Thursday, December 30, 2010

Top 10 strangest things to happen in Fresno for 2010

It’s hard to believe that 2010 is almost over. This year saw some good things for Weird Fresno. I’m now a featured writer over at Fresno Famous and I've also started a forum for people to share their stories with others. Going back through all the posts I did over the year, I was able to trim down the 165 posts (this one will make it 166) to what I felt was the top ten posts of the year.

Number 10 - Another strange creature sighted at Millerton Lake

I've done a few posts now on Millerton Lake and the strange things that people have seen in the water. This one story was interesting to me due to the fact I got a phone call from someone who had searched strange creature sightings in Millerton Lake on Google and my site was the first thing that came up. Out of all the e-mails I get, weird things seen at Millerton Lake are the most common. One has to wonder what's lurking under the water's surface.

Original post can be found here.

Number 9 - Strange triangular shaped craft seen over Fresno

Usually I ignore most UFO videos on YouTube, but this one grabbed my attention. To this day I still don't know what it is. But there's been some strange things in the skies above Fresno over the past year.

Original post can be found here.

Number 8 - Was the Chupacabra seen in a Bakersfield park?

It wouldn’t be a Top Ten post without at least one post of the unofficial mascot for Weird Fresno. This time the sighting was in a Bakersfield park and was complete with the grainy cell phone camera image. Most likely this was yet another animal with mange, but for whatever reason they keep being misidentified as chupacabra. One has to wonder how many sightings will occur in 2011?

Original post can be found here.

Number 7 - KMPH 26 reports UFOs seen in Fresno over the Fourth of July weekend

Like I mentioned earlier, some strange things have been seen in the Fresno skies over the past year and there was some crazy UFO stuff going on over the 4th of July weekend in the Fresno area. Several sightings occured, including a large cigar shaped craft flying over a house in Clovis. KMPH 26 even did a small news piece on the sightings.

Original post can be found here.

Number 6 - ABC 30 reports Bigfoot sightings on the rise in Fresno County

Like UFOs, Bigfoot sightings were also on the rise in the Fresno County area this year. What surprised me about this was that the reporter actually took the subject matter seriously. Usually with anything paranormal they always try to make jokes about it, add the X Files theme (happened to me once) or just make the people in the article look like kooks. ABC 30 was different. Granted they didn’t show any conclusive evidence, but still this was better than what other news stations have done. I hope they take note for the next time they do something.

Original post can be found here.

Number 5 - Did a UFO crash near Fresno over the weekend?

This has to be one of the strangest stories of the entire year. A UFO was reported to have crashed east of Fresno in the foothills and was military in origin. Jeffery Gonzalez of the Sanger Paranormal Society claims to have video taped the craft, but it’s hard to really make anything out. Still this story was of interest as it made news on several national paranormal sites. Unfortunately nothing else was ever reported on this story.

Original post can be found here.

Number 4 - Return to Snake Road

This one was interesting just because of what I was unable to do. Bored one night, I decided to head out towards Sanger with a fully charged video camera in tow. I’m on the fence about the story, but wanted to shoot some video to show what the area was like. After a 30 minute drive, I arrived and parked my car on the side of the road, grabbed my camera and started to walk. But when I turned on my camera I was surprised to find out that I only had about five minutes left on the battery (normally it can shoot for 90 minutes or so). So I hastily shot some video on the side of the road (which didn’t come out right as it was too dark) and then jumped back in the car and shot some video driving down the road.

Original post can be found here.

Number 3 -The return to the Fright Night Scream Park

Granted this one isn’t paranormal in nature, but it shows that even I can still get scared. Last year I had done some great promo work with the Scream Park and was asked to do it again this year. The idea I had was to have someone there call the Weird Fresno hotline and goad me into coming back. Problem was they were so busy setting up that when I arrived to shoot the video for the blog post, no one had called. But I had worked out something where I would get a few phone calls and then I would post the video a bit later then I planned.

A few days passed when I received a phone call. I let it go to voice mail (as I always do) and then listened to the message. It sounded nothing like the person who was supposed to call me and didn’t mention anything about the park and figured it was someone else. But before I could get a chance to call them back, they started calling my phone constantly. At work, at home, late at night. And the messages were just weird. The person kept saying they had something to show me, that they wanted to be my best friend and they loved me. Having my fair share of psychos calling me, I got a bit nervous and if you follow either @weirdfresno or my personal twitter feed you would know this. My tweets got the attention of the person who ran their twitter feed and they contacted me and said it wasn’t them, which terrified me even more. The calls continued and finally I started to freak out even more. Finally I received a message via twitter from the park saying it was them all along. I’m to assume it was someone else, as I didn’t recognize the voice. Luckily I was able to work in into the post even though I was expecting something entirely different. But needless to say I fell victim to my own promotion.

Original post can be found here.

Number 2 - Strange things going on at Lost Lake

This was one of my favorites of the year because we have two different types of sightings here. One was the ghost of a small child and the other was of a strange creature. Even more interesting is both accounts are from the same witness, but at different locations in the park. Both were definitely weird and plans to visit the park are in the works for 2011.

Original post can be found here.

