“THE SHAPE SHIFTING MOTHMAN” and 5 More True Paranormal Stories! #WeirdDarkness

“THE SHAPE SHIFTING MOTHMAN” and 5 More True Paranormal Stories! #WeirdDarkness

Listen to ““THE SHAPE SHIFTING MOTHMAN” and 5 More True Paranormal Stories! #WeirdDarkness” on Spreaker.

IN THIS EPISODE: The ancient pterodactyl, the legendary thunderbird, the cryptid known as the Mothman: could they all be one and the same? (Is Mothman a Shapeshifter) *** It’s first sighting was described as “half man and half beast, standing about five feet six inches, with a tall pointed head. Whatever it was that he had seen, he was convinced that it was neither a bear nor a monkey.” We take a look at the mysterious creature, the Yeti. (Taking a Look At the Yeti Phenomenon) *** On May 16, 1929, Al Capone was arrested in Philadelphia on gun-carrying charges – but it was a put-up job that unfortunately led to a year in prison and Capone’s first encounters with the ghost that he believed haunted him to the grave! (Al Capone and the Ghost of Jimmy Clark) *** Seeing an intruder while in the shower may sound cliché for the movies – but not so much when it happens to you. (Those Strange Fingertips) *** Multiple women have disappeared without a trace from what has become known as Ireland’s ‘vanishing triangle’. Their fates still remain a mystery. (The Ireland Vanishings) *** When you see something out of the corner of your eye, simply to turn and not see anything there… is it your imagination, or is something else at work? (From Work to Home)

SOURCES AND REFERENCES FROM THE EPISODE…
“Is Mothman a Shapeshifter?” by Nick Redfern for Mysterious Universe: http://bit.ly/2m1A4bV
“Al Capone and the Ghost of Jimmy Clark” by Troy Taylor: http://bit.ly/2kbVGC0
“Those Strange Fingertips” by Kristine J., submitted at WeirdDarkness.com
“The Ireland Vanishings” posted at The Line Up: http://bit.ly/2lGfaiu
“From Work to Home” by Thor220 at YourGhostStories.com: http://bit.ly/2m45wX2
“Taking a Look at the Yeti Phenomenon” by Nick Redfern for Mysterious Universe: http://bit.ly/2kBC5LG

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Originally aired: June 26, 2021

PARTIAL TRANSCRIPT:

STORY: MOTHMAN=====

As with the Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot, and the Chupacabra, you don’t need to have any real interest in strange creatures to know of Mothman. But, it does help! The controversy began on November 12, 1966. Although Mothman is so deeply tied to the city of Point Pleasant, West Virginia, the first encounter – on November 12, 1966 – actually occurred in a graveyard near Clendenin, West Virginia, which is around 80 miles from Point Pleasant. The creature was described as being winged, brown in color,  and humanoid. But, not all witnesses have identified the monster in such a fashion.

********************Point Pleasant, West Virginia is a city of around four and a half thousand people. In 1774, the city became the site of a violent confrontation between the forces of Colonel Andrew Lewis and Native Americans from the Shawnee and Mingo groups, and overseen by Shawnee Chief Cornstalk. It was a bloody battle. Three nights after the bizarre affair at Clendenin, the roughly seven-foot-tall monster turned up at Point Pleasant, its large wings and red eyes prominent. The witnesses were Linda and Roger Scarberry and Steve and Mary Mallette. The specific place was the West Virginia Ordnance Works. Today, it’s called the McClintic Wildlife Management Area. It’s not surprising the friends hit the road at high speed and raced to tell the local cops of what had just gone down.

The beast was soon seen again. One of the witnesses was a man named Thomas Ury. At the time, he was driving along the city’s Route 62. Whereas some witnesses described Mothman taking to the skies in conventional fashion (in other words, by flapping its wings), others – including Ury – said that the monster just opened its wings and then rose vertically into the skies above and in a fashion very much like that of a helicopter. The wings apparently played no role at all in getting the creature off the ground. Whereas Ury said the creature was grey in color, the gravediggers at Clendenin were sure Mothman was brown in color.

