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Friday, July 29, 2016

Are "Monsters" A Problem for Psychologists?

While writing a chapter for my upcoming book, I found this article from the Newark, Ohio, Advocate, titled "Unusual events in Ohio spark imagination."

It reads as follows:

"COLUMBUS (AP) - Public imagination conjuring up a hairy beast killing sheep near Lima or a UFO landing in Fairfield County is viewed as normal, perhaps healthy, by an Ohio State University psychologist.
"'I see it as a very natural process,' says Dr. Anthony G. Greenwald. 'Since we were very young children, our parents have taught us that everything has to have a cause. When we become adults we conjure up causes for mysterious events that are not immediately explained.'
"Greenwald's credentials as a social psychologist include undergraduate degrees from Yale University, a doctorate from Harvard University, faculty member at Ohio State since 1965 and editor of the national 'Journal of Personality and Social Psychology' published by the American Psychology Association.
"Several incidents around Ohio in recent years have touched off imaginative, though unfounded, solutions.
"In July 1972, a man in Marion County told authorities he saw a seven-foot tall creature smelling of limburger cheese running along a road.
"The next month a woman in Wyandot County said a big black creature jumped out of a ditch beside her car.
"A year later an eight-foot tall hairy creature was roaming the countryside northwest of Columbus.

Are Sasquatch and other cryptids created
by our imaginations?
"Last summer several animals died of mutilation in Hocking County and rumors circulated that farmers, fearing the unknown, answered knocks at their doors with shotguns.
"A short time alter reports of unidentified flying objects (UFOs) cropped up when a farmer in Fairfield County couldn't explain what tore up his corn field. Finally it was traced to a grandson who did it as a prank.

Can UFOs and other phenomena be explained in the same way?

"Allen County sheep kills, which started last winter and now number more than 100, are believed by the sheriff's department to be the work of dog packs running at night. 
"Animal expert Lewis Caverras of Xenia examined the tracks and said it apparently was a bear.
"Bears are virtually unknown in the region northeast of Lime.
"'I don't understand why some of the explanations become popular,' Greenwald said. 'especially those that apparently are dangerous.
"'When we don't know the cause of a sheep kill we invent a cause that threatens us. Why we invent a threatening cause, social psychologists don't understand.
"'It adds fear to daily lives that is more dangerous than the evidence demands...
"'But there is nothing abnormal about people creating dangerous causes. It may be a healthy thing. It may keep us on our toes, alert to actual dangers, a reminder to not trust wild animals.'
"Greenwald does not believe the level of education or current lifestyles are a factor. He noted people have conjured up wild solutions,  black magic and old wives tales for generations.
"'The more educated are more likely to come up with different types of explanations,' he said. 'The likelihood of trying to explain something more dangerous than the evidence supports is good regardless of the level of education.
"'It may be that the more educated you are the more eager yoy [sic] are to find a cause. But I don't understand the kind of causes that may be invented. Some are picked up and spread by the news media and people adopt them.'
"Greenwald related the fear phenomena to the assassinations of John and Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King.
"'We tend to believe it was a conspiracy and not an isolated incident,' he said. 'that the threat is more than just to one immediate victim.
"'A farmer in Ohio who decides it may be a monster killing sheep is in the same class with those who believe the King and Kennedy deaths may be a conspiracy.'"
"Congress is re-examining the assassinations for possible conspiracies.
"'When someone finds it is a dog killing sheep and this is documented, the rumors disappear, so the degree of belief (in rumors) is no more than moderate and it is dropped when better evidence comes along.' Greenwald said."

Is Greenwald right? Are all the "monsters" that we see and cause mysterious things to happen, like Bigfoot, or chupacabras, or UFOs, etc., just conjured up in our imaginations? Or are they really there?

Certainly the media and sometimes mass hysteria can make people think that "monsters" that are not there really are there. And certainly sometimes there are hoaxes and honest misidentifications. But, there are certainly some sightings of strange begins and things that cannot be explained in those ways. What they really are remains a mystery.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

"That You, 'Bigfoot?'"

