1901 Cryptozoology

Posted by: Loren Coleman on February 27th, 2007

Cryptozoology historian Brian Gaugler writes:

I recently found an old article in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle archives from 1901 that I thought you might find interesting. Assuming that it’s not a newspaper hoax, it discusses the shooting of a living dinosaur in Florida and the work of a secret group of scientists to gather cryptozoological evidence. Brian Gaugler

1901 Cryptozoology

Check out Brian’s blog, here. Following is part of the article he has reproduced there.

1901 Cryptozoology

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.

18 Responses to “1901 Cryptozoology”

  1. Grant responds:

    This sounds an awful lot like the “Tombstone Epitaph” story, about the cowboys and the flying reptile (whose body, or part of it, was also going to be sent somewhere to be examined), a sort of land dinosaur counterpart to that “pteradactyl” story. But if the two stories didn’t involve the cryptids being killed, I’d want to believe both of them (so my reasons for doubting are pretty prejudiced).

  2. shumway10973 responds:

    has anyone checked with the Smithsonian? Interesting, love to believe it. Did the local native americans ever talk of such a thing?

  3. shovethenos responds:


    Maybe the head is what is pictured in the “mystery fish” picture that has been the topic of several threads here. There are some similarities to the story above:

    – Some, like myself, believe the object in the picture is just the head and part of the neck of an unknown animal. The account that only the head was recovered matches the picture.

    – Some also think that the unknown animal appears to be a reptile.

    – The period when the picture was thought to be taken is supposed to be about the same time.

    – The picture was taken in a tropical area, and southern FL fits this description.

    There are a lot of similarities here – I wonder if it would be possible to track them down. If the story is true I wonder if a population still exists – it might pay to check out large landowners in the southern part of the state.

    As an aside I believe there is a “men in black” type effort to supress the investigation and prevent the discovery of some cryptids. There are a lot of odd incidents reported – night helicopter flights with gunfire, specimens disappearing, alleged unknown animals in the back of government vans, etc. Some of those reports may be hoaxes, but there are a lot of odd incidents beyond the eyewitnesses’ accounts.

  4. dws responds:

    dinosaur(us)??? what is a DINOSAURUS?

  5. dws responds:

    Legs more that FIFTY FOOT LONG??? Come on! Have any of you seen newspaper clippings of that era? You know the guff that they publish! I mean, I for one would love to see this as true, but seriously…turn of last century rubbish!

  6. UKCryptid responds:

    It’s not the legs that are more than 50 feet long.

    It’s an interesting story, would like to think it true but I doubt if there was anything there that there are still some residing.

  7. kittenz responds:

    I doubt seriously that any dinosaurs (other than birds) survived to the present.

  8. mystery_man responds:

    Let me guess, and all physical evidence of this creature has dissappeared or gone missing over the years? Sigh. Well, it is a good, entertaining read and I do not fully discount the possibility of existing dinosaurs however unlikely it may be, but I think this reads more like a pulp serial rather then a legitimate news story. Sadly, I don’t believe the alleged remains will ever turn up in the Smithsonian or anywhere else.

  9. shovethenos responds:

    The picture I am talking about is the first picture in this list:

  10. calash responds:

    Fascinating story. Unfortunately dinosaurs, other then probably birds, are separated from us by such an immense ocean of time that all we will have of these creatures is fossils. There seems to always be so much detail in reports from the 1800’s about Bigfoot and other unknown creatures. If they were so special as to warrant news articles why do we have no specimens?
    I recall several months ago of some one visiting a Russian museum and in the basement there was supposedly a preserved specimen of a Sasquatch from North America. I never saw any more about this. Was there any follow-up?
    Also, anything further about the Russian Bigfoot in the landscape photo from last week?
    Best Regards

  11. Grant responds:

    This is getting into another area, but I wish there were at least some dinosaurs in Florida (especially of certain kinds), waiting to greet the land developers. And mosasaurs instead of manatees in the paths of SOME of those jet ski drivers. (If not to attack, at least to scare them in a big way.) There was a movie called “Stanley,” a sort of “Willard” variation, about a man in Florida who trains rattlesnakes to attack poachers and land developers (instead of people at random), and something like that would make it come true.

  12. Sordes responds:

    It sounds all like a hoax to me. The description of a reptilian kangaroo seems also very similar to the old and false reconstruction of theropods.

  13. MattBille responds:

    Definitely in the “almost certain hoax” category, but it would be fun if some illegally-zooming boater ran over what he thought was a manatee and the “manatee” reached a reptilian head above the water and chomped a passenger or two.

  14. jimnypivo responds:

    I queried snopes.com (urban legends website) for both ‘Florida Dinosaur’ and Cowboy Pterodactyl’, but came up empty.

    This article wasn’t from the April First edition of the paper, was it?

  15. joppa responds:

    Yellow jounalism at its best.

  16. busterggi responds:

    “He was using bullets that would penetrate iron plate.”

    What the hack was this guy supposed to be hunting? You sure don’t need armor piercing bullets to hurt gators.

    Between that and the out-of-date description of the kangaroo stance, I hereby pronoun it a typical period piece hoax.

  17. Leto responds:

    Would take a lot longer than “several days” for vultures to devour a 50-foot long animal.

  18. Grant responds:

    The article I mentioned didn’t actually say “pteradactyl” (I didn’t mean to make it sound like it did). It was in a paper called the Tombstone Epitaph, from the 1880s, and it’s mentioned in places like Alien Animals by Janet and Colin Bord.

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