Well folks it's that time of year again where I recap the most interesting and/or weird things to happen to Weird Fresno this year. A myriad of things happened this year and here's what I felt were the top five for this year.
Number 5 - Famous crystal skull to make stop in Fresno
Back in January I received an e-mail informing me that one of the famed crystal skulls would be making a brief stop in Fresno. Now I tend to stay away from the whole metaphysical side of the paranormal, but I knew the story of this particular skull, named Max, and had to see it for myself. Even though the lecture where Max was to be at quickly sold out, I was allowed to attend. It was an interesting lecture and even if you don't believe in the whole story, the message of Max's owner of loving everyone and how she wanted to share his message of peace. Plus I got to touch the crystal skull (nothing happened unfortunately). Looking back on this though I wish I had asked Max his opinion of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Supposedly he may make another stop in Fresno in 2012, so I may have to ask him then.
This was an interesting story that I just happened upon by chance. I was at the Fresno Filmmakers Alliance monthly mixer and a friend who shares the same interest in the paranormal as I do asked me if I had heard about any large bird sightings in Fresno. He proceeded to tell me that his wife and son had seen a bird with the wingspan of at least 12 feet fly over their house one day. From what he described it sounded like the Thunderbird of Native American folklore. The Thunderbirds are said to be very large birds, capable of lifting a small child up. What I found interesting about this is that after I posted the story both here and on Fresno Famous, I received several comments from people who had seen the same thing and around the same time. So what exactly was flying over Fresno that day?
Number 3 - Update to the Roosevelt High hauntings
One of my more popular stories is the one on the ghosts at Roosevelt High School. When I first heard about the story of Lester, I didn't really believe it and just assumed it was the overactive imagination of a bunch of high school students that made up the story years ago. Imagine my surprise when I received an e-mail one day from a person who said her cousin was Lester, or actually named Leslie, and the story of him dying on stage was true. This was one of the first times I was actually able to collaborate a story with facts. She mentioned how she didn't want him known for haunting the auditorium and hoped that the students there would remember him as the loving person he was. Imagine my surprise when one of the students there responded and said that it was tradition to include Leslie in the cast/crew sign in sheets for any performance that is in the auditorium. It seems that Roosevelt High hasn't forgotten him after all.
Number 2 - Guest blogging in New Orleans
I love New Orleans. There is no other city like it in this country and has such a rich and wonderful history. Plus it's one of the most haunted towns in America. So when I heard my friend Kimburly was going there for a conference I had to get her to write about her experiences (thankfully the payment wasn't that much, though I still owe her a couple of beers if I remember right). I told her about a couple of spots near where she was staying that were haunted and gave her free reign on what to do. Let's just say I was more than pleased with the results as she didn't just focus on the haunted spots, but the city itself and the feel it has. I miss that town and need to go back soon. And not spend the entire weekend on Bourbon Street like I did when I was there last time (oh to be 18 again).
Honorable mention - Ghost hunting with the Dirty Dowdy Podcast
Though this one wasn't a post I did per say, Chris Dowdy over at the Dirty Dowdy Podcast and I had talked for a while about doing a ghost hunt for his show and bringing along some listeners. Figuring the weekend of Halloween would be best, we decided to drive out to Channel Road in Sanger and see if we could find anything. Was an interesting night to say the least. With Dowdy's car dying near the spot it's said the woman in white drove off the road and died, to people seeing strange shadow figures. My favorite part? We just pulled to the side of the road to get ready when a car full of people pulled up and said they saw the lady in white north of our location. Looks like the Legend of Snake Road is alive and well.
Number 1 - Return to Sierra Sky Ranch
To me this was the best thing to happen this year. I was asked by Central California Paranormal Investigators team leader Jackie Meador to do a live Twitter/Facebook event from their investigation up at the Sky Ranch. It had been a good three years since I had been there and I was more than happy to oblige. Last time I went I was still in the paranormal investigator mindset, but this time I was just there to experience the story and share it with everyone. I had a fantastic time that night, met some new friends who asked me to join their group (I was flattered, but I love doing Weird Fresno so I declined. But I may work as a consultant to them from time to time) and actually pulled an all nighter which I haven't done on an investigation in years. Why is this number one you ask? Because everything I did that night is where I want Weird Fresno to go in the future, to go to a location and just experience the story and be part of it.
So that's my top five. 2011 is going to be over in less than 24 hours. Who knows what 2012 will bring. Did the Mayans actually predict the end of the world as some say? Others claim that they predicted that a new era of enlightenment would occur. Personally I have no idea if anything will happen. All I can say is it's going to be another weird year.