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Sunday, 27 November 2011

American Neodinosaurs as"Chupacabras"

"Living dinosaurs are also sighted in places that seem quite odd, such as America. In dry, remote regions of the American West, such as Utah, there are persistent reports of animals described as miniature examples of Tyrannosaurus rex that stand about three feet tall. This animal sometimes crosses roads in front of cars, and is generally said to run away from people. Witnesses are quite flabbergasted by the experience and often state that they doubt their own sanity. These reports come from enough people who apparently have no connection to each other and no knowledge of the miniature T-rex myth that some researchers think there must be a real animal behind the legends. Whether such a real animal would prove to be a very odd lizard or an actual dinosaur is impossible to prove unless someone brought in a body".
The Cryptid Zoo

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

What is the chupacabra?
Is it real?
The original story comes from Puerto Rico.
The picture below is the description of the beast.
It looks half man and half lizard.
2 people said this is what the chupacabra looks like.
Here's another picture of the Chupaca....Wait a minute!
That's not a chupacabra. What is that?
Do you remember? This animal is not native to Florida.
It's an invasive species....
[Followed by a Mangy Coyote, the REAL Chupacabra...]

 This iguana-like (Agamid) lizard is common in many parts of South Asia and it is also commonly called the Bloodsucker lizard or just Sucker lizard. Some skinks are also beleieved to suck blood and are likewise called "Suckers" in parts of the United States and Australia.
This harmless Gecko lizard is called a "Chupacabra"

Reptillian "Chupacabras" reports generally

Dinos in the U. S. A.
A Summary of North American Bipedal “Lizard” Reports
Chad Arment
North AmericanBioFortean Review Volume II, Number 2

