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, June 06, 2011

PAUL MEAD: A Tale of two Sea Serpents


An interested article from the Bell Rock Lighthouse website:

There is one exhibit above all others in the Signal Tower Museum in Arbroath (one-time home of the lightkeepers) which I have always pondered over - what's more even greatly admired -and that is an old cast-iron hand grip, . . . a relic from the early days of the Bell Rock. It was one of number which once adorned the outside of the old-style pre-1902 lantern. They were there to steady keepers when cleaning the outside glass or effecting any repairs required on the lantern. Although much painted over decades of use, the shape is unmistakeably that of a mythical sea serpent!

In Newfoundland, over 2000 miles away, work had begun in the early 1830s on their own lighthouse building programme.

When visiting Bonavista in 2007 and being shown round the tower by Don Johnson the curator, there much to my surprise was the same serpent-shaped hand-grip adorning the lantern astragals . . this one even more heavy painted than its Arbroath counterpart! In fact there were 16 of them (one on each vertical astragal) - a full complement no less. I don't think I ever heard tale of a lantern also going out with the light mechanism from Scotland. We do know that the Bell still had theirs in 1902 when it was replaced by the standard diagonal variety. So where did the one at Bonavista originate? There are a few possibility - but in all probability it must have come from Scotland - most likely from Stevenson's engineering works in Edinburgh. It obviously requires more research, so any comments would be appreciated.


1 comment:

Dale Drinnon said...

Interesting. Is there any suggestion this Sea-serpent design could be related to the "Dragon" (Sea-serpent) design which the Scandinavian Vikings used to adorn their ships and churches?

Best Wishes, Dale D.