Tazelwurm – Part II – The Catalogue

Posted by: Loren Coleman on July 7th, 2007


This is the analytic list of observations of the Tatzelwurm as compiled by Austrian cryptozoologist Luis Schönherr on the cryptid Tatzelwurm. The beginnings of this, through incomplete portions first published in Pursuit, will now be fully shared by the author with the cryptozoology community. My sincere thanks to the efforts of French cryptozoologist Michel Raynal, for bringing this material to light. Please refer to sources and references in the final installment, as well as full credit to Luis Schönherr’s son, Martin Schönherr.

In order to obtain a general view of the distribution and the phenomenal characteristics of alleged Tatzelwurm observations I have compiled them in a catalogue arranged by date and time. Unfortunately this attempt was hampered by the fact that neither the witnesses nor the proponents of the TWH have paid much attention to exact dates.
As opinions are often in conflict a suffix in the source codes indicates explanations proposed by the source. This will also compensate for any arbitrariness of mine in the selection of reports. In the outermost right columns phenomenal characteristics of each case are listed in coded form. In the case histories some of the occurrences are described in detail as they have been reported.
1673.b. Italy/TS:Lago Nambino/Madonna d.Camp.
A dragon living in the Nambino Lake two kilometers west of Santa Madonna di Campiglio, used to devour sheep, goat and once even a herdsman. A bear hunter who managed to shoot the animal, but went mad. Around 1850 the carcass or the head and an alleged egg of the dragon were still displayed in the church of Santa Madonna di Campiglio. Later, at a reconstruction, they were thrown away.
According to a more recent version herdsmen at Lake Nambino noticed that cows returning to the sheds in the evening had already been milked. They observed an animal coming out of a crevice and, clinging to the foot of a cow sucking the milk from the udder. The animal was shot and exhibited in the church of Campiglio. Meusburger considers this second version a modern explanatory myth and suggests the carcass might have been an artificially reshaped animal, a Jenny Haniver 5) so to say.
1750.x. Italy/TS:Sonnenberg/Bad Salt/Martell,
The animal in this case was repeatedly seen. Its size and form was that of a cat but the snout was a bit elongated, the tail flat and pointed. Apparently it was hairless because the informant is inclined to consider it as a lizard or perhaps a snake. In front it had two paws and imprints in wet soil showed they must have had clutches. When moving slowly it used the two paws, dragging the hind quarters. Pursuing prey it moved in jerks, arching its back. Going downhill it retracted its paws, dashing along like an arrow, scarcely touching the ground. Once it was observed catching a rabbit. In spite of repeated and careful observations always only two paws were seen. 6)
1779. Austria/S:Mösener Leitstube/ Unken
According to oral tradition and a short text on a painted wayside shrine or votive tablet on the way to the Schwarzbach gorge near Unken a farmer was attacked by two Tatzelwurms while picking berries in the so called Möserer Leitstube. He fled in panic and died at the Thalbruck pass leading into the Heuthal (hay-valley). I have found three different reproductions of this votive tablet. In the allegedly oldest and ‘most faithful’ one, (now in the museum ‘Haus der Natur’ at Salzburg) the farmer lies half on his belly with his face visible in profile. With the left hand he holds his nose apparently in an attempt to protect himself from the (presumably poisonous) breath of the Tatzelwurms which can be seen in the background crawling on a rock. (see also MAg/16). The Tatzelwurms have tails, two pairs of feet, speckled skin and forked tongues (or is it fire?) coming out of their mouths. If the perspective is rendered correctly (in this type of artwork this is often not the case) the size of the Tatzelwurms must have been in the order of meters. On a newer version of the tablet the text reads: ‘In sudden terror died here, pursued by jumping worms, Hans Fuchs from Unken 1779’. According to Eck/178 a few years before 1898, a votiv-tablet in memory of a similar occurrence could still be seen at the entrance to the Schidergraben, Salzburg.
