Friday, June 8, 2012
It is time to revisit the Burrunjor story. A new book has been put out on the subject and the attached material is part of it. As I posted a couple of years ago the northern part of Australia and Papua New Guinea were connected to form an extensive rainforest in the present day Carpentian Gulf up to the end of the Ice Age a mere 10,000 years ago.
We have gathered plenty of indicative evidence that this region was realistically a refuge for remnants of the age of the dinosaur. Thus finding a Theropod in Northern Australia is actually both plausible and possible, particularly when a google search located a local natural refuge.
This report brings things up to date and also includes additional reports from the Four Corners and Chile.
It appears that such creatures are to be found, but obviously with considerable difficulty and that a blanket extinction which appears difficult anyway was ameliorated as could be expected by occasional survivor populations. Been nocturnal or been tied to water is a reasonable adaptation for a large reptile and likely allowed local survivals to occur.
What I have discovered in studying local reports describing strange creatures, it that it is important to determine to understand the ecological niche occupied by the creature and to have that inform a round of testable hypothesis. Knowing that Bigfoot is forest adapted and we are not pretty well explains the type of interaction. Understanding that a larger condor can roost on the ground and get cover easily in any large evergreen pretty well gives that creature as large a potential range as the Bigfoot with even less chance of been seen. These are all ecological niches that we simply do not exploit in the same way and the competition is slight.
Think niche and you are half way to solving the mystery.
Right now dinosaur survivors are out there but are nocturnal and avoid the heat of the day and may in fact be water loving. I suspect the the Burrunjor will turn out to be amphibian like its cousin the Croc. Thus we can get occasional rare night sightings from surprised witnesses.
KASAI REX, BURRUNJOR, AND MINI-T-REX: EVIDENCE OF SURVIVING CARNIVOROUS DINOSAURS? PART 2
BEWARE OF BURRUNJORS IN THE BUSH
By Rex Gilroy
(This article is composed of excerpts from Rex and Heather Gilroy's new Book Out of the Dreamtime—The Search for Australasia's Unknown Animals).
Since long before the coming of White Men, traditions have persisted among the Aboriginal tribes of Australia's 'Red Centre' to the Gulf Country and Kimberley region, of a ferocious giant reptilian carnivore that roams the landscape day and night in search of food, both animal and human.
Known as "Burrunjor", the mere mention of its name is often guaranteed to send a shiver down the spine of any Aboriginal. Yet it is not only Aborigines who claim to have seen these monsters, but also many Europeans, stockmen, residents of remote cattle stations and 4-wheel drive travellers.
Burrunjor can best be described as a huge, bipedal-walking reptilian monster. Tyrannosaurus comes to mind, although some suggest a species of Iguanodon, due to the description of long arms. Whatever Burrunjor is, it leaves huge three-toed tracks behind it wherever it strides. This is significant, because there have been suggestions that Burrunjor could be based upon the "extinct" giant Australian monitor Lizard, Megalania prisca, which reached up to 30ft (9.14m) and which was almost the height reached by the Burrunjors claimed to be seen by both Aborigines and Europeans.
Out of the Dreamtime—The Search for Australasia's Unknown Animals contains three chapters on the subject of giant monitor lizards, not just in Australia, but throughout Australasia. Burrunjor is however, something else, for while even a giant monitor might copy its smaller relatives and occasionally adopt a bipedal stance and even to run bipedally for a short distance, Burrunjor is said to maintain a bipedal stance for considerable distances.
If indeed Burrunjor is a surviving form of dinosaur, it belongs to the Theropods, a group of reptilian bipeds that became extinct either millions or at least thousands of years ago, depending on your scientific view of origins. Perhaps Burrunjor is a "neodinosaur", that is a latter-day offshoot from this group.
The sandhills and mesa country of Queensland's north-west, south of the Gulf forestlands, which extend into the Northern Territory, are fabled "Burrunjor lands" to the Aboriginal tribes.
Yet it is only fair to point out that, while Burrunjor appears to prefer the open spaces of Australia's interior, none of these reptilian nightmares has ever been reported to have harassed remote towns and villages. Why hasn't someone shot one of these monsters by now?
