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Saturday, 16 September 2017

Notes

Notes for papers saved on blogger for reference were published in error. They have been removed.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Pursuing The Strange And Weird -A Naturalist's Viewpoint




Pursuing The Strange & Weird:A Naturalists Viewpoint


Terry Hooper-Scharf
Paperback,
A4
249 Pages
£20.00

 http://www.lulu.com/shop/terry-hooper-scharf/pursuing-the-strange-weirda-naturalists-viewpoint/paperback/product-21307125.html


UP DATE -From Dead Aquatic (Humanoid) Creatures, the giant squid and yet undiscovered sea creatures; submarine and ships crews encountering true leviathans.


There is a fully expanded section which also refers to the so-called ‘Ningen’ sightings and video footage.

Extinct animals at sea that have been re-discovered. The subject of Sasquatch and other mystery Hominids around the world is dealt with including a look at the “Sasquatch-killer”, Justin Smeja.

Dr. Bryan Sykes and his DNA test results for TVs The Bigfoot Files as well as the controversial Erickson Project and Dr. Melba Ketchum’s Even more controversial Sasquatch DNA test results.

Also included are two early French UFO entity cases that still baffle. Ghosts, strange creatures and the Star-Child hoax. All dealt with by the naturalist and pursuer of the strange and weird

Some More Things Strange & Sinister




Some More Things Strange & Sinister

Terry Hooper-Scharf
Paperback,
A4
327 Pages 
Heavily illustrated
£20.00
http://www.lulu.com/shop/terry-hooper-scharf/some-more-things-strange-sinister/paperback/product-18763730.html

Follow-up to Some Things Strange & Sinister. For those interested in Ufology, cryptozoology, hominology, unusual natural history, ghosts and mysteries in general. The secret history of gorillas in the UK -before they were officially  'discovered'. 

The history of  the Wild men of Europe, the UK and US: something that in the 1800s become very "pop culture"  Very pop culture and totally forgotten today! Hominology. Sasquatch and Bigfoot -is there evidence for their existence?  

No sitting on the fence here -the Patterson-Gimlin film is looked at as well as other evidence.  The Author's conclusions? 

You might be surprised. Giant snakes. Amazons. The Giant serpent of Carthage. The Girt Dog of Ennerdale -another big cult 'creature' amongst paranormal and cryptozoological circles. The Beast of Gevaudan -what was it and were there really descendents of the creature in the 19th century -one of which was actually brought to London?   Believe it or not more than one incident of historical crocodiles cases in the UK.  In fact, far more than even the Author had thought . And, after more than a century of claims by 'researchers' that it no longer exists: The Silent City of Alaska and the near legendary 'lost' photograph taken of it.

 This and much more. Updated with extra pages and photographs.

Some Things Strange & Sinister



Some Things Strange & Sinister
A4 Format
B&W
Paperback
358 pages
Heavily illustrated
£20.00


After more than 40 years as an investigator and more than fifty as a naturalist,the author has opened some of the many files he has accumulated dealing with such things as..  

The Terrifying Events At The Lamb Inn, The Ghosts Of All Saints Church, Dead Aquatic Creatures of Canvey Island, captured bigfoot like creatures in India -all exclusively presented for the first time and with new added research previously unseen.  

PLUS a vastly expanded section on Spring-heeled Jack!  Photographs, maps, line drawings and up-dated to make 358 pages looking at Things truly Strange and Sinister.  

Cryptozoologist,Ghost Hunter,Ufologist or Fortean:this book has something for everyone -including the just plain inquisitive!   

ContentsForeword by Travis L. Whitehurst
Introduction        de occultis non judicat ecclesia                                                                            
The Bristol Rocking Horse        
The Terrifying Events At The Lamb Inn        
The Coonian Ghost        
The Ghosts Of All Saints Church        
His Luminous Chamber        
The Late Reverend Dr. Blomberg        
And More Ghost Stories        
The Thomas B. Cumpston Case        
The Chupacabra        
The Strange Case Of The Gotherington Gargoyle        
What’s Tall,Hairy And Vanishes?        
Mystery Beasts Of Ireland        
The Creature Of The Dump        
The Strange Creature Of Repton Woods        
The Bizarre Legends,Crimes And Truth About Spring Heeled Jack        
The Black Beast Of Darmstadt        
The Nameless Thing Of Berkley Square        
The Terrifying Case Of The U.S. Naval Transport        
The Case Of The Ghost Lear Jet        
Ghost Planes,Crashes And Dead Aquatic Creatures        
The Mitchison Loch Ness Monster Video        
From The Deep Below To The Air Above –USOs        
Aerial Encounters Over Austria        
A Crashed UFO In 1790?        
Angel Hair        
Quimper-Corentin:Where “Thunder Fell”        
Strange Aliens From Space        
The Llandrillo ‘Saucer’ And Other Crash Retrievals        
Transient Lunar Phenomena,Alien Structures And Moon Vegetation        
Whiddon Down-Saint-Jean-du-Guard:Impossible Correlations?        
The Venezuelan HorrorA Final Word.


Alleged piece of crashed UFO from Berwyn Mountains, Wales.

