Glossary

Everyone knows the terms “UFO” or “sea serpent”, but some of the other terms I use you may not be so familiar with. Because of this, I have decided to post mini glossaries so those who aren’t particularly familiar with the terms I may use can look up what they mean. There will be five or six words each post so they won’t be too lengthy.

Flaps- patterns of time, connected to groups of unusual encounters or happenings. Described by Loren Coleman as “an attempt to understand a grouping of reports which cluster in time, and for monster accounts, usually in a specific local.” It is worth noting that nearly all encounters with cryptids (unknown animals) or UFOs come in clusters.

Windows- specific places that seem to act as magnets for the unusual. Commonly attributed to cryptids, UFOs, or hauntings. Often window areas serve as locations for multiple types of unusual occurrences.

High Strangeness- there are two definitions for this term, first, encounters or reports with unexplained phenomena that seems more unusual than most reports (example, there was once an encounter with a supposed extraterrestrial which apparently gave the witness “space pancakes”). The second definition are areas that seem more unusual than normal window areas, for example, the Bermuda Triangle.

Zooforms- literally monsters. Zooforms are technically apparition creatures that resemble animals, but the phenomena seems to include most paranormal creatures, from werewolves to vampires to the bogey-man. It is an extremely vast and complicated phenomena.

Name Game- patterns within names of witnesses of the paranormal or names of places where paranormal encounters. Some examples of names within the game are Fayette, Dover, Decatur, and Logan.

Waves- similar to flaps, except waves are simply the clusters of sightings while flaps are the patterns within the clusters.

Sources

Mothman and Other Encounters by Loren Coleman

Mysterious America by Loren Coleman

PSIence by Marie D. Jones

Monsters! An A-Z of Zooform Phenomena by Neil Arnold

Green Fireballs

When you think of a UFO, you probably think of a shiny, metal spacecraft, in the shape of a disc. That is what is portrayed as the “classic” UFO, but interestingly enough, most UFO sightings are simply moving lights that have an unknown origin. One case of these strange sky lights is known as the Green Fireball Wave of 1948-1951.

Green fireballs are literally what they sound like–giant, green, round objects that appear to be on fire. The fireballs were seen throughout the southwestern United States, although they seemed to cluster in New Mexico. The first known sighting of the fireballs was on December 5, 1948. The objects were seen by two pilots, who were flying over New Mexico during the time, twice, 22 minutes apart. Many just shrugged the encounter as a meteor but the witnesses insisted it was not a meteor, but the military was more concerned.

The next day the Air Force formed a study of the fireballs. Two of the investigators encountered another fireball under similar circumstances as the two pilots. The Air Force the contacted Lincoln La Paz, a well known experts on meteors, to consult on the study. La Paz later encountered one himself and concluded, due to the lack of speed and sound, that the fireballs were not, in fact, meteors.

After study of the atmosphere from the places where encounters happened, La Paz found that there was an unexplainable amount of copper particles in the atmosphere. La Paz said that this was more proof that the fireballs weren’t meteors, because there is no evidence showing copper particles coming from meteors.

Eventually the study decided to try and photograph the objects. Project Sparkle came from this, the official title for the attempt to photograph the fireballs. Due to lack of funding and equipment failure resulting in no pictures, Project Sparkle was shut down. Those who were involved speculated from their observations that the objects weren’t natural but were artificially made, some say by extraterrestrial craft.

Unusual lights are still seen in the sky today, the most famous being the Marfa Lights in Texas and the Naga Fireballs seen above the Mekong River in Thailand.

Sources

Strange and Unusual Phenomena by Jerome Clark and Nancy Pear

The UFO Encyclopedia by Jerome Clark

Djinn

“If you fear one thing in life, fear the djinn.” This is the message on the back cover of Rosemary Ellen Guiley’s groundbreaking book, The Vengeful Djinn, coauthored by Philip J. Imbrogno. In the book the authors explain the basics within the world of the djinn and what they could be doing in the world of today. So what are the djinn? And why are they so alarming to many occult scholars and researchers?

According to Islamic legend, the djinn are a race of interdimensional beings, born of a smokeless fire, who have nearly endless amounts of power. It is said that the djinn have the ability to shapeshift into any form, can fly and teleport, are able to become invisible, have super speed and strength, can influence thoughts and dreams, and are able to possess people. They almost sound like super villains. It is said that while the djinn aren’t evil they are certainly tricksters, and their tricks may not be the most pleasant.

The djinn were said to be the original inhabitants of the Earth, but eventually they enraged Allah, for when he created man, Iblis, the leader of the djinn, protested Allah’s commandment to bow before Adam, the first man. This story has been repeated as the Christian story of the fall of Lucifer, it is considered by many scholars that Lucifer and Iblis were the same being. Allah, enraged over the disobedience, condemned Iblis and his djinn to another dimension.

Many occult scholars are alarmed by the djinn for two reasons, because the djinn are obviously more powerful than humans and they want their world back, and second because they can be used to explain virtually any unusual happening. Guiley drew significant parallels between the djinn and fairies, extraterrestrials, UFOs, ultraterrestrials, cryptids, shadow people, ghosts, and even poltergeists.

