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Saturday, January 20, 2018

Another Australian ABC, England Evidence, Road Runners, & the return of the St. Albans Cat

It seems like a lot of people are seeing mystery big cats in this first month of the new year! Here are a couple more stories reported recently.

First, from Newsport is a another story from Australia:

"ARE big cats prowling the Far North?
"A Port Douglas woman believes she may have spotted one on the Captain Cook Highway last week.
"Rosie Wang was returning to Port Douglas from Cairns at 6.30pm on January 12 when she saw 'a large tawny brown feline shape' illuminated in her headlights on the side of the road.
"'It was almost as large as the street marker that it was next to,' she said.
"'Certainly I have never seen a domestic cat that big, or indeed with light brown coloring more like a lion.'
Photo of a big cat taken in West Gippsland, Australia, 2016

"Rosie is not the first to come forward with a big cat sighting in North Queensland. Several accounts have been reported of a similar colored animal in the Atherton Tablelands and Ravenshoe areas, while large black cats have been seen in Upper Barron and the Daintree.
"A number of puma-like sightings were also recorded in the Gympie region last year, with one man claiming to have seen a leopard at Rainbow Beach.
"'I would be interested to see if other locals knew about this (animal) or had seen it,' Rosie said.
"'On googling this strange sight it was interesting to read about other people's experiences.'"

Then, there's this story from Essex, England (via Essex Live) :

(Essex Live)

"A shocked taxi driver in Braintree found dozens of huge paw prints after spotting what she believes was an eight-foot long black panther on the loose.
"Michelle Woodall, 49, told of her shock when she saw the big cat walking into the woods on Sunday morning (January 14).
"The mum-of-one said she had 'absolutely no doubt' her sighting in Sible Hedingham, near Braintree, was genuine adding, 'I would stake my house on it'.
"Michelle Woodall said:
"'I was just doing my hair when I looked out of the window and saw a panther-like cat.
"'It was walking along like it was in no rush, it certainly wasn't frightened of anything.
"'It was the walk that was so distinctive because obviously a dog, a cat, a fox move completely differently.
"'At that point I thought, 'go get your phone' but I was mesmerized and stayed put at the window.
"'Once you've seen it, it cannot be anything else - it just cannot and the pawprints are proof.' 
"She watched the feline take up to six strides before it disappeared into the woodland footpath by the River Colne.
"The mum took her five-year-old Parson Russel Terrier, Gunner, to the spot it vanished.
"She said: 'As soon as we hit his nose went down, his tail went up and he dragged me along.
"'I knew straight away there was something special and he took me about half a mile.
"'We went just over a mile and the whole way down were pawprints.'
"Her pictures of about two dozen pawprints with a diameter of about 10cm and non-retracted claws.
"Ms Woodall said she came across them in every ten strides on the footpath to Sudbury, Suffolk.
"She added: 'I took a photo of a labrador's paw print and it was a third of the size of this cat  - and it was a big labrador.
"'We have wild deer and pheasants which are perfect prey for a panther.'
Pic of one of the prints found by
Michelle Woodall
(Essex Live
"Ms Woodall believes Gunner lost the scent after it took them to a chicken farm which overlooked 'acres and acres' of fields. 
"She said locals said they had seen the big cat in the village as well and had a 'it's been seen again attitude' when she told them of her sighting.
"'This panther was jet black. It was light and I know what I saw as does every body else,' she said.
"Two women from the village claimed they spotted a black panther on the loose in 2015.
"Jenny Ward said her 16-year-old son Jason spotted what he thought was a 'great black fox' 40ft behind her on a footpath on August 8.
"Turning round, Mrs Ward locked eyes with a black cat 'bigger than a golden retriever' which stared at the stunned pair before crouching and disappearing into woodland.
"The path, which runs beside Mrs Ward's house leads across the countryside where a black cat was spotted on the same day.
"Biodiversity Co-ordinator Mark Iley said: 
"'We have had big cat reports from this are before (and elsewhere in Essex).
"'Although I'm a big skeptical about big cat sightings, it's always possible and I didn't see what Michelle saw.
"'Certainly, big cats could survive in our landscape, as there is plenty of food and they can be incredibly secretive.'
"A woman whose husband claimed to have seen the black panther in the village last October has today said she now believes a 'big cat' was on the loose.
"Zoe Newley, 45, a project manager, lives a mile from Ms Woodall in Sible Hedingham.
"Asked if she believes there was a big cat on the loose in Sible Hedingham, the mum-of-two said: 'Yes I do. I really believe it.
"'On Facebook I've messaged her to say my husband has seen something of exactly the same description.
"'With the paw prints I felt quite excited because I felt it verifies what my husband was saying, so it's interesting but we need a picture.'
"Essex Police has been contacted for comment."

