I never in a million years thought I’d see the day where topics like UFOs and cryptids get coverage in the so-called ‘real news’ (fake or otherwise, depending on your party affiliation). When the New York Times story about the Tic-Tac UFO buzzing the SS Nimitz gave us a left hook in December, 2017, I assumed that would be the sole dog treat thrown to us for a generation.
As my wife will tell you, I’m often wrong. Just a few days ago, the Old Gray Lady came back with a right cross, confirming that the government no longer denies the existence of UFOs – just don’t assume they’re from space. Cool, I can deal with that. This time around, Navy pilots reveal tracking strange objects in the northeast that would buzz through the skies at hypersonic speeds for up to eleven hours a day, every…single…day for a year.
I’ve been devouring every article I can get my mitts on, and then in comes Nessie. A while back, a group of scientists set out to take extensive DNA samples of Loch Ness, promising that they would share their results in June. Well, we’re moments away from the big reveal, but the latest teaser suggests that Nessie may be real! A real what we don’t know just yet, but I’m extremely excited to see what they’ve found. Hell, even if they think it’s a giant catfish, it will be pretty damn cool to have an answer to the centuries old mystery.
But back to UFOs. If you’re looking to learn more about the Nimitz case and other recent military encounters, I highly suggest you bop on over to the History Channel and check out their 6 part series, UNIDENTIFIED. All of the players featured in the show are the ones behind this mini wave of disclosure.
What’a the big takeaway from all of this? When it comes to UFOs, this new stance is long overdue. Unfortunately, the stigma associated with those three letters has hampered serious investigation and acceptance. Those lights and craft in the skies may very well be part of an unknown yet natural phenomena. But the only way to find out is to take it seriously. I guess the best way to get the military to remove their craniums from their posteriors is to categorize them as potential national threats. If that’s the case, let’s assume they’re all of Chinese or Russian origin and put the pedal to the metal.
As for Loch Ness, I really don’t know what to expect. As long as they’re not the hungry monsters in my book, Loch Ness Revenge, all is good.
Which story has you more exited or intrigued and why? For my moolah, a real Nessie is cool, but real UFOs that defy our best pilots and scientists is a game changer. Let’s open things up and discuss, my crazy Hellions.
Is the truth about the existence of a lake monster in Loch Ness just around the corner?
Scientists from the University of Otago have already gathered over two hundred samples from the famous Loch and plan to run Environmental DNA (or eDNA) testing to suss out the wide and varied life forms living under the dark waters. Even passing creatures will leave their mark, a floating residue waiting to be analyzed.
The kid in me is excited. As a matter of fact, so is the adult. It’s said that we should know if anything anomalous and Nessie-like has been found in a few months. Look, I’m not running to Vegas to lay down good money that we’re for-sure going to find out that Nessie is real. But I am fascinated to see what they do find. The Loch is bigger than you think and the odds of finding an elusive creature are slim, but for my money, this is the largest net cast yet for answers.
Wouldn’t it be fascinating to find out the Loch Ness Monster is real, and to finally know what it really is? Or is it better to let it remain a tantalizing mystery? What’s your take on this latest search for Nessie? Comment below and I’ll pick 2 random people to receive a free ebook of LOCH NESS REVENGE.
My latest novella with Severed Press is now available in ebook (and trade paperback in a few days), LOCH NESS REVENGE. This one is especially near and dear to me because Nessie became one of my first monster obsessions thanks to an episode of In Search Of back in the 70s (you can watch the actual episode here). I remember checking out every book I could find in the libraries in the Bronx, wishing I could fly to Scotland and just live by the Loch, searching for proof of Nessie.
Cut to a few decades later, and I’m hunting her down in a book that blends fact with fiction. So, what’s this latest foray into cryptid terror about?
Deep in the murky waters of Loch Ness, the creature known as Nessie has returned. Twins Natalie and Austin McQueen watched in horror as their parents were devoured by the world’s most infamous lake monster. Two decades later, it’s their turn to hunt the legend. But what lurks in the Loch is not what they expected. Nessie is devouring everything in and around the Loch, and it’s not alone. Hell has come to the Scottish Highlands. In a fierce battle between man and monster, the world may never be the same.
And here’s a little something to whet your appetite (or wet your appetite, when you’re talking lake monsters!) Read the preview of chapter one and if you like what you see, you don’t have to go all the way to Scotland to grab a copy.
Even the Scottish whisky can’t stop the nightmare from coming. And believe me, they have some pretty incredible shit here. The locals drink it like water, but I’m not a local.
I may have been here for five years, but they’ll never accept this American interloper. Fine by me. I realize I’m just a transient, albeit one that’s been here for a handful of years. When the time comes, I’ll be happy to leave the Highlands forever. A girl can only take so much sourdough and tartan.
