Search This Blog

Logo

Logo

Translate

Total Pageviews

Monday, August 31, 2015

SOSBI Bigfoot Conference Schedule



The schedule for the SOSBI Burr Oak Bigfoot Conference, which is only two weeks away, has been posted.

Here it is.

Friday, September 11:

SOSBI will be hosting a meet and greet in the lobby of the Burr Oak State Park lodge from 6:00 to around 8 or 8:30 PM. Nice chance to meet the speakers!

Saturday, September 12:

Vendor set up and sales/ticket sales start at 9:00 AM.

Conference room will open up at 12:45 PM.

The conference will start at 1:00 PM with Doug Waller opening.
Doug Waller, head of SOSBI.
His 2013 book, and his new one will be for sale at the conference

1st Speaker - Peter Wiemer will speak from 1:15 to 2:15. After him is a 15 minute break.

2nd Speaker - Paul Bartholomew will be speaking form 2:30 to 4:00. After him is a 15 minute break.

3rd Speaker - Scott Carpenter will be speaking from 4:15 to 6:15.

After Carpenter's talk there will be an 80 minute dinner break.

Raffle winners will be announced from 7:35 to 7:45.

After the raffle winners are announced, David Paulides will be speaking. There may be a panel discussion after him if time allows.

I will be there Saturday, and will have a vendor table selling cryptid paintings and my book. 

This is going to be a great conference. I hope to see a lot of people there.

You can find out more and/or get tickets on the SOSBI blog. 

Sunday, August 30, 2015

A Manifestation of Monsters - Out September 4

A few days ago I had a post about Karl Shuker's new book A Manifestation of Monsters: Examining the (Un)Usual Suspects. Just yesterday, Shuker had a post on his blog about the book.

A Manifestation of Monsters is available now for pre-order on Amazon and will be out on September 4, in just a few days!
Awesome cover!

Here's the description of the book from Amazon:

"The spectacular front-cover painting by American artist Michael J. Smith, depiction 17 astonishing mystery beasts and other controversial entities, was the inspiration for this latest book by leading cryptozoologist Karl Shuker. Ever since seeing it in 2012, Shuker has wanted to prepare a book incorporating this painting's eclectic company of creatures, but the fundamental problem that he faced was how to categorize them collectively.
"What single term could be used that would encompass this exceedingly diverse array of farms, plus the many additional creatures also to be included in the book? 'Cryptid' was not sufficiently comprehensive, nor was 'mystery creature' or 'unknown animal,' because some of the depicted beasts seemingly exist beyond the perimeters-and parameters-of cryptozoology's traditional confines. Eventually, Shuker concluded that only one such term could sastify all those requirements. Indeed, it was tailor-made for this purpose. The term? What else could it be? 'Monster!'
"Derived from the Latin noun 'monstrum' and the Old French 'monstre,' 'monster' has many different definitions-a ver strange, frightening, possibly evil/ugly mythical creature; something huge and/or threatening; a mutant, or abnormal animal; even something extraordinary, astonishing, incredible, unnatural, inexplicable. These definitions collectively cover all of this book's subjects-and so too, therefore, does the single word 'monster' from which the definitions derive.
"Consequently, this book is a manifestation of monsters-a unique exhibition, a singular gathering, an exceptional congregation of some of the strangest, most mystifying, and sometimes truly terrifying creatures ever reported."

If you are someone who likes cryptozoology, get this book! I know I definitely will be.

You can pre-order (or buy it in five days) the book on Amazon.  

Thursday, August 27, 2015

A Monstrous Commotion: The Mysteries of Loch Ness

Yet another new cryptozoology book, and another one on the Nessies.

There have already been a couple of books on the Loch Ness Mosnters out this year, and A Monstrous Commotion: The Mysteries of Loch Ness is one to be added to the forthcoming list (it will be out in November.)

Gareth Williams is the author of said new book, which is about the Loch Ness Monsters, but is also about the monster hunters.

