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Cryptozoology
Status: Hoax (part of a viral marketing campaign)
image Russian geologist Arkady Simkin claims to have participated in an oil-surveying expedition to Northern Siberia that found an enormous, skyscraper-size creature buried in the ice. He gives the following description of the creature (which he refers to as Taurus Major) on his website: The animal appears to be a huge quadruped with horns much like a bull. In fact it looks to be a hybrid of a bull, woolly mammoth and a rhino – if such a thing existed. But its size is truly colossal. The horns are immense in dimension and protrude from the head with incredible length. The body is covered with a combination of coarse fur and what can best be described as ‘body armor’ (like an American armadillo) – protects its enormous joints and head.

What makes Simkin's site interesting (and I'm referring to Simkin as a real person, though I doubt he is) is the movie and radio interview that he's posted on the site. The movie is pretty impressive and indicates that someone spent some money to produce it. The radio interview, by contrast, is fun to listen to, but is obviously scripted.

I'm taking it as a given that the ice giant is a hoax, but I have no idea who's behind it. Maybe it's a publicity stunt for a book, movie, or video game. I'm sure that we'll find out soon enough. The name Arkady may be an allusion to Arkham from the work of H.P. Lovecraft. The Taurus Major creature itself also seems very Lovecraftian. (Thanks to Darrell for the link)

Update: It's part of a viral marketing campaign for a new Playstation game called Shadow of the Colossus, which involves hunting and killing giant creatures. The website giantology.typepad.com, supposedly about "the mythology and culture of giants throughout the ages of humanity," is also part of this same marketing campaign. The giantology site has been hosting footage showing the skeleton of a giant uncovered on a beach in India by the tsunami. Quite a few people have linked to this footage, but it's all part of the same marketing effort.
Categories: Cryptozoology, Extraterrestrial Life
Posted by Alex on Tue Oct 25, 2005
Comments (40)
Status: PR Stunt (I'd wager $1 million it's never awarded to anyone)
At the upcoming Bigfoot Conference in Texas, Loren Coleman plans to announce a $1 million prize for anyone who can safely capture a "Bigfoot, Yeti, Lake Monster, Sea Serpent, or other cryptozoological specimen." It's a good bet this money is never paid out. I wonder if Coleman will actually put aside $1 million in an escrow account, or if he'll only worry about coming up with the cash once someone produces a specimen. These million-dollar prizes always strike me as phony, even when skeptics offer them (such as Think and Reason's $1,000,000 reward to prove God exists). No one ever gets the money. The only purpose of the prize is to generate publicity.
Categories: Cryptozoology
Posted by Alex on Tue Oct 11, 2005
Comments (10)
News agencies are reporting that sightseers at Loch Ness were fooled into thinking they saw Nessie:

Around 600 people desperate to catch a glimpse of Nessie were stunned when they came face to face with a 16ft creature emerging from the Highland waters. But channel Five television revealed that the mythical beast was actually a 440lb animatronic model called "Lucy" who baffled tourists when she roamed the murky depths of Loch Ness for two weeks. The results have been filmed by Five for their television programme: Loch Ness Monster: The Ultimate Experiment, which will be shown at the end of the month.

But, of course, we all know the real story. Government agencies, in collusion with the extraterrestrials, created a story about a 440lb animatronic model as a cover to hide the fact that Nessie (who is controlled by the aliens) accidentally revealed herself.
Categories: Cryptozoology
Posted by Alex on Fri Aug 19, 2005
Comments (8)
image A photograph of what appears to be dragons flying in the sky above Tibet has been generating some attention. The photograph was taken over a year ago:

On June 22, 2004, the photographer went to Tibet’s Amdo region to attend the Qinghai-to-Xizang Railroad laying ceremony, and then took a plane from Lhasa to fly back inland. When flying over the Himalaya’s, he accidentally caught these two "dragons" in a picture that he took. He called these two objects "the Tibet dragons."

To me the 'dragons' (you can see their 'tails' in the lower left corner of the picture... click the thumbnail to enlarge it) appear to obviously be clouds. Or maybe they're some kind of formation on the ground. But yeah, I can see the resemblance to dragons.
Categories: Cryptozoology, Photos/Videos
Posted by Alex on Wed Aug 10, 2005
Comments (41)
A mysterious clump of hair found in the Yukon earlier this month turns out (surprise, surprise) to NOT be Bigfoot hair. Instead, it's hair from a bison. The sample was analyzed by David Coltman, a geneticist at the University of Alberta in Edmonton.

