All those strange animals that only come out beside lonely roads at 3am in the morning

The Mormon Bigfoot

Things have been far too normal around here lately, so today I give you weirdness on a supreme scale: "The Mormon Bigfoot Genesis Theory". Is the giant Sasquatch monster really Cain, the murderous second son of Adam and Eve?

But if you think I'm just throwing out crackpot stories for the sake of it, check out Loren Coleman's recent posting on Mormon involvement in Bigfoot research. I quite like the idea of a 'Bigfoot Mormon Mafia' Loren...just as long as they don't come knocking on my door.

Japanese Water Horse Sighting

Over at Cryptomundo, Loren Coleman has posted an all-too-cool YouTube video of the Japanese promotion of the movie Water Horse. Through the use of a waterscreen, witnesses were able to watch the cryptobeast arise from the water (god help anyone that was bent in the vicinity). Now, if J.J. Abrams could just have done this for the Cloverfield monster...

Yeti Hijinks

Last weekend, various news agencies reported that a Sci-Fi Channel crew (from Destination Truth) were claiming to have found a Yeti footprint:

"It is very, very similar," Josh Gates, an archaeologist who serves as the host of the weekly travel adventure series, told Reuters in Katmandu after returning from the mountain. "I don't believe it to be a bear. It is something of a mystery for us."

...Gates said the footprints on lumps of sandy soil, which would be sent to experts in the United States for analysis, were "relatively fresh, left some 24 hours before we found them."

"This print is so pristine, so good, that I am very intrigued by this," said Gates, flanked by his team members.

Josh Gates also sent an update to Loren Coleman exclusively for Cryptomundo readers, in which he provided more detail about the finds and his own thoughts about it all. And Loren's co-author on The Field Guide to Bigfoot and Other Mystery Primates, Patrick Huyghe (our good friend from The Anomalist), appeared on Fox News Channel and spoke intelligently about the news, and the topic in general.

You know it never takes too long for the 'skeptics' to turn up, and CSI(COP)'s Benjamin Radford was soon debunking the whole affair in his column on LiveScience. Radford's comments didn't impress Loren Coleman though, who - while having his own questions about the new find - was extremely critical of the poor arguments put forward by the cryptozoology skeptic. The saga continues, so stay tuned...

2007 Top Ten in Cryptozoology

As mentioned in the news briefs earlier this week, Loren Coleman has posted "The Top Ten Cryptozoology Stories for 2007" over at Cryptomundo. Loren has his finger on the pulse with his daily updates over there (although it would be fair to say he's had his finger on the pulse for a few decades now!), so it's a good roundup of the most prominent stories in his field over the past year. Might be worth looking at for a few other TDG topics as well, pulling out the most important stories of the year that we've posted - who's up for checking through the 3000 to 4000 news briefs we've posted this year to pick out the best?

Loren Coleman on BBtv

Our good friend (and Darklore contributor) Loren Coleman has been featured on this week's episode of Boing Boing TV. Loren takes BBtv on a tour of his fascinating International Cryptozoology Museum, which is jam-packed full of weird creatures and whacky memorabilia. If you've always wondered how to pronounce ceolecanth and mokele-mbembe, or just wanted to see Loren walk like Bigfoot, make sure you check it out.

CFZ in Guyana

Members of the Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are currently in Guyana on an expedition in search of giant anacondas, strange humaniform creatures known as 'Didi', and any other cryptozoological creepies they might stumble across. Updates on the expedition are being relayed back to CFZ Base via satellite phone, and being written about on their blog by Jon Downes. The updates have the wonderful feel of 19th century expeditions into uncharted territories (even Nick Redfern brought up a Colonel Fawcett reference), and Jon Downes also gives some wonderful insights with historical references and anecdotes. There's plenty happening - from communication problems, to injuries to the team members, and interesting findings - despite having been there for less than a week.

The expedition is sponsored by gaming company Capcom, and we can expect to see video footage of the expedition once the team returns. For now though, it's worth pointing out that the CFZ already have a monthly video feature titled "On the Track (of Unknown Animals)". I've posted Episode 2 of the show here on TDG, and it makes for a fun watch.

Insectophilia

Here's a jaw-dropping gallery of microphotography, looking at the truly astonishing beauty of the insect world - up close and personal. Most of the images are from photographer Igor Siwanowich, although there are contributions from others in there as well. Reminds me of the amazing television series Life in the Undergrowth, which not only showed the beauty of these creatures, but also the strange habits, skills and strategies they employed during their short lifespan.

And I for one, welcome our mantis overlords...

Bigfoot Film Turns 40

An icon of cryptozoology (and anomalies research in general) turns 40 today - the Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot film. Over at Cryptomundo, Loren Coleman has posted a bit of a tribute to the famous piece of footage:

The history of cryptozoology and hominology has never been the same since then. Advances in technology give us a better view of the footage today, but the film is set in stone; indeed, it is a milestone.

As opposed to folks nowadays trying to fit the square peg into the round hole to explain every aspect of why the Bigfoot looks the way it does on that film, step back for a moment. Step back in time. Step back forty years.

The Bigfoot in the October 20th footage looks the way it does because that’s the way they appear.

Loren has also posted a follow-up on 'Patty' today. Note that our favourite cryptozoologist also has contributed a fascinating piece to Darklore Volume 1 (coming in the next week or so) on this very topic, and how skeptics have been too quick to announce it as a hoax. Considering we've also got Clive Prince and Lynn Picknett discussing new Templar revelations (hot on the heels of the 700th anniversary, and recent Vatican-Templar news), and John Higgs on Tim Leary and Aleister Crowley (with Crowleymas just passed), our anthology certainly seems to be topical!

Viral Cryptozoology

There's an excellent write-up on cryptozoologist Loren Coleman (another contributor to our upcoming anthology) online via the website of the Sun Journal. The article features an open and honest chat with Loren, along with some great images from his Cryptozoology Museum. Additionally, you'll find extra information, images and audio in a new Cryptomundo posting from Loren. The story also got a mention on Boing Boing, and so now that I'm posting it here on TDG I think we can classify Loren Coleman as having officially gone 'viral'.

Hobbit Confirmation?

Along with the 'Mars water' controversy (see my news briefs today), the case of the Indonesian 'Hobbit' (Homo floresiensis) has been one of the most high profile science stories of the past few years - and as with the Mars water, every few months opinion seems to flip-flop. Today, the authenticity of the 'Hobbit' is back in favour (and by authenticity, I mean the opinion that it is a distinct species):

Much of the contention has been over the skull of a one-metre tall female with a grapefruit-sized brain known as LB1. Detractors argue the skull came from a modern human with microcephaly, a brain-shrinking disorder.

But a team of scientists using laser imaging to study LB1's wrist bones said the anatomy was very primitive, much more like apes and older human ancestors, than modern humans.

...Dr Matthew Tocheri, a paleoanthropologist from the Smithsonian Institute who led the study, said the wrist evidence "was a smoking gun".

"It tells us these hobbits are legitimate, they're a real distinct hominin species, not modern humans with some sort of pathology."

Let's see if this is the last word in the matter (I doubt it...you know how scientists are about new ideas).