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Saturday, November 20, 2010

New Thylacine (Tasmanian Tiger) footage released

The Kongamato



Though there have been various, specific names given to the strange flying reptiles reported around the world, the term "Kongamato" will be used during this analysis for simplicity's sake.

Sightings of the Kongamato come primarily from the continent of Africa, as do the reports of most other land cryptids. From Zambia to Kenya, Zimbabwe to New Guinea, the Kongamato is increasingly becoming a creature of reality, and no longer myth.

In 1925, a distinguished English newspaper correspondent, G. Ward Price, along with the future Duke of Windsor, took an official visit to Rhodesia. While there, they reported a story that a civil servant told them of the wounding of a man who entered a feared swamp in Rhodesia; a place known to be an abode of "demons." According to the story, the brave native entered the swamp, determined to explore it in spite of the dangers. When returning, they found him on the verge of death. With a great wound in his chest, the native recounted how a strange, huge "bird" with a long beak attacked him. The civil servant, wanting to identify the creature, showed the man a picture of a Pterosaur from a book of prehistoric animals. When observing the drawing, the man screamed in terror, fleeing from the servant's home.

Reports such as this fascinate some, and bore others. Unfortunately, photographic evidence of Kongamatos scarcely exist, leading many to scoff at the idea.

One interesting aspect of the Kongamato is its reported ability to glow at night. Though not an actual "ability," but more of a natural phenomenon pertaining to bioluminescence, the Kongamato continues to grow as a fascinating creature unlike anything else.


A college student from Kenya, surprised over the fact that Americans believed Pterosaurs to have existed millions of years ago, told Dr. Kent Hovind over the phone one evening of the flying reptiles of his native land. In detail, he explained to Mr. Hovind their natural habits. They consider them pests, similar to buzzards. A common problem they have, explained the student, is making sure to bury their dead deep enough. Interestingly, the Kongamatos will unearth buried natives and feed upon their dead flesh.

Reports of prehistoric flying creatures are not just limited to dense swampy regions, however. There are also reports of giant flying lizards from the deserts of Namibia. In 1988, Professor Roy Mackal led an expedition to Namibia where reports of a creature with a wingspan of up to 30 ft were collected. According to eye witnesses, the avian cryptid usually glided through the air, but also was capable of true flight. It was usually seen at dusk, gliding between crevices between two hills about a mile apart. Although the expedition was unsuccessful in collecting solid evidence, one team member, James Kosi, reportedly saw the creature from about 1000 ft. away. He described it as a giant glider shape, black with white markings.

" . . .And I looked. Then I let out a shout also and instantly bobbed down under the water, because, coming straight at me only a few feet above the water was a black thing the size of an eagle. I had only a glimpse of its face, yet that was quite sufficient, for its lower jaw hung open and bore a semicircle of pointed white teeth set about their own width apart from each other. When I emerged, it was gone. George was facing the other way blazing off his second barrel. I arrived dripping on my rock and we looked at each other.

'Will it come back?' we chorused. And just before it became too dark to see, it came again, hurtling back down the river, its teeth chattering, the air 'shss-shssing' as it was cleft by the great, black, dracula-like wings. We were both off-guard, my gun was unloaded, and the brute made straight for George. He ducked. The animal soared over him and was at once swallowed up in the night."

Ivan T. Sanderson, 1932
Zoologist, Writer

Ever Dream of This Man?


In January 2006 in New York, the patient of a well-known psychiatrist draws the face of a man that has been repeatedly appearing in her dreams. In more than one occasion that man has given her advice on her private life. The woman swears she has never met the man in her life.

That portrait lies forgotten on the psychiatrist’s desk for a few days until one day another patient recognizes that face and says that the man has often visited him in his dreams. He also claims he has never seen that man in his waking life.

The psychiatrist decides to send the portrait to some of his colleagues that have patients with recurrent dreams. Within a few months, four patients recognize the man as a frequent presence in their own dreams. All the patients refer to him as THIS MAN.

From January 2006 until today, at least 2000 people have claimed they have seen this man in their dreams, in many cities all over the world: Los Angeles, Berlin, Sao Paulo, Tehran, Beijing, Rome, Barcelona, Stockholm, Paris, New Dehli, Moscow etc.

At the moment there is no ascertained relation or common trait among the people that have dreamed of seeing this man. Moreover, no living man has ever been recognized as resembling the man of the portrait by the people who have seen this man in their dreams.


THEORIES

Several theories have been developed to explain the mysteriously recurring presence of this man in the dreams of different people who are not related in any way. The following theories are the ones that elicit the greatest interest among the dreamers themselves.

ARCHETYPE THEORY
According to Jung's psychoanalytic theory, this man is an archetypal image belonging to the collective unconscious that can surface in times of hardship (emotional development, dramatic changes in our lives, stressful circumstances etc.) in particularly sensitive subjects.

RELIGIOUS THEORY
According to this theory this man is the image of the Creator, that is to say one of the forms in which God manifests himself today. This is the reason why his indications and the words he utters during the dreams should be decidedly followed by the dreamers.

DREAM SURFER THEORY
It is the most interesting theory and the one that has the greatest implications, but it has also the lowest scientific credibility. According to this theory this man is a real person, who can enter people's dreams by means of specific psychological skills. Some believe that in real life this man looks like the man in the dreams. Others think that the man in the dreams looks completely different from his real life counterpart. Some people seem to believe that behind this man there is a mental conditioning plan developed by a major corporation.

DREAM IMITATION THEORY
This is a scientific psycho-sociological theory which claims that this phenomenon has arisen casually and has progressively developed by imitation. Basically when people are exposed to this phenomenon they become so deeply impressed that they start seeing this man in their dreams.

DAYTIME RECOGNITION THEORY
This theory states that the apparitions of this man are purely casual. Normally we do not remember precisely the faces we see in our dreams. The image of this man would thus be an instrument which, in the subject's waking life, facilitates recognition of an undefined oneirical image.





Thursday, October 28, 2010

Time Traveler? Video Shows What Appears To Be A Woman Talking On Cell Phone In 1928



The internets has been buzzing in the last couple of days about video footage that appears to show a woman talking on a cellphone… in 1928.

The footage is from the premiere of Charlie Chaplin’s film "The Circus" and was spotted by Belfast filmmaker George Clarke.

It shows a woman walking by the camera, talking with her hand to her ear, seemingly holding something to it.

What do you think?



Saturday, July 24, 2010

Strange creature ripping apart cattle in a small village of Ecuador



The small community of “La Cuadra” (The block) has seen multiple cattle mutilated and torn apart by something powerful. The ghastly findings are out of the ordinary, even for local known predators. The residents concluded that what ever it is that has killed steer and cows, it’s powerful enough to rip them apart and leave huge, deep prints with large claws in the mud.

Arming themselves with machetes, guns and flashlights a search party was rounded up in order to capture the creature. Upon investigation the residents saw a ‘large black animal move through brushes”. Nearby they found some cattle remains. What are the residents of La Cuadra dealing with?

Talks from the residents point to a possible escaped cougar. Others say that this is just another attack by the infamous Chupacabra.

