Sasquatch Coffee


Cryptozoology Is Not About Faith

Posted by: Loren Coleman on May 22nd, 2006

Oregon Game Camera Photo

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My friend and Cryptomundo colleague, British Columbian John Kirk writes on this blog today, “Bracing For Disappointment” that was itself a disappointment to read. I think it speaks to the erosion of natural history adventure and the rise of cynicism that has begun to infect our field. Speaking specifically about the potential and possibilities of the Vincent Chow revelations in the as-yet-to-be-released Malaysian photos of Mawas, Kirk writes that “given the flops as far as earthshaking cryptid footage and photos of the past are concerned, I do not have much faith that they will be as revealing as one would hope.”

Cryptozoology is not about faith; it is about openly gathering, collecting, investigating, and analyzing.

Frankly, I experience enough wet blankets being thrown on cryptozoological research and interests everyday without having to read about it on Cryptomundo. Of course, skeptical cryptozoology has its place. I am scientifically skeptical of much of what I investigate. Of course, we all have to be careful. I am cautious about all that I research. Of course, any and all media anticipations of photographs and films are going to be presented as the “best ever.” I understand the media does this for a variety of “pay attention to me” reasons. So what?

John’s message is logical but dismissal in a way that I never wish to be. I want to have an open-mind and an open-door policy so people will understand they can be treated with respect, passion, patience, and non-judgmental scrutiny by me, representing cryptozoology. Why in the world would I want to tell someone that I am going to be disappointed before I’ve seen their evidence? Why would I want to convey the message that “I think you will show me something that probably will remind me of past disappointments, so, I guess, I will begrudgingly waste my time on you”?

Sorry, I sense that John Kirk’s is the wrong message for cryptozoology to broadcast, if you ask me. And I know no one did, but here I am to say it anyway. Bring on your disenfranchised, bring me your photos, your footage, your stories that no one, not even you feel, may be real or worthy. Life is too short to have people dismissing your materials before you bring them to the table.

My mentor Ivan T. Sanderson was thoughtful, considered, and open to having people contact him with many stories, photos, and footage. He screened it all. Most of it turned out to be worthless in advancing toward a discovery. Did he then put out a message, therefore, that he thought the next piece of film was going to be nothing worthwhile? Ask yourself, would some of the great pieces of evidence, such as the Patterson-Gimlin film, a one in a million bit of footage, exist if his open-door, non-judgement initial policy not been in place? Revisionists have criticized Sanderson for some of his work, but he was able to open many doors that had been closed for decades before he came along. Sanderson’s form of open-door cryptozoology is why we are here today, not because of episodes of Edmund Hillary’s or more recent examples of character-assassination-based “skepticals,” that’s for sure.

Vincent Chow

I’ll review 5 million snapshots of a blogsasquatch to wait for that one or two photos that add to and enhance cryptozoological and zoological knowledge. I will wait for what Vincent Chow wants to show me, in his own timeframes, without pre-judgement. And I will certainly do this in a different spirit of openness than what I am understanding from those who wish to dismiss evidence before it is even seen.

About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. 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.


59 Responses to “Cryptozoology Is Not About Faith”

  1. mark responds:

    Fabulous, Loren! Never surrender, as I said under the last post! This is how I live my life. Refuse cynicism, embrace love and laughter and inquiry, ignore negative energy from others! The universe has no negative energy: only people do. Once you focus on the diversity of life and non-life around you, what more do you need to inspire yourself every moment?

    People who say “can’t” have to say it, because their minds are not open to more. People who say “yes” choose to say it because they are open to Everything. And Everything is exactly what is possible. That’s why I love cryptozoology. In its balanced form, it affirms that.

  2. Tabitca responds:

    I make my living as a researcher and a lecturer and have more reason to be sceptical than most having seen some rubbish in my time..but I never dismiss anything completely until I have proven to myself it is wrong or a hoax. However I think the wait for this book and photos to appear is making people doubt their authenticity. If I had photos of some new species, I’d want to have then proven to be authentic by photograhy experts, zoologists etc. before they were published in a book. Don’t be too hard on John Kirk, he is probably voicing what alot of people feel because of the delay. He may just be having a bad day ..we all feel like that sometimes.

    I do know Loren I have emailed you in the distant past about various things and you always treated me respectfully and always answered, no matter how mundane the question. (though you wouldn’t have known it was me of course!) Which I think says alot about you as a person not just a cryptozoologist, we are all different.

  3. fuzzy responds:

    Tabitca celebrates diversity ~ et vive la difference!

    I know of an East Coast Crypto-Researcher who is on the brink of publishing a compendium of his experiences, and I can hardly wait… but wait I will, because he has the information, and because… “Cryptozoology is…about openly gathering, collecting, investigating, and analyzing.”

    I can understand John’s frustration, but “patience and passion” are the names of this game, so we wait, eagerly.

  4. DWA responds:

    Loren:

    What

    YOU

    said!

