Below are some photos of a very nice teak roll top desk and two Chinoiserie jars, that I purchased this last month, trying to get the 17th- and 18th-century style look. The old chinaman porcelain figurine belonged to my mother Theresa Hardcastle, who passed away in 2014.
I have just published a new web page about the new book by Venezuelan Encyclopaedist and polymath Charles Brewer-Carias, called “Ye’kuana Basketry Symbology: Portal to a Parallel World”.
The focus of this book is a investigation into the culture and cosmogony of the Ye’kuana indigenous people displayed through the craftsmanship of their woven basketry. Visit the page at this link
Charles with the spanish edition of his book “Ye’kuana Basketry Symbology: Portal to a Parallel World”- Photo by Fanny de Brewer
Visit the page about his book at this link
I have published a new web page this week about the Scottish polymath and mathematical biologist D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson and his Aristotelian Bio-Philosophy. Click on the cartoon or this link to go to the page.
Cryptozoological investigator Richard Muirhead's journal of cryptozoology, folklore, and forteana.
A journal featuring the more obscure aspects of cryptozoology, and Forteana with an emphasis on "archival roports." Issues of Flying Snake can be purchased from Richard. Please contact him by email at - email@example.com
Flying Snake Volume 6 Number 16 - December 2019
Monsters in Lake Geneva
Kangaroos loose in Britian
Kangaroos in USA
Rare bat found in Kent
Odd Orange Creature
Survival of the Passenger Pigeon
Boy with hundreds of teeth
Plus lots more
Below image - Past Issues of Flying Snake
Just completed a new web-page about the bushcraft skills of Venezuelan Polymath, naturalist and explorer Charles Brewer-Carías. Thanks Charles for supplying me with the many brilliant photos. Click on the link or photo below to go to the page.-https://www.cosmicpolymath.com/charles-brewer-carias-bushcraft.html
photos on this page are the property of Charles Brewer Carias
Highlighted below is an interesting excerpt from a Facebook conversation I had with Australian herpetologist Richard Wells regarding reports of a large unknown python species that he was told about by the local Aboriginals when he worked in the Northen Territory. Richard, who is a highly talented and knowledgeable herpetologist, published a number of controversial taxonomic papers on Australian reptiles in his own publication called “Australian Journal of Herpetology” in the 1980's. The ABC did a feature documentery about the maverick herpetologist which I was lucky enough to record when it aired on tv back in the 1980‘s. I have posted the video from my youtube channel at the bottom of this blog . As well as the giant python reports, Richard also collected several other very interesting Cryptozoological sighting/reports, all of which are documented in Dr Karl Shuker's fantastic book “Alien Zoo." These include an unknown aquatic reptile in the Mary River and some type of strange Cassowarie or Emu like bird. Following is a fascinating description given to me by Richard, of the unknown, possibly aquatic large serpent species which has not yet been entered into the world of Linnaean taxonomy.".
“In my opinion - derived from what I was told by aboriginals and others in the Northern Territory - I think there could very well be a large unknown python that is an ecological analogue of the Anaconda living a totally aquatic existence in at least the north-west of the Northern Territory where floating meadow swamps still exist. What was described to me was definitely not oenpelliensis ....Regards"- Richard Wells
As can be seen from Richard’s brief description above, he distinguishes the undescribed python species from the Oenpelli Python “Simalia oenpelliensis, formerly Morelia oenpelliensis” which look somewhat like a giant children’s python on steroids and were described as recently as 1977 by herpetologist Graeme Gow. They are confined to the tropical woodlands and sandstone gorge country in western Arnhem Land. The beauty of the Oenpelli python has been described by herpetologist professor Richard Shine, quote - "To see one of these giant ghostly snakes stretched out on the Arnhem Land escarpment in the moonlight is one of the great sights of Australian herpetology."
Richard Wells description and comparison to the anaconda brings to mind the extinct prehistoric serpent “Wonambi naracootensis” which could have possibly been an aquatic species and along with the larger representatives of the Morelia family, such as the Oenpelli Python, probably form the archetypal origin of the legendery Rainbow Serpent of Aboriginal mythology. The Rainbow Serpent myth may even represent a primal memory of Aboriginal encounters with the Wonambi python in prehistoric Australia.
“It’s relatively thick body suggests that Wonambi may have been at least partly aquatic. Most of the large boids live close to water and the largest, the Anaconda, is always found near permanent water”. - Kadimakara Extinct Vertebrates of Australia
The giant prehistoric python "Wonambi Naracoortensis"
illustration from "Kadimakara Extinct Vertebrates of Australia"
A short post today on Australian Cartoonist and Illustrator, Eric Jolliffe 1907 – 2001.
He was a master at depicting the Australian bush and outback subjects in both comical and serious sketches, including traditional Aboriginal lifestyles and customs. He also published his own annual calendar which I remember purchasing many times from the newsagents when I was a child in the eighties, along with his comic books depicting Saltbush Bill and the Witchetty's Tribe. Below is a scanned excerpt from an old edition of “Jolliffes Outback”, featuring the character Saltbush Bill. This particular page describes the biology of Australian goannas, illustrated with one of Jolliffe’s brilliant drawings, showing a female goanna burrowing into a large termite mound in order to lay her eggs, with a pandanus palm in the background.
Quote -“Some species of Goanna have a much better idea in country where termites build their large nesting mounds, some up to twenty feet high. The female burrows through the hard mud wall and into the centre of the termite nest. She then lays her eggs and departs. The white ants obligingly set to work to repair the breach in the mound wall, thus sealing in the eggs from their natural enemies with a taste for goanna eggs. Besides protecting the eggs the mound provides the even temperature necessary for successful incubation of the eggs.”- Eric Jolliffe
“There wasn’t anything in the bush that I hadn’t done a cartoon of. I included barns, sheds and relics. I’d drawn all through the bush.” - Eric Jolliffe
All the images in this post are the Intellectual property of Eric Jolliffe
Here's an interesting natural history note written by my father when he was stationed in North Queensland during World War 2, about the intact skeleton of a large Amethystine python or scrub python he found while exploring the rainforests near the Barron River on the Atherton Tablelands, North Queensland in 1943. It also had the intact skeleton of a wallaby inside its rib cage. Simalia Amethistina is the largest species of Australian snake and the legendery Australian herpetologist, Eric Worrell claimed a giant twenty-five foot specimen was found and measured by his friend, Louis Robichaux near Cairns. I have included the quote about the giant scrub python from his book ‘Song of the Snake’ below. Following is a typed up version of my father’s note on the naturally articulated intact skeleton of the scub python.
Note by Richard F. Hardcastle Large Python on Atherton Tablelands
“I think it was about 1943. I was in the army and camped near the Barron River, on the Atherton Tablelands. While exploring the local rainforest, I came upon a python skeleton lying on an old timber track. It was completely intact, with the ribs lying open about 15 inchers across. With curves in the skeleton the length would have been almost 18 feet. Between the ribs was a complete wallaby skeleton.
''The largest reliable record is one measured by my friend Louis Robichaux. Louis taped this monster near Cairns at twenty-five feet. It was as thick as a man's thigh." - Eric Worrell
Photo of Richard F. Hardcastle during world war two and his note on the large Python on Atherton Tablelands
Old photo of a large 'scrub' python from Newspaper article
Here are a number of interesting Thylacine reports. First is a Thylacine sighting collected by my father, Richard F. Hardcastle from an old bushman friend from the 1970s, which occurred near the Kharua State Forest/Nature Reserve. Also a short but very interesting report dad collected from an ex-fur trapper during the second world war who had lived and hunted in Tasmainia prior to the war, who experienced Thylacines following him from a distance as he went around his trap lines. Thirdly are newspaper clippings that I collected from the Sun-Herald, October 22, 1989 featuring an article about the hunt for the Thylacine, mentioning various researchers such as Nick Mooney, Ned Terrey and some very interesting sighting/reports by the old Tasmanian bushman Turk Porteous, including a remarkable tiger sighting he had on the Arthur River in north western Tasmania in 1986. Turk also describes the unusual behaviour of Thylacines following humans, observed during his childhood. This is virtually identical to the behaviour described by the Tasmainian ex fur trapper mentioned previously, of Thylacines following him at a distance, either out of curiosity or hunger as he checked his wallaby snares.
Quote about Turk Porteous - “As a fourth generation Tasmanian with a lifetime spent in the bush, Turk knows his tigers. He talks of childhood fishing trips when he and his brothers would be followed home by a group of two or three tigers. “They’d stay maybe three chain behind us but we knew they were there,” Turk said using the old imperial bush measure. Their idea was that we were their next meal.”
The old Tasmainian fur trapper, Basil Stears, described similar behaviour of Thylacines following him. See the video below, combining the Turk Porteous interview and the footage of Basil Stears describing his enounter with a Thylacine while fur trapping.
Following is a typed up version of my father’s notes on the Thylacine sightings. I have scanned and posted his notes at the bottom of this blog.
Sighting occurred at Kharua State Forest New South Wales. Pat Hogan Thyalcine report early 1970s
“Thylacine sighting on Pacific Highway Kharua, by Mr. Pat Hogan, then residing at Rutherford, near Maitland. Pat owned a property, a bush block near Kharua on which he ran a few head of cattle. On this particular occasion he drove up to check on his cattle after he knocked off work at Rutherford. Near Kharua his head-lights picked up two Thylacines on the side of the road. He pulled up and they retreated into the bush on the side of the road. Finished his trip and checked his cattle next day. Returned home and went up again the following night accompanied by his wife. At the same spot the Thylacines were seen again, and again dissapeared into the bush. His wife later verified that they were Thylacines from a library book on native animals, no doubt whatever.
Pat was a bushman, and knew dingos, said they looked a bit like Hyenas. He saw the Thylacine pictures in the book and there was no doubt they were Thylacines. It was near Karuah Nature Reserve they were seen.”
Sightings ocurred somewhere in the Tasmanian Hinterland.
“Pre Second World War, around 1936 and 1937 report from Tasmanian ex- trapper. Said that going around his traps he used to be followed at a distance by Thylacines.”
Thylacines Along the Arthur River
"You can't mistake a tiger's foot-prints because they walk right up on their toes. " - Turk Porteous
Scaned Newspaper clippings The Sun Herald October 22, 1989
Below is an enlarged page from the Herald Newspaper showing the section on Turk Porteous.
Turk Porteous interview Taped of the Australian TV in the1990s
Below are the two handwritten Thylacine sightings collected by my dad Richard f. Hardcastle
Here are some more brilliant photos plus a small photo gallery of Venezuelan Polymath and naturalist Charles Brewer-Carías showing his explorations into the Venezuela and Guayana hinterland.
Below is a list of some of Charles major publications plus a larger photo below showcasing their covers.
New book entitled “Symbology of the Yekuana Basketry”- El Humboldt del siglo XXI: Charles Brewer-Carías
"Entrañas del Mundo Perdido“
"La Sierra de Lema“
“The Lost World of Venezuela and its vegetation”( Engl. Ed.)
"Venezuela" Editorial Arte, pp.220, 142 fotografías
"Las Simas de Sarisariñama y su Vegetación"
"Roraima, The Crystal Mountain" ( english ed.)
"CERRO DE LA NEBLINA, Resultados de la Exedición"
Links below to Charles website and the page on my website about his work.
Above below by Tim Lewis Bale
"I am an explorer, and I have dedicated my life to discovery, to exploration and to obtaining from that exploration new things for the world. I am a discoverer of plants, caves, crickets, frogs, Indian weavings – you name it." - Charles Brewer-Carías Magazine Geographical quote
Click on smaller photo to enlarge
Quotes in this blog from
Charles Brewer-Carías Curriculum Vitae
All the images and photos are the Intellectual property of Charles Brewer-Carías
Some of my interests include the Victorian era naturalists scientists and explorers also subjects such as Natural History, Tesla inventions, and Victorian Era Natural History.