Sunday, April 19, 2015

DOWN IN THE CRYPTO-DUMPS, part three: Hairy Humanoids.


Another one of our mysteries which is set in stone in the ancient mind --- either those old folks had no clue whatever, or we don't.

Ivan had several classic illustrations of hairy wild men which formed part of his ideas on the "Wudewasa" of Europe's past, and I'll just post a few here. The above is, I believe, a fragment of a painting study by Hans Durer {I've never heard of Hans Durer; Albrecht Durer yes.} .

All of these are interesting, but the very bottom drawings intrigue. I notice that the picturing of the Ourang-outan is quite like the drawing of the wildman by Bontius, and that slides right into the drawing by Gesner of Breydenbach's apeman. This in turn reflects upon the next picture.

These are illustrations for Breydenbach's Travels in the Holy Land. Our wildman is at the bottom right, and it, if just an orangutan is pictured with a tool and leading a camel. Well, that is at least odd. Other than the "orangutan/wildman", the camel, giraffe, crocodile and long-eared sheep seem uncontroversial. But what about the giant salamander and the unicorn? The unicorn has as "Narwhal-looking" a horn on it as any I've seen. Is Breydenbach just a wholesale liar?? He states unmistakenly: " These animals are truly depicted just as we saw them in the Holy Land." What's going on? The only way that I can think to rescue his reputation would be to say that he visited some notorious stuffed animal museum which contained real and whizzed up animals.

........ or he could have really seen a unicorn and a giant salamander.

But we don't want to think about that, I guess. Too Out Proctor with too little data.

Alright. Pushing onward into the Bush: GIANTS.

Ummm.... ugly. Can The True and The Ugly be one? Though Plato didn't think so, {he of "the good, the true, the beautiful" idealism}, he must have not taken himself literally in the popular definition sense of beauty, since, despite what the guy in The Princess Bride said, he was not a moron. Our Native Americans believed in a true race of giants and one of their artists is telling us that we are now looking at one. ... Sasquatch with a shave and a haircut??

Ivan published at least three articles in PURSUIT on the subject of Giants. The first claimed that Lundy Island [a small piece of land in the general gap between Wales and Cornwall] had two ancient coffins containing two eight-foot skeletons plus "sacrificed slaves". Upon trying to track this claim down, SITU got nowhere except to hear that the original writer of the newsclipping got his "data" from an "older clipping" and "reference books", all unnamed and unfound.

A second article listed several dispersed claims. a]. 100 miles south of Tug Hill, PA remains of a people of giant size; b]. Sayopa, Sonora Mexico old cemetery of burials of men averaging eight feet; c]. El Boquin, Chontates District, Nicaragua gigantic man with head missing. {Ivan noted that Chontates is an indian word meaning "wildman"}; d]. Island off southern Florida eight foot tall human skeletons embedded in the sand; e]. Tioga Point, Bradford county PA 68 men buried in a mound, averaging seven feet tall; this last group was said to have evidence of horns on their heads. ... I think that I'll pass on these ... for more than one reason.

The third article was an examination of a claim repeated by Ivan himself in his classic Abominable Snowman: a Legend Come to Life. In that he spoke of a giant skull found during WWII on the very western tip of the Aleutian Island chain. The catalyst for this PURSUIT article was the appearance of an old Sanderson acquaintance who was on site when the thing was uncovered. This man had scolded Ivan for not asking him about the claim before publishing it in his book. Ivan retorted: "I didn't know you were there!!" The man [kept anonymous by Sanderson] went on to describe uncovering the damaged and degenerating skull of what he called an Icthyosaur [Ivan disagreed with that identification while buying that this thing was not human], which had lost part of its beak, and was in the process of losing the rest. The seamen were referring to it as The Giant, while not knowing what they were talking about. Ivan then rejected the spectacular claim, and with the new data decided that something like a bottle-nosed dolphin was a better guess.

