Archives for the month of: August, 2012

The following article is taken from famed Cryptozoologist Karl Shuker’s blog, ShukerNature.  No ownership is claimed over this article, it is being posted purely for educational purposes.  Please show Mr. Shuker support, as he is a great and brilliant man in the field of Cryptozoology!

 

The Green Drive Beast (© Sam Shearon)

In modern times, Britain – reputedly the world’s most haunted country – has seen more than even its fair share of monstrous creatures reported, beasts assuredly more supernatural than natural. So here, in no particular order, is my own personal Top Ten paranormal terrors of the zooform kind (i.e. seemingly preternatural entities superficially resembling corporeal creatures). Encounter them at your peril!

 

HORSE-MEN OF THE APOCALYPSE?

One late evening in 1994, the husband of correspondent Nicky Knott was driving home through King’s Lynn, Norfolk, down a lonely rural back road when he saw a large creature in a field to his right. As it moved closer, it seemed to be a horse, with equine body and four legs, but its observer was horrified to see that it had the face of a man! Terrified, Knott slammed his foot on the accelerator and sped away, and even though he was sure that the ‘thing’ was pursuing him he never once looked back till he reached home. Amazingly, this is not a unique case. Back in spring 1966, a creature fitting this same bizarre, man-faced, horse-bodied description was encountered in the road ahead as Margaret Johnson and her boyfriend John Farrell were driving past the estate of Lord Dillon in County Louth, Ireland, blocking their way for a couple of minutes and emanating palpable malevolence before abruptly vanishing. Could it have been a pooka – Ireland’s evil supernatural goblin horse?

Horse-man (Richard Svensson)

 

BEWARE OF BIG-EYES!

During the mid-1950s, writer Joan Forman had spent time teaching at the school in the Kentish village of Goodhurst. One early morning during the summer holidays, when few others were there, she had awoken from sleep in her room, alone within the school building’s oldest section, and was shocked to see a grotesque creature crouching on the floor to the left of her bed, glowing slightly in the darkness and gazing at her with what she considered to be an unblinking stare of outright evil and obscenity. It was about the size of a large cat or corgi dog, but its most striking feature were its huge eyes, which she likened to those of a nocturnal lemur. She lay there, rendered immobile by its seemingly mocking, revolting stare for some time, before, with the onset of dawn, it slowly faded away, and the intense coldness that until then had filled the room vanished with it. Years later, she learned that her successor at the school also witnessed this entity, but in a different bedroom.

 

A WEIRDLING CALLED WOLFIE

One of the weirdest creatures ever encountered in Britain was nicknamed Wolfie by the Lawson children who first saw it, but it was like no wolf – or anything else, for that matter – ever reported. The Lawson family lived in Abbey House, Cambridge, from 1904 to 1910, during which time Wolfie was spied on many occasions by the children, and even once at close range by their father as it sped down a corridor. According to their descriptions, Wolfie superficially resembled a very large, brown-furred, short-eared hare but with some notable additional attributes – always running on its hindlegs, sporting a pair of flipper-like front paws, and equipped with a long bird-like beak. Wolfie was mostly seen on the ground floor and at twilight, or in the drawing room when lit by lamplight, but even when not observed its presence was readily evinced by the distinctive pattering sound of its footsteps. Wolfie was also encountered by Charmian, the daughter of the Sharp family, who moved into Abbey House in 1920, and in 1947 a mysterious “tiny doggie” was reported in the kitchen by the young son of Celia Schofield, a friend of the then tenant. Although Wolfie did not seem to be malign in any way, its zoologically impossible form, if described accurately, indicates that this inexplicable entity must surely have been paranormal rather than corporeal in nature.

