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Cryptozoology

Madagascar’s mysterious little people

 

There are plenty of reports of enormous hairy hominids from all over the world, and indeed they seem to be a phenomenon that spans across cultures. Yet equally as curious and bizarre are the stories of smaller, miniature versions of these man-like beasts. One place that has long has a tradition of curious little forest people is the island nation of Madagascar, which is a majestic land full of spectacular mysteries both known and unknown.

Located in the Indian Ocean off the coast of East Africa lies the island nation of Madagascar, or officially the Republic of Madagascar. The main island is the fourth largest island in the world, and broke off from the Indian peninsula approximately 88 million years ago, after which the flora and fauna went on to evolve in complete isolation. It is due to this unique geological history that the island has a wealthy abundance of completely unique species and ecosystems seen nowhere else on Earth, with many more thought to remain undocumented. Considering this remote isolation, the swaths of pristine, uncharted wilderness, such a plethora of unique wildlife, and the strong possibility of lost, unidentified species, it should come as no surprise that Madagascar also has its share of bizarre and elusive mystery monsters.

One of the more intriguing of Madagascar’s alleged strange denizens is a creature most commonly known as the Kalanoro, which is said to roam isolated pockets of rain forest and lurk in dark caverns all over the country. Known by a myriad of other names depending on the local tribe, such as the Kotoky or Vazimba, these odd beings are said to stand around 2 feet in height, with somewhat ape-like features and hooked fingers endowed with extremely long fingernails. They are mostly said to be covered in long hair, although it is often said that they also have some sort of quills or spines on their backs, and the eyes are typically said to be formidable and fierce. The creatures are often reported as loving water, and can supposedly be seen cavorting about in rivers or lakes. More unusual details include that they have only three toes that face backwards or that their eyes glow in the dark.

The Kalanoro are said to be for the most part shy and hiding from mankind, but will come forth under the cover of night to steal food from villages and even on occasion abduct children, and they are known to be rather aggressive if encountered. They are most often described as having prodigious strength for their size, and it is usually recommended to avoid them if at all possible, although sightings are remarkably rare. Interestingly, most of the lore and descriptions of the Kalanoro are remarkably consistent amongst the myriad tribes scattered about Madagascar, which prompted the great cryptozoologist Bernard Heuvelmans to once muse, “These legends may be fantastic, but they are found all over Madagascar, and it would be odd if they were utterly without foundation.” Indeed, far from just a completely folkloric legend there have been a few supposed sightings and encounters with the diminutive beasts on occasion. Some interesting early reports were written of in 1886 by a G. Herbert Smith within the pages of the Antananarivo Annual, where he said:

We next come to the forest, and from there we get endless stories of the Kalanoro, a sort of wild-man-of-the-woods, represented as very short of stature, covered with hair, with flowing beard, in the case of the male, and with an amiable weakness for the warmth of a fire. An eye-witness related that once, when spending a night in the heart of the forest, he lay awake watching the fire, which had died down to red embers, when suddenly he became aware of a figure answering to the above description warming himself at the fire, and apparently enjoying it immensely. According to his story, he put a summary end to the gentleman’s enjoyment by stealing down his hand, grasping a stick, and sending a shower of red-hot embers on to his unclothed visitor, who immediately, and most naturally, fled with a shriek. Another tells how, on a similar occasion, the male appeared first, and after inspecting the premises and finding, as well as a fire, some rice left in the pot, summoned his better half; the pair squatted in front of the fire and – touching picture of conjugal affection – proceeded to feed one another!

One must confess that the creature described looks suspiciously like one of the larger sorts of lemur; but in a village near Mahanoro, and on the verge of the forest, the inhabitants say that very frequently these wild people come foraging in their houses for remnants of food, and may be heard calling to one another in the street.

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Cryptozoology

Massive Black ‘Dire Wolf’ Chases Dog – Who created this HUGE Creature?

Unidentified giant animal attacks dog walker in the woods.

Not much is known about the origin of the grainy footage. It is believed that it was filmed somewhere in the United States of America in about 2015. However, the specific location of the incident and the person who captured the footage is still a mystery.

In the footage, a dog can be heard barking anxiously as the dark colored creature begins shifting in the trees. All of sudden, the black creature springs upwards and charges straight towards the dog which presumably disturbed it. Initially, the two animals keep their distance from each other but eventually, the spooked creatures attacked each other.

What happened when the enormous beast and the dog actually squared up to each other the camera does not manage to capture the incident. However, given the worried shouts of the dog’s owner and the distressed yelping from the dog suggests that the encounter was violent and that the canine didn’t stand much of a chance against the enormous mystery animal.

