Tuesday, July 8, 2014

My review of Deliver Us From Evil.

Over the weekend I decided to see the new horror/thriller film Deliver Us From Evil, inspired by true life demonologist (and former NYPD officer) Ralph Sarchie. I was a bit familiar with Ralph Sarchie as I knew he had trained under Ed and Lorraine Warren (the investigators that were portrayed in last years horror hit The Conjuring) so I was looking forward to seeing how Deliver Us From Evil would be.

 I won’t give away any spoilers, but I will say this. This movie isn’t based on one event (as were films like The Conjuring or Amityville Horror) but was a mashup of different cases that Sarchie did over the years (hence the inspired by disclaimer and not based on a true story one). That being said it still didn’t take away from the entertainment value of the film, Eric Bana did a good job of portraying Sarchie and you could see him struggling with the paranormal events that were occurring and trying to make sense of things. Though to me the most interesting character was Father Mendoza (played by Edgar Ramirez), a fictional priest who assists Sarchie with the exorcisms and was based on two priests, Bishop Robert McKenna and Father Malachi Martin, two real life demonologists that assisted Sarchie in what he did over the years. Sean Harris played the main antagonist Santino, and  he did a great job with the creep factor through the entire movie. The climax of the film was the climax of the film. I don’t want to give much away, but it was one of the better exorcism scenes I’ve seen in a while.

 The story itself was well done, though it had me wondering what case inspired what part. The scares were definitely there, though I wish a scene with Sarchie’s daughter was expanded on cause it definitely was the creepiest. I’m glad I didn't see the trailer until after, because one of the creepiest scenes was shown in the trailer. I get why they do that, to lure you in. But you need to have more to that scene, which they really didn't. That being said the final act of the movie goes about a different way in showing an exorcism performed

 I liked the movie, but it’s not the best one I’ve seen. Definitely won’t make my list of worst horror movies ever (which I think I need to do another one btw, I'm looking at you The Purge), but I don’t know if it’s because I’ve seen this same type of movie before and the scares have been done or if it’s something else. What saves this movie is the actors portrayal of their characters, especially that of Bana and Ramirez. Those two had some great chemistry and if the producers try to make a series out of this I’d like to see both actors come back.

All in all I’d recommend seeing it. I'd give it a 7 out of 10. And I’ve learned never to buy my children (when they exist) a jack in the box or a talking owl head. Actually anything to do with creepy dolls is out altogether. Horror movies have taught me that much. 

Monday, May 26, 2014

An evil gnome like creature terrorizes a farmhouse in Porterville

Looks innocent doesn't he? 

I love strange creature stories and am always lamenting the fact that the Central Valley is lacking in them (unless you want to count the numerous sighting of dogs with mange being reported as Chupacabras). So imagine my surprise (and a bit of shock) when I came across a story of a supposedly evil gnome that was terrorizing a farm house near Porterville.

The first incident occurred when a woman by the name of Tammy moved herself and her three children into a small farmhouse on the Tule River near Porterville. Soon after moving in Tammy started feeling like something was watching them and had an uneasy feeling ever time she walked by the old barn. For some reason most of the animals on the farm seemed to avoid the rickety old building and soon she noticed that the number of her ducks and chickens had started to dwindle, but couldn't figure out why. She was soon going to have an idea why.

One night Tammy and her son were coming back from grocery shopping when, as she parked the car and got out, noticed movement to her right. Thinking nothing of it she picked up a grocery bag and noticed it again, this time accompanied by what she described as a "very freaky, very evil sounding chuckle". Looking in the direction of the noise Tammy noticed about 50 yards from her a small humanoid looking figure. Or as she described it, a gnome.

The figure was about two to three feet in height, wore black baggy pants and a gold colored shirt. The face was partially covered by a long salt and pepper beard and on top of the head was a long, red pointed hat. The nose was large and bulbous and the eyes were rather deep set. As the figure grinned at them, Tammy noticed that the grin was almost from ear to ear and the teeth looked to be an ugly brown color and appeared to be either pointed or jagged.

Horrified, Tammy dropped the groceries and grabbed her son and ran off towards the house with the cackling little man right on her heels. Tammy was able to get inside the house and was in the midst of telling her two daughters what she saw, when she saw movement outside the kitchen window. Upon investigating she saw the top of the figure's red pointed hat moving back and forth underneath the window. Finally after what must have seemed like an eternity, the figure disappeared and Tammy was able to get the groceries from the car. This was the only time she actually saw the figure, but until she moved out she would always hear creepy chuckling coming from the old barn, as if it was taunting her or something.

You would think that this would be an isolated occurrence, but it seems the gnome wasn't satisfied with just terrorizing Tammy and her family.

In March of 2010 a family moved in to the same house on the Tule River. According to the wife, Charlie, it was perfect for what their family needed. Her husband took a particular liking to a pond on the property and decorated it with fairy, gnome, and toadstool yard ornaments and stocked it with Japanese koi fish. Not surprisingly, Charlie and her family also had an eerie feeling about the old barn on the property and tried to stay away from it as much as possible.

