The International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine, has issued a call for cryptozoological organic samples that it will present to qualified genetic scientists for DNA testing. The museum says the results will be published in a scientific journal and the process will be filmed for a documentary. With all due respect to the owner of the museum, I have a few concerns.
The team the museum has pulled together is vague at best. The “well-known, world-renowned genetic scientists” have not been identified yet. The documentary is being produced by an anonymous but “reputable serious British TV production company,” a description which I believe contains both redundancies and an oxymoron.
The request is for samples from any and all cryptids and also from new populations of possibly not really extinct creatures like the ivory-billed woodpecker. The museum would particularly like samples of “hair shafts, teeth, skulls.” Those wishing to have these tested can either send a description by email or mail the sample “in a new, unused zipper storage bag or container.” Snail mail and baggies? I’m no shipping expert but my lunch sandwiches don’t survive the trip from home to work in a plastic bag.
While it’s billed as the “world’s only cryptozoology museum,” any credible cryptid samples would certainly upgrade the current exhibits substantially. Real DNA beats plaster casts, plastic models and unauthenticated evidence any day. The museum boasts of hair from Abominable Snowmen, Bigfoot, Yowie, and Orang Pendek as well as Yeti fecal matter. Perhaps the DNA testing should start here.
The International Cryptozoology Museum sounds like an interesting place to spend a day learning about what little we know about cryptids and what little, if any, real evidence we have of their existence. If you have what you believe to be cryptid hair shafts, teeth or skulls, take them to your local science museum first. In a sturdy box.