Friday, August 31, 2012
The following incident hits close to home for at least two reasons...it occurred two days before I was born and the location is just a few miles from where I now live.
The Loch Raven Dam is located in Baltimore County, Maryland just north of the Baltimore City limits. On October 26, 1958, at 23:30 EST, two men, Philip Small and Alvin Cohen, witnessed an egg-shaped object hovering over the reservoir. It was approximately 100 feet long and 125 feet in altitude and brightly glowed white. The car power and engine failed when they approached at 200 to 300 feet from the object. The object emitted a flash. It then shot straight up with a loud noise and heat. The witnesses later reported their skin was reddened on the side facing the object.
Small and Cohen later stated "Shortly after you pass the dam...the bridge looms up in front of you at 200 to 250 yards away. We saw from that distance what happened to be a large, flat sort of egg-shaped object hanging between 100 to 150 feet off the top of the superstructure of the bridge over the lake."
"We slowed and decided to go closer and investigate the object. When we got to within 80 feet of the bridge, the car went completely dead on us. It seemed as though the electrical system was affected: the dash lights went out, the headlights went out, the motor went dead. Mr S., who was driving the car, put on his brakes [after the motor went dead], turned the ignition once or twice. We did not get any whirring sound; we were pretty frightened at that point. We watched it for approximately 30 to 45 seconds and then, I am not sure of the sequence of events here, it seemed to flash a brilliant flash of white light, and we both felt heat on our faces. Concurrently there was a loud noise, which I interpreted as a dull explosion. Then very quickly, the object started to rise vertically. It didn't change its position [aspect], as far as we could tell, during the rising."
"The only different feature it had while it was moving was that it was very bright and the age became diffused so that we couldn't make out the shape as it rose. It took from five to ten seconds to disappear from view completely. We were very frightened."
"...We got back to a phone booth in approximately 15 minutes. We proceeded to call the Ground Observer Corps, with no result. Our story elicited only complete disbelief."
The case was filed as 'Unknown' by the USAF 'Project Bluebook' with the following description: 'U.S., Loch Raven Dam Maryland: Two young men observed an egg-shaped object hovering above Bridge No. 1 over the reservoir. It was 100 feet long, 125 feet in altitude, and glowing a dim white. Their car went dead 75 to 80 feet from the bridge, or about 200 to 300 feet from the UFO. After leaving the car and watching for another 45 seconds, they saw the UFO flash brilliantly white, shoot straight up, and disappear from view in 5 to 10 seconds. There was a loud noise as the object left, as well as an increased sensation of heat. The witnesses later noticed that their skin had been reddened on the side facing the object.'
NOTE: Over the years, there have been a few undocumented incidents in the same general area. In 1978, a local fisherman, by the name of Mitchell, alleged that a 'bright round light' rose out of the lake (about 500 yds above the dam), hovered over the water for a few seconds, then dove back into the lake. A similar account was circulating among several Baltimore City Water dept. workers in 1983. The only difference was that the 'ball of yellow light' traveled along the shoreline for several minutes before it suddenly vanished. It was stated that the workers had trouble starting their work vehicles after the sighting. In May 2000, an administrator at Greater Baltimore Medical Center told me he witnessed a disc-shaped object that 'looked like green fire' fly across the reservoir while he drove home one evening in January 2000. He said he had a very good look at the object since there was snow on the ground and the lake was frozen and covered as well...which provided a very good contrast. This occurred near the Paper Mill Rd. bridge. He stated he stopped his car, got out and noticed a strong sickening-sweet odor that made him retch for several minutes. He claimed that he had trouble keeping food in his stomach for a few days and that his eyesight was so impaired that he was unable to operate a vehicle for almost a month. He also said that he experienced increased joint and back pain since the sighting. The cause of his illness was never determined. BTW, I attempted to contact the witness for some follow up information about a year later and was told he had taken his own life not long after our initial conversation...Lon
The UFO Experience: A Scientific Inquiry
A Close Encounter of the Third Kind: Baltimore Maryland: UFO Forensic Files Volume 2
Visitors: A New Look at UFOs
Authors of the Impossible: The Paranormal and the Sacred
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Snallygaster, legendary beast from my neck of the woods in Maryland. Another cryptid from this region is the Dwayyo...not as well known as the Snallygaster, but just as terrifying to those who have encountered the creature.