There's another story from Jan. 12th, posted on Gloucestershire Live:
 "When a driver was heading home to Stroud late at night past a pub immortalized in literature, the last thing she expected to see was a big cat racing alongside her car.
"But that is what the woman says she saw, as she passed The Woolpack Inn in Slad just before Christmas.
"Suspected sightings of the creatures are few and far between but Stroud is somewhat of a hot spot and she cannot explain what she saw.
"'I was driving from Oxford to Stroud on Friday, December 15 and was passing through Slad at about 11.30pm, a little after I passed The Woolpack pub, along the road into Stroud in my headlights I saw something shoot out into the road from the valley on the left,' said the Stroud woman, 31, who does not wish to be named.

"'As I approached, the creature continued across the road and started sprinting in the same direction of travel as myself.
"'I was driving at about 40 miles per hour and it was bounding along the verge on the right hand side of the road, parallel to my car.
"'Naturally I slowed a little but it was keeping up with my vehicle. After following it for two or three minutes it shot up into the fields above the road.
"'It was not a huge creature - very lean - perhaps the size of a small Labrador but the way it ran was completely different to any domestic cat I've ever seen.
"'Its tail was also low and long and it was jet black with a glossy, short, dense coat. It had a small head.'
"The valley and the pub were made famous by Laurie Lee's novel Cider With Rosie.
"She contacted Gloucestershire big cat tracker Frank Tunbridge, who documents  sightings across the county and beyond.
"Although sightings are rare, there have been many in and around Stroud, particularly since deer carcasses in Woodchester and Dursley were tested for big cat DNA in 2012.
"Pictures of sightings at locations around the district have ben sent to Mr Tunrbridge, who has trail cameras set up at undisclosed spots where there have been sightings.
"Stroud mum Coryn Memory captured footage of what appears to be a big cat near Stroud in 2012.
"It was not illegal to release big cats in to the wild in Britain until 1981 and lynx, leopard cats and jungle cats have been either caught, shot or run over across the UK. 
"Mr Tunbridge believes the animal that she saw could be a new kind of wild cat which is the result of crossbreeding in the UK.
"'The description is very much like the sighting Coryn made,' he said. 'It's low, black and with a small head. 
"'Over the years it is possible that a big cat has evolved from the species we have here - it may not necessarily be that big but it is living wild.'"

Lastly, there's a story from The Herts Advertiser [also Jan 12th]. The St. Albans big cat may be back…:

"Luke Houghton, 18, was cycling in the area [Bricket Wood] on Monday at about 6pm when he passed by what first appeared to be roadkill.
"After taking a closer look, Luke said he is confident the remains were abandoned by a large predator.
"He said: 'I just thought it was roadkill at first, it just looked like a dead animal. But as I got close to it I saw it was a mauled deer. I was curious because it's so unusual. I've never seen something that gruesome I felt a bit ill too, it was pretty gory.'
Killed by the St. Albans cat?
(Herts Advertiser)

"Only the deer's top half is intact, with meat stripped from its rib-cage and spine and its hind legs ripped off.
"Luke added: 'From the photos I don't know what else could have done that, it would not have been a fox - that was something a bit bigger than a fox.'
"He has read about big cat sightings in the Herts Ad over 2017, and believes the corpse closely resembles another carcass spotted by a dog walker in Wheathampstead in April.
"'It lines up with the photos from April - the carcass looked very similar, which is interesting.'
"A London Colney taxi driver also captured a video of what he believed was a big cat walking into some undergrowth by Napsbury Lane in the early hours.
"Large paw prints were preserved through an Aldwickbury golf bunker after a night of rain and a driver recently spotted what he believed to be big cat remains by the side of the M25.
"On top of these, members of the public have been coming forward to report sightings around the district and further afield - in Sandridge, Welwyn, Redbourn and Hatfield.
"Recently a feline enthusiast suggested the animal could be a Eurasian wild cat, which is native to Scotland and only slightly bigger than a domestic tabby.
"Herts police figures show between 2011 and 2016 there were about 30 sightings reported. They advise people keep a safe distance and call 101.
"Seen the big cat? Email"
 The story of the first St. Albans cat kill can be found here.

