Posted by: Loren Coleman on May 27th, 2009
Since I’ve been talking a great deal about the Shunka Warak’in lately, one of the most frequent questions that comes up is about the “DNA results.”
For example, here is one inquiry from yesterday (no, I don’t make these up; I don’t have to):
“OK. The mount of the Ringdocus (and I use Ringdocus because I can’t spell Shunka Warak’in) was found and DNA samples taken, but I never found out about the results. Does anyone know what resulted from the testing? I love this cryptid BTW.”
The actual fact is that no one has done any DNA testing on the hair, fur, hide, or alleged teeth of the mount going by the names “Ringdocus,” “Shunka Warak’in,” and “Mystery Beast,” now housed in a museum in Ennis, Montana.
Simply put, the animal is caught in a spider’s web of red tape. The stalling point presently is that the animal is in one museum on exhibition, but the taxidermy mounted animal does not belong to that museum. It has only borrowed from another museum. The current exhibiting museum does not have the legal right to order a DNA test.
Although pressure is being placed on them to obtain DNA testing, privately and confidentially, I’ve been told there seems to be some active lobbying being done to avoid conducting the test.
It seems that some of the powers that be are resisting doing any DNA testing because they wish to retain the mysterious mystic of the taxidermy item.
Indeed, both museums may feel some need to not have a test done due to their sense it would be a less attractive exhibit.
Of course, from both zoological and cryptozoological points of view, now that this item, the classic Ringdocus has been discovered after over a century, I do not feel any of the enigmatic nature of the animal will be lessened if a final scientific verdict is given on what it’s DNA says it is.
Photographs © Lance Foster 2009
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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.