Saturday, December 31, 2011
The man has taken his wife and daughter with him on several hunting trips. On one occasion, he and his wife found tracks. They alarmed his wife so that she wanted to leave the area immediately.
After contacting BFRO investigators, the gentleman was told about tree-knockings and advised to try to communicate with the animals in that manner. On the trip where he tried this, his daughter, who does not believe in the existence of these creatures, or did not at that time, accompanied him. He did try woodknocking and got quite a response. Read his reports at the BFRO website:
This area is growing, but there are still quite a few rural parts in Floyd County. These are interesting reports.
The folklore of which I speak focuses on a pillar that currently stands at the corners of Fifth and Broad Street near downtown. That is not the original location of the pillar. It once stood in the old Market Square area. While there are many stories about how the pillar was built and who subsequently laid the famous "curse" upon it, most of the sources I have read seem to indicate that the most credible one deals with an evangelist who visited the city in 1829. He preached in the Market Square district and demanded that the town build him a church from where he could preach the "gospel." Unfortunately for the preacher, the town did not have the kind of faith in him and his ministry that he thought they should have, and he was mocked by the local residents. Further stoking the flames, a local magistrate came and told him he was forbidden from preaching there any longer. It was said that the "man of the cloth" was so angered by these events that he cursed all those within hearing distance of him and said that soon a great wind would come through and rip apart the town, undoubtedly the judgement of the Almighty. No one knew what became of the preacher, but almost fifty years later, a twister did indeed strike Augusta and did great damage to the Market Square on February 8, 1878. The hand of the Lord at the behest of the evangelist's curse-perhaps!!!
Shortly afterwards, a local merchant by the name of Theodore Eye purchased the pillar and had it moved to its current location. While nothing out of the ordinary happened to Mr. Eye, events that came afterwards were a bit unnerving. It is said that there have been a number of automobile accidents involving the pillar, and that more than a few times has lightening struck the concrete structure. You know what they say? Lightening never strikes twice in the same place. That is obviously not true for Augusta's haunted pillar.
A local story is also told about a cotton truck that struck the pillar in the 1950s. The truck almost demolished the pillar, and when a local resident claimed a piece of the pillar's remains as a keepsake, he fell ill and did not recover until he took the piece back. Others have photographed the pillar (it was rebuilt after the cotton truck accident) and they claim to see orbs and what can be described as illustrations of energy surrounding the pillar. Others claim that they hear footsteps walking to and from the stone mass. This is said to be the famed preacher who cursed the pillar returning to it to see who might be standing near the object of his curse.
According to Scott A. Johnson in The Stately Ghosts of Augusta, the pillar has been moved four times, and three other times, it has been almost completely demolished. Those responsible for its moving and its near destruction were unharmed and to his knowledge, still are or lived out their days normally. Much lore has grown from this famous pillar. Stories told in Augusta include the deaths of those associated with damage or desire to damage the pillar. None of those stories hold any truth. This pillar is indeed legendary. It is a local landmark, and I hope it remains such, if for nothing else than to serve as a reminder of how local legend and folklore can be deeply rooted in a community's history.
Monday, December 19, 2011
More recently, I have been exploring a website called Lostworlds. It is located at http://www.lostworlds.org/. The site is maintained by professors from Georgia State University and was created by a former graduate student there who did his master's thesis documentary on archaeology-related topics in Georgia. The site focuses on the ancient and native cultures of Georgia and Florida. One recent posting on the site discusses evidence that Creek Indians of Georgia could have originated in Western Mexico. Among the pieces of evidence they site are pottery connections, mound connections, and effigies. The article is at this link, and they do such a wonderful job that I would rather you read it straight from the source.
Sunday, November 6, 2011
Please check out the site and comment if you will. My sincere thanks goes to the moderators who asked me to be part of this online adventure!
Monday, October 31, 2011
Sunday, October 30, 2011
For quite some time, visitors to the Ocmulgee National Monument, better known as the Indian Mounds in Macon, have talked about the strange feelings they get there. In fact, the daughter of a friend mentioned that on top of the big mound she felt someone or something pull her hair. When she looked around, no one was standing near her. Her sister and aunt were nowhere near her on the mound.