Wolfie (Richard Svensson)

 

THE VAMPIRE CATERPILLAR OF EDINBURGH

Some zooform phenomena, like Wolfie, seem so bizarre that they defy belief, let alone categorisation, yet their eyewitnesses vehemently affirm that they were real. Another notable example is the entity that Godfrey H. Anderson claimed to have spied on 23 November 1904 while walking along a street in Edinburgh, Scotland. Suddenly, he saw a grotesque ‘something’ rise out of the gutter and spring up at the throat of a horse. According to Anderson’s description, cited in Creatures of the Outer Edge (1978) by Jerome Clark and Loren Coleman, the horse’s weird attacker was:

“[a] vague black shape about four feet long and two and a half feet high…[it was shaped] like an hourglass and moved like a huge caterpillar.”

The horse reared up in terror, and as it did so its assailant vanished.

 

LONDON’S HORNED DEMON CAT

One evening in October 1943 during a World War II bombing session inflicted upon London by German aircraft, air-raid volunteer Howard Leland took shelter inside a derelict house, but as he sat at the foot of its staircase he sensed a presence nearby. Shining his torch up the stairs, he was petrified to spy a huge tabby-striped cat sitting crouched at the very top, gazing down at him with demonic eyes – a cat whose skull sprouted a pair of sharp pointed horns! Rooted to the spot with fear, Leland could only watch as this monstrous entity leaped down into the room below, but it vanished before it landed, so that only its spine-chilling yowl echoed in the shadows. Leland consulted renowned clairvoyant John Pendragon, who placed his finger on the house’s precise location on a map, only for his mind to be filled with swirling images of hate-filled cats and an image of a man about to hang himself. Leland made enquiries about this house, learning that others had seen the horned cat, and, significantly, that it had once been inhabited by a practitioner of black magic, who had sacrificed several cats during one foul ritual, but had become deranged, hanging himself from the top of the staircase. Pendragon concluded that the giant horned cat was an elemental, conjured into being by the restless, fury-fuelled ghosts of the slain cats, and which may persist there indefinitely. For a full ShukerNature account of this scary (as opposed to scaredy!) cat, click here.

Horned demon cat (Tim Morris)

 

A BONELESS TERROR

There are many British folktales telling of encounters with an eerie amorphous entity, animate and sinister, variously nicknamed ‘Boneless’ or simply ‘It’. One moonlit September night during the 1950s, however, railwayman John Davies was riding his motorbike back home to his cottage in Derbyshire’s Longdendale Valley when he saw what appears to have been a bona fide Boneless crossing the road not far ahead. Moments earlier, he had felt an uncanny, seemingly reasonless compulsion to brake, and as he did so he spied what looked like a huge black slug sliding across the road and up the moor, making a scraping noise as its massive but near-shapeless form moved along. Up closer, it looked a little like a massive whale, and even possessed an eye-like structure, and Davies later learnt that it had been seen by others. One such observer was a friend of Davies, who had seen it sliding across the valley below Ogden Clough, where it was also observed on a separate occasion by another of his friends. Both of them were convinced that whatever it was, it was definitely evil, and both had fled in panic after spying it.

 

THE LEVITATING WHITE DOG OF RICHMOND PARK

Phantasmal Black Dogs are widely reported in Britain; less familiar, conversely, but by no means unknown, are comparable reports of preternatural White Dogs, of which the following is certainly among the most remarkable on file. One evening during the early 1950s, a soldier was returning to his army camp, based inside London’s Richmond Park, when he was startled to see several deer running past him in a panic-stricken state. He was even more startled, however, when he saw that they were being pursued by an enormous pure-white dog with huge teeth – but which, instead of bounding across the ground like any typical earthbound dog, was racing through the air, about half a metre above the ground! For another ShukerNature post re White Dogs (aka Fairy Hounds in Celtic mythology), click here.

Richmond Park’s levitating white dog (C. Martin)

 

A HARPY OF THE HIGHLANDS?