One night, at around 3:00 am, Charlie and her husband were woken by what can only be described as a "raspy, gurgling singing". Charlie and her husband looked out their bedroom window and what they saw defied what they considered their reality. Standing by the pond and holding one of the garden gnomes was a creature that came out of a Grimm's fairy tale, as Charlie described it. The creature was two to three feet tall, wearing maroon pants and a baggy yellow shirt with a brown vest over it and a dark waistcoat. It had a large gray beard and was wearing a reddish brown pointed hat. Charlie went on to say the most horrible part of the creature were its eyes and teeth. When it grinned it's teeth appeared to be jagged and pointed and the eyes were small and beady and had a dark mean look to them.

Apparently the creature saw the couple looking at him (it?) and reached into the pond and grabbed a koi and dropped it into its mouth and swallowed it. Furious, Charlie's husband pushed open the window and yelled at the creature to leave the yard or he'd call the police. The gnome grinned and laughed as he gave them the finger and disappeared. The police were called, being notified that an "intruder" was on the property, but when they got there an hour later the only evidence that was found was small footprints, about the size of a child's, around the pond.

This wasn't the only time the gnome would visit the pond. Night after night it would be seen holding a yard ornament and eating a fish. The family eventually wised up and moved the ornaments and put the fish into a tank inside the house. Apparently this didn't go over well with the gnome. Upon the usual time of its appearance of 3:00 am, when the gnome saw that the yard ornaments and fish had been removed it went into a crazed frenzy and began yelling and screaming in some language that nobody could understand. But they understood it was pissed. It began to run around the house screaming in whatever language was native to it. The family felt safe until Charlie realized the dog door in the kitchen was unlocked and feared the creature would try to enter the house through that. She was able to lock and then ran upstairs to close the rest of the windows. The last they heard of the creature was a very loud screeching, cackling sound that was heard underneath one of the living room windows. Charlie's husband went to investigate and saw the top of the creature's hat underneath the window.

Given all that had gone on the family decided to get out of the house and Porterville in general. One has to ask, was this the same creature that Tammy saw a few years prior? I first heard of both Tammy and Charlie's story on MysteriousUniverse.org and it seems the author of the article was able to put the two women in contact with each other. After exchanging info and indeed confirming that both had lived on the same property, they agreed to meet and revisit the property where their terrifying encounters had occurred. Upon arrival, they noticed the barn structure that had given both of them an eerie feeling had been torn down but the property still had that dark feel to it. Before they left they decide to knock on the front door of the house to see if anyone was home. A woman answered but was not happy to see them and told them to leave the premises after being asked about the barn or if she had experienced anything weird.

This story intrigues me to say the least. First you have two witnesses describing a similar looking creature that they saw years apart from one another.  Then you have a creature that is known only in folklore but is usually of a pleasant nature, not the mean asshole that was seen by the two women (for some reason I find it hilarious that he flipped off Charlie and her husband). So what did these two women see? I'm going on a different theory here and I know I'll probably get more grief than I usually do, but I think what Tammy and Charlie saw was one of the fairy folk. Namely a redcap.

Redcaps come from English folklore and were said to be a type of malevolent murderous fairy that mostly inhabited ruined castles found along the border between England and Scotland. They would murder any traveler who was foolish enough to stray into their homes. Redcaps got their names from the practice of dying their hats with the blood of their victims. They were described as having the appearance of an old man with red eyes and large teeth.

So how in the hell did a mean little creature straight out of English folklore get all the way to Central California? Remember the United States used to be a British Colony and the early colonist brought over their beliefs from their home land. What if somehow the things they believed in became real? Tibetan Buddhism has a concept called a Tulpa, or a thought form. Basically the idea behind it is that if something is concentrated on enough it is somehow brought into existence.

What if some of the early settlers that came here still held a belief that redcaps were real? So real that they took form and had a life of their own? And over the many years the now very real redcap wandered the country and somehow wound up in California. How else do you explain what was seen? If it was just one person that saw the creature the idea of a hoax of prank could be brought into consideration. But the fact that two people saw the same thing years apart has me wondering what the hell is on the outskirts of Porterville.

Now obviously this is merely conjecture and nothing more. It can't be real; it's just some creature out of a fairy tale right? Tell that to both Tammy and Charlie. Whatever they saw was real to them and it scared the hell out of them. And I have a feeling it's still there, waiting to terrorize someone else.

Since I found this story on another site I feel I have to link back to the original MysteriousUniverse article. You can find it here.

Also it seems the show Monsters and Mysteries on the Destination America network did a story on the creature. You can find the episdode on YouTube but you have to pay $1.99 to see it. I see the show on all the time and imagine they probably run repeats of this episode.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Does the spirit of a police officer haunt Friant Road?