    Amen.

    The others too.

    John Kirk: I get it, man, even empathize, and we all will feel it in our guts (all of us, Loren too) if the Chow photos are quickly filed in the blobsquatch bin. But broadcasting that sourness, before we even experience it one more time, is another matter entirely. Confirmation requires People Coming Forward. Because no biologists are doing any heavy lifting on this one. Scan the websites and you see people reporting 20-to-30-year-old sightings now because, well, now there’s SOMEBODY who doesn’t think they’re crazy.

    Keep ‘em coming, Vincent. (And somebody get Pete to send us more artists’ conceptions, eh?)

    But on Vincent’s own time. One problem I’d have with releasing the photos now is….well, it’s the reception they’d get! (Something Patterson and Gimlin could tell us about.) Amass your evidence; then release the photos. WITH the book.

    (Pete, though: you can draw to your heart’s content. It’s what crypto is all about: what if….?)

  5. Benjamin Radford responds:

    Loren makes a good point, and I wish I heard more of that from him and others. As researchers, we hear over and over from eyewitnesses and others that they know for a fact that Bigfoot or Champ or Ogopogo is out there.

    This is a statement of faith, of personal belief, and does not necessarily have anything to do with evidence.

    Faith inhibits research; science is tentative, while faith is certain. I agree that ideally cryptozoology should not be about faith, but all too often it is.

  6. Tabitca responds:

    fuzzy- my specialism is gender research..but I expect you guessed that.
    I have been so inspired by the stuff I’ve read on cryptomundo though that I am thinking of doing a masters course in evolutionary anthropology ,which would be very useful with all these new discoveries.

  7. Loren Coleman responds:

    Ben writes: “Loren makes a good point, and I wish I heard more of that from him and others.”

    Well, all I can say is that you haven’t been listening to me, or reading me very well. :-)

    I’ve been talking about not using the words “believe” and “belief” in cryptozoology for over 20 years or more, as did Richard Greenwell too. Belief is about religion. Cryptozoology is not a religion. It’s about accepting, rejecting, or denying the evidence; looking for patterns, trends, and verifications. I do not have “faith” in cryptozoology; I do not “believe” in Bigfoot.

    I’ve been very consistent about this for 46 years.

    I am open to seeing everything, and not excluding anything before I see it.

  8. Benjamin Radford responds:

    No, Loren, I HAVE been listening to you and reading you well, and what I’m saying is you need to say it even MORE! I believe we are in complete agreement on this.

    Now if we could only agree on what percentage of sightings are misidentifications….

  9. Ranatemporaria responds:

    Perhaps the problem here is that whilst trying to be a science Cryptozoology by definition, can not be a true science as science bases theory on evidence. If we had good strong evidence of the existence of these creatures then there is nothing making it any different to zoology! In which case a certain degree of faith is required even if its in your own analytical ability – A paradigm paradigm perhaps?

  10. Benjamin Radford responds:

    “that whilst trying to be a science Cryptozoology by definition, can not be a true science as science bases theory on evidence.”

    Interesting distinction, and I would add that cryptozoology will be successful only to the degree that it embraces scientific methodologies. Its record on this has been spotty at best, and that’s one thing I have worked to bring to my research.

  11. Benjamin Radford responds:

    … and while I’m at it: One serious flaw in cryptozoology is that it is in most cases unscientifically unfalsifiable. That is, there is no criterion by which anyone will agree that a given cryptid does NOT exist.

    I’m waiting for any Loch Ness enthusiast to tell me that if just one more search comes up empty, he or she will decide that Nessie is not there. Or that if a live or dead Bigfoot isn’t found within X number of years, they will admit they probably aren’t there.

    Searchers always have reasons and excuses why the hard evidence is still lacking. You don’t see anywhere near this situation in science. As long as there is still some other place to look, believers (and those with faith) will assume that their quarry are elsewhere. Thus the search will continue regardless of the evidence…

  12. Ranatemporaria responds:

    Please dont get me wrong i by no means intend to bring into question may of the wellworked investigations carried out past and present, present company included. Im pointing out that it is the lack of proof that keeps this field going and distinguished from “main stream science”! A divergance that has both pros and cons.

  13. DWA responds:

    Benjamin: It’s true that cryptids aren’t capable of being conclusively disproven; in fact it’s long been philosophically accepted that one can only prove (and maybe no more than to an extent, I mean, look at Bigfoot!
    :-D) existence, not non-existence.

    But I wouldn’t call that a flaw at all. It is, in fact, the terrain in which crypto necessarily operates, and without which, well, it wouldn’t be crypto, but something else! Like, say, zoology.

    Cryptozoology is what it is for one reason and one reason alone: SCIENCE doesn’t accept the evidence. This doesn’t necessarily mean science is wrong, for sure. But it also doesn’t mean there’s no evidence. What makes it a cryptid is that science won’t confirm it, for whatever reason (and there’s frequently good reason).

