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    Creative illustration of a
    satan monkey – is North America house to an undiscovered species of macropod, or
    macropod-like thriller beast? (© William M. Rebsamen)

    the cryptozoologist, essentially the most perplexing of all American phantom kangaroo
    reviews (click on right here
    and right here
    to learn a collection of these as documented in Components 1 and a couple of of this three-part
    ShukerNature article) should absolutely be these attributed to the Jersey satan. For
    though a number of accounts regarding the latter thriller beast allude to
    creatures bearing a superficial similarity to real macropods, such beasts
    moreover possess sure options which are something however attribute of
    Australia’s most well-known denizens. Such options embody an inclination to emit
    bloodcurdling screams, in addition to possessing hooves, horns, and wings.



    issues with wings and the horrors with horns plus hooves evidently don’t have anything
    to do with kangaroos, phantom or in any other case, and subsequently will be omitted from
    additional dialogue right here forthwith. The rest, conversely, seem to vary
    from typical macropods solely with respect to their spine-chilling shrieks. In
    precise truth, America possesses sure identified creatures famed for his or her capacity to
    produce these exact same sounds.

    two most notable species are the nice horned owl Bubo virginianus and
    the puma Puma concolor. Because it occurs, though hunters and trackers had
    incessantly reported private observations of pumas producing these remarkably
    loud and eerie sounds, they have been typically disbelieved by scientists – till
    official observations of such exercise have been recorded from varied zoo
    specimens, as documented by C.A.W. Guggisberg in his complete ebook Wild
    Cats of the World
    (1975) and subsequently expanded upon by me in my very own,
    first ebook Thriller Cats of the World (1989).


    Puma (prime) and nice horned owl (backside) (public area /
    Patrick Coin/Wikipedia –
    CC BY-SA 2.5 licence)

    it’s possible that a minimum of some reviews of poorly-observed screaming critters
    will be defined on this manner. Such an answer can’t, nonetheless, be utilized to these
    reviews through which the witness has distinctly noticed a kangaroo-like creature shrieking at shut quarters.
    Furthermore, any ventriloquist puma or owl working along side a kangaroo
    stooge is more likely to be discovered employed upon a Saturday morning cartoon
    present than wandering by America’s countryside!

    the riddle of the screeching kangaroos will stay unresolved till a specimen
    can truly be obtained. Nonetheless, there may be one last thriller macropod id
    (supplied by a number of writers up to now as a minimum of a theoretical chance)
    that has up to now not been investigated right here, however which is especially pertinent
    to this extra aberrant, shrieking class of phantom kangaroo (as a result of because of
    their bizarre vocals these latter cryptids can’t be so readily thought-about as
    easy escapees of identified macropod species). The chance in
    query, albeit exceedingly distant and radical, is that America harbours an
    unknown, indigenous species of macropod or macropod-like creature. Moreover,
    such a type may even have arisen through two fully completely different means.



    at present represented solely by the didelphids (true opossums), caenolestids (rat/shrew
    opossums), plus a lone surviving species of microbiotheriid (monito del monte),
    and current predominantly in Central and South America (a single didelphid species
    happens as far north as the usA.), in earlier instances the marsupials have been a really
    various group all through the New World. South America specifically was as soon as
    house to quite a few sizeable kinds, together with the pouched sabre-tooth Thylacosmilus
    and the wolf-like borhyaenids that belonged to a now totally extinct taxonomic
    order whose members have been referred to as sparassodonts and have been solely very distantly
    associated to all different South American marsupials.

    by morphologically paralleling the placental wolves, the borhyaenids additionally known as
    to thoughts Australasia’s marsupial wolves, the thylacinids (of which the now
    ‘formally’ extinct Tasmanian wolf Thylacinus cynocephalus is the one modern-day
    consultant). Certainly, these two latter marsupial teams have been as soon as deemed to
    be intently associated. Following more moderen analysis, nonetheless, it’s these days recognised
    that this isn’t the case in any respect – their notable outward similarity arose
    as an alternative by convergent evolution, because of their occupancy of the identical
    ecological area of interest upon their respective continents.