It amazes me that after researching stories in the Fresno area that I am still discovering new ones. The fact that this story has been around for over 10 years and I have never heard of it until last Saturday night amazes me even more.

I was with a group of friends heading up towards Lost Lake Park to investigate the area. Unfortunately when we got to the park, it was already closed. Deciding we would come back when it was open later (it closes at 7:00 right now, but starting April 1 it closes at 10:00) we headed back down Friant towards Fresno. As we were driving back I brought up the fact that there were multiple traffic related deaths on the road and wondered if anyone could possibly haunt it. One of my friends asked me if I had ever heard of the police officer who died on the road and now haunts it, pulling over anyone who was speeding or driving dangerously. This was the first I heard of it and asked him how he had heard the story. He told me his dad had encountered the officer himself. This is what happened according to his dad:

His dad was driving down Friant late one night, speeding as the road had hardly any traffic. He took a turn when he saw the familiar red and blue lights of a patrol car flashing behind him. He pulled over and waited for the officer to approach him. When the officer got to the window he asked the driver if he knew how fast he was going and said that he should be more careful as there are always traffic accidents on that stretch of road and he could have been killed taking a turn too fast. But he was in a good mood and decided to write a “warning” ticket and let the driver go on his way. Confused as to what the ticket was for, he went to the station the next day to find out. When he showed the ticket to the officer at the front desk, the officer was surprised and asked him where he got it from as they haven’t used that particular one in years. He told them he was pulled over by a police officer and was given the ticket as a warning. They decided to check the badge number to see who had wrote it. When the officer looked it up, there was a look of shock on their face. That particular officer had died on Friant Road several years ago. It seemed even in death he was patrolling the road to make sure no one met the same fate he did.

I found the story interesting, particularly because their was a piece of actual evidence (my friend is trying to get in touch with his dad about the ticket). Curious as to if there was any credence to the story, I posted on Facebook the next day posing the question as to if Friant Road was haunted given all the accidents that have occurred over the years. So imagine my surprise when two separate people told me the almost exact same story. That a phantom police officer was pulling over people for driving too fast and issuing them a warning. When they would inquire about the officer they were told he died on that road. Just out of curiosity I contacted a friend who is a local police officer and he too had heard the story. Now we have a legend, someway, somehow this story was getting around. The question is whether there is any validity to it or not.

Researching deaths, I did find one officer died on Friant, but it was in 2011 and he was off duty. When I went back to Lost Lake on Monday to take some photos I noticed that there was an officer memorial sign as I passed Willow Ave. Could this be the name of the ghost? I was able to find the officers obituary and he did die in 2003, but not on Friant but near Fowler. Could these two stories have some merged into one? Don’t believe so as the first story I was told occurred before 2011.

So is there any truth to this story? As usual it’s hard to separate fact from fiction. This story has to have a genesis as all and somehow it grew bigger and bigger, having a life of its own. The best course of action right now is to research the road and see if any other officer died on it or if possible to get the ticket mentioned to me from the other night. But even I can’t find anything concrete, could there still be some truth to this story? Have people actually been pulled over on Friant Road late at night by a phantom police officer, one who is trying to prevent the same fate that occurred to him on that road years ago? It’s hard to say, but given what I've been told I wouldn't be surprised.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Unknown object seen on ground in Madera County as strange lights circle overhead

Browsing through the MUFON site a few days ago I noticed that they have an interactive map displaying UFO sightings based on their location. Curious as to if there was anything of interest in the Fresno area besides the typical out of focus man made aircraft that are prolific on YouTube. So you can imagine my school girl-esque excitement (shut up) when I came across a sighting that occurred in October of 2011 near the intersection of Highway 41 and Avenue 12 in Madera County. The sighting not only included multiple strange craft in the air, but some sort of craft was also seen on the ground.

The report states that a mother and her two teenage sons were driving north on Highway 41 in Madera County just north of Fresno on the night of October 5, 2011 at around 10:30 pm. As they neared the intersection of Hwy. 41 and Ave. 12 one of her sons noticed multiple (he estimated around 10) "fuzzy white orbs" flying erratically in the night sky just east of the intersection, zooming in and around the clouds. All three watched the lights for until they stopped at the intersection and made a left turn onto Ave. 12 headed west toward the Madera Ranchos. It seems the boys convinced their mother to turn back around to the intersection to see if they could get a better view of the objects in question.

Upon stopping at the intersection, the mother then made a left turn back onto Hwy. 41 and headed north again. They were still watching the lights in the clouds (I'm assuming the mother was driving half slow and craning her neck to see cause that's how I always do it when I see something strange in the sky) when, just past Ave. 12, they passed a barn on the eastern side of Hwy. 41 and noticed a large triangle shaped object in the fields surrounding the barn. The object was described as being rather large and with its "tip" pointed up. Also there were white blinking lights on each of its vertices.

