Strange mists, clouds and fogs seem to have something to do with the paranormal. We explore the mysteries with WT Watson!
You can find his book on the subject at Amazon: Mysteries in the Mist: Mist, Fog, and Clouds in the Paranormal
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Jim Harold 0:00
Mysteries in the Mist: Mist, Fog, and Clouds in the Paranormal. We’ll be talking about it today on The Paranormal Podcast.
Paranormal Podcast Announcer 0:22
This is The Paranormal Podcast with Jim Harold.
Jim Harold 0:25
Welcome to The Paranormal Podcast. I am Jim Harold and so glad to be with you once again. And it is rare that I get the opportunity to say, after having done several hundred episodes of this show and all the other shows that we have, that I’ve not talked about a particular topic within the paranormal. But I don’t think I’ve talked about this particular topic in the paranormal. And I’m talking about Mysteries in the Mist: Mist, Fog, and Clouds in the Paranormal, and when I saw this, it’s like, “Oh, we’ve got to do a show on this.” And we have a gentleman who has been on the programs before, W.T. Watson. He is the author of this new book, and I can’t wait to delve into it. W.T. is a coffee addict and writer of both fiction and nonfiction. He infuses his work with his expertise in cryptozoology, monster lore, magic, Forteana, and the paranormal. He brings a unique shamanic and magical perspective to all of his work after over 30 years of exploration in these topics. And when he’s not writing or reading about monsters, he can be found outdoors, allowing his dogs to take HIM for a walk around his neighborhood in Ontario. He lives with his spouse, Stacey in a townhome that would be jammed with books, if it weren’t for e-readers. We’re so glad to have him on the show to talk about this new book, Mysteries in the Mist: Mist, Fog, and Clouds in the Paranormal. Welcome to the show.
W.T. Watson 1:56
Well, thank you, Jim, I appreciate the opportunity to have a chat with you and your listeners. I- I’m really excited about this book.
Jim Harold 2:03
Now, when we think about mist, or clouds, or things in regards to the paranormal, lot of times I think about movies. You know, that’s kind of, you know, “it was a dark and stormy night.” And, kind of, as almost a cliche, but based on your research, there’s really something behind it.
W.T. Watson 2:24
Well, I was doing an interview with with another podcaster a while back, and this individual has a list of things that he looks for when he’s looking at paranormal stories. Much like the “Oz Effect” that I talked about in the book, Jenny Randles first used that terminology. There’s that, you know, the- the person who’s the witness has a feeling that something’s about to happen. Then things become completely silent. And then there’s some issues with time: either missing time, displacement of time, time runs too fast, too slow, so on, and so forth. And, you know, he was talking about, you know, abnormal or anomalous lights being a feature of many paranormal events, and- and how, you know, glowing eyes in creatures, you know, is very common in paranormal events. I was thinking, you know, I had run across a number of stories when I was researching my book, Phantom Black Dogs: Walkers of the Liminal Way, that had fog in them, and that got me thinking if fog was actually a- a- an issue in the paranormal. I was reading later on in one of Linda Godfrey’s books and came across a story where there was an anomalous cloud or anomalous fog that showed up in trail-cam footage in a- an incident where a gentleman was living in a ranch. He had a phantom visitor, apparently, that kept showing up, and he was leaving roadkill out for this thing. And these clouds- this cloud would appear, and then when it disappeared, the roadkill would be gone. And they would sometimes find these large canid tracks and so forth. So that was something that got me thinking further. And I had a friend when I was in early college, I guess– I talk about him in the introduction to the book– who had an experience with a mirror at night. Where he saw that they were being fogged up, and he had a definite sense of being drawn in the mirror. His- his girlfriend actually had to come and pull him away from the thing and get him back to bed. He swears he was awake. But, you know, that incident scared him badly enough to make him step away from dabbling with some things that maybe you should oughtn’t done– oughtn’t been dabbling. And so, all those things combined in my mind to- to give me the idea for the book. And once I started doing the research for this, it was definitely one of those rabbit holes where everywhere I looked, I was (laughs) mist, fog, or clouds. You know whether we were going– whether we were talking about cryptid creatures like Sasquatch or Manwolf, or UFOs. The Fairy– there’s lots of fairy lore around mist and fog. And then on into the really anomalous stuff. Where the mist or fog doesn’t seem to be attached to any particular paranormal entity. It seems almost to be an entity in itself–
Jim Harold 5:47
W.T. Watson 5:47
— and strange things- strange things happen in these fogs. We’re talking before the broadcast about the Martin Caidin story, and that’s- that’s just one of many instances where fog, or in this case, a cloud played a role in a paranormal event that you were like, “Okay, this is something really common.” If you like, I could tell that story.
Jim Harold 5:47
Yeah, I was gonna say it since we talked about it. And I know it does surround the idea of the Bermuda Triangle, which was, you know– when I was a little kid, it kind of correlated when I was like six, seven years old. There was this craze about the Bermuda Triangle in the mid 70s, Charles Berlitz. And I was fascinated by it. I mean, it’s like, “Man, you got-
W.T. Watson 6:15
Jim Harold 6:15
— you’ve got my attention.” And it’s funny, because now you barely ever hear about it. But for a while there in the 70s, everything was the Bermuda Triangle. So talk to us about that story. Because–
W.T. Watson 6:31
Jim Harold 6:31
— fascinating indeed.
