What is a Fortean?

There are varying definitions, but a Fortean follows the anomalous researcher and writer tradition of Charles Fort. Charles Fort (1874- 1932) wrote numerous articles and books involving unexplained scientific and paranormal events. He is regarded by many to be the god-father of UFOlogy, the discoverer of ball lightning and the inventor of the term “teleportation.” Could any anomalous researcher match this curriculum vitae? We think not, but we endeavor to persevere.

As do many, in their own unique ways. Some Forteans focus on one aspect of the phenomenon. Faerie religions and the Fay are a favorite topic of many. You can find articles on faeries and ultrahumans in copies of the Fortean Times. Other Forteans form societies, groups or organizations. There are a number of them, and they all perform research in their own way. However, it’s worth noting that Fort himself chose to turn away from the first Fortean Society to bear his name. So, one doesn’t need to join any group or receive anyone’s blessing to become a Fortean.

From the Fortean Winds POV: In order to become a Fortean one needs only curiosity and an open mind. Fort rejected scientific dogma. He often used humor to make his point. This doesn’t mean he rejected science. He didn’t allow theory to overcome data. UFOs or UAP are the perfect example. Fort followed the subject closely. He was an early proponent of the extra-terrestrial hypothesis. In 2019, the Government admitted (again) that UFOs were real and NASA administrator Bill Nelson considers the extra-terrestrial hypotheses plausible.

Charles Fort – 1920 – Public Domain

Some of Fort’s hypotheses were tongue-in-cheek. He knew they were ridiculous, and put them out as a way of “trolling” science. This has value. He would not allow science to reject a world filled with anomalies and the unexplained. However, today people often confuse humor with fact, and when it comes to the subject of the unexplained this has created a distortion.

I believe nothing. I have shut myself away from the rocks and wisdoms of ages, and from the so-called great teachers of all time, and perhaps because of that isolation I am given to bizarre hospitalities. I shut the front door upon Christ and Einstein, and at the back door hold out a welcoming hand to little frogs and periwinkles. I believe nothing of my own that I have ever written. I cannot accept that the products of minds are subject-matter for beliefs. But I accept, with reservations that give me freedom to ridicule the statement at any other time, that showers of an edible substance that has not been traced to an origin upon this earth, have fallen from the sky, in Asia Minor.

Charles Fort (Lo! )1931

To illustrate this we would point to the second most famous Fortean of all time: John A. Keel. He wrote “The Mothman Prophecies” and a number of other books regarding anomalous subjects. While Fort did much of his research in the library, Keel was prone to adventure. He visited Point Pleasant, West Virginia in the 1960’s and became a part of the infamous UFO and cryptid flap during that era. He visited Egypt to look for ancient anomalies and saw a UFO. Like Fort, Keel was a bit of a loner. Many of his investigations were done by himself, and he chose not to join any particular group.

Fortean Winds is a collective made up of private and anonymous researchers. We have no organization and rarely agree on anything. This is healthy in our opinion. So, if you’re that type of person who needs a place to publish your research…please reach out. The only commonality we have is our data driven approach to the phenomenon. We do what we can to separate our theory from data. Because theory is always changing…

John A. Keel author of “The Mothman Prophecies” Vanity Fair.

Due to his experiences in Point Pleasant, Keel adopted a different view of UFOs and the paranormal in general stating: “I abandoned the extraterrestrial hypothesis in 1967, when my own field investigations disclosed an astonishing overlap between psychic phenomena and UFOs,” Keel wrote. “The objects and apparitions do not necessarily originate on another planet and may not even exist as permanent constructions of matter. It is more likely that we see what we want to see and interpret such visions according to our contemporary beliefs.”

Keel’s work bears a striking similarity to the current events and theories surrounding Skinwalker Ranch.

Keel coined the term “ultraterrestrial.” It featured heavily in his book “The Eighth Tower” and was meant to give readers his evolved view of the phenomenon toward the end of his career. The term “ultraterrestrial” was a way of getting people to stop thinking about the entities behind UFOs as E.T.’s from science fiction, and more like interdimensional beings or what’s commonly associated with demons and evil spirits.

He felt this term was a failure as people began to name the ultraterrestrials and assign them personalities. It became its own form of research when it was merely meant as a literary device. They forgot John A. Keel’s first maxim: “Never Form a Belief.” Theorize, hypothesize, guess, joke….but never form a belief. We’re looking for anomalous phenomenon and trying to show people it exists. That’s it. As you can see by looking at Fort and Keel. The reason they are so well known is they found real anomalies. They didn’t know what they found.

There are many other Forteans continuing to fight the good fight by pointing out that mysteries still happen every day. Some of them focus on taking field reports and following up on sightings. This is valuable data, and no doubt the people who witnessed the events are pleased to find someone who believes them. We can’t imagine how alone that must make someone feel, to witness the unknown and be called mad. It’s awful.

We don’t typically add single witness accounts to our research because they’re too hard to validate, but that doesn’t mean we don’t believe people. This is our own brand of Fortean research and you can read more about our approach in our about section. However, those firsthand accounts are important and we read as many as we can. Groups like “The Singular Fortean Society” are publishing detailed reports of anomalous activity frequently. As we look for patterns in the data, we always need more data.

The term “Fortean winds” specifically refers to a phenomenon described by Fort in which strange events seem to occur in clusters or waves, often coinciding with unusual weather patterns or changes in atmospheric conditions. For example, there might be a sudden increase in reports of UFO sightings or mysterious creatures seen in the woods during a period of stormy weather. This term has become a popular expression among paranormal researchers and enthusiasts, and is often used to describe strange and unexplained phenomena that seem to occur in inexplicable patterns or waves.

So, what is a Fortean? A Fortean is someone who researches the anomalous or unexplained. They are doing it in groups, they are doing it by themselves. They are doing it for no money, because there’s no money in it. Sure there are con-artists out there, selling all the answers for money. Yet, if they have all the answers, they’re not researching the unexplained because they have all the answers. We don’t have the answers. We have data, and we have theory. We’re just trying to understand it better. To us, that’s what a Fortean is. So, congratulations. You just became a Fortean.

Conjuring Charlatans: The Case of Ed and Lorraine Warren

Ed and Elizabeth Warren are portrayed as erstwhile paranormal investigators in the series of films collectively referred to as “The Conjuring Universe.” The films have grossed over 2 billion dollars. In real life, they also portrayed paranormal investigators.

Yet our research indicates they took advantage of people in distress and avoided discussions of evidence. If parts of their work did in fact involve real paranormal research, it’s almost impossible to parse from the hoaxes and stories they told.

Let’s take the Amityville Horror case. This was the case that made Ed and Lorraine Warren famous. For those unfamiliar, the claim around Amityville horror was that George and Kathy Lutz moved into a house for 28 days before they were forced to move out by malevolent spirits.