Hmm, but I will miss the scenery. So pretty out here. Well, when it’s not foggy, overcast, or raining. And the Scottish men, nothing to complain about there, though I wish I could understand them a little better. I have a terrible ear for accents and sometimes I can’t believe we speak the same language. I was barely able to understand what went on in the movie Trainspotting. This is a whole new level.
I’m up and sweating and can’t catch my breath.
Is it technically a nightmare when the thing that wakes you up in the dead of night is a memory?
Not that it matters.
Nightmare…memory…either way, I can never get a full night’s sleep.
I slip my legs out from under the covers, grab the glass of tepid water I keep next to my phone charger, and gulp it down. When it comes, I sweat enough to soak through my clothes.
Years ago, my simple solution was to sleep in the nude.
It didn’t work out. Changing sheets is a hell of a lot harder than slipping on a fresh pair of panties, sleep shorts, and a T-shirt.
The spare clothes are neatly folded on the floor by my feet. I stand, stretch, get down to my birthday suit, pat myself down with a towel, and get dressed.
The radio is still on, some late, late night call-in show hosted by someone with such a thick accent, I can barely understand what the hell he’s talking about. Like I said, I’m Scottish tone deaf.
Snapping the radio off, I collapse back into bed.
The good news is, the nightmare never comes twice.
The bad news is, falling back to sleep is never a guarantee. It’s almost four in the morning.
Early to bed, early to rise.
I went to bed at midnight. Not sure that constitutes early.
I close my eyes, the remnant of the nightmare – memory – still playing like an old filmstrip as the heat from the projector bulb rapidly melts it away.
It was 1995. Shania Twain had exploded on the music scene. I couldn’t stop playing her CD. The fact that it pissed off my twin brother Austin was just a bonus. He was all grunge, all the time, back then.
We were camped right where my RV sits now. Me, Austin, Mom, and Dad.
My father had been downsized by the genetics company where he’d worked for almost twenty years. They gave him a goodbye package that left us flush with cash. No tears were shed. He was a scientist toiling away for a corporate entity. He’d felt he’d sold his soul for long enough.
So he took us out of school and we headed for Europe. He’d missed the chance to live his dream and backpack across the continent when he finished college.
“It’ll be much more fun with you guys. I knew I waited for a reason,” he’d said.
Austin and I didn’t care where he took us. We were just glad to be out of school for the rest of the year.
We alternated between camping out when the weather was agreeable and staying in nice hotels, especially when we were in cities like Florence and Berlin and Barcelona.
By the time we made it to Scotland, spring was fading into summer, and Dad wanted to sleep under the stars in the Great Glen, the glacial fissure that tore Scotland a new one 400 million years ago. The words lush and green are all you need to know to describe the Great Glen. Nature done did it right when she painted this scenery.
Smack in the middle of the glen was a series of lochs, one of them being my current home and setting of my nightmare – Loch Ness.
“We can’t go to Scotland without spending some time at Loch Ness,” my father had said. “Maybe we’ll even see the monster!”
We thought that made this place the coolest stop on our trek across Europe.
Kids are stupid.
It was dark. Austin and I were roasting marshmallows over the remains of our fire. Our parents went down to the water’s edge to clean out the pot we used for cooking chili. I was playing Shania Twain on the boom box, but had to keep it low. When Austin tried to hit the Stop button, I whacked him on the back of his hand with the hot end of my marshmallow stick.
“Jeez, that hurts you asshole!” he shrieked, cradling his hand to his chest.
“You’re such a baby. I can’t believe you came out first. Mom saved the best for last.”
He chucked a marshmallow at my head.
“You’re more like my afterbirth.”
I shrugged it off. We’d been saying the same things to each other for so long, we could recite each other’s lines.
That was as close to ‘twin speak’ as we’ve ever come. We look nothing alike, we act nothing alike, and we sure as hell don’t think alike.
It was then we heard the screams.
Two screams, to be exact.
My mother and my father.
We bolted to our feet, spilling the plastic bag of marshmallows into the fire.
There was a tremendous splash of water.
We ran to them, heedless of what we might encounter. Someone was attacking them. A deaf person could hear their struggle, the pain and terror in their cries.
We got to the shore a moment before we lost them forever.
Their heads were visible, floating atop the churning water. Something big and black and shiny, like the body of an anaconda, was wrapped around their necks. It must have given a sudden, powerful squeeze, because their voices were cut sharply.
“We have to help them!” Austin blurted, going so far as to get in the water up to his ankles.
But I held him back.
I watched my parent’s eyeballs puff up and explode from their sockets seconds before they were dragged down into the Loch’s murky depths.
