Thursday, September 22, 2011

CASH-LANDRUM CASE

HUFFMAN, TEXAS - By NICAP - On the evening of December the 29, 1980, Betty Cash, Vickie Landrum and Colby Landrum had visited several small towns in the Piney Woods area of east Texas looking for a bingo game, but discovered that all games had been canceled while the clubs made preparations for the Christmas and new year celebrations. Instead they settled for a meal in a road side restaurant in New Caney.
 
Betty Cash was then a 51 year old business woman who owned a restaurant and a grocery store. Vickie Landrum, then 57, worked for Betty in the restaurant and also occasionally as a school meals assistant. Colby Landrum, Vickie's grandson, was then 7.
  
After leaving the restaurant some time between 8.20 and 8.30 pm, Betty drove them along Highway FM 1485, a road usually used only by people who live in the area because it is so isolated. Although only about 50km from Houston the area is sparsely populated and is covered by oak and pine trees, and dotted with swamps and lakes.

It was about 30 minutes later when the three noticed a bright UFO above the tree tops some distance away. Colby was the first to spot it and pointed it out to the others. As they drove on it appeared to get larger and larger. As they realized that the object was approaching the road only a short distance ahead they began to get worried but hoped to get by it in time and leave it behind. But before they could do so the object had straddled the road blocking their way.
Drawing of U.F.O
Seen by Cash, Landrums 12/29/80
[Photo
©2003]
Vickie screamed "Stop the car or we shall be burned alive!" The object, many times larger than the car remained hovering at tree top level and sending down an occasional large cone of fire like a rocked blast. In between these blasts it would settle downwards some 7.5 meters or so only to rise up again on the next cone of fire. Vickie described it as being "like a diamond of fire".

When Betty eventually brought the car to a stand still the UFO was only 60 meters away. It looked as if it was made from dull aluminum and glowed so bright that it lit up the surrounding forest like daylight. The four points of the diamond were blunt rather than sharp and blue spots or lights ringed its centerline. Had the UFO not come to rest over the road the cone of fire from its lowest point would have set the forest on fire. The object also emitted an intermittent bleeping sound.

The three of them got out of the car to take a better look at the object. Vickie stood by the open door on the right hand side of the car with her left hand resting on the car roof. Vickie is a committed Christian who does not believe in UFOs or extraterrestrial life and when she saw the bright object she thought it was the coming of the end of the world. Because she expected to see Jesus come out of the light she starred at it intently.
Colby begged his grandmother to get back in the car and hold him and after about three minutes she did so and told him not to be afraid because "when that big man comes out of the burning cloud it will be Jesus." As Vickie held Colby she screamed at Betty to get back in the car with them. But Betty was so fascinated by the UFO that she had walked round to the front of the car and stood there gazing at it.  Bathed in the bright light she stood there even though the heat was burning her skin. Eventually as the object began to move up and away she moved back to the car door. When she touched the door it was so painfully hot that she had to use her leather jacket to protect her hands as she got back in the car.

As the three of them watched the departing UFO, a large number of helicopters appeared overhead. As Betty said, "They seemed to rush in from all directions...it seemed like they were trying to encircle the thing." Within a few seconds the UFO had disappeared behind the trees lining the road. It was then that they realized how hot the interior of the car had become. They switched off the heater and put on the air conditioner instead.
 
 When the effects of the bright light had worn off, Betty started the engine and they drove off down the darkened highway. After a mile or so of twisting road they were able to join a larger highway and turn in the direction of the departing UFO. This was about 8km and five minutes later. The object was clearly visible some distance ahead and looked like a bright cylinder of light. It was still lighting up the surrounding area and illuminating the helicopters.


 By this time the helicopters were spread out over an 8km distance. One main group was near the UFO but moving in an erratic flight path. As they watched from their new vantage point they counted 23 helicopters. Many of them were identified as the large double rotor CH-47 Chinooks, the others were very fast single rotor types and appeared to be of the Bell-Huey type but were not properly identified. A lot of air crew members must have seen the UFO that night.


 As soon as the UFO and helicopters were a safe distance ahead Betty drove on. When she reached an intersection she turned away from the flight path of the UFO and towards Dayton where the three of them lived. She dropped Vickie and Colby off at their home at about 9.50 and went home by herself. A friend and her children were there waiting for Betty but by this time she was feeling to ill to tell them about what had happened. Over the next few hours Betty's skin turned red as if badly sun burned. Her neck swelled and blisters erupted and broke on her face, scalp and eyelids. She started to vomit and continued to do so through out the night. My morning she was almost in a coma.


 Some time between midnight and 2am Vickie and Colby began to suffer similar symptoms, although less severe. At first they suffered the sunburn like condition and then diarrhea and vomiting. It was a miserable night for all three victims.


 The following morning Betty was moved to Vickie's house and all three were cared for there. Betty's condition continued to deteriorate and three days later she was taken to hospital. The burns and swelling altered Betty's appearance so radically that friend who came to visit her in hospital did not recognize her. Her hair began to fall out and her eyes became so swollen that she was unable to see for a week.


The appearance of helicopters at UFO sightings is becoming a common event, and the large number of helicopters at this incident is just another link in the chain. One thing is for certain, it is virtually impossible to be mistaken about the presence of CH-47 helicopters when you are directly beneath these large and noisy machines. The evidence of all the witnesses was consistent. They were interrogated separately about both the UFO and the helicopters and all gave consistent descriptions and sketches that indicated they had seen a large number of CH-47s.


