NEWS: Scientists Believe DNA Has Finally Identified Jack the Ripper

NEWS: Scientists Believe DNA Has Finally Identified Jack the Ripper

After over 100 years of mystery and speculation, a team of scientists in the U.K. believes they have DNA proof that definitively identifies the legendary serial killer Jack the Ripper - and it appears he was a real-life Sweeney Todd, Demon Barber of Fleet Street.The breaking story originally from Fox News on March 18, 2019 continues below:

‘Forensic analysis by scientists in the U.K. may have unmasked Jack the Ripper more than a century after the murderer's brutal killing spree sent shockwaves through Victorian London.

Research by Dr. Jari Louhelainen, senior lecturer in molecular biology at Liverpool John Moores University and Dr. David Miller, reader in molecular andrology at the University of Leeds, claims to shed new light on the notorious serial killer. In an abstract of their research published in the Journal of Forensic Sciences, Louhelainen and Miller explained they used what is, to their knowledge, the only remaining physical evidence linked to the murders, recovered from one of the Ripper's famous victims at the scene of her death.

Jack the Ripper is thought to have claimed the lives of at least five women in the Whitechapel area of London between August and November 1888. However, the identity of the notorious murderer remains shrouded in mystery.

Science Magazine reports that the scientists analyzed a blood-stained shawl from Catherine Eddowes, the fourth of the so-called "canonical five" Jack the Ripper victims. Eddowes was killed on Sept. 30, 1888, and her badly mutilated body was found on Whitechapel's Mitre Square.

Aaron Kosminski (or Jack the Ripper?)

The scientists' genetic testing linked Aaron Kosminski, a 23-year-old Polish barber living in London, to the crimes, according to Science Magazine. Although identified as a Jack the Ripper suspect, police are said to have lacked sufficient evidence to charge Kosminski for the murders.

"We applied novel, minimally destructive techniques for sample recovery from forensically relevant stains on the evidence and separated single cells linked to the suspect, followed by phenotypic analysis," say the scientists, in the Journal of Forensic Sciences. "The mtDNA [mitochondrial DNA] profiles of both the victim and the suspect matched the corresponding reference samples, fortifying the link of the evidence to the crime scene."

Mitochondrial DNA is often described as the "powerhouse of the cell."

Kosminski had been identified by a witness to one of the Jack the Ripper killings, although the witness refused to testify against him, experts say.

However, the latest research claims to back up the witness who pointed the finger at Kosminski.

"Genomic DNA from single cells recovered from the evidence was amplified, and the phenotypic information acquired matched the only witness statement regarded as reliable," said Louhelainen and Miller, in the abstract. "To our knowledge, this is the most advanced study to date regarding this case."

Science Magazine reports that, while Kosminski has been linked to the horrific crimes before, this is the first time that the DNA evidence has been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

More extensive information on the research will be released later this year. "The full story that the paper, and new revealing graphic evidence relating to the case, will be published in September," explained Liverpool John Moores University, in a statement emailed to Fox News.’

Is Aaron Kosminski truly the Demon Barber of Whitechapel? It has long been speculated that Jack the Ripper possessed some kind of medical knowledge due to the way he cut apart his victims. But it is also possible that a barber, responsible for precisely cutting hair and shaving faces (and necks), would have similar handy skills when wielding sharp implements like scissors or a blade. For centuries there were even so-called “barber surgeons,” who were exactly what they sounded like - barbers with limited medical knowledge who performed surgical procedures, from tooth-pulling to bloodletting to limb amputation. Though the practice of barber surgeons was largely ended in the early 19th century, could Aaron Kosminski have studied their methods, and applied them to carrying out gruesome serial killings?

Screen Shot 2019-03-20 at 9.21.20 AM.png

Another interesting detail is the timing of the killings, which is still up for debate. Though the canonical number of murders committed by Jack the Ripper is five, all in 1888, Whitechapel actually saw 11 brutal and unexplained murders which finally ended in 1891. Also in 1891, suspect Kosminski was admitted to an insane asylum. He would remain in asylums until his death in 1919, reportedly suffering from auditory hallucinations, a paranoid fear of being fed by other people, and a refusal to bathe. Could he be responsible for any, or all, of the Whitechapel murders?

With so many years elapsed between Jack the Ripper’s reign of terror and the modern day investigations into his identity, it may be that not even DNA can conclusively solve his mystery. But it certainly does not stop us from continuing to speculate, theorize, and find ourselves morbidly fascinated by this unknown killer of legendary proportions. Was Jack the Ripper really Aaron Kosminski, or is the identity of the true murderer still at large? Share your own theories with us in the comments!

Infographic: 45 Scary and Disturbing Mythical Creatures

Probably everyone is familiar with Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster, but how well do you know your more obscure cryptids? Check out the infographic below to learn a little bit about 45 less famous - but still very scary and disturbing! - mythical (but are they really?) creatures from around the world!

45 Scary and Disturbing Mythical Creatures from Around the World

From Visually.

Written Confession: The Scotland Goblins

The following written confession was submitted via email:

“Last summer me and two friends went camping in the Knapdale Forest in Argyle and Bute area of Scotland it’s very mountainous and covered in dense Forests and woodlands/Creeks and Caves.

We would camp for several days in the summer weather permitting but this long weekend break was very warm we found a perfect place to pitch the tents in some tree cover from the sun keeping the temperature down inside the tent.

After a good days fishing and cooking our evening meal my friend Matt went to bed while me and John had a chat and drank a Budlight it didn’t get dark until around 10:20pm in the evening at around 9:00pm me and John heard a strange noise coming from in the woods loud enough to be heard over the small waterfall and creek.

We don’t have any large predators in Scotland anymore sadly only Deer/Birds/Beaver none of which it was made this noise and to our knowledge nobody else was around we trekked 3 miles from the main road to get here! 

