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The Beast of 92



A monster stalks the wooded hills of Mount Horeb, Wisconsin.

It is described as a tall, bipedal, thickly-proportioned humanoid covered in long, dark reddish brown to black fur, and is colloquially known as the Beast of 92, referring to nearby Highway 92. By all accounts, this creature closely resembles what has come to be known as a Bigfoot or Sasquatch.

Despite the fact that rumors about the creature abound and locals appear to be aware of it, the only two documented sightings I could find were documented by the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (BFRO).

The first incident occurred in late September 1989, and it is the more interesting of the two because it involves a visual sighting of the beast. The witness was bow hunting in the woods between Springdale and Mount Horeb when he decided to return home for the evening. He had packed his belongings and was waiting for his friend near the forest’s edge when he heard a large creature crashing through the brush in front of him. He called out his friend’s name, but all he got was a loud, guttural growl in return. The creature strode off, moving parallel to the edge of the woods, and the sound of branches breaking in its wake could be heard. It was dusk, and the woods were dense, so nothing was seen at the time; however, that hunter returned a few days later.

What he felt this time was far more threatening than a growl:

“My hunting buddy from earlier in the year was also present, as was my sister’s boyfriend. We split up after about 3 hours of hunting. It was very quiet for about an hour, but then things began to change. I heard a variety of noises that I couldn’t explain or identify that occurred in front of me between about my 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock positions. I did notice something walking into the thicker part of the woods. This appeared to be the arms and legs of something moving from the more open part of the woods to the thicker part, and it was about 40 yards away from where I was.

The tops of the smaller trees began swaying violently back and forth after seeing the arms and legs of whatever the things were. This happened intermittently for about [half an hour] to 45 minutes. What really scared me was when the rocks began to fly in my direction. The size started out about the size of a golf ball, and by the time I “turned tail,” it was about the size of a softball. The color of what I saw of the arms and legs was somewhere between a dark red and almost black.”

He never returned after that incident. Personally, I don’t hold it against him. Back then, black bears were much less common in that part of Wisconsin, and they certainly don’t throw rocks or walk on two legs. I also don’t think this was a prank played by his friends; the witness was clearly upset, and pranks usually end with an explanation and gloating, but there’s no such closure here.

Is it possible that a Sasquatch roams the hills around Donald Park? Emily and I went to find out on a sunny and warm May afternoon.

I’ve been to Mount Horeb many times before, but I’m always surprised at how quickly the landscape outside of Madison is taken over by forest. Donald Park is only about thirty minutes from the city, but it feels like another world. Nothing but hills heavy with trees spread out in every direction from the small, gravel parking lot; the only break in nature is nearby Highway 92 and the occasional rural homestead.

Emily and I get out of my old Pontiac and gather our hiking gear. Bullett, our two-year-old pointer mix, is eager to explore the park. He’s an active dog, built for adventure, so we bring him along whenever possible. I double-check Bullett’s leash, grab my walking stick, and we start down the trail.

The main trail into the wilderness area winds through tall grasslands before crossing a creek near the edge of the woods. The bridge over the creek is the location of the most recent eerie encounter with Donald Park’s resident beast. According to the witness’s BFRO testimony:

My experience occurred in the early fall of 2011. It was a warm year, and this occurred just before Halloween. I was out walking with my boyfriend, his friend, and my three-year-old son at [Donald] County Park. We walked back past the corn field to the bridge that crossed a creek just before entering the heavily wooded area. Ethan would run to the other side of the bridge to look for the leaves I was tossing into the creek on one side of the bridge. I heard a series of loud knocks coming from the woods, and when I looked around, I saw that my friends had also heard it. It was speculated that it was most likely just other people out walking. As a result, I shrugged it off. We started walking back to our car because it was getting dark, and I heard a loud scream. It was unlike anything I’d ever heard before, too clear to be human. and far too loud for the coyote. It did give me the creeps, but my friends pretended it was nothing and we continued walking. A few minutes later, I heard another loud scream, but this time it was closer. When I picked up my son and looked behind me, all I saw was tall grass. There was nothing there, so my friends joked about it being a bigfoot and we made our way back to the car. I’d never heard a yell like that before and couldn’t put it down to any animal. For the record, it sounded nothing like the screams on “Finding Bigfoot.” It was loud, higher pitched, almost like a female scream, but without strain. What I think I heard was a Sasquatch.

So, bearing this in mind, we set out on the trails and into the forest.

The main trail into the woods is fairly wide, allowing three adults to walk comfortably side by side, but the trail’s edge is quickly hemmed in by underbrush. Trees form an arboreal tunnel above us, enclosing us. Emily, of course, frequently stops to take pictures, and I find myself staring into the forest as she does. Even this early in the year, the growth is dense, and I find myself thinking that something could be standing twenty feet away from me and I would miss it if it wasn’t moving. We take the main trail to the right, eventually coming out into a pasture.

