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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Monday, April 19, 2010

HELLBENDERS II: Unknown giant salamanders in North America

It has to be admitted that the only reason I posted a hellbender video yesterday was because they are such groovy creatures that I would take any excuse. However, several things have come up as a result of this that are of vague crypto interest.

Christian, who commented on my giant water bug post last week, wrote back to me, and I asked him about mudpuppies. He wrote:

'unfortunately, mudpuppies do not occur within twelve hundred kilometers of my location, so I do not suspect that I will be coming across any for you. However, if I manage to head over to Pitt Lake, British Columbia anytime this spring/summer, I will be reporting on any evidence of the reported local giant salamanders that have been seen many times over the past century.'

This is reminiscent of the giant salamanders Loren talked about in his Tom Slick book, and also adds weight to a comment that Andrew Gable made to the original Hellbender post.

'Hellbenders... one of the animals we used to have around here (my dad told me about catching them while fishing) but that I've never seen. I've actually been toying with the idea that some of the sightings of alligators which occur in lakes and rivers might actually be of large hellbenders. Of course, I've not actually read any reports that turned out to be hellbenders, so this theory might be a waste of time, LOL.'

So once again, because I can, here is another hellbender vid...

1 comment:

Dale Drinnon said...

The original report of the British Columbian/Pitt Lake Giant Salamanders was made public in Ivan Sanderson's book about Abominable Snowmen, 1961, and there the "Alligators" were said to be "Water lizards". The salamander explanation surfaced almost immediately thereafter but it has never been confirmed.

Canadian reports of "Alligators" are also further East, with old reports from around Toronto. I have a suspicion (it can be called no more than that) that they are the same as the Giant Hellbenders reported in the ohio River area. These are reported as up to 6 or 7 feet long, sometimes longer but usually less. A pink variety is also reported, and pink Japanese giant salamanders ARE known.