Bigfoots, Elementals and Ghosts—Oh my!!
By Brent Raynes
The date was Saturday, July 7th. Chandra Harrison, my daughter and co-host of Alternate Perceptions online radio (www.liveparanormal.com) was the driver and I was the navigator on this one. We traveled a pretty good distance. Chandra is also a field investigator for Tennessee Spirits, which is the organization that had extended an invitation for me to accompany them on this particular assignment.
For several years, the family at this location, up to the present, have reported experiencing a variety of ongoing paranormal disturbances (i.e., sounds of footsteps where no one can be seen, unexplained voices [that sometimes would call their names], the apparition of a tall dark, broad-shouldered shadowy figure, a woman who appeared to be from an antebellum period, with a parasol and wearing a bustle dress, as well as the spirit of a little girl who identified herself as Pearl, and who had blond hair and pigtails and wore a blue dress, etc.). Back on the night of Christmas Eve, the mother and her son, who is 22, reportedly observed a luminous capital H shaped object (1) moving through the night sky. Interestingly, when we did a “ghost box” session with the family later that night, my daughter Chandra had asked, “They reported some lights in the sky. Do you know anything about this?” Immediately a male voice stated (and I recorded this) “Yes, we do. During Christmas.” Coincidence? We also asked the spirits to say hi and their first name to different family members present and actually recorded immediate interactive type responses like, as in one instance, “Hi” (and then the mother’s first name, just as I had requested). A male spirit who almost always comes through to help with our sessions, is named Bishop, and he came through a lot during this session as well, and when Chandra asked him what was the small shadow form that the 22 year old had described seeing behind the house on March 15th, a male voice said, “They’re ghosts Chandra.” Then a female sounding voice said something that sounded like “angels,” to which a male voice again (same one?) stated again, “They’re ghosts.” [The spirits do seem to disagree quite often, sometimes quite strongly, as in another more recent session when a female voice seemed to be telling a male voice off with a “f--k you.”]
“It was easily 6 ½ to 7 feet tall,” Melissa Argo, Lead Investigator with Tennessee Spirits explained to me. “I know what I saw and it was big, tall and hairy,” Michelle Phelps, Investigator with Tennessee Spirits agreed. It walked out into the open at a nearby clearing, and then behind a bush stopped and seemed to watch them for awhile. “What was weird was there was a deer or a big dog that walked out first,” Melissa recalled. “It did not run. It walked. It walked across and when it hit the treeline the other thing followed.” Melissa mentioned that there was a light nearby, plus they had flashlights. I was told that the eyes reflected light from the flashlight beams. I asked if Bigfoot had been part of the activity reported at the haunted site they were investigating, and Melissa replied that it hadn’t been, adding, “That was just an added perk.” This happened at Dickson Springs, Tennessee, a couple months earlier. Melissa has lived in the country all her life and is very familiar with all kinds of wildlife, but had never seen anything like this before and is now a little reluctant to go into the woods alone anymore.
Some reports of Bigfoot do suggest they’re apparitional or at least temporary transmogrifications of matter more than being simply a straightforward, regular biological critter from our own sphere of existence. In the late psychoanalyst Nandor Fodor’s Encyclopaedia of Psychic Science you can even read accounts of birds and various animal forms materializing in séances, including an “anthropoidal ape” that appeared several times to witnesses at the famed Polish medium Kluski’s séances from 1919 to 1922. Of course, as my late friend Dr. Berthold Schwarz, a distinguished psychiatrist who delved indepth into both parapsychology and ufology, once mentioned to me that addressing these matters and searching for a “unifying theory” for any of it certainly “rouses our deepest resistances.” Objectivity is truly a most challenging and difficult course to plot and follow in such strange waters.
Marge Bernstein, a Co-director and Case Manager for Tennessee Spirits, recalled for me how she was once investigating a haunted bed and breakfast site in New Orleans when she had a frightening encounter with what she believes was an elemental being. The house had been the scene of a very violent murder of a mother and her child, and during the investigation one of the team members had been psychically attacked, wherein an invisible presence was strangling this person. “You could see the hand marks on her throat,” Marge told me. Later, as they were attempting to re-enter the bed and breakfast, Marge saw what a psychic later told her was an “elemental”. “The creature I saw outside the B&B, I hate using movies to describe things but, I’d have to say its stature and outward appearance was equal to ‘Dobie’ in the Harry Potter movies. It stood on two legs, had two arms and its face was like ours except for the mouth area. The mouth was protruding out about 2-3 inches with irregular teeth. Yellow for the white of the eye, skin is brown (dirty) and it stood 2, maybe 2 ½ feet tall. I care to never encounter that creature again.”
