Posts Tagged ‘Bigfoot’

The Skeptical Santa

December 23, 2012

I was 4 years old when my mom first tried telling me about Santa Claus.  I went directly to the chimney, looked inside, and told my mom there was no way a fat man in a red suit could fit in there.  I admit that I was precocious.  When my daughter was in 3rd grade, she told me the kids in her class had a big debate over the true existence of Santa Claus.  But by 4th grade most kids have it figured out.  It’s too bad more adults  don’t employ the critical and logical thinking I demonstrated when I was a pre-schooler, and that most kids can manage by the time they are 9.

The skeptical Santa.  For Christmas I present to my readers  the truth and facts that seem to be absent in today’s cable television news and entertainment shows.

Bigfoot is a man in an ape suit.

Cryptozoologists think bigfoot may be Gigantopithecus blacki,  a species thought to be extinct. Cryptozoologists believe it is still surviving in North America.  Gigantopithicus was an ape closely related to the extant orangutan.  In other words it was a giant orangutan.  It was the largest known primate to ever live on earth.  The genus originally evolved 9 million years ago but no fossils younger than 300,000 years have ever been found.  The only fossil evidence we have consists of 3 lower jaws and 1300 teeth.  Based on the size of the jaws and teeth, scientists estimate it was 10 feet tall and weighed 1200 pounds.  All of the fossil evidence has been excavated from sites in China and Vietnam.  None come from North America.  The dentition suggests it was dependent upon bamboo for sustenance.

A reconstruction of the extinct Gigantopithecus blacki.  It was quite a beast.  The reconstruction of this species is also quite a stretch–no limb bones nor skull of this species have ever been found.  It co-existed with Homo erectus for at least 500,000 years.

A viable breeding population of a species this large in North America could not exist unknown to modern science, especially in this day and age of trailcams and satellite and aerial photography.  The impressions of the feet are easily faked.  Moreover, a big ape like Gigantopithicus was a knuckle-walker and wouldn’t leave footprints such as those that are faked.  It is obvious that Bigfoot is a hoax.  Bigfoot is a man in an apesuit.

This famous photo is actually a Hollywood stuntman in an ape suit.

And here’s the man, Bob Heironimus, along with the suit that fooled so many gullible people.

Bob Heironimus admitted that he was the one in the apesuit in the famous film frequently shown on television.  He passed a lie detector test.  The latest hoax about Bigfoot comes from a veterinarian who claims she has DNA evidence of a man-ape hybrid.  Her results haven’t been published in a peer-reviewed journal.  Don’t hold your breath.

There will never be a zombie apocalypse–it is not physiologically possible.

Zombies have become popular fodder for fiction recently.  I like to watch those tv shows and movies and read those books too, but the Discovery Network sunk to a new low last week when they aired a special supposing what would happen, if there was a real zombie apocalypse.  They had scientists proposing that a virus could actually cause zombie-like symptoms.  No way.  There is no virus that can re-animate a person.  In fact, there is no viable scientific explanation for reanimation.  Zombies are a subject of supernatural horror, not realistic science fiction.  Supposedly, zombies don’t breathe, nor do they have circulating blood.  Yet somehow, they can walk, use their senses to detect where potential prey is located, and attack and eat.  This is not biologically possible.  Without oxygen human muscles will not work and no brain function whatsoever is possible.  Just watch an MMA fight.  On occasion an MMA fighter will get caught in a sleeper hold.  Usually it takes less than a minute of asphyxiation to cause them to lose conciousness.  Zombies never breathe, yet they can move their muscles indefinitely.

There is a general lack of logic in zombie fiction as well.  Supposedly, there are endless masses of people who have become zombies.  This is simply an excuse to show violence, as survivors kill this infinite supply of zombies.  An endless swarm of zombies is not logical.  Look outside.  How many people do you see walking in the street right now?  I see no one.  The vast majority of people would turn into zombies while they were inside houses, buildings, hospitals, and cars.  There would be no mass swarmings of zombies.  They would be trapped inside, unable to get out because, according to zombie literature, they can’t turn door handles (though they can detect prey).

