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Monday, June 19, 2017

Crypto-Kid: Nick Redfern Tonight

Tonight at 8 pm on WCJV Radio, Colin Schneider will have Nick Redfern, crypto-researcher and author of tons of great books, on his show Crypto-Kid. Don't miss it!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

An Encounter with the Casco Bay Sea Serpent



As part of my ongoing series of posts examining reports of sea serpents, here is one from Bangor Daily News Portland, titled "These two fishermen faced down a sea monster in Casco Bay:"

"The sun had just come up. That's when they saw it, through the morning haze on Casco Bay. At first, they thought it was a submarine coming toward their boat, five miles off Cape Elizabeth. When it got closer, Portland fishermen Ole Mikkelsen and Ejmar Hairgaard could see it was a living thing.
"The creature had a long neck and a broad head held up, out of the water. It stopped 125 feet from their boat. Though they could see no eyes, they knew it was looking at them.
"That summer morning, Mikkelsen and Hairgaard had come face to face with Cassie, the fabled monster of Casco Bay. That was 59 years ago this week, on June 5, 1958.
"'I won't soon forget it,' Mikkelsen  told famed Portland cryptozoologist Loren Coleman in 1985.
"Cryptozoology is the study of hidden or unknown animals and it was Coleman who named the creature Cassie.
"Mikkelsen's description was so earnest and detailed, it gave Coleman goosebumps.
"'It was like he saw JFK,' Coleman told me on Saturday at his International Cryptozoology Museum on Thompson's Point. 'He was re-living it.'
Loren Coleman and I, Mothman Fest, 2016

"Coleman believes Cassie to be a mammal, because of the whale-like way it's said to swim - as opposed to the side-to-side wriggling that would indicate it was some kind of snake.
"Mikkelsen and Hairgaard were not the first to see Cassie, though. People have been seeing strange things in the waters off Maine in the 18th century. 
 "In June 1779, future U.S. Navy hero Edward Preble, then an ensign, said he encountered something in Penobscot Bay. Preble said ti was a hundred feet long and thick as a barrel. His commander ordered him into a longboat, telling him to shoot the animal. When shots were fired, it swam off, unharmed.
"Cassie made an appearance in Portland Harbor on July 12, 1818. Several people on Week's Wharf said they saw it. In 1836, the schooner Fox saw something slithering through the surf near Mt. Desert Rock. It too, held its head out of the water.
"On August 5, 1905, a 60-foot, mottled brown monster, with a snake-like head, circled a sailboat for ten minutes off Wood Island Light. Maj. Gen. H.C. Merriam and his sons were on board and said the creature lifted its head four feet above the surface.
"The steamer Bonita saw Cassie again in Casco Bay on August 20, 1910. Folks on board said it was more like 80 feet long, with spots.
"Eastport had some sightings in the 1930s and 40s. A woman reported seeing something definitely Cassie-like off Biddeford as late as 2002.
"Mikkelsen said the animal he and Hairgaard saw was brown, with a lighter underbelly. It had a forked tail, like a mackerel, only it was horizontal, like a whale. As it sat there in the water, looking them over, the Portland lightship blew its fog signal, not far off. Each time it sounded, Mikkelsen said, Cassie turned its head in that direction, as if it was listening.
"The encounter unnerved Hairgaard. He was ready to cut their fishing nets and make a run for the lightship. But Cassie came no closer. After about 45 minutes it swam around them in a half-circle and continued south.
"What did those two men see out there? What did all those folks see over the years? I don't know, however that doesn't mean those things didn't happen. I've never seen Cassie but that's no indication it doesn't exist.
"You see, everything has an explanation but not everything has yet been explained. Let that sink in, especially at the beach this summer, when that piece of seaweed brushes your leg."

Mikkelsen and Hairgaard's description of the sea serpent being brown in color with a lighter underbelly fits with other sea serpents across the globe, as many of them are said to be darker on top and lighter below.

I also like the author's open mind at the end of the article. "I've never seen Cassie but that's no indication it doesn't exist," he says, which is very true. And, like he also says, just because we don't know what Cassie (or other sea serpents, for that matter) is, that doesn't mean that the people who say they saw it (or them) didn't really have that experience.




This post is part 4 of an ongoing series examining reports of sea serpents spanning centuries and the globe. See the others here:

Makara and Moha-Moha
Bernard Heuvelmans vs. Henry Lee
"A Sort of Odd Marine Dimetrodon"

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Loch Ness Monster-Shaped Glass on eBay

Yeah, this is real - someone is trying to sell a piece of glass shaped like the Loch Ness monster on eBay.

Right now the bidding is only at $9. Plus $8 shipping too! The "tail is poinky…sharp!"

It's "one of a kind!!!"

I like all kinds of crypto-related things, but even I won't go for a piece of glass.

I don't know if this is worse than the "Bigfoot-shaped cheeto" or not.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Thoughts on Fact or Faked Beast of Dartmoor

A week or two ago, I happened to catch an episode of Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files when they were "investigating" the Beast of Dartmoor, an anomalous big cat (or, more likely, big cats). Watching about five minutes of the show reminded me why I don't usually like paranormal/cryptozoology shows.

They were investigating the video below, suspiciously titled "The Beast of Dartmoor? (as seen on Fact or Faked)." It was uploaded to YouTube on May 22, 2008. The uploader says: "I spotted this animal while filming shots of Dartmoor for a video competition about 3 years ago. It's definitely not a rabbit and it seems to bound like a cat which boars physically can't do (plus it has a long tail). And it isn't a hellhound as they are fictional. Other than that, your guess is as good as mine."