Regular sightings continued all around Point Pleasant until practically the end of 1967. On December 15, the city’s Silver Bridge collapsed into the waters of the Ohio River, killing dozens of local people. It’s not surprising that many within Point Pleasant felt that Mothman had something to do with the terrible tragedy. Some saw Mothman as the cause of the disaster, while others suspected that Mothman was an entity that warned of – rather than caused – death and mayhem. People have claimed that sightings of Mothman came to a complete end after the collapse of the Silver Bridge. Not so. There were post-1967  reports. But, they were far less in number. On this latter point…

I have lectured at the annual Mothman Festival twice. On both occasions I have been on the receiving end of some very interesting stories. One such report came from a woman who saw what she believed to have been Mothman in 1988 – and on the fringes of the city. She, however, described to me something that very much resembled the legendary Thunderbirdof Native American culture, a huge bird with brightly-colored feathers. Another told me of encountering, in 1971, what she was absolutely sure was nothing less than a living, flying pterodactyl – a creature that lived from the Triassic to the Cretaceous Period, and which spanned 228 to 66 million years ago. The location was extremely close to the encounter of the Scarberrys and the Mallettes in 1967.

So, what we have here is a creature that is described as variously having a grey color, a brown color, and bright, colored feathers. Some describe it as using its wings to take to the skies. Others said it bizarrely just opened its wings and rose into the sky with no effort at all. Some said it was humanoid in nature. Others said it was eagle-like or something akin to a pterodactyl. In light of all this weirdness, I’ll leave you with a controversial question to ponder upon: Is Mothman a shapeshifter?

STORY: THE IRELAND VANISHINGS=====

The first disappearance was in March, 1993: a young American woman from New York, 26 years old, named Annie McCarrick. She was living in Dublin, sharing an apartment with two young women, and trying to learn about her Irish heritage.

The last sighting of her was in a pub called Johnnie Fox’s. Her mother and father flew to Ireland in hopes of finding their daughter. They remained in the country for six months before returning home in despair. No trace of their daughter was found.

It might have remained an isolated tragedy, but four months later another young woman disappeared—Eva Brennan, 36. She too had last been seen in a pub.

Over the next five years, more women disappeared—some media outlets cite eight total disappearances while others connect six names to the case. It became clear that all the vanishings happened within a geographical triangle surrounding Dublin. So was born the name ‘Vanishing Triangle’. Dubliners began to fear they had an active serial killer in their midst.

Then, as abruptly as the disappearances began, they ended. The last was in 1998: Deirdre Jacob, an 18-year-old University student home for the summer. Her disappearance was the most mysterious. She was seen moments before she vanished, in broad daylight, just 200 yards from her parents’ front door as she returned to the house.

Over the years, suspicion has fallen on several known and suspected killers in connection with the rash of disappearances. But without bodies or crime scenes, police had little to work with.

One of the chief suspects in the case was a 36-year-old carpenter named Larry Murphy. At the time of the disappearances, he did not have a criminal record. But in February 2000 he was convicted of a brutal rape. He had been stalking a young office worker. As she walked by his car, he hit her in the face and forced her into his trunk. He drove her to a secluded spot and raped her.

Murphy was apparently startled by two men and he fled. His victim survived. She had been abducted inside the area known as Vanishing Triangle.

But there has been no conclusive evidence that Murphy was responsible for the eight earlier disappearances, and all remain unsolved. Although convicted for the rape and attempted murder of the office worker, Murphy was released in 2010, serving only 10 years. Many Irish citizens were alarmed by this, and due to the uproar, Murphy fled the country. He spent years in Spain, but is reportedly living in Cork today.

STORY: FROM WORK TO HOME=====

A couple months ago I had a possible haunting at my workplace. And ever since then I have begun to notice some strange activity at home as well. One Saturday I had woke up in the morning and went downstairs to have breakfast, everything was normal. After breakfast I went back upstairs and found that a night light that is in the upstairs hallway was laying on the floor a couple feet away from the outlet that it was plugged into. I hadn’t walked passed it earlier so I know I didn’t knock it out of the outlet on accident. But initially I just assumed it wasn’t plugged in all the way or something and maybe it just fell out when I shut a door or some other logical explanation.

