Founded in 1989 by writer James A. Clark, scientist Dr. Paul LeBlond and journalist John Kirk, the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club (B.C.S.C.C.) comprises a broadly-based membership of enthusiasts dedicated to the investigation of various animals as yet unidentified by science. We are actively engaged year-round in many different aspects of exciting fieldwork.
Some of these include, but are not solely confined to the African cryptid Mokele-mbembe – a possible living dinosaur, marine and aquatic megaserpents such as those said to inhabit Okanagan Lake, Lake Champlain and in the oceans of the world, nor are they limited to bipedal hirsute hominids or hominoids of the likes of the North American Sasquatch, the Himalayan Yeti varieties, the Almas of Russia and Mongolia, the Yiren of China and the Nguoi Rung of Vietnam. Our interests also extend to a variety of other unusual and wonderful animals that are not yet found in taxanomic volumes or in textbooks.
The BCSCC is committed to exploration, research, investigation and also to maintaining databases on cryptozoological animals from all over the globe. In this we involve our membership which is both broad and international in scope. We pride ourselves in conducting ongoing fieldwork in a number of different locations in British Columbia as well as across the face of the globe. Without fieldwork there is no practical reason for our existence and so it is that we are resolved to continue to work actively – wherever we need to – in a bid to locate and catalogue unknown animals of every kind.
The BCSCC is extremely active in fieldwork and in the year 2006 actively investigated reports of aquatiic megaserpents of the lacustrean and marine varieties in Canada, England, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland; sasquatch, giant salamanders, out-of-place felids, unknown cameloids and possible surviving giant sloths, are all thought to be native to British Columbia and we have concentrated many of our efforts on these animals in the past year. Members from outside the province will also be investigating a large number of cryptids reported to exist in other regions around the world in the coming year while the BC membership will be strongly focused on sasquatch and marine and freshwater megaserpents in our home province.
Let it be clearly known that the BCSCC is a scientific body which follows the accepted principles of orthodox zoology in regard to establishing the existence of new species of animals. Our mandate is to ascertain where they fit into the greater picture in the realm of natural history. We do not subscribe in any way, shape or form to any ludicrous paranormal, occultic or supernatural viewpoints when discussing the nature and origins of such animals. The BCSCC is rigidly scientific and does not entertain speculative pseudo-scientific notions about these animals is it is hard enough making a case for them as flesh and blood biological entities without having to deal with quasi-scientific nonsense.
It is the firm conviction of the BCSCC, its executive and membership that all cryptozoological animals must, by nature, belong to the Systemica natura of the animal kingdom. Our membership is in full agreement with this principle and is composed of persons from all walks of life ranging from scientists to interested laypeople. Those who are inclined toward non-scientific research into these animals are advised that this site and the BCSCC would not be of interest to them.
Cryptozoology: Our Definition
The word “cryptozoology” was introduced into multilingual usage by the late Dr. Bernard Heuvelmans, a most distinguished scientist and Honorary Life President of the BCSCC, and is applied to describe animals as yet unclassified by science. Cryptozoology – when translated from the original Greek kruptos or “hidden” and logos or “study” – literally means the “study of hidden animals”. These animals are only hidden in so far that they remain elusive and a specimen has not yet been introduced as a holotype for taxanomic purposes. Although Dr. Heuvelmans brought the word into broad usage, it is often pointed out that Ivan T. Sanderson was using the word before Heuvelmans introduced it.
It is also a little known fact that the word “Cryptid” which is widely-used to describe cryptozoological animals was actually coined by long-time BCSCC Member, John Wall of Manitoba, Canada. Cryptids may be animals as mundane as new species of mice or as exotic as animals such as Memphre an unknown animal living in the waters of Lake Memphremagog on the Quebec/Vermont border. Irrespective of the size and type of animals, the discovery and investigation of all animals is vitally important to our understanding of nature.
Educating people in regard to how cryptids should be properly regarded is part of our mandate. We are also called upon to assist television production companies, radio programs and those in the printed media with informative and educational works depicting the search for cryptids and the individuals behind these endeavours. Please contact the BCSCC at firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to have a speaker for your event. We also happily lecture in elementary and high schools and are often invited to conduct meetings for the student body at universities in our home province.
Expeditions and Investigations
Club members have participated in a variety of cryptozoological ventures. One of our most important ventures involved BCSCC members teaming up with Cryptosafari to search for the Mokele-mbembe in west-central Africa. At present members of the BCSCC executive are also part of the autonomous CaddyScan project. In British Columbia, we are strongly allied with Westcoast Sasquatch, with whom we conduct much of our sasquatch field investigations. We are also closely linked to the Texas Bigfoot Research Conservancy and are active supporters of the TBRC conferences.
We have also launched more than half a dozen expeditions to Okanagan Lake to obtain evidence for the existence of Ogopogo, a large aquatic animal bearing a strong resemblance to sea serpents reported throughout the ages. At least seven club members have sighted the creature on several occasions and some interesting footage of the animal has been recorded on videotape. Several members of the BCSCC have found sasquatch footprints as well as a nest possibly created by the enigmatic hominid, whilst a field investigator has encountered two of the animals while at work in Northern British Columbia.
While engaged in cryptid investigations we frequently use video, digital and film cameras including those equipped with motion sensors and the DVMS system which takes 60 photos a minute, night scopes, and often use borrowed sonar and underwater photography equipment. Our goal is to eventually own our own thermal imaging equipment, underwater cameras, sonar equipment and a manned submersible.
We have often worked in partnerships with television companies who have supplied the equipment and we are grateful to Nippon Television of Japan and National Geographic in particular for making some of our expeditions possible.
Accredited Field Investigators
The BCSCC recognizes a number of individuals as accredited field investigators who may work under the banner of the club and these may be found on our committee page.
Other members may become accredited investigators by showing the necessary competency on fieldwork investigations conducted by the club. The fact that we do carry out fieldwork and encourage members to do so wherever they are in the world, prompts many people to apply to the BCSCC for membership. If you have an interest in being part of a fieldwork investigation please get in touch with us.