There have been stories for thousands of years about creatures that exist on our planet in remote regions and even in our back yards. A couple of examples of these types of creatures are the Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot, the Moth Man, and The Jersey Devil, ect. These unique and strange animals are called Cryptids, a term coined by John Wall in 1983. This is where the term Cryptozoology comes into play. Cryptozoology (from Greek, kryptos, "hidden" + zoology; literally, "study of hidden animals") refers to the search for animals whose existence has not been proven. Yet Cryptids are highly unnacepted by science (such as Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster), as well as animals reported in areas outside of their normal habitat, and surviving members of species believed to be extinct. There are so many people around the United States and around the world who have stories about these fasinating creatures. Some of these people have had encounters with the animals and captured them on film. The incidents that occur with these people are so pronounced and in such detail that we are able to come up with composites of what these creatures can potentially look like.
The origins of CRYPTOZOOLOGY, CRYPTIDS AND CRYPTOZOOLOGISTS
The coining of the word cryptozoology is often attributed to Belgian-French zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans, though Heuvelmans attributes coinage of the term to the late Scottish explorer and adventurer Ivan T. Sanderson. Heuvelmans' 1955 book On the Track of Unknown Animals traces the scholarly origins of the discipline to Anthonie Cornelis Oudemans and his 1892 study, The Great Sea Serpent. Heuvelmans argued that cryptozoology should be undertaken with scientific rigor, but with an open-minded, interdisciplinary approach. He also stressed that attention should be given to local, urban and folkloric sources regarding such creatures, arguing that while often layered in unlikely and fantastic elements, folktales can have small grains of truth and important information regarding undiscovered organisms. Phantom cats (an example of living animals supposedly found outside of their normal range) are a common subject of cryptozoological interest, largely due to the relative likelihood of existence in comparison to fantastical cryptids lacking any evidence of existence, such as Mothman.
Another notable book on the subject is Willy Ley's Exotic Zoology (1959). Ley was best known for his writings on rocketry and related topics, but he was trained in paleontology, and wrote a number of books about animals. Ley's collection Exotic Zoology is of some interest to cryptozoology, as he discusses the Yeti and sea serpents, as well as relict dinosaurs. The book entertains the possibility that some legendary creatures (like the sirrush, the unicorn or the cyclops) might be based on actual animals, through misinterpretation of the animals and/or their remains. Also notable is the work of British zoologist and cryptozoologist Karl Shuker, who has published 12 books and countless articles on numerous cryptozoological subjects since the mid-1980s. Loren Coleman, a modern popularizer of cryptozoology, has chronicled the history and personalities of cryptozoology in his books.
Heuvelmans was born on October 10th, 1916, in Le Havre, France and raised in Belgium, and earned a doctorate in zoology from the Free University of Brussels (now split into the Université Libre de Bruxelles and the Vrije Universiteit Brussel). Heuvelmans was a pupil of Serge Frechkop, a proponent of the Theory of Initial Bipedalism. His doctoral dissertation concerned the teeth of the aardvark, which had previously defied classification. Though earlier interested in zoological oddities, he credits a 1948 Saturday Evening Post article, "There Could be Dinosaurs", by Ivan T. Sanderson, with inspiring a determined interest in unknown animals. Sanderson discussed the possibility of dinosaurs surviving in remote corners of the world.
Heuvelmans undertook a massive amount of research and wrote On the Track of Unknown Animals, considered by some the most influential work of cryptozoology in the twentieth century. After On the Track, Heuvelmans wrote many other books and articles, few of which have been translated into English. His works sold well among general audiences, but saw little attention from mainstream scientists and experts. In the Wake of the Sea-Serpents was his second book translated into English and sold in the United States in 1968. It consisted of his book on sea serpents, with parts of his book on the giant squid (and colossal squid) added. As he continued his researches he saw the need to "give a name to the totally new discipline in zoology my research implied. That is how I coined the word 'cryptozoology,' the science of hidden animals."
Heuvelmans searched the world's oceans for giant animals, to substantiate the rumors and legends about animals known to local people but still unknown to science. In the late 1960s, Heuvelmans helped spread the controversy surrounding the Minnesota Iceman when he examined the "ice man" then in the possession of a road-traveling circus exhibitor. Heuvelmans thought the creature could be genuine and published a formal description, naming it as the new species Homo pongoides. There was never conclusive evidence given to either substantiate or discredit the Minnesota Iceman, and the idea that it represented a new species of living hominid has never been accepted by mainstream zoologists.
In 1975 Heuvelmans established the Center for Cryptozoology in France, where his library is housed. In 1982 he helped to found the International Society of Cryptozoology, and served as its first president. He was also the first president of the Centre for Fortean Zoology. In 1999 he donated over 50,000 documents, photos, and specimens to the Museum of Zoology in Lausanne, Switzerland. Although much admired and considered "the father of cryptozoology" among cryptozoologists and many general readers, Heuvelmans was also criticized and even ridiculed for his belief in cryptids by skeptics, notably Swedish author and naturalist Bengt Sjögren. He died on August 22nd, 2001, at the age of 84.
Here is a brief list of some of our worlds Cryptids
The Loch Ness Monster
The Loch Ness Monster (Scottish Gaelic: Niseag) is a cryptid that is reputed to inhabit Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands. It is similar to other supposed lake monsters in Scotland and elsewhere, though its description varies from one account to the next. Popular interest and belief in the animal has varied since it was brought to the world's attention in 1933. Evidence of its existence is anecdotal, with minimal and much-disputed photographic material and sonar readings.The most common speculation among believers is that the creature represents a line of long-surviving plesiosaurs. The scientific community regards the Loch Ness Monster as a modern-day myth, and explains sightings as a mix of hoaxes and wishful thinking. Despite this, it remains one of the most famous examples of cryptozoology. The legendary monster has been affectionately referred to by the nickname Nessie (Scottish Gaelic: Niseag) since the 1950s.
