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.

Friday 31 January 2014


Speaking of out of place felids, Ammelin Haddad, resident of Santiago, Chile, was making breakfast when she noticed she was not alone.  Present in the kitchen also was a puma.  I don't know the statistics for wild pumas in Chile, but one in the kitchen is certainly out of place.  Mrs Haddad did not remain in the kitchen, which the puma proceeded to wreck and it took several tranquiliser darts to end its career of destruction.

The more we destroy the habitat of animals, the likelier we are to find them on our doorstep.


A claim is being made that Bigfoot is to be found in Potter County, Pennsylvania.  Researchers Sandy Cramer and Justin Prouty have reported seeing a light gray Bigfoot, to which they have given the name Pops, on a number of occasions, once when it was only 30' away. 


It may interest readers to know that Rick Dyer is claiming that he has two Bigfoot bodies.


White Things Part 2
          Over the course of three August days in the close-nit Amish community of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, a strange beast unlike anything they were use to seeing emerged to ‘terrorize’ the humble farmers.
On a warm August day two brothers where driving a team of horses with their cargo of freshly cut hay, when up ahead on the dirt road a strange creature emerged in front of them. The appearance of this beast frightened the horses so badly they broke free from their harnesses and started running wildly away from the creature. Eventually all the horses where recovered. The next day about five miles away, a farmer was out pulling weeds in his yard when he heard a tremendous roar behind him. He turned to see a huge beast on all fours charging at him. He raised his scythe in defense, but the creature rose to its hind feet and knocked it out of his hands with a swipe from its massive clawed hands. The farmer wasted no time in fleeing.
The following day on a farm midway between the first two incidents, a woman out feeding her poultry heard a commotion coming from the other hen house. She was horrified to see a huge shaggy creature trying to make off with two geese. Armed with nothing this brave women actually charged at the beast waving her apron at it in an attempt to scare it off. The beast then threw one of the geese at her knocking her over before turning and leaving with the other goose still honking and crying. Neither animal was ever seen again. All the witnesses described a beast the size of a large heifer (a cow that has not borne a calf), walking on all fours yet able to briefly stand on two feet, with grayish white shaggy fur, a long tail, grizzly bear like claws and very sharp teeth. Often these stories get lumped into cases of Bigfoot sightings in several books, but as you can see from their descriptions, these bear almost no resemblance to how Bigfoot has been portrayed so consistently over the years.
So last time we talked about the creatures collectively known as “White Things”. This time we will talk about what they might be. As previously stated many try and label them as an albino Bigfoot. See my previous post as to why that is almost certainly not the case.
I was talking to a friend recently about them and suggested misidentification of a bear. A couple things might lend themselves to this idea. First of all, they primarily walk on four legs, but can stand on two. The face is sometimes described as bearlike and bears come in white. Not just Polar bears (Ursus maritimus), but also on occasions albino bears. Heck even black bears can come in a very light almost blonde color. Further proof you can’t judge by an animal by its common name.  However, most of the characteristics like the long tail, multiple body parts and over all fear of the creatures is not what you would expect in bears. After all, in all these places bears are fairly common, but the natives insist it is something different.   The same arguments against an albino Bigfoot apply here as well.
So what could they be if real? As unlikely as it may seem at first, I believe an angle worth serious consideration, is that they might (brace yourself for it) represent a population of surviving Ground Sloths.
That’s right, Ground Sloths.  Ground Sloths is a term used to cover the various species and families of large sloths that first evolved in South America over 35 million years ago, though the most familiar to most people will be the truly giant sloths of the Pleistocene era, like Megatherium, an elephant sized Ground Sloth. They became quite biodiverse in their native South America and, when the North American and South American Continents collided several million years ago, Ground Sloths were some of the few families of animals that successfully migrated northward and established a solid range.  Then at the end of the Pleistocene all the many different families and forms of Ground Sloths supposedly went extinct. Officially today the only sloths are the much smaller tree dwelling species.
Unofficially, Ground Sloths have remained a huge point of interest from many in the Cryptozoological world for some time. Most of the focus has been put on the idea that surviving Ground Sloths might be an explanation for the mysterious Brazilian Cryptid, the Mapinguari (more on them later).  I will say that I have always thought of this as the most logical explanation for this and many other South American sloth like monsters. A whole other blog entry (or even a book) could be written on them, but let’s save that for another day and try to stay on the topic of such creatures here in the USA

First, Ground Sloths did roam the forests of North America just 11,000 years ago. No time at all, geologically speaking. The habitat in most places, save for the few degrees in temperature difference, is actually the same as it was then. In fact the Appalachian Mountains, where most of these White Thing stories and sightings come from, is an ecological pocket, meaning that it is very resistant to change from time period to time period. Also speaking of the Appalachians, if you take a map of this mountain range and plot out the general areas where so many of these sightings take place, you’ll notice that the highest concentrations happen along a ridge line that goes from Pennsylvania, down through West Virginia (where most of the sightings take place) and down into Georgia.
Second, many of the ‘normal’ physical characteristics match up well with what we know about Ground Sloths. The claws, the overall body design, the face being monkey or bear-like and the tail are all hallmarks of the Ground Sloths. Even the way witnesses describe them walking is how paleontologists have always depicted Ground Sloths  walking, with their claws curled up in order to keep them from breaking. We also know that these sloths traveled on all fours, but were able to stand on their two back legs for a moment and even take a few steps. This is something that bears display today.

