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Archive for the 'Criptozoology' Category

Video: Giant, alien, elbowed squid

It’s a creepy footage, underwater, night-shot, shaky camera and, of course, a monster. All the right ingredients for another Internet viral – as the video was indeed being spread by email.

But the image is very real, and the horrifying creature is “just” a squid. Granted, a giant, obscure and particularly bizarre squid genus: Magnapinna. Around 7 m in lenght, possibly more, it purports very long, thin arms spread like the structure of an umbrella, as if each arm had an “elbow”. Scientists speculate that that stops the arms from entangling. It’s not easy being a giant squid.

This is not actually the first video of the species that at first glance look a lot like the aliens from Independence Day – given the first video footage of Magnapinna was taken in 1988, we may guess who inspired who. Click the alien with open wireless Internet and without antivirus in their computers for more videos. Of Magnapinna, of course.

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Want to have sweet nightmares with giant squids? The graphic below may be useful. In order, all the known large squid species circling a poor little fellow. From left to right:

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Mesonychoteuthis, Architeuthis, Dosidicus, Taningia, Onykia, Magnapinna, Kondakovia, Galiteuthis, Megalocranchia, Asperoteuthis.

More on The Other Gigantic Squids [via NatGeo]

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The Brazilian “Lost Thunderbird”: False Fortean Memories

lostThunderbird5ywIt’s an old black and white photo of a “Thunderbird”/Pterodactyl shot down proudly displayed by a bunch of cowboys standing. It’s the elusive Lost Thunderbird Photo, which many people including noted cryptozoologists remember seeing, and yet, no one can produce the photo itself. The best people can come up with are illustrations of what the photo looked like.

A fascinating conundrum: is it a “glitch in the Matrix”, where all evidence of the photo has been erased from reality, except for the memories of those who saw it? Or rather an impressive glitch in our own memories, that is, a false memory? One spontaneously created? Is that even possible?

I side with the false memory explanation, and about it, I stumbled upon a very similar case down here south. Yes, we have our own “lost Thunderbird” enigma, and it is a video!

That, you will certainly recognize, is a clip from the movie “Signs” (2002), where one of the stupid “melt-with-water” aliens terrorizes a birthday party supposedly in Passo Fundo, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.

Now, the fascinating bit: many, many people claim this footage is real, that they saw it many years ago on some TV show. “Fantastico”, a prime time Sunday night show is often referenced, as it used to feature many UFO and paranormal cases.

That we can say for sure, didn’t actually happen. The clip was created by Shyamalan, and features many obvious goofs: the car is too old to be in someone’s garage (not for the last 30 years, Brazil is not Cuba); the video quality is too good to be shot on a home camera, some people there speak Spanish (Portuguese is Brazil’s language), and the final and definite nail is the boy screaming “is behind”.

Why would a Brazilian boy suddenly start screaming in broken English? Well, because that’s an American movie. The boy is in fact actor Kevin Pires, credited on IMDb.

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When shown evidence that the footage couldn’t possibly be real, some people claim it was rather a reproduction of the original, real footage of an alien invading a birthday party in Passo Fundo.

“Let it be known that the scene that appears in the movie Signs, with Mel Gibson, where an alien appears in a birthday party in Passo Fundo is the reenactment of an ufological event that happened in the end of the 1970s and beginning of the 1980s. In spite of pseudoscientific websites and even seasoned ‘ufologists’ claiming the contrary, the fact happened and was aired by Globo TV in their programs Jornal Nacional and Fantástico. The video, obviously, doesn’t have the same quality as the movie, but the reproduction of the scene was extremely close to the real one. We are searching the original footage, if you can help, please contact us.”

Sounds familiar? By the way, those “pseudoscientific websites claiming the contrary” is a reference to my Brazilian website, where I debunked the claim the movie scene was real.

“I wasn’t on the birthday party, but I lived in that time and have always lived in Passo Fundo. And I heard that news when I was a kid and I believe I saw a UFO myself at that time, or at least, the second half of the 1970s.”

“In another community, someone showed up saying the Passo Fundo case happened in 1992 in the Embrapa village, near UPF.”

Some people even claim they saw Shyamalan in an interview claiming that the scene was inspired by a real Passo Fundo video of an alien. I asked where they saw it, but they couldn’t remember it either. My guess is that that doesn’t exists.

“Signs” is a terrible movie, the plot and the signature Shyamalan twist-ending is revolting. But it does have an atmosphere, and in some level, Shyamalan seems to have convinced many Brazilians that that alleged news footage, with many clear signs of being fictional, was actually real. That, in turn, seems to have inspired a bunch of false memories.

Of relevance is that many people are apparently remember exactly what Joaquin Phoenix’s character is doing in the movie: they saw it on a TV news program. People literally feel thay are part of the movie.

Many people will keep looking for that “original footage” of a birthday party in Passo Fundo a couple of decades ago, a video that, if real, would have certainly have come to the attention of many researchers before the movie was shown.

Say what you want about Shyamalan, that he was able to create a new “Lost Thunderbird” phenomenon, implanting false memories into a bunch of Brazilians is impressive. Pardon the terrible joke, but I can’t help:

That’s twisted.

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Helicoprion: stranger than fiction

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If you thought the fictional Ningen was bizarre, behold the Helicoprion. And this horrifying sea creature is, or actually, was very real, as evidenced by their peculiar lower teeth, fossils of which have been found. It may have grown up to 20 feet long.

As we all know and fear, sharks are indeed killing machines and as such make a lot of use of their teeth. So much so that most species known today are constantly replacing them. They are not attached to their jaw, are placed in several rows, and when a tooth falls, the one behind it takes its place. Somewhat like a conveyor belt. Of very sharp teeth.

But it has not always been this way, and the Helicoprion was a shark-like fish that arose in the oceans of the late Carboniferous 280 million years ago, and eventually went extinct during the early Triassic some 225 million years ago.

You see, the Helicoprion kept growing new teeth throughout its life, but they did not fall. Instead, the teeth grew in spiral fashion, with new, larger ones being added.

It’s actually funny that scientists didn’t know at first how to fit the spirals they found in the fish:

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It was not until the discovery of the skull of a relative, Ornithoprion, that it was realized that the tooth-whorl was in the lower jaw. It is difficult to know much about ancient shark-like fish because all that remain from them are usually their teeth. The rest of their body, including their cartilage, is lost to time.

You can see more artistic conceptions of the creature by Gary Staab, in the Field Museum, and the Las Vegas Natural History Museum, though the one at the beginning of this post is clearly the winner. There’s also an illustration of a Helicoprion feeding on ammonites. This may look like a joke – a spiral-toothed fish eating a spiral mollusk –, but as Wikipedia says, this is a serious hypothesis for the spiral-teeth.

Another ancient (and extinct) shark-like fish that did not shed its teeth, but kept growing them, was the Edestus. Scary, but not anything as horrible as the Helicoprion.

I think nobody, even in art, had ever thought of a tooth-whorl jaw for a shark-like fish. Cthulhu probably has one like that, but Lovecraft didn’t describe it. He knew we would go insane.

[via UMAfan]

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Montauk Monster: Raccoon or Pug?

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Loren Coleman of Cryptomundo reference on things cryptozoological gives a review of the media phenomenon, as well as further quotes of more experts stating it was actually a raccoon. But the two images above do suggest otherwise.

The Montauk Monster seems much too fat to be a raccoon. The ears and eyes also look much more like that of a pug. Decomposing bodies do get bloated, but I guess not that much. The only thing strange for a pug in the Montauk carcass are the seemingly long legs, but I suspect there may be pugs with slightly longer legs. And I think it’s more plausible to suggest decomposition may make the forelegs look slightly longer than the whole body, including the head, eyes and ears, to look that much distorted.

But I’m a layman, I never saw a raccoon in my life, except at a distance in the Zoo here in Brazil. I even found searching for dead animal images deeply disgusting. Therefore, expert opinions are more than welcome.

I know experts have already said, since the beginning, that it was a raccoon, but not that I’m saying they are wrong, but I do suspect otherwise and would love to see more conclusive evidence.

One has to admit that at first sight, it does look much more like a pug than a raccoon.

But then, it’s a pity the carcass is seemingly lost, and no definitive DNA test will be conducted. Look at this dead raccoon:

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Bizarrely, it does look similar to the first pic of the "Monster":

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As animachina aptly portrayed:

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Is it possible that the second set of pics is from another carcass without muzzle, and we are dealing first with a raccoon and then with a pug? Hmmm that seems highly improbable. But then, they certainly look more like a pug.

Again, expert opinions are more than welcome.

UPDATE: Craig York points to this nice verdict by Darren Naish that nails it as a raccoon indeed, pointing to the absence of signs of a pronounced brow, and the telling digits of the hand.

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The Montauk Monster

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Someone sent the image above to Gawker, warning that there is "a government animal testing facility very close by in Long Island”. But being a good blog, Gawker sure as hell knew that it probably wasn’t what it looked like. The “Montauk Monster” must have been yet another viral marketing ploy.

A good suspect emerged: “Cryptids are Real”, from Cartoon Network, which by the way is a very interesting site with good fictional depictions of unusual encounters with giant flying jellyfishes and the like. The Montauk Monster looks like a griffin, with its puzzling beak, even though the wings and claws do not fit:

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Even seasoned cryptozoologists such as Loren Coleman were puzzled, asking, like all of us, “what is this animal?.

skullmontaul341hjkTruth quickly emerged in the very comments of Gawker, oh Internet be praised.

The monster is simply “a decomposing and bloated dog, possibly a bulldog, boxer or other breed with similar facial structure (compact muzzle)”. Without fur, everything fits, from tail to… near the nose.

Which looks like a beak, but is in fact the frontal part of the dog’s skull, minus the muzzle.

Instead of yet another viral marketing hoax, this is simply yet another poor dead dog mistaken for a monster. Other examples include the Maine-Chupacabras, the Chupacabras of Florianopolis or the Elmendorf Beast.

Nothing as shocking as our exclusive photographic proof, of course. But it’s nice for a change the Montauk Monster wasn’t called a Chupacabras. [via Anomalist]

UPDATE: Loren Coleman posts a note from a local newspaper. It seems someone sent the photo to the paper first, which on July 23 had already quoted officials who said the thing must have been a raccoon. Not a dog.

A closer look does suggest a raccoon is also similar to what we are seeing. A raccoon skull, or specifically, jaw, fits nicely what we see. Then we have the paws. A raccoon has longer fingers, like those in the “Montauk Monster”.

Finally, we have the experts, including Town Natural Resources Director Larry Penny and Bandit Trappings and Pest Control Doug Johnston, quoted by the paper, who both considered it “a raccoon with its upper jaw missing”.

A search for “skinned raccoons” on Google is very unpleasant, and it seems raccoons are not that fat. But again, this could be a bloated, decomposing raccoon. The area around its bowels seems very stuffed, which may help give the impression of a dog.

Either way, not a “Monster”.

UPDATE: Hello to all the folks coming from Coast2Coast! In another twist of opinion, by looking at this new photo published just now on Newsday, by Christina Pampalone, it definitely looks like… not a raccoon:

montaukdog41361961

Reports also finally give it a size: from 2 and a half to three feet. Joye Brown suggests an otter, though I think the head of the "Monster" is too big. I’m back to the original guess of a dog, probably an unfortunate pug.

Hopefully this new photo will help experts identify the animal, as they also flipped their statements saying they couldn’t identify it from the original photo alone. And he will rest in peace, wherever he is now.

If you have more photos or reports on this poor animal, feel free to send them here.

UPDATE: Loren Coleman has two more photos. Dog, dog, dog. Poor Dog.

UPDATE: I moved the comments as to whether it was a pug or a raccoon to a new post.

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