    Not sure about the Loch Ness monster or Champ or Ogopogo or Chessie (of which I’ve never seen or heard of a shred of particularly intriguing evidence). But for Bigfoot, there’s TONS of evidence. It’s just that science either doesn’t accept it — for reasons bad, good and inevitable, like lack of time and money — or hasn’t thoroughly investigated a lot of it (for the same reasons). There are species in the scientific inventory — the giant squid for one — for which I’d say there’s less evidence than exists for the sasquatch. But there are other squid out there to extrapolate from. YOU know of any strictly bipedal primates, other than us? (To say nothing of that big?) Bigfoot looks very garden variety compared to us, if you ask me.

    But that’s what crypto needs to wrestle with. The flaw is the imperfection of the world, not crypto’s approach to it.

    There’s one reason I can think of

  14. DWA responds:

    PS: Pay no attention to the orphan phrase at the end of the last post. Covered it further up. :-D

  15. Ranatemporaria responds:

    …by the way Loren et al good to see the probing questions and discussion remain at a high level as per usual!

  16. John Kirk responds:

    As usual, my good friend Loren Coleman has made astute observations in regard to my article “Bracing for Disappointment.” My learned friend has my plaudits.

    I do sound a bit cynical and that is true. I have not lost my sense of cryptozoological adventure, after all I am known to say that: “The best part of the cryptozoological destination is in the getting there.”

    Of course, I am always happy to see results, but the journey is as pleasurable as the conclusions arrived at.

    Forgive me if I seem cynical. So many of us have heard the line that so-and-so has the definitive picture. I have heard them described as “a Rembrandt” and the Bobby Clarke video was supposed to be so convincing that hundreds of people in Norway House became believers. Why they would so on the basis of a “blobsquatch” video is beyond me.

    If the Malaysian Mawas photos do turn out to be half as good as they’re meant to be, no one will be happier than me. However, based on my past experiences – and there have been many more than the ones I cited in my article – I am leery, wary, skeptical and a tad cynical. I don’t like being cynical, but I find that I am from time to time, but that is only in relation to things that are given such huge promtoion then turn out to be a flop.

    As Loren said, yes, we should look at all the photos, make assessments based on the merits of each and then elect to retain or discard them based on sound analysis.

    I just don’t want to hear anymore claims of the best footage ever. That is a relative and subjective term anyway because, after all, who decides it is the best or worst?

    As they used to say (in a somewhat paraphrased version) on TV: “Keep those photos and films coming, but kill the hype!”

  17. Sasquatchery responds:

    I feel that John Kirk should be excused for feeling cynical at times, Lord knows I feel that way at times and I’m sure most everyone else does. But it’s like the photo close-up of the horse’s forehead you lead the article off with. It becomes hard to get excited about photos when things like that happen time and time again.
    And I’m not an academic who has a reputation at stake on his or her conclusions.

  18. Benjamin Radford responds:

    DWA writes, “Cryptozoology is what it is for one reason and one reason alone: SCIENCE doesn’t accept the evidence.”

    Huh? What? What evidence is there for Bigfoot that science “doesn’t accept”? The Bigfoot hairs that turn out hoaxes or unidentified? The DNA samples from the Skookum cast and the Manitoba Bigfoot?

    Science HAS examined these (not “rejected” them), and many other types of evidence. The answer was that these cannot be proven to be Bigfoot, or are hoaxes, or known animals. It’s not that science “doesn’t accept” the evidence, it’s that the conclusions aren’t good evidence for the cryptid!

  19. Peter Loh responds:

    DWA, keep looking out for my drawings! Don’t worry, I haven’t given up yet! Thanks loads for the encouragement. We need more people like you here :-)

    Now, here’s a little bit of update on the Mawas saga.

    I met up with SPI president, Kenny Fong, a couple of days ago. We’ve decided to pay Vincent a visit next month. We also discussed about how we should go about setting camera traps or CCTV around the hot spots without the Mawas detecting them. It’s easy to read about setting these up, but when it comes to the actual thing, there are just so many things to consider. If the Mawas can smell the equipment, as some have suggested, we might have to place the cameras higher up where the wind can help to sweep away the scent and clear the air. However, that is not going to help with the view as the rainforest canopy is very dense. Decisions, decisions…

    Kenny suggested we do a dry run here in the Singapore jungle to see if we can capture some wild pigs (Sus scrofa)on film (yeah, I know…pigs aren’t exactly able to detect cameras!). We also contemplated camping out in the Johor forest (next month, when we get there, that is) for at least a couple of nights…ok, ‘cept fer the skeeters!!

  20. Benjamin Radford responds:

    I join my good friend John in his lament that, “I just don’t want to hear anymore claims of the best footage ever. That is a relative and subjective term anyway because, after all, who decides it is the best or worst?”

    That’s not cynicism, that’s realism!