We always wear dark clothes in the woods and dark paint or camouflage even while fishing, we followed the noise up over the ridge down a small hill and over a stream like body of water the noise was getting loud but it sounded like two people speaking or disagreeing maybe two lost tourists from somewhere in Europe was my guess until we sneaked over the ridge crawling on our stomach trying not to be seen.

As we looked down on to the creek I can only describe what I seen as two Goblins around 2/3ft tall dark grey/black skin with a similar face to a human just a few big wrinkles like a Pug, both of them had large stones in their hands and pointing into the trees, looked like they were arguing about letting an animal they were hunting get away which could only be small Vermin squirrels I’d guess! 

They then walked away from us into the trees after the argument you could hear them talking and laughing as they disappeared. 

The next day we told Matt he said he heard voices earlier that day close to the camp but never thought anything of it we took a walk back with Matt and found a cave like structure 6ft wide in the ground I can only guess that’s where they came from.

I’ll be returning this summer in June hopefully they will be around the area again.”

4 Serial Killers Who Left Their Ghosts Behind Them

History is marred by countless accounts of murderers who committed heinous acts and gruesome killings. Arguably some of the darkest crimes were the work of repeating offenders - serial killers who left their stain on the world over and over again with each horrifying act. Some of these criminals were caught and tried for their crimes, while others remained anonymous and at large. Among them all, there also seems to be a number of killers who continue their reign of terror, even after their own deaths.

As if these murderers weren’t already scary enough, here are 4 serial killers who died and left their ghosts behind:

1) JACK THE RIPPER

Jack the Ripper is possibly the most infamous serial killer of all time. In 1888, he gruesomely killed five women in England. He was also the first serial killer to taunt the press by sending them letters, creating a worldwide media frenzy and becoming the first “modern” serial killer. Adding to his terrifying legacy is the fact that he was never successfully identified, let alone caught, so his crimes are also shrouded with mystery as well as brutality.  Despite his undetermined identity, the ghost of Jack the Ripper is believed to haunt several locations in London, including the sight of his second murder - 29 Hamburg Street- and a pub where patrons have reported seeing a “ghastly old man in Victorian clothing.” It was in this same pub where his victim Annie Chapman was drinking before Jack the Ripper savagely killed her. 

1-1.jpg

Jack the Ripper’s five victims also haunt London on their own. On the street where Mary Anne Nichols had her throat and abdomen slit, people report hearing horrible gasping noises and an argument between an unseen man and woman, along with seeing her body lying in the street. The ghost of Elizabeth Stride has been heard crying for help, and the apparition of Catherine Eddowes has been spotted multiple times. Another victim, Mary Kelly, was witnessed speaking to people in the street hours after she had already been murdered. 

2) TED BUNDY

TED BUNDY.JPG
TED BUNDY ITEMS.JPG

In the 1970s, Ted Bundy killed at least 30 women across seven states, though his murder tally is suspected to be much higher. He was executed for his crimes in 1989, but allegedly his ghost has lingered. A decade after he died, a prison guard divulged to a reporter that several guards claimed to have come across the ghost of Ted Bundy casually sitting on the electric chair - and creepily smiling his signature smirk. If anyone tried to approach him, he would disappear. At one point the sightings were occurring so often, the prison warden couldn’t find anyone willing to enter the execution chamber alone. Bundy also began popping up in prison cells, housing units, and his holding cell on death row. Once his ghost even spoke to guards, boasting  “Well, I beat all of you, didn’t I?” According to an inmate, Bundy’s ghostly visage appears as a blue-white mist, but is so detailed it’s impossible to deny that the likeness is Bundy. And he’s always, always smiling. 

In recent years there have also been reports of ghostly activity in Ted Bundy’s childhood home, including dressers falling over, drawers opening on their own, and words being mysteriously scrawled in the dust, but no one has yet identified the ghost as Bundy himself. 

3) JEFFREY DAHMER

Jeffrey_Dahmer_Milwaukee_Police_1991_mugshot.jpg

Between 1978 and 1991, Jeffery Dahmer, the Milwaukee Cannibal, killed and consumed 17 men. For his horrific crimes, he was sentenced to 16 terms of life imprisonment, but was beaten to death by another prisoner in 1994.

DAHMER HOME.JPG

Since his death, Dahmer’s childhood home in Bath, Ohio - and the place he committed his first killing - has been the site of haunted activity. The ghost of Dahmer and several other spirits (perhaps victims?) have allegedly been seen inside the house, but the most significant activity has come in the form of EVPs. Known as one of the best places in world to capture EVPs, it’s been reported that ghost hunters have rented out the house for as much as $10,000 a night in search of Dahmer’s ghostly voice.

In the video below, one such ghost hunter shares numerous EVPs that he captured on the property, including words and phrases that sound eerily like “can’t breathe,” “run,” “stop the bleeding,” and more. 

4) JOHN WAYNE GACY

The disturbed John Wayne Gacy abused and murdered at least 33 men and boys between 1972 and 1978. Because of his penchant for dressing as “Pogo the Clown,” Gacy has become known as the Clown Killer. All of his known murders were committed at his ranch house, 8213 W. Summerdale Avenue in Chicago, where he buried over two dozen bodies in a crawl space and several more in the backyard. Although the original Gacy home was razed during the police search for so many bodies, different owners of the house that was later built on the property allegedly reported screams in the night and bloody apparitions. For several years after Gacy’s house came down, no plant life would grow on the lot, although supposedly there was no logical explanation for the yard to remain barren. The lack of vegetation on only that spot confused the neighbors, and people began to believe it was some kind of mark on the property, left behind by Gacy’s evil works. While none of these strange events is attributed directly to the ghost of Gacy, his terrible legacy was still a hulking specter, even forcing new homeowners to change the house’s street number in an effort to distance it from Gacy’s presence.

