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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: 05/23/11

Monday, May 23, 2011

MOST FAMOUS AND MYSTERIOUS MONSTERS AROUND THE WORLD!





Ogopogo
"Lake Demon of Okanagan"

BEHAVIOR 
   Ogopogo is said to move at great speed, coiling its body in vertical undulations and propelling itself forward with a powerful tail. It is believed that the creature prowls the depths of Lake Okanagan and preys on the lake's 22 known species of fish, such as salmon, trout, burbot and chub.


WHEREABOUTS
   Located 300 miles northeast of Seattle, Canada's Lake Okanagan is said to be the home of a mysterious creature, the Lake Demon of Okanagan. Known to locals as "Ogopogo" and to Native Americans as N'ha-a-itk, it is believed that the creature makes its home in the part of the lake called Squally Point.

VITAL STATS
   Eyewitness accounts report that the beast is a huge serpentine creature with smooth dark skin, large eyes and an elongated head. Ogopogo has been estimated to measure about 60 feet in length and its body is said to be thicker than a telephone pole.

RELATIVES
   The Ogopogo is believed to be related to a mega serpent discovered by Captain Bill Hagland in 1937. Discovered in the stomach of a sperm whale off the Pacific Coast, the specimen is thought to be one of the few of its kind that has been seen by humans.

HISTORY
   Local residents of the Okanagan Valley have claimed sightings of the Lake Demon for more than 300 years. When European settlers arrived in the late 1800s, they also began telling stories of an ominous creature living in the lake. As sightings increased, the settlers patrolled the lakeshore at night to protect their families. These early pioneers translated the Native American name N'ha-a-itk into "Lake Demon." Later, many photographs and even film was taken of the creature. The earliest footage of Ogopogo was taken in 1968 and shows a dark mass, approximately 60 feet long and 3 feet in diameter.

MOST RECENT SIGHTINGS
   There are more reported sightings of the Ogopogo than of any other lake beast in the world, including the Loch Ness monster. Sightings of the Lake Demon are reported by eyewitnesses as many as five to seven times per year. In 2008 avid photographer Sean Viloria took a photograph of what he thinks was Ogopogo, and independent sources verify that the image was not doctored. The picture shows what is thought to be the creature's head and neck poking out of the water. Other images of the alleged monster are eerily similar.






 
Jersey Devil
 "Leeds Devil"
 

BEHAVIOR
   The winged, nocturnal creature is apparently unafraid of attacking humans. A number of reports have described it perching in trees and rampaging through woods, usually emitting high-pitched screams


WHEREABOUTS
   The Jersey Devil is believed to live deep in the untouched forests of the million-acre Pine Barrens region of southern New Jersey. A recognized figure for centuries, it is even the namesake of the state's professional hockey team.

VITAL STATS
   Descriptions of the Jersey Devil have varied over the years, from a winged half-bird, half-horse standing upright on hoofed feet, with a reptilian tail to a hairy cross between a monkey and a dog, walking on all fours. It is generally agreed to be some three to six feet in length.

RELATIVES
   Some have tried to attribute sightings of the Jersey Devil to the great horned owl, a species common to the area. The owl has ear tufts that could resemble horns, a wingspan of more than five feet, and has been known to attack humans. Though descriptions of the Devil resemble the African Hammer Headed bat, which can have a wingspan of up to three feet and is even known to attack chickens, experts say that even if an African bat did manage to find its way to New Jersey, it would be difficult for it to survive in the colder climate.

HISTORY
   Written descriptions of Jersey Devil date back to colonial times. According to legend, a Pine Barrens woman named Jane Leeds gave birth to her 13th child in 1735; instead of a baby, a menacing bat-like creature with a serpentine tail emerged, possibly due to a curse put on the family. Many famous sightings date to 1909, when over one week thousands of people reported seeing the creature throughout New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York.

