Is there room in the Para/Crypto/Fortean world for a gun-toting, paranoid, bipolar, opinionated bastard? A lonely romantic in search of his lost soul? A knight, Samurai, gunslinger, born in the wrong century? A self-destructive, doom-driven survivor seeking redemption? A heavy drinking gonzo outlaw cryptozoologist whose ego is exceeded only by his libido?
No, there isn't. That's why I'm here...

14 November 2008

Mac Attack

Shortly before the election I picked up a couple of Masterpiece Arms (MPA) "Mac"-style pistols. One in .45acp and the other in 9mm. I figured I'd get them while I could, maybe sell or trade them later. As far as any practical use, there is none. They're hard to hit with due to their lousy handling and ergonomics and their rudimentary "sights".
But they are a lot of fun. Especially if you add a barrel extension or fake can.(so you have something to hold on to) Then they are so easy to bumpfire it's not even funny. (fun yes, funny no).
They're a great way to burn up some ammo pretty quickly and maybe scare the neighbors with the sound of "machinegun" fire.
But for any serious social (or even anti-social) work, I'll stick to the Glocks!

08 September 2008

"Hunt The Dogman"

I recently viewed John Johnsen and Barton Nunnely's documentary "Hunt The Dogman". If you thought Wisconsin and Michigan held the franchise on werewolf-like creatures, this dvd will make you think twice (at least!)
HTD investigates a series of canine/lupine cryptid encounters in Kentucky. Including the Spottsville Monster and the Beast of The Land Between The Lakes region.
I found the accounts of the LBL creature particularly interesting. If you've read Linda Godfrey's works, you'll immediately recognize the pattern of sightings taking place in heavily-wooded areas, near large bodies of water, and in the vicinity of Indian burial mounds.
But wait, there's more!
The LBL region was taken over by the TVA in order to construct a dam. TVA dams are built, if not directly by, certainly under the supervision of, the US Army Corp of Engineers. So what, you say? Read on...
While investigating the LBL area, the team discovered a series of underground concrete bunkers. The bunkers were built with no way in or out, covered with shingled roofs at ground level, for no discernable purpose. What are they? Their very design and construction reveals that they are NOT septic tanks, root cellars, or bomb shelters. (even in the days of "duck and cover", nobody would build a bomb shelter with a shingled roof!)
I pondered on this for a while, and then I recalled another famous cryptid, the celebrated Mothman of Point Pleasant. The Mothman frequented an area known as the "TNT Area", an abandoned wartime explosives factory. The TNT Area is dotted with large concrete domes, or igloos, ostensibly built for the storage of explosives.(and quite frankly that makes perfect sense to me)
BUT, here we have TWO areas (TNT Area and LBL) that at one time were under the control of the federal government (or at least their contractors), under the auspices of the military, with a series of concrete structures, and with mysterious creatures hanging aroun both of them.
Makes me wonder...
Like his other documentaries (Keeping the Watch and Spotlight on The Patterson Film) Johnsen goes about his task with no agenda. He presents the witnesses and lets the viewer decide.
This can't be said for so many of the documentaries produced today. *cough*MichaelMoore*cough!*

Rumors of My Death Are Greatly Exaggerated

Hey, folks! I'm baaaaack!
The past few weeks have been incredibly hectic for me, personally, professionally, and "virtually"!
Among other things, I've been trying to decide what weapons I need to buy before November ushers in the Barach/Osama administration and the End of Freedom in America As We Know It. The Republicans have decided to throw this election, let America fester for a few years under the iron boots of the biggest bunch of Fascist wannabe dictators in modern history, and set the stage for a major Conservative Backlash to rival the Reagan years.
Anyway, I still can't decide if I really should buy that belt-fed. Ammo is going to be in short supply and hideously expensive, so a bullet-hose may not be a prudent investment at this juncture of human history.
But it's just so cool! :D

23 July 2008

a brief musical interlude...

Here's a little song I wrote years ago, after I was kicked in the nads by the donkey of love, when my first love broke my heart one hot, steamy night in Dothan, AL,
A little country number I call:

She Went Through My Heart Like Godzilla Went Through Tokyo

Well she came upon the scene, like some monster from the screen
Like a giant lizard 40 stories tall
And she left me devastated, like no girl I'd ever dated
And now there's nothin' left of me at all

Cause she went through my heart like Godzilla went through Tokyo
All she did was damage and destroy
Yeah she went through my heart like Godzilla went through Tokyo
That's why I'm just a sad and lonely boy

There was no way I could stop her, lord that monster was a whopper
And all my weapons just had no effect
She broke through all my defenses, and she overwhelmed my senses
My soul is gone, my psyche has been wrecked

Cause she went through my heart like Godzilla went through Tokyo
All she left was rubble and debris
Yeah she went through my heart like Godzilla went through Tokyo
And now there's very little left of me

Yeah she went through my heart like Godzilla went through Tokyo
Trailing death, destruction, and decay
Oh she went through my heart like Godzilla went through Tokyo
That's why I'm in the shape I'm in today.

20 July 2008

Who's That Girl??

Here's another weird but true story:
After graduating college, I took a job as the night manager at a truck stop. In the late night/early morning hours on one particular shift, a young woman entered the truck stop.
She was rather striking and sort of exotic-looking, bearing a strong resemblence to "Audrey" from the first National Lampoon's Vacation movie. She appeared to be in her late teens. She was accompanied by a much older man. She didn't speak the entire time they shopped. She stayed close to the man the whole time.
Flash forward nine years. I was woking night shift at a convenience store in a different city, when I saw her again. At this time, I had let my hair grow quite long (had a ponytail down to my waist) and I had quite a few gray hairs this time. Again, it was late at night, she was accompanied by a different, but still much older man. Same behaviour as before. She never spoke, just stayed next to the man as they shopped.
Funny thing was, she hadn't aged a day. She looked exactly as she had nine years earlier. She hadn't even changed her hairstyle. And when she came through the door, she gave me a look like she remembered me. Kinda like "YOU again? What are YOU doing here?!" In fact, she pretty much locked her gaze on me until they left. And as before, she never said a word the entire time. She wasn't particularly threatening, and I didn't sense anything evil, but I got a case of heebie-jeebies both times.
And both times, even though she was in the company of much older men, I got the disticnt impression that she was the one in charge. Just something about the way they acted.
I've shared this story with a few other people, but nobody's really come up with an explanation or theory that satisfies me.
And I can't help but wonder if we'll see each other again. Maybe when I'm a much older man.

