The Most Unusual Creatures Under The Sun


Seam Monster of Lake Killerny

Sea Monster of Lake Killarny

Now, I must admit, cryptozoology does next to nothing for me. In the leagues of woo, it’s right down there at the bottom, just below Aliens and above Alectryomancy. I think the reason, largely, is that you’ve really got to try hard before you can get harmed by it. You’ve really got to right out there, on a limb, and fully invest before you can wind up getting hurt. It’s not like pseudomedicine, or psychics, or religion – it’s relatively harmless. Relatively.

However, that said, it’s also pretty prevalent in our media and culture, and for that reason alone it deserves attention. How many people would have heard of a certain large body of Scottish water unless there were a purported Beastie living in it? Not many I’d imagine. Which is why I wearily reached for the keyboard when I (foolishly) glanced through The Sun’s website and chanced upon the Lake Killarney Monster. Blahhhhh. But ok, here goes…

This so-called monster has been sighted in the Upper Lake of the region in County Kerry, Ireland, and was even captured on video – showing exactly how stunning and amazing the sighting actually was! All I’ll say is, don’t feint just yet – the 40-second clip is appalling quality from a distance, and no amount of commentary from crypto-zoologist Jonathon Downes telling us it’s “very extraordinary” will convince otherwise.

Essentially, all you can see is a relatively placid body of water, and then something underwater moves a tiny bit, leaving a little wake on top of the surface. The commentator describes the movement as ‘like a torpedo, and with a torpedo-like wake behind it’ – all I’ll say is it doesn’t look like any kind of torpedo I’ve ever seen. It looks kinda like a fish, in fact.

The Sun’s entirely credulous article tells us that the Lakes of Killarney have much in common with Loch Ness – home of the world’s most famous monster – just across the Irish Sea in Scotland. I’d agree with that, in face – both lakes are trying to provoke tourism by inventing lame monster stories.

What’s amazing to me is that Mr Downes is director at the Centre for Fortean Zoology, and yet tells us he’s ‘Never seen anything like this before in his life’ and finds it difficult to know how to explain it. He offers his take on the sighting, telling us:

“What we saw was a thing about nine to 10ft long. I’d love to say I saw long necks and humps and things but I didn’t. I believe it must be a large eel. It was a pale colour. What I saw didn’t actually really come out on the picture as well.”

Well, I agree that it could well be a large eel, although how he believes it to be 9 or 10 feet long I’ve no idea – he’s stood so far away he’s using extreme zoom to get even the crap footage he presents us with, and even then it doesn’t look anything like that size.

Bigfoot, recently

Bigfoot, recently

It just goes to show first of all what passes for credible evidence in sections of the crypto-zoological community, and also what passes for a news story these days. The Sun, it seems, has especially gone on something of a monster-rampage, possibly provoked by the dead sloth we covered in the last episode, because last week it also published an amazing photo of bigfoot. I say amazing, because it’s not often you see a photo of bigfoot that looks so completely unlike bigfoot. This is a rare photo indeed – one where bigfoot is looking a lot like a bear, or a gorilla, or a fuzzy black hairy blob. It’s not often he looks like that.

But, of course, to The Sun this photo is proof, in fact the opening line of their article sells it’s position pretty succinctly:

“This grainy snap of a mystery beast lurking in a garden could finally prove the existence of the mythical bigfoot”

OK, listen up, The Sun – a grainy snap of anything can never prove anything. A really high-quality snap of anything can’t really prove anything, for that matter, now that photoshop is so ubiquitious and effective. The article continues:

“Kenny and Margaret Mahoney set up a motion camera in their grounds after their home-grown vegetables began to mysteriously disappear earlier this month. And when they watched back the footage they were stunned to see a creature resembling a ghostly Dementor from the Harry Potter films prowling at the bottom of their land.”

OK, so are they saying Bigfoot is a dementor? Or that dementors are Bigfoots/Bigfeet? Hard to tell really. But the couple sent the ‘puzzling’ image off to local news stations, and suddenly found themselves in the centre of a cryptozoological storm:

“After we appeared on television we were swamped with phone calls and emails from crypto-zoologists and bigfoot hunters wanting to talk. They all think that we may have stumbled on to something important.”

Well there’s a surprise – hunters of a made-up and largely silly creature see a blob on tv that could be construed as supporting their daft obsession, and so decide to climb on the bandwagon. And speaking of climbing on the bandwagon – well done The Sun for publishing the flimsiest, flimsiest of photos and selling it as proof of bigfoot. At least Penn & Teller went to the trouble of having a decent Bigfoot costume made up for their photos

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  1. #1 by bob dezon on October 13, 2009 - 13:45

    Erm……Marsh…………that “bigfoot” picture featured in the Sun, is a bird in flight close to the camera.

  2. #2 by Marsh on October 13, 2009 - 14:13

    Ahhh I see it now! Good stuff – cheers for the update Bob.

  3. #3 by Trystan on October 13, 2009 - 21:01

    Don’t knock Jon Downes … I won a paw shaped bigfoot watch in his raffle!!! 😉

  4. #4 by AexMagd on October 19, 2009 - 12:08

    Cryptozoology is a weird one because it has actually come up with results once or twice. I must confess to being slightly biased because, unlike most other forms of quackery, I desperately want it to be true. I want there to be herds of mammoths, dragons and dinosaurs roaming the land, being tracked by intrepid explorers a la the 19th Century

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