The footage has sparked a number of theories about what it could have been. Recently, there have been several sightings of enormous wolves giving rise to speculation that this could be a rare species of a wolf which was believed to be extinct. Others have said that it may well have been that the animal was just a particularly large wolf. More fancifully, some have suggested that the animal could have been a pony although even wild horses are not known for acting in such an aggressive manner and tend to flee from dogs rather than confront them.

Other people have suggested that this creature could have even been supernatural. Some have suggested that it could be a man and dog hybrid creature although this is considered to be rather unlikely.

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Cryptozoology

Is this the Loch Ness Monster? Tourist films ‘creature’ swimming towards Urquhart Bay

Bridie Pearson-jones
Daily Mail

The footage has been described as a feature length film in terms of Nessie sightings

A tourist claims he has spotted the famed Loch Ness monster and even has ten minutes of footage the creature ‘cavorting’ in the water.

Eoin O’Faodhagain said he was left stunned by the sighting of the 20ft ‘monster’ in the Scottish Highlands and has even had his footage accepted by the Official Loch Ness Monster Sightings Register.

The 53-year-old from Donegal, Ireland quickly grabbed his phone when he saw the elusive creature.

The hospital clerical worker took a ten minute video from the Loch Ness webcam.

He said he had watched the ‘Nessie’ webcam for many years.

‘I just click in now and then for 20 minutes – it’s better than watching Coronation Street,’ said Mr O’Faodhagain.

‘I seen a couple of things over the years but they have been explained as a boat or something else.’

But it was on April 30, that Mr O’Faodhagain had ‘a terrific shock.’

‘I couldn’t believe my eyes. I just started recording it on my phone. I just followed it. It was very unusual, it was certainly something big – it dived down and up again and dived and disappeared. It was not a boat and not a log. I would say it was Ne

‘I believe in Nessie but not as a plesiosaur – but as something that has evolved in Loch Ness over thousands of years.’

The creature moves from right to left and as it swam towards Urquhart Bay – a reported favourite haunt of Nessie – and is seen diving and surfacing with water splashes.

The sighting – the second record accepted this year by the Official Loch Ness Monster Sightings Register – comes only days before DNA sampling is to be used to discover previously unrecorded organisms in Loch Ness.

However Prof Neil Gemmell, a New Zealand scientist leading the project, said he did not believe in Nessie, but was confident of finding genetic codes for other creatures.

He said a ‘biological explanation’ might be found to explain some of the stories about the Loch Ness Monster.

The team will collect tiny fragments of skin and scales for two weeks in June.

Mr O’Faodhagain has been to Loch Ness four times as part of Highland holidays and in July 1987 also had a momentary unexplained sighting.

‘But nothing like this – it was just incredible,’ he said.

Gary Campbell, Keeper of the Official Register of Sightings at Loch Ness, said: ‘As far as Nessie footage goes this is a feature film. Normally you only get videos of one of two seconds. It is remarkable in its length and again shows the increased sightings of Nessie from the internet.

‘Clearly it is something that dives in and out of the surface with water splashes and reflections. It is unexplained. The object would be no larger than 20ft. There is something there on the video that is clearly moving.’

Last week, an eight-year-old and her grandmother claimed to have caught the monster on camera while on a boat tit the lake.

Nessie’s 11 accepted sightings in 2017 were the highest this century.

A woman who had a monster surprise on her honeymoon in the Highlands also won £1500 for the experience.

The annual Best Nessie Sighting of the year was won by Rebecca Stewart of Lancashire with a picture she took on her honeymoon last October.

Mrs Stewart from Chadderton, Oldham, photographed and saw the large fin shape for five minutes.

Her husband Paul also saw the creature which was taken while they were with their two year old son Thomas along with the family dog.

Mrs Stewart’s sighting was accepted by the Official Loch Ness Monster Sightings Register and then entered into the competition which has a prize of £1500 given by bookmakers William Hill.

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Cryptozoology

New Brunswick

New Brunswick, one of the smallest Canadian provinces at 72,908 square kilometers, is nestled on Canada’s eastern shores between Nova Scotia and Quebec, sitting atop the American state Maine like a pompadour. First Nations peoples have lived in the area since at least 7000 BCE. New Brunswick was also part of Vinland, a section of North America explored by the Vikings around 1000 CE. The province is covered by 15 million acres of forestland, more than 60 rivers, and boasts the Bay of Fundy where tourists flock to watch whales. New Brunswick’s Saint John was the first incorporated city in Canada. Famous people from New Brunswick include two Fathers of Confederation, Peter Mitchell and Samuel Leonard Tilley, founders of Canada’s oldest candy company Gilbert and James Ganong, actors Walter Pidgeon and Donald Sutherland, father of Canadian poetry Sir Charles G. D. Roberts, and Brenda Robertson, the first woman elected to the Canadian legislative assembly. It’s also home to unexpected creatures.

