Posts

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

Kenneth Arnold and the First Flying Saucer Sighting

June 24th commemorates the first modern, post-war sighting of unidentified flying objects and the coining of the term “flying saucer.”
Kenneth Arnold holds a sketch of a crescent-shaped flying saucer
Pilot Kenneth Arnold with a sketch of one of the UFOs he saw near Mt. Rainier in 1947

Pilot Kenneth Arnold was flying near Mt. Rainier on June 24, 1947, when he witnessed nine shiny aircraft unlike anything he had seen before. Arnold described eight of the objects as thin, flat, pie-pan, or disk-shaped, while the ninth was a crescent coming to a point in the back. They were flying ahead of him in formation, moving erratically. In interviews, he described the motion like a kite-tail in the wind, or a saucer skipping on the water. He calculated their speed to be approximately 1,200 miles an hour. Although he had an eerie feeling, Arnold didn’t believe he had seen some kind of alien craft, he just thought it was some experimental new jet.

When he landed, Arnold told a friend about what he saw. News spread quickly about the first modern, post-war UFO sighting in the US. The June 26th edition of The Chicago Sun ran the headline “Supersonic Flying Saucers Sighted by Idaho Pilot,” which is believed to be the first use of the term flying saucer.

About two weeks later, on July 8, a story broke about a flying saucer crash on a ranch in Roswell, New Mexico.

Newspapers around the US and Canada reported 853 sightings of unidentified, saucer-like craft in 1947, at least 250 of which have been deemed credible due to the reputation of the sources or the accuracy of the details reported.

Arnold’s sighting is commemorated every year on June 24th as Flying Saucer Day.

The Aztec UFO Incident Details the Strange Story of ‘The Other Roswell’

The story of a UFO crash in Aztec, New Mexico was considered a hoax for decades, but The Aztec UFO Incident reveals evidence of an elaborate military cover-up.
The Aztec UFO Incident
The Aztec UFO Incident by Ramsey Scott, Suzanne Ramsey, and Frank Thayer, PhD

In 1948, a year after the controversial incident in Roswell, a massive UFO crashed in Aztec, New Mexico. The military soon arrived to remove the evidence, including the bodies of 16 humanoids inside the wreckage. At least that’s what Frank Scully wrote in his 1950 book Behind the Flying Saucers.

It was revealed later that the story was told to Scully by two con-men, Silas Newton and Leo A. Gebauer, who were in the area trying to sell devices to find gold and oil they claimed were based on alien technology recovered from the Aztec crash. When the metal from one of the devices was tested, however, it was ordinary aluminum.

So the whole thing was a hoax, right?

Not according to Ufologists who began taking the Aztec UFO story much more seriously in the 1970s. In The Aztec UFO Incident, authors by Ramsey Scott, Suzanne Ramsey, and Frank Thayer, PhD offer up compelling evidence of a crash and subsequent conspiracy to keep it under wraps.

The Aztec UFO Incident–the first ever widely publicized report of a recovered flying saucer–was derided as a hoax for decades. But now the Ramseys and Frank Thayer reveal the exact spot where the craft landed and show how the 100-foot diameter saucer was moved to a secret laboratory. Witnesses to the incident who were interviewed by the authors affirm that they were sworn to secrecy by the military. The authors also reveal the names of scientists who worked on the craft after its recovery.

Also included are previously unseen documents from the CIA, FBI, U.S. Air Force, and U.S. Army that constituted a cover-up whose sole purpose was to surround the Aztec story with a smokescreen of lies, misinformation, and destructive allegations.

Roswell is no longer the only proven flying saucer recovery we know about. The Aztec UFO Incident is a must-read for historians and UFO students alike.

Buy The Aztec UFO Incident Now (Amazon)

Book about the Aztec UFO crash

Alien Photos Found in Attic May Be Proof of Roswell UFO Crash

Secret photos from the 1947 Roswell UFO crash found in an attic in Arizona depicting a dissected alien body may be the smoking gun.
Alien autopsy exhibit at the Roswell UFO museum
Alien autopsy exhibit at the Roswell UFO Museum

Newly discovered photos from the 1947 Roswell UFO crash may be the smoking gun UFOlogists have been waiting for to settle the controversy. Verified by a Kodak film historian as genuine Kodachrome from 1947, the slides are said to contain photographic evidence of an alien body following the incident.

So where did these photos come from?

Bernard Ray was a geologist working in the Roswell area in 1947, where he and his co-workers apparently stumbled upon the cordoned off area. Army personnel instructed them not to interfere, but Ray secretly snapped a few photos of the scene. After his death, his wife Hilda hid the slides inside the inner lining of a trunk in the attic of their Sedona, Arizona home presumably for fear of government reprisal.

The slides were discovered after Hilda’s death in 1989 by a woman preparing the Ray’s belongings for an estate sale. It seems she quickly understood the importance of a photo containing what appears to be an alien 3-4 feet tall, with a large head, lying partially dissected on a gurney with an Army blanket.

Notably, the body in the photo matches descriptions from eyewitnesses in 1947 rather than popular depictions of spacemen from the time.

The photos will finally be revealed to the public by Roswell researcher Donald R. Schmitt during the Cinco de Mayo event at the National Auditorium in Mexico City on May 5, 2015, followed by a presentation at the Roswell UFO Festival in July.

5/5/15 Update: Reactions to the Roswell Slides