Wednesday, 29 July 2009

What The Shadow Man Means For My World View

See, I'm going to say something I haven't said since the day I gave up the last bit of my previous pagan faith and became a good little sceptic; I'm a believer.

I believe in the Shadow People. I believe I've seen them. And I believe they are not a projection of my mind or a figment of my imagination. I believe they are some sort of independent entity or object.

Now that is troublesome, because I have no idea what a Shadow Person is, or whether one has any sort of agenda. And that means I have absolutely no idea about how they fit into my world view. Maybe they are some sort of weird lifeform native to Earth, or interdimensional travelers or extraterrestrials. If that was the case my world view isn't at risk. Those things can fit in quite nicely.

But what if they are Cormons, or Tricksters, or ghosts, or demons? Well that sort of messes me up doesn't it? I suppose I must give up my ardent atheism and move into "agnosticism". I hold up my hands and say "I don't know!". Scepticism is a useful tool but can no longer be a way of life. But don't expect me to suddenly become a UFO believer. That, I'm afraid, will take a lot more!!

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Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Big Cat In Helensburgh, Argyll? Me Thinks Not.

As you should know, Dear Constant Reader, I am convinced by the evidence available (i.e. the big cats that have actually been caught/killed!!) that there are exotic big cats roaming our countryside. If you don't believe that, I honestly don't know what to say. We've caught them. We've killed them. They are there. They might not be breeding in great numbers, and may not establish a permanent population. But they are there.

Even so, having watched this latest video which purports to be an exotic big cat in Helensburgh, Argyll, I have to say I'm very unconvinced.

Look at the way it walks! Look at the way it's legs and tail look fluffy. The most convincing moment is as the cat walks from the bushes to the train tracks where it would appear to have a very "panther" like body. But the picture seems very distorted and I'm not actually sure that affect is not partly caused by the angle the cat is in relation to the camera and the poor camera quality.

No, I'm sorry, but I feel it's nothing more than a well fed and oversized domestic cat. And if you don't think cats get that big, then really you're missing out as my favourite breed is the awesomely gigantic Maine Coon (I want SEVERAL ;) )

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Thursday, 23 July 2009

Shadow People Again

The Shadow Man is the only Fortean thing I've ever had any personal experience of. So it's hardly surprising it's a subject that I will return to, time and again. I'm nearly a total sceptic, I know it's weird that I thus write a blog about the unexplained but I'm a sympathetic sceptic. And the reason for that is simply part of me will never accept that the Shadow Man was a figment of my imagination or a construct of my unconscious mind. How would the dog know he was there? Why did I see him then and not have similar experiences later on? And how come I've [Jae Note - Following link to my personal journal has shirtless man on it. Forewarned is forearmed!) seen other shadow phenomenon in that same property but never anywhere else? These are real questions, and I need answers. I might never get them, but I need them!

So... firstly listened to Beyond the Edge Radio today and they had Jason Offutt on discussing Shadow People. His blog, From The Shadows, has been in my blogroll since I started this blog and it's well worth a read. Obviously, once I heard that, I gave up on the house work and headed straight to my computer to look for Shadow People videos. I know, it always upsets me greatly but I'm like a dog with a bone once I'm on to something...

And I found this video which has some interesting pictures and footage. Most interesting was the last video, showing what I believe is the top of a cape of a shadow person. Why do I believe this? Because (as I've said in my NSFW link above) I used to see two of these doing the same thing at the living room window quite often. Always on the move. When I saw that video, it completely blew my mind. Imagine seeing something that makes you feel full of warm nostalgia and fearful terror all at once. That's how it was for me.

Then there are personal testimonies here and here. Both of these stories are interesting, but also bring home to me the differences in different sightings. The shadow man, and the hooded shadows, I saw as a child were not "shadows" as we know them. Them were 3D beings, composed of some black material. A lot of shadow people sightings have them as 2D shadows often on walls. I'm not saying that those people are lying just stressing there are major differences in sighting report.

