Sasquatch Coffee


Get Real About The Future of Cryptozoology, Brah!!

Posted by: Loren Coleman on September 21st, 2012

I am disappointed to see the essay posted by Nick Redfern for it is so obviously not about the future of cryptozoology.  I wish I didn’t have to take the time to answer this one, point by point. But here goes.

Hey, Bro, I am not worried about the future of cryptozoology.

Nick’s essay is here, and also mentioned on a recent Cryptomundo posting. However, I’m going to quote from it extensively, to make my points and answer it directly.

“Within cryptozoology, there’s plenty to look for and find, but what actual successes have been made? Have any successes been made, or is just the case that we have a lot of reports? And, yes there is a difference, a big one: a pile of papers, stacks of files, and a tidy number of thumb-drives do not equate to answers or proof.”

Okay, to apparently win his argument from the start, Nick appears to set up an argument by defining cryptozoology in a way that ignores the discoveries that have been made. This is a technique I noticed from zoologists and naturalists in the 1960s, as a way to challenge cryptozoology by ignoring past successes and always ask, “But what of the Bigfoot, Yeti, or Nessie, the celebrity cryptids?,” they would ask.

You see, if you ignore the fact that animals are found all the time that have, by definition, been historically cryptids, then you have created a difficult wall to climb. Look, reports of a cryptid, a giant lizard said to be climbing trees in the Philippines was discussed by natives but not investigated by scientists until 2003. How could the biologists missed it until verified in 2010? It is brightly and beautifully colored with intricate golden spots running down its otherwise black back, and climbs trees to eat fruit.  But the lizard was new to science even though the local tribespeople – the Agta and Ilongot – knew about it for centuries. Their name for the giant monitor, bitatawa, is now part of its official species name – Varanus bitatawa. The same can be said for so many discoveries, I don’t want to bore the frequent readers here. But you know the list, peppered with former cryptids that turned out to be what today we known as the giant squid, the okapi, the mountain gorilla, the soala, the snub-nosed monkey, and more.

All were known by natives, found by westerners, and confirmed as “new species.” There have always been “a lot of reports,” but some, of course, do result in the finds of real animals.

Next Nick says: “In terms of securing hard evidence (and, no: film-footage, testimony, and photos – as good as they may be - are not evidence either) that very much depends on how you, me, or anyone else in the cryptozoological community views the many and varied cryptids of our world. It’s no secret that many people in the creature-seeking arena respond to my opinions on cryptids with (in varying degrees…) hostile eyes, rolling eyes, shaking heads, and waving hands of dismissal. Yep, like all mysteries throughout the entirety of human history, personal beliefs provoke emotion-driven responses of an utterly arms-folded, defensive nature. Hell, I don’t care though. I tell it as I see it, like it or don’t like it.”

Here again, if you throw out decades of hard work, all levels of evidence (from film, photos, native sightings, to DNA, footprints, and bodies) that has been found leading to the confirmation of decades of new species, the bread and butter of cryptozoology, then, of course, you win the argument. But since when has footprints not been “hard evidence”? Or feathers? Or skulls? Or bushmeat bodies or pet trade captures? I’m not sure what Nick is ignoring about all the rats, birds, lizards, crayfish, monkeys, and so much more that have gone from sightings to evidence to verification of new species that he has missed, but he seems like a lot.

Next we get to a big burr that seems under Nick’s saddle: “Let’s start with the that huge hairy thing of the woods: I’m totally fine and utterly confident in telling people that if Bigfoot is just a giant ape and nothing else I’ll eat my hat (well, I would if I had one). But, the fact of the matter is that Bigfoot is deeply weird. Too weird. Beyond weird. Got it?”

Nick has now jumped from factual evidence of a cryptid, Bigfoot, to challenging a theory, that it is an ape. This is different that arguing about the evidence. This is Nick challenging a world view that’s different than his. For some reason, unknown to me, he is sure that Bigfoot is not a physical entity, and is willing to digest your Indiana Jones hat if he’s wrong. Well, last I knew, Bigfoot are still cryptids, and no one knows what they are.

Ufologist Redfern now ventures into another sphere: “There are cases of Bigfoot vanishing in a flash of light, of cameras jamming at the crucial moment, and of Sasquatch seen at the same time and place as UFO activity. And let’s not forget those occasions when gun-toting Sasquatch-seekers, or terrified witnesses, claim to have shot at Bigfoot, only for the bullets never to kill it. Not even once. Or, even if such a claim is made, the corpse never surfaces or is always steeped in controversy (remember the Minnesota Iceman?).”

If you take the remarkably rare examples that Nick has to prove that Sasquatch are interdimensional or ufological or demonological, then you can take likewise sparse case histories to prove Bigfoot are human, can teleport, can read your mind by telepathy, have language, and a host of other wild claims. The boring middle range of cases, however, are the more frequent, and right now, all we seem to know is that something big, hairy, and unknown seems to exist or not exist out in the woods. For some reason, when a person like Nick talks of reports of Bigfoot disappearing in flashes or seen around UFOs, these are “cases” (even though they are .001% of the total) but the ones of hairy hominoids being captured and examined, or shoot at and killed are, all of a sudden, merely “claims.” Nick needs to re-read the literature to understand that while some have said their bullets have not seemed to have killed a Bigfoot, there are just as many accounts of people who have said they have shoot and killed Bigfoot type creatures (back to 1839, in fact).

Next from Nick, “‘Biggie’ has been reported all across the USA for decades (or maybe, as a study of Native American history and lore suggests, even hundreds of years), so why don’t we have at least one specimen – living or dead in our possession? It’s not like we’re talking about an unidentified type of 2-inch-wide spider that hides in the undergrowth. We’re talking about 6-9-foot-tall (maybe even bigger!) apes living all across the United States of America, and in some cases very close to big cities.”

Well, there’s a simple answer for that: Because they haven’t been discovered yet. Humans didn’t fly until they flew. Steam on the stove wasn’t turned into ships until it was steam-engine time. Nick forgets, as do most debunking scientists, that a big hairy beast wasn’t found in Africa until it was – in 1902 – and today we call it the mountain gorilla (Gorilla beringei).

As to the big city business, well, that’s okay. Nick can frame his debate in a silly assumption to win that one, and I need not address it.

Next Nick throws in Forteana to distract us: “The same goes for lake-monsters. Let’s use Loch Ness, Scotland as an example. Some say the creatures are plesiosaurs, others say huge eels, and then there’s the theory they are giant salamanders. But, the fact is that Loch Ness is steeped in additional weirdness: Aleister Crowley had a home there (Boleskine House – later owned by Led Zeppelin guitarist, Jimmy Page), and tried, while in residence, to conjure up demons. He may very well have succeeded. Moving on from Crowley, big cats have been seen prowling around the shores. Men in Black sightings and UFO encounters abound. And the loch has a resident ghost from the Second World War.”

Yeah, what happened to the more logical theory that ice-cold lakes might be occupied by warm-bloodied mammals (large ancient whales and long-necked seals) versus 65 million year old surviving plesiosaurs?

As to Aleister Crowley, MIBs, and UFOs, well, Erik Beckjord found that such things really don’t “explain” anything, and certainly do muddy the waters of Loch Ness. Do you really want to travel down that road and say it has anything to diminish the future of what most people consider to be legit cryptozoology?

“Loch Ness, then, is saturated with Fortean activity and phenomena, which has, quite reasonably, given rise to the theory that – as with Bigfoot – lake-monsters may be even stranger than mere flesh and blood animals. The same can be said for Mothman, for the Chupacabras, for sea-serpents, for…well, you see what I’m saying, right?”

No, Nick, I don’t really see what you are saying. Look, I’m a Fortean too. But as Ivan T. Sanderson taught me, “Don’t try to explain one unknown with another unknown.” You are no longer talking about cryptozoology here.

Nick writes: “It’s simply not enough for cryptozoologists to say words to the effect of: ‘Well, these things are very good at hiding from us.’ And here’s why it’s not enough: to accept that answer, we have to accept that Bigfoot (and all the rest) have – on every single occasion in the history of their existence – ensured that we never, ever get our hands on a corpse or a living specimen.”

Well, that’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying you are ignoring that volumes of scientific articles and zoo full of animals have been proven that some cryptids have been discovered by getting our hands on bodies and captured specimens. You not looking as this leaves you only an empty excuse that “paranormal entities” or “aliens” are the only viable answer.  But animals are good avoiding humans – UNTIL WE DO FIND THEM.

Nick, Nick, Nick: “No large animals on the planet are totally successful at denying their existence to us every minute of every day, of every week, of every year, of every decade…except for cryptids. That should tell us all something. But, amazingly, for many, it often doesn’t!”

Why do you insist on not realizing that you are creating an argument you always will win? Naturally, a cryptid is a reported something that has not been proven to exist yet, or shown to be a known animal misidentified, or revealed to be a mistake, or discovered to be a new species, or found to be an extinct species rediscovered, or continues to be something that is still elusive to us.  If and when it is discovered and verified, it is successfully found, and thus is no longer a “cryptid,” so, of course, it is only the cryptids that remain to as yet be found. It is a circular argument.

Nick: “To go with the strictly flesh-and -blood angle, we also have to accept that these beasts don’t make mistakes, such as getting hit by a truck while crossing a dark road in the woods late one night, getting shot by a hunter, or dying of old age and being stumbled on by someone out in the woods.”

Again, this is simply not truth. Things that use to be “cryptids” and are animals today are so because they were killed, almost eaten, captured as pets, or found dead on a trail. What are you missing in this?

I’m getting tired of this. I’m going to jump to Nick’s core thought or theme here. This is the point of what Nick is trying to point to, apparently:

“Cryptozoology needs a shot of alternative, deeply Fortean thinking to succeed and to prove it’s not wasting its time, because a shot from the rifle of a hunter has never worked and clearly – by now – never will. We need to know why. The future awaits. It’s the choice of the crypto-field to grab that future by the horns or not.”

The elusiveness of the animals yet to be discovered – and once again, if it wasn’t for a rifle killing one, we won’t know of the mountain gorilla – will remain elusiveness until they are discovered. Folks, Fortean friends and debunkers – are welcome to their paranormal “alternative” theories or psychological explanations, but that’s no reason to diminish the solid and sound biological thinking upon which most of the zoologically-based cryptozoology is based.

