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Friday, 28 February 2014

Surf Croc

Posted: 25 February, 2014 by Brettney

OMG! It's A Surfing Crocodile

Broome's latest visitor to the beach!

Sharon Scoble

Sharon Scoble
Here's something you don't see everyday - a giant surfing crocodile!
The 4-metre croc forced the closure of Broome's Cable Beach on Saturday while he enjoyed surfing and paddling around.

[This is an Indopacific or Saltie croc [Crocodylus porosus] and not an especially large one, about 13 to 15 feet long. I include the article here because the crocodile has an unconfirmed even larger relative that is even more at home at the sea, and the appearance would be much the same only scaled up-DD]

Earlier Story:

Posted: 13 September, 2013 by Rosie

Nudists Run For Their Life From Crocodiles

Dangers of Broome beachlife!

If you're a nude sunbather - I think you're already taking enough risks we reckon. Not so, for thenudists of Northern West Australia who decided to go sunbathing tackle-out in an area where crocodiles are known to hang out.
The incident happened around 2:00pm on Monday on Cable Beach in Broome, when a crocodile was spotted by life guards and a swimmer. An alert went out about the three to four metre crocodile - and panic ensured.
"There was approximately 20 people in the water and 60 cars on the beach so we've just put signs on, made sure that everyone's aware that the beach was closed." said Lifeguard Supervisor Chase Lurati. 
"North of the rocks is the community beach which people go to naked. They all understand, they're all quite regular here."
What would you do if you were nude sunbathing and a crocodile appeared? Sprint off the beach without your clothes? Stay to get them and risk it? So many questions!

Loch Lomond Monster

Information from the Unknown Explorers site:
Located in both the western lowlands of Central Scotland and the southern Highlands Loch Lomond has the largest surface area of any loch in Scotland and is second only to Loch Ness in volume. For centuries residents of the loch have reported sightings of a strange creature living in its waters. Though sightings of this creature are very rare, those sightings that have been reported seem to vary greatly when describing the creatures overall appearance. Some eyewitnesses describe the Lomond Monster as the traditional prehistoric plesiosaur like creature thought by many investigators to dwell in several of the Scottish lochs, including the most famous of these creatures, the Loch Ness Monster. The second description of the Lomond Monster, which seems to be unique among Scottish loch monsters, gives it the appearance of a large crocodile, an animal not known to live in Scotland. According to several eyewitnesses in 1997 a 12 foot long beast, described as a crocodile by one eyewitness, began devouring ducks in Loch Lomond. SSPCE spokes woman Doreen Graham received several calls in regards to the creature including one man’s report that he was watching a flock of ducks on the loch when one was suddenly pulled under the surface. Before long a group of friends shooting a video on the banks of Loch Lomond, near Rowardennan, claimed to have captured the creature on film. Edinburgh freelance journalist Nick Taylor, who was producing the film, claimed that while the group was packing up their gear they noticed the creature swimming not to far off shore. According to Taylor the beast was gliding through the water slowly, but often picked up speed and swam against the tide. The group had never seen anything like it before and described the creature as looking like a giant crocodile or alligator. Their tape found its way to the desk of Dr. Andrew Kitchener, of the Royal Museum of Scotland, who after viewing the tape admitted that the creature contained with in did appear to be a crocodile; however he made it clear that a crocodile would be unable to survive in Loch Lomond. Upon further inspection of the video Dr. Kitchener was able to rule out a mink or an otter as the creature in the videos identity. With all the attention given to the Loch Ness Monster very view scientific investigations into the Lomond Monster have been conducted, leaving the question of what is living in its depths a complete mystery. As it stands the only two descriptions of the beast seem to defy nature and time by thousands of miles and millions of years. The Evidence There is currently no physical evidence that would suggest a creature like the Lomond Monster is living in the cold depths of Loch Lomond. The Sightings In 1997, a film crew making a music video captured something unexplainable on film, possibly the Lomond Monster. The Stats– (Where applicable) • Classification: Lake Monster • Size: Roughly 12 in length • Weight: Unknown • Diet: Carnivorous (Includes fish and ducks) • Location: Loch Lomond, Scotland • Movement: Swimming • Environment: Loch (Freshwater lake)

Monster lakes in Scotland, Loch Lomond double-circled. All of these lakes including Loch Ness seem to host sightings of the "Master Otter" sort. Indications are that the beast encountered by St Columba at Loch Ness was also a Master Otter and  Viking-age artwork seems to confirm that notion.

