“THE RETURN OF SPRING-HEELED JACK” and More True Paranormal Stories! #WeirdDarkness
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IN THIS EPISODE: From human invisibility to amazing demonstrations of levitation, we’ll look at strange devices, weird experiments and impossible observations that, if true, challenge conventional scientific knowledge. (Mad Scientists and Impossible Experiments) *** Strange things are often reported in the Nevada desert – but the last few months, sightings and experiences near Area 51 have exploded. What’s going on there? And what happens if you decide to climb the fence to get in? (Dead Aliens and Reverse Technology) *** Reports of strange humanoids resembling the legendary “Springheel’d Jack” came out of Argentina in the early two-thousands, from 2004-2007, and that was just one of several improbable para-human creatures that were reported. (The Return of Spring-Heeled Jack)
SOURCES AND REFERENCES FROM THE EPISODE…
“Mad Scientists and Impossible Experiments” by Stephan Wagner: (link no longer available)
“Dead Aliens and Reverse Technology” by Sean Casteel for Spectralvision: https://tinyurl.com/somsy9e
“The Return of Spring-Heeled Jack” by Scott Corrales and Christián Quintero for Inexplicata:https://tinyurl.com/2d59ywx
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Electrodes flash and spark, illuminating the dimly lit laboratory. Vials of eerie glowing liquid bubble and spit. The scientist, with a mad glare in his eyes, closely watches the progress of his secret experiment. Something weird is happening in this dark, cold basement – something the scientist hopes will finally prove what the rest of the scientific world said was impossible.
I’m Darren Marlar and this is Weird Darkness.
Welcome, Weirdos – I’m Darren Marlar and this is Weird Darkness. Here you’ll find stories of the paranormal, supernatural, legends, lore, the strange and bizarre, crime, conspiracy, mysterious, macabre, unsolved and unexplained.
Coming up in this episode…
From human invisibility to amazing demonstrations of levitation, we’ll look at strange devices, weird experiments and impossible observations that, if true, challenge conventional scientific knowledge. (Mad Scientists and Impossible Experiments)
Strange things are often reported in the Nevada desert – but the last few months, sightings and experiences near Area 51 have exploded. What’s going on there? And what happens if you decide to climb the fence to get in? (Dead Aliens and Reverse Technology)
Reports of strange humanoids resembling the legendary “Springheel’d Jack” came out of Argentina in the early two-thousands, from 2004-2007, and that was just one of several improbable para-human creatures that were reported. (The Return of Spring-Heeled Jack)
If you’re new here, welcome to the show! While you’re listening, be sure to check out WeirdDarkness.com for merchandise, my newsletter, enter contests, to connect with me on social media, plus, you can visit the Hope in the Darkness page if you’re struggling with depression or dark thoughts. You can find all of that and more at WeirdDarkness.com.
Now.. bolt your doors, lock your windows, turn off your lights, and come with me into the Weird Darkness!
STORY: MAD SCIENTISTS AND IMPOSSIBLE EXPERIMENTS=====
We’ve all enjoyed the image of the mad scientist in the movies as he toiled away in his creepy lab, working on the very edge of scientific knowledge. There really have been such independent scientists, of course. And although they might not quite be mad, their pursuits have been unconventional. Perhaps impossible.
Here are a few intriguing tales of “mad scientists” and their wild inventions. They may be true, exaggerated, hearsay, legends or outright hoaxes – we may never know for certain. But the possibility that they are real is irresistible.
THE INVISIBLE MAN
Human invisibility is a fun idea, one that has been the subject of several sci-fi books and movies, including H.G. Wells’ classic The Invisible Man and the more recent Hollow Man. Has some obscure scientific genius actually achieved it? Consider this story found on Keelynet:
The scene is a public hall in London England. The year is 1934. A young scientist, claiming he has discovered the secret to electromagnetically induced invisibility, steps into an open-front cabinet on a brightly lit stage before a curious audience. On his head he wears a device he calls an Electro-Helmet along with some other paraphernalia. He reaches up and touches two contacts above his head with both hands, then gives the signal for the switch to be thrown. The switch allegedly sends a current of electricity to his strange devices… and his body gradually vanishes from his feet to his head!
