The Top Paranormal Stories Of 2012

10. Spirits Of Death In A Sea Of Trees - Japan's Suicide Forest

Aokigahara (青木ヶ原), also known as the Sea of Trees (樹海) or Jukai, is a 14 square mile forest that lies at the base of Mount Fuji in Japan. Due to the wind-blocking density of the trees and an absence of wildlife, the forest is known for being exceptionally quiet and for the thickness of its trees. It is a twisting network of woody vines, and has a dangerous unevenness of the forest floor. It is rocky, cold, and littered with over 200 underground caves you could fall into accidentally. The forest is full of paradox and contrast. Its historic association with demons in Japanese mythology has long made it a popular place for suicides.

Japan has more than 30,000 suicides a year for over 14 years— one of the highest rates among industrialized nations. On average, someone in Japan dies by his own hand every 15 minutes, usually a man. The Aokigahara Forest is the most common place to commit suicide in Japan, and it is widely thought to be the second most likely site in the world, after the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.
The reasons are complex.


9. Project U.F.O.

'Project U.F.O.' features two U.S. Air Force investigators charged with investigating UFO sightings. The first season starred William Jordan (as "Maj. Jake Gatlin") and Caskey Swaim (as "Staff Sgt. Harry Fitz"). Jordan was a rather nondescript leading man, while Swaim (who had never had any significant acting experience before landing the role) added diversity as a Southerner with a pronounced accent. In season two, Jordan was replaced by Edward Winter (as "Capt. Ben Ryan"). Aldine King ("Libby") was another regular. Dr. Joyce Brothers appeared in two episodes.


8. PROOF! There are giant creatures living at the edge of our civilization.

The Mysterious Monsters (1976) was one of the first theatrical releases produced by Sunn Classic Pictures. It was narrated by actor Peter Graves. The film investigated not only the possibility of Bigfoot's existence but also of the Loch Ness Monster and the Yeti (the Abominable Snowman). It featured dramatic reenactments of various reported Bigfoot sightings. The film showed one witness being given a lie detector test, another being placed under hypnosis. The Mysterious Monsters was the first movie to feature the home movie taken by Roger Patterson in 1967 reported to show a Bigfoot. Anthropologist Grover Krantz was interviewed and said he believed the film to be authentic. Famed Bigfoot hunter Peter Byrne was also featured and gave insights on the hunt. In discussing the Loch Ness Monster, the film showed a 1934 photograph that was said to be of the creature. In 1994, however, this photo was proven to be a hoax.


7. The Mysterious Movies And Legends Of Dead Man's Point

Leaving Victorville and driving toward the town of Apple Valley, the desert becomes more desolate and more sinister. Dead Man’s Point is the site of two famous massacres. The first was the massacre of Catholic missionaries by Cahuilla Indians and the second, a massacre of Cahuilla Indians by white settlers. The mysterious and imposing rock formations are said to be haunted by the ghosts of these massacres and I can personally tell you that there is definitely strange and mysterious aura surrounding them. It was here that Arnold staged another scene for “It Came from Outer Space” (the police barricade), as well as the fantastic optical illusion from his 1955 film “Tarantula.” The first time we see the monstrous beast (“Crawling terror 100 feet high!”), it is crawling over the rocks at Dead Man’s Point. “Tarantula” was one of the few films in the “nature runs amok” sub-genre that did not seem to place the blame for its monstrosity on nuclear experimentation. I imagine that the forbidding, desolate desert setting (not far from military test grounds) made many viewers feel that the film was a warning about the unfathomable dangers of our entering the atomic age.


6. In Search Of ...

'Lost civilizations, extraterrestrials, myths and monsters, missing persons, magic and witchcraft, unexplained phenomena. "In Search Of..." cameras are traveling the world, seeking out these great mysteries. This program was the result of the work of scientists, researchers and a group of highly-skilled technicians.' - Leonard Nimoy

In Search of... is a documentary television series that was broadcast weekly from 1976 to 1982 devoted to mysteries and phenomena. It was created after three successful one-hour TV documentaries, In Search of Ancient Astronauts in 1973 (based on the book Chariots of the Gods? by Erich von Däniken), and In Search of Ancient Mysteries and The Outer Space Connection (both of which were written into popular paperbacks by series-creator Alan Landsburg) in 1975. All three feature narration by Rod Serling, who was the initial choice to host the series. After the death of Serling, Leonard Nimoy was chosen to be the host of the spin-off series.


5. Roswell UFO Crash: 65th Anniversary

On July 8, 1947, a crash in Roswell, N.M., was the spark that started UFO fever burning in the U.S. And for some, that passion is just as intense today as when they first learned that a crash in the desert had been labeled a UFO -- and quickly re-labeled a weather balloon by government officials.

