Monday, November 3, 2014

The Brown Mountain Lights: An Appalachian Mystery



Light appears just below the horizon (center of photo)
Deep in the Pisgah National Forest of North Carolina there exists a lingering mystery that predates European settlement and continues to defy solid explanation despite much investigation by countless individuals and government agencies. This deep Appalachian mystery known as the Brown Mountain Lights has been the source of much speculation over the years. It has inspired films and even been blamed for mysterious disappearances.

The Brown Mt. Lights are characterized by luminescent spheres which appear on the mountainsides, ridges and valleys of these ancient forests much like the will o' the wisps of European folklore that lure travelers astray to an unknown fate. The lights which can appear as a faint glow or the flame of a lantern will occur after nightfall on evenings throughout the year and are visible from a number of overlooks within the park. While they appear to pose no threat by most accounts they have at times been associated with more ominous happenings. Local Indian lore has associated these lights with the simultaneous disappearance of individuals and even large groups of people. Many contemporary accounts include people who say they have had encounters with UFO’s, missing time, and even abduction by extraterrestrials while in the vicinity. The setting for the 2014 independent film Alien Abduction took place in the area around Brown Mountain. In fact this area has such a reputation for unexplained events that it’s sometimes called the Bermuda Triangle of the Appalachians. The attraction I felt for this place became irresistible. So I scheduled a “business trip”.

After a brief 7 mile hike on the Nantahala portion of the Appalachian Trail (South of the NOC) I packed up the Jeep and made for Pisgah National Forest. I wanted to get a glimpse of the infamous lights for myself and possibly get abducted. Arriving at Pisgah I followed the dirt trail leading up the mountain to Wiseman’s View just before nightfall. Several vehicles were stationed along the trail overlooking Brown Mountain so it was obvious that I wasn't alone in my curiosity.
Despite my advanced state of preparedness and savage physique I’m nonetheless cautious when approaching strangers in National Parks where the number of people who have disappeared without explaination is significantly on the rise. It’s another troubling mystery which author David Paulides writes about in his book Missing 411: North America and Beyond. So taking care to avoid looking like a creeper I approached a young couple who were natives to the area and regular observers of the lights. I asked questions and they shared with me some of the popular speculation which includes everything from ancient Earth spirits to subterranean gas combustion, geomagnetic forces and witches.

As darkness came I climbed on top of the Jeep with my night vision equipment and a very good bottle of merlot from the nearby Lineville Falls Winery. I waited several hours and would have fallen asleep if not for the frigid breeze. Just before midnight is when they came. I couldn’t believe it. Peering through my scope I began to see what appeared to be a series of glowing orbs flickering in the dense forest canopy. The silent objects rose vertically and then extinguished at slow unpredictable intervals before reaching the mountain horizon. For several moments I was overawed by the deepest sense what my eyes were witnessing was something primordial. Then the lights ceased. They disappeared. No aliens abducted me and after two solo adventures to this area I don’t believe the extraterrestrials are directly involved with the cause of the phenomenon. As with so many enigmas it remains yet unsolved. So if you seek an encounter with the unknown this is one that is quite accessible and with the beauty of North Carolina as the backdrop for your expedition, why not explore it for yourself?



Semper Explorandum 




Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Haunted Spain is Now on Tumbler!

Hey everyone. I've just started a Tumbler account for the book I'm working on with Ana F.G. called A Ghost Hunter's Guide to Seville!  It's going to feature some pics from the book and talk about some of the awesome places that our guide will feature when its released. Look for it at:

http://hauntedspain.tumblr.com



*Sorry no big article for the month since we are hard at working to bring you a great book featuring Seville's most haunted and mysterious places too see as well as some great places to hang out and experience the rich culture of this awesomely enchanted Spanish city in the heart of Andalucia! 

Stay tuned...

Saturday, June 7, 2014

They Came from Outer Space!






Since very early times man has periodically reported contact with beings from other worlds.  Some perceived these mysterious visitors as fairies or giants and in some cases even haled them as gods, going so far as to integrate them into their religious belief systems.  But in 1955 when the Sutton-Lankford family from Kelly Kentucky allegedly encountered alien visitors who arrived in a mysterious craft and approached their farmhouse in the middle of the night, they did what country people do when they find themselves in such situations. They started shooting! But to the dismay of the defenders the bullets had no effect on the invaders, prompting the family to abandon the premises and seek the help of local law enforcement.  It was said of this family by police that,

These aren’t the kind of people who normally run to the police for help.”


