What Are Elves???

While watching the classic Disney movie “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” with my granddaughter, an odd thought occurred to me. If the plural of dwarf is dwarfs, why is the plural of elf elves?

This of course changed my entire train of thought to elves, in general. Why? Who knows? Honestly, the little conductor living in my brain switches the tracks of my train of thought rather frequently. I stopped questioning this phenomenon quite some time ago. I simply “go along for the ride” now.

As a child, I once concocted an elf trap, in the hopes of catching a few so I could play with them. “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” had always been, and admittedly still is, one of my favorite movies. The little buggers always look so daggoned happy. What child wouldn’t want to have a few of them as friends?

You see it all began when daddy was reading “Twas the Night Before Christmas” to me one Christmas Eve. It was a wonderfully illustrated version of the book. When Daddy got to the page with the picture of Santa coming down the chimney, I got rather concerned. “Daddy, we don’t have a chim-a-lee. How will Santa come in our house?” “Well, Gin Gin, don’t you worry. Santa has magic powder. He sprinkles some on the rooftops of homes without chimneys. This makes a big hole appear in the roof. He just jumps down the hole, delivers the presents, then jumps back up the hole when he leaves. Then, he sprinkles more magic powder over the hole and it disappears.” I was so impressed. My daddy knows everything.

When he had finished reading the poem to me, I asked him if the elves from “Rudolph” were coming with Santa. “Yes, Gin Gin. The elves always come along to help Santa out.” “But, Daddy, won’t the elves hurt themselves if they jump down a big hole? They’re so little.” Of course, Daddy knew the answer to this question, as well.

“Elves are so little, Gin Gin. They’re even littler than your brother, Ricky. They can squeeze into a house just about anywhere. In fact, see that little keyhole in the doorknob over there?” “Yes, Daddy. I see it.” “Well, when I was a little boy, I once saw an elf come right through one of those.” “Oh my, Daddy! Did you catch him?” “No. I tried to Gin, but he was just too fast.” “Oh, that’s so sad Daddy. I want to catch one.”

Then, I leaped up off of Daddy’s lap and said, “Daddy, I have an ideal.” I went to the kitchen and grabbed a little brown paper bag out of a drawer. I took the bag to Daddy and told him I needed some candy. Daddy did not want to give me any candy at first. After I told him it was for the elves instead of me, he finally went and got 8 or 10 M&M’s from the candy cabinet for me.

I put the candy in the bag and tried to place it over the doorknob. The bag kept falling off on every attempt. “Oh, Daddy, this is just not going to work.” “Oh, Gin Gin, don’t be so quick to give up.” Daddy grabbed one of my braids and pulled the hair tie off the end of it. He wrapped the hair tie around the bag, and voila! My elf trap was now up and fully functional.

 

The next morning, I sprung out of bed and dashed into the living room to check my elf trap. I was shocked and dismayed by what I saw. “Oh no! OH NO! OH NO! OH NOOOOOO!” Daddy came running into the living room to see what was the matter. “What’s wrong, Gin Gin?” “Look, Daddy. There’s a big hole in my trap. The elves got away. They all got away.”

“Oh, I’m so sorry, Gin. Are you sure they got away? Did you look inside the bag?” “No, not yet. Do you think there might be an elf in there, Daddy?” “I don’t know. Let’s look and see, Gin.”

We slowly and quietly crept up to the bag. “What’s in there, Daddy?” “Well, I don’t see any elves. I see a piece of paper or something. Let me look at it and see what it is. It’s a letter…for you.” “For me, Daddy?” “Yes. It says: “Dear Gin, thank you for the yummy candy. Merry Christmas. Your Friend, Elfie.” At the bottom of the letter was a stick figure drawing of a little elf girl. “Oh, Daddy! I have a friend who is an elf? And, her name is Elfie? And, she wrote me a letter?” “Yes. Hey, guess what. There’s something else in the bag, too.” “Oh, Daddy, is it Elfie?” “No. It’s not moving. I think your friend left you a present.”

Daddy then pulled a little tiny rubber Mickey Mouse toy out of the bag. “Oh, my gosh, Daddy! Elfie gave me a Mitchie Mouse.”

I believe I was the happiest little girl in the world that Christmas morning. I lost the Mickey Mouse toy not long after. The memory of Elfie soon faded from my mind, as well. The one thing I hope I never lose is the memory of my father’s love for me. After all, this is the sort of thing that Christmas is all about, isn’t it?