The original votive tablet of the Fuchs-case is either lost or has been painted over. Flucher thinks the existing versions of the tablet cannot be relied on and considers even the victim’s name questionable. It is also doubtful that an artist relying on hearsay and tradition was at all able to paint the Tatzelwurms true to nature (FLu4/497).
1800.x. Austria/T: Möls See/Wattental
The Möls See is a small alpine lake at 2.200 meters above sea level, 17 kilometers SE of Innsbruck. While hunting, a gunsmith from the town of Hall came here across a ‘crocodile’ and shot it. Before it died it bit the hunter in the arm, which remained partially paralysed. 7)
1811.05. Switzerland: Im Boden/Haslital
One a very hot morning a teacher was checking sheep near a barn. The sun was shining brightly through the door onto the inner wall and there under the crib he perceived an ugly animal, nearly 1,80 meters long and thicker than a man’s tigh. On its two stud-like feet, five inches long, 50 centimeters apart, it rose to a height of 30 centimeters and looked at the teacher. The eyes were as big as those of a large hen and it let its forked tongue dart around. Its head was like a snake’s head, but broader, more flat and it had no turned up nose. On its back the worm had short, thin hair but no comb. “For the time of two Lord’s Prayers”, as the teacher said, they looked at each
other. Then the observer fled as fast as he could, horror-stricken.
1826.x. Austria/T:Mt. Hinterhorn/Kitzbühel
One day a boy who had regularly been sent to the Lämmerbühel alp for butter and curd didn’t return. The next day he was found beside the path leading to the alp. He had gotten rid of his ‘Kraxl’ (a wooden bracket), his body showed several bites and he was dead. Bears and wolfs were already considered exterminated in the region but some people had allegedly seen a big lizard. The most dashing hunters began a search for the monster which they called ‘Höckwurm’ and allegedly succeeded in killing it. Around 1870 a faded votiv tablet could still be seen at the place, showing a picture of the monster (‘rather according to the painter’s imagination’ as the informant remarks).
1833.b. Austria/U:Gambsfeld/Gosau
A young man was climbing through rocks when suddenly from under his hands a wild animal emerged. It was of a fair silver-grey color with three dark elongated spots on its back. Its head was snake-like, the body as thick as a man’s arm. It was more than two feet long and blunt at the rear. The animal had four short, hardly noticeable feet but it moved rather agile. When it fled, the man struck with his alpenstock after it whereupon it bounded up along the stock and bit him in the hand. He was able to kill the thing but then he felt a burning pain and his arm swelled up. Back at home a surgeon declared the bit poisonous and advised him to have the arm amputated. The man however did not agree to this and recovered after several months.
1845.x. Germany/B: Mt. Watzmann
Two boys of twelve intending to observe woodchucks as they had already often done earlier were climbing around in the rubble, when they saw, on a stone, an animal they had never seen before. It had a flat-pressed head and a blunt tail and was nearly as long and as thick as a man’s arm. The color was reddish, ‘shimmering in the sun as if studded with nothing but little starlets’. The boys didn’t remember whether there were feet. When they began to throw stones at the animal it rose ‘straight as an arrow’ and pursued them spitting and in jumps three meters and a half wide as they fled, running at right angles to the slope. A hunter later told them that they were lucky to have reacted so and admonished them ‘never again to hurt’ a ‘Bergstutzen’.
1845.09. Austria/T:Pillersee/S.Ulrich/S.Adolari
For a period of more than a month, a snake, measuring four meters and a half, five inches thick and moving in ‘perpendicular’ undulations was repeatedly seen by several people near the brook between St.Ulrich and St.Adalari, 17 kilometers NE of Kitzbühel, Tyrol. Allegedly it had killed two sheep. It was twice shot at but not hit or only wounded.
1857.b. Austria/T: Wurmbachtal/Innsbruck
The Wurmbach, a small brook, originates in the mountain range of the Nordkette, four kilometers north of Innsbruck, at 1.100 meters. In the middle of the past century several people (1827.x., 1853.x.) claimed to have observed in this region the ‘Murbl’, a peculiar animal, 45 centimeters long and as thick as a ‘Fatschenkind’ 8) or as a man’s thigh, reddish and spotted, like ‘Turkish Pers’, (a textile then fashionable with women). Others confused it with a ‘Fatschenkind’ because the roundness of its head was similar to that of a child.
