Cryptomundo Attacked as Crypto-Tattler

Posted by: Loren Coleman on June 19th, 2006

What does sometimes Fate Magazine skeptic Robert A. Goerman (pictured below) have against Cryptomundo and the readers of the blog here? What is with his name-calling our blog “Crypto-Tattler” and his insults to readers who have comments on new mystery photographs?


We are taken aback by Goerman’s scathing posting on the Fate Magazine blog, in which he blasts Cryptomundo. Taken to task for our use of words, and for sharing the Omaha backyard and the Mt. Hood cam photographs, in the Cryptomundo fashion of asking readers to assist in identifying them, seems too much for Goerman. My former Mothman-research colleague, Robert A. Goerman has surprised me by his venom.

In an unexplainably harsh tone, Goerman writes:

A-M-A-Z-I-N-G Nebraska Cryptid Photo
The headline smacks of supermarket tabloids. The story promises a “remarkable photographic image.” A-M-A-Z-I-N-G…

I don’t know which is worse… the quality of the “remarkable photographic image” or the endless “conjecture” that follows.

This follows on the heels of another Crypto-Tattler exclusive: “New Mt. Hood Bigfoot Photograph?”

Nebraska Cryptid

Do I denote jealousy on the part of Goerman’s above-noted Fate blog, on a site that appears to be limping along with infrequent, non-news, heavily-editorialized items? Demeaning our readership, why does Goerman have a problem with the democracy of cryptozoology feedback we support at Cryptomundo, where 172 comments were recorded on the Mt. Hood photo over five days in May or over a 100 comments logged in three days about the Nebraska photo in June? In one day in May, 1.3 million people decided to stop by and look at the Mt. Hood photo that was exclusively, and for free, shown here. This tells us Cryptomundo blogs are, indeed, filled with wonder, are of interest to the public, and seem to have something to share.

Are we merely seeing another form of internet envy from a faltering blog? What is Goerman’s problem? Does he not understand what “amazing” and “remarkable” convey?

These are words that are used to relate “wonder,” and Goerman should know that, as he has not been afraid to use them, in the past. For example, in an item about Carl Allen (a/k/a Carlos Allende), Goerman once wrote of an obituary he had found in a Colorado newspaper that he was so excited about it, he decided to send it on to the History Channel. Goerman could hardly contain himself, using emphasis and commenting: “It is absolutely amazing.”

People have different level of reactions to many things, and Goerman’s fixation on Cryptomundo’s use of the word “amazing” seems, well, strange.

Goerman goes on, speaking of Cryptomundo’s publishing of photographs:

Does this questionable documentary “evidence” have the slightest value in serious investigation and research?

Glad to answer his question: Since the mission of Cryptomundo is to share news, information, and inquiries of a cryptozoological nature, i.e. of hidden animals, part of what we wish to do is reveal the hidden. How better to do that than publish, and open for discussion, new photographs, sightings, and materials dealing with unknown animals? Goerman may wish to bias and exclude data before he publishes it within his writings. But does Goerman even understand what Cryptomundo is about? We are here to share and open the process, yes, in a serious investigative research fashion. Sometimes more minds working on a problem are better than one or two, we think. How do we know, if we don’t ask? Don’t look? Are afraid to examine?

The above-quoted judgements from Goerman are by the same person who set up an effort a few years ago to establish a standard for investigative practice. He called it “Suggested Code Of Ethics For The Investigator from WEIRD HAPPENS – Investigator Handbook.” One part of it, from his “Tracking Terror” page (please note the sensational evil/good split nature in Goerman’s choice of such titles) was his “Five Golden Rules of Investigation.”

These included:
1. Always be safe.
2. Always be honest.
3. Always be polite.
4. Always be objective and thorough.
5. Always be prepared.

But now, Goerman’s way of dealing with Cryptomundo, even with the mere use of his label “Crypto-Tattler,” appears to violate his own guidelines. He seems to be overturning his own rules for being “polite,” that say: “Treat everyone you meet with respect and dignity. Build good relationships with witnesses and sources so that they are willing to call you if anything else happens. If you run into a natural explanation for any event, be very careful how you reveal this to the witness. Politely explain any reasons why you think their experience just might have a normal cause and calmly demonstrate the facts. Do not argue with anyone for any reason. It is never worth it.”

