Howick Falls in Howick, South Africa, is a place of mystery with strange happenings. One of the major tourist attractions in the area of the KwaZulu Natal Midlands, it is also feared by local Zulu-speakers because of the “spirit” of giant, serpentine, mythical creatures with horse-like heads known as the Inkanyamba.
The local monster shot to fame after a reward was advertised in a local paper for anyone who could produce photographic evidence of the serpent. Two photos followed. While neither were convincing, one photo did give an idea of the perceptions of the monster. The sighting also created great interest in local and national media.
It may have been a hoax, but in May 1996 a local paper reported that Zulu-speakers from a camp by the Howick Falls were to distressed by the hype and rumours about the monster being captured and relocated to a protected area, they approached local council asking for intervention. They feared for their own safety as Inkanyamba is said to prefer its steaks moist - having been blamed for many local deaths, including human, cattle and goats.
Many people suggest that the serpent is no more than the mistaken identity of a giant eel. This view is emphasised with the facts that Inkanyamba shares many traits with eels, which are common in the rivers and dams. Examples inlcude the long brown-finned eel Anguilla mossambica, which can grow to a length of 5ft. The Madagascan mottled eel Anguilla marmorata, which can grow to a length of 6ft. Both are dark in colour with mane-like fins that cover half the length of their bodies. It is thought that eels migrate short distances over land from one body of water to another, although it hasn’t ever been observed.
The Inkanyamba is believed to live in large bodies of water like the pool below the Howick Falls. Other sites in the area include the Midmar Dam which covers 500 square miles, the Mkomazi River which is about 43.5 miles South of Howick, and damns on farms in the Dargle area of the Midlands.
Howick Falls, South Africa
The slippery beast is said to get the travel bug when fighting over territory with another Inkanyamba, when it feels amorous, or if the water has dried up. The serpent is believed to travel in dark and angry clouds which push their weighty black shadows over the land. Violent storms with fierce winds, rain and hail, even tornadoes are often ascribed to a vengeful Inkanyamba on the warpath again. Such powerful local cyclones were thought to be caused by male inkanyambas out looking for mates.
A terrible storm hit the Greytown, Ingwavuma and Pongola regions KwaZulu in March 1998. The winds reached speeds of 52mph, tearing sheeting from shaky houses, ripping them apart.
The storms that ravaged these areas were blamed on Inkanyamba. The storms had tennis ball sized hailstones and 52 mile per hour winds. Thousands of people lost their homes. To discourage the serpent from destroying property, many locals paint their tin roofs a dark colour believing that it won’t attract the attention of the serpent.
There are even cave paintings of the horse headed serpent hat archeologists have dubbed ‘the rain animal’. It has horns on its head and a crest on its back. It is often depicted as spewing water from its mouth.
Local Zulus and hair Sangomas (witch doctors) sacrifice goats and chickens to this water god.
A complicated mythology has been built about the Inkanyamba, it has become hard to seperate fact from fiction, and decide if some fiction has been built on fact. Lake monsters and sea serpents around the world have often been linked to severe climatic conditions throughout history.
Your Chronicler, Sydney C. Squidney email@example.com
Source: Image credit: (Inkanyamba linocut) by Kate Rowland, Legend Of The Falls by Sian Hall, Fortean Times, Issue 123 June 1999 (Page 42-44). darksites.com/souls/goth/heartshowl/Inky.html, forteanzoology.blogspot.com/2009/04/richard-freeman-howick-falls-monster.html
Cryptid Chronicles readers, what do YOU think??
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Lon Stickler reports on an unknown winged creature witnessed by a Texan couple living in Atascocita who relayed to him their encounter as follows:
"My husband & I were grilling out in our backyard one Sunday afternoon approx. 5pm a month ago (original post is May 18th, 2013), when a pacific blue (in color)stingray looking bird flew over our home. Must of been 1 1/2 - 2’ in length and width.
We were actually sitting and conversating when it caught our attention. It looked down at us and continued flying. We live in Atascocita, TX. We were in shock as we’ve never seen anything like it before. We both looked at each other and a couple seconds later asked “what the heck was that?”
It disappeared into trees and have not seen it since.”
Lon also notes that this location is near a large body of water, similar to another incident in Laredo (Lake Casa Blanca).