I guess one could say I’ve always been curious about Santa’s little helpers. I mean, what precisely are they? Are they children, perhaps orphans, whom out of the kindness of his heart, Santa has adopted? If so, I should think that working in the toy factory would be rather a cruel fate to bestow upon the wayward tots. I prefer to think of them as miniature adults who, in exchange for room and board as well as all the free cocoa and candy canes they could ever dream of, willingly accept positions as Santa’s toymakers.

It appears my assumptions about elves have been totally wrong all along. I consulted with my trusted research assistant (commonly known as “Google”), to seek answers to my elf questions. I am now more confused than ever.

Apparently, elves have been around, in one form or another, for centuries. One would have to be a historical scholar to fully comprehend the origin of elf mythology. It would also help to be fluent in several different languages because most of the history of elves comes from several different countries. The information has been derived from ancient textbooks. Most of these books are written in foreign and/or archaic languages. To fully understand the true origin of elves would require investing much more time to study them than I have available.

I will simply summarize what little information I do understand. The earliest mention of the belief in elves comes from textbooks found in England, Iceland, and Germany. These micro-munchkin-sized, mistletoe in their caps wearing, sometimes mischievous, merry toy makers are even mentioned in historical medical texts. (Please do pardon my annoying affinity for alliteration…I know not from where it comes.)

In the tenth century, elves were described as being human-like, having magical powers which led some people to believe they were Pagan divinities, and it was widely believed they could either help or harm humans, depending on what sort of mood they may have been in. They were not the cute little green clothed creatures we envision them as being today, either. Historical representations of elves depict them as looking quite different.

Why would elves be mentioned in medical texts? People believed several illnesses were caused by elves. In the twelfth century, many people believed elves were invisible demons who could shoot them with invisible arrows, giving them a disease which was referred to as “elfshot”. It was also widely believed that elves could make cattle and livestock ill.

It wasn’t until the late 19th century that elves evolved into the endearing little creatures we all think of at Christmas. As it turns out, Santa himself was the original Christmas elf. In the 1823 poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” (more commonly known as “Twas the Night Before Christmas”), Santa was referred to as “a right jolly old elf”. The other elves were added to the modern Christmas myth a short time later.

Believe it or not, there is even controversy over the true identity of the author of this long beloved poem. A man named Clement Clarke Moore took credit for having written it several years after it was originally published. Yet, many say it was actually Henry Livingston, Jr. who wrote this classic literary masterpiece.

The origin of Mr. Claus is also quite cloudy. There are several theories, yet no solid answers as to how the legend of Jolly Old Saint Nick came into being.

Perhaps some things are simply better left a mystery?

I do, however, believe that elves tend to have an ornery streak from time to time. Every parent knows that freeing Barbie and all her friends from their packaging on Christmas morning requires having a degree in rocket science. What is the purpose of stapling plastic tag holders through the inside of the doll’s head and then through the package itself? No matter how close you angle the scissors to the dolls’ hair line, there is always one tiny little piece of plastic poking out of Barbie’s head that somehow manages to scratch your child occasionally.

Ooh, those naughty, naughty little elves. Perhaps it’s a blessing in disguise that Elfie managed to evade capture? One simply never knows.

Thanks for reading. I sincerely wish you all a beastly Blessed Yule, a Monstrously Merry Christmas, a hauntingly Happy Hanukah, and a ghoulishly great whatever other holiday I may have inadvertently neglected to mention. Cheers!

Advertisements

The “Empath” Scam

Many people may get slightly miffed with me for writing this article, yet I feel compelled to do so. This blog post is not about cryptozoology, but rather a purported paranormal phenomenon. As a researcher, I feel it is my duty to expose scams, regardless of the consequences.

If you have fallen victim to this scam, do not feel badly. You are not the only one. I almost fell for it myself. Although I am nowhere near smart enough to be an aerospace engineer, I like to think I am a fairly smart cookie. However, we are all vulnerable to falling victim to scams, regardless of IQ.

I was recently conversing with a man on a popular dating website. He told me he thought I may be an empath and gave me a link to click on. I never click on links sent to me by strangers, so I decided to do a Google search for the word “empath” instead. I’m glad I took the time to research this topic.

