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Saturday, December 30, 2017

Mystery Creatures of China

A new book by David C Xu, coming very soon...

Mystery Creatures of China: The Complete Cryptozoological Guide is set to be published by Coachwhip Publications on January 9, 2018. The first cryptozoology book of next year looks to be quite interesting.

Below is the book description from Amazon:

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

Mystery Creatures of China can be pre-ordered here.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Prespa Lake Monster Filmed?

Lots of news sites are reporting on a new video from the European country of Albania that supposedly shows Nessie "on vacation."

The Daily Mail says:

"Could freaky Albanian lake creature be the new nessie?
"A central European version of the Loch Ness Monster has been caught on camera.
"The creature was filmed in the Albanian section of the Great Prespa Lake, which is shared by Albania, Greece and Macedonia.
"The footage appears to show the head and neck of a large creature emerging from the water.
"A previous video said to show the monster was filmed in the Greek section of the lake, near the village of Nivica, five years ago.
"The new footage sparked an investigation by a party of journalists who were led on a tour of the lakeside by retired geography professor, Sima Jonoski.
"However, they failed to see any further sign of the monster in the area where it was seen, near the Albanian tourist village of Pretor.
"While many locals believe in the legend of the monster of the lake, others think it was a giant catfish.
"Mr Jonoski, a non-believer who became the first man to swim across the lake back in 1970, said: 'I remember when a ship sank in Albania, near Mali grad, a lot of children drowned in Prespa Lake. 
"'Then I found out that the divers who searched for them saw great catfish. They were so scared that they stopped the search.
"'I think that it was one of those catfish that the Greek fishermen saw.'
"He added: 'Sometimes things happen in Prespa Lake that don't happen in other lakes.'
"'When I was a teacher in 1976 I saw a large pillar of water rising near the border with Greece, shaped like a mushroom.'
"'It came down only after 10 to 15 minutes.' 
 "The Great Prespa Lake, and the nearby Small Prespa Lake, are the highest tectonic lakes in the Balkans, at an altitude of 853 meters (2,798 ft).
"There are legends of monsters living in a number of lakes around the world, including Nessie in Loch Ness and Morag, in Loch Morar, both in Scotland.
"Other legendary creatures include the Lagarfljot Worm, in Lagarfljot, Iceland, Ogopogo, in Canada's Okanagan Lake, and Lariosauro, in Lake Como, Italy."

 I'm thinking this one is a hoax. The neck just doesn't seem too "natural" to me.

What do you think?
 

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Loch Ness Monster Spotted on Google Maps?

There have been lots of Nessie sightings reported this year, and it appears as though they aren't going to stop just because 2017 is coming to a close.

Last Thursday, the UK Express reported on claims that a monster had been found on Google Maps:

"GOOGLE MAPS footage of the Loch Ness Monster, also known as Nessie, has shown an image of the creature with its distinctive humps traveling through the famous Loch Ness lake in the Scottish Highlands.
"Google Maps footage of the Loch Ness Monster has been discovered by users searching on street view.
"Map users are convinced the image, which portrays a long humped figure, is the famous Scottish creature.
"The long, narrow shape and four humps visible above the water's surface are consistent with previous sightings of the monster.
"It even resembles a photograph of Nessie taken in 1934, known as the 'Surgeon's Photograph.'

The monster?

"What is the Loch Ness Monster?
"The Loch Ness Monster is believed to have a humped back and a long slim neck.
"The legendary creature is said to live in the Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands.
"It was brought to global attention in 1933, when a photograph of the Loch Ness, taken by Hugh Gray, was published in the Daily Express.
"A second photograph of the Loch Ness was taken shortly after in 1934 by surgeon Dr Kenneth Wilson.
"How many Loch Ness Monster photos are there?
"There have been a number of other sightings of the Loch Ness Monster, such as by Daily Express photographer Hugh Gray in 1933.
"Gary Campbell, keeper of the Official Loch Ness Monster Sightings Register, keeps a record of these which lists more than 1,000 sightings.
"Photographer James Gray and his friend Peter Levings famously photographed the Loch Ness Monster when out fishing.
"WIlliam and Joan Jobes, who are husband and wife, also posted a photo of Nessie in May 2011.
"Traveller Tony Bligh was shocked to take a photograph of the Loch Ness Monster while on holiday in Inverness visiting the lake.
"He was shocked to come across the famous aquatic creature there.
"'I noticed this weird formation on the loch near to Inverness end of the loch.'
"He asked of the photograph he had taken: 'Could it be the elusive Nessie?'
"This past year, 2017, it is believed Loch Ness Monster sightings hit a record high, according to expert Gary Campbell." 

