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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Bigfooter Ray Crowe has Passed Away

I saw some sad news on Loren Coleman's CryptoZooNews today...

Bigfooter Charles Raymond "Ray" Crowe, born December 30, 1937, passed away in his sleep at 10:30 AM, today, September 29, 2015.
Ray Crowe

Ray became interested in Bigfoot when he went with a group searching for the creature. They dropped him off at an isolated spot at the forest and he found some tracks. He then decided, in 1991, to start his own Bigfoot organization. He did, and it was called the Western Bigfoot Society. He began holding a conference, called "Bigfoot Daze," in 1992. He also started publishing a Bigfoot newsletter called The Track Record, which ran until 2008. I have an old issue from 2002. : )  He also wrote some books on Sasquatch.

Crowe had had some health problems in recent years, but still had a few books published, his last being Bigfoot Behavior, volumes 1-3, which were published September 15, just 14 days before his death.



R.I.P Ray Crowe. You will be missed.

Marmaduke Wetherell, The Loch Ness Monster, & Hoaxes

What does this guy have to do with
the Loch Ness Monster?

During the Nessie craze of 1933-1934, big game hunter Marmaduke Wetherell was hired by the Daily Mail to travel to the loch and look for the monster, and, if he could, catch it. Instead of actually looking for the monster, however, Wetherell did something else - he perpetrated hoaxes.

THE MONSTER HUNTER AND HIS MONSTER FOOTPRINTS

In December 1933, Wetherell claimed to have located something. Not the monster itself, but its tracks. The gigantic footprints were found on the shore of the loch and led into the water. The monster tracks, however, turned out to be nothing of the sort. When they were examined by the Natural History Museum, it turned out that they had been made with a dried hippo's foot! The foot itself had been used to make an ash tray. 
Wetherell (right) examining the "monster tracks"
 he found at Loch Ness

After the hoax was exposed, the Daily Mail made Wetherell look like a fool. He retreated from the public view - but his hoaxing at Loch Ness was not done.

THE SURGEON, THE STEPSON, AND THE HUNTER

The most famous photograph of the Loch Ness Monster is the "Surgeon's Photo" taken in 1934. But that photo does not show a monster at all. Thought to be the best evidence of the monster for nearly 60 years, it turned out to be a hoax.

Surgeon's Photograph


In April 1934, a highly respected British surgeon, Robert Wilson, came forward with a photograph he said he took of the Loch Ness Monster. He claimed he had taken the photo on April 19, when he spotted the monster while driving along the northern shore of the loch. After he came forward with the photo, he did not want his name associated with it, so it was called the "Surgeon's Photograph."

For years and years many people thought the Surgeon's Photo was the best evidence for the Loch Ness Monster. Skeptics said it was a hoax. This time, the skeptics turned out to be right.

In 1984, Stewart Campbell analyzed the photo and published an article in the British Journal of Photography. He concluded that the object in the photo could not be more than two or three feet in length. He thought it was probably a bird and the tail of a diving otter. He thought Wilson knew this when he took the picture. Campbell was right, but at the same time, he was wrong, too.

In 1994, Christian Spurling, just before his death at the age of 90, confessed that the Surgeon's Photo was a hoax. But wait, how did he know? The photo was taken by Robert Wilson, right? Nope. This is where Wetherell comes back onto the scene at Loch Ness.

Spurling was Wetherell's stepson, so when Wetherell decided to fake a photo of the monster after his humiliation because of the Loch Ness hippo tracks. Spurling remembered him saying "All right, we'll give them their monster."

Spurling made a small model of the monster's neck on a small toy submarine, took it to the loch, photographed it, and gave it to Robert Wilson to take to the press. In the original photo, you can see the shore on the opposite side of the loch and a tiny monster, but the one given to the press was cropped to make the monster seem bigger.
Un-cropped version of the Surgeon's Photo

WETHERELL AND NESSIE

So, the "Surgeon's Photo" is a hoax. Wetherell's "monster tracks" were hoaxes also. Despite that, you will see a lot about him if you read any old newspaper articles on the Loch Ness Monster. At the time, people really thought he found evidence of the monster on land. (People actually have reported seeing the monster on land. The sightings by George Spicer and his wife and Arthur Grant are two particularly well-known ones.) Nothing that Wetherell "found" at Loch Ness should be trusted. He is a hoaxer, and his hoaxes help the skeptics even more.

