Showing posts with label weirdness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label weirdness. Show all posts

July 23, 2018

A Little Weirdness — but Polite Weirdness

Abandoned railroad tunnel on Gold Camp Road (Atlas Obscura).
Last Tuesday, the 17th, I talked with a man whose ball cap displayed a Bigfoot silhouette and the words "Gone Squatchin'." Bigfoot-hunting, in other words.  It's something you can do, like rock-hounding or ghost-hunting. Or skeleton-hunting, apparently.

A couple of days later came this unrelated email:
I have an emotional and perhaps strange inquiry I was hoping you could help me with. First of all, I am a hiker from Denver who found you through google searches. I found a particular article in CoZine magazine (http://cozine.com/2003-november/ghosts/). You talked about your childhood pet, and his grave at Eagle Rock.

I realize this may be hard to read and I apologize for that. The reason I am writing you is that I was up off Gold Camp Road [SW of Colorado Springs] exploring today, and I found a shallow grave. I have been researching all day for possible human disappearances. Your story matches up to what I saw today. I found the site right off the road. There were a few rocks covering it, and an old college blanket on top.

If this is indeed your beloved dog, please know it should be covered up with more rocks. I can help if needed. I have dogs and know how much they mean to people.

All I would like to know is that I don’t need to go to the police for some poor buried person up there. Thank you for reading this and I hope you have a nice day. The GPS coordinates of the burial are 38.XXXXX, -104.XXXXX 
I wrote back and said, "Thank you for writing, but my dog was buried in Park County," whereas the "hiker from Denver"  had been in El Paso County.

And only then did it really hit me: "researching all day for possible human disappearances." Really? That's a thing?

It's true that people from Colorado Springs have used Gold Camp Road, a former railroad right-of-way that runs to Victor and Cripple Creek, to dispose of unwanted romantic partners, drug-dealing associates, and the like.

The other favorite locale for body disposal was (is) Rampart Range Road, which climbs from the west side of Colorado Springs and makes for a twisty, gravel route to Woodland Park.

If I were this guy, I would search there too.

September 11, 2016

You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive – Or with All Ten Fingers

I like to use scout cameras, although I am not as adept as the Codger. Some of my cameras have simply died, a couple were mauled by bears, and one was stolen.

But I have never had one explode.

This summer, exploding booby-trap (or as we say now, IED) cameras were news in Harlan County, Kentucky.
“Kentucky State Police Post 10 Harlan is investigating a case involving game cameras equipped with explosive devices,” read a press release from the state police. “These cameras have been placed in wooded areas in Harlan County. Kentucky State Police are asking for the public’s assistance with information on who is placing these cameras out in Harlan County.”
The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives posted a warning:
In Harlan County, Kentucky, there have been three confirmed incidents of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) being hidden inside trail cameras, which exploded and injured people. An operation was conducted and nine IEDs were located and dismantled. Other devices, however, may still exist. Some of the trail cameras were found abandoned on paths in rural areas routinely accessed via the Dave Smith Drainage Area (Woodland Hills Subdivision, Harlan, KY), on the Little Black Mountain Spur in Harlan County.
A suspect was arrested and indicted, but in true Harlan fashion, chose to go out in a blaze of gunfire.

A man who had found one of the suspect's cameras lost several fingers and suffered other injuries. According to reports, the cameras were left up without batteries or data cards in them. When the victim took one home and put batteries in it, he completed the circuit to fire a small explosive charge concealed inside.
Sawaf, an avid hunter, owned and operated Harlan Counseling Inc. since 2014 and had a master’s degree in mental health counseling, according to court documents. The business was in a small strip of offices just off U.S. 421.
 And there is a "hillbilly heroin" angle too.
More than a decade before Sawaf’s arrest, his father, Ali Sawaf, was convicted on eight charges related to distribution of OxyContin and other painkillers. At the time of his conviction in 2002, Ali Sawaf was a urologist in Harlan County.
Pop culture reference in the post titleand here is the song.

December 23, 2015

Best of Bigfoot, 2015


"Local" decor in the new Trader Joe's grocery store in Colorado Springs.
Via the Bigfoot Lunch Club blog, Animal Planet's ten best Bigfoot video clips of 2015.