In the framing of cryptozoology “never” discovering things they have written about, I’m republishing parts of the following that discusses items Heuvelmans wrote about that turned out to be “discovered.”

atlas-bear.jpg

The nature of animals being “ethnoknown,” realized and acknowledged by local peoples, is essential to a clear understanding of what is a cryptid. (Please recall, by definition, a “cryptid” may turn out to be a known animal. Sometimes an ethnoknown cryptid that seems to look like a moose is nothing more than a moose.)

Amazing Finds

For some cryptozoologists, such as Chad Arment, being “ethnoknown” is pivotal to their view of cryptozoology.

Arment defined (here in 2007) cryptozoology as “a scientific ethnoknown-targeted methodology for zoological discovery.”

Furthermore, in his steps to achieving this practice, in the methods of the new science, he notes that cryptozoology “targets ethnoknown species. These are alleged animals with enough salience (observable characteristics) to be recognized as something distinctive or unknown, either by a native people group, or chance eyewitnesses. In some cases, a cryptid may be well-known, or may only have been reported a handful of times.”

Amazing Finds

Michel Raynal, looking at the limits of what concerns cryptozoology, touched on the issue of “ethnoknown,” when he wrote that,

As the size is not a criterium to state what is cryptozoological and what is not, Bauer and Russell (1988) have thus suggested an intensive research in what they call “microcryptozoology”, that is to say the search for little unidentified animals, but Dethier and Dethier-Sakamoto (1988) noticed:

“We entirely agree with Bauer and Russell when they point out the importance of searching for small and discrete unknown animals. If they are not ethnoknown, however, they are, of course, outside the scope of cryptozoology.”

This statement, though often true, is not an absolute rule. The definition of cryptozoology by Heuvelmans (1988) is much less restrictive:

“The scientific study of hidden animals, i.e. of still unknown animal forms about which only testimonial and circumstancial evidence is available, or material evidence considered insufficient by some.”

As a consequence, a cryptozoological research is still possible when no observation or native tradition is available: any information based on circumstancial evidence, allowing to forsee the existence of an unknown animal form, is relevant to cryptozoology.

Mangabey

Just to round out the cryptozoological use of the word “ethnoknown,” let me quote Darren Naish from his 2006 discussion of the discovery of the the Highland mangabey (Lophocebus kipunji). Observe how Darren used “ethnoknown,” in context:

The story of the Highland mangabey’s discovery is an interesting one. In January 2003 Tim Davenport of the Tanzanian Wildlife Conservation Society ‘heard rumours [from the local Wanyakyusa people of the Mount Rungwe region] about a shy and atypical monkey known as Kipunji’ (Beckman 2005, Jones et al. 2005, p. 1161), and became interesting in tracking down the species that might lay at the bottom of these reports. Meanwhile, another primatologist – Trevor Jones – had been amazed to observe an unusual, unidentifiable monkey in the Tanzanian Ndundulu Forest Reserve, a location about 350 km away from the source of the Kipunji reports.

Mangabey

So, at this stage, we have an ethnoknown primate known only to scientists by way of fleeting observations. This makes the Kipunji a bona fide cryptid, and, to repeat a point I’ve made before (in connection with the Odedi, a cryptic warbler from Bougainville Island), one would be justified in arguing that Davenport, Wood and their colleagues were now engaging in cryptozoological research. By definition these primatologists are therefore part-time cryptozoologists, whether they like it or not.

Borneo Mystery Animal

Like Arment, Raynal, and Naish, I too have employed the word “ethnoknown” (here’s an example from 2005) frequently, in terms of analyzing cases or in the context of the size of cryptids.

I’ve hear this one too: “Despite all the discoveries of the past half-century, not one of Bernard Huevelmans’ cryptids has turned up.”

This claim is widely repeated and recycled by opponents of cryptozoology, but also by some cryptozoologists (or bloggers and writers identifying themselves as “cryptozoologists”) — however, it is false.

Of course, the Big 3 + 1, the “stars” of cryptozoology (i.e. Yeti/Abominable Snowman, Bigfoot/Sasquatch, and Nessie/Loch Ness Monster, plus the historically fading Sea Serpent) have not been discovered since Bernard Heuvelmans wrote his famed book, On the Track of Unknown Animals. Despite the notion that these umbrella names often may hide several possible species, it is true, the celebrity cryptids have not been discovered.

But, of course, since Heuvelmans book was first written in 1955, in French, many new animals, entirely new species that were former cryptids have been discovered, in the last 53 years. That is not what these critics are talking about, however. The yardstick being used by these antagonists has been, very specifically, Heuvelmans’ book. Ironically, the skeptics are the ones who have given his tome almost biblical status despite the fact Heuvelmans was merely one of the better known milestone cryptozoological chroniclers. Earlier writers and contemporaries of Heuvelmans authored literary collections on cryptids, including Ivan Sanderson, Willy Ley, A. C. Oudemans, Rupert T. Gould, and others. These individuals are often ignored in pushing this post-Heuvelmans’ standard of discovery.

Therefore, let us survey this test case of whether any lesser famous “cryptids” listed by Heuvelmans in 1955 have been found. What we quickly discover is that within the text of Heuvelmans, we do find cryptids that have since been confirmed by specimens and related verifications.

cheetah

1) The nsui-fisi or king cheetah, a controversial species of East African felid was described as Acinonyx rex in 1927, and has since been confirmed by several skins and even living specimens. It is generally considered a simple genetic mutation of the common cheetah (A. jubatus), but there are good reasons to think that it might be a subspecies in the making or in actuality. Could it one day be said to be a separate species entirely, with clearer genetic testing?

Bottriel, Lena Godsall 1987 King cheetah. Leiden, E.J. Brill.

pumilio1

pumilio2

pumilio3

2) The controversial Pygmy Elephant (Loxodonta pumilio) of Africa has been confirmed by film/video footage and photographs of entire herds of the species as requested by its opponents. These individuals now say that it is an unknown behavior or morph of the forest elephant, thus, as expressed firmly in personal communication to me by Michel Raynal, this “demonstrates that no evidence will be accepted by these ultra-skeptics.”

Pygmy Elephants are today reported to be living in both Africa and Asia.

The African Pygmy Elephant, described as Loxodonta pumilio, is currently considered to be a tiny morph of the African Forest Elephants (L. cyclotis); see Debruyne et al. (2003). But even the DNA studies are less than clear, and the groupings and photographs of the small elephants appear to confirm that the species is valid.

The Borneo Elephant (Elephas maximus borneensis) is also called a “Pygmy Elephant.” This elephant, inhabiting tropical rainforest in north Borneo (east Sabah and extreme north Kalimantan), was long thought to be identical to the Asian Elephant and descended from a captive population. In 2003, DNA comparison revealed them to be a new subspecies. In Augut 2007, it was reported that there are probably not more than 1,000 pygmy elephants left in Sabah, after a two year study by WWF.

borneoelephant1

Further discussions are now mentioning the cryptid status of the Pygmy Elephants of India. Kani tribals dwelling in the rain forests of the Western Ghats, Kerala, India, claim that there are two distinct varieties of elephants in the Peppara forest range (part of Western Ghat), one the common Indian elephants and the other a dwarf variety which they call “Kallana.” The existence of a pygmy variety of elephant in India has not been scientifically ascertained.

Eisentraut, Martin, und Wolfgang Böhme 1989 “Gibt es zwei Elefantenarten in Afrika?” Zeitschrift des Kölner Zoo, 32 [n° 2] : 61-68.

Debruyne, R., Holt, A. van, Barriel, V. & Tassy, P. 2003. “Status of the so-called African pygmy elephant (Loxodonta pumilio (NOACK 1906)): phylogeny of cytochrome b and mitochondrial control region sequences.” Comptes Rendus de Biologie 326(7):687-697.

Böhme, Wolfgang, und Martin Eisentraut 1990 “Zur weiteren Dokumentation des Zwergelefanten (Loxodonta pumilio NOACK, 1906).” Zeitschrift des Kölner Zoo, 33 [n° 4] : 153-158.

atlas1atlas2

3) The late survival of a controversial bear in Northern Africa, the so-called Atlas Bear (Ursus crowtheri) – pictured at the top of this posting – up to historical times (see ancient drawings directly above), has now been confirmed by radiocarbon dates at 420 to 600 AD.

Hamdine, Watik, Michel Thevenot, et Jacques Michaux 1998 “Histoire récente de l’ours brun au Maghreb.” Comptes-Rendus de l’Académie des Sciences, sciences de la vie, 321 : 565-570.

tretretretre1
Tretretretre

4) The last survival of a Giant Lemur (the native termed tretretretre) in Madagascar, up to historical times, has been confirmed by radiocarbon datings of Palaeopropithecus ingens bones at only 510 years BP (approx. 1500 AD).

Palaeopropithecus
Palaeopropithecus

Simons, Elwyn L. 1997 “Lemurs: Old and New.” In Steven M. Goodman and Bruce D. Patterson: “Natural change and human impact in Madagascar,” Washington, Smithsonian Institution Press: 142-166.

The record shows that there are, at least, four cryptids from Heuvelmans’s 1955 book, which have proven to be valid!

Much appreciation to French cryptozoologist Michel Raynal for contributing extensively to this article. Thanks to Matt Bille for his assistance with bear images. Thanks to Patrick Huyghe for pygmy elephant material.

Also, as John Kirk wrote in August 2008:

From day one, cryptozoology has been the province of those who are scientifically inclined. In my years of dealings with the father of cryptozoology, the late Dr. Bernard Heuvelmans, the father of Cryptozoology, never did I hear or read him say that cryptozoology was anything but scientific and he personally reminded me to “at all times remember to keep it scientific.” Similarly, when the International Society of Cryptozoology was founded in 1982, the focus was and has always been scientific and nothing less. Who was at the forefront of the ISC? Why scientists of course. Conspicuous by their absence were and are those who espouse any theory than the scientific for the raison d’etre for cryptids. Is this because cryptozoologically-inclined scientists deliberately want to exclude people? The answer is a categorical no. Those who do not follow the scientific method of something that is so blatantly scientific are excluding themselves from meaningful and realistic dialogue because they attempt to take something so natural into the realm of the unnatural.