Some believe these monsters are from earth's geological past, periodically entering our present-day through so-called "time windows". This problematic theory could be used to explain all kinds of "extinct" animals, both terrestrial and marine-dwellers, from Scotland's "Nessie" to the Congo's Mokele mbembe, and other mysterious creatures seen all over the world but never caught. However, I propose to treat Burrunjor as a living "unknown" animal of the Australian bush. Consider the following case-histories from the Gilroys' new book…
Campfire stories substantiating Aboriginal claims are commonplace across the far north. Back in 1978, a Northern Territory bushman and explorer, Bryan Clark, related a story that had taken place some years before. While mustering cattle in the Urapunji area, he became lost in the remote wilderness of that part of Arnhem Land. It took him three days to find his way out of the region and back to the homestead from where he originally set out.
He had not known at the time, but his footprints had been picked up and followed by two Aboriginal trackers and a mounted policeman. On the first night of their search they camped on the outskirts of the Burrunjor scrub, even though the two trackers protested strongly against doing so. The policeman hobbled his horse, cooked their meal, then climbed into his swag and went to sleep.
Old stories of the mesa country say that one or more Burrunjor reptilian monsters would emerge from this particular area as darkness fell, to raid cattle stations, dragging off stock in their powerful jaws to devour, leaving the remains scattered about the area of their huge tracks as they returned to their lair. It is a region to avoid for Aborigines.
Later that night the two Aborigines, shouting unintelligibly and grasping for their packs and saddles, suddenly woke him up. The policeman also realized at this moment that the ground appeared to be shaking. Hurriedly getting to his feet, he too gathered up his belongings, and shortly afterwards, the three galloped away. As he told Bryan Clark later at the Urapunji homestead, he had also heard a sound, somewhat like a loud puffing or grunting noise, certainly loud enough to be coming from some large animal. When asked if he intended to include this incident in his report, he replied he would not because he feared no one would believe him.
The policeman warned Bryan never again to return to that area, because if he got lost there again he'd be "on his own", as no one would come looking for him! The region's cave art, thousands of years old, depicts these monstrous animals. Many Aborigines believe these monsters wander back and forth across the Gulf country and Cape York to this day.
[This is way more activity than I had been led to believe. The creature as expected is nocturnal and nicely avoids the heat of the day while out hunting. More important, local stock men have learned to stay out of its hunting range. This implies that setting up blinds and camera stations will actually work very well around a bait station.]
Back in 1950, cattlemen lost stock to some mysterious beast that left the mutilated, half-eaten remains of cows and bulls in its wake over a wide area, stretching between the border country and Burketown. Searchers on horseback found huge reptilian tracks of some bipedal-walking beast. They followed these three-toed tracks with their cattle dogs through some rough jungle terrain until they entered swampland beyond which was more dense scrub.
It was at this point that the cattle dogs became uneasy and ran off. The horses were also uneasy and obviously did not want to cross the swamp. While most of the cattlemen decided their animals knew best, two men set off on foot with their carbines.
The story goes that they soon came across further tracks in an open area beyond the swamp. While his mate searched about, the other man briefly spotted the dark form of an enormous creature, perhaps 30-feet in height, farther off in dense timber. The men left the scene in haste.
Johnny Mathews, a part-Aboriginal tracker, claimed to have seen a 25-foot tall bipedal reptilian monster, moving through scrub near lagoon Creek on the Gulf coast one day in 1961. "Hardly anyone outside my own people believes my story, but I known what I saw", he said in 1970.
In 1985 a 4-wheel drive vehicle and its cargo of family travellers, the Askeys, heading for Roper River Mission, happened to take a back road for some sightseeing. Just as they were about to pull up and turn around to resume their journey to the mission, they all saw, moving together across an open plain some distance away, two bipedal-walking reptilian creatures a good 20-feet tall respectively.
"The monsters were a greyish-brown colour and dinosaur-like in appearance. We didn't wait around", said the father, Mr Greg Askey.
