Sunday 31 January 2010

New Search for Bigfoot

Big Foot filmmaker sets sights on Humboldt

Franklin Stover, Humboldt Beacon Posted: 01/27/2010

A resident of Nevada City, Calif., William Barnes is a modern-day explorer whose strong sense of wonder fuels his drive to uncover age-old mysteries that have haunted humankind for centuries. While some have written off Big Foot as a corny hoax after the Roger Patterson film of 1967 was widely discredited, many go on in search of the allusive man-beast, undeterred in their quest for cryptozoological truth.

Having seen the creature with his own two eyes, Barnes is convinced there is something to the stories, and is determined to set out in July to capture photographic proof of the creature. To help rally support around the investigation, Barnes set up a website ( and described his search as “the most penetrating search for Sasquatch/Bigfoot ever conducted in North America.” From his website, Barnes wrote, “As a weekend gold miner in Northern California, I had such a creature walk up to my tent, so close I could have touched it, and then walk past me and up the side of the hill. Since that night by the creek, I have pondered for years, about how one could be filmed for any length of time, and how it could be studied in it's own safe habitat.” When Barnes arrives in mid-July, he will be focusing on areas that have a history of sightings, “including the area around the Klammath River, and yes, I would be using historical sighting maps and documentation that has been deemed credible. I would not stop in one place for long durations, since there have been many sightings on the entire West Coast,” Barnes explained. Barnes added that a great deal of preparation would be in order to make the study possible. “I would want residents of each area I plan to be in, to know what the blimp is doing there. It would be unfortunate if a pot grower, who didn't understand my intentions, shot down my expensive blimp.” And yes, Barnes plans on using a unique, one-of-a-kind 35-foot blimp that will hover over areas of special interest.

”Mine is being custom-made for the job it has to do. It is a remote control and is being made to go up to five hours fly time,” Barnes said. Meanwhile, his RV will act as a control centre during the flyover and film investigation. Barnes explained that it took him roughly 12 years to develop his unique method of filming Big Foot in the wild. Christened the “Falcon Project,” Barnes said that he is “the first person ever to do it this way.” Not going into great detail to reveal his procedures, Barnes said that his system is all run by electric, and all high-tech. “I can see up to 2,200 feet in the dark, and this will be almost all night work.” Barnes acknowledges that films can be easy to fake, especially short ones. His plan therefore, is to film a documentary following the building of the blimp, installation of infrared cameras, and volunteers at work. ”The thermal-imaging cameras are the newest in today's technology, and are the same as the ones being used by the military. The infrared camera can portray an image in the dark, as clearly as though it were in daylight,” Barnes added. To assist Barnes in the endeavour, the Big Foot stalker will employ a five-person crew who will be alert to the creature's presence around the clock. Not afraid of sceptics or naysayers, Barnes explained that the reason why his project was conceived is to prove that the creature is real, and is not something fabricated to sell books and movies. ”Because it is controversial, human curiosity drives us to investigate further. Think about this: why do people buy tabloids in grocery stores, and why do celebrities allow their "secrets" to be exposed? Human curiosity.” Barnes ended by saying that he would like our readers to know that his story isn't “just a myth or publicity stunt.” Other areas of interest to Barnes include Oregon, Washington, Texas, Arkansas, and Florida. (In Florida, there is a regional creature known as the Skunk Ape.)

The search for Big Foot will surely incur a Yeti-sized price tag, so Barnes is also in search of fellow believers and investors “who are as interested in discovering this elusive creature as I am. There is also a need for volunteers, hobbyists, and financial backers.” Eddie Diaz is a team member of the Falcon Project, and added that he has always been interested in the Big Foot phenomenon. ”I was told of a theory along with the Bearing Strait. That Humans were not able to cross due to two factors, a Sasquatch like beast and a big cat with a sabre tooth,” Diaz said. ”Those closed-minded folks are entitled to their opinions. What really intrigues me, and I bring up the question. How is it they all have steered away from people. A secret society that knows that if one is caught, there lives will change forever. Maybe they learned by watching their neighbours the Native American Indian vanish when they mingled with the whites. Lots of questions. And should we leave them alone for that reason alone?” According to the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (, a total of 416 sightings in California have been reported since people began seeing the hirsute ape-men. Although last year, it seems that the creature took a respite from Humboldt County, as more recent sightings have been reported in Del Norte, Kern, and Shasta counties than anywhere else lately.


(This is the whole article but I corrected some spelling mistakes and also used the English spelling of some words .)

Saturday 30 January 2010

The Canvey Island Monster and what it implicates for the Montauk monster

In November 1954, The Canvey Island Monster was the name given to creature whose carcass washed up Canvey Island, Essex ,UK A second, more intact, carcass was found in 1955. It recalls the Montauk monster in modern times.

( seen here for more info:

The 1954 creature was described as being 2.feet 3 inches (68 cms) long with reddish brown skin and bulging eyes and gills. It appeared to have hind legs with five-toed horseshoe-shaped feet but no forelimbs. Its remains were cremated after an inspection by zoologists who said that it posed no danger to the public. Nearly 3 months later Reverend Joseph Overs found another carcass of the creatures about 2 miles from the first creature's discovery This creature was larger and the carcass in better condition. Described as about 4 feet ( 120cms) long and an estimated weight of 25 pounds. It had the same large eyes, nostrils, sharp teeth, and gills with the same legs and feet as the first creature.