After that I started to see things in my house, the sort of stuff where you think you see someone out of the corner of your eye but by the time you actually look that direction there is nothing there. Besides that I would be in my living room and I could swear I heard someone walking upstairs like actual footsteps, not just random pops and creaks. But again I would go to investigate it and as soon as I would start up the stairs it would stop.

One night I was sleeping in my bedroom and I woke up to some noises in the hallway outside my bedroom, it sounded like someone was sneaking down the hallway, I was quite startled so I grabbed a gun that I keep in a safe under my bed and went to investigate and again found nothing and no sign that anyone was there.

I feel that I should also mention that roughly 6 months ago I purchased one of those Canary security cameras that connects to your phone that detects movement inside the house. The only time I ever got notifications was occasionally when the camera would switch from IR to non IR in the morning (and even then it wouldn’t actually notify me it would just save the clip), and when a cars headlights would shine through the window at night. That was until this morning, I left my house around 7:00 AM to go to work and about 20 minutes later I got a notification saying that activity had been detected, I pulled over and opened my app and watched the video. Initially when I watched it I thought it was just dust blowing through the house. But then I started to question it, especially since its never been set off by dust particles before. As I looked closer at the object I also realized it was leaving a trail behind it as it moved through the room which seemed unusual. It’s a 12MP camera so it isn’t like its an extremely grainy video or anything like that. But being the skeptic I am I’m still not 100% convinced it’s paranormal but it did strike me as a bit strange. I was doing some research online and found that most people say dust particles are typically symmetrical and a true paranormal orb is normally an odd shape, after zooming in on the object in my video I found that it is not symmetrical at all. Again not saying it’s an actual orb because orbs always made me roll my eyes and yell dust! But it does have me wondering if maybe there is more to the orb situation than I always thought.

I also kept a copy of the video and I will try to upload it somewhere in case anyone wants to look at it and give me their opinion. Fingers crossed that it’s dust!

BREAK=====

Up next… Al Capone’s crimes lead to him being haunted by a ghost that follows him the rest of his life!

Plus… seeing an intruder while in the shower may sound cliché for the movies – but not so much when it happens to you.

And… it’s first sighting was described as “half man and half beast, standing about five feet six inches, with a tall pointed head. Whatever it was that he had seen, he was convinced that it was neither a bear nor a monkey.” We take a look at the mysterious creature, the Yeti. Coming up, on Weird Darkness!

<COMMERCIAL BREAK>

STORY: AL CAPONE AND THE GHOST OF JIMMY CLARK!=====

On May 16, 1929, Al Capone was arrested in Philadelphia on gun-carrying charges – but it was a put-up job that unfortunately led to a year in prison and Capone’s first encounters with the ghost that he believed haunted him to the grave!

Capone left Chicago a week before, allegedly to attend a prizefight in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The real reason for the trip was to attend a meeting between racketeers from all over the country who planned to form a commission to resolve disputes among its members in a peaceful, business-like fashion. At least, this was the stated reason for the gathering. As Capone would discover over the course of the next few days, there was hidden agenda – to strip him of his power and profits because of the publicity and heat that had been generated by what newspapers had called the “St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.”

The guests at this gathering included Capone, Jake Guzik, Frank Rio and Frank Nitti from Chicago; “Boo-Hoo” Hoff and Nig Rosen from Philadelphia; Abe Bernstein from the Purple Gang in Detroit; Leo Berkowitz and Moe Dalitz from Cleveland; John Lazia from Kansas City; Longy Zwillman from New Jersey; and Daniel Walsh from Rhode Island. The New York contingent was the most formidable and the angriest at Capone. It was made up of Meyer Lansky, Dutch Schultz, Charles “Lucky” Luciano, Albert Anastasia, Louis Buchalter, Ben Siegel, Joe Adonis and Frank Costello. They also brought with them Johnny Torrio. All of them were upset with Capone for killing Frankie Yale without permission – and for having the gall to do it on their home territory.

The delegates talked for three days, often walking on the beach, where they could be far away from prying ears. They adopted a series of resolutions, some designed to cut Capone down to size and others to lay a groundwork for organized crime after Prohibition. The delegates also formed a commission, with retired Torrio as the head, which would deal with all disagreements between members. Capone managed to maintain his power in Chicago. In fact, the smaller North and South Side gangs were to be merged under his leadership. He did have to agree to some concessions, though, namely that there would be no more killing and that the new head of the Chicago Unione Siciliana would be Capone’s enemy, Joe Aiello.

