Getting ready to take on monsters next. I'm waiting on some research responses for the ghost chapter, so it might even be the last one to get written. But monsters is what I'm going to tackle, when I'm done wading through the Good Book.
Of all the stuff in this book I would most like to be real, I'd like for it to be monsters. And, I suppose, in a way, they are. New species are uncovered all the time - but that's not the same as an honest-to-goodness mythical monster. Monsters and ghosts were my first foray into the "paranormal." And when I'm out in the woods I still keep alert for Bigfoot.
I have a plan for the day I run into Bigfoot. Everyone who sees him is terrified of Bigfoot. If they have a gun, they never shoot him - if they have a camera they always seem too afraid to snap a good photo. Not me. When I see Bigfoot I'm going to come at him like white on rice! I'm going to leap on Bigfoot and throttle him with my barehands. Then I'm going to load him into the trunk of my car and drive back to Washington, and right up the middle of the National Mall, honking my horn and shouting - with cops trailing behind just like in the Blues Brothers.
And then I'm going to drive right up the steps of National Museum of Natural History and dump Bigfoot's corpse in front of those big brass doors and demand my goddamned Nobel Prize.
Harsh, you might say? Yes. But I'm sick of screwing around with Bigfoot. He's so damned cute and coy, sneaking around like he does. Thousands of people have seen him and he's left behind tantalizing hair and poop samples and, of course, those giant footprints. But that's it!! No fossils, no bones, no hard evidence. Well, if Bigfoot runs into Jerry, his days are numbered! I want my Nobel Prize!
OK. Time to calm down...back to monsters. The key difference between "monster hunters" - or cryptozoologists, as they like to be called - and "real" scientists is, of course, faith. The monster hunters believe that what they're looking for is real. They have faith that the thing is out there - they've made up their minds that Bigfoot or Nessie is a real creature and they've convinced themselves that if they just look hard enough, they'll be the one to find them. In this respect, they're just like the Biblical archaeologists that search for Noah's ark - they have faith that the events of the Bible are real, therefore the ark simply has to be out there somewhere.
Of course, science doesn't work that way. Scientists study a holistic environmental system - whether it's unexplored caves or unexplored island jungles. They are accumulating knowledge about a whole host of intellectual concerns, and if they find a new species as a result, bonus points!! Cryptozologists are trying to prove a point - they're tring to affirm their faith into reality. That's why monsters deserve a chapter in a book on faith.
But as for Bigfoot - I'm watching you, dude.