First of all, the new photo looks nothing like the Surgeon's photo (which was a hoax) like the article says. If anything, it looks more like the Lachlan Stuart photo of 1951 (which was also a hoax). To me it looks like it could be a log bobbing in the water. Probably not a monster.
Lachlan Stuart photo

El Chupacabras: ¿Un Ente Extraterrestre?



This is a book on the Chupacabras published in the late '90s, soon after the sightings of the creature first started. It was written by Carlos Resendiz Segovia and the only version I've been able to find is a spanish version. The title translates to "The Chupacabras: An Extraterrestrial Entity?"

So far I haven't found the book available anywhere and its out of stock on Amazon.

If anyone reading would know where a copy of the book is available, and if it is only in spanish or if it was ever translated, I would love to hear from you.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Book Review: Mothman: Evil Incarnate by Loren Coleman



Published earlier this month was Loren Coleman's new book Mothman: Evil Incarnate. The book is marketed as "the unauthorized companion to The Mothman Prophecies," that being John Keel's classic 1975 book on the same subject. I got the book today as a Christmas gift, directly from Coleman's museum and signed by him, numbered out of the 100 he personalized for pre-orders before the release.
With Loren Coleman at, coincidentally,
the Mothman Festival, 2016

Coleman doesn't look at the actual sightings of Mothman in this book as much as he looks at the people who were involved and the effects the activity and sightings had on them. Howeer, he does start off by dedicating a chapter to the 2017 "Chicago Mothman" sightings, of which there have (supposedly) been over 50. Some reviewers of this new book have said that Coleman "stole" the information on the 2017 sightings from Lon Strickler (who has been collecting and publishing them), but that is not the case. Coleman properly credits Strickler in his book.

The other chapters in Mothman: Evil Incarnate are dedicated to different aspects of the history of the mystery. The life of John A. Keel, author of The Mothman Prophecies,  is focused on heavily. Next is Keel's book, and how it has influenced those interested in the Mothman. Coleman transitions from the book by discussing how it was decided to make it into a movie (which came out in 2002 and starred Richard Gere) and how that movie, of the same name as the book, effected the Mothman legend and brought new life to the town of Point Pleasant, West Virginia.

A chapter I particularly liked was the one that focused on documentaries that have been made on the mystery of the Mothman. Coleman discusses some "TV show documentaries" that are just like every other show on the paranormal and unexplained, as well as the documentary that was included in the special edition of The Mothman Prophecies DVD which he and John Keel were interviewed for. Some other standalone docs are included too, such as Small Town Monsters' excellent The Mothman of Point Pleasant, which was released in the summer of 2017.

The actual book is only around 60 pages long (I read through it in a day), but Coleman also includes a gallery of photos dealing with the history of the Mothman, as well as notes on John Keel's 1975 book, and a "Mothman Death List" concerning deaths that may be related to the mystery of the flying monster.

If you are someone who is interested in the Mothman mystery, Coleman's other book Mothman and Other Curious Encounters would be a better book to read about the actual sightings of the creature. But, if you are interested in the history and the people involved, check out this unauthorized companion to The Mothman Prophecies.

Next book review will be Shapeshifters by Nick Redfern.

New Books!

It's been awhile since there's been a book review on this blog, but that will change soon, because I just got 4 new cryptozoology books today.

They are:

Mothman: Evil Incarnate by Loren Coleman

Shapeshifters by Nick Redfern

Hunting Monsters by Darren Naish

And Lake Monster Mysteries by Ben Radford and Joe Nickel


Three of the four are from this year, so we'll see how they place on my list of favorite books of this year which will probably come sometime next month...

Friday, December 22, 2017

"Film Introducing Bigfoot To World Still Mysterious 50 Years Later"



OPB has a recent article on the Patterson-Gimlin which celebrated its 50th anniversary in October. It's titled "Film Introducing Bigfoot To World Still Mysterious 50 Years Later:"

"Although it's been decades since the Patterson-Gimlin film turned a Northwest legend, Bigfoot, into a household name, the footage and stories behind it still remain fascinating 50 years later.
"The filmmakers, and namesakes of the film, are two former rodeo been from Yakima County in Washington. One, Bob Gimlin, still lives there. Roger Patterson died in 1972. They shot the footage off the banks of Bluff Creek in Northern California.
"Bigfoot is seen on film for less than a minute, but one frame - 352 - has pretty much become the universal symbol for Sasquatch. And that famous giant walking ape is actually a she; her name is Patty.
"But what might be most surprising - after a half century of advancement in film and costume technology - is that this footage has yet to be officially debunked.
"Furthermore, it's concrete proof for bigfooters around the globe that the Sasquatch is in fact real.
"'At this point, I'm as confident as I can be short of standing on the sandbar with Roger and Bob, and witnessed it myself,' said Jeffrey Meldrum.
"Meldrum is a professor of anatomy and anthropology at Idaho State University, and he's known for being one of the few academics to openly study Sasquatch.
"'It's all so easy to say, 'Obviously that's a man in a fur suit.' Until you see it up against a man in a fur suit,' he said. 

