Central Ohio Legends & Lore

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Yeah, so this just happened.

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My latest endeavor hit Central Ohio bookshelves and online retailers everywhere on June 26th. And I have to admit it’s one that I am quite proud of.

For one, Central Ohio Legends & Lore gets me back a bit closer to my Weird Ohio roots that so many of you have been asking me to return turn. In other words, while this new book has some ghost stories in it, the vast majority of it centers on just plain ol’ weird stuff. You know, things like UFOs and the Ohio Grassman.

But what’s more, for this book, I made a conscious effort to focus on real weirdness: Stuff that sounds too weird to be true, but it is. Case in point, this pic from the cover of Central Ohio Legends & Lore:

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This picture is of a real mine fire in New Straitsville, Ohio. The fire was started in 1884 and still burns today. That’s right, there’s a 133-year-old fire burning right now under New Straitsville, Ohio.

I wanted to focus on real stories like that because I feel that with today’s paranormal reality shows, just uttering words like “ghost” or even “unexplained” can often cause the general public to react with cries of “BS” and “that’s not real”. Sadly, I think a lot of, in this case, Ohio folklore, is being abandoned and forgotten. I’m hoping to change that.

Of course, that’s not to say I abandoned the Ohio ghost story. Far from it. In fact, Central Ohio Legends & Lore contains some of my favorite Ohio ghost stories, including some that had yet to be included in any of my other books. In fact, I can honestly say that the research I did for one particular ghost story in the book, Thurber House, got me really, really excited.

It also led to an event being planned for this fall that is going to offer some lucky people the chance to stand at the crossroads where the paranormal and literary worlds meet. And who knows what will happen! Details on that event will be coming soon, so keep an eye on this blog. In the meantime, if you want a hint, go read James Thurber’s The Night The Ghost Got In.

Central Ohio Legends & Lore is available at most Central Ohio bookstores, as well as select grocery stores and even Walgreen’s. It’s also available at Amazon.com and all the other online retailers. It will also be available for purchase at all of my upcoming appearances and presentations. I’ve already started making the rounds on a bit of a mini-signing tour. At some of the locations, I will be giving brief talks about Central Ohio Legends & Lore. Come the fall, we launch into full-blown presentation mode, of which the new book will certainly be a large part. For a full list of upcoming appearances, click here.

Hope you have as much fun with the book as I had writing it!

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Black Triangle Reported Over Columbus, Ohio

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MUFON (Mutual UFO Network) has received a report alleging that a UFO was flying over the Columbus/Westerville area of Ohio on the evening of January 18th, 2015.

According to the woman who filed the report with MUFON, at approximately 7:15 pm, she received a text from her 11-year-old son, who lives with his father in Westerville, Ohio. The boy claimed that he could see a “meteor” above his father’s house. Curious, the woman, who lives in Columbus “about 20 minutes” from Westerville, went outside to see if she could see anything herself.

Sure enough, the woman reporting being able to see what she described as “a very bright, rapidly blinking light hovering in the SE sky.” She said the object appeared to be pulsating “in what looked like red, green, and white lights.”

When it came to movement, the woman was able to discern that the object was moving in a Northeasterly direction, towards her home, although it was moving very slowly. In fact, the woman remarked that after looking at the object for close to 45 minutes, it had still yet to cross over house. At approximately 8:00 pm, “a heavy cloud bank rolled in” and the woman lost sight of the object. She did manage to take several photos with her cell phone, though:

Submitted Photo #1 — via UFO Stalker

Submitted Photo #2 — via UFO Stalker

The report ends with the woman stating that “after checking out the pictures and zooming in”, she realized “this was most likely a UFO.”

If you have seen something similar, you are asked to notify MUFON.

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Concerning the photos the woman submitted, with all due respect, the first image has to be the smallest photo I have ever seen attached to one of these reports. What you’re looking at above is the full size image! I tried running it through software to bring the image out some more, but even a simple “zoom” on this pic turns it to pixellated mush. So sorry, nothing much to see here. 

