Bigfoot Thursday – Thermal Imaging Mystery

TalkingBF02WELCOME TO BIGFOOT THURSDAY here on CryptoVille! Join us as we review this very interesting Bigfoot video submitted by Bart Cutino to skeptic reviewer ParaBreakdown. Is that a monster lurking in the woods, or just some guy? We’ll see …

This week I’m sharing a Bigfoot video with you that honestly amounts to another “Blobsquatch” sighting! However, bear with me, I think there is more to this crummy thermal imaging video than first meets the eye.

May Be the Real Deal

Several factors lead me to believe this may just be the real thing.

  1. Bigfoot hunter Bart Cutino has been very open about the pros and cons of the evening he captured this image.
  2. Cutino submitted his evidence to skeptic reviewer “Para Breakdown” who has a video channel over on YouTube.
  3. Cutino’s approach when analyzing his own evidence strikes me as scientific, logical, and reasonable. All good signs.

I also like the way the ParaBreakdown skeptic handles the material and conducts himself.

On the negative side, the image is still blurry, so this video isn’t going to be the definitive proof that we need to get the scientific-community-at-large behind the search for this creature. But for those of us who already believe – it’s tantalizing and very interesting.

Yes, I know, WHYYYYYY can’t anyone ever operate their camera properly? Or is it these mechanical devices malfunction more often than their manufacturers will admit? It makes me nuts, too. But still, the research that occurred in the aftermath of this sighting is what is impressive.

BigfootSilhouetteStealthy Investigation vs. Noise-Making

I was impressed with the way Cutino and his friends conducted their nighttime investigation. They were QUIET, they DIDN’T TRY TO MAKE BIGFOOT CALLS, they DIDN’T USE STUPID PROPS to try and get Bigfoot’s attention.

Instead, they chose an active location (Sierra Nevada mountains), and quietly, stealthily set about searching the area around their very visible camp. Well done to them. (I wrote an Open Letter to Bigfoot Hunters advocating this kind of stealth hunting technique – I’m not saying Cutino and company read it, but I’m pleased to see they are getting results with these quieter tactics.)

The Video

The video is 16 minutes long.  Let me know what you think.

Vampires Rise Again

VampireBitesAnother cryptozoological mystery, this time involving monsters known as VAMPIRES. CryptoVille dips its toe into this grave matter to see what the skeletal remains reveal!

In June of 2012, archaeologists excavating the necropolis (a large cemetery usually of an ancient city) of Saint Nikolai Chudotvoretz (the Miracle Worker) Monastery in Sozopol, Bulgaria discovered what appears to be the graves of 2 vampires dating back to the 12th-14th centuries.  The skeletal remains are unique in that each was stabbed through with iron rods. The meaning is clear – their peers thought they were vampires.

PENTAX ImageOne of these skeletons was pierced through the ribcage with an iron ploughshare. The other was pierced in the abdomen with another unidentified iron implement. I’m wondering if the iron shafts shifted as the bodies decomposed. According to vampiric lore, they should have been stabbed through the heart. (Photo of recent find, left.)

Who Were They

Anyway, according to the Sofia News Agency, these two skeletons found in the necropolis belonging to the church of Saints Cyril and Methodius join the ranks of 100 other purported vampire graves recently found in Bulgaria.  What makes these finds even more remarkable, each of the remains had once either been aristocrats or clergymen from the area.

The head of security at the Bulgarian National History Museum, Professor Bojidar Dimitrov, explained that “these people were believed to be evil while they were alive, and it was believed that they would become vampires once they are dead, continuing to torment people.” Professor Dimitrov believes one of these newly found skeletons was that of the pirate Krivich, a notorious scoundrel in his day.

SheVampireOne report I read said that women didn’t escape this fate either. If they lived an evil life, they too would become a vampire upon death. According to this other report,  a woman’s grave was found in the same condition as the vampire graves just described in the same Church of Saints Cyril and Methodius graveyard.

According to thehistoryblog.com, “… if they were cruel and abusive with their gifts when they were alive, their souls would not ascend to heaven but would remain in their rotting corpses, driving them to rise from the grave to terrorize [your] neighborhood.”

PENTAX ImageExhibit Forthcoming

Professor Dimitrov said his museum will be mounting an exhibit of the latest two “vampire” skeletons mostly, it seems, because people are so interested in anything to do with vampires. (Photo of recent find, left.)

On a larger scale, the Bulgarian tourism people are gearing up to market the latest finds as a fresh and intriguing tourist spot for lovers of the paranormal. According to a CNN blog, “Big lines for vampires could pump even more blood into the country’s expanding tourism industry. Bulgaria led the European Union last year in the increase in hotel occupancy by foreigners, with numbers up almost 20% over the previous year.”

I guess that’s good news for a burgeoning economy. In an ironic twist, it seems that the creatures who normally suck the life out of others in this case are infusing it into their economy and thereby helping many struggling entrepreneurs!

Tell me what you think about this.

