Thursday, 17 January 2019

Latest news on Mastodon discovery and discussion of the coelacanth


Submerged mastodon may provide clues to ancient mysteries
Eight feet below the surface of the Wakulla River lies the remains of a mastodon covered in sediment. And within that sediment could be the artifact that unlocks the mysteries of the last chapter of the Pleistocene Age.
For about 12 days, a team of archaeologists from the Aucilla Research Institute has used the floating swim dock at Wakulla Springs as a staging area for their underwater excavation. Theirs is a painstaking operation made difficult by the cold water, wetsuits, cumbersome diving equipment and curious manatees that are constantly moving around buoy markers.
The question is whether there is another mastodon body there. Or is there evidence of human artifacts that would suggest interaction with the mastodon?
Out of the sediment, one of the men on the dredge barge picked out a long, gray conical object, a spear point of some kind. He bagged it and brought it over to the swimming float where an assistant cataloged it, inventoried it and performed tests on it. It just may prove to be the clue they were looking for.
Read full story here:

Fish story: How a coelacanth discovery set off a flurry of science, subterfuge
by OLIVIA DESMIT
The 1938 discovery of a coelacanth is an oft-told tale.
This species of fish was thought to have been extinct for 65 million years when one was caught in the western Indian Ocean. Lesser known is the tale of a coelacanth sighting thousands of miles away in the mid-1990s, when one was spotted for sale at an Indonesian fish market by a marine biologist on his honeymoon.The story of that discovery — and how it was told to the world — is filled with shocking twists and turns. At the center of it all was Mark Erdmann, now vice president of Asia-Pacific Marine Programs at Conservation International.Joe Rowlett recounted the story in this recent post on Reefs.com.
In July 2018, another population of Indonesian coelacanths was discovered in Raja Ampat in the eastern fringe of the country, but Erdmann — the honeymooner who had spotted the fish in the ’90s — was not surprised.

Read rest here :



Friday, 11 January 2019

Nessie's relative living in Romania?


Lake Tarnița is situated around 30 kilometers west of Cluj-Napoca in Romania.. It was created in 1974 when a dam was built on the River Someșul Cald for the purpose of harnessing electricity. It is 9.7 kilometers long and its depth reaches up to 70 meters. It also provides water for the inhabitants of Cluj-Napoca and many other small towns in the surrounding area.  The deep, dark water has  inspired many urban legends about monsters inhabiting the bottom of the lake. One of them has it that a descendant of the Loch Ness monster lives in Tarnița. Another that the lake is teeming with fish three metres long, which attack  swimmers and  boats. There are stories of  people who drowned in the lake, their bodies never being recovered.
Another  story is about a lorry that fell into the lake about 15 years ago and  the team of scuba divers that was brought in  to pull out the truck and the lifeless driver. When the divers came out of the water, they were so terrified of something they had seen down there that they refused to go back without protective metal cages. Allegedly, what had spooked them  were incredible monsters they had seen in the lake. Experts  to explain this off as an optical illusion created by the shadows on the bottom of the lake or as tricks played by the glass of the helmet, which might have enlarged everything out of proportion. (Reminds me of the story about the diver in Loch Ness who claimed to have seen a giant frog and refused to dive again)
A German researcher, Erich von Munchhausen dove to the depths of the lake in 2010 to investigate. His opinion was that there is a whale living in Tarnița,  a new  species discovered by him and those that have disappeared were eaten.

Then there is this article:

Monster of the Romanian Lake Tarnitsa

The Loch Ness monster also has a Romanian “fellow” who lives in Lake Tarniţa, in the Western Carpathians. In Romania, a few years ago became a popular photograph of the “Tarnitsky Monster”, which was accidentally made by local tourists in the surrounding mountains.
“At first it seemed to us a big tree, nailed to the shore,” one of the eyewitnesses said. – We calmly continued descending along a rather steep slope. When there was very little water left, I cast a casual glance towards the “log” and froze; It turned out to be the size of a whale.
A huge head and part of the body were clearly visible, small waves from the movements of the tail along the water. The maw of the monster resembled a car hood, it could easily absorb a person or an animal, and eyes, the size of a car’s headlights, seemed to phosphoresce in the water column. The silent scene lasted a few seconds, then I snatched out my Canon and managed to take some pictures until the monster disappeared in the depths of the lake. ”
The lucky man who captured the “monster” was the 15-year-old Cluj Victor Borogine. Because of the rush, only two successful shots were obtained, but on one of them the monster is still captured in the way that his schoolchildren saw, in all its glory and strength.
Unfortunately, the network of these images could not be found. Lake Tarnitsa is located 50 kilometers west of the Romanian city of Cluj. It is very deep – “bottomless,” as the old people say, and stretched for 5 km in length and 1 km in width.
According to its topographic data, the reservoir is very similar to the Scottish lake of Loch Ness, famous for its either a serpent, or a relic dinosaur that survived all times and epochs, and adapted to modern conditions.
The local fishermen have preserved an almost pagan custom. After a successful fishing they always return a few fish from the catch back into the water. As they say, as a sacrifice to the Dragon, so that next time he does not interfere with good biting.In the summer, when young people come to the nearby villages, superstitious old people will not fail to warn their grandchildren and grandchildren that swimming in the lake is unsafe, you can “disturb” the water snake.
As this is a man made lake it seems unlikely that a prehistoric relic exists there. However it is not the first man made lake with such claims. What do you think urban legend or monster ?