Number 1 - Update on video of strange creatures captured on Fresno CCTV


SyFy channel show airs strange video shot in Fresno

These two go together in that they are related in the fact the first post then warranted the second one. One of my first posts was done about this strange video of these “creatures” that someone had captured on a CCTV video. About a year later I was able to find more video, this time showing the person’s house and yard and putting the size of the creatures into perspective. If you watch the video you and compare the size of the tree to the creatures you will see they can’t be more than 18 to 24 inches tall.

What’s even better is the second post put me in touch with a show on the SyFy network. The show was called Fact or Fiction and they try to either prove or debunk supposed paranormal related videos on the internet and had come across the one above. Through Google they had found my site and called me with a few questions. Unfortunately they didn’t offer me a job, but after watching them splicing some footage shot at Woodward Park and saying it was near the person’s house (which it’s not), I wasn’t too upset over this.

Original posts can be found here and here.

So there you have it, the top ten strangest things to happen in around the Fresno area for 2010. With the new year approaching us, that means that 2012 is that much closer (and the end of the world as some people want you to think). Who knows what crazy shit will happen in 2011. All I know is that whatever it is, you'll read about it here.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Santa Claus is real. And I have proof.

I’m sure most of us at one time or another believed in Santa Claus. It was part of growing up, writing that letter to Santa and “trying” to be good. Then on Christmas Eve we put a plate of cookies and milk out for dear old St. Nick as a way of thanking him for visiting and (hopefully) leaving us all the toys we asked for. Cue the next morning and we would run to the living room and see a pile of presents under the tree. Being good had paid off this year for little Billy.

But as we grew older we found out the truth. That Santa wasn’t real, that there was no workshop at the North Pole staffed by elves (and Will Ferrell). Turns out it was all our parents doing, they were the one who bought all the gifts and ate the cookies. Santa Claus was nothing more than a make believe story. Or is he? I say he is real. And I have proof.

Santa Claus portrait with Black Background
Photo courtesy of Vanessa Pike-Russel from Flickr.

See this photo? Of course you know who it is. But show this photo to any random person on the street and ask them who it is and 9 times out of 10 they will say it is Santa Claus. If he isn’t real, than why do people recognize him?

The truth is Santa is real, in a way. No he doesn’t fly around the world on a sleigh pulled by reindeer. But the legend does have it’s roots in reality. Santa Claus is based off Saint Nicholas who was a Bishop in what is now modern day Turkey. He was known for secret gift giving, leaving coins in the shoes of the poor. There are also several similarities between the Norse god Odin and Santa Claus. Odin was associated with the Germanic holiday known as Yule. Odin would ride an eight legged horse named Sleipnir that was able to leap great distances. Modern day folklorists compare this to Santa’s reindeer. As Odin was riding his great horse, children would place their boots, filled with carrots, straw, or sugar, near the chimney for Sleipnir to eat. For those children that did this, Odin would reward them by placing gifts and candy into their boots. This tradition is still practiced today as seen in the hanging of stockings by the chimney in homes. In modern times, Saint Nicholas was merged with Father Christmas to create the character known as Santa Claus. Only in the 20th Century is where his now familiar appearance came into being.

So how does this make Santa Claus real? It’s just the history of him, nothing else right? Not necessarily. Let’s go back to again when you were a kid. Who bought all the toys, wrapped them, and hid them under the tree? Most likely your parents. And when they were kids their parents did the same thing. And some of you who are reading this now have children of your own and are doing the same thing. So in a sense we are Santa Claus in that we continue the traditions from one generation to the next.

So there you have it. Santa Claus is most definitely real.

We here at Weird Fresno want to wish everyone happy holidays. It’s hard to believe 2010 is almost over. Let’s hope 2011 is a good year for everyone.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Madera's New Hope Cemetery

New Hope Cemetery - Madera County
Photo by Michael Banti

I first heard the stories of New Hope Cemetery, located in southern Madera County, while I was still in high school. I was with my best friend Tom when a friend of his, who knew of our love of all things paranormal, told us about this cemetery that was located out in the country. At one time it had a church on the grounds, but it had burned down to the ground (all that was left was the steps sometime in the mid 1980's. Rumor had it that a group of Satanist were responsible for the fire as well as performing dark rituals in the cemetery grounds itself. Ever since then the cemetery was reported to be haunted.

Needless to say we were interested. The three of us jumped in Tom's car and headed towards the cemetery. Unfortunately as we got there, we were to chicken to get out of the car (oh to be 17 again) and just drove away. But that wasn't the end of it. A week or so later, Tom and I headed to the cemetery this time armed with baseball bats, knives, sharpened screwdrivers, wooden stakes, and at least a gallon of holy water. We didn't know what to expect, but we were ready (or so we thought). We got there and as we parked next to the cemetery's fence we saw a red glow coming from the cemetery. Freaked out someone had left a candle burning as part of some dark ritual or something, Tom put the car into reverse and started to leave. As he did this I noticed the red glow disappear. I told him to stop and the glow came back. Turns out it was the reflection of his tail lights on a polished gravestone. That's how freaked out we were.

That night, nothing of much interest happened. But a few years later we drove there one night bored as we had nothing going on. We were walking around like we always do when we started to hear what sounded like drums in the distance. Listening to them, they reminded me of the Native American drums I heard when I attended a pow wow a few years previous. I knew the area very well as my family has vineyards a few miles away and couldn't think of where they were coming from. But what I heard next still is fresh in my mind well over a decade later. I heard what sounded like two little girls laughing, almost laughing like they knew something we didn't. I looked at Tom and could tell he heard the same thing. Needless to say we got the hell out of there.

