Archive for the ‘cryptids’ Category

This week has been awash with stupid headlines. First we had the silly spontaneous combustion story from News 9, and now KFOR is reporting that a Chupacabra is running wild in Deer Creek.

“Chupacabra? Yeah! There ya go,” one man said.

Others agree. “It does look like one to me. It does. It really does,” Carmen Himes said.

A chupacabra is a legendary animal rumored to feed on the blood of goats.

Believers said it’s making its way into Oklahoma from Mexico.

Chupacabra, coyote what ever you think this animal is, it’s in the Deer Creek area at Hwy. 74 and Waterloo Rd.

Craig Martin snapped pictures of the animal when he spotted it in the field.

The avid outdoorsman said it looks just like a chupacabra.

“That’s immediately what we thought and it looks exactly the same,” he said. “There’s not much difference at all.”

He said it looks much different than a coyote.

Sigh. No.

Later on in the piece, a biologist from the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife says exactly what it is.

“What we’re dealing with here is just a coyote with a bad case of mange,” Department of Wildlife Spokesperson Michael Bergin said.

There is a lot wrong with this story.

First, the writing is terrible. I don’t usually critique people for their writing. It feels too pot kettle black, but in this case I’m going to make an exception. The way the story is written, it isn’t clear who is saying what. It sounds like a spokesman for the Wildlife Department is saying that it is not a regular coyote. I’m almost certain that the section claiming it might be a hybrid should be attributed to Craig Martin, the photographer.

Second, a little time looking into the background of the Chupacabra story would be helpful in explaining why this is almost certainly a coyote with mange, and not some mythical creature. One of the podcasts I listen to is Monster Talk, a show about legendary monsters and cryptids hosted by people who don’t actually believe those cryptids likely exist. One of the hosts, Ben Radford, wrote a book recently looking into the development of the myth called Tracking the Chupacabra.

One of the things Radford documents is how much the description of the creature has changed over the years from its origin in Puerto Rico in the 1990s. What is considered the standard description in the southern United States (namely a weird hairless canid) took years to become the common narrative. Every purported Chupacabra carcass that has been tested turned out to be a dog or coyote.

The Lost Ogle covered this story as well, and the picture they used actually fits the early Puerto Rico descriptions of the creature fairly well. It is alleged to have spines on its back and look vaguely kangarooish.

Via The Lost Ogle

Here is what more recent descriptions of the look like.

Bad dog!

As you can see, these are clearly not the same thing. Radford actually has an account of how the early Puerto Rico case got started, and I won’t ruin it for you. Go read the book.

There is all kinds of shame to go around with this story.

First of all, shame on the readers for not cluing me in on this story. I was sitting at home while this was going on. I had to find about it after the fact from the Bigfoot Evidence Blog.

Second, shame on me for not keeping track of what events are going on at the Oklahoma Science Museum, what is usually a wonderful place that I’m happy to bring my family to visit regularly.

Apparently, last Saturday the Oklahoma Science Museum hosted an event featuring Bigfoot researchers involved in trying to collect and sequence Bigfoot DNA.

If the report from the believers is any indication, the Science Museum event organizers should be ashamed of themselves for not properly vetting this in advance.

The reporter who attended had to this to say about one of the hosts, David Paulides:

David Paulides was the second act of the lecture. He opened with a history and credibility of his organization, the North America Bigfoot Search (NABS), whose purpose is to prove Bigfoot exists with scientific proof, as well as his involvement with MUFON (Mutual UFO Network).

His presentation began by explaining that the NABS was the only Bigfoot research organization that required a signed affidavit from witnesses to insure they are being truthful by accountability. Then things got weird when he talked of a person that saw a rectangular window open out of thin air and a Bigfoot step out of it, as well as orbs and other phenomenon, and that we should be open minded.

Yep, that’s what passes as a way to encourage science education in Oklahoma’s young people. For shame, Oklahoma Science Museum. I say this as someone who has a family pass and regularly attends events with my wife and daughter.

Even if you ignore the crazy Bigfoot dimension hopping, the fact that they get people to sign an affidavit to the truth of their accounts has zero bearing on whether those accounts are evidence of the existence of Bigfoot. Eyewitnesses don’t have to be lying to be mistaken about what they’ve seen. Ask any attorney.

My favorite example of an entirely truthful account by multiple eyewitnesses that turned out to be mundane is the Flatwoods Monster, stories of which thrilled and terrified me as a child. Multiple witnesses reported a UFO falling from the sky into the woods of West Virginia. A group of people who investigated the crash encountered a glowing red light in the distance, but before they could reach it they ran into what they described as a tall hooded figure that hissed and rushed at them. Everyone fled in terror. Investigations the next day turned up physical evidence, including skid marks.

