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A very clear and focused examination on the cryptozoology and recorded cases of sightings. I do wish it had had a stronger coverage on the psychological and folkloristic aspects of cryptids and the surrounding phenomena, but perhaps such could’ve pushed the book too far into speculative territory.
I remember as a child watching a televised search for the Loch Ness monster, using underwater cameras. I think the show was presented by Philip Schofield & Gaby Roslin, though that may be doing them à disservice- at the very least it should give a sense of when roughly this happened. On the 2nd day, the team got an ambiguous photo of a plesiosaur-shaped fuzzy outline that could have been a shoal of fish. Day 3 they showed a clear photo of part of a flipper. Young me was thrilled at the idea that the mystery could be solved by the end of the week. Day 4: that show was never mentioned again.
Today I look back from the generation of Mermaid & Megalodon mockumentaries and assume that this show was probably an early prototype of those that got axed without discussion following a bombardment of complaints about journalistic integrity. Younger me of course assumed that they had found something they shouldn’t and had been silenced. I concluded then and there that, even if such mysteries could be solved, it was futile trying because it would never get out if you did.
I didn’t pay much attention to my Arthur C Clarke’s Crystal skulls books or my Fortean Times magazines much after that. Focusing instead on real mysteries such as “how did Stegosaurus mate?” and “how did sauropods pump blood all the way up to their heads?”
These interests led me to Darren’s tetzooniverse, which discusses zoology, palaeontology, cryptozoology, and science fiction movies in equal measure. I felt I had to at least understand the latest in cryptozoology just so I wouldn’t die sitting through them, waiting for the latest news on flapling pterosaurs (a strategy that may lead me to learning much more about rodent teeth than I ever cared to).
So here I am, having finished the book and loving every minute of the meticulous scrutiny of the subject but wanting more: what about the Mongolian death worm? For example. Will there be a sequel? I hope so.
The narrator? Great but I gave you a 4 for the pronunciation of Heuvelmans (sorry, it just grated every single time).
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