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Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Dragon Lizard Bunyips
"A few days ago I was searching in my archives for a sketch when I found my two first versions
[link] of the Bunyip (on the base of Naomi Noviks description)
I thought it was time for a new one"[this is a fictional Bunyip although still based on tradition-DD]

The "Big Goanna" Bunyip is sometimes said to stand up and walk on its hind legs, at which times it can be twice as tall as a regular human being.


The first Dreamtime creature to appear on this list, the Dirawong is a goanna (an Australian monitor lizard) Creator Being that departed knowledge and protection to the Bundjalung Nation. Comprised of 15 Aboriginal tribes, the Bundjalung believe that the Dirawong shared with them the knowledge of medicine, bush foods, astronomy, law, and cultural traditions such as dances, head gear, body designs, and songs. The Dirawong is supposed to resemble a Megalania prisca, a 7-10 meters long [~20 to 30 feet long] goanna that [supposedly] went extinct around 40,000 years ago. In addition to teaching the Bundjalung how to live and survive, the Dirawong is eternally engaged in a battle with the Creator Being known as the Rainbow Snake. The Dirawong once engaged in an epic battle with the Rainbow Snake when it had misbehaved. The resulting struggle resulted in the creation of parts of the Richmond River, Snake Island, and Pelican Island. At the end of the struggle, the Rainbow Snake made it to the ocean and became an island, supposedly New Zealand. When the Dirawong caught up with the Rainbow Snake, he laid down facing the sea to guard against its return. The Goanna Headland at Evans Head, New South Wales is believed to be the Dirawong’s physical body. The Dirawong is also believed to be associated with rain. In the Goanna Headland there is a rain cave where the Elders of the Bundjalung Nation used to go and conduct ceremonies for rain. The Dirawong continues to this day to be an important influence to the Bundjalung people. In 1985, sixteen hectares of the Goanna Headland became the first aboriginal land grant in New South Wales. The legend and history of the Dirawong is a fascinating one and can be further explored.


In the mythology of Bundjalung Nation (represented by 13 tribes), the Dirawong is a goanna that taught the people the laws by which they should live. It is known as a benevolent protector of its people (the Bundjalung Nation) from the Rainbow Snake.

Goanna Headland, at Evans Head in New South Wales (one of the most easterly point's on mainland Australia), is believed to be the body of the mythical Dirawong


Bundjalung Nation tradition tells the story about the creation of Snake Island (in the Evans River) and Goanna Headland as a fight between the Dirawong and the Rainbow Snake. According to the legend, the Rainbow Snake had been very bad. What he did is a secret, and cannot be revealed, but it was so bad that a Weeum (or clever man) called on the Dirawong to help protect a Bird from the Waugal (or Rainbow Snake). Only Dirawong was powerful enough to deal with Rainbow Snake. Dirawong chased Rainbow Snake down towards the coast and as they went they formed parts of the Richmond River. At Woodburn they left the Richmond River and kept on going east. Half-way down the Evans River, Dirawong caught Rainbow Snake, the Snake turned around and bit Goanna on the head, Dirawong then withdrew from the battle in order to eat some herbs to recover (heal) from the snakebite, when he felt better he resumed his chase. Meanwhile, Rainbow Snake had reached Evans Head. Rainbow Snake looked around. Dirawong was nowhere to be seen, so Rainbow Snake decided to go back west. The Rainbow Snake then went into the river and coiled itself around and created Snake Island. As he turned his body made another small island in the river, now known as Pelican Island.
When Rainbow Snake spotted Dirawong heading towards him, Rainbow Snake quickly turned, and this time Rainbow Snake kept going until he reached the Ocean, and made himself into an Island (Possibly the Country of New Zealand) so Dirawong wouldn't recognise Rainbow Snake. Dirawong reached the Coast. Dirawong then laid down next to the coast facing the Sea, waiting for Rainbow Snake to come back. And you can still hear Rainbow Snake and see Goanna today at Evans Head.

Physical identity of the Rainbow Snake

The Snake was quite possibly a "Wonambi naracoortensis (a non-venomous snake of five to six metres in length, or a Liasis sp., (Bluff Downs Giant Python), which grew up to ten metres long, and is the largest Australian snake known"

Physical identity of the Dirawong

The Dirawong was quite possibly a "Megalania prisca" (a carnivorous, goanna-like lizard, at least seven metres long, maybe ten metres long, and weighing up to 600 kilograms, that become extinct around 40,000 years ago.)

Physical identity of the Bird

The Bird was quite possibly a Dromornis stirtoni, (Stirton's Thunder Bird, Miocene epoch) was a flightless bird three metres tall that weighed half a tonne. It is one of the largest birds so far discovered. It inhabited subtropical open woodlands and may have been carnivorous. It was heavier than the Moa and taller than the Aepyornis.
[Dromornis might also be the origin of especially birdlike "Bunyips" when they were sighted lurking around waterholes.
Example from Eberhart: Gauarge
Mythical Freshwater Monster of Australia.
Etymology: Australian word.
Physical description: Like a featherless [Giant, not necessarily featherless-DD] emu.
Behavior: Drags bathers down into a
whirlpool. Habitat: Water holes.
Possible explanation: Folk memory or extrapolation based on fossils of an Australian theropod dinosaur such as Kakuru, which lived in the Early Cretaceous, 110 million years ago, in South Australia.[A living animal is more likely than a native reconstruction and the fossil is from the wrong part of Australia-DD]
Sources: Gilbert Whitley, “Mystery Animals of Australia,” Australian Museum Magazine
(1940): 132–139; Bernard Heuvelmans, On the Track of Unknown Animals (New York:
Hill and Wang, 1958), pp. 193–194.]

