Saturday, 17 July 2010

Real cryptids or tricks of the mind?


I thought in view of the Texas mangy critter thing I would look at a couple of cryptid sightings that were said to be hoaxes, but people swore were real.
The Enfield Monster.
The creature was first sighting in 1973 in Illinois in Enfield, a small town.It started on April 25th when  a young boy, Greg Garrett, had been playing in his yard when suddenly, a creature had appeared and stepped on his feet. Not much you might think but the boys soft tennis shoes where torn to shreds Greg ran into the house, crying hysterically. Now most parents would think it was a cover story for the boy ruining his shoes and dismissed it  but half an hour later the creature was sighted again. Henry McDaniel was at home on the same evening  when he heard a scratching on his door. When he opened it, he was met by a strange vision. He described it as  "It had three legs on it,a short body, two little short arms coming out of its breast area and two pink eyes as big as flashlights. It stood four and a half to five feet( 1.6 metres) tall and was greyish coloured. It was trying to get into the house." McDaniel got his gun and   opened  the door and  fired. After his first shot, McDaniel said he knew that he had hit it. The creature "hissed like a wildcat" and scampered away, covering 75 feet( 25 metres) in three jumps. It disappeared into the brush along a railroad embankment near the house. McDaniel called the police and they on searching the property ,found tracks "like those of a dog, except they had six toe pads." The tracks were four inches (10 cms) across on average. Then on May 6, Henry McDaniel was awakened in the middle of the night by local dogs howling. He looked out and saw the monster again. It was standing out near the railroad tracks. "I didn't shoot at it or anything," McDaniel reported. "It started on down the railroad track. It wasn't in a hurry or anything. The local White County Sheriff Roy Poshard Jr. threatened to lock McDaniel up  for spreading stories , but McDaniel stuck by his story. Word got out and people starting arriving at the town, the curious, the reporters and some researchers, all hunting the monster. Five young men  were arrested by the Deputy Sheriff Jim Clark as "threats to public safety" after they had opened fire on a grey, hairy thing that they said they  had seen in some underbrush on May 8. Two of the men thought they had hit it, but it sped off, moving faster than they could.
Rick Rainbow,  was then the news director of radio station in Indiana and  three other people  also saw the monster near an abandoned house, just a short distance from McDaniel's place. They only caught a glimpse as it was running away from them, but they later described it as about five feet tall(1.6 metres), grey and stooped over. Mr Rainbow did manage to tape record its cry. A short time later, the sightings ended .
Loren Coleman investigated and said this :"I travelled to Enfield, interviewed the witnesses, looked at the siding of the house the Enfield Monster had damaged, heard some strange screeching banshee-like sounds, and walked away bewildered." see : http://www.cryptomundo.com/cryptozoo-news/enfield73/
So was it hysteria as some suggested or was it a sort of bigfoot or even as some had put forward an alien connected to UFO activity that was also reported in the general area at that time? Well the strange thing about it all is that  in the summer of 1973, the town of Murphysboro in Illinois was also in the news for sightings of a strange creature. The creature, called  the “Murphysboro Mud Monster” appeared and then disappeared just two weeks later Just as the Enfield monster had done. That story is here :

Most bigfoot sightings seem to occur in clusters over a period of time  so could the sightings have been related bigfoot type creatures or just mass hysteria? We can all mistake things especially in bad light. And just to add to the strangeness in 1941 and 1942, in the Mount Vernon area (about 40 miles away from Enfield) there was a spate of reports about a  "leaping" beast that was claimed was responsible for several animal deaths in the region. Eyewitnesses said it was vaguely baboon-like.