What I discovered was that everyone who is not a sociopath is an empath. It is no special ability. Empathy is a natural human emotion that you and I and everyone who is not a sociopath have. Empathy is nothing more than sympathy magnified. For example, if your child’s pet dies, you tend to feel just as sad, if not sadder, than your child feels. Empathy is simply the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

There are some human monsters, known as con artists, who have cleverly (albeit unethically) devised methods to bilk money from people by using a perfectly normal emotion and turning it into some grand pseudo psychic power. If I were to tell you you’re a respiratory psychic because you sense that others around you are breathing, you would look at me as though I were daft. If I then told you I can teach you how to harness your super breathing powers for a small fee, you would most likely tell me to take a hike. It should be so obvious. Yet, most people can be persuaded to believe a myriad of absurd concepts.

I have seen websites devoted to “empath empowerment”. Many of them offer free newsletters. I would be leery of signing up for the newsletters, because this would be a rather crafty way for these monsters to obtain your personal information to steal your identity. I have also seen “empath retreats”. For $5,000 or so, you can go spend a week in a cabin and learn how to “harness your empathic abilities”. Big waste of money, folks. Unless you are a psychology major writing a research paper on the dynamics of how easily people can be tricked into thinking they have super powers.

It’s really quite simple. We all tend to absorb the emotions of others throughout the day. Just go home, have a glass of wine (or, in my case, Jack and soda), soak in the tub for a while, and watch a good program on television or read a good book. It’s all about letting go of the stress. We are all empaths, and we all need to have good coping mechanisms to deal with stress.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news…but, I have also debunked myself as not having psychic empath abilities. I just really do not like to see people get scammed.

In 1968, the television show “Star Trek” aired an episode called “The Empath”. It was about a lovely lady who had the ability to absorb the emotions of others. She soaked up all the bad energy of others and left everyone feeling rather happy. The empath wound up dying because she had taken in too much negative energy. I imagine this scam originated when some conman or woman was sitting on the couch watching a rerun of that show. I can’t say for certain.

Hope this article was helpful. Thanks for reading. Apologies if I’ve offended anyone. Just trying to be helpful. Please share a smile today. Moods really are “contagious”, especially if you’re an empath. LOL

 

Its Head Was As Big As The Boat

Cooler nights here in Indiana signify the swift approach of the fall season. As summer nears its end, I see many of my friends lamenting the loss of those leisurely summer days spent at the lakes. This, of course, gave me an idea for a sea monster story. Lol…sorry, just the way my brain works.

But, where to begin? There are so many wonderful terrors of the deep to choose from. My favorite, as many of my regular readers may well know, is the Loch Ness Monster. However, every cryptozoologist and their brother have already written so very many articles about the old gal that any article I may write would seem rather blasé and insignificant.

I could write about the Kraken, yet I am reluctant to do so at this point. I know I do not feel the Kraken is a Giant Squid because all the historical artistic representations I have seen of him look far more like a giant octopus than a squid. I think I will wait for more data to be presented before I delve into researching this fellow. At least for now, anyway.

This is my dilemma…too many monsters, too little time. Perhaps I could write about a cryptid or two that many people may not have heard of? Yes, perhaps I shall.

In fact, not much at all is known about one of my “monsters of the day”. Yet, the other monster has been a hot topic of discussion for thousands of years. I have decided to combine the two in one blog post. Both behemoths live(d?) in the sea, possibly during the same time period. I find this very intriguing because I am a HUGE “Godzilla” fan who loves monster versus monster matches. A fight between these two beasts would have been a sight to behold, to say the least, the very least.

These two super-sized sea dwellers also capture my attention because I, personally, believe they may still be amongst us. Anything is possible. It all boils down to whether one chooses to WANT to believe or not. Unless or until scientists are provided with actual evidence of the beasts’ continued existence, many will likely disagree with me and consider these magnificent monsters nothing more than remnants of the fossil record.

I honestly believe fishermen have a vastly undeserved reputation for telling tall tales. Although there may be a handful (or two or more) of anglers who enjoy embellishing stories of “the catch of a lifetime that somehow managed to evade capture”, I don’t think the majority of their tales should be so easily dismissed.

With an estimated less than five percent of our world’s waterways having been explored, one can only begin to imagine the various strange and wonderful creatures that may be dwelling within them.

