Archive for the ‘Cryptozoology’ Category


Evolver Retreats present:

September 6, 2009

The Supernatural

Exploring Other Dimensions
For this four-day journey, Reality Sandwich invites you to join some of today’s top theorists and practitioners in the emergent field of inter-dimensional exploration.

Our second RS Retreat features Graham Hancock, world-renowned author of Supernatural and Fingerprints of the Gods, Daniel Pinchbeck, bestselling author of 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl and Evolver co-founder, and Lisa Renee a “quantum therapist” and psychic channel.

Join us October 7-11, as we explore transformational terrain such as dimensional shifts, veiled realms accessed through altered states of consciousness, the unraveling of ancient myths and sacred sites, and intergalactic communication.

The Retreat Will Include:

  • Talks
  • Workshops
  • Petroglyph and pictograph explorations
  • Slot canyon adventures
  • Energetic Self-Mastery
  • “Galactivations”
  • Interactive sacred geometry
  • Yoga
  • Music
  • Meditation
  • And more…
Come connect and collaborate with the Reality Sandwich crew in an intimate four-day gathering on ancient Anasazi land. Experience the community and engage in the conversation as we explore the mysteries and potentialities of other dimensions. Retreat starts Wednesday evening and runs until noon on Sunday.

Click here for a complete schedule

Tickets are limited so grab them early. All tickets include lodging and healthy meals.

With Special Guests:
Graham Hancock

Graham Hancock is the author of the international bestsellers The Sign and the Seal, Fingerprints of the Gods, and Heavens Mirror. His books have sold more than five million copies worldwide and have been translated into 27 languages. His public lectures and TV appearances, including the three-hour series Quest For The Lost Civilisation, have put his ideas before audiences of tens of millions.

Daniel Pinchbeck

Daniel Pinchbeck is the author of 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl and Breaking Open the Head: A Psychedelic Journey into the Heart of Contemporary Shamanism. He is the editorial director of Reality Sandwich and

Lisa Renee

Lisa Renee is an intuitive, spiritual mentor, writer, quantum therapist and etheric surgeon. Several years ago, she experienced a “Starseed Awakening” enabling her to perceive multidimensional realities and communication with the evolutionary forces of light. Since then, she has become a spiritual guide and multidimensional energetic healer for the “planet’s ascension cycle.”



September 3, 2009

The Chupacabra Caught? by Mike Krumboltz

It really does exist! Maybe! The famed chupacabra has apparently been found, and it’s a Texan.

Or at least it was. The beast is now dead, but news of its capture near Blanco, Texas, inspired Bigfoot-sized searches. Lookups on “chupacabra” surged a whopping 571%, and related queries on “what does chupacabra mean” also roared. (For the record, its rough translation is “goat sucker.”) The find also inspired renewed interest in the equally notorious Montauk Monster.

Jerry Ayer, owner of Blanco Taxidermy School, has possession of the mythical beast’s body. According to CNN, the animal was discovered by one of Ayer’s students. The student had “placed poison…to catch an unidentified animal that had gotten into a family member’s barn.” Little did the student know the animal in question was (maybe) the chupacabra.

In the video from CNN (which is pretty gross, so beware), Ayer shows off some of the unusual features of the animal, including abnormally long legs and teeth. It looks a bit like the world’s ugliest (and meanest) dog.

Of course, this is hardly the first time someone has claimed to have captured the chupacabra. In years past, brave souls have spotted it in places ranging from Russia to Maine to the Philippines. Often the animal is spotted by folks who conveniently forget to snap a photo.

Not so this time. Ayer says he plans to preserve the animal and then donate it to a local museum so it can be enjoyed by others. As the taxidermist puts it, the beast is “a tremendous conversation piece.” Sort of like the Mona Lisa or a really stellar collection of garden gnomes.


