New Zealand's Sea Monster Spotted on Google Earth

A creepy image from Google Earth generated a lot of speculations that there is truly a giant sea creature existing and is just lurking in New Zealand waters. The said creature was spotted on Oke Bay.

Engineer Pita Witehira, who first spotted the dark mass using Google Earth, told the Daily Mail that he doesn't think it's a boat because there's no white wake. Other people think it's a floating tree trunk.

The image led people to further believe that there may be a large sea monster lurking in the waters of New Zealand’s Oke Bay. The engineer said that it all happened in early December while he is doing some research on Google Earth for his holiday home. He suddenly captured an unexplained wake in the bay. ‘The Native Maori would call this a “Taniwha” (‘Troll’) as it appears not to be a whale and it is far too big to be a shark. It is moving too fast and turning too sharply to be a whale,” he told the MailOnline. 

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3,700 Year Old Babylonian Tablet With The Instruction How to Build Coracle

In the 1940s, Leonard Simmons brought home a clay tablet carved with a mysterious script from the Middle East. Some experts told him it was just bazaar junk, but decades later, his son, Douglas, had it examined at the British Museum by Irving Finkel, one of relatively few people able to read cuneiform, the wedge-shaped writing of ancient Mesopotamia. He identified the piece as a genuine 3,700-year-old Babylonian tablet, which he saw gave precise instructions on how to build an apparent ark. The tablet records a Mesopotamian god's instructions for building a giant round vessel known as a coracle — as well as the key instruction that animals should enter 'two by two.' With 3,600 square metres in dimension or two-thirds the size of a soccer field in area, made of rope, reinforced with wooden ribs and coated in bitumen.

Finkel said that on paper (or stone) the boat-building orders appear sound, but he doesn't yet know whether it would have floated.
Irving Finkel with 3,700-year-old Babylonian tablet

The tablet version of the ark story is far older than the biblical accounts, and Finkel reckons that the writers of the Bible drew on ancient stories encountered by Hebrew scholars during the Babylonian exile. In fact, there are other ancient Middle Eastern tablets telling of a mighty flood (perhaps a dim folk memory of a great natural catastrophe) and an ark, but this tablet is special because of its detailed descriptions. Nevertheless, Finkel is sure that the coracle ark was never built, arguing that the tablet is the product of a storyteller adding convincing details for an audience knowledgeable about coracle building.

The tablet is on display in the British Museum, and Finkel has written a new book, "The Ark Before Noah".

Fortean Times magazine Vol. 312 March 2014
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The Haunting of Athenodorus

Perhaps the first record of the classic chain-clanking ghost is: the haunting of the rented house of the philosopher Athenodorus of Athens in the 1st century. The ghost dragged about the house in his leg chains, moaning and scaring away all tenants. Finally, having no other choice to live, Athenodorus moved in. When the ghost appeared Athenodorus was not afraid as others had been. The ghost led him outside and pointed to a spot on the ground. The next day Athenodorus had the ground dug up there. A human skeleton was found, stilll shackled to rusted chains.

Athenodorus was born in Canana, near Tarsus (in modern-day Turkey); his father was Sandon. He was a student of Posidonius of Rhodes, and the teacher of Octavian (the future Caesar Augustus) at Apollonia.
The Roman philosopher Pliny the Younger relayed the story in a letter to his patron, Lucias Sura. It is not known how much of the story was embellishment, but it makes for an interesting tale. 

Wrote Pliny:
There was formerly at Athens a large and handsome house which none the less had acquired a reputation of being badly haunted. The folk told how at the dead of night horrid noises were heard: the clanking of chains which grew louder and louder until there suddenly appeared the hideous phantom of an old man who seemed the very picture of abject filth and misery. His beard was long and matted, his white hair disheveled and unkempt. His thin legs were loaded with a weight of galling fetters that he dragged wearily along with a painful moaning; his wrists were shackled by long cruel links, while ever and anon he raised his arms and shook his shackles in a kind of impotent fury. Some few mocking skeptics who were once bold enough to watch all night in the house had been well-nigh scared from their senses at the sight of the apparition and what was worse, disease and even death itself proved the fate of those who after dusk had ventured within those accursed walls. The place was shunned. A placard “To Let” was posted but year succeeded year and the house fell almost to ruin and decay.

