Friday, September 14, 2012

Cryptozoology's Future

In a new article at Mysterious Universe, I begin:

"Just recently, I wrote a post here on the subject of the future of Ufology. It was an article with which some agreed, others didn’t, and a few complained about. So it goes! Well, it’s time for another post that will no doubt provoke similar responses. In the same way that I have a deep interest in UFOs, I also have a great passion for cryptozoology – the study of unknown animals, such as Bigfoot, lake-monsters, sea-serpents, the Abominable Snowman, the Chupacabras, Mothman, and werewolves. But, what does the future have in store for those of us that chase what, in simple terms, are termed monsters? Let’s take a look…"

And here's the complete piece...


  1. Hey Nick, it could be argued that some 'cryptids', i.e. Goatsucker, Nessie are a sum of many parts and so that makes them impossible to find - as they have no real identity until we give them one. I think sea serpents are a possibility considering the depths of the oceans. There's no reason for a sea serpent carcass to turn up, when you consider there has never been a carcass of a truly giant squid and yet science know they exist due to the sucker marks observed on sperm whales, and the large beaks found in the gut of whales. It's also highly unlikely an 'abominable snowman' if it exists, will turn up dead in the Himalayas - it is one of the most inhospitable places on earth that rarely gives up its dead.
    Bigfoot is the one that bugs so many people and I agree that there should be more evidence for such a large creature, but again, I think we need to look at it either from a zoological angle or a paranormal and not merge the two, because this affects progress - as in the case of so called 'mystery big cats' in the UK. Alot of people belieev 'big cats' are folklore or demons because there's "no evidence" when there clearly is, but with Bigfoot I'd expect a lot more faeces, kills and hair, but sadly all we have to go on the foot prints and eye witness reports which can be unreliable. I think there's a fine line between some cryptids and pure fantasy, becasue it is clearly not biologically possible for there to be werewolves and a Mothman, these are clearly connected to the human psyche and I hope Bigfoot is real, I really do, but it's only natural people want more evidence but maybe there's too much of an enetrtainment emphasis on the mystery, in turn relegating it to folklore. Sadly, Nessie and Ogopogo will always be nothing more than a wave, a splash etc, and that's what keeps them going but I find that it became stagnant a long time ago so fully agree that there needs to be some fresh perspective otherwise lake monsters, Bigfoot will simply slide down into the murky realms occupied by black dogs, fairies and unicorns of the past.

  2. Your posts on the state and future of ufology and paranormal cryptozoology have issued a supreme challenge to investigators. Coming from a person who knows the material inside and out and clearly seeking to understand, not debunk, it will be difficult to ignore or dismiss. Worse for those who would like continue business as usual, your thoughts are both provocative and contagious, having stimulated commenters to think about the inconsistencies and how to acquire definitive evidence.

    How does one go about revealing explanations when there is no evidence to be found? Maybe this question can be answered by posing another question. What causes ulcers? Thirty years ago the answer was all about excess acidity and the response for severe cases might have been surgery. Only when two pathologists noticed possible histologic evidence for bacterial invasion and went through a frustratingly difficult process to determine how to culture and characterize them did the prevailing opinion shift. In effect, their work revealed a pathogenic bacterium that had to that point been invisible. Today, a physician is more likely to prescribe antibiotics to eradicate bacteria instead of resorting to surgery. What happened? When people began to examine the evidence and mull over its implications, they came up with testable hypotheses. That introspection and thinking ultimately revealed the once cryptic facts.

    The comments to your post suggest you have gotten people to think. We have some powerful tools now and perhaps applying one of them to trace evidence such as hair will lead to a future breakthrough. And maybe someone using them will recognize the evidence that reveals things we cannot predict and never expected.

    So, what causes ulcers? For people who want to keep investigating the paranormal in the same, nonproductive ways, I suggest it just might be Nick Redfern.