Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Political Creepy Clowns Cartoons Connections Continue

The linkages between political cartoons of Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and the Phantom Clowns/Stalking Clowns/Creepy Clowns epidemic of 2016 continues.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Phantom Clowns: All News Is Local

The International Cryptozoology Museum has a current exhibit on the differences between Phantom Clowns (coined by me in 1981) & Stalking Clowns.

"All news is local."

The Creepy Clown Epidemic is global. But all stories begin locally, and even national stories are written to reflect the local angle, as the old adage conveys.

Coverage can be national and local. What happens when even your hometown newspaper - in this case from the same publisher whose papers I delivered as a paperboy to over a hundred homes in the 1960s - catches up with the phenomenon?

DECATUR – Coulrophobia – a morbid fear of clowns – is spreading across the nation like a flu outbreak, and its symptoms are infecting people in Central Illinois.
Decatur police have received several calls from Facebook users worried about threatening messages that pop up, accompanied by pictures of clowns. These have turned out to be hoaxes but they are part of a coast-to-coast pattern of scary clown sightings and reports of clowns frightening people, most proving false but some real, that are intensifying as Halloween approaches.
“Social media causes stuff like this to just blow up and get way out of proportion,” said police Sgt. Chris Copeland. “I even heard that somewhere down in the south part of the country, and this might be another rumor floating around Facebook, someone actually got shot while wearing a clown suit.”
Copeland said people have a legal right to dress as whomever, or whatever, they want for Halloween. But he urges caution on where you wear a clown suit and how you behave, and says this might be a very good year to make another costume choice.
And he also has a word of warning for coulrophobia sufferers: don't overreact. Copeland has seen aggressive messages on Facebook targeting clowns and threatening to wipe the smile off their faces with violence.
“I would also like to caution anyone thinking that, just because someone is wearing a clown suit, that gives reasonable cause to shoot them or kill them,” added Copeland. “That is not the case.”
Nationwide news reports on the scary clown phenomena have quoted instances of schools being locked down on reports of clowns wandering the campus. Rolling Stone magazine featured an interview with author Loren Coleman, a Decatur native, who wrote about something he called “Phantom Clown Theory” in his 1981 [sic ~ the coining was in 1981, the book was published in 1983] Mysterious America.
Coleman is quoted as saying stories about clowns trying to lure children have persisted for years and can warp into a mass hysteria.
Professional clowns, meanwhile, are feeling the pain: both in their wallets as bookings get canceled and in fear for their own safety. One group met in Tucson, Ariz., recently to stage a costumed protest march called “Clown Lives Matter.” A flier for the event said: “The march is a peaceful way to show clowns are not psycho killers ... Come out, bring the family, meet a clown and get a hug!”
Decatur Police Chief Jim Getz, watching the clown scare roll across the internet, said he's not seen anything like this before. “As good as the social media can be for some things, it can be just as detrimental in other ways,” he said.
Clowning around isn't so funny now by Tony Reid, Herald & Review, Decatur, Illinois, October 11, 2016.
Rolling Stone has mentioned me, at least twice, in their recent clown articles:

"'Killer Clowns': Inside the Terrifying Hoax Sweeping America: Clowns have been spotted lurking in woods from South Carolina to upstate New York," By Suzanne Zuppello, September 29, 2016.
The Phantom Clowns, as they were dubbed by cryptozoologist Loren Coleman given their allusive nature, spread to Kansas City, Denver, Omaha, and Pennsylvania. Since the 1980s, clowns have made appearances across the country, usually in the weeks and months leading up to Halloween.

Coleman's phantom clown theory is rooted in the "primal dread that so many children experience in their presence."
In his 1981 [sic ~ 1983] book Mysterious America, cryptozoologist Loren Coleman coined the phrase "Phantom Clown Theory," which refers to the way a few sightings of clowns 'luring' children into vans, cars and forests can turn into mass hysteria – even though no clowns are ever actually caught. He says that, though this phenomenon has existed for over 30 years, the recent spate has become worse because of social media.

"The initial sightings were classic Phantom Clowns," Colman tells Rolling Stone, referring to the early reports in South Carolina. "Then, this was then diluted by 'Stalking Clowns': real people dressing up to scare, be seen and be photographed." There is a real danger here – just not where one might expect. "Place this 'Clown Sightings' flap in the middle of an extremely violent year, with so many guns available, and you are going to have potentially dangerous events occurring," he says. "Not for the 'Phantom Clowns' but for the human 'Stalking Clowns' who will be the targets of angry, scared citizens." 
Coleman's prediction is becoming reality. Last week, students at both Pennsylvania State University and Nashville's Belmont University announced campus-wide search parties for clowns after sightings were reported on both campuses. But an amusing evening turned potentially grim as students armed themselves with bats during the march. One student leader "underestimated the power of hysteria" that their marches against clowns would stir up. While those searches luckily stayed peaceful, videos from elsewhere, under the tag #ClownLivesMatter, show people encountering clowns, who appear non-threatening aside from their creepy ensemble, and beating them up. One video even shows a clown being beaten senseless with a baseball bat.