1881.s. Austria/St:Mitterndorf
Two men were climbing up a rocky slope when suddenly one of them perceived on a rock and at the same level as his head, only half a meter from him, a grey animal. At the same moment the animal unrolled and crawled slowly into a little cave nearby. It was 60 centimeters long, as thick as a forearm and had a blunt tail. The skin was grey with fine scales ‘like a ring-snake’. In front a short, strong pair of paws, 2,5 centimeters long, could be seen distinctly. Besides that the animal seemed to have had two or three pair of hind legs. Remarkable were also the broad nose and the big eyes with prominent eyebrows.
1883-4.07. Austria/T:Mt. Spielberg
An animal like a large lizard with a short tail, 30 centimeters long and as thick as a forearm was seen 20 minutes from a mountain restaurant. The witness gave the animal a wide berth as it adopted a threatening position, but could observe it for some time. He was positive that it had no hind legs. The skin was green-brown, nude or delicately scaled, the gaze sharp and terrifying. The witness was sure that he hadn’t confused the thing with any other known alpine animal.
1884.08.e. Austria/St: Gollingraben/Irning
A 13 year old lad was making vacancies together with his father on an alp, where the keeper warned them of the ‘Bergstutz’ who had, allegedly, bitten to death a dairy maid the year before 9). One day, when the boy, after searching for Edelweiss had reached the bottom of a wall, an abominable animal crawled towards him only two meters distant. It was 50 to 60 centimeters long, as thick as an upper arm and tapered towards the tail. In front it had two ‘dachshund legs’ turned outward. No hind legs were seen although the boy didn’t deny that such could have been present but hidden by the body. The skin was nude, the color a brown-reddish-grey. Specifically striking were the fixed gaze, the aggressiveness and the spitting and snorting of the animal. No odor was noticed although the keeper claimed the animal had a penetrating, foul exhalation. The boy ran away as fast as he could
leaving back shoes and jacket, which the keeper had to collect later.
1893.s. Austria/U:Stodertal/Totes Gebirge
On a hot summer day a 17 year old girl was walking her dog who suddenly attacked an ugly, unknown animal that defended itself by striking around its tail and spitting. The girl fearing for her dog threw a stone at the animal killing it at once. Now she was able to examine the thing calmly. It was 30 to 35 centimeters long and in the middle of the body four to five centimeters thick. The head was triangular and of a repulsive ugliness with protruding, dark gleaming eyes. It had a long throat, very large nostrils and feet like a lizard but more plump. The skin was like crocodile skin, with the color of dry earth, rough with sporadic bristly hairs on the back. The animal was not emaciated but yet it looked shabby. The girl left the cadaver where it was. Her former teacher suspected a ‘Bergstutz’ when she narrated the occurrence to him.
1894.b. Austria/S:Ennstal,H.Lackner;
Count Platz, owner of a property near Radstadt, Salzburg, was told the following by a professional hunter in his service. The hunter was approaching a narrow footbridge over the Enns river, when he became aware of a weasel on the other bank, also going towards the bridge. Suddenly the weasel stopped short and now the hunter noticed the cause for this. In the middle of the footbridge a ‘Heckwurm’ 10) lay coiled up. Now the weasel ran to a meadow nearby, where the hunter observed it making jumps now and then. It then returned with a root in the mouth and threw it upon the Heckwurm, which disintegrated into pieces.The count admonished the hunter to tell the truth, but he assured him upon his word and salvation that he had not lied.