    If the
    Americas’ pouched mammalian clan may produce a parallel to the Australasian
    marsupial wolves, may it even have produced a parallel to the Australasian
    macropods – and one, furthermore, which (not like the borhyaenids) has truly
    survived to the current day, in North America? Sadly, nonetheless, all the
    scientific proof at present obtainable stands firmly in opposition to this chance.
    Firstly, excluding only some surviving didelphids all of North America’s
    marsupials died out a lot earlier (and have been a lot much less specialised) than these of
    the New World’s southern continent. So if an indigenous American macropod-like
    type had developed and has presumably survived into the current day,
    one would anticipate sightings from South and even Central America quite than from the
    northern continent. Moreover, no fossil stays of kangaroo-like beasts have
    ever been recorded from the Americas (identified New World fossil marsupials have
    been carnivorous or insectivorous quite than herbivorous).


    Holding some grapes, a
    Virginia opossum Didelphis virginiana,
    North America’s solely identified dwelling marsupial species (public area)

    noting for comparability functions, nonetheless, is that regardless of the absence of geologically-recent
    coelacanth fossils, two dwelling species do certainly exist. Consequently, an absence
    of current fossils of a given animal group doesn’t show conclusively that no
    dwelling consultant of this group survives. Furthermore, one discovery has
    occurred that will have specific bearing upon the veracity of this most intriguing
    (albeit extremely unlikely) thriller macropod id.

    On 9
    November 1891, New York Metropolis historian Prof. Albert Leighton Rawson revealed
    within the Transactions of the New York Academy of Sciences a brief paper
    entitled ‘The Historical Inscription on a Wall at Chatata, Tennessee’. On this,
    Rawson described a mysterious wall-like construction recently excavated close to
    Cleveland, in Bradley County, which was composed of pink sandstone that bore
    many a whole lot of inscribed symbols of unknown that means and origin. Furthermore,
    there was additionally proof to recommend that makes an attempt had subsequently been made to
    obliterate them, by masking them with cement and inserting on prime of this a layer
    of stone – all very unusual.

    of all, nonetheless, was the truth that sure of the symbols took the type of
    uncommon animal sorts, not clearly identifiable with identified American species. Of
    these, essentially the most perplexing should absolutely be the very distinctive creature whose
    inscribed type is replicated right here:


    Actual replica of the inscribed type of the mystifying bipedal
    beast current on the Chatata Wall (public area)

    whereas actually not matching any ‘official’ New World animal, it intently
    corresponds with an ‘unofficial’ type – the American phantom kangaroo. Not like
    identified macropods, in fact, the Chatata biped sports activities a beard-like construction
    hanging from its decrease jaw, plus strange-looking hind toes. Such variations,
    nonetheless, may merely be because of creative model. Additionally, if the Americas have certainly
    yielded their very own macropod type, one would anticipate a minimum of slight variations
    from the Australasian model – another excuse for the ‘beard’ and toes?

    particular age of the inscriptions is unknown, however they would definitely appear to
    predate very significantly the final 200 years or so – when Australasian
    macropods first started to reach in America certain for zoos, sideshow, and
    circuses, and from which escapees may subsequently infiltrate America’s

    course the Chatata biped might merely be a beast created by the inscriber’s
    creativeness. Nonetheless, is it not curious that it bears so shut a
    resemblance to one in every of America’s most puzzling modern-day thriller creatures, the
    phantom kangaroo? Tragically, nonetheless, no direct investigations of this carving
    or any others on the Chatata Wall can at present be undertaken, as a result of,
    extremely, the wall’s actual location is not identified! There may be additionally a
    much-debated concept that its inscriptions may very well be nothing greater than the
    informal, non-coordinated product of pure geological or palaeontological
    phenomena, however I can’t in any manner comprehend how such exact, well-delineated
    kinds may have been created by such random means.