The Elyria, Ohio Chronicle-Telegram reported on some Bigfoot sightings around that area on Thursday, June 6, 1985, in an article titled "That You, 'Bigfoot?' Elyria Twp. man sights a 'big, hairy creature.'"

"ELYRIA TWP - It was Floyd who first warned Randy Herring that something big was afoot.
"Floyd is a German Shepherd tied to a tree in Herring's backyard at 6091 Antrim Road. When Floyd began barking at about 1 a.m. Wednesday, Herring looked out his back door and saw IT.
"'It was big, and had fur all over it,' Herring said.
"Herring, 20, and his friends say they have spent the last two nights in pursuit of the creature, which they say is about six feet tall and covered with reddish brown hair. When they get to close, it growls at them, Herring said.
"'Did you see that Sasquatch movie?' asked Larry Carter, who also reported sighting the beast.
"The reporter said he's missed the film.
"'Well, you've seen pictures of Bigfoot, haven't you? It looked just like that.'
"HERRING SAID several neighbors have also spotted the roaming beast, and he has called the Lorain County Sheriff to investigate. 
"'We told them we saw a Bigfoot, but they didn't believe us,' said Herring, looking slightly disappointed.
"A dispatcher from the Sherrif's [sic] office said a unit investigated a 'report of a prowler' early Wednesday morning, but found nothing.
"They were called again Wednesday night, but deputies again could find nothing.
"'Please believe me,' the dispatcher pleaded. 'There's no hairy monster out there on Antrim Road.'
"Herring is not convinced, however. This morning, he pointed to a fence where he said the creature was crouching. There were strands of reddish fibers clinging to the fence. He believes the fibers are hair from the creature.
"HERRING'S MOTHER, Alice, who lives down the street from her son, said she also believes something big is afoot. Whatever it is, she said, could be coming from the wooded area surrounding the abandoned quarry area located directly adjacent to the neighborhood.
"'Randy's face was as white as a sheet when he came to the house (Wednesday). I know it sounds stupid, but you wouldn't believe anything like this unless it happened to you,' she said.
"Carter was asked if the animal might be a monkey or gorilla.
"'No, no man, it wasn't no gorilla. A gorilla snorts, this thing growled.'"

The above picture is from the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram and is of Randy Herring, the man who reported seeing the Bigfoot. The caption says:

"RANDY HERRING of Antrim Road points to the area of his back yard where he says he first saw a six-foot hairy creature early Wednesday morning. Herring and his friends say they have spent the last two nights searching for the beast."

Was a Bigfoot really roaming around Elyria in 1985? What do you think?

This is just one of many Bigfoot reports discussed in one chapter of my upcoming book on Ohio cryptids….

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Dick Raynor's Loch Ness Monster Film

In the 1960s, the Loch Ness Phenomena Investigation Bureau (LNPIB), which later became the Loch Ness Investigation Bureau (LNIB) was the leading force behind research of the strange beasts of that certain Scottish lake.

Dick Raynor joined the group in 1967, and on June 13th of that year, he filmed something swimming in the Loch. The "Legend of Nessie" site says:

"Another well known film is the one taken by LNIB member Dick Raynor on the 13th of June 1967. Conditions on the Loch were very good and a clear wash or wake can be seen before and after the Scot II tour boat passes into view. Raynor explains that passengers on the boat would not have seen this disturbance as they were too low to the water and it was also about half a mile away from Scot II. The objects [sic] speed was estimated to be about 2.2 meters per second. This film offers creditable proof of some large animal living in Loch Ness and was agreed by many experts to be an authentic and convincing series of shots."

You can watch part of the film below. The full thing (which I cannot find on YouTube) is about two minutes.

Raynor and others did not actually see the film until the LNPIB's delayed Christmas party which took place on January 4, 1968. It was rated alongside Tim Dinsdale's film as best evidence for the monster at that time.

