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Archive for the tag “woods”

Autumn of Terror: There’s Something in The Woods…

By @hmsbeefnuts

Here at All Geek To Me, we love our horror, almost as much as we love Superheroes, and Batman, but not quite. However, in line with our previous month long special events, Avenging April and Summer Knights, we have decided that October, the spookiest month of the year, shall be dubbed The Autumn of Terror here at AGTM.

Why Autumn of Terror? Well it’s a reference to the late Summer and Autumn of 1888, which in London became known as The Autumn of Terror due to Jack the Ripper. I personally find the mystery of who Jack the Ripper was fascinating, and as it was now 124 years ago, we felt that using the name Autumn of Terror was perfectly fine. There will (hopefully) be an article all about Jack the Ripper up-coming, as soon as I write it, as well as a month full of horror movies, books, monsters, ghosts, and things that go bump in the night. It is only 30 days now until All Hallows Eve, when the restless spirits of the dead search the Earth for… ummm, pumpkins, or something I guess? They are definitely after something, so let’s get prepared as we dip into our first serving of the Autumn of Terror, I hope you enjoy this month…

I thought I would kick off AOT with a look at ‘real’ life monsters, things that go bump in the night, and the creatures that are said to inhabit the darkest and most remote places on Earth. Cryptozoology is the study of hidden animals, and there are genuine people who search for these creatures, known as cryptozoologists. Now I know that it is very unlikely that any of these creatures exist, yet people have seen them for hundreds of years, and in some cases, hundreds of times in one year. Who is to say that these creatures can not be real? People are seeing something, and the next time you find yourself in the woods, or on a lake, it may be worth being a little bit more cautious. You wouldn’t want to end up as a Sasquatch’s lunch…

LAKE MONSTERS

Nessie, or the Loch Ness Monster is the daddy of the lake monster class of monsters. First seen in the 6th Century AD by St. Columba, the monster didn’t really hit it’s stride until the 1930’s When a new road opened the Loch up to passing motorists. Every year tourists flock to the Loch in search of the monster, and there are sightings every year. Numerous searches have proved fruitless, but there are said to be caves under the Loch that link it to the sea, so maybe Nessie goes back and forth? Whatever the truth, I don’t think I’d like to swim across the Loch, and not just because it friggin’ massive either.

Lake Champlain also has a monster, this one dubbed Champie. First seen in 1883, there have been over 300 reported sightings of this Plesiosaur like animal, with no reported injuries to humans, but the important part of that phrase is ‘reported’.

BIG HAIRY MONSTERS

My personal favourite cryptid is Bigfoot. The picture above is taken from the Patterson/Gimlin film from 1966 the most famous piece of footage for any cryptid. Bigfoot, or Sasquatch has been seen for hundreds of years and is the best shout on this list for actually being real, along with his cousin the Yeti. Reports have stated that Bigfoots have kidnapped people, attacked people and are generally not a good a creature one should piss off. Around 8ft tall and hugely muscled, strong and fast, the Bigfoot isn’t a monster to be messed with.

The Yeti is a Bigfoot type creature found in the snows of Tibet as well as the temperate valleys. Also known as the Abominable Snowman, foot prints have been found in the snows since the 1920’s, but perhaps the best evidence comes from below the snow level, where the Yeti are said to spend most of their time in the forests and jungles. Makes sense really, I bet it damn cold up there, even if you have those big furry coats.

OTHER MONSTERS OF NOTE

In Britain we have our fair share of cryptids. There are said to be Bigfoot creatures seen on Scottish mountains, lake monsters and sea serpents aplenty, but perhaps the most common cryptid is the ABC (Alien Big Cat). Now it is quite reasonable to suggest that a population of big cats, perhaps puma or even panther do survive and prosper throughout the UK. Certainly many farmers have seen the damage that these beasts have done to their livestock. The Beast of Bodmin Moor, The Surrey Puma, and even the Essex Lion have all made headlines in recent years. Think twice before taking a walk alone in the countryside…

Many hundreds of people have also reportedly seen werewolves, yes, werewolves. Now this stretches credibility a bit far, but many rational people around America have seen a large wolf-like creature that walks on two legs. I should know, I read a book on it. Theories range from an adapted form of wolf, to a spirit animal, and everything in between, however, one man was reportedly attacked by one, so you know, maybe it was a bear or something, but maybe, just maybe it was a werewolf?

Mokele Mbembee is a surviving dinosaur said to live in the Congo jungles. A creature feared by locals, it is said to upturn boats, drowning those inside. Usually described as a long necked type dinosaur, like an Apatosaurus, which was a herbivore, perhaps the Mokele Mbembee has adapted to feast on the flesh of drowning locals?