Other recent interviews and mentions of my past research include:

"How a Maine-based Bigfoot expert found himself at the center of the national clown frenzy," by Dugan Arnett, Boston Globe, October 7, 2016. 

The article is an extensive overview of a long interview with me, as well as containing a quote from a key member of the Museum's staff.
As assistant museum director Jeff Meuse puts it, “It’s been quite a frenzy with him trying to make sure that everyone gets a little piece of Loren Coleman.”
Please see entire article.

"Creepy clown trend dates back to ’80s, but this time it’s different," by Dean Balsamini and Melkorka Licea, New York Post, October 9, 2016.

Cryptozoologist Loren Coleman (Photo credit: Jenny Coleman)
But while the clown craze is disturbing, it’s mostly harmless and nothing new, says cryptozoologist Loren Coleman, an “investigator of human and animal mysteries” and author of 35 books.
He traced the phenomenon to Massachusetts in 1981, when children reported evil clowns attempting to lure them into vans.
The clowns were never seen by adults.
“There were no arrests, no photographs, no evidence and no abductions,” Coleman told The Post.
Soon after, the “phantom clowns,” as Coleman calls them, turned up in Providence, RI, Kansas City, Mo., Omaha, Neb., Denver, and Pittsburgh.
At the time, Coleman was working as director of the Charlestown office of the Massachusetts Department of Social Services. He wrote to 400 “fellow researchers and writers,” wondering if they had heard of the “unexplained phenomenon.”
The feedback revealed there had been similar reports in local papers. “That was the mystery. How do people in different parts of the country have the same experience? There was no internet or wire stories or national stories about this phenomenon,” said Coleman, who wrote about the sightings in his book Mysterious America.
To this day, the 1981 “phantom clowns” remain a “total mystery.”
“There are long stretches where nothing happens,” Coleman said, noting minor sightings from Phoenix in 1985, and South Orange and Belleville, NJ, in 1991.
There have been other examples. If I thought the 1981 wave of Phantom Clown sightings were widespread, nothing could have prepared me for 2016's spread of both Phantom Clowns and Stalking Clowns events.

Channel WCSH6/NBC TV's Katie Bavoso reports live from the Phantom Clown exhibit at the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Classic Phantom Clowns Cases: Pre-2016

The following is my chronological analysis of past "Phantom Clowns" flaps, from 1981 until the beginning of the current 2016 "epidemic," as Wikipedia entitles it..  The phrase "Phantom Clowns" was coined by me (Loren Coleman) based on my research on the first major wave in 1981. It was initially used in my 1982 article of with that title, in the Chicago-based national publication, Fate Magazine, before appearing in subsequent books, including the 1983 compilation pictured above.

The comic book, Scooby Doo Where Are You!, Gold Key #9, from Hanna-Barbera, "Phantom Clown," appeared in 1971, as I would discover decades after I independently coined the phrase for the 1981 mystery abduction phenomenon.

(Please note, this list does not include the "Stalking Clowns" events that also have been reported in recent years. See "Phantom Clowns: Classified" for the definitions separating "Phantom Clowns" from "Stalking Clowns.")

All the following are reports of non-photographed, uncaught clowns sighted by children and reported to be attempting to abduct or "bother" children.

1981, May:

Brookline - two clowns - black older van, ladder on side, one headlight broken
Boston (Roxbury, Jamaica Plain) - men in clown suits - black van
East Boston - clowns - vans
Charlestown - clowns - vans
Cambridge - clowns - vans
Canton - clowns - vans
Randolph - clowns - vans
"other cities" near Boston - clowns - vans

Rhode Island
Providence - clowns - vans

Kansas City - a clown in a black shirt with a devil on it, black pants with candy canes down the side of each leg, with a sword - yellow van

Kansas City - a clown with a knife - yellow van (six different school; 12 incidents)

Omaha - clowns  - vans

Denver - clowns - vans

1981, June:

Pittsburgh (Hill District) - two clowns - van
Pittsburgh (Garfield neighborhood, Allegheny Cemetery) -  rabbit-costumed individual - blue van
Arlington Heights - clown, costumed characters - vehicle

Story stayed out of the national news until this Associated Press story of June 11, 1981.