The Bizarre Legends, Crimes And Truth About Spring Heeled Jack


 


The Truth About Spring-Heeled Jack  
Terry Hooper-Scharf
Paperback, 
53 Pages  
Dimensions (centimetres) 20.98 wide x 29.69 tall  (A4)
fully illustrated and referenced
£10.00
http://www.lulu.com/shop/terry-hooper-scharf/the-truth-about-spring-heeled-jack/paperback/product-21259526.html

The terror and mystery created by “Jack The Ripper” has been the subject of countless books, magazine articles as well as movies and TV documentaries. Ask anyone if they have ever heard of Jack The Ripper and it is doubtful anyone would respond with a “no idea.”  

By that same token, ask people who “Spring-heeled Jack” was and you would be lucky to find anyone who had ever heard of him.  

Spring-heeled Jack was the subject (loosely) of a film The Curse of the Wraydons (1946) and Dominic Keating also appeared as Spring Heeled Jack in the 2010 film Sherlock Holmes by The Asylum film company. The character has also featured in both American and British comic books and a number of books, for both children and adults.  

But the fact that the Springald held the country –not just London– in a grip of terror much longer that the Ripper did is all but forgotten except for some half-truths and fanciful theories.  

Now be prepared to read the full story of Spring Heeled Jack

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Notes On CE3K/Alien Entity Case Procedure



The following are preliminary notes on procedures that should be adopted by investigators.  While working on the new book I had to choose specific High Strangeness cases for inclusion.  Cases that were the most "solid" ones available.

To say that I was shocked that out of the many hundreds of CE3K/AE cases on record, very few were scientifically investigated as one might expect of "elite" UFO organizations, well, I wasn't that shocked.  Ego, inter~group rivalry and much more highlight the cases more than the actual encounters.

These notes are published here for reference date.

1.     Above all else, the person(s) reporting the incident to the investigator/group has to be guarantee 100% that said investigators/group will not betray their anonymity in any way.

2.    The person(s) involved must be spoken to at the very earliest opportunity.  Weeks or months is not acceptable.

3.    The investigator musr put the person(s) involved at their ease. Whether this is one or more witnesses does not matter at this point. Just talking to them and establishing their interests and employment or daily life routine is important but will make them feel more at ease: they are not being treated as some kind of freak. Point out that you cannot discuss similar cases or go into detail and that this is because protocol dictates this. Make it clear that critics cannot say they faked or added bits from cases this way but that after testimony is taken you are slightly more free to do so.

NEVER state "Oh, it's similar to the Stanford case" or anything similar as even an honest witness might be tempted to do an internet search for a "Stanford CE3K" or UFO landing report.

 4.    There should be no discussion about Ufology in general or local reports, other than to put the person(s) at their ease and show they are not "crazy". CE3Ks/AE cases or reports MUST NOT be referred to and only after the interview should an investigator even suggest anything similar has been described as it could taint future statements.

5.     At no point should someone who has had a similar encounter be introduced even if to put a witness at their ease. If the percipient(s) is a female then there should be a female investigator present or a female known top the investigator ~wife, girl friend BUT only under strict confidentiality.

The ideal situation would be for any investigation team to have both male and female members for such situations.

6.    Interviewing the percipient(s) should be on an individual basis.  NO group interviewing.

7.     All interviews should be taped as standard ~note that many digital recorders are of poor quality so make sure any device used records good sound quality.

8.    Taped interviews should be transcribed as soon as possible after initial interviews.

9.    Do NOT refer to any object sighted as a "space craft" as that leads the witness and critics can later use this to show you have done so even if not intentional. Use the term "UFOB" to indicate what is being described as a seeming constructed object.

10.    Do NOT refer to "Alien" or use any phraseology other than "Entity"

11.  If the percipient(s) were in a vehicle and vehicle interference was noted refer to manual on VI cases.

12.  If the percipient(s) report physiological effects during and after then full details should be noted. It is the duty of the investigators/organization to facilitate some form of medical examination.  If organizations cannot do this (no reference should be made to a UFOB case though, if the doctor involved is part of a UFO organization this is moot).

13.  The first interview should enable any investigator to determine whether there is any missing time period during the encounter reported ~ascertain that there is no mundane reason for a mistake having been made such as a car clock being slow or house clock fast as the discrepancy between these two could give a false impression.

14.   Do NOT immediately start asking whether the percipient(s) would be willing to undergo hypnotic regression. There must be very strict guidelines as to when any form of hypnosis is used and then only by a qualified professional.

15.  Even if not good artist(s) get the percipient(s) to draw any UFOB they saw and then any entity.  Once this/these have been made then a more professional set of drawings can be made and to guarantee that the percipient(s) agree this is accurate they should be asked to sign said drawings.

16.  It will also be necessary for investigators to ask the percipient(s) to return with them to  the scene of the incident (daylight is best as some percipient(s) may be too fearful to return to the spot at night though if they are willing no problem) so that it can be pin~pointed as accurately as possible.  The inveastigators should note anything unusual in the area such as abandoned buildings, factoroies. If the visit takes place during daylight then the investigators should return at night, as close to the time of the incident as possible.  It could be that something locally was mistaken for a UFOB.

17.  During the day and at night, photographs should be taken of the scene of the incident. Look for any trace evidence etc., as should be standard.

18.  Any final version of the whole percipient(s) statement(s) should be read through, approved and signed by the percipient(s).

19.  When the investigation is completed the investigator should be able to tell the percipient(s) whether he feels that they have had a genuine experience and those involved may now ask questions but it should be made clear that we cannot say where these things originate and any mention of "Alien agendas"/"breeding programs" must not be made.