The Jersey Devil is said to haunt the Pine Barrens of New Jersey, and woe betide any traveler who meets this horrific creature on their journey.

The Thunderbird is from Native American legend, and is a beast who is said to bring thunder and storms. Even though this creature is firmly set in myth, people do report seeing gigantic birds in the skies of remote parts of America, and there have also been reports of such birds attacking people.

People also from time to time report seeing much larger versions of regular animals. One such example are wolves. From time to time people are reporting seeing wolves of gigantic size, wolves that bear a striking resemblance to Dire Wolves, a now extinct, (or is it?) species of wolf that hunted the American forests thousands of years ago. The Dire Wolf is strong, quick and fierce and is much bigger than any known wolf today, not the kind of creature you want to meet on your way to Grandmothers house…

Bigfoot Trivia

By @hmsbeefnuts

Happy Sunday to all. I am in a very good mood today as I have managed to convince Geeky Gem that she is much better at Trivia than I am, and that she should do it every week. I also demanded that I was allowed to write my last trivia articles, for the time being, on any subject that I want. She has agreed, and so in the first of my last two weeks on the job as trivia giver of the week, I shall be giving you, dear reader, 10 facts on one of my favourite subjects, Bigfoot, or Sasquatch if you prefer. Now, I don’t know if Bigfoots exist, I would really love them too. But there is enough weird stuff going on in the woods that it bares a closer look.

I have never seen one, but then I live in Wales, and Bigfoot doesn’t often venture across the pond. Here in Wales, we don’t have many big hairy hominids, apart from on the rugby pitches up and down the nation, we have ABC’s (Alien Big Cats), and the odd reports of flying snakes! I have never seen either of these cryptids either, especially winged snakes (I wonder why), but my fascination for cryptozoology continues, for proof see this, and this. Whatever your views, Bigfoot is cool, or at least the idea of Bigfoot is cool. Now I can’t very well give you 10 Bigfoot facts, as facts in this case, can not be determined. I shall however give you 10 famous encounters with the Big Hairy one throughout the ages.

 

In 1884 in British Columbia, a crew of railway workers claims to have seen an ‘ape man’ during the summer, walking near the tracks. The workers forced it into a carriage, and held the ape man in a jail cell for several days, feeding it berries. They named their captive Jacko.

 

Imagine getting kidnapped by Bigfoot! Well in 1924 a lumberjack called Albert Ostman, woke up whilst being carried away in his sleeping bag. After a few hours, Ostman was put down and found himself in the lair of a family of Bigfoots. It seems the adult male had carried him there. They didn’t hurt him, but wouldn’t let him leave. He escaped by feeding the big Sasquatch a can of snuff.

 

Also in 1924, Fred Beck and four other Gold miners claimed that their cabin in Mount St, Helens was put under attack by a number of ‘ape men’ who threw rocks and tried to get in to the cabin. The men grabbed their rifles and shot one of them, although the body fell off a cliff.

 

In the summer of 1958, Jerry Crew, a tractor operator at Bluff Creek noticed giant footprints all over the construction site. He cast the
footprints and sent them to a local news reporter. They dubbed the creature Bigfoot, and a legend was born.

 

Reports from Honey Island in Louisiana’s swamp land describe a monster that lives there. It is known as the Louisiana Wookie, because it looks like Chewbacca.

 

In 1976 Virgil Larson, an outdoors-man and hiker encountered a Bigfoot who he thought was a park ranger. He shouted a greeting and was shocked when the Big man just stared back at him. Larson left sharpish.

 

This next one is straight out of the X – Files. Apparently a rancher shot a Bigfoot in Big Sky County. The dead body was confiscated by the FBI. Seems like bollocks to me.

In 2008 a Bigfoot hoax was perpetrated on the world press by Rick Dyer and Mark Whitton. They claimed they had a dead Bigfoot, which they kept in a freezer. It turned out to be a costume, and the two claimed it was all a big joke.

 

Bigfoot has even made it to the Whitehouse. In 1892, President Roosevelt wrote a book called The Wilderness Hunter. In the book a man named Bauman and his partner are camping along Montana’s Wisdom River. In the night they are disturbed by an ‘ape man’. They fire their gun at the creature who runs off. The next day, Bauman woke up, but his friend didn’t, he was found with his neck snapped and teeth marks on his throat. Bauman ran off, gun in hand, it was the creature who was responsible.