In an interview with Mark Chorvinsky (1990), Fortean investigator John Keel stated
"If you want to hunt dinosaurs, you might as well go to Texas or chase any of our lake
monsters and things. There are something like twenty[!] lakes that supposedly have
monsters in them here in the United States. And yet these idiots will be living next to
one of these lakes and they'll go out to Africa and talk to the pygmies and the pygmies
will say, "Oh, sure, we see them all the time." The natives are hip to all this, they
have all these good dinosaur stories. And then they'll come home and say 'We've got
evidence that there are dinosaurs in Africa.' Well, you can get the same evidence in
the Ozarks."
While I won't personally criticize those who decide to investigate the Congo or
other lands in search of strange creatures, it is true that North America is often
overlooked. No doubt it's easier to imagine undiscovered species living in exotic
swamps and forbidding jungle refuges. There are those individuals in North America,
however, who also encounter animals that are strange to them, animals that just
don't seem to be part of our natural landscape. Reports of large bipedal lizard- or
dinosaur-like animals are in this category. These reports are sporadic and uncommon,
but they do exist. I don't personally hold that these are proof positive that some sort
of dinosaur exists in the United States, but I do consider them interesting. There
certainly should be more investigation into these reports than has so far been
accomplished. I haven't seen a summary of published reports of this type, so I
decided to put this together. After some consideration, I have decided not to include
in this list reports of scaled primate-like creatures or 'lizard-men.' I am also not
including reports of oversized quadrupedal lizards that are often described as
'Ohio River Region
1) Brookes (1978) detailed several newspaper accounts from the late 1800's
from a small town in Warren County, Ohio. On the banks of a small creek near
Crosswicks, two young boys were fishing when one was attacked and carried off by
a 'snake with legs' which attempted to drag the boy into a hollow tree which was
approximately 26 feet in diameter at the base. A trio of men heard the cries and
rushed to help, rescuing the boy. The animal disappeared into the large hollow tree.
Later that day, a group of sixty men came and began cutting down the tree. The
animal jumped from the tree, erected itself to between twelve and fourteen feet in
height, and raced away on its hind legs. The men described it as "from thirty to forty
feet long, and sixteen [!] inches in diameter, and the legs four feet long and covered
with scales as the body. Feet, about twelve inches long and shaped like a lizard's, of
black and white color with large yellow spots. Head about sixteen inches wide with
a long forked tongue, and the mouth inside deep red. The hind legs appeared to be
used to give an erect position, and its propelling power is in its tail." Similar tales
circulated years later from Shaker Swamp, west of Lebanon, Ohio, but these latter
were thought to be told to scare away berry-pickers. I have not yet located the
original newspaper reports, and it is very possible that this was a newspaper hoax.
[The dimensions as stated are patently ridiculous, especially if you try to draw what is desribed]
2) In 1975, there were several sightings of a large lizard-like animal near an auto
body shop in Trimble County, Kentucky, near Canip Creek. Hall (1991) records a
witness' description of the animal as a giant lizard with a red forked tongue, large
eyes, black and white stripes with "quarter-size orange speckles over it" Another
witness estimated the lizard's length at about 15 feet. Most of the reports indicated a
quadruped, but Coleman (1990) noted that "some witnesses told Mark A. Hall that
the creature ran bipedally." Hall (1991) reviewed these reports, suggesting that
the animal was some sort of amphibian and related to some other quadrupedal
lizard-like animals in the Ohio River region. He did not mention any reports indicating
bipedality.[thus throwing doubt on the validity of the statement it was a biped-DD]
 Whatever this animal was, it was certainly not an amphibian. Not only
are the characteristics clearly reptile-like, but a large amphibian would quickly
dehydrate in the July sun, especially underneath the sun-heated metal of wrecked
cars. My initial reaction to this story was that the description is close to that of a
common pet lizard, the tegu, if one is willing to claim that the size has been strongly
exaggerated and that the reports of bipedalism were false.[This is a safe statement-DD]
At present, however, I'm wondering why the description of this creature so closely
matches the one seen almost a hundred years earlier just across the Ohio River in Warren
County, Ohio. The coloration given in both reports is almost exactly the same, but the
earlier report was a local tale that was never widely published. Whatever the case, more
investigation into these reports is necessary before any conclusions can be made.
3) Along some railroad tracks in New Kensington, Pennsylvania, in 1981, four young
boys spotted a "baby dinosaur" hiding by a sewer drain. One 11-year-old boy caught
the animal, but it squealed and he dropped it. After it escaped, he told police that it
looked like a green lizard, was about two feet tall, and had a long tail. The police
chief told the press that "the creature was described as about 3-feet-tall, two arms
and a tail, and hunched over on two legs." (It's likely that the size of the animal was
greatly exaggerated with repeated tellings.) A drawing of the animal from the front
exaggerates a "lizard-man" bipedal posture, but does note a sort of 'crest' on the
head. No one else saw the animal, but a great deal of publicity led to a small media
circus and a lot of scared parents. The unfortunate thing about this report is that after
it was initially investigated by a UFO researcher, this story was used in a variety of
"strange green underground dweller" theories. Now, I donÕt have anything against
UFO researchers, but the obvious explanation seems to have been overlooked here.
A moderate-sized, occasionally bipedal, green lizard with a crest is a pretty good
description of one popular pet lizard, the green basilisk. In the early 1980's, a wide
variety of exotics began to appear in pet shops. Within a few weeks of this particular
article's appearance, for example, the same newspaper ran an article on pet tarantulas.
It is very likely that someone purchased a basilisk, which was let go or escaped (they're
quick little buggers when they want to be). As exotics were not as widely advertised,
and as kids back then didn't have the advantage of seeing strange reptiles on
Discovery or Animal Planet, it may easily have been mistaken for a "baby dinosaur."
The Texas Tales
 4) Jimmy Ward (1993) claimed to have heard tales of a "giant lizard that walked
on its hind legs and whose voice sounded like the roll of distant thunder," called the
Mountain Boomer. The stories came from west Texas, usually near the foothills of
Big Bend National Park. The lizard was usually greenish or brownish, the forelegs
were very small, with large robust hind legs. After investigating these tales, Ward
spent time in that area and met one individual who had just witnessed the animal.
The lizard was approximately 5-6 feet tall, was eating roadkill, and ran away with its
long tail straight out behind it. Frankly, I'm more than a tad skeptical of these reports.
The Big Bend area was a favorite snake-hunting area before Texas laws restricted
that activity, but I've never heard of any such tales from individuals who used to
constantly road cruise there. Guys who jump from moving cars onto unidentified
snakes (and that doesn't even begin to cover how crazy some snake hunters are)
aren't likely to be put off running down a large bipedal lizard. I tried to track down
Ward to determine if there was any validity to his stories, but it appears that he died
two years after the article was published. (Ward was apparently an active UFO
researcher in Texas, but I have not yet met anyone who can vouch for his credibility.)
I've yet to come across any similar folklore in this region, but Keel (1994) did note
very briefly that a "dinosaur" was supposed to have run a car off the road in Texas in
the early 1970's. (John Moore kindly forwarded a short mention on this by Keel in the
INFO Journal.) Honestly, I'm surprised that we don't see a lot of obvious hoaxes from
this region, just because of all the "lost valley"-type dinosaur movies, such as 1969's
"Valley of the Gwangi." I should also mention that the generic term "mountain
boomer" is usually applied to a small species of lizard, Crotaphytus collaris. It isn't
impossible that a common name may be applied to more than one type of animal (it
happens all the time, actually), but I have never seen the term used for anything but
a collared lizard beyond Ward's article. If he was able to find such reports fairly
easily, why donÕt we see more of them? Or is no one looking? I don't know.
Hopefully someone will decide to investigate this further.
[In a long and repetitive passage, Arment states-repeatedly-that he never heard
of any such reports before, never heard of any Folklore about such a creature, and
never heard of it being called a "Mountain Boomer"-all of which is negative evidence
that really doesn't signify. I can vouch for the fact that there are other reports, there is
Folklore, and use of the term "Mountain Boomer" to describe such creatures goes back
to the late 1800s at least-but all of this applies to central Texas (Cross Timbers region)
and up to the Ozarks: one early use of the term "Mountain Boomer" occurs in the book
"Hoaxes" as presumably a Hillbilly Tall Tale. That creature was said to come
up "fourteen hands high" and was "As long as a well rope" which is not really helpful]
5) In a similar vein, I received a post from Nick Suzik concerning a possible
episode of Unsolved Mysteries or Sightings involving a small dead dinosaur. Nick
"I was talking to a friend I've met since being over here [Hawaii] about cryptids
and he was relating some stories his mother told him from her growing up in Panama.
Some interesting things there that I'll get back to you later for but what was REAL
interesting is out of nowhere, meaning I didn't bring up the topic, he started telling
me of a program on TV, either Unsolved Mysteries or Sightings that talked about a
dead "baby dinosaur" being found. He couldn't quite remember the exact facts
because it was about 2 years ago he saw it, but the story went like this:
Cattle farmer lived in this area all his life, nothing unusual ever happened. One
day he and his wife go horse-back riding up in the mountains, he passes by what
looks like a strange dead lizard. Tries not to think much of it but points it out to his
wife. The wife showed more interest which resulted in them both examining it. The
first impression was that it was a toy, but why would a toy be found way up in the
mountains? They became convinced that whatever this creature was, it was unique
enough to keep the corpse and photograph it. The program even showed the photo
and my friend tells me it looks like something right out of Jurassic Park, almost too
hard to believe, which made the toy theory somewhat understandable. I also think
he meant it looked like a toy because of how limp the body was. So the couple
contacts the local college or university, and from here things become too classic as
these stories go. The 'expert' contact is so interested he buys it from them and they
never hear from him again. They still had the photo but made the mistake of selling
the story to (again, no certainty on which magazine) possibly it was the Star he
recalled but was uncertain. Anyway, as a result no one believed them afterwards...
Unfortunately he couldn't remember what state, but assumed it Texas or Arizona
because the background was all desert.
I'd be interested in hearing from anyone else who may have seen this episode,
just to fill in a few more details on the story. The tale is, like Nick pointed out, highly
suspicious, but bipedal lizard tales are rare in the U. S., so it is interesting from that
perspective, at least.
The Colorado 'River Lizards'
6) Clark (1993) gave the details on a report of five 'baby dinosaurs' that a woman
claimed to have seen when she was a young child in May 1935, near Pagosa Springs,
Colorado. She stated that a local farmer shot one a few months later. She described
it as "about seven feet tall, was gray, had a head like a snake, short front legs with
claws that resembled chicken feet, large stout back legs and a long tail." She claimed
that she saw a dark green one in a cave in 1937, and that many years later, in October
of 1978, she saw one while driving home as it crossed a field near the vicinity of the
same cave.
7) In January of this year, Cincinnati investigator Ron Schaffner received an email
from an individual from Pueblo, Colorado, concerning a small bipedal lizard-like
animal. He stated:
"I live in Pueblo, Colorado. I moved out here when I was six and since then I've
heard stories of the prairie devil, the pig man and the mini-rex; there's even old
Indian legends of evil river demons. You get older and you try not to believe in
monsters, however not even the high school kids will have a kegger down by the
river without a raging fire and a lot of people. It's not like people don't see things,
people see them they just don't make a big deal of it. If you live by the river like me
you just get used to it. For some reason you can't find them in the winter or fall. I
guess they're like a snake? Regardless,  me and my friend were riding his dirt
bike at the river (the Fountain river is right by my neighborhood; it floods every year
and every year islands on the river get washed away and new ones made and every
year the Fountain curves thirty or forty feet closer to my neighborhood! It's also where
the prairie devils are suppose to live a perfect environment too, what with all the
islands, some as big as four or five football fields long, and full of forested areas and
wet lands) when we observed something move across the clearing in front of us. It
was three to four feet long, greenish with black markings on its back, and a yellowish-
orange under belly. It walked on its hind legs, never dragging its tail, its front limbs (I
call them limbs because they were more like arms than anything) were smaller in
comparison to the back ones and it had four or three claws/fingers. I'm not sure for
it was seen at a great distance. It also had some kind of lump or horn over each eye.
When it noticed our presence it let out a high pitched screech or some sort of bird
chirping, that pierced my ears, and then took off... Immediately we rode back to my
house and I grabbed my camera. We took a picture of its tracks (three toes, couple
inches in diameter) with a Marlboro Red by it's side for comparison. I have seen
nothing since then, only heard of sightings. One of my other friends said he had a
few pictures of the creature, so I took a look at them and to my surprise, I saw
pictures of the exact same thing I saw. It took some convincing and bribing but I
obtained the photographs. I was going to give them to the weekly word news, or
some other  tabloid, but for some reason I thought you guys may take it more
seriously???" [I make out at least fout toes on the tracks myself, outer toe slightly offset]
The photos are extremely vague and hard to distinguish without viewing them
in magnified formats. Ron passed them along to myself and a couple of other
investigators, asking for opinions. I don't know what the others noted, but Ron and I
agreed that the photos could easily have been made with dinosaur models. The
dinosaur model hobby is growing rapidly, and there are a number of realistic models
out there. (See the magazine Prehistoric Times.)
I emailed the individual and suggested that if these animals were real, he would
need to get better evidence, preferably in the form of a specimen. I figured that that
would be the end of it, and that we'd probably not hear anything further. In April,
however, I received another pair of photographs, apparently two scans of the same
image. This is by far the clearest image of this type of cryptid that I've seen. There is
no mistaking this as a misidentification. Either it is a fake or it is the real thing. The
individual stated that it took him a while to acquire the image and that he didn't
know when or where it was taken, just somewhere in Colorado. The river system,
he said, flows across the whole state. (I should also mention that he called these
animals 'river lizards.')

