Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Monstrous News

Lots of crypto-things at The Anomalist today, as they state:

Is Bigfoot a regular visitor to the White Mountain Apache Reservation? Meanwhile, Emily Baird of WHIZ-TV News in Zanesville, OH, catches up with some Bigfoot researchers for a video interview in Bigfoot Continues to Outwit Humans.

Interview: Philip Spencer BoA: Audio. Philip Spencer, the star of Wildman of Kentucky: Mystery of Panther Rock, visits with Tim Binnall to talk about an area of Kentucky that seems to be prone to the paranormal. From Bigfoot to wolfmen, residents and visitors in Anderson County, KY, have described all manner of strangeness. The area, also known as the "Frazier Land," was the birthplace of Philip Spencer, and he discusses the myriad of reports from the area in this downloadable podcast. Elsewhere at BoA, Regan Lee in her "Trickster's Realm" column revisits a famous film to pose a question: The Abominable Snowman: Was Film's Creator Aware of Paranormal Bigfoot?.

Cats & Dogs

And while we are on the subject of four-legged beasts roaming the British countryside, here's two more new stories: one on big-cats and the other on ghostly black-dogs. What's the deal with all this four-footed strangeness lately in Britain??!!

Weirdness in the Woods

Things are getting very weird regarding yesterday's post about a bear seen in Rendlesham Forest. First we had the sighting of Jenny Pearce, who said: "I saw it moving through the trees ahead. It was much bigger than a dog. I picked up my son and left for the car straight away."

However, as this new story shows (which has surfaced today), the tale of the bear - and the accompanying You Tube link - were part of a publicity campaign by a theater production company that was putting on a version of Shakespeare's A Winters Tale - which includes a famous stage-direction: "Exit, pursued by a bear."

All well and good, except for the fact that (a) Jenny Pearce continues to stand by her account of seeing a bear-like animal in the woods; and (b) this is not the first time a large animal with somewhat bear-like qualities has been reported within Rendlesham Forest.

Yesterday, I mentioned the case of Sam Holland, who had a close encounter with just such a beast in the same area in 1956. I interviewed Holland in 2001, and published his story in 2004. So, there's no way his case can be connected to the current publicity campaign of the theater production company.

And for those who are interested, here is the text of my original Word document on Sam Holland's story :

"Shortly after New Year’s Day in 1956, Holland was walking through the woods with his spaniel dog, Harry, when he was horrified to see a bizarre-looking creature come looming out of the trees some forty feet in front of him.

"It walked upon four huge, muscular legs – ‘like a lion’s’ – and its thick fur coat was both black and glossy. Incredibly, said Holland, the animal was easily ten feet in length; and so could not be considered anything even remotely resembling a domestic animal, or a known wild beast of the British Isles.

"Holland recalled thinking for a moment that perhaps the animal was an exotic big cat that had escaped from a zoo or private estate; that is until it turned in his direction and he was finally able to see its terrible face.

"Likening it to that of a sliver-back gorilla, Holland said that the monstrous creature possessed a huge neck, widely flaring nostrils, and immense, powerful-looking jaws. For a moment or two, the animal looked intently at Holland and his whimpering little dog; then, seemingly losing interest, continued on its way and into the depths of the surrounding undergrowth.

"Holland would later explain that the creature looked like a strange combination of ape, dog, lion and rhinoceros. Needless to say, the British Isles is not home to any such animal that even remotely resembles the beast that Sam Holland says he stumbled upon. Yet he is adamant that his description of the monstrous entity and his recollections of the day in question are utterly accurate.

"Today, Holland believes that whatever it was that he had the misfortune to run into half a century ago, it was unquestionably paranormal rather than physical in origin. But from where, precisely, he has no idea."

Franky, this whole affair puzzles me a great deal. I have no doubt at all that the theater company's publicity campaign is indeed an integral part of the story.

However, that the company should have chosen a location for their campaign that was already home to a large, mysterious 4-legged beast that was seen back in 1956, is decidedly synchronistic in the extreme.

And what about the fact that Jenny Pearce stands by her report of seeing a large, lumbering beast in the woods?

Is it possible that, in a strangely Fortean fashion, the theater company decided to embark upon its campaign at precisely the same time that a large, bear-like entity (perhaps related to that seen by Sam Holland) manifested in the woods?

Whatever the ultimate truth, I strongly suspect we have not heard the end of this story!

And for more, check out Jon Downes' take on things, which adds additional data to the story.

Monday, March 30, 2009

A Bear in the Woods?

Here's a weird one: there may be a bear running around Rendlesham Forest, England!

As some of you may know, the forest's main claim to fame is that it was the site (in December 1980) of what is without doubt Britain's most famous UFO incident.

So, is a bear really on the loose in an area of forest that just happened to already be dominated by high-strangeness? My guess is no. Rather, I suspect that - like so many places around the world - Rendlesham Forest is a classic window area of the type that attracts (or opens doorways to?) Fortean oddities.

Interestingly, in my 2004 book Three Men Seeking Monsters, I related the story of a man named Sam Holland who claimed to have seen in Rendlesham Forest a beast that sounds somewhat like that which is currently being reported - but way back in 1956.

Whatever the nature of the current critter, I suspect we haven't seen the last of it...

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Wallabies in the UK

Generally, my Lair of the Beasts articles over at Mania.com are focused upon creatures of a distinctly monstrous nature; occasionally, however, I delve into another aspect of cryptozoology. Namely, that relating to so-called "Out of Place" animals.

And, this week's Lair of the Beasts is a perfect example: it delves into the strange history of sightings of - and encounters with - wallabies in Britain.

