April 17, 2007

VA Tech’s Garuda


I shall be accused of having assembled lies, yarns, hoaxes, and superstitions. To some degree I think so, myself. To some degree I do not. I offer the data.Charles Fort

Credit: Gary Varvel

I cannot ignore the tragedy that happened yesterday. This week opened on April 16, with Patriots’ Day in New England and Holocaust Remembrance Day throughout the world. Now, forever, also this date will be recalled for the horror and evil that visited Virginia Tech. I will not spend too much time here, as I have posted my initial thoughts on my Copycat Effect blog about this awful event.

My condolences to all the families, friends, and victims of this school shooting.

There is one Fortean coincidence that startled me this morning about the VA Tech situation. The school’s mascot, the Hokie Bird is referred to as “Blacksburg’s own Garuda.” From a Fortean cryptozoological point of view, of course, the “Garuda” is linked to Mothman, deaths, and sinister happenings. I posted about this on March 6, 2007, mentioning that John A. Keel wanted his book The Mothman Prophecies entitled The Year of the Garuda.

John Keel

John A. Keel, in 2002, speaking with reporters about how his Garuda, Mothman, came to the big screen.

I received criticism from a few comment makers here for pointing out two days ago the new Mothman deaths in Point Pleasant, and a month ago for pondering the Garuda links to tragedies. I guess for me to not mention these “coincidential” or “folkloric” links would be acting like they don’t exist, and that I am not aware of the not-to-subtle links. You can do what you want with this information. I just report these tidbits, as I’m sure Charles Fort would say.

At the least, this is a horrifying bit of synchronicity, as Chris Woodyard remarked in our exchange this morning about the Hokie Bird/Garunda info.

Images of the VA Tech’s Hokie Bird football mascot are comic, of course, and appear weirdly out-of-place here, perhaps. But you can see their bizarre overt bipedal avian characteristics, which might remind one of a prankster Mothman, a truly American Garuda. It is hard to invent these kinds of connections. Indeed, the Hokie Bird is called “”Blacksburg’s own Garuda” at VA Tech. I offer the data.




This will be a difficult week in Blacksburg, and will touch off sadness elsewhere. On Thursday, April 19, some people will think about Waco’s 81 people who died in 1993, at the end of 51-day siege of the Branch Davidians, and of the 168 who were killed when the Murrah Federal Building collapsed in the Oklahoma City bombing of 1995. Friday, April 20, of course, is the anniversary of Columbine, when 15 died in what use to be the largest school shooting in the USA, in 1999.

I am still in shock about the extent of the tragedy. That is enough for now. The Garuda link merely is unexpected in the midst a larger unbelievable event.

My thanks to Chris Woodyard at the Invisible Ink bookstore for her discovery and sharing of the Hokie Bird/Garuda information. Appreciation to Fortean writer Doug Skinner for the image of his Garuda postcard (top) which he found in his neighborhood soon after visiting John Keel, during Keel’s recovery from a heart attack last fall.

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

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