Looking at the photo, it would be very easy to jump to the conclusion that this is
good evidence for such an animal. Unfortunately, that isn't the case. It is just too
easy to fake photos and create models, even if they look incredibly life-like. In no
case should a photograph or video be accepted as anything other than circumstantial
evidence. (This is one problem I have with folks who are spending so much energy
on trying to photograph Bigfoot; it doesn't matter how good the photo is, it isn't going
to prove anything.)
 I do have some problems with the way the lizard looks. I don't see why the tail wouldn't just hang straight down if the animal was recently shot, or
why the mouth would still be open to that extent. Most dead reptiles are very limp
immediately after death. Frankly, this could very easily be a rubber model. I did ask
the individual to consider catching a specimen, so who knows? It really shouldn't be
difficult to catch such a reptile if it exists.
I should also note that I have heard from another source that the term 'river dino'
has apparently been used for such an animal. Some friends of mine in the reptile
trade had done business a few years ago with an individual who had collected some
Colorado species and had offered to catch some 'river dinos' for them. At the time,
they had not heard of such an animal and declined due to lack of funds, but told me
that the description was similar to the ones that Ron's contact had given.
I would be very interested in hearing about other tales of bipedal lizards in North
America. I vaguely recall hearing about one in South Carolina, but that may be a
poorly-recalled 'Lizardman' report. I'd also be very interested in hearing about any
'Ozark dinosaurs.' Keel aside, I've not heard of anything from that region beyond
the gowrow folklore. At present, I don't see any good evidence for such critters within
the North American continent, but I do see plenty of questions which need to be
answered and numerous areas for potential research. Whether or not such animals
exist, the reports need to be collected and made available for public access.
Brookes, H. @1978. Crosswick monster. Folklore Series, No. 11. Lebanon, OH: The
Warren County Historical Society.
Burke, M. 1981. 'Green thing' sparks rumors. Valley News Dispatch (New KensingtonTarentum-
Vandergrift, PA) (March 5): A1-2.
Chorvinsky, M. 1990. Cryptozoo conversation with John A. Keel. Strange Magazine
(5): 35-40.
Clark, J. 1993. Unexplained! Detroit, MI: Visible Ink Press.
Coleman, L. 1990. Other lizard people revisited. Strange Magazine (5): 34, 36.
Hall, M. A. 1991. Natural Mysteries. 2nd revised edition. Bloomington, MN: Mark A.
Hall Publications and Research.
Keel, J. A. 1994. The Complete Guide to Mysterious Beings. New York: Doubleday.
Ward, J. 1993. The mountain boomer. Far Out 1(4): 45-46.
[Note: Email has been slightly edited for spelling and punctuation. Photos have
been cropped or resized. Photos are used within the scope of 'fair usage' for
scientific, educational, and not-for-profit research.]
John Keel was pointedly badmouthing Roy Mackal in his book on the Mokele-Mbembe: John Keel also knew about certain items in Ivan Sanderson's personal files that Chad Arment did NOT know about, but I filled Chad in on the matter later. In the 1940s and 1960s, Sanderson received some letters from different parties alleging that something very like the small dinosaur "Ornitholestes" standing about 3-4 feet tall and about 6-7 feet long had been seen inm the Ozarks area, frequently dashing across roads at night. The resemblance to that particular dinosaur was especially insisted upon. And the rumours go back into the 1880s, because they are the source for some claims later printed in the famous book "HOAXES".

Here is the passage from Jerome Clark's Unknown which Chad Arment quoted above:

In a letter published in the August 22, 1982, issue of EMPIRE Magazine, a Sunday Supplement, Myrtle Snow of Pagopsa Springs, Colorado, wrote that in May 1935, when she was three years old, she saw " five baby [small] dinosaurs" near her hometown. A few months later a farmer shot one after it took some of his sheep (a true "Chupacabras!") "My grandfather took us to see it the next morning." she said "It was seven feet tall [or rather, seven feet long as stretched out dead on the ground, naturally; although the tail could reasonably also have made it longer depending on how it was measured. The standard way to measure a lizard does not include the tail-DD], was gray, had a head like a snake, short front legs with claws that resembled chicken feet, large stout back feet and a long tail"
[I would prefer to say that seven feet was the full length, but I do allow that it is possibly not what the witness meant]
But these were not her only sightings. There were two more: (1) "I saw another one in a cave in 1937, but it was dark green" And "On October 23, 1978, as I was returning from Chama, New Mexico, about 7:30 PM in a driving rain, I saw another one going through the field where I had seen one in 1937"

  --Clark, Jerome, Unexplained!, Visable Ink, 1993, pg.104

Ohio River Report 1 from Chad Arment Article, reconstruction from the given measurements by DD

Some selections from the "Cryptozoologist" on Chupacabras:

[Starting with Chilean Reports...]Though the Chilean government concluded that wild dogs were responsible for the attacks, it didn't stop the rumours. Three El Chupacabras "eggs" had been discovered in the desert.
But the most common of the [older] reports described a creature known as a "Grey" alien humanoid, mainly because of the shape of its head and eyes, and what most [Latin-American] eye witnesses relate as the body of a bipedal, erect dinosaur... Its head is oval in shape and has an elongated jaw. Two elongated red eyes have been reported, together with small holes in the nostril area, a small, slit-like mouth with fang-type teeth protruding upwards and downwards from the jaw. The creature has two small arms, each with a three-or-four-fingered clawed hand and two strong hind legs, again with three-or-four claws. [Tracks attributed to Chilean Chupas possibly do inclued rhea (Native ostrich) tracks, but the more usual types of tracks look like human hands with the thumbs on the outside but more usually indistinct and uncertain about the number of toes-DD].
In November of 2005 , A motocross racer named Kolt Jarrett spotted a medium-sized to small-sized creature in Floresville, Texas, At the Cycle Ranch Motocross Park. He was with seven other friends in a golf cart on trails near the back of the park. Kolt spotted it in tall grass and small saplings which it was folding over like it was as strong as an ox. Kolt described it as having spikes down its back with a wierd shaped head, with possibly having horns. It was a brownish red and had wierd shaped objects, possibly wings, on its sides.[possibly only loose skin on the sides as otherwise reported on other occasions-DD] Kolt belived it to be the El Chupacabra.
In Albuquerque, New Mexico, A 42 year old woman (Rebecca Tuggle) was on the way to her car when she heard a mysterious hissing noise. As she turned around she was terrified to see a creature partially resembling a lizard, a kangaroo, and a bat, with "rainbow-colored" [irridescent?]spines running down its back. The creature stood 3-4' tall and grunted [or hissed] at her. The creature's hissing noise nauseated her and she nearly fainted. As with other sightings, the eyes were said to glow red and the animal smelled of a sulfuric substance. [Simple suggestion-it eats eggs and that makes the smell of sulfur, probably emitted out its rear end-DD] 

[I believe that the creatures are basically harmless and herbivorous but that they are also scavengers that will not pass up a corpse if they find one: what they would be interested in primarily would be the stomach contents out of herd animals such as goats or sheep. They are not vampires and the "Bloodless" appearance of the dead animals is mostly due to a natural process. Most of the animal kills and mutilations would be done by wild (feral) dogs, coyotes and other canids-DD.]

When early explorers spoke of Iguanodons, they meant something like THIS

Karl Shuker mentions an account of an Iguanodon encountered along the Magdalena River in Colombia, but no details are available. More recently an expedition into Venezuela's "Lost World" plateaus reported brief sightings of large lizards the size of Komodo dragons which the members of the expedition thought might be the origin of reports of "Dinosaurs" in the area. This was reported in a contemporary issue of PURSUIT (Lorenzoni, Silvano, "More on Extant Dinosaurs, PURSUIT vol. 12, Summer 1979, p. 105 ff)

Reports of creatures like bipedal dinosaurs occurred at various parts of Brazil in the mid-to-late 1800s and then again in the Orinoco area in the early twentieth century. Bernard Heuvelmans in his "Annotated Checklist of Apparantly Unknown Animals..." (CRYPTOZOOLOGY vol.5,1986) includes an entry for "Large amphibious reptiles, usually said to be dinosaur-like (but resembling more ornithopods-that is, Iguanodons and duckbills-than sauropods) or more rarely Plesiosaur-like, in the vast area of the Northwest onf the continent stretching over [Inland, jungle parts of] Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela and the Brazilian state of Amazonias" ( p. 11) [The same creatures can be said to be reported in Central America and even into Mexico as the Chan ]

