Cryptozoology is a legitimate science that explores the unknown. This is a science that looks into the existance of the Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot, the Yeti, Chupacabra and many other creatures that people make claims to having seen or encountered. The point of cryptozoology is to either prove or disprove the existance of these types of creatures. This is done through various means of investigation, very similar to those used by investigators in the paranormal field. Trailcams, recordings and static night vision cameras are some of the pieces of equipment used. Forensic methods are used to study things such as hair and tissue samples. Photographs of allegedly taken of these creatures are also examined by photography experts. Eyewitnesses are interview, as in any other field of science or investigation.
Part of the scientific method is hypothesizing. A hypothesis is a term that is considered synonomous with an "educated guess". Hypothesizing is done in all areas of science, to some degree. However, most branches of science have something tangible in front of them to work with. In cryptozoology, researchers are seeking that tangible proof to really begin their work. Speculation does come in to this field with regards to where to begin search, or rather, where to set up their base of operations that will be most beneficial to their investigation and reap the greatest results. Speculation also comes in when deciding on whether or not to move their search and in what direction. Do cryptozoologists speculate on the existance of the creatures for which they search? Privately, probably so, but professionally they need to keep an open mind to the evidence or lack of evidence at hand.
In the end, cryptozoologists use equipment, follow leads and need to sort out fact from fiction, just as any scientist needs to do. Speculation can be part of the whole process. It needs to be, especially in the search for the unknown. To dismiss cryptozoology, however, as mere speculation would be an immense error. We have not proven it's existance, therefore it does not exist? This type of thinking is an even greater error. The giant squid was once believed to not exist, except in Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea. This thought was eventually disproved. Crptozoology is a science, albeit it is a speculative science in some ways; it is still a genuine science.