Thursday, March 29, 2007

Eerie Discovery by West End News

In the March 23, 2007, issue of the West End News, Editor Ed King brought forth the bombshell answer to a question that has to a greater or lesser extent made Portlanders curious for years.
Just after midnight on May 11, 1973, a twin-engine plane crashed in a wooded area about 400 feet from the airport in Beverly, Massachusetts. The two men aboard the plane both survived the crash. Richard Higgins, 30, the pilot, and his co-pilot, Carl Kokernak, 19, suffered internal injuries and neck and back injuries, according to newspaper reports at the time. Higgins was reportedly trying to land the Piper Azetc II in thick fog when the plane crased into treetops, leaving parts of the plane hanging in the treetops and strewn about the area.

In August, 2006 ... Kokernak and his wife were attending a flight school reunion in Portland... [they] got lost driving through the West End, and when they reached the corner of York and Brackett Street, Kokernak looked up and saw the tail of an airplane sticking out of the roof of Popeye's Ice House. Ater closer inspection, Kokernak realized that it was the tail of the plane whose crash he had miraculously survived on that foggy night more than three decades earlier.

"I had no idea it was there," said Kokernaut, who lives in Chesterfield, Virginia. The wreckage had been brought to a scrap yard near the Beverly Airport, where the tail was later purchased by the girlfriend of a previous owner of the Ice House, and installed in the roof while the owner, who was a merchant marine, was out to sea.

According to Kokernak, two other planes crashed in the same weather pattern that took down the Piper in which he was flying. Of the sixteen people involved in those accidents, he and Higgins were the only survivors.
The reunion that he was attending [in Portland] last year was for the flight school that had owned the airplane that he crashed in. He called the series of events "eerie."
The print article has photos of the crash site and Popeye's, as well as Higgins' gripping account of the crash itself. It is not up on the WENews blog as of yet. Kudos to Ed King for bringing this out -- an uncanny story, this strange reunion.

Blue Moose with dancing clams on stage!

One of my favorite authors is Daniel Manus Pinkwater, and some of my favorite Pinkwater books are the Blue Moose books, including The Moosepire. Other Pinkwater favorites include Lizard Music and The Last Guru (in case you're wondering). The Blue Moose tales take place in Maine. Now comes outrageous news out of California, of all places, that The Blue Moose has been made into an opera! The L.A. Times ran the story in their Weekend Calendar today:
Revered Pinkwater book is now 'Blue Moose Opera'
'Blue Moose Opera' adds new ingredients to a delectable children's book.
By Sascha Zuger, Special to The Times

The literary flair of Daniel Pinkwater takes on a different pitch this weekend at the University of Redlands.

Pinkwater, the National Public Radio commentator and children's author of "The Neddiad," has collaborated with Chicago composer Daniel Tucker to create the "Blue Moose Opera," a work commissioned by the school to mark the centennial of its music program.

With directorial styling by Marco Schindelmann and the help of five student puppeteers, the 12-foot, chowder-loving moose is brought to life in the operatic adaptation of Pinkwater's children's novel "Once Upon a Blue Moose."

"Blue Moose Opera" opens in the kitchen of a small Maine inn as Chef Breton laments the coming cold. The apathetic "yups" his monosyllabic patrons offer when Breton asks if they enjoyed his culinary creations do little to cheer him. Even the chambermaid's claim that little more could be expected from a group of yuppies does not soothe the chef. It is not until a large, antlered visitor arrives that things improve.

The blue moose and Chef Breton share a love of being warm and clam chowder. Soon, they also share a residence. The moose takes it upon himself to serve the patrons. He assures proper respect is shown the great chef, as only a superior animal such as a moose can. All is well until a local game warden threatens to upset the delicate balance. The moose, six bivalve ballerinas and a hermit named Dave join together as the libretto comes to its natural end, in Pinkwater's characteristic unnatural manner.

