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Mystery Man: Untenable

Posted by: Loren Coleman on August 26th, 2009

Mystery Man, Brent Swancer, frequent guest blogger here, sends along this statement on the M. K. Davis affair:

I’ve always looked at these wild “massacre” conjectures with a bit of an amused pity for the guy. It seems that he actually believes this stuff, and rather than trash talk him, I just sort of let it slide. However, it has become apparent to me that this individual fantasy has become more and more damaging to the field and the reputation of those involved in the film, and indifference seems to not be the way to handle this.

I’m still trying to figure out just what is seen in the film, and Davis is out putting forth unsubstantiated theories about massacres and cover-ups, which only muddies the waters and brings further ridicule upon anyone trying to honestly come to a conclusion on the PG footage.

I don’t mind new theories, or changing my stance on the footage based on new evidence. You come up with some overlays of a human skeletal structure and that of Patty, Ok, great. You point out why it’s a suit because the backside seems to slide up at one point, fine, let’s look at that. I’ll consider all angles, and I’d even look at Davis’ ideas, but for that to happen, you have to come forth with actual evidence, not the sort of imaginings being brought forth here. It’s not that people don’t want to hear Davis’ opinion, but that he offers no strong support for his hypothesis whatsoever, and comes up with these intricate stories based on nothing. I am not convinced PG is one thing or another, precisely because there just isn’t enough to go on in my opinion. So for MK Davis to come up with this wild story about massacres and Bigfoot blood and guts, well it’s just untenable. It’s beyond belief.

He doesn’t even change his stance at all in light of all of the evidence that contradicts what he is saying, which is highly unscientific. In science, you have to be willing to adjust your stance and hypotheses in light of new evidence or falsification of your claims, something Davis has failed to do.

I’m not sure what he is trying to accomplish here. Is it more recognition? Surely he isn’t intentionally making the field of Bigfoot research into a three ring circus? Is he?

The sad thing is that crackpot theories like this tend to gain a large following because the allure draws people in who think it would really be cool if that were true, despite a lack of any evidence whatsoever. Even when these ideas are patently false, the sheer sensationalism of them means they get more coverage than they ever deserved, which makes people increasingly think to themselves “what if?”

It’s unfortunate. Unfortunate because the ones left to clean up the mess are those who are trying to approach things in a rational, scientific manner. Unfortunate, because the ones looking at actual evidence are put on the spot having to try and counter ridiculous demands to prove that the crack pot theory “isn’t” true. And perhaps worst of all, unfortunate for those like Green, who have their reputations thrown into question.

I commend Mr. Green for coming out and taking the time to give his side of the story, even though it is sad that he was forced to do so in the first place.

I agree with Loren completely, on the editorial about silence, and I myself could be considered guilty of keeping my mouth shut and just seeing how things played out.

I think cryptozoology is going to have to do something about far out, fringe elements seeping into our midsts, simply because it detracts from the credibility of the field as a whole. Due to crackpot elements, we all will invariably be painted with that brush if we don’t do something about it. I for one consider cryptozoology to be a legitimate scientific pursuit, and it is upsetting to see us get pushed any farther into the fringe than we have already been. These people like MK Davis are responsible not only for smearing peoples’ reputations, but creating further resistance against cryptozoology as an honest branch of zoology, already an uphill battle as it is.

Think about it. In how many legitimate scientific fields would those involved allow the kind of unsubstantated, fantastical musings going on here? I can tell you honestly that something like this, based on so little real evidence, would be laughed out of most mainstream biology or zoology conferences. It wouldn’t even be considered. As a matter of fact, in any other scientific field, I doubt anyone would even have the gall to bring it forward such a far fetched notion based on so little in the first place. At least no one that expected to be taken seriously.

And therein lies the problem. Why is it that in cryptozoology, those like Mr. Davis can get away with this? Are we going to let this field become a venue for every fringe element to voice their wild ideas? It seems to me that if cryptozoology wants any chance of being taken serious as a critical science, there can be no room for this sort of tomfoolery. We have to maintain a standard here, one based on critical thinking and evidence.

If we don’t, we are not only degrading our veracity as a field, but we are opening up a Pandora’s box where everyone out there with a fantastical idea will see the attention these massacre theories are getting and think that they can do it too. This sort of thing should be discouraged, not given a podium.

I have respect for this field, and I wish others like Davis would have the same. We are never going to be accepted as a mainstream science if we don’t start acting like it.

Brent Swancer, August 26, 2009.

About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013.


10 Responses to “Mystery Man: Untenable”

  1. Rob008 responds:

    Well said Mystery Man. I could not have said it better.