In 1931, Harald Westin reported seeing a creature along Brazil's Rio Marmore . He said it was 20-foot long and resembled a legged boa constrictor. Leonard Clark reported that he heard tales when travelling up the Rio Perene in Brazil and was told of herbivorous creatures which sounded much like a prehistoric dinosaur.
The Swedish naturalist Rolf Blomberg described in his book Rio Amazonas(1966) his meeting with a very old Brazilian Indian'. The man, Alvaro Mesquita, told Blomberg of his earlier meeting with a "prehistoric beast". Mesquita encountered the creature during a nightly hunt at the shore of a swampy lake around the Rio Purús/Rio Juruá-area in the Amazon basin. Mesquita said he suddenly saw two glowing red eyes high above the ground, and tried to get closer. When he got close, he saw it was a bipedal reptile. Mesquita described the animal as resembling the herbivore dinosaur Camptosaurus. He tried to shoot at the monster, but missed, and the creature fled into the lake. Blomberg himself was very skeptical about this story.
Camptosaurus reconstruction. Camptosaurus was typically 5 to 15 feet long.
Here is some interesting information from a Creationist site which includes a slideshow (Link) and a reference to one of Tyler Stone's shortnecked-Plesiosaur types included:

By Chris Parker, Copyright 2011
Slide/Movie Transcript: This article is the Transcript to the 15 minute video below. If you want to see all four of the “dinosaurs” we discuss (Ancient Central American), plus the comparisons with modern depictions, then you need to either view the video or the
Slide Presentation
Watch at Youtube

Ancient Central America
Ancient Central America was the land of the Corobici, Cariari, Chorotega, Diquis, BriBri, Chibcha, Chiriqui, Caribe, Nicoya, Guayabo, Talamanca, and among others! The ancient American pre Hispanic civilizations spanned the time period of between 2000 B.C. and 1600 A.D. and because of advanced farming techniques their cities preceded the cities and civilizations of Europe.
They left a testimony in the form of magnificent art, artifacts and stone monuments. The creatures that they memorialized in their art were expressive, intricate and at times very realistic.
Diquis Culture, Reptile Pendant
The Diquis culture of Costa Rica is best known for the giant stone balls that have been found there. This story is about a gold pendant created by the Diquis culture.
Plesiosaurs have been traditionally divided into two major sub-groups; the long-necked, small headed “elasmosaurs” and the short-necked, larger headed “pliosaurids.These sub groups are somewhat arbitrary.
Dolichorhynchops (top, left of this post) was one of those short necked, large headed pliosaurs. Dolichorhynchops (dolly) is thought to have grown up to 18 feet long and to have dined on squid and other soft fishes. The remains of this animal were found in North America. According to current scientific belief, this creature became extinct about 65 million years ago.
Here is a soft plush toy version of Dolichorhynchops from Everything Dinosaur.
Here .is a “Reptile Pendant” from the Diquis culture, made of gold from Costa Rica, circa AD 500-1550. The source is the Robert Dowling gallery. “All works of art are guaranteed to be authentic and as described, unconditionally, for as long as you own them.”
A closer look at this “reptile pendant” reveals that it is in fact a depiction of one of the short necked plesiosaurs, known as pliosauridae.
Here it is compared to Dolichorhynchops and to pliosaur, another possibility. In any case, the depiction is clear. Here is an animal declared by science to be extinct for 65 million years accurately depicted in gold by a civilization less than 2000 years old.
Science appears to be off by about 65 million years.
Alligator Ware
W. H. Holmes in his 19th century book the “Ancient Art of the Province of Chiriquí”, defined a class of clay objects as alligator ware. These objects were said to feature an alligator (reptile) motif. “The designs range from the rather realistic to the most highly conventionalized representations of the animal. A small number of these vessels are modeled to resemble in form this same reptile.” …C. V. HARTMAN
Even as early as the late 1800’s Darwinism had caused scientists to be circumspect about “reptiles” and attributed many reptile or dragon depictions as depictions of the alligator. In fact, some of the depictions really were representations of the alligator.
Here are a few examples of the “alligator” motive from the 1888 book by W.H. Holmes. Some may see the alligator in these depictions but it seems that the ancient Costa Ricans might have been familiar with the dinosaur. These however are not the object of specific interest here.
The Chiriquí culture was an ancient Central American culture that flourished between 800 and 1200 A.D. Chiriquí means valley of the moon.
The American Anthropologist, Volume 9 of the American Anthropological Association, 1907, published a picture of Chiriquí alligator ware which had been excavated from a gravesite near San Jose, Costa Rica. The piece in question was obtained for the Carnegie Museum from Dr George Grant MacCurdy, of the Yale University Museum and is furthered described as a tripod vase.
According to Wikipedia, “Ceratosaurus was a fairly typical theropod, with a large head, short forelimbs, robust hind legs, and a long tail.” The name means “horned lizard”, in reference to the horn on its nose. It was characterized by large jaws with blade-like teeth, a large, blade-like horn on the snout and a pair of hornlets over the eyes.
Uniquely among theropods, Ceratosaurus possessed dermal armor, in the form of small osteoderms running down the middle of its back. The tail of Ceratosaurus comprised about half of the body’s total length. Of course, ceratosaurus and his bi-pedal dinosaur brethren supposedly went extinct 65 million years ago.
But did they? Let’s look more closely at this alligator ware from the Chiriquí culture and remember the description of ceratosaurus; bi-pedal, snout and eyelet horns, dermal armor in the form of osteoderms running down his back. Osteoderms are bony deposits forming scales, plates or other structures in the dermal layers of the skin.
It doesn’t appear to represent an alligator at all. Instead it looks much more like a theropod dinosaur and several are shown here for comparison. In fact, the horns and the dermal armor make it appear to be a specific type of theropod, the meat eating and ferocious ceratosaurus—or a close cousin.
Science appears to be off on its extinction by about 65 million years.
What do you think? Alligator or dinosaur?
South American Idol
In March of 2011, Paleontologists announced the discovery of a flat headed dinosaur dubbed O. quilombensis in Brazil. The dinosaur was thought to be related to the spinosaurids. “Spinosaurid heads in general resemble [those of] alligators—that’s a common feature,” Kellner a paleontologist stated.
A more well known and possibly related flat headed dinosaur was Suchomimus (“crocodile mimic”) which also had a flat, alligator like head. And yes, flat-headed and alligator like dinosaurs are thought to have gone extinct 65 million years ago.
These alligator headed and flat headed dinosaurs put me in mind of something I had seen in an old book.
Ometepe is an island formed by two volcanoes rising from Lake Nicaragua in the Republic of Nicaragua . The peoples there inhabited the island it is thought beginning from 2000 to 500 B.C.
In the book; The Native Races, Volume 4, By Hubert Howe Bancroft, published in 1886, on page 39 of the section; Nicaraguan Antiquities, we find the following quote and drawing.
“Ometepec, rich in pottery and other relics, and reported also to contain idols, has yielded to actual observation only the small animal couchant (couchant means in a lying position) represented in the cut.
It was secretly worshipped by the natives for many years, even in modern times, until this unorthodox practice was discovered and checked by zealous priests. This animal idol was about fourteen inches long and eight inches in height.”
The creature identified as an “idol” appears to be some type of reptile. Its length of legs and other features suggests that it is not an alligator or a crocodile. In fact, it appears to resemble very closely that group of dinosaurs that we now call alligator like or alligator mimics. Could this be another example of a creature out of time? Out of Darwin time, that is...

--However one swallow does not make a summer and a couple of Cryptids depicted in native artwork do not disprove the Geological (not Darwinian) timescale. (The two things are quite separate from one another). For the record, I knew about many of these artwork pieces and the "Ceratosaurus" interpretation when I joined the SITU back in the 1970s: the "idols" in Nicaragua include many others and some of monumental sizes and many standing on their hind legs. And some of the "Cipactlis" and "Cuetzepalins" of Mexican artwork similarly show ambiguous lizard-creatures often called "Alligators." I am not certain when people started calling these depictions "Dinosaurs" but it was probably back in the 1930s. Harold T. Wilkins says something on the matter. And the best explanation is that they mean to show large iguana lizards with a spiky ridge down the back, and possibly a horn on its snout. For the record, I even have a photograph of that same tripod vase in my files and it's been there at least thirty years.