Source for 1981 cases: Loren Coleman, Mysterious America: The Ultimate Guide to the Nation's Weirdest Wonders, Strangest Spots, and Creepiest Creatures, Chapter, "Phantom Clowns" (Boston & London: Faber & Faber, 1983; New York: Paraview, 2001; New York: Simon and Schuster, 2007); Fate Editors’ The World’s Strangest Stories, “Phantom Clowns,” (Chicago: Clark Publishing, 1983).

1985, March: 

Phoenix - clowns

1991, June:

New Jersey
South/West Orange - clown - van
Belleville - clown with a machete and an Uzi machine gun - van

Source for 1985 and 1991 cases: Jan Harold Brunvand, "Someone Keeps Sending in the Phantom Clowns," Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Utah, August 9, 1991.


Scotland - clown - blue van

Source for 1991 case: Sandy Hobbs and David Cornwell, "Killer Clowns and Vampires: Children's Panics in Contemporary Scotland," in Supernatural Enemies (Durham: Carolina Academic Press, 2001).

1995, October:

Tegucigalpa - clowns - ambulances/cars
San Pedro Sula - clowns - ambulances/cars

Source for 1995 case: Gillian Bennett, Bodies: Sex, Violence, Disease, and Death in Contemporary Legend (Oxford: University of Mississippi Press, 2005).

2000, June:

Fitchburg - clown in blackface - on foot, luring into woods

Source for 2000 case: Loren Coleman, Mysterious America: The Ultimate Guide to the Nation's Weirdest Wonders, Strangest Spots, and Creepiest Creatures, Chapter, "Phantom Clowns" (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2007).

2008, October:

Chicago (South Side, Wicker Park) - a clown - white or brown van

Source for 2008 case: Loren Coleman, "Phantom Clowns Are Back," October 17, 2008.

2012, April:

Idaho Falls - clown - red SUV

Source for 2012 case: Loren Coleman, "Idaho Phantom Clown Incident," April 28, 2012.

2012, December:

New York
Red Hook - man in black ski mask - van

Source for 2012 case: Loren Coleman, "Red Hook's Mask + Van Incident," December 28, 2012.

2015, October:

Kent - clown - van

Source for 2015 case: Benjamin Radford, Bad Clowns (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico, 2016); Loren Coleman, "Phantom Clowns of 2015, Copycats of 1981?" (October 19, 2015).

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Creepy Clown Considerations

The Daily Mail mapped out what clown reports they had gathered, as of October 1, 2016. There are many more than these.

Thirty-five years ago, the phrase "Phantom Clowns" was added to my twilight language lexicon, when the actual "Phantom Clowns" appeared in America. I wrote about them, in depth, in Mysterious America

For those who have been wondering about my recent silence, in the midst of these days of heightened clown sightings, a word or two.

I have been traveling for weeks now, giving talks at conferences and festivals. While my presentations have centered on cryptozoological subjects, people have often wanted to discuss the epidemic of clown appearances. I am keenly aware this is a topic of interest to many folks.

My journeys have taken me from Point Pleasant, West Virginia, to Niagara Falls, New York, and then on to Minerva, Ohio, as well as from the Berkshires of Massachusetts to upcoming events in Minnesota and Wisconsin. I have watched with much interest the explosion in the "Phantom Clowns" incidents, and the confusion by the media with the "Stalking Clowns" accounts.

I need to be in one location (home in Portland, Maine) to analyze, track, and compile what has been happening. Please be patient with me. I will get to this important work.

I have kept in reserve some contributions that I will use from a few of you, including links being sent my way.

The input has been overwhelming. For example, reportedly, there are 30 sites in Ohio alone where "clowns" of one kind or another have been "sighted."

Vocativ's image of a "Phantom Clown" may be a bit too cheery, compared to the luring clowns reported.

There are also accounts of a deadly school shooting, a clown-related death, and perhaps harm done to someone in a clown costume. Is there a predictive link between the clowns and school violence? I hope to capture some newsworthy items here, in the near future, and ponder their linkages.

Rolling Stone's horrific "Phantom Clown" image is much scarier than most descriptions of the "real" ones seen.

I have also noticed that the alternative and mainstream media - Atlas Obscura, Seeker,  VocativWashington Post, New York Times, Rolling Stone, ReasonThe Conversation, Quartz, and others - have jumped in with overview "Phantom Clowns" articles, often quoting me.

I am grateful that there has been all due acknowledgment of my 1981 coining of the phrase "Phantom Clowns," and the realization that the 1981 cases came a half-decade before Stephen King's IT, published in 1986.

It is intriguing to read that I "came up with something called “The Phantom Clown Theory,” which attributes the proliferation of clown sightings to mass hysteria (usually sparked by incidents witnessed only by children)." Source, The Conversation, September 28, 2016.

