Wednesday, October 17, 2018

News from 10/16/2018: Episode #372

I don't normally write a blog for the news but with this week's news I shared a few photographs in the chatroom during the live broadcast on the Paranormal King Radio Network. I thought it would be nice to share these photographs with everyone via the blog instead of just sharing the stories through Facebook and Twitter like usual. Something new, but not sure if I will continue this or not.

I was one of four speakers on October 13 at the Albatwitch Day event in Columbia, Pennsylvania. I had a great time there enjoyed the presentations of local author David Glass, Tim Renner, and Rick Fisher. If you're interested in attending a paranormal conference (ghosts, UFOs, or crytids) then check out my list of events on Paranewsinsider.com.

Cryptid News:

Just seconds before the 4' gator lunged at a deputy.
Last week I covered a story from Chicago where a live alligator was pulled from the waters of Lake Michigan. Well, later on in the week another alligator was discovered but this time nowhere near the Great Lakes. A driver in a town about 20 miles west of Kansas City, Kansas was initially startled when she saw an alligator walk out in front of her car a week ago Monday, October 8th. Deputies had a hard time wrangling the alligator as the four-foot-long reptile lunged at one of them and he pulled his gun. Shots were not fired but the alligator was not captured either. The gator ended up getting back home on its own as it had been an escapee from a nearby residence.

Even more strange is that the same day as this one and not only the one in Chicago, Illinois, but another alligator turned up in Kansas about 20 miles south of the first one. This alligator was about 2 feet long and was found hiding under someone’s car. The city of Olathe, Kansas, where this second alligator was found apparently has a law against owning them so it will be transported to a reptile rescue facility in Kansas.

A set of photographs have surfaced of a mysterious creature seen in the Pacific Ocean at Huntington Beach, California. The headline of the Daily Star made this sound like very scary situation as it said, “Mysterious 'human-like' sea creature lurking in water leave beachgoers TERRIFIED. A BIZARRE creature sparked terror on the shores after beachgoers failed to identify what was heading their way.”

Despite the description in many stories saying there is a video there are only a few photographs including one that is just water that were taken back on October 3rd by a man only identified as George. I'm not sure who else was there that was terrified. George states of his encounter, “I was sitting on the sand and saw a frenzy of fish. Water was splashing, and the fish were jumping out – so I went to take a photo and caught this. I've been a surfer all my life and have never seen anything like this before.”

Sure looks like a dolphin to me...
Many people (paranormal researchers especially) assume that just because they can’t explain it that means that no one else can either and therefore it must be paranormal. Within the comments section of the video many claim that they recognize this creature as an orca or as dolphin which is in my best guess as well. I would probably guess this would be a dolphin as an orca’s dorsal fin would be much taller than what we see in the one photograph. But, it sure does look like a dolphin to me!

In the last few years Huntington Beach has had issues with sharks and stingrays chasing fish close to shore causing panic and a few minor injuries and dolphins are frequently seen in the area- and any longtime surfer would know that.

UFO News:

Cruz del Tercer Milenio (Third Millennium Cross)
“Mysterious UFOs in shape of white orbs of light 'speed across sky' at South America's highest monument” is the headline that accompanies the latest purported UFO video. The video was shot through observation windows at the Cruz del Tercer Milenio (Third Millennium Cross) which is located in northern Chile and stands about 83 meters high or 272 feet if you’re from North America.

This astounding UFO should have been reported by thousands of people and there should be dozens of videos of this amazing object as hundreds visit this monument daily and the countryside would have been busy with people. But, where are the other videos?

The reason there are no other videos is that this one isn’t really a UFO and it’s not even a good fake. Of the two comments on the Mirror article that I saw earlier this evening both pointed to the fact that this was shot inside behind glass and that there was a light on either the camera of the phone or other device behind the phone. I find it very hard to believe that the person filming this did not realize it at the time.

Some might watch the video and wonder why the first light seen did not move as the camera did in the last shot. Well, the video opens looking out one window from a few feet away from it (1). As the person turns and moves quickly toward the other window you can clearly see the light reflected on the wall (2) and when it appears on the window the light gets closer to the camera (3 then 4) since it’s actually the camera getting closer to the window. Case closed.