 

References:

http://www.historymuseum.org/news.php?id=225

http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/06/11/100-vampire-graves-discovered-in-bulgaria/

http://www.thehistoryblog.com/archives/17515

http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2012/06/07/vampire-graves-may-bring-hordes-to-bulgaria/?hpt=hp_t2

http://www.utaot.com/2013/03/30/one-hundred-vampires-graves-found-in-bulgaria/

Bigfoot Thursday: New Series of Video Reviews on CryptoVille!

TalkingBF02Welcome to our new feature: Bigfoot Thursday! Each Thursday stop by CryptoVille and watch a purported Bigfoot video then see what we think about it. Despite the multitude of hoaxes on the internet, we still keep hoping to find some real evidence.

So join us Thursday afternoons and we’ll see what we can find! First up:

Can Bigfoot Speak?

This video was interesting to me because I’ve heard many researchers over the years claim that they could hear Bigfoots talking amongst themselves out in the woods. Originally I thought there might be something to this theory or claim, but recently, I’ve come across some information that makes me doubt it.

I can’t pinpoint the exact date these recordings were taken, but it seems to be from the early 1970s; they were recorded in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Cliff Barackman of the Finding Bigfoot program has said that this area is a Bigfoot hotspot and I have no reason to doubt that. However, is this really Bigfoot talking?

Listen to this 2+ minute video recording and then come back and we’ll discuss it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZ4ScpzhaNI

Samurai chatter is an apt name for this recording because it does indeed sound like a human, an Asian male, chattering away in a Samurai style.  Could it really be a Bigfoot?

In the video Ron Morehead tells us that humans cannot mimic the sounds we’re hearing and that the range “supercedes what a human can do.” He further tells us that he had the recordings checked by people at the University of Oklahoma who confirmed that the original recordings hadn’t been tampered with, and implying that the sounds seemed legitimately unique.

TalkingBF04University of Oklahoma

I emailed Dr. Pamela Innes, Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Wyoming and asked her opinion of all this. She is an expert in linguistics. I learned some interesting things.

Though these recordings were taken in the early 1970s, it’s not clear exactly when they approached the University of Oklahoma to review them. Presumably it was not long after obtaining the samples.

Dr. Innes pointed out that the faculty on staff at that time has since retired and passed away. She was acquainted with them and pointed out that they never mentioned having reviewed alleged Bigfoot chatter and she felt that they would most likely have mentioned it somewhere along the line.

She shared another possibility and that is, Ron Morehead may have had the staff at the university’s local PBS station review the tape to confirm whether it had or had not been tampered with. But then, the engineers at a PBS station are not linguistic experts so that’s as far as they could have gone.

TalkingBG06Crypto-Linguist

Ron Morehead cites R. Scott Nelson as an experienced cryptolinguist who believes these recordings do indeed capture speech patterns associated with Bigfoot in the area of the Sierra Nevadas. Nelson has had 20 years experience as a cryptolinguist in the US Navy. He’s now retired and makes appearances around the country discussing Bigfoot “language.”

I wanted to see what exactly a cryptolinguist is so I looked it up on Wiki and found a long and detailed explanation as to what they do, including what they used to do in the old days versus what they’re doing now. Nowadays most of it seems to involve heavy mathematics, computer science, and electrical engineering. Nowhere on that page does it mention linguistics.

I’m not going to denigrate Mr. Nelson’s opinions because I don’t know enough about cryptolinguistics to make a decision one way or the other. However, this one Wiki article has caused me to doubt that a cryptolinguist has any expertise in actual linguistics, at least nowadays, so I’m going to disregard it for now.

Is Bigfoot Physically Equipped to Talk?

Recently I wrote an article about the Russian Almasty and how it may more likely be a remnant population of Homo Ergasters based on evidence provided by Zana, a humanoid creature held captive for years in Russia, and her son Khwit. To see that article, click through here:

http://visitcryptoville.com/2014/03/20/russias-almastys-mystery-solved/

TalkingBF03The point I want to draw from that article is this: Homo Ergasters had a narrower cervical vertebra than we Homo Sapiens do. That means they would not have room in their necks for all the “wiring” required to produce speech, which is a delicate coordination between the brain and breathing mechanism that we all have nowadays. Scientists believe that they probably grunted and made other noises, as well as used hand signals to communicate.

Now let’s think about Bigfoot. We know he’s some kind of great ape. He would be further down the evolutionary tree than Homo Ergaster, or off on some tangent branch. Do their necks provide the space for the delicate nerve communication required to produce speech? I think it’s unlikely.

If in doubt, get on YouTube and listen to the sound recordings of Gibbons, Orangutans, Chimpanzees, and Mountain Gorillas. They can’t speak but they are still very vocal at times.

TalkingBF05Science Weighs In

Back to Dr. Innes. She brought up a couple very interesting points. She listened to a different video by Whitley Strieber who, on his program Dreamland, was interviewing Ron Morehead. The Samurai chatter was the same as I heard on the video above.

She thought it was interesting that Bigfoots would have developed a language with a suite of sounds that an English-speaking person would expect to encounter. In other words, the sounds made in the Samurai chatter aren’t so foreign to us that we can’t mimic them. In fact, they almost sound familiar – hence the term coined by BRFO founder Matt Moneymaker, Samurai chatter.

