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Saturday, July 29, 2017

Rob Lowe Claims he Encountered a "Wood Ape"

Rob Lowe has a new show coming soon called The Lowe Files, in which he and his sons go out hunting monsters and things of the sort. Lowe was recently on The Tonight Show and discussed an encounter that he really seems to believe was with a Bigfoot, or, as he calls it, a "wood ape."

"Rob Lowe went wood ape (Big Foot) hunting in the Ozark Mountains in the middle of the night for his series The Lowe Files and had a close encounter of some kind."

Friday, July 28, 2017

Chupacabras Stories from California

Folks in a California neighborhood are having encounters with a strange animal, one that they insist is "no coyote."

The Mercury News reports:

"On a foggy morning more than a week ago, Cary Shuker's cat raced into his Riverside home, terrified of something outside.
"'This thing was standing out there, looking at me,' Shuker said, a private contractor who lives at the base of Box Springs Mountain, which divides Moreno Valley and Riverside. 'It was the ugliest-looking thing.'
"Shuker said the hairless creature, glaring at him about 80 or 90 feet away, had a tail like a rat or possum, with rippled pinkish skin, teeth jutting both up and down out of its jaws and was 'at least two feet or more longer than the biggest coyote you've ever seen.'
"'I yelled at it, in a big deep voice, 'Get out of here!'" Shuker said.
"The creature snarled at him, then made as if to leave. But before it did, it turned back toward Shuker, snarling and chattering one more time.
"'It was cussing me out, basically… I stole its breakfast. It was hunting my cat,' Shuker said. 'This wasn't no coyote, by any means.'
"In the rocky Box Springs Mountain territory, residents say they believe that the strange wild animal they've encountered since the beginning of the year is the legendary chupacabra.
"'I thought, 'That is the strangest-looking animal I've ever seen,'' said M.J. Blunt, a retired child development consultant.
"She saw the creature for the first time a year ago, eating fruit from a tree in a front yard.
"'The ears of a deer, long snout, no hair, tail like a rat, long hindquarters,' she said. 'I thought it might be a sick coyote, a sick wolf. But it had too many different characteristics from any of them.'

M.J. Blunt with a chalk drawing of the thing she saw
(Mercury News/John Valenzuela/The Sun/SCNG)

"Chupacabra sightings first occurred in Puerto Rico in 1995, and were soon echoed throughout Latin America. Initial reports focused on the 'goat suckers' preying on livestock. By 1996, the Press-Enterprise was reporting sightings in Fontana and Perris. In 2013, chupacabra sightings were reported in Redlands, northeast of Box Springs Mountain. Officials said the Redlands reports appeared to be of coyotes with mange.
"Mange is a skin condition found in dogs and other canines, caused by scabies mites that burrow under the skin. When dogs (or coyotes) frantically scratch for relief from the itching, they eventually cause their hair to fall out.
"Tom Brundige, an inventor of fire-resistant paint additives and insulation, first saw the creatures this past spring in an area burned in the Opera Fire in April.
"'We're looking at it dead on. It has a body like a Chihuahua, stretched out, with a large thoracic cavity,' Brundige said. 'And it has huge hind legs. It has a very narrow, ratlike face, with undulations in it, more like a marsupial.'
"The creature had a ratlike tail and a grayish black stripe on its midsection, he said.
"'The donkeys that come from central Mexico, Texas, they come right through my gate,' said Brundige, who has lived at the base of the mountain for 28 years. 'These guys, I believe, followed them from central America.'
"He believes the creatures are a hybrid of a canine and a marsupial, like a kangaroo, and has dubbed them 'canis marsupius.'
"'If you don't have a genus or species, (scientists) won't talk to you. It's a fairy tale,' he said. 'It's not.'
"Brundige is right: Animal control officials and academics are skeptical, at best, of their claims.
"'The chupacabra is not a recognized species by the Department of Fish and Wildlife,' said Andrew Hughan, spokesman for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. 'Chupacabras are not a thing.'
"The department gets one or two calls a year from residents who say they've seen them, Hughan said.
"'There is no such thing, except in the folklore of various communities,' John Welsh, spokesman for Riverside County Animal Services, wrote in an email.
"'Residents living in this area are right in the backyard of coyotes,' Welsh wrote, 'and the Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Park is not that far away either; there are bobcats and, in some rare circumstances, reports of a mountain lion in that area.'
"Coyotes, in particular, Welsh noted, are 'constantly preying on small pets,' like Shuker's cat.
"All three witnesses say what they've seen is too big to be a coyote, which they're familiar with from their decades living in the shadow of Box Springs Mountain.
"'It sounds like the craziest, made-up story,' Shuker said. 'But it's not.'"

Some thoughts on these sightings and theories:

The "chupacabras" here are probably just coyotes with mange, like all the other canine "chupacabras" have turned out to be, even thought the witnesses always say "it can't be a coyote!" Some of those mange-inflicted coyotes look pretty weird.

