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Terror in the Skies film by Small Town Monsters

Terror in the Skies: Doc Explores Stories of Large Winged Creatures in the Prairie State

What are the large winged creatures terrorizing the skies? Documentary looks at Chicago Mothman and other winged cryptids in Illinois.

Small Town Monsters, who recently brought us The Bray Road Beast, The Mothman of Point Pleasant, and other documentaries about local legends and lore, released a trailer for their next project. Terror in the Skies, the second film in their “Mothman trilogy” (The Mothman Legacy is coming in 2020), unearths strange reports of Mothman and thunderbirds in Illinois.

“Illinois is known for its miles of prairie, and for being a state rich in history,” the press release says, “but what if that rich history isn’t quite what you’ve been told? In this new film, from award-winning production company, Small Town Monsters, and director, Seth Breedlove, explore hundreds of years of terrifying reports of encounters with massive, winged creatures around the “land of Lincoln”. From Alton’s man-eating Piasa Bird legends, to recent sightings in Chicago of a creature said to resemble Point Pleasant, West Virginia’s infamous “Mothman”, Terror in the Skies unlocks a centuries-old mystery.”

Terror in the Skies includes interviews with Loren Coleman of the International Cryptozoology Museum, Illinois paranormal author Troy Taylor, and more.

Terror in the Skies documentary by Small Town Monsters

Recap of the 2016 Milwaukee Paranormal Conference

A quick recap of the 2016 Milwaukee Paranormal Conference with appearances by Loren Coleman, Butch Patrick, Katrina Weidman, Linda S. Godfrey and more.
Milwaukee Paranormal Conference 2016

The Milwaukee Paranormal Conference was originally dreamed up last year by author Tea Krulos as a release party for his book Monster Hunters. Rather than take the spotlight, however, he decided to organize a celebration of the bizarre with authors, artists, vendors, filmmakers, ghost tours, and numerous experts in the fields of cryptozoology, folklore, paranormal investigation, and haunted places. Due to the success of last year’s event, Tea promised bigger and better in 2016…and he did not disappoint.

Related: The Milwaukee Paranormal Conference needs your help!

The conference was held this weekend at the University of Milwaukee Student Union with a packed vendor floor and two halls hosting panels and speakers throughout both Saturday and Sunday. The Cult of Weird table was perfectly positioned between Grave Digger Candles and J. Nathan Couch, author of Goatman: Flesh or Folklore?

Butch Patrick, the actor who played Eddie Munster, was a last minute addition since he just happened to be in the area. I couldn’t resist picking up an autographed Johnny Lightning Dragula for my fledgling diecast hearse collection.

eddie-munster-dragula
The Munsters diecast Dragula autographed by Butch Patrick

Butch Patrick who played Eddie Munster
Me with Butch Patrick (Eddie Munster)

The first speaker I caught was Linda S. Godfrey, author of Monsters Among Us, American Monsters, and many more. She covered 25 years of investigation into eyewitness accounts of dogmen in the Midwest, a phenomena she first encountered in the late 1980s when she reported on the Beast of Bray Road sightings near Delavan, Wisconsin for a local newspaper.

Linda Godfrey speaking about sightings of dogmen in the Midwest
Linda Godfrey speaking about dogman sightings in the Midwest.

Later there was a Q&A session with Katrina Weidman from the Destination America series Paranormal Lockdown, where she talked about some of the most convincing evidence she has collected, as well as the upcoming Halloween special in which she and Nick Groff (formerly of Ghost Adventures) investigate the Black Monk House. That was followed by The Roswell Debate with Donald R. Schmitt and Mark O’Connell. Both were involved in last year’s conference, but I didn’t have a chance to catch them this time around.

Loren Coleman
Me with Loren Coleman

The day culminated in a thoroughly fascinating presentation by International Museum of Cryptozoology founder Loren Coleman on the Minnesota Iceman, reports of Bigfoot abducting dogs and children, and the current clown hysteria as it relates to a long history of phantom clown sightings. It was Coleman’s first appearance in Milwaukee, providing the opportunity to have Terry Cullen get onstage and recount his early encounter with the Iceman.

Cullen was a zoology student in Milwaukee when he found the stinking, rotting corpse of a hairy hominid at Chicago’s International Livestock Exhibition and Fair in 1968. Of course, many great hoaxes have been perpetuated in dimly lit tents. Cullen said he always paid to get into those exhibits so he could learn what fakes look like. But the Iceman was different. He had the opportunity to examine the body better than anyone since, and remains convinced it was authentic.

For more on the Iceman read Neanderthal: The Strange Saga of the Minnesota Iceman by Bernard Heuvelmans. Coleman provided an afterword to this newly translate edition of one of the best books on the topic.

