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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Thursday, October 07, 2010

NEIL ARNOLD: Zooform Classics Part Two: The Four-Legged Rugby ball!

Zooform phenomena really is a surreal void of monsters, long ago cast from the Ark and projected onto our terrain like grotesque holograms. We never understand them, never catch them, and yet continually lump them into the cryptozoology bracket despite their clear phantasmal characteristics.

Take for example the terror of the four-legged football, which prowled, for such a short time, the Villa San Rafael area of Chile. On January 12th 2002 at 11.45 pm two teenagers, named Jean and Nelson, of Calama, had a bizarre encounter after Jean’s pet snake had escaped its enclosure. Both boys searched for the missing reptile outside but were hesitant to do so as half an hour earlier they had been spooked by the unsettled growls of the pet dogs. Whilst searching for the snake they saw a creature, which at first they took to be s stray dog and so to deter it, they threw stones at it.

Instead of moving away from them the creature began to approach, hopping like a rabbit, and then standing to face them on its hind legs. The two witnesses noted an almost electrical surge, which they felt strongly in their stomachs. The beast had an awkward gait and resembled a “rugby ball with legs”.

Jean backed away from the creature but Nelson felt compelled to move towards it and once within two metres of the animal he noticed it gave off a luminosity. Nelson stated that the creature had a head like a dog, a flat nose, red, slanted eyes, and large, flat ears. Nelson also claimed that a voice came into his head and whispered, “Don’t stare, just run away”.

The arms of the creature were short and both hands had three fingers, as did the rear ‘feet’ which also seemed to be webbed. The creature was covered in short, grey hair and the spine of the monster was bristled. The animal had a short tail with a white tip.

Both witnesses eventually fled the area.

Upon looking into the report I noticed that some researchers had connected with account with the many encounters with the ‘goatsucker’ or chupacabra, which has littered South American folklore for a few decades. However, what this encounter proved to me was how one man’s goatsucker is another man’s ‘something else.’

Chilean folklore is rife with legends of hair-covered troll-like monsters, as well as winged dogs and we are all too quick to give them a label, in the same way Mothman, Owlman, Jersey Devil were created. Of course the legend of the ‘four-legged rugby ball’ doesn’t sound as dramatic or as frightening as the already mentioned comic-book anti-heroes.


Anonymous said...

Very Interesting, a rugby ball. I would like to pick this story up and run with it!

Anonymous said...

Sounds to me like a sort of hare with a lot of exaggeration in the retelling. Especially the short white-tipped tail. The ears would be laid down and it stood up for a bit, as hares sometimes do.

Once again, a poorly-articulated visual description does not necessarily a mystery make.