Another difference is a lot of people (including my old work colleague who reported her second encounter of a shadow involved it moving extremely fast) report the shadows moving with uncommon speed. In my case, and this is possibly the aspect that scares me most, the shadow man moved with a terrifying lack of speed and moved from the hall to my doorway at a leisurely pace. Although I admit the hooded shadows I saw at others times always moved with the sort of speed reserved for the Flash.

Everytime I look I find something more that confirms my beliefs that what I saw was not a figment of my imagination, but something else (whatever that may be!). The first time I looked I found the Shadow People were a fairly common phenomenon which shook me up. The second time I looked I discovered the two entities I'd always thought of as strange witch like creatures who were often seen outside my old house were actually ALSO common entities linked to the shadow people. And now I've seen a video of one of those two entities and can confirm I have seen that thing myself. That scares me. It scares me because:

1) anything that makes the Shadow Man out to be anything other than a figment of my imagination means I might one day encounter him again and that is not something I wish to consider. I simply don't know what I'd do if he walked back into my life.
2) it would totally threaten my lovely, safe world view. My world is a world free of religion, spirits and filled with science and flesh and blood beings (even if some of them might not be recognised by science just yet!). If the Shadow Man were to be "real" then I'd be wrong somewhere along the line. And I don't like that one bit. But at least I'm willing (unlike scary fundamentalists) to accept that possibility!!

Oh well... until more evidence appears I'm going to just keep my doors closed and hope to a God who I hope doesn't exist that I never have to see those bloody red eyes again.

Further Reading

Darkness Walks: The Shadow People Among Us - Jason Offutt (UK Amazon, US Amazon)

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Monday, 20 July 2009

The Flatwoods Monster

Flatwoods, Braxton County in West Virginia, is a small village which advertises itself as "The Home Of The Green Monster". Who was the Green Monster?

View Larger Map

September 12th 1952, 7:15pm. Three boys Edward (13) and Fred May (12), and their friend Tommy Hyer (10) were playing football on a school playground when they spotted something in the sky.

It was a bright object streaking through the sky until it appeared to land/crash on a hilltop of the nearby Bailey Fisher farm. The boys ran back to Edward and Fred's house and related the story to their mother Kathleen May. She agreed to accompany them to the hill with torchlights and brought with her Neil Nunley (14) Ronnie Shaver (10), and 17 year old West Virginia National Guardsman Eugene Lemon. Lemon also brought his dog.

As the 8 of them drew close to the site of the crash, Lemon's dog ran ahead. Just out of sight they heard it barking at something unknown before it came running back with it's tail between it's legs.

As the first two boys, including Neil Nunley, crested the hill the object seemed to crash into, they saw a pulsating red light some way in the distance. Before they could react to that (and before they could wonder what that pungent smelling mist that was burning their eyes was), Lemon spotted two shining eyes under an oak tree and turned the flashlight towards them.

There standing before them was a 10 foot tall creature, with a round red face with a "Ace of Spades" shaped frill around it. The body seemed dark, although it later was described as "green" hence the town's name for the beast. When the creature began to "glide" towards them, Lemon dropped the flashlight and the group fled.

The authorities were called. First the police. Then the local newspaper. I'm pleased to see Mrs May had her priorities straight. If I'd just seen a 10 foot monster my first few phone calls would not have included the local rag, but probably the fire brigade, the Army, perhaps even the RNLI. But really, the local rag??

Strangely on separate checks that evening the Sheriff and his deputy found nothing unusual whilst Mr. A. Lee Stewert, co-owner of the Braxton Democrat, found "a sickening, burnt, metallic odor still prevailing". Funny that.