So what do you think? Are the djinn as scary as some think? Or is this all just superstition and needless fear? Tell me in the comments.

Sources

The Vengeful Djinn by Rosemary Ellen Guiley and Philip J. Imbrogno

The Encyclopedia of Demons and Demonology by Rosemary Ellen Guiley

A Field Guide to Demons, Vampires, Fallen Angels, and Other Subversive Spirits by Carol K. Mack and Dinah Mack

An Encyclopedia of Occultism by Lewis Spence

Real Vampires, Night Stalkers, and Creatures from the Darkside by Brad Steiger

Cryptozoology Misunderstandings

Cryptozoology is the study of animals that aren’t recognized by science to exist. Unfortunately many misunderstand this and use the term to explain the study of magical/mystical creatures or monsters. That isn’t what cryptozoology looks for, yes some cryptozoologists do look for mythical creatures, like the unicorn and dragon, but the difference is that they don’t think the creatures are magical, they simply think they are unidentified animals. Cryptozoology does not include zombies, vampires, ghosts, extraterrestrials, the Rake, Slenderman, or fairies. I’ve seen people calling everything I just listed as a cryptid. (cryptids are any creature within cryptozoology).

I think the reason most people associate other things with cryptozoology is the simple fact that it is generally mocked and  misrepresented as the zoology of frauds and cranks. This is unfortunate because almost every cryptozoologist have degrees in biology, zoology, and anthropology, often they have more degrees than just those as well. True cryptozoologists aren’t kooks who think the government is after them because they found “evidence” of something the government doesn’t like. True cryptozoologists are those who think there may be some mystery left in the world of zoology and strive to solve these mysteries. Yes, most of the better known cryptids seem to be sensationalized, and yes, often the media personifies these people as nutters, but nearly every person who has contributed to cryptozoology is completely qualified to do so.

To further this point I will list some important cryptozoologists or those who have contributed to the field and what their job description would technically be:

  1. Loren Coleman, anthropologist and psychologist
  2. Bernard Heuvelmans, zoologist
  3. Ivan T. Sanderson, zoologist
  4. Jeff Meldrum, anthropologist and evolutionary biologist
  5. Grover S. Krantz, anthropologist
  6. Mark A. Hall, naturalist
  7. Karl P. N. Shuker, zoologist
  8. Jane Goodall, primatologist

Cryptozoology and those who work within the field is simply the science of hidden animals, anything considered a cryptid should be some kind of animal, no entities, no spirits, no mystical creatures outside the realms of science. There are other fields for those.

Source

Cryptozoology A to Z by Loren Coleman and Jerome Clark

Encyclopedia of Cryptozoology by Michael Newton

The Skookum Cast

Many Bigfoot enthusiasts and cryptozoologists, those who study animals not recognized by science, hail the Patterson-Gimlin film (a minute long film that shows what appears to be a large, human-like ape) as the best evidence we have for the existence of Bigfoot, but there has always been a huge amount of controversy with the film. There are even people claiming to be the person in a gorilla suit being filmed. Because of this issue, there are some who have pointed their fingers at a different piece of evidence as the most conclusive. Its known as the Skookum cast by researchers and it is thought to be made of an unknown humanoid’s buttocks, various sections of its legs and feet, knuckles, hand imprints, and an elbow.

The cast was found during a research expedition into Skookum Meadows in Washington state. The expedition was funded by the Bigfoot Research Organization (BFRO) and included a long list of specialists in various fields, a psychologist and pheromone expert, an expert tracker, a zoologist, a wilderness guide, a bait expert and a communications specialist, to name a few. The expedition began on September 16, 2000, and went until September 23. The group made “traps” in hopes of finding evidence of the creature, the traps were simply setting fruit inside a large section of mud in hopes they would attract a Bigfoot and get tracks, what they got was much better. On September 22 two of the group decided to check the traps for any prints, the first two were duds but the third and final trap had a strange set of prints that caught the eye of the researchers. It required 325 pounds of plaster cast to record the full cast.

The name “Skookum” is actually one of the many Native American words for Bigfoot like creatures. The word can be found used in the names of many places throughout Washington and Oregon. This, in fact, was the reason the BFRO chose the Skookum Meadows for the expedition.

Many scientists have tried to explain the print as nothing more than a deer laying in the mud but the cast does not appear even close to what deer body imprints look like. Anthropologist and primatologist, Jeffrey Meldrum examined the print and concluded that the print was almost definitely made by a humanoid of seven to eight feet in height. He points to the clear dermal ridges (dermal ridges are small creases in your hands and feet, such as your fingerprints) in the feet and hands, as well as the appearance of hair imprints throughout the body.

Sources

Bigfoot! by Loren Coleman

Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science by Jeff Meldrum

Encyclopedia of Cryptozoology by Michael Newton

Thunderbirds

Thunderbirds, birds of enormous size from Native American legends, were said to cause thunder and lightning just by flapping their huge wings. Could birds of this size really exist? Some researchers believe that they aren’t just legend, and that they still occupy the skies of America. Sightings have occurred throughout the United States but the majority are clustered within the Midwest.