In 1999 journalist Nicholas Warren looked into the 1954-55 findings. He was unable to locate any official records at the Plymouth Marine Biology Association Laboratory or the National Rivers Authority about the creature being identified or listed as unknown. . He found that there were accounts from some locals who believed the creature was an anglerfish. Later he received a letter from Alwyne Wheeler, formerly an ichthyologist at the Department of Zoology at the Natural History Museum, informing him that in his opinion the specimens were anglerfish, and that their fleshy pectoral fins are often mistaken by lay observers for short legs with feet. There was a 68lb specimen caught on the shore of Canvey Island in 1967 .However, others have speculated that the creature may have been an Ogcocephalidae or Batfish .This species of fish already possess leg-like fins and also have reddish coloured skin.

If this was a mis-identification then what does that say about the modern day Montauk monster? Is it also a mis-identification of a known species?

Friday 29 January 2010

An Ice Age predator in Wastwater Cumbria?

In the Wasdale Valley Cumbria is Wastwater, a deep and mysterious lake. It is an example of a glacially 'over-deepened' valley. It is 3 miles long, half a mile wide and about 260 feet( 87 metres) deep. The surface of the lake is about 200 feet ( 66 metres)above sea level, while its bottom is reported to be 58 feet( 19 metres) below sea level. It was called one of the best views in England surrounded as it is by the mountains, Red Pike, Kirk Fell, Great Gable and Scafell Pike. The water is rather cold and is home to arctic char which have thrived there since the Ice Age. They spawn between November and March. Trout have also been caught there. ( reminds me of the description of Loch Ness).

It is popular with divers and in February 2005 it was reported that a "gnome garden" complete with picket fence was removed from the bottom of Wastwater by police divers after three divers died in the late 1990s. It is thought the divers spent too much time too deep looking for the gnomes. There was a rope that led you there if you knew where to look for it. But now there's a rumour about a new garden beyond the 50m depth limit. As police divers we can't legally dive that deep ,so if it exists, the new garden could have been deliberately put out of reach.

But I know of a more mysterious tale about Wastwater:

A school friend of mine came from the Whitehaven area , not far from Wastwater. Her father , knowing my interest in lake monsters told me that in the late 50’s , early 60’s, men were putting water pipes into the lake for the nuclear plant cooling system at what is now known as Sellafield nuclear power station. He said they told tales in the pub of being scared by something in the water, a long monster. Sadly neither my friend nor her father are with us any longer. I was thinking about her today and it reminded me of the story. On digging deeper into the story I found this from 2002:

Anybody who has ever dived England's deepest lake, the eerie Wast Water in west Cumbria, knows that there's something very large and very strange down there. I saw it move off into the depths, way below me, when I was at 36m in wonderfully clear water in the early '80s.
Sceptics would s
ay I was full of narcosis. I say I saw something the size and shape of a giraffe head off into the deep. When you stop laughing, consider this fact. There are little fish in Wast Water left behind by the retreat of the last Ice Age. Perhaps something higher up the food chain was left behind with them. Source:

So perhaps they weren’t just beer tales after all. And the description sounds awfully like the Rines photo shown here. It certainly would make most people think twice before diving!

If you have an interest in lake monsters look at divers sites online. You will be surprised by some the tales you find. They tell each other but not the world.

Wednesday 27 January 2010

Loch Ness Creature and UK Parliament questions

Nessie was often in the news but also often came up in parliamentary discussions in the 60's and 70's. see the extract below from Hansard (Where parliamentary decisions/ debates are recorded and I believe it is also available online)

HANSARD 18032005 1960s 1969 July 1969 16 July 1969 Lords Sitting


HL Deb 16 July 1969 vol 304 cc262-4 262

§ 2.46 p.m.


My Lords, I beg to ask the Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.

§ [The Question was as follows:

§ To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they are satisfied, from assurances given by persons operating submarines in Loch Ness, that any monsters that may chance to inhabit that loch will not be subjected to damage or assault.]


My Lords, we proceed from one monster to another. The Answer to the Question is, Yes. The organiser of The Loch Ness Phenomena Investigation Bureau Limited has given assurances to the Chief Constable of the Inverness Constabulary that the submarine operations have no aggressive intent.


My Lords, arising out of that reply, may I ask whether the noble Lord is aware that the Chief 263 Constable has in fact given permission for an attempt to be made to obtain a tissue sample from whatever monsters can be found? Is the noble Lord satisfied that this could be done without danger and disturbance, and does the Secretary of State for Scotland condone this course?


My Lords, the organiser has said that the main objective of the submarine will be to try to get a positive identification of any echo which may be picked up by the Bureau's sonar equipment. For this purpose it will be fitted with are lights and photographic gear. In addition, it will have a small compressed air gun designed to fire a retrievable dart so shaped as to extract a small sample of tissue for subsequent analysis. This technique is widely used for tagging whales. In the particular context of this scientific expetition I hardly think it constitutes damage or assault.

On the other question which the noble Lord has asked, while I have no reason to doubt the assurances that have been given to the Chief Constable, I must point out that my right honourable friend the Secretary of State has no real locus in the matter. Unless and until the monster is found and examined we cannot even say whether the provisions of the Cruelty to Animals Act 1876 would be relevant, since that Act does not apply to invertebrates.


My Lords, may I ask the Minister whether he is aware that news has just come through that an enormous apparently prehistoric, monster has been washed up on the Ross of Mull at a place called Uisken? Everybody is very excited about it up there.


Is it alive or dead?




My Lords, is my noble friend aware that it will be an act of sacrilege to take away from the Scottish Tourist Board the myth of the monster of Loch Ness by which they get many gullible tourists each year?


I do not know on what scientific ground my noble friend says that the monster is a myth.


