Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Exploring the 'Edges of Science'

 Robert Gray Middle School teacher Thom Powell releases a new book about his paranormal research
CONNECTION PHOTO: KELSEY O'HALLORAN - Thom Powell has taught science at Robert Gray Middle School for 30 years. He recently released a new book about his paranormal research.
CONNECTION PHOTO: KELSEY O'HALLORAN - Thom Powell has taught science at Robert Gray Middle School for 30 years. He recently released a new book about his paranormal research


     Thom Powell has dedicated his life to the teaching and study of science. But the Robert Gray Middle School science teacher is also drawn to the paranormal — and he doesn’t see that as a paradox.
“I understand that I’m working on the fringe, if not outside the boundaries, of science,” he says. “Science in its purest form not only tolerates exploring the frontier, but also requires it, invites it.”
That’s the idea behind Powell’s latest book, “Edges of Science,” which was published in June by Willamette City Press in West Linn. The book follows Powell’s past 20 years of paranormal research, including his study of Bigfoot, UFOs and crop circles.
CONNECTION PHOTO: KELSEY O'HALLORAN - Thom Powell's book, 'Edges of Science,' recounts his past 20 years of paranormal research and searches for parallels between phemomena such as Bigfoot, UFOs and crop circles.
CONNECTION PHOTO: KELSEY O'HALLORAN - Thom Powell's book, 'Edges of Science,' recounts his past 20 years of paranormal research and searches for parallels between phemomena such as Bigfoot, UFOs and crop circles.
     Powell, who has taught at Robert Gray for 30 years and currently teaches eighth-grade Earth and space science, says he doesn’t incorporate his paranormal interests into many of his lessons. But he does teach a UFO lesson at the end of his astronomy unit, to hold students’ attention on the last day of school before winter break. His classroom is decorated with Bigfoot drawings and paraphernalia from his students, and he says his fascination with Sasquatch is often a subject of jokes with his students.
     “It’s a safe topic for humor,” he says. And he doesn’t mind being the target of his students’ banter: “My Bigfoot jokes are better than their Bigfoot jokes.”
Powell’s book combines his own research with testimonies he gathered from people who said they’d experienced a paranormal event, such as one anonymous Hillsdale woman who believed she had been abducted by aliens.
     He says he was surprised when people who he considered logical and level-headed approached him with their paranormal stories, and the parallels between the accounts intrigued him.
     The people “didn’t fit into any category of kook or weirdo,” he says. “Are they misinterpreting something, or are they telling the truth?”
Powell in 2003 released his first book, “The Locals: A Contemporary Investigation of the Bigfoot/Sasquatch Phenomenon,” which focused specifically on his Bigfoot research. His latest book searches for connections between Bigfoot and all other paranormal phenomena.
     He says that after more than two decades studying the paranormal, he’s OK with people thinking that he’s crazy; he knows that many scientists’ ideas weren’t embraced during their lifetime, either.
     “If you’re going to venture into the frontier of science, you have to be prepared for not only scorn and derision, but also no fulfillment in your lifetime — but that’s OK,” he says.
For now, researching and writing about the paranormal — and being known as the local Sasquatch expert — is fulfillment enough.
Contact Kelsey O’Halloran at 503-636-1281 ext. 101 or

