Jul 272012
 

It’s difficult to compile a list of books by sales ranking on Amazon, when “cryptozoology” is the search word used on that book-seller site. Some obvious cryptozoology books do not have that word in their title or subtitle, so they are probably left out of the search results. The following are paperback and hardback, from top to bottom by sales ranking, the apparent top twenty on the evening of July 27, 2012, although it is very possible that important books may have been missed.

  1. Looking for Bigfoot, by Bonnie Worth
  2. Destination Truth: Memoirs of a Monster Hunter, by Josh Gates
  3. Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science, by Jeff Meldrum
  4. Tales of the Cryptids: Mysterious Creatures, by Kelly Milner Halls and others
  5. DK Readers: Beastly Tales, by Malcolm Yorke and Lee Davis
  6. Live Pterosaurs in America (third edition), by Jonathan Whitcomb
  7. Biblical Cryptozoology Revealed Cryptids of The Bible, by Dale Stuckwish
  8. Cryptozoology A to Z, by Loren Coleman and Jerome Clark
  9. Field Guide to Lake Monsters, Sea Serpents, by Loren Coleman and others
  10. Real Monsters, Gruesome Critters, and Beasts from the Darkside, by Brad Steiger
  11. Bigfoot Observer’s Field Manual, by Robert W. Morgan
  12. The Beasts that Hide from Man, by Karl Shuker
  13. Tom Slick: True Life Encounters in Cryptozoology, by Loren Coleman
  14. The Michigan Dogman, by Linda S. Godfrey
  15. Bigfoot! – The True Story of Apes in America, by Loren Coleman
  16. Claw, Jaws, and Dinosaurs, by Kent Hovind, William Gibbons, and others
  17. Hunting the American Werewolf, by Linda S. Godfrey
  18. Monsters of Texas, by Ken Gerhard and Nick Redfern
  19. In Search of Sasquatch, by Kelly Milner Halls
  20. Monsters of West Virginia: Mysterious Creatures, by Rosemary Ellen Guiley

Books on the Loch Ness creature seem to have less selling depth than they once did. Bigfoot is still strong. The old standard Cryptozoology A to Z is no longer number one in this genre, although it was on the top for years.

Popular Cryptozoology Books

Leaving aside fictions and e-books (including Kindle) here’s a listing of many cryptozoology books that are best selling on Amazon

Three Author “Eyewitnesses”

The three authors, from British Columbia in Canada, Texas, and California, have each written at least one edition of a nonfiction book that primarily deals with sightings of possible pterosaurs in North America.

Advertisement

Live Pterosaurs in America - front cover of nonfiction book, third edition

Live Pterosaurs in America (third edition), cryptozoology, nonfiction

The second paragraph of the introduction of the book:

This book might discomfort, even offend, a few readers; please consider the feelings of those who have revealed to us their encounters with what seem to be live pterosaurs, for some of them have suffered more than discomfort. I intend to comfort those innocent victims who have been ridiculed or ostracized because of a cultural weakness, for each has seen something unaccepted by their society. Each eyewitness deserves listeners who will open their minds, really listen. Consider their experiences.

From Page 70:

The cryptozoologists were not disappointed, with many sightings of the flying lights and a few sightings of the forms of large flying creatures that were unlike bats. One of them flew close enough that one man almost fell over. The men stayed only a few nights, but the investigation continued into 2008, with a number of visits to this location.

From Page 71 (another expedition in North America):

Late in 2007, I received an email from Peter Beach, a biology professor. He had gone on two expeditions into Africa (searching for the Mokele-mbembe cryptid), before becoming involved in living-pterosaur research.

“I went on a short trip to the Yakima River this summer . . . because there was a [sighting]. We were unable to get a picture but we saw many . . . flashing lights. I would have assumed that [they] were fireflies but we [don’t] have them in Washington. One of the flashes took off from a big tree overhanging the river and made a kind of flashing coma turn. Many flashes were parallel to the river. The river at that point [has] a crook . . . and there were many fish . . . Prime hunting grounds for fish-eating birds. Only these things fish at night with bioluminescence.”

Jul 082011
 

It never ceases to amaze me that some educated Americans continue to fail to think clearly when they reply to sightings of cryptids with “. . . it would have been seen.” Looking straight at their reasoning reveals the problem: “People who say they saw X could not have really seen X because if X existed then somebody would have seen X.”

I just started to watch a documentary on Bigfoot sightings in an area with a long history of that cryptid. I turned off the television when a ranger said “it would have been seen.” Of course faulty reasoning is not limited to critics who concentrate their fire on the Bigfoot.