Yep: you heard it right!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Tracking The Bigfoot Author

Today's Anomalist highlights a strange and intriguing detective-type story from Loren Coleman, as the following shows:

Mysterious Cryptomundo. Bigfoot has been mystery enough over the last few hundred years. But there has been a mystery within the Bigfoot mystery for over 30 years: what was the true identity of "Jan Klement," the author of the 1976 book The Creature: Personal Experiences with Bigfoot? The slim volume claiming to describe the friendship between the author and a Bigfoot he called Kong has captivated many Bigfoot enthusiasts, but the true name of the author who tantalizingly told of Kong's special relationship with a cow, and more, has eluded those who would know the truth. Has Loren Coleman identified the mysterious Jan Klement? With images.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Cryptid Chronicles Reminder

The new issue of David Acord's Cryptid Chronicles is now available, and as always, is a great read. Click the link for more info!

A CFZ Movie

This is excellent news, just in from Jon Downes:

"At last the new feature-length documentary from CFZtv directed by Jonathan Downes and produced by Richard Freeman.

"In the summer of 2008, five British explorers from the UK based Centre for Fortean Zoology [CFZ], the world's largest mystery animal research group, fly to the mountains of southern Russia, just weeks before the region erupts into war.

"They are searching for the almasty, a semi-mythical apeman, that the team believe could be man's closest relative; an evolved descendant of Homo erectus. Along the way they have many adventures, and several members of the team are nearly killed on more than one occasion.

"With music by Gogol Bordello and Jonathan Downes. We wrote to Gogol Bordello's management, and were overjoyed when they wrote back saying that we could use the music as long as the movie was 'non-commercial'.

"Well, it is completely non-commercial, and like every other film from CFZtv, it is out there purely because this is a good thing to do. However it is mildly amusing to note that Gogol Bordello are doing two films this year - one with Madonna, and the other with the CFZ!"

And here's the film - almost 2-hours in length!

Bigfoot on the Net

Yet again, The Anomalist has a good assortment of Bigfoot data to impart today:

The Angry Old Man Blogsquatcher. A Bigfoot experiencer identifed here only as "Dave in Kentucky" tells of his recent terrifying experience on a foggy lakeshore. Dave was researching some Bigfoot reports in the area of the lake when the incident occurred. The encounter included loud sounds from the creature that impacted Dave quite strongly and evoke consideration of the "infrasound" effect some Bigfoot researchers mention. With images. Elsewhere, even as other news sources are reporting Russian Bigfoot Expedition Postponed Due to Weather, Pravda is reporting some limited success for the expedition in Russian Scientists Use Google Maps to Find Yeti. Meanwhile, Loren Coleman has more on the expedition at Cryptomundo in Bad Weather Slows Siberian Quest.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Bigfoot At The Anomalist

Bigfoot is highlighted over at The Anomalist today, as the following extract shows:

Can Bigfoot Be Gay? Cryptomundo. Loren Coleman, who co-authored The Field Guide fo Bigfoot and Other Mystery Primates with Patrick Huyghe, prepares you for tonight's television broadcast of MonsterQuest: Monster Close Encounters. Will tonight's program go beyond human/Bigfoot encounters? As Coleman puts it: "As extraordinary as these stories sound, people continue to recount physical interactions with creatures that they cannot explain, as well as the imagery they experience." With illustrations. Meanwhile, the effort to investigate a hairy hominid encounter in Siberia hasn't turned up much, and the announcement has now been made that Russian Bigfoot Expedition Postponed Due to Weather Conditions.

Great Eels

Jon Downes on super-eels:

"The Great Sea Serpent is surely one of the greatest enigmas of zoology. For as long as men have ventured out to sea there have been stories of sea monsters, and in 1968 the renowned Belgian zoologist Professor Bernard Heuvelmans wrote a classic book; In the Wake of the Sea Serpent on the subject. His thesis was that there was no single species of unknown animal responsible for the plethora of sea serpent reports. Instead, he suggested, there were at least eight unknown species of serpentine animal living in the world`s oceans. He hypothesised five unknown giant marine mammals, two unknown species of giant marine reptile and two new species of giant fish.I had the privelige of knowing Bernard for ten years or so before his death last year and he was a fine zoologist. Recent advances in palaentology have cast doubts on some of his theorising, but is certain that he was spot on with at least one of his eight theorised sea serpent species."

And here's the rest!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Monday's Anomalies

From today's Anomalist - excellent as always!

Expedition Sets Off in Siberia to Check Bigfoot Sightings MosNews. Following recent reports of two-meter tall hominids cavorting in the forests near a cave system reported to be "several kilometers long, passing under a riverbed," Igor Burtsev, Director of the International Center for Hominology, has set out with colleagues to investigate. The group is headed for an area in the mountains near Tashtagol in the Kemerovo Region of Siberia. Several of the hunters who reported the recent sightings will guide the two-day expedition. Meanwhile, Paul Dale Roberts of Haunted and Paranormal Investigations International gets a call about the sighting of a strange creature on California's Mt. Shasta that reminds him of similar sightings around Washington's Mt. Saint Helens, dimensional rifts, Lemurians, Count Saint-Germaine and Aleister Crowley. The account is in the report, Batsquatch Sighted at Mt. Shasta.

Alan Friswell: Scary Spider Stories #2 Cryptozoology Online. At the Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) blog, Alan Friswell uses Photoshop in an attempt to recreate what he thinks he remembers from a 1970s era Sunday tabloid. Does anyone remember the story, with photograph, of a giant spider killed during a shortlived expedition into a rainforest wilderness by an intrepid band of explorers? Elsewhere, artwork of interest to cryptozoologists and anyone who appreciates the abilities af a Japanese master of woodblock prints, inspires Loren Coleman to reveal, with images, the works of Kuniyoshi in London.

