Wednesday, March 4, 2009
I am enthralled by nature. I'm interested in all living things. The plants and animals we share our world with are an endless source of fascination and gratification for me. For me, the natural world is a perfect and sublime miracle constantly unfolding around us.
Something that will always grab my attention instantly is a television show, book or article on cryptozoology. The dictionary defines cryptozoology as: “the study of evidence tending to substantiate the existence of, or the search for, creatures whose reported existence is unproved”.
Do we know everything about all the beings that we share the planet with? As over-populated as our planet has become, there are still vast areas of wilderness where humans rarely venture. Is it possible that deep woods, mountains and deserts hide animals that have not been officially documented? What if some of the creatures that we think of as myths or legends actually exist on the outskirts of our civilizations?
Recently, I've been reading and watching a lot of programs concerning these mythical animals. Two of the "monsters" I've been focused on lately are the "Mothman" of West Virginia, and the "New Jersey Devil" rumoured to dwell in that state's Pine Barrens. It occurred to me recently that descriptions of these two separate phenomena are strikingly similar. Consider that the "Mothman" has been described by eyewitnesses as: "...having the glowing red eyes of a large animal, and a body shaped like a man, but bigger, maybe six and a half or seven feet tall, with big wings folded against its back", while the Jersey Devil is described by a Wikipedia entry as having; "...a long neck, wings and hooves. The creature is often said to have a horselike head and tail. Its' reputed height varies from about three feet to more than seven feet. Many sightings report the creature to have glowing red eyes that can paralyze a man, and that it utters a high pitch(sound)". These are pretty similar descriptions if you ask me.
Last night I stumbled upon a television program focused on another cryptid, supposedly observed in England, known as the "Owl Man." Although the show itself was a laughably amateurish, poorly slapped together production that reminded me of a cheaper, hokier version of "Blair Witch Project"(If that's even possible), some quick research online today revealed that this giant, owl type critter has actually been reported by various witnesses in the Cornwall area several times, starting in 1926, and continuing to the present day. Apparently this bird-like creature is also roughly the size of a man, with: "...pointed ears and red eyes...the creature flew up into the air, revealing black pincer-like claws. "All of these reports share a few commonalities; namely the red, glowing eyes, the large wingspan and a height of roughly four to seven feet.
So what the heck is going on here? Are all these people hallucinating? Is this some kind of silly hoax that has been passed down through the generations, or are these actual animals leftover from prehistoric times? Some believe that they may be an alien life-form from another planet. As the name "Jersey Devil" suggests, there are those who think it may be just that... a demon. Or, could it possibly be that there are simply animals living alongside us that have not been discovered?