According to legend, the Lofa was a supposed Bigfoot-like creature that lived in Northwest Alabama (including areas of Mississippi and Tennessee)...a region that was once dominated by the Chickasaw people. Frankly, I'm unfamiliar with the stories and reports. Any additional information the readers could provide would be welcomed.
The Wildcat Clan
This clan differs from other clans principally in what its members eat. They seldom go out in the daytime but roam about at night in search of food. They do not, however, try to steal.
They are swift of foot and when an accident happens to them they depend on their swiftness to escape. They care very little about women, but when they want anything they generally get it. They think more of their feet than of any other parts of their bodies and their eyes are so keen that they can see anyone before he detects them.
When one of them wants a wife he gets his parents to obtain one. They do not select any kind of woman but are careful in choosing. The younger always get a woman first. These generally sleep in the daytime. If they do not have good luck at night their rest is disturbed but if they have good luck they sleep through most of the day.
One day a number of men belonging to this clan went hunting and camped a considerable distance from home. Afterward they scattered to see what they could find but remained within call of one another, having made an agreement that if anything happened to one of them he should shout for help. But one of them ventured farther than he was aware and got a long distance off. Presently he got tired and sat down to rest, but while he was there a lofa (means “skinner.” The being was thought to have long hair like an animal) came up and said: “What are you doing here? You are intruding upon my land and had better get up and return to your own place.”
But the Indian believed himself to be strong enough for any situation, so he sat still without speaking.
Presently the lofa ordered him off again and added, “If you do not get up and go away I will tie you up and carry you to my place.”
“You may do so if you can,” the man replied, and upon this the lofa seized him.
At first it seemed as if the man were the stronger of the two and he was able to throw the lofa down, but the latter smelled so bad that it was too much for his antagonist, and the lofa overcame him, hung him up in a tree and went away.
The man hung there all night, and when he did not make his appearance at camp the other hunters began a search for him and, when they found him, cut the grapevine by which he was fastened so that he fell to the ground. They asked him what had treated him in this manner but he would not speak and they thought he might have seen a ghost or something of that sort.
Some time later, however, he came to himself and related what had happened. Afterwards, thought he was very fond of hunting and knew that he would be successful, he would not venture out unless someone were with him. - John R. Swanton
When the settlers started to move into the areas previously occupied by the Chickasaw tribes, the sightings and experiences with the Lofa were passed along. As well, there were first hand accounts of close encounters with the beast. The newspapers, did for the first time, print and record some of these encounters.
To the newcomers, everything that was not openly known or written about by "the leading scientific leaders of the time" and the well educated, was dismissed as pure nonsense. Anyone who came into a town with a story about seeing a wild hairy man along the road was most likely thought to be crazy. Everyone "knows" there is no such creature out there like that.
This is something that still continues today. This is why so many sightings and encounters with these creatures still to this day, go unreported, not discussed, not talked about, and the story is surely not taken to a newspaper editors that will add his or her own little comments about anyone coming in with a story like this. In most cases, if someone does tell the story, it is to someone they know and trust very well and that is as far as it goes.
There was a time that some editors remained open minded enough to the possiblity that not everything out there has been bagged and tagged and put in a box someplace.
Gorilla Family Hunt is in Vain
Sheriff W. P. Cotton dismissed a posse of "wild man" hunters today and reported that an all day search for a strange gorilla like family in a Choccolocca Valley swamp was in vain.
Cotton led a group of farmers and citizens into the swamp after rural residents reported seeing a man, woman and child whose bodies were covered with hair and at times walked on all fours. - UPI - 4/15/1936
Mera Roberts' Story
My siblings and I grew up hearing "Hairy Man" stories. My mother, Clara Odie Anderson Roberts, is almost 90 years old and still has a sharp mind. She lives in the Jackson Health Care Facility and can tell you these things herself.
When she was young, a black man named Dan Scruggs lived near Uncle Tom Purvis’ place on the other side of Friendship, a community which was between Coffeeville and the Witch Creek area. One day he left his house to go to a nearby spring, taking his gun with him. A short time later he arrived back at his home, running andout of breath. He was very frightened, and could only say, "Hairy Man, Hairy Man." As he had neared the spring he saw a "Hairy Man" there and he left in such haste that he left his gun there near the spring.
One day, mother’s oldest brother, Chamlers Anderson, and Elmore Bedwell, were returning to their home after having visited the Roberts family who lived in the area. About halfway between the Roberts place and the Ida Bedwell place, they saw a "Hairy Man" sitting on a log that was over a ravine. I suspect they lost no time getting to their respective homes. This also happened when mother was young. I’m wondering if other relatives or descendants of the people who actually saw the "Hairy Man" might also have heard the stories told and passed down in their families. My oldest sister, Inez, remembers Grandma Anderson (my Mother’s Mother) telling her something that happened when Grandma’s oldest child (Chalmers) was a baby. Grandma said she was walking to a relative’s house and carrying Uncle Chalmers and she walked up on a big hairy ape sitting on a log and holding its head with its hands. When Grandma walked up, it just got up and ambled off into the woods. Grandma said she figured it must have escaped from a circus somewhere and that it may have been sick.
Could this have been a "Hairy Man" or a Bigfoot? The baby (my uncle) who was being carried was born Dec. 30, 1907 so Grandma’s encounter with the "big hairy ape" was probably around 1908. All of these sightings occurred in the Friendship area. - The South Alabamian - Jackson, AL - 12/23/2004
Police are investigating after a Northland farmer reported that one of his cows had been found dead and mutilated, apparently by someone who a veterinarian says knew what they were doing.
According to Kansas City Missouri Police, officers responded to a call on Thursday morning to a farm near 120th and Brightwell in rural Platte County, just west of KCI. There, officers said that they found the cow, which had its sexual organs and udder removed.
The cow’s owner, Casey Hamilton, told police that the cow had been ill, and had been moved to another pasture away from the rest of his herd. According to the police report, the cow was alive and recovering when it was last checked on Wednesday night, but was found dead the following morning.
A veterinarian examined the cow, and determined that it’s vagina and udder had been removed. According to the police report, the vet told officers that it was a precise cut and whoever did it “knew what they were doing.” He also stated that the cow was alive when the parts were removed.
