At the beginning of the 21st Century monsters still roam the remote, and sometimes not so remote, corners of our planet. It is our job to search for them. The Centre for Fortean Zoology [CFZ] is - we believe - the largest professional, scientific and full-time organisation in the world dedicated to cryptozoology - the study of unknown animals. Since 1992 the CFZ has carried out an unparalleled programme of research and investigation all over the world. Since 2009 we have been running the increasingly popular CFZ Blog Network, and although there has been an American branch of the CFZ for over ten years now, it is only now that it has a dedicated blog.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

ZOOFORM PHENOMENA - ARE THEY CRYPTIDS?

Above you see creatures that have sprung from the imagination of Lewis Carroll.

Cryptozoology is the search for unknown animals, but the question arises regarding whether this should include animals that seem to belong more in ghost stories and legends than in the sober realm of science.  Should Cryptozoology study these also?

I believe it should.  If such animals are reported, their existence becomes a possibility; and, if they are "out there" somewhere, even if they are only "out there" on an intermittent basis, they are worthy of investigation; and as they are animals, they fall under the umbrella of Cryptozoology.

Jonathan Downes, the Grand Panjandrum of the CFZ, has labelled these creatures 'zooform phenomena'.  They would include such creatures as Mothman, Tokoloshe, the Jersey Devil, the Goatman
and beings of that order.

Just where such creatures come from, we cannot tell.  We may speculate about other dimensions, mental projections, outer space and other such points of origin, but we do not know enough about such creatures to reach any definite conclusions at present.

Some cryptozoologists shy away from anything that smacks of the paranormal, because the paranormal is seen by many as beyond the realm of the possible.  But this is only a matter of perception.  No one has proved the paranormal is impossible.  There are those who say that, if cryptozoology dips its toe in paranormal waters, it will never be taken seriously by scientists.  Personally, I do not see recognition by mainstream science as a goal to be necessarily sought.  Mainstream science is hampered by certain limitations, both intellectual and practical, and, if we worry too much about becoming a part of it, we may find ourselves similarly hamstrung.  I argue that if something is reported as true, it is generally worthy of investigation, no matter what mainstream science says.  On the other hand, phenomena that are beyond the normal should be investigated in an incisive manner, with care and precision.  We must not let imagination run away with us either.

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