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 30 April 2014


Dire Wolf
Ever heard of the Dire Wolf (Canis dirus)?  That's a skeleton of one up there.  They ranged in days agone from Canada to Bolivia and died out about 10,000 years ago, perhaps due to competition from fellow predators.

Or did they?  G. McIsaac has drawn our attention to an animal in the First Nations traditions of British Columbia - the Wilderness Wolf.  This, he argues, may represent a population of surviving Dire Wolves - and who is to say he is wrong?

By the way, did you know that, in the folklore of Pennsylvania, if you kill and stuff a wolf, it will come back to life at night.  If your traveling in Pennsylvania after dark, bring a packet of dog biscuits with you to throw to it.  Wolves aren't noted for attacking humans, but a wolf like this might be a different matter.  Such wolves are called Spook Wolves.


Picking up hitchhikers is not a safe thing.  A dangerous hitchhiker may look absolutely harmless.  However, this one didn't.  It was back in the 1970s when four girls reported this shocking story.  They were driving from Milwaukee when they saw this person trying to hitch a lift.  They noticed at once that it wasn't your normal hitchhiker.  To begin with, he was naked, always a bad sign in these circumstances.  He was also green, bald and goggle-eyed.  The girls did not stop  but sped onwards as he viewed their passing vehicle.  But then, in their mirror, they saw another car slow down to give him a ride.

I can only wonder what could induce anyone to slow down for such a being.  I am afraid to imagine what might have happened when this unusual passenger boarded the car.  However, there is no sequel to this story.  We do not have the least idea what the outcome was.  Perhaps it's just as well.


