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...

04 May 2008

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?

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