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Lake Somin Creature

Lake Somin Monster

A huge monster with the head of a serpent and the body of a crocodile is rumoured to lurk at the bottom of  Lake Somin  in Western Ukraine. Now and again the gruesome creature comes ashore and attacks domestic animals .The hideous monster is also said to moan and wheeze at night. Lake Somin is located in Polessie lowlands, which formed at the bottom of an ancient freshwater sea. About 300 lakes scattered around the area are the remainders of the sea. Those  lakes interconnect by means of underground passages and rivers.Lake Somin is 56 meters deep. A number of caves lie at its bottom.

It is believed that the first stories about the monster hiding in Lake Somin near the village of Lukiv appeared at the turn of the 19th century. The reference to the monster can be found in a report sent by a village chairman to Warsaw. He wrote that the villagers had not paid a tax on fishing because of a “serpent” which lived in the lake, eating the fishes. The unknown predator also harassed the livestock and locals, said the letter. 
The local elderly say that the “lizard” was last seen on the lake shore some 30 years ago.
“The monster assaulted Stepan, a groom. He was tending horses near the lake on that day. Actually, Stepan had too much of a drink so he stretched himself out on the grass and fell asleep. A crocodile-like creature crept on to the bank out of the water, moved up to the guy, and sniffed at him. Mushroom pickers came from the wood at the very moment. They saw that thing and started shouting out loud to scare it off. The monster reportedly opened its month and there wasn’t a single tooth inside,” said the 84-year-old Ivan Kovalchuk, a resident of the village.”
Other scientists claim that the creature could be a prehistoric  freshwater shark which somehow survived the Ice Age. “The archeological finds discovered in the area can back up this version. There’re many reports on fossilized teeth and bones of ancient fishes dug out by locals in their gardens,” said Valentin Volontai, an adviser with the Institute of Archeology under the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences.

It is possible this could be another giant cat fish but a freshwater shark is more interesting.

A monster in River Obra?

The River  Obra Monster

 The River Obra is an offshoot of the River Warta, in Poland.  Local folklore 
says that in the northern part of the river, close to Bledzewand lives a giant fish
 or  a giant snake-like creature.
 Some witnesses report seeing ducks, swans and even small dogs being
 attacked and dragged  underwater by some powerful unseen predator.  
Others say they have  witnessed a giant snake trying to upset boats on one 
of the lakes in the area of the river Obra .
Some think  that this snakelike monster is  a giant cat fish. In other European 
countries the catfish has been reported to attack dogs and water birds .
 Whether this is a giant fish  or something more unusual remains to be discovered .
 Stories continue to be  reported of a giant water dwelling creature, which hunts after 
 dusk along the River  Obra.

A cat fish seems the most likely culprit but until it is caught the jury is out.


Saturday, 5 January 2019

Another strange creature in Lake Erie.


