Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Bigfoot Filmography

Coming in January: The Bigfoot Filmography by David Coleman.

Here's the blurb for the book, which I'm sure most Bigfoot enthusiasts will want to get their hands on:

"The 'Sasquatch' film genre, devoted to the legendary and notoriously elusive creature also known as Bigfoot, and its Himalayan counterpart, the Yeti, is the focus of this illustrated reference guide. Here is a fascinatingly detailed look at the cinematic history of Sasquatch, from the earliest trick films of Georges Melies to the most up-to-date CGI efforts. Critical insights regarding the genre's development are offered, along with an exhaustively researched filmography that includes every known film or television appearance of Sasquatch, Bigfoot and Yeti in both fictitious and documentary formats. Included are in-depth interviews with such filmmakers as Kevin Tenney, Adam Muto, Ryan Schifrin, Tim Skousen and Michael Worten, as well as reproductions of rare movie stills, posters, lobby cards and behind-the-scenes production photos. Renowned cryptozoologist Loren Coleman provides an insightful foreword to the text."

The Winged Fiend of Winona

A couple of years ago I headed up to Winona, Minnesota to investigate sightings of a Mothman-type beast said to be roaming around the area.

Certainly the most notable report came from a few locals who had heard a strange, years-old story of a giant, winged fiend perched atop this specific high peak that overlooks the town.

Monster-bird? Flying Humanoid? Spectral Pterodactyl?

I have no idea, and certainly the people telling the story were just as puzzled, too.

But, if you ever want to hit the road in search of winged monsters, Winona may be the place to go!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Cryptozoology and the Police




















This looks to be an interesting read: The Police and the Paranormal by Andrew Owens. Put out by the Center for Fortean Zoology's Fortean Words publishing company, it contains (as you'll see from the press-release below) a number of cases in which police officers have investigated, or been witness to, cryptozoological creatures.

Here's the press-release from the CFZ's Jon Downes:

Police officers are widely regarded as amongst the most highly credible of eyewitnesses. And yet here they risk professional ridicule by revealing their otherworldly encounters with things that shouldn’t exist - but do.

They include:

* Crime Scene Investigators sift through the grisly remains of Cattle Mutilations and Spontaneous Human Combustion - and reach some startling conclusions;

* A Constable is hypnotised to recount his alien abduction;

* Detectives enlist psychics to help crack murder cases;

* Patrols see panthers and pumas at close quarters;

* A Detective reports the longest-ever sighting of Nessie;

* Officers’ close encounters of the first kind, second kind, third kind and deadly kind

Gathered together for the first time, this unique collection of true-life encounters between the police and the paranormal is utterly compelling and highly believable, suggesting that the long arm of the law extends way beyond this world and into the next.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Nessie: The Grant Affair

Over at Cryptomundo, Loren Coleman addresses the controversial 1930s story of Arthur Grant, who claimed a very close encounter with a Loch Ness Monster. True or false, we'll probably never know with 100 percent certainty, but it's an intriguing story, nevertheless...

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Orang-Pendek in Print




Right now, the Center for Fortean Zoology's Richard Freeman has a new book out on Sumatra's Orang-Pendek. You can find out more about the book at my latest Lair of the Beasts column at Mania.com. Here's the link. If you want to learn all about the Orang Pendek, this is definitely the book for you!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The End Of An Era

Sad news: the Chase Post newspaper, which covered the sprawling, creature-infested Cannock Chase woods of Staffordshire, England is no more.

Yep, after decades of publication, it has finally closed its doors.

Aside from the most unfortunate thing - a significant loss of jobs - the closure of the Post will mean that a key outlet for breaking stories on sightings of big-cats, Bigfoot-style entities, werewolves, and unusual water-based beasts, on the Cannock Chase will be no more.

I have a lot of good memories of the Post, particularly when in 1999-2001 me and Irene Bott, formerly of the Staffordshire UFO Group, wrote a regular, weekly column for the newspaper called The C-Files.

It was that particular column which prompted a lot of eye-witnesses to crypto-creatures on the Cannock Chase to come forward.

Here's wishing editor Mike Lockley and the rest of the team all the very best for the future.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Horses of Horror

Did you ever wonder what might happen if a real-life zombie-virus broke out across the planet, and it spread to the animal population? Well, it might go something like the following!

The latest episode of Tim Binnall's Binnall of America tells a truly strange story of horse-based horror!

And here's Tim himself to tell you more...

CuChullaine O'Reilly, Deadly Equines: The Shocking True Story of Meat-Eating and Murderous Horses, 2 Hours, 24 Minutes:

Traveling down a truly unique and fringe road, BoA:Audio welcomes equestrian researcher and long rider CuChullaine O'Reilly for a discussion on his groundbreaking book Deadly Equines: The Shocking True Story of Meat-Eating and Murderous Horses.