The house really had been the site of some terrible murders prior to the Lutz’s occupying the home. They also claimed it had been the site of a Native American burial ground, and this was the cause of the disturbance.

112 Ocean Ave NY where the alleged events happened. cc

The Amityville Horror case has been debunked ad nauseum. There is a popular book about it titled “The Amityville Horror Conspiracy.” More books and more articles debunking the claims followed. Though none of them would match the popularity of the book and movie inspired by writer Jay Anson and the Lutz’s stories.

Even worse for those who chose to believe the Warrens, a lawyer friend of the Lutz’s named William Weber told A Current Affair in May of 1998, “We took real-life incidents and transposed them…. In other words, it was a hoax.”

Weber was a defense attorney for the man convicted in the the murder which occurred prior to the Lutz’s moving in to the home. According to Weber, he needed a defense and coordinated along with the Lutz and a writer by the name of Jay Anson (who would write the book on which the franchise was based).

Weber and the Lutz’s engaged in a court case around profit and rights to the story. During the trial, Judge Jack B. Weinstein said, “it appears to me that to a large extent the book is a work of fiction. . . .”

The fact the book was fiction was relevant to the trial.

The burial ground claim was debunked when members of the Montauket tribe of Long Island told ABC news “there are no records of a burial ground in Amityville. Even if there were, ‘that doesn’t mean we will go into somebody’s body and capture their soul and control in a very negative way … that’s not us,’ said the tribe’s Chief Straight Arrow Cooper.”

So amidst, what is now widely regarded (click around and you’ll see) a hoax, arrived the Warrens who were then unknown ghost hunters. Ed Warren claimed to be a paranormal researcher. Lorraine Warren claimed to be a psychic. The only way we know of to tell if someone is psychic or not, is to have them tell you something they couldn’t possibly have known.

Remote Viewing is a real thing. We discuss it in our article below. Yet, Lorraine wasn’t telling the future, your Great-Grandpa’s favorite pie or which card you were holding in your hand. She was telling people what the ghosts were saying.

So, Ed would confirm there were ghosts, according to his research, and Lorraine would talk to them and tell everyone what they said. Does any part of that sound like something you should trust?

Click here for our breakdown of the remote viewing phenomenon:

A TV Crew grabbed onto the story (and the media hasn’t let go). In 1976, they followed Lorraine and Ed Warren to the door of the Amityville Horror home and showed them entering the house to spend the night. They emerged from the house claiming it was haunted by evil spirits, and Ed claimed to have taken a photograph of one of them.

The TV stations loved it. It was the late 70’s right before the “satanic panic” of the 1980s. Ed and Lorraine put a Christian spin on their ghost-hunting and claimed they were battling demons. Though the Diocese of Rockville Centre, responsible for the Amityville area, denied “that any psychic events took place or affected clerical officials as reported in Jay Anson’s book.”

Ed and Lorraine started doing the talk show circuit, writing books, sold their brand and attempted to make appearances (and stories up) at the sight of famous hauntings.

The Enfield Hauntings are a famous and controversial set of hauntings involving two young girls. An investigator, at the time, who researched the case thoroughly, named Guy Lyon Playfair described Ed Warren to Darkness Radio as follows: “They did turn up once, I think, at Enfield, and all I can remember is Ed Warren telling me that he could make a lot of money for me out of it. So I thought, ‘well thats all I need to know from you’ and I got myself out of his way as soon as I could.”

The list of Warren hoaxes goes on. If you need more, Top 5 Scary Videos did a really good breakdown.

The grifts get worse. If you’re interested, I hope you have a strong stomach for con artists taking advantage of people in distress. The Hollywood Reporter published an article around allegations of Ed Warren having an affair with a 15 year old girl. The brother of the allegedly possessed teen in the Conjuring 3 film sued another individual involved in the event for having taken advantage of his mentally ill brother. He said the Warrens exploited his family.

Yet, the films have grossed more than 2 billion dollars…so the Warren lie finds a way.

Why does it matter? #1: We’re all about telling you whether or not things are real, and we don’t believe anything the Warrens have to say, that’s based on the evidence and data we provided. If you like them and want to believe in them… It’s a free world.

Con-artists come up a lot in para or sub-normal research. This is because there are so many people who want to believe. Additionally, there are pseudo-con artists who do some investigating and some making up. We find it’s best to ignore this type entirely. They really muddy the waters.

You don’t have to want to believe. You can know. There are people conducting real research into these subjects. Poltergeist activity is a real phenomenon. We don’t know what it is, but it happens.

Many ghost hunter shows are bad reality TV, but some are based on sound scientific principles. They’re usually monitoring the electromagnetic spectrum around haunted areas, and that’s real data. Whether they find anything or not.

A team conducts paranormal research on the TV show Hellier which yields results, share it and allow everyone to make up their own mind. That’s research.

It may not be as dramatic as The Conjuring but if you’re really curious about the truth of these events, they can be complex and gray. It’s what makes them so intriguing.

Charlatans like the Warren’s make the whole subject look bad. They can be debunked within 15 minutes. So, anyone interested in the reality of the subject (who makes the mistake of Googling the most famous paranormal investigators) thinks the whole thing is bunk.

The only antidote for darkness is light.

From the Fortean Winds POV: It is the Warrens who are bunk.

Göbekli Tepe : Our Oldest Architecture and a Reminder

At 12,000 years old Göbekli Tepe predates Stonehenge by at least 6000 years. That’s a long time. That’s as long ago as Stonehenge was built compared to where we are now. So, if people from the era of Stonehenge found Göbekli Tepe, it looked to them like Stonehenge does to us today. That’s old. The site sits over 8 hectares on an artificial mound in what is now Southern Turkey and draws in researchers from around the world.

The structures qualify as architecture by any definition:

Architecturethe art or science of building

specifically the art or practice of designing and building structures and especially habitable ones

Merriam Webster Dictionary

The buildings our ancient ancestors erected were stylized, functional and habitable. That counts as architecture on all fronts. The current thinking around Göbekli Tepe’s function is that it served as a temple (or group of temples) and meeting area. Goods were likely exchanged and gatherings certainly occurred here for religious purposes. This is all occurring at a time when farming and agriculture is not supposed to exist. Which is the first of many mysteries surrounding Göbekli Tepe.

These buildings were erected during what is considered the “Pre-Pottery Neolithic” era, but that term (and what it indicates) was invented prior to discovering Göbekli Tepe. Clearly, we see a civilization far ahead of where scientific theory thought early man was prior to understanding the significance of Göbekli Tepe in 1994. The layout of the various buildings show an understanding of geometric shapes and the layout of three main structures follow an equilateral triangle.

Beytullah eles – Wikimedia commons

The art at Göbekli Tepe depicts a variety of animals and events carved in reliefs on massive stone pillars up to 5 meters high. The art shows a style and aesthetic far more advanced than would have been expected in this period (This is supposed to be Pre-Pottery Neolithic era). Of particular interest among the carvings is “The Vulture Stone.”