No photographs of the paw prints have been released, although photographs of the mutilated cattle speak for the shocking attacks. What is stalking the cattle in Ecuador? In order to inflict that kind of damage seen in the photographs, I would have to say that a large cat is on the lose, or a pack of canids are attacking the cattle.


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Woolly Mammoth Resurrection, "Jurassic Park" Planned


A team of Japanese genetic scientists aims to bring woolly mammoths back to life and create a Jurassic Park-style refuge for resurrected species. The effort has garnered new attention as a frozen mammoth is drawing crowds at the 2005 World Exposition in Aichi, Japan (see photo).

The team of scientists, which is not associated with the exhibit, wants to do more than just put a carcass on display. They aim to revive the Ice Age plant-eaters, 10,000 years after they went extinct.

Their plan: to retrieve sperm from a mammoth frozen in tundra, use it to impregnate an elephant, and then raise the offspring in a safari park in the Siberian wild.

"If we create a mammoth, we will know much more about these animals, their history, and why they went extinct," said Kazufumi Goto, head scientist at the Mammoth Creation Project. The venture is privately funded and includes researchers from various institutions in Japan.

Many mammoth experts scoff at the idea, calling it scientifically impossible and even morally irresponsible.

"DNA preserved in ancient tissues is fragmented into thousands of tiny pieces nowhere near sufficiently preserved to drive the development of a baby mammoth," said Adrian Lister, a paleontologist at University College London in England.

Furthermore, Lister added, "the natural habitat of the mammoth no longer exists. We would be creating an animal as a theme park attraction. Is this ethical?"


Ice Age Giants

Mammoths first appeared in Africa about four million years ago, then migrated north and dispersed widely across Europe and Asia.

At first a fairly generalized elephant species, mammoths evolved into several specialized species adapted to their environments. The hardy woolly mammoths, for instance, thrived in the cold of Ice Age Siberia.

In carvings and cave paintings, Ice Age humans immortalized the giant beasts, which stood about 11 feet (3.4 meters) tall at the shoulder and weighed about seven tons.

"It is hard to imagine that woolly mammoths browsed around the places where we live now, and our ancestors saw them, lived with them, and even hunted them," said Andrei Sher, a paleontologist and mammoth expert at the Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution in Moscow, Russia.

At the end of the last ice age, about 10,000 years ago, woolly mammoths dwindled to extinction as warming weather diminished their food sources, most scientists believe.

There are believed to be ten million mammoths buried in permanently frozen soil in Siberia. Because of the sparse human population in the region, though, only about a hundred specimens have been discovered, including two dozen complete skeletons. Only a handful of complete carcasses have been found.


Viable DNA?

The scientists with the Mammoth Creation Project are hoping to find a mammoth that is sufficiently well preserved in the ice to enable them to extract sperm DNA from the frozen remains.

They will then inject the sperm DNA into a female elephant, the mammoth's modern-day counterpart. By repeating the procedure with offspring, scientists say, they could produce a creature that is 88 percent mammoth within 50 years.

"This is possible with modern technology we already have," said Akira Iritani, who is chairman of the genetic engineering department at Kinki University in Japan and a member of the Mammoth Creation Project.

In 1986 Iritani's lab successfully fertilized rabbit eggs artificially, employing a technique now used in humans. In 1990 his colleague Goto, the Mammoth Creation Project head scientist, pioneered a breeding plan to save a native Japanese cow species by injecting dead sperm cells into mature eggs.

The current challenge, however, is finding viable woolly mammoth DNA. The DNA in mammoth remains found to date has been unusable, damaged by time and climate changes.

"From a geologist's point of view, the preservation of viable sperm is very unlikely, and this is so far confirmed by the poor condition of cells in the mammoth carcasses," said Sher, the Russian paleontologist.

Current Siberian permafrost temperatures are 10 to 18 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 12 to 8 degrees Celsius), which may not be cold enough for DNA survival.

Sperm is not the only possible DNA source, and mammoth-elephant crossbreeding isn't the only potential way to resurrect the woolly mammoth.

An alternative method would be to clone a mammoth from DNA found in mammoth muscles or skin. To do this, however, scientists would need preserved cells with some unbroken strands of DNA.

"There is no evidence this exists, and even if it did, it is very unlikely to be preserved without significant errors having accumulated—probably leading to birth defects," said Lister, the London paleontologist.


Safari Park

The Japanese scientists, however, are not deterred.

Iritani is planning a summer expedition to Siberia to search for more carcasses.

His team has already picked out a home for living mammoths in northern Siberia. The preserve, dubbed Pleistocene Park, could feature not only mammoths, but also extinct species of deer, woolly rhinoceroses, and even saber-toothed cats, he said.

"This is an extension of my work for the past 20 years in trying to save endangered species," Iritani said.

Other scientists are less enthusiastic about the project.

"Even if the cloning experiment is successful, they are not reconstructing the past but rather creating a new mammoth-like creature," said Anatoly Lozhkin, an Ice Age expert at the Northeast Interdisciplinary Scientific Research Institute in Magadan, Russia.

"Scientists are always able to learn from every experiment, but I am not sure that cloning a mammoth will help us significantly move forward our understanding of the animal or the conditions under which it lived," Lozhkin said.



In May 2010 it was reported that a Canadian-led research team has successfully revived a long-dormant blood protein from the DNA of an extinct mammoth, solving the mystery of how the elephant's woolly cousin evolved to live in cold, northern ecosystems before dying out after the last Ice Age.

In the breakthrough experiment headed by University of Manitoba biologist Kevin Campbell, the scientists "resurrected" woolly mammoth hemoglobin to determine how adaptations in the blood protein helped the species survive in Arctic and sub-Arctic habitats so vastly different than the African environments roamed by its pachyderm relatives.

The Mysterious Flying Creatures of Texas



For centuries, many of the Native American tribes who live in the western half of the US have told stories of creatures known as thunderbirds. Big (and fierce) enough to feed on full-grown bison, with wings so powerful that they could produce thunderclaps, the birds hold a special place in tribal lore.

But could thunderbird legends be based on animals still living in remote parts of America?




In 1890, two Arizona cowboys claimed to have killed a gigantic, featherless bird. Photographs (which disappeared long ago) are said to have shown a strange creature with an alligator-like head and a wingspan longer than the length of a barn. Some believe that the bird's description matches that of the extinct Pteranodon (see above).



In the years since, sightings of similar flying “monsters” have been surprisingly common, particularly in South Texas. According to one terrified San Antonio eyewitness, an enormous, black creature with “stooped-up shoulders” flew over his car less than ten years ago. In 1976, three school teachers reported that their car had been similarly “buzzed.”

Yet another reputable witness claims he once saw two of the birds perched on a hillside. “These creatures were so huge they looked like the size of small planes,” he said. “All of the sudden one of them jumped off dropped off the top of the mountain, came down the front of the mountain and all the sudden these huge wings just spread out. I would say the wings were at least a 20-foot wingspan.”


'Alien Baby' Stumps Experts

IS this bizarre creature really an alien baby or just part of an elaborate hoax - and was it the cause of a mysterious revenge death?



Mexican TV revealed the almost unbelievable story - in 2007, a baby 'alien' was found alive by a farmer in Mexico.

He drowned it in a ditch out of fear, and now two years later scientists have finally been able to announce the results of their tests on this sinister-looking carcass.

At the end of last year the farmer, Marao Lopez, handed the corpse over to university scientists who carried out DNA tests and scans.

He claimed that it took him three attempts to drown the creature and he had to hold it underwater for hours.

Tests revealed a creature that is unknown to scientists - its skeleton has characteristics of a lizard, its teeth do not have any roots like humans and it can stay underwater for a long time.

But it also has some similar joints to humans.

Its brain was huge, particularly the rear section, leading scientists to the conclusion that the odd creature was very intelligent.

But it has seemingly left experts stumped.

And in a further mystery, Lopez has since mysteriously died.

According to American UFO expert Joshua P. Warren (32), the farmer burned to death in a parked car at the side of a road.

Apparently the flames apparently had a far higher temperature than in a normal fire.

Now there are rumours that the parents of the creature Lopez drowned were the ones who in turn killed him out of revenge.

There are frequent UFO sightings and reports of crop circles in the area where the creature was found. Perhaps it was left behind deliberately by aliens.

Mexican UFO expert Jaime Maussan (56) was the first to break the story. He claimed it was not a hoax. Farmers also told him that there was a second creature but it ran away when they approached.

Canadian Scientist Says He Can Create Dinosaurs From Chickens


Hans Larsson believes that by flipping certain genetic levers during a chicken embryo's development, he can reproduce the dinosaur anatom.

Hans Larsson, the Canada Research Chair in Macro Evolution at McGill University in Montreal, said he aims to develop dinosaur traits that disappeared millions of years ago in birds. Mr Larsson believes that by flipping certain genetic levers during a chicken embryo's development, he can reproduce the dinosaur anatomy, he told AFP in an interview.

Though still in its infancy, the research could eventually lead to hatching live prehistoric animals, but Mr Larsson said he has no immediate plans to create dinosaurs, for ethical and practical reasons - a dinosaur hatchery is "too large an enterprise."

"It's a demonstration of evolution," said Mr Larsson, who has studied bird evolution for the last 10 years. "If I can demonstrate clearly that the potential for dinosaur anatomical development exists in birds, then it again proves that birds are direct descendants of dinosaurs."

The research is funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Canada Research Chairs programme and National Geographic. The idea for the project, Mr Larsson said, came about during discussions with Jack Horner, the American paleontologist who served as technical advisor for the Jurassic Park films.

Mr Horner recently wrote a book entitled "How to build a dinosaur", in which he refers to the embryo experiment as part of a quest to create a "chickenosaurus."

Mr Larsson's team previously worked to uncover prehistoric animal remains, including eight unknown species of dinosaurs and five new types of crocodile in Niger. He also recently uncovered the remains of a new carnivorous dinosaur in Argentina.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Chinese Airport shut down after UFO sightings


A Chinese airport was forced to shut down after this bizarre shape was seen streaking across the sky.

Freaked out locals in Zhejiang's provincial capital Hangzhou captured images and video of the object, which was described as a "comet-like fireball".

Xiaoshan airport officials spotted the UFO on their radar and chose to ground planes and divert incoming flights rather than risk a collision.

The shape disappeared off radar screens and officials have now launched an investigation into the sighting.


Some Chinese media reports said officials had indicated they knew what the craft was but could not disclose the details because of a "military connection".

An official statement is expected later today, the Daily Mail reports.

The airport was shut down for three to four hours during the incident and dozens of flights were diverted.

Friday, July 9, 2010

The real Moby Dick, an ancient cannibal


When a group of palaeontologists stumbled on a few large bones in a desert in Peru, they thought they were elephant tusks.

But it turned out the bones, some the size of a human shin bone, were teeth.

Further excavation revealed an almost complete three-metre-long skull and mandible, or lower jaw, that belonged to the mammoth mouth of a newly found but extinct species of sperm whale.

European researchers discovered the fossils, believed to be about 13 million years old, in the Pisco-Ica Desert in southern Peru while on an expedition in 2008.

The whale, nicknamed Moby Dick, was between 13 and 18 metres long and lived during the Miocene epoch - when sea levels could have been more than 50 metres higher than today.

The extinct species, dubbed Leviathan melvillei after Herman Melville, the author of Moby Dick, were raptorial feeders which caught their prey individually.

Their bite, from more than 30 teeth, some more than 10 centimetres wide, could be the biggest of any animal that has swum or roamed the planet.


With teeth so big, the whale probably wasn't a gentle giant of the ocean. It is quite possible their main source of food was other cetaceans, such as baleen whales, said the researchers, whose findings were published in the journal Nature.

"This sperm whale could firmly hold large prey with its interlocking teeth, inflict deep wounds and tear large pieces from the body of the victim," the researchers said.

Leviathan melvillei differ from modern-day sperm whales which, despite being one of the world's largest predators, feed mainly on squid. Modern sperm whales, which have small teeth in their lower jaw and are almost toothless in their upper jaw, use a suction technique to catch their dinner.

Scientists believe this ancient species of sperm whale died out as a result of the global cooling at the end of the Neogene period, less than 5 million years ago.

The fossil bones will be displayed in the Museo de Historia Natural in Lima.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Giant Lizards of Australasia, the megalania prisca



The animals usually associated with the Australian continent are koalas, kangaroos, wombats, and crocodiles.

There used to be other animals, commonly referred to as megafauna, that roamed this continent before being wiped out by plague or man. These were nightmarish versions of the creatures that exist in Australia today, 10-foot tall kangaroos that fed on flesh rather than vegetation, and at least as recently as 3000 years ago, giant lizards that dwarfed the Komodo dragon.

These lizards were megalania prisca, a reptile reaching 30 feet in length and weighing at least 1,000 pounds or more. The Komodo dragon is roughly the size of a lion, but megalania was bigger than an average dairy cow. Extinct megalania is listed with the many casualties of the Ice Age. Or is it extinct? Creatures matching it's description has been sighted many times in the last century, and some sightings suggest that it lives also in New Guinea.

As recently as the late '70s there have been megalania sightings. In July 1979, Rex Gilroy was informed of footprints of the creature found in a recently plowed field. Across the field were 30 or so tracks from what looked like an enormous lizard. Rain had ruined most of the tracks but Gilroy was able to make a plaster cast of one that had been preserved. The footprint looked surprisingly like something that might have been made by a Megalania.

Also in 1979 a sighting of megalania arose, this time by the best possible witness. Herpetologist Frank Gordon, after conducting some field work in the Watagan Mountains in New South Wales, returned to his vehicle. After starting his engine he saw, what he at first thought was a log, scampering off. It ended up being a lizard of some 30 feet or more in length.


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Another incident includes a farmer who observed a gigantic lizard walking along one of his fields. It walked alongside a wire fence, so the farmer used a set of fence posts as a guide. His estimate of the beast was a length of twenty to twenty-five feet.

Megalania might not be constrained only to Australia--some sightings suggest it may live in New Guinea. A French priest in the 1960's was traveling up river with a native guide in order to reach his mission. During the trip he spotted a large lizard lying on a fallen tree in the sun. He told the native to stop, but being badly frightened, the native continued the journey. The priest returned to the spot the following morning and measured the tree. It was 40 feet long, yet the lizard almost matched it.