1895.b. Austria/St:Donnersbachwald?,carter;
Similar case as above. Draught-horses refused to proceed on bridge. ‘Worm-like animal’ (Bergstutz or snake) lies on one of the bridge-beams. While the carter was still undecided a weasel came by, with a leaf in the mouth. Putting it on the ‘Wurm’, the weasel gave a loud whistle whereupon the ‘Wurm’ broke asunder in the middle. 11)
1901.x. Austria/S: Upper Murtal
A farmer searching for lost sheep observed a ‘Bergstutz’ basking in the sun 15 paces distant. It was at least one meter long with a head like a cat but with a broad mouth, the color like that of a toad or lizard, no hair but larger scales or something like ‘plates’ and, most certainly no hind legs. 12) The animal produced a whistle similar to that of a woodchuck getting ready to attack the witness who fled.
1907-8.s. Austria/St:Murau
On a hot summer afternoon a hunter had to pass a rocky place known for its abundance of snakes at 1700 meters. Suddenly he heard subdued lingual sounds and he perceived beside him in the talus a ‘worm-like’ animal, 40 to 50 centimeters long and black with yellow spots. The animal qickly put front and hind legs together, jumping at the hunter. Drawing his huntig knife he stepped back in order to get out of the direction of the attack at the same time stabbing the animal four or five times. Apparently severely wounded it fell or fled into a crevice and several attempts to get it out were as unsuccesful as lurking for the thing several times later. The animal was five to six centimeters thick and due to the speed of its movement head and tail were hard to distinguish. The head was large and in the mouth teeth could be seen, ‘larger than those of a snake’. The four feet were short, the skin smooth and very tough. The length of its jumps was two to three meters. The hunter supposed it must have had its young nearby, otherwise it won’t have attacked him that quickly.
1908.s. Austria/T:Kufstein
The witnesses in this case are a Dr.Ing. Hermann Frauenfelder and his father, a professor of natural sciences. The men were in a pathless area west of Kufstein, Tyrol, climbing up a crevice. Suddenly the son broke in and in the hollow thus created they perceived on one side a hole approximately 25 centimeters in diameter, from which a reptile’s tail, 60 to 70 centimeters long was protruding. The tail was 10 to 12 centimeters thick with a circular cross-section. Both men seized the animal and tried to get it out of the hole. But the thing dragged them towards the hole. Now they began to feel uncanny, as they realized it had to be a rather large animal when it could develop such a force. Yet the son tried to provoke it by beating its tail, but without success. After ten minutes the animal had disappeared in the hole. The tail was cool to the touch, stiff like a cable and hard like a well inflated tire. The witnesses felt, the animal must have been 160 to 180 centimeters long. It didn’t crawl like a snake, i.e. by muscular contractions, but rendered the impression it moved with the help of feet, although they could see none. ‘It was no winding movement, but a dragging one’ the witnesses said (Flu4/502-503).
1908.06.10 Austria/St: Mt. Strickberg/Preuneggtal
The informant remembers, that as a boy he and his father arrived in good time to see an alleged ‘Bergstutzen’ that had bitten a lumberjack, who then had slain it. The lumberjack died in spite of medical treatment. The animal was 30 to 35 centimeters long and had the shape of a large lizard with a broad head and mouth. It had only one pair of legs, five centimeters behind the head and ‘turned outward like those of a dachshund’. The animal was not hairy, but smooth and of a dark, copper-red color. According to another source, which doesn’t mention a fatal result, the animal was black, and ‘the fore legs were a bit longer than those at the rear’ (from which one must infer that it had four legs) (Flu4/504.62).
1914.05. Yugoslavia/S:Dobrowa/Postojna=Adelsberg
On a hot day a soldier noticed a peculiar animal shaped like a crocodile beside a stone. Threatening it rose on its hind legs, rolled the eyes and bared its teeth. It was 25 to 35 centimeters long and eight centimeters thick. The head was round with large reddish eyes. It had strong legs, with long clutches. The tail had a length of 20 centimeters (It is not clear whether this 20 centimeters have to be counted extra or not). The body was grey and green, very scaly and had a peculiar odor.
