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.
I hate these sorts of posts. My heart is heavy and my eyes are filled.
Noted Cryptozoologist/Zoologist Lars Thomas has informed us that his wife, Jeanett, has been found. Sadly, she is not found alive.
About six months ago, Jeanett left for a bookstore in Copenhagen (their home) and disappeared. Her husband and teenage sons have been buried in grief and worry ever since. Several of my colleagues had hoped she had some sort of medical or psychological event and was simply "lost". As horrible as that sounds, it would have been better than this.
Occasionally, sightings of Jeanett would pop up. The homicide bureau was called in. They investigated whether she had been angry or despondent before her disappearance. Cell phones, computers, and store surveillance were all checked thoroughly and the case went cold.
Lars now has a sort of closure, because Jeanett's body has been recovered in Poland. Authorities believe that she fell into Copenhagen Harbour and drowned the night in February where she disappeared. Because of the winter cold, it was likely a quick death but that is little consolation for such a wonderful family. Her body drifted across the Baltic and came ashore in northern Poland in early April. It was only recently that she was identified. Lars is in the process of having her body sent back home, a process that could take weeks. Lars is a zoologist with credentials from the University of Copenhagen and has written over 50 books. He is Denmark's only Cryptozoologist. This video is about his Australian Big Cat sighting.
Click the last link for words from Lars about the shock and loss. There are no words I can add and even worse, no words anyone can utter that will take this away. Godspeed and God Bless you, Jeanett.
Serpentius Niveus (Snow Snake) has been reported in North
America since before European settlers arrived. It is described as a white snake that loves
the cold and has eyes that look like ice.
When aggravated, the eyes are burning red. The size varies considerably,
generally from 3 to 6 feet. It is said
to be covered in a shiny fur of white or pale yellow.
For evidence of snow snakes, look near the trails for a
round or near-round hole in the deep snow, surrounded by a yellowish border. You may detect a faint sulphur odor. This
tunnel is reported to be a trail thru the snow as it hunts for food, or the
entrance to his under-snow lair. Few
actual sightings of live snow snakes have been reported.
Photo by Marilyn Whiteley, Guelph, ON
More recently, the snowsnakes are known to be the nemisis of
skiers and snowboarders. Snowsnakes tend to like to warm them shelves on steep
snow-covered slopes. Their white color makes them impossible to see while
skiing or boarding. They are often the cause for unxplained wipe outs.
Canada is home to 25 species of snakes. None of them are white. Snakes are unable to regulate their body
temperature by generating heat internally.
In the cold Canadian climate, snakes hibernate. If you are reading this article with an eye
toward proving the existence of snow snakes, you are not only gullible, but
very misguided. If a 6 foot long slender
white thing slithers through the snow in Canada, it is definitely not a snake.
Potawatomi, Haudenosaune, Dene, Iroquois, and other native North
American tribes have heard of snow snakes though. The Snowsnake game was used
as a tool for killing caribou during the times when there were no guns. Often in the early morning caribou would be
found lying on the snow covered lakes and it was during this time that the hunters
would slip out onto the lakes and throw a spear-like tool through the snow, into
the caribou’s stomach. Native hunters would practice their throwing techniques
with the spear, or as it is now called, the Snowsnake.
The snow snake is actually a piece of wood. There are two
kinds, a long snake which is 6 feet in length and a short snake which is only 3.
Each is hand carved out of hickory or ash. The snakes are only 3/4 of an inch
Initially to keep their skills sharp, native hunters would
practice throwing their “snakes”. Over
time, this became a game and then a competition event. Snow Snake is played on a track; snow is
piled up at a beginning of the track to a height of about 4 feet, then the
track gradually slopes downward. Sometimes
a log is dragged on top of the snow pile to make the track. Contestants throw their
snowsnakes like javelins, and the winners are those whose snakes go the
The community who has the best throws, wins. Often the best individual throwers win prizes. Perhaps more importantly, the team wins bragging
rights until the next event. These were (and in some places still are) huge
games. Village played village. People shouted for their team. It was an
exciting game of skill, and often a team sport.
Perhaps the reason for so many “sightings” and skier wipeouts
is the cocktail known as the “Snowsnake”.
Ingredients are 1 oz coffee liqueur (tia maria,kahlua), 1 oz whisky (whiskey,bourbon), 1 oz tequila, 4 oz half-and-half, and ice.
It is typically served in a highball glass with no garnish. Heaven only knows what you will see after a
few of those.
BC has it’s own version of the Creature from the black
lagoon—or does it? Back in August of 1972,
the Victoria Daily Times reported that two local teens claimed to have been
chased from the beach at Thetis lake near Victoria, British Columbia. The attacker?
A 5 foot tall, 120 pound silver scaled humanoid with sharp fins on his
On August 19, 1972, the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police)
launched an investigation after teenage boys, 16-year old Robin Flewellyn and
17-year old Gordon Pike, claimed to have been attacked by the creature. The boys reported that they were standing on
the beach near the recreational center when they both saw a sudden swelling of
water just offshore. The creature’s head
and silver-scaled torso rose from the lake came toward the two terrified teens. They ran to their car with the monster on their
heels. Reportedly, the thing attacked
and injured one of the boys, leaving a laceration across his hand. The boys
drove immediately to the RCMP and reported the incident. According to one of the investigating
officers, “The boys seem sincere, and until we determine otherwise we have no
alternative but to continue our investigation.”
Four days later, August 23 at approximately 3:30 pm the
creature was spotted by 12-year old Mike Gold and 14-year old Russell Van Nice,
who were fishing on the opposite side of the lake. The description was very similar to the
original report. According to one of the
“It came out of the water and looked around. Then it went
back into the water. Then we ran! Its body was silver and shaped like an
ordinary body, like a human being body, but it had a monster face, and it was
all scaly with a point sticking out of its head and great big ears and
The RCMP re-launched the investigation but hard evidence was
not found.Soon the story made headlines
in the Victoria Daily Times.The Times commissioned
an artist to create a picture of the beast.A few days later, a newspaper called The Province received a call from a
man who had lost his pet tegu near the lake the year before.This prompted many to believe that this was
what the witnesses actually saw.
Tegus (Tupinambis merianae) are lizards which can grow up to
5-feet in length thrive in the warm climates of Latin America. They rarely
weigh more than 30 pounds. This video
shows average pet tegu behavior:
Others have suggested that a tegu could not survive the BC
climate, but this speculation neglects to take into account that tegus hibernate
in the winter—Argentina, where most pet tegus come from-does have a cold winter
and the local lizards sleep through it. They
can easily withstand nighttime lows in the 70s but need a nice hot sunny spot
to bask in the daytime. They are not,
however, aquatic. It would not be likely
to see a tegu offshore in any lake, whether North or South America.
Junior Skeptic magazine’s Daniel Loxton tracked down a
49-year old Russell Van Nice (one of the young boys involved in the second
sighting) who then claimed, “It was just a big lie… [Mike Gold was] trying to
Local Natives, especially the Kwakiutl Indians, have many
legends of creatures in northern and coastal BC.Loren Coleman lists the Pugwis (also spelled Bukwus
Bakwas, Bookwus, Bukwis, Buk'wus, , Pu Gwis, Pu'gwis, and other ways) as a
possible explanation for this sighting. The
Pugwis, however, is described as “a skeletal, long-haired wild man who is a
ghost associated with drowning victims.He tries to tempt humans into eating ghost food and therefore becoming pugwis/bukwus
themselves.This is the only relevance
to water—that this ghost is associated with drowning victims.The Pugwi is not an aquatic creature.