Interpretation of the creation myth

Why did the Dirawong withdraw from the battle with Rainbow Snake in order to recover? "As Socrates explains in the Laches, standing firm in battle cannot be courage, for sometimes standing firm in battle is simply a foolish endurance that puts oneself and others at needless risk. The courageous person can recognize when it is reasonable to stand one's ground in battle and when it isn't." What virtuous traits of character is the Dirawong showing when it withdrew from the battle with Rainbow Snake in order to recover? The Dirawong is showing in its action of withdrawing, that having (from a spiritual and psychological perspective) the right motives, aims, concerns, and perspective is more important then the tactical battle. The Dirawong's motives were: to get help for its wounds (survive), to survey (location) where the rainbow snake went, concern for the bird (family); it knew that the Rainbow Snake may have won that day's battle, and in the future they will work together to create more land and rivers on other planets. See also


Australian Giant Monitor
Unknown LIZARD of Australia. Variant names: Burrunjor (in Northern Terri- tory), Mungoon-galli, Murra murri (in the Blue Mountains), Whowie (in Riverina). Physical description: Length, 20–30 feet or more. Behavior: Attacks cattle. Distribution: Northern New South Wales; Arnhem Land, Northern Territory; Cape York, Queensland. Significant sightings: In 1975, a group of bushwalkers found large tracks and tail marks at the edge of the Wallangambe Wilderness in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales. On December 27, 1975, a farmer near Cess- nock, New South Wales, saw a bulky, 30-foot monitor lizard moving through scrub brush. It was mottled gray in color, with dark stripes along the back and tail, and stood 3 feet off the ground. In early 1979, herpetologist Frank Gordon was driving his Land Rover in the Wattagan Mountains in New South Wales south of Can- berra when he saw a reptile 27–30 feet long by the side of the road. It rose up and ran away on all four legs into the neighboring woods. In July 1979, cryptozoologist Rex Gilroy was called to a freshly plowed field by a farmer. Across the field were thirty or so tracks that seemed to have been made by an enormous lizard. While most of the tracks had been ruined by rain, Gilroy was able to make a plaster cast of one that had been preserved.
Possible explanations: (1) The Perentie (Varanus giganteus), Aus- tralia’s largest lizard, grows to 8 feet long; some individuals might attain 10 feet. It is cream-colored, with dark-brown speckles, and it occurs from western Queensland to the coast of Western Australia. (2) Surviving "Megalania prisca" [Invalid name-DD], a 15- to 21- foot lizard that lived in central Australia in foot lizard that lived in central Australia in the Pliocene and Pleistocene (2 mil- lion–20,000 years ago). At 1,300 pounds, it weighed ten times as much as the Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis) and was prob- ably an active predator and scavenger. Its teeth were nearly 1 inch long. At least some specimens had a sagittal crest.[However the same structure is on the head of the smaller and related Perentie lizard-but it is not visable externaly on the living animal's head-DD]
Sources: Rex Gilroy, “Cessnock’s Fantastic 30 Ft. Lizard Monsters,” Strange Phenomena and Psychic Australian, March 1979, at strangephenomenonr.html; Rex Gilroy, “Australia’s Lizard Monsters,” Fortean Times, no. 37 (Spring 1982): 32–33; Rex Gilroy, “Giant Lizards of the Australian Bush,” Australasian Ufologist 4, no. 4 (2000): 17-20.

A LIVING FOSSIL? In Australia, locals speak of a giant, prehistoric lizard that continues to roam the rainforests some 40,000 years after it's said to have gone extinct. Cryptozoologists say this creature, the so-called "Devil Dragon," is a living fossil known to science as Megalania prisca, the largest ground-dwelling lizard that's ever lived. Megalania was at least twice the size of today's Komodo dragon. With large, serrated teeth that bend inward and sharp claws for ripping through flesh, Megalania was likely a fearsome predator.

THE EVIDENCE: Over the last three decades, several reports of unexplained and mysterious human disappearances in Australia have been associated with strange animal imprints. Some witnesses speak of giant, fallen tree logs that scamper away when startled. Though a complete fossil skeleton of Megalania has never been found, a farmer in Queensland, Australia found bones of this prehistoric creature on his farm. They tested to be only 300 years old. Whether or not Megalania continues to roam the Australian rainforests today, it surely did encounter humans when Aborigines arrived on the continent 40,000 to 125,000 years ago.

Canvey Island Monster, a NON-Cryptid

The Canvey Island Monster is the name given to an unusual creature whose carcass washed up on the shores of Canvey Island, England, in November, 1954. A second, more intact, carcass was discovered in August, 1955.
The 1954 specimen was described as being 76cm (2.4ft) long with thick reddish brown skin, bulging eyes and

Canvey Island Monster.jpg
Azelf5000Added by Azelf5000
gills. It was also described as having hind legs with five-toed horseshoe-shaped feet with concave arches - which appeared to be suited for bipedal locomotion - but no forelimbs. Its remains were cremated after a cursory inspection by zoologists who said that it posed no danger to the public. The 1955 specimen was