§ Lord LOVAT

My Lords, is the noble Lord aware that neither the Inverness County Council nor the police, nor the riparian owners on the shore were alerted to the fact that two submarines were coming to operate in the Loch? May I further ask him whether he is aware that, according to reports in the Press, "nature study" goes so far as for the "Phenomena" promoters to say that if they cannot contact the monster with lance or submarine they propose to detonate charges below the surface and blow the animal on to the top of the water—something we very much regret in the county where the monster still remains our greatest invisible asset.


My Lords, there are many rumours about the monster, and I know that there were other suggestions about what might be done. An American group were interested in an alternative way of trying to find it, but when they discovered that it would involve them in expenditure of half-a-million dollars they changed their mind.

Viscount ST. DAVIDS

My Lords, will my noble friend make clear to his right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Scotland that there is legislation under which these creatures could be protected and that the British Waterways Board, as the navigation authority, have the right to remove the licences for these vessels if they start annoying the local livestock?


My Lords, I should be very interested to examine any information my noble friend can give me in that direction.


My Lords, how would the noble Lord like to be "potted" by an airgun to take samples of his tissue?


My Lords, provided that the relevant part of my tissue was no greater than the small amount, in proportion, that was taken from the bulk of the whale, I doubt whether I should notice it.

§ Lord LOVAT

My Lords, the noble Lord's answer is not entirely satisfactory. Is he aware that in America there is considerable embarrassment that these two submarines should have arrived without local authority? They quite rightly take the view that we can hardly launch an expedition on Lake Okeechobee in similar circumstances.

The discussion then changed to whales and fishing I believe. It shows though how the subject of researching Nessie was taken quite seriously at times. Sadly too many hoaxes means that is no longer so.

The mini -me of Yetis, the Teh-Ima.

Said to inhabit the steamy mountain valleys of Nepal and Sikkim, the Teh-lma, ( apparently translates as “That There Little Thing”), is the smallest of the Yeti species reported to inhabit the Himalayas. The creatures are described as between 3 feet (approx 1metre) and 4 feet (1. 3 meters) tall with hunched shoulders and a pointed head that slopes back from the forehead with thick reddish hair/ fur. They are said to eat frogs and other small animals. It walks and runs on its hind legs i.e. is bipedal and will run away if it sees a human being. Sir Edmond Hillary and Desmond Doig claimed that in Bhuran, Sikkim and south eastern Tibet, the Teh-lma are known as Pyar-them. Some think the Teh-Ima are juvenile yetis and not a separate branch of the species.

The Daily Mail Himalayan Snowman Expedition in 1954

Gerald Russell, an American naturalist, on the expedition, was told about these small Yetis ( I keep thinking mini-me)that the indigenous people called Teh-lma. Russell was able to examine what was said to be the faeces(scat) of the creature from which he concluded that the Teh-lma lived in the more tropical valleys of Nepal and ate a diet of mainly frogs. Russell returned to Nepal as a member of the Slick-Johnson Expedition in 1958. A Sherpa called Da Temba, was Russell’s guide. Da Temba along with another eyewitness, said they had seen a Teh-lma in the middle of a creek located in Chhoyang River Valley in April during the expedition. Though Russell did not see the creature himself, he said he found its tracks on more than one occasion. Teh-Lma tracks are humanlike and about 5 inches( 12 / 13 cm) long .

In Ivan T Sanderson’s book he also talks about the Teh-Ima and the faeces :

In the gross form the faeces alleged to be those of ABSMs, fall into two very clear-cut types—those from the Himalaya which are of large but not excessive man-size and are said to come from Meh-Teh and Teh-lma; and those of the Oh-Mahs from California. The only reliable examination of the former made in the field was made by Gerald Russell who had had many years of such field studies in Africa and the Orient while collecting mammals, reptiles, and amphibians for museums. He reported the form to be generally humanoid and the contents to be: “A quantity of pika (Ochotona) fur; a quantity of pika bones (approx, 20); one feather, probably from a partridge chick; some sections of grass, or other vegetable matter; one thorn; one large insect claw; three pika whiskers.” Later, he examined also what appeared to be Teh-lma droppings near the river where he had found those creatures to be eating giant frogs. These contained bones of that animal and vegetable and insect remains in about equal proportions

Ivan T. Sanderson 1961 , Abominable Snowmen: Legend Come To Life, p337-338

You can read it here online for free:

The discovery of the Homo floresiensis skeleton on Flores Island in October 2004, has fuelled speculation about the Teh-Ima.. The skeletons discovered are about 3 feet (1metre) tall and are thought to be a dwarf species of the genus Homo. The skeletons are bout 12,000 years old but it has given food for thought over the Teh-Ima. There has been much discussion as to whether they skeletons were a dwarf species or just deformed but if one small species could have existed in time then there is always the possibility that so could another.

(I am not so good today so apologise for any spelling or grammar errors I have missed)

Tuesday 26 January 2010

The Loch Lomond beastie mystery .

Located in both the lowlands and the southern Highlands of Scotland, Loch Lomond is second only to Loch Ness in volume of water. For years there have been reports by residents living near the loch of a strange creature seen in the water. Some eyewitnesses describe the creature as being like the Loch Ness monster, a plesiosaur like creature, others say it looks like a large crocodile.

Then several eyewitnesses in 1997 said they had seen a 12 foot long beast eating the ducks in Loch Lomond. This article appeared in the press:

Croc Lomond Monster ~ Mystery Of 'Beast' Caught On Film.

By Ray Notarangelo.