Screen Shot 2019-03-12 at 7.22.11 PM.png

Gacy’s presence also led to a terrifying paranormal-type encounter for one of our interview guests. During the last two years of Gacy’s, our guest James spoke with Gacy one-on-one multiples times, as he gained insight into the mind of a serial killer. When the time came for Gacy to be put to death, James chose not to oblige a last request from the murderer. Two weeks after the execution, he awoke to find the ghost of Gacy in his room, staring and snarling at him. The full account of James’ ghostly encounter and the time he spent with John Wayne Gacy can be heard on Episode 116: Serial Killer John Gacy - Life After Death.

Have the evil works of these serial killers left them restless in the afterlife? Is their dark legacy so strong that they are still hunting for victims? Their own lives may over, but these serial killers are continuing to instill fear even from beyond the grave.

Have you heard of any other serial killers who have manifested in ghostly form? Tell us about it in the comments!

Written Confession: UFO in Miniature

The following written confession was submitted via email:

“I just wanted to share a short experience with you.  It occurred around 2017 probably March or so. My husband and I were driving through Frederick Maryland. We had just gotten off RT340 onto I-70 heading east bound. It was daytime,  traffic was the usual, busy. This area has four lanes each direction. On the left is a Costco. As we were approaching this area, we saw a saucer type object, clearly above the road, just above the traffic. I asked my husband, What the hell is that...his casual response was, it looks like a UFO.  I immediately started looking to the side, into the Costco parking lot fully expecting to see someone operating a drone.  There was no one visible.  I asked him if it was a drone and he said no. I would guess the object was approximately 3’ in diameter. Because it was so small, that’s why I thought it was a drone.  There were no propeller type things on it, it was what you would think of as a typical saucer.  It was so clearly visible. Other people  had to see it, it was right there!  The next day I started looking online to see what drones look like. It never matched any of the photos, not even close.  This has lingered in the back of my mind all this time. Any time I pass through that area, I look up.  Have you ever heard of anything like this?  Usually the stories are of how big they are. I have never heard anyone say they were small.“

Was it a drone? Have you heard of small UFO stories before? If you have any information or explanation for this unusual sighting, let us know!

Creature Feature Friday: Grootslang

Creature Feature Friday: Grootslang!

Yes, it's as weird as it sounds. No, it has nothing to do with Guardians of the Galaxy. Here are 5 interesting details about this hybrid cryptid:

1) Grootslang is a legendary cryptid that is reputed to dwell in a deep cave in the Richtersveld, South Africa, as well as in warm rivers and lakes. According to the legend, Grootslang is as old as the world itself.

2) Grootslang means "big snake," but this mythical being is actually half snake, half elephant. Makes sense, right? Not really - Grootslang is an experiment gone awry, having been a terrible mistake crafted by the gods, who imbued it with too much strength, cunning and intellect. To rectify their mistake, the gods split the Grootslangs in half, creating individual elephants and snakes. But one of their original hybrids escaped to forever terrorize the world - and also hoard treasure.

3) The cave that the Grootslang lives in is known as the "Wonder Hole" or the "Bottomless Pit," and according to local legend is filled with diamonds. As the saying goes, diamonds are a Grootslang’s best friend!

4) Though Grootslang itself is half elephant, it still enjoys luring other elephants into its cave and devouring them for dinner. Incidentally Grootslang does not get invited to many ancestral elephant reunions.

5) If you, a human, are ever caught by the Grootslang, it’ll probably eat you also, because it has a hearty appetite for cruelty. But it may be possible to bargain for your life if you offer Grootslang a substantial amount of precious gems. Because you never leave home without a sack full of those, right?

I AM GROOTSLANG. Do you believe in the legend of Grootslang?

The Grootslang illustrations above were obtained from Monsters Vault. CLICK HERE to view their encyclopedic site of monsters from all over the world!

NEWS: Tom Brady Wins Super Bowls with Altars, Stones, and Good Witch Gisele

Move over, Glinda - a new ‘Good Witch’ is taking the field. But instead of charming ruby slippers onto Dorothy’s feet, she’s magicking Super Bowl rings onto her husband’s fingers.

According to 27-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady (may need to fact-check that, but it feels like at least that many, right?), his wife Gisele Bundchen not only believes in the power of willing things into being, but uses potentially magic items to help prepare him for Super Bowl victory. She also seems to have the uncanny ability to predict when Brady’s team will be crowned champions and when they’ll be coming up one ring short of a finger.

IMG_4711.jpeg

At a charity event following his 2019 Super Bowl win, Brady disclosed his wife’s ritualistic methods to a laughing audience. WBZ-TV reported the following the story:

‘“You know I’ve learned a lot from my wife over the years,” Brady said, leaning back in a barber’s chair at Gillette’s World Shaving Headquarters in Boston. “She’s so about the power of intention and believing things that are really going to happen.”

Brady said Bundchen “always makes a little altar for me at the game because she just wills it so much,” complete with pictures of his children.

“And I have these little special stones and healing stones and protection stones and she has me wear a necklace and take these drops she makes, I say all these mantras,” Brady said. “And I stopped questioning her a long time ago. I just shut up and listen.”

Brady said at first he thought “this is kind of crazy,” but it worked.

“About four years ago we were playing the Seahawks and she said ‘you better listen to me, this is your year, but this is all the things you’re going to have to do to win,’ and I did all those things and by God, you know, it worked,” Brady said.

Bundchen also predicted that 2015 would not be Brady’s year, he remembered, and sure enough that season for the Patriots ended disappointingly in the AFC Championship game.

But early this year, Brady asked if he had a chance to win it all and he got the answer he was seeking.

“She said, ‘yeah, but you’re going to have to do a lot of work and you’re really going to have to listen to me. So man, I listen to her,” Brady said.

Bundchen was right, of course. Again.

“She said you’re lucky you married a witch – I’m just a good witch,” Brady said.’