“I couldn’t believe it happened so close to home,” said rancher Gordon Phillip, a friend of Hamilton’s and one of three ranchers in the area. The ranchers lease the land from KCI – the cattle herds keep tall grass down, which in turn helps keep deer off the airport’s runway.
“”It’s amazing, like how the vet said, if he had done a massive masectomy like that on a cow there would be blood all over the field, but there was no blood,” said Phillip.
Police say that when the cow was discovered on Thursday morning, the gate was still locked and there were no footprints or tire tracks leading to the dead cow.
“It’s somewhat amazing because the lack of evidence,” said Phillip, who says that he discovered one of his own cows mutilated 30 years ago. When he asked his vet for an explanation, Phillip says that he just looked towards the sky.
“He was just amazed when I showed him this cow 30 years ago, he went around and around looking for where a space machine had landed to see if he could find any burn marks in the pasture,” said Phillip.
The cow’s exact cause of death has not been determined, but the vet told police that the cow did not die from the mutilation. The lack of evidence is leading to a conundrum for investigators and ranchers alike.
“(It’s) just amazing how whoever does this terrible thing to animals seems to know what they are doing,” said Phillip. - fox4kc
A car reported stolen last month in the Adelaide Hills is believed to have rolled into the garage of a nearby home, parking itself perfectly.
The car's owner from Upper Sturt had parked the vehicle on a slight slope outside a shop in Stirling early on December 18.
He returned 15 minutes later to find the car was gone, and then called police.
The man had only owned the vehicle for two days.
The mystery was still unsolved when the new owners of a house opposite the shops returned from holidays on Wednesday.
Noticing their garage door had received minor damage and been pushed off its tracks, they suspected a break-in.
Upon inspection, they found the car inside.
Police say the owner probably did not put the transmission in park when he left the vehicle on a slight slope.
Senior constable Tim Dodds says they reconstructed this sequence of events.
"It had rolled out of the shopping centre car park, across the road, down the driveway, into the garage, through the garage door which then closed on itself and there was the man's stolen car," he said.
"It remained under cover for 17 days and so we've recovered the stolen car and cleared up the break-in.
"It even made us have a bit of a laugh here in the office."
The driver says he can recall hearing a loud bang while he was away from the car. - abc.net.au
Dulce base movie ‘Umbra’ in production shake-up
The upcoming sci-fi conspiracy thriller Umbra – a leaked draft script for which makes strong references to the deep-underground biogenetic research facility alleged to exist in Dulce, New Mexico – is currently undergoing a major production shake-up.
The director originally attached to the production – Roger (Species) Donaldson – was replaced by A-Team helmer Joe Carnahan last year. Carnahan was also in the process of rewriting the original (leaked) version of the script.
Now, according to Deadline.com, Carnahan has dropped out of the Umbra project altogether and has been replaced by veteran director Martin Campbell (The Mask of Zorro, Casino Royale, Green Lantern). The script, meanwhile, is undergoing yet another rewrite – this time at the Oscar-winning hands of Paul Haggis (Crash, Million Dollar Baby). Haggis caused a storm in 2009 when he quit the Church of Scientology after more than three decades of membership ("I was in a cult for thirty-four years. Everyone else could see it. I don’t know why I couldn’t").
Just how far Campbell and Haggis’ Umbra movie will veer from the original script (which features numerous references to the darker chapters of UFOlogical history, including the alleged human/alien fire fight at Dulce described by ‘whistleblower’ Phil Schneider) remains to be seen.
Umbra will begin shooting in the spring and will hit cinemas sometime in 2013. - silverscreensaucers
Humanoids "...took an animal or something back onto the plane"
Case Number: 34674
Log Number: US-01062012-0024
Submitted Date: 2012-01-06 18:47 GMT
Event Date: 2011-12-16 00:00 GMT
Distance: 500 feet or less
I was about to sleep, and in my mirror I saw this bright *** star, I thought it was a planet so I went to my window, i was about to take a picture with my phone and it disappeared, I was like what the #$%^, then i saw it again, really dull, but it was huge, and like a mile away into the wooded area behind my house, I grabbed a knife and a jacket, and went to see if it was military or something, I was walking for fifteen minutes before it stated descending, I ran toward it, and realized that it was big. I realized that planes dont just fall slowly, helicopters do that. I hid in this brush because it wasnt a helicopter, it hovered for maybe five minutes before it landed, people came out in these uniforms, they had big round eyes, one had almond shaped goggles on, I hid there for about twenty more minutes, before that took an animal or something back onto the plane, I felt like the one with the goggles was looking at me, he like smiled or some @#$%, I was scared, but when he looked at me I felt comforted, I blacked out at one point and woke up in my yard, where I had seen the ship, a helicopter was going slowly by, it wasnt a loud copter, so I thought maybe that was what I saw before, but then a couple days later it hit me, I remembered it, I had to take the day off work because I was too shaky to write. - MUFON CMS
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In an effort to detect the radio emissions from a hypothetical extraterrestrial intelligence, it helps to know where to look. Space, after all, is a very big place and the chances of accidentally stumbling across an alien television signal is very low.
So, using data from the Kepler space telescope, astronomers are becoming more focused on "listening" for radio signals coming from stars known (or at least thought) to have planets orbiting them. And it seems the first "candidate" signals have been detected!
But before you start popping the "we've discovered ET!" champagne corks, this first signal is most likely terrestrial in origin.
"We've started searching our Kepler SETI observations and our analyses have generated some of our first candidate signals," scientists of the University of California, Berkeley announced on Friday.
Sadly, the first candidate signals aren't lucky detections of alien radio transmissions, they're "undoubtedly examples of terrestrial radio frequency interference (RFI)."
Although it's interference from a source here on Earth, the detection of any artificial signal provides the UC Berkeley team with a great opportunity to understand the kind of artificial (alien) signals they hope to eventually discover.
From the UC Berkeley website:
"These signals look similar to what we think might be produced from an extraterrestrial technology. They are narrow in frequency, much narrower than would be produced by any known astrophysical phenomena, and they drift in frequency with time, as we would expect because of the Doppler effect imposed by the relative motion of the transmitter and the receiving radio telescope."