The soldier threw his battle jacket over it, wrapped it in and quickly tied up the sleeves. At the same time the animal cawed and cried horribly. Immediately a larger animal of the same kind appeared in the vicinity. The soldier, fearing an attack dropped his bundle and threw stones at the animal which then disappeared growling between the rugged rocks. When the soldier showed the catch, to his commander the latter remarked: ‘Oh brother, fortune favors fools, that’s the Tatzelwurm, most dangerous and venomous because of the surface of its skin’. For a while the the animal was kept in a box. It ate mice, toads and ring snakes. Many of the native inhabitants regarded it as a ‘genuine Tatzelwurm’. Then the soldier was ordered to hand it over to the Bezirkshauptmannschaft Adelsberg (then an Austrian administrative district) where it was, allegedly, also considered a Tatzelwurm and, as the witness thinks, probably killed and prepared. Two months later, war broke out and thereafter it was apparently no longer possible to trace the whereabouts of this specimen.
1914.s. Italy/TS:Marlinger Berg
While plowing a farmer roused an animal which then jumped to and fro in front of his oxen. The farm hand leading them tried to slay it with the inverted whip-stick. At this moment the animal performed and incredibly wide leap, disappearing behind a wall of stones, 15 meters distant without having touched the ground in between. The animal was 30 centimeters long, 5 centimeters thick and had a short tail. The head was round and frog-like. It had only two front legs which were always moved simultaneously. The color was black with larger yellow spots. Neither before nor thereafter, the farmer had ever seen such an animal.
1914.07. Italy/TS:Braien/Tiersertal/Ritztal
A boy of nine and his younger brother and sister came across an unknown animal they had never seen before nor after. It had a large head with protruding eyes, the rear of the body was short and it was perhaps 50 centimeters long. ‘It looked like a head with a pointed body’ the boy later said. At both sides of the animal the children perceived one 90 centimeters long green snake respectively, which were apparently fighting with the animal. The whole group moved across a field disappearing at the edge.
1920.f. Austria/T: Atterkar/Ötztal
At the Atter glacier five kilometers NE of Sölden some hunters found a peculiar animal, partly frozen in the ice. They cut off a hind leg intending to use it as carrion for foxes. Back at Sölden they told of their discovery. After some days an innkeeper and a hunter climbed up to the place and digged the animal out. It was one meter long with a skin ‘like a stockfish’. The head, as long as a hand had no ears. The set of teeth consisted of incisors and molars, with a gap in between. Behind the head there were a sort of fins or gills as long as a finger and broad as a hand. They seemed to replace the fore legs which were missing. The remaining hind leg showed no development of a foot. The carcass felt and smelled like a dried salt-water fish. The innkeeper took the carcass home where it was allegedly seen by many natives and foreign guests. Although he had the intention to bring it to Innsbruck for an expert examination he forgot this several times. On 31 July 1921 his house was damaged by a land slip. In the confusion or during the clearing work the carcass was lost.
1921. Austria/C: Maria Rain
A railway official claimed to have repeatedly seen animals with a head like a crocodile, but with six feet instead of four. The natives in the region called them ‘Kuschka’ 13). One day such an animal, a male, 14) was run over by a train and could be examined. The thing was 40 centimeters long and 35 millimeters thick. Head and back were blue, the belly grey, the skin snake-like. In the mouth it had many pointed teeth, two larger ones in the upper and lower jaw respectively. The eyes were big and yellow, the pupils like that of a cat. From this the informant concluded that the animal would hunt for prey in the night.
1921.s. Austria/S:Hochfilzenalm/Rauris
A poacher and an alpine herdsman were still hunting at an altidude above 2000 meters, when they perceived, on a rock an animal looking at them ‘with a terrifying, sharp, hypnotizing gaze’. The poacher, pulling up his rifle shot at once. At the same moment the animal jumped in a giant arch, three meters high and 8 meters long towards the men who fled. It was grey in color, 60 to 80 centimeters long, as thick as an arm, head like a cat and as big as a fist, no visible neck, the tail thick but abruptly tapering off ‘like a turnip’. The witnesses were sure that the animal had only two front legs standing out from the body, as could be seen specifically during the jump.
