting with the MIB would be one of many subjects in the conden report. In fact one investigator who was charged with interviewing Hefflin, says that his incident was one of the top in the report.  Oddly enough the MIB seemed to take notice of the new attention as well. In the middle of the Conden investigation the MIB paid Hefflin a second visit. This time they pulled up in a pitch black vehicle, then two men in Air Force uniforms got out. The two men immediately began hounding him about recent UFO sightings in the are and also oddly brought up people missing in UFO incidents at the Bermuda Triangle. The two men entered his home and Hefflin could feel a strange charge in the air and his radio started crackling and popping. Hefflin says that while the two men did not directly threaten him, he recalls that their whole demeanor was threatening. And while they continually discussed UFO incidents that were not directly related to him, he says they became increasingly agitated and angry. As they went on, Hefflin could not get a word in. He insisted on knowing the full name and ranks of the men in his house. He was actually surprised when the two men divulged to him that info. When he contacted the Air Force they could find nobody matching the names and ranks the two men had given. 


Next up we are gonna discuss John Keel. Keel was the first person to use the term Men In Black. Keels association with the men in black began on december 15th 1966. A group of West Virginia teens were hanging out in an area called the TNT area. Parked in the spot they were hanging out being typical teenagers when they spotted something in the rearview mirror. They saw an entity standing 7 ft tall. It had moth-like wings wrapped around its body and eyes that glowed red through the darkness. The driver slammed on the gas and took off, driving to the police station to report what they had seen. The deputy who took the report, while weary of entering such details into an official police report, knew these kids well and knew they were not the sort to make up stories for no reason. He could also tell that these kids were frightened out of their minds. The deputy offered to go back to the sight with the kids but their search turned up nothing. The next morning similar reports were popping up all over the area. The locals had also already come up with a name for the beast, you guessed it..they dubbed it..The Mothman! Keel became famous for reporting these incidents with the mothman. It was also while investigating and reporting on the Mothman that Keel came face to face with the MIB. Oddly enough before he would hear of the Men in black, Keel would get reports of a Woman n Black. The woman would show up at witnesses houses holding a clipboard and would introduce herself as an associate of keels and badger the witnesses about ufos and other paranormal happenings. Just like the MIB she seemed to have an uncanny knowledge of the witnesses' lives and would make them uneasy by revealing details of their health and lifestyle. 

Several people wrote to Keel asking him to please stop sending his secretary around to question them. Keel informed them that he certainly had no secretary or anyone else working for him and that he was extremely confused by the situation. The experiences with this WIB were accompanied by the typical sightings of the black Cadillacs of the MIB which were seen roaming the streets at all hours of the day. Men dressed all in black would park the cars and get out and canvas the area. They claimed to be census takers, various types of federal employees, and social workers. One popular tactic of these MIB was to pound on someone's door only to ask for a glass of water, not to discuss the Mothman at all. As the sightings of the mothman became more frequent so did the MIB sightings and incidents. The MIB seemed to become increasingly hostile in their approach. One highschool student was even the target of a kidnapping by these MIB. She got away but later that evening a note slipped under her door that read “be careful girl, i can get you yet”. As the principal investigator of the mothman incidents, Keel became a target for the MIB as well. After leaving West Virginia, the MIB followed him back to New York. Keel often mentioned MIB types following him around Manhattan. He once received a phone call asking him to meet and discuss his work. When he went to Long island the MIB told him to end his inquest into the mothman or something bad would happen to him. Keel would eventually come into contact with an MIB who claimed his name was Apole. He tld Keel that he was trapped in time and forced to jump about from the past to the future. This another layer of the MIB enigma. Keel would later claim that he believed the MIB were a whole other level of entity from somewhere just beyond our perception. These beings he termed Ultra terrestrials. While searching to uncover the mystery of what was happening in West Virginia, keels seems to have deepened it more. 


So we wanted to give you sort of the history...the beginnings of the MIB phenomena before we got too far gone. The previous timeline is essentially the beginnings of the MIB lore until they officially got their name. Since Keel coined the term and had his own crazy story with the MIB sightings and visits have continued to modern day. Next we have a couple more crazy tales of more recent MIB encounters!


Paul Miller was returning home after a hunting trip when they saw a “luminous” disc in the sky. The disc landed in an empty field, and two humanoids emerged from the craft. Miller fired his gun at them, and believed to have injured one, when he fled down a rural road in his car.

However, in that moment, he realized he had lost time. It was almost three hours later than when he first encountered the craft. He shrugged it off, and went back to his Air Force job the next day.