20.  Only now should it be clear whether or not there is any missing time period an ways to help the percipient(s) (not regression hypnosis) consciously recall what might have happened.  If any such methods are unsuccessful then, and only then if the percipient(s) are willing, should regression hypnosis be suggested and, again, this must be by a qualified person not heavily steeped in Ufology.

21.  At all times a central case coordinator should be kept up to date on the investigatrion.  This helps investigators talk through any problems or seek advice. If there is more than one group involved then this must be an evenly split investigation with everyone complying with the established procedure. A central case coordinator could smooth over any problems.

22. The final report should be signed by all involved.  A summary should be handed to the percipient(s)

23. Although this should be a conclusion to the investigation it should be made clear to the percipient(s) that the investigator(s) can be contacted regarding any developments or recollections.

24. Re. 23, above, the investigator should make a courtesy call to see how the percipient(s) are doing and any developments after one year. Then after two years and the fact that the percipient(s) can contact investigators in future should be reiterated.
Above: Dr Olavo T. Fontes checking Antonio Villas Boas over after his encounter in 1957

Monday, 11 September 2017

The Red Paper: Canids


One for those interested in Wildlife -or cryptozoology!
  
The Red Paper:CANINES vol.1
 Terry Hooper
The Red Paper: Canids
Paperback, 
A4 
(21 x 30cms)
202 Pages 
Photographs, illustrations and map
£20.00


By the 1700s the British fox was on the verge of extinction and about to follow the bear and wolf having been hunted for sport for centuries.  

The answer was to import thousands of foxes per year for sport. But foxes kept dying out so jackals were tried. Some were caught, some escaped. Even wolves and coyote were released for hunting and "country folk" were very far from "happy" -some even threatening local hunts -one intending to release a wolf for a hunt- with legal and other consequences. 

The summation of over 40 years research by the noted naturalist and former UK police forces exotic wildlife consultant reveals the damnable lie of "pest control" hunting but also reveals the cruelty the animals were subject to and how private menageries as well as travelling shows. Private menageries, or single exotic "pets" as well as travelling shows helped provide the British and Irish countryside with some incredible events such as the 1905 "vampiric" sheep killer of Badminton, the mystery hounds of Cavan and Coyotes of Epping Forest.

The Girt Dog of Ennerdale is also dealt with in detail -was it a tiger? A Tasmania Thylacine? This book gives the exact facts and details for the first time. Up-dated 2013 edition includes a section on sarcoptic mange in foxes and treatment plus a list of wildlife sanctuaries and rescue centres in the UK.













Friday, 1 September 2017

Blog Closure Does NOT Mean the Red Paper: Felids Is Cancelled

No. The work on the report continues.

Contributions are still welcome and the contact email is still blacktowercg@hotmail.com

THANK you

Thursday, 31 August 2017

And then comes the bitter blow

I have just come back from having a meeting and a very long chat about this blog.  There have been, since this blog was set up in 2012, some 294, 745 views.  Its popularity has increased ~August saw some 34,463 views alone.  Looking at other sites that take feeds and posts from this blog the total views hit 1 million.

However, for me the blog has been a resounding failure.

It was set up to get into contact with like minded individuals who were not attracted to the lies and sensationalism of other blogs.  To discuss reports and maybe find new sources of information. It was also designed to promote my books ~non sensationalist, fully referenced and factual. There were even photographs once thought lost that I found through actual research, yes, by going through dusty old archives and financially spending perhaps too much to get to the bottom of events/cases. Some took 30, 35 and even over 40 years before I could close the book on them.

Comments.....Zero

Sales.............One book




The Truth About Spring-Heeled JackThe Red Paper:CANINES vol.1Some Things Strange & SinisterSome More Things Strange & SinisterPursuing The Strange & Weird:A Naturalists Viewpoint

I was told today that the public do not want anything that is non~sensationalist.  They want everything they see on Trash TV  in a book and "If they are dumb enough they'll believe it all" I was then told honesty, integrity and accuracy "does not pay the bills".  I had to be told that?

The blog takes time.  Occasionally I can put a post together on the spot but you are still looking at a couple hours work.  Longer posts can take several hours of writing, editing and finding images to go with them.

The books were my sole (supposed) income.  I'm bankrupt.

Hey, you cannot drag a horse to water and you certainly cannot drag people to buy a book. Or give your post a Google Plus or even a comment like "enjoyed that".

Six years work here and that was time I could have spent doing what I like: investigation and research.

I give up.  I shrugged and said "Okay.  No one can be bothered.  I'm broke!" and just shake my head that out and out hoaxers are raking in the cash.

So rather than compromise and go over to the dark side I decided calling it a day was best.  I did have some book reviews planned but those have been archived.  Why promote books other people have written so they sell copies while I sit here counting pennies.

I enjoyed blogging.  But it doesn't pay the bills. Maybe I'll find a crock of gold at the end of the rainbow I can see.  The bitter blow was the line "People don't care. They jump in, read what they want then it's screw you and they are gone!"




Monday, 28 August 2017

Co~operation On Red Paper: Canids ~Clarification

My thanks to Ted for his email and information regarding UK "big cat" sightings.  He made a point that I had not thought about before but needs clarifying.

"What happens if no UK big cat investigators cooperate with you?"

Well, the answer is simple: I continue to produce my Red Paper: Felids based on my 40 years as a naturalist and police wildlife adviser. Pawprint photos, dropping/scat photos/plaster casts, testing results, photographs etc., I have.  I put over 40 years of work on canids into Red Paper: Canids so there is no problem with my working alone.  Everything is fully referenced.

