Abominable Science! authored by Daniel Loxton and Donald Prothero is one of those books that comes along and makes the world a better place. A rare treat that you didn’t know you needed until you had it in your hands.
The combination of good research, good references and an honest, open-minded yet critical outlook turns Abominable Science! into a must-have for anybody with a passing interest in monsters and strange creatures. Continue reading →
As someone who tries to maintain a reasoned approach to paranormal research I often get asked by people how they should deal with children who are afraid of ghosts and monsters. Last Halloween I did a free talk in my local library for children called “How To Be A Ghost Buster” and I taught them how to spot fake ghost photos and more. The Question & Answer section was dominated by questions like ‘Why does my bedroom window rattle?”, “I hear footsteps outside my door when everyone is asleep, what is it?”, “Mummy says ghosts aren’t real but my bedroom goes very cold and I feel scared” and more. There was real fear in these questions and I genuinely struggled to reassure those children, realising that there is not one good answer on how to deal with this. Continue reading →
When I found out that Dom Joly had written a book about his adventures as a monster hunter I knew immediately that I had to read it, but I wasn’t sure what to expect. Would it make a mockery of cryptozoology? Was Joly a believer in all sorts of weird things who accepted nonsense as evidence? I didn’t know. The book is called Scary Monsters & Super Creeps, is available on Amazon and is a great book. There are no ground breaking discoveries in its pages, and there are several errors (Adrian Shine, for example, is renamed Adrian Shiner) and anyone looking for serious crypto-zoological research wouldn’t find it here, but I recommend the book nonetheless. Continue reading →
It has recently been announced that I am going to be speaking on ‘The Animal Panel’ at the QED Conference in March 2012. This is the second QED conference and will be the second time I’ve spoken on a panel for them and I’m very excited to be doing so. I will be speaking alongside Deborah Hyde and Joe Nickell (who both have a lot more experience than I do).I am quite a new comer when it comes to researching monsters (in any form). I’ve had my fair share of experiences researching the ‘beasts’ that are said to roam the English countryside and have an obsessive knowledge of all big cat sightings in the South of England because of the fear I developed after a big cat scare in the village I grew up in.
I was so petrified of the idea that a big cat could be in the village of Hilperton that I lived in until the age of eighteen that I would regularly have nightmares about it (and I still do). My fear is mainly because I had two ‘cat’ experiences of my own at the age of seven that I rarely tell anyone outside of my family about. Maybe I shall share them with the panel? They still make me shudder to this very day.
When I first started learning about the rational causes for these reports and experiences it was people like Joe Nickell who inspired me to stop hiding under my duvet, and to go looking for the facts. Once you start rummaging it can be very hard to stop. Yet I also know just how real these scary experiences can seem because of my own scary experiences.
Monsters, they might not always be real, but they’re still scary. I am truly excited to be speaking as part of the Cryptozoology panel, you can find more details here on the QED website.