With it not even being 1 full month into 2018, it seems like we will have a lot of anomalous big cat reports this year…

Have you seen an mystery big cat? If so, contact me in the comments...

Discovering Bigfoot - Thoughts?

Right now, the Netflix documentary Discovering Bigfoot is getting a lot of attention. Todd Standing made the doc and I've heard it's basically just all his old stuff that we've seen when he was on Survivorman Bigfoot. Jeff Meldrum and John Bindernagel are also involved, I believe.  A friend was talking to me about it the other day and just laughed at it when I showed him Todd Standing's claims.

So, I'm wondering - have any readers out there seen Discovering Bigfoot? If so, I would love to hear your thoughts on it, since I haven't and probably won't since I don't have Netflix.

Was a Bigfoot Filmed in Canada?

Making the rounds on news sites right now is a video that purportedly shows a Bigfoot in Canada.

The Express reports:

"A FILM purporting to show Bigfoot stalking through a Canadian forest has been hailed as evidence that the shaggy creature may be more than just a myth.
"The skip, shot on January 5, was captured by a Canadian family who entitled it: 'Remarkable footage shows a huge Bigfoot walking through the Canadian wilderness.'
"They uploaded it the YouTube channel Modern Galaxy and since then it has been viewed 126,000 times, with plenty of viewers apparently convinced of its veracity.
"One remarked: 'The thing is freaking huge and wide as hell. You can see where the direction of the sun is coming and can see the sun shine off of the fur of the creature.
"'The creature is in a sitting or crouched position then stands up and begins to walk more into the tree cover. You can even see it moving behind the trees. Very interesting if it's real footage.'
"Another added: 'Don't know what it is… but it's not a bear that I am sure…just wish they zoomed in, or follow up video of the location,' while a third commented: 'It looks like a Bigfoot to me.'
"Last year saw a rash of sightings of Bigfoot, which is also known as Sasquatch.
"In 2017, a farmer claimed to have seen a whole family of the creatures, adding that one of them was carrying a pig while running through his California ranch, while in another incident, also in California, a video appeared to show a Bigfoot-type creature swinging through the trees.
"And Hollywood actor Rob Lowe said an encounter with a 'wood ape' while filming a paranormal reality show in Missouri left him in fear of his life.
"Tales of the mythical beast, which is reported to be between 6 and 9 feet call and covered in thick shaggy hair, precede the colonization of North America, with frequent references to them in Native Ameircans folklore.
"Filmmakers Roger Patterson and Robert Gimlin hit the headlines in 1967 when they unveiled a minute-long film in Bluff Creek in Northern California showing an ape-like creature striding through a clearing in the forest.
"The footage is probably the most famous Bigfoot film of all time - but skeptics have since claimed it was an elaborate hoax."

Matt Moneymaker has commented on this video on Twitter and said: "Don't ask me why I think this is legit. It's too subtle to even explain. Just note, for the record, I think this is authentic footage. Usually I'm debunking BF clips but I think this is a real sasquatch, what Dr. Grover Krantz would have identified as 'Gigantopithecus canadensis.'"

He's usually debunking Bigfoot clips? I honestly don't think I've ever seen MM debunk any Bigfoot clip.

And, why can't we ask "why he thinks it's legit?" Its too subtle to explain? If MM really thinks it is real, and has reasons for thinking that, why doesn't he point out why, exactly, we should think this is real and not a fake?

To me, this looks like every other supposed Bigfoot video every uploaded to YouTube - too blurry, with nothing really to go on except something taking a few steps back into the woods. If MM can prove that it is real to me, I would love to hear is reasoning.

Until then, though, it's just a blurry video that believers will put forward as "evidence" when it is really nothing of the sort.

Screams "real!", does it not?