The Others…

July 10, 2009

Lately, I’ve been thinking about the almost innumerable beings that populate the world behind the world, and how hard they are to categorize.  We usually call them demons, gods, archetypes, shadow people, aliens, sylphs, elementals, and so forth.  There are qualities all these beings have in common.  I’m not suggesting that all these beings are really one type of being, but we can tell a bit about them as a group.  I refer to this class of beings as the “others.”

Some of these characteristics I’ve drawn from modern paranormal history, and others from my study of folklore.  The patterns are surprisingly consistent between the two.

The others generally communicate through telepathy, in any language needed.  More often than not the others will lie to you, feeding you misinformation.  Why they do this is unknown: perhaps they are natural tricksters, or maybe they feed off their victim’s fear.  The others are most likely shape changers, and they can assume any forms that best speak to the humans they are communicating with.  In other words, if you expect to see an elf, you’ll see an elf, or gray alien, or shadow person, or whatever the viewer expected.  (In all likelihood, these being are creatures of pure will, and thus project the appearance they desire. It is unknown if they have established forms or appearance when not dealing with humans.)

The others can become “real” or tangible as desired, or they can affect objects and people from their “unreal” state.  In older stories about elfs, the others were known to blind people who could see them, suggesting that the others value their privacy.  Indeed, the others live and work and interact all around us, generally paying us no attention.  They can see us even when we can’t see them.  Certain psychedelic drugs open the appropriate senses to see these beings, and some people seem to be born with this ability.

While not always evil, the others show little concern with the rights or dignity or lives of the humans they affect.  We are little more than livestock to them.  The others have also, down through time, from elves to aliens, shown a marked interest in human sex and reproductive abilities.  Theories why this is so exist, but in the end we simply don’t know.  Tales of hybrid children and mysteriously pregnancies that suddenly aren’t there anymore are common elements of the modern other’s fascination with reproduction.

lamYou might wonder why I’ve included aliens so prominently in this discussion.  This is easy: Aliens aren’t from outer space, and even if they once were they have been among us for at least 11,000 years and most likely from the beginning.  The first gray alien encountered was Aleister Crowley’s Lam.  This is a fascinating tale, and once the gate was opened it most likely was never closed again.  It is for this reason that grays are the type of alien most often seen in North America, the same continent where Crowley summoned Lam.

I make no claim that ghosts are others.  Most ghosts are us, post-mortal humans.  They seem to have some telekinetic ability, and probably some telepathic ability as well, but they are sourced from the “real,” objective world, not the world of the others.  The others were never mortal humans.

Are cryptids others?  Excellent question.  At this point I’m of the opinion that these are physical beings from nearby dimensions or parallel realities.  It is very likely that realities or universes overlap and bleed into each other on a regular basis.  Cryptids are simply the native fauna of other worlds that temporarily co-exist with our own world.  For example, there is no way that a large primate could inhabit North America and remain hidden.  There aren’t the food resources left for such beings, and no one has ever found a body or bones.  Big Foot isn’t from around here, folks.  The same goes for the big cats in Britain, or any number of lake monsters around the world.

I should also address artificial beings, man-made ethereal creatures such as Tulpas, which have also been referred to as Phantasmata or Aquastors.  These beings, if not destroyed at the end of their prescribed use, tend to grow more powerful, independent, and rebellious as time goes on.  I would not be surprised to learn that they eventually adopt all the others’ standard traits.  Many people have suspected that the old gods of mythology were created and empowered by the belief of their worshipers.  It’s not so difficult now to see the mechanics by which this is possible.

Can we interact with the others?  Easily.  The problem is getting rid of them once you’ve opened the door.  Medieval wizards went to great lengths to harness the others (typically demons, angels, and elementals) to their wills, making them temporary slaves.  I would suggest that this almost never worked to the wizard’s long-term benefit, and probably eventually ended in madness and ruin.