The wilds of the New Zealand islands may also have a monstrous secret lurking within them. There are 90 species of lizards currently known in New Zealand. Most are not of any impressionable size and yet from Captain James Cooks' first arrival in New Zealand, strange tales of large lizards have been passed down to fairly recent times. One of these lizards, the Kumi lizard, was apparently of impressive size.

When Cook arrived in Queen Charlotte Sound, in 1773, Tawaihura a local chief told Cook of an enormous lizard and gave him a drawing of the beast.
These giant lizards apparently lived in the trees and were greatly feared by the Maori.
There were also reports however, given to the early European settlers of a 5-6 ft lizard which the Maori also hunt and ate.

In 1875 a strange lizard like animal had been found in a flooded river in Hokianga.
The local Maori, out of fear of the animal, hacked it to pieces.
From the same area emerged the reported sighting of an 18 inch lizard, yellowish in colour which slid down into the water when discovered and was lost among the boulders of the Hokianga River.
1875 also saw Mr F.W Hutton present a paper “On a Supposed Rib of the Kumi”.
The paper spoke of the discovery of a ramus of the lower jaw of a pleurodont lizard from the Ernscleugh Cave in Central Otago.
The ramus seemed to give foundation to the at least sub-fossil existence of the Kumi lizard.
In the same cave a vertebral rib that also appeared to be from the same animal was found.

At the New Zealand Institute meeting of September 20th 1898 mention was made of a large, strange reptile allegedly seen near Gisborne.

Furthermore, in September of that same year, in Arowhana, a bushman working on a station was confronted by a 5 ft long gigantic lizard which advanced toward him.
The animal then subsequently fled into a Rata tree.
Lysnar, the owner of the station where the animal was sighted, and a party of men went in search of the animal.
They managed to photograph some footprints but did not come across the actual animal.


According to Aboriginal tradition, a 'horny-skinned goanna bunyip" is said to have existed in New South Wales and elsewhere across Australia under a variety of different names in the long-ago Dreamtime. It was described as being of enormous size and smelling "terrible". Their rock engravings and cave paintings across the continent clearly depict these and other reptilian monsters, but more on that matter later.

Aboriginal rock engravings depicting Megalania near Sydney and the central coast of New South Wales date as recently as 3,000 years-the age of some fossil fragments of the creatures found in various parts of eastern Australia, if not elsewhere.

We now turn to the north coastal and inland districts of New South Wales where Aboriginal people from most ancient times were well-acquainted with the giant monitors which they called "Mungoon Galli".

However, they appear to have confused these up-to-30-foot-long reptiles with another, larger beast, which they claimed to have reached the astounding length of 50 feet! That such a monstrous form could still survive out there in those wilds seems preposterous, but there are Aborigines who claim they do!

Even if extinct today, perhaps long ago in ice-age times, and earlier, such a species existed. And, if so, perhaps its fossil remains may yet turn up. These monsters were monitors in every detail. Aborigines say their legs were as much as six to seven feet tall when standing and in the walking position. They had a massive head at least four feet in length and a long thick neck, much like a monitor's, which reached a length of around 10 feet. The body reached about 20 feet in length, matched by a long thick tail of the same length.

"These monster-goannas once roamed the whole continent far back in the Dreamtime. Our people used to hunt these monsters in big parties, but hunters had to be careful; for if you were caught, these big fellas would pick you up in their mouths and eat you," said one old Taree Aborigine to a researcher back in the early 1950s.

Like their smaller 30-foot counterparts, they were said to overturn trees of reasonable size. Even today, when a large tree is heard to fall in the forest depths by day or night, Aborigines will say it is the work of a "Mungoon Galli".

Over the years some people have claimed to have found massive footprints of these creatures, but if so, no photographs or casts have been forthcoming. But there are genuine traditions of the monsters among the Aborigines, and until the terrain in which they are said to live can be explored properly, let us at least keep an open mind on the matter.

Aborigines say that strange noises heard near waterholes and certain forest areas near Taree and back of Kempsey are the sounds made by giant monitors, and they will not go anywhere near these places for fear of being caught and eaten by one of these reptiles.




There is a story from the Cessnock district about an incident said to have taken place in late December 1978. In a far paddock on his property, a farmer spotted a gigantic goanna-looking reptile ripping up a cow with its massive jaws and teeth.

The farmer (who did not wish his name to be known) was in a Jeep at the time. He raced off for the house and phoned up mates who, within the hour, descended on the property with their cattle dogs in pick-ups and Land-Rovers, armed with rifles. The location borders swamplands on the edge of thick-forested valleys and mountain country, and it was from there that the monster had obviously emerged.

By the time the search party arrived, all they could find was the half eaten cow, much blood, and many large indistinct tracks in the grassy ground. However, other squashed-about tracks and the marks of a massive tail could be seen on the swamp edge leading into the water. The dogs, as well as the men, refused to go any further.

Using nearby fence-posts to line up the creature at the time of his sighting, the farmer estimated that it was a good 35 feet (10.6metres) in length, and nine feet or so tall on all fours, counting the great body of the creature. However, few people believed him. Some argued that he must have butchered the cow himself and manufactured the tracks. If this was so, he certainly did a good job. But there are some strange things happening out in those mountains, and I for one am not laughing.

Over the years, inhabitants of the Cessnock district have often talked about enormous 30-foot reptiles that they maintain inhabit the dense forests that cover the full extent of the nearby rugged Watagan mountain range. And these monstrous beasts have been known to stray from their mountain homes onto properties on Cessnock's outskirts.

During the last week of December 1975, a Cessnock farmer, tending cattle on his property, caught sight of one of these reptiles moving in scrub nearby his barn. He said it was at least 30 feet in length, was of a mottled greyish colour and stood up to three feet off the ground on four powerfully built legs.

During the previous year of 1974, at least 10 detailed accounts of giant lizard activity reached reporters in Newcastle.


Mr Mike Blake does not think Megalania is extinct. During 1974 he was sitting on his farmhouse verandah one day with his utility van parked right in front of his house, situated near bushland outside Cessnock. Suddenly, from around the side of the farmhouse, one of these monstrous beasts walked around in front of his verandah between him and his parked utility.

Mike remained terrified and "glued to his chair", as he said later, while the enormous beast turned and looked at him before moving on leisurely across a nearby paddock toward scrub. Mike compared the lizard's length to his utility which was 18 feet in length. The lizard was at least 20 feet long and stood three feet from the ground.

For as long as residents of the Watagan Mountains have known of these giant lizards, so too have the inhabitants of the Port Macquarie-Wauchope district much further up the coast. Attacks upon cattle by giant goanna monsters are part of local folklore going back into last century.

On the hunt for the Blue Mountains big cat


Exotic feline or enduring phantom? Something big, something strange has been stalking the Blue Mountains for decades and it's back in the spotlight.


Paul Cauchi and his girlfriend Naomi were in a celebratory mood.

The couple had just signed the paperwork for their new home near Mudgee but that's not why they will remember May 28, 2010.

