Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

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Saturday, December 12, 2009


A few days ago you may remember I presented information about a very large turtle in a U. S. lake, namely, The Beast of Busco. Well, today I turn to a similar turtle, this time in a lake in Illinois, namely Island Lake quite near Chicago. This latter one was even thought to be a killer.

I found this brief story in Omni magazine, the now defunct U. S. science fiction, fantasy and paranormal magazine. Unfortunately I do not know the exact date; probably some time in the mid to late 1990s, though it was in August. There is a link on the Web to some of the archives at:


'the links past Jul 21, 2003 will go to Penthouse magazine instead,but most of them are web-archived Omni pages, including chats, short stories, and articles.' (1)

'OMNI was a science magazine and science fiction magazine published in the U. S. A. It contained articles on science fact and short works of science fiction. The first issue was published in October 1978, the last in Winter 1995, with an internet version lasting until 1998.'

The story is as follows: 'MOBY TURTLE. Move over Nessie. Recent reports tell of a giant killer turtle living in Island Lake, Illinois, some 40 miles north-west of Chicago. It all started about a year ago, when resident Liz Herman spotted two large snapping turtles mating in the water just beyond her back-yard sea wall.

'"These turtles were huge, maybe three feet long" says Herman. "My husband Kevin didn`t believe me until he saw my photos. Then he showed them around town." "Soon rumors [sic]were flying." says Georgine Cooper, a town trustee. "The turtle was said to be anywhere from the size of a small pickup truck to an 18-wheel semi." "Our Water Department supervisor, Neil De Young, tried to catch the turtle," adds local police chief Eugene Bach." All he got for his trouble was bent hooks."

'Bach refuses to fuel the killer-turtle rumours. In fact, he thinks the turtle may be an alligator snapper released into the lake some years ago by a local boy." Alligator snappers, he says, "can grow to more than 60 pounds and can be 25 inches long. Listen," he adds, "I could tell you that when kids hang their feet over the pier they get chewed up, but that wouldn`t be true."

There is a headline in the text which says, in capital letters: 'The Giant Turtle, Referred to as a man-eating terror, has generated national tabloid headlines and has even been profiled on local Chicago news stations.' (4)

1. Omni (magazine) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omni_(magazine)
2. Ibid
3. Moby Turtle. Omni. August?p.72
4. Ibid.p.72

Neil Young Heart of Gold

I`ve been to Redwood
I`ve been to Holywood
I`ve crossed the ocean
for a heart of gold
I`ve been in my mind
It`s such a fine line
That keeps me searching for a heart of gold
And I`m getting old


Retrieverman said...

The word "Rumors" is not spelled incorrectly in American English. Because this was published in American English, it is spelled correctly, and it does not need (sic) in parentheses beside it.

Color is how we spell colour.

Realize is how we spell realise.

My browser underline all misspelled words, and when I typed those words with their British spelling, they were underlined in red.

Our language is standardized and distinct, and although our country is run by imperialists who think the world is theirs, our language is as it is.

Retrieverman said...

I'll just add that I always call this organization (or organisation) the See Eff Zed, even though in my language it is See Eff Zee.

I think that we should accept the two different versions of English.

sammywise said...

When I was a teen I found two very large "turtle scrappings" on a small trib of the Ottawa river in Toledo.
The claws of the feet were clearly visible. One set was somewhat smaller than the other. The largest was wider than my arm reach and the smaller one was a few inches less.