Here is the description from Amazon UK:

"The Loch Ness Monster: a creature that should have died out with the dinosaurs, or a legend built on hoaxes and wishful thinking?
"Sir Peter Scott, internationally renowned naturalist and president of the World Wildlife Fund, was convinced that the Monster existed. So were senior scientists at London's Natural History Museum and Chicago University; they lost their jobs because they refused to renounce their belief in the creature. For decades, the scientific establishment was determined to quash attempts to investigate Loch Ness - until Nature, the world's greatest research journal, published and article by Peter Scott featuring underwater photographs of the monster. 
"Drawing extensively on new material, Gareth Williams takes a wholly original look at what really happened in Loch Ness. A Monstrous Commotion tells the story as never before: a gripping saga populated by colorful characters who do extraordinary things in pursuit of one of evolutions wildest cards. 
"Meticulously researched and dazzlingly written, this book will appeal to anyone fascinated by nature and its mysteries - and to everyone who enjoys a beautifully crafted detective story with a strong cast of heroes and villains, plenty of twists and an unexpected ending."

Here's the description from the US Amazon:

"A MONSTROUS COMMOTION delves deep into the depths of the Loch Ness phenomenon, one of the iconic scientific mysteries of the last hundred years. The legend of the 'water horse' in Loch Ness and other Scottish lakes in ancient, but reports of the monster date from as recently as the 1930s, courtesy of a correspondent of the Inverness Courier. Rather than debating the arguably unfathomable realities of what lies beneath these murky Scottish waters, Professor Gareth Williams instead engages with the people who have dedicated themselves to unearthing the truth of the monster's existence. He explores just what it is that drives these people to the point of obsession, and the ways in which their own quests have changed their lives, and the lives of others. With the use of interviews and never-before-seen archives, Williams creates a gripping narrative about the diverse people and stories behind the phenomenon. In his journey to discover the allurement of Nessie, he unravels a compelling tale of human eccentricity, full of twists, turns and entertaining surprises. While A MONSTROUS COMMOTION provides the facts and history behind the legend, and lucidly articulates the current state of scientific research and evidence, readers must ultimately decide the truth for themselves. They too will embark on a journey of discovery, engrossed by a mystery that never fails to astonish."

(A couple of things from me:  1. Of course the UK description goes with the creature that "should have died out with the dinosaurs" thing. Nessies are not plesiosaurs. They are some type of long-necked seal-like mammal! 2. The US description says sightings go back to ancient times (which they do), but that the "date from as recently as the 1930s." That is when the monster(s) first got worldwide publicity. Sightings don't happen that often anymore, but people still see strange things in Loch Ness. 3. There has to be more than one "Loch Ness Monster.")

A little about the author:

"Gareth Williams is Emeritus Professor at the University of Bristol. He has written extensively on the subject of science and scientific enquiry."
The US Amazon currently only has the book in Kindle edition. As it is coming out in November, however, it will probably (hopefully!) also come in paperback and hardcover like on the UK Amazon.

This looks like another good cryptozoology book coming out in 2015. Be sure to check it out.

You can see the list of 2015's cryptozoology books here on Tyler's Cryptozoo. It is updated every time I find a new book.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A Manifestation of Monsters: Examining the (Un)Usual Suspects

Nick Redfern isn't the only crypto-author with new books coming out next month…

Karl Shuker's 22nd book, A Manifestation of Monsters: Examining the (Un)Usual Suspects, is now on the presses and will be out in September, published by Anomalist Books. There really isn't much out on the book yet, but you can check out the cover below.

Cover art is by Michael J. Smith and there is a forward by Ken Gerhard.

Shuker's books are some of the best. If you like cryptozoology books, this one is not to be missed!

Cynocephali, Wolf-Men, and the Dogman

In modern times, there are reports of creatures that look like werewolves. These creatures are commonly called Dogmen by cryptozoologists. Most people will probably think that all the Dogman stories are fake, but a lot of people (including me) believe they are true. This post is about Dogmen, but not really the ones seen today. You see, reports/stories of Dogman like beings go back thousands of years.


THE CYNOCEPHALI 

First, we will start of with a history of the cynocephali for those who may not know what they are. According to the Cryptid Wiki, the Cynocephali existed in the mythology of Europe, India, and China. They were said to exist in modern-day Iran. In European mythology, they were described as dog-headed people. Sometimes they were said to be hairy giants.

One theory to explain the Cynocephali is that they are just baboons. That could be the explanation, but, as we shall see, stories of werewolf like creatures continued, and still do in today's world. The Cryptid Wiki has a good ending paragraph about the Cynocephali:

"Since there do not seem to be sightings of these creatures today, most cryptozoologists ignore them. To the few who do pay attention to them, the Cynocephali are viewed as either just one more kind of hairy humanoid of as a cryptid canine of some sort."