These have a short commercial at the beginning. At least one that I watched was for cosmetics, which means that someone thinks that there are female Bigfoot fans too (I always think of Bigfoot-hunting as a guy thing, for some reason) or else there is a joke in there about putitng lipstick on a sasquatch.

In related news, Bigfoot-hunting figures into the upcoming trial of Eddie Tipton, the "former Multi-State Lottery Association security director who is accused of rigging jackpots in Iowa, Colorado, Wisconsin, Kansas and Oklahoma from 2005 to 2011 to enrich himself and his friends."

It was all for science!

In yet other news, a Canadian Native band gets their 75-year-old sasquatch (?) mask back from a museum.

August 17, 2014

Blog Stew, Listed with Sotheby's

¶ Want to buy a southern Colorado ghost town? It has been mostly restored, and it is a National Historic District too. Listed with Sotheby's real estate division, so not cheap.

¶ Wolverines will not get federal protection in Colorado as a "threatened" species. The pro-protection argument was based on projected climate change.

¶ This sounds like something from the Daily Mail — but can the Lone Star Tick force you to become a vegetarian (or at least a piscavore)?

May 20, 2014

Sheriff's Deputy Warns Cat Not to Shit in Neighbor's Yard

From the sheriff's blotter in the Cañon City Daily Record.

¶ Colo. 115, Brookside, report of over 30 goats in the road. Goats fled the scene before deputy arrived. 

¶ Colo. 115/Mackenzie, Cañon City, reporting party called to advise that a subject wearing a mask and dressed in black ran across the highway and into a building. Deputies checked the area with negative contact.  

(Always black in these reports. At least if "subject" wore orange, he might be a prison escapee. The only building there is the ruined Fawn Hollow Tavern, which was a "bucket of blood" roadhouse in the 1940s–1950s.)

¶ U.S. 50, Cañon City, reporting party requested assistance in retrieving her husband from his girlfriend's residence. Deputy advised the parties to work it out, as the husband wouldn't come out until the wife left the area.  

¶ 1500 block Chestnut, Cañon City, reporting party complained that the neighbor's cat had been leaving presents in her yard. Deputy said he would contact the neighbor and warn the cat.  

There was also an actual bank robbery where some 19-year-old robbed a bank in the town where he lived without even bothering to put on a mask. He was quickly caught.

January 09, 2014

Aliens, Sex, and Incorrect Firearms Usage

The blogosphere this week noticed a claim by Paul Hellyer, former Canadian defense minister, that people from other planets do indeed exist:

“[I’ve] been getting from various sources [that] there are about 80 different species and some of them look just like us and they could walk down the street and you wouldn’t know if you walked past one.”

Canada . . . it is no accident that the X-Files television series was filmed in Vancouver. (That is why it was always cloudy — and you don't see so many Douglas firs in northern Virginia.)

In hot-blooded Santa Fe, N.M., however, they don't just write blog comments about the existence or non-existence of aliens.

They interrupt  "a sex act" involving a gun to threaten their partner over the "Do aliens exist?" question — or so says the Albuquerque Journal. I don't think that Smith & Wesson will be using Jennifer McCarthy in their advertising.

"“Who is crazy, you or me?" is still begging the question, however. Is it crazy to believe or not to believe?

UPDATE: Ms. McCarthy is novelist Cormac McCarthy's third ex-wife.

February 12, 2013

Dressing up the Dogs

Pet fashions: big dogs are "in." 
Now, the Fashion Institute of Technology, which offers a professional certificate program in pet product design and marketing, is stocking classrooms with dog dressmaker forms from tiny to huge, said Joan Volpe, managing coordinator of the school whose graduates include Calvin Klein, Norma Kamali and Michael Kors.

As bigger dogs grew in popularity, the industry responded.

"Every dog today needs boots. Every dog needs a raincoat. Every dog needs a sweater," she said.
Try telling a Chesapeake Bay retriever that he needs a raincoat. He is a raincoat.

  Instapundit

October 13, 2012

Gordon Novel and the Sipapu of Weirdness

A little off-topic but too weird to pass up . . .