Now, before the Fact or Faked team actually got around to comparing the video to some other animals, they did one of the things that paranormal TV has to do: talk with an "expert" in the field. But, I do have to give it to them as they did talk to someone who is probably as close to an "expert" as you can be concerning cryptozoology - Jonathan Downes. But, alas, when they went to talk to Jon, his part was cut to only about two sentences which they seemed to completely ignore later. Jon gave a little history on the Beast of Dartmoor and that it is supposed to be a big cat. But if I remember correctly, the Fact or Faked team thought it was a canine creature!
Jon Downes, actual cryptozoologist

Anyway, they then went to a zoo (forget which one) to film some animals running, including a pony and a lion (among others, but I don't remember what those others were, as I really don't care). They then superimposed them onto the video of the BoD to compare it to the original. Needless to say none of them really matched.

And that's about when I stopped watching.

Now, some thoughts.

First of all, the video they were investigating is an obvious hoax. The thing in it looks like it was created with CG. And it does look more like a canine than a feline. I also find it funny that on the YouTube description the uploader says he was "filming shots of Dartmoor for a video competition" when this particular video would probably loose any video competition in the world, unless it was for the most blurry!

The fact that the TV show (and other shows too) didn't give a crap about actual info about the BoD that someone who has actually looked into the mystery had to say made me mad too. But that's the way it goes with paranormal TV. Have some hosts who have no clue what they're talking about, have someone who does know what they're talking about for less than two minutes, show a blurry video that's most likely an obvious hoax, and try in vain to recreate it. All while probably giving incorrect facts the whole time, too, like the Fact or Faked crew did.

Needless to say I wouldn't recommend this show. If you see this particular Fact or Faked (or probably any of them) on, don't bother watching it. If it got a rating from me it would be a good 0/10.
Crap


And one last thing, too - the video uploader says that it "isn't a hellhound," but if it was real (which it isn't) that would be what it looks like most!

St. Albans Cat on the Road

Another report of a big cat sighting in St. Albans, Hertfordshire, England, has come to light.

After an article on the Herts Advertiser on the 14th concerning some photos of feline footprints,  a witness who saw a big cat on June 6th came forward with her story.

Here's the report:

"Valerie Rodrigues was on her way back from Redbourn at about 8.30pm on June 6 when she spotted an animal dart out into the road in front of her car.
"At first she dismissed it as a fox - it was a 'gingery, sandy color' she said, a similar size, and trotting - but as the car got closer it started to bound away.
"She is now 'absolutely sure' it was feline: 'It was definitely a cat in the way it moved, in its well-defined muscles in its legs.
"'Cats don't run like dogs or foxes, they are more arched in their backs. I don't doubt it was the cat.
"'If it hadn't run I might not have quite realized what it was.'
"Having read recent Herts Ad reports on other big cats around the district, Valerie is now excited at what she'd seen, and was further convinced when she Googled pumas.
"'Once you reflect on it you start to question it but at the time I was sure.'
"Unlike many, she never questioned the sightings: 'I believe people have always kept exotic animals, I think people get them thinking they will be easy to look after or they get to expensive to feed as they eat a lot of meat, and they let them out.'
"Her tale comes after the Herts Ad revealed possible tangible evidence of the Hertfordshire beast - a large paw print trail was found in a golf bunker and also a savaged muntjac deer was discovered stripped of meat.
"There have been numerous sightings over the last year, including by Oaklands College staff members, dog-walkers, and drivers, but no pictures have yet surfaced.
"It has been seen near Luton, Wheathampstead, Welwyn, Sandrigde, and Hatfield.
"A Freedom of Information request revealed in November 2016 that Herts Police received about 30 big cat reports in the last five years. They ask sightings are reported on 101 and a safe distance is kept from the animal."

Wessie the snake seemed to be the big ongoing cryptozoological story last year, and it seems as though the Hertfordshire big cat(s) will be that this year, if sightings continue, which I assume they probably will, because from this and the other reports, it does seem as though there is at least one big cat loose in the area.

Once again - if there is more to this story, I'll update things.
The paw prints recently found
(Herts Ad)

Dead deer - killed by the big cat?
(Herts Ad)

Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Gate - July 2017

Recieved in the mail yesterday - the July 2017 issue of The Gate to Strange Phenomena. Covers news of UFOs, cryptids, ghosts, and more…


Bigfoot Tracks in Texas

Bigfoot prints?
(RRP&RD)


Large, human-like footprints have recently been found near Round Rock, Texas. The Statesman has a new article up on the subject of these tracks, titled "Is Bigfoot on the loose in Round Rock?:"

"An unknown creature may be exploring parks in Round Rock, according to city officials.
"Photos posted to the Round Rock Parks and Recreation Department's Facebook page reveal some rather large, semi-human footprints - which means Bigfoot may be, well, afoot in Williamson County.
"According to time and location stamps on the photos, the three images were captured at Freeman Park, Old Settlers Park and Brushy Creek Trail between June 8 and June 10. Two of the images look simply like footprints, but a third photo, which also features a person's foot for scale, shows the muddy footprints are quite large.
"It's no the first time a perhaps-mythical, perhaps-real creature has been spotted in Central Texas. In 2012, a Cedar Park resident spotted a chupacabra - or it could have just been a rather mangy-looking coyote. And in 2015, a Rockdale resident found an animal carcass by a creek on his land and thought it could have been a chupacaba.
 "Our very own Mike Parker, editor of the Pflugerville Pflag and Round Rock Leader community newspapers, thinks the creature may be the 'Hairy Man,' a local legend which dates back to Round Rock's pioneer days and which has inspired a local 5K and Hairy Man contest.
"We're not saying it's definitely Bigfoot, because as one Facebook commenter said, if there are cameras at the parks to capture these images, then why aren't their [sic] photos of the Sasquatch himself? But if you're hiking in any Round Rock parks this summer, you should probably keep an eye out for something large and hairy."

