It's been a busy week in the world of the weird. Not a good one for those who hope to see the dawn of new worldviews or a shift in the paradigm. In one week, three stories topped the abnormal news headlines -- all three hyped stories fell apart.
While the stories are still unfolding, it's clear that they turned out to be nothing as promised.
First, there was this video of a lake creature swimming among boaters supposedly in Lough Foyle in Ireland. The video, taken by students one of which has the suggestive name Conall Melarkey, shows a hump moving rapidly through the water. The story gained widespread attention. The problem is that no animal can swim this way, no animal looks like this and, in consideration of the circumstances, the best explanation is that someone is towing a hump through the water. In all respects, this video is unbelievable. That is, it appears to be faked.
This second story is a bit more "inside baseball." Many people will remember the Georgia Bigfoot Hoax of 2008 when two men, including Rick Dyer, teamed up with Bigfoot tracker Tom Biscardi to announce to the world they had a Bigfoot body in a freezer. There was even a press conference where Tom was adamant this was not a hoax, it was "the real deal." Well, it was a hoax. Hard to fathom how a rubber suit with animal entrails would fool anyone for very long.
Rick has been telling anyone who will listen yet again that he has another Bigfoot body. This beast he supposedly shot during filming of a documentary called Shooting Bigfoot. The majority of Bigfoot enthusiasts did not buy it -- once bitten, twice shy -- and berated Dyer for his claims and his pay-per-view antics. The movie has come out and... there's no body. But ever the profiteer, Dyer is still looking for money even though he says he is quitting the 'footer world.' Bye. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.
This week was the Citizens Hearing on Disclosure, an unofficial governmental hearing that provided a forum for testimony from believers in the reality of UFOs and alien visitation. It was nothing we haven't heard before (and been unimpressed by). But, one very interesting aspect of this tale was about a six-inch, strange-looking mummified body, human-like but not quite right. The ribs, the head, the bone growth was strange. DNA testing showed it was human and of local Chilean origin where it was said to have been found in the Atacama desert. The Atacama humanoid was featured in the new movie "Sirius," also about extraterrestrial visitation to Earth.
Study of the specimen's bones by one expert delivered a shocking conclusion: the being was six to eight-years-old. Either the bone conclusions are wrong or we have a very bizarre find here.
Not so fast jumping to extraordinary conclusions. The analysis of the bones could be wrong. An alternative explanation is that this is a human fetus. And, to provide an explanation for the elongate head, it looks to be an aborted fetus. See this piece that describes how the aborted fetus hypothesis developed.
So, three big disappointments in paranormalia in one week. What should we think about this? That's a complicated topic that I will think about a bit more. But this week MUST give us pause.
Two of these events, if hoaxed, as suspected by many, would have involved deliberate planning and deception by at least some people, if not the main people involved. They also demonstrate that video evidence will never be conclusive proof. Hoaxing is always a possibility to be considered.
The Atacama "alien" sounds like wishful thinking and mistaken conclusions, not a deliberate hoax. Even with a body, an actual specimen, we can have differences of opinion.
All three episodes are excellent examples of why caution is the key word when examining extraordinary claims. They certainly were not all they were hyped to be. Looking deeper, examining critically, we see not new incredible finds but real, undesireable human traits. Don't be too disappointed. Extraordinary things are extraordinary because they don't come along every day let alone three in a week.
Hat tip to Jeb J. Card