The rest of the article on the P-G Film can be found on OPB.com.
 
 
 

Monday, December 18, 2017

Mothman Dynasty: Chicago's Winged Humanoids

There's a second new Mothman book out. This one is by Lon Strickler and covers the Chicago sightings of 2017.

The book is called Mothman Dynasty: Chicago's Winged Humanoids and the description from Amazon can be found below:

"The presence of strange winged beings is probably as old as the human imagination. In the late Summer of 2011, reports of Mothman-like flying humanoids began to surface in the city of Chicago. After three brief sightings, there were no further accounts. Then unexpectedly in early 2017, a smattering of encounters emerged from different locations throughout the Chicago metro area; until the number reached near fifty sightings before the end of the Summer. Why Chicago? Why now? This book will examine the witness accounts and the investigators thought processes, as these incidents were brought to our attention. The sightings continue… but we are determined to find the truth."

Cryptid-Kid: Loren Coleman Tonight

The final Crypto-Kid (of 2017) is on tonight at 8 o'clock on WCJV Radio.


"Tonight on the Crypto-Kid, Colin will be joined by the one and only Loren Coleman. Colin and Loren will discuss his new book Mothman: Evil Incarnate as well as discuss the surreal life of John Keel. This is going to be the last Crypto-Kid of the year and is going to be a great episode."

It should be a great finale for 2017!

Loren's new book Mothman: Evil Incarnate (published Dec. 15th) is available on Amazon.


Saturday, December 16, 2017

Small Town Monsters Casefiles - Ep. 5 and 6

Two new episodes of Small Town Monsters' Casefiles series are up on YouTube.

The first is called "The Mothman's Lair:"

"In 1966 and 1967 a red-eyed, winged being was seen over 100 times near the town of Point Pleasant, WV. Many of the most infamous sightings occurred in and around an abandoned munitions manufacturing facility known as the TNT area. Now, learn about the truly bizarre history of this locational from its hidden native burial sites to its ties to Area 51!"

Episode six is called "Traces of the Boggy Creek Monster:"

"In the late 60's and early 70's, reports of a hairy, bipedal 'monster' stalking the swamps of Southern Arkansas began to surface. Thought by many to be  little more than a fable or folktale, the Boggy Creek Monster has become one of the south's most famous legends. But what does it mean, when a legend leaves behind evidence of its existence?"

Friday, December 15, 2017

"Frozen Bigfoot Head" and Some Musings on Skeptical Cryptozoology

Peter Caine is back in Bigfoot news again, with his supposed "severed head" of a Bigfoot. Sometime earlier this year (or around that time) he had a bunch of stuff on other frozen Bigfoot body parts he says he has, but I didn't put anything up on here because it was so stupid.
Peter Caine and his "bigfoot head"
(The Sun)

But now, he has apparently revealed his Bigfoot "head." The Sun is reporting on his claim, and their article is below:

"Peter Caine, from New York, released the questionable clip on YouTube - where believers thanked him for 'vindicating' them.
"A COMEDIAN is insisting he has proof of Bigfoot's existence - as he shows off a furry lump that he claims is the creature's severed head.
"Peter Caine, from New York, released the questionable clip on YouTube - where believers praised and thanked him for 'vindicating' them.
"Sasquatch-hunters even suggested conducting a 'DNA test' on the hilarious-looking object to finally silence the doubters.
"Footage shows Peter examining what he claims is the head of the elusive beast, which he says his dad shot n 1953.
"Since then, he says he has been keeping the 8.5-stone cranium in his freezer.
"He doesn't really go into why he is only just getting it out now.
"Despite its comical appearance, Peter insists the 'head' is real.
"He says: 'I've taken a lot of s*** on my YouTube channel - people saying that I'm always making jokes, this is not real - this is real!' 
 "And at least some of the people commenting on the clip seem to believe him.
"One wrote: 'Looks the same as the one we saw here in Florida.
"'I was not a believer till I saw one for myself…now I question everything. But I know it's real.'
"Another said: 'Wow Peter. I'm a nurse with 35 years' experience and many of those years were in the Operating Room/Surgery. This really looks real!'
"A third commented: 'I feel vindicated. Thank you Peter, thank you.'
"And one suggested: 'Why don't you have it analyzed? I think it would be great to see a DNA testing video as a follow up.'
"Numerous people have claimed to have proof of Bigfoot over the years, and there are new 'sightings' reported all the time.
"In October, a farmer claimed he had seen a whole family of Bigfeet, carrying a pig while running through his Californian ranch.
"Meanwhile, back in June, a mysterious video appeared to show a Bigfoot-type creature swinging through the trees near a hiking trail in California.
"And in another case, from April, bizarre footage showed a man-like creature peeking at tourists from behind a tree."

