Archive for category Aliens and cryptids
Because one ridiculous article wasn’t enough, today the Mail has two articles about the possible discoveries of cryptozoological beasties:
Let’s start with the Yeti first. This article is based on the claims of “hominologist”* Igor Burtsev – in fact, it’s the third article about him this year – and even the Daily Mail doesn’t sound that convinced any more, judging by the fourth paragraph:
However, doubt has already been cast on the ‘find’ – as the team has no convincing photographic or DNA evidence. Their claim appears to be based on bent branches, a single unclear footprint and a small sample of grey ‘hair’, found in a cave.
Broken branches, a footprint, some hair and a “bed” (which was mysteriously free of hair) – that’s “finally proof the Yeti exists”? Let’s remember Wiener’s law for science journalism: if your article can be summarized as “no”, don’t write it.
Incidentally, Burtsev is president of an organisation called Cryptosphere, whose website carries a detailed description of one of Burtsev’s previous expeditions to an American ranch that supposedly housed 30 Bigfoots.** The sum total of their discoveries there? Some broken branches, some footprints, some hair and a “shelter”. Sounds familiar.
The second story has already been taken apart handily by PZ Myers, someone who knows a lot more about squids, cephalopods and their ilk than I do.
In short, neither story is “proof” or even “evidence” that the Yeti or the Kraken exist. All they do prove is that someone at the Mail is a little too gullible.
* Hominology is a psuedoscientific version of primatology – basically, it’s the study of mythical apes like Bigfoot, Sasquatch and the Yeti.