We visited the cemetery over the years, something always strange happening. One night I was driving by it on my way home when I saw a pair of headlights driving literally in the almond orchard next to the cemetery. As I got closer it started to flash it's lights at me. First were high beams, then regular, then completely off, only to repeat the pattern again. As curious as I was, I didn't find out what the hell was going on and got out of there quickly.

Near the steps of the church. You can see the cemetery in the
background. Photo by Michael Banti

I hadn't been by the cemetery in several years when a friend of mine needed a creepy place to shoot some video in Madera. I suggested the cemetery and we headed out there. When we got there I saw the strangest thing. Some guy in a trailer had set up camp on the remains of the church's foundation. Obviously we didn't stop, but I did shoot some video. You can find it and more info on that day here.

I wish I knew if the stories on the cemetery were true or just more urban legends told by teenagers that are bored one night. The only thing I know for certain is the church did burn down as there are records of it. But I haven't been able to find out anything on to what or who caused it. As for the little girls, I went back at a later date and checked to see if there were any young girls buried there (the graves were as recent as the 1990's and went back nearly a century), but couldn't find anything. But I know what I heard and so did Tom. So that begs the question. What did we hear that night?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

How Weird Fresno came into existence

It's hard to believe that I've been doing this blog for over two years now and have over 250 posts (this one will make it 264). I've written everything from mangy coyotes being mistaken for Chupacabras (apparently enough to get an honorable mention at the Frebby's) to haunted locales through out the Central Valley and crazy UFO sightings. But I realized that I never really talked about myself, what got me into the paranormal and how I went from an investigator to a blogger. So here's my story.

I've been interested in the strange for as long as I can remember. Around 10 years old I met my best friend Tom, who was also interested in the paranormal and from that friendship grew my interest. My first experience was in my mother's old house when I saw a white figure moving in the hallway. I thought it was my sister, but turns out she was fast asleep. Asking my mom about it, I found that the previous owner's wife had died in the house and she had been seen occasionally.

Fast forward to my early twenties in the summer of 2000, where Tom and I formed our first ghost hunting group with two other friends. We knew nothing at that time and there were no classes or shows on TV so we read everything we could. That group lasted about a year until differences and just regular life events forced us to stop doing that.

Then in July of 2005 I met Jackie Meador of Central California Paranormal Investigators. For the next four years I was part of CCPI, helping Jackie on investigations, teaching her classes at the adult ed. center, and other things.

Then in 2009 I started to grow tired of investigating supposed haunted locations. CCPI was growing in members and I was starting to lose interest as I prefer to work in small groups. With that and some personal issues I decided to leave the group. It was nothing against Jackie or CCPI, in fact I'm still in regular contact with them and pass them any leads I may get. But it was around that time that I made friends with several bloggers in the Fresno area. Encouraged by what they did, I decided to start a blog documenting the paranormal in the Fresno area. And with that Weird Fresno was born.

Over the past two years it has changed. At first I still considered myself a paranormal investigator, just by myself. But as I started to research these legends and tales, I began to remember what got me into the paranormal to begin with. The stories. So I've started to become a bit of a folklorist, studying the stories that I find and sharing them and letting people make up their own mind on if they are real or not.

I still believe in ghosts, UFO's, and strange creatures. But I don't try to prove their existence now. I just tell the stories how I hear them and let others decide.

That being said, I've been wanting to get the readers more involved with Weird Fresno, to not just make it a site where someone can read about the weird tales of the area, but a place where they can share their own story. So I've created a forum for Weird Fresno and invite anyone to sign up for it and to share their stories and just talk in general about the paranormal. I also hope it can be a place for local groups to talk and share stories/ideas as there really isn't one. All I ask is that you be civil and respect each other's beliefs. Mind you it's still new so there aren't many posts yet, just a few I put on there to start things off. I really want the readers to make it their own.

To get to the forum, click the Weird Fresno logo at the top right of the page and it will take you straight to the forum where you can sign up and start posting.

I really want to thank everyone who's read the blog and commented over the past 2 years. You guys make this blog what it is. Thanks.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

High Times goes searching for Bigfoot

Reports of sightings of Bigfoot in pot country are on the rise.

I have to be honest. When I first came across this article I thought it was a joke. Combining the topics of marijuana and Bigfoot just reeks of satire. But to my surprise, the article was quite serious. The author of the article goes into detail about the history of the creature and also the history of his two guides and what got them into searching for the legendary creature.

Its way too long of an article to post here, but giving a brief synopsis the group is up in the Cascade Mountains in an area known for pot growing, looking for Bigfoot. While camping the only incident that was noteworthy was of a foul stench that was detected near their camp. After investigating the surrounding area and finding several half eaten fish quite a distance from the river, the group gives up. They speculate that the stench was a Bigfoot and that the fish were carried to higher ground by the creature as well.

Like I said, I had my doubts when reading this (long) article. I figured it would have just been a bunch of pot heads hot boxing a tent and then go search for Bigfoot. Seems that I was wrong (for once). Though I wonder if the stench they detected was Bigfoot getting into the author’s stash?

