Check out my new blog regarding a January 30, 2019 UFO sighting in Conyers, Georgia. Watch the brief video links and decide for yourself.
Home Exorcism Leads to Medical Diagnosis
An Albuquerque, New Mexico, man thought his wife was possessed by the devil. Stephen Gutierrez performed a home exorcism dousing his wife, Lorina, with holy water before taking her back to the hospital, where doctors finally diagnosed her with a rare disease.
Initially, Lorina was diagnosed with the flu. However, she began to suffer from paranoia, memory loss, and the inability to speak coherently. After a brief stay in a psychiatric hospital, Lorina was sent home. Her behavior worsened, leading Stephen to believe she was possessed by a demon.
Stephen took matters into his own hands. He attempted to perform an amateurish—and ill-advised—home exorcism. It didn’t work. Stephen then returned Lorina to the hospital.
Doctors diagnosed the 39-year-old mother of three with anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis, a newly discovered disease where antibodies cause the brain to swell. Tumors are associated with half of all cases. Doctors located and removed a 6” tumor from her ovary.
This is another case where a premature exorcism was performed before a person was competently and completely examined. The Gutierrez family is incredibly lucky. Although Lorina’s disease cannot be cured, it can be treated.
Historic Dun Glen Hotel Site Soon Accessible
A new recreational trail built by the National Park Service is expected to make a long-lost historical site accessible to hikers. The Dun Glen Hotel was lost to a fire in 1930; however, it remained a popular, albeit inaccessible, hiking destination for history buffs and paranormal investigators. Soon, this may change.
The Dun Glen (Dunglen) Hotel was dubbed the “Waldorf of the Mountains.” Alcohol flowed freely in this 4 ½ story, 100-room hotel situated on the New River, across from the dry town of Thurmond, Fayette County, West Virginia. Thomas (Tom) Gaylord McKell built the hotel intending to take advantage of the highly profitable adjacent coal mines and railroad. Opening in 1901, the hotel boasted three floors of guest rooms, a wrap-around verandah, and basement showrooms. And the wealthy guests arrived.
Within a few years, Tom McKell opened the New River Banking & Trust Company on August 11, 1904. Sadly, McKell died shortly thereafter on September 7, 1904 at the age of 59. His son William McKell took over operations.
On July 22, 1930, a devastating fire broke out and destroyed the hotel. Although no guests were injured, George Richardson and Stephen Thomas suffered minor burns. According to the Raleigh Register, the fire consumed the building, including the Earl Nichols grocery and soda counter, located in the terrace basement. Faulty electrical wiring was blamed. Damages totaled $100,000, roughly $1.5 million in today’s dollars. William McKell did not rebuild and abandoned the property.
Today the property sits within the New River Gorge National River park. The park service owns and operates the town of Thurmond as a national historic location. However, the Dun Glen area was left to nature. The new trail has been enthusiastically received. Next summer I will travel back up to Fayette County to check on the progress. I’ll keep you posted.
The 2018 story of the year: Chile’s Mummy Mystery. Read my blog at: http://www.hauntjaunts.net/story-of-2018-chiles-mummy-mystery/.
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.
Paranormal News for the Week of May 7, 2018
#ParaNews for the Week of May 7, 2018
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Paranormal News Week of April 23, 2018
#ParaNews for the Week of April 23, 2018
- 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.
- 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/.
- 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.
- 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.]
Paranormal Radio Host Art Bell Dead at Age 72
On Friday the 13th, former syndicated radio host Arthur “Art” Bell died at his home in Pahrump, Nevada. An autopsy is scheduled for next week; however, Nye County Sheriff Sharon Wehrly does not suspect foul play. In fact, Bell was a lifelong smoker and suffered recently from C.O.P.D. He was an incessant tweeter who posted about his declining health. Bell will be remembered for fueling conspiracy theories while speculating about extraterrestrial life.
Mr. Bell was a natural-born radio host. Born in Jacksonville, North Carolina on June 17, 1945, Bell became a licensed radio operator at the age of 13. Bell was always involved in amateur radio or as a professional host. After a stint as a medic in the US Air Force, Bell eventually became the owner of KNYE 95.1 and continued his late-night radio programming on Coast to Coast AM. He wrote, produced, and hosted the show from 1993-2002. At its peak, the show had 10 million listeners and broadcasted on 500 US and Canadian radio stations. According to ABC News, it was the most listened-to overnight program and the 4th overall. Bell had a second, short-lived radio show titled Art Bell’s Dark Matter on Siruis Radio in 2013. His final program was Midnight in the Desert, which was also short-lived in 2015. He finally retired on December 11, 2015 citing safety concerns.
Bell was inducted to both the Nevada Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame (2006) and the National Radio Hall of Fame (2008).
Bell is survived by his 4th wife, Airyn and their two minor children Asia and Alexander. He is also survived by three adult children. No funeral arrangements have been made.
Announcement: Skeleton Crew for Haunt Jaunts
As I return from Spring Break 2018, I have exciting news to share: I am joining the Skeleton Crew at Haunt Jaunts, https://www.hauntjaunts.net/. I am thrilled to be writing about the paranormal for another online website!
Haunt Jaunts is an online zine focusing on the paranormal, horror, travel, and Halloween. It is curated by Courtney Mroch, Ambassador of Dark and Paranormal Tourism. It started in 2010 and has been named a Top 50 Paranormal Blog by Feedspot. Needless to say, there’s something for everyone including articles, forums, conference listings, and a link Courtney’s ParaMania Radio show HJ, which airs live on Tuesdays at 8 PM EST.
As I prepare for my summer vacation, I am planning out my own paranormal travel trips. Look for my articles to begin shortly…like the end of this week. Woo hoo!
Read the announcement from Courtney here https://www.hauntjaunts.net/parapower-partnership-haunt-jaunts-welcomes-the-haunted-librarian/.