Well Cryptid Wiki, there may still be sightings of Cynocephali, as we shall see later in this post. But first, some more on some old werewolves.
Some cynocephali

BEAST OF GEVAUDAN

I first learned about the Beast of Gevaudan about three years ago in Loren Coleman and Jerome Clark's 1999 book Cryptozoology A to Z. Between the years 1764 and 1767, eighty to 118 humans were killed by this mysterious, deadly cryptid canine. On June 30, 1764, Jeanne Boulet, a 14 year old girl, was out by the village of Saint Etienne de Lugdares, France, herding sheep, when she was found by other villagers - dead, and her body was torn apart. Soon, the killer was hunted by many people. Several times, the hunters encounters a giant, wolf-like creature that was attacking a person. It was shot many times, and some people claimed they wounded it, but no one could ever kill it, leading some to think it was a werewolf!
Beast of Gevaudan

Finally, on September 21, 1765, Francois Antoine was near the village of Pommier with forty other hunters when they trapped the Beast at the bottom of a ravine. They shot it several times and finally succeeded in killing it. It was soon dubbed the "Wolf of Chazes" and appeared to be a specimen of Canis lupus. It was six feet long, 32 inches high, and weighed 143 pounds. It had inch and a half long fangs and had forty-two teeth total. Some have suggested that this Beast was a wolf-dog hybrid.

Wait, did I just say this Beast? There was more than one Beast of Gevaudan? The answer - yes!

Over the next two years attacks continued. On June 19, 1767, Jean Chastel shot and killed a huge dog-like creature. The attacks stopped for good afterwards.

Some people think that Chastel, who killed the second beast, was a real killer, and that he had trained the Beast, which was said to be a hyena. The Beast he used as a distraction while he went out and did his evil deeds.

There are quite a few theories for what the Beasts of Gecaudan were, and you can find out more about them on Karl Shuker's blog on his excellent post on the monsters - he explains it much better than I could!

SHAPE SHIFTING WEREWOLVES

A long time ago, Europeans believed that a person could turn into a werewolf. Lycanthropy, according to wikipedia, is "the mythological ability or power of a human being to undergo transformation into a werewolf. People who were thought to be werewolves were called lycanthropes.

Beginning in the 16th century, Europe had many witch and werewolf trials. Those who were thought to be lycanthropes of witches were captured and lots of times killed. Only one person actually confessed that they were a werewolf.

At age 18, a boy named Hans was accused of being a werewolf. He was brought to court in 1651 during the Werewolf Trials in Estonia and admitted that he had been hunting as a werewolf, for two years. He claimed that two years earlier he had been bitten by a "man in black" that turned out to be a werewolf, thus turning him into one, also.

NATIVE AMERICAN LEGENDS

Europeans were not the only ones with stories of werewolves. Native Americans knew of them as well.
Skinwalker

Many tribes of Native American believed in shape-shifters. The Navajo are one such tribe, and believe in skinwalkers, which they call the "yeenadlooshi", which means "he who goes on all fours." They say that skinwalkers do not look exactly like normal people - they have large eyes that are always glowing. They believe that if a person looks a skinwalker in the eyes, it can steal their skin! Their skin was also said to be hard as rock, so they could not be hurt by the Native's weapons. Sometimes it is said that skin walker's tongue is black, which means their soul was poison.

To become a skinwalker, the Native's say, is caused by dark forces.

Skinwalkers can change from human to animal form, and are said to be much more intelligent as an animal. They can read minds and try to lure people out of their homes by mimicking the voices of their loved ones.

Skinwalkers can take many animal forms, including coyotes, owls, and crows. The most common form, though, is the wolf.


WEREWOLVES TODAY

For those who don't know, there are reported encounters today with something that sounds like a werewolf. These creatures are called Dogman by cryptozoologists, and sightings happen all over North America. Two of the most famous are the Beast of Bray Road seen in Wisconsin and the Michigan Dogman.

Sightings of Dogmen go back to at least 1936. That year, Mark Schackelman saw a creature as big as a man, with dark fur, kneeling like a human, digging on a mound at St. Coletta School for Exceptional Children in Wisconsin. The first night he saw it, the creature ran away. He saw it again the next night, though, and it didn't act frightened.