Sue Fleckney – CC FLikr

The Vulture Stone includes a depiction of a vulture holding an orb, egg or sphere. The significance of the sphere is debated. Some scholars say it points to the existence of a Vulture cult and the structure is a temple to this cult. Yet, further down the rock we see a relief of a scorpion and headless man. The headless man is thought to represent a catastrophe and a team of scientists from the UK think they may understand this special rock.

The Edinbugh team ran computer simulations and found the carvings on the Vulture Stone likely represented constellations. In fact, Göbekli Tepe may not have been a temple. It was likely an ancient observatory. This observatory appears to have predicted and recorded a mini ice age known as “The Younger Dryas” which occurred around 12,900 to 11,700 B.C.E..

The Younger Dryas was an incredibly important event in the history of humanity. It is believed the colder climate forced humanity to switch from nomadic hunter and gatherers to a more sedentary agriculture-based civilization. The rise in agriculture and large societies is what allowed us to create cities and share knowledge. Resulting in the evolution of our technology and science.

Yet, here in Göbekli Tepe we find a civilization which existed prior to (or on the edge of) the Younger Dryas which undoubtedly was able to process wheat. The existence of agriculture during the building and occupation of Göbekli Tepe is still debated.

We at Fortean Winds would guess that a structure of that size was not erected without some form of agriculture to feed its people. We’d go so far as to guess…they grew the #$%@ wheat.

Scientific theory can be slow to change…

Göbekli Tepe was occupied for roughly a thousand years before, for completely unknown reasons, the occupants filled it in and left. Leaving us with yet one more history mystery to uncover, and it is still literally being uncovered. If you were taught history prior to the mid-1990s you never heard of the place, and everything your history teacher was telling you about pre-pottery man…was about to change.

The history books still haven’t caught up, and they can’t. This place changes everything we knew about ancient man. So, if you’re someone who is fascinated with our ancient past. Or, if you just love the fact science is always changing…keep an eye on the discoveries being made at Göbekli Tepe. We’ve given you some good links here to start researching, but the significance of this place is still being uncovered, and there are mysteries here YOU can help uncover. Here’s a good one to start.

In 2003, Researcher Klaus Schmidt found the mound is positioned in a location filled with geomagnetic anomalies.

In 2003 a geomagnetic survey could demonstrate that
the prediction based on the archaeological surface investigations at Göbekli Tepe, that round or oval enclosures
exist all over the site and are not restricted to a specific
part of the mound, was right. More than ten large enclosures could be located in the geomagnetic map

Klaus Schmidt (NEO-LITHICS 2/03)

The connection between the Vulture Rock and the constellations was made in 2019. Our past is constantly changing and with it comes a new understanding of our present. Göbekli Tepe is a reminder to all of we still have much to learn and must continue to learn. To us at Fortean Winds, that is just plain EXCITING.

UFOs and Brain Damage: Stranger Danger

We mentioned the danger of getting close to a UFO (or other objects associated with the term paranormal) in our article Skinwalker Ranch: Tricksters & Flying Saucers. They appear to emit a harmful radiation, and have already caused the hospitalization of two persons appearing on the History Channel Show: The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch.

Thomas Winterton is a caretaker and cast member in the Skinwalker Ranch series. He developed symptoms similar to Havana Syndrome.

“Havana Syndrome” is a set of symptoms often reported by US diplomats and other officials. The cause of the set of symptoms is unknown, and the symptoms range from nausea to internal organ and brain damage. Thomas Winterton is not a US diplomat or official as far as we know. So, his case is anomalous.

It’s possible many other people in the world are being affected by “Havana Syndrome.” Yet, only US diplomats and officials are being tested for it.

Yet, it’s also possible Thomas Winterton was targeted by a malicious state actor simply because he is working on a location the US government sees as sensitive.

Dr. Garry Nolan is a Stanford Professor of Pathology and an expert on…many things and seems to think Winterton’s case was caused by a malicious state actor (we’re speculating it’s Winterton he referenced). As Vice News reports; Dr. Nolan is studying both materials which may have come from UFO or UAP and people affected by coming into contact with these phenomenon.

He is especially well suited to the task of analyzing people who’ve come into contact with UAP as he is the founder of 8 biotech companies and listed among Stanford’s Top 25 inventors. It’s fortunate he chose to spend the last ten years looking into cases of people who’ve been affected by their proximity to UFOs, as they don’t have anywhere else to turn.

Most people won’t even believe they came into contact with something anomalous, much less their health has been negatively impacted. Yet, Dr. Nolan describes some of their injuries to Vice as if they had stood too close to an electrical transformer.

So close it fried your insides while leaving your outside looking relatively unharmed.

UFO McMinniville Oregon May 1950

Dr. Nolan states a quarter of the patients died from their injuries. The patients who died had symptoms similar to those of people affected by “Havana Syndrome.” Yet, Havana Syndrome is assumed to be caused by a malicious state actor with an energy weapon. Not flying saucers.

Thus, we find a disconnect. Why would some cases of UFO/UAP look like Havana Syndrome and others not? Three possibliities:

  1. A malicious state actor is utilizing technology similar to energy emitted by UAP in order to harm US individuals.
  2. All of these individuals are being affected by UAP(unknown origins and pilots).
  3. A state actor is using a maser (microwave emitting laser) or similar device on some individuals and others are being effected by UAP.

Of these three possibilities: the second is (perhaps) most concerning as the motive and culprit would remain completely mysterious. Although, the third possibility seems most likely, based on the evidence.

Update: 4/26/22 Dr. Nolan appeared on the “Theory of Everything” podcast and clarified his statement. He estimated 15% of the cases he and others encountered appeared to have unique effects likely related to UAP. The other 85% of cases could have been caused by malicious individuals.

Those other 85% of cases were caused by an abundance of electromagnetic energy we as humans can produce (such as x-rays, gamma rays, microwaves). That does not mean they were NOT caused by UAP. It means we cannot rule out human intervention prima facie. Given the proximity of victims such as Thomas Winterton to the phenomenon, it seems likely to us his injury was caused by the phenomenon. That’s not a stretch…..It just happened to be waves we can produce which caused it.

So, to be clear, from the Fortean Winds POV: All of the Havana Syndrome cases in which the target is not a potential victim of a state actor (not a diplomat, military, government), should be considered potential victims of UAP/Phenomenon proximity.

UFO 1947 Project Blue Book

Dr. Christopher Green has been the go-to guy for the US Government and UAP Brain damage for a long time, he told the Daily Mail ” he believed some of the injuries he has seen arose from patients being too close to ‘subtle, highly powered, highly modulated microwaves’ and suggested in his study that soldiers could have been accidentally hit with powerful radio or electromagnetic frequencies from the propulsion systems of these strange hovering and rapidly moving aircraft.”

