Tuesday, June 23, 2015

An Interview with the Courier Post concerning THE SEARCH FOR THE JERSEY DEVIL

An Interview with the Courier Post concerning THE SEARCH FOR THE JERSEY DEVIL

Here is the transcript version of the interview conducted by Steve Wood of the Courier Post Newspaper and Chris Chaos of Axis Video/Pine Barren Films:

Steve Wood of The Courier Post:
Why document the Jersey Devil?

Chris Chaos:
Out of all the cryptids he seems to be one of the least documented ones. Everybody knows who/what Bigfoot and the Loc Ness Monster is, but to people outside of New Jersey they usually do not know what he is. Since I live in NJ and have been following the legend for quite some time it only seems appropriate for me to make a film about the Jersey Devil.

Steve Wood of The Courier Post:
What do you hope to accomplish with this documentary?

Chris Chaos:
I hope to make it informatively entertaining; I wish to avoid the boring dry “throwing facts at you” kind of documentaries that are out there right now. Quite a few of the videos concerning the Jersey Devil seem to be a bit off base since they are produced by people not native to NJ and use a cookie cut formula when making their pieces on the various legends. Hopefully this will fuel his legend and bring the Jersey Devil lore to people that might not have heard of him. There are several versions of the origins of the Jersey Devil legends and we hope that we can bring to light and make them a little clearer. With a mixture of preserving legend, history and lore...with skepticism and science we hope to educate from several fronts.

Steve Wood of The Courier Post:
What’s the name of the documentary? When will it be ready? Where can people watch it?

Chris Chaos:
The documentary is called The Search for the Jersey Devil, I am hoping it will be ready for the public in either late 2015 or early 2016. We will be pushing it thru the various film festivals so hopefully one of them will pick it up and bring it nation or even worldwide, the film will also be available thru Amazon.com but at the very least people would be able to order it thru us at Axis Video. Teasers will be released throughout the editing process to Facebook, YouTube and various websites that cater to Cryptozoology.

Steve Wood of The Courier Post:
What has surprised you most during the making of this documentary?

Chris Chaos:
What surprised me the most was how many people that live (or have lived) in NJ actually believe in the Jersey Devil. Currently on camera we have interviewed about 20 people and spoke to dozens more and an overwhelming amount of people do think and believe that he exists. It is amazing how old the legend is, it has been around since the 1700’s and even has roots with the Lenape Tribe. It is interesting to try to figure out how the legend has evolved through the years and how many different versions there are attempting to explain the origins of the Jersey Devil.

Steve Wood of The Courier Post:
What’s the weirdest anecdote you’ve heard about the Jersey Devil?

Chris Chaos:
I would have to say the gentleman that we interviewed that owns a vegetable stand that claimed to have the bones of the Jersey Devil, and charges $1 to see them. We were driving around the back roads of the Pine Barrens getting B-roll for the film and we passed a stand that had a sign up that read “See the Jersey Devil Schull. $1” Yes, the spelling mistake was left intact. So we stopped and no one was there, we knocked on the door and a lady said to come back in about an hour when her husband returned. So we left and went to a local bar to wait. When we returned, sure enough the guy was there and was happy to show us these bones. He said many years ago his kids were in the Pine Barrens and came across the pile of bones and they brought them back to him. You will have to view our film to see them for yourself. Also he didn’t charge us the $1 to see the skull. What a deal!

Steve Wood of The Courier Post:
Some Philadelphians hate that tourists associate their city with Rocky Balboa, a fictional character. Some might say Pineland residents might feel the same way about the Jersey Devil. Thoughts on this?

Chris Chaos:
Some Pineland residents do feel that way, especially the residents of Leed’s Point NJ.
In part to Weird NJ and with the rise in popularity of paranormal shows the Jersey Devil has also appeared a little more in other mainstream television programming which has brought attention to this area which is supposed to be the town in which the Jersey Devil was born. So some of the rude tourists come to town and trespass on other peoples properties looking for the Jersey Devil. Also in some of the tv shows the residents of the Pine Barrens are portrayed as backwards hill billies. So from that you can see how they might be hostile to tourists. But then on the other hand some people are happy to talk about the Jersey Devil and keep his legend alive, he is a great conversational topic.