When Schackelman saw the creature the next night, it stood up on its hind legs to a height of six feet. It smelled like "rotten meat" and had hands with fingers and thumbs. It was very muscular, and had the head of a wolf. When Schackelman shined his flashlight at the creature, it growled in a "neo-human voice" something that sounded like "ga-dar-rah." Schackelman became terrified and felt he needed to pray. As he did, the creature left, and he never saw it again.

There have been many other Dogman sightings across the country, and they have occurred in just about every state. Lots of them have occurred in Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, and surrounding states.

Linda S. Godfrey is the author of four excellent books fully on the Dogman and other books on cryptozoological subjects as well. You can find all of them here.  Joedy Cook also has a few books on this cryptid, the most recent being Dogman: Werewolf Encounters in Northeastern America, which came out in June. I also have a whole chapter fully on Dogman in my book, and it is one of the longer chapters in the book.
The Michigan Dogman

Dogmen are normally said to be about seven feet tall, with hind legs like a dog, a tail, very muscular body, sometimes the hands are like elongated dog paws, but sometimes they look like human hands, like in Schackelman's report, and they have heads described as looking like a wolf or German Shepard. They are definitely not Bigfoot.

For a long time most people didn't know about the Dogman, but now it seems everyone in the world of cryptozoology does. On a recent Sasquatch Watch Radio, Joedy Cook said he thinks they are going to be the next "big thing." I think that, too. Lots of people know about them, there are books fully on them, and they have been featured on several TV shows, including Mystery Hunters, MonsterQuest, and Monsters and Mysteries in America. 

I do not think Dogmen are shape-shifting werewolves. They are some type of canine that walks upright like humans (and Sasquatch, too!) They live all over North America, and maybe other places of the world as well. And, whatever they are, they aren't a nice little animal you'd want to run into in the woods. These things are known to chase cars and people, and there are some reports of them actually attacking people. They are dangerous.

Dogman sightings continue today. All the old "legends" and "myths" about werewolves may not be myths at all.

Would you like to see this on a lonely country road
in the middle of the night?

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Thanks to Karl Shuker!

My greatest thanks goes out to Dr. Karl Shuker for adding Tyler's Cryptozoo to his list of links on his blog ShukerNature. Dr. Shuker is one of my favorite authors/cryptozoologists and I check out his blog all the time. Today he had his 500th post on said blog. You should definitely check it out by clicking here. You can also find all his great books on Amazon. 

Karl Shuker

My favorite of Karl's books
Thanks again Dr. Shuker! You have no idea how cool this is for me. : )

You can check out Shuker's official website at karlshuker.com. 

Check out Karl's blog!

Squatch Fest 2015 is This Weekend



The United States Bigfoot Research Association is hosting Squatch Fest this weekend, August 28 thru 30, at Mohican State Park, Ohio.

On Friday there will be camp setup and a meet and greet. There is a group hike Saturday morning a 10:00, and speakers start at two o'clock. Speakers are Marc DeWerth, Mark Maisel, and Eric Altman. There is a dinner from 5:45 to 7:00 PM after the speakers and a Q&A starting at 7:00 PM. There will also be chidden activities all afternoon.

You can find out more about Squatch Fest on their website. You can get tickets there as well.

If you're a bigfooter, come on down to Squatch Fest this weekend!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Russian Artist says he saw and drew a Yeti

Andrey Lyubchenko claims he had a close encounter with a yeti.

The Russian artist says he came face-to-face with a "friendly yeti" and even claims he talked to it. He claims the yeti told him its name was Ta Ban. He did not have a camera with him, so he drew a portrait of the creature he was looking at on a piece of bark. 
Andrey Lyubchenko claimed he met a Yeti while out walking in Siberia which he drew on a piece of bark
Lyubchenko claims the yeti was eight feet two inches tall, had hair like a bears but softer, and was holding a wooden stick "with bits of hair wrapped around it." "It happened so unexpectedly and fast that I had no time to get scared." He said. He says the eyes looked like "light colored human eyes." 

His drawing of the yeti is below.


Lyubchencko claimed he did not have a camera, and instead took time to draw the friendly Yeti on some bark
Pretty nice piece of wood......

I have doubts about this story. Lyubchenko says the encounter happened "quickly and unexpectedly", and yet he had time to talk to the yeti and draw a picture of it, and then have the yeti sign it!!! While it is a good drawing, I don't think Lyubchenko sat down and talked to a yeti. The yeti is some kind of bear anyway.

