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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Australia: Cryptozoological hotbed or land of delusion

Australia is a very interesting place if you are interested in Cryptozoology, or the study of animals currently unrecognised and classified by science or thought to be extinct.
We apparently have Yowies, Black Panthers, Lake Monsters, Bunyips, Thylacine's, Prehistoric Maruspial Giant Cats (Thylacoleo's) among others.
We have an incredible amount of resources dedicated to the subject. Websites include Rex Gilroys Australian Yowie Research Centre, Dean Harrison's AYR and the scientific based Ozcrypto. There are a number of great books including Out of the shadows and The Yowie by Healey and Cropper and now a book on the Black Panther mystery has been released by Mike Williams and Ruby Lang.
These resources include eyewitness reports by State, season and year and offer up as much evidence as has been reasonably found. If you are interested in Cryptozoology, then those sites and books by those authors need to be in your favourites and on your shelf. (We have a lot of these sites and books listed under our favourites on this page).
Like all belief systems, each group at times has clashes and falling outs over opinion, dogma, integrity and personality. But if you can sort through that you will find some gold from all of those sources. But clearly its gold yet to be backed up by tangible evidence that would lead the average non-investigator to be certain of the existence of these creatures.. Even personal accounts within my own family and friends do not equate to proof - in reality only a body will provide that evidence. And when some parties believe that sometimes we are not dealing with something entirely flesh and blood but supernatural by nature (refer Nick Redfern et al) it makes the evidence trail even murkier.

So for many people, it is the land of tall tales and good spin. I'm from Irish descent like so many others in this country and everyone knows a lot of Australians can spin a good yarn as its in our DNA.
Which brings me to an interesting story from around six years ago which highlights the sort of experience people are having.
In 2004 I was contacted via my links with the then BFRO (Bigfoot field research organisation) by a man who was a local radio announcer in Goulburn, NSW.
He was easy going, articulate and after a few minutes of small talk got down to business. He had an experience that he was not quite sure how to articulate, or who to articulate it to.
Living about 20km Northwest of Goulburn,  he often walked his dog in the State Forest near his house.
They were walking the trails and as they got to the bottom of a small valley, he noticed something sitting on a log.
He had to look through rows of saplings to see it was in a clearing.
As he got closer he realised that it was in the shape of a very large man.. It had discernable man like features. But it was covered in grayish hair all over. 
And his medium sized dog, which would normally terrorise any animal, was quiet, whimpering and very anxious.
He watched the being for as long as he could bear, unable to figure out what it was, then continued out of there as quietly as he could.
Many times he went back and never saw anything like it again, but he was 100% sure of what he had seen, hence the call. In his own words, he called the being a 'Yowie' and implied that his neighbours were aware of it. 
In the process of the interview and follow up he checked out to be who he claimed to be. It this story was about ratings for his station he could have gone public with it. But he was very tentative and wanted reassurance that it would only be disseminated amongst other researchers. The information was passed on for more detailed interview.
His report is like so many that you will read on the crypto websites and books. An honest person who see's something that is hard to describe. 
Amidst the lack of hard evidence, there is definately something out there. Or multiple things.
Maybe you will be the first to crack the puzzle. And if you have seen something that is hard to explain, we can put you in touch with people from AYR and Ozcrypto for follow up.
It is an interesting issue for a Pastor to be involved in, but I know that God gave us intellect and we need to use that as freely as passion, feeling and intuition so we don't jump to conclusions to easily.
Now stop reading this and get out there for a bushwalk and do your bit for hands on research :)
A tip: Dean Harrison from AYR always said to go in pairs only as larger numbers are too noisy and going solo means that you will be the only witness.
Make sure you take a good camera and have it ready to go, with a decent zoom to avoid 'blobsquatches'.
And as always, God bless you - Pastor Baz.

From Bryony:

I want to leave you with this piece of scripture:

1 Corinthians 1:19-20
 19 As the Scriptures say, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise
      and discard the intelligence of the intelligent.”
 20 So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish.

What i take from this verse is that there is more to the world than what the "brilliant debaters, the philosophers and the scholars" have to say.  If only we opened our eyes.

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