This strange beast goes under many names, referring to a beast/animal that was photographed near Cerro Azul, Panama, in September 2009. The creature was reported having reputedly been killed by a group of teenagers and the pictures taken of the corpse were then sent to the Panama television station, Telemetro. The creature was then circulated via the good old power of the media, suggestions about what it was included a hairless sloth, a new creature or an alien species.

In the end the parts of it that could be found were biopsied by the National Environmental Authority of Panama. The conclusion was that the creature was a brown-throated sloth. It had an odd appearance that had been caused by underwater decomposition and that had resulted in the hair-loss. Satisfied they had solved the mystery the remains were buried.

A similar story to this was the Montauk Monster, New York area in July 2008. Again the story captured interest and eventually it was a 2009 episode of Monster Quest that decided it was most likely the remains of a racoon.

I keep looking for news on new and interesting creates, but these two sadly show that often it is a lack of our knowledge about nature and not a cryptid or alien being.

Raccoon climbing in tree - Cropped and color corrected.jpg
By David Menkehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Raccoon_climbing_in_tree.jpg, Public Domain, Link

 

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I see this one a lot when I am looking for interesting tales, D B Cooper seems to be quite an adventurous tale and so I have included him here. In 1971 he hijacked an airliner and threatened to blow it up, he extorted $200,000 from the owner, Northwest Orient, and then leapt from the airborne 747 with 21 lbs worth of $20 bills strapped to his torso.

The fact he has never been caught means he either pulled off the perfect crime or died trying. Either way he makes for a fantastic story! And one for armchair enthusiasts to really get their teeth into, with pages of information and lots of speculation.

Perhaps what I love most about this, no bystanders were injured although law enforcement argues that he did put several dozen lives at risk. The FBI’s ego was probably pretty damaged though, and not long after he had disappeared FBI Director, J Edgar Hoover, died knowing that they had not yet got their man. His crime seemed to help with things like passenger security screening and other regulations to try and prevent further troubles but ultimately he was able to walk around the jet carrying a bomb.

For some reason this chap just incites smiles rather than outrage, most likely because of the buccaneer type style under which this crazy stunt was performed.

Flight 305 was a Boeing 747 that started the day before in Washington DC for its flight path, DB cooper boarded at the Portland International Airport with a ticket to Seattle-Tacoma and gave them the name Dan Cooper. He was nondescript and no one took particular notice of him, again this all went in his favour.

Moments after the jet was airborn he passed a note to Flo Schaffner, as an air hostess she was used to come ons and pocketed it. He then waited until she passed and whispered to her she should read it, he had a bomb. Her and another attendant, Tina Mucklow, then went to the Captain and told him about the whole thing. The FBU placed a call to the Donald Nyrop, the president of Northwest Orient, they complied with the monetary demand, probably as it was a smaller price to pay than the disaster and media fall out that could have occurred.

The precise wording of his note cannot be found as it was lost, he said he wanted it back and took it with him, there was an agreement it had something like ‘no funny business’ on it however. Cooper told Schaffner that he was to stay aloft until the money and chutes were ready in Seattle, he showed her wire and cylinders that might have been dynamite and she dutifully relayed the message.

Captain Scott told passengers it was a mechanical problem and they had to circle around before landing, all but a few passengers were aware of the situation. He had calculated how they had to be weighted so they were hoping that he would make his skydive safely on that basis. The notes were hurriedly copied on to microfilm to try and make a way to track them and he wanted two chutes. They got what he demanded and then aboard the jet Cooper had a bourbon and water, he then oddly offered to pay for it!

Mucklow said his behaviour was curious, that he was not cruel or nasty and seemed very calm. The FBI however said he was boozy, raunchy and obscene compared to the person that was with him most. Mucklow said it was not the case and she said that he requested the meals for the crew be brought on board once the place was on the ground in Seattle.

Cooper seemed to be at least familiar with Seattle and was well acquainted with skydiving and schooling in jet aerodynamics. With cash and parachutes ready they were able to land just 30 minutes behind schedule. Captain Scott was sent to get the money and chutes, the 36 passengers and Schaffner were allowed to disembark but he kept Tina Mucklow, and the three men from the cockpit. Through the Captain and FAA official asked to come aboard, presumably to tell him the consequences of his actions but Cooper denied that request.

Cooper then had those left on the plain fly up to an altitude no higher than 10,000 feet. The wing flaps set at 15 degrees and the airspeed of no more than 150 knots. He said he was wearing a wrist altimeter to monitor it. Cooper knew that the plane was capable of it, unlike larger types. Cooper ordered a full refuelling at Seattle and then they negotiated the flight plan he wanted, and Scott was told that the cabin should not be pressurised so that it would minimise the potential violent surge of air when he dropped the aft stairs. With this done they headed off… two hours and six minutes after the plane had arrived in Seattle.