NASA's Kepler space telescope is currently looking for exoplanets orbiting other stars. It does so by constantly looking at the same patch of sky, waiting for these alien worlds to pass in front of their parent stars. When an exoplanet does that -- an event known as a "transit" -- the starlight dims slightly, and Kepler registers a "candidate" exoplanet.
For the world to be confirmed, it needs to complete four transits. As one of Kepler's prime mission objectives is to discover Earth-sized exoplanets orbiting within the habitable zone of sun-like stars, we have to wait 3.5 years until Kepler can confirm their existence.
As explained in the Discovery News article "Big Question for 2012: Will We Find Earth 2.0?," we may start to glimpse hints of the first true "Earth-like" worlds orbiting other stars by the end of 2012.
So the logic is that if SETI directs their radio telescopes at star systems known to contain exoplanets -- preferably exoplanets with similar qualities to Earth -- then perhaps life evolved in a similar way as it did on Earth. If this extraterrestrial life is going through the "radio transmitting" phase as we are currently, then perhaps we might detect them on one of these exoplanets.
Although the likelihood of discovering ET is still very low, at least Kepler is giving the search for intelligent aliens a better chance. - discovery
Famed theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking will celebrate his 70th birthday on Sunday, January 8. And to mark his birthday, he recently answered questions from listeners of BBC Radio channel 4′s Today show. According to the BBC, “Topics ranged from the origins of the universe to the prospects for extra terrestrial life and the impact on Einstein’s theory of relativity should neutrinos be confirmed to travel faster than light.”
The question that elicited the response about extraterrestrials was submitted by a Twitter user named @CazCarpSnail. The question asked, “What do you think the impact will be on humankind if Kepler 22-b [Earth-like planet found by Nasa's Kepler Space Telescope] does indeed support life?” Hawking responded:
The discovery of intelligent life elsewhere in the Universe would be the biggest scientific discovery ever. But it would be very risky to attempt to communicate with an alien civilization. If aliens decided to visit us then the outcome might be similar to when Europeans arrived in the Americas. That did not turn out well for the Native Americans.
Hawking made similar comments in a 2010 Discovery channel special titled “Into The Universe With Stephen Hawking.” In the special, he cautioned against attempting contact with extraterrestrials, suggesting that they would likely be hostile. But despite his grim warnings, in April 2011, Hawking participated in a ceremony where a winner was named in a writing contest called “Dear Aliens,” which asked students to answer the following questions: What would you say to extraterrestrials if earthlings are contacted from outer space? If you had to speak for humanity, what would you say? The contest was launched by Hawking’s daughter Lucy Hawking, and the winning answer was beamed into space during the ceremony.
On Today, Hawking also commented on space colonization, stating his opinion that humans need to colonize Mars and other bodies in the solar system to prevent extinction. Just yesterday, former Apollo astronaut Buzz Aldrin wrote about the same topic on the Huffington Post website. He stated, “[T]o make a real difference — from an exploration, science, national security and international leadership perspective — our Nation needs to commit to seeking a permanent presence on Mars.”
When the first Mars colonies arrive on the red planet, they better hope that Martian theoretical physicists haven’t been offering similar cynical views about extraterrestrials...-openminds.tv
Since my early years I have been intrigued by American folktales, especially the classic stories written by Washington Irving. The following essay incorporates an historical figure and one of Irving's best known characters into a tale that some say contains more fact than fiction.
"Behind the New Grand Hotel, in the Catskills, is an amphitheatre of mountain that is held to be the place of which the Mohicans spoke when they told of people there who worked in metals, and had bushy beards and eyes like pigs. From the smoke of their forges, in autumn, came the haze of Indian summer; and when the moon was full, it was their custom to assemble on the edge of a precipice above the hollow and dance and caper until the night was nigh worn away. They brewed a liquor that had the effect of shortening the bodies and swelling the heads of all who drank it, and when Hudson and his crew visited the mountains, the pygmies held a carouse in his honor and invited him to drink their liquor. The crew went away, shrunken and distorted by the magic distillation, and thus it was that Rip Van Winkle found them on the eve of his famous sleep." - Myths and Legends of Our Own Land - Complete- Charles M. Skinner - 1896
Henry Hudson and the Catskill Gnomes
On September 3rd of 1609, Henry Hudson sailed the Half Moon into the mouth of the great New York river that later bore his name. The explorer and his crew journeyed north for several days, trading with the native residents and searching for the fabled northwest passage to the Orient. By the time he reached the area that would become present-day Albany, Hudson knew that he had not found the passage for which he sought. Reluctantly, he turned the Half Moon and sailed back down the river.
That night, Henry Hudson and his crew anchored the Half Moon in the shadow of the Catskill Mountains. Around midnight, Hudson heard the sound of music floating across the mountains and down to the river. Taking a few members of his crew, he went ashore and followed the sound up and up into the Catskills. The sound of the music grew louder as Hudson and his men marched up to the edge of a precipice. To their astonishment, a group of pygmies with long, bushy beards and eyes like pigs were dancing and singing and capering about in the firelight.
Hudson realized that these creatures were the metal-working gnomes of whom the natives had spoken. One of the bushy-bearded chaps spotted the explorer and his men and welcomed them with a cheer. The short men surrounded the crew and drew them into the firelight and the dance. Hudson and his men were delighted with these strange, small creatures, and with the hard liquor that the gnomes had brewed. Long into the night, the men drank and played nine-pins with the gnomes while Henry Hudson sipped at a single glass of spirits and spoke with the chief of the gnomes about many deep and mysterious things.
Realizing at last how late it was, Hudson looked around for his men. At first, he couldn't locate them. All he saw were large groups of gnomes, laughing and joking as they sprawled around the fire. Then, to his astonishment, he recognized several of the gnomes as his crewmen! They had undergone a transformation. Their heads had swollen to twice their normal size, their eyes were small and pig-like, and their bodies had shortened until they were only a little taller than the gnomes themselves.
Hudson was alarmed, and asked the chief of the gnomes for an explanation. It was, the chief explained to Hudson, the effect of the magical hard liquor the gnomes brewed. It would wear off when the liquor did. Hudson wasn't sure that he believed the little man. Afraid of what else might happen to him and his crewman if they continued to linger in such company, Hudson hurriedly took his leave of the gnomes and hustled his severely drunken crewmen back to the Half Moon. The entire crew slept late into the morning, as if they were under the influence of a sleeping draught. When they awakened, the crewmen who had accompanied Hudson up into the Catskill Mountains, aside from ferocious headaches, were back to normal.