And just like that, they were gone.
I watch them die every single night.
I can’t un-see their eyes, blowing up to cartoonish proportions before popping like balloons filled with mayonnaise and blood.
It’s why I fucking hate looking at people’s eyes. I can barely stand to look at my own in the mirror. I haven’t worn makeup in years just to save myself the horror.
- The clock says 4:15.
I’m not the least bit tired.
Early to rise it is.
Maybe today’s the day.
If it isn’t, oh well. I’ve got nowhere else to go.
Care to see what adult Natalie and Austin have up their sleeve for Nessie? Go to Amazon and pick it up today.
I have a little something special to share with my Hellions. Here is the cover to my second novel with Severed Press, LOCH NESS REVENGE. Ain’t Nessie just beautiful? I love the art department at Severed. The book will be available on November 3rd.
Until then, wear some tartan, drink some whiskey and have a shortbread cookie or two.
People ask me all the time what got me into horror. The answer has always been simple. Growing up a kid in the 70s, I was hooked by the weekly documentary TV show, In Search Of.
It didn’t hurt that it was narrated by Mr. Spock, one of my idols at the time. His voiceover work on that show was always, and I mean always, pitch perfect. Somber, serious, Leonard Nimoy took us all on a trip to the weird and paranormal that has been noted as the inspiration for an entire generation of writers, directors and actors. I don’t think I’ve met a writer at Samhain Horror who hasn’t said this show deeply impacted their lives.
In Search Of was my classroom for the bizarre and unexplained. Every week, I sat in my living room sipping on a Nehi, huddled close to our TV that was as big as our couch (at least the cabinet was – the actual screen may have been 20 inches tops). It was where I was first exposed to Bigfoot, The Loch Ness Monster, ghosts, life after death, real buried treasure, aliens, the Bermuda Triangle and ESP, just to name a few off the top of my head. Everything seemed and looked so real, I couldn’t help but shiver at the thought of monster and ghosts populating the same world where I rode my bike with baseball cards in the spokes and played Wiffle Ball marathons until we could no longer see the ball.
The film itself was grainy, the terror palpable as each tale unfolded. Any episode of In Search Of back then was scarier than most horror flicks. And now that I can watch them on YouTube today, it still holds true. I’ve said it many times that the baritone of Leonard Nimoy’s voice is the horror soundtrack of my life. Without him and that wonderful show, I may have never discovered my true passion.
Summer’s winding down and Halloween will be here before you know it. Now’s a perfect time to watch this show for the first time or catch up with a long lost friend. At the very least, it will explain how we horror writers of a certain age came to be.
What’s your favorite episode? I know mine was Bigfoot and my first exposure to the famed Patterson Gimlin film.
See that picture? That was my first foray into the wonderful and weird world of cryptozoology at a time when I didn’t even know what the word meant. I was about 8 years old and at the tail end of my fascination with whales. I’d read everything the library had about them and was ready for something new.
Enter Nessie. I can’t remember where I first saw that picture. It was either on In Search Of or in a magazine or newspaper. I just remember the doors of my imagination being blown wide open. I would never be the same. Back in the 70s, there was a lot of interest in the strange creature swimming the depths of Loch Ness in Scotland. It was relatively easy to get my hands on all things Nessie. I devoured it all.
My father saw my budding interest in mythical sea creatures and bought me a book not only about the Loch Ness Monster, but all creatures bizarre and unknown. And so was laid an integral part of the foundation of a future Monster Man.
Out of all the cryptids out there, I think the case for sea creatures is the most solid. We know so little about the pitch fathoms of our seas. As our underwater technology improves, we discover new species of creatures plumbing the depths on an almost daily basis. Personally, I don’t think Nessie lives in the Loch. It’s my belief that if she exists, she kinda gets lost from time to time, slipping from the cold ocean into the Loch for a spell, stirring peoples’ fascination. And in a world where there’s so much doom and gloom, isn’t that a good thing?
So, what is Nessie? Is she a plesiosaur, a remnant from the time of the dinosaurs? Maybe she’s some kind of super sized eel, or a misindentified family of seals? Thanks to my man Scott for this latest article that says sightings of the monster skimming the waters is nothing but the result of a geological phenomenon.
Like all mysterious beasts, I really hope there is some truth to the Loch Ness Monster. Even though the photo that cemented my interest as a child was proven to be a hoax, I still hold out hope.
Like this blog post was too long coming, so is our latest episode of the Monster Men where we talk all things Loch Ness. Can’t believe it took us over 40 episodes to get the the core of my monsterhood. Sit back, put on a kilt, pop open a bottle of good Scotch and enjoy.