V

Frederick Valentich – a 20-year-old Australian pilot who went missing on Oct. 21st, 1978 when on a training flight over the Bass Strait, he reported to Melbourne air traffic control that an unknown silvery object with a green light was approaching him after which he experienced engine trouble and lost contact; it's thought that Valentich staged his own disappearance but some ufologists believe that he collided with a UFO and sank into the ocean

 

Valhalla – the hall of immortality where Odin received the souls of heroes slain in battle [Old Norse Valhöll “hall of slain”]

 

valkyrie alt. valkyr, valkyria – one of Odin's twelve handmaidens who guide the souls of slain heroes to Valhalla; they can also be lovers of the slain and are frequently associated with animals like horses and ravens [Old Norse valkyrja “chooser of the slain”] SYN waelcyrie, waelcyrge, óskmey, meyjar

 

vampire Gothic alt. vampyre – a near-ubiquitous Slavic term that's been in usage for a millennium pertaining to a blood-thirsty creature; the concept of a vampire has changed dramatically depending on time and place but in modern times, it's a fanged, undead human, usually depicted as being pale and cloaked, that sucks blood from the jugular vein of creatures, and by so, makes one's victims become vampires, which proves to be irresistible for them [Slavic upyri “witch”] SYN bloodsucker

 

vampirism Gothic alt. vampyrism – the practice of being or posing as a vampire, sucking one's own blood or others' blood, draining others of their life force through volition and living any aspect of being a vampire, such as sleeping in a coffin SYN Gothism, Gothicism

 

Vancouver Island – an elongated 12,080-sq.-mile island off the coast of Washington state that is a hotspot for bigfoot sightings

 

Van Meter Monster – a giant stinky bat-human creature with a horned head that was seen by a handful of prominent men of Van Meter, IA over the course of several nights in the fall of 1903; a hunting posse was formed and they camped out by an abandoned mine shaft where two of the creatures emerged, flashed a blinding light from the horns, flew away at night, returned in the morning to a hail of bullets and descended down the mine shaft apparently unharmed; the subject of Monsters and Mysteries in America, #2.3

Varginha UFO incident – a series of events starting with three young women claiming to see an alien being jump over a fence and run from them on Jan. 20th, 1996 and ending with the Brazilian military denying that they'd recovered an alien corpse from the road; the alien was described as standing 5 ft. tall, being thin with an oversized head and having V-shaped feet, wrinkled brown skin and red eyes

 

The Vedas (written between 1500 and 1000 BC) – the sacred text of the Hindus, written in ancient Sanskrit and revealed by Aryan seers of old; a corpus of liturgy, prayers and hymns comprised of four major sections: “The Rigveda”, “The Samaveda”, “The Yajurveda” and “The Atharvaveda” [Sanskrit veda “knowledge”]

 

Venilia alt. Venelia – a Roman sea-goddess and controller of the winds; the wife of Neptune; a nymph [Latin ventosus “excessive wind”]

 

Venus – the Roman goddess of love, beauty, sex, prosperity and victory; borne of sea-foam; her Greek equivalent is Aphrodite, also borne of sea-foam [Latin “sexual desire”]

 

Vermont Pigman – first reported in 1971 by a farmer and a group of high school students outside of a dance hall, a white-haired anthropomorphic beast with the face of a pig that roams around Northfield, VT; the subject of Monsters and Mysteries in America, #3.5

Vesta – the virginal Roman goddess of the hearth, home and family; the daughter of Saturn and Ops; her Greek equivalent is Hestia [Latin vi stando “standing by power”]

 

Antônio Vilas-Boas (1934-1991) – a 23-year-old Brazilian farmer who claimed that he was abducted by aliens on Oct. 16th, 1957 as he was plowing a field; his encounter involved watching an egg-shaped UFO land near him, being dragged aboard by three aliens, giving a blood sample, having sex with an attractive female alien, being shown the interior of the craft, being escorted off and watching the glowing UFO ascend and leave

 

Virgin Mary – the teenage mother of the deity Jesus; the most blessed woman in history to whom Catholics and others pray and direct adoration; a traditional Jew and the wife of Joseph through whom God chose to bring salvation to the world SYN Mary, Mother of God, St. Mary, Blessed Virgin, Immaculate Conception, Mother of the Church, Queen of Heaven, Queen Mother, Our Lady, Our Lady of Sorrows, Mediatrix, Co-Redemptrix, Theotokos, Aeiparthenos, Panagia, Our Lady of Good Counsel, Our Lady of Navigators and Our Lady Undoer of Knots among others

Virgo – the sixth of the Zodiac signs, symbolized by a virgin

 

vision quest – in shamanic religions and particularly in Native American cultures, a journey that one takes alone in the wilderness to seek their life direction near puberty; akin to sensory deprivation, this may involve fasting, eschewing sleep, being enclosed in a small space, being out in a monotonous area with few landmarks and praying to the Great Spirit; it may also involve the intake of herbs like peyote and ayahuasca, meant to open the mind, at which point a spirit animal may appear so as to reveal information

VLA – very large array; a collection of 27 radio telescopes in a Y-configuration west of Socorro, NM from which various astronomical discoveries were made SYN Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array

 

vodyanoy alt. vodyanoi pl. vodníci – in Slavic lore, a dark scaly old frog-man with red eyes, a green beard, webbed hands, a fish's tail and a body covered in muck; drownings and misfortunes at the water's edge are blamed on a vodyanoy [Russian “he who is of the water”] SYN vodník, hastrman

Voluptas alt. Volupta – the goddess of sensual pleasures; the daughter of Cupid and Psyche; her Greek counterpart is Hedone [Latin “pleasure; delight”]

 

voodoo alt. vodou – a Creole religion that mixes Catholicism with some old African beliefs, which include magic, dark arts, herbs, charms, gris-gris (voodoo dolls) and zombies; a lifestyle that has its origins in West Africa (esp. Benin) but during the slave trade era, the slaves developed different flavors of voodoo exp. New Orleans Voodoo, Deep Southern Hoodoo, Haitian Vodou [various West African languages vódu “idol; fetish”] SYN vodum, vodun, vodú, vudú, hoodoo

 

voodooist alt. vodounist – one who practices voodoo

vortex alt. vertex pl. vortexes, vortices – an intersection where two or three ley lines cross that is conducive to healing and meditation; twisted trees and compasses that don't work are supposed to be signs that a vortex is present exp. Sedona, Mt. Kailash, Mt. Shasta, Ayers Rock, Glastonbury Tor [“swirling energy”] SYN energy vortex, spiritual vortex, earth chakra

Voyager Golden Records – somewhat like a time capsule, a set of gold-plated phonographic records, each affixed to space probes Voyager 1 and Voyager 2, which contain a medley of pictures and various sounds, like classical music, nature sounds and greetings in 55 languages, and were sent with the hope that they might be intercepted by intelligent alien life someday; a digital record is available on YouTube for public viewing

Vulcan – the god of fire and metallurgy; the son of Jupiter and Juno; his Greek counterpart is Hephaestus [Latin fulgur “lightning; flames”] SYN Sethlans