Hudson continued on his way down the great river, and by October 4th, the Half Moon had reached the mouth and Hudson and his crew sailed for home. In 1610, Hudson set off on another journey, searching for a northwestern passage to the Orient. Trapped in the ice through a long winter, Hudson's crew eventually mutinied and set Henry Hudson and eight of his crewmen adrift in the Hudson Bay. They were never seen again.
In September 1629, twenty years to the day that Hudson and his crew met the Catskill gnomes, a bright fire appeared on the precipice above the hollow, and dance music could be heard floating through the mountains. The Catskill gnomes spent the evening dancing, and carousing and drinking their magic liquor. At midnight, they were joined by the spirits of Henry Hudson and crew. Merry was their meeting, and the gnomes and the spirits played nine-pins all night long. Each time they rolled the ball, a peal of thunder would shake the mountains, and the fire would flare up in bolts like lightening. The party lasted until daybreak, at which hour the spirits departed from the hills, with promises to return.
Every twenty years, the spirits of Henry Hudson and his crew returned to the Catskill Mountains to play nine-pins with the gnomes, and to look out over the country they had first explored together on the Half Moon. Now and then, one of the Dutch settlers living in the region came across the spirits as they played nine-pins. They claimed that any man foolish enough to drink of the spirits' magic liquor would sleep from the moment the spirits departed the mountain to the day they returned, twenty years later. Most folks discounted the story, although several members of Rip Van Winkle's family swore it was true. True or false, wise folks who walk among the Catskills in September do not accept a drink of liquor when it is offered to them. Just in case. - Spooky New York: Tales of Hauntings, Strange Happenings, and Other Local Lore- S. E. Schlosser
<-- Is this a ghost? Could it be the apparition of Washington Irving?
TP - On June 26, 2010, 14-year-old Rachel Lambert saw something a bit unusual in a photograph she took earlier during her trip to Washington Irving's Sunnyside.
After seeing Tim Burton's film, "Sleepy Hollow," Rachel pursued her interest in the paranormal and convinced her family to take a trip from Rotterdam, N.Y. to see what the town of the horseman is really like.
They ended up wandering the estate of Tarrytown's Sunnyside and as they did, Rachel saw something strange in a window of Irving's cottage. She snapped a picture and moved on, as not to miss any of their tour guide's fascinating historical speech. When Rachel got home the next night and viewed the picture on the 27-inch screen of her computer, she found that the creator of the Legend of Sleepy Hollow had not let her down (see attached video).
She and her family were able to make out a figure that looks like the head and upper body of a ghost holding a quill pen. Rachel determined that before her eyes was a picture of the ghost of Washington Irving.
Rachel's father Ed believes that his daughter's sighting of the spirit may not have been a sheer streak of luck. Just before the family stopped outside the cottage, they were having a conversation with the guide about Rachel's achievements as an English honors student and her dream of becoming a writer. They additionally spoke about her interest in Sleepy Hollow and how she had planned out sights to see and goals for the trip, which included stopping at Washington Irving's grave in the Sleepy Hollow cemetery beforehand. The family thinks that Irving's spirit may have overheard this conversation and acted. Perhaps Irving's thoughts were, "I'm gonna let her see this and do this for an aspiring author," as Rachel's father put it.
When Historic Hudson Valley, the organization entrusted to maintain the estate, was contacted, spokesperson Rob Schweitzer said he was "unaware" of any ghosts at the estate.
But some ghost enthusiasts maintain the Sunnyside is known for holding the spirit of Washington Irving.
"The legend says he still haunts the house," said Donna Davies, of Haunted Hudson Valley. "He passed away in the house. If he was going to haunt any place he would haunt Sunnyside."
Another ghost hunter, Linda Zimmermann, has written many books on the hauntings in the Hudson Valley and agrees with Davies' assessment in her book Ghost Investigator: Hauntings of the Hudson Valley, Volume 1:
* "Irving made his home at Sunnyside in Tarrytown. Some people claim that to this day, he still resides in his beautiful mansion. That are reports that Irving's spirit walks the halls and rooms of Sunnyside, and that he particularly favors the tower know as the Pagoda. It seems to be poetic justice that the man most know for his ghost story would pass on and create one of his own."
Rachel was certainly excited by this sighting and claims that she is now even more interested in Sleepy Hollow, Irving and ghost stories. As for her parents, Rachel's mother emphasized that they have always been open about the paranormal with their children and allowed them to explore its possibility rather than fear it.
Ed however, stated that he always thought there could be a potential for the spirit world, but that there are also other scientific ways to explain such mystical events. "Do we make these things up in our minds or are they there?" he initially thought. But after taking several close looks at the photograph he said, "I think it's there."
Many family members and friends that were shown Rachel's photograph were similarly shocked by the image and questioned their ideas about the spiritual world.
"I think it made some people believers," said Ed Lambert.
Some even said that it looks like there are several ghosts in the image, besides Irving's spirit. The Lambert family believes that some kind of paranormal investigation should be done to determine what is really in the photograph and at Sunnyside.
The Lambert family plans to return to Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown in the fall to see the scenery of the season, and perhaps to further explore the possibility of the supernatural in the villages.
Although Rachel is likely to also pursue her interest in the paranormal elsewhere, her recent experience and haunting souvenir caused her to admit, "I think there's something special about Sleepy Hollow.
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Ichabod Crane, a Connecticut schoolteacher, arrives in Sleepy Hollow in 1790 and is immediately attracted to the supernatural tales told by the area’s Dutch housewives, particularly the tale of a headless horseman. According to the story, he is a Hessian cavalryman who was decapitated during a battle in the American Revolution. Each night he rides out searching for his lost head.
Crane also spends his time pursuing a young woman, Katrina Van Tassel, the "plump," 18 year-old daughter and sole child of a wealthy farmer. This infuriates a rival for Katrina’s hand, “Brom Bones" Van Brunt, a handsome but rather rowdy and brutish man who subjects Crane to ridicule.