Brady’s revelation is an unusual one, but he doesn’t appear to be joking about his story. He also seems to have an endless supply of “Advance to Super Bowl, Collect $40 Million” cards in his quarterback fanny pack… so Gisele just may have some serious powers. Since joining the New England Patriots franchise, Brady has led the team to the Super Bowl a record-breaking nine times, and claimed six championship rings. Six of those nine appearances (and three rings) were secured during the course of his relationship with self-proclaimed witch Gisele.

Tom Brady holds multiple NFL records and is undoubtedly a skilled football player, but could the rituals and beliefs of his “good witch” wife actually be a powerful source behind his success?

Watch Brady’s actual videotaped admission below! What do you think of his supernatural Super Bowl “strategy”?

Finding Bigfoot by Boat: Portland to Offer Cryptid Cruises in Search of Sasquatch

If you’ve ever watched the show Finding Bigfoot, you may have noticed that the show technically never actually did find Bigfoot. (No riots please!) Through copious hours of camp outs, scenario recreations, and wood knocks, Bigfoot still remained at large.

But maybe the cryptid crew just wasn’t using the right method. Maybe they should have tried the unusual approach that cruise company Portland Spirit is launching this June: tracking Bigfoot for seven straight hours by BOAT!

IMG_4628.jpeg

The Oregon-based attraction will begin taking eager Bigfoot seekers on boat rides through Columbia River Gorge on June 15th. The trip will cover seven hours and 120 miles, all in search of the ever elusive creature! Also included in the aquatic adventure will be fascinating views of the Gorge’s other wildlife, scenes of Multnomah Falls and Portland’s bridges, and a stopover at a restaurant called The Locks Grill for “signature Bigfood bites”! (We haven’t decided yet if that pun is terrible or ingenious. Maybe it’s both.)

AND that’s not all: fans of Finding Bigfoot will be enthused to learn that video recordings of Bigfoot sightings and theories as told by one Cliff Barackman will be played for them for the entire seven hour trip! ‘“Bigfoot is the hide-and-seek champion of the world," writes Aaron Greene, Portland Spirit's marketing director, in a description of the cruise. "With the help of Cliff Barackman from, Animal Planet's Finding Bigfoot, we will try our best to find him."’

Anyone and everyone can enjoy the cryptid cruises through September of this year. And with a little bit of luck and the help of some driftwood knocks, perhaps one boatload of hopeful seekers will spy the Big guy on the shore… or - plot twist! - maybe they’ll discover that Bigfoot is actually aquatic and that’s why he’s been so hard to find! New working theory: Aquasquatch? Either way, the journey through picturesque Columbia River Gorge is sure to be memorable whether or not the hairy man/beast makes an appearance. Share your pictures - and evidence - with us if you make the voyage!

IMG_4653.jpeg

10 Creepy Things People Found in Their Homes

Finding pentagrams carved into your concrete patio is not exactly a warm welcome to your new house… but that’s exactly what our interview guests on Episode 115: The Satanic Slaughterhouse discovered in their home! And they aren’t alone in their creepy finds. The Internet is full of photos of weird things left behind by former homeowners, usually uncovered by unsuspecting and mystified new residents. Here are just 10 creepy things people found in their homes:

1) It seems this obvious serial killer also enjoyed self portraiture. I found this painting tucked away behind the washer/dryer in the laundry room of my new house.”

2) If you hear slow, rhythmic rocking noises in the middle of the night, it’s time to find another rental. “Had to go to the attic to check for moisture in a house I’m renting. This is the only thing stored there and it sits directly above my bed…”

3) I would have much preferred to find a Jumanji board. “I found a Ouija board behind a heating vent”.

4) The former owner was probably trying to burn it before it killed them. “Bought a house. Found this creepy doll in the furnace room.”

5) I guess there’s no property disclosure law for satanism. This person found evidence of Satanic rituals and activity in both his basement and attic after moving in. The realtor showed him neither when he saw the house. Probably for a reason.”

6) Um… what is “IT”, exactly? “Boyfriend and I move into house and discover this engraved above his bedroom door. “It Never Stops.””

7) That definitely explains the scary noises in the basement. “A couple discovered there was a chapel hidden underneath their home dating back to the 1700s. They found it by checking out where the metal grate by their front door led.”

8) Seal it up right now, forget you were ever here. “I just found this in an old closet in my house. I nearly shat myself.”

9) How are the recently deceased supposed to read this? No, wait, I don’t want to know. “Found this in the pantry in my new house.”

10) This old baby stroller looks not at all haunted. “I should never have opened the attic”.

For even more creepy finds, check out the full list “25 Creepy Things People Found in Their Homes” at eBaum’s World!

What creepy items have you accidentally discovered (and maybe wished you hadn’t!)? Share with us in the comments!

Written Confession: Strange Howls Near Logan Ghost Town in Nevada

The following written confession was submitted via email:

“There's not much to my story, but I still thought I'd pass it along to you.  I spend a LOT of time in the mountains and deserts of the southwest.  I live in Las Vegas, so you can go an hour in any direction and you're in unbelievably remote and beautiful country.  Nevada is the most least populated and most mountainous state in the Lower 48.  When people think of NV, they usually think of Las Vegas and The Strip.  But, just 40 minutes from The Strip are mountains up to 12,000'.  There are areas that I go exploring where I can go weeks at a time without seeing signs of another person...I love it!

I'm very interested in the ancient people that used to live in these areas.  The oldest known rock art (petroglyphs) in North America are 16,500 years-old and found in NV.  Once you know what to look for, you can find signs of these ancients all over the place: petroglyphs, cave drawings, prayer sticks, metates & manos (grinding stones), pictogrpahs (painted drawings), and  lithic scatter (stone chippings from tool making).  I've documented tens-of-thousands of petroglyphs & pictographs, many previously unknown.  