It was also decided that it would be a good idea for Capone to go to jail. Not only would it allow the heat from the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre to continue to cool, but it might be just the thing to save Capone’s life. George Moran had not attended the Atlantic City conference. He, along with a few scattered remnants of his gang, was still plotting to kill Capone. Also, as Capone knew, a number of Chicago Sicilians had sworn to avenge Scalise, Anselmi and Giunta – who had been murdered just days before Capone left town. Threatened by killers and harassed by other members of the new Syndicate, he decided on the same course that Torrio had taken when he was in fear of his life from O’Banion and his North Side gang – Capone had himself jailed.

Capone had become friendly at the Hialeah racetrack the year before with a Philadelphia detective named James “Shooey” Malone, so as soon as the conference ended on May 16, he telephoned a friend in Philadelphia and asked him to get a message to Malone. He and Frank Rio then drove to the city and decided to go to the movies at a theater on Market Street. When they came out around 9:00 p.m., Malone and another detective, John Creedon, were waiting for them.

“You’re Al Capone, aren’t you?” Malone asked.

“My name’s Al Brown,” Capone replied, “but you can call me Capone if you want to. Who are you?” The detectives flashed their badges. “Oh, bulls, eh? Ah, here’s my gun.” He handed over a .38 caliber revolver, thereby establishing the grounds to arrest and convict him for carrying a concealed weapon. He elbowed Rio, who also handed over a revolver.

The police magistrate before whom they were arraigned shortly after midnight fixed bail at $35,000 each. They only had a few thousand bucks between them and the two lawyers that Capone had sent for, Bernard L. Lemisch and Cornelius Haggerty, Jr., accused the police of railroading their clients into jail. Capone just smiled – railroading was exactly what he wanted.

The judge imposed the maximum sentence of one year. As Capone was led off with the unlucky Frank Rio to Philadelphia’s Holmesburg County Prison, he took a diamond ring from his finger and handed it to his attorney, instructing him to get it to his brother Ralph. Between arrest and imprisonment, only 16 hours had passed.

Holmesburg, with more than 1,700 prisoners jammed into cells built to hold 600, was one of the country’s worst county jails. A few weeks before Capone entered it, the prisoners, rioting over bad food and brutal guards, set fire to their mattresses. The word went out from Chicago that a $50,000 fee awaited any attorney that could get Capone out of Holmesburg. None succeeded. The same fee was offered to the district attorney in Philadelphia, John Monoghan, as a bribe to procure Capone’s release, but he turned it down.

Luckily for Capone, he was transferred in August to the city’s larger and more orderly Eastern State Penitentiary. There, Warden Herbert B. Smith made him more comfortable, giving him a private cell and letting him furnish it with rugs, pictures, a chest of drawers, double bed, bookshelf, lamps and a $500 radio console. As his work assignment, he drew the comfortable job of library file clerk. Capone continued to conduct business from prison. He was allowed to make long-distance telephone calls from the warden’s office and to meet with his lawyers and with Frank Nitti, Jake Guzik and his brother, Ralph, all of whom made frequent trips to Philadelphia. For ordinary inmates, visiting hours were limited to Sunday, but Capone’s family and friends could come any day. He also met often with reporters, who kept their readers up to date on Capone’s schedule, daily life and reading habits.

He bought $1,000 worth of arts and crafts made by his fellow inmates and mailed them to friends as Christmas presents. He donated $1,200 to a Philadelphia orphanage. Such seemingly good-hearted deeds aroused a great deal of sympathy for Capone. A civil engineer from Chicago, a total stranger to Capone, coming to Philadelphia on business, got permission to visit him, warmly shook his hand and told him, “Al, we’re with you.”

Shortly after arriving at Eastern State, Capone had to have his tonsils out. The surgeon who performed the operation, Dr. Herman Goddard of the Pennsylvania State Board of Prison Inspections, could barely contain the admiration that he felt for his infamous patient. “In my seven years experience,” he said, “I have never seen a prisoner so kind, so cheery and accommodating.”