The Monkey-Man

Richard Freeman delves into the controversial story of India's Monkey-Man. As Rich says:

"The slums of East Delhi are filthy and overcrowded. Hundreds of people are compelled to sleep outdoors. Streets are usually dark, as the streetlights remain unrepaired. In some areas running water is available only one hour a day. It was into this unwholesome place a strange figure bounded on the night of May 13th 2001. Four to five feet tall, it walked upright like a man but was covered in hair. It had red glowing eyes and an ape like face.

"The entity was christened ‘Monkey Man.The creature leapt from building to building and attacked its victims with raking claws and sharp teeth. Panic swiftly spread through the filthy, overcrowded slums. The police received accounts of fifty attacks on the night of May 14th alone. The merest mention of the creature could send whole areas into a frenzy of panic. In stampedes to escape the creature two people fell to their deaths from rooftops and stairs. One was a pregnant woman."

And here's the rest of what is a cool and interesting post.

Jon & Jenny

Jon Downes on the Jenny Haniver phenomenon.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Gabba, Gabba, We Accept You...

I haven't yet read this book - Freaks of Nature: What Anomalies Tell Us About Development And Evolution by Mark S. Blumberg - but it looks to be a very good one.

As the publisher tells us:

"In most respects, Abigail and Brittany Hensel are normal American twins. Born and raised in a small town, they enjoy a close relationship, though each has her own tastes and personality. But the Hensels also share a body. Their two heads sit side-by-side on a single torso, with two arms and two legs. They have not only survived, but have developed into athletic, graceful young women. And that, writes Mark S. Blumberg, opens an extraordinary window onto human development and evolution.

"In Freaks of Nature, Blumberg turns a scientist's eye on the oddities of nature, showing how a subject once relegated to the sideshow can help explain some of the deepest complexities of biology. Why, for example, does a two-headed human so resemble a two-headed minnow? What we need to understand, Blumberg argues, is that anomalies are the natural products of development, and it is through developmental mechanisms that evolution works. Freaks of Nature induces a kind of intellectual vertigo as it upends our intuitive understanding of biology. What really is an anomaly? Why is a limbless human a "freak," but a limbless reptile-a snake-a successful variation?

"What we see as deformities, Blumberg writes, are merely alternative paths for development, which challenge both the creature itself and our ability to fit it into our familiar categories. Rather than mere dead-ends, many anomalies prove surprisingly survivable--as in the case of the goat without forelimbs that learned to walk upright. Blumberg explains how such variations occur, and points to the success of the Hensel sisters and the goat as examples of the extraordinary flexibility inherent in individual development. In taking seriously a subject that has often been shunned as discomfiting and embarrassing, Mark Blumberg sheds new light on how individuals--and entire species--develop, survive, and evolve."

Old-Time Monsters

My latest Lair of the Beasts column at Mania.com delves deep into the matter of strange, bizarre and downright wacky beasts from decades-past. Check it out!

Freeman Interviewed

Good mate Richard Freeman is interviewed over at Richard Thomas' Sci-Fi Worlds blog on his love for the British sci-fi series, Doctor Who. And, of course, the two Richard's do get into a discussion of all-things-cryptozoological, as the following statement from Rich F. demonstrates:

"Doctor Who, and the Jon Pertwee years in particular were my inspiration to become a cryptozoologist. The show was my first real exposure to monsters. I don't mind mixing fact with fiction as long as it is stated that it is fiction. I don't like 'mockumentories' that try to pass themselves off as real investigations. There have been a couple of really bad Loch Ness programs. One built up the idea of the monster as a prehistoric marine reptile then tried to make itself look clever by saying how such a creature could not live in Loch Ness. Ergo the program's message was that the monster, if it existed, had to be a plesiosaur. Plesiosaurs could not live in Loch Ness so there was no such thing as the Loch Ness Monster. This is bollocks. Nobody who has seriously studied the phenomena thinks the monster is a plesiosaur. The smart money is on some kind of huge fish possibly a giant eel."

Mothman & More

From The Anomalist:

From Mothman to G. n. abingdoni Cryptomundo. Actor Richard Gere, whose credits include the motion picture The Mothman Prophecies, has offered to act as spokesperson for Galapagos Islands conservation efforts. In this report by Loren Coleman, a vacation trip to the islands by Gere and his family include a snapshot of Gere with the last remaining member of a Galapagos giant tortoise subspecies, nicknamed Lonesome George (Solitario Jorge in Spanish). Is there hope Lonesome George can help revive a subspecies of which he is believed to be the last remaining member? Meanwile, there are photographs of a New Ray Discovered and a recently reported New Mouse.

The Beast of Ennerdale

The saga of the Beast of Ennerdale is one of those that is little-known outside of the the confines of the British Isles, but it's also one that just never seems to go away. And here's good mate Richard Freeman - the CFZ's in-house zoologist - to give his views on the beast and its dark predations.

As Rich explains:

"In the spring of 1810, a bizarre series of livestock killings began. Over the next six months, a mystery predator cut a bloody swathe through Cumberland. This creature was never identified, but became known as the Girt Dog of Ennerdale. Though often quoted, this chapter in British animal mysteries is one of the most cryptic and obscure. On re-reading the tales recently, I found a strange thread that no-one (to my knowledge) has picked up on before. The saga of the Girt Dog may be even odder than anyone has ever realised: and the 'Dog' itself may be a doubly Fortean beast."

And, for the remainder of Rich's thought-provoking and even unique essay, you know what you have to do: click right here.

Friday, March 20, 2009

A Big Cat Kill?

Has a deer been killed by a big-cat in the woods of England's Cannock Chase? Check out the story...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The "Knock Knock" Bridge

As some of you may know, the CFZ has a Michigan-based representative: my good friend Raven. And just lately she has been doing a tremendous amount of work: writing articles, doing on-site investigations, establishing new links with people in the field, as well as setting up websites and blogs.