Bigfoot, also known as sasquatch, is an ape-like cryptid that purportedly inhabits forests, mainly in the Pacific Northwest region of North America. Bigfoot is usually described as a large, hairy, bipedal humanoid. The term "sasquatch" is an anglicized derivative of the Halkomelem word sásq’ets. Scientists discount the existence of bigfoot and consider it to be a combination of folklore, misidentification, and hoax, rather than a living animal, in part because of the large numbers thought necessary to maintain a breeding population. A few scientists, such as Jane Goodall and Jeffrey Meldrum, have expressed interest and belief in the creature, with Meldrum expressing the opinion that evidence collected of alleged Bigfoot encounters warrants further evaluation and testing. Bigfoot remains one of the more famous examples of a cryptid within cryptozoology, and an enduring legend.
Mothman is a legendary creature reportedly seen in the Point Pleasant area of West Virginia from 15 November 1966 to 15 December 1967. The first newspaper report was published in the Point Pleasant Register dated 16 November 1966, entitled "Couples See Man-Sized Bird...Creature...Something". Mothman was introduced to a wider audience by Gray Barker in 1970, later popularized by John Keel in his 1975 book The Mothman Prophecies, claiming that Mothman was related to a wide array of supernatural events in the area and the collapse of the Silver Bridge. The 2002 film The Mothman Prophecies, starring Richard Gere, was based on Keel's book. On Nov. 15, 1966, two young couples from Point Pleasant, Roger and Linda Scarberry, and Steve and Mary Mallette told police they saw a large white creature whose eyes "glowed red" when the car headlights picked it up. They described it as a "flying man with ten foot wings" following their car while they were driving in an area of town known as 'the TNT area', the site of a former World War II munitions plant. During the next few days, other people reported similar sightings. Two volunteer firemen who sighted it said it was a "large bird with red eyes". Mason County Sheriff George Johnson commented that he believed the sightings were due to an unusually large heron he termed a "shitepoke". Contractor Newell Partridge told Johnson that when he aimed a flashlight at a creature in a nearby field its eyes glowed "like bicycle reflectors", and blamed buzzing noises from his television set and the disappearance of his German Shepherd dog on the creature. Wildlife biologist Dr. Robert L. Smith at West Virginia University told reporters that descriptions and sightings all fit the Sandhill Crane, a large American crane almost as high as a man with a seven foot wingspan featuring circles of reddish coloring around the eyes, and that the bird may have wandered out of its migration route.There were no Mothman reports in the immediate aftermath of the December 15, 1967 collapse of the Silver Bridge and the death of 46 people, giving rise to legends that the Mothman sightings and the bridge collapse were connected.
The Jersey Devil
The Jersey Devil is a legendary creature or cryptid said to inhabit the Pine Barrens of Southern New Jersey, United States. The creature is often described as a flying biped with hooves, but there are many different variations. The Jersey Devil has worked its way into the pop culture of the area, even lending its name to New Jersey's team in the National Hockey League. According to Brian Dunning of Skeptoid, folk tales of the Jersey Devil prior to 1909 calling it the "Leeds Devil" may have been created to discredit local politician Daniel Leeds who served as deputy to the colonial governor of New York and New Jersey in the 1700s. The Jersey Devil remained an obscure regional legend through most of the 18th and 19th centuries until a series of purported - (appear or claim to be or do something) sightings in 1909 gained it press coverage and wider notability. Dunning writes that the Jersey Devil was described in newspapers as having "leathery batlike wings", the body of a serpent and the head of a horse, cloven hooves, two small arms, a devil's forked tail, and a "horrifying screech". Today, the Jersey Devil is considered to be more in the realm of popular culture than folklore.
The chupacabras (Spanish origin), from chupar "to suck" and cabra "goat", literally "goat sucker") is a legendary cryptid rumored to inhabit parts of the Americas. It is associated more recently with sightings of an allegedly unknown animal in Puerto Rico (where these sightings were first reported), Mexico, and the United States, especially in the latter's Latin American communities. The name comes from the animal's reported habit of attacking and drinking the blood of livestock, especially goats. Physical descriptions of the creature vary. Eyewitness sightings have been claimed as early as 1995 in Puerto Rico, and have since been reported as far north as Maine, and as far south as Chile, and even being spotted outside the Americas in countries like Russia and The Philippines. It is supposedly a heavy creature, the size of a small bear, with a row of spines reaching from the neck to the base of the tail. The sighting reports of chupacabras end up being uncorroborated eyewitness reports without evidence, or canids with mange. Biologists and wildlife management officials view the chupacabras as a contemporary legend.
The first reported attacks occurred in March 1995 in Puerto Rico. In this attack, eight sheep were discovered dead, each with three puncture wounds in the chest area and completely drained of blood. A few months later, in August, an eyewitness, Madelyne Tolentino, reported seeing the creature in the Puerto Rican town of Canóvanas, when as many as 150 farm animals and pets were reportedly killed. In 1975, similar killings in the small town of Moca, were attributed to El Vampiro de Moca (The Vampire of Moca). Initially it was suspected that the killings were committed by a Satanic cult; later more killings were reported around
the island, and many farms reported loss of animal life. Each of the animals were reported to have had their bodies bled dry through a series of small circular incisions.
Puerto Rican comedian and entrepreneur Silverio Pérez is credited with coining the term chupacabras soon after the first incidents were reported in the press. Shortly after the first reported incidents in Puerto Rico, other animal deaths were reported in other countries, such as the Dominican Republic, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Brazil, United States, and Mexico.