The second sighting of a flying ray-shaped cryptid in Texas in 2013 in Laredo is recorded:
"I was driving home to my house at 1:20PM when I came across this stingray grayish-white looking thing flying over my car - coming from the lake we have here in Laredo, Texas going into the golf course next to it. It was roughly 3 feet wide - maybe bigger and it had a glide to it - no wings, just looked like a stingray - literally. It passed about 30 ft. in front of me and I watched it for about 10 seconds. It looked as if it was swimming, but flying. What could this creature be? I’m kinda freaked out by this. I jumped on the internet as soon as I got home and thank gosh, I’m not the only one. AR”
Lon then contacted the witness for further information which he added to the initial report. This was the first flying ray-shaped cryptid report that Lon had received from Texas. It seems the sighting was between the Casa Blanca Country Club and Lake Casa Blanca located in east Laredo, TX. The witness was driving north / northest on Rt. 20.
After doing some research, I found a report from 2010 posted at The Examiner entitled “Texas witness reports ‘bird formation’ disappearing and reappearing in clear sky.”
It stated that a Texas witness traveling near McAllen had watched an odd “formation of birds” that was “in a perfect arrow shape” with a wide wing span and “string ray body" that seemed to disappear and reappear in the sky, according to testimony from the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) database.
The objects were below cloud level on a “beautiful clear day,” and the witness questioned exactly what they were and how they could disappear and reappear.
McAllen is the largest city in Hidalgo County, Texas.
The following is the unedited report filed with MUFON:
TX, March 29, 2009 - sting ray like looking birds in an arrow formation/disappear, reappear, and dissappear again. MUFON Case # 22152.
"I had just flown in from Dallas to Harlingen, landed after 12 noon. I drove back with a friend and her husband to Mcallen, my home town. Before Mcallen, we drove through Pharr Texas. I was in the back seat, and I happened to look up.
I noticed, and not too high from the sky, a formation of birds, in an arrow shape, the way your normal birds migrate, but these were not the normal looking birds. They were in a perfect arrow shape, and about 8-10 of them on either side.
They were flying in synch, the exact same time and way, these birds looked like sting ray looking animals, very strange looking birds, with a wide wing span, and bodies like a sting ray.
As I was watching, they disappeared, then they reappeared within seconds, and they were still in synch as they were flying flapping their wings all at the same time. I did mention what I saw to the 2 people I was driving with, I was a little embarrassed to mention it again.
With in seconds they disappeared again, and not into clouds, because they were way below the clouds. I’ve told my close friends and am embarrassed to mention it to anyone because don’t want anyone to think I am crazy.
Oh and I failed to mention, it was a beautiful clear day.”
Interestingly, several readers commented on the article saying they had also seen similar creatures and were still bothered to this day having not been able to identify them, but finding relief that others across Texas have been seeing these creatures
Like Lon, I wonder if it is possible that these flying cryptid beings are somehow able to live in water and fly over land?
Have you seen anything like this? I’d still like to hear your story if you have.
Your Chronicler, Sydney C. Squidney firstname.lastname@example.org
A riveting account of an encounter with a possible living plesiosaur was mentioned in Charles Berlitz’s 1977 book, “Without a Trace" in which submarine pilot Captain Marvin McCamis claimed to have seen an animal which looked like a plesiosaur in the deep waters near Grand Bahama Island on July 20th, 1965 when they were making their first 6,000-foot (1,800 m) dive in the Naval Deep Submergence Research Vessel ALVIN for the Navy to obtain certification.
Dale Drinnon over at Frontiers of Zoology reported that Scott Mardis, a leading Champ researcher who has worked in the vertebrate paleontology department of the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences, had shared a sketch based off of Captain McCamis’ report on Facebook.
The plesiosaurian illustration is offered as an accurate representation of what Captain McCamis allegedly saw, however, Scott Mardis himself spoke to Marvin McCamis in 1997, and was corrected that Berlitz had the date wrong on the drawing and this encounter actually happened in July 1965, which corresponds with the Alvin dive that year that McCamis captained.
Scott Mardis also sent page scans of the book to researcher Dale Drinnon regaurding the relevant passage on the interview:
Captain McCamis’ account is that this event happened about a mile down into the ocean and researchers feel that Captain McCamis was a respected, reliable and overall credible witness, but a question remains as to whether this proves these sea monsters, or surviving plesiosaurs, were air breathing or not air breathing at all, as recent finds have suggested that Plesiosaurs bore live young, could live in fresh water and could tolerate cold temperatures down to freezing.
The deepest diving mammal are Sperm whales who hold their breath and dive thousands of feet down to feed on deep sea squid and fish. No one knows exactly how deep they can go, but submarine sonar readings have documented sperm whales at 2500 meters (8200 feet or 27.3 football fields or 1.6 miles below the surface)!
