Tag Archives: Fortean

Is there a Alien Big Cat on the loose in County Durham?

Could a mysterious creature spotted on the side of a busy trunk road be a big cat?

Hazell Lund, from Stockton, is convinced of it.

Ms Lund was travelling along the A66 at about 11.30am on Sunday (June 22) when she saw what she is sure was a large black cat.

“At first I thought it was a black Labrador but I soon realised it wasn’t,” she said.

“It pounced like a cat and the way it walked and held itself was very cat like.

“I know what I saw and I am convinced it was a big cat.”

Unfortunately, Ms Lund did not have time to retrieve her phone from her bag to take a photograph of the creature before it darted out of view.

Source – Northern Echo, 25 June 2015

The return of the Durham Puma, active in the 1990s ? Or its grandchildren…



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Sightings of another out of place creature in Wallsend

Hot on the heels of recent reports of an Eagle Owl on the loose in Wallsend, Tyne & Wear, North East England – https://alchemyandaccident.wordpress.com/2014/09/23/eagle-owl-spotted-in-wallsend/  – comes this…


Is it a dog, a badger or an old fox?

Well, experts think this may be the first sighting of a Raccoon roaming free on Tyneside.

The furry mammal, usually found in North America, was spotted by a surprised jogger in Wallsend on Friday morning.

Wildlife experts believe it is the first recorded sighting of the wild beast in the area.

Tom Hughes, 22, was running through the grounds of Wallsend Hall at around 7am when something caught his eye.

He said: “I was running along and came across this curious creature.

“At first I thought it was a badger but its unusual facial markings made me think it was a raccoon.

“It was big and stocky, but very placid and didn’t seem to be in a hurry to get anywhere.”

Tom, who lives in Howdon, near Wallsend, is training to be in the Navy.

He said he hasn’t seen anything like this before but hoped to raise some awareness of the creature being out there.

I wasn’t going to go for my run on Friday morning but I’m glad I did now,” he said.

The early bird catches the worm, as they say.”

The last recorded sighting of a raccoon was in Sunderland in 2012.

They are considered dangerous with changeable temperaments, but some people are known to keep them as pets.

Following a change to the law in 2007 which removed the need for a licence, they are becoming more prominent in Britain.

Several sightings have also been recorded in County Durham.

Steve Lowe, head of conservation at the Northumberland Wildlife Trust based in Gosforth, Newcastle, said: “That is either a raccoon or a raccoon dog.

“Because we can’t see the feet we can’t be certain which.

“These are non-native animals which appear to be kept as pets. They can be aggressive so inevitably in such circumstances the owner finds them too hard to handle and abandons them.

“They are also extremely good escapologists. Two were recorded in County Durham recently but this is the first for us and not especially welcome. “

The last record of one was in Sunderland in 2012.

“It may be the same animal although it’s a stretch to say that it definitely is.

For a recent Racoon sighting in Chopwell, Gateshead, see :


Source – Newcastle Journal, 26 Sept 2014


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Almanac – May 03

1469 – Niccolò Machiavelli born.  Italian historian, politician, diplomat, philosopher, humanist and writer based in Florence during the Renaissance. He was for many years an official in the Florentine Republic, with responsibilities in diplomatic and military affairs.

He was a founder of modern political science, and more specifically political ethics. He also wrote comedies, carnival songs, and poetry. His personal correspondence is renowned in the Italian language.

He was Secretary to the Second Chancery of the Republic of Florence from 1498 to 1512, when the Medici were out of power.

He wrote his masterpiece, The Prince, after the Medici had recovered power and he no longer held a position of responsibility in Florence.

His moral and ethical beliefs led to the creation of the word machiavellianism which has since been used to describe one of the three dark triad personalities in psychology.



1932 – Charles Fort died. American writer and researcher into anomalous phenomena.

Today, the terms Fortean and Forteana are used to characterize various such phenomena. Fort’s books sold well and are still in print today.



1940 – Conny Plank born.  German record producer and musician.  

His creativity as a sound engineer and producer helped to shape many innovative recordings of postwar European popular music, covering a wide range of genres including progressive, avant-garde, electronic music and krautrock. His immense catalog of work has greatly influenced modern studio production and engineering techniques.

As a musician, Plank is credited on albums by Guru Guru, Kraan, Cluster, Liliental and Os Mundi.

He collaborated with Dieter Moebius on five Moebius & Plank studio albums recorded between 1979 and 1986. The Moebius & Plank sound foreshadowed techno and electronica and influenced many later musicians.