However, upon entering work, he was immediately confronted by three men in black suits. They told him that they “had his file.” Despite having told nobody about the event, the men said that they “knew all about it” and mentioned that the encounter would be best forgotten. Paul says:


They seemed to know everything about me; where I worked, my name, everything else,” Miller said. They also asked questions about his experiences as if they already knew the answers.


Miller, terrified, did not come forward about his experience until years later.





Danny Gordon was a radio personality who became interested in a flurry of Wythe County UFO sightings. Multiple people across the county claimed to have seen bizarre objects in the sky, and Gordon decided to investigate.


Gordon became obsessed with getting photos of the objects, including one time where an entire school bus of students saw the UFOs flying over a shopping mall as Gordon took photos. Eventually, Gordon snapped a few photos at extremely close range that allegedly verified they were not of this world.


However, strange things began happening to Gordon. He received a phone call from a man who claimed to be “ex-military” and warned him that his research could “cost him everything” and urged him to stop for “his family’s sake.”


Gordon was also “interviewed” by two men in black suits who claimed to work for a magazine publication. Not long after the interview, Gordon realized all his photos were missing. He contacted the magazine for information, and they claimed to have never heard of him, much less commissioned an article about him.


Not long after, Gordon suffered a heart attack, and his doctor warned him that all the research and stress was jeopardizing his health. Gordon gave up the story, and was never bothered again.


Dr. Herbert Hopkins was working as a consultant on a UFO case in Maine. One evening he received a phone call from someone purporting to be an activist in the UFO community, asking him if he could visit Hopkins to discuss the case. Only minutes later, the man arrived.


The man was wearing a black suit and black tie, and had very unusual facial appearances, with no hair or eyebrows, and an extremely pale figure. Hopkins’ dog began barking erratically the minute the man entered the home. After the bizarre visitor was finished questioning him about the UFO case, the visit got even stranger. Here’s how it went according to the website The Night Sky: 


             "The Man in Black] informed Hopkins that there were two coins in Hopkins’ pocket (which was correct) and asked him to remove one. Hopkins complied and held the coin, a shiny new penny, in the palm of his hand. The MIB told Hopkins to watch the coin closely. After a few moments the coin took on a “silvery” appearance and then appeared to be going out of focus. It then began to fade and, eventually, disappeared altogether. The MIB informed Hopkins that the coin would never be seen ‘on this plane’ again. He then inquired as to whether Hopkins was familiar with alleged UFO abductee Barney Hill. Hopkins replied that he had heard of Hill, but was under the impression that he had died in the not too distant past. The MIB informed Hopkins that was correct. “Barney didn’t have a heart,” said the MIB, “just like you no longer have a coin.” (It should be noted that Barney Hill actually died of a cerebral hemorrhage.) The MIB then gently suggested that Hopkins destroy any material he had related to the UFO case."


Hopkins, extremely shaken by the encounter, followed the advice of the man and burned all the files he had related to the case. While he had repeated phone troubles after (the phone company said his line had been tampered with, maybe to tap it?) he never saw the man again.


And here's a final fun one from none other than Dan Akroyd!!!


In 2002, Aykroyd was working on a documentary for the SciFi channel with a number of recognized names in the world of ufology, including Linda Moulton Howe,  Steven Greer, and John Mack. They had filmed eight episodes of a series that was close to airing.


One day after filming, Aykroyd stepped outside for a cigarette and answered a phone call from Britney Spears who wanted to talk about an upcoming SNL episode. While he was on the phone he said he turned and looked out onto 42nd street in New York and noticed a black SUV with a tall man dressed in black giving him a dirty look. Aykroyd turned away, but then did a double-take within a matter of a second and the car had vanished.


Two hours later, Aykroyd and the cast were told the show had been cancelled completely and would never air. To this day they were never given a reason why.


So what the fuck are the men in black? Humans, aliens, interdimensional beings, clones made in a lab,... Who knows. Are they even real? Who knows, but there are thought people out there who are sure they do exist because they've come face to ugly face with them. Even freaking Dan Aykroyd for crying out loud. Some folklorists, however, claim that the whole idea of “Men in Black” is itself a form of mass panic or of “psychological drama” due to suggestibility and a willingness to believe. Others, however, insist the Men in Black are part of a real government agency designed to prevent the public from learning “the truth about UFOs.” They also insist that their experiences are real and that anyone who thinks they’re crazy is merely a tool of government propaganda and manipulation. So what do you all think? Are they real? 


Top ten alien movies as ranked by imdb rating:,desc&mode=detail&page=1&title_type=movie&genres=Horror&num_votes=500%2C

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