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Friday, October 21, 2016

2 Bigfoot Conferences this Weekend

Today and tomorrow, the Big Sky Bigfoot Conference is taking place in Hamilton, Montana, at the Bitterroot River Inn and Conference Center. Speakers at the conference this year are Bob Gimlin (A note: on Facebook Tom Yamarone said that this will be Bob's "second to last" Bigfoot conference), Dr. Jeff Meldrum, Misty Allabaugh, Russel Acord, Tom Yamarone, Kathy Strain, John Mionczynski, and Thomas and Caitlin Ertz.

And once again, they've got an awesome t-shirt design this year…

The Chautaqua Lake Bigfoot Expo is also happening this weekend in Dewittville, New York. Tonight there will be a "Bigfoot movie night" and they will be playing I've Seen Bigfoot, Minerva Monster, and Beast of Whitehall. Speakers for today and tomorrow are Steve Kulls, Marc DeWerth, Ronie Powell, Sybilla Irwin, Paul Mateja, Doug Waller, and Peter Wiemer.

If you live in Montana or New York, be sure to check out these events.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Patterson Film 49th Anniversary

Today is an important day.

It was on this day, Oct. 20th, 49 years ago, that Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin found and filmed a Bigfoot in Bluff Creek, California. To this day the film is the best evidence for Bigfoot's existence.

Next year will be 50 years...

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Happy Birthday Bob Gimlin!

Today is Bob Gimlin's 85th birthday. In 1967, Bob was with Roger Patterson when he saw and filmed the most famous film of a Bigfoot in California…

I've met Bob several times at the Ohio Bigfoot Conference. He's one of the nicest people you could ever meet.

Happy Birthday Bob!!!

Bob & I

Bob speaking at this year's Ohio Bigfoot Conference

Sunday, October 16, 2016

The Gate to Strange Phenomena

Recently I subscribed to this newsletter, which I received in the mail yesterday. It covers all sorts of stuff going on involving cryptozoology, UFOs, ghosts, etc…

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Another Mystery Snake in Maine

Westbrook, Maine is apparently not the only place in that state where a mystery snake has been spotted…

On September 22, reported on a sighting of a large snake in Vienna:

"Big snakes in Maine? Maybe.
"First in Cumberland County's Westbrook with 'Wessie,' reportedly an anaconda. Now, in Vienna, a town in Kennebec County with a population of about 570.
"A dispathcer at the Augusta Regional Communications Center said Thursday that someone had called to report a large snake in the town of Vienna.
"The dispatcher said Game Warden Chris McCabe, of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, was sent to investigate, but she could offer so other information.
"Police radio traffic indicated that the snake may have been about 5 feet long, red and tan in color, and possibly hissing at someone.
"Warden McCabe did not immediately return a call Thursday for information on the report. Cpl. John MacDonald, public relations and information officer at the wildlife department, said via email that he had not heard of the report.
"There are only nine species and two sub-species of snakes in Maine, none of them venomous and only one considered endangered.
"The Vienna snake report is not the first in Maine in recent months. Westbrook police said Aug. 20 that a large snake skin was found near a boat launch in Riverbank Park along the Presumpscot River, suggesting that a large snake first spotted earlier in the summer had stayed in the area. They called the snake Wessie.
"Riverbank Park is where two police officers reported in late June that they saw a snake, estimated to be 10 feet long, eating a mammal for its dinner."

What's with all the mystery snakes in Maine this year?


Monday, October 10, 2016

Making "Boggy Creek Monster" and More...

Seth Breedlove, director of the Small Town Monsters documentaries, has a recent post up on Cryptomundo about what is was like making the movies, which starts like this:

"Never before have I set down to write about my experiences making a Small Town Monsters movie. While making Minerva Monster I recall doing a bit of blogging here and there about the filming but I stopped not long into the editing precess and never revisited it. It seems fitting that I should take a few minutes and type down my thoughts on making my third movie, Boggy Creek Monster.
"In 2014 I first spoke with Lyle [Blackburn] about making a film about the Fouke Monster. This was around the time that Minerva Monster had just entered production and, at the time, that movie was envisioned as a short project that would end up posted to YouTube and subsequently forgotten. I certainly had no inkling that Minerva would end up nearly an hour long and, though I may have dreamed about making my Small Town Monsters book into a series of docs, I didn't consider it a possibility. Funny how that all played out...
"Anyway, Lyle mentioned creating a doc about Boggy Creek and I was instantly swept up by the idea. See, I loved Lyle's book, The Beast of Boggy Creek. In fact, it was one of the first books I'd read on the subject of cryptids, and one of the stories that triggered the thought process that lead to the creation of STM. I even have a signed The Beast of Boggy Creek poster, framed and hanging in the entryway to my office. To say I was a fan of Lyle's and the Fouke Monster would be entirely accurate, and potentially understated."

See the rest here.


Saturday, October 8, 2016

Atlantis and Aliens - Old Books

Picked up some old books at a book warehouse this afternoon… Chariots of the Gods? and Gods from Outer Space by Erich von Daniken and The Mystery of Atlantis by Charles Berlitz.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Phantom Clowns in New York, Texas, and Idaho; Clown Hunt in Pennsylvania; White House Secretary Talks; "Bad Clowns"

More mysterious phantom clowns have been reported in several states...


KTVB reports:

"NAMPA - It's been a nationwide phenomenon that has now hit Idaho: The Nampa Police Department got word over the weekend of a reported clown threatening online to hurt people.
"'Thankfully we didn't come across any creepy clowns and so therefore in our area here I believe it was somewhat of a hoax,' Nampa Police Sgt. Tim Riga said.
"The Facebook page with the threatening posts has since been taken down. Nampa Police questioned an individual about the page, but later determined it wasn't them. Riha says it's not illegal to dress up like a clown and walk around town, but added it is illegal to make threatening posts of hurting someone over social media."

See the rest here.


More encounters are coming in from Texas.

On Monday night, a man dressed like a clown chased two 12-year-olds with a bat in an Atascocita subdivision, and it is reported the man was later arrested.

Another report came from Baytown, when police arrested a man in a clown mask who was chasing people around a park. There was another clown but he was not caught by police.


"Some people run away from clowns, Penn State runs towards them."

That is on a article about at least 500 college students at Penn State who went out early today after rumors spread about a clown near campus. Penn State Police Sgt. Mike Nelson said that there have been no credible clown sightings in the area and that "the cause of this specifically was social media. If there were any clowns with this many students out there and with our police responding to calls, we would have run into it."


Stories are also coming from New York and New Jersey... reports:

"NEW YORK -- Creep clown sightings continued in New York and New Jersey over the weekend, but NYC officials say there is no credible threat here and that area residents should not be afraid of the clowns.
"In the most recent incident, photos appeared on social media Saturday of a man dressed as a clown and holding a rifle standing on a railroad bridge. The bridge separates Walsh Road and Walsh Avenue at the city of Newburgh and New Windsor border.
"New Windsor Police confirmed to PIX11 News that they responded to the incident, but say no arrests were made.
"In Ellenville on Thursday, police were investigating reports of a man calling himself 'Bubbo Theclown' on Facebook.
"In the Facebook post, Ellenville PD said there had been false reports of illegal acts being committed by someone in a clown costume.
"On Friday, Lindenhurst school officials announced they would be keeping students inside during recess after 'several reports' of clown sightings in the area and a tweet threatening that Lindenhurst would be the next area targeted by the clowns.
"Clown incidents are also being reported in New Jersey, like the one that prompted a 911 call around 7:54 p.m. in a wooded area of Wayne last Wednesday. 
"According to, a woman told police she was outside the Mack-Cali building near the industrial area by Willowbrook Mall where she saw a man wearing a painted clown face and multicolored wig standing in the woods, staring at her, his hands in his pockets.
"Even though no contact was made, the woman said it felt suspicious and she called police. Police responded and found nothing. The man reportedly returned to the area after the woman left. School security remained on alert.
"Despite the multiple reports, John Miller, the NYPD's deputy commissioner for counterterrorism and intelligence, said his office had investigated several clown threats and 'found none of these to be credible, and we've tried to avoid falling into the trap of putting extra police protection' in areas where the clowns were reported.
"'We're tracking it, but we don't see any real threat here,' Miller said. 'Our main message is: don't believe the hype, and don't be afraid of the clowns."