Photo of the Cavney Island Monster washed up on Cavney Beach
Azelf5000Added by Azelf5000
described as being similar to the first but much larger, being 120cm (3.9 ft) long and weighing approximately 11.3kg (25lb). It was sufficiently fresh for its eyes, nostrils and teeth to be studied though no official explanation was given at the time as to what it was or what happened to the carcass.
Some have speculated that the specimens may have been some type of anglerfish, whose fins had been mistaken for feet, while others have come to a more likely conclusion, that the specimens may have been frogfish, which do in fact walk on leg-like fins, have bulging eyes, and take on a variety of colours including reddish brown.[citation needed]
In 1999, Fortean journalist Nicholas Warren carried out an investigation into the 1953-54 sightings. He was unable to locate any official records at the Plymouth Marine Biology Association Laboratory or the National Rivers Authority identifying the creature as being a known or unknown specimen, but was able to find accounts from locals who believed the creature was an anglerfish. [2] This determination was later seconded by Alwyne Wheeler, former ichthyologist for the Department of Zoology at the British Natural History Museum, who put forward that the creature was an anglerfish whose pronounced fins had been incorrectly described as being hind legs. [2]
  1. ^ a b Edwards, Frank (1959) "Stranger than Science", L. Stuart, ISBN 0806508507 (1983 reprint)
  2. ^ a b c d Warren Nick (02-1999), The Fortean Times, #119
The point is moot as both frogfish and monkfish (another candidate) are actually also anglerfishes and the identification as an "Anglerfish" actually covers all bets. Best Wishes, Dale D.

Frogfish include a pink phase

Monkfish, various views

From Monster Hunt (The Leviathans, Tim Dinsdale, 1966 and 1976) in Chapter 4, "monster, Mystery or Mermaid", "Oddity No. 2" on page 144 includes the following case:
Early July 1833
In the presence of Arthur Nicholson of Lochend, J.P. -- William Manson, Daniel Manson, John Henderson, residing in Cullivoe in the parish of North Yell, who being sworn deposit -- That, in the beginning of July last, they at the deep-sea fishing from 30 to 60 miles from land, and about midnight took up a creature attached by the back of the neck to a hook, which was about 3 feet long, and bout 30 inches in circumference at tje broadest part, which was across the shoulders. From the navel upwards it resembled a human being -- had breasts as large as those of a woman.
Attached to the side were arms about 9 inches long, with wrists and hands like those of a human being, except that there were webs between the fingers for about half their length. The fingers were in number and shape, like those of a man. The little arms were close on the outsides of the breasts and on the corner of each shoulder was placed a fin of a round form which, when extended, covered both the breasts and the arms.
The animal had a short neck, on which rested a head, about the length of a man's but not nearly so round; and somewhat pointed at the top. It had eyebrows without hair, and eyelids covering two small blue eyes, somewhat like those of a human being -- not like those of a fish. It had no nose, but two orifices for blowing through. It had a mouth so large that when opened wide it would admit a man's fist. It had lips rather thicker than a man's of a pure white color. There was no chin, but they think the lower jaw projected a little further than the upper ones. There were no ears.
The whole front of the animal was covered with skin, white as linen, the back with skin of a light-grey color, like a fish. From the breasts the shape sloped towards the tail close to which was only about 4 inches in circumference. The tail was flat, and consisted of two lobes which, when extended, might be 6 inches together in breadth, and were set at right angles with the face of the creature; it resembled the face of a halibut.
The animal was very nearly round at the shoulders. It appeared to have shoulder bones and a hollow space between them. The diminution of size increased most rapidly from the navel, which might be 9 inches below the breasts. There was between the nostrils a thing that appeared to be a piece of gristle about 9 inches long, and which resembled a thick bristle. There was a similar one on each side of the head, but not so long, which the animal had the power of moving backwards and forwards, and could make them meet on top of the skull.
When the men spoke the animal answered, and moved these bristles, which led them to suppose that the creature heard by means of them. They did not observe what sort of teeth the creature had, nor the parts of generation. There was no hair upon any part of its body which was soft and slimy.
There is an old opinion among fishermen that it is unlucky to kill a mermaid and therefore, after having kept it in the boat for some time, they slipped it.
All of which is the truth, so help me God."
A man who interviewed the boat's skipper as well as the crewmen forwarded an account to Edinburgh University's Natural History Department:
"Not one of the six men dreamed of a doubt of its being a mermaid, and it could not be suggested that they were infulenced by their fears, for the mermaid is not an object of terror to fishermen, it is rather a wecome guest, and danger is apprehended from its experiencing bad treatment. . . . The usual resources of scepticism that the seals and other sea-animals appearing under certain circumstances operating upon an excited imagination and so producing ocular illusion, cannot avail here. It is quite impossible that six Shetland fishermen could commit such a mistake."

--This is once again a Monkfish or a similar anglerfish, which will be quite apparent if you try to take all of the measurements together and make a composite drawing of it. These fish are also called "headfish" because of their supposed resemblance to a human head, only this one has a nasty big wide mouth, wide enough to stick a fist into. I wish I could have a view of the underside of a Monkfish to show, but evidently they have two large rounded protrusions around the "Jowly" area underneath, and also underneath two smaller, thinner, delicate pelvic fins which the fishermen described as arms with webbed hands. The "Gristly bristles" on top are the Anglerfish "Lures" and the creature is basically only the big head part and a smaller cylindrical, tapering tail following. The description is worded such that the creature's true nature is not apparent, but the creature is about three feet long and ten inches across, with the "Wing" fins nine inches long. Where the tail began was about three inches thick, and the tail had two fins vertically placed which resembled the tail of a halibut. close to the tail was little more than an inch in breadth but the tail fins could together spread perhaps six inches. While handling it the fishermen observed no hair but only a soft slimy skin, grey on top and white on the belly. Actually the only reason to call it a "Mermaid" was because of the round "Humanlike" head and the two rounded protrusions underneath (no nipples are mentioned, either)
Best Wishes, Dale D.