According to the story, spectators could touch and feel his body within the cabinet, but they could not see him. “All one could see,” the story goes, “was the development of a cone of light such as might be projected between the two poles of a powerful transmitter.” Naturally, the inventor refused to reveal how his contraption worked, stating only that it was the result of many years of experimentation.
Was he a brilliant scientist? Or a clever magician? The demonstration sounds very much like illusions performed by top magicians today. The part of the story that makes it most intriguing, if it is accurate, is that his body vanished from toe to head “gradually.”
The U.S. military in recent history is said to have experimented with creating invisibility by bending light through electromagnetic means, and may have been one of the goals of the legendary “Philadelphia Experiment.” Was this “young scientist” decades ahead of them?
ANOMALOUS TRANSPARENCY: THE FAILE EFFECT
Dr. S.P. Faile doesn’t believe he can make himself invisible, but he does think things around his laboratory sometimes inexplicably become partially transparent. In a curious article titled “Observations of Anomalous Transparency: The Faile Effect,” author Nicholas Reiter writes about the weird observations Dr. Faile began making around his home in 1997 and 1998.
Faile, a semi-retired materials research engineer and scientist noticed the strange effects after he had been conducting experiments in “new energy.” According to the article, “the effect seemed to mainly consist of occasional circumstances where common, normally opaque objects ranging from one’s forearm, to sheet metal, to furniture, would seem to turn partially transparent. More distant objects seemed to be visible through these structures, even to the extent of such details as printed characters.”
Was it just an optical illusion? Failing eyesight? Or had Dr. Faile stumbled upon a new phenomenon?
At first, Faile too wondered if the effect was just an illusion, but dismissed that possibility after numerous experiments and corroborating observations by colleagues. In numerous tests, he was able to observe this transparency both indoors and out, in various kinds of lighting. The effect is not the common observation anyone can make if they hold their hand or an object close to one eye and allow the other eye to see past it, resulting in an illusion of transparency.
So what is it? “At present it seems to be a phenomenon in search of a definition or methodology,” the article states. “One model would place the effect into the realm of anomalous human talent, such as clairvoyance or remote viewing. However, other individuals, with only a minimum of technique refinement, have been able to confirm the effect. Additionally, because a number of ‘real world’ factors such as lighting, location and certain material structures can greatly affect its magnitude, it seems to more properly belong in the realm of optics, and probably quantum mechanics.”
JOHN KEELY’S FLOATING MINI-SOLAR SYSTEM
John Worrell Keely (1827-1898) was a rogue inventor who tirelessly experimented with free energy, something called a “compound disintegrator” and numerous other devices on the fringe of mainstream science. He still has a devoted following today of like-minded experimenters who are convinced that free energy is out there somewhere, just waiting to be tapped.
One of the most fascinating stories about Keely concerns his encounter with John Jacob Astor, heir to the Astor fur-trading fortune (and who later perished on the Titanic), at the World’s Fair in the late 1880s. Keely was demonstrating a device he called “The Musical Globe.” This sphere (the story does not mention its size) was painted black on one side and white on the other and was said to contain some secret arrangement of vibrating components. When properly tuned, the sphere would react to the playing of a harmonica and begin to spin of its own accord.
Astor was so impressed by the demonstration that he sought Keely out. Allegedly, Keely told Astor that The Musical Sphere was only part of a much more fantastic discovery – the the “good stuff,” he said, was in his laboratory, if Astor would like to see it. Of course, he did.
In Keely’s lab was a very curious device that consisted of a large metal sphere centered on a large ring. An outer, larger ring was supported by the first and in it were nested smaller spheres of various sizes. The appearance was of a mini solar system – planets surrounding a central sun. When Keely turned on his machine and fiddled with some dials to make the necessary fine tuning, the large sphere began to rotate on its axis. Soon the small spheres began to rotate too, and also to orbit the large sphere.