My young friend was not the first, nor will she be the last to hear strange sounds and feel presences that cannot be seen at the mounds. In fact, as early as the late 1700s, traders who passed through the area and camped near the mounds heard shrieks and cries in the night. Many have reported hearing voices and seeing images that disappeared in to thin air. Not long ago, the late Sam Lawson, a former ranger at the mounds and adjunct professor at Georgia Military College, was locking up the visitors center at the park. While closing the doors, he heard the laugh of a child. His first thought was that a child had been left inside. A complete search of the building turned up nothing. A fellow ranger helped him search, and she too found no one. Later, Lawson recounted his story to the gift shop manager who said that she had also heard a child's laughter in the visitor's center, but that upon inspection, no child could be found. The two felt that there might be something to the story.
Ranger Sylvia Flowers told the author of Ghosts of Macon that throughout the years, a legend has floated around about a white and black dog being seen on the property by visitors and staff. Lawson also mentioned that he had heard the stories, and that some have even approached the white dog only to have it vanish before their very eyes. At one time, a Samuel Dunlap lived near the mounds and he owned a white dog. Perhaps the spirit of this dog has been left behind? There is also a Creek legend about a large black dog that is often times spotted at ceremonial sites like Ocmulgee, and that this dog is a spirit guard placed there to protect the sacred site.
On another occasion, visitors to the mounds reported seeing a man dressed in what they thought was a Confederate uniform. Since the mounds were the site of fighting in Georgia during the war, particular The Battle of Dunlap Hill, some reenactments have been staged there. The group thought that this was just a docent awaiting a reenactment of sorts, and they thought nothing of it, that is, until they were told no one was there that day wearing a Confederate uniform and the staff was unaware that anyone would be. Perhaps the spirit of a dead Confederate solider is also wandering around the mounds?
The Ocmulgee National Monument is a fascinating place. I take my Georgia History classes from the college there at times. This past summer, my class from our Madison campus visited. Although we were there in the hot July sun, the students loved it. They commented that this trip was one they were glad they took, and some even commented that they were going to bring their children back as soon as they could. Perhaps they will see the spirits that keep vigil at one of the oldest settlements in the Peach State!
On the mountain, there is what looks like a stone wall made with rocks and other stones. It was once thought that the wall was built for defense by some tribe that occupied the mountain. However, there is no water source to be found inside the wall, and this would make those being defended by the wall more vulnerable than if the wall were not there. So this has been ruled out.
What is most interesting about this story is the Cherokee legend that is told in an attempt to answer who and why. Apparently, the Cherokees talk about a race of people with "moon-shaped eyes" who arrived in their homeland and constructed the wall. They were said to live underground, be nocturnal, and wear beards. Who were these people. Some have answered that question with another legend, this one of Prince Madoc of Wales. This legend focuses on a Welsh prince who sailed from Europe in the 12th century, some two hundred plus years before Columbus. He never returned to his homeland, but native legend tells of a race of fair-skinned men who landed near Mobile Bay and traveled inland, all the while making contact with native peoples, and, in some places, building forts, including the one on Fort Mountain.
There are quite a few legends about Fort Mountain. Some say that Hernando De Soto built the wall while in the area as protection from the Creeks. Others say that a tribe of natives used it as an observatory. There is a Georgia Historical Marker there that discusses the mystery behind the wall. Check it out at:
There is also a great site about ancient civilizations in Georgia, and it can be found at:
This is one of the most interesting mysteries of early Georgia.
The book, Ghosts of Macon by Mary Lee Irby, highlights the fact that the new owners have experienced some major issues in the house since purchasing it some years ago.
Apparently, there is something strange about the stairs in the home, and Mary Lee Irby makes sure the image of the staircase is front and center in the chapter on the Allman Brothers Home in her book. The new owners stated that the first weird experience they had in the house was on the staircase. It appears that the wife, Kirsten West, kept "...tripping and falling on the stairs." She went on to state that "After one fall, I had to stay in bed for three months because my back went out. I had a ruptured disk." West mentions that she spoke with previous owners of the home and that the wife in that family also had the same issues on the staircase. Quite strange, indeed. From this, I gathered that there might have been some tragic happenings on the staircase when the original owners or the Allmans lived there. I was not the first to have that impression. West points out in her interview with the author that if you look closely at the staircase, there are a few spindles that do not match the others, as if they have been replaced because of some accident. Oddly enough, this is right where West repeatedly falls on those stairs.
