New Moa Photos For Sale

Posted by: Loren Coleman on September 6th, 2007

Editorial Commentary

Is cryptozoology the newest big time marketable niche to be discovered or exploited?

It appears to be so.

There’s the Shipton Yeti footprints photographs auction that I’m discussing at Cryptomundo also today, and now this business of someone selling new photographs of moa tracks and the pictures of the animals themselves.

I think it’s one thing to sell off historical items (even though I have reservations about these disappearing into private collections). But these alleged moa discoveries have not even been properly noted and discussed, examined and explored for their possible value to the knowledge base of what new information they might contain. I’m troubled.

I’m sorry, but to me this feels like the rape of cryptozoology. When new cryptozoological discoveries start being sold at auction or on the open market, as the first effort in their introduction to the public or science and not shared scientifically, I feel the whole field is devalued. Just my opinion, and hopefully the person that bought these moa items will prove me wrong by sharing these photographs and the findings immediately with responsible New Zealand zoologists who specialize in moas.

Am I wrong to think this way? I just can’t believe this is happening.

New Moa Photos

Please click image for full size.

Here’s the auction announcement:

Brand New Exclusive Photos of Live 6 Foot Moa
Current bid: $365.00 | Reserve met | Closed: 9:09 pm, Wed 5 Sep 2007

I am selling what I believe is the only evidence that a species of New Zealand native bird, the Moa, is still alive and living in a remote part of New Zealand. Im not sure what particular species of Moa this is, or its age or gender. I have, however, 3 photos of the 6 foot tall bird itself and a number of photos of the foot prints the bird left behind. Two of the photos of the bird are clear enough to be able to distinguish individual feathers on the Moas back.

The photos of the bird itself (and the location they were taken) are for sale to genuine buyers interested in New Zealand wildlife. Feel free to ask questions. Ill do my best to answer them as best as I can. I can certainly understand concerns about the authenticity of these photos for sale. So much so that Id be happy to refund the highest bidder the entire bid price if the photos purchased didnt hold up to public scrutiny.

The Story behind the photos

I was tramping in Fiordland last Monday and as I came up over a rise, there in front of me was the largest bird Ive ever see. It pricked its head up and eyeballed me from a distance of about 40 feet. I remembered that I had my mobile phone on me even though I was outside of the coverage area. I eased my hand into my backpack and slowly pulled it out being careful not to make any sudden moves. I took 3 photos of the bird before it turned and ran into nearby bush. Two of these photos are clear enough to see individual feathers on the birds body. The 3rd is a little blurry as my hand started to shake with excitement.

After the bird ran away, I looked for feathers, excrement, or other signs of the birds presence. All I found was a number of large foot prints, obviously made by the bird itself. By my calculations the prints are at least 16cm from heal to toe (the cigarette lighter being 8cm in length). Id estimate that the bird is at least 6 foot tall.

Closed 9:09 pm, Wed 5 Sep. This auction used auto-extend. Auction Number: 115884034Trade Me: Where Kiwis Buy and Sell

Much thanks to New Zealander tramper Waitorengi for alerting us to this sale!

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 “New Moa Photos For Sale”

  1. greenmartian2007 responds:

    I have no problem myself with auctions of cryptozoological items. The Shipton photos and the way they are being sold is okay. They are historical. Many historical items are being auctioned. They are part of a larger auction about exploration. Loren, if you want, you can bid on them. I think the USD semi-equivalent is like $5,000 to start.

    The Moa picture above screams fake to me. When birds walk in muddy ground (just like a Sasquatch, a la Meldrum’s analyses), it will leave some actual “foot movement” in the mud. One sees zilcho of this happening in the proffered photo. Also, no claw marks. All flightless birds in the wild would have talons of a sort, and that would be evident as they leave tracks, I would think. No evidence of that. This print, if it is anything to go by, is very clean, pristine, and appears someone had a “bird track form” perhaps made out of wood, attached to like a broom stick, and pushed it into the mud. I wonder what the rest of the photos are like of the footprints.

    Not real to me. Not with this type of evidence.

    Also…if this was on ebay, Caveat Emptor.

  2. Loren Coleman responds:

    Needless to say, if I was a millionaire, I would obtain and disseminate to those doing the research, all the evidence in the world, and display various pieces of it for others to study, for educational purposes. However, that is not my financial situation.

  3. rackliff responds:

    I agree with greenmartian, the tracks appear to be man-made (and poorly at that). I would assume that the tracks should at least vaguely resemble those of an emu but they clearly do not. Hopefully Bridget shares the photos with crypto community and we can see how they stack up against the Freaney photo.