The thing(s) wouldn't be a chupacabras anyway - chupacabras are weird (almost alien looking) bipedal creatures with a row of spikes down their back, glowing eyes, and some people have reported wings. Those are the ones reported in Puerto Rico.

California chupacabras probably look like this…
(Huffington Post)

Original description
Scientists might take reports seriously even if it doesn't have a scientific name (how are animals discovered then?), and they probably aren't here because they're coyotes with mange and some guy with not clue about animals has named it "canis marsupius" because he thinks that a canine could cross-breed with a  marsupial. (The only marsupial in North America, by the way, is the opossum.)

The reports of the gigantic teeth on this thing/these things seems very exaggerated, and it probably is. People are probably just seeing a sick coyote and turning it into something else.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

New Books

Some new books  I found at a Half Price Books today…

How to Catch Fairies by Gilly Sergiev…

And a copy of Out of the Shadows: Mystery Animals of Australia by Tony Healey and Paul Cropper… signed by both authors!

Expect reviews sometime….

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The "Proverbial 'Find of the Century?'" - Strange Creature Caught in Caucasus

An extremely interesting video was posted on YouTube in late May and June on two different channels (same video though) that shows a strange creature.

One Cryptomundo commenter said this could be the "proverbial 'find of the century.'" And it might actually be.

Some think the thing is a monkey in a costume. I think it may not be, however. The creature is said to have been caught in the Caucasus Mountains. The following was posted on Cryptomundo, from Igor Burtsev of the International Center of Hominology:

"It presented on Utube as a captured small hairy creature on the Caucases but not exactly where. Somebody wrote that in Karachaevo-Cherkes republic? but as I could understand they were talking in Azerbaijan language (now it's a separate state by the Kaspian sea)/ And I noticed there on a piece of paper Arabic and Latin letters show the date - November 30, 2016, or ehe year 1395 Hijri (?)and the name Haji Taha - in Russia they don't use such writings, it's another confirmation of Azerbaijan location of the case (my personal investigation, as I know Azerbaijan language and Arabic writings too). The Arabic writings show some figures - 75,11,95, 25 - and a couple of letters."

Azerbaijan location on a map. Caucasus mtns. located here
 as well

 I translated the title of the video I added on this post and got this:

"In the Caucasus caught a strange creature, similar to a brownie."

A "brownie" in this case is not a treat, but a fairy-like creature from English and Scottish folklore. Brownies are "the Scottish and Northern English counterpart of the Scandinavian tomte, the Slavic domovoi and the German Heinzelmannchen.
Brownie illustration from a book of fairy tales

Basically the exact same as a fairy or hobgoblin.

An interesting note is that Thomas Keightley described the Brownie in this way:

"…A personage of small stature, wrinkled visage, covered with short curly brown hair, and wearing a brown mantle and hood." 

"A personage of small stature, wrinkled visage, covered with short curly brown hair…." could be an apt description of this thing. The hair may be a little longer than "short" but the description fits pretty well.

Another interesting note from the video is that they appeared to maybe have put blue socks on it?

Whatever this is, I'm thinking that it isn't a monkey in a suit or anything of that sort. It seems real. When I first saw just the face, I had doubts, but I began to doubt it less when I saw the hand, and then saw it walking around. Someone needs to figure out what this thing is.

Could it possibly be a real "brownie," something that inspired the stories of them???


A couple people have commented on here, and lots of others have on other sites, saying that the thing really just looks like a monkey. And as a friend said I really "jumped the gun" on this one. Yeah, it does look like a monkey in some sort of suit or with lots of extra hair on it. Walks like one too.

So yeah, not a fairy creature or the "find of the century."

Is Washington State Photo Really a Real Sasquatch?

The other day I put up a post on a picture from Washington State that Matt Moneymaker (you all know who he is) says is of a real Sasquatch. But is it, really?
The photo - box added by me

I had some doubts when first seeing the photo, and even more when some people brought some other stuff to light.

But before we get to that, here is what Moneymaker said about the photo on Twitter:

"Here's photo of real sasquatch in Washington State. An elk hunter witness at recent Colorado town hall says the one he saw almost identical."

And a little more on that…. on Twitter, "the Mick SSDD" said "Was that picture taken in 2001 with a flip phone?" To which MM said "…cuz yoou would have gotten a much much better photo in that brief unexpected moment. … Right, Trollio?"

Maybe he would have, cause I don't think this is the real deal.

The photo has gotten a few comments about its authenticity on Cryptomundo. Cryptokellie said: "Is this a test? A stretched stock gorilla image added to a forest image. To start, the borders all around the 'Bigfoot' do not match the rest of the forest foliage especially between the right arm and leg. There are other proportional problems as well. Try harder…in fact - don't try at all, wait for the real one."

On my first post, my friend and fellow researcher Colin Schneider commented and said that, if you zoom in on the photo, "it looks like one of those high quality Bigfoot costumes that you occasionally see at Halloween."

He linked to this picture as well.

I decided to get on my Google Drive and put the two photos up for comparison. I zoomed in on the photo of the supposed real sasquatch and adjusted the brightness of it to try to be able to see any more details.


