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Cryptozoology
A 1951 photo of a "yeti footprint" recently sold at Christie's for £3,500. That's almost $7000 (thanks to the lousy exchange rate we Americans are currently stuck with).

The photo was taken in the Himalayas in 1951 by Eric Shipton, who was a member of a reconaissance expedition scouting the region before attempting to climb Mt. Everest. Another member of the team, Tom Bourdillon, included this note with the picture when he sent it to his friend Michael Davies:
“Dear Mick, here are the footprint photos: sorry for the delay. We came across them on a high pass on the Nepal-Tibet watershed during the 1951 Everest expedition.
“They seemed to have come over a secondary pass at about 19,500ft, down to 19,000ft where we first saw them, and then went on down the glacier. We followed them for the better part of a mile.
“What it is, I don’t know, but I am quite clear that it is no animal known to live in the Himalaya, and that it is big. Compare the depths to which it and Mike Ward (no featherweight) have broken into the snow. Yours, Tom Bourdillon.”
If anyone wants some photos of footprints of the San Diego Yeti, taken in my backyard, I'm willing to sell them for a reasonable price. (Thanks, Cranky Media Guy)
Categories: Cryptozoology
Posted by Alex on Fri Sep 28, 2007
Comments (5)
Due to my ongoing computer problems and personal situation, this is again brought to you by Madmouse.

Peruvian Meteorite (eovti)
An apparent meteorite landing in Peru has led to reports of illness amongst locals. Original suggestions for the cause of the sickness included radiation poisoning, but that seems unlikely.

Sign Language Translator (Madmouse)
There’s been a lot of discussion in the forum about this story. A group of UK students have developed a system to translate spoken or written words into British Sign Language that is then displayed by an avatar. Suggested uses include translating for meetings and for phone calls. This seems like a very good idea to me, although a lot more development is needed.

Belgium For Sale on Ebay (LaMa)
A disgruntled Belgian, protesting about Belgium’s political problems, put the country up for sale on Ebay. He pointed out that, although the nation is second-hand, the offer included free delivery.

Bigfoot Revealed!!! (gray)
A prankster who has posing as Bigfoot to scare campers for the last two years was captured in Manitoba. Apparently the man was less intimidated by the police than he was by the telling-off delivered by his last ‘victim’.
Categories: Cryptozoology, eBay, Identity/Imposters, Pranks, Science, Technology
Posted by Flora on Fri Sep 21, 2007
Comments (0)
I have no idea what the meaning of this video is, but whoever created it appears to be trying to simulate the appearance of a Feejee Mermaid-type creature. I found it linked to on the CeticismoAberto blog, where it's noted that the illusion of the creature is created in much the same way as magicians create the illusion of sawing a woman in half. In other words, this Feejee Mermaid actually consists of someone's head poking out the top of a box, with the body of the mermaid being manipulated separately from the head.

Categories: Cryptozoology, Photos/Videos
Posted by Alex on Tue Jul 24, 2007
Comments (5)
On the heels of the "American troops eat babies" myth comes the story of the Giant, Man-eating Badgers of Basra:

Ferocious British badgers an urban myth in Iraq
Categories: Animals, Cryptozoology, Mass Delusion, Military, Urban Legends
Posted by Cranky Media Guy on Sat Jul 14, 2007
Comments (7)
New video footage claims to show the Loch Ness Monster leaping out of the water. Despite the fact that the footage is obviously fake, there's a bigger problem with the claim that this shows the Loch Ness Monster. Whatever body of water is shown in the clip doesn't look like Loch Ness. Loch Ness is pretty narrow, and you can always see the other side. This footage, on the other hand, looks like it was shot on the coast of the sea.

Another theory just occurred to me. Maybe what this video really shows is one of those leaping sturgeon that's been knocking out boaters lately.

Categories: Cryptozoology
Posted by Alex on Tue Jun 19, 2007
Comments (14)
image Something is stirring in Loch Ness.

Earlier this month, amateur scientist Gordon Holmes filmed a mysterious shape swimming beneath the surface of Loch Ness. In the footage, you can see a dark shape gliding along. Unfortunately, whatever it is, it never breaks the surface of the water, thus denying us any easy way to identify it.

