Jan 04, 2018 I Nick Redfern

2018 and the World of Cryptozoology

A few people have asked me what I think is on the horizon, in 2018, when it comes to all things of the cryptozoological kind. Well, I certainly can't predict the future, but I do have a few hopes and ideas. Granted, they are hopes that may not come to fruition, but I can at least remain positive! We'll begin with the Orang-pendek. It's a small, unknown type of ape said to live in stealth in the dense forests of Sumatra. Cryptozoologist Richard Freeman, who has made several trips to Sumatra in search of the creature, says the following:

"Some theorize that the Orang-pendek may be a small hominian. As far back as the 1940s William Charles Osman Hill, primatologist, zoologist, and anatomist, postulated that Orang-pendek might have a possible connection to the fossils of Homo erectus. Along with the Nittaewo of Sri Lanka, he believed that they might be a dwarf island form of Homo erectus. Island dwarfism occurs when a species colonizes an island smaller than the landmass from whence it came. With fewer resources the species’ descendants evolve into a smaller species." Freeman is convinced that the animal is an ape and not an unknown type of primitive human: "All of the tracks I have seen of the Orang-pendek show an offset big toe, a feature indicative of an ape. All the eyewitness descriptions seem to be recalling an upright ape and not a hominian."

West Sumatra   panoramio 570x380
Will an Orang-pendek finally come out of the Sumatran forest?

Over the last decade or so, there have been some highly credible sightings of Orang-pendek. Maybe, in 2018 we'll finally have the answers to what the Orang-pendek really is. Moving on...

In the same way that there have been good, solid sightings of the Orang-pendek in the past few years (decades, actually), much the same can be said for Thylacines. Their correct title is Thylacinus cynocephalis, which translates as pouched dog with a wolf's head. They were dog-sized, striped marsupials, with jaws that had the ability to open to almost 180 degrees. And they were native to New Guinea, Australia and Tasmania. Although it's generally accepted that they became extinct in the 1930s, there are enough post-thirties reports to suggest they are still with us. Might the Thylacine surface in 2018? I can't say for sure, but this is one candidate which I think may very well come back from the grave this year, so to speak.

The latter part of 1988 will mark the 30th anniversary of a strange (and never resolved) series of incidents involving a creature that attacked and killed numerous sheep in Rhayader, Wales. All of the evidence suggested that the beast - whatever it was - slithered out of the waters of the River Wye by night, attacked and killed as it saw fit, and then headed back to those dark, cold waters. I predict that when the 30th anniversary comes around, we'll be hearing much more about this saga. In fact, I know we will...

Then, there's a certain, giant octopus said to live in the waters of Lake Thunderbird, Oklahoma. It goes by the name of (what else?) the "Oklahoma Octopus." I have been on a couple of trips to the lake, but I will be doing far more this year. Will I solve the riddle? I hope so. All I can say for sure at this point in time is that whatever the creature is, it's not an octopus, despite its name. For the simple reason that the octopus is a salt-water animal, whereas Lake Thunderbird is freshwater. I've spoken to enough people who have convinced me that there is something large-ish in the lake, but an octopus? No. A baby Cthulhu? Doubtful! But, for 2018, it's my goal to unravel the mystery.

Nick Redfern

Nick Redfern works full time as a writer, lecturer, and journalist. He writes about a wide range of unsolved mysteries, including Bigfoot, UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, alien encounters, and government conspiracies. Nick has written 41 books, writes for Mysterious Universe and has appeared on numerous television shows on the The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and SyFy Channel.

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