Posted by: Loren Coleman on September 21st, 2009
Host Josh Gates takes in the sights of all the destinations to which he travels.
But how can your “destination” be “truth,” if so many mistakes are made along the way?
“The program seriously corrupted the description, falsely portraying Aluxob as hairy all over their bodies…with ‘carnivorous teeth,’ which is not accurate,” reports one reviewer who was a consultant to the show.
The segment is apparently visible here.
Dan Gannon, who has studied reports of Proto-Pygmies for several years and assisted the program “Destination Truth” with their recent Alux shoot, critiques that recently screened episode. He shares the following with Cryptomundo. (The opinions are Mr. Gannon’s and not necessarily those held by the owners, administrators, or bloggers at Cryptomundo.):
I have mixed feelings about the Destination Truth investigation. On the one hand, I applaud their willingness to investigate the subject — it’s the first time I’ve seen the Aluxob discussed or investigated on TV. Also, it was appropriate that they went off the beaten path, for this.
On the other hand, I was disappointed in certain aspects of the program. Specifically:
1. They incorrectly translated the Spanish phrase juguetones, which correctly means “they are tricksters/jokers,” to, “they are afraid of them.” It can also be translated to mean “playful ones.” It is not as if there is a lack of competent Spanish-English translators. I had even referred them to a guide who is competently trilingual (Spanish, Maya, and English.)
2. Despite the fact that the Aluxob have been extensively and consistently documented and described, in Spanish-Mexican culture for more than 500 years, the program seriously corrupted the description, falsely portraying Aluxob as hairy all over their bodies, and with big fangs, and “carnivorous teeth,” which is not accurate, at all. Did they demonize the Aluxob for the sake of sensationalism? How much background research did they do? These mistakes are like saying Bigfoot is hairless and has a dragon’s head.
3. Ugly spiders in a cave were called “scorpions.” A competent guide/translator could have easily corrected this misidentification.
4. Also in a cave, (apparently, the same one) a kind of black bee that does possess a nasty sting, was called “flies,” despite the obvious bee hive with honeycomb-like structures very visible on the underside of it. A guide/translator could have set this straight. They are called, in Spanish, by the locals, “avispas.”
5. Aluxob are believed to be nocturnal, and to generally be quite good at preventing larger people from seeing them, unless they want to be seen, which is rarely. Generally residing in caves during the day, and (sometimes?) coming out at night, a carefully planned and executed effort would be called for. Instead, the team trudged loudly around in the woods, and in a cave, at night… with lights glaring all over the place. Good way to scare them off. Also, why search a cave at the wrong time? It would be more appropriate to search it during the daytime, when the Aluxob are more likely to be in the caves.
6. Why were appropriately covert methods, including trail cams and “black” (invisible to the human eye) infrared illumination, not used?
7. On what basis did Josh Gates say, at the end of the program, that he believes the Alux is only a successful old legend, as oppossed to a real creature? Is he so confident that this seriously flawed and brief investigation would have captured an Alux on video, therefore they are now disproven? Please. The Aluxob may be one of the best documented cryptids on Earth, reported independently by multiple cultures, over a very long stretch of time, with remarkable coonsistency of the reports, and with ancient Maya paintings, carvings, and statues, depicting them realistically. Foreign archaeologists have even seen and reported them in detail. And Josh just dismisses them. What is that about?
Let’s hope a much better program about the Aluxob will come from other investigators. As for myself, I may work together with the Mayas to produce a multi-lingual documentary, of sorts. I also plan to continue with my work there with trail cams.
Josh Gates (of DT) and Amanda Tapping (Samantha Carter) at the Sci Fi Channel 2008 upfront party in New York. Promotional Photo: Mark Wilson/About.com
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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.