Saturday, April 30, 2011
Where To Find The World's Most 'Wicked Bugs'
Wolverines confirmed in Oregon:
The Sierra (CA) wolverine continues to roam:
A shape-shifting monkey-dog-man in South Africa:
1. A basking shark caught by Japanese fishermen in 2007.
2. The author with a modern mini-globster.
3. A sketch of the 1885 New River Inlet carcass.
Globsters are mysterious by definition. They appear as if by magic, washed up on a beach to startle fishermen and swimmers, then often vanish with the tide as suddenly as they arrived. In modern times the smallest sample of their flesh may serve to prove identity before the rotting hulk is swept away and lost. It was not always so.
Dr J.B. Holder, a chronicler of Florida history, introduced readers of Century Magazine to our next globster in June 1892. According to his article—
In the spring of 1885 the Rev. Mr. Gordon of Milwaukee, President of the United States Humane Society, chanced to visit, in the course of his duties, a remote and obscure portion of the Atlantic shores of Florida.
While lying at anchor in the New River Inlet the flukes of the anchor became foul with what proved to be a carcass of considerable length. Mr. Gordon quickly observed that it was a vertebrate, and at first thought it was probably a cetacean. But, on examination, it was seen to have features more suggestive of saurians. Its total length was forty-two feet. Its girth was six. The head was absent; two flippers, or fore-limbs, were noticed, and a somewhat slender neck, which measured six feet in length. The carcass was in a state of decomposition; the abdomen was open, and the intestines protruded.
The striking slenderness of the thorax as compared to the great length of the body and tail very naturally suggested to Mr. Gordon, whose reading served him well, the form of some of the great saurians whose bones have so frequently been found in several locations along the Atlantic coast. No cetacean known to science has such a slender body and such a well-marked and slender neck....Appreciating the great importance of securing the entire carcase, Mr. Gordon had it hauled above the high-water mark, and took all possible precautions to preserve the bones until they could be removed....He counted without the possible treacherous hurricane; the waters of the “still-vexed Bermoothes,” envious of their own, recalled the strange waif.1
Before proceeding, we must note one error in Dr. Holder’s report—to wit, his reference to events occurring in spring 1885. That year’s hurricane season featured eight storms between 7 August and 13 October, with the first to pass Florida’s Atlantic coast occurring on 21 September. Another struck Florida’s eastern coast on 10 October. Clearly, neither date qualifies as “spring.”2
The location of the globster’s discovery is also problematic. The only New River Inlet recognized by name in modern America is found on North Carolina’s Onslow Bay, feeding the Atlantic Ocean after a meandering trip through the U.S. Marine Corps base at Camp Lejeune. Florida, however, does have two New Rivers: one rises from the Everglades and flows eastward through Fort Lauderdale, in Broward County, to reach the sea at Port Everglades; the other is a tributary of northern Florida's Santa Fe River, serving as the borderline between Bradford and Union Counties. Since the latter does not reach the ocean, we may safely discount it as Dr. Holder's New River.3
What was the beast described by Dr. Holder, seven years after its brief appearance and four years prior to the arrival of Florida's most famous globster off St. Augustine in 1896? Bernard Heuvelmans considered the question almost a century later, in his classic work on sea-serpents, and dismissed basking sharks (Cetorhinus maximus) on the theory that Florida’s waters are too warm, but noted historical strandings of whale sharks along the state’s coast, finally casting his vote for an unidentified “large selachian.”4
That judgment was hasty, however, since basking sharks have indeed been seen in Florida waters. Most recently, a large specimen was videotaped while shadowing a kayaker off Panama City, in March 2011 (see the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6POpa3r_KA8). The first basking shark ever documented from the Gulf of Mexico was caught off Grassy Point, on the coast of Sarasota County, on 2 April 1969. It was an adult female twenty-seven feet long, classified as "very thin" for its length, although it tipped the scales at 4,356 pounds. A second specimen, this one a juvenile female, was netted off St. Augustine ten months later, on 24 February 1970. It measured 11 feet 8 inches long.5 Yet another basking shark was observed near Cape Canaveral, Florida, on 25 January 1994. It was allowed to feed and go in peace, its length estimated at 14 feet 7 inches.6
Clearly, then, the globster reported from New River Inlet may have been a decomposed basking shark, but Dr. Holder's vague reference to its "considerable length" leaves us to ponder what he meant—and whether the carcass surpassed the known maximum size for Cetorhinus maximus.
1 Bernard Heuvelmans, In the Wake of the Sea-Serpents (London: Rupert Hart-Davis Ltd., 1968), p. 131.
2 “1885 Atlantic hurricane season,” Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1885_Atlantic_hurricane_season.
3 “New River (North Carolina),” Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_River_(North_Carolina); “New River (Broward County, Florida),” Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_River_(Broward_County,_Florida); "New River (Santa Fe River)," Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_River_(Santa_Fe_River).
4 Heuvelmans, p. 131.
5 Stewart Springer and Perry Gilbert, "The Basking Shark Cetorhinus maximus from Florida and California, with Comments on its Biology and Systematics," Copeia Vol. 1976, No. 1 (12 March 1976): 47-8.
6 Barry Choy and Douglas Adams, "An Observation of a Basking Shark, Cetorhinus maximus, Feeding along a Thermal Front off the East Central Coast of Florida," Florida Scientist Vo. 68, No. 4 (Autumn 1995): 313.
