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The System of Cryptid Encounter Classification: Unveiling the Layers of Cryptid Interaction

When people think of encounters with cryptids, they often think of times when people
were attacked by some strange beast like the Mothman chasing cars along the highway, or
being spoken to by a strange creature like the famous encounter of a pukwudgie by Bill Russo.
Less direct encounters with monsters and ghouls like a glimpse in the woods or tracks left in the
dirt are often overlooked, but they are just as important in the grand scheme of things. When
researching different types of cryptid encounters, I was completely stunned to find that there
was no formal way of classifying types of encounters effectively. The closest I could find was
several lists ranking the supposed “threat level” of popular cryptids made by several youtube
channels and posters on reddit. I even consulted a credible cryptid expert and they could not
find anything either. Because of this, I have taken it upon myself to create a brand new ranking
system that I call the “System of Cryptid Encounter Classification”, or “SCEC” for short. The
following tiers, or “Classes” as I call them, are the four main types of cryptid encounters that I
thought deserved their own classification. Keep in mind that in reality, there could theoretically
be thousands of types of encounters and rankings, because each encounter is unique, but this
system is more of a catch-all to simplify things for easy documentation purposes:

Class 4

To begin with, we start with the lowest of the tiers, which is barely considered an
encounter at all, as there is no real interaction or proof that what you experienced was a cryptid
at all. However, it is always a good idea to keep an open mind about things like this and to
consider the situation from all perspectives, because what you experienced just might be a
cryptid after all, and your encounter and testimony might help you or a fellow cryptid hunter
catch the creature in the future. We call this tier a “Class 4” encounter, with the following things
falling under Class 4 and higher tiers

● You hear noises, but you cannot fully identify them or get close enough to record
the sound.

● Physical marks are left by the supposed “cryptid” that are not intact, full, or
distinct enough to identify, take casts of, or record. This includes things such as
scratch marks, incomplete footprints, drag marks, or other similar things.

● Items or objects that you own are moved out of place or missing without anyone’s
knowledge of how or when it happened. (it is important to note that in this tier you
never see the creature itself, and only have “second hand” experiences with it.)

Class 3

The next tier is what we call “Class 3”. This is a more securely “cryptid in nature”
encounter, with more concrete proof of it being more than an everyday wild animal. Unlike Class
4, your proof is a lot more solid and credible. From this tier on, your encounter, if you are able
to, should be fully documented and recorded if you truly believe that your encounter was with an
actual cryptid (so that your encounter can help further the exploration into the sciences of the
cryptid world.) The following experiences and pieces of evidence fall under this rank:

● Distinct footprints, scratches, markings, or other physical indicators of the
creature are left behind. Unlike Class 4, you are able to take proper pictures,
casts, or recordings of what you have found. These have the potential to be
documented and added to an accredited cryptid website, article, or museum.

● You catch glimpses of the creature out of the corner of your eye, or perhaps you
see a part of the creature from behind heavy cover, such as from behind a thick
canopy of branches or rocks. If you ARE able to take a photo or video of the
anomaly, it is very obscure and hard to pinpoint if it is actually what you believe it

● You hear a loud sound that distinguishes the creature from any wild animals and
is loud enough to record without interference.

● Repeated coincidences happen around you or a location, such as clawing
sounds happening multiple nights in a row or objects being moved or going
missing more than once. The difference between this and class 3 is that it
happens in a pattern rather than a singular event.

Class 2

A “Class 2” encounter is where we start getting more direct interactions and is
generally where the more famous cryptid sightings and interactions are. Some famous
examples of this include various sightings of bigfoot, Nessie, and other big names in the
cryptid community. This is a very “hands-on” tier, with the person encountering the cryptid first
hand without a doubt of what they saw. If you have any way to document this, you should feel
obligated to publish all findings as soon as possible:

● You have an unblocked, undisputed sight of the creature. To qualify as
unblocked, you would have to have been able to take a clear photo or video of
the creature (if you had a camera on your person.) These kinds of encounters
generally qualify for news stories, get included in documentaries, or are included
in attractions at cryptid museums. This does not include direct interaction with the
creature (beyond perhaps eye contact), as that is part of the highest tier, Class 1.

● Large amounts of museum quality proof, such as multiple footprints that are able
to be cast, bits of hair, bite marks, or high quality sound recordings are left behind
by the creature, easily able to be recorded.

Class 1

The final, most exciting, dangerous tier of them all is “Class 1”. This is the tier
where you get up close and personal with a beast, ghost, animal, or creature of unknown origin.
This is where they chase after you, speak to you, or even abduct you. Some famous examples
of this are the Enfield Monster attacks, alien probings, and the assault on moving cars by the
lizard man of Scape Ore Swamp. This is near identical to Class 2 except for the following

● The creature acknowledges your presence and might even approach you, hostile
or non hostile. This kind of encounter can be the most dangerous kind, so it is
best not to seek it out unless you are a professional or looking for a passive, non
threatening beastie like the Squonk (it is smart to do some research into the
creature you are going after if anything is known about them. For example, I
personally thought that the jackalope was a harmless creature until I looked into it
more. It is actually fairly dangerous.)

● Physical Contact is initiated between you and the creature (or an object the
creature is holding.) This includes things like being grabbed, shoved, attacked,
abducted, or things thrown at you.

● The creature tries to communicate with you. This can be verbal, written, or
non-verbal (such as gestures, body language, or other actions.) Any recordings
of this are prime, extremely valuable material for research and documentation,
and often fast track you to fame, so share anonymously if you don’t want the
media hassling you. (I would like to note at this point that any fame you would
gather by creating a hoax is only a hindrance to cryptozoology, and I urge you not
to create any false evidence or documentation, as this only hurts the credibility of
those that have had actual encounters.)

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In the end, our world, the cryptozoology world, has long been seen as laughable: nothing
more than a bunch of attention seekers, storytellers, and childish fantasy chasers, but our
world defines who we are as a society; as a species. It spans back to the first men in the ice
age, and not only shapes our past, but our future as well. To laugh at it is to laugh at ourselves.
It is not easy to pursue the cryptid sciences as a cryptid hunter or researcher, but with every day
it gets a little easier. Every day we inch closer to a society where we are seen as more credible
and more grounded in reality; we move closer to a world where cryptozoology is accepted by all,
and that is a future I dream of seeing one day. With this ranking system, I hope to help usher in
that future just a little faster by making it easier for researchers and hobbyists to better
understand the information regarding encounters, and help spread awareness of our world.

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Caleb Pierson
Caleb is a young amateur cryptooologist who has been in the supernatural community for several years, but is just now making his mark. He is certified in animal science through Murray State University and plans to put that to good use. He is interested in the more scientific side of the supernatural, and hopes to one day create a comprehensive database of known cryptids and cryptid sightings for future generations of cryptozoologists to have at their disposal for research purposes. His pastimes include clay sculpting, hiking, amateur photography, and collecting cryptid memorabilia.

The System of Cryptid Encounter Classification: Unveiling the Layers of Cryptid Interaction

When people think of encounters with cryptids, they often think of times when peoplewere attacked by some strange beast like the Mothman chasing cars...