Further reports came in:

At 6:30 the next morning, the director of the Board of Education saw a flying saucer take off, not far from his house, and immediately reported it to the Sutton newspaper. Only then was he informed of the happening of the night before. Mr. Stewart, the owner of the paper, immediately went to the hill and could still smell the odor on the ground. He discovered two tracks where the reported object had landed. No wagon had been in this part for many years and the weeds were several feet high. The grass was freshly depressed, and closer search disclosed a piece of black plastic material which did not burn when tested by Stewart. The piece has been analyzed and we hope to get a report soon through Mr. Smith. Samples of ground and vegetation were also collected by airforce [sic] officers.

Further inquiries at the Lemon house revealed that Mrs. Lemon and a friend were having coffee at the time of the landing, and their house shook so violently that coffee spilled over the table and they thought the house had fallen off its foundation. The radio went off for 45 minutes and came back on by itself.

In his systematic questioning of everyone in the valley, Smith found that a girl, 21, of Weston, 11 miles from the Lemon farm, was confined in the Clarksburg Hospital for three weeks, after having seen a figure of the same description, and emitting the same odor reported by witnesses of the Sutton occurrence. Her mother confirmed the girl's story that they had seen the monster when they were on their way to church more than a week before Mrs. May's experience. Source: CSI Bulletin #2

What I find so fascinating about all this is that an entire mythology has grown up on this monster based on a fleeting glance of it, and that these folks were willing to go on record claiming it to be a monster based on nothing more that a few moments of contact.

Honestly, one adult amid a group of excitable young boys and an exuberant pet dog does not a convincing witness make and I quite honestly believe that this particular monster can be explained away by a meteor, some flashing aerial lights and an owl as suggested here. What depresses me most is that people seem desperate to explain these sorts of things away by the weird rather than erring on the side of caution. Bless 'em.

Further Reading

The Braxton County Monster: The Cover-Up of the Flatwoods Monster Revealed - Frank C. Feschino (UK Amazon, US Amazon)

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Monday, 13 July 2009

Red Eyed Beasts

I'll never forget my encounter with the Shadow Man. I will admit that I can now, rarely, sleep with the door open which is a vast improvement on the past and owes much to the gentle coxing of my ever patient other half, but most nights I just stare into the darkness around my closed bedroom door and wonder what might be behind it. My major issue has always been those red eyes. And I'm disturbed by how often these red eyed monsters appear in the world of the paranormal.

Bigfoot for instance. Here are just a few reports:

Red Eyes At The Window

8 Foot Tall And More Red Eyes

More Red Eyes At The Window (I have a phobia of exposed windows at night as well as open doors and yes... that is a proper phobia not a "oh that slightly worries me" sort of fear so maybe I should stop right now...)

The British Man Monkey is even more consistently described with red eyes.

Our old friends, the Ghostly Black Dogs, are regularly described as having red eyes. And our new friends the Alien Big Cats... RED EYES

More information and analysis can be found here with mentions of other cryptids with red eyes and some rather wonderful theories to explain this phenomenon (including science... ooo...)

So there we have a theme. A rather worrying and concerning theme, especially for someone like me who deeply dislikes 1) glowing red eyes and 2) silly non-scientific theories to explain things. I can reason away bigfoot sightings as being of an unknown great ape, I can explain Alien Big Cats as an introduced species. But how can we explain away all these red eyes? I still think Three Men Seeking Monsters by Nick Redfern puts forward the most interesting theory. Could it be all these creatures are one and the same entity? Or at least entities. The Cormons, a group of monsters from another dimension who feed off our emotional reaction to them and take many forms to encourage different emotions... angels, fairies, monsters, aliens, UFOs. Could all our favourite fortean creatures simply be disguises for emotional vampires, and are we, by way of simply talking about them, perpetuating a never ending feeding cycle?? Makes my head hurt, especially at this time of night.

Rabbits: Not As Cute As You Thought!

But I thought I'd just point out... red eyes are everywhere. And they might be watching you!! Night night, sleep well ;)

This blogger works for nothing but the joy of writing but always appreciates things bought from his wishlist

Sunday, 12 July 2009

New Cetaceans On Tetrapod Zoology

After my post the other day about new animals from the ocean, the ever awesome, and vastly superior, blog Tetrapod Zoology has a recent post on some of the most recently discovered cetaceans

Very exciting stuff.