The Dwayyo or Dewayo is a mammalian said to be hairy, have a bushy tail, and is sometimes bipedal. At times it has features similar to a wolf but with the arms, stance and stature of a human. The first mention of the name ‘Dwayyo’ comes from a sighting in 1944 from an area in Carroll County, Maryland. Witnesses heard the creature make ‘frightful screams’ and there were footprints attesting to the claims of the sighting.
The creature had first come to prominence after a story ran in the Fredrick News Post in November of 1965. Reporter George May wrote in the article, “Mysterious Dwayyo Loose in County” that a young man, named anonymously as ‘John Becker’ heard a strange noise in his backyard which was situated on the outskirts of Gambrill State Park. Upon going out to investigate the noise he initially saw nothing, so he headed back in. It was then that he caught site of the creature. Something was moving toward him in the dark, Becker was quoted that “It was as big as a bear, had long black hair, a bushy tail, and growled like a wolf or dog in anger.” The thing quickly moved toward him on its hind legs and began to attack him. He fought off the creature and drove it back into the woods, later calling police to report the incident.
In the summer of 1966, the creature was again sighted on the outskirts of Gambrill State Park. A man only referred to as ‘Jim A.’ encountered the Dwayyo as he was heading toward a camp site. It was described as a shaggy two legged creature the size of a deer that had a triangle shaped head with pointed ears and chin. It was dark brown in color and when approached it made a horrid scream and backed away from the man. Jim described it as having an odd walk as it retreated, it’s legs, “stuck out from the side of the trunk of the body making its movements appear almost spider-like as it backed away”.
In the Fall of 1976 another sighting of the Dwayyo took place in Fredrick County near Thurmont, between Cunningham Falls State Park and Catoctin Mountain National Park. Two men drove off route 77 and unto a private road so they could ‘spot deer’ by their headlights in order to see how thick the native population had become before deer season. To their surprise, they did not catch a deer in their lights but instead a large animal ran across the front of their car. They described the creature as, “at least 6 ft tall but inclined forward since it was moving quickly. Its head was fairly large and similar to the profile of a wolf. The body was covered in brown or brindle colored fur but the lower half had a striped pattern of noticeable darker and lighter banding. The forelegs (or arms) were slimmer and held out in front as it moved. The back legs were very muscled and thick similar to perhaps a kangaroo. This was not a hominid type creature; it did not have the characteristics of an ape. It was much more similar to a wolf or ferocious dog however it was definitely moving upright and appeared to be adapted for that type of mobility. I was particularly impressed by the size and strength of the back legs, the stripes on the lower half of the body and the canine-wolf-like head.” - from The Michigan Dogman: Werewolves and Other Unknown Canines Across the U.S.A. (Unexplained Presents)
Later in 1978 two park rangers were near the Cunningham Falls area when they encountered “a large hairy creature running on two legs”.
Paranormalist Robin Swope relates an anecdote from a witness who says she was driving on Coxey Brown Road near Myersville, Maryland late in the summer of 2009 when she had an strange feeling. It was as if she was being watched. The road was lined with trees, she was on the outer edge of Gambrill State Park, and the forest was beginning to grow thicker. According to her, as she turned on Hawbottom Road, where her friend lived, the feeling became overwhelming. The hairs on the back of her neck rose in terror as she sensed the unseen eyes upon her. She wanted to stop the car and take her breath, she was afraid that she would veer off the road and hit a tree because she her nerves were getting so unsteady that she began to shake. But she knew that whatever was watching her, and following her was out there, and she took what little comfort she had by being safer inside her rust rotted car. Still, to prevent a wreck, she slowed down as she headed south, and that was when she saw the creature.
At first it was a blur to the right of her periphery vision. Something that was moving through the trees, a shadow that flickered as it went in and out of sight on the edge of her vision. It was a brown smear of color that popped out in contrast to the dull dark grey trees that she passed.
Whatever it was, it bobbed through the underbrush and between the trees to keep pace with her car. She thinks at the time, she was going around 25 miles per hour. She then slowed down once more to take a good look to her right, and make sure that she was not seeing things. As her car slowed to a crawl, the brown blurry smear of color seemed to bound out of the woods closer to the road. With a massive leap the hazy color became flesh as a huge dog-like animal on two legs emerged from the foliage.
Then it leaped, arms outstretched with claws grasping the wind. Instinctively she stepped on her gas pedal with all her might. The squeal of her tires seemed as if her car too was screaming in horror at the thing that emerged from the dark looming forest.
