Header Image Source: Strangehistory
Anyone who has ever seen Jesus in a piece of toast or a dinosaur in the clouds will attest to the fact that we humans have a tendency to see what we want to see, rather than what is there. When pointed in the right direction we can see human faces on Mars or sleeping giants in the profiles of hills.
Sometimes the mental jumps that people are asked to take can be a little extreme. Like when a freshly deceased Nessie specimen was found in the famous Scottish Loch in 1972. Although the story made headlines around the world, even a cursory glance at the photo will tell you all you need to know about it.
It was a seal.
And these stories aren’t a thing of the past. Not a day goes by that somebody somewhere doesn’t report a big-foot, yeti or other cryptid animal being sighted. These are often so far out as to be pure fiction, so on this list we’ll try to keep it to the times when people managed to snap a photo or two.
The Florida Bigfoot
Image source: Alexander Migl
In Florida, rumours abound of a large primate cryptid named the Swamp Ape. Called the Myakka Ape, locals swear that they have consistently seen the creature through their entire lives. Three years ago one of these locals decided to go about convincing the wider world of the elusive ape’s existence.
To do so the 66-year-old fisherman named John Rodriguez took two photos (one and two) of a gorilla costume sat expressionless in the middle of a swamp. One far away and one close up, after he dared to creep closer to the inanimate object.
Funnily enough Rodriguez’s bluff wasn’t enough to convince a lot of other eager believers. They cite the fact that the face isn’t human enough to be a big-foot, as big-foots are apparently our ancient ancestors.
Image source: Dr. Haggis
If the whisperings on cryptid websites are to be believed then the thunderbirds have been entrenched in American culture since at least the Civil war. Many separate photographs purportedly from that era show a group of soldiers standing over their kill: a pterodactyl.
These photos have long been proved to be fake, and in fact the cryptid community is divided on what a thunderbird even is. While some point to flying crocodiles and pterodactyls, others claim it is simply an eagle of incredible size. Our next hoax comes under the second group.
The headline read: “Massive Winged Creature” Photographed in Canada
It will come as no surprise that the mysterious ‘winged creature’ was a bird, and its size is impossible to tell from the photograph. According to the photographer known only as Mark, the bird was very far away. The headline may as well have read: Big Bird Seen From Distance
However it may be a little unfair on Mark to call this one a hoax. He clearly saw a remarkable vulture, and wanted to believe it was a thunderbird as much as he wanted others to.
The New Mexico Flying Snake
Image source: Wikicommons
The disparity between what is reported by the converted and the truth of the photograph is often enough to make you laugh out loud, and this particular story definitely did that for me.
This group of photos was taken by a ranch owner in New Mexico, or more specifically by the camera traps he set to monitor wildlife in the area. He certainly wasn’t expecting to find flying snakes living nearby, and for the good reason that they don’t.
However his photographs appeared to show otherwise. They show what “could be a Corn or a King Snake” flying across the lens. Now imagine what that might look like.
Now look at the photo that started it all.
It doesn’t look like any snake anyone has ever seen. And in spite of the ranch owners’ belief that the flying snakes are “a weird, unexplained mystery”, they are actually the complete opposite. They are called ‘Rods’ and they even have their own Wikipedia page.
These ‘Rod’ photos were everywhere in the nineties and early two-thousands, with people claiming them to be everything from angels to aliens. In fact they are simply insects, flying across the screen at such proximity and speed that they become distorted in the finished picture.
The Scottish Entity
Image source: Leslie Barrie
I’ve chosen to use the enigmatic word entity to title this entry to deliberately hide from you exactly what you are meant to be seeing in this photo. But it wasn’t a word chosen at random.
The untrained eye would be forgiven for seeing absolutely nothing at all in the photo, but the man who took it is sure that there are ‘one or two entities’ visible. Despite his emphatic use of the word, there really doesn’t appear to be any entity out of the ordinary.
However if you go back to the photo with the knowledge that other people see a white-clothed, astronaut-like man on the left, can you see anything new?
There are stories of humanoid primates from all over the world, but a white spaceman ape from Scotland really does take a leap of the imagination quite beyond anything else. Especially when the photo we are meant to believe in is quite clearly just an empty, well-lit forest. And doubly so when you realise that forest is just 25km from the centre of Glasgow.
The Reptilian Driver
Image source: Mysticsartdesign
Ever since David Icke brought the theory into the conspiracy mainstream, people have been hunting everywhere for evidence of their reptilian overlords. Overlords they know to exist, despite never having seen them. However what one Florida man recently photographed could have the potential to change everything.
It could have that potential, if it so clearly wasn’t just a picture of the back of a car.
The unnamed photographer reportedly caught the reptilian driving a Kia Spectra, ironically with a Monster sticker on the rear window. But as any trained or untrained eye can see, there is clearly nothing lizard-like.