Even Josh Earnest, press secretary at the White House has been asked about the clowns. "I don't know that the president has been briefed on this particular situation," he said. "Obviously, this is a situation that law enforcement is taking quite seriously."

See more on the phantom clowns here.

How do we explain all this? Just mass hysteria? That's probably at least part of it. But, it doesn't appear that the clowns all across the country will be disappearing anytime soon.

Check back later for more.

What's with the creepy clowns?


Also of possible note… Earlier this year, Benjamin Radford's book Bad Clowns was published. Coincidence?

Monday, October 3, 2016

More Fortean Phantom Clowns?

In November of last year, I posted on article on this blog titled "Fortean Phantom Clowns." The reports of creepy clowns I mentioned in that post are similar to reports coming from, well, all over the United States recently.
Creepy clowns are being spotted around the U.S.

For an example of one such report, WFAA8 reported on a mysterious clown seen last night in Texas:

"FORT WORTH - Police responded to an unusual call late Sunday after a concerned resident reported seeing a person dressed as a clown running down the sidewalk and yelling.
"The call came out at 11:30 p.m. in a residential area in the 5800 block on Melanie Lane, near I-35W and Loop 820 in North Fort Worth.
 "Officers couldn't find the supposed clown, however, and no report was taken, as they could not determine that a criminal offense had occurred.
"This is one of the first reports of the mysterious clown sightings in North Texas.
"Since August, people across the country have been on edge after various reports of clown sightings in more than 10 states.
"The reports have varied in nature and some of them have been deemed to be false.
"Social media website DFW Scanner indicates it has received a dozen or so calls about local clown sightings in North Texas, although those calls have not been confirmed by police.
"Regardless, authorities across the nation are taking each situation seriously.
"Last week, several schools in Cincinnati, Ohio closed because a woman reported being attacked by a male dressed as a clown. 
"On Friday threats posted on Facebook claimed that clowns were going to kidnap students and kill teachers. This caused several schools nationwide to take precautionary action, including heightened security and lock downs.
"In August children in Greenville, South Carolina reported clowns were trying to lure them into the woods with money, although those claims have yet to be substantiated and no arrests have been made."

Police across the country are taking the reports of mysterious clowns seriously. Greenville, South Carolina, Police Chief Ken Miller has said "It's illegal. It's dangerous. It's inappropriate, and it's creating community concern so it needs to stop."

More reports came in from Washington state today, with two videos of clowns spotted in Tacoma and Lynnwood. See them here.
A creepy clown in Lynnwood, Washington

On Friday, Crystal Foster, of Portland, Oregon, said a man dressed in black clothes, black gloves, and a clown mast approached her car. She says he hit her windows and tried to get into the car. She sped away and later called police, who she says weren't too helpful.

As an example of how many creepy clown sightings are being reported, here's a list of 15 on
Why is this of interest to forteans? Well, because this isn't the first time this type of thing (clown sightings all over) has happened. Other notable reports occurred in the early 1980s. Loren Coleman dedicates a whole chapter to them in his book Mysterious America.

So, what is causing this? Suggestions include hoaxes (which some reports are), hysteria, the upcoming movie of Steven King's It, another movie, ClownTown, and some actual sightings of people dressed up as clowns for unknown reasons. Maybe it's because Halloween is coming up?

Check back later for more.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

"The Puma Outdone"

The (Ohio) Times-Democrat carried a story about a "wild man" on April 14, 1902. It said: "THE PUMA OUTDONE. Rockport and Beaverdam People Have a New Freak to be Afraid of:"

