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And Jay's Blog, Bizarre Zoology

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Bigfoot Evidence Update on Camper Video

From Bigfoot Evidence:

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Matt Moneymaker On "Camper" Footage

If anyone knows anything about Bigfoot, that would be BFRO President/Finding Bigfoot star Matt Moneymaker. We all know from Finding Bigfoot that he can recognize a Bigfoot from a mile away. The "Camper" video was sent to Moneymaker via Twitter and this is what he tweeted back:

Saturday, 29 September 2012

"Bigfoot Blasting Through" photo

Friday, September 21, 2012

New Photo: Trail Cam Photo of Bigfoot Blasting Through

This possible Bigfoot photo made it on Field & Stream's list of "The 56 Best Wildlife Shots from Our 2012 Fall Contest".

It was submitted by a Field & Stream reader Tom Banks as part of a contest to win a Bushnell Trophy Cam HD. You can check out other trail cam submissions here.
On BIGFOOT EVIDENCE, Source posting Read Here
On the general consensus, this seems to be a blurry photograph of a bear

Bigfoot Evidence, Breaking News on Elbe Trackway

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Breaking: Was Cliff Barackman The Target Of An Elaborate Hoax? [Elbe Trackway]

According to nearly everyone who's involved with the Elbe Trackway investigation in WA, the tracks are probably faked. Initial opinions were mixed, but it is now without a doubt an elaborate hoax. The most disturbing part about this hoax was the suspicious email noticed that was first sent to Finding Bigfoot TV star Cliff Barackman, who was filming an episode for season 4. Due to his busy schedule, Barackman was unable to respond to the email, so instead, the witness decided to send another email out-- this time, to the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (BFRO) about a significant line of possible Bigfoot tracks near Barackman's home town in Portland, OR.
Posted by BIGFOOT EVIDENCE. Read More

Bigfoot Evidence Neanderthal Report

From Bigfoot Evidence on Thursday, a report of a very Neanderthal-like individual. Florida is one place where you get this specifically (and I'm thinking Texas is another) but the Neanderthal-type reports are scattered all over North America. They are overshadowed by reports of their larger cousins, but their very specificness makes them exciting to hear about.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Report of Bigfoot (Neanderthal-looking man) Slinging Mud at Frog Catcher In Florida

A man in Florida just submitted a report to the BFRO after watching Finding Bigfoot and wrote about an encounter he had with Bigfoot while frogging the day after Thanksgiving (November 23, 1990). According to the report, the man's life changed forever when he locked eyes with a Neanderthal-looking man slinging mud at him in his airboat.

Here's the raw report written by the witness:

LOCATION DETAILS: The Oak's Upper St.Johns River
NEAREST TOWN: Cocoa,Florida

OBSERVED: I was flipping threw the channels last week watching some late night TV when I saw a program called Finding Bigfoot.It brought me back to the day my mind about that giant changed for me.I only told my mom what I saw.It really changed my life about the unknown.I was running my airboat on the upper St. Johns River doing what I like to do best frog gigging on a Friday night. It wasnt the first time I was out on the river at night,I use to run the north and south parts of the river all the time.I still do just at night I make sure I have a running buddy with me.Anyway I was coming up on the oak's.The oaks are located right next to Duda's property.Just a wee south of Lake Winder. I figured I would pull up into the oakhead and drink a few cups of joe before I started to gig.Out of the corner of my eye I saw something bolt into the cabbage palms.I figured it to be a hog,I really did not know what it was the last thing on my mind was it could of been the big guy.Anyway I ran up on dry ground about 15 yards spun my boat around so it was pointed toward the river and shut it down.I just poured a cup of joe when I herd something about 10 yard behind me.It sounded like it was wrestling with a cabbage palm.Or maybe rolling around in a bunch of palms.Then out of know where I herd a thump right next to me boat.I looked but did not see anything then again I herd it behind my boat then something hit my rudders I turned on my head lamp and saw mud on my rudders I then saw a bunch of mud fly over me and hit my bow I shined my light in the direction of where it was coming from and I saw his face.I lost all feeling in my body I just about passed out I was lost I didnt know what to do.I was in total shock.I just about peed my pants I was so scared.I never in my natural born life moved so fast to crank my boat and got the heck out of there.I almost sank my boat when I hit the river. I just went north knowing I would be in the lake.I was scared to drive home so I parked in the middle of Lake Winder and took a few sips of drink to calm my nerves and try to talk my self out of what I saw,I stayed there untill first light.When I got home I went and seen my mom and had to tell her what I saw. I told her the story because it scared me so.I am a man and I am tuff but that scared the living heck out of me.I figured I should share my story just like others are on that tv show.

Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator R. Monteith:

I spoke with the gentleman for several hours. Although this encounter happened in 1990, he remembers every detail. He claims this encounter changed his life forever. The gentleman has worked at the space center for over 20 years and has gone frogging every Friday night on his airboat even longer. On November 23, 1990, around midnight, he took his airboat to a familiar oak hammock north of Lake Washington and south of Lake Winder on the St. Johns River.

He backed his airboat in as usual, to prevent any other boaters that might come by from blocking him in. He turned off the engine, and while still sitting in his chair, poured himself a coffee. Within a minute’s time, he heard two “plops” that came from the front of his boat. Then he heard a “plop” hit the rudder behind him. He turned on his headlamp to investigate the noise. He noticed mud on the rudder. As he was trying to figure out where the mud came from, another clump of mud went sailing over his head, going through his light beam and hitting the rudder. He quickly turned to see who was throwing mud, and from behind a group of palmettos, standing 30 feet from him was a huge, dark-haired “Neanderthal” staring at him.

They “locked eyes,” looking at each other for several seconds. The witness claims he was so frightened he couldn’t move. He thought how sometimes his engine takes a few times to fire, and he was concerned he wouldn’t be able to get away fast enough. To this day, he doesn’t remember starting the engine, but does remember that once it was started, he “torpedoed” out so fast, he swamped the boat and almost sunk it.

He drove the boat to the wider part of the river, up to the next lake where he remained in the middle until sunrise. He didn’t want to go back down the narrow part of the river for fear the creature might jump on the boat, or grab him as he sped by. For several hours he remained in the middle of the lake, shaking, and trying to talk himself out of what he had just witnessed.

When telling his story, the gentleman was overcome with emotion, and had to stop and begin several times. I cannot emphasize how passionately credible this man is in retelling this encounter some 20 years later.

Although, he only saw the creature for several seconds, he was able to give a detailed description of what he saw. What he saw, ‘is burned in my memory forever;”

-It was approx. 8+ feet tall. (He sits 10 feet up in his chair, and he was just slightly looking down to it.)

-It was more “Neanderthal” than ape or human-looking.

-Its dark brown body hair was darker than its “dark blond” facial hair.

-The shoulders were “as wide as a small pick-up truck.”

-There appeared to be no neck.

-There wasn’t much hair around the checks or eyes, but it seemed to have an 8 -10 inch beard.

-The head was not conical, but very large and oval.

-Facial skin was not black, but darker than tan, and “leathery looking, ruff-like.”

-There was a brow ridge.

-The hair was not tangled or matted.

- It had black eyes, and thin lips with a large mouth.

The witness continues to go out on Friday nights, but will not return to this particular place. He has agreed to take me out to this oak hammock during the day. I will update this report if need be.

Photo taken on this hammock in the swamp, to give you an idea of what the trees/woods look like in the area.

The St. Johns River Management Area that runs through three counties is remote and marshy, with many cypress and oak hammocks. Abundant wildlife exists here year round. Several BFRO reports are currently being investigated in or around this management area.

From the BIGFOOT EVIDENCE site. Please continue to support BIGFOOT EVIDENCE, the one site where the most current news about Bigfoot is being covered!

Friday, 28 September 2012


From the Facebook Page:

Megumoowĕsoos are described as a bipedal humanoid about four-feet-tall and covered in reddish-brown hair is called an “albatwitch” (or apple-snitch) in Pennsylvania. The small, hairy creature might have been known to Native North American Indian tribes centuries before. In Algonquin legend, creatures called Megumoowĕsoos (MEG-um-OH-wee-SOOS) were described as “small hairy creatures who dwelt among the rocks and made such wonderful music on the flute that all who heard it were bewitched”. Legend maintained that “several megumoowesoos dwelling on the summits of high hills and mountains in the almost unexplored region around Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia.”

This looks once again as if it might be the small-reddish-haired native ape said to live in the Eastern United States, often compared to an orangutan and said to be the same as the Skunk Apes of Florida. The part about playing flute musuc which bewitches humans is found also in faeriy stories from Western Europe and is not directly connected to them in reports, at best it shows a connection in the Folklore between the two areas.  I am simply running the material including the photograph as it came to me, I do not claim responsibilty for taking it or authorizing it as authentic. The originating site must take that responsibility.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Bigfoot Camper Video

From The Crypto Crew site:

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Camper Films Bigfoot - Enhanced!

This video was release by a website called The video seems to be making some waves and there are rumors of a press conference being talked about.
So I decided to take a closer look at the video. I don't really see anything here that would call for a press conference or any major news media.
While I believe bigfoot is a real creature, I also believe that there is far more fake videos than potentially real videos.
If this turns out to be a real sasquatch then i'll be happy I was wrong but if anyone is passing it off as a real sasquatch video and it turns out to be a hoax...then you will just look like an idiot.
My opinion is that this is nothing more that a bigfoot suit that is readily available. If you want to think it is the real deal thats up to you but I'm not drinking the kool aid on this one.


And then the update on YouTube:

Published on Sep 27, 2012 by
This is the full color - stabilized and zoomed version of a supposed Bigfoot looking at a camper.
The original footage can be seen and full credit goes to:

And I agree: this is not what a Bigfoot SHOULD look like to me, but on the other hand it is a very good reproduction of an "Artist's Conception" of what a bigfoot looks like. I would therfore tend to side that sayys the supposed bigfoot shown is a suit or a model and thre video is a deliberate hoax.

Best Wishes, Dale D.

New species of carnivore found

New carnivore. Durrell’s Vontsira.
Researchers from the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, the Natural History Museum, Nature Heritage and Conservation International discovered a new species of carnivore in Madagascar. This is the first discovery of a new carnivore in 24 years. This small creature weighs under 1 1/2 pounds and belongs to a family of carnivores only known to live in Madagascar. Unfortunately Durrell’s Vontsira (Salanoia durrelli), is also one of the most threatened carnivores in the world.
Madagascar is home to an abundance of plants and animals, 90% of its wildlife is found nowhere else on Earth. The island has been classified by Conservation International as a biodiversity hotspot. CI is one of the largest conservation organizations with more than 30 global offices, and more than 1,000 partners around the world.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Texas Wood Ape Geographical and Ecological Distribution

"North American Wood Ape" as posted by "The Naturalist", probably not intended seriously

[There seems to be a Cryptid in Texas that is the exact equivalent of the Florida Skunk Ape as an ape. There is also one that is the exact equivalent of the more Neanderthal-like Skunk Ape. In this case the Texans are speaking of the more apelike kind.-DD]

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Wood Ape Sightings: Correlations to Annual Rainfall Totals, Waterways, Human Population Densities and Black Bear Habitat Zones

By Daryl Colyer & Alton Higgins

In Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana, anecdotes about huge, hairy, apelike creatures said to dwell in the deep woods and, occasionally, near the peripheries of rural communities, have accumulated for centuries. Many of these accounts were related by highly reliable and trustworthy individuals, people who had nothing to gain by telling their stories.
Indeed, in many cases, these witnesses became the subjects of much ridicule, even among close friends and relatives. To the present day, most witnesses hesitate to share their incredible stories of seeing this strange, undocumented animal. Their reticence should come as no surprise given the treatment of the subject by the mass media and some mainstream scientists.
There are many skeptics; their concerns are legitimate. Skeptics demand to know why no skeletal remains have been found; they want to know why no hunters have killed one, or why no driver has collided with one on a secluded country highway. Would not a large primate, skeptics ask, leave an undeniable, discernable mark on the environment in perhaps the same manner as mountain gorillas (Gorilla gorilla beringei)? Such questions are not invalid. Expecting skeptics to accept the likelihood of such a species existing beneath our proverbial noses may be asking just a tad too much. Nevertheless, the body of anecdotal accounts and accompanying evidence seems to indicate just such a possibility.
Contrary to what some may assert, most hunters do not generally shoot at anything other than their intended game. While there are exceptions, most hunters will definitively identify their targets and normally just do not shoot at unknown or unidentified prey. That said, there have been a few scant reports of wood ape shootings; most were relayed through second hand sources. Further, most of those few reports that were related to shootings indicate that the shooters either missed or did not immediately bring the fleeing wood apes down.
Skeletal remains are rarely found of any common, large, wild animal, so it should not be surprising that the skeletal remains of a wood ape are not readily available. The acidic forest soils and muddy river bottoms found in the preferred habitat for the wood ape tend to work in tandem with scavengers to quickly eliminate the remains of deceased animals. Finding a cougar (Puma concolor) carcass as a result of a natural death would probably be most analogous to finding a wood ape carcass, although the most conservative estimates of cougar population densities most certainly are far greater than even the most liberal estimates of wood ape population densities.
There have been a few unsubstantiated reports of near misses of wood apes by drivers, and given the probability that many encounters go unreported, it is possible that a wood ape could have been hit and killed by a moving vehicle. However, realistically, given the probable rarity of these creatures along with their intelligence and caution, the odds of such an event occurring seem almost non-existent.
There are some discernable signs that possibly indicate the presence of wood apes (thus the noticeable effect on the environment), however, the signs are easily disregarded by someone unfamiliar with purported wood ape behavior. For example, there are numerous reports of wood apes breaking branches, trees, and saplings, and to a lesser degree, constructing nest-like structures.
Tree damage, possibly done for the purpose of marking trails or territory is discernable, but oftentimes hardly stands out among deadfall and ice or wind-broken trees. Most people would miss or casually dismiss such signs. It is unlikely that a typical wildlife biologist or anyone not knowledgeable on this subject, upon observing wood ape-related limb breaks, would ever suspect a wood ape as the culprit, even in the absence of any other readily apparent explanation. The characteristic twisting accompanying such breaks would appear to require enormous strength that can only be accomplished by something with hands. Nest-like structures, purportedly built by wood apes, have been found by researchers in areas of sightings.
Another contention often heard is that the thousands of credible reports from throughout North America are, in one way or another, the products of human imagination. The contention is that many of the witnesses are intentionally lying about what they encountered and are actually themselves the perpetrators of hoaxes, or the witnesses are simply mistaken and are misidentifying what they saw or heard. Or, as the argument goes, many of the witnesses are simply victims of practical jokes and/or hoaxes. All evidence aside, it may seem more plausible to consider that there actually is an undocumented animal that is prompting thousands of reports than it is to believe in an unrelated series of hoaxed sightings and misidentifications.
It should soon become evident to anyone who seriously and objectively delves into and studies the numerous credible sightings that many of the reports themselves are quite compelling. It is difficult to totally dismiss as fabrications all the reports that have accumulated from so many credible witnesses over so many decades.
However, the essence of the research presented here does not focus on the validity of any individual report, but on the body of reports as a whole in order to ascertain any correlations and patterns that may exist. When one impartially studies the sum total of all the reports it becomes evident that there do indeed seem to be correlations and patterns that could be representative of a living species.
Among these correlations, particularly in Texas, is the likelihood of sighting reports in areas with certain amounts of annual rainfall. The same pattern is also evident in the body of reports that originate in other states where there are divergent rainfall totals in different parts of each state, such as Oregon, Washington, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Montana, Colorado and California. (Conversely, in states with widespread abundant rainfall totals, such as Arkansas and Louisiana, a rainfall total/reported bigfoot encounters correlation is not evident). There is also a pattern of reported sightings along rivers, creeks or lakes. Reported sightings and human population densities seem to have some correlation, as does the distribution of alleged bigfoot sightings and areas viewed as suitable black bear habitat.
John Green, journalist, author and renowned wood ape researcher, first touched upon the association of reported wood ape or "sasquatch" sightings and annual rainfall totals in his 1978 book Sasquatch: The Apes Among Us. Though the book was written nearly thirty years ago, the passage of time has not diminished its relevance. On the contrary, the increase of credible reports since that time has served to further validate Green’s thesis. He determined that eighty percent of the reported sightings and alleged footprint finds in North America occurred in areas receiving more than seventeen inches of annual rainfall.
The darker counties are where the higher concentrations of credible reported encounters have occurred.
The darker counties are where the higher concentrations of credible reported encounters have occurred.
When this observation is applied to credible Texas reports and is represented on a map, discernable patterns seemingly indicative of a living species emerge. In Texas and Oklahoma, roughly ninety percent of the credible reports occur in areas that see at least thirty-five inches of rain per year, or in the eastern third of the state(s). Since the vast majority of Texas and Oklahoma reports are aligned with rainfall patterns, it is possible to dispute allegations of fabrication or mistaken identity. It is not rational to assume or propose that people living in areas with more than thirty-five inches of annual rainfall are more likely to submit a hoaxed report or misidentify what they saw than people living in areas with less than thirty-five inches of annual rainfall. While a few reports have originated in areas with lower amounts of rainfall, they appear to be sporadic and isolated, possibly due to a natural propensity of wildlife to use watercourses as travel routes; if the wood ape is a legitimate species, it makes perfect sense that it would also use watercourses as travel routes.
From west to east, annual rainfall totals increase to as high as 70 inches in extreme eastern Louisiana.
From west to east, annual rainfall totals increase to as high as 70 inches in extreme eastern Louisiana.
While portions of far western Texas and Oklahoma are certainly semi-arid, the eastern sections of both states receive abundant annual rainfall. These areas are heavily forested and feature an abundance of waterways and lakes; they are very much ecological clones of the two neighboring eastern states of the region, Arkansas and Louisiana.
The combined total amount of forestland in the four-state region equates to roughly 65,000,000 acres, or 100,000 square miles (the size of the state of Oregon). According to The Online Handbook of Texas, there are roughly 22,000,000 acres of forest in Texas alone; per the Arkansas Forestry Association, there are roughly 19,000,000 acres of forest in Arkansas; the Louisiana Forestry Association reports that there are 14,000,000 acres of forest in Louisiana; Oklahoma has approximately 10,000,000 acres of forest as indicated by the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry.
There are 65 million acres of forestland in the four-state region, which is about 100,000 square miles, or the size of the state of Oregon.
There are 65 million acres of forestland in the four-state region, which is about 100,000 square miles, or the size of the state of Oregon.
While the forestlands of Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma may be somewhat more parceled, or discontinuous, than northwestern forests, it is obvious that they are enormous in scope and depth, contrary to the misperceptions of some. Wildlife biologist Dr. John Bindernagel, who visited the region in 2001 and 2002, was struck by the richness and scope of the region’s forests, which are predominantly mixed deciduous, as opposed to the largely coniferous forests of the Pacific Northwest. Dr. Bindernagel recognized the value and productivity of deciduous forests in terms of wildlife habitat and he pointed out that large species of mammals living in the southern forests would almost certainly require smaller home ranges than in northern coniferous forests.
Almost without exception, reported wood ape sightings occur near water. This is even true with the relatively few reports originating in the drier regions of Texas and Oklahoma, where wood apes are reportedly seen generally on or near waterways or lakes in thick brush or dense riparian vegetation. Most wildlife researchers and hunters would quickly reinforce the observation that many mammalian species often use rivers and creeks as travel routes. Since water is essential for the cycle of life, animals regularly congregate near or at least dwell primarily in areas featuring bodies of fresh water. Both Texas and Oklahoma have an abundance of rivers, creeks, swamps, reservoirs and lakes, particularly in their eastern regions. It is also reasonable for a large number of reported sightings to occur in or around swamps, river bottoms or bayous, since a reclusive, shy animal would find seclusion and sanctuary in such areas.
When a river basins map is viewed with an overlay of reported encounters and an annual rainfall overlay, it becomes evident that most alleged sightings have occurred along waterways and lakes and in areas with thirty-five inches or more of annual rainfall. Many reported sightings in Northeast Texas have occurred in the Red River Basin along the Sulphur River or Red River and/or their adjoining reservoirs or creeks. Many reported encounters have also occurred in the Red/Sulphur River watershed in southeastern Oklahoma, southwestern Arkansas and Northeast Texas. Similarly, the Sabine River Basin, extending from Southeast Texas into Northeast Texas has also generated quite a few reports. In Oklahoma, the Canadian River Basin is not without its share of reported encounters. In Southeast Texas, in what is called the Primitive Big Thicket (encompassing the Sam Houston National Forest and the Big Thicket National Preserve area), the Neches River Basin, Trinity River Basin and San Jacinto River Basin have had many reports through the years as well as in recent times. In fact, Southeast Texas is the most prolific area in Texas for reports of bigfoot sightings. Likewise in Oklahoma, the most prolific area for reported encounters is also in its southeastern region. It should come as no surprise that the southeastern regions in both Texas and Oklahoma also receive the highest amount of rainfall for both states, with totals as high as sixty inches per year in spots.
Although the East Texas river basins have generated far more reports, the Brazos, Colorado and Guadalupe basins have also had occasional reported sightings. These three basins average less than thirty-five inches of rainfall per year, but they typically have dense vegetation and trees in the riparian margins. Given that the vast majority of Texas and Oklahoma reports follows rainfall patterns and occurs along waterways, the notion that these reports are simply the result of the misidentification of known animals, wishful thinking, and/or deliberate fabrications seems flawed.
There is yet another interesting correlation with the distribution of these sighting reports. For the most part it appears that most reported sightings in the four-state region occur in counties with lower human population densities. There are a few exceptions. However, 100% of the sightings reported from counties with higher populations still occurred in areas that were along the peripheries of or outside of the realm of human development (such as in Montgomery County, Texas, in the Sam Houston National Forest, an area of consistent reports). Actually, suitable wildlife habitat often exists close to urban and suburban areas. That being said, reported sightings that have occurred on the edge of small towns and larger cities are by far the exceptions.
In fact, it seems that where human populations increase, reported wood ape sightings decrease. Where human populations decrease, reported ape sightings may increase. The reputed shyness of the wood ape is only further girded by this human population correlation. This observation is further enhanced by the inference from reports that wood apes are nocturnal, or at the very least, crepuscular. Not only do the reported sightings seem to suggest that wood apes live in areas of low human population densities, along waterways, and in areas of high annual rainfall, but they may be most active when humans are not, which is at night. The notion of fabrications and mistakes is unrealistic in light of these correlations.
While Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana have resident populations of black bears (Ursus americanus), there remains the question of whether or not the 12,000,000 acres of dense forest in East Texas can support even a small population of large omnivores such as the wood ape. After all, black bears no longer roam the Piney Woods of East Texas. But did black bears disappear from East Texas because of a shortage of suitable habitat? No, or so says the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Biologists conducted a black bear habitat suitability study in four areas of East Texas: the Sulphur River Bottom (51,000 acres), the Big Thicket National Preserve (97,000 acres), the Middle Neches River Corridor (247,000 acres), and the Lower Neches River Corridor (312,000 acres). The purpose of the study was to determine the suitability of habitat in East Texas for the black bear, a large omnivorous mammal. The study is relevant because there may be a correlation between purported wood ape and suitable black bear habitat. If an area is suitable for a large omnivore such as the black bear, it seems reasonable to posit that it is just as likely to be suitable for a small population of omnivorous wood apes.
One part of the study dealt with food availability in summer and winter; all four areas scored very high. Biologists calculated a strong favorable rating for the availability of protection and concealment cover in all four areas. In the category of human/bear conflict zones, a less than favorable rating for the Big Thicket National Preserve was determined, but a moderately to strongly favorable rating was found for the other three areas.
Overall, the study indicated that the most suitable region for bears among the four study areas was the Middle Neches River Corridor, followed in order by the Lower Neches River Corridor, the Sulphur River Bottom, and the Big Thicket National Preserve. All four areas have had an abundance of bigfoot sighting reports.
Environmental suitability issues were also addressed by another group of scientists. While the curators of Chimp Haven in Northwest Louisiana probably do not spend too much time contemplating black bear habitat factors, they do devote much of their time discussing and evaluating primate habitat. According to their web site, Chimp Haven provides a permanent home for chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) retired from biomedical research, the entertainment industry, and those no longer wanted as pets. Their new sanctuary, presently under construction, is planned to accommodate 300 chimpanzees, animals which may be the closest relatives of wood apes. Due to its ecology and climate, Chimp Haven curators believe that Northwest Louisiana is ideal primate habitat. Western Louisiana and East Texas are virtually ecological clones. It should come as no surprise that Northwest Louisiana was selected as the new site of Chimp Haven’s operations, given what we believe about wood ape habitat.
In conclusion, several observations serve to dispel the notion that bigfoot sighting reports in Texas and Oklahoma are not the result of actual encounters. The reports, based on recent as well as older credible encounters, continue to accumulate and show no signs of abating. If one chooses to take the reports seriously and the apparent associated ecological patterns, as has been done in this paper, debates regarding the existence of this species are replaced by new issues such as those pertaining to ecology, distribution, behavior, and population densities.


Alley, J. Robert (2003). Raincoast Sasquatch. 351 pp. Hancock House, Blaine, Washington.

Bindernagel, J.A. (1998). North America's Great Ape: The Sasquatch. 270 pp. Beachcomber Books. Courtenay, B.C., Canada.

Chimp Haven.

Distribution of Precipitation in Oklahoma map. Provided by the online Web Atlas of Oklahoma.

Fahrenbach, W.H. (1997-1998). Sasquatch: Size, Scaling, and Statistics. Cryptozoology Vol. 13: 47-75.

Garner, Nathan P. and Sean Willis. (1997). Black Bear Habitat Suitability in East Texas, featured in Wildlife Research Highlights, pages 18-19 (.pdf). Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Austin, Texas.

Gould Ecoregions of Texas map (.pdf). Provided by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department GIS Lab.

Green, J. (1978). Sasquatch: The Apes Among Us. 492 pp. Hancock House Publishers Ltd., Saanichton, B.C., Canada.

Natural Regions of Texas map (.pdf). Provided by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department GIS Lab.

Natural Subregions of Texas map (.pdf). Provided by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department GIS Lab.

Oklahoma Ecoregions map. Provided by the online Web Atlas of Oklahoma.

Population of Oklahoma map. Provided by the online Web Atlas of Oklahoma.

Precipitation in Texas map (.pdf). Provided by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department GIS Lab.

Surface Hydrography of Oklahoma map. Provided by the online Web Atlas of Oklahoma.

Texas River Basins, Major Bays and Streams map (.pdf). Provided by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department GIS Lab.

Texas Sightings Database. TBRC Report Explorer. Texas Bigfoot Research Conservancy.

The Vegetation Types of Texas map (.pdf). Provided by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department GIS Lab.

Vegetation in Oklahoma map. Provided by the online Web Atlas of Oklahoma.

Watersheds Across Oklahoma map. Provided by the online Web Atlas of Oklahoma.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Giant Salamanders at Loch Ness (again)

The Loch Ness Giant Salamander Blog By Steve Plambeck

I came across this blog the other day and I thought it was most interesting. I think that the author might have hit upon something and I am going to let him have his own say for the most part. I have but a couple of addiitions to make, and my comment on the blog appended at the end here. The first is that at the time the Loch Ness Monster was beginning to come into the news in 1933, local old-timers at Loch Ness were speaking of something which they called "A salamander" being the monster, and there was a report at one time that "the salamander" had been trapped in the locks of the Caledonian canal. The nextm of interest is that the creature(s) in the Gray photo have been compared to a Japanese giant salamander (Andrias) virtually from the start and then afterwards with some regularity.

Salamander gilt carving from Churche's Mansion, Nantwich, Cheshire, 1577 (Photo by Espresso Addict, Wikipedia)

Around Sunday noon on the date of November 12, 1933, while strolling home from church, a local resident named Hugh Gray spotted something rise in the Loch, thrashing its tail and making a considerable splashing about 100 yards out from the spot where the river Foyers enters Loch Ness. Gray's sighting was only one of many over the centuries, but what distinguishes it from all that came before was that he was carrying a camera, and used it to take the first known photograph of the animal. He took five pictures in total, unsure if any would turn out amidst all the splashing and spray. One photo did turn out, and along with Gray's story it was submitted to The Daily Record and Mail. The Daily Record had the fortuitous presence of mind to submit the negative to several experts, including Kodak, all of whom agreed there was no sign of any tampering. Of course it would have been highly difficult in those pre-Photo Shop days for Hugh Gray, a local aluminum company worker, to have engaged in trick photography, but it is all the better for us that the provenance of the original photograph and negative was being firmly established at this early point, re-enforced in subsequent years by the findings of those researchers who visited Gray. Interviewed over the years by the likes of Constance Whyte, Ted Holiday, and Tim Dinsdale, Gray never waivered in the details of his story, and must be considered a highly reliable and even reluctant witness.

The Daily Record published the Gray Photo in December of 1933. It was quickly picked up and repeated in The Daily Sketch, The Daily Telegraph, and newspapers across the world. In modern terms, the story "went viral", and the modern, press-driven era of "The Loch Ness Monster" and its nickname "Nessie" had begun


The various versions of the picture as published by the press of the day can be found all over the Internet, and generally look no better than this:

And it was from reproductions like these, made from the original negative first being converted to half-tones, and then having had their contrast considerably tweeked upwards to darken and "solidify" the images for newsprint publication -- processes which inevitably subtract all fine detail -- that Loch Ness investigators have had to work for the past eight decades. Back in the early nineties when I originally became interested in seeing if I could work out the morphology of the Loch Ness animal for myself, I put one of my first computers to work scanning images of the various photos from books, another process which in itself can lead to further lost detail and the introduction of visual artifacts that weren't part of the original photo. One result was the reproduction of the Gray Photo from the Mackal book, found at the very top of this article. The fact is that if you tweek and photo-shop any photo enough, you might start seeing Labrador Retrievers in anything, including the Mona Lisa. (That Gray photographed a dog is a ludicrous and lamentable idea that itself went viral in the early days of popular Internet usage, and some renditions of the Gray photo floating around appear further retouched to deliberately bolster that ridiculous notion.)

Looking at these newsprint and book reproductions leaves little wonder why Mackal wrote "There is no apparent basis for determining which is front or back, and any such decisions must depend largely on what preconceptions one may have." And yet there is enticing detail in even these images. Coupled with Gray's testimony there can be no doubt we are looking at an animate, living object. The part on the left is the clearest element of the image, and caught in the act of undulating as Hugh Gray described the tail to be doing. There's not one but two pointed, fin-like structures arising from the top of this tail, if it's the tail, at the point it meets the main body, but then these fins appear to diverge into different directions -- which seemingly makes no sense. This particular mystery is most evident in the higher contrast versions:

But if this is the tail, then where is the neck and head? If one is working from the preconception that there has to be a long neck, then perhaps this is the neck, and perhaps those dorsal fins, if relaxed and hanging, would account for the occasional reports of a mane? Following an assumption this is the head and neck, then the head is small indeed, absolutely miniscule in proportion to the overall size of the animal; it appears completely undifferentiated from the "neck" here, although there may be a couple minute features visible that could be eye slits or even little stalks (except that they only appear at the highest contrast and when the image is taken from a book; on this small scale they may only be artifacts of the printing process).

Also, if this is the neck, then the tail (which must be quite developed to serve as Nessie's means of reputed rapid propulsion) must be at the right hand end of the object, but there's no sign of it; could it be flexed down at an acute angle and fully below the waterline? Conversely, if this element in the image detail above is actually the tail, then it's the neck bent acutely below the waterline at the right end of the object; that might make some sense if Nessie is floating on the surface dangling its neck below the waterline like a fishing line intent on snagging prey. But if that were the case, all the splashing and tail thrashing Gray reported seems counterproductive to sneaking up on fish.

Other intriguing details in the total picture are the two white dots along the waterline where one might expect appendages to be. F.W. Holiday studied the Gray Photo intensely, was one of the interviewers of Hugh Gray, and visited the spot from which the picture was taken. In The Great Orm of Loch Ness (W.W. Norton and Co., 1968) he states his conviction these are indeed the parapodia of the Loch Ness animal.

And here is pretty much where further analysis of the Gray Photo was stalled. There wasn't enough detail in any of these newsprint photos and their circulating reproductions to answer these questions. Unfortunately whatever became of the original negative is unknown. After nearly 80 years of study, not much more could be said.


In 2011, Loch Ness researcher and author Roland Watson wrote the definitive analysis of the Hugh Gray Photo in his article The Hugh Gray Photograph Revisited. It is published at his blog, and it is mandatory reading for anyone interested in the Loch Ness animal, and the Hugh Gray photo in particular. To quote Mr. Watson:

"It is best in these cases to get the most original image and as luck would have it another print came into the hands of Maurice Burton in the 1960s which were made from glass lantern slides in 1933 for E. Heron-Allen. Importantly, these contact positives were made from the original negative and represent the best untouched picture of what Hugh Gray saw that day."

Watson obtained this all-important picture, made from the original negative, from the Fortean Picture Library. The full image used in Mr. Watson's analysis may be viewed in his blog article mentioned and linked to above. In commenting on Watson's analysis, Aleksandar T. Lovchanski furnishes the information that Steuart Campbell deposited the glass lantern slide print with the FPL after obtaining it from Burton. Therefore the provenance of the Heron-Allen version is rather well established, stretching back to the original negative. It is only regrettable that this more definitive version of the Gray Photo was overlooked by so many researches for so long.

The Heron-Allen image contains all the detail lost in the press reproductions and their overwhelming contrast adjustments, and upon studying it Roland Watson made what few would contest must be the most important discovery in Loch Ness research in many years. He found the head! And it is on the right.

Having stared at the Gray Photo in books, having scanned it, enlarged it, filtered it, sketched it, and looked at it every way possible for about 40 years, I'm still a bit thunderstruck by this revelation. But I am convinced that what Watson has identified as the head is indeed just that: our only known picture of the head of the unidentified species in Loch Ness.

At first this struck me as creating more problems than it solved, as like many I took it that Nessie had a long neck and a small head. While I never subscribed to the Plesiosaur theory, I assumed that convergent evolution had resulted in an amphibian with an anatomy that followed the long-necked, fish-chasing body plan of a Plesiosaur. Nature does not discard proven templates, and it was a design that served many species of aquatic reptiles quite well for millions of years. But that has not proven to be the case in Loch Ness. The Gray Photo is hard evidence that Nessie has a short neck, and a relatively large and fish-like head.

So swallowing my pride (and abandoning a pet theory of my own, which I might detail in a later post for nostalgia's sake) I set about having my own closer look at the Heron-Allen image. After all, if I'd been overlooking the head for 40+ years, the important question became: what else had I (and everyone else) missed? If the details of the poor, over-contrasted press releases of the Gray Photo had been so enticing, how much more might we learn from the Heron-Allen version? It needs to be taken apart and put back together, a project I decided to tackle soon after learning of Watson's find.

The first and most important contribution I spotted is the reason for the title of this post.


There are not one, but two specimens of the Loch Ness animal captured in Hugh Gray's photo. (For the best look at the Heron-Allen image I again link you to an article by Roland Watson, The Forensics of the Loch Ness Monster. You may click on his image there for a full-sized zoom on the Heron-Allen image.)

There are two backs (or dorsal lines) to follow if you trace your finger across the image from left to right, with the clearest example of this being between the two bright water sprays. You may note that the back of the topmost or further animal becomes the top of the head Watson discovered. This animal, the one furthest away, is also about one head's length ahead of the nearer animal, and the head of the nearer animal is hidden in the spray.

If you are using an LCD monitor such as on a laptop, start with the screen almost vertical and then slowly tilt it back while viewing the Heron-Allen image -- that's how I first spotted the second dorsal line. Below is a smaller version of the image onto which I've drawn an overlay for comparison with the original. I use hyphenated lines in the two places where spray obscures the dorsal line of the front-most animal, where the head of the front-most animal is hidden behind spray, and where the anterior appendage disappears below the waterline:

Let's examine, from left to right, what is visible here but has not been previously noted or explained by the high contrast press releases of the Gray Photo.

First is the tail. Unlike Mackal, whom we quoted to begin this article, we now do have a basis for identifying the leftmost part as the tail, because the head has been identified by Watson on the right. The caudal fins (not fin) were actually more evident in the high contrast prints. If you capture the image and increase the contrast yourself, you can turn the Heron-Allen image into an exact replica of the press version minus the scratches (another bit of proof we're dealing with the original photo here.) Turning up the contrast does increase some detail on the left side of the picture, like the caudal fins in my earlier close-up, while simultaneously ruining details such as the head on the right hand side. But now that we've identified two separate backs, the reason for the mystery in my earlier look at the fins becomes evident: there are two apexes to the "fin" because it's actually two fins belonging to two separate tails, one behind and slightly ahead of the other. What may even be the tip of the second tail is visible protruding just left of the caudal fin of the front-most animal.

Working our way right, the next element of interest is the posterior appendage. We now know it to be the posterior one, because we know which end is which. In the original press publications of the photo both appendages appeared as mere white dots, but here we have quite a bit more to look at.

There actually appears to be a motion-blurred after-image of a flipper-shaped posterior appendage in the spray, making it look for all the world that this fountain of water was cast up by the rear appendage of the front-most animal. What may be the edge of the appendage itself, slapping the water, appears at the waterline. Alas this is not a great view of the appendage itself, but it's almost incontrovertible from this that Nessie has posterior appendages -- or at least this one does.

Moving further right along the waterline we come to the anterior appendage. Second only to the head, this may be the detail most improved in the Heron-Allen image. Instead of just a white dot, we have the upper joint of a limb meeting the body at approximately a 90 degree angle, then flexing downwards and sweeping back at a second joint point just before dipping below the waterline. We cannot say if the termination point of the appendage is a flipper, a webbed foot, or another form because the end is below the waterline. The few witnesses that have reported appendages in their sightings over the years have varied in their descriptions of flippers, webbed feet, and even hoof-like forms.

Accounts have also varied as to whether Nessie has both front and back appendages, but in this photo there is clearly a back appendage of some kind tossing up water. Oddly though, whereas the anterior limb joins the body clearly above the waterline, the joint of the posterior appendage does not appear at all. This is a mystery. The animal (the front one) might be twisting a bit on its longitudinal axis -- there is considerable flexing in the body from the curvature in the waterline, a feature also less evident in poorer quality images. The animal be turning its head towards the animal beside it. Perhaps in the process of twisting its front half to the left, the attachment point for the right front limb is lifted higher than the attachment point for the posterior counterpart, which is hidden just below the waterline at that moment.

It may be worth mentioning at this point that aquatic amphibians, being neonatal and only completing partial metamorphosis do not always have equally developed front and back limbs, or at least do not always have equally developed appendages until the latter stages of growth. In aquatic urodeles the second pair of limbs may be fully developed, partially developed, or totally absent in members of the same species (Mackal, 1976).

It must also be mentioned that, while the left-most spray of water appears to be created by the posterior appendage slapping the water, the same cannot be said for the right-most flash of spray; that must be coming from the left anterior appendage of the second or furthest animal, tossed towards us and over the head of the nearer animal. That the two beasts are alternating front and rear water slaps like this is in itself quite interesting; water must be flying continuously; Hugh Gray reported considerable splashing, which must be taken to mean ongoing splashing, not just one instance of spray.

We end our tour of the Heron-Allen image at the right hand end, with Nessie apparently looking right back at us. In making this discovery Roland Watson points out that even if the eye is not an eye, even if the mouth is not the mouth, the body of the animal clearly ends here in a blunt, conical shape above the waterline, and it casts a definite shadow of its own on the water. Again I recommend his article on this, but for my part I'm fully convinced the Gray Photo is showing us the head of Nessie.

And I'm equally certain we have been looking at a photo of two of the animals all along. But is this mating behavior? Social behavior? Some salamanders engage in a courtship dances when preparing to mate that consist of rubbing sides, splashing with their limbs, and thrashing their tails side to side. Such behavior is strikingly similar to what Hugh Gray witnessed and photographed. This is obviously one area where we'd like to know much more.


At this point I can imagine skeptics protesting the likelihood anyone could be so lucky as to photograph a pair of Loch Ness Monsters at one go, as it's so notoriously difficult to get photo evidence for even a single such animal. Yet real animals often travel in pairs and small groups. Even the most solitary creatures have to pair up on occasion if the species is to continue. In fact the many reported sightings of multiple and varying humps are most easily accounted for by multiple animals. If genuine, the P.A. MacNab photo taken in 1955 is most likely a picture of two animals as well (otherwise we're faced with a specimen over 50 feet long, which would be much less probable than two animals of 20 or 30 feet each.)

The strongest evidence that the creatures swim in small groups comes from the University of Birmingham expeditions (1968-1969) and their sonar experiments headed up by Professor D.G. Tucker. On multiple occasions, the Birmingham researchers tracked large animate objects they estimated to be 20 feet long moving between the bottom of the Loch and mid-water, but never any higher. Contacts included at least one pair, and on one occasion a group or pod of what they estimated to be at least as many as five animals moving together for an extended period. They also clocked the diving speeds of the animals to be too great to be accounted for by fish.

The hardest thing about accepting the Gray photo as two animals was that Gray himself never said anything about seeing more than one. He did however say that he never had an unobscured view due to the considerable disturbance the animal was making in the water (Nicholas Witchell, The Loch Ness Story, Penguin Books, 1975). Now Gray estimated the animal to be 100 yards away, and his own height from the bluff on the shoreline to be 30 feet. Some accounts quote Gray as giving the distance as 200 yards; but he also said it "rose out of the water not so very far from where I was"; based on his wording I feel more inclined to trust the 100 yard quotes. Researchers visiting the site since then have also stated the elevation to actually be 40 feet, with F.W. Holiday even calling it 50. I think 40 is the safer estimate for us to consider. So going with 100 yards out and 40 feet above the waterline, this makes Gray's elevation relative to the animals a mere 8 degrees, with his view nearly broadsides; the photo supports both those conclusions. Under these circumstances the silhouette of the nearer animal would almost completely mask or hide that of the second. It would have indeed been difficult for Gray to tell it was two parallel animals.

We have the luxury of staring at an enlarged, static photo for as long as we like, whereas Hugh Gray only had a few minutes, and was dealing with his camera and probably looking through the view finder while snapping his five attempted photos. Then there's all the thrashing and spray to obscure what he was watching. Still, he says the "object of considerable dimensions" moved about a great deal for "a few minutes", and minutes are not seconds. So if it's a pair, they must have stayed in close tandem for the minutes Gray watched them moving, for if they had separated by any distance he'd have noted it was two independent objects. Unless we apply an even simpler explanation: the second animal could have been on the surface at the start, been caught in the photo, but then submerged. Then Gray, setting aside his camera, continued to watch the single remaining animal for the final minutes before it too submerged.

Let's look at the Heron-Allen image geometrically. As stated above, Gray's line of sight was only 8 degrees above the water level. In the diagram below I've placed two floating objects of equal size and shape next to each other, here viewed in cross-section. Since we already have the angle, the actual height of the objects doesn't matter at this point, but Gray estimated the animal's height to be 3 feet above water, and so I have indicated the same. The question is, would the camera be able to capture any noticeable separation of the two dorsal lines, and if so, how much? We can see here that the back or top of the nearer object would appear one foot below the top of the further object. The actual number of feet doesn't matter, as it's the ratio of the visible part of one animal to the visible part of the other animal we're trying to measure, and in this case the ratio is a clear 3:1. That is, Gray's camera would capture an image, from the top down, consisting of 1/4 rear animal, and 3/4's front animal. See the insert in the lower right corner of the diagram, where I've rotated the whole view slightly to make this more obvious:

This turns out to be extremely consistent with the amount of the further animal that is visible above the back of the closer animal in the actual Gray Photo. It's exactly what we'd expect in the photo, given the distance, the height of the observer, and assuming the two animals are of nearly equal size. (Personally I think the nearest animal is the slightly larger of the two. The distance between the apexes of the caudal fins is a bit larger than that between the front ends of the animals, which makes the rear one slightly shorter than the other. But given that these are moving animals with sinusoidally flexing bodies, thrashing tails, and turning heads, it's impossible to be exact about which one may be longest.)

That there have been two animals present all along has an added benefit to us, as it answers not one but two of the unexplained problems previously related to the Gray Photo. One of the first criticisms of the picture has always been that the body looked too "baloonish" or buoyant, and that a real animal wouldn't float that high in the water. It only appeared this way because in the high contrast press images, two bodies had been lumped together vertically. As soon as the second dorsal line is recognized and drawn in for the closest animal, and the viewer becomes aware of looking downwards at side-by-side animals, then Nessie's proportions get a lot sleeker.

Secondly, the parapodia Holiday recognized are no longer too low on the body to be accepted as appendages, because the height of the body above the waterline was never what it seemed. The appendages are right where they belong, and always have been.


Having taken the entire picture apart element by element earlier, it seems only fair to put it back together in the end. The overlay I drew for the Heron-Allen image makes for a good starting point:

One must guess at the features below the waterline. I have ventured to assume the tail is vertically symmetrical, thus adding a ventral fin. A laterally flexing, keeled tail makes for a powerful swimming appendage, which seems necessary to account for the great speed (as much as 10 knots) that's been reported for the animals. Also, or perhaps I should say inevitably, that's the normal tail configuration for aquatic salamanders.

The exact size and shape of the appendages must remain conjectural. I've gone with webbed feet here, but more flipper-like appendages are certainly possible; the posterior one could be a true flipper even if the front limb is more of a webbed foot. Also the true girth is conjectural as well, with the body being perhaps a bit thicker than I've shown here.

Having recreated the front-most of the two animals, we now give a copy of that image an open mouth to yield an otherwise identical second animal, and lastly we place them together side by side with the further animal one head's length ahead of the other. The final result is my recreation of the Gray Photo as we would see the animals if we could take away the water and fountains of spray:

As a bit of a reality check, I made one more rendition with the glare and water sprays manually airbrushed over the final reconstruction, to compare side by side with the original photo. Not a perfect match, but sufficient I hope to demonstrate that, once the water is removed and precious few blanks filled in, we have two of the same animal present in the original Gray Photo:

Morphologically, the animal captured in the Hugh Gray Photo doesn't look very much like a fish in my opinion, but instead bears an exceedingly similar form to many aquatic salamanders. But those of similar form and similar size are unknown outside the fossil record. Within the fossil record though, they are quite well known. When it comes to living forms, the Chinese Giant Salamander, Andrias davidianus, is recognized as the largest amphibian in the modern world, reaching a length of six feet. The Loch Ness Giant Salamander seems to have that beaten by a factor of at least three, if not four or five.

This brings us to the taxonomy of the unidentified species in Loch Ness, and the related issue of how it came to populate the Loch in the first place. I'll address both these items in a subsequent post article.


  1. Interesting analysis indeed. I am still a bit partial to long necks though which constitute 20% of sightings in Dinsdale's analysis.

    If not a classic head-neck, then what ...?

    1. I knew someone would have to ask that, so I've already put some work into a post to address exactly that. It'll be ready and published ahead of the article on taxonomy. But one clue is: Mackal already had the answer in mind.

  2. This is absolutely ridiculous.
  3. Great to see another Nessie blog, I've been following Roland Watson's blog for some time now, and found yours through a link on his latest post. When reading Roland's analysis of the Hugh Gray photo, my first thought was exactly yours - in fact I posted that it looked like an axolotyl to me. But since then I've wondered - isn't the creature/s too high in the water? - seems it would almost need to be floating/entirely above the water line for it to be what it appears to be. Is that possible? Could an animal maintain this with very little of its body below the water for minutes at a time? Do we know the depth of the water where the photo was taken?
    Congrats on another well thought out and researched article.I'm still not entirely convinced though. I lean toward an amphibious creature of some type myself, but to say that we 'know' anything based on this photo (and Roland's daughter spotting the 'head') is not quite right - it's still an assumption isnt it? - dru

    1. Thanks Dru - If I've picked the correct promontory on the bathymetrical survey map, 64 feet right off shore, rapidy falling to 139 feet just a little further out. Either way, plenty deep.

      Floating too high above the waterline was one of the "knocks" against the picture for a long time. But that was taking the entire vertical part as one animal. The second dorsal line I overlayed on the photo shaves 25% off the height above water of each animal, which I think slims things down considerably, leaving a larger *percentage* below the water. In my own sketch though I may be guilty over over-slenderizing, and drawing the hind regions too high up for the waterline in the actual photo.

  4. This is an excellent post, and I look forward to following this blog! I found my way here through Roland Watson's blog, and I thought I was on the right path when I commented on his post revealing the head in the Gray photo: "Have you ever considered that there may be 2 creatures in the photo, one attacking the other? This would explain the "considerable movement" Gray mentions, and the point of attack would be the area obscured by spray and motion blur-- the "dog's head," in other words. Unfortunately it would also mean that the face you point out would be gasping its last." I hadn't even considered the idea that it was 2 of the same creatures. I'm glad there are people like you and "Glasgow Boy" doing all this research!


    1. Thanks John, and you're correct: you beat me to the punch with your 2 creatures comment on Roland's blog! I remember seeing your post the same day I was writing him about the sketches I was working up that turned into this article.

      I prefer to think the animals were doing something other than trying to kill each other -- maybe that's just the romantic in me. Actually male salamanders do skirmish with each other when vying for mating privileges with a nearby female, as is true of so many species of all kinds, but at least with salamanders I'm not aware of these being more than shoving matches, not contests to the death.

  5. This salamander theory got me thinking about the diver who said he saw a “very odd looking beastie ... like a huge frog” in the Loch. Of course a salamander's face can be frog-like.

  1. Indeed - have a look at the head of Cryptobranchus alleganiensis at

    If all you saw was the head, you'd think that was a picture of a frog.
    If Duncan MacDonald did run into a 20+ foot version of that animal on his dive in 1880, who could blame him for never diving in Loch Ness again!?

  1. Steven,
    Do you thing we seeing part of the body(s) under the waterline, or is that a reflection of the part above the water?

    And how can the creature float with so much of its body above the water? It looks almost bird-like to me.

    Thanks, Isaac.

    1. Nothing below the waterline can be visible; at 8 degrees of elevation all anyone could possibly see is reflections of what's *above* the water. That's just the physics of refraction I'm afraid -- to see objects underwater one has to be all but directly over them (and have clear water and enough light too of course). This is why I made sure to mention the ventral part of the tail fin and the webbed feet in my sketch are conjectural, as would be the actual girth (belly), because these things cannot be visible in the photo, although we wish they were!

      As to floating too high, are you referring to my sketch or the photo itself? If the photo, see my reply to Dru 4 posts back. If the sketch, then see my reply to the next comment.

  2. I appreciate another Loch Ness Monster blog as well as the effort to stay on the logical path, but this theory on the Gray photo takes it to the far reaches of the lunatic fringe. To now claim the photograph shows TWO of the creatures, let alone one, when in honesty it's nothing more than a shot of a dog and nothing less than an indecipherable mess stretches the boundaries of rational thought beyond repair.
    Clearly, the claimed dorsal and spray areas show transparency that cannot be ignored or explained
    away. Beyond that, the alleged spray looks nothing like actual spray would or should. However, the thing that is most incredulous is the drawings you came up with show the supposed creatures swimming ON TOP OF OR ABOVE THE SURFACE OF THE LOCH!! How is this possible? Your statement that shaving a portion of the dorsal area puts the creatures further below the surface doesn't hold water either. The fact is that as postulated the alleged animal is still above the surface, no matter how you attempt to circumvent that truth.
    I'm a longtime believer, but I've always subscribed to the notion that you prove monsters out of photographs which don't contain them, as opposed to finding ways to explain monsters INTO photographs in which they simply don't exist.

    1. Dear Anonymous,

      If you can have ANY photo of Nessie at all, then you can certainly have a photo of two, unless you believe it's been a single, solitary, non-reproducing immortal animal all this time, which truly would be a fringe position to take.

      That it could be a dog (in my opinion) shouldn't even require debunking, but as luck would have it Roland Watson has gone to the trouble of doing just that in a fine bit of (rational) analysis in his blog article here:

    Please go ahead and zoom in on a copy of the Heron-Allen image (from the glass lantern slide made from the original negative). Zoom in tightly on the dorsal area. Look at the pixels. Pan left and right. The texture and grain of the waves pixels *ends* where the dorsal line begins, and vice versa. Without doubt. This is difficult to do with a scan of a newsprint or book copy because the half-tone process that printed those versions introduces it's own artificial pixelation at that level, although you can still see it in even these inferior printings if they were large enough to begin with.

    If that isn't enough for you, I'll draw your attention to something else: there's a complete shadow on the water on our (Gray's) side of the object, following the same contours as the dorsal line, tail, and head. Transparent objects do not leave solid shadows!

    Now here is where I do err a little in my article, loosely using the term "spray" in both reference to any mist in the air AND what tossed up water has already landed on the animals back and sides. Here we need to go back to what Hugh Gray said as well (see the transcript and quotes in Witchell's book) the skin was grey *except* for where the spray was landing on it; the wet skin where the splashes landed glistened brightly. And that IS exactly what the photo is showing. Look at that posterior spray streak in particular and you will note a perfect discontinuity in the wet, shining areas at the dorsal line of the FRONT animal -- the water has been thrown up and landed at an angle relative to the viewer, not straight at you, resulting in a portion of DRY back still visible on the further animal, right behind brightly glistening wet back on the front animal. To back up a point, THIS dry spot on the back of the further animal is what forms the dark area that some people take to be the right eye of the "dog" - the "dog" that has no left eye to go with it!

    Lastly, please note I have drawn no waterline at all in my sketch, so your criticism of where I located it doesn't make any sense. I'm afraid I'm only an amateur artist, and that rendition was as close as I came. I have the back more arched than in the actual photo, and I haven't placed the two animals close enough together. Also I've inadvertently got the long axis tilted a bit too clockwise, relative to the photo. Oh well, I'll have another go at it sometime. If it makes you happier, please feel free to download it, rotate the image about 10 degrees left, and draw in a waterline just above the appendages. I'm sure that will float your boat.


  3. I have been saying since Ivan Sanderson's revision of Ted Holiday's Great Orm theory (which I should suppose you would call the Great Orm II theory, the amphibian rather than the invertebrate one) that a lot of the European descriptions of several kinds of Lake Monasters (or even dragons) specify they are talking about crocodile sized-and-shaped salamanders, using that term specifically, and meaning especially reaports in Ireland and in Wales. And I am one of the ones who has not discounted the possibility that the Grey photo was of one (they must be either narly asore or something to be that high out of the water) Hewever owing to the measurements involved in taking this photograph being off (as I see you take note of on this blog), the estimated length has got to be half of what you indicate, and very likely much less.

    Now you seem to have fallen into the same trap as everybody else: Just because an unknown animal is reported at Loch Ness does not mean ALL if the reports are of the SAME species of animal We are not talking about the presence of any species which is confined ONLY to Loch Ness and we are not talking about anything which necessarily lives there REGULARLY: we are only talking about different reports which eminate out of the one geographical area during the recent period over the last several decades. My feeling is that there are land animals which are going into the water together with one or two species native to the British isles but very rare, plus an occasional vistor from the sea (or two or three-it does not matter how many if they are all only there randomly) Because of that it is a fundamentally flawed argument to say all of the "Loch Ness Monster" reports describe the same thing: the giant salamanders might well be seen sometimes but also might be something very different from the larger creatures reported in the 20, 30 or 40 foot long range. Two things anout Mackals book I suppose you'll be mentioning: he thinks the long-necked reports could be the giant salamander tail-end-up. In several cases this is clearly impossible And he also speaks of all of the longer "string of buoy" sightings as being due to a standing wave effect. I very definitely agree with him as to this last conclusion.

    I will be wanting to reprint part of your blog on my blog if possible, and I shall be giving you full credit with a link which goes back to this blog.

    Best Wishes, Dale D.

Dale D's remarks on the scale and the siz of the salamanders. The photographer estimated the thickness of what is here presumed to be two animals together to be about two feet. That would make the individual animals about eight feet long apiece and that is probably a ent estimate of their size.
Scale Comparison: South American Giant Otter at top and diver compared to Japanese/Chinese giant salamander below. Such giant salamanders are also possibly present in the lakes associated with the Siberian Lake Monster reports recently discussed, and responsible for the "Lizardlike" and "Alligator" reports from that area. The Giant Otter fits some early descriptions of the Loch Ness Monster if the size is reduced, and the Giant otter reports are intermittent but superimposed over the ongoing "Salamander" reports. When Rupert Gould wrote his book on the Loch Ness Monster in the 1930s, talk of the "Salamander" was still strong enough that he couched his theory in terms of 'A Gigantic Long-Necked Newt'
Celtic countries of the British Isles. In more modern times, reports of the Salamanders (or Wurrums, etc) are more usually located in the areas with a Celtic heritage, although this is not necessarily always the case.