I also firmly believe that most all legends are based on facts. When it comes to sea, river, and lake monsters, I believe! I see no valid reason NOT to believe. It would prove most difficult to disprove a sea serpent sighting. By the time anyone received notice of the sighting and went out to investigate, the creature would be long gone. Having the whole ocean to hide in gives a great advantage to any monster who wishes to remain hidden.

I consider fishermen (and fisherwomen) to be experts on marine life. People who spend most of their time fishing know the various types of fish that live in the areas where they fish. If an abnormal specimen is sighted, chances are it may just be an undiscovered species of fish.

In fact, the Coelacanth (pronounced “seel uh canth”) is a fish that was thought to have gone extinct around 66 million years ago. Yet, it was recently rediscovered in 1938 by a fisherman. Had the man who caught the fish not realized it was an atypical fish, scientists may never have known these fish still exist. Since this man’s initial discovery of the Coelacanth, several others have also been captured. I imagine there may have been several fishermen who had caught Coelacanth fish and just tossed them back in because they were not interested in knowing what they were.

Coelacanth fish are what cryptozoologists refer to as a species of “Lazarus Taxon”. Lazarus comes from the biblical story of a man named Lazarus who was resurrected from death by Jesus. Taxa (singular Taxon) was an astronomically difficult word to find an understandable definition of. From what I could gather, I believe it has something to do with the practice of classifying animals into different groups. So, Lazarus Taxa are simply animals that have been classified as being risen from the dead? Perhaps it would be more precise to say they are creatures who have disappeared from the fossil record and were thought to be extinct, only to reappear again (very much still alive) later.

Believe it or not, as outlandish an idea as it seems, there are many examples of animals who were thought to have died off as a species, yet never actually did. Are there dinosaurs in Borneo? I would not rule that possibility out…not yet, anyway. However, I can give you some far more believable examples of true Lazarus Taxa.

Here is a short (and, by no means all-inclusive) list of a few of my favorite Lazarus Taxa. If you find them interesting, I hope you take the time to google a few of them. Most of them are just cute, cute, cute beyond compare.

  1. Takahe
  2. Chacoan Peccary
  3. Loatian Rock Rat
  4. Mountain Pygmy Possum
  5. Midwife Toad
  6. Yellow Tailed Woolly Monkey
  7. El Hierro Giant Lizard
  8. Terror Skink
  9. New Caledonian Crested Gecko
  10. Arakan Forest Turtle
  11. Tammar Wallaby
  12. Woolly Flying Squirrel
  13. Roosevelt’s Muntjac
  14. New Guinea Big-Eared Bat
  15. Mahogany Glider
  16. Gilbert’s Potoroo
  17. Cuban Solenodon
  18. Caspian Horse
  19. Bavarian Pine Vole

But, wait! Have I completely lost my train of thought and forgotten about the two sea monsters I mentioned earlier in this article? Although I do have a tendency to be rather scatter brained (mostly only on Tuesdays), I promise you I have not forgotten.

I was merely mentioning Lazarus Taxa because I wanted to explain why I believe Megalodon (a gargantuan shark) and Livyatan Melvillei (an enormous whale) may possibly still inhabit our oceans. I believe there is a high probability these two may, sometime in the near or distant future, be proven to be Lazarus Taxa.

Yes, these two aquatic cryptids scare me something fierce. My fear is completely irrational due to the fact that I have a massive phobia of drowning and never spend any time near large bodies of water. Yet, these two monsters still manage to occasionally shatter my “land lover” sense of security by invading my dreams.

I can’t recall the number of times I have had the same dreadful recurring nightmare. I’m aboard a very large cruise ship in the middle of the ocean. I fall over the side of the boat and am instantly devoured by either a great white shark or a killer whale.

I imagine these nightmares are caused from having watched the movies “Jaws” and “Orca” and having read Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick” far too many times. I can only hope the dreams are not prophetic in nature. Okay, anyway, getting back on track with the topic…

Not much is known about either Megalodon or Livyatan Melvillei. Due to the fact that aquatic animals tend to decompose at a rather rapid rate of speed, there simply is not much evidence for scientists to study, aside from a few teeth, vertebrae, and an occasional mandible.

Megalodon is far more well-known than Livyatan. This massive shark is thought to have gone extinct between 23 to 2 and a half million years ago. Given the 21-million-year difference in the estimated extinction date, I have to wonder if anybody really has a clue just how long ago (if ever) these sharks died out.