''We were driving through Yarrawonga and Naomi saw it first,'' explained Mr Cauchi.

'''Look,' she said, 'Can you see that? … It's … it's a panther!'

''And the moment I saw it, I swore out loud in disbelief - because that's exactly what it was.''

The couple had ''a perfect seven- or eight-second view'' of the creature standing in front of them, outside a goat farm.

''I'd heard the stories but never believed a word of it,'' said Mr Cauchi. ''I've seen how big feral bush cats grow, but this was no feral cat. There is no mistaking, this was a panther. Now I'm thinking, how has this remained in doubt for so long?''

NSW Minister for Primary Industries Steve Whan said he had been made aware of four other possible sighting of the ''panther'' this year.

"The state government takes all reports of alleged black cat sightings seriously,'' Mr Whan said.

Rumours have circulated for decades about a colony of panther-like cats roaming Sydney's western fringes and beyond: from Lithgow to Mudgee and the Hawkesbury to the Hunter Valley. While witnesses are routinely ridiculed, a new book published today presents a compelling argument that the creatures are more than simply folklore.

Mike Williams, co-author of Australian Big Cats - An Unnatural History of Panthers, said: ''I cannot tell you with any certainty what species of cat this is but there is no doubting it is out there. It's an extremely large feline that does not appear to be native to Australia.''

Chris Coffey, of Grose Vale, a hamlet at the foot of the Blue Mountains, saw it twice in the late 1980s. Since then, proving its existence has become an obsession. She has collected more than 450 statements from tourists, bushwalkers and locals including a NSW police officer, a Qantas pilot and a retired magistrate.

Mrs Coffey said: ''National Parks and Wildlife know it exists, because their own staff have seen it. The NSW government is aware it's here because their own reports conclude that. [But] due to negative media coverage, the current public perception is that we're all a bunch of idiots.''

The case took a twist in 2001 when a freedom-of-information request unearthed a series of confidential government documents that proved wildlife authorities were so concerned about the big cat and the danger to humans, they commissioned an ''expert'' to catch it.

The three-day hunt later failed, but ecologist Johannes J. Bauer warned: ''Difficult as it seems to accept, the most likely explanation is the presence of a large, feline predator. In this area, [it is] most likely a leopard, less likely a jaguar.''

In the years that followed, sightings continued to pour in. In 2003, Hawkesbury Council released a detailed map of sightings and livestock attacks, pinpointing Grose Vale, Grose Wold, Londonderry, Yarramundi, Bowen Mountain, Kurrajong, East Kurrajong, Colo, Agnes Banks, Windsor Downs, Ebenezer, and the Macdonald Valley.

The state government commissioned a second study in 2008. Fuelling cover-up claims, an FOI request later revealed two versions of the report, the latter heavily edited for public consumption - and stripped of its final conclusion which stated: ''It seems more likely than not on available evidence that such animals do exist in NSW.''

But sceptics continue to dismiss the creature as an urban myth. To date, there remains no solid proof, not a single photo that demonstrates that the exotic big cat is real.

Mrs Coffey remains convinced that evidence will emerge sooner rather than later - based on witness accounts, the creature is increasingly being spotted out in the open, and closer to humans.

Mr Williams, meanwhile, looks to the day when an opportunity arises to pinpoint the creature's origin. ''If these things were just leopards, we'd be losing bushwalkers left, right and centre - so that leaves us with something else. It has taken large livestock over the years and the fear is that one day a child could end up in the wrong place at the wrong time.''

According to Mrs Coffey's database, there have been several close calls. In August 2008, Brianna Lloyd, 11, and Burgundie Cartan, 12, were holidaying at Wisemans Ferry. Disobeying family instructions, the girls set off exploring a remote section of the park, then came face to face with a large black cat that sprang down from a tree in front of them.

"We heard all this crunching and then a big black thing dropped out of the tree with something [a dead duck] in its mouth, so we ran … it was hunched down like it was going to jump at us," Brianna said of the incident.

"It made a horrible growling noise. It was bigger than a labrador - it was a really big cat."

Sunday, June 6, 2010

New Montauk Monster sighting? Bizarre creature washes up in small Ontario town


Locals in a small Canadian town have been stumped by the appearance of a bizarre creature, which was dragged from a lake.
The animal, which has a long hairy body with bald skin on its head, feet and face, has prompted wild internet speculation that it is a more evolved version of the famous 'Montauk monster'.
The creature was discovered by two nurses in the town of Kitchenuhmaykoosib in Ontario, Canada, while out on a walk with their dog.

When the dog began sniffing in the lake, the two women started investigating, before the dog pulled the dead animal out.
After taking some photographs of the odd animal, the nurses left it alone. When locals decided to go back and retrieve the body, it has disappeared.


The photographs have now been posted on a local website, with an explanation which reads: 'This creature was first discovered by Sam the Dog, a local dog. 'It was discovered first week of May in the creek section of town, hikers noticed Sam sniffing something in the water and they approached to see in what the Sam had detected and they noticed the creature in the water face down.

'The dog jumped in the lake and pulled the creature to the rocks and dragged it out for the hikers to see and these are the photos they took. 'The creature's tail is like a rat's tail and it is a foot long.'
There has been much speculation about what kind of species the animal is. The body of the creature appears to look something like an otter, while its face - complete with long fang-like teeth, bears a striking resemblance to a boar-like animal. Even the local police chief Donny Morris is baffled, saying: 'What it is, I don't know. I'm just as curious as everyone else.'


The pictures of the animal have caused mass speculation online, from bloggers who are all stumped as to what the creature could be.
One internet blogger wrote: 'That certainly is a face only a mother can love. It looks like some sort of otter, weasel-type thing.'
While another added: 'Some kind of mustelid - I thought otter first.
'Being in the water and bashed around has made the fur on the face and tail come off so clean like that.'
Many people have suggested the animal could be a new 'Montauk monster' - due to the similarities between these photographs and those of a different creature which washed up in Montauk, New York, in 2008.

The animal, which quickly earned the nickname the 'Montauk monster', thanks to the beach's location to a Long Island government animal testing facility, has never been officially identified - although the general consensus is that it was some kind of racoon.
However, other bloggers have speculated that the new creature discovered is a type of chupacabra, or 'goatsucker'.

The chupacabra is rumoured to inhabit parts of the U.S. , with many several hundred eyewitness accounts over the past few years.
But despite these sightings, the majority of biologists and wildlife experts believe the chupacabra is a contemporary legend.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Starving yogi 'blessed by goddess' astounds doctors.


An 83-year-old Indian holy man who says he has spent seven decades without food or water has astounded a team of military doctors who studied him during a two-week observation period.

Prahlad Jani spent a fortnight in a hospital in the western India state of Gujarat under constant surveillance from a team of 30 medics equipped with cameras and closed circuit television.

During the period, he neither ate nor drank and did not go to the toilet.

"We still do not know how he survives," neurologist Sudhir Shah told reporters after the end of the experiment.

"It is still a mystery what kind of phenomenon this is."

The long-haired and bearded yogi was sealed in a hospital in the city of Ahmedabad in a study initiated by India's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the state defence and military research institute.