I'm assuming at this point the three witnesses were spooked by whatever they saw on the ground as the report then states the mother turned the vehicle around and drove home (wherever that may be). I know that stretch of road and there aren't that many spots near Ave. 12 to make a safe u-turn, so whatever they saw scared them enough to make a quick u-turn on a busy highway.

That was it for the report. Nothing was said if there was a follow up interview done, if soil samples were taken near the barn, etc.

To be honest this one is just plain weird. I know that stretch of road, having driven it hundreds of times, and that barn is quite familiar given its high visibility from the highway. The lights in the sky could be debunked as spotlights circling around and reflecting off the clouds, but I'm not sure on that. The report states that the witnesses describe the objects as having a "star like center". If you've ever seen a spotlight you know it looks nothing like that. And what of the strange triangular object that was seen on the ground? I've read dozens if not hundreds of UFO cases over the years and never heard anything similar to that being described. It just seems "odd". That and with the addition of the strange lights seen in the sky it's just hard to say.

To sum it up I'm a bit lost on this one as to whether what the witnesses really saw was something strange or just something regular that was mistaken for something else. I'm hoping that someone else saw something, sees this article, and can elaborate on what was seen. Otherwise we may never know what was seen on that October night.

Link to the original report can be found here. Images courtesy of Google Earth.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

When legend comes to life. My encounter with the ghosts of Adelaida Cemetery.

I've been searching for ghosts, UFOs, monsters, you name it, for over a decade now and everyone always asks me when I was the most scared. Normally I tell them the story of Fidget the Necromancer hitting on my friend Scott (a story I need to put on here one day), but that's just for laughs. The one time I was truly scared shitless was on one of my very first investigations.

A family of tombstones dating from the late 1800's

It was the summer of 2000 and I had formed my first paranormal investigation group with several friends of mine who also shared the same interest in the paranormal as I did. After doing a few local investigations we felt we were ready to do something bigger. I had recently purchased Haunted Places: The National Directory by Dennis Hauck which lists haunted locations by state. After checking out what was near us, I came across a story of a haunted cemetery outside of Paso Robles. It was a small cemetery by the name of Adelaida and it went back to at least the mid 1800's. The story behind the haunting was that sometime during the late 1800's a woman was distraught over the death of her two children after they had succumbed to diphtheria during an outbreak. Finally she couldn't handle the loss anymore and out of desperation (and probably madness) took her own life. But it seems that even in the afterlife she continued to mourn for her children. According to the book she would appear on Friday nights between the hours of 10:00 pm and midnight and leave flowers on her children's grave. Perfect. We had a story and a time and place for us to be. We decided to this would be our next investigation.

A sign hanging from a tree located in the cemetery.

Our researcher called up the cemetery district to dig up more information on the story and to make sure it was ok for us to investigate at night. The cemetery district was more than open to the idea of us investigating (something rare these days) and even gave us the name of the ghost we were looking for, Charlotte Sitton. As Friday approached I was anxious; we had investigated local cemeteries but this was different. This cemetery was in a nationally published book and to me that meant something big (mind you this was before the advent of social networking and Google wasn't the search engine giant it is now). Finally Friday 5:00 hit and I met up with the other three of the group and we headed off to Paso Robles expecting to arrive at the cemetery around 9:30 or so.

The front gate to Adelaida Cemetery.

We arrived at the cemetery's front gate almost exactly at 9:30. I marveled at the location, it was heavily wooded and rather hilly, which is different than the cemeteries here in Fresno. We parked on the road and walked through the pedestrian gate. Our game plan was to find Charlotte's two children's graves (since it was said that she left flowers on their graves) and investigate around that area. As we started to walk around we noticed that most of the graves were from the 1940's to the present. This didn't sync with the story taking place in the late 1800's, but upon further investigation we found the older part of the cemetery up on a hill. As 10:00 approached it was decided the four of us should split up into two groups of two in order to cover ground faster. Myself and my friend Scott would take the portion of the cemetery near the front gate and my other two friend's Tom and Fred would explore the portion up on the hill. If either found the graves we were looking for we would notify the other.

A portion of the cemetery I explored. Note the dense covering of dead leaves on the ground.

As 10:00 approached Scott and I started exploring our section of the cemetery. Most graves were from the 20th Century, but I felt it was best to check every grave just to make sure. I didn't want to skip a portion and then find out later it was what we were looking for. As we started walking around we began to hear crunching noises about twenty feet from us. The ground was heavily littered with dried oak leaves (the trees there nearly formed a canopy over the cemetery) and every time you walked you would make a crunching sound as you crushed the foliage underfoot. What we were hearing sounded exactly like this. Problem was, Scott and I were the only ones there. I looked up at the hill where Tom and Fred were at and I could see their flashlights so I knew it wasn't them. As we walked around the footsteps would follow us, only stopping when I called out to see if anyone was there and then starting back up again when we would continue to walk. If I didn't know any better I'd say we were being followed. And while all of this was going on I happened to look up at the hill and notice both Tom and Fred's flashlights waving around wildly and even heard Tom yell out something (he was too far away for me to be able to make out what he said). Soon after this the foot steps stopped. And then I hear from Tom as he's coming down the hill.