Full source: High Times
Author: Chris Simunek

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Coalinga's Whiskey Row

Whiskey Row circa 1910. Photo courtesy of Online Archives of California

Not many people may know this, but Fresno County had its own Wild West town back in the late 1800’s. The town of Coalinga was started when a railroad line was built out to the western part of the county to connect to Coaling Station A, which was then shortened to Coaling A, when then became Coalinga.

The town didn’t really develop much until about 1886 when oil was discovered. Soon the town began to grow as business came to town to cater to the workers on the oil fields. Front Street or known better as Whiskey Row, had at least thirteen saloons running up and down the street. There were also gambling dens and possibly houses of ill repute, all locations for fights and the occasional gun fight.

So what does this have to do with Weird Fresno? A Wild West town in Fresno isn’t very weird (though I think it’s pretty damn cool and makes me want to visit). Searching for ghost stories I came across one on (one of my favorite sites regarding all things paranormal). Here’s what they wrote:

Behind my street is a street called Whisky Row. It has been known to be haunted because in the 1930's old saloons and prostitutes were there. Many people on my street have told me stories of things that happened in their houses because our street is so close to Whisky Row.

My aunt, who lives right across the street from us, told me a story of a time when she was the only one home and she went to her bedroom for just a second -- when she came out all of the drawers and cabinets were open. We all laughed because none of us believed her. Later on that night I had been a little shaken up from the story we had heard earlier so I slept with my mom. In the middle of the night I woke up to a sound -- I looked to the side of me and I saw a woman who looked very young (about 18) and she was wearing a very short dress. As I looked closer I saw that she was looking through my mother's drawer. It looked as if she was looking for something because she was moving the clothes around. She turned around at gave me a cold look. All of a sudden I got an ice-cold chill in my spine. I looked into her face and I could see that her makeup was running and black mascara was all around her eyes. She had a handprint that was very clear on her right cheek. As she whipped around quickly I could hear her long fingernails scraping the bottom of the drawer as she still searched for something that was missing. I fell asleep that night listening to that horrible sound.

Me and my mother got up early the next morning and I told her what had happened during the night when I heard something like the sound of many people whispering all at once, but before I could think anything of it my four-year-old brother starts crying and calling my mother yelling, "Mom they are talking to me." Over and over again. When we finally got into the room his whole bed was shaking

That was six days ago and numerous things similar to that have been happening since.

Link to the original article on GhostVillage can be found here.

The person did not leave a name, but interestingly enough left an e-mail. I plan on contacting them, even though the post was written over 8 years ago, and see if I can find anything else out.

I’m not saying the entire area of what used to be Whiskey Row is haunted, but I love the idea that Fresno County had its own Wild West town and it’s maybe a 90 minute drive away. Even if the town isn’t haunted, it’s still an interesting part of Fresno’s folklore and history that many not know about. Hopefully after reading this post that will change.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Does the ghost of a woman haunt the Merced Theatre?

The Merced Theatre, where the ghost of a woman who
jumped to her death, is said to haunt.
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

In the town of Merced, there are some rumors of the Merced Theatre being haunted. The legend goes that the a young woman decided to commit suicide by jumping off the peak of the tower after finding out her fiancé had been killed during the war. It's said her host has been witnessed by many people, where she asks if anyone has seen “Johnny.”

The theater opened on October 31, 1931 by the famous Reid Brothers who were prestigious architects based out of San Francisco. The theater cost around $380,000 and took nine months to build. Up until 2002 it served the Merced community before falling into a state of disrepair. Now it is currently being restored as it originally appeared. One has to wonder if the ghost of the young woman has been seen by any of the workers or is disturbed by the construction going on.

The Merced Theatre is scheduled to reopen sometime in the Fall of 2011.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The ghosts of Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park is known for many things. Half Dome, El Capitan, and Bridalveil Falls to name a few. Millions of people have visited the park since it was first established in 1890. And it's not surprising then that some have decided to stay there, even after death.

Is a tent, similar to these in Curry Village, haunted by the ghost of a man who hung himself?
Photo courtesy of Trip Advisor.

One story involves Camp Number 6. Story has it that one lonely night, a camper hung himself (for reasons unknown) from the wooden frame of his tent. Sometimes late at night you can see his corpse swinging from the tent frame. As I was researching this one particular story, I came across an account of someone saying that the area is used as day parking now and the best time to see the ghost is between the hours of 11:00 pm and 3:00 am. How credible this particular story is I'm not certain, but wanted to share it none the less.

Yosemite National Park, CA
Rumor has it that a couple that drowned here at Stoneman Bridge haunt it.
Photo courtesy of Jacqueline Poggi from Flickr.

Another tale involves Stoneman Bridge that crosses the Merced River. Reportedly back in 2005 a young couple drowned and have been spotted sporadically ever since. I searched a bit for any records of someone drowning, yet I was unable to find anything. Still people report seeing this couple on or near the bridge, so I'm curious as to what really happened.

Another rather obscure story involves a location called California Pines. Not much is said about the exact location and the closest I could find to anything was a Yosemite Pines RV resort. Still I wanted to share the story in the hopes of maybe someone that reads this might know about it and be able to add to the story. All that is said about this spot is that people have seen apparitions here of Native Americans from the 1800's and some have even interacted with them.

Ahwahnee Hotel
Do ghosts from WW2 haunt the Ahwahnee hotel?
Photo courtesy of Bryce Edwards from Flickr.

