Sunday, August 13, 2017

August 2017 Crypto-Kid Guests

I am proud to announce that I have the next three guests for the Crypto-Kid booked. This will lead us into September. Because I have several guests booked already, I decided to list off who, what, and when for the next few weeks.

August 14th: Tyler Houck. 




Tyler is one of the only other cryptozoologists under 18 in the world. Tyler and I have collaborated on several projects and are good friends. He is the author of Cryptid U.S. which discusses various cryptids around the United States. He is also the writer of the blog Tyler's Cryptozoo. We will discuss Tyler's research into US cryptids and the subject of globsters.

August 21st: Ken Gerhard


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Ken Gerhard is one of the world's premier cryptozoologists. He has written four books including A Menagerie of Mysterious Beasts, Big Birds!, and Encounters with Flying Humanoids. He will be coming on the show to discuss sightings of the Thunderbird across America.

August 28th: Chad Lewis




Chad Lewis is the author of over a dozen books discussing various unusual occurrences in the Midwest. His books include Lake Monsters of Wisconsin, The Van Meter Visitor with Kevin Nelson and Noah Voss, and Pepie: The Lake Monster of the Mississippi River with Noah Voss. He will be joining me to discuss lake monsters in the Midwest.

I am quite excited about having these great guests on the show and I hope that you all will tune in.

Who would you like to see on my show? Comment below to let me know!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Vintage UFO, Paranormal, and Cryptid Book Collection

Those of you who know me well, know that I collect lots of books about the unusual. I am quite proud of my collection of nearly 250 books on all kinds of strange phenomena. Among these, I actually own quite a few that are fairly old and rare. If you listen to my show, I actually mention my collection quite regularly so I thought my followers might be interested in a small peek into my library.

Here are a few highlights from my collection:


  • They Knew Too Much About Flying Saucers by Gray Barker, Second Edition, signed by the author (1956)
  • Invisible Residents by Ivan T. Sanderson, First Edition (1970)
  • Book of Great Jungles by Ivan T. Sanderson, First Edition (1965)
  • The Flying Saucers Are Real by Donald Keyhoe, First Edition Paperback (1950)
  • Man, Myth, and Magic, all 24 volumes, (1970)
  • Practical Zo├Âlogy by Alvin Davison, Ph.D. (1906)

The last one isn't about unexplained phenomena but it is still the oldest book I own and a testament as to how far zoology has come since 1906. 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Kecksburg UFO Crash

52 years ago, on December 9, a bright fireball appeared over several states. The fireball eventually crashed outside of small Pennsylvanian town. The case remains open today and the origins hotly debated. While less well known than other UFO crashes, the Kecksburg event is popular in the area today and has caused the small town of Kecksburg to host an annual UFO themed festival every year.
The festival, run by the Kecksburg Volunteer Fire Department, is the perfect blend of small town festival and UFO conference. The event lasts all weekend and includes a parade on Saturday, a hot dog eating contest on Sunday, and a UFO conference on Sunday. I highly recommend attending, the event is a lot of fun and there are numerous interesting vendors (both paranormal/fortean researchers and local craft-makers).
The speakers at the conference are also great. Dr. Brian Parsons, Ronald L. Murphy Jr., and Stan Gordon are all speaking. I will also be giving a talk at the conference. Everything from cryptozoology to UFOs to other strange Pennsylvanian phenomena.
I will have a table where I will be selling CD copies of some of my best Crypto-Kid episodes. I will also be debuting a new map plotting out various regional names for Bigfoot-like creatures, dwarves, and canine cryptids throughout the USA. Finally, I will have several binders containing various examples of my research into several of my current projects.
I hope to see many new and familiar faces there.

You can find out more information about the Kecksburg Crash here.
You can learn about the festival here and here.

