Another Vampire Exhumed In Bulgaria

vampire
Department of Defense

The body of a vampire has been excavated in Bulgaria, the Sofia Globe reports.

Archaeologists excavating at the historic site of Perperikon uncovered the grave of a man weighed down with a ploughshare over his chest. This was a common folk practice to keep a body from rising from its grave as a vampire. The individual was a man aged about 35-40 and he was carrying coins dated to the 13th and 14th century.

The discovery is part of ongoing excavations at Perperikon, an important city in eastern Bulgaria that was occupied from at least 5000 BC through the Middle Ages.

Last year archaeologists found several vampire graves in another part of the country. And these aren’t the first to have been discovered. Usually they have iron stakes or nails through their hearts. Only one other has been found with the ploughshare treatment.

Yeti Resort Being Built In Siberia

yetiThe Seregesh ski resort in Siberia has a new marketing plan. The Siberian Times reports that it’s building a Yeti park.

Belief in the Yeti is common in Siberia, where it’s called the “Big Man.” Hunters often report seeing them and regional governor Aman Tuleyev has offered one million rubles ($33,000) to anyone who can bag one. No takers yet, which makes one wonder about the reliability (and aim) of those hunters.

Park developer Igor Idimeshev claims to have seen the Yeti several times. He believes the creatures are aliens who can walk on water and glow in the dark. Idimeshev says the park will have a museum about the Yeti, along with conference space so cryptozoologists can meet and discuss sightings.

Park organizers seem to be cashing in on last October’s report of Yeti hair being subjected to DNA analysis. Apparently the hair, found in a Siberian cave, wasn’t human yet closely related to us. The report was vague and was met with skepticism even from some Yeti investigators.

But who knows? Siberia is a big place …

Have you ever seen the Yeti or another monster? Tell us about your experience in the comments section!

[Image courtesy Philippe Semeria]

Whatever Happened To The Lake Conway Monster?

Lake Conway, skunk apeCould a reservoir in Arkansas be the favorite watering hole of a southern Bigfoot? Maybe it once was, but it doesn’t seem to be anymore.

When I was a kid in the 1970s, I loved tramping through the woods, and so of course I loved hearing about monsters lurking in the woods. I vaguely remember a rash of sightings of a big, hairy monster in the woods of Arkansas. It had several names, the most popular being the Fouke Monster, which was sighted by numerous individuals and was the subject of some atrocious films that freaked out 10-year-old me.

There were also sightings at Lake Conway just north of Little Rock. It’s 6,700 acres in size, making it the largest man-made game and fish commission lake in the country, and a popular fishing spot. Most of the sightings come from fishermen in remote parts of the lake.

According to one anonymous testimony (the sort of thing that constitutes evidence for cryptozoologists hunting these critters) it was about 7 feet tall and completely covered with dark hair. It stood at the edge of the lake watching a fishing boat for several minutes and showed no fear or comprehension when a gun was pointed at it.

Sightings of the Conway Lake monster date back to the 1940s, according to this article in the Saline Courier, which cites no sources. They continued until the 1970s before trailing off to nothing.

Several witnesses noted that it had a terrible odor. This led some cryptozoologists to suggest it’s a skunk ape, a mysterious beast shown here in a photo courtesy David Barkasy and Loren Coleman. This shot was allegedly taken in Florida. Skunk apes are found throughout the South although, of course, none have ever been caught. Sadly, no photos of the Lake Conway monster have ever been reported.

So what was the Lake Conway monster? Skunk ape? Bigfoot? A hairy refugee from a nudist chili festival? Did it go extinct like some people said Nessie has? Perhaps it moved away as Little Rock has expanded and more and more fishermen use Lake Conway. It seems a shame, though. The folks around Lake Champlain have kept their monster alive and kicking. So come on, Arkansans, go find the Lake Conway monster, or at least take a blurry nighttime photo of an orangutan!

Gadling Blogger Snaps Photo Of Nessie (Not Really)

Nessie
On my recent trip to Scotland, I took this shocking photo of a strange creature out in the water. Is it Nessie?

Well, no, it isn’t. I won’t tell you what it is, except that the truth is hidden in one of the answers to the poll below. Vote for your most likely candidate and I’ll post the SHOCKING TRUTH ABOUT MY NESSIE PHOTO a week from now.

Sorry for shouting, I got carried away.

While I didn’t photograph the Loch Ness Monster (or did I?), a certain George Edwards did. The Inverness Courier published his photo last week and it’s been making the rounds on the Internet. It shows a fuzzy lump in the water that could be a species unknown to science or simply a fuzzy lump in the water.

Mr. Edwards says he saw the dark gray shape “slowly moving up the loch towards Urquhart Castle.” He watched it for at least five minutes but for some reason only took one photo. Edwards claims to have sent the image off to some experts in the U.S. military to have it analyzed.

Proof that Nessie exists? Maybe. Maybe not. The fact that Edwards runs Loch Ness Cruises makes me a wee bit suspicious that this is a publicity stunt. Even the popular monster hunting site Crypto Mundo cast some doubts on the story, asking why there’s no wake from a supposedly moving object and why a lifelong Nessie hunter only snapped a single photograph.

Whatever the truth behind Edwards’ photo, you’ll learn the SHOCKING TRUTH ABOUT MY NESSIE PHOTO next week.

Sorry, got carried away again.

UPDATE: The correct answer wins by a slim margin! Yes, this was a seal coming up for air. He’s poking his nose out of the water and looks remarkably like a shark, which is why 22 Gadling readers were fooled into thinking it was one. I’m a bit curious as to the six people who thought I swiped a “real” Nessie photo from the Internet. Are there so many blurry photos of the beastie out there that they all begin to look the same?

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Urquhart Castle: The Other Attraction On Loch Ness

castle, Loch Ness
Today the Olympic torch is crossing Loch Ness by boat. While locals are hoping for Nessie to make an appearance, one attraction will definitely be on view: the spectacular Urquhart Castle.

This castle sits on Strone Point, a headland jutting out into the loch. It’s unclear when the castle was built. It was certainly there by the 13th century but there may have been a fort there as far back as the 6th century. It was besieged many times over the years in the countless wars with the English and between rival Scottish rulers. It survived these fights until 1692, when the walls were smashed by supporters of the English King William III so it wouldn’t fall into the hands of the rival Jacobites.

Although the castle became useless as a place for defense, much of the layout is clearly visible. You can see where the bakers made bread, where the blacksmith fixed swords and where the residents lived. You can even delve into the dungeon to see the miserable conditions of the prisoners. The most impressive and best-preserved portion is the tower, which rises five stories above the ruins.

%Gallery-157771%From the tower you get a sweeping view of the Loch. Scotland is a beautiful place for photography and its many lochs reflect the mood of its ever-changing light. On overcast days the loch looks gloomy and forbidding, and you could well imagine a monster lurking in its depths. Then the sun will break through and sparkle across the waters like a scattering of gold coins. Dawn and dusk are great times to take photos, when the sun is low and casts a rich golden hue across the water and shore. The castle is lit up at night and makes for a nice shot as well. Check out the gallery for more views of the fantastic castle.

Those wanting to see the Loch Ness Monster should be reassured that the castle is one of the main sites for spotting the mysterious beastie. Perhaps there are secret tunnels underneath the castle where the monster guards a medieval treasure, or perhaps it’s because so many people visit Urquhart castle and gaze out across the waters hoping for a glimpse of the unknown.

[Photo courtesy Baasir Gaisawat]