And finally we have the Ahwahnee Hotel. Built in the 1920's, this hotel has seen numerous guests and was used by the Navy in 1943 as a convalescent hospital for veterans. Spirits have been seen in various locations throughout the hotel, but most sightings seem to happen on the mezzanine level and third floor. No one is really sure who is haunting the place, but some speculate that it may be some of the guests from when it was a convalescent hospital.

The ghosts of Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park is known for many things. Half Dome, El Capitan, and Bridalveil Falls to name a few. Millions of people have visited the park since it was first established in 1890. And it's not surprising then that some have decided to stay there, even after death.

Is a tent, similar to these in Curry Village, haunted by the ghost of a man who hung himself?
Photo courtesy of Trip Advisor.

One story involves Camp Number 6. Story has it that one lonely night, a camper hung himself (for reasons unknown) from the wooden frame of his tent. Sometimes late at night you can see his corpse swinging from the tent frame. As I was researching this one particular story, I came across an account of someone saying that the area is used as day parking now and the best time to see the ghost is between the hours of 11:00 pm and 3:00 am. How credible this particular story is I'm not certain, but wanted to share it none the less.

Yosemite National Park, CA
Rumor has it that a couple that drowned here at Stoneman Bridge haunt it.
Photo courtesy of Jacqueline Poggi from Flickr.

Another tale involves Stoneman Bridge that crosses the Merced River. Reportedly back in 2005 a young couple drowned and have been spotted sporadically ever since. I searched a bit for any records of someone drowning, yet I was unable to find anything. Still people report seeing this couple on or near the bridge, so I'm curious as to what really happened.

Another rather obscure story involves a location called California Pines. Not much is said about the exact location and the closest I could find to anything was a Yosemite Pines RV resort. Still I wanted to share the story in the hopes of maybe someone that reads this might know about it and be able to add to the story. All that is said about this spot is that people have seen apparitions here of Native Americans from the 1800's and some have even interacted with them.

Ahwahnee Hotel
Do ghosts from WW2 haunt the Ahwahnee hotel?
Photo courtesy of Bryce Edwards from Flickr.

And finally we have the Ahwahnee Hotel. Built in the 1920's, this hotel has seen numerous guests and was used by the Navy in 1943 as a convalescent hospital for veterans. Spirits have been seen in various locations throughout the hotel, but most sightings seem to happen on the mezzanine level and third floor. No one is really sure who is haunting the place, but some speculate that it may be some of the guests from when it was a convalescent hospital.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Haunted Fort Tejon

One of the army barracks at Fort Tejon near Lebec, CA
Photo from Flickr courtesy of tkksummers.

Near the small town of Lebec, which lies south of Bakersfield in Kern County, is an old military installation called Fort Tejon. Built in 1857 to protect the San Joaquin valley from Native American attacks from the south and east, it has seen it's share pain and suffering throughout the years.

More than 1,000 Native Americans were imprisoned under inhumane conditions at the fort and several hundred died there. It's said an entire village was forced into nearby Lake Castac and drowned. The area is said to be heavy in psychic energy, especially around the old hospital and officer's quarters. But the spot that seems to be the most haunted is the Le Beck Oak Tree.

The ghost of a French trapper, Peter Le Beck, has been seen many times near the tree. The grave of the Frenchman lies underneath the tree. No one really knows why he haunts his grave, or even how he died. There is one story stating that he died from a grizzly bear attack and another says he was killed by a Chief Black Bear (who coincidently was hanged from another oak tree a few hundred yards away).

Today Fort Tejon is on the National Register of Historical Places and is a state historical park. And it seems that Fort Tejon embraces it's paranormal history as they recently had their first annual ghost walk on Oct. 16, 2010. Which just happens to be the 173rd anniversary of Le Beck's death.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Was a rogue rocket launched off the LA coast?

On the afternoon of November 8, 2010, numerous witnesses in the Los Angeles area saw what appeared to be a rocket launching several miles off the coast. Calls to the local military bases yielded no information as none were claimed responsibility for the launch. The FAA didn't know of anything either and were mum on the whole subject.

The local CBS affiliate aired some footage they had taken aboard their helicopter. Even NORAD, the North American Aerospace Defense Command were unable to offer any details to what happen.

But then the Pentagon released a statement Tuesday stating:

Pentagon officials were more confident Wednesday that video of a condensation trail in the sky off the coast of Southern California was made by an aircraft, not a missile, a spokesman said.

“There is no evidence to suggest that this is anything else other than a condensation trail from an aircraft,” Pentagon spokesman Col. Dave Lapan told reporters.

Lapan declined to state definitively that the Defense Department believed the trail was caused by an airplane, but he said there was greater confidence that that was the case because more information about the incident had been analyzed since late Tuesday.

He would not go into detail about the new information.

The video footage, shot from a television news helicopter just before sunset Monday, of what looked like a missile set off fierce speculation about a rogue launch or a secret government test.

– David S. Cloud at the Pentagon
Source: The LA Times

Now I know this sounds like the government is covering up something. Hell even I figured it was the military doing a show of force since the President is in Asia right now. But then I came across this page that shows regular airplane contrails that under the right atmospheric circumstance can look like the exhaust from a rocket. Now I can't for certain say that's what this was, but it looks pretty damn similar. Though I imagine the conspiracy theorists out there will say it was a rouge missile or something, but I highly doubt that's the case.

