Saturday, April 23, 2011

Scouring YouTube for t-birds

I spent some time on YouTube recently checking out videos related to thunderbirds, thunderbird sightings or just large winged creatures in general. In terms of videos that have a substantial amount of views (at least in the hundreds of thousands), I was unable to locate a good amount. There was one video that claimed to be of a pterodactyl off the coast of a lake in Montana, but after viewing it once, it is pretty clear to me that the creature in question is instead a large bird of prey, likely an eagle of some sort.

Most of the other videos follow the same trend. There was one however that was actually interesting. Although I’m still pretty skeptical that this particular video shows anything related to cryptozoology, I believe there is SOMETHING in this one. This brief clip was shot inside a car, and appears to show a large winged creature briefly appearing next to a large crane near a construction site.

Now, of course, this is incredibly hard to believe. I see no actual evidence that this video is actually showing what it claims to show. However, I can’t really say for sure what it is. I think it’s possible that this footage is simply a visual trick. There may be a smudge on the driver’s side window of the vehicle that just looks like a winged creature flying. It could also be some random banner or debris flying off of the nearby crane. If you’ll notice, it looks pretty cloudy on the day this particular video was shot, so it’s really difficult to identify anything at that distance from a moving car. I’m calling BS on this video, but I did find it interesting.

Edits to Wikipedia

“In the early 19th century, before the first reports of Spring Heeled Jack, there were other 'ghosts' that stalked the streets of London. These human-like figures were described as pale and stalked and prayed on lone pedestrians.

In 1803 the Hammersmith ghost appeared in the western edge of London. It is rumored that while a women was walking past the Hammersmith chapel, the ghost grasped her in his arms. She immediately fainted and died only days later due to shock. Another ghoul, the Southampton ghost, was also reported as assaulting individuals in the night. He was reported as jumping over houses and being over 10’ high.

It is only after these accounts that the Spring-heeled Jack appeared in the 1830’s. These ghosts of London seem patterned in their style of attacks and their appearance; however, unlike the other menaces the Spring-heeled Jack took the form of several odd animals.”

This is what I entered into the Wikipedia sight on the Spring-heeled Jack!

-',-Down into the dark abyss-,'-

This week I took Friday & Saturday(today) to go home for the holiday. Back at western I found some excellent entries on the Leviathan during our encyclopedia searches. The Encyclopedia Americana had some useful information, a tidbit of which explained that the derived roots of the word Leviathan correspond with the Hebrew word "coiled" or "coiled one". I haven't fully examined and compiled the information from Monstropedia but there are some good facts and sources to check up on. The book I bought in class concerning sea-creatures came this week and I will read it when I get back. If it doesn't have anything useful I will pass it on to those researching the Lock Ness monster. At the end of class M can have it. I have a couple books to find in the library that I have leads on. I also have some sources that should arrive from illiad. All in all this week has been great. I am loving this weather!

Mermaid findings

This week I found with my class Mermaid in the Encyclopedia World Book M 13. I didnt get as much research done this week as I wanted too, easter plans got too much in the way. However, my materials from interloan have arrived and I look forward to picking them up at the Haggard circulation desk. I was able to find an article in Britannica online.
As well as a Myth Encyclopedia article

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Beast, again.

"That the relations between wolves and French people were unrelentingly adversarial until the nineteenth century is now...beyond dispute." (Smith 166) One article I found in JSTOR turned out to be a book review of two texts that "are linked by their diametrically opposed objectives." (165) Both explore the French view on wolves previous to the nineteenth century-- but while one viewed the French's distaste as only that, the author of the other text believed that there were wolves that "sometimes behaved very badly indeed," the other focuses on the "human perception of animals." (165) The reviewer of the two books is inconclusive when it comes to stating whether or not these man-killing wolves (including the beast of Gévaudan ) actually existed, though did share some interesting (though possibly skewed) information on the supposed French wolf-attacks: eight three percent of victims were woman, eighty four of the total were children; these groups were more susceptible because of the large amount of time they spent guarding herd animals in the fields and woods. The author of the article that provides this information also offers a few explanations for the wolf's bloodlust, including rabies and "loups-garous.. .wolf-men..." (166)

Another article that I found through JSTOR was mostly concerned with the general "Appearances of Beasts and Mystery-Cats in France" (also the title of the article). Though the beast was mentioned often throughout the text, it was used mostly as a sort of…marker of how dangerous a purported beast or 'mystery cat' attack really was. (Campion-Vincent 172)

Works cited

Campion-Vincent, Véronique. "Appearances of Beasts and Mystery-Cats in France." Folklore 103.2 (1992): 160-83. Print.

Smith, Jay M. "Subjugated Animals: Animals and Anthropocentrism in Early Modern European Culture." Rev. of Subjugated Animals: Animals and Anthropocentrism in Early Modern European Culture and Histoire Du Méchant Loup: 3000 Attaques Sur L'homme En France, XVe–XXe Siècle. JSTOR. Web. 21 Apr. 2011. < ext=Culture.&searchText=Animals&searchText=Modern&searchText=Early&searchText=Subjuga ted&searchText=Anthropocentrism&searchText=European&list=hide&searchUri=%2Faction%2F doBasicSearch%3FQuery%3DSubjugated%2BAnimals%253A%2BAnimals%2Band%2BAnthropoce ntrism%2Bin%2BEarly%2BModern%2BEuropean%2BCulture.%26acc%3Don%26wc%3Don&prev Search=&item=1&ttl=3&returnArticleService=showFullText>.

