Mammoth Madness? New Developments

Posted by: Loren Coleman on February 9th, 2012

The so-called “Woolly Mammoth” footage has created a great deal of interest, comments and reactions on Cryptomundo, Facebook, and across the Internet.

Generally, three theories have issued forth as to the origins of the video: (1) it is of a cryptid, a possible surviving Woolly Mammoth, (2) it is of a brown bear with a salmon in its mouth, and/or (3) it is a generated hoax or fake.

The enhancing of some frames of the footage have given firmer foundation to the “bear” hypothesis. See the following screen captures, as posted in The Daily Mail, shared by cryptocajun:

But is it more than just a bear? Is it a bear that has been used in a created hoax?

A new development has occurred due to some background checks on the alleged individual who is credited as the source of the video published in The Sun: Michael Cohen.

According to past detective work done by Lee Speigel at Huffington Post, any material evidence produced by Michael Cohen is suspect.

As Speigel related in his 2011 investigative piece on Cohen (see here), last October, the discussion was of a video supposedly showing an “extraterrestrial…seen in a Brazilian rainforest [that] arches its back conveniently right in front of a group of children being filmed.”

Speigel wrote: “Well, we’ve seen stranger things, but this is just the latest in a series of videos all coincidentally presented on the Internet by Mike Cohen of All News Web, which bills itself as ‘the world’s only inter-galactic daily news service.'”

Only trouble is, the ET in the jungle apparently was just an object placed in that surrounding. As to the flying cube/pyramid UFO that Cohen also presented in the past, well, that turned out to look to be computer-generated, much too clear compared to the rest of the video.

What was the avenue by which Cohen got these to the general public? The publication was The Sun, exactly the same one used for the “Woolly Mammoth” video.

Hoax? Fake? Spot on, it seems that this is certainly a Mammoth one, at that.

Breaking Update :

Since we posted the above, Lee Speigel has published the following, “Woolly Mammoth Video From Siberia Faces Credibility Issues.”

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.

63 Responses to “Mammoth Madness? New Developments”

  1. Opalman responds:

    @mystery_man; You cannot judge the way my memory and experience processes the image comparing it with my own close quarters observations of bears in the wild. So please don’t decide what I can and cannot see or discern. Its patently ridiculous to suggest that a foggy image provides no information. While the lens is undoubtedly foggy (how else to explain the out of focus quality in any modern camera; i.e. you couldn’t replicate the image with any iPhone, (could you??) the image quite adequately shows a spinal plane unlike any bear (hind quarters significantly lower than shoulder etc.) I’m not going to rehash each of my scientifically valid observations because you feel some need to ignore the simple logic behind each. The fact is that the movements and proportions of the subject are not obscured by the foggy lens enough to dismiss their discussion on their own individually unique scientific merit. You and the other unlearned posters like you are ignoring the fish species native to the reported locale’, bear’s habits in general, bear’s fishing habits and techniques as well as the obvious gait issue. Please don’t consider your opinion as any kind of logical or scientific supposition as it is not. If subject were a bear, can you not see the obvious huge size relative to distance and perspective. As already mentioned (but I guess ignored) The only (2) sub-species of bear indigenous to Siberia (Ursus arctos collaris – East Siberian brown bear) and Ursus arctos arctos – Eurasian brown bear, are smaller than our various brown bear sub-species not larger Until some one provides logical cause I strongly opine against the bear hypothesis.

    I’ve just spent several hours considering all the visual evidence and now have another hypothesis.

    The subject could be a wood bison: Bison bison athabascae. While not normally considered endemic to Siberia as far as I can tell through the refs I’ve perused, there a much higher probability of the subject being a wood bison as an unknown denizen of Siberia or a member of a relic population there than a woolly mammoth. Some male bison grow very long thick beards which would account for the “trunk”. The conformation (apparent physiology, skeletal structure) all fit the bill. The whitish glint near the head visible for just one frame could be light reflecting off a horn. The lumbering slow gait is also typical of a bison though I say this only after watching video; none of which show the animal crossing a fast river, I’ve never seen a real wood bison so I’m less certain about the gait than I’d like. Bison have been recorded crossing fast and wide water forever; such as wide areas of the great Missouri River, the Snake River, and Yellowstone River etc.; (“The Wilderness Hunter” by Teddy Roosevelt and accounts by many other frontiersmen).

