Zoologist, media consultant, and science writer, Dr Karl Shuker is also one of the best known cryptozoologists in the world. Author of such seminal works as Mystery Cats of the World (1989), The Lost Ark: New and Rediscovered Animals of the 20th Century (1993; greatly expanded in 2012 as The Encyclopaedia of New and Rediscovered Animals), In Search of Prehistoric Survivors (1995), and more recently Extraordinary Animals Revisited (2007), Dr Shuker's Casebook (2008), Karl Shuker's Alien Zoo: From the Pages of Fortean Times (2010), Cats of Magic, Mythology, and Mystery (2012), and Mirabilis: A Carnival of Cryptozoology and Unnatural History (2013), his many fans have been badgering him to join the blogosphere for years. The CFZ Blog Network is proud to have finally persuaded him to do so.

Dr Karl Shuker's Official Website - http://www.karlshuker.com

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Wednesday, 12 May 2010


Representation of the Queensland tiger (William M. Rebsamen)

So many times in cryptozoology, an unusual creature hits the headlines and then abruptly vanishes without trace, never to be mentioned again.

One such example is the Australian nightgrowler. As documented in the Queensland Sunday Mail for 12 November 1995, that was the year when, according to inhabitants of Goldsborough Valley, south of Cairns in Queensland, Australia, this region was being prowled by a mysterious, exclusively nocturnal creature whose mere presence in the vicinity was enough to terrify the local dogs, and which earned its name from its deep, ferocious growls. People who heard these were convinced that they were not of canine origin, thereby ruling out dogs and dingoes, but were unquestionably feline, reminding them of a tiger's sounds.

Speculation was rife that the elusive nightgrowler may be one and the same as the mystifying yarri or Queensland tiger, which is banded with black and white stripes, has a feline head and tusk-like teeth, and is believed by some cryptozoologists to be a surviving member of the officially extinct lineage of thylacoleonids or marsupial lions. A team of investigators, including local naturalists and a ranger, and led by Pat Shepherd, was keen to capture a nightgrowler, in the hope of finally unmasking its cryptic identity, but this never happened - otherwise the whole world would nowadays be familiar with this cryptid.


Long ago, in a galaxy far far away, there was a time when I was young, still had hair, and shared a television studio with Anthea Turner. And if you don't believe me, here's the proof:


Monday, 3 May 2010


Here I am on sunny (for some of the time!) Cannock Chase

Today, on Britain's May Bank Holiday, I spent part of the afternoon (the part when it wasn't raining!) seeking trolls, as you do, on Cannock Chase - a vast expanse of woodland not far from where I live. Just in case you are wondering whether I've been spending too much time in the sun (though in rainy old Britain, opportunity would be a fine thing!), please let me explain.

Cannock Chase, a vast protected expanse of wooded and heather-carpeted countryside near Stafford in Staffordshire, England, has been for many years the scene of alleged encounters with a bizarre hairy entity variously likened by its startled eyewitnesses to a bigfoot or even a werewolf. These reports (some of which, according to one investigator, have come from such credible claimants as scout leaders on patrol, military, police, ex-police, and even a local postman) have attracted considerable interest and attention from local paranormal and cryptozoological researchers. Moreover, a wide variety of suggested identities have been proffered – from paranormal man-beasts, or crazed tramps, to huge stray dogs, or even extraterrestrial aliens.

In May 2007, moreover, a local resident (who has chosen to remain anonymous) hit the headlines in this area with a new and truly extraordinary proposal. He has soberly claimed that a tribe of primitive humanoid beings may be inhabiting the vast honeycomb of subterranean tunnels and passages beneath the surface of Cannock Chase, which was formerly a major mining area, but occasionally coming above-ground to hunt deer and other wildlife for food. And it is rare sightings of these latter-day trolls, he believes, that is responsible for the accounts of hairy bigfoot- or werewolf-type entities – as well as for an unexpectedly high number of local pets going missing here.

Sadly, I did not encounter any trolls during my own brief foray here today, but remembering from Nordic folklore their carnivorous proclivity, this is probably no bad thing!