Friday 26 March 2021

New Book- Monsters of the Deep


Nick Redfern -Monsters of the Deep

WE normally associate Nick Redfern with UFOs and Men in Black but he is also a cryptozoologist.His latest book on aquatic monsters covers a vast array from Nessie to mermaids  to alligators in the sewers. It diverts from the main topics in places and includes stories of  Alestair Crowley and even a flesh eating tree. Nick being a fortean cryptozoologist he tends towards the esoteric explanations rather than living creatures as aquatic monsters. The book is a great overview of the subject and anyone new to the study of aquatic monsters will learn a great deal.Most of the information seems to have been gleaned from the web and this blog is mentioned in further reading. Nick writes in an easy to follow style .Worth a read .

Thursday 18 March 2021

Mysterious Lake Baikal


Lake Baikal

Siberia's Lake Baikal is 49 miles (78.8 kilometers) wide and 395 miles (635 kilometers) long, it's the world's largest freshwater lake.It  dates back 25 million years. Lake Baikal is home to more than 3,700 different species, many of the which are only found in the Baikal region. Its unique biodiversity and its array of hydrothermal vents are normally only  found in oceans. Gigantism( larger than normal lake creatures) in the lake is thought to be due to high levels of dissolved oxygen in the water. Scientists recently placed a huge telescope under the ice to measure neutrinos.Read about it here

However there is said to be a large creature living in the lake. What will it make of the telescope?The local  Buryats call the monster “Lusud Khan” - “The Master Water Dragon” Fishermen state that they have seen a huge, black creature visible through the clear water of the lake.The creature looks like a giant sturgeon with a huge snout and an armored fin along its entire giant back.There is a large stone located on the bank of Yenisei, it has an image of a huge lizard with a forked tongue, big claws and plate armour along its back. Some say it resembles an ancient crocodile or ichthyosaur.

In the early 1900s a merchant bringing cattle to the Olkhon Island across the Mukhorsky Bay by boat ,lost a  horse as it  fell overboard into the water. All attempts to  save it failed. A few minutes later people saw blood-stains in the water  and its head floated to  the surface.

People have been said to have disappeared .The Local residents  have always considered the territory of the Mukhorsky Bay to be sacred land .An annual ceremony of offering sacrifices has been held there since ancient times: meat and fish were placed rafts and  released into the water.One presumes for the monster. They say the monster swims to the surface at night, and makes  a kind of “gurgling” harsh sound.Cattle going down to drink often disappear.

A ship’s crew was said to have heard hissing and gurgling.. The lake was calm, but the ship suddenly began to sway back and forth. There was an impression that something had  swum under the bottom of the vessel and scratched its back on it.

In the late 1980s a survey of the lake bottom involving echolocation equipment was carried out. The devices recorded a moving object with a length more than 30 metres (90 feet), but the research was not continued.

So will the telescope pick up anything more than neutrinos ,like a monster? We shall wait and see .

Thursday 11 March 2021

Strange Ohio Amphibians


 Ohio has a history of strange amphibian sightings.

 The Crosswick Monster

James Jennings established the small community of Crosswick Ohio in1881.Many large, unknown tracks started to be found all over the dirt road. Nobody  knew what could make such tracks.It was decided  it was best left alone then it would leave them alone.

 The Cincinnati Enquirer newspaper reported on May 29, 1882 a story about two boys being attacked by a snake like creature. The two boys , Ed and Joe Lynch, were fishing in a small creek in Crosswick, Ohio on the outskirts of Waynesville in Warren County. They heard a stirring in the reeds of the bank. They went to investigate and  found   a 30-foot-long black and white “snake with legs” with yellow spots.

The two boys screamed and ran but  then the monster grabbed Ed Lynch "in its slimy embrace, simultaneously producing two more legs, about four feet long, from some mysterious hiding-place in its body." The monster dragged the boy  to a large sycamore tree with an opening on one side.

Three men nearby, the Rev. Jacob Horn, George Peterson and Allen Jordan, heard the screams and ran to the scene. The monster on seeing the men ,dropped the boy and ran up the tree. Dr. L.C. Lukens of Waynesville was summoned to treat Ed’s injuries .A posse was formed and later that afternoon, 60 men, armed with clubs and axes gathered around the tree and cut it down. The monster fled. They followed it to what they assumed was its lair, a large pile of rocks, where it disappeared in a hole, never to be seen again. . Dr. Lukens told the Cincinnati Enquirer that the boy was in severe shock and had some spasms and convulsions, plus bruise and cuts. The Monster was described by several witnesses as being roughly 12 feet long ( 4 metres) and covered with scales. It was black and white with dull yellow spots, had feet roughly 12in long (0.34 metre), a wide head, and a long forked tongue.

"It will be watched for and killed if possible," The Cincinnati Enquirer reported at the time. 

Having been seen by so many eminent citizens it was not disputed .Then  20 miles away in the 1950s another creature was reported.

