The Unknown.

You are walking in a dark forest at night in the middle of nowhere Arkansas and someone whispers this word into your ear. Normally, it wouldn't be scary. After all, it's just a word. But in the pitch black thick of it, surrounded by Sasquatch farmland and dense pickle trees, with a sky full of shooting stars and blistering comets, this one word can literally scare the pee out of your thickening urethra. The Unknown. It's a word that gives off a sense of dread and danger. It suggests the ugliness of life. The monsters, the myths, the fairy story, the hoax, the rub.

Just a few weeks ago, your average kid wouldn't have given a carburetor kick or skin shiver to the word. They have scarier things to worry about, like the War in Iraq and the impending election. For a while there, we experienced a profuse drought in reports of the unexplained. But now, all of a sudden and out of the blue-like, we have been hit with a hailstorm of Bigfoot reports and UFO sightings. Some mighty strange shit has washed up on the shores of Montauk, and a new species of Gyno-bug has crawled into the sort of cave that might have your mother, your sister, and your great grandmother all wincing in unison. There is a certain shocking In Search of... insurgence happening across America at this current moment in time. And all I can say is, "Whoop-doo!"

Some people are calling it the first sign of The End of Times. Others are calling it a bunch of hogwash. However you look at it, it's still entertainment. Self made and promoted at that. The Hoax has been around since the dawn of man. Every kicking anthropologist and opportunist has an imagination, and in usurping the thematic plains of cinematic art, they'd rather convince you that these monsters are real living entities with a taste for human blood and a desire to insert serrated objects into your anus. I can hear Leonard Nemoy's voice floating in an omniscient wave over these recently discovered artifacts of a supernatural origin. And he is certainly scaring the Ben Lee CD out of my closeted collection. I don't know if I can handle all of these recently discovered monsters at once. It certainly is a lot to ingest in a single sitting.

As early as six months ago, I had a conversation with some of my weirder friends about a certain lack of unexplained phenomenon happening around the word. It was as if God had twisted off the Unknown faucet in favor of real life atrocities. Where were our new myths? Our new creatures of the night? What happened to all those cool tales, and what, exactly, has been keeping the coveted cryptozoologist in business for the last ten years? Then, with the blink of an eye, it seemed as though my question had been answered. Instead of looking at the latest in filmed entertainment this week, I am going to take a quick spin through all of the weird, cool, scary shit that has been popping up on the shores of our great America these last few months. And I'll kick things off with Bigfoot.

Boos! And Whoop-doos!

Fake Big Foot on Ice? Whoop-doo!

That's right. Bigfoot. Last Friday, news sources as respected and believed as CNN and the Fox News Network were reporting that Big Foot's body had indeed been found. A couple of dudes from Georgia (one of them a vacationing cop) discovered the dead stink ape along the northern side of a frozen riverbed. They threw the body in an ice chest (I sure hope they didn't get any on their beer) and drove off with it, while three other creatures of a similar genetic construct sequentially shadowed them throughout the forest. This past Tuesday, National Geographic released a statement saying that the two men in question, Matt Whitton and Rick Dyer, had pulled a pretty lame hoax. These seemingly normal guys, who run a Bigfoot expedition during their spare time, refused to unveil the body at their own press conference, and the DNA culled from the corpse only showed traces of human matter and opossum excrement. They're statement, "Maybe Bigfoot eats opossum." Maybe he does, but highly unlikely according to local zoologists. The only thing they had to support their claim was a picture of Sasquatch lying face up in a giant Coleman cooler. There is also a close-up of his tongue and teeth. While it looks pretty convincing to me, an unidentified man working in a Halloween costume store identified the creature as one of his own suit rentals. And that grotesque tongue? It can be bought at any local butcher shop for under three dollars. Professional Bigfoot hunter Tom Biscardi's involvement in the case also has anthropologists shaking their head in disbelief. Biscardi has a pretty poor reputation amongst Bigfoot specialists, and when he's involved, you can pretty much guarantee that the story is false. What does Tom Biscardi have to say for himself? "I want to get to the bottom of it. What I seen, what I touched, what I felt, and what I prodded was not a mask that was sewn on a bear hide, OK?" Um, okay. I totally believe you Tom. While Whitton and Dyer's story seems highly unlikely and a great big untruth, I like their execution of it all. I think the pictures are pretty classic, and I can't believe they've continued to garner this much attention in this day and age. The Big Foot of Northern Georgia? Whoop-doo! (Update: Today, the two men have informed the world that this was all a joke. I'm laughing, but some aren't. Whitton has even been fired from the Police Force over it. Boo!)

Boos! And Whoop-doos!

South Texas El Chupacabras? Boo!