MOST RECENT SIGHTINGS
   More than 200 sightings of the Jersey Devil have been reported in the last 20 years, mostly in the Pine Barrens. In the summer of 2008, a strange creature bearing a resemblance to the Jersey Devil was discovered on a beach in Montauk, New York, 175 miles northeast of the Pine Barrens. Rumors later attributed the creature to man-made experiments at a nearby government laboratory or a shell-less turtle, though its true identity remains unknown.






Loch Ness
 Monster "Nessie"
 
BEHAVIOR
   Little is known about this elusive lake dweller's habits and if he exists, he likely resides deep within Loch Ness. According to some eyewitness accounts, Nessie has displayed typical acquatic reptile behavior, such as splashing and diving. There have been no modern reports of Nessie attacking any humans.


Whereabouts
   Nessie was nicknamed for its alleged home base, Loch Ness, a deep, freshwater lake in the Scottish Highlands. Loch Ness is almost 23 miles long, nearly 800 feet deep and stocked with salmon, eels, trout and sturgeon. The lake was formed by melting Ice Age glaciers some 10,000 years ago.

VITAL STATS
   According to various eyewitnesses, Nessie measures some 25 feet to 30 feet in length and has a long neck, barrel-shaped body, flippers and gray or dark coloring.

RELATIVES
   Nessie's lesser-known cryptid cousin is Champ, a serpent-like creature alleged to dwell deep within Lake Champlain, a large, deep, freshwater lake bordering New York, Vermont and Quebec, Canada. Descriptions of both Nessie and Champ liken them to plesiosaurs, carnivorous acquatic reptiles who lived during the Jurassic Period and are thought to have become extinct millions of years ago.

HISTORY
   The first-ever written account of the Loch Ness Monster is believed to be a manuscript dating back to 565 A.D., in which an Irish missionary described standing on the shore and seeing a person attacked by a mysterious creature in the lake. Reported sightings continued over the centuries, but when a road was built around the lake in the 1930s, the number of Nessie sightings increased and the creature gained worldwide acclaim. In 1934, London's Daily Mail published a photo of a long-necked serpent emerging from the water. Because the photo was taken by a respected doctor, it was considered credible and became synonymous with Nessie; however, six decades later, the picture was revealed to be a hoax. Nevertheless, the legend of Nessie lives on and believers cite eyewitness accounts and photos from other sources as evidence of the monster's existence.

MOST RECENT SIGHTINGS
   There have been numerous sightings of Nessie over the past decades, but in recent years, the reports have declined, leading to some speculation that Nessie is possibly dead and entombed at the bottom of Loch Ness.







Boggy Creek Monster
 "Swamp Stalker"
 
WHEREABOUTS
   Some of the earliest and most famous sightings of this intimidating creature come from the small town of Fouke, Arkansas, located southeast of Texarkana and 150 miles southwest of Little Rock. Other late 20th-century reports come from Louisiana, Texas and Oklahoma.

VITAL STATS
   According to witness reports, the Boggy Creek Monster stands upright on two feet, is some seven to eight feet tall and weighs up to 300 pounds. Its muscular chest measures three feet across and its body is covered with long, dark hair.

RELATIVES
   Some believe that sightings of the Boggy Creek Monster may have been misidentifications of black bears, a species that recently made a comeback in the region. Black bears can be some five to six feet tall and weigh up to 400 pounds; they walk on all fours but occasionally will stand upright to gain a better scent or view.

HISTORY
   Local legend dates back as early as 1834, when a large, hairy "wild man" was reported to be roaming northeast Arkansas. In the late 20th century, reports of the monster's activity intensified near Boggy Creek. A famous encounter in May 1971 near Fouke was chronicled in the low budget 1972 movie The Legend of Boggy Creek.

MOST RECENT SIGHTINGS
   In 1997, local residents reported more than 40 sightings of the Boggy Creek Monster; a 1998 witness saw it was walking along a dry creek bed some five miles south of Fouke. In 2000, a hunter reported a sighting in broad daylight in the nearby Sulfur River Wildlife Area, near Fouke. In 2004, a report from southeast Texas told of a creature that may have been drawn by the sound of children playing.