"Not since the time, several years ago, when Charley Price's famous mythical puma had the natives of the Putnam swamps dodging their own shadows has a scare been started in northwestern Ohio to equal that now in full sway in the vicinity of the village of Rockport and Beaver Dam. The puma will have to take a back seat for the new freak, an account of which appeared in the following dispatch from Columbus Grove to the Enquiror:
"'A strange being, apparently half man, and half beast, is seen the the country round about Rockport Beaver Dam. The creature puts in an appearance at or near farmhouses.
"'For some time the farmers in that vicinity have been troubled by nightly visits, apparently from intruders bent on securing money or other valuables. It was the scheme of the prowler to attempt to open a window or fumble at the door locks, then move on to the rear part of the house, and after giving the gates and such outposts a good shake disappears as quickly as he came. The family of Frank Conkleman left their home because of these visits, and while they were gone the strange being was seen.
"'The creature is described as resembling a man, although possesses of features coarse and rough, and is said to be covered with hair. The inhabitants of that staid old country vicinity are half crazed with excitement, and the female portion will not venture outside after nightfall.
"'It is firmly believed that the strange creature is an insane person who has been at large for some time. The being is attired in dress peculiar to one of the male sex, although scantily clad. A searching party will be organized to capture the fellow, if possible, although his fleetness of foot and abilities at fence jumping almost preclude any ideas of so doing.'"

Although the article says that the wild man wore clothing, the rest of the details sound like it could very well be a Bigfoot. The hairiness, "fleetness of foot," and ability to easily jump fences remind one of a Sasquatch.

This post was excerpted from The Ohio Monster Guidebook: A Look at the Buckeye State's Most Mysterious Creatures, my upcoming book.

Lots of Loch Ness Books in 2016

2016 has seen a number of good cryptozoology books... And, quite a few of these books are on the Loch Ness Monsters.

The thing that got me interested in cryptozoology was Jeanne Bendick's 1976 book The Mystery of the Loch Ness Monster. And, of course, I have a number of Loch Ness books in my crypto-library. But, I've gotten more books on the LNMs this year than the number of books I had gotten all years before.

Below is a listing of my 2016 LNM books.

A Monstrous Commotion: The Mysteries of Loch Ness 
By Gareth Williams
(Got this one over the summer. Probably the best LNM book I've ever read.)
"The Loch Ness Monster: a creature that should have died out with the dinosaurs, or a legend built on hoaxes and wishful thinking?
"Sir Peter Scott, internationally renowned naturalist and president of the World Wildlife Fund, was convinced that the Monster existed. So were senior scientists at London's Natural History Museum and Chicago University; they lost their jobs because they refused to renounce their belief in the creature. For decades, the scientific establishment was determined to quash attempts to investigate Loch Ness - until Nature, the world's greatest research journal, published an article by Peter Scott featuring underwater photographs of the Monster. Drawing extensively on new material, Gareth Williams takes a wholly original look at what really happened in Loch Ness. A Monstrous Commotion tells the story as never before: a gripping saga populated by colorful characters who do extraordinary things in pursuit of one of evolution's wildest cards.
"Meticulously researched and dazzlingly written, this book will appeal to anyone fascinated by nature and its mysteries - and to everyone who enjoys a beautifully crafted detective story with a strong cast of heroes and villains, plenty of twists and an unexpected ending."

The Monsters of Loch Ness: The History and the Mystery
By Malcolm Robinson
(Haven't read this one yet, but it looks good.)

"There are mysteries and then there is Loch Ness. You would be hard pushed to find a person on the planet today who has not heard about the Loch Ness Monster, its part of modern day culture and feeds into the very fabric of society. Thousands of sightings have been made at this Scottish Loch over the centuries and are still being made today. But can they all be genuine? If as some believe, Loch Ness harbors a species of unknown creatures then why haven't they been found and catalogued? In this sophisticated day and age where satellites in space can read the print of a newspaper held by a man in the street we still don't know what secrets are held in this deep Scottish Loch.
"UFO and paranormal researcher Melcolm Robinson takes a look at one of Scotland's biggest mysteries, that of the Loch Ness Monsters."

Loch Ness: Back into the Depths
By Patrick J. Gallagher
(Haven't read this one yet either, but it is a compilation of old newspaper accounts like his first LNM book.)