Look out, its Sheepsquatch!
          Point Pleasant, West Virginia, is world famous for being the home to one of the most (in)famous Cryptid creatures of all time, the Mothman. First seen in 1966, this flying creature has been the talk of the small town for decades since. Every year there is the annual Mothman Festival each fall and the town is now synonymous for the weird, unusual, and paranormal. But did you know that in the very same TNT area where Mothman was causing such an uproar in the skies, something totally different, but no less weird was roaming around on the forest floor?
In November 1966, the same time that Mothman was buzzing around the skies of Point Pleasant, Cecil Lucas, a farmer in Point Pleasant, saw three bear-like creatures sniffing around an oil drum in his field one night. It was too dark to make out color or exact details, but he did say they moved on all fours at first, but they stood on two legs before making off into the night. Over the next several years people around the TNT area, especially Jericho Road, had encounters with large bear-like or ape-like monsters. Yet one of if not the most detailed and interesting tales of a strange semi-bipedal creature living in the now (in) famous little West Virginia town came years after the flap of Mothman mania had settled down.
Ever since he was a young man, Edward Rollins had a fascination with the unexplained. And how could you not be when you grow up in a town just a few miles away from a place that is world famous for the paranormal and the bizarre, Point Pleasant, WVA? As a young man Edward had found a scrapbook his mother had kept while the Mothman sightings of the 60’s were taking place. He then started spending some of his spare time as an amateur investigator in all things paranormal. In 1994, after a seven year stent in the Navy, Rollins returned home to Gallipolis, Ohio, just across the river from Point Pleasant. One afternoon he decided to spend the rest of the day exploring in and around the old TNT Power Plant facilities to see if he could possibly find any kind of evidence of the area’s most famous supposed resident. What he ended up finding was unlike anything he could have ever expected.
While just north of Bethel Church Road, Rollins was walking the creek bank when he heard large brush breaking nearby. He froze, unsure of what he was about to encounter, a cow, a dog, a bear, as it turned out none of the above. Instead out of the bushes came a huge brownish-white colored beast. The fur was also matted and looked as if it was shedding. It was late in the year and Rollins speculated that maybe the creature was getting a winter coat. The animal stunk awfully. Rollins said it was like sulfur. It moved on all fours, the front feet where the only ones Rollins got a clear look at, and he described them as paw-like hands.
The head he described, was long and pointed, kind of like a canid’s. However, the most distinguished feature was on top of the creature’s head there appeared to be a set of horns. That’s right, large single point horns. He watched the creature drink for a few minutes and he didn’t move until it had left the creek and he was sure it was gone. But this was not the first or last time such a creature would be reported. Seen frequently in both West Virginia and its neighboring states Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio this creature has even been given its own local name in recent years, Sheepsquatch.
The name is a combination of sheep and the famous Sasquatch. I suspect this name was given because of its pseudo-sheep like appearance and the fact that, at least according to mainstream pop culture, anything big, hairy and mysterious can be attributed to the famous Sasquatch. I must say I’ve never liked this name or any name that tries to take recognition from other Cryptids. This includes things like Batsquatch or any of the well over a dozen different lake or river monsters that have had “issie” attached to them after the media sensation of the Loch Ness Monster in the thirties. But aside from the names the bigger question is, if these eyewitnesses are not misidentifying known animals (frankly what they could mistake for something like this is beyond me) or hoaxers, the question remains what is it? An albino Bigfoot? Well again the creatures tend to move normally on two legs, only standing erect for a brief moment or two.
Now over all this kind of creature looks very similar to another group of strange mystery creatures I have written about before, the creatures from across the Southern USA collectively known now as White Things. But there is one important difference, the horns. So what do we have to make of these horns? Could they be optical illusions? You know, like seeing the creature through thick brush of having it partially obscured by branches. Well, Rollins saw his creature in an open area, the creek bank. And a lot of other witnesses saw their creatures in relatively open areas. Could the horns be natural? Yes, assuming the creatures are real, they could. However, this begs the question of what kind of animals could they be as nothing known from modern nature or the fossil record really matches as being big and bulky like a bear crossed with an ape and yet still having horns.
Now what would this mean regarding the possible identity of such a creature? If you read my previous articles, one possible identity I think might be worth some consideration is a small population of relict Ground Sloths. These animals did live in the areas where such creatures where reported, but they have been officially extinct for 10,000 years. Also none of the many diverse kinds of Ground Sloths known from the fossil record have horns or horn like structures. So does that mean we need to throw out this proposed identity? Not just yet.
Maybe there is another explanation for these horn like growths, and we could find the explanation in another obscure Cryptid, the Horned Jackal. The Horned Jackal is a Cryptid from the island of Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean said to be a kind of jackal with a small “horn” on the back of its head. It is believed by some shamans to have magical powers or word off spirits. Now there are a couple of preserved skulls of these kind of jackals preserved in various museums. But they weren’t a new species. Just deformed specimens of the known species. So then how did they get these horn like growths?
Well they are most likely the results of either a skin disorder or resulted growths from injures. This idea is supported by the observed fact that sometimes animals like deer and cows have been observed in the wild and on farms as growing “horns” as a result of injures from fights or other natural accidents. So it would seem this kind of thing is cross species in a wide range of animals. The “horns” are a very rarely reported feature in these kind of Cryptids. Could they be injured individuals? It is certainly possible. Until a good photo, video, or hard evidence is collected these mystery “horns” of the Sheepsquatch will be just one more piece to an already strange puzzle.


On This Day in Weird, April 30...

1812: Speculative birth date assigned to Kaspar Hauser, the mystery youth found in Nuremberg, Germany, in May 1828, bearing a cryptic note addressed to a cavalry officer he had never met. Kaspar spins a strange tale of captivity, held prisoner by persons unknown, until his equally mysterious release bearing the letter.

2009: Crew members of the science vessel RV Roger Revelle find the sailboat Lunatic adrift and abandoned off the coast of Australia, with no trace of elderly Slovenian owner-pilot Jure Šterk aboard. Šterk had been engaged in a one-man trip Before that discovery, the Lunatic was last seen under sail on January 26. 

Tuesday 29 April 2014



This is an allegedly true account of a sighting of a Mermaid.

now read on....


An account of an alleged alien attack, in which it is possible one of the aliens was killed and retrieved by a soldier, that is said to have taken place near Gallup (New Mexico).  For details go to for April 28th, 2014.


A large humanoid monster that has been reported from time to time along the Mogollan Rim (Arizona).  A description given by Marjorie Grimes of White River, a member of the White River Apache tribe, stressed the fact that it was all black.

The question which arises is whether it is the same creature as Bigfoot and I think the answer must be yes, as it shares characteristics with that creature.  This includes an appalling smell.  With regard to Bigfoots so endowed, Grover Krantz suggested that this is due to lingering feces trapped in hair.  It gives unusual whistles, it builds nests and screams.  All these are characteristics of Bigfoot.  Its height is estimated at more than 7 feet.