It’s a beautiful Spring afternoon, and we’re strolling through this pasture, past a small pond, and across a small farming road into yet another pasture, heading for the next tree line. The path we thought continued on the other side of the thin road is quickly revealed to be the worn tracks of some large vehicle. It’s simple enough to follow, so we’ll see where it goes. We discover a severed deer leg in the wheel rut path, but we believe it was killed and dismembered by a local predator, possibly coyotes. The path fades just out of sight of the road, at the very edge of the next wooded expanse. The grass and weeds are knee-high at this point, and we’ve run out of path, so we turn around rather than take Bullet off the trail.

Returning along the main trail, we take a different branch that leads up a hill and deeper into the woods. This is a hiking trail, so it is still quite wide, and it leads to a lovely area of tall pines. The trail emerges at the bottom of the hill into the same pasture we had passed through earlier, but from a different direction. We see people with their own dogs down by the pond, and in order to continue what has been a peaceful and relaxing afternoon, we take Bullett back up the trail from which we came.

We bypass the bridge and take the main trail in the opposite direction this time. It leads into a fenced-in pasture with a suspicious brick pit off to one side. Emily speculates that the pit could be a well, and I’m not sure I disagree, so I agree casually and we move on. The hunting trails run across this pasture. At the start of these trails is a remarkable natural spring, which I would recommend to anyone interested in natural beauty. We decide to rest briefly by the spring before heading into the hunting area.

It’s not hunting season, so I’m not particularly concerned about any mishaps caused by being mistaken for wildlife, but there is something unsettling about this area. Brush pushes in from all sides of the narrow, claustrophobic trail, forcing us to walk in single file. Something about this place makes me feel very uneasy, as if I’m being watched. It appears to be too quiet. I express my concerns to Emily, but she doesn’t share them, and Bullett doesn’t seem bothered, so I dismiss them as paranoia and we continue down the trail. However, it is with some relief that we reach a fork in the trail and I notice how low the sun is in the sky. Emily agrees to my suggestion that we return to our car before darkness falls. And so it is.

I strain my ears one last time before we leave the forest, listening for strange knocks or bloodcurdling screams, but I don’t hear anything. As we cross the bridge and follow the main trail through the grasslands to the parking lot, I am reminded of how dense the brush was and how I felt on the hunting trail. I can’t help but think that something, possibly the Beast of 92, could have been practically on top of us and we wouldn’t have known.


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‘Queen’ Founding Member Shares Crop Circle Picture



On May 24th, Brian May, a founding member of the rock band Queen who later earned a Ph.D. in astrophysics, posted several images to Instagram of a crop circle seen near Marlborough, England.

“Have you noticed anything out of the ordinary here in the English countryside?” The photos were captioned by May. “I’d never seen a crop circle before. As a result, I’m always skeptical of them. But yesterday, as we flew back from our production rehearsal space, over a location near Marlborough, there was this. […] Who creates these fascinating works of mathematical art? Is it a hoax? Are they created by extraterrestrials? And… how…? And what is their goal?”
Responses to May’s post have been mixed, with some claiming that the phenomenon is paranormal, while others believe that hoaxers are to blame.

Crop circles have sparked speculation in the modern era since at least the mid-1970s, with theories ranging from hoaxers to otherworldly beings to “earth energies.”

Despite the fact that people have claimed responsibility for certain crop circle formations, mysterious circles of flattened plants discovered in fields date back much further than modern-day hoaxers.

W.Y. Evans-Wentz recorded folktales of faeries coming in the night to thresh farmers’ grain in his 1911 book The Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries. Similarly, in 1678, an English woodcut pamphlet depicts ‘The Mowing-Devil,’ who is shown mowing crops in a circular pattern.

While some dismiss these as folkloric inspiration for modern-day hoaxers, others see them as proof of a phenomenon that predates man-made imitation.

No one has yet claimed responsibility for the crop circle photographed by May.


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DoD Announces Expanded Effort to Investigate UFOs



According to a press release issued by the Department of Defense (DoD):

Due to the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2022, Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks, in consultation with the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), amended her original directive to the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence & Security on July 15, 2022, by renaming and expanding the scope of the Airborne Object Identification and Management Group (AOIMSG) to the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO).

USD(I&S) Hon. Ronald S. Moultrie informed the department today of the establishment of AARO within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security, and named Dr. Sean M. Kirkpatrick, most recently the chief scientist at the Defense Intelligence Agency’s Missile and Space Intelligence Center, as its director.