  The Loveland frog

The Loveland frog (Rana digiandomenicus) (also known as the Loveland frogman or Loveland lizard) is a legendary humanoid frog described as standing roughly 4 feet (1.2 m) tall. The creature was first sighted in 1955, with some versions of the story specifying the month of May.The three stories start the same way, with a businessman or a travelling salesman driving along an unnamed road late at night One story, the driver was heading out of  Branch Hill when he spotted three figures stood erect on their hind legs along the side of the road, each 3 to 4 feet (0.91 to 1.22 m) in height, with leathery skin and frog faces. In other versions of the story, the creatures were spotted under or over a poorly lit bridge over the Little Miami river. All the version say the businessman watched the figures converse for a while until one of the creatures held a wand over its head that  fired a spray of sparks, causing the man to flee in fright.

Urban myth you may think but in March 1972 at 1:00 am, Loveland police officer Ray Shockey was driving on Riverside Drive near the Totes boot factory and the Little Miami River when an unidentified animal scurried across the road in front of his vehicle. The animal was illuminated in his vehicle's headlights, and he described it as 3 to 4 feet (0.91 to 1.22 m) long and about 50 to 75 pounds (23 to 34 kg), with leathery skin. He reported spotting the animal "crouched like a frog" before it momentarily stood on its hand legs  to climb over the guardrail and back down towards the river.

Two weeks after the incident, a second Loveland police officer, Mark Matthews, reported seeing an unidentified animal crouched along the road in the same vicinity as Shockey's sighting. Matthews shot the animal but the body fell into the river. According to Matthews, it was "a large iguana about 3 or 3.5 feet long", and he didn't immediately recognize it because it was missing its tail. Mathews speculated the iguana had been someone's pet that "either got loose or was released when it grew too large”

However this did not account for several of them being seen together in the past.

In 2016 two youngsters allegedly took a photo of a frog like creature but this was dismissed as a hoax.

What I find interesting is that two or more amphibian type creatures had been reported within 20 miles of each other. Could there have once been a colony of salamanders or large amphibians  living in the area? Maybe the Crosswick monster moved its lair after being chased.More reports may surface ,lets hope so.







Wednesday 3 March 2021

Climate Change Brings Back Prehistoric Plant and news of glowing sharks


Climate Change Brings Prehistoric Plant From 60 Million Years Ago Back to Life

It was 60 million years ago that the Cycad (Cycasrevoluta) plant, or Sago palm, grew naturally in the UK. But for the first time, botanists have been able to produce both male and female cones on Cycads grown outdoors. Native to Japan, these plants typically grow in warm temperate and subtropical regions. So why are they springing back up in the UK now? Climate change.Botanists at the Ventnor Botanic Gardens on the Isle of Wight first produced a male cone outdoors in 2012. But it was just last year that a female cone also appeared, making it possible for them to transfer pollen and generate seeds for the first time in millions of years. The Isle of Wight's microclimate—which makes it several degrees higher than the rest of the UK—is the ideal setting for these prehistoric plants. But their ability to thrive outdoors is an indication that the climate is transforming.

Read rest here :

I wonder what else may  re-appear with climate change?

In other news:

Scientists say they have found that three deepwater shark species living off New Zealand glow in the dark.The species were collected from the Chatham Rise - an area of ocean floor to the east of New Zealand - in January of last year, according to the study. One of them, the kitefin shark, is now the largest known luminous vertebrate and can reach up to 180cm (5ft 11in). Bioluminescence was also confirmed in the blackbelly lantern shark and southern lantern shark. The three species were already known to marine biologists but this is the first time that the phenomenon of bioluminescence - organisms emitting light - has been identified in them.

Read rest here:

New discoveries are always welcome and show how much is yet to be found in our seas.


Black Headed Sea Monster


Beisht Kione [the sea beast with the black head].

The Isle of Man is a self-governing British Crown dependency situated in the Irish Sea between Great Britain and Ireland. A sea-monster is thought to reside off the south coast of the Isle of Man, and it is said to be feared  by all who sailed the coast.The Beisht KioneYn as it's called which means 'the beast with the black head,' in Manx . They dreaded to see it raise it's head above the waves. Described as a serpentine creature like a giant legless crocodile. Folklore says it will snatch children who stray too close to the edge of the cliffs.

It makes its home in the sea-caves  near Spanish Head at the southern tip of the Isle of Man. The few who have seen it say it has a head like that of a large horse, and it can be heard roaring by fishermen off Spanish Head. Some say it is the soul of a man killed by pirates in order to protect their treasure hidden in the headland’s caves. Nobody has attempted to claim that treasure.

To placate the Beisht and bring on good luck, rum is left in the cave at Spanish Head. Fishermen heading out to sea would throw a glassful of rum overboard in hopes that the Beisht will grant them a bountiful catch.

Around the waters of Ireland sea monsters have been reported in the past.

A sea monster spotted several times during the nineteenth century near the coast of County Clare Ireland was reported to have a head like a horse, a mane of seaweed, and a large body which was hidden under the water.The Irish Times  newspaper reported that a ‘monster’ was the subject of various reported sightings in the 19th-century, including one in 1850 when it was seen, improbably, “sunning itself near the Clare coast off Kilkee”.

In 1850, the Limerick Chronicle reported: “In September it was reported that a sea monster had been sighted near Bishop’s Island, and this was regarded by the superstitious as a certain ill omen. In the following week a Miss Evans, a visitor, disappeared after having been seen walking towards the cliffs.”

That there is a history of strange sightings in an area is always of interest. Some more recent reports would be of even more interest.If anyone knows of any ,please comment.