There were also two articles from something called Forgotten Ages. These things were entitled "The Sons of Goliath, parts one and two".These articles were loaded with giant claims and far too dense for me to detail here. I'll give a too-brief thumbnail. Part one was more worldwide while part two was almost entirely US focussed. Part one listed claims of the following sort: a]. 1928 Ecuadoran Central Railroad blasting crew--- eight foot and nine foot giants. b]. about same year, Gargayan, Philippines --- seventeen foot tall skeleton; c]. also same period, Ceylon --- thirteen foot skeletons; d]. 1960 Tura, Assam, India --- eleven foot skeleton --- "authorities" dismiss it as "only" the bones of an ape ... uhhh, just an eleven foot ape? Sure, no news there; e]. 1969 Terracina Italy --- fifty tiled coffins each containing a skeleton between 6 1/2 and 8 feet tall; f]. 1891 Crittendon, Arizona --- sarcophagus with skeleton 12 feet tall; g]. 1911 and 1931 and 1939 Lovelock, Nevada --- several skeletons and mummies between 6 1/2 and 9 feet tall, between 8 and 10 feet tall, and one seven feet seven inches; h]. 1879 Brewersville, Indiana --- number of skeletons one of which was 9 feet 8 inches tall; i]. 1925 Walkerton Indiana --- eight skeletons 8 to 9 feet tall; and eight more instances, most of which were from Minnesota. In one of those "mound stories" it was insisted that among the remains were the bones of HORSES despite them not being native to the continent.

Part two of this hard-working review piece, concentrated on the idea that not only was the North American continent littered with the remains of giants, but that the Native Americans knew this all along. These giants went by the names of the "Sitecah" or the "Allegewi" or the "Telligewi" [among doubtless others]. They were considered to be the legendary opponents of the current tribes, of great size, fair skin, outstanding understanding of technology, and the builders of the mound culture. The academic archaeologists and anthropologists cringe horribly at even the thought of this, as it is academic cant that the Native American peoples built all of that themselves --- I by the way am happy with the thought that the direct ancestors of the current peoples were the Mound Builders, but in the spirit of Charles Fort severely disapprove of having such conclusions as basic "untouchables" built right into the psyches of a whole tribe of academics by training [programming]. It should at least give a little pause when native elders and shamans tell you a different story.

The part two goes on to fire even more shots across the academic bows, bringing up the much argued "Chinese exploration of the Americas" as claimed documented in the Shan Nai King. Herein it is claimed that America was well explored in the 2000BC era, and two areas of Giant inhabitation were found [The East Coast and the Western Deserts, if you're interested]. The Chinese called the latter "The Great Men's Country". There was also a somewhat lengthy description of something that has totally eluded me over my 75 years --- the lost work of a student of Plato, Theopompus of Chios, who allegedly wrote something called the Meropidae. {I've got to look this up and see if it's even real}. This thing, a dialogue between King Midas and the Satyr Silenos [THAT would have been one great conversation to sit in on --- hah!], purported to describe the inhabitants of the land across the ocean. Guess what? They were giants. ... and two types of giants. Supposedly, they came across the ocean once, landing in Hyperborea [Great Britain], whereupon they were confronted by a happy and strong people [The Druids no doubt].

Well, much fun. I haven't a clue as to whether any thing of this is real, except one thing: Native American legends are rife with images of physically real large humanoid somethings-or-other having intelligence. How does that relate to Sasquatch? That's your job now.

CHINESE WILDWOMEN: Some time ago on the blog I presented several entries on the materials in some rare Russian monographs held by Ivan in his collection. Among the many fascinating things in those books were tales of violent aggressive female Yeti/Almas/whatevers. As you see below, they seem to have shown up again.

This should be expected I guess, as even Bhutan has memorialized the wild female side of this exotic mystery in its postage stamps.

Interesting to me to read of an interview with Eric Shipton, being as his famous Yeti print is such a big deal in this ABSM data bank. 

The rest of this small article continues below --- I couldn't get the scale correctly matched, but it's the same article....

I, as always, am puzzled by things that more veteran researchers would not be. My puzzlement here is why Shipton showed a "human" proportioned footprint rather than his famous "ape" proportioned one. This lecture would have taken place in about 1975, as the article appeared in Bigfoot News of January 1976.

For those who don't know what I'm talking about {rest easy, most people don't know what I'm talking about}, the above is the famous photograph of the track. As you see, it's not very much like a humanlike foot, but much more resembles that of an ape with a possible prehensile big toe. Why would the aging Shipton not show his classic picture?, or if he did, why would veteran Bigfoot researchers speak of it as a human foot, albeit kingsized? Sometimes I think that the world is playing pranks on me ... Whoa! Can't go that route! Not only Out Proctor, but LOST Out Proctor! 


..... a sharp-eyed researcher spots a hoax.