But Capone was not always “cheery and accommodating” at Eastern State, especially at night, after the lights had gone out. It was at Eastern State Penitentiary, during those dark nights, when a terrifying memory of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre came back to visit Al Capone.

That memory’s name was James Clark.

It was while he was incarcerated at Eastern State that Capone first began to be haunted by the ghost of James Clark, a member of the North Side gang and one of the men killed during the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. While in prison, other inmates reported that they could hear Capone screaming in his cell, begging “Jimmy” to go away and leave him alone. No one had any idea what he was talking about; Capone was alone in his cell. During the daylight hours, he refused to speak about it.

Later, that would change. After his return to Chicago, Capone would speak often about the ghost and about the “curse” that haunted his life. He even went so far as to hire a spirit medium to try and convince the ghost to leave. Was the ghost real? Did Capone imagine the whole thing, or was he already showing signs of the psychosis that would haunt him after his release from Alcatraz years later?

Capone certainly believed the ghost was real and over the course of the next few years, the haunting would become more intense, reaching a point when Capone was not the only person to encounter the vengeful spirit of James Clark.

STORY: THOSE STRANGE FINGERTIPS=====

This happened when I was in high school and I was taking my nightly showers before bed. In the shower, there’s a small sliding window that was built high. I could just barely reached the bottom part of the window unless I tiptoe. I always felt paranoid about that window, thinking someone could be looking inside, so I’m always watching it. Not that it ever happened in all the years I had lived there. That night, it was different…a hand suddenly appeared on the window! The tip of the fingers from thumb-to-pinkie pressed against the glass. Those fingers didn’t look normal…it reminded me of E.T.’s fingers; those rounded strange tips.
My heart raced, fearing a face would appeared, but I kept my eyes on it until I quickly got out of the shower, wrapped myself in a towel and screamed out of the bathroom. My mother came out of the kitchen where she was washing the dishes; my father came out of the bedroom where he was getting ready for bed; and my two brothers showed up from the living room wondering what had happened.
“There’s somebody outside,” I said trembling. Still could feel the chills on my skin that it happened. Quickly, my older brother and father took a machete and walked outside to the back to catch the guy. I explained to my mom about the hand appearing as she tries to calm me.
My brother and father came back and said they couldn’t find the person and that it would be impossible for anybody to reach that window. You see, the cemented base of my house against my 4’10” height was as high as my hips. When you travel to the back of the house, where the shower window faced, the ground goes lower so the base would be around my chest area. I knew that there was a water pipe that wrapped around the house and I said that they could be standing on it. The hand on the window didn’t looked like it was reaching, but was casually placed there like the person had the perfect height for the window. My brother says that it was still impossible for anyone to reach it as he goes back outside and kept watch.
The next morning, I checked that area and knew that my brother was right. If a person should ever stand on that pipe, he or she would be 7 ft. tall or more.
I’m 27 now, I still don’t know what that was that night. Could it be those neighbor boys trying to take a peek at me? Or could it be just something else? My parents still live in that house, and whenever I go back home for vacation, I’m always still looking out that window…

STORY: YETI PHENOMENON=====

It was in August 1951 that renowned mountain-climber Eric Shipton embarked upon his fifth expedition to Mount Everest, along with climbers Sir Edmund Hillary, Earle Riddiford, Mike Ward, Sherpa Sen Tensing, and several others. As the expedition neared its end, and while the team explored an area to the southwest of Everest known as Gauri Sankar, mysterious footprints were found – and photographed. Shipton stated: “It was on one of the glaciers of the Menlung basin, at a height of about 19,000 feet, that, late one afternoon we came across those curious footprints in the snow.” He continued: “I have in the past found many sets of these curious footprints and have tried to follow them, but have always lost them. Sen Tensing, who had no doubt whatever that the creatures – for there had been at least two – that had made the tracks were ‘Yetis’ or wild men, told me that two years before, he and a number of other Sherpas had seen one of them at a distance of about 25 yards at Thyangboche.”