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

After Lengthy Illness, Ray Crowe Passes

A Remembrance by Loren Coleman
Ray Crowe
Ray Crowe
Ray Crowe, 2013
It is with a heavy heart that I share some sad news. Ray Crowe died on Tuesday, September 29, 2015, in his sleep this AM, apparently of a heart attack at the Timberview Care Center, Albany, Oregon.
Charles Raymond “Ray” Crowe was born December 30, 1937 in Portland, Oregon. He was founder of the Western Bigfoot Society, a well-known butterfly collector, and a fan favorite among socializing Bigfooters.
Ray was born and raised in Oregon, serving as a weatherman for the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Weather Bureau, as well as working in a variety of other trades. These included as a dye laboratory assistant and computer gauging technician with radioactive equipment background. He once said he took “pertinent courses at Portland State College, Multnomah College, Western Business College, and Clackamas Community College.” For years, he ran an antique and used bookstore in Portland, Oregon.
Ray was an active amateur scientist. He formerly was the President of the Geological Society of the Oregon, the Chair of the Oregon and Washington Ice Age Floods Committee, and was always active in the Oregon Archeological Society and the Tualatin Valley Gem Club. His butterfly collection was one of the largest in the West, and he contributed his collection to museums late in his life. He wrote several published articles on butterflies.
Recent years had been rough for Ray. On April 22, 2012, Ray suffered a stroke which paralyzed his left side, which also resulted in a collapse artery in his neck. He was moved back to the V.A. Hospital and given blood thinners. On April 25th, the V.A. Hospital determined that they were not going to treat Ray further and they transferred him to a respite/hospice facility to await death. But he cheated death, survived, and lived life as best he could during the years since 2012.
Ray was a Bigfoot researcher/archivist from Hillsboro, Oregon. His initial interest in the Bigfoot mystery occurred after he went with a group of Bigfoot hunters from nearby Vancouver, Washington (a rather militant group, according to Ray), who dropped Ray off on an isolated road near the forest. Ray found a set of tracks he could not explain, and he decided then and there to start a group dedicated to Sasquatch research.
Ray began his organization back in 1991, in Portland, Oregon.
Loren Coleman visits Ray Crowe’s Western Bigfoot Society, during the early days.
Ray called that group the Western Bigfoot Society and he held monthly meetings in the basement of his bookshop. That basement, which I visited during its heyday, was a museum of sorts of his years of collecting various Sasquatch memorabilia. Ray changed his organization’s name to the International Bigfoot Society, solidified its nonprofit status, and moved his home and the society headquarters to Hillsboro, Oregon.
Beginning in 1992, Crowe organized and held large conferences in Carson, Washington, called “Bigfoot Daze,” that often had established researchers speaking. He also created a folksy newsletter called The Track Record, funded through sponsors who sometimes would retain editorial control. Former sponsors included Peter Byrne and other covert individuals. The Track Record carried the latest happenings in the Bigfoot world, often with a gossipy, controversial or rumor-driven angle. Crowe had a very open-door policy when it came to his meetings and newsletter, but he always warned his readers to “wear your skepticals.”
One of the fun moments among many that Ray had was his interview appearance with a beginning new comedian named Stephen Colbert on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Season 3, Episode 96, on February 17, 1999. He ended up appearing twice on The Daily Show, and twice on Japanese television. Ray was also in the television documentary Sasquatch Odyssey: The Hunt for Bigfoot (1999) and was in an episode of Weird Travels (2003).
Ray Crowe
Crowe was about to shut down the newsletter and organization in 2006 (after 13 special editions, one novellette, and one novel), but one rumor had it that controversial researcher Tom Biscardi offered to continue the newsletter and the organization with funding. But what seems to have occurred is that Ray decided on another route. Ray continued to receive reports and media articles from around the world. After closing his bookstore, he continued to hold meetings in various places until he started holding them at Dad’s Restaurant in Portland, Oregon. In 2008, David Paulides and his North America Bigfoot Search bought and saved the Crowe/IBS paper records and Track Records.
In 2011, Ray began holding meetings again, but his health continued to be a concern.
Since the death of his beloved wife Theata (see her obit) at the age of 66 on September 21, 2004, Ray expressed in 2006 that he had suffered some difficult months. Theata was Ray’s closest friend, and he shared a world full of her sense of humor, which he deeply misses. He often repeated stories about her. For example, once she was speaking to a reporter about the lack of monetary incentive in the Bigfoot field. Theata joked that she had made only $7 from her book, How to Cook a Bigfoot.
After Theata passed away, Ray’s health itself took a turn for the worse, as well. After Ray suffered a fatal heart attack , he was revived but had a blood clot in his right leg that caused him to have an amputation on that leg below the knee. Ray wrote me in 2006 that he “lost [his] right leg, so can’t get into the field anymore…hard to keep up any interest. Health maintaining itself after open heart surgery…chest still hurts.”
In April of 2012, Ray had to have his toes removed from his other foot. In recent years, due to advancing clotting and amputations, Ray’s fieldwork was severely restricted by his use of a wheelchair.
Towards the end, Ray sent messages to me, via Joe Beelart and Larry Lund to ready his obituary. I sadly did that. He handed the following 9/11/2015 written message to me via Larry.
Ray was a great guy, a great friend, and a great social magnet for the growing movement involving the social part of modern Bigfooting. With Ray Crowe out West beginning in 1991 and Don Keating out East starting in 1987, Bigfoot groups have since developed around the country that have copied those gentlemen’s organizational genius.
Ray’s extremely informal model for making an interest in Bigfoot an accepted focus for routine social activities is one that lives on beyond his life. That will be his legacy, I sense.
Ray Crowe will be deeply missed.


