Cryptids and UFOs—Is there a link?
This week supporter Josef L of Georgia, USA, tackles CMI on a perceived inconsistency on our part, re cryptids and UFOs. Andrew Lamb responds.
‘Lacerta simonyi’ (1891) by artist Peter Smit
I love your site, and the resources you provide. However, there is just something that I have always wondered about, and it has to do with your stance on cryptids, dinosaurs, and UFOs.
I have read a few articles on your site concerning some cryptids like the Loch Ness Monster, Mokele-Mbembe, and a few others here and there like the cryptids of Australian folklore. Your articles seem to speak of them favorably, and they are usually linked to dinosaurs as the possible explanation.
Now you’re probably wondering what any of this has to do with UFOs. But, I would venture to say, that the reported sightings of hidden creature is on the same level as UFOs. There is no evidence for UFOs except for eye-witness sightings, and imagination. The only real difference I see here, is a living plesiosaur like Nessie would help the creationists’ case while a UFO doesn’t. Do you see what I mean?
I would bet, that if you guys sat down and really thought about the possible existence, of say, Nessie, you’d come to the conclusion that it really isn’t feasible. But for some reason, you’re willing to put your skepticism aside when it comes to something that would help your case, but your skepticism is in full force when it comes to something harmful to your case, like UFOs.
Now, I hope you realize that I don’t believe in UFOs. All I’m saying is, is that I am seeing a lack of consistency here.
Thank you for your email, submitted via our website. We are glad our ministry has been a blessing to you, and we appreciate your encouraging words of support.
We do not reject the idea that some UFOs are real physical, observable phenomena, but we do reject the explanation that they are spacecraft flown by intelligent extraterrestrials. Rather we believe that residual UFOs (those attested to by credible witnesses, but not amenable to any natural or human explanations) are in some cases demonic manifestations. Throughout history fallen angels seem to have tended to manifest themselves in forms appropriate to the cultural susceptibilities of the time.1 I encourage you to browse the ‘Alien Life / UFO‘ section in our Frequently Asked Questions index on our website. For more, see our Aliens, UFO’s and the Bible DVD and particularly our book Alien Intrusion.
Photographed in the winter of 1870 and said to be the earliest photograph of a UFO. The image is half of a stereo photograph, depicting a cloud formation over Mount Washington in the state of New Hampshire, with a cigar-shaped object.
Re the Loch Ness Monster, we are skeptical of many cryptid claims, but, pending more complete information, e.g. regarding lack or sufficiency of potential food sources in Loch Ness, the oxygen levels in the lake, etc., we would not consider the idea of large aquatic creatures living in Loch Ness to be unfeasible. See the box item below for information on a large aquatic creature reported in a Chinese lake.
Even if a lake lacks adequate food sources to support large aquatic creatures, that would not necessarily mean that marine creatures could not reside there temporarily. Some lakes are connected to the sea, and it is not unknown for large marine creatures to enter fresh-water rivers and lakes. Sharks for example often swim up freshwater rivers as a means of clearing parasites from their gills. Occasionally a whale will swim up the Brisbane River, near where I live. (I mention this for the purpose of addressing your argument in general; I am not arguing that this necessarily applies in the Loch Ness case.)
Another point to consider is that some large sea creatures once considered mythical have been found alive. For example until a few decades ago the monstrous many-tentacled creatures that populate maritime lore were considered to be purely mythical, but in recent years several colossal squid have been found or captured. For an account of one, see our article Giants of the deep. For another, see the secular report Giant squid has world’s largest eyes.
In making the above points I am not arguing either for or against the existence of the ‘Loch Ness Monster,’ but merely explaining why we would not necessarily consider the idea of such a creature unfeasible.
Throughout history fallen angels seem to have tended to manifest themselves in forms appropriate to the cultural susceptibilities of the time.
Although the existence or non-existence of the Loch Ness Monster is of little consequence to us here at CMI (see Hanging Loose: What should we defend?) we recognize that there are people who are intensely preoccupied with such issues. We acknowledge that for UFO and cryptid zealots, the point you make about a similarity between belief in cryptids and belief in UFOs can be a very pertinent one. For example over the years at CMI I have received several letters from an individual claiming telepathic encounters with gigantic lizards in the forest. There is no doubt in my mind that his experiences, if genuine, are primarily demonic in nature, rather than herpetologic. (His experiences, as related by him, have much in common with those of UFO contactees.)
We are somewhat ambivalent about our various cryptid articles. We recognize that for most of them the evidence is far from decisive, and our intent is emphatically not to try to convince people that they are real. Rather, we endeavour to show how, if any do turn out to be true, such living creatures would be incredibly inconsistent with the evolutionary worldview, while fitting very easily into the biblical worldview.2 In this sense it is a potential comparative test of the explanatory powers of the competing evolutionary and biblical worldviews.3 Ultimately our faith and preoccupation is with Jesus Christ and the Bible, and not with any mere creatures, whether small or large, extinct or living.
The Lake Kanasi Monster fish
A creature of Olympian size and appetite is said to lurk in the depths of China’s Lake Kanasi. One encyclopedia says:
‘According to some popular Chinese folklore, a type of Taimen lives in Kanasi Lake in China and can weigh up to 4 tons. Scientific evidence has yet to verify the claim.’4 (The taimen is a variety of salmon.)
Lurid claims that this creature is a horse-devouring monster are no doubt exaggerated, however there exists good evidence, in the form of multiple eyewitness testimonies and video recordings, of large aquatic creatures inhabiting Lake Kanasi. Here are links to some relevant secular articles:
- Alien Life / UFO Questions and Answers
- Loch Ness ‘monster’ caught on video?
- Theropod and sauropod dinosaurs sighted in PNG?
- Mokele-mbembe: a living dinosaur?
- The classic book by Gary Bates, Alien Intrusion, documents this in detail. North American tribes saw ‘flying canoes’, rather than ‘spaceships’, e.g.. Return to text.
- It should also be noted that many ‘extinct’ organisms have turned up alive and well. For example the ‘dinosaur tree’, the Wollemi pine, was discovered to be alive a few years ago–‘like finding a live dinosaur’. Return to text.
- Consider, too: If we failed to report the evidence of tantalizing sightings, eyewitness reports, etc. and then one was found later, would we have properly done our job? Return to text.
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hucho_taimen, May 2008. Return to text.