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The 'Dr Darren Naish is an idiot because he's only just decided that monsters (like the #LochNessMonster) aren't real' story continues to have legs in the global press today. Here's a thread...
(1) I've most certainly not spent the last 20 years searching for monsters. I think I told a journalist that I've been publishing on monsters for about 20 years (my 1st articles on the subject date to 1996, so 23 years); they must have taken the figure from this...
(2) I've never been a dedicated monster hunter. Rather, the cryptozoological stuff is something I do on the side and certainly not the way I make a living, which is what is implied in some of these articles. I'm mostly known for my palaeozoological writings...
(3) My articles from the 1990s - written when I was very young - do champion the possibility that lake and sea monsters might be real, unknown species. BUT...
... I modified this view fairly quickly, and my view for most of this century has been that monsters are a mixture of misidentification, culture and belief - a socio-psychological/cultural event more than a zoological one.
I emphatically cannot be pinpointed as someone who's been championing or supporting the flesh-and-blood reality of monsters. In fact I spend a lot of time arguing with people who support such views. The evidence does not support flesh-and-blood claims of monster existence.
(4) All of the new online news articles promote the idea that I pushed the lack of good digital photos of monsters as if it was the nail in the coffin for monster existence. I do think that the lack of photographic evidence - especially in this age - counts for something. BUT...
... I didn't mention this point in my talk, nor is it relevant to the argument that monsters are cultural events rather than real animals.
The 'where are the digital photos' thing was bought up in the Q&A afterwards by a journalist who saw it as a potential hook for a news piece... and here we are, with hack pieces like this one...
My current thoughts on #monsters can be examined in my 2017 book #HuntingMonsters (…), as well as in my technical articles and material published at #TetZoo (like:…). #cryptozoology
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