What is the other’s home world or dimension like?  Much of it seems to be a more or less analogous copy of our world, just one in a slight dimensional offset from ours.  Some of it seems very alien indeed.  Grant Morrison, a noted chaos magician and writer, described the other’s world as sort of a harsh, cacophonous, painfully bright place with an industrial appearance, a terrible place of machines within machines within machines.

I’ve given you a lot to think about here, and much of it you may disagree with.  That’s fine.  I’m all about being open minded and willing to entertain all sorts of contradictory ideas.  You comments are welcome.



Jim Cobb interviews Zooform Researcher Neil Arnold

May 10, 2009

Neil Arnold is a researcher and author in the UK. He is one of the leading experts on zooform phenomena, as well as having spent two decades researching big cat sightings in the UK. His recent book, Mystery Animals of the British Isles: Kent, was preceded by his first book, Monsters! The A-Z of Zooform Phenomena. Neil was kind enough to give us a little of his time to share with us his thoughts on zooforms and other findings.

Jim: Neil, thank you for taking the time to speak with us. Let’s dive right in, shall we? What were some influences or possibly events in your life growing up you feel may have led you to becoming a researcher into monster folklore?

Neil: I think many researchers always pick out a few memories which have acted as triggers as to why they are the people they are to me. My father and grandfather were huge influences on me, they always told me about local legends. They were keen fishermen also and we’d spend many hours sitting around eerie lakes, and even the thought of catching big fish was a huge mystery to me. However, the film ‘The Legend of Boggy Creek’ (directed by Charles B. Pierce) and a book by Carey Miller called ‘Monsters & Mysterious Beasts’, played a major role in my writing. The former is a cult docu-drama about a Bigfoot-type beast roaming the river bottoms of Arkansas. It terrifies still today in its atmosphere, whilst the book by Carey Miller featured creatures such as the Yeti.

Jim: The focus of much of your work has been with zooform phenomena. Indeed, your book Monster! The A-Z of Zooform Phenomena is the first book to concentrate on this area. Can you explain how zooforms differ from what might be termed the “traditional” theories regarding cryptids?

Neil: Cryptids are very much creatures which are likely to exist as flesh and blood animals. Crytpozoology is the study of ‘hidden animals’, meaning thought extinct but re-discovered species, new species, and mystery animals such as the Thylacine. I believe Bigfoot/Yeti to be ‘real’ undiscovered species of upright walking ape, and also that sea serpents are almost extinct species so none of these are zooforms. Zooforms are those arcane beasts such as Mothman, phantom hellhounds, sky serpents, winged humanoids, wolfmen, dogmen, Jersey Devil’s etc, which simply are a sum of many parts but more connected to the ‘supernatural’ rather than cryptozoology.

Jim: Would you still consider the study of zooforms to be under the umbrella of cryptozoology?

Neil: I don’t think zooforms should really be part of crytpozoology, but because zooforms often involve apparitions with animal characteristics which are clearly of great mystery, then the only place they can be pigeon-holed is under the wing of cryptozoology. However, cryptozoology is very much a science to me, new species, undiscovered species etc, but zooform phenomena should be in its own field, hence the reason for the book.

Jim: Do you feel UFOs fall into the zooform category or might there be some overlap between zooforms and some other phenomena?

Neil: Zooforms needed a category and researcher Jonathan Downes created the term ‘zooform phenomena’ to attempt to categorise ‘monsters’ which cannot be real yet which are still sighted the world over. I don’t think UFOs have any connection to zooform world, but of course, there are numerous sightings of strange creatures being dumped off by strange craft, but I don’t think there’s a connection. However, I think zooform creatures and UFOs are more related to the human psyche rather than other planets. or the deep woods.

Jim: The reason I asked about your thoughts on UFOs is because of the theory that UFOs might not be mechanical crafts but rather actual beings in the sky. Thus, I wondered whether you felt there might be a connection between UFOs and zooforms.

Neil: I think UFO’s are also a sum of many parts. Hoax, military craft, misinterpretation, and in some cases possibly creatures, there have been numerous reports of those strange rod-like objects and also great sky jellyfish which are all ‘unidentified flying objects’ in a sense. However, a majority of UFO reports concern seemingly mechanical craft.

