Newcastle’s Monster Weekend

Blue Creel Wallace Hoax Comparison

I’m traveling again, tomorrow, flying over to England, apparently via Paris. (I know, I know, my arms will be very tired from all the flapping.)

Saturday, September 1 and Sunday, September 2, 2007, “Searching for Bigfoot and Other Cryptids.” It all will be taking place at Monster Weekend, Centre for Life (science center), Newcastle, United Kingdom.

Roger Patterson Film Frame Drawing Comparison

For more information, see “Monster Weekend” or look over the schedule below:

Monster Weekend Speaking Schedule

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Dragons: More than a Myth? (Richard Freeman)
Before daemons, vampires, werewolves or giants the dragon haunted the minds of men and coiled their way through every culture on earth. But could there be a real creature behind the legends? Looking at various theories and talking about modern day sightings, cryptozoologist Richard Freeman explores the possibility that dragons were and still are stalking the remotest corners of the earth.

Looking for Leviathans (Charles Paxton)
For centuries monsters have been reported from the world’s rivers, lakes and seas. Mariners told of such animals as the great sea serpent and the kraken. But what is the truth behind these tails? Marine biologist Charles Paxton explains what science can really tell us about the world’s sea and lake monsters and discovers that the reality is often stranger and more exciting than the myth.

The Imaginary Zoo (Gordon Rutter)
We’ve all heard tales of animals that couldn’t possibly exist but what about if there was a zoo of impossible animals? The imaginary zoo looks at the tall tales behind some fantastic animals and how some of these animals are far more than tales. From Jackalopes to mermaids, from unicorns to snakestones and everything in-between a chance to see photographs of some of these rare and shy animals.

The Two-Headed Boy (Jan Bondeson)
Certain rare forms of conjoined twinning result in a person having one body and two heads. Throughout history several of these two-headed children have survived into adulthood, often being exploited in freakshows. The Two-Headed Boy of Bengal spent his entire life being exhibited, and his double skull is today kept at the Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons of London. Celebrated author and Doctor Jan Bondeson will give a talk on history’s most famous two-headed people and society’s reaction to them.

Monsters in Popular Arts and Culture (Gail Nina Anderson)
Why have we always needed to depict monsters? Dragons, chimeras and unicorns all have a rich visual history beyond the current exhibition. This illustrated talk introduces the way certain types of narrative put the monster in the picture, how visual traditions determine our expectations of their appearance, and the cultural meanings we can project upon them.

Monster panel discussion
Hear the speakers discuss the days events, and have your say.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Searching for Bigfoot and Other Cryptids (Loren Coleman)
The hunt for Bigfoot has spanned, seemingly, less years than the advent of romantic zoology. What legacy does one have to the other? What can the recent past tell us about the next century in the field?

The Basilisk & The Vegetable Lamb (Jan Bondeson)
One of the weirdest monstrosities upon record, the Basilisk was believed to develop from an egg laid by a cock and hatched by a toad. A repulsive creature, with the head of a cockerel and the tail of a serpent, it was said to be able to kill both men and beasts merely by looking at them. Similarly bizarre was the Vegetable Lamb of Tartary, a fully-developed lamb growing from a stalk rooted to the ground. Dr Bondeson’s talk will provide new interpretations for these two hoary zoological monstrosities.

On The Track of Unknown Animals (Richard Freeman)
Richard Freeman is a cryptozoologist and zoological director of the world’s only full time monster hunting organisation, The Centre for Fortean Zoology. His expeditions have taken around the globe in search of mysterious creatures. Here, he recounts some of his adventures on the track of 21st century monsters. These include giant snakes in Indo-China, ape-men in Indonesia, monster worms in the Gobi desert and dragons in Africa.

Mirage Men (Mark Pilkington and John Lundberg)
Join documentary film maker Mark Pilkington for a reality-warping tale of mythic proportions where truth is a fiction and nothing is as it seems. Mark will tell the story of ‘Mirage Men’ in which the audience is taken behind the curtain into the labyrinthine and highly secretive world of the UFO disinformation specialists within the US intelligence services and US military – people who literally create monsters.

The Shony – Tyneside’s Very Own Sea Monster (Mike Hallowell)
‘The Wizard of Weird’ Mike Hallowell takes the audience on a journey to discover the truth behind the myth of The Shony, Tyneside’s very own Sea Monster! This one-off talk by Tyneside’s most knowledgeable monster hunter will cover the history of The Shony throughout the ages, Shony encounters ancient and modern, an introductory film and an opportunity to pose questions to the man himself.

All talks are free and there will be discounted entry to see the Myths and Monsters exhibition for those attending a session.

Places for the weekend are limited. To reserve a place, please call or bookings line on 0191 243 8223 or contact us.

The above is also a reminder for everyone regarding the forthcoming spottiness of my posts here. If I can blog from Newcastle, I will.

William Roe Drawing