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Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

It is edited by CFZ Director Jon Downes, and subbed by the lovely Lizzy Bitakara'mire (formerly Clancy), scourge of improper syntax. The daily newsblog is edited by Corinna Downes, head administratrix of the CFZ, and the indexing is done by Lee Canty and Kathy Imbriani. There is regular news from the CFZ Mystery Cat study group, and regular fortean bird news from 'The Watcher of the Skies'. Regular bloggers include Dr Karl Shuker, Dale Drinnon, Richard Muirhead and Richard Freeman.The CFZ bloggo is updated daily, and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else. Come and join us...

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Tuesday, January 05, 2010

MUIRHEAD`S MYSTERIES: A TEXAS WILDMAN AND GIANT LIZARDS

Today I continue with my look at American crypto-strangeness with a report from San Jacino Bottom, which I presume is in Texas, and also the Santa Ana River in California.

The first report is from The Houston Daily Post for August 13th 1901, which I reproduce here verbatim:

'Strange Adventure that Befell Commissioner Bucher in San Jacino Bottom. Commissioner J. C. Butcher, who came in from Harrisburg yesterday to attend a meeting of the commissioners` court, was engaged during the recess hours yesterday in relating a strange adventure which befell Mr C. L. Bering and himself a day or so ago while they were hunting in San Jacino bottom. In there search for game they penetrated deeper and deeper into the recesses of the wood and in a spot where the foliage and the long grass were so thick as to almost block their passage, they came face to face with a wild man.

'The strange creature of the wood had long mane like hair falling far below his shoulders and he shook a mat of it from in front of his eyes and glared at the hunters as if intent on disputing their right to the wilds.

'The wild man was clad principally in a yard of sunshine, which struggled through a rift in the trees, and a devilish smile of defiance. Additional to these the strange creature was attired in a breech clout of leaves.

'The hunters were so taken aback by the unexpected presence and the uncouth appearance of the stranger that before they had time to test the conversational powers of the wild man he glided away into the dense forestry without more ado' (1)

Now from The Los Angeles Herald of January 1st 1909:

'Tramps Frightened By Big Alligators. Monster Saurians Appear Among Willows on Santa Ana River and Wayfarers` Camp is Hurriedly Evacuated.

'Either a bunch of fifteen tramps had an extra supply of barleycorn on tap last night, or the willows along the Santa Ana river this side of Riverside are peopled with strange creatures on the monster order. At 2 o`clock this morning a number of hobos arrived here out of breath and thoroughly alarmed,having run most of the distance between Riverside and this city [i.e San Bernardino - R]. They tell of having suddenly been attacked by two immense creatures resembling in general appearance lizards. They were about a campfire at the time, when one of their number suddenly emitted a frightened yell and bounded through the fire, disappearing in the darkness. His companions looked to where he had been seated, and, catching a glimpse of the strange creatures,they too fled. The report was investigated this morning and disclosed that in all probability the creatures mentioned are two big alligators which escaped from a Riverside man recently. Word from Riverside states that the alligators have not been seen since, though a systematic search has been instituted
.' (2)

These two stories were found on the website I mentioned a day or two ago.

1 The Houston Daily Post August 13th 1901
2 The Los Angeles Herald January 1st 1909

All for now, Richy

Steeleye Span Hard Times of Old England

Come all brother tradesman that travel along
O pray,come and tell me where the trade is all gone
Long time have I travelled,and I cannot find none
And sing all the hard times of old England
In old England,very hard times

1 comment:

Dale Drinnon said...

The Wildman account sounds as if it was meant to be one of those "Crazy Indian" reports-he had long hair on his head and a loincloth, but no body hair is mentioned (I would be just as happy if it were a Neanderthal myself); And it would be really useful to know what the tramps were calling "big lizards" (?Iguanas)or how big they were, since the identification as alligators is only an assumption and there ARE otherwise reports of big lizards (that run on their hind legs) in the area