Archive for the ‘Mystery’ Category

We have explored less than 5% of the world’s oceans.

 

I know I post a lot of this stuff but Sweet Mother of God there are some horrific creatures lurking under the surface of the ocean. And listen, don’t give me crap like, “Oh, that’s just a rotting whale” or something. I know a sea monster when I see one, damn it.

[click to enlarge, but at your own risk]

It’s true, man. Sort of. Listen up . . .tut

Although it’s been nearly 94-years since some dude named Howard Carter discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun on February 23rd, 1923, we’re still learning wild stuff about the Egyptian boy king. Get this – Tut’s knife that Carter first described in 1925 is made of a meteorite.

Using X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometry,which I use all the time by the way, a team of scientists found the dagger’s blade had the chemical signature of something that came from space. The nickel was a big giveaway, Space.com says. Whereas typical iron ore contains about 4% nickel, it was more like 11% percent in this weapon. Cobalt traces also backed up this idea, because of course it did.

The scientists say ancient Egyptians probably placed great value on these meteoric objects, because, you know, they came from outer space and stuff.

If you want to see the space dagger, take a road trip over to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo where it’s on display.

PS: Admit it. You thought I meant King Tut had an actual alien space knife, didn’t you? Ha-ha! Burn. Still fascinating though, amirite? 

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Roman Fedortsov is a deep sea fisherman who resides in Russia. He’s been taking photos of SWEET MOTHER OF GOD WHAT THE HELL ARE THOSE THINGS?

Seriously, I ran across these photos on the Moscow Times website (seriously, I read the Moscow Times online and it’s damn good) and they’re apparently real. This dude is reportedly based in Murmansk, which is a real place in Russia and not another planet where Hell has opened up and set demons free to roam the land and the seas.

As you peruse these adorable photos, please remember that we as humans have explored just 5% of the world’s oceans. Chills, man. I don’t know the official names of these atrocities so I’ll make some up on my own. Enjoy, and happy swimming!

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Basic Poisonous Ocean Spider. This is a baby.

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Here we have the Aborted Ocean Piglet, the Bug-Eyed Snot Eel and his cousin the Bug-Eyed Turd Eel.

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The rare Laser-Eyed Blackfish from Hell.

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A run-of-the-mill Giant-Eyed Saw-Toothed Demon Lizard.

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The Loch Ness Million-Toothed Monster.

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I’m sorry but that’s no fish. That’s an alien. Jeebus.

On a related note . . .

alien

gascapSorta sounds like a Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew mystery, amirite? But seriously, I once had a mystery involving a lost gas cap.

I mentioned this briefly in a story a couple years ago, but thankfully this was a mystery that ultimately had an explanation, albeit a bit of a mind-bending one.

Here’s what went down. One year while driving home from vacation, I stopped to get gas on the West Virginia Turnpike. So far so good. But as I pulled back onto the highway and started to accelerate I heard something bouncing on the roof of my 4-Runner.

What the hell?

It was then I suddenly realized I’d put the gas cap on the roof as I filled up (this was before they were attached) and forgot to replace it. That was my gas cap bouncing away, presumably onto the highway and into oblivion.

Although it was an inconvenience, it was otherwise not that big of a deal. When I got home I bought a new one and went on with my life. However . . .

It had to have been 2-months later as I was walking out to get my mail when I noticed something in my driveway. I walked over, looked down, and there on the ground, unmistakably, was my original gas cap.

What the hell? To say I was bewildered was an understatement.

As odd as it sounds, the first thing that raced across my mind was the irrational thought that somebody had found my gas cap, brought it to my house, and threw it in my driveway.

Of course, that made zero sense, and even if somebody had found my gas cap, decided to return it and somehow figured out where I lived, I’m pretty sure they’d knock on my door rather than toss it in my driveway.

After getting my head together and thinking this over for a few minutes, the only thing I could surmise was that it had been stuck on the roof of my 4-Runner somehow, probably on the luggage rack, and had fallen off in my driveway. That had to be it, right?

Still, what are the odds that, after me driving around for weeks, it would fall off right there in my driveway?

That’s one hell of a coincidence.

Ever heard of the Antikythera Mechanism? No? Prepare to be amazed.antikythera-mechanism

Noted physicist Richard Feynman wrote in 1976 that the Antikythera Mechanism was “so entirely different and strange that it is nearly impossible to describe. It is some kind of machine with gear trains, very much like the inside of a modern wind-up alarm clock.

The Antikythera Mechanism was found on a sunken ship in the Aegean Sea between mainland Greece and Crete. The ship was assumed to be Roman and, when it sank just off the coast of the island in the middle of the 1st century BC, it carried a large number of artifacts dating back to as early as the 4th century BC.

In 1900, Greek sponge divers found the shipwreck, which was submerged in nearly 150 feet of water.

The bronze-and-wood object, later named Antikythera Mechanism, was found with a shipload of marble, coins, glassware, and pottery. Since all the other artifacts were more apparently worthy of conservation, the mechanism was largely ignored until 1951. After  two decades of study, the first publication on the Antikythera Mechanism was made in 1974 by physicist and historian Derek de Solla Price. Price’s work was unfinished when he died in 1983, having never figured out how the device actually worked.

However, scientists are pretty sure about this – the Antikythera Mechanism was designed to calculate dates and predict astronomical phenomena, so it was theoretically the earliest analog computer. Remember that it was made sometime in 4-million BC.

Here is the incredible description of the Antikythera Mechanism:

Reproduction of the original.

Reproduction of the original.