W.T. Watson 6:42
Yeah, so Martin Caidin is- is maybe not- not a name that people would recognize now. But back in his day, he was a best-selling novelist. He is probably best known for the book Cyborg, upon which the 1970s television series The Six Million Dollar Man was based. What most people don’t know about Caidin, is that he was also a very experienced pilot, Naval Aviator. And in this particular story, he had been overseas in Europe with a group of people who were flying this particular aircraft, which was laden with all kinds of electronic countermeasures, and the latest state of the art, electronic navigational equipment, and so forth. There were six aviators all aboard this-aboard this ship- er- aboard this aircraft, and all of them were extremely experienced people. They’re flying through the Bermuda Triangle, through that area, and they’re in the Bermuda area, or Bahamas area, I guess. And Caidin testified that he’s looking out one of the cockpit windows, he wasn’t actually flying the aircraft at the time, but he’s looking at one of the cockpit windows. And as he is watching, it appears to him that the wing of the aircraft just disappears.
Jim Harold 6:42
W.T. Watson 7:17
This- this cloud that they fly into is so thick that they actually lost visibility of the outside of the aircraft. It’s- it was like flying through soup. So immediately upon coming in contact with this cloud, all of that state of the art electronic gear, and all of their magnetic compasses, all of their navigational gear, everything, just started– you know, he basically describes it as a series of randomly blinking lights, that meant absolutely nothing. They lost all ability to navigate by- by instrumentation, and they couldn’t see. Because of this- this visual obscuration that they’d flown into. Lesser pilots would have probably crashed this plane. These guys, as I said, were extremely experienced aviators. They managed to keep the plane on some kind of straight course and without losing a lot about altitude. But they were without instrumentation of any kind, any kind of navigational instrumentation or anything, for a number of minutes– I don’t remember exactly how long it was– until they flew out of this thing. And as soon as they flew out of the cloud, everything came back online. So (Laughs) you have to wonder, given that circumstance, you know, there are a number of stories of airplanes disappearing in that area. If the clouds like that didn’t have something to do with those disappearances. So– and you also have circumstances where these clouds or fogs appear on the- on the ocean and interfere with the navigational capacity and even the engine power of ships. So again, you have to wonder, “Are these clouds maybe causing some of the disappearances that we’re talking about when we say that a ship mysteriously disappeared, or was lost at sea, or whatever?” Just- just fascinating stuff.
Jim Harold 10:39
We’re talking with W.T. Watson about Mysteries in the Mist, and we’ll be back right after this.
The Paranormal Podcast is brought to you by Shudder. Now I know we all love free stuff, and in a minute here, I’m going to tell you how you can get your first 30 days of Shudder for free. Now what is Shudder? Shudder is the place where I go when I watch horror movies, supernatural movies. Because when it comes to movies, I like them scary good. And when I’m in the mood for a thriller or something supernatural, I turn to Shudder where, every week, they premiere a new horror movie or series. With Shudder, you can stream supernatural thriller and horror movies and TV shows across all your favorite devices. And Shudder’s streaming library has just about everything. From original movies like Superhost, The Boy Behind the Door, and PG: Psycho Goreman, to the hit series Creep Show, by executive producer Greg Nicotero of The Walking Dead. If you’re a fan of old classics or looking for the next classic, you’re going to love Shudder’s collection from around the world. They’ve got favorites like Halloween and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, along with must see new releases like V/H/S 94 and Hellbender. One movie I watched recently on Shudder that– (Laughs) very chilling– Slapface, another Shudder exclusive. Something else I just enjoyed, they just rolled it out, Cursed Films. They’ve had this documentary series for a while, and they have Season Two just debuting now, and I watched the episode on The Wizard of Oz. And how cursed that movie was and the people in it, my goodness. Well worth the watch, and you’ll only find that at Shudder. I absolutely love this. And you can stream all this and more from Shudder’s ever growing library, ad free, for just 5.99 a month. But, I have a great deal for you. We talked about those first 30 days for free, and that’s what I think you should take advantage of. Shudder’s supported our shows a long time. So I want to make sure this time you take advantage of this. Just try for 30 days, I know you’re going to love it. Shudder has everything supernatural, thriller, and horror. I just can’t get enough of it. And you’re going to love it too. And right now you can stream your first 30 days of Shudder for free. Go to shudder.com and use code: “paranormal.” That’s shudder.com code: “paranormal.” Stream free for your first 30 days by going to shudder.com code: “paranormal.” And we thank Shudder for their support of The Paranormal Podcast.
Paranormal Podcast Announcer 13:29
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Jim Harold 13:41
We are back on The Paranormal Podcast. We’re speaking about Mysteries in the Mist with W.T. Watson. And another person who talked about a fog– and this is the only time, I guess, I kind of interviewed somebody on kind of a tangentially related topic– was Bruce Gernon who wrote a book called The Fog all about his experience in the Bermuda Triangle.