At his blog Of Arms and the Law, lawyer Dave Hardy mentions the passing of Gordon Novel, whom I had not heard of but who sounds like one of the American Illuminati — or something.
Two things he would vigorously deny: (1) he said he'd never worked for the CIA. Hung out with them a lot, but never was employed by them. (2) He had nothing to do with the JFK assassination. Jim Garrison had subpoenaed him, he fled, and Garrison tried to have him extradited, but, he said, that was just to decoy Garrison, not because he had any useful information. 
Oh, but there is more: secret CIA footage of the massacre of the Branch Davidians? J. Edgar Hoover sex tapes?  Playboy magazine? A shaky trial over a "conspiracy to firebomb part of New Orleans by balloons on behalf of a world's fair Novel was promoting"?

Many stories have a New Orleans connection. Truly, that city is the omphalos, the very sipapu of weirdness in America.

Hardy's judgment: "There's no way to sum the man up: his Wikipedia page is just a beginning. The strangest thing was that with him, the more impossibly outrageous a claim seemed to be, the more likely it was provably true."

August 07, 2012

Blog Stew with Ingredients that You Don't Want to Know About

Off-topic but fascinating. Sewer-diving in Mexico City (with video). Sewer-cleaning the "fatbergs"  in London (with video). More sewer history.  The good old days of scavenging in sewers.

The Humane Society of the United States is sued for racketeering and other issues.

District judge Emmet G. Sullivan did dismiss allegations of mail and wire fraud, but he did so only because Feld didn't have standing to file this charge. His ruling all but set the stage for a class-action RICO lawsuit against HSUS for misrepresenting itself in its fundraising campaigns across the nation. This lawsuit easily could bankrupt HSUS, put it out of business and send some of its top executives to prison.
Funny, isn't it, that you have to go to a blogger to hear about this.

Ze artiste Christo has pushed back the construction of "Over the River" yet again. Tourism-industry types are dismayed, try to find silver lining.

I understand the argument that asks how pristine is a canyon with a highway(US 50) and a railroad in it already. But I do think that the Bureau of Land Management should have restricted OTR to the stretch between Texas Creek and Parkdale, because if there are highway blockages — and there will be — one could detour around on Colorado highways 96 and 69.

Upstream of Texas Creek, there are no detours, except very long, twisty, gravel roads through the mountains such as Fremont County Road 2 or an even longer highway detour up to Hartsel and Antero Junction.

It doesn't take much to close US 50 now: a little roadside fire, a car going into the river, a truck hitting a bridge abutment — I have seen all of these.

• Oh yes, and this: tracking coyotes with GPS collars in urban Chicago.

July 18, 2012

Is this Woodland Park or Miami?

Now that the danger of the Waldo Canyon Fire has receded, residents of northern Teller County are urged to be on the lookout for a giant cat-and-small-dog-eating lizard.

Go ahead, be the first to ask the obvious question.

May 31, 2012

Bigfoot Sighting Claimed in Idaho

Crypto-critter or senior class prank? You decide.

I might have some more Bigfoot stuff later.

May 22, 2012

Unexplained Camera Trapping


Bearly there.

Glow-in-the-dark deer.
Fox Mulder pursued by mysterious globes.

The truth is out there.

February 07, 2012

A "Brazen and Prevaricating Rapscallion"

M. shops at Vitamin Cottage natural foods store frequently, so she knows the Bragg label well. It presents itself as old-fashioned and almost religious, she said.

But the founder was something else entirely. (That's "daughter" Patricia on the company's website.)

Kind of like Doctor Bronner of the mystic soaps.

November 11, 2011

Strange Stuff in the Woods and Deserts

A thread on an outdoors forum where hunters and anglers discuss strange "encounters" in the outdoors, everything from animal weirdness to UFOs to pot farms to airplane crashes to dead people.

Mostly but not all from Oregon, Washington, and Alaska.

Via The View from the Porch, where Tam rightly notes, "CAUTION: SEVERE TIME SINK WARNING!"

October 31, 2011

Some Colorado Springs Ghosts—and the Unquiet Ghosts of Teller County

Western Federation of Miners hall, Victor,1903.
A Colorado Springs blogger offers some ghost stories, mostly from the West Side.

In my young newspaper reporter days, I did my part for Cripple Creek and Victor.

At the time, I was covering both the gold-mining boomlet of the early 1980s and also some Colorado labor history, such as the activities of the Western Federation of Miners in the early 1900s.

They did not make it into the book, but I had a couple of woo-woo experiences in Cripple Creek and in the nearby ghost town of Goldfield of my own.