The point of asking for Public and existing groups cooperation is to add extra information and allow those persons to be named as contributors to the final paper.  Basically, it is a chance to get some real cooperation going and base it on Scientific principles.

That simple.  Apologies for any confusion.

Sunday, 27 August 2017

A Great Lack Of Credibility

I think that there is a great lack of credibility amongst certain researchers in the UK and to be quite honest a lot of dishonesty and incompetence.

My approach to any research is simple: there is no bias on my part and I look at every aspect of the material presented.  That is how you should do this.  It is the scientific way.

When I decided to update the Close Encounters of the Third Kind (CE3K)/Alien Entity records for the UK I was surprised greatly at the total amateur nature of research and investigation today.  "He says he was abducted" and that was it.  Acceptance because of what has come out since Budd Hopkins and, later,  Dr David Jacobs revealed via their "alien abduction research". It started out well and then dived straight into the pit of "Let's just jump in and make stuff up as it goes along".

As long time Ufologists and researchers have pointed out, but tend to get ignored because they do not blindly accept post Hopkins/Jacobs claims, is that "Greys" (go online to hear Americans screaming over the keyboard "WHY are they spelling it 'Greys' like the English ~it should be "Grays"!!") as accepted by today's commercial exploiters of the subject never existed.  I can cite hundreds of cases pre Hopkins/Jacobs and, yes, there are some small, large headed AE types described, however, they were not "Greys".

When you have, as previously discussed, UK UFO groups who seem to accept Trash TV shows as their training, accepting any light seen as hiding an abduction and claim to receive 100~200 new abduction cases each month you know something has gone wrong.

I offered to collate reports and make a free~for~all data base.  What happened?  Insults, no wish to cooperate and the claim that these were their reports and no one elses. So nothing has changed since 1977 in UK 'Ufology' and the amount of internet warring and nastiness (some quite evil claims made against some of their fellow researchers)  going on...seems to follow a pattern you find in the US but my main concern is the UK.

You move on to paranormal groups. I once confronted two of these groups over why they had refused to work with me and had "put the word around"?  Apparently, they were "a bit scared" of me!! Why? Because I had a reputation (I had no idea of this at the time) as someone who "critically tries to explain phenomena"...but that is part of Science.  Only when you can eliminate every and any other possibility do you have data that demands further study.  Science.

I responded to a note in a "ghost" group about a haunted house survey going on. I said:

 It might be interesting to find out how many of these events involved small globes of lights or single lights that appeared then suddenly vanished.

To which I got the response:

Both of which are more likely optical effects than paranormal events.

Really? Without asking for an exact definition or example of the type of event I was referring to (I have several on file, two involving more than one witness and no "optical effect" was involved) this person has decided they are all  "optical effects"?  Perhaps this person needs to  also remember the definition of "paranormal"?

Definition of paranormal:  not scientifically explainable :  supernaturalparanormal
paranormality
paranormally
play\ˌper-ə-ˈnȯr-mə-lē, ˌpa-rə-; ˈper-ə-ˌnȯr-, ˈpa-rə-\ adverbplay\ˌper-ə-ˌnȯr-ˈma-lə-tē, ˌpa-rə-\ noun noun

Perhaps "What type of phenomenon are you defining by 'globes of light'?" would have been a better response.  Without even looking at the data this person jumped in with "optical effect".  That is not just unscientific but it shows a closed mind from someone I cannot find any published research from.

In fact, I get a lot of requests fro skeptics to join their "skeptical approach groups" and refuse. You class yourself as "skeptic" then you are admitting that you are not adopting a Scientific approach. Leave the room and come back when you have something to offer.

Again, the (I could scream) "Ghostologists"/"Spookologists"/"paranormalists" are faking, lying, warring with one another and countering each others claims. Not Scientific.  All behaviour seeming adopted from their training watching Trash TV shows on the subject.

Then we have the "British Bigfooters"/"Bigfootologists".

From 1975 onward I heard every type of  account from poachers, game keepers, estate owners, foresters and many others who had an intimate knowledge of woodland, forests and the countryside. All in the strictest confidence I heard of "big cats", ghosts, UFOs, strange lights in buildings or woodland.  I heard of local legends and myths. In 40 plus years I had heard it all but never ever any stories of a Bigfoot or wild~man type creature. Yes, there is a plentiful supply of food for any omnivore and it is basic practice to look at all of this in any area.

But, according to the Cryptozoologists and Bigfootologists we have mystery hominids here.  Right here in the UK. However, I decided to assess the data.  I contacted the main UK Bigfoot group and explained that I would be interested in analyzing and reports and evidence such as foot prints and casts and draw up a report to present to them before publishing generally.  The response from these people who felt science was ignoring and ridiculing them when a naturalist offers to look at what they have?  A rather long, very insulting message accusing me of negativity and more (I kept the message for posterity)...by being open to the subject?  I then got an half arsed apology which, unlike the initial response which was on a public group, was private.  Harm done.

Branches and sticks on the ground, leaning over or criss~crossed...in a woodland or forest.  These people have obviously never gotten out much.  Lean to type structures ~a lot of people are living rough in forests now and to mess about with their "spots" is unwelcome and stones thrown at night or being followed is not Bigfoot.  Amateur video analysis and even claims that "something can be seen in the trees" (it cannot be seen) and, oh dear, the "much respected" Bigfootologist who felt he had won because, after explaining about sticks in woodland to him, I would not continue to argue against his claim that he had found a Bigfoot tree knocking stick...a stick found in the woods is...a stick.

