Monday, 29 October 2007


It has come to our attention that there is some confusion about one of the creatures with which the 2007 CFZ Guyana Expedition is concerned. One of the basic tenets of cryptozoology is that the testimony of eyewitnesses and natives of areas where cryptids have been reported is at least as important as the theories of theoretical zoologists from more developed countries.

We are perfectly aware that current cryptozoological thought has the didi and the mapinguary as two different creatures. As Loren Coleman posted on his blog today (29th October):

"….the Didi of Guyana is described (pp. 72-73) in more conventional terms, as a five feet tall bipedal proto-pygmy of the rainforests, covered in short black hair that makes “hooing” sounds. Meanwhile, the more massive, taller Mapinguary of Brazil’s Amazon jungles is said to be a red-haired, sloping, bipedal, smelly, long-armed, apelike creature that vocalizes in roars and booms (pp. 74-75).

The Mapinguary has generally been associated with the reports of pulling tongues from cattle in Brazil, not Guyana. It is the Mapinguary of Brazil, not the Didi of Guyana, that Dr. David Oren theorizes is a medium-sized extinct giant ground sloth, although most cryptozoologists still consider the majority of Mapinguary sightings are of an unknown primate. There is hope that before the local people are interviewed, the CFZ sorts out the confusion between these cryptid hominoids in their own mind. I would also be interested in learning the source of their description of “scythe-like claws” for the Didi or the Mapinguary."

We do not rush into our expeditions `blind`. This expedition has been in the planning stages for nearly eighteen months and we have been in contact with a number of people in Guyana.

Our native guide originally mentioned the didi or dia-dai as he spelt it, over a year ago. Originally the expedition was just going to focus on the giant anaconda but we thought that we might as well try to gather as much information on as many cryptids as we could. Our guide described the didi as ‘bigfoot-like’ but also mentioned that it had huge claws.

Apes do not have claws.

As we said in the press release this creature is nebulous; some reports suggesting a primate others some kind of clawed animal. He also said it was supposed to kidnap children. This sounds folkloric to me. The didi might be a ground sloth, an upright walking ape, a spectacled bear, or just a bogyman, that’s what we want to find out.

We are taking reconstructions of both ground sloths and hominids to show any witnesses as well as photos of the spectacled bear.

In the past, something we have come across is that localized names for creatures can encompass several different animals. `Didi` might be as loose a term as `bunyip`. Hopefully this expedition will help to cast some light on this but we need to listen to what local people are saying rather than just hypothesizing from a distance, and the native people in Guyana are saying that the didi has claws.

We have also been told of the `tongue-ripping` folklore. Whether this is a case of someone having heard of the events further south on the continent and transposing them to Guyana, or whether this is something which has actually happened in the `target area` of our expedition remains to be seen.

This is a major expedition, and we hope that when we return we will have ground- breaking new evidence to present.



For Immediate Release: 2007-10-24

On the 14th November 2007, five members of the Centre for Fortean Zoology – the world’s largest organisation dedicated to the search for mystery animals – leave the UK for South America, on their most ambitious expedition yet. They will be searching the remote swamps and jungles of Guyana. They are looking for three elusive, potentially lethal, and hitherto undiscovered animals.

· The giant anaconda
· The didi
· The water tiger

As far as we are aware, this is the first cryptozoological expedition in search of evidence for the existence of these three animals that has ever been mounted. After months of complex negotiations, we can also announce that the expedition is sponsored by Capcom – one of the world’s leading video game publishers, who are concurrently launching Monster Hunter Freedom 2, their exciting new game for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable (PSP).

The expedition will take the five members, and their guides, deep into unexplored swamps in the west of Guyana. The area is so remote and poorly known that it doesn’t even have a name.

· The anaconda (Eunectes murinus) is the largest known snake in South America. The largest specimen shot was 28ft (9m) long. However, in the past, reports have come in from Guyana of anacondas of mind-boggling proportions, 40-60ft (12-18m) long. In some areas these giants are referred to as manatorro (the bull killer). As recently as last year, a specimen estimated at being 40ft (12m) long was observed by a party of native hunters. The giant snake frightened them so much that they fled. The target area for these monster serpents is a series of remote lakes in the grasslands.

· The didi is a more nebulous beast. It is said to walk upright like a man and be armed with scythe-like claws. It is alleged to tear out the tongues of living cattle, and leave swathes of terror in its wake. Although this last attribute may well be apocryphal, the claws in particular recall the supposedly extinct giant ground sloths or mylodonts. These bear-sized herbivores supposedly died out ten thousand years ago, but reports from across the Amazon, and surrounding areas, suggest they may well still survive.


· The water tiger is an aggressive aquatic animal said to have pointed teeth and webbed, humanlike hands. In the past, it was reported to have attacked both people and livestock. The water tiger may be based on reports of the rare giant otter (Pteronura brasiliensis) which can grow to a length of 6ft (1.8m).

The group intend to interview native witnesses to gather information on the animals and search the grasslands and lakes for evidence. They are being guided by Damon Corrie - a chief of the Eagle Clan Arawak tribe – who is also one of the few people to have visited the area in question.

The group consists of:

· Dr Chris Clark, engineer
· Lisa Dowley, photographer
· Richard Freeman, cryptozoologist
· Jon Hare, science writer
· Paul Rose, journalist

Photographs, a press pack, and further information are available, and expedition members are available for interview. Please contact Jon or Corinna at the CFZ Press Office on +44 (0)1237 431413.


+ The Centre for Fortean Zoology is a non profit-making organisation, which was founded in 1992. Over the last 11 years we have mounted expeditions to Central America, Thailand, Mexico, Mongolia, Sumatra, West Africa, various parts of the United States, as well as numerous investigations in the UK.
+ Further information on the CFZ can be found on their website,
+ CFZ Press are now the world’s most prolific publishers of books on mystery animals.
+ The honorary life President of the Centre for Fortean Zoology is renowned explorer, author and soldier Colonel John Blashford-Snell OBE, best known for his pioneering Operation Drake and Operation Raleigh expeditions during the 1970s.
+ The CFZ is looking for corporate and private sponsors.
+ The CFZ make their own documentary films which can be seen at
+ `Lair of the Red Worm`, the 60 minute film of their 2005 expedition to Mongolia has now been seen by 27,000 people.