When you look closely at the face of the Bigfoot, it does kind of look like one of those costumes. And it almost is in the classic "Patty pose" too.

Not thinking this is a legit photo.

Would Moneymaker try to pull a fast one and say this is a real Sasquatch? It wouldn't really surprise me that much.

Bobo from Finding Bigfoot did the same thing in February of this year. He posted a photo on his Facebook page saying "I promise you this is a legit photo that shows up on the therm as a mammal. Taken last week in Idaho." The photo shows what looks like a human-like body, which I initially thought was a guy in a black coat with brown pants on.
Bobo photo

But as it turns out, it was no Bigfoot, and no man, either. A few days later Bobo said:

"Sorry about the false alarm. Apparently almost no one saw the 2nd pic from down the road showing it being a moose. I should have been more clear that by legit I meant not photo shopped or an intentional hoax. I never specifically said it was a Squatch, just that it was a 7ft mammal in an undoctored photo. I wanted people to go through and try to figure out what it was. Also to show how easy it is to have an honest misidentification. Also how hard it is to make a definitive analysis of a single photo. I'm getting permission right now to post a couple of real Squatch pics. Sorry for the confusion and disappointment of it not being a Squatch."

Well of course there was confusion, if you spend all your time searching for Bigfoot and post something that you "promise is a legit photo," that's what people are going to think you mean! Did he actually think it was one? We don't know. Also I never heard anything else about those "couple of real sasquatch pics."

So should we trust Moneymaker when he shows us this "real" sasquatch pic and then is a jerk to anyone who isn't quite convinced? Has he done any examination? How can he prove it is real? It's just another blurry Bigfoot photo, that happens to have an uncanny similarity to a Bigfoot costume…

It honestly wouldn't surprise me that much if it was fake and MM knew it. Out of the Finding Bigfoot crew, Cliff is the one I would trust.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Book Review: The Roswell UFO Conspiracy by Nick Redfern

Today I finished Nick Redfern's most recent book, The Roswell UFO Conspiracy: Exposing a Shocking and Sinister Secret. It is a follow-up to his 2005 book Body Snatchers in the Desert, also about what came down at the Foster Ranch, Roswell, New Mexico, in July of 1947. Most people, when they hear "Roswell," think of a crashed UFO. But the sources Nick talked with for Body Snatchers in the Desert had a decidedly different story to tell. One that didn't involve extraterrestrials.
With author Nick Redfern

From those four sources, and others who talked to other people and/or researchers, and from information from government files, Redfern concludes that what came down at Roswell in 1947 was definitely not a "UFO" of the alien type. Far more likely, as the evidence points to, it was something from the U.S. government that they wanted (and still want) to keep secret.

The theory that Nick supports in this book is that what came down at Roswell (and there were actually multiple crashes, not just one incident) in the summer of 1947 were secret aircraft and/or balloons being tested by the U.S. government. And the "dead aliens" weren't aliens at all. They were people.

From the evidence presented in the book, it seems that after WWII ended, the U.S. secretly began working with German, Japanese, and/or the Russians on secret prototype aircraft. And they used people in the test flights, not "test dummies" as the Air Force has said years later. And it was these people that have been mistaken for aliens. As it turns out, they were most likely physically and/or mentally handicapped Japanese used in the experiments. People who say they saw the bodies claim they were short, had enlarged heads and small ears and noses, and other deformities of that sort. In other words, deformed dwarves.

Back to the subject of the U.S. possibly working with Germans… it is claimed that the U.S. government had Josef Mengele (the "Angle of Death,"), a German who did horrific experiments on prisoners during WWII, involved in the projects that resulted in the crashed "UFOs." Another, very interesting note is that Mengele had a particular fascination with human dwarves.
Josef Mengele, who did horrific experiments on
people in Germany in WWII

If you read this book, your perspective on Roswell will likely change.

Unless, as Nick notes, you're a UFO researcher who doesn't want to believe that what came down at Roswell wasn't a UFO. The "Holy Grail" case of UFOlogy would be proven to not be a UFO at all. But is it really that horrible? That's not where the evidence points to!

Because guess what - the multiple U.S. experiments that crashed in the New Mexico desert in the mid-to-late 1940s weren't UFOs. As Nick says at the end of the book… Aliens didn't crash at Roswell!

Small Town Monsters - Mothman, Chestnut Ridge, Champ, and More...

As I do every couple of months, here is an update of what my friend Seth Breedlove and the Small Town Monsters crew are doing - their recently released movie, upcoming events, and what they have in store for 2018…

Seth said of The Mothman of Point Pleasant, released last month:

"Mothman was kind of our do or die movie. We actually were in a position with STM where it was sort of like, either this thing succeeds or we probably need to reexamine what we're doing. Thankfully it has largely succeeded beyond our wildest imaginations. Particularly in the area of how it's being received by paranormal enthusiasts and an average non-para audience as well. The response has been phenomenal."

