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PAGE8 POST-GAZETTE, MARCH 11, 2016 THOUGHTS BY DAN THAT with Daniel A. DiCenso Hockomock Swamp: Waters of Terror Hockomoek Swamp. It's just a lake ... isn't it? America is full of mystery and saw the swamp as a great the unknown. More than 200 benefactor. However, the name years after we became a coun- also had another, more sinister, try, there are still vast areas meaning. It also represented the that remain largely unknown, evil spirits that were said to live For generations, stories of the there. As many native tribes strange phenomena that are did with nature in general, the said to lurk in them has fasci- Wampanoag were both fearful hated minds. The Pacific North- and grateful toward the swamp, west is said to be the home of using it -- but careful not to Bigfoot and sea serpents are upset it. said to make Lake Champlain Starting in colonial times, and Ogopogo their homes. In when the settlers dubbed it the Florida swamps, there is "Devil's Swamp," the swamp said to be something known as developed a foreboding reputa- a Skunk Ape, and further north tion as a place where strange in New Jersey is the feared Jer- creatures and evil spirits lurk sey Devil whose history traces which continues to this day. back to colonial times. The first supernatural en- Other phenomena appear ee- counter occurred on Hallow- rily close to civilization, likethe een night, 1908, when two famed Mafia Lights, the fabled undertakers on their way to Area 51, the alleged UFO crash Bridgewater saw what they site in Roswell, New Mexico, and described as a "green lantern" the terrifying Amityville house, swirling over their heads. UFO Our home state has long been sigh tings have persisted in the overlooked as a haven for the area for over 100 years. As re- supernatural, but throughout cenfly as 1999, a local resident its history Massachusetts has reported another, more detailed gathered a number of legends encounter with a UFO. attached to its name. INane Courtney Cullen recalls has a wider scope than the her encounter near Lake Nip- Bridgewater Triangle, where a penicket, in the same area as wide assortment of mysterious the Hockomock Swamp: "Sud- happenings are said to have denly there was noise, wicked occurred. It's become some- loud, and next there were lights thing of an index of paranormal in the sky; no color, just bright phenomena, lights. They were descending Central to this area is the fast, like coming straight at 6,000-acre-wide Hockomock the house behind where we Swamp, encompassing parts were at the cookout. And just of Bridgewater, Easton, Nor- as it seemed that the lights ton, Raynham, Taunton, and were going to crash into the West Bridgewater and parts of house, they darted sideways Routes 24 and 138. at this unbelievable speed and Legends of the supernatural soon just disappeared. But have surrounded the swamp what I also remembered is even before the settlers ar- that soon after we saw the rived. The Wampanoag had an lights, more than one helicopter interesting relationship with the appeared in the sky, in the area swamp. It was their source of of where the lights were." food and water and the name Not all encounters involved they gave it meant "river that extra-terrestrials, however. Joe leads to moose and deer," in- DeAndrade, a local resident, dicating that the Native people recalls his encounter with our Matt6o Gallo Appraisals Sales & Rentals Real Estate 376 North Street * Boston, MA 02113 (617) 523-2100 Fax (617) 523-3530 own version of Bigfoot in 1978 while strolling through Clay Banks, a pond in Bridgewater near the swamp. "I was standing there, and for some reason I had to turn around. It was a chill or some- thing inside me," DeAndrade said. "And I turned around, and there, off to the right, maybe 200 yards away, there was t_h_is, well, I don't know what it was. It was a creature that was all brown and hairy, like a big apish-and-man thing. It was making its way for the woods, but I didn't stick around to watch where it was going. I ran for the street." A similar encounter was re- counted by Joe Baker, a lifelong resident who also knew the area well. While canoeing in the swamp near West Bridgewater in 1983, Baker heard a loud splashing sound by the banks of the river and turned to see a large hairy animal emerging from the water. "I knew it wasn't human, because when it passed by me I could smell it," Baker recalled years later. "It smelled like a skunk: musty and dirty." Scientists and naturalists have been notably silent about possible explanations, but Christopher Balzano, a local researcher of the paranormal, thinks of the Hockomock as something of a vortex that the native