In one of them, I was walking into faded glory of the 1904 Teller County Courthouse to cover a hearing about leakage from a cyanide heap-leaching operation killing some horses. Just ordinary reportorial stuff.

I had never entered that building before. At the foot of the staircase leading up to the courtrooms, I almost had a panic attack. I was sure that I was walking up to my doom — but I wasn't "me."


In the second, I was leaving Victor and decided to drive through the site of the mining town of Goldfield, "a strong union town," instead of back via Cripple Creek on the way to Colorado Springs and the newspaper office.

The scene out the windshield was 1980 or 1981 Goldfield, which is to say, not much.  But to my ears and inner senses, it was all shouting and turbulence and emotion of the 1894 miners' strike, when the Cripple Creek police shot down the Goldfield constables, mines were dynamited, the militia was called out, and gunfights flared between miners and sheriff's deputies back by the mine owners.

It was like being in two places at once, one foot in the past and one foot in the now. The experience lasted less than minute but left me feeling emotionally exhausted.

That strike was just the beginning of the Colorado Labor Wars, when things got even worse.

Bad times—more or less swept under the rug of history now. Now we hear only of a street vendor selling  "hot waffles to miners, railroad passengers and barflies."

October 20, 2011

Audubon Society Promotes Indoor Birding without Real Birds

I think that I just lost some respect for the Audubon Society.

I thought that they were about conservation, birds, and stuff like that. But now they have some West Coast  public-relations firm promoting "online birding." And it is competitive, because outdoor recreational experiences should always be competitive, not, y'know, experiential.
While “Birding the Net,” players are challenged to collect dozens of virtual birds on over 100 highly trafficked websites. The game is both educational and fun, helping the next generation learn about the natural world around us. Whether you live in a city or on a farm, you can spot these birds from the comfort of your own home, no binoculars necessary!
No, Liza Nedelman of MPRM Communications, that is not how you "learn about the natural world." As another large corporation's slogan put, "just do it."

Why not tell people that playing Angry Birds on their smart phone is a genuine interaction with nonhuman nature?

I suppose that someone that "kids these days" have to be introduced to an online experience before they can have the real thing. Really? Stay indoors? Look at a screen?

No links. If you think that "birding the net" is a wizard idea, look it up yourself.

October 14, 2011

Various Thoughts on Bigfoot

I am not a Bigfoot hunter. Invisible partridge are challenge enough. So I am about two years late to the party when it comes to the Lumpkin County, Georgia (northeast of Atlanta) alleged Bigfoot sighting, captured by a deputy sheriff's dashboard video camera (YouTube) and witnessed by the deputy and his civilian passenger.

This video has been supplemented by analysis of the creature's apparent speed, reference to the terrain — the embedded GPS reading helps — and so, making for eight interesting minutes. (The Discovery Channel could get a hour-length program out of that, repeating everything six or eight times.)

I read about it in a recent issue of the venerable Fate magazine, "Bigfoot in Georgia," by Daniel Perez. (Georgia has some active hunters of "the Big Guy.")

Hmm, what about Colorado?

Back in the late 1980s, as a newspaper reporter, I interviewed a man who said two "creatures" had walked past his house and left footprints in the snow, which he photographed and showed me. The large tracks just ended abruptly in the fresh powder. Odd.

Having blogged once on the mystery of "Monkey Creek," with some trepidation I now typed "Colorado Bigfoot" into YouTube's search box. Here are the results.

The "Yellow Top Bigfoot" seems to move like a hunched-over human, if you ask me. So does this one. Several others all look like the same gorilla suit. One video's makers frankly call it a "mockumentary."

Meanwhile, in Central Asia

Central Asia and Siberia have a long history of big, shaggy bipeds. In fact, the same May-June 2011 issue of Fate that carried Daniel Perez's article mentioned above also reprinted one from its May 1961 issue, "Russia Seeks the Snowman," about a Dr. Alexander G. Pronin of the "Geographic Scientific Institute of Leningrad University" (no Google hits on that name, but there could be translation issues) seeing a "snowman" while on an International Geophysical Year expedition in the Pamir Mountains.


The hypothesis of a surviving population of Neanderthals, which has been explored in fiction, is brought out again:
Igor Burtsev, head of the International Center of Hominology in Moscow -- which investigates so-called snowmen -- told The Voice of Russia radio that "when Homo sapiens started populating the world, it viciously exterminated its closest relative in the hominid family, Homo neanderthalensis."