"It was not a damn weather balloon -- it was what it was billed when people first reported it," Chase Brandon, a 35-year CIA veteran, told the Huffington Post.

His comments came on July 8, 2012 -- 65 years after the Roswell Daily Record newspaper ran a front page article claiming “RAAF Captures Flying Saucer On Ranch in Roswell Region.” "It was a craft that clearly did not come from this planet, it crashed and I don't doubt for a second that the use of the word 'remains' and 'cadavers' was exactly what people were talking about."


4. A Brief History Of Bigfoot In Southern California

‘Huge, scary, aggressive, fast, and threatening’. These terms are used to describe several Bigfoot-like creatures said to inhabit the desert regions of southern California. These mysterious giant apes go by many different names, The Borrego Sandman, The Speedway Monster, Zoobies, Devils, and the Yucca Man.

It may come to the surprise of those who follow stories about Bigfoot and other mysterious creatures that the first report of these creatures by European settlers did not come from the East Coast, Midwest, or even the Pacific Northwest. It actually came from southern California. In 1769, Spanish priests founded the first mission in San Diego. Local Gabrieleno Indians told the padres about "harry devils" that lived nearby. In fact according to written accounts, the Indians lived in fear of these large, foul-smelling, "wild-men" and refused to anywhere near their reported home called "towis puki" (camp of the devil) on the southern bank of the Santa Ana River. The area of "Deadmans Hole" near Holcomb Village, just west of the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park was a water stop on the old Stagecoach lines during the mid to late 1800s, and is the reported site of several alleged murders blamed on Bigfoot. In 1876, one the passengers who ventured out of the safety of the coach while it's horses stopped to take a drink reported seeing a large, naked, hairy "thing" watching him from behind some scruff. After that, several people met their demise at the site, either strangled or beaten to death by an unknown person or thing. They blamed the monster of course, regardless of the fact if it actually killed them or not.


3. Classic UFO Reports Too Compelling To Ignore

June 24, 1947 Mount Rainier, Washington

The modern age of UFO's is born when a pilot named Kenneth Arnold spotted a formation of strange aircraft over Mount Rainier, Washington while searching for a downed U.S. Marine Corps C-46 transport airplane. In an official report that was published around the globe Arnold described the craft as being 'saucer shaped' and hence forth the term 'flying saucer' became a staple of modern pop culture. The fact that Arnold was an experienced flyer and WWII combat pilot added credibility to the sighting.

January 7, 1948 Godman Air Force Base, Kentucky

After the tower crew at Godman Air Force Base in western Kentucky had spotted an unidentified aircraft between 250 and 300 feet in diameter souring above them at a fantastic speed a squadron of Air National Guard P-51 Mustangs under the command of Captain Thomas Mantell were called upon to give chase and identify.

Whether spooked or running low on fuel themselves, two of the fighters broke off the chase leaving Mantell as the lone pursuer of the object. At 3:15 pm the Air Force Captain radioed back to Godman that he was going to try and move in closer to the UFO to get a better look at it.


2. Bigfoot In So Cal: The Return Of The Speedway Monster!

Back in 2010 I posted a couple of articles about the infamous "Speedway Monster" that at one time used to prowl around the rural communities at the base of the San Bernardino Mountains just a mere 30-minute drive from downtown Los Angeles. The creature in question got it's signature name from a plethora of sightings that occurred between the 1950s and early 1970s at the Mickey Thompson's Fontana International Dragway where literally hundreds of race fans witnessed it roaming nearby fields and rummaging through trash cans. After the raceway closed in 1972 sightings of the "Speedway Monster" continued through the early 1990s when the suburban areas of Fontana and Rialto grew by leaps and bounds into the sprawling residential and shopping mecca it is today. As most cryptid hunters know, Bigfoot doesn't like malls so for good reasons the monster has moved on.

Or so it seemed....


1. Classic Tales Of Cryptozoology: Does The Creature Really Walk Among Us?

For centuries people from all corners of the globe have claimed to have seen all kinds of creatures ranging from dinosaurs to werewolves and if you are inclined to believe so, a real life "Gill-Man".

Way back in the summer of 1972 two young men claimed that they were chased from the beach at Thetis Lake, British Columbia, Canada by the "Creature From The Black Lagoon" or at least something that looked very much like it.

Was it a case of mistaken identity or overactive imaginations run wild after an afternoon of watching monster movies?

At the time the local police believed the two youths and began a search for the monster. Four days later the story seemed to be validated when two fishermen spotted the monster on the opposite side of the lake. Of course the search didn't turn up any man-fish at the time yet reports of the aptly named "Thetis Lake Monster" continued on for two more decades.


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