Real Monsters of Madagascar

Posted by: Loren Coleman on July 29th, 2006

Kevin Fitzgerald, 55, a science writer for the Journal Inquirer of Manchester, Connecticut, and past contributor to Grzimek Encyclopedia of Animal Life and the New England Skeptical Society’s online “Encyclopedia of Skepticism,” is the guest blogger today.

Fitzgerald wrote me commenting that he would like to expand on some thoughts regarding Madagascar’s animals, as his travels there had given him some firsthand insights that might be of interest to Cryptomundo readers. This is in reaction to the U. S. Navy SEALs account about seeing an animal in the Congo that looks like a supposed “ape” on Madagascar. Fitzgerald does not think apes exist on Madagascar and wants to outline why, as a matter of evolution, there are other monsters, of sorts, there.


Harry Trumbore’s drawing of Africa’s kalanoro, from The Field Guide to Bigfoot and Other Mystery Primates. Copyright 2006, Loren Coleman and Patrick Huyghe.

Here’s Kevin Fitzgerald’s commentary column for Cryptomundo.



Late pm on the 29th of July, after ten comments were registered, Kevin Fitzgerald asked for his guest blog to be removed from this site. The following is his statement related to his reasons for its removal, complete with his misspelling of “Cryptology Zoo”:

I was hoping to write for scientific sources on the extinct lemurs, and a likely prospect for writing about them just came my way. So, if a scientist or science writer should come across my writings in Cryptology Zoo, I’d rather not have to explain why I wrote for a cryptozoology site, and I would prefer that my credibility not be questioned. You know how science generally regards cryptozoology.

The writing prospect is a great step forward for me and important for my future as a science writer. I hope you’ll understand and remove my writings, as I requested. My sincere apologies, Mr. Coleman. I mean no ill to anyone.

You may post the above if you like, Mr. Coleman.


Comments with this section have not been deleted, as some people put a good deal of thought into sharing the following. Thank you.- Loren

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.

15 Responses to “Real Monsters of Madagascar”

  1. harleyb responds:

    I have a lot of respect for the U.S. Navy Seals, they are very hardcore and are very few. This Kalanoro does resemble the Chupacabra somewhat. Interesting.

  2. crypto_randz responds:

    Great story Loren, you are absolutely one of the best cryptozoologists out there today. Now back to this story about Madagascar, interesting to say the least. I agree with Harleyb it does resemble EL CHUPACABRA. Only disappointing about these strange mysterious animal we need to get a body or capture one, to prove they exist. I believe they exist, but we must prove skeptics wrong.

  3. tpeter responds:

    Loren Coleman and Patrick Huyghe classify both Madagascar’s Kalanoro and Latin America’s Chupacabras as “Fresh-Water Merbeings,” aggresive semi-aquatic Mystery Primates, in The Field Guide to Bigfoot and Other Mystery Primates. Coleman and Huyghe, too, suggest a relationship to the Prosimia and specifically to mainland Africa’s potto.

    Kevin Fitzgerald sees the Kalanoro as “not primates of some sort, but an archetypal image, experienced worldwide, in the human imagination, of small, furry, apelike creatures.” Couldn’t this “archetypal image, experienced worldwide” of “small, furry, apelike creatures” be rooted not “in the human imagination,” but in actual “small, furry, apelike creatures,” some of them related to the Flores “Hobbits”? That, of course, is Coleman and Huyghe’s whole idea in The Field Guide to Bigfoot and Other Mystery Primates.

    As a historical aside, by the way, the mythical “lost continent” of Lemuria was originally proposed by 19th century to explain the presence of Prosimians in Africa, Madagascar, and Southeast Asia. Those scientists placed Lemuria in the Indian Ocean to explain Prosimian distribution, but late 19th and early 20th century occultists in the wake of Mme. Blavatsky moved it to the Pacific Ocean, where it also acquired the additional name of Mu.

    Interestingly enough, as University of Michigan historian Sumathi Ramaswamy points out in The Lost Land of Lemuria: Fabulous Geographies, Catastrophic Histories (University of California Press, 2004), reviewd in the August 2006 Fate, the idea of a lost continent in the Indian Ocean has been enthusiastically embraced by Tamil nationalists in contemporary southern India. They promote a version of the Lemuria story to protest their cultural domination by northern Indians. In this context, according to Ramaswamy, Lemuria has been featured in Indian textbooks and even in a government-sponsored documentary film. The real-life political and cultural root of this Tamil Lemurianism is the linguistic division of India between northerners speaking Indo-Aryan languages derived from Sanskrit like Hindi, Bengali, Punjabi, Marathi, and Gujarati versus southerners speaking Dravidian languages like Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Tulu, Gond, and so forth.

  4. shovethenos responds:

    While I appreciate a skeptic as a guest-blogger here, the bias of this guest goes so far that it comes close to impinging his credibility.

    This statement:

    “Like Bigfoot and most other cryptids, there are endless stories but no hard evidence.”

    Is clearly false. There are significant amounts of hard evidence. Just off the top of my head:

    – The DNA from Bhutan coming back as unidentified.

    – The hair sample from China that indicated an “unknown primate” upon metal content analysis.

    – Thousands of footprint casts collected over decades throughout North America showing a gaussian distribution.

    – Numerous sightings that occur in conjunction with footprints that are later casted.

    Etc, etc, etc….

    Now if Mr. Fitzgerald had said there is no credible hard evidence, and then went on to systematically discredit the strongest items of hard evidence one by one – and do it convincingly, which is no easy feat – his statement might be more acceptable.

    I don’t mind reading what skeptics have to say, but for their arguments to be convincing they have to be informed and objective. You can’t just say: “there’s no hard evidence for Bigfoot and other cryptid hominids” when there is some hard evidence out there.

    I’m a skeptic of sorts too, it just happens that from all of the evidence I’ve seen on the subject of cryptid hominids I tend to lean toward something being out there, possibly several somethings in several geographic areas.

    I also found it strange that in a discussion of Madagascar no one mentioned the Giant Fossa, and the possibility that some reports of cryptid hominids might be misidentifications of surviving members of that species.

  5. Loren Coleman responds:

    Having a skeptic as a guest causes worthful comments such as these, thus demonstrating, once again, the deep intelligence of the cryptozoologically-minded readership here. You are great.

    Thank you for all of the comments thusfar. They are, as my friends in England say, “spot-on.”

  6. shumway10973 responds:

    shovethenos – I actually found this guest skeptic at least intelligent and very “truthful” in the way things were worded. He is right, we can have as many encounters with big foot and other cryptids, but without a body (hopefully and best alive) there will be no way to prove any of these creatures do or have ever existed.

    I just greatful that Loren will allow people with other view points in here, providing they keep it intelligent and professional.

  7. sschaper responds:

    We certainly lack the sort of hard evidence we’d all like to have on these uncatalogued animals, but, a ‘skeptic’ who proposes instead the “Swiss Mahariji’s” belief in globally-experienced archetypes eminating from the overmind as a ‘scientific’ response to folkloric reports and amateur sitings is a bit oh, bizzare.

  8. Dark-Obsessor responds:

    Interesting. The illustration doesn’t exactly resemble an ape, though… It’s kinda creepy.

  9. DWA responds:

    There are two types of hard evidence: scientifically accepted evidence, and that that science doesn’t accept.

    And scientists have a substantial and documented tendency to think inside very narrowly constrained boxes, as the constant rethinking of the path of evolution based on new discoveries shows us again and again.

    There is much more — MUCH more — hard evidence for the sasquatch, to cite what I think is the best example, than there is for a number of species that science accepts. It’s just that the evidence for the latter fits inside the nicely constrained boxes scientists tend to construct.

    Just like the rest of us, science constructs its own reality, and rejects anything that doesn’t fit that reality…which will inevitably be different, by the unquantifiable degree of What Isn’t Known Yet, from actual reality. It’s the human way of doing things. It’s not bad; in fact it’s essential. But we should recognize it for what it is.

    Just a thought.

  10. sschaper responds:

    Right, I was talking about the kind of hard evidence -we’d like- namely the kind that moves an uncatalogued animal to catalogued status, and scientific study of it’s biology and behaviors.

  11. crypto_randz responds:

    I would love these animals to be real if possible.

    PEOPLE out there are seeing something out there. I think the NAVY SEALS are seeing something.

  12. mcd responds:

    From 1997:

    “The last American official the Peace Corps Director, departed on an MC-130 for Libreville, Gabon

    Americans Depart Brazzaville, Congo

    STUTTGART, Germany – (NENS) –Operation Firm Response is complete. All U.S. citizens, who desired evacuation, have departed Brazzaville, Congo, including the U.S. European Command’s (EUCOM) Survey and Assessment Team (ESAT).

    The ESAT, with assistance of French forces, evacuated American Ambassador, Aubrey Hooks, and approximately 17 Americans to Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, early Wednesday morning (June 18). Shortly thereafter, the ESAT and the last American official the Peace Corps Director, departed on an MC-130 for Libreville, Gabon. The MC-130 from the 7th Special Operations Squadron at RAF Mildenhall, delivered the ESAT to Brazzaville last Wednesday and took 56 people to Gabon where it remained on stand-by.

    The ESAT is comprised of special operations personnel from the Special Operations Command Europe, commanded by BG Geoffrey C. Lambert. "Army Green Berets, Navy Seals, and Air Force Special Operations–what a team," said BG Lambert, the commander of Operation Firm Response. "This was a superb performance in an ambiguous situation. They stayed in Brazzaville until all American citizens were evacuated." ”

    (1997-2002 was the period of the large-scale Congo civil war following the ouster of Mobutu.)

  13. shovethenos responds:


    A body would be nice, but short of that there is no credible reason why DNA and other scientific evidence, like metal content analysis for hair samples, should not be accepted, or at least strongly considered.

  14. Sky King responds:

    I TOTALLY AGREE about the resemblance to drawing of Chupacabras! That was my first thought: “it’s CHUPACABRAS!”

  15. Jeremy_Wells responds:

    dang… I guess this pulled blog-post will teach me to go a couple of days without reading Cryptomundo, thinking I can always “catch up later”

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