Haida tribes have stories of creatures who were once
men. Of these stories the “devilfish”
might be a close cousin, but given that this creature is described more like an
octopus, it would not be our Thetis Lake monster. References to a nonclassified
"water-beast" occur in many groups in and around the British Columbia
coast and appear on clan crests. One aquatic beast is called the “sea wolf”
but it is much larger and covered in fur rather than scales. In a classic tale of the son with the nagging
mother-in-law, the badgered son kills a lake monster, the Wasgo, and
impersonates it. The Wasgo is aquatic,
extremely powerful, carnivorous, toothed, tailed, and finned. Another legendary
creature is described as a long, with huge mouth and teeth and in every other
respect like a serpent. Called Haietlik, it is said the natives offered twenty
sea-otter skins for a specimen as a piece of this magic animal insures success
at all times. Up the coast into Alaska,
the Eskimos speak of a carnivorous sea-serpent "Tirichik" or
"Mauraa", or the "nikaseenithulooyee," which is something
like an alligator.
Ancient petroglyphs in the region have been specifically
labeled as referring to Sisiutls, Wasgos, or Haietliks by tribal descendants. The petroglyphs seem to refer to an
elongated, aquatic animal with some projection on the head, and a swimming
None of the Amerindian legends seem to describe exactly the
Thetis Lake Monster. There is, however,
enough evidence of oddities in the area to prohibit researchers from completely
dismissing the sightings. Loren Coleman
reports that sightings continue, including one by Freshwater Fisheries Society
of B.C. instructor Jesse Martin from 2006 (again in August). Martin saw the creature on land only, coming
at him from nearby bushes. He reported
that his car had scratch marks and fish scales where the beast tried to attack
him. Coleman verified the story with
Martin in March of this year and the witness stands by his report.
Coleman also provides
this list of similar sightings:
in Fairfield, on a porch eating cat food,
Esquimalt Lagoon, in an old building, at Royal Road,
At Lost Lake
in Blenkinsopp Valley,
In the Nanaimo
River, caught on fishing line, and
In the lakes
at Beacon Hill Park.
Thetis Lake was established in1958 and was the first regional conservation area in Canada. The lake is about 20 minutes from Victoria, located next to the Old Island Highway. It encompasses approximately 831 hectares of protected forest and parkland and is a popular spot for fishing and boating, as well as hiking.
Local historian Ross Crockford cautions that the advice given in Haden Blackman's 1998 Field Guide to North American Monsters to carry a flaming torch to defend oneself from the monster is probably more dangerous than a monster, given the tinder-dry nature of the park.
not a tegu, can we consider the Thetis Lake Monster real? There does seem to be physical evidence that
something odd is in the neighborhood.
Something injured a teen in 1972 and marked a car in 2006. As August 2012 approaches, perhaps another
report will be filed.
A new iPhone app has been released to help your hunt for Bigfoot. Legend Tracker, a new app available at iTunes, is an interactive geocaching game designed to bring visitors to Mission, BC businesses by assisting them as they search for local "legends." collecting gold coins and tools to help them along the way. The app is a combination of GPS, video game, and social media.
Play Mobility inventors Tammy Meyers and Miles Marziani say Legend Tracker has legends like the Sasquatch for the Fraser Valley and Ogopogo for the Okanagan, with businesses already signed up to be a part of the gaming experience. There are over 1,200 registered "legends" worldwide. Businesses sign up to be part of the game, increasing traffic to the stores and giving users virtual treasure to find at each business. It also has "enemy eagles" that can grab the gold that has been collected, thereby setting the gamer back significantly and prolonging the search.
The legends, sadly, are not "real" in the sense that they will bring in more grainy photographs of Sasquatch and the like. The inventors have put in virtual legends--a virtual Sasquatch for example--that can be "found" for prizes. The virtual Sasquatch is, of course, constantly moving.
Included in the app is a large number of features. In addition to themed treasure maps and geolocation services, there are a number of other "helpers" for the quest. It is cross-platform and supports internet, microphone, camera and telephone in addition to accelerometer (a device that measures proper acceleration, also called the four-acceleration. This proper acceleration is associated with the weight of a test mass), magnetometer, compass and "augmented reality".