Chupacabras, Velociraptors, and Other Strange Beasts in Puerto Rico

All people who like Cryptozoology know about the Chupacabras. In 1995, many animals began being found dead and drained of blood in Puerto Rico. Soon, people started reporting encounters with the attacker - a four to five foot tall creature, with back legs like a kangaroo, red eyes, a lipless mouth, three fingered hands, furry or leathery skin, and spines or quills on its back. The creature was quickly dubbed the "Chupacabras," which is Spanish for "goat sucker." If you look up Chupacabras on google, is will say it is "an animal said to exist in parts of Latin America, where it supposedly attacks animals, especially goats."

Chupacabras


Many people probably don't know, however, that Puerto Rico has many other monsters besides the Chupacabras. These other cryptids are the subject of one of Nick Redfern's Mysterious Universe articles from last week. I hadn't even heard about most of this stuff!
Is Bigfoot in Puerto Rico?

What are some of the other cryptids of Puerto Rico that Redfern discusses? They include things like black panthers, vampires, raptor dinosaurs, aliens, bigfoot-like creatures, and more. What interested me the most was the part about sightings of things that looked just like the Velociraptors out of Jurassic Park. Whatever those things were, however, they are probably not Velociraptors. Most people don't know this, but Velociraptors were actually only about two feet tall and about six feet long, and were covered in feathers. They didn't look anything like the ones in Jurassic Park or any of its sequels. Those raptors look more like Deinonychus. 
Velociraptor

Deinonychus

Here's how Redfern's article starts:

"I guarantee that if you bring up the words 'Monsters' and 'Puerto Rico' in the same sentence, it will instantly provoke thoughts of the Chupacabra. The beast is, after all, Puerto Rico's most famous, legendary cryptid. But, it's far from being alone. It's a little known fact that the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico is said to be the home of other creatures of a monstrous nature, too. And they are an extremely diverse bunch. I've been to Puerto Rico on many occasions, always in pursuit of the Chupacabra. However, it's notable that on every occasion I've been there, I've found myself looking into other things, too. Very weird things."

See the rest here.  

Redfern also has Chupacabra Road Trip, one of his several new books in September, coming out September 8.


Saturday, August 22, 2015

The Yeti is not an Abominable Snowman

I used to be one to believe that the Yeti was a giant human-like creature just like Bigfoot. Lots of other people think that when they think "yeti", too. But, the truth is, the yeti is anything but an "Abominable Snowman."
Image result for yeti

To start things, lets find out where the term "Abominable Snowman" came from, for those who may not know.
Charles Howard-Bury
In 1921, Lieutenanat Colonel Charles Howard-Bury led the 1921 British Mount Everest reconnaissance expedition. While on the expedition, he found footprints he thought were caused by a "large, 'loping' grew wolf" that had caused double-tracks (an animal sometimes steps its back foot in its front footprint, making it look like one footprint. Skeptics will say bears do this and make "bigfoot" tracks. I think Bigfoot makes Bigfoot tracks.) Hoawrd-Bury thought this was how the wolf made tracks that looked "rather like those of a bare-footed man." His Sherpa guides immediately said the tracks were made by the "wild man of the snows," or "metoh-kangmi." (Metoh: "man-bear", kangmi: "snowman.")

In 1938, Bill Tilman wrote a book and described Howard-Bury's footprints, but called the thing "metch-kangmi." "Metch" is not a word in the Tibetan language. Thus, through a mis-translation, the term "Abominable Snowman" was created.

Because of this name, most people think of something like a bigfoot(and usually white) when they think "Yeti" or they think of a literal snowman. Well, the Yeti definetly isn't a "snowman," and it most likely isn't a Bigfoot of the Himalayas, either.

Wait, what?!

Yes, that is coming from me. The Yeti is not an "Abominable Snowman." It is not a Bigfoot. I'm 99% sure it isn't any sort of "ape-man," either.
Bryan Sykes
In 2013/14, Bryan Sykes did DNA research on Bigfoot/Yeti, etc. His DNA from the "Yeti" came back as bear DNA. In 2013, Sykes and his team said it appeared that the Yeti DNA was that of a Pleistocene polar bear. In 2014, however, it was revealed that the team made an error on the DNA study, and that it came from a modern brown bear.
The Yeti?
Well, there you go. That's it.