Despite these hoaxes, the legend of the Loch Ness Monster remains. There were many sightings during the time that he was at the loch, so his two hoaxes should not effect the credibility of them.

Wetherell was a hoaxer, but the LNM is real!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Sea Serpent Carcasses - Or is There a Simpler Explanation? Examining Some Undoubtably Odd Remains

Following my recent post about a mysterious picture of a strange looking carcass supposedly found at Loch Ness, but which turned out to be nothing of the sort, I am going to take a look at some other supposed sea serpent carcasses.

Lots of carcasses said to be those of "sea serpents" have found over the years, but many have turned out not to be from something unknown. (Sometimes, though, previously unknown creatures wash up on beaches.) And a few still defy explanation.

Some of these carcasses appeared many years ago, but some have been found in more recent times. A few have caused quite a stir in the scientific community, a stir that usually ends in some scientist(s) being humiliated because they thought they found a real sea monster.

Now, lets take a look at some sea serpent carcasses, or, should I say "supposed" sea serpent carcasses!

THE NADEN HARBOR CADBOROSAURUS

This carcass is one that many people believe to be a genuine carcass of a Cadborosaurus.
Photo of the Naden Harbor Carcass

Retrieved from the stomach of a sperm whale in Naden Harbor, in BC in 1937, the carcass has a serpentine body and a had that looks like a camel's. Workers where it was found thought it should be documented, so it was laid out on a table and boxes with a white sheet covering them and was photographed. Several photos were taken, one appearing in a book, Whalers No More, labeled as "a sea oddity." The photo was obtained from a folder of 38 (not all of Caddy) attributed to G.V. Boorman. It and the other photos had this description:

"The remains of a Sperm Whale's Lunch, a creature of reptilian appearance 10 ft 6 in in length with animal-like vertebrae and a tail similar to that of a horse. The head resembles a large dog with features of a horse and the turn down nose of a camel."

The Naden Harbor carcass is said to have been packed up in salt and sent for study. No one has seen it since, though.

Whatever the creature is in the Naden Harbor photos, it does not resemble any known animal. What it does resemble, though, are descriptions of Caddy the sea serpent. The creature in the photo is considered to be a Caddy by many, and even has been given the scientific name Cadborosaurus willsi. 
Another photo of the carcass

The Naden Harbor carcass is one of a real unknown animal. But, as we shall soon see, most other sea serpent carcasses turn out to be nothing of the sort.

THE CAMP FIRCOM CARCASS - ANOTHER CADDY?

The Naden Harbor carcass is not the only one of a supposed Cadborosaurus. Another turned up in Camp Fircom, but, as we shall see, it is not as mysterious as the other Caddy carcass.

In his most recent book, A Manifestation of Monsters: Examining the (Un)Usual Suspects, Dr. Karl Shuker had an entire chapter on this "Caddy carcass," but it turned out to be something totally different.

There were two photos, with the information "Postcard depicting an unusual marine carcass, possibly a Caddy,  that was found on the beach at Camp Fircom, British Columbia, on 4 Ocotber 1936. That is, a year before the Naden Harbor carcass was found in the stomach of a sperm whale.

Caption says "Caddy Comes to Camp Ficom,
Oct. 4 1936."
Another view of the "Caddy"

The pictures appear to show something with a long, serpentine body, flippers, and a large head. Shuker had been sent these pictures by Janet Bord of the Fortean Picture Library back in the 1990s while working on his book The Unexplained, but due to deadlines for when the book had to be finished, he couldn't include them.

After showing the pictures to some other cryptozoologists, and after many years of only getting little (if any) attention, it was discovered that the picture was definitely not a Cadborosaurus. Some thought it might be a shark. It turned out to only be an assortment of debris made to look like a sea serpent.

A sea serpent that turned out not to be a sea serpent. And it isn't the only one.

A DEAD MONSTER AT LOCH NESS? NO, AND NO.



In 2010, my grandma got me a book called Sea Monsters: Prehistoric Creatures of the Deep. It is not about sea monsters as cryptids, but is about prehistoric creatures that lived during the Mezozoic Era, or the Age of the Dinosaurs. It does, however, have four pages on Nessie. And, on one of these pages is a picture that has bugged me for five years. All the information on it is a caption that says "A mysterious carcass washed ashore at Loch Ness."
Picture I took of the photo in Sea Monsters

I had an earlier (September 20) post on this blog devoted to that picture (see it here), and on September 22 sent an email about it to cryptozoologist Karl Shuker. On September 23, he replied with an answer to the mystery.

