Due to popular request, prints of the amazing Sam Shearon cover art for Strange Intruders are now available. Suitable for framing and featuring the Grinning man, Djinn, puckwudgies and more these fine prints are on card stock and measure 11×17. Available now at Leprechaun Press.
National Geographic has put up a map that shows confirmed cougar sightings outside of their normal range. These sightings are only those confirmed by state wildlife officials in each state. If we were to add unconfirmed reports, we would no doubt see much more evidence of the cougar’s migration to the east.
A cougar has been shot and killed in Illinois. The animal was killed by a wildlife official and is reported to be between five and a half feet to six feet in length with a weight of over a hundred pounds.
Officials with the Illinois Conservation Police responded to a call at a Whiteside County farm on November 20th. On arrival, officers were told that a cougar had been spotted in a corn field running towards the home and outbuildings of the farm’s owner. Searching for the animal, officers found it in a concrete tunnel under a corn crib and, at the request of the farm owner, shot and killed the animal. The body has been turned over to wildlife biologists to examine.
Wildlife officials in most eastern states claim that the cougar or, mountain lion, as it is also known is mostly extinct east of the Mississippi. Apparently, all of the cougars haven’t gotten the memo because there continue to be reports of the big cats in the east.
Recently three cougars were seen outside of Baltimore, Maryland. Just prior to those sightings, a cougar was reported in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. There have also been other reported sightings in Virginia, Massachusetts and New York.
People living in Midwestern states have been reporting the cats for years. Despite the ‘official’ status of the animal, many people, from hunters to housewives, have reported seeing the big cats.
Illinois has had numerous reports over the last ten years. State officials tend to dismiss the accounts and affirm that there is no breeding population of cougars in the state. They cannot however, deny that a number of the animals have been killed. A large male was killed by a train in Randolph County in 2002. A hunter killed another male in 2004 in Mercer County and in 2008 a male was shot and killed when it was spotted wandering around the north side of Chicago. The animal killed this month in Whiteside County makes the fourth ‘official’ cougar found in the state in recent years.
According to the “Living with Wildlife in Illinois” website:
“Mountain lions were extirpated from Illinois before 1870 and are not protected by the Illinois Wildlife Code. There is no evidence that a resident breeding population of mountain lions exists in Illinois at this time. Dispersing mountain lions are possible in Illinois.”
Illinois state wildlife officials believe that the occasional cougar travels in from South Dakota. Apparently no one in Iowa noticed them wandering through.
There are an estimated 30,000 cougars in the United States. They are mostly found in the mountainous western states. They are solitary hunters and prefer dense woods and hills as opposed to open ranges. Cougars are very territorial and each cat requires its own range to hunt, this in part, keeps the animal’s numbers on the low end.
It’s long been rumored that remote areas of Sumatra may be home to an ape like creature locals call the “Orang Pendek” Indonesian for “short person.”
The creature is described as bipedal, between two and five feet in height and covered in short fur. Colors vary among the accounts but grey, brown and reddish brown are common. Reports indicate that the creatures are ground dwelling but they have also been seen in trees.
The Orang Pendek has been reported for over a hundred years by local tribes, villagers and western colonists alike. The primary location of sightings is the Bukit Barisan mountain range, an area of primal rainforest just two degrees south of the equator.
According to a recent report from blogger Robert Lindsay, scientist may already have definitive proof of the creature’s existence.
Lindsay’s post states in part:
“The data has already been prepared for some time, and the scientists are certain that they have proof that the creature exists. They have known about it since 1996 but have possibly been sitting on the data for unknown reasons, or maybe they have been gathering more information. Apparently at least one dead specimen exists. The scientist told me that he had seen three photos of a dead specimen of the creature.
He said it was the shape of a Bonobo but the size of a gibbon and described it as “terrestrial,” meaning it lives on land. This sounds approximately like the description of the Orang Pendek. Unfortunately, they have no plans to publish their data documenting this species until 2016, and it would still need to go through peer review. The scientist was not sure exactly what the scientists thought it was, and seemed to be uncertain whether it was in the Pongoid or Homo line. After all, Homo are greater apes also. Anyway, he seemed to be referring to the Orang Pendek as there are no cryptic greater apes in the region other than this.”
The Orang Pendek is likely an undiscovered species of orangutan and the continued intrusion of humans into the remote mountains of Sumatra make its discovery probable. If the report from Lindsay is accurate, it’s exciting to know that scientist have definitive proof of the animal’s existence. It’s disappointing however that they are choosing to withhold the evidence.
The Orang Pekdek was the subject of an excellent book from cryptozoologist Richard Freeman. (Published in 2011 by CFZ press) The best overall study of the cryptid, it’s highly recommended for anyone interested in the field. Freeman journeyed to Sumatra a number of times to collect information first hand.
Lindsay’s full posting can be read here:
A video of a strange humanoid figure running across a highway in the UK has been posted by the Altered Dimensions site. The thirty three second video was captured by CCTV cameras. The figure moves rapidly across the four lanes of traffic and at first glance appears to be an animal. On closer inspection however, the figure does not seem to match any known animal.
According to sources, authorities spoke with officials to determine if the video was a hoax:
“We checked with local authorities who oversee the CCTVs in this area and this is not faked. They say it is genuine footage. This creature was filmed on CCTV running across a motorway in the UK.”
It’s unclear exactly where the video was filmed. If the footage is real, it’s an intriguing find. View the original footage here:
English Naturalist Sir David Attenborough has recently added his voice to those that believe in the existence of the Himalayan Yeti, also known as the Abominable Snowman.
Attenborough’s career in natural history and broadcasting has spanned over sixty years. He is most well known for his series “Life”. Considered a national treasure in Britain, Attenborough has produced countless wildlife documentaries and is currently working on the series, “David Attenborough’s Natural Curiosities.”
Attenborough’s comments on the Yeti occurred during a recent UKTV interview.
“I believe the Abominable Snowman may be real. I think there may be something in that” he stated.
Attenborough went on to discuss fossils discovered in the 1930s that support the existence of a large ape in the region.
“A fossil was found with these huge molars that were four or five times the size of human molars. They had to be the molars of a large ape, one that was huge, about 10 or 12 feet tall. It was immense.”
“And it is not impossible that it might exist. If you have walked the Himalayas there are these immense forests that go on for hundreds of square miles which could hold the Yeti. If there are some still alive and you walked near their habitat you can bet that these creatures may be aware of you, but you wouldn’t be aware of them.”
Natives in Nepal and Tibet have long told tales of the Yeti, a large, bipedal creature similar to the American Sasquatch. Often depicted as a beast covered in white fur, the nickname ‘Abominable Snowman’ was coined during an Everest expedition in the 1920s.
A number of expeditions have been launched in the past to search for the creature but the rugged terrain makes for a challenging quest. Still, footprints and the aforementioned fossils make for compelling possibilities that something unknown dwells in the high Himalayas.
News reports out of Leake County, Mississippi claim that a local man has killed a chupacabra, the legendary creature known as the ‘goat sucker.’
Twenty eight year old local man, Matthew Harrell shot the creature when he caught it in a chicken coop. “My neighbor said the creature had killed three of his chickens. I thought it was a coon at first.”
Harrell says he realized the animal wasn’t a raccoon when he saw its glowing red eyes.
“This one wasn’t lunging. He was down like a cat…and I was seeing the teeth and red eyes. It looked like he was going to jump down there and I didn’t give him the chance.”
The animal that Harrell killed appears to be a canine, but it is mostly hairless. Local animal officials believe that the animal is nothing but a wild dog or possibly a coyote with mange, a common explanation offered in such cases.
The animal looks very similar to other ‘chupacabras’ specimens that have been found in Texas and other parts of the west. Dubbed ‘Texas blue dogs’ because of the tint of their skin, these animals are being reported with greater frequency from the southwest to the deep south.
Reports suggest that these strange canines can run as fast as thirty-five miles per hour. In 2008, DeWitt County deputy, Brandon Riedel captured footage of one of the animals using his patrol car’s dash camera.
Dr. Phylis Canion, a nutritionist from southern Texas found one of the creatures in 2007 on a road near her Cuero, Texas ranch. In an interview on “The Unexplained Files,” Canion stated that she believes the creature was responsible for almost 28 chickens killed on her property.
“Each time we found a chicken dead, it was opened up…in its throat area. It appeared that all the blood was out of it.”
The creature that Canion discovered weighed almost forty pounds had blue eyes and a long snout with a pronounced overbite.
DNA test conducted by the University of California, Davis, have suggested that the animal is a coyote/Mexican wolf hybrid. Canion herself disagrees and believes the animal is a separate species. She’s been studying the creatures for several years and has offered to pay for DNA testing on the animal killed in Mississippi.
Harrell however, threw most of the corpse away, keeping only the jawbone and teeth, along with a couple of clippings from the body. Canion is unsure if scientist will be able to obtain viable DNA for tests.
“I’ve seen a lot of nasty stuff. I’ve never seen anything like this” says Canion who spent four years in Africa. Her hope is that one of the animals can be captured alive for study and DNA. If that happens, perhaps science can prove once and for all if the legendary goat sucker is a new hybrid, or undiscovered species.
Because of my extensive work in the southwest region of the United States, one of the things that I’m asked about on a regular basis is the skinwalker.
The term comes from Native tribes of the region and is generally thought to be a human involved with dark magic. Skinwalkers gain the ability to shapeshift into other forms, most commonly a wolf or coyote. They have long terrorized residents of the area and skinwalker lore reaches far back to before the white man came to the Americas.
A few weeks ago, I filmed a segment with my friends at Crypto Four Corners detailing my personal encounter with what appeared to be one of these strange creatures. (included in my post from 9/7/13).
There’s very little written about skinwalkers and information is difficult to come by. The subject itself is taboo among the Navajo and many non natives in the region are even hesitant to talk about the topic. That’s one of the reasons that Hoss Lors’ book on the subject is important.
“Skinwalkers Shards Linger” is newly published. While it’s a slim volume of around 50 pages, the quick read is well worth it has Lors details his own disturbing encounters with skinwalkers. Here’s a tidbit from the prologue:
“…a “gifted” skinwalker can assume the shape of any animal provided the man/woman has the skin of the animal. The most common is a wolf and the formation of the skinwalker is half man half wolf or even all wolf-I have seen both.
I am no expert and I have been almost killed by skinwalkers on two different occasions.”
While Lors’ may not consider himself an expert, his personal experiences while living in the heart of skinwalker territory certainly give him a unique perspective, one that gives you a sense of this creature, and the fact that communities in the region live with the reality of these things on a daily basis.
University of Nevada-Las Vegas anthropologist Dan Benyshek is quoted in the book regarding skinwalkers;
“…skinwalkers do all sorts of terrible things—they make people sick, they commit murders. They are grave-robbers and necrophiliacs. They are greedy and evil people who must kill a sibling or other relative to be initiated as a skinwalker.”
A chilling perspective on what exactly these beings may be.
One thing that I found especially fascinating was the revelation from Hoss that Satan Butte and Utah’s Skinwalker Ranch lie on the same longitude. I’ve done a lot of research in the Uinta Basin, the location of the infamous skinwalker ranch. Both the ranch and Satan Butte are focal points for a lot of strange activity including UFOs, time distortions and of course, skinwalkers.
Skinwalker Shards Linger is available from Amazon in both hard copy and e-book.
Check out the latest Phantoms & Monsters featuring Crypto Four Corners:
Here’s some video from a recent expedition I did with friends from Crypto Four Corners. Cave Bears, Skinwalkers and more.