    Wikipedia has a great example JPEG check it out. Now I believe bison is much more probable than mammoth.

  2. Reverend responds:

    Any reason we haven’t seen it EXIT the river? Hmm.

  3. oldphilosopher responds:

    1. I still think it is a bear.
    2. I think the fish/trunk looks photoshopped.
    3. As for whether bison live in Siberia ….. Why on earth assume that this footage was really shot in Siberia? My guess is Alaska.

  4. DWA responds:

    The ‘trunk’ looks like one in the initial video.

    In the last still here, though, it looks a whole lot smaller, and that figure much more like a bear.

    As I’ve said before, the vid may not look like a bear. But it does look as if manipulation is a distinct possibility.

    Until more evidence is obtained, from that spot, my attitude is, whatever. Wanna bet this is the last we hear? You do.

  5. ModernShanahan responds:

    To me, it looks both like a bear and mammoth. Here’s why, for the bear theory, a brown bear crossing the river holding the fish is very plausible and seems very likely to be it. The trunk or tusk, looks like it’s moving. Indicating that it’s not a tusk! But I could be wrong. For my mammoth theory, we are in a modern world where surviving mammoth may not look the same as they used to. The moving tusk could be a trunk! At least I think it was moving. Could be a smaller sized mammoth! In the past around 1940’s, a woolly mammoth was sighted in Russia. I can’t disprove or prove that but I can say that both sightings 1940 and this video were suppose in Russia/Siberia. Movements I wouldn’t know what to say since I don’t study bears nor have I seen a mammoth alive. I can satisfy people and say it’s a bear only because we are used to seeing real bears in movies, zoos, and as for some face to face. Have we seen a mammoth face to face? I think not, unless some people saw them and stood quiet about it. Which gives me the reason why this can easily pass off as a bear even if it’s a blobmoth. I think The shape can pass off as both mammoth and bear. I’m keeping an optimistic view on on it and I’m going to say mammoth only because I can’t prove it’s a bear nor a mammoth so I can gladly pick which ever I think it is.

    Another thing, this is a good footage compared to most Bigfoot/Sasquatch videos…The other Bigfoot/Sasquatch, it turned out to be hoax and the costume was so obvious… This isn’t a obvious hoax. I would never say “This is too good to be true” because one of these days, it will turn out to be true just like the Coelacanth and Okapi.

    Ah! Another thing to add, this isn’t off topic, but the Okapi used to be a myth because of it’s feature until they found it alive. Now this mammoth, from a blurry distances kinda looks like bear features… Just saying, could very well be a mammoth.

  6. jenmboyd responds:

    At the risk of sounding redundant to some other posts (and I apologize if I do) I just wanted to contribute my two cents like most everyone else. Just wondered if anyone thought of some of the same things as me. I shall explain.

    I’d like to believe it’s a living woolly mammoth, but like most other videos of cryptids, it’s fuzzy and hard to tell what we’re looking at. On all museum displays and artwork, mammoths and mastodons are depicted with ears much smaller than those of modern day elephants. If this were a real mammoth, that might explain why we don’t see big ears flapping about the animals’ head.

    Now if this is a bear, and it looks like one holding a fish in its mouth, a thought came to mind. I remember the story of Bergman’s bear, which was identified by Sten Bergman in 1920, based on a skin from a hunter in Kamchatka, which is off of Siberia. This bear bore a resemblance to the short faced bears, and they were larger than our modern day brown bears. Maybe the animal in the river is somewhat related to Bergman’s bear?

