We here at Serpents of Bienville have a lot of different projects currently running. One project that we are particularly excited about is the Alabama Oddities pieces that Amanda is writing for our social media sites. She is doing daily updates, bringing you a new story every morning, of something strange and odd from our Southern home. Not everyone has social media, so we will be doing weekly rundown's of her stories, which we will be publishing every Sunday. We hope you guys enjoy, and remember to follow us on our social media sites to get daily Alabama Oddities stories. Enjoy!
Birmingham Batman - Monday November 2nd
Willie J. Perry would help anyone in distress, he even wrote it down the side of his 1971 Thunderbird he converted into a “Rescue Ship” decked out in the early 80’s with a car phone, a color TV, and Atari, and a turntable. He drove around helping stranded motorists with gas and jumper cables, helping elderly ladies get to where they’re going in style, and just taking kids on rides in his amazing car. People called him the Birmingham Batman, and he rolled with it, donning a white jumpsuit and helmet with the batman symbol proudly painted across the front. This car was actually the thing that ended him, ironically, when he was fixing her up and suddenly the garage door closed unknowingly. We need more people like Willie J. Perry today, and couldn’t be prouder to call him our neighbor and share his story with you.
Russell Cave - Wednesday November 4th
Russell Cave in Northeast Alabama is 7.2 miles long with quite a large opening, that was used as the perfect shelter for prehistoric Native Americans—the oldest recorded settlement of peoples in the southeastern United States to date. The artifacts were dated to before 1000 B.C. The natives would cover the items they were done with in dirt, so the findings were exhumed in incredibly detailed condition. The artifacts found were tools made from bones, arrowheads and weapons, bowls made from clay and from grass fiber, scorched seeds, charcoal, and remains from a burial ground. The items collected add up to over two tons. Bodies were laid to rest once more near the opening of the cave, and some of these amazing glimpses into our ancestor’s lives are displayed on site. If you visit or visited Russell Cave and have any photos or info to add, let me know!
Jubilee City Phenomenon -Thursday November 5th
The "Jubilee City" of Daphne, Alabama is named for a phenomenon that has been studied very little. This village on the bay is one of the only two places this seemingly magic event occurs. In the early dawn, the tide will rise and bring with it more blue crabs, shrimp, and fish than the locals can carry. Marine Biologist Harold Loesch theorized that organic material on the sea floor could deplete the waters of oxygen, forcing marine life to rush to shallows seeking more oxygenated areas. This research was done in the 1960's, though, so the locals' imaginations were running wild long before anyone decided to apply science to the magic. Villagers still run to the shallows, coolers and buckets in hand, filling them to the brim while they speculate what conditions must have brought this miracle on.
UFOs Fell on Alabama - Friday November 6th
In the early hours of July 24th, 1948, pilots Chiles and Whitted were manning a flight from Houston to Atlanta was passing over Montgomery, Alabama when they were approached by another aircraft. This type of craft scared these two men cold and sent passengers into a frenzy. The black, cigar-shaped craft was the length of a b-29 bomber, and was sailing less than 1,000 feet from their plane. It had a streaking tail and brightly lit square windows, but not a soul was spotted inside. The craft realized it was about to collide with the plane, and pulled up. Straight up. One of the pilots reported the craft disappearing for seconds and reappearing again in their sky. The abrupt movement of the flying object created no turbulence for the plane, and all mechanics continued to work fine. The blinding lights flashing through the windows were the only disturbances. When the plane landed, pilots and passengers were interviewed by news outlets and government agents from Project Sign. The agents officially ruled out conventional aircraft from the sighting options. They eventually classified the object as a comet (eye roll) with a disclaimer that it wasn't quite described to move the way a comet would. The Chiles/Whitted UFO is known to be incredibly significant for early UFO research.
Fairhope Museum's Inmate - Saturday November 7th
The Old City Hall and Jail in Fairhope, Alabama have been standing since 1928. Offices for the mayor, fire department, city council and clerk, and police department all operated under the same roof. One by one, the offices moved, except for the police department. The building housed inmates up until 2001. After this, the entire building was kept as-is, and plastered with history and artifacts to be used as the Fairhope Museum of History. The place is really neat, but the jail cells are still sitting open, beds still covered in linens, bored prisoners' ramblings still etched on the walls. If anything, it's creepy by itself. But the director of this museum, Donnie Barrett, who is amazing at his job, has things happen to him that are particularly chilling. Phantom people follow him upstairs and jail cell doors sound to clank and slam, yet are still sitting open when in view. A group of paranormal investigators of the area encountered a ghost with a particular favored pastime that has Americans in a frenzy these days. The group asked if there was anyone present in the cell, and as a strong and chilly wind swooped down on them, their equipment picked up the phrase, "Cannabis high!" Maybe that's what happens, guys. I wouldn't risk it.
Not even once.
Like the Stars, We Honor You - Sunday November 8th
The Wichahpi Commemorative Stone Wall in Florence, Alabama has taken thirty years to construct by the hands of a single man. Tom Hendrix has continued building a wall for his great-great-grandmother for her pain and suffering during the Trail of Tears, with eight million pounds of stone, and counting, from all corners of the world. This is the largest memorial in the United States dedicated to a woman, and a Native American woman at that. He was told, "One step at a time, one stone at a time. Lay a stone for every step she made… We shall pass this earth. Only the stones will remain. We honor our ancestors with stones." Quoted from NatchezTrailTravel.com, "After walking the length of the wall, Charlie Two Moons, a spiritual person, said:
'The wall does not belong to you, Brother Tom. It belongs to all people. You are just the keeper. I will tell you that it is wichahpi, which means 'like the stars'. When they come, some will ask, 'Why does it bend, and why is it higher and wider in some places than in others?' Tell them it is like your great-great-grandmother's journey, and their journey through life--it is never straight.'"