Accounts of 7~9 feet (2.13~2.74m) in woods and going through suburban area are greeted with acceptance.  Blind acceptance by British Bigfootologists.  If you look at their report data bases it includes ghost stories (often listed twice but an inaccurate location given in the second account) and much more.  Even try to suggest a case does not seem likely and you will be screeched at over the internet.

Again, Trash TV shows from the US seem to have sparked off this craze.

UK "big cats"...all the same type of thing.  Yes, we have scat (faeces) analysis, hair analysis, DNA results, we have plaster casts of paw prints, we have the kills and much, much more.  However, the material needs to be compiled by a central body ~it is why I set up the Exotic Animals Register in the 1970s.  Again, animals that should be accepted as being here are not because there is no one with real credibility giving an over view.  Ridiculous.

When I announced that I would look at any evidence groups or investigators, or the public, had last week....I got immediate attacks.  "Who does he think he is just jumping into this research?" and similar.

ahem.

I began looking into these reports as a skeptic but keeping my mind open, in 1976 and from 1977 until I semi retired in 2012 I was a wildlife consultant to UK police forces on the subject. So, unlike many, I never "jumped" onto the subject 10, 6, 5 or a couple years ago but four decades ago.

I don't want to make this post overlong but, if these people really want to be taken seriously then they have to grow up and be scientific.  Many Bigfoot investigators in the United States realized this and are adopting scientific methodology while avoiding the internet hate war.

If you want to be taken seriously then be serious.

Friday, 25 August 2017

Interesting...Forgot I Had This: The Spring Jack

Franklin's Miscellany of 27th January, 1838, grabbed a hold of the readers with a story straight out of the newspapers.

Just as "The Wild Man" play later in the 19th century would create a craze (see Some More Things Strange & Sinister for the story as well as a look at many other forgotten wild men tales) with people, particularly when drunk. calling themselves by that name, Spring Heeled Jack caught the public imagination.

Who was "The Springald", "Leaping Jack" (or "Jumping Jack"/"Jumping Jack Flash"  if you prefer), "The Spring Jack" (which shows the origin of the name) or "Spring Heeled Jack"?

You probably might be disappointed if you read ~ahem~ Peter Piper's "The Spring Jack" as he was probably another wronged aristocrat robbed of his inheritance/birth right.  Peter Piper is obviously a pseudonym since a lot of these chapter stories were written by people who needed the money but didn't necessarily want anyone to know they had written this "rubbish"....shades of later comic book creators.

I found this not while going through newspaper archives looking for SHJ references but for unusual animal reports.  Turned the page and there it was and, yes, I did burst out laughing.

Found the scanned page on a flash drive while, again, looking for something else.  But it shows what can turn up scouring through old publications.

Oh...I wrote about Spring Heeled Jack you know...?

The Bizarre Legends, Crimes And Truth About Spring Heeled Jack

 


The Truth About Spring-Heeled Jack  
Terry Hooper-ScharfPaperback, 53 Pages  Dimensions (centimetres) 20.98 wide x 29.69 tall  (A4)fully illustrated and referenced£10.00http://www.lulu.com/shop/terry-hooper-scharf/the-truth-about-spring-heeled-jack/paperback/product-21259526.html

The terror and mystery created by “Jack The Ripper” has been the subject of countless books, magazine articles as well as movies and TV documentaries. Ask anyone if they have ever heard of Jack The Ripper and it is doubtful anyone would respond with a “no idea.”  

By that same token, ask people who “Spring-heeled Jack” was and you would be lucky to find anyone who had ever heard of him.  

Spring-heeled Jack was the subject (loosely) of a film The Curse of the Wraydons (1946) and Dominic Keating also appeared as Spring Heeled Jack in the 2010 film Sherlock Holmes by The Asylum film company. The character has also featured in both American and British comic books and a number of books, for both children and adults.  

But the fact that the Springald held the country –not just London– in a grip of terror much longer that the Ripper did is all but forgotten except for some half-truths and fanciful theories.  

Now be prepared to read the full story of Spring Heeled Jack

Re. Book Review: Bigfoot, Yeti, and the Last Neanderthal: A Geneticist's Search

I was asked whether Bryan Sykes' "other book" The Nature of the Beast was any good?

It is the same book. "The Nature..." is the hardback edition.

Thursday, 24 August 2017

British Big Cats

I know that not all cats that are non native and in the UK are members of the Big cat family. To make it clear I will repost this piece from the last post.

The Red Paper: Felids will be Science based document to be submitted  to DEFRA, Home Office as well as other groups with an interest.

Between 1977~2012 I worked as an exotic fauna consultant to UK police forces and was also consulted by both German and Dutch police forces regarding large, non native cat sightings (as coordinator of the Exotic Animals Register). I also worked with farmers, game keepers, estates as well as other official bodies to assess sightings, activity and tracks, kills and scat.

Neither the EAR nor I are involved in hunting and it is necessary to emphasize this as some individuals have been unwilling to give information without a guarantee that no hunting is involved).  Under existing laws trapping of any animal cannot take place without the guarantee of secure transport to a licensed wildlife park or zoological garden.

It is not anything to do with any government body.  It is a private study by a naturalist of 50 years: me.

I am not interested in accounts of shape shifting cats or cats with "paranormal powers".

Only real evidence would be accepted.