This isn't the first time 'Bigfoot hair' has been analyzed and shown to be something other than fibers from a shedding Sasquatch. It's quite remarkable, if you stop to consider it, that despite being frequently sighted and heard, all the Bigfoots out there have managed to avoid leaving a single physical sample of their presence (such as hair, skin, or bones) that can be verified by researchers. Although they do leave a lot of footprints. Skeptics would say that this is clear evidence that Bigfoot doesn't exist. But the true believers continue to insist that we simply haven't looked hard enough yet. (thanks to Gary and Kathy for forwarding me the link)
Categories: Cryptozoology
Posted by Alex on Fri Jul 29, 2005
Comments (19)
image There's already quite a lengthy thread about the Loch Ness Monster Tooth in the forum, but I don't think anyone has yet linked to this recent press release in which radio host Rob McConnell exposes the 'tooth' as "nothing more than an antler from a roe muntjac deer". The story was that two American college students supposedly found the tooth lodged in the carcass of a deer while they were visiting Loch Ness. A Scottish warden subsequently took the tooth from them. In reality, the entire story was part of a publicity stunt to promote Steve Alten's new book, The Loch (as most people in the forum had already figured out).
Categories: Cryptozoology
Posted by Alex on Mon Jun 06, 2005
Comments (15)
image I didn't realize that Sierra Nevada made a Bigfoot Barleywine-style Ale. I'll have to try to get some and try it. One reviewer on Beer Advocate says this of it: This beer warms the gullet and obliterates the taste buds. I have had some bitter beers in my experience, but this one blows them all away. Sounds like an imposing beer, which I suppose is appropriate for a beer named after Bigfoot. So I'm now aware of Bigfoot Ale, Loch Ness Monster Ale, and Crop Circle Beer. But there's no Chupacabra Beer, as far as I know. Nor Jackalope Beer. This is an obvious oversight on the part of the beer industry.
Categories: Cryptozoology, Food
Posted by Alex on Wed Feb 23, 2005
Comments (13)
Steve needs your help. He's trapped in a cabin in northern Minnesota as Chupacabras circle around outside. His only way to communicate with the outside world is via a free blogging service (for some reason email doesn't work on his computer). This is reminiscent of the Trapped by Zombies weblog, except that this is much more of an amateur effort. But you've got to give the guy credit for trying.
Categories: Cryptozoology, Websites
Posted by Alex on Tue Feb 15, 2005
Comments (13)
Dan Taylor of South Carolina has built a submarine which he plans to launch in Loch Ness this spring, hoping to find Nessie and collect tissue samples from her, for scientific analysis. The media, of course, are loving this, first playing up the eccentric enthusiast angle, and now playing up the Nessie-fans-outraged-by-the-thought-of-someone-harpooning-the-monster angle. But if you watch the video broadcast that accompanies this article, you realize that it's not so much the idea of somebody harpooning poor Nessie that worries local residents of Loch Ness. It's the idea of some guy at large in the Loch with a harpoon-equipped submarine that concerns them. What if he harpoons a swimming tourist by accident, they point out. The media also love pointing out, with a sly wink, that hunting Nessie is illegal because she's protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, which is true enough. If someone ever does find her, they can't kill her.
Categories: Cryptozoology
Posted by Alex on Wed Jan 26, 2005
Comments (28)
image Bob Heironimus has been getting a lot of press lately by claiming to have been the guy who dressed up in a Bigfoot costume and mugged for the camera in the famous Patterson-Gimlin film, shot in October 1967. I haven't examined his story closely, so I haven't formed an opinion on whether he really was Patterson's Bigfoot, but looking at that Bigfoot costume he was photographed posing with last week, I've got to say that it doesn't look much like the Bigfoot in Patterson's film. Maybe it looks more like it at a distance.
Categories: Cryptozoology
Posted by Alex on Tue Oct 12, 2004
Comments (16)
I'm posting this message from Paris, France. So far I've been finding it very hard to get onto the internet, but when I turned on my laptop in my hotel room I discovered that someone nearby is running an open wireless network (it's definitely not the hotel... I think it's the cafe on the corner).

Anyway, when I visited Loch Ness a few days ago I didn't think I had seen the monster, until I later examined the pictures I had taken. Then I noticed this mysterious object on the Loch that I didn't see while taking the picture. Perhaps it's just a small boat... or perhaps it's Nessie. Hmmm. image


By the way, if you ever stay in Loch Ness, skip the Loch Ness Lodge. It's a tourist trap. Opt for the Benleva Hotel instead. That's where the locals hang out. It's also got a great restaurant. I had kangaroo meat for dinner there (kangaroo meat in Loch Ness!!).
Categories: Cryptozoology, Miscellaneous
Posted by Alex on Wed Sep 15, 2004
Comments (56)
Reporter Aaron Brown is hoping to boost the fortunes of his hometown of Hibbing, Minnesota by propagating "a mysterious local legend to drum up economic development for the region." As he points out, it's worked for other places. Case in point: I'm off to Loch Ness next week solely because of some murky legend of a sea serpent. So what kind of monster should lurk around Hibbing? What about a 1000lb wild hog? No, that's already been done. But Minnesota does already have the Iceman, so maybe they could play that up a bit.
Categories: Cryptozoology
Posted by Alex on Thu Sep 02, 2004
Comments (3)
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