Monday, November 30, 2009

Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson had ghostly encounter.

Oscar winning director Peter Jackson claims
he saw a ghost years ago in an apartment in
Wellington, New Zealand.

Wellington film-maker Peter Jackson says he saw a real ghost once.

In London for the premiere of The Lovely Bones - a film he has directed from Alice Sebold's story in which a murdered teenage girl gives her viewpoint from heaven - Jackson said he did not know what a real soul was like.

But he told Britain's Channel 4 TV that while he could not swear the spirit in the movie was 100 percent accurate, he had seen a real ghost.

"It was genuine," said Jackson, who made a 1996 ghost movie, The Frighteners - co-written with his wife Fran Walsh - starring Michael J Fox.

His sighting was in an apartment he and his wife had in Wellington's Courtney Place opposite the St James Theatre, when they first met 20 years ago.

"I woke up one morning and there was a figure in the room, she was very scary, she had a screaming face, very accusatory, she was a lady about 50 years old," Jackson said.

"It was terrifying actually, a very scary image and she was at the end of the bed and she glided across the room and disappeared into the wall.

"I sat in bed and thought, have I really seen that?" said Jackson.

"Then Fran came in. I told her about it and the first thing she said was: 'was it the woman with the screaming face?"' he said.

"Fran had seen the same woman in the same room about two years before."

Jackson said that when the St James Theatre was being restored a few years ago, people talked about the legend of the woman who committed suicide after being booed off the stage after a bad show in vaudeville days.

"They say she manifests herself in the theatre with a screaming face. Sometimes she's seen - the same ghost. She needs to learn to smile a little."

Original story can be found here.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Is Merced's Lake Yosemite haunted?

Are these waters haunted by the ghost of a mother looking
for her lost children?

Situated five miles east of Merced, Ca and half a mile north of UC Merced, is Lake Yosemite. Created in 1888 for irrigation purposes, the lake is home to fishing and boating, and even has a sailing club of almost one hundred members.

There is a story that a few decades ago a woman had taken her two children to go swimming at the lake one summer afternoon. The two children decided they wanted to dive off the boat tower, perhaps to impress their mother, and climbed up it. Unknown to any of them, the water was shallow at this spot. As both children dove, they struck their heads on rocks in the shallow water. But for some reason, when authorities were summoned to retrieve the bodies they were not found.

For years the mother would drive out there, delusional, and look for the bodies of her children, hoping to find them. She did this for years until she finally passed away. But even in the afterlife she felt guilty over what happened. People have reported seeing headlights in the distance, never seeing or hearing a car as they approached. Others have claimed to have actually seen her walking along Old Lake Road, calling for her children, hoping that she will finally find them.

I'm not sure if this next story is related or not, but while researching the ghost of the mother I came across a story of someone who was working late one night, when they came across a little boy hiding behind a bbq pit. They asked him if he was lost, but the little boy ran and hid behind another bbq pit. As the worker approached the pit, there was no one there and there weren't any other hiding places. Walking back to where a coworker was, they mentioned what happened and the coworker said they saw the same little boy hide, but didn't see where he went.

Could this little boy be one of the children who died while swimming? The area mentioned isn't near the boat tower. Perhaps the bodies of the two children somehow ended up in this area, and that is why the mother never was able to find the bodies of her children. Or perhaps this is the ghost of another child, whose parents could never find him. Either way I think a trip up north is in order to investigate the place for myself.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

55 foot long snake reported killed in China

A photograph purporting to show a 55ft snake found in a forest in China has become an internet sensation.

Huge snake /Quirky China News

It was originally posted in a thread on the website of the People's Daily, the official Communist Party newspaper in China.

The thread claimed the snake was one of two enormous reticulated pythons found by workers clearing forest for a new road outside Guping city, Jiangxi province.

They apparently woke up the sleeping snakes during attempts to bulldoze a huge mound of earth.

"On the third dig, the operator found there was blood amongst the soil, and with a further dig, a dying snake appeared," said the post.

"At the same time, another gold coloured giant snake appeared with its mouth wide open. The driver was paralysed with fear, while the other workers ran for their lives.

"By the time the workers came back, the wounded snake had died, while the other one had disappeared. The bulldozer operator was so sick that he couldn't even stand up."

The post claimed that the digger driver was so traumatised that he suffered a heart attack on his way to hospital and later died.