[here they are eyeballed in broad daylight pretty well eliminating alternative explanations.]
During their recent (July-August 2006) Central Australian investigation, Rex and Heather Gilroy picked up a number of ancient Aboriginal myths and legends concerning these reptilian monsters, but they also obtained many claims of sightings made within the last few years by people over a wide area of the interior.
AUSTRALIA'S ABORIGINES...DID THEY SEE DINOSAURS?
by Rebecca Driver
Africa's Congo jungle is becoming increasingly known as the reputed refuge of a mysterious creature called Mokele-Mbembe. The locals appear familiar with this creature, which they readily identify from drawings of fossil reconstructions as being like one of the dinosaurs. Few realize, however, that similar accounts occur in other parts of the world. Australian Aborigines have stories of encounters with huge, sometimes frightening monsters which range from what sound like dinosaurs to giant marsupials, also believed to have long become extinct.
The Aboriginal People
The term 'Aboriginal' is loosely applied to the people who were living in Australia at the time of European settlement 200 years ago. There were hundreds of different tribes scattered across the continent, varying in their language and customs.
The myths and legends of the Aboriginal people, including their accounts of the creation of the world, are known as the Dreamtime. Such stories feature monsters, of whom many are mythological. Others, however, may have reference to real creatures, the Aborigines even insisting on their past 'flesh-and-blood' existence. Some of them are reminiscent of animals regarded as prehistoric, which supposedly became extinct tens of thousands, or even millions of years ago.
Aborigines did not keep written records—their knowledge and traditions were passed orally from one generation to the next. Such oral traditions tend not to last more than a few hundred years without being distorted out of recognition. This would suggest that some of these animals may have still been living in Australia some two to three hundred years ago, or even more recently.
Such a conclusion may surprise many, but it would explain why documented encounters with similar monsters post-date the time of European settlement.
The Geelong Bunyip
For instance, the Geelong Advertiser, of Victoria, Australia, reported in July 1845 about the finding of unfossilized bone forming part of the knee joint of some gigantic animal. The paper reported showing it to an Aboriginal they regarded as particularly intelligent. He identified it immediately as a "bunyip" bone, and a lithograph drawing of the creature was produced. In 1990, for a commemorative 150th anniversary issue of the Advertiser, the graphic artist Kevin McNulty sketched the picture reproduced below, based on the text from the original newspaper report.
When the bone was shown to other Aboriginal people who "had no opportunity of communicating with each other," they all instantly recognized the bone and the picture as being of a "bunyip", a common word in some Aboriginal languages for a frightening monster. They gave detailed, consistent accounts of where a few people they knew had been killed by one of these. The creature was said to be amphibious, laid eggs, and from the descriptions, appeared to combine 'the characteristics of a bird and an alligator"—i.e. a bipedal reptile. (Note that no crocodiles or alligators are found in Australia except in its far north—Geelong is deep in the south). One of the Aboriginals, named Mumbowran, showed "several deep wounds on his breast made by the claws of the animal." The description and sketch certainly fits well with some form of bipedal dinosaur.
A large number of Aboriginal stories of creatures of possible dinosaurian origin have been collected by Rex Gilroy, a cryptozoologist. Two of these, Burrunjor and Kulta, the accounts of which appear below, are also featured in a book by zoologist Karl Shuker.
Extending from the Northern Territory's Arnhem Land east through the Gulf of Carpentaria to Queensland's Cape York district is the story of "Burrunjor." The description is reminiscent of an Allosaurus, a smaller version of the well-known Tyrannosaurus (or the recently discovered Utahraptor). In 1950, cattlemen on the border between the Northern Territory and Queensland claimed losing stock to a strange beast which left mutilated, half-eaten corpses in its destructive wake. A part-Aboriginal tracker also claimed to have seen a bipedal reptile, 7–8 metres (25 feet) tall, moving through the scrub near Lagoon Creek on the Gulf Coast in 1961. In 1984, huge three-toed footprints from a gigantic bipedal reptile were found near Narooma, New South Wales. Rex Gilroy confirmed the find and made a plaster cast of one of the tracks. The track was approximately 2 feet wide and 2 1/2 feet long.
