Wednesday 30 June 2010

Welsh Mermaids?

There have been stories of people seeing mermaids off the coast of Wales especially the mid Wales coast line. I have gathered a few up from the last few hundred years.
The first story is of an alleged sighting of a mermaid near Pendine, Carmarthenshire in 1603. The creature was first seen by Thomas Raynold, a yeoman from Pendine, who then summoned others to keep watch for three hours. William Saunders of Pendine later examined Raynold and some of the other witnesses and took down their testimony..
You can read the original pamphlet here :
( It is in olde English)

Then in a book “A Tour to Milford Haven, in the Year 1791” By Mary Morgan (London, 1795) was this story:
Letter 43 Mrs Morgan To Mrs. G .Haverfordwest, Sept. 22. 1791
IF you delight in the marvellous, I shall now present you with a tale that is truly so; and yet, from the simple and circumstantial manner in which it was told by the person who believed he saw what is here related, one would almost be tempted to think there was something more than imagination in it. However, I will make no comments upon the matter, but give it you, exactly as I copied it from a paper lent me by a young lady, who was educated under the celebrated Mrs, Moore,[Hannah Moore] and who has acquired a taste for productions of the pen, and likewife for whatever may be deemed curious. Mr. M[organ] enquired of the gentleman who took down the relation from the man's own mouth, a physician of the first respectability, what credit might be given to it. He said, the man was of that integrity of character, and of such simplicity also, that it seemed difficult to believe he should be either able or willing to fabricate this wonderful tale. Farther the doctor was silent, and so am I.Henry Reynolds, of Pennyhold [Pen-y-hold], in the parish of Castlemartin, in the county of Pembroke, a simple farmer, and esteemed by all who knew him to be a truth-telling man, declares the following most extraordinary story to be an abfolute fact, and is willing, in order to satisfy such as will not take his bare word for it, to swear to the truth of the same. He says, he went one morning to the cliffs, that bound his own lands, and form a bay near Linny-stack. From the eastern end of the same, he saw, as he thought, a person bathing very near the western end, but appearing from almost the middle up, above water. He, knowing the water to be deep in that place, was much surprized at it, and went along the cliffs, quite to the western end, to see what it was. As he got towards it, it appeared to him like a person sitting in a tub. At last he got within ten or twelve yards of it, and found it then to be a creature much resembling a youth of sixteen or eighteen years of age, with a very white skin, sitting in an erect posture, having, from somewhat about the middle, its body quite above the water; and directly under the water there was a large brown substance, on which it seemed to float. The wind being perfectly calm, and the water quite clear, he could see distinctly, when the creature moved, that this- substance was part of it. From the bottom there went down a tail much resembling that of a large conger eel. Its tail in deep water was straight downwards, but in shallow water it would turn it on one side. The tail was continually moving in a circular manner. The form of its body and arms was entirely human, but its arms and hands seemed rather short and thick in proportion to its body. The form of the head, and all the features of the face, were human also ; but the nose rose high between its eyes, was pretty long, and seemed to terminate very sharp. Its head was white like its body, without hair ; ut from its forehead there arose a brownish substance of three or four fingers breadth, which turned up over its head, and went down over its back, and reached quite into the water. This substance did not at all resemble hair, but was thin, flat, and compact, not much unlike a ribbon. It did not adhere to the back part of its head, or neck, or back ; for the creature lifted it up from its neck, and washed under it. It washed frequently under its arms, and about its body.It swam about the bay, and particularly round a little rock, which Reynolds was within ten or twelve yards of. He said about an hour looking at it. It was so near him that he could perceive its motion through the water was very rapid; and that, when it turned, it put one hand into the water, and moved itself round very quickly. It never dipped under the water all the time he was looking at it. It looked attentively at him, and the cliffs and seemed to take great notice of the birds flying over its head. Its looks were wild and fierce ; but it made no noise, nor did it grin, or any way distort its face. When he left it, it was above an hundred yards from him; and when he returned with some others to look at it, it was gone. This account was taken down by Doctor George P - - - at Prickers-ton, from the man's own mouth, in presence of many people, about the latter end of December 1782. (Morgan 1791 : 302-6)

This is a folktale but no date:
He also had a mermaid tale, like that of Pergrin from Dyfed. A fisherman from Mandrifto yn Rhos, between Colwyn and Llandudno, had caught a mermaid in his net. She asked to be set free, promising that she would, in case he complied, do him a kindness. He consented, and one fine day, a long while afterwards, she suddenly peeped out of the water near him, and shouted: Siôn Ifan, cwyd dy rwyda' a thyn tua'r Ian, 'John Evans, take up thy nets and make for the shore.' He obeyed, and almost immediately there was a terrible storm, in which many fishermen lost their lives.(p201) You can read the full text here  :
Then there is the town of Conwy said to be under a  curse. Before the building of Conwy Castle, the story goes, “a group of fishermen were casting their nets in the river, when they saw a remarkable sight. There in the net was a creature with long black hair and a fishlike tail. The fishermen had heard of such creatures and great danger was associated with them. They then saw the look of fear in her eyes, and decided there was no danger. They hauled her into the boat, and took her into the town. Many people came to see her, as she begged and begged to be returned to the sea, but the men decided they were going to keep her. But keeping her out of water she suffered a long lingering death. As she died she cursed the people of Conwy, and vowed that there would be many drown in the river, diseases and disasters in the town. No one knows what became of the fishermen, but in 1806 the ferry from the east bank of the river capsized drowning everyone. Of course the mermaids curse was blamed.”
The most recent I could find was in Aberystwyth in  July 1826 . From cliffs near the town 12  people watched a beautiful pale woman washing herself in the sea, with what appeared to be a black tail splashing around behind her.

So what did people see? As we don’t normally have manatees (the usual explanation for mermaid sightings) around the UK coast, I suggest it may have been some sort of seal. Occasionally a Walrus has been sighted off the coast and sometimes unusual seals that are not our normal visitors . Some seals can look quite peculiar with odd noses and hairy whiskery bits. In 1600s and 1700s certainly even locals would not know what they were. What do you think…mermaids are real or are  misidentified sea creatures?

Trouble at the Loch.

