Posted by: Adam Davies on May 21st, 2011
Adam Davies, Extreme Expeditioner, joins the blogging team at Cryptomundo.
You can purchase a copy of his book, Extreme Expeditions, by clicking on the cover image above.
One of the most frequent questions that I am asked is “how can I get involved in Cryptozoology?”
I have a very straightforward answer to this “Get out there and and some field research if you can, or if not, sponsor or help others to do it.”
Cryptozoology really needs more field researchers, and I want to give you two examples of why I consider it to be so important.
In her book Wildmen, Yeti, Sasquatch and the Neanderthal Enigma, Myra Shackley speculated on the potential range of the Almas, the Mongolian hominid.
Quoting form the research of explorer Dordji Meiren, she writes “Meiren, who lived in the Gobi area and was a member of the Academy of Sciences, recalled that during the period 1807-67, Almas were reported from Khalkha, the Galbin Gobi, and Dzakh Soudjin Gobi, as well as from Inner Mongolia. They were especially numerous in the Gourban Bogdan Gobi, Chardzan Gobi,….and numerous other places. According to Meiren,their numbers had decreased dramatically by 1867-1927, and after this date they seem almost to have disappeared, except form the province of Khovd, and the Southern Gobi. The Mongol hunters themselves concluded that the Almas were becoming very scarce.”
In 2006, I traveled thousands of kilometres looking for evidence of the Almas in Mongolia. Sadly, there appeared to be very few recent sightings of the creature.
Professor Navaan, the respected Mongolian academic, who was in his eighties when I met him in Ulan Bator, told me that the last credible sighting he had investigated was that of a Russian Colonel in 1921. I am aware of other sightings, such as those in the 1940′s, this was his view.
As I traveled across Mongolia, it was clear that most Mongolians knew little of the Almas except in children’s tales, People who lived near the so called Mountain of the Almas, near Bulgan, for example, told me this directly.
It was only when I got to an area around Hovd, that I could find two examples of tangible accounts, both from the 1990′s. A hunter called Ulzi had seen an Almas, which he described as “Standing like a man, but running like an animal.” Also in the 1990′s, a local newspaper had also had reports of footprints in that same area a few years ago. However, no other local people had anything to contribute. The Kazakh people I interviewed said that they had heard of somebody seeing it, and many talked about it emitting a strange whistling noise. None of their number could point me to anyone who had seen one, however.
Extrapolating the decline in numbers since the 19th Century, it is possible on this basis to conclude that the Almas is past or on the brink of the point of extinction.
A similar conclusion can be drawn with the Orang-Pendek. Although I have had no difficulty in procuring eyewitness reports of recent activity, again they are in a very concentrated area of Western Sumatra, in contrast with the widespread accounts of the creature living in many parts of the island over the past few centuries.
Why? I think a modern example neatly illustrates this.
I once traveled down a small road through Western Sumatra, marveling at the beauty of the pristine virgin rain forest which surrounded me. It was beautiful, and I felt excited that I was soon going to be exploring it.
When I traveled that same route five years later, the place was full of Palm Oil plantations. I traveled that route for half an hour, and everything was gone. I was devastated. There is not a day that has gone by since when I don’t think about it.
I would like you, for the purposes of this article, to consider as a starting point that both creatures exist, rather than speculate if they do. Taking this into account, it is clear that human population and expansion, and subsequent environmental erosion, are rapidly pushing these creatures to the edge of extinction.
I truly believe that time is running out for some of our cryptids, and that is one of the main reasons I spend thousands of pounds of my own money, as well as most of my spare time, in searching for credible scientific evidence of them.
To do nothing, or to leave them alone, is just not an option.
So, field research NOW is an imperative. Either conduct it yourself, or help others to do so.
We really need as much credible scientific evidence as we can gather.
If you need my advice, I am happy to help!