So, now lets take a minute to examine this, and cryptozoology as a whole.

Back either earlier this year or late last year, Caine had posted a lot of videos on his YouTube channel showing various frozen body parts of his supposed Bigfoot. And from watching only a few, I figured out (quickly) that the guy was a nut. (Not to mention his language and comments to anyone who didn't believe him weren't very nice at all, putting it nicely!) He also claimed that he had had the remains examined and that Bigfoot had officially been given the scientific name Cainis Apis Skunis (and I'm just guessing on how you would spell that!) and that it was named after him, something like "Caine's Skunk Ape" or some rubbish like that.

But, knowing a thing or two about animals and how scientific names work, I knew that he could not be telling the truth because that is not what a name would be like. If anything the part with his name (which would be identifying a certain species of a genus) would come last, with the genus name coming first. Also, "Canis" is the scientific name for canines, with Canis lupus being the wolf, and Canis lupus familiaris being the domestic dog, etc.

Also, DNA tests are extremely expensive, and I don't think this guy looks like he has the money to get that done.

I didn't find his story of how the Bigfoot came to its demise very convincing either. Like it said in the article, he claims his father shot it in 1953, but how could his dad kill a Bigfoot when there have been countless other reports of people shooting Bigfoot and having nothing happen? In one video he did show the "Bigfoot killing gun" (can't remember the model), and it didn't look like it could take down a Sasquatch.

But what about the somewhat-realistic look of some of Caine's "body parts?" And the woman who said she was a nurse and that it looked real? Well, I'll spare you the trouble of having to watch any of his videos to find out the answer - Caine is an artist and makes tons of sculptures. Some of which he showed in a video, which were disgusting insults to the President of the United States and somehow got in a New York art gallery. In another video, he even said a mama Bigfoot had a baby in his bathroom! (But, believe it or not, it was a guy in a suit and Peter's dog with a wig on!) So it shouldn't be surprising if these "Bigfoot parts" are just good sculptures (and I bet they are).


And all of this brings me to another point that I thought would be good to mention in this article.

As I already said, Caine frequently insults anyone who doesn't believe him in his videos by saying many things that won't be put on here. But my question is - why would you openly insult people who don't believe you when they have very good reason not too?

There is nothing wrong with having a skeptical mind when it comes to investigating cryptid stories. In fact, it is better to have one than to just go in believing everything. I was like that when I first heard stories of cryptids (granted, I was in elementary school) but now I take everything with a grain of salt. Most people who read this blog will know I put about zero credence in many of the sightings of Bigfoot, lake monsters, etc. that I post about on here, because really all of them are blurry pictures on some website, which basically means "fake." People like Caine and diehard believers  have no reason for being mad at someone who says that this or that sighting may not be a real Bigfoot. In case all those people haven't noticed - no one has accomplished any more than anyone else has since the 1950s by screaming in the woods just because that's what the Animal Planet producers made the Finding Bigfoot guys do. That's not what anyone did before that!

And this applies to all other parts of cryptozoology as well. For some good discussion on this subject, I recommend the episodes of Colin Schneider's Crypto-Kid podcast when he had Ben Radford on. In the most recent, they discussed Champ and basically disproved the Mansi photo, which is heralded by many as the "best evidence" for that lake monster, and when he had Sharon Hill on.
Monster… or log?

So my advice to those who are getting interested in cryptozoolgy (and those who are diehard believers of Caine's nonsense) is to be a little more skeptical about things. I still think Bigfoot exists - in fact, from talking to people who say they saw it I'm sure - but that doesn't mean I believe everything I hear. And no one else should believe everything they hear either, because a lot of it will be stuff like this.


 
Bigfoot in the freezer for 60 years? Yeah, right...

Silver Bridge Collapse at 50 Years, And Coleman's New Mothman Book



Today, December 15, 2017, marks the 50th anniversary of the Silver Bridge collapse. The Silver Bridge spanned the Ohio River and connected Gallipolis, Ohio to Point Pleasant, West Virginia. Take a moment to remember the 46 people who lost their lives on the bridge.

 Point Pleasant is, of course, famous for the sightings of Mothman throughout 1966-67. That is why today also happens to be the publication date of a new book by Loren Coleman - Mothman: Evil Incarnate.