A mystery monster has been seen gobbling ducks in Loch Lomond. the 12ft long beast, now captured on video, has left scientists baffled.One even said it looked like a giant crocodile? SSPCA chiefs yesterday confirmed they had received several reports about the new Nessie.A five-minute film of the beast has been shot by pals making a pop video on the banks of Loch Lomond, near Rowardennan. Edinburgh freelance journalist Nick Taylor, who owns the film, said: "When the group were packing up they discovered this creature swimming in the water. The thing was gliding through the water slowly, but it often picked up speed and swam against the tide. They got quite a shock, especially when it started to swim towards them at one point. They thought it looked like some giant crocodile or alligator. They had never seen anything like it before.SSPCE spokeswoman Doreen Graham said: "People came on the phone saying to us: 'I hope you don't think I'm mad, but I've seen a strange creature in Loch Lomond.' ~ One man told us they were looking at a flock of ducks on the loch when suddenly one was pulled under the surface. If anyone can solve the mystery we'd love to hear from them."

Source: Daily Record: 10th April 1997.

The film ended up on the desk of Dr. Andrew Kitchener, of the Royal Museum of Scotland. After viewing the tape he admitted that the creature it showed did appear to be a crocodile; however he made it clear that a crocodile would be unable to survive in Loch Lomond. Dr. Kitchener was able to rule out a mink or an otter as the creature in the videos identity.

So what was it? Well our old friend the sturgeon is a contender and does look reptilian , or even huge pike perhaps, they are known to eat ducklings. Could it have been an abandoned pet croc which got too big to look after? It would have survived for a short time but the cold would eventually have killed it. The mystery remains . If anyone knows of any more recent sightings please post a comment.

Monday 25 January 2010

The Madidi Monster - hydra dinosaur or deformed crocodile?

In1883, William A. E. Axon, made some amazing claims:

“Sir,—The ‘Anglo-Brazilian Times,’ March 24th, 1883, says that the Brazilian Minister at La Paz, Bolivia, has remitted to the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Rio photographs of drawings of an extraordinary Saurian killed on the Beni after receiving thirty-six balls. By order of the President of Bolivia the dried body, which had been preserved at Asuncion, was sent to La Paz. It is 12 metres long(39 feet) from snout to point of the tail, which latter is flattened. Besides the anterior head, it has, 4 metres(13 feet) behind, two small but completely formed heads rising from the back. All three have much resemblance to the head of a dog. The legs are short, and end in formidable claws. The legs, belly, and lower part of the throat appear defended by a kind of scale armour, and all the back is protected by a still thicker and double cuirass, starting from behind the ears of the anterior head, and continuing to the tail. The neck is long, and the belly large and almost dragging on the ground. Professor Gilveti, who examined the beast, thinks it is not a monster, but a member of a rare or almost lost species, as the Indians in some parts of Bolivia use small earthen vases of identical shape, and probably copied from Nature.”

."( "A Bolivian Saurian," Scientific American, 49:3, 1883.)

The corpse of the so called Madidi Monster was allegedly moved to La Paz at the President’s request and subsequently disappeared.

Now this was regarded as a hoax especially in view of the “photographs of drawings” (made me think of the Goon Show “here is a photograph of a cheque” lol) . If they had photographs why weren’t they of the original corpse not of the drawings? Then I came across this fossil find:

Scientists have found what is thought to be the first example of a two-headed reptile in the fossil record. The abnormal animal, belonging to a group of aquatic reptiles, was unearthed in north-eastern China and dates to the time of the dinosaurs. The specimen reveals that it must have been very young when it died and became fossilised, says lead researcher Eric Buffetaut. "Living animals like this are known. But if you compare the number of reptiles born with two heads with the total number of reptiles born, it is very small. "So the chances of finding a fossil like this are extremely low." The abnormality is known to occur with some frequency in modern reptiles; about 400 cases of two-headed snakes have been recorded in historic times.

Full article here:

IT could be that the monster was a deformed crocodile or reptile of some sort that had survived for a few years until adulthood. It certainly makes more sense than a hydra dinosaur. As it is a rare event for an animal to be born like this , it is unlikely that local people had seen anything like it before .

The story of the Madidi Monster is here:

Sunday 24 January 2010

Was this another sighting of the Lough Fadda creature?

As a follow up to the Lough Fadda sighting I came across this in F.W. Holiday’s book “The Great Orm of Loch Ness”. It is on page 148-149 in the 1971 Faber edition.:

The Rector of Clifden Mr Edward C. Alston told Ted Holiday of a strange creature , both he and a Mr Hunt, the fishery inspector, saw in the Killery Inlet near Clifden.

He said it was in November 1965 and he was going to a meeting about the fisheries when he stopped to look at some seals who were themselves watching something. Then he saw what they were watching. He described it as having a neck about as thick as a telegraph pole standing about 5 feet( about 1 and half metres) out of the water .The creature was quite still and seem to be intent on the seals and Mr Alston said it ‘s head resembled a large conger eel’s. He said there was the impression of a large body under the water . It disappeared after about 1 and a half minutes sinking vertically into the water and the seals also disappeared.He estimated it was a 100 yards ( 33 meters) from where he was watching.

Mr Hunt , saw the creature from his house and added he thought the creature was 20 – 25 feet long( 6 to 8 meters approx)and he had seen it move quite fast exhibiting humps. There was also a report to him from a water keeper north of the point who asked for an identification of the same creature he had seen but Mr Hunt was unable to give one. The creature was fairly light in colour so stood out against the sea and Mr Hunt described it as being shaded , lighter underneath when it turned.

What makes this extraordinary is that Lough Fadda is only 10 minutes drive from Clifden and therefore could that distance ( approx 10 or 11 kilometres) have been traversed by this creature? Could it or one like it, have been the creature seen in Lough Fadda in 1954, nine years before.? The area was not built up at that time and would be quite deserted in places. There were apparently fish farms in the Lough then as they were at Killery (Possibly spelt Killary ) inlet and that could have been the attraction for a large creature. An interesting tale which leaves lots of unanswered questions to think about.