Some parts of northern Australia's vastness are still little explored, and large areas of it are closed to public access. Perhaps some creatures unknown to science are still to be found there. That this is possible was shown a few years back when a tree, the Wollemi Pine, was found in a national park in New South Wales. Scientists said it was "like finding a small dinosaur." The tree is known from its fossils in "dinosaur age" rock, but these are not found in any of the layers in between. Unlike an animal, a tree cannot run away and hide, yet this tree was completely unknown to science till recently.
Australia's Aboriginal heritage is rapidly being lost. Many of the Dreamtime stories still recall events from their history, such as a great flood similar to the one described in the Bible and in the writings of many other ancient cultures. There are several traditions which suggest that the ancestors of today's Aborigines may have had contact with the last few dinosaurian survivors of a rapidly drying continent. The details in the newspaper report of what seems to have been a bipedal dinosaur at Geelong last century seems hard to discount.
The many Aboriginal accounts—even if only a portion of them have a basis in fact—together with the photographic evidence of ancient rock drawings and carvings of what are obviously dinosaurs, contradict the conventional mainstream belief system, which insists that no man has ever seen anything like a dinosaur, since these supposedly died out millions of years before man appeared.
DINOSAUR SIGHTINGS IN CORTEZ COLORADO?
November 4, 2002
News Specialist John Hollenhorst reporting
It's astounding -- if it's true. But, is it true?
[I have seen this tale before and is noteworthy as it again is nocturnal ans in country that has been pretty stable for the duration. It is were survivors could be found]
Recently, reports have surfaced of several strange sightings of a bizarre "mystery lizard." Witnesses in Colorado, near the Utah border, say believe it or not, it looks like a small dinosaur!
Eyewitness reports can be be problematic. Sometimes fraudulent. Often deeply mistaken. ALWAYS incomplete. But, you simply have to hear what witnesses around Cortez, Colorado are saying about the mystery lizard. Is something out there? Is there something bizarre that shows itself only once in a while to a few astounded human beings?
"It was a Jurassic Park flashback. I mean I was—I couldn't believe it," says Shannon Ystesund.
Ystesund and a girlfriend were driving down this road the night of July 5. She says a creature ran in front of the headlights, a very big lizard, nearly vertical, running on its hind legs.
"We were, you know, freaked out. Immediately we thought it was some kind of dinosaur or a huge lizard. So we came home," she says.
"They just walked in and they were real excited and they said, 'we just saw a little dinosaur run across the road,'" says Ystesund's husband, Keith.
"Looked like the little dinosaurs in Jurassic Park that surrounded everybody in the tall grass fields," says Shannon.
Another lady gives only her first name, Bea, because she's been reluctant to go public with her story.
"Yes, I have, because people think you're nuts," Bea says. "Like a miniature dinosaur, you know. That would be as close as I can come to describing it. And I've never seen anything like it."
Independent researcher Nick Sucik says he's collected eight such stories in the Four Corners area. A mother and daughter told him they were driving down this road a couple of years ago and saw a creature run through their headlights.
"They were both stunned, and I asked 'how did you feel about it?' They said they just burst out laughing hysterically because it was the most absurd thing they'd ever seen," Sucik said.
It's tempting to give it a cutesy name, like the "Rock Ness Monster", or the "Lizard of Oz-some Proportions". But that's a little off-target. It doesn't seem to be all that big. Three to three-and-a-half feet high, witnesses say. Roughly five feet long measured nose to tail. Sucik avoids using the d-word: "Dinosaur".
"I'm sure there's got to be some sort of more plausible explanation for something like this, and yet at the same time we're stumped as to what it could be," he says. "Sightings like this almost always turn out to be something other than what folks think they are," says Scott Sampson with the Utah Museum of Natural History.
Dinosaur expert Sampson says there is something easily mistaken for a dinosaur. "Birds are dinosaurs in the truest sense of the word." Imagine a bigger version of this: perhaps an escaped Ostrich or Emu, seen suddenly and briefly under poor viewing conditions.
