Please Also Visit our Sister Blog, Frontiers of Anthropology:
And the new group for trying out fictional projects (Includes Cryptofiction Projects):
And Kyle Germann's Blog
And Jay's Blog, Bizarre Zoology
Wednesday, 31 August 2011
Best Wishes, Dale D.
New Dogfish Species Found in Taiwanese Fish Market
The new species of Dogfish (shark) from Taiwan (Squalus formosasus)
[Other Dogfish species for comparison]
Posted on August 30, 2011 by Chuck
The Order Squaliformes, home to the dogfish sharks, is one of the most diverse groups of sharks currently swimming the oceans, second only to the Carcharhiniformes in sheer number of species. Within that order is the Family Squalidae, made up of the very familiar spiny dogfish Squalus acanthias (the star of this blog) and a bunch of species that look pretty similar to it. New species tend to pop up in this group, since most of these sharks look pretty similar and the majority of them live in the deep sea. Recently one species was “rediscovered” in plain sight; the North Pacific spiny dogfish Squalus suckleyi had been considered a population of S. acanthias but has been restored to species status by genetic analysis. Now, researchers have found an entirely new Squalus species in the Tashi Fish Market in Taiwan. Say hello to Squalus formosus.
White and Iglesias (2011) gave Squalus formosus it’s pretty cool-sounding scientific name after the geographic location where, so far, all the specimens have been found. “Formosa” is the Portuguese name originally given to Taiwan. This species shares its range with at least four other similar-looking dogfish, including wide-ranging species such as the shortnose spurdog Squalus megalops, shortspine spurdog Squalus mitsukurri, Japanese spurdog Squalus japonicus, and longnose spurdog Squalus blainville.
When a new species is found, the first few specimens are classified as “type” specimens. The first specimen collected is called the “holotype”, and the next few are referred to as “paratypes” and are used to verify the measurements taken on the holotype. And everything, I mean everything, gets measured. Measurements as obscure as the number of fin rays or number of teeth can be the difference between a totally different species and a regional variety. Taxonomy may be dry and tedious, but you can’t say identifying a new species isn’t hard work.
Luckily, both male and female type specimens were available at the Tashi fish market, and White and Iglesias went to work dutifully measuring everything and comparing it to the other common deepwater dogfish found in Taiwanese waters. So what does this beast look like and how does it compare to its close relatives?
Squalus formosus. From White and Iglesias (2011).
Other common dogfish from Taiwanese waters. A.) S. brevirostris B.) S. japonicus C.) S. mitsukurri. From White and Iglesias (2011).
The most obvious feature of Squalus formosus is that it’s very well-armed. The first dorsal spine is huge (nearly the height of the fin), juts straight up, and is rather broad at the base, and the second is nearly as wicked. As someone who has handled hundreds of Squalus acanthias, those dorsal spines intimidate me. This is one of the features White and Iglesias (2011) use to distinguish this new dag from those already known in local waters. The dorsal fins are proportionally large and more upright on S. formosus than other East Asian dogfish, and the first dorsal comes up over the pectoral fins, giving this new shark a somewhat athletic appearance, like a spinner shark with spines. The white margin on its tail is also distinctive, but is shared by S. mitsukurri, but here again that gigantic dorsal spine is what sets S. formosus apart; S. mitsukurri has an absolutely pathetic spine by comparison.
New species are not uncommon news in marine biology, but mid-sized shark that is apparently vulnerable to fishing gear is noteworthy, mainly because it illustrates the urgent need for scientists to get out there and ID stuff. This entirely new shark was not found by multi-million dollar efforts like the Census of Marine Life, it was found for sale in a fish market in Taiwan. This is why the apparent lack of taxonomists coming out of grad school is distressing. This isn’t some obscure invertebrate (though those small squishy critters are also important), this is a cool-looking 3-foot shark that is already experiencing fishing pressure, and we’ve just figured out what it is. Taxonomy is tough and seems boring, but it is important, dammit.
White, W.T., & Iglesias, S.P. (2011). Squalus formosus, a new species of spurdog shark (Squaliformes: Squalidae), from the western North Pacific Ocean Journal of Fish Biology : doi:10.1111/j.1095-8649.2011.03068.x
Tip o’ the hat to David for sending this my way
Abstract for Scientific description of the species:
Tuesday, 30 August 2011
Below it is a Wasserdrache or water-dragon: a traditional sea serpent but also the type of sighting to be expected in freshwater in Germandic countries, in the larger lakes (mostly in the sea but also sometimes in the larger lakes is specified). We are still talking the pre-1500s period mostly in these instances.
Blogger is playing me the funny little trick of not allowing my comments on older posts through again. No matter: whenever that happens, I can make another blog posting. I had some more comments about the diffusion of the dragon conventionalizationalised images being something different from the real animals involved, but I can save that for another day.
[Wyvern. Public-Domain Clip Art Coloured by DD]
[French Wyvern or Guivre from Wikipedia]
'Typhon' made a remark on my last gargoyle dragons article about the Guivre and I answered the remark to the best of my understanding then, that the name was the same as the Wyvern and not technically the same as the dragon, per se. I then did a little more research and it seems the French at one time were using 'Guivre' where the Germans would say 'wurm' for a serpentine creature without limbs or only with the front limbs. The word has in fact been used to refer to both the French version of the two-legged Tatzelwurm (sometimes with the cat head)
[Internet artwork featuring Tatzelwurm-shaped Guivre]
and sometimes for eel-like water monsters a dozen to two dozen feet long. Both of these are still in contrast to the larger snake-necked quadruped long-necked Gargouille water dragons, which are still some of the more distinctive exemplars of the type. Both of those uses have also continued down to more modern times and sometimes I think the older term has gone out of use but then revived more recently. The use of Guivre as a large serpentine creature definitely seems to be a more modern revival in some of the instances I saw on my recent internet searches.
[Guivre as depicted at Fantasy Artist Liza Phoenix's website]
'Guirve' appears to still be used locally as the name of some eel-like freshwater monsters sighted in France of more recent vintage, presumably including the same sort of sightings that Maurice Burton had mentioned. One comedian had even said that the Loch Ness monster was an old-time Vourive on vacation from France.
[This Boa at the top might be indicating short fins located on either side of the body just behind the head]
The large bestiary serpent called a 'Boas' (Boa) from French bestiaries of the mid-1400s
The Boas is a very large 'snake' seen in France, Italy, Monaco and on the Mediterranean islands, said to be fond of eating children. That probably
means that it was used as a nursery bogie to frighten small children into behaving better. This one looks very much like a large conger eel and is showing what looks like a lateral line. It is indicated as being 'As big as a tree.'
There is a very famous family crest for the Viscount family (various spellings) that shows a very large snake (called a Guivre but presumably the same as the Boas) swallowing a child (always feet-first). An older version of this is depicted on a stone wall and a more recent re-drawing of the family crest follows after that. Both images are from Wikipedia. 'Boas' alone is of course also a well-known family name, including in Latin America.
