Thursday, December 24, 2015

Turnaround is Fair Play

    This month’s edition of the Journal of Simian Anthropology included the publication of a groundbreaking study underwritten by the Idyll-Beast Research Center. “Cryptid Infiltration of a Hominid Population in the San Jacinto Mountains” was described by its author as a...
“noninvasive interdisciplinary study of the cognitive and communicative capabilities"
…of a community most readers will recognize.

    This researcher has become known as “Idyll-Beast Goodall.”  Resemblances between the Beast and the eponymous primatologist have left some accusing Idy of stealing her Curriculum Vitae from Jane Goodall’s Wikipedia page. The CV recounts that as a beastling, her parents gave her a lifelike human doll; neighbors worried it would cause nightmares, but instead it was the beginning of a lifelong fascination with other primates.
    She became perhaps the first Idyll-Beast ever accepted into a human society. The animal served 26 months as a Member of the Board of Directors of the local Chamber of Commerce, first appointed and then elected. As the lowest ranking animal in the troop she staffed the Chamber visitor center, answering phone calls and e-mails, and participated in grooming rituals called “Board Meetings.”

    Living among humans, she began to identify individuals. giving them names: Fifi, Fido, Spot, Bowser, a controversial practice held by critics as reducing objectivity. And just as Goodall has expressed belief in or fascination with Sasquatch or Yeti, Idyll-Beast expresses a belief in or fascination with Jane Goodall. And certainly the two seem to employ similar techniques, for better or worse:
Offering them snacks they become more accustomed to my presence, lose their natural shyness. Actually this species is not that shy. Some walk right up and begin petting you. This makes me think that they have been previously domesticated. I understand that they have repeatedly attempted to domesticate one another, to treat each other as beasts of burden. They are a kind of expert in the sphere of domestication, and with certain exceptions, specifically the cat, tend to bamboozle or ambush the other species into exploitative relationships. Even within the species, and even within their “domestic” relations, these sometimes violent tendencies can be observed….

…The exchange of food “gifts” and sharing of discovered snacking fodder seems important to them, as in the other chimps. Obviously mothers have the first part in this, Dad brings home the bacon, and the concept of sharing is part of the sibling relation and is crucial to the forming of alliances, including courtship. What could be more important to communal living and family life than table manners? Eating with another animal makes you generally well disposed to them, if they have good manners. They consider the teaching of manners to dogs an art form, and hold competitions…

Upcoming publications include an article in the Journal of Speculative Primatology, co-written with Noam Chimpsky and Kanzi.
Keep warm people. Good luck on your research, and Happy Hollidays

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

From the Archives of the Idyll-Beast Research Center

     From time to time we like to poke around in the old archives and dust off a bit of evidence from the more or less distant past. This week's gem reminds us how one Idyllwild old-timer, Ernie Maxwell,  imagined the Beast.
     We could discuss probable height and weight, the length of the arms, the articulation of the knees and hips, all in the name of trying to dismiss the possibility that the cartoon depicts a man in a fur suit. We could present expert opinions as to the state of the art in fur suit making the year the cartoon was published, and the possibility of an Idyllwild resident (perhaps even Maxwell himself) having such a suit.

     But all this misses the point. Emax was a credible artist, and although his cartoons of people were described by one editor as "grotesque," his Idyll-Beast is quite sleek. It's hairstyle correlates well with modern sightings. He seems to have outdone himself with realism, to have pushed the self-imposed limits of the cartoonist's medium to bring the reader face to face with the Beast. And for that we salute him.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Let's Dance!

     The internet is full of mysterious video. Twenty Most Convincing Bigfoot Sightings. Top Ten UFO Cases. Twenty Five Things You Should Never Do If You Are Over Forty. The Greg Jones Band's new video for their song "Milwaukee Step." This last item features a number of Idyllwild locations and residents, including  what appear to be actor Connor O'Farrel and an Idyll-Beast. 

      As usual, the evidence leaves a lot to the imagination;  Is that really Connor or is it a costume? What's with that tie?  Did they train him to do that or is it a case of "monkey see, monkey do?" Is Conner getting scale for this?  And as to the Beast,  how did he get involved?  Was the inclusion of these two subjects intentional or did their images just "show up" when the tape was reviewed? The producers of the video have so far declined to comment. The clips do provide an answer to one old question; "can they dance?"
      New evidence often illuminates older material.  Greg's toe-tapping ode to leaving behind a bad love may be the missing link cryptozoologists have long sought. After a detailed and exhaustive analysis, I feel confident that we now know what the lumbering, black-furred biped seen in the famous Paterson/Gimlin film was doing....  He (or she) was doing the Milwaukee Step.

Saturday, July 18, 2015


The "selfie" (or selfy) is an emerging popular artform in our new century, and "selfies" with the Idyll-Beast make up a unique genre of cryptozoological evidence. This example was received in late May, but a close examination suggests that it may have been taken at the 2015 Date Festival in February. It is an interior shot taken with a shaft of natural light, and the blue and red panels behind the animals recall the color scheme of the Idyllwild backdrop used at conventions and other events.
The creature on the left is apparently "Sophie." The one on the right "Idy."  Although it is not recommended to attempt "selfies" with bears, bison, sharks or other ill-tempered (and often hungry) wildlife, the Idyll-Beast is notable for its tolerance of the casual composition and haphazard framing that so often befall the beginning "Selfie-ist."  Sophie may not have managed to center the faces in the frame, but she captured the spirit of inter-species comraderie that motivates the Beast to seek out photo-ops like this.  We look forward to seeing the rest of her face sometime soon. See you in Idyllwild, Sophie!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Save the Date

     These two photos were submitted by anonymous researchers attending this year's Riverside County Fair and National Date Festival. They certainly seem to be enjoying themselves, and why not? Many contactees call their Beast encounters "peak" experiences, akin to reaching the top of a mountain, having their first child, or eating funnel cakes and then getting on one of those human centrifuge experiment rides.

     The Idyllwild corner of the "Taj Mahal" has been something of an oaisis in the heat and crass commercialism of the Fair. In the cool and realative quiet of the "non-profit" pavillion one can learn about date agriculture or the Salton Sea. Admire baked goods. Or meet the Idyll-Beast. Enter an imaginary forest, relax and chat about Idyllwild. Take a photo, maybe spin the wheel and win a prize (if you are under 14.)

     We certainly are there selling something, but its a soft sell, low pressure. We're not trying to close the deal or take your money. And although the Idyll-Beast paws at passing deep fried zucchini and ice-cream cones, his snacking has been limited to things the demonstration chefs pass out, and the chocolates the Nature Center representative hands out as "prizes."

    See you in Idyllwild!