12 July 2008

"Alleged" Rabbits In My Yard

I've got rabbits in my yard. I don't expect any of you to believe me, since you haven't been here to witness them, and there's no real way I can prove it.
I supposed I COULD sit stakeout in my yard with the Saiga-12 until I manage to kill one and have its corpse examined and its DNA analyzed in order to scientifically verify my claim. But then I'd be curbstomped, castrated, skinned alive, and unceremoniously cremated while still kicking by the animal lovers as punishment for cruelly dispatching a non-aggressive creature and denying it its right to live long enough to reach its full potential.(IOW, to become roadkill or food for a predator).
So, no thanks, I won't be producing a corpse to satisfy the skeptics or placate the scientific community.
How about a hair sample? I've spent hours bellycrawling across the yard, powerful magnifying glass in hand, only to come up empty-handed (not to mention sweaty and dirty). The odds of finding a hair sample (not a hare sample, mind you)are worse than finding a needle in a haybale. (at least metal detectors would help with the needle!)
Haven't found any poop, either. (does that mean rabbits don't exist in my yard, or just that they don't poop there?)
I have found a few tracks, but tracks don't prove anything, they're easily faked.
Photographic evidence is just as suspect. Especially nowadays. The Believers might see a rabbit. The skeptics would see a blobbit, or a rat in a rabbit suit, or just a trick of light and shadow. So, nope, future rabbit researchers won't have to worry about years of debate over the veracity of "The Gummerfan Film", or whether or not "Gummy" is really a rabbit at all.
I've also tried tracking them to their nest, but they move faster than I do, they invariably see, hear, smell, or sense me coming. Plus, those suckers can virtually disappear into the shrubs and bushes. (an animal that can hide in the woods...who'd a thunk it?)
But, even with no scientific proof or objective evidence, I KNOW I've got rabbits in my yard.
I've seen 'em.

07 July 2008

The Succubus Is Gone!

The succubus departed yesterday afternoon and for the first time in over a week I got more than a couple of hours of sleep. This episode was brief but intense. My energy's returning, my head is clear, women have stopped hitting on me, and I'm no longer in that state of constant semi-arousal.
Special thanks to my "anonymous friend" for all the advice. Hopefully, thanks to your tips, the thing's gone for good. If it does return, I'll be more prepared to deal with it. I'm genuinely grateful for your help.

05 July 2008

Arrogance? You Bet!

I posted before about certain groups or individuals in the Paranormal/Cryptozoological fields who seem to be possessed of a certain elitism or arrogance. Lisa Shiel wrote an excellent series of posts on her Backyard Phenomena blog a while back about the same thing. It got me to thinking. Perhaps this field attracts individuals whose personalities may be interpreted as a bit on the arrogant side.
Consider the following:

"Many Are Called, But Few Are Chosen"

Some of us became interested in offbeat studies due to some type of personal experience. Hearing the voice of a departed relative, seeing a UFO, Bigfoot, or other unknown creature, persistent deja vu, or any number of occurances of what Charles Fort would term "Damned" phenomena.
I suppose some people think that those who have had a Paranormal experience may feel superior, or gifted, or chosen. Nevermind that the majority of those who've experienced such phenomena would rather it never happened to them. Especially when they feel they are at the mercy of forces beyond their control.

"What Makes YOU So Special?"

Face it, some of the questions and issues we ponder have been around as long as mankind has existed. What happens after death? Can we reach the "other side"? Are there beings and forces outside our senses?
The odds are none of us involved in the world of paranormal research will find the answers. But still, our curiosity keeps us going. Is it arrogant or elitist to believe that maybe, just maybe, we can find the answers that have eluded some of history's greatest minds? I suppose some people would think so.
Nevermind that most of us seeking the answers freely admit that we spend a lot of time just groping in the dark (Ooo! Double entendre! Can't make a post without one!)or bemoaning the fact that we can't get travel points for out constant trips back to Square One.

"The Truth Is Out There, YOU Can't Handle The Truth, But I Can"

This is the domain of the Conspiracy Theorist. Somebody knows the answers to our questions, but they're keeping them hidden from all but a select few. Whether it's the Government, the Freemasons or Templars, the Vatican, the Trilateral Commission, etc who are zealously guarding the truth about UFOs, Sasquatch, Nessie, Dimensional Doorways or Real Ultimate Power, the philosophy of the Conspiracy Theorist is that the truth is being hidden because the masses are incapable of accepting or comprehending it. We've all heard the stories. If the Government revealed what they know about aliens, religion would crumble, society would implode, and there's be rioting in the streets. "People couldn't handle the truth!" But those of us engaged in the study of weirdness are confident that WE could. Again, it's easy for others to mistake this curiosity for arrogance or a sense of moral and intellectual supeiority.
(and wouldn't it be the greatest cosmic joke of all if The Truth were revealed and it freaked US all out as well?)
What some people would refer to as arrogance is almost a job requirement for this field, right up there with a thick skin and a sense of humor.

02 July 2008

The Succubus Is Back

Looks like the Succubus has come back to torment me again. It comes around every 1-3 months and hangs around for a week or so, though the longest attack lasted four weeks. If you've never encountered a Succubus (or an Incubus, I imagine), count yourself most blessed. I'm sure there are some teen-age guys out there who think it'd be awesome to be so victimized, but the plain and simple reality is that it is a most unsettling, disturbing, borderline maddening occurance. I don't enjoy being just a link in some kind of psycho/sexual energy food chain.
Hopefully, it'll get its fill soon and go off to wherever it goes when it isn't latched onto me and making my life even more complicated, confusing, and insane than it already is.
If anybody knows of an organization like "Succubi Anoymous", please let me know.
I can't go into the details of all that goes on during an episode, since this is a family-friendly rated blog.
Just imagine taking a healthy dose of viagra. Now imagine that Axe body spray really works like in the commercials, and you're doused in the stuff. Now imagine trying to go about your daily life with all this going on, among other things that I can't mention here.

01 July 2008

The Great Giant Catfish Hunt Pt 3

I saw this article recently at Cryptomundo about the giant catfish.
If they really are as big as a Volkswagen, or a tanker truck, it looks like I'll have to put The Great Giant Catfish Hunt on hold until further notice.
I've narrowed the choices for bikini-clad First Mate down to "Sunny" and "Rio" (cherry ice cream smile, indeed!) but, in the words of Sheriff Brody, "We're gonna need a bigger boat."
But I've still got a little Sasquatch Hunt in the planning stages. Why Central Alabamians call Bigfoot "Sasquatch" is beyond me, though.

New Items in Monster Hunter Supply Shop

I've changed up some of the designs in the Monster Hunter Supply shop and I've added some more items.
NEW STUFF FOR THE LADIES! Check out the NEW ladies' T's, tank tops, and thongs! YES!! THONGS!!