Consisting of at least 30 bronze gears in a wooden container that was only the size of a shoebox, the highly advanced clockwork mechanism was thousands of years ahead of its time. By turning a hand-crank, the user could move forward or backward in time. The crank made the gears move and rotate a series of dials and rings on which there are inscriptions and annotations of Greek zodiac signs and Egyptian calendar days. The mechanism tracked the lunar calendar, predicted eclipses, and charted the position and phase of the Moon. It also tracked the seasons and ancient festivals like the Olympics. The calendar is based on the time from one full moon to the next, and a special dial allowed the user to also envision the seasons, which would have been useful for agriculture. Since the ancient Babylonians figured out the cycle of eclipses, the inventor of the Antikythera Mechanism included two dials that rotate to show both lunar and solar eclipses. But the most sophisticated thing the mechanism did was lunar calculations—it could figure out the Moon’s period at a given time and model its elliptical orbit.

Bottom line, whoever built this contraption was a freaking genius.

The amazing thing is, it seems that the knowledge to build such a mechanism was lost through time, perhaps because it was a specialty device or too expensive to create. Similar astronomical clocks didn’t reappear in Europe until the 14th century.

And oh, one more thing – planetary motion in the mechanism was accurate to within 1 degree in 500-years.

Amazing.

And while many (but not all) of its functions have been figured out, how and where it was used are still unknown. ‘Tis a mystery for the ages. Somebody, though, was way ahead of their time. Way, way ahead.

So the wordwide interweb and Twitterverse is all aflutter about the new photo of Nessie, the legendary Loch Ness monster. People just losing their gourds over it. Well, I took a gander and even I know what three seals look like when I see them. See, one has his head above water and the others are jumping around having fun.  Mystery solved. Next I’ll be solving the mystery of Stonehenge. Thank you and have a nice day.

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lost-keys-feature-image-0

Not my keys.

Have you ever had something happen to you that was so weird and unexplainable you never figured it out? Yeah, me too. What follows is a simple, yet enduring mystery of my life that, although it happened nearly 30-years ago, still bugs me to this day.

It was an otherwise uneventful day, as I’d just returned from teaching and coaching at Greenfield-McClain. I drove home to my house in Bourneville, pulled into the driveway, grabbed my backpack, and got out of the car.

About halfway between my car and my front door, I realized I didn’t have my keys. Assuming they were in the ignition, I went back to get them.

Nope.

I then checked my backpack, thinking that maybe I’d dropped them in a side pocket or something.

Nothing.

Puzzled, I proceeded to look on the floor of the car, under the seats, on the ground around and under the car, and of course my pockets.

The keys were gone. They’d vanished.

Trust me, I looked and looked and looked. I was completely perplexed, baffled, and flummoxed. Also bewildered. It made zero sense.

Where the hell were they? Hey, I’d just driven home.

I even looked in places where I knew they weren’t, like in the house after I eventually broke in and retrieved my extra set of keys I had there. I thought maybe I’d had some sort of stroke or something and actually gone inside the house and left them there. And yes, I looked in probably a 50-foot area around my car. I even borrowed one of those metal detectors old dudes use on the beach in an attempt to find my wayward keys.

Gone.

I even considered wacky explanations like these:

  • Had they fallen into a time portal and were actually on the ground, except in 1881 or something?
  • Did I drop them, only to have a squirrel or chipmunk make the heist and scamper away?
  • Did a bird see a shiny object and make the grab?

Then I had an epiphany. They had to be on the top of my car! They had to be! How could I be so dumb?

Nah. Not there either.

Needless to say I never found my keys. For years I expected the meter reader, a local kid, anybody, to come to my door, hold up my keys, and say, “Are these yours?”

No such luck.

My keys were gone. They’d disappeared into the ether and the mists of time.

And occasionally, out of the blue and 29-years later, this thought still pops into my head:

“Where the hell are my keys?”

Ever have something weird and unexplainable happen to you? Just an odd occurrence that sends a little chill up your spine? Not scary or anything, just odd and a little amusing? I had one of those today. You see, I was driving home from Chillicothe and happened to be listening to a song from the Pink Floyd album, “Atom Heart Mother” called “Fat Old Son.”

Anyway, I pulled off at an off-ramp, stopped at a light, when something caught my eye. I glanced to my right and there, looking at me, was a cow. It was standing facing the other way but was sort of turned around looking at me with a look only a cow can give you. You know, like this:

cow

Not the actual cow, but damn I wish I’d taken a photo.

At that point, as the music played, something began gnawing at me but I couldn’t put my finger on it. It was sort of a mix of deja vu and confusion, and then it hit me . . .

The album cover for “Atom Heart Mother” looks like this:

floydcow1

I know, right? What are the odds? That’s just cool and a little creepy at the same time. And does this sort of stuff happen to everybody or am I the only kook that notices it?

PS – As it gazed into my eyes I swear that, somehow, the cow knew.

Admit it. It’s 2016, and we should know pretty much everything about the world we live in, right?

Wrong.

The truth is we’re just beginning to understand the world around us, not to mention the world outside us, as in space. For now however, let’s stick to good old planet earth. What follows are four of the most amazing unknown mysteries of this home we call planet earth.

Let us commence . . .

Unclimbed Mountains

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Jonlamapo, Tibet. Unclimbed.

In the 160 years since mountaineering became popular, we’ve climbed most of the world’s greatest peaks. Everest, K2, and Mt. Kilimanjaro have been conquered repeatedly, as have hundreds of others that most of us have never heard of. Hell, climbing Everest has become something of a joke, as it’s basically a guided sherpa tour these days. Still, we’re still a long, long way from getting to the summit of every mountain on earth. The fact is that there are infinitely more unclimbed mountains than there are climbed ones. That means there are hundreds of mountains that have never, ever been climbed or seen by a human being. Amazing really.

Unknown Animal Species

Consider this:

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Newly discovered Vampire Crab. Yikes.

In 1972, some biologist named Jennifer Owen began to document the species that she found roaming around her suburban garden. By the time 40-years had passed, she’d noted over 8,000 species, 20 of which had never before been seen in England. And of those 20, four were completely new to science. Without leaving her home, Owen had accidentally documented four entirely new species.

Yep. That happened.