The survivors in zombie apocalypse fiction always choose to do the exact opposite of what a logical person would do.  I’d head for Cumberland Island where there are no people and no bridges that would enable zombies to cross the intracoastal waterway.  But instead, these fictional survivors always head toward prisons, hospitals, army bases, and malls–where there would be lots of zombies.  The whole premise of a zombie apocalypse is totally illogical.

Religion is a business scam that should be taxed.

There is an organization that has gone to court to try and end the IRS rule prohibiting political speeches in churches.  Endorsing a political candidate can endanger a church’s tax exempt status.  I agree with this organization–they should be allowed to endorse candidates.  But they should be taxed anyway because all religions are nothing more than a business scam.  Religions make money by promoting lies invented by a bunch of old men beginning about 2,700 years ago.  Preachers, priests, and rabbis all profit from brainwashing people into believing archaic myths.  I don’t know if there is a God or not but I know he’s not an invisible Jewish rabbi who let himself be tortured to death, so he could die for everybody’s sins, then reanimate like a zombie for a few days before ascending to heaven to sit next to himself.  If that sounds mixed up and illogical, realize I’m only restating in different words what the bible claims.  Anybody who takes  the bible  seriously is more gullible than people who believe in the existence of bigfoot.

Patches on foot soles can not detoxify heavy metals from the human body.

Not long ago, I saw a commercial on some late night cable for a product that supposedly could detoxify heavy metals from the human body.  It was a patch, not unlike gauze, placed on foot soles.  I rolled on the floor laughing at this absurdity.  Less than a month after they began showing this commercial, I read the FDA had ordered this company to stop making this unproved claim.  I wonder how many gullible souls wasted money on that joke.

The NRA is a terrorist organization.

The National Rifle Association is a terrorist organization.  Every year, guns kill more people in the U.S. over a 4 month timespan than the terrorists did on 9-11.  All of the NRA’s arguments against gun control are illogical and lack critical thought.  Here I debunk each one.

1. “Guns don’t kill people.  People kill people.  If a killer doesn’t have a gun, they’ll use a baseball bat or a knife” 

Yeah, but people using guns kill an average of 10,000 people a year in the U.S.  It’s a lot easier to pull a trigger than to manually have to stab someone with a knife or hit someone with a baseball bat.  Guns are more effective too.  There is no way a man with a knife could have killed 20 schoolchildren and 6 teachers at the Newtown, CT. school.  Someone would have been able to physically stop the wimp and probably before he killed anyone.

2. “If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.”

This argument is simply a lie.  The police will still have guns.  Are the police outlaws?

3. “Cars kill more people than guns.”

This is the stupidest argument of all.  The purpose of a car is transportation.  The purpose of a gun is killing.  As the lyric to the Lynyrd Skynyrd song “Saturday Night Special” goes, “Handguns are made for killing.  They ain’t no good for nothing else.”  We need cars to survive in the modern world we live in.  We don’t need guns to survive.

4. “Guns keep me safer.”

Gun owners are over 4 times more likely than non-gun owners to die from gunshot wounds.

5. “If the principle had a gun, he could have prevented the school shooting in Newtown.”

Two armed policeman were present at the Columbine School shooting.  They could not stop it.

6. “Owning a gun is protected by the 2nd amendment.”

Before talking about gun control, every politician, even those favoring tougher regulations, always have to make the statement that they support the 2nd amendment.  That shows how much the NRA terrorizes our politicians.  Stating support for the 2nd amendment is nonsensical because the 2nd amendment is poorly written and ambiguous.  From the way the 2nd amendment is written, it is impossible to determine whether the founding fathers meant gun ownership was a collective or an individual right.  The founding fathers used plural words such as “militia” and “people” when referrring to gun rights.  One could make the argument that gun ownership is merely a collective right, not an individual right.  The 2nd amendment does not use the word “both,” debunking the claim that it protects both the collective and individual right to own guns.  Moreover, all they had then were single shot muskets and pistols.  If these gun rights nuts want to take a strict interpetation of the constitution, the only guns that should be legal are single shot muskets and pistols.

