Cryptozoology: Myth, Fact, or Science
Cryptozoology, Myth, Fact, or Science?
The word crypto zoology comes from the Greek. 'Crypto' means hidden and 'zoology' the study of animals, crypto zoology is, therefore, the study of hidden animals. That means those animals outside the conventional zoology.
Conventional zoologists call crypto zoology a pseudo-science. This pretty much describes the feelings of academia and the public. The reasons for this are more complex. There are no specialist university courses in the world and no formal academic training for crypto zoology. Mentioning crypto-zoology raises sniggers, many people treat a sighting of one much in the same way that they would treat someone who said they had seen fairies.
Crypto zoologists study “cryptids”, cryptids include animals far outside their normal range, e.g. big cats in England, living animals thought to be extinct e.g. The Loch Ness monster, and any other animal, big or small, that conventional zoologists did not discover. They may be exotic or ordinary, but conventional science denies them all.
Placing Crypto zoology together with the paranormal, in all forms, including the disreputable, does it no favours. Scientists always assume that all cryptids sightings are due to mistaken identity, over exuberance, hoax, alcohol, over active imaginations and publicity seeking. They are correct in these assumptions in some cases. It is general knowledge that in some alleged sightings “evidence” was faked, notably in the Georgia “Big Foot” hoax.
Although this is true in some cases, there are other credible cryptid sightings by credible witnesses. For many decades, people reported big cats roaming the British countryside, in various areas. The British government and science community dismissed these reports as over-active imagination. Yet documentary evidence now exists of big cats being run over on the roads, shot and captured.
A freedom of information request yielded two distinct sightings of big cats in the Forest of Dean by two animal rangers, who were counting and surveying deer for the Forestry Commission. Animal rangers understand the importance of identifying exactly what they see, and know the difference between a big wild cat and anything else. These rangers must have been certain that they had seen big wild cats to risk ridicule by filing two such reports for the two separate occasions. The attitude to such sightings then in official circles would have made it much easier for the rangers to forget their sightings, rather than file official reports.
So many sightings of big cats, panthers, leopards and lynx led to people coming forward and admitting they had let their wild cats free. In the nineteen fifties and sixties, there was a fashion for rich people to keep wild animals, especially big cats, as pets. The Dangerous Wild Animals Act, passed in 1976, introduced licensing and strict conditions for keeping wild animals and many people released animals into the wild, once it came into force. Other dangerous wild animals acts were passed since 1976, and English law is now very restrictive in this area. When someone is prosecuted under the laws, others also illegally keeping wild animals in the same area release them. Now most people and scientists accept that big cats are living and breeding wild in Britain today.
Sailors and fishermen, told stories of giant squid, scientists dismissed them as being uneducated people until a giant squid was found. The giant squid is now accepted as mainstream zoology. Mariners knew that the coelacanth was a living creature long before conventional science. Scientists automatically presume that they know more than people, who sail and fish oceans for a living and are thus experienced in looking at sea creatures.
The established science community closes its minds to crypto zoology and scientists arrogantly assume that they know everything about our planet, thus ensuring there is no proper rigorous scientific study of cryptids. Any scientist undertaking such a study would be committing professional suicide. There are still huge, and remote areas of the Planet that were never properly studied, how can scientists assume that science knows all animals.
Certainly, some, but not all, sightings of cryptids are figments of imagination. By dismissing all sightings as such, science makes itself look ridiculous, by ensuring it will constantly have revise its former definite assurances that a cryptid does not exist. Science casts aspersions on witnesses’ sanity, reliability and truthfulness, but worst of all it does humanity's understanding of the World a great disservice.