Here's what he said:

"Re the carcase above: Everhart is mistaken - this carcase wasn't found washed ashore at Loch Ness at all. Instead, it was found washed ashore at Girvan, on the coast of West Scotland, on 15 August 1953, and was found to be a decaying basking shark. I am attaching herewith a much clearer version of the photo of it. Hope this helps."

Help it did! Thank's Karl!
A Girvan basking shark, not a Nessie!
Thanks to Karl Shuker for this clearer photo.

So, after five years I have an answer to this mystery - the carcass of a "Nessie" was not a Nessie at all, and wasn't even from Loch Ness. It didnt come as a surprise, though.

A SEA SERPENT IN RUSSIA - OR NOT

In early July, I had a post on here about a "sea serpent" carcass that was found in Russia.
Is this a "sea serpent" in Russia?

The remains of the thing looked decidedly odd, and it is no surprise that people thought it was a sea monster! The Siberian Times website described the carcass:

"Judging from the remains the creature was giant and about twice the length of a human, and it had a huge nose like a bird's beak."
Another photo of the carcass

Photos of the carcass, which also seemed to be covered in "hair," caused quite a stir on cryptozoology websites. Theories for what it may be ranged from a dolphin of some sort, and others thought it was a beaked whale. Cryptomundo commenter Cryptokellie said this:

"This is the remains of a large beaked whale, perhaps Bairds Beaked Whale or some other similar species. The 'hair' of course is the fibrous structure when the skin and blubber break down and decompose. This would be a small specimen since the largest beaked whales can reach over 40 feet in length and weigh over 12 tons. No mystery here." 
Beaked Whales

Cryptokellie, you're absolutely right. No sea serpent here, just a whale!

GLOBSTERS

"Globsters" is the name given to unidentified remains, lots of times supposed "sea serpents", found around the world. Some Globsters have bones, while others do not, some have tentacles, flippers, eyes, or other things.
St. Augustine Monster, 1896

Most of the time, Globsters have been thought to be from giant octopuses, but they always turn out to be something different, like masses of whale blubber or something of the sort. There are many notable Globsters throughout the years, including these, which are listed on wikipedia:


  • Carcass at Santa Maria del Mar, Oaxaca, Mexico
  • Stronsay Beast (1808)
  • New River Inlet Carcass (1885)
  • St. Augustine Monster (1896)
  • Trunko (1924)
  • Dunk Island Carcass (1948)
  • Gulf of Alaska Carcass (1956)
  • Melbourne-Hobart Carcass (1958)
  • Tasmanian Globster (1960)
  • Hamai Beast (1963)
  • New Zealand Globster (1968)
  • Tecoluta Carcass (1969)
  • Tasmanian Globster 2 (1970)
  • Mann Hill Beach Globster (1970)
  • Gambo (1983)
  • Bermuda Blob (1988)
  • Godthaab Globster (1989)
  • Hebrides Blob (1990)
  • North Carolina Globster (1996)
  • Nantucket Blob (1996)
  • Bermuda Blob 2 (1997)
  • Four Mile Globster (1997)
  • Newfoundland Blob (2001)
  • Chilean Blob (2003)
Some Globsters are found to be decaying sperm whales or something of the sort, but some still go unexplained. Many more will probably be found in the future.

New Zealand Globster, 1968.
30 feet long and 8 feet high
The Chilean Blob, 2003.
Weighed 14 tons and was 39 feet across.
DNA from it matched a sperm whale.


MONTAUK MONSTER

A strange carcass very unlike all of the others featured in this post washed ashore in Montauk, New York, in July 2008. On July 23, a newspaper, The Independent, reported the discovery of the remains, found on July 12 by Jenna Hewitt and three friends. Hewitt described how they found it:


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." 
The Montauk Monster

The news article speculated that the remains could be of a turtle or a mutant experiment from the Plum Island Animal Disease Center. It turned out to be neither of these.

The East Hampton Natural Resources Director, Larry Penny, concluded that the carcass was that of a raccoon with its upper jaw missing.