While staying on the subject of the claws, I have read that a number of local investigators, mostly from West Virginia,  have while investigating claims of these creatures have found large disturbances in the soil.  They have said they are like something was digging around in the ground using very large ‘tools’. This could be this creature using its claws to dig in the dirt. What they are after is anybody’s guess, though some ‘normal’ sloths today will occasionally consume small lizards, carrion, and grubs (a fact not many people know about).  The main reason these sloths had such large claws was for pulling down branches for food. However, marks in trees and in soil deposits have suggested that Ground Sloths used their claws for a few other more specialized reasons.
It may even be a good explanation for the sounds they are supposed to make. If you offered people a million dollars to do an accurate replica of a sloth cry most people would walk away with empty pockets and broken dreams. That’s because everybody knows that sloths are “lazy”, but most people don’t know what kinds of vocalizations sloths make. They make a screaming kind of whine. It’s a truly frightening kind of sound that you would certainly not expect such a cute little animal make. Now raise the volume and amplify it and you would have a sound just like what the White Things are supposed to sound like.
Even the aggressive nature of these creatures may have a root in sloths. Again the common notion is that the sloth is a slow and sleepy animal  and, while that is true to a certain extent, you would be surprised just how aggressive these little beasts can be especially when humans get too close.
Another really interesting thing I noticed when looking at the sloth theory was just how similar these White Things are  both physically and behaviorally to the sloth-like beasts of South America, specifically the Mapinguari. In fact a 2011 eyewitness in Georgia claimed to have seen a strange beast while out working in the woods on property he was land surveying. When he got home he looked on the internet and the thing he said it most similar resembled was images of Ground Sloth on a website using them as a stand in for the Mapinguari.
Yes, the irony of trying to rationalize one unknown with another is not lost on me, but I think it is a very interesting thing to look at. If you were to write down all the physical and behavioral traits of these two beasts, like I did, you would be surprised just how much they are similar. They both walk on four feet, but can stand and move a bit on two, they both have long claws, they both seem to be very aggressive towards people (for whatever reasons), they both stink (something I foolishly forgot to mention about White Things in my last post), they both admit a horrific shrieking cry and both seem to be impervious to bullets.
That’s another angle we have yet to explore, how a creature could really be immune to bullets. Well a number of well-preserved Ground Sloth skins revealed that some human sized species of Ground Sloths, like Mylodon, developed these studs of calcium under their fur. The theory is that they were used to protect themselves against the teeth and claws of large Ice Age predators. So far only these medium sized Ground Sloths have been discovered with these studs, but isn’t interesting that both the White Things and the Mapinguari are the same size as these prehistoric sloths? Hum?
There is still yet another angle to go over when it comes to White Things that at first seemed to defy a real world explanation, how do you account for the sightings and stories of these beasts sporting an extra set of eyes or extra feet? Surely the sloth theory can’t explain that, right? Wrong. As anyone who knows anything about sloths will tell you, mother sloths carry their young on their backs when moving. And it is widely accepted in the paleontological world that Ground Sloths did the same. So maybe when these individuals had their encounters they were actually seeing not one creature, but two, a mother and her baby. If the baby was holding on tightly to mamma then the only really distinguishable bits would be extra feet hanging off the sides and maybe seeing the baby’s face if you were looking at it head on. That would account for the extra eyes. They aren’t part of one animal, but two.
So Ground Sloths in America? It isn’t as farfetched as it might seem at first. In fact one very interesting piece of evidence for the idea of Ground Sloths in America was written about by the legendary paranormal/Cryptid researcher John Keel. John Keel is most famous for being the most prolific chronicler and author on the (in) famous West Virginia Mothman. But he received many different reports about many different subjects for decades. In a time before blogs, chat rooms and YouTube, if you had an unusual sort of story to tell, John was one of the few people you could talk to without fear of ridicule.
 In 1970 he received an anonymous letter written by a 15 year old boy from the small town of Sherman, New York. I looked it up and Sherman is a small town in the southwest corner of New York State, with a population of only 2,000 even today. The letter states that three to four years prior to his writing it, so mid-sixties, he and his family had started to regularly see some huge creatures in the swamps and woods around their farm and they have been seeing them ever since. The boy claims that not only had he and every member of his family seen them, but two other men who worked on the farm had seen them as well. The creatures where usually seen separately, but on more than one occasion two beasts were seen at the same time. In fact one night one of these beasts went so far as to come up into their yard right by their house!
The creatures always looked the same. He described them as having long shaggy fur, the fur was dirty white in color, normally walking on four legs but could walk about on two feet, between 6-8 feet when talking on all fours and double that when standing. They also admitted a terrifying noise like a screaming roar (they never saw they creatures make this noise, but with strange beasts sighted and strange noise heard they put two and two together). He even writes in his letter that they could have “doubled for a prehistoric Sloth.”
This is a very interesting report. Now let’s start by saying that whenever you deal with reported sightings of Cryptids, you must use caution, but when dealing with anonymous reports, you must be extra cautious. Since you have nobody to directly talk to or be able to conduct follow up inquires, it can be hard to gauge any truthfulness out of the report. But I will say that it is very interesting that, one, the boy specifically linked the creatures to “those prehistoric Sloths” in his letter and, two, that so much of his descriptions are exactly like the White Things being reported elsewhere in the South and  this at a time before the Internet or even when these kind of reports were being published in any kind of major or national books on strange phenomena. A hoax? Possibly, there don’t seem to be any more significant reports of such beasts from the area, but you never know. Maybe no one else is taking the time to seriously look.
I know it is hard to try and imagine several different kinds of truly spectacular creatures at large. Many people have trouble believing in one such kind of creature and you want them to believe there are many different, and wholly unrelated kinds of creature at large. I understand it can be a bit overwhelming. But to try and lump dozens of very consistent reports over decades, some stretching back over a century, into a category that really doesn’t fit them at all is just as wrong. If we start trying to pigeon- hole all reports into one set type, we could start to overlook thing truly novel, truly unique. Are these beasts Ground Sloths? Are they real at all? Only time will tell. But if you are ever hiking the Appalachian Trail keep both of your eyes peeled. One for Bigfoot the other for (possibly) something else entirely.  