Dr Innes cited the International Phonetic Alphabet which shows that there are plenty of other sounds made in other human languages that natives English speakers can’t make. For instance, in Russian, Greek, and Chinese languages.

She adds, “While two languages often share many of the same phonemes, chances are a bit slim that two entirely unrelated languages would pick almost the exact same set of sounds.  It’s not entirely out of the question, but would not be the expected outcome.”

Where Does This Leave Us?

The men who recorded these sounds went to their camp fairly regularly. Granted it’s a very rugged and remote area, but if they could get there, couldn’t someone else? Might they have been tricked?

We don’t know enough about Bigfoot’s physiology to be able to say definitively that they are or aren’t capable of speech.

Does that mean Bigfoots don’t make noise? No, they probably make noises like other apes do who aren’t vocal, but are definitely noisy.

TalkingBF07Bottom line: I’m sure Bigfoots make noises and what they mean by them is known only to them and their kin. Is this Bigfoot talking in this recording? I can’t say for sure, but I have plenty of doubts.

As always with this creature, there is never anything definite, defined, or undisputed. In order to prove its existence to science once and for all, I fear we’re going to need a Bigfoot body.

Tell me what you think.

Don’t forget to visitCryptoVille next Thursday for another Bigfoot video review!

New Show: Les Stroud (Survivorman) Hunts for Bigfoot!

LesStroudBigfootShow01HEADS UP Villies! Tonight at 10 pm (EST) Discovery channel is airing a new program featuring Les Stroud (Survivorman)! This time, he’s on the hunt for Bigfoot!

He’s got the skills to get “out there” and look for our favorite big hairy beast, so I’m really excited to see how this goes!

WHEN: Tonight 4/9/14   10 PM EST

WHERE: Discovery Channel

WHAT: Les Stroud takes on Bigfoot!

Are you excited to see the new show?

BigfootinDark

University Professor Claims Fairies Do Exist

CloverFairyFairy photos from a university lecturer? Cryptozoology reports don’t get much stranger than that! CryptoVille reviews this monster of a fairy tale and seeks the truth.

Earlier this week I saw an article in the UK’s Mail Online that reported a university professor claims he has proof that fairies do exist. (All photos in this post courtesy of Manchester Evening News Syndication.)

Professor John Hyatt (Director of the Manchester Institute for Research and Innovation in Art and Design [MIRIAD] at Manchester Metropolitan University) announced that he has proof that little winged fairies do exist and that he has captured images of them in the area of Rossendale Valley in Lancashire. (Artwork top right by Cicely Mary Barker.)

FairyProf01Mr. Hyatt insists that the photographs he took (left and below) are genuine and that no one has tampered with them.  He has taken his fairy photos over the last couple years and says that the photos must be blown up in order to see the fairies properly.

“It was a bit of a shock when I blew them up, I did a double take,” he said.

Not surprisingly there is a lot of debate over his photos and whether they are real or not. He said he also took pictures of gnats and flies and compared them to the fairy photos; they were definitely different.

FairyProf02Mr. Hyatt doesn’t seem too bothered that a lot of people don’t believe him. He feels people have to decide for themselves but he urges them to keep an open mind.

He added, “From my experience they were just enjoying themselves and there was a little dance in the sunlight going on.”

The professor is sharing his photos in an exhibit at the Whitaker Museum in Whitaker Park, Rossendale. The exhibit is called the Rossendale Fairies and it’s going to run through the Spring. He told the reporter that, “[he] wants to get more adults to bring ‘magic into their lives.’” (Mr. Hyatt’s photo below.)

FairyProf03The Flip Side

It’s a charming story but there are some definite red flags in here for me. Most of all, the man teaches at a school for innovative art and design – who better to create a convincing hoax?

Adding to that, he then mounts an exhibition of the photos which will certainly benefit him and the school at least with publicity.

He mentioned that he blew up the photos and that’s how he found the images of the fairies.  I have to wonder what made him blow up the photos to begin with?

I’m not a photographic expert so I can’t analyze these images for you. However, based on these other facts, as well as how the photos look to my untrained eye, I have to believe these are a hoax.

SparkleFairyMirrorI would so love for fairies to be real, but so far, there is no scientific, reliable proof that they do. If Mr. Hyatt gives his photos to a photographic expert for analysis, and the analysis says these are real fairies in his images, then I’ll believe it. But not until then. (Artwork right by Margaret Tarrant.)

Tell me what you think.

What is a Rougarou, Exactly?

Rougarou03We take a wild ride through the folklore of Louisiana as we try to determine just what a Rougarou (or loup garu) is!  Cryptozoology reports throughout the area point to several possibilities all ending with monster tales of fantastic creatures. Let’s see what we can discern from this mayhem.

No matter how you spell it, the Rougarou, Roux-Ga-Roux, Rugaroo, Rugaru, or Loup Garou is a werewolf type creature living in the folklore of Cajun French Louisiana. The story was born in France in medieval times, when they actually believed in werewolves. These stories were used to keep children in line and out of the woods.

