Thomas Theodore Merrylin the vampire hunter, and his creatures

In 1960 (other sources mention 2006), there was a basement uncovered during a planned demolition of some building. Within, hundreds of large crates, filled with thousands of specimens, artifacts and diaries were found. It was dubbed the Merrylin Cryptid Collection, its mere existence would challenge the established scientific community if proven authentic.

Thomas Theodore Merrylin_59_1.jpg

What Merrylin (Merlin, right?) left was the most incredible collection ever known, actual specimens of taxidermied dragons, the infant forms of werewolves, artifacts from ancient Vampire nations and the trappings of nefarious scientists whose existence was presumed to be mere fiction. Where had these specimens originated from, considering there are no other examples of these species to be found on the Earth? It is this that I find so thrilling and yet so terrifying.

Lord and Professor Thomas Theodore Merrylin
1782-1942
Lord and Professor Thomas Theodore Merrylin.png

His mother died during childbirth and he was raised by his Father Edward. His father was a General in the Army, but once retired became enamored with esoteric natural history, investing in profitable companies to fund his travels across the world, seeking out illusive artifacts and hidden species which resided in forgotten continents or darkened places, away from prying human eyes.

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A bizarre quality of Merrylin was his apparent permanent youthfulness. Even in his 80′s, he still resembled a 40 year old, albeit of odd complexion, and his few bizarre forays into the eyes of the media only furthered his infamy. He was accused of practicing dark arts to prolong his life. Yet, eminent scholars secretly allied themselves with him, encouraging him to share his collection with the world. In 1899, he took a small portion of his specimens on tour across America. Conservative attitudes of the time condemned these creatures, calling them blasphemous. His reaction was severe and the tour was canceled before it reached California.

Snopes was predictable: Real skeletons of mythical creatures are on display at the Merrylin Cryptid Museum.
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Snope's verdict is not surprising considering the following unverified information, "The Merrylin Cryptid collection is actually a fictional invention of Alex CF, a London-based illustrator, writer, and sculptor with a fantastically warped imagination and a talent for the obscure. And now you can add ‘marketing specialist’ to the list, as this ‘true facts’ approach worked wonderfully promoting his Merrylin Cryptid Museum."

Video from the curator and custodian of the Merrylin Cryptid collection.
My name is Alex CF, and I am the curator and custodian of the Merrylin Cryptid collection. The study and documentation of the evolution and biology of unclassified species and research pertaining to prehistoric human and non human civilization. In 2006, a trust was set up to analyze and collate a huge number of wooden crates found sealed in the basement of a London townhouse that was due to be demolished. Seemingly untouched since the 1940′s, the crates contained over 5000 specimens of flora and fauna, collected, dissected, and preserved by many forgotten scientists, professors and explorers of obscure cultures and species. The collection also housed many artifacts of curious origin, fragments of civilizations that once ruled the earth, of ideas and belief systems better left in the past.
Sources:


KD: I have no clue on this one, as far as authenticity goes. The stuff is definitely too crazy to be true, but have we not seen crazy things yet? It would obviously be naive to expect any official out there to come out and say that the collection is authentic and represents creatures which were hidden from general knowledge. Therefore, all the claims of the collection being an elaborate hoax are very much expected.

Creating thousands of such items would probably require a small factory. How many years would it take? Could they be created in secrecy? Probably could, but were they?

And if it’s not a hoax, where could all these creatures come from? Could this Thomas Theodore Merrylin guy have a "key" to a special "door"?


Note: I publish this story because it reminded me of those discredited Cabrera's Ica Stones, which I firmly believe are authentic.
 

BookDragon

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Amazing! I can't believe I've never heard of this guy! I'm very much into cryptozoology and while there are hoaxers out there, the hoax is fairly easy to spot if you know what anamolies to look for. These could be authentic. I've read stories about people finding werewolf and faun skeletons by lakes and ruins but unfortunately that was a long time ago and I don't have the links for those stories.

This does remind me of a recent documentary on Gaia of these skeletons found in Peru that passed all the DNA and organic matter tests with flying colors yet their origins could not be explained.

Here's the link: Unearthing Nazca | The Complete Story

Makes me think these are possibly authentic.
 
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  • Banta

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    Only got a moment right now, but this is a real "I want to believe" situation. I've been familiar with this collection for awhile and have never been able to verify the existence of a "Thomas Theodore Merrylin" in any documents prior to the "discovery" of his collection. His whole extended lifespan makes me think of St. Germain who the mainstream would say that is some combination of historical figure and fanciful legend (like Dracula!). As noted, the similarity in name to "Merlin" makes me wonder too...