It is my opinion that Raynor actually filmed something that would fall under the label of a "Loch Ness Monster."  What do you think?

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Mystery of Alien Big Cats in Britain - Solved?

"Alien Big Cats" (ABCs) have been seen in Britain for many years. Like other anomalous felines, they always seem to avoid being captured or killed. But, how did they get there in the first place? The answer to that question might have been revealed a few days ago.

Recently news was released that the old owner of the Dartmoor Zoo, Mary Chipperfield, let three cats escape in 1978.

The Telegraph reports:

"For years, the rumors of big cats roaming Dartmoor and savaging livestock have been dismissed as sheer fantasy, no more credible than claims of the existence of the Loch Ness monster.
"But the doubters may have - dare one say it - paws for thought.
"For the claims that Big Cats are roaming free may actually be true, with the mystery of how they got to Dartmoor and nearby Exmoor and Bodmin Moor solved at last.
"It is now claimed that three pumas were released onto the wilds of Dartmoor by Mary Chipperfield, the famous circus owner, after her zoo in Plymouth was forced to shut down in 1978.
"The large cats were being driven to their new home at the moor's wildlife park by Ms Chipperfield - but that only two out of a consignment of five pumas ever arrived.
"It is thought Ms Chipperfiled released her favorite breeding pair and another male into the wild rather than see them go into a new home.
"The claim has surfaced in the wake of the disappearance from Dartmoor Zoo in Flaviu, a rare lynx, which escaped from its enclosure earlier this month.
"Benjamin Mee, owner of the zoo, said yesterday [NOTE: that would be July 20th] that while Flaviu's escape was somewhat unfortunate, his disappearance is far from a first.
"Mr Mee said that when he bought the zoo for £1 million in 2006, he was informed of a pack of pumas that had allegedly been released into the wild in the late 1970s or early 1980s.
"'There were lots of rumors and many different stories about how they got out,' said Mr Mee. 'Some say they were released from the old zoo either my mistake or on purpose - we just don't know - while some others say they were being transported here at the time from the zoo in Plymouth.
"'I have no knowledge of the circumstances about how it happened. But at the time there were three pumas that should have been here at Dartmoor Zoo and were not.'

You can read the rest of the article here.

Three escaped/released pumas could account for some sightings of Big Cats in Britain, but not all of them. There were some reports before the time the cats were released, and some ABC reports have decidedly paranormal/supernatural qualities to them.

Does this solve the mystery, or not? Either way, I'm sure the debate about the existence of the cats will go on.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Bigfoot Night Pics

Well, Bigfoot Night was cancelled before the game started due to rain, but I still got a few pictures from the event…

With Seth Breedlove & Brandon Dalo

I also picked up a Beast of Whitehall DVD (an official one this time) and soundtrack… 

So, no baseball game, but I still got to do everything I wanted to do today, which was talk with Seth for awhile, get a Whitehall shirt, and watched Whitehall once we got home.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Cooperstown Cryptozoology

We recently got back from a trip to Cooperstown, New York, where I actually managed to find some cryptozoology-related stuff.

I found the first thing while looking through some old comic books in one of the many shops there. I picked up some Avengers, GI Joe, Micronauts, & Visionaries, as well as DC Super Stars #12, which happens to feature Bigfoot!

I also managed to find some tshirts of minor league baseball teams are named after cryptids and aliens!

An Afternoon of Cryptozoology

This afternoon, starting at 1 o'clock, the Akron-Summit County Public Library in Akron, Ohio is hosting an "Afternoon of Cryptozoology" event.

At 1 Doug Waller of the Southeastern Ohio Society for Bigfoot Investigation will be speaking,  and at two Seth Breedlove will show the latest Small Town Monsters Documentary Beast of Whitehall. If you are in the area, check it out!