She did not look back. She didn’t want to know if the thing was following her. She didn’t feel the eyes upon her anymore. She was too shaken to really feel anything at all. When she made it to her friends house, she sat in the driveway shaking as she looked around to make sure the creature had not followed her there. The house was also in the woods, at the opposite side of the State Park. When she felt safe, she made a mad dash for her friend’s door, and banged on it frantically.
He did not know what to make of her story. The witness knew he did not believe her. He had lived in the woods all his life, and had never encountered what she had seen. He assured her that it must have just been a dog, perhaps a rabid one at that. Her mind was playing tricks on her. But the young woman knew what she had seen that late summer day. It was no dog. It was something out of a horror movie come to life before her eyes. Though she told nobody what she felt it really was, she called it a werewolf. That is until after she did some research in the local college library and came up with the name that others had called it when they too saw the forest come alive. She had encountered the Dwayyo.
"The Dwayyo - The Dwayyo. From Ghosts and Legends of Frederick County" - Timothy L. Cannon and Nancy F. Whitmore
Frederick News Post
examiner.com - Pastor Robin Swope
Mysterious Creatures: A Guide to Cryptozoology, 2 Volume Set
Weird Maryland: Your Travel Guide to Maryland's Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets
The Michigan Dogman: Werewolves and Other Unknown Canines Across the U.S.A. (Unexplained Presents)
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Sunday, August 26, 2012
The first (and only) time I walked into the Lord Baltimore Hotel I was bombarded by distant sounds of yesteryear. It was 1980 and I was there to meet a friend who was in town for a conference. We sat in the lobby over drinks and conversed about our past...but the spirit energy became so intense that I started to feel claustrophobic and had to make a 'polite' excuse to exit. That was my last visit to the building.
The hotel was named after George Calvert, Lord Baltimore and the founder of the Maryland colony. The hotel was built in the popular classic style of the 1920's. At the time the hotel was built it was hailed as the largest hotel built in the State of Maryland. The 23 story hotel was constructed in 1928. It was the last high rise built in Baltimore with the classic Art Deco ornamentation of the era.
There have been a few significant incidents at the hotel that tend to assure that spirit activity is present. The most famous happened just after the 1929 stock market crash when at least four people jumped to their deaths from the roof of the Lord Baltimore Hotel. Some time late, employees at the hotel began reporting strange sights, namely, people dressed in vintage clothing that disappeared at the end of the hall, two men and a woman at the back of a dark ballroom who would disappear when the lights were turned on and the Lord Baltimore's 'little darling', a small girl who appears in a long cream-colored dress and black patent leather shoes.
There is also the story of the woman who, in 1931, abandoned a 2-year-old child in one of the hotel’s rooms. A judge gave the child the surname “Lord,” before sending him to the Nursery and Children’s Hospital. No further information on the woman's identity or child's fate was ever recovered.
BTW, parts of Renee Zellweger’s film My One & Onlywere shot on site, as were scenes from Guarding Tesswith Nicolas Cage and Shirley MacLaine.
Now known as the Radisson Plaza Lord Baltimore Hotel, it is an historic landmark hotel and is a member of the Historic Hotels of America...Lon
PERSONAL ACCOUNTS - THE LORD BALTIMORE HOTEL
One psychic to another: Staff told me and mom about the (presumed) suicide of a young woman on the 19th floor and the elevators’ constant trips up there at night, with no one ringing the bell and no one emerging after the trip from 19 back to the lobby. I did not research the hotels being a hotspot, as I had no motive or reason or inkling beforehand to do so, simply put. I was there, for a wedding. After I felt the touch of spirits in the lobby and in the elevator, on the way up to our first “unsatisfactory” room, I asked about any ghosts in the hotel. We were told only about this woman's suicide on 19, and I stupidly insisted to mom that we go up there and explore the hallways.
After a time, she humored me.
It was a mistake to brazenly open myself when I have trouble with negative energies, which float in often enough, just sitting in the house! I asked the staff, repeatedly, in Mom’s presence, about ghosts seen in the hotel.
I ran into a spirit in the front lobby, opposite the desk and a real pain in the ass, other(s), in my room, 1620. Not one staff member (Mom can testify) ever mentioned a long gowned screaming child. That image, before my eyes, fully awake, was persistent and strong, and she was both frantic and terrified. So sad.