 I was exploring an old mining ghost town north of Area 51 in an area known as Paranaghat Valley (this means Beautiful Valley in the native Southern Paiute language).  It's in the Great Basin Desert, which is very mountainous and forested...lots of high desert pine trees, creeks, etc.  This is literally out in the middle of nowhere.  And, while exploring the ruins & ancient native petroglyphs I froze in my tracks based on a sound a heard.  I heard two long, very loud howls.  I know these deserts and mountains extremely well, including all the wildlife and this is something I've never heard before.  There are thousands of caves in these mountains & I got the "feeling" that it was coming near Mt Irish (this is a peak near where I was).  After the 2nd howl I started to get uncomfortable and had the feeling of being watched...the hairs on the back of my neck were going up.  I hiked back to my truck and decided to go to a different location to explore, several miles away.  

There are lots of big animals in these mountains...mountain lions, wild horses, donkeys, big horn sheep, antelope, etc.  None of them make the sound I heard, nor at the sheer volume it seemed to make.”

Check out some of the photos below that were taken during this excursion to Logan Ghost Town. More photos of Logan Ghost Town and gorgeous images from this listener’s other adventures can be found at www.talesfromthedesert.com!

IMG_4345.jpeg
IMG_4346.jpeg
IMG_4347.jpeg
IMG_4348.jpeg
IMG_4349.jpeg
IMG_4350.jpeg

"Hidden Truth Show with Jim Breslo" Looks Further into the 2017 Mandalay Bay Massacre

The devastating Mandalay Bay Massacre happened well over a year ago, but the investigations and the questions left in its wake still continue. One such ongoing investigation returned a verdict only recently, in January 2019, when three independent mock juries ruled that the MGM Resorts International-owned Mandalay Bay Hotel was negligent in the mass shooting, for failing to prevent the catastrophe. The mock jury rulings came after MGM Resorts International took unprecedented action in July 2018, and sued over 1,000 victims of the Las Vegas massacre, in an effort to avoid liability.

On a recent episode of the “Hidden Truth Show with Jim Breslo”, host Jim interviewed Las Vegas investigative journalist and retired police officer Doug Poppa about the results of the mock trials, and discussed Poppa’s unique insights into the FBI report about the event. Details of the episode, titled VEGAS: Mock Jury Rules in Favor of Route91 Victims Against MGM, include:

“Doug Poppa, Las Vegas investigative journalist and retired police officer, shares confidential information from inside MGM’s legal defense team that the jury in a mock trial conducted to evaluate the merits of the case ruled in favor of the victims! He also provides unique insight into the FBI report and updates us on the whereabouts of Officer Hendrex who froze on the 31st floor while the shooting continued.”

CLICK HERE to listen to this revealing episode now!

For more listening content relating to the Mandalay Bay massacre, you can also check out The Confessionals Podcast Episode 38: Mandalay Bay - The Untold Eyewitness Stories, Episode 55: Mandalay Bay - What Happens in Vegas Gets Erased in Vegas, and Episode 62: The Room Under Stephen Paddock.

Written Confession: Shadow People, Missing Time, UFOs - Recalling a Lifetime of Unexplained Experiences

The following written confession was submitted via email:

“I have had several abnormal experiences in the course of my life which at the persistence of my son have decided to share with you. I have kept these quiet until a couple of years ago, mostly because some happened pre-1970 when the paranormal was for the most part unheard of and things of that nature were thought to be some brain lapse or some sort of deja vu . The Betty and Barney Hill incident never came to MY attention until later in life and flying saucers were either in movies, imagined or deemed to be a hoax. Bigfoot was at best an object of Indian lore and future believers were/are to be ridiculed. Maybe it was because of growing up in a small Western Pennsylvania coal mining town (Export) where everybody outside of the municipality existed with outhouses and at that time, no phone service and little knowledge of the larger world. As children we built tree houses, dug caves, played in the abandoned mines, hunted on local on farms and slept in the woods when the temperature permitted without fear of our parents finding us camping out having stolen their canned soup, beer or cigarettes, much less fear a Bigfoot kidnapping. It was a redneck utopia by my standards and a life my children would never get to enjoy.

shadow-people.jpg

With that in perspective, you can imagine my fear at about age eleven or twelve when I awoke to what I thought was the presence of several shadow-type people in my room well into the post-midnight hours. I remember being approached, something being removed (?) from my right ear, fading back to sleep and awakening with a blood-stained pillow the next morning. Getting my mother (whom I confess never again discussed it with since it was “just a bad dream”, I showed her the 6” diameter pillow stain and the partially dried blood on the side of my head. I distinctly remember her cleaning my ear with Peroxide and telling me that if it persisted to ask the school nurse to take a look. One must remember that back then a doctor's visit was $7 (or literally a chicken or some beef) ! and with five kids…….., plus, the bleeding had stopped right? I never again had a problem with it. I did however later in my life write to Budd Hopkins just prior to his death questioning the procedure, cost and validity of regressive hypnosis later in life to see if their was some relic of a memory of the episode. Budd passed without a reply but a paranormal investigator that I came to know later stated that the cost was seldom worth the outcome and that there were a number of local counterfeit “Svengali's” that preyed on people like me so I abandoned the thought of the hypnosis.

Later in life after age sixteen I had a couple of weird auto trips when by myself I had gone as much as twelve miles without recollecting the trip due to (missing time?) and ending up each time approaching our driveway as if awakening from a nap. I never put a lot of stock in this (missing time) since many people have talked about the same thing happening to them. Truckers, as you know have had similar happenings calling it “white line hypnosis”. I still believe that is all it was but waking up in the same place two or three times makes me wonder a little now. 

