Consistency in eyewitness reports of aquatic "monsters"

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Little work has been undertaken on the consistency/repeatabilityof reports of natural historical anomalies. Such information is usefulin understanding the reporting process associated with such accountsand distinguishing any underlying biological signal. Here we used intraclasscorrelation as a measure of consistency in descriptions of a variety of quantitative features from a large collection of firsthand accounts of apparentlyunknown aquatic animals (hereafter “monsters”) in each of two differentcases. In the first case, same observer, same encounter (sose), the correlationwas estimated from two different accounts of the same event from thesame witness. In the second case, the correlation was between two differentobservers of the same event (dose). Overall, levels of consistency weresurprisingly high, with length of monster, distance of monster to the witness,and duration of encounter varying between 0.63 and 1. Interestingly,there was no evidence that sose accounts generally had higher consistencythan dose accounts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-26
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Scientific Exploration
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2016


  • Cryptozoology
  • Eyewitness testimony
  • Memory confirmity
  • Anecdote


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