In another 20 years I’ll be better at this, in that I will learn how to avoid being sensitive enough to be up with bad dreams all night when any sinister spirits are around.
The clear fact that YOU were sensitive enough to get hit with a psychic attack (imposed imagery nightmare scenario of a serial killer) of a spirit’s peculiar mental illness, suggests, to me, at least, that you're more capable than you suspect of assisting and sensing the unseen
In comparison, Mom and Ian were so untroubled.
Employee's Experience: Francesle (Fran) Carter has worked at the Radisson Lord Baltimore for many years. She currently functions in the role of captain, supervising a team of people overseeing the food, beverage, and setup needs of the hotel.
In 1998 Fran was on the 19th floor of the building preparing a small meeting room for future use. She was working at a table facing the wall with an open door to her left. She bent over the table for a few moments, absorbed in her work. Then she looked up and to her left at the doorway. A little girl wearing a long cream colored dress and black shiny shoes ran by the open doorway, bouncing a red ball before her.
Fran immediately ran outside calling after her “Little girl, are you lost?”
The hallway was completely empty. Fran, quite shaken at this point, turned around to go back to the meeting room when she saw two people walking down the hallway toward her. The first was an older gentleman dressed in formal attire. He was accompanied by a woman in a long ballgown. Frank asked them if they were looking for their granddaughter because she had just run by. She turned to point in the direction that the child had passed. When she turned her head back toward the two people, they had just vanished right before her eyes.
Fran was then so frightened that she called a security guard. He stayed there with her until she finished her work, and no more ghostly visitors appeared on the 19th floor that evening.
A few years later a guest at the hotel told Fran that she believed that her room had a ghostly visitor. She was awakened in the middle of the night by the sound of a child crying. As she sat up in her bed, she saw a little girl crying and rocking herself back and forth while sitting in the window of her room. As the woman rose to go to the girl, she slowly faded away. The little girl was wearing a long cream colored dress with black shoes.
One evening a few years later, Fran was approached by a coworker who told her that three people were standing in the dark in the ballroom of the hotel. The hotel’s ballroom is a very large room, which can accommodate 1,250 people seated at banquet tables. Three arched ceiling length windows dominate the far wall of the room- the side of the room opposite the entrance doorway. When Fran entered the ballroom, she walked across the room in the direction of the windows. She noticed that there indeed were three people standing there in the darkened, moonlit room. One man stood before the far left window, another stood before the far right window, and a woman stood a few feet behind the two men before the middle window. They were all looking upward through the windows. Fran noticed that they were standing in what she described as a triangular formation.
Fran passed within 5 feet of the man standing in front of the window on the left. She noticed that he was wearing a dark, possibly blue, sport blazer with metallic buttons that gleamed in the darkness. He had an ascot tied around his throat and appeared quite the dapper gentleman. She thought that his clothing was odd, but at this point didn’t know that her visitors were out of the ordinary. She then asked them if they would like some light and walked by the man in the ascot to turn on the light switch, just a few feet from where he was standing.
Light immediately flooded the room- and the three visitors were gone! As earlier noted, the Lord Baltimore hotel has had its share of guests who were very reluctant to check out. It appears that some of them never did.
Baltimore's Harbor Haunts: True Ghost Stories (Schiffer Books)
Haunted Baltimore: The Haunted Locations of Baltimore, Maryland
Baltimore Haunting: Based on a True Story
Baltimore Ghosts: History, Mystery, Legends and Lore
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Friday, August 24, 2012
The original USS Constellation was commissioned in 1797 and her history is long and bloody. The ship fought against the French, various gangs of pirates, slave traders, and other unsavory Barbary corsairs. It served in 5 major wars, from the Civil War through World War 2. It was finally retired in 1955, and permanently docked in Baltimore, Maryland. There’s not much left of the original ship, which was totally rebuilt in 1855, but enough that ghosts from the original vessel are still seen on her decks. Cries and moans have been heard in the hold, and witnesses have heard the sounds and felt the motion of unseen people running about. Late one evening a night watchman inspecting the ship's orlop (storage) deck with only a flashlight to lead him through this narrow area at the bottom of the ship was startled by a misty white light which appeared out of nowhere and became a sailor in an outdated uniform. He walked towards the watchman, who stood frozen to the spot as the ghost passed through him. Who was it? There are several possibilities.