"It could well be a road-runner or some other kind of bird, and it could be a perception, a distance problem making them look a little bit bigger than they are," says Sampson.
Witnesses are emphatic they didn't see a bird. Or feathers.
Jeff Thulin runs a tourist stop called Reptile Reserve. He says he's heard the baby dinosaur stories for years. He's skeptical but not ruling it out.
"I'd like to be associated with a dinosaur. If someone could catch something, I'd pay good money for it," Thulin says. The description does fit foreign critters like the Monitor Lizard. And locally, the Collared Lizard, although that's only just over a foot high.
The sightings date back to the 1930s.
REPTOIDS SPOTTED IN NORTHERN CHILE?
The Star (Iquique) 4 August 2004, Tranlation; Scott Corrales.
Strange creatures described as "dinosaur-like" and standing 2 meters (6 feet, 6 inches) tall have been seen in recent weeks in Pampa Acha, a small town 17 kilometers (10 miles) from the city of Arica in northern Chile.
The two strange creatures, described as small dinosaurs and with a physical appearance similar to that of a kangaroo, were reported by the occupants of a Terrano pickup truck between Iquique and Arica on Thursday night, July 30, 2004.
The vehicle's driver, Dario Riquelme, was traveling in the company of (Chilean) Army official Hernan Cuevas, his wife and two young children. According to his account, the situation which left the family rather nervous and confused, took place at 9:30 p.m. that evening. It happened in the Pampa Acha sector, only a few moments before passing the barrio Presencias Tutelares, 17 kilometers south of Arica.
Riquelme and his party left Iquique, just south of Chile's border with Peru, at 6 p.m. They were only a few minutes away from Arica and were holding a normal conversation when something strange darted in front of the vehicle.
"'My companion said, 'Look at that tremendous beast!' and I managed to hit the brakes. Then, after a few minutes, the second one ambled past, and it was even more startling because it was just like a dinosaur, walking on two legs. It had very noticeable thighs," Riquelme said.
According to the driver's description, the figures were grey and hairless. The second one, which crossed a few minutes later, was clearly seen by Riquelme, Hernan Cuevas and his 12-year-old daughter, Tania. They estimated the first creature's height at 2 meters (6 feet, 6 inches), thanks to the fact that the beast's distance from the vehicle at the moment it crossed was not more than 4 meters (13 feet). In the case of the second "animal", they said it was smaller. but they were able to see it clearly because it was a clear night and there was moonlight. However, what was most remarkable about both creatures was the speed at which they crossed the road and the strides they took.
Riquelme and Cuevas had gone to Arica to purchase a vehicle...But the strange event caused nervousness among Sr. Cuevas's wife and daughter. "The good thing is that when they started screaming, my companion and I didn't lose control and kept calm. Later we stopped to smoke a cigarette and walked around. From there I descended (drove) calmly to Arica, but I'm still nervous," explains the driver, who contacted (the Chilean newspaper) La Estrella (The Star) immediately after reaching the city.
Riquelme's account coincides with that of Hernan Cuevas, who is a recruiting officer with the Army.
"'When the first crossing occurred, I asked Dario if he had seen it, and he said yes. Then we started making comments as to what it might have been. Shortly after, another one walked by, shorter, but very similar to a dinosaur or a lizard running on two legs. Even my eldest daughter saw it and let out a scream," Cuevas said.
Twelve-year-old Tania stated that the creatures were very similar to a dinosaur and had small hands. Meanwhile, Sra. Cuevas almost didn't realize what was going on because she was paying attention to the couple's younger child, who was asleep.
Neither Riquelme nor Cuevas had ever experienced a similar situation and would not even compare it with descriptions of other creatures, such as the alleged Chupacabras that attack and exsanguinate (drain of blood) animals in their fields. But they still have not managed to find an explanation for what they saw Thursday night.