29 June 2008

Air Show Tragedy

I had occasion to spend a night at the Embassy Suites hotel in Huntsville this weekend. This morning as we were going to breakfast, we realized that the Navy's Blue Angels were staying there also. They were to perform at the Huntsville Air Show this weekend, so I'm sure some of the other guests were attending also. I jokingly asked one of the Blue Angels if the glass elevators bothered him.
I returned home this morning. This afternoon, I was lying on the couch, no tv or radio on. I was just finishing "The Mothman Prophecies". As I got closer to the end of the book and the climactic Silver Bridge collapse, I began to feel physically ill. I felt severely nauseated, extremely weak, and felt sort of hot and feverish. I just figured it must have been a delayed reaction to the margaritas from last night. It kept getting worse, but I was determined to finish the book and take a nap. I checked my temperature and it was 99.1, this was at 2:00 PM. I kept checking it, and it was slowly dropping until it finally got down to normal at approximately 2:20, at which time the other symptoms began to subside.
I suddenly got the feeling that something had happened at the air show. I don't know how or why, but I felt like something bad had happened. I turned on the TV to a local station, and the crawl at the bottom of the screen with the heading "Air show tragedy" was displayed. My first thought was "Oh God, there's been a crash!" As it turned out, there was a freak microburst of wind, blowing away some of the big event tents. 12 people were injured, and a 5-year-old boy was killed. The wind hit at 2:00 PM.
Not all Fortean, or psychic, or synchronistic events are fun, cool, or amusing.
Sometimes weirdness really sucks.
My thoughts go out to those affected by the tragedy.

28 June 2008

The Gummerwagon, My Research Vehicle

Here's a few shots of the Jeep, my Paranormal Research Vehicle.
2007 Jeep Commander Limited Hemi, Quadradrive II 4x4 system, skid plates, tow hooks, buncha neat factory options.
I've added the dash cam, additional front mounted video monitor for video playback and remote camera monitoring, a pair of Optronics remote-controlled spotlights (can be independently aimed from inside, great for illuminating the side of the road or low-flying aerial phenomena, I can control one and my lingerie or miniskirt-clad assistant can control the other), a mutiband police scanner (for intercepting reports, I've also programmed it with Forest Service frequencies), and of course, a shrunken zombie head.
You may also notice the maps of the local forest in the door panel pocket.
I'm also installing some items in the rear for a comortable sleeping compartment.
Future mods will include a light bar and more lights, a mild lift, more aggressive tires, and a cargo rack. Despite being the biggest vehicle Jeep has produced, it still suffers from the age-old Jeep dilemma of carrying either passengers, or carrying stuff but not at the same time.


Just a quick note: When contacting me via email, please write something to do with this blog (title, subject, topic) in the subject line so I'll know if the email pertains to the blog.
Any other subject lines ("Hi", "Hello", "Hey, there!") will be deleted as spam.
I enjoy hearing from y'all, whether it's a question, promise of glory, sighting report, proposition, invitation to investigate, or hot bikini pics. :D But if the subject line doesn't indicate that it pertains to this site, I won't bother reading it.

25 June 2008

Thunderbird Sighting!

Anybody up for a "classic" Thunderbird sighting? Earlier this evening, I was out on my porch watching the sky. A storm system was moving in and I was just looking at the clouds.
I saw a really big bird circling overhead. At first, I thought it was just a buzzard, but then I realized how high it was, and it still looked huge. I won't pretend I can estimate wingspin, size, or altitude.
Where the bird was circling, there was a hole in the clouds with a sunbeam shining through. I watched it for about ten minutes, as it circled and climbed higher and higher. It was gliding the majority of the time, only slowly flapping its wings a couple of times during the entire sighting. I debated about grabbing a video camera since, A: Past experience has taught me that no matter how long I observe something, if I go to get a camera, it's gone when I get back, and B: Since there wouldn't be any object in the shot to provide a size reference, any video wouldn't be of much value.
But, finally I ran in to grab the video camera, hoping maybe the zoom would reveal some details of the creature. When I got back out, sure enough, it was gone.
From my porch, I have a really wide field of view of the sky. If the bird had gone anywhere else but into or above the clouds, it would have been easy to spot again.
I kept watching the clouds pass over until the rain and lightening started, but it never re-emerged.
A popular theory is that Thunderbirds (whatever they may be), use the strong air currents ahead of thunderstorms to provide lift and propulsion to migrate along a North-South migratory route. I'm in North Alabama, it's Summer, and this big bird was headed North.
So, there you have it. A completely unsupported, unverifiable account of a possible cryptid. Typical, huh?

22 June 2008

Random Cinematic Monster Hunter Salute: Phantasm

Back in the 80's, even before I'd ever heard of Burt Gummer, I remember staying up late one night to watch Phantasm. What really impressed me about the movie was the fact that Mike, Reggie, and Jody had what we call "some sense".
Unlike the helpless, screaming, running, panicking victims so prevalent in monster/horror movies, these were the first guys I recall seeing who actually fought back. And they did it with STYLE.
When Mike went to investigate the mausoleum the first time, I remember saying to myself, "There's no way I'd go in there without a flashlight and a Colt .45!" (I'm serious, I REALLY did say this to myself!) After his escape, Mike is found by his brother Jody asleep on the stairs, propping on a .12 gauge riot gun. (STYLE!) After telling Jody about his experience, the brothers return, this time carrying (yep, you got it!) a flashlight and a Colt .45. (STYLE!)
As the brothers are joined by their friend Reggie, they do battle with the Tall Man and his gang of dwarves. In one scene, Jody "skeet shoots" one of the Tall Man's deadly silver spheres. (STYLE!)
They also have a cool car chase with the Tall Man's hearse pursuing the guys in their Hemi 'Cuda. (STYLE!)
As the series continued through the sequels, our guys add to their arsenal. There's the obligatory flamethrower, a couple of magnum revolvers, and of course, the Improvised Quad-Barrelled Shotgun. (the coolest weapon I'd NEVER want to fire, but it did have a certain STYLE!).
In one of those odd quirks of life, if you update the Colt 1911, the shotgun, and the Hemi 'Cuda to a Glock 20, a Saiga-12gauge, and a Hemi Jeep Commander, you'd have, well, me.
Style is eternal, but somehow "MikeJodyReggiefan" doesn't have the same ring to it.

21 June 2008

Faces of Cryptozoology

Redneck Cryptozoology: "Well, it's dead, whatever it was!"

Politically Correct Cryptozoology: "Working to increase awareness of the taxonomically challenged."

