Embrace The Unkown And
Seek The Truth - Part 5
By Michael Goodspeed
"... incredibly, we have yet to discover most of the Earth's species. Scientists have documented maybe 10 or 20 percent of living things, and new species are discovered all the time." -Dr. David Suzuki, Environmental News Network
"My mommy always said there's no such as thing monsters - no REAL monsters. But there are..."
-"Newt," James Cameron's Aliens
"That ain't no whale; that a great white god." -"Pip," Moby Dick
Everyone knows it's wrong to root for the bad guy, though we've all done it on occasion. I'm not just talking about fictional bad guys, either. Real-life bad guys, from Old West outlaws, to modern day serial killers, to diabolical tyrants like Hitler and Stalin have unfortunately been the objects of secret admiration for the common man. The power of a bad guy is tangible, overt. Causing tremendous harm and destruction, while certainly not an admirable behavior, often requires strengths and skills that most people long for. Who wouldn't want to possess the charisma of a Hitler, the sheer chutzpah of a Napoleon, the political genius of a Castro?
When I was a kid, I didn't have conventional heroes like athletes, pop singers, and movie stars. The icons I most admired were larger than life (quite literally), and most certainly not good in any sense of the word. In fact, they weren't even HUMAN. They had names like King Kong, Mothra, Mighty Joe Young, and the Heavyweight Champion of all mythical beasts, Godzilla. I recall with sweet nostalgia the Monster Movie matinees on Saturday morning TV, and the guttural roar of a fire-breathing lizard stomping through the streets of a devastated Japan. At the age of 6 or 7, even with a pretty well-established moral compass, I couldn't understand how anyone could root against Godzilla. I cursed with venom at the puny, impudent humans attempting to take Godzilla down with their ineffectual weaponry. How dare they fire on this magnificent specimen, this wonder of creation whose natural habitat they so arrogantly impugned upon? Go Godzilla, scorch those tiny footsoldiers with your searing, fiery breath! Stomp those tanks with your algae-encrusted footpads!
It happens that Godzilla was inspired in part by a recurring motif in world mythology - the fire-breathing dragon. Every culture in the ancient world lived in fear of this terrifying leviathan, this LUSUS NATURAE of the ancient psyche (see Contemporary man is said to worship his own "mythical" beasts, or creatures thought to be biologically improbable by a majority of mainstream scientists. These modern-day mostrosities have names like Bigfoot (or Yeti, Skunk-ape, Sasquatch), Nessie, El Chupacabra, and Mothman. Thousands of human beings have reported sightings of these creatures, yet many self-described skeptics maintain there is no compelling evidence that they actually exist.
It's important to remember that most of these "mythical" monsters are no more biologically improbable than the majority of inmates at your local zoo. I've never seen a more genuinely disturbing animal than the "hooded seal"- that which carries a balloon on its head and blows bubbles from its nose - and that was on an episode of National Geographic. Science is continously discovering new and unusual animals, including "offshoots" of known species, or hybrids so exotic they constitute entirely new species.
In 2003, a new "mystery ape" was discovered in the heart of Africa which is said to have characteristics of both the gorilla and the chimpanzee. The as-yet-to-be classified ape is also said to have feet over 14 inches long, more than 2 inches longer than a typical gorilla's. Most unusually, it was discovered thousands of miles from the nearest documented ape habitat. One primatologist who examined the beasts at an Omaha zoo said, "I can't speculate yet as to what they are. Their behavior is so unusual. It's a puzzle....The possibility is there that this is a new species due to isolation....I feel like Dr. Doolittle in the land of Oz." (Source:
Giant squid, creatures so monstrous as to be straight from the pages of a Jules Verne novel, have also made headlines in recent years. The largest of these ever recorded weighed nearly one ton, and possessed tentacles that were over 45 feet in length. In 500 years, only 300 sightings of (dead) giant squid have been documented, and despite numerous expeditions by scientists and adventurers, NOT ONE GIANT SQUID HAS EVER BEEN SEEN ALIVE. (Source:
Other "new" species of squid to be officially recognized in the last few years include a "mystery squid," described as a "swimming spider" and possessing arms longer than any known squid species (Source:, and a so-called "super squid" which is described as both larger and "a magnitude meaner" than giant squid. Only six specimens of this monster have been recovered, five from the stomachs of sperm whales and one in a trawl net at 2,000 meters depth. The creature is said to possess an enormous beak and deadly "hooks" on the ends of its tentacles. New Zealand squid expert Steve O' Shea said of the super squid, "It really has to be one of the most frightening predators out there."
Are these exotic, rare, and downright baffling creatures any more "implausible" than, say, Bigfoot or Nessie? Should we believe self-described skeptics who attempt to equivocate strange, "mythical" creatures with UFOs and other "paranormal" phenomena?
