large spider mannequin owned by longstanding buddy and fellow cryptozoology fanatic
Mike Playfair (© Michael Playfair)

In a trio of detailed ShukerNature weblog
articles posted by me throughout summer time 2020 and spring 2021 (click on right here, right here, and right here to learn them), I documented the
fascinating if exceedingly startling collection of claims that had been emailed to
me by a United States soldier regarding the supposed presence of huge
spiders seen by him and others on a number of events throughout 2005 and 2007 at US military
coaching areas at Fort Polk, Louisiana’s Joint Readiness Coaching Heart, the place
for a number of weeks again then he’d been stationed for complicated subject coaching.

As I mentioned in my accounts, nevertheless, the
elementary physiological issues of such sizeable spiders even being succesful of present, not to mention truly doing so, would appear adequate causes
in themselves for discounting these claims out of hand. But the extent of
element supplied by this self-alleged eyewitness (I do have a reputation for him on
file however in deference to his request to stay publicly nameless I’ve by no means
revealed it) is such that I felt it warranted printed protection, if solely to
see if it elicited any impartial, corroborating reviews from anybody else.

Now, lastly, after greater than two years,
it has accomplished so, and never from some stranger both, however as a substitute from a
longstanding buddy on Fb – specifically, veteran monster/thriller beast fan
Wealthy Janusz from Connecticut.


personal large spider mannequin (© Dr Karl Shuker)

On 10 July this yr, Wealthy despatched me three
non-public messages in swift succession on Fb, and gave me his full
permission to doc them in a future ShukerNature article – thanks Wealthy! Due
to urgent work commitments, nevertheless, I wasn’t in a position to take action right away,
however I’m doing so now, having mixed his three messages collectively right into a
single steady communication – so right here it’s:

I’ve learn over time
your reviews of large spiders within the Fort Polk space. I provides you with my spouse’s
brother’s account.

My spouse’s brother is an MP
within the CT NG. Some years in the past, he went to Fort Polk for coaching. He was
coaching on the usage of evening imaginative and prescient goggles. They heard a rustling noise, and
he swears that himself and his buddy noticed a spider no less than as massive as a trash
can cowl crawl throughout the path that they have been watching. He isn’t a bs artist
by any means. He has instructed me this story a number of occasions and I consider him.

Sorry that I am unable to be extra
particular about dates, name it 2011 or 2012.

At first her brother
laughed and stated that they have been campfire tales. Later he stated we’ll speak
later, [and] just a few weeks later he instructed me the story. Since then he has instructed it
amongst household and buddies. Plus, what was his response to the incident? Him and
his buddy debated going again the best way they got here, and determined to proceed, however
very cautiously at first, after which they virtually ran via the train.

As certainly I’d have accomplished had I
encountered at shut vary at evening a spider the scale of a dustbin lid (my UK-English
translation of trash can cowl!).


spider sculpture in Ottawa, Canada (© Markus Bühler)

For sure, all the problems with
physiological improbability that I mentioned beforehand in relation to my soldier
correspondent’s sightings claims apply equally right here. But as I additionally famous beforehand,
it isn’t inconceivable, certainly, that some novel evolutionary development of the
typical size-limiting spider respiratory system might yield spiders larger than
these presently identified to science (although as there may be at present no bodily proof
of any type to substantiate this, such a notion is presently wholly speculative).

In the meantime, I will be very to see
whether or not this long-awaited, long-hoped-for first impartial testimony to the putative
actuality of Fort Polk’s reputed mega-spiders induces different reviews of such creatures
from this Louisiana location to emerge.

My thanks as soon as once more to Wealthy Janusz for therefore
kindly allowing me to doc his extraordinarily attention-grabbing, thought-provoking data
right here.


One other
view of my large spider mannequin (© Dr Karl Shuker)



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