Finding out where the helicopters had come from was a more difficult task than identifying them. according to a official at Houston Airport abound 350 to 400 helicopters operate commercially in the Houston area but they are all of the single rotor type, there are no CH-47s. The official also said that because helicopters fly on visual flight rules they do not have to contact the tower. Other information provided by Houston was that outside a 24km radius from the airport helicopters must stay below an altitude of 550 metres, and that due to a technical limitation the Houston control radar is restricted to a minimum altitude of 600 metres around the Huffman area.


The US army's Fort Hood press officer, Major Tony Geishauser, told the Corpus Christi Caller that no Fort Hood aircraft were in the Houston area that night. "I don't know any other place around here that would have that number of helicopters," he said. "I don't know what it could be..... unless there's a super secret thing going on and I wouldn't necessarily know about it."


All other bases in Texas and Louisiana denied they were responsible for the helicopters seen at the incident.

MAP SHOWING THE AREA OF THE ENCOUNTER

Betty, Vickie and Colby were not the only witnesses to the strange happenings at Huffman. An off duty Dayton policeman and his wife were driving home from Cleveland through the Huffman area the same night and also observed a large number of CH-47s. A man living in Crosby, directly under the flight path, reported seeing a large number of heavy military helicopters flying overhead. Oilfield laborer Jerry McDonald was in his back garden in Dayton when he saw a huge UFO flying directly over head. At first he thought it was the Goodyear airship, but quickly realized it was something else. "It was kind of diamond shaped and had two twin torches that were shooting brilliant blue flames out the back", he said. As it passed about 45 meters above him he saw that it had two bright lights on it and a red light in the center.


Since their encounter Vickie and Colby have been plagued with periodic outbreaks of skin troubles, as if they were more susceptible to infection than before. But the most far reaching injury has been the damage to their eyes. Their eyelids became infected very rapidly and have never fully recovered. Since the incident Vickie has had to have three new pairs of spectacles with successively stronger prescriptions to match the deterioration of her eyesight. Her eyesight continues to deteriorate and she still suffers from periodic infections. She fears she may eventually go blind. Colby has suffered similar problems but has needed only one new pair of glasses. Within a few weeks of the encounter, Vickie had lost about 30 per cent of her hair, and had large bald patches on her head. When it grew back it was of a different texture. Colby lost only a small patch of hair on the crown of his head, this too grew back in time.


Betty's injuries seemed even worse. She experienced a severe sun burn like condition and developed large water blisters, some as large as golf balls, over her face head and neck. One of these covered her right eyelid and extended across her right temple. She also developed a long term aversion to warm water, sunshine or other heat sources. In the year following the encounter she has spent five periods in hospital, two of those in intensive care. She lost over half of the hair on her head and has also had skin eruptions, many as big as a large coin, which leave permanent scars.


Doctors are baffled by these symptoms but speculate that they could be caused by some kind of radiation.


One day in April 1981 a CH-47 flew into Dayton. As Colby watched he became very upset. Vickie decided to take him to the spot where the helicopter had landed in the hope that it would seem less frightening on the ground. When they reached the landing zone they found a lot of people there already and had to wait some time before they were allowed to go inside the helicopter and talk to the pilot. Vickie and another visitor both claim that the pilot said he had been in the area before for the purpose of checking on a UFO in trouble near Huffman. When Vickie told the pilot how glad she was to see him, because she had been one of the people burned by the UFO, he refused to talk to them any more and hustled them out of the aircraft.


The UFO organization VISIT later located the pilot and questioned him. He admitted to knowing about Vickie and Betty's encounter with the UFO but maintained that he had not been in the area in December and had nothing to do with any UFO. Unless another pilot decides to come forward it seems that the source of the helicopters will remain a mystery.

 UFO CASE FILE- CASH-LANDRUM


HAUNTED RADIO

AUSTIN, TEXAS - Roy had moved from a smaller market radio station to a larger metropolitan market and had to start on the graveyard shift. For a young married man this was a good opportunity. The shift came to him suddenly, one night several days after giving the program manager his air check tape and resume he received a phone call. The program director asked if he could come as soon as possible. He apologized for calling so late, but something had happened and could Roy come in that very night to work? Roy knew an opportunity when he heard one. As soon as he arrived he saw that police were parked outside of the Station. A young female Disc Jockey was standing inside looking distraught. She was speaking with one of the police officers and when she saw Roy coming in she said, “Thank God you’re here. I don’t want to be alone in here.” After the police left she told Roy someone had tried to break into the Station while she was on the air. She had heard a loud noise, she went to investigate, and saw people running away from the side door that they had broken into leaving their burglar tools behind.

Radio towers in Austin, TX
Roy asked her why would the burglars leave in such a hurry. He did not want to insult the girl but he hardly believed that her slight form would have intimidated the robbers. She stated she did not know but that the police had told her that something had apparently frighten them away before anything could be stolen. Roy stayed the rest of the night, and then the next day the program director called him asking him to work again the next night. That night was peaceful but the college aged announcer had lost her peace of mind. She had to have every light on in the station, and had wanted Roy to walk her to her car after the shift ended. The next day, the program director told the woman that he could not continue to pay for both Roy and her to work the night-shift, she would have to do this alone. She refused. The program director offered the shift to Roy who accepted it eagerly. Roy was young and slim but over 6 feet tall and felt he could handle himself. Arrangements were made for Roy to have a key to the building as his shift started at midnight, this way the evening disc jockey was not forced to leave the control room to let Roy in, as she was also nervous after the break in. The first week that Roy was alone he would hear sounds that he tried hard to dismiss as imagination.  He heard what sounded like a key in the door, and the door opening, closing and then footsteps coming down the hall toward the control room.  He would investigate and find no one.  He would check the front door and side door and find both locked up tight.  Roy kept this to himself, this job was what he wanted and no spookiness would distract him. He told himself that the noises came from cleaning people in the business downstairs, or perhaps sounds from the street that he heard.  