It is possible its black coloration marks it out from Bigfoot, but this may be a mere variation.  In Scotland, many people have red hair, but this does not mark them out as a different species.

Mogollon Rim


Recently tracks ascribed to a humanoid creature, referred to locally as 'The Furry One', were discovered near Crownpoint (New Mexico).  The track was made by feet 18" in length and 6" wide in the region of the toes.  It continued for about a quarter of a mile, then suddenly and mysteriously petered out.  


New England has its Little People, equating to the Little People of Europe.  The interesting thing is, just like the Ebu Gogo of Indonesia, there are claims of sightings in modern times.

These beings are called by the Wampanoag Indians and others Pukwudgies.  They are distinctly dangerous where humans are concerned.  They are reputed to have the power of invisibility, use poisoned arrows and employ magic.  They are at most as high as a human's knee - though I suppose that rather depends on the human against whom they are measured.

The Pukwudgies started out as good folk, but it is said their good intentions kept going awry, so they got grumpy and became hostile to humans.  They are said by some to have a sweet smell.  They caused so much trouble for humans that the benevolent giant Maushop sent his five sons to punish them, but the Pukwudgies killed them.  It was also said they later killed Maushop too, but others said he merely wandered out of the area.  They were credited with shapeshifting powers.

An interesting fact, however, is that sightings of Pukwudgies have continued into modern times.  Three of them have been in the Bridgewater State Forest.  One was in a cemetery in New Hampshire.  A considerable number have been reported from Anderson (Indiana). The Anderson sightings have been reported from the Mounds State Park and along the White River at Noblesville.  The Pukwudgies here have been described as wearing blue gowns.

Is there a population of diminutive humanoids behind the legend, hiding, perhaps, in woody fastnesses?  Skeptics may scoff at such a notion, but I feel it would be foolish to say the traditions and sightings have no substance.


Bigfoot Evidence asks if Bigfoot are related to Gibbons.

now read on....


On This Day in Weird, April 29...

1980: Leland Jensen, a convicted child molester and founder of a splinter sect called Bahá'ís Under the Provisions of the Covenant, predicts the destruction of Earth in a nuclear holocaust. When that prophecy flops, Jensen recalculates, announcing that Halley's Comet will be drawn into Earth's orbit on the same date in 1986, colliding with Earth precisely one year later. Wrong again, on both counts.

Monday 28 April 2014


The Cracker Dog Killer was a noteworthy animal of Florida, but questions arise as to what it was and whether it is still out there.  It was in the habit of killing off dogs which tried to investigate its dwellings with their noses.  What was it and was it a single animal or a population?

The latter seems likely.  You rarely find animal species with a population of one.  If a dog came near its den, the Dog Killer would eat it and fastidiously leave its bones in a pile nearby, including the skull.

A tidy cryptid, I'm sure you'll say.


Ventura County and environs
If you look up there you'll see a map of Ventura County and its environs.  This is an area to which a strange monster legend attaches.  On Wheeler Canyon Road is the Billiwhack Dairy which no longer functions and is said to be home to the Billiwhack Monster, a tall humanoid with the horns of a ram, fur and claws.  It is supposed to have thrown rocks at vehicles and on one occasion in 1964 to have terrified teenage hikers.

The dairy was started by August Rubel but failed as a business.  In 1943, Rubel disappeared.  It was said he was conducting a wartime mission in North Africa.  Shortly afterwards, the monster started to appear.  Rumor (never to be trusted) suggested the monster was the result of Government experimentation to create the perfect soldier.  It was even said that Rubel himself created the beast.  Who can say?


Matt Smith of the band Hunger is planning told hold a music festival at Whitehall (NY).  He hopes to have Bigfoot as his theme.  Called Bigfest, it is scheduled for July, commencing on July 12th.  Whitehall is noted for its Bigfoot sightings, with an outstanding one in 1974.


On This Day in Weird, April 28...

1843: Millerites—religious followers of "prophet" William Miller—forecast the second coming of Christ for this day. When he fails to appear, they adjust their timetable, looking down range toward 1844, now commemorated as "the Great Disappointment." Today, descendants of that sect are known as Seventh-Day Adventists. Still waiting.

