Posted by: Loren Coleman on June 30th, 2010
Varmints: Rich Resource!
Highly Recommended by Loren Coleman
Who would have thought that cryptozoological bibliographical researcher Chad Arment (above) would gather more resources and do a bigger book on the cryptid carnivores of North America than he would produce on his beloved herps (see Boss Snakes: Stories and Sightings of Giant Snakes in North America)?
Who could imagine that the archives would hold richer material than Arment found on old Sasquatch accounts (see The Historical Bigfoot)?
Chad Arment’s latest survey of North American mystery animals is currently available from Coachwhip Publications, via online booksellers. Varmints: Mystery Carnivores of North America (ISBN 1-61646-019-9) is easy enough to obtain, and certainly worth the price of $29.95 US.
For those that wish to be surprised, pick up his latest book.
It is full of raw material for you to digest for weeks and months. Varmints is an absolute must for anyone seriously interested in mystery cats, phantom panthers, melanistic wonders, cryptic canids, mystery bears, and other unknown carnivores in North America. The wide range of mystery carnivores covered for North America, includes strange felines (black, striped, spotted, maned, or brindle), hyena-like animals, oversized polar bears, miniature grizzlies, huge white wolves, and more. It is an ultimate resource book for the mammalian specialists in North American cryptozoology. There is more than enough material here to keep both the beginning cryptozoology enthusiast and the seasoned researcher pondering for some time.
Let me describe some other things about this volume that I found worthing of noting.
First is a large book. You truly are getting the fruits of Arment’s labor with this tome. At almost 700 pages, it is a superb volume resulting from his archival research, detailing 600 cases for almost two and a half centuries, from 1770 to 2010, via 470 references and sources.
The text is supported with 66 black and white illustrations.
For research by state and province in North America, investigators will find this is a terrific resource. Each state/province serves as your guidepost, with the cases individually organized under those locations and then chronologically surveyed through the years across various kinds of “varmints.”
Research by species, and the cross-variable tabulation of same (such as comparing “black panthers” with “tan mystery cats”), is a bit more difficult. This book, unfortunately, does not have an index. I am an advocate of the fact that a good index in a good book like this makes it all the greater as a research tool. I am hopeful that a future edition of Arment’s book will add an index. Although I completely understand they are difficult to create, this excellent book would be a masterpiece with a comprehensive index.
That one minor shortcoming aside, Arment has done a wonderful job assembling this resource.
Varmints: Mystery Carnivores of North America is highly recommended for anyone truly interested in the most widespread of the natural history unknowns remaining in North American cryptozoology.
For those that understand that Bigfoot is not what most people see unidentified in the forests and backwoods of Canada, Mexico, and the United States, this is the book for you.