  21. LordofShades responds:

    I may not have a college degree, written any books, given any lectures, or be any kind of expert or specialist of any kind. But I am a person with an strong interest in cryptozoology, I always have been and as far as I can tell, I always will be. I can wait for the definitive proof. I can wait for the irrefutable video/ tissue sample/ bone fragment/ eyewitness account. I won’t give up for lack of concrete evidence. This is far too intriguing to turn away from.

  22. mike2k1 responds:

    I for one also feel John Kirk should be excused. I didn’t see his post as cynical at all but as a reminder that the sizzle you hear may not mean there is a steak on the grill. No hype please…just the evidence.

  23. DWA responds:

    Whoa up, there, Ben!

    “Huh? What? What evidence is there for Bigfoot that science “doesn’t accept”?
    The Bigfoot hairs that turn out hoaxes or unidentified?”

    @@@Right. Which now says nothing about all the hairs (like those picked up with the Skookum cast) that are….wait a minute! “Unidentified?” Um, you mean, belonging to no known animal….? ;-)

    The DNA samples from the Skookum cast and the Manitoba Bigfoot?

    @@@@Ummmm hmmmmmm…but let’s keep going here….

    “Science HAS examined these (not “rejected” them),

    @@@”not rejected” means, what? That the animal doesn’t exist? Nope, didn’t think so. Science hasn’t rejected them….hmmmmmmm….;-)

    and many other types of evidence. The answer was that these cannot be proven to be Bigfoot, or are hoaxes, or known animals.

    @@@Of course they can’t be “proven to be Bigfoot”! Ben, Bigfoot himself isn’t “proven!” How could any of the evidence be “proven” to be of an unproven critter?

    It’s not that science “doesn’t accept” the evidence, it’s that the conclusions aren’t good evidence for the cryptid!

    @@@Not until we get MORE evidence, right? ;-)

    There’s hoax. There’s well-intentioned misidentification. There’s identified with the helpful assistance of LSD or Jack Daniel’s.

    Then there’s everything else. And there is a LOT of that. Of which the loads of tracks and the thousands of sightings — much of the verbal sighting “documentation” I’ve read simply screams out “this is a credible witness!” — have to be taken into account.

    We’re closer on this than you think we are. Crypto is, indeed, what it is on one ground: science doesn’t accept the evidence — any of it — as, to use your very words, “good evidence for the cryptid.”

    Seen Bigfoot in the latest Audubon mammal guide? Precisely.

    But as Loren says: This is far too intriguing to turn away from.

    Unlike, say, Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny, which are about belief.

  24. DWA responds:

    And remember, Ben.

    To consider Bigfoot a hoax — forget about the sightings — you have to consider every track that’s been found an awfully bad misidentification, or a deliberate fake.

    Do you know how many there are….? Bigfoot’s far more likely than that!

  25. MattBille responds:

    The late Dr. Grover Krantz on believing in sasquatch: “I don’t BELIEVE or DISBELIEVE. I have certain knowledge which causes me to CONCLUDE.”

    Loren and John are, it seems to me, both right. Loren is right in saying the evidence must all be examined, because even if you assume sasquatch is a genuine critter, odds are that a hundred (or whatever number) useless photos will be taken for each genuine one. We will never find the genuine one if we don’t look at them all.

    But John has a point, too. For those who are passionate about the value of cryptozoology, it can be too easy to get excited over a reported piece of evidence while it’s still in the “reported” stage. Cryptozoology involves many hoaxers and many more sincere but mistaken witnesses. That is, pardon the pun, the nature of the beast.

    Open-minded caution is not a contradiction in terms. It’s a requirement for any scientific investigation of a disputed phenomenon.

    Regards,
    Matt Bille

  26. Benjamin Radford responds:

    DWA says: “Unidentified?” Um, you mean, belonging to no known animal….?”

    A determination of “unidentified” most certainly does NOT mean “belonging to no known animal!” I don’t know where you got that. All it means is that the given sample did not match whatever specimens it was compared to. Big, BIG difference!

    “Seen Bigfoot in the latest Audubon mammal guide? Precisely.”

    Naah. But I saw it in Loren’s field guide!

    “To consider Bigfoot a hoax — forget about the sightings — you have to consider every track that’s been found an awfully bad misidentification, or a deliberate fake.”

    I don’t consider Bigfoot a hoax at all! I would not have spent countless hours on the topic of cryptids if I thought they were hoaxes!

  27. Chymo responds:

    I *conclude* Bigfoot exists, based on the evidence.

    I use a system based on likelihood & rationality to dismiss some cryptozoological claims. I use multiple lines of evidence to come to this determination, based on the individual case. IMHO, then, the existance of a North American bipedal ape is more likely, based on evidence, than is an Indonesian Mawas. I would want to spend my time on the Bigfoot research rather than a less-solid case.

  28. Chymo responds:

    Loren, you are the voice of American Crypto research, you have a lot more exposure than anyone else. For all of our sakes, please stay above all that crap.