So far this demonstration could be explained by any number of mechanical means, but what happened next enters the realm of the impossible. In just a few minutes, the large sphere, still spinning, rose off of the ring, as did all of the smaller spheres in their orbits. When reaching a certain height, the smaller spheres spread out to their optimum orbits. So what Astor stood looking agape at was a completely free-floating, moving representation of our solar system.
Supposedly, Astor reached up and grabbed one of the smaller spheres – and was carried around the room by it. His touching it had no affect on its height or speed of rotation.
Had Keely truly discovered some fantastic unknown force? Or was it a trick? Or is this just a tall tale passed around by Keely’s fans? If it’s true, how and why would news of such a miraculous device have been kept secret?
There will always be such independent, free-thinking “mad scientists” in our midst. And perhaps one day one of them will incontrovertibly demonstrate a device from his basement workshop that will change the world, and make the impossible possible.
Up next on Weird Darkness… Has an alien been gunned down by the U.S. military? Many people think so – we’ll look at some of the recent happenings in the infamous section of the Nevada desert known as Area 51.
STORY: DEAD ALIENS AND REVERSE TECHNOLOGY=====
Area 51 has been in the news the last few months with talk of storming the “gates,” which really do not exist as such. What is there is, for the most part, merely a “line” in the sand indicating where to stop and not go any further. Those that have gone past that point have basically “survived” and suffered a hefty fine, a night in jail and a warning not to show their faces on the Extraterrestrial Highway again. There is a rumor that one individual was shot to death because he stopped at the guard post and took some sort of canister out of his backpack, after which the private security team felt that he was a threat to life and limb and blasted him into the dust. It’s alright to go to the Little A-Le-Inn and hang out for a brew and purchase a souvenir, but don’t leave the parking lot with alcohol on your breath or the Lincoln County Sheriff will see to it personally that you get the rough treatment and end up with your pockets empty.
HAS AN ALIEN BEEN GUNNED DOWN BY OUR MILITARY?
UFOlogist, Tim – Mr. UFO — Beckley has been keeping abreast of what’s going on at the gates of Area 51. He had one of the first skywatches and workshops in 1993 with William Cooper out at the Inn and had to turn away some folks cause so many showed up. His new book, “Area 51: Warning! Keep Out!” has all the details of his journey to the base as well as his in-depth investigation of what has gone out in Rachel, NV, as well as other military installations and bases worldwide. Nothing has escaped his attention and those of the book’s contributors. There is plenty of talk of battles with grays, dead EBEs and clashes with UFOs both in the U.S. and abroad.
“Evidence keeps mounting,” Beckley writes, “and virtual proof is at hand that UFOs have crashed and alien bodies have been retrieved by the U.S. government in a cover-up that makes Watergate look like ‘child’s play.’”
Or so says Diane Tessman, a former Mutual UFO Network State Section Director for Florida who has researched extensively the crashed saucer syndrome. Tessman has herself been abducted by the aliens and has corresponded with experts on the subject like Leonard Stringfield.
According to Tessman, one of the cases reported to Stringfield came from an Air Force sergeant named only “JM,” for the sake of his privacy. JM was also a military policeman, and in a letter to Stringfield he revealed a bizarre UFO crash incident which he witnessed at McGuire Air Force Base, New Jersey.
“The incident supposedly transpired in January of 1978,” Tessman writes. “He told Len of assisting an MP who informed him that planes from Fort Dix were pursuing a low-flying object. Suddenly the object appeared over his patrol car! His radio transmission was cut off. Then, in front of his police car, appeared a ‘thing’ with a fat head, long slender arms, grayish in color and about four feet tall. The MP fired five rounds into the alien and another round into the object hanging in the air over his car.
“The UFO then flew straight up to join eleven others,” she continues, “which were high in the nighttime sky. The MP reported that the alien had run into the woods, still moving after having five rounds from a .45 caliber gun fired into him.”
However, JM reported that he and several other military police found the body of the alien. It had climbed a high fence and died while running. The entire area was roped off and hush-hush security ensued. A battery acid, ammonia-like stench continued to permeate the area. The next day, a special team from Wright-Patterson AFB arrived and loaded a metal container onto their plane.
