- by Marie Simone Van Speybroeck
Recently I had occasion to talk with some of my peers about the work amateur researchers conduct in the field of cryptozoological study. After speaking with several experts in the field of zoology. I noted that the same responses were prevailing among all of them.
There is a notable apprehension in the scientific community to accept data provided by amateur researchers in the field of cryptozoological study. Understanding that the cryptozoological and zoological study should follow the same rigorous guidelines is one of the key reasons for the disdain of science for the topic.
So let’s see if I can try to explain how an amateur researcher can gain the respect of the professionals.
To fully understand the in-cognizance of the sciences in regards to cryptozoology one must understand the meaning of the word, (Cryptozoology).
Cryptozoology is a pseudoscientific approach to the discovery unknown or legendary creatures many of whom are considered to be of folklore. It is a study in the undiscovered and is often conducted with out the disciplines and skills of a zoological team. The title of cryptozoologist is more often then not, a self bestowed credential. Though it is accepted by the public as legitimate the word describes a multitude of different disciplines.
To understand this one must look at the field of zoology. Zoology is the study of animals. It is a multi disciplined field. A zoological team is comprised of several individuals whom are all expert in different disciplines. A typical team consists of a wildlife biologist, wildlife behaviorist, a veterinarian and a veterinary pathologist and a botanist as primary members, secondary or support persons would be a local guide and a animal tracker. For one individual to master each of these disciplines it would take a lifetime of vigorous study resulting in several degrees for a single individual. Not an impossible thing but a highly unlikely situation.
So the first mistake made by many laymen researchers is to introduce themselves as cryptozoologists a word that describes multiple disciplines of which most laymen researchers simply do not possess.
Credibility is dictated by the qualifications and credentials of the individual. So simply introducing oneself as a amateur researcher is far more credible then using the self aggrandized title of cryptozoologist.
Credibility also demands solid repeatable performance witnessed by more then one individual and proven scientific technical methodology be used in all aspects of your research.
Literally 1000s of items of evidence are destroyed by contamination or improper retrieval, storage handling of evidence.
Photographic evidence that is unclear such as blobsquatches. Should not even be submitted to the body of evidence. Researchers whom post photographic evidence and say “ can you see it?” expecting the viewer to find some fuzzy dark mass in a picture and convince them selves that it is indeed a picture of the creature in retrospect. Diminishes the researchers credibility.
Researchers should never work alone. Teams of two are a minimum, teams of 4 or 6 are by far more credible. Every team should have one skeptic as a member of the team. This prevents enthusiastic researchers from committing (Boboizums) (named after Bobo, James Fay) a comedic term assigned to researchers whom are guilty of seeing and hearing a cryptid at every snap of a twig. Or fallen tree. So before you say that’s a squatch. Make sure it really is a Sasquatch.
These things will all improve the credibility of the researchers.
If you would like more help in research techniques please comment and I will do my best to help.