Full source: The LA Times

Monday, November 8, 2010

Looking for ghost at the Fresno County Central Library

This last Friday night I had the privilege to have the chance to do a ghost hunt at the Fresno County Central Library in downtown Fresno. This was one of the events that the library was putting on for the Halloween season and the investigation was lead by several members of Central California Paranormal Investigators. There were about fifty people that showed up to the library at 7:00 and after a brief overview of what to do on an investigation, the group was broken up into three smaller groups of about 17 per group. I decided to go with the group that had my friend Jen leading it as she’s sensitive to things and have always had good luck when I’ve investigated with her.

We started on the first floor and decided to go to the children’s section as Jen had felt something there. An EVP session was started as she wanted to show the group how one was done. I shot a few photos at this time as well as did some video of the rest of the first floor. At this time we ran across one of the night custodians, Jackie, who said she works alone. She has felt a presence there several times and said she even saw books flying off shelf (ala Ghostbusters).

After that I decided to wander off on my own and went near the front entrance when I felt a strange presence. As I’ve said in the past I’m not sensitive in the least, but was feeling pressure on my chest. And in the past when I would feel that, it usually meant something was near. I went and grabbed Jen and she said she felt the same thing. We did a bit of EVP there, but to my knowledge nothing was heard.

We next went to the second floor. Here we were told that one of the employees had recently passed away after working at the library for several decades. His former co-workers felt he was still around, though to be honest I don’t know how valid this was. I was told this from one of our group guides who had heard it from someone else. Still, while taking some photos I heard something being moved or knocked over in the distance. Upon investigating the noise, I felt the same heavy presence I had felt on the first floor. Now I’m not saying this could be the same thing, but still interesting.

I was able to wander off again and shot some more video. Unfortunately I was “scolded” for going off on my own. So I had to join the group again. Which is fine since we were headed to the basement and I had heard there was a bomb shelter down there in case Fresno was nuked (who knew it was a target?).

I was excited to be heading to the basement. The idea of a Cold War era bomb shelter was just too good to pass up. Plus this is where some of the archives are kept.

I’ll be honest, when we got down there I was a bit disappointed. It was well lit (mostly) and didn’t seem as spooky as I had hoped. Still I shot a bit of video, though I had to stay near the group as I didn’t feel like getting reprimanded again.

After that we headed towards where the bomb shelter was at. Now here’s where it got creepy. Long hallway barely lit and the air was very heavy. Here one of the devices that measures the electromagnetic field starting going off. Some thought it was a ghost, but I personally believe it was due to being near so much electrical equipment.

After that all three groups met back to discuss what they had seen, if anything. Most agreed that the large number of people made it hard to investigate fully, but all had fun. And that was what this investigation was really about, just having fun and showing people who never had been looking for ghosts what it’s like.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Want to go ghost hunting with Weird Fresno?

For a while I've talked about some of the places in the Fresno area that are rumored to be haunted and what, if any, experiences I have had at them. Also I've mentioned some of the techniques and equipment that one could use to get started. Well now I'm going to be offering something else to anyone who is interested in the paranormal. A chance to go ghost hunting with Weird Fresno.

While on the Dirty Dowdy podcast last week, Chris Dowdy had mentioned how he want to check out a local haunt and possibly bring a few listeners along and record it for a future podcast. I talked to him last night and he said it was definitely going to happen and asked for me to post something.

A date has not been worked out yet as he's trying to get a psychic to go along with us, but we are planning are taking a trip to Channel Road one night this month and see if we can see the ghost of the mother that lost her children wandering up and down the road. Both Chris and I will be recording for future podcasts, so whoever goes has to be ok with this.

Later today at the 4:00 hour, Chris will be on New Rock 104.1. He will go into detail on what's going to occur. Listen then to find out how you can join us as we investigate Channel Road.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Weird Fresno on the Dirty Dowdy podcast

About a year ago I was on a local internet broadcast called the Dirty Dowdy Podcast. The creator of the show, Chris Dowdy, called me at the beginning of the month and asked me if I would like to do a show before Halloween to promote Weird Fresno. Me, being the ever attention whore I am, readily agreed.

I was the first guest on the show and was able to talk about some local ghost stories and favorite horror movies. Best part for me though was bringing up all the crap they gave me for predicting the Giants would be in the World Series and how the Giants are now in it.

We also talked about doing a live broadcast from a haunted location in the Fresno area. Still working out the details, but when I find out more info I'll mention it via Twitter and here.

Direct link to the podcast can be found here.

I also have to mention the guests that were on after me. They were a local band named From the Fallen and they kicked some serious ass. Love their sound, nice guitar crunch just the way I like it. I know this isn't a music review site, but I had to mention them. I downloaded their album off iTunes and it was definitely worth it. You can find their site here.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

More strange lights seen over Clovis

In the early morning hours of October 13, 2010 a witness reported to MUFON that they saw a strange light in the sky. Upon first seeing it, they assumed it was nothing more than a star when it began to flash colors as well as changing in intensity. It then began moving in an erratic motion (the witness reported it to be a zig zag like motion).