Not surprisingly, a few short days after this supposed Sasquatch discovery, two sheriff deputies near Cuero, South Texas, happened upon El Chupacabras himself, jogging down a desolate stretch of desert road. Don't believe them? Well, they captured the nasty looking thing on their dashboard camera, and the footage has been making the rounds ever since. The first real Chupacabras discovery from just a few years ago turned out to be a bunch of angry, naked mule deer. Ugly little creatures, if you didn't know what they were, you'd certainly be scared of them. But the so-called monsters had jumped fence at a local breeding farm. And the farmer in question was quite happy to have them returned. Mystery solved. But this new El Chupacabras looks, shocking, just like my dog. Who, as far as we can figure out, is a keen mix of American Bull dog, Chihuahua, Dachshund, and Boxer. Imagine those four breeds getting it on in an orgy, and you'd certainly have a skinny, scary creature on your hands. As recently as a year ago, four hybrid coyotes were discovered near Cuero, and this seems to be another one of the clan. Hairless and sporting a set of long ears, the creature seen in this video is certainly a mutt of some sort. One thing's for sure, it ain't the mythical goat sucking Mexican devil beast. It doesn't even mind the car. The dog seems to be guiding the sheriffs towards his house, like any good domesticated pooch might do. You run up on a coyote or any other wild, bloodthirsty creature, and it is going to hightail it into the bushes. Guaranteed. The South Texas El Chupacabras? Boo! (To watch a special news report on the South Texas El Chupacabras, CLICK HERE

Boos! And Whoop-doos!

The Montauk Monster? Whoop-doo!

The most convincing creature to be discovered this summer is, of course, the Montauk Monster, who made his first appearance in early July. (Just like a mother fucking Bigfoot to step in and steal the spotlight! Huh?) The Montauk Monster was discovered by three average looking white woman off the shores of Upper New York State. Bored with their domestic bliss, they have seemingly concocted a new myth for this millennium. And every respectable news source has jumped on the story. I'm sure you've seen the pictures. It, too, looks just like my dog. Only this time, they've photoshopped some weird looking turtle's beak on the front of its poor face. Seriously, the South Texas Chupacabras and the Montauk Monster don't look all that dissimilar. And in the one most famous photo, it seems to be giving us the finger. Maybe its asleep and dreaming of his big, "Fuck you, Bigfoot!" Moment. The photo, which certainly looks doctored to me, has been "proven" to be real. It's said that there is an animal testing resource center not to far down the coast from where this sick little sun burnt croaker washed up. Authorities in the neighborhood have claimed it to be either an unknown marine animal, a turtle without its shell, or a mutated pit bull. The original picture came from a woman that works as part of a viral marketing team assigned to promote an upcoming Cartoon Network program entitled Cryptids are Real. But she claims this had nothing to do with the animated series. Sure, Alanna. Whatever you say. The women that claim to have found and photographed the unidentified beastie don't make much effort in staking their claim as true. When interviewed, the trio seemed very aloof and jovial. One claimed that a friend had the Eagle Dog (as its come to be known) in a freezer at home. But other reports say that an old man from the senior home just of the coast of where it was discovered scooped up the carcass and took it back to the Rec center to have it mounted. Then again, three Hampton Lifeguards claim to have its bones in a Ziploc bag in their backyard. One of them is wearing the piece of cloth from around its wrist as a necklace. That's pretty gross. I like the legs this thing has had throughout the summer. While it is most likely the decomposing body of a underdeveloped raccoon, like some suggest, I dig the execution and originality of it. The Monster of Montauk? Whoop-doo! To watch CNN's special report about the creature, click on the player below.

Boos! And Whoop-doos!

The Peeping Tom Alien? Whoop-doo!