This little anecdote demonstrates how little we really know about the species with which we share our planet. There’s such a mind-bogglingly large number of creatures out there that people are stumbling over completely new ones all the time, often in the strangest places. As amazing as Owen’s finds were, they’re not even the most improbable. Dave Ebert, a scientist living in Taiwan, has found 24 new species of shark just by browsing his local fish market.

Mind-boggling indeed.

Factoid: Over the last month a new species of bat, dolphin and shark were discovered. Surprised yet?

Here’s the deal – by one 2011 estimate, the number of undocumented species on Earth stands at 7.5 million. At the time that estimate was made, we’d only cataloged 1.2 million. That means that up to 90 percent of marine species and 86 percent of land species could be utterly unknown to science.

Unknown Plant Species

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Attenborough’s Pitcher Plant

Biologists have described and classified 1.7 million plants and animals as of 2013, less than one-quarter of the total species estimated in the world. Scientists figure there are still over five million species waiting to be found.

And I’ve written about this before, but I need to include it here as well. Roughly 50% of all pharmaceuticals we use today are derived from the earth’s plants. Not that surprising. However, we’ve only fully examined and tested 10-15% of the world’s plants. What exists in the other 85-90% of the plants we haven’t studied? Cures for cancer or other diseases? That’s one hell of a reason for saving our rainforests and other plant life, amirite?

This information reminded me of something a very old Montserratian woman told me once. She said that the cure for any disease can be found in plant or animal life right here on earth because the earth created them, and that we just haven’t found them yet. Makes sense when you really think about it.

Unexplored Caves

Caves

Obviously not unexplored since somebody took the photo. Der.

Followers of Shoe: Untied are an educated lot, so you all know that most of the Earth’s oceans remain unexplored. However, there are places right below us that we don’t really know about either. Beneath our feet are literally thousands upon thousands of caves that no human being has ever set foot in. These subterranean worlds aren’t even in the minority. One estimate by National Geographic put the number of undiscovered caves at 90 percent of the planet’s total.

It’s sort of chilling to learn that the vast majority of caves are hidden, with no visible entrances at ground level. Even in a region of the world as mapped and meticulously explored as the USA, it’s thought that only 50 percent of our caves have likely been found.

This means that all of those grand, crystal-filled caverns you occasionally see photos of online or those big tourist attractions like Old Man’s Cave might only be the tip of the iceberg.

There’s a whole undiscovered world down there, a lightless place cut off from the surface for centuries, perhaps millennia. Good God man, there’s no telling what’s down there. Maybe some of those unknown animal species?

And as I mentioned before, we haven’t even begun to study the ocean. Not really. Hell, we can’t even get down there. The Mariana Trench alone (off the coast of Japan) is nearly 7-miles deep, man! Maybe Godzilla is down there.

godzilla

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Not Sparky, but there’s a striking resemblance.

Well, this was terrifying.

So I’m sleeping like a baby the other night when I’m dragged slowly from the Land of Nod by a noise. It was a low, growling sound, sounding like a panther as it eyes its prey. I sat up and glanced at the clock.

3:17 A.M.

Damn it, it’s always between 3:00 am and 3:30 am when weird things happen at my house.

Only then did I realize the noise I’d heard was Sparky. There he was, standing at the foot of the bed, growling, and staring at the doorway . . . and the dark hallway beyond.

That’ll wake a man up fairly quickly.

For a few seconds I did the same thing. Stare I mean. Growling would’ve just been weird. Anyway, I have a little sensor light by the backdoor inside the kitchen because I often have to let a certain 4-legged furball out in the pre-dawn hours. As Spark is growling and I’m staring into the darkened hallway, that light comes on.

From two rooms away.

For a few seconds I was indecisive. Sparky? Not so much. He sprung into action like a Hound from Hell, leaping off the bed and tearing towards the kitchen. Whatever, or whoever, is out there is in for a bloodbath. I grab a Civil War era bayonet off the wall by my bed and follow. As Spark makes his charge he’s emitting a noise I’ve never heard from him before. He’s barking, but it’s a deeper, more feral sound, mixed with a growl, really frightening.

I swear to God, at this point I was 100% sure somebody was in our kitchen.

I also thought he’d picked the wrong house, because he was about to meet 22-pounds of pissed-off territory protecting terrier who happens to jump like a pogo stick and has a penchant for going for the throat (just ask that homeless dude out by Walmart). Not to mention the 225-pound guy with the bayonet that was coming, not so much to engage in combat (I’d prefer he run), but there was no way he was going to hurt my best friend.

Long story short, unless burglar dude had a gun he was in for a soul and larynx crushing defeat.

So I follow, through the hallway and back bedroom, into the kitchen. The whole sequence, from waking up to getting to the kitchen, probably took no more than 30-seconds. But when I got to the kitchen Sparky was there, going crazy and pawing at the backdoor. No intruder in sight. I checked the door and it was locked.

Strange.

I then did a quick search of the house, including the basement. Nothing. In the meantime, Spark was doing a search himself, behind chairs, under tables, still growling all the while. After we were convinced we were alone, I figured it would be a good idea to take him out for a quick look around the yard.

Other than dogs barking a block over, nothing. Still, dogs were barking . . .

Did somebody try to get in? Did Sparky hear the doorknob rattle? Could that have made the sensor come on? Was it nothing at all? Whatever it was, suffice it to say it took me awhile to fall back asleep, but I eventually did.

Sparky? He lay by my bedroom door, head on paws, watching. I tried to get him to come up with me on the bed, but he would have none of it. He was still there when my alarm went off at 6:00 A.M.

Man’s best friend? Damn straight.

questionHave you ever had something happen to you that was just completely unexplainable? I’ve a had a few, but usually they’ve been sort of silly, innocuous events that simply made me shake my head. For instance, I once returned home from school on a bright spring day, got out of my car, and walked to my front door carrying my backpack and stuff. When I got to the door I reached in my pocket to get my keys and they weren’t there.

