Posted by: Loren Coleman on November 15th, 2010
A far-flung friend has passed over to the Land of the Trolls, to continue his research and hunting. Sad news, indeed.
Erik Knatterud, a retired teacher, famous Norwegian cryptozoologist, sea serpent investigator, and researcher on cryptid hairy hominoids has died, we learned this morning. He had gone on many expeditions and operated a website that shared a great deal of Sea Serpent and Troll research. (For those incorrectly informed, Erik would often educate folks to the fact that “trolls” were not “gnomes,” but bigger than human-sized hominoids, of course.)
Jan Sundberg sends along the sad news that Erik Knatterud from Bratlien in Norway, passed away on September 5, 2010, at the age of 66 years old.
Sundberg notes that Knatterud
…died from the injuries he got in his head at a car accident about ten years ago. He often complained about severe headaches and sometimes it was so bad he had to go to the hospital and have injections to relief his pain.
Erik accompanied us twice to Lake Seljordsvattnet in Norway, once to Loch Ness in Scotland and once to Lake Rasvalen in Sweden. By himself he searched Lake Mjosa in Norway several times.
Erik was convinced that sea serpents exists in a number of Scandinavian lakes, first and foremost in Lake Seljordsvattnet and Mjosa. He claimed to have seen them in both these lakes, but unfortunately was alone at that time. He always wanted to go to America and search for Bigfoot but couldn’t afford it on the low income for pensioners that he had and so it remained a dream. I talked to him over the phone in August 2010, when four people saw and photographed something in Lake Seljordsvatnet, which they claimed was Selma. Erik thought they might have been right, but after a thorough analysis I think myself it was just a log. We saw many of those during the GUST expeditions and have also photographed them for comparison.
Erik had a lot of humor, was reliable and honest and made friends with whoever he met. He will be greatly missed, both by me and my late team.
Erik was a frequent comment maker on the Cryptomundo.com site, adding his insights about Norwegian Trolls, various Sea Serpents and Lake Monster sightings, and cryptozoology in general. Although Erik stated on his site that he was not associated with any other “monster hunters,” besides Cryptomundo, Erik noted his links were with the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, Pib Burns (postal stamps and cryptozoology), and Jan-Ove Sundberg’s Global Underwater Search Team.
Erik Knatterud described himself and his work in these words:
I live at Nes, a part of Ringsaker, which is surrounded by lake Mjoesa at three sides. I was a teacher for years and years. I like knifemaking, drawing and painting, and I make wooden coffee cups. Moose hunting has been my main hobby since 1975, but I occasionally hunt reindeer.
Another main interest is the search for the Mjoes Orm, the legendary Orm of our lake documented since 1522.
I belong to the Heins, the indigenous tribe of the eastern shore of Lake Mjoes since the melting of the big glacier 10 – 13 000 years ago. We survived in the tundra like landscape that was later covered by forests and got the name Heidmork or Hedmark.
Erik also was a contributor to the following article that attempted to explain one of the earliest Sea Serpent sightings in the historical record:
Paxton, Charles G. M., Erik Knatterud, and S. L. Hedley.
“Cetaceans, sex and sea serpents: an analysis of the Egede accounts of a ‘most dreadful monster’ seen off the coast of Greenland in 1734.” Archives of Natural History, 32: 1-9, April 2005.
Erik was well-known for his Troll art too. Erik had quite a sense of humor, and it came out in his art, which can be seen below.
One story that Erik investigated was a complete mystery, regarding the wreck of a BMW. Since Erik died as the eventual result of an auto accident, let me end this obituary with what he shared about that mysterious wreck shown in his drawing below, with his commentary:
Gudbrandsdoelen (the local newspaper)
A bizarre car accident has happened on one of our mountain roads between Vinstra and Gaalaa. A brand new and deserted BMW was found totally wrecked this morning. The police admits that the destruction of the vehicle seems uncalled for, as there was no sign of a collision with another car. Neither were there any skid marks in the gravel cover of the road indicating a panic stop for moose or sheep. The wire fence along the road was ripped open, “but I have yet to see a perfectly maintained wire fence around here,” the policeman told our reporter.
The presumed car owner was found in the vicinity in a severe state of shock and disorder. He was taken to Lillehammer hospital by the ambulance, just in case alcohol was the culprit. An eye witness, however, claims that the hysterical and shaking man screamed again and again; “It bloody stomped my car on purpose,” while the ambulance personnel worked hard trying to tie him to the stretcher and eventually succeeded in calming him down with appropriate drugs.
South Fron community, by the mayor.
We have received a monstrous claim of law suits from the lawyers at J.Ust & M.O.Ney in Oslo. The damage was supposed to have been caused by a loose troll. Preposteriously funny! The car accident happened at our neighbours, North Fron, on a road which also is the responsibility of Oppland county.
Harpefoss, the local police.
As trolls are not mentioned in the Game Laws, there is a possiblity that there exists no leash regulations or hunting prohibitions whatsoever concerning these alledged trolls.
Gudbrandsdølen, the local rag.
The previously mentioned greedy lawyers file another law suit, this time for the emotional trauma afflicted on their client by the troll attack, accompanied also by a complaint against South Fron community for letting their trolls roam free in the mountains. The mayor dryly replies that road signs are visible everywhere along the mountain roads informing about a 35 m.h speed limit.
A hot shot celebrity lawyer from town says he is more than willing to defend the innocent troll should it come to a trial. “Trolls,” he says, “are the original inhabitants of this country and can not be subject to human laws.”
Some days later he leaks to the press: “I will not allow the trolls to be punished with spanking. (Recently a sami lawyer had proposed this as an appropriate punishment as the aboriginal sami people formerly had no traditions for fines and prison punishment.) We, the humans, have intruded on their territories. The trolls obviously have their own concepts of right and wrong not to be tampered with by us humans.”
South Fron, the local police.
The investigation has revealed no new information. It is still a mystery how the car was damaged and why the wreck was left were it was found. The case is dismissed because of low budget resources and lacking motive and evidence. Besides my vacation is coming up.
Our best to Erik’s family and friends during these sad times. He will be missed. May the Trolls look over him.
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. 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.