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Friday, June 30, 2017

"Help Round Rock Parks and Rec. Find Bigfoot"

I was pretty convinced this whole Bigfoot thing going on around Round Rock, Texas is all a hoax to try to draw people in, and this article which appeared on Community Impact Newspaper confirms that:

"The city of Round Rock Parks and Recreation Department has stumbled across some monstrous means to encourage children to head outdoors this summer. Popping up in parks and along Brushy Creek Trail are signs reading 'Big Foot Xing' and warnings of Bigfoot sightings in the area.
"The Parks and Recreation Department started posting about Bigfoot on social media in early June, releasing photo evidence of hair and footprints. It eventually released video evidence on Facebook, encouraging Bigfoot followers to get out and look for clues.
"'People are responding to this so well and so quickly, we thought we would have to do two to even six posts before anyone paid attention, but after the first post it went media firestorm,' Round Rock Parks and Recreation spokesperson Roger Heaney said.
"Some parents have jumped into the search wholeheartedly, commenting about how excited their kids will be and posting to the Parks and Recreation Facebook page about taking their kids out 'squatching.' Others have posted negative responses calling the evidence unnecessary and posting signs of wasting tax dollars.
"'A lot of what's been produced has been produced in-house so it's really not costing anything,' Heaney said. 'Most anything we're doing is sponsored and or donated by local businesses. We've really got an outpouring of support from local businesses who want to be a part of it because they believe in the cause.'
"There were also commenters calling the whole thing a 'hoax' and pointing out the use of old footage and photos.
"'Residents have responded back to those comments saying they love it and that definitely outweighs… those folks who [want to] be critical,' Heaney said.
"Rumors have already started about possible Loch Ness sightings [They saw a Scottish lake in one of their lakes? - TH] in one of the lakes, and a resident contacted the Parks and Recreation department reporting what appeared to be a Chupacabra [Probably meaning a mangey coyote, not a chupacabra - TH], Heaney said. Residents should be on the lookout for upcoming videos from Round Rock Police Chief Allen Banks, City Manager Laurie Hadley and Mayor Craig Morgan, all of whom will address the alleged wildlife sightings.
"Heaney said the signs and social media promotions are intended to help encourage people to get out of the house and take advantage of the parks and recreational amenities in Round Rock.
"'Our hope is that they will kind of re-fall in love with the outdoors and activities outdoors and we can in some small way create a more healthy balance for them' Heaney said.
"On July 15, the Parks and Recreation Department will team up with Searching for Bigfoot, a national organization specializing in all things Sasquatch, to conduct a citywide search expedition at Old Settlers Park. The event will be free and attendees can be sure they will catch at least a glimpse of Bigfoot, Heaney said."
The 'evidence' from RRP&R
that kicked this whole thing off

If the people of Round Rock want the kids to be more interested in nature, why don't they just take them out into parks and other wild places sometimes, instead of faking Bigfoot stories? And bringing in the "Searching for Bigfoot" team isn't good either. Tom Biscardi basically heads that and you know it is a hoax once he is involved, as he has been a central player in some large ones, multiple times.

And now we might have some fake "chupacabra" and lake monster stories from Texas too. Great.

Another "Monsters Among Us"

No, this is not the same as Linda Godfrey's book from last year, though it looks pretty interesting! (And that cover is awesome too.)

Monsters Among Us: The Truth About a Hidden World You Never Knew is a cool-looking new (Pub. May 1st) book by Andrea McGann Keech.

Below is the book description:

"Don't Turn Around… Because if you do, you might see its massive fin, or its hairy face pressed up against your window, or its white, glistening fangs. The world teems with cryptids. (Maybe.) Andrea McGann Keech shines light on over two dozen of the most enduring, most fearsome cryptids that stalk our imagination.
"Whether or not you believe in these creatures, you'll enjoy Keech's even-handed commentary and historical analysis. Each cryptid is introduced with a short tale, and then its genesis and plausibility are examined, from the megalodons that once actually did rule the oceans to the lethal kelpies that actually (well, probably) do not lurk on the banks of Scottish lochs.
"The cryptids under Keech's microscope range from the natural to the supernatural, the well-known to the obscure, including:
  • The Kraken. Enormous beasts ascending from the abyssal deep to pull ships to their watery graves, or really big, mostly harmless squid?
  • The Kelpie. Horrific demons that pull young men and women into nearby lakes to devour them, or a fairy tale meant to scare children into not wandering far from home? 
  •  The Wendigo. Enchanted spirits borne of human cannibalism, or an Indian legend meant to discourage the consumption of human flesh during times of famine?
  • The Beast of Gevaudan. A werewolf-like beast with an appetite for children, or feral wolves and dogs preying upon defenseless villagers?