Jim: In terms of field investigations, how might a researcher’s search for zooforms differ from tracking a flesh and blood creature?

Neil: Researchers often go in search of zooform creatures because many researchers believe such creatures to be real. Mothman, Jersey Devil, Monkey Man (India), Chupacabra (Puerto Rico), etc, have all been hunted for but I don’t believe these will ever be found because they are a sum of cultural fear, hysteria, hoax, ancient belief etc. They are the bogeyman, and the bogeyman has always been here. The Bray Read Beast of Wisconsin, in my opinion, will never be found by expeditions etc, because it is something from some other place which at times slips through the fabric of time and we see it, but it cannot be real.

Jim: If it is “something from some other place,” then wouldn’t it have to be “real?” Can you elaborate on this a bit for us?

Neil: By ‘some other place’, I mean another dimension, or that void which we believe ghosts etc come from. In regards to zooforms I always ask the question, “If no-one is there to see it, does it still appear?”, and I’m of the opinion that such things are tulpa’s, accidental manifestations, which require human interaction to appear. There is no way on this Earth that the forms mentioned in my book are flesh and blood. Of course, there is much on this planet unexplored and little we know about the human mind, and that’s where these things filter from, why? I don’t know. The phantom hellhounds aren’t simply the deceased pet dog of someone, but something far more sinister, but I think they come from us, not the woods. Alot of these creatures/apparitions etc, could well be connected with the lay of the land also, burial sites etc. The American-Indians and the like often spoke of mystical places and great creatures.

Jim: I understand you’ve also spent many years researching the big cat phenomena in the UK. Do you feel these are flesh and blood creatures people are seeing? If so, what are your theories as to how the cats got there?

Neil: Any researcher who claims that ‘big cats’, in the UK, or otherwise, are supernatural, demonic, zooform etc, are talking complete rubbish. In the UK the mystery is easy to understand, that over the centuries many, many large cats have been imported and gradually, over time been released or escaped into the wilds. Hell, even the Roman’s imported thousands of large cats such as the leopard. I think the same can be said in the US although many are convinced that the black cats are black cougars which of course, don’t exist. I think when mankind doesn’t understand something it likes to label it mythical, and these cats have become mythical but we underestimate their power, their intelligence and their stealth as elusive predators. I’ve seen large cats in the UK wilds, they are real. Fact.

Jim: Your book, Mystery Animals of the British Isles: Kent, just came out a couple months back. Any memorable experiences in putting it together?

Neil: The book is completely unique locally, it’s 400 pages thick and 90% concerns my hands on research out in the field. It’s not just a case of regurgitation but new material through my research as a full-time researcher. I’ve had numerous encounters and they make for great stories. I’ve been threatened by Satanists, shot at, almost run over trying to find a carcass of a dead exotic cat, had sever close sightings of large cats (black leopard three times, lynx once, puma once, and once involving a smaller cat I couldn’t identify.) and been contacted by thousands of people who’ve reported great stories. It’s been a blast…

Jim: Shot at? I think we’d all like to hear more on that one!

Neil: I’ve had many strange and scary encounters, and being shot was one of them. I was tracking a lynx on local marshland one night. The cat had already been seen by myself and also filmed, but upon entering a stretch of woodland one night, a light came on, a guy was on the back of a vehicle shining a beam at me and his friend fired a shotgun at me. The shell/bullet hit the ground next to my right foot, and I ran, in complete darkness about half a mile. I was lucky. I’m always out in the field, hence some of the strange people I encounter!

Jim: You’ve made mention in the past of your vast collection of crypto-related movies, books, and other items. Could you share with us a few of your favorites?