Let's examine the available evidence which argues in favor of modern-day "monsters," beginning with Bigfoot. While I am personally not a Bigfoot "believer," I cannot abide by self-described skeptics who maintain there is no more evidence of Bigfoot than, say, the tooth fairy or Santa Claus. Jay Ingram, co-host and producer of Discovery Channel's, writes, "Most of the time I write about science, but sometimes I write about 'science.' 'Science' topics have a scientific veneer, but a little scraping and sanding reveals there's nothing underneath. UFOs, crop circles and the Loch Ness monster are all perfect examples, but my favourite is Bigfoot..." (Source:
Why don't we subject Mr. Ingram's ASSERTION to a little "scraping and sanding," and see if there's anything underneath.
Our furry friend of the Northwest forests has been the center of heated debate lately, with discussions focused on the validity of the famous Patterson film of 1967. Both self-described skeptics and Bigfoot proponents often describe the Patterson film as the "best evidence" of Bigfoot's existence. On this, I have always profoundly disagreed, even before more recent questions were raised about the film's authenticity (see the Greg Long book, The Making of Bigfoot - The Inside Story.) Objective scrutiny of the Patterson film has not and will not ever produce any irrefutable conclusions. For nearly 40 years, arguments have raged, a number of people have attempted to "re-create" the Patterson film through trickery, more than one person has been named as the alleged wearer of the Bigfoot "costume," and still no questions are definitively answered. Of more interest to me than this ongoing debate are the literally thousands of Bigfoot sightings dating back to the first half of the nineteenth century. Remember, if even ONE of these is the real deal, it means we have another unexplained creature that science has not yet accounted for (nothing "paranormal" about that).
One of the earliest published accounts of a possible Bigfoot was found by cryptozoologist Loren Coleman, in a newspaper report in the mid-19th century. From the May 9th, 1851 edition of the Memphis Enquirer: "During March last, Mr. Hamilton of Greene county, Arkansas, while out hunting with an acquaintance, observed a drove of cattle in a state of apparent alarm, evidently pursued by some dreaded enemy. Halting for the purpose, they soon discovered as the animals fled by them, that they were followed by an animal bearing the unmistakable likeness of humanity. He was of gigantic stature, the body being covered with hair and the head with long locks that fairly enveloped his neck and shoulders. The 'wildman', for we must so call him, after looking at them deliberately for a short time, turned and ran away with great speed, leaping from twelve to fourteen feet at a time. His foot prints measured thirteen inches each.
"This singular creature has long been known traditionally in St. Francis Green and Poinsett counties. Arkansas sportsmen and hunters having described him so long
as seventeen years since. A planter, indeed, saw him very recently, but withheld his information lest he should not be credited, until the account of Mr. Hamilton and his friend placed the existence of the animal beyond cavil." (END EXCERPT) (Source:
If only the poor author of this piece knew...He refers to the existence of the animal as "beyond cavil" (or beyond doubt, ridicule). Little did he know that a century and a half later, self-described skeptics would regard the "animal" as nothing more than unmitigated fantasy.
"Bigfoot" characteristics described in this early account are found consistently in the most recent Bigfoot sightings. I've interviewed a number of Bigfoot eyewitnesses, including paranormal investigator Jason Valenti ( Valenti was driving with a business partner on a road bordering Appalachicola state park in Florida, when he spotted an "animal" standing nearly seven feet tall, with a face something like a "chimp and a pit-bull's," female, and possessing pendulous breasts. Like the creature described in the Arkansas account, this "Bigfoot" reportedly had the ability to leap enormous distances. Valenti writes, "(The passenger in the car) told me that a few seconds after we passed her, as he was looking back through the window, he witnessed her leaping from a standing position apprxoimately 20 to 30 feet horizontal, 10 to 15 feet vertical and then landing into a full blown sprint through the sand pine forest."
Like many others who claim to have encountered Bigfoot face to face, Valenti says that his entire belief system was "completely shattered" as the result of his experience.
A "cousin" to Bigfoot is the Yeti (or Abominable Snowman), which is said to exist mainly in the Himalayas. The most compelling Yeti account I have ever come across was written by Slavomir Rawicz in his critically acclaimed biography, The Long Walk. Rawicz conveys the harrowing tale of his escape from a Soviet labor camp in Siberia in 1941, and subsequent 2 year journey through China, the Gobi Desert, Tibet, and over the Himalayas to British India. It was in the Himalayas that Rawicz and his companions encountered a "family" of alleged Yetis.
Rawicz described the "Yetis" as over seven feet in height, and covered with fur similar to that of apes in the orange-outang species. He writes of his and his fellow travelers' futile struggle to rationalize the creatures' bizarre appearance: "We decided unanimously that we were examining a type of creature of which we had no previous experience in the wild, in zoos or literature. It would have been easy to have seen them waddle off at a distance and dismissed them as either big bear or big ape of the orange-outang species. At close range they defied description. There was something both of the bear and the ape about their general shape but they could not be mistaken for either."
The path of Rawicz and his companions was blocked by the "Yetis," so they (the humans) observed the creatures for one hour, even throwing rocks at the beasts in an attempt to frighten them off. The "Yetis" did not seem to mind. One gentleman remarked, "It occurs to me they might take it into their heads to come up and investigate us. It is obvious they are not afraid of us. I think we had better go while we are safe."