More commonly-printed depiction of The Boas also depicted as eating a child. From A Fantastic Bestiary and a public-domain image. There are still occasionally sightings of very large 'snakes' in the area, including a 30-foot-long 'Brontosaurus'-headed 'snake' seen on Sicily in the 1930s. That also sounds like the same sort of giant eel.
If this is actually a giant eel of the Megaconger sort, it is actually scaleless and the scales as shown on the artwork would be imaginary.
The Dragon being slain by Saint George is also shown as a large 'serpent' in Italian and French depictions from the 1100s. Legs and wings were added in later versions because they were 'expected' to be there from other, more contemporary depictions.
Best Wishes, Dale D.
Monday, 29 August 2011
In email@example.com, "montalban767"
I found the folowing item in The Marine Obsever volume 9 1932 page 91:
"The following is an extract from the Meteorological Log of S.S Peshawar, Captain A.E McBryde,Colombo to Suez.Observer Mr D.Meikle, 3rd Officer.
"May 26th,1931, at 11.55am a shark of unusual dimensions was passed on the port side.The Commander, who has been over 35 years at sea,and who sighted the fish,stated that he had never seen a shark of this size or type before.
"At first sight,owing to its bulk,it appeared to be totally oblivious to the presence of the ship,which gave us the impression that it was dying.On inquiry,however,it would seem that this listless conduct was normal,and in accordance with the habits of the Basking Shark.
"It was heading in the a direction at right angles to the ship`s course,and before reaching the beam position the mouth was seen to be in the usual position,i.e well underneath the head,and as we got nearer,this appeared to be unusually large,probably about two feet in width,and greatly resembling that of a cat fish,having the usual whiskery appendages hanging down from the lower jaw or lip.
" The shark was of a reddish-brown colour,and was estimated to be not less than 25 feet long.The ship passed only about 40 feet in front of it,and from here,the full width of the head was thought to be about 4 feet;and,as nearly as we could see,this width extended for a distance of about 8 or 10 feet along the body almost as far as the dorsal fin,which protruded some 5 feet out of the water.
"The top of the head was absolutely flat,and the widely spaced white eyes lent it the characteristic evil appearance of its species. Position of ship,Latitude 11 degrees 49 N., Longitude 51 40 E"
Cape Guardafui is the eastern-most point in Africa, the apex of that area called the Horn of Africa.
The original reply I made was that the shark having whiskers under the snout sounded like the group of shallow-water sharks called the nurse sharks. They are relatives of the bottom-dwelling woebegongs of Australia but are larger, swim at medium depths and are more nearly the same shape as regular sharks. Atlantic nurse sharks grow to about fifteen feet long so this one is about ten feet longer than that. The large dorsal fin is also unusual (it would not be so unusual if it was actually the tail fin: nurse sharks have long tail fins) and the colouration is also unusual. So I do think this is a bona fide unidentified species; a cryptid. It is highly unusual as described and I would like to hear any more reports of it, if there are any.
My correspondant (who is actually CFZ Blogger Richard Muirhead in a secret identity) subsequently sent me the information that Francois de Sarre had written to him:
'I don't know this shark with appendages from the mouth like a cat-fish :-) Maybe it could be the 'nurse shark' (Gynglimostoma cirratum), but that is usually smaller'
And so I made the reply:
'So he said what I said, basically. Nurse sharks are related to both ther smaller carpet sharks and the larger whale sharks, and are in some ways intermediate between them; and the nurse shark species in the Atlantic [G. cirratum] is larger than the one that is normally present in East Africa. There is also another kind of shark that is called a nurse shark but not related, and it has not the projections near the mouth. And you may most certainly convey my thoughts to Francois as well.'
Best Wishes, Dale D.
Comparison made by adjusting Atlantic nurse shark species upwards to 25 feet long and enlarging the dorsal fin: the tail would still be in the size reported for the back fin and so it is possible there was a confusion about that in the sighting. Original artwork is by Michael Brough and made for a public-informational brochure: Copyright © 1999 The Cincinnati Post. My version makes some alterations to the original.
Sunday, 28 August 2011
One of the specifically-named Gargoyle-type dragons of the North of France (Loire River area) was the Peluda or La Velue, which means The Hairy One. This one had the classic Plesiosaur description of a snake's head and neck threaded through a turtle's body, but also had as a defense a back full of spines like porcupine quills. It is plain enough to see that this is another maned Merhorse only the mane is not said to be made of hair it is said to be made of spines. Actually in most traditional descriptions, the mane is said to be of (keratinized or horny) spines instead of just hair, and in our culture we tend to think of the mane like a horse's mane and assume it is made out of just hair.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Peluda (sometimes called the "Shaggy Beast" or La Velue which is French for "Hairy One") is a supposed dragon or mythical beast that terrorized La Ferté-Bernard, France, in medieval times. It is said to have come from and lived near the Huisne river near the town. Despite the French origins, its more recognized name is Occitan —or any latin origin— for "hairy". Depending on the account, it had an ox-sized porcupine-like body["Covered with porcupine quills" probably an exaggeration for "having a crest like quills". The older depictions do not make the quills cover the body-DD] . Consistently, it was said to have these poisonous stingers that it could also shoot off its body, a snake's scaly neck, head, and tail, large, tortoise-like [sea turtle like?] body and legs, and a green color.
The lore proposed that the beast was denied access to Noah's Ark, yet survived the biblical flood by seeking refuge in a cave near the Huisne River. After many years, it returned to rampage across the countryside, wilting crops with its breath and devouring both livestock and humans. It was finally defeated after it killed a man's fiancée. He tracked it down and cut off its tail. This was the only vulnerable point on the beast, and it died immediately.[Heuvelmans notes in a case of a sea-serpent report when the creature was killed and its tail brought back that the tail is the least convincing part of the body to prove the story of a horrible beast-and it indicates a hoax to his way of thinking. The same could be said in this case-Dd]
The Peluda was said to be capable of the following feats, which vary between tales:
Searing breath that could wither crops.
Firing off its quills like arrows.
Invulnerability except for its tail.
Creating floods by stepping into rivers.
A single strike from its tail was lethal to a full grown man.
Breathing out fire as a typical dragon.
Spitting out a powerful stream of water
[It seems to me this started out as a typical waterspouting Gargoyle-Dragon, with the traditional power of water control ascribed to it. It would not be the searing breath that withered crops, but the presumed ability for it to withhold rain. most of the description "which vary between tales" would be later embellishments, although I don't doubt that it could kill a man with just a stroke of its tail.-DD]
Rose, Carol. Giants, Monsters, and Dragons: An Encyclopedia of Folklore, Legend, and Myth. W. W. Norton & Company. pp. 217, 289. ISBN 0-393-32211-4.