The DRDO hopes that the findings, set to be released in greater detail in several months, could help soldiers survive without food and drink, assist astronauts or even save the lives of people trapped in natural disasters.

"(Jani's) only contact with any kind of fluid was during gargling and bathing periodically during the period," G. Ilavazahagan, director of India's Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences (DIPAS), said in a statement.

Jani has since returned to his village near Ambaji in northern Gujarat where he will resume his routine of yoga and meditation. He says that he was blessed by a goddess at a young age, which gave him special powers.

During the 15-day observation, which ended on Thursday, the doctors took scans of Jani's organs, brain, and blood vessels, as well as doing tests on his heart, lungs and memory capacity.

"The reports were all in the pre-determined safety range through the observation period," Shah told reporters at a press conference last week.

Other results from DNA analysis, molecular biological studies and tests on his hormones, enzymes, energy metabolism and genes will take months to come through.

"If Jani does not derive energy from food and water, he must be doing that from energy sources around him, sunlight being one," said Shah.

"As medical practitioners we cannot shut our eyes to possibilities, to a source of energy other than calories."

AFP

Inedia (Latin: "fasting") is the alleged ability to live without food.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

British woman gets Chinese accent after bad migraine headache



A British woman has suddenly started speaking with a Chinese accent after suffering a severe migraine, she said in comments quoted by British media on Tuesday.

Sarah Colwill believes she has Foreign Accent Syndrome (FAS) which has caused her distinctive West Country drawl to be replaced with a Chinese twang, even though she has never even visited the country.

The 35-year-old from Plymouth, southwest England, is now undergoing speech therapy following an acute form of migraine last month which reportedly left her with a form of brain damage.

"I moved to Plymouth when I was 18 months old so I have always spoken like a local. But following one attack, an ambulance crew arrived and they said I definitely sounded Chinese," she said.

"I spoke to my stepdaughter on the phone from hospital and she didn't recognise who I was. She said I sounded Chinese. Since then, I have had my friends hanging up on me because they think I'm a hoax caller."

Ms Colwill added: "The first few weeks of the accent was quite funny but to think I am stuck with this Chinese accent is getting me down. My voice has started to annoy me now. It is not my voice."

FAS has been documented around the world and is usually linked to a stroke or traumatic brain injury. It was first recorded in the early 20th century and there are thought to be only a couple of dozen sufferers around the world.

Croatian teenager wakes from coma speaking fluent German

A 13-year-old Croatian girl who fell into a coma woke up speaking fluent German.

This is not a picture of the girl.


The girl, from the southern town of Knin, had only just started studying German at school and had been reading German books and watching German TV to become better, but was by no means fluent, according to her parents.

Since waking up from her 24 hour coma however, she has been unable to speak Croatian, but is able to communicate perfectly in German.

Doctors at Split's KB Hospital claim that the case is so unusual, various experts have examined the girl as they try to find out what triggered the change.

Hospital director Dujomir Marasovic said: "You never know when recovering from such a trauma how the brain will react. Obviously we have some theories although at the moment we are limited in what we can say because we have to respect the privacy of the patient."

Psychiatric expert Dr Mijo Milas added: "In earlier times this would have been referred to as a miracle, we prefer to think that there must be a logical explanation – its just that we haven't found it yet.

"There are references to cases where people who have been seriously ill and perhaps in a coma have woken up being able to speak other languages – sometimes even the Biblical languages such as that spoken in old Babylon or Egypt – at the moment though any speculation would remain just that – speculation – so it's better to continue tests until we actually know something."

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Strange ‘Oriental Yeti’ creature found in China’s Sichuan province


Hunters in the Sichuan province of China are reported to have trapped the strange animal in the picture above, but no one seems to know what it might be. The news has dubbed the creature an “Oriental Yeti”.

Hunter Lu Chin spoke about the “yeti’s” behavior to press:

“It looks a bit like a bear but it doesn’t have any fur and it has a tail like a kangaroo.”


“It also does not sound like a bear – it has a voice more like a cat and it is calling all the time – perhaps it is looking for the rest of its kind or maybe it’s the last one?

“There are local legends of a bear that used to be a man and some people think that’s what we caught.”

The Oriental Yeti is now en route to Beijing so scientists can DNA test it and try to determine its origin.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Are there giant cats roaming the Australian bush?


 One of the great mysteries of the Australian bush concerns the reported sightings of big cats usually described as pumas or black panthers. In north-eastern NSW stories of the "Tyagarah Lion" have been passed down over the years. Local resident David saw one bounding along the side of the road and reported "This was along the Old Tyagarah Straight in about 1979, and I' ve never forgotten it."

Neil saw an animal that he could not identify in June 2003 while driving to Rosebank from Clunes at 8.30 pm. Two km to the south-west of the general store he and a friend saw in the car headlights an unusual animal cross the road 6 to 12 metres in front of them. It had a feline-like face and a long body and tail, from snout to tail tip at least one and a half metre in length, covered with yellow tawney fur.

There have been over one thousand reports of sightings in every state received by researchers, several have been photographed or videoed and at least two have been shot. Retired businessman Dale O'Sullivan unveiled to the media a stuffed puma in October 2003, which he said was shot by his father at their Woodend cattle stud property in Victoria the 1960s. The puma was stuffed and stored in a back room and forgotten about for nearly half a century.

Many of the forestry workers, working around the Grampian mountain range in Victoria, the Hamilton Mayor, the Superintendent and some of the staff of the Hamilton Water Trust had all had close encounters with brown and black pumas. Farmers have photos of sheep carcases hanging in gum trees or lying on the ground stripped of flesh. The only problem is that black pumas are unknown as specimens in museums or zoos. However, there have been many unconfirmed sightings of black pumas in North America. It is possible that if pumas are reduced to very few individuals then the inbreeding will produce a melanistic colour phase.

Reports have been received from Australian military personal at bases across the nation during WWII that pumas were kept at several bases and that US airmen used a compartment in Vultee Vengeance dive bombers to smuggle the cats into Australia. Brown and black pumas have been regularly sighted at Cordering in south-west Western Australia, Darwin, Cape York, the New England Tablelands, the Blue Mountains near Sydney and in Gippsland.


Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Thylacine or 'Tasmanian Tiger' - Native Australian marsupial dog



The Thylacine (binomial name: Thylacinus cynocephalus; Greek for "dog-headed pouched one") was the largest known carnivorous marsupial of modern times. It is commonly known as the Tasmanian Tiger (because of its striped back), the Tasmanian Wolf, and colloquially the Tassie (or Tazzy) Tiger or simply the Tiger.

Native to continental Australia, Tasmania and New Guinea, it is thought to have become extinct in the 20th century. It was the last extant member of its genus, Thylacinus, although several related species have been found in the fossil record dating back to the early Miocene.

The Thylacine had largely become extremely rare or extinct on the Australian mainland before European settlement of the continent, but it survived on the island state of Tasmania along with several other endemic species, including the Tasmanian Devil.

Intensive hunting encouraged by bounties is generally blamed for its extinction, but other contributory factors may have been disease, the introduction of dogs, and human encroachment into its habitat. Despite its official classification as extinct, sightings are still reported, though none proven.



