Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Monster Files - Reviewed

Although my new book, Monster Files, is not published until May 22, copies are starting to surface already. Rich Reynolds, of The UFO Iconoclast(s), has done 2 posts on the book:

1. The first post is a review of Monster Files;

2. The second post from Rich is based around what I have to say in the book about the notorious Flatwoods Monster escapade of 1952.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Big Cats and Missing Cats

My latest Lair of the Beasts article at Mania.com tackles a subject not often addressed: the vanishing of pet cats when Alien Big Cats (ABCs) appear...

Here's the link.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The UK's Phantom Helicopters

So-called "phantom helicopters" and "black helicopters" are most associated with the United States. This is understandable, since that's where most of the reports originate.

However, few people know that the UK had its own PH/BH wave in a period that ran from late 1973 to early 1974. It was an affair that even attracted the attention of the British Ministry of Defense.

And, you can find a new article from me on this very subject over at Mysterious Universe...

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

In Search of the Crypto-Camels

There's a new Mysterious Universe article from me, which starts like this...

"As many readers of Mysterious Universe will know, one of my biggest interests – when it comes to the domain of all-things weird and Fortean – is the field of Cryptozoology. Or, in simple terms, the study of unknown animals, mysterious beasts and monsters – call them what you will. But, there are other categories of animal that, for some – but certainly not all – creature-seekers also play a role in how we define Cryptozoology. They are the out of place animals.

"It goes without saying that the British Isles are not home to large, black, exotic cats. Yet, numerous people – all across the nation – report seeing them every year. Out of place wallabies are common in both the UK and the United States. Australia has a huge number of incidents on record of large cats on the loose, eerily resembling their British cousins. And then there’s another type of creature that falls into this particular category: the camel. Say what? Yep!"

Camels? Yes, really! Here's the story...

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Reviewing the CFZ Yearbook

Over at Mania.com, my latest Lair of the Beasts article takes a look at the newly-published Center for Fortean Zoology Yearbook 2013.

Here's the link to the review, and here's an extract from it:

"...Neil Arnold tells the strange and entertaining saga of the 'Essex Lion.' In late 2012, fear and chaos broke out in the English county of Essex, when rumors spread like wildfire of a fully-grown, man-eating lion on the loose. Arnold does a fine job of dissecting fact from fiction as he seeks out the truth of the affair.

"Werewolves and lycanthropy in 18th Century France are the focus of Paul Williams’ paper, Le Gevaudan: The Man behind the Monster. This is an excellent study of a case involving an alleged outbreak of lycanthropy, as well as a fierce beast on the loose. It’s a saga that also inspired a very cool 2001 movie, Brotherhood of the Wolf..."

A Q&A of the Monster Kind

Over at the Australian office of the Center for Fortean Zoology there's a new interview with me about my cryptozoological research, as well as my views on such creatures as Megalania, the British Bigfoot, Orang-Pendek and much more, including some of favorite crypto-themed books and how and why I got interested in cryptozoology.

You can find it right here.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Sacrifice in Scotland

"Now and again, I’m asked for my views on the so-called Alien Big Cats - or ABCs as they are also known – of the UK. Britain, of course, is not home to any sort of indigenous cat of the exotic and large kind. Yet, people report seeing such creatures all the time, and usually of the black or tan-colored variety. I’m convinced that some of these beasts are flesh and blood in nature. Others, however, I’m not quite so sure about, since I have more than a few reports on record of ABCs vanishing in the blink of an eye, or even seen in association with strange lights in the sky.

"So, what might these other ABC’s be, if not wholly flesh and blood? For a possible answer, we have to turn to an old and sinister tradition known as the Taigheirm. Merrily Harpur, a British big cat researcher and the author of Mystery Big Cats, said of the Taigheirm: 'This was an infernal magical sacrifice of cats in rites dedicated to the subterranean gods of pagan times, from whom particular gifts and benefits were solicited. They were called in the Highlands and the Western Isles of Scotland, the Black-Cat Spirits.'"

That's how my latest Mysterious Universe article begins, and which continues right here...

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Creatures in the Pub

There's a new Mysterious Universe article from me, which deals with a subject many might find downright weird, but which is not short on tales: namely, the cryptozoological connections to pubs in the UK.