  29. DWA responds:

    See? Told you we were closer than you thought. ;-)

    Although I have to admit that one more fruitless drag of Loch Ness would have me wondering about Nessie, there’s far too much sasquatch stuff out there, even after you’ve discarded the obvious dead ends, to lead anyone, I’d think, to think the animals are just not there. To me the evidence — not the hope or the faith, the evidence — leads to a conclusion that, well, science may make for itself one day.

  30. Benjamin Radford responds:

    Ah, we agree!

    Warm hugs all around!!!

    You too, Loren! Come on, John!

    That’s better….

  31. DWA responds:

    …and now, just to make things complete, here come Matt Moneymaker and our very good friends at BFRO…for hugs

    :-D

  32. scmarlowe responds:

    Both John and Loren make excellent points.

    May I suggest that there is an Arab saying that offers a compromise here?

    “Trust in Allah. But, tie up your camel!”

  33. MountDesertIslander responds:

    I remember my first science class in elementary school that dealt with the ‘theory of evolution’ as if it were yesterday; although it would have been nearly 40 years ago now. It was the first time I was shown the ‘Ascent of Man’ diagram showing man slipping through his various phases of evolution. There was Neanderthal man standing third in line from the right. My teacher preached that gosple as if it were undeniable fact. Today’s theories, however, have effectively removed Neanderthal from our direct family tree.

    Does the fact that we have learned a thing or two about our ancestry in the 40 years since that lesson discredit everything about evolution? Of course not. The lecturers and proponents of ‘real science’ simply picked up and moved on. They continue to preach the current ‘theory du jour’ with the conviction of a pope.

    Somehow, cryptozoologists aren’t granted that same tolerence for mistakes by the scientific community as we are expected to grant them. One bad picture, one uncovered hoax, one unscrupulous expedition organizer is all it takes for the mainstream to paint us all with the same broad brush of heresy. It’s disheartening for sure and a double standard that is unfair.

    Just remember Galileo had to disavow everything that his own eyes told him was so about the night sky or face excommunication and possibly death. I prefer to think of the crypto-community as being on the vanguard of discovery instead of the murky backwaters of superstition.

    It takes as much faith to believe the current crop of ‘absolutes’ preached by the mainstream as it does to believe what our own eyes have shown us in star filled night.

  34. lamarkable responds:

    A back story that lurks in the background that impacts ones relationship to the possibility of either photographic or antecdotal evidence is both a lack of funding which has an enormous impact as well as a lack of agreed upon focus between independant groups into a best case effort. Waiting for the next photo to pop up, or the next antecdotal incident cannot compare to what another poster here says regularly. Seeing is believing. If I were focused on cryptids- I would get discouraged as well as everything depends on chance and even more unpredictably-credibility as funding and focus are hard commodities to come by.

  35. sausage1 responds:

    Excuse the musings of a grumpy old Englishman.

    ‘Faith’ is just another paradigm. It is an alternative to the contemporary scientific paradigm that seems to say that sasquatch, yeti, pumas in England, poltergeists, UFOs and the Jolly Green Giant don’t exist because … well, because they don’t, they can’t, so you are a fool if you BELIEVE in them.

    The philospher Quine talks of a web with scientific certainty in the centre and irrational beliefs at the outer edge. No matter how distant, the two are connected in a kind of continuum. Having seen a puma walk past me one evening in rural England, my KNOWLEDGE of the existence of these creatures in England is somewhere near the centre of that web. The evidence of my own eyes, ears and touch. In terms of the propenents of ‘rational’ science it is somewhere near the outer edge. Question: is what I have ‘faith’if I cannot prove it to someone else?

    So although I am as skeptical as the next Joe about claims to have seen this beast or that phenomenon, if I condemn people’s oral testimony than to be consistent I must condemn my own evidence.

    I think that is why people who believe they have genuinely seen a creature or witnessed a phenomenon are so frustrated when evidence is either inconclusive (eg Hood Mt), faked (That pulled BFRO film) or just plain ignored by the scientific community (DNA samples from Nepal).

  36. sausage1 responds:

    Nepal? Of course I mean Bhutan. And me a teacher, TSK! TSK!

  37. Ole Bub responds:

    Good afternoon Bloggers….

    Lot’s of great comments today…..Loren, John, Craig and Rick…keep the faith…always room for a diversity of opinions…thanks for the splendid efforts…

    Peter Loh…keep up the fine work…my hopes and prayers are with you sir…I suspect there is much “wisdom” here for a wise man to use…wisely…JMHO

    Seeing is believing…

    ole bub and the dawgs

  38. Forever_Elusive responds:

    Hey, John, Loren, how’s it going? Well, John, quit beating yourself upside the head with this man. let Chow take his time, and when he is ready, then we will go from there. Peter Loh, my main man, keep those drawings coming ! they are amazing! as for all the bloggers, i was thinking of something today, could any of you make a post on the well known cryptids and we can have a discussion on what we theoretically feel they are? that would be a nice change of pace. keep up the good work everyone, patience and passion.