Like the tigers and wolves of the Northern Hemisphere, from which it obtained two of its common names, the Thylacine was an apex predator. As a marsupial, it was not closely related to these placental mammals, but because of convergent evolution it displayed the same general form and adaptations. Its closest living relative is thought to be either the Tasmanian Devil or Numbat.

The Thylacine was one of only two marsupials to have a pouch in both sexes (the other being the Water Opossum). The male Thylacine had a pouch that acted as a protective sheath, protecting the male's external reproductive organs while running through thick brush.



Saturday, March 20, 2010

Mexican police ask spirits to guard them in drug war


In secret meetings that draw on elements of Haitian Voodoo, Cuban Santeria and Mexican witchcraft, priests are slaughtering chickens on full moon nights on beaches, smearing police with the blood and using prayers to evoke spirits to guard them as drug cartels battle over smuggling routes into California.

Other police in the city of Tijuana, across the border from San Diego, tattoo their bodies with Voodoo symbols, believing they can repel bullets.

"Sometimes a man needs another type of faith," said former Tijuana policeman Marcos, who left the city force a year ago after surviving a drug gang attack. "I was saved when they killed two of my mates. I know why I didn't die."

Violence has exploded along the U.S. border since President Felipe Calderon set the army on drug cartels in late 2006. Turf wars have killed 19,000 people across Mexico over three years.

Badly-paid Mexican police have long prayed to Christian saints before going out on patrol in Mexico, the world's second-most populous Roman Catholic country after Brazil.

Cops are part of a messy war between rival trafficking gangs and the army as cartels infiltrate police forces, offering officers cash to work and even murder for them or a bullet if they say no. More than 150 police are among those killed in Tijuana and the surrounding Baja California state since 2007.

Army raids on homes of police working for cartels have found ornately adorned Santeria-type altars covered with statues and skulls stuffed with money paying homage to gods and spirits.

"We all know that guns and body armor are useless against the cartels because they are well-armed and can attack any time. But this is something we can believe in, that really works," said a Tijuana-based policeman called Daniel.


BLACK MAGIC

A battle between top drug lord fugitive Joaquin "Shorty" Guzman and the local Arellano Felix drug clan has wrecked tourism in Tijuana and shuttered manufacturing businesses.

Small groups of police in the city started turning to strange rituals about 18 months ago, a practice spotted when municipal cleaners found a trail of dead chickens on beaches.

Priests and police say the animal sacrifices release life to rejuvenate spirits that will shield officers against hitmen. They believe the effects are intensified on full moon nights.

Many police see a need to shield themselves from witchcraft used by drug gangs who mix Caribbean black magic and occultism from southern Mexico using things like human bones, dead bats and snake fangs to curse enemies and unleash evil spirits.

Others worship the Mexican cult of "Saint Death", a skeletal grim reaper draped in white and carrying a scythe.

The rituals are carried out by sometimes shadowy Mexicans who have menial day jobs and are priests by night. They claim to be trained in Voodoo, Santeria and other religions from time spent in the Caribbean and in Mexican towns like Catemaco, a center for witchcraft on the Gulf of Mexico.

Police have the quiet support of their superiors.

"We know some agents use charms, saints and other methods for their protection," said Baja California federal police chief Elias Alvarez. "They look for something to believe in."

Mexico's often poorly armed police are intimidated by hitmen with automatic rifles, grenades and rocket launchers and despite low wages of around $300 a month some pay up to $160 for a tattoo of a Voodoo spirit like the three-horned Bosou Koblamin who protects his followers when they travel at night.

On the trail of the Skunk Ape, mystery ape of the Everglades



The Skunk Ape is a hominid cryptid said to inhabit the Southeastern United States, from places such as Oklahoma, North Carolina and Arkansas, although reports from the Florida Everglades are particularly common. It is named for its appearance and for the unpleasant odor that is said to accompany it.

According to the United States National Park Service, the skunk ape exists only as a local myth. Reports of the Skunk ape were particularly common in the 1960s and 1970s. In the fall of 1974, numerous sightings were reported in suburban neighborhoods of Dade County, Florida, of a large, foul-smelling, hairy, ape-like creature, which ran upright on two legs.

In 2000, two photographs of an alleged ape, said to be the Skunk Ape, were taken anonymously and mailed to the Sarasota Sheriff's Department in Florida. They were accompanied by a letter from a woman claiming to have photographed it on the edge of her backyard.

The photographer claimed that on three different nights the ape had entered her yard to take apples from a bushel basket on her porch. She was convinced it was an escaped orangutan. The police were dispatched to the house numerous times but when they arrived the Skunk Ape, also known as the stink ape was gone. The pictures have become known to Bigfoot enthusiasts as the "skunk ape photos".

The photographer still has not been identified. So although the photos are compelling and Coleman does not think they are part of a hoax, they still are not proof positive.

Loren Coleman is the primary researcher on the Myakka photographs, having helped track down the two photographs to an "Eckerd photo lab at the intersection of Fruitville and Tuttle Roads" in Sarasota County, Florida.

N AUGUST, 2004, Jennifer Ward was driving on a rural road in Southern Florida. She had just been visiting a friend and, as the sun was setting, she was now on her way home with her two daughters asleep in the back seat.

Something on the side of the road caught her attention. She suspected it was an animal of some kind, but could not tell what. She slowed the car to a crawl to get a better look. It appeared to be crouched in a ditch on the roadside. It was something large. Something she had never seen before.

As she neared it, the creature noticed her and stood to its full height – on two legs. It was the last thing Jennifer expected to see. “When he saw me, he was as surprised as I was,” she told the Sun-Sentinal. “I didn't stop because I was scared. It was almost dark, but I could see it and get a good look.”

What Jennifer described was a mysterious creature that has been seen in virtually every state of the Union, but has never been scientifically classified. It stood six to eight feet tall, she reported, and was covered in dark hair about two inches long. The area around its eyes was whitish and its full lips had the color and texture of the pad on a dog’s paw.


The Skunk Ape is thought to dwell in Florida’s swamps and Everglades. Researchers suspect that the individual Jennifer encountered may have been displaced by Hurricane Charley, which recently had ravaged the area.

Despite the number of sightings – the largest number of Bigfoot-type sightings outside the Pacific Northwest where Sasquatch resides – the rangers who regularly patrol the large nature preserves are skeptical about the existence of the Skunk Ape. So far, no rangers have officially reported any sightings.

David Shealy, a Skunk Ape researcher and lifetime resident of the Everglades thinks otherwise. He believes he has evidence in the form of a plaster cast of a large Skunk Ape footprint and a reddish hair sample that was found in a broken branch seven feet above the ground. Shealy also runs a small roadside “zoo” and a gift shop stocked with Skunk Ape memorabilia, so he may have a vested interest in keeping the creature alive in the minds of the public.


There was a wave of sightings in the 1970s, all consistently describing the animal as reaching about seven feet tall, weighing about 300 pounds or more, and to be foul-smelling. (Although Bigfoot or Sasquatch is also said to be bad-smelling, the Skunk Ape’s odor is particularly offensive.)