When it comes to the second image, while it’s much larger, it’s still hard to see anything. I assume the UFO is the small green object towards the left of the frame (above), but it’s still too far out there to really see anything:

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Submitted Photo #2 (Cropped) — original version via UFO Stalker

So how about it, Columbus area: see anything weird in the sky last night? if you did, I want to know about it! Of course, let MUFON know, too, but don’t forget about your ol’ strange and spooky pal here!

 

You can read the MUFON report on this particular sighting by clicking here.

 

UFO Reported Over Payne, Ohio

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Well, well, well, 2015 is certainly starting off strange and spooky here in Ohio, isn’t it? First, we end 2014 with a 7-foot “alien” running across the road in Southern Ohio and now this: a report of a UFO shooting across the skies of Northwest Ohio.

According to a report filed with MUFON (Mutual UFO Network) on January 5th, a gentleman was driving to his home in Payne, Ohio on Friday evening (January 2nd). The report states that approximately “8 miles outside of town”, he noticed a bright white light in the sky, coming from the direction of Payne. When he pointed it out to his wife and asked what it was, she replied that she thought it was an airplane.

As they drove closer to the object, they were able to determine that it was not an airplane and in fact was not moving. It was simply hovering in the sky, approximately 1000 feet in the air. They were able to get to within “2 football fields” of the object, at which point the man rolled down his window and was able to take a few photos:

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Submitted Photo #1 — via UFO Stalker

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Submitted Photo #2 — via UFO Stalker

As he was taking the photographs, the man noted that the object was not making any noise at all. According to the witness, the object then began moving “slowly at first and then accelerated to a speed well over 300 miles an hour as it disappeared from our view within 30 seconds or so.”

Anyone with additional information is asked to contact MUFON…but make sure you fill me in, too!

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Zoomed (and rotated) Photo #1 — via UFO Stalker

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You can read the entire MUFON report here.

 

ONW: 7-Foot Creature Spotted In Highland County, Ohio

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Well, I’ve finally poked my head out of my 2014 Holiday Bunker and am busy getting reacquainted with my strange and spooky world. So lots of catching up to do! With that in mind, let’s start with this bit o’ weirdness out of Highland County, Ohio.

Seems that on the evening of Friday, December 12th, a former Marine was driving along Carmel Road. As the gentleman’s vehicle crested a hill, he observed “a 7′ tall slim, gray creature with muscular legs that walked like its knees were backwards.”

Upon reaching his home, a report was filed with the Ohio division of Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) and the man even included a sketch of what he had seen:

Pretty weird, huh? But of course, these sort of sightings are never as clear-cut as they seem. So this case is already started to get a little confusing.

To begin with, the story first “broke” when it appeared in the December 19th edition of the Highland County Press. In the article, which may or may not have been written by Ron McGlone of MUFON-Ohio (the article’s byline simply states “information by Ron McGlone”), there is only a mention of a single witness, a “60-year-old former Marine”.

Things get even more confusing towards the end of the article, where there is a link and several random, unattributed quotes. Following that link will eventually lead you to the official MUFON report, which was filed by the former Marine’s wife, who was allegedly also in the vehicle at the time of the sighting.

Contradicting McGlone’s statement, the woman states her husband is “almost 60 years old”. Further, the woman gives quite a bit more detail about the alleged encounter:

“We went around the curve by the Carmel church and then up a small incline and approximately 10 feet over the incline and in front of our truck, the ‘alien’ ran across the road and into the woods.”  

The woman’s statement also does a great job of clearing up exactly where the alleged encounter took place. After mentioning that they had recently purchased “a place in the Fort Hill area”, she describes how they were heading home on the night of the 12th:

“After turning on Carmel Road, which leads to our road, we went around the curve by the Carmel church and then up a small incline and approximately 10 feet over the incline and in front of our truck, the ‘alien’ ran across the road and into the woods.”

