Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Weird News of the Week


Glow-in-the-Dark Ice Cream

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Deep in the Amazon with a 
Troupe of Medical Clowns

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Light on Mars

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Making Amends 70 years later

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Horse Yoga, Peacefully Strange

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Positive News of the Week



Dog Sniffs out Cancer

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Beating the Odds

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A Change in Font

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Brides Against Breast Cancer

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Flores, Italian Soccer Player, offers to 
Adopt Abandoned Baby

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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Weird News of the Week



Glow-in-the-Dark Trees

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Britain's Punctuation War

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Sheep needed for Shearing Olympics

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Discovery in Ancient Sea Turtle Artifacts

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Creature of the Month: The Monkey Man of Delhi and the Leaping Louts by Micah Hanks


I've been bit and I've been tossed around
By every she-rat in this town
Have you?
And I am just a monkey man
I'm glad you are a monkey woman too

The Rolling Stones, “Monkey Man”

Fables of monsters attacking small hamlets and villages in remote corners of ancient countrysides are not unusual, even when such accounts seem to spill over from the pages of fairytales of yesteryear. Within the last several hundred years, there have been reports of raucus beasts that attacked parts of the French countryside, such as the fabled Beast of Gevaudan which I recounted in an earlier installment here on the New Page Creatures Blog. Similar strange reports have recounted wild men with manes running down their backs, as was reportedly found in Ireland, of all places, some time in the 1100s. And modern areas like the Cannock Chase in England still boast their legends of strange monkey-men that haunt the roads and ridges by night.

Whether it’s fact, or purely folklore, these stories lend a touch of comfort to the uncertain mind, in a way. They allow for us to express our fear of monsters in an enjoyable way through the recognition of myths and legends, rather than having to endure the fright of encountering such a beast in the waking world. Indeed, there is something truly unsettling about the notion that any such encounter could ever occur in reality; and yet, in the spring of 2001, this is precisely what many have said did happen in one of the largest cities of the Eastern world.

It was on the unluckiest of days, the thirteenth of May that year, that reports of a strange, and violent beast began to emanate from the capital of India at New Delhi. On that day, at least fifteen individuals had reported being injured by something, leaving them injured with bites and other injuries from their encounters. Authorities had been concerned about a wild animal that may have been operating in the area, but those who had been attacked said that the creature, whatever it was, walked like a man, and carried itself with superhuman prowess.

Photo Shared From Cryptidz Wikia

Two days later, another incident occurred where a small group of people had claimed they say a “monkey man” that chased them; no injuries were reported in this instance, other than a pregnant mother who had fallen down a stairway during the panic that ensued. Similar injuries would occur in the town of Noida, where one man fell off of a building in the aftermath of another of these monkey man panics.  Elsewhere, the unkempt appearance of a Hindu sadhu resulted in a mob of frightened people beating him, after he was mistaken for being the dreaded monkey man; then on May 18, a motorist was similarly mistaken for the beast, resulting in a similar attack by fearful locals.

What, if anything, was the Monkey Man of Delhi? Many have compared the beast to the Himalayan Yeti or its cousin, the famed Abominable Snowman of the Americas known today as Bigfoot, with some reports marking the Indian monster well above seven feet in height, and possessing not only superhuman strength, but the curious ability to leap great distances, often making its escape by ascending to the tops of buildings and leaping from roof to roof. These epic reports were likened to some manifestation of the Indian god Hanuman, whose hybrid appearance bore aspects of both man and ape. However, despite these depictions of Delhi’s monster as being of truly monstrous stature, generally the more consistent reports of the Monkey Man topped the creature off at just four feet tall. But perhaps the very strangest aspect of this beast was the fact that in many cases, it hardly seemed to resemble any “monkey” at all.

Hanuman Shared from http://mohansuniverse.wordpress.com/

A variety of alternative descriptions paint the picture of a small, helmeted man, clad in armor or some kind of bodysuit with large buttons upon the breast. Additionally, many of those alleging to have been injured by the beast described having been clawed by what appeared to be metallic claws the monster wore. Stranger still, there are entirely different reports from either of these monkey-like or armored-man scenarios, which describe the creature as looking bandaged like an Egyptian mummy, giving it a more classically horrific appearance the likes of which one would expect in American cinema. Still others would describe the beast as being “machine like”, and while resembling a monkey, also sporting blinking red and blue lights.

            The variety of interpretations presented here, in their inconsistency, steer us away from a singly, broad-reaching phenomenon that had been facing the people of Delhi between 2001 and 2002. Perhaps the most intriguing of these descriptions is that of the helmeted dwarf with armor and metallic claws, and not for any reliability that it gives us, so much as its similarity to other manifestations in the lore of Forteana.