Frustrated, I walked the 20-feet back to my car, opened the door, and looked in the ignition. Nothing. I mean, I knew I’d had them because I’d just driven home 30-seconds ago. Long story short, I looked for those keys for the next hour as well as time and time again over the next few days. I combed through the car, my backpack, and retraced my steps over and over. Luckily I had a spare set hidden near the front door, but I never found those original keys again. They had to be somewhere, either in the car or between the car and my front door. Nope, they were gone forever, never to be found again.

Gremlins? Key fairies? Ghosts? Did I drop them and a chipmunk or bird grab them in the few seconds I walked to the door? I never found out. It’s one of my life’s enduring mysteries, but somewhat amusing and not as intriguing, or unsettling, as one I’ll recount later.

Sometimes weird things happen and there’s an explanantion. One year driving home from vacation, I stopped to get gas on the West Virginia Turnpike. As I pulled back onto the highway I heard something bouncing on the roof of my 4-Runner. I suddenly realized I’d put the gas cap on the roof as I filled up (this was before they were attached) and forgot to replace it. That was my gas cap bouncing away.

When I got home I bought a new one, no big deal, and went on with my life. Weeks later I was walking out to get my mail and noticed something in my driveway. I walked over, looked down, and there on the ground was my original gas cap.

What the hell? After puzzling over this for a minute, the only thing I could surmise was that it had been stuck on my roof somehow, maybe on the luggage rack, and had fallen off in my driveway. Still, what are the odds it would fall off, after me driving around for weeks, right there in my driveway?

Weird.

But without a doubt the most unsettling, surreal, chilling, and to this day unexplained thing that’s ever happened to me occurred another time. It happened years ago when I was dating a girl who worked for a travel bureau. Her job was to act as a chaperone on bus tours around the country. Anyway, she had to work a tour through the south that was departing from Louisville, KY, and asked if I’d drive her to the hotel where everyone was to meet. The plan was that she would leave with her travel group that night and I’d stay at the hotel and leave the next morning.

I checked into the hotel, but at some point after she left I decided that rather than stay there I’d drive up to the University of Cincinnati to see my cousin Mick, who was playing basketball at UC. I called him, told him I was coming, and headed north. But once again something made me change my mind. I’m not sure why but I decided to go home. Remember this was before cell phones, back when if you were on the road you were really by yourself, out of touch with anybody.

So I was a little surprised when I arrived home a few hours later (it had to be around 2:00 AM) to find my father standing on my front porch. Puzzled, I asked what was wrong. He seemed upset but really glad to see me. It was then he told me what had transpired. It seems he’d received a call from Mick, who was more than a little concerned about me. Sure, because I hadn’t shown up in Cincinnati, but also because of a call he’d received a few minutes after my call earlier in the evening. Here’s the call as he told it, word for word:

Mick: “Hello.”

Male Voice: “Did you just receive a call from Dave Shoemaker?”

Mick: “Yeah. Why?”

Male Voice: “Is he traveling alone?”

Mick: “Who is this?”

Click.

Well, as you might imagine my cousin was more than a little alarmed. Had someone been in my hotel room? How did they know I’d called him? How did they have his number? Why did they want to know if I was alone?

What the hell?

After I called Mick and assured him I hadn’t been beheaded by a serial killer, I sat down with dad and tried to figure this thing out. We even called the hotel and questioned the manager.

Nothing. No answers. It just made no sense.

For years I puzzled over that call, and I was never able to resolve, in my mind, what happened that night. I think of it less now, although it still comes to mind from time-to-time.

Still, it lingers, and I still wonder.

Who made that phone call? And why?

Me, circa 1967.

I’ve been wanting to write about this for awhile, but have been putting it off for obvious reasons. You know, I didn’t want anyone to think I was taking a stroll down Cuckoo Street or anything. Still, after the events of the other night and with Halloween coming up, I thought it might be time. Read on . . .It’s no surprise to some of my friends and family that the house I’m living in has a ghost hanging around in it. In fact, after reading my story about Sparky and the backdoor I had more than one person state matter-of-factly, “That wasn’t a burglar. That was your ghost.”

Shoot. In my excitement I hadn’t even thought of that. Hell, that’s exactly who it was. My ghost, just messin’ with me again.

For those of you that don’t know, I’m back living in the house I grew up in. The house and I are the same age, and I’ve lived here off-and-on over my life, although this is my first time back since the Spring of ’98. So, I obviously know this house better than anyone, and trust me when I say it’s haunted.

It is. Of that I have zero doubt.

There’s never been a murder committed nor has anybody has ever died here, as far as I know. Maybe something horrible happened before the house was built. Maybe the house is on Native American burial ground or something.

Maybe.

Yeah, I can hear the chuckles, see the shaking of the heads. I can also see some people nodding knowingly, having had similar experiences themselves. My sisters are two of the latter. They know. Just ask them or anyone else that’s lived here with me. They all have stories they can tell, I guarantee it.

Note: Please leave said discussions strictly to the ghost thing. You know, with the exes.

Anywho, my ghost is not really a scary ghost, although sometimes he can be a little, well, unnerving. All in all I think he’s just having a little fun.

I think.

I believe that because I’ve never really felt “threatened” per se. Thought – I hope that doesn’t change after this blog is posted. Is my ghost looking over my shoulder as I type this? Yikes.

And how do I know he’s a he? I’m not certain. It’s just always felt like a male presence to me.

As a kid he was just that, more of a feeling, as I never really saw him or any of his handiwork. By “feeling” I mean you’d just sort of know somebody was there, maybe in your room at night or following you up the basement stairs, stuff like that. On a related note, typing that just gave me a little chill.

To this day, one of my sisters is afraid to go to the back of the basement where our old coal bin used to be. She swears when she was a kid she heard a baby crying back there. I know, creepy.

Those stairs I mentioned earlier? I have never walked up them in my life without fighting the urge to run the last few steps. Going down? Nothing. Leaving? Freak Out City. I know, I know, it sounds strange, but damn it, it’s true. About halfway up I just know something’s about to grab me from behind. Others have had the same feeling.

