I once had an encounter with a bigfoot--no, really!! I was doing trail work in the Pacific Northwest, and . . . well . . . if you want the rest of the story, buy the book, hopefully soon to be published, entitled Memories and Musings of a Post-Postmodern Nomadic Mystic Madman. I've also seen a faerie or two, and once had sex with a woman who shapeshifted her face whilst astride my lap (buy the book). On and on I could rant regarding my wild and weird experiences with cryptozoological creatures and mystical oddities (again, when it gets published . . . please buy the book).
In an age that places science divorced from the divine up on a pedestal, it is perhaps vital that our culture continues to maintain myths about the "supernatural" and tales of the inexplicable. Not that the discovery of hard proof of the existence of Sasquatch or some such would be a bad thing, but the continuation of the mysterious in popular culture keeps our imaginations alive, and inspires creativity. Accounts of cryptos like bigfoot and giant snakes and the little peoples of the world (which have been proven to exist, at least in the not too distant past, on the isle of Flores in Indonesia), tales of hauntings and other unexplained stuff offer fodder for children's stories and help some grown-ups keep their imaginations whirring.
Stories to tell around a campfire and the stuff of science fiction movies and books often derive from such unproven yet plausible accounts of UFO encounters and sightings of upright hairy beasties in the forest, and offer the hope that we have not seen or at least not quantified and qualified and taxonomized everything on the planet, which would be rather a disappointment to the imaginations of those who've yet a sense of curiosity and wonder. What a boring world if everything on earth were available in a science textbook, already studied to death and dissected and analyzed in a laboratory setting!!
Sonar photo of Loch Ness Monster from a 1975 expedition
I do not wish to maintain that the gov's top secret information about UFO's should be kept hidden (unless too terrible to widely publicize), or that it would be an absolute tragedy if someone found a Sasquatch body in the wilderness of Canada, or caught clear footage of the Mokele Mbembe (a purported sauropod--living dinosaur--reported in the swamps of the Congo) on film. Yet if there were no mysteries to feed the imaginings of a sixth grader bored to death with his uninspired math teacher's rants, or inspire a man or woman in the midst of a mid-life crisis to explore the jungles of Africa, or to animate the sacred dance and stories of tribal peoples round the globe, how much less wonderful would life become? Sure we'd survive, and perhaps expand our search for the unknown to beyond this world. Nonetheless, I must say I am grateful that not every species has been discovered, and that many places in the world's wildernesses (and even in the cities) hold wonders and mysteries not yet fully revealed to science's often cold and clinical approach to life.
(Representation of a tribe of Pygmies who reportedly killed a Mokele-Mbembe--"One Who Stops the River From Flowing" just a few decades ago . . . )
Below: Tasmanian Tiger, thought extinct in 1930's, filmed in 1970's . . .
Purported Pterodactyls shot with guns then film in late 1800's . . .
LONG LIVE THE SASQUATCH, AND OTHER WONDERFUL MYSTERIES!!!!