"We found Charlotte's grave."

Excited, both Scott and I run up to meet him and Fred. He shows us the grave and inscribed on the tombstone it read "Charlotte Sitton". I was excited that we had found the grave and noticed that her two children's graves were next to it. As I started taking pictures I asked Tom if he had been down in our area at all to which he replied he hadn't. When asking me why and I mentioned hearing the footsteps, his face went blank for a second. He said that both he and Fred heard the same thing and assumed it was us playing a joke on them at first.

I described to him what happened while we were searching for Charlotte's grave. What's interesting is that he and Fred heard their set of footsteps around the same time as we did. He continued to say that their footsteps were more active and at one point sounded like several persons running around them. Not sure who it was he shined his flashlight around trying to see where they were coming from (this is what I saw when I was down on the lower portion of the cemetery) and started calling out for anyone who was there to show themselves (once again this was what I heard). Here's where the story gets even more interesting. Tom went on to say as he was shining his flashlight around, it passed over Fred and landed on a shadowy figure. That figure, once noticed, began to move and disappeared behind a tombstone. Tom ran over there to see where it went and noticed the name on the marker. Charlotte Sitton.

Charlotte's grave with the four of us standing around it looking like we were bad asses. Oh to be 23 again.

He said after that the activity stopped. And indeed the rest of the night was quiet. We stayed until about 12:30 taking pictures and hoping Charlotte would show back up. But we knew that she had already made herself known and wanted us to find her grave. As we left we thanked her and I said a small prayer as I closed the gate.

I've done over a hundred investigations since that hot summer night back in August of 2000, but it's still fresh in my mind as if it had happened just last night. I was truly terrified by what I was experiencing at the time. Now it might have been due to my lack of any experience, but I've had encounters before. Once at my mom's old house where I saw my first ghost and a cemetery in Madera County where both Tom and I heard what sounded like little girls laughing, despite the fact that we were alone. So why was this different? Was it the footsteps, the shadowy figure? Or maybe it was both those and the story. Here was a story, and a sad one at that, that seemed to have some credence to it as we witnessed what the story is said to occur. I'm convinced it was Charlotte and her children we heard, and she that Tom saw that night. Yes I have no evidence, but that doesn't matter. Turns out that we are now part of the legend.

An abandoned building located on the cemetery grounds.

Our group lasted a few more months and then disbanded, real life having taking a priority. But I kept up on the paranormal, especially as the internet became more and more prevalent. So imagine my surprise one day when I was on a site called Shadowlands.net, which lists haunted locals by state, when I saw one on Adelaida Cemetery. I started reading it and it was the same story as I had read in my book years ago (which I still have btw, though there have been two newer publications since). The listing mentioned the story as I had heard it but with a bit extra added on. It mentioned how a group went there on a Friday night in the summer of 2000, heard mysterious footsteps and encountered Charlotte. Could this be us? I checked a couple of other sites and they said the same thing. Somehow our story got out there and was added to the legend of Charlotte. To me that's better than getting the best piece of evidence.

Sadly the cemetery doesn't allow investigations anymore. When I was with CCPI we had inquired about investigating but was turned down due to the heavy vandalism that occurred there. Seems a lot of thrill seekers wanted to see Charlotte for themselves and ruined it for everybody else. CCPI and I did go there one weekend to help clean up the cemetery and offered to clean the area around Charlotte's grave. The place looked the same as it did almost ten years before, but it broke my heart when I saw Charlotte's grave was broken at the base. To say this was disrespectful is putting it lightly to say the least. Still we cleaned up as best we could, cutting weeds around a good area of the cemetery. I did say hi to Charlotte, though I didn't receive a response. Though I know it wasn't my fault, I did apologize for the vandalism that had occurred. But I did thank her for that night and the story that I get to tell people about the one time I was truly terrified. I like to think she appreciates the fact she isn't really forgotten.

Note: I want to apologize for the poor image quality. The originals were lost years ago and the scans were lost when a hard drive crashed (this was way before the cloud) and all I was able to find were these photos. I did have one of Charlotte's grave, but it was so small that you couldn't make out any detail. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Halloween attractions for 2013

I was recently asked what local Halloween events were going on in the Fresno area and I realized that it was time to update my list and figured this was a good time to do it. Some are new since the last time I did this and some are no longer around for whatever reason.