According to Highland legend, on the eve of the historic battle of Culloden in 1746, a hideous winged apparition called the skree appeared in the sky, emitting spine-chilling shrieks and hovering above a detachment of soldiers. It was said to resemble a monstrous bird but with a human head, black leathery wings, and burning red eyes – in other words, a Caledonian counterpart of the harpies from Greek mythology! Moreover, one of its claimed eyewitnesses was none other than Lord General Murray. Although this story is largely dismissed by historians, at least two additional skree appearances have been documented. One was on 22 May 1915, when this veritable bird of ill-omen appeared over Larbert railway station just as a major party of Royal Scots men and officers were about to board their train. So shocked were they by this grotesque entity that the men had to be forced to board at gunpoint by their officers; later that day, the train crashed, killing or injuring many of its passengers. Most recently, during summer 1993, a skree-like creature was reportedly spied on a mist-shrouded outcrop of rock by two lost hill walkers in Glencoe.

 

ON THE LOOSE IN LYTHAM ST ANNE’S

Highly-acclaimed graphics-fantasy artist Sam Shearon (click here to visit his spectacular artwork’s Mister-Sam Facebook page) has long been interested in cryptozoology, but little expected that in 2005 he would have the chance to investigate a truly bizarre beast in his very own hometown of Lytham St Anne’s, Lancashire. As I learnt from Sam when he kindly shared his files on this entity with me, it all began during late April 2005, in the town’s wooded beauty spot of Green Drive, when a mysterious snarling creature initially likened to a large collie with very big pricked ears, a sizeable mouth, light-coloured fur, and a strange lolloping gait was spied there. Other reports soon emerged, but descriptions of the beast became ever stranger, with one eyewitness comparing it with a surreal giant hare, and another describing it as “like a monster out of Doctor Who”! When word of this extraordinary creature reached Sam, he lost no time in interviewing a number of eyewitnesses, and then prepared a highly-detailed illustration of it, based upon their accounts, which appeared in media reports worldwide and is also reproduced here in this ShukerNature post with Sam’s kind permission. He also established a dedicated website for documenting sightings. Suggestions as to what the Green Drive Beast might be as put forward by the general public ranged from a lost greyhound or an escapee wallaby to a mystery big cat, or even a far-from-home chupacabra! A number of wildlife experts were also consulted as to the creature’s likely identity, but were baffled, eventually suggesting that it may be a muntjac.

Reeves’s muntjac (Margoz/Wikipedia)

Alternatively known as barking deer, muntjac are not native to Britain. However, escapee specimens from captivity of Reeves’s muntjac Muntiacus reevesi (native to China) have established thriving populations in several regions of the country, and are notable for their large, fang-like canine teeth – an incongruous feature for deer. In general appearance, however, these small, elusive bambi-like animals display scant similarity to Green Drive’s mystery beast. Eventually, sightings and interest in the Green Drive enigma faded, but in September 2007 a very old, mange-ridden fox bearing a superficial resemblance to certain descriptions of the beast was captured there, reviving interest, and later being dubbed by the media as the correct explanation. Yet how a very sick, elderly fox found two years after the classic sightings of a much more vibrant, larger creature can be deemed to be one and the same as the latter is as mystifying as the beast itself. In any event, Sam’s stunning picture of the 2005 Green Drive Beast remains as vibrant testimony of its erstwhile existence, regardless of its identity.

The Green Drive Beast, clearly no muntjac! (© Sam Shearon)

 

A LAKE DISTRICT DEVA?

While visiting the Lake District, Cumbria, in June 1922, theosophist Geoffrey Hodson claimed to have witnessed an astonishing being that he believed to have been a deva or nature spirit. According to his description of what he had seen, it was an enormous bat-like entity, brilliant crimson in colour with a human face and burning piercing eyes that fixed themselves upon him as its wings stretched out over the mountainside, before sinking into the hillside and disappearing. It later reappeared before him, but now in much smaller form, this time standing a ‘mere’ 3-4 m high.

 

It’s not every day that you encounter a malevolent horse-man, a demonic horned cat, or a murderous vampire caterpillar in modern-day Britain, but as can be seen from the above accounts, it’s not beyond the realms of possibility either! So next time you’re out and about, keep your eyes open – sometimes, the unknown and the inexplicable can be a lot nearer than you think!

