All those strange animals that only come out beside lonely roads at 3am in the morning

Skeptical Take on Bigfoot

Eugenie Scott is an important player in the creationism-evolution school battle in the United States, and numerous other aspects of the teaching of science, via her role as the Executive Director of National Center for Science Education (NCSE). She is also intimately involved in skeptical groups such as the Bay Area Skeptics and CSI(COP), and is the author of Evolution vs Creationism and co-editor of Not in Our Classrooms: Why Intelligent Design Is Wrong for Our Schools. Scott has been criticised in the past by the more 'militant' atheists for not being outspoken enough against religion and creationism.

Scott is also a physical anthropologist with an interest (of the skeptical kind) in the existence of large primate cryptids such as Bigfoot and Yeti. In the following talk, "Bigfoot and Other Wild Men of the Forest", she puts forward her views on the topic:

Bigfoot, Yeti, and hordes of other cryptoid missing links have been igniting human imagination for ages. Even the most skeptical of us must wonder if it's possible there really could be large, undiscovered primates on earth, still unknown to us humans.

Can we be so sure we've found them all? And if some enticing evidence presented itself, how would we test it scientifically?

Tonight physical anthropologist Eugenie Scott will help us answer the question of whether or not we might one day be able to welcome some long lost relatives to the family tree.

H/T to @Daniel_Loxton.

Mimic Octopus - Wizard of the Sea

Paul is dead, but there are more wonders in the cephalopod world than just a psychic octopus. While we all know that these amazing creatures can change colour and texture to camouflage themselves as parts of the ocean environment, the Mimic Octopus takes things a step further:

Having studied many octopus species in the wild, I am never surprised by the color and shape change capacities of these animals," said Mark Norman of the Melbourne Museum in Australia. "However, this animal stood out as it was the only one we've encountered that goes beyond camouflage to take on the guise of dangerous animals."

Behold the craziness (especially the weird turkey-like thing at the end)!

Makes you wonder about animal consciousness and intelligence a little doesn't it...

(via Derren Brown's blog)

Loren Coleman: Cryptozoology Milestone

By any human standard, 50 years is a long time. And being fortunate enough to spend such an amount of time pursuing the passion that fuels your heart, is a grace that few of us will be fortunate to savor.

Loren Coleman has been one of those lucky few. Today, March 21st (the coming of Spring, to boot) marks his 50th anniversary in the field of Cryptozoology.

With the humility that often marks greatness, Loren feels he's only following the footsteps of pioneers such as his childhood heroes —Sanderson & Heuvelmans— and yet he's maybe not aware that currently there are more people alive with a current interest in the search of unknown creatures, than in any time in human history; and that this interest is fueled in no small part due to his incessant contributions to this often-misunderstood field of study.

With almost a dozen books published; countless interviews, consults and appearances in TV shows like Monsterquest; and his searching of a long-lasting legacy with the founding of the International Cryptozoology Museum, we salute our friend and mentor Loren, congratulating him on such a momentous occasion.

Island of Blood

In 2005, Fortean researcher (and regular Darklore contributor) Nick Redfern traveled to Puerto Rico with another of TDG's good friends, Canadian film-maker Paul Kimball. According to Nick, the purpose of the trek was "to make a film - road-trip-style - that would see me and Puerto Rican Orlando Pla (a local expert on the beast) on a quest for the truth about the monstrous thing said to be roaming the island: namely, the Chupacabras".

If that wasn't cool enough, the documentary - titled The Island of Blood, "a low budget, lo-fi, slightly tongue-in-cheek, mostly serious look at the chupacabra phenomonon" - is now available in three parts on YouTube. To make things easy, I've embedded all three parts below. Enjoy!

Previously on TDG:

Cryptozoology Boinged

Boing Boing's David Pescovitz has posted a great little interview/feature on Loren Coleman and the International Cryptozoology Museum today. I really like Loren's comment about how the museum isn't just about the zoology, but also about the history of the field, and the people that have contributed to it:

I learned in this field, early on, that people come and go, and other people specialized, usually in Bigfoot only, at the exclusive of other cryptids. Nevertheless, I remained focussed on preserving the history of the general field, holistically, comprehensively, and globally. The human element has been as important, sometimes as the cryptids, to me. The hunters, seekers, and searchers, as well as the artists, writers, and "experts," have their own history to add to the story. Therefore, I tried to buy, gather, collect, and receive items, papers, and books out of respect to the work that people who have pursued these unknowns, these as yet to be discovered species, deserved.

