Thursday 25 February 2021

The Thylacine -extinct or still breeding?


Tasmanian Tiger

The thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus) is considered an extinct carnivorous marsupial that was native to the island state of Tasmania and the Australian mainland. It is believed to have first appeared about 2 million years ago. The last known live animal was captured in 1930 in Tasmania. It is commonly known as the Tasmanian Tiger because of its striped lower back.

However more than 1,200 sightings have been reported from 1910 until 2019 .This has lead to expeditions by scientists and cryptozoologists to search for proof it still exists.

Early in 2021 a video uploaded to YouTube by Neil Waters, president of the Thylacine Awareness Group of Australia, claims to have rediscovered the thylacine on a camera trap set up in north-east Tasmania. Flicking through images from his SD card, Waters claims to have seen an entire family. His camera trap had captured photos of a family of three thylacines, including a baby, which was “proof of breeding”.

This caused much excitement among the cryptozoology community and zoologists but it was not to last.

“A wildlife expert has dismissed claims of a sighting of the extinct Tasmanian tiger, declaring the animals photographed were most likely pademelons.Nick Mooney, honorary curator of vertebrate zoology at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery reviewed and assessed the material provided by Waters.In a statement, TMAG said Mooney had “concluded that based on the physical characteristics shown in the photos provided, the animals are very unlikely to be thylacines, and most likely Tasmanian pademelons.”


So what are we left to think? Much as I would love for the Tasmanian Tiger to be alive I am no expert and have to bow to expert opinion. I hope that maybe Waters can follow up with more evidence to prove his case.There should be droppings or hair samples in the area from the animals he filmed.I hope he finds them.

Friday 19 February 2021

Seneca Lake Creature

 Seneca Lake Serpent

Seneca Lake is the largest of the glacial Finger Lakes of the U.S. state of New York. It  is 38 miles long and 618 feet deep.The US Navy uses Seneca Lake to perform test and evaluation of equipment such s sonar systems. The lake takes its name from the Seneca nation of Native Americans .Over 200 years ago, there were Iroquois villages on Seneca Lake's surrounding hillsides. Native American Indians believed Seneca Lake to be a bottomless lake, with a monster that lived in its depths.The finger lakes are known for their fishing and very large trout and muskie fish have been caught there.

A report in the Rochester Herald on July 14,1900 stated that around 7 p.m. the lake was calm as the steamship, the Otetiani, was cruising down the lake. The passengers saw a large object in the water. The captain also saw it and gave the engine room orders to slow down. The Otetiani steered within 100 yards of what appeared to be the keel of a capsized boat. The crew prepared to lower a boat when the object quickly moved away. Captain Herendeen ordered full speed ahead and when they came alongside the creature  it raised its head, opened its mouth, and displayed two rows of pointed white teeth. One of the passengers was a geologist who described it as :

“Its head was perhaps four feet long and triangular in shape. Its mouth was very long and armed with two rows of triangular white teeth, as sharp as those of a shark, but in shape more like those of a sperm whale.

The body was covered with a horny substance that was as much like the carapace of a terrapin as anything I know. The horny substance was brown in colour and of a greenish tinge. The belly of the creature … was cream white. Its eyes were round like those of a fish, and it did not wink.”

Captain Herendeen headed the boat to collide with the creature but it dived  underwater only to reappear just as the Otetiani  rammed it .The passengers were knocked down and a hole was ripped into the side of the serpent. Lifeboats were quickly lowered and boat hooks placed around what was thought to be the carcass of the serpent.The rope near the tail end slipped off and  the monster fell back into the water, sank and disappeared

The story did not end there .In 1914 there were more sightings reported including a couple in a rowboat in August  having a day on the lake .They spotted a serpent-like creature, which broke the surface of the lake suddenly before swimming  away . The creature was described as being about 10 feet long and 7 to 8 inches in circumference,with a black body and a human-sized head. The female witness was so shaken she had to be taken to a nearby cottage to recover.Her male friend returned later armed and with a friend. When the creature’s head surfaced near the boat, the man shot it, and the creature disappeared back into the water.

In 1929 The Ithaca Journal reported multiple visitors as having sighted two lake creatures, each approximately 12-15 feet long, swimming simultaneously along Cayuga Lake’s Eastern shoreline. The journalists speculated that the serpentine creatures were “…members of the Seneca Lake sea serpent family that found their way into the local waters through a subterranean channel which is believed to exist between the two lakes.”

