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Cryptids or Ghosts?

When, with my teenage years looming, I became seriously fascinated by the subject of cryptozoology—the search for and study of mysterious, undocumented creatures such as Sasquatch, the Yeti, and the Loch Ness Monster—everything for me was very much black-and-white: Bigfoot and the Abominable Snowman were giant, as-yet-unclassified apes; the Loch Ness Monsters – I say “Monsters” rather than “Monster,” as encounters span more than a thousand years, effectively ruling out the possibility of just one creature being involved – were surviving relics from the Jurassic era; and the veritable menagerie of other amazing animals in our midst, including werewolves and sea-serpents, were simply creatures that science and zoology had yet to definitively classify.

Unknown or not, they were still flesh-and-blood creatures—or so I assumed. As time progressed, however, and as my teens became my twenties and then my thirties, my views began to change, and with very good reason. The beasts with which I had become obsessed as a child, I later came to realize, were not just strange: they were actually too strange.

Despite the fact that there have been literally thousands of sightings of Bigfoot within the dark forests of North America over the past several centuries, all attempts to identify, trap, or kill even one such animal have ended in complete and utter failure. Unlike just about every other living creature in the United States, Bigfoot has never had the misfortune of being hit by a car or truck and killed, nor has anyone ever stumbled across the corpse of one of these elusive animals. And there are countless cases on record in which people have attempted to shoot Bigfoot, but the bullets seem to have no effect on the animals whatsoever.

It’s much the same with the monsters of Loch Ness, Scotland. Although the Loch is sizeable—it is approximately 24 miles long, roughly a mile wide, and about 700 feet deep—it is hardly remote or inaccessible. Certainly, every year, tens of thousands of people flock to Scotland in the hope of seeing the elusive long-necked entities of those dark waters, and nearly all go home disappointed.

Ambitious projects designed to seek out the creatures with sonar and submarines have always failed to turn up anything conclusive. Attempts to photograph the animals, on the rare occasions they have surfaced from the murky depths, have often proved to be curiously problematic, as well: cameras jam at crucial moments, and photographs are inexplicably blurred or fogged.

Then there’s the matter of the eating habits of these mysterious beasts—or, more correctly, their overwhelming lack of eating habits. Bigfoot, given its immense size and build (eyewitness reports describe a creature eight feet tall and weighing an estimated 300 to 600 pounds), would likely require a massive intake of nourishment. After all, a fully-grown silverback gorilla requires a tremendous amount of food on a daily basis.

Imagine the amount of nourishment required by a whole colony of silverbacks! Indeed, one of the reasons why it is so easy to track the movements and activities of gorillas is not only because they are very social animals that live in groups, but also because of the clear and undeniable evidence of their massive, hour-by-hour efforts foraging for food. However, there is very little, if any, evidence of Bigfoot’s culinary delights.

Yes, there are very occasional reports of Bigfoot killing a pig here or a deer there, but for the most part the hard evidence of its eating habits—which, again, would have to be tremendous in nature—is conspicuously absent. Moreover, that Bigfoot is seen in locales hardly noted for their rich and abundant food supplies, such as the depths of the Nevada desert and West Texas, only adds to the high strangeness.

And it’s much the same with Loch Ness: if a large colony of plesiosaurs has managed to survive extinction and now calls the loch their home, how, exactly, are they sustaining their massive bulk? Yes, the Loch is populated by a number of kinds of fish, such as salmon, eel, pike, and trout, but the populations are most assuredly not in the numbers that would allow a school of 20 aquatic beasts, each 15 to 25 feet in length, to secure sufficient nourishment on a day-to-day basis to ensure their survival, health, and reproduction over the centuries.

In other words, while most, if not all of the many and varied creatures that fall squarely under the cryptozoological banner appear at first glance to be flesh-and-blood animals—albeit ones as-yet unclassified by science—upon careful study, their curious eating habits and activities suggest they are actually nothing of the sort. Indeed, given their elusiveness, they seem rather more spectral, ethereal, and phantom-like in nature.

Could it be the case that some of the strange and fantastic monsters that plague and perplex people all across the world on dark, windswept nights, within thick woods, and amid the cold waters of ancient lochs and lakes are far less—or, paradoxically, far more—than they appear to be?

With that above-question in mind, I’ll leave you with another question to ponder upon: Are our monsters actually ghosts?

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  • i aka Jon Robinson

    Very good d*mn argument.  I think that though I would love for Bigfoot to be real (Every since I watched The 6 Million Dollar Man throw down with him); but actually, I was thinking the same thing about they survive without there being “remains” that would show conclusively, that animals? This big, are around and foraging for food.  Ghosts huh?  Interesting.  Very interesting…

  • Gh-gh-gh-ghosts?

    Maybe we don’t understand time and they’re actually the result of ‘windows’ temporarily opening out onto other eras which we only THINK no longer existence?

    …but how about this one from the gubbins endlessly downloaded in me over the years (try’n’o persuade me this and that):

    i) we don’t understand SPACE (which I’ve no particular problems with) and
    ii) the Earth we know’s only ONE TENTH of the Earth that’s ACTUALLY there (which was apparently Sufi boy Ibn Arabi’s position).