Dr. Green was the author of the paper Clinical Medical Acute & Subacute Field Effects on Human Dermal & Neurological Tissues, which was authorized as a part of a 22 million dollar Pentagon program into the study of UFOs. Dr. Green said he dealt with hundreds of patients who were injured or died after contact with UFO/UAP. In January of 2022 the US Intelligence community (with different levels of confidence) agreed Havana Syndrome was likely not being caused a foreign or state actor and had yet to determine a specific source. At what point do we connect the dots…

As to the materials Dr. Nolan has been analyzing he stated the following to Vice.

” Mostly, there’s nothing unusual about them except that everywhere you look in the metal, the composition is different, which is odd. It’s what we call inhomogeneous.  That’s a fancy way of saying ‘incompletely mixed.’  The common thing about all the materials that I’ve looked at so far, and there’s about a dozen, is that almost none of them are uniform. They’re all these hodgepodge mixtures. Each individual case will be composed of a similar set of elements, but they will be inhomogeneous. “

From the Fortean Winds POV, this looks like something is putting things together on the fly. The inhomogeneous metal might indicate something which transitions from a state of energy to a solid state of matter, and is sometimes sloppy while doing it. Other samples Dr. Nolan examined showed truly anomalous materials. Elements put together in ways human science -as we know it- cannot.

Again we see an odd mix of abilities that appear to be far beyond us, but also possibly disorganized and haphazard. This should go without saying, but flying saucers and paranormal phenomenon should be avoided until we know more about them.

It’s an energy we don’t yet understand. You wouldn’t poke your finger into an electrical transformer right? Same amount of (most likely much more) energy in those weird little flying objects….

The Hopkinsville (Kentucky) Goblins

Perhaps the weirdest (credible) report of a UFO encounter in the history of UFOs. Most of the weirdness is due to the description of the phenomenon encountered that night of August 21, 1955 in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. The description of the creatures as “goblins” conjures a mythological or fantastical explanation. Yet, the “Kelly-Hopkinsville Goblin Encounter” most definitely began (like so many stories of high strangeness) as a UFO story.

From the Fortean Winds POV, the first thing to understand about encounters with the pilots of UFOs…is they’re often absurd. This is not to say they are not credible. In fact, many cases of encounters with UFO pilots have been recorded by first responders and multiple witnesses.

In their important book “Close Encounters at Kelly and Others of 1955” Isabel Davis and Ted Bloecher detail the following:

On July 7, during a flurry of object sightings at Tacoma, Washington, residents of the Center and J Street neighborhood, Gene Gamachi, I.W. Martenson, and others, told of seeing a number of objects, some of which landed on nearby roofs. Witnesses saw several “little people” who disappeared upon the arrival of newsmen (3). On July 8, during a concentration of sightings all over Texas, an unidentified merchant seaman in the Acres Home suburb of Houston observed the landing of a “silver saucer.” From it emerged a dimunitive pilot no more than two feet tall with a round head “the size of a basketball” who greeted the seaman, re-entered his vehicle, and took off.

Close Encounters at Kelly

The airship sightings of 1897 detailed similar bufoonery. Pilots floating down from airships to chat with earthlings, or attempting to fish from the edges of what would later become blimps. It all sounds like something out there having a bit of a laugh at our expense. Newspapers recorded numerous odd airship sightings during this period from 1876 to 1897 (some of them were hoaxes, others were not). Many of these sightings sound similar to UFO reports in the present.

Mystery Airship San Francisco Call Nov. 1896

What does all that have to do with Kentucky Goblins? Nothing. Yet, it’s important to establish for the last one hundred years or so, encounters with UFO pilots are often ridiculous. This likely involves the same trickster phenomenon and behavior evidenced at Skinwalker Ranch. Except this time, it decided to show up with floppy ears.

Image from J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies

Eight adults and three children were witness to the events of August 21, 1955. The Sutton farm where the encounter occurred was a small three bedroom house which did not have running water or a telephone. This is relevant as a family friend by the name of Billy Ray Taylor left the house to get water from the well when he saw a bright silver disk pass over the house and land nearby.

He went into the house to tell the others, but they did not believe him. Billy worked in a traveling carnival, and was quite a character. However, an hour later Billy and Lucky Sutton saw a humanoid creature resembling the photo above and described it as follows:

“oversized head…almost perfectly round, [its] arms extended almost to the ground, [its] hands had talons…and [its oversized] eyes glowed with a yellowish light.” The body gave off an eerie shimmer in the light of the night’s new moon, they said—as if made of “silver metal.”

Confused and frightened Billy and Lucky proceeded to shoot the “little green man” with a 20 gauge shotgun and a .22 rifle. They reported it flipped when shot, as if it felt the impact, but then popped back up and fled into the night. It returned and appeared outside of a window. The two men shot at it through the window screen and it, again, flipped and ran off into the night.

To many investigators at the time, Mrs. Lankford who owned the home, seemed the most credible of all the witnesses. A middle-aged Godly woman. She did not allow liquor in her home and told the same story of the incident throughout her life. Mrs. Lankford described the creatures in her statement to the USAF below.


According to the witnesses. The creatures continued to approach the house and one of them touched Billy Ray Taylor’s head when he was on the porch. The hand came from above him, as if the creature were atop the porch. The witnesses saw the hand and pulled Taylor back inside.

The family continued to hear sounds of scratching on the roof over a period of several hours, until they decided to make a run for their cars and the local police station. The police who received the terrified family confirmed their terror appeared genuine.

Police investigators and representatives from Fort Campbell examined the scene the following day. They could not find any evidence of a UFO landing or remains of unexplained creatures. They did find the spent shell casings from the rounds Taylor and Sutton had fired off. USAF Blue Book investigators followed up after the police and decided to no longer pursue the matter.

There didn’t appear to be any evidence to pursue. Yet, most investigators at the time found the witness accounts credible and consistent beyond the point of coincidence. While this incident would not yield any further UFO data, it did spawn several UFO tropes that survive to this day. It reinforced or (some say) began the description of UFO Pilots as “Little Green Men.”

Billy Ray Taylor became the stereotype of the country “bumpkin” who encountered a flying saucer. He gave many interviews and enjoyed the limelight. He and Lucky were working as Carnies before the incident. So, his penchant for showmanship and a quick buck lead many to doubt his accounts.

It also began the popularity of “Kentucky Goblin” tales. Which continue to some extent in the present on the TV show Hellier on Amazon Prime. We have to admit. We love a good Kentucky Goblin story. It’s just a fun piece of Americana, but there are a couple key takeaways here.

#1) The Kentucky Goblin story is a UFO story. Specifically, a UFO pilot story. Multiple witnesses saw the craft and occupants. Military and police investigators saw no reason to doubt the witnesses on the surface. Which leads us to believe the incident was quite likely real.

