Mar 08, 2011 I Nick Redfern

Cryptids: Where are the Bodies?

As some readers of Mysterious Universe may be aware, aside from UFOs, my other big interest - when it comes to the world of the unexplained - is Cryptozoology: the study of, and search for, unknown animals, such as Bigfoot, lake-monsters, the Chupacabras, and the Abominable Snowman. And, as readers may also know, my views on such "creatures" are hardly mainstream. So be it!

While many (indeed, probably most) cryptozoologists and monster-hunters are content to conclude that such beasts as those referred to above are flesh-and-blood animals of a distinctly down-to-earth - but presently unidentified - nature, I'm far from certain that's the case. In fact, I'm pretty sure it's not the case! Or, at the very least, they are not flesh-and-blood in the way we understand the term. And, one of the things that continues to push me down this particularly-paranormal pathway when it comes to certain cryptids, is the absolute lack of a body - or bodies - to support the notion that the many and varied monsters, and weird beasts, of our world are nothing more than unknown animals.

Now, I know full well that the bulk of the mysterious beasts that people such as me pursue are reported from locales that are remote, hard-to-navigate, or pretty hostile, which I will be the first to admit makes it immensely difficult when it comes to securing hard evidence in the form of a corpse. And even more so as a result of the fact that most of us simply don't have the money to embark on extensive expeditions for weeks at a time. Thus, people suggest that, given the above, it's not at all unusual we should never have stumbled upon the corpse of a legendary, unknown critter like Bigfoot. Okay, maybe the chances of finding a Bigfoot corpse are scant. But never?

Bigfoot, Sasquatch, the wild-man-of-the-woods - call it what you will - has been reported for centuries, and from practically every U.S. state. There are certainly thousands of reports on record. And who knows how many more sightings have gone unreported, for fear of ridicule, or of being labeled a liar or mentally-deranged? These nationwide reports, spanning such a lengthy period, certainly imply that the Bigfoot population - if they are flesh-and-blood - has to be pretty large.

With that said, why aren't we finding hard evidence of their reality? Well, one theory is that Bigfoot is not the dumb brute it appears to be, but that, mentally, it  may very well be a highly-developed entity, and one that understands the nature of death. The result: when a Bigfoot dies, its family, friends or comrades bury the corpse, much as we do. The outcome: we never find a body. Fair enough.  Given what we know about the way in which elephants mourn their dead, I don't dispute that as a possibility.

However, we know that elephants comprehend at least something about what death means, because we have been able to study them, and we have very valuable film-footage of elephants clearly reacting, in an emotional fashion, to the discovery of elephant corpses and bones. But, that's my point: if we have been able to secure such data from studying elephants, then why is fully confirming the death-related rituals of Bigfoot always impossible?

Similarly, why has Bigfoot never been hit by a car, killed, recovered, and presented to the world's media? Is it really feasible to imagine that not even one such accident, where the evidence could be seen by one and all, would occur - ever?

It's much the same with lake-monsters: yeah, of course I'm aware they live in the water and are, therefore, likely to die in the water, and, as a result, sink to the bottom of the huge, murky lake they call home. But, what are the chances of never coming across the body of such a creature during, for example, a diving expedition in a lake said to be swarming with monsters? I know that people rightfully point out when something dies, nature takes care of it very quickly, and the dead body quickly becomes food for whatever else calls the particular locale their home. But, water-based animals die in lakes and oceans all the time. That has not, however, stopped us from firmly identifying their type. Why are lake-monsters - and sea-serpents - the exception?

Then, there are Britain's alien big cats - or ABC's, as they have become known. For decades, and possibly even centuries, reports have surfaced of large, exotic, predatory cats prowling the countryside. Of course, it scarcely needs mentioning that the British Isles are not - or should not be! - home to any such creatures. That does not, however, prevent people from seeing them.

And, while a couple of live and dead specimens have been found - such as lynx and puma - those few cases always seem to be explainable as escaped pets and such like. However, there are a number of reports of far weirder big-cats - very often black in color - having been killed on country roads, only for the bodies to conveniently vanish, after being quickly recovered by mysterious "government officials" who seem to display distinct Men in Black-style characteristics.

There's no doubt that our world is indeed populated by a veritable menagerie of unknown beasts. And it's not that they are elusive that bothers me. What bothers me is that - for flesh-and-blood animals - they are simply too elusive...

Nick Redfern

Nick Redfern works full time as a writer, lecturer, and journalist. He writes about a wide range of unsolved mysteries, including Bigfoot, UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, alien encounters, and government conspiracies. Nick has written 41 books, writes for Mysterious Universe and has appeared on numerous television shows on the The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and SyFy Channel.

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