On another occasion, the Wests were working with a film student from Atlanta who was doing a project on the Allman Brothers Band. One morning, the student was making the bed in the room where she slept when she saw a door open by itself out on the landing as if someone were opening it and walking through it. She also mentioned that some months prior to this, after visiting the Allman Home for a brief time, she returned to her home in Atlanta and was barraged with strange dreams of a woman running down the staircase of her own home while screaming. It appears that something was sending a subliminal message to the film student. Was there a connection here? Why did she have those dreams at her home in Atlanta after visiting the Allman Home in Macon, only to come back months later to experience what seemed like some invisible presence opening a door on the landing and walking down the stairs?
Kirsten West also mentioned that her dogs seem to stare at something in the home that she cannot see. We all know that dogs and children are supposed to have a sixth sense and be able to see things that the rest of us cannot see. Is this an example of such?
While all of these events are strange enough, they are not as off-putting as what happened to Kristen's dad when he came to visit his daughter and son-in-law. Charles Olson, who has since passed away, related that while on his visit, he arose and dressed early one morning because he smelled what he thought were cinnamon rolls baking in the kitchen. Who wouldn't be lured out of their slumber by that? And, of course, it is quite logical to assume that his daughter would be cooking something like that for her dad in honor of his visit. However, that was not the case. In fact, upon further investigation, he discovered that no one had even gone in the kitchen that morning before he arose. There must be something about cinnamon rolls the ghosts in that house like, for not long afterwards, a reporter visited the home from the Chicago Sun Times and had the same experience. But the cinnamon rolls were not the most disturbing of the father's experiences there.
One night, while sleeping in one of the guest bedrooms, Charles Olson, West's father, said he was awakened by something in his room. He saw someone standing beside his bed. It was a female. A few nights afterwards, he was awakened again and this time, another female specter appeared to be lying above his bed. He commented that "Her elbow was bent and her cheek was propped on her hand.. She had on some sort of bonnet and a long dress with ruffles that ran from the neck to her waistline. He quickly jumped out of bed and looked at the image. A few seconds later, it disappeared. From this description, it appears that the apparition was from a time well before the Allman Brothers stint there in the early 1970s.
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Because he died so young, Button Gwinnett did not sign too many things. Of course, the most famous document to which his "John Hancock" is attached, is the Declaration of Independence. Funny, huh??? Recently, a Yahoo News Story declared that a signed document was purchased by a collector. The Gwinnett signature made it ten times more valuable. It sold for almost 800,000 dollars.
Nevertheless, the namesake of Gwinnett County's odd life does not end there. Oooops! I did it again. Well, you will understand as I go on. As many of you know, my friend Don Rhodes authored Mysteries and Legends Georgia: True Stories of the Unsolved and Unexplained. In the book, he devotes an entire chapter to the saga of Button Gwinnett, but not his life nor his death. What then? Rhodes opens up the discussion on his remains, and, well, where they remain. I am just full of this stuff, huh?? The story goes like this.
After Lachlan McIntosh and Button Gwinnett dueled, the latter was seriously injured. Gwinnett lingered throughout the weekend, having been shot on a Friday, and finally capitulated on Monday morning. According to accounts given by Rhodes in his book from notable historians with the Georgia Historical Society, reports in local papers at the time indicate that Gwinnett was to be buried in Christ Church Cemetery in Savannah; this is now called Colonial Park Cemetery and is a notable tourist attraction in the city, particularly on ghost tours and paranormal investigations. In fact, there is a monument there that gives the cemetery spot where it stands as the location of his burial.
