Just when one thinks everything that could possibly be said about monsters had been vocalized at least 1,000 times over, comes a fresh approach to the marvelous world of hidden animals and shadow people in Ireland. For decades, many scholars have criticized ‘belief’ as being a highly-misleading discipline, not only distorting one religion into another, but it is argued that beliefs are one of the key reasons that so many nations have marched to war over the years. Contrary to the religious world, science functions without any requirement for its practitioners to hold beliefs, which is why it would be a mistake to petition open believers of Bigfoot type primates roaming North American forests, or an Ice Age serpent inhabiting a certain Scottish Loch, or a reported mysterious creature said to inhabit the Lakes of Killarney in Ireland, when one is one the hunt for hidden animals and shadow people.
However, Irish presenters Rob Billington and Eamonn O’Neill offer a more practical approach by exploring tales from world mythology and folklore, leaning heavily on themes relating to cryptozoology, the paranormal and UFO encounters. Each narrative is broken up with humorous detours and they often branch into more serious issues like the possible mental health conditions that might underlie many of the most bizarre reports of monsters, ghosts and demons.
The Guts Of Cryptozoology
The term ‘cryptozoology’ was first coined in 1959 by Bernard Heuvelmans (1916 –2001). This Belgian-French scientist, writer and explorer can be called a grandfather of the cryptozoology subculture, still thriving today, as Heuvelmans formally outlined the study of what he termed ‘hidden animals’. At that time new species were being discovered thick and fast as explorers charted and exploited the last corners of the planet.
Heuvelmans earned a doctorate in zoology from the Free University of Brussels and later founded the Center for Cryptozoology and the International Society of Cryptozoology. ( Public Domain )
Following in the footsteps of Heuvelmans, Billington and O’Neill are very thorough researchers. However, unlike Heuvelmans, the Irish presenters are not trying to convince their audience that any of the reported monsters, ghosts or demons are, or ever were real, but instead, they talk around other people’s encounters, experiences and subsequent beliefs.
The question if either one of them are convinced that there are any ‘hidden animals’ which might pose a threat to humans, brought a very well-considered reply, that put cryptozoology into a new, and much more respectable light.
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Ashley Cowie is a Scottish historian, author and documentary filmmaker presenting original perspectives on historical problems, in accessible and exciting ways. His books, articles and television shows explore lost cultures and kingdoms, ancient crafts and artifacts, symbols and architecture, myths and legends telling thought-provoking stories which together offer insights into our shared social history. www.ashleycowie.com. The author thanks Rob Billington and Eamonn O’Neill of Monsterfuzz for their participation.
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