Co-ed Naked Cryptozoology: "Tirelessly probing the bush in the hope of finding something new."

Kangaroo in Pensacola, FL?

Okay, so it's not a monster, but it's still unusual:

June 19, 2008
Are you missing a kangaroo?Sean
A large animal — possibly a kangaroo — has been spotted twice on the Pensacola Junior College main campus on Ninth Avenue.
Campus police said the first sighting occurred a week ago when a large animal — believed to be about 5 feet tall — was seen jumping into bushes, PJC Police Chief Nancy Newland said this morning.On Wednesday morning, a custodian saw what she thought was a kangaroo hopping on campus, said Newland, who has worked in law enforcement for more than 30 years.“We have rumors of two other sighting on campus,” she said. “We called The Zoo (Northwest Florida) and the circus, and no one is missing a kangaroo.”Newland said police have checked to see if anyone is the area has a license to keep exotic animals, but the search has yielded no leads. “We are still searching anytime we get a reported sighting ... even if it’s three in the morning,” she said. “We are just as perplexed as everyone.”

Certainly an out-of-place animal. In his classic work Mysterious America, Loren Coleman documents American sightings of 'roos or 'roo-like creatures dating back to the 1940's. The typical official explanation is the usual story of escaped zoo animals or exotic pets, even though this explanation never seems verifiable. In the Pensacola case, there is another zoo located in Gulf Shores, AL, which is literally a hop, skip, and a jump from Pensacola. The only problem is that they are seperated by a wide bay. So, I doubt the 'roo originated across the state line, unless it was roonapped and transported.

So, just how DO these misplaced kangaroos arrive on our shores? Here are a few possibilities:

The US has a hidden breeding population of kangaroos or kangaroo-like animals.

They're a misidentified big-ass giant jackrabbit. (remember the Beverly Hillbillies episode?)

Or for those who gravitate toward the paranormal:

There exists some kind of vortex in Australia into which kangaroos occasionally wander, and the hapless critter is teleported to the USA. (can't help but wonder why there aren't any Mystery Koalas or Frilled Lizards or Platypi)

Maybe the creatures' appearances here are related to some kind of Aboriginal religious ceremony of celebration? (the Summer Solstice just occurred, did it not?)

Aliens are trying to establish a colony here for reasons known only to them.

Or maybe it's the work of the Trickster or Cosmic Joker (just to, y'know, mess with us)

Whatever the answer is, if the kangaroos know, they ain't talking.

(Hmmm...mysterious talking kangaroos? Now there's a story!)

17 June 2008

More Thoughts On Bigfoot "Humanity"

"Patty is human"- M.K. Davis

"Marcel said, 'Haw! Don't let that thing outta that cage! He looks too much like FOLKS to be gettin' outta there!'"- Jerry Clower- "The Coon Huntin' Monkey"

"I couldn't shoot, it looked too human"- credited to numerous Bigfoot witnesses-

While reading up on the latest in the whole "Patty is human/Bluff Creek Massacree" deal, I remembered the above lines, as well as recalling my reaction when I first saw a picture of the famous "Oliver the Chimp", aka the "Humanzee".

I've already stated my position on Davis's findings regarding Patty's alleged human-ness, and I see no point in even discussing the Bluff Creek Bigfoot Massacree, but I've had that image of Oliver in my mind. The first time I saw it, I couldn't shake the feeling that this was no ordinary chimp. Aside from Oliver's appearance, it just looks to me like there's something going on behind those eyes. While science has determined that Oliver is indeed just a chimp, in that picture he looks "too human". If I had that face in my sights, I couldn't pull the trigger, either.
Bigfoot, or Patty, may truly be just taxonomically challenged primates, but to follower's of Davis's theory and in the minds of many witnesses, they look "too much like FOLKS".

15 June 2008

The Great Giant Catfish Hunt pt 2

Okay, now that I've talked about the stories of giant catfish and the possibility of their existence, how does one go about catching one? I've been kicking around a few ideas.
Plan A: Take 1 boat, 1 hot-bodied bikini-clad female First Mate, and a few explosive devices. We'll just putter back and forth in at the dam, deploying the depth charges over the side in the hope that a GC will be stunned and rise to the surface.
There are a few problems with this plan. Getting a boat is no problem, of course, but the thought of being apprehended tossing unlicensed explosive devices at the base of a hydroelectric dam and the subsequent one-way trip to Guantanamo Bay is quite a deterrent.
Plus, I've had no luck recruiting a buxom beauty to serve as First Mate. (this detail is an absolute REQUIREMENT, I just don't see a way the plan could work otherwise)

Plan B: Similar to Plan A, except for the use of baited grappling hooks rigged with smaller charges, electrically detonated from the surface at the first sign of a nibble. But again, there's the whole issue of explosives, Federal Agents, and of course, the lack of a bikini-wearing, fox-bodied female First Mate.

Plan C: So far, this is the most practical. I'll just need a BIG boat equipped with a winch and long cable. The well-oiled, thong-wearing First Mate will assist as I fit the winch with a grappling hook baited with a side of beef. (You want big fish, you gotta use big bait!) We'll try stationary fishing as well as trolling along the dam's base.
I can get the boat, the winch, the hook, and the bait. All I need is a volunteer for the First Mate position. Interested parties may submit photos and resumes to my e-mail addy. Just put "Catfish" in the subject line. An able-bodied First Mate is of the utmost importance on any vessel, so my requirements must be met if this expedition is to be a success. Ability to mix margaritas is a definate plus. I am, after all, a professional.