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Wisconsin Werewolf Documentary

The North American Dogman Project (NADP) is releasing a new film on the Wisconsin werewolf. What is it called? The Wisconsin Werewolf: True Encounters with the Wisconsin Werewolf, apparently.

If you could actually manage to read what is on that you might be able to learn more about it.

And their apparent production company is called "Neighborhood Monsters." (Totally not a Small Town Monsters ripoff!)

And below is a trailer for it that looks somewhat decent but also not at the same time. I probably won't be getting it.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

New Loch Ness Photo

A new photo has emerged online that supposedly shows the Loch Ness Monster.

Fox News reports:

"Is that 'Nessie'? A photo of a strange object moving in the waters of Loch Ness is sparking debate.
"Australian tourists Peter Jackson (no relation to the filmmaker of the same name) and Phillippa Wearne were driving along the loch when they spotted an object in the water and took a picture of the object on their phone, The Sun reports. They showed it to a local skipper who said he had 'not seen anything like it.'
"'It was pretty big even from 150 yards or more offshore. I didn't know what to think. We took photos and showed them to people at a B&B and then showed them to people on a cruise,' said Phillippa.
"Wearne added that the object was 'moving fast but in the direction of the current,' and quipped that if the skipper had not seen anything like that before, 'then it must be something.'
"Jackson said the couple was 'dumbfounded but excited' to see the object.
"The events took place on at 5:18 p.m. local time on June 22 when the couple was driving north on the west side of Loch Ness. They proceeded to get out of the vehicle and take pictures on their smartphones. The sighting slated five minutes, according to the register of Loch Ness monster sightings
"While not claiming it's the monster itself, Peter said, 'I know I saw something a I know it was large so I am keeping an open mind.'
"This sighting is only the second to make it onto the official register in 2017, noted Gary Campbell, registrar of sightings at Loch Ness.
"Campbell added that the picture, along with other pictures of the loch, is a 'little bit indistinct,' but added that with the detailed report handed in, 'there is really no clear explanation as to what the family caught on camera.'
"The only other sighting added to the register this year was on May 1 when a dark shape, higher than the waves was spotted in the Loch's Urquhart Bay."

It is also noted on the Loch Ness Monster blog that this new photo was taken about four miles south of Urquhart Castle.

As to what it is, I really can't tell. A log? Maybe. If it is a real LNM the neck seems oddly positioned as you can see in the photo below.

What do you think? 

Lake Monster Photographed in Russia?

The Daily Mail is reporting on a new photo of a supposed lake monster taken at Lake Khanto, Russia. Of course it is called the "Russian version of the Loch Ness Monster."
Lake Monster?
(Daily Mail)

The article says:

"Nature lovers claim they have found the Russian version of the legendary Scottish Loch Ness monster.
"The supposed Russian Nessie - the mythical sea creature [It would be a lake creature, not sea - TH] - was captured on camera in photographs showing what appears to be a white head and part of a body of a sea monster coming from the water.
"The photographs were taken at Lake Khanto in the city of Noyabrsk in north-central Russia's Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug region by a man out for his morning run.
"Dmitry Kim was exercising at the picturesque spot when something caught his eye.
"He said he spotted the weird object sticking out of the water and quickly grabbed his phone to take a picture.
"He said: 'I understand it very well, that this is impossible, but the silhouette of this creature reminded me of the Loch Ness monster.
"'It was standing there and wasn't moving.'
"The supposed creature looks similar to reported sightings of the Scottish beast with what looks like a long neck poking out from the water.
"Mr Kim added that according to regional legends Lake Khanto used to have swans but said it looked nothing like a bird."
Did Mr. Kim see a lake monster? I doubt it. The photos just don't look too genuine to me. I think it is probably either a swam (kinda looks like one to me) or just an outright fake.


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

St. Albans Cat Caught on Video and Australia Big Cat

I was on a trip all of last week so I hadn't gotten around to posting this yet, but there have been a few more big cat reports in St. Albans, England and in Australia.

First, there is a video supposedly showing the St. Albans cat. The Express says this (June 22):

"A stunned driver claims he has sensationally caught the legendary big cat of St Albans on camera at the crack of dawn.
"Jahid Choudhury dramatically snapped what appears to be a huge beast - which looks like a deadly puma - as he drove home at 4.30am in the morning after finishing work. 
"Mr  Choudhury was heading home along heavily-wooded Napsbury Lane, St ALbans, Hertfordshire, when he spotted what appears to be a powerful beige cat lurking by the side of the road."

