Uncle Sam Wants Bigfoot Trackers?

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Uncle Sam Wants Bigfoot Trackers?

Last week, news broke about Keith Barnes, a 46-year-old Arkansas man, who liked to dress up and pretend to work for the federal government. More precisely: Barnes claimed he was a “Bigfoot Tracker” for the Department of the Interior. Yes, Barnes claimed that the US government employed him as a Cryptozoologist. While he was under investigation for impersonating a federal employee, Barnes was arrested for possessing child pornography. It is unclear if the investigation as to his impersonating a federal employee continues and if the charges would be rolled into the criminal charges. Barnes’ next court appearance is scheduled for June 18, 2018.

No, the US Department of the Interior does not employ cryptozoologists. Although an interesting and ever-changing job, the position does not exist. However, should one exist, what would the job posting look like?

A Cryptozoologist is a person who studies the existence of “disputed or unsubstantiated species.” The most common are called Bigfoot, Yeti, and Sasquatch. Although a science-based college degree is not required, it is strongly encouraged that the person know about animal life. Further, by definition, it is implied that the Cryptozoologist be a “Zoologist,” someone who has an undergraduate degree in animal biology.

A “Bigfoot Tracker” is a person who tracks Bigfoot. No college degree or experience needed.

Ideally, the job would fall under the purview of the US Fish and Wildlife Service. A “Bigfoot Tracker” would probably apply for a Park Ranger position or any of the Biologist jobs. Both positions require an undergraduate degree or relevant work experience in lieu of a degree.

Extensive travel would be involved. Due to the large size of the nation and the varying reports, prospective applicants would need to travel. A lot. Outside organizations are better equipped to handle such reports. They have the infrastructure and network in place to maximize personnel. The US government does not.

The Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (BFRO) claims to be the largest virtual community of researchers, scientists, journalists, and enthusiasts. Founded in 1995, the organization’s mission is to explore the “bigfoot/sasquatch mystery” using scientific means. Membership is by invitation-only. The organization is most known for its connection to the Finding Bigfoot TV show that aired on Animal Planet. [Barnes was admitted to the BFRO. To date the organization has not released a statement about his arrest or the other investigation or whether he remains a member.] For more information, view their website at https://www.bfro.net/.

This is not to say that the government is not interested in the paranormal. While the government has paid contractors to investigate extraterrestrial life, the government does not maintain job lines, complete with pensions and limited job protections. Instead, the government monitors developments and then investigates. If the job title sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Barnes is another example of a paranormal scammer (#ParaScammer) who fed lies to fuel his ego.

 

 

 

#ParaNews for the Week of May 7, 2018

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Paranormal News for the Week of May 7, 2018

#ParaNews for the Week of May 7, 2018

  1. Keith Barnes, a 46-year-old man from Black Rock, Arkansas, claims to work for the US Department of the Interior as a “Bigfoot Tracker.” He dons a fake khaki ranger uniform with bogus patches pretending to be a cryptozoologist. Barnes is not a scientist. Nor does the US government employ professional trackers searching for Bigfoot. Barnes is another #ParaScammer. His story would not make the evening news, except that he was arrested for possessing child pornography. Barnes attracted the attention of law enforcement when he began wearing the “uniform” and telling people he tracked the movements of cryptids in North America. An investigation into whether Barnes was impersonating a federal employee when an anonymous source alerted authorities to the child pornography. Barnes posted bail and will appear in court on June 18th.
  2. FX has ordered 10 episodes of the TV version of What We Do in the Shadows, the 2014 mockumentary about modern-day vampires coping with adulting. The movie was set in New Zealand and starred Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi, and Jonny Brugh. The TV series will be set in New York City and star Matt Berry, Kayvan Novak, Natasia Demetrious, and Harvey Guillen. The ½ comedy will debut in 2019 with Clement and Waititi serving as writers and producers. Wellington Paranormal, another TV spin-off based on the police officers in the film who investigate paranormal activity, is in development and scheduled for a 2018 release.
  3. MUFON, the Mutual U.F.O. Network, is quite active. In fact, last week I read a posting on my city’s neighborhood Facebook page where an investigator was asking for eyewitness reports of supposed U.F.O. activity in March. For more information on MUFON activity or to file a report, visit http://www.mufon.com/. Lesson: Always read your neighborhood posts. You never know what will brighten your feed.

MUFON in Marietta

#FunFactFriday

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Head on over to HauntJaunts.net to read my latest blog. On this day in 1932, one of America’s most notorious mobsters entered the Atlanta Penitentiary along with a ghost.

Read the blog here: https://www.hauntjaunts.net/haunted-al-capone-goes-to-the-atlanta-penitentiary/.

Ghost Team (2016) Offers Up Campy Fun

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Ghost Team (2016) Offers Up Campy Fun

A man who is trapped in the monotonous cycle of adulting seeks to become the newest member of a fictional TV paranormal team. After assembling a team, they trespass onto a large, seemingly abandoned farm searching for evidence of paranormal activity. Sometimes we all need campy fun, and Ghost Team delivers.