Over the course of this two hour adventure, we'll discuss CuChullaine's powerful case for meat-eating horses, including historical accounts from ancient and contemporary times, the collective 'equestrian amnesia' that has befallen the 'civilized world,' and the reaction to his research from the equestrian community.

Plus, we'll discuss murderous horses, a separate, but equally bizarre anomaly that CuChullaine has uncovered. Along the way, we'll also spend considerable time discussing the mind-bending world of long riding.

Fascinating, enlightening, and awe-inspiring, this conversation is a proverbial 'long ride' of esoteric insights on both equines and humans with the remarkable CuChullaine O'Reilly.

Monday, November 14, 2011

A Monstrous Beginning

We all have to start somewhere!

Sahar Dimus RIP

It's with sadness this evening that we learn of the death of the expert tracker Sahar Dimus.

Richard Freeman writes these words:

February 3rd 1969- November 14th 2011

I first met Sahar in 2003 on the first of my trips to Sumatra in search of the orang-pendek. He was to be our chief guide and had been personally recommended by Debbie Martyr. I was surprised upon meeting him at hoe unassuming he was. A smiling, be-spectacled little man he could have easily passed for an accountant if dressed in a suit. A great example of how looks can be deceptive Sahar was a master of bushcraft and the most impressive guide I ever had in the jungle. He could tell what animal had passed and how long ago simply by the slightest disturbance of leaves that no one else would have noticed. He was immensely strong and fit and could carry huge weights up the steepest and most treacherous hills like an ant carrying a leaf up an anthill.

Not only that, he was a tiger shaman. His people held the tiger as a sacred animal, according to their tribal tradition the man who founded their tribe lived to a huge age before walking into the jungle and becoming a tiger. Tiger shaman are supposed to be able to call down the tiger spirit in tribal ceremonies. They are said to be able to look through the eyes of the tiger, observing far off things in the jungle and to become possessed by its spirit. Debbie herself had witnessed this and seen the happy, inoffensive Sahar turn into a feral, snarling dervish unrecognizable as himself.

He proved not only to be a great guide in the jungle but a great friend too. He was patient with slow bumbling westerners who found the terrain hard and the food harder. He held us spellbound around camp fires with stories of the jungle and the experiences of both himself and his late farther. He was a mine of information on both Sumatran folklore and wildlife.

So good was Sahar that we used him as chief guide all of the CFZ expeditions to Sumatra. We often stayed in his house at the foot of Gunung-Tuju with his lovely wife Lucy and his sons. Over our many trips we watched them grow up. His eldest Raffles was training to become a guide and accompanied us on our last expedition.

Sahar had lived and worked in the jungle for 14 years and had come across orang-pendek tracks and heard its call but never saw the creature until 2009 when he and Dave Archer encountered the creature in the clod forests of Gunung-Tuju. After the sighting he wept for a quarter of an hour due to the fact that he had no camera to capture an image of the beast on. Plans were afoot in 2011 to plant permanent camera traps in Kerinci Sablat National Park and had to pay Sahar to check the pictures each month.

On our last trip he seemed a little tired and slower than usual. His leg was hurting him. We all thought that in was nothing but age catching up with him and the rough terrain. I came home from the Fortean Times Unconvention 2011 to the news Sahar had died on 11th of November. He had been taken ill and was unable to walk. He was taken to hospital were apparently he was finding it hard to recognize people. He died shortly afterwards of what appears to be liver failure.

To me Sahar was Sumatra. He was just as much a part of Kerinci National Park as the lake, the mountain and the jungle. Sumatra and Sahar Dimus are inextricably linked in my mind; they are one in the same. Now he has gone it feels like a piece of Sumatra has died. The island can and will never be the same. He leaves behind him four children and a wife.

Goodbye old friend.

Sahar Dimus: Jungle guide, tiger shaman, orang-pendek witness and researcher.

The 1928 Devil-Bat

Andrew Gable has alerted me to a strange tale from years long-gone - 1928 to be precise - of a weird "Devil-Bat"-type beast that seems to possess certain, distinct Jersey Devil-style overtones. Here's the link.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Gunning for the Goat-Man

My various quests to seek out the devilish Goat-Man of Denton, Texas...

The Tahoe Terror

In a new post at the Center for Fortean Zoology blog, Richard Freeman tells the story of the creature of Lake Tahoe. Rich begins as follows:

"At 1,645ft deep, Lake Tahoe ranks as the world's 10th deepest lake. It is, by volume, the 26th largest lake in the world. It is 22 miles long and 12 miles wide, and was formed about 2 million years ago. Eight creeks run into the lake. Its primary outflow is the Truckee River that runs into Pyramid Lake (also known for monster sightings) and into the Great Basin.

"Legends of this creature first began to surface in the mid-1800s, when members of the Washoe and Paiute Indian tribes began to tell the white settlers about the 'monster' dwelling in the depths of the Tahoe basin.

"It has been described by eyewitnesses as being over 15-80ft long, with an undulating, serpentine body, thick as a barrel and with smooth, dark skin. In modern times it has been given the nickname Tahoe Tessie."