Recovering from the initial shock, they went in and woke up their roommate who also witnessed the object. After watching the object for almost an hour, a second one appeared. At that time the witness reports that they called the Fresno airport to see if they were seeing the same thing. They state that the two officers in the tower did admit they saw something but didn’t report it as they felt it wasn’t threatening, so they didn’t report it.

They two witnesses watched it for another hour and at around 3:45 when the first witness called KMPH Fox 26. They spoke with a reporter, but for some reason they didn’t have a camera ready. The witness goes on to state that they contacted MUFON the next day and also found out that a police officer had seen the same thing (there was no record of this report, so I’m not sure how valid this claim is).

Its hard to say what this person saw, but I do find it curious that both the officials at the airport and the reporter at KMPH didn’t take this too seriously. I can almost understand why the airport would say they don’t think it’s serious as they would want to downplay the sighting. But I can’t figure out why 26 didn’t act more on this. The excuse of not having a camera ready doesn’t seem plausible for a television station. Either they were taking the sighting seriously (which could be possible) or they were told not to. As I don’t want to seem the conspiracy theorist, I will opt more for the first option. Though you think they could have given a better response than the half assed one they did.

Still I may have call them and see if I can find out anything more.

MUFON report: Went out for a late night cigarette and saw them!

I am fascinated by space and the stars so when I am outside at night I always look up. Well as I lit my cigarette in the backyard of my house in Clovis, and began to gaze up, I noticed a star-like object in the sky as I looked to the south east. It was flashing many different colors. (red, green, blue, purple, white) Not only was it flashing colors, but it was pulsing, dimmer, brigter, dimmer, really bright, dimmer etc. At this point I knew I was definately not looking at a star or any type of airplane or helicopter. Then I saw it do something I will never forget, it moved! It didn't just move it zig zaged down, and then shot up at a fairly rapid pace. I don't know of any man made aircraft which can hover, stop, and instantly change direction. It also could go from a very high rate of speed to a complete stand still. When I got over the intial shock, I ran inside and woke up my roommate *(Name deleted--CMS/sg). I was so excited I yelled and shook him rather hard. When he woke up he was terrified and upset that I woke him up so abruptly when he had school early in the morning. After he heard what I was yelling at him we both ran back out in the backyard. He even noticed the object moving and changing color without his glasses and turned right back around to run in and get them and a pair of binoculars. I stayed to keep an eye on it and he came running back out and was even more shocked when he saw it with his glasses. We both took turns using the binoculars for about 45 minutes and that's when we spotted the second one. It was more to the east than the first one we noticed. It was doing the exact same thing; pulsing, changing color, and making very erratic movements. However, this object seemed to be higher up. At about this time I had *(Name deleted--CMS/sg) go get the Fresno Air Terminal Security phone number. I called and spoke with a young man named **(Name deleted--CMS/sg) who said he could't get outside to see but he would phone the tower. The two officers in the tower did admit they had seen some strange blue/green lights, but they did not think they were threatening so they didn't investigate further. *(Name deleted--CMS/sg) had to go to bed because he had school so early. I continued to watch as I proceeded to call anyone and everyone of my friends and family to try and wake them up so they could see. Unfortunately, nobody woke up and my webcam wasn't good enough to see anything on. I continued to watch for another hour then called Fox 26 newsroom at 3:45 or 4am and spoke with a young lady. I was hoping they would have a camera handy, they did not. (I found that hilarious) About this time I noticed something even more shocking, I could see many more that were farther away (not higher). In total, I counted at least 9 or 10 different objects. The next day I contacted MUFON and learned a local police officer had reported seeing the same thing! I felt so validated when I heard that, and that made up for all the crazy looks I'm gonna get telling this story. This was the most incredible night of my life, and I will definately never ever forget it. I know some people I talked to last night and today might not have completely believed me, but both (Name deleted--CMS/dr) and I know what we saw and we will tell anyone who will listen! We have a video camera tonight so bring it on! (I am currently working on a sketch)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Top 5 movies that scare the hell out of me

Since this is the last week before Halloween it seems that there’s an abundance of horror movies showing. AMC has been airing classic horror movies all week and the 1,298th installment of Saw is about to hit theaters. So that got me thinking, what horror movies scare me? I love a good horror movie, but it takes a lot to scare me. So I thought about it for a while and came up with the top five movies that scared the crap out of me.

Number 5 – The Shining
Stanley Kubrick already does some nutty ass movies (2001, Clockwork Orange anyone), but team him up with a Stephen King novel and you got some good ‘ol fashion nightmare fuel. Now I know Kubrick didn’t stay faithful to the novel, but still it scared the hell out of me. Maybe because the first time I watched it, it was 3:00 am and I was home alone and couldn’t sleep. Why I thought watching this would help me get to sleep I have no clue. I jumped when I saw the elevator of blood, but even though I knew about the twins, nothing could prepare me for the sheer terror that is the twins.

Yeah after that I had no desire to sleep. I blame this movie for the genesis of my fear of twin little girls.

Number 4 – Signs
Ok I know this isn’t really a horror movie, and some people (like 98% of the population) consider M. Night Shyamalan a hack, but I love this movie. Mostly because it plays among one of my paranormal fears, aliens. This was different than most alien invasion movies as it focused mainly on a single family amidst a global event. When I saw this opening night I was tense, I didn’t know what Shyamalan was going to do, but I knew it involved aliens and I had already psyched myself up to be scared. I know people hate the ending, but I enjoyed it (probably that whole faith thing), but the part that really got me was this scene.