            Indeed, there is more than a passing resemblance between the Monkey Man reports in 2001 and the famous leaping lout, Spring Heeled Jack, who taunted and tormented London in the 1830s. Obviously, the metallic helmet and claws in the Delhi case from 2001 bear obvious resemblance here, in that the Spring Heeled Jack character was fitted with similar destructive accoutrements, in addition to purportedly possessing the ability to eject blue flames from his mouth. But there are other parallels of interest; while it is less often discussed in relation to the Spring Heeled Jack reports, some of the early encounters that are discussed among these legends involve a hairy beast, with some describing it as bear-like. Consider this testimony, shared by Sir John Cowan, Lord Mayor of London, during a public session on January 9, 1838, in which he read a letter sent to him by a constituent who summarized the various faces of Spring Heeled Jack, and in all its unconventional varieties:

It appears that some individuals (of, as the writer believes, the highest ranks of life) have laid a wager with a mischievous and foolhardy companion, that he durst not take upon himself the task of visiting many of the villages near London in three different disguises — a ghost, a bear, and a devil; and moreover, that he will not enter a gentleman's gardens for the purpose of alarming the inmates of the house. The wager has, however, been accepted, and the unmanly villain has succeeded in depriving seven ladies of their senses, two of whom are not likely to recover, but to become burdens to their families.

It is indeed difficult to dismiss the fact that a hairy, manlike beast was even reported in the early cases involving Spring Heeled Jack, which many attributed to varieties of pranks that were being played by some individual with the sadistic intention of evoking pure terror in the neighborhood. Speculation as to who it might have been is well beyond the focus of our present discussion, however, aside from noting that the similarities do exist.

            Returning again to the Asian world, there have been further reports of more bonafide Monkey Men in other locales, such as Bukit Panjang in Singapore. "We were always told as children when in the Kampung not to go near the forest at night due to the Monkey Man, “ one local recounted, as collected by Richard Freeman and, subsequently, Jon Downes of the Centre for Fortean Zoology. “Of course we never saw it ourselves but it was always some uncle or friend of the family who had seen it. Once we were shown these footprints near the forest road, and I remember the strong urine smell. Whenever we heard shrieks coming from the jungle we would tell each other- don't disturb the Monkey Man."

            Perhaps there truly is little more to these myths, really, than the fact that they are indeed myths, aimed at sending children off to bed at a reasonable hour, and keeping them there under the mild pretense of fear, as presented by such archetypal things that go bump in the night. And yet, in Delhi around the turn of the century, there had indeed seemed to be far more at play; physical attacks, and long reaching theories about who, or perhaps what, may have been accosting people in Delhi. Was there a “leaping lout” the likes of Spring Heeled Jack that surfaced in the area, or had some wild, disoriented beast appeared, causing panic and fear in the region? It’s almost impossible to speculate, although the sociological components to this mystery will perhaps remain among the more telling clues in this curious narrative of a man-beast in modern India. 

Micah Hanks is a writer, researcher, lecturer, and radio personality whose work addresses a variety of scientific concepts and unexplained phenomena. Over the last decade, his research has examined a variety of approaches to studying the unexplained, cultural phenomena, human history, and the prospects of our technological future as a species as influenced by science.

He is author of several books, including his 2012 New Page Books release, The UFO Singularity, The Ghost RocketsMagic, Mysticism and the Molecule, and Reynolds Mansion. Hanks is an editor for Intrepid Magazine, and consulting editor/contributor for FATE Magazine and The Journal of Anomalous Sciences. He writes for a variety of other publications, and produces a weekly podcast, The GralienReport, which follows his research.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Positive News of the Week


The Bang before The Big Bang

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Saved by Mattress

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Oil Pulling: the New Health Craze

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Paying it Forward

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Weird News of the Week


Fortune Cookie Leads to Powerball Win

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The New Bacon App

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Himalayan Attack Cat Starts Therapy

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Volcanoes served as haven for Plant Life during Ice Age

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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Positive News of the Week

Changing the Face of MS

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A Cheap, Promising New Way to Filter Water

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Cat Saves 11 People from House Fire

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Plowing with Heart

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A Love Note After 25 Years

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Rusty, the Stray, Becomes a Loyal Companion

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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Weird News of the Week


Cat Bites Linked to Depression?

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New Twist in Haunted Pub Mystery

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'Big Mango' Thieves, Australia

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Florescent Antler Makeovers

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Google Maps feature Mysterious Egyptian Spiral

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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Creature of the Month - The Kelpie by Nick Redfern


Paul Bell was a keen fisherman who I met back in early 2001 and who had a remarkable story to relate of truly monstrous proportions. And when I say “remarkable,” I’m not exaggerating. His summer 1976 encounter, on a pleasant and picturesque stretch of English canal, involved not just one breed of bizarre beast but two.

The further I dug into the story, however, the more and more convinced I became that the diabolical monsters were actually one and the same - albeit in an acutely strange fashion. If that all sounds very odd, well, it is! Bear with me, however, and all will soon become clear.

Bell told me how, in July and August of 1976, he spent several Saturdays sat on the banks of England’s Shropshire Union Canal with his rods, reels, bait, cans of beer, and favorite beef and onion sandwiches, soaking in the intense heat of what was without doubt an absolutely scalding hot couple of months.