Things weren't solved, though. Soon after it was reported, the carcass was gone. Jenna Hewitt said that "a guy took it and put it in the woods in his backyard." She would not say who took the carcass or where it was taken. Another anonymous resident said the animal was the size of a cat and had decomposed so nothing remained but the skeleton by the time the press covered it.

The carcass made lots of media coverage in the following days. On July 29, 2008, cryptozoologist Loren Coleman posted about it on Cryptomundo and coined the term "Montauk Monster."

So what was the monster? Some said a turtle without a shell, a dog, a raccoon, or even a sheep! Some thought it was a mutant from the Plum Island Animal Disease Center. Others thought the whole ting was fake. The most popular explanation is the raccoon theory.


THE ZUIYO MARU MONSTER

On April 25, 1977, the Japanese fishing traveler Zuiyo Maru caught something very strange in the trawl. The crew of the ship was convinced they had hauled up the remains of an unknown animal, but the captain decided to throw it back in the ocean so it did not spoil the other caught fish.

The crew did make sketches and took a photo of the carcass, which they were calling "Nessie" before they got rid of it. They also took skin and fin samples. They reported that it weighed 1,800 kg and was about thirty feet long. There were no internal organs, but flesh and fat remained on the carcass. It did not have a dorsal fin.
Zuiyo Maru Monster

After the crew returned, a "plesiosaur-craze" hit Japan, and other ships were sent out to try to locate the remains again. They had no luck, however, and the Zuiyo Maru carcass was lost.

Though the excitement of the thought that the Zuiyo Maru crew had hauled up a plesiosaur, this monster, like most of the others here, turned out to be a decomposing basking shark after DNA tests were done.

THE STRONSAY BEAST

In 1808, a 55-foot carcass washed ashore on the island of Stronsay, in the Orkney Islands, Scotland.
Drawing of the Stronsay Beast

Part of the tail was missing, which would have made the carcass a little longer than it actually was. The Natural History Society of Edinburgh examined the carcass and could not identify it, so they thought it was a real sea serpent. Scottish anatomist John Barclay gave it the scientific name Halsydrus pontoppidani ("Pontoppidan's sea snake") after Erik Pontoppidan, who had, a century before, published a two-volume work on sea serpents called The Natural History of Norway, in which he argued for the existence of the kraken, sea serpent, and mermaid.
Erik Pontoppidan

But, as it turned out, the Natural History Society was wrong. They did not have a Halsydrus pontoppidani on their hands.

Later examinations came to the conclusion that the Stronsay Beast was (guess what) nothing more than a decomposing basking shark. Its carcass was also made of cartilage, not bone, supporting this conclusion.
Another drawing

SEA SERPENTS, SHARKS, AND WHALES

Now that we've looked at reports of several "sea serpent" carcasses, we will look into what they really are.

Here's a list of what the "Sea Serpents" turned out to be:

Naden Harbor Cadborosaurs - Unkonwn, "Cadborosaurus willsi"
Camp Fircom Caddy - Debris positioned to look like a sea serpent
Loch Ness Monster Carcass - dead basking shark in Girvan, Scotland
Russian Sea Serpent - beaked whale
Globsters - mostly remains of sperm whales and the like, although a few are thought to be something different
Montauk Monster - most likely a dead raccoon or something of the sort
Zuiyo Maru Monster - basking shark
Stronsay Beast - basking shark


Most of the "sea serpent" carcasses discussed in this post are not sea serpents. The Stronsay Beast, Montauk Monster, Russian sea monster, most Globsters, Camp Fircom Caddy,  Zuiyo Maru Monster, and "Loch Ness Monster" carcasses turned out to be something totally different than what initially assumed to be.  I do feel that the Naden Harbor Cadborosaurus is just that - a real Cadborosaurus.

Lots of these carcasses were assumed to be plesiosaurs or something of the sort because that's what they looked like. But, if you are someone like me who has read lots of stuff on sea serpents, you'll know that a decomposed basking shark skeleton can look like a dead plesiosaur. Below are two pictures showing how this happens.

Basking shark + decomposition = plesiosaur!


Every time I hear of a new "sea serpent" carcass found someplace I always get a little excited. But, I know that it isn't going to be a sea serpent. As you've seen in this post, only one of the eight "sea serpent" carcasses is actually thought to be a sea serpent. The rest of them, well, just aren't.