That being said, it brings me to the primary incident that I am reporting to you. Having been discharged from the Army eight years prior, my wife, first child and I were building our first home pay-to-pay in the woods near a local reservoir in about 1977 or '78. My job in the Army was that of an Army forward Air Traffic Controller which meant that I was to set up forward landing zones using discarded Navy TPN-8 radar. Having been drafted out of school I attained that position due to cognitive testing as well as my excellent and rare eyesight. Twelve of us out of about three thousand trainees were picked and removed from helicopter crew chief school at Fort Rucker to give you an idea of the tremendous eyesight we had. To be considered we had to have what we were told was a flight- plus physical. This and the fact that I never make an impulsive guess at what I see and what I will tell you as far as size and distance is credible by virtue of this God-given attribute. I worked in a control zone where we saw everything from drone missiles to SR 71 spy planes and never did I see a UFO when I worked in a control tower. EVERYTHING unusual that I saw a lot could be explained away. 

1977-78 there were a number of plausible Bigfoot sightings and reported cave entrance prints in the area near me, one of which yielded footprints which were cast by, I believe, the University of Pittsburgh. There wasn't an “investigator” on every corner like today and purported sightings never went far. This one however piqued my interest when I visited the one sighting as it was reported supposedly by two State Troopers. I had also talked to one elderly lady at a paranormal symposium at a local mall that had a sighting late at night of a Bigfoot at her farm and from less than fifteen feet away from her home though not noting any smell nor aggression from the tall startled creature. I DID find her believable at age 83. She was just curious and had been questioning the investigator as to her sanity and perceived fear.

One Friday evening my father in law in law asked me to go fishing with him at a reservoir which was a fifteen to twenty minute walk through heavy brush and woods from where I was building my home while living in the foundation. I jumped at the chance to once again out-fish the self proclaimed “fish whisperer” who my father in law thought himself to be. Starting out just before eleven PM we made our way to the closest cove not using any lights to alert anybody of our presence expecting to spend the night as this area is patrolled by the authorities for criminals like us. While standing in my waders in knee deep water and rigging my line I immediately caught a 22” bass which gets larger every time I relate this. My father in law (the fishing legend) having to verify my catch came over from about fifty feet away in his waders to belittle the catch in comparison to one he caught probably some fifty years before.

While standing in our waders, we (he) noticed a light above us about 1200 feet away and about 40' over the highway. Asking me what it was I told him that it was probably a dusk-to-dawn light although it appeared bigger. As we looked down at my bass in the bright moonlight I noticed the light move clockwise behind us about ten to twenty degrees to the south of us. I looked down at the fish again and my father in law said “Hey! It's moving again”. It stopped over the tree tops completing a full quadrant of movement as was directly behind us having never elevated nor dipping into the woods canopy. It was now 70-80 feet behind us and its' light went out. My father in law looked at me and said “what the hell was that?” to which I replied that I didn't know. Shortly, guessing a minute or two, the light came back on and appeared to be about 25% larger than a basketball with a translucent bluish-white glow it the climbed upward in opposing left-right 20 foot long, 45 degree steps about seven or eight times. At the top of its ascent the light extinguished. Still gawking and mesmerized we saw this orb come back on, retrace it's path back to origin and emit a dull, very dull, beam (haze?) across the water. There was also during or near a full moon since that is when the “Fish Whisperer” dictated the best time to fish. He again questioned what was going on and we heard splashing in the water near the shore but saw nothing. I said that it might be deer coming to drink and looked back at the sphere which was still lit and prominent behind us and that was it, show over!! We awakened three to three and a half hours later still standing in our waders without a fish in hand ,

Daylight was approaching when we realized something was wrong with the time. All was very quiet and still. He asked me if we had fallen asleep while in our waders. I told him “maybe, but not for hours”. He asked where my puny fish was as if to forget what we'd seen and experienced and I thought that I had dropped it. We were not mentioning that each of us was dealing with mental torment as to the episode. He did once mention while trekking back home about the “time flying”. I didn't reply as he was not a man that you could discuss this with and would argue with a rock. He would not have made mention of it for fear of being harassed. Most of our “discussions” ended with mutual disrespect though I miss that man until this day. Thinking back later, I had previously seen a light do that same ting late one evening while sitting on my porch late one night when I couldn't sleep. It appear to be further away maybe towards the end of the 6-7 mile lake. It seemed to me that somebody was turning out the lights on an electric tower in sequence from the top down. At least that was my take on it then. Like I said, I try to debunk or explain away everything I see that confuses me. The odd part of this is that when we left the lake we never again spoke of it and to be honest I seldom gave thought to it until many years later thinking it was just one of those “brain lapses”. You know I always asked myself why nobody would report a sighting of any nature but I did keep this to myself for decades so I'm no better.

Later in life I had befriended a fellow employee who I later found to have been on tv as a witness to “The Kecksburg Incident” on Unsolved Mysteries and other shows even to this day though he had never mentioned it in the years that I had known him. Through him I had met a Kecksburg investigator who stated that there were myriads of sightings in the area where I lived and near the reservoir where we lost time that evening. We are near some of Bigfoot, orbs and aerial phenomena and not far from the popular Chestnut ridge area that has been noted on some tv shows lately. I however no longer fish and have no desire to walk those woods especially at night.

Lastly, two summers ago, our old minister was staying with us with her husband and we were cooking out with our children and grand children when I looked to the sky which was very bright with a few cumulus clouds and spotted the final phenomenon so far in my 72 years on this earth. I guess having grown up in the times of Echo and Sputnik satellites, scanning the skies had become second nature during my youth and I still spend many warm evenings alone watching from my porch rocker while petting my dog and enjoying a glass of wine, One of life's little pleasures and time of reflection. What I saw were a pod (maybe 15 or so) of tailless swallow wing-shaped highly reflective UFO's (?) writhing and intertwining at about 1500 feet. Each had its' own random sized circle , each maintained the same speed I noted to my youngest son that each went in right hand rotation. At that height they appeared to be about 30' across and disappeared into cloud cover after about 7-10 minutes and witnessed by all who were there. There was no mention of these in any of the local periodicals that week. They circled like kites but they were uniform in size and held the same right hand pattern the whole time. I'd bet my life they were not birds nor kites but possibly drones but that many?,at that altitude?, disappearing into a cloud simultaneously? Possible but not likely.