Saturday 23 January 2010

The explorers hunting for unknown animals

The explorers' club

Meet the scientists risking their lives to find Earth's rarest species By Helena de Bertodano

Extract from the article which mentions cryptozoologists:

I ask him what he thinks about quests for creatures like the Loch Ness Monster – the existence of which British naturalist Peter Scott tried hard to prove in the Seventies. 'I have to say I wouldn’t invest a lot of time looking for a Loch Ness Monster,’ he chuckles. 'On the other hand, what made Peter Scott’s work interesting is that he set up a kind of rationale for doing what he was doing. That is what defines a quest. You are going out to answer a particular set of questions you have in your mind.’ 'Another way to find a new species,’ says Jeff Meldrum, Idaho State University’s associate professor of anatomy and anthropology, 'is to walk into a village in some far-flung place and look at what the kids have tied up on a leash somewhere or to examine the pelt that’s nailed to the side of a hut. Or to look on the dinner plate and see what’s there.’ Indeed, many so-called 'new’ species are already known to locals, particularly in more primitive areas. But no animal officially 'exists’ until a scientist says it does. It’s no use returning from a stroll through the jungle and saying you have seen a huge black jaguar twice the size of other jaguars – as a Catholic missionary working in Amazonian Peru did recently – unless you have some physical evidence. Meldrum is an eminent professor and a cryptozoologist. As a specialist in the evolution of bipedal primates, he devotes every spare minute to his hunt for none other than Bigfoot (known in different locations as the Sasquatch, Yeren or yeti). 'The only shred of doubt for me is the persistently missing definitive physical proof.’ Nevertheless, he has a laboratory containing 200 casts of footprints made, he says, by a large bipedal primate: 'I am convinced, based on a thorough analysis of those tracks, that we are dealing with the footprints of an unrecognised primate.’ Certain that they live mostly in the forests of the Pacific Northwest, he believes that the reason there has been no definitive sighting is that they are naturally reclusive. 'It took Jane Goodall months before she got her first glimpse of chimpanzees. And she was looking for a group of gregarious boisterous primates on the single side of a little mountain valley. It just shows the ability of these animals to avoid human observation,’ Meldrum says. In one remote location where he was trying to track the Sasquatch he experienced something so strange one still windless night that he is convinced that only a large primate could be responsible. 'We had gone to a location only accessible by float plane – 100 miles from anywhere in any direction – and late one night, one of the guys was relieving himself off the porch and while he was standing there this stone comes whizzing past him and hits the metal siding of the cabin. 'It was thrown with some force so it really pinged off the cabin wall. I came out of the cabin and one of the fellows said: “Why don't we throw something into the woods and see what happens?” So we tossed a stone in there and about five minutes went by and out comes another stone that was even bigger and bounced across the metal corrugated roof. 'We went into the woods with thermal imaging equipment and night vision binoculars. But whatever it was had vanished.’ He also cites evidence from a Chinese park ranger, who apparently saw the Yeren. 'He was on patrol and across the small canyon on the opposite flank of the valley sunning itself on a large boulder was a big reddish brown figure. He yelled at it to get its attention – it sat up and spied him and then slid off the rock and walked away on two legs. 'Later he came across tracks at a watering hole and cast a right and a left foot. I met him and I was stunned – the tracks showed a very distinctive mid-tarsal pressure ridge that was identical to the tracks I’ve examined that are attributed to the Sasquatch. 'He didn’t have any concept or knowledge of Bigfoot or Sasquatch at all. So the notion that this is some copycat stunt is out of the question.’ Recently, too, there was the discovery of 'The Hobbit’, a dwarf-like species in the genus Homo, which is thought to have lived until relatively recently (18,000 years ago, which is recent in scientific terms). The unearthing of bones in Flores, Indonesia, which verified the myth of a tiny man, was so surprising that Henry Gee, editor of the revered Nature journal wrote: 'The discovery that Homo floresiensis survived until so very recently, in geological terms, makes it more likely that the stories of other mythical humanlike creatures such as yetis are founded on grains of truth.’ Goodall herself has backed Meldrum’s theories about the Sasquatch. 'You’ll be amazed when I tell you that I’m sure that they exist,’ she said recently. On the whole, cryptozoologists are less interested in the smaller species. 'Most of them are into the big animals,’ says Voss, the mammalogist. 'There’s a high learning curve to figuring out the small stuff. And in my opinion we have already got 99 per cent of the mammals bigger than a breadbox.’ Bruce Beehler agrees: 'It’s mainly insects: beetles – lots and lots of beetles – and plants left to be found. Having said that, there are new primates that have been found in Brazil, new lemurs from Madagascar, at least one new wallaby from the Foja Mountains…’

Source and full article here:

Well worth a read!

Friday 22 January 2010

Are we any further on with solving the mystery of loch Ness? from the archives

I was browsing through the archives of the newspaper “The Northern Times” Scotland and came across these gems all from 1933 and 1934:

A proposed attempt to solve the problem of the Loch Ness Monster by descending to the bottom of the loch in a steel tube to which is attached an observation chamber, was described by Mr J E Williamson, of Florida, USA, a marine explorer who arrived at Liverpool this week in the Cunard-White Star liner Scythia en route for Scotland. Mr Williamson, who is the originator of undersea motion pictures, said that from the observation chamber a strong beam of light would project from the glass window and he would be enabled to photograph objects 25 to 30 feet away. He believed it would be quite possible to "drift in" on the Loch Ness Monster. "I don't think there is much to fear from an attack by the creature," he added. "I have had attacks before from sharks but have been able to deal with them. It will take me about a month to cover the whole of the loch, and if at the end of that time I do not find any monster I shall conclude that it does not exist."