13-01-1994 PHOTO bigfoot lyttles cast from jim hawkins estacada usa661


Monday, September 21, 2015

'Paranormal Pub Night' is Thom Powell's Next Appearance

     Check out this very slick poster, cleverly built around the Edges of Science cover art that was brilliantly conceived by graphic arts genius Guy Edwards. When MUFON/Oregon lined up a speaking gig for me at the Mission Theater in downtown Portland,  I sent the artists at McMenamins a few images that they might use to build a poster. They astutely grabbed  the cover art that Guy created for my latest book, then they added their own type, keeping the design and color scheme that Guy Edwards originally conceived. 
     If imitation is the highest form of flattery, they they just paid Guy the ultimate compliment. Not to sound smarter than any other run-of-the-mill fool, because I, too, I had to be initially 'sold' on Guy's cover idea.  I liked one of the other iterations Guy cranked out.  Fortunately, I have one redeeming quality: I listened when Guy told me I was making a mistake.  I resisted; Guy insisted.  And of course, he was right. I gave in, and I never regretted it for a moment. Everywhere I go, I get raves over the Edges of Science cover art as well as the humorously clever interior art done by another great artist, Alicia Bateman. I am indeed blessed to be surrounded by so many talented people, including a brilliant editor in San Diego named Molly Hart-Lebherz. 
     Check out the poster above prepared by the talented McMenamin's artists who knew a good design to build from when they saw it and the original book cover art by Guy Edwards (below).  If you want to see the details of Thom's appearance time, date and place, visit the MUFON/Oregon website by clicking here.   And remember,  if you ever need a piece of brilliantly conceived graphic art for that important project, who ya gonna call? Guy Edwards!

The Edges cover design by Guy Edwards.


Monday, September 14, 2015

Edges of Science  by Thom Powell

      In the two months since it was released, Edges of Science, has been a hot seller.  You can connect to a page where you can buy your own copy, signed by the author, by Clicking here.   Thanks to everyone who has already supported this project!  
     With all the speaking engagements Thom has scheduled for this fall, it seems like a good idea to provide this page with a simple link for anyone who wants to own a copy of a fascinating and well-written anthology of paranormal and scientific mysteries. The book explains the role that Bigfoot plays in a greater Goblin Universe that is populated with entities that are able to come and go from our terrestrial realm. The world is stranger than we can imagine and bigfoot is only the tip of a greater paranormal iceberg.
     The reviews on Amazon have been great.  To see the reviews on or to submit a review of your own, click here.

Here is a list of events where Thom Powell will be speaking and selling books  in coming weeks:

Saturday, Sept. 19, 3:00p.m. at the Bigfoot Bash and Bounty all day festival, Home Valley Park, outside Carson Washington in the scenic Columbia River Gorge

Sunday, Sept. 27, 7:00 p.m. Paranormal Pub Night, McMenamin's Mission Theater NW 17th and Glisan in northwest Portland

Sunday, October 4th Mt. Hood Salmon, Mushroom and Bigfoot Festival 65000 East Hwy. 26, Mt. Hood Village, Oregon (speaking time uncertain)

Sunday, October 18, 12:30 p.m.: Hopsquatch: Guy Edwards' Speaker Series at Lucky Lab Brewpub, 1945 NW Quimby, northwest Portland

Saturday, November 28, Sasquatch Summit Conference Quinault Beach Resort and Casino in Ocean Shores, Washington (speaking time mid-afternoon)

Please introduce yourself and say hello if you attend any of these events. It is always a pleasure to meet and chat with people who read books on paranormal and science topics and who care enough  to show up and discuss their own experiences or interest in  these fascinating subjects. 


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The location of this gala event is Home Valley Park along the mighty Columbia River just outside Carson, Washington.  Please introduce yourself to me.  I'll be in the beer garden at 5p.m. and camping at the nearby park with Bob and Patti Reinhold by the railroad tracks. FYI, Skamania County, Washington is one of the hottest counties in the nation for sightings of 'Mr. Saskey'. 