Is the To The Stars Academy in debt to the moon? The To The Stars Academy became the target of a misleading article on Monday, October 15th. The article claimed that the company is a whopping $37.4 Million dollars in debt. Tom DeLonge of the musical group Blink 182 fame has been under fire for a number of things that the To The Stars Academy of Arts and Sciences has done over the past few years, but this attacked them where it hurts- the wallet.

DeLonge fired back via a now removed Instagram post which read in part, “This article is highly misleading and grossly mischaracterizes statements in an SEC filing. Mr. Berger apparently did not EVEN READ the filing in its entirety, and clearly did not understand the excerpt of the SEC filing he quotes.” DeLonge also commented that the writer of the article did not contact him for clarification of the information that was published. He clarified the findings by stating, “The approximate $37 million stockholders’ deficit is NOT DEBT as he characterized it but is attributable to stock-based compensation expense.”

What this essentially means is that the $37.4 Million dollars is not debt as in borrowed money but is a deficit which is basically spending more money that you are taking in. So, unless the TTSA can bring in some more revenue they will certainly be in debt when they eventually have to pay some bills. According to an article in Motherboard.vice.com, “In September 2017, the company began selling $50 million worth of stock to fund its operations, and its website claims to have a total of 2,547 investors. According to the SEC filing, however, To the Stars has only sold a little over $1 million worth of stock to date.” So, no matter how they try to spin this the information is far from positive when it comes to the future of the company. Also mentioned in the article is how DeLonge and others get royalties in excess of $100,000 each no matter what results the company has.

While many view the TTSA as the leader in discovering evidence of UFOs and pushing disclosure to the governments of the world while others see this as nothing more than a money making scheme that has lacked in providing anything credible. Some point to the video that accompanied the Acquisition and Data Analysis of Materials (ADAM) project where it showed team members unwrapping purported pieces of UFOs and other evidence with their bare hands. If this were truly physical evidence of UFOs one would think a company designed for discovery would have taken some sort of precaution. This is symbolic to this latest story and I wonder if this is just the crack in the wall that eventually leads to the collapse of this venture.

Other News:

I’m pretty sure there is a logical solution to this, but until then it’s a story about a strange object washed ashore on Seabrook Island in South Carolina. The story has quickly picked up a lot of buzz and has become one of the stronger viral paranormal stories of the year so far.

The large object has been speculated to be everything from a UFO to space junk all the way to just a buoy or some other logical but boring solution. Many websites are focusing on the fact that it was taken away by city officials and some are saying this means it is some sort of alien technology or something else that is a secret. 

Not sure about this guy's face, but this sure looks like the object in question.
But, the Lowcountry Marine Mammal Network was the first to report this object and has since allowed hundreds of people to join in the guessing as to what it could possibly be. City officials did take the object away, but it was just due to public safety as well as to identify what it is. It wouldn’t be very good to allow this object to reenter the water and eventually was up somewhere else.

The speculation about what the object might be is all over the place, again from a UFO to even parts from the Space Shuttle Challenger by more than one person. Mysterious, yes, but the object seems to be made of foam and the many guesses as a buoy or other object used to float or protect boats is probably correct. One of the most guessed objects is a pipeline. Strange objects like this wash up on the shore all the time and even in this particular area it is said to be a somewhat consistent thing.

The Paranormal News Insider has been broadcasting since September of 2008 with 372 episodes to date and can be heard live at Paranormalking.com at 8 PM eastern every Tuesday night. The show is also available as a podcast after that on Podbean, iTunes, iHeartRadio, Stitcher, Spreaker, as well as many other podcasting apps and websites as well as on YouTube.  




Saturday, September 22, 2018

Let the "silly season" begin!

When I first started out in the paranormal back in 1996 there were very few people that I was friends with that I told I investigated ghosts. Many in my family had no idea I was into such a thing and I even hid this interest from a girlfriend as much as possible back then as well. Over the years the paranormal has become mainstream and those of us that make our rounds at paranormal conventions or libraries have become in demand. Those strange paranormal people have now become "rock stars" and everyone wants to know about what we do. While many of us do this all year round October seems to be the popular time of year when libraries and other mainstream sources want to hear what we do since it coexists with the time of the year with Halloween.

