ParaDebate: The Case of the Fresno Nightcrawler

Among those serious about paranormal investigation, debate is an important thing.  Many will tell you that it’s just as important to try to disprove as it is to attempt to prove.  We literally deal with subjects that often defy rational, logical explanation, and because of that, topics can be very divisive.

With that in mind, we set out on our very first ParaDebate, where we will present evidence from both sides of a case for you, the readers, to decide.  So, without further ado, let’s get down to our very first case:  The Fresno Nightcrawler.

It’s hard to imagine anything that, quite frankly on first inspection, looks so silly causing as much speculation and debate as the alleged cryptids in these videos.  And yet, years after the first video emerged, it’s a topic that still comes up from time to time and always manages to spark debate.

Back in 2010, a man came forward with surveillance footage from his own property.  In the footage, two figures appear to walk across the property.  The interesting thing is that the figures to be made of only legs!  Take a look at the video below.  The music is added of course and I give a big shout out to thegamerforlifex for their excellent choice.

When the man first came forward, he would not allow anyone to show his face and only offered his first name.  To me, this makes him more believable.  Most who perpetrate hoaxes are in it for attention and this man seemed to want none.  He seemed to want answers more than anything, but he really wanted his anonymity during the pursuit.

Critics popped almost as soon as the video footage went public.  The grainy nature of the video, due to it being analog on VHS tape, makes it nearly impossible to see details, but they were quick to point out the length of the shadows in the video.  Alongside the moving figures, the shadows are abnormally long compared to other objects in the video, suggesting that something was altered.  However, the very nature of videotape, makes it nearly impossible to alter in such a way.

The footage made such a stir that in its first season, SyFy network’s “Fact or Faked” presented the evidence and then did everything in their power to recreate it.  They were unable to do so, however, and the story spread even farther.

Before long, a second video surfaced, this time from Yosemite National Park.

Once again, the strange creatures move across the surveillance footage.  Once again, and even more so than the first, skeptics began to try debunking the video.  The movement here is not as smooth as in the first video (not that they were necessarily moonwalking in the first) and really does have a more faked look than the first.

By this time, the idea of the cryptid had caught on and there were claims that there were sightings of such creatures back into the 1800s.  It was also put forth that local Native American tribes had legends of nature spirits that looked and moved in much the same way.  However as I and many others have scoured sources of Native legend and lore have found, the story may well be lost to history, but that isn’t to say that they don’t exist.  Many point to the carvings below as proof that such creatures exist and were known to ancient tribes.

Fresno Nightcrawler

The folks at ParaBreakdown, spoke at length about these carvings (mostly their inability to locate them) and even managed an interesting reproduction of the video images as you can see below.

Fresno Nightcrawler

As with most cryptids, it comes down to do you believe or don’t you?  But I believe we must ask more difficult questions.  As with those who make cryptozoology their specialization, we must approach the idea of such creatures and study them in the same way we would any other.  Gather evidence as scientifically as we can.  Study movement, light, and environment of the creatures.  And above all else, an open mind is key because the nature of cryptids defy some of what we would call normal scientific laws.

So, readers, take a look again at the videos and the image of the carving.  What do you think?  Are these creatures possible?  Or is this an elaborate hoax?

Let us know what you think in the comments below!

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