    All that aside, even if the gentleman didn't exist, the collection could still be real (or some of it anyway). But I doubt anyone will ever get close enough to validate.
     

    Recognition

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    a leprechaun's shoe

    A tiny worn in shoe made of mouse skin was found in Ireland. See also The Little Shoe.

    Crofton Croker wrote (84, 1824): A paragraph recently appeared in a Kilkenny paper stating, that a labourer, returning home in the dusk of the evening, discovered a Leprehaune at work, from whom he bore away the shoe which he was mending; as a proof of the veracity of his story it was further stated, that the shoe lay for the inspection of the curious at the newspaper office.
    This page has some cool historical documentation of fairies! Northamptonshire Fairy Rings - Fairyist
     
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    BookDragon

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    Only got a moment right now, but this is a real "I want to believe" situation. I've been familiar with this collection for awhile and have never been able to verify the existence of a "Thomas Theodore Merrylin" in any documents prior to the "discovery" of his collection. His whole extended lifespan makes me think of St. Germain who the mainstream would say that is some combination of historical figure and fanciful legend (like Dracula!). As noted, the similarity in name to "Merlin" makes me wonder too...

    All that aside, even if the gentleman didn't exist, the collection could still be real (or some of it anyway). But I doubt anyone will ever get close enough to validate
    You're right about that. As much as I want to believe it, I would never tell anyone (including myself) it's real unless it was validated by certain tests. Besides, you'd think Ripley would've got his hands on these at some point!
     

    Banta

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    So, there's definitely some garbage about this claim (maybe to throw the baby out with the bathwater, though I sort of doubt the collection is even as large as claimed). Again, not finding any record of a Merrylin, this image on the "museum" website stood out:

    image-asset.jpeg

    Immediately looked pretty fake, the typeface seems wrong as does the formatting of the date (all lower case? What is this, twitter?). The awarding of the George Cross to Malta is a nice touch though, as that did occur on April 15th, 1942, a day before this supposed article made front page news (during the height of WW2 no less, who says the news is always negative?!).

    Some convenient cropping too, but this is supposed to be from The Daily Herald (you can see the word "herald" next to the date). So, after a little digging (and signing up for my free three images), I found this:

    Screenshot_20210523-104712~2.jpg

    source
    As you can tell just from the small snip, the two newspapers do not match. There is no mention of this donation anywhere in what's available of the newspaper, which is only a few pages, but the different format of the newspaper pretty much makes image from the museum site seem fraudulent.

    The format seems consistent too (meaning no one is messing with the archive to hide this story), here's the next day:

    Screenshot_20210523-105030~2.jpg
    Well, there's our George Cross story anyway! I would be interested in learning more about this Alex CF because although this seems like a hoax at initial glance, there's something genuinely haunting about the "collection." Also, my St. Germain thought (and the relation to Theosophy) seems apt. Here's a selection from an interview Mr. CF gave where he's fully in character:
    I definitely had an interest in unknown things, but much of cryptozoology lacks the physical evidence that gives a species a natural history, a biology. I think the quality that attracted me to this work was Thomas. His diaries are filled with detailed analysis, annotated studies, and drawings of each of his finds. He stumbled upon unknowable things that speak of sciences and experiences we are yet to know, and species that seem to only exist within this collection. Yet there are the physical specimens that are his legacy. I have always been attracted to the idea that there are certain individuals who can look upon the world and see beyond. Like HP Lovecraft, Merrylin writes of greater and more terrible things than our species and our anthropocentric ideas. But it was also Merrylin who could look at the world and find new and exciting things in it. No one can ignore the fact that his keen eye discovered things that the rest of us can only dream about.
    Lovecraft was fairly strongly influenced by Theosophy... and then apparently Alex CF was influenced by Lovecraft. So, this Merrylin story is a bit like a grandchild, I guess. (The Theosophical Society comes up a lot when trying to discern some of the various symbolism we run into, I commented on this previously in the Pioneer Building thread).