Naturalist Bruce Wright with the last specimen of the Eastern Mountain Lion from his book, “Wildlife Sketches: Near and Far” (1962).

Mountain Lion

Mountain lions exist. We know this; we see them in zoos, on nature programs, and sometimes – at least in Western North America – up close and personal. European farmers who immigrated to North America killed the Eastern Mountain Lion (also called the Eastern Cougar or Eastern Panther) to protect their livestock, much like the Australians did to the Thylacine. By the late 1800s, the Eastern Mountain Lion was considered endangered. A specimine was last seen in New Brunswick in 1932 and in Maine in 1938. By 1940, this subspecies was gone, although it wasn’t declared extinct until 2015.

But is it extinct?

Naturalist Bruce Wright was bigger than life. A life-long outdoorsman, Wright became a forester through the University of New Brunswick, working as a forest biologist after graduation. During World War II he came up with the idea for “frogmen” who would use scuba gear to infiltrate enemy territory. During the war, he used his disposition in Myanmar (then Burma) to study marine life. After the war, he studied black ducks in the Canadian Maritimes (eastern provinces), but one of his personal interests was extinct species he believed could still be alive. One he was particularly interested in was the Eastern Mountain Lion.

During Wright’s quest for the endangered (and assumed extinct) animal led him to collet hundreds of sightings and indeed discovered what is widely considered as the last Eastern Mountain Lion. When that cat died, the entire species was considered dead as well.

Since then, there have still been reports of mountain lions in New Brunswick, although they are credited to a species of mountain lion from the western portions of North America that have wandered far afield.But are they?

Lake Utopia Lake Monster

Lake Utopia, in Charlotte County near the Maine border, is a seven-kilometer-long, three-kilometer-wide body of water that reaches an average depth of around 11 metres. A popular destination for recreation, Utopia Lake is also known for the Lake Utopia Lake Monster, Old Ned.

Stories of the creature began before the arrival of European settlers when the local Maliseet First Nations tribes claimed a large underwater creature that looked somewhat like a whale would chase people canoeing on the lake. European settlers began reporting encounters with the monster in the 1800s, and they continue to this day, usually every three to five years. Although the whale explanation is a stretch, it could be possible. Lake Utopia is connected to the Bay of Fundy via the Magaguadavic River, although it wouldn’t exactly be smooth swimming for a whale.

One of the most famous sightings was in 1867 when sawmill workers saw a nine-metre long, three-metre wide creature splashing in the lake. Similar sightings occurred a year later in 1868, again in 1872, and 1891. Modern sightings include a 1996 report from a couple, Roger and Lois Wilcox, who saw a 15-metre-long creature swimming in the lake. It swam up and down like a mammal, not side to side like a fish or reptile.

The Tote-Road Shagamaw from the book, “Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods,” by William T. Cox (1910).

The Tote-Road Shagamaw

From the early days of the European settlement of New Brunswick, workers in lumber camps began to report a creature with the front paws of a bear and the back legs of a moose – the Shagamaw. To confuse anyone who followed it, the Shagamaw would switch off walking on its hind legs to its forelegs. One set of tracks would extend on tote roads (trails used to carry supplies to a lumber camp) only about 440 paces because that’s as high as the Shagamaw could count. Then it would switch to the other legs and go 440 more paces before switching back.

According to the book, “Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods,” by William T. Cox (1910), the Tote-Road Shagamaw was a horrifying creature to see, but it was shy and harmless. The Shagamaw also had a peculiar diet; it ate discarded boots, mittens, and anything else lumbermen dropped along these desolate roads.

Bigfoot

Canada wouldn’t be Canada without Bigfoot reports. There have been more than seven Bigfoot sightings in New Brunswick during the past 35 years.

According to the Bigfoot Field Research Organization, more than twenty Canadian and U.S. soldiers, based in the 5th Canadian Division Support Base Gagetown, were training near Laverna Wood in 1990 when unidentified noises from the trees stopped them in their tracks. The soldiers heard an enormous creature thunder through the brush and could feel its impact when its feet hit the ground. When it vocalized, it sounded like a baby’s cry amplified “500 times louder.”

Although the creature remained hidden by the forest, whatever made that noise was nothing the soldiers were familiar with. One soldier said, “it wasn’t a bear.”

Another sighting occurred in 2008 when two couples from Anfield and Saint John, New Brunswick, saw a“pitch-black, approximately eight-and-a-half-foot sasquatch” at Skiff Lake, according to an article in the WoodstockBugle-Observer. “I know a bear can stand on its hind legs and move around,” one of the men told the newspaper, “but a bear can’t walk on two legs the way this human-like form (did).”

Next up: Newfoundland and Labrador.

http://mysteriousuniverse.org/2018/05/exploring-canadian-monsters-new-brunswick/

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