Shuker, Karl (1995). Dragons: A Natural History. Simon & Schuster, New York. ISBN 0-684-81443-9
The Shaggy Beast of La Ferte-Bernard, from Book of Imaginary Beings by J.L. Borges
See also: Gargouille
And while we are on the subject of snakeheaded and necked dragons, the Questing Beast of Arthurian tales seems to have a strongly Plesiosaurian shape without the quills, and there is some uncertainty as to what kind of feet it is supposed to have:
The Questing Beast seems to have been added on to Arthurian lore in the versions that were circulating in France at about 1300-1500, the end of the Middle Ages, but the type of dragon seems to be traditional in both France and England from long before then. It is a fourlegged and wingless dragon coloured like a leopard with a spotted tawny-red coat and a lighter belly: but all that goes to say is that it is very similar to the Sirrush.
The story goes that it makes a noise like a few dozen hunting dogs baying wherever it goes, which is a feature piously interpreted by the church fathers; and yet since the whole point of the story is that the creature is continually hunted but is never caught, the sound of the hunting dogs would be due to the hunting dogs that are always supposed to be pursuing it.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Questing Beast, or the Beast Glatisant (Barking Beast), is a monster from Arthurian legend. It is the subject of quests undertaken by famous knights such as King Pellinore, Sir Palamedes, and Sir Percival.
The strange creature has the head and neck of a serpent, the body of a leopard, the haunches of a lion and the feet of a hart. Its name comes from the great noise it emits from its belly, a barking like "thirty couple hounds questing". 'Glatisant' is related to the French word glapissant, 'yelping' or 'barking', especially of small dogs or foxes.
The questing beast is a variant of the mythological giraffe.
[This is also said of the Sechet, Sirrush and Serpopard. It is obviously incorrect in any of those cases-DD]
The first accounts of the beast are in the Perlesvaus and the Post-Vulgate Suite du Merlin. The Post-Vulgate's account, which is taken up in Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur, has the Questing Beast appear to King Arthur in Chapter 19 of Caxton's version, after he has had an affair with his sister Morgause and begotten Mordred. (They did not know that they were related when the incestuous act occurred.)
Arthur sees the beast drinking from a pool just after he wakes from a disturbing dream that foretells Mordred's destruction of the realm (no noise of hounds from the belly is emitted while it is drinking); he is then approached by King Pellinor who confides that it is his family quest to hunt the beast. After his death, Sir Palomide followed the beast....
The beast has been taken as a symbol of the incest, violence, and chaos that eventually destroys Arthur's kingdom [The many barking dogs are also said to represent individual sins-D]
Gerbert de Montreuil provides a similar vision of the Questing Beast in his Continuation of Perceval, the Story of the Grail, though he says it is "wondrously large" and interprets the noise and subsequent gruesome death by its own offspring as a symbol of impious churchgoers who disturb the sanctity of Mass by talking. Later in the Post-Vulgate, the Prose Tristan and the sections of Malory based on those works, the Saracen knight Sir Palamedes hunts the Questing Beast. It is a futile venture, much like his love for Sir Tristan's paramour Iseult, offering him nothing but hardship. In the Post-Vulgate, his conversion to Christianity allows him relief from his endless worldly pursuits, and he finally slays the creature during the Grail Quest after he, Percival and Galahad have chased it into a lake.
The Questing Beast appears in many later works as well, including stories written in French, Spanish, and Italian.
However, in a few stories, the symbolic meaning of the Questing Beast is much more benign. For example, in T.H. White's The Once and Future King, the Questing Beast is actually a misunderstood creature. There is, in fact, no good reason for Pellinore to be hunting him, and the Pellinore's long search for the beast epitomizes all the meaningless knightly pursuits encouraged by a chivalry grounded in the "might makes right" purpose.
The Questing Beast looks a good deal like the Egyptian monster Ameimat here.
Amended Deviant Art Contest Submission for an Egyptian Dragon. This was the closest thing I could find to a Sechet design on the internet so I simplified the dragon to bring it in line with the original Sechet design, then added some colours to the background to make it show up better. No slight is meant on the original artist, but this Egyptian Dragon design is more authentic. The Sechet is illustrated in E.A. Budge, The Egyptian Book of the Dead, quite near the start. Like all derived creatures it is supposed to be coloured like a leopard-tawny-red with darker spots and a lighter belly. It was the colouring associated with red that made the Sirrush to be known as The Red Serpent., and the mythical multiheaded Dragon of Revelation in the Bible is also red.
A very old Saharan water-monster, 10000 years old or more, marked near a water source. these were rather along the line of bunyips and depictions of them could commonly be confused with giraffes but not always so. The long legs represented rain or flowing streams and this one has rather an ostrich head and neck with a horse's tail at the rear. Note it does have four legs. At a very early age this representational water monster became confused with the giant water-lizard or Congo Dragon (depicted in parallel usually as a recognisably llizard-shape but shown as 12 to 24 feet long to scale with human figures)
The Water Monsters here became Serpopards in earliest Egypt and Mesopotamia and identified with Sechets and Sirrushes: the original idea may have been that they were also the same as Mokele-mBembe because they were identified with control of the water supply. They are also close to some grafitti-dragons in Europe of the Megalithic age which are also four-legged and Sirrush-like: some of these show up on very old rock art in Spain. Some of the "Brontosaurs" shown on South African rock art are also basically of the Sirrush design-but NOT in Central Africa for some reason.
Pallate of Narmer being the best-known representation of "Serpopards". The Saharan Water-monsters developed a specifically-paired stylisation probably around 6000-4000 BC. At first it was the tail that went all the way around in a circle, and because the body was rather oblong with feline-like feet, this stylisation came very close to the North American representations of Water-Panthers or Mishipizhws.
The Paired-entwined-necks version is not represented exactly that way in the Sahara but it seems to borrow from the design of the cadyseus. The Saharan examples I have seen show the two bodies divided down the middle at the spine and the creatures mirror-imaged on either side: the original idea seems to have been that one of them is male and the other is female. So presumably they are "Necking" and not wrestling.
That the same design simultaneously appeared also in Mesopotamia is also significant. There is also a stylized version from the early Balkan cultures and this has the four-legged bodies forming a box, the dragon heads on either side, and a dish or basin in between.
Yet another Egyptian depiction of "Serpopards"
Sechets have several similar names in Egypt and one surprising fact is that a very similar name turns up as a sea monster in the Northwest Coast area! One of the other names in Egypt is Sent (ends in hard-t so I suppose it should be "Sentt") which means "The Terror"-presumably in reference to the fact that it is a frightening creature. The Hieroglyphic for "Sent" at one time looked very much like a Plesiosaur but later it was "corrected" to be a cooked goose!
On this seal of Tutmose III shown below the Sechet design is not standing up like a quadruped bt it is stretched out horizontally for swimming. Yet the (not nearly so log) snakelike neck, four limbs on a shorter body and this time a crocodile like tail, are all of similar proportions. The limbs are more flipperlike (the left fore one is showing on the opposite side at "a") and the whole creature is more recognisably Plesiosaurian (as indeed this example was already labelled) "c" is the creature's head turned back in a half-circle.