In 1930 a group of boys constructed a head of a sea monster and towed it out into the middle of the lake.The Geneva Times was alerted and a photographer took a picture of the boys with the fake serpent head. It was seen clearly as a hoax ad kept the story of the serpent alive.

In the summer of 1995 a female guest at a Geneva hotel reported seeing a large creature rear up out of the lake before falling sideways back into the water. The creature was about  600 feet from the shore. The woman was so shocked she couldn’t give any other details.

That is the most recent sighting unless anyone knows of any others .Please comment if you do. So what lurks in the lake? Some say giant eel,some a huge snake others a prehistoric creature.What ever it is, it needs investigating.Hopefully more sightings will be reported.

Wednesday 10 February 2021

Coelacanth- not a living fossil.


Huge Fish, Once Believed Extinct, Isn’t the ‘Living Fossil’ Scientists Thought

An analysis of coelacanth DNA suggests its genome has experienced some significant changes in recent evolutionary history, potentially dispelling the popular image of these iconic fish as being “living fossils.”

The discovery of a live coelacanth (pronounced “see-lah-kanth”) off the coast of South Africa in 1938 was quite the shock, as these animals were believed to be extinct. The large fish were thereafter referred to as “living fossils” owing to their uncanny resemblance to near-identical species spotted in the fossil record.

New research published in Molecular Biology and Evolution presents evidence showing that at least one species of coelacanth, formally known as Latimeria chalumnae, is not the living fossil it’s presumed to be, having acquired dozens of new genes in the past 23 million years — a surprising finding, and a far cry from the idea that the species has barely changed since its ancestors emerged over 300 million years ago. What’s more, the finding is further evidence that the living fossil concept is outdated and somewhat of a misnomer.

“Previous research has found that while coelacanth genes have evolved slowly compared to other fish, reptiles, and mammals, its genome as a whole has not evolved abnormally slowly and is hardly inert,” said Yellan.

To which he added: “I think that as more and more genomes are being published, the ‘living fossil’ concept is becoming increasingly something of a misconception, and I think many scientists would probably hesitate to assign it to any species.”


I have frequently written in this blog how any creature would have to have evolved to survive in modern times .The pollution alone would mean evolving to survive.Any so called dinosaur would have changed possibly in size and shape to compete for food and to breathe the air or live in the polluted rivers and seas.As predator/prey relationships change so the animals  have to evolve or die. The things prehistoric animals ate whether  flesh or plant no longer exist in many cases and would force a change.The question is would we still recognise them or would they have changed so much they may be something we think of as every day creatures such as the birds in our gardens?

The Gwyllgi, black hound or big cat?


The gwyllgi

The Gwyllgi is a mythical large black dog from North East Wales that appears  with baleful breath and blazing red eyes, terrifying those who see it. Sometimes called The Dog of Darkness or The Black Hound, it appears after dark on lonely roads said to be an omen of death. The Gwyllgi was first mentioned in a book called ‘The Vale of Glamorgan’ in 1839. It is usually described as being black in colour, with a shaggy coat  and about the size of a calf.

Certain areas of North Wales seem to be its haunt specifically the Nant y Garth pass located near Llandegla in Denbighshire and even  as far as Marchwiel in Wrexham. There have also been reports of the Gwyllgi seen at Anglesey in Wales. One reputedly haunted the lane leading from Mousiad to Lisworney-Crossways, another a field called the Cot Moor, and a third the pit at Pant y Madog near Laugharne, Carmanthe.

 In the 19th Century  Edward Jones was making his way home one night  from Cynwyd on horseback, where he had been attending a fair.  Suddenly he said he realised he was being followed  by a gwyllgi. A large black wolflike  dog, ‘a beast of fearsome visage and blood shot eye.’  Jones was paralysed with fear, expecting to be attacked by the beast at any moment.  Eventually he plucked up the courage to turn around and  the beast had vanished.

It was spotted the Brymbo area in the early 1970s and subsequently became dubbed as the “Beast of Brymbo”. The account of the local man who saw the creature as it walked along a lane leading into the Wrexham village was of a creature similar to the Gwyllgi but more Lurcher like.

There are several accounts , including police officers who claim to have seen beasts roaming the Denbigh Moor. 