"'Loren Coleman has taken a hard look at one of America's most haunting monsters and discovered that it's more terrifying than we ever knew. Read this book now - before it's too late. You've been warned.' - Richard Hatem, screenwriter, The Mothman Prophecies
"Mothman: Evil Incarnate, by cryptozoologist Loren Coleman, is a brand new companion title to the late John Keel's The Mothman Prophecies (1975), which investigated the sightings of a winged creature called Mothman and became popularized in the 2002 movie of the same name starring Richard Gere.
"With new material by Loren Coleman, extensive annotations on each chapter of The Mothman Prophecies, a detailed Mothman death list, and a gallery of images, Mothman: Evil Incarnate comprises the most up-to-date information on Mothman phenomena. In addition to providing context to John Keel's cult classic, Coleman expands on the missing details from the movie, explores the deaths that followed the West Virginia incident, describes the recent Chicago Mothman sightings, and delves into the life of John Keel. This companion book should find its place on every Mothman aficionado and cryptozoology fan's bookshelf. The mystery continues…"

About the author:

"LOREN COLEMAN is one of the world's leading cryptozoologists. In 1960 he started his fieldwork, and after years pursuing cryptozoological mysteries, he began writing. He is the author of numerous books on cryptozoology, including Bigfoot: The True Story of Apes in America and Mothman and Other Curious Encounters. Coleman is the founder and director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine (www.cryptozoologymuseum.com). Loren Coleman can be followed on Twitter at @CryptoLoren and on his blog, www.cryptozoonews.com."
 
With Loren Coleman,
Mothman Festival 2016

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Hawkesbury River Creature?

The Daily Star has a recent article up on a mystery "HUMAN-LIKE CREATURE" that was filmed in an Australian river.
(Daily Star)

The article reads:

"FOOTAGE has emerged of an unknown human-like creature floating in a river popular among fishermen.
"In the clip, recorded by 65-year-old Fethi Ada, you see a dark-looking object appearing to float along the river.
"It dunks its head under the surface before appearing again.
"The video then cuts before we can get a closer look at what this could possibly be.
"The footage was recorded during a family fishing trip on the Hawkesbury River in Australia.
"Speaking to 7News, the man who recorded the clip said: 'It looked human the way it lifted its head up.
"'It looked over towards us like who are these people.
"'My brother threw some bait in and then it just got scared off.
"But, Secretary of Hawkesbury River Rescue, Felicity Brownrigg, viewed the video and was not as convinced about what it was.
"Felicity said: 'It's rear you actually get to see many (animals) as they stay below the surface.
"'My guess would be that it is a seal.'
"Seals are not commonly known to reside in this part of Australian waters.
"Felicity also said the occasional bull shark and whale calf have been spotted in the river.
"Just last week terrifying footage was captured of a man surfing over a bull shark.

I would have to agree with Brownrigg that this is no "river monster." It could be a seal, but in the 10-second video it also looks like it could be the back of a turtle to me. Either way, not a cryptid creature.

What do you think?

"Sea Monsters" of 2017

That's the title of a new article I have in Cryptid Culture Magazine #7... go to Blurb now and check out the new issue!


Monday, December 11, 2017

Crypto-Kid: Jon Downes and Prehistoric Survivors Tonight

From Colin Schneider:

"Tonight on the Crypto-Kid I will be joined by Jonathan Downes once again. Jon is a fan favorite guest and is always my go-to-guy when I need a guest. We will be discussing the idea of surviving prehistoric creatures tonight."




Thursday, December 7, 2017

Yetis are Bears (Again)

(Pandy Corona, Wikipedia)


Recently published: DNA analysis regarding samples of "yeti hair."

The Denver Post reports:


"The yeti, or abominable snowman, is one of the most sought-after animals that does not exist. A long line of explorers, including mountaineers Sir Edmund Hillary and Reinhold Messner, reported seeing strange figures and footprints in the Himalayas. Said to walk on two legs through the Tibetan Plateau, the yeti is described as a hairy and humanoid primate, partway between gorilla and David Letterman's beard.
"If you wish to hunt a yeti, there are just three rules to follow. If you find one, no talking to the press, not without permission from Nepali government officials. You can take the animal alive, but you cannot harm it: Shooting is to be done with camera's only, per a 1959 State Department memo (an exception is carved out for self-defense). And you must pay Nepal 5,000 rupees ($48.50) for a yeti permit.
"We would encourage you to spend those 5,000 rupees elsewhere. You won't find a yeti in yeti habitat. But, if you're lucky, you might stumble upon a bear.
"In a new genetic analysis, yeti bones, fur and other biological material turned out to be bear parts. 'All the samples that were supposed to be yetis matched brown and black bears that are living in the region,' said Charlotte Lindqvist, who studies bear evolution at the University of Buffalo in New York and Singapore's Nanyang Technological University.
"(There was just one exception. A yeti tooth kept at the Reinhold Messner Mountain Museum was a dog's.)
"Lindqvist and her colleagues, the authors of a report published Tuesday in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, extracted DNA from nine yeti samples and more than a dozen known bear specimens, collected in zoos and a national park in Pakistan.
"The connection between yeti and bear is an old one. Messner and Hillary eventually concluded what they had seen were bears. Biologists have made the link, too. In 2013, Oxford University issued a worldwide call for yeti samples. Oxford geneticists Bryan Sykes said that DNA from hairs revealed the yeti was similar to an ancient, extinct polar bear. For a moment, this biological curiosity revived hopes that an undiscovered animal loped through Tibetan snow.
"'I think this bear, which nobody has seen alive… may still be there and may have quite a lot of polar bear in it,' Sykes told the BBC in 2013.
"But other genetics experts, notably Ross Barnett at the University of Copenhagen, contested that finding. Sykes had made an error, partly due to degraded DNA, according to a re-analysis of the research by Barnett and University of Huddersfield bimolecular archaeologist Ceiridwen Edwards.
"It was as off 'Sykes had the letters Y-E-T and, searching for matches, he though he found YETI,' Barnett said. Sykes acknowledged the error but maintained that the yeti hair could have come from a polar bear or ursine hybrid.
"The new work is more robust, Barnett said, probably 'the most rigorous in terms of samples and sequence lengths.' Where snippets of DNA revealed YET, Lindqvist's deep genetic dive produced  'ALL THE SAMPLES ARE BROWN BEARS YET PEOPLE STILL BELIEVE,' Barnett said. 'Very little chance of matching that string to something else by chance.'
"Though Himalayan brown bears are neither abominable nor snowmen, they are still pretty unusual animals, the DNA analysis revealed.
"Brown bears hav conquered the Northern Hemisphere's forests, in Canada, Russia, the United States - grizzlies are a brown bear subspecies - and 42 other countries. (In the United States, sightings of bears on two legs have left observers wondering about the true nature of Bigfoot and Sasquatch, too.) Despite their wide spread across the globe, many brown bears have run into danger. 'There has been a lot of extinction of brown bears around the world,' Lindqvist said. 
"Himalayan brown bears are not exempt from bad news. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature lists the subspecies as critically endangered.
"That loss of life makes it tough for experts to unravel a tangled bear ancestry. But the DNA sequences produced by Lindqvist and her colleagues were sufficient to create a family tree for the Himalayan and Tibetan brown bears. Though it is unclear where brown bears first evolved, Lindqvist said, their evolutionary history 'certainly does suggest that they may come from an area in Asia.'
"The new genetics research indicates that the isolated bears are a 'relic population.' Put another way, these were the first brown bears, Lindqvist said, to split off form all the other subspecies, 600,000 years ago.
"Both researchers predicted that that yeti myth will survive this latest study. The yeti 'is very important to the local culture and folklore,' Lindqvist said. 'Perhaps the Western hype about the yeti, we can put that to rest.'"

Or will they?

It seems as though this new analysis may have its own flaws, just like the Sykes study.

Loren Coleman has mentioned the following on his blog CryptoZooNews:

"For decades, cryptozoologists have pointed to there being three kinds of Yetis - a small Yeti, a human-sized Yeti, and a quite large bear-like Yeti. Explorer Tom Slick investigated these three types in the Himalayas in the 1950s. Bernard Heuvelmans and Ivan T. Sanderson in the late 1950s and 1960s, as well as modern researchers this century, including myself, Mark A. Hall, and Patrick Huyghe, called this variety the Dzu-Teh. The recent Bryan Sykes' study confirmed there were bear artifacts behind some of the so-called Yeti samples he studied and which were highlighted by Icon Films. Should we be surprised that 'bear' results are to be found if selections of those samples are retested?"

And…

"Two of the samples (tooth and fur) from Messner's so-called Nazi 'Yeti' were understood to be implanted teeth (Canis) and non-primate fur (Ursidae), already by investigators. Two other samples were misidentified by Sykes as at first ancient polar bear, then the hybrid brown-polar bear, and brown bear, nevertheless, were bear. Icon Films produced several films that funded Sykes to do DNA tests on dozens of samples, and via information from Sykes' book and in Icon's documentaries (also the Bigfoot one), bear results were detailed. If only 'nine' samples are sent along to Dr. Lindqvist, why only those?"
"Who Funded Dr Lindqvist's study, partially? Icon Films."
With Jeff Meldrum

Dr. Jeff Meldrum also had this to say: "…a casual viewing of their [Icon's] documentary makes it apparent that most of the sources were known bear specimens to begin with…"
Yeti?

If most of the "yeti" samples were known to be bears, and - believe it or not! - found to be bears, and then sent to another study and found again to be bears (because they are),  does this completely disprove the yeti? Not really. While some yeti sightings and legends most definitely are bears, there still seems to be, as Coleman noted, a few different "kinds" of yetis. I feel that this study could have been a bit more interesting if the new team examined new samples and not the ones that had already been examined, but it seems that Icon Films only wants to put out this explanation, and I think we can end with some words from Dr. Meldrum:

"The most compelling evidence of a relic hominoid species in the Himalaya remains the footprints documented by the McNeely-Cronin Expedition to the Arun Valley in 1972. The Icon Films producers were not interested in considering this evidence during my interview. Unraveling the bear and hominoid threads remains the challenge before serious investigators. But to ignore the evidence suggesting a possible hominoid, while making dismissive statements based on questionable 'yeti' evidence readily attributable to bears is hardly an objective approach."

