This area in southern Massachusetts is about 200 square miles and super creepy. It seems to be a hotspot of paranormal activity and unexplained events. The name was originally attributed to the area by the paranormal researcher, Loren Coleman, in his book Mysterious America.
The area has a few landmarks of note. Obviously, the rock on the top left here is pretty interesting. It’s called (appropriately) Profile Rock, located in The Freetown-Fall River State Forest, where a good portion of the activity is reported. This activity includes a string of murders, hazardous waste dumping, and aggressive and abandoned dogs. Not to mention reported animal mutilations and (possibly related) Satanic rituals.
Hockomock Swamp is the other main area for strange occurrences. This swamp had been integral to the lives of the Wampanoag living in the area. Reportedly, the name Hockomock means “the place where spirits dwell,” though not in a creepy ghost-y way, just a very alive and active area, as a local conservation journalist, Ted Williams, wrote that it referred to “good spirits that led Indian to moose and deer.” If the sightings of Bigfoot and Thunderbird are to be believed, then that is probably a pretty accurate description! Though, it could also be in the creepy ghost-y way as poltergeists and orbs, balls of fire have all been reported. And! Let us not forget, there have also been UFO sightings.
Ivan T. Sanderson is credited with coining the term “cryptozoology,” the study of unknown creatures, as we all know very well. Sanderson was born in Scotland but immigrated to the United States and became a US citizen after WWII. He did a lot of traveling in his life, including with his family, and, sadly, his father was killed in Kenya by a rhinoceros in 1925.
Sanderson himself got his bachelor’s degree in zoology and two master’s degrees in botany and ethnology. So, he wasn’t some crackpot pseudo-scientist. He was the real deal. It is worth noting that he was interested in Charles Fort (this guy is super interesting and I would highly recommend looking into him! He wrote four books in his lifetime and all of them are considered nonfiction, though they dealt with topics ranging from teleportation to poltergeists and out-of-place artifacts. Interestingly enough, the collective of these various phenomena is called “Fortean phenomena” or “Forteana.”).
Unfortunately, this picture is hard to pin down. It doesn’t seem to have a clear origin. The best we could find was a website called “topix,” which didn’t seem to be the most reliable website. The caption on the photo there said:
“This picture I took while hiking down from the west pinnacle one evening around 8 o’clock last September. Can anyone help tell me what this is?Picture posted by Tall Ape-Like Creature on Apr 16 ‘09″
It is unclear who posted it but it does seem to originate in Kentucky. One way or another, the picture is pretty spooky. It seems to be peering into my soul. Gives me the heebie geebies!
This cryptid was supposedly first reported in 1887, though there are some accounts of a similar creature by Odawa First Nations (according to local folklore, anyway). The above image was supposedly captured in 1961, the first physical evidence. There is also a narrative that accompanies the photo but it is difficult to find a source for it.
In 1987, a local disc jockey in Traverse City, Michigan by the name of Jack O’Malley and his producer Steve Cook created a song called “The Legend.” He played it on April 1 of that year, a tribute to the 100th anniversary of the first sighting of the beast as well as a fun little April Fool’s joke (ala The War of the Worlds in 1938). Since that initial release of the song, it has been recorded two more times (in 1997 and 2007). It may have been a joke to those who created it but listeners took it quite seriously and contacted the station with reports similar to what was described in the song. It’s a bit eerie and quite interesting if you’d like to listen to it, just for fun.
Additionally, at some point, a video called “The Gable Film” surfaced and had a pretty creepy tale attached to it, saying it was discovered during an estate sale in the 1960s. While it was filmed with 8mm film, it was simply made to look old and was in fact not authentic footage of the Dogman. On an episode (the series finale) of the show MonsterQuestentitled “America’s Wolfman”, it was finally revealed that the film had been made by a fan of the song! Full circle, eh? Despite being fake, it is still pretty high quality and a little spooky.
So, the film wasn’t real and we have no real idea about the 1961 photo, that doesn’t dismiss all of the eyewitness accounts that came out after the release of “The Legend.” People certainly are seeing something. The question is what?
In LA County in California, right on the San Andreas fault, this particular iteration of the thunderbird cryptid was said to be a pet of the devil living around Elizabeth Lake (locally nicknamed Devil’s Lake). Sightings of the creature begun in the 1830s by a rancher named Don Pedro Carillo who moved to the United States from Spain. Many of the ranchers in the area claimed the creature killed and ate their livestock. After that, sightings continued until 1886.
In 1890, in Arizona where some people claim the creature “fled” to, some “cowboys” claimed to have shot the beast down and collected a part of its wing to show people. However, when they returned, the creature was no longer where they said they left it. Interestingly, their description of the creature sounded a lot like the prehistoric dinosaur, pterodactyl.