After some months of working various shifts he was told that the night shift was his permanently. About the same time a Soft Drink vending machine was placed in the hallway outside the control room.  The constant light from the machine would shine in the doorway.  He began to notice that between two and three o’clock every night he would begin to hear the noises that were becoming familiar to him.  He also noticed that as he heard the sound of someone walking down the hallway a shadow was cast as through someone was walking in front of the machine.  He would investigate frequently, but finding no one he continued to keep these events to himself.

After about two months of his permanent position he began to ignore even the shadow and concentrated on how much he enjoyed his job.  One night at about 3:25 in the morning, he was going into a commercial break after which he would read a weather forecast.  As he was reaching for a copy of the weather forecast placed on top of the control board he noticed a reflection in the Plexiglas stand.  Reflected in the glass was man standing behind him.  Roy immediately thought back to the events of the first night that he had been called into the station.  The night someone had tried to break in. Thinking someone had been successfully this time, Roy thought he was a dead man.  He whirled around to confront the intruder and found that he was so frightened he could not speak.  All the startled DJ could do was stare.  The man in front of him had dark hair with average features and no weapons.  In fact the intruder was smiling, his bearded face drawn up in a pleasant grin.  Roy also saw that his arms were crossed and he looked as through he was wearing a “hippy” looking tunic.  This was shocking to the young DJ, but even more shocking was that as he looked the newcomer over he noticed he had no feet.  Looking back up into the face of the other man Roy’s own face must have registered his alarm.  The bearded man looked shocked, as through surprised that Roy could see him and then … he disappeared. 
Roy’s mind was in shock and he noticed that his commercials were over with and he needed to put something on quick before he had dead air.  He put the first track he could find without really paying attention to it. Roy asked himself, did that just happen? What did I see?   He was sure he had seen something and the only logical thing it could be was an intruder.  Once again Roy checked ever door and looked into every room finding no one.   Roy vowed to himself, that he would never mention the event to anyone. Months later, he did take the opportunity to ask what he hoped sounded like an innocent question of the general manager.  He asked him if he knew of any DJ’s who had died while working at the radio station. The GM could think of no one. Then Roy asked if the GM knew any of the history of the building.  All he knew was that the building had belonged to another station, back in the 1960’s.  The station at that time had been playing an acid rock format.  The GM rolled his eyes at the mention of that particular brand of music and departed, but Roy wondered if perhaps at least one ex-employee of the ‘60’s funk and electric guitar station was still around grooving to new sounds.  

Haunted Radio in Jasper AL 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

THE BELL WITCH

ADAMS, TN - One of the strangest paranormal stories you may ever come across is the odd, long account of the Bell Witch. Starting in 1817 a series of events occurred that defied explanation then and still remains unsolved today. Unsolved despite being one of the most investigated and documented cases on record. Most of the town of Adams had at one time or another heard or saw something that scared them. And, even more bizarrely, it is one of the few documented cases that seems to point a finger at a ghost as the cause of a man’s death.

John Bell
 Accounts differ on whether the first paranormal activity on the Bell farm occurred in a field where Bell and his sons were hunting, or in a nearby cave, but it is not disputed that when they returned home they were confused and frightened by what they had seen. From that day onward John Bell’s health would deteriorate even as the manifestation became stronger and stronger.


Next the family heard and saw strange animals near the house. Then they heard scratching noises that seemed to come from outside the home. The nuisance continued into the house in the form of scratching, and growling distinctly heard by all family members.


Neighbors were finally invited over to hear the strange phenomena as the family reluctantly realized they needed help. Even the most hardened skeptic left puzzled and disturbed by the noises. As the events escalated, John Bell began to have pain and numbness in his tongue and jaw. Just as it became more difficult to for John Bell to talk, whatever was making the noises found a voice. She called herself Kate, and the disembodied voice was heard by one and all to heckle and harass the family as they tried to go about their daily activities.


Kate did not end her feats with just speaking. Witnesses heard her whistle, sing, and tell bawdy jokes to the embarrassment of the conservative farming family. Eventually the spirit seem to bring “guests” in the form of other entities each having a distinctive personality and voice.


The spirit who identified herself as Kate kept up her torment of physically and mentally torturing John at any opportunity. Finally as the man lay dying she was heard to sing and laugh. After the poor man past away she even took credit for having poisoned him!


No one is sure what caused the poltergeist/ spirit activity but theories have been cast around. A skeptic theorized that no ghost was present and that one of the Bell family was secretly an accomplished ventriloquist. Another theory is that John Bell’s trouble started when he brought the land for his farm from an older woman who thereafter accused him of cheating her. Others have brought forth that the cave behind the house was believed to be a sacred place by local Native Americans.

  The Bell Witch and Andrew Jackson

STAMPEDE

CROSBY, TEXAS -  Overlooking the White River is a strip of hilltop that hosts scrub trees, and long grass.  Peaceful and idyllic it’s hard to reconcile it to the name it holds: Stampede Mesa.  The hilltops violent name comes from a more lawless time.

Stampede

In the fall of 1889 the area was a frequent stop for men on the trail.  A trail boss could order his men to see that the cows they were driving were watered and then bedded down on the Mesa for the night.  The area was good for the tall grass, the water and a high place to spot trouble for some distance away.  For one trail boss trouble came in an unexpected fashion.  The men had accidentally driven their herd through the property of a farmer and had driven his cows up the Mesa with their own.  The Farmer arrived on a scrawny white mare and demanded his cows back.