1937: Captain George Donner vanishes without explanation from his cabin aboard the O.S. McFarland, en route from Erie, Pennsylvania, to Port Washington, Wisconsin, bearing 9,800 tons of coal. Donner had left orders to be awakened when the ship was approaching port, but the first mate finds the cabin empty 30 miles offshore, locked from the inside. Fortean researchers blame Donner's disappearance on the sinister "Great Lakes Triangle."

Sunday 27 April 2014


Here's an interesting creature from the lore of the Mapuche Indians of South America.  They believe in a kind of bovid the size of a bull which can kill tigers (jaguars) and lions (pumas).  The lobo-toro is supposed to have very long hair.


This is the name the media gave to a monster which was supposedly to be found in Lake Huechulafquen, Argentina.  Reports of the creature were coming in from at least 1922.  It had a long neck.  Its head looked like a lizard's.  When it submerged, it caused such stirring and turbulence in the waters that witnesses inferred it had a very large body.  On reflection, it doesn't sound like the sort of monster you should try poking with a stick.


One of the more curious reports to come in of unlikely cryptids is that of the Wolf-Woman of Mobile (Alabama).  Reports of this creature started in 1971.  According to these, she was human from the waist up and like a wolf from the waist down.  She seems to have now dropped out of the public eye.


Recently in Poland (Ohio) the Genoskwa Project held a festival.  And what, I hear you ask, is a Genoskwa?  The Genoskwa is supposed to be something like Bigfoot only bigger.  It is said that Genoskwas can reach a height of 10 feet.  They exist in the lore of the Iroquois and are supposed to be made out of or covered with stone.  Their very name is said to mean 'rock man'.  They are of ferocious character and, seizing a human victim, will twist off its head.  They had a reputation for raiding villages and eating captives.  Their rocky appearance may result from rolling in stony patches or otherwise appending rock-like substances to themselves.

Another beast of the Bigfoot kind is the Wood Booger of Appalachian folklore.  Some say it is merely another name for Bigfoot, some that it is a species of Bigfoot and, from the sound of things, no one seems to know quite how to classify it.  Apparently there have been a number of sightings in the vicinity of Saltville (Virginia).


On This Day in Weird, April 27...

1667: Blind and impoverished, John Milton sells the copyright to his just-published Paradise Lost for £10 (about $2,824 today).

Saturday 26 April 2014


Over on the New Page website, Nick Redfern has written an article on large black cats in Britain, including ones able to stand on their hind legs.  He suggests that these cats may be were-cats.

Now, the problem I have with were-cats or, indeed, were-anythings, is that to change from one creature into another does not involve merely a change on the outside, but a change of the internal organs as well.  A human's internal organs are rather differently placed from, say, those of a wolf.  The internal changes would be complex and lengthy.

How, then, do we account for notions of such change?  We can always say that werebeasts do not exist outside the human imagination.  However, owing to the frequency with which they turn up in folklore, one has to ask if there is another explanation.

Is it that a human can cover himself with a sort of aura which makes him look like a beast to witnesses, while he in fact retains his original human form.  A human suffering from an intense form of psychological lycanthropy could possibly make his appearance seem different to the onlooker.

However, bipedal cats in the United States are not unknown to cryptozoologists.  They have been reported in the vicinity of Mount Tamalpais (California).  In 1948 one was reported from White Oak Swamp (South Carolina).  Over the border in Canada, one was reported from New Brunswick in 1951.  Could it be that small populations of cats have adapted to bipedalism?  Or could they have wandered in from some adjoining dimension.  Who knows?  


The east coast of New England and Canada was at one time famous for harboring a land which, as far as can be judged, never existed.  This was the land of Norumbega.  Today it is almost forgotten, but is remembered in a number of placenames.

In a map of 1529 it appears as the name of a river.  Pierre Crignon, a Frenchman, however, thought it was a territory and it appears as a country or region in a globe of 1542.  In the Cartier expedition of 1541-2, the chronicler, Alfonce, identified Cape Cod as the Cape of Norumbega and the River of Norumbega as the Narraganssett.  He furthermore mentioned a city of Norumbega by which he seems to have meant a place of considerable size.