On This Day in Weird, January 31...

1696: Undertakers in Amsterdam rebel against new funeral regulations.

1921: The five-masted schooner Carroll A. Deering runs aground, abandoned, at Diamond Shoals, near Cape Hatteras, N.C.

1921: Actor John Agar—known for roles in The Rocket Man, Revenge of the Creature, Tarantula, The Mole People, Daughter of Dr. Jekyll, The Brain from Planet Arous, Attack of the Puppet People, Invisible Invaders, Journey to the Seventh Planet, Hand of Death, Women of the Prehistoric Planet, Zontar: The Thing from Venus, Night Fright. King Kong (1976), and The Naked Monster, is born in Chicago.

1927: Paranormal investigator Lorraine Rita Warren (née Moran) is born in Bridgeport, Conn.

1930: The Danish research vessel Dana nets a larval eel 6 feet 1½ inches long, south of the Cape of Good Hope. The catch fuels speculation of giant eel species at large, since larval European eels (Anguilla anguilla) grow from three inches to four feet or more in adulthood.

1977: A schoolboy reports seeing the sea serpent "Morgawr" near Durgan in Cornwall.

Thursday 30 January 2014


On This Day in Weird, January 30...

1911: Ivan Terence Sanderson, credited by some with coining the term "cryptozoology," is born in Edinburgh, Scotland.

1921: Despite a lack of victims' remains, a French court convicts "Bluebeard" serial killer Henri-Desire Landru of murder, sentencing him to death.

1948: The Avro Tudor Star Tiger airliner vanishes with 25 passengers and six crew aboard, en route from the Azores to Bermuda, fueling legends of the "Bermuda Triangle."

1962: The Tanganyika "laughter epidemic" begins at a mission-run boarding school for girls in Kashasha.

1982: A trawler nets a female giant squid at 600 meters, off New South Wales, Australia (33°44′S 153°00′E). Its mantle measures 16½ inches. No other measurements are recorded.

2010: Ed Ragozzino, producer of the 1977 film Sasquatch, the Legend of Bigfoot, dies at age 79 in a Eugene, Oregon, medical center.

2013: Bigfoot historical researcher and archivist Scott McClean dies from cancer in Southern California.

Wednesday 29 January 2014


The town of Two Egg (Florida) back in 2011 was experiencing evidence of what was described as a mini-bigfoot, given the name of the Two Egg Stump Jumper.  Footprints were found and a sighting reported it was about 5' tall and bipedal.  This is short for your average bigfoot.  Could it have been a young one?

Two years passed and the Jumper wasn't heard from again, but it seems to have returned in 2013.  From May of last year, growling roars were heard.

The main scene of the creature's activity seems to have been the swamps around Parramore Landing Park.  There historian Dale Cox with others underwent the sensation of being followed.  Then they heard a growling roar.  Strange sounds were also reported.  Then came testimony from an eyewitness (name unknown) who saw it from her car.  She said it was short, hairy and greyish.

Maybe it came to the town hoping to find an omelette.

Town signpost for Two-Egg


The albino dolphin captured in a Japanese hunt, is safe for the moment, but will it survive in captivity?

now read on....


Yes, I'm still looking at weird creatures in Louisiana.  Probably one of the most frightening is Letiche.  There's only one of him and that's enough to be going around.

According to legend, Letiche is to be found in bayous which are untenanted by humans.  He was a human to start with, but he was abandoned as a baby.  He was raised by alligators, whose maternal side seems to have been strong at the time.  However, he started to grow alligator parts.  He is covered in scales and has grown claws.  His digits are webbed.  You can hardly make out his face, as it is covered with swamp matter.  However, you can make out his eyes well enough, as they are green and they glow in the night.  His fangs would send shivers down your spine.  