“All personnel were warned,” Tessman writes, “that they would be punished if they ever breathed a word of the incident. Unfortunately, no more information can be gained from JM because, as Stringfield reports, he virtually vanished into thin air shortly before he was to be discharged. All attempts to contact him have failed.”
Informants like JM above are few and far between and thus secrecy is maintained by the government and the military mostly successfully. In terms of Area 51 proper, however, there is one famous whistleblower who remains credible and has stuck to his guns for 30 years. That would be Bob Lazar, a physicist who went public with his claims about working on alien craft and started a controversy that has persisted to this day.
THE FOREMOST AREA 51 WHISTLEBLOWER
UFO researcher and author William Hamilton, III, contributes a chapter to “Area 51: Warning! Keep Out!” in which he provides some background on physicist Bob Lazar, who spoke to Las Vegas journalist George Knapp and went public with bizarre stories about the base in 1989.
“According to Lazar,” Hamilton writes, “his employer was the U.S. Navy. He and other government workers would be flown to Groom Lake and then take a bus with blacked-out windows and drive to S-4. At S-4, there was a building with a slope of about 30 degrees which had hangar doors. Inside the hangar were nine extraterrestrial flying saucers, all of different types, or, as Lazar says, ‘It’s as if they had an assortment pack.’
“He says that the power source on the saucer he worked on,” Hamilton continues, “was an anti-matter reactor which utilized the super-heavy element 115, which cannot be found naturally on Earth and is virtually impossible to synthesize. This was one of the clues that led him, in his expert opinion, to conclude that these craft were not just an advanced development of a small group of secret scientists.”
Meanwhile, along with his suspicions about the various ships truly being of extraterrestrial design, Lazar was forced to endure hardships of various kinds at the hands of humans.
“Security at S-4 was oppressive,” Hamilton writes, “and Lazar’s superiors used fear and intimidation tactics and did everything but physically hurt him. They put a gun to his head and shoved fingers into his chest and yelled into his ears. None of the scientists or technicians chit-chatted with each other when on the job. Lazar consented to polygraph testing, but one of the polygraph experts who believes Lazar is telling the truth said that some of the tests were inconclusive because of the fear driven into Lazar.”
Lazar believes it is a crime against the people and the scientific community not to tell the public that contact has been made with aliens and that we have actual physical proof from another planet, another system, another intelligence, but the proof is being closely guarded by a secret group within our government. Lazar said he was promoted to a level of clearance that is 38 levels above a Top Secret “Q” level of clearance. He was briefed and read many classified documents.
“He doesn’t like to talk about aliens at Groom Lake,” Hamilton writes, “and although he may have seen one once through a glass door, he isn’t positive about it. The documents he saw mention autopsy reports on alien bodies and do mention that at least one of the alien races originates from the fourth planet of the binary star Zeta Reticuli 2.”
A PLENTITUDE OF OTHER WHISTLEBLOWERS
When Area 51 is mocked as a very poorly kept secret, one reason for that is the numerous whistleblowers that have come forward to tell their story in spite of any threats made by the shadow government. Hamilton writes of one informer who calls himself “Yellow Fruit.”
Yellow Fruit claims to have worked as a security officer at Area 51. He later became disgruntled with the activities there.
“He made the discovery,” Hamilton writes, “that one of the security men he worked with was a humanoid alien he referred to as a ‘benevolent one.’ The other little gray aliens were called EBEs (for Extraterrestrial Biological Entities, a term that appears in the MJ-12 briefing document). Yellow Fruit revealed that a conflict was going on between the benevolent ones and the EBEs, and that now the benevolent ones had gained the upper hand at Dreamland, where he said a contingent of 37 benevolent ones were stationed and where three EBEs were held in captivity.”
A Brit named Mike Oram had many sightings in the UFO hotspot of Warminster in England, but they could not compare to his experience at Area 51. While driving alongside the base with his wife, they were stalked by a truck, which blew out one of the couple’s tires with a gunshot. From that moment on, the pair experienced two hours of missing time. That evening, after the kidnapping, they found themselves “recovering” in a trailer park. Later, under regressive hypnosis, the couple remembered they were kidnapped by strange individuals dressed as military men. Oram would subsequently come to believe that he had had a negative experience with the “paramilitary operators of the NRO Delta Force, a group trained to carry out false abductions to make people believe that they are beings of other worlds.”