  39. twblack responds:

    Well I have read all the blogs here today and everyone seems to have an opinon. Well here is mine: I will always be interested in all things crypto. I will always try to have an open mind when I hear, read, or see photos of crypto material. But after all of this I will still form an opinon of my own and I will tell anybody what my “HONEST” opinon is and it may not always be what others think and they may disagree with my thought on such things.

    But if you can not give your utmost “HONEST” opinon to some one for fear of making them mad or upset then why should any of us here even be talking about anyhting crypto or in that matter anything in life.

    Humans are not perfect and never will be and if we give our “HONEST” thought and it turns out we were wrong then a person of any integrity will stand up and say “No I Was Wrong”! In one post here on a lake monster photo I said if I was wrong “I would gladly eat my words with salt” and I meant that but in my honest opinon of the evid. that was shown I feel like it was a fake. So i guess cynical and honest thought may be a little of the same thing in some forms.

  40. Doug responds:

    I do not feel John’s message is about faith in such creatures more than it is he is expressing his disappointment with what has happened in the past. It is something to get your hopes up only to discover the film/pictures are another fake or perhaps questionable. That I can relate to. Yes, after last year’s Manitoba footage, I myself can sense his frustration.

  41. fuzzy responds:

    Forty-one comments!
    What a GREAT Blog!

  42. ZenBug responds:

    I don’t believe Kirk is suggesting that cryptozoologists should stop inviting witnesses to bring forth their evidence;
    he is merely echoing what many readers here have been posting: Don’t be fooled by claims that said evidence is earth-shattering before you’ve even seen it. Cryptozoology needs more of that skepticism if it presumes to be a science.

  43. fuzzy responds:

    Let’s remember that one major difference ‘tween Crypto and mainstream Science is empirical predictability.

    Science can, predictably, reliably, throw a switch and experiment with electrical phenomena over and over again, recording the results and building a repeatable dossier of evidence ~

    Science can mix chemicals and analyze the results, then mix them again and again, testing, recording, testing ~

    Science can stare into the night sky and mathematically diagram the objects there, predicting the next eclipse to the minute, the effects of solar flares, the weather ~

    Crypto sits on a rocky overlook for hours, cradling state-of-the-art equipment, watching the meadow below, monitoring every movement ~

    Crypto lounges at lakeside for days with a two-foot lens mounted on a thousand dollar digital whizbang mounted on a twenty pound tripod, scanning the water’s surface ~

    Crypto sits in an open field, head swiveling back and forth, round and round, munching Energy Bars and sipping Gatoraid, waiting for… anything…to fly past.

    S’quatches, water creatures, UFOs, chupas, ghosts, thylacines, kangaroos, pumas, black dogs, giant rats… name your mystery… they’re all unpredictable, unrepeatable, except on their own schedule.

    I “conclude” that if we continue to search, we may, someday, find some answers; Science scorns that “belief”.

  44. Tabitca responds:

    sociology and psychology had to prove they were sciences by using and inventing new replicateable (not sure if that is a word but you get my drift)methods.Maybe cryptozoologists should set up somthing similar.I’ve been working on finding ways to make eye witness testimony more acceptable. Off the top of my head -if say all cryptozoologists in the field used a set observation method and recording method then it would be replicated as far as possible. Maybe Loren could set up a forum to look at it, as he has the most experience.It’s difficult when there are so many different groups but if a few adopt it, others will follow.
    Just a thought :-)

  45. DWA responds:

    Good idea, Tabitca, I think.

    And the word is “replicable.” Although I’m not willing to bet cash money that “replicatable” isn’t a word.
    ;-)

  46. lamarkable responds:

    This thread and it’s original post prompted my earlier response on the nature of passive research ie: reports versus a more aggressive approach. The former seems to more frustration than actual results. This, in turn, made me consider reasonable efforts to do field work using technology. I say reasonable, because I have no idea of how feasible or realistic the use of bioacoustic sensors would be, if they were programmed to recognise the frequency range or other commonalities in pre-existing recordings that upon recognising a pattern, it would set off an alarm. If enough were arrayed in a web based on a best candidate area-would this be viable-or has this been considered before?

  47. Ranatemporaria responds:

    Fuzzy

    “Let’s remember that one major difference ‘tween Crypto and mainstream Science is empirical predictability”

    Surly the point is that thinking like this only lends its self to widening a gap that is already hindering crypto credibility. We should as mentioned previously by Mr Radford, lean towards the “mainstream methods”. Biological sciences across the board share allot in common with psychology, sociology and the like, in that there are few if any fixed or generally applicable rules, unlike maths and chemistry. Each situation is dictated by often infinite and immeasurable circumstantial variables found in nature. As such experimentation is often difficult due to not really knowing what you expect to find!

