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Patty Leon: From myth to reality? Maybe!
Patty Leon new

In 1799 a scientist thought that someone was trying to pull a prank on him when he was first shown the pelt and a drawing of a duckbilled platypus. The scientist was convinced someone had taken the beak and webbed feet off a duck and the tail off a beaver and glued it onto the torso of an otter-like creature.

 But, as is the case of many “Cryptids,” scientists soon realized the platypus was a real live species indigenous to Australia. These days the platypus is a protected animal as its numbers is dwindling. Most recognize the word cryptid to describe animals or beings that people claim to exist without sufficient proof that it does. The most well-known cryptids include, the Loch Ness Monster, Big foot, Yeti, Mothman, Lizard Man, Jersey Devil, Hell Hounds, The Napa Valley Rebobs and the list goes on and on.

There are several animals and sea-beings, that were once classified as cryptids until they were found to be real. An example of one would be the large Komodo dragons from Indonesia. Another would be that of the giant squid. Fisherman throughout the world shared “folk stories,” about giant squids in the ocean. Many laughed it off as a myth until not one, but several giant squids were caught and brought to surface.

Believe it or not gorillas were classified as cryptids until 1847 when the “large human-like monsters” were discovered by explorers. One species of gorilla remained listed as a cryptid until 1902. Yet today we clearly know gorillas are real.

Kangaroos were once listed as a cryptid, but we all recognize them as a symbol of all things Australian. There has been a lot of recent studies into the Yeti, Bigfoot and Sasquatch phenomenon. Researchers are pointing to the similarities of each and their physical similarity with the Gigantopithecus, an extinct genus of ape. Could some of these Gigantopithecus still be among us today?

And just so you all know, there has been three Bigfoot sightings in Long County, the last in 2014, and two in Liberty County the last in 2011, all around the vicinity of Fort Stewart and some reported by soldiers during training. Two reports are listed in nearby Tattnall County.

See for yourself: GDB/state_listing. asp?state=ga Maybe the Mothman is a type of large flying bat! I mean I had never heard or seen anything about large flying bats until I read about the Philippine flying fox.

The giant golden- crowned flying fox was described as a new species in 1831. And while they are called flying fox it is actually the largest known bats in the world. As of 2005, three subspecies of the giant golden-crowned flying fox are recognized, one being called the A. jubatus lucifer.

HELLO! Lucifer! Not only may this describe the Mothman possibility but also the Jersey Devil too. I started looking at images of these things and they are HUGE! Some have five to six feet wing spans and stand as tall as some of the islanders on the Philippines. Maybe we will soon discover that our Mothman and Jersey Devil are one of these large bats but on steroids!

We’ve all seen or read about the flying monkeys from the Wizard of Oz series. The flying monkeys appeared in the original book “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” (1900). Could it be that the author L. Frank Baum got the idea from the cryptids in Napa Valley called the Rebobs?

Partrick Road is a long and winding road leading out of Napa Valley into the hills and to the site of what was once the estate home of the Partrick Family back in the mid-1800s. The road comes to a dead-end and that is where the story of the Rebobs begin. Several stories claim a mad scientist used the former estate to create a half-monkey, half robot super-soldier as part of a secret military plan. The fact that people have pulled up to these King-Kong sized gates and have experienced attacks from the Rebobs is well-documented in local papers, including the Napa- Valley Register. The site is allegedly a secret military bunker where White House personnel will be hidden if we ever get to DOOMSDAY. People say the funding for the Rebob project ran out and the creatures either escaped or were set free when military personnel left the area.

Cryptozoology is a fascinating look at all these possible or real creatures that we have slowly discovered throughout the years. And just like regular science things evolve with time and new discoveries will undoubtedly be made. There are still areas here on Earth we have yet to explore, including the unbelievable depths and mysteries of our seas and oceans.

Patty Leon is senior editor of the Courier.

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