Along the path of the cryptozoological journey, there are those who have attempted to hijack cryptids into the realm of the paranormal. Suffice it so say, the animals they are searching for are not the ones I am studying. All the animals I investigate are indeed mysterious and unknown, but one thing about them that is common throughout is that they are animals and all adhere to the laws of biology, zoology and science. None of the animals that I have ever investigated have shown any remote inkling that they have any powers or capabilities that some have ascribed to them that make them more than flesh and blood entities.

While paranormal investigators can try to find paranormal traits about these animals, I do not believe in the least that there is anything supernatural or extraordinary about them. They behave in accordance with all that we know about the real world and of science and nature and not in anyway associated with the realm of conjecture and speculation. Cryptozoology has and always relied upon the production of empirical evidence to prove or disprove the existence of cryptids. Nothing less will do. At some stage, a body must be obtained. In the case of Cadborosaurus willsi, there have been four specimens obtained of a cryptid. Regrettably, all four were lost, but they were in hand and clearly real entities of a physical nature as they were held, touched, examined and in one case had tissue removed. In not one instance did any of the people who possessed these animals report anything more than what was expected from an organic animal.

Again, for those who really understand what cryptozoology is, there is no need to worry about its future.

Loren Coleman – has written 5491 posts on this site.
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 “Get Real About The Future of Cryptozoology, Brah!!”

  1. Allen Garmon via Facebook responds:

    Regarding Redfern’s argument “why don’t bigfoot die when they’re shot,” people who use this as some sort of evidence of a paranormal aspect don’t know anything about hunting. From all reports, bigfoot are huge. Most North American game isn’t. The rifles deer hunters carry would be insufficient to bring down a massive animal like bigfoot is described. One hunter who saw a bigfoot said there was no way he would shoot it, as it was so big, he knew his 30-06 would not be able to bring it down.

  2. TheBK88 responds:

    I’m not sure if I just somehow read over it, but would it not be worth mentioning the varying types of Giant Squid ? When I was young, they “didn’t exist”, or were considered to be tales told by fishermen, which were akin to mermaid stories.

  3. kryptos006 responds:

    Beautiful! When I read Nick Redfern’s post, I was so disturbed that I honestly did not know what to say. I walked around, just stunned, for several minutes after reading it. It felt like I was a law-abiding citizen in a Utopian society only to find out that a secret dystopian society had instigated a plot to overthrow my ideal country. Not to say that the methodology of contemporary cryptozoologists is ideal, but it at least has laws, fundamentals, and guidelines (as are detailed exhaustively in Chad Arment’s Cryptozoology: Science and Speculation). I would undoubtedly consider myself a cryptozoologist before I would ever think about regarding myself as a “Fortean zoologist” as they are often called, but even Fortean zoology is believable to a certain degree, but the level of cryptozoological distortion that is expressed in the Redfern’s post is embarassing, to say the least. I hope that this post is not portending the future of cryptozoology where one day I will have to say “I am a highly conservative cryptozoologist,” or perhaps, “I am an open-minded zoologist.” If this idea spreads, Bernard Heuvelmans’ discipline that he meant to maintain a strictly scientific atmosphere will one day be viewed as a laughable and ridiculous mentality.

  4. mystery_man responds:

    Wow, Loren, what a rebuttal. You really hit that one out of the park. As much as I’d like to, I don’t think there is anything I could possibly add to what you’ve said here. Bravo to you.

  5. CDC responds:

    I actually like what Nick wrote and he make many valid points

    Just as the Moneymakers, Biscardis, and Smejas of the world can make claims of fact…Nick can simply say “show me the Bigfoot”.

    Consider the source.

    Nick has shown evidence and testimony that has confirmed his belief in Aliens from other worlds…yet, mainstream science simply says “Show me the Aliens”…just as with Bigfoot, he can’t.

    All the discoveries zoology has made in the last 50 years are about as exciting as a Political Convention…a new species of lizard, monkey, or spider, is not gonna move the price of gas off the front page. But….

    You find a Bigfoot, Nessie, Yeti, Alien, etc, and you have the World’s attention!

    1000 years of Bigfoot stories and no Bigfoot.
    1000+ years of UFO sightings and no UFO

    Nick Redfern is in the same boat as a cryptozoologist…no proof yet, but still afloat :)

  6. Loren Coleman responds:

    CDC, did you read my posting? No one was talking JUST about Bigfoot, the modern pursuit of which dates only from 1958 (!), not “1000s” of years.

    Cryptids have been found all the time. They are called “animals”!

  7. Nick Redfern responds:

    Loren

    Good reply, but we’ll have to disagree. As I have always said, I don’t have a problem with Bigfoot not giving up its dead, being found, being shot and killed, dying in the woods and not being found most of the time. Or even nearly all the time. But not all the time.

    But, here’s the deal: I totally take on board what you said re the Gorilla and the cryptids becoming discovered animals etc. But, we’re not talking about gorillas in the Congo etc. We’re talking about – often – near major civilization points.

    As I note in my post, here in the Dallas/Fort Worth area I can drive for an hour or less and be in prime Bigfoot territory, where there have been reports of huge creatures.

    That’s my big thing about Bigfoot. Yes, I know the US is a big country with a lot of wilderness. But even so, it’s often seen in close proximity to major civilization points.

    When Bigfoot (a very, very large thing) can be only an hour from Dallas (on a regular basis in certain areas), but still consistently eludes formal discovery 100 percent of the time, with a 100 percent success rate, for decades, even close to big cities – then I really have to wonder on the nature of its reality.

    As you know, I’m not a skeptic of Bigfoot or a debunker in the slightest. I just happen to think it may not be a flesh and blood animal in the way many think it is is flesh and blood.

    And that was the point of my post: If some cryptids are not flesh and blood but are “something else” instead, then looking for them in the way they have been searched for – for so long – may never achieve 100 percent satisfactory results.

    So, that’s the thrust of why I looked at the future of Cryptozoology: if these things are flesh and blood as we understand it, then answers may be forthcoming in a conventional way. If they’re not, then if Cryptozoology doesn’t change, then it may well just be a case of compiling more and more reports and the full answer still a few steps ahead of us and still eluding us.

    The other thing that I would say is this: Why is it that we never ever seem to get formal discovery/evidence of certain types of beasts? By that I mean: the mystery apes, the lake/sea-monsters, the large flying winged things, the ABCs, etc. These groups are always the same: elusive, here one minute, gone the next.

    But at the end of the day, it comes down to personal opinion on what these things are or aren’t, and what that means or doesn’t mean for the future. And that will always be the case until something changes or a body is found etc.

    We can debate forever and a day, and that will never change without one thing: proof. But, what that proof will be, I don’t know. But if it’s just a case of it being a hairy, winged or scaly carcass I’ll be surprised.

    Others won’t. And that’s why we have debate.

  8. mike_noodles responds:

    Loren killed it.

    Nick, try as you might, you will never stop evolution. Every time an animal evolves to become a new (sub)species, it is another animal for a cryptozoologist to find and catalog. By denying the future of cryptozoology, you are in fact denying evolution. Cherry picking the parts of it you don’t like or agree with do not make your arguments valid, in fact it does the opposite. Nice try though.

  9. kryptos006 responds:

    Nick Redfern,

    The same issue is coming up that came up weeks ago when Cryptomundo hosted the question, “could UFO’s be atmospheric cryptids?” Besides the fact that this conjecture is bizarre and baseless, you are attempting explain one anomaly with another anomaly. The fact is, one anomaly is rare enough, but the odds of the same mystery being the host of two or more factoids that have not been justified with scientific methodology is so remote I do not even understand why it is worth asserting. Moreover, your same argument could have been applied to any cryptid previous to its formal discovery. For instance, when the Bondegezou was still in the realm of cryptozoology, I might have said, “the Bondegezou is a ghost and, therefore, you cannot catch it like you might catch other animals.” However, after the discovery of the animal, this argument could no longer apply, so, I might say that about any cryptid, even though it is highly probable that it exists. A good case in point is the double dorsal-finned dolphin. There is a large amount of evidence to show that this is a valid animal, but, as it is not currently recognized, one might think that he/she could associate as much paranormalcy as he/she likes to the mystery.

    Secondly, your argument regarding Bigfoot is void because, although you can say that a one-hour drive from Dallas would land you in prime Bigfoot territory does not necessarily mean that Bigfoot is in permanent residence there. If you recall, Jeff Meldrum, easily one of the most reputable hominologists in the world, Jeff Meldrum assumes that there are no more than 500-750 Bigfoots in North America, which means that there are only about 5-7 per state/province-sized region. They are almost certainly in constant motion, so it is no surprise that there are occasional sightings near densely populated cities. Besides this, about 97.5 percent of the United States is classified as “rural” and, therefore, onl has about 20 people per square mile in the “rural” regions. Where a town that consists of only 150 people in a half-square mile area is incredibly desolate, we ca only imagine how sparsely populated the rural regions are.

    CDC,

    The world of recent discoveries is considerably more fascinating than you have made it out to be. You commented:

    “All the discoveries zoology has made in the last 50 years are about as exciting as a Political Convention…a new species of lizard, monkey, or spider, is not gonna move the price of gas off the front page.”

    How wrong you are.

    The Quang Khem has been validated with the discovery of parts of its body. However, it remains undescribed, depite being recognized by a number of zoologists, including its discoverer, John MacKinnon.

    The Mangden, also validated by John MacKinnon, remains undescribed in spite of sets of antlers having been discovered.

    The Hoan Kiem Turtle has been essentially validated by a whole carcass and has been named Rafetus vietnamensis by a group of vietnamese scientists.

    Some artrellia reports have been validated by giant specimens of Salvadori’s monitor.The Vu Quang ox, discovered in 1992, shook the zoological community upon its discovery.

    The Giant Muntjac, discovered in 1994, had a similar result.

    Pseudonoibos spiralis, another ungulate from Vietnam, is not as well known despite the fact that it perfectly epitomizes the elusiveness of cryptids.

    Andrews’ Beaked whale was the one of many ziphiids to be discovered in the last 50 years.

    Hector’s Beaked whale was just another one of the insignificant, headline-making animals that you referred to.

    The Peruvian Beaked whale, described as recently as 1976, has become one of the most significant marine discoveries in recent times, but it appears that in your mind’s eye, it is just another infinitesimal discovery.

    Also discovered in 1976, the Megamouth shark has been one of the symbols of cryptozoology since itsw discovery. But I guess its only another 15-20 foot long fish.

