Sunday, May 31, 2015

Down in the Cryptodumps, part last: Stuff that Ivan was reading.

Last entry on the big pile of miscellaneous cryptozoological chaos which accumulated in an anomalies dump box with no filing. It gives me GREAT pleasure to wrap this small part of the four dump boxes up. 
Most of these things to follow are bits which I found in the SITU files [also chaotic there] and thought interesting enough to photocopy before they disappeared beneath the thermodynamic noise content never to break surface again. This particular set of articles/newsclips etc was stacked together in a way that indicated that Ivan had read them together. So, without further delay: 

This is a famous 1910 article reporting on the alleged sighting of a dinosaur in central East Africa. 
I won't have much insight on most of these articles but I believe that I know just a little about Sanderson's opinion of this one. That's because it rested on the authority of Carl Hagenbeck. Ivan saw Hagenbeck as an outstanding example of his own "tribe", animal collectors and zoo providers. If Ivan had an ideal profession, that was his passion. Because this claim of extant African dinosaurs was a claim of a hero, I believe that Sanderson saw it as strongly likely. As he said: "Hagenbeck was no fool." 

..... and once you accept Hagenbeck, other claims, such as this in a 1919 clipping [unfortunately by a much less known guy] are pretty easy to buy into. I am intrigued by the fact that the location here is Congo --- almost right on top of the claimed area of our later Mokele mBembe claims which got Roy Mackal, Richard Greenwell, and Herman Regusters exploring there 60 years later. 

Ivan didn't have this drawing in these files, just a typed version of an 1819 report of an African explorer traveling up the western coast, and once getting to Gabon, hearing tales of a giant "ourang-utan" called the "Ingeena." The illustration is from Paul duChaillu's book about his extensive [and amazing] travels through central Africa and could fairly be used to illustrate this 1819 claim. In those days, "we" had discovered the Orangutang but not yet the Gorilla. In Africa tales were however coming in that there were two "mysteries" afoot there. The "Lesser Mystery" turned out to be the Chimpanzee. The "Greater Mystery"= the Gorilla. 

The 1819 story told a weird tale of the Ingeena being almost impossible to fight due to its incredible strength, but that you could win due to its stupid imitative behaviors [the origin of the idea of "ape-ing"]. The Ingeena it was said would see us carrying wood on our shoulders and pile so much wood on its own and carry it around endlessly, that it would exhaust itself and you could dispatch it. Other ridiculous claims like this were also made. 

These tales sound so much like the primitive ideas that we had about the Gorilla that it's hard for me to credit them with anything else ... but Ivan seemed looking at them as if they might hint of a "third" mystery ape. 

An 1816 article [typed only] was in the pile. It spoke of a Flathead River, WA experience reported by hunters in the wilderness. Allegedly a bear broke into their camp and grabbed one of the men, then rose on two feet and ran rapidly away on a two-legged sprint. The illustration above is of the recent case of a urban-going bear which walked two-legged all over town. So, bears with a reason [this one had both front paws damaged] can walk on twos just fine. 

So, it's possible that the hunters' tale of the temporary abduction of one of their buddies was true. What one wonders however is whether the Bigfoot Albert Ostman tale decades later relates to this at all. Did Ostman have a bear encounter and embellish it by morphing it into Bigfoot? Ivan doesn't tell us why he was interested in this. 

There was a 1781 report from Quebec with quite charming descriptions of [as far as I'm concerned] walruses and lake sturgeon --- both of which had wowed the writer [he considered the walrus a sea monster]. The diagram included above is my addition not the writer's. 

The writer also said that there was another mystery beast called the seawolf --- again no illustration, so I've appended one sort of old representation of a seawolf. Frankly the author's description sounds like neither the beast above nor my own favorite seawolf [the Wasgo/Sisiutl] but rather another form of walrus-like creature. Why was Ivan interested? Who knows?

A 1778 article described encounters with a wildman of the Pyrenees Mountains. In this case my appended picture isn't far off. Here's a quote: 

"In the year 1774, a savage, or wild man, was discovered by the shepherds, who fed their flocks in the neighborhood of the forest of Yuary. This man, who inhabited the rocks that lay near the forest, was very tall, covered with hair, like a bear, nimble as the Hisars, of a gay humor, and, in all appearance, of a solid character, as he neither did, nor seemed to intend, harm to any body. He often visited the cottages, without ever attempting to carry off anything. He had no knowledge of bread, milk, or cheese. His greatest amusement was to see the sheep running, and to scatter them, and he testified his pleasure at this sight by loud fits of laughter, but never attempted to hurt these innocent animals. When the shepherds (as was frequently the case) let loose their dogs after him, he fled with the swiftness of an arrow shot from a bow, and never allowed the dogs to come near him. One morning he came to the cottage of some workmen, and one of them endeavouring to get near him, and catch him by the leg, he laughed heartily, and then made his escape. He seemed to be about thirty years of age." 