Yesterday, the Round Rock Parks and Recreation Department also posted these photos on Facebook, saying "UPDATE: Curious clumps of hair evidence found at parks east of Interstate 35. If you find these, or other unexplained phenomena, tag Round Rock Parks and Recreation Department on FB, or @roundrockpard on Twitter and Instagram. #RRSightings."
Hair of Bigfoot?
(RRP&RD)

If seems as though Round Rock may have a resident Bigfoot!

If there is more to this story in the future, I'll update things…


More on the St. Albans Big Cat - Paw Prints Found

Has evidence of the St. Albans big cat been found? It seems so.
Paw prints of the mystery big cat of
Hertforshire, England
(Herts Advertiser)

The Herts Advertiser is reporting on some paw prints found not long ago on a golf course:

"Wheathampstead local Stuart Braggs, 50, was playing golf on the Aldwickbury course earlier this month when he noticed something 'bizarre' by one of the bunkers near the clubhouse.
 "Animal footprints almost as large as his palm lead in long strides across the pit - preserved in the wet sand after a rainy morning.
"He said: 'We took photos and carried on playing golf, but I was then aware that some large cat had been walking there, which puts you a little bit on edge.'
"'There's not way it was anything else but a cat, it's definitely something reasonably large.'
"Stuart has been following the story of the mysterious beast of St Albans and would love to see the infamous creature in the flesh: 'I am convinced the creature is out there and hope it continues to live safely and secretly amongst us.'
"Five people Stuart knows have witnessed the cat but when he first told family and friends they were disbelieving, thinking the photo was a joke.
"Only about a week before the sighting, Stuart had been talking about eyewitness accounts of the big cat in the pub and he wrote a poem inspired by them, called Panther - he said it was like the boy who cried wolf.
"Eyewitnesses have come forwards in droves to report big cat sightings around Hertfordshire - in January two Oaklands College staff members saw 'a large, sandy-colored cat', and huge scratch marks were found on agree after a 'huge animal' was seen near Welwyn, and a big black cat was spotted by Luton Airport last year.
"A dog-walker recently found the mutilated corpse of a muntjac deer near Wheathampstead, and a Freedom of Information request from the Herts Advertiser revealed Herts Police have received about 30 big cats reports in the last five years.
"Police advise a safe distance is kept and any sightings are reported on 101.
"Stuart's book Poetry on Mead, which features his big cat piece, is coming out next month, and all proceeds are going to charity."


Even though Stuart did write a poem about the big cat, I feel like these footprints are genuine, especially since there have been so many other sightings.

If there's more to the story of this big cat, I'll update things.

Size of the prints
(Herts Advertiser)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

"Big Black Cat" Seen in St. Albans June 9th

(Bardrock, wikimedia)


There has been yet another black panther report this month. This new one comes from last Friday, June 9th.

The Welwyn Hatfield Times is reporting on a sighings of a "big black cat" that was spotted in Hertfordshire last Firday. The article reads:

"A jogger has reported spotting 'a big black cat' along the Alban Way in St Albans.
"Alistair Divall, of Old London Road, saw what he believed to be a panther while was was out jogging, around 9.30am.
"He said: 'It was about 10 or 15 feet in front of me, moving slowly, and then it turned and looked at me briefly.
"'It disappeared completely and there were people down at the bottom with their dogs.'
"Alistair, who is employed as a TV presenter and broadcaster, has worked at Paradise Wildlife Park, where he said he learned more about big cats.
"He said: 'That's definitely what I saw and I am completely sane. I can tell the difference between a cat and this big cat.
"'Funnily enough I wasn't scared.
"'It didn't threaten me in the slightest.
"'It was just to say 'Oh hello, you're there. I am gone now' and it loped off.
"'They're very clever because they can disappear and they can be sitting looking at you and you won't be able to see them.
"'I have done some work at Paradise Wildlife Park and you learn some things by doing that.
"'They don't tend to attack humans until they're being attacked themselves.
"'I am definitely pleased I have seen it to be honest.'
"Multiple eyewitnesses claim to have seen big cats in St Albans, Welwyn Hatfield and the surrounding areas.
"A woman said she saw a big, cream-colored cat off Hatfield Road last month, and in January two Oaklands College staff members saw 'a large, sandy-colored cat.'
"Four years ago scratch marks were found on agree after a 'huge animal' was seen near Welwyn, and a big black cat was spotted near Luton Airport last year.
"In March 2017, in Wheathampstead, a driver thought he saw a panther bounding through fields, and a dog-walker recently found the mutilated corpse of a muntjac deer nearby."
 
As I said in my earlier post on big cat sightings today, it doesn't seem like they will stop anytime soon.
 More TCZ articles on big cat sightings this year can be seen here, here, here, and here.

More Mystery Cat Reports

There have been quite a few mystery cat reports from Great Britain this year, and it does not appear that they are going to stop anytime soon.