Monstrous tale of rival Nessie centres ends in a £1.3m lawsuitDavid Ross, Highland Correspondent 30 Jun 2010 

It could fairly be described as a monster legal battle, with £1.3 million at stake, that has the story of Scotland’s most famous mythical inhabitant at its heart.For decades two rival exhibition centres in the Loch Ness-side village of Drumnadrochit, have vied with each other to attract as many as they can of the estimated 500,000 who visit Loch Ness each year.Yesterday the resulting commercial rivalry led the two businesses to court. The owners of the Official Loch Ness Exhibition Centre, the Bremner family, are suing the Original Loch Ness Monster Exhibition Centre run by Donald and Gillian Skinner just 100 yards down the road. Robbie Bremner has raised a civil action against the Skinners, seeking more than £1.3m for lost profits since 1987.Bremner, whose family opened the Loch Ness Exhibition Centre 30 years ago, alleges that the Skinners have deliberately sought to confuse the public by using similar names and a similar colour scheme on promotion material to their company.He also alleges that the Skinners have spent more than 20 years deliberately trying to drive visitors away from his business, in a bid to get people through their own doors.Documents lodged at Inverness Sheriff Court detail the long-running dispute between the families. They claim that, in June last year, Donald Skinner defaced a sign erected by Scotland Transerv pointing to the Official Loch Ness Exhibition Centre. It is alleged he put a sticker on the sign pointing to his own centre a day after the sign was put up. Transerv is said to have removed the sticker on July 2, but later the same day another sticker appeared pointing again to the Skinners’ establishment.While Skinner has admitted stickers were on the sign, he has not admitted responsibility for doing so. He added that the sign was on his land. The documents also allege that when the Bremner family put the word Official to its name, in a bid to distinguish itself from the Skinners’ business, they then added the word Original.The Bremners also claim that a large number of visitors to their centre have expressed confusion and concern at the similarities between the two operations.The action describes the Skinners’ centre as being of an inferior nature because it does not offer the standard of facilities, service or hospitality as the Bremner’s five-star VisitScotland centre.The allegations are denied by the Skinners. When the case came up yesterday, Sheriff Ian Abercrombie adjourned matters until today to allow negotiations between the parties. And he left them both in no doubt as to his hopes of the outcome: “I would expect to see some written agreement,” he said. In Drumnadrochit, Judy Viggars, a civil servant from Stoke on Trent, was a bit bemused by the over-provision of monster centres. She had just visited the official centre. “It was quite interesting. The other one looked a bit more commercialised, but you do wonder about having two so close together.”Antonia Kalogirou from Athens didn’t see a problem. “Why not have two?” But retired hotelier Ian Oxley didn’t have his problems to seek. He was with a party from Scarborough and none of them seemed particularly impressed by the prospect of visiting either centre. “We are on a coach trip and we are all very disappointed because we thought we were going to go out on the loch in a boat. We looked into that (the official one) exhibition but were told there were too many people in for the show. Now we have two hours to kill here without much to do. We don’t want to be looking at exhibitions, we want to be out on the loch taking photographs.” Pensioners Ruth and Eric Dawson from Yorkshire, however, were well aware of the choice of centres. As they sat on a wall eating an early lunch, Dawson explained: “We came to Drumnadrochit a couple of years ago and visited this one (the original), so we decided to go to the other one this time. I think I like this one better, but might go back to the other one.” But one man from Glasgow, who didn’t want to be named, was more even handed. “I wouldn’t waste my money going into either,” he said.

The Bremner family bought the Drumnadrochit Hotel in 1964. Ronnie Bremner and designer Tony Harmsworth opened a small Loch Ness exhibition in the hotel’s old stables in 1980. After the hotel burned down in 1984, Bremner rebuilt a new one next door and turned the charred building into a major exhibition. His sons, Robbie and David, later took over the running of the centre and worked with naturalist Adrian Shine to upgrade the attraction before the new exhibition was opened by Sir Ranulph Fiennes in 1999. Ronnie Bremner died in 2001. In 2007, the centre achieved VisitScotland’s five-star grading, given in recognition of an exceptional visitor attraction. It has seven themed areas using lasers and special effects.
Donald and Gillian Skinner own the Loch Ness Lodge Hotel and the Original Loch Ness Monster Visitor Centre. Skinner has lodged objections to applications for two developments on Loch Ness, including one by the Bremner family to build a car and coach park, toilets, picnic area, cafe, shop and jetties and moorings for private boats.
The second is by Jacobite Cruises for a new harbour and visitor centre. Skinner has said the “Tesco-type” projects could destroy the integrity of the area. The Skinners’ three-star attraction includes a visitor centre with photographs and information on sightings of the Nessie. There is a 150-seater cinema and the visitor centre has a gift and coffee shop. It is open 365 days a year

 Oh dear. They do realise that no one owns Nessie don’t they ? lol. This is just one of the rival groups that  are  at loggerheads with each other around Loch Ness. Spoils the enjoyment for most people who just want to go and see the Loch , potter about the various exhibitions and shops and spend some time looking at the Loch For the monster.
The believers and disbelievers also clash with regularity and it is no wonder I have always avoided being involved. If they all get together they might find the truth one way or another instead wasting time bickering.

The Loch Ness Monster: The Evidence 
The Loch Ness Monster (The Unexplained) 

Tuesday 29 June 2010

The Great Salt Lake Monster

Great Salt Lake, located in the northern part of the  state of Utah USA.  The lake is the largest remnant of Lake Bonneville, a pluvial lake which covered much of western Utah in prehistoric times. Fish live in the freshwater marshes and inlets around the area , but no fish species can survive in the lake's salty water. The high salinity of the lake makes it uninhabitable for all but a few species, including brine shrimp, brine flies, and several forms of algae. The migratory  birds feed on the flies. The present lake is about 75 miles long and 35 miles wide, with a maximum depth of 33 feet (11 metres) .
Early explorers thought the lake was an inland extension of the Pacific Ocean through an underground tunnel , or that a river connected the lake to the ocean. The indigenous people told  early settlers that the lake was inhabited by a terrible monster with an enormous head.

