Link to video. I have seen this sort of image passed off as a lake monster so I thought I’d mention it. The effect may remain for several minutes after the boat is out of sight and may be misinterpreted by the credulous or by those “primed to believe”.
National Geographic brings the science in this episode of NatGeo Explorer.
Now can we just move on and find Bigfoot please?
Article contains this tasty smackdown of the Hobbit skeptics:
“Attempts to dismiss the hobbits as pathological people have failed repeatedly because the medical diagnoses of dwarfing syndromes and microcephaly bear no resemblance to the unique anatomy of Homo floresiensis,” noted Dr. Baab.
New research in planetary astronomy has significantly upped the estimate of the amount of oxygen in Europa’s global ocean:
At least three million tons of fishlike creatures could theoretically live and breathe on Europa, said study author Richard Greenberg of the University of Arizona in Tucson.
National Geographic even got an oceanographer to chime in:
“I’d be shocked if no life existed on Europa,” said Shank, of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
taking the Gonzo Science position.
Contriving abiological origins for all phenomena just got a little bit trickier (cough cough Martian Meteorite cough cough).
Some fun stats: Gonzo Science is currently #1 when you google:
“animal sex facts” and
We are #2 for:
“Mothman Minnesota” and
A short while ago we were like #4 for “Cameron Lake Monster“, but since then we’ve fallen to #13.
Currently #8 for “Chappaquiddick conspiracy” and
Wanted to make sure everybody saw this real-life X-Files-looking shit, found by a remote robot camera of some kind I gather. Anyway I’m not sure as of this writing if the mystery has been cleared up as to identifying these revolting things, but I’ll update this when/if I know.
Local high weirdness.
Forwarded by princelumber, our Bigfoot scout.
This post will grow over time as I collect all the links involved but here is the unfolding of a little cryptozoological conundrum we were involved in that wound up getting mentioned in the 2006 book Haunted Minnesota by Hugh E. Bishop.
It all started with the following post that I put on a local weblog on 2-14-05, using bad grammar posting as “The Professor”, and using the old Gonzo Science blog url:
That followed with a report of alleged Bigfoot prints in the Great North Woods posted on a local weblog by “Vicarious” on 3-5-05:
He followed up by posting photos on 3-9-05:
Gonzo Science consulted Loren Coleman, who couldn’t tell anything from the photos. We also got an email or two from woodsy folks who assured us the photos could be body prints of a baby bounding deer, which can morph rather easily (with infalling snow and a little melting) into “Bigfoot prints”. Eventually we called it for the baby deer explanation, on account of all other things being equal, the deer explanation was more conservative. (That was published in the Reader Weekly but they have no online archives. Might be able to find the old file around here somewhere…)
Later the incident made a discussion board at www.virtuallystrange.net (sign in required or I’d give the url). This is apparently where writer Hugh E. Bishop picked it up, and it made pages 111-112 of his 2006 book Haunted Minnesota; he describes us as “Fortean researchers”.
Vicarious always maintained it was not a bounding baby deer that made the prints. We always gave him a lot of credence as a first-hand witness of these tracks, so similar to the previous report of tracks from the same region, a report which in fact had been made by good and trusted friends of ours, the previous month. And of course, we have repudiated the criteria of conservatism extensively in other media, and so there you go.
These days, since 12,000-year-old Hobbit fossils have been more-or-less accepted as the genuine article by the establishment, all bets are off.
And that is the legend of the Haunted Minnesota Bigfoot.
Oarfish video scavenged from Wikipedia’s sea serpent page.
It’s sea serpent day here at Gonzo Science.
Or something else? You decide.
I will cop to thinking it’s a deer but there are moments when the illusion is that it’s considerably longer. I used to live by Lake Champlain and I spent time looking for Champ and if I’d gotten video like this, and if youtube had existed back then, I would have been stoked.
…Another argument in favour of such searches comes from the recent discovery of several new species of large mammal, notably in Southeast Asia.