Lake Erie is the southern edge of habitat for burbot (pronounced bur’-bit here), a big, eel-like, mottled-patterned fish that hangs out on the bottom of the lake. It’s the only freshwater member of the cod family.
“They’re such a weird, secretive fish, said Cleveland Metroparks aquatic biologist Mike Durkalec. “What it takes to catch them, they’re just aren’t a lot of people out there doing that.”
What it takes to catch a burbot is to fish at dark, in the dead of winter.The record burbot in Ohio was December 20, 1999, caught off Fairport Harbor. It was 37 inches long and 17.3 pounds. The record was broken twice in a week
There is said to be  another resident of \lake Erie, a lake monster called South Bay Bessie. Lake Erie is 241 miles long( approx 389kms) and 57 miles(approx 90kms) at its widest point.It is shallow compared to other great lakes but is said to be over 200 feet(over 65 metres) at its deepest.
The lake creature, now known as Bessie, was first reported in 1817 when the crew of a schooner reported seeing a large serpent like creature swimming in the lake. On July 8th, 1898, the Daily Register Newspaper, of Ohio reported that the lake monster was able to live on both land and in water and  was a fierce, ugly, coiling creature between 25(8 metres) and 30 feet long ( 10 metres)and at least 12 inches thick( .3 metres).
It became a bit of joke in 1912 when some hoaxers tried to pass off an exotic snake as the creature. Then more sightings began to be reported.
In 1960, Ken Golic was fishing off a pier in Sandusky when he heard what he thought were  rats. He decided to throw a couple of rocks at them but then when he got close he saw a cigar shaped creature.
In 1969, Jim Schindler was startled by a snake like creature came near South Bass Island. He said it appeared to be about 2 feet ( .6 metre)wide.
In September 1981, Theresa Kovach of Akron watched a snake like creature  from a house on the shore.She said  that "was so large that it could easily capsized a boat."
In 1983, Mary M. Landoll saw Bessie off Rye Beach in Huron. Mary was out to the front porch just before dawn when from the lake she heard a rowing sound and saw what looked like a capsized boat, but realised it was animate. It was a greenish-brown and about 50 feet
(18metres) long .It had a long neck and an eye was visible on the side of the head .
In 1985,there were two reported sightings . Tony Schill of Avon, Ohio was boating with friends north of Vermilion when they saw a dark brown snake like creature with a flat tail. Tony stated that "five humps came out of the water. No way it was a sturgeon." .In 1985, Dale Munro of Lorain was also boating when he saw something strange. He stated that it had three humps and was black.
In 1989, Gail Kasner had a sonar reading,a graph, from a boat owned by Ken Smith of Streetsboro. It appeared to show cigar shape object about 35 feet (11 metres)in length at a depth of about 30 feet.(10 metres)
Then there were several sightings in 1990 including:
Susan Seeson, of Salem saw a  creature two miles from Cedar Point. In September , Bob Soracco was jet skiing when he saw something.. He told reporters that he saw humps with gray spots. "It was very long as I moved closer and it was going down.". In the same month, Harold Bricker and his family were fishing north of Cedar Point Amusement Park when a creature swam by their boat .They described it as being 35 feet (11 metres)long and having  a snake like head. It moved as fast as their boat. Also in  September  Fire inspectors, Jim Johnson and Steve Dircks of Huron, saw the creature from a window facing Lake Erie. They described it as  black at about 30 feet( 10 metres) long.
In September 1991, Dennis Szececinski,was fishing in the bay when something long and black slithered in front of him. Also in in 1991, George Repicz shot  some video footage which he claimed showed Bessie.
In the summer of 1998, Leslee Rasgaitis reported seeing 3 black humps moving in the water of the shore of Huntington Beach, Ohio.

Could a super sized Burbot be an explanation for some of the sightings? Burbot are rare these days and probably not known by many people. Or maybe Bessie ate all the butbot hence their scarcity.

Thursday, 27 December 2018

Sunday, 23 December 2018

Loch Quoich creature

Loch Quoich(Gaelic Loch Cuaich) is about 24 miles northwest of Fort William in Scotland. With Loch Garry it forms part of the Glen Garry hydroelectric project from the 1950s which was completed in 1962.The dam built on Loch Quoich is the largest rock fill dam in Scotland at 960 feet( 310 metres) long and 114 feet ( 35 metres) high. The dam flooded some of the old settlements in the area, including Glen Quoich Lodge. A single-track road goes along the loch shore to Kinloch. The fishing there is by boat only and it is mainly for brown trout and Char.
The loch is said to be home for a water monster described as a large serpent like creature with a horse like head. It is typical description for a Kelpie or water horse.
The Duke of Portland related that after becoming tenant of the salmon angling in Loch Quoich was told by the forester, hotel keeper and fishing ghillies of a beast . I think this was in the late 1800s, but have been unable to find and exact date.
In Peter Costello,s book “In Search of Lake Monsters” (1975 ed Granada Publishing ltd page 153) , is the following story. I have paraphrased it.
A certain lord, not named, ( n.b.I wonder if this was also the Duke of Portland?) used to fish in Loch Quoich and one day whilst fishing there, he saw a monster lying on the shore close to the water. He swore the two ghillies with him to secrecy in case people thought they were drunk. A fishing party is said to have seen the monster swimming under the water the same time period (no date given).
In the Northern Chronicle newspaper in 1933 there were reported some stories about the Loch Quoich creature but there were not substantiated , so could have simply been rumours after the reports in 1933 of the Loch Ness creature.
The Loch is quite isolated and it could be that any reports of anything seen in the loch were hushed up by the local dignitaries. It could just be the usual folktales of the Kelpie. There doesn’t seem to be any historical record of tales about a kelpie though. If anyone knows any more about this isolated Loch please post.