  2. JMonkey responds:

    I have never seen a statement more true. If we do not say something about this kind of irresponsible hypothesizing puts the field as a whole in jeopardy of becomeing a joke again. It seems that after all the hard work that the current researchers have put in, this would be a shame. Now is the time to speak up and tell the world that this will not be tolerated.

  3. DWA responds:

    OK, guys. You may have convinced me.

    Of course, by throwing in my “this is a joke” comments, which would have no forum otherwise, I may actually be endorsing your point. The more this goes on, the more caustic the comments get, and there’s a simple reason: this guy is behaving either wantonly maliciously or VERY strangely, and is backing nothing he says with evidence.

    It’s a shame, really. The stabilization of the P/G film may someday be viewed as a critical step in the process of confirming hairy hominoids. I have said here more than once that P/G is terminally poisoned as evidence. But I have reevaluated that stance, in large part due to the contributions of such as Bill Munns, Jeff Meldrum, and Darren Naish – contributions that rest largely on the work done by Davis.

    Some types there are who take a narrow proclivity, develop from it a considerable amount of attention, and over time begin overstepping their bounds – pretty easy to do in the first place – because they can’t get enough of the attention. That certainly seems to be what’s going on here.

    So: you’re right. Because if this topic weren’t up on Cryptomundo, how the hell else could people like me say that Davis’s assertions aren’t laughable only because they’re BEYOND laughable?

  4. Sassafrasquatch responds:

    Does anyone actually put any stock into what Davis has been saying? He is trying to inject a conspiracy into an already debated subject. It’s like coming out of left field and saying….JFK was shot by a organization of bloodthirsty MIME street performers from the sewer grate — Outrageous conjecture just to see what other “like minded” tale spinners will rise to the top. phhhht!

  5. proriter responds:

    It seems that what Mystery Man is proposing is a genteel, bloodless purging of the more wild-eyed elements of the BF community. And it’s about time. The lunatics have taken over the asylum.

  6. cryptidsrus responds:

    I’m basically in agreement with Mystery_Man.

    Good job, Brent.

    I would say what Brent is saying is that it is time for a “purging” of the more “wild-eyed” elements of the BF community that have NO EVIDENCE to back them up. Just slanderous accusations—that’s it. And I agree with him. :)

    Oh, yes—

    You hit the nail right in the head, as you do most of the time, DWA.

    I guess we’ve been properly “schooled,” isn’t it??? :)

  7. Rangoon responds:

    To come forth and accuse these people of being mass murderers without any sort of independent view on the film that gives substantial corroboration is insane.

  8. Bill Munns responds:

    DWA

    “But I have reevaluated that stance, in large part due to the contributions of such as Bill Munns, Jeff Meldrum, and Darren Naish – contributions that rest largely on the work done by Davis.”

    I can’t speak for Jeff or Darren, but my efforts in the PG Film analysis never rested on the work of Mr. Davis. My analysis has been independent of his, and I have never endorsed any of his conclusions.

    I may be doing things he has done previously, like the film image stabilization I have just completed, but I never relied upon his prior effort for my work.

    I do think it is profoundly sad the John Green and Bob Gimlin must endure demeaning accusations which seem to have no merit. I have met them both and have every confidence that the events of 42 years ago occurred as John and Bob described, and not as Mr. Davis claims.

    Bill Munns

  9. jerrywayne responds:

    Why has Davis made the claims he has, given the lack of real evidence?

    Three solutions:

    1. Davis has heard some rumors or talk from someone or some folks he thinks credible enough (concerning the “massacre” scenario) for him to reevaluate the Patterson film and related photos for substantiation. He honestly believes he has found that substantiation.

    Against this scenario solution: he has not given any sources for his statements and leaves the appearance that his massacre story is vindicated by his analysis of the pertinent film and photos only.

    2. Davis is acting in bad faith for a variety of possible reasons: he wants to be on the cutting edge of bigfoot research and interpretation and has concocted a story that gives him an instant opportunity. He wants to make money from a possible book deal. He wants to make villains of pioneering researchers. He wants….. who knows?

    Against this scenario solution: he is (or was) a bigfooter of good standing and seems to believe his own stuff.

    3. Like Searle at Ness, Davis has gone bonkers due to all the lonely hours he has put in trying to find evidence (via film analysis and tech) for an all important cryptid he believes in.

    Against this scenario solution: he does not appear bonkers.

    End result: I haven’t a clue as to why Davis is making the claims he is making.

    Davis, explain yourself!

  10. c.stark responds:

    Well said… Enough of these monkeyshines!



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