For Andrew Glendening, director of University of Redlands' School of Music, the decision to go with Pinkwater was obvious. "I have always thought that his book 'The Big Orange Splot' would make a great opera scene," he says. "Daniel suggested that the Blue Moose would make a better subject."

"It's very popular," Pinkwater says. "Kids have loved it for 30 years. It has a moose. It has a chef and a game warden. I added a hotel maid. And I think the ballet has dancing clam chowder. Or dancing clams. Both are conceptually interesting."

Tucked between last season's ambitious production of Bellini's "Norma" and next season's "La Traviata" by Verdi, "The Blue Moose" might appear to be an unusual choice for one of the oldest music schools west of the Mississippi. Not so, says Glendening: "An opera about a blue moose serving clam chowder turns out to be a terrific vehicle for interdisciplinary collaboration since all of the usual turf issues become irrelevant."

While combining the different arts disciplines, director Schindelmann preserved the authenticity of kid-appeal by consulting a "kids committee." Some suggestions "were beyond the scope of the imaginations and/or sensibilities, perhaps willingness, of some of us adults," Schindelmann acknowledges, including an idea to include "an ever-morphing moose.... I didn't present it to the rest of the creative team as I knew it wasn't within our costume budget."

Schindelmann hopes that the production's integration of music and dance into a well-loved children's story shows that success can be found by inviting many chefs, and one large moose, into the kitchen.

'Blue Moose Opera'
Where: Glenn Wallichs Theatre, University of Redlands, 1200 E. Colton Ave., Redlands, CA
When: 8 p.m. today and Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
Price: $10; $7 for students, staff, seniors and children
Info: (909) 748-8881;

Photo: Mr. Breton (tenor Julio Carrillo) serves his clam chowder to the puppeteer-operated Blue Moose (sung by basso Chip Gross, left) in the opera commissioned by the University of Redlands. (Andrew Glendening)
Anybody out there want to send me a videotape of the performance??? *grin*

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The President has a pachyderm's feet!

In a recent orgy of historical research in the Portland Room at the library, I uncovered volumes of bound manuscripts of Sketches Written for the Daily Eastern Argus 1912 - 1913 by one Nathan Goold. There was a very curious anecdote related by the author about the poet J.G. Whittier:
The poet Whittier is said to have related the story that when President Monroe visited the town, in 1817, where he [Whittier] then lived, a caravan exhibited there the same day. He said he saw the tracks of the elephant in the sand, and being but a small boy at the time thought they must be those of the President.
I need to do a little more biographical research on Whittier to see how likely this story is, but either way, it is an intriguing local legend that I've never heard of before. Whittier was born in 1807, so he would have been ten years old at the time of this story.

Illustration by Michelle Souliere.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Amuck with March Mouse Madness!

We'd like to reassure the blog Mainiac Musings that certainly no offense is taken to the titling of the story about a Maine rodent-gone-wild with our name. If you haven't heard the story yet, here it is. This is great stuff!!!
Mouse Absconds With Maine Man's Dentures

WATERVILLE, Maine (AP) -- Never underestimate a mouse's determination. There's a mouse in Bill Exner's house that he says he has captured three times. Each time, the mouse escaped, and the last time the rodent made off with his lower dentures.

Exner, 68, said he and his wife Shirley scoured his bedroom after the dentures disappeared from his night stand.

"We moved the bed, moved the dressers and the night stand and tore the closet apart," he said. "I said, 'I knew that little stinker stole my teeth' - I just knew it."

They found a small opening in a wall where they suspected the mouse was coming and going, and their daughter's fiance, Eric Holt, stepped in to help.

"He brought a crowbar and hammer and he sawed off a section of wood and pulled up the molding and everything," Exner said. "It was quite a job."

They retrieved the dentures, and Holt suggested his future father-in-law boil them in peroxide and whatever else he could find for to disinfect it.

The mouse apparently isn't done. It frequently comes out and stares at Exner, his wife said.