"The 1930s were most definitely the boom years for the Loch Ness Monster, that enigmatic cryptid which supposedly dwells in one of Scotland's deepest lakes. The imagination of the world was excited by the apparent emergence of the creature in 1933, with dozens of sightings reported by people from all walks of life. The high volume of sightings continued through 1934, making these two years the all-time peak in 'Nessie' sightings. But then, gradually, the number of reported sightings in the press began to taper off. Never again would 'Nessie Fever' grip the Scottish Highlands in quite the same way. There were occasional spikes in reports, but nothing to match those original two years. That decline is reflected in this volume, which contains original newspaper accounts pertaining to the Loch Ness Monster between 1935 and 1955."

Nessie: Exploring the Supernatural Origins of the Loch Ness Monster
By Nick Redfern
(Not your "typical" Nessie book - but still great. Especially if you think that the Nessies might be something paranormal in nature.)

"Dive into the Dark and Turbulent Domain of Nessie, the World's Most Supernatural Monster
"Deep in the black waters of Loch Ness lurks a long-necked, hump-backed monster that for centuries has fascinated those lucky - or unlucky - enough to see it. From the earliest sightings in 565 AD to the Nessie craze of the twentieth century, this creature has been steeped in the world of supernatural strangeness.
"Join Nick Redfern on an exciting journey into the paranormal origins of Nessie, exploring ideas that go far beyond the ordinary. This comprehensive guide offers lore, unique theories, hot spots, and photographs. Experience firsthand encounters, discover how Nessie is connected to the occult, and meet other mysterious monsters that live in Loch Ness. Nessie presents a fresh approach to the mystery, one that will take you down new and sometimes frightening paths as you hunt for the truth."

Here's Nessie! A Monstrous Compendium from Loch Ness
By Dr. Karl P.N. Shuker
(Just got this one yesterday.)

"Nessie the Loch Ness monster (LNM) is not only the premier mystery beast of the United Kingdom, it also vies with the bigfoot or sasquatch as the most famous one anywhere in the world. Little wonder, therefore, that during his many years as a world-renowned cryptozoological researcher and writer, Dr Karl Shuker should have documented it and all manner of aspects relating to it in a wide range of publications.
"Now, however, for the very first time and in direct response to popular demand, all of Dr Shuker's most significant but previously disparate Nessie-themed writings have finally been brought together, and in expanded, updated form whenever possible too, to yield the present LNM compendium, covering a fascinating, extremely broad spectrum of pertinent topics.
"These include: a comprehensive review of the history and controversies associated with this exceedingly contentious aquatic cryptid; a diverse selection of the most - and least - plausible taxonomic identities that have been proposed for it; the closely-linked traditional Scottish folklore of kelpies and other water-horses; various Nessie-related hoaxes; an extensive survey of other Scottish freshwater loch monsters; reviews of Nessie-related material; a hitherto-unpublished LNM sighting from leading Nessie researcher and eyewitness Tim Dinsdale; Nessie in philately; the historical LNM conference staged by the International Society of Cryptozoology at Edinburgh's Royal Museum of Scotland in 1987; the enigmatic Pictish beast; a tribute in verse to Nessie; an annotated, YouTube-linked listing of Nessie-themed songs and music videos; and much more too!
"Supplementing these varied subjects is an equally eclectic selection of illustrations - a dedicated Nessie gallery containing a dazzling array of spectacular full-colour LNM artwork, including a number of specially-commisioned, previously-unpublished examples, as well as a wide range of text images - plus a very comprehensive bibliography of non-fiction Nessie books, a listing of current LNM-themed websites, and a detailed index.
"So, without further ado, welcome to the sometimes decidedly weird yet always totally wonderful world of Nessie - the mystifying but ever-memorable monster of Loch Ness."

Friday, September 30, 2016

Book Review: A Menagerie of Mysterious Beasts by Ken Gerhard

While at the Mothman Festival earlier this month, I picked up a copy of Ken Gerhard's new book A Menagerie of Mysterious Beasts: Encounters with Cryptid Creatures. 

This is Ken's 4th book, and in it he discusses a variety of strange creatures, many of which he has personally searched for.

