Sunday, 29 March 2020
Let’s take a trip down cryptozoology lane. I haven’t had a cryptid profile in while. The creature I have for you this time has been known for thousands of years by California’s central coast Native Chumash tribe.
Called the Dark Watchers or ‘The Old Ones.’
These shadowy tall entities watch over mankind but to what purpose?
Are they some kind of giant or maybe something a little more paranormal?
When one thinks of California, I imagine surfers, movie stars, beautiful weather and oranges.
Not strange silent otherworldly nebulous human like swain.
The Dark watchers are similar to the paranormal beings the shadow people, but unlike the shadow people they are said to be giant humanoids whom make their homes in the mountain range of central coastal California.
It is said that the dark watchers lurk in these mountains, hiding in the caves, crags, and crevices of the rocky terrain. Those that have seen the dark watchers describe them as standing at an average height of 15 feet, dressed in long black cloaks and wearing broad-brimmed hats, and sometimes carrying what is thought to be a staff or a walking stick or possibly a spear.
They often stand motionless and silent observing people and when they are seen they often vanish with a second glance.
These strange dark giants were known to the early Spanish explorers of the California area, they named them “Los Vigilantes Oscuros.”
The Dark Watchers “Los Vigilantes Oscuros.” Are said to migratory and have been appearing in the Folkloric tales of California for the past several centuries.
The stories tell of how the human-like giant wraiths stalk persons who are travelling along the Santa Lucia Mountains, they wait until the sun begins to set. Emerging from the growing shadows of the twilight hours, hiding on the edges of the cliffs and peaks often elusively just out of view, occasionally being seen when they step out of the shadows and become silhouetted by the darkening skies.
The reason they are so adapt at hiding and watching is that they are said to possess eagle like eyesight and tremendously well-developed hearing and if you think these heightened senses may allow us to track them down think again.
They are thought to be impossible to track using technology only choosing to reveal themselves at time and a place of their choosing.
The DARK Watchers sound very supernatural in description and behaviors but like Bigfoot the local tribes of the area so no.
These are flesh and blood beings that have existed for thousands of years side by side with man.
Original depictions of the Dark Watchers begin with the Chumash – a Native American tribe which has lived along the central coast of California and among the Channel Islands for around 13,000 years.
Oral legends and traditions passed down through generations since the Pre-Columbian era tell of these shadowy overseers.
The stories of the Chumash native peoples were documented in a doctoral dissertation by a Thomas Blackburn, in 1974. This can still be read today as it was adapted into a book “December’s Child: A Book of Chumash Oral Narratives.”
Blackburn based his work on the archive collection of the American linguist and ethnologist John Peabody Harrington. Harrington collected over a hundred traditional tales from the Chumash tribes between the years 1912 and 1928. This is important as the dates are before a time of mass media and any possible contamination of the tales from outside sources.
Harringtons work is available for study being kept at the Smithsonian’s National Anthropological Archive. Still to this day the body of work is the preeminent source for the history of the Chumash culture and folkore.
These old oral narratives of the Native American tribe make no mention of Dark watchers they do however talk about a creature called nunašīš.
The Chumash thought of the Earth, as a Middle World, an island surrounded by the ocean. The sun and other celestial bodies are a part of the Upper World, and down below are a Lower Worlds.
The lower worlds are where the Nunašīš are from, they cross worlds bringing with them bad luck, illness and all things negative. These creatures are shaped like humans, but they are neither dark nor cloaked. They are also not known for standing still against the night sky along mountain peaks, so does this mean they have to be different to the Dark watchers?
Maybe a modern sighting could help us decide.
In 1938, John Steinbeck a Pulitzer Prize winning writer, was living close to Monterey. Monterey being at the northern end of the Santa Lucia Mountains. This putting the man in dark watcher territory.
In one of his books titled “The Long Valley” is a short story named “flight” in his work John mention the dark watchers. Steinbeck seemed to be drawing inspiration from the same local traditions implied that some form of Dark Watchers lore predated his literary creation.
Could the writer have had a run in with one of these beings?
If so what was it?
Well although we have the links back to the indigenous culture and the oral tales passed down through generations, many say that the Dark watchers are something different a modern creation and are nothing more than urban legend.
A fantasy, a ghost story, a tale in which modern writers and story tellers have drawn on traditional tales of the Nunašīš to give their stories more credibility.
Others say that the Dark watchers do and do not exist.