1922.a. Italy/TS:St.Pankraz/Ultental
A girl of twelve was playing in a wood. Suddenly her sister began to cry terribly. When she ran towards her she saw, in a distance of two or three meters an animal she had never seen before crawling between the stones. It looked like a giant worm, at least 30 centimeters long, with two paws behind the head and of a grey color. The skin was not scaly but had cross grooves like an earthworm. At first the children were so terrified that they didn’t think of runnig away, but then they fled because they feared ‘the animal would jump at them’.
1924.x. Austria/S: Weisspriacher Lantschfeld/Murtal
An incomplete skeleton, consisting of the occiput, and the dorsal vertebrae with four to five centimeter long ribs, measuring 1,2 meters in length, was found. A large part of it still hung together but the front head, the coccygeal vertebrae and bones of extremities were missing. A student of veterinary medicine considered it the skeleton of a roe. The informant however refused this explanation because of the small ribs and the fact that neither pelvic nor humeral bones or bones of extremities were found. At the exact place where the skeleton was discovered, two years later a shepherd boy of 12 allegedly encountered a ‘monster, at least two meters long’ (1926.). The boy was so frightened that he wouldn’t return to the alp again that summer.
1927.b. Mongolia: Gobi desert
When the American paleontologist Andrews 15) applied for permission to conduct an expedition through the Gobi desert in the twenties the Mongolian prime minister asked him to catch, if possible, an ‘Allergorhai-Horhai’. Andrews, had heard about this animal, described as a sort of sausage, 60 centimeters long, without a head or legs. It was considered so poisonous that one would die at a mere touch. Andrews, eager for his dinosaurs agreed, should he accidentally come across it. He suggested (with tongue in cheek perhaps) that he would use long metal prongs and dark goggles so that the sight of such a poisonous creature won’t harm him (And/93-95). Unfortunately Andrews never had an opportunity to encounter the extraordinary animal.
1927.s. Austria/S: Leoganger Steinberge
Three lumberjacks observed an unknown animal over a distance of six meters. Interviewed individually they gave the following description: The animal was 50 to 60 centimeters long, at least as thick as an arm with a cat-like head and small delicate teeth, but without visible ears. The body had neither hair nor scales but on the head there were some bristles. Hind legs were not seen, neither when the animal was between the dwarf pines nor when it jumped away. It seemed to be very aggressive and its appearance was terrifiying, specifically the gaze. It produced spitting-whistling sounds like an irritated cat.
1927-8. Italy/TS:L”berhof/Flaas/Tsch”gglberg
Father Trafojer, the investigator in this case, interviewed the witness, Josef Reiterer, first in 1937. On an evening late in fall, 1927 or 1928, when the sun had already set Reiterer was just coming up from the mill with a flour bag on his back when he nearly stepped upon a ‘worm’ lying on a stone amidst the path. Reiterer, shrinking back one pace, thought the worm was sleeping but suddenly the thing performed a ‘Wappler’ 16) and rose like a snake to a threatening position, sitting ‘like a cat on its tail’ in a manner that less than half of its lenght remained on the ground. At the same time it turned towards the farmer, and now Reiterer saw distinctly a number of paws on its belly. The front legs were the largest, the others were diminishing in size towards the tail, the last being ‘just as big as the teeth of a pit-saw’. The paws were equipped with a number of toes. Reiterer, with his flour bag, stepped back slowly, pace by pace, keeping a watchful eye on the worm. The latter was only 40 centimeters long, as thick as a boy’s arm and it had the shape of a wedge, with a small, thin tail at the end. The strange, square head was on a thin, thumb-thick and very movable neck 8-9 centimeters in length. In the open mouth a pointed tongue was seen darting. Reiterer couldn’t tell whether it was forked or not. He also couldn’t see ears, the body was hairless but rough like a big snail. The colour of the body was a dark grey, the belly a bit lighter. Reiterer could observe the worm for a while until it went aside and disappeared in the bushes. The movement was ‘winding like a salamander, simultaneously with all feet on one side and then with all feet on the other’.