1) Please, if you can make recasts of prints in your possession that you wish to submit, do so.  Vagaries of the postal system means items can get lost or be broken so do not send all your casts and the ones you do suitably protect.

2) If you only have clear photos of paw~prints suspected of having been made by a large cat then please forward these as jpegs only and head any message as Big Cats Photograph.

3) If you have photographs of animals allegedly killed by a non native cat please forward these under the heading above but subject head  "Big Cats Photograph. Kill"

4) If you suspect that you have scat/droppings from a non native cat or other samples "Big Cats Photograph. Samples"

5) Please do not send any samples until they can be assessed and analysis guaranteed.

6) Always include dates, times, locations where any evidence/photographs was taken.

7) Always include your contact details

8) Anyone can contribute to the study and please be aware that submissions from the public are submitted under the guarantee of confidentiality. No identifying information will be included in the final report though to authenticate evidence as genuine I would require this (from 1977~2012 no witness has ever been identified without explicit permission ~this is a guarantee).

9) All communication will be via letter or email unless specific extra details are required so if you can, please include a phone number.

That is it. Nothing too scary and no groups are excluded whether farmers groups or UK Big Cat groups or naturalists: any genuine evidence is accepted.

Note that anonymous submissions will not be included in the study and will probably be binned.

Initial contact via email to:
blacktowercg@hotmail.com

Thank You

Red Paper: Felids British 'Big' Cats

In 2010 I published Red Paper: Canids looking at the history of foxes and other canids in the UK.  I even managed (because I actually do research) to find some previously thought lost photos.  I knew an old naturalist/biologist who had read every and any book on UK wildlife he could (I saw his library!) over a period of 70 years.  When he read my book he described it as "Explosive.  You will not get any help from established naturalists even if every line in the book is proven and there are fully referenced sources!"

Of course, I knew from years of dealing with naturalists that unless something involved flowers, butterflies or moths or just birds, most were not interested.  I was a member of the British Naturalists Association, whose pioneers had, in the early 1900s written and covered many topics.  When I began to put what was then a paper together, I contacted every branch of the BNA up and down the country. There was no real knowledge or interest in foxes or getting out to do field work. Some branch secretaries even responded that "our members prefer their comfort"

Basically, no one wanted to help and most certainly did not want to go out into the wilds nor go through local newspaper archives.

When the work eventually became a fully referenced book looking at over 40 years of research, I sent two copies to the BNA.  One was for review in its periodical, Country~Side, the other would, I was promised on two occasions, be sent to the BNA President Dr David Bellamy and included a covering letter.  the BNA, as far as I can ascertain, did not review the book and were a little miffed that I had not offered a discount to BNA members...the BNA members who would not help and I ought to point out that at that time, just to get the ball rolling, the book cost £10 and I made 50p if a copy sold. Discount that.

Was the book reviewed? No idea as Michael Demidecki, Hon. Editor, Country-Side, said he would send a copy.  Never did and then answered  no further correspondence. December 2011 edition. Ordered a copy and never got it.

Did Prof. Bellamy get his copy?  Never heard a word.

Other naturalists/organizations were sent copies.  Nothing.  

So fox protection groups were offered copies. Lots of interest but...no one would give an address to send copies to.

Consequently, my now late friend was proven correct.  I think three copies have sold!
organizations

My friend did see the work for the Red Paper: Felids and nodded approval.

So why haven't I published this work yet?  One reason is that I have been attempting for a long time to have two academics sign off on my using material we worked on together. I have stated before: never work with academics.  In this case I am going with the original permission that was never rescinded.

Even so, it may not appear until 2019 because there are hundreds of pages that need to be edited into an acceptable format.  The photo below shows only some of the material.  There are a lot of files and folders that need to be gone through also.

Below is a close up of that stack. Nothing is on computer.  I have plaster casts as well as other material to process.

Rough sighting maps need to be also made usable and these maps list hundreds of confirmed sightings.


Over the many years these maps have become somewhat tatty as they were desk maps to plot sightings as they were reported and confirmed.

There is the possibility of further DNA testing of samples and so things go slow.  This is serious research.

Here, however, I would like to  make an offer to anyone out there who has photographs or plaster casts of suspected non native cat prints whether lynx, puma or leopard, to please submit them but get in touch first.  Photographs of hair or other material can also be forwarded.

Please head any message as EAR Cat Study
blacktowercg@hotmail.com

Thanks

Book Review: Bigfoot, Yeti, and the Last Neanderthal: A Geneticist's Search for Modern Apemen by Bryan Sykes


  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Disinformation Company (Mar. 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 193887515X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1938875151
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.3 x 22.6 cm



..".you're talking about a yeti or bigfoot or sasquatch. Well now, you'll be amazed when I tell you that I'm sure they exist." --Jane Goodall on NPR
This is "The Big Book of Yetis." What the reader gets here is a world-class geneticist's search for evidence for the existence of Big Foot, yeti, or the abominable snowman.
Along the way, he visits sites of alleged sightings of these strange creatures, attends meetings of cryptozoologists, recounts the stories of famous monster-hunting expeditions, and runs possible yeti DNA through his highly regarded lab in Oxford. Sykes introduces us to the crackpots, visionaries, and adventurers who have been involved in research into this possible scientific dead-end over the past 100 years. Sykes is a serious scientist who knows how to tell a story, and this is a credible and engaging account.
Almost, but not quite human, the yeti and its counterparts from wild regions of the world, still exert a powerful atavistic influence on us. Is the yeti just a phantasm of our imagination or a survivor from our own savage ancestry? Or is it a real creature? This is the mystery that Bryan Sykes set out to unlock.


