Richard Muirhead
Richard Muirhead
MA BA(Hons) Diploma in Librarianship.

richmuirhead@tiscali.co.uk


Smilodon californicus
BRSUG 26478 Smilodon californicus

According to scientific orthodoxy the African sabre-toothed tigers, such as Megantereon and Afrosmilus died out 500,000 years ago. However in certain African countries such as the Central African Republic and Chad sabre-toothed tigers have been seen by the locals in modern times.

The animal is known by the French speakers of the Zagaoua peoples of the escarpments of the Ennedi mountains as "tigre de montagne." They describe it as being larger than a lion but lacking a tail. It possesses red banded fur with white stripes and it has long hairs on its feet. It also has teeth that protrude from its mouth. It inhabits the mountains and caves of Ennedi and it is so strong it can carry away sizeable antelopes.

In the mountainous Tibesti region of Chad the sabre-tooth is known as "nisi" or "noso." It is said to attack hens and slit the throats of goats without eating them. There are completely black specimins. In 1975 Christian Le Noel was leading an eland hunt from Derby near the river Ouandja 25km from Tirongoulou on the Chad-Sudan border when he heard a howling from a cave like nothing he had heard before. His tracker refused to go any further, saying that it was the sabre-tooth.

Sabretooth cat, Smilodon
Photo Ref: T01446  Title: Sabretooth cat, Smilodon

The people of Temki, Hadjeray in south-west Chad call the sabre-toothed tiger the "hadjel." Wounds have been found on hippos corresponding to those which might be inflicted by the teeth of a sabre-toothed tiger. Christian Le Noel witnessed a hippo which had died of strange wounds which could only have been given by a cat armed with exceptionally well developed upper canine teeth.

In 2003 Richard Freeman of the Centre for Fortean Zoology, U.K. went to Sumatra to look for orang-pendek, the mystyery ape-man. Whilst in Indonesia he found out some information about the cigau, a cat like animal with a head like a lion and a body like a horse that runs fast and inhabits the jungle. According to the British palaeontologist Darren Naish the cigau may be related to a group of fossil cats called Homotheres, related to the more familiar sabre cats but with smaller canines. A relict population of Homotheres may survive in Sumatra. See Fortean Times 182 (April 2004) pp32-39. 

There are precedents for discovering new animals in the Twentieth Century. In fact at least 55 new species of mammal have been discovered in the last 99 years. In 1992 the Vu Quang ox was discovered on the Vietnam-Laos border. In 1986 up to five specimens of the hairy Sumatran rhinoceros were found on Sarawak. It had been thought this species had died out there by the end of World War 2. In 1998 a new species of coelacanth was discovered in waters off Indonesia. This hunt for a sabre-tooth in Chad is NOT a hunt for a "monster" it is a serious scientific attempt to find out the truth about the sabre-toothed tigers status in Chad. Just as this century opened with the discovery of the okapi in 1901, perhaps the next century will open with the discovery of a sabre-toothed tiger. For further information: http://perso.wanadoo.fr/cryptozoo/dossiers/tigrmont.htm.


BRSUG 26478 Smilodon californicus - Reproduced with permission by Department of Geology of The University of Bristol

Photo Ref: T01446 Title: Sabretooth cat, Smilodon Description: Scene at a tar pool at Rancho La Brea. The mammoth has become trapped in the oily waters and is being devoured by the sabretooth cat, Smilodon. Copyright: Michael Long / NHMPL - Reproduced with permission by The Natural History Museum.


Publications

Cryptozoology

The Flying Snake of Namibia: An Investigation. Centre for Fortean Zoology Yearbook 1996 pp112-123.

Giant Squid, Mystery Boar and Pregnant Snake - Three Irish Animal Stories.

Animals and Men Issue 14 1997 pp 32-34.

A Collection of Cat Curiosities. Animals and Men Issue 16 1998 pp 30-32.

Some Strange Snake Stories. Centre for Fortean Zoology Yearbook 1998 pp 183-197.

The Mystery Animals of Hong Kong. With Jon Downes. The Anomalist Issue 6 Spring 1998 pp 111-145.

Some Chinese Cryptids. The Cryptozoology Review Vol 3. No 3. Winter-Spring 1999 pp 23-25

Some Chinese Cryptids. Part Two. The Cryptozoology Review The Cryptozoology Review Vol 4. Part 1. Summer 2000 pp 19-20.

The Basilisk or Cockatrice. The Cryptozoology Review Vol 4. Part 1. Summer 2000 pp 21-22.

Unusually coloured frogs in Britain. R. Muirhead and D. Naish. Animals and Men 32. 2003.

Fortean Zoological Aspects of the Rupert the Bear Stories. Centre for Fortean Zoology Yearbook 2003 pp 27-29.

Zoological Curiosities from Hardwicke's Science Gossip Part 1 1865-1867. Centre for Fortean Zoology Yearbook 2008 pp 99-104.

Natural History

Black squirrels in Britain. British Wildlife Vol 10 no 2 December 1998 p 102

Meteorology

A snowdrift in Sherborne, Dorset., February 1978. Journal of Meteorology Vol 23 no. 234 December 1998

World weather disasters column. Journal of Meteorology since October 2001

Severe hailstorm over west Cornwall on 25 August 2000. J.D. Webb and R. Muirhead. Weather. Vol 57 no.10. October 2002

The Fujiwara Effect: An Introduction. Richard Muirhead. Journal of Meteorology. Vol 25 no. 249. May/June 2000

Hong Kong's last severe typhoon of the 20th century: Typhoon York. Richard Muirhead. Journal of Meteorology. Vol. 25. no. 253. November 2000

The severe hailstorm of September 5th 1998 along the London and Surrey border. Jon Webb and Richard Muirhead. Journal of Meteorology. Vol. 26. no. 257. March 2001

The cold winter of 1962-63. Richard Muirhead. Old Macc no. 33. Summer 2005

A Rare Hurricane in the South Atlantic: Hurricane Catarina, March 2004. Richard Muirhead. Journal of Meteorology Vol. 29 no 294. December 2004.

Poetry

Struck by the moon. Richard Muirhead. Challenging Stigma Poetry Book. 2007. p 42.

Cryptozoology Websites

General

Cryptozoology.com

Cryptozoological Realms

CryptoMundo

Pib Burn's Cryptozoology

Mystery Animals of Ireland

Organizations

British Columbia Sceientific Cryptozoology Club

Centre for Fortean Zoology

CryptoSafari

Cryptids

Mokele-mbembe: The Living Dinosaur!

Ropens: Live Pterosaurs in Papua New Guinea