Several Roman Legions adoted the Dragon as their emblem: most likely it was the windsock-dragon of Dacia (that could well be the personification of a destructive comet) But in the case of legions stationed in Egypt, it seems that some soldiers used the Egyptian dragon or Sechet, the one thay was most like the Sirrush of Ishtar gate. and because of their favoritism for this emblem some unusual associations came about. One result was that Sirrush-like dragons turned up afterwards in Tang China, just about in the Dark ages BUT appearing in China at the same time as Nestorian Christians and Goddess depictions which resembled the Virgin Mary.
For those of us that read Peter Costello's book In Search of Lake Monsters the next depiction is easily recognised: the two neck-entwined dragons were found in the mosaic still preserved at a temple complex at Lydney Park in Gloucestershire. It seems Nodens was identified with Mars, the War God of the Romans, and the dragons were imported by military men (although carrying over a marine decorative theme) But it is clear the dragons are carrying on the Serpopard tradition, and some similar depictions of intertwined dragons appear so late as to be contemporary with the voyages of Christopher Columbus.
One final thing is that the four legged "Red Dragon" or Sirrush seems to be the basic underlying reason for the dragon on the flag of Wales, with only the addition of wings modifying the original design very much. If Folklore is any indication, there were originally two dragons, one white and one red, and facing each other in contention, but the red dragon supporters won out and kept their own dragon on the flag, leaving the white one off. Possibly the white dragon was originally meant to be female.
Best Wishes, Dale D.
Saturday, 27 August 2011
Expert discredits Kettle River brothers’ Bigfoot footprint find
By: Jana Peterson, Duluth News Tribune
Published August 27, 2011, 12:00 AM
It was a little over a year ago when the Siltanen brothers found the footprints. Checking for bear bait on a Monday morning, it wasn’t bear tracks they found in the freshly plowed field. In fact, they weren’t sure what they found.
“We found about 75 of these footprints,” Robert Siltanen said. “My brother had plowed the field Friday and seeded it Sunday. We found the footprints on Monday morning.”
Siltanen said the prints measured 4 inches wide and 11½ inches long, with a 42-inch stride from heel to toe.
“There have been (Bigfoot) sightings in the (Kettle River/Automba) area,” Siltanen said, adding that he knew of at least three more-recent ones and recalled people in high school talking about Bigfoot sightings. “So we started snooping around, and we called all the neighbor ladies to see if they’d seen anything.”
The really strange part, Siltanen said, was the fact that the footprints seemed to appear 60 feet from the outer edge of the field, then continue toward the woods. There were no prints leading onto the field.
“Who the heck knows,” he added. “It’s one of those unexplained situations.”
He made casts of the footprints using plaster of Paris, which are displayed in an old shoebox. The prints are quite different: The left one looks almost deformed, with the smaller toes practically stacked on top of each other.
The brothers, who are the third generation in their family to farm their land in Kettle River, said they also hear strange noises early in the morning, sometimes a scream, other times a low moan.
Robert Siltanen imitated the moan.
Roger Siltanen laughed.
“It was hell walking to the deer stand after that,” Roger Siltanen said. “I don’t know how I would react to seeing one.”
Robert Siltanen said a man named Jim Hebb from a Minnesota Bigfoot organization came and looked at the prints three weeks later and guessed they could belong to a juvenile Bigfoot.
However, in a response to viewing photographs of the footprint casts together and compared to Robert Siltanen’s bare foot, Idaho State University professor Jeff Meldrum said the prints look very human.
Meldrum, an anatomy professor whose specialty is primate and human locomotion and the adaptation of the foot for walking on ground, is well-known as an expert on reported Bigfoot casts. He initially became interested in doing serious research on the legendary North American ape after seeing about 35 to 45 clear prints in the ground in 1996.
“My forte is footprint evidence,” said the professor, who also published a book, “Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science,” in 2006. In endorsing the book, noted primatologist Jane Goodall said, “Jeff Meldrum’s book ‘Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science’ brings a much-needed level of scientific analysis to the Sasquatch — or Bigfoot — debate.”
Although his recent film and television credits include Monster Qwest and National Geographic programs, the Idaho State University professor has not worked with the “Finding Bigfoot” television cast … at least not directly.
“They did send some prints after they found the first Georgia footprints,” Meldrum said. “But I
couldn’t get back to them in time. I concluded they were bear tracks. One of the hosts raved about those tracks, that they were some of the best he’d seen.
“It’s unfortunate,” he added. “You get these amateur ‘experts’ making silly pronouncements, and the skeptics use it as ammunition to discredit all the evidence that comes to light.”
On the subject of Sasquatch and footprints, Meldrum said the more-credible Bigfoot prints have several things in common:
•They exhibit a flat, archless foot that shows a greater degree of flexibility in the mid-foot.
•They have a much greater width and length than a human foot.
•The toes tend to be more squarely aligned; there’s less of an angle from the big toe to the little toe. There’s also less of a size difference between the big toe and the smaller toes, although the big toe is still bigger than the rest.
Meldrum has no trouble making the call on the Siltanen casts on the basis of two photographs.
“The photo of the man [Robert Siltanen] with the cast is the most telling,” Meldrum said. “There are so many resemblances [between his foot and the print] … I’d be surprised if it’s not his foot or someone closely related to him.”
Robert and Roger Siltanen both insist the footprints were not their own.
“We might (stretch the truth), but we wouldn’t do this,” Roger Siltanen said. “It’s still a mystery if they (Bigfoot creatures) are really out there or if it’s someone that’s had too much to drink … or it’s an elaborate hoax.”
Unfortunately the casts are just a mite too precise and I agree with Meldrum: if the man shown holding the cast did not make the tracks himself, it has probably got to be someone related to him. It most certainly is the cast of a human of Western European descent who has become accoustomed to wearing shoes, at the very least.
Best Wishes, Dale D.
Thursday, 25 August 2011
[Response to Robert Lindsay's Post on the Erickson Project]
August 24, 2011 at 9:19 AM
Apologies for chiming in so late on this one but I am sort of tied up at the moment with a little thing called “war” over here in balmy Iraq and just playing catching up.
Hate to differ with you Robert, but there are some inconsistencies and outright misinformation in your statements.
ROBERT: “…we can report that the Erickson Project Bigfoot DNA study has isolated DNA from 20 separate Bigfoot individuals from around North America…Of the 20 separate individuals, Adrian Erickson’s samples represented six individuals…One of the samples was called “unknown hand.” This was hand of a “something,” but no one knows what…Whatever this strange object was, it was not a bear paw.”