American Loch Ness Monster
 "Champ"
 
BEHAVIOR
   Little is know about the elusive Champ's behavior. If he exists, he appears to enjoy keeping a low-profile and hiding from the public, possibly in a hidden channel that runs through the deepest part of Lake Champlain


WHEREABOUTS
   Champ is said to dwell somewhere in the depths of Lake Champlain, a large, deep, freshwater lake bordering New York, Vermont and Quebec, Canada. The lake, named for French explorer Samuel de Champlain who mapped it in 1609, is 120 miles long, 12 miles wide and as deep as 400 feet in some spots. It was likely formed some 10,000 years ago by retreating Ice Age glaciers. Observers have noted that chilly Lake Champlain is similar in depth and temperature to Scotland's Loch Ness, home of the legendary Loch Ness Monster.

VITAL STATS
   There have been several hundred reported sightings of Champ and the descriptions vary: Somewhere between six feet to 25 feet--or even longer--in length, a horse-like or snake-like head, dark coloring, and, possibly, a humpback. Accounts describing Champ as long-necked and broad-bodied with a short tail and four paddle-like limbs seem similar to those of a plesiosaur, an ancient aquatic creature that existed during the dinosaur era and is thought to have been extinct for the last 65 million years.

RELATIVES
   Champ's better-known cryptid cousin, the Loch Ness Monster of Scotland, originally gained worldwide acclaim in the 1930s following a series of reported sightings. In 1993, a famous 1934 photo of "Nessie" was determined to be a hoax.

HISTORY
   Stories of a giant serpent living in Lake Champlain date back to the time when Native Americans were the region's primary residents. The explorer Samuel de Champlain recorded seeing a long, thick serpent, "eight to ten feet long&with a snout two feet long and a double row of sharp, dangerous teeth&it is protected by scales of a silvery grey color so strong that a dagger could not pierce them&" Experts now believe he was likely describing a sturgeon and note that these fish sometimes cluster head to tail near the water's surface while feeding, possibly creating the strange, undulating humps reported by eyewitnesses claiming to see Champ. By the 1870s, U.S. newspapers began to report sightings of a large creature living in Lake Champlain and showman P.T. Barnum even posted a big reward for the serpent's head.

MOST RECENT SIGHTINGS
   In 1977, while vacationing at Lake Champlain, Sandra Mansi snapped a photo of a large, serpent-like creature rising out of the water. The photo was eventually deemed authentic by experts although it was impossible to determine what exactly it showed. In the summer of 2005, two local fishermen shot videotape of a mysterious being in the water they believed could be Champ. The footage appeared credible, but proved inconclusive in helping to resolve the question of whether or not the Lake Champlain monster truly exists.








Sasquatch "Bigfoot, Yeti,  Yeren,  Yowie
(Tibet & Nepal), 
 (mainland China), 
 (Australia)"
 
BEHAVIOR
   After numerous attacks were reported against an isolated fishing cabin near Snelgrove Lake in Ontario, research in the area identified plentiful food sources for a large primate, including lichen, ferns and berries.


WHEREABOUTS
   The most famous sightings of Sasquatch have been reported in Ontario and British Columbia, Canada. Reports have also come from the Pacific Northwest region of the United States.

VITAL STATS
   Witnesses describe Sasquatch as a bipedal creature standing seven feet to 10 feet tall (about the size of a Kodiak bear) and weighing around 1,000 pounds. He has enormous feet, long arms, and a powerfully built frame covered in reddish-brown or dark brown hair.

RELATIVES
   Some theories link Sasquatch to the long-extinct gigantopithecus, native to Asia and known to be the largest ape that ever lived. Others tie Bigfoot much more closely to humans than to apes.

HISTORY
   Rumored sightings of large, hairy bipedal creatures in the Pacific Northwest and western Canada date back some 200 years. In the 1920s, the term Sasquatch was coined by a reporter, J.W. Burns, who combined the names sokqueatl and soss-q'tal from the Chehalis Native American language.