There was no argument with that, they had no use for his cows, which were just as skinny and malcontent as both the farmer and his horse, but they did have a problem when he also cut out some of their cattle and began to drive them away.  An argument ensued that the trail men were too tired and hungry to endure.  The old farmer was instructed to come back at daybreak when the sun was up and he had a “better chance of seeing things” the cowboy’s way.  Cursing bitterly the farmer, embarrassed not only by being caught stealing but also in having to leave his own stock, rode his old scrawny horse back down the Mesa. 
 
The men gratefully ate and prepared to sleep.  Their rest was to be short lived for in the night the cattle stampeded.  Incredibly, since they seem to be driven away from the North and heading south, they headed straight for the steepest part of the canyon. Every man knew his job and did his best but when the sun came up that morning two men and hundreds of steers lay dead at the bottom of the canyon.  Men who had witness the beginning of the stampede claimed to have seen the old Farmer and his white mare driving the cattle recklessly  toward the cliffs edge. 

There was no justice to appeal to, only the law of the Trail Boss and he decided to let the punishment fit the crime.  He had the Farmer dragged up the hill, his hands tied, his eyes blindfolded and then ordered he be tied to his likewise blindfold horse and driven off the edge of the Mesa. 
 
Of course this is not the end of the story.  The Farmer still blindfolded and tied to his horse was seen countless times. And word began to spread from cowboy to trail driver not to camp on Stampede Mesa lest your herd, or your men  share his fate as he would try to drive men, horse, and steer over the cliff where his body had been left to rot.

PHONE CALLS FROM THE DEAD

AUSTIN, TEXAS - Two nights before my wedding I returned to my Mom’s house and spread the long white dress and veil down on the bed in the guest bedroom and we both retired to sleep; completely exhausted from planning the wedding.  Mom went to her bed and I chose to sleep on the couch in the living room.  My wedding dress had just come from the shop where it had been hanging with dozens of other May-June gowns and I wanted to let the dress and veil stretch out in hopes that in the morning they would look less “scrunched”.
Classic phone
I’m not sure if what happened next was dream or not.  I guess I never will know for sure, but late in the night the phone rang, or at least I heard it ring.  Rushing to answer it I had a string of comments to make if it was one of my friends calling at this hour, my Mom’s pet peeve were late night phone calls.  But the voice on the other end of the line was older.  A woman’s voice that seemed eerily familiar asked to speak to my Mom.  “She’s asleep!” I whispered frantically to the caller.  “It’s very late, please call back in the morning.”  “Oh, she’ll want to talk to me,” the voice was still very clear, and still I couldn’t place it.

 “It’s too late she’s asleep and I don’t know who you are.”   
“Yes, you know me, you do know me!” The woman on the other end was insistent now. 
“This is Audrey, you know me, and this is Audrey.” 
Very frightened for some reason at her persistence I hung up and lay back down on the couch.


The next morning I asked my Mom if she’d been disturbed by the phone.  She hadn’t but wanted to know who had called.  I told her then that I was unsure if it was a dream or a real event, but that someone named Audrey had called.  I went over the strange conversation I had with the caller then realized that my Mom had stopped answering me.  Her face had gone white.  “You do know an Audrey.” She told me this with a strange small smile on her face.  “No,” I said to her, I would remember such a name, as it was unusual to me.
 

 “Your Aunt Betty’s real name was Audrey. She never liked it, and when she was very young she started going by the name Betty.”  My blood ran cold as I realized that the voice had sounded familiar because of its resemblance to my Mom’s and my other Aunt’s voices. But three years before the night I got that call my Aunt Audrey/Betty had collapsed and died suddenly at her place of business. I had never heard her addressed any other way other than as  Betty. 
As I said I’m not sure if that call was a dream but these same mysterious phone calls have happened to others as well.  In that I can take comfort-that I’m not alone. In a way it does make sense that if a spirit can communicate through other means why not just by placing a phone call.  Ironically, that was what Aunt Betty did; she owed and operated a Message Service.  Maybe she still had one last message of her own to be sent.

Phone Calls From the Dead

BIGFOOT IN TEXAS?

NEW BRAUNFELS, TEXAS -  On a farm-to-market road in the southwest part of  Comal County lives a creature, a rarely seen, often heard creature the kind written about in urban legends. People along its path have reported strange occurrences like mason jars missing out of  locked storage sheds.  Doors taken off of hinges while still locked. Huge footprints are found the next morning. Is the legendary "Big Foot" in Texas?

A young couple heading down the farm-to-market road, after watching a movie in nearby New Braunfels, decided it was too early to go home and pulled over to the side of the road. It was a quiet night with no moonlight to illuminate the darkness. The young man turned off the engine, the car radio and lights to sit quietly paying attention only to his beautiful date.   After talking for a few minutes the young man noticed the cattle in the nearby fenced-in field moving rapidly away. Thinking it must have been their presence that made them nervous he kept  his concentration on the young lady. 
Captured from the famous Patterson-Gimlin film
 Then out of the blackness came a sound neither of them had ever heard before, a loud scream or howl. The amazing sound was followed by complete silence. The young lady knowing her date had been raised in the country asked him what could possibly have made that sound. He thought a bit and told her it didn't sound like a coyote or a dog. He wasn't sure what it was, but he strained his eyes looking out at the darkness trying to see anything in the pitch-blackness.

