Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Sighting Investigations 101

My friend Steph has posted a very nice write-up over at her Skookum Qwest blog regarding how one should go about investigating an alleged cryptid sighting. This particular entry deals with an alleged sighting of a small bigfoot-like creature from a moving vehicle. It should be required reading for anyone serious about investigating sasquatch, or any other cryptid, sightings.

The write-up centers around a recreation of the incident Steph set up to test what could be discerned by the human eye at 10 mph. It should be noted that in the alleged sighting that inspired this experiment the witness was traveling at approximately 10 mph and claimed to have spotted a small 28-30 inch tall ape-like creature in a tree about 30-45 yards deep in a wooded area. A video tape of the recreation shows how difficult and unlikely it would be that any one could see so small an animal that deep in the forest while traveling at that speed.

Read her write up, entitled Testing Visual Detail Ability at 10 mph, here. I really admire the leg work that went into recreating the scenario described by the alleged witness. I do feel it is possible that the video makes it even more difficult to spot the target than it might be in real life. Distance and depth are distorted by video. All you have to do to realize this is to watch any golf tournament on tv. A green only 175 yards away from a golfer will look like it is a quarter of a mile away on television. Having said that, however, Steph's point is well taken and the lesson learned from it should not be wasted on anyone serious about getting to the truth about sighting reports.

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