Paxton on Sea Monsters

The Plural of ‘Anecdote’ Can Be ‘Data’: Statistical Analysis of Viewing Distances in Reports of Unidentified Giant Marine Animals, 1758–2000,” Charles G.M. Paxton, Journal of Zoology, vol. 279, no. 4, 2009, pp. 381–7. Paxton and three colleagues shared the 2002 Ig Nobel Prize in biology for their report “Courtship Behaviour of Ostriches Towards Humans Under Farming Conditions in Britain.” In this 2009 study on a very different subject, Paxton writes [AIR 16:2]:

It should never be forgotten that although the analysis of sea monster reports allows conclusions to be drawn about reported sea monsters, it allows at best only tentative conclusions about actual sea monsters. What is reported is different to what is remembered which is different to what was seen which is different to what was present.