Sonntag, 18. März 2012

The Weird and the Wacky


The Weird and the Wacky….

I hope that everyone who’s reading this has had a good week. I’ve spent most of today cleaning up a flooded bathroom (broken pipe und the sink)  and hanging some chicken wire on the balcony to keep Carlos, our youngest cat, off the neighbour’s balcony. He paid them a visit this morning so something had to be done.
So anyways we’re just going to have to see how long my post for today is.

   When I was a kid the only thing cooler than made up monsters were the ones who were supposed to be real. I’m talking about Big Foot, Sasquatch, Yeti, Mothman, Sea and Lake Monsters, ETs and all of their brethren. When I was 11 or 12 I didn’t have a stack of Playboys, Gent or Gallery under the bed (These came later) like a few of my friend did. Nope, I have a stack of   “Argosy” and “SAGA” under the bed. These were the 2 best magazines for UFO and Monster stories. I mean, Hey! If it’s in print then it must be true? Am I right or am I right? 









At least that’s what I thought during the early 70s. I can still remember when I was 6 years old and we were living down on the Ohio River in Portsmouth. This was back in 1967-68 right at the time all of the “Mothman” hysteria was taking place.  I was seriously worried after seeing a few reports on TV about this stuff and having the neighbour girl’s boyfriend tell us all about it. There were also tons of UFO reports going around at the same time. These incidents went and put UFOs and “real” monsters on my Radar! A few years later I ran across a copy of “Strange Abominable Snowmen” by “Warren Smith”. The cover showing some guy in a parka about to be clubbed to death by some huge fanged Yeti was jut right up my alley.   I just had to have this book! This was one of those occasions where the begging that I mostly saved for emergencies paid of in spades. This book was filled with the stuff of nightmares and I was ecstatic! Cannibal Snowmen! Heading Hunting Snowmen! Snowmen who steal women and children! The list goes on and on. You couldn’t ask for a more lurid batch of alleged true incidences. 




My next big discovery was a few old paperbacks put together by “Frank Edwards”.  This guy was a treasure trove of “weird but true” stories. He was a journalist who did TV and Radio back during the 1950s and specialized in this kind of stuff. I had two paperbacks of his. They were “Strange World” and Stranger than Science”. Both had tons of monster stories with other things like strange disappearances, spontaneous combustion, prehistoric civilizations and so on. These books were also my first introductions to the “Bermuda Triangle”. I won’t lie to you. I at this shit up and with a big grin on my face even asked for more! 



It must have been when I was in the 8th grade or so that I stopped believing or at least I became much more sceptical. I consider myself extremely lucky that I can, as long as the story is interesting and well written, easily suspend all disbelief. I can to this day reread “John Keel’s” “The Mothman Prophecies” and still get some serious willies! It was back in the 80s when I was still in the “2nd ACR” and was pulling guard duty all by myself in a little shack in the woods. And to pass time I was reading an Alien Abduction book by “Bud Hopkins“and ended up, to my embarrassment, scared shitless! I KNEW this stuff wasn’t true but the story was so good that I believed it while I was reading it.
  Another treat were films from “Sun Classic Pictures” and also movies like “The Legend of Boggy Creek”. This “true” documentary style of films helped immensely to feed this obsession of mine about “real” monsters.
So even though these are not actual “vintage horror” they are still “vintage weirdness”!
And that has to count for something?
 Am I right or am I right?

My Bigfoot geek creds............



Here's the old "Patterson Bigfoot Film"

Trailer to "The Legend of Boggy Creek"

And some great trailers to a few documentaries from "Sun Classic"






Take care and thanks for stopping by!

Doug

Kommentare:

  1. Even at this late date, I have to rank John Keel's Our Haunted Planet, Vincent Gaddis' Invisible Horizons, Frank Edwards' Stranger Than Science & Coral & Jim Lorezen's UFOs: The Whole Story among the most personally influential nonfiction (*ahem*) books I've ever read. Mothman Prophecies would undoubtedly be on that list if I'd encountered it as a kid, rather than during (IIRC) grad school.

    In which general vein, I'm pleased to report that Amazon apparently is sending my copy of Lyle Blackburn's new The Beast of Boggy Creek: The True Legend of the Fouke Monster, my way even as I type. As I noted previously, I grew up 30 miles from where those sightings were reported, & I was in junior high when the incidents that prompted the movie were unfolding.