                                    Early Irish depictions of Water Monsters (Piasts)

From the online dictionary of Celtic Supernatural creatures:


(DO-wuhr-ckuh) "Water Hound"
Also known as the King Otter, this creature resembles a cross between an otter and a dog, but is larger than both. It inhabits lakes and large rivers, and behaves much like a crocodile, lunging out of the water to seize prey and drag it under to down it. However, it feeds on the shore, so remains can usually be found. It is said to have Faerie powers, and its pelt magical abilities, but it may be based on a real creature, a cryptid that may now be extinct.


LINDSAY SELBY: Loch Lomond Crocodile?

Located in both the lowlands and the southern Highlands of Scotland, Loch Lomond is second only to Loch Ness in volume of water. For years there have been reports by residents living near the loch of a strange creature seen in the water. Some eyewitnesses describe the creature as being like the Loch Ness monster, a plesiosaur like creature, others say it looks like a large crocodile.

Then several eyewitnesses in 1997 said they had seen a 12 foot long beast eating the ducks in Loch Lomond. This article appeared in the press:

Croc Lomond Monster ~ Mystery Of 'Beast' Caught On Film.

By Ray Notarangelo.

A mystery monster has been seen gobbling ducks in Loch Lomond. the 12ft long beast, now captured on video, has left scientists baffled.

One even said it looked like a giant crocodile? SSPCA chiefs yesterday confirmed they had received several reports about the new Nessie.

A five-minute film of the beast has been shot by pals making a pop video on the banks of Loch Lomond, near Rowardennan. Edinburgh freelance journalist Nick Taylor, who owns the film, said: "When the group were packing up they discovered this creature swimming in the water. The thing was gliding through the water slowly, but it often picked up speed and swam against the tide. They got quite a shock, especially when it started to swim towards them at one point. They thought it looked like some giant crocodile or alligator. They had never seen anything like it before.

SSPCE spokeswoman Doreen Graham said: "People came on the phone saying to us: 'I hope you don't think I'm mad, but I've seen a strange creature in Loch Lomond.' ~ One man told us they were looking at a flock of ducks on the loch when suddenly one was pulled under the surface. If anyone can solve the mystery we'd love to hear from them."

Source: Daily Record: 10th April 1997.

The film ended up on the desk of Dr. Andrew Kitchener, of the Royal Museum of Scotland. After viewing the tape he admitted that the creature it showed did appear to be a crocodile; however he made it clear that a crocodile would be unable to survive in Loch Lomond. Dr. Kitchener was able to rule out a mink or an otter as the creature in the videos identity.

So what was it? Well our old friend the sturgeon is a contender and does look reptilian , or even huge pike perhaps, they are known to eat ducklings. Could it have been an abandoned pet croc which got too big to look after? It would have survived for a short time but the cold would eventually have killed it. The mystery remains . If anyone knows of any more recent sightings please post a comment.
At the time I mentioned reports of "Salamanders" in various places (including Loch Ness) but on looking back over this it seems the size is more consistent with a "Master-Otter" It does not seem that a sturgeon would be likely in this location and the size is too great to be a pike.

 Atlantic Sturgeon washed ashore in New York state in 2013: they dont usually grow anywhere nearly as large as they used to get. Below, an ordinary otter looking very much like a log in the water.

The reports of a longer necked creature also in Loch Lomond could be a swimming deer: One youTube video seems to show a longer necked creature appear in a spray of water and then go under again shortly after that. However certain aspects of the transfer process as mentioned in the comments make this seem to be due to clever editing and digital manipulation

Garry Liimatta sighting off Vancouver Island, 1969

Scott Mardis sent me the details on this sighting and I reproduce his documents below: 

My opinion is that Liimata saw an elephant seal but esrtimated its size as too large, perhaps twice as large as it really was. This is a common mistake in sightings of unknown animals and especially at sea where size and distance can be difficult to judge. The head and hind flippers of the creature, and especially its slim and seal-like body, remind me of other osightings which turned out to be elephant seals on other occasions. Certainly this possibilitity is much better than the possibility the witness saw a much smaller leatherback turtle and made more of an exaggeration of the size, especially since the body was not turtle like in shape but more seal-shaped instead and the overhanging snout of an elephant seal has been interpreted as being like a hooked turtle's beak on other occasions: one of Heuvelmans' "Father of All the Turtles" sightings in Southern waters was very likely an elephant seal. Halving the dimensions gives the creature a four foot neck and a breadth of a yard, both of which are very reasonable estimates for an elephant seal.


Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Lake Champlain Gar and Sturgeon Sightings

ScottMardis sent in some information regarding the possibility that some sightings at Lake Champlain were due to mistaken views of large fishes. He also mentioned that there were occasional reports of large eels (both at Lake Champlain and also at Lake Memphremagog) but there was independant evidence that conger eels occasionally stray in from the sea.

The initial description of the monster in Lake Champlain was obviously a gar and PURSUIT published this information in the 1980s
  Scott also sent some pages from the book The Untold Story of Champ, A Social History of America's Loch Ness Monster  by Robert E Bartholomew (2012), which included reports that in particular sounded like alligator gars and Atlantic Sturgeons:

In addition to these fish and the seals known to occasionally come into Lake Champlain from the sea,there are also reports of "Giant Water Lizards" and other reports that sound suspiciously like our Master Otter (the Native Americans' Mishipizhiw)

North America does not have any native species of large water lizards, in casual speech the term ordinarly means "Salamander" and in this case we would best understand it as "Giant hellbender". These Giant hellbenders as alleged in the area around Lake Champlain are said to be 2-3 feet long, occasionally reported as much as 6 feet long and possibly even longer by mistake.

Hellbender information  LINK

P denotes reports of "Giant Water Lizards" that can be pink. The one in New Jersey was reported by Ivan T Sanderson. Other reports are further to the South, in the Carolinas We are not concerned with those especially now, what I wanted to bring up for discussion was the area I have circled on the Map (GH). Lake Champlain is in the Eastern part of that circle, but while I was douing research in Sanderson's archives I found some letters and clippings which led me to believe there was a giant salamander or "Giant Water Lizard"along the lines of the Chinese giant salamanders and which were probably related to the pink one Sanderson reported in New Jersey. None of these Eastward reports are ordinary hellbenders although they are said to look just like them. They are larger than the usual hellbenders at 2-3 feet long commonly, sometimes twice that, They also seen to be reported in the adjoining parts of Canada. (Mark A Hall discusses the ones in Ohio and there may be similar ones in the Ozarks but they also do not concern us here)

 Independantly we have good cause to suspect the giant otters or Master Otters in Lake Champlain and surrounding areas: we have some pretty good videos that seem to indicate them. There are also reports in Pennsylvania that clearly name them as Master-otters.  These animals would not be in competition with the salamanders ecologically and they live very different lifestyles

                                  THIS WAS THE 1000th POSTING ON THIS BLOG

Nahuelito photo from Lake Monsters Facebook page

Above is an early depiction of the Pattagonian Plesiosaur of Lake Nahuel Huapi, which was a media sensation before the Loch Ness monster was publicised in the 1930s. In parallel to "Nessie" the creaure of that lake is known as Nauelito, which might be translated as "Nahuelie." Sightings were rarely reported to the outside world until recently, but this is one location which consistently produces both reports of Plesiosaur-shaped creatures and also photographs purporting to show them

One of the photographs was reproduced by the owner of the Lake Monsters facebook page and it is reproduced below. I made the remark that the creature image in it looked interesting bu/t that it needed to have better contrast to make it out

Jay Cooney turned up the contrast and it resulted in the image below (Dale D also worked on this version to create the best possible contrast between the creature and the water.) The result is very similar to some of the images coming out of Lake Champlain and pictured on this blog recently

Mrs. Moir's Loch Ness Monster Sighting above and the Umfuli SS sighting below. All of these creatures seem to be described as being about the same absolute size, about 30 feet long overall visible ( 9 meters)
The strong similarity between all of these creatres widely scattered in time and space is a good reason to think there could well be something substantual to the reports and they are all describing the same species

