These are great times to be a skeptic interested in monsters and things that go bump in the night!
CSI Senior Research Fellow Joe Nickell has a new book out soon called Tracking the Man-Beasts: Sasquatch, Vampires, Zombies, and More. According to its promo copy on Amazon.com, “This is an intelligent and insightful journey into the shadowy world of the ‘man-beast’ and whether they truly exist…If legend, and eyewitness accounts are to be believed, since ancient times we have shared our planet with various ‘man-beasts’. From the Abominable Snowman to Zombies, these creatures have managed to both terrify and enthrall us in equal measure. Does the enduring fascination in movies and literature with vampires and werewolves have any basis in reality? Does Bigfoot really exist as an endangered species? Are aliens really abducting people? Are they real creatures or only expressions of our very human hopes and fears? In “Tracking the Man-Beasts”, veteran paranormal investigator Joe Nickell explores the historical, geographical, and cultural reaches of various ‘manimals’ and other humanoid entities, bringing folkloric and iconographic evidence to bear on a category of mystery as old as humanity.”
Sounds awesome, doesn’t it?
Well it gets better, because there’s more! I am of course referring, however modestly, to my own brand-spankin’ new book, Tracking the Chupacabra: The Vampire Beast in Fact, Fiction, and Folklore . It’s available now, and details can be found at Chupacabra Mystery.com
“Among the monsters said to roam the world s jungles and desolate deserts, none is more feared than the chupacabra, the blood-sucking beast blamed for the mysterious deaths of thousands of animals since the 1990s. To some it is a joke; to many it is a very real threat and even a harbinger of the apocalypse. Originating in Latin America yet known worldwide, the chupacabra is a contradictory and bizarre blend of vampire and shapeshifter, changing its appearance and characteristics depending on when and where it is seen. Rooted in conspiracy theory and anti-American sentiment, the beast is said to be the result of Frankenstein-like secret U.S. government experiments in the Puerto Rican jungles. Combining five years of careful investigation (including information from eyewitness accounts, field research, and forensic analysis) with a close study of the creature’s cultural and folkloric significance, Radford’s book is the first to fully explore and try to solve the decades-old mystery of the chupacabra.”
But hold on to your hats, monster-loving skeptics, because we’re not done yet.
There are two more skeptical cryptozoology books coming down the pike later this year, or early 2012 (assuming the world doesn’t end, of course). Junior Skeptic’s own Daniel Loxton is co-authoring a book about lake monsters, specializing in the Loch Ness Monster and a few others. He’s uncovered some exciting new stuff which I can’t tell you about because the book isn’t finished, but it’s well on its way.
Next up, skeptical researcher and sociologist R obert Bartholomew will be publishing a book on Champ, the Lake Champlain monster! Yes, he’s got a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the search for the aquatic beast, and the curious personalities behind it.
We don’t have exact titles or publishing dates for these last two, but stay tuned because they’ll be out before you know it. Never before has there been such a wide variety of skeptical materials on monsters available, and Loxton’s and Bartholomew’s books (along with Lake Monster Mysteries, which Joe and I co-wrote) should certainly provide the definitive word on these beasts!