    That was my two cents…thanks for listening. ;p

  7. William responds:

    @Opalman – My Lord you are absolutely ridiculous in your whacky (putting it mildly) theorizing this has to be something other than a bear. A WOOD BISON??? C’mon, get real, and your postulation that the “trunk” (which I never see to begin with) is some sort of Bison’s “beard.” You sound like you are living on another planet with that nonsense. There is no trunk – if you look at the evidence what you claim is a trunk is not even connected like a trunk. If it was a Mammoth it would have a partially severed trunk dangling as if it was about to fall off! Open your eyes man and stop with this silliness, unless you indeed are intending to provide comedy here on this site, which I do not believe is what is intended! GOOD GRIEF, is all I can end this with!

  8. Desertdweller responds:

    In my inexpert opinion, the biggest problem in establishing the credibility of this video is its source. The unreliable source taints the evidence.

    How many posters who think this is a bear would continue to think so if the video came from a credible source? Obviously, I’ve never seen a live mammoth. But I have seen bears in the wild, and I believe I could tell the difference between a bear and a mammoth at the distance the video was shot at.

    The person who shot this video thought it was a mammoth, or at least said so. I have to think he could tell the difference also. So I think it is safe to say he is either accurately reporting what he saw, or is simply a liar. Bear or mammoth, it is a big animal, and can hardly be a case of mistaken identity.

    What if this same video and report were submitted by a respected authority on Siberian wildlife? Nothing else changed but the credibility of the photographer?
    On the basis of the same evidence, what would you think then?

    The analogy of the Boy who Called Wolf is a good one. By the time he really saw a wolf, no one believed him.

  9. desparobo responds:

    1000% not a bear folks. Sorry. It could be alot of things, photoshop, cgi, superimposed, but a bear it is not. Anyone who has spent 45 seconds watching an Alaskan nature show can tell right away. The stills vaguely look like a bear, but the video screams not. And also when a bear carries salmon, it walks with the salmon in its mouth sideways, with the salmon centered in its mouth. It’s a natural instinct that keeps the salmon from struggling free. And why would the bear walk from one side of the river to the other with a fish. If they get a fish they obviously head to the closest shore. Not risk crossing rapids and possibly losing a meal. And looking closely at the video you can make out movement of large ears or something of that nature on the side of the head. Also the estimated depth of the river and the body mass suggest the river is over 4 feet deep. With that current a bear would not simply stroll like that with minimal leg movement. If its shallow, say 2 feet, the thighs and legs of a bear that size would be clearly visible, considering it was shot in summer and bears are much leaner that time of year as opposed to fattening up for winter in the fall. So, NOT a bear. Mammoth? Highly doubtful. Answer? Either a hoax, a sesame street character, or the greatest scientific find in over a century. I’m voting hoax.

  10. watn6789 responds:

    I just starting looking more at short faced bear images, and everyone might do well to note the length of their front legs vs back… Its an interesting thought that this might actually show a bear with genetics similar to fossil bears

    @Opalman- found after thinking to respond to you, check it out

  11. bigfoot believer 2012 responds:

    While I am convinced that this is not a wooly mammoth, I am not convinced it is a bear. Could we be dealing with ANOTHER cryptid here? The animal resembles a giant rodent that once lived, named Josephoartigasia. It could also be a Megatherium Americanum, a prehistoric giant sloth. I am a great believer in surviving prehistoric animals, such as the Mokele Mbembe and the Ropen. This animal could be a surviving prehistoric creature. It cerainly doesn’t look like a bear, unless it is a Arctotherium angustidens (the giant short faced bear)

  12. PhotoExpert responds:

    Opalman–Hey bud! Thanks for responding to my post and continuing a great conversation. I definitely appreciate the response.

    I hear what you are saying. And yes, you definitely bring up some very valid points such as the Ni-Cd battery issue and the fogging of the lens. These are very valid points. I hear you! But professionals know how to minimize these problems or eliminate them from the equation. I offered the explanation of bringing extra batteries, etc. That is a valid point too.

