Feb 20, 2015 I Nick Redfern

The Absurdities of Cryptozoology

Now, before anyone starts complaining or ranting, the title of this article - "The Absurdities of Cryptozoology" - is most definitely not an attack on cryptozoology. The subject is, without doubt, one that I am particularly fascinated by - and which I have been fascinated by since my first trip to Loch Ness, Scotland, at the age of six. So, quit yapping before you even start.

As for those absurdities, they revolve around aspects of the phenomenon that are not addressed anywhere near enough, and which lead me to believe that so many of the so-called cryptids that populate our planet are actually things that should be investigated by people with a deep knowledge of the world of the paranormal, the supernatural, and the occult, and not just zoology or cryptozoology. I'll begin with the beasts of the aforementioned Loch Ness.

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Loch Ness

There can be very few people who haven't heard of the Loch Ness Monster. Its right up there with Bigfoot in terms of infamy. For many, the Nessies are plesiosaurs. For others, they are giant salamanders. Then there are suggestions the creatures might be massive eels. But here's the absurdity in accepting the creatures as nothing but unknown animals: Loch Ness is teeming with other mysteries.

I have no less than seven reports of so-called "Alien Big Cats" seen at Loch Ness, in the 21st Century alone. In the 1970s, a "Man in Black" was encountered at the loch by Nessie-seeker, Ted Holiday. Significant UFO sightings over the waters have been reported. There is the story of a restless, World War Two-era, ghostly airman at the loch. None other than Aleister Crowley lived at Loch Ness - at Boleskine House, and from where all sorts of occult activity was undertaken. Witch-covens, sightings of nothing less than fairy-like creatures, and even encounters with hairy man-beasts, are all staple parts of the Loch Ness controversy.

Then there is the issue of the appearance of the Nessies: while the long-necked, humped description is the one that most people can relate to, the beasts have been reported as (a) tusked, (b) camel-like, (c) resembling a giant frog; and (d) crocodile-like. If the Nessies were the only odd residents of Loch Ness, I would suggest that, yes, they very likely are something purely for the domain of cryptozoology.

But, when we see how much additional weirdness is going on at the loch (and has for many a moon), I find it absurd to place the Nessies in purely a flesh and blood camp. A definitive shape-shifter would be more likely. And I find it absurd that people should hope to snare a Nessie in much the same way one might snare a catfish or a sturgeon. Loch Ness is not the home of plesiosaurs. It's one of John Keel's "window areas," where just about anything and everything can happen. And does!

With that said, onto what have become known as "flying humanoids." Their legendary names include Mothman, Owlman, the Houston Batman, and many more. They have become staple parts of cryptozoology. But, there are certain things that make me conclude their origins are far more in the world of the supernatural than the domain of unclassified animals. There is, as one might guess, the matter of their wings.

I have a lot of reports of flying humanoids on file, and there is one thing that often stands out: the wings of the creatures are nowhere near of a size that would be required to allow a six to seven foot tall humanoid creature to take to the skies. In some cases, wings are seen, but the beast simply climbs vertically into the sky - in a similar fashion to a helicopter - without even a single beat of those ridiculously undersized wings.

Flying humanoids undoubtedly exist; the phenomenon is, without doubt, a genuine one. But, the appearances of the creatures so often seem stage-managed: the encounters are "performed" for the benefit of the witness by supernatural actors, ones who present themselves as we expect them to appear. But, so many of them are aerodynamically absurd. Mothman and Owlman are not unknown, flesh and blood animals. They are clearly something that should be investigated from the perspective of them being paranormal.


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Bigfoot-also known as Sasquatch

Now to Bigfoot. It's one thing to talk about Sasquatch in the Pacific northwest forests, the Yeti in the vast Himalayas, or the Yeren in China. But what about Bigfoot in the land I grew up in: the UK? I can tell you, for sure, that the UK is overflowing with reports of Bigfoot. I know, as in 2007 I wrote a book on the subject of the British Bigfoot. Its title: Man-Monkey.

The reports from the British witnesses are no less credible than those from the United States, or from the aforementioned China or the Himalayas. People in the UK tell their stories in lucid, level-headed fashion. But (and here comes that word again...) it's 100 percent absurd to think that colonies of Bigfoot could live in somewhere so small as the UK. But people see them - regularly, too. The reports aren't in the dozens, they are in the hundreds.

As with the flying humanoids, the phenomenon of Bigfoot in the UK is not one that should fall into the arena of cryptozoology. However one might define the word "paranormal," that's most assuredly what the British Bigfoot is. And as in the US, I know of two cases in the UK where farmers shot at a Bigfoot. Good luck with that; it never works. Everyone knows Bigfoot can't be killed with bullets! Also like more than a few US Bigfoot, the British beast has the ability to vanish in the flash of an eye. And so on, and so on.

This all brings me back to the title of this article. Before anyone squeals like a little girl, stamps their feet, or complains like a spoiled brat, I am not saying that the field of cryptozoology is absurd. And I'm not saying that the people in the subject are absurd. Quite the opposite: some of my closest friends are cryptozoologists. So there can be no mistake, what I am saying is this: it's the creatures of cryptozoology that are absurd.

They live where they simply cannot not live and still remain hidden from society - the British Bigfoot demonstrates that. They dwell in specific, enclosed areas that are populated by a massive range of additional supernatural oddities - the Nessie phenomenon shows that. And, on the matter of the flying humanoids, they are often as aerodynamically unsound as a drunken, blindfolded, elephant parachuting out of a 747 at 30,000 feet.

In some strange fashion, all of these things exist; I absolutely, fully believe that. Bigfoot is real. Mothman is real. The Houston Batman is real. And the Nessies are real. But they're not animals as we understand the term. They're something else. And we need to start treating them as something other than just unclassified animals.

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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