Bigfoot - and others
If we are to take the reports at face value it would seem that there are gigantic upright hominid apes stomping about North America in large numbers. They steal food from campsites, attack cars and leer through bedroom windows. They might run off as soon as a human approaches, but are just as likely to kidnap the hapless intruder and force them to live in the forests for months on end. They also smell terrible. They are called Bigfoot or Sasquatch. Other apes wander the jungles of South America, though they are smaller and less human-like than those of the north.
It is not just in the Americas that these apes are to be found. The high Himalayas are home to the enigmatic yeti. The Sumatran jungles harbour a short hairy man called the orang pendek. Central Asia is stalked by a being that might be a primitive form of human, and which locals call the Almas. Over the border in China reports are made of an almost identical beast called the Yeren. Even Australia gets in on the act with a big hairy ape called the Yowie.
What all these animals, or perhaps humans, have in common is that conventional science does not recognise that they exist.
All these creatures are classed as “cryptids” or “hidden ones”. These are animals which have been reported to exist, but for which there is not enough evidence to satisfy the scientific community. The standard of evidence needed is exacting, but simple. Until an example - living or dead - is produced for examination a beast remains a cryptid. Once an example, a type specimen in the scientific terminology, has been produced the beast becomes accepted as a known animal.
And yet there is ample evidence that some, at least, of these cryptids are real animals. The sheer mass of evidence for the Sasquatch is impressive. The quality of some of that evidence is also most convincing. It must be admitted that some of the evidence is of poor quality and other evidence has been falsified by hoaxers. The evidence for the other man-beast cryptids is less great, but not always less impressive.
And yet science and most scientists refuse to accept the reality of these beasts.
from "Sasquatch" by Rupert Matthews
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