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Monday, February 22, 2010

MUIRHEAD`S MYSTERIES: A LIVING DINOSAUR FROM IDAHO 1909?

I found this article from the Carbon County News of December 17th 1909 on a North American on-line newspaper database. It seems to describe some sort of living dinosaur – or an intricate hoax.

IDAHO MEN FIGHT MONSTER BEAST. Bullet proof animal cause of great terror in quiet country. STILL TALK OF THE GIANT. Great creature crunches trees in its teeth and lifts rocks weighing tons, say two “sober” citizens.

Frozen Dog Idaho – The people of this quiet neighbourhood,as they gather around their fireside still talk of the unclassified monster seen by two men in the hills near Mendota.

It was first seen by Joseph Cliffe and Walt Glifford. They were hunting trip in the North Basin when they came upon the hideous monster. As described by them and others who saw it later,the beast bears no resemblance to any other animal extinct or in existence.

Cliffe and Gifford were following the trail through the dense forest of the Basin last Monday and had reached a point near Grizzly Gulch when a tremendous bellow echoed from the depths of the gulch and caused them to halt tremblingly. As they peered towards the point from whence the noise came an immense pair of horns, crowning a lizard like head of enormous size, appeared above the gully`s edge. Deep set in the creature`s slimy head a pair of round eyes glistened with a terrifying light. The hunters, nearly frightened to death, and not caring to make closer acquaintance with the strange animal,beat a wild retreat to the top of North Mountain.

Arriving there they halted, out of breath,and looked down furtively into the gulch. The creature, with head still darting hither and thither, almost filled the gulch with its colossal bulk. Its body resembling somewhat that of a dinosaurius, was sheathed with slimy scales, and all along the back were ranged a row of bony spikes. The forelegs were shaped like those of a horse, though only half the size. The hind legs, thirty feet in length,and as big around as a good sized pine tree, were like those of an ostrich. A kangaroo-like tail 80 feet long stretched its length down the bed of the gulch. Gaining courage Cliffe raised his 45 90 and aimed at the monster`s head, pulled the trigger. His aim was true enough, but the bullet`s force was half spent before it reached the mark. The bullet`s impact with the animal`s head was forceful enough however to arouse its ire and cause it to thrash about wildly.

Great rocks weighing tons were dislodged by the angry flourishings of the beast. Trees two feet through were gripped in the snapping maw and made into kindling wood by the things sharp teeth. Cliffe was preparing to take another shot when the animal leaped to the top of the gulch as if shot from a catapault, and bounded much after the fashion of a kangaroo up the trail. A wild race followed in which the beast gained with every leap until the terrified hunters the woods bordering Trout Creek. Here the thickness of the timber slackened the pace of the pursuing monster and made possible the escape of Cliffe and Gifford, who reached town in an exhausted condition.

A posse scoured the hill country and once or twice saw the strange beast at a great distance.

This reads like something a bored journalist invented on his/her lunch break - witness the ostrich-like hind feet; how were they supposed to have supported a dinosaur-like animal?

But who knows?


David Bowie Ziggy Stardust

Ziggy played guitar,jammin` good with
Weird and Gilly,
The spiders from Mars,he played it left
Hand
But made it too far
Became the special man,then we were
Ziggy`s band

Ziggy really sang,screwed up eyes and
Screwed down hairdo
Like some cat from Japan,he could lick
`em by smiling
He could leave `em to hang
Came on so loaded man,well hung and
Snow white tan…….

2 comments:

Dale Drinnon said...

Obvious hoax: the dimensions as given are ridiculous. This is another "Surreal" dinosaur" combining traits of a Tyrannosaurus, a Triceratops and a Stegosaurus-and describing the mix very poorly altogether. And it must be well over 100 feet long if it has an 80 foot long tail.

theo paijmans said...

Hi there! This account was published in other 1909 U.S. newspapers as well. There are literally thousands of such accounts to be found in the 19th and early 20th century U.S. newspapers.

Apparently, as is now, back then monsters of all kinds, shapes and shapes roamed the backwaters and byways of America.

We had a peak in living dinosaur accounts in the 1920's - the period where Arthur Conan Doyle's " The Lost World" also made it on to the silver screen. There were also reports in the 1920's of sightings of living dinosaurs in South America.

It is an interesting topic because, regardless of the fact that many accounts are hoaxes and tall tales, some accounts do sound somewhat more realistic - but you never know:)

But I am also interested in why certain accounts suddenly receive mass popularity in the press. There is, for instance, in my mind a correlation between such a film as King Kong and eethnic tensions in the prelude towards the Second World War. Read, for instance, about King Kong's filmic predecessors here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Kong_(1933_film)

I think that a film like Ingagi (1931) could not have been made today. But its racists overtones tallied with the abstruse philosophies of Lanz von Liebenfels who literally wrote about the ' Sodom's Apelings' to denote Jews and coloured people as subhumans.