We had a call this morning about an orphaned fox cub in a garden 50 miles away. She was being attacked by crows. The people who found her took her in, and she ate a little dog food. They had phoned lots of rescue places nearby, but no one would take her on.
I have had some experience with fox cubs, and was travelling close to where the people lived, so we met at the Trade Warehouse where I buy my animal feed. She’s about 4 weeks old and in good health apart from a few ticks, which are being dealt with. She’s tucked into some cooked chicken, and seems to think that life is weird, but all right really…. She now has a cuddly toy that is bigger than she is and a dog crate to call her own.
Long term, it would be nice to rehab her back into the wild. Our private woodland will make a good soft-release area when she is older. We think she is delightful!
On this day in 1954 Ray Parker Jr was born. Parker is best known for composing the theme song for Ghost Busters.
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Because it's an alligator I can't repost Elton on the muppets:
Friday, April 29, 2011
Search for Tassie Tiger bears no fruit
Orphaned albino echidna gets lucky
Kakapo's priceless genes may help save species
Interactive koala map may help save species
Meet the Cryptozoologist: Matt Bille
Birds taking over Sydney
Are there big cats in Australia?
From Nick Redfern's "There's Something in the Woods..."
Smokey Crabtree RIP
Supernatural Big Cats
Just a reminder about the herpetofauna monitoring course organized by the SEH-conservation committee. The course will be on September 24-25 at the National Museum of Natural History Luxembourg before the 16th European Congress of Herpetology.
The course is aimed at European herpetologists, conservation professionals and people working in environmental policy who design and run monitoring programs. The aim of the course is to highlight key issues when designing and running monitoring programs. This includes the conceptual and political background for monitoring programs, an overview of field methods and an introduction to methods for data analysis. Furthermore, one part of the course (topic #3 below) will specifically focus on the Article 7 of the Habitat Directive. One of the goals of this course is to set a framework for developing and improving herpetofauna monitoring programs in Europe.
The target audience of the course is beginner as well as experienced herpetologists. Additionally, on-going projects will be presented. Final date for sending application documents to attend the course is 31 May 2011. Topics of the course will be:
1) General principles of monitoring: why? what? how?
2) Monitoring and biosecurity
3) European Habitat Directive: monitoring and reporting
4) Survey methods for amphibians (field methods)
5) Survey methods for reptiles (field methods)
6) Analysis of monitoring data: abundance at one site
7) Analysis of monitoring data: abundance at multiple sites
8) Analysis of monitoring data: distribution (presence/absence)
9) Presentation of a few on-going monitoring projects in different countries
10) General discussion on the topics of the course
Other additional information, including registration cost, and documents to send to register to the course can be found can be found on the blog of the SEH-CC
and on our website under "news" (http://seh-cc.org/news.shtm).
For additional information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Only requests sent to the indicated email address will be taken into consideration. Deadline for registration: May 2011
The latest episode of our monthly webTV show from the CFZ and CFZtv, bringing you the latest cryptozoological, and monster hunting news from around the world.
This episode brings you:
CFZ in spring
Monster of Llangorse lake
Roman pond crocodile revisited
Woolsery butterfly experiment
Corinna looks at out of place birds
New and Rediscovered: New nudibranch
New and Rediscovered: New fish
New and Rediscovered: Singalese elephants
On this day in 1812 the mysterious Kaspar Hauser was born. Would you like to know more?
Thursday, April 28, 2011
We also saw two remarkably small orange tips in one specific location. I am interested to find out whether this is a localised race, or whether they are caused by lack of foodstuffs during the larval stage. The fact that they did not appear to be weak and were flying alongside normal-sized specimens would tend to negate that theory. Any ideas?
This actually brings the species tally to 12 in 48 hours. When you think that there have only been 23 species recorded in Woolsery and the surrounding areas (by me as a youngster, and various CFZ bods in the past six years) and there are only 35 species that even might be in the area according to UK Butterflies who are pretty damned authoratative. We have therefore discounted ridiculously rare and local species, species that only live in Scotland, the Isle of Wight or chalky downs for example, and also the stupidly rare migrants.
An awful lot of my energies over the past twenty-five years, since I first started taking my cryptozoological studies seriously, has been about fluctuations in the species lists of various biotopes where there are thought to be creatures of cryptozoological interest. Some years ago I published my preliminary thoughts about the fluctuating mammal species lists of Hong Kong - an area with more than its fair share of intersesting creatures.
Now, it is about time that I turned the spotlight onto my own figurative doorstep.
The area that I have chosen as our study area is basically the area over which I used to roam between 1971 and 1981 (when I finally left home). In the last few years we have highlighted it as being an area in which at least three creatures of interest to us live: golden frogs, wild boar and big cats.
Butterfly numbers are markedly down on what they were thirty years ago, with one exception: the migratory nymphalids are far more common. However, our efforts over the past few days have proved that all the species I knew here as a child have survived. The one exception to this is the marbled white (Melanargia galathea), which will not fly until July, and which had a very localised range. We will look for it again then.
This year is an extraordinary one so far for butterflies, and I hope that it will continue to be so. I have a sneaking suspicion that once we can point our sticky little fingers at the cause of these odd fluctuations we will not only have learned more about British butterflies than we did, but also be in possesion of some truths of great importance to Fortean Zoology as a whole.