Indeed, it is not.

Cronin's photo, 1972, Left foot
Right foot

American Monster Tour

Coming in 2018!


"Join cryptid investigators Ken Gerhard and Lyle Blackburn as they examine amazing legends and mysterious creatures across the American landscape."

Monday, December 4, 2017

"Top" Cryptozoology Lists of 2017 (UPDATED)

As he does every year, Loren Coleman has started putting up his "Top… 'things' of 2017" lists on is blog CryptoZooNews.  

Check them out:


Gino D/Achille
Passed away Feb. 2017

One of Gino's paintings



Crypto-Kid: Joshua Cutchin Tonight

From Colin Schneider:

"Tonight on the Crypto-Kid, I will be joined by author and Fortean extraordinaire, Joshua Cutchin. Joshua and I will discuss cryptids, folklore, and faeries. There isn't a big plan; we are going to see where the conversation goes. This is going to be a fun and fascinating episode, so don't miss it. You can listen in at www.wcjvradio.com/live and don't forget to check out the chatroom!"

Saturday, December 2, 2017

The Flatwoods Monster: A Legacy of Fear - Full Trailer

Below is the full length trailer for Small Town Monsters' upcoming documentary The Flatwoods Monster: A Legacy of Fear. The film takes a look at the famous Flatwoods UFO/monster case from the 1950s and will be released in April of 2018.


Thursday, November 30, 2017

Peddling the Paranormal (Guest Post)

GUEST POST BY ANDY MCGRATH

Andrew McGrath

PEDDLING THE PARANORMAL
A DEFAULT EXCUSE FOR UNCOMFORTABLE TRUTHS!


1 Born Every Minute

In our present age of tweets and memes, fake news and social media witch hunts, one can be forgiven for thinking that the generations that spring forth from this new cultural self-over-exposure, will be buffeted about on the winds of opinion, no strangers to a change in direction, if only enough righteous tweets and screets are aimed in their direction. It is this culture of amnesiac emotional and moral shifts where we currently find both judge and jury in full swing, operating outside of the authority and safety of the courtroom, where evidence is no longer king and the accused is guilty until proven innocent! This is now our de facto reality in our trail by Twitter world!

It is therefore no surprise that the philosophy one ascribes to, even in our very own slightly 'south of heaven' genre of the unknown, can make or break your acceptance into the higher echelons of the initiate opinion makers of cryptozoology and the paranormal. Historically those who have risked a defined opinion outside of this scope have been summarily discredited or ignored by a historic culture of mystery crusaders and paranormal propagandists. This can be seen in a reticence to identify reported cryptozoological creatures as defined animals, based upon corroborative anecdotal, photographic and film evidence; and a default position which attempts to identify all uncomfortable creatures of cryptozoology as either monster impostors, or in cases where the eyewitness is very credible and descriptive, as paranormal in substance and therefore out of the scope of explanation by natural means. Thereby closing down all discussion upon the zoological nature of these creatures and effectively handing over the investigation to the department of the paranormal for further 'study.'

2 Sides to Every Coin

In fairness to pursuers of the paranormal there are certainly enough mysterious reports out there to be rightly and justifiably 'passed' on to them and even some of the more ambiguous cases could easily belong to their camp. However, being of a practical nature myself and having grown up in a religious environment, I see clearly how one's personal philosophy, or faith, can have a significant effect on the perception of what one sees, or believes to see and how personal desire can imprint its own interpretation on to what we observe.

In more ancient times, in the west at least, we projected our superstition on to the things around us and imbued their wondrous physiological traits with supernatural meaning. I personally lean towards the philosophical position that ancient societies spiritualized animal traits that they could not understand, and I see that in our modern times we have slid towards a position of selective belief in the unknown. This seems to manifest itself as either a desire to discredit those that witness creatures whose existence we do not accept ( i.e. - yes to Bigfoot, no to Nessie!) or conversely seeks to attach a personal spiritual or supernatural significance to their abilities (i.e. - camouflage and infrasound as spiritual power!) This particular DIY pseudo-spirituality being something that has seen a resurgence in recent years, due largely to the influential absence of organized religion on western societies.

3 Sides To Every Story

As the old adage goes however, there are of course always 3 sides to every story, My side, your side and the truth! Therein enters the spectre of perspective and the ugly ogre of subjectivity to which every scientist and layman alike must give deference and bend the knee. Anyone who thinks he is above this particularity is simply fooling himself; and is hopelessly shackled to the notion of his fallacious philosophy as fact, which of course as we all know, is inadmissible evidence when it comes to explaining  the unknown.