Credit: J. D. Crowe

Also, there does seem to be a growing awareness that the "coincidence" of these clown sightings in this 2016 election year may, indeed, be synchromystic.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Strip Mall Nazi Shooting

Houston lawyer wearing a Nazi uniform— evidently facing issues with his firm — opened fire near a strip mall, wounding nine people before he was shot dead by police, authorities said.

Shots rang out around 6:30 a.m. local time on September 26, 2016, in southwest Houston near an intersection's strip mall, with a grocery store, Walgreens and Chuck E. Cheese.

The attacker, identified by local media as 46-year-old local attorney Nathan Desai, used a tree near his car for cover as he exchanged gunfire with several officers in a nearby neighborhood before he was killed, officials said at an afternoon press conference.

Six people were hospitalized with gunshot wounds following the shooting — including one person in critical condition and another in serious condition. Three others had minor injuries from broken glass.

More Nazi material was found in the suspect's car.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

2nd Macy's Mall Attack in Week

Two mass attacks - one a mass stabbing and the other a mass shooting - have taken place within a week in two separate shopping malls' Macy's.

On September 23, 2016, at around 7:00 p.m., an allegedly "Hispanic appearing" man carrying a rifle entered the Macy's at the Cascade Mall, Burlington, Washington State. He opened fire, resulting in the eventual deaths of four women and one man. He was not captured or shot.

The suspect is still at large.

On September 17, 2016, a mass stabbing occurred at the Crossroads Center shopping mall in St. CloudMinnesota. Ten people were injured, and the attacker was shot dead inside the mall by an off-duty law enforcement officer.


At about 8:15 on the evening of September 17, an individual began stabbing patrons inside the Crossroads Center shopping mall. Before the spree ended, ten people were injured, three of whom were hospitalized with non-life-threatening wounds. Reports said the attacker made references to Allah and asked at least one person if they were Muslim.shot aThe attacker was shot and killed inside the mall's Macy's store by Jason Falconer, an off-duty police officer from nearby Avon, Minnesota.


The attacker was identified as Dahir A. Adan, age 22, a member of St. Cloud's Somali-American community who was born in Kenya and moved to the U.S. at the age of two. Adan was described by a community spokesman as having no record of violence, and as a good student throughout his educational career at Apollo High School. He had last attended St. Cloud State University in the spring of 2016. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

NY Bombing: Of Chelsea and 23

The Chelsa dumpster has the number 1323 on its side. This is dumpster in which the bomb exploded on 23rd Street. The pressure cooker bomb No. 2 was found on 27th Street.

Let me share a comment from Tom Mellett:

One name for the game and several synchropinquities to note and finally a number coincidence.

The name is of course Chelsea, since the one bomb exploded on 23rd St between 6th and 7th Aves in Manhattan and the second one was discovered on 27th St in the neighborhood of Manhattan known as Chelsea. It might seem too obvious to link the Chelsea neighborhood with the person Chelsea Clinton, but that's where the first close synchropinquity comes in.

You see, Chelsea Clinton lives just 1/3 of a mile from the first blast – as the Google Maps crow flies. In NYC distance reckoning, we speak of blocks, so she lives just 3 blocks north and 2 blocks East of the bomb blast. (My own leeway for a true synchropinquity is a half mile, so she is well within that zone.)
Chelsea herself does not live in Chelsea, but in the area known as the Flatiron District, so named for the iconic Flatiron Building, whose cross section resembles the acute right triangle of the old fashioned flatiron used to iron clothes before the electric steam iron came along. It is located E-W between 5th Ave. and Broadway, and N-S between 22nd and 23rd St, with its sharp point looking north.
Its address 175 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010
Let us now locate the 3 points on the map that, when connected by the Measure Distance tool on Google Maps (Right Click Menu), creates an acute triangle that looks eerily similar to the triangle of the Flatiron Building

[1] site of exploded bomb outside 131 West 23 St., NY, NY 10011
[2] site of unexploded bomb outside 135 West 27 St.NY, NY 10011
[3] Chelsea Clinton's address: 21East 26th St., NY, NY 10010 
Finally, the number coincidence is 23. 
The bomb blast took place on West 23rd St, just 1/4 mile from the “apex” of the Flatiron Building on East 23rd St.

For starters, I give you the wiki for the “23 enigma,” inspired by the chapter in the Robert Anton Wilson book Cosmic Trigger I: The Final Secret of the Illuminati.

23 is a number associated with the Greek goddess, Eris --- in Latin: Discordia, the goddess of strife and chaos.

Tom Mellett
Los Angeles, CA

PS Almost forgot! Chelsea's home was in the news last week, since her mother Hillary went there in lieu of a hospital ER after her fainting spell at the 9/11 memorial.