And, don't forget, tomorrow night Beast of Whitehall will be shown at Bigfoot Night after the Mahoning Valley Scrappers play in Niles, Ohio. Small Town Monsters, Center for Cryptozoological Studies, and other groups will be at that event.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

New "Bigfoot" Video from Oregon

A few days ago someone posted a video to YouTube that supposedly shows a Bigfoot in Oregon. There's a family standing by a lake and all of a sudden the figure takes off in he background. They seem suspiciously un-amazed at what they are seeing as it runs off.

My verdict: a hoax, and an obvious one at that.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Bigfoot Night at Eastwood Field - Next Week

Coming up in one week (Sunday, July 24) in Niles, Ohio - Bigfoot Night at Eastwood Field. The Mahoning Valley Scrappers will be palying a game and afterwards there will be a screening of Beast of Whitehall.

Small Town Monsters put some more info about the event up on their Facebook page:

"On Sunday, July 24 the Mahoning Valley Scrappers take on the Connecticut Tigers and Eastwood Field will be bigger and better than ever for Bigfoot Night.
"Small Town Monsters, American Primate Exploration, Center for Cryptozoological Studies, Center for Unexplained Events and the Ohio Bigfoot Co-Op will be in attendance with displays and sighting information. Following the game Small Town Monsters will show the movie, The Beast of Whitehall on the video board.
"During the game you can find Bigfoot Brew, a Hairy Sandwich (pulled pork), The Bigfoot (1/2 pound, foot long jumbo hot dog) and a Patty Sandwich at the concession stands.
"The Mr. Rooter Box Office at Eastwood Field will allow our tallest fans to receive a FREE General Admission ticket. Fans that are 6'6" or taller or those who wear a shoe size of 16 or larger will receive a FREE General Admission ticket to Sunday's game. 
"The Scrappers would also like to invite any fans with the hairiest back to the game. In between an inning fans will be asked to judge which fan has the hairiest back to win a Scrappers prize pack. Those that believe they can win are asked to meet at the Anthem Fan Assistance Center following the first pitch of the game (4:05pm).
"For more information about Bigfoot Night and for tickets fans can call the Scrappers Front Office at 330-505-0000 or click here."

Don't miss Bigfoot night!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Book Review: Wood Knocks: Journal of Sasquatch Research Vol. 1

Earlier today I finished the new book Wood Knocks: Journal of Sasquatch Research Vol. 1. The book was published by David Weatherly, but each chapter is written by a different researcher.

Chapters and authors are:

  • Giants of the Piney Woods by Lyle Blackburn
  • Kettles, Cows, and Sasquatch; Bigfoot in Southern Wisconsin by Linda S. Godfrey
  • Big Man on the Reservation by David Weatherly
  • Hong Kong as a focal point for Bigfoot and Yeren Studies by Richard Muirhead
  • Is Bigfoot a Giant Form of Homo erectus? by Ken Gerhard
  • Orang-Pendek: On the Search for Sumatra's "Short Man" by Richard Freeman
  • Sasquatch Kidnappings in North American Folklore by Micah Hanks
  • The Sound of Sasquatch by Nick Redfern
Some of the best authors in the field contributed to this book, which makes it an excellent one. Each chapter is different from the others and written in each author's style. Most of this stuff hasn't really been written about before.

If you are someone interested in Bigfoot or cryptozoology in general, I would definitely recommend this book to you. You won't be disappointed.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Cryptozoology and the Paranormal

An article about Dogman sightings in Ohio can be found at this link, written by Colin Schneider. The article starts on page 59 of the Centre for Fortean Zoology's journal Animals and Men. I found it to be very well written and a great article overall.

Colin is a paranormal researcher and writes on his blog Paranormal101. He's been writing on it for a few months, and it's one of my favorite blogs to check out. He posts some very interesting stuff regarding cryptozoology and paranormal phenomena, and is currently working on a book on the paranormal aspects of some cryptid sightings.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Bunyip Song

This is a song that was in the old animated movie Dot and the Kangaroo. This song has made several "terrifying children's cartoons" lists, and that's understandable to me, because if I saw this on a cartoon when I was really little it would probably terrify me, too.