The next film STM will be releasing is coming this October. The film, Invasion on Chestnut Ridge, examines reports of many strange things along the ridge in Pennsylvania. Seth said a little bit on what the movie will be like:

"It's a weird movie. Our weirdest to date. We've got orbs and Bigfoots coming out of UFOs and thunderbird encounters. It's basically an exploration of one particular area where lots of really weird things happen. I can definitely say there isn't another movie like this out there and that I think it's going to blow some minds. We even strayed from our typical STM formula.
"Tonally and mood wise and even from a visual standpoint it's very reminiscent of old 80s tv shows like Unsolved Mysteries and In Search Of. It's also the closest our movies have come to a straight-up horror documentary. But Horror as seen during the 80s rather than today's horror. Just kind of unnerving and weird. Did I mention this movie is weird?"

The STM crew is also working on a new series titled On the Trail Of… The first, On the Trail of Champ, will be released next year and Seth tells us a little about it and what they have planned for the series:

"On the Trail of… is our place to tell huge, sprawling stories about Cryptids. We're kicking off with Champ which is being directed by Aleksander Petakov and produced by me. It'll be told in episodic format on Amazon, Vimeo OnDemand and DVD and eventually be cut into movie format for a wider release.
"We really wanted to play with episode storytelling so this will give us that opportunity. Because of that fact we won't have the typical time constraints put on us in our films and we'll be able to really tell these huge narratives that some of these stories deserve. Even getting into the actual searches to find these creatures which is something we've never done in a typical STM movie. It's going to be big. And there will be more following Champ."

Below is a list of all the events STM will be at over the next few months:

"Nothing until September and then we're booked almost solid through end of October. We've got Loren Coleman's International Cryptozoology Conference September 3rd, Cryptid Con September 9th and 10th, Mothman Festival the 15th-17th, the I'm in Missoula, Montana for a screening of Boggy Creek Monster on September 21st followed by Big Sky Bigfoot Conference the 23rd. In October we're at the Chautauqua  Bigfoot Expo, Creature Weekend 2017 and the Balboa Theater is hosting the west coast premiere of Invasion on Chestnut Ridge (the same day it premieres at Creature Weeked, fittingly) followed by a double header showing of Invasion and Mothman at the Canton Palace Theatre on October 28th."

Lastly, some of the stuff coming from STM within the next year:

"...Casefiles is coming and I don't think it's been quite apparent just what we plan on doing with this yet. I can tell you it's going to be free on YouTube and will be much more than what most might be expecting. Our first two episodes are about Indrid Cold and we'll be interviewing someone very connected to the Woodrow Derenberger/Indrid Cold story. I've been saying all along these are going to almost be mini- STM movies. Other than that we have Champ, and our sixth and seventh movies slated for release in 2018. And we're signing with a major distributor in the next couple of weeks so our films will hopefully, fingers-crossed, be seeing the wide release we feel they deserve."

 Be sure to be on the lookout for more from Small Town Monsters…

More info on STM and their movies can be found at the following links:


Monday, July 24, 2017

Matt Moneymaker: Real Sasquatch Photo from Washington

Matt Moneymaker recently posted the following photo on Twitter.

His comments were:

"Here's photo of real sasquatch in Washington State. An elk hunter witness at recent Colorado town hall says the one he saw almost identical."

Is it really a real sasquatch?

What do you think?

Crypto-Kid: Stan Gordon Tonight

Colin Schneider has a new episode of his Crypto-Kid show, live tonight at 8pm on WCJV Radio!

Tonight's guest is author and researcher of the weird Stan Gordon.

"Tonight on the Crypto-Kid I am joined by the one and only Stan Gordon. Stan has been researching the fields of ufology and cryptozoology in Pennsylvania for over fifty years. He is the top authority on the Kecksburg UFO Crash and the Bigfoot/UFO wave of 1973. Colin and Stan will discuss the upcoming Kecksburg UFO Festival and his wide array of cryptid cases."

Don't miss it!

Dragons and "Werewolves" - New Books

Some new books I got today - Dragons: A Natural History by Karl Shuker, and Beast: Werewolves, Serial Killers, and Man-Eaters: The Mystery of the Monsters of the Gevaudan by S. R. Schwalb and Gustavo Sanchez Romero.

Reviews coming soon...

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Invasion on Chestnut Ridge - Trailer Released

The trailer for the next Small Town Monsters film, Invasion on Chestnut Ridge, has been released. Watch it below.

There is also this press release from STM:

"A new filmed titled Invasion on Chestnut Ridge (from the creators of the just-released documentary, The Mothman of Point Pleasant) now has a trailer. 'Invasion' tells the true story of one of the more bizarre places in America, Pennsylvania's Chestnut Ridge, and the unusual activity that has taken place there for decades. Ahead of the launch of the film, the official trailer has been released. Delving into one of the most intriguing, and unusual regions this side of the Bermuda Triangle, the film will tell the tale of the Kecksburg UFO crash, the Uniontown Bigfoot/UFO sightings, encounters with a  large, prehistoric bird in Keystone State Park and much more.
"The trailer shows glimpses of just a few of the interviews conducted with locals, witnesses and investigators interspersed with footage depicting some of the unusual activity that has taken place along the ridge. Invasion of Chestnut Ridge will be the first feature film to document this hotbed of paranormal activity. Is the ridge a magnet for strange and mystifying forces? A beacon to visitors from beyond? You be the judge when the film is released on October 20th!"