7. “The assault weapons ban didn’t work before.”

That ban was too weak and not strictly enforced, but that’s beside the point.  We have laws against murder, but that doesn’t stop murder.  According to the NRA’s logic, we should legalize murder because laws against it don’t work. 

8. “The majority of gunowners are responsible.”

The majority of people in this country believe God is an invisible rabbi who sees all, and many also believe in the existence of bigfoot and angels, the possibility of a zombie apocalypse, and that patches on foot soles can detoxify heavy metals.  Most are in huge credit card debt.  Americans are not a responsible rational people. 

In response to the Newtown shootings Senator Jay Rockefeller wants the National Academy of Science to study violent video games.  Rockefeller is too cowardly to attack the real cause of the violence in America– the availability of handguns and assault rifles.  Instead, he wants to scapegoat video games because it’s much easier than taking on the terrorist organization known as the National Rifle Organization.  Hey Jay–it wasn’t video games that killed 20 schoolchildren in Newtown…it was assault rifles.

Gun control proponents are wrong about one thing.  They claim there is no hunting use for rifles with high capacity magazines.  Rednecks in Texas like to shoot into herds of feral hogs with these weapons.  Here’s Ted Nugent using a machine gun to shoot into a herd of feral hogs from a helicopter.  Not exactly sporting either.  Ted Nugent is a sadistic howling maniac.

In my opinion all assault rifles and handguns should be outlawed.  Gun deaths in the U.S. are 20 times higher than the average rate in the rest of the developed world.  The only legal firearms should be single shot rifles and shotguns for hunting.  A single shot firearm still gives an unfair advantage to man over beast, but at least it’s not the glorified slaughter as depicted in the above photo.

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Does a Species of Giant Ground Sloth still exist in the Amazon Rain Forest?

March 30, 2011

I’m not impressed with the science credentials and logic of most cryptozoologists such as Loren Coleman.  Bigfoot is a man in an ape suit.  The famous film footage shot in the 1960’s is not of some unknown species of ape, but rather of a Hollywood stuntman in an ape costume.  The stuntman, Bob Heironimus, took a lie detector test on a television talk show, and the test showed he was telling the truth when he confessed to being the man filmed in the ape costume.  Still, Bigfoot believers (like Christian fundamentalists who believe in a literal translation of the bible despite the facts) refuse to accept that the film is a fake.  There may be a great deal of wilderness left in the Pacific northwest but it’s not so remote that a population of a gigantic species of ape could survive undetected following expedition after expedition.  However, the same can’t be said for parts of the Amazon jungle where there are still whole Indian tribes yet to be contacted by Western civilization.

The Amazon rain forest is so vast  there is  a remote possiblity that a large mammal species unknown to science may still live here.  Photo from google images.

I’m skeptical that a large mammal is yet to be discovered here, but it’s much more plausible than the existence of Bigfoot in the Pacific northwest.  The locals description of an animal they refer to as Mapinguari sounds just like a 3-toed giant ground sloth.  They say it is large, has long arms, red fur, long claws, and leaves foot prints with 3 toes.  Pat Spain of the National Geographic Series, The Beastmaster, interviewed a man who even claims to have shot and killed one, and his description of the event is consistent with what one would expect from an encounter with a ground sloth.  The hunter reported that his gun shots to the body had no effect, but eventually he killed it with a shot to its head.  This makes sense (if it actually happened) because ground sloths had armor, like their close relatives the armadilloes, under thick fur that could perhaps protect them from bullets to the body.  Pat showed the hunter pictures of various mammals, and the hunter pointed out an illustration of a giant ground sloth as the animal he killed.  However, he didn’t save any part of the animal because supposedly it smelled horrific, making his story doubtful in my opinion.  A poor Indian would surely understand the value of an unusual animal, particularly the monetary reward he could get by selling it to science. 