This week in class we looked in the encyclopedias for information. I was lucky enough to have my group choose to look up Yeti as our creature. Some things I found interesting about the encyclopedias were that none of them called the Yeti "Yeti". All three (Worldbook, Encyclopedia Britannica and Encyclopedia Americana) had Yetis listed under Abominable Snowman.
We also experimented with the validity for certain 'pedias' online. Both Monstropedia and Wikipedia appeared to have the same information with only slight variations. (A couple of rearranged words, and added sentences were thrown in.) All in all, finding valid information is proving to be difficult.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Journals and articles

When searching on westerns website I first had to consider how I would phrase the search terms to produce the most relevant results. After trying all kinds of different combinations of the words Sasquatch, Bigfoot, Journal and Magazine, I wasn’t able to find any links to bigfoot articles. Discouraged I moved on to google. I had much more luck using Google, on the first page there were a number of relevant articles.

Will post later with an edited Wikipedia, or other website page.

Peace in the east

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The next book I selected, also from the children’s collection, is The Greatest Monsters in the World by Daniel Cohen. This book I just happened upon in the library, when I was searching for the book I mentioned above. Within this book there is a whole chapter devoted to Nessie and explaining her status as a monster. I read the chapter and was a little disappointed because it just recounted the same information that I have read over and over again. I know there are not much new information out about Nessie, but this book literally just states the facts in the most basic manner. The basic summary of the chapter is that it describes Nessie’s history with St. Columba and then goes into why Nessie is so popular among many people. It recounts the eyewitness sightings, including pictures.

The one account that I did find interesting is that the famous movie that Tim Dinsdale shot of Nessie, which was really just a dot moving on screen, was given to the Royal Air Force to analyze. They determined that it was something living that could be up to 90 feet long. I had never encountered this information in any of my research before so this was an interesting find. Cohen did an adequate job explaining Nessie to his audience, even including information that I had not encountered before, but I was a little disappointed that there was not more information given. It seemed to me that he was just trying to spit out the basic information and be done with the whole account. Also the way that this book is presented it could be for older children, teenagers, yet the information is stated in a way that makes it seem like the author was trying to dumb the information down. This is do not agree with because then it makes the information seem not credible. Overall the book gave me insight to new info, but did not seem to be the best book about Nessie that I have found in my research.

Monday, April 18, 2011

A Well-heeled Villain

When my villain first appeared in 1837, it was unclear what he was. As far as my other posts go, victims have described him as a man, various animals, and a demon. In my most recent article titled “A Well-Heeled Villain”, he is described as a man as tall as 10’! He also, “…wore a black helmet and cape, and a tunic emblazoned with the letter ‘W’”, yet was this all a hoax or was it real?...

It is believed that the Spring-heeled Jack’s career lasted close to 40 years. There were sightings of him in New-York City and some that were even reported in the 1970’s. According to this article, that makes him “truly a career criminal”. If this was true why was has he never been caught?

While this man or thing was a terror in the streets of London, there does not appear to be any reports of law enforcement getting involved in a search for him (I will look into this). The Lord Mayor, did however declare him a “public menace”.

The author explains this by saying that the Spring-Heeled Jack may have been more of a comic-book creation than an actual criminal. His theory stems from the history of the “penny dreadful”, a periodical from the 19th century which he describes as resembling today’s comics. This periodical was full of Spring-Heeled Jack and his frightening encounters. The author writes that the appearances of Spring-Heeled Jack in this magazine may have motivated some towns-folk to tell tales of their own even if real crime reports may have been the origin of such a character in the first place.

The combination of actual crime reports and the media representation of a flying supervillian, may have stirred London into creating their own urban legend!

Apparently the French aren't fond of wolves (or hyenas)...

I had little hope of finding much in ARTstor, but when I mistakenly searched for Gévaudan in that database--instead of
Jstor--I came across a few pieces that (though not directly connected to the killings) illustrated the French attitude towards wolves , as well as a few pieces that make direct reference to them . Those that spoke of Gévaudan were both drawings depicted gruesome battles between man and a hyena-like beast (for one of the speculations of the creature was that it may have been a hyena).

I also found a number of sketches by a man named Jean-Baptiste Huet I, all drawn in the mid-1700s (many during or just after the span of attacks). The rather dour opinion the French had of wolves was proven quite well simply by pictures' titles: A Wolf Hunt (late 18th, early 19th century) and A wolf biting a hound (1767). Assuming that the French liked their dogs to be the un-bitten sort, I think it's safe to say their opinion of wolves to be quite unsavory.