Letiche hates humans.  He kills and eats them and, indeed, he generously shares his provender with other swamp creatures.  However, he keeps human hearts and brains for himself.

One has to ask if this is some kind of ultraterrestrial or perhaps it's just a mythical booger.  It seems unlikely we shall reach a firm conclusion in the matter.


On This Day in Weird, January 29...

1979: 16-year-old Brenda Spencer shoots 10 victims, killing two, at Cleveland Elementary School in San Diego, Calif. Her explanation to police inspires the Boomtown Rats song "I Don't Like Mondays"

1986: A trawler nets a giant squid 9 feet 8 inches long off the coast of Aberdeen, Scotland.

Tuesday 28 January 2014


In Louisiana, amongst Cajuns and Creoles, belief in the Rougarou (there are various spellings) was widespread.  The word is a corruption of French loup-garou (werewolf), but, in the case of the rougarou, it can be other creatures as well.  It likes to suck blood.  Some say you will find it only in field and forest.  Some say rougarous ride to balls on the backs of bats.

To show the variety of forms it can take, a woman attacked by a ferocious chicken claims it was a rougarou.

J. Verret claimed a rougarou in the form of a dog chased his uncle and cousin.  Then the dog changed into a man and chased them no more.

It was said rougarous captured children to use as fish bait.

A Rougarou Fest, which celebrates Louisiana folklore, is to be held on October 25th, 2014.

This is one of the more fascinating creatures of American folklore.  We would be delighted to hear from people who know of similar creatures in other parts of the country.

A ferocious chicken.


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.


On This Day in Weird, January 28...

1754: Horace Walpole coins the word "serendipity" in a letter to Horace Mann.

1829: William Burke, serial murderer and body snatcher, hangs in Edinburgh.

1978: Rocker and future Tea Party lunatic Ted Nugent autographs a fan's arm with his knife.

2011: Twin sisters Alessia and Livia Schepp leave their mother's home in Lausanne, Switzerland, for a scheduled weekend visit with their father. Police find Mathias Kaspar Schepp dead, apparently from suicide, on January 30. The girls remain missing, their fate unknown.

Monday 27 January 2014


If you come from Grand Isle (Louisiana), I understand there is a legend of a were-pig in the vicinity.  Any further information would be most welcome.


There's a statue of our good friend Bigfoot at Silver Lake (Washington); but, traveling further south, I came on an interesting report from Alabama at the Gulf Coast Bigfoot Research Organization in 2013.  Apparently, the observer was shooting from a stand when he saw a figure 8'-10' tall shaking trees.  The figure was apparently somewhat in shadow, but he could make out its hands, each shaking a different tree.  When he fired a shot it left, not with undue haste or concern.

The website which provided this story is well worth a look for its valuable databases.  Its address is


I have always found the subject of Mermaids interesting, as there are so many apparently authentic records of sighting that seem to rule out dugongs, manatees and seals.  The website linked to below gives an account of a veritable mythology of mermaids supposedly to be found in South read on.....

[For some strange reason, the link does not lead directly to the site, but to the Yahoo page which links you to the site].

Sunday 26 January 2014


On This Day in Weird, January 27...

1963: A resident of Cold Springs, Calif., phoned sheriff's deputies to report a Bigfoot sighting. Officers responding to the call heard "horrible screams" in the nearby woods, but saw nothing.

1999: A trawler in New Zealand waters (44°20.5′S 177°08.8′W), nets a giant squid at a depth of 504 meters.

2000: Another fishing crew off New Zealand (44°21.19'S 175°05'–174°34'E) hauls up a giant squid 21 feet 2 inches long, from a depth of 615 meters, later claiming that it "lost seven feet of its length through drying out."


On This Day in Weird, January 26...

66: Fifth recorded perihelion passage of Halley's Comet.

1920: Paranormal researcher and author Hans Holzer, best known for his "Amityville Horror" investigation, born in Vienna, Austria.

1973: Three members of the McGregor family watch a white-haired Sasquatch 8.5 feet tall cross a yard and pass through an unfinished house at Island Lake, Minn.

1974: Several witnesses claim a Bigfoot sighting at Aurora, Ill.

1975: Two truckers report Bigfoot walking along Illinois Highway 149 in Jackson County.

1976: Japanese whalers retrieve a single giant squid tentacle from the stomach of a sperm whale harpooned in the Northwest Pacific, at 36°39′N 141°51′E.

1996: Sarah Spiers, 18, vanishes after leaving a nightclub in downtown Claremont, Western Australia, the presumed first victim of a still-unidentified serial killer.

2004: A beached sperm whale explodes in the harbor at Tainan, Taiwan.

2009: A merchant ship sights the sailboat Lunatic, apparently abandoned, 20 days after its owner—72-year-old Slovenian sailor Jure Šterk—broke radio contact on his latest trip around the world. A research vessel finds the Lunatic adrift on April 30.

2013: French cryptozoologist and Bernard Heuvelmans biographer Jean-Jacques Barloy dies in his sleep at age 74.