MOST RECENT SIGHTING
   In August 2006, researchers investigating reports of a violent creature at an isolated fishing cabin near Snelgrove Lake, some 250 miles north of Ottawa, had rocks thrown at them and found a 17-inch footprint nearby. Another attack was reported on a fishing party at the same cabin in 2007.







 
American Werewolf
 "Dog Man of Wisconsin"
 
BEHAVIOR
   In previous centuries, werewolves in Europe allegedly killed human victims then ate them. By comparison, American werewolves appear to be shy and far less bloodthirsty, according to reported sightings. They've allegedly been spotted hiding behind trees and in the woods.

WHEREABOUTS
   Wisconsin is the epicenter of modern-day American werewolf sightings, with over 200 eyewitness reports.

VITAL STATS
   Reports of this mysterious creature fall into three categories: wolf-like, bear-like and Big Foot-like.According to some descriptions, the hairy, furry beast stands six feet to eight feet tall, howls like a dog and possesses a powerful build and large teeth.

RELATIVES
   Wolves, bears

HISTORY
   Stories about humans shape-shifting into wolf-like creatures are contained in ancient folklore of various cultures, while legends about savage, super-hairy, woods-dwelling men known as Wodewose date back to medieval England. Images of Wodewose have reportedly been found in church carvings. In other parts of Medieval Europe, hundreds of people were executed during witch and werewolf trials. One man, Peter Stubbs of Bedburg, Germany, admitted he was a blood-sucking wolf and reportedly confessed to killing and eating more than a dozen children and two pregnant women. It was later determined that some people accused of being werewolves might actually have suffered from a disease called St. Anthony's Fire, which resulted in delusional behavior. Lycanthropy, the belief that one is a werewolf, is now a recognized psychosis. In another case in Europe, the "Beast of Gevauden," described as a giant wolf, terrorized a region of France in the 1760s, killing some 80 adults and children. Researchers now suggest the murders were committed by a serial killer (or killers) or a pack of hungry wolves.

MOST RECENT SIGHTINGS
   In the 1980s and early 1990s, various witnesses near Elkhorn, Wisconsin, reported seeing a large, hairy creature walking upright. The creature was dubbed the "Beast of Bray Road" after the country road where it was spotted. Several witnesses later took polygraph tests that indicated it was unlikely their stories had been made up. To date, sightings continue of a mysterious creature across parts of Wisconsin.






Swamp Beast
"Skunk Ape"
 
BEHAVIOR
   The Skunk Ape walks upright and is well adapted for life in the low-lying swamps of the region. Like primates including gorillas, chimpanzees and gibbons, it seems docile but ready and willing to defend its territory.

WHEREABOUTS
   The Skunk Ape is said to live in the more than 1.5 million acres of largely impenetrable forests and swamps of the southern United States, stretching from the tip of the Florida Everglades through Louisiana's swamps and bayous and into the Big Thicket Preserve in Eastern Texas.

VITAL STATS
   Witnesses have described a tall--some six to seven feet--and stocky figure, seemingly half-man, half-ape, covered with long, stringy hair and reddish in color. Most eyewitness reports include a strong odor, likened to rotting eggs, skunk and cow manure--hence the nickname "Skunk Ape."

RELATIVES
   Descriptions of the Skunk Ape reveal some similar elements to primates such as gorillas, chimpanzees and especially orangutans. The search has been compared to that for Sasquatch (a.k.a. "Bigfoot) in the Pacific Northwest and Canada--also a tall, hairy bipedal--but the Skunk Ape is described as smaller, hairier and lighter in color than Bigfoot.

HISTORY
   Before the white man's arrival in the region, the Miccosukee and Seminole Native American tribes of southern Florida spoke of a creature they called ssti capcaki, or "tall hairy man." In 1850, an Arkansas newspaper headline first made reference to the Skunk Ape, citing farmers' reports of "a wild man covered in hair." In his report of a sighting in 1977 in the Florida Keys, Charlie Stoeckman evocatively described the beast's unique smell.