"He's taunting him - I swear he's taunting him," Shirley Exner said.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Zombees in Action!

Well, while the rest of us who worked on the Emptyhouse Film movie "2" this February have been going into zombie withdrawal, Andy Davis has been working hard and getting some preliminary work done, including the Covered in Bees' video for their song "Zombees," which is being used on the soundtrack.

But that's not all... over twenty-three hours of footage now has to be cut down into ninety minutes. "The editing process is where we really tell the story that we caught on film. The footage really shines. We really achieved what we set out to create," said Executive Producer John Lane.

To sum up that 23+ hours, which came out of 12 days of production filming, you will want to take into account over five gallons of blood, hundreds of zombie extras, cases of makeup, frigid temperatures, and a fire.

"In the end, 2 has taken on a life of its own, and that's what I like to see with all of our films," said Co-Writer/Director
Andy Davis.

The music video for the song "Zombees" was shot during the production of the movie and can be found at the following link. While you're there, check out the other extras from the filming, including a teaser and some fine footage of zombies singing the National Anthem:

Photo by Michelle Souliere 2007.

Canned Dandelions in Maine?

I noticed that there are a bunch of copycat "quick facts about states" type sites that mention that "In Wilton, Maine, there's a cannery that imports and cans only dandelion greens." I decided to look a little further.

It turns out that in fact they can fiddleheads as well as dandelion greens (although I found little mention of canned greens anywhere, I found plenty of mention of the fiddleheads). The man who runs the company is Adrian "Butch" Wells, and the business operates under the name W. S. Wells & Son, which produces all the Belle of Maine canned products [Source]. They've been around since 1894 [Source], when Wells' great-great-grandparents founded the concern.

What I did find out about the dandelion greens I found first on (oddly enough) an Alaskan website:
Wells raised dandelions on a three-acre plot and sold them to restaurants who used them in salads, cooked them as vegetables, and fermented them to make dandelion wine. Even though dandelions flourished in his lawn and among his flowers, they dwindled and died on his dandelion farm. "What I can't understand," Wells laments, "is how these things grow so well where you don't want them to, but when you water and feed and weed them they give up and die."
Back in 1990 (05/02/90), when Steven Raichlen's "No Time to Fiddle Around: The Season is Short for the Elusive Ostrich Fern Sprout" article appeared in the Washington (DC) Post on page E16, Wells figured he had handled 24 tons of fiddleheads the prior year. According to one article,
Wells had never eaten a fiddlehead, but his wife Jeanne grew up with them. In 1968, some friends from Vermont asked Wells to can a batch of fiddleheads they had gathered. That got him started and he put up three tons the first year; they sold like proverbial hotcakes. He decided to specialize in vegetables overlooked by the big canneries: dandelion greens, beet greens and fiddleheads.
Another article, this time by David Wecker of the Cincinnati Post (6-14-2004), claims the company "grows, imports and cans only dandelion greens," which may be where these other factoid websites are getting their ideas. [Source]

While green bounty such as dandelion greens and fiddleheads may sound foul to those who are not in the habit, it is worth its weight in precious metal to others, giving entrepeneurs like Wells a thriving business year to year. Their canned fiddleheads are "pickled in vinegar and brine with a spice mixture invented by Jeanne Wells. 'It contains garlic, bay leaf and red pepper, habit forming,' Jeanne says." (from Washington Post article quoted above [Source]

The fiddleheads joined the canning catalogue at Wells "back in the '60s" when he had the unbelievably small staff of six pickers. "Now, he's got 50 to 75." [Source]

