I was thinking about last week’s report, the video captured by a state employee clearly showing a crocodile swimming along in an icy river in Alaska, and it occurred to me that this was most likely a case of an OOPs, or an ‘Out Of Place” animal. The term isn’t anything with which your average student of Forteana will be unfamiliar. Having animals show up in places where they ought not to be is one of the most common of the paranormal phenomena. Case in point: a coldblooded crocodile, or alligator, in a geographic area where the climate is much too cold to support a breeding population of which said animal is a representative. Whether it’s a black panther in England—and black panthers in England are practically a dime a dozen—or a croc in Alaska, or one of the most common types of critter frequently reported where it doesn’t belong: the “phantom” kangaroo.
I know an old lady, the typical wholesome, sweater-knitting, cookie-baking, church on Sundays, Ladies’ Auxiliary Club-attending, grandmotherly type (not MY grandmother, if you’re wondering) with no imagination (not an insult, just the truth) and no desire for publicity who once had to come to a complete stop because, crossing the road in front of her, smack-dab in the midst of rural Alabama, was a giant South American Anteater. She said she just had to sit in her car and laugh at the sheer absurdity of the situation. She had no doubts as to what she saw. The standard explanation for OOPs’es doesn’t wash in this case, either, i.e. that the animals are just escapees from zoos or are some goober’s exitoc pet that escaped. She was hundreds of miles from the nearest zoo, and considering the volume of OOPs sightings on record, there AREN’T enough zoos to account for them all. There ARE enough goobers in the world, but it’s mathematically impossible that all those OOPs’es out there are escaped “pets.” How, then, do they get there, when “there” is some place such an animal should not, or cannot, exist in the wild?