Don Siedenburg is yet another whistleblower who has come forward with one of the strangest stories publisher Tim Beckley has ever heard. Siedenburg was involved in Roswell, but in a most peculiar way. The rumors have circulated for years that technology of some sort was retrieved from a crashed UFO, either from Roswell or some other crash in the late 1940s. The late Colonel Philip Corso claimed that he was given the responsibility to farm out a small number of unknown items taken from the downed disc in order to discover what they were and how they could be reproduced.
Siedenburg says that more than electronics or hardware was retrieved from this crashed UFO. He says he was part of a military experiment to test an alleged extraterrestrial “food source.”
Siedenburg told Beckley that he had enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1954 when he was eighteen years old. He spent the first three weeks of his enlistment at Edwards Air Force Base in California, where he participated in the testing of a source that supposedly tied in with the crashed UFO. “The Serum,” as it was called, was given to him in two-ounce servings, once per day for 21 days. The Serum was his only nourishment; Siedenburg experienced no hunger during that time.
The young soldier signed a Non-Disclosure Agreement that had no expiration date. However, the medical study team leader told him that if he were still alive at age 80, and still had all his mental and physical facilities, then they wanted him to tell his story. The reasoning was that, by the time Siedenburg reached 80, he would probably be the only one still alive. The study group felt that it was extremely important that the story be revealed to the public.
Siedenburg lost touch with his handlers over the years. He was told, however, that the military was trying to reproduce The Serum as it could help to do away with worldwide hunger. He has no idea whether The Serum is still being produced.
Ben Rich, called the “father of stealth technology,” is a former vice-president of the Lockheed aircraft corporation. After earning a master’s degree in thermodynamics from UCLA, he was hired by Lockheed in 1950. In 1954, he was sent to Lockheed’s secret research and development section, which was called the Skunk Works and located at Area 51. Later he was the program manager for the SR-71 Blackbird propulsion system and led the development of the F-117 stealth fighter.
Rich has stated publicly that:
“Anything you can imagine, we already know how to do.”
“The U.S. Air Force has just given us a contract to take ET back home.”
“We also know how to travel to the stars.”
“If you’ve seen it in ‘Star Trek’ or ‘Star Wars,’ we’ve been there and done that.”
“We have things in the Nevada desert that are alien to your way of thinking and far beyond anything you see on ‘Star Trek.’”
Of course, this technology could only come from UFOs. But one wonders at Rich’s apparent need to boast of what he and his Area 51 have accomplished. Has he been overcome by simple pride or hubris?
There are other well-known and courageous whistleblowers heard from in “Area 51: Warning! Keep Out!” such as Robert Dean, Ed Fouche, and Vice Admiral Thomas Wilson, all of whom have impressive military credentials that make credible their claims to being insiders regarding the UFO phenomenon. One should read the book to learn more about them since it is not possible to do them all justice in the space of this article.
ARE THERE HUMAN UFO PILOTS IN THE MIX?
Another perspective on Area 51 comes from author Preston Dennett, who contributes a chapter called “Project Redlight – Are We Also Flying the Saucers?”
Dennett calls on the research of the late William Cooper, a longtime warrior in the battle against governmental conspiracy and secrecy. In the Fall 1989 issue of Beckley’s now-defunct magazine, “UFO Universe,” Cooper writes openly of Project Redlight, the purpose of which was to test fly recovered alien craft, the same sorts of ships that Lazar discusses above. Nearly every attempt to test fly the alien ships resulted in the destruction of the craft and the death of the pilots. UFO sightings of craft accompanied by black helicopters are Project Redlight assets, Cooper claims, and at the time he was writing the project was ongoing at Area 51.