Because of my interest in newspaper accounts of the strange, I am including two newspaper articles from 1965 discussing the Kecksburg crash.
The Pittsburgh Press, December 10, 1965, pt. 1
The Pittsburgh Press, December 10, 1965, pt. 2

The Evening Standard, December 10, 1965, pt. 1
The Evening Standard, December 10, 1965, pt. 2



Sunday, May 7, 2017

Pennsylvania Bigfoot Camping Adventure - An Intense Event... In Tents



As I expressed last week, I love conferences. This year I am attending upwards of 13 different events and those that are later this year have some fierce competition as to my favorite event of the year. I couldn't have had a better time at the Pennsylvania Bigfoot Camping Adventure.

When I arrived at Benner's Meadow Run Campgrounds Friday it was sprinkling slightly. I helped set up my tent and then headed down to the pavilion where the event was being held. I saw that the infamous Legend of Boggy Creek was showing (and I had never gotten to view the movie before) so I grabbed my chair and watched it with my father. I was quite entertained by the movie and can see why so many cryptozoologists find it so significant in their upbring as a researcher. After that, I crawled into my warm (and dry) sleeping bag and went to sleep.

Saturday arrived with the thunder of raindrops pounding on my tent's roof. Aw Crap, I thought to myself as I got dressed and looked at the time: 6 a.m. Double Crap, the event didn't start until 10:30. I had to wait four hours before I could really begin my Bigfoot adventure. So, I did what any good cryptozoologist would do with four hours of free time on his hands in the middle of a supposed Bigfoot-infested camp grounds: I sat in the car with the heat on and read books.

Finally 9:30 rolled around and I glanced outside and saw Stan Gordon arriving. I jumped out of the car (rain coming down in buckets) and helped Stan and his wife, Deb, set up their table and canopy, all while getting wet and muddy in the process. After that most of the other vendors had arrived and the talks were about to start so I braved the elements for the short walk down to the pavilion to check out everything.

The rest of the day was pretty standard: talks went on all day and for the most part I wandered around the vendors catching up with friends and making new acquaintances. I got to meet Steve Kulls (The Sasquatch Detective), Jay Bachochin (of the WPI Hunts the Truth), Kenny Biddle (from Geeks and Ghosts), the lovely hosts of One Bizarre Podcast, Lon Strickler (Phantoms and Monsters), and John Sabol (The Ghost Excavator). I also got to catch up with some good friends of mine: David Weatherly and Dave Spinks (Society of the Supernatural), Ronald Murphy (The Crypto-Guru), Brian D. Parsons (Paranormal News Insider), Stan Gordon, and of course the one and only Eric Altman.

Later that night there was an auction where I got a couple New England Legends DVDs, which is a program that Jeff Belanger does. I got to meet Jeff last week at the Kent Paranormal Weekend and he is an awesome guy. After that we ended up staying at a hotel because the relentless rain caused our tent to leak. I only stayed for half of Sunday's events because I needed to get home. It operated the same as Saturday's except with different speakers.

I have to give Eric an enormous thank you and shout out because without him this event wouldn't have happened. I had such a wonderful time, despite the unendting torrential downpour. Eric said that this year will be the last of the event's for a while. He needs a break from the unending stress that putting together such an event creates. I respect that and respect him for doing such an awesome job at this event. When the PA Bigfoot Camping Adventure returns, though, I am getting tickets immeditately. I honestly can't explain how great I thought this event was. Thank you, Eric, for putting together the event and I look forward to the next one whenever it happens!

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Thursday, May 4, 2017

Small Town Monster's The Mothman of Point Pleasant Review



The Mothman is the gold standard of monster stories. Its extensive and detailed legend includes not just nighttime encounters with an unidentified creature of some sort, but it also includes UFO sightings, Men in Black, Native American curses, and even a mutated sandhill crane. But what makes the Mothman so alluring is that opposed to many monster legends... people actually saw the thing. Something was actually there. Over 100 witnesses claim to have encountered a flying humanoid weirdo of a creature.

