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Mermaid in the News!

Discussions about Unexplained Creatures and Cryptozoology. E.g. Bigfoot, The Lochness Monster, The Jersey Devil, etc.

Mermaid in the News!

Postby ProfWag » 15 Aug 2009, 03:26

I'm curious to what your take is on the report of a mermaid being spotted in Israel. The brief news report can be found here: http://abcnews.go.com/Travel/story?id=8310324&page=1
Obviously with me being a skeptic, I have my my doubts, but it would be educational to me to hear what non-skeptics have to say about this.
Thanks for time
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Re: Mermaid in the News!

Postby NinjaPuppy » 15 Aug 2009, 03:33

ProfWag wrote:I'm curious to what your take is on the report of a mermaid being spotted in Israel. The brief news report can be found here: http://abcnews.go.com/Travel/story?id=8310324&page=1
Obviously with me being a skeptic, I have my my doubts, but it would be educational to me to hear what non-skeptics have to say about this.
Thanks for time
ProfWag


I think this says it all....

Whatever the truth of the tale, it has done wonders for the tourist economy.

Local officials are now offering a cash prize of $1 million for the first tourist to take a photograph of the mermaid.

"I believe if there really is a mermaid," Zilberman said, "then so many people will come to Kiryat Yam, a lot more money will be made than $1 million."


It's a simple marketing ploy for tourism.

As to do 'mermaids' exist? I think not. Did they ever exist? It's always possible. Scientists are always finding new things or new old things in the oceans. It's not completely impossible that some sort of porpoise like creature with big boobs and long red hair may have been sited by some drunken pirates.
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Re: Mermaid in the News!

Postby ProfWag » 15 Aug 2009, 04:15

Thanks for your thoughts Ninjapuppy!
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Re: Mermaid in the News!

Postby The Warrigal » 15 Aug 2009, 11:51

I agree with NinjaPuppy.

This reeks of a marketing ploy cooked up to boost the tourist economy.

Should anybody ever win the offered $1,000,000 prize for photographing the creature then I suspect that the photograph will be as or less convincing than any of the alleged Bigfoot or Loch Ness Monster pictures out there.

Actually that prize money offer only strengthens my cynical notion that this IS a marketers hoax and I live in a part of Australia where local tourist operators a bit over a century ago were quite notorious for creating "historic attractions" and circulating colourful accounts of strange animals such as the "Blue Mountains Lion."

I don't THINK that mermaids ever existed in the artistically romanticised form, but do find it fully credible that in an earlier era seamen may well have spotted creatures such as dugong which when seen from a distance with the naked eye, might have given the illusion of a beast that was half human and half fish.

Early reports thence got embellished with every retelling of the tale, thus leading to the popular image of mermaids which have been handed down to us by artists and creative writers.
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Re: Mermaid in the News!

Postby ProfWag » 15 Aug 2009, 20:27

Okay, so that's two people who think the mermaid story is probably fabricated. If that story is probably false, then why can't bigfoot, UFOs, and psychics be so easily dismissed? They all have had people fabricate stories for profit as well.
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Re: Mermaid in the News!

Postby The Warrigal » 15 Aug 2009, 21:38

Hi Professor Wagg.

I do not think that anybody here is disputing that that such things as UFOs, and Bigfoot sightings cannot be, or have not frequently been hoaxes.

Nor is there any doubt that psychic abilities can also be faked and often are.

I don't think that any such a thing as the "supernatural" exists.

Even the most baffling and elusive of phenomena will always prove, in the end to be part of the natural world.

Or such is my untutored opinion.

That includes such things as previously unclassified animal species, classified aircraft of an earthly origin, along with the likes of psychic ability, mediumship apparitions, spirit hauntings and poltergeist phenomena.

A great deal of this phenemena is VERY elusive and frustratingly hard to even investigate properly.

So if professionals choose to leave this sort of investigation to the privately funded amateurs, at least for the time being, far be it from me to say that public scientific grants should be spent on paranormal research when there are other, arguably more urgent and rewarding fields of reseach already yielding socially valuable results.
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Re: Mermaid in the News!

Postby NinjaPuppy » 15 Aug 2009, 22:19

ProfWag wrote:Okay, so that's two people who think the mermaid story is probably fabricated. If that story is probably false, then why can't bigfoot, UFOs, and psychics be so easily dismissed? They all have had people fabricate stories for profit as well.