The Grove
Formerly known as Hobbs Grove, this popular haunted spot offers three different trips through the strange and weird. The forest, haunted house, and hayride are great for a good scare. The Grove is open Thursdays through Sundays up till November 2. The Grove is at 14265 E. Goodfellow Ave., Sanger, CA and can be reached at (559) 356-3958 You can find more information at www.hobbsgrove.com

No Surrender Laser Tag is doing a zombie apocalypse. There aren't many details, but you can contact them through their site at nosurrendertag.com

Haunted Fresno, which is located in downtown Fresno at 665 Fulton St, is open from 7 - midnight on Friday and Saturdays and Sundays it's open from 7 - 11. They can be reached at (559) 498-0960 or at hauntedfresno.com

Raisin Hell Ranch, located near Ave. 7 and Hwy 99 is open nightly at 7:00 all the way to Halloween. For ticket prices and directions you can check them out at raisinhellranch.com.

For those with children (and not a fan of getting the shit scared out of you) there's the cornfield maze and pumpkin patch out in Madera off of Hwy. 41. They are open until Halloween and you can either call them at (559) 530-0035 or go to their site at fresnocornmaze.com

Simonian Farms is doing a pumpkin patch and haunted caboose and it's every day from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm up to Halloween. They are also doing hayrides on the weekend from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. For more information call (559) 237-2294 or visit simonianfarms.com

Fresno Chaffee Zoo is doing their annual Zoo Boo this Saturday and Sunday (Oct. 26-27). For non-members it's $10-$12, members $8-$10, and children younger than 1 are free. The zoo can be reached at (559) 498-5910 or go to www.fresnochaffeezoo.org.

For more of an adult themed party, The Naughty Angels are doing their 5th annual Halloween party on Friday, Oct. 25 and the theme this year is Wizard of Oz. There will be three bands playing as well as a fashion show by the Angels. It's at Audie's Olympic and doors open at 9:00 pm and tickets are $5.

This is only a small sample of what's going on over Halloween weekend. Schools and churches will be doing their thing (I wonder if the churches would appreciate me linking to them? :D). If I missed anyting please comment and I will add it to the list. And for the love of God people, stop saying there is nothing to do in Fresno. Because there is.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Summer 2013 UFO reports for the San Joaquin Valley

Summer is always a slow time for Weird Fresno (I don't know who hates the heat more, me or the ghosts) and I've been working on a few things but thought I'd post some recent UFO reports from the National UFO Reporting Center as it has been a while. One thing I want to note is that the two sightings from Merced, which read similar, sound like they were reports of the Google Project Loon, where they were testing high altitude balloons to deliver high speed internet to areas that do not have it. I know for a fact that they were testing in the valley recently and one UFO sighting that made the news turned out to be Project Loon. Still that being said, that can't be the reason for all these sightings. Please note that these reports are posted as they were reported on the NUFORC site, I haven't edited them in any way.

Occurred : 8/23/2013 20:30
Location: Fresno, CA
Shape: Light
Duration:2 minutes

Two lights of differnt size and brightness traveled in differnt directions and faded out.

Low in the eastern sky I observed a bright light as bright as Jupiter would be.

Suddenly out of this light came a very small light traveling at a high rate of speed toward the north.

As the small light went away it slowly dimmed out.

At that time I noticed something strange about the big bright light. It looked like it was falling straight down, then suddenly it began to dim and after about 10 seconds it was gone.


Occurred : 8/12/2013 22:00
Location: Hanford, CA
Shape: Sphere
Duration:3 minutes

About four days earlier my husband was working on the flight line at NAS Lemoore, CA, and he and two of his coworkers saw three brights stars moving in a triangle formation when one changed direction and moved off quickly.

Then, I and two neighbors saw the one brights star make a few strange movements then take off quickly.

I am retired military and know this was not an aircraft.

Sincerely, ((name and e-address deleted))

P.S. Keep strong. Your work is important.


Occurred : 8/9/2013 12:15
Location: Merced, CA
Shape: Circle
Duration:1 hour

Two bright dots, moving west to east, viewed in a telescope

At 11:45, on August 09, 2014, a police officer at Merced College asked me (I am an astronomy Professor), what the object in the sky is. He pointed to a bright dot of light that was approximately at zenith and a magnitude brightness of about (-2). The officer said that he was reported about the object about 15 minutes earlier. The skies were clear blue, and the sun was bright, almost at zenith.

I set up the colleges 5 inch Celestron telescope with a 20mm objective.

Under magnification, the object was indeed a disc with what appeared to be a set of “lights” in the 0-90 degree quadrant of the circle. Another astronomy instructor, 2 more police officers and several students observed the object as it moved from zenith to the west. It covered about 25 angular degrees in the span of about 15 minutes. We took photographs of the object with cell phone cameras through the telescope.

While watching the object, an officer saw another, similar object coming in from the east, at about the same magnitude brightness. The object moved westward, until it was at zenith overhead and then continued west. The time it took to travel from an altitude of about 80 degrees to zenith was about 10 minutes. We observed this object under same magnification, and saw a silvery disc, with the same “lights” along the same quadrant.

Both objects left our view, passing westward. The entire viewing time was about 1.5 hours.

