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Friday, 20 May 2011

Follow-up to PNW Giant Salamanders

Siberian Shaman's Drum Showing a Possible Giant Salamander Illustrated with other more Mundane Animals.

A reader posted a link to his sighting after the original article on PNW Giant Salamanders went through. Because the information seemed important to me, I'll post the whole text here (Let me know if this is some kind of a problem)

Laguna Creek wetlands Salamander
Posted on Tuesday, 2 March, 2010 2 comments
Columnist: Paul Dale Roberts

Most of my neighbors know that I am truly an odd fellow. I am a paranormal investigator, Fortean investigator, Esoteric detective and part time monster hunter. It appears I may have a monster in my own backyard. The date is February 3, 2010 and I received the following call.

X-Files Ringtone.

Paul: Hello?

Caller: Paul, my name is Jeffrey Sanchez (caller provided his real name, but does not want his real name published in this article). I am your neighbor, I live on -----------. I was hiking along the wetlands trail near Francesca Street and Frye Creek and I swear I saw this 5 foot salamander, it had light yellow type of stripes, if you want to call them stripes, I guess it was more camouflage than anything else, the rest of his body was green. I saw him in the mud alongside the wetlands. I am telling you the salamander was HUGE! I couldn't believe my eyes! I watched it for about 7 minutes and finally it went into the tall grass. When I first saw it, I thought it was a snake. This thing was HUGE! Have you heard anything like this?

Paul: Nope. Not in our area. Hmmm...hold on. I am doing some researching on the Internet. If I remember right, there was a large salamander I think that was seen in Mount Shasta, if my memory serves me right.

After I talked with Jeffrey about this large Salamander, in which I will call the Laguna Creek Wetlands Salamander, there is a similar salamander that was seen in the Trinity Alps. The Trinity Alps is the 2nd largest wilderness area in California. The creature that was spotted in the Trinity Alps was later known as the Trinity Alps Giant Salamander. When the first reports started to come in, Tom Slick led an expedition for this cryptid and was unsuccessful.

After I received this call, I called my colleague Shannon 'Ms. Macabre' McCabe, Monster Hunter. Shannon and I on the very next day, waded through the Laguna Creek wetlands trying to locate this creature. I brought along my binoculars, flashlights, laser light, walkie talkies and 2 long bamboo sticks to brush aside the tall grass and to poke into certain areas for this creature. Shannon with her high rubber boots, got entangled in some brush. The walkie talkies came in handy as I went over to her location and assisted her in getting some of the sticky weed out of her hair.

While we were in the Wetlands we observed 3 rabbits, 2 lizards, an assortment of birds, including the white whooping crane, something that moved very fast through the tall grass, I couldn't tell what it was, but imagined if it were a salamander, it could not have moved that quickly. Shannon brought her black poodle Rocket and I brought along my Corkie named HPI (pronounced Hi-Pee) and Pika, a Jack Russell Terrier. Pika became distracted and started re-digging a gopher hole, hoping to pull out the elusive gopher with his teeth. Rocket and HPI were unsuccessful in finding any kind of salamander type of creature.

After about 2 hours of wading through the Wetlands, we called it a night. Shannon and I will conduct a few other investigations in these Wetlands to see if there is any substance of truth to Jeffrey Sanchez' claim. I can only wonder if the Laguna Creek Wetlands Salamander can be related to the hellbender found in the Eastern part of the United States or if the Laguna Creek Wetlands Salamander can actually be the Trinity Alps Giant Salamander. The Trinity Alps Giant Salamander was actually seen in 1939 at the Sacramento River near the West Sacramento embankments. Could the Trinity Alps Giant Salamander somehow migrated from the Sacramento River area to the Elk Grove Laguna Creek Wetlands? It would seem logical and the distance is not that far.

Some people have theorized that the Trinity Alps Giant Salamander is an abnormally large group of Dicamptodon Pacific Giant Salamander. Who knows, but I can say that Jeffrey Sanchez tells a compelling and intriguing story. His story is very consistent. What is also unique about the area of Jeffrey's sighting is that neighboring high school kids think this area is haunted. Two high school kids said that they saw a ghostly stagecoach. Also, the clumps of Eucalyptus trees were placed in strategic locations in the Wetlands for settlers from a long time ago to set up camp. The trees would provide the settlers shelter. The trees were transported here from Australia.

If I have a monster in my backyard, I hope to one day find it. Are you ready Shannon, to wade through the mud again? Let's do this!

Paul Dale Roberts, HPI General Manager

Paranormal Cellular Hotline: 916 203 7503 (for comments on this story).

If you have a possible investigation call: 1-888-709-4HPI

Sometimes the weight of the whole world is on my shoulders...I just need to work out more! Paul Dale Roberts.

Article Copyright© Paul Dale Roberts - reproduced with permission.

First of 2 comments:
There's the giant European salamander of course, Tatzelworm. There's even a photograph somewhere.. Attached File(s)
Tatzelwurm.jpg (4.95K)
Number of downloads: 1

This post has been edited by Smugfish: 02 March 2010 - 12:34 PM

[2nd of two comments not specifically commenting on Giant Salamanders]

The photo file does not seem to work, however we have also recently published Tatzelwurm info and the average dimensions given for the larger range of reports does match the Giant salamander very well.