14 June 2008

The Great Giant Catfish Hunt pt 1

Living near the banks of the Tennessee river all my life, I've heard tales of giant catfish. It wasn't until I started reading about cryptids and strange creatures that I found out that the tales I'd always heard were the same as other tales being told all over the US.
The story is basically the same everywhere it's told. Once some maintenance or construction divers were working on (insert local dam or bridge here) when they saw catfish swimming along the base of the dam that were literally large enough to "swallow a man whole." One account I read about occured on Lake Martin in Alabama, and the diver at first mistook the catfish, which was lying on the bottom of the lake, for a submerged tanker truck. He walked the length of the fish, and found what he thought was a flange on the tank, only to discover that it was the eye of the fish.
Some of the stories have a strong apocryphal element to them. Children are warned not to swim out too far or the catfish will "get them".
Is there any truth to the stories? Has any researcher contacted any scuba divers or the Army Corp of Engineers to get to the truth? How are the dams and bridges maintained if nobody will dive there? I would imagine that scuba-qualified construction workers or engineers are a pretty small, closely-knit community, and word would spread pretty fast among them, right? Are new, fresh recruits who've never heard the story contracted out?
Why does the giant catfish story persist? It's easy. Catfish DO get big. Bigger than most non-fishermen would imagine. Years ago, I worked as the night manager at a nearby truck stop. In the early, predawn hours one Sunday morning, a man came strolling in and asked if anyone wanted to see a big catfish. A few of us went outside to check it out. As we approached the truck (one of those import "mini-trucks" that were popular at the time) we could see the top of the fish's back over the side of the bed. The fish was so long that it was too long for the (admittedly small) truck bed, and had about two feet folded around. I'd estimate its length to have been at least 6 feet.
In the early 90's, our local paper (The Decatur Daily, Decatur AL) ran a story of a catfish that weighed over 100 lbs caught in the Tennessee River. (I don't remember the exact weight, 104 and 108 stick in my mind for some reason). The angler wrestled with the fish and finally managed to reel it into shallow water, at which point some observers waded out and attached a rope to it and pulled it ashore. Because the fish wasn't landed with a fishing pole, it wasn't eligable for record consideration, despite its "record" size and weight.
Anybody who knows catfish will tell you that about all catfish do is swim and eat. They poke along the bottom, using the taste receptors in their whiskers (and in some species, even their skin) to find anything that tastes appealing. One would imagine that in the deep water at the base of a dam, there's plenty to eat, so they just eat and grow. (I know another story about a coroner's assistant who will never eat catfish again, but that's a different matter!)
So, people have seen big catfish, the base of a dam seems to provide the ideal environment to produce giant catfish, ergo, the whole story seems to make perfect sense.
In Part 2 I'll discuss my frustrations with my plans to try to catch one of these monsters.

08 June 2008

"Monster Hunter" vs "Cryptozoologist"

Okay, what, if anything, is the difference between a Monster Hunter and a Cryptozoologist? To some people, especially those with only a passing interest in unknown creatures, the terms are probably synonymous. To those with a deeper understanding, there are quite a few distinctions. Cryptozoology (the study of hidden animals) typically takes a more scientific view of the phenomenon of unidentified creatures, or cryptids. Cryptozoologists will base their research and methodologies on the assumption that Bigfoot, Yeti, et al, are unclassified primates. Nessie and Lake Monsters are surviving dinosaurs, or misidentification of known species. Cryptozoologists have no interest in vampires,(except maybe El Chupacabra), werewolves (unless they're demonstrated to be unidentified bipedal canids), ghosts, UFOs, or other phenomena which would typically be labeled "paranormal". Cryptozoology is striving to gain acceptance by the "legitimate" scientific community, and tends to distance itself from creatures, theories, explanations, or phenomena that don't "play by the rules" of biology, physics, or known zoology, and concentrate more on "flesh and blood" creatures.
A Monster Hunter, on the other hand, is more open to other, alternative theories. Is there a connection between UFOs and hairy hominids? Are people and farm animals being preyed upon by a malevolent etheric revenant or extra-dimensional being? Was the Mothman an entity not of this world? Are Big Black dogs and Phantom Panthers released or escaped exotics, undiscovered native species, OR creatures from someplace "beyond"?
While Crytozoology as a science may decide that a particular creature isn't worth investigating, or that a Bigfoot sighting in an area where they "shouldn't be" doesn't bear examination, a Monster Hunter will opine that "These people saw SOMETHING, so why not try to determine what?"
While some have labeled me a Cryptozoologist, I place myself in the Monster Hunter camp. (besides, I think it sounds sexier!) :D But that doesn't mean I don't turn to Cryptozoology first. Only when something defies conventional explanation (based on available data, anyway) do I reluctantly throw out the Rulebook and consider alternative explanations.

07 June 2008

"Spotlight On The Patterson Gimlin Film"

I got a chance to view this documentary the other night. This is the documentary in which M.K. Davis declares that "Patty" is some form of human. Not a human in a suit, mind you, but a creature of the genus Homo.
Davis arrived at this conclusion after viewing the stabilized and enhanced Patterson-Gimlin film. He states that Patty's "sagittal crest" is in fact a topknot, that Patty's hair is in a ponytail, and there is a braid visible on one side. He also shows enhanced shots of her face, and states that it is much more human than simian in appearance. And there is another shot which shows Patty carrying, then dropping a stick. Davis believes this is in fact a tool used for digging.
In summary, Patty demonstrates qualities which hint at some form of culture or custom, and is therefore some kind of human. Davis honestly and sincerely believes in his evidence and conclusions, and I got no sense that he was in any way trying to pull off a con, or to arouse controversy for controversy's sake.
And now, my personal thoughts:
The braid:
I didn't see a braid. It is stated in the documentary that the herringbone or plaiting is visible. I didn't see it. Maybe it was visible in the original, but on my DVD it looked more like a dreadlock. Dreadlocks are formed when long hair becomes dirty and matted. So, the braid didn't do anything to convince me.
The ponytail:
Again, I didn't see a convincing image. It IS obvious that the hair on Patty's head is darker than the body hair, and it's quite long. But I didn't see evidence the it had been manipulated into a ponytail. There have been other Bigfoot sightings in which the creature had long hair, and sometimes of a different color than the body hair.
The topknot:
This was pretty interesting. The enhanced footage demonstrates that Patty's "sagittal crest" is in fact a topknot of hair. There are a couple of images where it is clearly blowing in the wind. But I saw no artificial means of holding it there or evidence that it was intelligently manipulated into a topknot. While Patty's skull being more rounded than previously thought may upset the Gigantopithicus crowd, it still doesn't spell human to me. Chimps have rounded heads also.
The face:
There are some nice enhanced images of Patty's face, showing the shape of the nose and lips, and the position of the ear. These do indeed appear more human than apelike, but, if Patty/Bigfoot is an unknown species, or the "missing link", the facial structure itself isn't sufficient evidence. There is also a nice scene of Patty turning her head and neck, as opposed to the more common scene of the creature turning from the shoulders, indicating that the neck can indeed rotate. But that still doesn't equal "human" in my book.
What about the use of a tool?
Davis compares the object Patty carries and drops to a tool used by Aboriginal peoples for digging. I find it hard to believe that the researchers who flocked to Bluff Creek after the sighting would have missed something like that. If it was just a stick, again, apes in the wild routinely use sticks as digging tools.
So, in summary, Davis doesn't make his case for me personally. I believe HE believes in his findings, and others may also, and that's just fine. It's a big cryptoworld. My biggest disappointment in the documentary is that there wasn't enough of the enhanced film.
One thing I can say for certain, after watching "Spotlight...", I think the whole guy-in-a-suit crowd should have second thoughts.