On June 1st, the Daily Star published a piece on a few new black panther reports:

"Emma Adam was left rooted to the spot as she watched the snarling beast rip apart a fox it had captured in [the] woods.
 "Mother-of-three Emma, 29, above, said last night: 'Now I'm scared to leave the house.'
"Her encounter came during an evening walk with her mum-in-law near her home in Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leics.
"She said: 'As we were coming along the path, I saw something lying down and I was trying to figure out what it was.
"'I kept looking at it, and I realized its head was going up and down because it was eating something, ripping it apart. My mother-in-law and I froze.'
"It is the latest of many sightings of panthers in the British countryside.
"In January, Phil Cross, also from Ashby, spotted what he described as a 'black panther' blocking a country lane.
"And Robert Ingram and his wife Nicole, left, were terrified when they saw a beast near Pershore, Worcs."
Emma Adam, who encountered a black panther
(Daily Star)

After that article, the Daily Star posted another, about how many mystery cats could be roaming the area:

"Cryptozoologist Jonathan Downes, 57, has been tracking the wilds beasts for decades.
"He reckons there are dozens of killer pumas, panthers, [technically pumas and panthers are the same thing, whoever wrote this] lynx and wildcats roaming the UK.
"It comes after we revealed how Emma Adam was left paralyzed with fear when she came face-to-face with a  black panther this week.
"Mr Downes believes her sighting in Leicestershire is just the tip of the iceberg.
"He believes there could be 150 big cats such as panthers on the loose in Britain at any one time.
"The expert is worried there will be more close calls for people in the coming weeks due to warm weather.
"Despite attacks by wild animals being rare Mr Downes said people should stay well clear.
"He said: 'Do not try and approach it or do anything stupid.'
 "Mr Downes said most of the beasts are decedents of animals released in the late 70s and early 80s when the government brought in rules on keeping big cats.
"He thinks their population is slowly growing as they breed in thick undergrowth.
"The revelations come after the Daily Star reported yesterday [June 1] how Emma, 29, was left in shock when she came face-to-face with a black panther in Ashby-de-la-Zouch.
"Her experience was mirrored by scores of people across the country.
"Catherine Davis, 46, told the Daily Star last night how she saw two large beasts 'prowling' around her flat in Pontyrddulais near Swansea two weeks ago.
"There were 455 beast sightings logged by police in England, Wales and Northern Ireland between 2010 and 2015.
"Norfolk has had the most reported sightings, with 57 being logged. Neighboring county Suffolk has had 26 reports of big cats. A black panther has repeatedly been seen stalking the countryside in both counties.
"In Devon and Cornwall there have been 28 sightings - with reports of farm animals being killed by big cats."
Jon Downes

Jon Downes, of course, is director of the Centre for Fortean Zoology, probably the best cryptozoology-research organization in the world.

With 455 big cat reports (and keep in mind for each report that probably means there were some that weren't reported) in 5 years, and quite a few already this year, it would not surprise me if there are even more in the coming weeks.

If there are, I'll update things.

Black panther
(Bruce McAdam, wikimedia)

Sunday, June 11, 2017

A Mysterious Mothman-Like Creature in Chicago

Recently, there have been some reports of a Mothman-looking creature in Chicago, Illinois. The Mothman, of course, is the strange creature seen for 13 months in and around the town of Point Pleasant, West Virginia, in the late '60s.

Apparently the creature has also been seen on a few occasions over the last six years, K102.5 reports.

The creature has been described as "a bat-like humanoid" and a "winged man." In a recent K102.5 article, from June 7, they note that a recent sighting occurred in Calumet Park, which is near the Illinois/Indiana border.

The report says:

"May 5, 2017 - 8PM - Calumet Park, Chicago, IL - Law enforcement officer and his son - witnessed by others in the park - Flying humanoid about 6 feet in height per witness' estimates. Blackish/grayish in color and had an enormous pair of wings that must have been 8 to 10 feet in width."

The sightings of the creature this year apparently began in April, according to a post on Coast to Coast AM from May 25.  Three people separately saw the creature on the same evening. A father and son saw something like the thing described above in the report of the encounter of the police officer and his son. During this other father and son encounter, however, an "unsettling sound akin to the breaks of a train" was heard as well.

Lon Strickler has covered the reports on his Phantoms and Monsters website, including one that happened on May 19th: A woman, her friend, and the friend's boyfriend heard a "loud screech" that sounded "completely out of this world." A few seconds later, they heard another. They then saw a "large bat" coming "from the direction of the bridge that holds up the Lake Shore Drive." They said the thing was flying low and then "shot up into the air as it came over the water." The witnesses saw it fly in a large circle and they heard it screech again. Then, another "large bat" came into view. The two "bats" were flying in figure eight's around each other, and the witnesses thought it looked "like they were dancing in a strange sort of way."

The witnesses boyfriend then arrived and "scared the living bejezzuz out of us." The two "bats" apparently heard this and flew away and out of sight. The encounter lasted about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.
Is it some sort of giant bat?

Lon Strickler has also put up a Google map of the areas where sightings of the creature(s) have occurred. Right now, there are 15 sightings mapped on there. You can see it here.

I'll be following this story more, and if there are any more reports of strange flying things around Chicago, I'll update things.

What could this mean? If the reports are true, has something like the Mothman returned? If it has, what does it mean, if anything? Many people think the appearances of the Mothman in the '60s had something to do with the horrible collapse of the Silver Bridge on December 15, 1967. Could this be another warning?

Flying humanoid

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Makara and Moha-Moha

One of the weirdest sea monster encounters ever was reported in 1891, when a very, very strange creature was supposedly seen at the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, Australia.

The creature in question is called the "moha-moha," which the natives of Australia supposedly thought was a "dangerous turtle."