Keep this information in mind the next time you see something about a dead sea serpent. Although I believe that many unknown creatures live in the oceans of the world, lots of times remains thought to be of them are something already "known to science." But, sometimes previously unknown creatures wash up on beaches. I know some whales have been discovered this way. Maybe someday one of the sea serpents sailors told stories about will be found on a beach, too. It just might happen!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Honobia Bigfoot Festival & Conference

The Honobia Bigfoot Festival & Conference is coming up in just a few days. The event will take place October 2-4 in Honobia, Oklahoma.

All money raised from events at this festival will go towards giving scholarships to students in the area.

There will be lots of vendors, and producers for the TV show Killing Bigfoot, premiering on Destination America in early 2016, will be there filming and conducting interviews. There will be lots of other activities as well.

If  you can, head on down to the Honobia Bigfoot Festival this week. All money goes to a good cause, and you might get to be on TV!

Find out more:





Saturday, September 26, 2015

New Crypto Shows on Tonight - Destination America & H2

There's going to be a lot of cryptozoology shows on TV today!

The second episode of Alaska Monsters: Bigfoot Edition, "Bigfoot of Denali: Wind Walker" airs tonight at 10pm on Destination America.

History Channel 2 (H2) also has some new episodes of Ken Gerhard's show Missing in Alaska on tonight as well.

Here's what's on.

MISSING IN ALASKA

Missing in Alaska: "Attack of the Ice Gnomes" is on now, until 7pm.

Missing in Alaska: "Death by Demon Wolf" is on from 7pm to 8pm.

Missing in Alaska: "It lurks Beneath the Ice" is on from 8pm to 9pm.

Missing in Alaska: "Taken into the Wild" is on from 9pm to 10pm.

Missing in Alaska: "Shapeshifters from the River" is on from 10pm to 11pm.

Missing in Alaska: "Zombies of HAARP" is on from 11pm to 12am.

ALASKA MONSTERS


Alaska Monsters: "Central Alaska's Bigfoot" is on now, until 7pm.


Alaska Monsters: "The Sasquatch of the South" is on from 7 pm to 8pm.

Alaska Monsters: "The Saberwolf" is on from 8pm to 9 pm.

Alaska Monsters: "Bigfoot of the Arctic Circle: Siberian Giant" is on from 9pm to 10pm.

Alaska Monsters: "Bigfoot of Denali: Wind Walker" is on from 10pm to 11pm.


Others are on afterwards.

Be sure to check out Missing in Alaska or Alaska Monsters, or both!

Alaska Monsters: "Bigfoot of Denali: Wind Walker"

The second episode of Alaska Monsters: Bigfoot Edition is on tonight at 10pm on Destination America. Tonight's episode is "Bigfoot of Denali: Wind Walker."

Here's the episode description:

"The Alaska Midnight Sons head near Denali National Park to investigate one of the tallest and most aggressive Bigfoots they have ever gone after. This extremely territorial Bigfoot is responsible for terrorizing multiple cabin owners in the area."

Be sure to check out Alaska Monsters: Bigfoot Edition tonight at 10 only on Destination America!


Friday, September 25, 2015

A Manifestation of Monsters - Reviewing Karl Shuker's Unusual Suspects

A few weeks ago, I got Karl Shuker's newest, 22nd book A Manifestation of Monsters: Examining the (Un)Usual Suspects. 
Awesome front cover!


Back cover

Shuker's book was inspired by a painting entitled "Cryptids" by Michael J. Smith. The amazing painting shows 17 awesome cryptids -


  • TOP ROW: Loch Ness Monster, giant squid, giant moa, Mokele - Mbembe
  • SECOND ROW:  Bigfoot, Mothman, Jersey Devil
  • THIRD ROW: Skunk Ape, Dogman, pterosaur, reptoid
  • FOURTH ROW: thylacine, Chupacabras, dodo
  • BOTTOM ROW: Mongolian Death Worm, Comoros coelacanth, Mexican mini-chupacbara
Michael J. Smith's painting "Cryptids"


The book starts off with a foreword by Texan cryptozoologist Ken Gerhard (who is also the author of some great books and host of the TV show Missing in Alaska).

Shuker covers many more cryptids than those featured on the cover, and has lots of information that has never been published in a cryptozoology book before. Some subjects include: a possible mention of the Mongolian Death Worm in J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, giant eels, the Camp Fircom Caddy Carcass, Nandi Bears, the Vegetable Lamb of Tartary, Chupacabras, cryptid lizards, the Gloso and Nattravnen, possible Skunk Ape-like creatures in China, a giant mystery mantis, thylacines, moas, coelacanth, mystery frogs and toads, the "Dead Bigfoot Photo," and still many, many other things!