Rougarou05woodcutLater in the 16th Century version, people viewed the phenomenon of the Rougarou as a genetic disorder rather than something you could “catch” from someone else, or be cursed into by a witch. According to this genetic version, a person’s life would be normal until whatever happened to trigger the condition turned on. The person’s body then enlarged and they developed a craving for raw meat.  In order to complete the final transformation, the person/Rougarou had to take a bite of human flesh.

As the French set sail and settled Quebec in Canada and later Louisiana in the American South, the story came with them and mutated.

In modern times throughout Cajun Louisiana, the beast has developed several consistent characteristics: it’s described as standing between 7-8 feet tall, has horrible sharp teeth, and glowing red eyes.

It becomes its animal form on the night of the full moon. It could be anyone – neighbor, librarian, dentist. With all the storms and flooding in recent years, it’s thought the beast made its way into the city (New Orleans) because some city residents claim they have heard terrifying growls at night.  (Cited on the TV show, Destination Fear.)

Rougarou02The Legend and Folklore

According to Professor Barry Jean Ancelet, an expert in Cajun folklore at the University of Louisiana, Lafayette, the legend of the Rougarou is common throughout the area. He reiterated that the story originated in Medieval France and was thought to be a tale told to children to keep them away from the woods. The story followed the French settlers to Louisiana, and was further buoyed by French Canadians migrating down to New Orleans within the last couple hundred years.

Professor Ancelet indicated that the Rougarou is said to prowl the swamps and bayous of Louisiana as well as the areas around New Orleans itself.  He added that it has the body of a man and the head of a wolf/dog. Besides using the tales to keep children in line, it was also used as a way to keep Catholics in line. There is a story that goes if you don’t observe the strict rules of Lent for seven years in a row, you’ll automatically turn into a Rougarou.

Rougarou07Turning Into a Rougarou

In one article, Professor Ancelet mentioned that sometimes a person became a Rougarou voluntarily, while at other times, the person was cursed.

Another source claims that the eyes must be avoided because if you look into them the curse is passed onto you, and you become a Rougarou.

Yet another version of the legend states that the person is under the spell of the Rougarou for 101 days.  If/when the Rougarou draws the blood of its next victim, the curse transfers to that victim and the current person is released from the curse.  They remain weakened and a bit sickly from the experience, and they never speak of it for shame as well as the fear of being killed.

Still other versions describe the Rougarou as a type of “headless horseman” resulting from the curse of a witch.  In this scenario, only a witch can make a Rougarou by either turning into a wolf herself or cursing others with lycanthropy (where one believes oneself to be a werewolf).

American screenwriter and film maker Glen Pitre has another version of how one becomes a Rougarou. In this scenario a person commits a transgression of some sort and then they become a Rougarou.  He also stated that outcasts in the community or somewhat eccentric people often became objects of suspicion, the idea being that they are probably Rougarou.

How do we get all these variations? Oral tradition. The problem with oral traditions is that they can be altered over time, and they seem to change from region to region. Hence we get 101 versions of the (more or less) same story.

The same is true when we consider the legends of the Native Americans.

WendigoNative American View of Rougarou

The native Americans had a legend of a creature called the wendigo (artist’s rendition on the right – probably not accurate!). The story goes that these beasts had been human at one time, but they resorted to cannibalism and transformed into wendigo.  A fictionalized version of this story (by Algernon Blackwood) asserts that one only has to see a wendigo to turn into one.  But the Native Americans maintain that one must resort to cannibalism to turn into a wendigo.  (It’s interesting to see that even fiction can alter an oral tradition and get some of the details wrong, thus adding to the confusion.)

Over time the Indian tribes developed their own story of the Rugaru through oral tradition, whose characteristics ranged from a Bigfoot type creature all the way to a full blown wendigo cannibal.

According to an article on Wiki in unnaturalworld, “It is important to note that rugaru is not a native Ojibwa word, nor is it derived from the languages of neighboring Native American peoples. However, it has a striking similarity to the French word for werewolf, loup garou. It’s possible the Turtle Mountain Ojibwa or Chippewa in North Dakota picked up the French name for “hairy human-like being” from the influence of French Canadian trappers and missionaries with whom they had extensive dealings. Somehow that term also had been referenced to their neighbors’ stories of Bigfoot. Author Peter Matthiessen argues that the rugaru is a separate legend from that of the cannibal-like giant wendigo. While the wendigo is feared, he notes that the rugaru is seen as sacred and in tune with  Mother Earth, somewhat like bigfoot legends are today.”

Also in that article was a very interesting table of Abilities and Weaknesses which I’d like to share with you:

Abilities:

  • Shapeshifting:  Once the person takes a bite of human flesh, they transform into the Rougarou.
  • Superhuman Strength: They are stronger than men, easily able to crush bones.
  • Speed: Like animals, they can move extremely fast; a necessity when one is hunting prey.
  • Flesh Eating: It’s what’s for dinner, and its primary motivation.