Yep, throughout the land you can find old inns by the name of the George & Dragon or the Black Dog. But, there's another category too. And that's the one I focus on in my article, which begins as follows...

"Us Brits are known for having a wild time knocking back more than a few beers down the local pub on a Friday night. But, some pubs are wilder than others. Like really wild. As in monstrously wild. Wondering what on earth I’m talking about? Well, I’ll tell you. There are more than a few pubs in the UK that have legends attached to them of strange, hairy man-beasts in their very midst.

"In a roundabout way, the first story has a connection to me. It came to me via my dad, Frank, who got it from a close friend of his: Eddie. The two of them, to this very day, work together on weekends as volunteer guides at the aerospace museum at England’s Royal Air Force Cosford. Eddie knows that I have a somewhat unusual job and passion (to say the least!), and a few years ago he shared with my dad a story, the origins of which date back to the 19th Century, and to Eddie’s great-uncle."

And here's the full article...

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Friday, April 12, 2013

A Cattle Mute Caught in the Act?

You don't get to hear much about cattle mutilations in the UK. At least, I don't!

But, I do have one case in my files that wasn't so much a cattle mute, but nearly a mute. Perhaps. Maybe. I dunno!

Anyway, I have summarized the details in a new Mysterious Universe article which starts as follows:

"Back in January of this year I gave a lecture for the Orange County, California chapter of the Mutual UFO Network, MUFON. While there, a member of the audience asked me if there had ever been any reports of cattle mutilations in the UK, where I was born and brought up. When I asked the man if he meant mutilations of animals by what might be perceived as extraterrestrials, he replied: “Yes.” Well, that’s a tricky one to answer.

"In my books, There’s Something in the Woods and Monster Diary, I discussed a variety of highly disturbing animal mutilation events in the UK. Some of those cases involved sheep. In other cases, cats were the victims. And in a few, horses were the unlucky ones. Moreover, I have also discussed other such incidents from the UK right here, at Mysterious Universe. Here’s one example and here’s another. But, I have to say that all the cases of animal mutilation I came across in the UK seemed to be linked to occult sacrifice, rather than to UFOs, as the links above will demonstrate."

And here's the article in full...

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A Vision in the Desert

There's a new post from me at Mysterious Universe that deals with an unusual, but interesting, story that links a flying monster with nothing less than peyote...

It has generally been my experience that when I’m speaking at a UFO conference, I am approached by people wishing to impart the details of encounters of a distinctly alien kind. And in a similar fashion, on those occasions when I lecture for audiences whose interests are fixed firmly within the realm of cryptozoology, more often than not I end up being the recipient of tales pertaining to all things monstrous. But there have been exceptions to the rule.

One particularly notable exception came my way midway through November 2006 when I traveled to Sin City itself, Las Vegas, to give a lecture on crashed UFOs at the annual UFO Crash Retrieval conference that author Ryan Wood held, for many years, deep in the heart of the city.

Here's the complete article...

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Shadows on the Sea: New Book

Neil Arnold has a new book out right now.
It covers a wide range of British-based fortean phenomena, but with one central theme: all of the cases in the book occurred at sea.
Very appropriately, it's titled Shadows on the Sea: The Maritime Mysteries of Britain.
And here's the press-release for the book:
A new book by Neil Arnold (Published by The History Press) ISBN- 978-0-7524-8772-4
Ever wondered just what strange things lurk in the cold depths of Britain’s foaming seas? Ever taken the time to peek down into those grey waters as you’re fishing, or skinny-dipping off a rugged coastline?
Now, for the first-time ever Britain’s underwater domain can be viewed in a different light as monster-hunter Neil Arnold takes us hundreds, if not thousands of metres beneath the sea in the hope of finding out if those seafaring tales of monsters and mysterious manifestations are true. Do strange beasts resembling serpents inhabit those inky depths? What of those old folktales concerning mermaids - mere superstition or fact?
Fisherman have long spoken of “the one that got away” but what of those seemingly tall stories that speak of haunted boats and phantom vessels – ships believed to have been wrecked many years previous on harsh coastlines, only to reappear on the horizon with tatty sails unmoved by the wind. Can we truly believe the stories told by witnesses of spectral sailors and ghostly crewmen aboard ships that have not seen action for decades? And can we discount those even stranger tales where those aboard great ships and smaller boats too, have reported seeing unusual lights emerge from, and enter the frothing waters?
Forget Peter Benchley’s classic novel Jaws, SHADOWS ON THE SEA – THE MARITIME MYSTERIES OF BRITAIN is a real-life exploration in search of those horrors of the deep that you dismissed (or believed in!) for years.
Along with several tales pertaining to sea-related superstitions, you’ll also hear about cursed sea-chests, the Devil and the deep blue sea, haunted cliffs and beaches, smugglers tales, strange coastal swarms, killer sands, haunted lighthouses, phantom bells at sea, ghostly lands, haunted buoys, spooky submarines and close encounters of the coastal kind.
SHADOWS ON THE SEA (which includes a foreword by Jonathan Downes of the Centre for Fortean Zoology) covers all manner of British maritime mysteries, so, just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water – it isn’t!
Available from all good bookshops and online. Priced £12.99