1963 – The police force in Birmingham, Alabama switched tactics and responded with violent force to stop the “Birmingham campaign” protesters. Images of the violent suppression are transmitted worldwide, bringing new-found attention to the African-American Civil Rights Movement.

The Birmingham campaign was a movement organized by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) to bring attention to the unequal treatment that black Americans endured in Birmingham.

Led by Martin Luther King, Jr. and others, the spring 1963 campaign of nonviolent direct actions culminated in widely publicized confrontations between black youth and white civic authorities, and eventually led the municipal government to change the city’s discrimination laws.



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Fencehouses 3rd September UFOs

September 3rd used to have a reputation of being a day of weird shit (see Almanac entry), and the North East England village of Fencehouses, near Houghton-le-Spring,  appears to have some affinity with this date and UFOs. If I’d been planning ahead, I might have gone there tonight… or maybe not. I’ve seen the place by daylight – the thought of it after dark does not appeal.

But anyway…


2010 – From the British Earth & Aeriel Mysteries Society website: http://www.beamsinvestigations.org/

“On Friday the 3rd of September 2010, me and my partner were on our way to Houghton from Chester Le Street and coming through Fencehouses, when we saw a red ball in the sky. At first I thought it was Mars but it looked odd and before our eyes, it changed to orange. It gave the appearance of being very far away, but then all of a sudden we drove under it and that was that…”

This is interesting, because On September 3, 1976 an elderly woman and her eighteen year old niece saw a grounded UFO at Fencehouses. It was a  small object, about three-and-a-half feet by five feet, with a smooth glassy surface that the older woman says she touched. On top was a small orange dome, and it was sitting on sledge-like runners of steel or chrome. The witnesses were attracted towards it and appeared to enter a hypnotic state where time stood still. They met two tiny beings with long hair, but no communication ensued. They then lost all sense of time, and the object shot upwards making a humming noise.


This account is interesting if you subscribe to the theory that the UFOnauts of today are the Fairy Folk of yesteryear with an updated image. If that was the case, the Fencehouses entities almost seem to be in the process of metamorphing from one state to the other – tiny beings and the UFO on  sledge-like runners.

And a small orange dome… related in any way to the red / orange ball in the 2010 account ?

Fencehouses is about 7 or 8 miles from where I sit writing this. I once mentioned the close encounter to a woman who came from the village – she was aghast: “What the hell did they want to go there for ?”  – her point of view being that if you had the travel opportunities that a UFO afforded, Fencehouses would be a very long way down the list of desirable locations to visit, and I must agree she had a point. The UFOs evidently like it, though.

I once worked for a couple of months with the infamous Bird Man of Fencehouses. But that’s another tale altogether…


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Almanac – August 6

Hiroshima Day

On this day in 1945, the USA dropped the first atom bomb, on Hiroshima, Japan, via the B-29 bomber Enola Gay.
Approximately 150,000 people were killed or wounded as a result. 75% of the city’s buildings were destroyed or severely damaged.

1806 – Francis II, the last Holy Roman Emperor, abdicated,  ending the Holy Roman Empire.

1874 – Charles Fort born.   American writer and researcher into anomalous phenomena. Today, the terms Fortean and Forteana are used to characterize various such phenomena. Fort’s books sold well and are still in print today.

1890 – William Kemmler, a convicted murderer, became the first person to be executed by electric chair, at Auburn State Prison, New York.

1928 – Andy Warhol born.  American artist who was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art. His works explored the relationship between artistic expression, celebrity culture and advertisement that flourished by the 1960s.  The Andy Warhol Museum in his native city, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, holds an extensive permanent collection of art and archives and is the largest museum in the United States of America dedicated to a single artist.

1962 – Jamaica gained full independence within the British Commonwealth.

1964 – Prometheus, a bristlecone pine and the world’s oldest tree,  was cut down. Growing near the tree line on Wheeler Peak in eastern Nevada, United States, the tree, which was at least 4862 years old and possibly more than 5000 years, was cut down  by a graduate student and United States Forest Service personnel for research purposes, though the people involved did not know of its world-record age before felling. However, the circumstances and decision-making process leading to the felling of the tree remain controversial.

1991 – Tim Berners-Lee released files describing his idea for the World Wide Web. WWW debuts as a publicly available service on the Internet.

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Almanac – July 12th

1789 – French revolutionary and radical journalist Camille Desmoulins gave a speech in response to the dismissal of Jacques Necker,  France’s finance minister, the day before. The speech called the citizens to arms and led to the Storming of the Bastille two days later.

1880 – Birth of  Tod Browning, American film director responisble for the cult classic Freaks and one of the most sought after lost films – and early example of the vampire genre –  London After Midnight.