“It is interesting that Cooper mentions unmarked helicopters,” Dennett writes. “There is a very famous UFO case known as the Cash-Landrum radiation case. On December 29, 1980, Betty Cash, Vickie Landrum and Colby Landrum encountered a UFO on a lonely Texas highway. The UFO, however, was surrounded by nearly twenty helicopters of definite Earthly origins. Why would a UFO have twenty helicopters escorting it above a highway?”
Was the UFO craft itself being piloted by a human being? And totally comfortable with a human escort of Earthly helicopters?
“This case,” Dennett declares, “could very well be our best evidence for Project Redlight. The unfortunate witnesses, especially Betty Cash, suffered radiation burns. Betty’s eyes swelled shut, she suffered hair and skin loss, nausea, diarrhea, stomach cramps and headaches. She had sores on her hands that persisted even after eight months.”
Meanwhile, Dennett reports on other witnesses to UFOs that don’t seem to be piloted by beings from other planets. Dennett quotes a writer named Rick Murray, who authored an article headlined, “Is that thing a UFO, or the USAF?”
“The incident took place in the 1960s in New Jersey,” writes Dennett. “According to Murray, his father saw a typical saucer-shaped UFO while traveling on Route 70. Another man drove up in a car and witnessed the UFO with his father. As they were watching it, Air Force personnel drove up and in jeeps and tried to convince the men that what they’d seen was their imagination.
“This case would be like many other UFO cases except for two things. As Murray says, ‘The heads my father saw through the portholes were human. And along the craft’s fuselage, in bold print, were the letters USAF.”
Again, it seems that the military is possession of flying saucers and is flying them around, which is done as part of Project Redlight, the alleged Air Force study to fly UFOs acquired through crash/retrievals.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU CROSS THE LINE AT AREA 51?
One chapter that is particularly relevant to the current plan to storm Area 51 comes to us from writer Alejandro Rojas, who has written a chapter on what typically happens if you cross the line and go past the warning signs at Area 51.
In 2012, Rojas recounts, a BBC film crew filming a show called “Conspiracy Road Trip: UFOs,” made the fateful decision to cross the line, literally. A “Huffington Post” blogger and UK-based UFO researcher, Darren Perks, was part of the BBC production crew.
“We went to the Area 51 boundary,” Perks says, “and specifically to film at that location. We also made a collective decision to walk onto the restricted area and continue filming,” Perks told the “Huffington Post.” “It was a wrong thing that we did, and there will be a lot of people in the States that don’t like it. The thing is, it happened. It wasn’t staged or set up. We went there to film and overstepped the mark – we went a bit too far. “
According to Perks, the guard station at the gates appeared to be unoccupied. The group wandered past the entrance to film and ventured up to 200 yards past the gates, filming for about 30 minutes. Apparently, the lack of security guards made the BBC crew feel too comfortable. One of the team knocked on the door of the guard station.
“Eight guards wearing combat fatigues immediately came out with their assault rifles and they grabbed us,” claims Perks. “The guards forced us to the ground and we were all made to lie face down in a row on the tarmac with a gun at our back.”
Perks says they were kept in this position with their faces in the dirt for hours while the guards confiscated their equipment. Finally, the Lincoln County Sheriff sent officers to bring the group in for questioning.
Lincoln County Sheriff Kerry Lee says Perks’ account is not entirely accurate. According to Lee, his officers arrived within 30 minutes. Lee also says the guards at Area 51 were watching the BBC crew’s every move but did not approach them until they had gone too far.
Lee says the group was brought out onto a public road and questioned, issued citations, and then released. The crew was fined $600 for their incursion.
Perks says the ordeal took hours. He also claims that he asked one of the guards if he had seen any UFOs while working out here. He was told, “You know I can’t answer that question.”
Perks says he prodded further and was warned by the guard, “Son, we could make you disappear, and your body will never be found.”
Another guard allegedly told the film crew, “If any of you had kept going, we would have shot you.”
That last statement there goes a long way toward confirming the warning on the “keep out” signs there that “lethal force is authorized.” While the BBC crew got away with just a hefty fine, they were just as liable as anyone else to being mowed down in the name of secrecy, whatever their press credentials might have said.