Our working hypothesis is that we saw Mylar balloons, or weather balloons, with the sunlight reflecting off the “dimples” along the edge of the balloon.

End of report


Occurred : 8/9/2013 11:00
Location: Merced, CA
Shape: Circle
Duration:3.5 hours

Circular, shiny, reflective object clearly observed in sky on August 9, 2013 at 11:00 am by several witnesses

This circular shiny object that appeared to be static in the sky did not make noise that we could hear. I first observed this object at 11 AM when I looked up into the trees. The object that was visible to the naked eye seemed unnatural to me. I called the attention to my adult daughter who agreed that we were not looking at something that was man-made.

I called 3 other people over to see this thing and they also had no explanation as to what this object was.

I also phoned my husband who, with several co-workers who work at the local college, went outside to see this "UFO". They had no explanation of its origins. They even observed it through a high powered telescope and it still appeared to be shiny, circular, and reflective.

I went home and was unable to see it at 2:30 as there was now a cloud-cover in the area. I will look again after the cloud-cover dissipates to see if it is still there.


Occurred : 8/4/2013 22:00
Location: Clovis, CA
Shape: Light
Duration:30 seconds

Bright light that weaves from left to right and was a fast mover.

At the approximate time indicated my family and I had just come home from a vacation from in Santa Cruz. I was in the process of unloading our vehicle when a very bright light caught my attention from the west (West being Fresno area) I decided that it was nothingbe but a plane and continued unloading the vehicle. At this point I noticed it was moving way faster than any plane I have ever seen...and that's saying something since there is a NGAFB with NORAD connections in Fresno. I then decided to stop unloading temporarily to watch it's path and try to confirm to myself it was a plane.

As I continued to watch it my mother had come out to help unload the vehicle. When I told her I jokingly said " hey mom look a UFO, haha". It was at that point I realized it was something I had never seen before. As I looked up again my mother chimed in "it's moving in a left to right movement". I watched and to my amazement it indeed was moving from left t! o right very very fast! Almost as like a radio wave on a monitor going up and down on a sort of curve. If you can picture that but of a bright object in the sky that's exactly what it looked like. To make it even more weird there was absolutely no sound to this object. It continued in a NE direction until fading from view.


Sighting Report
Occurred : 8/3/2013 23:00
Location: Fresno, CA
Shape: Light
Duration:7 minutes

I was asleep while my step dad proceeded to go outside to have a cigarette around 11:00 pm. When out of no where he started to wake me up saying come see this, come see this! I hesitated and told him unless it was an emergency not to wake me up, but he proceeded to tell me that I had to come see what was in the Sky.

So I finally got up just to get him to stop bothering me, when I stepped out side i was instantly enamored It was a big blue light that moved effortlessly high in the sky almost like a bird, it flew for a little bit in a direction but would effortlessly turn back around to were it started. It was beautiful and mysterious. Too big and too bright to be a toy or something controlled by someone below, It moved like an aircraft but much more elegantly and effortlessly. Best way to explain it. I don't really believe in Aliens but whatever it was, I have never seen anything quite like it.

After awhile it seemed like it was falling downwards like an air! plane out of control and then it dissipated. Below were it has a choice of picking there were lights on the object, the object was a light.

((NUFORC Note: Witness elects to remain totally anonymous; provides no contact information. PD))


Occurred : 7/27/2013 22:09
Location: Lemoore, CA
Shape: Cross
Duration:1 minute

Silent Flying Cross with 3 round white lights 41 N Lemoore sighting July 27, 2013

Driving on Highway 41 N just entering Lemoore about a mile away from the 198 overpass at a little after 10 pm , looked to my right and saw what I thought might be a low flying crop duster. I closed my sunroof vent thinking I don't want any residue/pesticide getting in my car. But as the aircraft approached my vehicle I started to realize it wasn't making ANY noise. I looked closer and realized it was flying weird, so I looked closer and noticed it was the shape of a cross flying AT me straight up and down like nothing man made that I know can fly. It had three round white lights at the top of the cross and each side of the cross. As I was driving (very tired) and processing all that I saw, I waited for the flying object to make a sound or a gush of wind to push against my car and never felt or heard anything. I quickly looked to my left and did not see a thing!! What could disappear like that? As I craned my neck around I saw what I thought looked like a Air traffic control tower (a small one ) in a field behind me dark, and lit up only by tons of tiny blue lights in the form of a circle at the top. So weird...my husband woke up a few minutes later and I told him that I thought I saw a crop duster fly really close to our car but it didn't make any noise...he said " crop duster's don't fly at night" so I told him what I saw and he said he would look on the internet to see if anyone else saw the same thing at the same time since there were tons of other cars on the road. And sure enough, there are....Kinda freaking out now. Looks like these sightings have been going on for some time now...Weird.


Note from Weird Fresno here. This sounds similar the infamous Interstate 5 Mystery Lights which turned out to be misidentified crop dusters. Crop dusters do indeed fly at night as I was witness to one evening.