The witness was a Miss S. Lovell, a teacher at Sandy Cape, Great Sandy Island, Queensland. She sent a letter to Land and Water magazine that was addressed to "a constant reader" who signed himself "Tempus omnia monstrat." The letter from Miss Lovell reads:

"We have had a visit from a monster turtle fish. [Author note - of course turtles are reptiles, not fish!] I send a sketch of it, it let me stand for half an hour within five feet of it. When tired of my looking at it,  it put its large neck and head into the water and swept round seaward, raising its dome-shaped body about five feet out of the water, and put its twelve feet of fish-like tail over the dry shore, elevating it at an angle. Then, giving its tail a half twist, it shot off like a flash of lightning, and I saw its tail in the air about a quarter of a mile off where the steamers anchor.
"It has either teeth or serrated jaw bones. Native blacks call it 'Moka, moka,' [note - should be Moha-moha] and say they like to eat it, and that it has legs and fingers. I did not see its legs, as they were in the water. What I saw of it was about 27 ft. or 28 ft., but I think it must be 30 ft. in all. Whilst its head was out of the water it kept its mouth open, and, as I could not see any nostrils, I fancy it breathes through its mouth. The jaws are about 18 in. in length; the head and neck greenish white, with large white spots on the neck, and a band of white round a very black eye and round upper and lower jaws.
"The body was dome shaped, about 8 ft. across and 5 ft. high, smooth, and slate-gray in color. Tail about 12 ft., the fish part wedge-shaped, and fin of chocolate-brown. Then beautiful silver shading to white scales size of thumb nail."

So, from this description, we have a creature with a long neck, dome like turtle, and a fish tail, as shown in the drawing below.
The drawing in the middle, and the two at the bottom, are
sketches of the Moha-Moha, as supposedly seen in 1891
(Top is the Valhalla serpent,
which will be discussed in anther post)

But what is it? The Land and Water editor thought that it was a turtle called Carettochelys, or pig-nosed turtle. But I highly doubt this is the case. For one thing, it only grows to about 30 inches long, not 30 feet like the creature Miss Lovell says she saw.
Carettochelys, the pig-nosed turtle

The L&W editor also thought that Miss Lovell must have been mistaken about the creature having a fish tail, as turtles obviously don't have that, and said "the fair observer must have been mistaken on this very important point."

Miss Lovell, however, disagreed with him, and said:

"You speak of the impossible length of its tail. I beg to state this is a most astounding statement from people who have never seen this monster, half fish, half tortoise. The tail was over the dry shore for half an hour, so close to me, that five footsteps would have enabled me to put my hand upon it."

The editor, however, was not changing his opinion:

"With no wish to cast any doubt on our fair correspondent's veracity and powers of observation, we must adhere to the editorial remarks made in our issue of January 3, and point out to her that from a scientific point of view, the existence of a creature combining the characteristics of a fish, together with those of a tortoise, are absolutely impossible."
R. T. Gould

R. T. Gould, author of The Case for the Sea-Serpent, remarked:

"His knowledge of paleontology, apparently, was slight. The extinct Pterichthys and Drepanaspis seem to have existed for the express purpose of refuting his assertion."
A cool, though outdated, reconstruction of Pterichthys,
showing it as terrestrial, by F. John

To which Bernard Heuvelmans commented in his book In the Wake of the Sea-Serpents:

"…Pterichthyodes is disturbingly like the moha-moha - but only in the body and the tail. No fish has ever had a true neck, that is to say a thinner link between the head and body."

Later, Miss Lovell sent another letter to Land and Water:


"The blacks, who had not seen it on the day I did, named it at once from my sketch, which must, therefore, be pretty accurate, and called it Moha, Moha,' and laughed and said 'Saucy Fellow, Meebee' in English, 'dangerous turtle.'
"It is eight years since it attacked the black's camp. It can stand upright, and it put its legs on the shoulders of a powerful black, 6 ft. high, and knocked him down. That year ti invaded their camp, and nearly caught one man by the leg. For months after the blacks camped inland."
Miss Lovell also added that "It is not a turtle, but a monster, half fish, half tortoise, with the carapace perfectly rounded in front."

In his aforementioned book on sea serpents, Bernard Heuvelmans notes that there is a tortoise called Chelondina longicollis in Australia that does indeed have a long neck. He does not use this as an explanation for Moha-Moha, as it is nowhere close in size, but to show that a tortoise could have a long neck.
Bernard Heuvelmans

But of course, it would be impossible for the Moha-Moha to be a literal "half fish, half tortoise" like Miss Lovell said. The Editor of L&W comments on this as well:

"Our correspondent must not suppose that we doubt her having seen some abnormal monster, but we cannot believe that it is 'half fish half tortoise' as she describes, and the only solution we can offer is that the monster tortoise had clasped by its nether limbs, and had pressed against its abdomen some very large fish, the upper part of whose body was thus concealed, while the tail projected behind, and gave the tortoise the appearance of having a fish's tail."

That is an idea more ridiculous than that of a sea serpent!

Heuvelmans notes that that idea is "very far-fetched," and also notes that "an equally, if not more, far-fetched possibility, anatomically at least, is that it is a gigantic placoderm fish, somehow surviving the Devonian, in process of swallowing a huge conger tail first."

(I can't decide which of those is more ridiculous. Tell me which one you think is in the comments!)

William Saville Kent, who was writing The Great Barrier Reef of Australia, asked Miss Lovell for a detailed account of what she saw so he could give the Moha-Moha a scientific name.
William Saville Kent

Kent wrote:

"With reference to its obviously-combined chelonian and saurian peculiarities, couple with a fitting acknowledgement of its discoverer, it is here distinguished as the Great Barrier sea-serpent, Chelosauria lovelli."

Kent was, however, concerned about the fish tail:

"The only explanation that can be suggested with relation to it is that it is actually a bifurcated fleshy tail, or possibly an originally spatulate or paddle-like one, at which a shark, or perhaps a cross-grained, back-biting relation, had taken an unfriendly nibble."

So, so far we have quite a few possibilities - an ancient Devonian fish, a "turtle-fish," a Devonian fish eating an eel, a tortoise grabbing a fish with its rear appendages, and a strange creature that had its tail bitten by a shark. Again, almost more ridiculous than it actually being an odd unknown animal.

There's a plot twist, though.