To me this is the perfect scene. You really aren’t sure what is going on, the birthday party video is chaotic, and you have Joaquin Phoenix interjecting a bit of humor with his “Move children! Vamanos!” line (even funnier since the kids were Brazilian and most likely spoke Portuguese). Right after that is the money shot, the first glimpse of the alien. And the score adds the perfect touch. From what I read they were going for a Hitchcock Psycho feeling. Well they sure in the hell got it. When I saw this, I was so on edge that when the alien finally did appear the entire audience gasped, but not me. I yelled out “Oh shit!” that’s how freaked out I was.

Number 3 – War of the Worlds (1953)
Let me just say this. I hate the remake of this film. It sucked ass and I was routing for the Martians to get Dakota Fanning. And I know it’s not a horror movie, but it’s another that scared the living piss out of me. This time I was six years old and couldn’t sleep. So my mom said I could watch TV, thinking that would get me to go to sleep. Well the thing she turned on was KMPH 26 (way before it was affiliated with FOX) and the original War of the Worlds was on. So I started to watch it. And get freaked out. Hearing that California was being invaded (and destroyed) terrified me to no end. I didn’t watch the movie for a good ten years or so and even when I finally did, the memories still had me terrified when I saw it again.

Detecting a theme here? Yeah aliens scare the hell out of me. I was almost tempted to put Communion on here, but that would have meant me watching clips of Christopher Walken being abducted by aliens and I'm not that brave.

Number 2 – The Room
Ok this isn’t a scary movie, but has to be one of the WORST movies ever made. It makes Ed Wood look like Martin Scorsese. The director/writer/producer/lead actor (who I think is part French, part Croatian, and part cyborg) claims this movie is a black comedy, but when it was first released it was labeled as a drama. Now that it has a cult following, he says it’s a black comedy.

What’s scary about this you ask? The guy spent over $6 million of his own money to make this thing.

Number 1 – The Blair Witch Project
Blair Witch Project, love it or hate it. Me, I love it. To me this is the perfect horror movie. You have an antagonist you never really show, leaving your mind to try to fill in the blanks, and you have an ending that leaves you saying “WTF?”. But you want to know what about this movie terrified me? That it could happen to me. I wasn’t investigating yet, but I would go search out local legends and take a friend or two. Watching this with my best friend Tom and thinking this could happen to us scared the shit out of me. That and we saw it when it was still thought it was real footage (best marketing ever if you ask me).

I remember driving home at 1:00 am terrified as I lived in the country and knew something would get me. Thankfully I got home safely, but I didn’t sleep very much that night. I still say it's one of the greatest horror movies ever made. It played upon our fears in a realistic way that movies over a decade later are trying to emulate.

So that’s it. Those are the top five movies that have terrified me in one way or the other. Bit different I know, but hey since when have I followed the norms here?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Haunted attraction opens up at Sierra High School

With Halloween fast approaching, I've been asked for scary places to go? Though this place isn't haunted by any actual ghosts, it still does sound fun (and a bit creepy to be honest).

The place is called "The Farm" and is located across the street from Sierra High School up in Tollhouse. There are three seperate attractions to the The Farm and it starts off with a haunted hay ride in the Cattle Truch. From there you take a walk thru Catcher Creek. And if you are lucky enough to survive that you then have to make it through the haunted Rodeo Grounds.

Now The Farm only runs from October 28 - October 31, so get your tickets. This is the fifth year the FFA (Future Farmers of America) have put it on and I heard it's the best yet. The fun starts at 7:00 pm and tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for children.

The address for Sierra High School is 33326 Lodge Road, Tollhouse, CA 93667. To get there you take Highway 168 to the stop sign at bottom of 4 Lane and continue for about another mile or so. The Farm is located at the Bert Weldon Memorial Farm, which is across the street from Sierra High School. For more information you can call Bo Hamilton at 855-8311 or e-mail

All proceeds go to Sierra FFA, so it's for a good cause.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Win free VIP passes to the Screamup Tweetup

Halloween is nearly upon us and it looks like Weird Fresno was able to get a couple of treats early this year. The Fresno Beehive has asked me to give away a pair of free VIP passes for their Screamup Tweetup happening this Thursday, Oct. 21, at the Fright Night Scream Park in Clovis at 7:00 pm (there’s a pre-tweetup at Rio Grill at Sierra Vista Mall beginning at 5:30 pm).

In order to be entered to win you must leave a comment telling me the scariest thing that has ever happened to you. Pretty simple huh? Just make sure to leave an e-mail address so I can contact you to let you know that you won. Deadline for entries will be Wednesday, Oct. 20th at 3 p.m.

Even if you don’t win, all is not lost. For the tweetup, the folks over at the Fright Night Scream Up have a special deal going on (presumably to get more victims). Individual attractions are $5 (regularly $10) and the VIP passes, which get you into all the attractions, are $20 (regularly $35). To be able to attend the tweetup and be eligible for the deals, you must RSVP to @FresnoBeehive via Twitter to be added to the guest list. For more information, you can see the original post here.

I will definitely be there for this event. Hopefully none of the inhabitants there will try to kill me this time. But we all know they will.