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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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

RICHARD FREEMAN: The Global Monster Template

Back in the year of the dragon, 2000, I was in Thailand on the track of the giant crested serpent known as the naga. In Thai legend there is also a birdman known as a guruda and the singa, a golden lion. It struck my how much these seemed like legends from Cornwall with Morgaw the sea serpent, the Owlman and the phantom big cats.

In 2003 and 2004 I was in Sumatra searching for the orang-pendek, a short, hairy, man-like ape. In the same jungles were stories of giant horned snakes and the cigau, a possible scimitar toothed cat.

In 2007 on the grasslands of Guyana we heard of monster snakes and a race of red-faced pygmies as well as a disease spreading, child-killing goblin.

All around the world it seems very specific kinds of monster archetype are seen again and again in every culture. Each civilization will have combinations of these monsters in its culture. I call this the Global Monster Template. The categories are as follows.

1. Dragons: The most ancient, powerful and widespread monster archetype. These giant reptiles, or analogues of them, occur in every culture on earth. They are reptilian, elongate and associated with the element of water.
2. Hairy giants: Yeti, Yowie, Yeren, Sasquatch, Di-Di, Troll, Almasty, the list goes on. Big, man-like, powerful and hair covered.
3. Little people: Goblins, Pixies, Bush Men, Junjudee, Ebu-Gogo the list is nigh on endless. Small, sometimes hairy often considered dangerous.
4. Monster cats: Out of place panthers, American ‘lions’, cigau, singa ect. Uncatchable felines.
5. Monster dogs: Werewolves, Black Dogs, Waheela, Mirrii dogs ect Usually huge, spectral hounds.
6. Monster Birds: Thunderbird, Roc, Tengu, Guruda, Owlman ect. Giant, often aggressive, birds.

Now lets take a closer look at these categories. They all have one thing in common. They each have an analogue on the plains of East Africa several million years ago.

Our Australopithecine ancestors on the plains of East Africa had a struggle to survive. Our ancestors were being preyed upon by, and were in competition with, various formidable creatures. Crocodiles and pythons ate them as did big cats, hunting dogs, and large birds of prey such as eagles. They competed against other primates such as giant baboons and other races of hominids, some larger than them and some smaller.

All of these creatures can be slotted nicely into the universal monster template. There seems to be groups of monsters reported all around the world in every culture. These archetypes include dragons, giants, little people, monster birds, mystery big cats, and monstrous dogs. All of them have a direct link back to our ancestral horrors.

Coincidence? I think not.

Perhaps some of these monsters are escapees from the psychic zoo, a massive, collective, sub-conscious, thought form. The thought form or tulpa is said to be a 3-D semi solid image created by the power of the mind. Buddhist lamas in Tibet are said to be able to summon up tulpas during intense meditation. Western explorer Dame Alexandra David Kneel was said to have created a tulpa of a monk whilst studying in Tibet. Polish medium Franek Klusk was said to have summoned up huge cats, birds, and even ape-men during séances. Perhaps, considering the types of beast he called up, he was creating tulpas from the global monster template.
If individuals can create tulpas, imagine what the collective, gestalt mind of humanity as a species could do. Perhaps some are a giant worldwide thought forms emanating from our innermost fears.

How might this work? Perhaps in certain "window areas" something affects the minds of those who enter. The mind is an electro-chemical computer, perhaps when "scrambled" it must "reboot" like any other computer. When in this primeval state perhaps the mind raises the prehistoric terrors of our past, and raises monsters. This is not to deny that there are flesh and blood counterparts for each of the monster categories, there almost certainly are. But when these things manifest in places that could not support a "real" creature maybe we should look to thought forms for answers.

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