Tuesday, 15 August 2017

New hunt for Nessie.

Could a Kiwi finally find the Loch Ness Monster?
A New Zealand scientist hunting for the world's most famous marine monster has begun his journey in Scotland.Neil Gemmel of Otago University has visited Loch Ness to get the lay of the lake, meet the people he'll be working with and take stock of the massive task ahead on the loch.
Professor Gemmel is planning to trawl the loch for DNA - excrement, urine, dandruff, skin cells etc - and it's never been done before."You don't believe in Nessie as such, but is there a little bit of you - my inner child - hoping that you might find evidence," says Professor Gemmel."Of course, we're always excited about the prospect of discovering something new, I suspect there are new things to be found."
Read rest here:

Thursday, 3 August 2017

A cryptid or mutant toads ?

Richard Muirhead kindly sent me these two strange stories of animals of peculiar appearance found in the 1600s.The first was written by Roger L’Estrange who you can find more about here : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_L%27Estrange#Family_life

The story is some men out fishing came across a strange creature and is as follows :
“whilst he had the liberty of viewing this monstrous creature, which he found to have all the parts of a Toad and more; therefore having competent skill in Limning, and having the advantage of Pencil and Paper about him, did with all exactness Draw this strange Animal, which from his own hands came to mine, whose Description you shall now have, and when the Engraver with whom the figure is, has finished it, that shall be also presented to you.
This Creature was in Length exactly Fourteen Inches: as it Sat it was Ten Inches and a Half over; upon the hinder parts of his Back, and the fore-part eight and a Barley Corn, how high it might stand he knew not, for it sat all the while crooling down; its nose was as black as jet, proportionable to the rest of its body, and of each side adorn'd with Bristles; under his Eyes was a perfect Seaming made Cistern-fashion, of a Green colour, whilst his eyes most delicately beautiful, seem'd to drop that way; over which were placed bristles of a muddy green; under his Gills were Flapps like two scollop shells, of the Colour of a Gurnets fins, admirably blew and shining, & always expanded; under them were two Pouches or Bladders, of a deep Orange colour, larger then the Fins, being a big as ordinary Pearplumbs, and something of that figure▪ the head had a Sea-Green scaly Armour on, which ran along itsback within four Inches of its tail; the hinder-part was covered with perfect Hair, but dusky, hoary coloured, of the same manner was that as went along the sides and feet. But what is yet most strange, is his Tail, which was thrice as long as its body, which it wore on its back, somthing like the True-Lovesknot, and tho' it seem'd so intricate, yet when he offred to turn this creature on its back to view its belly, it flung its Tail as sudden as the jirk of a Coachmans Whip, & had not he stood sideways, he might have had too much cause to have repented his curiosity; but as it hapned it's tail fell into a slit of that stone which was its former Mansion, and though the poor Creature strove hard, yet it could not release it thus engag'd; upon which there appeared as close as might be, onely reckonable, a hundred ninety seaven scaly rings, jetty, black, and shining, which he made a shift by this means to reckon, and may be guess'd to be the indications of its Annual extension; at the end of the Tail was a forked sting, within an Inch of which was a small Pouch, of the colour of Gum Bugiae.
The Gentleman finding his Over-grown Toad in this posture, would have gagg'd the Toad, but no sooner had he touch'd its Nose, but it recoil'd backwards, even off the Stone, which it seem'd so to Hatch, and Cherish before. But there being an unfortunatehollow or miss of ground, where this rare Animal falling, & not coming quick enough to the ground, the said Satchel or Pouch neer the sting broke, out of which there issued the most Diaphanous Yellow Liquor as ever was seen, deeply staining the stone, upon which the Toad that then hung above-ground fell down, his Tail freely coming to him; which he had not enjoy'd above three Minutes e're he departed this scurvy world: but before it received its change, it gave three such shrieks that the stranger was not onely forc'd to stop his ears: But this Lamentable Dirge, forc'd the Neigbours out of their Houses: He perceiving the Creature quite dead, took a fresh resolution, and turn'd it upon its back, and found its belly to be as white as the driven snow; cover'd with a most delightful down: about that time when he was busie viewing this pleasing Object, his Nose was surpriz'd with a most ungrateful Stench, which he found to proceed from that Limpid Yellow substance that the Toad had spilt, in which (it seems) its Seal of Life was plac'd. Just at its Departure its Head mov'd, and it vomited forth a Triangular Stone, being an Inch from each Angle, and in Depth according, which he drew to him with a Staff, keeping his Fingers upon his Nose”

The second story also concerns a toad like creature:
The letter from Thomas Flatman to his brother is dated 25.09.1662 and is in the Bodleian Library Oxford. He described a strange serpent a yard and a half long with a head like a toad. It had a large yellow ring about its neck and four yellow legs and wings like a bat. It was covered in thick scales and had been seen eating a water hen. It seemed to like the sunshine.


So were the creatures a cryptid, an unknown creature or simply a normal animal misidentified? The second sounds like a flying lizard, the first I have no idea .

WW1 sub attacked by sea monster found

The Crew Of This WW1 Sub Claimed They Were Attacked By A Sea Monster – Now The Wreck Has Been Found
While laying an undersea power line, Scottish engineers discovered a World War I German submarine on the sea floor. Experts believe that the wreck is UB-85, a German U-boat which the rescued crew claimed was attacked and sunk by a sea monster.
It’s a story that has been repeated through the years, but one historian isn’t buying it.  He believes the story owes more to stories told and retold in the 20s than to the facts of the war. Innes McCartney, a historian and marine archaeologist at Bournemouth University, believes credulous journalists are to blame for spreading the story.
The story goes like this: Captain G√ľnther Krech and his crew were captured by the crew of the British warship HMS Coreopsis on April 30, 1918.  When questioned, the captain said that their submarine was no longer able to dive because a beast jumped out of the water and damaged their vessel.  He described a monster with horns, small eyes that were set deep in his head, and masses of monstrous teeth.  When the creature climbed up the side of the ship, its weight pulled the boat onto its side.  The crew was forced to surrender to the British.  They abandoned ship and scuttled the boat.
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Read more on the sea monster story here :