Even this state of affairs, however, did not deter Athenodorus, who had little money. When told the house was so cheap and in such deplorable condition because it was haunted, he rented it anyway. Not surprisingly, the first night there he was awoken by the  sound of chains rattling. The sound grew louder and louder until Athenodorus caught sight of the hideous phantom of the old man. The spirit beckoned with a bony finger and led Athenodorus to the garden where he pointed to the ground and then disappeared. Athenodorus marked the spot and then went inside and to bed. He slept undisturbed.

The next day, according to Pliny, he went to the local magistrates and told them what had happened. Digging commenced at the spot in the garden, and a human skeleton, with rusted chains still shackled to the bones, was uncovered lying close to the surface. The remains were
given a proper burial, and the house was ritually purified. According to Pliny, the haunting and the bad luck of the house then came to an end.

Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits by Rosemary Ellen Guiley

Ghosts and Haunted Places by Rosemary Ellen Guiley

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Empress Theatre

Empress Theatre which located on Main St. in Fort Macleod, Alberta, Canada has played its own part in ghost stories throughout the years. Theatre staff, patrons, and even performers have reported cases of what could be considered a haunting. Some of them have claimed that during rehearsals or performances, they see a hairy-armed character sitting in the balcony. At a second glance, the ghostly man whom they call “Ed, the Phantom of the Empress” suddenly disappears.

In 1910, J.S. Lambert began construction on the now-historic Main Street of Fort Macleod. The 450-seat brick-and-sandstone structure was built with an eye to the future, when the population of the community would be far greater. Completed in 1912 as an opera house, it soon became part of the Famous Players theatre franchise, which presented live concerts and vaudeville acts that toured North America. Eventually, silent films became part of the entertainment and, by the early 1930s, movies with sound were the main feature. In 1937, the theatre was sold to Daniel Boyle, who made some significant renovations to the building—adding a balcony and moving the projection booth above the new balcony. He also made decorative enhancements such as updated light fixtures, window covers, and light-up neon tulips on the pressed-tin ceiling in honor of his wife.

The ghostly legends of the theatre begin in the 1950s when a janitor who worked there as his second job died under mysterious circumstances at the local auction market. Locals say they smelled his phantom cigar smoke in the theatre for many years after his death. Stories circulated of seeing the hairy-armed man in the bathroom mirror only to turn around and find him gone.

After Boyle’s 1937 renovations, the
theatre wasn’t touched again until 1982, when the Fort Macleod Provincial Historic Area Society took over the building.

Forty-five years of customers, performances, popcorn and candy fights, and sugary treat spillage wore heavily on the building. The Historic Area Society poured $1 million into renovating the
theatre back to its original splendor. The ghost encounters continued throughout the renovations and after they were completed.

A popular theory behind Ed, the theatre's resident ghost, is that of a former janitor of the Empress. He worked a second job at the local auction market and was known to enjoy a drink and a smoke now and then. This helps lead to the belief that the ghost is in fact this man, as often sightings, or experiences are accompanied by the scent of alcohol, tobacco and manure.

Other unexplained phenomena, such as footsteps or even hearing someone whistling a tune only to find no one there, almost became commonplace.

One incident that stands out occurred when one employee heard footsteps coming up from downstairs, while counting money in the concession. The employee attentively awaited a co-worker to appear, but the footsteps continued and no one appeared. They continued up the stairs, through the foyer and into the concession, stopping right beside her and still no body or person was visible.

Encyclopedia of Haunted Places: "Ghostly Locales From Around The World" compiled and edited by Jeff Belanger;

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Busby's Cursed Chair

Inside the Thirsk Museum in the tiny village of Thirsk, which located in North Yorkshire, England, there sits a valuable antique chair of Thomas Busby. The infamous chair also known as the 'Chair of Death'. According to local legend, the chair is cursed with an astonishing and lethal power and anyone who dares sit in it will meet an untimely end soon after. In 1978 the chair was ultimately hung from the ceiling of Thirsk Museum in order to prevent anyone from sitting on it.

The legend begins with a man named Thomas Busby who had been sentenced to die. In 1702, he was arrested, tried and condemned to death after he murdered his father-in-law Daniel Auty. On his way to the gallows, he asked to stop by the pub as his last request. When he finished, he said "May sudden death come to anyone who dare sit in my chair." The execution's site was also said to be haunted by Busby's ghost. 

