Saturday, December 24, 2016
Thursday, November 17, 2016
|Kickin' back with the November 1961 issue of True, The Man's Magazine ...|
|Dr. James Allen Jones ...|
born January 15th, 1933
in Mathis, Texas; proudly
servin' his country as a
U.S. Army paratrooper.
|A great read; check it out!|
|Was this a Yeti track-way?|
The media reports as such,
but is that really accurate?
|A bear? A monkey? I'd say an ape ...|
look at the width compared to the boot.
Sanderson postulates that there are hundreds if not thousands of unknown anthropoids (and, more importantly to me, anyways) of at least half-a-dozen kinds, runnin’ all over 5 continents! This may explain the diversity of size and appearance of these mystery animals which have been reported from different parts of the globe. But these track-ways found in the snow-covered Himalayas were not the only famous finds of the time. His article eventually moves the locale to northern California, where he tells of tracks that were left overnight at an isolated construction site ... some as large as 22" long with strides of up to 60"! These are the tracks that tractor operator Jerry Crew made plaster casts of back in 1958 (Sanderson wrote of this account in True, December 1959, which I'll post about next month). He adds that the media stir caused by both of these events had brought to light the fact that, track-ways such as these had actually been reported over the last century; from places like Idaho, Oregon and Washington ... all the way up into British Columbia. On a personal note, I once came across a large, barefoot humanoid-lookin' track in a place so random that I immediately knew that no one could have placed it there to punk me. The feelin' was quite disconcertin' to say the least. I wear a size 9 Cabela's snake-proof boot, and this track was almost twice as wide and 6" or so longer than my booted-foot. I cannot even fathom comin' across a track-way with multiple impressions, with some as large as 22" long with strides of up to 60".
|Sir Edmund Hillary, with Kunyo Chumbi|
posin' with their supposed Yeti scalp ...
|Obviously, an uncomfortable moment|
as Sir Edmond Hillary gets caught-up
awkwardly tryin' to answer questions
concernin' his "reports" of Yeti tracks.
Chumbi's look is priceless, as if askin'
"Dude! Did you really just say that?"
I hope y'all have enjoyed this-here outré review of this venerable publication from yer old sloughstalker. If not, let me ask a question: Does the noise in my head bother y'all? Well, obviously not ... 'cause a bunch of y'all just keep comin' back for more! Thank y'all for that! Like I'd said earlier, due to my collectin' I have several other copies of vintage publications that I plan to share with y'all right here in the near future. The fabulous Cryptozoology Anthology was a contemporary bonus to my flourishin' cryptid collection, and hopefully will become a part of yours as well. There was a hint dropped on Bob's blog that a second volume is in the works, so I'm chompin' at the bit to add that one to my collection too! Hell, I'll prob'ly continue collectin' 'til someone finally collects a type-specimen ... ultimately puttin' to rest the "myth" of these mystery primates once and for all. Until next time, I hope that you and yours will have a great Thanksgivin' holiday and safe travels as well. If yer lucky enough to be doin' any huntin' ... keep yer eyes and ears peeled for anything outta the ordinary, and y'all be careful runnin' 'round out there in them woods!
Wednesday, November 2, 2016
|An awesome Oklahoma sunset as seen from behind The Bowman Lodge ...|
I opted to camp along with a few other members, and we could not have picked a better weekend for our retreat. Folks, I’m not tryin’ to sound derogatory, but this was not some sort-of “Bigfoot” conference; we don’t sell anything, play campy movies, ruminate historical sightings or share experiences in some town hall fashion. What we had discussed this past weekend is what we have personally documented in our area of research over the past several years, and strategized on how we hope to bring it to the next level. NAWAC members are a serious "boots on the ground" bunch doin’ some serious time in the grime ... and I mean serious enough to have had the foresight to have documented everything. What documentation, you may ask? Again, if you have not already done so … I urge y’all to go to our Web site at http://www.woodape.org and read the NAWAC’s Ouachita Project Monograph. This free, downloadable PDF details several years of study performed by our members. These folks have all volunteered serious time, effort and personal finances to try and provide definitive proof of the existence of this yet undiscovered mystery primate. And after this goal is attained, we'll be gatherin' steam and goin' all-out to preserve the species and its habitat.
|Dr. Angelo Capparella discusses future research opportunities with members of the North American Wood Ape Conservancy ...|
|Alton Higgins (left) and Daryl Colyer (right) both presented to the group on our past accomplishments and future strategies.|
I genuinely wish that I could share with y’all what-all I have learned over the past weekend; however, those sorts of things are for our members, associates and investigators only. The closest I can get is to tell y’all to keep-up with our Web site, our Facebook page, podcasts and again, to read the Ouachita Project Monograph. After listenin’ to the presentations by the likes of Alton Higgins, Dr. Angelo Capparella & Daryl Colyer … I cannot wait for an opportunity to finally get back into the field in Oklahoma. God willin’ … I hope to be available for whatever is asked, whether that task be site maintenance, documentation or any other type of support. Until then, I have a few things planned for the next few months, such as gettin’ back into the Big Thicket, and then possibly another trip to the Ozarks that will be solely ape-related. Also, I am just about finished gatherin’ all the pertinent info that I can share with y’all about my second week spent in Area X back in July of 2015. But before I post anything, I’ll need my other two team members to substantiate my written interpretation of how it all went down prior to publication; so, y’all just hang tight! Until then, take care, be careful out there and … y’all come back now, ya hear?
Sunday, October 16, 2016
|Yakin' down the White River outta Norfork, Arkansas last month; an annual trip that almost wasn't. It was much needed R&R ... God is good!|
I began this adventure at 8:45 P.M. on a mid-September Tuesday evenin’ for a 4+ hour drive to Plano to pick-up Ty. Early Wednesday mornin’ … not tryin’ to beat the ambulance to the wreck, we cruised along at a good clip until we hit the Ozarks. Trust me, when you see a sign that says, “Curve 15 MPH” you’d better not be doin’ any over … unless you want to literally make an impromptu trail down a friggin’ mountain! During our journey we both discussed our work issues, but soon decided that the subject was a friggin’ mood killer ... other than the fact of bein' blessed that we were both currently employed. We stopped here & there for gas & grub, and hit a few antique/junk shops to break-up the tedious drive … arrivin’ shortly before 6:00 P.M. This year, I had made it a point to travel as light as possible … even though I’d brought all of the fixin’s for a 22-quart chicken, deer-sausage & egg gumbo. Yeah, that’s right … I said eggs! Don’t knock-it ‘til you try it; my cousin George Jones had taught me that lightly-forked hard-boiled eggs will soak-up all of the flavor of your gumbo. On top-of that, I didn’t wanna test whether or not fresh Gulf seafood would keep safely on ice for a 12-hour+ friggin’ drive. And NO, I don’t consider anything that comes from a friggin’ “Y’all-Mart” actual fresh seafood. Period. The only overkill were my coolers full of Lone Star Beer, which insured me that I wouldn’t be runnin’ out! Them dang Arkies ain’t too keen on drinkin’ Lone Star. Yeah, it’s a Texas thang, y’all; however, I’ve got ‘em likin’ the Robert Earl Keen and Pat Green music that I bring for the porch. Oh, and a big thanks to Buzzard Mike’s son-in-law “Nick the Greek” for helpin’ out with the gumbo! It’s a big task … so, thanks fer steppin’-up, Nick! And, as usual … no one went hungry.
|Rest & relaxation, with beautiful scenery around every bend. The ridge to the right is of particular interest to me ... read on for further details.|
|Keith Mathis (left) with Ty Jonson on his very first kayak trip; he did good & had fun, so maybe now he'll catch the bug & get a yak of his own!|
|The bluff just past the mouth of Goose Creek, which splits at Gather Hollow and becomes|
Twin Creek. Just north of here was a Class 3a report taken by Tal Branco back in 2002 ...
|This rock quarry was about a fifteen-minute walk from the lodge; the elevation and seclusion captivated my curiosity enough to explore it ...|
I’ll try and pin Buzzard Mike down to post more details about what-all he's seen & heard on his lease at a later date. Like I said, I didn’t even think I’d be able to write this entry or even go on this trip due to my work commitments. And I just cain’t wait ‘til my next trip, which will be a chance to see my fellow NAWAC investigators and meet our new associate members in Oklahoma. I’d be willin’ to bet that their experiences in the Ouachita’s this past summer will make my trip to the Ozarks seem pretty insignificant, but only where the wood ape experiences are concerned. My time with them Arkies, however brief … was nothing short of awesome! Many memories were shared, and as usual much fun was had. Those boys will always remain in my thoughts and prayers, and hopefully, we shall all meet again next year; that is, if God’s willin’. Take care and y’all come back now, ya hear?
Sunday, August 7, 2016
|Alpha male at Disney's Animal Kingdom; hope to get as clear of a shot on|
a wood ape, 'cause ya'll won't see any "blobsquatches" on this-here blog.
Howdy! I know that my last post was several months ago, and there is no excuse for neglect. Lotsa drama on the job, lotsa honey-do's & projects around the house, some huntin’, some much needed family time, some fishin’, a couple of North American Wood Ape Conservancy outreach events and an auto accident involvin’ my parents have all since transpired. Yeah, much has happened … so, no excuses; I simply should’ve made the friggin’ time to post. Period. Excuses are like assholes, and everybody has one; Lisa just happens to have me. My beautiful bride has reminded me on numerous occasions that there are abso-friggin’-lutely no “buts” after an apology. So for those who still read this, I sincerely apologize and thanks to all of y’all for comin’ back. "But" ... those of you who actually know me should already know by now that I ain’t technically a butt, but more of a hemorrhoid … ‘cause I tend to irritate most assholes. And over the past few months, it seems that I’ve done quite a bit of that! Lately, I’ve been distracted by rats & buzzards, all while still bein’ haunted by my memories of last summer in Oklahoma. So first off, let’s talk about the rats & buzzards …
I have worked for the same business for over 20 years. Over that period of time, I have met some truly amazin’ folks, some of whom have become like my family away from home; however, work will always be a four letter word. While I am truly blessed to be employed, at the same time I’m cursed to find myself in an environment where I simply no longer enjoy what I do. My creativity has been quelled by too many cooks in the proverbial royal kitchen. You’d think that after 20 some-odd years I’d be the king of this thing; however, my reality is that I’m just a pawn … evidently expendable in the endgame. Upon my last performance review (which was supposedly good) I was told to simply play the cards that were dealt. Really? Dodgin’ bullets in the workplace is the easy part, but dealin’ with rats and buzzards was never part of the master plan. Y’all know that I’m Greek, right? Well, the Greeks have lots of sayin’s … such as, keep yer friends close but yer enemies closer. I refuse to become the friggin’ sheep that is eaten by the wolf … ‘cause lately, the best defense is a good offence. I have a tendency to come-off a bit offensive at times, but I’m sure that it’s due to becomin’ a product of my work environment. The Greeks also say the walls have ears, and one shouldn’t wash dirty linen in public. Well, I simply don’t give a rat’s ass about what’s considered public. All I know is, I’ve been a very loyal soldier and expect to be treated as such. Period. My absolute favorite Greek sayin’ is “Κόρακας κοράκου μάτι δε βγάζει.” (which translated means, “Hawks will not pick-out Hawk’s eyes”). But, instead of soarin’ with majestic raptors, I seem to be dealin’ with friggin’ rats & buzzards. What fresh Hell? Lately, this paradox called work seems like it’s all just Greek to me.
|I checked-out the gut pit on a friend's huntin' lease in The Big Thicket|
on New Year's Day, which was the first day of open carry here in Texas.