Tyler Stone's Case For The Freshwater Monkey

Tyler Stone has put up a simple but elegant presentation for his Freshwater Monkey theory at his new blog,

Best Wishes, Dale D.

Honey Island Swamp Monster Monkeylike illustration

This is an illustration of the Honey Island Swamp Monster said to be taken from a newspaper article. I only just turned it up on a photo search I was doing.I am currently tracking down whatever information might go with it. I am adding it here because the illustration is Kappa-like and conforms very well to Tyler Stone's interpretation of the Swamp Monster in question. Best Wishes, Dale D.
LATER ADDITION: Here is a version as posted on Haunted America Tours. It would seem all the illustrations are made after 2000. You will notice the illustration was printed in lateral compression: the one I ran had the lateral compression effect removed:

Long to short hair on the head. Shorter hair all over the body. At times head hair forming bangs some what over the eyes. Hair color is dingy gray. 5- 8 feet tall and weight 300 or 350 pounds, with long, orange-brown gray or black hair and big, wide-set orange amber eyes.
These animals are sometimes described as having a "mane" of hair, large broad shouldered. The face is said to be rather flat. The most prominent feature described by Ford and others, is the size and color of the eyes. They appear to be disproportionately large, and of an amber color.
Mr. Ford stated that this gave the animal a "sinister" look.
Honey Island swamp is unique because it's one of the least-altered river swamps in the country. It's pretty much in its original condition, almost a pristine wilderness. Take a personalized narrated nature tour into the 250-square-mile Honey Island Swamp. Nearly 70,000 acres of it is a permanently-protected wildlife area--the Nature Conservancy's First Louisiana Nature Preserve. People from all over the world now explore this wildlife sanctuary with him.
Honey Island earned its name because of the honeybees once seen on a nearby island. A tract of bottomland timber lying between the East Pearl and West Pearl rivers, Honey Island is between three and seven miles wide and 15 to 20 miles long. It is located 50 minutes from New Orleans in Southeast Louisiana.
Honey Island has become one of the most well-known swamps because of the real or imagined presence of a creature similar to what others have called Big Foot.
The tracks , left by the animal, appear to be somewhat similar to an Alligator's rear foot. Upon close examination, however, it becomes clear, that this is something different.
In 1974, zoologists from Louisiana State University (LSU) met with Harlan Ford to study the plaster casts of the creature's four-toed footprints. Crypotozoologist from Washington also arrived in Louisiana to inspect the unusual casts. Harlan said, "That thing stood eye level with me. The thing that startled me the most, we're it's large amber eyes." Harlan was later interviewed in a documentary called "In Search Of" which still airs periodically on The Discovery Channel and other television networks. Harlan's own personal sighting has been documented in a book, "Monsters of North America"
This is a real plaster cast of the impression of the footprint of the Honey Island Swamp Monster. This cast was donated to the Abita Mystery House by Dana Holyfield, grand-daughter of Harlan E. Ford, the hunter who found and cast the tracks. He was the first man to report a sighting of the creature and he was also the first and only man to my knowledge who poured plaster paris casts of it's tracks found deep in the swamp. The Honey Island Swamp is about 25 miles East of the Abita Mystery House. There are several swamp tours of the area.
There are four toes visible. There are three heavily clawed toes , with prominent knuckles , underneath the foot. Then... there is the bizarre thumb like small toe . About an inch and a half on the cast that I have. These toes show clearly , that this animal can grasp with the toes. The three large toes , are long and slender , with tendons visible in the prints. The claws are turned down , and backwards to grip the loose soil , sand , and mud. This is reminiscent of a cat like trait. The skin appears to be thin on the bottom of the foot , with tendons showing. In the hostile environment of the island , thin skin under the foot would indicate that it didn't spend a lot of time on the ground.

In 1978 the Alan Lamdsburg Company, producers of the popular TV program, IN SEARCH OF did a segment on the Honey island Swamp Monster. This catapulted the monster into International fame. Since then there have been many reports and the program has become a reference for information on the creature.
Dana Holyfield, grand-daughter of Harlan Ford, has made a documentary film about the Honey Island Swamp Monster. The documentary also includes footage of a swamp trek that Dana took into an area where there had been sightings of the creature. She found tracks, and shot video of the tracks. Also included in the documentary is footage shot by Harlan Ford years ago in the swamp. There are a few seconds of footage of a bipedal, hairy being that is walking behind some trees.

This book documents sightings of a mysterious man-like creature that roams the dense foliage of the Louisiana Honey Island Swamp, where few men have ever ventured. Evidence found (as seen on Discovery Channel's In Search Of) was studied by reputable crypto zoologists who claimed that is was not a hoax.
About the Author
Dana Holyfield grew up in Slidell, Louisiana. She wrote this book because it was her grandfather, Harlan Ford, who first reported the sighting of the legendary Swamp Monster after he poured plaster paris tracks. She has authored many books such as Swamp Cooking With The River People, More Swamp Cooking, New Orleans Mardi Gras Recipes, Cajun Sexy Cooking, Swamp Tour A Way Of Life On The Bayou, Mermaid Bayou Legend Of The Fresh Water Lady Fish, Sexy & Lean Bayou Cuisine.
So you see that site did not run the illustration in its original conformation. The artist is however credited by name on the site. The tracks were later debunked as hoaxed and made by alligator-feet strapped to the bottoms of the boots:

These tracks and casts were circulated in the mid-1970s and popularised  on the TV show In Search Of...: the "Creature" sightings were supposed to have been made in 1963, more than a decade earlier. So no direct connection-EXCEPT that the witness cited for the 1963 sighting was also one of the ones providing the hoaxed tracks. Perhaps the need to produce solid evidence was too great of a temptation. However, when the news came out, ALL OTHER "Swamp Monster" tracks from the Eastern USA immediately came under suspicion (The alligator-foot-boot tracks are very much smaller than the "Frogfoot" ones, however, since "Frogfoot" tracks can be as much as 24 inches long)
And the same artist made the face close-up also shown on a different version of the Haunted America Tours page. In the meantime, Cryptomundo posted advertisements for a reimagining of the Louisiana Swamp Monster as more of a Kappa type creature:

Beastly Bunyips

One of the most famous Australian monsters is the Bunyip, a creature that lives in or near bodies of water such as creeks, pools, and swamps. There are supposedly as many as nine regional variations of bunyips scattered throughout Aboriginal Australia. Because it is so widely known in so many different cultures, there is no real consensus concerning what a bunyip looks like. But some common characteristics include tusks, flippers, and a horse-like tail. It is believed that they come out at night to feast on animals, young children, and women. It supposedly makes a loud bellow when approached. It is sometimes argued that they harbor supernatural powers. Originally, they were punishing spirits derived from the Aboriginal Dreamtime. But today they have been toned down and are included in literature for children and even make appearances in television commercials. There is a long list of supposed sightings of bunyips. Some of the most recent and concentrated sightings were during the 1930s in the midst of the Depression. One possible theory for the existence of the bunyip is that they are diprotodon, which went extinct about 20,000 years ago

[It is important to remember that in Australia the actual strata relating to the extinction event are mostly missing from the period which would be the Upper Paleolithic in Europe. The dates for extinctions are mostly only the best-guess estimates-DD]
The dogfaced Bunyip featured in many sightings. Several sightings feature a hairy eared seal that is probably some sort of a fur seal, but there is a series of these reports featuring very shaggy creatures with horse's tails and large lop ears.The features are exaggerated enough to take the creatures out of the seal category, BUT we might still be taliking about the young of the larger "Bellowing Bullock" Bunyip since the "Dogfaced" ones average about five feet long and the bigger Bunyips average about 10-15 feet long
This is Megan Anderson's reconstruction of this kind of Bunyip and it is so "Normal" looking that I wondered if it was not possible that we might have a strain of longhaired amphibious dogs derived out of mostly a retriever dog ancestry. However in this case also the smaller animal also shares several of the traits of the larger ones. These are striking enough that I feel I must make some sort of a list here:

The creatures have an overall bearlike build, even something like a polar bear, tapering generally from the rather elongated head and neck to the thick and heavy rump section. The tail is bushy and often compared to a horse's tail. The fur is thick enough to bristle up on the back in the water and hang down from the belly on land. The feet are sometimes represented as webbed but are in any event generally big and floppy, and rather shapeless.

A reconstruction for Diprotodon, showing how smaller cubs and larger adults could account for both the smaller-sized and larger-sized series of reports. Below, a rock-art depiction of a four-legged Bunyip that also shows some of these distinctive traits such as the descriptions and the reconstruction here, including the elongated forepart and heavy rump.

Skeleton of a diprotodon: ten to fifteen feet from the snout to the hip joint would be just about right.
A famous collected Aboriginal tale about some hunters that took a baby Bunyip away from its mother. In this account,we definitely have a description of both the larger and smaller sizes, and the definite statement that the creature is the young of the larger type.
A more elaborate, later illustration of the same scene, zooming in on only the mother creatu're's face. There is perhaps too much of the Western idea of the Devil being shown here, but also perhaps still some glimmerings of the original Diprotodon lingering through.

Many reports make mention of the whiskers on the snout and the large tusks in the mouth: if it is a Diprotodon, the teeth would be protruding rodent-like incisors rather than sharp canines. Diprotodons are missing the canine this case the ears could be what were being represented as horns in the artwork.

Yowies, Alternative Explanation (5) An unknown apelike marsupial. One fossil candidate is the Mountain diprotodont (Hulitherium thomasetti), a Late Pleistocene marsupial with a domed head and short muzzle discovered in Papua New Guinea in 1986. Its mobile limbs may have allowed it to stand upright or walk on its hind legs like a bear. Some Cryptozoologists theorize that the traditional Yahoo or Yowie was this bearlike marsupial and then the more Bigfoot-like creature was a myth of modern times. To this I would say, this theory in no way agrees with any of the older depictions made for the creature, but the suggestion does have some merit in explaining some reports. I would imagine the Marsupial Panda has been wiped out in the twentieth century in any event.