Paranormal investigator Joe Nickell, years after the event, through speaking with eyewitnesses and visiting the site of the encounter, was able to explain all of the details of the night in question. I’ll let the wise old bird give the details in his own words. It is very much worth reading.

If the Oklahoma Science Museum wanted to really promote science literacy and critical thinking in Oklahoma, while engaging with topics like Bigfoot and and other cryptids, it should invite Joe Nickell to come speak. I’d do more than buy a year-long pass if they did that. I’d become a donator and their biggest public cheerleader.

The Oklahoma Octopus

Posted: January 17, 2020 in cryptids, Uncategorized

UCO professor and fellow blogger Caleb Lack has a post up over on Great Plains Skeptic about the Oklahoma Octopus.

Go check it out.

In the category of no shit, the Bigfoot blogs are reporting that a (very) alleged Bigfoot capture did not happen in Oklahoma. Why is it that people keep feeling the need to deny knowledge of Bigfoot in Oklahoma? What makes us so special?

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that they haven’t captured a Bigfoot anywhere else either. This will all end up being a hoax, because Bigfoot doesn’t exist.

This story gives me an excuse to plug something I’ve been meaning to talk about for a while. If you are interested in a good resource for cryptid news and discussion, I can’t recommend the podcast Monster Talk highly enough. It is by a group of genuine skeptics who have engaged critically with the cryptozoology community for years. One of the hosts even has a book uncovering the development of the Chupacabra myth and explaining what the original sightings were. Monster Talk is one of two podcasts directly affiliated with Skeptic Magazine, another great resource on this and other interesting topics.

I’ll keep my ear to the ground for any more Bigfoot news. Maybe I’ll be proven wrong. Maybe these guys really have captured a Bigfoot, but I doubt it.

The most recent episode of Science…sort of, a podcast about ‘things that are science, things that are sort of science, and things that wish they were science’ covered the story on the Oklahoma Wildlife Department denying evidence of the existence of Bigfoot.

I’ve been listening to this podcast for years, and I’m a huge fan of all of the shows put out by the Brachiolope Media Network, so it made my day when this episode popped up on my iTunes feed.

That’s no blobaroo!

Posted: December 5, 2020 in cryptids

There’s been an update on the unfortunately named Lucy Sparkles, the missing kangaroo from Shawnee, Oklahoma.

According to the Bring Lucy Sparkles Home Facebook page, she has been positively identified in a game camera.

Now, I can’t confirm this because I haven’t seen the picture, but it is getting reported in the local media. Let’s assume this is correct. What does it say about Bigfoot believers?

Think about it. A single kangaroo goes missing in the same part of the country where Bigfoot is purported to live. A week later, that single kangaroo turns up on a deer camera, but there has yet to be a convincing deer camera shot of Bigfoot? Mind you, these cameras are designed to capture shots at night. Kangaroos are nocturnal, and this picture was taken around 7:00 p.m., which is after dark here in November.

There is also the fact that Lucy Sparkles is about two feet tall, whereas Bigfoot is supposed to be something like seven feet tall. Seriously people, Bigfoot doesn’t exist. Stop it already.

This time it isn’t even a blobsquatch

Posted: November 29, 2020 in cryptids

In the history of terrible Bigfoot pictures, this one is a doozy, but it comes from southeast Oklahoma so I’m going to cover it. Then I’m going to make fun of the person claiming it is evidence of anything at all.

The Bigfoot Evidence blog posted this image on Thanksgiving, probably because they didn’t take it seriously either and didn’t care that nobody would be paying attention to the story.

Here is the image they posted.

A perfectly nice picture of a cabin in the woods.

Since they, and the genius that sent this photo in, were both too lazy to actually zoom in on the section in question, I’ve taken the 12 seconds it took to do it for them.

Allegedly, there is a Bigfoot in that shot. Allegedly.

That anyone finds that even remotely compelling is hilarious. What is even more hilarious is that Bigfoot Evidence is apparently taking this seriously now. At first, they claimed they couldn’t see the hairy ape, but now they can tell it is there.

Once again, I must reiterate that with every adult person walking around today with a camera on their phone, the fact that this stuff is still being put forward as evidence is rather damning.

I’m seriously considering going out some weekend and taking a serious of random shots of the woods and seeing if I can pass some of them off to these guys as genuine blobsquatches.