Saturday, August 27, 2016

Upcoming appearances for "Beyond the Seventh Gate"

I will be making the following author appearances for Beyond the Seventh Gate:

September 2, 2016 from 5pm-9pm, I will be at HIVE Artspace selling and signing copies of Beyond the Seventh Gate.

This is part of York's First Friday - many local art galleries and businesses downtown take part in this event. HIVE is opening a new show, MYTHOS: Tall Tales & Legends. Several of my illustrations for Beyond the Seventh Gate will be in the show as well as some of A.E. Hoskin's photographs from the book. We will have copies of our new cryptid-themed album, appropriately titled CRYPTIDSas well as some other cryptid gear (Albatwitch t-shirts anyone?) and art and photo prints. We may even perform a song or two from CRYPTIDS.

September 8, 2016  from 10:00pm until 11:00pm Central Time (11:00pm-12:00am Eastern), I will be on Darkness Radio discussing Beyond the Seventh Gate.

September 24, 2016 from 9:00am until 8:00pm, I will be at East Coast Para Con selling and signing copies of Beyond the Seventh Gate. I will have other cryptid gear and art prints to sell as well.

September 28, 2016 starting at 10:30pm, I will be on Arcane Radio discussing Beyond the Seventh Gate.

In case you missed it, I was on Sasquatch Chronicles podcast on August 19, 2016. The show is archived, but it is members-only, so you must be a subscriber to listen.

The forthcoming issue of Cryptid Culture Magazine (#4) will have a feature on my cryptid illustrations, Beyond the Seventh Gate, and the CRYPTIDS album.

I will post more appearances as they are confirmed.

I have also made a GoodReads author page if you want to follow me there.


On "supernatural" bigfoot - an excerpt from what may become my next book:

"If these are supernatural creatures with occult powers beyond our grasp, as some people insist they are - For where do they sleep? Where are the bones? Where are the bodies? Where are the aged, sick, slow, or crippled sasquatches which would presumably be easier to spot? (those who believe the creatures are purely natural have answers to all these questions, by the way) - if they are supernatural then I think we may never be able to grasp their motives. They may be chess pieces moved by something with a higher intelligence - or the creatures themselves might think in ways which do not conform to our own ways of thinking, making their minds unknowable to humans. These theories begin to sound like speculative fiction, but that is exactly the point I am trying to make. There are many very compelling “supernatural bigfoot” theories - but all of them begin and end as theories. 

If I were to write a book which was about a purely supernatural bigfoot, then all possibilities would be open and no answers could be found. For this reason, I will treat them as natural creatures. Creatures with abilities which are indeed superhuman, but not supernatural. These are creatures that leave footprints, hair, and property damage in their wake. 

However, I will not ignore the strangeness that often goes along with bigfoot - the spooklights, ghosts, and other unusual optical phenomena; the stories of the creatures appearing or disappearing seemingly out of nowhere; the accounts of them “freezing” people with fear; it goes on and on. I think we must always consider all of the information and if we choose to believe a witness saw an 8-foot tall hairy bipedal creature, we cannot ignore them when they say they saw orb-like lights in the woods at the same time. If we are to continue studying the creatures, and we are to acknowledge the phenomena that accompanies them, we must assume they are something STRANGE indeed, but something wholly natural. Quantum physics, for instance, can be very strange, but it is very real. Without steering this into territory which I am not qualified cover, I will recommend my readers familiarize themselves with at least the very basic concepts of quantum physics. This comparatively young field of study has answered problems which, previous to our understanding of quantum mechanics, seemed rather “spooky” indeed. It may be that bigfoot are somehow tied to this quantum weirdness or it may be something else we don’t yet understand that causes the odd phenomena associated with the creatures. Whatever the causes of these phenomena, we must assume they are natural or else we veer into science fiction."

So goes my feelings on the supernatural bigfoot. The creature is paranormal by definition, and superhuman by all reports (that is to say: the physical abilities of bigfoot creatures seem to be beyond the reach of human capabilities), but if we insist that they are supernatural then how do we even begin to study them?

I put this post as a reference for readers going forward - as I will not shy from the very unusual and paranormal phenomena associated with cryptids, yet I can not consider supernatural theories until we have some sort of measurements beyond "mindspeak", unsubstantiated "Nephilim" claims, and mythology (be it ancient or New Age).

I do not have many answers at this time. I am only a seeker. 

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Codorus Furnace Prints Available

Relative to my earlier post, Iron Furnaces and Cryptids, I have made my drawing of York County's Codorus Furnace into a limited edition print.