I have been unable to find out if this took place or what the result was. I had not heard of this before.

Here is an interesting tale from the same time:

Loch Fleet Monster – As the Embo motor boat “Maid Marvyth,” was entering Loch Fleet on Monday afternoon, the members of the crew were taken by surprise when a monster of a shark, length about 20 feet, followed the boat right up to the Little Ferry Pier, and remained above the water for quite a time. Some of the Embo youths who were in the boat thought it was the Loch Ness Monster, until they were informed by the crew that is was a shark. It is an unusual occurrence for a shark to be seen in Loch Fleet.source:

An interesting one for those who think Nessie is a shark .

And last but not least:

Broadcasting from Aberdeen on 7th December, Mr Alex Polson, JP, a well-known native of Clyne, Sutherland, said that the fame of the so-called Loch Ness Monster has spread far and wide and many have been scanning this extensive loch day after day all summer. One day several young people found a crooked tree trunk at the water's edge, photographed it, and sent the picture to southern newspapers and reported that the mystery had been solved, but alas for their story the monster has been seen several times since by over 50 persons whose report can certainly be trusted and now many people believe that there is some truth in the story and someone has even attached a line with a baited hook to a barrel surmounted by a flag in the hope of capturing it, but as yet without result.People who have seen it report that it looks like an upturned boat moving quickly through the water. Others say that it looks like a monster eel 20 to 30 feet long with humps on its back. Others again that it has a small head which lifts from a body of great size. One gentleman from Golder's Green, London, says that on 22nd July he saw between Dores and Foyers the nearest approach to a dragon or pre-historic animal he ever saw. It crossed the road about fifty yards ahead of him and appeared to be carrying a small lamb. To him it seemed to have a long neck which moved up and down. The body had a high back and if it had feet it must have been of the webbed kind. It moved very rapidly and disappeared. It was from six to eight feet in length and was ugly. "I am of the opinion," he says, "that it is an amphibian." This amphibian theory is supported by the story of young men at Fort Augustus who tell that 20 years ago they as boys from 10 to 12 were birdnesting among the bushes on the banks of the loch and were terrified to see an animal emerge from the underwood and make for the loch. The incident was forgotten, but now they tell that the beast they saw had a long neck, a small head, a humped-up back, fairly long legs, and its skin was of a pale-yellow colour. The father of one of the boys remembers the incident perfectly because of the excitement of the boy when he reached home.A Norfolk gentleman who was on the lookout for it in June suggests that it must be a large conger eel and such eels have been found weighing 130 pounds, 10 feet in length, and 18 inches in girth, and is at present wandering up and down the loch trying to find its way back to the sea. No private person is willing to tackle the job of catching this wonderful creature alive and it is suggested that the Fishery Board should do so and so solve the mystery. Here are a few of the guesses as to what this monster is: a prehistoric plesiosaurus, a lump of peat detached from the side of the loch, a beluga or white whale, the legendary sea-serpent, a long-necked seal, a very large eel, a grampus, a sea camel, a porpoise, a crocodile, a large otter, a sunfish, a bearded shark, some amphibian. Last week what is believed to be the monster has been photographed and zoologists are now trying to determine from the photograph what exactly it is. The result of its appearance has been a revival of wonderful kelpie stories, and there are few lochs in the Highlands or Islands which did not at some time contain some savage kelpie, or eachuisge, or water horse...The fear of the kelpie was used in Sutherland to prevent Sabbath breaking. One Sunday several children were playing by a lakeside when a fine red pony appeared. One of them got up on its back and invited a chum up behind him. There was also room for one more until only the boy who had the bridle was left. When they started, this boy tried to let the bridle go but found he could not. He remembered about kelpies, whipped out his knife and cut off his finger and so escaped the fate of the others who were drowned.It has also been used to show that the number 13 is unlucky. Thirteen men, one of them a piper, were returning from a wedding and entered an empty house to rest. The piper said "What a pity there are no girls that we might have a dance." In tripped 13 nicely dressed damsels and they began dancing. From his point of vantage, the piper saw that they had hoofs instead of feet and told his partner that he must go out for a few minutes. He did, and escaped. Next morning nothing was to be seen of the others but a few bones by the water's edge. One could go on for a whole night telling such kelpie tales. It is hoped that many mysteries may be solved when the Loch Ness monster is caught. Source:

Sometimes I think we are no further on with solving the mystery than we were in the 1930’s!

Thursday 21 January 2010

Feuds and folly at Loch Ness since 2002 , but what about Nessie?