How Do You Describe A Sight Never Before Seen?

When interpreting the extraordinary, we would do well to remember those dumbfounded souls who have gone before us and similarly to ourselves, have used a religious perspective to interpret the seemingly unexplainable sights that assailed their otherwise acute senses. One thinks of the Aztecs seeing the ships of Cortes in the distance and imagining them floating mountains  or in their ruler Moctezuma the 2nd, who thought Cortes to be the god, Quetzalcoatl, returning from the east; and thus saw the arrival of Cortes and his men as sacred. This blind belief, sadly signaling the beginning of the end for the Aztec nation.

Yet another lesson in the paucity of perception can be found in the first descriptions of the former cryptid and original wildman of the woods, the Gorilla, which is a wonderful example of an ill fitting substitute being used to describe that, for which we have no applicable comparative reference in nature. This 'Hairy Man' of the forest, originally known to the Mpongwe people as the shy, yet ferocious Enge-ena, may in fact stand as a template for the modern day Bigfoot (Sasquatch, Wodewose, Yeren, Almas or Yeti) in that its folkloric reputation and characteristic ape-like features and behavior, mimics those reputed to belong to our mysterious wood apes. Even the name Gorilla, meaning "tribe of hairy women" in an ancient Greek, Γόριλλαι) was reputed to have been given to a savage tribe, who confronted the Carthaginian, Hanno The Explorer, when he travelled to what is no Sierra Leone in 500 BC.

Interposing Personal Preferences on 'Paranormal' Pareidolia

Staring with popular TV shows like Finding Bigfoot and its many comical spin offs (Killing Bigfoot) and then spreading out to various social media sole practitioners; The 'Squatch' truly has become a western hemispheric phenomenon! This in itself has brought to the field of 'Bigfootery' a rather divergent and loosely connected crowd, simultaneously incorporating many faiths, that includes anything from the underwhelmingly mystical to the overtly scientific and more besides, each in turn staking a claim to owning superior theory, but being just as reliant as the others on faithful disposition to prove their conclusions. I have, for example, lost count of just how many red circled blurry bushes I have had to stare at, out of politeness, whilst being fed some unlikely tale of a trusted daily communion with the alleged creature/s that somehow fails to yield any clear pictures! Or conversely, how many pseudo-empirical brush offs of corroborative physical and photographic evidence do we have to endure, to offer up a pleasing and scientific atonement, to prove the existence of what appears to be a very shy and intelligent animal? Finally, the finical reward of chasing the beast that is Bigfoot seems to be too lucrative to dissuade the entrepreneurial kind from plundering the pockets of the naive or even just the nostalgic pilgrims of the paranormal, to whom the possibility of the unknown overrules the probably and paves the way to poorer probity.

Who Are Woo???

Again, the absence of corporate religion and the search for spiritual importance in our modern age has led to all types of paranormal pursuits that feel as though they have been forced upon cryptozoology like an ill fitting shoe. We hear much about Bigfoot 'cloaking,' much like the creature, the Predator in the 1980s action movie turned franchise; and immediately have to wonder if indeed life apes film or is it more likely to be vice versa; that our mentally ingested creatures of the stage and screen are brought forth in unusual and stressful circumstances, in which we find ourselves lacking a descriptive reference to provide and easy in and out explanation for what he have just experienced? Many animals that change their color, camouflage or 'cloak,' like the Octopus or Cuttlefish, are well within the boundaries of natural science, but may not have been perceived as otherwise by those uninitiate natives who first beheld their magical abilities centuries ago!

Indelibly Impressed Upon The Mind, The Awesome Inaccuracy Of Anecdote

So what can we conclude? Simply that anecdote is more oft than not an accurate portrayal of experience of the witness, but fallible due to its subjectivity to the comparative mental library stored within the witness's own mind and of course their ability to respond and function in highly stressful and confusing situations. This is the reason that even witnesses of the same phenomena are treated piecemeal and preferably separated one from the other in order to gain an uncontaminated rendering of the experience. There are of course several threats to genuine reporting in the current climate of commercial bigfoot, which undoubtedly pose a threat to unimpeded scientific study. Albeit, there is much that needs to be done to restore the credibility of the much maligned witness. I personally feel that  a wholesale rejection of 'draw a circle around it' evidence and the fanciful fantasies of 'the monster whisperers' who seem to be able to simply assert that they are chosen, and perceptive and communicating on a higher plane as proof beyond doubt that their blurry bush buddies are ultimately deserving of a red circle and a whole host of happy devotees, is at last a start on the road to real discovery, whether those discoveries be of the conventional persuasion or the paranormal.

Written by Andrew McGrath

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