Other things are changing too. In a Colby College booklet about sustainability, one of the categories is Biodiesel, and Wells is the instigator of their current contribution to this burgeoning cause. To quote the document:
Colby Dining Services was approached by an employee of Colby College, Cindy Wells, who inquired about the possibility of her husband Butch, a local farmer, picking up the used fryolator oil from the kitchen to be recycled and used as biodiesel fuel to power his farm equipment. ... 100% of the used fryolator grease from the campus kitchen is recycled as biodiesel. The grease is picked up weekly at no charge to Dining Services.
So, since the spring of 2006, Colby estimates that approximately 21,000 lbs of grease is being picked up and reused as biodiesel fuel each year. Whooo, that's a lot of grease! And Colby College is happy -- the grease is being re-used, AND it's saving them about $2,000 a year in disposal expenses. [Source]

Like much harvesting, fiddleheads are a seasonal business, and they fill the gap in the spring when pickers have no potatos, strawberries, blueberries, or apples to pull from Maine's fields and orchards.
During fiddlehead season, Wells waits for the harvesters in a lawn chair set in a sunny spot on the loading dock. Pickers come all day long and into the night. Wells says that a lot of the guys are picking just enough for a 12-pack of beer or a pack of cigarettes. ''It is hard work though," he says. ''Every fiddlehead picker that gets out of their car gets out a little bit slowly, and they all walk a little bit funny."
[from "Fiddleheads play a big part in local cuisine and economy" by Jonathan Levitt, Globe Correspondent, May 17, 2006 Source]

So -- in conclusion, I did find more than one online store selling Belle of Maine canned dandelion greens. However, the canned fiddleheads are much more in evidence. I also found rumors of another company, possibly no longer in operation, called Baxter Canning Co (formerly Snowflake Canning), that allegedly canned both fiddlehead and dandelion greens in Maine.

2013 UPDATE: Sadly, it looks as though as of 2012, Belle of Maine has shifted away from canning fiddleheads and is now just selling them fresh in-season. Here is an article from April 2012 about the switch:

It looks like you can order fresh here and there online, and have them shipped frozen when they're in season, but be sure to order early, as most places sell out. They go fast!!

You can also try ordering them canned in a jar, from Canada:

I've also heard rumors that some Trader Joe's have them in their frozen sections very briefly in season.

We're lucky enough here that they get featured in dishes in local restaurants during that time of the year, but they are fleeting.

My advice would be to hop on the web early in the spring, starting in say late April or early May, and see who's willing to ship the harvest! :) These guys look like they do, in season:

PLEASE NOTE! I put these links here in the hope of deflecting all the emails I get about where to buy fiddleheads. Please do your own up-to-date research online! I am no more of an expert on the topic than any of you. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Pagan Informational Series at USM

(NOW with CORRECTIONS!) Sorry I'm catching up on this series' existence so late in the game, I'm just now getting a grip on all my mailing list volumes after my schedule changes at New Year's! Better late than never, and there are still two installments left in the series, so read on:

Installment 5 of the "Who Are the Pagans and What Do They Do?" series
Tuesday April 3
6:45 - 8:30 PM
Boiler Room, Woodbury Campus Center, Portland

"Who are the Pagans and What Do They Do?" is an informational series that is designed to dispel some of the most common myths about Pagans and Witches, while also teaching about the authentic practices of neo-Pagans. This series is presented by USM's Pagan Chaplain, Cynthia Jane Collins, and the local Silver Cauldron Coven.

All sessions begin by presenting a myth and the actual Pagan practices that it has been confused with. Following, there will then be time for hands-on activities and a concluding discussion. This series is free and designed for everyone; Pagans and non-Pagans are welcome.

The remaining schedule of topics and dates appears below. All sessions are held on Tuesday evenings from 6:45 - 8:30 PM in the Boiler Room of the Woodbury Campus Center, Portland.

April 3: Divination
April 17: Spellwork for Healing. Health and Happiness

For more information, please contact the Chaplaincy Office at 228-8284 or Pagan Chaplain Cynthia Collins at 282-1491 or

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Edward Hopper's Haunted House in Maine

Edward Hopper, like many other famous American artists, found in Maine an inspiration to produce art that was as indicative of Maine's nature as it was of his own nature, not to mention his talent. 1926 found him painting a stark watercolor that cried keenly with the sort of yearning and emptiness that he found almost everywhere he went, if one is to judge by many of his works.
One of the best-known of his Rockland works is Haunted House (collection of the Farnsworth Art Museum), a depiction of The Atlantic House, an old boarding house, now destroyed, located at 5 South Street.