people knew to keep a balanced relationship with. But, with the coming of the settlers and the ongoing war on the Wampanoag, the vortex began absorbing evil and the pain of wronged people. "So much of King Philip's War, a terrible and bloody conflict between English settlers and the natives of the region, took place near the swamp," Balzano said. "Both sides committed crimes against women and children, and the swamp saw some of the bloodiest massacres ever to happen in America. Even after the war, there was betrayal and killing. Might won, the Wampanoag found their land taken away, and most of their tribe was killed. Their tradi- tional enemies had sided with the settlers and had gained power over them as well. Some say that the wounded and pained spirits of the Wampa- noag are the reason for the paranormal in the swamp. That is part of the explanation, but I would go further. I think the vortex was in place in the swamp before the setters, and before the Native Americans. That vortex contributed to the inhumanity of the war between the Wampanoag and the Eng- lish, and it fosters pain and evil in that area to this day." If so, we can take some com- fort in knowing that the other mysteries of Massachusetts are less sadistic in nature. One notable example is the legend- ary Dighton Rock. But that's a story for next time. I DIAMONDS 1 ROU X ESTATE JEWELRY Bought & Sold Je.e s U g. Interesting Facts about the Italian Language Compiled by Prof./Car. Phillip Di Nova Today, modem Italian is the national language of the Italian Republic, one of the official tongues of Switzerland, and one of the principal languages spoken extensively in the European Com- mon Market countries. Italian is also spoken in Malta, Corsica, southeastern France, along the eastern Adriatic Coast, and is widely used in the former Italian colonies of Libya, the Dodecanese Islands, Eritrea, and Somalia. Italian is spoken by several millions of Italian immigrants and their descendents in western Europe, North and South America, Australia, Albania, Romania, Greece, Tunisia, Egypt and generally along the Mediterranean coast. Italian as a secondary, cultural, diplomatic and commercial language is spoken and understood in all Latin American coun- tries, particularly in Argentina where it is spoken side by side with Spanish, and in southeastern states of Brazil where it is spoken side by side with Portuguese. Of all the Romance languages, Italian retains the closest resemblance to Latin. The sonority and rhythm which the French lost, and the delightful clearness which has become a bit blurred in Spanish, all remain in melodious Italian, the ideal language of poetry, in which it has always excelled. As a transmitter of the great culture of the Renaissance, Italian has exerted a remarkable influence on all languages of Western Europe, most notably on French, English, German and Spanish. Many hundreds of words in each of these languages, mostly re- lated to cultural achievements in such fields as music, art, and literature, are of Italian origin. Even today, musical terminology all over the world is, in large part, Italian. Besides its contributions to western European languages, Italian has deeply influenced the Albanian, Romanian, and Yugoslav tongues, and especially modem Greek. In modem Italian, the vocabulary of Latin has been made to meet the changing conditions of Italian life. The sh'nplicity of the phonetic and morphological changes from Latin, along with a perfectly pho- netic orthography, makes the acquisition of Italian easy for a person who has knowledge of the English language. It is also a useful first step in learning Latin, French, Spanish, or Portuguese. Italian contains no unfamiliar sounds, no new letters, no uncom- mon diacritical marks. It has regular, simplified spelling. Each let- ter or combination of letters usually stands for one distinct sound; as a result, a word is generally pronounced exactly as it is spelled. Italian pronunciation consists of only seven vowels and twenty- one consonant sounds already familiar to English speakers. This research was done by O. D. Belle, who says Consldering all these outstanding features and advantages over other languages, we must come to the logical conclusion that modern Italian is, without doubt, the nearest approach to INTERLINGUA -- the most interesting and, until now, the most attractive proposal for a world second language." RISTORANTE & BAR Traditional Italian Cuisine 415 Hanover Street, Boston 617.367.2353 11 Mount Vernon Street, Winchester 781.729.0515 Dr, irate Fundion ooms foe antI Occasion Claristeninq ES idol Show+ Showe B+,th&,,+ Etc. Donoto Frcdtaroli donato @ luciaboston.com www.luciaristorante.com .J