Posts Tagged ‘Charles Wetzel’
Thanks to LOWFI friend Loren Coleman for this post from a few years ago… check out his great site! http://www.cryptomundo.com
Drew Vics and his friends were standing around talking about cryptids and microbrews when they founded a whole new form of higher intellectual understanding of the universe. They have combined an interest in cryptozoology with a love of home brewing and the results are cryptobrewology.
Vics’ new study is more about sightings of rare beers, including Sierra Nevada’s famous barley-wine style ale, Bigfoot, but there is a subform of their pursuit that, for me, has been totally about cryptozoology and a little about the beer.
I’ve been gathering very specific cryptozoology-oriented empties, as cultural artifacts, for decades (despite the fact I don’t drink). These include bottles and cans for Bigfoot Ale, Yeti Ale, Shaftbury Cream Ale (with an image similar to Ogopogo in the midst of BC), and, of course, Kokanee beer (with a tiny Bigfoot image on skis coming down a BC mountain). The collection includes, as well, a neat plastic Kokanee cup with Rene’ Dahinden’s image on it, and around its back, info about Dahinden inside a picture of a Sasquatch plaster cast.
I also own a set of four glasses from the Lang Creek Brewery of Marion, Montana, with a beautiful cryptid illustration etched on the glasses, linked to the product’s name, Flathead Lake Monster Ale Amber.
But there remains one prize that is an elusive stranger to my collection. It is a beer with a name-game cryptozoology story behind it.
Charles Wetzel, at the age of 70, was at his Platte River cabin, near Grand Island, Nebraska, on the 28th of July, 1958, when he observed a mystery kangaroo that was seen but never caught. Wetzel was operating a brewery in Grand Island at the time of his sighting. He was so obsessed with his bizarre experience, he named one of his brands “Wetzel Kangaroo Beer.” With the arrival of eBay a few years ago, I contacted and talked to beer can and bottle collectors in Nebraska. They have seen the Wetzel beer collectible, they tell me, but it remains absent from my crypto-collection within this special subfield of ritual objects.
Another Charles Wetzel, of course, saw a strange leafy Bigfoot or Lizardman creature near Riverside, California, in 1958, that has become famed in cryptozoological archives.
Anyone have an extra container that once held Wetzel Kangaroo Beer in your collection?
As the weather heats up, strange creatures go on the prowl.
More than 20 years ago, South Carolina’s Lee County became famous because of the Lizard Man. On a June night in 1988, 16-year-old Christopher Davis of Bishopville, S.C. first spotted the two-legged reptilian creature when it bounded out of the swamp and attacked his car, leaving scratch marks on the roof. He was the first to report seeing this creature and it led to that part of South Carolina becoming known as the home of the Lizard Man.
And it seems that other places may be home to similar unknown beasts. One night in 1958, a southern California man ran into something like the Lizard Man.
It was Saturday, Nov. 8, 1958 and Charles Wetzel was driving his green two-door 1952 Buick in Riverside, Calif. The man was simply trying to get home that night and he was listening to a radio station out of Los Angeles. All of a sudden, Wetzel’s car radio was full of static. He changed the stations but it did not help.
At around the same time, Wetzel’s Buick reached the point where North Main Street crosses the Santa Ana River in Riverside. He saw that the river was overflowing a low point in the road and he slowed down. Then something weird leapt out of the nearby bushes and landed right in front of his car, according to a Web site.
“It had a round, scarecrowish head, like something out of Halloween,” Wetzel said later. “It wasn’t human. It had longer arms than anything I’d ever seen. When it saw me in the car, it reached all the way back to the windshield and began clawing me. It didn’t have any ears. The face was all round. The eyes were shining like something fluorescent, and it had a protruberant mouth.”
Wetzel would later describe the creature’s legs as sticking out sideways from the body, not from the bottom. He stated that its skin looked “scaly, like leaves.” He also said it “screeched like a (something not acceptable in a family newspaper).”
The terrified man reached for the .22-caliber pistol that he kept under the seat of his car. But Wetzel quickly changed his mind about shooting at it. He knew that if he fired the gun it would shatter the windshield that stood between him and the reptilian monster. Wetzel hit the gas instead. The creature fell off the hood and hit the ground.
To make sure he would not get attacked again, Wetzel ran over the creature in the road. He could feel a scraping sound underneath his car. He could also hear a screaming and gurgling sound. Wetzel drove as fast as he could to the nearest police station, according to the Web site.
Later, police found scratches on the car’s hood and windshield. They went back to the scene of the encounter with bloodhounds but found nothing. The very next night, another driver reported a similar experience.
In his book “Mysterious America,” Coleman writes that he discovered yet another Charles Wetzel who had seen a weird creature. This Charles Wetzel, who lived in Nebraska, had reported seeing something looking like a 6-foot-tall kangaroo hopping around his farm in July of the same year. The sighting left a profound impact on this Charles Wetzel. He named a beer for it at the brewery he operated in Nebraska. He called it Wetzel Kangaroo Beer.
Contact Mike Conley by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.