Mercator, in his map of 1569, made it a city of protected by towers, conferring on it a status far above anything in the area of which archaeology is aware.

Champlain, however, failed to find Norumbega and eventually identified merely as the Penobscot River.  The thriving city with its towers seems to have been wholly chimerical.

In the 19th Century one Eben N. Horsford tried to show that Norumbega had indeed existed and had been a Norse colony in Massachussetts.  At Weston he erected a structure called the Norumbega Tower which he believed to have been the site of the original Norse fort.  Horsford's speculations do not find favor with modern scholars.

Bangor (Maine) seems to have had some pretensions to being the site of Norumbega.  This has resulted in there being a Norumbega Mall and a Norumbega Hall in the modern city.

A place called Norumbega Castle has been erected at Camden (Maine).

The mysterious land seems in origin to have been a Native American name for some river, perhaps misheard by a European.  It just shows you how a story can grow. 


On This Day in Weird, April 26...

1876: Fishermen allegedly capture a sea serpent 450 yards offshore from Portscatho, at Gerran's Bay, Cornwall.

1939: Controversial self-styled cryptozoologist Jon-Erik Beckjord is born in Duluth, Minnesota.

2009: Paranormal researcher and author Hans Holzer dies in New York City.

Friday 25 April 2014



Today is World Penguin Day.  To mark it, Greenpeace is inviting support for its penguin preservation endeavors.


The book Mindsight by Kenneth Ring, Emeritus Professor at the University of Connecticut, argues that blind persons undergoing Near-Death Experiences can see.  The book is available at $15.05 or $13.42 in Kindle.


Horrific encounter in Pennsylvania.

now read on.....


23rd April (two days ago) is the Feast of St George, whose chief interest for cryptozoologists is his battle with the dragon.  Actually, Saint George is a saint about whom we really know nothing.  Legend has it that he was a soldier martyred in the reign of the Roman Emperor Diocletian, but we cannot be certain if any of this is true.  Edward Gibbon tried to identify him with George of Cappadocia, an Arian, who had been given the title of Archbishop of Alexandria and was later killed by a mob, but this has not generally convinced hagiologists.

The story of George and the Dragon possibly had its origins in artistic depictions in the Near East.  It was regaled in the west in the Legenda Aurea of Jacobus de Voraigne.  In this tale the dragon lived in a lake in Africa called Silene.  The locals, fearing the dragons appetite, had been leaving it an offering of two sheep a day for prandial purposes.  Then, when the sheep started to run low, they would leave out one sheep and one human, the latter chosen by lot.  When the lot fell on the King's daughter, the King was none too pleased, but happily George turned up, wounded the dragon, then killed it in the city.

We don't know for certain when George became patron of England.  A pot-boiler novel called The Seven Champions of Christendom, which appeared in Elizabethan times, made the patron saints of several countries into warriors and had George born in Coventry.  Writing in the 19th Century, Charlotte M. Yonge actually believed there had been two St Georges, one born in the East and one in Coventry, probably because of this romance.

In English folklore, the fight between George and the Dragon was said to have taken place in England itself.  One tradition placed it at Brinsop (Herefordshire) and the other at Uffington (Oxfordshire).

Saint George's dragon, as depicted in the East, may originally have been symbolic.

The English, I have noticed, don't make anything like the fuss over St George as we Irish do over St Patrick.  They are something of a restrained nation.


What did Schrodinger's teacher say when he wanted him to go away?

"Schrodinger, scat!"


On This Day in Weird, April 25...

1977: The Japanese trawler Zuiyō Maru, sailing east of Christchurch, New Zealand, nets the decomposing remains a strange creature, initially described as a sea serpent. DNA analysis later identifies it as a basking shark, but some "young Earth" creationists still dispute that finding, insisting that the animal was a relict plesiosaur, thus proving that our planet is only six to ten thousand years old.

Thursday 24 April 2014


This picture is said to be Shakespeare
Shakespeare died on April 23rd, 1616.  This may have been his birthday, as he was baptized a few days after April 23rd, 1564.  Recently, there has been an astonishing purchase on e-Bay.  Booksellers David Wechsler and George Keppelman of New York bought a copy of Baret's An Alvearie or Quadruple Dictionarie (1588).  Having examined their purchase, they are convinced it was the dictionary that Shakespeare used.  The experts will be turning their attention to it to see if they can authenticate it.