Father Trafojer visited Reiterer again in 1944 and a third time in summer 1947. At his request Reiterer produced two sketches, one showing the animal in plan view, the other from the side. In the first seven or eight pairs of paws are shown but in the second only five. Reiterer has, however, not counted the paws, but he was positive, that the whole underside of the animal had been equipped with them.
1929.04.l. Austria/U: Tempelmauer/Mt.Landsberg
A teacher searching for the entrance to a cave observed in wet, moldy leaves a snake-like animal 40 to 45 centimeters long and 2,5 centimeters thick. It had two stub-like feet on the chest. The head was flat-pressed, the skin nearly white, without scales but smooth. The animal didn’t move and stared at the witness with conspicuously large eyes. When he tried to seize it, the animal disappeared quickly in a nearby hole. The witness suggested it could have been a rare species of a newt (or salamander?).
1929.05.l. Austria/T: Igls/Innsbruck
While searching for lilies of the valley a merchant observed, in a scarcely frequented place 17), what he called a ‘Lindwurm’. The animal had a flat-pressed head, the snout being rather broad than pointed. Its eyes were like those of humans, lined black and the gaze was uncanny ‘as if that of a devil’. The neck was recognizable, the fore legs distinctly visible, five centimeters long and turned inwards. No hind legs were seen and there could hardly have been such. The total length was 70 to 80 centimeters and behind the legs the thing was approximately five centimeters thick. Its tail was blunt, the body of a fair grey with a brown underside. When the observer approached, the animal first remained in its position looking at the observer. Then it turned around and crawled slowly into the underbrush two meters distant. The observer repeatedly laid in wait for it at different times of the day, but it was never seen again.
1931.b. Austria/St: Gesäuse-Mts.
A poacher observed an animal at a distance of 10 meters and described as follows: The ‘Bergstutzen’ is 50 to 55 centimeters long and has a round head with short ears. The color is a dark grey, lined very dark on its back. It has only two fore legs, broad paws like a dachshund and its appearance is frightening. At the rear ‘it walks on the Stutzen’, i.e. on the tail, which is very thick, at the end pointed and nude. The animal is already nearly extinct, ‘but maybe somebody gets a glimpse of it in the most horrible rock walls, as I met one in a wall so difficult, it was inconceivable that such an animal could get off’.
1933. Austria/C:Spittal/Drau
Workers removing a stone wall found, in a hollow space, a peculiar living animal accompanied by a number of snakes. It was 60 centimeters long, five to six centimeters thick, shaped like a roll with a blunt rear end. Its head was as round as that of a cat, with big eyes. The gaze was described as frightening, angry, looking daggers and as evil. In front it had two little, bowed legs, whether there were hind legs the observers couldn’t tell for sure. (Meu3/82 speaks of four little legs). The skin was dirty white with a yellow taint. Pushing a shovel underneath the animal and the snakes, the workers threw them in the nearby Lieser river. The animal swam across the river with remarkable velocity and was lost to sight at the other bank. A roadmender who came by, claimed to have seen, exactly at the same place such an animal while mowing grass. It was as thick as a man’s arm with an estimated weight of five to seven kilograms. He was so terrified that he flung it into the river with the scythe-cradle (1924.06.).
1969.08. Italy/TS:Lengstein
In summer 1969 a native man of the region reported the observation of an animal ‘baby-thick, 70 centimeters long with two hind legs’. While looking at the observer the animal had blown up its neck. It would have been easy for the witness to grab it but he didn’t dare to do so, ‘for fear it could squirt out a poison’. An unnamed lady from Hannover, Germany, allegedly an academic and a zoologist, claimed to have seen the tracks of the animal and was apparently keen to catch it alive or to get at least a photo. Although she had set up professional snares 18), the animal was always successful in avoiding them. She had also set up a camera, but lost interest in the matter when it was stolen.

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.

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