03 June 2008

A picture is worth...what?

(And no, this isn't about the Bushnell Bigfoot Trailcam Contest!)

The Loveland Frogmen. The Dover Demon. The Mothman. The Wisconsin Roadkill-eating Dogman. The NC Lizardman. Numerous Bigfoot, UFO, and Jersey Devil encounters. What do these have in common? They all happened to people driving along in their cars on a lonely stretch of road. They also have no photo documentation. With that in mind, I recently ordered one of these neat little gizmos.

A dashboard mounted mini video recorder. AKA "The Roadkill Cam". If I have a brush with the unknown, at least I'll have some form of documentation. Granted, in these days of YouTube, Photoshop, and digitally-manipulated hoax images, a video may not be worth much. Even after verification by professionals and experts, people disbelieve what they want to disbelieve. But at least a good picture is better than a sketch drawn from a description, and it would elevate the incident from "all in the head" or "completely fabricated" status to at least "maybe something did happen?" territory.

So, when I venture forth in search of the unknown, I'll derive a little bit of security knowing "little brother" is riding with me.

01 June 2008

Tips and ideas for Cryptid Hunting

With the popularity of cryptozoology and paranormal themed tv shows, there has been an increase in the number of societies, groups, and interested parties who are beginning to enter the area of field investigations. And why not? It's fun, and if you're interested in such things, go for it. But, don't take everything you see on tv to seriously, or mistake some of the escapades undertaken by some groups or individuals for the ideal way to go about things.
Everybody has their own opinion, and since we're not talking about rocket science here, there is plenty of room for different methods and techniques. But, IMO, some are more valid than others.
Remember, when it comes to paranormal investigation, everything we "know" is in reality nothing more than theory and speculation. Even in the field of cryptozoology, where most investigators seek to distance themselves from the paranormal fringe and concentrate strictly on the laws of biology and the "flesh and blood" approach, there's only so much we can really know about a particular creature until one is captured, killed, or can be observed in habitat for proper study.
Since I seem to be stuck on Bigfoot lately, I'll use a "Bigfoot Hunt" as an example.
Rule 1: Keep it simple, keep it small. Sure, it would be nice to have unlimited funds, the latest high-tech equipment, and a nice base camp with all the comforts of home.
The reality is, most of us are on a budget one way or another, our time in the woods is limited by our work and family obligations, and a book or documentary deal isn't a high probability.
My advice: Go alone or with one other person.(If it's a safe area that you know well, go alone. If it's new territory, take someone with you who knows the area) Since BF appear to be curious, yet shy, a big crowd of people at a well-lit campsite will most likely keep them at a distance. If you've read up on past sightings, you'll note that most of them involve one or two people, "mass sightings" just don't happen. As I said before, you don't find BF, BF finds you. Let him. Think about it, if you were going after a trophy buck, would you let a dozen or so friends tromp along the woods with you? And while night vision equipment, multiple remote video cameras, and shotgun mikes are nice, they're not essential. Other gimmicks, such as thermal imagers (useless in dense woods, if you're very lucky, you'll get some footage of an unidentifiable blob) or camera traps (which so far haven't produced any useful evidence, and in some cases are mysteriously destroyed) are all but useless. That $6000.00 for a thermal camera would pay for a lot of time in the forest living in a tent!
And forget everything we "know" about BF. We don't really know 'squatch. :D A lot of researchers limit their investigations to working around a particular theory or idea. We don't KNOW that BF is nocturnal. We don't KNOW that BF is attracted to gorilla calls. We don't KNOW that BF can be lured in by chimpanzee vaginal scrapings, wintergreen oil, baboon urine, or any other "lures" that have been tried.
What we DO know, is that BF encounters are totally unexpected and unpredictable.
In short, be quiet, stay dark, and be prepared for anything.

31 May 2008

You don't find monsters, monsters find YOU.

Okay, I'll admit I'm guilty of watching MonsterQuest and Destination Truth, as well as any other Cryptozoological or paranormal themed show from time to time. And while I don't pretend to be an expert tracker or all-knowing authority on how to conduct a scientific expedition, some of what I see just strikes me as wrong. If we consider what we know about extant animals, what we THINK we know about certain cryptids, and the historical accounts of paranormal events, my personal thoughts are that some of today's seekers of weirdness are off base.
Whether we're talking about a BF encounter, a run-in with another cryptid, a pesky poltergeist, a UFO/alien incident, or any other Fortean event, the fact is that such things are rare. They happen to the unprepared, the bystander, the person minding their own business. Some soul walking in the woods, a driver on a deserted stretch of country road, or (even more rarely) a town full of mystified onlookers.
IOW, such events can't be predicted, they can't be coaxed into happening, you can't make them come to you.
If BF is an undiscovered primate, he's an undiscovered NEW WORLD primate. He doesn't speak gibbon or gorilla, so blasting calls of creatures from the other side of the world are more likely to spook than attract. Same goes for scent "lures". Pheremones are species-specific, a 'possum in heat isn't going to draw rabbits. And yes, BF and certain other cryptids do seem to display some curiousity, but they also shun man and remain notoriously elusive. I seriously doubt that hanging CDs from branches to sway in the breeze is going to draw one in. (Isn't this same trick used to DRIVE AWAY deer, birds, and garden pests?)
And, given most creatures sense of smell, is it REALLY a good idea to plant trail cams all over the woods, spreading human scents far and wide?
Next: My Tips for Finding the Unusual

25 May 2008

Bigfoot Must Die!

Sorry if I disturbed any easily upset bleeding heart tree hugging animal rights hippies out there. And personally, I've got nothing against the big guy. It's just that I've been thinking about the whole uproar over the M.K. Davis affair, the newly enhanced Patterson film, and the constant cry from the sceptics of "Show me a body!".
Face it, that's the ONLY thing that's going to convince some people. While researchers get excited over the History Channel DNA findings, or new evidence linking Bigfoot behaviour to known primate behaviour, the "Legitimate Scientific Community" and the public at large are still crying for blood. (actually, they want more than blood, don't they? Bigfoot blood is old news). Nope. Somebody's got to leave the cave, kill one, and bring it home.
BF is too big, too smart, and too elusive to trap. Heck, they (or somebody) even destroy the camera traps people have set up.
Nope, science needs a corpse.
But how to get one? As I pointed out before, there are plenty of cases of BFs being shot, or shot at. And then there's the matter of certain states declaring BF a protective species (doesn't a species have to exist to be protected?)
And there's another sticky problem: what if BF really is human? If someone kills a BF, and it is discovered post mortem that BF is "us", would that result in a charge or conviction?
And, worst case scenario: the BF turns out to be a prankster in a suit. That's one case I'd really like to watch. Did the shooter have any way of knowing? Should the shooter have known better? (since BF "don't exist") Could the shooter persuade a jury that he really was in fear for his life? Would the entire "Bigfoot Community" be blamed by the media for promoting the belief that a large, hairy, unclassified primate is out there somewhere?
I sugggest a Marlin 1895 in .45-70 Gov't, loaded with Buffalo Bore or Garrett ammo, and a piercing cry of "IT'S COMING RIGHT AT US!!"