And Most Recently at the Frontiers of Anthropology, a posting that is Zoologically-related and although it has a bearing on a longstanding theory of mine, this is the first time it has appeared in Blog form:
Best Wishes, Dale D.
On this day in 1945 Adolf Hitler married Eva Braun before they both committed suicide the next day. There have been numerous conspiracy theories surrounding the events with various people suggesting that the Hitlers were either murdered by those close to them or that they faked their deaths and the burnt bodies found were those of lookalikes, the reality is most likely that events passed as witnesses said they did. Oh and congratulations to Prince William and Catherine 'Kate' Middleton who are also getting married today (as I write YNT the evening before it is posted on the blog lets hope it all goes without a hitch and no tawdry soap opera like shenanigans occur or this blog post will seem in quite poor taste).
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Crunchy AND smooth:
Regular readers will remember that the other day Graham and I went in search of orange tips - a butterfly species that I hadn't seen in Woolsery for over thirty years. The only specimens that we found were males, and so yesterday Max and I went to see if we could redress the balance. As you can see by the image above left, we did. By the way, all butterflies were released after we filmed/photographed them.
But there was more excitement in store. There were two other species that I had seen in Woolsery as a child, but that were apparently missing when I returned as an adult. These were the Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni) and the Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas). In one afternoon we saw both species. I had last seen G.rhamni in Woolsery in 1972 and L.phlaeas in 1981.
I am not claiming that any of these three species have not appeared in Woolsery in the interim, but only that I have not seen them, and that they have not been reported to me by any of my Natural History spies, like the Rev. Gerald Smith (Retd) who is a tireless photographer of all things great and small in the village and the surrounding areas.
In all, Max and I saw at least 11 species (there were two others that we were not able to identify) in the village yesterday, which considering there have only been 23 species recorded by us since 1971, is not too bad at all. This year is shaping up to be a very exciting one butterfly-wise.
NB: Richard Muirhead writes: 'The relevant sentence in today`s Guardian Country Diary from St Dominic, Tamar Valley is; “Orange-tip butterflies flit across sweet vernal, the coarser grasses, nettles, flowering plantains and patches of lady`s smock…” This is at Sullens Wood.' It seems a bumper year for orange tips everywhere.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Regular blog readers will be aware of the `Old Hong Kong` newsgroup, which I joined in order to get pictures of - you've guessed it - old Hong Kong. Regular readers will also be aware that although I get three or four images of pre-war Hong Kong for an ongoing project by Richard Muirhead and me, most of what the newsgroup sends me is soft porn or invitations to speculate in the foreign exchange markets.
However, sometimes they send me totally off-topic gems. Like this:
'A walking work of art, Gregory Da Silva is more than an odd spectacle – he is a symbol of Africa’s many diverse cultures…In the first heady years of the African Union, the world’s eyes are increasingly turned to the continent from which humankind first appeared. Beneath the seemingly impenetrable mask of violence portrayed in popular media, lies a living and thriving cultural climate which Des Warde finds well depicted by West African street artist Gregory Da Silva.
His head dress weighs up to twenty five kilograms, his body is armored with artifacts and his face painted with tribal patterns and an undying smile. Each day, Gregory Da Silva presents the city center with a new display of his symbolic art....'
Okay, down to business. Years ago, my paternal grandmother Joan Hallowell had a cat. It was called Spaggs – goodness knows why – and was a battle-hardened street warrior covered in scars due to previous encounters with Sunderland supporters, which it disliked intensely.
Spaggs was a psychic cat. My grandfather, Billy Hallowell, worked at the Co-op store in Newgate Street, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and used to catch a train back to Jarrow at the end of the working day. He would arrive home at around 6.15pm, and Spaggs would meet him at the station and accompany him back to the family home at Connaught Terrace. But the weird thing was this; sometimes my grandfather would be required to work late, and as there wasn't a telephone at home he had no way of alerting my grandmother to the fact. Yet, she always knew when my grandfather was going to be late home, as Spaggs would not make his usual trip to the station at 6pm. Somehow, he just knew that my grandfather wasn't on the train.
After some time had passed by – maybe an hour - Spaggs would suddenly jump up and hurry out of the door. My grandmother knew that the train containing my grandfather was approaching the nearby station, for Spaggs was at long last making his way there. She would then finish preparing his evening meal, which would be ready on the table for him when he got home.
So, Spaggs not only had an uncanny ability to know when my grandfather wasn't on the train, but also when he was. How? I do not know, but numerous family members testified to the fact.
I personally saw Spaggs refrain from going to the station at the normal time to meet my grandfather on two occasions. “Your granda is going to be late”, I recall Gran Joan saying. And he was. I also recall the cat spontaneously going to the station later on when, somehow, he knew Granda Bill was finally on the train.
Recently I met an old neighbour of my grandparents, both of whom have now passed away. She related to me another odd incident involving Spaggs which my grandmother had told her about, and which I had hitherto been unaware of.
One day, my grandmother saw Spaggs sitting in his wicker basket, and was surprised to espy a large frog nestling in between his paws. Just where the frog hailed from was something of a mystery, for there were no ponds, streams or rivers nearby. She lived in a fully urbanised area. Instinctively she went to pick the amphibian interloper up so that she could put it outside, but Spaggs wasn't happy about this at all. As her hand approached the basket, the cat batted it away forcefully with its paw.