For example, Pseudoryx nghetinhensis, a species of ox from the remote Vu Qiang nature reserve on the border between Vietnam and Laos, was first described from hunting trophies in only 1992.
…If animals as large as oxen can remain hidden into an era when we would expect that scientists had rustled every tree and bush in search of new forms of life, there is no reason why the same should not apply to new species of large primate, including members of the human family.
….If it turns out that the diversity of human beings was always high, remained high until very recently and might not be entirely extinguished, we are entitled to question the security of some of our deepest beliefs.
Meldrum, an associate professor of anatomy and anthropology at Idaho State University, is an expert on foot morphology and locomotion in monkeys, apes and hominids. He has studied the evolution of bipedalism and edited From Biped to Strider (Springer, 2004), a well-respected textbook. …. (he) has been lambasted by colleagues and passed over for promotion twice …. Disotell gets Bigfoot jibes over beers sometimes, but nothing similar to what Meldrum experiences: “I think what is happening to him is a shame.”
Now that we know hobbits were alive until at least 8,000 years ago, and the evolution editor of the incredibly conservative “Nature” is admitting that this is making him reconsider whether or not Bigfoot is just folklore, I thought I’d revisit the most scientific Bigfoot material on the web: the work of Jeff Meldrum (now linked to in our sidebar under Cryptozoology). Additionally, here is “Scientific American” evaluating the Meldrum situation, from December 2007 (after the hobbits were discovered, but before they were generally accepted as a real human species - an acceptance that has seemingly rapidly dawned just this year in the face of multiple studies).
The point: the discovery of hobbits has strengthened the case for Bigfoot. The evolution editor of “Nature” said it, not me.
…looks like Loren Coleman (”America’s Greatest Living Cryptozoologist”) and his Cryptomundo site have been on this story for a while. Here’s the search results for “hobbit” at Cryptomundo.
On video at this link. I was just gonna say it myself: you mean to tell me we have Hobbit bones from only 8,000 years ago, but there’s NO WAY there’s Bigfoots around?
Freaking evolution editor of “Nature” thinks so too!
Looks like the “hobbits were real” camp may have trumped the “they had microencephaly” crew in two new studies:
He speculates that the hobbit’s closest relative is a species of human more ancient than H. erectus, with a smaller brain – perhaps H. habilis.
Robert Martin, a palaeontologist at Chicago’s Field Museum not involved in either study, says Jungers’ explanation is more satisfying than the idea of a H. erectus, dwarfed by island-life. “That could explain the small brain without requiring any major reduction,” he says. But adds that there is no indication in the fossil record that any human species older than H. erectus travelled beyond Africa.
Except these fucking hobbits.
He caught one which tipped the scales at 161lb and was nearly 6ft long – a world record weight and far bigger than any landed before.
He said: “If that got hold of you, there’d be no getting away.”
An 18-year-old Nepali disappeared in the river last year, dragged down by something described as like an “elongated pig”.
But the first victim of a goonch attack was thought to have been a 17-year-old Nepalese boy.
He was killed in April 1988 as he cooled himself in the river.
Witnesses said he was suddenly pulled below the surface.
Three months later a young boy was dragged underwater as his father watched helplessly.
Folks have probably caught wind of this absurd tale-
Lett said he met with two men the night of Aug. 14 in the Justice Center parking lot, where the two men signed a “transfer release agreement” to sell the frozen remains of Bigfoot, a gorilla-like creature that some people claim to have seen in wilderness areas throughout the nation. Lett said he handed over $50,000 in cash.
Lett said he then followed the two men to a house on nearby Poston Road, where another person was “standing guard” over a freezer that held the alleged remains. Lett said the freezer, which weighed almost a ton, was loaded onto a trailer towed by his GMC Yukon Denali.
Once Lett returned to Indiana, the thawing process began, and the creature turned out to be a Halloween costume, he said. Lett said he has tried without success to contact the men to get his money back.
Inconclusive so far but “potentially very exciting”:
Both Mr Redmond and Ms Nekaris agree there is “every chance” they could belong to an unknown species of primate.
