Zoologist, media consultant, and science writer, Dr Karl Shuker is also one of the best known cryptozoologists in the world. He is the author of such seminal works as Mystery Cats of the World (1989), The Lost Ark: New and Rediscovered Animals of the 20th Century (1993; greatly expanded in 2012 as The Encyclopaedia of New and Rediscovered Animals), Dragons: A Natural History (1995), In Search of Prehistoric Survivors (1995), The Unexplained (1996), From Flying Toads To Snakes With Wings (1997), Mysteries of Planet Earth (1999), The Hidden Powers of Animals (2001), The Beasts That Hide From Man (2003), Extraordinary Animals Revisited (2007), Dr Shuker's Casebook (2008), Karl Shuker's Alien Zoo: From the Pages of Fortean Times (2010), Cats of Magic, Mythology, and Mystery (2012), Mirabilis: A Carnival of Cryptozoology and Unnatural History (2013), Dragons in Zoology, Cryptozoology, and Culture (2013), The Menagerie of Marvels (2014), A Manifestation of Monsters (2015), Here's Nessie! (2016), and what is widely considered to be his cryptozoological magnum opus, Still In Search Of Prehistoric Survivors (2016) - plus, very excitingly, his first two long-awaited, much-requested ShukerNature blog books (2019, 2020).

Dr Karl Shuker's Official Website - http://www.karlshuker.com/index.htm

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Monday, 3 May 2010


Here I am on sunny (for some of the time!) Cannock Chase

Today, on Britain's May Bank Holiday, I spent part of the afternoon (the part when it wasn't raining!) seeking trolls, as you do, on Cannock Chase - a vast expanse of woodland not far from where I live. Just in case you are wondering whether I've been spending too much time in the sun (though in rainy old Britain, opportunity would be a fine thing!), please let me explain.

Cannock Chase, a vast protected expanse of wooded and heather-carpeted countryside near Stafford in Staffordshire, England, has been for many years the scene of alleged encounters with a bizarre hairy entity variously likened by its startled eyewitnesses to a bigfoot or even a werewolf. These reports (some of which, according to one investigator, have come from such credible claimants as scout leaders on patrol, military, police, ex-police, and even a local postman) have attracted considerable interest and attention from local paranormal and cryptozoological researchers. Moreover, a wide variety of suggested identities have been proffered – from paranormal man-beasts, or crazed tramps, to huge stray dogs, or even extraterrestrial aliens.

In May 2007, moreover, a local resident (who has chosen to remain anonymous) hit the headlines in this area with a new and truly extraordinary proposal. He has soberly claimed that a tribe of primitive humanoid beings may be inhabiting the vast honeycomb of subterranean tunnels and passages beneath the surface of Cannock Chase, which was formerly a major mining area, but occasionally coming above-ground to hunt deer and other wildlife for food. And it is rare sightings of these latter-day trolls, he believes, that is responsible for the accounts of hairy bigfoot- or werewolf-type entities – as well as for an unexpectedly high number of local pets going missing here.

Sadly, I did not encounter any trolls during my own brief foray here today, but remembering from Nordic folklore their carnivorous proclivity, this is probably no bad thing!


  1. Carl, if you want visits to places like the Chase to be more 'productive', you need to recruit yourself one or more weirdness magnets.

    These're people who're a bit like mediums're to spirits, in that their presence somehow 'enables' weird stuff to occur more easily.

    The best kind're usually people who only dimly suspect they have this capacity, because the moment they start getting fancy ideas about themselves that immediately introduces preconceptions into the process, interfering with it.

    The sort of people you're looking for're usually people who others like to talk up, while they themselves tend to play things down.

    If you can get them along without them suspecting your real purpose for having them there, that's even better.

    It's a bit like going to work or attending a party: when you first arrive and find out so-and-so's there, you actually feel uplifted, pleased, almost as if you've been slipped something with an optimistic buzz to it.

    On the other hand, if it turns out they're not there but some other so-and-so actually is, you actually feel your heart turn to lead and stop beating, overwhelming you with feelings of dread and a desire to flee.

    Well, weird 'stuff' can have that feeling about certain people too.

    Anyway, I'm go'n'o try'n'sneak off now, 'cause I've heard Carl Shuker might be here, an' I wouldn' wan'o get lumbered with him!

  2. The photograph of the troll in the baseball cap came out very well.

  3. Et tu, Ronan! If you must know, I was actually auditioning there for the role of the eponymous prince in the little-known Nordic Shakespeare play, Trollus and Cressida :-)

  4. have you any thoughts of the "hollow earth theory"