The dead snake was 55ft (16.7m) long, weighed 300kg and was estimated to be 140 years old, according to the post.

However, local government officials in Guiping say the story and photograph are almost certainly a hoax as reticulated pythons are not native to the area.

Original story can be found here.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Universal sued over fake footage in The Fourth Kind

Apparently there is more and more backlash from the movie The Fourth Kind and it's claim of using real footage in it's movie and in it's promotion of the movie. Several on-line news articles were created by Universal mentioning characters from the movie and then claiming the information was from actual Alaskan publications. Obviously this didn't sit well with the publications mentioned, and a suit was issued. Looks like Universal's viral marketing campaign is starting to bite them in the ass as more people learn this movie is completely fictional despite their earlier claims of it being 100% real. Once again I urge people not to see this celluiod piece of shit, but instead watch my sweded version of it. It's only five minutes long, doesn't cost a penny, and honestly I feel I look damn good in a wig.

From the Fairbanks News-Miner

FAIRBANKS — Universal Pictures has reached a settlement with a handful of Alaska newspapers, including the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, for using fabricated “news archives” to promote a recently released movie.

Universal agreed to pay $20,000 to the Alaska Press Club, along with a $2,500 contribution to a scholarship fund for the Bethel-based Calista Corp. Anchorage attorney John McKay, who negotiated the settlement on behalf of the seven media organizations, said an emergency shelter in Nome also will receive an unspecified amount of money, although it wasn’t listed as a recipient in the settlement agreement.

Universal created an elaborate series of online news articles in the promotion for its movie, “The Fourth Kind.” The movie claims to be a true story about a plague of alien abductions in Nome a decade ago.

To bolster that claim, articles were posted that professed to be from real Alaska publications, but were actually created to bolster the movie’s storyline.

The articles included an obituary and news story about the death of a character in the movie, Dr. William Tyler, that supposedly were from the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. Neither the story nor the obituary ever appeared in the newspaper.

Fake articles were listed from other newspapers in Alaska, including The Nome Nugget, alongside authentic news stories. Part of the settlement also requires Universal to remove the fake “news articles” promoting the movie from the internet.

McKay said that attributing false stories to real publications undermines those newspapers’ credibility.

“If people can’t rely on the fact that when they look at a news article on the Web that it’s from the newspaper it appears to be, or is written by the reporter it appears to be, it erodes confidence in the world of journalism,” McKay said.

McKay said it didn’t appear that the advertising campaign was cleared by attorneys at Universal Pictures, and he praised the company for responding quickly to the complaints.

“I think they were embarrassed by it and acted very promptly,” he said.

The settlement comes as an unexpected boon for the Alaska Press Club, which is an independent journalism organization in the state. Club President Kathleen McCoy said the $20,000 received from Universal roughly doubles the organization’s annual revenues.

“We’ll spread this around and try to put this toward training for journalists around the state,” McCoy said.

The Alaska Press Club wasn’t part of the complaint against Universal, but John McKay suggested they receive settlement money as part of a compromise that would benefit Alaska journalism.

History Channel's Monster Quest recently filmed episode in Fresno

A few months ago I had posted on how Fresno had it's own Bigfoot hunter, Dave Raygoza. He and Jeff Gonzales from the Sanger Paranormal Society had recently done a Bigfoot expedition up in the Sierra Nevada mountains back in May 2009 in hopes of finding something. They had set up a few trail cameras, hoping that something would pass in front of the sensor and then set off the camera and capturing whatever it was. Mostly they caught deer and other wildlife typical to the area. Except for one picture.

What you see is directly from the site and has been both enhanced and outlined to show a human sized figured standing by a tree. Once the group saw this photo they decided to investigate the area and see if they could determine if something natural caused this photo or if it was possibly Bigfoot. They ruled out the chance that it was a bear as the slope of the hill was near 45 degrees and it would have been hard for a bear to stand up like that. They took several photos of the site for comparison, you can go here to see them for yourself.

Apparently word got out of this Bigfoot photo as they were on Coast to Coast AM a few weeks ago. Even better is that the History Channel's Monster Quest show (a show that explores sightings of different cryptids throughout the world) was doing a story on another Bigfoot hunter out of Hanford, a
Joseph Walls, and wanted to re-enact his Bigfoot sighting when they heard about Dave and Jeff's photo, they decided to interview them as well.