Marge described another elemental being sighting, this one a fairy type entity. She recalled: “This happened at Stones River Battlefield. Two years ago, on the anniversary of the Battle, January 1, three team members and their families joined us to ‘investigate’ the Slaughter Pen area. Within this area is a Walking Trail. I started walking this trail. About half a mile in, on my right, I felt multiple spirit presences. I walked off the path into a wooded area approximately 100 feet from the walking path. I stopped and sat down to see if any of the spirits would talk with me. I always talk to the earth when I’m out in the woods, respect and connection to these energies help me to communicate at times. While sitting quietly, I saw a whitish blue light, no larger than a ping pong ball. My feeling was it wasn’t a spirit orb, which I had witnessed at Mt. Olivet Cemetery. When the orb was approximately 15-20 feet away, it looked as though it burst. When the burst happened, a little, very thin woman appeared. Although looking human, I knew it wasn’t human nor spirit. She was about two feet tall, white skinned and wearing a greenish brown gossamer ‘dress.’ Seeing her was like picking out a person in camouflage amongst the wooded background.”
“Her eyes were dark colored. From the distance between us, I couldn’t tell you the actual color. She just smiled at me, touched a cedar tree and disappeared. I got up, walked over to the tree she had touched and touched it myself. My guide then said: Knock on wood. So I knocked on the tree and said thank you to the being for showing itself to me. The total experience lasted but 45 seconds tops.”
“I went home and looked up the myths of fairies and the saying ‘Knock on wood,” Marge added. “To my astonishment, knock on wood comes from the Irish myth of, when entering a Forest, people would knock on the trees before entering to ask for protection and guidance to catch prey to feed their families. That is the meaning of ‘knock on wood.’”
“I have ten acres,” a lady from Taft, Tennessee told me recently. “A creek and a spring, and I was out by my creek. I love rocks and I picked up this really pretty pink rock.” She tossed it down in the grass nearby with the intention of coming back to it later, but when she returned it was gone. “I said that if there were any spirits there that could help me find my rock [she says she has had psychic ability since childhood] I want my rock. Then I looked and there it was, right where I had been looking. Then I looked and there was this little, little guy. He was brown. He had a hat and shoes. He was a monochrome brown. I’ve read about the fairy stuff and I asked, ‘Can I have this rock? No strings attached?’ He said yes, so I picked it up. Then it was like I felt the urge to put this rock in a tree next to my spring. It had a little hole in it and I had the urge to put that rock in that hole. I went back about a month later and it wasn’t there anymore.” Tradition has it that elementals often hang out around springs, creeks, swamps and lakes.
“Some things I’ve experienced were beautiful, yet others have given me gray hairs,” Marge reflected. Shortly after Marge had shared with me her elemental fairy incident, I came across this sentence in Alien Impact by Michael Craft: “….malevolent evil fairies were said to drain blood from both men and cattle. These spirits were said to flock around battlefields to partake of the lost essence from hordes of dying men.”
“Flying lights and spheres are said to accompany some fairies and little people,” John Keel wrote in Operation Trojan Horse. “Witnesses were paralyzed in their presence, just as the unfortunate people who reportedly encountered vampires in central Europe were supposedly frozen in their tracks by some mysterious force or power radiating from the entities.”
Marge has certainly had her share of frightful, gray hair making experiences it would seem. Awhile back she was working on a case in the area of Lewisburg, Tennessee, after which she decided to become a “demonologist”. She was with a researcher named Tommy who utilized rituals of exorcism of the old orthodox Catholic Church, and a psychic named Julia, when suddenly a “black mass” about 5 foot tall and about 2-3 feet over the floor came out of a nearby wall. “I started screaming because I got a pressure on my head that felt like my brain was going to crack in half,” Marge told me. “I said to Julia, ‘What is this pain in my head?! Why is this hurting?!’ She said, ‘It’s a psychic attack.’” Tommy then sprinkled some holy water in its direction and as soon as it hit the ‘black mass’ there was a loud growl sound. “I was running real time with me,” Marge said. “Had the headphones on and everything. The growl did not show up on my recorder.” She said that they had all heard it! This has happened to her and others with her other times as well when a voice would be heard but it would not record! For example, Marge recalled an investigation near Franklin, Tenn., when an investigator asked a spirit for its name and they both immediately heard “Jacob” loud and clear. “Even though we heard it with our ears,” Marge said, “neither of us had it recorded on our recorders.”
How does one explain such contradictory events? More than one person hears a noise and yet it fails to register on an audio recorder (or recorders) that were running at the time? Objectively real physical events are supposed to consistently register on such recording instruments. Yet, alas, psychic events seem time and again to contradict the normal laws of physics that operate in the physical world of our everyday senses and science.
