Saturday, February 23, 2013

No Bellingham Werewolves

Sadly during the visit to the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies I wasn't able to find anything about werewolves in the materials we got to search through. I guess there aren't any werewolves in Bellingham. I started to think about the disease Hypertrichosis (which is also referred to as the werewolf syndrome) and how that might come into play with the different sightings throughout the united states or the werewolf killer in London. Trying to decide whether or not I will find anything related to sightings or if I should even talk about the disease in my paper.

Friday, February 22, 2013

No monster and still a mystery

So far in my research of the Loch Ness Monster there is only one thing that remains consistent. There is a shocking lack of evidence that it is a wonder anyone still believes in this monster. Despite the countless sonar scannings of the lake yielding no evidence of any large creature living in the depths, there are still those who have an unwavering faith in the existence of Nessie. Unlike other monsters, such as Big Foot, that have provided some evidence, the Loch Ness Monster has none and yet the mystery lives on. That in itself is a mystery to me.


I'm a bit frustrated with my research right now. I used three newspaper articles in adding content to Wikipedia, but I'm not convinced I did it right; all three articles were written within a handful of days of each other, and seemed only to be repeating what the others had said. Rather than new information being reported, it was repetition of the same, which inclines me to believe that they were simply trying to capitalize on the hype surrounding the Beast of Bont.

Then I went to YouTube, since I hadn't done that yet, and looked at videos about phantom cats. I found the information hard to take seriously because the presenters were definitely playing to peoples' fears, calling the endangered black leopard (assumed to be among the alien big cats sighted) a man-eater and that the UK government is being deliberately negligent when they ask for proof that phantom cats exist. I'd just finished looking at Wikipedia: there have been only two documented big cat attacks on people in the past forty years,  so to claim that the government is being negligent is wildly out of proportion, particularly without proof.

That's the other thing I'm finding hard: the amount of evidence for phantom cats is pretty darn small, particularly when there have been sightings for forty years or more. Why hasn't someone managed to capture one?

Search at Loch Ness

While continuing to read Dinsdale's Search At Loch Ness, I have to begin questioning the credibility of these claims. It's obvious that a lot of research has been done and quite a lot of it has been inconclusive. From the books I've been reading, there's a pattern in the 1960s and 70s where several expeditions are made, each trying to be more 'scientific' than the last, and when the evidence is presented to the scientific community it's still discredited for one reason or another.

Part of me wants to fall on the side of the scientists-I get that obviously you don't want to officially endorse something that might turn out to not be accurate, and that at that point a lot of the methods the research teams were using were really new technology, or old technology used in a way that hadn't been done before. The researchers were almost rebelling against the old guard of science, trying to get them to recognise the fallible human observation as being as reliable as an observation made by completely objective instruments. There's also a sense that the researchers were incredibly susceptible to their own bias-even though they're trying to be objective, they still film boats and logs in their excitement over seeing the Monster.

However, from the two books I've read already, it's pretty obvious that these people really did believe in the Monster and were only trying to get the mainstream media and scientific community to agree with them that *something* existed in the loch, monster or not. Both expedition accounts illustrate the lengths that the researchers went to to be utterly scientific-Dinsdale talks about training himself to shoot film in any situation, like a solider trains to reload a weapon and fire under any circumstances. Meredith tells about how the expedition in 1976 was not to "solve the mystery of the Loch Ness Monster" as it had been, but to "obtain further evidence relating to the aquatic animals at Loch Ness", a change that reflected the attempt to give science the kind of evidence it understood in order to make it recognize the value of a human evidence of sightings where it hadn't before.

British Folktales

Through checking the citations of numerous sources, I came across a noted author on the subject.  So I tracked down her book entitled "A Dictionary of British Folk-Tales".  This work is an excellent source on my subject as it has numerous accounts of Black Dog sightings, as well as the history of such sightings.  It also highlights the common nature of these stories, as there are several variations on the same story.  It is also useful in that it categorizes the stories into motifs or types, allowing for cross-referencing.
The book also clarifies between Black Dogs, which are generally phantom-esque and can even be beneficial, and Hellhounds which are used to chase down the souls which are sentenced to Hell.
All in all, a very useful resource.

Monster Hunter- Griffin

If a professional monster hunter was after my monster the most valued information resource would be where it could be found. Based on the research that I have found out about the Griffin these birds are typically found in mountainous terrain away from people. A valued resource would be when they come out and where have they been spotted.

The history behind the griffin also is something to keep in mind in which the griffin is a symbol of protection and is a vicious beast when in war against opposing people. This beast has two areas of power over others which is that it can fly and that has teeth like a lion. The hunter would benefit from knowing what kind of weapons they will need to capture this kind of monster since it has intense features. Hunters would need to keep in mind that griffins are loyal to whatever kingdom they are affiliated with and that they are very big beings, kind of like a dragon without all the physical features.