The Mothman is also not a new story. It began in 1966 and has been retold in numerous mediums, from John Keel's seminal Mothman Prophecies to the movie of the same name; documentaries, novels, video games, and even comic books have all attempted at relaying the chillingly true tale of the Mothman.

I am personally an enormous Mothman fan. While I am a researcher of the weird and wonderful, I do not consider myself a researcher into the Mothman phenomenon. That story has been told and retold in numerous ways. I honestly feel that I couldn't contribute anything productive to the study, but I've hungrily consumed any and all Mothman related media I could get my paws on and still greedily want more. Now, though, I think I have found something that might hold off that hunger for a little while: The Mothman of Point Pleasant.

I was fortunate enough to be allowed to view a pre-release review copy of the movie, courtesy of Seth Breedlove, the movie's director. I honestly wasn't sure what to expect before I watched the movie. I am a fan of Small Town Monster's work but the previous movies they had done were all focused on smaller scale Bigfoot sighting flaps. I was skeptical of whether or not they would be able to cover the vast information connected to the Mothman. After viewing, I can thankfully say that they passed with flying colors.

The movie opens with some shots of the TNT area, where numerous sightings were reported, with Lyle Blackburn's creepy, Texas-twanged narration. I immediately got chills and knew I was in for one heck of a ride. Mothman covered the history of the Mothman phenomenon chronologically, from the Battle of Point Pleasant to the Silver Bridge collapse, and all the cryptid goodness in between. Breedlove and crew leave no stone unturned in their examination of the creature, interviewing key witnesses, well-known authorities on the events, and even just some of Point Pleasant's natives from the time of the events.

I actually did learn of a few cases I hadn't heard before and enjoyed hearing some familiar cases being told in a visual way. As much as I loved the great information and tales, I honestly think that the highlight of the movie was easily the visuals. Seth and company employed the use of aerial drones for awesome landscape shots, used numerous gorgeous photos of the TNT igloos and the area that surrounds them, and absolutely stunning digital animation. Honestly, my jaw dropped when I saw the animation segments, which showed the visuals of a story as the witness described what happened.

I cannot recommend this movie enough. If you have even a passing interest in the Mothman or strange stories, you will love The Mothman of Point Pleasant.

The Mothman of Point Pleasant, the fourth Small Town Monsters film, will be released on DVD and digitally on June 2, 2017. You can watch the trailer for the movie here https://youtu.be/Vqk9RlHA-3Y. You can also find more about Small Town Monsters and their documentaries at their website http://www.smalltownmonsters.com/.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Kent Paranormal Weekend

Conference season is a favorite of mine. I love going to events because I get to meet the researchers and authors I grew up watching on television and reading their books. I also get to hang out with some of the friends I have made like Ken Gerhard, Nick Redfern, Stan Gordon, and Ron Murphy. It is always a good time so needless to say I was excited as the first conference of the year was coming up.

I live just 15 minutes outside of Kent, Ohio. Kent is a college town, housing the fairly well-known Kent State University. Kent is also known in the paranormal circles for being a haunted hotspot. I was glancing through some of my ghost books before the event and when discussing haunted areas in Ohio, Kent took up a good portion of nearly every Ohio focused chapter.

The conference, simply called the Kent Paranormal Weekend, was held at the infamously haunted Kent Stage - a theater that supposedly boasts several ghosts. I was surprised to find out about it because before this year, I had never heard of the event, despite this being its third year.

Some of the speakers on this year's lineup included Nick Redfern (author of dozens of books about nearly every weird topic under the sun), Jeff Belanger (incredibly awesome ghost researcher that always has a smile on his face), Jim Harold (host of one of the best podcasts on the strange: The Paranormal Podcast), the Ohio Bigfoot Hunters (local group of like-minded individuals who are very nice), and the Haunted Housewives (two lovely ladies who spend their time ghost hunting and leading ghost walks).

I had a great time. I was wondering if I would go to many of the talks simply because I am slightly less interested in ghosts, which was the main topic of discussion, but I did attend quite a few of the talks and panel discussions and found them quite enjoyable.