The Chair of Death inside the Thirsk Museum

During World War II, airmen from an nearby base made the pub a hot spot, and the chair became a "hot seat" and people noticed that the ones who sat in it would never come back from war. In 1967, two Royal air force pilots sat in it, and while driving back, they crashed into a tree and died. A few years later, two brick layers decided to try it, and that afternoon, the one who sat in it fell to his death. In 1970s some fatal accidents were also linked with the chair. It is said that for some time prior to death, the person who sat in the chair experiences haunting experiences, including extreme itching, paranoia, hearing things, confusion, items being moved and written warnings on mirrors and walls about the persons imminent death in addition to many other strange happenings.

Finally in 1978 the landlord asked for the chair to be removed to the Thirsk Museum, and hung out of harm’s way. To this day the chair is mounted high up on the wall of the Thirsk Museum and no one has been allowed to sit in it, no matter how much they offer for the thrill.

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Codex Gigas The Devil's Bible

The Codex Gigas (means ‘giant book’) is the largest extant medieval manuscript in the world. The 310 parchment leaves (620 pages) of the Devil’s Bible are made of vellum, from the processed skins of 160 animals, most probably donkeys. Some pages of the Devil’s Bible are thought to have been removed, and no one knows what happened to them. It is also known as the Devil's Bible because of a large illustration of the devil on the inside and the legend surrounding its creation. It is thought to have been created in the early 13th century in the Benedictine monastery of Podlažice in Bohemia (modern Czech Republic). It contains the Vulgate Bible as well as many historical documents all written in Latin and the calligraphy is lavishly luminated throughout. During the Thirty Years' War in 1648, the entire collection was stolen by the Swedish army as plunder, and now it is preserved at the National Library of Sweden in Stockholm, on display for the general public.  
Codex Gigas
The Codex Gigas or the Devil’s Bible is famous for two features. First, it is reputed to be the biggest surviving European manuscript. Secondly, it's included the picture of the devil, and contain detailed instructions for the exorcism of demons or evil from people and objects. The origin of the Codex Gigas is unknown. A note written in the manuscript states that it was pawned in the monastery at Sedlec by its owners, the monks of Podlažice, in 1295. In 1594 Rudolf II removed the Codex Gigas to his castle in Prague where it remained until it was taken during the Thirty Years War, with many other treasures, by the army of Sweden to Stockholm. It then entered the collection of Queen Christina of Sweden and put into the royal library in the castle at Stockholm. There it remained until 1877 when it entered the newly built National Library of Sweden in Stockholm.

According to one version of a legend that was already recorded in the Middle Ages, the scribe was a monk who broke his monastic vows and was sentenced to be walled up alive. In order to forbear this harsh penalty he promised to create in one single night a book to glorify the monastery forever, including all human knowledge. Near midnight he became sure that he could not complete this task alone, so he made a special prayer, not addressed to God but to the fallen angel Lucifer, asking him to help him finish the book in exchange for his soul. The devil completed the manuscript and the monk added the devil's picture out of gratitude for his aid. In tests to recreate the work, it is estimated that reproducing only the calligraphy, without the illustrations or embellishments, would have taken 5 years of non-stop writing.

The Codex Gigas contains five long texts as well as a complete Bible. The manuscript begins with the Old Testament, and it is followed by two historical works by Flavius Josephus who lived in the first century AD. These are The Antiquities and The Jewish War. After Josephus is the most popular Encyclopaedia of the middle ages, by Isidore, who lived in the sixth century in Spain. This is followed by a collection of medical works, and these are followed by the New Testament. The last of the long works is a Chronicle of Bohemia by Cosmas from Prague (ca 1045-1125). This is the first history of Bohemia and important work.

There are also some short texts in the manuscript. The first, before the picture of the Heavenly City, is a work on penitence. The second, after the Devil portrait, is on exorcising evil spirits. The last important short work is a Calendar, containing a list of saints and local Bohemian persons on the days on which they were commemorated. There is also one lost work, on leaves that have been cut out of the manuscript, the Rule of St Benedict, the essential guide to monastic life written in the sixth century.