Megalodon may have been up to 60 feet long and weighed over 50 tons (some estimate as much as 70 – 100 tons). Yet, nobody knows for sure. Until someone finds a living specimen, I guess we will all just have to wait and see.

What is known beyond a shadow of a doubt is Megalodon had(s?) a mouth full of razor sharp teeth that grew up to seven inches long. Holy Mackerel!! Now, that is one scary fish.

There have been numerous unconfirmed sightings of massive sharks that, according to eyewitness testimony, seem very similar to Megalodon.

Many scientists argue that Megalodon could not have survived the Ice Age. Oceanic cooling and lower sea levels would have caused a shortage of food because several species of “feeder fish” would have gone extinct.

I question this theory. Considering the vast number of animals who have survived an Ice Age (or two or more) how would it NOT be possible that Megalodon could not have survived as well? I know humans would eat worms if they got hungry enough. Also, from what little I do know of shark behavior, I believe (and please correct me if I am wrong) they will pretty much eat anything that even remotely resembles food to them.

I also wonder how anybody could accurately calculate how many different types of fish may or may not have lived through the Ice Age. We do not even know how many different types of fish and other creatures there are in the ocean today. New species of both living yet unknown fish, as well as fossils of previously undiscovered extinct fish, are being discovered on a continual basis. Giant Squid were only just recently proven to exist. If something that big can go undetected for that long, who’s to say what else may be swimming around in the deep blue sea?

People have been finding Megalodon teeth for several thousands of years. In fact, most thought they were petrified dragon tongues until 1667 when a naturalist named Nicolaus Steno correctly identified them as being shark teeth. His book is “The Head of a Shark Dissected”, if you may be interested in it. I am rather squeamish when it comes to looking at animal innards and that sort of thing. The reason I decided against being a Marine Biologist or a Veterinarian is the fact that I would not have been able to take an Anatomy and Physiology class. Yet, I digress…again. Now, where was I?

Oh yeah, I was about to describe the second sea monster I promised to tell you about several pages ago. This blog is a little longer than I had expected it to be. Apologies for the lengthiness. Thanks for staying with me.

Livyatan Melvillei is a sea monster many people may not have heard of. In November of 2008, the partial skull, mandible, and teeth of a previously unknown and believed to be extinct massive whale were discovered in Peru. The creature was given the name Livyatan Melvillei. Livyatan is from the biblical story of the monster “Leviathan”. Apparently, other scientists had already given that name to another extinct animal, so the scientists who named Livyatan used the Hebrew spelling of Leviathan, which is Livyatan. Melvillei, of course, is in honor of Mr. Herman Melville, the author of the classic book “Moby Dick”.

From what scientists can surmise, it appears Livyatan may have been even more fierce than Megalodon. It is estimated this beast may have been 44 to 57 feet long, with a skull that was (is?) 9 to 10 feet long, and may have weighed as much as 100 tons. It is thought to have gone extinct anywhere from 13 to five million years ago.

The absolute most scary thing about Livyatan? Its teeth were as much as 14 inches long. Yes, that is over a foot long. Even longer than a T-Rex tooth. Twice as long as a Megalodon tooth. Sacred Salmon!!! Now, that’s what I call a sea MONSTER.

It’s hard to say. Some whales seem to be rather gentle in nature. I guess we will have to wait until someone finds a living specimen to find out for sure.

As for me, I am quite content to keep my feet planted firmly on the ground. Perhaps it is a blessing in disguise that I never learned how to swim. One just never knows what may be swimming along beside, behind, or beneath them. One simply never knows.

Puppy Picture Posters

As I sit here, I find myself pondering a rather perplexing predicament. It is rather twitter-esque in nature, I guess one could say. To follow, or not to follow? That is the question.

I have been gaining some followers, a handful or less. All of them are blogs that post pictures of pets, lots and lots and lots of pet pictures they do post.

I have not posted a blog for quite some time now. I am confused as to why these people have suddenly struck up an interest in my blog. I am afraid to follow them back, actually. Normally, out of common courtesy, I typically do follow all who follow me. However, I tried this on twitter also and wound up following thousands of people, with only three or four following me. After I follow them, they unfollow me. Took me a while to catch on because admittedly I am anything but techno savvy.

Perhaps it is best just to wait and see what happens. Apologies in advance if it appears I am rude by not following all my new pet picture poster followers back.

I mean, don’t get me wrong. It is hopefully more than obvious that I love animals. I just do not want my email inbox flooded with thousands of blog notifications that are nothing more than pictures. Some of these “bloggers” post upwards of 20 times a day.

