Reconstruction of the mystery beast sighted by Sheila Charles in May 1996 (Tim Morris)
Time to re-open the file on another overtly bemusing mystery beast, methinks.
Some of the most intriguing cryptids are those that feature in just a single report and are never heard of again...or are they?
On 24 May 1996, a bizarre dog-like beast 4-5 ft in total length, but with a sleek serpentine head, red reptilian eyes, a slender 24-30-in neck, shaggy black fur, long hind limbs, shorter forelimbs, and no tail at all, ran out in front of the car driven by Sheila Charles as she was taking her son Shane to school in Magalia, California. She swerved to avoid hitting the creature, and veered out of control into a canyon. Fortunately, no-one was badly injured, and the mysterious beast's reality was later confirmed by the driver of the car following her, who had also seen it.
The only published account of this dual-eyewitness encounter dating from that time period that I have seen appeared in UFO News World Report, 1996. But could there be other sightings of it on record, and does anyone have any thoughts as to what this extraordinary beast may have been? If the answer is yes to either of these questions, I'd love to hear from you, so please post your data here!
Incidentally, I am greatly indebted to Australian colleague and FB friend Ian Thomas for reminding me that there is one creature on record that shares a degree of similarity with this extraordinary creature. None other than Glatisant, the snake-headed, hound-baying Questing Beast of Arthurian legend!
A Heredities bronzed sculpture of Glatisant the Questing Beast in my personal collection (Dr Karl Shuker)
This ShukerNature blog is excerpted from my book Karl Shuker's Alien Zoo: From the Pages of Fortean Times (CFZ Press: Bideford, 2010)