This letter also relates in a way to a small packet of letters exchanged between John Green and Sabina Sanderson [just post Ivan's death], concerning their shared belief that Peter Byrne was untrustworthy as an ABSM researcher, in the particular instance of the famous old "Jacko" Bigfoot case. {I'm not going to wash that dirty laundry here, just letting you know that the Sandersons and John Green didn't hold Byrne in high regard. The letter above by the way is by neither Green nor the Sandersons}. 

HAPPIER WILD STUFF: Percy Fawcett's Amazonian Giants. 

If you can't trust this guy, well at least don't tell him that at the local saloon. 

A map sent to PURSUIT purported to focus on this mystery --- frankly not too closely, but it's fun anyway.

This is the internet version of the location of the Guapore River bordering Brazil and Bolivia, from which Fawcett turned northwards towards the Machado. The correspondent sent this map below to illustrate the encounter area where Fawcett and his team were abandoned by the locals to face the violent hairy primitives alone. 

All readers should pack their bags and get their tickets and go exploring. Hey! What kinds of Forteans are you anyway!? 

The scenery is beautiful and there's a good elevated butte on which you'll find Challenger's Lost World. So get going! 


No, that's not a comment on my previous enthusiasms. But the Australian version of Yeti might feel that way. There were two Yowie things in this cryptodump. The article claimed to be able to characterize the Yowie by comparing many witness accounts. And the answer is:

That sort of approach is something that seems fairly rational and sort of "proto-science", if the credibility quotients of the case reports are good. The following newsclipping however pushes things beyond comfort zone to say the least:

Ummmm.... dropping down to see what's happening eh?? 

The Yowie subject did mention an oldtimer character who seemed to have something to do with this cryptomystery though: H. James McCooey.

Though appearing a bit disreputable in the picture above [and in fact having all manner of rough up-against-the-law claims against him], McCooey seems to have been a legitimate accomplished animal recorder and collector and species finder. In short, he was a heck of a good old-style in-the-woods naturalist. McCooey said that he had collected many stories of a large Australian ape and had seen what he thought was the animal himself. A lot of this activity was in the mountains of NSW. 

Another good spot for you guys to go exploring: the Blue Mountains. 

Whether we find the Yowie or not, I liked the following case just slipped in quietly at the end of the article: 

.... High Strangeness .... pure oxygen for the soul. 

And with that I'll give us both a break. 

Not sure what's next in the crypto-dump pile. Some "thing" will doubtless pop up.



  1. Thank you, as always, for sharing these items from the ITS/SITU files.
    Let me clear up some items you have posted, with a bit more content, which might clear up some hard-to-understand sentences you are sharing - under "Shipton."
    Just because a newsletter was in ITS files does not mean it reflects what he might have thought or considered factual in terms of Yeti facts. For example, you posted extracts from "BFN" for about 1975, after ITS had died. The "Bigfoot News" was Peter Byrne's newsletter, and it reflects, excuse me, Byrne's slabby language, descriptions, and historical data. For example, Byrne's mistake in linking the etymology of "Abominable Snowmen" to his mythic tale of a "abominably-smelling man of the snows" translation has been repeated in his newsletter, television interviews, and books, but there is no basis in it. The use of "Abominable Snowman" happened in 1921, when Henry Newman, a longtime contributor to The Statesman in Calcutta, writing under the pen name "Kim," interviewed the porters of the Everest Reconnaissance Expedition on their return to Darjeeling. Newman mistranslated the word "metoh" as "filthy," substituting the term "abominable," perhaps out of artistic license. It has nothing to do with smell, and was an error in transliteration. Peter Byrne melodramatically tells his "abominable smells" story, over and over, but it just is not true.

    Regarding the use of "human-like" in the newsletter, then, by Byrne, that is Bryne's description (please note, not Shipton's) of the famed five-toed photos from 1951, which is shown. The only footprint that Shipton would have described in his lecture would have been the famed individual strangely shaped five toed track. As most people knew, by 1975, except apparently Byrne, the line of prints were different than the famous individual foot print. The trail of tracks taken by Shipton were never considered to have been from a Yeti. They were left by a form of Himalayan mountain-dwelling goats (such as the takin or tahr).

  2. BTW, this is the famed footprint that was never cast (in snow, of course), but only photographed. A Russian zoologist living in London decided to do something about this dilemma. That person was Wladimir Tschernezky of the Zoology Department, Queen Mary College, Mile End Road, London, United Kingdom. As he explained in a contribution to Nature 186, 496-497 (7 May 1960): “The clearness of the tracks of the ‘Snowman’ shown in the photograph taken by Eric Shipton has enabled me to make a reconstruction of its foot. This has been used to produce imprints in snow which show a great similarity to the natural tracks, suggesting that the model is accurate.”