Needless to say, Goerman also arrives at the point of deciding there is no value in apparently even looking at new, undisclosed photographs, like the Mt. Hood or Nebraska ones, because he feels they are “questionable.” But doesn’t this violate his “always be objective and thorough” guideline, which he explains means to “Keep your perceptions clear. If you are going on a long investigation, consider bringing along something to eat and drink. Arrive with a healthy dose of skepticism, but keep your feelings and personal opinions to yourself. Keep a detailed account about everything that you do.”

Goerman confuses me. Is he a Fortean with an open-mind, or a debunker disturbed by the popularity of Cryptomundo?

This is the same Robert A. Goerman who created, in the past, the defunct “Weird Happens” list, and, in December 2004, the failed “Adopt-A-Window program.” The latter was projected as “a new volunteeer (sic) opportunity that encourages individuals and groups to personally ‘adopt’ and develop an intimate relationship with a local ‘window’ or ‘Area of High Strangeness.’ As an adopter, groups or individuals agree to visit their area at least three or four times a year. Adopters are encouraged to explore and monitor this area, to record and document unexplained activity by all means available. This program could collect valuable ‘on the ground’ data. Adopters serve as the ‘watchdogs’ for these special spots of concentrated paranormal activity.”

Finally, Goerman’s “Crypto-Tattler” assault against the Cryptomundo readers’ attempts to decipher the Mt. Hood and Nebraska photos contains these final words:

This is no more scientific than looking for animals in fluffy clouds passing overhead. Or faces in the geological features of Mars.

Is this cryptozoology?

Enough is enough.

I suppose the activities here at Cryptomundo can be dismissed and demeaned by anyone who wishes to ignore that serving as a gathering spot for submitted photographs, then trying to analyze these photos, are legitimate steps in a modern internet-generated investigative process.

When bloggers decide to attack the readers here who leave comments as “endless ‘conjecture'” that is when I say to such jealous reactions, enough is enough.


Oregon Game Camera Photo

Click image for full-size version

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

34 Responses to “Cryptomundo Attacked as Crypto-Tattler”

  1. stonelk responds:

    Amazingly arrogant. I do not belive every photo I see here is the real thing but they keep my mind open. I find the Mt. Hood one interesting because it is fifty miles from my home. Mt Adams is less than fifteen miles from where I now sit. I try to get out twice a week to look for foot prints or other signs. Since I have heard so much negitive imput about B.F.R.O. I’m not sure who to call to investigate if I do find someting noteworthy

  2. Lee Murphy responds:

    Loren, as you and many others already well know– jealousy is a sad by-product of success. Use it as a benchmark for Cryptomundo’s success.

  3. Senor Chubba responds:

    Mr Colemen- don’t let the BS get you down. The volume and quality of the material on this site speaks for itself. A few cheap shots to linked articles out of context needs no response.

    The thing I like about this site most is that in general it refrains from the petty squabbles and character assasination you find on other crytpid boards. (media hungry charlatans aside, of course) Don’t take the bait.

  4. shovethenos responds:

    He must not have seen the “mystery fish” series. Talk about comments, there’s probably a couple hundred in that series.

    He could really benefit from Cryptomundo too. He could post on the threads and throw in a couple links to his blog and articles from time to time. So he would be participating in the investigation of cryptid “weirdness” and raising his exposure as a writer at the same time. Or he could get crotchety over some comments on “blobsqautch” pictures.

  5. Brindle responds:

    It is really sad when guys like Goerman lose their sense of wonder and F-U-N. I agree with Mr. Murphy.

  6. pandafarmer responds:

    i think if anything we should be commended for not thinking every blobsquatch is the real deal. like many “fans” of fringe science, it would be all too easy to jump on the “gee golly” bandwagon by declaring each one proof. as much as i ache to see a bigfoot or sea beast in the flesh, i’m still going hold a healthy opinion of any evidence i see.

  7. scmarlowe responds:

    My colleagues here are right, “Success breeds jealousy.”

    Continue on the “If you’ve got it, flaunt it!” path.

  8. Mari responds:

    What’s amazing here is that some people have nothing better to do with their time than start internet fights.

  9. Bennymac responds:

    I for one commented that I didn’t find anything “amazing” about the photo, but that didn’t stop me from checking it out and thinking about it.

    Sometimes there is that feeling of being a “mark”, but again that doesn’t stop me from visiting this site (frequently).

    All in all I find this site to be one the best, if not the best in this area of interest. I think Mr. Coleman has the numbers to back that up.

  10. Jeremy_Wells responds:

    Wake me when we have some more inconclusive photos to debunk and discuss.