"Some of the Neanderthals, however, may have survived to this day in some mountainous wooded habitats that are more or less off limits to their arch foes. No clothing on them, no tools in hands and no fire in the household. Only round-the-clock watchfulness for a Homo sapiens around."
Hitting the Wall
One thing I notice with Bigfoot investigations (as with UFO investigations—and some say they are related) is that people get evidence and think that they are on the verge of the big discovery — and then it all stops. Nothing seems to be repeatable in a scientific way.

I have to say that sometimes I think that Bigfoot exists—but not in our world. Rather he/she/they are in a world that sometimes intersects with ours. Yep, like fairies, etc.

The late Grover Krantz, a physical anthropologist at Washington State University, published a book arguing for a physical Bigfoot that inhabited an ecological niche sort of like a nocturnal black bear—at least in the Pacific Northwest. Rather than Neanderthal, he suggested a surviving Gigantopithecus as a possibility.

But unless it had learned to hibernate, I do not see how such a creature could live in the Pamirs—or the Rockies. Black bears do not forage for food in the winter, and neither could an ape-man.


October 05, 2011

Convicts of the Corn

Sex offender being transported leaps from a prison van, allegedly upset with the poor quality of his vegetarian meals. (You can't make this up.)

He runs into a cornfield — bad move.

It's harvest time here in North Dakota. Mostly they are cutting soy and pinto beans. But when it's convict-hunting time, you change to your corn "head" and go.
The massive manhunt took a turn around noon today as the combines started to roll in to the Smith farmstead. Law enforcement officers hopped on board, fully armed and took off on a tear to find Megna.

"We decided that at the last minute, that if the corn was ready to take off, that this was the thing to do. We went after it and we did it."
 Watch the video at the 1:10 point.

Better than bloodhounds.

July 31, 2011

BLM Lets Christo Have His Way

As I said two years ago, the fix was in. The Bureau of Land Management sees no reason why ze gran artiste known modestly as Christo should not drape the canyon of the Arkansas River in plastic.

That would improve it, you see. In the words of one breathless High Art fan-girl, "It is thrilling that the BLM has embraced the idea of bringing plastic art into the natural landscape" (statement by Aspen museum director Heidi Zuckerman Jacobson).
The preferred alternative identified in the BLM's final environmental impact statement largely matches the vision of the Bulgarian-born Christo and his late wife, Jeanne-Claude. They wanted to suspend 5.9 miles of silvery panels in eight sections above a 42-mile stretch of the river that mostly involves federal land.
What may be worst is that the BLM has agreed to let his construction crews block part of the  already narrow and twisting highway, which could add hours to the travel time of anyone who just wants to go from Point A to Point B.

Part of the canyon—from Parkdale to Texas Creek—could be bypassed via a longer, twistier drive on two state highways, Colorado 96 and 69. But the "preferred alternative" stupidly would let Christo's crews tie up the highway between Texas Creek and Salida, where there is no alternative highway route without going hundreds of miles out of the way—no consolation to the people who actually, y'know, live there.

All so that Christo can make a pile of money. Actually, since he makes his money from the sketches and other "conceptual" stuff, he could stop now and come out ahead. From an artistic standpoint, since he makes artworks "that go away," why not take the next step and make artworks that never existed?

After Interstate 70, which is quite a bit further north, U.S. Highway 50 is the next-busiest east-west route across Colorado. Sure, Christo has promised delays of no more than 15 minutes per work site, but there are a bunch of work sites. They are just the little people, mice nibbling around the ankles of Christo's grand artistic vision.

These rolling road-closures would last for two years during the project's construction and for months during its removal.

All the tourist-industry people licking their chops over the anticipated brief flush of visitors had better get used to some lean times first.

Sociology professor-turned-Cañon City fly shop owner Bill Edrington speaks for many:
"I'm afraid we are going to lose a lot of fisherman support on this river, and many of us here have worked all our lives to build this river into something special, and this project will destroy that work," said Bill Edrington, owner of Cañon City's Royal Gorge Anglers. "We have a law firm standing by waiting to file an injunction."

The battle now heads to the courts and the local jurisdictions, including Fremont and Chaffee counties, which must issue construction permits.
Drag it out. Time is on your side. Christo "is an artist and has courage," but he does not look too healthy.