One Autumn night after attending a party at the Van Tassel home, Crane encounters the headless horseman near a bridge and the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. A pursuit through the countryside follows during which the spectral horseman hurls his “head” at Crane. The next day the schoolteacher is missing, leaving behind a riderless horse, a trampled saddle, Crane’s hat, and a smashed pumpkin.
Irving leaves it to the reader to decide if the horseman was an actual specter or Van Brunt in disguise. The Sleepy Hollow Cemetery
The cemetery in Sleepy Hollow is a beautiful Victorian era cemetery with many hills and valleys in a gothic park-like atmosphere, situated on the east side of the Hudson River. It contains the final resting place of Washington Irving, the author of the Legend of Sleepy Hollow – Ichabod Crane's encounter with the Headless Horseman. Washington Irving wrote, in a letter addressed to the editor of Knickerbocker Magazine, “I send you herewith a plan of a rural cemetery projected by some of the worthies of Tarrytown, on the woody hills adjacent to the Sleepy Hollow Church. I have no pecuniary interest in it, yet I hope it may succeed, as it will keep that beautiful and umbrageous neighborhood sacred from the anti-poetical and all-leveling axe. Besides, I trust that I shall one day lay my bones there.” Washington Irving’s gothic revival home, known as Sunnyside, is situated not far from his gravesite, along the Hudson River.
Also buried at the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery are other luminaries such as: Andrew Carnegie, Walter Chrysler, William Rockefeller, and Elizabeth Arden. The television series “Dark Shadows”, which featured vampire Barnabas Collins, witches, ghosts, and other supernatural creatures, inspired a film, “House of Dark Shadows”. In the film, Lyndhurst, a gothic revival mansion in nearby Tarrytown, was the Collinwood estate and a mausoleum in the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery was shown as the Collins family tomb. The cemetery is rather renowned and guided tours are offered in October. It is also adjacent to the cemetery of the Old Dutch Church, which is the resting place of those who inspired Irving's characters of Katrina Van Tassel, Brom Bones, and the headless Hessian soldier.
A British ghost investigator named Dean James Maynard visited Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow in the summer of 2005 and called the area “the most haunted place in the world.”
Who and where are the ghosts? Here is a guide to the apparitions and places where they reportedly reside. Should you see a ghost or hear about one we haven't mentioned, please let us know.
Ghosts and places where you might encounter them:
1. Washington Irving (1783-1859)
Washington Irving was the first American writer to gain old world respect and recognition for the new world’s literature; he bought consciousness of fantasy, ghosts, goblins and the supernatural to American fiction. He experienced periods of gloom and obsession with death during his lifetime. His ghost has been reportedly seen in a window of a bedroom that faces the Hudson River and also in his study located on the east side of the cottage, away from the river. The Complete Tales Of Washington Irving19th Century American Literature)
2. Washington Irving’s fiancee Matilda Hoffmanm
Irving’s shy and beguiling fiancée is said to haunt a trove of trees from which she watches Irving’s cottage. She died on April 26, 1809 at the age of 17 from complications from a cold that led to consumption. Sunnyside
3. The five caring nieces of Washington Irving
They were the daughters of Irving’s elder brother Ebenzer. After the visitors are gone, they still tidy the house. Sunnyside
4. The woman who ate green apples
A young woman, suffering from a lost love, wandered through the orchard, ate too many green apples, died and stayed as a ghost according to Washington Irving III, great-great grandnephew of Washington Irving. Sunnyside
5. The Headless Horseman, a mercenary Hessian trooper
Washington Irving’s famous character was a mercenary Hessian trooper whose head was blown away by a cannon ball during the American Revolution. He returns at night to the scene of the battle. Take cover if you hear hoofbeats. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
6. Abraham Martling, Washington Irving’s inspiration for Brom Bones
Old Dutch Burying Ground, Sleepy Hollow
7. Eleanor van Tassel Brush, Washington Irving’s model for Katrina
She was the love interest of Ichabod Crane and Brom Bones. Old Dutch Burying Ground, Sleepy Hollow
8. Baltus Van Tassel, father of Eleanor van Tassel Brush
Old Dutch Burying Ground, Sleepy Hollow
9. Samuel Youngs, Washington Irving’s model for Ichabod Crane
He was a schoolteacher and later a lawyer. Ichabod Crane was met by the Headless Horseman in the vicinity of Patriot’s Park; the route of their chase has been guessed at but the timber bridge has long since been gone. An existing bridge called the Headless Horseman Bridge over the Pocantico River at North Broadway (identified by a metal blue sign with yellow lettering) is not where the encounter took place; this bridge was erected around 1912. Old Dutch Burying Ground, Sleepy Hollow and Patriot’s Park, Tarrytown
10. Henry Hudson and his Half Moon crew
The ghosts of Henry Hudson and his crew play ninepins upstate at Kaaterskill Falls where Rip Van Winkle napped for 20 years and missed the American Revolution. That's a long trip but visitors can see the bronze statue of a reclining life-size Rip Van Winkle in Irvington. Hudson's crew haunts Kaaterskill Falls in the Catskill Mountains. The statue however is on Main Street next to the town hall in Irvington, NY.
11. Revolutionary War Major John Andre
Major John Andre was caught by three American militiamen with papers describing the defenses at West Point. His conspiracy with Benedict Arnold exposed, he was sentenced to death by hanging. Angry at both the Americans for denying his request to be executed by firing squad and the British for refusing an offer of exchange for Benedict Arnold, he died in a rage. His ghost is said to roam Patriot’s Park where he can be heard reciting a poem he penned that was published in the Riverton’s Gazette on the day he was captured. In the poem, he wrote, “What hero could refuse to tread the rugged path to fame.” Patriot’s Park, Tarrytown.
12. Brigadier General Anthony Wayne
General Anthony Wayne, who carried out the order to hang Major Andre, was the commander of the American forces assigned to patrol the Hudson River. His ghost is said to haunt the riverfront but out of respect for Andre’s ghost, it carefully avoids Patriot’s Park. Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow waterfronts.
