Archive for the ‘cryptozoology’ Category

Reality Hacker

July 30, 2012

Are YOU a reality hacker??

Read this and find out!

The Patterson Film Reconsidered

July 25, 2012

The Patterson film, which was taken in the Northern California forest in 1967, remains the quintessential piece of indecisive evidence for the existence of the famed cryptid Bigfoot. I’m currently reviewing a book on the subject, and I’ll let the author’s words sketch out its significance:

“Patterson’s film has been studies by amateurs, evaluated by special effects experts, and looked at by scientists. It has been picked over, poked at, trumpeted as the most important piece of wildlife film ever taken, and laughed at as an obvious fake. The reason it resists scrutiny — and probably always will, regardless of whether it is genuine or fake — is the material fact that the film itself is of poor quality. Even with all the high tech gadgetry available to examine the film, the low resolution of the original grainy 16mm footage renders it practically impossible to analyze in great detail. We may never know whether Patterson meant it to be this way, or that it was just dumb luck of an individual unskilled and unsophisticated in the ways of filmmaking. In North America at least, it has become the toll booth all anomalous primate enthusiasts, academic or amateur, must pass to proceed. it lurks and skulks and peeps about just off to the side of every believer and skeptic, challenging, mocking, and encouraging. Regardless of who owns it, the Patterson film became a central component of Sasquatch studies. It allows for no middle ground. It is either real or fake, with no chance it is a misidentification of something else. Patty’s now legendary backward glance in frame 352 [Ed. Note: See image] teases and tests anyone who has ever seen it. It survives when all others associated with it have come and gone. It is not the only evidence, and it is not the only contentious evidence. Everything ever brought forward to support manlike monsters, mystery-apes, and anomalous primates has been controversial and will continue to be.”

From Brian Regal, Searching for Sasquatch: Crackpots, Eggheads and Cryptozoology (New York: Palgrave, 2011), 129-130.

Image found here.

Still seems tantalizingly elusive, this film — shaky, confused, out of context and scale. And yet somehow completely haunting.

So, what do YOU think??

Context, Cryptozoology and the Cadborosaurus

September 8, 2009

Cadborosaurus willsi, the famed Cadboro Bay sea monster, is a fascinating example of the strengths and failings of the “science” of cryptozoology. An ideal case study.

Cadborosaurus

This image, culled from the public archives of the CBC, is of the Cadborosaurus, one of the most representative of a cryptozoological archetype — the sea beast. An ancient legend. From the Loch Ness Monster to Champy to endless other cases of things from the deep, it’s undeniable that mystery washes over the world’s oceans. And sometimes even laps up on quiet Vancouver Island shores…

To understand Cadborosaurus you have to understand the context of this area, and how culture and history mix. Cadboro Bay is located north of sleepy Oak Bay, a cozy community on the edge of the city of Victoria, and every bit the English country town…Fossilized into a rustic western landscape.

It’s easy to imagine seeing things in Cadboro Bay. Heck, it’s easy to imagine oddities by any shore. Perception is a strange thing. Especially when it comes to water and perspective. A case in point…

Seamonster

A sea monster? Or a rock?

Furthermore, there are a whole variety of species swimming along these shores. From otters to harbour seals to the occasional killer whale (Orca). And possibly stranger beasts. You can see all sorts of things moving around out there…

Otter

An otter, or a sea monster?

Who knows? This is the allure of cryptozoology. Beyond the many fine websites devoted to the subject, there are of course “hard facts”. We only know and have categorized a tiny (1/10th, perhaps) percentage of the species on earth, and new species, like the giant squid, are regularly discovered as we churn the ocean’s depths.

It’s tempting to think ancient dinosaurs still swim the mysterious abysses of earth, but is it really that likely we overlook so monstrous a beast? Perhaps…

One has to wonder at the convenient timing. Recall that Cadborosaurus was first spotted in the 1930s and popularized in the 1940s and 50s, when the community came into its own. Patterns of settlement matter here, as Scottish legends of mysterious monsters in the Loch could be easily transported to the sleepy Georgia Strait. More recent attempts to find and observe the Cadborosaurus have been made, as recorded in this CBC news piece from the 1990s.

Beyond mythology, when spending time sitting by Cadboro Bay, it becomes something else entirely — a natural space with a lively, vital aura. Add imagination, and one can easily envelop it in mystery. It has its own particular quality…Hopefully captured here…

CadboroBay

That it’s also (possibly) home to a mythical beast only adds to the allure. A little more sparkle to this simple beauty.

Friendly or fearsome, Cadborosaurus is a fascinating and too little known example of a well-established cryptozoological mystery, and a local legend worthy of serious consideration. Worthy even of levity too…

Cad1

And, most important of all, some good, clean fun! Science can be many things, but it’s at its best when you find the fun factor…

Cad2


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