I was also extremely excited to meet Jim Harold and Jeff Belanger for the first time. I love Jim's podcasts and have looked up to Jeff as a researcher for a long time. I wasn't disappointed. Jeff and Jim couldn't have been nicer. We talked quite a bit throughout the weekend about ghosts, cryptids, and pretty much anything weird and I feel like I came out of it with quite a bit of newfound knowledge.

I also have to give a shoutout to the people at the Kent Stage for hosting such a fantastic conference and running it so smoothly. I will definitely be attending next year and would recommend it to anyone else in the area!

Friday, March 31, 2017

New Publications of Mine

New "Animals and Men" issue was just released! Excellent articles and interesting ideas. I also had an article included in the issue, titled "Jumping to Conclusions: Could Kangaroos explain the American Dogman Phenomenon?" I was quite happy with how it turned out. Jon even included an accompanying comic strip. You can read it here.
The full table of contents is as follows:
2. Contents
3. Faculty
4. Editorial
9. Newsfile: New and Rediscovered
16. Newsfile: Chupacabras
19. Newsfile: Man Beasts
21. Newsfile: Mystery cats
23. Newsfile: Aquatic monsters
29. Newsfile Xtra (1): The Scottish “Polar Bears”
31. Newsfile Xtra (2): The Philippino“Polar Bears”
36. Watcher of the Skies by Corinna Downes
54. Phantom Black Dogs in the Netherlands by Loes Moddermann
65. Jumping to Conclusions: Could Kangaroos explain the American Dogman Phenomenon? by Colin Schneider
68. Phantom Kangaroos by Scott Kroll
78. Ape Canyon Feature Film seeks Financing by Harrison Demchick
71. Still on the Trail of the Tasmanian Wolf by Richard Freeman
81. Duties for Regional Representatives—A Discussion Document
82. Letters to the Editor
89. Reviews
92. Recent books from CFZ Press


Also, a new issue of the wonderful Cryptid Culture Magazine was released a couple days ago. I recieved mine in the mail and loved it. I had an article in there called "The Monsters of the Fay" about how cryptids and faerie lore could be connected. You can check it out here.
The full table of contents is as follows: 
6: Monsters of the Fay by Colin Schneider
9: The Water Hounds of Ireland by David Weatherly 
13: Dragon Puppet Theater by Jason Ropp
16: Clergy of the Deep: The Sea Monk and the Bishop Fish by John Meszaros
20: The Van Meter Visitor: A Case of High Strangeness by Kevin Nelson
26: A Brief History of SasWhat by Mark Matzke (I was recently featured on that excellent podcast which you can hear here.)
30: Cryptid Poetry by Richard Stevenson
33: Robroy Menzies, Crypto Artist by Robroy Menzies
41: Cryptozoologist: A Documentary
42: Water Monsters by Robert Robinson
46: Disney Cryptids by Scott C. Marlowe
55: The Green River Monster by Zach Bales


Both magazines are excellent and I would recommend them to anyone interested in cryptozoology or the weird. 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Upcoming Event Appearances

I love going to conferences, and I love giving talks at conferences. One of the most frequent questions I get is about what conferences I will be at and what ones I'll be speaking at. So here is a complete list, as of right now, of what events I'll be and/or speaking at.

Kent Paranormal Weekend - April 29-20
The Kent Stage, 175 E Main St, Kent, OH 44240, USA

Pennsylvania Bigfoot Camping Adventure - May 5-7
Benner's Meadow Run Camp Grounds, 315 Nelson Rd, Farmington, PA 15437, USA

Ohio Bigfoot Conference - May 20
Salt Fork State Park Lodge & Conference Center Lore City, Ohio

Kecksburg UFO Festival - July 28-30
5128 Water St, Mt Pleasant, PA 15666, USA
I will be speaking Sunday about the basics of cryptozoology and some regional cryptids.