Does the woman ever sleep?! Probably not!

Anyway, over at her new Into the Shadows blog, Raven has an interesting new post titled Knock Knock Bridge, which is a study of a wealth of weirdness at a particular bridge not far from where she lives.

I like stories like this, as I've done a lot of investigations myself where high-strangeness has occurred at bridges - most famously from my own perspective at Bridge 39 on Britain's Shropshire Union Canal, where a mysterious, spectral ape known as the Man-Monkey was seen in 1879.

And with that said, here's an extract from Raven's post:

"Today Jessica and I took a ride out to the Canton area to do a pre-investigation study of the Denton Road bridge and the surrounding area. There is so much history that lies just beneath the surface of that entire area that we'll have to do many investigations to cover even a portion it.

"As we drove through where the bridge is located,an eerie ambiance fell over the van.It was like we had just slipped into another dimension of time. With the exception of the newly built condos that now dot the land heavily, and the occasional jogger or bicycle, there is a stillness to the place that can only be described as otherworldly.

"We met a gentleman named Don who has lived there since 1963 and was not only able to give us a first-hand account of the folklore, but also had a wealth of knowledge regarding the development of the area as well.

"Don told us that the bridge was called 'knock knock bridge' by all the local children when he was growing up, because, as legend has it, if you knocked three times and waited, something spooky was bound to happen.

"From ghost lights to shadowy dark figures chasing cars,there have always been strange stories passed down from one generation to the next."

Freeman Interviewed

Neil Arnold has an insightful new interview with the CFZ's Richard Freeman posted at his Monster! blog.

Rich and Neil cover a wide variety of areas in the interview, and here's a taster:

Neil: "Of all the cryptids, which do you think are most likely to be discovered over the next century?"

Richard: "The thylacine or Tasmanian marsupial wolf. It has been seen by zoologists and a park ranger. It has been filmed on several occasions. Sightings number in their thousands. It's the cryptid most likely to exist.The almasty,a relic hominid a close relative of man. In the Karbadino Balkaria part of the Caucasus Mountains of Russia their numbers seem to be on the increase. They will approach human habitation and people do not hunt them. I think a great breakthrough will be made here. Orang-pendek, the upright ape of Sumatra. There's no doubt it exists. It has been seen close up by at leas two well respected scientists. It will come down from the jungle to semi-cultivated areas in search of food. The giant anaconda. They give birth to live young, they live most of their lives buoyed up by water. They can reach huge sizes. It's just a matter of finding an undisturbed area with a massive individual."

And you can catch the rest of the interview right here.

Anomalist & Crypto

From The Anomalist (yet again, all good stuff):

Bigfoot Researchers Study Sand Mountain Sand Mountain Reporter. Elusive Primates of North America (EPNA), an Alabama Bigfoot research organization, has completed two investigations of a heavily wooded area near Sand Mountain in the northeastern section of the state. The January expedition only turned up vocalizations, but the February outing turned up a large handprint. Has EPNA found a Bigfoot handprint? Elsewhere, British Columbia, Canada, has been the scene of some increased activity believed to show the huge, hairy biped is in the area, as reported in Moricetown Bigfoot Tracks Continue Sighting Outbreak.

Monsters of Kent: The Book

This is excellent news just in from the CFZ's Jon Downes: Neil Arnold's new book Mystery Animals of the British Isles: Kent has just been published.

Here's Jon, with all of the details:
"After months of work, this remarkable book is finally available. It is the bulkiest book we have ever done, and with over 270,000 words the longest apart from Monster Hunter and Dragons: More than a Myth?

"Neil is to be congratulated for such an extraordinary piece of writing. A large proportion of the book concerns big cats, but as Neil - despite his detractors - is one of the leading mystery cat researchers in the country, this is hardly surprising.

"However, what makes it so much better than yer run of the mill big cat books which seem to be largely rehashed press cuttings, and in which the sentence 'err it was black, it had a long tail and looked like my Labrador,' seem to be repeated over and over again ad nauseam, this is the first-hand story of years of dedication and hands-on research.

"The non-cat chapters are equally as interesting, covering a whole gamut of subjects from out-of-place animals to what Neil calls the 'nameless anomalies' which would not be out of place in an episode of The X-Files from about ten years ago.

"I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It's only £14.99 which is hardly extortionate in this day and age, and in the unlikely instance that you don't like it, it is so substantial that you can use it as a door stop, throw it at your dog, or wrap it in a pillow-case to make a handy cosh, and tootle on down top your nearest sub-post office. Well done mate."

Paperback: 420 pages; Publisher: Cfz (Mar 2009); Language English; ISBN-10: 1905723369ISBN-13: 978-1905723362; Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.6 x 2.2 cm

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tuesday's Anomalies

As per usual, here's the daily dose of what you can find at The Anomalist of a definitively crypto-nature:

Wild Green Men Cryptomundo. In the spirit of St. Patrick's Day, Loren Coleman visits the European legends of the "Green Men," throwing in America's green giant from Minnesota, a trademarked emblem. With images. Elsewhere, Coleman continues notations of the celebratory date with the revelation of a link between March 17 and a legendary cryptid: St. Patrick's Day and Yetis. With images. Along the way, Coleman issues the continuing call for help in preserving the International Cryptozoology Museum. Elsewhere, another eminent cryptozoologist is asking for help, as Dr. Karl Shuker at ShukerNature seeks to save his non-PC compatible files, as explained in Here Starwriter, Starwriter... Can anyone help with Dr. Shuker's search for "a Canon Starwriter 80, 70, or 300 model of word-processor," a device "as rare and elusive as any cryptid"?

Blogsquatcher Updates

I always try and remind people to check out the Blogsquatcher's blog on a regular basis. As always, there's lots of good, new and thought-provoking material.