The Ghost of Neil Harvey
He was court-martialled by The Constellation’s first captain, Commodore Thomas Truxton, for cowardice. Truxton had Lieutenant Starrett, run his sword through the seaman. He then had Harvey’s wounded, but still living body tied to a cannon and blown to pieces as a warning to the rest of the crew. This was a brutal death, but a traditional one used by both the British and American navies in this era. Neil Harvey is the most frequently seen ghost aboard the Constellation. He often appears as a shimmering mass.
The Ghost of Captain Truxton
On a cold December night in 1955 close to midnight, Lt. Cmdr. Allen Ross Brougham and a friend set up a camera on the deck. After they "detected a faint scent in the air-a certain something not unlike gunpowder," before them appeared a "phosphorescently glowing, translucent ectoplasmic manifestation of a late Eighteenth Century or early Nineteenth Century sailor, complete with gold stripe trouser, cocked hat and sword." He quickly took a photo which was printed in the local paper a few days later. Some say this figure may be the stern Captain Truxton, who is also believed to haunt the ship.
The Ghost of a Young Boy
A young surgeon’s assistant was only age 11 when he was stabbed to death by two other sailors. According to Sybil Leek, a psychic who worked with Hans Holzer, he was murdered in the cockpit of the orlop deck.
The Ghost of a Depressed Sailor
Said to have been so overwhelmed by the harsh life at sea that he hung himself, he may be seen floating around and across the gun and forecastle deck.
The Ghost of Carl Hansen
This ship’s friendliest spirit, he was a night watchman who watched over the ship until an alarm system was installed in the mid 1960’s. He was a retired Royal navy cook, who clearly loved the ship. He has been seen on several occasions playing cards below deck. A frequently-told story about him tells of a priest who came aboard and not encountering any tour guides, went below alone. There he met an old sailor who proceeded to explain the workings of the ship to him. When he went back up to the deck, he encountered several tour guides who informed him that there was no one below. All hurried down, but no one was found. It has also been reported that he sat next to a young girl and smiled at her at a Sea Scout party.
Today the historic vessel is docked at Pier 1 in Baltimore's Inner Harbor, where you can climb aboard and get a firsthand look at what life was like aboard and perhaps have a close encounter with her past.
U.S.S. Constellation: An Illustrated History (Civil War History Series)
USS Constellation: The US Navy's Fight Against The Slave Trade
USS Constellation: Pride of the American Navy
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
It was late in the summer of 1989 and I was preparing for my annual sojourn to Ocean City, MD for a bit of rest and relaxation. Before I left, I called my friend George, who lives in St. Michaels, MD to let him know that I would be stopping by his house for a visit on my way back from the beach the following week. This was a bit of a tradition that we would get together during the summer and sit on his porch, eat crabs and drink a few beers. George was a longtime friend and we both looked forward to the visits. He and his wife, Lee, would visit us around the Christmas holidays when they came to Baltimore to visit their relatives. George stated he would be home and waiting for my visit.
“By the way, do you still conduct your investigations?” he asked. I acknowledged that I did on occasion and asked him what was going on. Frankly, he never seemed interested in this subject previously. “I’ll wait ‘til you get here…there’s no particular reason.” I told him I’d call before I left the beach to let him know I was enroute and said my goodbyes.
Several days later, I arrived at George’s residence. He lives in a beautiful neighborhood. Most of the houses are restored to the original early 19th century design. It’s a very quiet area with many trees and greenery. George’s house is a two story colonial with wood plank siding and a rail fence that completely encompasses the property.
George was sitting on the front porch when I pulled up. He greeted me at my car, “how was the beach?” I told him it was less crowded than I expected which was a pleasure. I spent a few days deep sea fishing while I was there and had the bad sunburn to prove it. We walked to the porch and sat down. He seemed a bit withdrawn while we small talked about family, sports, etc. I knew something was bothering him so I came right out and asked him why he inquired about my paranormal investigations. He replied “I saw something recently.”
“Do you remember the old guy next door, Frank Shipley?” I told him I vaguely remembered him, though I know I was introduced to him many years previously. “Well, ole’ Frank died in May” George continued. “He talked to me a few days before he passed away. He was wondering if I could take care of his dog, Max, if anything ever happened to him. I told him ‘sure’…Max was a good dog (male Boxer) and there would be no problem. Anyway, a week or so later Frank passed away. I knew something was wrong when I didn’t noticed Frank walking Max that morning and again that evening, so I knocked on his door and there was no answer. I called the police and they found him sitting in an armchair. Max was laying beside him and didn’t cause any commotion when the police arrived. In fact, Max simply walked out of the house and sat in the front yard.”