Eberhart Mysterious Creatures Article on the Bunyip
Mystery Marsupialof Australia. Etymology: Probably derived from the Aus- tralian Banib. A “monster of Aboriginal legend, supposed to haunt water-holes; any freak or im- postor,” according to G. A. Wilkes, Dictionary of Australian Colloquialisms, 3d ed. (Sydney, Aus- tralia: Sydney University Press, 1990). The form Bahnyip appeared in the Sydney Gazette in 1812. Bernard Heuvelmans thought the word derived from Bunjil, the supreme being of the Victorian Aborigines. The name is widely used in Victoria and New South Wales and was first heard by whites in the Sydney area. By 1852, the word had become a synonym for “impostor” or “hum- bug” in Sydney. The term bunyip aristocracy refers to snobbish Australian conservatives. Variant names: Banib, Bunnyar (in Western Australia), Bunyup, Burley beast, Dongus (in New South Wales), Gu-ru-ngaty (Thurawal/ Australian, New South Wales), Kajanprati, Katenpai, Kianpraty (in Victoria), Kine praty, Kinepràtia, Kuddimudra, Mirree-ulla (Wirad- huri/Australian, New South Wales), Mochel Mochel, Moolgewanke, Munni munni (in Queensland), Toor-roo-don (in Victoria), Tum- bata (in Victoria), Tunatpan, Waa-Wee, Wan- gul (in Western Australia), Wouwai (near Lake Macquarie, New South Wales).
Physical description: According to Tony Healy and Paul Cropper, about 60 percent of the sight- ings resemble seals or swimming dogs, and 20 percent are long-necked creatures with small heads. (The remainder are too ambiguous to categorize.)
Seal-dog variety—Seal-like. Length, 4–6 feet. Shaggy, black or brown hair. Round head and whiskers like a seal’s, otter’s, or bulldog’s. Shin- ing eyes. Prominent ears. No tail.
Long-necked variety—Length, 5–15 feet. Black or brown fur. Head like a horse’s or an emu’s. Large ears. Small tusks. Elongated, maned neck about 3 feet long, with many folds of skin. Four legs. Three toes. Horselike tail.
Behavior: Amphibious. Nocturnal. Swims swiftly with fins or flippers. Loud, roaring call. Eats crayfish. Lays eggs in platypus nests in un- derwater burrows. Said by the Aborigines to be a guardian water spirit that eats women and children and causes sickness. Tracks:Three-toed. Emulike.[Emph. added.Traditionally, the tracks are "Old 3-Toes" tracks again-DD] Habitat: Lakes, rivers, and swamps. Distribution:Traditions range throughout the continent, with sightings centered in Victoria, southern New South Wales, and eastern South Australia.

Significant sightings: In June 1801, mineralo- gist Joseph Charles Bailly of the French Le Géo- graphe Expedition reported hearing the bellow of some large animal in the Swan River, Western Australia. Hamilton Hume and James Meehan found skulls and bone fragments of amphibious ani- mals the day after they discovered Lake Bathurst, New South Wales, in April 1818. The earliest sightings by a colonist were at Lake Bathurst by Edward Smith Hall (later a founder of the Bank of New South Wales), who saw both the seal-dog and the long-necked vari- eties. In November 1821, Hall saw a black Bun- yip with a bulldog’s head thrashing in the water for five minutes. In December 1822, he was drying himself off after bathing in the eastern end of the lake when he saw a 3-foot, black head and neck gliding along the surface for about 300 yards. Some of the reports in the lake of animals with bulldoglike heads that made noises like a porpoise were possibly prompted by seals, which are known to have migrated to the nearby Mul- ware River in 1947. Employees of George Holder (or Hopper) saw two horselike Bunyips in Paika Lake, New South Wales, in the 1840s. Atholl Fletcher found a fresh skull along the lower Murrumbidgee River, New South Wales, in 1846. The top of the cranium, the front of the snout, and the lower jaw were missing. The cra- nium was about 9 inches long. The eye sockets were abnormally close to the upper jaw. No other bones were present. It was first examined by James Grant, who considered it to be a fetal skull of an unknown animal. William S. Macleay in Sydney also considered it to be from a young an- imal, possibly a fetus; comparing it to a fetal mare’s skull, he thought it most likely belonged to a deformed colt. Based on an illustration, Sir Richard Owen in England pronounced it a calf’s skull. It was taken to the Australian Museum in Sydney but has long since vanished. The Aborig- inal name for the animal was said to be Katenpai.

Geologist E. J. Dunn observed several ani- mals swimming in the flooded Murrumbidgee River near Gundagai in 1850. A naturalist named Stocqueler reported “freshwater seals” in the Goulburn and Murray Rivers, New South Wales, in 1857. Horsemen saw a whitish, dog-sized animal in 1886 along the River Molonglo, Australian Capital Territory. On September 8, 1949, L. Keegan and his wife reported they had seen a 4-foot animal with shaggy ears several times over the past two weeks in the Lauriston Reservoir, Victoria. They claimed it used its ears in swimming through the water at tremendous speed. In the 1960s, Jack Mitchell collected many re- ports by Aborigines, farmers, and tourists of a seal-dog Bunyip in the Macquarie River between Wellington and Warren, New South Wales. A roaring animal that splattered mud around the bank of the Nerang River was heard near Gilston, Queensland, in 1965. supernatural being by the Aborigines of south- eastern Australia at the time of white settlement. There are few modern sightings, and most are vague or fanciful. The long-necked variety of Bunyip has not been reported since the nine- teenth century and may be extinct.
Possible explanations: (1) Australian fur seals (Arctocephalus pusillus doriferus) or Australian sea lions (Neophoca cinerea) that stray inland through the river systems might explain some sightings of the seal-dog Bunyip. In the nineteenth century, these were known to travel many miles up the Murray, Shoalhaven, and Murrumbidgee Rivers. Elephant seals (Mirounga leonina) were also known along the coast. Either of these animals seen unexpectedly in an un- usual habitat could be misidentified. (2) An unknown form of freshwater seal endemic to southeastern Australia. (3) Booming calls of the Brown bittern (Botaurus poiciloptilus) of Victoria and New South Wales have been attributed to the Bun- yip. One of its nicknames is the “bunyip bird.” (4) The Musk duck (Biziura lobata) was re- sponsible for one report in Sydney in 1960. (5) Some reports may have involved large Murray cod (Maccullochella peelii peelii), which grow to more than 5 feet. (6) The Saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), the largest living reptile, is found in northern Australia, but it may have been known to Aborigines in the south in pre- colonial times, forming the basis for a Bun- yip legend. Mature males average 14–16 feet long and are generally dark, with lighter tan or gray areas. (7) An Australian version of the long-necked Freshwater Monster. (8) Aboriginal legends of surviving Quater- nary marsupials. Two candidates are the ter- restrial, herbivorous, tapir-snouted Palor- chestes, suggested by Tim Flannery and Michael Archer, said to have been the size of a bull, or Diprotodon optatum, the largest known marsupial, about 10 feet long with a 3-foot skull, suggested by C. W. Anderson and Karl Shuker. Neither were amphibious, however.[A suggestion has been made that the amphibious adaptation was not original but was adopted under stress from hunters and from drought conditions-DD] (9) An unknown species of otterlike marsupial.