13. Hulda the Witch
An immigrant from Bohemia, shunned and feared by her Tarrytown neighbors, she fired on British troops with deadly accuracy during the American Revolution. After killing many redcoats, she fell mortally wounded. Later, her neighbors discovered a will in her home leaving her money and possessions to the widows of patriots who died during the war. Old Dutch Burying Ground, Sleepy Hollow
14. Captain Kidd (1654-1701)
A notorious pirate whose gold and buried treasure is still sought, some of which may have been buried along the Hudson River. His ship stopped at or near Tarrytown where he had dealings with wealthy local merchants. He was hanged by the British on May 23, 1701. Exact locations unknown
15. The crew of Captain Kidd’s pirate ship, the Adventure Galley
When Captain Kidd buried gold and other loot, his crew members drew lots. The losers were killed and their bodies were placed on on top of the treasure chests to repel intruders. As ghosts, they remain fierce sentries destined to guard Kidd’s treasures forever. Exact locations unknown
16. A woman mistaken as Captain Kidd’s bride
She was captured in Tarrytown, tried for piracy and executed. She is believed to be either a traveler who booked passage to Tarrytown looking for work or or a slave or servant intended for a rich merchant. Her ghost proclaims her innocence as she waits for the vessel that brought her to Tarrytown believing it is coming to her rescue. Tarrytown’s river edge
17. The pirate whose skull was battered by Captain Kidd
In a fit of rage, Captain Kidd killed a member of his crew by striking him with an iron water bucket. Kidd was hung for the murder of this sailor, not for piracy. Tarrytown’s river edge
18. An intoxicated villager
He was a local resident who lost his balance and drowned while attempting to navigate his rowboat across the Tappan Zee; boaters say he often waves to passing vessels. Tarrytown waterfront
19. Five young women slain by a mad monk
Five innocent young women, believed to be virgins, died at the hands of a mad monk. Tarrytown near Sunnyside cottage
20. The mad monk accused of murdering the five young women
Before he could be tried, the monk was killed by a house servant, the lover of one of the five women, who then sealed the monk’s body in the manor’s walls. The house was owned by John Jacob Astor, a close friend of Washington Irving and at one time, the richest man in America. Tarrytown near Sunnyside cottage
21. The Armour-Stiner house’s odoriferous guest
This ghost exudes an “exquisite and unidentifiable fragrance” according to a passage in a book written by poet and historian Carl Carmer, best known for his autobiographical book, “Stars Fell on Alabama.” The ghost’s identity is unknown but it is believed to be either Aleko E. Lilius, a Finnish writer and explorer, or the woman he cohabited with, a 20th-century lady pirate who made a fortune plundering vessels in the China Seas. Theories have also arisen that the ghost is Paul J. Armour, the New York banker who built the house in 1860, or Joseph Stiner, a wealthy tea merchant who bought it in 1872. An eight-sided domed and colonnaded structure in Irvington built in 1860 and resembling a classic Roman temple
22. Sybil Harris King, known as “the apparition in white”
She was the daughter of Benjamin Newton Duke, co-founder of the American Tobacco Company. She has been heard pacing up and down the second-floor hallways of the King House in Tarrytown. She was married to Frederick King, son of Thomas King, vice president of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, the country’s first major railroad. She died in 1955. Located on the grounds of the 26-acre Tarrytown House Estate and Conference Center
23. The woman who froze to death at Raven Rock
She lost her way during a storm and became trapped by blinding snowdrifts in the hill behind the rock. Her wailing, similar to the sound of the wind, warns travelers not to seek safety here. Raven Rock, a precipitous outcrop on Buttermilk Hill located on the Rockefeller estate
24. The Indian maiden who died at Raven Rock
She fell or leaped to her death from Raven Rock when pursued by Tory raiders. In another version of this story, it is said she was fleeing a jealous admirer. Raven Rock, a precipitous outcrop on Buttermilk Hill located on the Rockefeller estate
25. The engineer of Lincoln’s funeral train
It is said that once a year in April, a 14-car black funeral train with a ghost at the throttle sounds a deafening whistle as it approaches Sunnyside. The piercing sound wakes Irving’s ghost as the train chugs toward Tarrytown carrying Abraham Lincoln’s body, just as his funeral train did in 1865 when it traveled from New York City to Buffalo and eventually to Springfield, Ohio, Lincoln’s final burying place. Sunnyside cottage - tarrytown.patch
Source: Diario Victoria
Argentina: The New UFO Museum (Museo OVNI)
Last night was the official inauguration of the Museo OVNI in the city of Victoria, at which provincial and local authorities were on hand.
This new site is located at Calle Sarmiento between Além and 25 de Mayo streets, being more centrally located and spacious than the former facility.
A more tourist-oriented approach is offered to visitors, including such amenities as, for example, being photographed while “traveling” aboard a flying saucer. It is also possible to find journalistic material, photographs, curios, information on cattle mutilations, crop circles and other strange phenomena.
The inauguration was presided by Ruben Dario Garcilazo, intendente (mayor) of the City of Victoria, who praised the efforts made by Silvia Pérez Simondini. “This is important for both Victoria and Silvia, a way of appreciating her research endeavors, which she has carried out with great seriousness. It pleases me that this result has been achieved,” beamed the mayor.
Furthermore, Garcilazo took the opportunity to add: “We hope that this helps to bring visitors to Victoria, and to this end, we shall be aiding and supporting this new attraction for the city, so that it may be declared of municipal interest and appreciated by tourists to Victoria.
The “Museo OVNI” is the result of years of virtually pro-bono dedication on the part of Silvia Perez Simondini, her relatives and friends, who came to Victoria as a result of public awareness of the phenomenon in the vicinity in late August 1991.
Raul Gonzalez, the provincial secretary of tourism, confirmed that the opening of the Museo OVNI in the “city of the seven hills” is a new alternative of great worth for tourism. “This is a new stage for family-oriented tourism visiting the city of Victoria,” assured the provincial official.
Hold on tight to your leather-bound edition of Dianetics and hope for the best. A rift between two top members of the Church of Scientology is causing the controversial religion to be bought to the brink of civil war.
Debbie Cook, a former top-dog among the bureaucracy within the Church of Scientology, started off her 2012 with an email blast to followers of the religion in which she blasts current leader David Miscavige on corruption.