#2) The description of the occupants as goblins was rare. None of the witnesses claimed these goblins attempted to or appeared as if they wanted to hurt them. In fact, Mrs. Lankford said it appeared they were approaching with their hands up in order to establish contact. When they were struck by bullets, they ran away on all fours like an animal.

Conclusion: The Kelly-Hopkinsville (Goblin) Story is quite likely credible and legitimate. The consistency of the story among most (we’re looking at you Billy Ray) of the witnesses, the character of Mrs. Lankford, and the fact the police believed they encountered something…make this one of the weirder credible accounts in UFO history.

It’s also notable that a similar event, allegedly, occurred in the Ohio River Valley a week before the Kelly-Hopkinsville Encounter. In the book “Mysterious Events” (published by NN) the author notes the Ohio River encounter was seen by many witnesses.

“A claim is also made for another encounter with allegedly the same creatures in another part of the United States along the Ohio River a week prior to the incidents in Kentucky, which itself had numerous witnesses.

There were dozens of eyewitnesses to the incidents, which included two families present at the farmhouse and in others in the area; other civilians, some of whom had no connection to the families at the farmhouse and even one in another state. The witnesses also included several local policeman and a state trooper who saw and heard strange phenomena such as unexplained lights in the night sky and noises the same night.

Mysterious Events – NN

Similar events were reported nearby. The fact civilian ufologists, Air Force Investigators and the Police found no evidence of a hoax is significant. They did find the dispensed ammunition. You either believe the fine people of Kentucky shot up their house and raced to the police station to create a lifelong hoax, or you believe they encountered something real. Now that we know UFOs are real this case deserves consideration.

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The Return of The Extra-Terrestrial Hypothesis

How can something return if it never really went away?  UFOs have always had a very real possibility of being extra-terrestrial.  Why is it suddenly being talked about in November of 2021?  Perhaps it’s because Nasa Administrator Bill Nelson mentioned in a press conference that he’d spoken to the pilots involved in UFO encounters and believed them when they said the objects appeared to teleport or slip through time and space.

Nelson “hopes” these objects are not a foreign adversary with highly advanced technology. Yet, at this point we would like to remind you the Nimitz encounter (birth of the tic-tac video) took place in 2004. You would have to believe a foreign adversary had wormhole technology in 2004. Then you would have to believe the same foreign adversary had the technology in World War 2 when pilots referred to them as Foo Fighters.

Foo Fighter UFO 1944 – Fortean Picture Library

So, no. It’s not foreign tech. I think we at Fortean Winds are prepared to go on record as saying this is not foreign adversary technology. It’s not human (as we know it) technology. It phases through states of matter. It goes from a solid to a ? state of matter. We know this because it goes through the water at the same speed as the air and/or enters the water without disruption.

Therefore, this “technology” existed more than 70 years ago. When did it get here? We will leave you with only two possibilities to consider and in a rare moment of clarity in the research of the unexplained, we can guarantee you it is one of these two answers. Answer 1) It came here before humans. Answer 2) It came here after humans.

Why is this the central question? Because Answer 1 means they are tied to (or have been interacting us) since we became self-aware, and Answer 2 means they started interacting with us sometime after we became self-aware. If they were here before us, they are likely to be tied to our origins. We even have to ask ourselves if WE are really from here?

If they began interacting with us sometime after, the options start to open up more. Some researchers theorize these objects were drawn to us by the explosion of atomic weapons at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This theory was interesting to us at first, as exploding atomic weapons light up the electromagnetic spectrum like a Christmas tree.

However, the theory (these objects were extra-terrestrials) were drawn to us by the explosion of our first atom, fell apart when credible evidence such as the picture above with Foo Fighters in 1944 (1 year before Atomic Weapons dropped on Japan) surfaced. This does not mean the objects are not extra-terrestrial. It means we have to accept they did not just get here.

If they did not just get here (and they are extra-terrestrial) why no contact? The prominent theory is they’re waiting for us to evolve to a point where communication would be more acceptable. They’ve been waiting for our tiny little minds to be able to accept their existence. Another possible explanation for their lack of communication is zoo theory. Which we explain in the image below.

Good News Everybody! love Fw

These theories hold water as we’re all still here. If they wanted to wipe us out, we’d very likely be gone. Unless something up there is bigger and badder than the other Chewbaccas, and it says “hands off the little guys.”

Which is the other possibility. It might even be a federation of friendly Chewbaccas according to Haim Eshad. The former Israeli Space Chief, was taken out of context when he suggested a galactic federation of ETs were in contact with the US.

His colleagues walked back his statement you can find in the link above. However, Eshad is a serious scientist and respected leader during the last 30 years of space exploration. When he suggested we might have a federation of ETs floating over us, it’s not a crazy idea. A plausible ET theory has to explain why we have had, suspiciously, no contact with ET life and why we’re all still here. Eshad’s theory does that.

To further throw fuel on the re-emergence of discussion of the ET theory in November of 2021, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines followed Bill Nelson’s remarks by discussing how UAP analysis is conducted and the challenge with identifying this as extra-terrestrial. Which we at Fw would summarize by simply asking: how would we know what ET looks like?

We take you to the moment Avril Haines is discussing UAP in this clip

So, we’ve established there has never been a reason to discount the extra-terrestrial hypothesis. Yet, again we must point out the point of origin of these objects seems less a priority, than the nature of their interactions with humanity.

How have they impacted our lives, and how could they in the future? As we point out in our UFO analysis: whether their point of origin is Planet 9, 3049 AD or Dimension X. Their capabilities are far beyond ours and they have an interest in us. Determining what their interest in us is, must be our greatest priority.

Why would a NASA administrator need to reinforce these objects might be Extra-Terrestrial? This is most likely due to the publicity surrounding the recent disclosures involving Skinwalker Ranch.

The phenomenon observed at this location (and others) involve a variety of experiences normally described as paranormal. Such as: poltergeists, cryptids, portals and UFOs. We recap this in our article: Skinwalker Ranch: Tricksters & Flying Saucers.

Such phenomenon describe something our science fiction has normally associated with dimensional entities. Yet, our science fiction is just smart people guessing.

Conclusion: Extra-Terrestrials could have all of the capabilities and attributes we would associate with “extra-dimensional” beings in popular fiction. That is a very real (even likely) possibility.

It has to be fairly obvious…even the FBI caught on in November of 2021..

Skinwalker Ranch: Tricksters & Flying Saucers

Follow up to our first post regarding Skinwalker Ranch. There’s a lot to unpack here. First, let’s review the most credible evidence we have from Skinwalker Ranch.