MOST RECENT SIGHTINGS




   In August 2000, a driver near Trout, Louisiana reported hitting a large man in a fur coat with his vehicle. The impact caused a great deal of damage to the car, and police couldn't find the victim. Another sighting was reported in 2006 in the region of Cotton Island Swamp, some 20 miles away from Trout.






 
Ohio Grassman
 

BEHAVIOR
   The Ohio Grassman has been seen traveling in groups of several individuals, and may have engaged in cooperative hunting of deer, indicating that it is more social than Bigfoot is believed to be. There are indications that the Grassman either lives in caves or constructs crude dwellings from material found in the forest.


WHEREABOUTS
   The Grassman has been spotted in the forests and plains of the largely rural eastern part of Ohio, including in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains.

VITAL STATS
   Like Sasquatch (or "Bigfoot"), to whom it is often compared, the Ohio Grassman is a tall biped that walks upright and stands some seven to eight feet tall. Witnesses report the Grassman as having broad shoulders and being covered in black or dark brownish hair. The creature is also said to have a very muscular build and weigh anywhere from 300 to 1,000 pounds, with large hands and feet.

RELATIVES
   The descriptions of the Ohio Grassman bear many similarities to accounts of sightings of Bigfoot in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States and in western Canada. Some have speculated that Grassman may possibly be a relative of Bigfoot, or simply a local Ohio name for the same creature.

HISTORY
   The "Grassman" was named by early European settlers to the area now known as Ohio, who spotted a large man-like creature roaming the grassy plains of the region during the 18th and 19th centuries. In January 1869, in Ohio's Gallia County, a man and his daughter reported being attacked by a wild beast that they described as gigantic in size, with burning eyes and a body covered in hair. The girl threw a rock at the creature, allowing herself and her father to escape after a long struggle.

MOST RECENT SIGHTINGS
   In 1996, a woman reported a sighting of Grassman at her home, located in a rural, wooded area near Pleasant City, Ohio, some 85 miles east of Columbus. Six years later, a hunter in Bentonville, Ohio, made a cast of a huge footprint believed to be that of Grassman.

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THE NEW ORLEANS JAZZ & HERITAGE FESTIVAL!




   Mahalia Jackson, often called the greatest gospel singer, returned to her hometown to appear at the first New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in April of 1970. While attending the Louisiana Heritage Fair in Congo Square (then known as Beauregard Square), she and Duke Ellington, who also appeared at the event, came upon the Eureka Brass Band leading a crowd of second-line revelers through the Festival grounds. George Wein, producer of the Festival, handed Ms. Jackson a microphone, she sang along with the band and joined the parade…and the spirit of Jazz Fest was born.
This spontaneous, momentous scene—this meeting of jazz and heritage—has stood for decades since as a stirring symbol of the authenticity of the celebration that was destined to become a cultural force.






   From the very beginning, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival was envisioned as an important event that would have great cultural significance and popular appeal. The Festival was the culmination of years of discussions and efforts by city leaders who wanted to create an event worthy of the city’s legacy as the birthplace of jazz. A couple of other festivals were held in the years leading up to the first New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, but those events, different in format, did not take hold as the Jazz & Heritage Festival would.






   In 1970, George Wein, jazz impresario behind the Newport Jazz Festival and the Newport Folk Festival (begun respectively in 1954 and 1959) was hired to design and produce a unique festival for New Orleans. The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, a nonprofit organization, was established to oversee the Festival.
Wein’s concept of the Louisiana Heritage Fair—a large daytime fair with multiple stages featuring a wide variety of indigenous music styles, food booths of Louisiana cuisine, and arts and crafts booths, along with an evening concert series—formed a construct that would prove vastly appealing and enduring.






   In addition to Mahalia Jackson and Duke Ellington, the first Festival lineup included Pete Fountain, Al Hirt, Clifton Chenier, Fats Domino, The Meters, The Preservation Hall Band, parades every day with The Olympia Brass Band and Mardi Gras Indians, and many others.
   In announcing the first Festival, scheduled for April 22 – 26, Wein said, “The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival represents a new and exciting idea in festival presentation. This festival could only be held in New Orleans because here and here alone is the richest musical heritage in America.” He also noted, with great prescience, “New Orleans, in the long run, should become bigger than Newport in jazz festivals. Newport was manufactured, but New Orleans is the real thing.”






