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Ron Patton | February 20, 2019
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An elderly North Carolina teacher was attacked and killed by an animal while taking an early morning walk this week, and officials there are baffled as to what may have attacked 77-year-old Brenda Hamilton.

Investigators with the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office confirmed her death and reported they are still trying to determine what kind of animal was involved in the attack.

When people started to speculate about a possible werewolf or Bigfoot attack, the police department changed their report.

The department originally said the animal’s DNA didn’t match any wild animals indigenous to the area, but changed their statement to say that while canine DNA was found on Mrs. Hamilton’s clothing, the testing cannot differentiate between wild canines such as wolf or coyote indigenous to the area and domestic canines that may have attacked the woman.

Still, the DNA left behind by the creature is still undetermined as it does not match with bears, alligators, and coyotes.

Preliminary DNA testing facilitated by NC Wildlife Biologist has eliminated any wild animals indigenous to the area.

What we are dealing with once again is a “Monster Zero” that has shown up in North Carolina and has encountered humans. This time it killed a woman.

You may remember that little Casey Hathaway disappeared from his grandmother’s backyard while playing with other children in North Carolina.

Despite strong winds and heavy rain, search teams and concerned community members were tirelessly combing the woods in the area since Hathaway disappeared, hoping to find the boy.

He was located by professional search and rescue teams a few days later.

When the young boy was asked how he survived he told authorities and his family that he “hung out in the woods with a bear for two days.”

Casey’s parents believe that God sent him a friend to protect him and that it is a miracle. Search and rescue teams said that they heard the young boy calling out to his mommy and that except for a few scratches the boy was healthy.

The question is how the boy did not suffer exposure to the cold with just a small jacket covering his body?

Was it really a bear who took care of him when bear populations in the area were in hibernation? Was he taken care of by a big wolf? There were some members of the search party that wondered if the young boy was aided by a Bigfoot.

Cryptozoologists are in the business of collecting data about unidentified animals and monsters that seem to lurk in the woods all over the world.

Many Native American cultures have written oral legends that tell of upright walking monsters roaming the continent’s forests. In these tales, the animals are sometimes more human-like and other times, more ape-like and even stranger some are more wolf or doglike. In the mythology of the Kwakiutl tribe that once heavily populated the western coast of British Columbia, there is Dzunukwa is a big, hairy female that lives deep in the mountainous forests.

According to the legend, she spends most of her time protecting her children and sleeping, hence why she’s rarely seen.

In California, there are century-old pictographs drawn by the Yokuts that appear to show a family of giant creatures with long, shaggy hair. Called “Mayak datat” by the tribes… many people would say that they look like the Sasquatch– but the tribes would see them as hunters that have also been known to attack humans.

Now, there seems to be confounding evidence as to what protected Casey Hathaway – and even more strange is the strange DNA found on Brenda Hamilton.

These stories terrify and thrill me because they have me harkening back to a book I read when I was in my pre-teens.

Back in the late 1970s, I was becoming a bit of a horror movie fan. Many of the films that I was watching were on Saturday afternoon chiller TV shows and late night shows hosted by some goofy horror host. We also had a PTA program where kids could by a summer’s worth of movie tickets to see movies like Planet of the Apes, Godzilla, and even Chariots of the Gods.

Of course, these films were considered family friendly.

They were however very fun and films like Chariots of the Gods sent me on my way to where I am now. I am still searching for the answers to the questions that were presented to me when I was a kid.

As I grew older, I’ve graduated from B horror films to major horror films and books.

I have said that one film that affected me when I was a kid was The Omen by David Seltzer. Now, I was first introduced to the Novelization of the Omen from a school friend. It was one of those books that parents warned would corrupt you if you read it. There were a lot of weird things in the book that shocked me. I did not read it through – I decided to read something safe like Jaws by Peter Benchley.

In 1976 I was 12 years old and I noticed that Omen became a movie. The movie was the most disturbing thing a 12-year-old can see and I peeked in on the Exorcist when I was 9.

Well a few years after the Omen came out, a friend at school brought a book called, Prophecy. He told me that the book was written by the same guy who wrote the Omen. I thought it was a follow up to what happened to little Damien.

It was nothing like it but again, the first few chapters of the book were terrifying.

Prophecy was a story about bio-toxin and neurotoxin contamination. It was actually based on a few facts that I never knew about.