Saturday 25 January 2014


Many readers may wonder how to pronounce the name of the Irish cryptid otter-like beast, the dobharchu.  First of all the ch is pronounced as in German Bach.  The bh is pronounced either as b
or w.

The overall pronunciation can therefore be duvarchoo or duwarchoo.


The article below makes me remember that some people are not sure whether you should spell Neanderthal as Neandertal, as both spellings are used in writings on the subject.

The answer, put simply, is that both are correct.  Neanderthal remains were first found in the vicinity of the River Neander.  Neanderthal meant valley of the Neander, thal being then the German for valley.  Since then, the German spelling of thal has become tal.  The change need not affect how you spell the name of the hominid, but it can if you want it to.


In case you haven't heard yet, Nick Redfern's latest opus is now available.  It is over 200 pages long, published by Anomalist Books and costs $14.29.  It is available from


It is currently fashionable to hold that Neanderthal Man was not so different from us physically.  Now a new theory turns this on its head, suggesting that Neanderthals were savage man-eaters.


We're coming to the end of January.  It may interest readers to know that among the Anglo-Saxons, January was called Wolfsmonth.  This was because the cold of that month used to drive wolves into the villages, looking for food.

Actually, the wolf is a rather maligned creature.  Wolves have rarely if ever killed humans.  However, if you should ever find yourself confronted by a wolf, don't run.  Wolves hunt on the run, so its instincts will tell it to pursue you.

In the original tale of Red Riding Hood by Perrault, the Wolf actually ate Red Riding Hood.  There was no friendly woodsman with an ax to save her.  This tale is one of the ones that gives us a picture of the archetypal anthropophagous wolf.

This computer doesn't recognize anthropophagous.  Illiterate computer!

The woodsman who saves Red Riding Hood was probably introduced to make the story more palatable to children.  In some versions he saves Granny too, either by cutting open the Wolf and letting her out or by finding her locked in the cupboard.

In French, Little Red Riding Hood may be feminine, but she is grammatically masculine.  This is because chaperon, a hood, is a masculine noun, so she is called Le Petit Chaperon Rouge.

Watchers of the TV series Once Upon a Time may remember that in that Red Riding Hood is the Wolf and she eats her boyfriend.  Only the red cape stops her turning into a wolf at night.

Friday 24 January 2014


On This Day in Weird, January 25...

1947: "Scarface" Al Capone, killer of hundreds but terrified of needles, dies from neurosyphilis at 48, after release from Alcatraz.

1971: Jurors convict Charles Manson and three female followers of the Tate-Labianca murders in Los Angeles. Nagging mysteries persist.

1988: A trawler nets a giant squid 6 ft. 2 in. long, weighing 330 pounds, at a depth of 495 meters off the Auckland Islands.

2000: Another giant squid is dredged up from 476 meters, off New Zealand.

2005: A stampede at the Mandher Devi temple in Mandhradevi, India, kills at least 258 people.


Gigantic rats have been on the rampage in Tehran.  Apparently, snow melting on the mountains has flooded rat burrows, so the rats have sought safer ground.


The Kellas cat was discovered in Scotland some years ago, when one was caught in a trap.  Basically, it was black in color and is supposed to bee descended from crossbreeding of domestic cats with the Scottish wildcat.

A similar mystery black cat has been reported from North Carolina.  Whether it too is the descendants of domestic cats and some wilder member of the cat family or whether the sightings are just due to misidentification remains to be seen.

These photographs of Duke Forest, North Carolina, were supplied by D.R. Shoop.


The other day I pontificated on the likelihood of the discovery of the thylacine.  Michael Moss of Australia is trying to do just that with hidden cameras.

now read on....


I have just received Issue 51 of Animals and Men, the periodical of the CFZ.  As usual it is filled with goodies.  The best picture is the one of me in the Tunnel of Goats at the Weird Weekened.  It contains reports on the CFZ Expedition to Sumatra, that of the Jackson-Marshall Expedition to Borneo, cryptozoology news, Nick Redfern's missive and articles on avifauna, the Gardar Skull, orang pendek and the Weird Weekend 2013.  There are also relevant letters.
It is now available from at $7.21.


On This Day in Weird, January 24...

A brief one today. On this date in 1948 the Brazilian newspaper Diario de Pernambuco ran the attached photograph, submitted by local bank manager Senhor de Oliveria. According to him, it depicts a sucuriju grande found and killed on a riverbank, then towed out into the river. Before it was dumped, Oliveria allegedly measured it, reporting its length as 131 feet. He estimated that the snake weighed more than five tons.

Thursday 23 January 2014

CFZ Press-Just published.


The above title is now available from at $18.89.


The Orang Utan (Pongo) causes confusion amongst readers of English, many of whom think its name is Orang-Utang.  Actually, in Malay and Indonesian, Orang Utan is the correct form, meaning 'Man of the Woods'.  Orang Utang, on the other hand, means 'Man in Debt'.


I see that Austin Whittall, who runs the valuable site Patagonian Monsters has published some of his findings in book form.  I haven't seen it yet - it hasn't reached this side of the Atlantic - but, if it's as good as his website it should be very useful.  It is available from at $22.46.