    Creative reconstruction of
    the attainable look of a satan monkey, based mostly upon eyewitness descriptions (©
    William M. Rebsamen)

    than 20 years after I wrote the unique model of this text (again within the
    mid-Eighties), a brand new and really completely different however no much less intriguing cryptozoological
    connection to America’s phantom kangaroos was postulated – this time by Loren
    Coleman and fellow American mysteries researcher Patrick Huyghe of their ebook The
    Discipline Information to Bigfoot, Yeti, and Different Thriller Primates Worldwide
    (1999). Even
    although I’ve in any other case largely shunned together with updates, this extremely
    intriguing id actually deserves point out right here.

    They proposed
    that a minimum of a few of America’s reported thriller macropods aren’t macropods at
    all however truly represent an undiscovered species of indigenous primate, a
    big simian to be exact, that Coleman and one other of his co-researchers,
    Mark A. Corridor, have dubbed the satan monkey. Right here is how Coleman and Huyghe described
    this postulated cryptid of their ebook:

    They seem like a type of
    big baboon that strikes by saltation, leaping as do kangaroos – and are sometimes
    mistaken for them. Because of their measurement [standing up to 5 ft tall according to a
    reconstruction of this cryptid’s possible appearance included alongside its verbal
    description] and technique of locomotion, they’ve developed a big flat foot with
    three rounded toes. Immature Satan Monkeys resemble marsupials equivalent to
    wallabies because of convergent evolution however this similarity diminishes as they

    fascinating if totally speculative proposal, as a result of as but there isn’t any identified
    fossil proof to substantiate the prior existence of any kind of endemic primate
    in continental North America (aside from our personal species in fashionable instances, of
    course), thereby lowering the chance that any such creatures exist right here
    at present.]


    A extra baboon-like
    interpretation of the satan monkey’s attainable look, ought to it truly
    exist (© William M. Rebsamen)



    second manner through which America may possess its very personal, separate macropod type
    will be illustrated by the startling case of the distinctive type of rock wallaby
    distinctive to the Hawaiian island of Oahu. As famous in 1982 inside a Science
    information report, a single pair of Australian brush-tailed rock wallabies
    Petrogale penicillatus escaped from a zoo on Oahu in 1916. They have been
    by no means caught, and subsequently reproduced within the wild, their offspring in flip
    mating amongst themselves, till a sizeable inhabitants of a number of hundred wallabies
    was established (though this has since declined to a present-day whole of
    solely 40 or so specimens).

    within the early Eighties, when learning these most uncommon additions to the Oahu
    fauna, American biologist Dr James Lazell claimed that they now differed so significantly
    each in physique measurement and in colouration from their authentic Antipodean ancestors
    that they really appeared to have developed into a completely separate subspecies –
    distinctive to Oahu. Such speedy evolutionary divergence from the unique type (much less
    than 60 years within the case of the Oahu wallabies) is especially widespread amongst
    very small populations of creatures remoted from all different
    intraspecific people – a phenomenon termed genetic drift. Moreover, as Lazell
    famous in Science Digest, dramatic deviations will happen if the unique
    organisms possess any marked genetic irregularities.


    should be pointed out, however, that a detailed molecular genetic analysis of
    the Oahu wallaby population conducted by Drs Mark D.B. Eldridge and Teena L.
    Browning, and published by the Journal of Mammalogy in 2002, refuted
    previous suggestions that these Hawaiian specimens now constituted a separate taxon.]

    If, as
    appears possible, most of the reported ‘regular’ macropods sighted throughout America
    are descendants of authentic escapees that survived and multiplied within the wild,
    would possibly it’s attainable that a minimum of a few of these have developed (or are evolving)
    into separate taxa from their captive ancestors? In different phrases, may America genuinely
    possess its personal indigenous macropod type, albeit of accelerated modern-day
    quite than conventional prehistoric evolutionary origin? It’s to be hoped that
    at any time when dwelling macropods are captured within the wilds of North America, exact
    genetic and protein analyses can be undertaken to find conclusively their
    taxonomic id and reveal whether or not such an thrilling phenomenon is certainly
    occurring right here.