I corresponded with noted author John Keel about such anomalies back in the early 1970s. He recommended I study the works of a “brilliant parapsychologist named G.N. Tyrrell” who had come across such things (i.e., supernatural voices that sometimes wouldn’t record and apparitions that wouldn’t photograph). “I have had experience with this sort of phenomenon myself,” he confided in a letter. In Trojan Horse, Keel described how he had developed a network of UFO “silent contactees” in his investigative travels through some twenty states. In addition, he wrote how he had actually entered into communication with the entities themselves! He wrote: “When a UFO would land on an isolated farm and the ufonaut would visit a contactee, he or she would call me immediately and I would actually converse with the entity by telephone, sometimes for hours. It all sounds ridiculous now, but it happened. My notes, tapes, and other materials testify to the fact.” In our correspondence, Keel shared how some of his anomalous phone calls “failed to record (tape came out blank) or nothing but heavy static was recorded.”
Back in 1967, the “entities” on the phone, and once through a hypnotized subject named Jane on Long Island, and through his network of silent contactees, gave Keel specific future predictions (i.e., plane crashes, a tragedy on the Ohio River, etc.) that at times came through with unerring accuracy. At other times, it wouldn’t be precisely as originally described, but the information contained enough accurate details that it seemed to be beyond mere coincidence. One entity, named Apol, Keel came to talk with on the phone for sometimes up to two or three hours at a time. “I could ask him any kind of obscure question and receive an instant and accurate answer,” Keel wrote in The Mothman Prophecies. “Where was my mother’s father born? Cameron Mills, New York, of course. Where had I misplaced my stopwatch? Look in the shoebox in the upper right-hand corner of the bedroom closet (it was there).”
One major prediction that really had Keel concerned, as he noted the accuracy of other predictions that he had been given, was one where the Pope would be knifed at an airport by a man dressed in a black suit wielding a black knife, in a then upcoming Middle East peace tour. “Late that May, the UFO entities had also declared that Pope Paul would visit Turkey in the coming months and would be bloodily assassinated,” Keel also wrote in Trojan Horse. “Weeks later the Vatican suddenly announced that the Pope was, indeed, planning to visit Turkey in July.”
Fortunately that prediction seemed to sizzle out. But then, in a lengthy letter from Keel dated November 23, 1970, he wrote me: “…the elementals are busy again in my area and I have again been warned about the coming assassination of the Pope (discussed in OTH). The Pope is leaving shortly for a visit to the Philippines, Indonesia, etc. He will be visiting areas where there is considerable political unrest and he could be in serious danger.” Four days later, on November 27th 1970, Pope Paul VI landed at the Manila International Airport and, as Keel later wrote in Mothman Prophecies, “the scene described to me in 1967 suddenly became a reality. A man dressed in the black garments of a priest came out of the crowd and sprang at the pope with a long black knife in his hands.” Luckily, security guards intervened and the attempted assassination plot was nixed. “The would-be assassin was a Bolivian painter named Benjamin Mendoza who allegedly practiced black magic and witchcraft,” Keel added. “Witnesses said that he had glassy eyes and seemed to be in some kind of trance during the attack.”
“Many hauntings are ascribed to elemental beings,” Keel also wrote in Trojan Horse. From little people to “indescribable monsters” to more normal looking human beings, the occult literature on such apparitions extends back many centuries. “The most interesting elemental type is the humanlike being who materializes at séances,” Keel added. “Such beings have actually been photographed and examined by medical doctors. The spiritualists have developed their own jargon to describe and explain these unbelievable materializations, but it does seem that these entities are identical to the ufonauts. …In the majority of cases, the entity resembles an Indian or an Oriental, with high cheekbones, slanted eyes, and reddish or olive skin. …Sir William Crookes, the famed physicist, attended no less than forty-five materializations of this kind, photographing and physically examining the entities.”
One type of elemental, Keel had noted, can be conjured into existence through magical rituals and take any of a variety of forms. In the Encounters with the Unknown feature in this issue, we will share an account given us by a hypnotist who described helping in an apparent temporary kind of spirit possession that occurred with one teenaged girl that took place after several people visited a site outside of Nashville, Tennessee, where a self-described witch allegedly conjured up several Civil War era people and horses for a brief period of time!
1. With minimal effort you can Google details on H-shaped UFOs being reported by others at other locations. For example, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,2009; Fayetteville, Arkansas, 2011; near Musquodoboit Harbour, Nova Scotia, 1997; and Mount Vernon, New York, 2007 (complete with photographs). The Mt. Vernon sighting was in daytime and suggested by some to have been a mylar balloon. Some are in daytime and some are at night (at which time they are reported to be illuminated).
Researcher Jeffery Pritchett interviews Brent Raynes on the Native American Shaman's perspective on UFOs and aliens. Click here to read.