Lots of material in this book is stuff you won't be able to find in any other cryptozoology book. And, like always, Shuker does a great job of gathering all the information and putting it in a great book. Just like the Menagerie of Marvels, A Manifestation of Monsters is now one of my favorite books on cryptozoology, and I definitely recommend it to anyone interested in the subject. It seems like Shuker's books just keep getting better and better - and he has another on the Loch Ness Monster coming out soon! Expect to see a review of that one in the future, too!

You can also get this great book on Amazon. If you like cryptozoology, it is not to be missed!

Check out Karl's blog!

Van Meter Visitor Festival Tomorrow

The Third Annual Van Meter Visitor Festival is taking place in Van Meter, Iowa, tomorrow, September 26.

112 years ago, the residents of Van Meter sighted a mysterious flying monster now called the Van Meter Visitor. Here's some of what I said about the creature(s) in my book Cryptid U.S.: Tales of Bigfoot, Lake Monsters, and More from Across America:


"112 years ago, the town of Van Meter, Iowa, was the hotspot for sightings of a strange, flying monster. Eventually named the Van Meter Visitor, the creature was described as having large wings, a beak, and a horn on its head that emitted a powerful light."
Van Meter Visitor

Lots of people spotted the creature on top of buildings, climbing a telephone pole, and hopping like a kangaroo. Multiple creatures were seen going in and out of an old mine shaft.

Here's the information for the festival happening tomorrow.



 Third Annual Van Meter Visitor Festival
Where: Downtown Van Meter, Iowa
Date: Saturday, September 26th
Time: 1 pm to 10 pm
Cost: Free - open to all ages
For more information calle (515) 996-2435

Schedule

1 pm - Festival Kickoff:
Swing by the welcome booth and pick up a schedule of events and any other tips on local attractions!

3pm - Monster Hunt Guided Walking Tour
Join researcher Chad Lewis as he leads a downtown walking tour that retraces all the mysterious events of 1903, including stops at the very locations the beast was both seen and shot at - all  in the safety of daylight!

4pm - Chasing Legends Presentation
Pull up a chair and see what Nash Hoover and Catilin Ricker have to say about their time in the paranormal field!

5pm - Monster Hunt Guided Walking Tour
Join researcher Chad Lewis as he leads a downtown walking tour that retraces all the mysterious events of 1903, including stops at the very locations the beast was both seen and shot at - all  in the safety of daylight!

5pm to 7pm - Dinner
Enjoy a monster sized dinner at this fundraiser - Van Meter Fire Department Fundraising Dinner

6pm - How to be a monster hunter
Join Kevin Lee Nelson as he goes over his several decades of experience as a monster hunter!

7 pm - Evening Monster Hunting Walking Tour
Brave the darkness and join researcher Chad Lewis as he leads a downtown walking tour that retraces all the mysterious events of 1903, including stops at the very locations the beast was both seen and shot at -Anyone attacked by the Visitor will receive a free book!

8 pm - The Van Meter Visitor Author's Presentation/Q&A
Researchers Noah Voss and Kevin Nelson talk about how the case was discovered, various explanations, and their thoughts on what happened back in 1903.

9 pm - Evening Monster Walking Tour
Brave the darkness and join researcher Chad Lewis as he leads a downtown walking tour that retraces all the mysterious events of 1903, including stops at the very locations the beast was both seen and shot at -Anyone attacked by the Visitor will receive a free book!

10 pm - Self Guided Dark Tour
Scout out the historic hotspots where the monster has revealed itself to townsfolk during the guided tours from earlier in the day. If tours aren't your thing, grab a copy of The Van Meter Visitor: A True & Mysterious Encounter with the Unknown whose Time Line of Events chapter is a wealth of detailed information from the frightening 1903 encounters! The more people that hand out all day and night with those eyes peeled the better chance we will have another witness to interview in the future!

11 pm - ? - Explore Van Meter
Finish the evening with mysterious visitor conversation at one or both of Van Meter's watering holes!