Neil: I’ve always collected crypto-documentaries since I was a child, because so many people watch things and then forget all about them or record over them. Nowadays they adopt a more scientific approach but I always used to love the atmosphere of stuff like ‘Man-Beast: Myth or Monster’ by Landsburg, and the old Arthur C. Clarke stuff. I’m planning a book on crypto-related movies, cartoons etc. Books, well, there are a lot of good books out on crypto stuff, but I always recommend anything by Karl Shuker (MYSTERY CATS OF THE WORLD, IN SEARCH OF PREHISTORIC SURVIVORS..), also Richard Freeman’s more recent, DRAGONS: MORE THAN A MYTH ?, Cropper and Healy’s THE YOWIE and OUT OF THE SHADOWS are great books also, so many really, some more for their atmosphere, and others more for their scientific enquiry. Alot of good Bigfoot books about, and the Loch Ness Monster books are a little dated, and it’s always good to read something different like Linda Godfrey’s BEAST OF BRAY ROAD etc. When I wrote my books, I wanted to write them as books which, as a kid, I’d have wanted to find in a shop.

Jim: Could you give us your top five favorite crypto-related movies and/or documentaries?

Neil: Films: The Legend Of Boggy Creek, Creature From Black Lake (swamp monster), Nature of the Beast (boy on British moorland hunts the elusive local big cat), Brotherhood of the Wolf (Beast of LeGevaudan which terrorised France).

Documentaries: Too many too mention, but Meldrum’s Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science, Chupacabra: The Island Terror, Man-Beast: Myth or Monster ? Hunt For Dogman, Strange Harvest (cattle mutilations) and there were some good US series which covered monsters such as Sightings, Monster Quest, Animal X, etc. I have so many on ghosts, UFOs etc, I lost count along time ago but they are all recorded on a huge list.

Jim: Any personal experiences with the unknown?

Neil: Apart from being fortunate enough to have tracked and seen large cats in the UK wilds, I’ve had no ‘paranormal’ experiences. I’m not really into ghosts etc, I guess I don’t have time to be but I’ve spoken to many people who’ve had some truly chilling encounters with a variety of spectres.

Jim: What advice or tips might you give to a new researcher looking to go out in the field and conduct their own investigations?

Neil: Be yourself. I find that within the fields of the paranormal, ufology or even cryptozoology, there is an amount of secrecy and pettiness between researchers, and it’s never changed. I’ve always kept myself to myself, but stood up for what I’ve believed in and any budding researchers out there should keep their head down, don’t get involved in the silly politics, and you’ll find a treasure trove of information.

Jim: That’s interesting. Do you think the politics you mention stem more from a feeling of competition or something else?

Neil: The petty politics are rife in most walks of life. When I was a kid I realised how, in Ufology, pettiness and jealousy was rife, the same with the paranormal and ghosts. And cryptozoology is no different and it’s really sad that a lot of people are so jealous, and eager to get better evidence than the last person, but why? Most of these mysteries will outlive us all, life is short, people need to lighten up, get over it and get on with it.

Jim: Neil, thanks again for taking the time for this interview. I and our readers do appreciate it.

Readers may keep up on Neil’s activities by visiting his blog here:

His books may be purchased through these links:

Monster! The A-Z of Zooform Phenomena

Mystery Animals of the British Isles: Kent


An Interview with Linda Godfrey

April 20, 2009

Howlin’ Wolf: An interview with Linda Godfrey

by Jim Cobb

Linda Godfrey is one of the foremost experts in dogmen, werewolves, and other related cryptids. She has been actively investigating these creatures for almost twenty years. Her research has resulted in several books and countless interviews across the country. Also of note – according to my wife, Linda makes one mean salad. Seriously, my wife can’t stop talking about it. I managed to corral Linda for a brief interview for our readers here.

Jim: I know you’ve told the tale many times, but for the sake of readers here who might not have heard it yet, how did you get started researching cryptids?

Linda: It all began when I was starting as a reporter for the Walworth County Week in late 1991 and someone tipped me off that people around Elkhorn, Wisconsin, were reporting seeing something that looked like a werewolf. I wrote the story and became intrigued with the mystery. It went nation within weeks and has never stopped.