TODD: “No one knows what?” I am pulling out my B.S. flag on that one! Mr. Monroe has been packing around his “Hand of Unknown Origin” (HOUO) in a 1-gallon jar for years like some sort of side-show attraction. I saw it at least five years ago at a meeting in Portland where I met Don for the first time. It was also the first time I ever met Tom Biscardi (yes…they were associates).
SIDE BAR: I nearly lost it as I recall, with great amusement, as Tom was working the audience of perhaps a dozen people (corded microphone in hand). The cord was draped across a table cluttered with numerous BF “artifacts” including the HOUO [cue X-files theme song]. Unbeknownst to Biscardi, his cord had wrapped around this vessel of rotting flesh and home-made embalming fluid. If you ever watched Tom speak, he is very animated. Every time he paced to my left, the cord would tighten around the jar and drag it another inch closer to the table’s edge! Those of us that witnessed what was about to happen (and not being able to shut Tom up long enough to warn him), began to back away from the table; not wanting to get any of “it” on us, let alone inhale what was sure to be a horrendously foul odor. Fortunately for Tom, and much to my disappointment, someone ran to the table and unwrapped the cord just before the HOUO was to become the SOUO (Stench Of Unknown Origins). Now THAT would really have qualified as “Breathtaking News from the Erickson Project!” But I digress.
About six months later, I was sent a life-size color photo and an x-ray taken of the infamous HOUO from a source I who will remain anonymous. They asked me to use my resources to determine just what the real origin was. I took the photo and x-ray to Professor Paul Ruedas, a biologist at Portland State University, who kindly humored me as we sought the answer to this riddle. Not wanting to lead him, I did not dare let him in on what it was alleged to be from. He seemed genuinely excited about having this little mystery to solve.
It didn’t take him very long.
Also having earned a degree in paleontology, he was most interested in the x-ray. Using calipers, he carefully measured each bone (phalanges, metacarpals, and carpal bones) and made calculations on a tablet. There may also have been small remnants of the ulna and radius, but don’t quote me on that. Next he began to measure the distance between each joint and making more calculations. He then announced, “I believe I know what your mystery animal is.” He led me over to a large set of drawers and pulled one out, then began to take all of the same measurements again using actual bones from the drawer. He then invited me to join him as he rushed off to the 2nd floor of the Sciences Building. The 2nd floor was a menagerie of full-mounted skeletons of everything from squirrels to a gray whale suspended from the ceiling and running nearly the width of the building. Some mounts were posed in dioramas (like the mountain lion skeleton pouncing on the black-tailed deer skeleton in a forested setting. It was in one such diorama that we came upon an intact North American Black Bear. He unlocked the glass case and laid the HOUO x-ray next to the bear’s paw. Aside from the claws, which were obviously cut off of the HOUO, it was a perfect match both in symmetry and size. I thanked the professor and, before I left, admitted to him what I was hoping it might be. To my surprise, he became very fascinated and confided that he, and some of his associates, held open the possibility of the existence of Bigfoot!
I returned the photo and x-ray to my contact and gave him the bad news. That summer, I attended an annual Bigfoot gathering and was surprised to see Don Monroe there (in a Scottish kilt I believe?). It was then that I fully explained to him why he no longer needed to drag around the HOUO any longer. In fact, since possession of bear parts (especially gall bladders and paws) is a felony, he might want to get rid of it.
So for you to say that, “This was hand of a ‘something,’ but no one knows what.” is simply untrue. Professor Ruedas, I and Mr. Monroe know precisely what it’s origin is. With all of your alleged experts on hand (no pun intended), I am amazed you couldn’t collectively come to the same conclusion. While it may take a biologist to figure it out, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist Robert (OK…bad analogy).
Dr. Ketchum won the bet. I suggest that you boys pay up!
ROBERT: Don Monroe found the hand in a dump somewhere in Montana or Idaho.
TODD: If I had discovered such a vile piece of flesh, I think I would remember which state I found it in. Exactly how many of these suckers does Don have?
ROBERT: A skinned bear paw that has the claws removed and resembles a human hand to a great deal.
TODD: I think you’re on to something! In fact, a skinned and field-dressed bear (sans head) looks eerily like a human body. The bottom line is that the HOUO is, in reality, the POKO (Paw Of Known Origin).
ROBERT: It’s not known if Ketchum’s lab even tested the hand for DNA.
TODD: In the beginning you clearly stated, “…we can report that the Erickson Project Bigfoot DNA study has isolated DNA from 20 separate Bigfoot individuals from around North America…Of the 20 separate individuals, Adrian Erickson’s samples represented six individuals…One of the samples was called “unknown hand.” Now you say, “It’s not known if Ketchum’s lab even tested the hand for DNA.”
Which is it sir?
SSG Todd M. Neiss
Joint Base Balad, Iraq
"Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Anyone Who Threatens It"
Todd had posted this message in a Yahoo discussion group we both belong to (ForestGiants) and I asked for permission to run it here. Todd said "Go For It!" and so I am running it. But after I got it finished this far. Kathy Strain (in the same group) posted a link to a site where the analysis of the "Hand of Unknown Origin" was dicussed in detail.It turns out the "Hand" was known to have come from a black bear as long ago as 2006.
As you can see, Kathy was credited with posting the message to that other message board. It was good of her to remember it to us and the page the link goes to deserves a good once-over especially for readers interested in Forensic works.
Best Wishes, Dale D.
The new species of monkey discovered on the expedition belonged to the 'Callicebus' genus © Julio Dalponte
Scientists discover new monkey species in Amazon
Mato Grosso, Brazil: Scientists on an expedition backed by WWF-Brazil to one of the last unexplored areas in the Brazilian Mid-west have discovered a new species of monkey.
The monkey belonging to the Callicebus genus was found in the northwest of Mato Grosso State and is one of the great results from the studies undertaken during an expedition in December 2010 to the Guariba-Roosevelt Extractive Reserve.
In May, WWF-Brazil and the scientist who made the discovery, Julio Dalponte, officially handed over the specimen to the Emílio Goeldi Museum in Belem, Para.
“By integrating this animal to a reputable collection such as that of the Goeldi museum we have taken an important step towards gaining better knowledge of the fauna in the northwest Mato Grosso region which is still a puzzle with many pieces missing”, Mr Dalponte explained.
Dalponte remarked that the discovery of the new species increases the potential biodiversity of the northwest of Mato Grosso and with it the importance of conservation in the area.
“We do have some information on Protected Areas surrounding this region but little information on this part of the State itself. That means we must work to complete this map and fill in the gaps in our information on the region” said Dalponte.
“Never been observed before”
The primate specimen was found in an area between the courses of the Guariba River and the Roosevelt River, two of the most important water courses in the north-western part of Mato Grosso state.
Dalponte noted “This primate has features on its head and tail that have never been observed before in other titi monkey species found in the same area”.
The animal will be the object of studies designed to provide a detailed description of its characteristics to mammalian zoology experts and primatologists worldwide.