Weakness:

  • Fire: Some say these Rougarous can only be destroyed through fire.
  • Decapitation: Despite that, many feel decapitation is the only way to kill them.
  • Severe Destruction of the Body: In addition to decapitation, people will mutilate their bodies so there is no chance for the Rougarou to come back.

Seriously, no one can even decide how to kill it!

Rougarou01More Complications

According to retired English professor and folklore specialist at Nicholls State University in Louisiana, Patricia Perrin, “The most common motif is of a night time exposure to the Rougarou. The person who encounters the Rougarou draws one or three drops of blood, that person then has the spell, and from there, the tale can be either light or dark. In the darker tale, usually the person who encounters the Rougarou commits suicide. The darker tale is almost always associated with a person who told of the encounter in less than a year.”

In an article for The Nicholls Worth website, Brandon Folse quotes sources found in the archives of Ellender Memorial Library that report in Louisiana, because wolves are scarce, the Rougarou is associated with local animals like dogs, pigs, cows and even chickens.  Regardless of the form it takes, these animals supposedly pester its next victim until they draw blood somehow from the animal (injury or stabbing).

In most cases, the next victim knows the Rougarou in their human form. At that point, after the bloodletting, the former Rougarou tells its attacker that they must not mention this encounter to anyone for one year and one day. If they do tell someone else, they themselves will turn into a Rougarou. So here we have another version of how this curse is passed on.

Rougarou06LoupGarouIn the past, people tried to avoid encountering a Rougarou altogether. Men would place a leaf (unspecified) in their wallets to ward it off, while women often painted a hexagon in the center of their floor and said prayers to keep the Rougarou away.

Professor Perrin adds, “[Nowadays] the Rougarou plays a similar role to the boogeyman in other cultures. People of Louisiana want to hold on to the story, but people with an education don’t want others to think they are crazy. The Rougarou plays as significant a role in continuing the Cajun culture as crawfish boils do.”

OralTradition01How Oral Tradition Works

In another article for The Courier newspaper (shared on dailycomet.com) by Laura McKnight, she shares Glen Pitre’s view of oral tradition.

Mr. Pitre’s experience with these tales isn’t simple. He claims people don’t just rattle off tales of these beasts. Instead, they go through a whole prolonged story, building up the tension as they go, scaring their listeners, until, as he said, “You had the frissons [excitement & thrills] by the end of it.”

Oral tradition is storytelling, pure and simple. Here are some more citations from this article that I think are valuable in pointing out how entrenched the oral tradition is in this area of the country:

  • Trisha Hukins (of Thobodaux) grew up in Larose. She said her family always warned her to be home before dark so she didn’t get caught by the Rougarou. Hukins added, “They would say to go home before the Rougarou gets you. We just knew about it. Just a part of life.”
  • Ms. Hukins shared one of their family stories wherein her great-uncle or grandfather encountered a mad dog on his way home one night. He stuck the dog with a pocketknife and the animal immediately turned into a man, who then ran off into the night.
  • Wenceslaus Billiot (of Isle de Jean Charles) was told the same stories as a child, but he doesn’t believe in the Rougarou anymore. He said, “They had some rougaroux back in the old days, usually during the full moon. I never did see one.”
  • Juliet Henry (of Houma) uses this expression to describe a sleepless night: “I made the Rougarou all night.” She too heard the same stories and warnings as a child that the others had heard. This expression has been passed onto her children as well.

OralTradition02Adding to the Confusion

As if this all wasn’t confusing enough, there are actually more versions of this cryptic story.

According to Daryl Holmes, a Nicholls State University assistant professor  and folklore specialist, there are some southern Louisiana tales that concern other “were-creatures.” If you can stand it, there are supposedly “were-cows” in those areas, and in an area rich with lakes, there is even a “were-crane.”

HibouGarouxProfessor Ancelet further confirms these variations by sharing this story, “[There is] a hibou-garou, or were-owl, including one from a deer hunter who shot an owl with an arrow. The next day, the hunter said he found a man suspected of being a hibou-garou lying in the same spot as the fallen owl, with an arrow stuck in the same place the owl had been pierced.” (Yes, that is a tatoo of a hibou-garou, left.)

Glen Pitre adds that there is a tale of a were-pig around Grand Isle, as well as stories about a Bigfoot style Rougarou.

Former resident of Cut Off, LA, Windell Curole reports that he has heard tales of the Rougarou appearing as other frightening creatures such as leopards, panthers, and bears.

So basically, ANYTHING that scares you at night is a Rougarou? What these stories DO have in common is that they are all vague, with no proof or evidence whatsoever, and are probably just hear-say.

Somebody pass the Excedrin please.

WhuppedWriterWhat I Think

This is the biggest mess of a legend that I’ve ever heard. I’ve been thinking about it for a while now and have come to my own conclusions based on the research, but also my “gut” feeling.

Clearly oral tradition has fanned the flame of this legend throughout the Southern Cajun culture and geographic area. I think nowadays, we don’t realize the power of oral tradition since we are so electrified with TVs, phones, tablets, computers, you name it. But in an era when that stuff wasn’t available, all they had was each other to entertain themselves. And so these stories grew and seemed to have literally taken on a life of their own.

