3 foot rat found in NYC store
It may be the size of a small dog, but this is not the sort of creature many of us would fancy petting.
What appears to be a giant rat was allegedly found dead in a Foot Locker shoe shop in the Bronx, New York.
Scooped on a shovel in the Fordham store's stockroom, the massive brown and white rodent measures around three feet.
The picture was uploaded to Twitter by user @thegoodfella_, who believes it was snapped by a friend last autumn.
Experts think the rodent is a Gambian pouched rat, a fairly common pet that can grow to up to three feet.
It is not the first time the giant breed has been spotted in New York City.
One of the creatures was speared to death by a pitchfork at a sprawling Brooklyn housing project last year.
Jose Rivera, a Housing Authority worker, was clearing a rat hole at the Marcy Houses in Brooklyn when three of the creatures popped out.
He was only able to nab one. It appears to be almost three feet long, including the tail, is covered in white fur and looks well-fed.
After he caught the rat, Mr Rivera, 48, said: 'I hit it one time and it was still moving.
'I hit it another time and that's when it died. I'm not scared of rats but I was scared of being bitten.'
Naomi Colon, head of the Marcy Houses Tenant Association, said there have been sightings of the outsize rat for at least six years.
She said: 'The residents have told me that they've seen it running around with other rats.'
Resident Stephanie Davis, 44, said: 'Even the cats are afraid of the rats. They get together and gang up on the cats.'
Pam Davis, 43, added: 'They're here day and night. We don't dodge bullets. We dodge rats. They're so big, they should charge them rent.'
Animal experts identified the monster rodent as a Gambian pouched rat. The creatures are nocturnal, can grow to three feet, weigh four pounds or more and live seven or eight years.
Imports have been banned since 2003, when the rats were blamed for a monkeypox outbreak that affected 100 people.
Dr Paul Calle, director of zoological health at the Wildlife Conservation Society, said: 'They are a very social animal and live in big groups in the wild. They're pretty remarkable animals.' - dailymail
REALLY Finding 'Big Rhodey'
I was a bit disturbed that the original Bigfoot investigators didn't receive much credit for bringing this phenomena to the attention of 'Finding Bigfoot' namely, The Big Rhodey Research Project team. The team consist of Dina Palazini, Founder and Lead Field Researcher, Carl L. Johnson, Co-Founder and Field Researcher, Dan Renaud, Lead Field Researcher and Kris Stepney, Field Researcher. You can find Cliff Barackman's excellent field notes from the recent expedition in Rhode Island - Finding Bigfoot - Rhode Island Field Notes.
Dina and Carl are also the founders of Beyond the Veil Paranormal Research, which was "established as a cooperative effort to penetrate some of the more elusive mysteries of humanity and the world we inhabit, to value expanding knowledge in favor of competition, and as a forum to share experiences. We interpret paranormal as that which is removed from what is contained by prevailing scientific standard.
Our fundamental purpose as a team is to explore enigmas and strange occurrences brought to our attention. Research is conducted objectively. We will subject our findings to rigorous analysis, balanced by intuition. Study of the paranormal as defined by B.T.V.P.R. includes the categories of parapsychology (e.s.p., spirit manifestation), cryptozoology (animal forms not proven to exist nor commonly accepted as authentic) and ufology (visitations and surveillance by extra-/ultra-terrestrials)."
Dina and Carl are also friends and frequent guests at Beyond the Edge Radio
Leominster couple's eerie experience in state forest to be featured on Animal Planet show
After a close encounter on a sultry summer day in June 2010, Bill and Julie Penning are believers in one of the most mythical creatures of North America.
"I believe I found footprints of Bigfoot," Bill Penning said Friday.
Julie Penning is willing to debunk the Bigfoot legend, but she's found no credible evidence to disprove what she and her husband found in the Leominster State Forest.
"If somebody can scientifically tell me what it is, I'll listen," Julie Penning said.
The rest of the country will get to hear their tale on Animal Planet's "Finding Bigfoot" television show tonight at 10.
"I'm a little nervous about it," Julie Penning said. "I haven't told anyone at work."
Julie Penning is a special education teacher at the Florence Sawyer School in Bolton, and Bill Penning is a facilities manager for Progress Software in Bedford.
In a city where the area around Jungle Road and Route 117 was once known as Monsterland and parents would scare their misbehaving children with stories of creatures walking on their hind legs in the woods, the thought of a Bigfoot roaming around at least fits, the couple said.
They each had the day off on June 27, 2010, and decided to a hike through the Leominster State Forest even though temperatures were soaring into the upper 90s because they figured it would be cooler than lying on the beach.
"We're not out there looking for anything weird, we're just hiking," Bill Penning said.
He is an outdoorsman who hunts and rides four-wheelers but the couple took a wrong path in the woods as they walked toward Notown Reservoir.
