A new name is trending on the Cryptozoology Top 10 list:
• Bigfoot (aka Sasquatch)
• Nessie (Loch Ness Monster)
• Abominable Snowman (Yeti)
• Bunyip (Australia)
• Chupacabra (or "goat sucker" of Central and South America)
• Giant Squid
• Swamp Monster
• Donald Trump's hair
Lagarfljotsormur is the name of an alleged lake-bound giant worm filmed by all accounts rational, salt-of-the sheep farmer, Hjortur Kerulf, in a remote area of Iceland. His story, and worm video, is included on this account reported on ABC Nightline (sorry for the unavoidable commercial lead-in):
Occurrences such as this inevitably stir up debate. Are such creatures, or cryptids (whose study is indeed known as cryptozoology) mere folklore? Myths? Entertaining storytelling legends?
Skeptics think the image in the video is just a stray fishing net. After his experience, Hjortur the Icelandic sheep farmer is not entirely sure. Neither is a bright, clear-eyed, sharp-minded engineer, Wayne Dimmig, here in the Pacific Northwest who oversees a hiking club for Boeing employees.
Last year I wrote a story for The Seattle Times about Wayne, his club and the countless hours he has spent in the Cascade Mountains backcountry within a few hours of Seattle.
Late one night near a trailhead, Wayne recalled spotting a large, shadowy, 2-legged figure in some trees maybe 100 feet away. It turned, bashed its way through the brush and vanished. Sasquatch? "That or a survivalist," Dimmig said, realizing that to some he might sound like a loon for uttering such speculation. He just shrugged.
In my hundreds of nights in the backcountry I've heard some mysterious things go bump in the night but have yet to see anything monstrous (other than my own reflection in a pond) or legendary. How about you. Does even a small percentage of your brain think Sasquatch or Nessie or others of their ilk inhabit the outdoors? Ever cross paths with something you couldn't (and maybe still can't) explain? Do tell.