This blogger works for nothing but the joy of writing but always appreciates things bought from his wishlist

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Michael Jackson's Ghost Not Actually A Ghost

That fleeting glimpse of a shadow at Neverland? Guess what... it was a shadow!!

This blogger works for nothing but the joy of writing but always appreciates things bought from his wishlist

News That Interests Me

Aquatic deer provide links to whale evolution. I love evolutionary biology.

Wild peacocks... in Sheerness?? Yes, Kent's very own Isle of Sheppey has wild peacocks and a colony of scorpions (possibly one of the only such colonies in the British Isles). Maybe the rest of Kent (including me) should stop making fun of the Isle of Sheppey. Nah....

It turns out stripeless tigers are not just biologically interesting but darn cute too.

And finally... Christians can't help but get involved in Fortean things in amusing ways.

This blogger works for nothing but the joy of writing but always appreciates things bought from his wishlist

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Under The Sea

Moonlight Investigation does have somewhat of a fascination with aquatic fortean happenings, but that is not without reason. The sea is, for humans, one of the most inhospitable environments in the world. The ocean depths are even more inhospitable. Man has permanent outposts in space, on Antarctica and has long learnt to thrive in desert conditions. But we have yet to do anything more than observe the ocean depths from a moving vehicle, which can spend only a limited time below the surface. Our long term submarine capabilities are awesome but the military subs hardly offer a good viewing platform!

So it should be no surprise that not only do we find a lot more "unexplained" things in our oceans, but that the possibility of them being something unknown rather than misidentified is far greater. And that surely includes taking into account the fact that it's much more difficult to identify something that's submerged in water.

The Pacific Sleeper Shark

We've looked at "unnaturally" large sharks before but having read up on the subject some more, it's hardly an exhausted topic!

Just when you thought it was safe to go into the water...

The Pacific sleeper is a rarely seen shark species first identified in 1944. They are generally found to be somewhere between 3 and 4 metres long (9 to 12 feet).Given that the sharks have been found to feed on giant and Colossal squid it's hardly surprising that some have reported Pacific sleeper sharks of quite a size more!!

The French submersible "Nautile" was exploring the waters off of Japan in 1989 when they encountered a Pacific Sleeper who they said slid past them revealing it's full 23 feet length (that's about 7 metres to you and me!). That would place it at a size larger than any officially verified non filter feeding shark known to be alive today.

The Reefquest centre mentions this sighting but also another sighting:

Another large individual — estimated to be between 16 to 26 feet (5 to 8 metres) in length — was photographed by a robot camera at a depth of 6,300 feet (1,920 metres) off Oahu, Hawaii.

If it were 8 metres long that would be truly astounding!!

The Giant Octopus

Before we mention the tales of giant octopi, I just wanted to share this video of a blanket octopus. To my great shame I had never heard of this species before, but my isn't it beautiful? I suggest you read up on it as it is as fascinating as it is gorgeous.

Hypno-Octopus strikes again!

Anyway, we all know of the Kraken right? The gigantic monster octopus of legend who pulled ships deep under the water, and brought death to many a sailor? Well... it's not that unbelievable! Larger than expected octopi have been found, like this one from New Zealand.