The study of the species will take about six months to conclude. The process of publishing the discovery in specialised scientific journals can take up to one year from the time the papers are submitted till the time they are approved for publication by the editing committees of scientific journals and reviews.
The discovery was made during a 20 day expedition in December 2010 to four Protected Areas in the north-west of Mato Grosso state.
The aim of the expedition was to gather information to support the improvement of the management plans for these areas.
The expedition team of 26 people was made up of researchers and support staff and together covered around 950km of forest and also discovered suspected new fish and plant species and five animal species under threat of extinction.
The area the expedition team explored lies within an area known as ‘Deforestation Crescent’ which is overrun with illegal loggers and occupied by huge cattle farms.
Violence associated to land tenure conflicts and lack of health or education services and electricity supplies are very common throughout the area. On top of that there are environmental problems like predatory forms of fishing, contamination of river water, deforestation, unchecked expansion of agricultural activities and lack of surveillance and inspection on the part of the state and federal environment authorities.
Living Amazon Initiative
The Amazon region comprises the largest rainforest and river system on Earth. It consists of over 600 different types of terrestrial and freshwater habitats, from swamps to grasslands to montane and lowland forests, and it houses an incredible 10% of the world’s known species, including endemic and endangered flora and fauna.
More than 30 million people living in the Amazon depend on its resources and services – many millions more living as far away as North America and Europe, still are within the Amazon’s far-reaching climatic influence.
The Amazon is one of WWF’s priority places for conservation and so WWF has developed the Living Amazon Initiative, a comprehensive approach to conserving the largest rainforest and river system.
WWF has been at the forefront in protecting the Amazon for over 40 years and is using this experience to work with governments, local communities and others to ensure conservation and sustainable development throughout this vital ecosystem.
[The United States and Canada retain the original meaning of WWF, which stood for World Wildlife Fund: the rest of the world uses the initials without needing to explain their meaning. Of course I entirely endorse the work of the WWF to preserve the environment in Brazil and in other places. Here are also some associated links:]
To my understanding, F.W. (Ted) Holiday was the first author to suggest that the bas-relief dragons rather represented a local unknown animal akin to the Loch Ness monster. He said this on the basis of how the head and neck sat at the top, a position which reminded him of the Loch Ness Monster and Longnecked Sea-Serpents. He said that the lower part of the representation including the limbs was imaginary and based on preconceived notions of what the limbs must be like. And he mentioned that other such dragon representations showed the birdlike limbs in front and the lionlike ones in back, or otherwise showed all four limbs as being those of a big cat. In this much I have found his remarks to be true. Not everything he said on the subject jibes with my understanding, and that includes his notion that the original creature is a sort of immense worm and that the mythology attached to the Euphrates Dragons was that they were necessarily evil and demonic. (see The Great Orm of Loch Ness)
The dragons were originally called Mushushu in Sumerian, "Adorned Serpents" (Otherwise interpreted as "Glamourous Serpents") The Semitic Akkadians (Ancestors of the Assyrians) rendered the name as Sirrush. [Actually meaningless in either language] "Adorned Serpent" may easily be recognised as the same as Heuvelmans' category of "Merhorse" It may also be automatically assumed that we are talking about the males of the species, gramatically speaking. The Mushushes were important as being the cultic symbol of the greater Mesopotamian God Bel-Marduk (as seen at left) and terracotta plaques showing the Ishtar Gate dragons were evidently sold to travellers as souvenirs (example from an internet art dealer's online catalogue shown below)
The basic design for the Sirrush deives from the pre-existing iconology of a creature called Sechet in Egyptian Mythology and commonly depicted as a cross between a serpent or crocodile and a leopard. The design is probably from the days of a wetter Sahara and dates back to Pre-dynastic days. At the very dawn of both Egypt and Mesopotamian Old Kingdoms there was a diffusion of an adaptation of the design into something called a "Serpopard" as depicted on the famous Pallate of Narmer. At that point, the design may have gone from describing a large lizardlike creature to describing a Longnecked creature like the Mokele-mBembe. There is a brief mention of the matter in the Congo Dragon discussion on this blog:
And I have mentioned the matter on Karl Shuker's blog as well. When I get a good copy of the Saharan Rock-art examples, I shall go into the matter more fully here in a separate blog posting.
On this terracotta example it can be seen that the birdlike hind feet are not too important as a defining characteristic of the type. It can also be seen that the head on the Ishtar Gate versions of the dragons simplify the view by showing a profile and showing only one apiece of two pair of ununsual protruberances-a set of spiky vertical horns and a set of horizontal curlicues represented as a spiral in the back of the head of the Ishtar Gate example.
It is also probably worth noting that the nose of the Ishtar Gate example seems wrinkled with a set of several transverse bands across it, and that the spiky horns are set between the eyes in that version.
There are some other and older depictions of the Dragon's head alone that make the shapes of these protrusions clearer. A bronze Dragon's head now on display at the Louvre is one often-reproduced example. This has an almost African appearance but does include some unexpected additional details. This time the spiky horns are at the back of the head but more importantly there is a pair of circular openings on the top of the head and located to the rear of the eyes that I interpret as the Euryapsid skull openings.
Furthermore, I expect that the curlicues are only a mistake made from recopying older cylinder-seals and other artwork, and that they are a repetition for different symbols also meant to indicate the same Euryapsid openings behind the eyes. In some of the other older representations, the upright spikes are represented with the horizontal circles around them.
Holiday also points out that the Ishtar Gate Dragon is depicted the same way as the Dragon Goddess Tiamat (With the same Loch Ness Monster head and neck) BUT Tiamat does not have the substantial legs attributed to the other. In fact there are hardly any legs to speak of on Tiamat (I also have some cylinder-seal pictures which show "Dragon Wings" as long and pointed, and looking very much like Plesiosaur flippers instead of usual wings)
This is a very interesting frieze made during the Assyrian domination of Phoenicia in the late 8th century BC and showing phoenician longboats (Also Dragonships with the standard "Longneck" figureheads) loading on lumber under the watchful eye of their Assyrian overlord. Among the interesting facets of the scene is the almost incidental inclusion of a Longnecked Sea Serpent in the background (Presumably the original for the Sea Dragon the ships were supposed to resemble)
The "SeaSerpent" part would be only the top part of the back showing: as usual and like an iceberg, the greater part of the body must be below water. I indicate the commonly-reported Plesiosaur-shaped body outline in this comparison.
The story behind this last representation is usually given as follows by the standard sources:
"Between 711 and 709 BC the king of Assyria (King Sargon II) was sailing in the Mediterranean Sea when he stated that he saw a sea serpent." Please note that the standard sources never ascribe this event to his illustrious namesake, Sargon The Great, who reigned nearly two thousand years earlier.