5th Annual Strange Encounters in Pennsylvania Conference - August 5
403 Donruth Ln, Johnstown, PA 15909, USA
I will be speaking here about cryptid mutilations.

SquatchFest - August 25-27
Mohican-Memorial State Forest, 975 O D N R Mohican Rd 51, Perrysville, OH 44864, USA
I will be speaking here about the "weird" aspects of the Bigfoot phenomenon


Cryptid Con - September 9-10
405 Wilkinson Blvd, Frankfort, KY 40601, USA

Mothman Festival - September 16-17
Point Pleasant, WV, USA

Burr Oak Bigfoot Expo - September 30
Burr Oak Lodge, 10660 Burr Oak Lodge Rd, Glouster, OH 45732, USA

Albatwitch Festival - October 14
21 North 2nd Street, Columbia, PA, United States
I will be speaking here about diminutive humanoids around the world of cryptozoology.

Pittsburgh MUFON Conference - November 4
Bishop Connare Center 900 Seminary Drive Greensburg Pa 15601

Saturday, March 11, 2017

A Happy Announcement

Two weeks ago I announced that I was leaving my old podcast. While I am still saddened by that, I would like to thank everyone who commented on my blog and on Facebook. One of the commenters was Dr. Brian Parsons, a good friend of mine. He said that the network he works for was looking for a new show. We talked about it for a bit, and he set up a call between me and the people in charge.
I know many of you were saying I should go solo, but, at my age, going solo and being taken seriously just won't happen. If I wanted to continue doing a show, I would have to do it through a network.
So, anyways, after some discussions, they liked me and decided to give me a go-ahead for doing a show!
The show is called Crypto-Kid, named after my blog, and is premiering live on WCJV Digital Broadcasting. WCJV is an Internet radio station based in Youngstown, New York. One of the neat things about the show is that since it is live, anyone can call in and share their experiences and opinions on the air.
I'm going to have guests on for most of the episodes, but occasionally I'll go solo for an episode. The show is only an hour long and goes from 8 pm to 9 pm on Monday evenings EST.
You can find the network's website here: http://www.wcjvradio.com/
I hope you all listen in! I'm definitely looking forward to the Crypto-Kid radio show!


Sunday, February 26, 2017

A Sad Announcement

The life of a 16-year-old Fortean is a hard and stressful one. Don't get me wrong, I love what I do, but it can be difficult. I often find that people don't take me or my research seriously, often that assume I've simply watched a lot of "Finding Bigfoot" and "Mountain Monsters", and I seem to a get a lot of "well, isn't that cute?" as a response to an attempt to share research. That being said, I am still extremely lucky to have met so many amazing people that do take me seriously and have helped me in numerous ways.

As many of you have seen, I'm almost constantly working on some project, and I have tons of projects being worked on lately. Yet, one project lately has taken priority over everything else: Inside the Goblin Universe. The show was doing pretty well, we had a fair amount of regular listeners, we got huge names on the podcast, I was learning and getting better at audio editing, and I finally had something I could always lean back on if someone wasn't taking me seriously. But, like all good things, it was not to last. I don't want to go into specific details, I care not for drama. Long story short, I have been removed as a host of the podcast. I can't help but feel like some of it was because of my age. The show is supposedly going to continue, but I will not be connected to it in any way. 

Needless to say, I had a lot of soul-searching and thinking in front of me this weekend. I'm certainly not done with the field, I don't think anything could keep me away, but I wasn't sure if I was done with podcasting. 

If you enjoyed my show, don't fret, I'm am not quitting podcasting. I might take a little break, I might not. I don't know. I'm looking into a few possibilities (if you have any ideas, let me know) for continuing in the world of podcasts, but I'm unsure when I'll be back. 

I want to thank all of my listeners and guests and apologize to those who recorded with us but will never get to see the episode released. 