Has anybody else been having this issue? Is there something more maniacal going on here? Could it be trolls in puppy (and kitten) clothing posing as followers? Perhaps I am just paranoid? Who knows? I sure do not. If anybody does have an idea what could be going on, I would love to hear it.

Thanks ever so much. Hope you all have a fantastic day! 🙂

 

 

Frog People? Hmm…Could Be.

P05-29-16_18.40

The most fantastic thing about writing this blog is I learned something I never, ever knew while conducting the research for this particular article. Did you know some frogs actually have teeth? I was very surprised by that fact.

Having grown up in the country, my little brother, Ricky, and I often found ourselves tasked with providing our own entertainment. There were no local parks to walk to. All in all, there just were not many fun activities for us to participate in. We had to create things to do. One of our favorite games we invented was one we called “Who can catch the most frogs?”

Armed with nothing more than empty five gallon buckets, we simply walked all around the yard to see who could capture the most frogs and toads. When we felt we had gathered as many frogs as we could, we would take the buckets to the middle of the sidewalk and gently dump the frogs out to see who had caught the most. It was very hard trying to count the little critters as they were jumping all around, but it sure was fun trying. We usually ended up laughing so hard that we wound up having to call it a tie.

Had I known these cute little, seemingly harmless, creatures could have bitten me if they had chosen to do so, I doubt that I would have been so carefree in my handling of them. Apparently, fortunately for me and Ricky, they must seldom ever bite humans. I have read that they mostly only use their teeth to catch prey with.

Frogs can, however, give humans Salmonella. There are also some poisonous frogs, such as Poison Dart Frogs and Pickerel Frogs (which look almost identical to toads), that have toxins they emit through their skin which can be fatal to humans. So, as with most animals, it is best to simply observe them in their natural setting without handling them.

With the exotic pet trade industry running rampant here in the USA, one can never quite be certain what sort of frog may be jumping about in their yard. It could be an abandoned or escaped exotic, and possibly toxic, frog that was one of your neighbors’ pets. It’s sort of like poison ivy. It is just best to “let it be”.

I have to admit, though, prior to writing this article, I have been guilty of picking up any frog or toad that I have come into contact with, simply because they are so daggoned cute. It’s going to be a hard habit to break.

I just simply adore amphibians. I don’t understand how anybody could not. I think it is because they have a mouth that always looks as though they are smiling. Cunningly deceptive cuteness? Perhaps.

Salamanders also have the same sort of mouths. I wonder if they have teeth, as well. I reckon I shall find that out if I ever get around to writing my blog about the Kappa. Yet, I digress…now, enough of my random scattered thoughts and on to today’s blog post. Dun! Dun! Dun!!!

The Loveland Frogmen is perhaps one of the cutest cryptid stories I have ever come across. I really like this legend because it gives credence to my belief that most legends are indeed based on fact. The human mind, when confronted with an unfamiliar sight, will often try to come up with a logical explanation for the sighting.

Our brains like to try to associate things we are familiar with to new things we may happen to encounter. For example, if I were to see an Okapi running loose in my backyard, had I never heard of or seen an Okapi, I would most likely think it was a combination of three different animals that I am very familiar with; the zebra, the giraffe, and the deer. As I would start sharing the details of my encounter with my friends, the legend of a “monster” (perhaps named the Zebgirdeer???) would most likely soon be born.

Cases of mistaken identity are quite often a logical explanation for many “monster” sightings. I believe that is probably the case with this story. Yet, anything is possible. I will simply share the story with you and let you form your own opinion.

In May of 1955, a respected and reliable businessman in Loveland, Ohio (located about 3 and a half hours Southeast of me) while driving, reported seeing three very odd creatures off to the side of the road at around three o’clock in the morning.

The man reportedly pulled over and watched the “monsters” for about three to four minutes. He described them as being three to four feet tall, frog-like in appearance, with leathery skin, webbed hands and feet, and wrinkles where there should have been hair on their very froggish looking heads. He also reported one of them appeared to have some sort of wand with sparks flying out the end of it.

I have a (perhaps outlandish, who’s to say?) theory about the wand. My first instinct, having only read this much of the story, was that the alleged “frogmen” were perhaps escaped pet OOP (out of place) lizards. The “wand” the man saw, in my opinion, could have actually been the lizard’s long tongue, with the “sparks” being fireflies the little fellow was catching with its tongue.