In the 1840s, a certain Brother Bainbridge reported seeing a monster with a dolphin-like body in the lake near Antelope Island.
The Corinne Reporter stated that in 1870 many cattle belonging to the LDS Church had disappeared from Antelope Island where the church kept its herd. The Reporter suggested that some people thought a subterranean cavern connected Bear Lake and the Great Salt Lake, and that a migratory Bear Lake Monster was responsible for the disappearance of the cattle.
Then in 1877 The Corinne Record published the report of a monster located off Monument Point on the northern shores of the Great Salt Lake. The newspaper claimed that salt boilers working the night shift for Barnes & Co. had seen something terrifying. They claimed to have seen a large monster with a body like a crocodile  and a horse’s head in the lake.  J.H. McNeil of Kelton, Box Elder County was with many other Barnes and Co. Salt Works employees when they  heard noises from the lake and looked up to see:
"A huge mass of hide and fin rapidly approaching, and when within a few yards of the shore it raised its enormous head and uttered a terrible bellow ... (It was) a great animal like a crocodile or alligator ... but much larger ... It must have been seventy-five feet long, but its head was not like an alligator's -- it was more like a horse's."
The men ran to the mountains and didn't come back down until daylight. They were horrified when they returned to see large rocks turned over and the ground badly torn up along the trail taken by the monster. The editor of the Record vouched for the correspondent as 'a man whose veracity cannot be impeached.' .
A Provo newspaper in 1890 reported a pod of whales had been spotted swimming in the
Great Salt Lake. They were supposedly offspring of a pair of young whales planted there 15 years earlier. (whether they could have survived in such highly saline water is debateable) 

There are reports of lake creatures from several Utah lakes including Bear lake :
However I have my doubts about anything surviving in the high salinity of Salt Lake  but  it could of course been just passing through on it’s way through the wetlands to another lake. The Utah lakes stories all arose at a similar time which people put down to a media hoaxes , but that does not explain more recent sightings on some of the lakes. What do you think Salty monster or hoax?

An article about mythical monsters in The Dead Sea , another high saline body of water :
Int. J. Salt Lake Res. 1(2) (1992) 1-8. The Dead Sea monster. Arie Nissenbaum

Over at Phantoms and Monsters a tale of the Salt lake flying reptile:

History of the Utah Lake Monster in the Media:

Monday 28 June 2010

Nessie in The Sun

Lots less monster

GRABBING the binoculars at his ageing mobile home, Steve Feltham focuses on a splash in murky Loch Ness. Sadly for the monster hunter it is just two swimmers further along Dores Bay at the north end of the stretch of water - but the ultimate Nessie fan does not give up hope of a sighting.

It is 19 years since Steve left his girlfriend, well-paid job and Dorset home to live without electricity or running water in a bid to solve the riddle. But sightings have declined drastically from a high of 17 in 1996 to ONE last year... and none so far in 2010. The drop has alarmed Steve and other devotees. As he crafts the souvenir Nessie models that provide the bulk of his income, 45-year-old Steve remains determined to stay put for an encounter, no matter how long it takes. "The drop in sightings does concern me but there are several factors at play," he says. "There is surely more than one Nessie, so the animals we are looking for could be dying out. "The sheer size of Loch Ness is another point. It's 23 miles long and more than a mile wide. "I am optimistic, but after 19 years looking I'm aware the odds of seeing Nessie are stacked massively against me. I'm content to watch and wait. "As a young man I was always up and down on the bus from London to Inverness. At 27 I'd had enough. "I could either settle down and continue installing burglar alarms for the family business or go in search of adventure. There was no contest. "I sold my house in Bournemouth, ended a seven-year relationship and bought an old library van for £1,500. "I arrived at Loch Ness on June 19, 1991, and spent nine years moving around before pitching at Dores. "I've no electricity or running water but there's a wood-burning stove. It sounds awful but it never feels like a sacrifice. Being involved in the mystery is all I ever wanted, so I wouldn't dream of doing anything else." Tony Harmsworth, 62, is another Nessie obsessive. He recalls family trips as a child when he would stare into the Loch water hoping for a glimpse. By 1978 he was a high-flier in an American cosmetics company, though feeling increasingly stressed. When Tony and his wife decided to leave the south of England for a more relaxed lifestyle, he had only one place in mind. Tony says: "I knew the Loch Ness area well and Nessie was part of the appeal. My interest had grown over the years and I read any books I could get. "At first I worked as a milkman, then developed the first official Loch Ness Monster Exhibition. "In the late Nineties I began running specialist tours, which is my main job."
As a prominent member of the monster community, Tony attended major investigations and named the most famous, Operation Deepscan, in 1987. He is writing a book about the role Nessie has played in his life and is not surprised that fewer eye-witnesses are coming forward. He says: "I've had one experience in my time on the Loch. I saw a dark spot moving diagonally across the water against the wind. I never say I saw the monster but I did see something I can't explain. "You leave yourself open to ridicule admitting something like this. That's probably why sightings have declined." Mikko Takala also moved to the loch to track down the monster. He became obsessed as an eight-year-old. In his twenties and frustrated with London life, Mikko abandoned an IT career to live in a crofter's cottage. Within three years he was rewarded with a sighting. Mikko, 42, says: "It was October 1995 and I was on the shore. About 300 yards out I saw three humps appear on the surface and move slowly against the current. "I observed for about 15 minutes while what was clearly some kind of creature went on its way." In 1994, Mikko and fellow eye- witness Gary Campbell founded the Official Loch Ness Monster Fan Club, which has 130 members. The self-employed computer programmer set up a "Monster Cam" trained on the loch. gets around 33,000 hits a month. Mikko is miffed about the slump in sightings. He says: "Maybe Nessie is dead, though I prefer to think not." As he settles in for another few hours of spotting, Steve Feltham explains his relationship with the monster. He says: "Before moving I asked myself if working nine to five was going to be my lot. It wasn't. "Instead I went to look for Nessie - and I cherish the freedom it brought."

I had to post this as I advised the journalist who to see at the loch and gave him a few facts. He had a great time up there. There were actually 2 sightings in 2009 but at the time I told him I didn’t know about the other one. Still  a great article though about the Nessie Hunters.