Some people argue that Plesiosaurs would have to be an aquatic reptile as opposed to a mammal because even if they still existed there would be more sightings as they have to continually come up for air, however Sperm whales are rarely observed despite their enormous size, because they spend 90% of their lives far down where they can’t be seen in the cold waters of the deep…
Whales breathe air just as all mammals do, are warm-blooded, nurse their young with milk from mammary glands, and even have body hair. They breathe via blowholes, but like all mammals, have lungs.
On the other hand, sea snakes are air breathing reptiles and must come to the surface to breathe, like a whale would, however they can spend from 30 minutes to 2 hours diving between breaths because of two major adaptations that allows them to do this. They are among the most completely aquatic of all air-breathing vertebrates and most sea snakes give live birth to their offsprings. Sea snakes would only have to bring their nostrils above the water to breathe so, really, they can breathe without being seen.
In my humble opinion, the Alvin sighting doesn’t specifically rule out relict zeuglodons, giant eels or unidentified pinnipeds as other forms of sea monsters reported in sea serpent sightings, and anyway there also existed many species of plesiosaur that came in a number of shapes (including some elongated, serpentine forms), however this particular report definitely does lend credence to the idea of deep-sea dwelling surviving plesiosaurs when you consider that our planet is 70% salt water oceans (of which less than 10% of that space has been explored by humans) and that there are approximately 50,000 natural lakes and 165 major rivers in the world.
People have been reporting lake monsters and sea serpents for a very long time and that is because they still live among us.
Your Chronicler, Sydney C. Squidney email@example.com
The unsolved mystery of the Van Meter Visitor - a winged creature with a glowing horn that caused terror in an Iowa town 110 years ago
In 1903 residents in Van Meter, Iowa claimed to have seen an eight-foot winged creature with a forehead horn that cast a blinding beam of light. 110 years later the creature and mystery remain unsolved
A bizarre legend and unsolved mystery which has haunted a small Iowa town for more than 100 years is the subject of a new book called The Van Meter Visitor.
For several nights in 1903, the small town of Van Meter, Iowa was terrorized by a giant bat-like creature that emerged from an old abandoned mine.
The identity of this mysterious monster has never been discovered, but over 100 years later a new book is retelling the amazing tale and hoping to shed some light on what happened all those years ago.
The legend dates back to the fall of 1903, when several of Van Meter’s most well respected citizens reported a half human, half animal with enormous, smooth bat wings flying about.
The creature is described as moving at speeds the townsfolk had never witnessed before, plus it let off a powerful stench and shot a blinding light from its horned head.
Each time the townsfolk encountered the creature they fired their guns at it, but this appeared to have no impact on the creature.
On the first night it was first spotted flying across the building tops. The next evening it was spotted by both the town doctor and bank cashier Peter Dunn who took a plaster cast of its 'great three-toed tracks.'
On the third night, a man spotted it perched atop a telephone pole. Another resident who saw it, described the monster as hopping like a kangaroo, while the local high school teacher likened it to a devil.
Scared and angered by what they had witnessed, the townsfolk followed the creature to an abandoned coal mine near an old brickyard where they heard a noise from the mine.
‘Presently the noise opened up again, as though Satan and a regiment of imps were coming forth for battle,’ reads an article in the Des Moines Daily News from Oct. 3, 1903.
The monster appeared together with a smaller version. In a flash of bright light they sailed away, but returned in the morning when the town’s men had gathered with weapons ‘to rid the earth of them’.
‘The reception they received would have sunk the Spanish fleet, but aside from unearthly noise and peculiar odor they did not seem to mind it, but slowly descended the shaft of the old mine.’
The creature was never seen again.
This amazing tale has survived and been retold for several generations now and a written version even exists in the town’s centennial book.
The new book is the work of Chad Lewis, who has written over 15 books about the supernatural, plus co-authors Noah Voss and Kevin Lee Nelson and help from local librarian Jolena Walker.
The authors visited the quiet town and spoke to local residents who told them the stories about the creature which passed been down and they visited several historic locations including the mine.
Lewis says he has found no evidence to suggest the monster was a hoax, although be believes the facts of the story may have been embellished over the years.
Lewis told the Des Moines Register that even though he said he’s unsure what happened those fall nights in 1903 in Van Meter, seeking the answer was more important than finding it.
'It was an era when anything was possible. Science was starting to gain momentum. In fact, they had just discovered the mountain gorilla. So the beast in the jungle was real,' he told. 'People were open to the fact that anything could happen.'
A fabulous sea-monster with the upper body of a man and the tail of fish. It had red eyes and sea-green hair. Is this an early account of merfolk or some other unknown sea creature?
This creature, not to be confused with the sea-god Tritones, had red eyes, sea-green hair, scaly skin, and vicious sharp teeth. A specimen was allegedly pickled and put on display in the Greek town of Tanagra.