That mermaid story is probably fabricated. Does that mean that every mermaid story is probably fabricated? No. It doesn't. It does indicate that the probability of mermaids existing today is pretty low on the totem pole of paranormal probabilities however.

Now... let's get down to basics here and break down each item on you list of things unexplained, shall we???

UFO's - Definition "Unidentified Flying Objects". There's plenty of those seen all over the world. People see strange lights or unknown and unrecognizable flying objects all the time. That's a fact that you can't argue. Why or what those particular flying objects are is the mystery. My personal theory is that these things are only unidentified due to them being classified government experimental test drives (for lack of a better term). Throw in a few meteror showers, an occasional comet and for some sightings a 6 pack of Budweiser and you've got some pretty interesting stories of UFO sightings.

Now take a sighting of 'lights in the sky' to the science fiction level and you've got a pretty hard to beat 'Urband Legend' scenario. "War of the Worlds" did a great job in 1938.

From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_War_of ... lds_(radio) Contemporary accounts spawned urban legends, many of which have come to be accepted through repetition. Several people reportedly rushed to the "scene" of the events in New Jersey to see the unfolding events, including a few geologists from Princeton University who went looking for the "meteorite" that had fallen near their school. Some people, who had brought firearms, reportedly mistook a farmer's water tower for a Martian Tripod and shot at it.[4]

Initially Grover's Mill was deserted, but crowds developed. Eventually police were sent to control the crowds. To people arriving later in the evening, the scene really did look like the events being narrated, with panicked crowds and flashing police lights streaming across the masses.[citation needed]

Some people called CBS, newspapers or the police in confusion over the realism of the news bulletins. There were instances of panic throughout the US as a result of the broadcast, especially in New York and New Jersey.[5]

Now EVERYBODY is watching the skies waiting for the worst.

Any test flights are now seen as possible 'little green men' invasions. Hollywood perpetuates the possibility with entertainment value, fear based films. WWII is gearing up and the world as everyone once knew it is changing forever.

Does that mean that it's totally impossible that some sort of cosmic life form exists? No. Have we proven that we can't find any signs of it? Yes. Does it eliminate all possibility of it? No. Does the "we will not confirm or deny" attitude of the government help any? Absolutely not. Does the media use individual accounts of sightings for profit and ratings? You can bet your sweet Aunt Fanny on that one.

Now on to Bigfoot and while I am on my soapbox, let me include the Loch Ness Monster and a few of their well known friends. Do they exist? I think it's possible. Scientists and biologists are occasionally discovering species thought extinct. The Celocanth is a good example. 400 million years of existence. BTW, shouldn't some evolution of this species be expected in 400 million years? Anyway.... until the entire land mass on this earth is covered with housing developments and condo units, it's going to be hard to prove. Who is to say that beyond a shadow of a doubt, 'Bigfoot' sighting can't eventually be as common as a black bear rummaging through a dumpster at a condo complex? Not impossible, it just remains to be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Warigal makes an excellent point-
So if professionals choose to leave this sort of investigation to the privately funded amateurs, at least for the time being, far be it from me to say that public scientific grants should be spent on paranormal research when there are other, arguably more urgent and rewarding fields of reseach already yielding socially valuable results.


If there are some who feel that these areas need to be further investigated, I say, "Go for it, have a ball". Hopefully they will eventually find what they are looking for or at least exhaust all possibilities. The unfortunate filp side of that coin is the amount of time it takes to sift through the BS of those who use these topics for personal/monetary gain. That false information only perpetuates a myth that might have a chance in hell of having some truth to it but makes it fairly impossible to separate any data or information of value.
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Re: Mermaid in the News!

Postby ProfWag » 15 Aug 2009, 22:29

Wow, really great posts with excellent insights! Thanks for taking the time to post your opinions. Very interesting indeed!
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Re: Mermaid in the News!

Postby NinjaPuppy » 16 Aug 2009, 00:34

Now on to psychic ability.

Since it is neither animal, vegetable or mineral, it's a pretty hard thing for the average person to comprehend. I believe it exists. I do not believe that it exists as it is portrayed in the Hollywood movies or of course most public claims made by people seeking money/fame/fortune/power.

Let's start out with the instincts of animals that seem to be able to predict major weather phenomenon. Or for that fact, the person who can fairly accurately predict rain or changes in the weather by an old injury that acts up. 100% accurate? Not by any means but still pretty interesting in my book. Does it prove on danged thing? Not really. It's pretty much like looking at a barometer and getting the exact same predition.

We have highly educated people who make a very good living at predictions. They're called 'meteorologists'. Now talk about an area of highly studied science that is nothing more than the interpretation of scientific fact that still can't get it 100% right most of the time. All the money spent on sophisticated equipment, education, research and we still don't know if we should take an umbella with us when we go out the door some days.

How on earth can skeptics expect psychic abilities to be proven if a known phenomenom like the weather can't be accurately explained? We are talking people with degrees ranging between BS and PhDs who make a career out of this particular science and will go on TV to give their most educated 'guess'. I particularly recall a meteorologist stating that there was NO RAIN in today's forcast. He was positive beyond a shadow of a doubt. Too bad he didn't look out the window because it was pouring rain at the time of his forcast. This particular meteorologist had PhD after his name.

Not all things can be explained by science. Not from lack of trying or education either. I'm not saying that science is reponsible to prove that psychic ability exists. However, how can anyone expect an average person to explain their own belief of having psychic ability? Without some basic belief of it's existence it will always be impossible to find any information pro or con.

Do some people seem to possess some skill or talent that relates to the modern day definition of psychic ability? Yes. Is it worth researching? I say yes. Research in any unknown field can eventually prove beneficial. Even if it's only to prove that something isn't as we believe it is. To simply deny the existence of something because it is based on only personal experience or unfounded scientific exploration is sort of closed minded. If there are groups that have a desire to investigate something they believe to be possible, why would an opposing mind set feel it so important to make that belief any less worthy of thought?

Skeptical thinking is what keeps things in check. It adds a solid dose of reality to any theory but mostly it should never be responsible for the absolute last word on any subject. It should direct collected information into compartments that create more questions to be explored. Some compartments being dead ends and others being new thinking toward the same old questions until a subject is proven either way beyond a shadow of a doubt.

You will have to excuse me, but I think it's time for me to look for my tinfoil hat. :oops:
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Re: Mermaid in the News!

Postby Scepcop » 29 Aug 2009, 00:28

ProfWag wrote:Okay, so that's two people who think the mermaid story is probably fabricated. If that story is probably false, then why can't bigfoot, UFOs, and psychics be so easily dismissed? They all have had people fabricate stories for profit as well.


Isn't the answer obvious? Those things have a lot more evidence going for them than mermaids. Air Force Pilots, Astronauts, Radar, mass people, etc. have seen UFO's, but not mermaids. The mermaid legends were long ago, not recent. The weight and sheer numbers of evidence for UFO's is much more.

Also, in the Disclosure Project, we have 400 government officials admitting knowledge of government involvement in UFO's. Do we have 400 government officials saying the same about mermaids? Can't you see a difference there? If not, I can't help you.

For more info: http://www.disclosureproject.org/

I'm not saying mermaids exist or don't exist, just that the weight of the evidence is not as convincing.

Many have seen Bigfoot as well, but not as many as have seen UFO's.

And of course, plenty of people have experienced psychics and psychic phenomena firsthand. Can't say the same for mermaids.

This is all so obvious, so why do you even have to ask? Obviously you lack the ability to connect simple dots, something that is common in pseudo-skeptics. And you have a strong bias against the existence of them.
“Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.” - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
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Re: Mermaid in the News!

Postby ProfWag » 29 Aug 2009, 05:03

Scepcop wrote:
ProfWag wrote:Okay, so that's two people who think the mermaid story is probably fabricated. If that story is probably false, then why can't bigfoot, UFOs, and psychics be so easily dismissed? They all have had people fabricate stories for profit as well.


Isn't the answer obvious? Those things have a lot more evidence going for them than mermaids. Air Force Pilots, Astronauts, Radar, mass people, etc. have seen UFO's, but not mermaids. The mermaid legends were long ago, not recent. The weight and sheer numbers of evidence for UFO's is much more.

Also, in the Disclosure Project, we have 400 government officials admitting knowledge of government involvement in UFO's. Do we have 400 government officials saying the same about mermaids? Can't you see a difference there? If not, I can't help you.

For more info: http://www.disclosureproject.org/

I'm not saying mermaids exist or don't exist, just that the weight of the evidence is not as convincing.

Many have seen Bigfoot as well, but not as many as have seen UFO's.

And of course, plenty of people have experienced psychics and psychic phenomena firsthand. Can't say the same for mermaids.

This is all so obvious, so why do you even have to ask? Obviously you lack the ability to connect simple dots, something that is common in pseudo-skeptics. And you have a strong bias against the existence of them.

No, it's not obvious but thanks for your explanation.
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