 STM films are the best-of-the-best when it comes to documentaries on cryptids and other unexplained things. Their latest is The Mothman of Point Pleasant, the definitive documentary on the subject…

Thoughts on Wisconsin Werewolf Doc?

So… the North American Dogman Project's DVD of The Wisconsin Werewolf has been out since the 15th of this month… so far it has 2 "5 star" reviews on Amazon, though one of them is from Donna Fink - who I believe had a part in making the film.

Anyway, I was wondering if any readers have seen said doc and what you think of it? To me it really doesn't look that good, so I'm not really planning on getting it… is it just like a Joedy Cook book in DVD form? (Since I'm assuming he had lots to do with it since he basically heads the NADP.)

Still not liking the whole "Neighborhood Monsters" 'production company' (if you would even call it that) ripping of Small Town Monsters. I'll stick with their films which I know will always be top notch.

How is The Wisconsin Werewolf?

Really bad?

Somewhat bad?


Somewhat decent (somehow)?

Saturday, July 22, 2017

The Loch Ness Seal

It was official. The Loch Ness Monster had been found! It was March 31, 1972, and eight scientists from the Flamingo Park Zoo, Yorkshire, were having breakfast at the Foyers House hotel on the shore of the loch. They were there with the Loch Ness Phenomena Investigation Bureau (LNPIB) and were going to try out a new “hormone sex bait” to try to lure in a monster.

But it seemed like they didn’t have to, because the hotel manager came up to them during breakfast and told them that someone had just reported seeing “a large hump” that was floating in the loch, and near the hotel, too! And when the scientists went to look, they saw it - a large, dark colored object about 300 yards offshore, bobbing up and down in the water.

The scientists were directed to their boat by Terence O’Brien, the leader of the team. They went out into the loch to investigate the object, and returned 20 minutes later, at 9 a.m., with the dead body of a monster!

The news quickly spread around the world. Within hours, televisions were reporting that the Loch Ness Monster was dead. News reporters flocked to the lake. Residents there confirmed that something had been found. “I touched it and put my hand in its mouth. It’s real, all right,” Robert MacKenzie said. “I thought it looked half-bear and half-seal… green in color… with a horrific head like a bear with flat ears. I was shocked.”

Headline from the April 1, 1972 edition of the
Los Angeles Times

Other people there told the reporters that the monster was between 12 and 18 feet long and weighed 1 ½ tons. It was described as having a “green body without scales and was like a cross between a walrus and a seal.”

Don Robinson, Director of the Flamingo Park Zoo, was contacted and he seemed to confirm the whole thing.

“I’ve always been skeptical about the Loch Ness Monster, but this is definitely a monster, no doubt about that. From the reports I’ve had, no one has ever seen anything like it before… a fishy, scaly body with a massive head and big protruding teeth.”
The scientists had loaded the body up in their truck and sped it back to the zoo. Or, they tried to, at least. The Inverness police heard that the English scientists were making off with their Scottish monster, and they contacted the police in Fifeshire County. The police went after the “monster-nappers” and soon caught up to them. The scientists pulled over and showed them the creature in the back of their truck, which was again described as “green and scaly.” 

The body was taken to the nearest town, Dunfermline. The police had Michael Rushton, curator of the Edinburgh Zoo, examine it. Rushton did so, and found that it was by no means a monster - it was a bull elephant seal, about 3 to 4 years old. Elephant seals live in the South Atlantic Ocean, located thousands of miles from Scotland. “I have never known them to come near Great Britain,” Rushton said. “I don’t know how long it’s been kept in a deep freeze but this has obviously been done by some human hand.”

The next day, it was revealed that the whole thing was a hoax. John Shields, education officer at the Flamingo Park Zoo, admitted that he was the one behind it. He had used a seal that was recently brought back from the Falkland Islands, but which died shortly after, to prank his colleagues.

Geneva Times article

Shields had obtained the seal, shaved off its whiskers, padded its cheeks with stones, and then froze it for a week. On the 31st he had dumped it in Loch Ness and then called the hotel to be sure the other scientists found it. Shields timed the whole thing so that the “monster” would make headlines on April 1st, which also happened to be his 23rd birthday.

He did admit, however, that the whole thing got “out of hand” when the police went after the scientists and the “monster.” He also noted that the seal was not green and scaly, and was only 9 feet long and 350 pounds.

When the police found out that the whole thing was a prank, they let the scientists take it back to the Flamingo Park Zoo. When the team returned with it, it was displayed on a block of ice for a few days before being properly disposed of.