Old Port photo of the past, Portland ME

Our last photo was of the intersection of Congress Street and Deering Avenue, where Deering changes to Vaughan Street. Here is another photo, courtesy of Abraham Schechter, who runs the Portland Public Library's Portland Room..

This time it is of one of Portland's Old Port streets, again estimated to have been taken circa 1900-1910. The vendors' names have changed, there are awnings everywhere (no doubt thanks in part to F. A. Leavitt's Awnings & Hammocks), and parking is of a different kind of vehicle, but if you look closely, you might be able to figure this one out too. Click on the photo for a larger version to inspect details.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Things in the House

Well, all this time we've been living in our Victorian duplex, we've wondered where all the ghosts are (it seemed reasonable, especially with the creepy basement and a full attic). Maybe they just waited until we'd been here a while, decided we weren't going anywhere, and announced themselves (it's now just over a year since both Kris and Salli moved in).

Salli just came hopping down the stairs after seeing a dark blue human shape come out of my open and lit studio door on the second floor, after which it disappeared.

Friday, March 16, 2007

"Graveyard Shift" Mill Sold!

Those who shivered through Stephen King's movie of "Graveyard Shift," and then ran across the mill itself while driving Maine's back town roads, may be interested to note that the mill used in the filming has been sold. I found this story on the not-local but very stylish and informative Haunted Vampire blog at
186-year-old mill sold
By Morning Sentinel Staff Report
March 15, 2007 04:41 PM

HARMONY, Maine (AP) — A 186-year-old woolen mill that was used as a setting in Stephen King’s movie “Graveyard Shift” has a new owner.

Bartlettyarns Inc. was sold by Russell Pierce of Brunswick to Susan and Lindsey Rice of Barrington, N.H., who were customers of the company. The sales price was not disclosed.

The mill, which was founded in 1821 on the banks of Higgins Stream in this Somerset County town, is believed to be the oldest continuously operating yarn mill in the U.S.

Pierce said Bartlettyarns specializes in wool hand-knitting yarns and is best known for its Fisherman-brand yarns. Much of the yarn is spun on machines that are more than 100 years old, Pierce said. The newest yarn-spinning machine was purchased in 1948.

“I’m very pleased to see that a company with the history Bartlettyarns Inc. has is going to end up with owners who really have the dedication to continue the company and to nourish and flourish the company,” Pierce said.
[Original Source at Morning Sentinel website]
Italics are my own. Holy moley! Back when they knew how to make machines...

According to Wikipedia, "The movie was filmed in Harmony, Maine (outside shots) at Bartlett Yarns Inc. (historic functioning yarn mill) and Corinna, Maine (mill shots). The mill subsequently became a Superfund site."

Strange work, if you can get it.

For those of you who wonder about what the Strange Maine store is all about, and how it merges with the philosophy of this blog, I am pleased to announce that my interview with Brendan Evans is up on the Angioplasty Media site as part of their relaunch issue. This webzine issue is devoted to Work -- who works, why do they work, and what work do they love and/or hate? These questions and more are answered.

Please click here to read the interview with Brendan Evans, filled with fascinating details about him, to whom I credit much of my impetus to start this blog. To give you a sample of the marvels revealed, here is an excerpt of a quote from Brendan:
Sometimes I'll find things in the basement. I found this hand-typewritten original manuscript about the secrets of the Great Pyramids, written in the 1930s, and it had all this weird mathematical conspiratorial information in it. There was no author, no point of origin, just a couple of vague mentions in the text about the Great War, instead of World War I, so I'm assuming it was pre-World War II. Weird.