  • UFOs have been spotted on the Ranch and Videotaped at least twice in public footage.
  • Numerous electromagnetic anomalies were recorded. (by Bigelow, USG and History Channel Show)
  • Numerous cattle mutilations have been confirmed.
  • Millions of dollars spent prior to government involvement by billionaire Bob Bigelow.
  • Whatever is found by Bigelow is enough to inspire the US Government to spend a good deal more on a 22 million dollar contract.
  • Eyewitness testimony, including multiple witnesses to the same event: poltergeists, cryptids, intelligent metal, portals all occur in this timeframe.
  • Brandon Fugal and team continue to study the ranch and make some of the findings public on the History Channel Show. They’ve mentioned on the show some form of continued relationship with the government exists. As in: continuing to share findings with the USG(United States Government).

Which is great, but we would assume this also means some information is still not being made public.

If one does not accept eyewitness testimony that’s fine. We see no reason not to accept all of the witness testimony which was backed by multiple observers, and particularly those with material evidence.

So, why did the government stop researching the program?

Bob Bigelow and the Government determined whatever was there didn’t want to be found. It kept breaking their equipment. Showing up where it couldn’t be seen and not appearing where it could. Better yet, breaking the equipment, then appearing afterward to get everyone excited. “We got em! Awww the GoPro is broken…”

You have to admit: That’s funny.

The intelligence(s) there seem to have a wicked sense of humor. Some times it gets out of hand and people get hurt. The medical effects from what appears to be dangerous levels of radiation are also quite real and well documented.

We’re pretty sure at this point you don’t want to get too close to a UFO, glowing orb or paranormal phenomenon in general. They all appear to emit high levels of potentially dangerous radiation, indicating high levels of an energy we don’t quite understand.

Dr. Colm Kelleher, who was involved in USG Skinwalker Ranch program, recalls an event in the clip below where an orb (type of ufo seen above) passed through the shoulder of an individual who was driving his car.

It sounds like it was curious at first, then got too close. The individual developed harmful radiation effects (including a rare carcinoma) which required extensive treatment. Fortunately he recovered, but part of the UFO program (and the program which housed Skinwalker Ranch) is devoted to studying the effects of UFO encounters on humans.

This point seems important to the study of UFOs in general. Clearly, if the intelligence behind the orb which passed through the individual wanted to kill the individual it could have.

As Dr Kelleher recalls, there were three orbs approaching the vehicle. Two passed through the vehicle, one away from the individuals (It was a father and daughter) and the third passed through his shoulder. This is odd. It begs questions.

Did it intend to harm the individual? Did it crash? Was it still learning to fly and made a mistake?


Option 1: The orb didn’t intend to hurt the individual, it was curious and got too close. The three objects were acting independently. Indicating they were driven by different intelligences. Furthermore, if it wanted to hurt the individual all three objects could have passed through his vitals. So, Option 1 is they approached because they were curious.

Option 2: Is that it was collecting information. Information about the individual and it didn’t care if it harmed him or not. It was executing a mission or a program. Passing through his shoulder gave it the information it needed. Yet, if it were a machine one would assume it would act with precision. This seems sloppy and unplanned. Impetuous.

Which leads us to the most fascinating thing about Skinwalker Ranch. The character evidenced at the Ranch, might be the same character as all of the UFO sightings in the world.

If they’re all part of the same phenomenon, the ranch is our view into how the phenomenon views us.

So far, I’d say the evidence points to a few traits which are open to change based on new information. The phenomenon is:

  • Playful, curious, impulsive, petulant, disorganized, mischievous, powerful
  • Lonely, interested in humans
  • Secretive, Has a desire to be known to some, but stay out of the public. This demonstrates some form of advanced intelligence
  • Radioactive, Everything sits on the electromagnetic spectrum. Naturally, these are no different.

What strikes me as odd, is the sheer amount of weirdness against the lack of further evidence. This leads some to dismiss the ranch, but I think it’s very telling. Whatever is there seems to like the attention.

The disorganization of it all (some orbs and UFOs getting too close), indicates it’s more than one intelligence at the ranch.

Although, the strongest argument against the fact that it’s multiple intelligences involved in UFOs is the fact we’re all still here. The people at Skinwalker Ranch are filming a TV show as we speak. Why wouldn’t a bunch of flying, disorganized, massively powerful intelligent objects hurt more people? Why wouldn’t more of them be too curious and fly too close, harming more of us in the process? Why wouldn’t more of them crash?

The whole of evidence between UFOs and Skinwalker Ranch suggests more than one intelligence at work, (imperfect intelligences at that). Suggesting they’re not machines, unless advanced to the point where random actions and jokes become en vogue.

If Skinwalker Ranch speaks for the phenomenon: it doesn’t think much of us, doesn’t want to communicate directly, wants our attention, but doesn’t wasn’t our attention, and hurts us when it gets too close.

This sounds like a bad relationship.

Wrapping up our second post in the Skinwalker Ranch series and there will most definitely be more along with a summary of conclusions. We’ll collect them all in our Poltergeist Case Files section.

Post 1 Was: Skinwalker Ranch: All Kinds of Crazy

Conclusion: Skinwalker Ranch worthy of continued study. Expect more posts as we continue to focus on the character of the phenomenon evidenced.


The Research on this Case File was Sponsored by blissani Naturals featuring a vegan-friendly, all-natural, gently foaming acne cleanser with red clover oil.

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Skinwalker Ranch : All Kinds of Crazy

Skinwalker Ranch (located in Uintah County, Utah), is a choose your own adventure of paranormal phenomenon. A veritable cornucopia of weird. Reports of cryptids, poltergeist activity, lots of mutilated cattle and (of course, wherever there is general weirdness) UFOs. What makes this more notable than most reports of general weirdness? Many of the reports were made by scientists and teams actively studying the ranch.

Let’s start with why they were studying it in the first place. The government interest and current events begin with the ownership of the ranch by the Sherman Family in the mid 1990’s. The Sherman family reported crop circles and cattle mutilations to their local paper along with UFOs.

“The Shermans, their teenage son and 10-year-old daughter have seen three specific types of UFOs repeatedly during the past 15 months – a small boxlike craft with a white light, a 40-foot-long object and a huge ship the size of several football fields. They’ve seen one craft emit a wavy red ray or light beam as it flies along. They’ve seen other airborne lights, some of which have emerged from orange, circular doorways that seem to appear in midair. They’ve videotaped two of the sightings.”

Desert News June 30, 1996

Of course, whatever is in the Uintah Valley could care less about deed and property lines. Residents and visitors to the valley have reported numerous UFO sightings since the 1950’s. Prior to the trouble the Sherman’s had in the 1990’s, the area was long rumored to be haunted by the local Ute Tribe.

The tribe believed their alliance with the Navajo which ended in blood and betrayal, lead the Navajo to place a curse on the land. They believed witches named “Skinwalkers” roamed the land, and were able to change shape. The shapes chosen were of large, unnatural, misshapen or mismatched animals. The Ute people avoided the area for this reason.