APPENDIX: Archives of Frontiers of Zoology Yahoo group on Biped-Lizards and/or Mini-Dinos:

Frontiers of Zoology yahoo group. message 3954 of 7445, April 2009 
As far as the New World Big Lizard reports go, from the SW of the USA to
N Argentina and Chile we consistently get three types of reports:

1) A large lizard, frequently described as a small dinosaur, which can stand and
run erect and which is easily identifiable as an iguanid (horns on the head are
alleged but not consistently reported. A spiky back crest is reported but not
usually so dramatically as in the corresponding Chupacabras descriptions)
2) An even larger lizard ordinarily reported as standing solidly on all four
legs. It is also clearly an iguanid but as large as a crocodile or a Komodo
dragon; it is not so heavy as a croc or the dragon since it has a much longer
tail for the length. This is reported from Mexico to Brazil and is regularly
represented in PreColumbian art over all of that area.
3) A type of Water Monster reported with an exaggerated row of spines which
stick up out of the water and which also might be a large iguana. There is once
again the suggestion that it has horns on its head but it is uncertain whether
the trait properly belongs with this category or with a similar reported unknown
Alligator category. There are clear reports of this in the Ozarks, Texas,
California, Arizona and Mexico, with less clear reports from South America.

All three of these MIGHT be one species. Emphasis on the MIGHT, there are enough
contradictions to cause some doubt. And although it is tempting to include
Puerto Rico in the range of the reports, so far all reports of all three types
are confined to the continents of North and South America, and to the warmer
parts of them. Reports from Florida and Puerto Rico definitely include common iguanas.

Best Wishes, Dale D.

Message 325 0f 7445, Dec 14, 2006
Colorado River Dinosaur/Mini T-rex
I live in Pueblo, Colorado. I moved out here when I was six and have
since heard stories of the praire devil, the pig man and the mini-
Me and my friend were riding dirt bikes…..when we observed something
move across the clearing in front of us. It was three to four feet
long, greenish with black markings on its back, and a yellowish-
orange underbelly.
It walked on its hind legs, never dragging its tail, its front limbs
(I call them limbs because they were more like arms than anything)
[like a T=rex?] were smaller in comparison to the back ones and it
had four or three claws. …..
It also had some kind of lump or horn over each eye. When it noticed
our presence, it let out a high pitched screech…
…Immediately, we rode back to my house for a camera…. We took a
picture of its tracks…one of my other friends said he had a few
pictures of the creature, so I took a look at them and to my surprise
I saw pictures of the exact same thing I saw.. North American Bio
Fortean Review <>
Colorado's Mystery Reptile Could Be Mini Dinosaur
[Original headline: Mystery reptile loose in county?]
Could the Southwest be home to a mysterious new species of reptile?
Nick Sucik, a private researcher from Minnesota, thinks it's
possible. Sucik has been tracking sightings of an elusive lizard-like
creature ever since hearing tales of "river dinosaurs" from those
involved in the legally sketchy "reptile trade."
The "dino" is said to walk exclusively on its hind legs; to stand
about 3 feet tall; and to have armlike appendages instead of
forelegs. The reptile usually is seen near a wet environment and
moves swiftly, with grace, Sucik said.
Reports of sightings trickled in, first in Pagosa Springs in 1982,
then in Pueblo, Sucik said.
And, he said, the same thing happened here in Cortez - "But it was
kind of unexpected how we heard about it."
An Unsolved Mysteries episode had featured the story of a Cortez
couple who had been visiting in Arizona. While there, the couple
apparently saw the body of a reptile unlike any they had ever seen
before. "It looked like a toy to them," Sucik said, and when they
told their tale, "No one took them seriously."
Except, perhaps, for Sucik himself.
In an attempt to follow up on the story, Sucik wrote the Journal and
later placed a classified ad, seeking communication from anyone who
might have seen the enigmatic reptile. The letter netted a response
from Northern California, but the ad brought results from closer to
According to Sucik, a woman and her daughter e-mailed him details of
a similar sighting that took place in 2001 as they were driving in
the Yellow Jacket area.
"Suddenly, this thing runs out. At first, they thought it was a young
deer, because of its size," Sucik said.
The women described it as having a long neck and skinny legs like a
bird. However, it had no feathers and its "arms" seemed to go out of
its upright neck rather than its body.
The women estimated that the creature would measure about 5 feet, if
stretched from neck to tail.
"It looked to them like a cross between a bird and a dinosaur." When
they got home, each drew a picture of the creature and realized they
had each seen exactly the same thing, he said.
The description matched that of other sightings, and the women
happened to have been near an irrigation creek. "Every reference
we've heard usually affiliates them with water," Sucik said. "That's
where the term `River Dino' comes from."
Sucik discovered it wasn't the first sighting in the area. In March
or April 1996, a local woman said she saw something similar near her
home at the Kampark outside Mesa Verde.
"I was sitting on the couch, and looked out the front door," the
woman, who did not wish to be identified, told the Journal. "I saw
something, not a lizard, really, about 3 1/2 feet long and 3 1/2 feet
high. It moved very fast. As far as I remember, there were only two
legs that seemed to balance it."
She said the creature moved very swiftly, and had a cone-shaped nose
and a tail that extended about 2 feet out from its body. It had come
from a pond area.
"It was kind of unusual," she said "I didn't know if I was seeing
things, or what. I never had anything like that happen before. "I
thought, `Maybe it's someone's pet', I wasn't frightened; I just
thought it was unusual."
She checked reference books, but could not find anything similar to
what she'd seen. Jeff Thulin of the Reptile Reserve told her it might
have been a monitor lizard, however, monitors could not live
throughout the winter locally.
Thulin said others have since mentioned that they have seen "a large
lizard running around. I don't know any specifics at all except that
it's large and looks out of place."
"It doesn't match anything," he said of the description. The woman
said she has tried to put it out of her mind. "Some people think
you're nuts."
Sucik isn't sure what people have seen. A lizard, he said, "is a
reptile on four legs. These reptiles are always on their hind legs.
The only reptile to fit that morphology is a dinosaur - that kind of
creates extra interest."
"It's not strange. It's like a new species that hasn't been
classified in the area."
Sucik said it's possible the reptile is an escapee from trade in
exotic pets. Even so, the description doesn't match anything known,
he said.
He welcomes reports of sightings at

Cryptozoology, BioForteana, Zoological Oddities, Unusual Natural

BioFortean Review, (August 2008, No. 19)

An Account of a North American Bipedal Reptile from Wyoming

Chad Arment

I've noted before (in earlier issues of the North American BioFortean
Review) sightings of large bipedal reptiles (some "dinosaur"-like,
some not) from various parts of North America. The most interesting
reports have come from the Pagosa Springs, Colorado, area, neatly
summarized by Nick Sucik in a chapter in Cryptozoology and the
Investigation of Lesser-Known Mystery Animals. More recently, I had
opportunity to gather details on another sighting, from Wyoming,
which puts me in mind of those Pagosa Springs reports.

The witness, Anita R., contacted me for help in soliciting
information about a strange animal she and her mother had seen while
driving on Route 80, west of Rawlins, Wyoming (the largest town in
that area). As there are several likely hoaxes of this kind (again,
see Nick's review), the first thing I did was determine that, in
fact, the witness was who she said she was. With that determined,
(and full contact information on file) I could start piecing together
her story and get the pertinent details. What follows is the initial
description in her own words (with minimal editing), followed by
clarifications based on my questions.

1. "[Near] the end of April, 2003, while traveling in Wyoming, my
mother and I had quite an experience. A creature of some sort, which
looked prehistoric, came down in front of our car. It kept its head
in the shadows but it was shaped like a head of a kangaroo. It had
big feet and small, short arms. Its tail was like that of an
alligator and the top of his tail was as wide as my car. [ed.: refers
to length of tail.] There is no explanation why we didn't hit it. We
swerved, slammed on brakes, but no matter what we did it stayed about
two inches away from my car. After sloshing it's tail back and forth
one time, in a single leap it was gone and out of sight. This
happened on I-80 about 40 miles west of Sinclair, Wyoming. ... I did
find a woman truck driver who had seen it and said it was a common
sighting there, and people called it the big green dinosaur, even
though it was more grayish in color.