A new report involving the sighting of strange animals in the Pampa Acha sector was made known Monday, August 2, 2004, and coincides almost exactly with the one described Thursday by driver Dario Riquelme. The case involves the six members of the Abett de la Torre Diaz family, who live at Fuerte Baquedano, in the community of Pozo Almonte. All of them were traveling from their home to Arica two weeks ago, and, as they crossed the Pampa Acha sector, less than 20 kilometers (13 miles) from the city, near Presencias Tutelares, they were faced with four creatures they described at first as "dog- faced kangaroos" that moved slowly through the air. The event occurred at approximately 9 p.m. and left almost all of the family's members traumatized. The family consisted of Carlos Abett de la Torre, a (Chilean) Army non-commissioned officer, his wife Teresa (Diaz), their three children and a three-year-old nephew.
"I was traveling in the back seat with my brothers, talking, and suddenly everything went dark. Then I told my brother what I was seeing, and he told me to keep quiet because Mom gets nervous. Later I looked through the window and saw more things that looked like birds, with dogs' heads and backswept wings. My father said they were like gargoyles," explained Carmen Abett de la Torre, the couple's daughter.
Carmen added that she wasn't sure if the creatures had wings or legs, but then they moved them toward the rear. The height of the animals was calculated at 2 meters. Two of the beings "flew" over the vehicle; another two appeared, but this time darting in front of the vehicle.
'We were speechless for some 10 minutes, and my Mom told us to react, and then we started discussing what we had seen."
Teresa Diaz, Carmen's mother, was traveling in the front passenger seat beside her husband and was the one who saw the creature the clearest. Her impression was that these animals were moving slowly over the car first and then in front of it. However, they appeared to match the vehicle's speed, which was 100 kilometers per hour (60 miles per hour). The situation caused such nervousness among the whole family that all they wanted to do was get to Arica and forget the traumatic incident. Once in the city, they told their relatives what had happened.
"'Then we were terrified to go back," Teresa added, with regard to the day they were getting ready to return to their home in Fuerte Baquedano.
At the time of the strange encounter, the moonlight provided certain visibility, which as well as the similar (Riquelme) case made known last week, enabled the beast to be clearly seen. Furthermore, the animals did not go any further than 20 meters (66 feet) from the car in which the Abett de la Torre family was driving.
All of the family members agreed as to what they had seen. They were startled and nervous as a result of the sighting. None of them went public for fear of ridicule and mockery.
Carabinero (Chilean national police) members of the Cuya barracks stated that until now no one had approached them to report a similar event. However, they had heard of strange creatures being witnessed in the Pampa Acha sector from third parties. In any event, they added that they constantly patrol the road near the sector where the incident occurred. (See the Chilean newspaper La Estrella of Arica for August 1, 2004, "Strange creatures reported in Pampa Acha," and for August 3, 2004, "More strange creatures reported in Acha." Muchas gracias a Scott Corrales, Claudio Ojeda y Liliana Nunez para estos articulos de diario.)
COLORADO RIVER DINOSAUR / MINI T-REX
I live in Pueblo, Colorado. I moved out here when I was six and have since heard stories of the praire devil, the pig man and the mini-rex….
Me and my friend were riding dirt bikes….when we observed something move across the clearing in front of us. It was three to four feet long, greenish with black markings on its back, and a yellowish-orange underbelly. It walked on its hind legs, never dragging its tail. Its front limbs (I call them limbs because they were more like arms than anything) were smaller in comparison to the back ones, and it had four or three claws....It also had some kind of lump or horn over each eye. When it noticed our presence, it let out a high pitched screech…Immediately, we rode back to my house for a camera….We took a picture of its tracks…one of my other friends said he had a few pictures of the creature, so I took a look at them, and to my surprise, I saw pictures of the exact same thing I saw... North American Bio Fortean Review.
Colorado's Mystery Reptile Could Be Mini Dinosaur [Original headline: Mystery Reptile Loose in County?]
Could the Southwest be home to a mysterious new species of reptile? Nick Sucik, a private researcher from Minnesota, thinks it's possible. Sucik has been tracking sightings of an elusive lizard-like creature ever since hearing tales of "river dinosaurs" from those involved in the legally sketchy "reptile trade." The "dino" is said to walk exclusively on its hind legs; to stand about 3 feet tall; and to have armlike appendages instead of forelegs. The reptile usually is seen near a wet environment and moves swiftly, with grace, Sucik said.