Throughout A Menagerie of Mysterious Beasts, Ken discusses accounts of sea serpents and lake monsters, thunderbirds, living pterosaurs, werewolves, the Beast of Gevaudan, the Minnesota Iceman, Bigfoot and other man-like cryptids, Black Eyed Children, mermaids, giant toads and frogs, and much, much more.
One chapter focuses on cryptid carnivores,
like the Beast of Gevaudan
Flying monsters, like live pterosaurs...
…And thunderbids
Mermaid sightings (some recent)
 are also discussed

This is an excellent book. The author covers quite a few cases that I'd never heard before and many cryptids I hadn't heard of either.

If you are someone (like me) who liked Ken's previous books, you'll definitely enjoy this one.

With Ken Gerhard at the Mothman Festival

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Mark A. Hall Has Died

Sad news for the cryptozoology community… Mark. A. Hall has passed away. Hall, 70, was a researcher for many years and had books out on Bigfoot, thunderbirds, true giants, and living fossils.
Some of Hall's books...

More can be found out by clicking the links below…


Rest in Peace Mark Hall.

And, one thing Colin Schneider said in his post is definitely true - "It seems too often these days the cryptozoological community is effected by the passing of one of our own." Very true, Colin, very true. So many great researchers have left us within the past year…

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Exploring the Unknown - An Interview with Colin Schneider

Colin Schneider is another kid my age who is interested in cryptozoology and all things unexplained. He runs the Paranormal101 blog and posts about a variety of topics. I met him at the Mothman Festival in Pt. Pleasant, WV earlier this month.
Colin & I at the Mothman Festival

For this post, I decided to do an interview with Colin about his interest and research of unexplained creatures, events, and other odd things.

First, how did he become interested in things like cryptozoology and other unexplained things?

He said:
"I have always been interested in mysteries and unusual things, especially monsters. I remember watching Scooby Doo on television and actually rooting for the bad guys because I loved monsters so much. The first book I read that discussed these 'monsters' as actual possibilities was Mysterious Monsters by Robert and Frances Guenette. The book gave a rundown of a variety of well known Bigfoot cases such as Ape Canyon and the Patterson Film, as well as some Yeti information like the Shipton expedition or the scalp that was believed to have been from a Yeti, and a bit of the Loch Ness Monster's extensive history, including the Surgeon's photo and the Dinsdale video. After that, I really got interested in cryptozoology, especially Bigfoot. Interest became a full time occupation three years ago after I visited the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine and met my childhood hero, Loren Coleman, for the first time. I remember walking out of the Museum with a new direction for my life formulating in my mind." 

Regarding advice to people around our age who are interested (or are becoming interested) in subjects like cryptozoology, Colin said:

"My main advice to anyone my age that is getting interested in being a researcher is simple: Read. A lot. Not just about one subject but about everything paranormal, ufological, cryptozoological, scientific, historical. Folklore, biology, mythology, anthropology, psychology, history, archeology, neurology, zoology, physics; they're all important. You should read as much as you can about anything and everything. The more general knowledge you have about various topics that are involved with science and history, the better you will fare, and the better researcher you will be for it. Use books, not the internet, also. Books, most of the time, are more reliable than the internet and they also will kelp with your critical thinking, which is essential. Also, go to conferences and events, talk to already established researchers in the field. They are almost always extremely nice and more than happy to help you out, answer questions, proof read your work, etc."

With regard to what he said about reading - I fully agree. Over the years my collection of books on topics like cryptozoology, UFOs, etc. has grown to about 170. It is great to have books on a variety of topics so you at least know something about them. And, I've learned a lot about known animal species, science, folklore, and mythology from these books as well.

Next, what are Colin's thoughts on possible connections between cryptids and other strange phenomena?

"I think that while not all cryptids are connected to the 'paranormal' or UFOs or anything of that ilk, there is certainly an obvious connection between many of them. I'm not sure, but that is how it looks currently, and it is important to follow the evidence and look at every aspect of the subject, not just that with which you happen to agree."

I can agree with what Colin says here as well. There are lots of people in the field of cryptozoology (and UFOlogy, etc.) who believe one thing is true and nothing, and I mean nothing, can pursued them otherwise. (As an example, Nick Redfern has a new Mysterious Universe article up today on this very subject). When I first became interested in the subject, I was like that and thought that this one theory that I felt could be true about a certain creature must be true. Over time, though, I've begun to not be like that so much. Yes, I have my own personal opinions about what some of these things might be, but if someone can use evidence to change my mind, then so be it. 

