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There’s nothing that should be covered up about Nick Redfern’s new book on government cover ups of anomalous creatures. In Monster Files: a Look Inside Government Secrets and Classified Documents on Bizarre Creations and Extraordinary Animals, Redfern uses the Freedom of Information Act along with some Class-A sleuthing to tease out possible plots by governments world-wide to find Bigfoot, turn cats into robo-animals for surveillance purposes, and engineer human-animal hybrids.

My own main take-away from Redfern’s book is the sure but uneasy realization that that topics most likely to be ridiculed by the authorities are also the very things the government privately seems to consider most interesting.

For instance, the word “Yeti,” which is the name for a creature similar to Bigfoot in Nepal, has become almost a standard synonym for “joke” in today’s media, and is often used in police logs in a denigrating manner when people dare to report sightings of unknown, upright animals. And yet, Redfern demonstrates over and over again that our government has had a long and abiding interest in these creatures for many decades, beginning with a statement from the U.S. Embassy in Nepal in 1959 that decreed any photographs or other evidence found of a Yeti must immediately

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be turned into the local authorities, and that any news reports were required to undergo government scrutiny before release to the public. Redfern includes a photo of the document lest anyone doubt.

Redfern has found equally appalling scenarios and cases of government programs involving other “extraordinary animals” from werewolves to dinosaur-like creatures. There’s a lot more to some of these cases often dismissed as mere conspiracy theories than I, for one, ever knew. He also follows certain common threads, such as the appearance of orb-like lights that seem to link many of these closely surveilled phenomena.

Readers of my work know that one of my abiding interests has been the fact that mysterious, sometimes phantom creatures keep appearing to thousands of sane and credible people for unknown reasons. Monster Files points us in many new directions in the search for these reasons, and may just begin to explain some of those  “Unexplainables.”

Faerie Chick’s Blog Reviews God Johnson!

New Cover!

New Cover!

I’m tickled beyond flying sphinxes that Vanessa Strickler has reviewed God Johnson on her Fairie Chick’s fantasy book blog! God Johnson will also have a new cover soon, watch for it by the end of next month. Thanks again Vanessa! Click on my God Johnson page  here for pictures of Madison story locations and more on the book!

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I’ve been staying pretty close to home base while on deadline for my current book project. I’m still on deadline but getting cabin fever and I do have a few things coming up this month. If you care to have a listen or take a little drive to some Southeast Wisconsin locations, please join me:

Upcoming Events (all times are Central)

July 2013

Tuesday July 9: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/sasquatchwatchradio 8 pm, Bigfoot in SE Wisconsin – my little-known Bigfoot research and personal encounter. Phone in: 1.347.237.5070

Thursday July 11: Man, Myth and Monsters Radio with Wm. Lester 8-10 pm http://www.popodysseyradio.com/2012/2012/10/23/man-myths-and-monsters/

Saturday July 13: Talk and author Q&A at the Sci-Fi Café, Burlington WI http://www.burlingtonnews.net/scificafe.html

Saturday July 20: Barnes & Noble Author Panel, Signing and Writing Seminar at Racine, WI store, Monsters of Wisconsin and new fantasy e-book God Johnson – Southland Shopping Center, 2710 S. Green Bay Rd., Mt. Pleasant WI 53406  262-598-9757

Tuesday July 23: Paranormal Geeks Radio 8 pm http://liveparanormal.com/radio/geek.html

Uncanny Radio shows still online! Uncanny!

A few years ago, fantasy writer Stephen D Sullivan a.k.a. “Manwolf,” and yours truly cohosted our own weekly radio show called Uncanny Radio. My friend Cass recently reminded me that those podcasts are still up and available, so for those of you who have asked me to post a list of online recorded radio shows, this could be a start. Just click http://www.blogtalkradio.com/uncannyradio and listen away! Topics include everything from strange creatures to ghosts to UFOs to all things uncanny.

Partly because it’s National Poetry Month and partly because a fan sent me some surprising poetry centered around unknown creatures, I give you a sample of the work of Jacob Gene Lenhardt of Menasha. This is not sweet or sentimental work, nor is it some sort of disguised sighting report. It is dark, a tad disturbing and I think it comes from some interior place that witnesses occasionally hint at but seldom know how to express. I found myself responding to these lines on a visceral level, and thought some of you might appreciate the chance to do so as well.

Poetry, I remind you again, is the most personal and subjective form of writing and not everyone’s cup of Starbuck’s. But if you’re game for a quick alternate look at the unknown, read on:

 Street Lantern
The snow apes that frequent our
mill-pond are losing their hair; it gets
caught in clumps when they
crawl under the barbwire
or gathers in the
basement drain during
spring floods. It’s because
of the shit I dump
in there to keep them
away or kill them off
but it only makes them
dumber and stronger
throwing up all over
and bleeding internally.
When I’m reading
my daughter a story at twilight
it gives me a stomach-ache
to see her eyes widen
over my shoulder
dancing with those
faint green lights;
I have to leave the room
to tell my mom
not to go out there
until the ship is gone.
Jacob Gene Lenhardt, by permission

Happy Valentine's Day from the lesser gods

Author event at Racine Barnes & Noble Saturday, February 16 I’ll be reading from God Johnson and giving free signed color copies of the cover with every purchase of the e-book 3:30-4. I’m also on the panel for the writers workshop from 1230 to 2 PM, please come say hey if you can! Chatting about Weird Wisconsin and Real Wolfmen too!

Where the Wildmen Are

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Bigfoot in the British Isles? The idea of huge, hairy man-apes hiding out in the manor-dotted, bucolic countryside of the British Isles seems as likely at first blush as the queen switching out her Earl Grey for chugs of Red Bull. But Nick Redfern’s new book, Wild Man! The Monstrous and Mysterious Saga of the British Bigfoot, (CFZ Press, 2012) makes an exhaustive and surprisingly compelling case that people have indeed been seeing anomalous, Bigfoot-like creatures from Shugborough to Derbyshire, perhaps for centuries!

Redfern has to be one of the most prolific current writers on strange and cryptozoological topics — he releases books faster than I can find time to review them. But I wanted to make sure that I got this one posted because it covers so many topics of interest to the worldwide cadre of Bigfoot-seekers. It has the additional advantage of being authored by a native of the British soil who possesses many area connections and much firsthand knowledge.

Redfern starts by grounding the wild man topic in medieval history, harking back to the wodewose, or hairy, naked men seen throughout the forests of England since at least the early 14th century. But he notes that the wodewose was described as very close to human underneath all that fur.

The nearly 300, large pages are packed with anecdotes in a timeframe that ranges from ancient to contemporary, but the book is about more than mysterious case studies. Redfern doesn’t shy away from possible explanations for the anomalous creatures, venturing into possibilities such as misidentifications with primates released from the private zoos of eccentric collectors. He also notes the difficulty of explaining how large predators could subsist in the English countryside without detection and lays out a theory that they may be “semi-physical” or products of some other process that is not presently known to science.

Whatever these wild things are, Redfern’s examination of them belongs on the bookshelf of anyone interested in anomalous creatures, especially those of the hairy hominoid kind. There may be more beasties hiding in that famed British mist than anyone has previously guessed.

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