The fact that there are so many variations and each from a different locale seems to indicate that for whatever reasons, the original basic story was altered by communities over time.

When there is a lack of education, as happens in some areas, particularly poorer areas, superstitions get deeply entrenched in the psyche, usually not for the better.

BigfootinDarkOn the other hand, if you’ve read my articles about Bigfoot, then you’ll know I absolutely believe Bigfoot and his many cousins around North America and beyond are real. As far as I’m concerned they are just great apes waiting to be definitively discovered by science.

I think the Rougarou encounters that some people have are really Bigfoot. He’s big, hairy, can be menacing, and in that area of the world, they might be more bad tempered than say, their cousins in the Pacific Northwest.  Bigfoot reports around the country state that Bigfoot has large, glowing red eyes at night – something he has in common with many other animals long known to science.

The Native Americans see their Rougarou as a peaceful part of nature, stronger than men, able to run fast like an animal, hunters of prey. That sounds a lot like Bigfoot.

There’s also another element to this story. That is the human element. We know there are psychopaths in the world and always have been. Some are outcasts and some are people who engage in evil things, all because of their own troubled nature and personality.  It’s probably fair to say that a lot of these stories about people “disappearing” and bodies being found mutilated in the swamps and bayous could be victims of their own kind, humans.

BayouAnd let’s not forget how treacherous that entire area is – teaming with animals, plants, and quick sand that could kill you by themselves, not needing any help from a cryptid.

Bottom line: I think the Rougarou lives in the hearts and minds of the Cajun people, while Bigfoot is the one actually roaming the swamps and bayous scaring people. Beyond that, I think other humans are the ones who perpetrate the unspeakable crimes that are occasionally uncovered throughout that area.

What do you think? 

 

References:

http://unnaturalworld.wikia.com/wiki/Rougarou

http://www.thenichollsworth.com/lagniappe/rougarou-remains-strong-figure-in-cajun-folklore-1.2079477#.UznBRahdWSo

www.thenichollsworth.com/lagniappe/rougarou-remains-strong-figure-in-cajun-folklore

www.dailycomet.com/article/20061022/FEATURES/610220321

Global Call for DNA Evidence of Cryptids via Loren Coleman

LorenColemanRenowned cryptozoologist Loren Coleman (right) has issued a call for DNA evidence from any and all types of cryptids. This list includes but is not limited to:

  • Bigfoot
  • Yeti
  • Yowie
  • Lake Monsters
  • Hominids of all types (Mothman, Rougarou, etc.)

IvoryBilledWoodpeckerIn addition they are looking for more evidence of surviving Coelacanths, Thylacines, and Ivory-Billed Woodpeckers (artist’s rendering left).

 

  • The samples you send will be tested by qualified genetic scientists.
  • The results may be used in a forthcoming BBC documentary and possibly published in scientific journals.
  • There is no cost to you. You just have to send your samples (address below).
  • Samples may be submitted from anywhere in the world.

BIGFOOTbyPETER-TRAVERSHow to Submit Evidence

Place your evidence in a clean, unused, sealed container or clean, unused Ziplock bag.

Label it with:

  • Your name
  • Date it was found
  • Location where the sample was found
  • Specify what cryptid you think it’s from.

(Artwork above right by Peter Travers.)

Address and Email

You can email Loren at LColeman@maine.rr.com

Mailing address:

Loren Coleman, Director

International Cryptozoology Museum

11 Avon Street

Portland, Maine 04101

USA

For More Information

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Magical Crocodiles of Burkina Faso

MagicCroc03Humans and crocodiles living side by side in the African countries of Burkina Faso and Ghana? For 600+ years, this magical relationship has endured and countless tourists have witnessed it. This is a cryptozoological report worthy of investigation!

On the Western side of Africa, in the small country of Burkina Faso, in a small town called Bazoule (just outside the nation’s capital of Ouagodougou), around 100 Nile crocodiles live a peaceful, tranquil life alongside the local villagers.

MagicCrocMapThe story goes that back in the 14th Century then chief Koud Nabu began believing that Nile crocodiles brought with them the Blessing of seasonal rains. These rains were and are vital to the community which would otherwise fall into drought and starvation.

The breathtaking aspect to this story is that the villagers, including children, can be seen swimming in the same water with the crocodiles, doing their laundry along the shoreline, and even playing with the animals.

Part of the arrangement between the villagers and the crocodiles is that the people feed live chickens to the crocodiles as a sort of offering or sacrifice. Photographer Oliver Born, who took some of these photos, said, “It’s not rare to see some children playing just metres away from them – it is quite a magical place.”

MagicCroc02Meanwhile in Ghana

In another instance, just over the border from Burkina Faso in Ghana, the town of Paga hosts their own collection of crocodiles that live side by side with humans. The animals live in Chief’s Pond and they are very docile.

Adding to the mystery, the pond they live in is land-locked, so no one knows how the crocodiles actually got there. Some of the crocodiles are 80 plus years old.

The villagers believe that the souls of their loved ones leave their human bodies upon death and take residence inside one of these crocodiles.  So they revere the crocodiles and the pond.

