Cryptozoology: Science and Speculation
2004, Coachwhip Publications
The first half of this book is a good exploration of the sources, methods, and scientific status of cryptozoology. The second is an exploration of cryptid reports, many little-known but intriguing (like the long-tailed wildcat that used to be reported in Pennsylvania). Definitely a worthwhile addition to the cryptozoological literature.
This standout book contains several thoughtful points on aspects of the field that needed to be discussed. It introduced the term “ethnoknown” into the definition of a cryptid, one that I found very useful in practice. The author uses precise language in scientific context raising the discussion to a high level but has an annoying tendency to lapse into zoological jargon without explanation, leaving the reader a bit lost. Some sections will be difficult in language and philosophy that some readers may find to be tangential to their interests. There is some unfair hostility towards critical viewpoints, such as stating skeptics provide little justification for their views. There are a few unprofessional attacks directed at Michael Shermer, for example that detract from the respectability of the book. Contains an interesting unique discussion of folk biology. Cites that amateurs are in a good position to investigate cryptids, but this is at odds with stance on the experience of professionals to recognize a member of an existing species compared to a new one. The second half of book ‘Speculation’ has random accounts of unusual cryptids. Various newspaper clippings are not coherently strung together. Recommended for some good insights but also contains several flaws.