Legend Tracker is available free on iTunes for iPhone and Android.
are not real, U.S. government declares”
This was an LA Times headline on July 5, 2012.If we can get past the fact that this is
neither “breaking” nor “news”, what is left is a headline that is
misleading.The article cited for the Times story is actually
a blog entry for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA)which
states "No evidence of aquatic humanoids has ever been found."That is not the same as “they don’t exist.”
NOAA dates back to 1807.The first scientific agency for
the US, the Survey of the Coast, was the precursor to this group and now the NOAA
maintains a presence in every state and is an international leader on
scientific and environmental matters.
Service, and Stewardship.
understand and predict changes in climate, weather, oceans, and coasts, To share
that knowledge and information with others, and To conserve
and manage coastal and marine ecosystems and resources.
The NOAA is
a division of the Department of Commerce and its Under Secretary is appointed
by the President of the US (with approval from Congress).Serious scientists with government funding
claiming that merpeople did not exist would be something to sit up and take
notice of. They did not, however, say they didn’t exist.They said there was no evidence they existed.
be a different opinion here in Canada.While
no biological evidence has surfaced to support mermaids here, there are several
interesting other pieces to consider.
(called yawkyawks in Australia) first appeared in stories in Assyria, about1000 BC. Atargatis was a goddess who loved a
mortal shepherd and in the process killed him. Ashamed, she jumped into a lake
to take the form of a fish., but the
waters would not conceal her divine beauty. Thereafter, she took the form of a
mermaid - human above the waist, fish below. The Greek philosopher Anaximander proposed
that mankind had sprung from an aquatic species of animal. This idea reappeared
as the Aquatic ape hypothesis in the twentieth century. A popular Greek legend has Alexander the
Great's sister, Thessalonike, turn into a mermaid after she died and when
sailors would encounter her, she would ask them only one question: "Is
Alexander the king alive?", to which the correct answer would be "He
lives and still rules".Any other answer enraged her and she
transformed into a Gorgon and doomed for the ships and every sailor onboard. The Arabian Nights (One Thousand and One
Nights) includes several tales featuring "Sea People",anatomically identical to land-bound humans,
differing only in their ability to breathe and live underwater.
Arabian Nights tales deal with lost ancient technologies, advanced ancient
civilizations that went astray, and catastrophes which overwhelmed them, very much
like Atlantis stories.In some of these
stories, following the mermaids' beautiful
voices leads to confusion and often death.
were noted in British folklore as well.They were thought to fortell (and often provoke) disaster. The ballad of Sir Patrick Spens depicts a
mermaid speaking to doomed ships; in
some versions, she tells them they will never see land again, and in others,
she claims they are near shore.They can
also be a sign of rough weather. Mermen were also noted as wilder and uglier
than mermaids, but they were described as having little interest in humans.
mermaids were described as up to 2000 feet long/tall. They could also swim up rivers to freshwater
lakes. One story is that Laird of Lorntie saw a woman drowning, and went to aid her but a
servant of his pulled him back, warning that it was a mermaid.The mermaid screamed after that she would
have killed him if it were not for his servant. On other occasions, mermaids
could be more beneficent, giving humans means of cure.
ancient Chinese fairytales the mermaid is a special species can knit beautiful
translucent material and whose tears can turn into priceless pearls.Fishermen longed to catch them, but a mermaids'
singing can drag them to coma. Fishermen who want to catch mermaids are a
symbol of negative character.
