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Monday, 26 May 2014

Update on Discovery "Documentary" on C. megalodon

Did Discovery Channel fake the image in its giant shark documentary?

Image showing Megalodon swimming past U-boats off Cape Town was doctored. Come clean, or prove me wrong   
George Mombiot blog on sharks : German submarine and shark
Image purporting to show a giant shark swimming past German submarines. Photograph: Sharkzilla/Discovery Channel
The suspicion that the Discovery Channel had abandoned its professed editorial standards was a powerful one. As I mentioned in my earlier blog, its documentary claiming that the giant shark Carchardon megalodon still exists contained images which gave a strong impression of being faked; reports of incidents which don't appear to have happened; and interviews with "marine biologists" no one has been able to trace.
But allegations of fakery are very hard to prove. As you know, absence of evidence doesn't mean evidence of absence. Just because no one has been able to find the news reports the Megalodon show claims to have found, or any record of the deaths of four people in an attack by a giant shark off South Africa last year, or any trace of the suspiciously handsome experts it used to confirm its thesis doesn't prove definitively that all of them are inventions, even though it's hard to see how they could not be.
And pointing out that a photograph the "documentary" used to make its case looks like a really bad CGI cobblers in which just about everything is wrong isn't quite the same as being able to state categorically that it's a fraud.
George Mombiot blog on sharks : Whale carcasss on beach 
 Whale carcasss on beach. Photograph:
So to test my suspicions I offered a small reward – a signed copy of my latest book – to the first person who could find an original copy of another image Discovery used, which purported to show a Megalodon swimming past two U-boats off Cape Town.
It was the perfect cable channel conjunction: Nazi U-boats and a rediscovered extinct sea monster all in one frame. How clever they were to have found such an image, which, though utterly astounding, had remained unnoticed for 70 years!
Apart from the minor quibbles that no U-boats of this class are known to have been close to South Africa on the given date, that everything about the shark fins looks wrong, that at 64 feet between the dorsal fin and the tail this monster was twice the size even of the actual creature (which every expert on Earth, except the two mysterious "marine biologists" in the film, believe became extinct about 2 million years ago), and that the great beast creates neither bow wave nor wake, there were other reasons to be a little suspicious.
As one of my correspondents points out: "The swastika up the top is ludicrous so I won't bother mentioning that. The photograph is toned sepia. This is ridiculous as it required a separate pigment in a process that was used to make the photograph look warmer and 'nicer' for family photographs. It required more effort that developing in black and white. Photographs coming as sepia as standard is simply another myth created for entertainment."
So there's powerful evidence that this image had been doctored, but again it doesn't quite amount to proof. Until now.
Before I wrote the article I conducted an image search, and found nothing. Now I know why. It wasn't a still picture. A sharp-eyed reader found the frame in some footage of U-boats on The footage was shot in the Atlantic. Take a look 12 seconds in.
It's the same shot. But guess what? No shark. And no swastika. And not off Cape Town. Or anywhere near.
I wrote to the company handling media inquiries, putting it to them that the production company which made the film, Pilgrim Studios, doctored the image and misled the audience. I have not heard back from them.
Here's Discovery's mission statement:
Discover Channel mission statement 
Discovery Channel's mission statement. Photograph: Public domain
How many people now believe it's living up to these ideals?

[I posted the announcement of the documentary as a news item only and I later had to add the disclaimer that all the "evidence" in it was faked. As of right now we really don't have good evidence for the continued existence of Charcharodon megalodon as opposed to the occasional outsized Great White shark. We are starting to get substantial data indicating that the reported Whale Eater is something else even bigger and it is not a shark (although confusingly people in tropical regions have always called it a "Shark")-DD]

Muppet Faced Nessies

Submitted Article From Scott Mardis

Preadators Scale

The fifteeen largest known active predators, extinct or alive. Larger graphic here:

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Scientists announce top 10 new species for 2014

Scientists announce top 10 new species for 2014

 (w/ Video)

23 hours ago
Scientists announce top 10 new species for 2014Enlarge
This image shows Olinguito at Tandayapa Bird Lodge, Ecuador. This is one of the Top 10 New Species of 2014. Credit: Mark Gurney / CC BY 3.0

 An appealing carnivorous mammal, a 12-meter-tall tree that has been hiding in plain sight and a sea anemone that lives under an Antarctic glacier are among the species identified by the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry's (ESF) International Institute for Species Exploration (IISE) as the top 10 species discovered last year.

An international committee of taxonomists and related experts selected the top 10 from among the approximately 18,000 named during the previous year and released the list May 22 to coincide with the birthday, May 23, of Carolus Linnaeus, an 18th century Swedish botanist who is considered the father of modern taxonomy.
The list includes a quartet of tiny newcomers to science: a miniscule skeleton shrimp from Santa Catalina Island in California, a single-celled protist that does a credible imitation of a sponge, a clean room microbe that could be a hazard during space travel and a teensy fringed fairyfly named Tinkerbell.
Also on the list are a gecko that fades into the background in its native Australia and a fungus that, conversely, blazed its way into contention by virtue of the bright orange color it displays when it's produced in colonies. Crawling slowly into the final spot on the alphabetical list is Zospeum tholussum, a tiny, translucent Croatian snail from one of earth's deepest cave systems.
The annual list, established in 2008, calls attention to discoveries that are made even as species are going extinct faster than they are being identified.
"The majority of people are unaware of the dimensions of the biodiversity crisis," said Dr. Quentin Wheeler, founding director of the IISE and ESF president.
Scientists believe 10 million species await discovery, five times the number that are already known to science. [Emphasis Added]


The International Institute for Species Exploration has announced the Top 10 New Species for 2014. Credit: SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry

"The top 10 is designed to bring attention to the unsung heroes addressing the biodiversity crisis by working to complete an inventory of earth's plants, animals and microbes. Each year a small, dedicated community of taxonomists and curators substantively improve our understanding of the diversity of life and the wondrous ways in which species have adapted for survival," Wheeler said.
"One of the most inspiring facts about the top 10 species of 2014 is that not all of the 'big' species are already known or documented," said Dr. Antonio Valdecasas, chair of the selection committee and a biologist and research zoologist with Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales in Madrid, Spain. "One species of mammal and one confirm that the species waiting to be discovered are not only on the microscopic scale."
Valdecasas pointed specifically to two of the species: "the shrimp, Liropus minusculus with its phantasmagoric appearance" and the gecko, which bears a "disturbing likeness to some imaginary monster."

"Beautiful beasts, I would rather say!" Valdecasas said.
The Top 10 Species of 2014
Olinguito: A New Carnivore, Hidden in Trees
Bassaricyon neblina
Location: Ecuador
The appealing olinguito, resembling a cross between a slinky cat and a wide-eyed teddy bear, lives secretively in cloud forests of the Andes mountains in Colombia and Ecuador. It is an arboreal carnivore that belongs to the family Procyonidae, which includes the familiar raccoon. The olinguito is smaller, though, typically topping out at about two kilograms (approximately 4.5 pounds). It is the first new carnivorous mammal described in the Western Hemisphere in 35 years. Its apparent dependence on cloud forest habitat means deforestation is a threat.
Kaweesak's Dragon Tree: Mother of Dragons
Dracaena kaweesakii
Location: Thailand
Sounding like something out of Game of Thrones and standing 12 meters (nearly 40 feet) tall, it's hard to believe the dragon tree went unnoticed this long. Beautiful, soft, sword-shaped leaves with white edges and cream-colored flowers with bright orange filaments are the hallmarks of this impressive plant. The dragon tree is found in the limestone mountains of the Loei and Lop Buri Provinces in Thailand and may also be found in nearby Burma. Valued as a horticultural plant, its small number (perhaps 2,500), and the fact that it grows on limestone that is extracted for the manufacture of concrete, has earned this species a preliminary conservation status of endangered.
ANDRILL Anemone: Discovery on Ice
Edwardsiella andrillae
Location: Antarctica
A species of , living under a glacier on the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica, raises questions by its very existence. It is not clear how the species withstands the harsh conditions in its habitat. It is the first species of sea anemone reported to live in ice. It was discovered when the Antarctic Geological Drilling Program (ANDRILL) sent a remotely operated submersible vehicle into holes that had been drilled into the ice. This revealed the presence of small creatures, less than 2.5 centimeters long (one inch) with most of their pale yellow bodies burrowed into the ice shelf and their roughly two dozen tentacles dangling into the frigid water below.
Skeleton Shrimp: A See-through Crustacean
Liropus minusculus
Location: California, U.S.A.
This tiny shrimp, the smallest in the genus, was identified from among specimens originally collected from a cave on that island of romance, sunny Santa Catalina, off the coast of Southern California. Part of a marine family known as skeleton shrimp, only distantly related to the ones some humans love to dip in cocktail sauce, this crustacean is the first of its genus to be reported in the northeastern Pacific. The new species has an eerie, translucent appearance that makes it resemble a bony structure. The male's body measures just 3.3 millimeters (about an eighth of an inch); the female is even smaller at 2.1 (less than a tenth of an inch).
Orange Penicillium: A New Fungus among Us
Penicillium vanoranjei
Location: Tunisia
Distinguished by the bright orange color it displays when produced in colonies, this fungus was named as a tribute to the Dutch royal family, specifically His Royal Highness the Prince of Orange. It was reported in a journal published by the National Herbarium of the Netherlands. The newcomer was isolated from soil in Tunisia. This species also produces a sheet-like extra-cellular matrix that may function as protection from drought.
Leaf-tailed Gecko: Look Hard to See This One
Saltuarius eximius
Location: Australia
It's not easy to spot this gecko, which has an extremely wide tail that is employed as part of its camouflage. With longer limbs, a more slender body and larger eyes than other Saltuarius species, this one has a mottled coloration that allows it to blend in with its surroundings. Native to rain forests and rocky habitats, this gecko is a bit of a night owl. It is found on the vertical surfaces of rocks and trees as it waits for prey. Surveys of similar habitat near the area where this species was found did not reveal additional populations, so this may be a . The gecko was discovered on rocky terrain in isolated rain forests of the Melville Range of eastern Australia.
Amoeboid Protist: Body Builder from the Mediterranean
Spiculosiphon oceana
Location: Mediterranean Sea
This one-celled organism is four to five centimeters high (1.5 to two inches), making it a giant in the world of single-celled creatures. This foram (part of a distinct group among the many amoeboids) from the Mediterranean Sea gathers pieces of silica spicules, which are actually sponge fragments, from its surroundings and uses them like so many Lego blocks to construct a shell. It ends up looking much like a carnivorous sponge as well as feeding like one, extending pseudopods (a protist's version of arms) outside the shell to feed on invertebrates that have become trapped in the spiny structures. This species was discovered in underwater caves 30 miles off the southeast coast of Spain. Interestingly, they are the same caves where carnivorous sponges were first discovered.
Clean Room Microbes: Alien Invaders?
Tersicoccus phoenicis
Location: Florida, U.S.A., and French Guiana
There are some things we don't want to send into space and the newly discovered clean room microbes are among them. Found in rooms where spacecraft are assembled, this microbial species could potentially contaminate other planets that the spacecraft visit. Tersicoccus phoenicis was independently collected from the floors of two separate clean rooms around 2,500 miles apart, one in Florida and one in French Guiana. While frequent sterilization reduces the microbes found in clean rooms, some resistant species persist that can tolerate extreme dryness; wide ranges of pH, temperature and salt concentration; and exposure to UV light or hydrogen peroxide.
Tinkerbell Fairyfly: Do You Believe in Fairies?
Tinkerbella nana
Location: Costa Rica
The tiny size and delicately fringed wings of the parasitoid wasp family Mymaridae led to their common name: fairyflies. Tinkerbella nana, named for Peter Pan's fairy sidekick, measures just 250 micrometers (0.00984 inches) and is among the smallest insects. It is the latest addition to the 1,400 or so known species of the family. The new species was collected by sweeping vegetation in secondary growth forest at LaSelva Biological Station in Costa Rica. Although its host is not yet known, like other fairyflies it presumably has a life span of not more than a few days and attacks the eggs of other insects.
Domed Land Snail: Looks Ghostly, Moves Slowly
Zospeum tholussum
Location: Croatia
Living in complete darkness some 900-plus meters (nearly 3,000 feet) below the surface in the Lukina Jama-Trojama caves of western Croatia is zospeum tholossum. This land snail lacks eyes as they're not necessary in the total darkness of the caves, and it has no shell pigmentation giving it a ghost-like appearance. Only one living specimen was collected in a large cavern among rocks and sand with a small stream of running water nearby, however many shells were also found in the area. Even by snail standards, Zospeum tholossum moves slowly, creeping only a few millimeters or centimeters a week. Researchers suspect these small snails, measuring only 2 millimeters in length (0.08 inch), travel in water currents or hitchhike on other cave animals, such as bats or crickets, to travel longer distances.
Why inventory matters
"I have been participating in the top 10 since its beginning in 2008, and I am always surprised by the constant number of species discovered in all the organic kingdoms," Valdecasas said. "It makes selecting the species challenging and demanding, but at the same time, inspiring. We are very far from having exhausted the knowledge of the biodiversity on Earth. " Wheeler offered three reasons why an inventory of Earth's species is critical:
  • Without a baseline of what exists, humans will not know if something disappears, moves in response to climate change or invades new habitats. "As long as we remain ignorant of the vast majority of species, we unnecessarily limit our effectiveness at conservation goals."
  • Billions of years of natural selection have driven plants and animals to solve the same survival problems that humans face. "By studying the millions of ways in which organisms have met challenges, we open a great library of possibilities for meeting our own needs more sustainably."
  • Simple curiosity is a factor. "If we want to understand what it means to be human the answer is buried deep in evolutionary history. We are a modified version of our ancestors, and they of theirs … all the way back to the first species on Earth. With the loss of every species, we lose one chapter in our own story that we'll never get back."
Wheeler hopes the Top 10 draws attention to the urgent need, and real possibility, of completing an inventory of all of Earth's species. "Advances in technology and communication mean that the centuries-old dream of knowing all species is within our reach. The benefits of learning our world's are incalculable and the single most important step we can take in preparation for an uncertain environmental future."
Valdecasas concluded by conjuring an image of a human who had arrived on Mars with a one-way ticket. At some point, that space traveler would begin pining for the flowers and animals of home, the smell of spring and the sound of running water. "Nothing, nothing could ever compensate for that," he said. "Now, think how fortunate we are to have at hand such a universe."

Read more at:

The Whale Eater Strikes

This was shared with the Zombie Plesiosaur Society on Facebook.

 I'd say this is independent evidence of and good evidence for the Whale-eater theory I have been promoting the last several years. After a little research I found out the traditional name actually is "Whale Eater" after you translate it, in many locations.

A rescuer examines a female fin whale, which lies alive and stranded on the beach at Carlyon Bay on August 13, 2012 in St Austell, England. (Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Getty Photographer Matt Cardy on a stranded fin whale that died off the St Austell coast

Getty photographer Matt Cardy photographed a fin whale that was stranded on a beach off the St Austell coast in England on August 13.
He says it was the first time for him photographing a distressed whale and a first time for most of the rescuers to have dealt with such a large mammal at 20 meters (65 ft). Fin whales are the second largest animal on the planet and an endangered species.
According to Cardy, he was listening to the 7 p.m. BBC headlines in his car when the broadcast reported news of the whale. A quick check of his satellite navigation, revealed that he was less than an hour away, so he headed to the beach – a random chance that he was so close that evening.
Below, he describes the surreal scene.

Rescuers examine a female fin whale, which lies alive and stranded on the beach at Carlyon Bay on August 13, 2012 in St Austell, England. Fin whales are globally an endangered species and the second largest animal on the planet. (Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

When I arrived, it was bedlam. Cars were parked everywhere and people were making their way to the beach. The whale had been reported only a few hours before and was already attracting a large crowd of onlookers. It had washed up on a private beach (unusual in the UK) and they had closed the car park. Luckily, I showed my press card and talked the security guards into letting me drive rather than walk the 30 minutes down the path to the beach. That was critical as the sun had set and the light was fading fast. As I got onto the beach, hundreds of people were lining a cordon that had been set up to give the animal some space.
The crowd were very somber and quiet. As soon as I arrived, I was told that there was little anybody could do as the animal was too sick to be helped.
I was allowed into the cordon to photograph the whale at a much nearer distance. I used a Canon 70-200mm f2.8 and a 24-105mm lens on 2x 5D Mark II’s, shifting to 3200 ISO at a 60/sec. Eventually, the animal went through what we later realized were its death throes, opening its mouth and swashing its tail. After 15 minutes or so, it settled down, and the rescuers examined it and pronounced it dead.
It was a very sad end to an event that had happened all really quickly.

Edited by Stokely Baksh

Rescuers examine a female fin whale, which has just died as it lies stranded on the beach at Carlyon Bay on August 13, 2012 in St Austell, England. (Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
Rescuers attempted to save a female fin whale that died after it was stranded on the beach at Carlyon Bay on August 13, 2012 in St Austell, England. Initially, they had hoped to refloat the 65 ft fin whale. (Matt Cardy/Getty Images)            

Possible Identification Of Captain Hannah's Fish, 1880

Just posted on my Facebook wall by Jay Cooney three hours ago:

Jellynose fish specimen compared to the "sea serpent" reportedly caught by Captain Hannah off Bristol, Maine. Well?

To which I replied:

Dale Drinnon:
Jellynoses ARE Teleosts. BUT they are also cartilaginous. so what looks like a positive towards identification could turn out to be a negative. since the fins are definitely compared to the fins of a (non-cartilaginous) bony fish. And the gills as indicated do still look like shark gills.

But the size and shape are both right and probably a closer match than there is to any of the possible shark choices. On the balance I'd probably guess one or two features was mistakenly represented on the drawing, especially the gills drawn to look like shark gills. Then it could be a Jellynose. Off of New England would be an unusual new range for them but also possible.

Jellynose fish

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The jellynose fishes or tadpole fishes are the small order Ateleopodiformes. This group of ray-finned fish is monotypic, containing a single family Ateleopodidae. It has about one dozen species in four genera, but these enigmatic fishes are in need of taxonomic revision. [1]
The scientific name means "Ateleopus-shaped", from Ateleopus (the type genus) + the standard fish order suffix "-formes". It ultimately derives from Ancient Greek atelís (ἆτελής, "imperfect") + pús (πούς, "foot") + Latin forma ("external form"), the Greek part in reference to the reduced pectoral and ventral fins of the jellynoses.[2]

Description and ecology

Jellynoses are deep-water, bottom-dwelling, marine fish. They are known from the Caribbean Sea, eastern Atlantic, the western and central Indopacific and the Pacific coast of Central America.[3]
Their skeletons are largely cartilage (hence "jellynose"), although they are true teleosts and not at all related to Chondrichthyes. The heads are large, with a bulbous nose, and the (usually) elongated body tapers towards the tail. Their caudal fins are very small, and except for Guentherus it is merged with the long anal fin (which has 70 fin rays or more). The pelvic fins of juveniles have up to 10 rays, but in adults this is reduced to a single elongated ray at the throat. Again, Guentherus is an exception, retaining several fins as adults and having ventral fins that are located behind (not below) the pectoral fins. Dorsal fins tend to be high, with a rather short base (9-13 rays, but in some as few as 3); they are placed just behind the head. They have 7 branchiostegal rays. The species have a range of sizes, the longest reaching 2 m (6.6 ft).[3]
Most of the species are poorly known, but the Highfin Tadpole Fish (Guentherus altivelis) is of potential interest for commercial fishing.


Together with their relatives, the Stomiiformes, the jellynoses are often placed in the teleost superorder Stenopterygii. Whether it is indeed justified to accept such a small group is doubtful; it may well be that the closest living relatives of the "Stenopterygii" are found among the superorder Protacanthopterygii, and that the former would need to be merged in the latter. In some classifications, the "Stenopterygii" are kept separate but included with the Protacanthopterygii and the monotypic superorder Cyclosquamata in an unranked clade called Euteleostei. That would probably require splitting two additional monotypic superorders out of the Protacanthopterygii, and is probably not ideal due to the profusion of very small taxa it would create. In fact, in some treatments, the jellynose fishes are even placed in yet another monotypic superorder, the Ateleopodomorpha.[4]
The Ateleopodidae have also been placed in the Lampriformes or Myctophiformes, which otherwise constitute additional superorders. The relationships of these to the taxa mentioned before is still not well resolved at all, and regardless whether one calls them Protacanthopterygii sensu lato or Euteleostei, the phylogeny of this group of moderately advanced Teleostei is in need of further study.[5]


  1. Jump up ^ Nelson (2006): pp.212-213
  2. Jump up ^ Woodhouse (1910), Glare (1968-1982), FishBase (2006)
  3. ^ Jump up to: a b Olney (1998), Nelson (2006): p.213
  4. Jump up ^ FishBase (2006), Nelson (2006): pp.212-213, Diogo (2008)
  5. Jump up ^ Nelson (2006): pp.212-213, Diogo (2008)

Administrative Notice

Some people do not realize that SOME Cryptozoologists DO believe in this

Giant Spider Reported in MIssouri

Fisherman Spots Giant Spider in Missouri River

By Cryptozoology News December 29th, 2013
missouri river
LEXINGTON, Mo. — A man had an eerie encounter Saturday while fishing the Missouri River on the stretch between Kansas City and Lexington, M0.
L. Smith, 45, claims he saw a strange “hairy critter” he wasn’t able to identify. The creature, he says, was at least five feet wide and had “long, hairy legs that looked like a spider.”
“I’m lucky to go fishing almost every weekend, wife allowing, so I know what kind of animals live around here. I have plenty of experience around the the woods and the river… It was around noon, I sit down a few mins for a smoke, when I start hearing dry leaves moving on the left. I turn my head to where I heard the noise and I see a huge, long pair of hairy legs grabbing my canteen that I had just placed there a few seconds ago. Sheesh, it scared the bejesus out of me, I almost swallowed the smoke.”
Movie Spider Island
Movie Spider Island
Smith says the incident only lasted a few seconds and that he wasn’t able to get many details of the creature. “It was fast, it felt like when a spider catches its prey. I can tell you the hairs on the legs looked black, very thick, attached to the legs, it reminded me of the quills of a porcupine, only I guarantee you that it was not a porcupine. Porcupines don’t have long legs like that. You seen those spiders from the cartoons when they come out of the quicksand? Something like that.”
Smith investigated the area where he claims the incident occurred, but he wasn’t able to find a hole on the ground where the alleged “spider” made its appearance.
“I know people won’t believe me, but that thing is not something you’d find any place in America. I don’t believe it either. That thing measured, I estimate, around five feet wide.”
A guide to cryptozoology by EberhartThe Jba Fofi, also known as the Congolese Giant spider, is well known among the natives of Central Africa. This cryptid arthropod is presumably has been a favorite subject of researchers across the world. Local stories tell these five foot spiders construct tunnels under the tree roots and then cover them with leaves, allowing them to ambush their prey. Their eggs are supposed to be yellow and the spiderlings a bright yellow and purple color. George Eberhart describes people’s encounters with these creatures in his book Mysterious Creatures: A Guide to Cryptozoology – Volume 1.
Naturalist Williams J. Gibbons writes he learned about these creatures from the natives while looking for the Mokele-Mbembe, an alleged living dinosaur: “These giant ground-dwelling spiders prey on the diminutive forest antelope, birds, and other small game, and are said to be extremely dangerous, not to mention highly venomous”.
Most of the Jba Fofi sightings have happened in Congo, although there are a few reports coming from Papua New Guinea (1942), Louisiana (1948), Cameroon (2001), Brazil (2011), and Texas (2013).
This is the first known report of a giant spider sighting in Missouri.

[This is also possibly some sort of a large crustacean as seems likely in other locations, but the fact there was no hole in the ground where it seems to have come out of makes a very strong hint it was not reral in the physical sense-DD]

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Nessie, Champ, Caddy and Waterfowl

Loch Ness Monster. Longnecks are stated to take waterfowl at the surface in many locations and this could pad out the food supply that we need to consider as support for the theoretical number limit for the monster population in such areas.

Posted earlier at The Zombie Plesiosaur Society on Facebook:

Dale Drinnon:

Loch Ness Monster. Longnecks are stated to take waterfowl at the surface in many locations and this could pad out the food supply that we need to consider as support for the theoretical number limit for the monster population in such areas

Gina Jones:
 Yes it is stated in both Champ and Nessie for sure

Dale Drinnon
And for Caddy at sea

William Robert Hancock
Quite possible. BTW......bad to the bone painting!!!!!!

Scott Mardis

Scott Mardis Plesiosaurs eating birds- the smoking gun.

Saurian: SVP 2012 - Some Tasty Morsels "Richardoestesia is an enigmatic theropod taxon of uncertain phylogenetic affini...

Dale Drinnon
Yes we already had fossils of Plesiosaur stomach contents that included pterosaur remains among other things

Scott Mardis
I have that paper somewhere.

For Champ:

Posted by Jay BizarreZoo C

For Caddy, at Sea:

Posted by Jay BizarreZoo C

Mask associated with sasquatch lore returned to B.C. First Nation

Mask associated with Sasquatch lore returned to B.C. First Nation

The Canadian Press
May 14, 2014 02:48 PM
A Sasq'ets mask, commonly know as sasquatch, is seen in this undated handout photo. Bigfoot sightings may be elusive, but a sasquatch mask missing for 75 years was easily found after a simple request from a British Columbia First Nation. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ HO, Museum of Vancouver

VANCOUVER - Hunting for an elusive sasquatch mask revered by a British Columbia First Nation has been a 16-year journey for James Leon, taking him through London, Boston, New York and Ottawa.
In the end, all it took was a question to the lady sitting next to him at a Vancouver event that led him to his nation's Sasq'ets mask that vanished 75 years ago.
Leon was at a repatriation event for another First Nations artifact held by the Vancouver Museum when he asked the lady sitting beside him if she knew of the ape-like mask partially covered in bear fur.
"Her eyes lit up and she said 'We were just looking at that mask the other day.' And they were gracious enough to go get it for me," he said with a chuckle.
The mask disappeared in 1939 from Sts'ailes First Nation, near Harrison Hot Springs in B.C.'s Fraser Valley.
Community elders told Leon that the mask had been taken by J.W. Burns, a teacher at the Chehalis Indian Day School, and a man obsessed with the sasquatch legend.
Burns, who is often credited for bringing the word "sasquatch" into common use, donated the mask to the Vancouver Museum.
Leon took the job of finding the mask seriously and learned it had been on travelling display. He searched through the archives of several museum's known for having artifacts from British Columbia.
While all those elders are gone, he said they'd be pleased the mask has been returned.
"We do burning for the sasquatch. It's our belief that his primary role is to ensure that the land is being taken care of. Because everyone of us, as Sts'ailes people, we carry an ancestral name, a rich name from the land."
Museum of Vancouver CEO Nancy Noble said musuems have a social and cultural obligation to consider repatriating certain objects from their collections to First Nations.
"For aboriginal peoples, the return of an object with significant cultural or spiritual value can help to rebuild awareness, educate youth and strengthen ties to a culture that was often suppressed or taken away," Nobel said in a news release.
The mask was carved by Ambrose Point based on stories "from the beginning of time."
While the more recent stories of bigfoot are enough to produce nightmares, Leon said his people consider spotting a sasquatch good luck.
"There are certain things that happened to us when we see one," he said. "They call it gifts that come with seeing one, like I'd be a good speaker or a good hunter."
There's an even better endowment — a golden gift — if the sasquatch sees you, he explained.
Leon said his closest encounter to a real sasquatch came many years ago when he was walking with his then-wife.
"She kind of pushed me aside, so I didn't see it because I wasn't ready for the gift that comes with it."
© Copyright Times Colonist
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Administrative Notice

Currently and for a long period prior to this, both Benny and I have both been kept from adding any new photos to the blogs but we can cut and paste. Benny has a large stockpile of unpublished material but I am afraid this greatly hampers my ability to do any original work on Blogger for the time being.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Rogue Nessie

Rogue Nessie

by Kurt Burchfiel

While many of the arguments offered against the existence of a Loch Ness Monster can be rationally dismissed, questions regarding population size seem to cause believers some difficulty. Skeptics correctly note that for a herd of Nessies to have been continually resident in Loch Ness for the past ten thousand years there would have to a viably-sized, stable breeding population. Though opinions vary on just what constitutes a viable breeding population, a reasonable estimate could range somewhere between twenty and one hundred animals. While the loch is probably large enough to conceal a sizable population from human scrutiny and while its biomass (twenty-seven tons of fish by most recent estimate) could possibly support a modest number of large higher-level predators, the laws of genetics would inevitably conspire to present an insurmountable obstacle to the long-term survival of such a colony of animals.
The real dilemma for a small colony of large unknown animals living in the loch concerns the problems associated with inbreeding. A herd of Nessies, cut off from the sea for ten thousand years and forced to inbreed would surely fall victim to either disease or to a catastrophic deterioration of the gene pool. There may, however, be a logical way to provide for the existence of at least one mystery animal in Loch Ness.

Rogue Nessie

One way may be to hypothesize that the creature in Loch Ness is a rogue. Consider the possibility that Nessie is representative of some as yet unidentified speciesof ocean-going animal. These animals are responsible for the numerous sightings of “long-necks” at sea and may be either a much-evolved prehistoric reptile (i.e. a plesiosaur) or perhaps some sort of large unknown mammal.
An immature animal swimming, say in the Moray Firth, becomes intrigued by the large numbers of salmon migrating into the loch through the River Ness. Being a relatively small juvenile, perhaps only five or six feet long and possibly not yet possessing the characteristic long neck, the animal follows the salmon up-river. Once in Loch Ness, the animal finds plenty to eat, decides to stay a while, grows to maturity, finds it either impossible or undesirable to leave, and lives out its life as a permanent resident.
This same course of events may be recurrent, having been experienced by several animals in the past. If these animals possess a life expectancy of one-hundred years or more, and this seems reasonable given their reported size, then the animal in the loch today could well be the same animal responsible for the rash of sightings in the 1930s, the same animal filmed by Tim Dinsdale in 1960, the same animal photographed by Robert Rines in 1972 and 1975. The rogue theory does not preclude the possibility that several animals could be in the loch at the same time. The same set of circumstances could have conceivably befallen more than one animal during the course of a one-hundred year life span.

Getting into the Loch from the Sea

A juvenile Nessie would have three possible routes of entry into the loch from the open ocean; the southwest end of the Caledonian Canal, the northeast end of the Caledonian Canal, and the River Ness.
Making its way unobserved through the numerous locks of the Caledonian Canal (twenty-four at the southwest-end and seven at the northeast-end), while possible for a animal perhaps not much bigger than a large salmon, would require a good deal of perseverance and luck. Either it would need to move through the locks in the company of a vessel making the passage, passing through each gate unobserved by the locksmen, or it would need to maneuver through the small permanently-open sluices in each lock gate. These openings average around four square feet in size, although they are often closed up to less than this. A small and motivated animal could make the trip. After making its way through the first few gates, perhaps in pursuit of a fish, one could imagine it becoming so frightened and confused by its unfamiliar confinement that it presses on through the remaining gates in desperation until it final makes the loch.
The River Ness, under the right conditions, provides an easier channel of access to the loch. This would require the animal swimming up-river from the Beuly Firth some seven miles and passing over two weirs, one at Holm Mills and the other at Dochfour. While these weirs and the shallowness of the river, only knee-deep in parts, would seem at first glance to make the Ness an impossible route, bear in mind that each weir possesses a fish gap to allow for the movement of the salmon. At Dochfour the weir is sixty feet wide at the bottom and thirty feet wide at the top. At Holm Mills it is a bit smaller, twenty-four feet wide at the top and twelve feet wide at the bottom. Under normal river conditions the velocity of the water moving through these gaps is considered too vigorous to be overcome by any swimming creature.(1) But when the river is swollen by heavy rains (common in January and February) the weirs are practically submerged and the current runs through the gaps at a much reduced speed(2). A small animal that was a powerful swimmer, that drew no more than five feet of water, that made its way into the river during a spate, and that was able to negotiate its way either around or over the shallower portions could, particularly at night, make the passage unobserved and without a great deal of difficulty.

Adapting to a Fresh Water Environment

As the water in Loch Ness is fresh, validation of the rogue Nessie theory requires an explanation of how a marine creature used to living in salt water could quickly adapt to a fresh water environment. There are precedents for ocean-going animals successfully making the transition to a fresh water environment and vise versa. Bull sharks inhabit the fresh water of Lake Nicaragua. Ringed seals live successfully in lake Baikal in Russia. Seals periodically make their way into Loch Ness as well. Manatees freely enter lagoons, estuaries, and rivers, sometimes traveling hundreds of miles from the sea. Dugongs generally do not enter rivers but can survive in fresh water. The salmon in Loch Ness enter annually from the sea either through the Caledonian Canal or up the River Ness and congregate in the loch for a month or so prior to making their spawning run. Adult fresh water eels are commonly seen in the sea and in estuaries.
As far as the plesiosaurs themselves go, while most fossilized specimens have been found under marine conditions some have also been discovered under conditions from which we can infer a fresh water environment, particularly in rivers and estuaries.(3) This suggests that Cretaceous plesiosaurs moved up rivers and into lakes either pursuing prey or eluding predators which were unable to make the speedy adaptation to fresh water.(4) The ability to exist in both fresh and salt water environments would have been of great benefit to ancient plesiosaurs and may speak favorably to the possibility that they have survived in some form to present day.


Recorded sightings of unidentified animals in the River Ness serve to validate the notion that the river, when swollen by heavy rains, is indeed a viable route of entry into Loch Ness from the sea.
In 565 AD (or 580 AD according to Dr. Karl P.N. Shuker) the Irish missionary Saint Columba encountered a beast in the River Ness that had already killed one man and was in the process of going after a second. Seizing upon the gravity of the situation Columba commanded, “Go thou no further nor touch that man. Go back at once!” With that, the creature reportedly sank out of sight only fifty feet from its intended victim. So here we find the first recorded sighting of the Loch Ness monster occurring not in the loch proper, but rather in the River Ness.
In February 1932 Miss Kathleen MacDonald of Inverness observed an animal swimming up-river towards the Holm Mills weir. She reported an animal six to eight feet in total length, with a very short neck and long toothed jaws, generally crocodile-like in appearance. Miss MacDonald reported seeing a second unknown animal two years later in May of 1934 between Lochend and Abriachan, although she described this one as possessing three distinct humps, an undulating neck, and small head. In The Loch Ness Monster, Rupert Gould uses the distinct morphological differences noted in these two reports to suggest that the animal seen by Miss MacDonald in the River Ness was not the monster proper and not the same animal seen by here two years later, although he makes no attempt to identify it. A possibility which Gould fails to address is that during the two years separating the MacDonald sightings the animal may have grown and developed in shape. While Gould does not report an estimated length of the animal observed in the second sighting he does provide a silhouette drawing, based on a sketch provided by Miss MacDonald, which suggests a size greater than the six to eight foot estimate given for the animal seen in 1932. The animal in the drawing also possesses a pronounced neck, although one decidedly shorter than that reported in subsequent sightings. Could Miss MacDonald have had the privilege of seeing Nessie entering the loch via the River Ness as an infant in 1932, and then again observed the same animal in a more developed state two years later? Gould certainly offers no evidence that would disqualify the possibility.
Three decades later, something unidentified would again be seen swimming in the Ness. In his 1969 book, The Great Orm of Loch Ness, F.W. Holiday reports:
During April 1965 there was a period of heavy rain lasting several days. The loch rose and the River Ness was in spate. A salesman, Mr. George McGill, had business in the YMCA building on Bank St. in Inverness. At 11:45 a.m. the rain was so heavy that Mr. McGill stood in the doorway with a friend watching it. Mr. McGill wrote to me [Holiday]: “Just as we got to the door I looked across the River Ness. What I saw was a large, thick, ridged neck looping out of the water. The height of the neck above the water would be about four feet six inches and it was about eight inches in diameter. There was a disturbance where the neck re-entered the water and another disturbance some distance to the rear. What it was I cannot say, but it was not a fish. It was very unusual and I have never seen anything like it before. I shall try to draw what I saw.
Holiday does not reproduce Mr. McGill’s drawing in the book, but he reports that it shows, “What appears to be the neck of a smallish Orm which seems to be going down-river on the flood water.”
Finally, an incident that may support the possibility of an animal trying to pass through the canal locks. In 1900 (the exact date is uncertain) an odd animal was reportedly found at the bottom of Corpach Lock on the Caledonian Canal. It was assumed to have come from the loch, although it could just as easily have been trying to get into the loch. To my knowledge, this incident was first reported in print by F.W. Holiday in The Great Orm of Loch Ness . It is also mentioned by Peter Costello in In Search of Lake Monsters. The two versions of the incident differ in that Holiday states that the animal was killed by the workmen who found it, while Costello contends that it was discovered dead by workmen who were engaged in clearing out the lock. Both reports state that the animal resembled a large eel and both describe it as having a “mane.” This incident is not mentioned in Ulrich Magin’s comprehensive listing of recorded sightings, which means that it was not picked-up by the contemporary local papers. According to Fortean Times publisher Mike Dash, the story my have been originally reported to Dom Cyril Dieckhoff, a highland Catholic priest in the 1930s who had a great interest in lake monsters, by one of his correspondents.
When these reports are considered in relation to the veritable wealth of recorded long-neck sightings in the coastal waters of the British Isles it seems reasonable to suggest that the animals in question are capable, under the proper circumstances and at an early stage of development, of making their way into Loch Ness from the open ocean. It would be logical to assume that they would be capable of entering other lochs as well where a navigable link to the sea exists.

Lack of Evidence for More than One Animal in Loch Ness

Additional support for the rogue theory comes from the relative scarcity of reports of more than one animal being observed in the loch at the same time.
On 14 July 1951 Lachlan Stuart claimed to have observed and photographed three humps moving in the loch close to shore in the vicinity of Foyers. He also reported seeing a long thin neck although his single photograph does not show one. Examination of the photo reveals that the three humps are obviously not in alignment, suggesting to some researchers that they may belong to three separate animals swimming together. In 1952 Stuart disappeared and recent attempts to locate his whereabouts have failed. In the late 1980s it was reported that shortly after the photo was made public Stuart admitted to author Richard Frere that he had constructed the humps by covering bales of hay with tarpaulins.(5)
Sonar evidence in general tends to be contentious given the complexities involved in interpreting it. In brief, traces that might show more than one large unknown animal moving in the Loch at the same time have been obtained by the University of Birmingham in 1966, the Academy of Applied Science in 1972, and the Partech Ltd. expedition in 1976. They might just as well be the result of parallel traces of a single animal, misinterpretation, or equipment anomalies.
Additionally, there seem to be around eight reported sightings of what the observers felt were multiple animals. Among the more notable, in 1937 two boys reported that while boating in the vicinity of Fort Augustus they observed three small, approximately three-foot long, lizard-like, long-necked, animals with flipper-like fins swimming submerged away from the wash of the boat. In May of 1982 a local farmer, his wife, and sister-in-law reportedly observed three large long-necked animals, one animal being markedly larger than the other two, milling about off Aldourie Castle. The animals were also observed by two other witnesses from another part of the loch. Some have suggested that these animals may have been birds, which when seen from a distance and under certain conditions have resulted in misidentifications in the loch before.
If these multiple sightings are in fact legitimate, they would in no way invalidate the rogue theory. Quite the contrary, it is easy to imagine that if one juvenile animal could make it into the loch from the open ocean and thrive then certainly others could as well. This simply makes for a collection of rogues and not a viable breeding population. For those who are strongly drawn to the image of a family group of Nessies, there may be consolation in speculating that if a male and female rogue of similar maturity were in the loch at the same time chances are probably good that they would find each other and find love. There is, however, a great deal of difference between a small family of animals successfully producing a generation or two of offspring and a large, resident, isolated breeding population thriving for thousands of years.


Of all the world’s alleged cryptids, the Loch Ness Monster claims the most impressive pedigree. This is due in part to the considerable amount of effort that has been expended searching for it and also to the relatively large number of recorded sightings. No other mystery animal can claim the same degree of sustained perseverance on the part of its hunters. These efforts have yielded a considerable volume of compelling evidence, yet frankly not enough to persuade mainstream scientists to risk their reputations by actively pursuing Nessie. Regrettably only the universities and government agencies that these scientists work for have the resources, both financial and technological, necessary to bring the Loch Ness Monster debate to resolution.
Believers in Nessie do have some valid defenses against the lack of conclusive evidence. It is true that what photographic evidence there is has been obtained largely either by lucky, unsuspecting, and ill-equipped observers or by amateur researchers operating on minimal budgets. The few large-scale, high- profile expeditions that have been mounted seem to have been plagued by media pressure to quickly produce spectacular results. It is also true that, contrary to what many might believe, the surface of the loch is not under constant scrutiny by dozens of researchers armed with cameras. In the absence of a well-financed, well-coordinated, and sustained expedition it is surely no small wonder that any hard evidence has been obtained at all.
Yet after recognizing these handicaps it is still reasonable to ask why after thousands of hours of surface and subsurface surveillance and hundreds of eyewitness sightings the most significant evidence that has been obtained of Nessie’s existence are some grainy and contentious photos and motion film footage. In all fairness, if somewhere between twenty and one hundred, thirty to forty foot predatory animals were living in Loch Ness they should be encountered more often. To suggest otherwise strains most people’s sense of credulity. In this the age of the camcorder, surely some lucky tourist should have by now obtained some photographic evidence that could stand up to mainstream scrutiny.
The rogue theory provides an acceptable solution to this dilemma. While the loch may not have enough food for an entire herd of Nessies, it surely has enough for one or two animals. While it might be impossible for a large population of Nessies living in the loch to effectively conceal themselves from human scrutiny, one animal or perhaps a loosely associated collection of individuals could surely keep themselves fairly well hidden. While a herd of isolated animals could never hope to overcome the laws of genetics and survive an indefinite period of inbreeding, this would not be a concern for non-breeding rogue individuals who periodically find themselves trapped in the loch.
If Nessie is in fact a sea-going animal and representatives of her species are only periodic and unwary residents of Loch Ness, beyond helping to explain the difficulty involved in obtaining strong evidence of her existence this revelation could have major implications for the way researchers at the loch approach their work. On the down side, the prospects for finding and photographing a single animal hiding in the inky depths of the loch are certainly poor for the amateur monster hunter. On the up side, an amazing and unidentified marine creature may be effectively trapped in a closed and relatively small body of water. Perhaps others like it are in similar situations elsewhere around the world. While the chances of finding and studying these animals in the open ocean may be low, they are considerably better in a place like Loch Ness, particularly if the appropriate technology is brought to bear.
The means to solve the Loch Ness mystery certainly exist. The Royal Navy could probably locate Nessie in a weekend. An M.I.T. expedition could then figure out a way to capture her, on film or in person, within a week or two. The difficulty lies in convincing organizations like these to involve themselves in the search. The reluctance of mainstream science to engage in so-called fringe research like monster hunting is perhaps Nessie’s best defense against human detection. In the final analysis perhaps the rogue Nessie theory’s message to amateur cryptozoologists is simply to keep doing what they have been doing for the past seventy years; keep watching the water with camera at the ready. In the absence of Nessie coming ashore and introducing herself to a vacationing marine biologist, the only way the scientific mainstream is ever going to play a role in identifying the Loch Ness Monster is if they are confronted with a compelling high-quality surface photograph or video.


1). Gould, Rupert, The Loch Ness Monster and Others (New York: University Books, 1969), p.10.
2). Ibid., p. 10.
3). Mackal, Roy, The Monsters of Loch Ness (Chicago: Swallow, 1976), p.171.
4). Ibid., p.171.
5). Witchell, Nicholas, The Loch Ness Story (London: Corgi, 1989), pp. 86-87.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Seaweed Mane Explanation From Jay Cooney

 Green Renaissance's Photos · Green Renaissance's Page

The Mary River turtle (Elusor macrurus) with a green mohawk of algae.
It's suggested that the algae helps provide camouflage.

Jay Cooney just sent me a copy of the photo and made the suggestion
Apparently the turtles do this as camouflage. A longneck doing this could definitely explain the seaweed-like "hair"[in the "mane"]!
And actually that is a quite good explanation. the seaweed (algae) would also be growing in seasonally, in both saltwater and fresh (with different species) and also could look either greenish or reddish brown, and so it fits all of the broad criteria. Furthermore, the animals could be tearing it off of each other by mouth without doing each other any harm, and the photos do show other patches of growth on the face in the area where "ear fins" and "whiskers" [even "green whiskers"] are rarely and irregularly reported

So I am going to pencil that in a strong possibility and in fact I now rank it as a strong possibility,  a higher possibility than Bernard Heuvelmans' and Ivan Sanderson's suggestion that vascularized fibers make up the "Mane." I do not have it as the default yet but it might well be the explanation that stands the Occam's Razor test the best.

Best Wishes, Dale D.