Monster feud makes waves in Loch Ness

By James Morrison Sunday, 1 September 2002

Its serpentine neck and partially submerged humps make for one the world's most recognisable images, and have inspired numerous hoaxes, films and advertisements. Now the Loch Ness monster is the object of a bitter feud over attempts by businessmen based on the shores of its watery domain to transform it into a multi-million pound marketing concept. On one side is a group of Highland entrepreneurs itching to exploit the global pull of the "Nessie brand". On the other is a collection of amateur enthusiasts and local small businesses who fear that opening up the loch to greater commercialism will cheapen the legend and suck the lifeblood from their village of Drumnadrochit. The tensions are being played out between three rival internet sites linked to separate 24-hour webcams located at vantage points around and within the loch. Lochness Live! – catchphrase, "Loch Ness: More than a Monster" – features plugs for local hotels and cruise companies alongside invitations to "spot Nessie live on camera". It is the work of Willie Cameron, director of the newly launched Loch Ness Marketing and the architect of a decision by Drumnadrochit Chamber of Commerce to re-name itself Visitlochness Ltd. A second, more scientific, site is overseen by Adrian Shine, a naturalist and confessed Nessie "non-believer'" who runs Loch Ness 2000, a hi-tech visitor centre situated next-door to Mr Cameron's business HQ, the Drumnadrochit Hotel. The third is the work of Mikko Takala, a computer programmer and pioneer of webcams at Loch Ness, who claims his idea has been "hijacked" by interlopers. Mr Takala, an opponent of what he calls "the Drumnadrochit mafia", said: "The webcams started out as a bit of fun, a way of enabling people around the world to look for the Loch Ness monster. Now the suits have hijacked it, and just tried to make money out of it. Their websites are like glorified telephone directories." Though he stopped short of suggesting his website had ever been deliberately sabotaged, Mr Takala said there had been inexplicable "periods where it's been off line".For the past few months, Mr Takala has used his site, Nessie on the Net, to lambast a recently completed £5m re-development of Urquhart Castle, the dramatic medieval ruin overlooking the loch, as well as those, like Mr Cameron, who supported it. Mr Cameron and his business associate Fraser Campbell, who runs the Drumnadrochit Hotel, are directors of the Loch Ness Coffee Company, which runs the tea room at the new centre. Their latest venture has caused ripples in the village, where other café owners say they have lost a third of their trade since the castle reopened last October. Among the losers is Donald Skinner, owner of the more traditional of the village's two Nessie attractions, The Original Loch Ness Visitor Centre – motto, "we believe" – and a pint-sized Disney castle called The Braveheart Centre. Mr Skinner, who also owns the neighbouring Drumnadrochit Lodge Hotel, criticised the "two-way traffic" which sees coachloads of tourists bypassing the village en route from Inverness to Urquhart via Loch Ness 2000. "Every pound spent there is a pound less spent in the village." Mr Cameron remains bullish. Describing the monster as "living X-Files" and "a brand that could be bigger than Coke", he said: "My whole aim is to bring business into Drum." As for the Net rivalries, he said: "Yes, we're using our webcam to market Loch Ness, but there's nothing wrong with that. And Mikko didn't invent webcams: the idea for ours came from a guy in the village supermarket." Gary Campbell, of the Loch Ness Monster Fan Club, said: "There's a scene in the film Loch Ness where two men are fighting in the water and yelling, 'it's my monster, it's my monster'. That sums it up. Everyone wants to own the Loch Ness monster."


It’s things like this that make me despair. The feud still goes on as far as I am aware. Personally I prefer the The Original Loch Ness Visitor Centre, because it is the one I always felt most at home in. The other one with it’s fancy gadgets and high entrance fee, did nothing for the imagination. Plus the fact that they have now opened another one in Edinburgh , I believe, makes me think” out to make money” not educate. Whilst all this feuding goes on, the real work of looking for nessie gets set aside. Divided we fall etc and whilst divided no work gets done.

Big Cat or Thylacine sighting or something else ?

TEN years after he first saw a strange creature in the bush, Don Valley resident Andrew Bligh has had a second encounter with a large cat-like animal. While his sighting may re-ignite talks of big cats in the Valley, Mr Bligh said he thought the creature was more marsupial than feline. “I have been working in the bush pretty much all of my life, but I have never seen anything like this before,” Mr Bligh said. “I was standing on the veranda and I watched it for about a minute as it walked across the road and disappeared into the scrub. I was very still, so it either didn’t notice me, or it wasn’t bothered by my presence.” Mr Bligh described the animal as the size of a large Rottweiler, but with a different, stocky build. He said all four shoulders were of the same height, and it glided along the roadside. “I don’t subscribe to the theories of big cats let loose in the bush, so I am wondering if what we are seeing is actually a naturally occurring animal species we have not come across before,” Mr Bligh said. “My intelligent thought says to me it is a marsupial of some type, but something bigger than what we commonly see.” An internet search for big-cat sightings revealed the Yarra Valley has had many sightings over the years. Dating back to 2001 there have been several sightings recorded in Healesville and Warburton, and even one in Montrose. The Department of Sustainability and Environment’s project leader wildlife management, Ian Temby, said the DSE kept “an open but sceptical mind” about reported sightings of big cats. “In the 50 years that reports have been made about big cats in rural Victoria there has never been any physical evidence to support the sightings,” Mr Temby said. “If big cats were able to breed and maintain a population there would be some evidence other than these supposed sightings. To date there is nothing that would prove their existence. “What people mistake for big cats may be as a result of poor light leading to mistaken size, or it may be a mangy fox.”

I would presume this man knew all the local wildlife by sight, so if he thinks it something new or anomalous , it probably is. Big cat or something else? Maybe more sightings will be forthcoming or even the usual grainy photo , which may help identification.

Wednesday 20 January 2010

The Kodiak dinosaur story

In 1969, a shrimp boat the M/V Mylark had been fitted with an expensive state of the art electronic detector in order to map the ocean floor in an area known as the Raspberry Straight, off the coast of Kodiak Island, Alaska. The detector was the Simarad which was supposedly a fool-proof electronic device. According to the report it was functioning perfectly when one of the operators noticed an anomaly about 330 feet (110 metres) below the surface. The object on the display screen appeared to be about 200 feet( 67 metres) long and looked as if it was swimming. The men were able to capture an image of the screen reading .It was described as a large, animate, dinosaur shaped marine animal. It became known as The Kodiak Dinosaur.

The experienced fisherman who were operating the equipment stated that what they picked up on the detector was not any known species of whale or any other indigenous marine creature from the region. What happened to the print out of the screen reading is unclear so it may no longer exist.