A TREASURE TROVE OF RELEVANT INFORMATION
There is much more on offer in “Timothy Green Beckley’s Area 51: Warning! Keep Out!” Among the many other contributors are Brad and Sherry Steiger, who write about an alleged underground base in a New Mexico town called Dulce, which they have been told by sources they consider reliable functions as a kind of “Frankenstein Factory” in which aliens and humans work together to create a viable human/alien hybrid race of beings. There are legends about Dulce concealing large vats of human body parts “waiting to be blended with the special fluid that the aliens from outer space used for their food.” In terms of UFO conspiracy lore, it doesn’t get any creepier.
In addition to the authors mentioned in this article, “Area 51: Warning! Keep Out!” also includes Timothy Green Beckley himself, as well as Tim R. Swartz, Joshua P. Warren, Paul Dale Roberts, Scott Corrales, Hercules Invictus, Nigel Watson, Skylaire Alfvegren and myself. Together we provide a thorough overview of not only Area 51 but also the entire matrix of military and government secrecy in regards to UFOs and the alien presence. Beckley’s tried and true method of bringing together various authors with differing viewpoints makes for a wonderfully complete examination of the topic at hand, in plenty of time for the long awaited “experiment” in forcing the hand of the authorities guarding Area 51.
When Weird Darkness returns – what are the strange hopping creatures that were seen in Argentina between the years 2007 and 2010? Was it a yet-to-be-discovered animal? Something paranormal? Did Springheeled Jack somehow travel in time from the 1800’s? The theories seem to be endless.
STORY: THE RETURN OF SPRING HEELED JACK=====
Reports of strange humanoids resembling the legendary “Springheel Jack” came out of Argentina in the mid-Aughts (2004-2007) and were widely circulated in the local and foreign press, as readers beyond Argentina became acquainted with all manner of “petizos” and “pomberos” and other improbable parahuman creatures.
Our friend and colleague Christian Quintero (co-founder of Planeta UFO with Guillermo Gimenez) has drawn our attention to the reappearance of one of these bizarre humanoids in the town of Calchín, Cordoba Province (pop. 2000). Sightings appear to have commenced in August 2010 and have attracted considerable attention in the print media and on Argentinean radio.
The first of the journalistic sources dates from August 17, 2010 and reads: “Alarm in Calchín Over the Mysterious Apparitions of a Ghost”. This report, written by staff writer Ignacio Martino, notes that local residents have spoken of nothing but the “tall skinny guy” who covers his face with a balaclava and is terrorizing their communities. As occurred in Puerto Rico during the early days of the Chupacabras sightings, bands of citizens have formed to catch the mysterious personage. In the lyrics of the old song by TOTO: “You better watch out / there’s a stranger in town.”
Martino’s article quotes the experience of Gustavo, a youth who has thrown his lot in with the vigilantes who hope to catch the stranger. “20 days ago, a character started going around town between 21:00 and 23:00 hours every night. He bangs on doors, tries kicking them down, runs across backyards screaming and laughing, and no one has been able to identify him. This is happening very often, all weekend, for example. He appeared in various parts of town and always turns up in places from which he can make a quick getaway.” Gustavo (no surname given) was also interviewed on 08.17.10 by a radio program on which he added further details. There are abandoned houses in the Calchín area where inverted cross graffiti can be found, and which appear to have been partly burned down during the course of what we might loosely term “cult activity”.
“I did not see them,” he stresses. “But it is said that there are crosses, that there were names scrawled on the wall, the name of the town among them. What I did see, because I approached the areas, were the remains of fires, several piles of ash.”
Nor is the stranger afraid of the police. He (she? it?) has taken to prowling around the police barracks, and despite sharp commands to halt, officers have only seen him running off into the eucalyptus groves. The vicinity of Calchín has become filled with cars and curiosity-seekers armed with flashlights, but all their efforts have been fruitless.