Evacuation Route via Colon

Well, thanks to a most excellent gentleman, that being the Rev. Jack Zall, I have news of the odd for you. As he says, "Not quite a ghost or bigfoot, but plenty strange." Yes folks, a giant colon is paying Maine a visit, escorted by the finest in Down East humor. Through today it can be found at the Bangor Mall, then Saturday and Sunday it will be at South Portland's own Maine Mall. According to WCSH-6:
It's called the Colossal Colon and it's 40 feet long and four feet tall. You can crawl through it, or walk along the outside. The mega-model shows several examples of different diseases that affect the colon. Eastern Maine Medical Center and the Maine Center for Disease Control are putting on the display. Comedian Tim Sample is the honorary spokesperson. Sample and others are stressing the importance of getting regular screenings for people 50 and older.
The Colossal Colon (affectionately known as CoCo), is not Sample's only current project. According to his website, "I’m also getting ready to perform (with the Augusta Symphony) a Maine humor version of Peter and the Wolf."

Click here to see photos and read Jack's brief post.

Strange ball of light in western Maine

I found a new post online that relates a man's account with a strange light in the Maine woods back a couple of decades ago.
Western Maine Unusual Ball Of Fluorescent Light Travels Through The Forest
Posted: March 12, 2007

... I am a retired scientist and during my long camping trips in a remote area of western Maine, I like to read about natural science and try to put the pieces together. My son and I were on a trip about 25 years ago at that location during the winter. On a cold still night, we went for a walk after supper and as we walked down the road, a ball of fluorescent light, maybe 2 feet in diameter, crossed our path about 30 feet away. We were both quite surprised and watched it move off into the forest. We immediately looked for any signs in the fresh snow but found nothing. We proceeded down the road for a while, then turned to return.

When we approached the same area, the light appeared again, crossed our path and disappeared into the forest. At that point, my young son became scared since we were over 5 miles away from anyone else. I have never seen anything like it again and I often walk after dark. ... I don't think this experience qualifies as a UFO sighting but it was certainly unusual and unexplainable.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Portland Trainyard Ghost Rumor

I dug this one up on a Google cache of a currently offline ghost discussion board at, from an October 2006 conversation.
Has anyone heard anything about the old railroad round house on Presumpscot Street in Portland? Someone told me the other day that it was supposed to be haunted by an engineer that got crushed working on a train. Worked in that building for almost 4 years all hours of day and night and on weekends. Never heard anything except pipes clanging.
The same poster (dlspauld) later remarks "of course, it can't be checked now because it's the DMV office for Portland. Why do we find these things too late?" I'm not sure if this accurately portrays the round brick offices now being used by the DMV, I'll have to do a little more research. But it was an interesting snippet I wanted to share, nonetheless.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Old Congress Street Photo, Portland ME

Courtesy of Abraham Schechter, who runs the Portland Public Library's Portland Room. Abraham was excavating the storage room last year as he continued his campaign to revitalize and reorganize the Portland Room, and came across a stack of beautiful old glass negatives. He has kindly consented to share a sample of them with us, and here is a great one.

See if you can recognize this intersection on Congress Street in Portland. Abraham estimates the time period of the photo to be circa 1900-1910. Yet many of the buildings shown are still very much as they are today! Click on the photo for a larger version to inspect details.

For any of you interested in researching Maine history, the Portland Room is a one-of-a-kind resource, packed with books and documents with which to while away the hours in blissful historical research.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Hunting Ghosts in Wilton, Maine

Join intrepid Lewiston Sun Journal reporter Kathryn Skelton as she tails two of Maine's paranormal investigation teams (CMPI and CMRIP) in a survey of the premises of the Wilton Farm and Home Museum.

View the full article for access to a photo slideshow and video clips from the event. Here's a tidbit to whet your appetite, and a Sun Journal photo to boot.
One soul-searching night
By Kathryn Skelton , Staff Writer
Saturday, March 3, 2007

It was cold, and dark, and I-swear-one-of-the-mannequins-in- the-room-is-going-to-move-any-second creepy.