On this day in 1948 Sir Terry Pratchett was born.
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Can you tell what it is yet:
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
A full write-up of my kallana reconnaissance will appear in my forthcoming book, Pgymy Elephants, to be published by CFZ Press later this year. Meanwhile, I will have to be a bit vague, and refrain from publishing some of my photos, as I’m in talks with BBC Wildlife Magazine about a possible travel piece for their August issue, and they want first dibs on pictures and the story.
In North Devon the primary foodplant for Anthocharis cardamines is Cardamine pratensis, known as the Ladies Smock, or Cuckoo Flower (or locally, Meadowsweet, although this is generally used for a totally different flower).
It has always been locally common, but this year it is EVERYWHERE. Just check out these pictures of the bank next to Asda (below) and the corner of the CFZ lawn.
There must be some link between the population explosion in Cardamine pratensis and the re-occurence of the butterflies, but what is it? Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
Please give me your ideas on this because I am getting monumentally obsessed with the conundrum..
On this day in 1963 Russell T. Davis was born. Davis was instrumental in the return of Doctor Who to television and the show-runner for the times of the 9th and 10th Doctors.
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ALL GLORY TO THE HYPNOTOAD:
Monday, April 25, 2011
Bunny boom Down Under
Property rights for native animals?
Bilby Dreams documents species return
Meet the Cryptozoologist: Tony Healy
Saving the Unicorn of Vietnam
Australia's national parks to star in new TV series
The Biddeford Weekly of 2nd April 1926 investigated the report of ‘Sisters Terrified By The Tales Related By Caretaker’. Local man and warden of Mystic, Connecticut, George Denison was on the track of a monster said to have been responsible for molesting two young women, Mildred and Muriel Miner whilst they were at home at their farmhouse. The 2,000 acre estate included the Taugwank swamp.
Since the death of their father the previous year, the girls, who’d been left the farmhouse, ‘reported that a fear inspiring figure, scarce human in appearance, lurked about the house, danced on the summit of a rock 300 feet from the door, and uttered cried like those of an infant. The women told the newspaper at the time that they felt as though they were being forced to sell the farmhouse and the warden commented that the object of his search was to settle once and for all the rumours that a “strange creature” had been seen in the swamp.
He said: “If there is any trace of a strange freak of nature about I may reasonably be expected to uncover its tracks.”
A caretaker at the farmhouse named Frank Miller eventually resigned from his post stating that the tales of the beast were too terrifying for him to handle. However, the girls blamed the caretaker for their growing fear of the outside world stating: “Every time a blind blew with the wind or the coal shed door squeaked he persisted in saying it was a ghost. When the strange creature was first seen we told Miller it was a real ghost. He was so frightened that his teeth chattered and his knees knocked together.”
A Monster Of Many Colours
The Washington Observer of November 13th 1906 reported ‘Giant Beast Had Eyes Like Moons And Wore Horns’ after a terrifying encounter took place in Winsted, Conn, on 12th November. A J.E. Law had three horrifying experiences described as follows: “As I entered the woods at Indian Lake a mammoth animal, the size of an elephant, white as snow, with eyes like two moons ad horns like a reindeer, rose up in my path. I gave one yell and the mysterious thing vanished as quickly as it appeared without making any noise. Reaching the old ore pit on the crest of the hill at the state line, where the Moravian missionaries were massacred by the Indians many years ago, the same apparition loomed up in my path, but this time it was as red as fire with eyes glaring like two block signals. I shut my eyes, shrieked, and when I looked for the red monster he was gone. When near the watering tub at Hazzard place, Sharon, the hideous giant rose up again. This time the monster was so black I could just discern its outlines by two green searchlights. I must have fainted from fright, for when I recovered my senses it was daylight and my clothes were still damp from perspiration and my hair white where it was a jet black before.”
On this day in 1986 the Chernobyl nuclear disaster happened.
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Richard Muirhead should be pleased: I took special care to shoehorn this in as soon as possible.
Back to Raheel Mughal's list again for the next week; this entry was a minor detour because I thought it needed to be said.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
The Milwaukee Sentinel of 7th August 1949 ran a bizarre story concerning an unfathomable monster said to be prowling East Granby, Connecticut. Under the headline: ‘Galloping Ghost Animal With Claws Has Town Sweating’, the paper stated, ‘Bear ? Gorilla ? Horse ? – Or is it some weird, mysterious animal ? Uneasy residents in the Lake Basile section here asked those questions today after reports got around that there was a strange animal in the neighbourhood. The best description they could give was that it gallops like a horse and has the claws of a bear. No one has seen it. Some have heard it. But there for all to see were its claw-prints on the soft dirt road. Morgan J. Horne was among those who reported hearing it – at 10 minutes past midnight.
“It was nothing like I have ever heard before,” he said. “My wife had a horrified look on her face.”
“When we heard this galloping noise and the heavy breathing, our English sheepdog, Buddy, went crazy,” said Horne. “He almost went through the screen.”
Green Eyed Devil
Ten years later on March 12th 1959 the Calgary Herald reported ‘Ghost Animals Haunts Suburb Of Montreal’ after a creature with green eyes, ‘…waited silently at a lonely wayside railway station, frightened children, set housewives gossiping, husbands hunting and dogs howling.’