In legends, the birds were described to be big enough to blot out the sun, but in modern times the size is described as having a wingspan between fifteen and thirty-five feet. The creature is often described as a giant bird, black in color, occasionally with a white stripe around its neck. Although most encounters fall into the above description there are some reports that give the Thunderbird a more reptilian description, similar to a pterodactyl.

There are very few reports of a Thunderbird actually interacting with a person, most are only seen in the sky from a distance. There is one exception to this, dubbed the Lawndale Incident by researchers, the witnesses actually claim a bird of gigantic proportions actually picked up a ten-year-old child and carried him for a short distance. The encounter occurred on July 15, 1977, at a family home in Lawndale, Illinois. Marlon Lowe was playing outside his home, when two large birds flew above him. One of the birds flew down to Marlon and grabbed him in its talons and carried him for several feet before letting go and flying away. The birds seemed to be frightened of, ironically, by Mrs. Lowe’s horrified screams. The birds were described as being as large as ostriches but appeared more like condors. The most significant part of the encounter is that condors are not strong enough to lift a child into the air and fly even the few feet that it did.

Since most descriptions associate condors with the Thunderbird, the most likely candidate for the Thunderbird are the extinct Teratorns. There are two known types of Teratorns, the Teratornis merriami which had a wingspan of eleven feet and the Teratornis incredibilis which had a wingspan of twenty four feet. The other likely candidate for the Thunderbird is a relict species of pterosaur, an extinct group of flying reptiles. The pterosaur theory works mainly because of the handful of sightings of reptilian Thunderbirds as well as the newly discovery of feathers on pterosaurs and other prehistoric reptiles.

So could large unknown birds roam the skies of midwest United States? Some researchers think so.

Sources

Mysterious America by Loren Coleman

Cryptozoology A to Z by Loren Coleman and Jerome Clark

The Encyclopedia of Monsters by Daniel Cohen

Monster Spotter’s Guide to North America by Scott Francis

Unexplained! by Jerome Clark

Black Eyed Children

There are reports of people encountering kids, at night, who seem to have pitch black eyes that seem to stare into your soul. Black eyed kids (BEKs) look like normal teenagers except for the startling fact that their eyes appear completely black. BEKs are commonly encountered in groups of two to five, rarely more or less. Witnesses report the kids look normal enough until they notice their eyes. As with many entities seeing a BEK is accompanied with an overwhelming feeling of terror that doesn’t seem explainable.

Most people encounter the children at night, normally outside the witness’ home or car, always asking permission to enter the house or car. Normally they ask some sort of question such as, “Can we come inside? We need to use your telephone,” or “Can you drive us home? We don’t live far,” The witness then notices their black eyes and refuses them access. When the kids are told no they begin to become violent, often screaming and pounding on the door, demanding to be let in.

Although the BEK phenomena is fairly recent, it has its roots in ancient occult ideas, namely the vampire. In ancient Europe, vampires were thought to be demons who possessed a corpse to use as a form of vehicle to do its evil deeds, there was only one problem, they needed to be given permission to enter one’s “domain”. Someone’s domain is any structure one feels safe in, such as a house or car. Even in the oldest lore domains are thought to be protected. Many researchers believe that BEKs could be a modernization to ancient vampire legends.

Nobody’s really sure as to what happens if you allow the kids to enter because there has been no reports of it happening but Brad Steiger, a psychic phenomena expert, theorized that it could lead to poltergeist phenomena (unexplained movement of objects, unexplained sounds, smells, etc.) which then leads to the possession of the weakest in the house. Steiger based this on a similar report where a child had allowed an unseen entity access to his home.

No matter what the black eyed kids are, they’re here and are causing panic across the world.

Sources

“Invasion of the Black-Eyed Kids” by Stuart Ferrol in ForteanTimes 322

Real Vampires, Night Stalkers, and Creatures from the Darkside by Brad Steiger

Introduction

Recently people have started to entertain ideas like ghosts and Bigfoot and even UFOs and as a result pop culture has exploded with the idea. From it spawned shows, movies, books, and even video games, all playing with the idea that there is something beyond science, maybe even beyond logic. Because of all this sudden popularity with the unexplained, there are now many people looking for answers as to what all this really is, could visitors from other planets really visit? Could a prehistoric reptile survive in a Scottish lake? Could there be spirits of the dead who remain among us?

Welcome to Paranormal101, a blog dedicated to getting accurate information and eyewitness accounts pertaining the paranormal to those who are interested in the unexplained and unsolved. I look at all parts of the paranormal and work to explain the complex phenomenons within. There are five categories which each post will be labeled within, they are:

  1. Cryptozoology- the study of animals which science doesn’t recognize, like Bigfoot
  2. Parapsychology- the study of psychic abilities and related phenomena
  3. Occultism- the study of occult practices, including magic, demonology, and some religious ideals
  4. Fortean- the study of things which are largely ignored by science like the raining of unusual objects and unexplained disappearances
  5. Ufology- the study of unidentified flying objects and related phenomena

I hope in writing this blog I inspire some to look further into the paranormal and all its subtle complexities that fascinates so many.