He told her not to worry it was probably  just a wild dog or maybe a sick cow, but both remained alert, staring out into the darkness surrounding the car. There was no wind or even a summer breeze to ruffle through the trees. Suddenly another scream was heard but this one was so close it rattled the windows in the car. It sounded like a freight train, and the young man considered getting out to see what the source of the sound was, but the young girl was adamantly opposed to the idea of her boyfriend leaving her in the car alone. She held him and was frighten into tears. Then they both heard the sound of the fence wire being pushed down by something heavy just on the other side of the car door. Quickly the young man turned the ignition key and floored the car's engine afraid to look back at whatever had just climbed the fence. Whatever it was seemed entirely too interested in finding out more about them.  

  Bigfoot Sighting in San Antonio 2009

Unsolved Mysteries - Bigfoot

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

ROSWELL

ROSWELL, NEW MEXICO- Roswell, New Mexico is often referred to as the Mecca of the UFO controversy.  The beginning of the fame started in 1980 when Charles Berlitz and William Moore brought the story before the public with their book “The Roswell Incident”.  While the book itself has been largely forgotten, the tale of a government cover-up of a real UFO captured the imagination of the public and has never let go.

Newspaper Headlines

The Roswell Army Air Field was in 1947 the home of the only nuclear bomb squadron, the 509th, which had seen action in the U.S.’s attack on Hiroshima and Nagasaki Japan.

The little town of Roswell itself was in some ways supported by the business brought to it by the Air Field.  On July 8, 1947 the town must have been abuzz with the news reports that stated: “Roswell Army Air Field Captures Flying Saucer on Ranch in Roswell Region.”  The excitement was short lived.  The next day a retraction was printed that explained the findings were nothing more than an experimental Weather Balloon.  This information seemed to satisfy the public at large until the “The Roswell Incident” was published 33 years later.  Since that time, the arguments about what really happened have raged on, and the little town of Roswell has never been the same.  

Famous photo of the material found at the crash sites

The story that came out after the book included such intrigue as Military Personnel taking control of parts of the town for several hours on that July day in 1947.  Witnesses who claimed to have been threatened and intimidated by the Military now detailed stories of having seen alien bodies, strange technology, and even an autopsy of the lifeless aliens conducted in a morgue on the Base.     
The claims also included having seen spacecraft, and parts of a spacecraft removed from Roswell and transported possibly to Area 51.  Witness run the range from being local farmers, soldiers, nurses, doctors, and people who had been children at the time of the incident.
Since the ‘80’s numerous books, movies, and of course Websites have made the Roswell story famous worldwide.  The town now does a brisk tourist business and hosts an annual celebration commemorating the crash.  

 Unsolved Mysteries - Roswell (Part 1)
  Unsolved Mysteries - Roswell (Part 2)
 

Monday, September 19, 2011

SAN ANTONIO HAUNTED TRAIN TRACKS

 SAN ANTONIO, TX - You’ve probably heard this story. On a rainy Texas morning a train moves swiftly down the track making good time despite the weather. The Engineer spots something on the track, he prays his eyes are playing tricks on him even as he pulls the brake, even as he tugs on the whistle sending its shrill scream into the air, but he is not mistaken, the object before him never moves.
Popular photo of the San Antonio haunted tracks.
Despite his best efforts the train cannot be stopped in time and he watches in horror as the speeding locomotive advances on a school bus crowded with children, their terrified faces pressed against the windows as death races toward them. 

The Legend states that after the children lost their lives that day on the train tracks when their bus stalled out, they have returned to make sure that no one will ever share that tragic fate. Over the years the tale became embroidered to include such embellishments as streets in the area being named for the children. The streets were actually named for the family of the developer who had planned and mapped out the neighborhood. This fact has been raised several times in rebuttal of the story of the Ghost Children of San Antonio, since skeptics feel that one false detail spoils the whole integrity of the legend, but if you doubt the story visit the beautiful city of San Antonio. The train tracks are still there, and visitors still report not only being pushed across by small invisible hands, but also hearing the laughter and voices of children.

  As seen on a science channel program, the haunted train tracks is debunked. Their was never a bus load of kids in San Antonio hit by a train in the 30's, 40's, or 50's and the names of the streets are not named after the killed children. They are named for the developers grand children.

THE REAL MEN IN BLACK

SOLMS, TEXAS - In the summer of 1966 two identical five-year-old boys played aimlessly games between themselves. We will call them Tim and Tom. Tim was older by 3 minutes and the more aggressive, Tom had been sickly as a baby and was happy to follow Tim’s lead as least for the time being.

The real twin brothers on their farm in the 60's.
 At midday the boy’s activity suddenly halted they heard a sound, one, which they, raised on a farm and used to a variety of noises, had never heard before.  Tom looked at his brother to see if he was hearing the same noise.  “Do you hear that?” “Yeah.”   “So where is it coming from?”  Simultaneous the matching faces of the boys looked up.  Out of the northeast they saw what looked like a rocket, or what they at first thought looked like a rocket.  Randolph Air Force Base was close by, so along with the sound of cattle, chickens and the occasional rattlesnake the little boys where also familiar with the sound and appearance of passing jets.
This was no jet.  In midair the object suddenly stopped and then slowly started to turn.  The young boys left their activities and stood stock still starring at the unusual sight.  “Do you see that?” asked one to the other.  “Yeah what is that thing?”  Their attention riveted they watched as the object continued its revolution.  At one point they swear to this day that they saw portholes in the side.   Says Tom: “ I could see people looking down at me.  I just saw shadow shapes moving inside.” 
After a few minutes it sped away to the north at a rapid rate of speed.

