Just about everyone, I’m sure, has known someone who has had a ghostly experience. You may even have had such an encounter with your very own spirit. Me and my ex-wife, Dana, had a series of ghostly encounters when, back in 2003, our much-loved (and still-much-missed) Shar-Pei dog, Charity, passed away very quickly from a fever. You can see the story at this link. I can’t say I’m a “ghost-hunter,” as I’m definitely not. But, I have been on the receiving end of more than a few accounts concerning animals and the afterlife (whatever the afterlife might be). So, maybe, I’m a bit of an occasional ghost-story collector. I suppose. Of the cases that have come my way, they have largely involved cats and dogs. That makes sense, as they are the two animals we spend most time with. And, yes – specifically as a result of the experiences with Charity – I do believe that our best buddies have souls and that in some form they come back. Albeit it usually briefly, though. There have, however, been a few cases that involved what we might call far more unusual animals. And, I’m going to share a few of them with you today.
Charity, the Shar-Pei, who came back (Nick Redfern)
We’ll begin with a pterodactyl seen in the U.K.? Yes, you did read that correct. From 1982 to 1983, a wave of sightings of such a creature – presumed extinct for million of years – occurred in an area called the Pennines, also known as the “backbone of England.” It’s a story that, in much lengthier fashion, can collectively be found in Jenny Randles’ excellent 2002 book, Supernatural Pennines and in issue 9 of UFO Brigantia, a much-missed magazine of the 1980s and 1990s and which was edited and published by Andy Roberts. So far as can be determined, the first encounter (of several) occurred at a place with the highly apt nickname of the Devil’s Punchbowl, on September 12, 1982. That was when a man named William Green came forward with an astonishing story of what he encountered at Shipley Glen woods. It was a large, grey colored creature, that flew in “haphazard” style and which possessed a pair of large, leathery-looking wings. The latter point is notable, since it effectively rules out a significantly sized feathery bird, and does indeed place matters into a pterodactyl category. The weird wave ended as inexplicably as it began.
What about a Smilodon? Or a saber-tooth tiger, as it’s popularly known? Let’s see. As for what the Saber-Tooth Tiger was, we have these words from UCMP Berkeley: “Smilodon is a relatively recent sabertooth, from the Late Pleistocene. It went extinct about 10,000 years ago. According to Jenny Burrows, on a particular day in 2009, she had been walking through the woods with her pet Labrador dog, Bobbie, when it suddenly stopped in its tracks, whined loudly, and dropped to the floor, shaking. Thinking that her faithful pet had possibly had a seizure, Jenny quickly bent down to comfort the dog, and could then see that it was staring intently to its left. Following Bobbie’s gaze, Jenny was horrified to see moving in the undergrowth what looked like a large cat – “like a mountain-lion, but it was much bigger.”
Then, it got extremely strange: As the Saber-Toothed monster loomed fully into view and out of the confines of the bushes and undergrowth, she could see that its body seemed to be semi-transparent and that, “the bottom of its front paws were missing or invisible. It looked at me with a sort of surprise when it saw me watching it, and then it was gone, just like that. It was terrifying, absolutely terrifying; but it was a beautiful animal, too. Seeing it was scary, but a privilege, too.”
Jonathan Downes, the director of the British-based Center for Fortean Zoology – one of the few full-time groups dedicated to the search for unknown creatures – notes that: “…the castle is the site of a well-known and semi legendary beast known as the Monster of Glamis. It’s said that the creature was supposed to have been the hideously deformed heir to the Bowes-Lyon family and who was, according to popular rumor, born in about 1800, and died as recently as 1921.” So, was the strange creature of the castle a terribly deformed soul with some bizarre genetic affliction or something else? While the jury, inevitably, remains steadfastly out, it’s an intriguing fact that in 1912, in his book, Scottish Ghost Stories, Elliott O’Donnell published the contents of a letter that he had received from a Mrs. Bond who had spent time at Glamis Castle and who underwent an undeniably weird encounter while staying there. In her letter to O’Donnell, rather notably, Mrs. Bond described a somewhat supernatural encounter with a beast that was possessed of nothing less than distinct ape-like qualities, rather than specifically human attributes. A ghostly ape? Why not?
During the course of his investigations into the U.S. government’s Remote-Viewing program, the late Jim Marrs learned something incredible. Namely, that the RV team, at one point, had focused their psychic skills on the Loch Ness Monster(s). In doing so they stumbled onto something amazing, and which added much weight to the argument that the Nessies are supernatural in nature. Marrs said that over the course of a number of attempts to remote-view the Nessies, the team found evidence of what appeared to be physical, living creatures – ones that left wakes and which could be photographed and tracked. They even prepared drawings which suggested the Nessies might be plesiosaurs. But, there was something else, too: the ability of the creatures to vanish – as in dematerialize. The remote-viewers were in a collective quandary: their work certainly supported the theory that some seriously strange creatures lurked deep in Loch Ness, but they were creatures that seemed to have supernatural and abnormal qualities about them. Jim Marrs noted: “Considering that reports of human ghosts date back throughout man’s history, the Psi Spies seriously considered the possibility that the Loch Ness monster is nothing less than a dinosaur’s ghost.”