Category Archives: Cryptozoology

Polish man films a “Yeti”

Because there’s no way to demonstrate yet whether this video is accurate, I’ll simply provide the news link and embed the video. However, upon cursory examination it appears to be yet another short “man in a suit” type video with heavy pixellation, shaky camera work, a far angle, and with no other supporting evidence. The video is allegedly under investigation.

Personally I’d film that bastard until my camera conked out or he ate me, but I guess these folks chose the more ubiquitous “out of frame and blurry” method… Directors, man. They’re so obsessed with personal style and genre. Break the mold.

Beyond Belief: Strange, True Mysteries of the Unknown – Part 2

So I started reading this book that I had from when I was a kid. I started with Chapter 1, which was about ghost ships and now I’m ready for Chapter 2 – Here there be Sea and Lake Monsters, Chapter 3 – Giant Birds, Beasts, and Human Skeletons of Great Size (it took me many years to read that grammatical mess in a way that wasn’t redundant), and Chapter 11 – Fairies, Elves, and Little Men from UFOs (my favorite one…see below).

At first I was like “well I won’t do every chapter”, but every time I flip farther into the book I see something else that makes me cringe. I’ll take these chapters together because they fall under the same category: strange, usually unverifiable beings. In other words, cryptozoology. More…

Hoaxes as lessons

During Joe Nickell’s talk at TAM 7, the concept of hoaxes came up. Sometimes skeptics will, for example, take pictures of an alleged Bigfoot and post them online. They’ll let it go for a few weeks/months, letting the Bigfoot people ponder over it before finally revealing “AHA! It was all a scam!” I don’t know how I feel about these little demonstrations.  More…

"Yeti footprints"! Oh my!

I have a test tomorrow so I don’t really have time to harp on this story of the Japanese finding a “yeti footprint” (pictures here), so I’ll just say this: A partially melted footprint that could have been put there by anything is not evidence of the existence of yetis. I don’t know why this is a difficult concept to grasp, but seriously these people would be surprised how many things have feet and walk around with them — often leaving footprints for idiots to find.

And I like the phrase “a large creature resembling a human or bear” — I think the characteristics of their sample inclusion are a wee bit broad.

Oh and the “yeti footprint” (I refuse to write it without quotation marks) was found by, this is so unexpected, the leader of a yeti-finding project. Mmm hmm. So he’s, like, totally objective to evaluate the origin of a melted, misshapen footprint. Especially since he once saw a yeti himself…at an altitude of 25 000 feet. It’s too bad he never thought to bring a camera on that yeti-finding expedition.

They never seem to remember that…

The "New" Unsolved Mysteries – A Needless Analysis

So it’s come to this. We’re not only retreading old movies, but now old defunct “reality” television shows.

Remember Robert Stack? I bet you do. And I bet I know where you remember him from. You might remember him from Airplane, sure, but chances are what immediately springs to mind is Unsolved Mysteries. It only ran for frigging 15 years.

Well, last night I managed to catch a bit of the newly relaunched Unsolved Mysteries while I was studying. Brand new host, brand new stories. Really? Let’s take a look at what they covered.

1) Various unsolved disappearances, murders, etc.
2) The ever relevant and topical issue of the death of Elvis — accident or suicide?
3) An alleged UFO sighting. [Note: I’m pretty sure this is the one, based on the description in the show, but admittedly I don’t remember the name of the town so it’s possible I am wrong. But I’m 99% sure this is the sighting they were describing.]

So the best they could do in 2008 is continue the trend of sneaking pseudoscience and paranormal garbage in with perfectly reasonable “mysteries” such as a disappearance, theft, or death. And what they decided to stick in was something irrelevant about Elvis and a UFO story from 1965 as told by two eyewitnesses who were children when the event occurred and who even describe it themselves as looking like a meteor.

Well, I guess some things never change.

Comments on 2) — Is the way Elvis died really relevant anymore? I mean, does it change anything if he died on purpose or by accident given that it happened so long ago and the outcome is the same (i.e., it’s not like their searching for some unknown murderer)? So, it escapes me why they would bring it up again in 2008.