The Loch Ness seal

But there may be even more - and something even stranger - to this already strange story.
Two weeks after the seal story, Norman Slater, a 28-year-old teacher from Wisconsin, was on a fishing trip at the loch. While there he dipped his hand in the water and, he said, he detected - with extrasensory perception - “the presence of six large creatures in the water.” He claimed he saw a “particularly vivid image” of a creature that was between 70-90 feet long, with a “large neck” and “slim, worm-like body.” The top of the monster was “brown and scaly” and the bottom was white. Slater said the animals were “just lying around the bottom” and also claimed that he could see underwater passages connecting the loch to the sea!

Slater complained that he was the victim of bad timing, since the Loch Ness seal hoax had just happened, and that no reporters would take his vision of  “obvious scientific importance” seriously. But it would not surprise me if he was only trying to follow the seal story with another hoax.

This story of a "Not-Loch Ness Monster" (more can be found here) is part of a new examination I am doing… more on that later...

Friday, July 21, 2017

Monsters Among Us - A Very, Very Skeptical Look at Cryptids

Today I finished reading Andrea McGann Keech's recent book Monsters Among Us: The Truth About a Hidden World You Never Knew.

There isn't really any "truth" in this book.

Keech examines many, many cryptids including Bigfoot and Yeti, the Loch Ness Monster, Wendigo, Mothman, Beast of Gevaudan, mokele-mbembe, thunderbirds, and more. And since the book is only about 150 pages, each cryptid gets on average around 5-6 pages of coverage.

And about a third of that, usually, is made up of a story she puts at the beginning of each chapter about each certain cryptid, many of which are quite… odd…, or show them as vicious killer beasts! In the Mothman chapter, she even takes the Scarberry-Mallette story and just adds in two random people instead! She apparently fancies herself a storyteller, even though most of them aren't that good at all.

When she actually gets to "examining" (and I use the term very loosely) each cryptid, she basically barely covers its history and/or sightings at all and then at the end says "I really doubt -this cryptid- exists." For example:

  • In the mermaid chapter, she talks about legends of sirens and such very shortly, then goes on to says "…and mermaids appeared in this movie, and this movie, and this movie, this Animal Planet show," and on and on. Really no coverage of the mermaid legend itself.
  • Thunderbird chapter - she mentions Quetzalcoatlus, an ancient giant pterosaur, and basically talks about how it was discovered, and how someone, sometime built a life-size animatronic one, and concludes that t-birds can't exist.
  • Mothman (and the Flatwoods Monster is mentioned too and takes up half the Mothman chapter) - she says that the FM was definitely an owl (though the last time I checked, owls weren't 10 feet tall and didn't have a noxious gas around them that makes people sick). She also concludes that the Mothman is an owl as well and associating it at all with the Silver Bridge collapse is stupid. She makes absolutely no mention of the UFOs, weird telephone/TV interference and calls, Men in Black, etc. that was going on at the time. Also, I don't know of any owls that can fly 100 mph!
One weird owl...

When she does somewhat examine a cryptid, she basically only looks at the theories that say that it is a hoax or something "known." Oddly, the only cryptids she thinks might exist are the mokele-mbembe and some other "prehistoric survivors" in Africa! I guess a living dinosaur is more realistic to her than unknown creatures in the ocean or an unknown ape…

With each theory that says something "might be -this animal-" or "that animal," she has to mention that she, too, has seen said animal! She has seen pelicans before, so thunderbirds can't exist! She has seen a manatee! She has seen an owl before, so that's what Mothman must be!

While I don't mind skeptical examinations of cryptids, this one is not an "examination" and the author doesn't even consider other options and obviously has no idea what she is writing about. No bibliography is listed in the book, and basically the only sources she notes in the book are "Whatzit" from sometime in December 2015, this other news site… something written on a news site about a sighting in 1888…, and I think you get the point.
Maybe this is where she got all her info?

If you want to get Monsters Among Us, get Linda Godfrey's book of the same name from last year, not this one.

A very, very good book!

Next book review will be Nick Redfern's The Roswell UFO Conspiracy, which actually looks to be good...

DNA Techniques Could Possibly Prove if Thylacines Still Live

There could be a new way of proving whether or not the thylacine (also called the Tasmanian tiger) still lives…

ABC News reports:

"Modern forensic science could be used to solve the mystery around the existence of the Tasmanian tiger, a lab researcher says.
"Reports have regularly emerged of people who say they have seen one, with grainy photographs often presented. But now it is thought DNA sampling could help to provide a conclusive answer.
"Tasmanian tiger enthusiast Col Bailey has spent much of his life trying to prove the thylacinus cynocephalus - which roughly translates as 'pouched dog with a wolf's head' - is still alive and at large.