Aliens have also stolen their fair share of the spotlight this summer. Late last week, several UFOs were spotted flying over the Arizona skyline. Strangely enough, I was in Arizona at the exact same time, and spent the night in a hotel near the town where these sightings occurred. I didn't see anything but the bottom of another Bushmills bottle and a couple of erratic bug bites. As with the El Chupacabras sighting and the Big Foot Body Find (one of those trekkers was a police officer on official leave for shooting himself in the hand), this particular account was reported by a sheriff that also captured some of the strange phenomenon on his dashcam. Are these "sightings" merely the creations of some bored state workers with nothing better to do? Does being a figure of authority give them more gravitas in situations like this? Sure. You say, "Old Pete Jones spotted a UFO last night!" And the average person is inclined to say, "Really? What was old Pete shooting into his arm last night?" You say, "Officer Rodriguez of the Arizona State Troopers spotted a Flying Saucer over the Town Cathedral last night." And that same skeptic will shine a genuine smile and say, "Golly, then it must be true." In some of these small desert towns, where nothing happens, I'd tend to think that a bored cop would have a much wilder imagination than someone sitting at home watching TIVO, but maybe that's just me. UFO sightings are nothing new, and they rarely go out of style. You can always count on someone, somewhere, seeing a UFO in his or her backyard. And in this day and age, they will most likely have videotaped proof of it. The big news this summer, as far as Aliens are concerned, is the Stan Romanek/Jeff Peckman Peeping Tom Alien videotape. Romanek supposedly recorded a tiny alien being peeking into his living room window. Since the footage was captured, Peckman has had it analyzed and "experts" say that it is real. That the video hasn't been tampered with. Peckman called together a press conference, but only released a photo still from the videotape. He has since gone on to appear on many talk shows, CNN, Fox, even The Late Show with David Letterman, explaining the truth behind this creepy little white-headed glow pod. Thus far, very few people have seen the actual footage. And because of that, most are calling it a hoax. Peckman says that the video is being reserved for a documentary. How did Romanek know to set up a tri-pod and capture this little guy pulling off his sneak and peek (reportedly spying on Romanek's teenage daughters)? According to his story, Stan thought he was dealing with a peeping tom and decided to plant a video camera in his living room. The footage was recorded in 2003, but it is only now surfacing. Since Peckman decided to withhold the video from the public, many fake videos have popped up on youtube. Some are pretty fucking stupid, and one is incredibly cool. Yet still, the good fake still looks fake. And it was reportedly made for under a hundred dollars. This whole Peeping Tom Alien business started in May of this year. Though skeptics have decreed its authenticity as bunk, the official word on its legitimacy is still at large. And way too many people are still interested in this ever-expanding story. For what its worth, this has been 2008's best exploration into The Unknown, whether it be real or not. The story has stirred up a lot of people's imaginations, and it has scared a lot of little kids that don't know any better. We haven't seen anything this exciting on the UFO Alien front since that alien autopsy on Fox a few years back. Bravo! The Colorado Peeping Tom Alien? A very big Whoop-doo! (To check out all of the video involved in the case, CLICK HERE)

The Roaming Gnome? Whoop-doo!

Another weird creature caught on tape earlier this year was Argentina's Roaming Gnome, which has scared far too many of my peers into sleeping with the lights on at night. As far as frightening shit goes, this is probably the most chilling footage captured all year. Or so some would have you believe. When I finally saw it, I wasn't all that impressed. It's hard to make out the Gnome. His pointy hat and strange Kikapoo dance were captured on a cell phone, and it's all very grainy and dark. Though, it manages to do in five minutes what The Blair Witch Project took nearly ninety minutes to do. And that is: Give you the instant creeps. Watching it, I am reminded of Tom Bosely. Yeah, Mr. Cunningham from Happy Days. He voiced the lead character on David the Gnome back in 1985, and I could very easily imagine his comforting sigh coming out of this trippy beast. As the story goes, this gnome, whose weird hip-hop shuffle is stomachache inducing, has been terrorizing the local residents of General Guemes, Argentina, for most of the year. It's strange, because I thought gnomes were supposed to be peaceful creatures. He doesn't really seem to be doing anything too mischievous in the video. But that walk? It brings the shivers, don't it? The video was captured by a bunch of teens, hanging out and drinking beer at one o'clock in the morning. I'd scream like a little bitch, too, if this thing slinked past my empty forty. According to Argentine culture, this thing is actually called a duende. Which is a tiny mischievous supernatural being similar to a leprechaun. For all we know, this could be Warwick Davis after a long night of shooting Leprechaun 7: Tango Gold. Or Verne Troyer shooting the latest Uwe Boll film and deciding to have a little fun with the locals. Whatever this thing is, it has captured the attention of the World, and has even sent some people into shock. The General Guemes Gnome? Whoop-doo! (To see the Gnome in action, click on the player below.

The Gyno-Bug? Whoop-doo!

Lets jump back to last week, shall we? Around the same time that Big Foot was getting put on ice and shipped around Northern Georgia, scientists in the small town of Deirks, Arkansas, discovered a new breed of flesh termite that doesn't seem to be from this world. There is no known documentation of this scary little creature, and they have since become known as the Gyno-bug. These parasites are similar to the very real Candiru parasite, a freshwater catfish with needle-like spines on its back. They soak into the gills of most aquatic animals and feast on them from the inside out. The Candiru have been known to swim into human orifices such as the vulva, anus, or even the penis through the urethra. Once inside a human, they cannot survive. But the protrusions on their spine will cause them to get lodged up inside your tender parts, and it takes a bit of surgery to get them out. This topic was explored to great comedic effect in a recent episode of [Adult Swim]'s Metalocalypse. Well, the recently discovered Gyno-bug works in much the same way. Only, it solely crawls into the vulva, or vagina, and nests inside of its warm, pink walls undetected for up to three days. It then lays a sack of eggs inside and dies. When the newborn Gyno-bugs hatch, they eat at the vaginal walls from the inside out, causing the infected female to bleed from the crotch area. Is the bug real? Is this another hoax? Scientists are examining the black, tick-like creatures to determin what exactly is being dealt with here. All I have to say is, if you go swimming in Deirks Lake, you best not spread your legs too far. One of these tiny black beasties might hop up in there and nest. I'm not sure what to think about this little bit of The Unknown. It's sort of scarier and more realistic than two guys with an opossum road kill-filled Bigfoot costume. Thinking about the Gyno-bug has me putting a bit of duct tape over my own pee hole. The Deirks, Arkansas Gyno-bug? Whoop-doo! I can't wait for the movie. Which I hear David Yates might be directing sometime soon.