Sunday 27 June 2010

Chupacabra in Texas?

Strange creature on the prowl in East Texas neighborhood

Jun 27, 2010 By Whitney Grunder
 NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) – A strange creature is roaming one East Texas neighborhood.
Some say it's a fox or coyote, others a dog.Others are bit more creative, suggesting it's the legendary Chupacabra, an animal that supposedly sucks the blood of livestock.Fact or fiction, we'll let you be the judge."I'd never seen anything like it before," said Shirley McLain, who lives on Norma Street. "I just thought it was real strange looking, it had features like a dog but if it's a dog I don't know what kind it is."What McLain does know is the animal is more afraid of her than she is of it."I met him in the driveway and when he saw me he ran," said McLain.McLain's daughter in law lives one street over, and took pictures of it in her yard."I just could not pinpoint it. The face of the animal was almost like a deer face," said Diane McLain, who lives on Bostwick Street.While they're not convinced it's a Chupacabra, they're concerned that a sick animal could be prowling they're neighborhood."It's a very strange animal. There's something wrong with its feet, something wrong with its snout and it's got a very odd tail," said Bostwick Street resident David Collins.Mike Nance, a veterinarian at the Ellen Trout Zoo puts legend to rest."This looks like a coyote, a young coyote. You can tell that it has large patches of skin loss," said Nance.He believes the animal's strange appearance means it could carry disease, passing it to domestic pets if it gets close enough to make contact."They usually come out at twilight, so if you see them this time of day and they're sick, that's a scary thing because they can carry rabies," said Nance."The fact that it might have mange bothers me a little bit because I do have pets that are outside and I would just like to protect them," said McLain.No blood sucking Chupacabra here, instead a sick animal, but still some hope the legend can one day be more than just a good story."I wish there was, it would be so cool to see one, especially after years and decades of those who are searching for these animals, they haven't been able to find one yet," said Nance.While you most likely won't be running into any Chupacabras, Nance says neighbors should be on the lookout for this potentially sick fox or coyote.He says if you see it getting close to your home or animals, to contact your Local Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Source:

Saturday 26 June 2010

Saddle Lake serpent, part of a hoax?

 As recently as 1984 there have been reports of a serpent in Saddle Lake but Was the Saddle Lake Monster a hoax? There is a newspaper report about the hunt for the creature.
THE SERPENT OF SADDLE LAKE -Halloween night, 1984, an Alberta government helicopter flew out to Saddle Lake to hunt for a mysterious monster. Professor James Butler, Social Science professor at the University of Alberta feels that there may be some truth to the story.
IN1984, the local native tribal council actually closed  access to the lake, partially out of fear of the monster. The University of Alberta came and patrolled the lake with a depth sounder, and a government helicopter was called in for an aerial look .Saddle Lake is downstream from Edmonton, and is connected to the river so  some thought it may be Ogopogo passing through.
The ogopogo sightings were the invention of Grace Schierholtz, according to Brian Mazza  he said she set out to prove that the upper reaches of the North Saskatchewan River were the spawning ground for the British Columbia monster. But the local peoples claim there has been a serpent in saddle lake for over 100 years. Would they close access to the river for a hoax? Certainly something to ponder over, was it  a legend, a creature in the lake or a hoax to prove a theory?

 sorry just a short blog today as very tired.

Friday 25 June 2010

Lake Minnewanka strange sightings

 Lake Minnewanka is a mountain lake in Alberta Canada. When the glaciers began to shrink more than 10,000 years the lake was reborn. The Cascade River flowing from Lake Minnewanka was first dammed in the early 1900’s and then again during World War II in order to provide more electricity to Calgary. The lake is long being approximately   18 miles (approx 28 kilometres) and 466 feet( 142 metres) deep. It is very popular for fishing. Some say there is actually a town at the bottom of  the Lake from when it was dammed in the 1900s.
 The lake has a very old  monster legend. How the Lake got it’s name is interesting. Originally the Stoney people of the area called it ‘m’ne-sto’ or Cannibal Lake .The  name came  from a Stoney legend telling of a half-human, half-fish creature, locally known as the ‘mer-man’ that lived in the lake was believed to prey upon people boating and fishing on  the lake. Fearful of this mysterious being who could only be killed if struck by lightning, the Stoney people would not go on the lake .Another legend tells that the first person  who viewed the lake saw it from the peak of a surrounding mountain and  he noticed a fish that stretched the length of the lake, leading him to call it “Lake of the Evil Water Spirit”. The name of the lake was changed in 1888 as it was believed the name “Cannibal” was too horrible to attract trade and visitors to the area . It was renamed Lake Minnewanka, which is translated from the Stoney name Minnee-wah-kah, or “Lake of the Water Spirit”. Some people diving in Lake Minnewanka claim to have seen   a giant lake trout down in the murky depths but no one has attempted to capture it. If such large fish had always lived in the waters, that  could be the origin of the merman story.
There was a  popular rumour that the Merman was pulled out of Lake Minnewanka by some hapless fisherman and they got eaten but this was probably just campfire tales. There is also an odd stuffed "Merman" on display at the nearby Indian Trading Post.
That is not the only strange thing seen in the area.  “The Lake Minnewanka Wildman”story about a possible sasquatch in the area started in 1895. Several people were out fishing, along the shore of the lake when they found huge footprints.  More were found in 1896 and a trapper  and two prospectors reported seeing a creature over 7 feet tall. The stories carried on with the creature being reported every year until 1899. For further details and the full story of the sightings see :
So a mysterious place that perhaps earned it’s original name for all we know. If anyone knows of any more recent sightings of anything strange in the area please post a comment

Thursday 24 June 2010

Living dinosaurs in Papua New Guinea ?

