A few months ago Cryptozoology News broke like gangbusters on the fortean scene, posting great stories about women who breastfeed Bigfoot babies, sasquatches roaming Detroit’s ruins, and trolls stalking the British railway system. Mainstream outlets made note of their articles, like the Litchfield yeti, and sites dedicated to anomalies and mysteries dutifully linked back to the best tales.
Trouble was, they were all good. Almost too good.
A couple times a year a big, weird story will make headlines. The kind denialists, and big-S skeptics, can’t easily write off as a drunk seeing Venus through swamp gas, but Cryptozoology News appeared to have a hotline straight from the ascended Himalayan masters. With joke sites like The Onion, and the late, lamented Weekly World News, no one could blame the fortean community for being doubtful. When a skeptical news website made a strong case for Cryptozoology News being a Poe site, everyone lost interest, moving on, the chupacabras was out of the bag.
Or was it?
On Monday, The Anomalist received an email from Michael Bachman, news editor at Cryptozoology News, addressing our site, and the greater weird community.
For review is Michael’s letter, unexpurgated, reprinted with his permission, and without further commentary.
To whom it may concern:My name is Michael Bachman. I am the news editor at Cryptozoology News. I am writing you today to inform you that you and many others have mistakenly classified us as a “poe” site when that is not true. We found out this started about two months ago.Apparently, some people –not you– looking to discredit every piece of paranormal news –not just ours–, jumped to conclusions because of a disclaimer we had on our site. Even though sometimes they have done a good job trying to debunk other sites, in this case the message was taken out of context. They read between the lines and hastily constructed a story implying that we were something like “The Onion“. We are not. Perhaps we chose the wrong words for our disclaimer, we can understand that. However, while we appreciate and encourage skepticism (we admit some of the reports sound outlandish, but if you read our articles, we usually write about possible alternative explanations), we also realize that people could have taken a better approach by simply e-mailing us and asked directly about their concerns. Instead, our work was erroneously given an artistic satirical attribute based on speculation. If we were satirical, we would have said it clearly. We are in no way mocking anybody either. We take our news seriously and respect believers and non-believers alike.We hope that the following will help clarify who we are and what we do:From Bigfoot encounters, to humanoid sightings and UFOs, we cover a variety of topics. We receive eyewitness accounts via e-mail quite often. The stories they tell us may or may not be true, we have no control over that. We try to verify each and one of them, but that is not always possible; some people want to provide their full name, some don’t; some ask us to keep a low profile about their personal information, others encourage us to share it; some request a change of their names or to remain anonymous, which is understandable. Some don’t even want to provide their location. This is not uncommon in this field of work, and we are not the only ones, as you can see on the following news report. Therefore, a disclaimer was put in place in order to warn readers that they should do their own research prior to publication on their websites or media outlets.When we have found certain discrepancies in an eyewitness account and believed it shouldn’t be investigated any further, we have updated the article in order to reflect the pertinent changes. This is the case of the story of the Yeti sighting in Litchfield, Maine. There are many others that have been deleted.You know that some people can e-mail or report false stories. Also not uncommon, some go as far as to put on a costume to create a fake sighting (and unfortunately some get hurt in the process). If one doesn’t exercise extreme caution, some non-facts may go unnoticed and end up being published. This is what we were referring to in our disclaimer. Things like these happen daily all across the internet. We can not warranty the accuracy of eyewitness reports.Again, we have no control over that, although we try our best at discarding non facts.Regarding copyrights, it is our understanding that the stories belong to the eyewitness in case of adaptation to a work of fiction, such as a film or a novel. That is way different from claiming that we are fiction. We are not. In fact, many of our news are similar, if not identical, to other sites of the same nature as ours (including yours). When we use pictures, they are stock pictures unless the eyewitness provide us with one. This is also common protocol in news reporting if you can’t get an actual picture related to the particular event. We have always credited the photographer the appropriate way where applicable. In the same way, the ideas, format, theories, concepts and some of the design, etc, belong to Cryptozoology News.We take pride in what we do and we are passionate about it, but always keeping a neutral point of view. We report the information people give us.But we do more than that; we interview book authors, discuss scientific theories, and on rare occasions, travel to other places for an interview with a witness to write a feature article.We truly respect your work and consider The Anomalist a reliable source of information hard to match.Thank you for taking the time to read our message. If you have any questions please let us know.Keep up the good work.Best regards,