Steve Wood of The Courier Post:
Do you believe in the Jersey Devil?

Chris Chaos:
I do feel the legend was based on some sort of historical occurrence. I do not feel that a beast described as the Jersey Devil is flying around the state. New Jersey is the most densely packed state and I feel that there would be more video or photographic evidence. I think the legend is a combo of maybe a baby being born with a deformity or birth defect and possibly sightings of a Hammerhead Bat, whose face does eerily resemble popular pictures of the Jersey Devil. Although the bat is native to Africa and not NJ, it is possible that someone had this bat as an exotic pet and it got out. Other natural wildlife that might have been confused for the Jersey Devil is the Sandhill Crane or the Great Horned Owl. It is just hard to believe that one single creature has been hiding in NJ since the 1700’s or that a species has eluded detection for this long.

Steve Wood of The Courier Post:
Whether the Jersey Devil exists or not, what does the urban legend mean to the Pinelands and to the state?

Chris Chaos:
The Jersey Devil is our official state demon, he is used in our Professional Hockey teams logo and imagery, he is deeply associated with the state of NJ. There are a few of us still out there keeping his legend and lore alive.

Additional info:

Official Facebook page for the film:

(Chris Chaos is a long time resident of South Jersey who once again resides in and writes from Gloucester City, New Jersey. He is a filmmaker, a business owner, writer, urban explorer and investigator of the odd and weird, a proud parent, happily taken and a connoisseur of hot wings. Chris can be reached at AxisVideo@aol.com) 

Chris Chaos

Axis Video/Pine Barren Films
PO BOX 551
Gloucester, NJ 08030


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

What is this Strange Creature?

by Chris Chaos

A strange creature turned up in Malaysia and has been making the rounds in various Paranormal and Cryptozoology groups across the internet the last few weeks. Many wild claims have been made as to what this creature actually is. But applying a little due diligence, common sense and the appropriate amount of skepticism we can get to the bottom of the identity of this creature.

Here is the video of the animal slowly crawling away from the workers after they beat it, claiming it attacked them:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXXLWboLufM (Video uploaded by AGEN 007 on youtube)

Some are actually comparing it to the character from Lords of the Ring, Smeagol/Gollum and others quickly jumped in and claimed it was the Chupacabra.

Australian 9 News reported:
“The unusual animal that looks like a tailless dog crossbred with a monkey was caught on camera by a group of Indonesian workers last Friday. One of the group who saw the beast said workers were shocked when the animal launched itself at them.”

The workers claimed that this creature lunged at them from the jungle, the workers then proceeded to beat the animal and then started filming it.

From the Gralien Report:

Micah Hanks of The Gralien Report had this to say, "it appears obvious that this footage shows nothing more than animal abuse, and the Malaysian workers who filmed it may have been genuinely curious or frightened by what they have seen (and filmed), the animal appears to be in no condition to have presented a threat to them. This is far more than just a novelty or "weird news" item....it raises questions about ethics, and deplorable treatment of wildlife."

Now onto another strange "beast" that has been circulating the internet the last few weeks. The "creature" in this picture is actually a bear namedDelores from a German zoo. Some stated that it was a werewolf, the Chupacabra or far worse, but it is just a Sun Bear with a skin disease from Germany. Possibly a bad diet is the cause of the hair loss. Turns out the bear is actually a Sun Bear (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_bear)

From the respected National Geographic site:

Image of a shaved bear

From the Likes.com website:  "Yikes! Bears are usually ferocious and scary at the best of times when stumbled upon in the wild, so you can imagine the shock and horror of finding this freaky-looking female bear! We hate to admit it, but under all that fur is something that ain't so pretty...Luckily, this bear is currently living in a German zoo, so you're not going to run into her in the wild anytime soon. But why is she bald, you ask? Experts have been baffled by a case of the bears at this German zoo all losing their hair. Somebody get these bears some fresh fruit and vegetables, because experts believe the bears are lacking in nutrition, hence the unsightly baldness!"
(SOURCE: http://likes.com/comedy/do-you-recognize-these-animals-without-hair)

Usually when something presents itself as extremely odd or perplexing, there is almost always a rational explanation once you do your homework.

