The difference between Fortean Zoology and Cryptozoology.

Justin_Anstey

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What do you make of Jon Downes'(?s) notion of 'Zooform phenomena'?:

Http://www.eclipse.co.uk/cfz/admin/history.htm

"Cryptozoology is the study of hidden or unknown animals, and such creatures, belonging to a species wholly or partly unknown to science, are usually collectively referred to as 'cryptids'.
Many researchers, myself included, are interested in a related category of mystery animals often termed the 'pseudo-cryptids'. These are animals which are out-of-place: known species which by accident or artificial introduction (or sometimes both) live in a geographical area where one would not normally expect to find them. An example being big cats on British moorlands.
But the third category - the one that interests me the most are zooform phenomena. These are not animals at all, but are entities or apparitions which adopt or seem to have animal or part-animal form. This is where we, at least partly, enter X Files territory. In many ways, these elusive and contentious entities have plagued the science of cryptozoology since its inception - and tend to be dismissed by mainstream science as thoroughly unworthy of consideration. Zooform phenomena seem to be a mysterious blend of paranormal manifestation and mythological icons..
As I became more deeply involved in the study of zooform phenomena I began to realise that you could no longer study these 'creatures' in isolation. In many cases, zooform phenomena are inextricably linked with a wide range of other paranormal and fortean phenomena, most especially crop circles and UFOs..."

http://www.eclipse.co.uk/cfz/admin/faq.htm

"...At the risk of severely angering the folk in the Bigfoot camp and indeed some of my friends and colleagues who have spent so much of their lives sitting on the shores of Loch Ness waiting for something to happen. This is the category into which most of the most well known members of the iconography of Cryptozoology fit in.
This is not the time nor the place to enter into a long discussion about the veracity or otherwise of the most 'media-friendly' cryptids, the Yeti, Bigfoot and the Loch Ness monster but even the most hardcore nessiephile or traditional cryptozoologist would admit that the volumes that have been written about these phenomena includes a fair amount of evidence that suggests that some if not all of their manifestations may not necessarily be of physical origin..."

-Justin.
 

Justin_Anstey

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http://www.forteantimes.com/exclusive/naish_01.shtml

"...Personally I don't think the owlmen and their winged brethren have much to do with cryptozoology in the strict sense - however, they are significant 'indicators' in that how they are interpreted reveals the approach of the investigator.

To Downes and co, these things are so-called zooform phenomena: phantom-like entities that look like animals but are instead manifestations of an unknown nature. Perhaps these ideas were inspired by similar theories concocted by Janet and Colin Bord, but I'm also reminded of internet devotees who argue that the creature in the Patterson film is a inter-dimensional alien android that can vanish from the camera viewfinder at will. In other words, by making mystery beasts into uncatchable, untestable phantoms one provides an ostensible explanation for the total lack of material evidence. I would more likely side with the folklorists and anthropologists and suggest that group psychology and the power of iconographic tradition are forcing people into believing in animals that really do not exist outside of the human skull."

-By Darren Naish.
 
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Anonymous

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Whilst the Earth hides many elusive and strange beasts, i also feel that some, i.e. Mothman, Owlman, Jersey Devil etc are Zooform phenomena as classified by Jon downes. I am not sure about the Chupacabras, because I can't see why a phantom should need a diet of chickens and ducks! I think some eye-witness sightings of strange animals throw confusion into the situation, but i do not believe that Mothman was simply an uncatchable and real creature. Unfortunately the current exotic cat situation is thrown into unnecessary supernatural positions simply because of the elusive nature. I believe Bigfoot to be real and to class ocean 'monsters' as apparitions seems a bit foolish considering some of the weird and wonderful things down there that have been proven to exist. I don't think reports of fiery eyed creatures necessarily puts an animal into the paranormal realm, but I know someone who dismissed all paranormal phenomena and then had an encounter with a One-Eyed Tiger-like creature and then died a few weeks later! Some of these things just aren't real, but there are weirder real things out there undiscovered.
 

Justin_Anstey

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It's a bit of a vague classification, don't you think? Hold on, you believe in phantoms?

-J
 

evilsprout

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NEIL said:
I know someone who dismissed all paranormal phenomena and then had an encounter with a One-Eyed Tiger-like creature and then died a few weeks later!

Blimey. Any more details on this?

I think the creature's I would be most tempted to classify as 'zooform phenomena' would be the large dramatic ones that are only seen once, or only seen in a small time window. In this I'm including Mothman, Owlman, Dover Demon, Jersey Devil, and maybe the Dog-headed men as mentioned in one of the 'It Happened to Me' threads.

However, I see no reason why animals living in remote areas, or in the depths of the oceans, should be neccessarily associated with zooform phenomena, especially when they've been sighted over a large amount of time, albeit sporadically. In this I include Bigfoot, wildmen, sea monsters. (Although I do appreciate some of the more paranormal nature of bigfoot sightings).

However, what does 'phantom' mean? Does it mean it's merely a formless illusion, or does it just mean it's not a 'real' animal in the true sense of the word? By this I mean does Chupacabras's eating habits really prove it's 'real' animal nature?

Personally I'd love to see every cryptid around turn out to be a real, flesh-and-blood animal that could proudly take it's place in the Linnaeus system of classification. But I don't think this is really the case...
 
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Anonymous

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Phantoms...

I tend to class 'phantoms' as ghost-like entities, not in the sense that they are transparent or float, just that they are bloody weird!
I just think people see some things which are too weird to be even one of nature's unpredictable specimens. Black Dogs seem to be 'phantoms' as such, they would probably be rather boring as flesh and blood wouldn't they ?
The Goatsucker still could be a flesh and blood creature, especially as it doesn't seem confined to one area but then again, it could be confined to one culture. Mothman was not just seen in the U.S. but over here in England in my county of KENT, but the case was more supernatural than natural. One-eyed beasts, flying horses etc, just do not fit into true animal oddness, they have to be supernatural as such. Big cats often seem supernatural to many, it is a nice twist but almost like Bigfoot, they exist by being elusive. Bigfoot has to be one of the weirdest considering it is such a known phenomena. I hope it is flesh and blood and think it is. Witnesses used to speak about these animals being immune to bullets, but legend has it that the animals' hair is so matted that it lessens the impact!
 
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