Jeff sent me a few photos from the interview which I am posting below. Also the episode of Monster Quest is to air some time in January 2010. When I find out the actual date I will post an update.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

My version of The Fourth Kind

As I had posted a few days ago, The Fourth Kind absolutely sucked. I mean really sucked. As I was leaving the theater with some friends, I joked that I could make a Swede that was better than the original. For those who don't know what a swede is, in the film Be Kind Rewind the characters run a VHS rental store and all the tapes are erased. So the characters go about with a camcorder to remake the movies with pretty much no budget. They are called Swedes because one of the customers asks why it takes so long to get a movie and Jack Black's character says they are from Sweden. Hence the term Swede was born.

For over a year now, Brodiemash over at the Dumbdrum has put on a Swedefest where local filmmakers submit there Sweded movies. I had already submitted my entry and the deadline had passed, but I still wanted to see if I could make a swede of The Fourth Kind. I was also curious in how quick of time I could make one. What you are about to see took me four hours to do, from the initial concept to the burning of the DVD. Obviously if you have interest in seeing the movie, don't watch my version. But come on, my review should have dissuaded you by now not to see this turd.

So that's it, my remake or Sweded version of The Fourth Kind. Do yourself a favor and watch my this one instead of spending $10 plus for that waste of celluloid that is in theaters right now.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Review of The Fourth Kind

Normally I don't do movie reviews (I leave that over to the folks over at The Dumbdrum), but I received a free pass from The Fresnan for a sneak preview of The Fourth Kind, a movie which states that is based off actual documentation of people that were reportedly abducted by aliens. The movie starts off with a disclaimer by the main actress, Milla Jovovich stating that the the movie is a re-enactment of original documentary footage and also claims to use never-before-seen archival footage that is integrated into the film. Unfortunately we never heard this as there was a problem with the audio and didn't hear this, so I will have to assume this is true.

The movie then switches to the director, Olatunde Osunsanmi, interviewing a Dr. Abigail Tyler at Chapman University. Dr. Tyler recants her story of how her husband, also a psychologist, is murdered in 2000 and explains on how she continues his sleep deprivation study in Nome, Alaska. The movie then switches to reenactment mode and shows Dr. Tyler interviewing several patients. Here is where the supposed original footage is spliced in with the reenactments, in a side by side comparison. Honestly it felt like a badly done 24 without the ass kicking that involves Jack Bauer.

For the next hour or so, you see this original footage next to the reenactments, it was almost like the director wanted the audience to make sure they were watching reenactments. My problem with this so called original footage shows confidential sessions between patients and their doctor. We are told early on that the names of all the patients have been changed to protect their identity. Yet their faces aren't blurred out in any of this original footage. So this had me questioning things. They also show some police footage they claim that is real (shown alongside it's reenactment), but I find it hard to believe that the Nome police department would release any sort of police video, especially one for a movie that is about alien abductions.

I don't want to give away much of the movie, but it had me laughing at times it was so hard to believe. The ending especially, with it's supposed big reveal had me almost on the floor laughing so much. I don't want to say anything, but I'll put it this way. I've been following the UFO field since I was ten when I first heard about the abduction theory. What is reported to have actually happened at the end of the movie would have been the greatest piece of evidence ever to actually prove both UFO's and aliens actually exist. Yet no one has heard of this before. Also, in the trailer (as well as the movie) you see a saucer shaped object fly over a house and this is supposed to be police footage. You would think this would have been common knowledge throughout the UFO community of this incident, yet I have not heard one person talk about it.

Another thing is that the movie never claims these sessions happened in Nome, that the movie is based on the sessions. But in that same instant the movie states that Nome has the highest percentage of missing persons in Alaska and tries to link that to alien abductions. Yet the FBI has investigated many of these missing person reports and came to the conclusion that the high rate of alcoholism combined with the harsh landscape surrounding Nome may account for a majority of the disappearances.