Comments on 3) — The UFO story was just pathetic. I mean, I watched this show as a kid and they had me roped right into this stuff. However, I was just a dumb kid so what did I know? But even so, watching it last night, it seemed like they weren’t even trying anymore. It was laugh-out-loud hilariously bad.

Two men describe seeing a fiery object in the sky land in the woods a bike-ride away. They go to the site later and the military tells them to get lost due to a “quarantine” [educational note: quarantine does not necessarily mean weird or diseased, just sequestered for some reason]. So obviously if the American military was involved, were secretive (imagine that), and they issued a quarantine of the area it had to be that the object was an alien spacecraft. Also because the object appeared to be moving “too slow” and seemed to turn in midair, according to eyewitnesses.

There is no other reasonable explanation and anyone who denies that it was aliens is just being a stupid shithead government tool.

Or maybe one (with faulty eyewitnesses) or multiple (thus explaining the apparent change in trajectory) high altitude meteor(s) was/were spotted that night and the military tracked it and went to investigate, thus quarantining the area to prevent contamination of the samples or having little children get injured by being near a big, hot space rock. Or it could have been a downed satellite and they didn’t want people to see it or know about it.

No, it was aliens. If it wasn’t aliens, the military would have just said so, right? Why’d they “hide” what they were doing?

Um, maybe because it’s the frigging military and they are secret about stuff that may be relevant to national security.

Oooooh, right. That totally reasonable explanation…I forgot about that… But then do the math: Military + scary word (quarantine) = obviously blatant conspiracy. So case closed.

Ok then. Obviously it’s likely that aliens built interstellar spacecraft, set off their planet, survived the ravages of ultra-long-distance space travel, discovered Earth, and just as they came to visit us they turned a few times in the atmosphere (while crashing — as the fiery acrobatics in the lower atmosphere, if true, indicate), and hit the ground. Much more likely than, say, one or more meteors (or a satellite) traveling at high altitude with few comparison objects for speed and distance being mistaken for a UFO by 2 children and several eyewitnesses who were putting facts together after the fact to make things sound, unintentionally or not, more mysterious than they were.

That’s never happened before, so that couldn’t possibly be the case now. Come on, guys. Military. Spoooooky.

So I give this new retread of Unsolved Mysteries 1.5 evil sock puppets out of a possible 5. Obviously the main source of my disappointment was the craptacularity of their UFO story. If you’re going to try to convince people that a UFO story is just as legitimate to deserve investigation as the disappearance and/or murder of someone, shouldn’t it be a little better than “something that looked like a meteor/satellite, behaved like a meteor/satellite, and crashed like a meteor/satellite was obviously an alien spacecraft”? I at least expected Photoshopped pictures alleged to be real pictures of the UFO, but the best they had was artist renderings and reenactment props. And I mean, Elvis? Really?

Totally lame, Unsolved Mysteries. Totally lame. The Stack would be ashamed.

Swedish Sea Monster

We finally have definitive proof of sea monsters. A group of intrepid researchers placed cameras at Lake Storsjon to capture the elusive Swedish version of the Loch Ness Monster. Luckily their efforts did not disappoint. We not only have a blurry still-picture of the highest quality, we also have out-of-context low-res video! Holy fucking shit!

What with all the high quality photos and video footage, we skeptics just can’t deny it any longer. I mean look at this picture:

You can see the menace in its eyes and yet a soulful longing for companionship.

And he totally doesn’t look like a small watercraft in a vast expanse of water with no objective size comparison.

Luckily this opportunity hasn’t gone unnoticed by the American mainstream, as NBC will allegedly be covering the story, documenting the hunt for posterity. It’s ok to call it a hunt because although the monster was classified as endangered back in 1986, that ruling was overturned in 2005 due to complaints by a bunch of self-righteous “rationalists” who think only known species deserve to be on endangered lists. Pfft!