Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Cryptid Corner

When the lovely Mr BC and I were sojourning in Helsinki in 2006, we had occasion to take a trip to the beautiful medieval town of Tallinn, where not only did one of us have fish soup for breakfast (which is all kinds of wrong), but where, on disembarking at the ferry port, we also saw a solitary taxi driver holding up a cardboard sign that read 'BAT PEOPLE'.

I remember being terribly interested in this at the time, an interest that I am sad to say was not shared by my travelling companion, who was more interested in getting into town and wolfing down fish soup. (At breakfast time. I ask you.)

I still don't know who - or, more ominously, what - the taxi driver was expecting to pick up, but yesterday while going through some old photographs I happened upon one that might hold a clue to the mystery:


Blurry though it is, I think you'll agree that this image presents compelling pictorial evidence for the existence of a forgotten race of bat people. In addition to the creepy, batlike stance, on enlarging the photo you will also notice the unusual tonsure, suggesting that this particular specimen is a member of an elite ecclesiastical order - possibly even a high priest or priestess.

I can't find any references to a race of bat people among the usual literature, but I feel that this photo, combined with our experience in Estonia, points to more than mere coincidence. Could this be an ancient cousin of the Mothman, or even the Owlman of Mawnan Smith? I think it certainly warrants further investigation.

15 comments:

Christopher Campbell-Howes said...

Hm, yes, what Holmes would have called a three-pipe problem. I don't know if Dave's Bowl Movement cricket XI had a Tallinn fixture at the time? A problem with virtual teams (and bloggers generally) is that you don't usually know what they look like. Could your vespertilionid subject possibly be one of Dave's players?

The background painting might afford some clues, or even make a deliberate point or allusion, as such pictures often do in Hogarth's work. It's not very clear, but maybe it refers to the alleGed destination of Dave's team.

patroclus said...

You may be on to something. Also, the background painting may, to some assiduous readers, call to mind this post...perhaps there is a connection.

nuttycow said...

Has the pregnancy made you go mad?!

I have *no* clue what you're on about!

patroclus said...

Nuttycow: Sorry about that, it was a facetious mixture of private jokes, a swipe at cryptozoology and a quote from Ghostbusters. Normal service will be resumed, don't worry.

You might be right about the pregnancy thing, though - the other day I wrote a press release for a client and somehow completely forgot to give it a headline or a subheader. Madness!

Annie said...

It still doesn't explain the Finnish BAT PEOPLE though.

Billy said...

I'm quite a fan of the Owlman.

patroclus said...

Annie: I know! All that bit about the man with the 'BAT PEOPLE' sign is totally true. Although I think 'bat' is Swedish for 'boat', so perhaps he was just looking to pick up anybody off the boat who wanted a lift. It still made me laugh, though.

Billy: The Owlman is great. Mawnan is just along the road from here and we go there a lot to walk the dogs, but no Owlman sightings yet, sadly.

Annie said...

Meant to ask, are you very far from Mousehole? (she said, showing her huge geographical ignorance of anywhere outside London)I have a wedding there in the autumn.

llewtrah said...

Tubcat has returned from the dead!!!

GreatSheElephant said...

Tubcat? Tell me that isn't the feline equivalent of tubgirl, please?

Dave said...

The cricket team did indeed visit Finland for a one-off match in December 2006.

Certain players could indeed be described as bat people; at least one has some ecclesiastical connections.

Tim Footman said...

Someone in Brixton once called me a batty man.

Is that any use?

miss-cellany said...

My son's at school in Mawnan - strange bird like figures could easily be any number of suspects sighted near 'The School Gates' each morning...

Christopher Campbell-Howes said...

I'm now wondering if the 'bat person' couldn't be Dave himself, and, while we're at it, could the painting be one from his own hand? There's also a nimbus, a heavenly light from above, of the kind you sometimes see stylised in religious paintings from the renaissance, highlighting the ecclesiastical tonsure. There have been famous clerical cricketers, after all: Rev. W. Flambard Outram (Somerset and England), Rev. P.Little (Notts) and senior bloggers may remember Rev. David Sheppard (Sussex(?) and England), so Dave is in good company.

Could Tim's helpful and cogent contribution be expanded, perhaps?

patroclus said...

Woah, conspiracy theories agogo - Henry Lincoln would be proud. I hadn't noticed the nimbus, that's very interesting. As for Tim, well he's been called much worse things on CiF (but still he goes back for more!).

Annie: I have just consulted the atlas (*ahem*) and it turns out that Mousehole is just south of Penzance, so probably about 45 mins' drive from here. It would be great to see you when you're down - although I will probably be up to elbows in nappies and baby sick by that point.