Here’s an incident from my youth that my family remembers clearly. It was Christmas morning, and my sisters and I had awakened pre-dawn to open our presents. My older cousin John lived across the street with his parents and twin sisters, and he was always playing tricks on me. As I was opening presents, I saw something out of the corner of my eye. Our front door had a little diamond shaped window on it, and I saw a face pressed against that window, looking down at me from about 20-feet away. I laughed, certain that it was John coming over to see our presents. I jumped up and went to the door, opened it, and nobody was there. Still laughing, I ran across the street in the snow thinking he was messing with us. I went in the front door and asked where John had gone, only to told he was still in bed. I ran to his room and sure enough, he was sleeping. Even then I thought he had run home and was pretending to sleep, until I went back outside and saw just one set of tracks in the snow, mine, leading from our house to theirs.

As I write this I can still see that face, sort of pressed and distorted against the window pane, looking down at me.

Living here in my early 20’s I had several weird incidents that some of my friends witnessed. Things like coming home late at night and finding the stereo on, things disappearing, hell, one night I came home in the wee hours of the morning to find an old porkpie hat sitting smack dab in the center of my living room floor. Dead serious. That was a tad unsettling.

Stuff always happens between 3:03 and 3:23 AM. The Sparky episode the other night? 3:17. Just throwin’ that little fact out there. Also, virtually every single night I’ve lived here I wake up in the middle of the night, glance at the clock, and see that it’s somewhere between 3:03 and 3:23.

Always.

One night back in the 90s my wife and I were awakened by a loud smack on the front door. It sounded as if somebody just hit the wooden door with the palm of their hand really hard. I ran to the door, opened it, and saw nothing. The eerie thing was that the storm door, between the front door and the outside, was locked. Now I’m no genius, but it was obvious the door had been hit from the . . . inside.

On another occasion we were awakened by an ungodly white, bright light shining through our bedroom window. It literally lit up the whole room with this unnatural, humming light. It was as if a UFO had landed right outside the house. We both sat up, and in an instant it went off as if someone had flipped a switch. Again, I went out to investigate. Nothing but crickets chirping.

Note: If you know my second wife you know she’s not prone to histrionics. Ask her about this. It still gives her the heebies to this day.

One of the first things I noticed after moving back in last January was the pictures. As they had in the past, they were moving during the night. Nothing major, they’d just be moved towards the edge of an endtable, maybe occasionally turned backwards. Not every night, maybe once or twice a month. This was so commonplace in the past I’d just straighten them out without giving it a second thought, and that’s what I began doing again. Never gave it a thought, I just sort of fell back into that practice. Nothing is ever broken, it even seems like my ghost takes special care not to do any damage. Thanks ghost!

A couple weeks after I moved back in, I was awakened (a little after 3:00 AM, naturally) by voices that sounded like they were just outside my bedroom window. Remember this was pre-Sparky. It sounded as if a conversation was taking place and I couldn’t make out words, just sort of low mumbles, almost childlike, unearthly in a way. Also, it was two distinct voices, one higher than the other. At first I  thought, OK, somebody is at my sister’s house next door, talking in the driveway. I got up and looked out the window. Nothing. The porch light was on next door so I could see everything, except right under my window which made me a little uneasy. With that in mind I went outside to have a look-see. Everything was normal, or so it seemed. I convinced myself that, hell, maybe it was my sister’s cats, I know cats can make some weird noises at times . . . ah, who am I kidding? No way it was cats.

The next night it happened again. Same time. A low mumbling, sounding like a conversation between irritated elves or something. For some reason this made me mad, and in a very loud voice I said, “HEY! That’s enough! I need to get some sleep!”

Mumbles?

Now you really think I’m nuts, but as odd as it sounds that was the last I heard from the Irritated Mumbling Elf Dudes.

My old dog Poe was here in the 90s and he would sometimes appear to be watching something float through the room. Now Sparky does the same thing. He’ll be on the couch, slowly raise his head, and apparently watch something go slowly across the room. Every once in a while this will be accompanied by a low growl. He doesn’t seem scared or bothered by this, but then again Sparky scoffs at fear, laughs in the face of danger, abhors chickens (and I mean the chicken part literally). Hell, Satan could appear in the living room and Spark would go straight for his throat, then rip off the horns and use them as a chew toy.

So yeah, I have a ghost, or something, in my house. As I said, he seems more ornery than anything, just messin’ with me every now and then. As a matter of fact, I’ve sort of taken a liking to him. Sparky wasn’t happy with the doorknob rattling high jinks the other night but it’s sort of comforting to know he’s on high alert, looking out for me.

So, until I see glowing eyeballs in the closet or hear a blood-curdling death scream in the middle of the night I can live with it. Like I said, he’s been a harmless ghost.

So far.

J-u-s-t a little chilling.

Someone in the Backseat

Posted: October 30, 2015 in Fears, Mystery
Tags:

I’ve never been more scared than I was that night.HoodedFigure_zps55364230

I’d been out with a girl I was dating from Bainbridge. I left her place around 1:00 AM, and as I drove east by Jones Levee Road something made me look out the window to my right. I immediately looked back ahead, but I’d seen something out of the corner of my eye.

Somebody was sitting in my backseat.

Yep, as I’d glanced out the passenger side window I distinctly saw somebody out of the corner of my eye, silently sitting there.

It’s sort of a primal fear, isn’t it? Somebody behind you?

He must have snuck into my car when I was at my girlfriend’s house.

Was it a former boyfriend of hers? A former flame of mine? Random mugger? Serial killer? The Grim Reaper?

Whoever it was, sitting silently there in the backseat, surely had evil intentions.

I cautiously took a peek in my rearview mirror, hoping to do so without letting my unwanted guest know I was suspicious. Hell, maybe my eyes had played a trick on me.

No such luck. There, just barely, I could see a shoulder and a part of a hoodie. Where the face should be was shrouded in darkness.

The radio was off. I strained to hear breathing, anything, from the backseat.