Reports of sightings trickled in, first in Pagosa Springs in 1982, then in Pueblo, Sucik said. And, he said, the same thing happened here in Cortez — "But it was kind of unexpected how we heard about it."
An Unsolved Mysteries episode had featured the story of a Cortez couple who had been visiting in Arizona. While there, the couple apparently saw the body of a reptile unlike any they had ever seen before. "It looked like a toy to them," Sucik said, and when they told their tale, "No one took them seriously." Except, perhaps, for Sucik himself.
In an attempt to follow up on the story, Sucik wrote the Journal and later placed a classified ad, seeking communication from anyone who might have seen the enigmatic reptile. The letter netted a response from Northern California, but the ad brought results from closer to home. According to Sucik, a woman and her daughter emailed him details of a similar sighting that took place in 2001 as they were driving in the Yellow Jacket area.
"Suddenly, this thing runs out. At first, they thought it was a young deer, because of its size," Sucik said.
The women described it as having a long neck and skinny legs like a bird. However, it had no feathers and its "arms" seemed to go out of its upright neck rather than its body. The women estimated that the creature would measure about 5 feet, if stretched from neck to tail.
"It looked to them like a cross between a bird and a dinosaur." When they got home, each drew a picture of the creature and realized they had each seen exactly the same thing, he said.
The description matched that of other sightings, and the women happened to have been near an irrigation creek. "Every reference we've heard usually affiliates them with water," Sucik said. "That's where the term 'River Dino' comes from."
Sucik discovered it wasn't the first sighting in the area. In March or April 1996, a local woman said she saw something similar near her home at the Kampark outside Mesa Verde.
"I was sitting on the couch, and looked out the front door," the woman, who did not wish to be identified, told the Journal. "I saw something, not a lizard, really, about 3 1/2 feet long and 3 1/2 feet high. It moved very fast. As far as I remember, there were only two legs that seemed to balance it."
She said the creature moved very swiftly, and had a cone-shaped nose and a tail that extended about 2 feet out from its body. It had come from a pond area.
"It was kind of unusual," she said "I didn't know if I was seeing things, or what. I never had anything like that happen before. "I thought, 'Maybe it's someone's pet', I wasn't frightened; I just thought it was unusual."
She checked reference books, but could not find anything similar to what she'd seen. Jeff Thulin of the Reptile Reserve told her it might have been a monitor lizard, however, monitors could not live throughout the winter locally.
Thulin said others have since mentioned that they have seen "a large lizard running around. I don't know any specifics at all except that it's large and looks out of place."
"It doesn't match anything," he said of the description. The woman said she has tried to put it out of her mind. "Some people think you're nuts."
Sucik isn't sure what people have seen. A lizard, he said, "is a reptile on four legs. These reptiles are always on their hind legs. The only reptile to fit that morphology is a dinosaur—that kind of creates extra interest. It's not strange. It's like a new species that hasn't been classified in the area."
Sucik said it's possible the reptile is an escapee from trade in exotic pets. Even so, the description doesn't match anything known, he said. He welcomes reports of sightings at firstname.lastname@example.org or 22969 Old Gov Trail, Nisswa, MN 56468, and also suggests checking www.herper.com/nabr/nabr4.pdf
(Story originally published by: Cortez Journal / CO | Katharhynn Heidelberg - July 30.02)
UPRIGHT MYSTERY CREATURE
Mystery upright creature allegedly photographed on a Florida Farm. The individual only noticed the "creature" after the film was developed. Is it a bipedal lizard (little T-rex), a tall squirrel, a talented dog or was it photo shopped? (Sent in to Coast to Coast.)