Jim Wetherell asked if any spirits were with us, and at that moment something touched the tiny microphone clipped to his chest.

Three minutes into the ghost hunt.

Maybe it was nothing. But maybe ...


Friday, March 09, 2007

Dead Presidents Walk Among Us!

Thomas Jefferson would like to be President of the United States again. Well, okay, he's August "Gus" Jaccaci, a Jefferson impersonator -- which is lucky for him, because Jefferson already served two terms! Kathryn Skelton, reporter for the Lewiston Sun Journal, tells us more. Full article available through "Source" link at end of excerpt.
Dead president: Vote for me
By Kathryn Skelton, Staff Writer
Friday, March 9, 2007

A Thomas Jefferson impersonator from New Gloucester will announce his write-in campaign for president of the United States today - as Thomas Jefferson.

He's got a platform and, he swears, plans for campaign swings through New Hampshire, Nevada and Iowa, all in character.
The kickoff is planned for noon at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., where Jaccaci said he has taught, coached and worked as assistant to the dean of admissions.
Jaccaci, who turns 70 today, said he "absolutely" expects he'll be taken seriously.

He boiled down his campaign themes to: "End war. Love nature. And know your neighbors."

And yes, he anticipates some ribbing.

"I've been doing this for 10 years and people have asked, 'What about Sally Hennings and why didn't you let your slaves go?' That's part of the dance; I'm always ready and willing and eager to deal with whatever the public wants to talk about."
"The current political scene needs somewhat of a radical facelift," Jaccaci said.

Become a Ghostbuster

Central Maine Reasearchers and Investigators of the Paranormal (CMRIP), one of Maine's official TAPS Family members, is looking for a few good members to join their group of ghosthunters. They are looking for field investigators and researchers. The guidelines for membership are posted on their website, here.

Jason Porter, lead investigator and founder of the group, states, "We have been around for about a year now and are looking for serious people that can make a commitment to the field of paranormal investigating."

The mission of the group is as follows: "Our goal in trying to prove whether or not ghosts exist is to gather and seek information on paranormal incidents to help us have a better understanding of ghosts and hauntings. In the process of reaching our goal we also wish to help any individuals experiencing problems with the paranormal." Services are provided at no charge to clients, although donations are accepted towards operating costs.

This announcement is posted as a public, informational service. Our blog is in no way affiliated with CMRIP. Other organized Maine paranormal groups are welcome to send their press info to us here for posting, we'd be glad to help spread the word when we can.

Bigfoot Rampage starts TONIGHT!

The Bigfoot Chronicles

It is the Fall of 1977. Cap Conner, experienced explorer of the unknown, leads his eight member team into the California woods in search of Bigfoot. Events arise during the expedition that cause the team to doubt that they're tracking a simple beast, and call into question the very nature of reality.

It's coming....
Running Over Productions' latest play:
The Bigfoot Chronicles
In the woods, everyone can hear you scream.

Performances will be at the Presumpscot Grange Hall,
March 9th & 10th, 15th & 16th, 23rd & 24th, 30th & 31st.
$10 admission, or $8 in advance (advance tickets available at all Bull Moose Music shops)
The Grange Hall is at 1844 Forest Avenue, across from Tortilla Flats.
FMI call (207)838-1821 or visit

I'll be there Saturday! Sounds like it's going to be a hell of a good time.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

$3 Dewey's Founder, Indiana Jones of Beer, Dies at 59

$3 Dewey's has been a Portland barscene mainstay since its founding in the early 1980s. The founder of the ale house, Alan Eames, was no less a character himself. Though he spent his life in Massachusetts and Vermont, he has left an indelible stamp in Maine, both in Portland's Old Port and on beer enthusiasts in general.

