Video Game Backs Guyana Monster Hunt

Posted by: Loren Coleman on October 29th, 2007

The Centre for Fortean Zoology has released the following press announcement on their forthcoming “South American Monster Hunt.” The tone and wording (such as the dubious “potentially lethal” to describe the cryptids) is their own. – Loren

On the 14th November 2007, five members of the Centre for Fortean Zoology leave the United Kingdom for South America, on their most ambitious expedition yet. They will be searching the remote swamps and jungles of Guyana. They are looking for three elusive, potentially lethal, and hitherto undiscovered animals.

a. The giant anaconda
b. The didi
c. The water tiger

As far as we are aware, this is the first cryptozoological expedition in search of evidence for the existence of these three animals that has ever been mounted. After months of complex negotiations, we can also announce that the expedition is sponsored by Capcom – one of the world’s leading video game publishers, who are concurrently launching Monster Hunter Freedom 2, their exciting new game for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable (PSP).

The expedition will take the five members, and their guides, deep into unexplored swamps in the west of Guyana. The area is so remote and poorly known that it doesn’t even have a name.

a. The anaconda (Eunectes murinus) is the largest known snake in South America. The largest specimen shot was 28ft (9m) long. However, in the past, reports have come in from Guyana of anacondas of mind-boggling proportions, 40-60ft (12-18m) long. In some areas these giants are referred to as manatorro (the bull killer). As recently as last year, a specimen estimated at being 40ft (12m) long was observed by a party of native hunters. The giant snake frightened them so much that they fled. The target area for these monster serpents is a series of remote lakes in the grasslands.

b. The didi is a more nebulous beast. It is said to walk upright like a man and be armed with scythe-like claws. It is alleged to tear out the tongues of living cattle, and leave swathes of terror in its wake. Although this last attribute may well be apocryphal, the claws in particular recall the supposedly extinct giant ground sloths or mylodonts. These bear-sized herbivores supposedly died out ten thousand years ago, but reports from across the Amazon, and surrounding areas, suggest they may well still survive.


[In The Field Guide to Bigfoot and Other Mystery Primates, the Didi of Guyana is described (pp. 72-73) in more conventional terms, as a five feet tall bipedal proto-pygmy of the rainforests, covered in short black hair that makes “hooing” sounds. Meanwhile, the more massive, taller Mapinguary of Brazil’s Amazon jungles is said to be a red-haired, sloping, bipedal, smelly, long-armed, apelike creature that vocalizes in roars and booms (pp. 74-75). The Mapinguary has generally been associated with the reports of pulling tongues from cattle in Brazil, not Guyana. It is the Mapinguary of Brazil, not the Didi of Guyana, that Dr. David Oren theorizes is a medium-sized extinct giant ground sloth, although most cryptozoologists still consider the majority of Mapinguary sightings are of an unknown primate. There is hope that before the local people are interviewed, the CFZ sorts out the confusion between these cryptid hominoids in their own mind. I would also be interested in learning the source of their description of “scythe-like claws” for the Didi or the Mapinguary. – Loren ]

c. The water tiger is an aggressive aquatic animal said to have pointed teeth and webbed, humanlike hands. In the past, it was reported to have attacked both people and livestock. The water tiger may be based on reports of the rare giant otter (Pteronura brasiliensis) which can grow to a length of 6ft (1.8m).

The group intend to interview native witnesses to gather information on the animals and search the grasslands and lakes for evidence. They are being guided by Damon Corrie – a chief of the Eagle Clan Arawak tribe – who is also one of the few people to have visited the area in question.

The group consists of:

Dr Chris Clark, engineer
Lisa Dowley, photographer
Richard Freeman, cryptozoologist
Jon Hare, science writer
Paul Rose, journalist

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

13 Responses to “Video Game Backs Guyana Monster Hunt”

  1. elsanto responds:

    Well, the organization and the people mentioned are all legit, so this certainly has more substance than other game-related crypto-themed publicity stunts. I am surprised the the Centre for Fortean Zoology would let a press release like that out, without doing their fact-checking first.

  2. Loren Coleman responds:

    So far the authorship of the press release is only credited to the CFZ, not the video game company.

  3. shumway10973 responds:

    I found the last 2 creatures quite intriguing. I have always read about the giant anaconda, but the others above…wow! Yes, the second one could be the giant sloth, but the only thing is that most myths have a reason for what the being can do. If the giant sloth is anything like its smaller relative, it wouldn’t have the ability to gain that reputation. The last one, well, they are looking for a giant otter, but what if it is the creature that mermaids were derived? Oh, and as for the anacondas, when animals such as them find the perfect place (where the least amount of movement is required for survival) they usually can get to be just huge. These places would be like a fish finding a calmer part of the river bed where the amount of swimming is minimal, food literally falls from heaven and you are not seen by the predators. I have seen some trout that are just huge–definitely bigger than most. The larger snakes can live for a long time. Nothing that we know about them says they have to stop growing at 20 ft., especially if the food and other circumstances are perfect.