    My point of all my arguments is that this is not a woolly mammoth! I said it looks like fakery or a hoax that was perpetrated by someone with mediocre CGI skills. I also stated that it could be a bear with a fish in it’s mouth and offered two examples at YouTube.

    The main thing I am trying to get across to you Opalman is that one or two small points, such as the batteries dying is OK and fine. However, many red flags going up is definitely proof of a hoax. I saw many red flags in this video and posted my top three. But all of the red flags together add up to a fraudulent video.

    I stated it could be a bear with a fish in it’s mouth. I also stated it could be mediocre CGI. In actuality, I believed it to be a combination of both but offered to the readers here two separate possibilities.

    You see Opalman, what these hoaxers do is to take a pretty good video of a scene or background. That way, it looks pretty natural. Then what they do next is to look for real scenarios that are possible. They do this to leave them a way out if they get caught. In this case, the hoaxer probably knows that this part of Russia has the highest concentration of brown bears. That way, people looking at the fake CGI could reach the conclusion that it is either a woolly mammoth or a brown bear and concentrate less on the possibility of it being CGI. It takes the viewer away from the obvious possibility and thus putting in the mind of the viewer it is a real and true video. They force the viewer of the video into a final conclusion that it is either a real life bear or a mammoth. This is how they force the viewer to think. To do this, the hoaxer probably watched several videos of bears and several videos of elephants. They then morph something inbetween the two animals. The final result will get some people thinking bear and some think elephant. The hoaxer definitely wants some ambiguity when hoaxing the event with CGI. That way, they don’t get a piece of the viewing audience, they get the whole pie!

    What probably happended here is that the background video is real. It is a real scene. The hoaxer thought it looked good for the fake CGI effects. But to draw in the whole audience, he needed some ambiguity and also an escape route. So he made it look like a bear carrying a salmon through the water. He watched a bunch of videos to accomplish this. But the hoaxer needed to make it blurry and more ambiguous or everyone would know it was a bear. So the hoaxer used CGI effects and morphed it more into a mammoth type creature. Having done that, he made a mammoth from a bear carrying a salmon through a real video that was the background.

    When I analyze video, I am always asking myself, what could this be. I don’t trust my own eyes. I start looking for red flags. The video ends abruptly. Why? Well, it could be the dead battery issue you bring up. So I just make note of that. But it also could be fakery and they end the video so the hoaxer does not have to do a lot of work and apply special effects of an alleged mammoth getting out of the water. So far not a problem but just one red flag. Then I start analyzing the video further and see strange leg movements. That’s another red flag. Then I see blurry video in a day and age where cell phone cameras give a much clear video than this and another red flag goes up. As the flags start piling up, it screams more hoaxed than it does real. I can not ignore so many red flags. One or two yes, but not multiple.

    That leaves me with the three possibilities I mentioned earlier. The first and most logical possibility is that it is a bear with a fish in it’s mouth. The second possibility is that it is mediocre CGI. The third possibility is that it is a mammoth and I have to just ignore all those red flags. In theory, it is probably all three. It is not a mammoth but a mediocre CGI attempt of morphing a real bear carrying a salmon into a more elephant type creature. That was my theory based on the red flags. Although the hoaxer could have taken an elephant and morphed it into a more bear looking creature. Bear to elephant, elephant to bear, same thing, just a different subject to morph. Take your choice as a hoaxer.

    I hear you Opalman. It could be as you state and offer explanations for all the red flags. Your counterpoints are good ones and valid ones. But Opalman, when there are so many of them, you have to then consider the possibility of a hoax. One or two, I am with you- not enough evidence to discount the video as a hoax. But three red flags? Then four and more–being objective, the viewer has to start looking at the video as a hoax and coming up with explanations as to how it was hoaxed.