Well worth checking out the whole interview - better yet, if you're within spitting distance of Portland, Maine, go visit the museum (and Loren!) in person...it's only $5 entry for crying out loud! And remember that Loren blogs constantly about cryptozoology topics at Cryptomundo.com

Cryptozoology Museum Images

RPJ posted last week about the opening of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland Maine. For those interested in learning more about the museum (curated by cryptozoological legend Loren Coleman) a few people have since blogged about their visits to Loren's 'cabinet' of cryptozoological wonders, with the bonus of posting photos. See the Upside Down Hippopotamus blog for one report from the Nov 1 opening day - with accompanying photographic evidence (hey, this is cryptozoology after all) - and also comic creator Jon Rozum's own account of his visit to the Museum. Now the rest of us non-U.S. plebs just need Loren to put together a video package...

Cryptozoology Museum: Open For Business

Our good friend Loren Coleman had a tremendously successful day yesterday, when the doors of the Cryptozoology Museum were finally opened to the public. Loren shares with us some photos showing the first visitors, come from all over the country, who had the chance to admire his collection; so if you're near the Portland Maine area... what in the world are you waiting for??

But even if you're not able to visit the museum just now, you can still purchase one of those über-cool tee-shirts displaying the ICM's logo, by placing an on-line order through PayPal.

After all the monumental problems that had to be overcome for this dream to come true, we here at TDG give our warmest congratulation to Loren, expecting to have our picture taken in front of his pet Bigfoot in the not-so-distant future.

[Edit: It seems that the official grand opening of the museum will be on Nov. 6, whereas Nov. 1st was an unofficial low-key event —apparently provoked by some early arriving folks determined to be the first in line, all very reminiscent of The Phantom Menace!
A number of celebrities in the Crypto world will attend the grand opening, including artist/researcher Jim McClarin.]

Cryptozoology Museum to Open

Famous cryptozoologist Loren Coleman has today announced that the International Cryptozoology Museum will publicly open in a permanent space in downtown Portland, Maine on November 1 this year:

I am extremely proud to announce the formal unveiling of the public museum in tourist- and education-friendly Portland, Maine, housing five decades of cryptozoological pieces, with regular hours (11 am - 7 pm Tuesdays - Saturdays, Noon - 5 pm Sundays). The price of admission to view the gallery cryptozoology museum space, for all ages, will be $5.00, plus any other donations you might wish to leave.

One newsperson wrote in 2003: “The risky venture cost Coleman half of his retirement fund, but he expects it to pay off through the sharing of information.” (As it turns out, most of my small professor retirement fund is now gone, used to keep the museum alive to this point.)

So, now the serious business begins, with rents and electricity to pay, costs of moving the exhibition downtown, and much more to deal with, of course. Your assistance has never been more important. If you can donate, please do, below.

Donation details are via the link to Cryptomundo; please chip in if it's within your means to help Loren with the Museum.

Vale John Keel

I've just found out the very sad news that legendary Fortean researcher John A. Keel has died. Along with Jacques Vallee, one of the very first to think 'outside the box' when it came to paranormal phenomena, Keel was a primary influence on most researchers in recent decades. His book The Mothman Prophecies remains one of the most well-known cryptozoology (and paranormal) works, and other books such as Operation Trojan Horse were instrumental in looking past the 'nuts and bolts' UFO hypothesis. His trickster personality led to a controversial reputation, but there can be no denying his influence.

John Keel was 79.

Last Chance to Save the Cryptozoology Museum

From our good friend Loren Coleman, Cryptozoologist extraordinaire:

April 24: Emergency bulletin ~ Hey, this is Maine. Keep more than the hope alive. The bank is empty. The museum’s out of oil, there’s no heat or hot water. Your PayPal donation today is greatly needed. No communication, no blogs and no internet is next, not to mention foreclosure. This is no joke. Please, seriously do…
DONATE

Let's put it like this: If you have ever watched Loren on one of the Monster Quest shows, then you owe the man at least a buck for keeping you entertained ;-)

Thank you.