  48. dbdonlon responds:

    What isn’t replicable about finding hairs and testing them? I think that’s been repeated, with either “unknown primate” or “human” coming back on enough samples to be interesting. (Note that even in the case of those which seem to be human, the hairs are uncut, and are without the usual toxins found in our human population.)

    These details are collected and catalogued by “real scientists” ™, but it hasn’t made (and won’t make) a dent in the skepticism of the majority.

    That skepticism is often not founded on science, but on personal limits, disinterest, or ignorance. A true skeptic would have to shrug and say, “I don’t know” when asked to review the evidence. There is already enough evidence to show that something is out there making the tracks and leaving the hairs, but our inability to capture it, even on film, unambiguously, must be explained. It goes against our present belief system that something so large could escape our ever prying eyes if it really existed.

    The emphasis on the science thing is a red herring anyway. If observation wasn’t part of science, then where would most of biology and almost all of astronomy be? When was the last time anyone prodded a quasar?

    It doesn’t matter to the undiscovered cryptid one bit what science thinks about it. It shouldn’t matter to us either. When we get the undisputable evidence, then it’ll all be worked out. If we can’t, we have to find an explanation for that.

    All that said, like Loren, I’ll look at every blobsquatch and listen to every story. What else is there to do? (Besides complain about it I mean?)

  49. CryptoInformant responds:

    AMEN!

    Among “scientists”, the rough comparison is:

    CYNICS:***********************
    RESEARCHERS:***

    Among CZ scientists:
    CYNICS W/O OPEN MIND:********

    RESEARCHERS:***********************

    Let’s try and keep it like that for CZ, and change it for “science”!!

    CryptoInformant and the rag-tag CryptoZoo network+KillerKitty…OW!(Let’s see… cat attack+my blood on the scratching post=notgood)LOL

  50. Jeremy_Wells responds:

    re: #s 9-11 et al.

    While I agree with the requirements laid out here, and that cryptozoology should be based on the evidence, not faith.
    I must DISAGREE with the assertions from Loren et al. that science and religion are so distant. While much of the research we are talking about is a matter of “when the hard evidence materializes” much of science is accepted on faith. In the same way that illiterate villagers accepted the Latin liturgies and their priests’ translations many of us non-trained scientists take on faith the “foundations” of science as provided to us by that elite class of specially trained priests… errrrr, scientists. While this isn’t as prevalent in sciences like zoology, advanced physics is RIFE with it. For instance, I don’t “know” that the universe is expanding the way physicist tell me it is. I take it on faith that their esoteric calcuations are accurate (Or, actually, I don’t, but I find it amusing that so many do)
    The Big Bang and the Big Crunch are as much creation and end time myths as the Garden of Eden and Armagedon, as the World Tree and Ragnarok…
    But I digress…
    I’ll believe when I get to shake Patty’s hand (or the hand of her grandchildren).
    Until then I’ll keep an open mind while examining all evidence with a critical eye.

  51. DWA responds:

    One of the best posts I’ve read here, Mr. Wells. (If I dispute it anywhere, that, um, doesn’t, um, count.)

    Read an analysis like this one.

    If you are a logical, rational thinker, i.e., someone who thinks like, well, like scientists are supposed to, you must come away from an article like this thinking: hmmmmm. Maybe there is something here.

    If on the other hand, you’re an irrational science worshipper (an….ummmm….Scientologist…..? heeeey, just doing some figgerin’ here ;-)), you’ll go: “HAH HAH! These things don’t exist. OK….?”

    In truth, the Bigfoot skeptics are the ones who come off looking and sounding like irrational conspiracy theorists, to me!

  52. DWA responds:

    OK, in that last post, last paragraph, substitute “deniers” for “skeptics.”

    For the skeptics, we’re still combing the globe for skeletons and roadkill. ;-)

  53. DWA responds:

    another “oh.”

    dblondon’s last post: pretty good too.

    Here’s to the people who were rational and logical enough to start looking. Seriously.

    And to those of us rational and logical enough to know: there might be something here.

  54. Jeremy_Wells responds:

    While in San Antonio for the “Bigfoot in Texas?” exhibit, I had the opportunity to watch Craig Woolheater, Daryl Colyer and Dr. Jeff Meldrum interact with an individual who claimed to have video of a Bigfoot from a vacation in Colorado.

    While this individual failed to produce the video while they were there (unless he finally provided it on the final day of their stay), and they were understandably skeptical, they impressed me by taking the time to listen to the individual, to consider his story and offering to seriously consider any hard evidence he might be able to produce.

    They didn’t trip all over themselves to accept this story, and in fact regarded it with more skepticism than I would have expected from a group that included individuals who claim experiences of their own. But I was highly impressed with their willingness to consider his story despite their skepticism. (And with their scrutiny of the alleged witnesses story for consistency over several tellings.)

  55. Jeremy_Wells responds:

    DWA
    Thanks for that excellent article from Daryl Coyler.