Miss Lovell went on to write another letter about her encounter, which Heuvelmans calls her "new account:"

"I was (while walking on the Sandy Island beach) admiring the stillness of the sea, it being a dead calm, when my eye caught sight of the head and neck of a creature I had never seen before.
"I went to the edge of the water and saw a huge animal, lying a full length, which was not at all disturbed by my close proximity to it, enabling me to observe the glossy skin of the head and neck, smooth and shiny as satin. Its great mouth was wide open all the time it was out of the water.
"In about a quarter of an hour or so it put its head and neck slowly into the sea, closing its jaws as it did so. I then saw what a long neck it had, as it moved round in a half circle, and also perceived that the head and neck were moving under a carapace. When the head was pointing out to sea it rose up, putting a long long wedge-shaped fish-like tail out of the water over the dry shore,  parallel to myself, and not more than five feet from me, not touching the sand, but elevated. I could have stood under the 'flukes of its tail.'
"The only part of the body that had marks like joints (like in size and shape to a common brick) was also on the dry shore, but resting on the sand; the great dome-shaped carapace, dull slate-greym was standing quite five feet high, and so hid its long neck and head from my view, which before fit rose I could see as a long shadow on the water. The carapace was smooth and without marks of any sort. The fish-like part of the tail was as glossy and shiny as the head and neck,  but of a beautiful silver-grey, shading to white, with either remarking or large scales, each bordered with a ridge of white, but if scales, not like those of a fish in position, as the fishes' scales lie horizontally, while the Moha's, if scales, like perpendicularly, each the size of a man's thumbnail. It had a thick fleshy fin near the end, about three feet apart from the flukes, and, like them, chocolate brown. The flukes were semi-transparent; I could see the sun shining through them, showing all the bones very forked. One of the girls asked me if a shark had bitten a peace out of its tail., and the other wanted to know if I thought it was an alligator! The fish-like part was quite twelve feet long.
"All the time the animal was on shore it was perfectly motionless; at last it gave a  curious half-twist to the fluke part of its tail, the movement only just reaching beyond the fleshy fin, and, without disturbing the water in the slightest degree,  vanished. I seemed only to have taken one breath when I saw its tail out of the water about the place where the steamer anchors, sending a quantity of fish into the air. I then saw it give a twist of its tail, and it disappeared altogether. The black boy saw it on the shore the previous Monday, the 9th inst.
"As I was so close to it for at least half an hour, I was able to study its shape and coloring. In moving about, head and tail were seen alternatively above water, but not even the shadow of its great body, and, from the length of that, a spectator could not guess that the head and tail belonged to the same creature, particularly as the coloring is so different. The parts I did not see were the legs. I stooped down and tried, but in vain, to see them, though the Moha was standing in only a foot of water, but the Black described them as being like an alligator."

What are my thoughts on all of this? Well, from Miss Lovell's description of a crazy "monster turtle/tortoise fish," that fact that she said she got so close to it for so long (because wild animals always let people come right up to them!), and her contradicting stories, make me believe the whole thing is made up. As well, Heuvelmans notes in his book: "If you try to reconstruct what she describes mentally - or better still graphically - you will not succeed." He also says: "She also says the tit was 'in only a foot of water' and that it raised 'its huge dome-shaped body about five feet out of the water.' But how did it hide such a dome when it was in the water?"

Like with Heuvelmans, to me this report just screams "hoax!"

*******

In his book, Heuvelmans mentions makara, a creature from Hindu mythology that is a type of sea monster. It is described as a "half terrestrial animal in the front part, and a half aquatic animal in the hind part." Sound familiar?

Maybe Miss Lovell's Moha-Moha story was inspired by the makara, and she decided to create a creature like it.

I would not be surprised at all if that was the case.

The goddess Ganga on the makara



This post is part 3 of what will probably be an ongoing examination of various sea serpent accounts over the years. See the others here:

Bernard Heuvelmans vs. Henry Lee
"A Sort of Odd Marine Dimetrodon"

Friday, June 9, 2017

Regarding that Loch Ness Monster Video...

Not long ago, a video appeared online that is said to show a Loch Ness Monster. I wrote a post about it (read it here), and thought it was odd since the neck of the creature doesn't seem to move at all. It just seemed unnatural.

Now, Roland Watson of the Loch Ness Monster blog has an interesting new post regarding this film, in which he mentions:

"As readers will recall, an unusual video clip of a long necked object was filmed by Urquhart Bay back on May 7th. Since a photograph of a clear fake Nessie head and neck was photographed on the same day in the same area, it was surmised that someone was playing a game or conducting some kind of eyewitness perception test. The path the 'Nessie' pursues would take it to the area where the photo of the fake neck was snapped.
"The other mystery was who the occupant of the boat was who has still not come forward to give us their view on what they saw at close range. So, it was all a bit of a mystery as to what was going on. However, I have one candidate for all this and it is Lone Wolf Media who were filming for a Loch Ness Monster and others documentary. This was mentioned in the Inverness Courier and I note that they were in Inverness certainly no later than 10th May going by this Facebook entry. That was just three days after the video footage."

So yeah, this most definitely is not a real Nessie but it also is probably not meant to be a "hoax." I'm betting that the person on the boat going by is the one who took the picture (below) and that they were probably working with some film crew.

If more comes up on this, I'll update things.

Mysterious "Ape" Filmed in California

A strange "ape," and possibly a Bigfoot, has been caught on camera near La Cracenta, California.