Dr. Roy P. Mackal theorised that there are still pods of ancient cetaceans in the world’s oceans known in the fossil record as Basilosaurus. He thought one may have been responsible for the strange reading .

There were often sceptics who claimed sonar readings in Loch Ness were the result of the sounds waves bouncing back from the loch sides. Not all readings can be attributed to this but some possibly could. Could the same thing have occurred here but with the waves bouncing back from the ocean floor ? I am no sonar expert so don’t know if it is possible .The other explanation is that it was a huge strange unknown creature, which is always a possibility.

The creature of Lake Voronta

I have been unable to find out much about the Voronta Beast which is said to live in Lake Voronta in Siberia. The lack of information could be because access to the lake is not easy and the nearest village is over a 100 miles away. Not a place to find a journalist hanging about !

In July of 1953 a geologist, V.A. Tverdokhlebov, and his assistant, claimed that they saw a creature in the lake whilst doing some work in the area. It was a perfect, windless day. and the two at first thought it was a petrol drum floating roughly 300 feet ( 100 metres) from the shoreline. As the lake is so isolated though it was unlikely that it was an oil drum dumped in the lake. It was then that they realised that the object was alive. Tverdokhlebov described the creature as a dark grey colour ,about 30 feet(10 metres) in length and about 6 feet (2 metres) wide. On its head , he thought he could see two light-coloured patches. The dorsal fin of the creature was bent backwards and it appeared to be moving like a dolphin, in forward leaps. After a while, still at 300 feet away(100 metres) from shore it began to wildly splash the water before plunging mysteriously out of sight.

Another geologist who remained anonymous also witnessed something in the lake .He described the monster as " an ominous looking dark grey shape. Its body resembled an oversized, glistening, tin-barrel with a slanted horn rudder on its back".

There have been other sporadic small Soviet expeditions sent to Lake Voronta to collect evidence of the creature, but none , as far as we know, have been successful.

So what was it? Most seem to think it was some sort of dolphin or whale. The questions are, how did it get there and was it the only creature in the lake? In such an isolated spot it was unlikely to have been introduced into the lake as a single entity like a discarded pet. Hopefully further expeditions may visit the lake and with modern equipment find some evidence of what it was, or if it is , or it’s ancestors still there.

Tuesday 19 January 2010

Lough Fadda Horse Eel

Lough Fadda In Ireland is known for it’s salmon and trout fishing, and also reports of an unknown creature seen in the lake. For generations the locals of the Connemara area spoke of strange creatures called Horse Eels that inhabited the surrounding bog waters and children were warned to stay away from the loughs as Horse Eels dwelt there. In the 20th Century a lot of people dismissed it as folklore. Then there was a sighting in 1954. Four members of the local Clifden community saw the creature and two were reported to be very disturbed by the experience, so much so that when they returned to Clifden they insisted men armed with rifles be sent to the scene.

In June 1954 Georgina Carberry and three friends cycled down to Lough Fadda. They took a boat owned by the Clifden Angling Association and set out to fish. Later in the afternoon they decided to set the boat ashore along a finger of land that almost splits the lake in half to have some refreshments. They were sitting down with their tea when one of the group pointed out an object moving from "an island" which she assumed was a man swimming. The object was approaching them and as it got closer it was obviously too big to be a human swimming . They began to get concerned and when it reached within twenty yards (18 metres) Georgina made the first move and jumped back, the others followed and moved away from the waters edge. The movement must have disturbed the creature and it swung right around a rock near the shore and dived. In two minutes it was up to the island again where they were watching and reappeared. When the creature came close to the group on shore it opened its "huge great mouth". Two big humps were noticed sticking above the water behind its head. Georgina said she spotted a forked tail when it swung around the rock. (Another witness "Ann", didn't recall seeing one, when interviewed later). Georgina likened the creature’s mouth to a shark's and described the animal's skin as "wormy" or "creepy". (She explained to F.W. Holiday when interviewed that the "body seemed to have movement all over it all the time.)The witness called “Ann” recalled later on being interviewed that it had prominent eyes to the front of the head. “Ann”,( one of the two surviving members of the group) was interviewer in 2001 by a local historian and the details of the sighting she told him matched the details from nearly 50 years previously, it was still so clear in her mind.

The Loch Ness Investigation bureau came to search the lough in 1965. The team included Captain Lionel Leslie, Dr. Roy P. Mackal , and David James, founder of the Loch Ness Investigation Bureau. Captain Leslie set off 5 lbs of explosive along the shore of Lough Fadda in an attempt to lure the creature out.( a similar thing had been tried at Loch Ness in an attempt to imitate the 1933 road blasting to lure out Nessie, the police at Inverness however made them stop). It was recorded that about ten seconds after the blast, a long black object broke the surface and began violently thrashing about. Cameras were on hand but apparently failed to capture any footage. The creature thrashed so wildly no identification or conclusions could be made of the brief sighting. Nets were left across the lough but no further evidence was obtained.

There was apparently was an earlier sighting of some sort by two men in a boat during the 1940s but no details have been forthcoming and a search was conducted in Lough Fadda during the early 1980s that was mentioned in the local newspaper but again no details have been forthcoming about what was found.

So a candidate for the giant Eels theory? I think it sounds very like many other sightings and could well have been an enormous eel. It may have been protecting it’s territory or moved to that lough because it was hungry. Sadly the blast may have killed it or it may have moved on because of it , as there seems to have been no sightings since.

F.W. Holiday's book “The Dragon on the Disc” which is out of print but still available as a second hand book through amazon and other book sellers ,contains details of the incident and interviews with the witnesses. ( When my copy is returned I will scan in some of the interviews if possible for blog readers to see)

Photo :copyright 2009 Paul Egan