In the Eastern United States there are also scattered reports of "Giant Hellbenders" but only on and off again in certain locations. We hear of them historically in the Ohio River but not enough to say that they might still be living there now. In parts of California the reports are consistent and have been consistently coming out of the same areas for decades. That sounds like a much more sure thing. And some of the Giant Oriental salamanders are definitely black or dark brown with irregular yellow markings.And they are definitely known to be the larger relatives of our usual Hellbenders (Same family)

Because it is pertinent here, I shall reprint my first blog devoted to Tatzelwurms, posted for the CFZ blog in September of 2009. Among other things it illustrates parallel creatures from Siberia (Top) and Mongolia, and the information was cited by Darren Naish during his discussion of Giant Salamanders and mentioning Ulrich Magin's theory. The comparison between a Giant Salamander and the Hellbender was included in the original article.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009
DALE DRINNON: Looking at the tatzelwurm

Mongolian Dragons, Slab found in the Altai Mountains, from an Internet site on Petroglyphs

The last issue of PURSUIT that I ever received had part 1 of a two-part article on Tatzelwurms. It was Volume 22, whole number 85, date not listed, and despite repeated requests to the then editor I was never able to learn if the part 2 was ever published. It had an illustration of an Austrian tombstone allegedly depicting a pair of Tatzelwurms that had struck a farmer down by poison. The Tatzelwurms are shown as fairly ordinary lizard-shaped creatures of large size; perhaps human size. The original was lost and I have a suspicion that the farmer died of fright rather than of any poison. It was from this tombstone (or "votive stela from some shrine") that Ulrich Magin formed the opinion that the Tatzelwurm was the same size and shape as the Japanese giant salamander, but of more terrestrial habits. This was published in an earlier issue of PURSUIT.

I follow a similar theory, but not all Tatzelwurm reports are alike. Apparantly two legs or four legs are regularly reported, but the four legs are in majority. If it is something like a giant salamander, then the rear legs can be positioned in such a way that they are not apparent (see the following drawing after Young, Life of the Vertebrates, a standard reference work)

The proper genus name of the giant salamanders is Andrias, by the way. The name was first given after a famous fossil example was named "Homo Diluvi Testis" (Man who Witnessed the Flood)

The article in PURSUIT no. 85 was by Luis Schonherr and includes a reference to the "Allergorhai-Horai" on page 9, as information given to Roy Chapman Andrews on his expedition to the Gobi desert in the 1920s. Schonherr considered the story to be much the same as the European stories of the dreadfully poisonous Stollenwurm or Tatzelwurm. More recently, further information has made that identification seem less likely. However, there is still some indication for some sort of a Tatzelwurm-like creature being reported in the Altai mountains region.

While I was on the same search that turned up the Altai petroglyphs which resembled Irish elk, I found a depiction of another tombstone that seems to show two Tatzelwurms on it. This was from a site in the Russian language.

Similar creatures are depicted on Siberian shamanic equipment.

I had also mentioned on another occasion that certain "Pictish" monuments depict what appears to be a similar lizard-shaped "Dragon" from Scotland and Ireland in the Dark Ages. I consider certain of the Water-monsters in that area to be of the same type.

During the middle to late part of the Age of Mammals, the giant salamanders seem to have inhabited a large territory of Europe, Asia and North America: and although reports of the type are in much more spotty distribution in the modern age, they still occur from time to time all over that same general area.

Furthermore, their skeletons can be entirely cartiliginous under certain circumstances (due to mineral deficiencies), which means that their remains "Melt away without any trace" as some of the traditional stories have it. And it is also possible that as salamanders their skin does indeed secrete a noxious toxin (That would be Ulrich Magin's statement and not mine)


  1. Here is a possible explanation why the giant salamander was seen at the Laguna Creek Wetlands. This is an email I received and it appears a Tiger Salamander was released near the Wetlands:

    From: James Minkel []
    Sent: Sunday, April 04, 2010 8:33 AM
    Subject: re:giant salamander

    I used to raise tiger salamanders, I even had one specimen for 12 years. After awhile the neighbors all knew what I was doing. One day two kids showed up with a pail with a towel covering it. They asked if I was the "salamnder guy" and if I wanted the salamnder they caught. It turned out to be almost two feet long and as thick around as an apple. I kept it for several weeks but I was unable to get it to eat, so In turned it loose in a nearby park. Just though you should know. Tiger salamanders do not normally get half this large.


  2. OK, if you think that a salamander five feet or even two feet long could be the same as tiger salamander ordinarily less than a foot long, that's your call. I find that is perhaps too big of a stretch. And there ARE other reports of Giant salamanders in the area that match the description of the Asiatic kind and not the decription of a tiger salamander.

    In the scale drawing in the original article republished above, the Hellbender is usually much larger than a tiger salamander, and yet see how much smaller it is than the giant salamander.

    On the other hand there are some curious reports of what sound like very large but unidentified tiger salamanders (in yellow and red marked colour morphs) in the Northern parts of South America, around the rim of the Amazon Basin and possibly including Lake Titicaca (including reports of "Axlotls" in the region)

    It is possible that they have been artificially introduced there.

    Best Wishes, Dale D.

  3. To put this into a better perspective, the suppsed tiger salamander two feet long is three times the length of a normal tiger salamander and probably twenty times the weight (Owing to the square-cube law) and therefore my feeling is that either the "Salamander guy" is exaggerating somewhat or else he was talking about a specimen of an unknown species od salamander.

    Best Wishes, Dale D.


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