Nothing. The only breathing I heard was mine.

My mind was reeling. What to do? Slam the brakes and hope to send the intruder through the windshield? Get home, pull in my driveway and make a run for it? Start talking, tell him I know he’s back there? Scream like a 9-year old girl at a Beiber concert?

I’m joking now but trust me, at the time I was scared out of my gourd.

I decided to drive home, hit the brakes, open the door and jump out. Only then would I turn and face my adversary.

The drive from Jones Levee to my house took only a few minutes, but it seemed like an eternity. It’s funny how time crawls when you’re expecting an axe to the back of your skull at any moment.

Somehow, as I pulled in my driveway the garage didn’t seem like a good idea. Something about a closed-in space didn’t appeal to me at that particular moment. You know, not enough room to run fight. I opted to forego the garage and park outside.

I turned onto my street, hoping desperately some of my friends had decided to pay me a late night visit. No dice. My house was dark.

Thus, my moment had come. I pulled slowly into the driveway, expecting the worst. There was no going back now. It was time to face whoever, or whatever, was behind me.

After a deep breath I hit the brakes, slammed the car into park, threw open the door, jumped out, and turned to face the terror that awaited.

Curiously, my backdoor stayed shut. Through the tinted window, though, I could see the silhouette of the hoodie wearing intruder, unmoving. It may seem odd but the fact that he was still made him immensely more frightening.

Fighting the urge to make a run for it, I jerked open the rear car door. And there, right before my eyes, was . . .

My parka.

Sitting upright on my backseat.

With its hood laying against the headrest.

Where I’d tossed it before leaving Bainbridge.

It lay there with, apparently, no intention of strangling the life out of me.

To this day I always double-check the backseat before getting into my car, especially after dark.

You know, in case a coat is lurking there.

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Yeah, yeah, we all know Paul McCartney isn’t dead. If he did indeed die back in the late 60’s, his replacement has sure made some damn good music for the past 40+ years. Band on the Run, Jet, Maybe I’m Amazed, and Live and Let Die were pretty good songs if written by some replacement. Still, something was going on back then, because the lads left way too many clues for it to be a coincidence. Was it a prank? Were The Beatles just messin’ with us? Who knows, but one thing’s for sure – it’s fun looking at the clues they left.

For those out of the know, it all started back on October 12th, 1969 when some shady character called a Detroit radio station (WKNR-FM on your dial!) and told disc jockey Russ Gibb about the rumour and its clues. Gibb and other callers then discussed the rumor on the air for the next hour. Thus, the firestorm had begun. Soon people were discovering clues everywhere, on album covers, in song lyrics, hell, even when you played certain Beatles songs backwards. The clues dated back to Sgt. Pepper’s in 1967.

Holy shit man, was Paul really dead?

As the story goes, Paul had gotten into a huge argument during a recording session, rushed off and was killed in a horrific traffic accident. He was then replaced by the winner of the Paul McCartney look-alike contest, the contest that was held with no winner ever being announced. I know, pretty preposterous and obviously untrue. But still, a bazillion and three clues were left, some more credible than others, but all incredibly compelling. Let’s discuss some of my favorites . . .

“Turn me on Dead Man”

This one was a d-o-o-o-z-y (anyone get the Groundhog Day movie reference? Sigh). Here’s the deal. If you put the song “Revolution #9” on the turntable (it’s on the White Album by the way) and turn it backwards slowly you hear “Turn me on dead man” over and over. Now, that song was freaky anyway, but listening to it backwards in the middle of the night was downright chilling.

“Paul is dead, man. Miss him. Miss him.”

Also from The White Album. At the end of the song “I’m So Tired” and before the beginning of “Blackbird” there is some mumbling. When played backwards you can hear the words, “Paul is dead, man. Miss him. Miss him.” Again, I have the audio right here for y’all, more proof that I’m not your average run-of-the-mill blogger. Enjoy.

“I buried Paul.”

This is a good one. If you listen to “Strawberry Fields Forever,” at the end of the song there’s a fade-out followed by a fade-in of gibberish and noises. Then, right before the second fade-out you hear the words, “I buried Paul.” John said later he was saying “cranberry sauce” but I never bought that. Of course, at another time he said he was saying “I’m very bored” so John was either forgetful, messing with us, or high (definite possibility). Click here and you be the judge. It begins at the :13 second mark.

There are numerous other lyrics people point to when declaring that The Beatles were trying to tell us something…

“He blew his mind out in a car, he didn’t notice that the lights had changed.”

These are lyrics from “A Day in the Life,” on 1967’s “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album, and of course they fit right in with the conspiracy theorists macabre conjectures.

“You were in a car crash, and you lost your hair.”

From Ringo’s “Don’t Pass Me By,” which was on 1968’s White Album. Sure are a lot of references to car wrecks, huh?

“Yes, he’s dead” and “We loved you yeah, yeah, yeah.”  

If you listen to “All You Need is Love” closely, which you will in a second, you’ll hear “Yes he’s dead” and shortly thereafter the words “We loved you yeah, yeah, yeah.” I’ll give you the link shortly.

“Will Paul be back as Superman?”

At the very end of the “Sgt. Pepper’s” album you hear some weird voices with unintelligible words. When played backwards you can hear “Will Paul be back as Superman?” Cu-reepy.

I actually found a video with the last four examples included (as well as some others I have and have not mentioned). You can hear “Yes he’s dead” at the 1:20 mark and “We loved you yeah, yeah, yeah” at 1:29.  The others are pretty clear-cut. Here’s a link to said video. It also includes the “Walrus was Paul” line from Glass Onion. The walrus was apparently the symbol of death in Scandanavian culture, and Paul was dressed as one on the “Magical Mystery Tour” album cover. Good stuff.

There are other weird lyrics, like in “Come Together” when John sings “One and one and one is three” which could be the lads trying to tell us there were only three Beatles left. No way, right? But still . . .