However our reptile reporter was determined that people see exactly what he did in that car, so not only has he adjusted the contrast to make it clearer, he has also handily drawn an outline of what he claims is the creatures face. The result is what has to be the most cubist reptilian ever seen, driving a car in Florida or not.
The Entity and the Pterodactyl
Image source: MrGanso
This next entry should perhaps be read with a more sombre tone, as it smacks much more of a man a little off his rocker than it does of a true hoax attempt like the Florida ape. The man’s name is given only as C. Wilson, and he apparently sees unexplainable events every month.
Unfortunately for Mr Wilson, these events that seem unexplainable to him appear very much like everyday occurrences to the rest of us.
Take this first example, of what he claims was a pterodactyl flying somewhere above California a few years ago. Athough not as clearly an eagle as the previous thunderbird on the list, this massive flying creature is just another bird as well.
Or this second example, where what seems to be an insect on the lens is claimed to be a four-legged entity capable of flying thousands of miles a second. At that speed it’s a miracle he got any photo at all really.
It’s not entirely certain which of the many cryptids Mr Wilson is claiming to see, but perhaps he is a man that needs to be listened to for a different reason.
Image source: Luis Alejandro Bernal Romero
If there’s one rule in cryptozoology it’s that when someone spots a dog-like animal, it is invariably a dog. If it’s an eagle-like bird, it’s an eagle. And so unsurprisingly for this entry our cat-like animal is, inevitably, a cat.
So why does this particular example make the list of awful cryptid sightings?
Ordinarily people who go in for cryptid sightings have to make do with blurred images and fuzzy zooms. This photo is exceptional because it’s in clear daylight, and the creature is even looking right at the camera.
Despite this, people argue that the cat-like animal had a tail that was too bushy and more like a fox. Or that its colourings were too light and more like a bob-cat. But it was, indisputably, a cat. For a clear picture like this to even be up for debate really shows the fervour of the believers.
Image source: Alvin Padayachee
Perhaps the most and well established cryptid monster on our list so far, we have the famous blood-sucking Chupacabra of central America. Lethal to goats especially, (chupar means to suck and cabra, goat) these hounds from hell strike fear into farm animals everywhere.
Chupacabras take the form of hideous hairless dogs with leathery gnarled skin. Sightings of them both alive and dead across Mexico and Texas are easy to find on the internet, and some are so convincing it’s impossible to deny that they are a real animal.
So what’s the truth behind the Chupacabra?
To discern the answer all you have to do is remember the golden rule of cryptozoology. If it is described as a dog-like creature, it’s a dog. And in this case, not even a poorly documented type.
They area breed known as Xolo, or Mexican Hairless Dog, which fits the whole Chupacabra description pretty perfectly. Some of the feral ones can break out in horrible sores and scabs, giving them a scary appearance, but they are just dogs.
The Palo Alto Bigfoot
Image source: Gnashes30
Everybody has heard a million and one of the big-foot stories that are out there. It’s only when someone gets some solid evidence that anybody pays any real attention anymore. So back in 2008 when two policemen in northern Georgia said that not only had they seen a big-foot, but they’d shot and killed it, it understandably sent shockwaves through the crypto-community.
Officers Matt Whitton and Rick Dyer claimed to have the cryptid primate dead and bundled into a freezer. Although even they couldn’t seem to agree on how they got it there. In one story a felon shot it, in another they found it wounded, in another they chased a whole family and killed one.
If contrasting stories aren’t enough to throw doubt on their accuracy, wait until you hear what the police actually had in their freezer. You can see the picture here.
Jeffrey Meldrum, a university professor who was first shown that same picture, said: “It just looks like a costume with some fake guts thrown on top for effect.” And funnily enough he was exactly right.
What the policemen had originally described as a 7-foot-7, 550-pound monster was in fact nothing more than a cheap gorilla costume stuffed with road-kill.
Image source: Katherine Bowman
Ever since one was first sighted in 1966 in West Virginia, mothmen have become a staple of American cryptozoology. Fitting their title perfectly, these half-man half-moth monsters have been seen flapping their huge furry wings in just about every state, so it makes sense that they have been reproducing somehow. But it wasn’t until recently that anybody had seen a baby.
Unfortunately for the final entry on the list, we don’t have a photograph of the terrifying 9 inch tall baby mothman that ‘startled’ a woman in Illinois two years ago. We do however have a very detailed drawing that the witness was able to produce from memory alone. You can see that here.
Unsurprisingly the picture has not gained much traction at all. Although some people think it’s obvious that there are mothmen babies since there are mothmen, it remains a lot to ask someone to believe you saw a 9 inch tall one on your front porch.
Now, if a mothman is going to grow up to be 7 foot tall, its child is hardly likely to be flying around at just 9 inches. And this leap of faith becomes even harder when you realise that lady lives in an area populated by White Witch moths, which can grow up to 12 inches long.