1947 – Birth of Loren Coleman, American cryptozoologist and author.

1948 – Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion ordered the explusion of Palestinians from the towns of Lod and Ramla.

1962 – The Rolling Stones live debut, at the Marquee Club, London.

1971 – The Australian Aboriginal flag was flown for the first time. The  flag represents Indigenous Australians and was designed in 1971 by Aboriginal artist Harold Thomas, who is descended from the Luritja people of Central Australia.  The flag was originally designed for the land rights movement, and it became a symbol of the Aboriginal people, and it looks like this –



1973 –  Death of Lon Chaney, Jr., American actor.


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No Evidence Of Mermaids, Says US Government

There is no evidence that mermaids exist, a US government scientific agency has said.

The National Ocean Service – a division of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) – made the unusual claim in response to public inquiries following a TV show on the  creatures. It is thought some viewers may have mistaken the programme for a documentary.

“No evidence of aquatic humanoids has ever been found,” the service wrote in an online post.

Images and tales of mermaids – half-human, half-fish – appear in mythology and art from across the world and through history, from Homer’s Odyssey to the oral lore of the Australian aboriginals, the service wrote, adding that he article was written from publicly available sources because “we don’t have a mermaid science programme”.

Apparently at least two people had written to the agency asking about the creatures following the broadcast of Mermaids: The Body Found, on the Discovery Channel’s Animal Planet network in May. The programme was a work of fiction but its wink-and-nod format might have led some viewers to believe it was a science education show, the Discovery Channel has acknowledged.

Of course, lack of evidence that they exist is not the same as proof that they dont  exist…



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Jesus In Sunderland


News of a simulacrum – identified as usual but with no real justification as Jesus – not only in this city, but just  a few streets away from where I write this.

The image (above) is on the wall of the Mayho Chinese Takeaway in Neville Road, Sunderland. It was brought to general attention, via the Sunderland Echo newspaper, by Ian Ridley and Lawrence Boys, who had called in for a takeawy.

Ridley: “We were quite drunk at the time and went to get something to eat. We were waiting four our meal outside when we saw it. It was Jesus looking right at us, we were shocked and couldn’t believe it. It’s a miracle !

“The best thing about it is the face is actually facing the direction of St Luke’s church so it looks like it’s supposed to be there.”

Why are simulacra that look like bearded figures inevitably identified as Jesus ? No-one has the faintest idea what he actually looked like, if indeed he actually was an identifiable historical person.

The New Testament includes no description of the physical appearance of Jesus before his death and its narrative is generally indifferent to racial appearances and does not refer to the features of the people it discusses. One thing we can probably bet on with any certainty is that he didn’t look like all those blue-eyed western European images that we’re so familiar with. If anything, I’d imagine he looked like a modern-day Palestinian.

Given its proximity to St Luke’s (the local Christian church) why not identify it as Luke himself ?  But then,  why limit ourselves to Christian deities ?

Given the nature of the business on whose wall it appeared, perhaps we should be looking towards the East.

Personally, I’d vote for Tsai-Shen, Chinese god of wealth and  – I’ve heard it said – so popular that even athiests worshipped him. Certainly a fortunate sign to appear on a Chinese business.
Below is a statuette of Tsai-Shen. Compare the facial features with those of the simulacrum.

What do you reckon ?



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Almanac – June 30th

1837 – An act of parliament put an end to the use of the pillory as punishment in the Uk.

1859 – French acrobat Charles Blondin crossed Niagara Falls on a tightrope.

1905Albert Einstein publishesd the article On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies, in which he introduces special relativity.

1908 – The Tunguska Event occured in  Siberia –  an enormously powerful explosion that occurred near the Podkamennaya Tunguska River in what is now Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia, at about 7:14 a.m. KRAT (0:14 UT).

The explosion, having the hypocenter, (60.886°N, 101.894°E), is believed to have been caused by the air burst of a large meteoroid or comet fragment at an altitude of 5–10 kilometres (3–6 mi) above the Earth’s surface. Different studies have yielded varying estimates of the object’s size, with general agreement that it was a few tens of metres across. It is the largest impact event on or near Earth in recorded history.

The explosion knocked an estimated 80 million trees down over an area covering 2,150 square kilometres (830 sq mi). It is estimated that the shock wave from the blast would have measured 5.0 on the Richter scale.

Other possible causes suggested include a crashing UFO, a Black hole passing through the Earth, anti-matter, and a side-effect of an experiment by Nikola Tesla


1934The Night Of The Long Knives in Germany. Adolf Hitler ordered the summary execution of those in the Nazi party who oppsed him.


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