    Tschernezky’s created cast, the apparent first one made from the Shipton cast, was detailed in Nature in “A Reconstruction of the Foot of the ‘Abominable Snowman’.”

    One of the better records of the making of Tschernezky’s cast and the respect it was given among Abominable Snowmen researchers is contained in Odette Tchernine’s The Snowman and Company (London: Robert Hale, 1961). Tchernine, a Russian herself living in London, interviewed Tschernezky about his research. She quoted him as saying, “The greatest service that Shipton has given the world is not found in his impressive and valuable mountaineering experiences, and his reconnaissance of Everest, but is found in these photographs he took of the Snowman’s tracks. And time will prove my words.” (pp. 102-103)

    Tchernine wrote: “During different periods of leave from his [Tschernezky's] regular work he had experimented with one of the footprint photographs taken by Eric Shipton on the Menlung Glacier in 1951. This was enlarged to actual size, and he experimented with a plaster cast he made according to the structure shown in the print.”

    Tschernezky detailed what he found in his reconstructions: “The Snowman footprints photographed by Eric Shipton preserved certain particular details, such as imprints of each toe and the small snow partitions separating them. That proves that the track was not deformed through melting. So it is possible to establish the systematic position of this mysterious creature experimentally.”

    “Moulded on Shipton’s photograph of the footprint enlarged to its nature size, I modelled a plaster cast of the foot (Figure C in my new photographs). I established the correctness of the artificial model by producing an artificial track from it on snow (crushed ice). I then compared the result with the original, natural-size photographs of the footprint in the actual snow. The similarity is revealing.” Tschernezky revealed to Tchernine.

  3. While Tschernezky’s name was formally published as “Wladimir” in Nature, Tchernine gave his name as the phonetic ”Vladimir,” as she used in her book’s Chapter Ten title, “Vladimir Tschernezky’s Experiments.”

    In an editorial in the New Scientist, May 12, 1960, it is noted that Mr. W. Tschernezky, a technician in the Zoology Department at Queen Mary College, writes in Nature that he “painstakingly reconstructed in plaster the foot which made Mr. Shipton’s print.” The New Scientist writer says that “Tschernezky has convinced me that the Snowman must be taken seriously. The Shipton footprint, as he shows, is markedly different from those made by men, gorillas, languars or the Himalayan black bears. The New Scientist author is intrigued by Tschernezky’s notion that the Yeti might be a surviving Gigantopithecus: “The idea of a sort of land-based coelacanth, a living fossil skulking in the mountains of Tibet, takes the whole concept of the Snowman out of the science fiction category.”

    Tschernezky would discuss this cast again in the January 1975 issue of The Mankind Quarterly (pp. 163-177), in his paper “The Unpublished Tracks of Snowman or Yeti” by W. Tschernezky and C.R. Cooke.

    “Tschernezky even went to the trouble of making a plaster cast of the image in the Shipton Photo and testing its function,” wrote Gian J. Quasar. In his Recasting Bigfoot (San Francisco: Brodwyn-Moor & Doane, 2010), Quasar uses a drawing (above) of Tschernezky’s cast throughout his book, and labels it correctly, “This shows the left foot from the bottom.”

    It was a copy of Tschernezky’s cast that Ivan T. Sanderson had in his SITU collection, and would show people down through the years.

    1. Thanks for filling out this part of the post. It makes me feel a lot better about the Shipton print [which I always liked anyway in my ignorance], now that I can see the weird language of BFN as sloppy thinking/reporting by Byrne.


  4. When Loren Gross wrote his histories, he knew that 1958 contained far fewer reports than the flap year of 1957. Some of this was, of course, from diminished press interest, but mainly from fewer reports from all sources.. However, what surprise him and me were the number of reports in 1959. After dumping 1959 items from CUFOS and other sources in his lap, he told me he had not expected this much material. In many minds 1959 was in the quiet era running to 1963. While 1959 was not a blockbuster year, there were indeed a respectable number of reports with some of high quality.

    1. Thanks, Jan ... but I think that you meant to post this on the 1959 blog entry ---- and, sorry, but this blogmonster wouldn't let me shift it over there, so we'll make do here.



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