"[At Tanagra in Boiotia:] But a greater marvel still is the Triton. The grander of the two versions of the Triton legend relates that the women of Tanagra before the orgies of Dionysos went down to the sea to be purified, were attacked by the Triton as they were swimming, and prayed that Dionysos would come to their aid. The god, it is said, heard their cry and overcame the Triton in the fight. The other version is less grand but more credible. It says the Triton would waylay and lift all the cattle that were driven to the sea. He used even to attack small vessels, until the people of Tanagra set out for him a bowl of wine. They say that, attracted by the smell, he came at once, drank the wine, flung himself on the shore and slept, and that a man of Tanagra struck him on the neck with and axe and chopped off his head. For this reason the image has no head. And because they caught him drunk, it is supposed that it was Dionysos who killed him. I saw another Triton among the curiosities at Rome, less in size that the one at Tanagra. The Tritones have the following appearance. On their heads they grow hair like that of marsh frogs not only in colour, but also in the impossibility of separating one hair from another.
The rest of their body is rough with fine scales just as is the shark. Under their ears they have gills and a man’s nose; but the mouth is broader and the teeth are those of a beast. Their eyes seem to me blue, and they have hands, fingers and nails like the shells of the murex. Under the breast and belly is a tail like a dophin’s instead of feet.”
Aelian, On Animals 13. 21 (trans. Scholfield) (Greek natural history C2nd A.D.) : "Concerning Tritones, while fishermen assert that they have no clear account or positive proof of their existence, yet there is a report very widely of certain monsters in the sea, of human shape from the head down to the waist. And Demostratos in his Treatise on Fishing says that at Tanagra he has seen a Triton in pickle. It was, he says, in most respects as portrayed in statues and pictures, but its head had been so marred by time and was so far from distinct that it was not easy to make it out or recognise it. ‘And when I touched it there fell from it rough scales quite hard and resistant. And a member of the Council, one of those chosen by lot to regulate the affairs of Greece and entrusted with the government fro a single year, intending to test and prove the nature of what he saw, removed a small piece of the skin and burnt it in the fire; whereupon a noisome smell from the burning object thrown into the flames assailed the nostrils of the bystanders. But’ he says, ‘we were unable to guess whether the creature was born on land or in the sea. The experiment however cost him dear, for shortly afterwards he lost his life while crossing a small, narrow strait in a short, six-oared ferry-boat. And the inhabitants of Tanagra maintained,’ so he says, ‘that this befell him because he profaned the Triton, and they declared that when he was taken lifeless from the sea he disgorged a fluid which smelt like the hide of the Triton at the time when the man cast it into the fire and burnt it.’
As to the quarter from which the Triton strayed and how he came to be cast ashore here, the inhabitants of Tanagra and Demostratos must explain. In view of these facts I blow to the god, and a witness of such authority claims our belief; and Apollon Didymois (of Didyma) [oracle of Apollon Brankhos in Miletos] must be sufficient to guarantee to every man of sound mind and strong intelligence. At any rate he says that the Triton is a creature of the sea, and his words are: ‘A child of Poseidon, portent of the waters, a clear-voiced Triton, encountered as he swam the rush of a hollow vessel.’
If then the omniscient god says that Tritones do exist, we should entertain no doubts on the subject.” Pausanias, Guide to Greece - Greek Geography C2nd A.D. Aelian, On Animals - Greek Natural History C2nd - C3rd A.D
More than 100 years ago, something terrible happened in Berkeley Square.
Nameless Thing of Berkeley Square was a nickname given to the mysterious entity that was encountered in the 18th-19th century in the Victorian era building named 50 Berkeley Square in the UK.
Although most researchers are more inclined to enter this event into the category of the supernatural, many others maintain it was either a known creature, or a mutant or even a cryptid.
Berkeley Square Complex was built in 1740 by an architect named William Kent. This complex was once the residence of prominent figures, among them Winston Churchill 48, who lived in the building. Then, George Canning, British prime minister in 1827. He lived in the building No.50. And in this building, this mystery begins.