The Sherman’s reported a large wolf-like creature which would not fall when shot with a firearm. Several other humanoid shapes have been reported at the ranch as well. Interesting note: we found plenty of legends of the Navajo tribe (and online rumors) which placed the home of the Skinwalker’s in the area around “Dark Canyon” also in Utah.

More than one report of Cryptids made by credible observers from different groups, and at different times, make some form of Cryptid sighting at Skinwalker Ranch seem more likely. Yet, none were caught on tape. UFOs have been tracked numerous times at the Ranch, but at least one was caught on camera in public footage.

One UFO is enough to establish that UFOs are there. From the Fortean Winds POV, Unidentified Flying Objects exist. If one has been established there, and the government has numerous reports of flying objects at the location, we see no reason not to simply accept this as part of what’s happening at Skinwalker Ranch.

Much like Point Pleasant, West Virginia in the 1960’s and the Chicago, O’hare area in the present, we find reports of Cryptids and UFOs in the same location, but this time they’re officially studied by the USG.

A somewhat unique event was reported by the Shermans as well: Teleportation with a wicked sense of humor. The Shermans reported leaving the ranch one day and discussing how they would be ruined if their prize bulls were lost. Upon returning, they couldn’t find the bulls. They eventually found them locked in a smaller trailer on the property in a daze. Upon being discovered, the bulls awoke and destroyed the trailer.

The above might be the most interesting story to come out of the ranch. We’ll do a separate post on the bulls in the future. It shows a certain character to the phenomenon. It did something naughty, but it didn’t hurt anything. Like an especially dangerous child seeking negative attention.

Hearing these stories, lead billionaire Robert Bigelow to purchase the ranch from the Shermans in 1996. Robert Bigelow has stated aliens are “right under people’s noses.” Bigelow’s team wired and studied the ranch until 2007, but were unable to make progress due to the character of the phenomenon. It kept breaking their equipment, yet would appear to them when untracked to keep them interested.

In 2007, US government scientist Dr. Jim Lacatski visited the ranch and witnessed an object morph into a Möbius strip. Analysis: If the object wanted to tempt the government with the secrets to time and space… a Möbius strip might do it.

This event was enough for Dr. Lacatski to support the study of the ranch and the government begins their research. In short, the phenomenon continued to be elusive. Sensors were destroyed, soldiers and scientists working the ranch were witness to more phenomenon, but hard evidence could not be produced and after years of trying, the government concluded whatever was there didn’t want to be found.

Bigelow sold the ranch to (another) billionaire Brandon Fugal in 2016. Who has shown a much more open approach to the study of the Ranch. He’s allowed the History Channel show to publicize the findings of some experiments (yes it’s painful reality TV, but they’re sharing).

They’ve produced some quality UFO footage, odd magnetic readings and suffered medical effects consistent with radiation. As the findings are (thankfully) made public, it’s adding more questions than answers. Recent admissions by Jim Lacatski, which detail reports of “hitchhiker” poltergeist phenomenon are especially disturbing and worthy of more Fortean Winds Research.

Two Skinwalker Ranch Scientists interview by George Knapp

Conclusion: material evidence, UFO video, witness photos, sensor data, crop circles, multiple witnesses of the same event, government documents…all of these make Skinwalker Ranch well worth further study according to our veracity system. There are some doing this research who believe it might even be the key to everything. We have no idea, but expect more Skinwalker posts.

Our follow-up further discusses the character of the phenomenon at the Ranch. Skinwalker Ranch: Tricksters & Flying Saucers.

Remote Viewing: Yes it’s Real

That’s what you were thinking. Well do you at Fortean Winds think it’s real? For sure, friend. For sure. I’ll prove it to you.

Let’s start by just calling it intuition. Do you believe you have intuition? Do you believe some people are more intuitive than others? Is that a belief or do you know that to be true? How do we know all this? We’re remote viewing you right now.

Kidding. That’s a lot of assumptions on my part, but I’ve basically told you what I’m going to tell you. Remote Viewing is real. You do it. Everyone does it. Some people are better at it than others.

This insight lead the US and Russian governments into a now infamous psychic spy race which involved Uri Geller, the man who claimed to bend spoons. The scientists, psychics and research of that time (1972 to 1995) are well captured in the film “Third Eye Spies.”

Trailer for “Third Eye Spies” Documentary

Remote Viewing is being able to see something in the future, present or past without being physically able to view or see “the target.” You can see why Russian and US Intelligence were interested in the program. The world’s most famous psychic Ingo Swann correctly determined Jupiter had rings similar to Saturn prior to the Voyager spacecraft confirming it.

What did those two decades of research find? Well if we believe the story ends where the film ends. They found remote viewing was “statistically significant” but unreliable. According to the US Government, they decided to discontinue the program and move on to other things. How statistically significant was remote viewing? Very.

The unreliable part is also real. Physicist Russell Targ, who worked on the US Psychic Spy program, brought a team of remote viewers to Wall Street in order to make some money predicting stocks. The team was successful in their first set of picks, but unsuccessful in the second. The investors got cold feet and Wall Street took a break from psychics. From here, remote viewing research in the US continued to a lesser degree outside of the public eye.

Yet, there is good reason to believe the government did not end their remote viewing program. UFO whistleblower and former counter-intelligence specialist Lue Elizondo was alleged to have recounted military missions wherein he used “advanced intuition” or remote viewing to aid his team in a military mission. From the book “Skinwalkers at the Pentagon” (Lacatski, Kelleher, Knapp 2021)

As he enjoyed his steak tartare, Elizondo regaled those around him with some war stories, including one hair-raising exploit about how his advanced intuition and remote viewing capabilities had saved his life and the life of his men while on a covert combat mission in war-torn Afghanistan. Lue was one of that rare breed, an astute detail oriented analyst with an open mind.

“Skinwalkers at the Pentagon”

In 2020, investor Michael Ferrier launched the Remote Viewing Tournament App. Ferrier became interested in remote viewing after having experienced a session of remote viewing where he himself was able to pull it off. The app re-ignited interest in the phenomenon.

Ferrier saw an impression of a bronze globe during a radio show about remote viewing, and his psychic impression was close enough to the correct answer to get him interested.

Ferrier’s app allows viewers to compete for cash prizes. The principle is simple and the app is free for anyone who would like to try it.

I’ve tried it, and I’m shocked to say it works. My results have been consistent with the conclusion of the CIA study. I am definitely seeing and sketching images before I am shown them at times, but the results aren’t always exact. Sometimes, you have to interpret them. Don’t believe me. I wouldn’t and you shouldn’t. Try it yourself.

If helping billionaire’s make stock picks is not your thing, two other apps to try remote viewing are the Stargate ESP Trainer app on iPhone and the Zener ESP app on Android. Russell Targ who worked on the CIA remote viewing program (called Stargate) was involved in the creation of the iPhone app. I’ve tried the Zener ESP app it does what it’s intended to do well. No frills.