Suddenly there was a loud crashing of something going through the nearby underbrush.
"I assumed we spooked a deer and it would jump out in front of us," Bill Penning said.
But nothing came out on the trail and the couple kept going until reaching the power lines where they realized the underbrush blocked their way to the reservoir.
They sat down for lunch before doubling back.
When they reached the point at which they heard the noise earlier, there were large tracks of bare feet coming in and out of the brush line along with deer prints.
Neither set of prints had been there an hour earlier when they passed.
"They were so deep and so far apart it was shocking," Bill Penning said of the footprints. "Who would be up there randomly on a Tuesday afternoon running barefoot?"
It appeared whatever made the prints weighed several hundred pounds with strides were about 6 1/2 feet long.
"Right where the footprints ended, the deer prints ended so we figured he scooped it up," Bill Penning said.
The couple got so unnerved by the oddity of the sighting that Bill Penning picked up a rock for protection.
As they studied the tracks, the couple had the sense of being watched and left.
Bill Penning's brother Kevin introduced them to Bigfoot believer Ronny Le Blanc about 10 days later.
Le Blanc has been interested in Bigfoot since he was a child reading about unexplained mysteries at Leominster Public Library.
"I've always been fascinated (but) never in my wildest dreams, with Monsterland in my backyard, did I imagine," he said.
The three of them decided to go back to the area of the sighting to take pictures and get a plaster molding.
"Sure enough, the footprints are still there," Bill Penning said.
Within minutes young people on four-wheelers came by and would have torn up the prints if the small expedition were not there to protect them.
They mixed the plaster too thin so rather than waiting for it to set, they dug up the ground around the print and took the dirt and drying plaster home.
The print is not only about 11 inches long but is nearly six inches wide.
"And this thing is a good 2 1/2 inches deep," Le Blanc said.
Rather than being a static footprint, the print indicates whoever or whatever made it was pushing off as if in motion, Bill Penning said.
The print would indicate the Bigfoot is a female or adolescent.
Bigfoot researchers believe female prints are 10-14 inches and grown males are 17-19 inches, Bill Penning said.
He and Le Blanc took the casting to a town hall meeting of Bigfoot enthusiasts in Covington, R.I. that was arranged by Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization which is featured on the Animal Planet television show.
"I was the only one there with a footprint," Bill Penning said.
Producer Aaron Steele was excited by the cast of the footprint and decided to bring the cast and crew to Leominster to film a re-enactment Sept. 15.
About 20 people spent a rainy day filming the segment with the Pennings and Le Blanc.
"This has been quite an adventure for us," Bill Penning said.
Neither Steele nor the show's lead investigator Matt Moneymaker could be reached for comment. - sentinelandenterprise
UFOs over Mt. Bisbano, Italy
In the latest UFO news, a video was taken of strange lights over Mt. Bisbino, Italy on January 7, 2012. What are they?
What makes this video unique is the time of day, just before sunset. That means the sky is bright enough to make the unidentified flying objects more visible. And more chilling.
Although the videographer fiddles with the focus a bit too much, it's readily obvious that the multiple objects are not moving like any known aircraft. But it's how they behave aerodynamically which is the most confounding.
In the background of the cloudless sky there is a puff of vapor, behind from which at least two UFOs emerge and fly crazily about. As the video goes in and out of focus, the objects split up and one disappears suddenly. The other then seems to split in two, with four lights shining brightly.
Then, just as instantly as they appeared, the objects disappear from sight. Did they go back inside the cloud? It's a really weird sight. - gather
Click for video
Man is scalped by leopard, but survives
A leopard’s terrified victim fights for his life yesterday… after the frenzied beast tore off half his scalp.
The creature had charged into his house after being chased by panic-stricken locals when it wandered from the jungle into a city centre.
The man was confronted by the animal when he came out of his bedroom.
He was among four people who were mauled as attempts were made to trap the leopard – though all survived.
The beast was eventually shut in the house in Guwahati, north-east India, by a rickshaw driver. The animal was tranquilised by forestry officials and taken to Assam State Zoo.
Witness Nipu Das said: “We were shocked to find the leopard inside the house and soon the cat started attacking.”
Animal experts believe it may have strayed into the city in search of food. Large areas of the previously dense jungle covering the hills surrounding Guwahati have been cleared for housing.
This has led to an increase in attacks by wild animals as they lose their habitat and their food sources.
The leopard was said to have recovered after being given a tranquiliser drug. - mirror
How much do you enjoy receiving 'Phantoms and Monsters'? Is it worth an offering of a few dollars for a daily dose of the strange and unusual occurrences in our world?
BTW, I am always open to blog content suggestions and well-detailed submissions of your experiences. Thanks again...Lon