For the first time since I began speaking yearly at public events I will only talk about cryptids this year. My first stop for the "fall tour" will be at the Floyd E. Younkin Branch of the Pickaway County Library located in Ashville, Ohio on Sunday, September 30th from 2-4 PM. I had done a similar event at the main branch earlier in the year but have customized this presentation just for this appearance as I normally try to do. The focus here will be the basics of cryptozoology as the well as the most popular creatures and will then focus on Ohio based cryptids.

My second stop will be the following weekend, October 5-6, 2018, at the Un-Con XII (Unconventional) in Piqua, Ohio, discussing cryptozoology as part of the theme of "Alien Freak Show". This event is part "comic-con" but also just for those geeks and nerds that like to hang out with others with like interests. This will be a first for me to attend an event like this and I will focus on connection of cryptozoology and UFOs to sync with the theme of the event.

My third stop of the fall will be on October 13, 2018 at the Albatwitch Day in Columbia, Pennsylvania. I have always wanted to attend this event and am very excited to be able to speak here along with friend Rick Fisher and fellow researcher Tim Renner. The event centers on the Albatwitch which is described as a 4 foot tall hairy bipedal creature that seems to enjoy apples with Chickies Rock seemingly the center of their historical sightings.

Westerville Public Libarry in Westerville, Ohio
My fall tour will then wrap up at a library located in Westerville, Ohio, which is just northeast of Columbus and will take place on October 30. This year, 2018, will mark the tenth consecutive year that I have appeared at the Westerville Public Library and I am deeply honored to make this appearance. The Westerville Public Library is the only library I am aware of that has my books in it. This year I will present a look at Ohio based cryptids instead of my typical ghost presentations I have done in the past. My theme is "Ohio cryptids and strange creatures" and will be the second time I have talked cryptids at this library with the last coming in May of 2016, but this will be a new presentation.

After that I will be looking forward to 2019 where I am already booked at a few events in Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, with the biggest one I am looking forward to taking place in Farmington, Pennsylvania being the 3rd Pennsylvania Bigfoot Camping Adventure which boasts 12 speakers and a number of special guests including the Appalachian Investigators of Mysterious Sightings, AIMS, or in other words the guys from the Mountain Monsters television show, making their second straight appearance. Bill Brock, host of the television show “Monsters Underground", Dr. Jeff Meldrum will be on hand as will Cliff Barackman of Finding Bigfoot.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Paranormal News Insider celebrates TEN YEARS!

The Show History

   I received an email from Daniel Bautz back on April 22, 2008 regarding appearing on his radio program titled the Grand Dark Conspiracy. I would be the first guest on this new podcast and I was kind of excited about that. We went back and forth with emails for a few days and finally recorded the show on the evening of April 29th. The episode went up with very little fanfare in early May and I began to help Dan add some content to his message board and we continued to talk about the paranormal and I passed on some suggestions for future guests.

 
2008 concept logo (top) and first working logo (bottom). Red
and green represented opposite ends of belief. In late 2017 blue
replaced the upper right swirl which expanded. Light blue stands
for the sky and dark blue for the oceans while green (land)
ties it all together (yes, thought went into the logo!).
His podcast was prerecorded and was only to be a monthly show to start off with. He had parapsychologist Loyd Auerbach on for June and his ratings began to slowly accumulate. He had another ghost-based guest, author John Kachuba, as his July guest and had emailed me about coming back on for August to help shift the show into a different direction with talking about UFOs and cryptozoology. During that interview we talked about the Georgia Bigfoot Hoax that was underway at the time as well as some other news. He wondered if I was interested in doing a monthly news segment and I jumped at the idea.

   The two-hour September podcast of the Grand Dark Conspiracy featured an interview with Stanton Friedman, campfire tales, and the debut of the Paranormal News Insider. Back then the Paranormal News Insider were a short five to ten-minute segment that I prerecorded and sent to Dan. Since the segment was on a monthly show I utilized the new Paranewsinsider.com website to essentially become a blog style format writing about some of the top stories broken down in the various segments which at the time included cryptozoology, UFO, ghost, and strange Earth. I changed strange Earth to other news some time in the second year of the show.

