Monday, June 15, 2015

Daily 2 Cents: Meet Matilda -- Scientists Who Believe in Bigfoot -- Hidden Secrets Found in Columbus' 1491 Map


Meet Matilda

A cat called Matilda has been raising eyebrows online due to her extremely unusual appearance.

While at first glance it might appear as though photographs of the unusual looking feline have been subjected to a fair amount of digital tampering in Photoshop, the truth of the matter is that Matilda really does sport a pair of enormous black eyes that make her look a little bit like an extraterrestrial.

Her peculiar appearance is due to a rare condition known as lens luxation which has unfortunately left her unable to see however she is not in any discomfort and still lives life to the full.

The fearless feline has even become something of an Internet celebrity after pictures of her appeared online and she now has her own website which can be found - here.

"I am a visitor here," her tongue-in-cheek Instagram account states. "Pay attention to me. Have you seen anyone else that looks like this? I'm seeking my kind."

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Hidden secrets found in Columbus' 1491 map

The map studied by Columbus before his trans-Atlantic voyage has been cleaned up using computer software.

Created by German cartographer Henricus Martellus, the highly detailed map was drawn up in the 15th century and is thought to have been used by Christopher Columbus himself.

The map was donated to Yale University in 1962 however after hundreds of years its markings had faded dramatically making it difficult to make out all of the original writing and details.

Now in an effort to get around this problem a team of researchers has used a technique known as multispectral-imaging which involves photographing the map in twelve different colors and then analysing the images using special computer software.

"We've recovered more information than we dared to hope for," said project leader Chet Van Duzer.

The method revealed a huge amount of previously hidden details on the map including numerous textual descriptions of the people who lived in various parts of the world at the time such as the 'Panotii' of Southern Asia who were said to have ears so large they could be used as sleeping bags.

Researchers studying the map also discovered that Martellus had used several different sources when creating it including the Egyptus Novelo map and text from 'The Travels of Marco Polo'.

"It's always interesting to learn how people conceived the world at that period in history," said Van Duzer. "The late 15th century was a time when people's image of the world was changing so rapidly."

"Even within Martellus's own career, what he was showing of the world expanded dramatically." - Hidden secrets found in Columbus' 1491 map

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Scientists Who Believe in Bigfoot

Bigfoot research is often the domain of amateur enthusiasts. But some highly educated scientists in relevant fields, such as primatology and anthropology, have expressed beliefs that Bigfoot exists or at least that he may exist and that this possibility should be taken seriously.

One such scientist, the late Dr. Grover S. Krantz, has been quoted by Bigfoot bloggers as saying: “Many major scientific breakthroughs are made by amateurs or by those who are only marginally involved in the fields in question.”

We will, however, take a brief look at some of the experts who have investigated Bigfoot. This is not a comprehensive review of their work or the evidence they feel supports Bigfoot claims, but simply an overview of some fascinating scientists who have often endured scorn from their colleagues but held fast to a belief that Bigfoot should be seriously studied.

Dr. Grover S. Krantz

Dr. Grover S. Krantz was born in 1931 in Salt Lake City. He obtained an M.A. in anthropology from the University of California–Berkely and his doctorate from the University of Minnesota. He was a beloved professor at Washington State University (WSU) for some 30 years until his retirement in 1998.

An obituary for Dr. Krantz in the WSU magazine praises his more conventional contributions to anthropology, but also mentions: “Despite widespread criticism and damage to his professional reputation, Grover stood by the scientific evidence he gathered and the methods he used to support the existence of Sasquatch (Bigfoot). He even traveled to Russia and China to investigate similar stories of a very large bipedal ape.”

Dr. Jane Goodall

Arguably the world’s most famous primatologist, Jane Goodall has expressed her belief in Bigfoot. She is widely recognized for her groundbreaking discoveries related to the behavior of chimpanzees. She initially faced hostilities from established scientists even regarding her chimpanzee research, which has now been embraced by the scientific community at large.

British anthropologist and primatologist Jane Goodall takes the hand of a Spider Monkey during her visit to the Rehabilitation Center and Primate Rescue, in Peñaflor, Chile, on Nov. 23, 2013. (Hector Retamal/AFP/Getty Images)
British anthropologist and primatologist Jane Goodall takes the hand of a Spider Monkey during her visit to the Rehabilitation Center and Primate Rescue, in Peñaflor, Chile, on Nov. 23, 2013. (Hector Retamal/AFP/Getty Images)

Regarding Bigfoot, “I’ve talked to so many native Americans who all describe the same sounds, two who have seen them,” she said during an interview with National Public Radio’s Ira Flatow on Friday, Sept. 27, 2002. With a keen interest in the topic, she has read much about it. Goodall said the accounts from all over the world of similar such creatures lead her to believe that Bigfoot’s possible existence should be taken seriously.

She admitted in 2012 to the Huffington Post that no “smoking gun” has been found—no indisputable Bigfoot body—but, “I’m not going to flat-out deny its existence.”

“I’m fascinated and would actually love them to exist.”

Dr. Samuel Sentell

Dr. Samuel Sentell has a private practice in neuropsychology in Louisiana. He holds Ph.D. degrees in medical science and psychology from Vanderbilt University. He is interested in studying Bigfoot from both a biological and a psychological perspective.

He wrote in a post on the Society for Scientific Exploration website in 2012: “Bigfoot/Sasquatch continues to be an area of great interest in our culture while science steadfastly resists examination of the anecdotal data in any comprehensive way. … Bigfoot phenomena are sometimes hoaxed but hoaxing can be studied within social psychology. Nevertheless, Bigfoot phenomena are not all hoaxes. Bigfoot is also an archetype of the human collective unconscious and can be studied within psychoanalytic, neuroethological and phenomenological disciplines.”

Dr. Sentell said he has personally “found anomalous scat and hair as well as other anecdotal evidence supporting the possibility of Sasquatch.”

Dr. John Bindernagel

John Bindernagel, B.S.A., M.S., Ph.D., is a Canadian wildlife biologist. He has posted a photo of himself with Jane Goodall alongside his autobiographical snippet on his website. Goodall is holding up the cast of an alleged Bigfoot print Dr. Bindernagel said he found in British Columbia, Canada, where he began conducting field research in 1975.

“[I] am much more concerned with addressing ecological questions such as how it overwinters in the colder regions of North America, than with dwelling on the controversy of whether it does or does not exist.”

Dr. Esteban Sarmiento

Esteban Sarmiento, Ph.D., is a biologist and primatologist who has worked as a functional anatomist at the American Museum of Natural History. While he does not claim that Bigfoot exists, he admits the possibility that it does and encourages careful scrutiny of evidence.

He attended the annual Texas Bigfoot Conference in 2009 and commented on a purported video clip of a Bigfoot in northern California—the so-called “Patterson-Gimlin film” shot in 1967. He said, according to BigfootEncounters.com: “If it’s real, this animal is exceedingly human-like.” He said the “Bigfoot” movements shown in the film do not resemble those of great apes.

Dr. LeRoy Fish

Dr. LeRoy Fish (1943–2002) received his doctorate in zoology and ecology from Washington State University. As a retired wildlife ecologist, he dedicated much effort as a consultant to the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization. - Scientists Who Believe in Bigfoot

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Purple Frog or Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensis. It is also known as a pig-nose frog but that one tends to elicit immature giggles. This particular burrowing frog inhabits the Western Ghats Mountains of Southern India. When the species was discovered in 2003, scientists believed it was a living fossil that had split up from other frogs 150 million years ago. Subsequently it didn’t change much thereafter.

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