Jim:  Prior to The Beast of Bray Road, had you had an interest in, for lack of a better term, the “weird?”

Linda: My dad read a lot of science fiction and was interested in UFOs. I had been interested in investigating psi phenomena for many years, so perhaps I was more open to this topic than some others may have been.

Jim: I know your focus has been on dogmen and werewolves. Are there other cryptids that peak your interest at the moment?

Linda: I also collect reports of any unknown creatures, and have investigated Bigfoot sightings, flying man-sized creatures, lizard men, even a giant white rabbit. I think it is interesting that where one strange thing appears, you often find a whole constellation of unknown creatures.

Jim:  Have you developed your own theories on what people are seeing out in the forests? What do you think The Beast of Bray Road truly is?

Linda: I can’t say what it is definitively because there just is not enough evidence. I think it is either a natural species of wolf or wolf hybrid that has developed the adaptation of upright locomotion, or that it is what the Native Americans I’ve talked to say it is; an inter-dimensional creature that can move between a corporeal and a non-corporeal state. And some sightings (a very small minority) may be something else entirely; certain reports sound more like phantoms or conjured thought forms.

Jim: Let’s talk about your books for a moment. You’ve published several books related to your research. I’m wondering if there is one book of yours that stands out to you? If you could only recommend one of them to someone interested in cryptids and the paranormal, which would it be and why?

Linda: Well, perhaps “Hunting the American Werewolf” covers the broadest scope in terms of sightings, locations, theories and timeline.

Jim: Any upcoming book signings or other appearances?

Linda: I may be appearing at a conference in LA in late July or June. I’ll be updating my schedule page at And keep an eye out for an upcoming episode of Paranormal State on A&E.

Jim:  I know you started at least one online group devoted to cryptids and other unexplained phenomenon and I believe you’ve been involved with at least one or two others. Are there any online communities you’d recommend? What might you feel are the pros and cons of these online groups as a whole?

Linda: I think these groups are very individual things. They can be fun and informative, but are sometimes made up of a wide variety of people with extremely different levels of expertise and literacy, and it may take some searching to find the forum that is a good fit for you.

Jim:  What advice or pointers might you give to someone who is just starting out with their own research into unexplained phenomenon? Are there specific books you’d recommend? What might they expect when they actually get out into the field and interview witnesses and such? Any particular “rules to live by?”

Linda: Number one in my book is to treat the witnesses with respect. Always study ahead to learn what native plants and animals live in the area you’ll be looking at so you can be prepared, and be sure you aren’t trespassing.

Always take a ruler to lay next to footprints, etc. to be photographed, and take plastic bags for fur samples or scat. I wrote a chapter on this topic in “Werewolves; Mysteries, Legends and Unexplained Phenomena” (Chelsea House Publishing), and there is a lot more to cover if you’re going to do things right.

Dressing right for terrain and weather and bringing a good camera are also key.

And keep in mind that most encounters with unknown creatures are accidental and fleeting.

Jim:  By now you’ve spent many years talking to witnesses, examining evidence, and tromping around the countryside. Could you share one or two experiences that really stand out in your memory?

Linda: A highlight would definitely be my late night visit with a History Channel cameraman and witnesses to a lonely gravel road about an hour south of Traverse City, MI, where multiple witnesses had seen at least two different manwolves, one dark brown and the other gray and taller.

We kept seeing yellow eyes in the brush, and I heard something very large shake out its fur like a wet dog about 30 feet away.

Finally something ran across the road just at the edge of our spotlight, and I saw the fur along its spine illuminated for a second or two. The spine was vertical. It blotted out a reflective road sign as it crossed, and the sign measured seven feet tall. One of the witnesses also saw it.

That’s when everyone decided to go home!

Jim:  Finally, what’s up next? What are you working on now? Any new books coming out in the near future?

