By John Salak –
Sure, tons of people claim to have seen a Big Foot-type creature and a lot of these witnesses are perfectly credible. In fact, some surveys report that about 15 percent of individuals queried believe Big Foots are poking around in the deep woods.
But the belief in legendary creatures and spooks doesn’t stop with these humanoids. These same surveys note that about 45-50 percent of people believe in ghosts and another 10-13 percent believe in vampires. A separate, less scientific survey had over 60 percent of respondents claiming that the Loch Ness Monster might be more than a myth.
These surveys, of course, didn’t touch on UFOs and aliens. They have amazing support. Recent reports indicate perhaps 35 percent of people believe UFOs are alien-based, while almost twice that percentage supports the notion that alien life exists on distant planets. Heck, even President Jimmy Carter wasn’t afraid to announce he saw a UFO in Georgia in 1969.
Ultimately, it’s really no surprise that there is a lot of interest and belief in ghosts, vampires, aliens and other and phenomena. Some of the support for the unproven is driven by reason, logic and probability, especially when it comes to things like UFOs and the potential for life on other planets. But what about vampires, ghosts, swamp monsters or things like the chupacabra, a legendary creature that looks creepy and reportedly can do a blood-sucking number on livestock?
Apparently, people just can’t help themselves. “Many people quite simply just want to believe,” Brian Cronk, a professor at Missouri Western State University told Livescience.com. “The human brain is always trying to determine why things happen, and when the reason is not clear, we tend to make up some pretty bizarre explanations.”
Personal belief also factors in. Academics note that individuals actively practicing religion are generally less likely to embrace the possibility of legendary creatures in part because their faith tends to make them focus on one deity. Less religious people or those who aren’t religious at all are much more likely to consider these fringe possibilities, especially if they are spiritual in a non-denominal sense.
“Christians and New Agers, paranormalists, etc. all have one thing in common: a spiritual orientation to the world,” noted Baylor University Professor Carson Mencken. This makes many of them more open to accepting the possibility of aliens, ghosts or even Big Foots.
Being open to the unknown or unproven isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s healthy to be willing to accept the possibility that something yet unknown may be right around the corner or perhaps be hiding in the deep woods.
There is, however, a difference between being open and promoting the whacked. It can be especially disturbing when an advocate is, well, a world leader.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador underscored this concern recently when he posted a photo of an Aluxe on his social media account. By the way, an Aluxe is a mischievous woodland spirit that comes from Mayan folklore. It is like an elf.
At first take, some thought Mexico’s chief executive was joking. Apparently not. When posting the photo, he noted it “was taken three days ago by an engineer, it appears to be an aluxe.” He then added: “everything is mystical.”
López Obrador has always expressed reverence for indigenous cultures and beliefs. Supporting the notion that aluxes, which date back perhaps 2,500 years, are still poking around in trees and whatnot would definitely pay homage to these beliefs.
But no matter how much he may want to believe, regardless of his own religious convictions, claiming that elf-like creatures may be running around the woods and jungles of Mexico is a bit of a stretch and somewhat disconcerting.
But each to their own.