Incidentally, I did find me some genuine down-to-earth buzzards on a huntin’ trip this past New Year’s Day. I finally ventured to the gut pit on my buddy’s deer lease out in The Big Thicket. If y’all remember, I’d written about my friend who’d had an experience with what was most probably a wood ape in this very spot about a year or so before … which backs-up to the Nueces River. Well, that whole river has been well outta its friggin’ banks quite a few times since January. Just gettin’ to the gut pit was a slow cruise in 4WD with rushin’ water close to mid-door in some spots. I didn’t find any evidence of apes, but it damn-sure looked-like prime ape territory to me! I’m gettin’ a little long in the tooth to be settin’-out all night in 30° temps in the wet, even though I feel confident enough to spend the night out there alone. And, even though I friggin’ blew a no-brainer shot on a doe from a box-blind … I did score big when I got back to the lease. I had promised not to divulge their identities, but two of the lease members I met were both very familiar with these mystery primates. One is an employee in the forestry/lumber industry, who said that just talkin’ about these animals was a sure-fire way to get fired! Even though he had not personally seen any of these critters, he’s seen the barefoot tracks and heard things such as wood-knocks, mouth-pops, grunts, growls & howls that could have come from nothin’ else. He also said that he had heard stories from other employees who had seen ‘em, but that’s second & third hand info, so I won’t go into that here. The other feller however, is now officially retired. He told me that he’s seen ‘em up-close & too dang personal, but said they never showed any aggression towards him. Let’s just say he was both a forestry service and parks service worker who’s been around in them woods for quite some time. Oh, and both of these southern gents have personally seen black panthers! One feller told about how he shot one, trackin’ it for a couple of miles ‘til he lost the blood trail. I wouldn’t ever rat either of these men out, and I’m ever-so appreciative of ‘em bein’ so candid with an outsider like me. I’ll try and get a bit more detailed about what-all was said in an upcomin’ post …
|The Landrum's 2016 winter vacation ...|
And speakin’ of rats, evidently the world is not so bleak if yer rat is actually a famous mouse in a Magic Kingdom! My queen arranged a quest for her king, the princess and reluctant prince as a family Christmas gift. In mid-January, the Landrum clan took a trip to Orlando’s Disney World and Universal Studios for a wonderful week’s escape! If anyone thinks that place is just fer the kiddos, they’re sadly-friggin’ mistaken. Our 23 year-old daughter was in heaven, although our 20 year-old son wanted to be elsewhere; that is, ‘til he finally got there.
We all had a blast, and that trip will
rank-in with one of our more memorable vacations. Kudos to “Mrs. Incredible” for all her hard
work in makin’ the “Magic” happen for all of us! There was nothin’ disappointin’ about Disney,
especially Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Baloo got a ‘lil offended when “the old silverback” wanted his picture
taken only with King Louie, and I
even found a cool exhibit of all things Yeti on the Expedition Everest ride. Now, it wasn’t near as excitin’ as the
Ouachitas last summer in Southeast Oklahoma, but it sure was fun! Probably the best memory that I have is
watchin’ the gorillas, which were awesome.
Observin’ the females carin’ for their young was absolutely fascinatin’;
however, everyone backed-up as the alpha-male stood-up and
knuckle-walked past the crowd. I don’t
know how sturdy that glass was, but I was in no rush to find out. I knew right then and there that what I’d had
under me in Oklahoma one June night last summer surely dwarfed this alpha-male.
I was terrified and truly outta my
element as far as bein’ a hunter was concerned.
It also made me realize that I would do everything humanly possible to never
see a wood ape bein’ paraded around in captivity like this. Period.
|The Yeti exhibit naturally|
caught my eye; Hmmm ...
|The gorilla exhibit at Disney's Animal Kingdom had me in awe; these animals are in captivity due to the onslaught of poachers.|
|Jared Alphonso, "bassmaster"!|
On top of all the honey-do’s, cleanin’, limb-cuttin’ and such ‘round our place, I actually got my boat, the Sloughstalker ready and put it through its paces on Clear Creek. After cleanin’ everything up, the only 2 items I had to replace were a couple of switches in the foot-control on my Minn-Kota trollin’ motor. Shortly thereafter, my buddy Jared Alphonso and I entered a bass tournament at the last minute, and ended-up placin’ 5th outta 19 boats! That ain’t bad considerin’ we only pre-fished for less than 4 hours the day before.
The very next weekend, my buddy Sahil Dilwali
and I fished a 45-50 lb. dog we found tangled-up under some tree roots from the
risin’ tide in the not-so friggin’ “Clear” 65° water. It had a collar & tag, so we contacted
the vet, who contacted a couple of different police departments to track-down
the owner as well as an animal control officer.
Accordin’ to the owner, Bo the shepherd mix, was 12 years old and had
been missin’ for a day-and-a-half.