..... the author then went on to assume that this must have been a human abandoned in the forest long ago, who grew up subsisting on local plants. {Not too long thereafter, in early 1800s France, such a "wolfchild", the "Wild Boy of Aveyron", would become the most famous such abandoned survivor in the world, if you discount Romulus and Remus.}

Ivan probably saw in this story a possible primitive humanoid, his favorite of which was the Wudewasa --- and who knows? maybe he was.

The reference to "nimble as a Hisar" flummoxes me, and the widest stretch that I can come up with there is that it could be slang for the fantastically successful and agile Polish cavalry, the Winged Hussars. These forgotten troops were essentially invincible for 100 years of fighting during the 1600s.

The next bit was from the journals of Alexander Henry and David Thompson, 1799-1814. This reference was by Henry, and to the local Native American "Saulters" of the Northwest Great Lakes, that an animal was known there at that time called by them Kitche Amick, or, a giant beaver. I always thought that this sort of thing was a joke, forgetting that such animals DID exist in palaeolithic times or a little earlier. The tale here was of an armed Saulter seeing an animal on the water which he thought was a moose, but was then seen to be a giant beaver. These animals, being felt to be spirit animals, the Saulter refused to shoot. {Saulter is the old French name for the Ojibwe.}

Second to last is a letter in Ivan's files from a guy named Curtis L. Gibson. This letter [sent to someone else] Ivan had copied to his Thunderbird file. The fellow, who I've never heard of, stated plainly that he was an authority on all Fortean Lore {Wow!}, had neatly wrapped all cryptozoology up in a three-point nutshell. Ready?

All cryptozoological claims are due to one of three things:
1). "natural" biological species not recognized by zoologists. He gave as examples super-condor, sea serpent, sasquatch, and a subclass of this category including things like mermaids and satyrs. He kind of lost me there --- biological or not, big fella?
2). "metempsychic creatures": everything you can imagine with "were-" stuck in front of it. These things are completely physical, and only [violating all reason, but a casual matter to Gibson] morph into entirely different forms whenever they want to. He also had a subclass here which included witches, who he said were "slightly more supernatural" --- I can't wrap my head around that and am not sure I want to.
3). Animate robots which are the products of UFOs, and probably left behind by them, or possibly similar creatures which have been inserted into our environments by some technological intrusion. I suppose that you COULD explain about anything with hypotheses like that.

He then comes SLIGHTLY more down to Earth by discussing some claims that the original letter writer posed to him.

The first was that there is no doubt that Satyrs "still" occupy the desert area of Babylon. He said that he had explained this all in his earlier article in Explore The Beyond magazine in 1960. He based his certitude on the sighting of such by a British traveler whose story he read in an unnamed book, PLUS the Bible says that satyrs will be the eternal inhabitants of Babylon along with bats. He does seem to have great trust in biblical things.

His second topic might have more legs, or wings. It was about the large salt desert bird nests found in Utah. The crypto part of this was the flurry of letters he said his article got about these things, which included thunderbird sightings in that area.

He followed that up with a report from a man in Canada who said that he had seen giant birds several times at a lake there {please tolerate the Japanese film monster picture; his claims weren't that big.} Gibson refused to name the exact location as he did not want tourists crowding in there and extincting the animals.

Apparently some winged creatures were visiting the St. Louis region at that time [c.1971], and he thought that he had the solution for that. {Buckle up on this one}. He saw this as a future projection coming back 100 years or so in time. But that's not all of it. Such things happen when a member of a cult merging Christianity and Trance Exercises doses off [in Church --- he said it, not me]. If this fellow is of exceptional psychic strength he will create in his dreams physical manifestations which will appear not in his own time, but in the past.

Uhhh.... OK.

Lastly, he allowed that many of our unusual creatures past and present have been the aliens abandoning their pets. When they do this in pairs or more, these animals will breed a new colony of alien animals sooner or later to be seen by us. This explains most of Earth's humanoid species.

Uhhh... don't bother to get up, I'll let myself out.

One wonders how much of this Ivan paid any attention to, or why he had it in his notes at all. Maybe the Canadian thunderbirds.

The last thing for today was not during Ivan's period --- just a note stuck in among the rest.

In 1985, at a campsite near Greenwater Texas, a couple said that a big [8-foot] hairy [brown curly] heavily built [must have weighed a ton] bear had strode into their camp and --- ready?--- asked them if they had permission to camp there. Not believing their protestations, the bear told them to get off the premises. To hurry them along, the bear threw rocks at them.

A Narnian Bear in Texas ... THAT's a tale that I can get behind.

Peace, folks.

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