I'm always excited when I get the message from Seth Breedlove that he's ready to work on a new project. My first, natural response is "Here -take my money!" You can't go wrong with a Small Town Monsters production. I first backed "Minerva Monster" and realized that not only was my money well spent, but Seth had a passion for telling these stories. Each Breedlove Film gets better and better. "Invasion" is no exception.
I didn't know how the guys would top "Mothman of Point Pleasant"; you can read my review of that film on this blog. "Mothman" had the perfect mix of music, narration, and setting that I felt was a once in a lifetime hit maker. Little did I know that "Invasion" would do the same.
Growing up in Pennsylvania, I was all too familiar with our State's version of "The Twilight Zone". On occasion, my own boots hit the ground and I too would spend countless hours on "The Ridge", waiting to experience it's oddities. How could I expect Seth and team to draw me in more to an area that I already had history with? Well, they did.
With all the flair of an 1980's Sci-Fi movie, Breedlove draws you in with VHS-like effects on the scenery. Brandon Dalo scores yet another win with his mysterious themes that connect you even more so to the story.
Stan Gordon is our principal of the film; which makes great sense being that for 60 years - he has been the man most synonymous with "The Chestnut Ridge". He tells us of The Kecksburg UFO Incident (12/6/1965) - which got him started into his six decades of anomalous research. The film also closes with him at the Kecksburg UFO Conference. Good framing of the story.
Eric Altman joins us to give more meat and potatoes on the area. Eric has spent many years investigating strange phenomena; and for transparency is a man who I consider to be one of my mentors. The other also being Stan Gordon. Friend and fellow researcher Dwayne Pintoff is interviewed and shares one of his strange encounters. These familiar faces really make it seem like I'm watching a home movie!
In my favorite part of the movie, the late Sam Sherry's personal encounter with a Neanderthal Type Sasquatch is retold. Great animated sequences bring this to life. Having one of your favorite sightings come to life added a new dimension to the encounter. Amazing work.
Mark Matzke narrates the documentary, giving depth and emotion to a topic I didn't feel could garner any more. There is a reverence in his voice that invokes the feeling you get when you are actually THERE on the Ridge. Amazing work!
The film relies on great animated sequences and illustrations to fully flesh out the stories. This is very well done. Other movies rely on costume effects, which at times takes you out of the movie due to the strangeness of the costuming. Matt Harris and Brandon Scalf's illustrations draw you in, and Chris Scalf's animation adds to the overall effect of the creepiness to the stories. Their work really brings the mysteries of the Ridge to life!
My only complaint is that I wish there was more! There are so many stories from this area it would be impossible to catalog in a single movie. I hope to see more of this area in a future Small Town Monsters Production.
This is definitely a MUST WATCH and A MUST HAVE for your collection! This is the first documentary I have watched on the Chestnut Ridge, but after viewing the movie - I don't think anyone else could do it the justice that Seth and Team have rendered.
I leave you with this amazing piece of narration:
"There are places in the world whose mysteries call us. To come, see for ourselves - whatever the human toll might be. Places like the Chestnut Ride..."
My Uncle Zen stumbled upon an event one day while perusing his Facebook feed. Having knowledge that his nephew is an investigator into all things weird and unusual, he forward the event to me hoping it would peak my interest. Well, he was right, and soon we had booked our evening with the team at "Ghosts N' At" Paranormal Adventures. As a Valentine's Day Weekend Event marketed for couples, looking to save a dime, I booked my Uncle and I as a couple. Get your minds far away from Appalachia! A couple weeks later, off we went on the four hour drive west to the lakeside retreat.
Pennsylvania Haunts & History writes about the hotel, "The Hotel Conneaut, called "The Crown Jewel of Lake Conneaut" in Crawford County, dates back to 1903. It features 150 rooms, old time, turn-of-the-century ambiance, and as to be expected by its vintage, some long-time guests who checked in but never checked out..." The website then goes on to discuss the ghostly visitations of the honeymooning bride "Elizabeth." I mention this in brief because though regularly mentioned on by most resources, aside from one stop on our Investigation Rotation, we seldom heard of her for the rest of the night. In fact, everyone seemed more interested in the spirit of a deceased child, whose tricycle accident in one of the stairways caused their untimely demise. The child reportedly still rides her trike through the hallways.