These apps typically detail with precognition (foretelling events that will happen) and postcognition (seeing events that have already happened). The apps work similar to the cards in “Ghostbusters.” In the case of precognition, the app doesn’t “draw” a card until you’ve selected which of the five cards it will be. In the case of postcognition, the card is already “drawn” by the app when you make your selection.

It works well enough for us to wonder what the heck is it? Our current level of science doesn’t understand consciousness that well yet. Recent developments in neuroscience have lead some doctors to believe glial cells, which make up 90 percent of our brain (and are very mysterious) might be the home of consciousness. Somewhere in there might be the answer to remote viewing as well.

Clearly, something is happening here between the brain and time. The RV Tournament app uses coordinate data and gives you two sets of numbers such as 8702-1469 and then asks you to sketch what you see. Once your done sketching, you’re given one of two photos to select based on your sketch.

If you’re just on a guessing hot streak, your sketches would indicate it. They wouldn’t be very good and directly related to the image. I would suggest going on the site and looking at what a “good” remote viewing sketch is. They’re rarely perfect, but they’re good enough. Good enough to be more than coincidence.

If you delve deep into this subject it can bring up all sorts of questions about space and time. The universe and our place in it. Predestination vs free will. One suspicion, I have is the future is always changing, and that’s why remote viewing is unreliable. Which is kind of comforting if you think about it. You make your own tomorrow.

I’m sure this won’t be our last remote viewing post. For now, I’ll be putting this in the Case Files as “Crazy Real” and worth further study.

“Mothman” & The Case of the Stupid Name

He’s back. It’s 2021 and the Mothman is making another one of his goofy appearances. Just in time for Halloween! Except witnesses to this phenomenon don’t describe a “mothman.” That name was given to the experience by newspapers in the 1960’s. Multiple people are describing the same EXPERIENCE people described in the 1960’s. That experience involved more UFO sightings than Mothman sightings and today is no different.

Let’s start with the name and what people saw that inspired the name. The name was given to the Mothman by the local news. According to John Keel author of “The Mothman Prophecies” editors were inspired by the popularity of Batman at the time.

The original witnesses description of the Mothman does not sound like Batman or a Moth.

The young men said they saw the creature’s eyes, which glowed red, only when their lights shined on it. And it seemed to want to get away from the lights.

They said it looked like a “man with wings” but its head was “not an outstanding characteristic.”

Both were slightly pale and tired from the lack of sleep during the night following their harrowing experience.

They speculated that the thing was living in the vacant power plant, possibly in one of the huge boilers. “There are pigeons in all the other buildings,” Mallette said, “but not in that one.”

“If I had seen it while by myself I wouldn’t have said anything,” Scarberry commented, “but there were four of us who saw it.”

They said it didn’t resemble a bat in any way, but “maybe what you would visualize as an angel…”

Point Pleasant Register Nov 16, 1966

Everything old is news again and this sighting which occurred on Sept 24, 2020 as reported to UFO Clearinghouse described the object as follows:

I saw that this was not some person but some red eyed and what appeared to be a coat were actually wings which it spread out as it turned to look at me. At first I thought it was some kind of very, very large bird but I’ve never seen any bird that stood almost 7 feet tall. I’m 5’4 and this thing looked taller than me by at least 2 feet. This thing then started making some type of chirping sound, almost a half chirp and half click like someone was clicking their tongue but much much faster. It then made some type of screeching sound and took off running toward me, it got to within 10 feet of me and took off into the air and flew above me.

There have been numerous reports from the area around Chicago O’hare describing something similar since. NPR did a piece on the Mothman in 2019. Prolific Fortean Researcher Lon Strickland and friends report witness encounters regularly on his website Phantoms and Monsters. Witness reports continue into 2021.

Mass Hysteria

There have been a lot of people who’ve experienced and described something similar since the Newspapers dubbed whatever Roger and Linda Scarberry saw that night “Mothman.” Is the Mothman really so popular as to inspire this amount of mass hysteria? Quite simply: No. This explanation is implausible. En masse, people don’t know anything about Mothman. Therefore, we find the mass hysteria explanation lazy.

Mass hysteria may have followed the initial sightings and were no doubt a part of the madness of Point Pleasant. Yet, some of those people who saw “The Mothman” developed conjunctivitis after the encounter. Ain’t it funny how folklore, tall tales, mass hysteria and genuine experiences all show up together? Always.

It’s that genuine experiences part that always gets people. Yet, how else would society react when one of its credible members sees something that defies known reality? Probably with mass hysteria.

It’s been a long time since the Richard Gere movie, and the newest sightings are occurring around UFO activity. Just like the incidents recounted around Point Pleasant, West Virginia in the 1960’s.

Check out our article The 2007 Chicago O’hare UFO Sighting for more information on the most well documented UFO sighting around the O’hare airport. Those are all just facts. People reporting what they saw and people taking reports.

By itself, reports don’t mean the experiences are genuine. Reporters take reports. Sometimes multiple people saw the same thing, that lends credibility. Photos and videos can easily be faked using your iPhone at this point. So, what is the standard of evidence for a genuine paranormal experience?

The theories now align with whatever the observer would like to believe.

The Crane or Owl

The number one suspect both in Point Pleasant and now around the Chicago area is a bird. The identity of the bird varies. The Mothman experience has been alternately accused of being an owl, a shitpoke and a sandhill crane. Much like UFO’s it stands to reason some reports would be misidentifications. The sandhill crane seems the most likely to cause a ruckus. It has red around its eyes, its wingspan can get up to 6 feet across and it grows up to 4 feet tall. Although, height is also what causes a problem.

Roger Scarberry who was one of the original Point Pleasant witnesses “scoffed” at the idea this was a sandhill crane. Mary Mallette said “I just wished Dr. Smith could see the thing.” Dr. Smith had put forth the crane theory.

Note: All of the bird theories assume all of the witnesses could not tell the difference between an object 4 and (at least) 6 feet tall..

The witness in Chicago stated she was 5’4 and capable of telling the difference as well.

So, either we believe Dr. Smith because we’ve never seen anything like this. Or, we believe multiple credible people telling the same story 55 years apart accompanied by UFO sightings. To us, it is clear that running to a prosaic explanation is not warranted at this time.

It’s not just the five witnesses mentioned in this article who’ve witnessed this. John Keel thought the Mothman was related to the bridge collapse in Point Pleasant West Virignia. He felt the frequency of weirdness around Point Pleasant was an omen of disaster. We’re not so sure, and that’s a good thing.

The “Mothman” sightings didn’t begin or end in Point Pleasant. We’ll highlight other cases which describe the same thing. To be clear, I have no idea what these people are experiencing. Only pointing out at least one of these cases (which reported medical effects, had multiple witnesses and were seen by credible observers) was Most Likely Real according to our veractiy system.

Although much like UFOs, once one is established to be real, the question of whether or not each case was authentic or not becomes less interesting to us as what the heck is it?

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