Col Bailey, thylacine hunter

"He has written a number of books on the subject and maintains he saw one in southern Tasmania in 1995.
"Bailey said it was in the Weld River Valley, near a creek amongst thick bushland.
"'I went to walk towards it and it backed back, and then it turned a full circle and turned around and stood glaring at me,' he said.
"'It snarled, with a hiss, and that stopped me dead in my tracks and then the penny dropped and it dawned on me that it was a Tasmanian tiger.'
"Other than his own recollection, Bailey has no proof of the sighting, but new DNA sampling being conducted in South Australia to aid in a platypus hunt could provide a way of verifying similar encounters.
"Senior manager of laboratory services for Australian Water Quality Centre, Karen Simpson, said if a tiger had either drunk or walked through a water sample, its DNA could be identified.
"'We do have the DNA of the thylacine in our database,' she said.
"'If there has been a Tasmanian tiger out there and we collect the sample that captures the DNA, we'll be able to determine positively if its present or not.'
"Danger DNA Samples Could Dilute
"Wildlife biologist Nick Mooney spent 30 years investigating many of the tiger sightings that had been reported to the Tasmanian Government.
"He said the DNA water testing technology could have helped him verify evidence, such as a cast of footprints from 2010.
"'Somebody gave me a cast of some footprints that they claimed were taken near Lake Pedder,' Mr Mooney said.
"'I can't vouch for them because I didn't record them, all I can vouch for was that someone gave to me claiming they're from there.'
"Lake Pedder, in south-west Tasmania, is part of the largest dam and water storage system in Australia, and Ms Simpson said there was a risk any potential DNA could float away.
"'Because it's such a large water body, the issue becomes, I guess, dilution,' she said.
"'You would really need to try and pinpoint what point of that body or lake (the thylacine) was interacting with to try and collect your samples from that area.'
"Ms Simpson said the best type of water to test in would be a small pond, meaning there was still a large chance any proof of living thylacines could slip away."
Lake Pedder photo taken in late '60s/early '70s
(Stefan Karpiniec, Wikipedia)

DNA searching for thylacines could be what finally solves the mystery of whether or not they still live. And, unlike something like Bigfoot, it could actually work. Since there is no Bigfoot DNA in any databases, the mystery hairs and such found across the United States and Canada cannot be conclusively proven to be from a Sasquatch. That is not the case with thylacnies. If DNA of one is found, it is in the database, and they could be proven to be extant, not extinct.


Thursday, July 20, 2017

Any Fake Shark Week Shows This Year?

Shark Week starts on the Discovery Channel this Sunday… so will there be any totally fake shows like that Megalodon crap from a few years ago?

From the official schedule of new shows, it actually doesn't look like we will!

I actually very much enjoy Shark Week… when there's real documentaries! And if they aren't all just a "we're gonna tag this shark" like they do sometimes…

Anyone else watching Shark Week?

Update: well, there kinda was - apparently Michael Phelps raced a cgi great white. Wow, Discovery Channel. Really.

Encounters with the Chupacabras - Western USA

In the mid-1990s, the Chupacabras leapt onto the cryptozoology scene - reports started in Puerto Rico, but soon spread to the US as well… and these are not the "blue dog" variety, either...

"Police in Tucson, Arizona received a call on May 1, 1996 from a man named Jose Espinoza. Something had broken into Mr. Espinoza's house. He described the intruder as a creature with large, red eyes, a pointed nose, and shriveled features. According to the witness, the Chupacabras had entered the home, slammed a door, and jumped on his seven-year-old son before hopping out the window. Footprints and handprints were found on the walls. Most of the handprints, however, matched those of Mr. Espinoza's son.
"Espinoza may not have been lying, however, because, on May 2, a dozen goats and a sheep were found dead. Whatever had caused the deaths had also wounded several cows. The rancher on the farm saw the creature later and shot it with a rifle. Despite the wounds. the Chupacabras continued to go to the farm night after night.
"Donna, Texas was the next town in the United States to have the displeasure of being visited by the Chupacabraas. Sylvia Ybarra found her pet goat dead in the yard in the middle of May. It had puncture wounds on its neck.
"A man living in California said a Chupacabras had bit his hand while he was sleeping. He felt a tugging on his hand and woke up to see a shadowy figure disappear from the window. He was puzzled because there was nothing but an alleyway outside his window (he loved in a third story apartment). How could the Chupacabras have gotten up there and just disappear? Did it fly? Possibly. Many people who saw the Chupacabras in Puerto Rico in '95 and '96 said it could fly by levitating or  moving the quills on its back."

This post is excerpted from my book Cryptid U.S.: Tales of Bigfoot, Lake Monsters, and More from Across America.

Land Loch Ness Monster Photographed - Or Not

Various news outlets are reporting on a "Land Loch Ness Monster" that was photographed recently.

Here is the report from The Sun:

"A WALKER was left stunned after stumbling across this Loch Ness Monster lookalike.
"Jimmy Wright, 66, snapped an astonishing photo while out walking his dog on Crow Hill, Killearn, Stirlingshire.

Land Nessie!