24 May 2008

M.K. Davis and the Patterson Film Controversy...

Okay, unless you've been out in the Gobi searching for the Mongolian Death Worm, or in the heart of the Congo seeking out Mokele Mbembe, you're aware of the uproar over M.K.Davis's announcement at the Ohio Bigfoot Conference, and the internet buzz regarding "The Bluff Creek Massacre"(and coverup), "Patty was shot" (or shot at), "Patty is human", "Patty had a braid" and whatever else has popped up in the last few minutes.
Since everybody else in the cryptozoology/bigfoot community has been chiming in, choosing sides, and taking shots, I'm sure you're all wondering what my take is.
Let me clarify that I wasn't at the conference. All the info I have is secondhand. I don't know Davis or any of the others involved. I don't have a dawg in this race or any axes to grind.
First: The whole Bluff Creek Massacre. The jury's still out as far as I'm concerned. I haven't seen one bit of supportave evidence. Did it happen? Could it have happened? Are/were those involved the kind of people who could wipe out an entire clan, discover that they had just killed a family of humans, keep the whole incident quiet and cover it up for fifty freakin' years? I doubt it, and even if it did happen, it doesn't really effect present-dat cryptozoology, does it? I'll leave that whole matter to the cryptozoological equivalent of Oliver Stone or the Warren Commission.
Second: Was Patty shot? No. No. No. After watching the enhanced footage time and again, I see nothing to indicate a shot. (unless the Patterson party was packing Daisy Red Ryder BB guns, even then, the "bullet wound" and the creature's reaction just don't bear it out) Anyone who thinks Patty was shot in the leg while being filmed obviously has never shot anything. A shot from even a .22cal rifle would evoke a more serious reaction, even from a Sasquatch-sized creature.
Third: Does Patty have a ponytail or braid? From what I've seen, my opinion is that it's a case of seeing what one wants to see. It could be a braid or ponytail, it could also be a length of darker colored hair, similar to the "marked hominids". Hey, some people look at the P/G film and see an actual creature, and some look at the same film and see a guy in a suit.
And finally, the "Declaration" that Patty was human. I'm sorry, but there's just no way to make such a statement based on the film.
In closing, to give credit where it's due, Davis's work at enhancing and stabilizing the film should be recognized for the great work that it is. The time and dedication devoted to this project alone should be recognized and respected by the "community".

18 May 2008

Expedition plans and group rivalry...

Remember my previous post about rivalry and competition? I'm trying to plan an expedition later this summer, but it's apparently in some "paranormal investigation" group's territory. I'm trying to make contact, share information and techniques, maybe plan for some joint action and cooperation. But, thus far I've recieved no replies.
Plus, this particular group published the details of their latest expedition on their site. Evidently, their idea of research is going out to the woods, having a loud, big-ass all night party, and seeing if the "psychics" in the group can detect the presence of sasquatch.
I still plan to go with or without their cooperation, but I fear their antics may have cooled off a possible hot spot.

Busy weekend

Added a pair of Optronics remote controlled spotlights to the Commander this weekend. The vacuum attachments have held up so far (no drilling!). They've stayed put at 70mph. But running the power and remote cables was a bitch. Gotta figure out how I'm going to mount the monitor and remote multiple camera system next. I'll call it the "Roadkill Cam".

14 May 2008

I Bet THIS Takes Care of Those Armadillos!

Seems that The South is now poised for an invasion of pythons. There are an estimated 30,000 of 'em in the Everglades, smack dab in Skunk Ape territory. Do I smell a Sci-Fi Channel movie here?
Now if only we could introduce some giant anteaters to deal with the fire ants!,2933,355104,00.html?sPage=fnc/scitech/naturalscience

11 May 2008

In Praise of the Glock 20

Okay, I'm a firearms enthusiast. There was a time when one could use the term "gun nut" without risking a federal investigation, but those days are long gone.

I won't get into the debate of whether a cryptid should be killed (just yet). But when I venture into the deep woods, I'm packing some heat. In addition to monsters, there are more mundane (and arguably more dangerous) threats out there.

Depending on one's area of operations, the risk of encountering a dangerous animal will vary. If your out looking for a phantom black panther or alien big cat, an indigenous puma or mountain lion may just be looking for you. Not to mention the ubiquitous snakes, and in some areas, bears.

Plus, there's always the risk of encountering the most dangerous predator of all, man. While moonshining isn't the big business it once was, today, a more likely threat stems from the pot growers and meth lab operators. Hunters and forest rangers are becoming increasingly aware of the dangers these criminal types pose. From armed guards to deadly booby traps, the backwoods explorer faces a real danger from a predator of the two-legged variety.

My "piece of mind" is usually in the form of my customized Glock 20 10mm. Fitted with a stainless match grade 6" Lone Wolf barrel, steel guide rod, 20 lb spring and a recoil buffer, this piece, when stoked with Double Tap Ammo's 230gr hardcast load at 1120 fps, packs almost as much punch as a .44mag. Plus, it's lighter and more compact than my .44mag Redhawk, offers a 15 shot capacity, and the recoil is easily managed. I stagger my mags with DT's 200gr Controlled Expansion Hollowpoint @ 1250fps. These two loadings offer 641 & 694 ft/lbs or muzzle energy, respectively.

If I lived in bear country, I'd pack something with more power (like, as much as I could handle!).

While I own several long guns and handguns, the G20 is my "go-to" gun for a couple of reasons beyond those mentioned.

Suppose you encounter a forest ranger or law encorcement officer. Running around the woods at night with a hunting rifle and night vision gear, or riding along forest roads with a spotlight on your vehicle and a shotgun at your side could get you pegged as a suspected poacher. OTOH, the Glock 20, while offering magnum-level power, doesn't scream "hunting handgun" the way a big revolver does. I have a CCW permit, and I'm carrying a defensive handgun. The fact that it can take game up to deer or hogs (or bigfoot or panther) is just a bonus.
Of course, always comply with federal, stare, & local laws, and never carry a gun without proper training.
And since I touched on the subject of shooting bigfoot, apparently it happens more often than we think:

09 May 2008

Competition, Exclusion, and Elitism...