As in Burkina Faso, the villagers regularly feed the crocodiles live chickens which may explain how these beasts have become “domesticated.”

MagicCroc04Shades of River Monsters

Does anyone remember the episode of River Monsters, when they were either in Africa, or the South Pacific and host Jeremy Wade was learning how to fish by hand-line?  He said that the villagers had a special arrangement with the local sharks who never attacked their villagers, and because he was their guest, he’d be safe too.  I don’t remember any mention of these villagers feeding the sharks.

Interesting. It makes you wonder what kind of “magic” these villagers are practicing.

WalksIntoMordorThe Flip Side

I also can’t help but think how easily this could turn around. One rogue crocodile could kill somebody.

There was another episode of River Monsters – I think it was in Suriname. The large piranhas that normally lived alone and didn’t attack in groups were suddenly found to be attacking anything that moved en masse. The change in their behavior was caused by a change in their environment, the addition of a new environmental stress (new alpha predator in the waters), and the piranhas had to quickly alter their behavior in order to survive.

You never know what can happen in the wild. This arrangement between humans and crocodiles is certainly bizarre. But is it magic, or just plain old animal behavior management at its best?

Til the next time!

 

Cast of Cryptid: The Swamp Beast – UPDATE

Cryptid.The.Swamp.BeastHCAmid the furor of popularity for this show, people have been clamoring to find out who the cast is, and asking me about it.

 

 

SwampBeastTammanyI think I figured out who Tammany is played by — see my previous post here (near the bottom of the article, under “Update”:

 

 

 

http://visitcryptoville.com/2014/02/25/history-channels-cryptid-the-swamp-beast-unveiled/

SwampBeastLucAnd now I ***think*** I might know who the actor playing Luc Baptiste is.

Check out Britt George on IMDB.com:

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0313368/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1

Next, look at the close-ups of “Luc” in this video. Hit the pause button so you have time to compare.

http://www.history.com/shows/cryptid-the-swamp-beast/videos/the-team-finds-a-doll?m=51896f797a81d

I’m pretty sure they are the same person. The IMDB photo is probably from a few years ago.

Please keep in mind: I’m just trying to put some clues together. These may be red herrings that I’m following, but I kind of don’t think so.  ;)

Enjoy the next episode tonight! CryptoVille will be tuning in for sure!

 

Tuesday 3/25/2014

YET ANOTHER UPDATE: I’ve received another clue as to the identity of the actor playing Deputy Lambert. It seems to be the actor, James Ricker II.

Check him out on IMDB.com:

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm4981531/?ref_=ttfc_fc_cl_t1

He’s easier to recognize.

3 down, 1 to go. Hopefully that “little bird” will come my way soon, so this mystery can be solved!!

Russia’s Almastys: Mystery Solved?

AlmastyZana01Russia’s Almasty or Almas sightings ignite frequent cryptozoological reports even to this day. Are they Bigfoots or monsters? They are mysterious creatures, for sure, so CryptoVille decided to look deeper into this mystery and see if there isn’t some other explanation.

I’ve written about Almastys before, in particular the sad story about Zana who was held captive for many years in Russia. She had four children by at least two human fathers and each of the four were raised by human families growing into adulthood like any other human being.

Why is that significant? Because if Zana was a Bigfoot or some other type of animal, she would not have been able to bear human children. It would have been genetically impossible. Homo sapiens (us) are the only ones able to do that, at least nowadays. This situation provides us with a tantalizing clue – could Zana have been on the Homo family tree by another name? Thanks to CryptoVille reader “Ray” for tipping me off to this connection. Zana may have been an earlier form of human.

AlmastyErgaster01DNA Results

Dr. Bryan Sykes performed DNA tests on the remains of Zana’s children. It showed that she must have been 100% Sub Saharan African. He further theorized that she may have been brought from Africa as a slave until the Russians took over that area and ended slavery.  It’s a nice theory except for one thing: Zana behaved more like an animal than a human. (Image left from New York Museum of Natural History, H. ergaster.)

A CryptoVille reader named “Y” pointed out to me that she seems to have behaved more like a hunter-gatherer. Those humans never settled down, never developed a “society” like we think of it today, never really developed language. Zana was described as not wanting to wear clothes, staying outdoors in all types of weather, preferring it to shelter. She swam in the icy cold river nearby. That would kill most humans, that is, Homo sapiens.

So what else could she have been?  Ray suggested I look into Homo ergaster.

AlmastyErgaster02What is Homo ergaster?

Homo ergaster lived between 1.9 and 1.4 million years ago, or possibly up until 780,000 years ago (there is some debate in the scientific community). (Image right from a BBC production: H. ergaster.)

Location: It lived in East and South Africa (sub Saharan) in forested areas, flooded grasslands, and open woodlands.