George continued to tell me what had happened. The next evening, I was sitting on the porch watching the ballgame on TV. Max was laying on the porch swing…it seemed that he would adjust well. It was around 8:00 pm and it was starting to get to dark when Max suddenly jumped to his feet and ran to the fence by the sidewalk. He sat there for a few seconds, then he started to walk along the fence (left to right) to the other side of the yard. He walked back to the porch and sat down on the steps. About 15 minutes later, he once again jumped up and ran to the right edge of the fence, sat for a few seconds, then started to walk along the fence (right to left). When he got to the gate, I noticed a mist moving outside the fence. Max was moving with this mist until he reached the end of the fence. Max then walked back to the porch and sat by the door and whined. I opened the door and let him in then walked back to the chair on the porch and sat down contemplating as to what I just witnessed. Lee (George’s wife) told me Max went into the kitchen, ate his food and went directly to his bed.”
I left for home that evening. About a week later, I was talking to George on the phone. I mentioned the mist and Max' behavior. “What do you think it was?” George asked. I replied that it was probably some residual energy of Frank's nightly walks with Max. I explained that what I witnessed was not unusual and there’s nothing to be concerned about. I asked if he had seen anything unusual since that evening and he replied that he had not. I continued to explain the possibility of certain spirit energies replaying and display like a looped film. He seemed to take everything I said in stride. “By the way” I inquired, “how's Max?” George answered, “oh, yeah, Max died that same night.”
I suppose it’s possible that Frank and Max have found another neighborhood on a different plane to take their daily walks.
The Big Book of Maryland Ghost Stories (Big Book of Ghost Stories)
Maryland Ghosts: Paranormal Encounters in the Free State
Ghosts of Maryland
Monday, August 20, 2012
Seat Pleasant, Maryland - August 1952 - 21:30
Hearing a buzzing sound, Mrs Suzanne E. Knight looked out and saw something like an airplane fuselage, dull silver in color and with some thin white smoke coming out the rear end. On a small mast at the front was a small red light. Through a row of large square windows could be seen, brilliantly yellow lighted, something like cabinets with slanted tops, and, in the front, a helmeted man looking straight ahead. No controls or instruments were visible. Beneath the fuselage was a windowed gondola, showing the backs of little seats. After trying in vain to get the newspaper on the phone, she looked again; the man was gone, and so was the “observation car.” Then the lights went out, and the object began to glow red, as if red hot, and to rock from side to side. She called her relatives, but it was gone by the time she returned to the window.
Sometime in August, 1952 (the exact date cannot be recalled) during the major UFO sighting wave of that year, Mrs. Suzanne E. Knight, a young housewife and mother in Seat Pleasant, Maryland (4 miles east of Washington, DC), saw a UFO at close range with what appeared to be an occupant aboard.
At about 9:30 p.m. on that hot summer evening, Mrs. Knight was in her kitchen when she heard a peculiar "bzzt" noise, apparently against the screen of the kitchen window. The noise was repeated several times and thinking it was a large insect, she went to the window and looked out. She saw a bright object descending rapidly at a 45 degree angle and thought it was a plane about to crash; instead, the object came to a hovering position at a right angle to her, approximately half a city block away and about 300 feet above the ground.
The UFO appeared to Mrs. Knight to resemble the wingless fuselage of a plane and was dull silver in color. Something similar to smoke was coming from the rear. The side of the object facing Mrs. Knight was lined with a number of square windows through which a brilliant yellow light was shining. On top and to the front of the object, to her left, was a small red light, extended somewhat above the body.
On the underside of the UFO was an undercarriage similar to the gondola of a dirigible; this also contained a row of smaller, square windows and was brilliantly aglow inside with yellow light. Mrs. Knight thought she observed what appeared to be rows of seats, similar to theatre seats, in this lower portion. Through the upper windows she was able to see what appeared to be a row of cabinets with slanted tops.
"There was a man in front," Mrs. Knight wrote in her report to NICAP, "looking straight ahead towards the front [to her left]. I couldn't understand what he was looking at so intently, and not moving either. I expected to see a lot of instruments or dials, etc. similar to instrument panels on airplanes, but there were none that I could see." She said that the bright yellow glow in the object made everything inside look yellow, "even the man." This occupant wore a kind of helmet and "around his arm and the side of his helmet, next to his face, there seemed to be a shadow or a dark line."