Monday, February 6, 2017

Crypto-television: A Series of Serious Series Reviews

Lately, I have been in a type of television conundrum: I love cryptozoology, but cannot seem to find any worthwhile cryptozoological shows on television to watch. So, I decided to go on a hunt through the recesses of modern crypto-television.

Monsters and Mysteries in America/Unsolved

I began my search with watching several episodes of the popular Monsters and Mysteries in America and Monsters and Mysteries Unsolved. The first aired in 2013 and ran for three seasons, and the second aired last year. Each episode looks at a handful of mysteries, most focusing on various cryptids. Their portrayal of the phenomena is pretty accurate and they generally get several researchers on to discuss cases and ideas, but the show tends to focus on the sensational aspects without any skeptical points of view. The show also recreates various cases with a person in a rubber suit and some B-grade actors -- the effect of which is quite amusing.


Mountain Monsters

This infamous show was also on the top of my list to peruse, largely due to the huge cult following this show seems to have acquired. After watching two episodes, I realized either the show producers or the team themselves don't care about accurate research. It seems that the bare minimum was done before heading out on a hunt. I think that the AIMS team uses the premise of monster hunting to get on television playing with their firearms. I have no problem with the show, in fact, I think that it is great mindless entertainment, but that is all that it is.


Swamp Monsters

Swamp Monsters is essentially the same show as Mountain Monsters but in the Bayou instead of the Appalachia. The team members of BEAST (Bayou Enforcement Agency on Supernatural Threats). The show only had three episodes and there isn't much worth discussing from any of them.


Finding Bigfoot

Finding Bigfoot is another show that has gained a large cult following. During the first couple seasons, the show did some pretty good research and investigative work. Over time, though, the show began to outgrow its stay and seems to be riding purely on the unending dedication of its fans. The show certainly isn't as bad as many people claims.


Monsters Underground

Monsters Underground has a simple premise: there are mysterious creatures that supposedly live in caves around the world, and this team is going after them all! The only thing is... there aren't that many that supposedly live in caves. Needless to say, the show didn't last long -- and the short time it did air was not spent terribly productively.


MonsterQuest

Monster Quest was technically the first cryptozoology focused show to be produced. It lasted for 5 seasons and each episode focused on a different cryptid or a specific regional aspect of a creature with a larger range. I personally love this show. Each episode did an excellent job of introducing the creature and several cases as well as consulting several authorities on the creature each episode. Something else that made the show unique is that they consulted the skeptical side of thinking as well, not just those who wholeheartedly believe in the creatures.


Killing Bigfoot

Over the past few months, the show Killing Bigfoot has been making waves in the world of cryptozoology, to the point that some disgruntled bloggers and researchers put together a petition prevent the airing of the show. The reason the show created so much controversy is the argument: whether or not Bigfoot should be killed in order to prove its existence. The show seems to have really relied on that controversy in order to raise viewership. Unfortunately, the show follows the same formula as Mountain Monsters and Swamp Monsters among others: a bunch of bearded rednecks with large guns traipsing the wilderness searching for monsters. Killing Bigfoot is nothing really new or special but is fairly entertaining to watch.


So, what is your favorite crypto-show? Let me know in the comments!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Inside the Goblin Universe Episode One added to Archives

The first episode of my podcast Inside the Goblin Universe (also hosted by Ronald Murphy) has been added to the Paranormal UK Network Archives. If you missed the airing on Thursday, you can still listen to it here.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Inside the Goblin Universe

The first episode of Inside the Goblin Universe (hosted by Ronald Murphy and myself) airs at 10 pm to Midnight EST tomorrow on the Paranormal UK Radio Network. We discuss how Ron and I met, our research, and what the Goblin Universe is as well as have Timothy Renner, the author of Beyond the Seventh Gate. I am extremely excited to hear what everyone thinks about the show. Ron and I are extremely proud to be the hosts of a show, especially being on such an excellent network. If you are unable to listen to the episode when it airs, you can listen to it on any of several archives which can be found on the website. After the episode airs, I will post a link to the episode.