Shakespeare's coat-of-arms


Why, bless my little cotton socks, it's an excellent book on the Holy Grail, giving, in alphabetical form, a thorough guide to the Grail Quest, those who wrote about it and the various interpretations, including controversial recent ones, placed upon it.  Available from Amazon and all good bookstores (and possibly bad bookstores too).


It's a shock when you find in the water things that shouldn't be there!

now read on.....


An interview with leading American cryptozoologist Loren Coleman


At Karl Shuker's blogspot, there is an investigation into the existence of this Russian monster.


I've just discovered that the Northern Kentucky Bigfoot Research Group has a most interesting website with archival material.

have a look....


On This Day in Weird, April 24...

2008: Theatrical premiere of The Wild Man of the Navidad, a Bigfoot film purportedly based on the real-life journals of Dale S. Rogers, a man who, in the 1970s, lived along the banks of the Navidad River in Sublime, Texas. Storied of the bipedal creature date back to the 19th century, while this film dramatizes "true events" to the point of standard Hollywood horror/fantasy.

Wednesday 23 April 2014


You may be interested in the Loch Ness theme park if you're visiting Scotland this summer.  Its address is Nessieland, Drumnadrochit, Inverness-shire, IV63 6TU, Scotland.

e-mail address:
telephone (from outside UK): 441456450342
                 (from UK): 01456450342.


For those with an interest in dragons, the Batak of Indonesia believe the earth was built on the head of a dragon called Naga Padona.  His writhing causes earthquakes.


One of the creatures found in fairy tales that always intrigued me was the Ogre.  Where did this creature come from?  Did it have a prototype in mythology and folklore? 

If anything, its folklore prototype seems to have been the Wildman.  Wildmen aren't just found in America in the shape of Bigfoot, belief in them was widespread in Europe.

The Ogre, however, seems in some degree special.  In the tale of Puss in Boots,for example, the ogre had shapeshifting powers.  An ogre seems to have been generally conceived as hefty, horrible, cannibalistic and, while not quite a giant, on the road to becoming one.

This has led some to trace him in origin to the Roman god Orcus.  Orcus is a somewhat obscure deity in classical mythology.  Sometimes he was identified with Pluto and, in the minds of the average Roman, there may not have been a clear distinction between the two.  He may have been ultimately of Etruscan origin.  He seems to have survived in Italian folklore as a wizard who later became a spirit.

In Ariosto's Orlando Furioso (16th Century) we are well on the way to the development of the ogre in the character of Orco, a terrible monster.  Orco, though a humanoid, was extremely tall and instead of eyes he had two bones sticking out, the color of fungus; he had tusks and a snout, while he kept dribbling onto his chest.  His snout was pointed downwards, so he could sniff the ground like a bloodhound.

From this image, it was but a short leap for the fairytale ogre to develop.  The female of the species, the ogress, was to be featured in the works of Perrault and Countess d'Aulnoy.  We shall now turn our attention to one particular ogress.

The Ogress - more scary?

Children seem particularly frightened of hag-like creatures.  I suspect there is, among children, a particular repugnance to the withered features of the old, possibly because they associate them so much with traditional drawings of witches.  If you want to tell a child a really scary story, throw in a hag.

The ogress was probably conceived in imagination as hag-like.  However, Perrault brought one into the tale of the Sleeping Beauty.  I don't refer to the evil fairy, even though she was sometimes conceived as a crone or  deformed.  In Tchaikovsky's ballet, she was called Carabosse, which means a hunchback.  Quite apart from her, at the end of the story the Prince becomes King.  His mother, the Queen Dowager, is an Ogress.  By now the Prince and Princess have two children and the Ogress casts gluttonous eyes upon them.  When the King (formerly the Prince) is away, she tells the Cook to cook one of the children.  The Cook hides the child and serves up substitute meat.  Then he is ordered to cook the second child and does likewise.  Then she decides to dispose of the Sleeping Beauty herself.  She prepares for this a pot of serpents into which she plans to cast her unhappy daughter-in-law and things are looking grim, until the King comes back, the Ogress falls into the pot of snakes and they all live happily ever after, except for the Ogress.