There are also several clues located on album covers, in album sleeves and elsewhere. I’ll begin with the most famous . . .

Abbey Road Album Cover 

Everybody knows this one, right?

abbey

Here’s the way this one was interpreted. You see, from left to right we have George dressed as a gravedigger, Paul as the corpse (left-handed Paul is holding the cigarette in his right hand and he’s also out of step with the other three), Ringo as the undertaker and John as the preacher, ambulance driver or heavenly figure according to what you read.

And on the back of the Abbey Road album we have this:

abbey2

Check out those dots before the word BEATLES. If you connect them can you make a 3? As in 3 BEATLES? Some people can. In addition, some can see a skull in the shadows to the right of BEATLES. A stretch? You be the judge.

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Album Cover

1a

Well, the first clue is pretty obvious, since there’s a grave on the cover. But check out that guitar made of flowers. Is it possible they spell out PAUL?, including the question mark? Can you see it? Oh, and did I mention that’s a left-handed guitar and Paul was left-handed?

There’s also a photo of the boys on the inside fold-out. Paul has a patch on his sleeve that apparently has the letters OPD on it. Let’s see . . . Officially Pronounced Dead? Sure.

1

On the back cover there was a photo of the band and only one member has his back turned. Yep, you guessed it. Here’s a close-up:

1

You can’t see the lyrics George is pointing to, but they say, “Wednesday morning at 5:00 as the day begins.” Since Paul supposedly left an all-night recording session in an angry state, could this be referring to the time he was killed?

One more thing regarding the Pepper’s album I must mention. On the cover there is a hand above Paul’s head. This, according to the experts, is a European symbol of evil and/or death. Here’s a closeup:

1aapaulhand

There are several examples of this hand over Paul’s head on the Magical Mystery Tour album as well.

Magical Mystery Tour Album

There was a booklet contained in the album, and it included this picture:

Yep, Paul has a black rose, everybody else has a red rose (the pic is enlarged in the corner for your benefit – again, top-notch blogging). The black rose, obviously, is a symbol of death. Why the hell did it take a phone call to a radio station to get people to see these clues? Geez.

Here’s another photo from the booklet:

1

Sure enough, there’s Paul with a sign saying, “I was” on it. Can’t get much clearer than that.

As I said, these are just a few of my favorite clues. The list goes on and on . . .

There are tons of websites dedicated to the rumor that Paul McCartney died back in the 60’s. If you don’t believe me just Google “Paul is Dead” and see what happens. Insanity.

To reiterate, we all know that Paul is indeed alive. Still, it’s pretty clear to me that The Beatles were having some fun with us. There’s just way too many clues to be coincidental.

But it’s 2015, and Paul still isn’t dead.

Rock music creativity, though? Yeah, definitely on life-support.

Oddly enough, I’ve had this exact dream.

Actually, I’ve had hundreds. Maybe thousands.

No, not my dreams, as in wanting to be a record producer, coach the Lakers or be Kate Beckinsale’s personal assistant/man-toy, but my actual dreams.

For my entire life I have had vivid, detailed dreams that have bordered on insanity. Once I dreamed that I was eating a giant marshmallow, and when I awoke one of my pillows was missing. Hey-O! Just kidding. I’m about to get all serious up in here and I wanted to add some levity, albeit briefly.

Seriously, my dreams are really, really strange. Some are so real, so unique, that I don’t know what to make of them. For instance, I dream regular dreams about people I don’t know and have never met. I can literally describe them to you in detail the next day. How do you dream about strangers?

Some of my dreams, like the one the other night where I felt like I was in Europe 100-years ago, almost make me believe in reincarnation. That would explain the faces and places I don’t know and have never been to, right?

Some of my dreams would make Freud’s head explode, like the one where I was swallowed by a giant worm. I actually cut my way out with a Bowie Knife and ended up in some sort of rainforest filled with these cool tree houses. The last thing I remember was hiding in one of them and worrying about who lived there and when they would return. I know, weird, but I could describe the tree house in detail if you asked.

When I was 7-8 years old I had a dream about a bat chasing me through the yard as it screamed “D-A-A-A-V-V-V-E!” in a high-pitched squeal. I wear to God I was terrified to fall asleep for 6-months because that dream was so damn real.

Another horrific dream I had as a kid involved a dwarf that was standing by my bed. He had a beard and long hair. In my dream, I awoke and there he was, looming over me. Well, as much as a dwarf can loom. Anyway, I jumped up and punched him in the stomach. My fist made a hole, flies and bees came flying out, and spiders and caterpillars came crawling out and up my arm. Chilling dream.

Don’t get me wrong, not all of my dreams are bad ones. I once had a dream involving Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac that may still be one of my Top 10 life moments. Have mercy.

Sometimes my dreams can just be silly. Just a couple nights ago I dreamed I was managing a rock band and I was in a meeting with some executives setting up our tour dates. The band was there, and as usual I can describe each of them in detail. I can see them clearly in my mind. And get this – our band name was Scream Barn for Lunch. I actually woke up chuckling and wrote the name down. I then Googled the band name just to see if I’d heard it somewhere but found nothing. Where the hell could that name have possibly come from?

But on to a couple of the more interesting dreams I’ve had . . .

A couple weeks ago I had a dream that I know took place in another country. It’s hard to explain how I know this, but I do, and it’s not an uncommon dream for me. The places and faces are different, but I just know I’m in another country. In this particular dream I felt like I was Austria or one of those countries, and I could tell it was the late 1800’s or thereabouts. In the dream, I was working in a little outlying building. There were knives and other tools on the wall and there was an old plow leaning against the wall, the kind that a horse pulls as a man holds the handles as he walks behind. There was a dog with me and he looked like a mutt. I can see that dog clearly as I type this, and I know he was my friend. A woman I knew to be my mother called me and I walked out into the yard, or what there was of it. It was mostly mud. The house was a rickety old place and my “mother” was standing in the open door, wiping her hands on her apron. She was heavyset and was yelling at me in a language I didn’t understand. I also recall seeing a candle burning in a holder on the wall behind her. There was also a rutted, muddy road leading down a hill to our house, and I could hear horses snorting from somewhere behind me. None of the trees had leaves and it was really cold. I could also smell smoke from a fire inside the house.

