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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Graveyard Camping. Only in Madera.

Last Saturday I was with my friend Ashley and her brother as they needed some help filming a project. One of the locations they needed was a cemetery, preferably an older one. Being that they lived in Madera I suggested one out in the country called New Hope Cemetery. I had been out there many a times when I was a kid looking for ghosts and the place had a creepy factor, even during the day. We pack up out gear and head on to the cemetery. As we get near it, we can see a truck with a camper on it parked near the ruins of the church and a man, who appeared to be in his 40's) on the ruins of the church with what looked like a camper stove. Shocked and honestly a bit terrified by this we drove past and didn't stop. As we drove by the man actually walked out onto the road, dragging his leg like he was Keyser Soze or something. We kept driving on for a mile or so and curiosity got the best of us, so we headed back. Since I had recently sold my soul and bought a new iPhone with video, I thought this would be a good chance to test it out. Below is what I filmed. I apologize for the Blair Witch-esque video. Though I find it funny that I'm talking like I haven't yet reached puberty.

Ashley says the guy waved, but I didn't see him. Honestly I was so focused on videoing him that I didn't really pay attention. We decided to go to another place in Fresno and did the filming there. But I was still curious. Why was this guy there? Was he just camping for the weekend or was he squatting? I had to go back. I drove back by on Monday and the same truck was there, but there was also another vehicle there. Looked like a mid 70's Ford Ranchero. I have no idea what the hell they were doing there, but I did take a bit of video. Though it's choppier than the first. Mostly cause the road is full of potholes and I was driving as well as filming.

I'm not sure what's going on. I know the cemetery has been abadoned since the mid 80's, when the church burned down (rumored by Satanist, but that's for another blog post) and there has been a group of people that go out there and clean up the cemetery every once in a while. Perhaps this person is some sort of caretaker/watchman? I know in my high school days this was somewhat of a party spot and kids would go there all the time. Maybe they have someone out there to keep a watch on it. Or maybe the person is homeless and is staying there as they have no other place to stay. I honestly don't know. But It gets weirder.

The shot from Google Maps Street View. Looks to be the same
truck as in the video minus the camper shell.

An enlargement of the truck from a different angle. The front
looks similar to the one in the video.

I have no recent photos of the place, and didn't want to go by a third time and risk the ire of Keyser Soze, so I went to Google Maps, specifically their Google Street option to see what I can find. Well as luck would have it, the same truck (or at least the same model) sans the camper is in the Google Streets shot. I have no idea how old the shot is, but I think they came through my neighborhood about a year ago and I live maybe five miles from the cemetery. And it's not like I drive by the place daily, so I really can't say how long it's been there. But it's just weird that someone is camped out at a cemetery. Someone wants to go interview them? Do it and I'll be your best friend. Forever and ever and ever.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Giant Catfish in Fresno County's Millerton Lake?

I remember the first time I went fishing with my stepfather(I was around nine or so) and he told me this story of a friend of his who had supposedly seen a giant catfish in Millerton Lake.

The story goes that the man was fishing around the Friant Dam, when, while he was moving around, accidentally knocked off the boat motor. He was able to make it to shore using the trolling motor, but decided that he wanted to try to retrieve the motor as it was new and he had paid a lot for it.

The man rented some dive equipment and returned the next weekend. To lift his motor back to the surface, he took with him several large balloons that he would fill with a small auxiliary tank that would lift the motor back to the surface. After descending to the bottom, he began searching for his motor. After several minutes he came across something that he wouldn't have believed if he hadn't seen it for himself. Staring at him was an extremely large catfish. According to him the mouth was so big it could have easily have swallowed him. He estimated the length to be between 8-10' long. This was a quick estimate has he didn't stick around long enough to get a thorough look at it. Needless to say he got the hell out of there and never did retrieve his motor.

Now I don't know if this story is just another variant of the big fish that got away or something else, but I thought it was worth mentioning. I know back east, especially in the south large catfish have been known to be caught. Some even match the descriptions that I mentioned above. And catfish do have a fast growth rate, and they continue to grow all there life.

I wouldn't be surprised if there were several large catfish at the bottom of Millerton Lake near the dam hiding where no one will bother them. Their only company a forgotten motor boat engine that has long since rusted away.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Strange craft seen flying over Fremont, CA

I came across a video earlier purported to be taken in Fremont, Ca on December 5, 2008. The camera has night vision capabilities which greatly enhanced it's field of view. During the first part of the video, you can see a flashing object moving across the camera from right to left. Unfortuantely this is nothing more than an airplane.

But at around 0:20 is when it gets interesting. The camera zooms in onto a boomerang shaped craft that has five lights on it. It's traveling at a much faster speed than the previous metnioned airplane (which is also in the camera's field of view at the same time). It's height can't be that high, as you can see it passing under a few contrails.

My guess is this is a single craft, and not multiple ones. Given the manuevers it performs, it would be near impossible for individual craft to maintain such a formation with little or no variation. Whatever was filmed here is yet more evidence of triangular shaped aircraft flying in the sky. This video has inspired me to aim my night vision to the sky and see if I can capture anything myself. If I do, I'll post it here.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Ghost caught on surveillance tape in Chile.

A small, phantom like creature was recently caught on CCTV (closed circuit television) in a shopping mall in Chile. At the five second mark you can see a small, semi-transparent black entity enter the screen from the bottom center. It wanders towards the right before going up towards the top left before disappearing off screen.

Who knows what this is. I've seen other surveillance tapes where a strange object moves across the camera's view, but upon closer inspection it was just something on the lens of the camera. Whatever this is, it seems to be moving across the floor. Whatever it is, it's pretty damn weird.

Thanks to Heather over at the Fresno Beehive for sending me this video.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

UFO seen in the movie Jaws?

I found this video on YouTube while searching for some UFO footage. It's a scene from Steven Spielberg's movie Jaws, with the boat out on the ocean. Around the thirty second mark, you can see a bright object enter the top left portion of the screen and streak towards the bottom right, but disappears behind the cloud cover in the background.

The skeptic in me has me thinking meteorite or space debris entering the Earth's atmosphere. But for something that bright, it would have to have been a rather large object. There is always the possibility of it being some sort of alien spacecraft (perhaps it was part of the cast from Close Encounters which was released two years after Jaws) but given the trajectory I highly doubt it. Still I find it interesting that this was left in the shot. Perhaps Spielberg didn't see it at the time and decided to leave it in instead of having to reshoot.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Underground tunnels found in Fresno's Chinatown

Back in 2007 a team of archaeologists were exploring one of the boarded-up buildings in Fresno's Chinatown, an enclave long abandoned by the people who gave the area its name more than a century ago.

They were searching for any antique left by the former owners of what had been a restaurant and home. The team descended into the basement and did find a few artifacts. Then came something that was not expected. The group spotted a dark crawl space seemingly hidden by boards on the basement's eastern wall. Was this an entrance to the supposed tunnel system that had been rumored about for years?

Tunnels in Chinatown were rumored to have been so vast that patrons could travel from one end of the neighborhood to the other and never see daylight. One tunnel was rumored to have extended under the dividing railway tracks so that men from the White side of town could reach Chinatown speakeasies undetected.

Since the discovery of the tunnel entrance, the City of Fresno has been using ground penetrating radar to map out the extent of the underground network. Some local groups have started to lead tours, guiding visitors to the basement of a barbershop where mysterious doorways are sealed with concrete.

A more extensive article from the LA Times can be found here.