Cryptomundo posts the Top Ten Cryptozoology Stories of 2011

Cryptomundo » Top Ten Cryptozoology Stories of 2011.

Loren Coleman lists the top 10 stories in Cryptozoology on Cryptomundo. Included are:

Beast Hunter Premieres on NatGeo, Finding Bigfoot Becomes TV Cable Phenom, DNA Dominates Bigfoot News, New Hominology Journal Announced, Pangboche Yeti Finger Found: DNA Tested

Credit: Loren Coleman on Cryptomundo

I’m not sure I agree with the order and may have picked a few different stories but this about captures it.

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  8 comments for “Cryptomundo posts the Top Ten Cryptozoology Stories of 2011

  1. January 1, 2012 at 5:12 PM

    So, in summary, some basic cable reality tv shows, some super-secret stories told in whispers on blogs that even CM calls unreliable, some diplomatic cables from the 1950s showing diplomats practicing diplomacy, the famous Pangboche hand turns out to be human like everyone except cryptos assumed, more tourist-hungry government officials turned a blind eye to hoaxing and myth-making in hopes of making money for their communities, some practicing credentialed biologists reclassified previously observed animals into new species, someone owns a large cat (still smaller than a car tire) in Louisiana, Jeff Meldrum made a zine with friends, and enough people visited a kooky folk-culture museum dedicated to the popular legends known as cryptozoology (hey, I’d visit it too. I’ve already been to the Mothman Museum in Point Pleasant and the UFOMRC in Roswell, as well as the UCM Museum aka the Abita Mystery House in Abita Springs, Louisiana, which houses a cast of the footprint of the Honey Island Swamp Monster. And I’m contemplating visiting the Creation Museum in Kentucky.) for it to expand.

    So the only bit of actual discovery is some non-cryptozoologists discovered a ferret and maybe a monkey (can’t tell if it is just a reclassification, but regardless it is noted in the blurb that it is morphologically similar to previously known monkeys in the region).

    Golf clap?

  2. Jim
    February 27, 2012 at 10:58 PM

    Cryptozoology is the definition of pseudo-science, or is it Ufology?

    • February 28, 2012 at 7:32 AM

      Pseudoscience is VERY tricky to define. It’s a collection of characteristics, some fields or individual researchers have more attributes or less. But even some legitimate science has some. It’s subjective. But the worst field, I think is ghost hunting. Ghost hunters that claim to be doing science really irk me. However ufology and amateur cryptozoology groups are frequently guilty.

      • March 25, 2012 at 5:39 PM

        I’d go with cryptozoology as the most pseudoscientific of the big three “discovery” pseudofields. There are lots and lots of problems with UFOs, but at the end of the day, a ufologist can fall back on Clarke’s Second Law (“sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”). It isn’t scientific, but it is understandable from a human perspective.

        Likewise, while I understand Sharon’s dislike of ghost hunters claiming the use of science when they are doing nothing of the kind, you’ve got three considerations here. First is the immaterial aspect of ghosts. As with UFOs, there is an element of arguing that we do not understand the invisible world, a sort of Ghosts in the Gaps. Second, belief in ghosts is deep and widespread. I don’t think this is evidence of ghosts, but instead it makes sense why people would be less likely to challenge such claims. And that further, such claims can often be couched in a religious worldview, making applying critical inquiry difficult once again. On top of that, many ghost stories involve apparitions of dead loved ones, furthering that effect. So I can understand why many people believe in ghosts and ghost hunting, even if I do not.

        By contrast with these two, we understand biology. We understand how animals work in ecosystems, what they need to survive, how to find and document them, how many there should be in a given area, and how to find evidence of them (including their remains). While there is the occasional modest surprise, large land animal discoveries these days are for the most part of the nature of reclassifications, finding animals very visually similar to other animals in an area, and recognizing them (many of the “new species” finds touted on places like CM are of this nature). I have sympathy and hope for possible discovery of fantastic creatures in the oceans. But on land, or in contained lakes, there can be no Bigfoot of the Gaps, because the gaps are gone. This isn’t 19th century colonial Africa where discoveries amount to the first time a European collects a corpse of an animal in an area where Europeans don’t live. Where cameras are rare. If you believe that people routinely encounter a massive unknown animal, but never come up with the corpse of that animal, then you have two options:

        - You are ignoring at least partially everything we know about biology, and that shows up every day in our lives

        - Or you assert that your cryptids have special abilities, powers, or natures that allow it to work outside of biology.

        We see this latter path showing up more and more with the ideas of “human” or “superhuman” bigfoot that can either hide amongst us or is vastly smarter than us (and apparently is entirely adapted to eluding scientific study and photographic detection. Interesting that such adaptations could emerge in less than two centuries), or of conspiracy theories that allege government or other forces are hiding bigfoot (to preserve the timber industry, hide our alien lineage, protect us from panic over marauding bigfoot, or any number of other permutations), never mind the old school Keelian extradimensional Bigfoot ideas.

        UFOs and ghosts may be pseudoscience, but they need not be antiscience (though in a number of cases they are taken that way). Cryptozoology, because in its traditional 1950s-1970s mode of being a branch of zoology and not a form of demonology or conspiracy theory, ultimately becomes antiscience. Is it any coincidence that while you can find UFO-interested creationists or ghost hunters, it is only cryptozoology that has been embraced by creationism (showing up time and again in creationist cartoons, speeches, videos, presentations, etc.), and it is only in cryptoozology that creationists undertake expeditions and projects specifically because they believe that cryptozoology will “disprove Darwinism.”

        • March 27, 2012 at 11:14 AM

          That’s a good distinction between the three fields.

          The supernatural slide is one of desperation, as I see it. Believers cling so tightly to their view that they must invent stranger explanations to account for it and they end up venturing outside the laws of nature.

  3. Get real
    March 25, 2012 at 3:32 PM

    What a gag. I should have known by now what to expect, but I keep hoping anyway. What i would give to be able to put some trust and respect toward what socalled experts had to say about their quote chosen fields. My children ask me about Bigfoot, ufo’s and the unseen in our world and I can only offer an opinion. Is it not a shame after all the years of research and all the tech we have now that I can’t point them in a direction where they might actually hear absolute facts? I’m not saying that some unknown is bad, but lies and hoaxes, THATS JUST PLAIN BULL…Where might I find good ole truth? Tell me if you can, thanks so much.

    • March 27, 2012 at 11:12 AM

      Truth is relative. Some people find it through science, some through faith.

      Facts are only as good as the framework you hang them on…

      Sadly, figuring out the world is not that easy. Nothing is absolute.

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