Thursday, June 5, 2014

Does Bigfoot Exist? The Case for Cryptids

I'm not alone in saying the Animal Planet children's book Finding Bigfoot Eveything You Need to Know, is an excellent book for humans of all ages interested in Bigfoot. That said, chapter one entitled, "Does Bigfoot Exist? The Case for Cryptids," notes the following:
The giant squid is a literary legend. Vikings told tales of the terrible kraken, a sea monster big enough to wrap its tentacles around a ship and pull it below the waves. The Odyssey, an ancient poem, has a scary bit about a monster named Scylla that may well have been a giant squid.

But these creatures aren't just legends. In 2004, researchers in Japan shot the first-ever images of a live giant squid---nearly three thousand years after Homer wrote the Odyssey.  That's a really long time for people to know about an animal without actually seeing a live specimen.

In the book Bigfoot: A Personal Inquiry into a Phenomenon, published in 1980, primatologist Dr. Richard W. Thoringhton, Jr., is quoted as saying, "The existence of a large primate such as Bigfoot, especially in North America, is almost an impossibility, biologically speaking. The discovery of a new mouse is big news these days."

As the Finding Bigfoot cryptid chapter notes, "Since 2012... we have discovered all sorts of previously unknown creatures, including monkeys, frogs, sharks, and lizards---even primates." Indeed, Wikipedia's page on primates states that, "New primate species are still being discovered. More than 25 species were taxonomically described in the decade of the 2000s and eleven have been described since 2010." So much for new mice being the only big news left in species discovery 32 years prior! One word comes to mind... Debunked!

A few highlights.

In 2013, Dr. Bryan Sykes, received approximately 30 samples of purported Bigfoot hairs, inadvertently bringing about the discovery of a new hybrid bear. Sykes also discovered characteristics relating to one sample, likely indicating its origin that of a person part of a previously unknown relict human population. Both were good news for Bigfooters, even if not quite the news they were looking for.

2014 also brought interesting DNA evidence, as a blog commentator wrote:

Initial DNA analysis of Paracas elongated skull released – with incredible results

A blog reader named Simone comments:
Thought you might be interested because they are saying that if the result stands, it means these humans were a new unidentified breed that would not have been able to breed with our kind...if this makes it to published journals there is an opening for people to think, well if there is.. this unknown hybrid... then maybe others also..

Again in 2013, Cliff Barackman, a researcher featured on the TV hit Finding Bigfoot, was happy to report on a secret population of 200 Orangutans found in the forests of the island of Borneo. Barackman commented, "The population was discovered by the signs they left behind.  We have those same signs left behind by sasquatches.  The local people already knew that the orangutans were there, it was the scientists that were oblivious.  This is also true of the sasquatch."

The topography of Borneo

In 2012, the Blog Bigfoot Chicks posted this commentary regarding a new monkey family addition:
According to an article by Dave McKenzie, from CNN, scientists announced the discovery of a new species of monkey found in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  The animal is well known by local hunters, but until now, has been unknown to the world.  It is called the Cercopithecus Lomamiensis and locally referred to as the Lesula.  Scientist John Hart, leader on the project said, "We never expected to find a new species there, but the Lomami basin is a very large block that has had very little exploration by biologists."

 At first the monkey was thought to be an "Owl Face" monkey, but further examination revealed obvious morphological differences.

"Christopher Gilbert, an anthropologist based at Hunter College in Manhattan, says the difference in appearance between the Lesula and Owl Face was striking...

It's interesting to consider this announcement from the Bigfoot perspective when you measure how much land in North America is virtually untouched by human traffic.  This discovery would seem to support the argument that undiscovered creatures do possibly exist, but are as yet, unknown to science.
In 2010, Barackman again was happy to relay this news on his site
New ape species uncovered in Asia
Discovering a species unknown to science is a highlight of any biologist's career, but imagine discovering a new ape? Researchers with the German Primate Center (DPZ) announced today the discovery of a new species of ape in the gibbon family, dubbed the northern buffed-cheeked gibbon (Nomascus annamensis), according to the AFP...
In 2009, veteran Bigfoot researcher Loren Coleman, posted about this amazing conclusion on
Hobbit: Definitely New Species

Henry Gee, the editor of Nature, in a now-famous editorial entitled “Flores, God and Cryptozoology,” forever tied the finding of the “Hobbits” to cryptozoology. He wrote: “The discovery that Homo floresiensis survived until so very recently, in geological terms, makes it more likely that stories of other mythical, human-like creatures such as Yetis are founded on grains of truth….Now, cryptozoology, the study of such fabulous creatures, can come in from the cold.”
And so it still goes. More new confirmation has come forth that we humans have remarkably, in our recent past, if not actually yesterday, shared the Earth with another hominid species.