From England we have the story of :
The Brentford Griffin
In 1984 Kevin Chippendale spotted an unknown creature flying near the rooftop of a block of flats in the town of Brentford UK.  He described it as looking like "a dog with wings" and "having a long muzzle and four legs with what looked like paws and a beak."  He said it looked like a griffin. Incidentally he was walking  along Braemar Road near  to the aptly named Griffin Park and the block of Flats was called Green Dragon Flats (apartments for our USA readers). Mr Chippendale saw the creature again in the February of 1985 and said that it bore some resemblance to the creature painted on the sign of the Griffin Public House.A friend of Kevin's, an Angela Keyhoe also claimed to have seen the flying monster. She was on a bus journey when she saw it sitting on the gasometer next to the Waterman's Art Centre. She said it resembled a giant black bird. Several passengers on the bus apparently saw the creature, and so did psychologist John Olssen, one morning whilst he was jogging near to the Thames. The story was featured in the press and also on The Six O' Clock news. Then a letter appeared in the  Fortean Times magazine, during the May of 1998, from a Mr Martin Collins who believed that such a monster may well have been more than local hoax.
He wrote: “I first encountered the story of the Brentford Griffins while I was at St John’s School in the 1950s (note: some thirty years before the first sightings!). St John’s in those days sat in the shadow of Brentford’s football ground, Griffin Park. Inquiring why there were so many griffin references in Brentford, I was told that it was due to the family of griffins that lived on Brentford Eyot, an island in the Thames.The story of how they got there was that the first griffin was brought to Brentford by King Charles II as a gift for his mistress, Nell Gwynn, who had a house in the Butts at Brentford. One day the griffin was playing on the banks of the River Brent, which flows past the Butts, and fell in. The hapless creature was washed down the Brent into the Thames, finally being washed up on Brentford Eyot. As it was assumed to have been killed, it was left alone and was able to live on the Eyot for many years – griffins having a lifespan of centuries.Then Sir Joseph Banks brought back a griffin from a Pacific island where he had been with Captain Cook. This griffin was originally housed in the Pagoda in Kew Gardens, which is on the opposite bank of the Thames from Brentford Eyot where it found a mate awaiting it.There was soon a whole colony of griffins and they spread out from the Eyot all over the town of Brentford, where they can still be seen to this day, if you look closely enough..
Extract from :http://beastsoflondon.blogspot.com/2007/04/brentford-griffin.html
The popular writer Robert Rankin who grew up in Brentford noted that the town sits within a mystical triangle formed by the Thames, the Grand Union Canal and the M4 Rankin suggests that Brentford is a portal to the underworld and there fore seeing griffins is not all that odd.
Most people thought it was a hoax  or our old friend mass hysteria. At the time the sign for a local bank was a Griffin and so it could well have been that on a hoarding which people had mistaken for a real creature.

The thing with both stories is that all the eye witnesses swore what they saw was true and real. But we all know that suggestion plays a big part in our minds and once someone sees something, often others follow. The mind acquaints what it is seeing with what it has been told and therefore what it can’t identify must be that strange creature that everyone is talking about. We can fool ourselves some thing is real or happened when it didn’t because our memories are fallible. We will swear it is true because we think it is and will pass any lie detector test, but it doesn’t mean it really happened or was really there  It is not a lie because we have convinced ourselves . Or the alternative is these  things are real and then we should really be worried!  

2 comments:

TG Powell said...

People can swear to whatever they desire. The Brentford Griffin saga could very plausibly be considered as a leg pull originated by Robert Rankin, author of a number of humorous magickal mysteries centred on Brentford. A few papers who were aware of the griffin story dropped it when they heard Rankin was involved, bit at least one ran a piece and the simplest explanation is that it was a leg pull originated by Rankin that led to a short lived flap of Griffin sightings.

Then there are those of us that have seen.....experienced.....and put the mangy beasts out of their misery. many cryptids will remain what they are. Then there are others like the NOT-SO-Chupacabra's in Texas that have been around for decades that fill a gap in air time on television news programs and pages of soon to be defunct newspapers. Others with no sense will even create web pages and give them a "new" name....but we know the real truth so let them all look like the fools they are.

cryptoflorida.webs.com

Tabitca said...

Well people are entitled to believe what they want TG , who am I to say they are wrong?As long as they are not mistreating others because of that belief and are happy, let them get on with it. I agree with you over the Brentford Griffin , it looked like a hoax but I like to put all the evidence so people can decide for them selves. It reminded me of the Steve Alten thing at Loch Ness when some students claimed to have found a large tooth and it was advertising for a book apparently.I sadly feel I get more sceptical the older I get.