“Only two years ago a new species of macaque was discovered in northern India. It’s perfectly possible that there are pockets of jungle there where a previously undiscovered primate could exist,” he said.
The two scientists also pointed out that not that long ago a huge species of ape known as gigantopithecus roamed around the area.
This species was not known about until relatively recently, Mr Redmond explained, and had no fossil record.
“It was only identified 80 years ago when Western scientists discovered teeth found in Chinese apothecaries which it was claimed were dragons’ teeth to be used for medicinal purposes.
“The teeth were examined and it was revealed that in fact they belonged to a an ape-like creature estimated to be 3m tall which was named gigantopithecus,” he said.
The scientists say that if the Meghalayan yeti does exist it is not impossible that it was some kind of descendant of this creature.
“It could easily be an unknown primate even if it’s not a yeti,” said Mr Redmond. The DNA tests should cast more light on the matter.
This has been Simple Answers to Stupid Questions.
Why haven’t Bigfoot photos surfaced yet from automatic game cameras? As posted by Craig Woolheater of the Texas Bigfoot Research Conservancy, his Conservancy colleague Daryl Colyer says just be patient:
There is nothing mysterious about the failure, to this point in time, of game cameras to photograph sasquatches. No explanations involving super intelligence, super senses or paranormal capabilities need to be employed. The odds simply have not caught up with them yet. But they will. When they do, of course, this debate about whether or not sasquatches know to avoid camera traps will be done.
Game camera technology has been, until quite recently, horrible. It has only been in very recent years that camera capabilities have increased the odds of securing rare wildlife photos. The “thousands and thousands” of cameras commonly cited by cynics as existing across North America have been largely made up of inexpensive, slow-to-trigger, often malfunctioning, over-exposing cameras. Even the TBRC’s camera arsenal, made up of the very best technology commercially available, has demonstrated a significant number of malfunctions; however, with patience, perseverance, pluck and plenty of cameras properly positioned, confidence remains high that there is a reasonable chance of success.
[My apologies to Mr. Woolheater and Mr. Colyer for initially mangling the attributions above.]
I found this over at Cryptomundo here, where people are bitching about Wikipedia. I mean, I get it. Here’s my take on Wikipedia though. There was a study that showed wikipedia was as accurate as the Encyclopedia Britannica. After that I sort of started trusting it, I guess. And no it does not accurately represent my views on everything - no more than the Encyclopedia Britannica does. But it is an enormously useful indicator of what can be proved, what can be cited, and what can survive enormous skeptical scrutiny. I’m sort of glad it doesn’t represent my views. Does wikipedia savage the facts sometimes? Absolutely. But that’s the consensus reality for you. When editing wars start being won by the cryptozoologists instead of the skeptics, the cryptozoologists will have won. Good heavens I’m sure if I ever get a wikipedia entry, the skeptics who write it won’t be kind to me. But what do you expect, I’m trying to kick them in the shins every day from this blog. (I’m basically trying to show them that the conservatism of science can be illogical when it’s indistinguishable from the appeal to tradition - so that they’ll loosen up and we can have better science.)
Cryptomundo has the goods - some juicy speculation by a longtime Mkele-Mbembe investigator as to the alleged creature’s identity. He leans towards the ”long-necked dinosaur” explanation:
We can confidently establish that Mokele-mbembe at least looks remarkably like a small to mid-sized sauropod dinosaur…
As a bonus, he also spills what he knows about rumors of giant African spiders:
As for the giant spider, this remains an enigma. There are only a handful of reports of giant spiders around the world. The Baka are resolute that the Jba Fofi is a spider. They killed some large spiders for us to examine, and explained that the Dja Fofi was like a tarantula (which they eat!), except its leg span is between four to six feet.
It is reddish brown in colour in its juvenile/infant stage, eventually turning a mustard yellow as it reaches maturity. As the Baka are in the habit of killing these monsters, whatever they are, I am hoping to establish a reward for anyone who kills and keeps one of these creatures for us to examine.