Sam Shearon, primary investigator of the Green Drive Beast (© Sam Shearon)

Radical Truth Activist Julian Assange has been granted political asylum from Ecuador, leading to a standoff between the South American country and the United Kingdom (who wish to deport Assange, allowing him to face political persecution).  The following is an article from The New York Times, giving an update on the current situation.  We claim no ownership over this article; it is being posted purely for educational purposes.

 

Ecuador Grants Asylum to Assange, Defying Britain

CARACAS, Venezuela — Ecuador forcefully rejected pressure from Britain and announced Thursday that it was granting political asylum to Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, who has been holed up for two months in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London trying to avoid extradition to Sweden.

The decision, citing the possibility that Mr. Assange could face “political persecution” or be sent to the United States to face the death penalty, escalated the unusually sharp strains between Ecuador and Britain, and drew an angry rebuttal from Sweden. The Ecuadorean move protects Mr. Assange from British arrest, but only on Ecuadorean territory, leaving him vulnerable if he tries to leave the embassy to head to an airport or train station.

Ecuador’s foreign minister, Ricardo Patiño, made the announcement at a news conference in the Ecuadorean capital, Quito.

“The government of Ecuador, faithful to its tradition of protecting those who seek refuge in its territory or in its diplomatic missions, has decided to grant diplomatic asylum to Julian Assange,” he said, reading from a government communiqué. He added, “There are indications to presume that there could be political persecution,” and said Mr. Assange would not get a fair trial in the United States and could face the death penalty there.

Mr. Patiño said he hoped that Britain would permit Mr. Assange to leave the embassy for Ecuador. But at a news conference on Thursday in London, the British foreign secretary, William Hague, repeated the government’s stance that Britain was legally bound to to extradite Mr. Assange to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over accusations that he sexually assaulted two women.

Tensions between Britain and Ecuador had been building over Britain’s efforts to secure a handover of Mr. Assange. Mr. Hague described a multitude of negotiations for a handover, including “seven formal discussions as well as many other conversations.” But Wednesday night, Mr. Patiño said the British authorities had threatened to force their way into the embassy, adding, “We are not a British colony.” On Thursday, just before the announcement of asylum, President Rafael Correa said on his Twitter account: “No one is going to terrorize us!”

The president of the National Assembly of Ecuador called a special session for Thursday evening to discuss the perceived threat against the embassy by the British government.

The British Foreign Office said it was disappointed by the Ecuadorean announcement but remained committed to a negotiated outcome to the standoff. Sweden’s foreign minister, Carl Bildt, rejected the suggestion that Sweden would be involved in any kind of persecution. “Our firm legal and constitutional system guarantees the rights of each and everyone,” he wrote on Twitter. “ We firmly reject any accusations to the contrary.”

A spokesman for Sweden’s Foreign Ministry, Anders Jorle, said the country’s legal system had been impugned and the Ecuadorean ambassador had been summoned.

In Sweden, Claes Borgstrom, the lawyer representing the two women who have accused Mr. Assange of sexual abuses, told the online newspaper Expressen.se that the women had expected the decision but still thought it absurd and were disappointed.

“Assange is a coward,” Mr. Borgstrom said. “He is accused of assault, but he is totally uninterested in my clients. He has shifted his focus elsewhere.”

Mr. Patiño’s news conference was broadcast live on British television and Mr. Assange watched the announcement as it happened, British news reports said. He told embassy staff members: “It is a significant victory for myself and my people. Things will probably get more stressful now.”

Outside the embassy, a small red brick apartment block behind Harrods department store in the upscale Knightsbridge neighborhood, a protester with a megaphone provided sporadic updates on the progress of the news conference in Quito. When it became clear that Mr. Assange had won asylum, the response was a muted joy. “It’s great news,” said a youth worker, 21, who gave his name only as James. “As long as Britain honors his right to asylum,” he added, outlining his hope that the British government would allow Mr. Assange to leave the country without arresting him. If that does not happen, he said, gesturing to the protesters around him, “this will only get bigger.” Like many of the protesters, the youth worker said he believed that the accusations of sexual abuse against Mr. Assage were part of a conspiracy to silence WikiLeaks. “Textbook character assassination,” he said.

