Sunday, 15 August 2021

Yes, There Really Are Pygmy Elephants.

      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 live specimens have even turned up in zoos. Nevertheless, the scientific consensus has been that they were just dwarf individuals of the known elephant species, or juveniles roaming in their own temporary bands. 
     Nevertheless, 30+ years ago, two German zoologists, Drs Martin Eisentraut and Wolfgang Bohme marshalled the evidence and produced two papers establishing the existence of the animals. As they were published in German in the journal of the Cologne Zoo, a publication not prominent in the libraries of English speaking universities, they were largely ignored by English speaking scientists. Fortunately, the now defunct International Society of Cryptozoology got hold of them and summarised them in their newsletter. It is these summaries which I now intend to summarise in turn.

Saturday, 3 April 2021

Up Close and Personal with Ogopogo

     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 author was anonymous, but was almost certainly the editor, J. Richard Greenwell, now deceased.

Thursday, 11 March 2021

Apes in North Queensland

      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 sightings as they used to be, but last month a major capital city newspaper provided a glimpse into the situation in north Queensland. I have therefore decided to copy the report which appeared on page 26 of The Sunday Mail (Brisbane) on 7 February 2021.

Friday, 5 February 2021

"Bunyips and Bigfoots" is Back!

      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 paperback and Kindle editions.

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