Some are described as Big Cats and have been seen as recently  as January of this year 2021.

 “Along the coastal road from Abakhan Fabrics in Mostyn, where there was an alleged big cat sighting on New Year’s Day in 2015.This  report came  only a week after two previous sightings only 20 miles away in Pontybodkin. Here, a village described seeing a “dog-sized” black cat."Through the window that overlooks the field, I saw a cat-shaped, however dog-sized, full black figure run across the field towards the hedge/fence.I lost sight of it as there's a brow in the hill. It was sprinting across.”


Could the Gwyllgi be a big cat and not a ghostly hound? The number of big cat sightings in the area could indicate this is so.Or are they two different beasts? You decide but be careful if you go looking for them or it.

Wednesday 3 February 2021

Strange Creatures in the Ohio River


Strange Sightings on the Ohio River.

Sightings of The Ohio River monster had been reported in local newspapers in the 1870s

John Davidson, master of the Silver Moon steamboat, was docked, when he saw an amazing apparition. As he wrote to the Cincinnati Enquirer on 10th  January 1878:

“I had no faith in the reports I had read of the river monster, so graphically described in the newspapers, but I am now convinced of the actual existence of the terrible beast. At one time it reared its head high above the surface of the water in the manner of the sea lions of the Zoological Gardens of your city. The long pelican beak, the slimy mane, and the extreme serpentine length of the animal answer exactly to the previous descriptions that have been published.”

The monster dove beneath the surface before Captain Davidson could call his first mate to witness the beast.

11 January 1878, Ben Karrick was driving his horse-drawn wagon over the Roebling Bridge when he saw a sea serpent in the Ohio River below. He reportedly told the Cincinnati Gazette:

“Protruding from the water some twelve or fifteen feet was what seemed to be the head of a huge serpent or animal, that was rushing through the water at a very rapid rate, and occasionally lashing the water with its tail into a perfect foam.Its head and neck seemed to me to be covered by a black glossy substance like hair, and further back from the head, the hide looked like that of an alligator. The head was shaped somewhat similar to that of a sea horse, which we have so often seen in pictures.”

Karrick also told the newspaper that the beast made a noise similar to the deep lowing of a cow, followed with a loud hissing noise. It  headed toward the shore and disappeared from sight.

Later that week a letter on the front page of the gazette  stated  that Mr. Karrick’s monster was the same as the great serpent of Clermont County’s Hartman Mill dam that escaped some years prior. That serpent was reputedly fifteen to twenty feet long and as thick as the body of a man and lived in the pool of a dammed creek upstream from the Little Miami River.

Then it seemed to have vanished.

On August 21, 1955, A Bizarre encounter was reported in the Ohio River between Henderson, Kentucky and Evansville.A  Mrs. Naomi Johnson  encountered  what she claimed was a creature beneath the surface of  the water whilst  swimming  in the Ohio River. A friend and  her children were on the  bank and witnessed the whole thing.Mrs Johnson had swum out to about 15 feet (5 metres) away from the bank.Suddenly Johnson said that she felt something clutched around her  knee from below. It was like a large rubbery claw-like hand. It tried to yank her down and would not let go no matter how much she  struggled to disengage herself .Her companion was on the shore and could only watch in horror as Johnson flapped her arms and gasped for breath in the river.Mrs. Johnson managed to kick her leg free and then headed for the shore, but almost instantly she was seized again, this time her ankle.Grabbing a nearby inner tube she was able to  stay afloat and eventually  whatever it was let go. Mrs. Johnson was treated for bruises and it was discovered that she had a greenish, slimy ,palm-print on her leg which  left a stain for  several days.

So two strange tales of creatures.There have been no recent reports as far as I am aware.Please comment of you know of any.So what were the strange creatures?

Stories of huge catfish lurking in the  Ohio River have been talked about for years and in June 2009 a blue cat caught by Chris Rolph of Williamsburg weighed 96 pounds and measured 54.5 inches (1.38 metres)  long. However neither creature sounds like a cat fish.If one species of  large creature can exist in the river there could have been others.The film The Creature of the Black Lagoon came out in 1954,could that have influenced Mrs Johnson? Maybe it was a large catfish tried to drag her down and the creature was in her mind which influenced what she felt. Whatever it was if you go out on the Ohio River,take care .