    And you also have to take into account the credibility of the person making the video availabe to the general public. Sometimes people take innocent videos and the person perpetrating the hoax uses their video without consent and tries to make it into something it was not intended to be. This is what hoaxers do. When I saw Mr. Cohen had his hand in this video, that was just another red flag. But it was like the tenth red flag for me. Objectively, that can not be ignored.

    It turns out that this video is a hoax as I stated and that CGI was involved. Loren and Craig just put up the proof at the site with the actual video of the person that took the background video of this fakery.

    Anyway, I just wanted to respond to you since you were kind enough to respond to me and my analysis. Your critical thinking was pretty good on this. Your major flaw was that you ignored too many red flags. Next time, don’t ignore the red flags and you will come up with the same conclusion I did. THIS IS NOT A MAMMOTH!

    I’ll take my coffee now! LOL

    Oh yes, peacock bass as the best and they are very good eating as well. We ate plenty of them. Piranha are very good eating too! Rather I eat them then they eat me! LOL I fished the Brazilian Amazon for peacock bass. Peru is pretty good for peacocks as well. I know of the ones in Florida from fishing shows but those are on the small side. They usually averaged 6-8lbs. The ones I caught in the Brazilian Amazon were big, some in the range of 14-18lbs. Talk about a fight! If you can, definitely try to get to SA or CA for those big ones. If you can’t, try for the ones in FL as a close second to the best fishing around.

    Take care buddy!

  13. Opalman responds:

    @PhotoExpert: Greetings; I too. Enjoy a good discussion where differing views are presented, discussed—considered intelligently, with an open mind, even when different conclusions are reached. Indeed this is the very best ways to learn. As easily recognized in posts previous to this regarding the mammoth issue; some folks what to belittle and insult others for even considering certain logical hypothesis—and this without so much as offering a shred of creditable evidence themselves from which any scientific conclusions might be reached. When individuals do this they run the very real risk of dissuading others from participation in the forum. This kind of insulting, defamatory, and hateful speech has no place here—as I’m sure you agree. Thank you for being a definite asset to any site you participate with.

    I never had any intention of declaring the film subject a mammoth though I believe the romantic in all of us would love to celebrate the ever-astounding way our natural world throws great surprises at us. What I did though intend to communicate is that I don’t believe the subject could possibly be any member of the ursus group. I base this on many individual observations of the video’s subject such as, the subject’s general appearance, gait etc., as well as circumstantial eliminators such as the bear’s general habits, the fish endemic to the reported location, the brown bears consistent fishing technique. I fail to understand for instance how anyone would know enough about the bear’s locomotion to fake one in very fast, wide river water. It at first appearance seems contradictory for me to state that the supposed bear would look otherwise than the film subject while maintaining that bears do not engage in the specific activity; but to my mind having seen many bears—I can picture that activities specific look very easily. I suppose that this is another result of close personal observation of wild brown bears.

    One glaring error I had made in all earlier discussions was to assume that the video was produced in western Siberia. Just last evening I looked up the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug region of Siberia—Its located at the very Northeastern corner of the Asian continent; just north of the Kamchatka Peninsula. Sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) migrate up the Anadyr River and several other natal rivers/estuaries there. They attain a large size making the fish hypothesis a bit more credible.

    I’m still not any more convinced that the subject film has been manipulated than I ever was, and while I recognize that the main “red flag” for all this is the fact that there are so many “red flags” surrounding the circumstances under which we must assume the film was reportedly made—there remains no proof of such let alone evidence. If you could show some sort of conclusive evidence regarding the video I would unhesitatingly change my opinion. Evidence such as pixilation, shadow nonconformity and others could be considered very conclusively especially in light of the historic record of the videographer.

    For me though the newly realized location of the film site is a significant: green Flag” (if you will). I strongly believe the Kamchatka Peninsula, and now, the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug regions are very unique areas (for many reasons) which hold many secrets yet to be discovered. But that’s an entirely different topic.

Sorry. Comments have been closed.

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