W.T. Watson 14:03
Jim Harold 14:03
So it’s- it’s interesting when it comes to aviation.
W.T. Watson 14:08
Yeah and Gernon’s story is included in the book, and it is very similar to the Caidin story. He had much the same circumstance, in addition to, actually having the issue of having traveled farther in his aircraft that he thoug- he thought he should have, when he exited the cloud. There’s a number of things about clouds coming down and actually, sort of, teleporting people in the book.
Jim Harold 14:39
Yeah, that’s- that’s an amazing idea. Now, one thing that you talk about the book- in the book, are these- these clouds of mist and so forth, around cryptids.
W.T. Watson 14:51
Jim Harold 14:51
That there’s a co-incidence of- of this fog or this mist with cryptids. How common is that?
W.T. Watson 15:02
Well, you know, one of the– let’s talk about Sasquatch for a minute, because that’s everybody’s favorite cryptid, right? You know, or Bigfoot is the guy these days. I looked at a whole lot of Sasquatch-related literature in doing the research for the book. And oddly enough, when I was looking at literature that had to do with people who are definitely of the “flesh and blood” hypothesis idea. Yeah, that Sasquatches are relic hominids, or they are some sort of unknown species of ape. Almost never do they mention weather conditions when people are having these sightings.
Jim Harold 15:49
W.T. Watson 15:49
So we don’t know how many times the Sasquatch actually appears from the fog, in those kinds of writings. It’s only when you when you flip over to things like Tim Renner and Joshua Cutchins, Where the Footprints End, that you start to see Sasquatches or- or these big hairy– or John Keel called them “big hairy monsters” appear- appearing from- from the fog. Now, interestingly, though, when you go to Great Britain, you run into two rather large– people might describe them as Sasquatch-type creatures, associated with the mountains of Great Britain, both of whom have a reputation for appearing in the fog. One of them is called, the Grey Man of Ben Macdui– if I- if I’m getting my Scots Gaelic right– which is a– if I remember right, is the second highest peak in Scotland. And there are a number of mountaineer stories where people have heard footsteps following them up the side of the mountain, so forth. Not many where people have actually seen something. And when they have, it’s been so obscured by fog, they aren’t quite sure what they’re seeing. But it scared them badly enough that, in one instance, one of these mount mountaineers actually opened fire on this thing with a pistol to no effect. The interesting thing about these stories with the Grey Man is that, almost invariably, people will- will bail out. I mean, they will panic and go running down the mountainside. As a former search and rescue person, I flinch when descriptions like that. Just those are the kinds of people, you know, people who panic in those situations, end up falling off the sides of mountains. In all of these cases, though, these individuals managed to make it safely down the side of the mountain. So I don’t know quite what to make of that. But so the Grey Man is- is one cryptid-type creature, might be a spirit, might be something else, we don’t know, that appears for the fog. And well, Wales has its own version of the Grey Man, which they call– I wouldn’t even try to pronounce the Welsh. They call him the Monarch of the Mists. It is reputed to be very territorial, and not like it when there are climbers on his mountains. There are three or four mountains that he’s supposed to be seen on. And is known for chasing people off of the- off of mountain sides in Wales. The interesting thing about that story is that there is a story from a town in Wales, and where the gentleman is, a retired steel worker, I believe, was out walking his little dog. And, of course, as often happens when we come into these cryptid cases, the- the dog started to cower. To really alert to something being close to them. He heard some rustling in the bushes, and looked up to see what he described as a gorilla in the bushes. He and his dog backed away from this thing, slowly, and got the heck out of there. It scared him badly enough to where he actually reported it to the police. And the interesting thing is that– what basically would be a crime prevention officer in the United States for this- this department in Wales, you know, responded to this report by saying that they take these- they take these reports of, and I quote here, “Yeti,” very seriously, and they were going to– they would be increasing the police presence in this area for some time to ensure the public safety. I found that fascinating. It’s like, do they have reports of what he calls, “Yeti,” running around in Wales all the time that they are- that they- they seem very blase about this? I don’t know, but I thought it was a very interesting story.
It- it is interesting, by all means. What–? What phenomena surprised you? Where that– this kind of co-incidence, you kind of said, “Oooh, I never thought about that.”
Well, when I started to do the research for the book, of course, you know, being a monster-type guy, you know, having been fascinated with the cryptids and so forth since I was little, that was where I started. Of course, I looked into the Phantom Black Dog connection, because, you know, that’s– I’ve already written a book about that. But the thing that really stood out to me in going through all these stories is the- the- the last– these stories that I tell in the last section of the book, and there were a bunch of them, I just called it mysterious myths. Because there doesn’t seem to be an entity involved in these things, but the weirdest stuff happens when you come into contact–
Jim Harold 21:03
Do tell, do tell!