As published in The Anomalist 13, cryptozoologist Ulrich Magin examines, as he concisely says in the title of his article, “Sargon II’s Sea Serpent Sighting: The First Sighting in Cryptozoology?” Ulrich Magin says in his opening:
The Assyrian King Sargon had the first ever [first-person sighting on record]sighting of a sea serpent. Bernard Heuvelmans, in his book In the Wake of the Sea-Serpents, writes: “Thus we learn that Sargon II, who reigned in Assyria from 722 to 705 B.C., saw a sea-serpent in the Mediterranean when sailing to Cyprus. This, so far as I know, is the first mention in history of a particular sighting of the subject of this book.” This information is of particular interest, as it is generally assumed that the history of the sea-serpent starts with Olaus Magnus‘ 1539 reference to such an animal on the Norwegian coast in his “Carta Marina.“
A historical overview of this monarch is outlined in this public-domain internet source:
Shalmaneser died before Samaria was captured, and may have been assassinated. The next Assyrian monarch, Sargon II (722-705 B.C.), was not related to either of his two predecessors. He is referred to by Isaiah, 2 and is the Arkeanos of Ptolemy. He was the Assyrian monarch who deported the "Lost Ten Tribes".
"In the ninth year of Hoshea" (and the first of Sargon) "the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria, and placed them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes." 3 In all, according to Sargon's record, "27,290 people dwelling in the midst of it (Samaria) I carried off".
While Sargon was absent in the west, a revolt broke out in Babylonia. A Chaldæan king, Merodach Baladan III, had allied himself with the Elamites, and occupied Babylon. A battle was fought at Dur-ilu and the Elamites retreated. Although Sargon swept triumphantly through the land, he had to leave his rival, the tyrannous Chaldæan, in possession of the capital, and he reigned there for over eleven years.
Trouble was brewing in Syria. It was apparently fostered by an Egyptian king--probably Bocchoris of Sais, the sole Pharaoh so far as can be ascertained of the Twenty-fourth Dynasty, who had allied himself with the local dynasts of Lower Egypt and apparently sought to extend his sway into Asia, the Ethiopians being supreme in Upper Egypt. An alliance had been formed to cast off the yoke of Assyria. The city states involved Arpad, Simirra, Damascus, Samaria, and Gaza. Hanno of Gaza had fled to Egypt after Tiglath-pileser came to the relief of Judah and broke up the league of conspirators by capturing Damascus, and punishing Samaria, Gaza, and other cities. His return in Sargon's reign was evidently connected with the new rising in which he took part. The throne of Hamath had been seized by an adventurer,named Ilu-bi´di, a smith. The Philistines of Ashdod and the Arabians being strongly pro-Egyptian in tendency, were willing sympathizers and helpers against the hated Assyrians.
Sargon appeared in the west with a strong army before the allies had matured their plans. He met the smith king of Hamath in battle at Qarqar, and, having defeated him, had him skinned alive. Then he marched southward. At Rapiki (Raphia) he routed an army of allies. Shabi (? So), the Tartan (commander-in-chief) of Pi´ru 1 (Pharaoh), King of Mutsri (an Arabian state confused, perhaps, with Misraim = Egypt), escaped "like to a shepherd whose sheep have been taken". Piru and other two southern kings, Samsi and Itamara, afterwards paid tribute to Sargon. Hanno of Gaza was transported to Asshur.
In 715 B.C. Sargon, according to his records, appeared with his army in Arabia, and received gifts in token of homage from Piru of Mutsri, Samsi of Aribi, and Itamara of Saba.
Four years later a revolt broke out in Ashdod which was, it would appear, directly due to the influence of Shabaka, the Ethiopian Pharaoh, who had deposed Bocchoris of Sais. Another league was about to be formed against Assyria. King Azuri of Ashdod had been deposed because of his Egyptian sympathies by the Assyrian governor, and his brother Akhimiti was placed on the throne. The citizens, however, overthrew Akhimiti, and an adventurer from Cyprus was proclaimed king (711 B.C.).
It would appear that advances were made by the anti-Assyrians
to Ahaz of Judah. That monarch was placed in a difficult position. He knew that if the allies succeeded in stamping out Assyrian authority in Syria and Palestine they would certainly depose him, but if on the other hand he joined them and Assyria triumphed, its emperor would show him small mercy. As Babylon defied Sargon and received the active support of Elam, and there were rumours of risings in the north, it must have seemed to the western kings as if the Assyrian empire was likely once again to go to pieces....
Isaiah warned Ahaz against joining the league, "in the year that Tartan 2 came unto Ashdod (when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him)". The Tartan "fought against Ashdod and took it". 3 According to Sargon's record the Pretender of Ashdod fled to Arabia, where he was seized by an Arabian chief and delivered up to Assyria. The pro-Egyptian party in Palestine went under a cloud for a period thereafter.
Before Sargon could deal with Merodach Baladan of Babylon, he found it necessary to pursue the arduous task of breaking up a powerful league which had been formed against him in the north. The Syro-Cappadocian Hittite states, including Tabal in Asia Minor and Carchemish in north Syria, were combining for the last time against Assyria, supported by Mita (Midas), king of the Muski-Phrygians, and Rusas, son of Sharduris III, king of Urartu.
Urartu had recovered somewhat from the disasters which it had suffered at the hands of Tiglath-pileser, and was winning back portions of its lost territory on the north-east frontier of Assyria. A buffer state had been formed in that area by Tiglath-pileser, who had assisted the king of the Mannai to weld together the hill tribes-men between Lake Van and Lake Urmia into an organized nation. Iranzu, its ruler, remained faithful to Assyria and consequently became involved in war with Rusas of Urartu, who either captured or won over several cities of the Mannai. Iranzu was succeeded by his son Aza, and this king was so pronounced a pro-Assyrian that his pro-Urartian subjects assassinated him and set on the throne Bagdatti of Umildish.
Soon after Sargon began his operations in the north he captured Bagdatti and had him skinned alive. The flag of revolt, however, was kept flying by his brother, Ullusunu, but ere long this ambitious man found it prudent to submit to Sargon on condition that he would retain the throne as a faithful Assyrian vassal. His sudden change of policy appears to have been due to the steady advance of the Median tribes into the territory of the Mannai. Sargon conducted a vigorous and successful campaign against the raiders, and extended Ullusunu's area of control.
The way was now clear to Urartu. In 714 B.C. Sargon attacked the revolting king of Zikirtu, who was supported by an army led by Rusas, his overlord. A fierce battle was fought in which the Assyrians achieved a great victory. King Rusas fled, and when he found that the Assyrians pressed home their triumph by laying waste the country before them, he committed suicide, according to the Assyrian records, although those of Urartu indicate that he subsequently took part in the struggle against Sargon. The Armenian peoples were compelled to acknowledge the suzerainty of Assyria, and the conqueror received gifts from various tribes between Lake Van and the Caspian Sea, and along the frontiers from Lake Van towards the south-east as far as the borders of Elam.