  4. bill green responds:

    hey loren & everyone its great to sell or auction books etc about cryptozoology or sasquatch as long as it the right reasons & not for the wrong reasons. just my opinion. thanks bill green 🙂

  5. Dr.Cocktail responds:

    There has a been a long history of showmanship and profiteering when dealing with evidence of the unknown, just think of the Fiji Mermaids and the various travelling “sideshows” of the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. I certainly wouldn’t want to see an increase in this behaviour, but it is almost inevitable. Concerning the above photo, kind of reminds me of the tracks of one big yellow character from a well known kid’s puppet show (albeit a pint-sized version). This post was brought to you by the letters F, A, K, and E, and the number 23. Still, best to keep an open mind.

  6. Ceroill responds:

    Loren, I agree with you. From Sylvanic to the moa pics, it seems to be a trend to offer evidence for sale rather than open exposure. But then this is always the way of things. When something becomes interesting to a large number of people, there are always some who will try to be the first to make a profit on it. Some will do so honestly and honorably, some not. Thanks for bringing us this item.

  7. shumway10973 responds:

    unfortunately the world revolves around money and not knowledge. If it were the other way around the Great Library would still be standing. I will have to agree that the footprint looks fake. It is so crisp and clean that when I first saw it, my eyes thought that it stood above the ground instead of a print. I do wish we could get a glimpse of the pics of the moas. The only problem cryptozoology wise I see here is that when it is discovered that these are fakes, depending on how zealous the buyer is about such creatures, serious crypto-searchers may get a “black-eye” because this will be “proof” that we are all liars and losers (after all everyone gets put together whether we are the same or not).

  8. DARHOP responds:

    …kind of reminds me of the tracks of one big yellow character from a well known kid’s puppet show (albeit a pint-sized version). This post was brought to you by the letters F, A, K, and E, and the number 23. Still, best to keep an open mind.

    I was gonna say the same thing. Looks like Big Bird track’s to me.

  9. corrick responds:

    Two words about this sale.
    Caveat Emptor

  10. CrimsonFox79 responds:

    I agree the track looks very fake, and it looks as though it is protruding out above ground rather than imprinted into the ground. The shadowing/lighting could just be weird but it looks like its coming outward instead of inward.

  11. Indrid C. responds:

    This is straight out of a “Flight of the Conchords” episode. Assuming this is not a hoax (which is assuming a lot), some Kiwi just sold the rights to the biggest coup in zoology since the re-discovery of the coelacanth for the princely sum of $365 in New Zealand dollars. That’s $252.86 American. I wonder what “drgidge” intends to do with her new Moa pics?

  12. semillama responds:

    Even if the photos and prints are from a legitimate bird, the size of the print seems pretty small for Moa. A quick google search reveals the presence of Emus raised on farms in New Zealand, although that’s obviously not an Emu track. It also doesn’t match the foot structure of Moa.

    Yeah, put this one in the dustbin.

  13. Loren Coleman responds:

    As I wrote about after I investigated and interviewed Paddy Freaney who said he and other trampers saw a moa on January 20, 1993, on New Zealand’s South Island, there is not just one kind or size of moa. Medium-sized forms existed.

    Bernard Heuvelmans also wrote about the varied sizes in “The Moa, a Fossil That May Still Thrive,” in his On the Track of Unknown Animals.

  14. sausage1 responds:

    This looks like it’s been made with a pastry cutter.

    Very poor. I’ll offer 25p.

  15. ithilien responds:

    There’s nothing wrong with selling this photo, after all it is private property and it is up to the buyer to beware of hoaxes.
    As far as it being looked at by “cryptozoologists”…what really can be proved from a photograph? You can’t tell size, scale, location or authenticity.
    It’s (just) an image… Art.

  16. YourPTR! responds:

    Never mind the footprints, I really want to see the Moa photos! I wonder if we will ever get the opportunity? I sure hope so and soon.

  17. stormwalkernz1 responds:

    its annoying when sightings such as this do not go to the right sources for investigation but are used to make money.
    As a New Zealand Cryptozoologist I heard nothing of this what so ever and probably would not have had a chance to examine the photos anyway.
    This reeks of a hoax as the tracks are the wrong type and look very pukeko like if anything.

    Tony Lucas
    NZ Cryptozoologist

  18. Wisemen responds:

    It’s sad that people still dont understand the rights of a animal which in are books haven’t been physically recorded. This person had those photos and gave it away for a few bucks. If it is true you can bet some would be hunter will try to claim the beast for his trophy wall. This all before we can see the creature in its natural state. Good going photographer, lol the photo does look fake. Too well formed and no physical indentations or growth lines within the animal’s feet.

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