Speculation immediately turned to whether, and how, Mr. Assange might seek to escape.

Mr. Patiño said his government had made its decision after the authorities in Britain, Sweden and the United States refused to give guarantees that if Mr. Assange were extradited to Sweden, he would not then be sent on to the United States to face other charges.

Those close to Mr. Assange have said that he fears ending up in the United States, which could bring charges over WikiLeaks’s release in 2010 of thousands of secret documents and diplomatic cables relating to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as to American relations with other governments.

Mr. Jorle, the Swedish Foreign Ministry spokesman, said there had been no request from the United States for custody of Mr. Assange.

Some analysts said that Ecuador had entered a high-stakes game on Mr. Assange’s behalf. Mauricio Gándara, a former ambassador for Ecuador in London, warned that by granting him asylum, Ecuador risked jeopardizing trade ties with England and other European Union countries. In 2011 about 28 percent of Ecuador’s nonpetroleum exports went to the European Union, according to government data. Nonpetroleum exports to the United Kingdom were $139 million last year.

“What Ecuador is doing is a very delicate thing,” Mr. Gándara said. “Ecuador is risking its economic interests for this adventure of defending Mr. Assange.”

He said that he was not aware of any previous dispute of similar magnitude between the two countries.

Mr. Assange arrived at the embassy on June 19, seeking to avoid extradition to Sweden. Jérémie Zimmerman, a friend who has spoken with him recently, said Mr. Assange had found the narrowing of his horizons hard. “It is quite difficult not to be able to get out in the street for all this time,” he said. “He lived for so many years free, without even a home to limit him. And now he is isolated.”

The WikiLeaks founder sleeps on an air mattress in a small office that has been converted to a bedroom, according to accounts of those who have visited him. He has access to a computer and continues to oversee WikiLeaks, his lieutenants have said. Reporters outside the building have seen food being delivered from nearby restaurants.

His presence is a challenge for employees of the embassy. One British government official, citing a conversation with a member of the embassy staff, said the situation was surreal.

A diplomat familiar with Mr. Assange’s situation said he spent his time in a back room, which gets no direct sunlight. Several weeks ago he had a bad cold and appeared depressed, the source said.

“He can’t get outside to see the sun,” his mother, Christine Assange, said in a recent interview conducted in Quito for BBC Mundo, a BBC Web site. “I’m worried about his health, as I would be for anybody who is having to stay indoors and not get exercise and have sunlight.”

She said some of Mr. Assange’s friends have encouraged him to play music and dance as a way of getting physical activity and had also brought sunlamps.

Although WikiLeaks has shrunk substantially during the 20 months of Mr. Assange’s legal battle in Britain, losing many of its most skilled computer experts along with several of Mr. Assange’s closest associates in building the organization, it continues to issue statements about his plight.

On Thursday, ahead of the Ecuadorean decision, it issued a new, unsigned statement describing Britain’s warning that it might suspend the embassy’s immunity as part of an action to arrest Mr. Assange as a “resort to intimidation” and a breach of the Vienna Convention governing diplomatic relations between states.

“We remind the public that these extraordinary actions are being taken to detain a man who has not been charged with any crime in any country,” the statement said. “We further urge the U.K. government to show restraint, and to consider the dire ramifications of any violation of the elementary norms of international law.”

It struck many as odd that Mr. Assange, who shot to fame as a fighter for media freedom, chose Ecuador as a potential refuge. Mr. Correa has presided over a crackdown on journalists there.

But when Mr. Assange arrived at the embassy, he issued a statement saying that Mr. Correa had invited him to seek asylum in Ecuador during an interview for Mr. Assange’s TV show on Russia Today, an English-language cable channel financed by the government of Vladimir V. Putin.

 

The author of this blog stands together with Julian Assange against these bogus “sexual abuse charges” and political persecution.  Long live Freedom of Speech and Truth!

