Thursday, September 29, 2016

Mark A. Hall: One of the Greats

It seems too often these days the cryptozoological community is effected by the passing of one of our own: Smokey Crabtree passed in January of this year, Rob Riggs passed in November of last year, and the Sasquatch Chronicler, John Green, passed in June. There were unfortnuately many more. I never got the chance to meet any of these three gentlemen, but their passing effected my anyway, if only as a kid who was influenced by their works and hopes to one day be lucky enough to stand atop the shoulders of the cryptozoological giants they truly were.
We have, unfortunately, lost another one of the greats; Mark A. Hall.
Despite the fact that I never met Hall, he still greatly effected my life and how I came up into the field, cautious but also open minded. I remember reading Hall's works when I was still in grade school; he was a huge influence on my development as a researcher as well. His research and books all fascinated me and intrigued me.
Loren Coleman, in his lovely obituary to the life and research of Hall, said, "it may be years before the younger researchers realize what a loss this is..." Trust me, Loren, I realize.
Hall was always a groundbreaker in the field, exploring new or largely ignored ideas and topics or shedding new light on well established topics. The field will never be the same without him.


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Mothman Festival #15: A Riotous Good Time

As many of you should be aware, the 15th annual Mothman Festival was this past weekend. I attended and had a wonderful time at it. The fest was huge this year, estimations as to how many attended range from 9,000 to 11,000 people. Honestly, that is unparalleled anywhere else!
The lineup of speakers was also jam-packed with some of the biggest names in the field: Ken Gerhard, Nick Redfern, Loren Coleman, Stan Gordon, Rosemary Ellen Guiley, George Dudding, Joedy Cook, and Fred Saluga are just some of the many who spoke this weekend.
There was also numerous excellent vendors at which I spent way too much of my money at. I bagged much more loot than last year, I got a total of 13 new books (including Nick Redfern's Nessie and Women in Black and Ken Gerhard's A Menagerie of Mysterious Beasts), a couple t-shirts from Eerie Eric (the Bob Ross of Bigfoot!) and many assorted stickers for my laptop. Out of everything I purchased, the coolest thing that I now own is a second edition copy of Gray Barker's famous They Knew Too Much About Flying Saucers which is actually autographed by Barker himself!

I had a blast catching up with Stan, Ken, Nick and everyone else. I also got a chance to meet some awesome people; Tyler Houck (who runs the excellent blog Tyler's Cryptozoo), Sean Forker (co-host of Arcane Radio) and Robert Robinson (who wrote the awesome book Legend Tripping). I also got to visit the TNT area and check out one of the famous 'Igloos'.

I had a great time and would recommend the festival to anyone who is interested in learning more about the Mothman or anything else that goes bump in the night.

Nick Redfern and I

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Tyler and I hanging out

Friday, September 16, 2016

Podcast and Conference

As previously mentioned, I appeared on Spaced Out Radio the other night with Ron Murphy. I had a blast. Despite being a little nervous at the beginning, as the three hours went along, I got more comfortable and we got the chance to discuss many different topics that are near and dear to me. If you didn't get a chance to listen live, you can listen to the archived version here.

I am also going to be speaking at the East Coast ParaCon. Ron Murphy will be unable to speak at the event, so I will be taking his place. I hope to see some familiar faces in the audience. You can find the East Coast ParaCon's website here. This also means that I won't be at the Minerva Monster Festival as I have previously stated.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Update: Extreme Craziness Lately

It has been almost over a month since I last updated the blog; I apologize profusely for this. Life has hit me with an obscene amount of work so when I have a couple minutes free, I relax instead of blog. I am vowing to stop that, I am going to post something at least once a week, if not more.

So, what have I been doing other than ignoring the blog? Quite a bit.

  • I have a significant portion of my book finished (at last count I have about 5 chapters in a somewhat state of completion)
  • I gave my first (planned) public talk at a recent MENSA regional gathering two weeks ago and will hopefully be posting the entire recorded lecture for your viewing entertainment soon
  • I wrote the forwards for two excellent books by two excellent researchers; On Ghosts: The Spirit World Though History by Ronald L. Murphy Jr. and The Ohio Monster Guidebook  by Tyler Houck. Tyler's book isn't out yet but you can purchase Ron's book here
  • I am working on two different articles which I am currently attempting to get in to either FATE or Cryptid Culture Magazine
  • I will appearing on Spaced Out Radio tonight (technically tomorrow) from 12 am to 3 am with Ron Murphy. After the episode airs I will be posting the link to the archives where you can listen to it after the fact. You can find out more about the episode here. You can also find Spaced Out Radio here
  • I am also working on a book with Ron Murphy about the possible connection between the fairy world and cryptids. The working title is currently Beasts of the Faerie Realm. We are hoping to have this out by next Feburary 
  • Finally, I am going to be a regular contributer to the upcoming YouTube series On the Track... which is the Centre for Fortean Zoology's weekly cryptid news show
While pleanty of great things have happened, there is also something that put a slight damper on everything. As many of you are aware, Ron Murphy was putting together a conference in Blairsville, Pennsylvania in October, at which I was scheduled to speak. Unfortunately, due to the town's apparent dislike of the idea of a paranormal conference and a problem with finding speakers at the last minute, the conference has been cancelled for the time being. Ron and I are working on putting a conference together around May/June 2017, as a replacement for the one in October. 

Finally, here are several stills from my talk: