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...

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.

2 comments:

Loren Coleman said...

I have to disagree. All the cryptozoologists I've ever met, and I've personally encountered hundreds, have all been quite sexy!

Sincerely,
Loren Coleman

Gummerfan said...

Wow! I must say I'm honored that you visited my feeble blog!
(and I must admit, one of my favorite t-shirts reads: "Trust Me, I'm A Cryptozoologist") so I've got both bases covered!