Like I said, I normally don't do reviews, so I apologize if this isn't what most people expected. Honestly it was an awful movie and I believe that none of the footage is actual and was created solely for the purpose of this film to make it seem authentic and to generate buzz so people would want to see something they thought was real. No one has ever heard of a Dr. Tyler or any member of her family, nor has anything like this happen in Nome. I'm going to try to dig around a bit and see if there is any validity to this, but as of this moment I believe this movie to be one hundred percent fiction despite the claims of the director and actor. Even as a work of fiction, this movie doesn't terrify nor does it make one think about if aliens are abducting unsuspecting citizens. Honestly it makes me think someone was trying to create the next Blair Witch, or more recently, Paranormal Activity. And in trying to do that, this movie fails miserably at that.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Some ways to celebrate Dia de Los Muertos in Fresno

From the Fresno Bee.

In the central San Joaquin Valley, there are a number of ways to celebrate Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead). It’s as simple as walking in a candlelit church procession or dipping bread into chocolate in front of an altar.

Dia de Los Muertos is the two-day Mexican holiday with pre-Columbian and Catholic traditions honoring the dead. It is traditionally celebrated on Nov. 1, All Saints Day, and Nov. 2, All Souls Day. The celebrations this year will be Sunday and Monday.

Events are centered on the belief that the spirits of loved ones float back to Earth to reunite with their living relatives and friends for a brief moment. Altars serve as focal points, displaying the mementos of the loved ones.

Here are some ways you can take part in Dia de Los Muertos:

View exhibits

Take time to soak in the meaning of eight altar exhibits on display at Arte Américas, 1630 Van Ness Ave.

There’s a lot of detail to each altar honoring cancer victims, this year’s theme. Many include the Mexican art papel picado (perforated paper) in bright pink, orange, turquoise and purple.

The cultural center’s executive director, Grace Solis, helped build an altar remembering her father Henry Solis, uncle Juan B. Solis and nephew John Diaz.

She included her father’s hat on the display — one that he wore while gardening and welding.

“He built the gate to the [Del Rey] cemetery, where he is buried,” she says.

The exhibit runs through Nov. 25. The center is open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursdays, and closed Sundays and Mondays. Cost is $3 for adults, or $2 for students and children.

Details: (559) 266-2623 or

Eat pan de muertos

Snack on pan de muertos, “bread of the dead,” the traditional sweet bread that is baked to honor the deceased.

Three extra tables are set up at Oaxaca Restaurant, 4773 E. Belmont Ave., to accommodate all the bread that is for sale.

Many loaves of the sweet bread are shaped like corpses — with heads that are smiling. One custom is to dip the bread into a bowl of hot chocolate flavored with cinnamon and almonds.

In the restaurant, the smell of burning copalli (incense) wafts at an altar displaying the mementos of owner Tomasa Lopez’s family.

“This time for us is really, really beautiful,” she says. “It’s family together, with our dead.”

The bread, especially shipped from Los Angeles to the restaurant, is available for $2-$10. The chocolate costs $6. Also available are popular Dia de Los Muertos foods such as mole negro ($7) and tlayuda corn tortillas ($1.25).

The restaurant is open 8 a.m.-9 p.m. daily. Details: (559) 454-1614.

Walk in a procession

Put on your walking shoes and join one of two popular processions.

In Fresno, the annual Artes Américas procession will start at 3 p.m. Sunday, beginning at St. John’s Cathedral, 2814 Mariposa St., and ending at Arte Américas.

Everyone follows Aztec dancers. At the center, strolling musicians will provide music. Pan de muertos and chocolate drinks will be available.

In the foothill community of Hornitos, about 85 miles northeast of Fresno, a candlelit procession and Mass will start at 6 p.m. Monday, beginning in the town plaza and ending up a hill at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church and cemetery.

The church, built in the 1860s as a mission station of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Mariposa, is open only on the Feast Day of St. Catherine in late April and on the Feast of All Souls Day. Hornitos was a historic gold-mining town.

St. Joseph’s pastor, the Rev. Stephen Bulfer, leads the procession and Mass.

Details: (209) 966-2522.

Get crafty

Create your own shrine to honor the dead.

Need ideas? Check out the Web site of Crafty Chica Kathy Cano-Murillo at Her products and blog can also be found at, a Duncan Enterprises Company.

There are lots of ideas at both Web sites for making altars and other Dia de Los Muertos-inspired crafts. You can also take a look at shrines created by some of the Crafy Chica’s readers for a “Create a Day of the Dead Shrine” contest that was held last week. Pictures of the shrines can be found at

Of Dia de Los Muertos, Cano-Murillo says, “It’s not a scary thing; it’s done out of respect.”