Holmes says that he filmed the creature at 9:50 pm from a layby on the A82:
"I was minutes from going home but I saw something moving and dashed out of the car and switched the camcorder on. About 200 yards away from me I could see something in the water. It was definitely a creature propelling itself through the water. It was fairly bubbling along the water. It was streaking along."

The media is describing his footage as the best Nessie footage ever. The question I'm interested in is not whether or not this might be evidence of Nessie (I don't think it is), but whether this is some kind of intentional hoax. My hunch is that it's not. It's probably just a case of someone who happened to film something unusual. Maybe it's a fish, or a trick of the light, or a stray Museum of Hoaxes reader who didn't realize that the trip to Loch Ness was last year, not this year. If this footage came from anywhere else in the world other than Loch Ness, it wouldn't raise any eyebrows. But of course, it does come from Loch Ness, so it's receiving all kinds of media attention.

Credit goes to Stargazer for posting about this in the forum before I managed to post it here. However, this seemed like too big of a story for me not to put it on the front page. (And thanks to all the people who emailed me about it.)

You can see some of the video footage here, or on YouTube. (thanks to MadCarlotta for finding these links.)

And check out my list of Loch Ness Monster Hoaxes for some retrospective on sightings in the Loch.
Categories: Cryptozoology
Posted by Alex on Fri Jun 01, 2007
Comments (12)
A series of articles by Dave Clarke of the Star Courier has revived interest in the legend of the Deerman. The legend is local to Kewanee, Illinois. It tells of a creature, with the upper body of a deer and the lower body of a man, that lurks in the woods, occasionally popping up to scare lovers parked on moonlit nights or people wandering around alone. Supposedly if you see Deerman three times you die.

Clarke credits Jerry Moriarity, the editor and publisher of the Star Courier during the '50s and '60s, with popularizing the legend of the Deerman in his column "Mostly Malarkey."

Half-human/half-animal creatures are a staple of local legends. Some of the other famous ones that I know about are Mothman of West Virginia, the Owlman of Cornwall, the Goatman of Maryland, and the Lizard Man of South Carolina. I'm sure there must be many others. (Thanks, Joe)
Categories: Cryptozoology, Folklore/Tall Tales, Urban Legends
Posted by Alex on Fri May 25, 2007
Comments (19)
The photos show a giant skeleton lying on display in a town square, recalling that photo of a giant skeleton supposedly unearthed in Saudi Arabia that circulated around a few years ago. (It was actually an image from a Worth1000 photoshop contest.)

In this case, the giant skeleton is not a product of photoshop. It's a real skeleton, in the sense that it's something that one can really go and see. However, it's not real in the sense of being an actual archeological artifact. It's a piece of art created by the Late Gino De Dominicis. It's titled "COSMIC MAGNET." It's currently on display in Milan, and then will tour throughout Europe.

The Google translation of a blurb about the piece says:
The body of Cosmic Calamita, marking the possible connections between microcosm and the macrocosmos, evokes inaccessible spaces to the progress and the technology, reaching to the myth and the night of the times. Landed on our planet in disowned circumstances, this colossal Moby Dick projects the spectators ammutoliti on the mystery of elsewhere beyond the land space and a time of the history becoming some the terrifying one to cerimoniere.
image image

(via CeticismoAberto.com)
Categories: Art, Cryptozoology
Posted by Alex on Fri Apr 13, 2007
Comments (2)
imageThis website shows a ‘dead fairy’, along with the story of how it was found in the Derbyshire countryside. It claims that the police and a local ‘paranormal expert’ had examined the fairy, and that the barrow it was found in contained over 20 bodies.

The site also features an update posted on April 1st, which explains that no, it is not a real fairy, and that it is a piece of art.

According to one of the people who wrote to us about this story, some people refuse to believe it’s not a real fairy, and are claiming that the artist’s update itself is a hoax.
The fairy is currently up for sale on ebay.

(Thanks, Jen and John.)
Categories: Art, Cryptozoology, eBay
Posted by Flora on Thu Apr 05, 2007
Comments (14)

Baby Nessie Fossil Found in Antarctic
Found on an Antarctic island. Rather far away from Scotland. "The five-foot-long animal would have resembled Nessie, the long-necked creature reported to inhabit Scotland's Loch Ness."