    The Iriomote cat (otherwise known as the Yameneko) was once very mysterious, but I suppose its discovery greatly detracted from its fascinating and engimatic atmosphere.

    The Chacoan peccary was thought to be long since extinct only to be rediscovered in a small group. Now there is a Chacoan peccary in the Hogle zoo in Utah.

    The Sinai leopard’s rediscovery was fundamental-shaking and yet you made now mention of apparently extinct, but actually relict, felids in your brief description of the last 50 years of zoological discoveries.

    The Bondegezou was also discovered in the last 50 years, which has proven to us that there is still a considerable amount of Indonesian mysteries.

    The shrieking Ulama of Sri Lankan folklore was passed off as myth until the spot-bellied eagle owl was discovered in 2005.

    The snubfin dolphin and the costero have both been described in the last 10 years. Just two dolphin discoveries or indications of great marine mysteries?

    A new species of Mesoplodon was described in 2007, making it the most recently discovered Beaked whale.

    The onza, despite remaining mysterious in a few ways, was discovered and classified as a new subspecies.

    The mountain possum was known only from pleistocene fossils until it was discovered after Bernard Heuvelmans coined the word “cryptozoology”.

    A 32-inch long rodent was discovered in Papua New Guinea along with 29 other species including several species of frogs and a species of bat.

    I just listed some of the major ones that I remembered off the top of my head. If you would like to further validate my point, I invite you to look through Karl Shuker’s exhaustive work The Lost Ark: New and Rediscovered Animals of the 20th century.

  10. Loren Coleman responds:

    Nick, your statements are textbook incorrect argumentations in logic and rhetoric resulting in a lack of validity, or more generally, a lack of soundness. My friend, when you keep going on and on about no cryptids being able to exist near Dallas, as if that is some kind of valid way to bring down the foundation of cryptozoology, you show yourself to be the one standing on extremely rocky ground.

  11. Nick Redfern responds:

    Allen:
    There are numerous stories of Bigfoot being shot at. And not one attempt is ever successful? Not one?

  12. Nick Redfern responds:

    kryptoos006:

    I almost (but not enough) to say this…but… when you say of cryptozoology, it may “one day be viewed as a laughable and ridiculous mentality,” it is already, by many MANY!, people. The reason: lack of just one body, one-body part etc that proves the case with 100 percent certainty.

    If a body turns up, things will change over night. If it doesn’t there will always be the laughter/ridicule angle which exists already, and quite prominently, unfortunately for those of us that believe in cryptids, even if we disagree on what they are or are not.

  13. Nick Redfern responds:

    kryptos006:

    You also say: “A 32-inch long rodent was discovered in Papua New Guinea along with 29 other species including several species of frogs and a species of bat.”

    My reply: so what? I’m talking about 7-foot-tall apes reported an hour from Dealey Plaza! There’s a hell of a difference between finding a 32 inch in Papua New Guinea, or a frog or a bat andsomething like that!

    It is course common-sense that a rodent could hide in New Guinea for years, but giant-apes 60-minutes from where JFK’s brain got spread across downtown Dallas that never get caught, killed or conclusively found is a completely different matter!!

  14. Nick Redfern responds:

    mike_noodles:

    You say:

    “Nick, try as you might, you will never stop evolution.”

    Huh???? I’m pointing out that there is simply something very weird about the 100 percent elusiveness of cryptids and pointing out that cryptozoologists should address this angle more.

    How you can interpret my post as me trying to “stop evolution” I have no idea!!

    You also talk about me denying the future of cryptozoology. Again: Huh????

    No, I’m not denying. I’m saying – in my opinion, that’s all it is – that perhaps if cryptozoology expanded its territory in terms of potential, alternative theories the future might be different to just collecting more reports. How is that me “denying” the future of cryptozoology?

    You also say: “Nice try.” Again: Huh????

    I’m not trying to do anything, other than offer an honest opinion on what I see as the high-strangeness aspects of cryptozoology, and why I feel it would be good to address them.

    You accuse me of cherry-picking, but I can tell you of more than a few Bigfoot researchers who flat out refuse to address the high-strangeness cases. I’m not cherry-picking, I’m offering my views.

  15. Loren Coleman responds:

    Look, Nick, as long as you narrow the parameters to make yourself a winner within your own constraints, it is no fun debating you.

    Cryptid bodies are found all the time. We call them animals.

    Hairy cryptids are shot all the time. We call them new mammals.

    Cryptid primates are killed and verified, frequently, as monkeys and apes.

    A large group of what today would be called “Bigfoot” was rumored to be in the volcanoes of a faraway country in the 19th century, before one was shoot and recovered. Today, because of that body, the successful story of the gorilla is a well- known one.

    Constantly saying that cryptozoology has no successful examples does not make it true.

  16. kryptos006 responds:

    Nick Redfern,

    Funny how out of my brief list of twenty-one animals you select the smallest and least significant animal to prove your point. And once again, leave the Dallas reports behind you, because if you drive fast enough for an hour outside of Dallas, you can find a place that is just as rural certain places in California or Oregon where a large percentage of sasquatch reports originate from. Also, reports of Bigfoot-like animals are much less prevalent outside of Dallas as they are in, say, Washington state, so it is completely beside the point that there happens to be some reports near Dallas.

    The prospect of cryptozoology is only ridiculed to a certain degree. Of course it will receive lots of ridicule if we all postulate that cryptids are extraterrestrial, paranormal, or extra-dimensional. On the other hand, very few will tell cryptozoologists that animals like Steller’s sea monkey or extant thylacines are impossible, whereas they would question your beliefs on how exactly you think aliens from thousands of light-years away somehow managed to get to Earth and, by extension, why they care about a planet that is hosting a race that is apparently so much less advanced as themselves.

  17. Nick Redfern responds:

    Loren:

    Im not trying to “bring down the foundation of cryptozoology,” as you put it – even if I could, which of course I can’t!

    And I have no desire to do that anyway!

    In my post, I’m just suggesting that to get beyond just filling up more and more filing cabinets with more and more reports but no hard answers for the next 50 years, it might be a good idea to look at the alternative theories.

    As you know, I am a full-on Bigfoot believer, but I never understand the absolute vehemence that surfaces when anyone (even a believer like me!) suggests Bigfoot may be stranger than mere flesh and blood.

    I’m simply pointing out that Bigfoot is a beast that is seen in highly populated areas of the United States, some massively populated. It never, ever gives up a corpse. One is never shot and killed. On the many occasions it is seen racing across roads right in front of cars, it never, ever makes a mistake and falls or stumbles and gets hit and killed. It never dies in the wild and gets stumbled on – not even a skeleton.

    Yes, I know, that if these creatures are constantly on the move, then that would make it harder to find them, if they don’t have a permanent “camp” just down from Dallas. But, if they’re on the move all the time, that should arguably lead to more chances of accidents, etc occurring, not less.

    As I have always said, most (even known) animals successfully avoid man most of the time. And by avoid, I mean don’t get seen, don’t get shot, don’t get…etc etc. But Bigfoot does all of that – ENDLESSLY, ALL THE TIME, WITH A ONE HUNDRED PERCENT SUCCESS RATE THROUGHOUT THE HISTORY OF BIGFOOT RESEARCH.

    90 percent I could accept. 95 I could accept. But on every single occasion, ever? That strikes me as very odd for such an immense creature, when it’s seen so close to civilization on a regular basis.

    I’m not asking for dozens or hundreds of bodies to turn up. Only one. Or a head. Or half a head. Or an ear. Anything. But, despite massive numbers of reports, photos, very close encounters on occasions, near-misses with cars, attempts to shoot it, there’s nothing 100 percent of the time.

    But people are clearly seeing something. And that’s my point. Something is out there. But if it’s a “normal” animal, it’s way, way, way, WAY beyond lucky in the matter of its elusiveness…

  18. Nick Redfern responds:

    Loren:

    You say:

    “A large group of what today would be called “Bigfoot” was rumored to be in the volcanoes of a faraway country in the 19th century, before one was shoot and recovered. Today, because of that body, the successful story of the gorilla is a well- known one.”

    Yes, very true. But there’s a world of difference between a 19th century gorilla and a “faraway country” and 21st Century USA and 7-8 foot tall apes seen near major US cities!

  19. kryptos006 responds:

    Nick Redfern,

    As I read through your comments and posts, I continue to hear a phrase something to the affect of “100 percent elusiveness.” Firstly, cryptids are not 100 percent elusive, because they are sighted and we do obtain physical evidence occasionally. Secondly, there are millions of cryptids that are not highly elusive. In zoology, we call them animals. Every single animal was at one time a cryptid, regardless of whether that word was coined at the time of their discovery. You say that it is no coincidence that all cryptids are highly elusive and you are right: if cryptids were not elusive, we would have already discovered them!

    Also, as Loren Coleman pointed out, “high-strangeness” reports make up only about .001% of cryptid sightings, and it is certainly no coincidence that most, if not all, such accounts have emerged since Charles Fort and F.W. Holiday’s days. The trouble is, every body confuses cryptozoology with Earth mysteries, extraterrestrials, paranormalcy and other completely UNPROVEN phenomena, which is just not true. In cryptozoology, we draw many of our assertions from the field of ZOOLOGY, a verified and proven discipline. What scientific study is there that places exobiology, paranormal studies, and the analysis of Earthly phenomena even anywhere close to the BORDER of science and pseudoscience. The fact is, based on all of the discoveries that the study of cryptozoology has brought about, many scientists are beginning to recognize that cryptozoology is a science rather than a pseudoscience whereas most of forteana does not even have half a valid argument to put itself in the same position. A scientists can argue that calculus is just theory, but that does not mean that anyone is going to agree with them, and I see the same prospect for the future cryptozoology as long as cryptozoologists continue to separate themselves from the world of forteana.

  20. DWA responds:

    Well…

    “Next Nick says: “In terms of securing hard evidence (and, no: film-footage, testimony, and photos – as good as they may be – are not evidence either)”

    Well, now, folks, all of those things most certainly ARE evidence. Once again, someone is saying “evidence” when what he really means is “proof” – and the only distinction, of course, is that proof is evidence which is accepted by generally-recognized authorities. Why does jurisprudence understand this and science – at least at the most interesting times – doesn’t?