W.T. Watson 21:05
Oh, I will, believe me. I will. When you come in contact with these- these myths– one of my favorite stories, young man, I believe his last name was Henshaw. This has happened in Great Britain, in the UK. He is riding a motorcycle. It’s summertime in Britain, which is normally a little warmer. But in this case, the summer, apparently, had been quite cool and rainy. He’s riding motorcycle home at night. And he is soaking wet, because it’s been pouring rain. He glances in his rearview mirror. And he sees what he perceives to be two purple lights, purplish lights, in the distance behind him. And assuming that it was car coming up on him, he kind of moves over to the side of the road. And, sure enough, the Jaguar, motorcar, catches up to him and starts to pass him. In about the time that it started to pass him, they both entered what he described as a- a fog that was purple with a pink tinge to it. His motorcycle dies immediately. And- but he keeps moving. So the motorcycle is dead. But whatever this thing is, is actually pulling him up the side of the hill.
Jim Harold 22:30
Oh my gosh.
W.T. Watson 21:18
The other thing that he notices is that he’s getting very warm, and that his leathers, his riding leathers are starting to steam. Well, this thing apparently this- this cloud apparently pulls him, and this Jaguar motorcar, up to the top of the hill, both of which had died. And then it dissipates. As soon as it dissipates, he’s able to start his- his motorcycle again. He touches the tank of his bike, and it’s hot. And he realizes that he’s bone dry when he comes out of this- out of this cloud. Now that’s- that’s one of my favorite stories, because it’s like an antigravity cloud. There’s another one where the principal of a school in Britain is watching a great game of Rounders, which is something similar to American baseball. And he happens to glance over into a neighboring field as a fog appears and picks up- seemingly picks up the hay in the field. And the hay in the field starts to swirl around. Such that it almost looks to him like it’s become- like the hay formed a disc, like a UFO. He said if I had just seen the disc, I would have thought that I was seeing a UFO, but I saw the hay coming up off the ground and forming this thing. And it actually moves a little ways off. And eventually the cloud dissipates, all hay falls into somebody else’s field. So that’s weird.
Jim Harold 22:32
That is weird. Is are there any cases where it’s like a portal, or something like that? Any thought that it could be a portal?
W.T. Watson 23:56
Ohhhhh, yeah. One of my– another– I have so many favorite stories in this book, because there’s just so much weird– it’s like– I’ve got, like I said, I have everything from cryptids to- to missing people, and all kinds of stuff in the book. But there’s a story, I believe came from John Keel, where the– and- and the newspaper, where four Japanese businessman are driving out of town, out of Tokyo, they’re headed for golf course. They’re gonna go- go play golf. They’re driving down the road, minding their own business. You know, there’s no reason for anybody to think anything weird is going to happen, and they notice that the vehicle in front of them is about to drive into this localized cloud or fog.
Jim Harold 25:07
W.T. Watson 25:08
They watch this white vehicle drive into the fog. It never comes out.
Jim Harold 25:13
W.T. Watson 25:15
It just disappears. (Laughs). Which is one example of somebody missing. The other portal-type stories or teleportation stories. And the classic one for this one, it happens in the Bahía Blanca area of Argentina. The story, this businessman, very busy guy, you know, he’s going from place to place, probably doing sales or whatever it is one does on business trips. He comes out of his hotel in the Bahía Blanca. He’s gonna go– he’s, you know, anxious to get off to his next business meeting. He gets into his car. He starts his car, and one of these mysterious clouds forms around his vehicle. He gets- he gets out of the vehicle. He’s- he’s looking around, he walks out of this cloud, and he finds himself in a completely different area of Argentina, which is over, seems like it was, over 700 kilometers away from where he where he started.
Jim Harold 26:29
W.T. Watson 26:31
Now, he, of course, is dumbfounded. Has no idea where he is. He flags down a truck driver who takes him into town. He contacts the local police. The local police call the police in the little place where he was, they go to the hotel, and they find his car sitting in front of the hotel, still running.
Jim Harold 26:52
Oh, that’s odd.
W.T. Watson 26:56
He has no idea how he got there.
Jim Harold 26:57
That’s really odd.
W.T. Watson 26:58
That area, for some reason, seems to have a number of these teleport patient stories. In another one, a doctor and his wife are driving, they encounter a yellow fog. They drive through this thing, and the next thing they know, they’re in Mexico, which is over 1000 kilometers away from Argentina (Laughs). That, you know– and they have no idea how they got there. You know, they have to go, again, to the local police station just to figure out where they are. And then they have to figure out how to get back. So you know, you have to wonder. These- these clouds seem to–? Are they hiding portals? Are they actually portals? Are they, you know- are they, you know, doors into the other world and some people are lucky enough to drive out the other side? We just don’t know. But it’s fascinating to read some of this stuff and realize just, you know, one of the things that I learned from researching this book is if I ever see a fog, cloud, mist, anything–
Jim Harold 27:03
W.T. Watson 27:08
— that’s a different color than it should be? I’m going the other direction.
Jim Harold 27:25
Stay away. Stay away.