Sources: “The Bunyip, or Kine pratie,” Sydney Morning Herald, January 21, 1847, p. 2; William H. Hovell, “The Apocryphal Animal of the Interior of New South Wales,” Sydney Morning Herald,February 9, 1847; William Sharp Macleay, “On the Skull Now Exhibited at the Colonial Museum of Sydney, As That of the ‘Bunyip,’” Sydney Morning Herald,July 14, 1847; William Westgarth, Australia Felix (Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd, 1848); Ronald C. Gunn, “On the ‘Bunyip’ of Australia Felix,” Tasmanian Journal of Natural Science3 (1849): 147–149; John Morgan, The Life and Adventures of William Buckley (Hobart, Tasm., Australia: A. Macdougall, 1852), pp. 48, 108–109; Moreton Bay (Queensl.) Free Press, April 15, 1857, p. 3; Charles Gould, “Large Aquatic Animals,” Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania, 1872, pp. 32–41; Robert Brough Smyth, The Aborigines of Victoria (Melbourne, Australia: Government Printer, 1878); William Hardy Wilson,The Cow Pasture Road(William Hardy Wilson, 1920), p. 19; C. W. Anderson, “The Largest Marsupial,”Australian Museum Magazine2 (1924): 113–116; John Gale, Canberra: History and Legends(Queanbeyan, N.S.W., Australia: A. M. Fallick, 1927); Charles Fenner, Bunyips and Billabongs(Sydney, Australia: Angus and Robertson, 1933); Gilbert Whitley, “Mystery Animals of Australia,” Australian Museum Magazine7 (1940): 132–139; Charles Barrett, The Bunyip and Other Mythical Monsters and Legends(Melbourne, Australia: Reed and Harris, 1946), pp. 7–30; Alan Marshall, “Bunyips Never Whistle,” Melbourne Argus Magazine,December 14, 1951; K.G. Dugan, “Darwin and Diprotodon:The Wellington Cave Fossils and the Law of Succession,” Proceedings of the Linnaean Society of New South Wales104 (1980): 265–272; Patricia Vickers-Rich and Gerard Van Tets, eds., Kadimakara: Extinct Vertebrates of Australia (Lilydale, Vic., Australia: Pioneer Design Studio, 1985), pp. 17, 234–244; W. S. Ramson, ed., The Australian National Dictionary (Melbourne, Australia: Oxford University Press, 1988), pp. 109–110; Christopher Smith, “A Second Look at the Bunyip,” INFO Journal,no. 64 (October 1991): 11–13, 37; Tony Healy and Paul Cropper, Out of the Shadows: Mystery Animals of Australia(Chippendale, N.S.W., Australia: Ironbark, 1994), pp. 161–180; Malcolm Smith, Bunyips and Bigfoots(Alexandria, N.S.W., Australia: Millennium Books, 1996), pp. 1–24; Robert Holden and Nicholas Holden, Bunyips: Australia’s Folklore of Fear(Canberra: National Library of Australia, 2001).

Freshwater Monkeys and the Other Unidentified Primates

I realised after the fact that I had done my global-view range maps and comparitive-sized reconstructions for Wildme and Heuvelmans' "Petit Yeti" and "Grand Yeti" but not also for Tyler Stone's freshwater monkeys, of which the Kappas are the best-defined representatives. At left is a Kappa illustration from Wikipedia, and it has an "Angry monkey" face plus webbed hands and feet which are four webbed toes and a thumb apiece, which we are going to say is the true value
And at left here is my rough world range map, an adaptation of the less specific range map I posted in an earlier blog on the European water Sprites. The usual terms for such creatures worldwide is "Water-Children" or "Little People that live in the Water" and I have a strong feeling that they are also the basis for some of the Native tradidions called "Devil Mokeys" (which are an extremely heterogenous collection otherwise)