Somewhere around Lewis River, north of Portland, the aft stairs appeared to have been lowered, they thought he may well have jumped then but they were not going to risk their lives assuming it and flew to Reno where they were to touch down. Once they landed they gave it five minutes and left the cockpit, the hijacker was gone, even his hat and coat had been taken. The cash and one set of parachutes was also taken too.

February 10th, 1980 an 8 year-old boy was digging along the sand of the Columbia River bank, he found three bundles of bills all were $20’s and matched the numbers of Coopers loot. Some say that this was the evidence of his demise, more was found deposited further up and this led to more searches, but others suggest he may have realised the numbers on the notes would be trashed and he got rid pretty fast. So far the money that hasn’t been discovered has not been used or found so there’s nothing to suggest he did get around to spending it.

Whatever the end result this has been used for stories and even a comic book called Dan Cooper! If he is alive he’s in his 70’s probably and keeping the story to himself.

DBCooper.jpg
By U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation. – http://www.coasttocoastam.com/cimages/var/ezwebin_site/storage/images/coast-to-coast/repository/thumbnails/d.b.-cooper-sketches/913568-1-eng-US/D.B.-Cooper-Sketches.jpg, http://www.coasttocoastam.com/article/fbi-ends-d-b-cooper-investigation, Public Domain, Link

 

I love Asian based horror stories as much as any story, they are wonderfully ingenious and make fantastic horror films, though I cannot say I always like the Western remakes as they sometimes miss the reason they were scary as they budget up and add in CGI none the less….

There’s a tale that a young woman who fell on to a railway line was cut in two by an oncoming train, becoming a vengeful spirit she is armed with a scythe and travels on her hands or elbows, she makes the strange tek-tek noise and anyone too slow that encounters her at night is cut in half, mimicking her own fate.

The legend says s school boy walking home saw a beautiful girl resting herself against a windowsill, he was wondering what she was doing at the all-boys group but he couldn’t ask. She leapt at him and he saw her lower-half was missing. Now before he could run he was cut in half.

Another version of the urban legend gives the name to her, Kashima Reiko, who haunts bathroom stalls and asks occupants where her legs are. To save yourself in such an incident you tell her they are at the Meishin Railway and you answer Kashima Reiko if she asks you who told you this. The ghost sometimes just asks your for her name, if you then use Kashima Reiko she will attack you. You must use Kamen Shinin Ma – Mask Death Demon – and now once you have heard this story she is said to appear one month later (incidentally I read and wrote these notes longer ago than that if you’re concerned).

Another lovely urban legend, it has been used for a horror film Teke-Teke. The story has also been used in some manga tales, including the first anime episode of Ghost Stories.

Teketeke.png
By Dr.LantisOwn work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

 

1665 saw the Great plague wipe out vast numbers of lives, as they fell victim to an incurable and quick spreading disease. The Village of Vernham Dene was not spared this fate and the rector of the Parish is said to have been so concerned by it that the infected were persuaded to camp on the isolated top of Haydown Hill.

The story continues to say that he was so terrified of the plague that despite promising them supplies he never went up there. The isolated sufferers died from starvation and disease, the rector was not spared either and also died from the plague. This would seemingly be an apt tale for morals if you are inclined that way…

It is now said that his ghost has often been spotted along Chute Cause, climbing the towards the top of Haydown Hill. So does this tale have any basis? Most likely down to a 26 year gap in the records of births, deaths and marriages as from 1628-1654 no volume of records can be found and someone must have concluded they all died because of it. Over time the story may have been changed and adapted and changed until it was transported into the story of the 1665 wipe out that comes out.

George Inn, Vernham Dean - geograph.org.uk - 985324.jpg
By Graham Horn, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

 

I have often wondered – if I was to put together a little book (Ebook or paperback) with some of my top performing articles would you be interested?

My thoughts are that I would put them together with more information than the online articles, tidy them up a lot and then make the book as literally cheap as possible so that I really won’t make any profit per-say just something that people might like for a tea read?

What would you say? If you would be remotely interested would you leave a like? Even a couple might inspire me to think it was a good idea!

Thanks to all who keep reading these too, and if you do subscribe I thank you for that too.

Picture was taken at the Yorvik Centre, York, England.  We visited and it was a very good couple of hours spent.

https://www.jorvikvikingcentre.co.uk/

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