  11. Lorenzo Rossi responds:

    I don’t like skeptics but I’m agree with Goerman in his Nebraska cryptid photo comment.

    Personally I don’t like sensationalisms in the news and in the titles (and the Nebraska photo is not amazing) but I think also that cryptomundo is a very massive blog with many interesting information and discussions.

  12. Mausinn responds:

    As far as being critical of the blog hosts, the photo offerings, and the musings of the crypto community and posting to Cryptomundo, I say who gives a Laotian Rock Rats Ass. Oh, perhaps that was a waste of time also. You know, if no one had looked at the pictures of the Rock Rat, would we have rediscovered a species thought to have gone extinct 11 MILLION years ago? Gee, I guess this area of study does have a little bit of merit after all. They just have blog envy.

  13. Brindle responds:

    Hey, the Nebraska photo WAS amazing! The lady that took it didn’t know what it was and thought maybe it was a bobcat! That is amazing!

    I guess she just isn’t a pet person.

    I think we are all very fortunate to have Cryptomundo AND the bloggers.

    I like when Mr. Coleman posts pictures (even fairly silly ones, sometimes) and asks what WE think it is! Do ya’ll know how rare that is? Keeps us on our toes and gives us something to think about during our otherwise dull, colorless lives. How long did ya’ll eye the ‘mystery fish’?

    Get a sense of humor.

  14. Tabitca responds:

    according to the popular oxford dictionary to tattle is to:
    chatter idly,revealing information thus

    sounds like we were unwittingly paid a compliment to me. 🙂

    I find some of the comments to the blogs invaluable in gaining insights to how other people view phenomena and sometimes commentators come out with really intelligent observations, that make me go WOW yes I hadn’t thought of that. Other times they just make me laugh because we can laugh at ourselves.
    Once you starting taking yourself too seriously it’s time to call it a day.
    I just want to say thank you to the bloggers and commentators for making some very drab days at work more interesting, and for making me think more and analyse my own observations more deeply.

  15. The Owler responds:

    Who stole the jam out of his doughnut?

    Seriously though, the tone of Mr Goermans article does little to endear a potential audience to him or his work. What does he stand to gain by alienating the users of this site? Oh well, at the end of the day if he doesn’t like what he is reading, he knows where the on/off switch is.

    I am new to the Cryptomundo site, although I have been a ‘fan’ of the subject since a boy. I really like it, with the wide range of content matter, the cryptic photos and the opportunity to discuss the threads openly. Is that not what t’internet is all about?

    FANTASTIC!! Keep it up!!

  16. sausage1 responds:

    Like Owler, I am fairly new to this site, and I really enjoy just joining in the conjecture, reading other peoples’ ideas and thoughts, and of course their little jokey asides.I don’t think I have seen anyone overreact to any photo, most of my fellow commentators actually seem quite sceptical WITHOUT being dogmatic. I haven’t seen anything convincing yet, but so what? I may do tomorrow if I keep looking and you keep printing it.

    I’ve never actually heard of this bloke Goerman but he doesn’t seem to have a very impressive scientific mind. Attacking people who dare to consider all possibilites is a kind of intellectual fascism, and is most unattractive. It also leaves you with the door shut when something genuinely new comes knocking!

    Please ignore him, and carry on giving us your interesting and often amusing open house policy on news and reactions.

  17. chrisandclauida2 responds:

    i will add my comments as unimportant as they are.

    the single most skeptical person in the field of crypto-tattling is those who look with a fervor for proof of the animals they think exist. this is why we pick apart pictures stories and other evidence.

    as for the hair.well my dad combed his in the duck tail with the hair oil into the nineties but even he thought 30 years outta style is too long.

  18. twblack responds:

    This is so easy to answer IF HE DOES NOT LIKE US THEN STAY AWAY FROM US AND THE SIGHT. I am going on 2 months here now and to be honest I check it out every day sometimes 2 or 3 times a day. I LOVE the crypto-world and I think Loren, John, Rick and Craig you have done an OUTSTANDING JOB with the blog my only un-happy feeling is I did not find this Site SOONER!! I do not get out as often as I would like and look for cryto-related things because of work and family and that is just another resaon why I LOVE this site. I can still get up to date news on the crypto-world and give my HUMBLE opinions on the matters posted here.

  19. youcantryreachingme responds:

    (By the way, Goerman’s next posting on that blog is along similar lines).

    I thought his “fluffy clouds” comment was rather funny actually, and I have to say, to an extent I see his point.