Well, actually, I have a little more.
Reindold Messner
Earlier this month I read Reinhold Messner's book My Quest for the Yeti. In 1986, Messner was in the Himalayas and spotted what he thought was a Yeti. He then spent years trying to find out what the Yeti really was. Lots of Tibetans called the Yeti "chemo," and it turned out that the "chemo" was a bear. Messner ended up seeing several chemos, and became convinced that they were the Yetis.
Very good book
I used to be one to think that the Yeti couldn't be anything but a Bigfoot of the Himalayas. Now, though, as I stated earlier, I'm 99% sure that the yeti is a bear, of some sort, at least.

Selling Stuff at the SOSBI Conference

I will be selling cryptid paintings and copies of my book (For $15) at the SOSBI Burr Oak Bigfoot Conference on September 12, 2015, three weeks from now.

Speakers for the conference are David Paulides, Peter Wiemer, Scott Carpenter, and Paul Bartholomew.




If anyone gets a copy of Cryptid U.S. I would be glad to sign it. It is a 196 page book with stuff on all kinds of cryptids seen in the United States.











This looks like its going to be a good conference. I hope to see a lot of people there!



You can find out more on SOSBI's Facebook page or their blog. Tickets are available from both sites.

Happy Birthday Peter Byrne

Today is Peter Byrne's 90th birthday. He was born August 22, 1925.

Peter Byrne

Peter went on early expeditions to search for the Yeti and Bigfoot in the 1950s. He is the author of a few Bigfoot books, including The Hunt for Bigfoot, which came out earlier this year.

Happy birthday Peter Byrne, and I hope you have many more, too!

Peter's newest book

Friday, August 21, 2015

A Flying Humanoid May Have Been Spotted in Los Angeles

On August 9, several people in Sequoia Park in Los Angeles looked up in the sky and spotted what appears to be a flying humanoid. Three witnesses also caught the thing on video.

Whatever the thing is, if it is real, it is flying and certainly looks like a human shape. On Mysterious Universe, Paul Seaburn says it appears to be in some sort of space suit. To me it kind of looks like the Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters. 

What do you think? Is it a real flying humanoid? An alien in a space suit? Or a hoax?


For more on Flying humanoids, be sure to check out Ken Gerhard's excellent book by clicking the first link.



Thursday, August 20, 2015

New Nick Redfern Books Next Month!

If you are someone who knows me or checks out this blog you probably know that Nick Redfern is one of my favorite authors/cryptozoologists. He has lots of books out on cryptids/Men in Black/UFOs and other things, and has three new ones coming out in September.

1st is Chupacabra Road Trip: In Search of the Elusive Beast, and you can probably guess what it's about.

Chupacabra Road Trip

The 2nd is The Bigfoot Book: The Encyclopedia of Sasquatch, Yeti, and Cryptid Primates , a 400 page encyclopedia of all things Bigfoot.


The Bigfoot Book
The 3rd is Men in Black: Personal Stories and Eerie Adventures. I have his other MIB book, The Real Men in Black (2011), and I bet this one will be just as good.

Men in Black


I know I will definitely be getting all three books, and if you are someone interested in cryptozoology, MIB, and the like, you should definitely get them, too!

"I've Seen Bigfoot"

I've Seen Bigfoot is the name of a new documentary being made by Peter Wiemer, Joseph Glarner, and Mark Robinault. It is a "feature-length documentary featuring eyewitnesses and researchers telling real stories of their own encounters of the elusive Bigfoot."
isb
It is premiering at the Boonies Ineternational Film Festival at the Stuthers Library Theatre in Warren, Pennsylvania this Saturday, August 22nd.

You can check out the trailer for the documentary below.



Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Gremlins in Cryptozoology

Gremlins, you ask?

Yes, but not the ones from the 1984 movie.

Most people probably don't know that gremlins are not just something from movies. During WWII, many pilots claimed they were harassed by small beings that caused trouble in their airplanes.

Most people think the name "gremlin" comes from an Old English word, "greme," which means "to vex or annoy."

Early stories of gremlins show them as helpful little creatures and even helped man create technology like steam engines. Some even say they helped Ben Franklin discover electricity!

By the early 1900s, however, gremlins weren't viewed as something nice.

British pilots (and pilots from the USA and other places as well) began reporting small, impish creatures  that seemed interested in their aircraft and caused malfunctions on the craft. Reports of them can be found all the way back to the early 1900s, in the British newspaper the Spectator: 

"The old Royal Naval Air Service in 1917 and the newly constituted Royal Air Force in 1918 appear to have detected the existence of a horde of mysterious and malicious sprites whose whole purpose in life was…. to bring about as many as possible the inexplicable mishaps which, in those days as now, trouble an airman's life."