    Now if we call that other nine tenths DARK Earth we’ll win the Nobel Prize for EVERYTHING!

  • Indridcold1313

    check out the book “The holographic universe” very interesting and kinda would explain alot of this

  • Kyssmeqwik

    A lot of people in this world cannot bring themselves to admit to believing in ghosts! Much less admit that Bigfoot IS a ghost!

    I believe in my gut that its only a matter of time (soon, very soon) before there won’t be any denying the obvious, in that there are ghosts among all of us. For Bigfoot, I see both sides from the positives to the negatives on their existence. If or when they get discovered, this world won’t look the same anymore. There will be even more crazy people out there trying to kill or maim a Bigfoot. If its true, that BF’s may be an intellectual species, then can you imagine what their families will think of US hunting THEM?

  • Brycemeister

    Cannot verify this, but I recall hearing that for centuries, things such as Bigfoot and others, have always been considered actual animals…that just happen to have both spiritual, or paranormal aspects, and physical, and can exist in this, and another world, and can pass between both at will.

  • xicota

    Interesting theory, Nick–one that has been given consideration by many. Both my grandfather and his sister were Spiritualist clergy, so I’m open-minded to a fault on the subject.

    Re: Bigfoot, I’m thinking more along the lines of inter-dimensional, or possibly a being with special capabilities (thought-influence, e.g.) . Native American tribes who have interacted with the creature believe it to be another “tribe” of people–not an ape. Bf do eat, and they most definitely strive to avoid outside contact. They have made limited exception with a few North American Tribal people–mostly for purposes of trading. For those who say there are never any skeletal remains found, who can prove that they don’t bury their dead? Would anyone recognize a BF grave if they came upon it?

    With one notable exception (Patterson film), the majority of possible BF photos or videos I have studied (those that have not be proven hoaxes) have been taken by non-researchers who were not making any particular effort to look for BF—chance encounters. I have to laugh when I watch TV programmes on the BF subject–most often the efforts of lettered researchers, tromping about in the forests, schlepping all their equipment, blasting their recordings, and most amusing of all to me—leaving ape pheromone bait packets. When was the last time any of us had romantic thoughts while observing apes at a zoo? The aroma emanating from said enclosures doesn’t exactly light my fire.

    Back to the “ghost” postulation–If BF are ghosts, I would probably shelve the idea that they were residual hauntings, as these are repetitive and non-interactive. I’m not certain why so many BF, with sightings in such a vast area ( across US and Canada) would all be past-tense, deceased (sorry, I’m an old Monty Python fan–lol).

    Nevertheless, I do note BF reported behaviors that have similarities with “ghosts”–sudden  disappearance, lack of physical trace evidence, EM effects.

    We continue to wait for “smoking gun” proof—but I certainly hope that it is a Nerf gun, as I do not wish to see BF done in for Science.

  • What’s the definition of ‘ghost’ we should be using, then?

    We often use terms in the Fortean realm which has a pretty different meaning for different people.

  • Martin Groenhof
  • Sesquect

    Nope – not ghosts, just elusive

  • Nick Redfern


    The problem is not that Bigfoot is elusive, because most wild animals are elusive most of the time.

    The problem is that Bigfoot is elusive 100 percent of the time and with a 100 percent success rate. That’s the problem.

    No animals – aside from Cryptids (Bigfoot, lake-monsters etc) – consistently and successfully avoid confirmation of their existence.

    Most people never see a bear or a mountain lion in the wild. But, we know they are out there, because we have evidence (zoos, dead bodies etc).

    Why do we NEVER get evidence of Bigfoot? That’s where, for me, the problem creeps in.

    No animal (or at least nothing normal) can avoid detection ALL of the time. But, Bigfoot does. Bullets don’t affect it. It doesnt get hit and killed by a car. These are the sorts of things that do happen to regular creatures.

    But if Bigfoot is just a regular animal, but one that is just incredibly elusive as you suggest, then we should have at least one bit of hard evidence.

    For us not to have any evidence basically means Bigfoot – in the course of ensuring their kind remains elusive – has never, ever made an error, and has never been the subject of unforeseen circumstances, etc. That’s just too much to ask for.

    Bigfoot is undeniably real. But, there is clearly something more going on that it just being a hidden ape.

  • Nick Redfern

    X: Yeah, the inter-dimensional theory is a genuinely interesting one. And, to deny the EM effects – as I have seen some researchers do – is absurd, because whether people like it or not (and many don’t LOL), it’s still a part of the Bigfoot phenomenon. So, at the end of the day, whether ghost, Tulpa, inter-dimensional surfer or something equally weird, I think the very last thing Bigfoot will be proved to be is just an unclassified ape.

  • Alcander

    If humans can leave ghosts behind after a disturbing or traumatic event why cant other creatures/animals. Perhaps the plesiosaur’s seen in Lochness are the ghosts of creatures that died all those years ago. Admittedly this is a paradox, considering no other dinosaur ghosts have been found, or reported in museums. Also Big Foot as a ghost is interesting I’ve never heard that theory before. Perhaps there the ghosts of pre-human civilizations, similar to Neanderthals. Bigfoot as inter-dimensional beings is also a new theory to me.