Rawicz sums up his tale, writing: "What were they? For years they remained a mystery to me, but since recently I have read of scientific expeditions to discover the Abominable Snowman of the Himalayas and studied descriptions of the creature given by native hillmen, I believe that the five of us that day may have met two of the animals.."
This account is terribly fascinating because of the tremendous sincerity and credibility of Rawicz' entire tale, but also because of the off-hand, almost incidental manner in which the author shared his experience. The Long Walk was praised by the Los Angeles Times as "a book filled with the spirit of human dignity and the courage of men seeking freedom," and the Chicago Tribune called it "One of the most amazing, heroic stories of this or any other time." (To read the full excerpt from the Long Walk, visit )
Self-described skeptics who are reading this are probably rolling their eyes and saying, "All of these eyewitness accounts are very entertaining, but none of it means anything without some PHYSICAL PROOF to back it up." What, if any, physical evidence exists to support Bigfoot's existence?
A number of alleged "Bigfootprints" have been subjected to analysis over the years, with mixed results. One person to conduct such analysis was police fingerprint technician Jimmy Chilcutt, a bona fide skeptic who reportedly sought to debunk so-called Bigfoot plaster castings.
In 1995, Chilcutt began the novel task of analyzing the prints of primates to "find primordial characteristics that would unlock hidden information in human fingerprints." (Source: By 1998, he had amassed over 1,000 primate prints, and was one of only four or five researchers in the world studying the prints of animals. Chilcutt states that he has discovered characteristics which enable him to distinsguish between species, and locate different traits within species.
In December of 1998, Chilcutt, a self-described skeptic, contacted Bigfoot researcher Jeff Meldren, associate professor of anatomy at Idaho State University. Meldren has a collection of over one hundred alleged Bigfoot plaster castings, and Chilcutt was given free roam to analyze each casting. Chilcutt had this to say about his conclusions 'What I actually found surprised even me.'"
"The print ridges on the bottoms of five castings -- which were taken at different times and locations -- flowed lengthwise along the foot, unlike human prints, which flow from side to side," he said.
"'No way do human footprints do that -- never, ever.
"The skeptic in me had to believe that (all of the prints were from) the same species of animal," Chilcutt said. "I believe that this is an animal in the Pacific Northwest that we have never documented.'" (END EXCERPT). (Source:
Interestingly, I attempted a word search of "Jimmy Chilcutt" on numerous skeptical websites, including, and, and could not find any matches. Have these people even HEARD of Chilcutt's research? This appears to be in keeping with the standard practice of self-described skeptics who habitually IGNORE and/or BURY evidence which does not fit with their a priori assumptions.
What about other so-called mythical creatures of modern man? Some of these are admittedly a bit more extraordinary, at least on the surface, than Bigfoot or his cousins. Perhaps the most outrageous "monster" to gain attention in recent.years is "El Chupacabra", or the Mexican "goat-sucker." We have sometimes seen waves of alleged Chupacabra "attacks," mostly in Chile and Mexico, with a large increase in sightings in the late 90's. (Source: )
Other strange creatures to have allegedly been seen in recent years include "thunderbirds," "winged cats," and numerous "sea serpents," including Nessie and the creatures of Ogopogo and Champ. Enormous "sea monsters" have been reported by thousands of witnesses throughout history, sometimes even being captured. An "eel-like" creature weighing nearly one ton was picked up by a Japanese fishing boat in 2002. The smell of the "monster" was reportedly so obscene that the Captian ordered it thrown back into the sea. (Source:
Although the aforementioned giant squid has never been OFFICIALY sighted on a formal expediton, there are accounts of attacks by giant squid on human beings. From "At least one report states that two men were snatched from the side of a becalmed ship in the Indian Ocean, while another states that a giant squid grabbed a man off of a floating bit of wreckage during World War II."
Exploring the issue of "mythical" creatures forces the genuine skeptic to walk a very fine line. It is important to delineate between the more prosaic modern day "monsters" (i.e. Bigfoot, Nessie) and the ones which are imbued with alleged supernatural abilities. If Sasquatch and/or his cousins are proven real, he will likely be no more "mystical" than any other flesh and blood, upright walking creature. The only people who seem to think of these beasts in "paranormal" terms are the "skeptics" who have dismissed them a priori.
My greatest problem with self-described skeptics who opine on this issue is their relentless assertion that if any of these creatures are REAL, we would already have found irrefutable proof of their existence. But as Dr. David Suzuki writes for the Enviornmental News Network ( "Our catalogue of Earth's diversity seems impressive, boasting some 250,000 described plant species, 750,000 insect species and 280,000 other animals. But incredibly, we have yet to discover most of the Earth's species. Scientists have documented maybe 10 or 20 percent of living things, and new species are discovered all the time."
If as little as 10 percent of our planet's species have been documented, what surprises do the other 90 percent have in store for us? Granted, they might not be as exciting as Godzilla, but you're crazy if you're not dying to find out.



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