Weird Piggies

Very strange.....

Giant Eels on the Rampage!

Richard Holland - editor of Britain's Paranormal Magazine, and good bloke - has an interesting new post at the CFZ's main blog: on the subject of giant-eels in British Columbia.

Giant eels have been a particular interest of mine for years. In fact, ever since several fragmentary tales of such beasts surfaced in the 1980s from people living around the old canals that snake through and around the British city of Birmingham.

I'm actually working on a paper on the "Birmingham Beasts" right now; and will update you just soon as I know when and where it will appear.

And, while we're on the subject of eels, check out this one from Neil Arnold.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Monsters Everywhere...

Once again, a load of cool crypto-stuff at today's Anomalist:

Tracks of the Unknown Animal Center for Physical Trace Research. Having spent a considerable amount of money, time and effort to install observation cameras and an observation tower in the area known by the codename "Marley Woods," the Special Investigations Unite (SIU) was prevented from physically investigating the area during January and most of February, 2009, by adverse weather conditions. As weather cleared, however, the enigmas of Marley Woods grew murkier. Returning to the property, the team found more mysterious white animal hair and made casts of footprints of a mysterious heavy animal that moved through the area, unobserved, during the time frame. Observations of more odd phenomena, "light puddles," "light balls," "a large Amber display" and "a small triangular object," were also observed during the period. With images.

Photo: Chupacbras Sighted in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico Phantoms & Monsters. A camera at a ranch in Tamaulipas State, Mexico, snapped a photo of something strange, believed by the rancher and his family to be the legendary Chupacabras, or Goat Sucker. But, the photo has been on the internet at sites dedicated to the Hispanic legend for months prior to its current resurrection. Could this be another hoax (see Cryptomundo: Borneo Giant Snake Hoax: Old News Anew), or is it just a misinterpreted photo of a "deer running for its life"? Meanwhile, continued reports of sightings on the West Coast of America, particularly the Pacific Northwest, have Loren Coleman speculating about more mundane explanations for sea serpent claims in Ahoy, Thar Be Sea Monsters, Arr, Otters! With images. Elsewhere, Dr. Karl Shuker expounds on A Diversity of Devil-Fishes. With images.

Moonshadow Investigations

Check out Moonshadow Investigations, the new website of Raven, the CFZ's Michigan representative. Raven has some good, ambitious plans for her site and research in general, so keep checking in at her site for new developments.

Black Dogs at You Tube

You can now find at You Tube a 1995 interview with CFZ Director, Jon Downes, where he talks about the creepy legend of the Black Dog of Buckfastleigh - one of many such creatures, of course, that can be found within British history and folklore.

Born to be Wild

A chance to see a bona-fide English wildcat...

The "Other" Prints

With all the current hysteria going around about the recently-found "new batch" of the so-called "Devil's Footprints," Richard Freeman reminds us that countless other such prints have been found - on many occasions, across the centuries, and quite literally all over the place - a fascinating article!

Weekend Anomalist

From this weekend's Anomalist:

Paul Dale Roberts, indefatigable investigator of any kind of high strangeness case, checks out the Tower Bridge in Sacramento, CA, after an email message, and wonders if there's a connection between the email and The Mothman Dilemma.

Michigan Bigfoot on the Move? Cryptomundo. As weather begins to warm across the midsection of the USA, it seems some headlines are picking up on the appearance of a huge, shaggy, manlike form moving through the swamps, forests and bottomlands. A recent report from the Great Lakes State causes Loren Coleman to reminisce about Michigan's Bigfoot history. With image. Meanwhile, those recent giant footprints in the snow in British Columbia come under more scrutiny in Photos: Follow-up to Sasquatch Sighting/Evidence in Moricetown, BC. Elsewhere, Coleman, recently returned from England, reports the British press has remarked on an expedition to the Land Down Under that has been underwritten by a charity group. One of ornithology's greatest mysteries is at the root of the quest, as Coleman explains in Maybe-Extinct Parrot Search Gets £5,000. With images.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Back in Black!

Yes, AC/DC fans: excuse the awful title-pun, but the phantom black-dog of Britain's Cannock Chase woods is in the news again.

With Bigfoot, black-dogs, werewolves, big-cats, ghosts, UFOs, wallabies, wild-boar, giant snakes, a flying man, and the occasional huge winged-monster said to be roaming the woods of the Cannock Chase, I seriously doubt there's a stranger place on the planet!

And, of course, I was born there, too! Well, not quite born on the Chase, but you get the picture...

The Media & The Footprints

Well, the media has really jumped on the story of the "Devil's Footprints" that has seemingly taken over the CFZ. Here's the latest links and stories:








From today's Anomalist, more good stuff as usual!

The Truth...Is Furry? Prince George Citizen. Brian Vike, usually known for his work tracking the Canadian UFO experience out of his home in Houston, British Columbia, is on the track of something else lately. He's tracking footrints that are over 17 inches long. Is Vike on the trail of Bigfoot/Sasquatch? There's more on Vike's current Bigfoot case in Sasquatch Linked to Mysterious Footprints, with photo; Sasquatch Expert Following Footprint Discovery and Sasquatch Evidence Convincing, Local Expert Says. Meanwhile, the Great Lakes State has its tales of the hairy hominoid, too, as reported in Bigfoot Sightings Keep the Legend Alive in Michigan. Elsewhere, Loren Coleman at Cryptomundo updates new findings in Mysterious Peking Man Again. With images.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Parahub Radio: Tonight

I'll be on Parahub Radio tonight discussing all-things monstrous - if you're around, check it out!

The Press, the Prints & More

As these two stories show, the British media has picked up on the strange and recent saga of the "Devil's Footprints" that the CFZ has been investigating.