The only problem here is that this addendum to the story isn't very good from a constructional point of view.  Its a sort of unnecessary appendage to the main plot.  Where did it all come from?

The original story

The original story of the Sleeping Beauty is to be found in the Pentamerone (17th Century) and it's fairly shocking.  The Sleeping Beauty, dormant, is found not by a Prince, but by a King.  The King, finding her in this unresisting pose, rapes her.  He then goes away.  Not alone is he a bounder and cad, he is also has a stepmother..  Nine months later, twins are born to the Princess, whose name, by the way, is Talia.  Talia is still fast asleep, but the clever infants work out where food is to be found.  Thither they crawl and in due course Talia awakens.

The King, out hunting, decides to drop in on Talia (?literally) and is overjoyed to find her awake with his two children.  They then form a joyful association - hmm, there's a lot of it about - but the stepmother gets wind of what is going on.  When the King is away, she has the twins brought to the castle and orders the cook to cook them.  He substitutes other meat - in this case goat - and the stepmother feeds it to the King.  The King goes away again and the Queen brings in Talia, intending to throw her on the fire.  The King returns in time, however and guess who gets thrown on the fire.

In Perrault the Ogress takes the place of the stepmother.  The Ogre is not a cryptid as such, but I feel this portrayal had much to do with etching the Ogre firmly in the western mythical imagination.



On This Day in Weird, April 23...

1970: Crewmen aboard the fishing boat Brace report seeing a Sasquatch on shore near Klemtu, British Columbia.

1976: Two teenagers claim a Bigfoot sighting on the highway outside of Flintville, Tennessee.

Tuesday 22 April 2014


Want a nicely disgusting story of animal eating animal?

Read this one.

now read on....


Although Puerto Rico seems to have anomalies a-plenty, the comecogollos is hardly one of its most famous.  It is somewhat like a Bigfoot - indeed, it may even be a bigfoot - but stories about it seem to be on the vague side.  It is generally reported at night.  It is said to eat the hearts of plantain trees, but it does not touch the fruit.  Rumor has it that it is to be found in the mysterious El Yunque Forest.  This region seems to have its fair share of paranormal reports.  If you're visiting or live in Puerto Rico, you might wish to take a look for it.A
El Yunque Forest

Another indication that there is a manimal of some kind on the island is that in 1993 some National Guard reservists came face to face with a man-sized glowing-eyed creature coveredin hair at Mount La Mina.

Just to add to the general interest, a rumor has circulated that there is an extraterrestrial base under the Forest.


Could a sustainable population of Bigfoot exist?  Skeptics have sometimes said no, but here is a non-skeptical article.

now read on.....


On This Day in Weird, April 22...

1959: Theatrical premiere of The Monster of Piedras Blancas, wherein a lighthouse keeper pacifies a relict Diplovertebron with offerings of food until nosy locals intervene and mayhem ensues. Produce Jack Kevan previously supervised manufacture of the "gill man" suit at Universal Studios, for The Creature from the Black Lagoon, and his monster in this feature clearly resembles his South American cousin.

Monday 21 April 2014


White Squirrel
Some time ago we wrote about black squirrels.  Gray squirrels can also be found colored white, either due to albinism or leucism.  You can find them in Missouri, Kentucky, Ohio, New York, North Carolina and Illinois.  At Brevard (North Carolina) there is an annual White Squirrel Festival.  This year's lasts from May 23rd-25th, but is a musical rather than an animal festival, I understand.  Olney (Illinois) calls itself the White Squirrel capital of the world.  White Squirrels have right of way on the streets.  If you kill one, the penalty is $500.


Monk Parakeet
No one knows where they came from, but Monk parakeets have invaded Connecticut urban areas.  Although there has been considerable culling of the birds, whose presence atop utility poles has caused fires and power cuts, they keep coming back, building huge nests.


An habitable planet might contain all manner of life forms and a possible one was discovered on April 17th.  It circles the star Kepler, a red dwarf cooler than the sun.  The planet is named Kepler-186f.  It is about 10% larger than Earth and is in the right zone for sustaining life, but we do not yet know if it harbors water or, indeed, of what its atmosphere is composed.  It is 500 light years away from Earth.