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The Devil's Tower of New Jersey

Rio Vista is home to Devil's Tower, a stone clock tower that is claimed to be haunted which originally built by sugar baron named Manuel Rionda (1854–1943) in order to allow his wife to see New York from the New Jersey side of the Hudson River. The tower was so complex that Manuel even had an underground tunnel which was connected from his home to the tower itself. Manuels’ wife was enjoying her view up in the tower one evening when she spotted her husband having an affair with another woman. Becoming so distraught and overcome with anger and rage she leap to her death. Later that evening, having not heard from his wife, Manuel went looking for her. It was then that he found her and her mangled dead body. Manuel was afraid that his wife had come back from the dead to get her revenge, so Rionda ordered the work on the tower to stop, and, ordered the closure of an underground tunnel on the property. From that point forward, supernatural activity began to occur within the tower.

After Manuel Rionda's death in 1943, the local residents tried to have the tower demolished, but, after several workers fell to their death, the town stopped the demolition attempt. From there the rumors grew fast and more and more outrageous - with stories ranging from satanic rituals held inside the tower to animal slayings to a ghost that's said to have risen from the dead. (The ghost is rumored to be Rionda's wife.) The tower itself is still claim to a variety of paranormal activity. Noises can be heard from inside of the chamber, and strange perfume smells come and go.

Devil's Tower
Based on local legend, if you drive around the tower at night three times in reverse (some say 6 times), then turn off your headlights, the ghost of Rionda's wife will appear - or worse, take control of your car and drive it into a tree. Others say that if you walk six times around the tower backward at midnight, the devil himself will appear to you. One thing's for sure: kids used to break into the clock tower, party, and leave graffiti, so eventually the tower was sealed up. But that doesn't stop people from visiting to this day.

Some visitors heard a loud strange noise coming from within. its almost sounded like creaky steps. They also saw something on the right window-not the very top one, the one that's a good number of feet under it, all the way to the right. It looked like there was a broken window, but the window kept going up and down. It disappeared a couple seconds, and then a blurry figure of a person in all white leaned out and looked down at them, but there were no facial features. It almost looked like it was wearing a veil or cape. It was grayish white and very distorted.


Weird N.J.: "Your travel guide to New jersey's local legend and Best Kept Secrets" by Mark Sceurman, Mark Moran

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Sightings of Lake Worth Monster

In the summer of 1969 numerous sightings of half-man, half-goat creature also known as the Lake Worth Monster reported on Lake Worth, on the northwest edge of Fort Worth, Texas. It also produced one of the very few photographs ever taken of such an alleged beast. Early on the morning of July 10, John Reichart, his wife, and two other couples showed up at a Fort Worth police station. They were so manifestly terrified that, as improbable as their story sounded, the officers had no trouble believing the six had seen something truly out of the ordinary. As the witnesses’ story went, they had been parked along Lake Worth around midnight when a huge creature leaped out of a tree and landed on the Reicharts’ car. It was, they said, covered with both scales and fur and looked like a cross between a man and a goat.

Four police units rushed to the scene but found nothing. They were impressed, however, by the eighteen-inch scratch running along the side of the witnesses’ car. Swearing that it had not been there before, the Reicharts were sure it was a mark from the monster’s claws.

Allen Plaster's Photograph of Lake Worth Monster

In the previous two months other reports of a monster had come to police attention, but were attributed to pranks. The officers assumed that the Reicharts and their friends had been similarly victimized, but the frightening, aggressive nature of this latest incident made them take the matter more seriously than heretofore.

Almost exactly twenty-four hours after this encounter, Jack Harris, driving on the only road going into the Lake Worth Nature Center, said he spotted the creature crossing in front of him. It ran up and down a bluff and soon was being watched by thirty to forty persons who had come to the area hoping to see it after the Fort Worth Star Telegram headlined a story titled “Fishy Man-goat Terrifies Couples Parked at Lake Worth.” Within a short time officers from the sheriff’s department were on the scene as well, observing the incredible sight. But when it appeared that some of the onlookers were going to approach it, the creature fired a spare tire, complete with rim, at them, and the witnesses jumped back into their cars. It then escaped into the underbrush.