People said the gremlins did many things to cause trouble, including sucking gas our of the gas tanks, jamming radio frequencies, messing with wings and engines, removing bolts/screws, pinching and poking the pilots, breaking windows, and many other things.  Some pilots claimed that the gremlins had telepathic powers and caused them to see things like mountains rise up in front of them. They were also said to make lots of loud noises (like growls and shouts) to distract the pilots.

You may think that the gremlins never existed, and that all the mechanical problems that happened weren't caused by anything strange. No one ever saw gremlins. Well,… that would be wrong.

In May of 1927, American aviator Charles Lindbergh flew a nonstop flight over the Atlantic from New York to Paris. On the 9th hour of the 33 hour flight, he reported that he suddenly felt "somewhat detached from reality" and saw several strange beings around him. They looked vaporous and spoke to him, showing an amazing knowledge of his navigation and flight equipment. Instead of causing trouble like they were known to do, Lindbergh said that the gremlins actually helped him stay safe on his journey. He did not tell anyone about the encounter until he wrote about it in his 1953 book The Spirit of St. Louis. 
Charles Lindbergh

There were many different descriptions of what the gremlins looked like. Some said they looked like little elves similar to humans, with red, gold, pink, or green skin, and wore bright red or green coats, old fashioned hats with feathers in them, and pointed shoes. Other gremlins did not sound so nice. Witnesses said they looked like some kind of animal, with furry bodies, huge, pointed ears, red and sometimes glowing eyes that looked somewhat like a reptile's, and horns. Some said they had hairless, grey skin that looked reptilian. These gremlins had huge mouths filled with sharp, pointed teeth. Some descriptions mention webbed hands and feet, fins, and wings like a bat's.  Some people, like Charles Lindbergh, said they beings were made of some sort of mist or smoke. Sometimes that had suction-cup feet that let them hand upside down or walk on the outside of aircraft. Gremlins did not seem to be affected by any altitude, temperature, or winds. They were said to be from only a few inches to about three feet tall.
Cartoon of gremlins attacking a plane

Some pilots on combat missions in the Second World War had encounters with these little troublemakers. One American pilot, L. W., said that as he took his plane higher in altitude he could hear some strange sounds coming from the engine and his flight instruments on the panel in front of him went nuts. He glanced to the right and saw a "freakish entity" stuck onto the outside of the plane's window. He said it was about three feet tall, had "abnormally long arms," grey, hairless skin, red eyes, a gaping mouth that was full of teeth, and pointed ears that had tufts of black hair on the ends. It was bitter cold outside and the being did not seem affected. When he looked in front of him again, he was horrified to see another one of the beings on the nose of the airplane. He thought he might be hallucinating, but reported that the whole time he felt "sharp and in control of my senses." He said that the beings were laughing the whole time and pulling on and pounding on the outside of the plane, apparently trying to bring it down. After a while L. W. managed to shake them off the plane but did not know what happened to them after that. He was reluctant to share his story with anyone, but when he told a gunner friend, the friend said he had a similar experience while on a training mission only a few days earlier.

In 1939, a plane with a crew of thirteen people left from the Marine Naval Air Force Base in California left for Honolulu. About three hours into the flight, the plane sent a distress call, and then all communications went dead, although it kept flying. It returned to the base and was horribly damaged on the outside. A crew who went inside to investigate found the crew with many gaping wounds. The cabin smelled like sulphur, and there were empty bullet shells everywhere, indicating that they had fired frantically at something. The co-pilot was the only member of the crew still alive and had managed to land the plane. Shortly after, he died in a hospital. He never did get to tell anyone what happened.

You don't really hear anything about gremlin encounters today. But, how do we account for the sightings? Certainly the pilots weren't lying about being attacked by little gnome-like creatures. Something had to have attacked the plane in 1939. If it was a fight inside the plane between the crew, how does that explain all the damage on the outside?

Maybe gremlins are still encountered today. Since they were invented, there have been lots of planes that have disappeared and which have never been found again. Maybe gremlins have something to do with that?…

Whatever gremlins are, they certainly are not cute cuddly creatures. I know I definitely wouldn't want to be a pilot who encounters them on a flight. Gremlins were very real to pilots during WWII. Maybe they are still around today?

Just don't feed them after midnight