Link One.

Link Two.

And, while we're still on the subject of the CFZ, check out this very interesting sea-serpent report; Richard Freeman on monster-sized crocodiles; and a cool post on a giant-snake legend from Paranormal editor Richard Holland.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The British Bigfoot

Over at Cabinet of Wonders, the Emperor comments on my forthcoming book on the British Bigfoot. By the time I get the thing complete, it's likely to be as bulky and hulking as Bigfoot itself, given the sheer volume of data that is out there on this seldom discussed and often ridiculed topic!

Normal Vs. Paranormal

Jon Downes has a thought-provoking new post at his blog on cryptozoologyand the paranormal. In his introduction, Jon says:

"I just want to set the record straight about something. Over the past few weeks I been receiving letters from friends, and strangers alike. They all asked me the same thing. How come, when you have made your life's work the investigation of strange things, are you so resolutely against 'the paranormal'. Well the answer is, that I'm not. After all my most famous book, The Owlman and Others is unquestionably set within the twilight realms. It is not the investigation of things unknown that irritates me, but the misuse, and indeed abuse of the term 'the paranormal.'"

And here's the rest of Jonny's mighty-tome.

Book News!

Good news!

Neil Arnold was telling me a couple of days ago that his long-awaited (and apparently huge!) new book: Mystery Animals of Kent (Kent being Neil's home-county in good old England) is going to be published imminently by Jon Downes' CFZ Press.

This looks like being a great read, and one packed with stories of - and encounters with - all manner of beasts from deep in the heart of the Kent countryside, including Big-Cats, Bigfoot-style entities, and much more.

Jon is sending me a review copy, so as soon as I have read it, you can expect to see a big review right here.

Extinct: But When...???

The weird story of the Cambodian stegosaurus is in the news again, as The Anomalist notes:

Cambodia: Dinosaur Images Noticed in Temple Ruin All News Web. Carvings in the stones of World Heritage Site Angkor Wat in Cambodia appear to distinctly depict a stegosaurus, a dinosaur conventional wisdom says disappeared from the face of the Earth millions of years ago. Could these lumbering plated dinosaurs have roamed the jungles of Cambodia in the relatively recent past? With images.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Tonight on Untamed Dimensions...

Along with Tim Beckley and several others, I'll be on Untamed Dimensions Radio tonight talking about all-things-monstrous, including Mothman and werewolves. Should be a good one! Here's the link to times, etc.

A collection of Monsters

Here's a few things that have been going on over the last couple of days:

1. From The Anomalist: UFO investigator Steve Bass takes a different slant on the mystery of the huge, hairy hominid in A New Way to Look at Bigfoot. Elsewhere, Cryptomundo reports "Black Tiger" Found in Sri Lanka, Japan's Giant Crayfish and It's a Zebra!

2. Meanwhile, Neil Arnold is hot on the trail of another intriguing mystery. As Neil asks: "Who, or what, is the Rochester rabbit ripper ? That’s the question I was asking myself after an investigation on the outskirts of historic Rochester. Now, Rochester, with it’s Dickensian association, is a beautiful place, but under the cloak of darkness weird stuff happens. Over the course of a few years there’s been sightings of large cats, unidentified swimming objects in the river, black magic coven’s accused of sacrificing goats, piles of large pet dogs found crushed and scratched in the local woods, and now this." And what, you may ask is this? Take a look - it's an interesting saga indeed!

3. Nigel Wright tackles "The Devil's Footprints."

4. My latest Lair of the Beasts column: on weird winged things of Nevada...

Friday, March 6, 2009

Graham and the Footprints

Well, further to yesterday's post about the strange tale of the recent "Devil's Footprints"-style find in darkest, snow-covered Devon, here's the man who went in search of the evidence - CFZ stalwart Graham Inglis (pictured above) - to tell you more.

And, in his own words, here's Graham:

There’s an old-fashioned phrase, “there’s method in our madness.”

Today was a day when I went for lots of method, and saved up all the madness for later on.When I carried the CFZ rubbish bags out into the road Wednesday night, the 4th of March 2009, it was snowing. I was surprised: I thought we’d seen the last of the “Christmas postcard” look, this winter.

But I shrugged (mainly to shake snowflakes from my shoulders) – and retreated back indoors and thought no more of it. Until…Thursday morning, got a phone call at around 0950 from Mrs Wade - a resident of our village - that some strange footprints were in her back garden. I was the only one awake (it had been a long and difficult evening, yesterday), so I grabbed my camera and headed off to have a look.

On arrival, shortly after 10am, my early and non-zoological impression was that the the prints looked like they’d been made by a one-legged deer. Sometimes, people describe an animal that’s missing a leg as “one-legged” when really they mean “three-legged” – and I may not be a zoologist, but I know enough to dismiss the idea of a one-legged deer pogo-ing around the rural landscape.

Mrs Wade recapitulated for the video camera how she’d seen these footprints from her window, had wondered what they were – and had then decided to ring the CFZ.I was in preliminary investigation mode: rather like Sherlock Holmes, who said it’s a capital error to theorise in the absence of data. So, I just improvised.

I’m very unused to studying snowprints, as we don’t get much snow in Devon. Mud, yes. There’s plenty of that in Devon. But mud’s quite a different medium, as sloppy mud doesn’t retain imprint countours and firmer mud doesn’t compact nearly so readily as snow.

Anyhow, the tracks presented a markedly in-line appearance, ie there was no discernable left-right-left-right pattern straddling an imaginary centre line.

I inferred direction of travel from the fact that one end of each track was clearly defined, whereas the other end was blurred. Forward motion of a human in the snow usually shows a well-defined heel print and a scuffed toe impression, so I decided to allow myself that assumption.

A working assumption, of course.The track ran from the far end of the lawn, across the almost-pristine snowy surface (just a few bird prints showed), and petered out at the paved area adjecent to the house, where the snow had already melted.

Another linear string of tracks headed back out from the patio area, across the other side of the lawn.So, with my back to the house, and facing south across the lawn, the inbound track (on my right) approached from the SSW (ie, south-west, but more south than west: a bearing of around 190º, I’d say).

On the other side of the patio (my left), the tracks resumed in an arc roughly SSE (bearing 170º) back towards the end of the lawn area. The patio distance between the arrival point and departure point was roughly 20 ft.Each print was roughly horseshoe-shaped, as if made by a cloven hoof – or two elongated feet close together, that move in unison.

A U-shape describes the track quite well; V-shaped equally so. Something inbetween, really. Devil’s Footprints? Well, the area at the dead centre of each overall shape showed no discernable impaction in the snow.

The snow was around 2cm (almost one inch) deep, and a cloven foot would have to have an unusually deep cleft to leave that portion of the snow untouched. However, the sun was already destroying the early-morning evidence, and it was difficult to be sure.

After taking a few pictures, I suddenly had the bright idea of following the prints. Remember, this was 10am in the village of the CFZ, and I’d only had one coffee so far, so I wasn’t firing on all cylinders yet.

I found the garden had a well-defined boundary fencing – nothing that would thwart an intact deer, but definitely one that would make a one-legged deer scratch its head… assuming it had any spare limbs with which to do that, of course…

Following what I felt were the departing tracks, I found they fizzled out at the boundary hedge: snow had fallen on the hedge itself, but none had fallen – or at least none remained – under­ the hedge. So that trail had run cold. As a second-best, I then back-tracked the prints approaching the house, and found they fizzled out in exactly the same manner.

However, the snow on each hedge and its associated shrubbery showed no significant disturbance, so I concluded nothing had barged through the foliage since the snowfall.

Inference: something had passed under the hedge? Something pretty small? A Mad March Hare, maybe?

Well, yes - possibly: on considering the matter later on, I decided the entity had not jumped the hedge. There was no snow-scatter (or deeper impression in the lawn itself) that one would expect if something had jumped a barrier several feet high and then landed on the other side.

Not that I had ever thought this was seriously the case, but one has to cover all bases – remember, I had set myself the task of gathering data, rather than jumping to conclusions.

Since the snow in the vicinity of the hedge was shaded from the rising sun, there had been little melting, and thus tracks were well-preserved.

However, since the snow in Woolsery mainly had arrived on a south-westerly track, approaching the garden from its (roughly) southern aspect, the areas most shielded from the sun had earlier also been well-shielded from the snow!

So tracks were better-preserved there, but also less pronounced, since there was less snow to do the preserving in the first place.

If the snow had been borne on a northerly wind, then ingress and egress evidence might have been a lot more conspicuous.

Still, there you go: we don’t always get what we wish for, in life, do we?

Observing a crime scene and not jumping to conclusions has been drummed into me by watching many Forensic Detectives shows on Discovery. But I couldn’t help but feel that this was probably tracks of a rabbit or hare. Something that hops with its feet together, anyway.

The alternatives – that either a one-legged deer was exploring people’s gardens, or that Woolsery had received its first cloven-hoofed emissary from the Devil – these were both too much to contemplate before my second coffee of the morning!

Friday's Anomalies

Meanwhile, over at The Anomalist...

History Channel in Garo Hills for 'Monster Quest' Merinews. The popular television show was recently in the Garo Hills of India searching for evidence of the "Mande Burung", India's answer to the North American Sasquatch or Bigfoot. Accompanied by primatologist Esteban Sarmiento, the team collected bone and hair samples, and was given "a blood sample for DNA testing and identifications." There's a sample of blood from the elusive, hairy Mande Burung? Meanwhile, at Cryptomundo, Loren Coleman reveals MonsterQuest Impacts Pop Culture, offers images in Striped Cryptid Sighted and echoes Juvenal's "Who watches the watchmen?" while reviewing Watchmen.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Sanderson & BIgfoot: Free!

Wanna free copy of Ivan T. Sanderson's Abominable Snowmen: Legend Come to Life? Now you can!

The Snow-Beast

Well, last night a sizeable fall of snow hit the little English village of Woolsery where CFZ Director Jon Downes and his distinctly better-half, Corinna, make their home. And, as it appears from this breaking story, something has been prowling around the area...

Here's the link....

And, of course, click on the You Tube video above (where you can see CFZ stalwart Graham Inglis hot on the trail) for more on this modern-day equilavent of the strange tale of the Devil's Footprints.

Wolverine UK?

Is a wolverine prowling around the English county of Kent? Check out Neil Arnold's excellent new article for a real detective-story and some interesting photos...

Beasts in the News...

Once again, The Anomalist is on the crypto-trail: Big Cat Sighting in North Norfolk Great Yarmouth Mercury. A sighting of a big cat in a field in front of the Muckleburgh Collection Museum in Weybourne, England, last summer finally makes its way to the news. Did Andy Blake spot a cougar, or was it some other big cat that leaped over two four-foot-high hedges? Meanwhile, definitions come to the forefront at Cryptomundo where Loren Coleman asks Ethnoknown Means What?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

What Would Lincoln Do???

This is somewhat off-topic, but David Acord (whose weekly newsletter, The Cryptid Chronicles, I definitely recommend!) has a new book out titled What Would Lincoln Do?

Here's the background on what looks like an interesting, fun book:

In time for Lincoln's 200th birthday, an incredible etiquette and business guide based on Lincoln's actual strategies.

Lincoln is loved and adored to this day for his leadership, cleverness, and ability to find the best in any situation - skills he used to bring the country through its most difficult time in history.

