Posted by: Loren Coleman on November 15th, 2005
Dinah Voyles Pulver, the environment writer at the Daytona Beach News Journal has a good overview of the debunking of "sea monster" beachings at Tasmania, Bermuda, Nantucket and Chile. All were cetaceans, of course. She also lumps in the nearby 1896 St. Augustine beaching, as a whale too, but my emails with Roy Mackal tell me there may a surprise on the horizon about that one, in a new analysis being conducted. Could it be a giant octopus, after all?
Also highlighted by Pulver is the work of cryptozoologist "Charles Paxton, a researcher with the wildlife population assessment department at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, [who] published an analysis of witness accounts of an encounter with a ‘sea serpent’ off the coast of Greenland in 1734. The sailors told of the animal spouting water and falling on its back into the sea. Paxton and his colleagues concluded the sailors probably saw a humpback whale, a North Atlantic right whale or an Atlantic gray whale, possibly without its fluke or a male in a state of arousal. Other scientists say it is possible someone in the 1700s could have mistaken a prominent part of a male whale’s anatomy for a sea serpent. Scientists describe whale penises as ‘snake-like’ and ‘quite long,’ for example, 6 feet or more on a right whale."
Charles Paxton, one of our own, it is worth noting, applies an open-minded cryptozoological and zoological sense of the world to the cases he investigates. Truth be told, not all the results that cryptozoology produces end up supporting some of the legendary sightings in the way that the general public would think that we "should." Cryptozoologists are good critical thinkers.
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.