For most people mythical creatures are simply folklore and storytelling but for one man, hunting them is a way of life.

Australian author Tony Healy studies cryptozoology (a pseudo-science to identify and describe beings from folklore and fossil records).

Mr Healy has travelled the world and has heard 120 eye-witness accounts of mythical creatures, and is now in New Zealand chasing sightings of Maori legend the Taniwha, collecting information for his final book.

His passion for cryptozoology begun in childhood, reading a book about the Loch Ness monster.


As an adult, Healy visited the world-famous Scottish lake in the early 1970s.

As soon as he saw the lake Healy said he "caught the bug".

"It was the atmosphere, it had a mysticism."

Healy spent two weeks at Loch Ness growing more intrigued, and after returning to Australia saving hard out for two years, dropped everything at age 32 to go on a two-year expedition, travelling the world chasing hairy people in Fiji, looking for Yetis in the Himalayas, checking out Bigfoot sightings in the USA and Canada, the Orang Mawas in Malaysia and sightings of big cats (cougars, panthers) and lake monsters in Ireland, Scotland and Iceland.

In Canada working at a logging camp, Healy was surprised that people still believed in Sasquatch.

"Some guys talked about the Sasquatch. I realised they took it seriously. Even the Indian people believe, and carve them on totem poles," he said.

Healy would often wander off into the bush looking for the Sasquatch but never saw one.

Now armed with three newspaper articles dating back to 1869 describing sightings of a Taniwha in Lake Horowhenua, Healy was in Levin this week and is asking the public for more information to help finish his final book.

Healy plans to return to New Zealand next year to pursue more sightings of the Taniwha and paranormal activity.

With co-author Paul Crocker, Healy has published Out of the Shadows- Mystery Animals of Australia, The Yowie and Australian Poltergeist.

Anyone with information about the Lake Horowhenua Taniwha can contact Tony Healy at