    Additionally effectively price noting at this level is a comparable wallaby-themed
    scenario on a small New Zealand island to that on Oahu. The white-throated
    (parma) wallaby Notamacropus (=Macropus)
    is a really good-looking animal, darkish brown on prime, white beneath, with
    a black stripe operating from its neck to halfway down its again. It was as soon as
    plentiful within the Illawarra and Cambewarra mountainous areas of southern New
    South Wales, Australia, however on account of its woodland habitat’s wholesale
    clearance by people, its numbers quickly dwindled. By 1932, this engaging
    mammal was thought-about extinct.

    In 1966, nonetheless, it made a reappearance that was significantly
    sudden – because of the particular locality through which its reappearance came about,
    which was not in Australia in any respect, however as an alternative in New Zealand, on a 500-acre
    island known as Kawau, sited 30 miles north of Auckland on North Island. New
    Zealand is a rustic famed for having simply two species of native mammal, each
    of that are bats. So how may the existence on a small New Zealand island of
    an allegedly-extinct Australian wallaby be defined? For as soon as, the reply was
    fairly easy.


    A white-throated (aka parma) wallaby (© Dr Karl Shuker)

    In 1870, settlers had launched a number of white-throated wallabies
    from Australia onto Kawau, simply as they’d earlier launched many different
    non-native animals onto New Zealand’s two principal islands. The wallabies had
    thrived, and multiplied, so {that a} wholesome inhabitants now existed there
    (alongside these of 4 different wallaby species additionally introduced right here from Australia
    at varied instances). And of curiosity, they’re markedly smaller in physique measurement than the unique launched inventory, indicating insular evolution has taken place right here too, as on Oahu.

    To safeguard this species’ future, among the island’s white-throated
    wallabies have been despatched to zoos all over the world to provoke captive populations
    (which has been an important success), simply in case illness or another menace
    ought to decimate the Kawau colony. Not lengthy afterwards, furthermore, it was
    rediscovered on mainland Australia too, by G.H. Maynes, who situated some
    notable forest-dwelling populations in an expanse of land stretching from the
    Hunter River to the Clarence River in northeastern New South Wales, thereby tremendously
    growing its survival possibilities within the wild too.



    entire topic additionally has nice bearing upon creatures far nearer to house for me –
    specifically, throughout the British Isles. For it’s well-known that established populations
    of naturalised Bennett’s wallaby Notamacropus
    formally exist in Britain.

    detailed by Sir Christopher Lever in his definitive ebook The Naturalised
    Animals of the British Isles
    (1977), one such inhabitants was lengthy situated
    inside heather moorland, scrub, and woodlands within the Peak District of
    Derbyshire and Staffordshire, England, descended from 5 macropod escapees from
    a personal zoo close to Leek throughout World Conflict II. Sadly, nonetheless, this inhabitants
    appears these days to have all however died out, because of a succession of harsh winters,
    though occasional sightings of single specimens are nonetheless reported right here.


    A shy Bennett’s wallaby (© Dr
    Karl Shuker)

    One other
    documented British wallaby inhabitants exists within the St Leonard’s Forest and
    Price Forest space south of Crawley New City in northern Sussex, England, and
    might have been equally established by wartime escapees, this time from
    Leonardslee Park close to Horsham. There may be even a well-known wallaby inhabitants on
    Inchconnachan, one of many islands in Scotland’s Loch Lomond. These are
    descended from some specimens that have been launched there in the course of the Nineteen Forties by
    Girl Arran Colquhoun, and Inchconnachan itself is popularly referred to
    colloquially as Wallaby Island.