    And there is, of course, a LOT of evidence, which, for various reasons, mainstream science hasn’t even considered yet. That science, as a body, has addressed the yeti and sasquatch is about as fanciful a notion as the farthest-fetched paranormal ramble I have heard. Now, individual (and impeccably qualified) scientists have addressed these animals. This, taken together with the copious evidence, has led at least one scientist to pronounce the sasquatch a scientific discovery which has already occurred. (So you’re more right, Loren, maybe than you thought.)

    And all the evidence – trust me on this – blows the terminally-elusive argument right to Mars. The sasquatch isn’t any more elusive than pretty much any of the wild animals we know about. Unless you are a scientist with his nose in the typical if-we-don’t-know-it-then-it-ain’t-real rut.

    While I cannot complain about individual scientists’ decisions what to study, the blind scoffing that takes place way too often in the mainstream provides the 100%-elusiveness illusion that, well, just ain’t so.

    But of course, one needs to be conversant with the evidence to recognize that.

  21. Fhqwhgads responds:

    All the discoveries zoology has made in the last 50 years are about as exciting as a Political Convention…a new species of lizard, monkey, or spider, is not gonna move the price of gas off the front page.

    I’m not at all impressed by the what of cryptozoology, only the what if. But to be unimpressed by the what of zoology over the past 50 years requires either a very narrow view of zoology, or a total inability to appreciate science. Or both.

    It would require being uninterested in the discoveries in palaeontology, including the relationship of birds to dinosaurs, the discovery of some of the first quadrupeds, the discovery of the evolutionary history of whales, and any number of discoveries about human evolution — or denying that these are part of zoology. It would require being uninterested in whole communities that do not depend on the sun for life — or denying that this is part of zoology. It would require being uninterested in the advances in understanding animal behavior, including the capacity of higher primates for language — or denying that this is part of zoology.

  22. DWA responds:

    And as to this:

    “In my post, I’m just suggesting that to get beyond just filling up more and more filing cabinets with more and more reports but no hard answers for the next 50 years, it might be a good idea to look at the alternative theories.

    As you know, I am a full-on Bigfoot believer, but I never understand the absolute vehemence that surfaces when anyone (even a believer like me!) suggests Bigfoot may be stranger than mere flesh and blood.”

    The vehemence – which you may be overstating – stems from the evidence, which says, overwhelmingly: ape. Nothing more, or less.

    Now as to the hard answers: my post above addresses why the mainstream hasn’t come up with any, while thousands of eyewitnesses – and just a few impeccably-qualified scientists – already have.

  23. kryptos006 responds:

    Nick Redfern,

    When Bernard Heuvelmans wrote The Last Dragons of Africa, he commented that he wrote the book because people were looking in all the wrong places. I feel as if you are attempting to have this same mentality in your “quest” for the sasquatch by applying your own reasoning to the mystery thus narrowing down the search. The trouble is, by assepting the postulates that you discussed, you are leaving behind all logical reasoning to an abnormal world were everything is surreal. By doing this, we are left with nothing to reason with, which is certainly a problem in one of the most theory-based disciplines ever to be made. In the foreword to Karl Shuker’s book, In Search of Prehistoric Survivors, Roy P. Mackal writes that Shuker is doing real cryptozoology because he is taking descriptions of cryptids and attempting to reconcile them with zoology and taxonomy. By stating that cryptids are of an extraterrestrial or paranormal type is to alter cryptozoology. Heuvelmans- the father of cryptozoology, I might point out- refused to consider animals that were apparently “transported” to their current location via a fortean process cryptids, but to suggest that all cryptids remain elusive because they are advanced extraterrestrial beings is certainly stepping out of cryptozoology. If you are to conjecture this, create your own discipline like alienomundology from the latin words alienos and mundi (“strange” and “world”), but can serve alternate purposes (ALIENomundology). Go ahead. You have a name now.

  24. Fhqwhgads responds:

    So, the party line here appears to be

    1. Whenever a mainstream scientist discovers a new species, cryptozoology gets credit for it.

    2. Mainstream scientists are the enemies of cryptozoology.

    3. In spite of 1 and 2, don’t call us cranks.

  25. Nick Redfern responds:

    kryptos006:

    Er…where shall I begin?

    You say: “Funny how out of my brief list of twenty-one animals you select the smallest and least significant animal to prove your point.”

    You’re the one who brought it up!! If you don’t like the fact that I highlighted it, you shouldn’t have mentioned it!

    You say: “…they would question your beliefs on how exactly you think aliens from thousands of light-years away somehow managed to get to Earth.”

    As anyone who knows me or has read my books will know, I don’t believe ET is visiting. I’m far more in line with the Keel theory of Window-areas. I also even wrote a book saying ET didn’t crash at Roswell – heresy for some people in Ufology!

    You also say: “it is completely beside the point that there happens to be some reports near Dallas.”

    No it’s not actually. And to your other point, you dont even have to drive fast to get there! My point is that we are supposed to accept that there are massive, hulking apes only just outside of Dallas and we can never ever prove it.

    It’s not that I dispute they could be there per se. It’s just that after intensive searches, night-time/day-time vigils, etc, we can’t prove it. If 8-foot apes only a short drive away, we should – after so many years – be able to find proof. We’re talking about what many believe are giant apes!! We’re not talking about a small animal lurking in the dense woods.

    You also say: “as Loren Coleman pointed out, “high-strangeness” reports make up only about .001% of cryptid sightings.”

    So, even if it’s a small amount, how do you then deal with that? A small amount is still an amount.

  26. DWA responds:

    Nick:

    “I’m simply pointing out that Bigfoot is a beast that is seen in highly populated areas of the United States, some massively populated. It never, ever gives up a corpse. One is never shot and killed. On the many occasions it is seen racing across roads right in front of cars, it never, ever makes a mistake and falls or stumbles and gets hit and killed. It never dies in the wild and gets stumbled on – not even a skeleton.”

    Um, the evidence contradicts you. All that stuff has happened. Reports say so.

    What you have done is make a ton of assumptions. Most without realizing it. Watch how I don’t:

    No one has ever – that we know of – gotten his hands on a piece of evidence – and people have, everything from bones to partially-decomposed feet to skeletons to bodies to feces to blood – and moved that piece of evidence up the chain of custody to scientific gatekeepeers who have admitted it; analyzed it; and made public the results of the analysis in a way that has compelled the scientific mainstream to get interested.

    Yes, “unknown primate” has happened, more than once. Boy, that got folks excited, eh?

    Cryptids have an invisibility cloak, for sure, that is borderline paranormal.

    I know what it is.

    It’s the weirdest primate. That’s what it is. WE’RE IT.

    (Bigfoot is so boringly par for the primate course that he’d laugh to hear some people talk about him.)

  27. Nick Redfern responds:

    DWA:

    “The vehemence – which you may be overstating – stems from the evidence, which says, overwhelmingly: ape. Nothing more, or less.”

    But, if so, it’s an ape that doesn’t just live in the very deep wilds of the Pacific Northwest, but is reported near major cities (such as Seattle, to save me going on anymore about Dallas), and that has successfully, 100 percent of the time avoided giving up firm proof of its existence since research began, despite its closeness to civilization. Sometimes, astonishingly close.

    We proved there are gorillas in the Congo, and that there’s a giant panda in the wild (and in some cases very wild and isolated locations), etc. But we can’t prove there’s any number of 7 or 8-foot-tall apes roaming around in a nation like the USA…?

  28. Nick Redfern responds:

    Kryptos006:

    You also say: “By stating that cryptids are of an extraterrestrial or paranormal type is to alter cryptozoology.”

    That’s the whole thrust of my post: that if cryptids are more (or less) than flesh and blood, then perhaps cryptozoology DOES need to change its approach.

    Correct. The ET angle is one I don’t support to explain what is, without doubt, a very real phenomenon. But that Bigfoot sightings have occurred in areas that are rich in other Fortean phenomena is not in doubt.

    Check out either Rob Riggs’ In the Big Thicket book, or Stan Gordon’s Silent Invasion book.

  29. WinterIsComing responds:

    Nick,

    Your math is a little…um biased? You keep going with the whole “100% elusiveness of Bigfoot” being a reason to assume its an alien or a ghost or my great Aunt or whatever you think it is….And sure I guess even if 100% elusiveness was accurate (ignoring tracks, pictures, videos, testimony, which may or may not be real) it doesn’t mean it has magic. All animals that we haven’t official described yet have a perfect success rate or eluding us….until they dont….and we describe them….

    So sure, if there is such a thing as bigfoot, it has indeed eluded our scientific identification with complete success….until it doesn’t. See what I am saying? You can’t just say, “Oh well we haven’t found it yet so its aliens….so stop doing science.” Because then we will never find it.

    Hell I’m not even sure I think bigfoot is real and I still think the only way to find it is to keep doing what we are doing….if its real, then eventually maybe we will get lucky…if it isn’t real then it isn’t real and people have some fun running around the woods looking for monkeys, but to say we need to go one step further from the big ape man we haven’t found yet and say that said potentially unreal creature is a completely different….potentially unreal creature….don’t you think you are just making things a bit more complicated then they already are?

  30. DWA responds:

    Nick:

    “You accuse me of cherry-picking, but I can tell you of more than a few Bigfoot researchers who flat out refuse to address the high-strangeness cases. …”

    There’s a reason for that. It’s something called “the bell curve.”

    These reports are an infinitesimal fragment of the evidence. I am not, in fact, aware of ONE report in which a sasquatch piloted a spacecraft to a landing; entered or exited one; or came to a homeowner and said, um, take me to your leader. The reports appear to be associating encounters with other evidence that, so far as anyone can tell, just happened to occur at the same time; no one has any idea how the sasquatch is connected with the other evidence. Or even what the other evidence represents. And there are too few to be concerned about, never mind anything to search on.

    A scientist is bound by the rules of his craft to drop outliers, and search around the area represented by the peak of that bell curve. Which for this particular critter, says: ape, nothing more, nothing less.

  31. alan borky responds:

    No offense guys but I find this argument verging on the hilarious.

    On the one hand we have Nick apparently espousing the ‘supernatural’ as an explanation for some of the characteristics associated with Bigfoot and Nessie et al (and he may be right) yet when it comes to the likes of Roswell espousing much more mundane and far from paranormal explanations (and again he may be right).

