More on the Malayan Ape-Man
Malcolm's Musings : Cryptozoology
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1y ago
      Who knows what mysterious creatures might walk out of the jungles of southeast Asia? Rumours abound of strange bipedal apes sequestered in those rainforests. Many US troops saw them in Vietnam and called them "rock apes". (See also here.) But it is on the Malay peninsula that things get really weird.       A year and a half ago I reported on Harold Stephens' expedition in search of the orang dalam, and his discovery of humanoid footprints consistent with something 8 feet or 2.4 metres in height. The orang dalam would thus appear to be similar to the North Am ..read more
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A Bug-Eyed Monster off New Zealand
Malcolm's Musings : Cryptozoology
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1y ago
      Readers will no doubt be familiar with the name of Ivan T. Sanderson who, along with Bernard Heuvelmans, was one of the founders of cryptozoology. All sorts of other Fortean phenomena captured his imagination, if not always his critical faculties, with the result that he founded the Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained (SITU), with its journal, Pursuit. Now, in my old age, I am going through my own copies of this journal, and thus happened to come across an article inspired by a clipping from a Japanese newspaper. So, as this blog seeks to rescue stories which ..read more
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The 1983 Californian Sea Serpent
Malcolm's Musings : Cryptozoology
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2y ago
       Personally, I consider sea serpents more credible than lake monsters. It's the logistics of it all. The sea is vast, and we move across it with noisy vessels along narrow sea lanes. Anything could be there. Lakes are small, and tend to be surrounded by people. What lives there ought to be seen a lot more often. Yet, when I was researching the digitalised files of Australian newspapers for Australian and foreign sea serpents, I noticed something peculiar: up to the Second World War, it was respectable to see and report sea serpents, often uncritically. However, once t ..read more
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A "Tree Crocodile" in Papua?
Malcolm's Musings : Cryptozoology
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2y ago
       The jungle clad mountains and valleys of New Guinea, just north of Australia, have turned it into a vast patchwork of "ecological islands" with new, rare, species just waiting to be discovered. By following up clues left by the natives, one of our more prominent zoologists, Dr. Tim Flannery managed to locate two new species of tree kangaroo concealed in localised pockets. The possibility that the thylacine, or Tasmanian tiger, believed to be extinct in Australia, may still exist in the Indonesian half of the island, is something I have discussed in this blog (here an ..read more
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The Thylacine That Wasn't
Malcolm's Musings : Cryptozoology
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2y ago
       When researching reports of mystery animals in Australia, the ones which give me the most headaches are not alien big cats (which shouldn't be here), nor the bigfoot-like yowie (which definitely shouldn't be here!), No, they are the ones describing thylacines, or Tasmanian tigers, on the mainland. The reason is, firstly, they were never recorded there in historic times (at least, not in the areas where they are now being reported) and, secondly, it is just so easy to mistake a mundane animal for a thylacine. The most disconcerting thing is, there still remain a resid ..read more
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Yes, There Really Are Pygmy Elephants.
Malcolm's Musings : Cryptozoology
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3y ago
      Let's be realistic: the idea of a big hairy ape stomping around North America, all unnoticed by science, is weird. I'm not saying it's impossible, but it is definitely counter-intuitive. Even weirder still is the idea of monsters, which don't breathe air, lurking in our lochs and lakes. But there is nothing weird about pygmy elephants wandering the trackless depths of the African jungle. The jungle is big enough to hold them all. The pygmy elephant was described back in 1906, and named Loxodonta pumilio, and since then they have been repeatedly sighted in the wild, and liv ..read more
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Up Close and Personal with Ogopogo
Malcolm's Musings : Cryptozoology
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3y ago
     I was a foundation member of the International Society of Cryptozoology (ISC) in 1982, even contributing to its peer reviewed journal, Cryptozoology, and continued until it folded in 1998. Recently, I was going through the old Newsletters, and found an article I remember well: of a close encounter with Ogopogo which, I am sure you are aware, is the monster of Lake Okanagan in British Columbia, Canada. Reading it again, I realised that it had never been published elsewhere. As you are unlikely to have any copies of the ISC Newsletter, I shall share it with you. The auth ..read more
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Apes in North Queensland
Malcolm's Musings : Cryptozoology
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3y ago
      The yowie, for those who are unaware, is the Australian version of the North American bigfoot. Of course, it shouldn't exist, because Australia is marsupial country, and no non-flying, non-swimming placental mammal larger than a rat has ever arrived here without human help. I didn't believe in it, until the evidence became too strong to ignore. In their definitive work on the subject, The Yowie, Tony Healy and Paul Cropper catalogue sightings and encounters from the south of the continent all the way up to north Queensland. Newspapers have not been as active in reporting s ..read more
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"Bunyips and Bigfoots" is Back!
Malcolm's Musings : Cryptozoology
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3y ago
      Doesn't time fly! It was a quarter of a century ago - in 1996- that my book, Bunyips and Bigfoots, in search of Australia's mystery animals was published. Since then, it appears to have become a boon to second-hand booksellers. From a recent websearch, I notice that the asking price varies from $50 to $220 US. At least that's lower than the £3000 (pounds, not dollars!) one seller was asking in late 2013. Even I admit that it wasn't worth that much. Never fear, however; I have just published an up-dated second edition at a reasonable price in both print-on-demand paper ..read more
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Big Footprints in the Malayan Jungle
Malcolm's Musings : Cryptozoology
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3y ago
      Last month I introduced you to the orang dalam, or "man of the interior", the bigfoot or abominable snowman of Malaya. To be more precise, I copied extracts of the background information unearthed by Harold Stephens in his Argosy article of August 1971. I promised that this month I would describe his expedition of that year (?) in search of the monster. But first, I need to cite how he first heard about it.      We found it hard to believe.      "What big tracks?" we asked.      "Giant people," the village headman said. &nb ..read more
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