But, since I discovered it today I think it's pretty cool, especially since it's about Bunyips.

The Bunyip

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Happy Birthday Loren Coleman

Today is Loren Coleman's 69th birthday.

Coleman has been researching cryptozoology since the 1960s and is, some say, the world's leading cryptozoologist. His books are some of the best crypto-books out there. He writes online in his CryptoZooNews blog.

I finally had the chance to meet him at the Ohio Bigfoot Conference last year.

Happy Birthday Loren!

A Monstrous Commotion!

Received in the mail today Gareth Williams' A Monstrous Commotion: The Mysteries of Loch Ness.

A massive book, and looks to be a good one! I'll have a review up sometime in the future.

Lake Worth Monster Sightings Anniversary

The 47th anniversary of the first reported Lake Worth Monster sightings was Saturday, July 10.
News story from July 12, 1969 (47 yrs. ago today)
in the Dallas Morning News
In 1969 the monster was seen around Lake Worth, located near Fort Worth, Texas. And it was not a Nessie-type monster - the press described it as a "fishy goat-man," but witness reports sounded decidedly like a white-haired Bigfoot.
Allen Plaster's photo of the LWM, and the only photo of it.
Does it show a Bigfoot?
During that summer it was said to have attacked cars and throw a tire at a group of witnesses, among other things. Sometimes it was even seen swimming in Lake Worth out to Greer Island, where it was thought the monster lived.

Sallie Ann Clark wrote a book about the monster after the sightings began, and although the book is mostly fictional, it is a great one to have in your collection (if you collect books on odd topics like cryptozoology, like I do) as it is extremely rare.

To this day no one knows what the Lake Worth Monster really was, and we probably never will.

Bigfoot, Waterways, and Rainfall

"He always follows the creeks..."

That is a line from the 1972 Bigfoot movie The Legend of Boggy Creek. What makes it so special is that it's true.

I've researched Bigfoot for 6-7 years now, and one thing that is mentioned time and time again in reports, books, etc. is that the creatures seem to travel near water, which would make sense. A creature like Bigfoot would need to be close to water. It could help with traveling and they would need it to survive. A human trying to survive out in the wilderness would do the same thing.


Also on the subject of Sasquatch and water is the likelihood of sightings in areas with certain amounts of annual rainfall.

This correlation was first noted by legendary Bigfoot researcher John Green in his book Sasquatch: The Apes Among Us. After discussing Sasquatch sightings in relation to human populations and other things, he notes that:

"The map does show some correlation with a map of sasquatch sightings in North America is the rainfall map. It isn't by any means a perfect match, but there is a rough outline that fits. Where the annual rainfall is under 20 inches a year there are hardly any sasquatch reports. There is only one major exception to that rule, in western Montana, and three minor ones, north of Los Angeles, at the north end of Lake Winnipeg and in Alaska. Where the rainfall is over 20 inches there usually are reports, although up to now there are more exceptions on the wet side of the line than on the dry side. Why mankind's supposed need to imagine monsters should dry up when it doesn't rain much I will leave to someone else to explain."
To help prove Green's point, here is a map of the average annual precipitation in the United States...

Red is the least, green -purple is the most
And here's a map of sasquatch sighting areas in the United States & Canada…

Lighter is the least, darker is the most
There is some correlation here.

If some non-believer has an explanation why people commonly see "non-exsitent 'monsters'" in areas with lots of rainfall, I'd also like to hear it!

Monday, July 11, 2016

"Wessie" Update - Westbrook's Giant Snake Goes Into Hiding

Earlier this month I posted a piece on the sightings of a giant snake, dubbed "Wessie" or the "Presumpscot Python,' which has supposedly been seen around Westbrook, Maine.

Apparently Wessie has gone into hiding after the first few sightings, when a woman said she saw a snake "as big as a truck," a second witness said he saw a snake "as long as a bench," and two police officers saw it eating a beaver. The police thought that the snake might go into hiding after eating its big meal. It apparently did just that.