    Anyway, it appears that this site has Alex's "confession":
    AlexCF: Hello, my name is Alex. I call my work “cryptozoological pseudoscientific art”, which is a longwinded way of describing what i do, but it is pretty specific. I make items, artifacts and specimens from a past that never happened - the remains of extinct species, scientific discoveries, nefarious characters from ancient continents, relics of mysterious cultures - the things you wish you could find in your grandparents attic, or a secret room in an abandoned house. I have created a fictitious history in which certain rich collectors have spent their lives exploring and discovering, and it is my job to present these items to the public. Each piece has a story, and in time all will connect, and I will release a collected monograph of these items and the tale of their discovery. I take influence from maddening horror, Victorian aesthetic, sci-fi pulp and Darwinian biology...
    He mentions Lovecraft's influence again too:
    [Interviewer] A great many people think that H.P. Lovecraft didn’t just make up his stories and that things like the Great Old Ones and the Necronomicon are real, even though Lovecraft insisted that he was an atheist. Do you know of any collectors actually trying to use any of your work (vampire hunting kits, etc)? Have you ever been contacted by anyone who thought your work was real?

    [Alex] Quite a few times, often to complain that I am cruel for resigning innocent creatures to specimens jars and display cabinets. I often don’t hear back when in explain that they are synthetic! I’m yet to be contacted by a cultist looking for offerings to the elder gods. That would be interesting. I think some of my work is used for role play, thats as near as it gets to “using” my work.

    Lovecraft eventually spoke out about his work being fiction, many of his gods were modified from other writers work (Shub Niggurath is often credited to Lord Dunsany for his creation “Sheol Nugganoth”). Regardless, humans have enjoyed believing in fictitious deities and ideologies since the dawn of civilization, and as an avid obsessive of HP, I’d much prefer to worship the Great Old Ones than any current popular religion!
    Credibility aside, I tend to believe him on his last point!

    So, like I said initially, I very much want to believe, but I'm finding it highly unlikely someone could dig up an article either mentioning Merrylin or the collection from sometime in the 20th century or earlier. Could it be a clever ruse to hide strange creatures in plain sight? Possibly. Could it just be a performance art piece? Probably more likely, but I also think there's a "magical" element to all of this. Again, maybe knowing a bit more detail about Alex CF would help or digging into the history of the building where the collection was supposedly found might reveal something... even if it isn't dried out fairies under glass.
     
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    BookDragon

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    Great research @Banta! I like your investigation of the newspaper article to smell out this hoax. (Whoever this Alex CF is, you've got to give him credit for detail.)

    I like your premise of this collection being a ruse to hide these creatures in plain site. There are so many hoaxers out there that people tend to ignore the old mythologies and legends and pass off ancient peoples as just having overactive imaginations.

    Anyways, thanks for your thorough investigation of the facts.
     
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  • AlgulSiento

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    KD, looking on the pictures it all looks obvious fake in pursuit of the popular trends of that time. Don't you see?
     

    Banta

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    KD, looking on the pictures it all looks obvious fake in pursuit of the popular trends of that time. Don't you see?

    Not KD, but thought I'd comment on this. Though I've expressed my healthy skepticism on this collection, I'm not sure we can really derive anything from the pictures alone. The newspaper which I thought looked like an "obvious fake" was informed by my familiarity newspapers in general. I've never actually seen the skeleton of a fairy before, so I have no frame of reference for comparison.

    The world has (and had) many creatures that are seemingly unbelievable. Just look through this collection of weird undersea creatures, many have only been discovered in recent years. Just basing my judgment on what I think animals "should" look like would make me doubt the existence of many of these entities, yet they still exist.

    As with most things, we should be cautious to make sweeping generalizations (is that a sweeping generalization itself...?). Even if the story behind this collection is false, it doesn't necessarily debunk the creatures themselves and even if some or all of the creatures are manufactured art pieces, it doesn't debunk the existence (or prior existence) of other strange animals. However, it does provide more ammunition for any hardliner "skeptics" who do summarily dismiss any claims of this type, which I have to wonder isn't a very large motivating factor to these frauds. That and some sort of black magic (or, as researchers renamed it in the 20th century, "mind control".)
     

    Phantom95

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    I know I'm a bit late to the party, but I would like to just take a moment and say a quick look at the info page on the website reveals the whole thing to be a creative project by an artist named Alex CF; who has also written a couple of books using a similar aesthetic and tone.
     

    EUAFU

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    Well, the sculptures he made aren't really good from an anatomical point of view and the material used isn't convincing either. The designs, on the other hand, are too modern in style to be from the Victorian period.

    My opinion is that it is false, but who can really know.
     

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