Posted by: Loren Coleman on June 24th, 2008
St. John’s Day
The date June 24 is one tied to some of the weirdest happenings. Enjoy the day, and keep a watch out for the unusual to occur. What’s that behind you?
Here is a rundown of some previous events on this day:
Knights Templars display “Mysterious Head” at Poitiers (1308). Founding of the Order of the Garter (1348). John Cabot discovers North America (1497). Galileo released (1633). “Woman of the Wilderness” utopian community arrives in America (1694). “W of W” angelic visions (1701). Grand Lodge of Freemasons inaugurated (1717). Ambrose Bierce born (1842). Red rain, Italy (1877). Ice fall, Ft. Lyon, Colorado (1877). Fall of jelly-like mass, Eton (1911). Fred Hoyle born (1915). Mick Fleetwood (1942) and Jeff Beck (1944) born.
First day of “flying saucer” history, Mt. Rainier & Mt. Adams, Washington State – Kenneth Arnold sighting (1947). Filmstock fire kills seventeen people, Brussels (1947). Movie theaters evaluated during huge fire, Perth Amboy, NJ (1947). United Airlines plane struck by lightning over Cleveland (1947). Invasion of grasshoppers battled with flame-throwers, Guatemala/El Salvador (1947). Woman attacked and killed by bees or wasps, Seattle (1947). Bizarre aerial sightings near Daggett, California (1950) and on Iwo Jima (1953).
The deaths of various aerial and related phenomena researchers, writers, and fans (Frank Scully, June 24, 1964; Frank Edwards, near the coming midnight of the 24th, still on June 23, 1967; Arthur Bryant, June 24, 1967; Richard Church June 24, 1967; Willy Ley, June 24, 1969; Jackie Gleason, June 24, 1987).
June 24, 2006 saw the death of renegade publisher Lyle Stuart who published anomalist writer Frank Edwards’ Fortean book, in 1959, Stranger than Science, a paperbook full of information on cryptozoology as well as ufology.
Two Inuits kill a huge, yellow-furred bear at Rendezvous Lake, Barren Ground, Canada, June 24, 1864. The bear was similar to Arctodus simus, which died out in the Pleistocene. Naturalist Robert MacFarlane acquired the bear’s skin and skull, and shipped the remains to the Smithsonian Institution, where they were placed in storage and soon forgotten. Eventually, Dr. Clinton Hart Merriam uncovered the remains, and in 1918, he described the specimen as a new species and genus, calling it the “patriarchal bear,” with the scientific name Vetularctos inopinatus. Today, it is often recognized as a new species, Ursus inopinatus. (Thanks to Matt Bille and Mnynames.)
On other June 24ths, locals have Bigfoot sightings, Logan and Union counties, Ohio (1980). Chupacabras encountered outside disco, Maria Elena, Argentina (2000). Moose hunters see Bigfoot, near Fort Simpson, NWT, Canada (2002). Mysterious fire erupts in Gallipolis, Ohio resident’s car on bridge from Ohio to Point Pleasant, West Virginia (2003). Massive unusual aerial phenomena, Xalapa, Mexico (2005). “Aren’t You Chupacabra to See Me?” airs for first time on Cartoon Network (2005). Nestle uses Bigfoot-costumed marchers to launch Kit Kat Limited Edition – Cappuccino at the Giant Mahkota Parade, Malacca, and Jusco Tebrau City, Johor (2005).
June 24 was the grand opening date of Bates College Museum of Art’s “Cryptozoology: Out of Time Place Scale” exhibition (2006).
St. John’s Day (”Jaanipäev”) is a major traditional holiday in Estonia, celebrated by singing around bonfires, in Estonian communities in the United States and Canada as well as in Estonia itself. The glow-worm, because it usually starts appearing around St. John’s Day, is called “Jaaniuss”–”St. John’s Worm”–in Estonian. (Thanks to T. Peter Park, who is Estonian.)
Unexplained events. Mysterious fiery outbursts. Strange cryptid sightings. Beltane fires. Little people. Miracles. Bathing. Round dances. Collecting of glowworms. Folkloric incidents. Weird encounters. Cryptozoological openings. Mystery deaths.
Respect the wonder and adventure of the 24th of June.
What’s in the mix on this day in 2008?