Although we all tried, sadly, Bo had to be euthanized that evenin’. The Sloughstalker
was s’posed to accompany me & Lisa on our annual week on Caddo Lake, but
that trip was cancelled due to the recent, historic 50-year floods. The locals are still devastated due to flood
damage, and my buddy The Goob has said that the Giant Salvinia is worse than
he’s ever seen it. Y’all be sure to keep
those folks in yer prayers, ‘cause they’ve been through a bunch! Makes me wonder where all the wood apes &
other critters went after gettin’ displaced …
|Sahil tryin' to comfort the rescued Bo.|
For the first couple of weekends in April, I had the privilege to help-out with the North American Wood Ape Conservancy in doin’ some community outreach at a couple of local wildlife events. First, we were at The Texas Wildlife & Woodland Expo, held at the Lone Star College Montgomery Campus in The Woodlands. This free, family event is held annually and the NAWAC has had our presence known for a few years now. Our goal at these events is to educate the public on these yet undiscovered primates and our efforts to scientifically document the species, as well as the protection of its habitat. I urge y’all to visit our Web site at http://www.woodape.org and see what-all we do. There is a free PDF download of the NAWAC’s Ouachita Project Monograph … detailin’ several years of study performed by our members. Now, the second event I mentioned was The Baytown Nurture Nature Festival held at the Baytown Nature Center. This venue is top-notch in my opinion, and we had 4,200 people attend! Both the children as well as the adults flocked to our enclosure, and the crowds were evidently pleased. Not only did we get to educate the public, but a few attendees shared their experiences with us, such as one hunter finding barefoot trackways durin’ deer season well off any trail. One lady told of actually seein’ one of these critters face-to-face! This happened in the Caddo Lake Wildlife Management Area by a National Park Service associate. Again, I will divulge more details in an upcomin’ post.
|Angels, airbags & seat belts, y'all ...|
the collision was center from the rear
and catapulted them into the divider.
Sometimes, life will just up and blindside ya; back in mid-April, my parents were simply headin’ to church for a Greek Orthodox Easter service. While goin’ up the Galveston Causeway, they were violently hit from behind by some friggin’ idiot who felt the need to do well over 90 mph durin’ rush hour traffic. Lisa and I got the call from my father that they were bein’ transported by ambulance to the hospital, and I cain’t remember ever hearin’ Dad sound like that! It was a miracle that they weren’t killed. All airbags deployed and did their job, and it's a miracle that they were not catapulted off the bridge. They both suffered from the effects of whiplash; we initially thought that Dad got the worst of it with 3 broken ribs and a fractured L1. Dad went to a specialist in Austin and is now doin’ much better. Mom, however is still in physical therapy but is finally off the pain medication. She had a shattered T-12 finally got the same procedure from that same specialist in Austin. Both are doin' better and are finally on the road to recovery. Again, thank God ‘cause it could’ve been much worse. My family and I have been helpin’ ‘em with anything they might be needin’ no matter how menial the task. Keep in mind that my parents are both in their 70’s and were basically robbed of their independence. My wife’s been an absolute angel, but I’ve been kinda feelin’ the exact opposite. I’ve done everything in my power not to have any more thoughts of exterminatin’ the rat that hit ‘em. It seems that this upstandin’ citizen has a long rap-sheet and had just been released a day prior to causin’ the wreck from, get this … a criminal evade charge! I know that I ain’t been havin’ very Christian thoughts towards this f-tard; God help me, I’ve been tryin’ ‘cause them buzzards ain’t circlin’ ‘round that rat’s grave just yet. Again, thanks for all the prayers!
So as y’all can see, much has transpired since my last post. That’s life, and I’m obviously blessed enough to still be livin’ it! Albeit rats, buzzards and other distractions, I will dang-sure make a better attempt to update this blog in a more timely fashion. Due to my current work situation and personal schedule, I still don’t foresee that I’ll be able to take off to Oklahoma anytime this summer. My annual kayakin’ trip on the White River looks like it’s shot as well. However, as promised … I still need to share with y’all about my second full week spent in the Ouachita Mountains with two fellow NAWAC investigators last summer in Area X. I wish to spend some long fall weekends in The Big Thicket, The Sam Houston National Forest or maybe take a trip back to Caddo Lake, but we’ll just hafta see. So until next time, y’all be real careful while runnin’ ‘round out there in them woods … especially, on yer travels to and from as well! Remember, the main thang is to always try and have ya some fun! Life’s too short to worry about the rats, even with them dang buzzards a circlin’ ‘round overhead. Now that I think about it, I’d much rather deal with the chiggers & ticks my own-self! Y’all come back now, ya hear?