After watching for a minute or so, Mrs. Knight left the window to phone the newspaper, but she was unable to get an answer. When she returned to the window, the object was still there but the man had disappeared and the undercarriage was no longer visible.
"I thought maybe it had moved up into the fuselage, because not even an outline of the car was visible, but it should have been because the street light would have shown it."
At that point the lights in the object were abruptly extinguished and the UFO turned from a dull silver color to a glowing red, "like the door of an old pot-bellied stove." It also began to rock toward and away from the witness and gave the appearance of being "wavy, like water running over a rock or like heat waves coming out of an electric toaster." She then began calling for someone else in the house to come and see the object but while she was looking for her sister the object departed. Altogether, the incident had lasted approximately three minutes, at least two minutes of which Mrs. Knight had had the object in clear view.
The witness told her sister of what she had seen, omitting the detail about the occupant (she was certain her sister would disbelieve her); the sister displayed disinterest and a certain degree of skepticism, so Mrs. Knight ceased to talk of it. She forgot the incident until a number of years later, when she told her husband and children. The report came to the attention of NICAP and Mrs. Knight made out a full report in September, 1967. Following this, she has been interviewed further by a member of the Capital Area NICAP Subcommittee. Mrs. Knight holds a responsible job in Prince Georges County. - NICAP - National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomenon
A Close Encounter of the Third Kind: Baltimore Maryland: UFO Forensic Files Volume 2
Swamp Gas Times: My Two Decades on the UFO Beat
Friday, August 17, 2012
A few weeks ago I was thumbing through old investigation files when I came across notations I had made in regards to a unknown bird-like creature. The sightings were reported in 1985 and continued into 1987. It was an odd situation because I knew a few of the witnesses and I was also employed nearby at the time of the sightings. Cryptid investigation was new for me since my main focus was researching spiritual hauntings, but I had studied local Bigfoot encounters and wanted to expand my paranormal focus.
|A Blue Indian Peacock|
At the time, I thought that the creature was either a large turkey buzzard or maybe a peacock someone may have had as a pet. In fact, a peacock farm did exist in the area back in the 1950's according to people I interviewed. I went to the location but found no evidence supporting the sighting.
This is the image Darlene showed me - In 1886, Charles Gould reproduced this picture of the Fung Hwang, or Chinese Phoenix. In fact, the male was called Fung, and the female called Hwang. Just as dragons could be auspicious, so could these birds, said to tower over most people and enjoy music.
Later that year, I had heard a rumor of a large bird being seen near the Hilton Area of the Patapsco State Park on Hilltop Rd. After several inquiries I was able to locate the witness, Darlene M., who confirmed the sighting. She and her daughter lived nearby and had been walking along Hilltop Rd. when they observed a huge bird flying towards them. Darlene stated that the creature got within 20 ft. of them then suddenly changed direction and flew into the woods. She said that they were terrified...she was sure it was going to hit them. She had gone to the library to see if she could find a picture of the creature. She found an old illustration of a Fung Hwang, or Chinese Phoenix and said it looked very similar to what they observed. She described the head was a vibrate red with fierce eyes. The wings were leathery and tipped with large green feathers. It flew by so quickly she was unable to to get a better description.
Once again I was stumped by the sighting. I talked to two ornithologists who basically thought I was delusional. I also contacted the state park service and asked if they had heard of any strange reports. Nothing...though they were amused by the questions.
The Phoenix is a mythical sacred firebird that can be found in the mythologies of the Arabian, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Chinese, Indian and Phoenicians.
On the morning of April 29, 1986 several employees at the local paper mill observed a large bird standing in the loading area. According to the witnesses, this creature fit the description of a very large peacock...but there were some oddities. The head was red in color and it didn't have the long plumes. Other than those anomalies the overall description pointed towards a peacock. Could there be a breeding population in the state park?
In January 1987 a truck driver (Robert S.) was heading south on Thistle Rd. and was startled by a huge bird that flew across the road in front of his vehicle. I was able to interview him by telephone a few days later (he lived in Edison, NJ). His impression was that it 'looked like a dragon'. There was snow on the ground and the creature silhouetted well enough to get a quick but detailed look. Robert stated that it was 'as long as his truck was wide' and 'was powerfully built'. He also confirmed it had a red colored head and greenish-blue body and wings.