Umfuli SS, after Captain Cringle

Hope On SS

During the autumn of 1883, the captain and crew of the US whaling ship Hope On  sighted a creature that they took to be a small whale on two consecutive days. This happened when the ship was whaling off of the Las Perlas Archipelago on the Pacific side of the Isthmus of Panama. The creature was said to have a horselike head with two unicorn-like horns on top of it, a dark brown hide speckled with black dots, four legs or double-jointed fins and a tail that seemed to be divided into two large fins.Other ships of the same company stated their men had seen this creature before on other occasions, but none so close as the crew of the Hope On.
(Presumably they thought they had encountered the legendary Campchurch.) This report comes from Proctor's compilation of early Sea Serpent reportsand was reprinted by Heuvelmans. Coleman and Huyghe print a version with certain additional details given, and I do not know the reason for these differences in the report.
Campchurch, the sea-unicorn

This report came up in a discussion about sea serpent reports with Jay Cooney and others, and I remarked that critics said this was an elephant seal. It was in an area where Californian elephant seals occasionally stray and it is in the right size range. Against that we have those horns on the head and the traditional classification as the report as a Long necked Sea serpent (Following Heuvelmans), implying that it had a long neck. And then I added my own inderpendant information : In that part of the world (Panama) the name "Water Horse" is used to mean a creature that is probably based on the elephant seal.

But in thinking back on it, the creature wasn't a Longneck, a long neck was never described. In fact one of the extra details that Coleman and Huyghe included (not in Heuvelmans) was that the second one that was seen was smaller and had a shorter neck. And in other cases where a Campchurch sighting is alleged, an elephanyt seal is supected to be the cause (a case off of South Africa is a good example)

In that it now transpires that the only detail that makes this not a sighting of a strayed elephant seal is the matter of the alleged twin unicorn horns. And that can have been a mistake for any number of reasons, among which is that the elephant's snout on an elephant seal has been claimed to be associated with  horns or tusks on several other occasions in the literature. And even in the cases where Roy Mackal suspects the water monster was based on an elephant seal, a sort of horn on the snout is one of the characteristics that is repeatedly alleged. So this is one of those occasions where it is not even necessaery to say why a certain mistaken impression seems to have been made because the same mistake is repeatedly alleged someplace else in the literature.

Sources: Bernard Heuvelmans, In The Wake of The Sea Serpents
James Sweeny, A Pictoral History of Sea Monsters and Other Dangerous Marine Life
Loren Coleman, Patrick Huyghe and Harry Trumbore,Field Guide to Lake Monsters, Sea Serpents, and Other Mystery Denizensof the Deep
Roy MackalSearching for Hidden Animals

See Also LINK

Monday, 17 February 2014

Message on Giant Squids

From the mailbag:

Dear Mr Drinnon
I have recently discovered your article about the monotypes Architeuthis and Mesonychoteuthius on
And I must say, I'm pretty happy about your survey, for it is one of the few circulating, that takes a critical approach on the maximum size dilemma.
Well from the standpoint of an historian that originally planed to study biology, I have to make clear hat the medieval image of the Kraken does not really correspond to the modern image of a huge cepahlopod at all.
But I absolutely share your critical opinion onwards.
Even the largest beak of Mesonychoteuthis found in a sperm whale's stomach, exceeding the one of the now famous 2007 catch, does not automatically indicate (like some experts say; I'm excluding Mr O'Shea here), that Mesonychoteuthis will reach a maximum weight of about 1000 pounds. This is is totally suspicious, for we have absolutely no valid data (we would need a bunch of specimen to work on this thesis), that the beak size of specimen of the same size is variating or not.
Affectionate regards
Luddwig Lochschmidt

I am grateful for this letter and I think the point is well made. My thanks to Mr. Lochschmidt.

Caddy Video from Lake Monsters Facebook page

This picture was posted at the Facebook Lake Monsters page as intended to show what the "Caddy" creatures in the Kelly video taken in Alaska were supposed to look like. I immediately said that the image exactly resembled the head of an elephant seal

The resemblance to an elephant seal was close enough that not only was the trunk and mouth of the creature exactly like an Elephant seal's, the distinctive peak at the back of the head was shown.

The creator of the image said that all they were doing was showing that the creature in the footage resembled the Naden Harbour "Cadborosaurus" and thus they had added the corresponding head overlaid on the still from the video. That may have been his purpose but the resulting resemblance may be more important than expected.