In May 1956, four patients from the city of Minamata on the west coast of the southern Japanese island of Kyushu were admitted to hospital with the same severe and baffling symptoms. They suffered from very high fever, convulsions, psychosis, loss of consciousness, coma, and finally death.

Soon afterward, 13 other patients from fishing villages near Minamata suffered the same symptoms and also died. As time went on, more and more people became sick and many died. Doctors were puzzled by the strange symptoms and terribly alarmed. It was finally determined that the cause was mercury poisoning.

Mercury was in the waste product dumped into Minamata Bay on a massive scale by a chemical plant. The mercury-contaminated fish living in Minamata Bay. People ate the fish, were themselves contaminated and became ill. Local bird life, as well as domesticated animals, also perished. In all, 900 people died and 2,265 people were certified as having directly suffered from mercury poisoning – now known as Minamata disease.

Prophecy was one of those books that warned us of a eco-disaster and how it would affect wildlife and people.

Prophecy is about a wooded area in Manatee County, Maine, where people are beginning to notice biological changes occurring in the area People are sick, their minds are confused. Children are born dead, born deformed. And a family of campers has been found dead, mutilated by some indescribably brutal force.

What affected me the most in the story was at the beginning where a young deer is in a wooded area grazing. The book describes how there was some sort of power in the woods. The deer looks up and sees an unknown predator coming towards it. It starts to run, but the creature gains on it and pounces.

The story continues saying that whatever the creature was it was able to pounce on the deer so fast that the young fawn literally was skinned –and continued to run until out of sheer exhaustion fell to its brutal death.

It was written in such a way that I could see it in my mind’s eye.

The native tribes in the story claim that the woods are haunted by a forest spirit called the Katahdin.

What you find out later is that a Lumber company in the area has dumped waste product in the form of mercury into the water and has created a mutant bear – that attacks animals and campers.

At the time, I could only imagine what the animal looked like.

Then there was a movie made based on the novel and when they revealed the monster it was disappointing but the story still terrified me.

It was just the idea of an ecosystem so contaminated that it starts producing mutant animals, and the contaminated water sparks mass psychosis.

Back in 2014, there was an alarming report of eco contamination happening in the forests of Washington State.

Fox News reported that rare birth defects were on the rise in Washington State, and the bizarre trend has health officials stumped.

“The odd development was brought to light in 2012 by Sara Barron, who was working a nurse at Prosser Medical Hospital in rural Washington at the time.

That year, Barron encountered two cases of babies born with anencephaly – a neural tube birth defect that causes infants to be born without certain areas of the brain and skull. A devastating condition that affects only one or two babies out of every 10,000 pregnancies, anencephaly occurs when the upper part of the neural tube doesn’t close all the way during the first month of pregnancy. Almost all babies born with this condition die shortly after pregnancy.”

This was happening in a three-county area near Yakima, Washington.

NBC reported back in January of 2013, officials with the Washington State Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had counted nearly two dozen cases in three years, a rate four times the national average.”

Many have speculated that these birth defects are from contaminated water that is somehow connected to the Hanford nuclear facility.

There are many horror stories that continue to come from Yakima, Washington, and the Hanford facility. Accounts of little lambs that have been born without eyes or mouths. Some had legs that had fused together; some had no legs at all. Many were stillborn.

Recently, there was a story about how hunters have been noticing Deer all over the United States that have been showing symptoms of stumbling, drooling, extreme weight loss.

They are calling it Zombie Deer Syndrome — it is actually chronic wasting disease.

While the term, Zombie Deer, could give the general public the wrong impression about CWD, wildlife experts say that it is a huge problem and is fatal to all deer that contract it.

It is now in 24 states across the nation. It’s a serious infectious disease in animals.

There have never been any reported cases of CWD in humans. But, studies have shown it can be transmitted to animals other than deer, moose, and elk, according to the Chronic Wasting Disease Alliance.

Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, told USA TODAY that its possible humans could contract the disease in the future. So, it is important to take precautions in infected areas. The most likely way humans could become infected is if they eat infected deer meat, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

The big question is what is going on with our wildlife? What is causing brain diseases that turn them into dying zombie-like creatures?

The danger is having this spread to humans.

Some scientists are worried about insects and animals that are dying mysteriously.

Some species going from common to near extinction in just a few years and whatever is happening is also reducing the insect population.

Of course, the go-to answer for everything is that it is a result of Climate Change but there is something deeper — something that science believes takes some thinking outside the box.

In January 1959, 10 experienced young skiers set out to travel to a mountain named Mount Otorten in the far north of Russia. Otorten translates to “don’t go there” in the local indigenous Mansi language.

During the trip, one of the skiers fell ill and returned. The remaining nine lost their way and ended up on another mountain slope known as “Mountain of the Dead.”

On the night of February 1, 1959, something caused the skiers to flee their tent in terror, using knives to slash their way out instead of using the entrance.

When they failed to return home, search parties were sent out and their bodies were found, some with massive internal injuries but all without external marks.

The autopsy report showed that the injuries were caused by “an unknown compelling force.” Subsequently, the area was sealed off for years by the authorities and the deaths and events of that night remained unexplained.

Investigators found footprints in the snow of eight or nine people who were wearing socks, a single shoe or were barefoot. The footsteps led towards a dense forest but disappeared after 500 meters.

The first two bodies, of two men, barefoot and dressed only in their underclothes, were found at the edge of the forest near the remains of a fire. The next three bodies — of [expedition leader Igor] Dyatlov and another man and a woman — were found between the fire and the tent, suggesting that they had been trying to return to the tent. Autopsies failed to find any evidence of foul play. An inquest concluded that all five had died of hypothermia.

Two months later, however, the partially-dressed bodies of the other four members of the team were discovered in a forest ravine, not far from the first two bodies. They appeared to have suffered traumatic pressure or crush injuries, and the tongue of one had been ripped out. Otherwise, there were no external injuries, but tests conducted on their bodies and clothing showed small traces of radiation.

The two under the tree had burned hands. The four in the ravine weren’t found until May 4, three months after the incident.

The investigators concluded, enigmatically, that the skiers died because they encountered a “natural force they were unable to overcome.” Public access to the site was banned for three years. The results of the investigation were classified.

After 60 years Russian investigators are reopening the case.

One of the more interesting characters I have interviewed in my career was the late Robert Anton Wilson. He was a true Fortean in the sense that he gave a lighthearted view of why we are in a world that seems to be chaotic and out of control.

Wilson had a belief that everyone experiences life through their own, individual ‘reality tunnels.’ These tunnels are our perception of reality filtered by any number of things, including education, life experiences, mental states, and societal constructs.

In the world of conspiracies, the occult, and esotericism – there were stories that are too dark for Wilson to even laugh about. He was the one who told me that when people ask you if you believe all that you talk about just reply with “I could be kidding, but I am very serious about what I am kidding about.”

When you dare to jump into the rabbit holes of secret government operations, cover-ups, and shape-shifting reptilians you are not in the mood for some lightheartedness or humor.

Just before Wilson’s health was failing I was involved with a project to promote a biographical documentary called “Maybe Logic.” The producers of the film appeared on my show and one of them surprised me when he handed the phone to Robert Anton Wilson. His voice was frail and he was whispering into the phone.

I asked him his opinions on the paranormal. I was curious because he was a sworn agnostic but never failed to have great insights about the paranormal and the way our lives are affected by high strangeness of all kinds.

He told me that we have created this safety net we call reality and every once in a while we are reminded that a very real existential world exists and that the spooky actions we see are all part of some quantum theory that is not easily explained.

This was long before anyone really talked about quantum entanglements.

His word actually sent me into further study of paranormal activity and things that lurked just outside of our reality.

As the real and the unreal merge together it is becoming more of the norm for a competent investigator to welcome the disciplines of psychology, neurology and other areas of science when confronting phantoms and monsters that seem to have no logical explanation.

It is also becoming more of the norm for investigators to understand the powers and nuances of the human mind and whether or not the head is capable of projecting such experiences or if the environment can create the illusion of some unexplained experience.

This does not discredit the phenomenon, it only gives us a better understanding of what we are dealing with and whether or not the zeitgeist is moving us towards a better understanding of the paranormal and whether or not the fringe is really all that fringy.

It is understandable how we can all misinterpret the “normal” and “natural” as “paranormal” and “preternatural” but our fallibility in identifying such things does not completely render us as unreliable witnesses.

With the frequency of such paranormal events happening and with the advent of amateur and professional investigators to the claims of outrageous things, people are now thinking twice, about what is happening and doubting what they once doubted about the phenomena.

Written by Ron Patton

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