W.T. Watson 27:41
Because- ’cause, yeah. You got green mist, you got black mist, you got the purple with the pink tinge, got yellow mist. All of these things have been associated with these really bizarre encounters.
Jim Harold 28:22
Now, speaking of bizarre encounters, one thing you talked about that caught my eye was that of the Jinn. Now, I’m always one, and you talked about Keel, I’m always one to think that there’s definitely a trickster element with a lot of this stuff.
W.T. Watson 28:38
Jim Harold 28:40
In terms of the Jinn, how do the Jinn go with the mist? Is it like salt and pepper?
W.T. Watson 28:48
Pretty much. In this particular circumstance, the Jinn are well known– and I will- I will put a subtext next to that, the Fairy are well known, for either disappearing into mists, or appearing from mists. Okay. So yeah, in my personal opinion, certain authors have have tried to turn Jinn into sort of the unified field theory of the paranormal. Being an animist, I don’t really buy that. There’s tons of different spiritual beings out there, that could be responsible for some of these things that happen. But, we do know that the Jinn are, in their lore, very much associated with strange myths, and fogs, and clouds. And the story that I tell actually comes from Rosemary Ellen Guiley. Now who’s- who’s since past.
Jim Harold 29:52
One of, by the way, one of the best. Just–
W.T. Watson 29:55
Jim Harold 29:56
— incredible. In fact, I saw her give a- give a talk, a live talk, on Jinn. And then I had to follow it with my talk, and I thought,
W.T. Watson 30:03
Jim Harold 30:03
“Oh, well, I might as well just- I might as well just- just stand up there and look stupid, because that’s what’s going to happen anyway.” But–
W.T. Watson 30:07
Jim Harold 30:08
— go on. Go ahead.
W.T. Watson 30:11
Jim Harold 30:13
–and a great person, too. Just my favorite.
W.T. Watson 30:16
I, unfortunately, never had a chance to meet her when she was alive. But she’s a terrific researcher and- and, you know, contributed to huge amounts to the- to the study of the paranormal, and she’s sorely missed. But in this particular story, she actually had a Jinn encounter. When she was in the Middle East, she had heard about a place that, again, I’m not even going to try to pronounce the name, but it was strongly associated- associated with Jinn. It was a cavern. She managed to talk a couple of local guys into taking her out there, and they found one of the entrances to this- to this cavern. Apparently, there were several. They’re out in the desert. You know, they found one of the entrances to this cavern. Apparently, Rosemary Ellen Guiley was quite the intrepid author. She actually roped off, and got a harness on, and started to repel into this cavern.
Jim Harold 31:20
W.T. Watson 31:20
Apparently it was, you know, a number of tens of feet down to the floor of the thing. Now she says that her experience was, that she saw mist as she was coming down into the- through the entrance of the cavern as she was being lowered down. The mist was an unusual color. It was green, which incidentally, is also– the green mist is incidentally associated with Fairy lore- Fairy lore, very strongly. Saw green mist, and she had the impression that someone was speaking to her and telling her to get out. Now, that was her view of the event. Apparently, her two cohorts up at the top swear that they saw Jinn materialize and tell her to get out. Now–
Jim Harold 31:27
W.T. Watson 31:29
(Laughs) Now, don’t know, you know, you know, we can– probably want to take the word of the veteran paranormal investigator over a couple of people who’ve been steeped in Jinn lore for their entire lives. But either way, pretty spooky. She looked up, saw that there was nobody inside of the cavern to get her out. She climbed back out, and fortunately, got out in time to catch these two guys before they drove off and left her out in the desert. But you know, she definitely had an experience, definitely associated it with the Jinn, given how strongly the folklore association was in that particular place. And I’m inclined to think, yeah, you know, um, certainly that particular spirit is well known to inhabit the areas of the Middle East, and North Africa and, you know, on over into Afghanistan, and so forth. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Jinn don’t account for some of the really bizarre things that some of our troops reported when they were in Afghanistan. So…
Jim Harold 33:15
Very interesting indeed. Now here’s one. And again, I tend to think of this in the- the lore of the fictional; I know there are people who believe themselves to be vampires today. And we just, literally two or three weeks ago, did what I thought was a great show with J. Gordon Melton, about- about vampires. And he studied that for a lifetime and has a Ph.D. from Baylor. So I mean, he really studied this.
W.T. Watson 33:42
Jim Harold 33:42
But the fog and vampires: is it just- is it just something we see in Bela Lugosi movies? Or is there some reason to believe that maybe there’s more?
W.T. Watson 33:53
So I’m gonna put a definite maybe on that.
Jim Harold 33:56
(Laughs) That’s fair.
W.T. Watson 33:57
Now there are, as you say, there’s a distinct difference between the modern, call them psychic vampires. People– you’ve had Michelle Bellanger, on the show?
Jim Harold 34:11
Yes, quite a few times.
