Archives for posts with tag: Creatures

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)

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Over the years, there have been numerous reports of unknown flying creatures throughout Texas.  The following article is from The Strangerest; no ownership is claimed over this article, it is being posted purely for educational purposes.

The Mysterious Flying Creatures of Texas

For centuries, many of the Native American tribes who live in the western half of the US have told stories of creatures known as thunderbirds. Big (and fierce) enough to feed on full-grown bison, with wings so powerful that they could produce thunderclaps, the birds hold a special place in tribal lore.

But could thunderbird legends be based on animals still living in remote parts of America?

In 1890, two Arizona cowboys claimed to have killed a gigantic, featherless bird. Photographs (which disappeared long ago) are said to have shown a strange creature with an alligator-like head and a wingspan longer than the length of a barn. Some believe that the bird’s description matches that of the extinct Pteranodon (see above).

 
In the years since, sightings of similar flying “monsters” have been surprisingly common, particularly in South Texas. According to one terrified San Antonio eyewitness, an enormous, black creature with “stooped-up shoulders” flew over his car less than ten years ago. In 1976, three school teachers reported that their car had been similarly “buzzed.”

Yet another reputable witness claims he once saw two of the birds perched on a hillside. “These creatures were so huge they looked like the size of small planes,” he said. “All of the sudden one of them jumped off dropped off the top of the mountain, came down the front of the mountain and all the sudden these huge wings just spread out. I would say the wings were at least a 20-foot wingspan.”

 
 
 
While the above article was rather short, I think it provided interesting information, along with pictures.  Another article, from The UnMuseum, is being reposted below.  No ownership is claimed over any of it; it is being posted purely for educational purposes.
 
Pterosaurs in Texas
 
 

While driving his cruiser through the wee hours one morning 1976, Policeman Arturo Padilla of San Benito, Texas, spotted something unusual in his headlights. It looked like a big bird. A really big bird. A few minutes later Padilla’s fellow officer, Homer Galvan, reported it also. It appeared as a black silhouette that glided through the air. According to Galvan, it never even flapped its wings.

A short time later Alverico Guajardo, a resident of Brownsville, Texas, reported he’d heard a thumping noise outside his mobile home at about nine-thirty at night. When he looked out the door, he saw a monstrous bird standing in his yard. “It’s like a bird, but it’s not a bird,” he said. “That animal is not from this world.”

The sighting of the strange bird didn’t end with the reports from Guajardo and the two policemen. Two sisters told of seeing a “big black bird” with “a face like a bat” near a pond outside of Brownsville.

Reports of this creature continued to multiply in the early months of 1976 until finally a radio station offered a reward for the creature’s capture. Soon after, a television station broadcast a picture of an alleged bird track measuring some twelve inches in length. As the media hype increased, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department took action, fearing that hunters might mistake a large, rare and protected bird (like a whooping crane) for this mysterious creature. They made an announcement saying, “All birds are protected by state or federal law.”

At about this same time several Texas schoolteachers told of seeing the strange flying creature, with a wingspan of at least 12 feet across, while they were driving to work. One of them checked the school library and found a name for the animal: A pterosaur.

The Pterosaurs

Pterosaurs were an order of reptiles that lived and went extinct with the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. They were the first true flying animals that had vertebrae. Their wings were composed of a membrane of skin that stretched from the side of the body, along the arm, out to the tip of an enormously-elongated fourth finger, and then back to the ankle. Like a bat, they had no feathers.

Computer analysis of pterosaur fossils suggest that they were slow gliders, capable of making very tight airborne turns. A large pteranodon, with a wingspan of 30 feet, could turn in mid-flight in a circle only 34 feet in diameter.

So what were extinct pterosaurs doing in Texas in the 20th century?