    view of the Oahu wallabies, is it conceivable that in time to return these
    British naturalised wallabies will evolve into a minimum of a
    phenotypically-distinct type, visually distinguishable from their escapee
    ancestors? Really a most stimulating thought, and one made much more tantalising
    by the truth that previous to their inhabitants crash the Peak District wallabies
    had already yielded some people differing markedly in colouration from the
    authentic escapees. Furthermore, lately quite a few albino wallabies have
    been reported within the wild from varied disparate localities throughout Nice


    An albino Bennett’s wallaby (© Dr Karl Shuker)

    reviews have additionally been filed involving British sightings of macropods in
    places aside from these formally confirmed to be occupied by populations.
    In some instances, such reviews are identified to have been brought on by lone escapees from
    captivity close by; in others, a person from one of many official naturalised
    populations might merely have strayed elsewhere.

    a good few reviews exist that can not be satisfactorily defined by both of
    these solutions, resulting in the prospect that different, at present unconfirmed
    populations of escapee descendants might exist in Britain. Take, for instance, the
    Oxfordshire outbreak of August 1985:



    On 14
    August 1985, scholar Greg Caswell gave chase to a wallaby noticed bounding
    alongside the Benson to Crowmarsh street in south Oxfordshire, England, whereas he was
    driving house late that night, however he did not catch it. Though two or three
    wallabies have been identified to have escaped earlier than Christmas 1984 from the McAlpine
    property close to Fawley (about 8 miles from Crowmarsh), these have been all thought to
    have been killed in street accidents (Fortean Instances, winter 1985). On 24
    or 25 August, a drowned wallaby was found in a personal pool at Crowmarsh –
    presumably the person that had eluded seize by Greg simply over every week earlier
    (Oxford Mail, 28 August).

    A number of
    days earlier than that discover, and a minimum of 30 miles north-west of Oxford, Julia Brooks
    of Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, had been shocked to watch a wallaby
    in her backyard consuming meals scraps put out for the birds; and on 25 August,
    employees on the Cornbury Park property (about 15 miles south­east of Chipping
    Campden) sighted a macropod in close by fields, however they claimed that it was 5-6
    ft tall, grey-coloured, and was recognized emphatically by them as a kangaroo,
    not a wallaby (Fortean Instances, winter 1985).

    May it have been an jap
    gray kangaroo Macropus giganteus,
    like this particular person? (© Danielle Langlois/Wikipedia –
    CC BY-SA 3.0 licence)

    evidently this latter, a lot bigger beast was not the identical macropod that Brooks
    had spied. On 17 September, the Oxford Mail reported that Police
    Constable Jon Badrick from Chipping Norton had been assigned to seize his
    city’s thriller macropod(s), and he revealed that the wallaby might have as soon as
    belonged to a Dennis Washington who saved wallabies at Center Barton – though
    whether or not any of his had the truth is escaped was not talked about. Furthermore, on 6
    October London’s Mail on Sunday newspaper truly revealed {a photograph}
    of a wallaby eluding seize by a Chipping Norton policeman. But whether or not any
    macropods from this hotbed of hopping exercise have been ever caught is unknown
    – like so many cryptid sagas, after a blaze of publicity Oxfordshire’s mystifying
    marsupials merely light from the information.

    Much less
    than two years later, a wallaby was being pursued by the Royal Ulster
    Constabulary after having been noticed close to to Belfast Zoo in Northern Eire,
    however it was not revealed whether or not this specimen had the truth is escaped from the zoo
    (Sandwell Specific and Star, 30 April 1987). Equally, one other wallaby
    of unsure origin was additionally being sought by police after having been noticed
    hopping down the Weymouth to Wareham street in Dorset, southwestern England, by
    an ambulance crew (Sandwell Specific and Star, 14 August 1987).