And below is my scale comparison, this time also incorporating the eyes for each type. It turns out the eyes for Wildmen and Sasquatch are about the same absolute size in either case, but proportionately very much smaller in the faces of the Giants. The "Water-Goblins" were something I had added on a similar chart I drew while at SITU HQs in the mid-1970s. I thought from the eyes they might be a type of lemur, and they were indicated by a series of the "Little Hairy Men of the Delta" reports off of John Keel's listings for sightings in the Eastern USA. Shortly thereafter, I dropped the category as sounding too "Far Out" But now I can see what is going on with those reports better, since Tyler Stone articulated the theory to me over again in a clearer way. I had also included the Kelly-Hopkinsville "Goblins" on the theory the big head could have been the effect of a large mane of hair on the head, and asuming there was no real connection to any UFO report then. The hands and feet of the Kappa are meant to represent webbed fingers and toes and yes, the category is now intended to include Loveland "Frogs" (Now reconfigured as "Loveland Kappas")
Although all of these Amphibious "Little Men" reports are treated as individual and mutually exclusive, they all could be describing the same thing with poor lighting, only partial observations being made and faulty memories afterwards. The policeman in the second Loveland Frog report did mention that the creature could have had wet hair slicked down giving the appearance of a reflective leathery skin and in fact the creatures seem to have a longer "Cape" of hairs on the back that often gives a matted appearance (like a turtle's shell) or which can be partially dry and have the locks of hair form "Spikes." A monkeylike face is indicated in the last two photos and big monkeylike ears standing out in the Hopkinsville case. The large goggle eyes set off to the sides of the head are common to all cases, and the only possible "UFO" seen in any of these cases was elsewhere identified as a meteor (in the Hopkinsville case). The way the hands and feet grip is similar in all cases, and the Evansville case specifies that the fingers are webbed. We can forgive the other observers for missing out on that point.                             Best Wishes, Dale D.

PS, the mane could also be less extensive in females, accounting for some sightings seeming to have less less covering over the ears, for example. The mane could also lie flatter when wet and slicked-down. Wetter hides ARE remarked on as being very reflective in some cases and the creatures can look greenish when covered in algae or duckweed. They ARE "Goebelins" in Europe as well.
'Goblins were described as 2–3 feet tall, thin, and brown. Most were bald and "if there were females among the group they could not be distinguished from the males".' From which it seems that the sex organs are unclear to humans and the females do not have prominent breasts: "Most were bald" means they have an apparent bald spot on the tops of their heads, the same as the Kappas do. They seem to have prominent ischial callosities and also cheek pouches to store food in. And incidentally they would seem to maintain a pecking order by males mounting subordinate males, same as in ordinary macaques: there are many stories of goblins attempting buggery of human males.

For the record also, here is my former map for "Improbable Giant Frogs" of the Loveland variety. Thetis Lake is indicated on the map and should be removed--but oddly enough such creatures are also reported at Lake Okanagon, the Ogopogo lake, and represented on Petroglyphs on the shores of the lake there.

Monday, 27 February 2012

More Kappa News from Tyler Stone

Just sent to my private email:
Hi Dale,
I just found this drawing of a kappa on this site,

I found it interesting because it depicts the kappa as being covered in hair. And I think it can be identified as a freshwater macaque monkey by the hair on its. The distinctive "afro" and beard look very similar to the mane of a lion-tailed macaque.

And now that I look at it, I think the "dish" that kappas are described as having may simply be an area of short hair at the top of the head, exactly like the lion-tailed macaque.

Best regards,
Tyler Stone
And my reply was:
Brilliant solution. Talk about the most parsimonious hypothesis! you have my thanks and my admiration for coming up with that angle.

Best Wishes, Dale D.

I should also note that Kappas and all similar water sprites have the diagnostic feature of having very thin arms and legs like a monkey would have and not necessarily what an ape or human would have.

Tyler has adjusted my opinion on the Kappas and Gambo since he has started posting, and since he has started posting I have also started revising my opinion about the supposed Pterosaurian sightings: I now think that many reports are actually Pelagornithids which still persist in the warmer regions of the globe as the most parsimonuious hypothesis for some of those reports: but the creatures with a diamond-shaped body and long thin trailing tail has still got to be based on mistaken visual impressions of manta rays. It is also possible that some excited witnesses have confused sightings of the two different creatures. But Pelagornathids do not have tails and could not be construed as having such:

On the other hand, some birds like the Great blue herons do fly with their legs sticking straight out at back and looking like a long thin tail.
That makes three things that I have changed my mind on as better information came to me.

In case anybody is keeping track.

Dead Bunyip Preserved in Outline

There was a dry creek bed in Australia where the Aboriginies say that a Bunyip had died and to commemmorate the event, thet forever afterward maintained its outline in the surface of the dry creek bed

The bunyip was rarely found in traditional Aboriginal art. Surely this omission is highly significant?

It is surprising to find that the bunyip has almost no established image in Aboriginal art. Perhaps this is because it was so rarely seen and so terrible to approach? Aboriginal belief in the evocative power of such an image may also have discouraged them from drawing any outline of their fears.
There is one major exception. At an unknown period in the Dreaming, a creature which the local Aboriginal people believed to be a bunyip died on the banks of Fiery Creek near Ararat in Victoria.
The experience was so remarkable that the Djapwurrong people constructed an outline around the carcass in order to preserve its shape. Spears were dug into the ground around it and the turf was later removed to create a sacred site. The Djapwurrong people returned each year to renew this outline.
It was there in 1840 when white settlers arrived and was first sketched in the mid-nineteenth century. By this time the outline was about nine metres long and its shape had become distorted and rather enigmatic. Viewed from one direction it looked like an emu; from another, it looked like a seal.
It was named the Challicum bunyip after a nearby station. The area finally returned to nature and the outline of the bunyip faded from sight

In this case I think it is self-evident the Bunyip had been a large seal much like an elephant seal:

More on Bunyips later, I think I am going to run a mini-series on them.

Also recognisably a bigmouthed elephant seal with "Dog teeth"

The elephant seal's drooping nose is sometimes described as a beak and the eyes of the seal can glow green like a dog's eyes do in certain lights. Bunyip image from Karl Shuker.