PAPUA NEW GUINEA
"The eastern half of the island of New Guinea—second largest in the world—was divided between Germany (north) and the UK (south) in 1885. The latter area was transferred to Australia in 1902, which occupied the northern portion during World War I and continued to administer the combined areas until independence in 1975. A nine-year secessionist revolt on the island of Bougainville ended in 1997, after claiming some 20,000 lives."—CIA World Factbook
"Papua New Guinea is a raw land, remarkably untamed and as variegated as swamp and jagged limestone; mud and moss forest; suffocating heat and Highland chill; plumed, pearl-shelled villagers and prosaic hill people; tiny tree kangaroos and enormous Queen Alexandra Birdwing butterflies"....Source: LonelyPlanet.com
Police Hunt 'Dinosaur' in Papua New Guinea March 12, 2004 - 12:38PM
Reports that a live dinosaur had been sighted on a volcanic island of Papua New Guinea prompted the deployment of heavily-armed police in search of the mystery creature. Villagers in the superstitious island province of East New Britain this week said they fled in terror after seeing a three-metre tall, grey-coloured creature with a head like a dog and a tail like a crocodile. They said the creature was living among thick green plants in a mosquito-ridden marsh just outside the provincial capital Kokopo, near the devastated town of Rabaul which was buried by a volcanic eruption in 1994. Kokopo's Mayor Albert Buanga said the dinosaur would make a great a tourist attraction, if it existed.
A government official today confirmed police carrying M-16s and shotguns searched the area but found no trace of the creature. Eyewitness Christine Samei told reporters she ran for her life after seeing a three-metre tall (10 feet), grey creature with a head like a dog and a tail like a crocodile which was as fat as a 900-litre water tank.
"It's a very huge and ugly looking animal," Samei told local media.
A government official said the villagers had identified the creature from books and movies about dinosaurs.
"They told us it was a dinosaur," the official told AAP.
Although police found no trace of the creature, Senior Sergeant Leuth Nidung warned villagers to take extra precautions when going about their daily business, amid reports it had eaten three dogs. Villagers were told to report any further sightings immediately to police, who were already organizing a more thorough search of the area.
Black magic and other superstitions are common in many parts of PNG's predominantly village-based society.
Each year large numbers of foreigners visit the area to see World War II relics as well as the devastated town of Rabaul - the only urban centre in the world built inside the crater of a giant volcano.
Dinosaur-like creature spotted in Papua New Guinea
Ananova: Police in Papua New Guinea have been ordered to search part of a remote island after locals reported seeing a giant dinosaur-like creature roaming the area.
Villagers on the island of New Britain reported seeing a 3-meter-tall (Approx. 10 feet), grey-coloured animal with a head like a dog and a tail like a crocodile.
One woman said she saw the creature in a marsh just outside the provincial capital Kokopo on the eastern end of New Britain. "I heard the people talking about it and went there to see for myself. Its very huge and ugly looking animal," she said.
A local councilor told The National newspaper that villagers said the creature had been seen by women on several occasions and had reportedly eaten three dogs.
Armed police and villagers carrying bush knives searched the marsh but found no trace of the creature, the newspaper said.
500 MILES AWAY AND 5 YEARS EARLIER
Dinosaur-like Reptile Sighted at Lake Murray
December 11, 1999
A DINOSAUR-like reptile has reportedly been seen by villagers in the Lake Murray area recently. Boboa station councillor, Sangame Sangame told The Independent that villagers on two separate occasions saw the creature on December 11 and again on December 12.
Councillor Sangame said that villagers travelling in a canoe saw the reptile wading in shallow water near Boboa, in the first sighting. He said that a Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) pastor and church elder saw the creature on the second occasion not far from the first sighting.
Mr. Sangame said that the animal has a body as long as a dump truck and nearly two metres wide (6.5 feet). It has a long slender tail and a long neck. The head is shaped like a cow's, has large eyes with sharp teeth as long as fingers. The reptile walks on two hind legs which are as thick as coconut palm tree trunks. It has two smaller forelegs. The skin is similar to a crocodile's and has largish triangular scoops on the back. Mr Sangame said that he reported the sightings to the Lake Murray police.
Many people from the savannah grasslands of the South Fly district claim that they have seen large lizards similar to the Komodo dragons of Indonesia. There have also been reports of large lizards up to 1.7 metres living in tree tops.