    I was recently involved in trying to identify a specific individual (person) in a photograph and in the course of that investigation I dialogued with various forensic scientists about the merits of 2 dimensional photographs for the purpose of identification.

    Firstly, I agree this is obviously different to establishing that a photo shows any individual member of a specific species – but I think some of their feedback is still applicable – and that is, that in a 2D image, so many things can appear distorted for so many reasons, that 2D photos will essentially always be useless for positive identification (of a specific person).

    I think in the crypto domain the same can almost be said. The photos that Goerman has chosen to criticise are fair game. Realistically, they will not ever provide conclusive evidence of which species was captured.

    However, to be fair, some photos will in fact be more useful – such as the fantastic name-the-mystery-fish photo posted a while back.

    The way I see it is that Goerman feels that the almost-endless speculation is damaging to the general perception of cryptozoology.

    Perhaps his mistake is to think that this blog is the pinacle of cryptozoological research. For example, when alleged images of thylacines turn up, they will most likely be debated by expert biologists in the field even if also discussed in a public online forum.

    The fact that a public discussion board may well yield a new, possibly scientific and useful insight – such as a unique perspective on a photo, or new information about undocumented sightings – means that this blog can be useful to the field of cryptozoology; but I don’t think Cryptomundo is the sum total of the field 🙂

    Tabitca (14) – has a very valid point. Hearing open discussion raises your awareness of different ways of thinking, and different ways of seeing.

    Lastly – if a photo is ambiguous enough that you’re getting responses from dogs to cats to primates, then surely it is worth the discussion, even if obviously we’ll never know the real identity.

    (And Jeremy (10) – just LOL! :D)


  20. voodoochild responds:

    I totally agree w/twblack…One word on Mr. Goerman…immature

  21. MountDesertIslander responds:

    Cryptomundo is one of the few places that breaks recent news complete with photographs dealing with cryptids. Instead of recycled Time/Life photos or amature drawings, we are kept current with the latest evidence out there. I do not believe that the editors of this site should apologize for the quality of the material they are given to work with. I’m just thrilled that I don’t need to pay a subscription fee to view them, or buy a over hyped book. We don’t come here looking for the sensational; just the truth as we have it documented at this moment. The Nebraska photo is a good example of what cryptozoologists are struggling with; these damn things just won’t say ‘CHEESE”.

    As in all fields of endeavor, there are always those who wish to criticize and degrade someone who is trying to do the job. Jealousy is an ugly character trait Mr. Goerman.

  22. Craig Woolheater responds:

    At least here at Cryptomundo, we have conjecture.

    Looking through the archives of the FATE blog, I found 2 posts with 2 comments each, and 1 post with a whopping 3 comments. The majority had 0 comments, with a few having a single comment.

    The FATE blog has been online for 6 weeks longer than Cryptomundo. Hmmmmm…

  23. kscryptoholic responds:

    Loren, Cryptomundo is the best cryptozoology site on the net and you have some decent competition, the Fate blog, not being one of them. I don’t think showing pictures of obvious and amatuer fake photos of bigfoot or some other cryptid is tabloid at all. Being discussion of these things is encouraged by all here in Cryptomundo land, how can this site be viewed as sensationalistic?! This Goerman dude needs to lay off the coffee and find a new barber! LOL

  24. shadowparks responds:

    Hi all. I’ve been looking at this site for quite a while now and it is the best site for valuable information. Who cares what people say. I get laughed at all the time for my belief in the unkown. i can’t wait to get on this site to see what new material may pop up. This site blows everything else out of the water.

  25. Ole Bub responds:

    Good morning Bloggers….

    Kudos to Loren, Craig, John and Rick for creating and contributing to this blog….

    This past weekend I was queried on a stock message board concerning one of my comments here….I recommended this blog site to the few thousand interested memebers of that board….

    The efforts of this Blog, BFRO, TBRC and everyone active in the quest should be concerned with awareness, research, preservation, conservation and protection of these magnificent creatures…the realm of sasquatchery is open to all….JMHO

    Rather than squabble about who did this or didn’t do that…perhaps we should discuss and consider developing “capture/observation/encounter protocols”, raise some funds and establish a rapid response team for that eventual day…when the phone rings…unfortunately…at the moment there is no number to call….JMHO

    It “ain’t” about us…it should be about them….”save the sasquatch”…IMHO

    seeing is believing…

    ole bub and the dawgs

  26. traveler responds:

    maybe he is just mad cause LOREN ROCKS!!!!