I know, weird, right? But other than that, nothing happened. I just woke up. But it was so real that I swear I could almost still smell the smoke from that fire.

For some reason a lot of my dreams have taken place in a cold, wooded area that I’m almost positive is Canada or Alaska. I can’t tell you how I know, I just know. In one dream I was in a small northern town, mountains and snow all around, and I was on some sort of city council or something deciding whether to give a permit to a man who  wanted to open a new restaurant downtown. Everyone was against it because they felt his plans didn’t blend with the local architecture. What can I say? That dream was boring but, as always, detailed.

And once, when I was about 10 or 12-years old, I had a vivid dream about my beloved dog Duke getting hit by a car and killed on Route 50 in Bourneville, right across Ted Wisecup’s Gas Station. I even told my parents about it. The next day it happened.

So there’s that.

Bottom line, all this is a bit unsettling. Are my dreams memories from other lives? Are they people and places I saw on TV as a kid and have simply forgotten but are buried in my subconscious? Am I batshit crazy?

Do others have these kinds of dreams? Is it normal to dream of people you’ve never met and places you’ve never been to? I mean, everyone’s dreams are weird, right? Or are mine weirder than others? For the love if God, do I need professional help?

Tell me about your dreams, friends. Make me feel less weird better.

Note: I once dated a girl who claimed she never, ever dreamed. That’s whacked, man. I never trusted her after that.

Listen, I don’t know what the hell this thing is nor do I want to know. All I know for sure is I would have hightailed it indoors, locked the doors and covered all the windows with plywood. Maybe thrown a 911 call in there to boot. Why? Because WHAT THE HELL IS THAT THING THAT FLEW THROUGH THE FREAKING WINDOW?

Note: I’m thinking bobcat.

imagesH2RBISQ7Serious question here . . .

Why is it that I can run into random people two or three times a week yet I haven’t seen people I graduated with for 40-years even though they still live 5-miles from me? Honestly, I’ve run into my local UPS driver in Kroger’s, Lowe’s and Red Lobster over the past 3-weeks, yet I have friends who have lived in the same school district with me since the 70’s and I haven’t seen them since I graduated.

It doesn’t make sense. What the hell? Is it just me or does this happen to everybody? Anybody?

Seriously, have you seen the photo of the bro just strolling around the moon like a boss? Sure, the government claims it’s a camera glitch or maybe a shadow. I, however, choose to believe it’s a man walking around on the moon, because that’s way more fun and stuff. Oh, and the photo hasn’t been doctored. This is an actual photo from the thousands that NASA has made public, so suck it.

Anyhoo, take a gander. There’s a man on the moon, just moseying along like it ain’t no thing.

Whoop! There he is!

I don’t know Jack!

Posted: July 27, 2014 in Life, Mystery
Tags:

Note: The names and places in the following story has been changed for reasons that will soon Man-Standing-Silhouette-12553-largebecome clear. Plus I don’t want to be contacted by the authorities.

About 20-years ago I became friends with a guy I’ll call Jack. Jack owned a little shop around the corner from our cottage at the beach, and we sort of hit it off right away. We had a lot in common and shared the same sense of humor. Jack was a pretty big guy and wore his hair tied back in a ponytail. He was one of those guys who was always trying to make a buck, trying to hit the jackpot with some business venture. In the years I knew him he owned the aforementioned shop, a Thai restaurant, and a place where vacationers could rent stuff – those little wagons with the big tires to haul stuff to the beach in, things like that.

(more…)

ghost1So it seems I’ve been running into more than my share of weirdos, crackpots and screwballs lately. I mean, I always seem to attract an odd assortment of people, but recently things have turned up a notch. I wrote the other day of the beer cart dude and how he became so irritated when I moved his beer cart 3-feet, and since then I’ve had a couple incidents with people that bordered on the bizarre.

I prefer driving at night, so a couple days ago I left the Outer Banks at 3:00am. I was driving on a 2-lane highway about 60-miles from the beach when I saw something along the side of the road up ahead. It was white and sort of stood out against the darkness. Keep in mind there was literally nobody else on the road with me. It looked like a person, so I slowed down a bit to see what was up.

(more…)

Seriously, what the hell?

Fascinating.

You read that correctly. If you’ve never heard the story of the band Wilco’s “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot,” prepare to have your mind blown. From the release date to the lyrics to the album cover, it’s easily one of the most eerie albums ever. It’s also quite good (one of Rolling Stone’s Top 500 Albums of All-Time) but that’s not the point of this blog.

Like the title says, the album seems to have predicted 9/11 well in advance of the attacks.

But enough talk, let’s get to the facts . . .

The Lyrics

Two songs in particular seem to predict the disaster on September 11th, 2001. Check out these lyrics from “Jesus, Etc.”:

Tall buildings shake
Voices escape singing sad sad songs …
Voices whine
Skyscrapers are scraping together
Your voice is smoking.

And from the song “War on War”:

Moving forward through the flaming doors …
You have to lose
You have to learn how to die if you want to be alive.

There is another song on the album called “Ashes of American Flags.” Yikes.

The Album Cover 

Yep, that’s two tall buildings alright. Strange and a little chilling, don’tcha think?

The Release Date

Although it was later changed, the album’s original release date was . . . wait for it . . . September 11th, 2001.

There’s really no explanation for all this, it’s just a weird, eerie, strange and fascinating coincidence. Either that or the dudes in Wilco are some sort of cosmic sorcerers or something. Either way, it’s an astonishing and mystifying album, don’t you agree?

Note: I got a lot of this information from an article on the site Cracked.com entitled The 5 Most Mind-Blowing Predictions Ever Made in Pop Songs. Pretty interesting stuff.