Linda: I’m working on a third book for the Beast series, hope to have it out by the end of summer, and a book on Wisconsin hauntings. I just finished a Young Adult novel called The Kobold, and continue to receive 1-5 sighting reports a week from around the world.

Thank you Linda for taking the time to speak with us. Very much appreciated!

For those interested in learning more, Linda hosts a few different websites.

The Beast of Bray Road

Linda Godfrey’s Blog

Weird Michigan

As noted in the interview, Linda has authored and co-authored a number of books.

Strange Wisconsin

Hunting the American Werewolf

The Beast of Bray Road

Weird Wisconsin

Weird Michigan

Werewolves (Mysteries, Legends, and Unexplained Phenomena)

Lake and Sea Monsters (Mysteries, Legends, and Unexplained Phenomena)

The Poison Widow


What was that?

April 17, 2009

Ghostwriters Society Disclaimer: The following is not presented as proof of the existence of the so-called Bigfoot, Sasquatch, or North American Yeti, or any other name that has been ascribed to these legendary creatures said to haunt the backwoods and uncharted byways.

It is what it is.

Bring your own grain of salt.

The Beast of Gum Hill

As posted by erikusmaximus on youtube.

Footage of The Beast Of Gum Hill while ATV riding on 04/05/09 at approximately 6:30pm.

This is the 2nd time I have seen this creature/bigfoot called The Beast Of Gum Hill. This is the first time we managed to capture it on video.

This is the first known video footage of the BOGH, there was a still photo taken in the early 80’s that I remember seeing .

The camera used was a cheap digital VuPoint 5.0 With waterproof case that I use while filming my ATV rides.

Local legend has talked about this non-aggressive, reclusive beast for a little over 100 years. The BOGH is around 7ft tall and guesstimated at 350 lbs.


Ancient mystery returns as ‘Satan’s hoofprints’ are spotted in Devon back garden

April 5, 2009

A 150-year-old mystery has reared its head after a woman woke to find ‘Satan’s hoofprints’ dotted across freshly fallen snow in her back garden. The single track of cloven-like prints – which appear to have been made by a two-legged creature – precisely resemble footprints recorded in the area in 1855. The phenomenon, which has never been explained, became known as the ‘Devil’s foot prints’ in a local legend.

hoofprints The new tracks appeared in fresh snow in Jill Wade’s back garden on March 5th. Grandmother Jill, 76, of Woolsery, Devon, said: ‘I looked in the garden and it really intrigued me. ‘I couldn’t believe it – the footprints were in the shape of a cloven hoof. There were no other marks at all in the snow.

‘I was quite surprised by it and I hadn’t got a clue what it was, but I thought I would love to know.’

Scientists from the Centre for Fortean Zoology inspected the prints which measure 5ins (13cm) long with a stride of between 11 and 17ins (28 and 43cm). Jonathan Downes, who runs the centre, is investigating whether the footprints could have been left by a hare or rabbits hopping on their hind legs.

‘Thousands of people across the world believe in the paranormal, but so far every single thing we have looked into has turned out to have a natural explanation. I’m sure these will as well.

“‘Do I believe that the Devil comes from the pits of Hell to wander around the gardens of North Devon? Of course not. But if you’re asking if there are things that can’t be explained by modern science, then yes. But human knowledge is expanding all the time. I believe that things that are currently put down to the paranormal will one day be explained by science.”

hoofprints2The original ‘Devil’s footprints’ appeared after a light snowfall on February 8th, 1855, and travelled from Exmouth to Topsham in Devon – even crossing the estuary of the River Exe.

The tracks reportedly continued unbroken for 100 miles – appearing on both sides of 14-foot walls and locked gates. Some villagers blamed the church, who had recently changed the standard prayer book, for letting the devil into their communities. Others blamed animals, pranksters, and even a weather balloon – but the phenomenon, described as the ‘great Devon mystery’, was never explained.