My son flies drones and even he was in awe. There were no stops nor hovering only constant motion.

Any ideas, I am at a loss?

I offer you these events for future comparison to anything reported in Westmoreland County since the phenomena of glowing orbs is gaining prominence in the UFO/Cryptid community. What happened at that reservoir was in at least my opinion as real as anything I have ever seen and defied any thing I have ever witnessed from my short time in military aviation. It was guided by defined geometry, appeared intelligent and left my soul questioning my existence, faith and purpose which I believe to be a good thing and was shown to us maybe by design. Good luck and I hope this to be of benefit to anybody having a similar experience and are maybe afraid to come forth. People my age had no reason to retain memory of these purely mental aberrations so exact timing  may be a little off. "

Former Guest of The Confessionals Shares Bigfoot Encounter on Pittsburgh Today Live!

Here’s some more Bigfoot in the media! Earlier we shared that the documentary Paranormal Bigfoot was released this month and available for online viewing! Now we’re pleased to share that one of the former guests of The Confessionals was recently featured on a segment of Pittsburgh Today Live!

Dave Groves, from Episode 45: Bigfoot in Broad Daylight, joined Bigfoot investigator Amy Bue on the Pittsburgh-area show to share his own encounter with the cryptid and to discuss the legendary Sasquatch. Dave and Amy also spoke about Bigfoot at the 34th annual Allegheny Outdoor, Sport and Travel Show at the Monroeville Convention Center following their spot on PTL.

Click HERE to watch this special segment on PTL! Great job to Dave and Amy!

Documentary “Paranormal Bigfoot” Makes Its Online Debut

It’s finally here! The anticipated documentary, Paranormal Bigfoot, is now available for viewing!

Created by Bilco Productions, “Paranormal Bigfoot is an investigation into a segment of the Sasquatch community that believe there is more to this enigmatic creature than a simple animal. An uncomfortable and divisive topic for those desirous of representing themselves as scientifically credible. Yet the question remains, can scientific process be claimed until even the strangest of evidence is accounted for?”

Along with notable Bigfoot community figures like Bob Gimlin, Stan Gordon, and Ron Morehead, The Confessionals Podcast host Tony Merkel can also be seen in this new documentary!

Last year Tony was interviewed about the possibility of a connection between paranormal Bigfoot, biblical fallen angels, and the Nephilim, a intriguing premise based on historical evidence from extra canonical texts. The finished film featuring Tony’s interview (and much more!) can be rented or purchased with Amazon Prime.

Click HERE to check it out now!

(If the documentary is not available for streaming in your country, click HERE to contact Bilco Productions about obtaining a DVD version.)

Thank you to Bilco Productions for the opportunity to be involved in Paranormal Bigfoot!

VIDEO: UFO Cover-up Hoax... But the UFOs Are Very Real!

A NEW VIDEO from Tony is available now!

In this video, we revisit the pyramid-shaped UFO that was filmed by at least THREE different people, hovering and rotating over the Pentagon, in December 2018. We’ll show you a new video leak of the event, and also interview one of the people who filmed the UFO sighting firsthand!

Then we dive into the supposed secret UN meeting that took place. This video suggested that the Pentagon made contact with the Pyramid-shaped UFO. However, the video is a complete hoax! Watch now to find out why!

Watch below or click here to view on YouTube.

Creature Feature Friday: The Momo

This edition of Creature Feature Friday presents: The Momo!

Check out these 5 details about this bipedal cryptid:

1) "Momo" stands for Missouri Monster, a creature very similar to Bigfoot that is reported to reside in Missouri.

2) Physical attributes of the Momo include: a 6-to-7-foot height, a furry body with hair covering even the eyes, and a large, pumpkin-shaped head. It also smells pretty terrible.

3) The "Missouri Monster Scare" first began in July 1971, when two women saw a "half ape and half man" along Highway 79. It reportedly made strange gurgling noises.

IMG_3679.jpeg

4) Sightings continued through July 1972, and included the findings of several large, three-toed footprints.

5) The Momo also loves dogs - for dinner.  During the Missouri Monster scare, several dog graves were found disturbed and surrounded by scattered bones. Once the Momo was even glimpsed carrying a dead dog away under its arm! Yikes.

Learn more about the Momo at Cryptid Wiki and PrairieGhosts.com!

IMG_3678.jpeg

6 Images of Ghost Monks Caught on Camera

The Confessionals Episode 112: Demons in the Desert features a scary encounter with a ghost monk. While it is a unique sighting, others have also witnessed strange apparitions of monks! Take a look at 6 photos of alleged ghost monks that tourists, a ghost hunter, and a photographer managed to catch on camera:

1) In October 2018, a couple reportedly discovered the face of a demonic monk in one of their photos taken in an old slaughterhouse cellar in Nottinghamshire. The building, which is abandoned, was a stop on the Ghost Hunts UK tour in which the couple was taking part. Allegedly, seven monks were burned to death on that spot in the 1500s.

IMG_3670.jpeg

2) In August 2018, a woman exploring Tintern Abbey says she captured the ghost of a monk standing outside the abbey at night. Tintern Abbey was founded by Cistercian monks in 1131. When the Black Death swept through in the 1340s, many monks succumbed to the disease. 

IMG_3667.jpeg

3) In January 2018, a father visiting Eynsford Castle in Kent claimed to have photographed the specter of a monk outside on a ruined staircase. Though the figure appears to be very solid, the man says he remembers nothing standing on the stairs when he snapped the photo. Eynsford Castle dates back to medieval times, and according to local lore, one of the families who once owned the castle had a son who left them to become a monk. 