Immediately the twins ran to the grownups watching a football game inside the house.  Of course no one believed the two boys. This was the stuff that was expected from a child’s imagination. 

However, thirty-six years after the event both men remember this incident and the aftermath vividly.

 “It was no blimp”, says Tom looking at the incident now from the perspective of an adult. “It speed away too quickly, and the shape was wrong. It was more of a cigar shape. Then there was that noise.  That woo, woo, woo sound that had made us look up in the first place.  Also things happened afterward, strange things that happened mostly to my brother that we will never forget.” 

Shortly after seeing a strange craft in the sky over their farmhouse, Tim and Tom began noticing a few strange occurrences.  Remember that in 1966 few people had heard of odd things happening to people who had seen UFO’s.  Only much later when they were older would they hear other reports of men dressed in black and driving black cars that matched their own experiences.  At the time, no one believed the word of the little twins, and as far as they knew they were alone with their fears. 

Tim the boldest one was the sole witness to the MIB’s visits.  He had taken it on himself to ride his bike about a half-mile every day to pick up the families mail.  These trips had always been uneventful until just a few days after their sighting. He was going to the mailbox when he saw an unusual sight in his neighborhood, a large limousine like car with tinted windows.  Tim had never seen windows like that so at the time he could only tell his brother that “you couldn’t see inside the car”.  As the car went by he could see that the driver side window was down. He could see four people in the car; the driver was a large man in a black suit wearing sunglasses and a black hat.  The car went down the road for about a mile then stopped, turned around and came back, driving slowly.  He noticed that the car seemed to be veering toward him, and he quickly rode his bike into a nearby ditch and the vehicle narrowly missed.  As the car drove away Tim thought he could hear laughter coming from the men inside.  Again the car stopped and began to turn around, Tim took an opportunity to make it to the dirt road before the car returned.  The black car and strange occupants just went by without stopping.


He immediately returned and informed his brother about what had occurred.  His brother did not believe him. Tom thought Tim was making the story up to frighten him, but he was impressed that his usual stoic brother really seemed scared, so he suggested that he began doing this chore. To his surprise Tim readily agreed this, despite the fact that they had often argued about who would be the one to go in the past. 


Tom went for two weeks at the regular time, taking the same route his brother had taken, and saw nothing. No men, no car, no strangers of any kind appeared.  He cockily told Tim he didn’t believe him.  But he in reality he was not so sure.  They knew each other very well, after all and it was not like Tim to carry a joke this far, and for so long a time.


Finally Tim could no longer stand being the one left behind each day, watching his brother perform what he considered his chore.  He wanted his job back.


Tim was gone a long time, at least thirty minutes, and Tom was beginning to wonder if he should tell his mother of his concern.  They had not mentioned the black limo to their parents, since Tim was sure that if Tom didn’t believe him no one else would either.  Now Tom was thinking that might not have been such a good idea. Finally he saw Tim manically riding toward him shouting that he was being chased again.  Tom got on his bike but, it took him some time to convince his brother to let him go back, Tim was visible shaken.  Tom stated he would just go to the mailbox and take a look. They both went and half way up the road Tim pointed out the tire tracks in the field that Tom had not seen there the day before.  Tim explained they had not stopped at the dirt road this time.  They had continued.  Tim took a deep breath and told his brother the whole story- he had gotten the mail out of the mailbox and turned around to come back when he heard a car coming behind him.  It was the black limo again, this time the car rode up to his back tire, and tried, Tim was convinced, to run over him.  He could hear their laughter just as he had the first time. .  When he tried to get to the ditch they followed and chased the little boy down the dirt road, almost hitting him twice and only giving up when the road had become so hazardous for the large car that it had to turn back leaving it’s telltale tire prints in the soft earth of the field.


With the logic that anyone who remembers their childhood well could understand the boys concocted a plan. Both boys would ride their bikes to get the mail.  Tom would be the look out and Tim would grab the mail and both boys would race back to the farmhouse as fast as possible.
Late one night after the boys had gone to bed Tom lay wake thinking.  Years would pass before the sighting of the strange object in sky and the mysterious men would be connected in their minds.  Years would pass before they would find that others who had reported seeing UFO’s had also had visits from the MIB’s and only then would they find that no matter how many individuals had witnessed a particular sighting usually only one person encountered the strange men.  That night Tom had only one question on his mind however, and it disturbed him enough to wake Tim.

“Tim”
 “What?”

 “Those men you saw-- how did they know?”

 “Know what?”

 “Well, teachers can’t tell us apart, other kids have trouble telling us apart, heck everyone has trouble telling who’s who, so how did they know I wasn’t you?”  To this day neither of the twins has an answer for that, at least not yet.

TV Series Unsolved Mysteries - M.I.B.
 
    

THE DEVIL'S BACKBONE


WIMBERLEY, TEXAS - The hills runs east to west, rising to an elevation of 1,274 feet at a roadside park on State Highway 32. It lies in an area of the Balcones Escarpment characterized by flat to rolling terrain with locally deep and dense dissection and generally shallow to deep loamy soil with rock outcrops. The ridge of hills in northeastern Comal County, is on the Hays county line thirteen miles north of New Braunfels, Texas.  This area is aptly called the Devil's Backbone. 
The Devil's Backbone (Copyright All rights reserved by R Childress)
 
Segment from the TV series Unsolved Mysteries

It's name should be a hint that something is just not right there. Locals say it's the most haunted hills in Texas. Many reports of apparitions ranging from 16th century Spanish monks, Native American Indians spirits, and even a entire company of Confederate soldier's traveling on horse back. The horses hooves sounded like thunder and shook the walls of a bunk house. Campers report smelling camp fires (in places where fires are not allowed) and being followed by unseen people while hiking. Hunters talk about hearing footsteps at the bottom of their deer stands. The strangest reports come from a few that say they where possessed by the spirit of a wolf.
 