Monday, April 8, 2013

Bigfoot, Séances and Ouija-Boards

In my book, Wildman: The Monstrous and Mysterious Saga of the British Bigfoot, I discuss a strange decades-old affair involving a hair-covered wild man and a séance - in the English city of Coventry, no less!

Here's how I describe it in the pages of Wildman:

"The late Stan Gooch, the author of a number of books, including Creatures from Inner Space and The Paranormal, told of his encounter with nothing less than what seemed to be a Neanderthal man at a séance held at a house in the English city of Coventry in the 1950s!

"In Gooch’s very own words, during the course of the séance, something both primitive and primeval materialised before the shocked attendees:

"'This was a crouching ape-like shape, which became clearer as the moments passed. I guess it approximated to most people’s idea of what an ancient cave man would look like. Yet one could not make out too much detail – the eyes were hidden, for example. It stood in half shadow, watching us, breathing heavily as if nervous. I must say, though, that I sensed rather than heard the breathing. I could not decide whether our visitor was wearing the skin of some animal, or whether it had a rough coat of hair of its own.'

"All attempts to question the man-beast, and have it join the circle, were utterly fruitless, and, eventually, it melted away into nothingness. Nevertheless, Gooch never forgot the experience and later mused upon the notion that what he had seen on that fateful evening was a ‘classic Neanderthal.'

"Rather interestingly, Gooch, in later years, penned a number of books, including The Neanderthal Question and The Neanderthal Legacy, which theorised that we, as Homo sapiens, are the result of a hybrid mix of Cro-Magnon man and Neanderthal man."

And there ends that particular extract. But there's still more: this is not the only occasion when dabbling into the world of séances has resulted in the manifestation of a hair-covered, ape-like entity.

As I also note in the pages of Wildman: "A Polish medium born Teofil Modrzejewski, but who adopted the name of Franek Kluski succeeded in summoning a wide range of beasts that have become absolute staple parts of Cryptozoology: A mysterious ape [emphasis mine] a giant, spectral bird, a huge cat, and a ghostly hound were just some of the Tulpas that put in appearances during Kluski’s early-20th century séances."

So, where is all this leading? Well, to my latest Mysterious Universe article, that's where!

It starts as follows and tells a story not at all unlike those of Gooch and Kluski, but from the United States:

"...In the week leading up to Christmas 2007, I found myself on the receiving end of one of the strangest stories ever to darken my path. It has been my experience that when people are looking to speak with someone about their encounters with the unknown, they seek out those most amenable to what they have to say. By that I mean: most of my cryptozoological work is focused upon those fringe cases that exhibit evidence of high-strangeness and paranormal qualities. And so, the bulk of the reports that are brought to my attention usually tend to present such eerie qualities, too. Laura’s certainly did.

"She was thirty-six, lived in Rochester, New York, and worked for the Post Office. Laura related to me a remarkable and disturbing series of events that occurred to her and several friends in the summer of 1985 – events that began with attempts to contact the spirit world and culminated in the manifestation of a fearful, hairy man-beast."

And here's the complete article.

I don't pretend - at all - to know why such creatures should appear during séances. But, they seemingly do, and at widely varying geographical locations, too. Any thoughts???