Horror on the Second Floor
In 1840 the 20 year old man Sir Robert Warboys heard about eerie rumours in this building. As a student, Warboys laughingly dismissed the tales as urban legend, while his friend disagreed and dared him to spend his night in the haunted 2nd floor room. With arrogance, he accepted the challenge. After successfully convincing the building guard, Warboys was given a room on the second floor, just above the guard room. Later, the room will be referred to as one of the most haunted room in the UK. Warboys climbed into the bed armed with a pistol and a candle. Forty-five minutes later, the guard woke up from sleep. He heard a noise in the room upstairs and a few seconds later, a gunshot sounded. With haste, he immediately got up and ran toward the top. Arriving at the door of the room, he immediately broke it by force. What he saw will never forget for life. Conditions in the room were almost unchanged. However, at the corner of a dimly lit room, Sir Robert Warboys was motionless, dead, still clutching his pistol that still smoke. What is more appalling is the facial expression of Warboys, looking like he had seen something terrible that perhaps fright killed him instantly. The guard found a hole in the wall due to a bullet fired from the gun, but what had been shot? Was it something horrible?
Some years later, “something” came back. This time, he was seen by witnesses who survived the encounter.
Experience of Two Sailors
In 1887, two sailors from HMS Penelope in Portsmouth named Robert Martin and Edward Blunden who had just spent money to get drunk come to Berkeley Square complex to rest.
At that time, 50 Berkeley Street has been uninhabited and empty. Then they had found their way into the basement and broke into it. Upon their break-in they discovered moist ground conditions, so both decided to head upstairs to find a dryer place. Incidentally they chose the building No.50 and slept in the same room once occupied by Warboys.
When entering the room, Blunden who seemed more sober than Martin soon realized that the atmosphere in the room made him uneasy. He said if he felt the presence of “something”. But Martin immediately reassured by opening the bedroom window to let the night wind blows inside. About an hour later, around midnight, Blunden awakened by the sound of creaking door. As he rubbed his eyes, he saw the bedroom door was open and upon wandering to check around, suddenly saw something.
In dim conditions, Blunden saw a strange gray thing creeping slowly on the wooden floor. Along with the creature’s movement, Blunden could hear the friction across the floor, which made him shudder.
Gripped by fear, Blunden ran to wake Martin, who awoke immediately; realizing what was happening in the room. The creature was seen standing in front of them while behind it was the door that was their only hope of escape.
Blunden glanced at the rifle that lay near the window and when he tried to reach for it, the creature suddenly jumped up and extended itself or “landed on the neck” at Blunden. Blunden panicked and began to scream and struggle with the creature. Seeing the opportunity, Martin quickly ran out of the room, down the stairs, out of the building and immediately shouted for help, getting the attention of a policeman who was on patrol. When they returned to the building, they found the room empty, with no sign of Blunden. They began to search the entire building and when they reached the basement, they found Blunden. However, he was lifeless and had been dismembered. On his face was a similar expression of fright as seen at the death of Sir Robert Warboys; Blunden’s face showed an expression of profound fear.
In another version, Blunden was not killed in the basement, but was killed by a fall from the window due to fear.
Thomas Lyttleton’s Experience
Sightings of this creatured were not limited to Robert Martin who might be considered a drunk sailor with a false story, there were additional encounters of this creature also experienced by community leaders who seemed to have no reason to lie. One of them was a member of parliament named Thomas Lyttelton who had lived in the same building for some time.
One night, when preparing to go to bed, Lyttelton encountered a creature in his own room. He immediately took his rifle and fired. He believed that the creature was shot because he saw it fall. But he could not find any trace or the carcass.
According to other witnesses who claimed to have seen it, the creature was nearly out of shape and looked like sticky liquid. When it moved, it produced strange sounds. Descriptions given were sometimes varied, but at least one witness claimed that the creature had a set of tentacles like an octopus.
Because of this description, some researchers later concluded that the creature was a type of octopus or other water creature that had mutated and successfully migrated from the river Thames into London’s underground canal which eventually makes it up to Berkeley Square ‘s building through plumbing.
It has been suggested that this creature may have been targeting a n ample population of mice or rats that lived in the building when it came across the drunken sailors. However, no satisfactory explanation has been given about the range of appearances over that timeframe.
An isolated, mountainous region of China is the home to a strange, gigantic creature resembling an albino toad.
In an isolated, forest strewn corner of China’s Hubei province there are numerous lakes and deep, water filled gorges. While the beauty and natural splendor of the region are undeniable, there are some who claim that far and away the most interesting thing about this district are the gigantic and viciously territorial, toad-like creatures are said to lurk beneath the unfathomable waters.
According to local fishermen, Bao Fung Lake and the other gorges that dot the region are infested with colossal, alabaster-skinned, amphibious monsters known as Wuhnan Toads, whose most disturbing attributes are their allegedly voracious appetites.
This phenomenon was first brought to national attention in 1962, when a group of terrified fishermen attempted to purge their favorite fishing hole of these beasts by throwing dynamite into their murky domain. The fishermen were not only unsuccessful in their efforts, but were actually chased away from the lake by a massive toad-like menace, which the men — for reasons known only to them — dubbed “Chan.”
