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.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

WHITE THINGS - ZACHARY MANN ON THE TRAIL

White Things
          Deep in the woods of the America something truly bizarre, truly scary and truly all American is stalking around. For having looked all over the world, I can say that I, personally, have not yet come across anything quite like the beasts known collectively as White Things.
          These creatures are seen in many different states in America, but usually the South. The two states with the longest and most detailed list of sightings I have found while researching this and reading books published on this subject are West Virginia (the state with the most sightings and lore) and Alabama (the state with the second most sightings and lore).  However, detailed sightings of what appear to be the same kind of creatures are reported from all over the South; Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Texas, and Georgia. There have also been a few very detailed sightings from more Northern states like; Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York.  I’ve even found a couple of really similar cases from Nova Scotia in Canada.
          When trying to rationalize these creatures, most researchers want to label them as albino Bigfoots and be done with it. I think the reason for that is that it is a simple explanation, but if you really look at it a (I believe) much too  simplified explanation. Sure, if Bigfoot is a valid species it is very possible that you will get every so often an albino individual as you every so often get albino humans, squirrels, alligators, snakes (which are very popular in the exotic pet trade) and so forth. An albino alligator has been one of the prize specimens at a local aquarium for years now. But there are two big flaws in this line of thought.


 One is that albinism, is very rare. Yes, there are not nearly as much of these kind of reports of these creatures as the ‘normal’ colored Bigfoots, but they are far more common than you might think. And they are stretched out all over the country and across the decades, some reports going back more than 150 years. In order to explain every sighting as an albino Bigfoot you would need a breeding population of them and albinos don’t pass on their genetic makeup as easily as normal phase colors of any species. This is one of the reasons I have trouble accepting that black or melanistic phased Mountain Lions are responsible for all these “Big Black Cat” sightings we have here every year across America.
          Second is because people are justifying it with the fact that these creatures are large hairy and sometimes stand bipedally. But therein lies the rub, Sometimes Standing! They tend to latch onto this and make their case from here, but that is completely ignoring the rest of the descriptions given by most of the witnesses, because the majority of the other physical characteristics people have also attributed to them are far different from any ‘typical’ Bigfoot. In order to give you an idea what I’m talking about, I’ll now discuss the typical description of these phantom creatures.
          First they have long shaggy white or dirty whitish fur covering most of their bodies. They (and here is the first big difference form normal Bigfoot-like creatures) normally wake around on all Four Legs as opposed to two. They can in fact stand and take a few steps momentarily on two legs, but always go down on four legs to cover great distances or to move very fast. Witnesses say they have long sharp claws on their front feet and, strange as it may seem, the few eyewitnesses who see them walking for an extended period of time say they don’t walk flat footed like a bear would. They walk with these huge claws curled up, as if trying to keep them from breaking. Their mode of locomotion seems to be more resembling of an anteater than anything else.
          Third, they are reported to have a very long tail. Sometimes it is skinny, sometimes it is bulky, but it is always hairless and pink skinned. Again not a common Bigfoot like trait at all. They are reported to be about four to five feet when walking on two legs and are double that when they stand erect. The face is reported to be dog-like, or bear-like, or even monkey-like, but never human-like which is how so many people who get a good look at Bigfoot’s face report it to look like.
           The sound they make is also different. The way the sound has been described over the decades and across the country has always been almost exactly the same. And most people describe it as something like a women being beaten or savaged. Also these creatures are reported to act much more violently towards people than typical Bigfoot. Yes, there are a few well documented acts of Bigfoot aggression, but with these things aggression seems to be the norm and not the exception.


          There is also a lot of superstition placed around these creatures, frankly, this is true of most crypids. Not just in their behavior, but in some strange physical details too. A lot of times they are reported being seen around old graveyards. This has led some who specialize in the paranormal to conclude that they are either attracted to grave yards or repelled by them. Because they often act aggressively toward humans when the two cross paths, for no reason mostly, a superstition has developed in which it is bad luck to see one or if you do to talk about your experience publicly.
          Some stories state that the creature is bullet proof. At first I thought this was pure superstition, until I came across a very well detailed and documented story about a group of hunters in West Virginia who were attacked by a White Thing while out hunting. Several members of the party claimed to have put several shots into it and at close range too, but it seemed completely unharmed by their bullets. This might be an elaborate hoax, but it is certainly an interesting story to say the least.
          Occasionally you get a report of an encounter with these White Things that have extra body parts on them, like two sets of eyes, sometimes two extra legs, sometimes four making a grand total of eight legs. One sighting of just such a creature involved a young teenage couple in the sixties in West Virginia. They were out on a picnic, near an old cemetery mind you, when out the woods a creature matching all typical character descriptions of the White Thing, but with a set of extra legs sticking out around its sides, came charging out at them. It passed right by them. The whole ordeal was so scary for the young man that he wet his pants with fright. The date was over soon after that. 


          Again when I first started out looking into this mystery, I was very skeptical of such unusual features. But as I continued to research and started to gather an idea of what we might be dealing with, I found that even these things could hold a physical real world truth to them.
          So as it stands I think we cans safely rule out albino Bigfoot as the culprit behind most of these cases. There are a few I will admit that could be albino Bigfoots (assuming they do in fact exist) but the vast majority could not be. So what is going on here? Hoaxes and tall tales? Perhaps, but I’ve come up with another idea one I admit might seem strange at first, but one that I will try explore and rationalize with a far look at the sightings, evidence, and (maybe) a little bit of wishful thinking. So what do I think  the identity of the mysterious White Things could be? Well you’ll have to read my next post and find out.





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