from other cultures are the Mami Wata of West and Central Africa, the Jengu of
Cameroon, the Merrow of Ireland and Scotland, the Rusalkas of Russia and
Ukraine, the Iara from Brazil and the Greek Oceanids, Nereids, and Naiads.The mermaid, or syrenka, has been the symbol
of Warsaw in Poland since the middle of the 14th century. Several legends
associate Triton of mythology with the city, which may have been where the
association with mermaids originated. Among
the Neo-Ta’no nations of the Caribbean the mermaid is called Aycayia. A
freshwater mermaid-like creature from Europe is Melusine, who is sometimes
depicted with two fish tails, or the lower body of a serpent. Mermaids and
mermen are also characters of Philippine folklore, locally known as sirena and
siyokoy. The Javanese believe that the
southern beach in Java is a home of Javanese mermaid queen Nyi Roro Kidul.
two Canadian reports from the area of Vancouver and Victoria, one from sometime
between 1870 and 1890, the other from 1967.A late 19th Century newspaper described how three local men in
the Point Gray, BC area (where the University of BC is now) went out fishing
with an native guide.They reportedly
saw a mermaid with yellow hair and brown skin rise her upper body above the
surface of the water, very close to their boat, and stare at them. The guide was quite upset
by the sighting and told the men that it was a bad omen.In
1967, BC Ferry passengers saw what they claimed to be a mermaid sitting on
rocks at the entrance to Active Pass, Victoria, BC. Reports indicated that the
mermaid had long blonde hair, the lower body of a porpoise and was sitting on
the rocks eating a salmon. Photos taken by a man in an aircraft support the
ferry passengers' description. The Victoria Times-Colonist reported the
sighting and printed the photo. I have
not been able to locate this photo.
many places and businesses use the word “mermaid” in their titles, the only
other Canadian mermaid legend that is well known comes from New Brunswick.A native tribe called Pestomuhkati inhabited
the area of the St Croix River and the Bay of Fundy.The current Pestomukkati/Passamaquoddy live
in Charlotte County, New Brunswick, and maintain active land claims but have no
legal status in Canada as a First Nation. Some Passamaquoddy continue to seek
the return of territory now comprised in St. Andrews, New Brunswick which they
claim as Qonasqamkuk, a Passamaquoddy ancestral capital and burial ground.Their history is primarily oral and the
mermaid legend is as follows:
A long time
ago there was an Indian, with his wife and two daughters. They lived by a great
lake, or the sea, and the mother told her girls never to go into the water
there, for that, if they did, something would happen to them.
however, deceived her repeatedly. When swimming is prohibited it becomes
delightful. The shore of this lake sands away out or slopes to an island. One
day they went to it, leaving their clothes on the beach. The parents missed
went to seek them. He saw them swimming far out, and called to them. The girls
swam up to the sand, but could get no further. Their father asked them why they
could not. They cried that they had grown to be so heavy that it was
impossible. They were all slimy; they grew to be snakes from below the waist.
After sinking a few times in this strange slime they became very handsome, with
long black hair and large, bright black eyes, with silver bands on their neck
father went to get their clothes, they began to sing in the most exquisite
Do not touch
them! Leave them
this, their mother began to weep, but the girls kept on:-
It is all
our own fault,
But do not
blame us; It will be
none the worse for you. When you go
in your canoe, Then you
need not paddle; We shall
carry it along!
And so it
was: when their parents went in the canoe, the girls carried it safely on everywhere.
One day some
Indians saw the girls' clothes on the beach, and so looked out for the wearers.
They found them in the water, and pursued them, and tried to capture them, but
they were so slimy that it was impossible to take them, till one, catching hold
of a mermaid by her long black hair, cut it off.
girl began to rock the canoe, and threatened to upset it unless her hair was
given to her again. The fellow who had played the trick at first refused, but
as the mermaids, or snake-maids, promised that they should all be drowned
unless this was done, the locks were restored. And the next day they were heard
singing and were seen, and on her who had lost her hair it was all growing as
long as ever.
9, 1493, Italian explorer Christopher Columbus sailed near the Dominican
Republic and saw three "mermaids"--in reality manatees--and described
them as "not half as beautiful as they are painted."Certainly many mermaid sightings may be
attributed to these sea cows, but as they are primarily warm water animals it
is unlikely that European and Canadian sightings can be explained in this way.