KTLA 5 reports:


"The California Department of Fish and Wildlife is investigating after a mysterious, ape-like creature was captured on cellphone video recently in the foothills near a hiking trail in La Crescenta, not for from the 210 Freeway.
"Jake Gardiner, who works near the area, spotted the animal while taking a stroll during during the woods on his lunch break last week. {Author note - Assuming this should be "taking a stroll through the woods during his lunch break."}
"'At first, I heard a bunch of strange noises in the trees. Figured it was just some types of bird or something like that,' Gardiner told KTLA in an interview on Tuesday. 
"A still uneasiness came over him as he began to feel like something was out there watching him.
"So, Gardiner pulled out hi cellphone and began recording as he tried to determine whether anything was out there.
"At first, he couldn't see anything out of the ordinary. It wasn't until he checked the footage a second time that he noticed something unusual.
"However, he wasn't quite sure what it was he that he had captured on the video.
"'You can definitely see a torso and four limbs moving around and swinging around,' Gardiner said. 'It's a pretty obvious kind of motion.'
"Officials from the state's Department of Fish and Wildlife don't know what exactly the animal is either, but they have an idea.
"'We think that it's a pretty good possibility that it is some kind of ape,' said Andrew Hughan, a spokesman for the department.
"If the creature is in fact an ape, it could represent a serious public safety concern, according to officials.
"'These animals are incredibly strong. And they can very easily kill or seriously injure a person because -- if it turns out to be an ape -- this animal is scared, hungry, out if its element,' Hughan told KTLA.
"It's possible that it was someone's 'illegal' pet at some point, he said after being asked how an ape could've ended up in that area.
"'People import the animals as illegal exotic pets. Now, that's not great, but what happens is the animals can get out of control and they either escape or they get too unruly and the owners just let them go,' Hughan said.
"Officials say while there's no reason to be alarmed, they are still warning people not to go into the wooded area looking for the creature."

But what if its an "ape" (sasquatch) that is in its element, Mr. Hughan?

What do you think?

As of right now, the only place I've found the video is on the news sites, so you can watch it on KTLA 5. But if I find it on YouTube sometime, I'll add it to this post.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Crypto-Kid: Kevin Nelson Tonight

Tonight at 8 pm - a new episode of Colin Schneider's show Crypto-Kid on WCJV Radio. Tonight's guest is Kevin Nelson:

"Tonight on the Crypto-Kid, I am joined by Kevin Nelson, co-author of the book 'The Van Meter Visitor: A Mysterious Encounter with the Unknwon.' Colin and Kevin will discuss the strange case of the Van Meter Visitor as well as Kevin's research into the strange.
"The Van Meter Visitor is a fairly obscure flying humanoid case from 1903 in Iowa. If you've never heard of the creature, you should tune in and find out more."


 

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Mountain Monsters: "The Blood Skull and the Woman of the Woods"



A new Mountain Monsters is on tonight at 10, and it is the finale of this horrible season. I also would not be surprised if it is the last Mountain Monsters ever, which is a shame because this last (and probably final) season has been terrible.

The episode is called "The Blood Skull and the Woman of the Woods." Wow! The thing they went to the "Dark Forest" to find is mentioned again after episode 2! (Also, too long of a title for an episode!)

"Buck searches for the Little Girl after he makes contact with her and she vanishes. While the rest of the AIMS team sneaks into a cabin looking for answers about the other team's intentions, Buck winds up face to face with the Woman of the Woods."

By "Face to face" I bet it means him walking in the woods alone at  night and screaming.

Also I guess we find out what's in Jeff's nose.

I have really been lost this whole season. They were supposed to go the the "Dark Forest" to find the Woman of the Woods because they finally made contact with the Rogue Team that was following them, and now there is another team, a "Black wolf" and a "little girl" and the WotW has hardly been mentioned at all! What do those others want? That we still don't know, even though Jeff has been with them all season. What do the Bigfoot, WotW, Black Wolf, and little girl all have in common? That we still don't know either. What are the stupid "three rings?"

Mountain Monsters should probably have been called "Old Fat Guys Fighting and Hiding on the Ground" this season.

This was probably the worst scene ever.


Update 11:17pm

And was there a real ending? Answer - no. ARE YOU KIDDING ME.

Friday, June 2, 2017

The Mothman of Point Pleasant



Released today! - the 4th Small Town Monsters film, The Mothman of Point Pleasant!

This is their best film so far, folks.

"The documentary film looks to retell the Mothman legend through eyewitness testimony and the perspective of Point Pleasant citizens. The Mothman was first sighted in 1966 and sightings continued until around the time a bridge that connected the West Virginia town of Point Pleasant and the Ohio town of Gallipolis collapsed in 1967. The documentary will tell not only the Mothman stories but the entire thirteen month span between the first sightings and the bridge collapse."

You can get the film, and other STM stuff, here.

See my review of The Mothman of Point Pleasant here.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Crypto-Kid - Jon Downes Archived

On Monday, Colin Schneider had CFZ founder Jon Downes on his Crypto-Kid show. Jon was the most requested guest and anyone who listens to the show will know why. The last time he was on, and this time as well, were some of the best episodes. Like last time Colin and Jon talk about all kinds of crypto-stuff, including black panthers, Bigfoot, and fairies, and go wherever the conversation takes them…

Listen to the archived show here on Mixcloud.


Bernard Heuvelmans vs. Henry Lee

In the latter part of the 1800s, Naturalist Henry Lee wrote two books trying to explain reports of sea serpents, mermaids, and the like. How did he explain the many various descriptions of sea serpents reported by respectable sailors all over the world? With one thing, actually. The giant squid.