Occurred : 7/17/2013 21:14
Location: Selma, CA
Shape: Light
Duration:1 minute

Yellowish/orange light seen moving with the horizon, then made a sharp S patern, changed colors and went straight down rapidly

At 9:14 PM on Saturday July, 27 2013 I was sitting in my back yard in Selma CA with a friend and we both saw what we thought was a helicopter moving South across the night sky to our North-West. It had a very odd orange color light. We continued watching it when it made a vary sharp series of turns in an S shape. Before it disappeared behind the trees it changed to a blueish color then went straight down very rapidly then disappeared.

2 days later, on Monday, July 29 2013 at approx 8:30 PM I was once again in my back yard when I started watching another bright orange light, this time to my immediate East. It moved very rapidly toward the North. At first I assumed it was a F-16(as there is a Airport and Base in the area) but it vanished. It wasn't quite dark yet, so if it merely turned off its lights I would have still seen the plane, but the craft wasn't there anymore and a sound never accompanied the light. Another friend was with me and witnessed this as well.


Occurred : 6/14/2013 21:20
Location: Firebaugh, CA
Shape: Unknown
Duration:1-2 minutes

Appeared to be the size of a large UFO with 3 perfectly round bright white lights, flying 100' off of ground, very slow & silent.

While driving home from San Luis Obispo, CA at approximately 2120 at night, on interstate 5 going North between the Little Panoche Road and Firebaugh CA Exits we saw an unidentified aircraft flying at approximately 100' off the ground. The aircraft was only visible by the 3 large, round, bright white lights that were evenly spaced in a row horizontally. The lights seemed to be about 4 times larger than a car headlight with no other visible lights and we could not make out the shape of the body. Just by looking at the lights and how they were spread out horizontally I would guess that the span of the aircraft would be that of the wing span of a 737 aircraft. We saw the aircraft fly very slowly directly ahead of and in front of us. As the aircraft was on the passenger side of the car, I remarked to my wife to "watch that aircraft, it looks like it is going to land, make an emergency landing", I kept on saying, "watch it, keep an eye on it....! keep on watching it". Then as it came around to the east side of our car and crossed the highway going from the east to the west it quietly flew past and flew around on the west side of the freeway. We thought it was an aircraft that was coming in for an emergency landing, as it was flying at an incredibly slow speed and very low to the ground. The aircraft was silent or at least very quiet because we heard no noise as it passed overhead in front of us. The car windows were up and the radio was on, but something flying that low and slow would have made some noise and turbulence as it passed over, we noticed no noise or abnormal movement of our car from the passing craft. The craft then flew around on the west side of the freeway, disappeared from view and then I saw it in my side and rear view mirrors, my wife also saw the craft as she turned around to look out the back windows. It maneuvered slowly and smoothly unlike any airliner, small aircraft or helicopter w! ould appear to fly. We saw it for what seemed to be approxima! tely 1-2 minutes until we were somewhat farther down the highway and could no longer see the aircrafts lights. I am an Aircraft Rescue Firefighter that has worked at an airport and around aircrafts for over 21 years and I have never seen that configuration of 3 round, large, equally space bright white lights on any aircraft and It seemed to maneuver like no other aircraft that I have seen flying.


Occurred : 6/2/2013 21:45
Location: Fresno, CA
Shape: Light
Duration:10 minutes

6 glowing white orbs and two military jets sighted, two orbs nearly collided

saw 6 ufos they were glowing white orbs two flew straight at each other nearly colliding 2 military jets also flew into few at an unknown elevation the larger of the white orbs continued on in a north west direction while the smaller one went out of view going south west the larger one was then intersected by 4 different glowing white orbs while trans versing the sky they seemed very high up and made no noise the military jets didn't seem to be chasing them but it was very interesting timing that they would show up to see the near collision


Occurred : 5/31/2013 21:45
Location: Fresno, CA
Shape: Light
Duration:15 minutes

formation of 6 orange orbs flying over fresno ca may 31st 2013

at 8 30 my son and i observed 2 brightly glowing orange orbs traveling from the northwest to the southeast over the fresno metropolitan area, they did not blink or have any anti collision or landing lights and made no discernible sound, about half way across the horizon nearly over head they faded and blinked out then a few minutes later two more came in the same direction and blinked out nearly exactly where the first two disappeared this was followed by a 5th object by itself and did the exact same thing by this time my son and i had got to a place where there wasn't as much light pollution just in time to see a sixth object, when this one blinked out it was nearly directly overhead and there was enough daylight left to observe a structured craft of some sort that was round on the bottom these were not satellites since they don't travel in packs they were not conventional aircraft, since they made no sound or had any anti collision lights, i am wondering if maybe they were drones? i am not sure but this is the second time i have observed this same phenomenon, my son and i observed three traveling in the same direction about 6 months ago