One would think the mystery would not have cropped up given this certainty over his burial. However, years later, a man living near Augusta in the 1840s stumbled upon the grave of Dr. Lyman Hall, another signer from Georgia. The idea was birthed to build a monument to the three signers and place it in downtown Augusta. Hall's body was unearthed, as was George Walton's in Rosney Cemetery in Augusta. However, as the progress on the monument continued, Gwinnett's body was not included. In fact, only Walton and Hall are interred underneath it today. Gwinnett was not even mentioned as having been found in any of the reports at the time the monument was dedicated. So why the mystery? It was reported by Georgia newspapers that Gwinnett was buring in Colonial Park after he died. Did someone attempt to unearth him there and not find him? In 1956, an official Georgia Historical Marker was placed at the Signer's Monument built in Augusta in 1848, and it mentions that although Walton and Hall are buried underneath, Gwinnett's remains were never found. Odd!! Even the Georgia Historical Marker located in Lawrenceville at the Gwinnett County Courthouse mentions that Gwinnett is buried in an unknown location?
Zell Miller, in his book Great Georgians even mentions that rumor has it Gwinnett is buried atop an Indian mound on St. Catherine's Island where his home was located. Other rumors indicate that his bones were washed out to sea by a hurricane some years ago. But why is there a monument still located in Colonial Park Cemetery indicating he is buried there??
So how did this mess get started in the first place? Where is Button Gwinnett buried? Why is there a monument over a plot in Colonial Park if he isn't there. I can think of a way to find out. But that would be illegal, and macabre, if I do say so myself.
On Thursday, September 15th at 7:00 p.m. I will be giving a lecture on my recent book The Atlanta Ripper: The Unsolved Case of the Gate City's Most Infamous Murders at Manuel's Tavern at 602 North Highland Avenue in Atlanta. Please come and join us if you like. The signing and discussion is being sponsored by A Capella Books.
Saturday, June 25, 2011
Thursday, June 9, 2011
From time to time, I like to check the website for Vidalia Communications, the radio stations in Vidalia, Georgia. I am originally from Montgomery County, and Vidalia spills over in to Montgomery County. Vidalia, however, is mainly in Toombs County. One also needs to know that this area is very rural, and rattlesnakes have been part of the landscapes and eco-system for years there. Growing up there, I remember playing hide-and-seek with friends and running in to the wheat field beside my house to hide, only to step on a rattlesnake in the process. Luckily, I was able to get back quickly enough before it struck. Come to think of it, that snake did not rattle until I was already pretty much on top of it. But then again, I did come up very quickly. Perhaps he was asleep and did not have time to rattle.
But this story spooks me. From this story, and I pulled it from Vidalia Communications' website, it appears that these rattlesnakes are starting to evolve based on a condition of their environment. For those who are not up on their American History, it is good to know that pigs/hogs are not indigenous to North America. They were brought here by the Europeans during the colonization and exploration era. The pigs wreaked havoc on the gardens and landscapes where Native Americans lived and tried to farm. The long and short of it is that pigs were not good for this eco-system, and it appears that they still aren't. Read the story below. It is quite interesting. I have quoted it directly from the above-referenced website:
One of our readers reports this huge rattler was actually killed last year in Screven County and reported in Georgia Outdoors. We appreciate the update and here's that story:
Huge snake could have been 20 years old.
By Nick Carter
Posted Wednesday August 18 2010, 4:12 PM
In late July, Conrad Greene, of Savannah,was working food plots with a couple buddies on their Screven County hunt club near Cooperville. They were checking some fruit trees when Travis Timms, of Savannah, almost stepped on this enormous eastern diamondback rattlesnake. Conrad said the snake didn’t even rattle. It merely lifted its head up above the grass, surveyed the scene and tried to slither away. But it didn’t make it far. Conrad popped it with the .44 mag he carries for such occasions.
Nick Kearns, of Savannah, picked the snake up on a stick for this photo. Since then the photo has gone viral online and through text messages. It has been reported by different sources on the Internet rumor mill to have come from several different Georgia counties and from as far away as Missouri. Ridiculous measurements of up to 14 feet and more than 100 pounds have surfaced.
Actually, the snake is not nearly that big, but it is still enormous. Conrad said the rattler measured 6-feet, 6-inches, had 12 rattles and 2-inch fangs.
“The thing that got me about this snake is how big its head and girth were. He was easily as big around as my calf, and I’m a pretty big boy,” said Conrad. “This thing probably could have eaten baby pigs. A rabbit would have been just an appetizer for this snake.