(Chris Chaos is a long time resident of South Jersey who once again resides in and writes from Gloucester City, New Jersey. He is a filmmaker, a business owner, writer, urban explorer and investigator of the odd and weird, a proud parent, happily taken and a connoisseur of hot wings. Chris can be reached at AxisVideo@aol.com)

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Racism or.....

by Chris Chaos

Dictionary.com defines racism as:
the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.

I have been working on a psychological social experiment (that will be documented into a book) that centers on perceived racism and have ran quite a few tests with multiple configurations looking for various outcomes. The conclusion is fast becoming that people are not necessarily racist (hatred/dislike toward people of different races) but just have a general disregard towards ANYONE different than themselves. For an example, if one was to target a person to bully/harass or pick on, once they have a target they take the biggest different  (race, sex, weight, style, height etc) between themselves and their target and they center on that feature for their attack.

For an example:
If person A is white and person B is black they would resort to racist name calling.
If person A is thin and person B is over weight they would call the person fat.
If person A is male and person B is female they would call her a bitch or something anti-female oriented.
If person A does not have glasses and person B does, they would call that person four eyes.

This concept that we refer to as racism is inbred into us, genetic and biological, just look to nature to see how one specie wages war against another. Every animal is food for a competing animal. Even the largest animals that have no natural predators, nor humans who think they are at the top of the food chain, fall to the tiny and lowly viruses and bacteria.

This all seems so kindergarten, but this small mindedness carries over from childhood into adulthood resulting in temper tantrums for the frustrated.

The location where most arguments occur and can be observed is the comment section of ANY webpage (and especially on popular social media sites). There are hundreds of thousands , so you can get a nice cross section of topics and of society by going to specifically topiced sites and observe.

The formula for the people seems to be:
1) go to a website
2) read the headline
3) look at the pictures
4) skip or skim the article
5) form a quick opinion
6) go to comment section and vent all frustrations
7) wait for response
8) bash people that do not agree with your opinion

In my experience of witnessing and observing what was mentioned above I see the offenders (when they get to the step of bashing) start personal attacks based on what was said and also based upon the appearance of their profile picture/avatar. Men bashing woman, blacks bashing whites, the young bashing the old or even just bashing someone because of the shirt they are wearing.

With the recent incident in Ferguson, MO I have seen a rise in racist comments on websites, from whites it is usually in reaction to the targeting of whites by blacks in the form of rioting or getting revenge by attacking them. From blacks it usually is in the form of protest (whether directed properly or not) against white cops killing or beating blacks.

Bottom line is people dislike others that differ too much from themselves. If you are not from the tribe and do not fit in, you are out. Rejected like foreign bacteria in the human body.

Once all results from this social experiment are in and weighed they will be compiled and become available to the public.


(Chris Chaos is a long time resident of South Jersey who once again resides in and writes from Gloucester City, New Jersey. He is a filmmaker, a business owner, writer, urban explorer and investigator of the odd and weird, a proud parent, happily taken and a connoisseur of  hot wings. Chris can be reached at AxisVideo@aol.com)

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Scientific Logic Applied to Paranormal Investigating

by Chris Chaos

Here we will apply scientific knowledge and administer it to some popular misconceptions that currently plague the paranormal world. Let us take action and restore some sensibility to the community once again and shake this reality TV mentality. It is our duty to educate the masses, but be forewarned, you can lead a horse to water but you cannot force him to drink it. We will start this off with mentioning the tools that many novice "ghost hunters" tend to gravitate towards due to their portrayal in popular paranormal and ghost hunting television shows.

In short, no. Those mentioned tools were designed with specific scientific uses in mind and the Ouija Board is obviously a toy intended for entertainment purposes only.