IMG_3671.jpeg

4) In October 2016, a ghost hunter claimed to have caught an image of the famous Black Ghoul Monk. She believes the photo, taken at 30 East Drive in Pontefract, West Yorkshire, shows the monk’s robed arm clutching a rosary. The home is the site of one of Europe's most powerful alleged hauntings which began in the 1960s, when the Pritchard family moved in and began to be tormented by the Black Monk. The spot where the shadowy photo was taken is purportedly where the Black Monk is often seen, and also where the Pritchards’ daughter Diana was violently dragged by an invisible hand that left fingerprints on her throat. 

Screen Shot 2019-02-10 at 9.19.00 PM.png

5) In February 2009, a woman who had visited Valle Crucis Abbey in Llangollen was looking at her photos after the trip, and was shocked to see an unknown face staring out of the ruins. The abbey was founded in 1201 by Madog ap Gruffydd Maelor, who was buried in the abbey upon his death in 1236. Shortly thereafter, the structure was badly damaged by a fire. 

6) In 1963, a photograph dubbed “The Spectre of Newby Church” was taken in the Church of Christ the Consoler, on the grounds of Newby Hall in North Yorkshire. It shows a spooky image of a transparent, cloaked figure with a distorted white face standing at the church altar. Some have speculated that the photo captured the spirit of a 16th-century monk wearing a white shroud over his face, possibly masking a disfigurement or leprosy. But others contend that the photo is a hoax, either perpetrated by someone in costume or through the manipulation of superimposed photo images. The church itself does not date from the 16th century, having been built between 1871 and 1875 in memory of one Frederick Vyner, who was kidnapped and murdered in 1870. 

Which photo do you think is the most convincing evidence of ghost monks?

Written Confession: Strange Rock Looks an Awful Lot Like a Tiny Skull

The following written confession and accompanying photo images were submitted via social media and email.

A listener of The Confessionals recently reached out via social media and then email for opinions about a strange rock he found in Texas. He first submitted photos of the rock/skull to the Paleontology Department at the University of Colorado, which responded that it “vaguely resembled a skull.” We think that the weathered-looking artifact, though it is no bigger than a man’s thumb, looks a bit more than “vaguely” like a skull. The object appears to have eye sockets, a nasal cavity, and possible mouth with teeth. The closest comparison we can draw at present is to a fetal chimpanzee skull, though there are many other possibilities as to what it could really be. Here are the details of its discovery:

“I found the skull while helping a friend who owns a lawn care business. I was done with the trimming, but he had a lot of grass left to cut, so I spent that time kicking through the rocks that made up the driveway of the residence. At the time that I noticed the skull, I didn't notice it for what it was. I thought it interesting because of the hole that went clean through, plus it was caked with dirt. I put it in my pocket until I got home . . . Joaquin, TX is where the skull was found. The skull is 1 1/2 in. in height and about the same wide at its widest point. The back side is completely blown out. By that I mean, it looks to be broken or crushed off. It's not a recent break though. The edges have the same coloration as the rest. It's not a more vivid or brighter color which indicates weathering the same as the rest of it. Suture lines are apparent as are cheek bones, brow ridges, symmetrical eye sockets and nasal cavity, lower jaw bone and obvious teeth. If this is just a rock, I want to know what the odds are that it came out like this by pure accident.”

Along with this rock/skull, other fossilized objects including feathers were also found, causing our listener to wonder if the quarry that supplied the driveway gravel holds other strange items or clues to the mystery. What do you make of this odd find?

Driver of Flipped Van in California Blames Aliens for Accident

Call Giorgio A. Tsoukalos to the scene, because it sounds like aliens!

On February 6, a van driver on Highway 18 in California inexplicably flipped his vehicle, and told emergency responders that extraterrestrials had caused the accident.

IMG_3649.jpeg

While driving through a mountainous section of San Bernardino around 1:30 pm, the Ford E350 van overturned and landed on its side next to the roadway. The driver alerted 911, and adamantly told dispatchers that aliens had flipped over the vehicle. When law enforcement arrived, the man become argumentative with the officers, as well as other drivers who had stopped to offer assistance. He changed his mind about police help, insisting instead that a tow truck be called. Although the man was driving on a snowy swath of road with “Icy” signs posted in warning, the cause of the single-vehicle accident is still under investigation, and he was not cited with any kind of impaired driving offense.

IMG_3660.jpeg

Though it is an unusual story, it probably has a reasonable explanation which is not aliens, but while the case is still open we aren’t saying that it’s not not aliens either!

IMG_3650.jpeg

Explorer Films Ghostly Figure in Abandoned Chapel

When you’re alone in the dark and hear an unexpected noise, you may secretly wonder whether you’re about be attacked by a serial killer or spooked by a creepy ghost. Most of the time, the errant sound turns out to be something ordinary, like the house settling or the cat throwing up (also a terrifying prospect).

But for explorer and urban adventurer Danny Duffy, the creepy ghost was all too real in a brief but chilling encounter that he captured on video and recently posted to his YouTube channel, Exploring with Danny.

Danny, who films his explorations of “places frozen in time and places of the forgotten,” was just at the beginning of a venture into an abandoned UK chapel late one night when the sudden appearance of what appears to be a full-body specter sent him running. The scary figure - with a stark white face, fairly definable features, and possibly wearing a long black robe - peers straight at Danny from around a corner of the building. It looks surprisingly human, but it’s frightening just the same. Is it a robed person hiding out in the dilapidated church? Or did a former religious resident of the chapel come to find out what Danny was doing on their hallowed grounds?

The Confessionals had the opportunity to interview Danny following his spooky experience, and that interview will be forthcoming. For now, take a look at Danny’s ghostly video below (language warning!). The actual figure appears at the 2:18 mark. What do you think is really revealing itself in this old chapel in the dark of night?