I thought to get maybe a few thousand results by searching Google with the following:

Bigfoot “it would have been seen”

I got “736,000″ for Google’s number of results. Granted, some of the first entries were unrelated to circular reasoning regarding Bigfoot sightings . . . but some did relate to cryptids, with that same old circular reasoning.

Lake Ontario Monster Sighting

A drove of cattle went to drink, whereupon the huge monster raised his head above the water and approached the shore . . . The occurrence drew to the beach several persons residing not far distant and caused a sensation . . . [reported in 1867]

One comment in response included:

. . . if something that big came to eat a cattle back then, it would have been seen . . .

The point is simple: The report is about persons who HAD seen something. Therefore, it seems that this comment is by a person who has a problem with circular reasoning.

Loch Ness Creature

On another forum, someone commented on the possibility of the natural physical existence of Nessie.

I don’t believe in Loch Ness legend. As it is so huge, it would have been seen, as it is not seen, I don’t think it is in this world.

Where did that person get the idea that the creature is huge? Where else than from a reported sighting? What is a sighting? When somebody sees something. That person has the same problem: circular reasoning, not clear thinking.

Live Pterosaurs in America (second edition)

In the second edition of this book, I tackled that opponent of clear thinking: circular reasoning. In the appendix I wrote:

In logic and mathematics, “circular reasoning” can sometimes be a useful tool, but it usually refers to a fallacy involving arguments or reasoning in common communications. That improper reasoning is called “viciously circular reasoning,” and it has ensnared even highly-educated critics of the living-pterosaur investigations.

One critic (“Unexplained-Mysteries” online forum, Mar 31, 2009) said, “Simply put, if pterosaurs . . . [were] still around, they would be extremely obvious.” That sounds logical, except that it was a reply to a posting that included links to many web pages on eyewitness sightings: obvious pterosaurs.

. . . Why is this reasoning fallacious? It is not that the circular nature of the reasoning, also known as “begging the question,” causes statements to be false, but that the apparent reasoning is not reasoning at all. Worse than worthless, it misleads in giving a false impression of logic.

Could this critic mean that modern pterosaurs, by their size and strange appearance, would be noticed by many persons? I see another kind of reasoning problem, for I’ve also seen no mountain lion in the mountains of Southern California, notwithstanding I’ve walked where mountain lions may have stalked; most Californians have never seen a wild one. If the critic’s reasoning is not circular it is crooked: “Elusive” does not mean “nonexistent,” and “rare” does not mean “extinct.”

I have recently noticed a similarity between the Bigfoot and the living pterosaurs (no, I have not recently lost all sense of reason): Both cryptids seem to be mostly nocturnal. I suspect that Bigfoots and live pterosaurs are also uncommon, mobile, and reclusive, making them difficult for cryptozoologists to find.

But beware of careless reasoning (circular or not). Some cryptozoologists who have searched for living pterosaurs have indeed seen what very well could have been just that. One of those searchers was Craig Norman. Apparently he did see a large living pterosaur.

Jul 082011
 

I recently learned, through email, of David Woetzel’s encounter with the Ogopogo cryptid in Canada. (David and I have been actively involved with living-pterosaur investigations for years, although he has traveled extensively on searches for a number of non-pterosaur cryptids.) It seems that his group, which included William Gibbons, just missed getting direct photos of the Ogopogo itself; instead they photographed the large wake.

New Ogopogo Sighting: A Photographic Update

Bill Gibbons also adds:

1. We did not set out to find Ogopogo on a short trip onto the lake. We were hoping to visit a few well-known “hotspots” in order to plan out a later expedition.

2. The film only shows the wake left by the creature. However, I did observe 3-4 humps just above the waves, which were darker than the waves themselves. Dorsal ridge was also clearly visible on the humps as I was focusing on the humps with a pair of binoculars. Dave Woetzel and my son, Andrew, may have briefly observed the head of the creature for a few seconds just above the waves.

3. The film shot by David Woetzel and the subsequent (still) images were remarkably similar to the Fletcher photo of an alleged Ogopogo, taken in 1976 and featured on page 111 of Arlene Gaal’s book, ‘in Search of Ogopogo.’

4. We have absolutely no interest in selling the film to the “highest bidder,” or seeking any further publicity outside the cryptozoological community, although a subsequent frame-by-frame of the Woetzel film may be conducted at a later time.

5. This was not a sturgeon (or two sturgeons), salmon, trout, krill, otters, or waves from a boat, etc. I have fished extensively in rivers, streams, lakes, the sea and all over the world. I have seen sizable fish and sharks of all kinds, not to mention crocodiles, hippos and elephants, etc in Africa. I have even seen monkeys swimming across a river in the Congo. The Lake Okanagan observation was unlike anything I had ever seen before.

