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The Mystery of Headless Men Valley



Nahanni National Park
Nahanni National Park

Nahanni National Park or Nahanni Valley is also known as the Deadmen Valley, Headless Valley, or the Valley of the Headless Men due to the strange disappearance of a number of gold prospectors whose bodies were later discovered headless.

After the decapitated bodies of the McLeod brothers were discovered in 1908, stories of the haunted valley and the missing treasure emerged, despite the absence of considerable gold.

Frank and Willie Mcleod.

This enigmatic valley of the South Nahanni River, located in the southernmost portion of Canada’s Mackenzie Mountains, was one of the first four natural heritage sites inscribed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1978 because of its stunning wild rivers, gorges, and waterfalls.

It is assumed that the area was first inhabited between 9,000 and 10,000 years ago. Yohin Lake and a few other locations inside the park have shown evidence of prehistoric human activity.

Numerous tribes feared settling in the area because they believed it was inhabited by bad spirits, specters, and demons.

Others claimed a race of terrifying, hairy giants that inhabited caverns dug into the canyon walls. These primitive mountain people, led by a gorgeous, pale-skinned chieftain, slaughtered and ate everyone who invaded their area.

Those who did visit, such as the native Dene Indians, felt that the valley was a cursed location permeated by terrible medicine – a malevolent, supernatural spirit that hovered over the area like the valley’s constant fog. They spoke of strange beasts lurking in the wide woodlands and were plagued by the secretive, hostile, and murderous Naha mountain tribe.

This Naha tribe was rumored to comprise of ferocious warriors who donned masks and armor ornamented with terrifying iconography and were notorious for ruthlessly beheading their victims. It was rumored that warriors of the Naha tribe were larger than average and wielded odd and potent weapons that had never been seen before.

Naha Warrior.

The deadly Naha tribe has become one of the region’s numerous mysteries, as the entire tribe is supposed to have abruptly and unexpectedly vanished from the face of the planet, and what happened to them has never been determined. They appear to have vanished without a trace.

In 1905, Frank and Willie McLeod set out for the Nahanni Valley in pursuit of The Lost Gold Mine, a fabled lost mine rumored to exist somewhere inside the park. However, they never returned.

A number of years later, in 1908, the bodies of the McLeod brothers were discovered on the Nahanni River’s banks. However, their heads were nowhere to be located. The two men were slain and left for the next group of explorers to discover on the riverbank. In a huge valley, they discovered two skeletons near their camp at the river’s bank. One man slept with his arm extended towards his rifle, while his brother’s blankets were flung across him as if he had jumped out of bed.

In 1917, Martin Jorgenson began his search for gold in the Nahanni Valley. Soon after Jorgenson sent out letters claiming to have discovered gold, his cabin was inexplicably destroyed by fire. His skeletal remains were discovered among the ashes. Similar to the McLeod brothers, Jorgenson’s body was discovered headless.

In the winter of 1922, John O’Brien’s body was discovered on a mountainside near the Headless Valley, slumped over a mound of tinder with a matchbook in his hand, as if he had frozen to death while attempting to start a fire.

Ernest Savard, an Ontario miner, perished in the same manner in 1945. His headless body was discovered in his sleeping bag.

Other men who entered the valley, such as trappers Bill Epler and Joe Mulholland, mysteriously vanished.

During the same period in the park’s history, a series of mysterious plane disasters gave the Funeral Range, which borders the scary Hell’s Gate rapids, its name.

UFO sightings and other weird lights were also reported in the park, and to this day, cryptid-obsessed bloggers relate tales of Amphicyonidae—a bear-dog hybrid that became extinct during the Pliocene—prowling the valley, as well as Bigfoot activity in restricted areas of the park.

Certain sections of Nahanni are off-limits to outsiders due to their fragile ecosystems or cultural significance to the indigenous Dene. However, some claim that the limits are intended to confine the supernatural powers within the park as much as they are to keep people out.


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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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