The difficulty with studying a beast of French origin is this: all the really good articles (or what I assume are) are in French. After searching through the Historical Abstracts, I found an piece called LA VERITE SUR LA BETE DU GÉVAUDAN (The truth concerning the beast of Gévaudan). While the description was in English and looked quite promising, the article itself was in French. Frustrating to be sure, but not totally unexpected, as these events did occur in France where most people--only by coincidence, of course--speak French.

(Works cited)

Huet I, Jean-Baptiste. A Wolf Biting a Hound. 1767. British Museum, London. ARTstor. Web. 18 Apr. 2011. <>.

Huet I, Jean-Baptiste. A Wolf Hunt. Late 18th, Early 19th Century. British Museum, London. ARTstor. Web. 18 Apr. 2011. <>.

Will, Johann Martin. Accurate Vorstellung, Welches Nach Dem Französischen Original Gestochen, Des Seit Dem Monath Sept. Des 1764.ten Jahrs Zu Gevaudan in Der Provinz Languedoc in Franckreich Dermahlen Sich Seigenden Wilden Thiers Hyene, Sonsten Vielfrass Genannt. Circa 1764. Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, The University of Texas at Austin. ARTstor. Web. 18 Apr. 2011. <>.

Will, Johann Martin. Eigentliche Abschilderung Des Seit Dem Monath Sept. Des 1764ten Iahrs Zu Gevaudan ... Sich Zeigenden Wilden Thiers Hyene ... Circa 1765. Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin. ARTstor. Web. 18 Apr. 2011. <>.

(Apologies for the incorrect formatting--blogger doesn't allow tabbed indentations)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Somewhere under the sea, somewhere waiting for me.

This post is late but I will catch up on the past two weeks. Last week I spent little time researching beyond a few preliminary Google and library searches. I found a bit of information but like many other students in the class I realized that there was not as much I would have liked. After digging deeper I digging deeper I have actually discovered a great many things about the Leviathan. I have a couple book sources to check in the library as well as things in the mail from Amazon and Illiad. From the information I have gathered, I have found a few focus points for my research. One area will be looking at the Leviathan as represented in the Bible. Aside from the direct biblical reference found in the book of Job there are some research journal articles I have found that come from Religious journals. One of these journals is entitled "BEHEMOTH AND LEVIATHAN—CREATURES OF CONTROVERSY". I will post more on that later.
A website entitled mythical realm has some good sources for multiple projects in the class. I found some interesting info on the leviathan as well as another creature that has been strongly associated with the leviathan in my research: The Kraken. I will be looking into both creatures as I try and find information about these large aquatic cryptids. I also found a reference to Jörmungandr a Norse mythology serpent which may have been influenced by the leviathan or kraken. Here is a poem about the Kraken written my Lord Alfred Tennyson. And here is a website with basic info about the kraken and many links to various kraken inspired youtube videos. And I also found a website that compiles many media references to the creatures.
I've also found some funny things while researching. Here is a forum thread concerning cryptid and monster movies.
Finally here are some interesting Leviathan inspired things I have found on the web.

The leviathan in the Yu-Gi-Oh:

And here is a leviathan toy from the Disney movie Atlantis:
In the movie it is a big robot which protects the lost city of Atlantis. Freaked me out as a kid.

And here is a Batman comic featuring the Leviathan.

I found it kinda funny.

The photo at the start of this post is my personal favorite. It comes from a book explaining how to make creatures out of sculptors clay. All in all, this week was a very productive time for research. I'm looking forward to continuing this project.

Ebu Gogo - the band

As a side note and interestingly enough, there is a band named Ebu Gogo. Described on as:
"This “Action/Adventure Rock” band hails from Providence,RI. Drawing inspiration from multiple viewings of the films from their childhood, Ebu Gogo creates music that is both familiar and completely alien. From cartoon violence to sitcom brutality to the ever inventive humiliation ballad, they create a soundtrack for the modern imaginary world." ~

I admit without reserve that like this style of music. I thought of posting the video for "late due to sweatpants boner" because I really appreciated the arrangement, but decided that the title might be offensive to some so I recanted. Instead, I give you the video for "son of a rancher" with a video made by 13 year old Jesse Wright with his Star Wars lego set. Watch and enjoy...

New Names!

It's been very difficult trying to find articles about the Black Shuck, because there really aren't very many out there. I got really excited though because I discovered some other names for which I can search. Padfoot is one of those names, and it comes up with many different results than just the Black Shuck. I encountered a website that was devoted solely to Padfoot, including it's legend, sightings, a gallery of pictures, and further links to other sources. I found it to be very interesting. One of the sightings that the site wrote about was from 1577 and it said, "There appeared in a most horrible form a dog of a black color, together with fearful flashes of fire which made some in the assembly think doomsday was come. This dog, or the Devil in such a likeness, ran the length of the church with great swiftness and incredible haste, passed between two persons as they were kneeling and wrung the necks of them both at one instant." I also looked at their guestbook that they had, and I'm glad I did because it had so much great information on it. People wrote about their own experiences with seeing Padfoot, or stories they had heard about the black dog. It was really fascinating to read stories from the public. Maybe this will help me in future searches. I will need to look at the stories more in depth.