   The Grand Dark Conspiracy ran as a monthly show until August of 2010 when it went weekly beginning on August 30th. Shortly after I realized I did not have the time to keep up the website for Paranewsinsider.com and it transitioned into a static website, but this is when I began to track the conferences and conventions and added other things to continue to attract people to that aspect of the show. The Paranormal News Insider powered on finishing 2010 with 25 episodes and then rallied through 2011 with 52 episodes completing the entire year without missing a week. The show went on with 49 episodes in 2012 and then 43 in 2013. However, after the December 30, 2013 show the Grand Dark Conspiracy took a hiatus until August 5, 2014. The host show had bounced around a number of podcast hosts over the years including the Shark Radio Network and Fate Radio, but in 2014 a new opportunity arose that would take the show into a new direction.
2014 promo for the show going to AM radio

   Starting on August 5th, 2014, the show was broadcast through WQTT AM 1270 AM based in Marysville, Ohio. The station is just outside the state capitol of Ohio covering the Columbus metro area at night. Over the next ten months the Grand Dark Conspiracy was broadcast from 2-4 AM and worked its way into going five nights a week. The Thursday night show was subtitled “The Darkest Hours” for a couple of months until Dan decided that the name Grand Dark Conspiracy might need to be adjusted if the show were to grow into syndication. The Friday night show was co-hosted with demonologist Dave Considine and myself when I was able to join. Eventually Dan cut back the show to just one night a week, the Thursday night show (Friday), and rebranded the entire show The Darkest Hours Late Night.

   After the June 5, 2015 show there were some changes at the WQTT radio station and Dan opted to move on before the show was removed. This left the Paranormal News Insider without a home once again. I had toyed with the idea of taking the show out on its own a few times when I thought that Dan was going to stop broadcasting or at least between downtimes when the host show was silent and then return to his show as my flagship broadcast. I peddled the idea to a few existing podcasts and live radio shows but was turned down by them for a variety of reasons. Interestingly, a few that “decided to pass on the idea” suddenly came up with their own paranormal news segments that imitated my effort. It was then that I decided if I couldn’t join them I would then beat them. There was a chance that the GDC would come back as I had heard that it was to join another network in early July, but the show never appeared, and I never heard back from Dan on the idea.

   On September 8, 2015, the Paranormal News Insider made its debut on the CJ Mars Radio Network on Tuesday nights at 7 PM for a one-hour time slot.  During the next few months the network changed to WCJV Digital Broadcasting and had several great shows and hosts associated with it. However, just days after the April 17, 2018 show WCJV decided to cease operations immediately and after a year and a half and over 125 standalone shows it was once again without a home.

   I had toyed around with several ideas although I knew I wanted to continue to do a radio show. Of my several options one was to just produce it myself, another was to join another network, and other ideas included doing a completely different show with a focus on guests on another network and potentially doing the PNI on the side. I did a show in late May to address the issue that the show was homeless as well as cover some news. In July I decided that I should come to a conclusion and while I had many offers as well as other ideas I opted to join the Paranormal King Radio Network. The show launched with episode number 360 on July 17, 2018 live at 8 PM eastern.

On the Show

 
While the format has always been paranormal news as well as conferences and conventions various changes have happened over the years. The first 230 shows were prerecorded and contained music and sound effects as part of the experience of the short segment. Many of the GDC segments I did had musical themes and I had tried a variety of other things including the Paranormal Poll, a book of the week, and conduct an annual “Top Paranormal News Stories” of each year. Of course, I did other zany things including using different voices as a tool to “go back in time” with aspects of the paranormal. I created a character named Rex Ritter for the 1930s and 40s from voices I did for a rap album back in 2006 and a mellow guy named Burt Williams to talk about stories in the 1970s. There were also the Halloween specials that would at least have some scary sound effects or other segments from old television shows. One year I created a fake UFO watch where the episode was prerecorded but Dan cut out to me in the field. I used the noises that had been recorded during sky noise encounters and pretended as though I was involved in an alien attack. Granted, while the show was on the Grand Dark Conspiracy there were many times I would join Dan live in studio where once we did a live Ouija Board session and another we did a séance with guest Dr. Kimberly Rackley.