No Longer Ghouls On Horses!
Under the heading, ‘A Recent Ghost’, the New York Times reported on December 8th 1884 a bizarre animal ghost story stating: ‘There is a ghost in Cleveland, Ohio, who rides furiously up and down the street at night clad in appropriate white and mounted on a cow. We need ask for no further information as to the moral character of this particular ghost. It is clear that this ghost resides in a locality where there are no horses or where his local reputation is such that he cannot be trusted with a horse. The number of ghostly horses must be almost incalculable, judging from the number of horses that leave this world every year. That in the other world horses are made happy, as some slight recompense for their sufferings here, no charitable man will doubt. Obviously, then, ghostly horses must occupy a division of Paradise, where, of course, they can meet only with respectable ghosts. Wicked ghosts doubtless go where there are no horses, and hence must either give up riding or mount some disreputable animal – a ghostly cow for example. Te ghost who parades in Cleveland mounted on a cow has, in the language of our city statesmen, given himself away. He has advertised the fact that he belongs to a gang of ghosts who are unable to obtain horses, and that fact proves that he is a disreputable ghost who deserves nothing but arrest and punishment.’
On this day in 2005 the final piece of the Oblix of Axum was returned to Ethiopia by the Italians. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obelisk_of_Axum
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Saturday, April 23, 2011
A new UK Government review called the 'Red Tape Challenge' is threatening all environmental legislation with the axe. We cannot let this go unchallenged.
We all value the natural world. We all appreciate how fragile it can be. And we all know how vulnerable nature and special places for wildlife are to the ravages of unrestrained human activity.
We also all appreciate that to safeguard our precious wildlife and environment we need to give them legal protection. Wild birds and their nests need to be protected from damage and disturbance. Special places need to be protected from development and preserved for future generations. The Wildlife and Countryside Act does both of these things.
There are 277 other pieces of environmental legislation and regulation in the UK covering everything from National Parks and marine protected areas to greenhouse gas emissions and clean air.
All of our vital environmental safeguards are now under threat. The UK Coalition Government's Red Tape Challenge is aiming to scrap as much regulation as it can. It has put all legal protection for the environment up for grabs. Protection which is a measure of a civilised society, and is the result of reforms won since our charity was created in the nineteenth century.
The RSPB has played a leading role in securing much of this legislation and we will not stand by and allow it to be put at risk.
Please step up for nature and support our campaign to secure the future of this essential legislation.
We have prepared a template e-mail for you to send to the Business Secretary, Vince Cable, who launched the Red Tape Challenge - copies of which will be sent to the Cabinet Office and the Treasury.
When my book Florida’s Unexpected Wildlife was published in 2007 it included the first-ever timeline of 355 alleged Bigfoot sightings logged between July 1818 and January 2006. Today, after a recent research trip across the Sunshine State, I offer an addendum to that list—71 more supposed encounters with a bipedal cryptid known to Floridians as the “skunk ape” or less pejoratively, the “swamp ape.”
Recorded between March 2006 and December 2010, the new tally includes 48 eyewitness sightings, ten reports of footprints, ten describing "Bigfoot-type" sounds, and three cases citing other kinds of evidence. Two skunk ape flaps, one possibly involving an escaped orangutan, throw off the calculation with a claim of multiple, unspecified ear-witnesses to eerie primate sounds.
The following events complete our timeline—at least, for the moment.
4 March 2006: Three anonymous siblings claimed a sighting of a "big black thing" covered with "a lot of hair," while riding all-terrain vehicles in Highlands County, near Lake Placid. On seeing them, the creature "casually jogged" into the woods. (BFRO1 Report #14021)
15 March 2006: Several unnamed witnesses saw a creature nearly seven feet tall, "shaped like a heavyweight wrestler" and covered in "very dark hair," while riding on a bus through Charlotte County. The animal held something in its arms. (GCBRO2)
17 March 2006: A woman riding through rural Santa Rosa County saw a creature six feet tall, with reddish-brown hair, standing in marsh grass beside a river. Her husband, driving the van,
saw nothing. (GCBRO)
March 2006: While driving through Everglades National Park to Flamingo (Monroe County), a group of unidentified witnesses saw a tall, "very muscular" biped (seven to nine feet, estimated). One witness thought it was a bear, another claimed it was a deer. A third described "very long arms...with hands just above the knees." (BFRO Report #15170)
12 April 2006: Witness "JH" and his ex-wife's father found "the biggest foot track I have ever seen" while hunting wild turkeys in Baker County. JH also claims two childhood sightings of a hairy biped called the "Taylor Wild Man," after the nearest town. (BFRO Report #26276)
27 May 2006: An unnamed witness saw a "large hairy figure with glowing red eyes" while riding an ATV in Polk County, at 1:30 a.m. The creature made "unusual sounds." (GCBRO)
15 July 2006: A father and daughter saw a dark-haired biped five to six feet tall, while driving on Highway 19 through the Ocala National Forest (Marion County). The creature vanished into piney woods as they stopped their car. (BFRO Report #23120)