Rusas of Urartu was succeeded by Argistes II, who reigned over a shrunken kingdom. He intrigued with neighbouring states against Assyria, but was closely watched. Ere long he found himself caught between two fires. During his reign the notorious Cimmerians and Scythians displayed much activity in the north and raided his territory.
The pressure of fresh infusions of Thraco-Phrygian tribes into western Asia Minor had stirred Midas of the Muski to co-operate with the Urartian power in an attempt to stamp out Assyrian influence in Cilicia, Cappadocia, and north Syria. A revolt in Tabal in 718 B.C. was extinguished by Sargon, but in the following year evidences were forthcoming of a more serious and wide-spread rising. Pisiris, king of Carchemish, threw off the Assyrian yoke. Before, however, his allies could hasten to his assistance he was overcome by the vigilant Sargon, who deported a large proportion of the city's inhabitants and incorporated it in an Assyrian province. Tabal revolted in 713 B.C. and was similarly dealt with. In 712 B.C. Milid had to be overcome. The inhabitants were transported, and "Suti" Aramæan peoples settled in their homes. The king of Commagene, having remained faithful, received large extensions of territory. Finally in 709 B.C. Midas of the Muski-Phrygians was compelled to acknowledge the suzerainty of Assyria. The northern confederacy was thus completely worsted and broken up. Tribute was paid by many peoples, including the rulers of Cyprus.
Sargon was now able to deal with Babylonia, which for about twelve years had been ruled by Merodach Baladan, who oppressed the people and set at defiance ancient laws by seizing private estates and transferring them to his Chaldæan kinsmen. He still received the active support of Elam.
Sargon's first move was to interpose his army between those of the Babylonians and Elamites. Pushing southward, he subdued the Aramæans on the eastern banks of the Tigris, and drove the Elamites into the mountains. Then he invaded middle Babylonia from the east. Merodach Baladan hastily evacuated Babylon, and, moving southward, succeeded in evading Sargon's army. Finding Elam was unable to help him, he took refuge in the Chaldæan capital, Bit Jakin, in southern Babylonia.
Sargon was visited by the priests of Babylon and Borsippa, and hailed as the saviour of the ancient kingdom. He was afterwards proclaimed king at E-sagila, where he "took the hands of Bel". Then having expelled the Aramæans from Sippar, he hastened southward, attacked Bit Jakin and captured it. Merodach Baladan escaped into Elam. The whole of Chaldæa was subdued.
Thus "Sargon the Later" entered at length into full possession of the empire of Sargon of Akkad. In Babylonia he posed as an incarnation of his ancient namesake, and had similarly Messianic pretensions which were no doubt inspired by the Babylonian priesthood. Under him Assyria attained its highest degree of splendour.
He recorded proudly not only his great conquests but also his works of public utility: he restored ancient cities, irrigated vast tracts of country, fostered trade, and promoted the industries. Like the pious Pharaohs of Egypt he boasted that he fed the hungry and protected the weak against the strong.
Sargon found time during his strenuous career as a conqueror to lay out and build a new city, called Dur-Sharrukin, "the burgh of Sargon", to the north of Nineveh. It was completed before he undertook the Babylonian campaign. The new palace was occupied in 708 B.C. Previous to that period he had resided principally at Kalkhi, in the restored palace of Ashur-natsir-pal III.
He was a worshipper of many gods. Although he claimed to have restored the supremacy of Asshur "which had come to an end", he not only adored Ashur but also revived the ancient triad of Anu, Bel, and Ea, and fostered the growth of the immemorial "mother-cult" of Ishtar. Before he died he appointed one of his sons, Sennacherib, viceroy of the northern portion of the empire. He was either assassinated at a military review or in some frontier war.
Myths of Babylonia and Assyria, by Donald A. MacKenzie, , at sacred-texts.com
Tuesday, 23 August 2011
Works for me: I'll reprint the CFZ posting here.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
DALE DRINNON: TRADITIONAL NORTHWEST-COAST SEAMONSTERS
Sisiutl is a very important Totem of the Northwest Coastal area under a variety of names. It is a peculiar thing because of the artwork in the area is known to "Unfold" subjects and show both sides at the same time. So the Sisiutl is spoken of as "Two_headed" because the head shows in profile on either end.
Sisiutl is also important as evidence of TransPacific diffusion because there have been several experts that have said it is the direct transposition of the very old Chinese figure of T'ao-T'ieh (Taotie) which is also basically a large central mask and incorporating two smaller "Dragon" figures in the design.
The Sisiutl would not really be a creature with a head on each end, it would be a creature where the head end and the tail end only look the same (or similar)
[Petroglyph of Sisiutl]
I believe in the New World the design of the Sisiutl is basically like some sea-turtle masks which use the shell as the area where a human face goes and the flippers are arranged around it. In this case, the basic idea is that there is a big "Turtle" body and then a longer snaky head and neck on the one side and then again a snaky tail on the other. The classic description of a plesiosaur as a "Snake threaded through the body of a turtle" springs to mind
[Tom Hunt Sisiutl, Left-hand side: Sisiutl is Euryapsid]
[Another Sisiutl with Plesiosaur Paddles]
In short and without belabouring a point too much, I think Sisiutl is a conventionalized way of depicting the same Longer-necked Sea-serpent types still reported more recently and sometimes called "Cadborosaurus". The one "Sis-Explained" diagram indicates a row of "Fins" down the back that obviously mean to show a "String-of-buoys" type of Sea-serpent report.
I have darkened over a Sisiutl depiction in the "Silhouette" illustrations to show what such a creature might look like in profile and from above (lengths of the neck and tail vary a great deal in such depictions so exact proportins are uncertain)
And I include a reference illustration of a conventional plesiosaur just to keep it handy.
[Thalassodracon, a Plesiosaur]
The Sisiutl is also closely connected to salmon and is said to govern salmon runs; they are said to be of "One nature" with the salmon.
Ivan Sanderson spoke of Longnecked creatures pursuing salmon runs and even "Herding" fishes into denser schools for easier feeding: he had said that one reason Longnecked creatures went inland was in pursuit of salmon runs and that they are occasionally seen following such runs in fresh water. I assume this meant in the Columbia river system but he might also have meant the Loch Ness Monster is supposed to favor a diet of salmon.One place he mentioned this is in Investigating the Unexplained.
Best Wishes, Dale D.
[As mentioned back in January, the Sisiutl continues on today as the Cadborosaurus, one of the Sea-serpents commonly spoken of as being of probably Plesiosaurian identity. The name "Cadborosaurus willsi" is however invalid as it is attached to a poorly-preserved carcass of dubious nature. Below are two photos of "Cadborosaurus, the first one a still from the recent Alaskan video, and at the bottom is a beachside reconstruction of Caddy.]
Not a bad Plesiosaur for the Caddy model either, except that I would place the flippers back a bit and under the humps. Just a reminder: "Caddy" properly refers to the maned "Merhorse" males and the unmaned Longneck females are called "Amy".