After dinner, we joined up in the Grand Ballroom to get some history from our hosts, Brett McGinnis and TJ Porfeli. These two guys are very competent in their roles and gave us some momentum to get started. We joined up with our group -GREEN GROUP- then started off in a stairway and second floor hallway. Uncle Zen and I broke off on our own a bit, did some EVP work and explored the hotel.
We rejoined Green Group in the hallway for a group EVP session. One of the group members had attached a Thermal Imaging Device to his Samsung Phone, and saw a White Spot appear on the wall. The white spot would fade and return several times. One of our group leaders put their hand on the spot, and said it felt cold. I couldn't validate it, but it was cool to see on the video. I'll reach out to the gentleman and see if I can use the image for this blog, if he did in fact capture an image.
Our next stop on the rotation was to Room 321, the supposedly MOST HAUNTED room in the hotel; because you know, every hotel has to have one! This room however did not disappoint. Brett was the host for this particular portion. We all crammed into 321 and sat in the dark, save for two flashlights set to near off, which were to be used as a communication device. Brett led us in another group EVP session. The lights responded to our questions -at their will - sometimes out of sync with us. While not a scientific test, it proved to be remarkable and entertaining. I have longer video available - which I'll splice together and post somewhere soon. Below is just a sample.
Our next stop was with TJ, in the Worker's Quarters. This area of the Hotel is generally not open to the public, but included on this tour. It's an unfinished area of the hotel, which is under going some remodeling. Some group EVP work was done in here, but was rather unremarkable. Great ambience however.
Finally, we made it down to sitting room off the main lobby with our area leader, Kenny the King! Long story behind the King, he's a character, but seriously a good investigator with a solid foundation. Check out Ken Smith and his group HERE. Ken showed us how to use dowsing rods, and showed the newbies how to properly behave and protocols during an EVP session. He was entertaining, and though this segment of our journey wasn't a heavy win - it was very enjoyable.
We completed our investigation for the evening around 11:15pm. Our room was very cold, unbearably cold, so we packed up and drove another four hours back home. Despite the cold, we had a fantastic time. Great bonding experience for my Uncle and I, on his FIRST Investigation. I've done many investigations, but this was one of the most fun. Maybe not the most fruitful, but fun. Is the Hotel Conneaut haunted? UNCERTAIN. We had some interesting happenings, but nothing concrete. I'll be completing the analysis on our recordings soon. Perhaps we have something yet to be heard.
Check out my latest project, produced in conjunction with Pennsylvania Sasquatch Research's Tony Merkel, and artist Maz Adams. The Nocturnal Journal is a semi-regular podcast where we discuss all things cryptid, with special guests. This podcast, by far, has been one of the best shows I've been apart of. Check us out on iTunes or YouTube!
Been awhile since my last post, so I'd thought I'd try to keep things relevant around here. There has been an incredible amount that's happened since last September; both personal and professional, but we survive the bad, celebrate the good and move on!
James Baker and I are still working on getting "Venturing" off the ground. We have ton of fun where ever we go, and we really want to be able to share our adventures with you. Project Status: NOT DEAD
The ForkCAST is going to pushing forward - probably in 30 minute episodes dropping whenever we can get them recorded and edited. Recording for Series Two starts in April. Project Status: ALIVE and WELL
DetriMENTAL Health - On Hold. Still working on how to make this much different!
I'll be going to many different events this year, the BORU Conference in April and the Ohio Bigfoot Conference in May, so expect a recap here on both of those events. I'm seriously contemplating the Creature Weekend Event this year again - providing I can get the time off to go.
There is always something going on... Just never enough time to partake in everything. Choices are hard.
Also - take a look at Into The Fray Radio... Fantastic program. Forkchop approved.
The Mothman Festival has been an event I've been planning on going to for many years. This year, James Baker and I have made our reservations and packed our bags to hit the road for this incredible event. We'll take plenty of pictures and videos to post here, so stay tuned! You'll never who we will bump into.