There have been reports of living dinosaurs being seen on some Islands in Papua New Guinea. Here is the first one:
Since the 1990s, a large ‘reptilian’ creature has been sighted occasionally on Umbungi Island in West New Britain, Papua New Guinea. Umbungi Island is located on the south coast of West New Britain between Kandrian and Gasmata. The creature has also been sighted on Alage Island, about 1km to the south of Ambungi Island. The creature was described as having a long tail and a long neck and was 10–15 metres in length, with an appearance like a ‘very large wallaby’ and having a head like a turtle’s head. It walked slowly on two legs and had smooth, shiny brown skin. The top of the head was estimated to be as high as a house and the underbelly of the creature was as high as an adult. The creature was described as being fearful-looking, with the sighting being made from a distance of about 50 metres. The sighting was made in the late afternoon and was observed for a considerable length of
time.Nine people have seen the ‘reptile’ since the early 1990s, with sightings occurring every 4–5 years, usually around Christmas time. Perhaps the creature is primarily nocturnal, which might account for the small number of sightings. Two women from Ambungi Island observed the creature from a boat on the south (unpopulated) side of the island as it was standing on some rocks at the bottom of a cliff. The animal has also been sighted swimming between Ambungi Island and Alage Island with its head above the water.”
These sightings have only been found on certain religious websites, I could find no newspaper articles etc. that you would normally expect. I suspect it was in fact a large wallaby that was seen. The people were apparently shown pictures  of dinosaurs in a book. but not a natural history book with pictures of different indigenous creatures. This creates a problem as if you are only shown pictures of dinosaurs you will chose what looks closest to the animal you saw , even if it isn’t the animal because that is the only choice you have , when someone says which of these does it resemble. Kangaroos and wallabies are most active at night, dusk and dawn Generally a solitary animal unless they have a mate and a family.
There are several varieties of kangaroo and wallaby in that area and vary in sizes from the very large (15 feet or 5 metres to the small 18 inches or 45cms). For example Doria's tree kangaroo Dendrolagus dorianus  is described as follows :Head and body length 20–31 in (51.5–78 cm); tail length 18–26 in (44.5–66 cm)( overall largest  length approx 5 feet or 1 . 7 metres); weight 10–32 lb (4.5–14.5 kg).  It has a  brown coat and a paler, shorter tail . You can see from the photo it doesn’t look quite how you would expect a kangaroo to look. As the animal was seen in poor light, at dusk it could easily be misidentified and the size wrongly estimated. It is also seen at  certain times of the year  which suggests that is it life cycle to be seen solitary and feeding at those times in the calendar.  These animals are also known good swimmers.
Then there is this report also from the same sites:
One afternoon late in 2005, three people from Awrin Island, near Gasmata in West New Britain, Papua New Guinea, were on the beach on the south side of the adjacent unpopulated Dililo Island when they observed an amazing creature moving in the water. Simon Patolkit (lay preacher for the Catholic Church on Awrin Island) and his wife Margaret described their sighting of the reptilian creature. The creature had a long neck and a long tail and had a total length of about 20 metres and a width of about 2 metres. The head was described as being ‘like a dinosaur’ with an ‘oval-like face’. The top of the legs of the animal were visible above the water, with the water being used to support the weight of the animal’s body. The skin of the animal was described as being ‘like a crocodile’ and was khaki green in colour. Dermal frills could be seen on the creature’s back, extending to the back of the head. Something was observed protruding from the back of the creature’s head. The creature’s neck was almost horizontal during the sighting. Details of the creature’s eye and mouth could not be determined, as the observers were about 30 to 40 metres from the animal. The sighting occurred for less than 30 seconds, until the reptile sunk into the water. No sound could be heard from the creature by the observers. The creature has not been observed since this sighting in 2005.
Again we have another problem as the report was passed on through an interpreter who only spoke pidgeon English which makes me wonder where terms like “dermal frill” came from. If the animal were as described walking through the water , it must have been shallow, so how in 30 seconds did it sink without moving very far? The idea of large dinosaurs walking in water to support their bulk went out after the 1950s when it was discovered they were quite capable of walking themselves. I wonder if perhaps the ideas from what they observed were based on old books as it may be the island is  a bit behind on text books. There were no newspaper reports I could find.
Could they have actually seen a Crocodile Monitor Lizard.? They have been recorded as reaching  15 feet(5 metres) in total length. with stories of 19 footers being told by tribesman of the Papua New Guinea jungles. Its head and neck are long, and are both covered by overlapping polygonal shaped scales which could look like a dermal fin. Some  live in swamps so I presume they can swim. The appearance of being supported by water could just have been the way the animal was swimming. I may of course be completely wrong but it just seems the more logical explanation. It may be that am sceptical because of where the reports come from, the creationist websites, and I am perhaps being unfair but it seems to me that it is a case of making the descriptions fit dinosaurs rather than  compare them with indigenous species to the area. What do you think?

Wednesday 23 June 2010

Okoboji Lake creature

Okoboji Lake is in Dickinson County in northwest Iowa. It is part of the chain of lakes known as the Iowa Great Lakes.. The East  lake is said to be not very deep , with a depth of 22 feet (7 metres). The West Lake however is estimated to be 140 feet (45 metres) deep. They are  described as  glacial potholes, a remnant of ice age 12,000 years ago..The towns of Spirit Lake and Okoboji sit on the   shore. Apparently it has  a monster within the lake. It is described as a giant fish with a head the size of a bowling ball and as being a dark green colour., Obojoki, as it’s been nicknamed by local residents, has been reported brushing against the sides of lake-users’ boats for many years.
One of the first
Mr. and Mrs. Charles Bartlett were at the lake a few days ago on a fishing excursion. They saw something, or rather saw where something was. They have no idea what it was. It might have been a sea serpent, or it might have been some kind of a fish that had grown to unusual and extraordinary size.They were out in the lake in a boat, when they noticed a short distance from them a terrible commotion in the water. The thing, whatever it was, was moving quite rapidly through the water and quite close to the top, and had the appearance of being as large as an overturned skiff. It made waves so large that Mr. Bartlett was really alarmed, fearing they would swamp his boat.He does not pretend to know what it was and declares he would not have believed there was such a creature in the lake had he not seen it with his own eyes the commotion made by it.
Source: Vindicator & Republican Estherville, Iowa July 3, 1903

There is also a you tube video of the satellite photo of the creature:

 Then there is also this:
"One day (June 23 2001) my family and I were on vacation at lake Okoboji (in Iowa). We were at a small resort, with a dock.  I must make this clear, first: Okoboji is a huge lake. This lake was naturally made multiple dozens of thousands of years ago, and it is undoubtably hundreds of feet deep and possibly hundreds of acres from shore to shore. Anyways, my two children and I (one 10 and one 13) were sitting on the dock eating some icecream cones looking at the water. It was a calm evening, probably about 7:30 so it was still light outside but just starting to darken. The water was still, like glass, with ripples only from passing boats (no fancy boats, just normally cheap little things, and none came anywhere near close to us). When my 13 year old daughter nudged me in the arm and told me to "look here" and pointed at a waked spot in the water. it was churning, almost creating a small whirl pool.. A massive hump (well ok it wasnt that big but it was bigger than anything I wanted to see) slowly and gracefully rose out, about 1 foot away from the churning water. Then it moved quickly about 2-3 feet and rapidly went back under.  I remember it didnt have scales like a fish, more like a snake or maybe it had some kind of pattern that made it look like scales. It was dark dark dark greenish or blue. We were playfully "freaked out" while we watched for more, not thinking about the safety of us. Then, we saw a head... a very good-sized oval or sphere, a bit bigger than a bowling ball (but it wasnt perfectly round, it was like a lizard or a horse's head). The head arose, i could see it had the same pattern and colour as the hump i had previously seen. It had its head out and about 2 inches of its neck, and it swam very very very quickley through the water. The only part of its body that made the wake was its head, and i knew the creature must have been big, so it must have had a fairly LONG neck for its body to not disturb the surface. It swam probably a dozen yards, then its mouth opened, it appeared to take a gulp of air, then it went under. Just a split second later i saw the same hump role under the water, then i saw the last part of its tail  (it was a fairly stumpy tail) splash out. My children and I were too dumb-founded to say or do much. Then we saw its head again and it was coming toward our dock. About 1-2 feet away from the dock supports (the poles that hold it up), it went under. Less than a second later we felt a huge bump and a large "THUD" sound. The dock shook violently for a few seconds. By this time, we were terrified. we ran back to the shore as fast as we could.

So what was it? I think it may have been a Wels Catfish. It is a scale less fish and depending on it’s environment can be green brown in colour.  It is recognisable by its broad, flat head and wide mouth. They can live for 30 years and will eat anything and can grow to enormous sizes. What does anyone else think, a known fish or an unknown monster?

Tuesday 22 June 2010

The legend of Cold Lake

Cold lake is northeast of Edmonton Alberta. There is a town there which was set up in the 1950s and the rest of the local area is mainly farm land. There is the Cold Lake Air Weapons Range, located to the north of the city and there is a thriving tourist industry based around the lake .The lake  is around 400 square kilometres and is  said to be up to 310 feet (100 metres deep) in places. It was originally named Big Fish Lake by Chipewyan people who hunted in the area. Early fur traders and the Cree people called it Coldwater Lake, because the water remains cool all year.(Sounds like many other lakes that have monster stories)There is an abundant supply of fish such as  rainbow trout, yellow perch, walleye, lake whitefish and northern pike. In all it is thought  23 species of fish that inhabit the lake. The lake is said to be the home of a large fish type creature .
A Cree legend tells the story of a young man who disappeared on the lake one night.:
Many years ago, before the first white settlers invaded the wildernesss around Cold Lake, when only mossy footpaths marked the passage of humans and rings of blackened stones protecting cold ashes told of recent teepee camps , a young  brave lived and hunted in the area. One night, as he had often done before, he set out to cross the lake to visit his betrothed, paddling his canoe swiftly and strongly. Near the mouth of what is now French Bay , a huge fish rose from the water took the canoe into its cavernous mouth, and snapped it in two. The young maiden never saw her brave warrior again, but the pieces of canoe were found floating in the lake the following day.For many years after, no Cree dared to cross the lake.
It is claimed that the  huge fish, named  the kinosoo, made a habit of attacking canoes. A great story you might think and one that has little place in the modern world. However the local fishermen think differently:
"I would never believed it unless I saw it for myself. There I was, minding my own business, fishing for Lake Trout actually, when a huge wave crashed violently into the side of my boat. It was a calm day, I couldn't figure out where the wave came from or why it was so big.. Then I remembered Kinosoo. Since that day I have always been a little bit nervous when I go fishing in Cold Lake", said a local fisherman.
There are some big fish caught in the lake and who knows there may be a descendant of a very big fish down in the depths .

Monday 21 June 2010

Old Sea Serpent Reports

 On August 11th, 1888, a monster attacked the schooner Augusta off the south east coast of Newfoundland. Six dories were sent out from the schooner and one of them was chased back to the Augusta by a huge, monstrous creature that emerged from the water and chased the dory to the schooner, only to the submerge again. The monster undulated through the water at great speeds, not unlike an eel or snake, and was close to 100 feet long. Its head, which raised above the water for 15 to 20 feet, was huge and lizard-like with immense eyes. Its body was brown with stripes, about 20 feet thick with a huge fin. The creature reappeared later as the dories went out to get their trawls and chased another of the six dories. It attempted to wrap itself into coils around the boat but lost its speed, only to later catch up and smash at the dory with its deadly tail. The schooner captain shot at the beast as it sank into the sea. The Augusta returned to St. John's where the story appeared in local papers. Some believe that the creature was a giant squid, similar to ones seen in various places around the world but the experienced fishermen of Newfoundland know it was a sea serpent, and is still out there, hidden deep in the waters, waiting...
-----told to St. John's newspapers by Thomas Grant, owner of the Augusta---
THE CREATURE OF GRAND BANK, NEWFOUNDLAND -First seen on August 30, 1913 and described as follows: a huge  head, long fin like ears and large blue eyes. The eyes are mild and liquid with no indication of ferocity. Following the eyes came a neck, 20 feet in length, resembling that of a giraffe. The neck seemed to be set on a ball-bearing,  so easily and rhythmically did it sway. Three horned fins surmounted its bony head, probably for defence.
I am not at all well at the moment but posted a couple of sea serpent reports to keep you amused. Maybe some one would like to hazard a guess at what they might have been if a misidentified creature, and post a comment.