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  2. I read "The Mothman Prophecies" back in 75. I found it at the library.
    I also loved "Flying Saucers Serious Business" by Frank Edwards, Hyneks book and 2 books by John Fuller(?) "Incident at Exeter" and "Interrupted Journey". I'm also a big Loren Coleman fan. Were the Boogy Creek "events" as big a deal as portrayed in the film?

    Take care.
    Doug

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    1. Can't say offhand, not having seen the movie since it was on the big screen going on (god ...) 40 years ago. I do know it got pretty prominent coverage in the TEXARKANA GAZETTE (nearest paper of any size, with a circulation of probably around 40,000, the Arkansas side of which [the city straddles Texas & Ark.) is the in same county as Fouke). Not much statewide coverage, though, judging from the citations in Blackburn's book. I remember the Texarkana stories from when I was a kid (by coincidence, that paper was owned by the same guy as the much smaller one where I started my career a few years later, fresh out of college, as was the much larger paper in Little Rock) where I spent most of my journalism career). Don't recall any TV news reports, though of course the facilities for such in Texarkana were pretty limited -- the city accounted for basically one-half (with Shreveport, La.) of by far the cheapest of the 3 "Ark-La-Tex" stations. (It was also the station that had employed Charles Pierce as a cartoon-show host & the narrator of the movie as a weatherman, as it happens.)

      At the same time, it was also owned by the same guy as the Texarkana paper, so I wouldn't be too shocked to learn that it got at least a couple of on-air mentions. If so (or even if not), I'm sure nothing survives on tape from those days.)

      As you well know, back in the days before the internet & social media & even, to a large extent, cable TV, it was an entirely different world ...

      Dan

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  3. Can't say offhand, not having seen the movie since it was on the big screen going on (god ...) 40 years ago. I do know it got pretty prominent coverage in the TEXARKANA GAZETTE (nearest paper of any size, with a circulation of probably around 40,000, the Arkansas side of which [the city straddles Texas & Ark.) is the in same county as Fouke). Not much statewide coverage, though, judging from the citations in Blackburn's book. I remember the Texarkana stories from when I was a kid (by coincidence, that paper was owned by the same guy as the much smaller one where I started my career a few years later, fresh out of college, as was the much larger paper in Little Rock) where I spent most of my journalism career). Don't recall any TV news reports, though of course the facilities for such in Texarkana were pretty limited -- the city accounted for basically one-half (with Shreveport, La.) of by far the cheapest of the 3 "Ark-La-Tex" stations. (It was also the station that had employed Charles Pierce as a cartoon-show host & the narrator of the movie as a weatherman, as it happens.)

    At the same time, it was also owned by the same guy as the Texarkana paper, so I wouldn't be too shocked to learn that it got at least a couple of on-air mentions. If so (or even if not), I'm sure nothing survives on tape from those days.)

    As you well know, back in the days before the internet & social media & even, to a large extent, cable TV, it was an entirely different world ...

    Dan

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    1. Hell,even local broadcast TV at was at one time a different world! LOL

      By the way, wasn't Texarkana "The Town that Dreaded Sundown"?

      Take care.
      Doug

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    2. It was indeed. When I was 15 or so, a reclusive guy whose yard I mowed a couple of times turned out (my mother mentioned to me later) to have confessed to those killings, though he was one of those pathetic souls who confess to high-profile crimes out of some sort of compulsion.

      Dan

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  4. Yeah Doug, I remember Boggy Creek and all the UFO magazines. Ate them up myself. I grew up in the Florida that was the bridge between old Florida and the mess we have now. Our ghosts haunted roads and swamps instead of houses. And our version of Bigfoot was the Skunk Ape. You were supposed to be able to smell them before you saw them, hence the name. They seemed to be everywhere but no one ever came up with a specimen. They were always stalking people who made last seconds escapes, and tearing up property, but again, no captures. IN fact, just this morning a friend on Facebook posted a supposed picture of a Skunk Ape. Now I am like the those members of the British Society in The Lost World. Show me a specimen and I will believe it. Otherwise it's just another nice story.

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  5. It's all a matter of suspending disbelief while reading this kind of stuff.

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