How much easier would it be to tackle everyday problems if you had Lincoln advising you?

What Would Lincoln Do? is a fun and insightful guide to common problems people face and how the Great Emanicaptor would tackle them. Using actual tactics Lincoln recorded in his letters and speeches, readers will learn how to:

Deal with unpleasant coworkers
Give advice to a close friend without hurting his feelings
Say no to a relative's request for a loan
Respond to unfair rumors and accusations at the office

What Would Lincoln Do? is a must-have guide for Lincoln fans and anyone wishing to benefit from the advice from one of history's top leaders.

David Acord has been a professional journalist and editor for more than ten years. He is currently editor-in-chief of a business publishing company in Washington, D.C. He has been a Lincoln buff for most of his adult life, and lives in Arlington, VA.

Monster Posts

As is usually the case when - as with yesterday - I'm not around for a day or so, there's usually a backlog of things to report and catch up on. So, here goes:

1. From The Anomalist: Dog Dreaming: Unmasking the Hounds of Morpheus ShukerNature. Dr. Karl Shuker expounds on a curious kind of dream, the kind that features a dog. Many people have these dreams, some frightening and some of a gentle nature as benotes mankind's most common relationship with "man's best friend." Key quote: "Paying close attention to the activities of a dream dog provides important clues to the nature of the message conveyed by its visitation, at least according to the lore of dream divining." Meanwhile, at Cryptomundo, there's a nearly hour-and-a-half-long video of Eugenie Scott, Executive Director of the National Center for Science Education and President of the Board of Directors of the Bay Area Skeptics unloading her mind about the Bigfoot phenomenon in Wild Woman of the Forest.

Note from Nick: Karl's is a particularly good and fascinating article - check it out!

2. And also at The Anomalist:
Reports: Large, Hairy Two-legged Animal Seen The Hawkeye. In Jefferson County, IA, a few callers to Jefferson County Conservation have reported something is afoot...and it's big, hairy and walks upright. So far, Jefferson County officials are not saying Bigfoot has been spotted along the Skunk River valley, and they don't appear to want anyone else to say so either. Is there a Bigfoot presence near Fairfield, IA? Elsewhere, Regan Lee, in her "Trickster's Realm" at Binnall of America, considers one of the questions of our time in Sasquatch: The No Kill Philosophy. Meanwhile, something much cuter has been spotted, as a Pink Dolphin Appears in US Lake.
The Patterson-Gimlin Film: An Analysis Anomaly Magazine. With a minor in physical anthropology, including primatology and human evolution, it appears Noah David Henson has the academic stature to comment on the famous 1967 Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot film. And Henson does just that, emphasizing his analysis is a skeptical one. So, what does Henson deduce after careful consideration of the most famous Bigfoot film in history? With video. The Cryptid Chronicles Free Issue TCC. The recent establishment of a new weekly newsletter dedicated to those creatures usually referred to as cryptids generated a lot of interest. Now the publication, assembled by David Acord, Editor, who has over a dozen years of reporting and editing experience, has a free, downloadable copy of its latest issue available in PDF format. This issue has articles on the mysterious "gowrow" of the Ozarks, the Bladenboro Beast, the ongoing Hairy Hominid Name project and more. As we said, this copy is a free download, but the weekly publication is usually available only by subscription. Meanwhile, at Cryptomundo, a new foray into the wilds of Africa gets underway for MonsterQuest as Mokele-Mbembe Expedition II Departs. Will Dr. Bill Gibbons be able to lead the television crew to proof of a giant sauropod in the Congo?

3. Over at the main CFZ blog you can find some cool new posts, including: (A) Oll Lewis on the Gwiber; and (B) 600 snakes and a very big fish.

4. Raven on Ghillie-Suits Vs. Bigfoot;

5. Regan Lee has a new Bigfoot-post over at Binnall of America, in which she says: "Within the Bigfoot phenomena, there are several controversial topics. I'd say the three most controversial include the debates over 'giant ape' vs. something else, paranormal/inter-dimensional vs. strictly flesh and blood, and the kill/no kill view. I'm not that interested in the first of the three; it is what it is in that regard. And if Sasquatch is a paranormal/inter-dimensional entity, (which I believe it is) the other stuff is moot. But one thing I'm absolutely positive about is the kill/no kill debate. Regardless of what Bigfoot is, I support, without hesitation, a 'no kill' stance." And here's the rest of Regan's post.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Memoirs Of the Easy-To-Read-Kind...

For those who may be interested - or whose eyesight is no longer what it was - a new large-print, easy-to-read edition of my book, Memoirs of a Monster Hunter has just been published. Here's the details.

A Pink Dolphin????

Yep, really, it's true!!!

On the Trail...

...of Mokele Mbembe.

The Latest "On the Track"...

Good news: the new edition of the CFZ's monthly-magazine On the Track has just been posted to YouTube:

The CFZ Wants You...


From Today's Anomalist...

Sir David Attenborough and the Yeti and Jonathan Ross CFI. Gordon Rutter breaks down the comments made by world famous naturalist Sir David Attenborough on the British television show Friday Night With Jonathan Ross. Exactly what did Sir David say when Ross asked where he (Attenborough) stands on the issue of cryptid creatures? In other cryptid news, Loren Coleman is on the road as he reports his upcoming interview, scheduled for later today, in O'Grady Today. Meanwhile, at Cryptomundo, there's guest commentary about a creature reported from one of Japan's Ryuku Islands, as Brent Swancer writes about the Kenmun.

Remember to check out The Anomalist every day - they are at the absolte forefront of providing data of the cryptozoological and Fortean kind!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Moonshadow Investigations

Check out the new website of Raven, the Center for Fortean Zoology's representative for the state of Michigan. Titled Moonshadow Investigations, it can be found right here.