It’s one of the most famous and well-researched cases of an alleged alien encounter in history. Over the years hundreds of journalists and investigators from around the world have examined the details of the incident which continues to inspire curiosity almost 60 later. In fact Steven Spielberg was inspired by the story which is said to have influenced the creation of the much less disturbing tale from the film E.T. 
 A number of sources exist that document the incident . One which I recommend is a recent book authored by my friend a journalist by the name of Rob Dollar and fellow newsman Tim Ghianni. The book is called Monkeys Don’t Wear Silver Suits and it accomplishes something unique. It’s a highly informative and open-minded treatment of a topic with potentially monumental and frightening implications and mixes it with enough humor and a healthy skepticism that make it a balanced read.  One striking detail the authors also mention in the book is that the incident at Kelly wasn’t the only encounter with strange creatures reported in the area. Others also encountered strange creatures that summer and even some in more recent years.



So what really transpired that fateful evening in 1955?  It’s hard to say. Theories about escaped monkeys have been offered. Some suggest the whole family was hallucinating. Unfortunately most of the witnesses are now deceased. But accounts provided by the witnesses (8 adults and 3 children) never changed and were consistent over the years, a remarkable aspect since most hoaxes debunk themselves over time with conflicting stories. Two additional facts stand out in this case according to investigators. Firstly, the witnesses were sober on that evening and did not seem under the influence.  Secondly, whatever they encountered that night left them severely frightened and traumatized for the rest of their lives.  Former Hopkinsville Police Chief Russell Greenwell was recorded as saying: “Something scared these people. Something beyond reason—nothing ordinary.”
                
Having researched this case and visited the location where the incident was reported  I agree with the late Isabel Doris in her assessment of the case.

“Were it not for this universal determination to disbelieve a story of this nature, it is probable that the ‘explanations’ we have examined would never have been given serious consideration.”

In other words, while it’s not the explanation that we wish to believe, an actual alien visitation is more believable than the other explanations offered. Does this prove anything? Nope. But as always, I will keep exploring.

Semper explorandum


Thursday, May 1, 2014

America's Stonehenge




I’m writing to you from Wiseman’s View near Linville North Carolina, deep in the Pisgah National Forest where I’m waiting for sundown in hopes of catching a glimpse of the mysterious Brown Mountain lights. It’s the perfect place to reflect on another recent journey I took to a place that harbors many ancient and peculiar secrets.
Near the small town of Salem New Hampshire there exists one of the most enigmatic sites in New England, the origins and true purpose of which may never be known for sure.  While traveling in the Boston area last month I couldn’t resist making the short 40 trip north to see it for myself. It’s called America’s Stonehenge has been featured on such shows as America Unearthed and In Search Of. Known previously as Mystery Hill, America’s Stonehenge is a large complex composed of buried chambers made from quarried stone,  enclosures and standing stones placed at some very deliberate locations around the complex. The site has continually perplexed researchers and has been the source of much controversy and speculation. 

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Carbon 14 dating from features including a man-made fire pit indicates human habitation nearly 4000 years ago. While this does not provide a construction date for the entire complex it does show that there was human activity from a very early time in history. But possibly the most intriguing characteristics of America’s Stonehenge are those from which it derives its name. Are you ready? The various megaliths existing around the site are aligned with astrological events such as the Summer Solstice Sunrise and Spring and Fall equinox sunrises as they would have occurred around 1500 BC thus proving it was not the first Dunken Donuts.
Other inexplicable features are present at the site. At the center of the complex, just above the dank underground room known as the Oracle Chamber, there is a stone table. It features a groove carved into the surface presumably to allow a liquid to drain from the surface of the slab and into a receptacle. Was this used as a sacrificial table as the name of the feature suggests? Standing beside this alter deep in the woods my own dark imagination was set in motion as I imagined blasphemous rites of unspeakable terror being performed at this isolated monument. But I’m not alone in my thinking.   
This very location was the setting which inspired The Dunwich Horror, a story written by H.P. Lovecraft in the 1920’s.