     That said, if you want to camp in a sqautchy spot near the venue on either Friday or Saturday night, find the USFS Cougar Creek Campground about eight miles up the Wind River.  It is nearby and very squatchy.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

           OHMAWING: A Great New Short Film


     Everybody probably knows that in the bigfoot biz, there are two camps that define the two seemingly separate views on the nature of the beast: 'Flesh and Blood' and 'Paranormal' (woo-woo). The 'woo' bit was concocted by a F&B advocate as a slightly dismissive put-down directed at the rival faction. Some say it was Daniel Perez, others attribute the term to Loren Coleman.  Credit the paranormalists with more civility for not coining a similarly disdainful moniker for their intellectual rivals in the F&B camp (until now).   
     Interestingly, the distinction between flesh-and-blood and paranormal only exists within the sub-culture of sasquatch enthusiasts.  In the minds of the general public, all of bigfootery is decidedly paranormal.  In the public's view,  the F&B crowd is every bit as 'woo' as the paranormalists.  Therefore, I am sorry to break it to my friends in the F&B camp, but in the eyes of the world, you are "woo" too! 
     Personally, I have always felt that there was a middle ground between the woo's and the woo too's, and that such distinctions are petty and unfortunate.  This is precisely why I am enthusiastically endorsing a new short film by Tony Lombardo, a Colorado film maker and 
member of a small band of local sasquatch researchers called Sasquatch Investigations of the Rockies (S.I.R.).  The film, 'Ohmawing' explores the 'zapping' phenomenon that has been experienced by many serious field researchers and close-range witnesses to the sasquatch phenomenon. 
     To my knowledge, the term 'getting zapped' was first coined by New England researcher Chris Noel and his crew, but the phenomenon was  known about before the term came into wider use. Previously, there was a time when claims of being 'zapped' were considered fanciful imaginings of deluded bigfoot-believers.  Then, in 2003, a guy wrote about this thing called infrasound in a sasquatch book called The Locals. He explained that several members of the animal kingdom can emit ultra-low frequency sonic energy as a means of both communication and intimidation of enemies. At that point, the woo-too (flesh and blood) camp had a valid scientific principle to invoke. Acknowledgement of 'getting zapped'  no longer rendered one as paranormal in orientation. Now, even our most scholarly sasquatch advocates such as Dr.s Bindernagel and Meldrum can dialogue on the 'zapping' phenomenon by framing it as a manifestation of infrasound. Regardless of which camp currently lays claim to a better understand of this 'zapping' phenomenon, it is wonderful to see Tony Lonbardo produce a documentary film that bridges the gap between the woos and the woo2's.  Tony chronicles both historical references among Native American tribes and the experiences of modern field researchers like Paul Graves. 
     I was fortunate enough to view the entire twenty minute film.  It is an expert, professional job of film making. Tony is currently trying to get 'Ohmawing' entered into film festivals and I would like to do everything in my power to assist him in that endeavor.  If you would like to view a trailer of the film, click here.  If you want to get in contact with Tony about getting the film screened or to buy a copy of the full length film, here is Tony's e-mail address:<> Great Job, Tony. It's and excellent short film. Trust that this 'woo' is rooting for you all the way! When they see it, I think your film will earn the endorsement of the woo-too's too. 

Friday, July 24, 2015

NASA Announces The Most Earth-like Planet Yet!
Thomsquatch Nails It.
An artist's rendition of Kepler 452b, the most earth-like exo-planet yet found.

I'll only say it once:
I told ya so.
The science news blogosphere is absolutely atwitter with reaction to the news that the most earth-like planet, Kepler 452-b, has been verified. It's not any kind of close (150 light years away) but it has already sent the pontificators reeling with possibilities.  My favorite essay is the one at Huff-Po seen by clicking here, because it basically affirms all the same points I made in my recently released book, Edges of Science. In fact, the whole announcement, right on the heels of the release of my new book, is positively creepy!  Much that I published as supposition has been tentatively verified just three weeks after I went to print.  What's with that?
     Anyway, Thank you, NASA!  Thank you, Kepler! And thank you, Huffington Post, for saying the exact same thing I said, three weeks after I published!   I'm not accusing you of plagiarism because I know you aren't so nimble and attuned as to catch notice of my book, read it, then re-state it. Also, the recent NASA announcement is more than enough of a mental kick-in-the-ass to precipitate the observations and ruminations of the Huff Po writer. All I will say is, Ha! I said the same thing three weeks ago.  And if you think I'm just blowing smoke, scroll down to the previous blog post, in which I confidently state that we are not alone.  That post was published yesterday. Whoa!
     Oops. I said at the top of this post that I would only say it once.  OK, I'll shut up now, but please read my new book, Edges of Science, available at