The latest news articles I can find on the sightings say that Wessie has not been seen for about a week. Police, their animal control officer, and the Maine Warden Service have all been watching for the snake.

Police Captain Steven Goldberg said:

"I never thought we'd be all over the nation for this, but it's certainly happened. We're aware of it. We're trying our best to locate it, while at the same time, we're dealing with a lot of other things that are going on, too, so we're trying to balance both things at the same time."

Police have warned people to be aware of their surroundings.

Wessie hasn't stopped people from going to concerts in the area where he/she was seen, though. (If I lived in the area the snake sightings would probably be the reason I would want to go!)

If there is any more about Wessie the snake in the future, I'll update things.

Will Wessie return?

Friday, July 8, 2016

Bigfoot Sightings - Explained by Bears?

The Washington Post has a new article up about Bigfoot. The article is about the theory that people mistake upright bears (meaning bears standing on their two back feet only) for Bigfoot.
Would you mistake this for
a Bigfoot?

In the article two Bigfoot researchers, Matt Moneymaker (wonder who he is?) and Matt Knapp are asked about the theory that Bigfoot is a bear. Both say it is a definite No. 

You can check out the article here. 

Not a bear!

Book Review: Women in Black by Nick Redfern

Published in paperback on July 1st was a book that is one of my favorites I've read in awhile. Why? Because:

 1.) It's a great book overall, and
2.) It's subject is something there's never been a whole book written about before.

Of course, the book I'm talking about is Nick Redfern's Women in Black: The Creepy Companions of the Mysterious M.I.B. It was published by Lisa Hagan Books, who also published his Men in Black book from last year. I, for one, enjoyed this book quite a bit more than the other one. (Although that's mostly because there was more of Redfern's writing in this book.)

It's not surprising if you are someone who researches UFOs, the paranormal, etc. and you haven't heard of the Women in Black (or WIB.) I hadn't until last year when I saw that this book was being written. But, as soon as you start reading Redfern's newest book, you'll quickly find out that the WIB are seen just as much as the MIB, and are just as mysterious and creepy.

Redfern relates stories of mysterious Women in Black that range from the 19th Century to the present day. Some are directly UFO related, while others aren't, but still have paranormal overtones to them. Some that stuck out to me where those regarding Truman Bethurum and his mysterious "Aura Rhanes," mysterious, black-cloaked hags along old roads in Wales, and a WIB that was interested in Whitley Streiber's book Communion. Of course, those are only a few of many written about in Women in Black.

If you are someone interested in UFOs, MIB, the paranormal, or anything that would be labeled "strange," I definitely recommend this book to you. You won't be disappointed. But you might be creeped out a bit!


A review of Wood Knocks: Journal of Sasquatch Research Vol. 1 will be coming sometime within the next week or two (probably).

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The Mystery of Mothman

Nick Redfern has a great new article up on Mysterious Universe about the Mothman mystery (this year will be the 50th anniversary of the first sightings). Redfern gives a short history of the cryptid and talks about some of the theories as to what the Mothman could really be. Definitely check it out!

A Long Neck Spotted in Loch Ness?

Jim Winiski, a paranormal investigator, says he spotted a ten-foot long Loch Ness Monster neck rising out of that famous Scottish lake.

Winiski was watching a webcam that overviews Loch Ness when he spotted whatever-it-was. The Official Loch Ness Monster Sightings Register has logged his sighting as a credible one.

Here's what Winiski said:

"'I'm into the paranormal, so at lunchtime every day I have a series of sites I like to check out - one being the Loch Ness cam.
"'I was eating my lunch and watching when suddenly the frame showed up with Nessie.
""I wasn't even familiar with how to take a screen capture, but a just hit control/screen print - and I was able to get it.
"'Then I went bak a took a picture of the normal view for comparison.
"'Whatever that is, at the distance out from shore, I'd say it has to be eight to ten feet out of the water.
"'It was there for one single frame, then gone. There were no boats in the area at the time, so if Nessie wanted to come up and have a look around, that's probably when it would happen I suppose.'"