Strangely enough, Texas hasn’t been the only place plagued by aerial, reptilian predators from the past. In 1923 a writer by the name of Frank Melland who worked in what was then northern Rhodesia, in Africa, told of a strange flying creature in his book In Witchbound Africa. According to Melland, the natives called this animal a kongamato. Its wing span was four to seven feet across and it had a long beak full of teeth. The wings were featherless and resembled those of a bat. Melland sent for some books he had at his home and showed a picture of a pterodactyl (a type of pterosaur) to the tribesmen. Melland reported that “every native present immediately and unhesitatingly picked it out and identified it as a kongamato.”

Melland wasn’t the only one to hear of this beast. In 1942 Col. R. S. Pitman wrote about reports he’d heard about a flying creature living in the same region as Melland’s kongamato:

“…the most amazing feature of this mystery beast is its suggested identity with a creature bat-and-birdlike in form on a gigantic scale strangely reminiscent of the prehistoric pterodactyl.”

Nobody has yet to find a living pterosaur either in Africa or Texas, however. Is it possible that what people were seeing was a very big, but conventional bird? The largest American bird is the California condor. With an impressive wingspan of over ten feet they would be large enough to explain some of the Texas reports. California condors, however, are a rare and endangered species and it seems unlikely that one would have wandered so far from its home on the west coast without being spotted and recognized by bird watchers for what it really was.

Bird of Legend

There is another bird, more legend than fact, that might fit the Texas reports: The thunderbird.

Thunderbirds are a part of Native American myth. These huge, supernatural creatures were supposed to have caused thunder by flapping their wings and lightning by blinking their eyes. Though such powers are obviously in the realm of legend, there are occasional reports in certain sections of North America of sightings of a giant birds that seem to fit the thunderbird description.

The forested region along the Allegheny Plateau of Pennsylvania seems to get more than its share of thunderbird reports. In 1969 the wife of a local sheriff spotted a huge bird sitting in the middle of a creek near their cabin. When it took off and unfurled its wings she estimated it was about 75 feet across. A more recent thunderbird account, a little further east, comes from the New Jersey coastline where in 1970 several people saw a flying creature with a “wingspread almost like an airplane.”

Texas Quetzalcoatlus

Could a thunderbird have a wingspan as large as an airplane? The largest known flying animal of all time was a pterosaur called the Quetzalcoatlus. It had a wingspan as big as a small plane (over 40 feet) and weighed about 190 pounds. Unlike many of the other pterosaurs, Quetzalcoatlus lived inland and probably fed on the ground like modern storks by hunting small vertebrates on land or in small streams.

The Quetzalcoatlus, interestingly enough, brings us back to Texas. The first Quetzalcoatlus fossils were discovered in Big Bend National Park, Texas, in 1972, just four years before the first sightings of the Texas “Big Bird.” Is there a connection?

Have there been pterosaurs hiding in Texas for the last 65 million years? Or could it be the publicity surrounding the discovery of Quetzalcoatlus four years before triggered the misidentification of large birds like the sandhill crane, brown pelican or the vulture? We may never know, because after the two-month flap of sightings in 1976, reports of the big birds dwindled. The pterosaurs, if they ever existed, seem to have gone back into hiding.

Perhaps not for forever, though. Six years later, on September 14, 1982, James Thompson was driving on a road near Los Fresnos, Texas, when he saw something large glide low over the highway just ahead of him. He stopped and stared at the animal that seemed to fly without moving its wings. Thompson reported the creature had a black or gray color. Its body appeared to be covered with a rough-textured skin. The wings, which were five or six feet across, had no feathers.

When he got home, Thompson looked up the animal in a book. The book said it was a pterosaur.

A Partial Bibliography

The Ultimate Dinosaurs, Edited by Katie Orchard, Parragon Books, 2000.

Unexplained!, by Jerome Clark, Visable Ink Press, 1999.
Copyright Lee Krystek 2003. All Rights Reserved.

 

What are the flying creatures reported in Texas?  Living dinosaurs?  Thunderbirds, of Native American legend?  Both?  Research it further, and you be the judge…