But a truly gigantic octopus would need truly gigantic food. Over to the story that I first read when I was little and has had me wondering ever since (taken from here but seems almost exactly the same as I remember it).

summer of 1984. One fisherman from Bermuda islands, John P. Ingham, came up with an idea which would be very profitable for him. Giant octopus was way out of his mind when he constructed a trap for large crabs and other sea organisms which he would use at a depth of about 1800 meters (5900 ft). His plan worked and soon he started catching crabs 60 cm wide.
Then he built really heavy traps and armored them with 5 cm thick metal rings. They were 1.8 to 2.4 meters large and 1.2 meters deep. Ingham was dropping them into the ocean from his 15-meter fishing boat Trilogy.
By the end of August, Ingham already noticed few very unusual things. First he lost one of his traps after something suddenly pulled the cable. There was no obvious explanation. Then, on 3rd of September, few days after the first event, the crew was pulling out one trap, but when the trap was 600 meters (2000 ft)
below the surface something stopped its ascent, pulled the cable in the opposite direction and violently shaked the cable. The trap was lost.

Then, on September 19, Ingham set the trap at a depth of 850 meters (2700 ft). This time, they couldn't pull the trap out even with full engine power. Trilogy was equipped with a sophisticated sonar instrument called chromascope, and Ingham used it when the ship passed directly above the trap. He set the chromascope to
so-called split bottom mode. On the bottom of the ocean he could clearly see a pyramid-shaped silhouette 15 meters (50 ft) high. Something wrapped around their trap. Ingham and his crew decided they won't do anything violent. They'll sit and wait with cable engine ready.

After about 20 minutes, Ingham got a feeling that the ship was moving - like something was pulling it. He went to his cabin again to check navigation instruments. They confirmed his feeling. The ship was moving towards south at a constant speed of about one knot. When they passed about 500 meters, the thing that was pulling the rope, whatever it was, suddenly changed direction and headed for the shore. A bit later it suddenly turned again. Now Ingham was convinced that some kind of deep sea creature grabbed the trap
and pulled the trap along as it moved. Ingham touched the cable near surface of water. He says that he felt regular vibrations that traveled along the cable, like something walked on the ocean bottom, and vibrations were transferred along the cable. The impacts (vibrations) were always the same intensity and repeated themselves every few seconds. The 15-meter high silhouette, ship's movement, vibrations, traps he lost earlier - Ingham was convinced that he became the prey of a giant sea creature. Suddenly creature released the cable, so the crew easily pulled the trap out. Ingham looked at the chromascope - the silhouette was gone. The trap was all deformed and mostly damaged on the upper side. All of this clearly points to the Giant Bermudan Octopus. A creature which can keep the trap on the ocean bottom, resisting to the ship's engine power, the ocean depth on which event took place, location near Bermuda islands - octopus.

This is all rather concerning considering reports from the nearby Caribbean of "luscas". Supposedly these are sea monsters who are usually described as giant octopi. They live in the "blue holes" (underwater caves up to 200m deep) which would be indicative of octopi. Divers have reported seeing extremely large crustaceans in these blue holes which would also be indicative of a food source. On this page we have a story of a local describing luscas of only being dangerous if a boat is in water shallow enough for one tentacle to reach the sea floor and another to reach the boat. This is exactly the problem scientists have with kraken reports... a kraken could not be dangerous unless one tentacle could be supporting it on the sea floor. If that is a real conversation, that would be extremely compelling testimony suggesting a scientifically plausible large octopus posing a danger to the people of the Bahamas.

Unusual Dolphins

Your thinking: "Dolphins?? Surely these are one of the most studied and most understood marine life on Earth? There can't be anything unusual about dolphins!!". Well if that really was what you were thinking, you are wrong!

It's not Fraser's Dolphin, it's mine!

Take Fraser's dolphin (a recognised and fairly widespread species!!). The first known discovery linked to it was a skull found in Borneo in 1895. It went unstudied until Francis Fraser, in 1956, identified it as a new species. It was only in 1971 that a full body was found, after which sightings were first reported and then became more and more frequent. It's currently estimated there are over 100,000 Fraser's dolphins in pods numbering in the hundreds and the thousands. They grow to nearly 3 metres long. Why didn't we see them sooner?! Because they are a deep ocean species and no one probably ever bothered giving them a second look as they are a billion times more difficult to study than the more famous coastal dolphins. So it's quite likely that other species of dolphin are going about their business in the oceans without us even being aware of their existence. Perhaps one of these is the Rhinoceros Dolphin.