The most popular and main stay of the ghost hunter or psychic tools. It is claimed that using the board you can contact and summon ghosts or long dead relatives. What most people that experience a positive movement (assuming no one is intentionally moving the Ouija) with a board are experiencing is called the ideomotor effect, it is the influence of suggestion or expectation on involuntary and unconscious motor behavior. So if the participants using an Ouija Board are expecting for it to move due to a ghost intervening...then it will most likely occur. The board was a parlor trick and marketed as a game for many years. For more information concerning the Ouija board see our previous article at: http://allthingsweird88.blogspot.com/2015/01/ouija.html

The Ouija Board

EMF (Electric and magnetic fields) DETECTOR:
A staple for the beginner ghost hunter and is sold in cookie cut ghost hunting kits, is an EMF meter. They feel that if they use one in a haunted location it will alert them when a ghost is present.

Some detectors have Magnetic, Electric, and Radio/microwave Detection All in One Package that feature Omni-directional electric and magnetic sensitivity. A Meter will measure EMF "pollution" from these "hot spots" in your home, office, or work environment so you can take steps for "prudent avoidance": poorly grounded wiring, microwave oven doors, dimmer switches, strong analog RF transmitters, automobiles, TV's & computers, and other electronic equipment.

The more expensive meters are for people that need them in the construction or related business, but there are cheaper ones that are marketed to unsuspecting ghost hunters and sold in kits.

High levels of EMF signals to an amateur ghost hunter translates to ghosts being present, but in real life the emissions are dangerous to people and long term exposure could lead to vertigo, headaches and other disorienting effects that could lead a homeowner to think that their house is haunted.

Check here for some health concerns related to EMFs: www.emfcenter.com/emffaqs.htm#B4.%20What%20are%20the%20health%20concerns
 EMF Detector

Using a standard EMF meter you can measure both AC electric and magnetic fields in a wide range of strengths, and you can measure RF radiation from a microwave. But you CANNOT measure RF from other common devices like wireless devices (phones, computer routers, mice and keyboards, baby monitors, etc.). For those devices, you need a specialty RF meter.

When in a location a spike in EMF levels are not necessarily proof positive that there is ghost activity, being too close to any electronic device that emits a signal can cause this. Some questions  that you may wish to ask yourself prior to jumping the gun when a spike in EMF signals are detected are: Is the microwave on, is there a cell phone in the room, is there an older TV on site? All of these can cause spikes in EMF signals.

Some ghost hunters claim that when a ghost is present the temperature will drop and using this tool will indicate exactly where the ghost is dependent on where the temperature drop occurred.

The device fits into your hand like a gun, you squeeze the trigger and a laser beam (all the ones that I have used are red) comes out and hits at the surface aimed at and reports back the temperature it hit. Most guns measure in Celsius or Fahrenheit (Range: -32 to +380 C / -26 to +716 F)

There are many things in the common modern home that could change temperatures, there are obvious ones, like a window open, the heat/air is on, TVs, electronics, mirrors/glass, animals, fans and different surfaces have different textures that can possibly hold heat differently.

Ghost hunters claim that if used in the dark and a ghost passes through the grid it will break it alerting you of their presence. In theory this actually would work since the laser is a light and anything with substance, mass or the ability to bend light would disrupt the beam.

Many of the amateurs only use these tools simply because they say them on their favor ghost hunting show on reality TV. They fail to recognize that these shows are strictly for entertainment purposes and are light on the science and heavy on stardom and commercialism.

Too many of those involved in "Ghost Hunting" were inspired by the modern reality shows of the same topic. The viewers see how "exciting" the shows make it seem and how easy it is to obtain evidence with low end equipment. For the most part, the average person is using pseudo-scientific methods over the scientific approach. Again this is partly due in fact to the TV shows presenting misleading and false methods and accumulation of evidence for mere entertainment purposes.

When the amateur investigator "investigates" a location they usually enter the situation with a few preconceived notions (that the location is haunted) and go down the path of confirmation bias. This is, if they think a house is haunted they will only look for and pay attention to any evidence that is positive and ignore the negative evidence. Also known as "cherry picking" this confirmation bias produces misleading conclusions. Personal biases also affect the outcome due to the fact that the researcher will favor their own opinions and go stronger in an attempt to prove it. For an example, Orbs (usually dust) and E.V.P.s are favorites explanations of the beginner researchers to prove that a location is haunted.