  4. Saint Vitus responds:

    As far as a 40-60 foot plus snake goes, I seriously doubt they’ll find one that big. The reason the giant snake stories persist to this day is that people are afraid of snakes, and what’s scarier than a big snake? An even bigger one! It’s easy to exaggerate the size of a huge snake, so a 20 foot plus anaconda could easily be mistaken for 40 feet or more. I doubt they’ll even find another 28-footer, most full grown female green anacondas are a little more than half that size.(The males are much smaller).

  5. DavidFullam responds:

    Didn’t something similar happen in Europe when they launched Crash Bandicoot? I thought I remembered something about a group that launched an investigation about supposed Bandicoot sightings in England, the same week the game came out, and of course the group being a made up orginazation.

  6. Rappy responds:

    Shumway: The ground sloths such as megatherium and mylodon were like Pleistocene light tanks. Imbedded bony spheres in the hide would be pretty good protection, and those claws were probably not just for getting leaves. Also, some say they were also partial carrion feeders.

    On the “monster hunt”…I doubt much will come out of it. I haven’t heard of any Sucuriju Gigante stories in a while, the Water Tiger will be “solved ” as soon as they spot an otter, and I have the feeling a spider monkey will be tossed out for the Didi…

  7. Loren Coleman responds:

    The CFZ is real, if that seems to be a question on someone’s mind.

    I wish them great success in gathering more data, no matter whom they can get to sponsor them, if that’s not clear either. I’m all for full-funding of actual expeditions employing good techniques in obtaining new cryptid evidence.

  8. greatanarch responds:

    “Publicity stunt”. Does anyone think that I (or anyone else on this expedition) is likely to spend two weeks in difficult conditions just to provide publicity for a computer game? This is a serious cryptozoological expedition, just as the orang pendek trips in Sumatra (2003 and 2004) and the Deathworm expedition (2005) were. We chose the destination and methods; the only difference is that this time round we are not having to pay for it all ourselves. If a company is willing to put up a large sum of money they are entitled to a mention in the publicity material.

    As for the wording: the CFZ likes its releases to be read by the press, and if a 40 ft anaconda is not “potentially lethal” then what is?

  9. red_pill_junkie responds:

    Well, best of luck to’em!! 🙂

  10. Rappy responds:

    I think I was a bit too hasty in my pessimism earlier. Indeed, I do wish the CFZ the best of luck, and hopefully no injuries from the unseen killers of the jungle.

  11. jamesrav responds:

    best of luck, it’ll be fun to live vicariously thru this group … and not have to worry about insects, snakes, and other major nuisances. Obviously heading where nobody else has ventured gives it the chance of success, but Jeff Corwin felt that the chance of finding even a 20 foot green anaconda in the wild was getting pretty slim. Not sure if that was due to diminished habitat, poaching, or some other reason. The lore of the ’30 footer’ appears to be a distant memory.

  12. jon_downes responds:

    It is going to be an interesting trip – we are receiving new data every day. There is an expedition blog which (as long as the satphone works) will be updated every day.

    As far as it being a publicity stunt is concerned, I personally have no problems with the expedition being sponsored by a video games publisher. They want the publicity and we needed the money to pay for our most expensive expedition yet.

    As long as the sponsorship doesn’t come from a morally dubious source, I don’t think that it effects the bona fides of the expedition one iota. I have been approached in the past by companies wishing to advertise with us who sell telephone sex lines, or drug paraphanalia and I have always turned them down. But at worst a video game like MH2 is harmless entertainment, (and actually looks rather fun).

    As far as the confusion about the didi is concerned we have posted up a statement which hopefully clarifies the state of affairs and I was particularly heartened by Loren’s response.

    We (the CFZ, cryptomundo etc) are the good guys, and we are fighting a long and complex battle against inertia, apathy, and prople who are in this field in order to bolster up their own weird theories about extra-terrestrials or the New World Order, or other peculiar and perverse reasons of their own. We are all on the same side here guys, and we have to pull together as a community.

    Watch this space…

  13. jon_downes responds:

    This is shaping up to be a very interesting expedition. We are getting new data in every day. If you are interested in following the progress of the guys (and girl) whilst in South America there is an Expedition Blog which will be updated daily assuming that the satphone actually works! They will be completely out of reach of conventional methods of communication, and the satphone will be our only link with them.

    At present we hope to be able to publish a bulletin at least daily, although unfortunately it will be text only, not pictures. There will be more material going up nearly ever day from now on so please keep looking

    We have released a statement to clarify our position vis a vis the didi and we hope that this makes the situation clearer. We were very heartened by Loren’s response. Thanks mate, we appreciate that.

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