Friday, December 18, 2009

"ology" means it's science, right?

I've come across a few articles and blog posts lately regarding ufology and cryptozoology, and since they're both kind of fantasy, kind of science, and slightly more than kind of cool, I'm going to wrap up this week of non-science fiction science by dumping the articles/posts on you. Nice of me, huh?

Under Ufology, we have the recent recurrence of cattle mutilations in Colorado.*
Four calves, all killed overnight. Their innards gone. Tongues sliced out. Udders carefully removed. Facial skin sliced and gone. Eyes cored away. Not a single track surrounding the carcasses, which were found in pastures locked behind two gates and a mile from any road. Not a drop of blood on the ground or even on the remaining skin.

There are more descriptions of the mutilations in the article, along with words like "laser" and "I do believe it was UFOs". Whatever's killing cows, it's not a predatory animal (like a cougar). That's a given, because of the nature of many of the injuries.

And while we're on the topic of potential aliens, a mysterious spiral** was sighted over Norway about the same time, although it turned out to be a failed Russian missile launch.*** I was disappointed.

On to cryptozoology now. In case there's anyone out there not familiar with the word, cryptozoology "refers to the search for animals which are considered to be legendary or otherwise nonexistent by mainstream biology." **** This includes Bigfoot, Nessie and other lake monsters, chupacabras, jackalopes, living fossils, and any animal of extreme proportions or which is reported to be somewhere it doesn't belong—like big cats in Australia.

For a bit more of an overview, with a twist, see Boing Boing's interview with Loren Coleman, founder of the International Cryptology Museum, and a video tour of Coleman's collection, also done by Boing Boing. Coleman is also involved in the Cryptomundo blog, if you feel like reading daily posts related to this topic.

That's all cool, of course, but not near as cool (to me, anyway) as this next little tidbit, which I got from io9 and also by perusing Cryptomundo: we may know where to find Bigfoot bones, should such things exist.

Apparently porcupines the world over horde bones so they can knaw on them later (kind of like squirrels and acorns), so if we track down these caches of bones, we might get lucky with a Bigfoot bone or two. Or we might not, because Bigfoot might not be real.*****

I'm almost tempted to get into camo gear, push my way into the wilderness, and start following random porcupines. Almost. I have pathetically few wilderness survival skills, so this is something I'm going to have to leave for the experts.

Bigfoot might be one of the most famous cryptids (as evidenced by his memoir), and Nessie might be another, but did you know Nessie has an extended family? One of his/her relatives, Champ of Lake Champlain, Vermont, was captured on a camera phone back in May.***** I came across the video on Boing Boing and you can see it here. Embedding's been disabled due to popularity, unfortunately, or I wouldn't be making you click that link.

And as you might expect, Cryptomundo's done a couple posts on the subject, one as breaking news and one with a stablized video and more coverage of the spread of the story.

That's it for me for today. Next week, because it's almost Christmas, expect a winter/holiday theme. After that, I suspect it'll be back to the regular programming.

* io9
** linking to the Gizmodo post, because the originals are in Norwegian.
*** linking to Gizmodo because they don't give me originals, plus they have a video
**** Wikipedia
***** Maybe. You always have to be cautious about these things, because of the debunkers.

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