    But on the other hand we have Loren the rationalist scientist aiming all his big scholarly guns at Nick for apparently daring to ‘impugn’ cryptology with the tinge of the eldritch in spite of the fact he runs another synchromystical Twilight Language blog which by any interpretation’s based on the supernaturally tinged idea apparently unrelated events’re actually deeply intimately connected on levels many modern Jungians and the likes of Tibetan Buddhists find so embarassing they’re doing their damnedest to eradicate such information from the popular consciousness.

    It may even be the likes of Sasquatch and Nessie’re able to pull their disappearing acts precisely because they have an intuitive affinity for and ability to manipulate the sea of synchromystical coincidences Loren’s Twilight Language greatly to depend on.

    Ditto even if Roswell does boil down to Nick’s balloon and a bunch o’ retards the very fact the Flying Saucer headline shook the world in 1947 only to be almost forgotten yet continue subliminally influencing literature and movies for decades until finally it somehow resurfaced back at the top of the popular consciousness suggests the possibility the reason why Roswell won’t go away’s because it’s somehow become archetypally immersed in precisely the same Colemanian synchromystical waters Sasquatch may be using to vamoose at will in between making photocalls with flying saucer crews et al.

    I’m not having a go at either of you merely pointing out you seem much closer to each other’s points of view than the two pieces suggest.

  32. DWA responds:

    Nick:

    “Yes, very true. But there’s a world of difference between a 19th century gorilla and a “faraway country” and 21st Century USA and 7-8 foot tall apes seen near major US cities!”

    That would be true, were the second part referring to something real, which I’m not aware it is.

    This is where reading reports comes in.

    First: the animals will not be seen if there is no one to see them. “Skeptics” actually try to use this argument! Hey, they say; sasquatch are seen along trails, along roads, even in backyards! That’s not “remote!” Well, sure, “skeptics.” So, you are thinking that this can only be real if no one sees it?

    Second: sasquatch are seen by the people one would expect, in the places one would expect to see them, at the times one would expect. These are clear earmarks of a phenomenon external to and independent of the observer.

    Third: yes, they sure are seen – a lot – along roads. They sure are seen – a lot – along trails (as well as way away from them). And they are seen in backyards too! Why, I just read one.

    http://bfro.net/GDB/show_report.asp?id=35631

    And you know where it was: in a subdivision bordered by a large tract of forest. Every sighting I am aware of is right on the boundary of, or in, a large contiguous tract of what would appear to be excellent habitat, or at least a viable travel corridor amenable to the passage of a large, solitary animal with reasonably good people-avoidance software (which most wild things have). Here is the one I have read that is closest to a major city …which, given that I could call it up, right off the top of my head, should tell you there aren’t many:

    http://texasbigfoot.com/reports/report/detail/334

    Read that report. The animal wasn’t downing a latte at Starbucks. And it was sharing that area with almost the entire range of east Texas wildlife.

    I have never read a sasquatch report the location of which seems to me implausible. And I know my critters pretty durned well.

  33. red_pill_junkie responds:

    In the 16th century, Johannes Kepler was looking to validate his theory of a planetary arrangement according to a geometric distribution dictated by the Platonic solids. A distribution that would validate the existence of a Grand Designer.

    To do so, he joined efforts with Tycho Brahe, the best astronomical observationalist of his time. The personal dispute among them is the stuff of academic legend, but in the end Brahe advised Kepler to take special attention with the retrograde motion of Mars.

    Why Mars? Simply, because it was the most eccentric motion of the other observed planets, and therefore the hardest to reconcile with all proposed astronomical theories. if one explained the motion of Mars in the skies, one could explain the motion of ALL the planets almost as an afterthought.

    Science advances at a higher rate when we dare to focus on the most eccentric phenomena. Case in point: Kepler’s planetary laws, and Einstein’s special Relativity theory.

    I honestly think that what Nick is proposing, is that Bigfoot, the Yeti and Nessie are the Mars of Cryptozoology.

  34. Nick Redfern responds:

    WinterIsComing:

    You say: “So sure, if there is such a thing as bigfoot, it has indeed eluded our scientific identification with complete success….until it doesn’t. See what I am saying?”

    Yes, i totally understand what you are saying. But, my point is not that they could not exist and avoid us, it’s that they have consistently avoided us with a 100 percent success rate for ever. No bones, no body, no accident, and they are seen in highly populated areas.

    Those are my issues: not that a 7 or 8-foot Bigfoot (or even larger in some reports) could not exist in the United States, but that by now, with such a massive body of reports and sightings, and in the most advanced nation in the world, and where these things are often seen in close proximity to major population areas, we should have found proof of at least one ape running around if it’s 8-foot tall!

    We’re not talking about the Almasty and wild, remote mountains. Or the Yeren. We’re talking here. Close to cities. 8-foot apes. There should be some proof if Bigfoot is just a regular animal.

  35. Nick Redfern responds:

    DWA:

    You say: “These reports are an infinitesimal fragment of the evidence. I am not, in fact, aware of ONE report in which a sasquatch piloted a spacecraft to a landing; entered or exited one; or came to a homeowner and said, um, take me to your leader.”

    That’s correct, and I certainly am NOT saying, nor have I EVER said, that Bigfoot comes out of a UFO. What I’m saying that there are many reports where Bigfoot has been seen in the same place and same time as other Fortean phenomena.

    Rob Riggs’ In the Big Thicket (which I referenced in an earlier comment) discusses sightings of Bigfoot in the Texas Big Thicket area which is steeped in high-strangeness. Even the Bigfoot/wildman reports are. Ask Rob about all the strange stuff he’s found. He’ll be pleased to tell you.

    Check out Stan Gordon’s Silent Invasion book, whicg is packed with high-strangeness. Stan and Rob are both guys who get out into the field.

  36. Nick Redfern responds:

    DWA:

    You seem to be missing my point.

    You say: “I have never read a sasquatch report the location of which seems to me implausible.”

    I agree with you: woods, forests, swamps, waterways etc, are great places. I have no argument with that. But my point is this: Bigfoot doesn’t stay there. It’s in peoples yards. It is seen near major cities. If we were talking about Bigfoot in totally plausible places in some remote land, that’s different. But when it’s close to home, that’s very different.

    I don’t even have a problem with Bigfoot being seen in plausible places in the USA. Rather, I have a problem with it never giving up proof just once in all our investigations, never getting killed and stumbled on before nature deals with it, never getting hit by a vehicle (it should given how many road reports there are), never getting successfully shot and killed even once, never dying outside of an environment where its corpse remains hidden, etc.

    People somtimes say Bigfoot buries its dead. Maybe. But why has there not even been one accidental death in an unanticipated situation where people have found it? Just one.

    This is the entire crux of my post: not that Bigfoot could not live in the US, or there isn’t a vilable habitat, or enough wiliderness. Rather, it’s when we have massive creatures allegedly living very close to US civilization, and yet for all our efforts we have never proved, and Bigfoot has never made a mistake that allows to prove its existence that way.

    That’s my issue,. Not the location, the habitat, but the 100 percent elusiveness – an elusiveness that covers every single angle possible that might otherwise allow us to prove it’s flesh and blood.

    So, although I am a full-on believer that Bigfoot is “something,” I find it very difficult to conclude it’s just an ape that science and zoology deny the existence of.

  37. Loren Coleman responds:

    Of 36 comments posted here, thus far, fully 13 of them, 1/3 are from Nick Redfern.

    I’d say that strikes me as defensive and a bit of over-explaining to tell us something that should have been able to stand on its own merits in the original column.

    Nick states the cryptid he wants to use as his prime example is “100% elusive,” but, indeed, it is Bigfoot’s/Sasquatch’s evidence of their lack of elusiveness that has resulted in tracks, fecal material, hair samples, films, photographs, audio recordings, eyewitness accounts, native traditions, first people’s legends, and a growing modern cultural presence. I’m left wondering if Nick has missed the boat. Can he not see what’s happening right in front of him, due to his blind devotion to “believing” in a certain point of view?

    Look, as I have always stated, I have enough room in my cosmos to allow for a variety of explanations for the various types of evidence and accounts. But we must let the data lead us, not make up insights about an elusiveness that is not there.

  38. kryptos006 responds:

    Nick Redfern,

    You said, “You’re the one who brought it up!! If you don’t like the fact that I highlighted it, you shouldn’t have mentioned it!” I am sorry to say that that is not true in the least. Through the compilation of the twenty-one animals that I listed (of which there are hundreds more that are equally significant) I demonstrated that your point regarding “100 percent elusiveness” is entirely fallacious.

    You also said: “As anyone who knows me or has read my books will know, I don’t believe ET is visiting. I’m far more in line with the Keel theory of Window-areas. I also even wrote a book saying ET didn’t crash at Roswell – heresy for some people in Ufology!” Once again, you are drawing your “evidence” from a theory that has absolutely no evidence to justify it. Mainstream cryptozoology is based on zoology, as I pointed out earlier (and it appears that you have ignored all of my arguments and yet somehow believe that I should trust in you far-fetched conjectures).

    I can believe that there are organisms that have evolved elsewhere in the universe, but, why would they evolve a humanoid form in a place that is entirely different (ecologically speaking) from Earth? I know that on a site like this, I will probably receive criticism by stating that it is very, very, very, very, very unlikely (only about .0000000001% shy of impossible that extraterrestrials have reached Earth regardless of how many virtually impossible theories ufologists can come up with.

    You also stated, “That’s the whole thrust of my post: that if cryptids are more (or less) than flesh and blood, then perhaps cryptozoology DOES need to change its approach.” Cryptozoologists will NEVER change their approach to accomodate this “alienomundological” mentality. Why, you may as, yourself? BECAUSE IT WORKS! As I read your comments yesterday, 21 animals came to mind: the 21 that I listed. All of those animals have only been discovered in the last 50 years, since Bernard Heuvelmans coined the word “cryptozoology” and gave the statement “the great days of zoology are not done.” These are the animals that came to my head while reading your comments, so, with 10 minutes of light research, I could have come up with a list 3 times as long. Yes, one of the animals happened to ONLY be one of the largest rodents ever discovered, but it was not intended to be the one of the most significant on the list. So why would we change our process to accomodate a mentality that has never, and in all likelihood, will never result in a discovery of any kind? WE WON’T! Make up your own discourse and then you can discuss it with all of those individuals that once called themselves cryptozoologists.