Sightings became scarcer over the following 30 years and then escalated again in the 2000s, with most sightings coming out of the Ochopee area. A group of people taking a guided tour of a swamp area claimed to have seen a large, hairy ape-like creature walking along the banks of the swamp.

Soon after, a local fire chief named Vince Doerr said he saw it crossing a road near his home, and before it disappeared into the swamp, he managed to snap a photo of it. Because the creature is some distance away in the photo, it is considered interesting but not conclusive evidence. In fact, Doerr himself later stated that he suspected it was just someone in a gorilla suit.

Jennifer Ward’s account of her sighting is also highly compelling, and adds yet another piece in the hairy hominid puzzle.

Fish with transparent head





Since 1939, scientists have thought the "barreleye" fish Macropinna microstoma had "tunnel vision" due to eyes that were fixed in place. Now though, Monterey Bay Aquarium researchers show that the fish actually has a transparent head and the eyes rotate around inside of it.

Video from MBARI's remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) to study barreleyes in the deep waters just offshore of Central California. At depths of 600 to 800 meters (2,000 to 2,600 feet) below the surface, the ROV cameras typically showed these fish hanging motionless in the water, their eyes glowing a vivid green in the ROV's bright lights. The ROV video also revealed a previously undescribed feature of these fish--its eyes are surrounded by a transparent, fluid-filled shield that covers the top of the fish's head.

Most existing descriptions and illustrations of this fish do not show its fluid-filled shield, probably because this fragile structure was destroyed when the fish were brought up from the deep in nets.

The researchers were able to bring a net-caught barreleye to the surface alive, where it survived for several hours in a ship-board aquarium. Within this controlled environment, they were able to confirm what they had seen in the ROV video--the fish rotated its tubular eyes as it turned its body from a horizontal to a vertical position.

Strange Florida Lagoon creature video, the 'Muck Monster'



WEST PALM BEACH, FL -- There's something lurking just under the surface of the Lake Worth Lagoon.

Greg Reynolds of LagoonKeepers.org recalls, "Channel marker ten is the first time we saw the unknown creature." "I hollered out...and said what is that? We followed it, started taking video."


Don Serrano was with Reynolds. "I didn't know what it was….I was like HEY LOOK! And we moved over and saw it. It was different, very different."

"Little wakes and just kind of moving like this…real long ones too, just like that."

Reynolds remembers, "We sped up on it to catch up to it and we got up on it, it dove down." "Every time we get 10 feet from it, it would just disappear."

What could it be?

"Who knows? I have no idea, but it was something that’s for sure, without a doubt," said Serrano.

Thanks to the LagoonKeepers, until it's identified, it has a name:

Reynolds calls it, "The elusive muck monster!"

Thomas Reinert, a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Marine Biologist studied the video and said: "This appears to be one animal moving in this direction…nothing's breaking the surface. Typically dolphins break the surface, sea turtles, manatee, a large school of fish, if it were a shark at that level you would see a fin."

"I cant definitely say what it is." "I can speculate but we need more evidence to determine the identity of the Lake Worth muck monster," said Reinert.

"We spend a lot of time out here on the water and seen a lot of different creatures out here and this is the first time in three and half years that I’ve ever seen anything out here that didn't know what it was," Reynolds said.
"We see dolphins out there, sharks, we always see a fin."

Whatever it is, it certainly has people talking, and watching.



Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Big Hairy Truth is Out there



.. like it :)

The 'Ropen' - Are there giant flying creatures on the remote islands of Papua New Guinea?




Shortly after World War II, as Western missionaries began to penetrate the deep jungles and remote islands of Papua New Guinea, stories of a flying creature called the Ropen ("demon flyer") began to be reported. 

Described as a nocturnal creature, the Ropen possesses two leathery wings like a bat, a long tail with a diamond-shaped flange on the end, a beak filled with teeth, and razor-sharp claws. The creatures inhabit the caves that dot the islands of New Britain and Umboi, located in the Bismarck Archipelago and are known to the locals of the area as Indava, Duwas, Seklo-bali, Kundua or Wawanar.

Reports seem to fit the presumed-extinct Rhamphorhynchus, a pterodactyl with a wingspan of 3-4 feet. Like the Kongamato in Kenya, the Ropen is said to have a taste for decaying human flesh and has even harassed native funeral gatherings with western missionaries present.

Carl E. Baugh of the Creation Evidence Museum has conducted two Ropen expeditions to New Guinea. He observed one of the creatures through a monocular night scope and snapped a picture of a strange print in the sand the next morning.

In 1987, Tyson Hughes, an English missionary, began an 18-month contract to assist the Moluccan tribespeople of Ceram Island, Indonesia to develop efficient farms. Tyson heard stories about a terrifying creature called the Orang-bati ("men with wings") that possesses enormous leathery wings like a bat and live in the caves of Mount Kairatu, an extinct volcano situated in the center of the island.

According to the book Searching for Ropens, a'Ropen' it is "any featherless creature that flies in the Southwest Pacific, and has a tail-length more than 25% of its wingspan."

On Umboi Island the word "ropen" refers to a large nocturnal creature that glows briefly as it flies. The ropen is the subject of folklore (like a man but also like a spirit) but it's believed by some natives to be a real animal. Descriptions vary, but it is often said to be batlike, and sometimes, Pterosaur-like; although pterosaurs are believed to have been extinct for 65 million years.

The ropen is believed to be nocturnal and to exhibit bioluminescence. Purportedly it lives on a diet of fish, though there have been some reports of the creature feasting on human flesh, especially grave robbery.






Investigations

As an attempt to discredit mainstream scientific views on the age of the Earth, several expeditions have been embarked upon by American creationists, including Carl Baugh, Paul Nation, Jonathan Whitcomb, David Woetzel, and Garth Guessman.

In late 2006, Paul Nation, of Texas, explored a remote mountainous area on the mainland of Papua New Guinea. He videotaped two lights that the local natives called "indava." Nation believed the lights were from the bioluminescence of creatures similar to the ropen of Umboi Island. The video was analyzed by a missile defense physicist who reported that the two lights on the video were not from any fires, meteors, airplanes or camera artifacts. He also reported that the image of the two lights was authentic and was not manipulated or hoaxed.

In 2007, cryptid investigator Joshua Gates went to Papua New Guinea in search of the Ropen for his TV show Destination Truth. He and his team also witnessed strange lights at night and could not confirm what they were.

In 2009, the television show Monster Quest conducted an expedition in search of the "demon flyer" but found no evidence of the creature. Later, they had a forensic video analyst examine the Paul Nation video. The analyst could not definitely conclude what was causing the lights, but ruled out vehicles and campfires believing the footage was of a pair of bioluminescent creatures perched in a tree that later take flight.





Identity

As is often the case with cryptids, the Ropen's true identity is subject to debate. Some believe it to be a pterodactyl-like creature, while others suggest that the Ropen is a misidentified bat (e.g. flying foxes, which are large fruit bats than can have wingspans up to two metres (six feet), or frigatebird.

Flying lights in Papua New Guinea have been reported by not only natives but by Western visitors. Evelyn Cheesman, the entomologist, mentions them in her book The Two Roads of Papua (published in 1935): "baffling" lights that lasted "about four or five seconds."