The state of Alabama has some interesting legendary creatures, such as the Wolf Woman of Mobile and the Downey Booger.

now read on....


The tale of an Orang Pendek sighting and photograph of footprint.

now read on....


On This Day in Weird, January 23...

1556: History's deadliest earthquake kills 830,000 people in Shensi Province, China.

1944: Actor Rutger Hauer—known for roles in Blade Runner, Ladyhawke, The Hitcher, Bone Daddy, 'Salem's Lot, Dracula III: Legacy, and Dracula 3D—is born in Holland.

1949: Burt Leckington and his wife see a UFO 10-15 feet in diameter over Highway 101, south of Tillamook, Oregon.

1959: Radar tracks a UFO passing over Panama.

1960: The bathyscaphe Trieste reaches the Pacific Ocean's floor in the Challenger Deep, at 35,814 feet.

1961: A giant squid washes ashore at Oi, Hirata-shi, in Japan's Shimane Prefecture. It measures 8.5 feet and weighs 91 pounds.

1965: Motorists traveling on U.S. Highway 6 north of Williamsburg, Va., see a "mushroom-shaped" UFO 75-80 feet tall and 10-25 feet wide, hovering over a roadside field.

1971: Two students parked outside Flagstaff, Ariz., report a 5-foot-tall Sasquatch peering into their car.

1974: An aerial explosion shocks residents of Llandrillo, Wales. Rushing outside, they see blue and orange lights circling over nearby Cader Mountain. Police and RAF personnel soon arrive and cordon off the area, sparking rumors of a UFO crash.

1975: Rookie policeman Rim Dunn sees a "skunk ape" while on patrol in Miramar, Fla.

1975: Witnesses report a UFO over Indianapolis, Ind.

1977: Two hunters fire shots at Bigfoot without result, at Blewett Pass, near Ingalic Creek, Wash.

1980: A workman at the Nevada Test Site (home of Area 51) sees an apelike creature six to seven feet tall cross a desert roadway.

2012: A husband and wife photograph oversized humanoid footprints on their rural property near Albany, Illinois.

Wednesday 22 January 2014


Oxford professor Bryan Sykes, well known to cryptozoologists for his research into the genetics of supposed Yeti hair and Zana the wild woman, has, in his book Adam's Curse, predicted an end of the males of the human race.  He says that, owing to the degeneration of the Y-chromosome, there will be no more men in 120,000 years time.  With scientific intervention, however, he holds that women should be able to reproduce.

This is, of course, if science is still at a stage where it can intervene appropriately in 125,000 years time.  For all we know, some catastrophe might have reduced society to a more primitive level by then.

However, if science has continued to advance, in 125,000 years it might have reached a stage where a simple procedure might restore the degeneration or might make female couples able to reproduce.

One optimistic opinion is that degeneration of the Y-chromosome seems to have slowed down or even stopped since men and chimpanzees diverged.  Certain animals that have lost the Y-chromosome have continued to reproduce.

We don't really know the cause of the degeneration.  It may be something every species ultimately goes through.

If any time travelers from 125,000 years in the future are reading this, they might let us know how things develop.  

The list price of Adam's Curse is $24.99.  Copies are available from Amazon at reduced price at the time of writing.

THIS DAY IN WEIRD by Michael Newton

On This Day in Weird, January 22...

1879: The Battle at Rorke's Drift, Africa's version of the Alamo, disproves the axiom that God favors the largest battalions.

1946: President Harry Truman creates the Central Intelligence Group, predecessor of the CIA. Conspiracies go into permanent overdrive.

1950: Crewmen aboard a Navy patrol plane track two UFOs on radar, near Alaska's Kodiak Naval Air Station. Visual contact reveals "two orange lights rotating about a common center like two jet aircraft making slow rolls in tight formation."

1951: Umpires eject pitcher Fidel Castro from a Winter League game for beaning a batter. He abandons pro ball to liberate Cuba.

1951: Three Air Force pilots observe a UFO while tracking a weather balloon over New Mexico's Holloman Air Force Base.

1952: Ground radar tacks a UFO over Nenana, Alaska. A Navy aircraft chases another object southeast of Mitchell AFB, N.Y.

1953: UFOs appear over Patrick AFB in Florida and Harmon AFB in Newfoundland. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports: "A fireball expert said today Russia may be scouting the United States and other parts of the world with strange new guided missiles. Dr. Lincoln LaPaz said a good many shreds of evidence point to green fireballs sighted throughout the world being a type of missile—possibly of Soviet make."

1956: A Pan American Airways flight engineer reports a large UFO passing his aircraft, over the Gulf of Mexico near New Orleans, La.

1957: New York police arrest "Mad Bomber" George Metesky, in the best (some say the only successful) example of forensic profiling.

1958: CBS TV cuts off UFO researcher Donald Keyhoe in mid-sentence, on "Armstrong Circle Theatre." Public controversy ensues, with CBS admitting deliberate censorship but denying an official hand behind the scenes.

1959: Actress Linda Blair—known for roles in The Exorcist, Hell Night, and Repossessed, and as the host of TV's The World's Scariest Places—is born in St. Louis, Mo.

1961: A witness films a UFO passing over Florida's Eglin AFB.

1962: Ground radar tracks a UFO for 65 minutes, passing over Kirksville, Mo., at 72,000 feet.

1965: Four adults and a child report an afternoon sighting of an egg-shaped UFO descending rapidly over Baltimore, Md.

1967: A witness in Providence, N.C., watches one bright UFO turn into a string of lights that hover and "bob like a cork in water."

1972: Farmers Lyle and Stewart Leppke spot a lighted object in their feedlot, prior to dawn. In their flashlight beams, they see a figure less than two feet tall moving near the grounded object. The craft departs before police arrive.

1974: A man en route to work sees a "flying saucer" near a gravel pit in Norton, Mass., later describing a red dome atop a supporting structure shaped "like a child's swimming pool."

1984: A United Airlines flight crew sees a UFO at 43,000 feet, east of Toledo, Ohio, at 7:25 a.m. Twelve hours later, nearly simultaneous sightings occur at Waycross, Ga.; at Arnold, Mo.; and at Huntington, W.  Va.

1989: A low-flying UFO casts a "heavy" beam of light over Greens Fork, Ind., at 9:30 p.m.

1999: A trawler reports two sightings of a giant squid in the sea off New Zealand, the first at 43°33′S 174°18′E; the second at 44°08.2'–43°58.5'S 175°20.3'–174°45.5'E.

2002: Dogs bark hysterically at a "fireball" passing over Salisbury, Md.

2003: A witness driving home from work at 10:03 p.m. sees a grayish bipedal figure cross the road in front of his car, moving "like an ape walks." On the far side of the road, it waves thin arms and lights blaze on behind it, revealing the things foot-long pointed ears and a mouth with a "red silver strip" across the upper lip.

Tuesday 21 January 2014


          98 million years ago a huge predator is out hunting. Nothing on the North American continent can compete with it or escape its hungry jaws. It was a true king in every sense of the word and until 2008 we had no idea it even existed. That is until Dr. Lindsay Zanno, a paleontologist at North Carolina State University and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, and Peter Makovicky of Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History made a remarkable discovery at Utah’s Cedar Mountain Formation. While discovered in 2008 the creature was not given a name until 2013.
          That name was Siats meekerorum. Measuring almost 40 feet long and weighing more than 4 tons it is the second biggest carnivorous dinosaur to have been found in North America, just behind the famous Tyrannosaurus Rex.  Siats (pronounced See-atus) fills the ecological gap created by the extinction of predators like Allosaurus and pre-dates the evolving of Tyrannosaurus. As awesome as this is for anyone who loves dinosaurs (frankly who doesn’t), you might be asking yourself what does this have to do with a blog on Cryptozoology? Well the answer all lies in the creature’s name.
          Siats is the name of a cannibalistic giant from the mythology and legends of the Ute people of Colorado and Utah. The name means “man-eating monster”.  These were huge trickster giants that looked very similar to humans, but differed in their feral like appearance and the fact they would kidnap children and devour them. The females of the race where called Bapets.
          Native people all across America differ in many respects from each other in their culture and their customs. However, one thing that is almost universal is the belief in giant humans (or human-like) beings that where sometimes tricksters, cannibals, friendly forest spirits or sometimes just other “people” who wanted nothing more than to live without conflict from their Indian neighbors
 And to this day Utah and Colorado still have reported encounters with giant human looking creatures we now collectively call Bigfoot. A recent sighting from late 2013 in the Grove Creek Cannon, Utah, shows that occasionally people still claim to see giants in the very same places where both the mythical Siats and the real Siats once roamed.  
          So one Siats found, another still out there somewhere. Maybe the next time science websites are talking about giant cannibals from Native American Myths they will be talking about it in connection to a discovery of a new form of primate found in North America. Until then I think we will all be content with marveling at this awe inspiring super predator.
          *For more about Siats the dinosaur check this site out*


That's a mouse up there - a house mouse (Mus musculus).  Its scientific name means 'mouse littlemouse'.  They don't survive long outdoors, but generally we don't like them indoors.  However, you can now put up a device that keeps out unwanted rodents by releasing a sound that repels them.  Be careful, though, if you keep pet rodents.  You don't want a frenzied guinea-pig on your hands.

In my grandfather's day, trap and cat were the usual devices that drove mice out.  My grandfather had other ideas.  He used gunpowder until one day he blew out the stairs.  My grandmother made him desist from the practice.

In France, tooth fairies are thought to be mice.

The rat is held in even greater distaste by householders.  The commoner ones are the black rat (Rattus rattus) and the brown rat (Rattus norvegicus).  Both are found worldwide.  On shipboard, it is supposedly unlucky to mention a rat and you should use the term longtail instead.  The same word is used on the Isle of Man, a British dependency between Britain and Ireland.

The black rat is said to have carried the parasite which brought the Black Death.  In the 18th Century the brown rats, migrating across eastern Europe, reached the Baltic and there boarded ships which transported them worldwide.  In Britain they proceeded to kill off most of the black rats and there hasn't been a plague there since.