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Even more curious is the function of the Oracle Chamber itself which seems by design to allow sound to travel up a shaft from the underground room and project loudly into the area of the Sacrificial Table.
There is much speculation as to the origin of the complex. Some insist that Native Americans are responsible. Still others point to similarities between its construction and structures found in the British Isles. It has even been suggested that the site was built by Irish Monks or the Phoenician culture. My personal theory is that the site is European in origin and possibly the work of pagan worshipers or at least non-orthodox, Christian ascetics escaping persecution.


Whatever, the case may be one thing is certain. The site has been heavily altered and used for purposes ranging from a hide-out for escaped slaves to a haven for the 19th century homeless. Having been partially dismantled by previous owners in order to sell its quarried stones, much research is still needed to reconstruct the original form and determine the intended function of the site. 

If you’re ever in New England and looking for a unique excursion that will leave you puzzled, I recommend a visit to this place. For more info visit: stonehengeusa.com 


Semper Explorandum



IMG_4501

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Crop Circles: Not Debunked!



Everything you have heard about crop circles for the past 20 years is wrong. Most of you have been led to believe that this phenomenon was first perpetrated by two elderly drinking buddies using some string and a board. You were subsequently led to believe this hoax was being copycatted by others as some type of secret pastime or art form. The creation of crop circles has even been demonstrated by Discovery Channel and A&E documentaries that seem to debunk the mystery. Elaborate fakes have also been employed as part of elaborate ad campaigns. Staged footage, expert opinion and clever editing made it all look like an open-and-shut case. Taking the bait, the public has now chunked this phenomenon into the dustbin of solved enigmas.
People of Earth: you’ve been lied to. Here is the truth. Despite many counterfeits, no man-made formation has ever produced the most striking characteristics associated with the genuine phenomenon: plants whose stems are bent, not broken. Secondly, alterations in the crystalline structure of the plants themselves are always present. Changes in the local electromagnetic field are also detected within the formations. Finally, there is the ability of the plants to grow after being laid, indicating they are alive and haven’t been trampled as they have with counterfeit circles. These aspects of the mystery are well-documented but often withheld from the public.
I’ll also mention that with few exceptions, when one of these groups attempts to replicate a formation, it’s accomplished over several days or with a large, well-funded team using equipment such as halogen lights and cranes, allowing them to work overnight. Such efforts typically attract crowds of onlookers and local authorities, with full knowledge of the landowner.
The truth of the matter is that these agroglyphs (fancy word for crop circle) are increasing in frequency and complexity. They are also occurring illegally, resulting in damage to valuable crops. Most appear overnight and, according to many eyewitnesses, they form within seconds, often accompanied by flying orbs of light and other unexplained aerial phenomena.
But it seems someone wants to keep the public in the dark. Many farmers say that they’ve been offered money by certain authorities to cut down crop formations shortly after they appear. Military helicopters flying at low altitude are also frequently witnessed after a new formation appears.
So who is behind the cover-up, and what’s the motive? Many of my fellow researchers claim that  U.S., British and German intelligence communities are involved with discrediting crop circle research behind the scenes. I personally believe they are responsible for the organization of crop circle enthusiast clubs such as circlemakers.org that are responsible for numerous formations to distract from the real ones. Nice website, seriously. But you aren’t fooling everyone.
Alas, a mere 600 words won’t permit me to present all the available evidence of the cover-up or fully introduce you to Robert Irving and Jim Schnabel, two individuals involved in discrediting crop circle researchers. But if you have doubts, please take the information I’ve provided and follow the trail.
The reason for the cover-up remains a mystery. Could it be that formations are communication from an otherworldly intelligence of a superior order? If it’s true that intelligence services of multiple countries share an interest in concealing the phenomenon, then what supranational organization or power structure does it threaten? Some believe that crop circles are messages meant for mankind that might awaken our consciousness to the reality that we’re not alone. At the very least, it can be acknowledged that some unknown force is responsible and that certain powerful entities are working to conceal this fact.
Semper Explorandum~ 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Mountains of Madness: Nazis UFOs and lost civilizations in Antarctica



It’s the coldest and most desolate location on the planet with recorded temperatures reaching 80 degrees below zero. Eternally frozen and shrouded in ice, Antarctica contains enormous mountain ranges that separate vast tracts of blinding white landscape that routinely experience blizzards of hurricane force. Nearly twice the size of Australia, the white continent still holds countless mysteries waiting to be explored.