 Dr. Karen Baab works on a modern human skull. (Credit: Stony Brook University.)

In an analysis released on January 20th, of the size, shape and asymmetry of the cranium of Homo floresiensis, Karen Baab, Ph.D., a researcher in the Department of Anatomical Scienes at Stony Brook University, and colleagues conclude that the fossil, found in Indonesia in 2003 and known as the “Hobbit,” is not human... passed along this find that same year:
Reuters is reporting that the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) is acknowledging the discovery of a new species of monkey in the remote part of the Amazon rain forest in Amazonas, Brazil.  The article mentions the small tamarin has been named Mura’s saddleback after the Mura Indian tribe of the Purus and Madeira river basins.
It is 240 mm (9.4 inches) tall, colored gray and brown and weighs 213 grams (0.47 lb).  The tail is larger than the body at 320 mm or 12.6 inches.  Fabio Rohe, the lead author of the study confirming the new discovery was quoted in the Reuters article: “This newly described monkey shows that even today there are major wildlife discoveries to be made”.
Loren Coleman also noted this reporting on an 2007 addition to the world's known species of monkeys:
A new monkey species believed to be endangered, has been discovered in Mabira forest reserve in Mukono. According to a report by Prof. Colin Groves of the Australian National University, the monkey species is now one of the 19 primate species in Uganda.

He said the primate, known as the gray-cheeked mangabey (scientific name Lophocebus albigena) was being upgraded to a new class to be called Lophocebus ugandae .

Groves revealed that when he revised the research he undertook three decades ago, he discovered that the Uganda monkeys were much smaller than similar ones in other parts of the world. “It was really striking,” he said.

The species is dramatically smaller than the true Lophocebus albigena and the new methods of analysis have made it more obvious, according to Groves.
 The Tristate Bigfoot Blog notes:
Giant Chimpanzees- Bili Apes
Once thought to be a legend, the Bili Apes can be found in the Democratic Republic of Congo. They are gigantic when compared to a standard sized chimpanzee. They can exceed 5 feet in height, and have a larger skull than the chimpanzee. They also leave a larger footprint than a gorilla.
Years of civil war in the Congo has made travel to this area to observe the apes difficult. Only in the last decade have the apes been studied in detail.  A researcher by the name of Cleve Hicks, with the University of Amsterdam, spent 18 months in the field observing the apes in 2004 and again in the 2006-2007 field seasons.
The Wikipedia page on the Bili Ape states:
The first scientist to see the Bili apes... was Shelly Williams, PhD, a specialist in primate behavior...

"The unique characteristics they exhibit just don't fit into the other groups of apes", says Williams. The apes, she argues, could be a new species unknown to science, a new subspecies of chimpanzee, or a hybrid of the gorilla and the chimp. "At the very least, we have a unique, isolated chimp culture that's unlike any that's been studied", she says.[8]
However they are classified, the fact remains, an ape of legend became a thing of reality, decades after an scientific expert Bigfoot debunker proclaimed such zoological discoveries a thing of the past.
Starting around the 11 minute 23 second mark, the Bili Ape is discussed in this excellent Bigfoot documentary entitled Bigfoot: The Definitive Guide.


In 2005, NPR reported that:
Gorilla experts with the Wildlife Conservation Society say they've made a spectacular find in isolated forests of the Republic of Congo: a large group of previously undiscovered western lowland gorillas. The animals are critically endangered.

Researchers say the first wildlife census of the area has revealed that 125,000 western lowland gorillas are now thriving in the country's northern forests, a number that is twice some estimates for the worldwide population.
The world's foremost Bigfoot expert, Full Professor of anatomy and anthropology and expert on foot morphology along with locomotion in primates, Dr. Jeff Meldrum, estimates there are between 500-750 Sasquatch living today. Thus this discovery alone, of as NPR headlined it, a "'Mother Lode' Of Gorillas Found In Congo Forests," should be enough to peak the interest of you hardcore Bigfoot debunkers out there. Perhaps some open-minded skepticism and field research is warranted before further demonstrative statements akin to the 1980 big mouthed one regarding big news mice.

Whether Bigfoot does or doesn't exist, those who pick the 50/50 option of "doesn't" based on faulty argumentation, are not skeptics, just lucky guessers using logical fallacies

"An appeal to probability (or appeal to possibility) is the logical fallacy of taking something for granted because it would probably be the case (or might possibly be the case)." "The discovery of a new mouse is big news these days." So in all probability the discovery of a new mouse will be big news in all the days to come, serious Bigfoot evidence examination be damned.