Back on the 28th October, 2013, I gave my opinion on British TVs Channel 4 The Bigfoot Files episode  dealing  with Sasquatch.

On the Almasty episode>

Nadia Moore wrote a piece on her involvement with the programme:

In fact, it seems that not even Dr Sykes was happy with the cuts made in the TV series. An innocent in TV world!   

I once knew a natural who had studied reports of non native cats in the UK for a couple decades. I warned him, when he was invited onto local BBC TV news to talk about a recent puma sighting in the area.   He thought the BBC would be fair. He had plaster casts, charts and even some interesting photographs. Spent a few  hours with the BBC film crew. "Nice people".  Then came the news item and the usual "Perhaps the cider is too strong down that way" and the researcher had everything cut down to 8 seconds and the camera trailed through long grass got longer air time.  And the studio giggled and laughed.  It was after this that I had an angry exchange with a BBC TV producer and told him I had now barred any work with the BBC ~long story.

In this book, Sykes mentions the cuts and how the show's host, the much hated by everyone it seems, Mark Farmer, was there to wring out every last ounce of much needed TV time from the interviews. It must have been something of a shock to Sykes to meet and chat with 'nice' TV people, trust them and then this happens.  "TV people" covers it all.

But Sykes was damned by "Bigfootologists" because of a cut up series and the press/media loving the jokes and mocking headlines they could get from the fact that DNA and Science ~Sykes~ had proven that Bigfoot and the yeti and their kin were all silly stories.

There is something that many fail to understand and that is the fact that there were skeptics who poked fun at Sykes yet accepted his conclusions that there were no unknown hominoids out there.  Most I note are billing themselves as critics of "pseudo science" and seem to rely heavily on reading rather than getting off their arses and doing field work but, I guess, it all comes down to "Why go out into the wilds to investigate what isn't there?"

Not sticking to facts is, it seems, permitted on both sides. Very unscientific.

The book itself looks at famous examples of Yeti, Sasquatch and Almas. So, rather than just jump into DNA analysis, etc., Sykes gives the curious reader who may be open minded a fair appraisal of the subject.

There is the 1924 "Ape Canyon" incident in which miners claimed to have been attacked by a group of sasquatch along with the supposed explanation that throwing volcanic rock from a ridge was an established teen pass~time but those involved had no idea the miners were below. 

Fair enough. 

But Sykes did not sit on his arse in some comfy armchair and pontificate.  He visited the Bernard Heuvelman archives and delved into papers there and provides a wonderful (Chapter 8 The Godfather) look at Heuvelman and Ivan T. Sanderson's investigation into the Minnesota Iceman and shows how these close friends fell out over the case.  Basically, Heuvelman's had promised not to submit any scientific paper on the Iceman until Sanderson had secured the body to examine it properly. Heuvelman's threw that promise aside and, in many eyes then and since, screwed everything up ~including his own scientific reputation, not helped by his deciding to give the "new species" a scientific name.

The whole Heuvelman/Sanderson/Minnesota Iceman affair is fairly summed up. But let's not dwell on the iceman.

There is even a look at hybridization and ape~human hybridization as a possibility which leads into the subject of Oliver ~if you have never heard of Oliver "the Humanzee" then just google him (or  buy my book!).  Even today, decades after Oliver's origins were explained there are many in the cryptozoology community who still credit him as a mystery.


A very nice look at mitochondial DNA and microscopic analysis of hair samples and we even have described the laboratory to which samples from any dead sasquatch would be sent, probably the body, too.  Bigfooters keep asking "where" US officials would send these samples yet here is the answer.  I am guessing they have not read the book which may be why criticism is based on things said in the TV programme or press.

Unfortunately, Sykes refers to his contact with British cryptozoologists. However, if you are going to take the Scientific approach of listening to all sides while evaluating the case/evidence then this  type of contact needs to be there.  You have to see for yourself and assess.

Sykes notes that cryptozoologists feel rejected by Science. I wonder why?  Bluster, half truths and publicity seeking to make money seem to be the main requirements from these people.  This then detracts from the work carried out by anyone seriously studying a subject and it is good to see that Bigfooters in the US and Canada are trying their best to acquire evidence that Science requires and avoiding the continuous inter bigfooters wars!

Unfortunately, Adam Davies does not come out of this well. It is not intentional on Sykes' part as he is just explaining his interactions with cryptozoologists and Bigfooters.  I have always held Davies in high esteem and even written before about how other cryptozoologists should follow his example.  After the Matthew Johnson/SOHA debacle  I still accepted Davies' credibility ~anyone can be fooled under the right conditions and with the right priming.  After reading his book, Man Beasts~ A Personal Investigation, the crown slipped even more. http://terryhooper.blogspot.co.uk/2017/08/review-manbeasts-personal-investigation_16.html

In this book, Sykes notes how at a weekend event Davies had stated that DNA results had shown that his orang pendek sample had shown it to be part human, part chimpanzee yet, when Sykes politely questioned him about the results there was avoidance.  This was used by Sykes to show the problems with sending samples to labs for testing and tests not being carried out thoroughly and in cases samples not being returned but, most importantly, there being no report on the tests.