Friday, January 19, 2018

Geelong Big Cats

Another story about anomalous big cats…
(Geelong Advertiser)

The Geelong Advertiser (Australia) has a new article up [Jan. 17th]called "Black cat debate rages as Otways, You Yangs, Lake Connewarre sightings reported."

It reads:

"DEBATE is raging around the Geelong region's panther population.
"Sightings of big cats in the Otways, You Yangs, Lake Connewarre and along the Great Ocean Road have been reported this week, as big cat believers discuss a pair of photos posted online.
"Facebook page Black Cat Mythbusters Gippsland posted two photos of large black cats it claims were taken near Geelong, sparking a debate around the existence of panthers and big cats in the region.
"While it is understood the photos were taken near Lara and in Western Victoria at least two years ago, they have caused a number of people to reveal their own brushes with possible panthers in Geelong and on the Surf Coast - and multiple mentions of the legendary 'Otway Panther'.
"Geelong's Joel Kettner said there were plenty of big cats out there, once seeing one with his own eyes while working along the Great Ocean Road.
"'There are more than a few out there,' Mr Kettner said.
"'The bush and the forests are a big place, and it's only getting more houses getting built in the middle so they will keep moving on looking for new territory and places to stay clear away from humans.'
"Joe Barber said he had seen 'heaps' in the You Yangs, while closer to the Bellarine Darren Britt said he had seen similar big black cats around Lake Connewarre.
"'I have seen one run across the road in front of the car headed home to Melton the back way from Geelong,' Melissa Ray said. 'Massive maaaassive black cat.'
"Many people also commented on the photos claiming they were either fake or of particularly large feral cats.
"The Geelong region has a long history of big cat sightings, including that of Chilean visitor Romina Bucarey in 2010, who claimed a large black cat crossed her path at Bambra, 20km north of Lorne.
"'It was completely black, and shiny… like normal size for being a panther. My reaction was I didn't continue to walk because I didn't know if she can attack me,' Ms Bucarey said at the time.
"The 33-year-old said she was walking alone on a track off Winchelsea-Deans Marsh Rd when she saw the big cat around 100m in front of her." 

What do we make of these claims of big cat sightings?

They are more likely than ape-men or living dinosaurs...  

Big Cat Expert to talk on U.K. Sightings

If any readers live in the Somerset, England area...

From the North Somerset Times:

"Big cat expert discusses UK sightings at Nailsea event
"Danny Nineham has worked as a big cat consultant for the police and military for several decades.
"He siad: 'Three individuals have seen a black panther on the land and found dead deer carcasses. Thousands of people have reported their sightings to me over the decades.
"'Big cats are everywhere. Living in among us in our towns, villages and woods, going about their business every night undetected in most cases, just like the urban fox.
"'The cats I'm talking about include a puma or lynx.'
"Danny is speaking at the Ring O'Bells on Saturday from 6-10pm.
"Tickets, priced £10, include a buffet and can be booked from 07501 962893." 

Thursday, January 18, 2018

John Bindernagel Passes Away

Sad news… John Bindernagel, wildlife biologist and Bigfoot researcher, has died, aged 76.

John passed away yesterday, Jan. 17th. On January 8th he had told his circle of friends "just how imminent" his death may be because of terminal cancer.

RIP John.

Full obituary can be found on Loren Coleman's CryptoZooNews.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Cryptid U.S. eBook Available Now

Well that was quicker than expected… Cryptid U.S. is now available as a Kindle eBook on Amazon! Find it here.

eBook cover
The 2015 paperback version is available here.

Cryptid U.S. eBook Version

In 2015, I published the paperback version of my book Cryptid U.S.. It has only been available in that format… until now. Cryptid U.S. should be available as a Kindle eBook within a few days…!

I will update when it is available.

Check out the paperback version here.

Pb cover

Monday, January 15, 2018

North Carolina Woman Claims She's Seen Pterosaurs 3 Times (And Her Family Has Too)

Sordes, a pterosaur from the late Jurassic

Pterosaurs are extinct flying reptiles that lived during the time of the dinosaurs. In recent years, many people who are interested in cryptozoology have been looking into reports of supposed live pterosaurs across the world. The Fayetteville Observer out of North Carolina has a new article up on their website about some supposed sightings near Raleigh.

