Monday, January 14, 2013

Cryptozoology vs. Parapsychology

Over at his blog, Matt Bille has a new post that discusses my Monster Diary book, in relation to the high-strangeness cases I present in its pages, and with specific regard to the matter of things such as a spectral sabre-tooth tiger (a case I describe in the book), and whether or not rogue cases like this should have a place in Cryptozoology or Parapsychology.

You can find Matt's post here, and here's my comment to the post:

"Hey Matt,

"Yes, it may well be argued that if a creature exhibits phenomena that is far more paranormal in nature (however we define that term), it may not technically be considered a creature of cryptozoology.

"But, here's the thing: many creatures that are widely accepted as being part of cryptozoology do exhibit such paranormal (or perceived paranormal) traits.

"Whether people agree with the data and witness testimony or not, there are a lot of Bigfoot reports that are steeped in high strangeness.

"Take, for just one example, Stan Gordon's 2010 book, Silent Invasion, that chronicles very weird Bigfoot activity in Pennsylvania in 1973.

"Tales of the Yowie in Australia are also saturated with odd overtones.

"FW Holiday, while investigating the Loch Ness Monster, began to experience a lot of high-strangeness, including a MIB sighting at the loch and strange synchronicities.

"Tim Dinsdale alluded to the possibility of a paranormal explanation for Nessie.

"There's Britain's Owlman, West Virginia's Mothman, the 'pterodcatyls' of the Texas-Mexico border - all steeped in high strangeness.

"Merrily Harpur's book, Mystery Big Cats, places the UK's Alien Big Cats into a non-physical category, a book well worth reading.

"So, if even just one example of high-strangeness in all these cases is valid, using your criteria for what passes as a creature of cryptozooloogy, would we not have to remove all the above 'things' from cryptozoological study and hand the data over to paranormal researchers?

"Or, perhaps, we should modify what cryptozoology is and represents."

1 comment:

  1. Cryptozoology needs a restructure. I was always of the opinion that the term looked at 'hidden animals' which could literally mean anything! All the while cryptozoology is a fringe subject, then I'm guessing that any seemingly paranormal creature can be part of the equation. I agree with your last sentence. The huge issue is that if a book sudenly lumps 'big cats' in with the paranormal, does that mean such animals can't be taken seriously as cryptozoological? In a sense a majority of so-called cryptids have never been proven to exist, so where do we begin? Surely we should be loking at evidence, as in the case of most things, and lack of it regarding most 'cryptids' suggests such animal do not exist in any sense let alone paranormal. To lump some of these alleged animals in with the paranormal is damaging. For instance, out of place animals are not part of cryptozoology at all - why should big cat sightings be deemed cryptozoological? They certainly aren't paranormal because evidence suggests otherwise, but Bigfoot, Nessie, there will always be a fine line between their reality and ethereality. Things which are not biologically possible should be removed from cryptozoology, and the 'animals' which leave evidence should be taken seriously, but then again, how much evidence is considered enough? there are no lake or sea monster carcasses, there is no bigfoot faeces or could be argued that cryptozoology is in a mess if we begin to start looking at Mothmen, Owlmen as cryptids which they clearly cannot be.