Jon Heder stars as “Louis,” a man who realizes that his adult life is not the one he envisioned. He owns a single location copy shop. He chain smokes and dreams of being more, much more. He wants to be a paranormal star—like Jason Hawes and Steve Gonsalves (from the real TV show Ghost Hunters) who make cameos. One day property owner “Mitch” enters requesting 15 laminated “No Trespassing” signs for his “creepy” property that looks like it’s haunted. Louis assembles his team singing to “Dream Weaver” and hoping to hit the paranormal jackpot. Unfortunately, all they have is a crackpot, played by the wonderfully refreshing Amy Sedaris.

Admittedly, this is not a blockbuster film to the caliber of Poltergeist. It’s a low—seriously low—budget film that began streaming a month before its limited release opening. But that doesn’t matter. What matters is that with all the emotionally draining news and mega-blockbuster film releases, it’s nice to clear the clutter in our brains by just watching an innocuous film. This is the film to watch.

Okay, so the reviews are weak; the Tomatometer is green. Go in with low expectations, and you will not be disappointed. The irony is that this film nails the boredom and tediousness that paranormal investigations entail. The movie may have received more “star” ratings had a paranormal investigator reviewed it because there are more laughs than reported.

Fair warning, though: IMDb.com places this movie’s genre as merely “Comedy.” Running 83 minutes and rated PG-13, Ghost Team is streaming on Netflix.

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Grave Gardening: Preserving Rural Cemeteries

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Grave Gardening: Preserving Rural Cemeteries

Starting in 1831, “rural” or “garden” cemeteries emerged as a de facto public green space where families could visit their dead, tend to their graves, and mingle with the community. These cemeteries were popular weekend destinations. During this time, gravesites were more elaborate than today’s simple, flat grave marker. “Cradle graves” dotted the cemetery landscape. Read about them in my latest blog on Haunt Jaunts: https://www.hauntjaunts.net/grave-gardening-conserving-americas-garden-cemeteries/.

 

#ParaNews for the Week of April 23, 2018

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Paranormal News Week of April 23, 2018

#ParaNews for the Week of April 23, 2018

  1. A government agency “accidently” emailed documents regarding “Psycho-Electronic” weaponry to a journalist. This sounds like a horror/science fiction/conspiracy theory film; however, it seems legit. According to David Grossman of Popular Mechanics, journalist and frequent filer of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests Curtis Waltman asked for information about white supremacists and Antifa groups from the Washington State Fusion Center (WSFC). He received responses along with a few attached documents. The two below are samples of what Mr. Waltman received. The .ZIP file was titled “EM effects on human body.” Read the longer article here: Coming Soon.

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  1. The University of West Georgia announced the inaugural Ingo Swann Research Fellowship. Paranormal researchers have until May 1st to apply for a partial residence research grant of $3,000. The grant requires an on-campus presentation, as well. For more information, read the article https://thehauntedlibrarian.com/2018/04/22/uwg-announces-1st-ingo-swann-research-fellowship/.
  2. Ash vs. Evil Dead wraps up on April 29th. The cult favorite series starring Bruce Campbell was cancelled last week by Starz, the premium cable channel and production company. Although the series saw viewership slide in the 3rd season, fans remain hopeful another streaming service will pick up. Mr. Campbell tweeted his thanks.

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  1. The independent British horror film Ghost Stories (2017) ranked #1 for indie films this weekend by holding exclusive New York City screenings. The movie generated $12,646 this past weekend. Directors Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman, who also stars, transformed the former West End play into a 90-minute full-length film. Watch for a review once I can legally view. [Note: Shame on the production company for announcing it was available to stream in the US when, in fact, it isn’t.]

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UWG Announces 1st Ingo Swann Research Fellowship

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UWG Announces 1st Ingo Swann Research Fellowship

Formal advanced college degrees in Parapsychology ended years ago; however, there are a few colleges offering courses in Parapsychology. One of those schools is the University of West Georgia (UWG). Dr. William G. Roll, renowned poltergeist researcher, and psychic Ingo Swann were associated with the university. Last month, UWG announced its inaugural Ingo Swann Research Fellowship to be awarded in 2018.

Ingo Douglas Swann was a psychic, artist, and author. Born on September 14, 1933, Swann died on January 31, 2013. Approximately 121 boxes of papers, artifacts, memos, and photographs are housed in the Irvine Sullivan Ingram Library’s Special Collections at UWG.

Ingo Swann coined the phrase “remote viewing,” the process by which a perceiver discerns unseen “targets.” Remote viewing (RV) involves a person describing present or past details to events and locations. Swann assisted police departments in several criminal cases from 1971-1979 using RV. Swann led a colorful, artistic life. Still, there is more research on RV to be completed.

The deadline for application is May 1st. For more information, go to https://www.westga.edu/library/special-collections/swannfellowship.php.