Once again, I did not make this image showing the head assumed to belong on the Alaskan video, all I did was to point out the resemblance to an elephant seal's head: I am merely presenting it here because it might actually be important in breaking this case. I am only taking responsibility for running it here, not for creating the image.

New Elasmotherium Reconstruction

Recently there was a discussion amongg some Cryptozoologists on Facebook and the subject of Elasmotherium came up. One of the other particpants  submitted a reconstruction he had found but it had a problem: the animal's neck was too short for the head to reach the ground. It could not have grazed and would have starved. I took the image and added a longer neck, long enough to reach the ground and voila! I came up with the completely new reconstuction presented here for the extinct rhinoceros and Unicorn candidate Elasmotherium.

Kentucky Wild Man 1883

It would seem either that the story of "Mum the Hermit" was invented to account for the Wild Man or that it was a reference to an actual person that had nothing to do with the hairy wild man.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

'Bristol Crocodile'

VIDEO: Bristol Crocodile captured on camera - or is it an al-log-ator?

By The Bristol Post  |  Posted: February 11, 2014

 Comments (12)
IS this the proof that Bristol is playing host to a six-foot crocodile? Tom Aditya, a Bradley Stoke town councillor, believes he has captured the elusive Bristol crocodile on video.
He made the film while walking by the River Avon near Pill.
In his amateur footage, an object – not dissimilar to a log – can be seen moving towards the banks of the river where birds take flight, possibly in fear.
The film, captured in October but published exclusively by the Bristol Post for the first time today, follows two sightings of a crocodile last week which have led to a police investigation and city-wide speculation.


But Mr Aditya has dismissed the idea that the object he filmed is a crocodile – or a log – in favour of his own theory that our reptilian friend is an alligator.
In the video, Mr Aditya focuses on a dark brown object drifting in the brown waters of the mouth of the Avon.
The camera is focused on the object for almost two and a half minutes.
Mr Aditya told the Bristol Post that when he first spotted the alleged reptile in October he "didn't think much of it".
But when he read the news that Avon and Somerset police chief constable Nick Gargan had told the public that police were searching for the beast, he was reminded of his close encounter.
He said he has now contacted the police but they declined his offer to send the video to them.
Mr Aditya, a management consultant who runs his own firm from Bristol and London, said he spotted the reptile while on one of his regular walks down the Avon to Pill.
He said: "I remember I could see its eyes there and at first I thought it could be a seal, but then it kept moving up the river slowly.
"I thought it was quite natural at first. I was a bit amazed, I thought 'why?'
"After that I didn't really think about it. I thought it might be naturally there.
"Then when I heard someone spotted a crocodile in Bristol, I went back to the video."
Sceptics have already dismissed various sightings of the Bristol crocodile as nothing more than a floating log.
Mr Aditya added that he had consulted his friend about the video who had offered his own conclusion.
He said: "I have shown it to a friend in Florida and he believes that it is a crocodile of the gharial species from the Indian subcontinent. It is a fish-eating crocodile.
"It may have reached here through any vessel that passed through the Bristol channel."
Fears that a crocodile was on the loose in Bristol were first triggered when Mr Gargan tweeted last week that a bus driver had reported a sighting from Bedminster Bridge.
Mr Gargan revealed the police had launched an investigation, but a search "found no trace" of the beast.
A second sighting of the alleged crocodile in the Avon came from 41-year-old mother-of-three Kelly Gray, of Bishopsworth, who saw the beast from Clarence Road on Wednesday.
Police said Mr Aditya's call about his video had been logged, however, they added there was no on-going investigation into the sightings. A spokesman said the police were unable to say how many calls they have received about crocodiles since last Monday's first sighting.

Read more:

[In my opinion the object shown is possibly a seal, as Mr Aditya thought at first. Historically, though, some of the reports seem to have been giant salamanders and it is possible some reports out of the current crop of sightings are, too-DD]

[Additional note, a later photograph purported to be this same "Bristol Crocodile" seems to me to be transparently a hoax-DD]

British Penguin

Has wild weather led to a PENGUIN washing up on British shores? Walker claims she spotted bird waddling along beach in Cornwall

  • Penguin spotted strolling along Polkerris Beach in Cornwall
  • Penguins are flightless birds which usually live in Southern Hemisphere