"RALEIGH -- As a cryptozoologist, Jonathan Whitcomb specializes in creatures that do not plausibly exist -- including mythical beings such as yeti, bigfeet, or -- Whitcomb's specialty -- modern day pterosaurs.
"As a self-described 'modern pterosaur expert,' the Utah-based author is circulating news and running websites that describe encounters with prehistoric, flying reptiles that scientists classify as thoroughly extinct.
"In his collection of pterosaur sightings, Whitcomb counts nine in North Carolina, including one winged beast that appeared in Raleigh only last week.
"'It had a long tail with a diamond-shaped bulb on it,' said Cynthia Lee, 20, who spotted the mysterious thing at a North Raleigh bus stop. 'It was dark brown.
"'It had this weird crest. I drew a picture of it.'
"Dismissed as lunacy by paleontologists and other academics, Whitcomb's work is still finding currency -- at least online. 
"'My associates and I believe that these are non-extinct pterosaurs,' he wrote in his release to The News & Observer, 'what many persons would call 'pterodactyls' or 'flying dinosaurs.'
"Based on fossil evidence, most scientists believe pterosaurs -- commonly (and incorrectly) referred to as flying dinosaurs -- went extinct more than 66 million years ago. Whitcomb, a creationist and evolution denier, describes himself as a scientists despite having no formal background in paleontology.
"Cryptozoology is a pseudoscience intended to prove the existence of mythological creatures and animals otherwise considered extinct. It is considered a pseudoscience because it does not follow the scientific method.
"What are pterosaurs?
"Pterosaurs were flying reptiles of the extinct order Pterosauria. They existed during most of the Mesozoic, from the late Triassic period to the end of the Cretaceous (228 to 66 million years ago). They are the earliest vertebrates known to have evolved powered flight.
 "There is no fossil evidence that any pterosaurs survived past the Cretaceous period.
"At the end of the Cretaceous period, the Cretaceous -- Paleogene extinction event, wiped out all non-avian dinosaurs and most avian dinosaurs as well, and many other animals, and seems to have taken most pterosaurs.
"The term 'flying dinosaur' commonly used to refer to pterosaurs is scientifically inaccurate. The tern 'dinosaur' is restricted to reptiles descended from the last common ancestor of two groups, which excluded pterosaurs. But pterosaurs, like dinosaurs, are more closely related to modern birds than to crocodiles or other living reptiles.
"'Slightly more probably than unicorns'
"While not 'absolutely impossible,' living pterosaurs are highly unlikely, said Matt Cartmill, professor emeritus of evolutionary anthropology at Duke University.
"'I can't believe that if there were living pterosaurs in North America, three centuries of naturalists, explorers, farmers, hunters, trappers and biologists would never have run across a single specimen, living or dead,' Cartmill said. 'What do these big flying animals eat? Where to they roost?'
"'I'd rank it as being slightly more probably than living unicorns in Raleigh and Durham. But only slightly.'
"When asked about the alleged sightings, Lindsay Zanno, assistant research professor and head of paleontology at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Science, had a succinct response: 'Pterosaurs are extinct and have been fro 65 million years.'
"North Carolina 'sightings?'
"Whitcomb says that there have been sightings of pterosaurs in 33 states and Washington, D.C. and that people who saw them emailed him and called him. Whitcomb identifies only one of his witnesses by name. At least one of the 'sightings' was gleaned from an online forum.
"Some of the sightings were allegedly in Raleigh and Durham, Whitcomb said. None of the 'sightings' he describes are supported by any credible photo or other forensic evidence.
"Lee, 20, studying to become a veterinary technician, reported a sighting to Whitcomb and described three sightings since last June in an interview with The News & Observer on Wednesday.
"The first came while she was standing on a bus stop in North Raleigh. Lee said she looked up after something case a huge shadow on the ground. The second sighting came a month later, and though this pair of pterosaur-like creatures did not have crests, they also lacked feathers. Lee began a Google search for pterosaur reports and discovered Whitcomb's site.
"The third sighting came last week following Wednesday's snow. Lee was taking an Uber ride to work when she saw the same crested creature out the window. The driver did not see it.
"'He was driving,' Lee said. 'He said he wished he saw it.'
"Lee also told Whitcomb about a sighting by her family years ago: 'My mother and uncle saw one too while they were playing outside of my grandma's house when they were really little. They told grandma, but she didn't believe it. I thought they were extinct.' 
 "A man was driving on Interstate 540 in Raleigh late in March 2013, when he said he saw a 'HUGE bird looking thing fly across the over-pass I was on, maybe 20-25 feet in front of  my car and about seven or eight feet off the ground.' He reported the encounter on an online forum and titled his experience 'I saw a Pterodactyl up close tonight.' He described it as 'bat-like in a way… (with) a LONG tail with a spade on the end.'