How can this be you ask?
Well imagine if you can being out in the wilds of the central coastal Californian mountains. It’s a place which can be somewhat dangerous, the presence of danger having people on edge. This is when the mind begins to play tricks.
Psychologists say that, illusions, hallucinations or misrepresentation of natural stimulus can be brought on by either exhaustion or isolation. These are the types of conditions a person finds themselves in when traveling the mountain trails of the Santa Lucia Range, especially if they choose to do so alone!
Another explanation” for the feeling of being watched at least” is Infrasound, these low sounds can be created by wind, the resonance can produce a feeling uneasiness and anxiety in people.
Infrasound between 7 and 19 Hertz can cause feelings of fear and panic in human beings. Experiments playing music with and without tones of 17 Hertz frequency in the background. Resulted in the participants feeling the sounds of the 17 Hertz tones, this making them nervous, anxious and fearful.
This explanation is kind of like the idea that Pareidolia,” Pareidolia being the tendency for incorrect perception of a stimulus as an object, pattern or meaning known to the observer, such as seeing shapes in clouds”, is an answer to many strange unexplained things people see.
It provides a subjective answer, without being there at the time of a sighting it’s a best guess answer.
And speaking of optical phenomena some have said that a “Mountain Specter” is the answer.
Mountain specters happening when atmospheric conditions are just right, the must sun shine at a particular angle to project a person’s shadow onto a cloud bank, this can create the illusion of a large shadowy humanoid figure.
Again this answer is after the fact, the truth is we can’t really be sure as to what the Dark Watchers are.
Could they be paranormal specters crossing between realms of reality, are they a secretive group of large humanoids hiding in the mountains or are they just a product of over active imaginations?
Let me know in the comments below.
Red dwarf is the name of an amazing Sci-Fi comedy show out of Britain in the 90s, but it’s also the name of a cryptid.
The Nain Rouge (French for "red dwarf") or the "Demon of the Strait" is a small imp like cryptid said to run around the streets of “Motor city” Detroit.
A creature that may have shaped the history of the area and drove the founder of the city to flee to France.
The legend of the Nain Rouge begins in 1701, when a man known as Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac founded Detroit.
The story tells of how Cadillac was attacked by a small demon like being a creature that would become feared. The residents saying this "Red Dwarf," cursed Cadillac and the city.
Later the little red fellow would become celebrated with a parade taking place in its honor.
Let’s go back to the start of the Legend, the Nain (French for dwarf) has been popping up in Detroit since at least the 1700s. One of the first written retellings comes from an 1884 volume Legends of le Détroit, penned by the local author and historian Marie Caroline Watson Hamlin, Marie herself descended from some of the city’s first French immigrants.
She writes that all the trouble first started at a party in Québec on a March evening in 1701. At the palace of St. Louis, she says, the French explorer Antoine Laumet de la Mothe Cadillac -The man who would soon leave France and claim Detroit for the French—he and other officials grouped together around a table, “resplendent with costly silver and sparkling glass,” getting drunk on expensive wine from the palace’s “noted cellars.”
The party was interrupted by a fortune-teller, an old women with a scrawny black cat on her shoulder. She said her name was Mère Minique, La Sorcière, and she came carrying a warning. She explained that Things would work out well for Cadillac, if and only if—he appeased the Nain Rouge, or “Red Dwarf.” That lived in Detroit.
The Detroit Historical Society says that over the next few years life was kind to Cadillac: He and his wife had a daughter, and several Native American tribes, traded with the French newcomers, helping establish French communities in the area around the fort.
The success saw Cadillac grow a little big for his britches, demanding that settlers treat him “as a landlord,” and demanding that they to pay rent and give up some of their crops.
This was until an evening in 1707, when he and his wife overheard an unsettling whisper of gossip. Someone had spotted the Nain Rouge. Cadillac’s wife felt chills, grabbing her husband’s hand: “‘Beware of the Nain Rouge’ was what that prophetess told you,” she said.
The man’s wife recounted the fortuneteller’s words. “When he should come, misfortune was nigh.”
Cadillac shrugged it off, and continued to walk with his wife. They were stopped when the demon scrambled into their path. He was very red in the face, with a bright, glistening eyes, and razor-sharp teeth.
Cadillac was enraged and apparently struck the Nain with his walking cane, demanding, “Get out of my way, you red imp!”
