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.

It is edited by CFZ Director Jon Downes, and subbed by the lovely Lizzy Bitakara'mire (formerly Clancy), scourge of improper syntax. The daily newsblog is edited by Corinna Downes, head administratrix of the CFZ, and the indexing is done by Lee Canty and Kathy Imbriani. There is regular news from the CFZ Mystery Cat study group, and regular fortean bird news from 'The Watcher of the Skies'. Regular bloggers include Dr Karl Shuker, Dale Drinnon, Richard Muirhead and Richard Freeman.The CFZ bloggo is updated daily, and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else. Come and join us...

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Saturday, April 10, 2010

DALE DRINNON: Egede Sea Serpent Sighting 1734

Richard Muirhead mentioned this classic Sea-Serpent sighting recently. I said in reply that this was a favourite topic of Charles Paxton and we had discussed the matter at length. Paxton felt that the animal which was sighted (NOT by Hans Egede but by his son, and not in Greenland but on a voyage headed to there) was a gray whale, an animal which subsequently went extinct in the North Atlantic but which remains well known off the Pacific coast of North America. Paxton guessed that the "Tail" which was reported was the animal's penis. And he said the drawing was probably of no value in depicting the sighting (Paxton's website should still be up on the internet)

On the contrary, I thought that the drawing was a plausible enough depiction of a gray whale, and showed how the different aspects of the sighting could be matched againstmodern photos. In the case of the tail I even noticed that the shape that was drawn was a fair depiction of ONE fluke of the tail (Only). Presumably the tail was viewed briefly and from such a position that it appeared to be folded over.

So it boiled down to yet another fleeting sighting of an unrecognized but known animal. No need to make any extra special conditions or make any special arguments over it. Hundreds or even thousands of water-monster sighting the world over and throughout history fall into that description.

1 comment:

Fezook said...

The head does look the same. But the fins don't - and these same kind of fins have been described in hundreds of sightings of 'sea serpents' since that time. Gray whales don't explain the strange 'pectoral' fins ...