"Thank you for any information. My mother and I have been trying to
find out what this is for 5 years now."

2. "Chad, I am no artist and I have no way to scan a picture, but I
will try to describe what we saw as best as I can. At first it was in
the median and we were in the far right hand lane. It was dark, but
we saw the shadow of its head, shaped like the head of a kangaroo.
Within two seconds it was landing in front of the car. We did not see
it jump and it was just coming down in front of the carr. It never
touched the ground that we saw, it was rather chaotic! First we saw
its feet. They were like huge crocodile or alligator feet. Then we
saw his lower body and all of its tail. The tail was scaly, ... about
five feet long, best guess. ... When it was landing, it came down
sideways. Its body was shaped like the pictures you see of dinosaurs.
It was huge to us, but not like in movies where they are as tall as
buildings. We estimate it was about 7 feet tall. Its head stayed well
above the top of our car and judging by as much of it that was inches
from us we guess it at 7 feet tall. ...

"Thank you for listening to our story. People don't believe us and it
gets frustrating trying to learn what it is. Also, I would like to
know how it survives, as it was totally barren land for miles and

3. "It was about 10:30 pm. I was driving a 1995 Chevy Lumina 4-door
sedan with my headlights on. There was a semi the equivalent of two
blocks ahead of us. I was heading east on I-80 and was approximately
40 miles west of Sinclair, Wyoming. When first noticing it at all, it
was crouched down in the median and we had a perfect view of the
outline of its head. The closest we can compare the shape of its head
to is like a kangaroo. We were driving 80-85 mph. Upon seeing it in
the median, I hit my brakes rather hard because I did not want to hit
it if it jumped. As I was braking, it had apparently jumped. We
didn't see it jump, we only saw it coming down in front of the car.
At this point I was probably at 25-30 mph and still slowing. The only
distance between it and us was the front end of the car, as it was
right up against it. I veered left then right, but it stayed directly
in front of us anyway. We could have counted what we call scales had
we have had more time, as it was in plain sight. We did see its
entire body up close with the exception of its head. The tail came
straight off the body, and was covered with rough scales over the
entire tail and had the points of scales coming off the edges. The
scales were almost inverted triangular-shaped, not quite diamond-
shaped. The legs were not scaly, they were 'rough' skin, like
elephants have. I don't know another way to describe it. The feet
were long, wide, and flat, also rough in appearance. It had toes,
though there was not enough time to count them. I would guess from
the short amount of time we had to see it all, that it was either
four or five toes. On the toes were wide nails, but they weren't very

"The width of the top of the tail was wider than its upper body. The
underside of its body did not have scales. His stomach area was
rough, leathery skin, but smoother than it's legs. Its back was not
covered with scales like the tail, but there were points sticking up
on its back, which was also leathery.

"Its forelimbs were short and narrow, not like the legs which were
thick and heavy. The forelimbs hung down at the 'elbow' joint. After
it 'swiped' its tail back and forth one time, it ascended until it
was out of sight. The feet never touched the ground. We estimate it
to be around 7 feet tall. It does not have a long neck.

"Apparently this was all watched by the truck driver in front of us,
as they almost jack-knifed while this was going on. We attempted to
catch up with the driver to confer with them about what we saw, but
even at high speeds, he couldn't be caught.

"While we were terrified, afraid of hitting it, we were so amazed we
noticed every detail. It is gray in color, the scales being 2 shades
of gray. That's the best way I know how to describe what we saw.
Again I want to mention that a female truck driver online that
travels that area frequently, when I asked her if she'd seen anything
weird there, her comment was, 'You mean the big green dinosaur?...
You should try stopping with a fully loaded trailer'... but, it isn't
green. It is gray. At least what we saw and when we saw it, it was

4. "I know the lady truck driver I spoke to online said she had to
stop for it before with a fully loaded semi. She also stated that
every time an alternative route was available, she took it because
everyone knew how that would jump in front of your vehicle. ???
She's the only person I've ever talked with that had seen it or heard
about it. Keep in mind, I didn't tell her what we saw, I only asked
if she had ever been on that stretch of I-80 and had she ever seen
anything strange. Her reply was, 'you mean the big green dinosaur?'
It's not green though. It is gray. So that was confirmation and

5. "The nails didn't extend out like long claws. We saw its right
foot up close and personal. The closest in that movie [ed.: Jurassic
Park] to compare it to is something they called raptors, but the feet
were different. In the movie, their toes were more separated, spread
apart, than what we saw. I am sure there is a logical explanation,
but I don't know the first thing about 'dinosaurs.' We had only seen
them in commercials or on billboards out west. Being from the south,
it was new to us. Out west here, it is a tourist attraction. We
didn't have any prior exposure to dinosaur phenomena or publicity. It
did not look like an iguana or crocodile or anything familiar. It
looks like what you see on the billboards here for the exhibits."

As it currently stands, the incident joins a number of others that
seem to suggest the presence of a large bipedal reptile in certain
western states. It doesn't immediately suggest a viable conventional
explanation, though of course, any skeptic could toss it aside as a
loose kangaroo, monitor lizard, or the like. Obviously, all caveats
about witnesses and brief anomalous sightings apply. At this point, I
don't see any reason to force a specific explanation on it, without a
great deal more investigation taking place.
Anita and her mother have no idea what it was they saw, but are very
curious about it. They have looked at a number of reptile and
dinosaur images to see if anything looks similar, but with no exact
matches. They do think the general body structure (particularly the
feet) matches a reconstruction of Parasaurolophus on the UK NHM site,
but that the head was more elongated, similar to a reconstructed
image of Nanotyrannus. At this point, I prefer not to force
morphological specifics in absence of a physical specimen, and
suggest the following steps need to be taken.

First, with regard to what may be local folklore of this animal, if
one female trucker in the region is familiar with it, there should be
other stories. My initial attempts to solicit information from that
area have been unsuccessful, primarily because I'm working from the
other side of the country. An on-site regional ethnozoological
investigation is necessary to determine to what extent these stories
are being spread (from both a geographic and phenological
perspective). With more data, assuming that there is a discernible
recent pattern in sightings, it should then be possible to set up a
project specifically to obtain a specimen or other physical
confirmation. (What we don't need are projects set up to acquire
circumstantial and non-confirmative evidence.) Admittedly, this means
consistent long-term field research in an out-of-the-way spot, on a
mystery animal that has very little history in cryptozoological
investigations. It might be better to start off seeking further local
sighting accounts, then offering a full report to regional media
services in hopes that local residents will keep an eye out for the
animal and perhaps aid in acquiring a specimen.

I will note one geographic 'coincidence' with this sighting. If you
look up Rawlins, Montana, on Google maps, you'll find that it is
almost directly north of (with most of a state between) Pagosa
Springs, Colorado. Without visiting these two areas, I can't
immediately correlate habitat or other ecological factors, but that
may be worth further investigation.

In any case, further sightings of this type would be of great
interest to the author, and will be passed along to these witnesses,
as they are eager to find a solution to this mystery.


Arment, Chad (editor). 2006. Cryptozoology and the Investigation of
Lesser-Known Mystery Animals. Landisville, PA: Coachwhip

[--In this case, there is precident for assuming the size is
exaggerated, but it need not be greatly exaggerated. Unlike Chad, I
see the earmarks of a latge iguanid lizard on it, rather than a
monitor, especially since it falls into that series of similar
reports in a similar geographic area. or 22969
Old Gov Trail, Nisswa, MN 56468, and also suggests checking
• Story originally published by: Cortez Journal / CO | Katharhynn
Heidelberg - July 30.02

Message 3196 of 7445, August 2008
BTW, the features I see as Iguanid are the fact that the top of its tail has a saw edge of scales, the shape of the body scales and the shape of the feet (and the claws on them). These features are NOT like a small dinosaur. It may be dropping out of roadside trees when cars get too close: Iguana lizards drop out of trees when danger threatens, and in dropping down, the height could bee seen as exaggerated. An iguana with a tail that long need not be more than 10 to 12 feet long, and actually I think it is not so big as reported, it is still too early to say. Chad's reference to Rawlins Montana at the end is a mistake for Wyoming: it is in the South-Central part of Wyoming. And if it is a sort of big iguana, green would be a quite natural color for it--the gray version would be unusual, possibly due to the the effects of bad lighting when seen at night.

