Cryptozoological Absurdities

Posted by: Nick Redfern on February 21st, 2015

Sea-Serpent1

My new article for Mysterious Universe is titled “The Absurdities of Cryptozoology,” and it starts as follows…

“Now, before anyone starts complaining or ranting, the title of this article – ‘The Absurdities of Cryptozoology’ – is most definitely not an attack on cryptozoology. The subject is, without doubt, one that I am particularly fascinated by – and which I have been fascinated by since my first trip to Loch Ness, Scotland, at the age of six. So, quit yapping before you even start.

“As for those absurdities, they revolve around aspects of the phenomenon that are not addressed anywhere near enough, and which lead me to believe that so many of the so-called cryptids that populate our planet are actually things that should be investigated by people with a deep knowledge of the world of the paranormal, the supernatural, and the occult, and not just zoology or cryptozoology. I’ll begin with the beasts of the aforementioned Loch Ness.”

Nick Redfern About Nick Redfern
Punk music fan, Tennents Super and Carlsberg Special Brew beer fan, horror film fan, chocolate fan, like to wear black clothes, like to stay up late. Work as a writer.


2 Responses to “Cryptozoological Absurdities”

  1. springheeledjack responds:

    This is my take on the whole thing 🙂

    I’ve read enough in recent years on string theory, multiverses and so on–not comic book junk or sci-fi stories, but scientific theory, and there are plenty of proponents suggesting just that. There may be a series of universes like or similar to our own, either out of phase or layered. As little as we know about how the universe really works, it’s plausible–at least as a theory. I don’t think there’s any hard and fast proof, but from what I’ve read, it’s as possible as Nessie or Bigfoot (personally, I think there’s more evidence toward the cryptids in hand).

    Now, having said that, well does that mean that all of these cryptids are just bleed throughs or phantom creatures that either just phase in whenever they can/want and then disappear to baffle and drive cryptozoologists crazy?

    I don’t necessarily think so. Let’s take sea serpents. There have been tales, sightings, ships records of them for centuries. The ocean is plenty big enough to house and hide huge populations of large critters without us being the wiser. We can argue the what’s and why’s later, but the fact is, there is plenty of room and area to hide something like the sea serpent without any kind of supernatural phenomenon.

    What about Nessie you ask? I haven’t been to Ness yet, but I’ve done all of the arm chair investigating I can on Nessie, but on the loch itself. There’s a lot of square miles of water to account for and again, plenty of room to hide a critter–especially since we can’t even seem to narrow down even what kind of animal it is: reptile, amphibian, fish, mammal. Just because we can’t catch one, find one or get good evidence of it, does that mean it’s paranormal?

    I’ve argued this before, but I am of the mind that humanity is not the smartest thing on the planet and I believe our own arrogance accounts for a lot of our inability to find cryptids. It was 2010 a 10 foot diameter ray was discovered in the rivers of southeast Asia. There had been accounts of them, but no one had caught one until this century. Go figure.

    I think the same is true of other cryptids. The fact is, there are all kinds of things right under our noses and most people are too caught up in their day to day to even want to search for such things. And yeah, I know, people have been seeing Nessie regularly since the 1930’s and no one has caught one or gotten definitive proof. Why? Because it’s supernatural or slipping in and out of some universe cross over?

    I’ll keep an open mind and say, it’s possible. However, Loch Ness is peaty–which means you can’t see a dozen feet in front of you. It’s deep, which means it provides plenty of places for bigger critters to hide away from those pesky humans who basically can only explore from the top plane of the loch–the surface. And it’s big–24 miles long, again giving plenty of places to avoid humanity.

    Add to that we know next to nothing about its physiology–it’s 20+ long, long necked, may have flippers, may have a tail, and occasionally comes on land. We assume it eats fish, but don’t know for certain. We don’t know if it can echolocate or has other senses to maneuver through the dark depths, and we know little next to nothing about its behavior patterns, reproduction, etc.

    While I’m willing to entertain the idea of parallel universes and bleed throughs, just like with Bigfoot, I’m not willing to throw in the towel and say it’s all paranormal just because we can’t haul one up like a catfish.

    My problem with the paranormal or supernatural path is that it just seems like when we come up against something in the world that we can’t explain, suddenly it has to be supernatural. It’s a catch all for everything we don’t know about.

    For example–let’s look at a case of the Cry Baby Bridges that seem to be here and there (many states have them–go look it up–I even investigated one in my state). Supposedly you can come to one of these bridges, put your car into neutral and your car will be pushed up hill, over a bridge or across railroad tracks. Now, there’s usually a legend of deaths around the specific place, and if you put powder on the back bumper of your car you can sometimes find hand prints.

    The one I/we investigated, it sure worked–we put the car in neutral and sure enough we rolled forward and went right over the bridge. No hand prints on the back bumper though. Was it supernatural? It was weird, ’cause it looked like we were going uphill. Then we spread out and looked around and after taking some side looks at the bridge, we realized it was an optical illusion. From the angle of the bridge and the surrounding area, it looked like you were driving uphill, but in fact, there was a downward slope to it. And checking it out further, we were right.

    Now, not to imply that all of that type of phenomenon is non-supernatural. However, it serves as a point to show that sometimes when things happen, and enough people can’t figure something out, a paranormal or supernatural moniker gets attached. Why? Because something strange is going on that people can’t explain, and if they can’t come up with an answer, then heck, let’s just call it paranormal and be done with it.

    I think the same holds true with Nessie and Bigfoot.

  2. springheeledjack responds:

    Now, to entertain your theory for a moment, Nick.

    I’m not necessarily rolling my eyes at what you’re proposing, but if you think there’s more paranormal to these phenomenon, then what specifically do you propose in operating more like paranormal researchers? And what should the goals be?

    I’ve read too that there is more than just Nessie going on around Loch Ness, and it does seem to be a hot spot for all kinds of things. Going back to the multiverse principle–for a second we concede that maybe Loch Ness is some sort of nexus of this kind of phenomenon, and a hot spot, so to speak. So what do we do that’s different than what we’ve been doing as cryptozoologists–investigating, tromping the ground and looking for evidence?

    Right now, even the paranormal crowd is limited in its tech gear. There are a lot of gadgets that are supposed to work, but there’s also a lot of smack-talk about orbs as far as using a camera goes. Even EVP’s, while I think there is some good “evidence” out there–a lot of the sounds recorded seem rather subjective and open to interpretation too.

    It seems to me the paranormal crowd should be pulling itself into engineering and physics to get some new gear to measure energies around some place like Loch Ness–see if there’s something unique about the electromagnetic levels there, different atmospheric energies…I don’t even know. Just spit balling, but if there is something more paranormal than just some critter swimming the loch, then the paranormal crowd is going to have to find a way to sort out first, why that area is different than other areas to draw such phenomenon, and what specifically it is about that area that makes it so.

    I guess ultimately, I want to know how you would see cryptozoologists proceeding more like a paranormal investigator?




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