Legend has it that the “hopping mad” Chan pursued the explosive-happy fishermen almost 90-feet beyond the shoreline. The fishermen were, understandably, reticent to return to the lake and reports indicate that these pale-skinned monstrosities have continued to plague all those who stray too close to their watery abode.
As intriguing as the 1962 episode may be, there is an even more impressive encounter with these unexplained creatures on public record. According to an account printed in the Brisbane Australia’s Courier Mail in 1995, Professor Chen Mok Chun led an expedition of nine scientists from the Peking University to the remote Wuhnan area in August of 1987, in order to make a scientific study of the region’s fauna.
As the scientists began setting up camp along the shores of one of Wuhnan’s remote gorges, three gigantic animals reportedly surfaced in the lake and began to swim toward them. The stunned men later described the creatures as being toad-like in appearance, with a pale epidermis and large gaping maws, which seemed to exceed a width of 6-feet. The witnesses claimed that the animals’ gazes seemed both “aggressive” and “predatory,”though these observations are strictly subjective.
While these men of science stared in stunned disbelief at the gargantuan beasts that were bearing down on them, one of the creatures suddenly unfurled its gigantic tongue and — before the eyewitnesses could react — lunged forward and snagged one of their camera tripods by its leg and drawing it back into the water.
The scientists watched in awe — and more than a little terror, one would imagine — as the animal proceeded to devour its inanimate prey. As soon as its meal was complete, the expedition members claimed that the remaining animals emitted horrific shrieks before submerging into the depths of the lake and into the annals of the cryptozoological record.
Source Credit(s): english.hidden-science.net/2011/10/the-world%E2%80%99s-strangest-lake-monsters/, Photo credits unknown, please contact me if you have source.
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On June 1, 2005, a photo was taken of an unidentified species standing beside a waterfall in the Parc des Sept Chutes in Quebec, Canada. Amazingly, the creature appears to be holding something and is staring at the photographer, who doesn’t notice it. This creature does not match the typical descriptions of the legendary Bigfoot, which is usually described a being a massive creature that resembles a human, having a conical head and a human-looking flat face. As well, the Bigfoot is not usually described as being aggressive.
The creature in the photo has several unique physical attributes that differentiates it from typical Bigfoot sightings. The creature is erect, standing on two legs and appears to be between 5-6 feet tall. It has an elongated snout that appears dog-like as well as silver hair on its head reaching to it’s shoulders. The creature’s body is black and the left arm is visible bent at the elbow. Quite remarkably, the creature looks to be holding a white dog.
Based on the red area that looks like blood on the creatures head, it may have been feeding on the dog. The creature has a triangular shaped head and, unlike most Bigfoot who retreat when seen, this creature is holding his ground and staring aggressively and directly at the photographer.
In August 2008, David Claerr wrote an article comparing the Beast of Seven Chutes and Dogman of Michigan:
In the forests of Northern Wisconsin, Michigan and East Central Canada, between about 42 to 48 degrees of Latitude, there have been a resurgence of reports of a large, bipedal carnivore, within the past several years. There is a notable resemblance in the descriptions to a being in the lore of native tribes: the Windigo, a tall, ferocious creature with a wolf-like head on the body of a man or bear. It also fits the descriptions from European legends of the werewolf.
The cryptic creature is reported to have unique characteristics that differ from the appearance of a Sasquatch or Bigfoot. Generally smaller and less stocky than a Sasquatch, it is said to be closer to the height of an average man, and the arms and legs are similar in proportion to the human. The hands or fore-paws are said to have long curving, sharp claws. The feet, judged by footprints, are said to be elongated somewhat like the human, but the toes are shorter and configured more like a canine. But the most striking feature, according to the accounts, is the elongated muzzle with large protruding canines and pointed incisors.
Accounts of sightings of the creature are often in conjunction with a fresh kill, usually a deer. Its demeanor is hostile and aggressive, according to reports. The non-human expression is said to be malevolent, and the glaring eyes and snarling grimace are said to provoke a deep sense of dread.
The accompanying illustrations by the author are based on purported eyewitness accounts and a detail from a photo taken in a park near, Quebec Canada. “Seven Chutes” refers to the cataracts or waterfalls in the park, which is known by the the French name “Parc de Sept Chutes”. In a small area of the larger, complete picture of a waterfall, a strange figure is facing the camera and looking up through the foliage on the embankment. Amazingly, it appears to be cradling a white poodle in its arms.