Sketch of a Ropen, a purported extant pterosaur in
Papua New Guinea

"Several commenters on the three suggested that it was likely the man saw a great blue heron -- not a pterosaur. 
 "Two eyewitnesses saw a flying creature, possibly the same species, in 2007 but on the south side of Raleigh, Whitcomb said. One of the two allegedly reported it to Whitcomb and said, 'The tail and the head shape is what stood out the most, and the feet. That's how come I knew it just wasn't a bird. I thought dinosaurs.'
 "In Durham, another eyewitness allegedly saw a 'pterodactyl' in 1993 and years later reported it to Whitcomb, he said: 'huge bat like wings… I estimate the wingspan was like 10 to 15 feet.'
"In 2010, another eyewitness allegedly told Whitcomb, 'I was driving home from dropping a friend off at school. When I was almost home (passed the Food Lion on Commerce Road, going towards County Club Road in Jacksonville), I saw something huge above me in the sky. It looked like a pale greenish white and smooth-skinned. It didn't appear to have any feathers, and it had the tail with the diamond shape on the end.'
"In 2012, Whitcomb said he received an email from a man who, with his cousin, saw something bringing to his mind the word 'dragon.' That encounter was in Ocotber 2009, in Charlotte. The man told Whitcomb: 'It looked like what I had seen in a Jurassic Park movie.'
"Whether these sky-bound shapes are mythic beasts, ancient reptile survivors or great blue herons playing dress-up, they make for lively conversation."

I don't find any credibility in reports of living pterosaurs. Why?

First of all, there is no evidence for them except eyewitness stories. And even though many cryptozoologists would like to believe otherwise, eyewitness stories are not evidence. They're only claims.

Second, pterosaurs are extinct and have been for 65 million years.

Third, Jonathan Whitcomb has no right to call himself an "expert" on "living pterosaurs" (or "non-extinct" ones as he apparently says. Does he not know the word extant?).  How can he be an expert on pterosaurs if he apparently knows nothing about paleontology, and that study is where all of the stuff we know about pterosaurs comes from?

For example…

Most reports of "modern pterosaurs" described creatures with a long tail with a spade shape on the end and a long head crest. Now, there were pterosaurs that had these features. Long tails were more common on Jurassic pterosaurs like the rhamphorynchids (like Sordes at the beginning of the post). The later pterosaurs, Pterodactyloidea, had shorter tails and some had large head crests, like the famous Pteranodon. However there weren't any that had long tails and large head crests like today's supposed pterosaurs like the Ropen.

On another note, the article says that Cryptozoology is the study of mythological creatures and animals considered extinct. More correctly, it should be the study of hidden or unknown animals. Real flesh-and-blood ones, too, not UFO-riding sasquatch or paranormal lake monsters. The paranormal should not apply to cryptozoology. And it is a pseudoscience, even though most cryptozoologists would probably like to argue that too. You can do cryptozoological research while following the scientific method, but many "researchers" and "investigators" today are people with no background in zoology, paleontology, or other sciences and just look for Bigfoot in their free time. Cryptozoologists also commonly make up hypothetical creatures to explain cryptids. That doesn't work either. People's views can also influence stories and what they think cryptids are (which I will discuss in a later post).

To sum things up:

Pterosaurs are not still alive. How would one woman see them three times (and one time the other person with her didn't?) and her family saw them, but most other people don't?

Modern day pterosaur descriptions do not match what scientists know pterosaurs looked like.

Jonathan Whitcomb is not a scientist and not an "expert" on pterosaurs (though he's written a bunch of books on them) because he has no paleontological background. I bet I could tell you more about them from books I read when I was 10.

Be skeptical and use science when investigating cryptids, people. Please.

