Saturday, March 01, 2008

Farewell, Scott Norman

Who is Scott T. Norman? Those not involved in cryptozoology won't know, and perhaps won't care. But they should.
Scott, who died this past week from a blood clot at the too-young age of 45, is an example of an overlooked figure in science these days, the dedicated amateur enthusiast. Such people have always been the unsung heroes of science. With the exception of some specialized groups (bird-counters and asteroid hunters come to mind), 21st-century science tends to pay little heed to the amateur.
Scott was enraptured by cryptozoology only in the last decade of his tragically short life, but he threw himself into the quest to learn more about the unconfirmed animals that might be out there. In addition to creating some of the leading websites to collect and disseminate information, Scott befriended almost everyone in this field, shared his enthusiasm with everyone he met, and, most significantly, put his money and his body where his heart was. Scott went tramping through the least-known regions of Africa, largely at his own expense, to chase down reports of unknown apes and reptiles.
He never found anything definitive, but that's not the point. The point is that cryptozoology, science in general, and the world at large need people like Scott.
We'll miss you, Scott. I hope you have your answers now.

Cryptozoological Realms, just one of Scott's Web endeavors, is found here:

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