When we had the top man and his assistance working on samples of hairs and other materials about ten years ago now, the one thing that the lab always presented was an analysis breakdown and a chart that backed this up. So there was no question regarding the results and we were always asked whether we wanted the samples back.  So, if I gave a talk and reported that a lab had run DNA tests and the report stated the samples were from Panthera pardus (leopard) I would have the lab results and the sample so that if another lab was asked to do a double check I could compare results. Davies did not seem to have this.

We then got onto the whole Lori Simmons and sasquatch known as "Big Guy". I have stated before that a couple of video clips I have seen have audio that sounds like bear noise. Remember that Davies told us "I've heard tigers in the wild" when the Big Guy roared at him.  He noted searching around the tree in question but finding no entrance to a bear den but claimed that he and Simmons believed the bigfoot got under the tree via underground tunnels, which, okay, seemed "iffy" but.... 

And Davies stated that the apples left as offerings had been obviously eaten whole ~ "something a bear cannot do" and at this point the blood drained from me.  Check out the video above.  There are plenty of photos and videos of bears eating apples whole.  What was Davies thinking??

Anyway, Sykes heard the knocking and other sounds but not roaring.  After Davies and Simmons left the area Sykes decided that he was a scientist and there was this bigfoot actually under the tree. He could not walk away from going back to try to get more evidence ~he even got his camera ready.  However, he asked a park ranger whether he would accompany him for safety sake and to have a witness if he saw anything.

Here is where my heart sank.  The ranger looked around the tree thoroughly as Sykes gathered his hair samples.  It was then that the ranger, who had been rather open minded especially because of who Sykes was, told him that he might be able to offer an explanation for not just the wood knocking but also why the knocks and intensity only seemed to occur at a certain time of day. 

I find it almost unbelievable that, in inspecting and walking around the tree, Davies had not looked up. The basics of investigating any site is that you look at the area in question ~every direction around, at the ground and up.  Okay, in my case the possibility of there being a puma, leopard or angry primate in a tree branch made it essential and was why I usually had someone armed with me.  But, even then, if you are investigating in the field then whatever you are looking for you look up.  Deformed tree branches blown by a breeze knocking into and rubbing against the tree at the same time you are hearing the knocking and 'growls' ~explanation.  Does this mean that while Davies looked around for Orang pendek he never looked up into the trees?  The hair sample Sykes retrieved looked very much like Simmons' hair.

The whole  yeti~bear chapter deals with a topic some bigfooters and cryptozoologists have used to make fun of Sykes and his research.  Again, I am guessing this derision is based on the TV programme and news coverage  not reading what Sykes wrote.  It is straight forward and Science not make believe. Do not deride or use research based on proper science to attack people who come up with results you do not like.

On page 309 Sykes writes:

"From what I have seen, Bigfootologists are not, on who whole, good researchers. They lack the necessary degree of self~criticism. One of the elements of scientific  training is that you should be your own fiercest critic, though many of us fail to live up to this dictum.  You do not have to be right  every time ~indeed progress in science is a process of evolution where one theory supersedes the last, however strongly held, as new information or new thinking is revealed"

Sykes goes on to point out that the search for bigfoot, yeti or almasty is not beyond Science and, this is all on page 309:

"I may not have found an anomalous primate amongst the hair samples I was given, but that is simply because there wasn't one, nothing more."

You see, Sykes was joking nor dismissing the hominids in question. He has an open mind and not a dismissive one.  His comments on the disorganized state of the research into hominology is what Bigfooters dislike.  

This is, however, a factual statement.  

People who are doing this work are, in the main, not prepared to do so scientifically.  "That's his opinion" will be the grumpy response.  Or "I've spent thirty years in the field looking for this creature and know more about it than some Brit in a lab coat!"

I have had experience with "Ufologists" who reacted the same way and really messed up with trace evidence, before abductions made that of "no consequence" ~they argued and fought tooth and nail more than carry out serious evidence gathering.

I have seen the same thing with "cryptozoologists" and so called UK "Big Cat Hunters" where personality clashes, promoting oneself to get into the newspapers or on TV where facts can be bent to their own benefits.  

Oh, and if a lab result catches them out then it is quite 'obvious' the lab was either "gotten at" or samples intercepted and changed. I am not joking ~I have first hand experience with all of these people.  Cryptozoology, Ufology, Bigfootology, etc. are not Sciences.

Yes, there are people involved in Sasquatch research who are in fact beginning to "science up" and here's hoping they achieve something.  I think that this book is a suitable read for people involved in any field or branch of cryptozoology because it shows the bad science and good science and how samples and other material should be gathered. I even went into this in another recent posting:

Anyone have any idea what microscopic hair analysis or even DNA testing costs in time or money?  I can tell you it is a lot.  Sykes also travelled to look at alleged yeti~bear and to take samples, he travelled to look through Heuvelman's papers and other archives. He did everything he should have done as a scientist and it was not his work that showed he needed a kick up the arse ~it was the practices of the hominologists that let hominology down.

I felt sorry for the Russian Almasty researchers.  They have put in decades of work and even Sykes states that the way the TV programme edited out anything but his results revelation left them looking bad.  Zana may not have turned out to be what we all expected but it teaches us a lesson. The story of Zana adds more to history but not hominology and I hope that the people at the Darwin Museum adapt new practices for the future.

Sykes is not dismissing the subject.  If you read his book he makes it clear that there seems to be a lot of work being done in the field (Jeff Meldrum) and that there is anecdotal evidence in huge stacks of files.  What he wants is for more scientists to get involved and for those involved in the search to organize themselves and work by a scientific method. There is no need for a body.

I would highly recommend this book.