EVPs (Electronic Voice Phenomena) are another venue of "evidence" that amateur ghost hunters look for when trying to prove there is a ghost at a location. They take an audio recording at a location and ask questions (towards the ghost), later on they listen to the recording and try to see if they hear any voices responding. Usually the audio is recorded on consumer grade low end equipment and also they usually fail to take proper safe guards to make sure there is clear audio and no interference or voices of other ghost hunters being picked up in the recording.

Here is our previous article concerning EVPs: http://allthingsweird88.blogspot.com/2015/05/orbs-and-evps.html

Paranormal Activity

Many people that are not scientifically trained will call something that they cannot readily explain, paranormal. As with many things in life there is usually a logical explanation to everything that happens. But too many people are too quick to jump to conclusions and call an unknown occurrence paranormal if they cannot readily identify the cause. With proper research and asking questions to people that may hold the answers usually will explain what was happening. If a person is primed with the info that they are at a haunted location then they will cherry pick all positive finds, ignoring the negative and interpret them as a ghost at the location. They will attempt to use the exact same tools and visit the same locations  that were featured in a TV show and add nothing in the way of investigating allowing the show's results to influence their own "research" method.

Some watch a TV show or read a website and instantly become "masters of science" and feel that they can take common electronics or items marketed to amateur ghost hunters, go out into the field and find evidence of ghosts. This comes down to a misunderstanding of how the equipment operates and also of how science works. For an example some may use an E.M.F (Electro-Magnetic Field Meter) to see if there is ghostly activity, but it is flawed right off the bat when they are carrying other pieces of equipment that put off EMF signals such as cameras and other common electronic items in a house or building.

Others use thermal imagers or laser heat detectors and think that a change in temperature is the sign of a ghostly specter, not taking into account drafty windows, air conditioning, warm electrical equipment and other items in a location that could alter temperature. Laser grid pens have been renamed Ghost Laser Grid Pens and claim that if aimed in a dark room it will detect the presence of a ghost if one of the grids becomes broken. Many people are misled by these TV shows and popular movies portraying ghosts, not realizing that they are strictly for entertainment and usually not based in science.

Skeptic: a person who questions the validity or authenticity of something purporting to be factual.
Some people misinterpret what a skeptic is. A number of times they do not understand the role and either loathe it or overcompensate and attempt to disprove EVERYTHING.

But being a skeptic does not mean that you HAVE to or are obligated to disprove a claim. It just means that you will not take something at face value and will investigate the evidence and try to duplicate it to confirm/disprove the claim. Alternate explanations should also be explored and applied, remember the scientific method:

Formulation of a question
external review
data recording and sharing

The Scientific Method procedure is complex and can take a great deal of time to execute properly.  The burden of proof is placed on the person that made the claim. Being a skeptic and debunking claims does not automatically qualify you as a scientist or that you are being scientific as with believing all evidence with faith.


State the Problem

Find out about the topic

Predict the outcome to the problem

Develop a procedure to test the hypothesis

Record the results of the experiment

Compare the hypothesis to the experiments conclusion

Make sure the experiment and results can be repeated by others

There is an odd mindset among ghost hunters that ghosts only come out at night when it is dark out..or that ghosts hang out in dark basements, graveyards or other places that people collectively find creepy. But think about it, a ghost, who in theory, is a deceased person, would they prefer to hang out in the comfy living room or a dank basement? This is just a play of a natural fear that humans have, the dark and the unknown. You cannot see in the dark and it masks whatever may be there.
But investigating in the dark will distort your perceptions and if you are recording with a (video/digital) camera, will impede results despite the fact that it may have night vision.

Some investigators fool themselves and take the word and the memory recollections of the witnesses that they interview as reliable or foolproof.

There have been many studies conducted over the years that indicates that human memory is not perfect, it is not an exact copy of what actually happened, memory can be corroded, decayed and influenced by time, perception and interpretation. When fight or flight response kicks in it can really distort realty for the person witnessing the event.

(1) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method

(Chris Chaos is a long time resident of South Jersey who once again resides in and writes from Gloucester City, New Jersey. He is a filmmaker, a business owner, writer, urban explorer and investigator of the odd and weird, a proud parent, happily taken and a connoisseur of hot wings. Chris can be reached at AxisVideo@aol.com)