The witnesses said it was seven feet tall, with an estimated weight of 300 pounds. It walked on two feet and had whitish-gray hair. The creature had a “pitiful cry — like something was hurting him,” Harris told a reporter. “But it sure didn’t sound human.” In the weeks ahead parties of searchers, many carrying guns, made nightly forays into the woods and fields along the lake. Most thought it resembled a “big white ape.” It left tracks, unfortunately not preserved, that reportedly were sixteen inches long and eight inches wide at the toes. On one occasion searchers fired on it and followed a trail of blood and tracks to the edge of the water.

Three men claimed that one night the creature leaped on their car and got off only after the vehicle collided with a tree. Another three individuals spent a week tracking it without ever seeing it, though they heard its cry and smelled the foul odor associated with it. They also came upon dead sheep with broken necks — victims, they believed, of the creature.

In October of 1969, a man named Allen Plaster, owner of a dress shop took a picture of the Lake Worth Monster, which is the only photographic evidence of the creature. The picture shows a large, white body. The image was then given to Sallie Ann Clarke.

Sporadic sightings would be logged for years afterwards, but the last report of the 1969 scare is attributed to Charles Buchanan. Buchanan said he had been dozing inside his sleeping bag in the back of his pickup when suddenly something lifted him up. It was the monster. Buchanan grabbed a bag with chicken in it; the creature stuffed it into its mouth, then plunged into the lake and swam to Greer Island. This event allegedly occurred on November 7.

Unexplained: "Strange Sightings, Incredible Occurences & Puzzling Physical Phenomena" by Jerome Clark;

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SS Yongala

The SS Yongala is one of Australia's best-known ghost ships. The final voyage was SS Yongala’s 99th. It started on the 14th of March 1911 under the command of Captain William Knight. The appealing vessel left Melbourne, reached Brisbane on the 20th of March and Mackay on the 23rd. When it left the port at Mackay it was carrying 49 passengers and 73 members of the crew. It was then when the ship was last seen; SS Yongala was reported as missing on the 26th March 1911. Even if the government offered a substantial sum for information leading to the discovery of the ship, since nobody knew where it went missing. At that time £1,000 reward for information leading to the discovery of the ship was offered by the Queensland government, but this was withdrawn after no useful information came forward.

SS Yongala was a steel passenger and freight steamer built by Armstrong Whitworth & Co Ltd in Newcastle upon Tyne, England to special survey for the Adelaide Steamship Company, at a cost of £102,000. She was launched on 29 April 1903, and was registered in Adelaide. The vessel was named after the small town of Yongala in South Australia, a word from the Nadjuri language which meant "good water". On 14 March 1911, under the command of Captain William Knight, Yongala embarked on her 99th voyage in Australian waters. She left Melbourne with 72 passengers, heading for Brisbane, where she arrived on 20 March. On 23rd March, a harbour inspection found Yongala to be "in excellent trim", and she sailed for Mackay. Shortly before the vessel left sight of land at Mackay, a telegram was received by the Flat Top signal station warning of a tropical cyclone between Townsville and Mackay. Flag and wireless signals from the station prompted several ships to take refuge at Mackay, but Yongala did not see the flags, and was yet to be fitted with wireless equipment.
SS Yongala

Following the disappearance of Yongala, stories began to surface about a ghost ship, exactly resembling the Yongala, being frequently seen moving in the distance in seas between Bowen and Townsville. In 1943, a minesweeper fouled on what was then thought to be a shoal, eleven miles east of Cape Bowling Green. The captain marked on his chart an obstruction in about thirteen fathoms (24 m), dead on the track of vessels bound for Townsville.

The SS Yongala wreck was not discovered until 1947. After World War II the wreck was discovered at approximately 30 meters within the Central section of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. It was found washed up on beaches from Hinchinbrook Island to Bowen, but there was no sign of those aboard. The only body found was of the racehorse Moonshine, which washed up at the mouth of Gordon Creek. The bottom of the ship was ripped and so SS Yongala became an artificial reef, a unique habitat for marine life.

Several theories were offered for the ship's disappearance. Some speculated that Yongala had fallen victim to the cyclone; the high winds would have come from perpendicular to the ship's course and overpowered the vessel. Others thought she had grounded on a submerged reef between Flinders Passage and Keeper Reef, run into Nares Rock, or struck Cape Upstart.

Soul Searchers Paranormal Magazine Vol. 7 January 2013: "Haunted Australian Shipwrecks"

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Soul Searchers Paranormal magazine Vol. 7 January 2013: "Haunted Australian Shipwrecks" page 7
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