The hand-drawn digital illustrations by the author were derived by a visual study of an enlarged detail of the figure. Sophisticated filtering effects were employed to isolate color groups and enhance details of the structure and textural patterns. A compensation for motion-blur was added. The resulting rectified image, which revealed surprising detail, was used as a visual comparison for the illustrations.
The crown of the creature’s head has an irregular red coloration that has the appearance of a stain, perhaps blood. The rest of the hair or fur, which follows coherent patterns, is in shades of grey to white, darker at the base and lighter toward the tips. The head has a moderately long mane that appears to obscure the ears. The coat of hair on the arms, legs and body is somewhat uniform and comprised of stiff bristles about an inch and a half long, judging from proportions. The lower legs and feet in the image are obscured, so the illustrated configuration of them is conjectural. The “dog” it appears to hold is less distinct since it has more of a motion-blur, but still looks more like a dog than any other object or animal.
From studying the apparent bone structure, musculature, posture and hair-growth patterns it is a reasonable hypothesis that the creature, if real, would have characteristics most in common with the primate branch that includes macaques and baboons. Since the environment in the reports is the colder mid-northern regions, an analogous primate could be the Snow Monkeys (macaques) of Japan, which have a seasonal growth of hair that allows them to survive temperature extremes. Related primates, like baboons, also have enormous canine teeth and a head that can appear very dog- or wolf-like. The hind legs and feet of a baboon are also somewhat dog-like in appearance and function. These conjectures are worth considering if a bipedal, primarily carnivorous primate is postulated. Of course, most primates are omnivores or herbivores, but that does not preclude the possible existence of a carnivorous primate. An analogy to that premise would be the carnivorous marsupial “wolves” and “lions” formerly inhabiting Tasmania.
Reports of this type of cryptic biped in the Americas go back centuries before the arrival of Europeans. There have been sporadic reports since the days of New World settlements of this and perhaps related creatures by well known explorers and historical figures. Whether the phenomenon is real or imaginary, a greater understanding of this and other mysteries can be gained only through scientific investigation and comprehensive field research.
The person who took the photo lives in Quebec, about 15 minutes from where the photo was taken. He speaks French and works as a driver for a construction company and wishes to remain anonymous.
He was sightseeing alone at the Parc des Sept Chutes which is near Saint-Georges de Beauce, Quebec, it was about 90 degrees that day. He did not notice the subject or anything out of the ordinary while he was walking around the park taking pictures. The date was Wed. June 1st 2005 there were no other park visitors around. He took 76 photos (all at medium resolution) of various park features, he also recorded 4 videos. (The videos are available for anyone who wants to view them.) The camera was a Canon A70. He was looking through the photos at home that same day and was surprised to see the subject/creature standingin the woods looking up at him. The photo was number 32 in the set. He has since been back to this area 3 times and taken photos and videos on each occasion. He was back on Monday July 4th and was spooked when he heard something walking in the woods 20-30 feet away from him. He stated that he probably will not be going back there alone. In some of the later photos he took he had his girlfriend stand where the subject was and he stood where he initially was and took photos to get a sense of size and scale.
Here is a recreation photo taken a few weeks later of the EXACT area
Source Credit(s): Posted by Lon Strickler at Phantoms and Monsters naturalplane.blogspot.com/2011/08/what-was-beast-of-seven-chutes.html Photo of recreation taken from haveyouseenthiscreature.com
For anyone interested The lat and long for the location where the photo was taken… Latitude: 47° 7’17.46”N Longitude: 70°49’47.28”W
Cryptid Chronicles readers, what do YOU think??
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The folklore of the United States was greatly enriched during the late 19th and early 20th century thanks to tall tales. Lumberjacks, hunters, ranchers, and other men who made their living out in the wild would frequently return home or to camp with incredible stories of fantastic animals they encountered.
These “fearsome critters” as they came to be known were a great source of entertainment among frontiersmen as a means of passing time, as well as a good way of captivating naïve audiences unfamiliar with the terrain. What made these beasts so fascinating were the bizarre features many of them possessed. The gumberoo, for example, resembled a hairless bear with a rubbery hide that bullets simply bounced off, but it would explode if it came into contact with fire. Jackalopes looked like common rabbits except for the huge antlers that grew from their heads. Cactus cats were large felines covered with large spines that they would use to pierce cacti and drink the juice, which they would subsequently become intoxicated on. Of all these strange creatures, though, none is more enigmatic than the Guyascutus.