The AARO’s mission will be to coordinate efforts across the Department of Defense and other federal departments and agencies in the United States to detect, identify, and attribute objects of interest in, on, or near military installations, operating areas, training areas, special use airspace, and other areas of interest, and, as needed, to mitigate any associated threats to operational safety and national security. Anomaly, unidentified space, airborne, submerged, and transmedium objects are included.

Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security (USD(I&S)) Ronald Moultrie will lead the AARO Executive Council (AAROEXEC), which will provide oversight and direction to the AARO along the following primary lines of effort:

1. Surveillance, Collection and Reporting
2. System Capabilities and Design
3. Intelligence Operations and Analysis
4. Mitigation and Defeat
5. Governance
6. Science and Technology

This newly reported expansion of the Pentagon’s UFO investigation program follows low congressional trust in their investigative efforts.

Following the release of the much-anticipated preliminary assessment report on UFOs by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence last year, many in the intelligence community were critical of what they saw as the report’s failure to offer any concrete explanations for most of the incidents examined, particularly in light of concerns about secret Russian or Chinese technology.

The Pentagon then promised to revamp the task force in charge of investigating UFOs, which resulted in the formation of the AOIMSG, which has since been renamed the AARO.

This reflects Congress’ growing interest in UFOs, which was most recently demonstrated during a House Intelligence Subcommittee hearing on the subject last May—the first of its kind in more than 50 years.

The congressional hearing allowed lawmakers to question the Pentagon about unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP)—the current government term for UFOs—and for government officials to explain their current position and outline plans to investigate the issue further.

During the hearing, there were few mentions of extraterrestrials, though the Pentagon did express a particular interest in reports containing unusual flight characteristics such as incredible speed, transmedium capabilities, and undetectable means of propulsion.

Since the existence of the Pentagon’s Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program (AATIP), which reportedly ran from 2007 to 2012, was made public in 2017, congressional interest in UFOs has skyrocketed.

Interest in the encounters between Navy pilots and UFOs grew, and in 2019, several senators, including Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), then vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, were briefed on them.

The Senate Intelligence Committee, led at the time by Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), then included a directive in their Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 ordering the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) to create a report on “unidentified aerial phenomena” in consultation with the Secretary of Defense.

That bill resulted in the formation of the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force (UAPTF), which was in charge of producing the aforementioned preliminary assessment report.


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The Marlborough Monkey is a Cryptid Fans Classic



The latest documentary by researcher and filmmaker Karac St. Laurent, The Legend of the Marlborough Monkey, takes a fresh look at an older and often overlooked series of cryptid sightings in New Hampshire.

Most people don’t think of Bigfoot sightings in the northeastern United States, but St. Laurent has made a compelling case for taking the subject seriously while still having fun along the way.

The film is a tribute to the classic cryptid documentaries of the 1970s, and it was shot to look like an 8mm film being watched on a VHS tape. With thematic music and Robert Ready’s absolutely perfect deadpan narration, viewers could be forgiven for not immediately recognizing this as a documentary shot in 2021.

Despite its aesthetic, the film is very much a product of modern investigation, and St. Laurent conducts field investigations using equipment anachronistic to the 1970s, both solo and in collaboration with Small Town Monsters alum Aleksandar Petakov.

When some filmmakers might have been content to show only the interviews with researchers and witnesses included in the documentary, the field investigations were a nice touch. Folklorist John Horrigan is an especially bright addition to an already entertaining documentary, and his unique blend of wit and historical storytelling could have carried the film on its own.

Horrigan, interestingly, coined the term “The Marlborough Monkey” to describe the hairy humanoid being reported by New Hampshire residents in the 1990s, based on one account in which the witness said the creature looked like an orangutan. Those reports never stopped, and sightings of ‘The Marlborough Monkey’ are still being reported today.

St. Laurent, however, does not stop with stories; similarly to his first documentary, Release the Bodette Film, a variety of evidence is presented for the viewers to peruse. Much like that film, the viewer is ultimately left to decide what to believe, despite the fact that the vast majority of the film approaches the subject from a staunchly materialistic standpoint. Petakov makes a passing reference to high strangeness during an interview late in the film, but otherwise the assumption is that if something strange is going on, it’s most likely an undiscovered primate. This isn’t necessarily a negative, depending on your point of view, and those who prefer materialist science in the hunt for cryptids will appreciate the film’s mainstream take on the phenomenon.

That viewpoint is consistent with the 1970s-era documentaries to which it pays homage, and given the evidence presented, there’s never any sense that the investigation should be taking a different path. If The Legend of Boggy Creek is one of your favorite documentaries, check out The Legend of the Marlborough Monkey.

The Legend of the Marlborough Monkey has a run time of 43:14 and will be available to watch for free on the Crash-Course Cryptozoology YouTube channel starting at noon on September 12th. Expect it to be available on DVD around Thanksgiving.


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