2 September 2006: An unnamed man claimed a daylight skunk ape sighting near the Florida Turnpike's Ocoee exit in Orange County, while going to Orlando's Waterford Lakes Town Center shopping mall. His wife, driving the car, saw nothing. (BFRO Report #15694)
October 2006: Photographer and Everglades tour-boat captain Judy Caseley went public for the first time with a sighting from July 2001. Her evidence: a blurry photograph which she displayed with other snapshots at the Museum of the Everglades, priced for sale at $175. As yet, the photo remains unpublished. (Naples Daily News, 19 Oct. 2006)
2 November 2006: Unnamed residents of Santa Rosa County notified police of "a mysterious intruder that looked remarkably like a chimpanzee." Curators at the Gulf Breeze Zoo confirmed that identification from a still-unpublished photo. The presumed African primate remains at large. (The Walton Sun, 6 Nov. 2006)
26 November 2006: An unidentified motorist reported a daylight sighting of a "large apelike creature" crossing a field beside Interstate 75, in Manatee County, between Bradenton and Sarasota. The spot is near Myakka State Park, where two famous photos of an alleged skunk ape were snapped (or faked) by some unknown person in 2000. (BFRO Report #17043)
November 2006: An unnamed resident of Jefferson County heard "two loud, distinct 'cries' or 'yells'" from woods surrounding his farm, near Ashville. At the same time, he observed a sapling "being whipped back and forth," but did not see the person or creature responsible. (BFRO Report #26393)
2 March 2007: Witnesses "J.J." and "Z.A." allegedly observed a tall, black skunk ape with a white stripe down its back while fishing from a boat at some undisclosed location. (SAF3)
3 March 2007: Witness "N.S." and several others reportedly met a skunk ape in Palm Beach County, at 7:45 a.m. It fled after they pelted it with sticks and an "a torch." N.S. claimed the male animal "was wearing a tracking device," and that its face "was clearly seen." (SAF)
15 March 2007: An unnamed hiker found scat from "something other than a bear" on a trail in Wekiwa Springs State Park, near Plymouth (Orange County). He saw nothing else, but reported a sense of being watched. (SAF) 23 March 2007: Unnamed Clay County hikers reported sounds of wood-knocking and a loud, drawn-out vocalization in woodland near Middleburg. (SAF)
25 March 2007: While picking up a trailer at an orange grove near Arcadia (DeSoto County), a trucker glimpsed a long-haired bipedal creature. (SAF)
March 2007: The SAF reported a second incident of wood-knocking and vocalizations outside Middleburg, claimed by two unnamed witnesses.
June 2007: An unidentified hiker claimed discovery of 18-inch humanoid footprints near
Florahome, in Putnam County. Although he had a camera, he took no photos. While leaving the area, he heard "a yelp, half dog/half human sounding." The witness also claimed his sons had seen a skunk ape at one of Marion County's two Buck Lakes, in 2005, but offered no further details. (SAF)
4 July 2007: Multiple witnesses claimed a skunk ape sighting during a nocturnal fireworks display at Valrico, in Hillsborough County. They described the creature as six feet tall, covered with muddy copper-colored hair. (SAF)
11 August 2007: A witness camped near Middleburg met a skunk ape six to seven feet tall, covered with "brownish black hair that looked kind of ragged." Later the same night, another camper heard "weird howling." (SAF)
August 2007: The SAF reports another nocturnal sighting outside Middleburg, perhaps a duplication of the 11 August incident.
15 October 2007: A Middleburg resident on his way to work heard eerie screams at 6:30 a.m. Dogs in the neighborhood "went crazy." (SAF)
27 October 2007: On a driving tour of the Everglades, witness "Robert" and his nephew saw a "huge furry ape" emerge from shrubbery along Turner River Road. (SAF)
11 November 2007: A kayaker on the Yellow River (Okaloosa County) smelled "a musky wet dog odor," then dodged a flurry of stones lobbed by some unseen attacker. He "felt a presence" for the next 25 miles of his journey. The SAF confuses matters by repeating this case under date of 11 November 2008. (SAF)
13 November 2007: Jacksonville-based First Coast News reported an "escaped primate" flap
around Glen Saint Mary in Baker County. One unnamed local reported seeing an "orange ape" nesting in a tree, while others heard "screeches in the night." The creature was not photographed
17 November 2007: A hiker found a "possible footprint" beside a trail in the Big Cypress National Preserve, outside Ochopee. It measured 14 inches long by six inches wide and appeared to be "a week or two old." A photo of the impression may be seen at http://www.bfro.net/GDB/show_report.asp?id=22122. (BFRO Report #22122)
9 December 2007: Hikers Ed Casas and Pete Coffey found and photographed tracks in the Big Cypress National Preserve. The photos may be found online at http://www.bfro.net/GDB/show_report.asp?id=22156. (BFRO Report #22156)
Seven undated incidents from 2007, all reported by the SAF include:
(1) Baker County: After seeing a "strange animal" in the woods near Macclenny, unnamed witnesses baited the area with doughnuts and caught a fox squirrel (Sciurus niger).
(2) Collier County: Two hikers found individual tracks outside Naples, one mile apart. The first had "splayed toes like a human's," while the other "showed [an] abducted ape like toe."
(3) Franklin County: Witness "Jason" claimed a nocturnal sighting of a long-armed "grayish creature" in Tates Hell Swamp.
(4) Lake County: Unidentified hikers heard wood-knocking on Flat Island, then saw an eight-foot-tall biped fleeing the scene.
(5) Lake County: Two hunters met a skunk ape in Green Swamp. One tried to shoot it, but the creature "seemed to know" and dodged the bullet to escape unharmed.