Let blind hunters use lasers
Texas legislation will allow blind hunters to use laser sights that will guide them as they aim at the animal. This sounds very weird to me. Why would a blind person even want to hunt? What's the point? I'm just not seeing it. (Thanks, Big Gary)

Talking doll calls three-year-old "a slut"
A California mother claims her daughter's Little Mermaid Shimmering Lights Ariel doll said "You're a slut." Mattel, the doll's manufacturer, is doubtful, but has offered to replace the doll. This reminds me of the case of the "Who wants to die" talking Elmo.

NASA deals blow to lunar real estate industry
NASA has announced plans to build a base on the moon, and it doesn't care if anyone claims to own the land it's building on. But I'm sure this won't slow down the 'Buy land on the moon' industry, since there will always be some sucker willing to buy lunar property.
Categories: Cryptozoology, Exploration/Travel
Posted by Alex on Tue Dec 12, 2006
Comments (18)

The Apostles of O'Neill
A group of college kids living in a Washington DC house were informed that they were violating zoning laws that allowed only six people to live in one house. But they did some homework and discovered that 15 people are allowed per house, if it's a residence for a "religious community." Therefore, they've filed paperwork incorporating themselves as a nonprofit religious organization. They call themselves the Apostles of O'Neill.

Nessie could not have been a plesiosaur
Leslie Noe of the Sedgwick Museum has figured out that Nessie cannot be a plesiosaur. Why? Because plesiosaurs couldn't hold their necks above water: "Calculating the articulation of the neck bones, he concluded the neck was flexible and could move easily when pointing down. He explained how the neck was like a feeding tube, to collect soft-bodied prey: The small skulls of plesiosaurs couldn't cope with hard-shelled prey. However, the osteology of the neck makes it absolutely certain that the plesiosaur could not lift its head out of the water - as most alleged pictures of Nessie show."

Fake John Paul II Cloth Relics
The relic trade is alive and well. Souvenir shops near the Vatican are selling "medallions enclosing a tiny shred of cloth and labelled 'relics of John Paul II.'" No word on if they cure any ailments.

"There's a tick on you" as pick-up line
Here's the latest desperate pick-up strategy some guy has dreamed up. He tells women there's a tick on them and then starts pulling their clothes off. The strategy doesn't seem to be working.

Another Message in a Bottle found
Thirty years ago Marie Myatt threw a message in a bottle into the ocean. Recently it was found, just a few kilometres away from where she threw it. Sounds plausible enough. I'm inclined to think this isn't a hoax. (Thanks, Robert)
Categories: Cryptozoology, Exploration/Travel, Religion, Sex/Romance
Posted by Alex on Mon Nov 13, 2006
Comments (17)
image I spent the weekend in a small town (King's Beach) on the coast of Lake Tahoe. While there I figured I would investigate the local legend of Tahoe Tessie, a monster that supposedly lives in the lake. However, the legend doesn't appear to be widely known, even in the Tahoe area. Most people whom I asked about it gave me a blank stare. Some details that I found on AmericanMonsters.com include that:
Legends of this creature first began to surface in the mid-1800's, when members of the Washoe and Paiute Indian tribes began to tell the white settlers about the "monster" dwelling in the depths of the Tahoe basin. As fascinating as those original testimonies may be, the most intriguing account surrounding this mystery-beast did not occur until the mid-1970's, when the renowned, French oceanographer, Jacques Cousteau, lead an expedition to explore the depths of lake Tahoe. While submerged Cousteau reportedly encountered something so terrifying that he refused to reveal what it was to the public. Sources credit Cousteau as saying, quote: "The world wasn't ready for what was down there!"
I managed to pick up a small Tahoe Tessie stuffed animal and a Tahoe Tessie keyring in a gift shop. Then I heard that there was an entire Tahoe Tessie Museum located in King's Beach run by a guy named Bob McCormack. And that it was just a few blocks down from where I was saying. So I took off to find it. Unfortunately I discovered that the museum closed a few years ago and that the building it was in was torn down. All that remains is an empty lot next door to a video store and a row of porta-pottys (see thumbnail). So much for Tahoe Tessie. I didn't venture into the porta-pottys to check if Tessie was hidden in there.
Categories: Cryptozoology
Posted by Alex on Tue Sep 12, 2006
Comments (9)
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