Boos! And Whoop-doos!

The Maitreya? Boo!

Our final unexplained scary sighting comes courtesy of the local left-leaning rag The LA Weekly. Jesus Christ himself revealed six signs that would signify the End of Times. And the first sign was the immergence of many False Prophets. In Matthew24:3, Jesus told his apostles to be aware of these false christs as they would surely start coming out of the woodwork like hungry maggots, and their immergence would be a precursor to the arrival of the real false Christ, The Antichrist. In Matthew 24:5, Jesus states, "For many will come in my name, saying, I am Christ, and will mislead many." He then went on in Matthew 24:11 to continue with, "And many false prophets will arise, and will mislead many." Well, we've certainly seen this happening a lot lately. False prophets have been popping up in every corner of the globe,. The man at the forefront of the false Christ movement is a British esotericist by the name of Benjamin Creme. For years now, he has claimed to be a conductor rod for the earthly debut of "Maitreya", whom he claims is the second coming of Christ. Most people believe Maitreya to be the Antichrist. Creme often offers live lectures (that are kind of spendy) where he claims to be able to bring this unearthly entity out of the ether. Ask for Maitreya to appear before you, and he will. In many shapes and forms. An imprint of his hand has been known to appear on glassy surfaces. Touch the hand, and you will be allowed entrance into heaven. Or some such shit. It all sounds like a bunch of hooey to me. And I don't really care for this Creme character too much. He comes on like a real charlatan. And has already twice delivered a false baby Jesus into the world. Well, imagine my surprise when I opened up the August 7th issue of the LA Weekly only to find that the Maitreya himself had taken out an add in the paper. I was kind of surprised to see it there. Creme had me believing that Maitreya was of Middle Eastern origin. The pictures ol' Benji had on his website caused me to believe that this new Christ/false Christ/Antichrist looked like Osama Bin Laden. Nope. The guy in the LA Weekly looks more like the dad from Malcolm in the Middle with a bad party wig on. The bringer of peace? Right. He looks more like the guy that gravitates towards your glass at a patio party and goes on to smoke up all of your train wreck. He's wearing Grandpa Jones' old flannel pajama top, for Creme's sake. What a douche. His add says, "When you are ready, you will find him. Maitreya, the friend of all souls." They should have added onto the end of it, "That have marijuana in their possession." I wouldn't give this guy a nickel if I found him begging on a street corner. I sure the fuck ain't going to follow him into any sort of heaven, that's for sure. Still, the site of Christ, anti or not, taking out an add in my local free paper kind of creeped me out a little bit. I couldn't lock a source for the add until I stumbled on their website. The Friends Way claims that they are searching for the one million souls that will be allowed access into heaven at the time of the rapture. Or is it the apocalypse? I'm not sure, I can't keep all of this business straight. Anyway, there's a phone number. If you call it, you can talk to Maitreya himself. And find out if you are one of the million. Though, I'm not yet convinced that he is THE Maitreya. I'm not really inclined to believe anything this douche knuckle says. The Redondo Beach Maitreya, CEO of God's Eternal Universal Religion? Boo! (To call the Maitreya and find out if you are one of the million souls that will be allowed back into heaven, dial (310) 540-6044. Just don't call too early. This Christ is a late sleeper. Too many vanilla zingers and way too much Purple Urkle, if you know what I mean.)

Well, that's it folks. The Unknown: 2008. Hopefully you have a slightly better understanding of all the strange phenomena that has struck at the heart of our beloved country this summer. Are they Hoaxes? Are they products of an imagination run wild? Is there any truth to this stuff that is currently plaguing our Internet airwaves? Big Foot was indeed a joke. But what about that wicked looking El Chupacabras with the long snout? Or the Peeping Tom Alien? Only time will tell if we are indeed being overrun by creatures from outer space. Most of these stories will prove to be nothing more than a joke by the time summer rolls to a close. I, for one, am grateful that so many people have taken up a cause that seemed long buried. Leonard Nimoy, where are you? The world needs you now more than ever.

Good night, Whoop-Doo Nation! Sleep tight, and don't let the Gyno-bugs bite.