There seems to be an increasing number of cryptozoology organizations, paranormal research groups, ghost hunting societies, and other organizations involved in the study of things Fortean, ghostly or weird. While this can be a good thing in that it gets more people involved in the field, it also has the unfortunate downside of forming a clique-like atmosphere. Groups and organizations feel the need to safeguard their territory, zealously protect their techniques, and in many cases, keep their findings to themselves.
While this is more prevalent in the cryptozoology field (where there's actually the potential to make some serious money from a discovery), it also occurs in other fields of investigation as well. Sure, I can understand the possible problems of bringing along someone new or inexperienced into the field. And I can see how an individual or group may naturally have a desire to keep "outsiders", well, outside. But, in the long run, aren't we hurting ourselves? Or the paranormal research community in general? Or even the effort to gain the respect of the legitimate scientific community?
Why should one group claim "dibs" on a geographic area? Refuse to aid another group who may be interested in performing research on their turf? Refuse to share any findings or data with others in the field?
As people interested in studying the fringe areas of existence, shouldn't we have more of an attitude of the more, the merrier? How many of us owe our interest in our particular field to the writings of those who shared their knowledge? The Colemans, Keels, Redferns, Holzers, and countless others who actively encouraged us to get out there and hunt.
Naturally, there are exceptions, those groups and individuals who are willing to share, to answer questions, to encourage us to take a theory and run with it.
IMO, it's these people who should reap a greater reward than those who seek to keep their personal findings and discoveries secret in the hope of getting that big book deal or speaking engagement.
Aren't we all in this together?

06 May 2008


You're visiting the island of Sumatra. The local people describe a plant, with a ten-foot flower resembling a giant male member, that emits the almost unbearable stench of rotting flesh. Your party searches the jungle high and low, but finds nothing. You leave wondering if indeed it's fact or fiction.
Fans of exotic plants know just such a flower exists. The amorphophallus titanum is the largest flower (or inflourescence) in the world. The flower only blooms for a few days, stinks like rotting meat to attract flies for pollination, then rests for several years before blooming again. (no wonder you couldn't find it!)
Before I got bitten by the "tropical plant bug" a few years ago, I didn't realize that new species of plants are being discovered almost every day. I'm not talking about hybrids (either natural or man-made), or slight genetic variations or varieties, I mean previously unknown plants discovered in the wild.
So far, no one has discovered a plant that can detect man's presence and run away and hide. Plants, unlike animals, tend to stay put. If we haven't found all the immobile plant species, is it naive to assume we've found all the animals that can actually hide from us?

05 May 2008

"It sounded like a woman screaming"...

Anyone who's read enough about mystery animals, monsters, and cryptids will find this phrase popping up in witness accounts time and time again. The sound of a woman's scream has been attributed to or associated with: Bigfoot (and other hairy unknown bipeds), the Loch Ness Monster (and other lake monsters), Thunderbirds, the Mothman, the Jersey Devil, certain accounts of Black Panthers, Black Dogs, the Shug Monkey, and the many variations of ghosts, demons, poltergeists, werewolves, and on and on.
I've been wondering if there's some connection between the sound and the creatures. In his book "Three Men Seeking Monsters", Nick Redfern describes creatures called "Cormons". Entities from another world or dimension who enter our world through some sort of gateway or window. Cormons literally feed on fear, and may in fact create a "fear field" of sorts around them. If a being is dependent on fear, could it not develop a talent for instilling it? The sound of a woman screaming is pretty much universally guaranteed to get the adrenaline pumping. If heard by a female, the witness immediately identifies with the "victim". If heard by a male, our natural protective instincts kick in.
Or, let's suppose the cause and effect are being confused. If certain creatures are some sort of interdimensional being, it means that they must pass through some sort of window or doorway to enter our world. Could the sound be the key that opens the doorway? Sort of a cosmic "Open, Sesame"? I doubt it. I'm pretty sure that in the course of experimentation with sound waves our scientists have reproduced every conceivable frequency, timbre, and volume level imaginable, with no bizarre results. (that we know of, anyway!)
If the sound isn't the cause, perhaps it's an effect? When a jet or rocket breaks through the sound barrier, it produces the familiar "sonic boom", shaking the windows and rattling the walls in the immediate vicinity. Could it be that when an interdimensional entity or mystery animal crosses the line, a sound is produced that, to our ears, sounds like a woman screaming?

04 May 2008

Visit Gummerfan's Monster Hunter Supply!

Visit my little shop! I'll be adding some pics here later (once I get some models lined up!)
All proceeds will help support my research and fund my expeditions!
If I can sell 1100 more items, my budget for my upcoming monster hunt will be met!
The more I can find, the more I can share! Just click on the title of this post for the link!
Support Your Local Monster Hunter!

Creatures That "Cross the Line"

There's continuing controversy in the Cryptozoology community regarding just what cryptids are worthy of serious study or pursuit. Should, for example, the Mothman or the Jersey Devil be classified as genuine cryptids? Or do they belong squarely in the realm of the paranormal?
The Jersey Devil is typically described as having hooves, arms, and wings. Since there is no evidence of any animal (other than insects) either at present or in the fossil record with these traits,(6 extremeties) should the reports be shrugged off as beyond the scope of serious study? Sure, it's easy to dismiss the JD as nothing more than unfounded folklore based on the typical description alone. It's like a great trade-off: You can have arms and hands or claws, but then you can't have wings.
OTOH, the platypus is a known species that, at first glance, seems to defy the rules of biology, so why not be open to the possibility that "impossible"animals may in fact exist and account for faulty witness testimony?
Should the Mothman be treated as a possible unknown species? Perhaps a Thunderbird? Or (admittedly more likely) a misidentification of a known creature? Is it even possible to seperate the Mothman from the supernatural trappings surrounding the sightings and simply investigate the creature itself? Or should the baby be thrown out with the bathwater and the entire Mothman phenomenon be pushed to the paranormal fringe?
Don't get me wrong: I believe traditional science should be applied to the study of cryptic creatures. I'm not comfortable with using one unknown (the paranormal realm) to "explain" another (mystery creatures). But, I'm becoming more and more convinced that there may just be a point (however ill-defined) when the Rulebook may not be adequate.
Are Alien Big Cats, Black Panthers, Bipedal Canids, the elusive as ever Hairy Hominids and traditional lake monsters (who science insists shouldn't be there) strictly flesh and blood creatures, or do they cross that blurry line that divides that which can be explained from that which can't?