6. The disturbance and sizable waves we observed were generated by an animate object directly from underneath the surface in flat clam conditions. The waves were at least 1.5 feet high and dissipated after the animal submerged 10-12 seconds later.

7. We did not advertise this sighting but only reported it to Arlene Gaal and John Kirk (who has seen Ogopogo 11 times in the past), [as well as Loren Coleman, of course].

Ogopogo Lake Monster

It’s common practice for many major documentary producers to either ignore the possibility of living pterosaurs or dinosaurs or to treat unorthodox sightings as if unreliable,  simply because what is  described seems  to be a dinosaur or a pterosaur. A recent episode of “Proof Positive” ended with a conclusion that was surprising only to those who are not aware of this tendency for standard models to dominate media productions.

Dec 042010
 

Dinoplaza, a new blog about reports of dinosaurs alongside humans, has recently been started by Peter Theiss, a child cryptozoologist in the southeast United States. The site deserves a few brief excerpts.

Nessie Lives

Richard Preston, a landscape gardener, has been the latest person to spot a mysterious shape that might be the Loch Ness monster and capture a series of images on camera.

Best Photographic Evidence of Nessie, Ogopogo, and Champ

I think the best photographic evidence of Nessie is the 1975 underwater photo of Nessie, taken by Robert Rines.  The photo shows, quite clearly, indeed, a plesiosaur-like creature . . . flippers, a long neck, and a big head . . .

Living Dinosaur Roar

In 1981, American engineer Herman Regusters led his own expedition in search of Mokele-mbembe [Central Africa].  He returned with a sound recording of a “low windy roar [that] increased to a deep throated trumpeting growl”, which Herman Regusters believed to be the Mokele-mbembe’s call.

Please note that this child cryptozoologist is the same Peter Theiss mentioned in the newly published second edition of my nonfiction book Live Pterosaurs in America. He contributed a valuable eyewitness sighting interview report regarding what we believe was a pterosaur flying over an area of St. Louis.

Dec 022010
 

Who would take a kayak into a swamp in search of a sea monster? Actually, kayaking in one particular swamp in Georgia is nothing rare, and a particular cryptid, called “Altie,” has been labeled “sea monster.” One particular excursion, by Altamaha Coastal Tours, was with the hope of a sighting.

The tour started out in Buffalo Swamp, which is considered a tidal forest. . . . Once we entered the Cathead Creek area it seemed as though we were in a different land. The Cathead Creek waterway was formed from irrigation canals for old rice fields. . . .  I was slowly navigating a narrow spot when I caught some movement to my left. It was an alligator sliding from the bank into the water right next to me. While it gave me a bit of an adrenaline rush I’m happy to report that was all there was to my encounter.

Although this particular excursion did not result in a sighting of Altie, it demonstrates that there is at least one somewhat-convenient means of participating in a cryptozoological quest in Georgia.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

Promoting a cryptozoology book:

cover of cryptozoology book about living pterosaursLive “pterodactyls?” In the United States? Many scientists have long assumed all pterosaurs died millions of years ago. Now take a whirlwind tour of many years of investigations in cryptozoology, and prepare for a shock: At least two pterosaur species have survived, uncommon, not so much rare as widely and thinly distributed.

Nocturnal pterosaurs have always lived among us, but hidden by something. Enter now the realm of a new branch of cryptozoology, a branch overshadowed by the dogma of a “universal extinction.” How did scientists miss living pterosaurs? Get the answers here, hidden secrets about how these amazing flying creatures of the night have gone mostly unreported: Until recently, almost nobody would listen to eyewitnesses; but for the past seven years many of them have been interviewed by the author of this book.

Mar 232010
 

On August 9, 2004 at 7:30 a.m., the houseboat on Lake Okanagan started to rock back and forth. John Casorso and his family got up and looked out to see what happened. They were shocked at what they saw swimming away from them; it had just swam under the boat, apparently colliding with it. “We could really feel the power and size [of] what it was,” said Casorso.

He quickly got out his video camera and recorded about 15 minutes of footage. In the video is a long dark hump rising above the water. Casorso estimated the length of the creature at 15 meters but acknowledged that there may have been more than one creature.

The creature named “Ogopogo” is believed by some to be a kind of aquatic dinosaur, living in Okanagan Lake, British Columbia, Canada. It has been compared with “Nessie” of Loch Ness, Scotland, another “lake monster,” although there has been much controversy about interpretations. Perhaps it would be best to simply call them “cryptids.”