Shipton added that: “He [Tensing] described it as half man and half beast, standing about five feet six inches, with a tall pointed head. Whatever it was that he had seen, he was convinced that it was neither a bear nor a monkey.” And the idea that the prints were made by the famous Yeti was bolstered in the minds of Shipton, his colleagues, and the media of the day, as a direct result of the startling fact that they were an impressive 13 inches long and 8 inches wide.

Not everyone was convinced, however. Dr. T.C.S. Morrison-Scott of the Natural History Department of the British Museum was certain that Shipton had been fooled by nothing stranger than the tracks of a langur monkey – an animal that is common to the Himalayas, and that is not unlike the creatures reportedly seen by Sherpa Tensing. The flaw in this theory, however, was that the langur is five-toed and generally walks on all-fours; whereas the creature that made the prints in the Shipton photographs was clearly four-toed, massive, and appeared to walk exclusively on two feet.

Indeed, Shipton himself recognized the problems with the langur theory when he stated in The Six Mountain Travel Books: “Of the various theories that have been advanced to account for these tracks, the only one which is in any way plausible is that they were made by a langur monkey, and even this is very far from convincing, as I believe those who have suggested it would be the first to admit.” Perhaps not surprisingly, the controversy was never firmly resolved to everyone’s satisfaction and, as a result, has rumbled on at a steady pace in monster-hunting circles ever since. Moving on from the Shipton photographs, further intriguing evidence exists that leads many modern-day Yeti-seekers to conclude that the Abominable Snowman is far more than just the stuff of legend, fantasy and misidentification.

The creature has a long history in both Nepal and Tibet, and tales of encounters with the hairy animal have been reported for centuries. As far back as 1832, for example, explorer B.H. Hodgson reported in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal that the existence of a large, ape-like creature of the Himalayas had long been known to the people of Nepal. Similarly, in 1889, in the pages of Among the Himalayas, writer and adventurer L.A. Waddell recorded that he had heard countless stories of the legendary giant ape from those who lived among the mountains. Most feared of all by the locals of Tibet and Nepal centuries ago was the Nyalmo: a fierce and gigantic beast said to be related to the Yeti that reputedly inhabited the mountain-tops and supposedly grew to an astonishing height of fifteen feet.

The Yeti takes its name from the ancient Tibetan word yeh-teh, which literally translates as “rock bear.” For many Tibetans, however, the Yeti is not a physical animal. Rather, it is perceived as being a paranormal creature: a spectral animal that is most successfully seen while the witness is in a trance-like, altered state. The far more evocative term of Abominable Snowman originated in 1921, with Henry Newman, a writer for the Calcutta, India-based Statesmannewspaper. It was in 1921 that Britain’s Royal Geographical Society launched an expedition to the Himalayas that was led by Lieutenant Colonel Charles Howard-Bury. During the course of the expedition, Howard-Bury came across unusual footprints that the local Sherpa guides claimed originated with what they called the metoh-kangmi – or “the man-bear snowman.”

When the story was told to Henry Newman of the Statesman, however, Newman mistakenly interpreted the word “metoh” to mean “filthy.” And while the term “filthy snowman” sounded merely amusing, Newman eventually came up with the far more headline-grabbing and ominous name of the Abominable Snowman. And, thus, the monster of the Himalayas quickly became a household word and sightings of the beast abounded. In 1925, Greek photographer N.A. Tombini claimed to have seen a Yeti high on the Himalayas. “Unquestionably, the figure in outline was exactly like a human being, walking upright and stopping to uproot or pull at some dwarf rhododendron bushes,” he said, adding: “It showed up dark against the snow and, as far as I could make out, wore no clothes.”

In 1953, Sir Edmund Hillary reported finding large, unknown footprints while he climbed Mount Everest; and in 1970 British mountain-climber Don Whillans watched through binoculars as a hairy, ape-like animal apparently searched for food a short distance from his camp on Annapurna, a series of 55-kilometre-long peaks in the Himalayas. In January 1987, a small Yeti was said to have attacked a young boy in northern Kashmir, who reportedly proceeded to hit the creature on the head with a pot until it released him. And, in 2000, a woman claimed to have seen a giant, hairy, man-like animal roaming her land in Medog County, which can be found in southeast Tibet. Since then, sightings have dramatically declined.

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