4th - What is Colin's favorite subject within cryptozoological research?

"My favorite subject within cryptozoology would have to be Bigfoot. He's a classic of the cryptozoological world and has such variety in reports that there is always something new to learn about. Bigfoot is also special to me because he was the first cryptid I was introduced to and will remain to be my favorite for a while. My second cryptid creature would have to be the glowing mudskippers from Mississippi and Louisiana, just because they made me laugh when I first heard about the reports."

And finally…

Colin is also working on a few books concerning cryptozoological subjects…

"I am currently working on two books. The first one is titled Beasts of the Faerie Realm and I'm writing it with my good friend Ronald Murphy. Beasts will be about possible connections between cryptid reports and faerie lore. It should be out sometime next year. My second book is titled Bloodsucking Beasties and Shadowy Slashers and is about cryptid attacks on livestock and other domesticated animals. I am examining chupacabra-like reports that have been associated with other cryptids including Bigfoot and Anomalous Big Cats. It will, hopefully, be out late next year."

Colin also wrote the forward for my second book, The Ohio Monster Guidebook: A Look at the Buckeye State's Most Mysterious Creatures, which will hopefully be out later this year.

If you are someone interested in cryptozoology and other unexplained things, definitely check out Colin's blog. And be on the lookout for future stuff from him!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Capture of a "Sea Serpent" in Lake Erie - A Monstrous Hoax!

Lake Erie is said to be home to monsters akin to those seen in Loch Ness, in Scotland. The creature(s) is nicknamed "Bessie" and has been seen in the lake for years.
Does a serpentine monster live in Lake Erie?

In 1931, it was reported that a monster had been captured in the lake!

The New York Times reported:

"Two Fishermen Crate Up 'Monster' in Sandusky, Which they Say is Twenty Feet Long
"SANDUSKY, Ohio, July 21 (AP) - Inside a tightly boarded box beside the lakeshore tonight was locked what several persons said was a large marine animal having specifications that might qualify it as a serpent, claimed to have been captured by two Cincinnati fishermen in Sandusky Bay. 
"The fisherman, Clifford Wilson and Francis Cogenstose of Cincinnati, said that the 'serpent,' measuring about twenty feet long and about twelve inches through at the thickest place, arose late today out of the Lake Erie waters beside their boat.
"Although frightened by the beast, they said, they hit it over the head twice with an oar and knocked it senseless, then fastened a line to its head and towed it to shore.
"Their catch began to show signs of returning consciousness when they got it on the beach, WIlson and Cogenstose said, so they obtained a packing box 6 feet long, 3 feet wide and about 2 feet deep and coiled Mr. Sea-Serpent into it and nailed it tightly shut.
"Neither the 'owners' nor any of the scores of curious who gathered about the box would take a chance on opening it to show the serpent to the scoffers, who were numerous.
"Police Captain Leo Schively, E. L. Ways, managing editor of a local afternoon paper, and C. J. Irwin and Mel Harmon of a Sandusky morning paper said that they saw the serpent as it was being boxed up and joined the fisherman in describing it as a huge, snakelike beast, colored black, dark green and white and having a hide resembling that of a alligator.
"The 'owners' were undecided tonight what they are going to do with it.
"The reported capture came after a number of persons had reported sighting a 'sea-serpent' hereabouts."

Had a "sea-serpent" really been captured in Lake Erie? The answer - no. Harold Madison, the curator of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, went to Sandusky and declared that the "monster" was really only and Indian python. Soon, Wilson and Cogenstose had left town.
Indian python head

It is extremely likely that the whole thing was a hoax perpetrated by Wilson and Cogenstose. After further investigation it was revealed that one of the men had family in Sandusky and that they both worked for a touring carnival, which is probably where their "sea-serpent" actually came from.

This post is excerpted from my upcoming book  The Ohio Monster Guidebook: A Look at the Buckeye State's Most Mysterious Creatures. Currently I'm proofing the book and I hope to have it out later this year. Check back later for more on the book.