“That snake was probably big enough that it would have broken your leg if it hit you.”
Snake expert Steve Scruggs said the snake was probably 20 years old.
“It’s an incredible specimen,” said Steve. “It’s very rare that we get one that old because what do people usually do? They kill them.”
June 8-- A reader forwarded this picture of a huge rattler killed near the Ohoopee River southeast of Lyons. The first-person account is from the unnamed man holding the snake.
"We have killed 57 rattlesnakes on two separate Ohoopee River trips this year since mid-May. Not one has buzzed! We provoked one fair sized boy with a stick and he coiled and struck at the stick a couple of times before he buzzed up and rattled.
The purpose of this explanation is that I have been hearing the same from fellow farmers and hunters in regards to the lack of warning with rattlesnakes.
I had lunch with a friend today and he offered a theory about the fact that these buggers aren't rattling anymore. He raised pigs for years and reported that when he would hear a rattlesnake buzzing in the sow pen, the sows would bee line to it and fight over the snake. For the uninformed, pigs love to eat rattlesnakes.. Therefore, the theory is they are ceasing to rattle to avoid detection, since there are plenty of pigs roaming the countryside.
I have a neighbor farmer wife who was bitten 3 weeks ago 2 times by the same snake without any warning. She spent 5 days in ICU in Savannah. After 22 vials of anti-venom, she is back at the farm and still may lose her foot, or worse yet, her lower leg.
The days of perceived warning are over. Keep your boots on and use a light when out and about. As you all know, one can pop up just about anywhere!"
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Monday, March 7, 2011
Our topic was my book, Bigfoot in Georgia. Click on the following link and check it out.
Friday, March 4, 2011
Don is a noted author, having published in the field of Georgia music history. The link on the story title above is a link to his amazon.com page. Please check it out. This is a wonderful book, and it should be included in any Georgia enthusiast's library. I highly recommend it!!!
Friday, February 25, 2011
I am excited to report that I will be the guest on Squatchdetective Radio Show this Sunday night at 8:00 p.m. The show is hosted by Steve Kulls and Chris Bennett. Many of you may remember Steve Kulls from MonsterQuest from the episode on the New York Bigfoot.
Check out their website at:http://squatchdetective.com/
The radio show is at this site: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/squatchdetective
The show is this Sunday night at 8:00 p.m. and the link will tell you how to log in and listen.
Hope you enjoy!!!
Sunday, February 20, 2011
At the BFRO website there are a number of reports from this area of Georgia. In one, posted in November 2008, a man was hunting with his uncle on the Altamaha River. As he sat on the bank of the river, he looked to his side and noticed what he thought was a huge man standing near a tree. He described the "thing" as being very tall, built like a football player, and hairy. In fact, he said the thing was covered with hair about a foot long. It had a greyish cheek and a pointed nose with beedie eyes. He looked away and then back again, and whatever this was had left. After hearing some splashing in the water, he realized that whatever he had seen was now in the river. He walked closer, which elicited a 15-20 second growl from the animal. The witness said that when the animal growled, all the squirrels in the vacinity ran toward him.
There have been other sightings reported along the Altamaha River basin. It is a very large area, and the river itself is ripe for such events. But I can't help but think that there is quite a bit of activity, or sightings at least, in that area. Perhaps someone has heard of these types of encounters in that area. As a matter of fact, the witness in the BFRO story above says that there is a Wayne County legend called "Feets." It would be interesting to hear more about this. I grew up and lived for quite some time in Montgomery County. The Altamaha River is formed at the south end of that county near Uvalda. It is an impressive sight. I had never heard stories like this while I was growing up there. I still have lots of family there now. I return to the area on holidays and family visits. Perhaps I ought to try to find out if there have been newspaper stories in my hometown paper that contain reports and sightings of weird animals on the banks of the Altamaha.