W.T. Watson 34:12
People like Michelle, who have that lifestyle, that belief. And far be it for me to doubt her. If she says that’s what she’s doing. That’s what she’s doing. But when you start to talk about vampires, you have to delineate the sort of modern vampire- vampire culture from folkloric vampirism, which is a completely different animal, and seems to have been associated with– I don’t want to get into the- into the magical explanations too much. But basically, the vampire was said to be someone who had escaped what was known as, “the second death,” and was maintaining that- that state of being by grabbing the energy of living beings. Now, when we talk about vampires and folklore, you know, we, of course think of the vampire movie. You know, appears from a shrouded of mist and fog and- and so forth. Or- or, you know, actually disappears into the mist, and becomes a flock of bats, and flies away, or whatever. And there are authors who have made the claim that, you know, that this is– this was the thing of vampire lore: that vampires were supposed to be able to turn into mist and then disappear. Got me thinking, “Okay, well, is there actually any folkloric evidence for that?” And I went looking and, of course, the- the premier place for vampire folklore is Eastern Europe. And I can say that there is a sort of an implied understanding that vampires are able to turn into something insubstantial and pass through things. Because one of the things that the folklore tells us from Eastern Europe, is that if you are- feel that there is a vampire in your neighborhood, and you are taking defensive measures– which, by the way, does actually include garlic– that you need to not just ward your- your windows and so forth, but you need to be very specific about things like keyholes. Because the vampire is able to, apparently, make its way through a keyhole, which would seem to imply that it takes on some kind of a gaseous form, and does that. That’s about as close as– there- there were no folkloric accounts that I found of vampires that were just disappearing into mist or anything like that. It seemed to be that the mist thing arose from the idea that the vampire was able to pass through things like keyholes or down chimneys– and- which is not very Santa Claus, like–
Jim Harold 36:03
W.T. Watson 36:39
— down chimneys and stuff like that, in order to enter somebody’s home. So that’s- that’s more how the folkloric thing goes.
Jim Harold 37:18
Now. UFOs. And again, that’s something that’s very much in the news these days. I mean–
W.T. Watson 37:26
Jim Harold 37:26
–you look at what the government and so forth. But some of them are a bit misty.
W.T. Watson 37:33
Oh, yes. Quite a lot of them are misty, actually. One of my favorite UFO stories, and one that makes you think about what you’re looking at, when you look up in the sky. Young lady who was in Australia, was on holiday, (coughs) excuse me, was on holiday, and she was looking out toward the- the ocean, and saw this pretty pink cloud floating out there. And, you know, she didn’t think much of it. Beautiful day, cloud was kind of an unusual color, but she didn’t make much of it. She went about her business. A few minutes later, she looks and this cloud is quite a lot closer to her than it was before. And then she starts to watch it carefully. And as she watches– because she’s in a sort of a vacation dwelling, I guess it’s setting- set up on a cliff over the ocean. As she’s watching, this thing comes to where she’s actually looking down on it. And she’s looking down on this disc-shaped craft that’s actually producing this pink cloud. So, like camouflage. Now the really interesting thing is that the pink cloud dissipates. This thing lands on the beach. And this humanoid, small, you know, the typical three foot humanoid, not- not a Grey, but sort of like a dwarf, almost, gets out wearing a, you know, the skin tight suit and the whole snare, gets out of his craft. And she swears this thing, like, takes a flashlight or something out and signals out to sea. And something responds out in the distance by firing a flare up into the sky. The thing gets back in the crafts and flies off to- toward this flare. Now, I’m not hugely into the Extra Terrestrial hypothesis in the first place, but that one really gives you pause because, okay, if you are an advanced civilization capable of traversing, you know, the vast distances in this galaxy to come and visit this planet full of bipedal apes. Why on earth– Could you not find others of your kind out in the ocean without, you know, signaling with a flashlight? (Laughs).
Jim Harold 40:07
W.T. Watson 40:07
It just makes no sense at all. It’s one of those weird anachronistic things that happens with UFOs that makes you wonder.
Jim Harold 40:14
Well, I– and I don’t mean to interrupt, but– I’ll interrupt, but I don’t mean to. (Laughs).
W.T. Watson 40:20
Jim Harold 40:21
But– and please finish your thought. But yeah, all the weird things that happen, you know, with things like black-eyed kids: they come to your door, they say, “I need some mayonnaise for my hot dog.” I mean–
W.T. Watson 40:33
Jim Harold 40:33
–just things that don’t make sense. And whether it’s UFOs, men in black, black-eyed kids, but a lot of this stuff. And it really does to me hint at like a trickster, at least partial explanation.
W.T. Watson 40:46
Jim Harold 40:47
But that’s just my little interjection. But continue your thought, I’m sorry.
W.T. Watson 40:50
I completely agree with you. It’s you– at– the more you research this stuff, the more you realize just how bizarre some of these things can get. There’s a story in the book. It was a witness account of a man who as a younger boy was visiting his grandparents. And in rural Iowa, or Ohio, or someplace like that, I don’t remember exactly where. It’s somewhere in the Midwest. And as the sun was going down, the fog descends on the- on the- on the ranch area with the farmhouse. And this young fellow was- was looking out the window. His grandmother told him, “you get away from that window,” you know, “you don’t be looking out those windows.” He’s like, “Why?” So of course, being a, I don’t know, eight or nine year old boyno matter how old he was, as soon as his grandmother’s back is turned, he’s looking out the window again. And he sees these strange lights in the mist. And he’s watching these strange lights. And as he watches, these lights resolve into cows: glowing, pastel-colored cows that are dancing.