This sounds like a pretty cool event! If you are around the Van Meter, Iowa area be sure to check it out!
Book on the VMV

You can check out (and maybe buy) the book on the Van Meter Visitor by Chad Lewis, Noah Voss, and Kevin Nelson here.

Another drawing of the VMV


"Nessie Carcass" Mystery Solved!

It's not a Loch Ness Monster carcass, and it wasn't even found at Loch Ness!
Photo I took of the pic in Sea Monsters

(For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about above, see this earlier post!)

In early 2010, I saw in a news flyer-like thing at my grandma's a book entitled Sea Monsters: Prehistoric Creatures of the Deep by Mike Everhart. I was intrigued by it, and the next time I went to spend the night over there, there was that book waiting for me! Sea Monsters is not on cryptids (it's about prehistoric sea creatures, as the title says), but it does have a few pages on the Loch Ness Monster, obviously because of the plesiosaur theory for the identity of Nessie (or should I say, the Nessies!)

On page 27 of that book is an image that I have been very curious about for the past five years. Along with the classic Surgeon's Photo and stills from a video is a picture of a strange carcass along with a caption that says "a mysterious carcass washed ashore at Loch Ness."

Sea Monsters is the only place where I have ever seen that picture - until two days ago, that is.

Karl Shuker is one of my favorite authors and bloggers, and having viewed his blog many times and having read several of his books, I decided to send him an email about this mysterious photo after posting something about it on here. (Those of you who also know Shuker's works will know that he has a knack for finding information on subjects in cryptozoology that no one else can find anything about!)

Shuker replied, with an answer to what the carcass really was. Here's what he said:

"Re the carcase above: Everhart is mistaken - this carcase wasn't found washed ashore at Loch Ness at all. Instead, it was found washed ashore at Girvan, on the coast of West Scotland, on 15 August 1953, and was found to be a decaying basking shark. I am attaching herewith a much clearer version of the photo of it. Hope this helps."

It helped very much. Thank you Karl!

A Girvan basking shark, not a Nessie!
Photo courtesy of Karl Shuker

Girvan is the second blue (farthest down)
 dot in Ayr

Now, the mystery of a supposed Nessie carcass, which turned out to be nothing of the sort (as I expected!) and not even from the area of Loch Ness, is solved.

Showing how a basking shark becomes a "sea serpent"

Thursday, September 24, 2015

More New Missing in Alaska

History Channel 2 (H2) will be airing another marathon of Missing in Alaska Saturday, September 26, and will be airing three new episodes.

Here's what Ken Gerhard said on Cryptomundo:

"This Saturday, September 26th - H2 Network will be running another MISSING IN ALASKA marathon… starting @ 6pm EST. In addition to replaying the three episodes that debuted recently, they will be premiering brand new episodes with topics including - Malevolent mermaids known as the Qualupalik and the Kushtaka, a shapeshifting 'otter man.' A third mystery episode will either address vengeful spirits, or perhaps one of my favorite topics, Thunderbirds! Please share."
I hope they show an episode on thunderbirds!

Be sure to check out Missing in Alaska this Saturday, Sept. 26, on History Channel 2 (H2)!


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

New Book - The Kelly Green Men

A famous encounter with possible aliens occurred on August 21, 1955. I won't go into the full story here, but this is basically what happened.

The Taylor family was visiting their friends the Suttons at their rural farmhouse in Kelly, Kentucky. Billy Ray Taylor went outside to the well to get some water, and when he did, he spotted a strange craft landing on the property. He went back to the house, but no one believed him, until later, when the dog came running back and hid under the porch. Soon, strange beings about three feet tall started approaching the house. They had hands with claws, short legs, large mouths, large eyes, and large ears. Whenever they were shot, they did a backflip and rolled off into the night, only to return.

After several hours of war with the aliens, the Suttons and Taylors got a break and ran to the vehicles. They went to the police station and the sheriff returned with them, but, of course there were no aliens there at this time. The police officers did believe they had encounters something, however.

Now, why am I talking about the Kelly-Hopkinsville alien encounter? Well, it's because there is a new book out on the subject. It is The Kelly Green Men: Alien Legacy Revisited by Geraldine Sutton Stith, a member of the family that had the encounter.