The creature obeyed, disappearing from sight as “a fiendish, mocking laugh pierced the still night air.”
After this interaction Cadillac’s life and luck changed for the worse, the fortune teller’s predictions came to pass. His children did not inherit any of his property as he had wished, this said to be because of the disrespect he had shown to the Nain Rouge.
The little red imp truly being a harbinger of gloom and doom for Cadillac.
The story has persisted in the local Detroit culture since the 1700’s, with claims that the Nain appears before disaster strikes. This in a similar fashion to the Mothman.
According to legend, the Nain showed himself before 1763's Battle of Bloody Run, a fight when around 60 British soldiers were killed in a failed attack against Chief Pontiac. The Nain popped up again before the infamous 1805 fire that nearly destroyed the whole city.
The 12th Street Riot in 1967 was preceded by a sighting of the red imp. Then in 1976, it was reported that two DTE workers saw what they first thought was a child climbing up a utility pole this before a particularly brutal snowstorm crippled the city, was this the Nain?
So what is, and where does this little red Leprechaun like being come from?
Detroit’s Nain Rouge tales was thought to have begun from the Algonquin creation myths which say Glooskap- Gluskab is a legendary figure of the Wabanaki peoples, native peoples located in Vermont-
Who, after creating the Earth and man continued his work making beings, such as fairies and dwarfs.
These creatures that have since passed into fantasy were the protectors of nature.
When European missionaries first arrived they spread evil tales about the traditional tribal Gods, and supernatural creatures, they were turned into demons and evil spirits. This was an attempt to remove them from memory and allow the spread of Christianity.
Things have come full circle, where once these creatures were purged now Detroit has a yearly “Nain Rouge” festival, the “tricky” little devil has been written about in a number of books and almost everyone around the metro Detroit area has “heard about him”.
The Nain Rouge (Red Dwarf), is a reoccurring part of local legends. 3 mentions of The Nain Rouge can be found in the 1896 book Myths and Legends of Our Own Land by Charles M. Skinner.
The writer looks at the original tales and in addition adds a few new ones to make spookier read.
Skinner sticks to the idea that The Nain Rouge is a character reacting to situations brought about by others and not the creator of the problems people have experienced.
It’s not only Detroit that has a small “devilish like being” I already mentioned Leprechauns but there are so many other similar creatures and stories found all around the world.
From the Astomi, an ancient legendary race of people who had no need to eat or drink surviving by smelling apples and flowers to the Xana an extraordinarily beautiful female creature in Asturian mythology.
So with there being so many small human like entities we have to ask is it possible that such creatures could be real?
We know of the Hobbit-Like Human Ancestor recently found in Asia. Scientists discovered skeletons of a human species that grew no bigger than the size of an average three-year-old modern child. This species lived in a world filled with pygmy elephants and giant lizards on the remote island of Flores in Indonesia. The tiny humans, had skulls around the size of a grapefruit, and lived 18,000 years ago.
But even these little guys would be on the larger size of what is imagined, we have to think smaller.
Mammals range in size, from the tiny for example the Etruscan Shrew which weighs 1.8g, to the huge African elephant can weigh 6 tons, and if we look to the oceans we find the biggest living creature on the planet, the blue whale.
If we look at human biology it would seem like there shouldn't be issues. And indeed with the recent fossil finding we can see that smaller humans were successful for a time.
We also have to ask that if being smaller would result in less intelligence, this down to the smaller brain size.
We would first have to decide on how we measure and clarify intelligence. Something that may offer is a clue is the brain-body-mass ratio. Humanity comes in near the upper end of this scale, and you can see a definite increase of "intelligence" as brain mass increases.
We do need to keep in mind that there are animals with brains 5-6 times heavier than humans which do not seem to have high levels of intelligence. This anomaly also occurs at the opposite end of the scale, the Portia spider has a body 5mm long and yet it exhibits the ability to "hunt in ways that seem to show a degree of intelligence.
This arachnid has the ability to plan routes to its prey using cognitive reasoning, imagining parts of the route that it cannot directly see.
So it would seem that body form rather than size is what can lead to intelligence, and for this reason it is not out of the realms of possibility that through convergent evolution smaller human like animals may have evolved. These creatures have been seen by people and have the smarts to both avoid us and communicate with people when paths do cross.
I can't see any reasons why this wouldn't be plausible.
What do you think, could small humanoids be real, what little person legends do you have in your country let me know in the comments below.
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