Choudhury got his phone out and shot a short video of the cat. He said: "It definitely wasn't a domestic cat. When I stopped and reversed it just stared at me. I wasn't scared or anything. But I was shocked, it was very strange. It stared at me and then got up and went into the woods."

What Choudhury filmed is undoubtably a cat, but I really can't tell what kind. It almost looks big enough to be a puma (but also, to me, looks like it could be a large domestic cat) and the stripes on the end of the tail are interesting. And what about the reports of a black cat around St. Albans?

Next is the story about a horse that was attacked by a possible big cat attack in Australia, with a video below.

The Courier Mail reports:

"Incredible footage has emerged of a horse inflicted with wounds resemblant of a big cat attack on a Gympie region property where the exotic predators have reportedly been sighted.
"The images, submitted to the Big Cat Research Group this week, show a number of straight, definite slices covering the rump and flank of a horse contained at Lower Wonga, The Gympie Times reports.
"Big cat researcher Vaughan King believes the attack is that of a big cat and says the Gympie region is a hive of reported activity.
"'These injuries bear numerous similarities to that of failed attacks on horses by cougars in North America, and attempts on zebra by leopards in Africa,' the big cat chaser said.
"He said the scratches were 'too clean, clustered and at too many varying heights' to be from the horse rubbing against barbed wire and the patterned grouping of the cuts pointed to the paw of an animal.
"He is also certain the woulds could not have come from anything native.
"'No Australian natives have got claws that would match that,' he said.
"The former Australian Zoo big cat trainer, who is collating big cat data on his website said it did not surprise him that a big cat had their claws set on an animal the size of a horse.
"'Big cats are opportunistic - especially the leopard - there is no prey to big or too small,' he said.
"He said most big cats will try to get to the neck as soon as possible, but with a big animal the cat would try to bring it down before going for the kill.
"The beast could be enough to sustain the big cat for more than a week.
 "He said if the big cat realized it had bitten off more than it could chew mid-attack it would have retreated.
"'Big cats are very aware of self preservation,' the researcher said.
"'They realize their body is their livelihood - if they get injured they can't hunt.'
"Mr King, who is based at the Sunshine Coast, said the Gympie region has historically been a hotspot for big cat sightings, with two recent sightings at Cooloola and Curra sparking more reports.
"He is now interested in changes to the animals' behavior as a guide to detect the presence of big cats and asking rural residents to keep an eye out on anything out of the ordinary.
"'Farmers and property owners are the ones that are going to see the animal indicators first,' he said.
"He encourages anyone who has sighted a big cat or signs of one around to report it to so he can build an accurate track of the species."

Check out King's Panther People website here.

As always, if there is more to either of these stories in the future, I'll update things…

Monday, June 26, 2017

Round Rock Bigfoot: Videos, FBI, and More

On June 15, I published an article on some photos of supposed Bigfoot tracks posted on the Round Rock (Texas) Parks and Rec Department's Facebook page. The photos of the footprints were supposedly caught on trail cams between June 8 and 10.

Since the time when I posted the first article, more "evidence" and more stories have come to light. And  it seems, to me, that Round Rock's "Bigfoot" probably does not exist.

A day after I published my first post, on June 16, the Statesman published an article on a video called "Is that Bigfoot in Round Rock?" Round Rock Parks had put said video on twitter.

The Statesman article said:

"First we have some unusually large footprints. Now we have some video footage.
"Just in time for Father's Day weekend, the Round Rock Parks and Rec Department posted video they say came from a local resident walking along Brushy Creek.
"Could it be the legendary Hairy Man? Or Bigfoot? The grainy video doesn't offer much more than a quick glimpse - but enough to make you think twice.
"After finding some rather large footprints earlier this week and some clumps of hair on tree limbs, the city department opted to post a 'Bigfoot Crossing' sign… just in case.
"So for anyone taking a stroll down the Brushy Creek Trail, be on the lookout. And the city asks you to share any photos or video evidence on social media with the hashtag, #RRsightings."
Below is a news clip that shows the "Bigfoot" video.

 The Statesman also posted an article about some guys who went out in search of the Bigfoot "and got the whole thing on video:"

"Last week, we told you about some pretty massive footprints spotted in parks around Round Rock that may or may not have belonged to Bigfoot. Or Round Rock legend the 'Hairy Man.' Or, you know, just somebody with really large feet.
"Later, Round Rock parks and recreation officials even released a video of the creature.
"Two Bigfoot hunters, who appear to be local teenagers, went looking for the hairy creature along Brush Creek Regional Trail, where some of the footprints were found. They posted a video of their adventure to the YouTube channel 'Sewer Gators':
"After the sun sets, the explorers decided to set up camp in the woods along Brushy Creek Trail to listen for noises.
"'We're also going to try to slam some sticks into trees and try to get a response, as well as, like, howling,' one of the Bigfoot hunters says in the video.
 "And the waiting paid off: about 10 minutes into the video, one of them says they heard a 'demonic growl' - was it Bigfoot, or the infamous Cedar Park chupacabra?
 "The Round Rock Parks and Recreation department has asked anyone who goes hunting for the creature - or who spots anything - to use the has tag #RRsightings on social media."