Below is the photo.

What do you think the photo shows? There is something sticking out of the lake, but it's too far away to make out any details that would point to what it is. It could be part of a log, or it could be a Loch Ness Monster. 


Roger Patterson Interviews Fred Beck about Ape Canyon

Below is an old interview of Fred Beck done by Roger Patterson sometime in 1966. The audio is not that great but it's very, very cool to say the least.

The video was uploaded to YouTube by Todd Prescott, who got it by recording one of John Green's old cassette tapes with the recording on it.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Mansi Photo 39th Anniversary

Today is an important day.

It was on this day, July 5th, 39 years ago, in 1977, that Sandra Mansi took her now famous photo of Champ, the Lake Champlain monster.

In my opinion this is the best piece of photographic evidence for any lake monster.

It is not a fake. Mansi's photo continues to be one of the best pieces of evidence for the existence of "monsters" in Lake Champlain.

A Cattle-Killing Monster that Left Huge Tracks!

The February 14, 1972 Tacoma, Washington News-Tribune carried an article the with headline "Mystery Killer Beast Leaves Huge Tracks and Disappears" written by Bob Boxberger, which reads as follows:

"Something big and black, with enormous red eyes and capable of tossing a dead, 350-pound cold aver a five-foot fence is reported roaming the hills between Orting and Kapowsin.
"Mrs. Wanda A. Borton of 30114 Orville Road E. told a sheriff's deputy Sunday that a beast with a two-toed track 14 inches long and five inches wide had been roaming around her residence and barn for the past two weeks. On Feb. 5 it broke the neck of a 350-pound calf and dumped it head-first over a fence into a manger. Neighbors have been tracking the killer ever since, she said.
"The beast was seen Sunday about 12:30 a.m. when a neighbor stepped outside the house to investigate the cause of a commotion among her dogs and cattle, Mrs. Borton said. An animal was crouched by the front door. It was a large, black beast with enormous red eyes, she said.
"The animal later was tracked through a pasture to the point where it had knocked down a 10-foot section of chain-link fence four feet high, Mrs. Boston told the deputy.
"A neighbor who is considered an experienced outdoorsman is reported to have said the tracks are not those of a bear. They are, in fact, like nothing he's seen before, he said. He was not immediately available for comment, but his wife told The News Tribune he said the track is much like a human's with there great toe joined to its companion and the three outer toes joined in a unit with a normal division between the two groups.
"The deputy said there are further reports of about 14 cattle being slain by the beast near Fogel's Corners, some 10 miles southwest at the Eatonville Cutoff near the Mountain Highway-Tanwax Road junction."
To me it sounds like the creature that was roaming the area could be a Bigfoot, except for the odd description of the toes. An animal that is "large," "black," has "enormous red eyes," and can knock down a large section of four-foot high fence does sound like one of the big hairy guys, however.

Illustration of the footprints that
accompanied the article

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Watch out for Wessie, The Giant Snake of Westbrook

Making the rounds on the news sites are sightings of a giant snake, nicknamed "Wessie" (or, if you prefer, the "Presumpscot Python"), around Westbrook, Maine.

Is a giant snake slithering around Westbrook?
I first heard of the sightings when I saw something about them on Loren Coleman's CryptoZooNews this morning.

Apparently sightings began June 23rd, when a woman said she saw the snake. WMTW 8 reports:

"WESTBROOK, MAINE - Westbrook police are looking into a report of a large snake at Riverbank Park.
"A woman told police she saw the snake near the playground on both the Main Street and Brown Street side of the Presumpscot River.
"She told police the snake was as long as a truck with a head the size of a small ball. Police initially released the information on the department's Facebook page, describing the snake as 'very large.'
"Police do not believe the report is a hoax.
"'What makes it credible is a person actually came up, identified themselves and described what they saw,' police Chief Janine Roberts said.
"Animal Control officers checked the area but did not find the animal. Officers were expected to continue their search Friday, Roberts said.
"Police assume the snake was abandoned because snakes of that size are not indigenous to Maine.
"Rob Christian, president of the Maine Herpetological Society, said the report is likely real, but the description many have been exaggerated.
"'It's very likely blown out of proprotion,' Christian said.
"Christian believes the animal in question was actually a northern water snake, which is common in southern Maine.
"'This is a good habitat for northern water snakes,' Christian said. 'Pet snakes wouldn't look for this type of habitat. Even if someone dumped it in this area it wouldn't go toward the water.'
"While not the length of a truck, the northern water snake can grow up to 5 feet long and it prefers slow-moving water, Christian said.
"Even with the possibility that the snake is not as big as reported, Mainers who were at the playground Thursday afternoon wanted to leave finding the snake to the professionals.
"'I saw a snake at my grammy and grampy's in Florida, and it was a boa constrictor,' Mariella Caiazzo said.
"'It's concerning,' Kathryn Caiazzo said. 'We're at the playground and hopefully it's going to be caught soon.'
"Police said anyone who sees the snake should call them and not try to capture it themselves." 
Is "Wessie" a northern water snake, like this one?

On June 24, another witness reported a snake sighting. Devin Sanders says that he saw it coiled up on some rocks near the railroad bridge in Westbrook. He said:

"I saw the snake on the rocks. Just all black. Coiled up. Probably as long as a bench."

"As long as a bench" is not "as long as a truck," but would still make for a pretty large snake. reported on June 29 that a police officer spotted the snake eating a beaver by the Prescupscot River, at 3:30 a.m.. The article says that the snake was "the size of a car in length." A second police officer arrived before the snake swam across the river and disappeared.

Police said on the 29th that they expected the snake to lay dormant for a while since it had had a big meal. Westbrook residents, however, were still worried because the river where the snake was seen is "popular for children to swim and feet ducks."

As of right now, Wessie has not been caught, but she now has a song written about her, and a Twitter page as well. 

If there is any more about the snake sightings in the future, I'll update things.


As a side note, more on giant (and out-of-place) snakes can be found in my book Cryptid U.S.: Tales of Bigfoot, Lake Monsters, and More from Across America, which can be bought right here.

A (Fake) Dead Monster on the Shore of Loch Ness

Recently some photos of a "dead Loch Ness Monster" were posted on Facebook. The photos caused quite as stir as to their authenticity.
Nessie? No!
From first seeing the picture I could tell it was a fake skeleton, and that was admitted by Help2Rehome, who stated it is only for an upcoming TV show.

So, there isn't a dead Nessie (on the shores of the Loch, at least). Interesting skeleton, though… I wonder what show it is for? I also find it a bit funny that whoever made it decided to have everything decomposed except for the intestines.

Bigfoot Trails: Pacific Northwest

Know any young kids interested in Bigfoot? This looks like the book for them!

Bigfoot Trails: Pacific Northwest is a brand-new book by S.A. Jeffers (husband and wife Sara and Adam Jeffers) and has some fantastic illustrations by Catherine Straus. They plan on writing a series of "Bigfoot Trails" books.

Here's some info about Bigfoot Trails:

"Bigfoot Trails: Pacific Northwest is a children's reading and activity book. Play hide and seek with the reigning champion and experience the thrill of locating the mysterious Bigfoot! Visit the captivating landscapes of the Pacific Northwest habitat, where the search is on for the elusive creature. Through each of this interactive story's pages, the reader is tasked with finding Bigfoot, where he is cleverly hidden. Both child and adult are sure to feel the magic and excitement of a legend as old as time!"

You can check out a news article about the release of the book here.

And, you can get the book here.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Summer Reading Material

Recieved some new books in the mail today... Women In Black by Nick Redfern and Wood Knocks: Journal of Sasquatch Research. The second has chapters written by Redfern, David Weatherly, Linda Godfrey, Lyle Blackburn, Ken Gerhard, etc. Both will be reviewed on here in the next few weeks.