Said to have inhabited forests of the Midwest, particularly along the Mississippi River and in the Ozark Mountains, the guyascutus is a very difficult monster to identify since its description varies between those who claimed to have seen it. Some compared it to a massive alligator with a thick plated shell on its back and a row of sharp dorsal spines. Others said it resembled a deer with rabbit ears and sharp fangs. It was either a vicious man-eater or a peaceful herbivore based on who you asked. Further adding to the confusion were the varying names given to the beast depending on the region. It was known by monikers such as the Sidehill Gouger, Guyanoosa, Sidewinder, Rickaboo Racker, and Hunkus-Lunkus.
Whatever the appearance or name, one feature remained constant in all accounts of the guyascutus; they had telescoping legs that could extend or contract as needed for navigation. This served them well when they had to navigate sloping hills and mountainsides, usually by making the legs on one side of their bodies shorter than the other in order to conform to the proper angle. In this state, however, they were restricted to moving only in one direction; trying to turn around with legs of mismatched size would cause them to lose balance and tumble down the mountainside. If a guyascutus was in danger of falling, it could always secure itself by using its prehensile tail to wrap around a sturdy stone and maintain balance – assuming, again based on inconsistent accounts, that it actually had a tail.
The legend of the guyascutus was profitable for several unscrupulous people. During the 1860s and extending up to the turn of the century, crooked carnival barkers who ran traveling shows would set up shop in Midwestern towns advertising that they had captured a guyascutus. The curious citizens, hoping to see the mysterious beast, bought tickets to see it unveiled. The barker would hype up the creature before the crowd, emphasizing its ferocity, its unbridled bloodlust. Then he would be interrupted by a badly injured man who rushed into the tent, screaming that the guyascutus had broken loose. The crowd, in a panic, fled to avoid being maimed by the monster. Once they were gone, the barker and his accomplice to pocket the money, pull up the show and leave town.
Guyascutus stories remained mostly regional lore, though the tales did eventually spread to New England. Residents of Vermont and New Hampshire reported seeing creatures similar to those around the Ozarks, which they dubbed the wampahoofus. Farmers attempted to breed these creatures with their livestock in order to help them adapt better to mountain pastures. These experiments frequently ended in failure, though, as the resulting cows and sheep did possess shorter legs on one side of their bodies, but lacked the ability to adjust the size, making it impossible for them to travel on flat terrain or turn around while on the hills.
It’s been suggested that the guyascutus was inspired by legendary creatures of European folklore, the haggis of Scotland (not related to the meal) and the dahu of France, both of which are said to have legs of varying length to help them travel better on uneven mountains. Whatever creature of the North American wilderness inspired it is a mystery considering how many varying descriptions of it exist. While it did feature in some prominent tall tales, including an encounter with the legendary Paul Bunyan, the guyascutus, along with its strange brethren of lumberjack lore, is all but unknown today. At a time where fictional works are constantly rehashing the same tired clichés and relying on the same overused monsters, it’s disheartening to see the fantastic creatures of the past, rich with originality and brimming with potential for reinterpretation, being forgotten. The fearsome critters are an endangered species on the verge of extinction, and sadly, their revival doesn’t seem likely.
In another source, the description is given that Sidehill gougers are North American folkloric creatures adapted to living on hillsides by having legs on one side of their body shorter than the legs on the opposite side. This peculiarity allows them to walk on steep hillsides, although only in one direction; when lured or chased into the plain, they are trapped in an endless circular path.
In this description Sidehill gougers are herbivorous mammals who dwell in hillside burrows, and are occasionally depicted as laying eggs. Since the gouger is footed for hillsides, it cannot stand up on level ground. If by accident a gouger falls from a hill, it can easily be captured or starve to death. When a clockwise gouger meets a counter-clockwise gouger, they have to fight to the death since they can only go in one direction.
Gougers are said to have migrated to the west from New England, a feat accomplished by a pair of gougers who clung to each other in a fashion comparable to “a pair of drunks going home from town” with their longer legs on the outer sides.
Frank C. Whitmore and Nicholas Hotton, in their joint tongue-in-cheek response to an article “Fantastic Animals” (Smithsonian Magazine, 1972), expounded the taxonomy of sidehill gougers (Membriinequales declivitous), noting in particular “the sidehill dodger, which inhabits the Driftless Area of Wisconsin; the dextrosinistral limb ratio approaches unity although the metapodials on the downhill side are noticeably stouter.”
Source Credit(s): Posted by Jim Bevan for manic-expression.com, manic-expression.com/apps/blog/show/19429117-manic-expression-s-monster-extravaganza-guyascutus, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sidehill_gouger , Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods, With a Few Desert and Mountain Beasts, Written by Henry H. Tryon, Public Domain License
The pages presented with this post are one of the earliest written accounts describing fabulous beasts of lumberjack lore, together called “fearsome critters.” These creatures are the New World counterparts to the monsters of classic mythology.
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