On a side note, when you have the opportunity to buy a plaster cast of a Bigfoot print from the Patterson-Gimlin filmsite signed by Loren Coleman…you do it.

Bigfoot cast signed by Loren Coleman
Bigfoot cast from the Patterson-Gimlin filmsite signed by Loren Coleman

Wisconsin’s Wildest Urban Legends panel happened Sunday with Tea at the helm. J. Nathan Couch discussed the connection between goatman and Lover’s Lane legends. Valerie Kedrowski of the Steven’s Point Paranormal Club shed some light on roads with a ghostly reputation such as Paradise Road and Boy Scout Lane. Christina and I talked about the bizarre history of St. Nazianz and JFK Prep, as well as the circumstances surrounding the allegedly haunted cauldron believed to have been owned by Ed Gein. Tea went over some of the locations where the ghost of Al Capone are said to roam.

Minnesota Krampus

One of the defining moments of the afternoon was the Krampus parade, in which members of the Minnesota Krampus group stalked through the vendor hall in their traditional goat hide costumes with menacing hand-carved masks, flogging any unfortunate soul who happened to get in their way.

At the end of the day we had the pleasure of hearing the top three winners of the summer writing contest read their submissions. It was great meeting everyone and catching up with all the amazing folks we met last year.

UPDATE: Listen to the top 5 submission right here.

Vintage Haskelite mystic tray
Vintage 1940s Hasko Mystic Tray for sale from Steve and Kim of Kadywumpus

Artist Cait May
Artist Cait May. She had an amazing lake monster print I should have bought. See more of her work at www.caitmayart.com

Christina with one of the Minnesota Krampus
Christina with a Krampus

Zombeans by Donovan Scherer
Zombeans by author/illustrator Donovan Scherer

What would D.B. Cooper do? bumper sticker

Watch for more photos from the conference at www.milwaukeeparacon.com

Milwaukee Paranormal Conference Saturday Schedule

Katrina Weidman, Loren Coleman, Butch Patrick, and more! Here’s what’s going on today, October 15th at the Milwaukee Paranormal Conference.
Milwaukee Paranormal Conference 2016 Saturday schedule

The first day of the Milwaukee Paranormal Conference features a Q&A with Paranormal Lockdown star Katrina Weidman, cryptozoology expert Loren Coleman on the Minnesota Iceman, and much more. Afterwards, be sure to check out The Raven’s Masquerade Ball costume contest and performances by Dead Man’s Carnival, Gnarrenschiff and Tamarind Tribal Belly Dance, Quasimondo Milwaukee Physical Theater and others.

Cult of Weird will be there all day. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for updates throughout the day, and be sure to find us in the vendor hall and say hi! We have candy…

Here’s the schedule for the day:

Milwaukee Paranormal Conference Day 1

@ University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Student Union (2200 E. Kenwood Blvd.)

UWM Ballroom East: Vendor floor open 10:00am-5:00pm

Wisconsin Room

11:00-11:45am: Linda S. Godfrey, “Midwest Manwolves: 24 Years on the Trail”

12:00-12:45pm: Allison Jornlin, “Milwaukee Forteana Vol. II”

1:00-1:45pm: Mary Marshall, “Paranormal Entanglement”

Paranormal Lockdown star Katrina Weidman at the Milwaukee Paranormal Conference
Katrina Weidman, star of Paranormal Lockdown

2:15-3:00pm: Shepherd Express presents “Q & A with Katrina Weidman of Paranormal Lockdown,” special presentation with Mike Huberty and Wendy Lynn Staats from See You On The Other Side podcast, who will talk with Katrina Weidman, star of Paranormal Lockdown and Paranormal State. Includes audience Q & A and autograph session– get an autographed photo for $20!

3:30-4:45pm: The Roswell Debate with Donald R. Schmitt and Mark O’Connell

5-6pm: Keynote: Loren Coleman, “The Minnesota Iceman: the Milwaukee Connection and More”

Loren Coleman at the Milwaukee Paranormal Conference
Loren Coleman, founder of the International Cryptozoology Museum

UWM Ballroom West

12:00-12:45pm: “Best UFO Reports 2016,” moderated by Nick Roesler, w/ Chase Kloetzke (MUFON) and Kevin Malek (UFO Wisconsin Research Team). Supporting sponsor: KGRA radio

1:00-1:45pm: Celeste Contreras, “Celebrating Dia de los Muertos”

2:00-2:45pm: Kristan T. Harris, “The Hidden History of Giants”

