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    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeSep 26th 2009 edited
     (6871.1)
    @Warren - how about bouncing off this to get the Internets to fund a second expedition within weeks?

    If anyone's going to properly document possibly the last great ape, they should be mad British explorers, dammit.

    I propose that everyone donate to the CFZ, for a second expedition, to head off as soon as possible, with some proper equipment - which means decent mechanical film cameras, or proper waterproof ones - and Pith Helmets.

    The people who find the last great ape should be wearing Pith Helmets.

    I say we get the Internets together to buy them Pith Helmets, and if there's any left over, they could fund an expedition with the change.

    Link to the CFZ's paypal donation page here.

    http://forteanzoology.blogspot.com/2009/09/changes-in-cfz-policy-regarding-wild.html

    Well, it's not the 'donate' page as such, but the link's there.

    I'm good for £20. Come on people - buy a Pith Helmet for a monster hunter!



    If anyone writes one of these blog type things - you know, BoingBoing, Slashdot things like that, please post this appeal. Your generosity in correctly garbing explorers of the unknown will be much appreciated, I'm sure.
    •  
      CommentAuthorJess
    • CommentTimeSep 26th 2009 edited
     (6871.2)
    It said the cam batteries were dead, not that the shots had been lost.


    Warren, I don't think that detracts from his observation that they perhaps should have been aware that humidity would affect the camera. Or maybe they should have brought spare batteries. This is, after all, the third expedition CFZ claims to have funded.

    Unless I've misread something, they only indicated that they have pictures of footprints and film footage of a cat. They may have "lots of photos," but I imagine if they had even a blurry shot of this creature, they'd have updated that said picture is at least coming soon. But I'll wait and see what they follow up with.

    You know, I don't think these people went out there and hallucinated up a creature. But why are they so sure it's an "Orang Pendek," and not, say, a Sun Bear, based on the little bit that they did see?
    •  
      CommentAuthorcurb
    • CommentTimeSep 26th 2009
     (6871.3)
    @ Warren - Ah, my bad. Cheers for the correction.

    And yes, any expedition to find this beast should be lead by explorers in pith helmets, preferably with eccentric mustaches where gender allows. I'll see how things are shaping up after payday.
  1.  (6871.4)
    I imagine if they had even a blurry shot of this creature, they'd have updated that said picture is at least coming soon

    I took that as implied.

    I don't expect anything to come of this at all, but I'm willing to give them enough rope to hang themselves with.

    I do, however, agree that they should have pith helmets.
  2.  (6871.5)
    Everyone should have Pith Helmets! I bought mine when deciding to hunt for Cthulhu... Pics to follow maybe.
    •  
      CommentAuthorcurb
    • CommentTimeSep 26th 2009
     (6871.6)
    I'm just going to go ahead and get the inevitable pun about 'taking the Pith' out of the way right now. No need to thank me.
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      CommentAuthorFauxhammer
    • CommentTimeSep 26th 2009
     (6871.7)
    Shit, I'd wear a pith helmet to work.
    •  
      CommentAuthorjohnjones
    • CommentTimeSep 26th 2009
     (6871.8)
    I look at cryptozoology in the same way I look at UFOlogy. It's big world/universe. There's plenty of room to believe in the possibility, even probability, of mythical creatures/intelligent extraterrestrials. However, I'm not expecting Bigfoot/ET to show up in my backyard anytime soon.
  3.  (6871.9)
    Shit, I'd wear a pith helmet to work.

    So would I.

    AND I WORK FROM HOME.
    •  
      CommentAuthorFauxhammer
    • CommentTimeSep 27th 2009
     (6871.10)
    @johnjones One thing I hate is how people at large paint all of cryptozoology with the same brush. Is the idea of a large ape living in the dense North American rain forest so preposterous it's out of the question? Not at all. What about Monkey Man, an Indian cryptid with steel claws and chest lamps? Sure; but the public hears about both in the same breath.

    I think it's up to the cryptozoological community to come out and tell people that it's a scientific endeavor, and not THE SEARCH FOR A NESSIE.

    Don't forget, orangutans were cryptids (from the Western point of view) until fairly recently. If there are unknown animals out there, let's find them, and debunk the bullshit at the same time.
    •  
      CommentAuthorJess
    • CommentTimeSep 27th 2009
     (6871.11)
    @Faux -- The idea that there are undiscovered creatures out there in the world is not at all preposterous. Both zoologists and cryptozoologists are interested in these animals, and certainly, zoologists have relied on word of mouth in order to lead them to new species in the past. Far too often, however, self-identifying cryptozoologists do exactly what these posts about the "orang pendek" demonstrate. That is, that those seeking cryptids are so willing to believe that they've found a cryptid that they ignore other reasonable possibilities. Let's think about it for a minute -- these guys didn't see the face, hands, or feet of this creature. And keeping in mind that all known descriptions of this creature are circumstantial at best, it would be good for them to at least reason out why they thought this was an "orang pendek" versus another creature particularly because said descriptions tend to point to the feet, hands, and face. I can only assume, based on what they've provided, that one of the key identifying traits was that this creature was bipedal. Ok -- but so is the Sun Bear, which eats rattan too. I don't believe that this particular group is ignorant of the possibility of it being a Sun Bear either. So what strikes me as unscientific about this CFZ endeavor is an unwillingness (as it currently stands) to entertain alternative explanations and hypotheses for what they might have seen. In the meantime, they contribute to the "mythology" of this creature by prematurely presenting their evidence in this way. Maybe there is an unknown primate out there -- but these guys aren't helping their case.