Appearance: Originally scientists estimated the males reached 180 cm tall (5.9 feet) and weighed around 66 kg (145 lbs) while the females reached 160 cm tall (5.2 feet) and weighed around 56 kg (123 lbs). But as more fossils have been found, those estimates changed. It seems that Homo ergaster  heights and weights varied considerably. The remains of an 11 year old child were found that measured 5 feet 3 inches tall. Science was able to estimate that if he had lived, he’d have reached a height of 6 feet 1 inch. Some adult female remains were found that measured 4 feet 9 inches tall. So the variation seems to be as strong as it is in today’s Homo sapiens, that is, us.

H. ergaster is the first hominid that looked like a modern human. The differences between males and females were clearly visible (sexual dimorphism), and the hind limbs (legs) were longer in relation to the length of the forelimbs (arms).  The pelvis was narrowing and the rib cage expanded into a more barrel shape which we still have today. All these adaptations made it easier for H. ergaster to walk and run – the body became better balanced.

AlmastyErgaster-mauricio-antonScientists believe H. ergaster’s body was smooth and relatively hairless. As they began to migrate in their search for high protein food to feed their growing brains and muscles, they would sweat more. Science tells us that sweating occurs more efficiently through naked skin. These were hunter-gatherer people often on the run chasing prey or running from predators. Efficient sweating is critical to survival. If they didn’t, they would collapse with heat stroke very fast. (Image above left by Mauricio Anton.)

Communication: Their fossils show that their vertebral canals weren’t large enough to contain all the nerve power that is required for speech. Speech requires a huge amount of processing power between the head and lungs to control breathing while speaking. So scientists feel they probably communicated through hand gestures and a variety of oral sounds, grunts and things. We need to remember, also, that their brains were smaller than ours so their intellect wasn’t on a par with ours today. Still they were a wonderful improvement on the hominids that went before.

Want to Know More?

I’ll share the links I studied at the end of this article if you’d like to read more paleontological articles about these creatures. My point in this post is to compare them to Zana. So let’s get back to Zana.

Zana01What about Zana?

How was Zana described by the people who remembered her?

In an essay by Rob Crowe, he describes her as, “[having] features of both Mongoloid and Negroid extraction, and her whole body was very tall with dark or gray skin, and reddish hair that covered her body like a mass of felt, while on the head it was described as being tousled and a thick shiny black. The thick reddish-black hair then ran down the middle of her back like an animal mane.

She was said to be six and a half feet tall, and had huge red eyes. Zana was also broad and had huge buttocks and pendulous breasts,  and was quite muscular and could splay her toes wide. Her hideously broad face with high cheek bones and ape-like nostrils turned forward was pure animal though. The muzzle-like jaws had strong sharp teeth … strong enough to crack bones or nuts with. Also, she was quite athletic, Zana could outrun the swiftest horses, or swim the waters of the swiftest river in flood stage at high tide, and do it all the year around. The nearby wild Mouki River was apparently an easy swim with her powerful arms and legs.”

That sounds like she may have been a bit hairier than the H. ergasters who migrated out of Africa, however in the subsequent centuries their bodies could have reverted to a hairier pelt in reaction to the colder climate they were living in. I should point out, science acknowledges that H. ergaster migrated to Dmanisi in Soviet Georgia. Guess where that is — in the Caucasus Mountains of Soviet Georgia where Zana was captured and held.

Like H. ergaster, Zana was unable to speak. She grunted and made noises, but never spoke words or a language. She was also large for a female, but remember there was a lot of variation among H. ergasters in size and weight, so I don’t see that as an obstacle to her being a surviving H. ergaster.

ZanaKhwitKhwit  

Zana’s son Khwit’s skull was examined by six anthropologists. They all mentioned  “a mix of ‘primitive’ and ‘progressive’ (modern) features in the skull.”

The skulls of H.ergaster are smaller, their brain size smaller than ours. The anthropologists may have been seeing a mix of ergaster traits versus sapiens traits mixed in his skull.

Bottom Line

After all my reading and research and hearing the stories about Almas/Almasty and Zana in particular, I think it’s more than likely she was a survivor of a group of H. ergasters that settled in the Caucasus Mountains of Georgia.

It was mentioned in some articles that science is beginning to realize that groups of different hominids seemed to have lived at the same time. In other words, Homo ergaster didn’t die out completely while Homo erectus was getting its start in the world, and so on. So the fact that there could have been (and may still be) groups of Homo ergaster living in the desolate mountains of Georgia while we’re walking the planet isn’t that hard to believe.

One thing I do feel strongly about, though. If H. ergasters are still there roaming the Caucasus Mountains, they must be treated with dignity and respect. What was done to Zana was disgusting and an outright crime. May that never happen again!

So what do you think about all this?

 

References:

www.australianmuseum.net.au/Homo-ergaster

www.efossils.org/species/homo-ergaster

www.bbc.co.uk/sn/prehistoric_life/human/human_evolution/leaving_home1.shtml

www.humanorigins.si.edu/evidence/human-fossils/species/homo-erectus

www.amnh.org/exhibitions/past-exhibitions/human-origins/the-history-of-human-evolution/turkana-boy/homo-ergaster-and-early-relatives

www.sciencedaily.com/articles/h/homo_ergaster.htm

www.anthro.palomar.edu/homo/homo_2.htm

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