Hello friends! It's been a while since I've check in here, keeping pretty busy these days. Lon and I have 14 episodes of Arcane Radio under our belts, and it feels pretty good knowing that you all came along and supported us. The show is a labor of love and we hope to make every episode a great episode. The sound quality is improving week over week - I'm no audio engineer so please, bear with me!
For anyone who may BE INTERESTED, on April 18, 2015, the Alburtis- Lockridge Historical Society will be hosting a "Paranormal Round Table" featuring Lon Strickler, Myself (representing Phantoms & Monsters Fortean Research and The Keystone Bigfoot Project), the Legend Hunters, Ghost Hunters Inc, and Butch Witkowski of the UFO Research Center of PA. The event will take place at the Alburtis Community Center in Alburtis, PA. CLICK HERE. $15 per Ticket.
Hey Folks. Been a while since I posted here on the blog. My apologies. Things have picked up and I have been a busy beaver. Not to be confused with a "Bushy Beaver"... an Office reference there. Hehehe.
"The ForkCAST" keeps getting better every week. We decided a couple weeks ago to use BlogTalkRadio as the distributor for the show, as well as iTunes, and soon to be using PodBean and Stitcher. Getting the show out there is our objective, while we continually improve on the sound quality. The difference between episodes 6 and 7 are day and night. Using new software for both recording and editing has made a huge difference. Post Production matters as much as the preparation. We have the rest of the year booked up with guests and topics. I want you all to be a part of this.
We are opening Darker Days Studio in the coming months at the Pajama Factory in Williamsport, PA - my hometown. I am very excited about it. Scott Hill and I are ready to move in and to start churning out our projects. Our excitement cannot be contained. Stay Tuned to Social Media for pictures. @seanforker on Twitter or facebook.com/theforkchop. Add us!
Well... The Bake Shop went live today. Baker sent me two postings for the blog. Needed some editing, but we finally got them up. Check them out HERE. I still don't know if the world is ready for this.
I'll be getting more blogging done myself in the near future. Come back and check me out periodically. Also, I've recorded four episodes of The ForkCAST, with a new episode this Wednesday (7/30/14) with my buddy Robert Hipp. We will be discussing some paranormal topics, but you just never really know what will go on. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN.
The 3rd Annual Creature Weekend Event has come to pass in writing this blog entry, and let me say what a fantastic time was had by those in attendance. Creature Weekend proved to be the EVENT to be at for those who truly have a passion in cryptozoological research. Though this could have been called a true Bigfoot conference by subject matter - no other Cryptids presented upon - it was full of fun and information, reminiscent of the conferences of old. Bruce Harrington and his team of sponsors and volunteers put on a hell of a program. I CANNOT WAIT for next years event.
My traveling partner for this trip back to Salt Fork State Park Lodge in Ohio was none other than the not so affable James Baker aka "The Bake Shop" - former co-host on The Sasquatch Experience Podcast and my research partner. This was Bake Shop's first trip to SFSP and he was very impressed at the facility. Amazed is probably more accurate. We packed the Equinox up at 10 and departed for SFSP.
After arriving a little later then expected (Pittsburgh Traffic and FOOD), we checked in and met up with Crypto-Mundo Founder/CEO and good friend Craig Woolheater, “Eerie Eric and Creepy Kerrie”, MNBRT Radio Host Abe Del Rio, “Joisey" Gene Romo, and Jeff “The Shadow” Thomas, and headed on a top secret trip to meet our special guest for the weekend - arranged for a very grateful audience by Craig. Spending another hour and twenty minutes in the car was no problem -especially when we arrived at the house of “Trapper” John Tice of the hit show, "Mountain Monsters" on the Destination America Channel.
Trapper graciously welcomed us into his home where we enjoyed shooting the breeze, enjoyed a few “home-made” brews, and watched a couple episodes of “Mountain Monsters”- with exclusive in home commentary by Trapper himself. Trapper was genuinely a great man, very welcoming, and soon became fast friends with all of us. Hours later, a couple of us walked out to the cars and drove the rest of our “inebriated brothers” back to the Lodge. I decided to be a “good boy’ this weekend and take it easy on my liver - Forkchop loves to party, but a man can only handle so much. HAHAHA!