 As a young man I was first inspired by the beauty of the landscape and the immortal accounts of men like Ernest Shakelton who led the famous Endurance expedition during the heroic age of Antarctic exploration.  Later I began to read about numerous UFO sightings and of theories surrounding possible ancient civilizations whose ruins might lie deep beneath the ice or within one of the massive cave systems. Some theorists even believe that one of these openings may lead to another world inside our own planet. I recently stumbled upon one of these openings while looking at satellite imagery available on Google Earth. The opening is triangular and measures roughly 280 feet in width and 130 vertically.  The cavern is located at exactly 66°33'11.88"S Latitude and  99°50'19.53"E Longitude near the northern coast of the continent between the Queen Mary and Knox Coast. As I search for further details on this particular cave my imagination runs wild. After all, rumors of secret Nazi installations in the Antarctic have been around since the end of World War II. And just what was Admiral Karl Dontiz referring to in 1943 when he told Adolph Hitler that he had created “an unassailable fortress for the Fuhrer on the other end of the world.”?  Is this where the scores of missing German submarines and other technology were hidden after the war?

 As if Nazi’s, UFOs and giant caves were not enough to drive my obsession to visit this frozen realm,   author H.P. Lovecraft invokes the white continent as the location for his 1931 horror novella, At the Mountains of Madness. In the story a research team encounters an ancient colony of monstrously exotic extraterrestrials that killed most of the expedition party including a dog.

Evidence suggests that Antarctica wasn’t always covered in ice and could have contained civilization. Core samples extracted in 2012 indicate the existence of tropical flora on the continent. Furthermore, one of the earliest maps depicting Antarctica is known as as the Piri Reis map. It was drawn using maps from deeper antiquity and accurately depicts the Northern Coastline of Antarctica with no ice! While it’s believed that the last time Antarctica was unfrozen was during a time that predated the oldest civilizations, we should question the accepted rate at which Antarctica was frozen in ice.  In 1990 the recovery of several World War 2 aircraft that remained undisturbed in Greenland demonstrated that it’s possible for 263 feet of ice to form within only half a century.

My curiosity is fueled by so many aspects of this region. Rumors abound on the internet of secret alien bases located beneath the ice. I’m not saying it’s all true. But a significant number of UFO cases have taken place in Antarctica and documented by the Argentine military.

Do I have designs underway for an expedition to Antarctica in the near future? I’d like nothing more than to announce this very thing.  However, Antarctica must for now take a back seat to other priorities like taking my family to Disney World. Such an endeavor requires a much larger budget, the right team and a great deal more preparation.  The Siberian Taiga is a more likely destination for the next big expedition but that shall be a topic for future editions. Until then.  Semper explorandum!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

A Ghost Hunter's Guide to Seville: UPDATE








Coming soon! The Ghost Hunter's Guide to Seville: An insider's guide to the mysterious and haunted places of Seville, Spain 

 It's my honor to be working with one of Spain's most talented paranormal researchers to develop a cutting-edge guide to the mysterious and haunted places of Seville, soon to be available in ebook format on Amazon.com.  Simultaneously published in English and Spanish the book will be a trail-blazing,  first of it's kind catalog of 30+ locations around the city of Seville including photos and location information for visitors. 

A Ghost Hunter's Guide to Seville is the first in a series of guide books for tourists and investigators interested in exploring the paranormal landscape of Spain and its mysterious locations.

 Ana Fernandez-Guisado a.k.a. Ana F.G. is one of Spain’s most enigmatic researchers of the paranormal and the publisher of a blog called aventmisteri http://aventmisteri.blogspot.com.es/ .  Her blog features incredible photos and detailed histories of some of Iberia’s  most mysterious locations such as castles, graveyards and abandoned palaces. Follow her in search for explanation to Spain’s paranormal activity.  Her blog is in Spanish but it can be easily converted to English with a feature she has made available at her wonderful site. 



*****UPDATE!!!
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE GHOSTHUNTER'S GUIDE TO SEVILLE ON AMAZON KINDLE

Read the guide for FREE on Amazon! 


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