Hunting for Crypto Creatures

Mark Mihalko tells of his field experience, and offers advice for investigators

Mark A. Mihalko.

EVERY FEW MONTHS or so, a major new species of animal is discovered in some remote part of the world. These revelations are reminders that here in the beginning of the 21st Century, there remain many undiscovered creatures out there – some of which have been dismissed by science as mere myth.

There is so much that is unexplored on this planet – both on dry land and beneath the waters – that we must wonder what fantastic animals are still hidden from identification.


Are you interested in searching for these elusive creatures? Are you hungry to know the truth about the Sasquatch, the Jersey Devil, Chupacabras and lake monsters? People who investigate and go in search of such creatures are known as cryptozoologists, and Mark A. Mihalko is one of them. Mark is founder of the Atlantic Coast Paranormal Research Group (ACPRG), director of the cryptozoological research team for the Smoking Gun Research Agency (SGRA) and is the Editorial Director for Haunted Times magazine.

As a respected field investigator, Mark takes a strictly scientific approach to the hunt for crypto creatures. And he reveals his methods in his book, Searching the Abyss: A Beginner’s Guide to Cryptozoological Investigations (Publish America, 2005). Aside from providing profiles of many of the more well-known cryptids, Mark’s book explains how to begin an investigation, how to conduct a field investigation and then form a hypothesis from your findings, all in a professional manner.

Famous cryptozoological success stories, such as the coelacanth and the giant panda, are also discussed. It’s a great book for getting you started in this field.


Mark took some time out from his busy schedule to answer a few questions for us:

How did you get involved with cryptozoological investigations, and how long have you been doing it?

I have always been a person who loved the unexplained. Growing up in Pennsylvania, I experienced ghosts and hauntings, and wanted to learn as much as possible. From there, other unexplained things came into my mind: the Bermuda Triangle, Atlantis and Bigfoot were some of the first (as with most people). As those interests grew, so did my thoughts of discovering an unknown creature like the Loch Ness Monster. I know that animals like that exist and have always wanted to be involved with the discovery. When I finally had the chance to start exploring some of these creatures on my own about 15 years ago, I did just that. Of course, being in the US Navy limits my availability, but whenever I have a chance to get into the field, I do. Right now, I am in the process of researching the Dismal Swamp Monster from local legends.

Next page: Closest call and pterosaurs

What has been your most interesting find (or closest call) so far?

Probably the Big Cat (Mountain Lion) I was investigating while I lived in Connecticut. During the days and hours I spent in the field, I came across some great evidence to the existence of some type of large cat-like creature that went hand-in-hand with eyewitness reports. Unfortunately, I didn’t find enough solid evidence to prove the skeptics wrong, but there is definitely no doubt in my mind that this animal is not as extinct as the state would like everyone to believe.

What crypto creature out there do you find most fascinating?

The Jersey Devil! This is one of my favorites. It has so many different theories of existence and such a storied history. Looking back to when it was most active in reports (way before the Internet), it is hard to imagine so many people from across such a large area experiencing the same thing.

Which crypto creature do you think has the best chance of being proved real in the near future?

In the near-term I think that the Tasmanian Tiger will be rediscovered. As for a ground-breaking new discovery, I think that the rain forests in South America or the thick jungles in Africa will reveal some type of dinosaur-like creature.

What is your opinion of the alleged sightings of pterosaurs?

I do feel that it is only a matter of time before someone comes across the evidence proving pterosaurs are real. The legends of pterosaurs have been passed down by generations and by totally different cultures across the globe and when you think of some of the areas of the sightings, isn’t it possible that these creatures hid away in caves to beat extinction?

People thought that the giant panda was a myth until it was discovered, and it was passed down the same way.

What's the one, best piece of advice you can give to someone who wants to begin investigating these creatures?

Patience! The areas that these unknown animals are seen in are vast and there is no way that one trip into the woods will net a discovery.

I think so far I have logged something like 75 hours in the Dismal Swamp and have only covered a fraction of it. I still have hope that something exists and will continue to search.

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Your Citation
Wagner, Stephen. "Hunting for Crypto Creatures." ThoughtCo, Aug. 31, 2016, Wagner, Stephen. (2016, August 31). Hunting for Crypto Creatures. Retrieved from Wagner, Stephen. "Hunting for Crypto Creatures." ThoughtCo. (accessed November 17, 2017).