 Based on that description, I’m convinced the encounter took place in Hillsboro, Ohio. I’ve plotted the Carmel Church (purple bull’s-eye) on the map below. So by my calculations, the encounter took place on Carmel Road, slightly to the left of the Carmel Church:

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Map of Carmel Road, highlighting location of Carmel Church — via Mapquest

But that’s not to say the woman’s statement isn’t a bit confusing, because it raises a few more questions. For one, the woman implies that her husband drew the sketch because he was the only one who actually saw it, even going so far as to state “my husband saw it”:

“He wouldn’t have admitted to seeing it if he hadn’t been in shock. I had him draw it for me when we got to the house. He says it was asphalt gray (our asphalt is gray) and about 7 feet tall, no arms that he could see, but muscular in the legs area; no jawline, and its legs were bent backward and it leaned forward as it ran.”

That seems a little odd, especially since she had just finished stating how the creature ran in front of their vehicle. But perhaps she was just recounting what her husband described seeing and she never saw the creature at all.

Finally, the woman’s statement contains an interesting reference to their being “a perfect circle that stays fresh green, no matter what weather” in the couple’s front yard. So of course, government conspiracy fans are jumping all over this one.

So what sayeth you? Anyone out there have a recent encounter with a 7-foot grey creature with no arms and backwards legs? If you did, you know I’m dying to hear about it!

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You can access the Highland County Press article here.

Another article on the encounter, with a bit more information, can be viewed here.

A copy of the MUFON report that was filed can be accessed here.

Need to catch up on your Ohio News of the Weird? Check out the archives here.

UFO Reported Over Toledo, Ohio

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Last week, someone spotted something weird in the skies over Toledo, Ohio. So weird that he reported it to the Mutual UFO Network, MUFON, who promptly assigned it an official case number.

According to MUFON Case #61353, the male witness was traveling south on 475. As he approached the underpass for the Ohio Turnpike, he noticed an object “about the size of a Lear jet” in the sky, flying over the roadway, roughly 150 feet off the ground.

As the object crossed the road, the witness was able to get a good look at it and described it as having “three white lights – one at each end and one in middle – about 5 to 8 feet above the others. It did not have any strobe lights and did not make any sound that I could hear.”

The witness further described the body of the UFO as appearing “to be a rectangular panel of solid, bright, red lights made up of 6 to 8 smaller panels butted together.”

After crossing the roadway, the object continued in an easterly direction, where the witness eventually lost sight of it.

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Area of reported UFO sighting — via OpenMinds

Right now, there’s a little bit of “chicken and egg” going on with regard to the reporting. As of this writing, the report appears on two different web sites: OpenMinds and MUFON. Now, you would think of the two, the more thorough report would be on the MUFON site. After all, MUFON gave the sighting its own official case number and everything. But you’d be wrong. For aside from having very little information, the MUFON article points you to the OpenMinds article should you wish to “read more.” As for the OpenMinds article, it doesn’t add much in the way of additional information and, you guessed it, directs you back to the MUFON site.

It’s also a little confusing as the headline for both posts say the UFO moved  “150 feet over” the Ohio Turnpike, which, all things considered, is not really that impressive. But since the body of both articles mention that the UFO was spotted moving “under 150 feet” and state that this was how low to the ground the UFO was when it was seen,  I think we can safely say the headlines are just a little confused. Still, since these are the initial reports, you’d think the reporter would want to clean those headlines up ASAP.

More as it develops.

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You can read the MUFON report here.

The OpenMinds report can be found here.

Cincinnati UFO Was Just A Skydiving Team

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For a few days, it was believed that Southern Ohio was being invaded by aliens from another world. Turns out it was just your average group of Earthlings, engaging in a little nighttime parachute jump…with some pyro.

On Friday, September 29th, a person who goes by the YouTube name galuyasdi, posted two videos of what appeared to be three bright lights in the sky. According to the video description, galuyasdi was returning home from work Friday night when he pulled into a Cincinnati Wal-Mart parking lot, where he and his family (along with several other bystanders) witnessed the lights in the sky. Galuyasdi took one of the videos with his cell phone while the other video was filmed by his daughter, who also used her cell phone.

–via YouTube

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