   Wein hired Quint Davis and Allison Miner, two young, knowledgeable New Orleans music enthusiasts, to work on the event. Davis would quickly become the main creative force behind the Festival, establishing the event as a dynamic annual showcase of Louisiana music with a bold blend of national and international flavors. Davis remains producer and director of the Festival, guiding the event through its fourth decade of existence. Miner, who passed away in 1995, would make numerous contributions to the Festival’s evolution, including the creation of the Music Heritage Stage, which has been renamed in her honor.






   In 1970, only about 350 people attended the Festival, about half the number of musicians and other participants in the event. But the Festival, which became known as “Jazz Fest” almost immediately, was a great artistic success. When Jazz Fest was held the next year, it was clear that the event had already outgrown Congo Square.




   For the 1972 Festival, the event moved to the infield of the Fair Grounds Race Course, the third-oldest racetrack in America (open since 1872). Jazz Fest would grow quickly over the next few years, constantly expanding its use of the 145-acre site. In 1975, the Festival, still just a five-day event with only three days of the Louisiana Heritage Fair, had an anticipated attendance of 80,000. This was also the first year of the Festival’s popular, limited-edition silkscreen poster, now recognized as the most popular poster series in the world.






   From 1976 to 1978, Jazz Fest expanded to two full weekends of the Heritage Fair, and in 1979, for the 10th anniversary, the Festival scheduled three weekends, though one entire weekend was cancelled due to rain.
   In the 1980s, Jazz Fest continued to experience a tremendous growth in popularity and began to gain wide acclaim as one of the world’s greatest cultural celebrations. By the end of the decade, more than 300,000 people attended the Heritage Fair, evening concerts, and workshops. The 1989 Festival marked the 20th annual event, which was commemorated with a classic poster featuring Fats Domino, ushering in an era during which the poster would celebrate many of Louisiana’s music legends with iconic portraits.




   The decade of the 1990s saw the appeal of Jazz Fest and the Festival’s significance as a cultural symbol soar. The New York Times would note that the Jazz Festival had “become inseparable from the culture it presents.” The Festival added features like the Thursday that kicks off the second weekend (1991); an International Pavilion that celebrates other cultures (Haiti, Mali, Panama, Brazil, Martinique, and in 2004, South Africa); and the Native American stage and area.





   In 2001, the Festival celebrated Louis Armstrong’s centennial, and the total attendance eclipsed 650,000, shattering records for virtually every day of the Heritage Fair, including the all-time single-day attendance record of 160,000. Wein’s prediction that New Orleans would become the first city of jazz festivals had clearly come true.
   With 12 stages of soul-stirring music—jazz, gospel, Cajun, zydeco, blues, R&B, rock, funk, African, Latin, Caribbean, folk, and much more—the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is a singular celebration. The event has showcased most of the great artists of New Orleans and Louisiana of the last half century.





   The Festival has always blended in a wide mix of internationally renowned guests, among them.
   Over the years Jazz Fest has received many honors, including being named the Festival of the Year four times by Pollstar magazine. The 2004 event marks the 35th anniversary of Jazz Fest, which the Wall Street Journal says “showcases a wider, deeper lineup of essential American musical styles than any festival in the nation…” and which Life magazine has called “the country’s very best music festival.’’
   The festival will be held this year from April 29, 30, May 1 & May 5, 6, 7 & 8, 2011. The Heritage Fair takes place at the Fair Grounds Race Course, centrally located at 1751 Gentilly Boulevard, 10 minutes from the French Quarter. Hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.





   Inspired by the spirit of Mahalia Jackson and the Eureka Brass Band back in 1970, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival continues to celebrate the culture of Louisiana with the combined fervor of a gospel hymn and the joy of a jazz parade.