Ajapai

 

Taku Takahashi

 

Matroda

On June 19th the Swedish-based diving company Ocean X Team discovered something unusual on the sonar while they were exploring the Baltic Sea between Sweden and Finland looking for sunken treasures. They found a 197 feet diameter cylinder shaped object at the depth of approximately 275 feet. Much mystery surrounds the object. Peter Lindberg from the Ocean X Team joins us to discuss the details and anomalies of the object. He’ll talk about how the object is giving off electrical interference and disturbing their research gear. Peter provides us with up to date information on their research results and current news. We speculate on what this mysterious object may be.

Red Ice Creations

 

 

xKore

xKore

 

The following article, New Study says modern humans, not Ice Age, killed Neanderthals, is from Digital Journal.  No ownership is claimed over this article or any of its information; it is being posted purely for educational purposes.

 

New evidence in the longstanding debate over what caused extinction of Neanderthals suggests that competition with early members of modern human species who migrated from Africa and not major climate changes caused extinction of Neanderthals.

The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, by an international team of researchers led by Professor John Lowe of the Royal Holloway University of London, was based on evidence from volcanic deposits from the CI eruptions found in Greece, Libya and Central Europe. The study showed that the largest known volcanic eruptions in Europe, previously believed to have caused the extinction of Neanderthals, came after Neanderthal population had declined. According to the new research findings, harsh climatic conditions that followed the volcanic eruption in Europe about 40,000 years ago was not the major factor that led to extinction of our closest hominid relatives, but competition for scarce resources with early modern humans.

The researchers, studying the remnants of ash from the Campanian Ignimbrite (CI) eruption about 40 000 years ago in sites in Greece, the Aegean Sea, Libya, and four central European caves, concluded that: “The combined effects of a major volcanic eruption and severe climatic cooling failed to have lasting impacts on Neanderthals or early modern humans in Europe. We infer that modern humans proved a greater competitive threat to indigenous populations than natural disasters.”

Early modern humans had a more advanced culture with better tools, weapons and communication skills and experts have always believed that Neanderthals were disadvantaged in the competition for scarce natural resources. But many experts maintained that climate and not humans was the major factor in the extinction of Neanderthals.

According to the proponents of the theory that climate caused extinction of Neanderthals, about 40,000 years ago, a massive volcanic eruption called the Campanian Ignimbrite (CI) eruption threw up clouds of ash into the atmosphere that blocked out the Sun. This caused a dramatic fall in temperature that led to the extinction of Neanderthals. Neanderthals had virtually disappeared from Europe by 30,000 years ago. A previous research by scientist at the Uppsala University had seemed to support the theory that Neanderthals did not go extinct because of competition with humans but that only a small band survived the climatic changes of the “volcanic winter.” The findings, published in the journal Molecular Biology and Evolution, suggested that populations of Neanderthals were vulnerable to climate change. According to Live Science, lead researcher Dr. Love Dalen, said: “Even if the Neanderthals were capable of surviving periods of extreme cold, the game species they relied on likely could not, so their resource base would have been severely depleted.”
Live Science reported that Neanderthals appear to have favored hunting woolly mammoths and other big game. Neanderthals were also big-brained, with the ability to make stone tools, construct garments, control fire and find shelter. Dalen had argued that the Neanderthals succumbed to harsh climatic conditions before they came in contact with humans who arrived later.

According to AFP, the latest research has helped to time the eruption even more accurately. Scientists now have evidence that the Neanderthal population in Europe had started declining long before the eruption and the severe climatic conditions that followed. There is also new evidence that early modern humans or Homo sapiens were widespread in Eastern Europe and North Africa than previously believed.

According to Lowe and his colleagues, both Neanderthals and early modern humans “seem to have been more resilient to environmental crises than previously supposed.” The researchers said: “Neanderthal extinction in Europe was not associated with the CI eruption.” The researchers, according to the Daily Mail, concluded that, “Our evidence indicates that, on a continental scale, modern humans were a greater competitive threat to indigenous populations than the largest known volcanic eruption in Europe, even if combined with the deleterious effects of climate cooling. We propose that small population numbers and high mobility may have initially saved the Neanderthals, but that they were ultimate out-performed in this capacity by AMHs (anatomically modern humans).”