(6) Polk County: Two railroad workers walking on tracks at Green Swamp Run heard footsteps in the nearby woods, then saw a "long haired creature" running away.
(7) Suwannee County: Howling and wood-knocking sounds preceded discovery of a humanoid footprint near Wellborn.
15 February 2008: Two unnamed witnesses met a seven-foot "something" in Clay County's Jennings State Forest, near Middleburg. "Twisted trees" were subsequently found at the location. (SAF)
February 2008: Two hikers reported "an upright ape" running through brush in Wakulla County's Apalachicola National Forest, leaving riverside stones "jumbled in a very distinct way." The creature was seven feet tall, with "fuzzy" hair, "bulky shoulders and [a] huge body." (BFRO Report #23570)
2 April 2008: A hiker in the Ocala National Forest (Lake County) found a "possible stick structure" made from broken saplings, which reminded him of photos purporting to be Sasquatch shelters. On a nearby trail, he also found a "possible footprint" that measured 16 inches long by 5.5 inches wide. (BFRO Report #23852)
10 April 2008: A resident of Oviedo, in Seminole County, complained that a "furry reddish brown" biped rifled his garbage, broke into a chicken coop, and tore open a bag of feed. (SAF)
April 2008: While driving at night through Citrus County's Withlacoochee Trail State Park, an unnamed motorist saw an "extremely hairy" biped nearly eight feet tall cross the road in front of his car. (SAF)
2 May 2008: An unidentified photographer allegedly videotaped a skunk ape in the woods near "Myakka, Florida," and subsequently posted the footage on YouTube. It may be viewed on Loren Coleman's Cryptomundo blog at http://www.cryptomundo.com/cryptozoo-news/myakka08. While Florida has at least nine locations including the word "Myakka" in their names, scattered over three counties, there is no site with that specific name alone.
13 May 2008: A pizza delivery driver, returning to his home from work at 1:30 a.m., saw "a very very fast moving thing that was very tall and hairy" beside an unspecified Marion County
13 May 2008: Camper S.K. Dover saw an eight-foot-tall biped covered with brown fur, moving along the St. Johns River outside St. Augustine. Its face appeared "ape like." (SAF)
30 June 2008: While taking out trash at his home near Winter Springs, a Seminole County resident heard "possible howls" from the nearby forest, continuing for 15 minutes. (BFRO Report #24134)
30 July 2008: An unidentified photographer allegedly videotaped a skunk ape at some undisclosed Florida location. The tape may be viewed online at http://www.squatchology.com/2008/07/florida-skunk-ape.html.
1 September 2008: While driving from Miami to Naples on the Tamiami trail, a motorist saw a dark figure—"at least the size of a person, but it was dark, with a wide body structure," covered with hair—in a roadside field of sawgrass. Despite a distance from the creature estimated at 500 yards, the witness also claimed "a notable smell similar to rotten eggs." The SAF erroneously dates this incident from September 2007. (BFRO Report #24656)
10 October 2008: An unnamed farmer claimed sightings of a "strange animal" running across his property, chattering "in some strange language" that frightened his chickens out of laying eggs.
According to the BFRO, the event allegedly occurred on U.S. Highway 301 in Putnam County, "east of Gainesville" and "near Hawthorne." In fact, neither city is located in Putnam County, nor does Highway 301 pass through the county. Furthermore, BFRO investigators say they received their first call from the farmer on 10 September and visited the site on 5 October, five days before the date of the supposed sighting. Even granting a typographical error on the reporting
date, too much confusion remains to rate the case seriously. (BFRO Report #24893)
1 November 2008: More geographic confusion surrounds this report of a deer hunter's skunk ape
sighting. The event—a 20-minute observation of a hairy biped five to six feet tall—supposedly occurred in Polk County, "near Zephyrhills" (a town located in neighboring Pasco County). The witness also described the area as "Green Swamp," perhaps referring to Polk County's Green Swamp Run, since Green Swamp is located in Lake County. (BFRO Report #25129)
November 2008 through June 2009: An unnamed witness claimed multiple incidents from Highlands County, at an undisclosed location "between Lake Placid and Okeechobee" (located in neighboring Okeechobee County). The events include "sticks breaking, wood hitting wood, heavy walking and really weird calls," produced by some unseen creature that "wasn't a cow as it moved on two legs." (SAF)
Three undated incidents from 2008, all reported by the SAF, include:
(1) Dixie County: Several unnamed witnesses allegedly saw a skunk ape near Cross City and summoned police, who made casts of its footprints. Inquiries to a local newspaper proved fruitless.
(2) Holmes County: A motorist driving near Esto reported a large creature crossing Route 2 on all fours. It resembled "a giant footstool," with a flat chest and a head set squarely on its shoulders. Two years earlier, the driver and his wife reportedly heard a "Bigfoot scream" in the same area.
(3) Santa Rosa County: A lone fisherman heard heavy footsteps accompanied by snapping branches at some undisclosed location. Returning with a friend the next day, he found half-inch-
thick branches broken off tree trunks, six feet above ground level.