In Ireland, if you needed to get rid of rats, a rat whisperer might be called to your farm.  He would use some unknown process to make the rats leave.  As he could never be watched while he executed this, no one knows what he did.

If you have a rat in your house, it is said he will leave if you go to the rat hole and simply ask him to.  You should suggest while doing so the location of an alternative place of residence.  Some people have declared the efficacy of stuffing a written letter into the rat hole, suggesting he leave.

In the London sewers, it is said there is a King Rat, bigger than the other rats and treated by them with deference.

The London sewers in the 19th Century were said to have a Queen Rat, who would turn herself into human form and copulate with toshers, poor folk who went fishing in the sewers.  It had no effect on their health, but children they subsequently begot had eyes of different colors.


Above you see creatures that have sprung from the imagination of Lewis Carroll.

Cryptozoology is the search for unknown animals, but the question arises regarding whether this should include animals that seem to belong more in ghost stories and legends than in the sober realm of science.  Should Cryptozoology study these also?

I believe it should.  If such animals are reported, their existence becomes a possibility; and, if they are "out there" somewhere, even if they are only "out there" on an intermittent basis, they are worthy of investigation; and as they are animals, they fall under the umbrella of Cryptozoology.

Jonathan Downes, the Grand Panjandrum of the CFZ, has labelled these creatures 'zooform phenomena'.  They would include such creatures as Mothman, Tokoloshe, the Jersey Devil, the Goatman
and beings of that order.

Just where such creatures come from, we cannot tell.  We may speculate about other dimensions, mental projections, outer space and other such points of origin, but we do not know enough about such creatures to reach any definite conclusions at present.

Some cryptozoologists shy away from anything that smacks of the paranormal, because the paranormal is seen by many as beyond the realm of the possible.  But this is only a matter of perception.  No one has proved the paranormal is impossible.  There are those who say that, if cryptozoology dips its toe in paranormal waters, it will never be taken seriously by scientists.  Personally, I do not see recognition by mainstream science as a goal to be necessarily sought.  Mainstream science is hampered by certain limitations, both intellectual and practical, and, if we worry too much about becoming a part of it, we may find ourselves similarly hamstrung.  I argue that if something is reported as true, it is generally worthy of investigation, no matter what mainstream science says.  On the other hand, phenomena that are beyond the normal should be investigated in an incisive manner, with care and precision.  We must not let imagination run away with us either.

On This Day in Weird, January 21...

1522: Head inquisitor Adrian Florisz Boeyens is elected Pope Adrian VI.

1897: Actor J. Carrol Naish, known for roles in Return of the Terror, Charlie Chan at the Circus, Batman (1943), The Whistler, The Monster Maker, House of Frankenstein, The Beast with Five Fingers, and Dracula vs. Frankenstein, is born in New York City.

1903: Harry Houdini escapes from Halvemaansteeg police station in Amsterdam.

1932: John McCandless reports a "half man, half beast" prowling the countryside five miles north of Downingtown, Pa.

1951: An F-82 fighter plane makes three unsuccessful passes at a UFO visible on radar, flying through restricted air space over Oak Ridge, Tenn.

1952: A Navy TBM torpedo bomber pursues a dome-shaped UFO near New York's Mitchel Air Force Base but cannot match its speed.

1965: A bright, circular UFO hovers for 45 seconds over radio station WTVR's transmission tower in Richmond, Va.

1967: Two witnesses observe a UFO with red, white and blue pulsating lights trailing their car in Gering, Neb.

1975: A young couple report seeing Bigfoot in a church parking lot, in Richmondtown, Staten Island, N.Y. Later the same night, a motorist brakes to avoid hitting the creature near a garbage dump in the same vicinity.

1975: Witnesses spot a UFO over Cape Girardeau, Mo.

1976: Two UFOs, each about 75 feet in diameter, pass over New Mexico's Cannon Air Force Base at 5:55 a.m. Witnesses near Fairfield, Mont., report a 300-foot craft on the ground, at 9:00 p.m.

1977: A round, glowing UFO pins a boat in a bright beam of light, in St. Bernard Parish, La. Two hunters in the same area observe a similar "light from nowhere." On the same night, an Avianca airline crew sees a UFO trailing their plane over Bogotá, Colombia.

1984: A mother and her two children see an "enormous" gold UFO following their car near Jasper, N.Y.

1986: 100 hardy souls brave 38°F weather (3°C) to participate in Indiana's Nude Olympics race.

1989: Five witnesses watch and photograph an amber colored UFO passing over Corydon, Ind., at an altitude of 200 feet.

1993: Dogs bark furiously as a triangular UFO flies over Tuttle, Okla.

1997: Motorist Juan Hernandez sees a "star-like object" descend over Camuy, Puerto Rico. Stopping on a highway bridge to watch it, he sees a bulbous-headed creature inside a transparent cupola atop the silent craft. As it departs and he attempts to follow, a military vehicle blocks his path. Several men in black uniforms emerge, warning Hernandez that "something may happen to him" if he proceeds.