And here's the link to Rich's complete post.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Chasing the Dragon

My latest Mysterious Universe post: Chasing the Dragon...

Thursday, November 3, 2011

On The Track - The Latest

The new edition of the Center for Fortean Zoology's regular, monthly journal of the visual kind - On the Track - is now available. And here it is!

Young children, those of a nervous disposition, and old cronies beware: this episode includes a section in which Jon Downes sings. The words from the 1986 version of The Fly, "Be afraid, be very afraid," have never been more apt...

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Polling Nessie

Well, the results are in on my poll concerning the nature of the beasts of Loch Ness, Scotland. And they make for interesting reading!

More than a quarter of all those who took part in the poll suggested that sightings of Nessie could be accounted for by hoaxes and mis-identification of down-to-earth phenomena of a non-monstrous nature.

A full twenty-five percent believed the animals to be surviving pockets of plesiosaurs, while six percent opted for the giant-eel theory.

The majority, however, concluded that the Loch Ness Monsters are real, but represent animals presently unknown. And just over one in ten were of the opinion that the creatures have paranormal origins.

So, all in all, an interesting set of conclusions on what those interested in Cryptozoology really think about one of the world's most famous monsters.

There will be another poll later this week, so I encourage you to vote!

Mystery Animals of London - In Print!

Excellent news: Neil Arnold's new book, Mystery Animals of the British Isles: London, has just been published by CFZ Press.

If you're in the UK, you can buy the book right here, and if you're in the US, click on this link.

And, here's the press-release that accompanies this must-buy title, which runs to more than 400-packed pages:






MYSTERY ANIMALS OF THE BRITISH ISLES: LONDON
A Book By Neil Arnold

PRESS RELEASE


Roll up, roll up! For the monster mystery tour, step right this way. Read all about, read all about it, panic on the streets of London!

For many centuries the streets, sewer systems, skies, waters, and darkest corners of the capital have been inhabited by strange creatures. Some folklore, some fact.

MYSTERY ANIMALS OF…LONDON, a new, richly illustrated, fully indexed 385 page volume written by full-time monster hunter Neil Arnold, published by CFZ Press, is a unique surreal safari through the concrete jungle of London, which explores a menagerie of the strange, creatures cast from the Ark, half-hinted and yet persistent in their presence.

Recoil in horror at tales concerning elusive ‘big cats’ on the prowl through London’s leafy suburbs, with yarns pertaining to the ‘beast of Sydenham’, the lioness of Winchmore Hill, the Edgware tiger, and the classic Surrey puma - a long-lasting mystery which Neil proves may well have its origins centuries previous to the 1960s flap which made national headlines.

And then there are the abominable animals said to lurk in the depths of the River Thames and other London rivers, ponds and lakes, from tales of alligators, crocodiles, piranha, snapping turtles and even sharks, to grim legends of monster rats, slithering snakes and serpents.

And don’t forget the aerial oddities, with weird tales of giant birds in the skies over London – eagles, parakeets and monstrous griffins and dragons.

MYSTERY ANIMALS OF…LONDON looks at creaky old tales of animals escaping from private menageries, zoo parks and circuses. And then there are the monsters of the mind, for instance, the case of Hampstead’s phantom ape, the spectral bears of Chelsea, frothing hellhounds at Newgate, a ghostly chicken…yes, you read it correct!

And who could forget the ripping yarns pertaining to mermaids, Spring-Heeled Jack, glowing lions, flying jellyfish, birds of death, the London Underground man-beast, the Stratford Goatman, fairies, hellish horses and the case of the Highgate ‘vampire’.

An essential read on a foggy night for any monster-hunter, historian, paranormal enthusiast or general fan of the macabre and the mysterious.

Priced £15.00 from Amazon and all good book shops, MYSTERY ANIMALS OF THE BRITISH ISLES: LONDON, where the wild things are…dare you venture forth on this expedition of the extraordinary and lift the lid on London’s ludicrous and most devilish denizens ?

ISBN 978-1-905723-71-3

Loren Coleman on Binnall of America

This just in from Tim Binnall, host of Binnall of America:

Loren Coleman, An In-Depth Conversation on Cryptozoology, 1 Hour, 51 Minutes:

Here's Tim himself to tell you more:

Making his long-awaited return to BoA:Audio, the iconic Loren Coleman joins us for an in-depth and richly arrayed conversation about cryptozoology.

We'll talk about Loren's amazing International Cryptozoology Museum and have a lengthy discussion on Bigfoot as well as the state of Bigfoot research.

We'll also cover a veritable menagerie of cryptids including the Orang Pendek, Yeti, the Loch Ness Monster, Champ, Ogopogo, the Montauk Monster, Alien Big Cats, Chupacabras, Thunderbirds and even the Tazelwurm.

It's a conversation which spans the pantheon of cryptozoology's most famous and infamous creatures with the legendary Loren Coleman.