9 March 2009: While driving through the town of Holiday, in Pasco County, an unnamed motorist saw a hairy biped cross U.S. Highway 19, illuminated by his car's headlights. (BFRO
15 May 2009: Drawn by wood-knocking sounds, two hikers in Manatee County watched an eight-foot bipedal creature through binoculars, from a distance of 60 feet. They described it as covered with smoky-gray hair, moving with long, quiet strides. (GCBRO)
18 June 2009: While escorting contractors across private property, a Duval County resident claimed a brief skunk ape sighting outside Jacksonville, near the Mayport Naval Station. The creature was "very black and resembled a primate." (BFRO Report #26577)
20 September 2009: Witness "D.P." claimed that he was fishing in the Caloosahatchee River, from a dock behind his home outside Fort Myers (Lee County), when he saw a dark-haired biped with an "apish" face peering at him from the nearby undergrowth. It was seven feet tall, weighed 200 to 300 pounds, and when D.P. rose from his chair it began "jumping around back and forth swinging his arms around" like "a chimp when it's aggravated." While the sighting occurred at 9:44 p.m., D.P. waited more than four hours to rouse his family in the nearby house, at which time "they thought [he] was crazy." (SAF)
September 2009: A motorist driving to Orlando on State Road 520, in Orange County, reported a daylight sighting of a beast described as seven feet tall, "very dark and human like." (SAF)
18 October 2009: The SAF reports that a father and son saw a reddish-brown hairy biped, seven feet tall and with four-foot-wide shoulders, standing beside a road near "Mascote,'' in Sumter County. The town of Mascotte is actually located in Lake County, east of Sumter.
17 November 2009: While camping in Franklin County's Saint Vincent National Wildlife Refuge, a Maryland Bigfoot researcher played recorded primate calls and allegedly received "a very loud, shrill shriek with a decidedly simian tone" in reply. No creature was seen. (GCBRO)
21 November 2009: An unnamed hunter heard "a low, guttural vocalization that sounded almost
like a Native American dialect" in woodland near Century (Escambia County). (BFRO Report
25 November 2009: Returning to the same vicinity with his daughter, the hunter described above (21 November) heard heavy footsteps on a game trail and found a single footprint that measured 17 inches long. As in the prior case, no animal was seen. (BFRO Report #26947)
December 2009: While hunting at Clay County's Camp Blanding Wildlife Management Area, an unnamed witness saw "something" in the woods. He described it as "dark brown, almost black, running kinda like an old man that had back problems, bent over a little at the waist." Measured in comparison to a nearby tree, he thought the biped was seven feet tall. (SAF)
2009, Undated: An unidentified woman reported seeing "a tall, black or dark brown hairy hominid" at a trailer park, somewhere in Pasco County. No further details were released. (SAF)
18 January 2010: Two unidentified hikers saw a bipedal creature at Picayune Strand, a Collier County swamp. They described it as seven feet tall or better, with a bare brownish-black face, "short brownish hair" on its head, and reddish-brown hair coating the rest of its body. One witness wrote, "Its arms extended below the waste line [sic] and it had a body [like] that of a body builder." (GCBRO)
20 June 2010: A girl residing on a farm near Lake Placid (Highlands County) reported a brief skunk ape sighting on her family's property. Her parents dismissed the report, insisting that she had seen a cow. (SAF)
4-5 September 2010: Four campers in Sumter County's Green Pond Swamp reported a nocturnal sighting of "a very hairy 11-foot object" that growled and left a pine tree "half pushed over." The muscular biped had long matted hair, "like ZZ Top's beards, but nasty." (BFRO Report #28237)
31 October 2010: Two hunters found a "very distinct print that looked like a bare-foot human
track" in Citrus County's Flying Eagle Wildlife Management Area. The muddy impression was
"not real large but kind of wide for the length of it." (BFRO Report #28450)
19 December 2010: A motorist driving through Okaloosa County on Interstate Highway 10, east of Pensacola, reported a daylight sighting of "a large blackish-brown figure" at roadside, watching traffic pass. (BFRO Report #28634)
So I have.
Lizard Point choughs under 24-hour guard
Cougar sighted in Victoria area park
And for no particular reason:
Friday, April 22, 2011
Wolgan Valley's Albino wallaroos
From the archives: Footprints of Dreamtime Dinosaur (1964)
NZ Kokako snapper sought
The Nargun and the Stars
Hairy-nosed wombats feel farmers' wrath
Lair of the Cane Toad Discovered
EdgeScience features Sumatra's Orang Pendek
Australian skull proof of convergent evolution
From Nick Redfern's blog:
A 10-Year Anniversary of the Monstrous Kind
10 places it's (almost) impossible to visit
Last week two reached southwest England, following three other confirmed sightings last October. The latest sightings were a male photographed in Plymouth (Devon) on 15th April and a female who chose to rest on some washing in Penryn (Cornwall) the following day. Both sexes are brown, though the male has a bright blue segment at the base of the abdomen, next to the wings. In addition to 44 species of dragonfly and damselfly seen regularly in the UK, a further 10 species have occurred as vagrants, including vagrant emperor.
Joanne, Rosie & I were at York Museum today and I came across two unusual jugs, one has a figure of Pan on it and the other has a being I am not familiar with. At first I thought it was a merman but the tail is more serpent like than fish. Any ideas?
On this day in 1564 William Shakespeare was baptised (his birth date is unknown). Shakespeare wrote some rather good plays, a lot of which used paranormal things like prophecies and ghosts as plot devices, and come highly reccomended.