Thursday, May 26, 2016

Creature of the Month: Old Stinker: The Horror of Hull by Nick Redfern

In February 2015, I wrote an article for this blog titled “The Graveyard Werewolf.” It was focused upon a wave of encounters with a wolf-man-like beast in central England. In part, I stated: 

    “The controversy (which soon overflowed with hysteria) began in late April 2007, when the local newspaper, the Stafford Post, astounded and entertained the folk of the Cannock Chase with the following story: ‘A rash of sightings of a ‘werewolf’ type creature prowling around the outskirts of Stafford have prompted a respected Midlands paranormal group to investigate. West Midlands Ghost Club says they have been contacted by a number of shocked residents who saw what they claimed to be a ‘hairy wolf-type creature’ walking on its hind legs around the German War Cemetery, just off Camp Road, in between Stafford and Cannock. Several of them claim the creature sprang up on its hind legs and ran into the nearby bushes when it was spotted.’”

    I also noted in the article that Nick Duffy, of the West Midlands Ghost Club, said the following regarding this very weird mystery: “The first person to contact us was a postman, who told us he had seen what he thought was a werewolf on the German War Cemetery site. He said he was over there on a motorbike and saw what he believed was a large dog. When he got closer, the creature got on his hind legs and ran away.”

    So, why am I bringing this matter up now? Well, the answer is simple: in the last couple of weeks something very similar has been afoot in the north of England. And to the extent that not just the local media, but the national media, too, have been busy chasing down the strange and sinister story of what has become known as the “Werewolf of Hull,” reportedly an eight-foot-tall, hair-covered monster.

    Most of the reports have surfaced in and around the vicinity of what is called the Beverley and Barmston Drain, a land drainage operation, the origins of which date back to the latter part of the 1800s. A tunnel that carries the drain can be found below an old bridge on Beverley Beck, a canal in East Riding, Yorkshire, England – a location where a number of the encounters with the hair-covered thing have taken place. The bridge connection is an important one that should not be overlooked.

    In her 2006 book, Mystery Big Cats, author Merrily Harpur provides the following words on what she terms “liminal Zones:” “These are the transitional zones between one area and another – the kind of no-man’s-land traditionally regarded as magical.” Harpur’s research has shown that such “zones” include streams, gates, churchyards and bridges. With that in mind, there’s a good chance something of a definitively supernatural nature is afoot at the Beverley and Barmston Drain.

    In December 2015, a woman who encountered the beast said: “It was stood upright one moment. The next it was down on all fours running like a dog. I was terrified.” Of course, this is very similar to the reports coming out of the Cannock Chase in 2007, of a dog / wolf-like creature that had the ability to run on both two legs and four.

    Even more controversial was the story of a husband and wife who claimed to have seen the monster of the Beverley Beck canal feasting on a dead dog, and which bounded over a fence more than two-meters in height – and with the remains of the poor dog clamped in its jaws, no less. Very wisely, the couple’s very own dog made it abundantly clear it had no wish to head down to the canal. Even the local authorities have gotten involved. Labor councilor Steve Wilson said: “I am happy to keep a diary of sightings by people around here and report them to Hull council.” Although, what the local council might be able to do about a rampaging werewolf on the loose is anyone’s guess. Arm the local police with silver-bullets, perhaps?

    So, what might the creature be? The U.K.’s media has picked up – and picked up quickly and widely – on a local legend of an abominable beast known as “Old Stinker.” It’s a terrifying half-human / half-animal-style thing that has a long history in the area – one which dates back centuries. So the story goes, it took its name from the legend that it allegedly suffered from severely bad breath! And its physical appearance was said to have been no better either: it was covered in hair, and had piercing and glowing red eyes. On top of that, it regularly devoured the corpses of the recent dead. As for the hunting grounds of Old Stinker, they were said to be the Yorkshire Wolds, which – interestingly – are just north of the Beverley and Barmston Drain.

    Have we seen the recent and sudden resurrection of a very old monster? Maybe so. As for why? Well, right now, it’s a case of wait and see. Almost certainly, we have not heard the last of Old Stinker, of the werewolf of the old canal, or of terrified witnesses encountering something unearthly.

Nick Redfern is the author of many books, including his most recent Weapons of the GodsHe has appeared on more than 70 TV shows, including: Fox News; the BBC’s Out of This World; the SyFy Channel’s Proof Positive; the History Channel’s Monster QuestAmerica’s Book of SecretsAncient Aliens, and UFO Hunters; the National Geographic Channel’s Paranatural; and MSNBC’s CountdownNick writes regularly for UFO MagazineMysterious Universe, and Fate.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Weird News of the Week

Brilliant Fireball Over Northeast Coast

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White House Asked if Aliens Exist

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Soccer Team's 'Skinned Alive' Uniform

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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Positive News of the Week

Cat & Cop Crime Fighting Duo

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Girl Without Hands Wins Handwriting Award

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14-Year-Old to Become Vending Machine Mogul

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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Weird News of the Week

 Super Bee Pulls Nail Out of Brick Wall

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Waking The Brain After Death

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Gecko Feet Keep Fine Art Clean

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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Boost Your Memory Power with The Memory Diet by Judi and Shari Zucker

Is there anything we can do to prevent Alzheimer’s disease or dementia?

Do we have to accept that memory loss is just part of the natural progression of aging?

The Memory Diet introduces a powerful plant-based diet of leafy greens, vegetables, berries, nuts, beans, and whole grains that can slow down or even eliminate cognitive decline. The more than 150 healthy recipes—from awesome appetizers and exceptional entrees to spectacular salads and super soups—are all free of white sugar, processed ingredients, and gluten.

The Memory Diet’s brain-boosting recipes are based on the Mediterranean Intervention Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) Diet, a diet plan that may reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s by as much as 53 percent.

In addition, you will learn how to cook these foods the correct way, as many cooking methods actually cause biochemical changes in the food we eat that can negatively affect our brain health, accelerate the aging process, and cause memory decline.

Here we share an excerpt from Chapter 2 on Food for Thought: The Power of Diet.

Your diet can influence not only the health of your body, but the health of your brain as well. The standard American diet is responsible for many serious health problems because it is filled with processed foods, sugars, simple carbohydrates, and saturated and trans fat. Eating a well-balanced diet that emphasizes certain foods can truly help your brain and form a protective barrier around what we value most: a lifetime of memories, acquired knowledge, and earned wisdom!

New research published by Martha Clare Morris, ScD, from Rush University Medical Center, shows a plant-based diet reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 35 percent to 50 percent, depending on how diligently it’s followed. 1 This new approach, formally called the Mediterranean Intervention Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) diet, is a hybrid of the Mediterranean Diet and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH). This diet is associated with slower cognitive decline and is also great for the heart. Evidence shows that foods that are good for the heart are good for the brain. Your brain is nourished by one of your body’s richest networks of blood vessels. Every heartbeat pumps about 20 to 25 percent of your blood to your head, where brain cells use at least 20 percent of the food and oxygen your blood carries.

The MIND diet is not the only research to support the fact that a Mediterranean diet can reduce your risk of dementia. In the July 2015 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), research was done on 447 men and women who were approximately 67 years in age. All patients had a series of dementia screens called neuropsychological test battery. No patients had evidence of dementia when they started the study. They found that memory was preserved and slightly improved in people on Mediterranean diets who used olive oil and ate nuts compared with people who simply lowered their dietary fat. In fact, in the non-Mediterranean diet group memory function actually declined by 17 percent. 2

The MIND diet consists of leafy greens, vegetables, berries, nuts, beans, and whole grains as daily dietary staples. It also suggests eating fish and chicken in a very limited way. It suggests not consuming red meat, butter, margarine, cheese, sweets, pastries, and fried or fast food. These foods to avoid can more than double your risk of cognitive decline. To keep it simple, think in terms of the nutrition rainbow and aim to eat seven to eight colors from plant-based sources each day.
Plant-based foods are not only low in calories, but rich in nutrients that are an integral part to maintaining brain health. They include antioxidants (special vitamins and minerals) that help fight against inflammation and free radical damage in your nervous system. Following a plant-based diet that is rich in nuts, whole grains, extra-virgin olive oil (as well as coconut and avocado oil), and an abundance of fresh produce is beneficial to the brain.

The tasty recipes in this book are plant-based, dairy-free, gluten-free, and sugar-free. Gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley, can have severe effects on the gut as well as the brain. Many cases of neurological illness, known as gluten-sensitive idiopathic neuropathy, can be caused or exacerbated by gluten consumption. Dr. David Perlmutter, author of Grain Brain, claims eating foods with high glycemic indexes, which happen to be some of the most gluten-rich foods, increases the chances of developing neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s and dementia. 3 Diets rich in gluten and dairy not only can contribute to celiac disease but can also cause neurological responses, which include migraines and “brain fog.”

Dr. Perlmutter’s research states the two main culprits contributing to Alzheimer’s are excessive sugar and gluten consumption. It’s becoming increasingly clear that the same pathological process that leads to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes may also hold true for your brain. If you over-indulge on sugar and gluten, your brain becomes overwhelmed by the consistently high levels of glucose and insulin that blunt its insulin signaling, leading to impairments in your thinking and memory abilities that can eventually cause permanent brain damage.

Furthermore, when your liver is busy processing fructose (which your liver turns into fat), it severely hampers its ability to make cholesterol, and essential building block of your brain that is crucial for optimal brain function. Mounting evidence supports the notion that significantly reducing fructose consumption is a very important step for preventing Alzheimer’s disease.

Preparing foods that are fresh, local, and organic are the ideal fuel foods for the brain. It is important to avoid processed foods because these foods are not digested well by the body. Cooking foods can be tricky because most foods that are cooked lose important digestive enzymes. For example, often people think that unsweetened jelly or concentrated apple juice is healthy to use, but in reality these are processed foods that are heated and reduced to a highly concentrated forms of sugar with all the enzymes and vitamins destroyed by the heating process. Plus, these processed foods are void of fiber! Processed foods turn into glucose that can easily turn into fat and create many health problems, including memory loss.

A study completed by Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital showed that a diet high in glycotoxins called advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which are found in high concentration in well-done meat, is a risk factor in developing age-related dementia. 4 AGEs naturally form inside the body when proteins or fats combine with sugars (glycation). This affects the normal function of cells, making them more susceptible to damage and premature aging. AGEs are greater in animal-derived foods that are high in fat and protein, such as meats (especially red meats), which are prone to AGE formation through cooking. In contrast, carbohydrate-rich foods such as vegetables, fruits, and whole grains contain relatively few AGEs, even after cooking. Sugary foods and highly processed and prepackaged products also are high in AGEs.

Cooking methods that use high temperatures to brown or char foods, such as grilling, roasting, and broiling have the highest impact on the amount of AGEs consumed. The formation of new AGEs during cooking was prevented by the AGE inhibitory compound aminoguanidine and significantly reduced by cooking with moist heat, like steaming, using shorter cooking times, and cooking at lower temperatures. It’s best to eat a plant-based diet for the brain; however, if one does cook animal products, cook them with acidic ingredients such as lemon juice or vinegar reduces the AGEs.

The body naturally rids itself of harmful AGE compounds, but it has trouble eliminating them when too many are ingested through food. Basically, all the cells of the body cells are affected by the accumulation of AGEs. AGEs are linked to aging and also the development of worsening of many chronic illnesses, such as cardiovascular, liver, and Alzheimer’s disease.
To reduce the damaging effects of AGEs on the brain:

- Limit grilling, broiling, frying, and microwaving foods. Substitute plant sources for protein instead of meat sources.
- Reduce the cooking temperature for baking to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
-Cut down on processed foods. Many prepared foods have been exposed to high cooking temperatures to lengthen their shelf life. This process causes a higher AGE content in the foods.
-Eat an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables. Both are excellent for the brain! Cooked or raw, they are naturally low in AGEs, and many contain compounds such as antioxidants that can decrease some of the damage done by AGEs. Vegetables and fruits contain dietary phytonutrients, which are found in the pigments of various colorful fruits and vegetables. One type of phytonutrient in particular—iridoids, which are found in deeply colored fruits such as blueberries—can lower AGEs in the body.

7 Brain Boosting Food Groups
These are the seven “brain-boosting food groups” that the recipes in this book focus on.
1. Cruciferous Vegetables and Cabbage
2. Leafy greens
3. Seeds and Nuts
4. Fruits, Grapes, and Berries
5. Beans, Legumes, and Whole Grains
6. Olive, Coconut, Macadamia, and Avocado Oils
7. Brain Spices

  1. “Dementia.” World Health Organization Website, March 2015. Accessed February 17, 2016.
  2. “A New Case of Dementia Is Diagnosed Every 4 Seconds.” 10 Facts on Dementia, World Health Organization Website. Accessed February 17, 2016.
  3. “New MIND Diet May Significantly Protect Against Alzheimer’s Disease.” Rush University Medical Center Website, March 16, 2015. Accessed February 17, 2016.
  4. Paula Cohen. “The MIND Diet: 10 Foods That Fight Alzheimer's (and 5 to Avoid).” CBS News Website, March 30, 2015. Accessed February 17, 2016.
Judi and Shari Zucker—the “Double Energy Twins”—attended the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) and earned BAs in ergonomics, the study of human physiology, physical education, and nutrition. They became vegetarians at age 11 and wrote their first book, How to Survive Snack Attacks—Naturally! when they were just 16. Since then, they have written six best-selling health books. They lecture on living a healthy life, clean eating, and having more energy at hospitals, schools, and health and wellness programs nationwide. They are favorite guests on many local and national television shows, including The Today Show and Home & Family. Judi and Shari are both married and have five children between them. They reside in Santa Barbara, California. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Positive News of the Week

Vietnam Vets Reunite To Recreate Photo

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Disturbingly Happy Nurse Robot

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240-Mile Homeward Bound

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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Creature of the Month - Mighty Mammals by Oberon Zell-Ravenheart

0. Ice Age Sino-Russian Fauna by Mark Hallett

Throughout history, people have claimed sightings of large mammals that had supposedly gone extinct over 10,000 years ago, at the end of the last Ice Age. The musk ox is a well-known living example of such a creature from the glacial era. But by far the most dramatic are continual reports of living mammoths in the vast circumpolar forest known as the Taiga, also called the Boreal Forest or Snow Forest. The Taiga is the world's largest land biome, making up 29% of the world’s forest cover; the greatest areas are in Russia and Canada. Sparsely populated by humans, large areas of Siberia's Taiga have been harvested for lumber since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

1. The Taiga is found throughout the high northern latitudes, between the tundra and the temperate forest, from about 50°-70°N,but with considerable regional variation. -Wikipedia)

Due to the harshness of the climate the Taiga supports a relatively small range of animals. Canada's boreal forest includes 85 known species of mammals, 130 species of fish, and an estimated 32,000 species of insects. The largest animal believed to live in the Taiga is the wood bison, found in northern Canada, Alaska, and Siberia, where it has been recently introduced.
But the Taiga is vast, and little explored. If there is any habitat on Earth that could support remnant populations of supposedly extinct large ice-age mammals, it’s the Taiga. And so it should come as no surprise that not only many sightings of Bigfoot, but also of living mammoths, should come to us from this region of the “Great White North.”

2. Woolly Mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius)

      Koguhpuks (meaning “Earth Moles”) are gigantic subterranean beasts in the folklore of Siberia and the Inuits of Alaska’s Bering Straits. Extremely photophobic, they are said to die upon exposure to light. Therefore, they emerge only once a year on the longest, darkest night (Winter Solstice). Huge bones of Mammoths found in spring in the thawing permafrost are said to be the remains of Koguhpuks that were caught on the surface at dawn. The 1901 excavation of the “Berezovka Mammoth” is the best documented of the early finds. It was discovered by the Berezovka River in Russia. The carcass is currently exhibited in the St. Petersburg Museum of Zoology.

3. The Berezovka Mammoth cadaver after preliminary excavation in 1901, pictured with German–Russian paleontologist Eugene Pfizenmayer and an unidentified member of the expedition. Courtesy of Smithsonian Institution.

      A 5th century bce Chinese book called Ly-ki describes the Tien-Schu (or Tyn-Schu, Yn-Schu, “The Mouse That Hides Itself”) — “It constantly confines itself to subterraneous caverns; it resembles a mouse, but is of the size of a buffalo or ox. It has no tail; its color is dark; it is very strong and excavates caverns in places full of roots and covered with forests.” A 16th-century Chinese naturalist writes: “It dies as soon as it is exposed to the rays of the sun or moon; its feet are short in proportion to its size…. Its eyes are small; its neck short. It is very stupid and sluggish.” These descriptions may refer to the Pleistocene Woolly Rhinoceros (Coelodonta antiquitatis), whose frozen bodies have been discovered in thawing tundra. They give the impression of huge burrowers that had recently emerged from underground, only to die at the surface. 
4. Woolly Rhinoceros (Coelodonta antiquitatis)

      Highly evolved prehistoric elephants were widespread across the Northern Hemisphere during the Ice Age and hunted extensively by early humans. In Mongolia, Manchuria, and Siberia, more recent legends account for the frozen specimens by claiming that they lived underground, and died as soon as they came into the sunlight. The word Mammoth is from the Russian mamantu, “that-which-lives-beneath-the-ground”). The shaggy-haired Woolly Mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) was a spectacularly successful and prolific species, ranging from Spain to North America. There have been occasional sightings and claims that some might still survive in the vast and sparsely inhabited forests of the Siberian Tiaga.

5. Woolly Mammoth by Heuvelmans, p. 206

      Bernard Heuvelmans, the ‘father of Cryptozoology,’ has a chapter in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals that includes the account of M. Gallon (French chargee d’d’affaires at Vladivostock) of what he was told in 1920 by a Russian witness who spoke of finding tracks in 1918, and eventually observing a large hairy tusked elephant-like animal in Russia. Heuvelmans also includes reference to a “large hairy elephant” reported as being seen by in the late 16th Century by Yermak Timofeyevitch, leader of a cossack expedition n the Ural mountains. “According to the natives it was part of the wealth of the Kingdom of Sibir, valued as food and known as ‘mountain of meat.’ This happened at a time when even the Slav world had never heard of the mammoth.” (Heuvelmans, p. 353).

Colonel Fowler and the Mammoth 

6. Col. Fowler’s mammoth

     Col. F. Fowler lived for 12 years in Alaska, from c.1877-1889. On finishing his time there he was asked by a reporter about the most interesting thing he had seen there. He answered as follows:

Two years ago last summer I left Kodiac for a trip to the head waters of the Snake River, where our travelling agents had established a trading station at an Innuit village. The chief … received me hospitably, and I at once began negotiations for the purchase of a big lot of fossil ivory which his tribe had stored near the village. The lot weighed several thousand pounds and was composed of the principal and inferior tusks of the mammoth, the remains of thousands of which gigantic animals are to be found in the beds of interior Alaskan water-courses. I subjected the ivory to a rigid inspection, and upon two of the largest tusks I discovered fresh blood traces and the remnants of partly decomposed flesh. I questioned To-lee-ti-ma, and he assured me that less than three months before a party of his young men had encountered a drove of monsters about fifty miles above where he was then encamped, and had succeeded in killing two, an old bull and a cow. At my request he sent for the leader of the hunting party, a young and very intelligent Indian, and I questioned him closely about his adventure among a race of animals that the scientific people claim are extinct. He told a very straightforward story and I have no reason to doubt its truth.

      Here is a tape purported to show a living mammoth. It was filmed in 1943:

REAL Woolly MAMMOTH sighting footage caught on tape! (Yakutsk city, Sakha Republic, Siberia 1943)

7. Woolly Mammoth tape-1943

      Note about this tape: After the conclusion of the WW2 Battle of Stalingrad, Nazi Party member and official photographer for the NSDAP, Holger Hildebrand, was captured by the Red Army at the Battle of Stalingrad. He and thousands of other Wehrmacht soldiers were later sent on a death march towards Siberia; this mammoth footage is understood to have been taken during that journey. (Hildebrand is believed to have died a prisoner of war at a Soviet forced labor camp in late 1945. His granddaughter later came into possession of the footage when his belongings were repatriated to Germany from Russia decades after his death.)

      Plans are now underway to clone mammoths from frozen tissue. By March of 2015, genetic segments from frozen mammoth specimens, including genes for the ears, subcutaneous fat, and hair attributes, were copied into the DNA of skin cells from a modern elephant. This marked the first time that woolly mammoth genes had been functionally active since the species became extinct. If the cloning process is ever successful, there are plans to introduce woolly mammoths to Pleistocene Park, a wildlife reserve in Siberia.

Karkadann (Sanskrit, Kartajan, “Lord of the Wilderness”; also Karkadan, Karkadanno, Karmadan, Cartazoon, Carcazonon) — A ferocious giant “Unicorn” of ancient Ethiopia, Persia, and India. Also called monoceros (“one-horn”), it was described as having the head of a stag, teeth like a wolf’s, the body of a horse or bull, the feet of an elephant, and the tail of a boar or lion. It was completely white except for its horn, which was black. It was said to be quite belligerent, attacking even elephants. It was claimed that only the ring dove could charm the savage beast. This fearless little bird would perch upon the Karkadann’s long horn and sing, much to the delight of its host. In return, the Karkadann made its home near ring dove nests, protecting them from harm.

8. Karkadann          

      It has been proposed that the Karkadann may have been an actual Pleistocene beast that may have survived into historical times in remote regions of the Himalayas, much as the Ice Age musk ox and reindeer still survive in northern climes. The creature so identified is the Elasmotherium (“thin plate beast”), a gigantic shaggy rhinoceros with a single massive horn jutting straight out, not from its nose, but from the center of its forehead. In some specimens, the horn may have exceeded six feet in length! As with many animals living in snow, its long coat would be white in the winter, but would be shed in summer to reveal a shorter darker coat beneath.

9. Elasmotherium caucasicum

      This description matches perfectly a mysterious cave painting at Lascaux in France, commonly referred to as “the Unicorn.” It is a heavily pregnant female, with a long horn projecting forward from her forehead, and her coat is white with dark reddish-brown circular patches. She is shedding her winter coat in Spring, and about to give birth in the appropriate season.

10. “Unicorn” of Lascaux cave painting, France

Giant Sloth of PatagoniaHuge, red-haired creatures have been reported roaming the dense Amazon jungle of Brazil and Patagonia in South America since the 1890s. Cryptozoologists believe they could be Mylodons, a giant ground sloth with thick, orange fur thought to be extinct for 10,000 years. It weighed 450 pounds and stood ten feet tall, using its sturdy tail to balance itself upright.

11. Giant Ground Sloth (Mylodon) at the Houston Museum of Natural Science in Texas

      Patagonian Indians tell of hunting the Mapinguari (also called Iemisc, Isnashi or Alux) a terrifying creature that lives in the mountains. The name is usually translated as “the roaring animal” or “the fetid beast”. This animal is said to be the size of an ox, six to 15 feet tall when standing on its hind legs, with short hind legs, a short wide tail, and long clawed arms. It has long reddish matted hair, large teeth and claws, a soul-wrenching scream, and a horrible stench. It is also said to have one gigantic eye like a Cyclops, and a wide mouth in its stomach (it has been proposed that these features may in actuality be color markings on the snout and belly).

12. Mapinguari statue in Rio Branco, Brazil

      In more recent alleged eyewitness accounts, it has consistently been described as resembling either an ape or a giant ground-dwelling sloth, with long arms, powerful claws that can tear apart palm trees, and a sloping back. It usually walks on all four backward-facing feet, but it sometimes stands upright and walks on just its hind legs. It is nocturnal and sleeps during the day in burrows. The Indians say they find it difficult to penetrate the animal’s hide with their arrows.

13. Neomylodon mapinguari (with markings as described by natives)

      The physical descriptions of the Mapenguari (minus the one eye and extra mouth) fit the mylodon perfectly. Even the backward-facing feet make sense when we consider that these sloths walked on their knuckles when they’re on all fours. Their long claws, while intimidating, were used mainly for digging up roots and peeling off vegetation. They are believed to have been herbivores, which would also explain why they have never harmed anyone, even those who were temporarily paralyzed. (--“Jungle Stories” by Jay Hansen)
      A small section of apparently fresh Mylodon hide was found by a rancher named Eberhardt in a Patagonian cave in 1895. Nearby human remains suggested that it had been hunted by people. The skin was studded with bony nodules and would have been impervious to the teeth of Pleistocene predators as well as Indian arrows.

14. Short-Faced Bear (Arctodos simus)

Bergman’s BearOn Russia’s remote Kamchatka Peninsula, local reindeer hunters insist that a one-ton giant bear, with a small head, narrow body, and long legs, still exists. The description matches the prehistoric Short-Faced Bear (Arctodos simus), the biggest bear that ever lived. Standing 9 feet tall on its hind legs, this ferocious carnivore is believed to have been extinct for 10,000 years, but sightings are still reported. A pelt was examined in 1920 by Swedish zoologist Sten Bergman, who named it Ursus arctos piscator

15. “Ringdocus”

The Shunka Warak’in is a great, wolflike beast said to inhabit the great plains of North America. The name means “carries off dogs” in the language of the Ioway Indians. Some cryptozoologists have speculated that the Shunka Warak’in may be a Dire Wolf (Canis dirus), or some other surviving Pleistocene predator such as the Bear-dog, (Amphicyonid). A purported specimen was shot in Montana around the turn of the 20th century. It was mounted and displayed at a general store and museum in Henry Lake, Idaho, where the owner called it “Ringdocus.” Its current location is unknown, but to this author (OZ), it appears to be a Brown Hyaena (Parahyaena brunnea).

16. Brown Hyaena

TarasqueA ferocious, amphibious river-dragon of the Rhone Valley in southern France. Larger than an ox, it had six legs, the head of a lion, the paws of a bear, and a scaly body with a long, serpentine tail ending in a sharp barb. The hard, leathery shell on its back was covered with spikes. It was subdued by St. Martha, who tied her belt around its neck and led it docilely back into the town of Nerlue, where the treacherous villagers killed it.

17. Tarasque festival, 1905 hand-coloured postcard

Afterward, the town’s name was changed to Tarascon, and annual processions continue to commemorate this event, complete with a lifesize effigy of the Tarasque, which (other than the six legs) strongly resembles an ankylosaur (armored dinosaur) or a glyptodont (a giant Ice-Age armadillo the size of a Volkswagon). The story is probably based, as with so many accounts of dragons, on fossil remains of such creatures. But could it actually have been a living animal?

18. Glyptodont

19. Ankylosaurus

Thunder HorseA huge and terrifying horse-monster in the traditions of the Oglala Sioux Indians of Nebraska, Wyoming, and South Dakota. It plunges to the Earth during storms, and its hoofbeats create thunder. In 1875, paleontologist Othniel Marsh was shown enormous bones which the Sioux claimed were from a Thunder Horse. He identified them as huge, rhino-like relatives of horses that lived about 35 million years ago. In honor of the legend, he named it Brontotherium, “Thunder Beast.”

20. Legend of the Thunder Horses

21. Brontotherium primitivni

VeoA nocturnal cryptid reported to be living on the Micronesian island of Rintja. It is said to be the size of a horse, with huge claws and a long head. It has large, overlapping scales covering everything except its head, lower legs, belly, and the end of its tail. It feeds on ants and termites. This description matches that of the eight-foot-long Pleistocene Giant Pangolin (Manis palaeojavanicus), fossils of which have been found on the neighboring islands of Java and Borneo. See Dingonek.

WaheelaA wolfish creature said to inhabit Alaska and Canada’s Northwest Territories. It is larger and more heavily built than ordinary wolves, with a wide head, big feet, and long white fur. Witnesses describe it as being about four feet high at the shoulder. Its hind legs are shorter than its front legs, and its tracks indicate widely spaced toes. Solitary creatures, they are never seen in packs. According to native legends, the Waheela is an evil spirit that tears the heads off its victims. Its description matches that of the Pleistocene Bear Dog (Amphicyonid), presumed extinct for 10,000 years.

23. Bear Dog (Amphicyonid)

Wishpoosh A colossal beaver with huge claws dwelling in beautiful Lake Cle-el-lum in Washington State. According to Nez Perce Indian legend, this monster wished to be the only one to fish in the lake, and so he drove away or killed anyone who approached. The people appealed to Coyote, the trickster, who engaged Wishpoosh in a titanic battle.

24. Coyote and Wishpoosh

Coyote and Wishpoosh fought each other at the bottom of the lake until the sides gave way and all the water rushed out, pouring out over the mountains and through the canyons. This happened several times, creating a succession of ever-more-immense lakes and eventually carving out the Columbia River gorge, channeling all that water to the ocean. The details of the legend give an uncannily accurate description of the sequence of catastrophic floodings resulting from the melting of the Cordilleran ice sheet 13,000 years ago. It appears that the Nez Perce Indians have a remarkably long oral tradition!

25. Map of glacial melt lakes in Washington  

During the Pleistocene era, a gigantic beaver called Castoroides ohioensis roamed North America, possibly inspiring this legend. It was more than 8 feet long, weighed 485 pounds, and had 6-inch-long teeth. 

26. Castoroides ohioensis

Mighty Mammals in the Movies
      Mammoths have appeared in more movies than any other Ice-Age mammal, starting with Quest for Fire in 1981, which also had saber-toothed cave lions. Exaggerated versions of prehistoric mammals were featured in Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, 2002 (Deinotheria, Hyaenodons) and also in Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, 2003 (Deinotheria, Arsinotherium). Mammoth (2006) was a somewhat cheesy TV movie. 10,000 BC (2008) was pretty cool, with more Mammoths and an impressive Smilodon.
      Sabertooths also got some good film appearances in Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977), Sabertooth (a TV movie), 2002, and Attack of the Sabertooth, 2005 (another TV movie),.
      And then there is the series of delightful animated films, starting with Ice Age (2002), the first film in the franchise. This was followed by Ice Age: The Meltdown, a 2006 sequel. Next came Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (2009), Ice Age: Continental Drift (2012), and most recently, Ice Age: Collision Course (2016). These films had Mammoths, Giant Ground Sloths, Sabertooths, Brontotheres, Giant Beavers, Glyptodonts, and every other Ice Age mammal the writers and artists could think of.

Hansen, Jay, “Jungle Stories,”
Heuvelmans, Bernard, “The Mammoth of the Taiga,” On the Track of Unknown Animals (pp. 331-353, English translation, 1958, London)
REAL Woolly MAMMOTH sighting footage caught on tape!
Wikipedia: “Taiga.”

Oberon Zell has accomplished many things in his long and colorful career. A modern Renaissance man, Oberon is a transpersonal psychologist, metaphysician, naturalist, theologian, shaman, author, artist, sculptor, lecturer, teacher, and ordained Priest of the Earth-Mother, Gaia. Those who know him well consider him to be a true Wizard in the traditional sense. He is also an initiate in the Egyptian Church of the Eternal Source, a Priest in the Fellowship of Isis, and an initiate in several different Traditions of Witchcraft. He holds academic degrees in sociology, anthropology, clinical psychology, teaching, and theology. His books include Grimoire for the Apprentice WizardCompanion for the Apprentice WizardCreating Circles & CeremoniesA Wizard's Bestiary, and Green Egg Omelette.
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