Guide to Patagonia's Monsters & Mysterious beings

I have written a book on this intriguing subject which has just been published.
In this blog I will post excerpts and other interesting texts on this fascinating subject.

Austin Whittall

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

On Tourism and Cryptids

A cynical point of view regarding cryptozoology: the whole thing is a big lie made up to promote tourism.

This is not a new theme, actually, back in 1922, when an expedition was sent to hunt and capture a plesiosaur in Patagonia, some hinted that the whole thing was a publicity stunt to place Patagonia in the public eye.

In my book, I also suggested the same motive: [1]

Taking a more prosaic tack, some have suggested that the whole issue was made up by a local tycoon, Primo Capraro to promote Bariloche as an international tourist resort and, coincidentially, it was in 1922 that Argentina’s Federal government created the country’s first national park at Nahuel Huapi and set its headquarters in Bariloche.36 Frey was named its first Superintendent. [1]

I have already posted on this supposed PR stunt: Plesiosaur Carnival float which shows the headlines and the pageant at Bariloche to celebrated the expedition.

Russian Tourism and Yeti

Today I came across not one, but two articles on the famed Yeti cryptid, on regarding its appearance in Russia (below),[2] the other about a scientific expedition that is being organized in China to search it [3].

The Russian article is worth quoting regarding the "tourist" aspect:[2]

Creating a non-existant tourist attraction has a long pedigree. Visitors to Verona, Italy, have the chance to see Juliet's Balcony, inspired by the famous scene in Shakepeare's drama "Romeo and Juliet".
Meanwhile the Scottish city of Inverness has traded heavily on the nearby Loch Ness Monster to boost its tourist trade

The article adds: that these reports "about finding Bigfoot as fodder for gullible tourists" and that the site of the sightings was "an emerging tourist destination". [2]

The Russian yeti article can be found following the link below:

China to search for the Yeti

Regarding the Chinese, the Hubei Wild Man Research Association, are seeking international volunteers and funding (about 1 million Euros) from private organizations to search for the Yeti, which was last seen in 2007. Chinese are more open minded about cryptids and the government organized several expeditions in the 1970s and 80s to track down the beast. [3]

This seems to be a more serious effort and not something staged to promote a tourist site.

If you are wondering if yeti has a relative in Patagonia, the answer is yes, The Patagonian Bigfoot, which is not a bigfoot but some variety of hairy hominid that has been sighted all over Patagonia.


[1] Whittall, Austin. (2010) Book in preparation. To be published shortly. The Monsters of Patagonia: A Field Guide to its Giants, Dwarves, Lake Creatures and Forest Beasts
[2] Washington, Tom. Yeti to entice tourists to Siberia. The Moscow News. 12.10.2010.
[3] Peter Foster. China to embark on Yeti expedition . Telegraph. London. UK. 12.10.2010

Patagonian Monsters - Cryptozoology, Myths & legends in Patagonia
2010 International Year of Biodiversity Copyright 2009-2010 by Austin Whittall © 

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