I seriously doubt that anyone who grew up in England, and who is old enough to remember the summer of 1976, will ever quite forget those truly extraordinary temperatures that briefly, and memorably, plunged the entire nation into complete and utter scalding chaos. But it was far stranger things than the occasional extreme nature of the British weather that Paul Bell had fixed on his mind.

He told me how, on one particular Saturday afternoon, he was sat near the water’s edge on a small wooden stool that he always carried with him, when he was “literally frozen solid” by the sight of “what at first I thought was a big log floating down the cut, about sixty or seventy feet away.” According to Bell, however, it was no log; it was something else entirely. As it got closer, Bell was both astonished and horrified to see a large “dark brown and black colored” eel or snake-like creature – possibly ten feet in length or a little bit more – moving slowly in the water, with its head – that “looked like a black sheep” - flicking rapidly from side to side. Although he had an old Polaroid camera with him, said Bell, he never even thought to take a photograph. Instead, he merely stared in both awe and shock as the animal cruised past him, before finally vanishing out of sight.

I had heard similar accounts to Bell’s on several previous occasions – namely, of giant eels roaming British waterways, and particularly those of the West Midlands. In that sense, Bell’s story was not that unusual to me at all, even though it certainly involved what was without doubt an unknown animal of truly impressive proportions.

But what elevated matters to a far stranger level was the fact that Bell claimed, in quite matter of fact fashion, I have to confess, that the following Saturday he was fishing in practically the same spot when “I got the feeling I was being watched” and saw something equally monstrous – yet manifestly different in nature and appearance. It was nothing less than a large, hairy, ape-like creature!

Peering across the width of the canal, Paul was both horrified and petrified to see a dark, hairy face staring intently at him out of the thick, green bushes. The head of the animal was unmistakably human-like “but crossed with a monkey” said Bell, who added that “as soon as it saw me looking at it, up it went and ran right into the trees and I lost it.” He further explained: “That was it; a second or two was all at the most. But as it got up and ran I knew it was a big monkey. There’s nothing else it could have been. But what flummoxed me more than seeing it though, was what was it doing there?”

It has to be said that most people go through their entire lives never, ever encountering an animal of the unknown variety even once. But here was a man claiming to have seen no less than two completely different monsters, but in pretty much the same location and time-frame. Of course, the skeptic might state that Paul Bell was nothing more than a hoaxer or a fantasist. There is, however, a far more intriguing possibility. It’s a highly disturbing possibility, too.

Within the centuries-old folklore, mythology and culture of the people of Scotland, tales are told of an infernal beast known as the Kelpie, which translates as water-horse. It’s a violent monster that spends most of its time lurking in pools, ponds, lakes and rivers, waiting to pounce on unwary walkers that pass by. It’s also a monster of distinctly paranormal proportions, one which thrives on killing the living and devouring their souls. Like the classic werewolf, the Kelpie is a shape-shifter.

Boy on White Horse by Theodor Kittelsen

Rather notably, there are three particular forms into which the Kelpie most often mutates. One is that of a horse, hence the term of water-horse. The creature positions itself by the edge of the water, doing its absolute utmost to invite those that encounter the “horse” to mount it. That, however, is always the deadly mistake of the traveler, as invariably the Kelpie then reacts in violent fashion and charges head-long into the depths of the waters, thus drowning the already-doomed rider in the process.

There are two other forms into which the Kelpie can shape-shift: one is a creature of the water (in some cases, a serpent-like monster and, in others, a mermaid-style entity) and the other is a large hair-covered, humanoid beast. This, of course, brings us right back to the matter of Paul Bell and his summer 1976 encounter. It must be said that, as incredible as it sounds, Bell’s story is highly suggestive of a relatively modern day encounter with an ancient Kelpie. After all, on both occasions Bell was situated close to the water – and given the nature of the experiences, arguably perilously close. And, at that very same water’s edge, and on the same stretch of canal, he encountered two Kelpie-style archetypes: a water-beast and a hairy, ape-like creature.

Paul Bell was, I strongly suspect, very lucky not to have been dragged to his death in the darkened depths of that accursed waterway. And with that thought in mind, I urge you to tread very carefully should you ever find yourself in the vicinity of England’s Shropshire Union Canal. The Kelpie may be coming for you too…

Nick Redfern is the author of many books, including the upcoming Close Encounters of the Fatal Kind, For Nobody's Eyes Only, Monster FilesThe Pyramids and the Pentagon; The Real Men in Black; The NASA Conspiracies; and Keep Out!He has appeared on more than 70 TV shows, including: Fox News; the BBC’s Out of This World; the SyFy Channel’s Proof Positive; the History Channel’s Monster Quest, America’s Book of Secrets, Ancient Aliens, and UFO Hunters; the National Geographic Channel’s Paranatural; and MSNBC’s CountdownNick writes regularly for UFO Magazine, Mysterious Universe, and Fate.

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