The man had probably never heard of exotic pet lizards. This was, after all, long before the “information age”. The internet had not been invented, and large lizards are not native to Ohio. It seems perfectly logical that this man would have compared the creatures he saw with something which is more than plentiful in this area of the world, frogs.

There were a few other very reliable sightings of very similar animals reported in March of 1972. All the sightings were reported by police officers.

On March 3, 1972, at around one o’clock in the morning, a policeman on Riverside Road saw what he thought was a dog run in front of his car. He slammed on his brakes to avoid hitting the animal. He said it was then that he noticed this creature was no dog. He reported it stood up on two legs and ran over the guardrail and into the river. He said it looked like a frog, but was much taller. He described the animal as being three to four feet tall, very frog-like in appearance, and weighing an estimated 50 to 75 pounds. Another officer went to investigate the sight later that day and reported that there were scratches on the guardrail.

A couple of weeks later, officer Mark Matthews saw what he thought was a dead animal laying in the road. Hoping to prevent an accident, the officer got out of his car to move the carcass to the side of the road. He reported that the creature then lurched forward towards him. He shot at it and watched as the strange beast then stepped over the guardrail and managed to escape. Officer Matthew’s description of the frogman varied from the others only in the fact that he stated the creature had a tail. He explained that he believed the animal was a pet lizard that had somehow been separated from its owner.

Hey, that’s what I thought, too. LOL. I need to study lizard behavior more in depth, though, to form a better opinion. What I wonder is why the animals seemed to be so drawn to the guardrails? And, why climb over (reportedly twice), rather than duck under the rail? I also have to wonder why all the sightings took place at night. Aren’t cold blooded reptiles largely diurnal? Also, March is typically a very cold month here in Indiana, as well as Ohio. With the exception of these small details, everything else I’ve read so far seems to point to the “Frogmen” being lizards.

I am not aware of any other sightings, except for one rumor that either; a man saw a frogman riding a bicycle, or a man riding a bicycle saw a frogman. It’s very unclear which actually the case was. The details of that sighting are rather sketchy, confusing, and unreliable, and perhaps better left unmentioned.

There are several reptiles which are very popular household pets that could account for these sightings. The Savannah Monitor lizard is native to Africa. These little fellows can grow as large as three and a half to five feet long. Chameleons, Bearded Dragons, and Geckos are also very popular pets these days, as well.

Komodo Dragon Monitor lizards are much larger animals that live in the Indonesian islands of Komodo, Rinca, Flores, Gill Motang, and Padar. This is not a likely suspect due to the fact that these lizards are classified as being a vulnerable to endangered species. It is illegal to own them as pets.

Komodo Dragons are absolutely awesome animals. Komodos can grow to be ten feet long, weighing as much as 150 pounds. Go go Godzilla!!! Lol.

On a serious note, though, they have been known to attack people, as well. They are rather shy in nature and prefer to avoid contact with humans. However, there are occasionally a few rogue animals that lose their fear of humans. People have been killed by these lizards.

Speaking of Godzilla, I know the size of the next creature I am mentioning definitely rules this one out as a suspect for the frogmen. Megalania looks just like a Komodo Dragon, only twice as large. However, Megalania is thought to have gone extinct over 50,000 years ago. This dinosaur was, according to varied scientific estimates, anywhere from 15 to 23 feet long, weighing anywhere from 750 to 1370 pounds. This creature used to roam freely in Southern Australia. According to a handful of residents, there is a possibility that it may still exist. I will discuss that possibility in an upcoming blog post. For now, I should probably just stick to the frog thing.

There could also be one other likely explanation. The frogmen could have been one species of frog that is known to exist. The Goliath Frog is native to Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea. This amazing amphibian can grow to a length of twelve and a half inches from nose to bum, or three feet if the legs are stretched out. It can weigh as much as almost eight pounds when fully grown. However, these frogs do not have tails.

Goliath frogs are an endangered species. I should hope that pet shop owners would not be selling them. It seems as though anything goes, as far as the exotic pet trade industry is concerned, though.

I feel so sorry for exotic animals that are sold as pets, especially the reptiles that are sold to people who live in areas with cold weather.