The next article that Christian has sent us reads: “Police Looks Into Apparitions of Calchín’s “Hopping Phantom” and is dated 08.22.10 with the skyline: “An Unusual Event in Córdoba”. The moniker “hopping phantom” may not have the same ring as “Springheel” or even “Mothman”, but it describes perfectly the agility of a figure allegedly able to leap in excess of two meters in the air, according to those who have seen it. Flooded with phone calls reporting the antics of this unknown entity, the police have had no choice but to open a formal investigation into the matter.
A band of vigilantes perhaps came closer to catching the “hopping phantom” than it may have bargained for. The article reads thus: “ Tired of living in fear, a group of local residents decided to go after it one night. Upon reaching the place (sic) they saw an immense bonfire on a stretch of empty ground. When they approached, the saw a person kneeling before the fire. Perceiving their approach, the figure took off running at incredible speed. There were many candles in the shape of a circle around the bonfire.”
An anonymous witness made a concerned statement to Cadena 3 radio. “Everyone is afraid. It gets into backyards, bangs on doors and windows. Its yells are overwhelming. It has shown up in different parts of town.”
What is interesting about this article is that the authorities “have not discarded the possibility that black magic could be involved” as it is “a customary practice in the area.” This hearkens back to the summer of 2002 and the Argentinean cattle mutilation epidemic, when the presence of “red magic” – blood sorcery – was suggested as the cause for the slaughter. Law enforcement, regardless of the country, tends not to make such candid assertions. Candles and bottles were reported in an Argentinean UFO case in the early ‘00s that suggested that the source of light had been “summoned” through sorcerous means.
On 08.21.10, a woman named Daniela made the following statement on one of the Cadena 3 broadcasts: “Look, all I can say is that I haven’t seen it, but people are truly scared…it appears between nine and eleven at night, it has scared a lot people…people who are credible, whom you wouldn’t laugh at. Yes, it gets into back yards, bangs on windows, screams in a way that truly frightens people.” She goes on to tell the host that the subject has become the subject of conversation “at school, at the grocery store, everywhere you go” although no one directly affected by the phenomenon had spoken to her.”
When asked by the radio show host if the creature (whom he refers to as “el sátiro”, the Satyr) has chosen a particular lurking ground, she replies that the mystery figure does not appear to have any predilections, although the eucalyptus groves have been the area where most of the civilian searches have taken place.
Walter – another caller – states that the police has been forced to look into the “fantasma saltarín” as a result of the volume of calls received from the citizenry. “This person,” says the caller, “he hops beside you as your car is driving into Calchín…he appears out of nowhere in front of you, and according to some, he can jump two meters in the air.” At this point in the exchange, the show host pours the proverbial pitcher of cold water over the subject, saying that when similar things have occurred in other towns, it always turns out to be “someone who isn’t well, let’s say, someone with an imbalance” and that doing such things “occurs often in small towns.”
One wonders if people in small towns leaping two meters in the air are a tribute to clean rural lifestyles.
A trucker driving his vehicle in the middle of the night through the area, twenty five kilometers south of Calchín, told Cadena 3 in San Francisco that a figure made a sudden appearance in front of his truck, dressed all in black and hopping alongside the road. It stopped to look at the driver, who nearly drove the vehicle off the road in fright.
Mass hysteria in the dead of the southern hemisphere coldest recorded winter? An entity summoned by sorcery for some unknown purpose, feeding off the fear of a small, terrified community? The latest manifestation of Springheel Jack, whatever he/she/it was? Perhaps the arrival of warmer weather will allow for further investigation. For the time being, there’s an involuntary curfew going on in Calchín as of nine o’clock at night, when mystery comes banging on the door…
All stories in Weird Darkness are purported to be true (unless stated otherwise) and you can find source links or links to the authors in the show notes.
“Mad Scientists and Impossible Experiments” by Stephan Wagner
“Dead Aliens and Reverse Technology” by Sean Casteel for Spectralvision
“The Return of Spring-Heeled Jack” by Scott Corrales and Christián Quintero for Inexplicata
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Now that we’re coming out of the dark, I’ll leave you with a little light… “Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life…” — John 6:27a
And a final thought… “Count your blessings, not your problems.” – Unknown
I’m Darren Marlar. Thanks for joining me in the Weird Darkness.