  27. M Valdemar responds:

    One thing I like about Cryptomundo is this: Typically, when you pick up a CZ book or view a documentary, what you see is what experts deems as the “best” evidence. But here, Loren & Co. share with us the raw data stream of evidence as it comes in. And CZ evidence obeys Sturgeon’s Law just like anything else. Out of 10 random photos, maybe one will be worth discussion. And out of 10 photos worth discussing, maybe one will be compelling enough to follow up on.

    By sharing the unsorted evidence as it comes in, Loren is democratizing the field, by giving all of us the opportunity to contribute to sifting through the evidence, rather than reserving that right to the self-appointed experts. And just maybe, he’s also calling on the wisdom of crowds to increase the quality of the analysis that does occur.

    Plus, there is the fun factor, which is important.

  28. garyk responds:

    The guy’s ‘venom’ probably stems from nobody looking at FATE’S blog, while this site gets bigger and better.

    ‘thing about critics is they don’t do, they just tear down.

  29. Sky King responds:

    I think you should turn the pore feller’s harangue on its ear and rename the site CRYPTO-TATTLER – but then again, the heathen would probably SUE you!

  30. afeeney responds:

    I’ve lurked here for about a year, only just started posting. I have no expertise in anything related , no biology, photography, computer manipulation background, but it’s a tremendous opportunity to watch experts, as well as talented non-professionals, review evidence and ideas.

    I find value even in the fairly obvious fake photos since the group is so systematic about picking them apart and saying specifically what’s wrong. It’s a bit like Loren as a mother cat bringing wounded prey to her litter of kittens to teach them to hunt!

    I don’t even see how Fate magazine perceives this site to be in competition, frankly. At the risk of being snooty, it’s like saying that the Enquirer and the New York Times are competition. Yeah, they’re both newspapers, sometimes they cover the same topics, but that’s about it.

  31. ilexoak responds:

    This, to me, is a cutting edge science site. All about exploring the unkown and discussing it openly and learning together. Laughter and amazement should be part of the process, shouldn’t it?

    “Fate” and the “scientific establishment” exist at the 2 extremes of the “scientific study” spectrum. One is frivolous, the other is completely stifling.

    This is a breath of fresh air.

  32. sluggo responds:

    I yam what I yam and I read what I like and I really like this website…
    keep it coming Loren..


  33. Mnynames responds:

    I really prefer not to get involved in squabbles like this, even if so far I’ve always been solidly on Cryptomundo’s side. It is always a tough call as to whether or not to comment on the criticism one receives, lest one find one’s self stooping to their level or fanning the flames.

    Having said that, however, I find it especially ironic, considering the big flap that Fate suffered recently over their “Amazing Godwin” section on the last page (Yes, I read Fate, and enjoy it too, even if Fortean Times is more my bag of chips, and Fate seems to be rapidly developing into a journal of folklore). I think they took the journalistic high-ground, so this row seems doubly baffling.

    It is also ironic that, not too long ago, I posted a comment saying how refreshing it was that Cryptozoology seemed largely free of the infighting so rampant among, say, Ufologists, these days.

    Ahh well…keep up the good work Loren!

  34. Ole Bub responds:

    Good morning…Fuzzy….

    Nice to see we are in agreement in so many areas….I’m proud to refer friends, collegues and associates to Cryptomundo.

    May I humbly suggest…we all send a contribution to each of the bloggers or their designee with the implicit understanding and their honor those funds be used to organize a rapid response team for their respective areas….for less than the cost of a book or two, a theater ticket and a few bags of popcorn…perhaps we could make a difference…

    Personally I don’t have a problem with BFRO or TBRC raising funds…it’s actually the only way a volunteer organization will prosper…just establish some guidelines…and work together…it’s not about us…it should be about sasquatch…JMHO

    I don’t think it is fair for those conducting research to shoulder all the expense of those splendid efforts…JMHO

    Any worthwhile journey begins with the first step….JMHO

    Regarding the Protocol….they are simply guidelines to be proposed discussed and eventually promoted…the cost…some of our time and wisdom…what small price to pay…IMHO

    For some….this blog is amusing, entertaining and informative…for others it represents a forum to discuss their life’s research and accomplishments….let your conscience be your guide…

    Where should I mail my contribution (s)….for those with serious funds consider an endowment…sasquatch thanks you….

    seeing is believing…

    ole bub and the dawgs

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