  39. kitz responds:

    My only problem with Big Foot, is people taking people on “Big Foot” tours. now that Big Foot is in EVERY State in the Union (seriously, there is now a Big Foot in Rhode Island) it seems impossible that one bit of DNA or evidence has not been found. Point is, most of the creatures that are “refound” were all well known by locals and natives. Fishermen have long known about “lost” fish species…only they didn’t know they were “lost”. So when Big Foot is everywhere, and the local…MOST of the locals.. that life off the land, eat venison they shoot, know mountains and forests and have trail cams galore (here almost all gardens have several trail cams, and these are gardens in wooded glens), I begin to think the hunt is now just a matter of “well we’re out in the woods still looking.” Locals here get upset if a “Big Foot” tour group comes, they see them as money making, and find it odd that “footprints” always show up. I’m all for looking, what upsets me is the faking, but if someone has paid hundreds of dollars to go walking about the woods with “expert Big Foot hunters” they want to find “tracks”. It’s not going to help find whatever is out there is people insist Big Foot is found EVERYWHERE, and faking goes on without really being called out. (Our Big Foot tour group never has a weekend they do NOT find tracks, and since I am part of a beaver control group…we break up new dams to keep roads from flooding I really doubt the area I was at minutes before suddenly was a bee hive of Big Foot activity….but that’s where they always find the prints!). We need to call out this fakery fast, and focus on where they might truly possibly be.

  40. norman-uk responds:

    I am a great believer in sasquatch or bigfoot and value the hugh amount of evidence amassed for it and wait with interest the outcome of present work to increase knowledge of it from DNA studies.

    Nevertheless I do think Nick has got a point, where is the definitive proof of sasquatch? Well maybe this year we will have it, until then it seems to me has a very valid case in the core mystery of no body bigfoot and no body sasquatch.

    At this point, though explanations can be reasonably advanced they do not go far enough and crpytozoologists should recognize this knowing with some confidence their view will be eventually vindicated. To recognize the absence of that final proof, for the time being, will earn respect from all sides of the discussion.

    As to sasquatch being somewhat paranormal well I dont think it can be ruled out, but I doubt things have got to the point were it is the most sensible option. Nick is welcome to it but isnt trying to understand the more conventional but still mysterious aspects of sasquatch sufficient ?

    Isnt it great also to have the associated discoveries of homo floriensies, denosova man and afarensis sedipa and last but not least revelations about neanderthal man to juggle with in a sort of adjacent way if not at this point directly connected.

    I am prepared to believe gnats have paranormal powers though after clapping them between two hand often produces-nothing, not with standing other strange powers they seem to have (lol) !

  41. Redrose999 responds:

    I think cryptozoology is more than bigfoot, Nessie, and those other larger than life “cloaked in myth” critters folks often associate it with.

    Loren has made a very good point, and I’ve notice a lot of folks jumping in and talking bigfoot as if that’s the only cryptid that matters. YES it’s one of the staples in the cryptid community, but in reality cryptozoology is about many different hidden animals we haven’t discovered yet, whether it be a subspecies of squid, or a lizard, or something really bizarre like the Okapi, every animal out there was once a cryptid. Someone had to go out, talk to the folks who are seeing them, and look for the animal in question.

    I find the discovery of a new lizard or squid very exciting because it just shows how diverse nature is and the awesomeness of adaption though random mutation. Come on folks, that’s worth squeeing over! Who needs aliens or teleporting supernatural bigfoots when nature is just amazing as it is.

    Well anyway, I think Loren put it in better words than I ever could and I’ve done one too many run on sentences tonight! :)

  42. red_pill_junkie responds:

    Let’s discuss the concept of ethno-known. It has been mentioned previously how one of the greatest asset of Cryptozoology is heeding the folkloric traditions of tribal groups concerning the existence of creatures which haven’t been officially recognized by modern Science.

    We use the lore of different Native American groups related to their beliefs of hairy giants as tantalizing evidence to the existence of Bigfoot, and to help establish how it’s not a myth born after the arrival of Westerners.

    But those same traditions make it clear how these giants are not just another type of unknown animal, like a bear or a wolf. Native Americans consider them as something like an intermediary between the spirit world and the world of men.

    So, by overlooking those aspects of the lore, and just cherry-picking the parts that suit our particular belief system concerning the nature of these creatures, are we not at risk of behaving with the same kind of arrogance displayed by the close-minded skeptics, who deny their existence altogether?

    Some food for though, to liven the discussion while you are still imagining the kind of headgear you’d like our friend Nick to nosh on ;)

  43. Loren Coleman responds:

    Red Pill Junkie writes, talking of bipedal hairy unknown primates, that “Native Americans consider them as something like an intermediary between the spirit world and the world of men.”

    Within the U.S., there are 562 Native American tribes.

    There are currently over 630 recognized First Nations governments or bands spread across Canada.

    The situation is the same in Mexico.

    I’ve done a fair amount of research on Native North American Indians’ conceptualizations of “Bigfoot.”

    There are several ways that various First Nations people, Indians, Native Americans, Canadian band members, and all tribal groups think about, describe, and feel about their local “Sasquatch.” It has always been a “white man’s mistake” to think that all Indians hold Bigfoot in the same place in their belief systems as the next group of people in the next village, who happened to also be Natives.

    I am not saying that our friend from Mexico, RPJ, is making such a “mistake,” any more than I, as a part Eastern Band Cherokee, speak for all Amerinds. But I think we have to be careful of making global statements about what “Indians” think about Bigfoot. The truth is their views are all over the map, and to say Natives all think Bigfoot occupy a middle area between the spirit world and the human world is simply incorrect.

  44. maslo63 responds:

    I’m mostly on board with Nick on much of this. DWA knows firsthand where I stand and I have argued many of Nicks points myself. I don’t however think high strangeness is the answer. I buy into the paranormal and supernatural and Fortean even less than cryptozoology. If Sasquatch is real it is an ape and nothing more as has already been stated.
    One point I would like to touch on is this notion that cryptids are being discovered all the time and these cryptids validate cryptozoology. Well firstly, most of these cryptids are standard fare. Generally small or remotely located species or those very similar to already described species.
    The mountain gorilla comes to mind specifically. Everyone always brings it up in these discussions but the rarity and remoteness aside I never see anyone bring up a key point. This animal was not something completely unknown to science. An exciting find surely but really just another member of a genus first described not in 1914 but in 1847, 67 years earlier. I’m talking of course about that other member of the gorilla genus, the western gorilla. And oh yes, the mountain gorilla was not even described as a new species, it is a sub-species of the eastern gorilla which was described in 1903. Note how close those dates are, it didn’t take very long to find this sub-species after the first. So I ask…how does the discovery of a sub-species of known ape in remote Africa support the notion that an ape in a separate genus from all known apes manage to survive across the globe in the 21st century? Keep in mind that this ape lives in regions under heavy human occupation in places that have no evidence for apes in the fossil record or not even in some cases a population of large native placental mammals (I’m looking at you Australia)? It boggles the mind. I don’t think high strangeness is the answer, I think the answer usually is mistaken identity, hoaxes, hallucinations and the strange workings of the human mind. Boring I know. That is not my point though.
    My point is that the high profile cryptids that cryptozoology pursues are not comparable to real animal discoveries. A bovine in remote Asia does not compare to a 30′ lake serpent. A sub-species of dolphin does not compare to a winged beast in New Jersey. A tiny frog from Madagascar does not compare to a blood sucking canid (or whatever it is these days). A large bipedal ape wandering the globe does not compare to a sub-species of gorilla in remote Africa. You must get my point by now.
    What’s more is this. Most of the recently described animals (and animals in general) are described and sought out by the same people that scoff at cryptozoology. As far as I can tell most people that call themselves cryptozoologists have a very low success rate and don’t compile reports on a newly described songbird in Brazil or a population of frogs in NY with a slightly different call. They focus on the high profile stuff…monsters really. They use these real life discoveries to somehow scientifically validate monster hunting. They hunt for the stuff that can be taken as seriously as anything in the realms of the paranormal, supernatural or high strangeness.

  45. Nick Redfern responds:

    Loren

    No it’s no defensive at all. If people comment on something I write, I feel the need to respond. And, sometimes, if I miss something, it requires me to do a follow-up.

    People who get defensie are weak.

    I try and get as much clarified as I can, and sometimes that takes more than a few comments. That’s all!

    If no-one had commented, I wouldn’t have commented in reply. It’s that simple.

  46. Nick Redfern responds:

    Kryptos:

    You say: “I can believe that there are organisms that have evolved elsewhere in the universe, but, why would they evolve a humanoid form in a place that is entirely different (ecologically speaking) from Earth?”

    Again: I do NOT believe aliens from another star-system are visiting our planet! I have said so, my books say so, my lectures say so. I’m inclined to go along with John Keel’s window-area angle of entities co-existing with us.

    You also say: “Cryptozoologists will NEVER change their approach to accomodate this “alienomundological” mentality.”

    Finally we are in agreement on something.

  47. Nick Redfern responds:

    Norman:

    You say:

    “As to sasquatch being somewhat paranormal well I dont think it can be ruled out, but I doubt things have got to the point were it is the most sensible option. Nick is welcome to it but isnt trying to understand the more conventional but still mysterious aspects of sasquatch sufficient ?”

    I would have to disagree that that approach is sufficient, because we have reports of Bigfoot high-strangeness (very high-strangeness at times), so we should avoid talking about it?

    That would mean to deny an aspect of the phenomenon that people DO report.

  48. Redrose999 responds:

    I think one of the major problems with Nick’s approach (correct me if I am wrong here, but this is what I’ve garnered from the posts above, is that he wants to redefine the word and field of Cryptozoology (mainstream media has worked very hard to lump the two together). Rather than approaching it as a “scientific study of hidden animals” he wishes to change it into a field of “Paranormal study of Hidden animals” (if anyone can come up with better wording please do).

    Let me explain. Yes, Loren and others have pointed out the history of Cryptozoology and the people involved but I wish to take it further. When biology was in its infancy, it was a field founded on the natural world. Naturalists were the first real cryptozoologists; they sought to discover, using the scientific method (creating hypotheses, testing it by trying to prove it is false, gathering evidence (in the case of naturalists it was observing, exploring and recording the world and creatures around them) or conduct experiments, documenting it. You cannot prove a negative of the form “[general class of X] does not exist”, therefore you must only start from the concrete material you have. When it comes to cryptozoology you are trying to prove your hypothesis is reasonable in the first place. It isn’t part of normal zoology until you discover it, after all.

