Friday, December 28, 2012

Highlights of 2012

As we say goodbye to 2012 we thought we'd look back on all the amazing things we discovered this year.  Here's some remarkable highlights:

And so, in 2013, we invite you to continue to follow our explorations into the strange world of Urban Cryptids.  Check back next week to see what the Urban Cryptid Conservancy will be researching next!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas Caring

It's not surprising that cryptids go unseen by most people.  On the other hand, what is surprising is that we can go about our lives and never really notice the poor and needy all around us.  In fact, we often treat them as if they were invisible.

We encourage all Springfieldians to remember the disadvantaged this Christmas and give to one of our local charities.  May I recommend The Kitchen and Springfield Victory Mission, two faith-based organizations who have done so much to help others in our community.  Please go to their websites at
and give them your support.

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Lost Town of Bethesda and More on Springfield's Cryptid History

As we continue to examine the historical evidence of Cryptids and Cryptid Hunters in the area around Springfield Missouri we find further hints regarding the Fraternal Order of the Seekers of the Skunk Ape.  According to legend, members would, at unexpected times, leave their homes in the dark of night to "join the hunt, for the game's afoot!" and, at times, not return for days.  Before the turn of the century, it was rumored that the organization maintained a collection of oddities of Natural History in its secretive Fraternal Lodge near the mineral spring at the town of Bethesda, just northwest of Springfield.  Eager to find what became of this collection, we found the location of Bethesda on a turn-of-the-century map and proceeded to the site.

Imagine our amazement when we discovered that the entire town had vanished!  No, I do not mean "vanished" in the manner of a ghost town where a few ramshackle buildings remain - I mean truly vanished.  As we searched the area we found that NOTHING remains, as nature has completely  reclaimed the grounds where once was a town.  Indeed, the town of Bethesda disappears from later area maps, as if the powers-that-be decided to erase all mention or trace of it.  We cannot help but wonder what could have caused an entire town to be removed from history, or what happened to the Fraternal Lodge of the Seekers and its strange collection.

It is not until the 1950's that any more mention appears of the Skunk Ape or any other cryptid in the Springfield Missouri area.  The puzzling case of the Springfield Cobra Scare of 1953 appears to have brought strange creatures back to the city's collective consciousness  and the nation's preoccupation with monsters, both earthly and otherwise, in the later 50's and 60's appears to have reminded some Springfieldians of their own cryptid legends just as the city came into the national spotlight through the Ozark Jubilee television and radio program originating out of Springfield's KYTV and KWTO radio.  Nationally revered folk musician Jimmy Driftwood first learned of Springfield's Elusive Skunk Ape while performing on the program, and although he probably never saw the creature, it was the the inspiration for his song, "The Lonesome Ape".

Today, the citizens of Springfield are becoming increasingly aware of the presence of strange creatures in their midst.  Though little concrete evidence remains to prove that the Fraternal Order of the Seekers of the Skunk Ape ever existed, we of the Urban Cryptid Conservancy see them as pioneers in our field and the progenitors of our efforts.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Springfield's Earliest Seekers

Along with with its legends of cryptid activity, Springfield Missouri has a long history of being the home of cryptid hunters.  Though much of this history exists only as folklore, our research has uncovered documented accounts of these intrepid individuals. 

The first of these to be recorded in the annals of Springfield was Jesse Range Bayles, an explorer who resided with the friendly Delaware indians and frequently visited our tiny village in its earliest days.  John H. Miller, who was a child at the time, remembered:
"In 1831 a strange, odd and remarkable individual, in the person of an old and somewhat demented white man, appeared among us, named Jesse Bayles. He had some English education, but lived a wilderness life among the wild beasts and Indians, seemed half crazy, dressed very scant and odd, and wore an old white wool hat tucked up at the sides, and written thereon in large red letters, 'Death'!  He carried a long butcher knife and a tomahawk, and seemed dangerous to look at, but was harmless and even lively. I was with him considerably. He was fifty or sixty years old. He said that no harm should befall me; that he intended to keep the panthers, wolves and Indians from 'a'hold' of me. In a year or two he disappeared. He either died or followed the Indians."   (R. I. Holcombe  History of Greene County, Missouri, 1883)
It is said that he was continuously wandering the area, looking for some beast unseen by civilized men.  We can only guess what that was, or if he ever found it.

Later, as Springfield grew and prospered, some of its most respected citizens took part in the search for strange creatures.  According to the September 1st, 1907 edition of the Springfield Leader, former Springfield mayor B.E. Meyer, along with Lee Savage and Frank Rosback were searching for a monster "man eating" catfish said to live in Doling Park Lake when their canoe was capsized by the very animal they were seeking.  It should be noted that Mr. Meyer was listed in the rolls of a number of local secretive societies such as the Royal Arcanum and the Knights of Pythias, and was three times elected as the Exalted Ruler of the local lodge of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, while Mr. Rosback was a successful clothier and loyal Freemason.  This should not be surprising, as it appears that they were members of an even more secretive fellowship, the Fraternal Order of the Seekers of the Skunk Ape, an organization rumored to have been founded on All Hallows Eve of 1872.