    As demonstrated right here by the person standing between (however
    additional again than) my mom Mary Shuker and myself at a farm in Melbourne,
    Australia, grownup kangaroos will be effectively over 5′ tall (I’m 5’10” however by
    standing nearer to the digital camera than the kangaroo was, I seem a lot taller than
    it was, because of pressured perspective) (© Dr Karl Shuker)

    kangaroo (versus wallaby) populations aren’t speculated to exist wherever
    within the British Isles, which makes the Cornbury Park specimen a notable puzzle.
    Much more weird, nonetheless, is the Lancashire creature noticed one afternoon
    in 1967 by David Rees on the fringe of a wooded space known as Freshfields close to
    Southport, England – an incident recalled by him in Fortean Instances (summer time
    1980). For this animal, described by Rees as being a kangaroo, was a minimum of 8
    ft tall, with a rusty-brown pelage. Its most shocking function, nonetheless, was
    its gait. Rees reported that after viewing him, the creature “…turned
    round and walked into the undergrowth and out of sight”. Enquiries to native
    police failed to establish its origin.

    as acknowledged by Dr Alyson Lander of New South Wales, Australia, in a follow-up
    letter (Fortean Instances, Summer season 1981), its color matched that of a male
    pink kangaroo (albeit an exceedingly tall one), no modern-day species of macropod
    strikes by strolling. Not solely the origin but additionally the zoological id of this
    animal thus stays a thriller.



    Europe just isn’t resistant to phantom kangaroos both. A collection of reviews
    regarding the French equal of America’s ‘regular’ class of such beasts
    appeared in Fortean Instances (spring 1987), courtesy of Jean-Louis Brodu.
    Moreover, in September 1985 a number of kangaroos have been scary
    villagers in northern Hungary; a Hungarian Sunday newspaper utilized the escapee
    concept as an evidence (Fortean Instances, winter 1985).

    tales of phantom kangaroos have additionally been recorded from the unique homeland
    of all marsupial hoppers – the huge island continent of Australia. Nonetheless, the
    Antipodean model of thriller macropod makes even the mighty 6-7-ft-tall pink
    kangaroo, able to 10-ft-high bounds, look positively puny compared. For
    within the arid desert land constituting the dry coronary heart of Australia, reviews from
    gold-prospectors and different occasional travellers to those inhospitable zones have
    spoken of monumental rabbit-like beasts that disappear in a single certain.
    Moreover, some accounts refer particularly to “kangaroos 12 toes


    in his traditional cryptozoological ebook On the Observe of Unknown Animals
    (1958), Dr Bernard Heuvelmans boldly advised that these may very well be
    surviving representatives of Australia’s big Pleistocene macropods. Grazers
    equivalent to Procoptodon and browsers equivalent to Sthenurus attained
    heights of 10 ft.

    lately anatomical research based mostly upon their fossil stays have
    indicated that these bipedal giants most certainly moved not by bounding however
    as an alternative by strolling. In any occasion, the chance that such huge marsupials nonetheless
    exist is one that will by no means be investigated absolutely, because of the daunting
    circumstances that should be confronted by anybody penetrating these environmentally
    hostile areas.



    clear that the creatures hitherto classed as phantom kangaroos truly
    represent a range of various animal sorts, of which solely the ‘regular’
    class is prone to function real macropods. Consequently, utilization of the
    time period ‘phantom kangaroo’ must be restricted hereafter to this single particular group.
    It is usually evident that public consciousness regarding the phenomenon of thriller macropods
    has been stimulated specifically by the in depth investigations of Loren
    Coleman and David Fideler, and the unstinting documentation of reviews by Fortean
    . It’s hoped that their efforts can be finally rewarded by
    unequivocal options to this most curious cryptozoological conundrum.

    Within the
    meantime, nonetheless, everytime you put out scraps for the birds, do not forget to
    examine whether or not the bipeds consuming them embody not solely winged and feathered
    examples but additionally some pouched and furred ones!

    remember to click on right here
    and right here
    to be able to learn Components 1 and a couple of of this ShukerNature article – it makes


    Rolling again the years – how I
    appeared manner again within the mid-Eighties once I wrote the unique model of this
    article on the very starting of what has develop into for me a lifelong and
    exceedingly satisfying cryptozoological profession (© Dr Karl Shuker)