    Nick proposes to use other, unknown phenomena (teleportation, alternate dimensions, etc.) to explain aspects of Bigfoot/other cryptozoological phenomena. This is, not to be insulting but just straight, bad science. It’s a failure to apply Ockham’s Razor; don’t multiply entities unnecessarily or in more common terms don’t make your explanation more complex than it has to be.

    For Sasquatch, or any other cryptid, the explanations/hypotheses are very straightforward: either there is an animal meeting these characteristics, or there is not. Assuming that the creatures to have powers/capabilities in addition to those which are acknowledged to be part of zoology/biology in general is taking the entire question out of the realm of zoology and into the realm of the paranormal/supernatural.

    This is not what cryptozoology is about; cryptozoology is a sub-discipline of zoology, focused specifically on the analysis and exploration of evidence for creatures which are witnessed but not yet categorized by science.

    The theory that Bigfoot (or any other cryptid) is of alien origin, a teleporter, something from an alternate dimension, etc., is – simply put – NOT cryptozoology. That’s paranormal material in a completely separate field, and it’s vastly more speculative. Cryptozoology doesn’t assume the cryptids are somehow of a different type of being than any other creatures on the Earth; it assumes that we’re all basically animals together, just that some of them are harder to catch for various reasons.

    This doesn’t mean that there is nothing to any of the paranormal theories, just that they’re in a COMPLETELY different field than the standard cryptozoology field. Yes, the general public may lump cryptozoology in with ESP, ghosts, teleportation, and so on, but we know, and should remember, that they are very different fields of endeavor and they shouldn’t be crossed or confused unless there is very strong, hard evidence that demands that they should be.

    The latter sentence is key. Yes, Sasquatch could have all kinds of paranormal abilities, but we have no particular reason to believe this and it seems, at least to most in the cryptozoological world, that there’s no good reason to add any such things to the basic description or to allow for it in the research.

    Now, I’m neither a believer nor skeptic, I feel this stuff is worth researching and I am fascinated by the personalities and discoveries in the cryptid community. It is all very exciting. Sitting on the out side, I’ve discovered that Cryptozoology suffers from the same issues found in the scientific world, mainly people fall in love with their theories, and are not willing to give them up. A good scientist will change their view if they discover it is negative (i.e. Bob Bakker when he was researching dinosaurian motion), or when they prove someone else’s theory when trying to prove their own. You have to let go of ideas, change and evolve your opinion when the facts don’t line up.

    In the end Scientists are human, with reputations and pride on the line so things often get messy. It’s part of the field and in many ways, what makes it fun for people like me.

    Theories are theories after all, and need to be proven. I think the main point of this is, we need to rethink the use of our words and perhaps create a new name for the field involving paranormal study rather than redefining the meaning and scientific practice of Cryptozoology to include the paranormal.

    And if teleportation and alternate dimensions are proven as a normal testable aspect in nature than I would happily be willing to include them in Cryptozoology.

  49. corrick responds:

    Nick Redfern has stated repeatedly his belief in things paranormal and supernatural.

    For those of us who subscribe to a scientific methodology for cryptozoology, I think it’s safe to say Mr. Redfern’s opinions on virtually any subject can be ignored.

  50. DWA responds:

    Nick:

    “That’s my issue,. Not the location, the habitat, but the 100 percent elusiveness – an elusiveness that covers every single angle possible that might otherwise allow us to prove it’s flesh and blood.”

    This talks past the evidence.

    As I have said more than several times here, the sasquatch has left every kind of sign that we associate with animals. Every kind, from hair and bones to feces and blood. To say nothing of thousands of trackways and sightings, and conjunctions of the two that have led to a refereed paper connecting the track and the animal.

    But to paraphrase a recent eyewitness, when you’ve had it pounded into your head since you could talk that something isn’t real, you don’t react the way people assume you will. And you make tons of assumptions – the most glaring being that somebody who finds evidence of this animal is just going to walk in with it. (Presuming he/she even knows what it is. Most folks aren’t scientists.)

    This thing – if it’s real, which at this rate we may never know – is not particularly elusive at all. Thousands of eyewitnesses show that. It stays in the shadows of our refusal to acknowledge it. People – as we see here – seem unusually incapable of getting their arms around this. Next time you see, say, a coyote or fox – animals that don’t show themselves a whole lot, but enough – just imagine no one believing you when you say you saw one. Now imagine everyone who sees one having the same issue.

    That simple. But one needs to be conversant with the evidence to know that.

    What I am quite understandably incapable of doing is getting my arms around the notion that an animal, leaving zoologically testable evidence and lots of it, is a supernatural entity for which we have to cook up causes that automatically preclude science from doing its job, and push it farther and farther away from the question.

    Talking past the evidence is not what zoology is about. It shouldn’t be part of cryptozoology.

    But then, cryptozoology was born of science’s failure when put in the hands of human beings. We might want to try to fix that. One way to start:

    Gorillas aren’t high strangeness. Chimps aren’t either. And apes aren’t, in general.

    And go from there, with science leading the way.

  51. Redrose999 responds:

    DWA

    I would like to two examples to your statement here.

    “Next time you see, say, a coyote or fox – animals that don’t show themselves a whole lot, but enough – just imagine no one believing you when you say you saw one”

    One I lived in the country for a good 20 years, never saw a fox, and I did a great deal of nature walks and hiking. My parents who still live in the same place saw one fox, I’d say a few years back, so that’s a good thirty years. Animals who want to hide do.

    Now about creatures bigger than a rat, there was a tribe of humans just discovered in South America in 2011.

    Point is, large intelligent creatures can hide in dense forest.

    Nothing supernatural about it, just the desire to avoid outsiders.

  52. Alamo responds:

    There is an amazing animal, possessing one of the deadliest weapons in the animal kingdom. It lives in some of the most densely populated portions of the globe, sometimes reaching over 5m in length and weighing in excess of 600 kilos. I’m sure many ‘scientists’ said something like this could not possibly exist, it was “discovered” only 20 years ago: M. chaophraya

  53. silverity responds:

    Though in my own sphere of the Loch Ness Monster, I aim to take a rational and scientific line of enquiry, I am always open to other lines of enquiry such as the paranormal.

    My own recent article on Tim Dinsdale being a firm believer in the paranormal yet trying to steer a “flesh and blood” route for the creature shows that two theories can be held in one worldview by a cryptozoologist (which I am sure Tim would have described himself as).

    I used to take a paranormal view of Nessie, but a few years back I decided to go back to the “conventional” and see how far I could take it. So far I am still on course.

    The question for me as a Loch Ness researcher is “how long do I give that paradigm”? How long does one keep searching before giving up on metaphorically hooking that 30 foot beast?

    Clearly some in the Loch Ness cryptozoology domain have concluded the near 80 year elusiveness is purely down to the fact that there is nothing there except perhaps an itinerant sturgeon.

    Does thinking Nessie is a sturgeon remove you from the field of cryptozoology? As one sturgeon advocate once said – Loch Ness has very little to do with cryptozoology.

    I clearly do not agree with that statement.

  54. Alamo responds:

    My apologies… mistyped, it’s not “M.”… I was speaking of the giant freshwater stingray: Himantura chaophraya

  55. Alamo responds:

    In his book, ‘Jacobson’s Organ and The Remarkable Sense of Smell “, Lyall Watson talks of an animal that is similar to a skunk but instead utilizes pheromones… (I cant find my copy of the book, maybe someone can help out here with the name of the animal). Upon smelling it there is a loss of cognitive function and a strong feeling of aversion.

    Was wondering if it’s ever been postulated that BF’s pheromones could have a similar pyschoactive effect/ component… could explain some of the supernatural type qualities attributed to it.

  56. RainbowMeow responds:

    Loren, from time to time something so beautiful happens on the internet that one is compelled to dust off one’s username and password in order to comment. This is one of those things. You dunked on him so hard, man. *wipes away tears*

    I’ve just skimmed the other comments so far, but in one I noticed Nick mentioning a lack of Bigfoot skeletons. I was recently in southern Indiana and was shown daylight CCTV snaps of a bobcat. The bobcat is now recognized by Indiana’s DNR as being present in low densities in this part of the state. However, how many Hoosiers will have come across an intact bobcat skeleton while out walking in the woods? Not many, if any. Nature doesn’t leave these things lying around for long.

    (Yes, unlike with Bigfoot, we do have bobcat skeletons to study. But my point is about the likelihood of stumbling across the corpse or skeleton of an uncommon animal. It requires being in the right place at the right time, and this can’t be determined in advance.)

  57. RainbowMeow responds:

    DWA said:

    “Every sighting I am aware of is right on the boundary of, or in, a large contiguous tract of what would appear to be excellent habitat, or at least a viable travel corridor amenable to the passage of a large, solitary animal with reasonably good people-avoidance software (which most wild things have). ”

    Yes. Prior to us visiting a witness and viewing some track casts, my husband plotted all online-available Indiana Bigfoot sightings on a map, and guess where most were? They were clustered in and around the one part of Indiana that is still covered in big chunks of forestland – Morgan Monroe State Forest and the Hoosier National Forest in the south-central part of the state (there are also smaller woodlands nearby, such as Brown County and McCormick’s Creek state parks).

    So although the state as a whole is characterized by agricultural land, small towns, and some cities, BF sightings happen where you would expect them to happen if this is a forest-dwelling animal – in or near what forested areas remain.

  58. DWA responds:

    RainbowMeow:

    My experience in IL and IN is primarily driving on interstates.

    FROM THAT ALONE, I can tell you that the popular perception of those states as A Wheatfield is way wrong. There is habitat, lots of it. Bears would love it…and they’re showing it.

    And of course, something that is being seen – and in cases like this, reports can be bet upon to lag behind total encounters – isn’t, well, “never seen,” or “100% avoiding” anything.

    (Indiana, 73 on the BFRO database; Illinois…187.)

  59. RainbowMeow responds:

    DWA:

    Re IN and IL habitat – absolutely. Where I’m from there are woods aplenty even though corn and soybean fields break them up. Hence the popularity of all kinds of hunting (including my own preference – mushroom hunting).

    Also agreed re it being likely that reported sightings lag behind total sightings. The person we spoke to hadn’t ‘gone public’ until after retirement due to fear of any consequent ridicule affecting his career (which is a theme I’m sure you’ve heard before).



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