3:00-3:45pm: “Searching for Wisconsin’s Sasquatch,” moderated by Sanjay Singhal (Beyond the Forest radio), w/ Jay Bachochin (WPI Hunts the Truth), Linda S. Godfrey, Larry and Jen Dopke (WI- Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization)

Worshops (Room 191)

12:15-1:00pm: Brew City Paranormal, “Paranormal Investigating: NOT as seen on TV”

1:15-2:00pm: Ron Schaefer, “Dream Interpretation”

2:15- 3:00pm: Society for Anomalous Studies, “Historical Hauntings: Supporting Historical Properties through the Paranormal”

3:15-4:00pm: Dark Star Ministry, “Ouija and Tarot: Occult Tools and the Paranormal”

Third Ward Walking Tour, presented by Milwaukee Ghosts- Tours and Investigations. Meets outside Milwaukee Public Market, 7:30pm.

The Raven’s Masquerade Ball @ Irish Cultural and Heritage Center (2133 W.Wisconsin Ave.) 8pm.

More info at MilwaukeeParaCon.com

Milwaukee Paranormal Conference 2016 First Details Announced

The Milwaukee Paranormal Conference returns this year with guest speakers, panels, screenings and more. Here’s a quick look at the first details.
Milwaukee Paranormal Conference 2016

Get your fix of weird Wisconsin this October at the the 2016 Milwaukee Paranormal Conference! This year’s con will be held October 14-16 at the Helene Zelazo Center for the Performing Arts located on the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee campus.

Speakers will include:

  • Loren Coleman, founder of the International Cryptozoology Museum
  • Chad Lewis, Wisconsin paranormal researcher, Unexplained Research
  • Mary Marshall, founder and director of The Paranormal MD
  • Allison Jornlin, Milwaukee ghostlorist
  • Celesté Contreras, organizer, Día de los Muertos Milwaukee
  • Summerwind Restoration Society
  • Paranormal Investigators of Milwaukee

The first panels announced are:

Haunted Roadtrip with ghost guides Mike Hoke (Cedarburg Ghost & Dark History Walking Tours), Lisa Van Buskirk (Madison Ghost Tour), Kathi Kresol (Haunted Rockford, author of Murder & Mayhem in Rockford, Illinois). Moderated by Mike Huberty of Minneapolis Ghost Tour and the See You On The Other Side podcast.

Searching for Wisconsin’s Sasquatch with Linda S. Godfrey, Jay Bachochin (WPI Hunts the Truth), and Jen and Larry Dopke (Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization, Wisconsin). Moderated by Sanjay R. Singhal, RA (Beyond the Forest Radio).

There will also be a pre-con party, Ghost Story Open Mic, Masquerade Ball, screening sessions and more. Con director Tea Krulos (Monster Hunters) kicked off the inaugural Milwaukee Paranormal Conference last year with great success. This year is sure to be bigger, better…and undoubtedly weirder.

Tickets available now right here.

Loren Coleman of the International Cryptozoology Museum
Loren Coleman of the International Cryptozoology Museum will be a keynote speaker at Milwaukee Paranormal Conference 2016

More info right here.

See: Close Encounters at the Milwaukee Paranormal Conference 2015

Monsters in America: Map Out Your Cryptozoology Road Trip

Looking for strange creatures? The Monsters of America map from Hog Island Press will help you track down Bigfoot, Mothman, the Pope Lick monster and more.
Monsters in America cryptozoological map from Hog Island Press

Planning your next weird road trip? Why not track down the bizarre sightings and mysterious legends of America’s lake monsters, yeti, goatmen and other strange creatures. This high-quality, screenprinted reference to cryptozoology across the US from Hog Island Press functions as an accurate guide to cryptids, and it looks great on the wall, as well.

Monsters in America: A Cryptozoological Map of the United States is possibly the first of its kind – a snapshot of American cryptozoology that brings together the Jersey Devil, Bigfoot, Mothman, Chupacabra, Shunka Warakin, Caddy, the Honey Island Swamp Monster and many more cryptids on one hand-drawn, hand-screened map.

Loren Coleman, the Director of the International Cryptozoology Museum, had this to say: “The cryptid-filled, cartographically accurate Monsters in America: A Cryptozoological Map of the United States should be on the walls of every museum, library, and researcher’s office interested in the science of as-yet-to-be-discovered animals. Hog Island Press has produced an informative, affordable, high quality collectible, which also serves as an educational tool useful for your next road trip, a future research trek, or everyday bibliographic study. There is not a fake on the map. I love the heavy paper stock. Discover and obtain yours today!”

The 25 x 19″ ltd. edition print is screenprinted on 80 lb archival paper and shipped in a reinforced cardboard tube.

BUY IT HERE

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