Here's the book description on Amazon:

"The Kelly incident is a unique story. It happened during a time when things were a lot different than now. When people were really neighbors and actually helped one another. Children listened to their parents and no one knew there were things out in the world that was different that them. The media wasn't there to overshadow every aspect of our lives like it is now. Families were close and depended on each other and life - well, it was just plain simpler!
"We have all grown, we have loved and lost. Since 1955 out technology has grown in leaps and bounds and the earth itself is going through many changes. I can only hope as each day passes that we all learn from our mistakes and love what life has to offer. Life offered up my family a little three and a half foot tall man that scared the heck out of them and changed their lives forever. The little man is still changing lives today as new generations learn about the 'Little Green Men' from Kelly, Kentucky. "

The book came out a little over a month ago and is 94 pages.

From the back of the book:

"As the world leaders and major religions prepare us for the knowledge of extraterrestrial life, the people of Kelly, Kentucky know of it all along!"

Pft. Like the world leaders would tell us the truth about extraterrestrial life.
 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Hidden Encounters: More Bigfoot Stories from Southeastern Ohio and Beyond

Last year I had a post on here about Doug Waller's book Standing in the Shadows: Bigfoot Stories from Southeastern Ohio. Doug is the founder and head of the Southeastern Ohio Society for Bigfoot Investigation, or SOSBI.

On September 12, SOSBI hosted a great Bigfoot conference at Burr Oak State Park in Ohio. At this conference I traded books with Doug - I gave him one of mine, and he gave me a copy of his new book, Hidden Encounters: More Bigfoot Stories from Southeastern Ohio and Beyond. 
My copy of Hidden Encounters

Yesterday, I finished Doug's new book, and this is my review.

Hidden Encounters is similar to Standing in the Shadows, and at the same time it is not. For one thing, it's a good bit longer. And, it has a good number of stories from outside of Ohio. Some of these stories I had heard before or had seen on TV, but many of them can only be found in this book!

If you are someone who likes Bigfoot books, I would definitely recommend this one! You can find out how to get a copy on SOSBI's Facebook page. 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Has Anyone Ever Found a Nessie Carcass?

One question skeptics always ask regarding Loch Ness Monsters, Bigfoot, etc is "Why don't we have a body?" This post is about that question and the Loch Ness Monsters.

There have been lots of "sea serpent carcasses" discovered around the world for hundreds of years, although many have turned out to be whales and the like. I covered one that was found earlier this year on this blog, and you can see that post here.

One thing you don't hear much about is carcasses of lake monsters, because no one ever finds them, and that is one thing skeptics will use to say they aren't real. But, as an example as to why there could be lake monsters, but no lake monster carcasses, I quote part of Jeanne Bendick's 1976 book The Mystery of the Loch Ness Monster, (which just happens to be the first book on any cryptozoological subject that I ever read):

"Nobody knows how deep the silt is at the bottom of the loch. Could bones sink deep into it?"

That quote goes with a picture showing what the bottom of Loch Ness would be like (and showing how steep the sides of it are.)
1st cryptozoology book I ever read, and the
first in my collection which is (currently!) at 149.
It will always be special to me.

The real reason I'm writing this post, however, is because of this picture.



The picture is in a 2007 National Geographic book called Sea Monsters: Prehistoric Creatures of the Deep by Mike Everhart. It is not on sea monsters as cryptids, but is about prehistoric animals that lived during the age of the dinosaurs. Obviously because of the "Loch Ness Monster is a plesiosaur" theory, it has a few pages on Nessie.

On one of those pages are three pictures - the Surgeon's Photograph, shots from a 1983 video, and the picture that I have here. The caption with the picture says "A mysterious carcass washed ashore at Loch Ness."

That is the only place I have ever seen that picture and that is all the information I have ever heard about it.

Now, I ask you, the reader - have you ever seen this photograph anywhere? Do you know anything about it? Was it really found at Loch Ness, and, if it was, why isn't there anything about it in any other books? If you know the answers to any of these questions, please comment and let me know! Maybe you can help me solve a mystery!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

New Book Project

I've got about half of another book on United States cryptids done. But, since that is what I covered in my first book, I've decided to finally start on another book I've had in the planning stages for years.

The other book is on aquatic cryptids, like sea serpents, Loch Ness Monsters, Ogopogo, Champ, etc.

However, don't expect to see much on it anytime soon, as I've just started on it. But, do expect to see a book about sea serpents out from me sometime in the future!

You can buy my first book, Cryptid U.S.: Tales of Bigfoot, Lake Monsters, and More from Across America, on Amazon.