Jim Harold 42:16
W.T. Watson 42:16
You know, like- like a can-can line–
Jim Harold 42:20
Oh, that’s weird.
W.T. Watson 42:21
— with their arms straight to–
Jim Harold 42:23
W.T. Watson 42:23
(Laughs). He’s watching this, and his grandmother comes back and catches him looking out out the window. She sees this thing and passes clean out. Just faints, right? Dead off. This grandfather finally comes home. He was quite upset when he found out the kid was looking out the window in the fog. He goes out with his rifle to check things out. There’s nothing out there, but he comes back looking disturbed. And you just have to wonder, “Yeah, okay, well, this time it was pastel cows doing the can-can, but what did these people see in the fog before that’s got them so riled up. Apparently, they had some other experiences they would not discuss with him, at all. Even when he was an adult.
Jim Harold 43:08
W.T. Watson 43:09
But- but you know, it’s a very funny story. But it’s also one of those things like, what the heck?! I just, you know, why? Of all the things that you could see, you know, if you were going to hallucinate something, right? If of all the things that you could see, why would you see pastel dancing cows?
Jim Harold 43:28
Yeah, that’s bizzare.
W.T. Watson 43:28
That just makes no sense at all, right?
Jim Harold 43:31
Do you ever get the feeling– now, I want to see different people have different philosophies about this. And you’ve been doing this a long time. So do you feel that it’s just, like, hopeless? That at some point, it’s just like, it’s more of the same, but it’s wild more of the same? But you’re- you’re never going to– it’s a moving target that you’re never going to catch? Or are you a kind of person who says, “You know what, I realize that, but I love the journey.” Or are you the person saying, “I’m going to find the answer!” Where- what category do you find yourself?
W.T. Watson 44:02
Oh, no, no. I think that people that think that they’re going to find an answer are going to find themselves constantly frustrated (Laughs). The thing that I have noticed, over the course of time in, you know, all the years that I’ve been interested in these topics, is that as soon as you think you’ve got something nailed down, the paranormal– and I use that term in the broadest possible sense–
Jim Harold 44:32
W.T. Watson 44:31
— to mean you know, anything that’s basically outsi- outside the understanding of science, modern science, right. As soon as you think you got something nailed down, the paranormal’s gonna prove you wrong. Or it’s going to morph and get different, and you’re gonna get pastel dancing cows. You know, it’s like nobody had heard of Manwolf until the 19- late 1980s or whatever, when Linda Godfrey published The Beast of Bray Road, and suddenly they were everywhere.
Jim Harold 44:33
W.T. Watson 44:34
You know, the- the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization puts a database up on online, and suddenly everybody in the continental United States and Alaska has seen a Bigfoot. You know, so it seems to me that there is a certain level of intelligence in the phenomenon. And this is something that other researchers have- have definitely talked about. And that, you know, it’s almost like it’s experimenting on you. So, you know, if you are going to be in this field for an extended period of time, I think that you have to have a strong love of mystery. You know, and mystery for mystery’s sake. You know, because I don’t think, you know, except in very rare circumstances, we’re gonna get, quote, unquote, “answers” to these phenomena. So you have to just love the phenomena itself, and all the endless variety of things- of forms that that phenomena takes. So, no, I’m not an answers guy. I don’t think that I’m going to develop the universal field theory of the paranormal anytime in my lifetime. I propose some, maybe, out of the box solutions at the end of the book, but I’m not– I don’t by any stretch of the imagination think that I’m right, and everybody else is wrong. Like, I’m very much a “both, and” thinker. And can believe a number of different things all at the same time (Laughs).
Jim Harold 46:54
Yeah, it’s– I got to tell you, that it is absolutely a quandary. I’ll give you an example, when I started back in 2005– so I’ve not been at it as long as you have– but in 2005, I started with the show. And it was a hobby. It’s my job, now. It was a hobby, then. And I’m still fascinated by it, legitimately. Aside from the fact that this is what pays the bills, but I still have that sense of wonder and mystery, and still trying to think, ‘What in the world’s going on?” But the point is, I remember, when I started, I’m like, “This is going to be great. I’m gonna talk to people like Stan Friedman, and Lloyd Auerbach, and all these great thinkers. I’m gonna have this stuff figured out in six months.” Not so much. Not so much, W.T. (Laughs).
W.T. Watson 47:43
Jim Harold 47:45
It’s been a wild journey. And again, I love the journey. But I’m like you, I don’t- I don’t know that we’re ever going to have hard and fast answers.