   
View of the Devil's Backbone, Texas


Saturday, September 17, 2011

ANDREW JACKSON

THE WHITE HOUSE - Andrew "Old Hickory" Jackson was born March 15, 1767 three weeks after his father was killed in an accident in February. Raised in colonial America Andrew had a harsh childhood. At age 14 he lost his mother Elizabeth Hutchinson Jackson to cholera. She was a nurse tending to prisoners of war on board two ships in Charleston harbor, during an outbreak of the disease. His two older brothers already dead, Andrew was suddenly forced to fend for himself all alone in the wilderness.

The White House ( ca. 1846)




After winning the election for President in 1828, his wife Rachel Donelson Robards died suddenly of a heart attack on December 22, 1828, before his inauguration, and was buried on Christmas Eve.

Jackson in 1824, painting by Thomas Sully
Jackson's life didn't get any easier after moving into the White House on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Many crises occurred during his presidency.  Widowed, Jackson realized the nation didn't have a first lady so he invited his wife's niece Emily Donelson to serve as the hostess at the White House.  Emily died from tuberculosis in 1836.

Jackson stood at 6 feet, 1 inch (1.85 m) tall, and weighed between 130 to 140 pounds (64 kg). Jackson also had an unruly shock of red hair, which completely grayed by the time he became president at age 61. He had penetrating deep blue eyes and was one of the more sickly presidents this nation ever had, suffering from chronic headaches, abdominal pains, and a hacking cough, caused by a musket ball in his lung that had never been removed. He often brought up blood and it sometimes made his whole body shake. After leaving Washington in 1837, Jackson retired to Nashville. He was 78 years old and suffered from chronic tuberculosis, and dropsy,  He died at his home called The Hermitage on June 8, 1845 from heart failure. His life was full of hardship and he wore his nickname "Old Hickory" with pride, earned through his obvious fortitude and tough exterior.

Some occupants of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue say that the Rose Room is one of the most haunted in the White house, it contains the canopy bed of former President Jackson. Lincoln's first lady Mary Todd Lincoln, told friends that she'd heard him stomping through the White House halls and swearing some twenty years after Jackson's death. Truman wrote in a letter to his wife Bess in June of 1945, "I sit here in this old house and work on foreign affairs, read reports, and work on speeches--all the while listening to the ghosts walk up and down the hallway and even right in here in the study. The floors pop and the drapes move back and forth--I can just imagine old Andy [Jackson] and Teddy [Roosevelt] having an argument over Franklin [Roosevelt]."

Andrew Jackson visited the Bell Witch hauntings

Saturday, September 10, 2011

THE FAUST HOTEL

NEW BRAUNFELS, TEXAS - The Faust Hotel located at 240 South Sequin Street was built on the Faust family homestead. Some 2,000 citizens cheered at the groundbreaking event for the new Travelers Hotel on October 12th, 1929. The local vice president of the chamber of commerce and president of the First National Bank raised funds for the construction and poured himself into the project. He was Walter Faust Jr. He loved the art nouveau Spanish Renaissance style hotel so much that he became its first owner. Walter moved his family into one of the suites and lived there until his death in 1933. In his honor the hotel was renamed "The Faust".

Many guests have spotted a "quaint and old-fashioned" man around the building. 3One former night manager reported the elevator doors would open and no one could be seen exiting the elevator. It happened about the same time every night. He also reported doors would open and close by themselves and chairs would be pushed back into place without anyone near them. Employees grown used to these kind of strange things and brushed them off as Walter is still taking care of the hotel. Lisa Farwell wrote in her book "Haunted Texas Vacations" that a visiting young couple saw an older man running the elevator. The bellman was wearing a plaid jacket. They ask a desk clerk who the man was and he assured then that the hotel did not employ an elevator operator or bellman. It must have been the ghost of Walter.
Pictures of The Faust Hotel, New Braunfels
(This photo of The Faust Hotel is courtesy of TripAdvisor)

It seems Walter's spirit is not alone. Reports of a women carrying a child have been seen in the hallways of the grandiose hotel. They were surrounded by a bluish glow. As the witnesses watch the spectacle they just disappear before their eyes. It's not known who the woman and child are.

A housekeeper has spotted a ghost of a young four or five year old girl playing in the third floor hallway. She is believed to be Christine, an ancestor of Walter Faust. Christine's portrait hangs on the third floor hallway.

When you're in New Braunfels and in need of a place to stay consider the hotel that Walter Faust built. It's still there and so is he.
Pictures of The Faust Hotel, New Braunfels
Walter Faust (This photo of The Faust Hotel is courtesy of TripAdvisor)

DEAD MAN'S HOLE

MARBLE FALLS, TEXAS - In a pasture in southern Burnet County there's a deep hole. First discovered in 1821 by entomologist Ferdinand Lueders while he was in the area studying night-flying insects. The hole known as Dead Man's hole is seven feet in diameter at the surface and about 160 feet deep; at its base, the hole split into two "arms," one extending straight back for about fifteen feet, and the other sloping downward at a 45° angle for about thirty feet according to the Texas Speleological Society who platted the hole in 1968.

The Austin Paranormal Research Society conducted several investigations and got class A EVPs. Seventeen bodies, including those of pro-Union Judge John R. Scott and settler Adolph Hoppe, several reconstruction-era county government officials, and Ben McKeever, who allegedly had a conflict with local freedmen were recovered from the cave in the late 1860s, but the presence of gas prevented extensive exploration. The gas evidently dissipated over time. However offensive odors still emanates from the hole all through the hot summer months.