Crypto-Kid: Nick Redfern & Ben Radford 2-Hour Special

A special episode of Colin Schneider's Crypto-Kid is on tonight at 8 on WCJV Radio. Both Nick Redfern and Ben Radford are on as guests tonight.

"[Tonight] on the Crypto-Kid, I will be joined by two of my favorite researchers and people in general: Nick Redfern and Ben Radford. They will be doing a discussion style debate concerning the nature of the Chupacabra. This has never been done, as far as I know, on radio before. It is also going to be a two hour extended show so we can cover everything."

Be sure to tune in to WCJV Radio tonight and listen live!

Friday, January 12, 2018

The Montauk Monster - Mutant or Raccoon?

 On July 23, 2008, a New York newspaper called The Independent reported on a very strange carcass that had been found at Montauk, on the southeastern shore of Long Island, on July 12th.

Jenna Hewitt and three friends had discovered the carcass. She was quoted as saying "We were looking for a place to sit when we saw some people looking at something… We didn't know what it was… We joked that maybe it was something from Plum Island."

Hewitt took a photo of the remains that was included in the article in The Independent and quickly spread across the Internet. The article joked that Editor Rick Murphy thought "perhaps it was Satan, and the devil's demise meant only good things would happen henceforth." They also lightheartedly suggested that it could be a "giant turtle sans shell" or "an escaped mutant victim of diabolical experiments taken by the sea from Plum Island [Animal Disease Center]."

The article went on to state that Natural Resources Director Larry Penny and Doug Johnson of Bandit Trapping and Pest Control thought the remains could be from a  raccoon with part of its upper jaw missing. The article concluded by saying that it was thought that someone had taken the carcass away.

Others had their own claims about what happened to the remains. Hewitt said that "a guy took it and put it in the woods in his backyard," though she would not say where it was taken, or by whom. Her father denied that she was trying to keep the location of the carcass a secret. Another anonymous source said that the remains were the size of a cat and had decomposed to only a skeleton by the time they got any press attention. She also said nothing about its location.

Jenna Hewitt's photo of the
"Montauk Monster"
On July 29th, 2008, cryptozoologist Loren Coleman posted the photo of the remains on the website Cryptomundo under the headline "Cryptid Washes Ashore at Montauk?" He quoted the website Gawker (that the photo was shared on) that said "This is an actual monster, some sort of rodent-like creature with a dinosaur beak. A tipster says that there is 'a government animal testing facility very close by in Long Island.'"
With cryptozoologist Loren Coleman

Coleman also noted that "Comments like 'That's a turtle, without its shell,' make no sense because of the teeth. Some fossil turtles had teeth, but no modern turtles possess real teeth." It was Coleman who first used the name "Montauk Monster" for the creature in his Cryptomundo article. The name stuck.

Though many people want to think that the Montauk Monster was some sort of government science experiment gone wrong and was covered up, it seems to have a more down-to-earth explanation. Darren Naish studied Hewitt's photo and concluded that the creature was only a raccoon. He showed that the "beak" of the creature was actually only the snout devoid of flesh. He also noted how the long, human-like fingers on the animal's feet were just like a raccoon's. Naish overlaid a sketch of a raccoon over the photo of the carcass to prove that "claims that the limb proportions of the Montauk carcass are unlike those of a raccoon are not correct." In a closeup of the creature's face, he also showed there were several teeth missing from the upper jaw, making it look like a "beak."

Though conspiracy theorists would like to think that the Montauk Monster was a hastily covered-up science experiment of the U.S. government, it is most definitely nothing of the sort.

This post is excerpted from my future book/current project Global Globsters: An Examination of "Sea Monster" Carcasses from Around the World.

My first book, Cryptid U.S., can be bought on Amazon.

On the Trail Of... Champ - Trailer 2

Small Town Monsters has a new trailer up for their upcoming documentary On the Ttail Of... Champ, which takes a look at the lake monster said to live in Lake Champlain in New York and Vermont.