Many well-meaning people, not knowing the potential hazards associated with owning exotic animals, often buy these critters as pets. Occasionally, the animals manage to escape. Or, worse yet, the animal either bites someone in the household or makes the owner sick. Rather than kill the animal, the owners typically drive the animals out to a wooded area and “set them free”.

Bad idea. Why? Because the animal will, in all likelihood, freeze to death. If you don’t believe me, just do an internet search for “OOP gators in Indiana”. I must warn you, though, do be prepared to look at some rather sad and graphic images of frozen alligators.

There is also an issue with escaped or abandoned exotic pets becoming invasive species, such as boa constrictors, pythons, and Tegu lizards that are now actually breeding and successfully reproducing in the wild in warmer climates, such as Florida.

There is one very positive thing that has resulted from the legend of the Loveland Frogmen. It is so refreshing when people embrace their local monster legends.

Being too frightened of any creature is never good. Fear often leads to hatred, and can result in similar situations as are evidenced in the end scene of “Frankenstein’s Monster”. I mean, after all, the monster never asked to be created or put into the situation he was in. He did not deserve the tragic fate which befell him.

The residents of Loveland, Ohio have NOT formed posses and lynch mobs that march down the street seeking out giant frog people to bludgeon or burn. No. No, indeed they have not resorted to such barbaric behavior.

Instead, they started hosting an annual triathlon called “the Loveland Frogman Race”. This annual event is held around mid-September. It consists of a five mile canoe/kayak race, an eight mile bike race, and a five k running race. I am not much of a health and fitness enthusiast, but I did check out the website for the race. It seems like a great event for people who do like to participate in such rigorous physical activities. They also offer really cute souvenir T-shirts (with a Frogman logo) for a very reasonable price.

I know frogs are cute, but please do not pick them up. Also, please think twice before owning an exotic animal as a pet. Live and let live.

As always, thanks for reading. You know, I think I have an empty five gallon bucket in the barn. NO! NO! MUST…NOT…PICK…UP…FROGS!!! UGH!!! This is proving to be most difficult for me.

This blog is dedicated, in loving memory, to my uncle, Mr. Kermite “Frog” Hall.

 

*Sources of Information*

– Wikipedia

– cryptidz.wikia.com

– cryptopia.us

– allaboutfrogs.org

– news.nationalgeographic.com

– runsignup.com

Art Thievery…But, Why???

I found myself uncharacteristically bored out of my gourd a few days ago. After watching an episode of “Catfish” on MTV, I decided to do a google image search on the pictures I have posted in various places on the internet. I am a very private person, and prefer not to post too many personal pictures, so my search did not take long at all. In fact, probably 90% of pictures I post are right here, on my blog. I also have a few on my other blog, as well.

I was shocked by the results I got. I mean, I am no Michelangelo…but, someone has actually been taking (copying without my permission or knowledge) my cheeky little one dimensional drawings and posting them on their own website. It is some “free art to use” site ran by someone who has the username “vicious animals band”.

I don’t think I am as offended as I probably should be. It’s a little flattering that someone actually liked my artwork enough to steal it. I was rather put off by the caption they chose for my drawing of the Ahool. They put:  “Boy gets scratched by bat and dies”. Granted, I am fully aware that I am not very chestally endowed, but being compared to a young lad is not quite flattering.

I felt I should write this blog to make people aware of the fact that others may be using your pictures. If you have the time, I definitely recommend doing a google image search on your pictures. The results might just surprise you. I know it shocked me.

Thanks for reading. Wishing you all a monstrously marvelous Monday!!! 🙂

Scan_20150710 (31)

The “Monster” Under MY Bed :-)

Squirrel

For several months now, I have been plagued by mysterious scratching noises coming from underneath my bed. A few days ago, my security cameras picked on some odd little critter running at the speed of light from under my bed to the wall that is next to the attic entrance.

It looks rather like a squirrel or perhaps a chipmunk to me because it appears to have a long, fluffy tail. I don’t believe it is a skunk, because I have not noticed any foul odors, aside from that of my running shoes. lol.

I am extremely relieved that it is not a demon, although I guess demons are not capable of giving me rabies. I would love to know if any of you might have an idea what this creature is. I have set up a live trap, but peanut butter seems to be an ineffective bait so far. Any tips, hints, and/or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. The pest control people are rather pricey. I would rather catch and release him myself.

Thanks for reading. 🙂 Be sure to watch your toes when you get up in the morning. One never knows what might be lurking under the bed. One simply never knows.