At this point I had nothing more than anecdotal evidence. There was no natural explanation for the existence of this creature. Even today I have little to go on because I simply have not come across another cryptid that matches the description.
The Gryphon is a legendary creature with the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle. As the lion was traditionally considered the king of the beasts and the eagle was the king of the birds, the griffin was thought to be an especially powerful and majestic creature.
The final sighting, as far as I know, took place on June 30, 1987. The witness, David, was a Baltimore Gas and Electric employee who, along with his partner, was working along the power line that runs north to south through the state park. At a point north of Hilltop Rd. near the old mill village is an abandoned church graveyard. The former church was razed in the 1930's but the graveyard was left on its own...thus, it was severely overgrown by the woods. (I do think that the graves have been relocated since). David observed a large bird-like creature that he described as a 'gryphon'...though he admits that he didn't get a very good look at it. He only noticed the creature after hearing a rustling sound which he thought was probably deer moving through the woods. He said the creature raised up from a rock, spread it's wings and vanished. David admitted that the sight of this beast was a shock and that he did not want to go back to the location.
I really wish I had more to offer. I kept the notes and vowed to go back and investigate the encounters if more sightings were reported. The witness Darlene may have been on to something...maybe this was a mythical firebird with the ability to be reborn from its own ashes. Unfortunately I have not heard of other incidents. Lon
'Winged Enigma' examined further
Cryptozoologist / researcher Dale Drinnon has looked deeper into my post Winged Enigma that referenced sightings of a cryptid bird-like creature in the Patapsco State Park river valley near Ilchester, MD.
Drinnon states: This is a one off event describing a creature seen in Maryland over a couple of years. Since this creature is clearly diurnal, it has to be a transient and may have come up from South America . No such creature has actually been reported in North America .
What is troublesome is that none of the descriptions described the beak at all. That pretty well eliminates an over specialized shape such as a raptor or its like. If any thing the weight of the descriptions is toward a bulkier bird able to eat grubs and some vegetative matter.
One report noted that the wings were leathery. In fairness, bird wings are also leathery but covered with feathers. This bird is a solid flier with obvious pin feathers. The whole observation allows us to rethink the available possibilities for large birds. Purportedly the pterodactyl lacked feathers but that seems less and less likely. However a membrane wing covered as needed with small feathers makes sense on the pterodactyl configuration.
The Chinese and Asian reports suggest a homeland for this particular transient. Yet I am still seeing a large diurnal bird with a very long apparent range. Perhaps it relies on fishing like the pterodactyl. We have to get it here some how.
In the event this is at lest a very rare solitary bird that travels great distances and avoids humanity by roosting in forests and possibly flying high. Yet flying low may actually be a better route for a bird that does not hunt and perhaps fishes and is comfortable in the forest.
The forest in which the observations were made is a river valley and is well penetrated by human activity. Observation may well have been inevitable there.
In conclusion, Drinnon states: In this case, the dimensions are in the Thunderbird range although on the modest side (10 to 20 foot wingspan is the lower end of wingspan estimates and some estimates go up to a 35 foot wingspan or more. 15 to 25 would be seen more often and would definitely seem the more likely estimates of the size) but the coloration seems a mite gaudy. The ordinary reports would say simply black wings and a red head, but the feathers are also sometimes said to have a sort of irridescent sheen to them and could look bluish or greenish from that. Oddly enough, the more colourful Thunderbird reports nearly always eminate from the EAST Coast. Some reports say leathery wings and others say feathery: these reports DO say feathery. In the case quoted above, the suggestion it was a peacock seems too forced: it was like a peacock except for the head and tail does not leave any distinctively peacock features in between. The fact that the shape of the beak is not specifies of course in itself means nothing: but then it is difficult to judge how sharp the edge of a bird's beak is from a distance. The large talons are on the other hand suggestive of a predatory bird. In this case we seem to have a more or less ordinary large condor-like bird from the description, only the fancies of observers attribute pterosaur or dragon features onto it. Or even phoenix or peacock features.
Best Wishes, Dale D.
The Weiser Field Guide to Cryptozoology: Werewolves, Dragons, Skyfish, Lizard Men, and Other Fascinating Creatures Real and Mysterious
Live Pterosaurs in America: Not extinct, flying creatures of cryptozoology that some call pterodactyls or flying dinosaurs or prehistoric birds
BIG BIRD! - MODERN SIGHTINGS OF FLYING MONSTERS- I highly recommend...Lon