Bigfoot without pants

I found this interesting story on the Weird NJ website.  Back in the 70s (remember them?) a number of campers were camping (well, that's what campers do) and night had cast its ebony cloak over the landscape when they claim they found themselves confronted by a Bigfoot.  It was hairy, about 7' in height and stank.  The unusual thing about it was that it was wearing trousers.  True, they were trousers that had seen better days, but trousers, nonetheless.  The creature was covered with blood.  It attacked one of the three campers, but took flight after one of them discharged a rifle.

I just wonder if this actually was a Bigfoot or some unhappy lunatic wandering the wilderness. It's the trousers which fuel the suspicion.  Bigfeet are not noted for what I might describe as sartorial accoutrements.  Yet who is to say some Bigfoot didn't happen to see a pair of trousers hanging on some clothes line and feel that here was just the thing to protect his nether regions when cold winds blew?  I would not say it was impossible.


Alleged film of female Bigfoot over at Bigfoot Evidence

now read and watch....


I understand that Stan Gordon, veteran researcher into the paranormal, was to give a lecture or presentation at the Carnegie Free Library in Connellsville (Pennsylvania) last Saturday.  I hope it went well.  I believe it was to deal with Bigfoot and UFOs.

However, this morning I read an article on the presentation (then forthcoming) in theSOP, written by a specimen called Robert Paul Reyes.

This individual seems quite horrified that such a presentation should be given in a library.  He feels that such an event is an "abomination" and goes on to label it "junk science and tomfoolery".  Mr Reyes seems oblivious to the fact that today's fringe science (to give it a more polite name) can well become tomorrow's mainstream science, as it has in the past.  One wonders whether he has actually investigated any of this "tomfoolery" or whether he is just repeating what constitutes the current opinion of many mainstream scientists.

He implores us to keep the library a UFO-free zone (does this mean libraries should not stock UFO books?) and bewails the fact that it is impossible to keep UFOs off the Internet.

The implication seems to me that he feels the study of UFOs belongs among the Foolish and Ignorant.  I suspect he finds, like many, things outside the sphere of his own experience so incredible that he cannot imagine anyone of any intelligence actually believing them. 

If he finds UFOs incredible, fair enough; but the idea that we should not be able to study such things and make up our own minds in an educational setting is surely untenable.

I believe theSOP stands for the Student Operated Newspaper.  My feeling is, if this is the standard of its articles,the students should try operating something else. 


On This Day in Weird, April 21...

1918: A dark day for cryptozoology, as future Bigfoot hoaxer Raymond L. Wallace is born in Clarksdale, Missouri. At his death, 84 years later, relatives will try to cash in on his clumsy hoaxes, claiming that Wallace "invented Bigfoot" and that "Bigfoot just died." Most of the media, as usual, swallows the specious, profit-motivated claims without a second thought or anything resembling fact checking, but plans to film Wallace's life story die on the vine.

Sunday 20 April 2014


You're getting a short blog today, as it's Easter.  The animal most associated in the American mind with this festival is the Easter Bunny.  This started out in Germany as the Easter Hare (Osterhase) and was brought to the United States by German immigrants.  In fact, in the United States the word rabbit is often applied to hares.  In one location in Germany, the Easter Fox replaced the Easter hare.  I hope the former didn't eat the latter.

In Australia the bilby (Macrotis) has replaced the Easter Bunny as the Easter Bilby, which has appeared in chocolate form and in books.  It is a native Australian animal.


Incidentally, in parts of Europe men beat their wives on Easter Monday and women their husbands on the following Tuesday.  Birch branches are often used.  The idea is that this will increase fertility.


On This Day in Weird, April 20...

1847: Abraham "Bram" Stoker, author of Dracula, Lair of the White Worm, and other macabre works, is born in Clontarf, a coastal suburb of Dublin, Ireland.

Saturday 19 April 2014



An out-of-place bird is on the loose in the UK at present, but its provenance is known.  It is a rhea, property of Jo Clarke, which has done a runner.  Rheas can be dangerous.  They can disembowel you with their feet.  There have been a number of sightings of the daring escapee.

Asian Giant Hornet
Meanwhile, Asian Giant Hornets have invaded France and caused the deaths of no less than six people there.