Imagine all your favourite mythic creatures: pegasus, mermaid, centaur, sphinx, minotaur. Now imagine them laid out on a mortician’s table: dissected, given Latin medical labels, and analyzed in terms of their unique muscular and skeletal makeup. This is what we’re offered in the second part of E. B. Hudspeth’s The Resurrectionist in the section titled The Codex Extinct Animalia.
This intriguing novel does its best to defy categorization. Part One reads like a nonfiction textbook piecing together the biography of controversial 19th-century surgeon Dr. Spenser Black. Through reproduced letters, newspaper clippings and exhibition flyers we chart Black’s life: his early career as a stellar young surgeon, his marriage and the birth of his son; and then his rapid descent into infamy, gaining a reputation as a splicer of anatomies and an eccentric who believed that the creatures from our myths are in fact our evolutionary ancestors. Part Two presents his extensive drawings and writings, though it is left up to the reader to decide whether Black was a visionary or a madman.
The book’s beautifully macabre images capture the imagination instantly, but where Hudspeth really impresses is in the utter believability of Dr. Black’s story. The narrative is furnished with a fictional note from the publishers, and Black’s biography neatly intertwines with real 19th-century events. The Resurrectionist channels the aesthetics of Edgar Allan Poe while playing with form in the manner of Jorge Luis Borges. While the novel’s publisher Quirk Books has given us a wealth of visual treats in the last few years, The Resurrectionist still feels like the most immersive and fully realized book in their catalogue.
– Damien McLaughlin
The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Spencer Black
by E. B. Hudspeth
2013, 192 pages, 7.8 x 10.8 x 0.8 inches
$16 Buy a copy on Amazon
See sample pages from this book at Wink.
Steve Feltham gave up his job, house and girlfriend 24 years ago to dedicate his life full-time to looking for Nessie. Recent news reports said he has abandoned his long quest for the Scottish cryptid, causing ripples among monster-lovers across the world. Feltham tells Reuters that's not true.
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Seattle's Anthony Hicks has an Etsy store filled with beautiful grotesqueries, including carny sideshow gaffs (come for the feejee mermaid, stay for the mummified head!), but also tooth-filled pocketwatches and artfully preserved homunculi.
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It's $21.80 and will make your tureen into a cryptozoological mystery. (via Kottke)
Comparison of still from footage of purported bigfoot to photo of Todd Standing.
The world of Bigfoot is no stranger to shysters and hoaxers. In fact, the entire phenomenon could be nothing more than a mix of chicanery, misidentification and gullibility.
Yet the subject is enormously popular, with internet forums
, YouTube channels
, numerous television programs, and even conservation groups
focusing on the possibility of the existence of an undescribed, bipedal, North American ape (or demon, alien, or interdimensional being, depending on your point of view).
Enter Todd Standing, a self-avowed bigfoot researcher. Standing has purportedly had multiple encounters with these creatures and has even published photos and videos of them. Standing's footage aired during an episode of Les Stroud's Survivorman
series, and shows a bigfoot peering through the vegetation. The creature even blinks its eyes in the footage (and has become known as "Blinky" as a result). Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and in the eyes of many, Standing's is not only insufficient but downright (and laughably) fake.
Phil Poling, photography expert and former law enforcement official, and Daniel Falconer, a special effects expert, have written a paper refuting Standing's evidence
. In it they analyze Standing's photos and video footage, and make some pretty compelling points and discoveries using stills from the video and photos of Standing himself.
It's a fascinating read if you're interested in the subject. If you're a believer, it's a good guide to critically thinking about the subject and how to NOT go about trying to convince others that bigfoot is real.
See Poling and Falconer's full report and visual analysis here
The Bigfoot Show is the best bigfoot podcast you're not listening to.
That's saying a lot, because there are a LOT of bigfoot-themed podcasts out there. Some are good, and some are painful to listen to, but The Bigfoot Show is great. The hosts bring just the right blend of skepticism, science and humor to the oft-ridiculed subject. And yet several of them have had encounters that they can't explain even from a skeptical point of view, which makes for a fascinating discussion. (I know from personal experience; I've been a guest on the show
Could there really be an undescribed, upright, bipedal ape wandering the forests of North America? If you're even remotely interested in the subject, you need to check out this show.
Here's the latest episode
What is this mysterious beast photographed by a tourist in the Huairou District valleys in northern Beiking, China?
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My wife says she always thought of Chewbacca as a space sasquatch; I just spotted this delightful "Bigfoot of Endor" t-shirt on Neatorama!
The forest moon was full of furry creatures of all shapes and sizes, and they generally got along just fine thanks to daily parties and plenty of libations, but when the critter they referred to as Bigfoot moved in things got pretty scary. He carried a big bowcaster and a bag full of tiny bones, and when he spoke it sounded like a sheep was being strangled. The little alien bear people now live in fear of the Bigfoot, hoping to one day hire a smuggler to come and take him away...
Are there living dinosaurs in Cameroon or the Republic of Congo? This group thinks so, and they are headed back later this year to keep looking for the Mokèlé-mbèmbé, the legendary "one who stops the flow of rivers." Watch the video to learn about their quest. (via Daily Grail)
Does this image of Loch Ness from Apple's Maps app depicts Nessie or the wake of a small boat? Unfortunately, I think it's the latter as we all know the Loch Ness Monster more closely resembles a pleiosaur than a giant catfish. (Forbes)
Above is the original glorious painting, artist unknown, used for the cover of the pseudonymous Warren Smith's 1970 book Strange Abominable Snowmen. Having been lost for decades, it recently turned up at a yard sale. I only wish I was the lucky duck who found it. Loren Coleman has the news along with a gallery of other fantastic cover art from vintage cryptozoology paperbacks of that era.
Rick Dyer claims to have killed a Bigfoot after luring it with some pork ribs he purchased at WalMart. "Every test that you can possibly imagine was performed on this body -- from DNA tests to 3D optical scans to body scans," Dyer says
. "It is the real deal. It's Bigfoot and Bigfoot's here, and I shot it and now I'm proving it to the world." If Dyer's name sounds familiar, it's because of his impeccable reputation in the Bigfoot research community! He's one of the perps behind the 2008 Bigfoot hoax
involving a rubber suit with freezer burn. Besides, everyone knows that Bigfoot is kosher. (KSAT)
Is the yeti actually some hybrid of ancient polar bear and brown bear? University of Oxford geneticist Bryan Sykes has analyzed DNA from what's purported to be yeti hair samples.
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Photo: Catalina Island Marine Institute
Jasmine Santana, a science instructor with the Catalina Island Marine Institute, was snorkling off the California coast when she made a very strange discovery: the carcass of an 18-foot long oarfish.
These are very odd fish.
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The Grand Haven Tribune's Kevin Collier reports on the Dogman, a cryptid that apparently rears its ugly head from time to time in West Michigan. "Legendary Dogman seen in Ottawa County?"
Big Data meets Bigfoot in Penn State PhD candidate Joshua Stevens's visualization of nearly a century of Sasquatch sighting reports in the US and Canada. Stevens mapped and graphed more than 3,000 sightings included in the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organizations's database of geocoded and timestamped reports. Stevens writes:
Right away you can see that sightings are not evenly distributed. At first glance, it looks a lot like a map of population distribution. After all, you would expect sightings to be the most frequent in areas where there are a lot of people. But a bivariate view of the data shows a very different story. There are distinct regions where sightings are incredibly common, despite a very sparse population. On the other hand, in some of the most densely populated areas sasquatch sightings are exceedingly rare.
"‘Squatch Watch: 92 Years of Bigfoot Sightings in the US and Canada
" (Thanks, everyone!)