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No. 52: Jul-Aug 1987

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Checklist Of Apparently Unknown Animals

B. Heuvelmans, who operates the Center for Cryptozoology, in France, has compiled an annotated checklist of between 110 and 138 animals (some questions remain about how many are distinct species) which do not seem to be recognized by science. His list is based upon his collection of 20,000 references. Obviously we cannot reproduce all his descriptions here, but we will pass along three of the most interesting.

  1. A dolphin with two dorsal fins, both curved backwards, the anterior one set on the forehead like a horn. The first observation was apparently by Mongitore in the Mediterranean. During the Uranie and Physicienne expedition, Quoy and Gaimard reported a whole school of them between the Sandwich Islands and New South Wales. They were spotted black and white.

  2. Hairy "wild men," known as satyrs in classical antiquity. These were probably Neanderthals that survived into historical times. The most recent sightings were in 1774, in the Pyrenees, and 1784, in the Carpathians.

  3. Giant birds of prey in North America -- the famous "thunderbirds." Observers put the wingspans between 10 and 16 feet, making thunderbirds much larger than the Andean condor. Reports have come in from all over the southern United States. Some remains of these carnivorous birds have been dated at 8,000 years.

(Heuvelmans, Bernard; "Annotated Checklist of Apparently Unknown Animals with Which Cryptozoology Is Concerned," Cryptozoology, 5:1, 1986.)

Comment. Although Heuvelmans has a file of 20,000 references, formal scientific recognition usually requires specimens, or something better than testimony.

Reference. The subject of cryptozoology is covered in BHU and BMU in our catalogs: Biological Anomalies: Humans III and Biological Anomalies: Mammals II, respectively. For ordering information, visit: here.

From Science Frontiers #52, JUL-AUG 1987. 1987-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987