But Chad is right, much more
and much more definite information will be needed for a definite
identification. --Best Wishes, Dale D.]

Message 2440 of 7445, Nov 15 2007
Possible "Mini-rex" sightings from Arkansas

Longtime memeber- seldom poster but wanted to shate this....

Dennis column
Keep an open mind, because you really never know

This is yet another column from the "take it for what it's worth"
school of journalism.

As you know, in the past I have written in this space about possible
bigfoot sightings, black panther and mountain lion encounters,
kangaroos hopping around the Arkansas countryside and folks that
swear up and down that they are seeing things out in the woods that
they either can't explain or don't understand.

A lot of this, I take tongue in cheek, although I do feel some
responsibility to pass this stuff on, because… well, you never know.
If there is something out there lurking around in the rural wilds of
Sebastian and Scott counties that could cause harm to a person, and I
knew about it and failed to warn people, I'd feel really bad if
someone got eaten by a Sasquatch.

I also understand at this time of year, because of the various
incarnations of deer seasons, that a lot more people are out in the
woods, thereby creating more opportunities. I also understand that
sometimes adult beverages are consumed in and around deer camps, so
you might want to take that into consideration as you continue to

I'm just the messenger. The disclaimer here is pretty simple. People
are free to believe what they want to believe. If someone says they
saw something, then they probably saw something.
Maybe they didn't see what they thought they saw, but you try
convincing them of that. I have tried, and I have come to the
conclusion it's easier to just give them the benefit of the doubt
than it is to change their minds.

I got an email last week, and for sake of clarity, I'm going to cut
and paste the entire content of the email in this space for your
consideration. Again, I'm just passing on a little information as a
civic service.

So here goes.
"Mr. McCaslin,
I have read some of the stuff you have written in the past about the
various sightings of bigfoot-like creatures and was also very
interested in your articles last year about possible mountain lion
sightings in your area.
My name is ----- ------- and I live about five or six miles from
Mansfield in the (deleted) area. I recently had an experience while
walking in a rural area near Lucas as I was doing some pre-scouting
for the deer season, and I thought you might be interested in
something I saw. It wasn't a bigfoot-like creature or an animal that
I know to be native to Arkansas, but it was something I personally
had never encountered in the wild.
I had just come out of a stand of trees that runs along a creek bank
on some land that is a adjacent to Highway 71. I was probably three
hundred yards from the place on the road where I had parked my truck.
I came up on an area where the creek widens out to about fifteen or
twenty foot across when I heard some rustling noises and caught the
flash of something on the opposite side of the creek.
I figured it was a squirrel scurrying up the creek bank, but it
wasn't. This thing I saw was walking on it's hind legs, stood about 1
½ to 2 feet tall and look very reptilian in appearance. My first
thought upon seeing the creature was it looked very much like the
baby velociraptors (sp) from the Jurassic Park movies, only more
bulky in appearance. It went up the creek bank, turned and looked at
me with unblinking eyes for about thirty or forty seconds, then
darted off into the woods.
This happened about 6:20 p.m. on a warm but cloudy afternoon. I'm an
avid hunter and spend a lot of time in the woods, and I've seen a lot
of different things, but this was definitely outside of any animal
encounter I have ever experienced. Whatever it was, it wasn't
aggressive and I didn't feel scared or threatened, but I also got the
distinct feeling it was something I probably didn't need to mess
The thing had an almost beak-like nose and was webbed underneath
its `arms' and had a fanned shape `mane' surrounding its face that
reminded me of a bat's wings, If I had to describe the color, I would
have to call it blackish-brown. It ran upright on two large and
muscular back legs, with the smaller, front legs carried close to the
torso rather like a human sprinter would do. Its head was tilted back
and the mouth was slightly open exposing a set of fearsome fangs
while the eyes had a wild, fixed expression and were so wide open as
to be slightly bug-eyed in appearance.
It was shockingly fast, and appeared and disappeared in a moment, but
not so fast that I didn't get an absolutely clear look at it. It was
not a cat, dog, squirrel, fox, possum, raccoon or any other animal
that I had ever seen, and I live in a rural area and see these more
common animals around here almost daily.
I thought if I contacted you, you might be able to put something in
the newspaper and see if anyone else has seen this animal. If you
don't mind, call me at --- ---- so we can discuss this if you have
the time."

I called the guy. He's thirty-six years old, married with three kids.
Claims to be a church-goer and insists he has no reason or motive to
make the story up. He's just curious if anyone else had ever had such
an encounter, and says even if no one has or responds, he knows what
he saw.

I've heard that before, and I fully believe he believes what he's
saying. He's not making any claims other than the thing was "dinosaur-
like" and he has no idea what it was. If he's pulling my leg, he's
sure going out of the way to make it appear like he doesn't care if I
believe him or not.

I made a few more calls. The best guess I can get from the experts I
called is that the guy saw a bearded or collard dragon lizard,
possibly a mutant one, but one zoologist I spoke with said it's
doubtful that something as described is actually native to the Lucas
area. He said more than likely, the animal was kept as a pet and
probably escaped or was set loose by it's owner because "once they
reach a certain size, they can be cantankerous" .

The lizards we discussed really are more native dessert dwellers and
wouldn't be expected in the wild this far east.

I called the guy back and directed him to a website with pictures of
bearded and collard dragon lizards. He claims it's not even close to
what he saw.

So there you go. I guess what we're left with is the guy knows what
he saw, the experts say he couldn't have possibly seen what he says
he saw and I have no idea what he saw.

I know this guy wants someone to say they have seen something similar
to what he saw, because everyone he tells this story to thinks he's
crazy. If he's crazy, then he's about the most uncrazy acting crazy
person I have ever dealt with. And that's saying a lot.

So once again, I'm going to throw this out there. If you have seen
any dinosaurs, bigfoots, little green men, leprechauns, saber-tooth
tigers, Moth-men, giant grasshoppers or kangaroos, drop me a line at
dmc4291@netzero. com.

We'll get to the bottom of it, because the truth is out there.

-------- -

Dennis column
More things that go bump in the day (and night)

Be careful what you ask for, because you'll probably get it.
Last week in this space, I detailed a reported sighting of
an "unknown reptile" by an area man who claims he saw something
strange and out of place in the woods near Lucas, which is in the
little finger of land protruding from Logan County that dips into
Scott County a few miles south of Mansfield.

At that time, I asked anyone who had seen anything familiar or could
shed some light on the sighting to email me with contact information.
I received several responses, a number of which will have to wait
until I get a little more time to check them out.

None of the responders said they had seen the creature in question,
although there were reports of three other sightings of various
creatures throughout the area. Once I check those out, I'll update

There were also two people who responded to the article with theories
about what the animal might have been, and several others who, well,
are pretty much as crazy as Bessie bugs.

Which was fully expected. You start stirring up the pot about
strange, unexplained reptiles, Bigfoot, UFO sightings, ghosts and
various other phenomenon, you get some kooks who come out of the
woodwork And by kooks, I mean crazy people.

Fortunately for me, I try to treat everyone who emails (or who I
speak to on the telephone…it' s amazing how simple it is for people
track you down) about the subject with respect and dignity. Even the
crazy ones, who when they read this will assume that I am talking
about those "other" crazy people.

(By the way. I'm told "crazy" is not a politically correct term these
days. Being one that thinks political correctness has been turned
into a cottage industry, I'm not using the term "crazy" to disparage
or offend not do I intend to claim the people I label as such are
not "sane" in the clinical sense. It's just that the elevator they
choose to ride is not stopping at all of the floors.)

