One Way or the Otter, Radford/Nickell X-Files-Labeled

Don Getty, River Otters, Grand Tetons. Used with full permission of Mr. Getty. The photograph does not, however, appear in Ben’s and Joe’s book from last year. Would it have helped lessened the blow of this review against their flank? One would expect that the respected Journal of Folklore Reseach at Indiana University would come down on the side of Benjamin Radford’s and Joe Nickell’s recent skeptical book, Lake Monster Mysteries: Investigating the World’s Most Elusive Creatures. It turns out it didn’t work out that way, and the journal, instead, found the book had shortcomings. Did Ben and Joe receive [...]

Loren & Loch Ness on Video

Someone has uploaded parts of the History Channel’s recent repeat of an episode of “Deep Sea Detectives” featuring great archival footage of recent cryptozoological discoveries, the program’s hosts diving at Loch Ness, and yours truly in my home-research office-museum. Corrective footnote: Yes, I know that Loch Ness is six miles from the ocean, although I misspoke during one of the tapings, and too quickly said “mile” instead of “a few miles.” I do get excited in these interviews to try to share my down-to-earth passion for the topic. For more on this subject see: The Field Guide to Lake Monsters, [...]

Real Otter Sense

I asked for a clear photograph of some otters swimming-in-a-line in the water, demonstrating what Joe Nickell had only drawn as the explanation of some of the classic sea serpent and lake monster sightings. None could easily be shown me from Nickell’s or others’ research. No one from the skeptical community could come forth with a good example. But cryptozoologists are always looking for all sides of the picture, pun-intended, and now I’ve been sent a clear instance where this behavior has been observed and photographed. The evidence of this has not been forwarded to me by a debunker, but [...]

Otter Nonsense

Otters, of course, are responsible for a few misidentifications of Lake Monsters in bodies of water worldwide. In my The Field Guide to Lake Monsters, Sea Serpents, and Other Mystery Denizens of the Deep (co-authored by Patrick Huyghe), the fact that people do make mistakes when viewing mundane mammals on lakes and lochs is acknowledged. Otters, nevertheless, have never been seen as the root of all Lake Monsters accounts, as seemed to be expressed on CNN’s “Paula Zahn Now” last week by the guest skeptic. Otters are hardly in vogue any longer. Even Bernard Heuvelmans’ theory of the “super-otters,” as [...]