Codorus Furnace is a historic iron forge which pre-dates the Revolutionary War. Cannons, cannon balls, grapeshot, and other implements of war were made at this furnace for both the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. It was, at one time, owned by James Smith, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

Codorus Furnace also happens to sit right at the end ofToad Road (actually pre-1945 it was ON Toad Road - Furnace Road ended at Toad Road). This and much more is detailed in Beyond the Seventh Gate.

The print is available in two versions... color:

and black and white:

Each version is in a limited edition of 20 copies, printed on heavy linen paper, signed and numbered by the artist. You can get a print (or both prints) via Dark Holler Arts

Friday, August 19, 2016

Tonight on Sasquatch Chronicles

Tonight on Sasquatch Chronicles I talk with Wes about Beyond the Seventh Gate.  In particular we discuss my thoughts that many "ghost" type sightings are actually bigfoot or other cryptid creatures. 

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Retro Review: Abominable Snowmen - Legend Come to Life

Abominable Snowmen: Legend Come to Life by Ivan T. Sanderson

In terms of serious bigfoot research publications, this book has to be one of the oldest. Originally published over half a century ago, Abominable Snowmen suffers a little when looked at through the modern lens - but only a little. In all, it is a remarkable collection of ideas and theories on bigfoot creatures from a time long before the internet.

THAT is what becomes truly impressive as you read the book. It’s a rather thick volume (500+ pages) and it is packed full of information that Sanderson compiled without the help of the internet - but through extensive real-world paper page-turning (probably a good bit of microfilm scrolling too); through letters and conversations with witnesses, scientists, and other researchers; and through boots on the ground methods. 

We now have it so much easier in many ways. Bigfoot in all its forms is still a mystery but because of the internet we can entertain hundreds of theories about the creatures - we can see pictures and video footage of suspected creatures - we can listen to podcast after podcast of witness sightings - all without leaving our homes. I can not imagine how much more difficult it must have been in the 1950s and 60s to get any information at all on these creatures. For this alone, Sanderson deserves a tip of all of our hats.

In the course of writing my own book, Beyond the Seventh Gate, I interviewed a man who was 70 years old. He had done a lot of bigfoot research in the 1970s, but he had not followed the subject into the internet age. He was shocked about how much I knew - and the things I was able to tell him about the creatures. He said it took him years of research to find out about some of the things I told him. I quickly realized how much easier I have had it because of the internet. 

Back to Sanderson. It is remarkable the information he did uncover - and the ideas he put forth in 1961 and before. The idea of there being more than one type of bigfoot creature in the United States seems to be something that more and more researchers are coming to terms with - but the acceptance of this idea has been very slow indeed. I understand the resistance - it’s hard enough to convince people there is one relict hominid / mystery ape in the woods. Suddenly you expect them to believe there are more than one? 

However, the evidence is the evidence … and most of that evidence is footprints and witness sightings. Sanderson handles both quite well - particularly the footprints. Sure, he has since been surpassed by Meldrum et al. in that realm, but here is the groundwork and much of what Sanderson talks about is still valid. More than that, Sanderson doesn’t ignore difficult elements of the evidence - one of these being the fact that both footprints and witness reports seem to point to there being multiple types of bigfoot creatures.

Sanderson’s writing style can seem a bit ‘of the time’. This is mostly evidenced in a kind of stylized “voice” of the text which is actually quite charming to my mind. I picked up on Sanderson’s rhythms easily and began to quite enjoy the ‘words from another time’ feeling. It was almost like I was reading the journals of an old pith-helmeted explorer. The one aspect some readers may find troublesome though is Sanderson’s handling of different human races. He tends to paint with a broad brush and leans a bit on some stereotypes - well-meaning but stereotypes nonetheless. These aren’t hurtful necessarily - Sanderson is respectful throughout - but I think they are very much ‘of the time.’ It was a time Sanderson lived in - and was writing from - so I do not blame him at all. I only note it because to the modern reader it may be somewhat eyebrow-raising…. Though I suggest we do not hold it against Sanderson.

What I will hold against him is his attempt to coin a name for all types of bigfoot creature. He called them “ABSM” (short for Abominable Snowmen). He over-uses this acronym so much that it becomes very obvious he was hoping it would stick. With variants like “ABSMery” (boo) and the strange plural “ABSMs” used throughout the book, the term is much more of a distraction than a shorthand. I know he was writing before “bigfoot” “sasquatch” et al. became common currency, but "ABSM" just doesn’t work. 

You will often see recommendations that this book should be on every serious bigfoot researcher’s shelf. I think in this day and age you could find more updated information in other volumes - but most of it just adds to what Sanderson has compiled rather than disproving or taking away from his ideas. If it’s not on your shelf you should at least read through it once … keeping in mind when it was written and the incredible task this must have been at the time.