Illustration of Harlan’s ground sloth from google images.  The creatures the natives in Brazil describe sounds like a mylodon type of giant ground sloth.  Harlan’s ground sloth was the species of mylodon sloth that lived during the Pleistocene in southeastern North America.  Without positive physical evidence I remain doubtful that it is still extant even in the Amazon rain forest.

If the locals are telling the truth though, some interesting characteristics of giant ground sloths have come to light that we could never gain from just their skeletal remains.  Apparently, giant ground sloths move together with herds of the vicious white lipped peccary.  Perhaps, they forage on the same plant species and mutually attack predators for the Indians claim the sloth is the peccary’s protector.  Fruits and leaves brought down by the sloths when they tear trees apart may be a convenient source of food for the peccaries as well.  The sloths also have an odor that is said to be incapacitating, making for an additional defense mechanism besides their size, armor, and claws.  If it exists, it is probably a mylodon species of sloth related to Harlan’s ground sloth which used to inhabit southeastern North America during the Pleistocene.

Pat suggested stories among the natives of the Mapinguari may be legends passed down from actual encounters their ancestors made with this animal thousands of years ago.  The native people living in this region have had a continued existence here for thousands of years, and perhaps this animal only became extinct 2-3 thousand years ago rather than 11 thousand as science assumed. (See my blog entry entitled “CSI: Pleistocene Alaska.”)  And in fact, scientists know that dwarf ground sloths living on Carribean Islands survived until at least 4 thousand years ago, becoming extinct shortly after human colonization.

Photo of the Chacoan peccary from google images.  This South American species was unknown to science until 1970 and was thought to be extinct for 10 thousand years.

New recent discoveries of mammal species in South America would not be unprecedented.  Scientists found a population of Chacoan peccaries (Catagonus wagneri), a species thought to be extinct for 10 thousand years, in 1970, though the local natives had been hunting them for millenia and reporting about it to Westerners for years.  In the past decade scientists have discovered 10 new species of monkeys in the Amazon.  Maybe that’s why a real scientist, ornithologist David Oren, risked his reputation searching for this possibly extant species of ground sloth.  If it exists, it is likely in grave danger of extinction because natives from uncontacted Indian tribes still probably hunt them with no restrictions.

A review of The Beastmaster (National Geographic Channel Fridays 9:00 pm)

I like Pat Spain, host of The Beastmaster, because he’s a real scientist (a marine biologist) who seeks rational explanations first before succumbing to the possibility that a reported creature is an animal unknown to science.  On one episode for example he traveled to the Congo to investigate reports that a dinosaur-like creature inhabited a remote jungle.  He showed  pictures to the natives of various large animals, including those of long-necked sauropods.  The natives identified a sauropod as the creature called Mkobe Mkembe.  But Pat demonstrated that an elephant swimming across a deep river with only its head and trunk showing, closely resembled a sauropod, the trunk looking very much like a long neck, the head having the appearance of an animal’s upper body. 

On another episode Pat investigated reports of sea serpents off the coast of British Columbia.  He suggested a rare fish knowns as an oarfish, Agrostytichthys (sp.), may be the sea serpent of myth.

3 men holding an oarfish.  Photo from google images.  This creature may be the sea serpent of myth which means the sea serpent is not actually a myth.  They grow larger than this.

Pat leaves the door slightly open  for the possibility that a giant species of ground sloth still roams a remote region of the Amazon.

Pat’s great uncle was Charles Fort, the founder of Cryptozoology and the study of all unnatural phenomena, but the host of The Beastmaster says that he became interested in strange creatures long before he knew he was related to Fort.