Anyway, one of the e-mailers, who works at a "major research center"
at a very prestigious school (I checked him out…he's listed as a
associate professor on their website…go figure), wrote and said he
agrees with the conclusion I reported last week, that the animal
we're dealing with us probably a hybrid "collared dragon lizard" that
has grown larger than normal and may have some abnormalities that
gives it a freakish appearance.

"I have seen reports of such lizards growing to a length of three or
four feet, although it is extremely rare," wrote the expert. "One
almost expects your animal is the result of some genetic defect or
abhorrent cross breeding, and it's most likely it either escaped from
someone who was keeping it as a pet or it migrated from the southern
coastal states by way of the Mississippi River."

Okay. I'll take you word for it. But I don't see a lot of reports of
two foot lizards with webbed arms, pointed snouts and little forefeet
like a baby dinosaur swimming around the Everglades. He wrote that
like it was a normal occurrence for big lizards with freaky features
to pick up and swim to Arkansas on a moments notice. And did it
escape from someone down there, or are there a bunch of them in the
swaps looking to satisfy their wanderlust?

And I can understand that it took the Mississippi to just south of
Arkansas City, hooked a left at the Arkansas River and came on up to
visit. But how did it get to Lucas? Come down Highway 71 until it got
tired and just decide to crash in the woods near Dizzy Dean's

And this guy, who lives several states away, says someone faxed him a
copy of my article on the very day it was published. He says he gets
several inquiries a week from the public.

I emailed back and asked the guy if I could use his name and identify
the college he works for. He declined, saying that some of his
colleagues think he's a little crazy in some matters of crypto

There's that word again. Crazy, I mean.
The other response seems to be logical, in a sort of "well, why not",
kind of way I guess. And the guy didn't give me his name.

"Mr. McCaslin,
A friend pointed out your article to me, and I think I can shed some
light on the sighting. I'm pretty sure that your source saw is an
unusually large flying squirrel. I once was startled by one in the
woods near my home, and my first thought was it was something
extremely unusual, but once I saw a picture of it, I was convinced
that was what I saw."

Hey. Hang on a second and let me call the guy.

"I would tend to believe it was something like the first guy talked
about, but it wasn't a squirrel," the source of the original sighting
said. "We have set a live trap out there near where I saw it, and
I've been out in the woods looking for it."


I thought about calling the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and
asking them what they thought, but they're still denying that there
are mountain lions roaming out there in the woods, and I saw one of
those with my own eyes one night as it crossed in front of my car on
an access road near Bonanza. If they'll lie about mountain lions, you
know they aren't going to come clean on big, black, furry, kind-of -
webbed -looking, running on two legs, reptile appearing, two-foot
tall booger.

So the controversy continues. Again, if you see one, catch one or
take a picture of one, you can email me at dmc4291@zetzero. com and
we'll talk about it. And as always, let's keep the mother-in law
jokes to a minimum.

And give me a few days to contact the people that reported the other
three, different kind of sightings and we may really have something
to talk about

[--This is the same general area of Arkansas where similar creatures
were reported to Ivan Sanderson on different occasions by witnesses
who did not want to go public. The reports are not exactly the same,
but probably nobody gets a really view of whatever it is. It is
evidently some sort of big Iguanid lizard and has disttinctive back-
flaps, wattles around the face and red eyes in the male: reliable
reports are in the vicinity of four to six or seven feet long, including a
long tail.
---Best Wishes, Dale D.]

Message 2442 of the group (2nd Next following)
Dissection of description in previous posting
{Clarifications especially for a group member who similarly reported a "Large iguana lizard" by the side of the road while driving at night, but it was gone by the time she looked again. The woman was named Sharon-full name on file in the group-and she is no longer interested in Cryptozoology or discussing it any more)

> Possible "Mini-rex" sightings from Arkansas

> I figured it was a squirrel scurrying up the creek bank, but it
> wasn't. This thing I saw was walking on it's hind legs, stood about
> 1 ½ to 2 feet tall and look very reptilian in appearance. My first
> thought upon seeing the creature was it looked very much like the
> baby velociraptors from the Jurassic Park movies, only more
> bulky in appearance. It went up the creek bank, turned and looked
> at me with unblinking eyes for about thirty or forty seconds, then
> darted off into the woods.
> The thing had an almost beak-like nose and was webbed underneath
> its `arms'

(This was almost certainly a negligible sort of "webbing" since the
arms were described as small. It certainly was nothing like any kind
of gliding membrane or wings. Oddly enough, the beak-shaped nose has
been mentioned before even though the animal also specifically has teeth)

> and had a fanned shape `mane' surrounding its face that
> reminded me of a bat's wings,

(There was some sort of a frill around its face. Actually, this type
of cryptid is sometimes reported as having a "Fin" set upright at the
back of the head and a prominent dewlap under the jaw: perhaps that
is what the witness meant, since the witness later said it was
definitely not like a frilled lizard's frill around its neck. The
cryptid is also specified to have an ugly, naked, wrinkled and warty
neck in other reports)

> If I had to describe the color, I would
> have to call it blackish-brown. It ran upright on two large and
> muscular back legs, with the smaller, front legs carried close to
> the torso rather like a human sprinter would do.

(The color is unusually dark for the type. A sort of olive-brown is
more typical. The running posture as described is absolutely typical)

> Its head was tilted back
> and the mouth was slightly open exposing a set of fearsome fangs
> while the eyes had a wild, fixed expression and were so wide open
> as to be slightly bug-eyed in appearance.

(the sharp teeth in the mouth are frequently reported as is the pop-
eyed staring expression. This report does not specify the red eyes,
but they are mentioned in other reports)

> It was shockingly fast, and appeared and disappeared in a moment,
> but not so fast that I didn't get an absolutely clear look at it.
> It was not a cat, dog, squirrel, fox, possum, raccoon or any other
> animal that I had ever seen

I hope that clarifies how the report looks to me somewhat.
Best Wishes, Dale D.

[--I had seen a similar report recently from Texas posted at the Mysterious Creatures discussion group but the copy from the files page of that group has gone missing and my copy in my inbox has been accidentally deleted. Am trying to track it dow through the message archives of the group but so far I am about 1/10 of the way through and I'm not seeing it on a standard message search. It was very similar in size and shape to the Arkansas ones and also had the usual iguana wattles under the chin and possibly a flap like a cap at the back of the head, and it was of about the same reported dimensions.but was maybe the same sort of darker brown or perhaps dark-green-and-brown in colouring. This would have been seen in the 1970s.]


  1. Dale, do you think it is likely that these cryptids have forward-facing eyes?

  2. Not generally according to the reports, BUT there are some reports in the "Chupacabras" category which tend to resemble the so-called Gray Aliens. I don't take those reports to be reptiles and I don't take them to be in the same Cryptid category.

  3. Well, the Chupacabras appear to be nocturnal. So I was thinking that their eyes might have faced more forwards.

    Also, could they be warm-blooded?

  4. Chupacabras reports are not all equal and they do not all descibe the same thing. Some of the creatures described seem to fall more into the category of "Reptoids" rather than ordinary reptiles. And the ordinary reptile types have their eyes situated on the sides of their heads.

  5. How can such large reptiles live as far north as Wyoming without being endothermic? Reptiles that big live only in tropical regions.

    1. Not necessarily, some alligators can handle climates that cold and keep on going. Some reptiles are very tolerant of low temperatures. Besides they might not really be as big as all that, or they might actually be warm-blooded small dinosaurs; we just don't know very well yet. Incidentally I have a more recent report of the "Mini-Rex" but much further south than Wyoming: there was more than one "Looking like a Tyannosaurus three feet tall"-the classic description. I'm awaiting further details on that sighting now.

    2. By the way, are there any cryptids alive today which might be surviving troodontid dinosaurs?

  6. Its Cryptozoology, NOTHING is set in stone. You could be right after all and some of the Chupacabras ones could be Troodons. That's not my favourite theory but it could be true.

  7. What is your favorite theory? And are there any other researchers who have come to the same conclusions as me on surviving Troodons?

  8. Also, which modern-day known animal (not a cryptid) do you think would be the closest thing to a living Troodon?

  9. mini t-rex sounds like a velocraptor or a deinonychus


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