The Austin Paranormal Research Society at Dead Man's Hole

You can visit Dead Man's Hole, it's just 2 miles south of Marble Falls on US 281; .5 miles east on RM 2147; .5 miles south on CR 401. There you'll see the above Texas Historical Marker in front of the hole. It reads:

Entomologist Ferdinand Lueders made the earliest recorded discovery of this cave in 1821. Notorious in the Civil War era, the hole is believed to have been the dumping ground for up to 17 bodies, including those of pro-Union Judge John R. Scott and settler Adolph Hoppe, several reconstruction-era county government officials, and Ben McKeever, who had a conflict with local freedmen. An oak tree which once stood over the cave was said to have rope marks caused by hangings. Powerful gases prevented thorough exploration of the site until 1951. The hole was platted in 1968 by the Texas Speleological Society and was found to be 155 feet deep and 50 feet long. (1998).

Thursday, September 8, 2011

THE CRYING OF THE BANSHEE AND LA LLORONA

Both female specters are ancient legends of the paranormal. Similar in nature their stories have haunted two different cultures for generations.

LA LLORONA

STATE OF TEXAS - A lone walker makes his way along the banks of a river. For him this is a familiar path, one that he navigates each day. Keeping his eyes on the ground, he is disturbed by the one difference between this and all the other times his feet have sought purchase here: this time it is night. Usually the man leaves town much earlier, but tonight he was detained, and as he hurries toward his home he is at least thankful for the full moon lighting his way.

A soft sound comes to his ears, possibly some animal he thinks to himself. Concentration must be reserved for any hazards lying in front of him. Then from the other bank he hears it, a long sobbing wail that ends in a scream. The man stops in his tracks and listens, his ears straining for any sound. Again the voice comes to him, this time just behind him on his side of the bank. In the darkness directly behind him a pitiful, but frightening scream filled with pain and anguish momentarily petrifies him with sudden fear. Another cry that turns into a crazed keening wail resonances along the bank sounding even closer still, this time the man turns and begins to run no longer fearful of any object in his path. He will not stop running until he reaches home. He has heard –her. He has heard the cries of La Llorona.

La Llorona was a young widow with small children to care for, and few means to feed or clothe them. Either out of the desperation of her circumstances, or a desire to start a new life for herself without responsibilities, she drowned her own children in a river. Madness came upon her immediately after her rash act and she spent the rest of her short life following the river along its banks lamenting her lost children.

All these years after her death her lonely cries are still heard along the banks of rivers. No one is sure how old this tale really is, but generation after generation of Texans have heard this story which originated in Mexico. 
Banshee


BANSHEE
IRELAND - This female spirit story is old and can be traced back as far as 1380 with the publication of the Cathreim Thoirdhealbhaigh (Triumps of Torlough) by Seean mac Craith. Her mournful wails are heard foretelling a death in an Irish family. 

Many years ago it was in the wee hours of morning when I was awaken with the faint sound of someone in the house crying. Thinking it was my wife I looked at her lying next to me and found her sound asleep. Still hearing the remorseful sound I eased myself out of the bed so I wouldn't wake her and made my way around the room still listening. The noise was coming from another room in the house. Slowly opening the bed room door and stepping lightly down the hall listening all the while to what sounded like a woman crying. Opening each door as I made my way down the hallway trying to determine the sounds point of origin. Thinking it might be my mother-in-law I peeked into her darken bed room and saw she was sleeping peacefully. With no other females in the house I couldn't understand who it could be wailing with grief. As I walked in the open door of my laundry room the sound seemed to be coming from outside the house. We had some wooden steps on the outside leading to the laundry room door so I though maybe a female neighbor had made her way to my house in the night and was siting on the steps crying. I quietly made my way back to my bed room and got dressed so I could help the poor woman and get her any aid she might need. As I got dressed I could still hear the crying, even all the way back down the hall and out the front door.

I stopped on the front porch to put on my shoes and could hear the woman crying on the side of the house. After a few seconds I was up and making my way in the dark to where the step was resting on the side of the house. The early morning air was cool and dew was on the ground. My shoes were now soaked from the dew and after making it the steps I found no crying woman, but I could still hear her. Thinking she must have heard my approach and moved to the back of the house I made my way to the back to see if she was there. As I walked away from the laundry room door to the back of the house the sound quit. I stopped to listen closely in case she said something or started crying again. Waiting what seemed like 5 minutes in the cool morning air I started to shiver in soaked shoes.

Thinking she must have left I started walking back to the front door when suddenly she starting crying again. Now the sound seemed to be coming from the direction of the pond. Walking down the wet path I stopped half way and yelled, "Hello, can I help you?". The crying stopped and I waited for a reply. Listening intently for a whisper or someone walking or running away from me I found there was  nothing to hear. After waiting for another 5 or 6 minutes I turned back to the house. Almost to the front door I heard the wailing woman again and the sound seemed to be coming from the steps again. I quickly stepped down the porch steps and looked down the side of the house to the other steps leading to the laundry room and didn't see anyone. 

Giving up I returned to the house and decided to go to bed. Someone must be pulling a prank and I wasn't going to play. The next morning I spoke to my mother-in-law and told her of my early morning adventure and asked her if she ever heard the mournful crying woman. To my surprise she told me she had heard the woman many different times and it was alway before a death in the family. 

I can't remember if someone did die soon after I heard the crying woman,  but I'll never forget the sound of the anguish, soulful crying.