Below is some info about the doc and Small Town Monsters:

"For centuries, tales have been told of a massive, unknown, aquatic creature living in the waters of Lake Champlain. The 'beast' is said to be anywhere from ten to thirty feet long within an abnormally long neck, flippers and a dinosaur-like appearance. Sightings of the animal known as Champ reached their peak during the 1970s but history tells of a bizarre 'water horse' said to reside in the lake ling before the area become inhabited by settlers. Today, Champ is celebrated in local towns and villages along the lake and has even become a mascot for the local minor league baseball team.
"This June, Small Town Monsters (2016's Beast of Whitehall) and filmmaker Aleksandar Petakov will release On the Trail of… Champ; an examination of the legend and the ongoing search for the creature. On the Trail of… Champ is a six-to-eight episode mini-series filmed during the summer and early Fall of 2017. Petakov was on and around Lake Champlain for one of the largest, most well-funded searches for Champ in history and when the project is released on June 15th you'll get to experience this massive search for yourself. What they found might just change your mind about the existence of such a creature.
"'Champ' marks the beginning of the new, ongoing series from Small Town Monsters titled 'On the Trail of…' and will be followed up in 2019 with a massive search across the Eastern United States for the legendary being called Bigfoot. On the Trail of… Champ will premiere on DVD and the VIDI Space streaming platform on June 15th before heading to Amazon in July. VIDI Space ( is a new online network founded by Nick Groff ('Paranormal Lockdown'/'Ghost Adventures'), Elizabeth Saint ('Ghosts of Shepardstown'), and Justin Narragon featuring paranormal and supernatural content. The mini-series will make it's debut under VIDI Space's new Cryptid.Space.
"Small Town Monsters made waves recently when they released Beast of Whitehall, a documentary which examined Whitehall, New York's Bigfoot history. That documentary went on to garner film festival awards and played on New York television during the summer of 2016. Since then, Beast of Whitehall has become one of the most-viewed documentaries on bizarre subjects on Amazon Prime. The production company plans to hold a public premiere of On the Trail of… Champ at the annual Minerva Monster Day festival in Minerva, OH. The Festival will also feature Portland, Maine native, Loren Coleman; curator of the world's only Cryptozoology Museum."

Curious Creatures in Zoology - Coming in June

Coming in June from Dover Publications - a reprint of John Ashton's 1890 book Curious Creatures in Zoology: Illustrated Legends and Myths from Around the World. 

Below is the book description from Amazon:

"Rather than a work of science, this richly illustrated volume offers fare for the imagination with its fascinatingly odd menagerie of creatures both real and imaginary. Victorian author John Ashton assembled historical accounts of everything from centaurs and unicorns to narwhals and wolves by authors such as Pliny, the ancient Roman naturalist, and Edward Topsell, a 17th century English clergyman. These credulous treatments provide abundant amusement for modern readers."

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

"Vermont's Lake Monster"

I recently rediscovered a thing on Champ I had made when I was 11. That was about the time I first heard stories of something strange in Lake Champlain and it fascinated me. Still does, but I doubt now that anything is there…

Click for bigger image...

Some recommended reading and viewing…

"Read: America's Loch Ness Monsters
"Read: Champ: Beyond the Legend 
"Watch: America's Loch Ness Monster (2003)"

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Mystery Creatures of China - Available Now

Available now - David C. Xu's new book from Coachwhip Publications: Mystery Creatures of China: The Complete Cryptozoological Guide. It looks like a fantastic new study of of China's mystery animals…

Below is the book description from Amazon:

"David C. Xu's Mystery Creatures of China is one of the most exciting additions to the cryptozoological literature in years. For the first time, cryptozoology researchers and enthusiasts will be able to access information about some of the most intriguing mystery animals on the planet. The author has collected sighting reports and historical data from across all of China to bring the English-speaking world new accounts of fascinating encounters with strange and curious beasts.
"Many of these mystery animals have never before been presented in Western cryptozoological books or articles. From lake monsters to man-apes, mystery cats to dinosaur-like beasts, the four-winged bird to the blood-sucking blanket-like xizi, there are a multitude of mysterious creatures to enjoy and analyze. The author as created a doorway into the hidden zoology of China in expectation that others will take up the cause and seriously explore these biological mysteries.
"With over 100 mystery animals listed in 98 sections (categorized into aquatic, humanoid, carnivorous, herbivorous, reptilian, and winged cryptids), this book will amaze, intrigue, and delight anyone interested in cryptozoology and Chinese folklore."