Thursday, February 3, 2011
Daniel Perez, the editor and publisher of The Bigfoot Times Newsletter, and well-known Bigfoot researcher, gave me rather good marks on my book Bigfoot in Georgia. In his December 2010 edition of the newsletter, he reviews the book. Some of his comments are below:
"Jeffery Wells, a department chairman for Georgia's Military College's Atlanta campus, has penned a rather interesting work on reports of Bigfoot in Georgia." He goes on to say, "The author discusses the Georgia Bigfoot hoax of 2008, which attracted international attention, but wisely keeps the discussion brief." He further writes, "BIGFOOT IN GEORGIA is well done, with references cited, and it is a very affordable book."
To be fair, he did have one criticism, with which I cannot totally disagree. He states, "His 'What is Bigfoot' chapter is long winded and goes over information already covered in other books." I can see his point, but the reason I gave such a detailed account in that chapter is I knew many people who read the book would be new to Bigfoot studies, and I wanted to make sure they would have this opportunity to understand the background and the overall context in which the book fit.
I want to thank Daniel for his kind words. He even put a large copy of the book cover on one of the pages. Also, thank you to Shane Honea, who sent me the copy of the review.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Not long ago, a police officer and citizen riding along caught sight of what they thought might have been a Bigfoot. The pair was driving at night in the Frogtown area of Lumpkin County when, on a dark and desolate stretch of the highway, a creature resembling the legendary Bigfoot crossed the road at amazing speed. The incident was caught on the dashboard camera of the cruiser.
The video has been circulated on the internet, and although some say it is a hoax perpetrated by two North Georgia College and State University students, the campus of which is located in nearby Dahlonega, the incident has become part of the Bigfoot legend in Georgia.
Recently, a producer from The Discovery Network, contacted Mary Scott, the civilian riding along with the officer, as well as members of the BFRO about coming to North Georgia and filming their stories and following along on an outing for their documentary on the legend of Bigfoot in Georgia. The producer has also contacted me about commenting on the Cherokee and Creek legends of forest giants said to be Sasquatch, as well as the story surrounding Track Rock Gap. My interview will be held at Track Rock Gap.
The link to the story in The Dahlonega Nugget is here:
The interview should be fun, as I am going to be talking about the Native American lore and stories that focus on animals that are thought to be Bigfoot, or at least bare some resemblance.
I am most interested in this talk of a hoax, as hoaxes do quite a bit of damage to sincere research in this area, but
I will be posting more on this as things unfold.
Friday, January 7, 2011
The New York Times has some really interesting things. As a major news publication, they pick up stories from all over the world, and in yesteryear, they would include stories of interest from all over America, which they still sometimes do, but not with the frequency which they did this in the past. I came across a neat article that they ran in June 1888.
Apparently, in 1888, a local pastor's wife fell ill, very ill it seems, and the man of God sought help in any way he could to keep his bride alive. When traditional medicine did not seem to work, he resorted to calling in a, let's say, non-traditional healer. The man, who was part native American according to the article, diagnosed her as having been poisoned with rattlesnake venom, a malady that otherwise brings death quite quickly. For the large sum of $18.00, at least a large sum in that day, the man, named Gus Cheevers by the article, gave her a potion that caused the poison to seep out through her pores. The article gave vivid description to the method. It said, "The poison under his treatment exuded from the pores of her skin in threadlike sprays of mucous." How appetizing it must have been to see such a sight.
The story goes on to state that Cheevers did not stop with just healing the woman, but that he wanted to help pinpoint the culprit who had brought this blight on the pastor's wife. To accomplish this, all the neighbors of the couple would assemble, and Cheevers, holding a pendent would call out each of their names and have them come forward. The pendent would swing distinctly in the way of the culprit once he, or she, stepped forward. The method did not fail to provide an assailant, one Boston May. Although he denied it, the pendent told its tale and May was fingered as the poisoner. It was also noted in the article that a well owned by a man known only as "Old Jerry" began to boil up, to which Cheevers attributed to the fact that a little bottle containing the poison used to try to murder the poor woman was sitting at the bottom of the well.
What a strange story to appear in The New York Times. Sandersville is the county seat of Washington County, a county named for the first president, George Washington. I used to drive through there on my way up GA HWY 15 headed back to class at UGA each weekend I drove home. Never did I expect that such a strange story was floating around in Sandersville's past. Heck, Dairy Lane, an old-fashioned burger joint there in Sandersville, was the only thing that had caught my attention about the town in those days.