Online "artists impressions" show this dolphin to have a large "central" dorsal fin with a smaller one behind. But according to the books I've checked and he description of French naturalists Jean Quoy and Joseph Gaimard suggest the extra dorsal fin was actually smaller and towards the front which I think makes more sense vis-a-vis the name as well. (Sidenote: some "freak" common dolphins have been observed with a secondary dorsal fin towards their rear as per those pictures so I think the "artists" might just be getting very confused between the two different cryptid puzzles).

Quoy and Gaimard were off New South Wales in 1819 when they made their sighting of a pod of such dolphins which they described it's other features thus:

"The volume of the animal was about double that of the ordinary porpoise, and the the top of its body, as far as the dorsal fin, was spotted black and white."

They named it Delphinus rhinoceros. Other reports from the Atlantic and Mediterranean have also been made of this dolphin.

Another cryptid dolphin is a bit less far out to sea, but in no less a difficult place to study; it's the "Amazon Nessie". Writer Jeremy Wade photographed and described a dolphin he has spotted more than once in the Amazon river. Variously described as the "Ridge-backed Dolphin" and the "Sawtooth Dolphin" it is said to have low ridges on it's back instead of a dorsal fin. Whilst this might seem strange the Amazon River Dolphin does have a very short dorsal fin so it's not entirely unbelievable to imagine a close relative having evolved a ridge back approach. A very small photo can be found at the bottom right of this page and a description of Jeremy Wade's return to find it again can be found here. As I'm wasn't there, and the picture is very small, it would be rude of me to totally dismiss this but doesn't that picture look more crocodilian than mammalian?

The reports of unusual animals from the ocean are pretty much unlimited so expect to here more...

Further Reading

Rumours of Existence - Matthew A. Bille (UK Amazon, US Amazon) - Invaluable information of some of the more believable stories of unusual animals

This blogger works for nothing but the joy of writing but always appreciates things bought from his wishlist

Thursday, 2 July 2009


I've got a Venus Fly Trap! Despite warnings from every good carnivorous plant website saying "Don't you dare get one, they are too delicate" I threw caution to the wind and now sitting upon my windowsill is the latest addition to our household (the other recent addition "Gibbs The Bearded Dragon" is cowering in his vivarium because of the heat as I type). So I thought "How can I link this in to a Moonlight Investigation post?". Well Venus Fly Traps are your stereotypical weird flora which leads us pretty quickly to the lesser known fortean "science" of cryptobotany (also called cryptophytology).

Cryptobotany is the floral counterpart to cryptozoology; the search for "hidden" plants. Of course this doesn't appear to be a search for any old type of plant, but more a search for man eating plants! And when I say a search I mean repeating old stories from the comfort of one's armchair (a bit like I'm doing now). Botany is a much maligned science but personally I've always been respectful towards it. Not excited by it, zoology is my "thing", but respectful. Plants are not just living things, they are competitive, dangerous and all round inventive living things. So it's sad that the alternative science equivalent to it is so uninventive and unexciting. There's plenty of amazing plants out there, without needing to go looking for man eating ones!

Audrey II

Of course a lot of people, even those interested in cryptozoology, dismiss reports of undiscovered plants on the basis that "plants can't hide" like Bigfoot or Nessie. But I don't think those people have ever been outside and found just how difficult it is to get through vegetation and obviously new species of plant remain out there to be found (if you don't believe me check out the Wollemi Pine). This post though will focus on the more typical cryprobotanical ilk...

Let's not beat around the bush (oh yes people, a botany joke!!); there is very little information around about cryptid flora. But let's take a look anyway...

Man Eating Trees!!

