Unicorn Watching
When trying to authenticate sightings for consideration as a contender for the world record in unicorn spotting, it is recommended that photographic evidence be obtained whenever possible (However, one should never harass unicorns in order to obtain a photograph, and revealing the exact location of any unicorn is not considered necessary for certification of a bona fide sighting.) Photographs of unicorn tracks, preferably with a tape measure or ruler included in the photo, are also regarded as useful evidence. Unicorn lovers may want to consider joining SPODARC, the Society [for]Protection of Dragons and Related Creatures. This is an international organization, open to all humans and other intelligent beings, regardless of age, sex, race, religion, or citizenship; membership is free and for life. The only requirements are a belief in the sanctity of life and a willingness to accept the right of unconventional but harmless life forms to exist without persecution or exploitation. SPODARC is also devoted to the preservation of enough wild places on this earth to support indefinitely a viable population of unicorns and other wildlife. However, the organization is currently under CIA investigation as a possible subversive threat to the U S., and thus the address of its headquarters cannot be revealed at this time.
By Paul And Karin Johnsgard


The following is a quote from Robert Vavra
"My first face-to-face encounter with a unicorn took place in a Mexican jungle near Tamazunchale in the spring of 1968. The one photograph that I was able to snap is reproduced on this page. This picture, as the reader can see, is so blurry and nondescript that had I attempted to publish it at the time, I would have been considered as much a crank or hoaxter as those persons who occasionally submit to the press out - of - focus, suspect
photographs of the Loch Ness monster, Big Foot, and the Abominable Snowman.
However, during the fifteen years since that magical but frustratingly brief experience in the jungles of Mexico, I have studied unicorns in six distinct habitat zones. And after hours, days, and months of continued contact was eventually able to gain their confidence, using methods similar to those employed by George B. Schaller with gorillas and Jane Van Lawick Goodall with chimpanzees in central Africa. The photographs that appear in this book (Unicorns I Have Known) are testimony to that good fortune.

ROBERT VAVRA'S SUGGESTIONS FOR SUCCESSFUL UNICORN WATCHING

1. Do not use clothing or carry personal items made of leather or of the bodies of dead animals.
2. Do not use perfume, cologne, hair spray, deodorant, mouthwash, flavored toothpaste, or insect repellent, or be marked with the strong scent of tobacco or spirits. If your person has been tainted with any of these odors, grind up several fistfuls of wild mint leaves, and with the residue, scrub the body from head to foot.
3. Do not carry a gun, knife, bow and arrow, blowgun, crossbow, hatchet, or ropes or nets.
4. Do not carry, for your food, anything produced from dead animals (luncheon meat, chicken, tuna, and the like). Fruit such as avocados, figs, and kiwis may actually enhance chances of sightings.
5. Do not whistle, whisper, hum, or play a radio.
6. Walk normally, but slowly. Do not sneak like a predator or a creature who is up to no good.
7. Once near an area that unicorns are known to inhabit, do not ride, or be accompanied by, an equine. Dogs, unless very well trained, should never be taken along. Never travel in the company of more than one adult. Unicorns are much more tolerant of children; so, if these are kept reasonably quiet, the company of two or three will not limit chances of sightings.
8. Once a unicorn has been sighted, do not cry out in joy, surprise, or fear. Never call to the animal or offer food, as is the custom with bears or deer in national parks. If the stag or doe should disappear on the spot, do not run forward to search for it; it may suddenly reappear, and you will find yourself face-to-horn with a large, slightly irritated animal.
(N.B. There is no record of an unprovoked unicorn attack in the wild.)
9. Do not fish, especially using live bait, in waters where unicorns have been observed drinking.
10. Do not build a fire in unicorn territory unless you are literally freezing to death.
11. Study the ground for unicorn footprints. (Suggestion: Make a photocopy of the drawing in this book so that, once in the field, you will not be confused by similar spoor.) Never attempt to take a plaster cast from hoofprints. If you do, you will eliminate every opportunity of ever seeing a live stag or doe.
12. Study carefully the four basic symbols of communication (see below). Never alter or try to remove one of these bark scratchings or make a rubbing from it, or you will never meet the animal who etched it.
13. if, by near-miracle, you should see a fawn (which has underdeveloped horn sonar and is not yet adept at disappearing), never give chase. Not only is there not the slightest chance of catching one of these lightning-fast creatures, but you will anger any adult unicorn in the vicinity.
14. The wearing of camouflaged garments, such as those used by hunters and soldiers, is of no advantage, since what determines acceptance by unicorns is a matter of the heart, not of the clothing The key to successful observation is believing. If positive vibrations are transmitted, some reader may well discover that there are other races, and even subspecies, of Unicornuus.
15. For observation after sunset, a light intensifier is extremely helpful.