    I agree that, while this work on the correlation between rainfall and reported sightings, Meldrum’s work on the bone structure of primate feet, etc. isn’t as “sexy” as field expedition work, I do feel it is this kind of “circumstantial evidence” that will eventually get this field taken seriously and will eventually lead to a breakthrough.

    Yes, it is circumstantial evidence compared to, oh, say a clear and detailed photo of Bigfoot waving to the camera.
    But men have been sentenced to life in prison on less…

  56. DWA responds:

    Just a thought for another useful piece of information to glean from sighting reports:

    How close to his/her residence was the sighting? And in what season?

    The easy answer — not without its own flaws — to the correlation of hi-sighting with lo-pop density is: sure. People see these, i.e., see things, when they’re in the woods on R&R, i.e., on vacation. Transient visitors don’t count in pop density numbers, right? In other words, the potential-Bigfoot-sighter density in a region may be higher by a lot, at least seasonally, than the official pop density due to hunters, hikers, fishermen, etc. “swelling” the official pop figures.

    You can discount that argument by showing that sighters, whatever they were doing, were doing it where they live, not as transient boosters of the official pop numbers. Lots of sightings in “off” seasons are probably made by residents; or at least the chance of a transient boosting the numbers is very small.

    Just a thought.

  57. DWA responds:

    For those who might miss the rationale of the above it’s this: when the universe of potential hoaxers, drunks, naive misidentifiers etc. goes up, so do the sightings, if the animals aren’t real.

    Doesn’t matter, if they are.

  58. DWA responds:

    I offer a simple three-term syllogism.

    1. The vast majority of people don’t believe that Bigfoot exists.

    2. People who don’t believe Bigfoot exists won’t say they saw one unless they unequivocally did.

    3. The vast majority of people will not misidentify a known animal as a Bigfoot, but rather the other way around.

    Could it be this easy to knock away one of the main props of the argument that the animals don’t exist?

    Say yes. :-)

  59. Mnynames responds:

    Well, I was going to mention how I BELIEVE that cats and dogs, horseshoe crabs and trees, cars and galaxies all exist, but then good ol’ Grover speaks up from the dead to modify my position before I even start…
    I am forced to conclude that such things exist because I have experienced them with my own senses. Another important component, however, is that that conclusion is also based on the perceptions of people OTHER than myself, because they are forced to draw the same conclusions. That makes the existence of such things, and events as well, more probably than say, my dreams, for while I myself have indeed experienced them with my senses, I can be pretty certain that no one else has.
    To expand on that slightly, because so many people have concluded, based upon the input of their own senses, that Sasquatch and other such entities exist, I find myself forced to conclude that it is likely that they exist. This can, however, become easily complicated. I have a hard time, for example, believing that Faeries and Angels exist, although there seems no shortage of people that claim direct experiences. If pushed on the matter, I suppose I would have to conclude that their experiences have some underlying reality, even if the entities they experience do not.
    Others, of course, may think differently. In the July issue of the Fortean Times, Jerome Clark is quoted as saying, “Anomalous occurances may be experientially real, but it does not follow that all of them are ‘real’ on an event level…You can ‘see’ a merbeing; you can’t capture it and put it in a fish tank for everybody who wanders by to take in.” Which seems a nice way of saying what what I believe…ahem…CONCLUDE about faeries and angels. But Mr. Clark is a proponant of the extraterrestrial hypothesis regarding UFO’s, which other researchers would conclude are experiential rather than real on an event level. Perhaps at best they represent some form of tulpoid phenomena whereby they are manifestations of concepts and archetypes within the human psyche…yet another way of similarly regarding fae/angels. By contrast, maybe merbeings are just as real and physical as you or me (And Bigfoot makes three). No one will really know unless we catch one.

    Just to muddy the waters further, while few people older than 5 believe that Santa Claus is objectively real, even that entity may have some basis in objective reality. Many folklorists suggest that the Santa Claus legend is a hand-me-down from European hunter-gatherers attempting to honour the spirits of the bears they hunted by retelling the story of its life, mating, death, and rebirth. Surely the bears, at least, were real.
    One could also say that people of faith don’t believe either, but draw conclusion just as we do. A bible-thumper reads the bible, and concludes, perhaps based more on feeling than on thought, but perhaps not, that it is the literal truth, and evolution and geologic time must therefore be an experiential phenomena amongst scientists, but not objectively real. Perhaps he experienced an angel, and concludes that they must exist, therefore literature that speak of their existence must constitute evidence. But here, at last, is perhaps where we can reach some sort of, pardon the pun, conclusion, for scientific conclusions (or those based on rationality and reasoning…same difference in my book) can be modified, whereas religious conclusions tend to be more definitive, and as a consequence thereby also dismiss any subsequent contradictory evidence as false.

    I don’t know how nutritious this food for thought was, but at least it should provide you with a little roughage to ruminate on…



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