W.T. Watson 47:54
No, no. And, like I said, if you’re gonna be in this field, you have to develop a strong love of mystery. Because as soon as, you know– even if you study one thing, UFOs, good example, right? If you are a ufologist and that’s all you do. That’s your- that’s your- your thing. And I think that being in that kind of silo is kind of limiting, but, you know, some people, they really like to focus on one thing. So I get that. If you study the UFO phenomena over the course of time, you know, if you look at the history of the UFO phenomena, it’s evolved. Continues to evolve to this day. I mean, when the UFO phenomena started back in the 1800s, you had these weird airships that were showing up that people were- were seeing people getting out of, and they were, you know, getting water for their- their giant dirigible, or whatever it was. You know, then you go to, like World War II, and you get the Foo Fighters. You get the ghost rockets in the 1950s. You started getting flying saucers in the 1950s. My father, in the 1950s, claims to have seen a cigar-shaped UFO out in the deserts of near San Bernardino. Then, you know, later on, we got the triangles, and now we’ve got tic-tacs, you know. The only real common denominator in those- in those sightings is that they are- are appear to be– because we don’t know that they are– but they appear to be some kind of structured craft that performs in a way that we can’t explain. Because there’s- there’s no way that, you know, a human occupant could- could survive the kind of atmospheric pressures and chief forces that those vehicles regularly exert on whoever’s in them, or if there’s anyone in in them. So, that’s really the only- only common denominator. You know, the abduction experience has evolved over time. There’s a story in the book about two guys. There’s an attempted abduction. It’s almost comical. It’s kind of a Keystone Cops thing, where the one guy has got this being grabbing and by the legs that is trying to pull him into the craft, and he’s holding on to a fence post. And they’re scared off by a honking car horn. To the things that we get now, where it seems like the abductors have gotten much more sophisticated, and, you know, they can come through walls, and take you through walls, and do all these other strange things that sound like out of body experiences. But, so, you know, the thing that you can count on, is that these phenomena are always going to be evolving and mutating, I guess. So that, you know, one day you get Sasquatches, and the next day, you get something like the Batsquatch sightings that we got a while back. Where people’s suddenly reported seeing these huge winged Sasquatches flying around. You just never know. And then, and now, you know there’s a wave of of Mothman sightings, or something similar to Mothman sightings, happening in the Chicagoland area and all through that area. It seems like every time we think something has gone away, it comes back again. Or we think that it’s become very popular. Disappears for a while. It’s just, it seems to be very cyclical in nature. And I think that, you know, somebody keeping a database of the paranormal would drive themselves crazy trying to keep up with all the strange things that are happening out there.
Jim Harold 51:50
Well, it’s been a great discussion, and kindred spirits when it comes to the mystery of all of the things that we talked about. But it’s fascinating to talk about it. And it’s been fascinating to talk with W.T. Watson today about Mysteries in the Mist: Mist, Fog, and Clouds in the Paranormal. W.T., where can people find this book and everything else you do?
W.T. Watson 52:14
Okay, so Beyond the Fray, my- my publisher, publishes on Amazon. So the book’s available either as a paperback or as an e-book. And it’s simple enough to find, Mysteries in the Mist. It’s the only book by that title, that I know of. If you wanted to contact me or interact with me, I’m on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. So, and I’m always happy to hear from people I’ve- I’m pleased to report that I was starting to actually get people contacting me about sightings and stuff, which is, you know, really fascinating to me. Most of my my research up to this point has been more folkloric, and I haven’t had as much chance to interact with witnesses. But I’m always happy to to hear from somebody that has a story. I have an author page on Facebook as well: W.T. Watson, author. So I’m pretty thoroughly represented in social media and hope to have a website come out before too long. And I’ll get that information out as soon as I can. But keep- keep an eye on my social media accounts, and you’ll find out about it.
Jim Harold 53:31
Well, again, it’s been a great conversation. I hope everybody checks out Mysteries in the Mist. W.T., thank you for joining us today on The Paranormal Podcast. And we thank YOU for tuning in to The Paranormal Podcast. And you know, we’ve been doing this show for nearly seventeen years now. And we’re going to be doing some experimentation to make the show even better. We’re going to start, hopefully, as time goes on, and we’ll probably integrate this slowly, bring in some audience participation. I don’t know what form that’s going to take, whether that’s going to be pre-recorded questions from the audience, whether it’s going to be live call-ins. or something like Twitter Spaces, or something of that like, but somehow we want to bring in some audience interaction. I think would add a lot to the show. So the show– for those of you who love and know the show as it is right now, not to worry, it’s going to be additive. We will do the same format, we always do about 45-50 minutes with someone, and I’ll be asking the questions I always ask. But then, in addition, we’re going to tack on some time where you, the audience, can ask some questions. I think it’s something that’s been missing from the show for a long time, and hopefully something that will make you enjoy it even more. And stay tuned for that. It’s not going to be all at once. (Laughs). We’re kind of feeling our way, and we’re going to be doing some experimentation. But rest assured, if you love The Paranormal Podcast as it is, it’s going to be that, plus more. We’re not taking anything away. So we thank you so much. We’ll talk to you next time, as always. And thank you for tuning into The Paranormal Podcast. Have a great week everybody. Bye bye.