Sunday 20 June 2010

Lake Hodges creature

There is apparently a monster in lake Hodges .Lake Hodges is in fact a  reservoir. Hodges Lake itself is 6.5 miles long and has 19 miles of shoreline.
The story of the lake creature starts in 1916 when a  Col. Ed Fletcher convinced the Santa Fe Railroad to create a dam to provide water for the new town being built up.The river that runs in to the lake had run through the Del Dios valley for 40,000 years.. Reports of the indigenous people’s warnings about a river creature are dismissed as an attempt to stop the project. In 1919 the construction was finished creating a  dam at  the end of Lake Hodges to create a much larger lake.
In 1921  some local San Diego fishermen report seeing .a large disturbance in the water. Rumours that the Navy may have been conducting underwater tests on early submarines were denied by the  U.S. Navy .
Then in 1923 there were more complaints from local Lake Hodges fishermen reported. In the same year  both the mines in the area report  their heavy rock extraction equipment had been pushed over or partially crushed. The Sheriff wrote a report that said whoever did it appears to have used a boat to get to the  mines and must have wiped away any footprints, as none were seen.
In 1929 the  Escondido Mayor John L. Offitt formally requests that the City of San Diego look into reports of a creature in Lake Hodges.
In 1930 the researchers reported  no conclusive evidence of a creature but although one assistant did report seeing a lizard-like head breaking the surface of the lake .
 In 1931 a boat docked on a small pier was  destroyed. Once more no footprints are found and the police write  in their report that there appears to have been "...great turmoil under the water along the base of the pier, from a boat or underwater vessel...or perhaps a large creature."
In 1932 attempts were made to capture the Lake Hodges monster. A large cage-like trap was made and a small sea lion was secured inside as bait. Cameras held underwater in glass containers . Nothing was captured but the sea lion bait disappeared and one photograph was taken from one of the buoy cameras. The project was cancelled after a public  outcry when it became known that sea lions were being used as bait.
Then in . 1956 highly toxic chemicals were  put in the lake to kill all of the fish. The lake was then restocked with new fish.. An anonymous statement written on City of San Diego letterhead stated that officials were not just attempting to kill the carp  in the lake but also the monster.
The story should have ended there but in 1966 a  family picnic outing turned into a  frightening experience when a large creature surfaced about 150 feet (48 metres) offshore. There were in total seven eye witnesses whose stories all corroborated. So either the lake monster(nicknamed Hodgee) was not in the lake when it was poisoned or was immune to it. Perhaps the dose wasn’t high enough to kill a large creature.
An article from May 15, 2005
Ron Hall knows a lot more about Hodgee than I do. He walks the lake almost every day. He could tell you everything on the Monster History Web site (   He knows that local Native Americans warned about a river creature in the region before the Hodges Dam was built in 1918. He knows there were many reported sightings after the dam was completed. (The last one was in 1966). There's even a photograph that verifies that the lake at least used to be home to something that can truthfully be described as a "lump." Leonard Nimoy did not rush out to do an "In Search Of" episode. But Hall, 76, still leads Hodgee hunters on lake tours. (The next will be July 9). Hodgee is a hook to lure visitors. Kids love it. "It makes a good story," Hall said. "Anything to get people to come out." The abundant rainfall has perked up the local flora and fauna, and Hall, a volunteer with the San Dieguito River Park, tells the uninitiated what they're seeing. He also goes into Hodges' history and describes the water project that will stabilize the lake level.
"I also talk about the American Indian lore," Hall said. "It's a nice outing."

However I found when researching this that there is supposed to a volcanic fault  in the lake bed. So earth tremors  which would explain the wrecked boats, mining equipment  and disturbances in the water but not the head nor humps seen by some eye witnesses.
Being a man made lake has not stopped other lakes being the supposed home of lake monsters and it was originally a smaller lake before the river was dammed so some large fish or creature could have been trapped there.

To find out more :  “The LHSRC is a research organization that is dedicated to learning more about the unexplained phenomena related to Lake Hodges. In particular, we are focused on the so-called "Lake Hodges Monster," known locally as "Hodgee."”

Sunday news : bigcats , bigfoot and the Jersey devil.

Phantom or phenomenon June 20, 2010

BLUE MOUNTAINS residents have long been accused of seeing things but they can draw some comfort in knowing they are not alone.A search online reveals ''alien big cats'', as they are known in cryptozoology circles, have been reported running wild everywhere from Britain to Denmark, Finland to Luxembourg and Hawaii to New Zealand. Photographs of phantom felines are usually grainy and scientists largely scoff, citing the lack of furry evidence and the improbability of there being enough large cats for them to keep breeding.American servicemen are blamed for releasing cougars into the bush after bringing them to Australia as mascots during World War II.A Deakin University study found that a big-cat population in the area was ''beyond reasonable doubt'' but sceptics maintain they are just feral moggies turned monstrous. In New Zealand, panther sightings have been on the increase since the late 1990s around Canterbury, near Ashburton, and in the nearby foothills of the Southern Alps.If you believe the British, big cats have been prowling their countryside for decades. There's the Surrey Puma and the Fen Tiger. Devon and Somerset share the elusive Beast of Exmoor. Every year, Gloucestershire police are inundated with dozens of sightings in the Forest of Dean.A black panther has been savaging livestock in Leicestershire and England's smallest county, Rutland, for decades. But perhaps the most famous British big cat of all is the elusive Beast of Bodmin Moor.Like the elusive exotic example from the Blue Mountains - from which the NRL's Penrith Panthers takes its name - one long-held theory about British big cats is they were imported by private collectors or zoos, only to later escape.The truth is out there. Source:

BIGFOOT BELIEVERS | A symposium draws Sasquatch seekers from across the nation

By Diane Dietz The Register-Guard Appeared in print: Sunday, Jun 20, 2010
An unusual group of hominid was spotted Saturday in the fir-ringed valley at Lane Community College in south Eugene. Although the skies were sunny, 210 of them gathered in the shade of a lecture hall and exchanged vocalizations on the subject of a bigger, hairier and more elusive and most controversial species — bigfoot.“One thing these people have in common is determination in the face of societal opposition,” said Jim Kiser, who researches bigfoot from his home in Newberg. “My son thinks I’m crazy and my brother-in-law is less polite. My Ph.D.-in-chemistry friend says he has a bigfoot detector — and it’s a six pack.”The range of the bigfoot-seeking hominid is national, but, since 2003, large seasonal gatherings have occurred in California, Oklahoma, east Texas and Ohio — where 670 turned up in April, said Jeffery Meldrum, who teaches anatomy at Idaho State University.“It’s a curious commentary on human nature that there are these sorts of gatherings all over the country,” he said. “It becomes a social network that fills a human need, obviously.”Saturday’s gathering, called the Oregon Sasquatch Symposium, drew participants from — besides OregonWashington, Idaho, California, Nevada, Florida, Texas, Hawaii and New Zealand. The symposium continues today in Building 17 at LCC.The participants’ habitat — while traveling — is the Red Lion Inn or similar motels. But their ordinary location is out in the woods, listening for unaccounted-for knocks and whoops that might indicate the presence of bigfoot.“Many of them devote any time they’re off the job,” said Jon Nichols, a Sasquatch researcher and bull breeder from Vancouver, Wash.Bigfoot followers cannot be distinguished by surface activities, such as career or political affiliation, Nichols said. “You’ll see computer programmers to pipe fitters — a wide spectrum,” he said. “You have everything from the greenies to the rabid conservatives.”They are tool users, these human bigfoot-seekers. They employ infrared night vision goggles, motion activated cameras, plaster casting kits. Some have developed mobile field research laboratories they tow behind pickup trucks to support their work.Increasingly, they pursue bigfoot on the Internet, where several websites have cataloged signs and sightings of the elusive animal.The Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization, for instance, lists 224 sightings in Oregon, including 13 in Lane County — including details of each encounter.The bigfoot-seekers refer to themselves as “witnesses” if they’ve glimpsed a bigfoot-type creature and “habituators” if they’ve “come to know these beings,” said Toby Johnson, a University of Oregon student and the symposium organizer. Although, he said, the term “habituator” is fading in favor of “long-term witness.” The group calls itself the “bigfoot community.”The community has its alpha individuals, who are revered for their experiences, their knowledge of foot- or voice-print — or their ability to rivet an audience to an encounter story.Robert Gimlin, who shot the most famous bigfoot footage in 1967, was on hand Saturday. So was Meldrum, who is among the most prominent academicians to venture into Sasquatch study, despite the ridicule of university peers.But the rock star was Autumn Williams, the keynote speaker, who was feted with whoops and cheers. “We are a family,” the slender blond woman said as she started her story, “drawn together by our interests.”Williams told the story of a 50-year-old bulldozer driver in Florida, who took up residence in a swamp to escape the tragedies in his life.There, Williams said, he took up a Jane Goodall-style life with a tribe of bigfoot. She referred to him only as “Mike” and said that she was the only human in the world to which he would confide.Mike is a profane and funny witness, given to playfully calling his friends, the bigfoot — bigfeet? — “snapperheads.” Williams said Mike would not supply her with a picture because he is wary of the demand for such “evidence,” but he allowed an artist to simulate an image that he verified was close to accurate, she said. “Oh,” a woman in the audience gasped, when Williams flashed a close-up of the hairy face with luminous eyes, wrinkled nose and broad mouth on the lecture hall screen., “Wow,” other audience members said.Williams took questions after her speech, and none were critical, Meldrum noticed. “There were no probing questions, none of that,” he said, later adding: “It reflected the attitude of the audience. They were won over to her story.”Many bigfoot enthusiasts are fervent — and some range into the realm of anti-science, Meldrum said. At an earlier conference, he said, “I thought I was in a Bible belt meeting in the South.”The bigfoot-seekers are fairly shy. A half dozen wouldn’t mind sharing their experiences for this story, but not if they were identified by name.“I just don’t want anybody to know,” said a woman from Spokane.There are a number of reasons for their reticence, Nichols said. “As a (bigfoot) researcher, your highest priority is to not let anybody know what your doing and keep your mouth shut. They don’t want to be held up to ridicule.”Another reason, Nichols said, seekers are proprietary about the woods where they do their field research. They don’t want their sites compromised.“Mike,” the habituator in Florida, must remain secret so his identity doesn’t bring attention and jeopardize the safety of bigfoot — which he calls Enoch, Williams said.“The big guy comes first,” she said Mike said.Those who follow bigfoot’s trail tend to assume that the creature they seek is, generally speaking, friendly and intelligent.Some have been influenced by the movie Avatar, Meldrum said, whether they recognize it or not. Williams, for instance, depicts bigfoot as a kind of noble savage who shuns the use of technology and lives communally.She juxtaposes bigfoot with man’s image-and-possession obsessed society.“That’s the politically correct posture for a lot of people,” Meldrum said. “The Sasquatch has chosen a path that’s more pristine and pure.” Source:
A new book on the Jersey devil:
Phantom of the Pines: More Tales of the Jersey Devil
Emitting shrill cries and leaving its footprints in mud and snow, it has roamed the Pine Barrens of South Jersey for almost three hundred years. It is usually said to resemble a composite of several different animals, but it walks upright and is believed to be the child of a human mother. It is often associated with witchcraft and devil worship, yet it sometimes travels in the company of beautiful golden-haired girl. And it has lent its name to everything from small businesses to a professional hockey team. What is this mysterious creature? The Jersey Devil course! And in this brand-new collection of fascinating legends and lore, you will learn more than ever before about New Jersey’s most infamous resident. More than twenty years after their first book about the Jersey Devil was published, James F. McCloy and Ray Miller Jr.’s, new research into this phenomenon continues to intrigue readers. Using historical accounts and interviews with New Jerseyites, many of whom were eyewitnesses to the creature’s actions, the authors try to piece together the mystery that is the Jersey Devil. Despite the variations and contradictions that have shaped its story through the years, one thing is certain: the legend of the Jersey Devil is not likely to disappear anytime soon. And as one believer notes, “Behind every tradition…there’s something real.” Does the Jersey Devil actually exist, leaving its fearsome mark throughout the region? Or is it simply a hoax, grown to epic proportions through years of storytelling? Open Phantom of the Pines-if you dare-and decide for yourself. Source: