The Centre for Fortean Zoology was founded in the UK in 1992 - nearly 20 years ago. Over the past two decades it has expanded to become a truly global organisation. We opened our American office in 2001, our Australian office in 2009, and now - in our 19th year - we are proud to welcome CFZ Canada to the CFZ global family.

Friday 10 June 2011

ROBIN PYATT BELLAMY: Canadian Cryptology at a Glance

Canadian Cryptology at a Glance
Regular readers of the CFZ are well versed in the foundations for the study of “officially” unexplained animals. Thousands of creatures are being investigated worldwide, and in North America there is a taste of just about every type of conceivable creature. Canada, specifically, has more than Sasquatch and Ogopogo; much more.

Every province of Canada has a Bigfoot-esque witness report. On the west coast (British Columbia) they tend to call him Sasquatch, toward the east he’s likely Bigfoot. He’s called B’gwas by the Haisla, Boqs by the Bella Coola Tribe, Matlose (W.Canada, Nootkas Tribe), Old Yellow Top (Canada, Ontario), Rugaru (Ojibway), Wendigo (Algonquian), Yeahoh ( Algonkian); the list is diverse as the Canadian population. He has many different hair colors, but is generally described as big and hairy with a face very similar to a human.

Similarly, every province of Canada has a water based cryptid. BC has Ogopogo and Caddy, the Prairies have glacial lakes with possible plesiosaurs or giant sturgeon or any number of interesting aquatic creatures. Canada has the third largest supply of fresh water in the world, the vast majority of which is related to glaciers both old and current. Canada’s Great Slave Lake is deeper than Loch Ness or Lake Champlain, or even Crater Lake, Oregon. Canada’s swimming monsters also appear in all three oceans, each of the Great Lakes, and even a few rivers. Many Giant Squid, one species now off the “cryptid” list, washed ashore in Newfoundland in the late 1800’s. Canadian specialists are also frequently called in to identify the “Montauk” looking corpses of beaver and other wildlife that occasionally stimulate the local imaginations
Probably the most reported flying cryptids come from the Philippines, but Mothman and Thunderbirds have visited Canada from time to time. Culturally, Canada is very diverse so it is often difficult to correctly label what the witness reports—what may be an Ahool to one person could be the near exact description of Owlman by a different culture of Canadians. The large number of aboriginal groups with their own versions of things that fly, in face of things that change shape, complicates the study of many of Canada’s land and air creatures.

Canada shares with other countries in a large number of reports regarding “wee folk” and no real decision has yet to be made on whether these are cryptological, other dimensional, ghost related, or mythology. Paranormal Studies and Investigations Canada (PSICAN) treats these reports according to how the witness categorizes them. Most of the reports of small human-like entities come from the Maritime Provinces and are very similar to East Coast USA reports. Even in one general area, witnesses may perceive the wee ones as ghostly and right next door the witness will consider them cryptids.

Over the next few weeks and months we look forward to introducing you to the “monsters” of Canada and some of the folks who research them. If are in Canada and you have an experience you’d like to share please email Your name, email, and address are always kept confidential. Questions and ideas for articles you’d like to see are also most welcome.

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