I’m presenting this article as a particularly awful example of terrible journalism. It’s riddled with mistakes and false premises.
Instead of linking directly to the article, I have webcited it so it will not give advertising revenue or hit counts to the site. Because that makes them produce more of it.
By driving though the Navajo reservation, no one would know that the vast tribal land is thought by cryptozoologists to be home to so many outlandish species.
“Navajo stories go way back, for years,” said Leonard Dan, a self-proclaimed cryptozoologist, someone who studies animals thought to be extinct.
What a mess. I’m not clear if the reporter is getting information from Dan or from independent research of the field of cryptozoology. They do not study animals thought to be extinct. They are interested in what people report as animals that are nonexistent right now. (Those who study extinct animals are palaeontologists – a totally different professional field.)
“There have been sightings of Pegasus, and of Griffins,” Dan said, referring to two creatures thought by most to come from Greek mythology.
Lately, an unusual number of people on the reservation also have spotted Centaurs, another animal of Greek mythology that is human on top and equine on the bottom.
These mythical creatures are biologically impossible. Serious cryptozoologists are interested in finding out what living creature may be responsible for the reports. That clearly fictional creatures are being reported is a hint that this thread is going no where in the realm of reality.
Brenda Harris, also of Upper Fruitland, said it took her a while to talk about her sightings of a pterodactyl, a winged Jurassic dinosaur, in the late 1990s because she was wary of the humiliation.
After talking about it, though, she found many of her neighbors had similar experiences.
To be pedantic, well, to say I know maybe a little something more about extinct flying reptiles than this reporter, pterodactyls are just one type of pterosaur (flying reptiles that lived at the time of the dinosaurs), certainly extinct for more than 60 million years but they were NOT dinosaurs. Giant flying creature sightings are rare but many reports do exist. Called Thunderbirds (more like giant feathered birds) or non-feathered (such as pterosaurs), they are steeped in Native lore. As far as I understand, they are metaphorical, an exaggerated version of real animals but not real. At least not organic as other animals around us.
[J.C.] Johnson [Dan's partner and fellow self-proclaimed cryptozoologist] has independently researched all kinds of cases, from behemoth snakes to werewolves to upright hooded lizards that will shoot poison into a person’s legs and then eat them. Not to mention skin walkers, the evil Navajo spirits that are known to take the shape of a wolf, among other animals.
“The locals out there all know about it,” says Johnson.[...]the Navajo police do not want to respond because of their own superstitions, or simply because they do not find the matters important.
Wow. Those are some truly extraordinary claims. They are so implausible that it’s clear we are not talking about flesh and blood creatures here.
This could have been a good piece. I am not well versed in Native traditions and the blurry lines between actual and folklore animals but the completely fantastic descriptions in these stories are indicative of an explanation that is not reflecting biological creatures but folklore and spiritual beliefs. The reader has no way of verifying anything in this story. It is told from the perspective of the self-styled cryptozoologists. There are no standards for that role. You can make it up as you go along. And it seems these stories are quite imaginative.