At one time the giant squid, Architeuthis, was considered a sea serpent itself. Reports of the kraken attacking ships are thought to be based on this creature, which was unknown to science for quite a long time, until dead squids began being found on beaches.
Kraken attacking a ship -
though this one is a giant octopus,
not a squid

Lee tried to explain all sea serpent sightings with the squid, but two that stand out - because the idea is so ridiculous! - above all the others. Namely, the serpent seen by Hans Egede in 1734, and the one seen by the crew of the H.M.S. Daedalus in 1848.
Hans Egede serpent

Daedalus serpent

Lee though that the crew of the Daedalus has seen a squid swimming on top of the water, and its tentacles and arms looked like the back of the creature, with the mantle being the "head," and that Hans Egede has seen a squid with its mantle and one tentacle raised out of the water! (To be the head/body and tail, respectively. Also keep in mind that Egede said the monster he saw was "longer than our whole ship"). He also said that when Egede's monster "spouted like a whale-fish" it was the locomotor siphon on the squid. Below is the picture Lee used to try to explain his theory.

A. Hans Egede
B. Daedalus
The whole idea of every sea serpent being explained by a giant squid is ludicrous. I think Bernard Heuvelmans explains it best in his book In the Wake of the Sea-Serpents:

"Lee says nothing of the 'periscope position' in which the long-necked sea-serpent is sometimes seen. But knowing his methods we can interpret it for him. It occurs when an Architeuthis swims on the surface lifting one of its tentacles out of the water. It may make this odd gesture for one of the following reasons: (1) to see which way the wind is blowing; (2) to wave at one of its fellows; (3) to see if it is raining; (4) to give a traffic signal when about to turn; (5) to make innocent sailors think that it is a different kind of serpentine sea-monster, and incidentally a much less terrifying one.
"But, to cap everything, when we come to one of those rare sea-serpents that might possibly be a giant squid, to wit the one seen by the crew of the Pauline at grips with a whale, Lee suddenly finds his explanation unsatisfactory, and one is amazed to find him saying, 'They may have seen a veritable sea-serpent.'"


Bernard Heuvelmans 


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

"A Sort of Odd Marine Dimetrodon"

In the summer of 1849, four people fishing at the entrance of St. Margaret's Bay, Nova Scotia, had an encounter with a sixty-foot long sea serpent:

"It was proportioned like an eel, i.e. tapering towards the extremities, with no caudal fin perceptible, but one very high fin, or a row of spines, each of about an inch in diameter at the base, erected along its back, serving indeed for a dorsal fin, like the folding fin of the Thynnus vulgaris, or albicore. The spinal erection seemed to occupy about one third of its length, each end of it being about equi-distant from the Serpent's extremities, and at a distance, somewhat resembling, in size and appearance, the sail of a skiff. The animal's back was covered with scales, about six inches long and three inches wide, extending in rows across the body, i.e., the longer diameter of the scale being in the direction of the circumference of the body. The color of the back was black. The men had no opportunity of seeing the belly, but what the Americans would call 'a smart chance' of becoming acquainted with the inside of it; for the creature, perceiving the boat, raised its head about ten feet above water, turned towards it, and opened its jaws, showed the inside of its mouth red in color and well armed with teeth about three inches long, shaped like those of a cat-fish. The men now thinking it high time to terminate the interview, pulled vigorously for shore, followed for some distance by the snake, which at length gave up chase and disappeared."

By the description of this sea serpent, with the high fins on its back, it most definitely doesn't sound like a "snake" as it is referred to in the end of the report. But then, what is it?
Bernard Huevelmans

Dr. Bernard Huevelmans, author of In the Wake of the Sea-Serpents, notes that the description seems to fit that of some fish. But what fish? He mentions the oarfish (a common 'explanation' for sea serpent sightings), but it does not match the description except possibly for the spines. He also rules out eels as they do not have scales and don't have spines like the creature. Could it be a sailfish? No, he said, because it wouldn't be able to raise its head ten feet out of the water so the witnesses could see its mouth.
Oarfish
Sailfish jumping out of the water.
The witnesses, however, said they only saw the creature's
neck 10 feet out of the water

What was it then? Was it a "sea monster" in the truest sense? Or a hoax, as Huevelmans suspected:

"If the description is truthful and accurate, it seems more to apply to a reptile, which can move its head on its neck. But as such an animal - a sort of odd marine Dimetrodon - has never been described by anybody else, even in a work of paleontology, this report is unacceptable and seems very suspect."

Dimetrodon

Outlandish Ohio - Saturday

Coming up this Saturday, June 3, in Ravenna, Ohio - my friend Colin Schneider will be having a talk at the Reed Memorial Library about all the strange things in the Buckeye State!

"Have you ever thought about the possibility of Bigfoot? Do you think that there might be unidentified craft flying around the sky? Join the Crypto-Kid Colin Schneider, one of the youngest active paranormal researchers in the world, on a journey into the weird corners of Ohio's history and culture. Colin will give a lecture on some strange cases and encounters from his case files and lead the audience in a discussion and story sharing. If you've ever wondered about what might be lurking around Ohio, you won't want to miss this event!"

 The event starts at 2 pm and is open to everyone.


Some New Books

While recently on Vacation in Michigan, I stopped at a used books store and found a couple interesting titles: Where Bigfoot Walks by Robert Michael Pyle, The Hot-Blooded Dinosaurs by Adrian Desmond, and Sea Monsters by Walter Buehr.


I also did some filming around an area that has had Bigfoot activity and Lake Leelanau, supposedly the home of a very strange Lake Monster. I'm going to try to put together some short videos on those subjects with the footage I got...

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Mountain Monsters: "The Secret of the Little Girl"

A new Mountain Monsters is on tonight at 10 on Destination America. Tonight's episode is "The Secret of the Little Girl;"

"The team discovers what Jeff was doing at the three rings; the team learns what Buck found on his phone; Buck heads to the Three Rings to contact the little girl, who seems to be turkey to the Dark Forest."

😂