 

1967, Patterson and Gimlin capture the best video footage of Bigfoot ever. In broad daylight, the two men filmed a large female Bigfoot across a sandbar. The film is the best evidence yet for Bigfoot’s existence, but is very controversial.

SQUATCH AND LEARN

By @hmsbeefnuts

I am slightly obsessed by Bigfoot. I love Sasquatch. I think Yeti’s are amazing. Anyone who knows me will probably tell you that there are few things in life I find more intriguing than the big hairy dude in the woods. I don’t know when all this started. I remember really liking Harry and the Hendersons, and the TV show follow up. I also remember a board game where a Bigfoot on top of a mountain would roll boulders down on to players game pieces. I remember loving this game. It’s easy to understand why I love the subject. I like Cryptozoology as a whole, the study and hunt for hidden animals, The Loch Ness Monster, Mongolian Death Worms, the Chupacabra, all these mysterious creatures are fascinating to me, but Bigfoot stands head and shoulders above all others, as the king of the Cryptids.

 

It’s about the mysteriousness of the woods. A deep seated wonder about what lurks in the ferny darkness. It is a very human need, to solve mysteries and perhaps find our more animalistic past. I do not know what Bigfoot is. An undiscovered great ape, a surviving offshoot of Gigantopithicus or something different. I don’t even know if they exist, but if I try really hard, I can just about rationalise to myself that they could exist, it is not beyond the realms of possibility.

 

I can still remember the first time I saw the famous Patterson Gimlin Film. What a moment. I have watched countless documentaries on this film alone. All with different views on the subject, some claiming that the footage is proof, others that the footage shows nothing more than a man in a suit. I would love the footage to be real.

 

As I got older I started to read articles and books on the subject. I am still an avid reader of Fortean Times, the journal of strange phenomena, and have a few books on the subject written by Loren Coleman. I literally, can not get enough of Sasquatch. I then became aware of the many awful and terribly acted Bigfoot movies, and although they are in the main low budget and absolute B Movie crap, I kind of love them anyway. I will sit through the worst film as long as it has Bigfoot or his snowy cousin the Yeti, in it.  Have a large collection of very bad Bigfoot films, that I am quite proud of.

 

Recently however, my obsession has gone into a slightly different direction, all thanks to a TV show on Animal Planet. Finding Bigfoot has become the one show that I absolutely can not miss every week, and it is now coming to an end, for this season at least. I am at a loss on what to watch Monday nights. Sure I love The Walking Dead, Eastbound & Down, The Office, Parks and Recreation, and the simply brilliant Community, but something about Finding Bigfoot keeps me more interested and entertained than almost anything else. Saying that, I don’t think I could recommend this show to most people. Even fans of Bigfoot are divided in their opinions of the show. For me though, this show is gold.

 

As any typical ‘reality show’ on the Discovery type channels, Finding Bigfoot relies on its human cast far more than any creatures that may, or may not exist, and what a great bunch they are. Lead by the founder of the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organisation (BFRO), Matt Moneymaker, Cliff Barackman, team sceptic Ranae Holland, and my personal favourite, James ‘Bobo’ Fay, are our team of squattchers who take us into the woods on our quest to find Bigfoot. The episodes could be described as formulaic, but I would choose to call them comfortably familiar. Basically most episodes conform to a similar set up. The team go and visit an area that has been the sight of a sighting, and video evidence was filmed. They talk to the relevant person involved and perform a recreation. They then spend the night at the sight Squattchin. One member usually stays at the site for a few days, whilst the others hold a town meeting to collect any other stories and sightings, they then visit the most promising people, and finally meet back up for one final squatch session in a place that they feel most likely to be the territory of a Bigfoot.

 

Now whether or not you believe in Sasquatch, well that’s kind of irrelevant, as the show is entertaining on a whole different level In fact, it may be more entertaining if you choose to believe that 4 insane people are wandering around the woods making squatch calls and finding ‘evidence’ around every corner. I love this show. I can’t get enough, it is 45 mins of pure entertainment and joy, about a team of people who may not always agree, but clearly have a great passion for the subject, and at the end of the day, what is more interesting, Bigfoot? Or Deadliest Catch, and Ice Road Truckers? I know what I would choose.

You may have seen the recent South Park episode, Jewbacabra, in which the Finding Bigfoot team were, not so affectionately mocked. I’m of the opinion however that you haven’t truly made it, until Matt Stone and Trey Parker have taken the piss out of you, so well done Finding Bigfoot team. It just goes to show what an impact Finding Bigfoot has made in such a short time. If you get the chance, and have even a passing interest in these kind of shows, or indeed the big hairy guy himself, check it out, it might just become your new obsession.

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