Saturday was the Creature Weekend Conference, started off by the PA Bigfoot Society Evidence Presentation. A two part lecture, Terrie Seech and Carey Rupert did a short presentation on Women in Bigfooting. Eric Altman and Dave Rupert followed up with a PBS Evidence Presentation; which was attended by Conference Speaker John Mionczynski (just to add a bit of pressure!). A good presentation, and the audience really seemed into it. Trapper John arrived at the Crypto-Mundo Table around 10am and was an instant hit with the attendees. Again, this man loves his fans and takes his time greeting and talking to each individual.
The Speakers Presentations started at 2pm, kicked off by Tim Stover of the Ohio Bigfoot Hunters. Tim is another guy who is passionate about his research and loves talking about it to the people. I wasn’t too familiar with Tim, but by the end of the presentation I felt like I just got done talking to my best friend. Tim had a great way of using humor and stories to connect with the audience. For his first Conference speaking engagement- he gets an “A” from the Forkchop.
Dr. Jeff Meldrum followed Tim. I’ve listened to Meldrum lecture several times and his lecture is always a wealth of information. In the past he could be a little dry, but this time he seemed to be carrying the same amount of energy and enthusiasm that Tim set earlier in the program. Dr. Meldrum divulged that he was a “Trekkie” and used some of the “Captain’s Oath of the USS Enterprise” to relate to the mission of discovering new species. A Trekkie myself, I totally related to this. Again, Doc Meldrum likes to talk about feet. Really Big Feet. Though at times he sounds like a college professor - go figure - it was informative and I had some good takeaways.
Trapper John had a few words for the audience, who received him very warmly and many commented that they wished he was a speaker. Trapper seemed at home talking to the audience, relating some personal stories -but pointedly spoke to us about making sure our children get back in nature. It was a good moment seeing my new found friend up there out of his element - entertaining his friends.
John Mionczynski was a gentleman that I have NEVER heard speak before at a conference. John is soft spoken, but makes each one of his words matter. He related his own personal encounter with what he believes to be a Sasquatch; and actually makes you feel like you are there when he tells it. John then spoke on his background as a Wildlife Consultant for the US Forestry Service. Using his knowledge of habitat and food sources, he has determined that there is sufficient food sources for large primates in North America. Very good presentation. Late in the night, John joined some of us for a few drinks and conversation, sharing some laughs and giving us more insight on our favorite mystery primate.
Around 6:30pm, the "Cryptomundo Crew" headed to Theo’s in Cambridge for Dinner. Met by long time social networking friends Greg and Dana Newkirk of “ Roadtrippers" fame, we all enjoyed great food and even greater company. After the "Mashed Potato Incident" and some supply issues with Pie; Trapper John and us parted ways. Unfortunately dinner ran long and AGAIN I missed the presentations of Bill Munns and Doug Waller. Be rest assured fair readers, those in attendance gave those two gentleman great reviews. (If I can find a written review of Munns and Waller’s presentations - I will post the link here.)
Creature Weekend also hosted the “Creature Weekend Experience” for willing participants, and based upon the amount of folks who stopped by our small group conversation, was a big hit. This event was a test of skills in a controlled environment. Whoever provided the best evidence won two tickets to next years event. Though the situation was controlled, some believe the legendary Bigfoot himself showed up to throw a couple real wrenches into the the situation. It was reported that two researchers who participated heard heavy movement in an area just outside the control zone. Another group reported wood knocks in response to the simulated activities… interesting, huh? Bob Eddy, a former volunteer Sheriff’s Deputy won the contest. If the name sounds familiar, its because his children had an experience at Salt Fork, documented on “Monsters and Mysteries of America”.
The Final Event for Creature Weekend was a Evidence Collection Workshop and BBQ held at Deerassic Park, a beautiful facility that sits on the outskirts of SFSP. Dr. Meldrum explained and demonstrated the proper way to cast tracks -and gave insight into some casting materials. Plaster of Paris is apparently back in vogue, by the way. Spray foam is also a great way to document found tracks, but you will not pick up some critical detailed elements. Those pesky little dermal ridges won’t show up with the foam. It still makes a nice cast though. All this information can be found in Dr. Meldrum’s Sasquatch Field Guide. This was all wrapped up as we said goodbye to the speakers, then departed for the airport. Creature Weekend was officially over.