And that is not all - these kids went out "Bigfoot hunting" in Round Rock, too.

And then there is this - once again from the Statesman.

"FBI to Round Rock Police: Bigfoot is 'most wanted fugitive:'"

"Round Rock Police Chief Allen Banks has received a special message from the Federal Bureau of Investigation: the Hairy Man seen galavanting around the Round Rock trails is a 'most wanted fugitive.'
"According to the city's Parks and Recreation Department, which has been keeping residents abreast of recent Bigfoot sightings, Round Rock's top police official got an email from the FBI stating it has added Bigfoot to the 'Ten Most Wanted Fugitives' List.
"The Bureau is offering a reward of up to $500,000 for information leading directly to the arrest of the giant, hair-covered being, according to the Parks and Rec Department.
"Bigfoot was last seen on the Brushy Creek Regional Trail and made 'loud, demonic-like howl sounds,' according to the FBI most wanted poster.
"Parks and Rec first alerted the public two weeks ago that park rangers found strange footprints at city parks and trails. Then, video footage was released showing a mysteriously large figure running on the Brushy Creek Trail.
"Recently, some Round Rock teens and other area families have shared videos of their search for the enormous biped.
"According to the recently released FBI poster, Bigfoot is a 'menace to wildlife' and is accused of 'destruction of government property' and 'terrorism of campers.' 
"The creature is allegedly 'armed and dangerous,' according to the FBI message received by police.
"But is the Round Rock Hairy Man really that ferocious and ill-willed? So far, there has been no evidence of destruction or vandalism by the big man on the trails. Not even any food or sign of a campsite has been found. Just a few oversized footprints in the mud are the only evidence left behind by the beast.
 "The Hairy Man seems to be abiding by the 'Leave No Trace' camping principals: respect wildlife, take out what you bring in, and leave what you find.
"So is this creature Round Rock's Hairy Man legend of yore come to life? Is it Bigfoot? Sasquatch? Or is it just Harry trying to find his Hendersons?
 "Only time will tell."

A few thoughts on this last article -

  1. Why would the FBI but Bigfoot on their most wanted list? 
  2. If the thing is a Bigfoot, it would not be a hairy "man" in the sense of a "wild man" who went feral. It would always live in the woods so of course there would be no food or campsites. And it would not be "armed and dangerous."

This whole thing seems suspect to me. I read somewhere else (forget exactly where, but if I find it I'll put up a link) that the footprints look just like some others found somewhere else (Europe I think?). And of course, the video is so blurry you can't really see if the thing is a Bigfoot or a guy in a suit. But judging from the amount of time it takes it to go behind one tree in the middle of the video I'm betting its not the former.

And why would the FBI be interested in Bigfoot sightings?

There's also this article on Spectrum News Austin that says the Park Rangers are encouraging kids to come out and "look for Sasquatch."

Also very suspect is the whole #RRsightings the Parks and Rec Dept. is doing. They seem to have posted most of the stuff about this "Bigfoot" first and they want people to come down and try to have sightings and tell them. They even put up "Bigfoot Crossing" signs! Now, sometimes that will happen if there have been sightings in an area for a long time, but usually not this quick. Seems to me like this whole thing is a campaign to get tourists in the area.

Crypto-Kid: Joshua Cutchin

At 8pm - a new episode of Colin Schneider's Crypto-Kid show:

"Tonight on WCJV Radio's Crypto-Kid, Colin is joined by Joshua Cutchin, author of 'A Trojan Feast' and 'The Brimstone Deceit.' Colin and Joshua will discuss connections between cryptozoology, fearies, unusual food, and strange smells."

Listen live here.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

A.C. Oudemans' "The Loch Ness Animal"

In 1934, A. C. Oudemans, sea serpent researcher (who had his own ideas as to what exactly all sea serpents were) published a small title called The Loch Ness Animal. As you can guess, its about the Loch Ness Monster since that cryptid made world news starting in 1933. This was one of the first books on the subject and followed R.T. Gould's The Loch Ness Monster and Others.

I am trying to find a copy of Oudenmans' little book, so if anyone knows where to find one, let me know…

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.

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?

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?

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"