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Beasts on the Doorstep

My latest Lair of the Beasts article at Mania.com deals with those cryptozoological beasts that don't lurk in faraway lands, but sometimes almost on our very doorsteps...

Here it is...

Richard Thomas and the Bretwalda UFO Files

Over at The Examiner, Richard Thomas discusses his series of UFO-themed books for Bretwalda Books.

The 5 books that Richard has written (or, in a couple of cases, is still researching and writing) cover the notorious Berwyn Mountains "UFO crash" of 1974; the 1980 landing in Rendlesham Forest, Suffolk; the Betty and Barney Hill case; the Bermuda Triangle-linked vanishing of Flight 19; and the Aztec, New Mexico UFO affair of 1948.

As Richard notes in the interview:

"Bretwalda UFO Files is a range of short ebooks, I was told to keep the books under 10,000 words long, which is reflected in the price, they sell for around $3 or £2 each. The books are not meant to be the definitive word on any of these cases, just the essential information and some of my own opinions and observations They're a good starting place if you haven't looked into a particular case."

You can find the interview with Richard right here, and here's where you can learn more about the UFOs titles of Bretwalda Books.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

A Magnet for Weirdness...

"One of the things that has long fascinated me is how and why certain places on our planet seem to attract an incredibly large amount of paranormal activity of an astounding and varied nature. I guess the best example would be Point Pleasant, West Virginia, USA. Most people would associate it with the legendary Mothman of John Keel’s classic book, The Mothman Prophecies. And they would be right to do so. But, when sightings of the red-eyed winged-thing were at their height in the 1960s, the Men in Black were also making their presence felt in Point Pleasant. Animal mutilations were reported. Contactee-style UFO encounters occurred. The weird list goes on. And, notably, so do the weird places…"

That's how I start my new Mysterious Universe article, which focuses on a little old English village that has been a hotbed of strangeness for more than 130 years. Its name is Ranton, and it's situated only a short drive from where I spent my childhood.

A "Man-Monkey," pixies, alien big cats, and a George Adamski-type UFO encounter are just a few of the things that call this Twin Peaks-like place their home...

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Terror in the Lone Star State

My latest Mysterious Universe article digs into the controversy surrounding large cats roaming around my very own stomping grounds.

Here's how it starts:

"Last week, I penned an article here on sightings of what sounded like incredibly large wolves and even – far more amazingly – real-life werewolves on the loose in the state of Texas, which has been my home for the past twelve or so years. It’s not my intention to pummel you with endless tales of strange and out-of-place animals on the loose in the Lone Star State. But, I am doing one more article on such matters, and this is it! The subject: the large and exotic cats of Texas; cats that had no business roaming the state, but that apparently, were doing exactly that in decades long gone…

"In early 2009, I spent several days delving deeply into the old archives of a variety of Texas-based newspapers, and uncovered a number of significant reports from years-past of big and exotic cats on the loose in Texas."

And here's how it ends!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Vanishing Aircraft and a UFO

My latest Mysterious Universe article deals with a case involving no less than two missing aircraft and (possibly) a UFO.

It's right here...

And here's an extract from it:

"The so-called'Kinross Case' focuses upon the strange – and still-unresolved – disappearance of a U.S. Air Force F-89C jet fighter that was scrambled late on the night of November 23, 1953. At the time, it was on an 'active air defense mission' to intercept an 'unknown aircraft' over Lake Superior. Kinross Air Force Base, which was closest to the scene where the “unknown” was initially tracked, quickly alerted the 433rd Fighter Interception Squadron at Truax Field, Madison, Wisconsin, and the F-89C gave immediate chase.
"Available USAF records demonstrate that the F-89 was vectored west-northwest, then west, climbing to 30,000 feet. While on its westerly course, the crew received permission to descend to 7,000 feet, turning east-northeast and coming steeply down on the target from above. Alarmingly, as the aircraft closed-in on the'unknown' it subsequently vanished into oblivion, along with its two crew-members. The last radar contact placed the interceptor at 8,000 feet, 70 miles from Keeweenaw Point, and about 150 miles northwest of Kinross AFB, which, today, is called Kincheloe AFB."