According to Cook, who at one time was the top officer in the church’s Sea Org group, Miscavige is hoarding over $1 billion that he acquired through church fundraising. Additionally, says Cook, the leader has blown millions on ridiculous facilities and the rest of the church must become aware of his misdoings.
“Only a tiny fraction has ever been spent… Only the interest earned from the holdings has been used very sparingly to fund projects through grants,” adds Cook.
Graeme Wilson, a spokesperson for the church, has fired back and tells the New York Times that Cook’s email reflects “a small, ignorant and unenlightened view of the world today” and are not representative of “the thousands of Scientologists who are overjoyed by our 27 new Churches and what they mean to the communities they serve.”
Cook, however, knows the ins and outs of the Scientology biz and is a force to be reckoned with within the church. From 1993 through 2008, she sat on the board of directors of the Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization, Inc. — a position that puts an awful mount of clout behind her recent words. Cook also served as “captain” of the Flag Organization from 1989 through 2006.
In an almost apocalyptical forewarning of what’s to come, Cook emailed a list of 12,000 scientologists on New Year’s Day cautioning them of the leader’s corrupt cash-grabbing, but stayed optimistic, saying, “We are a strong and powerful group and we can effect a change. We have weathered many storms. I am sorry that I am the one telling you, but a new storm is upon us.”
Cook says that she was drawn to the religion years ago thanks to the writings of founder and science fiction author L Ron Hubbard. That determination to keep his beliefs going is what motivated here to address the corruption coming from the church’s corporate headquarters.
“I dedicated my entire adult life to supporting L Ron Hubbard and the application of LRH technology,” Cook’s email reads, “And if I ever had to look LRH in the eye I wouldn’t be able to say I did everything I could to Keep Scientology Working if I didn’t do something about it now.
“We all have a stake in this. It is simply not possible to read the LRH references and not see the alterations and violations that are currently occurring,” warns Cook.
Miscavige has led the church since Hubbard passed away 26 years ago. According to Cook, the current leader has since dismantled the "complete and brilliant organizational structure” set in place by Hubbard. - RT
Prof. Stephen Hawking urges human colonization of space
"It is possible that the human race could become extinct but it is not inevitable. I think it is almost certain that a disaster, such as nuclear war or global warming, will befall the earth within a thousands years," Professor Hawking, the Cambridge University cosmologist and theoretical physicist said.
"It is essential that we colonise space. I believe that we will eventually establish self-sustaining colonies on Mars, and other bodies in the solar system, although probably not within the next 100 years.
"I am optimistic that progress within science and technology will eventually allow humans to spread beyond the solar system and out into the far-reaches of the universe," he said.
Professor Hawking was answering questions submitted by listeners to BBC Radio 4's Today programme to mark his seventieth birthday.
But if man should meet alien life on its journey into space, the consequences for humanity could be grave, Prof Hawking warned.
"The discovery of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe would be the greatest scientific discovery ever. But it would be very risky to attempt to communicate with an alien civilisation.
"If aliens decided to visit us, then the outcome might be similar to when Europeans arrived in the Americas. That did not turn out well for the Native Americans."
He said did not believe the results of the CERN experiments which appeared to show particles travelling faster than the speed of light - in defiance of the known laws of physics.
"Einstein's theory of relativity predicts that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light. Thus if the Opera experiment is correct, and neutrinos do travel faster than light, then relativity theory is wrong.
"However, I don't believe the Opera results, because they disagree with the detection of neutrinos from supernova SN 1987A."
Bursts of neutrinos detected in 1987 from that stellar explosion suggested neutrinos travel at the same speed of light. If CERN's experiment is correct, they would have been detected on earth years before the light from the explosion was seen on earth, physicists believe. Instead, they arrived within hours of one another.
A listener from Lagos asked Hawking, Britain's most celebrated physicist, whether there "was a time when there was nothing".
"The origin of the universe can be explained by the laws of physics, without any need for miracles or divine intervention," replied the professor, who uses a speech synthesizer due to his debilitating Motor Neurone Disease.
"These laws predict that the universe was spontaneously created out of nothing in a rapidly expanding state. It's called inflation, because it's like the way prices go up at an ever increasing rate. Time is defined only with the universe, so it makes no sense to talk about the time before the universe began. It would be like asking for a point south of the south pole." - telegraph
Doctors set to remove Vietnamese man's massive 138 pound tumor
A man with a tumour tipping the scales at 198 pounds on his right leg is set to go under the knife in Vietnam today to have the growth removed, it has been reported.
Left unable to walk by the swelling that weighs more than the rest of his body, Nguyen Duy Hai's enormous tumour is to be cut away by a team of medics in ten hour operation that only has a 50 percent chance of success.
Hai, 31, who suffers from a rare genetic disorder, has been living with the tumour since he was four years old, a statement from the France-Vietnam hospital in Ho Chi Minh City detailed.
"This is a huge procedure with many risks, including the risk of death during surgery or post-operative care," the hospital said.
The hospital added that despite being warned of the potential problems with the surgery, Hai has nonetheless decided to proceed with removal.
Lead doctor McKay McKinnon successfully removed a tumour weighing over 176 pounds from a Romanian woman in 2004.
McKinnon has reportedly waived his fee for the operation, with remaining costs expected to be covered by donations.
Last October it was reported that a grandmother from Berkshire had dropped seven dress sizes after surgeons removed a 39lb tumour from her stomach.
“The weight of it meant the pressure on my legs became unbearable.,” said Jayne Grainger..
“By the end, I could barely walk and couldn’t get down the stairs in my house.” - mirror
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By Glenn Hodges - Here I stand at the center of what was once the greatest civilization between the deserts of Mexico and the North American Arctic—America's first city and arguably American Indians' finest achievement—and I just can't get past the four-lane gash that cuts through this historic site. Instead of imagining the thousands of people who once teemed on the grand plaza here, I keep returning to the fact that Cahokia Mounds in Illinois is one of only eight cultural World Heritage sites in the United States, and it's got a billboard for Joe's Carpet King smack in the middle of it.