Thanks to the New England Anomaly mailing list for catching this!
The 'Indiana Jones of beer'
Monday, March 05, 2007

Dummerston, VT - Alan Eames, who cultivated his reputation as "the Indiana Jones of beer" by crawling into Egyptian tombs to read hieroglyphics about beer and voyaging along the Amazon in search of a mysterious lost black brew, died Feb. 10 at his home in Dummerston, Vt. He was 59.

His wife, Sheila, said he died after suffering respiratory failure while he slept.

Eames called himself a beer anthropologist, a role that allowed him to expound on subjects like what he put forward as the world's oldest beer advertisement, dating to roughly 4000 BC.

In it a Mesopotamian stone tablet depicted a headless woman with enormous breasts holding goblets of beer in each hand. The tagline, at least in his interpretation, was: "Drink Elba, the beer with the heart of a lion."

He explored similar topics in seven books, the best known of which was The Secret Life of Beer (1995), in myriad radio and television appearances and in speeches at colleges and other institutions. A typical title: Beer: A Gift from God, or the Devil's Training Wheels.

Eames, who followed the golden liquid to 44 countries, often told about his perilous trek high in the Andes in pursuit of an ancient brew made from strawberries the size of baseballs. Or about Aztecs forbidding drunkenness except among those 52
years of age or older. Or about accounts that said Norse ale was served with garlic to ward off evil.
His beer-related business ventures began in the mid-1970s with his acquisition of Gleason's Package Store in Templeton, Mass., near Gardner, which became known for its large beer selection. He conceived, designed and operated Three Dollar Dewey's Ale House in Portland, Me., and another with the same name in Brattleboro.
Alan Eames, who never learned to drive or use a computer, wrote his last article about witchcraft and beer. He himself stopped drinking the stuff eight years ago.
To read Eames' last article, about witches and their bubbling brew, please visit this site:
Eames makes a final note at the end of the article: "This article is dedicated to the memory of my ancestor, Rebecca Eames of Boxford, MA. She was condemned to death for witchcraft on September 17, 1692. Rebecca Eames was unique - not only confessing to having had sex with the Devil - but worse - having enjoyed it."

Also of interest is a mention of another presence that he founded: "Mr. Eames had a life-long passion for ghost stories. In the awful, Eames found strange beauty and of these things, he was a scholar without peer. He had great admiration for the author, HP Lovecraft. Together, he and his wife successfully created the Lovecraft in Vermont Festival in 2006 as a celebration of Lovecraft’s life and ties to Vermont." To hear a New Hampshire Public Radio piece about the festival, please click here.

A lover of animals, especially cats and turtles, Eames did his best by small creatures to the end. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Windham County Humane Society, 916 West River Road, Brattleboro, Vermont, 05301.

Friday, March 02, 2007

San Diego Dismemberment Murder

A Maine native, Allen Burton Hawes, was reported this morning on WCSH-6 News as being the victim of a vicious murder in San Diego, California.
Suspect In Murder Of Maine Native In Custody
The Boston Globe also had this to say:
Hawes, who has family in Maine, was shot to death sometime after Feb. 23, when he was seen on a surveillance camera in a supermarket checkout line, police said.
On Monday, his torso was found floating in the Otay River. Early Tuesday morning, a tow-truck driver discovered a head in a trash bag off Interstate 5, and a few hours later, a freeway crew found a hand on the side of a road about 3 miles away. Both are believed to be from Hawes' body.
A suspect has been arrested, though authorities still confess ignorance as to the motive of the killing. NBC SanDiego stated that "Police arrested Gerald Michael Nash, 61, Thursday at about 6:15 a.m. in front of the Ever So Naughty Adult Theater and pornography shop on Palm Avenue in Imperial Beach. Nash lived in a small house behind the shop and worked there until a couple of months ago, police said." [Source]

The NBC SanDiego link given above also features a slideshow, including grainy photos of the found body parts on site and a still from the store surveillance camera that showed the last documented contact between Hawes and the living world.