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Home > Archives > Cryptozoology > Cryptozoology Q&A

Cryptozoology Q & A
by Aly Julian
POSTED: 2000

Q: "What can be done to improve cryptozoology's reputation so that it is taken seriously as a true discipline of science?"

A: This is a truly difficult question. It would be impossible to express the opinions of everyone simply by giving the answer to the question myself, so instead I sent this question to a wide variety of cryptozoologists and enthusiasts alike. Here are their opinions.

Jan-Ove Sundberg, Global Underwater Search Team
"By better education of the so called cryptozoologists, they must also come forward with their names, places, occupations, etc. and take responsibility for their hypothesis, speculations and general views and they must learn how to co-operate, not only domestically but also internationally and above all they need a scientific mentor and connection, someone established and not necessessarily famous, who´s open enough to this subject that seems so hard to deal with, and who has patience enough to educate laymans about what is possible and what isn´t."

Aly Julian, writer/enthusiast
"By approaching the science with the same degree of scientific measure as astrophysics or psychology is approached. Full documentation, use of the scientific method, and maintenance of a logical, level mind are all necessary. We cannot jump to conclusions without proper research; everything must be presented as a theory until proven. It took time and persistence to prove that the universe is not geocentric, or that the Earth is not flat. Cryptozoologists need that same determination."

Loren Coleman, author and cryptozoologist
"Stick to the facts, use the scientific method, and stay clear of personalities that tend to diminish the credibility of cryptozoology. Cryptozoology is already a subdiscipline of zoology, and is more appropriately associated with the life sciences, NOT the paranormal."

Dave Pool, enthusiast
"Firstly, it would be so great if we could prove we are right about something. Some guy nabs a Bigfoot, that [will] help us out. Second, we need to somehow figure out how we can become dissassociated ... with people with extremely far-out theories. We need to stop people from lumping us together with nuts... [and] we need to get people within the field who are more professional. These subjects are so fantastic that people think they can turn the cryptid into the animal they want it to be. They will only hear what they want to hear, when questioning witnessess, they will twist the testimony to fit their liking. I have heard people describe the chupacabra as anything from "Space Panthers to Flying Raptors" ... This may be hypocrisy, perhaps I am as guilty of this as anyone else, but that does not mean this is not a valid problem, I believe it results in misinformation and muddled facts. Android bigfoot, anyone?

Craig Heinselman, editor/publisher of CRYPTO
"Cryptozoology as a whole must utilize a high level of both common sense and filtration services. It must be able to screen and filter the information gathered in such a manner that it is logical as well as thorough. It must also go beyond relying on the utilization of reported facts and seek out the actual people and persons behind a given situation. In all we all need to practice some good old fashion horse-sense and keep our noses to the stone to collect and share information. In this way then zoology can document perhaps one day the actuality of a living-breathing cryptid."

Jim Harnock, writer/enthusiast
"I think the biggest step that could be taken to move cryptozoology out of it's percieved position of being the X-Files of science would be to put a leash on those people who insist on publishing and promote their half-baked theories. Let's face it, a lot of the so-called theories put forward these days are nothing more than wild guesses based on someone's opinion of what little real evidence there is. Take this Sasquatch/giganotopithecus thing that Grover Krantz is always talking about. How on Earth he can claim that this is the only plausible theory is beyond me -- a bunch of fossilized teeth and a fossilized jaw-bone found in China is an explanation for a creature living in North America? And for all we know, the gigantopithecus could have been the size of a chimp, with a really big jaw. The fact is, just like Krantz, too many people involved in cryptozoology (be they real scientists or just cryptogeeks like me) make such leaps in logic to explain cryptids, I'm tempted to call the IOC and suggest they make it a new sport at the summer games."

In conclusion, I found that people surprisingly seem to agree on this one. The main suggestions were to better educate cryptozoology researchers, to not jump to conclusions (as in the Gigantopithecus theory), to clear the field of untrustworthy researchers, and to take cryptozoological research with stamina and determination.

Special thanks to Loren Coleman, Jim Harnock, Craig Heinselman, Jan-Ove Sundberg, and Dave Pool.

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