A Whomping Willow From Some Movie

Here's an account taken from the 1939 Chicago Field Museum of Natural History leaflet "Carnivorous Plants and 'The Man-Eating Tree'":

The "Snake- tree" is described in a newspaper para-
graph as found on an outlying spur of the Sierra Madre,
in Mexico. It has sensitive branches of a slimy, snaky
appearance, and when a bird alights on them incautiously,
it is seized, drawn down in the tree and lost to sight.
Soon after it falls, flattened out, to the ground, where
bones and feathers, no doubt of former captures cover
the earth. An adventurous traveler having touched one
of the branches of the tree tells how it closed up on his
hand with such force that it tore the skin when he wrenched
it away. He then fed the tree with chickens, and the tree
absorbed their blood by means of suckers with which its
branches were covered, very much like those of the octopus.


A recent report is credited to a Brazilian explorer named
Mariano da Silva who returned from an expedition which
led him into a district of Brazil that borders on Guiana.
He had there sought out the settlement of Yatapu Indians.
During his journey he saw a tree which nourishes itself
on animals. The trunk of the tree has a diameter of about
90 centimetres and is about six to seven meters high.
Around the lower part are found leaves which are 0.9 by
20 centimetres large and the thickness of the thumb.
The tree itself exudes a peculiar sharp odor which attracts
animals, especially monkeys. As soon as they climb the
trunk, all is up with them, for very quickly they are com-
pletely closed in by the leaves, and one neither hears nor
sees them again. After about three days the leaves open
and let drop to the earth the bones, completely stripped.

Also contained is the very detailed, very exciting and very debunked Madagascan Man-Eating Tree. Here's a Wiki summary:

The earliest well known report of a man-eating tree originated as a hoax. In 1881 German explorer "Carl Liche" wrote an account in the South Australian Register of encountering a sacrifice performed by the "Mkodo" tribe of Madagascar:[3]

"The slender delicate palpi, with the fury of starved serpents, quivered a moment over her head, then as if instinct with demoniac intelligence fastened upon her in sudden coils round and round her neck and arms; then while her awful screams and yet more awful laughter rose wildly to be instantly strangled down again into a gurgling moan, the tendrils one after another, like great green serpents, with brutal energy and infernal rapidity, rose, retracted themselves, and wrapped her about in fold after fold, ever tightening with cruel swiftness and savage tenacity of anacondas fastening upon their prey."

The tree was given further publicity by the 1924 book by former Governor of Michigan Chase Osborn, Madagascar, Land of the Man-eating Tree. Osborn claimed that both the tribes and missionaries on Madagascar knew about the hideous tree, and also repeated the above Liche account.

In his 1955 book, Salamanders and other Wonders, science author Willy Ley determined that the Mkodo tribe, Carle Liche, and the Madagascar man-eating tree itself all appeared to be fabrications.

There are also tales of a man eating tree called the "Ya-te-veo" ("I see you") that lives around the South Atlantic, but no recent witness statements mention it and it seems more a local legend than a fortean story.

And sadly this is the sort of thing that then seems to occur throughout reports of strange plants... hearsay, rumour but no "sightings". Death plants, flesh eating vines and over sized Venus Fly Traps are all mentioned in the same way you might mention any other urban legend.

Given your average person's disinterest in plant life (outside of their garden!) I think there are thousands of plants out there waiting to be studied. However I don't think the cryptobotanists will find them. At least cryptozoologists go on expeditions!! Alas, if there is a man eating plant out there it's likely to continue to go very hungry for a long time.

Further Reading

The Beasts That Hide From Man - Karl P.N. Shuker (UK Amazon, US Amazon) - This book has a section on cryptobotany but I can personally attest to it having a great selection of other topics on crptids. Dr Karl Shuker is awesome, if I do say so myself. Great writing style too, serious but not dull.

Flora Curiosa: Cryptobotany, Mysterious Fungi, Sentient Trees, and Deadly Plants in Classic Science Fiction and Fantasy - Chad Arment (Editor) (UK Amazon, US Amazon)

This blogger works for nothing but the joy of writing but always appreciates things bought from his wishlist