"He posted the image on Facebook and claimed, after spotting the creature, it had disappeared from sight.
"He then asked his friends: 'A land relative of 'Nessie' perhaps?'
"However, some of Jimmy's friends disagreed with his theory, many submitting one of their own - a tree stump.
"Heather McCabe commented: 'Old tree stump??' and Elaine McLeod said: 'The native Killearn tree stump.'
"The 'surgeon's photograph', snapped by Colonel Robert Wilson in 1934, is probably the most famous Nessie sighting ever. It was later exposed to be a hoax.
"In 2012 George Edwards took a stunning picture of Loch Ness, claiming that he had finally found definitive proof of the giant creature's existence.
"The following year the boat skipper admitted he had made the whole thing up.
"In 2014 a satellite photo on the Apple Maps app seemingly showed a 100ft shape swimming in the loch.
"The mysterious outline sparked renewed interest in Nessie after a lull of several years, with the Official Loch Ness Monster Fan Club claiming it was 'likely' to be the camera-shy monster.
"However, experts insisted it was merely a boat and its wake."

Definitely not a "Loch Ness Monster."  I have to agree with Elaine McLeod that this is the "native Killearn tree stump!"

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

"Expedition: Find Bigfoot" Article

Spectrum News Austin has a new article up on the "Bigfoot expedition" that took place in Round Rock on the 15th:

"ROUND ROCK, Texas - The city of Round Rock hosted Expedition: Find Bigfoot Saturday night.
"It was an event culminating all the recent Bigfoot 'sightings' in the area. Kids came out in droves for their chance to spot Bigfoot in Round Rock Saturday night at the city's Expedition: Find Bigfoot event.
"The kids said they heard all about the recent 'sightings' and just had to join in on the hunt.
"'Right when I heard of Bigfoot, I just got so interested in it,' said Reed Bales, an eight-year old.
"The Round Rock Parks and Recreation Department is glad its Bigfoot campaign is working. They launched it last month.
"'We really created this Bigfoot expedition program to get kids outdoors and off video games and so far, it has really worked. Our parks rangers report hundreds, if not thousands, of family members walking through our trails and coming to our parks in Round Rock,' said Roger Heaney, a communications specialist with the city.
"Saturday night's event was a celebration of the campaign and all the recent 'sightings.' The parks department even brought in expert Bigfoot trackers to help families search. The experts scour the country for 10 months out of the year, looking for proof of the creature.
 "'I've had seven encounters up close and personal in my tenure of 50 years. The ones that we've had really close were the ones in Paris, Texas,' said Tom Biscardi, founder of CEO of Search for Bigfoot.
"The kids who showed up to search in Round Rock had their own personal encounter with the hairy beast. Eight-year-old Bales used one word to describe what he saw.
"'Awesome. It has to be real,' said Bales."

While I think it's great that these kids are interested in Bigfoot, they of course didn't "find" anything because  there's no Bigfoot in Round Rock. And Tom Biscardi is no Bigfoot "expert" and I wouldn't have brought him in as he has been a central player in several hoaxes over the years (and each time he said he'd been duped, too. Whatever. Either he was involved or he falls for anything, and I'm better on the former).

If the kids are really interested in Bigfoot, don't fake stories… get them some books on it, go to places where there actually has been activity, take them to a Bigfoot conference or a library talk… with actual researchers, maybe.

Nessie - A Gigantic Wels Catfish?

Steve Feltham, record holder for the longest search for the Loch Ness Monster, thinks that the Nessies may be some gigantic Wels catfish.

Earlier this week I was watching a show on National Geographic on giant-sized catfish in rivers in Europe (called River Jaws: Monster Catfish). At first I wasn't really paying attention, but then started to and found it quite interesting. Some catfish had been released in various rivers, lakes, etc. and some have reached gigantic sizes, like this giant wels catfish that was caught in 2015, and which was filmed for the show.

(Daily Mail)

(Daily Mail)

After watching the show, I began to think more about the theory that the Loch Ness Monsters could be gigantic Wels catfish.

If there are catfish that big in the loch, and someone on the shore on on the lake itself saw one like the one pictured above, it would certainly seem like a monster, wouldn't it?

This is a theory that I think may have some merit…

Wels catfish

Monday, July 17, 2017

Cryptid Culture - July 2017 - Prehistoric Survivors Article

The July issue of Cryptid Culture Magazine is out now! I wrote an article on possible prehistoric survivors in Australia that is included in this issue.

Other articles in this issue include:

  • The Monster of Lake Pepin by Chad Lewis
  • A (Not So) Diminutive Look at Cryptic Dwarves by Colin Schneider
  • The Many Faces of Bigfoot by David Floyd
  • Ohio Bigfoot Conference by Robert Robinson
  • Recent Cryptid Reports by Ken Gerhard
  • Lake Worth Monster  by Lyle Blackburn
And more…

Get it here!

Crypto-Kid: Nick Redfern Tonight

Colin Schneider is back with a new episode of the Crypto-Kid tonight at 8 on WCJV Radio. Tonight's guest is Nick Redfern.

"For tonight's episode, I have rescheduled Nick Redfern, author of dozens of books on UFOs, cryptozoology, and the strange. Nick and Colin will discuss the Men in Black and their involvement in cryptozoology. This is a definite not-to-miss episode!"

Listen live here.