    This thread vaguely reminded me of a dilemma in the early modern world concerning accounts of creatures and plants explorers were finding overseas. When specimens could not be produced for analysis, sometimes all scientists had to go on were the descriptions and accounts of amazing creatures and specimens -- sometimes faithful, sometimes mistaken, sometimes downright fictional. They were finding amazing things like opossums -- who would have believed such a thing as its pouch could have existed? And thus they entertained the existence of a race of people without heads, mermaids, and so on because they had seen all these wonderful and true things in their lifetime. But the existence of wonderful things does not mean that all wonderful things exist.

    Those fanged frogs Oddcult showed me were great. And if you want to go hunting for unknown primates, sounds good to me. Just don't be silly about it, OK? :)

    (And for the heck of it, here's an article from Skeptoid on the Orang Pendek: http://skeptoid.com/episodes/4077)

    And Warren, I hate to burst your bubble, but if you start wearing a pith helmet, technically you are no longer working in the nude.
    •  
      CommentAuthorFauxhammer
    • CommentTimeSep 27th 2009
     (6871.12)
    @Jess: I agree with every point you made save one.

    A hat or helmet serves to accentuate nakedness, and actually trebles the weird factor.
    •  
      CommentAuthorJess
    • CommentTimeSep 27th 2009 edited
     (6871.13)
    @Faux -- I won't believe it until Warren demonstrates this and it can be tested properly.
  4.  (6871.14)
    And Warren, I hate to burst your bubble, but if you start wearing a pith helmet, technically you are no longer working in the nude.

    It's not like you to talk about my helmet in public.
    •  
      CommentAuthorJess
    • CommentTimeSep 27th 2009
     (6871.15)
    It's not like you to talk about my helmet in public.


    The spike on the tip is a bit offputting, I'll give you that much -- but sometimes you can't avoid the elephant in the room.
  5.  (6871.16)
    There's this show in Discovery Channel, SurvivorMan, in which the man takes a bunch of cameras and is set alone in the jungle to survive (mostly to slack around and complain..) in one of those episodes the whole Humidity Versus Cameras issue happened, his cameras were dying like flies.. the most rugged ones died first (including underwater cameras..) with so much humidity that rainforest had.

    The only one that survived was a portable/common hand-camera.. LOL so even if you can predict issues with Humidity, you can't figure an easy solution to it.. he would never predict that the cheap one was the best.
    •  
      CommentAuthorgroundxero
    • CommentTimeSep 27th 2009
     (6871.17)
    I think everyone has probably already seen this. An "El Chupacabra" discovered in my neck of the woods.


    VIDEO: El Chupacabra Remains

    Texas mystery: 'Defective coyote' or chupacabra?


    (CNN) -- The owner of a taxidermy school in Blanco, Texas, says he's been receiving more phone calls and attention than he'd like over the identity of a dead roughly 30-pound, mostly hairless coyote-like creature.

    "I don't know what it is. ... I do know that I have an odd animal," Jerry Ayer said Thursday.

    He said word spread quickly that he was in possession of an unknown animal -- often speculated in his region to be chupacabras, or mythical creatures, he said. Soon, the local, national and even international media picked up on what he said could be a "genetically defective coyote."

    "Chupacabra" roughly translates from Spanish to "goat sucker." Reported victims are said to have puncture wounds to their necks, supposedly where the chupacabra drained their blood.


    LINK TO ARTICLE
  6.  (6871.18)
    @jess:
    The part of cryptozoology that annoys me if almost the exact opposite - the tendency for a lot of investigators to ignore or dismiss other paranormal activity which is associated with sightings of cryptids. This is especially prevalent in the Bigfoot-chasers.

    No doubt there are yet-to-be-found-by-Science beasties out there, and I do understand a need to delineate between them and the weird-shit, but if the weird shit is part of the observation...
    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeSep 28th 2009
     (6871.19)
    Everyone's being a bit harsh on this report, I think.

    Okay, so they haven't got a picture, film or an Orang Pendek corpse. But what they have got is corroborative evidence to support claims of a sighting.

    The CFZ are *not* a well-funded, academic research expedition. They're doing this on a shoe-string budget, for the hell of it, but with an eye on conservation. If they wanted to prove the Orang Pendek existed (and let's for the sake of argument, say it does) then all they need to would be to put a small price on its head. If they turned up on one of the islands where it lived and said they'd pay a couple of hundred quid for a corpse, they'd almost certainly get one within days.

    Hell, if any zoo actually put a value on one that was similar to what's been paid for Okapis or Snow Leopards, there'd be a live one on display within months.

    The Okapi is an interesting comparison to the Orang Pendek. It was depicted in Ancient Egyptian texts going back thousands of years, but was unknown to western science until the very early part of the 20th century. They were sighted and then captured but still extremely uncommon in the wild and virtually no pictures were taken of them, or studies undertaken, until two years ago.

    Camera traps aren't a very reliable way of locating a single type of animal across a massive range, and they find it hard enough to snap already well-known animals, right out in the wilds.

    A sighting of an animal, backed up by footprints, and hair and saliva samples, is a hell of a lot better, in my opinion, than a dodgy IR image, or a picture of a something sitting in a tree. Of course, having the pictures backed up by the physical evidence would be better still, but it's all part of building up a picture of where and how to look next.
    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeSep 28th 2009
     (6871.20)
    @Cat Vincent - can you elaborate a bit about what you're referring to? I know what you mean, I think, but could you explain a little more for the audience at home?