Aug 19, 2021 I Nick Redfern

Bizarre Beasts: Some of the Strangest Creatures in Cryptozoology

"What do you think is the strangest-looking cryptid creature?" That was pretty much the question put to me a few weeks ago while doing radio. It's a good question! After all, there are multiple creatures in the field of Cryptozoology. I have to admit, though that some are much stranger than others. Let's have a look at some of them. Their weirdness just might surprise you!  Sometimes a monster is described as being so incredibly strange that we can do very little beyond than relate the facts – chiefly because the available facts are so strange and near-unfathomable, in terms of what they might represent. A perfect example of just such a uniquely weird case dates back to the 1950s. In terms of the location, all we know for sure is that it was somewhere in the vicinity of Falls City, Richardson County, Nebraska. As for the witness, we know him only as "John Hanks," an admitted pseudonym that the man in question chose to use to protect his real identity. When you read the details of his experience, you will undoubtedly realize why the man was determined to protect his real name from prying, inquiring eyes. It’s a case that was carefully investigated by one of the world’s foremost experts on bizarre, flying beasts, Ken Gerhard.

It was late one night, at some point in the latter part of 1956, said Hanks, when he came face to face with a true giant; a creature in excess of nine feet in height, one that was humanoid in shape, but which most certainly could never be termed a member of the human race. That much, at least, we can ascertain from Hanks’ description. Ken Gerhard says, with a great deal of justification, that “[Hanks’] description of the creature sounds reminiscent of something out of an H.P. Lovecraft story." Ken is not wrong in suggesting that Hanks’ monster would have found itself right at home in the pages of one of the legendary horror maestro’s novels. In fact, Gerhard is right on target. Hanks' nightmarish thing had a pair of fifteen-foot-wide wings that, rather oddly, appeared to be made of bright, shining, aluminum! It was soon gone, high into the sky, and gone. That case has to be near the top of the weird list!

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Dragons on the Loose!

Now, onto another strange one: a fascinating story of nothing less than a real-life dragon can be found in the pages of Charles Igglesden’s 1906 book, A Saunter Through Kent With Pen & Pencil. Kent being a county in southern England. Of a dragon reportedly seen in Cranbrook, Kent, centuries earlier, Igglesden wrote: "The magnificently wooded park of a hundred and fifty acres is richly watered by a huge lake made in 1812 and a smaller one within the grounds, while further west is an old mill pond that rejoices in a curious legend. It is an old one and the subject of it is very ancient indeed and as rare as it is horrible." He continued that nothing less than a flying dragon was said to haunt the pond but that “on certain – or uncertain – nights of the year it wings its flight over the park and pays a visit to the big lake yonder. But he always returns to the Mill Pond and it is said to pay special attention of a vicious kind to young men and women who have jilted their lovers. A legend with a moral is this. But a winged dragon! A dragon of the ordinary kind is bad enough. But a flying dragon! Augh!"

An undeniably odd beast with paranormal abilities is the Bunyip. It's a "thing" that hides in the swamps of Australia. Back in the mid-1800s, the staff of the Geelong Advertiser gave its readers a description of the weird-whatsit: "The Bunyip, then, is represented as uniting the characteristics of a bird and of an alligator. It has a head resembling an emu, with a long bill, at the extremity of which is a transverse projection on each side, with serrated edges like the bone of the stingray. Its body and legs partake of the nature of the alligator. The hind legs are remarkably thick and strong, and the fore legs are much longer, but still of great strength. The extremities are furnished with long claws, but the blacks say its usual method of killing its prey is by hugging it to death. When in the water it swims like a frog, and when on shore it walks on its hind legs with its head erect, in which position it measures twelve or thirteen feet in height."

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Beware of the Bunyip

And, finally: make mention of UFOs and it will likely conjure up imagery of flying saucers and diminutive, black-eyed, large headed ETs, and alien abductions. At least some UFOs, however, may have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with visitors from far away solar-systems and galaxies. Welcome to the world of a man named Trevor James Constable. Having investigated the UFO phenomenon extensively, Constable penned two books on the subject. They Live in the Sky was published in 1958 and Sky Creatures followed two decades later. In deeply studying the UFO phenomenon, Constable came to a fascinating conclusion concerning what he believed to be the truth of the mystery surrounding flying saucers. Constable’s conclusion was that UFOs are not nuts-and-bolts craft from distant worlds, but living creatures that inhabit the highest levels of the Earth’s atmosphere. While many UFO investigators scoffed at Constable’s undeniably unique ideas, none could deny that his theory was well thought out. To be sure, the field of Cryptozoology is filled with bizarre and mysterious beasts!

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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