At the beginning of the 21st Century monsters still roam the remote, and sometimes not so remote, corners of our planet. It is our job to search for them. The Centre for Fortean Zoology [CFZ] is - we believe - the largest professional, scientific and full-time organisation in the world dedicated to cryptozoology - the study of unknown animals. Since 1992 the CFZ has carried out an unparalleled programme of research and investigation all over the world. Since 2009 we have been running the increasingly popular CFZ Blog Network, and although there has been an American branch of the CFZ for over ten years now, it is only now that it has a dedicated blog.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

WABASH VALLEY AND A STRANGE DENIZEN

Wabash Valley, which straddles Illinois and Indiana, was the scene of an encounter with a bizarre creature, as chronicled by Dr Karl Shuker, the eminent cryptozoologist, in his Casebook (pp. 63-4).  Henry McDaniel's suspicions were aroused when he heard scratching at his front door, but he was unprepared for the sight that greeted him when he opened it.  The creature outside appeared to have three legs and a gray body.  Moreover, its head seemed to be too big.  This occurred in 1972.  The creature made off, but Henry was to see it again some days later, standing on a railway line.

Before we conclude that here was some unheard of creature from some other dimension, let us try to imagine this carefully and see if it corresponds to anything familiar.

I think it was a Gray Kangaroo.  The tail of the kangaroo would have been the third leg.  It would have looked particularly like a leg if the kangaroo had been leaning back on it.  But what would a kangaroo have been doing in Wabash Valley?

Strange as it may seem, there have been a number of reports of "phantom kangaroos" in the United States over the years.  They have not been congregating in large numbers, but they have certainly been reported.  An early specimen surfaced at New Richmond (Wisconsin) in 1899.  In 1900 a "kangaroo man" was seen in the Sixes River area of Oregon.  The description sounds like that of a fairly ordinary kangaroo.  There have been many more.

It is fairly unthinkable that the United States boasts its own species of kangaroo.  However, it is not absolutely impossible, as the Americas harbor other species of marsupial.  But, owing to the fact that such sightings seem isolated, one wonders if a breeding pair was once let loose in the wilderness and they produced offspring.
Perhaps this is where they came from.

A kangaroo reported from Oklahoma in 2013 may have a simple explanation.  A pet kangaroo had escaped about a year before.   

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