But I suppose Cahokia is lucky. Less than ten miles to the west, the ancient Indian mounds that gave St. Louis the nickname Mound City in the 1800s were almost completely leveled by the turn of the century. Today only one survives, along with some photographs and a little dogleg road named Mound Street. The relentless development of the 20th century took its own toll on Cahokia: Horseradish farmers razed its second biggest mound for fill in 1931, and the site has variously been home to a gambling hall, a housing subdivision, an airfield, and (adding insult to injury) a pornographic drive-in. But most of its central features survived, and nearly all of those survivors are now protected. Cahokia Mounds may not be aesthetically pristine, but at 4,000 acres (2,200 of which are preserved as a state historic site), it is the largest archaeological site in the United States, and it has changed our picture of what Indian life was like on this continent before Europeans arrived. Continue reading at NatGeo
The Cahokia were an American Indian tribe indigenous to the Midwest. The tribe is extinct. Their descendants may have accompanied the Confederated Peoria to Oklahoma in 1867. The Cahokia were members of the Illinois, a group of approximately twelve Algonquian-speaking tribes who occupied areas of present Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, and Arkansas. Although little is known about their culture, the Cahokia were not related to the prehistoric inhabitants of the Cahokia Mounds, which are located near Collinsville, Illinois. That ancient site was named for the Cahokia who dwelled nearby during the late seventeenth century.
The Cahokia resided in present Illinois near the confluence of the Illinois and Mississippi rivers when Father Jacques Marquette visited the region in 1673. About 1700 they moved south along the east bank of the Mississippi to a site near present Cahokia, Illinois, where a Catholic mission had been established in 1699. There they joined the Tamaroa, a people with whom they had been closely allied. The two tribes combined for a total of about ninety lodges.
The Tamaroa separated from the Cahokia in 1701. The Cahokia continued living near the mission until 1734, when they relocated south. French influences, especially liquor, had negatively impacted their population. It also brought attacks by pro-British tribes, who destroyed their village in 1752. The Cahokia subsequently resettled near the Michigamea, who had likewise been attacked.
The Cahokia and the Michigamea were soon assimilated by the Kaskaskia and were recognized as such by the United States in 1803. As Kaskaskia they banded with the Peoria and removed from Illinois to present Kansas during the 1830s. There, as members of the Confederated Peoria tribe, they were assigned land in northeast Indian Territory (present Ottawa County, Oklahoma) in 1867. That reservation was allotted to 153 Peoria beginning in 1889. The number of allottees who were of Cahokia descent is unknown.
According to this book by University of Illinois archaeologist and professor of anthropology Tim Pauketat, the mound builders were not always the idyllic, corn-growing, pottery-making, fishing-hunting gentle villagers depicted in various dioramas at the Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site in Collinsville.
Pauketat said these long-vanished people practiced human sacrifice of women and men on a mass scale and weren't always careful to bury only the dead.
Based on years of study of artifacts including many from the extensive excavation of the site's Mound 72 during 1967-71, Pauketat's book is getting national attention. The Washington Post described it as "undeniably hot." A national online review service used the headline, "Sacrificial virgins of the Mississippi."
But the "virgins" angle may be a bit of an overstatement, said Pauketat, but not by much.
"In the book I do not use the word virgin. I used female sacrifices," he said, noting that close study of the pelvic area of some of 53 female skeletons found in a huge pit below the mound showed clear signs of childbirth.
"They were selecting women of a certain age, but it's not like they're selecting virgins," he said. Most of the sacrificial victims were in their early 20s, he said.
The existence of 260 skeletal remains including of women all retrieved from within and under Mound 72 was not previously unknown in the metro-east. But because of the book, it's sensational news in other parts of the country, especially in big Eastern cities where residents are unfamiliar with the Midwest's often savage early history.
Pauketat said that the vast collection of data from the mound excavation included reports from the original archaeologist who found finger bones extended deep into the sand below some of the skeletons, evidence that victims were alive when buried.
"That's the interpretation of the original excavator. He's quite sure of that. I talked to him in person," Pauketat said.
"Basically, the book came together after we reached a critical threshold, all of the little pieces started falling into place. A lot of pieces from the Mound 72 dig are important because they help make sense of all the other pieces that have been found."
Ancient Cahokia, which reached its peak about 1150 A.D. with a population of 20,000, was a religious center of farmers and hunters that probably influenced much of what archaeologists call the Southeast Ceremonial Complex, a string of similar but smaller sites found from Illinois to northern Florida. It was abandoned about 100 to 200 years later and its descendants are believed to be the various tribes from historic times. At the time of its zenith, Cahokia rivaled London in population and was America's most-populous city until Philadelphia eclipsed it in the 18th century.
About 80 of the original 120 mounds survive, including Monks Mound, the largest prehistoric earthen structure north of Mexico.
In this society, often referred to as the Mississippian Culture, women played much more of a role than convenient sacrificial victims, Pauketat said. And even in this death ritual, women were respected, unlike some of the men whose remains were found with heads lopped off.
"The women never show injury. There is no trauma. So that means either they drank poison or they were strangled. But, that's speculation. They were very carefully placed into these pits," he said.
Ancient Cahokia's big draw, according to the book, was religion. And in the practice of various religious rites, evidence has been found that women were the rivals of this society's male religious leaders.
Pauketat said the evidence is in the form of curious female figurines carved from a type of clay found just south of St. Louis known as flint clay. The reddish substance dries rock hard.
Just last month, a small, 4-inch high female figure was found at a state-run archaeological dig in East St. Louis. Pauketat said only 23 other such figurines are known, including the largest, about 16 inches high.
The elevated status of women in religion in Cahokian society is illustrated, Pauketat said, by the decorations on the figurines that include a highly prized serpent figure, and of depictions of staple foods like corn and squash. On some figurines, baskets that have been interpreted as holding the bones of ancestors also have been carved into the statues.
"Clearly, a lot of the artwork of female gods and female figureheads show that women were probably highly elevated at Cahokia."
Pauketat said that at Cahokia, religion drew people from small farming villages all over the metro-east and from where present day St. Louis stands.
"People recognized in that place (Cahokia) a supernatural power on a scale and of a kind that was probably unknown in North America north of Mexico," he said
As for the female sacrifices, Pauketat said important women may have been chosen because of their status.
"These female sacrifices might not have been of unimportant people. This may have been a very honored role to fill. It may have been people who were impersonating some kind of corn goddess," he said, "And their duty was to die." - BND