   As the show moved to a live format I could no longer run music and have sound effects to support the segment. At the same time, I have been able to dig deeper into these stories as well as reflect to similar stories or to educate the listener on what is really going on behind the scenes. While many view the show as just a recap of the paranormal news and therefore has a shelf life I feel it serves an important service to capture what is happening at the time and using it to reflect on to keep the history straight as well as to show how we continuously fall for the same things over and over. In another attempt to document the history I began doing the "Top Ten Paranormal News Stories" of every year since 2010.

   The types of stories I discuss are cyprtozoology, UFOs, ghosts and other paranormal themes, as well as space, physics, modern mysteries, as well as viral news topics. Generally everything revolves around the paranormal or unknown to some certain extent. I take my reporting seriously and do my best to be as accurate and transparent as possible as to where my information comes from

   I do my best to dig for the truth to these stories no matter where that takes me. Some say I’m skeptical, but with many of the stories I cover being about hoaxes and misinterpretations I stress that I’m just covering this news and trying to stay objective. It’s easy to believe but it’s also easy to dismiss outright, the focus for me is digging for the reality behind the story and letting it put together the truth for me.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Meteor impact in Michigan? End of the world??

NASA, the National Weather Service, and other officials recently confirmed that a meteor was seen (and filmed) over Michigan on Tuesday, January 16, 2018, at about 8:08 PM. NASA stated the meteoroid was probably only a yard or two in diameter, but created a very bright flash in the sky that qualifies it pretty much as a bolide or fireball. The event also created loud rumbling and even seismic activity measured as a 2.0 magnitude earthquake. Initially, many thought this was caused by thunder or explosion. It took a little while for the dust to settle and for the meteor sighting to be researched and confirmed.

Seeing such a bright meteor event in the sky is fairly rare and the fact that this was seen from Pennsylvania, Ohio, Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Indiana made this a trending article on social media as well as the mainstream media. The initial reaction to the story was a little bit of panic that is typical when something unusual happens.

However, it didn't take long for someone to throw a wrench into what was already a scary story to make it confusing and potentially scarier. The Daily Star, based in the United Kingdom, published their story on Wednesday with the headline, "Alien invasion? UFO seen hurtling through sky and EXPLODING in shock footage".

Photographs began circulating online of what appeared to be a large fire caused by the meteorite impact in the center of a city. The city was said to be Taylor, Michigan, and the photographs began to spark fear and confusion as well as speculation of an attack, explosion, alien invasion, or that this meteorite impacted the ground and caused this scene.

In the trio of photographs shared about this story state that these are light pillars, which from what I see is pretty accurate. However, it seems that many took these photographs as a link to the meteor story and put them together with a dose of panic, a heaping of speculation, and a dash of misunderstanding.

The reality is these photographs in Taylor, Michigan, are of a garage fire that occurred around 8:25 PM local time. The photographs were quickly spread via social media, probably not with the intention of misleading people but it happened anyway. Again, many people took this as a correlation with the meteor, but officials reacted to the flying rumors with an article Tuesday night as well as a post on Wednesday afternoon.

The post simply stated, "Social media was ablaze within minutes of a photo being shared from down the street of the fire. People assumed that due to the timelime the meteor, or at least a piece of it was responsible for the fire.Fire Department officials confirmed there was no truth to that rumor. The leaking fuel and oil was the cause of the blaze."

The speculation into the photographs will surely continue to get ridiculous, oh, wait, never mind it's already happening. It seems some are telling others this was a missile attack covered up by a meteor sighting.

Clever, but just a way to create panic out of something simple to explain. This particular post has been shared 50,000 times versus the one of the garage fire that was shared less than 35,000 times when I collected the screen shots. I guess "if it bleeds it leads" is a true sentiment whether it's the news or social media. I'm sure there are other examples of this type of ignorance but hopefully enough people know the truth and will not succumb to the spamming of "fake news" such as this (and yes "ppl" should be blocked for posting things like this).

What started as an interesting story about a particularly nice sized meteor sighting has morphed into an embarrassing example of ignorance and it's lust for social media for survival.