Saturday, June 4, 2011

Last Mermaid Post

The quarter is coming to a close and my paper is wrapping up. After my presentation I focused on devoting my time to diving deeper into the sources I have already discovered. Now, I am working on editing and revising it in preparation to turn it in on Wednesday of finals week. This quarter has been great. I've learned a lot about getting directly to the source of things. I have learned to get passed the modern mermaid into the legends and myths that created it into what it is today.

Friday, June 3, 2011

The End.

Beyond the black metal band I mentioned, the beast’s place in pop culture is embedded mostly in books, whether self-published novels, or Robert Louis Stevenson’s text Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes:

For this was the land of the ever-memorable Beast, the Napoleon Bonaparte of wolves. What a career was his! He lived ten months at free quarters in Gévaudan and Vivarais; he ate women and children and 'shepherdesses celebrated for their beauty'; he pursued armed horsemen; he has been seen at broad noonday chasing a post-chaise and outrider along the king's high-road, and chaise and outrider fleeing before him at the gallop. He was placarded like a political offender, and ten thousand francs were offered for his head. And yet, when he was shot and sent to Versailles, behold! a common wolf, and even small for that. (49)

This is an excellent quote to conclude with, simply because it gives a definitive description of the true nature of the beast—of there are many. There was really only one single thing was agreed upon in all my searching: that the beast was not imagined and that it was far more malignant than any common wolf killing—there’s a reason why the Beast of Gévaudan is so welled remembered in the collective French mind. Its reign of terror truly was terrifying, but despite all that, there really isn’t any definitive answer as to what the beast really was. In the quote above, Stevenson says the beast was a mere common wolf, while Jay M. Smith, probably the premiere academic on the beast believes the beast was actually a collection of beasts, a pack of wolves, perhaps—while some older sources believe it to be a rather warped hyena. With so many speculations, it’s difficult to choose a singular answer. But one thing is true—La bête du Gévaudan did exist.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Failing at life (or at least deadlines for this class)

Ao once again I missed the deadline for this post. This is probably because my father was in town visiting from Alaska and that I am completely finished with my paper. Below is the last section of my paper. I hope you enjoy...

Through my research I was able to learn more about the folklore behind the vampire as well as the effect these creatures are having on people in society today. The fact that people are still interested in these creatures centuries after the first story was told really says something about how it connects with the human psyche and the desire to live forever. This research made me look at this creature as more than a popular trope that permeates through our popular culture but a symbol of human desire and longing for still more explanations for life and death and the meaning of both.


I've given up on Monstropedia. I've tried multiple times to expand the paragraph on the beast (because it's severely lacking in content and accuracy)--though what I'd like to do is give the beast its very own entry. Which is what I first tried to do. But I could find nothing (not even in the help section) on how to actually create an individual page. Next, I went to the entry on werewolves (which is where the snippet about the beast is), finally found an illogically titled button ('view source'--instead something sensical like, I don't know--'edit page'). Of course, once I clicked on it, the page that appears tells me I don't have permission. Ah well; I'm not sure I'm impressed enough with Monstropedia to really want to contribute. Think I'll stick with Wikipedia...

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Plagarism!! Recap!!

In my presentation last week, I went over this whole story about one of my earlier blog posts being re-posted by a number of other cryptozoology and paranormal blogs. I wanted to recap what I have already said, mainly to just get it down in writing for my paper, but also if anyone is interested in checking out some of these links themselves.

I’m really curious if this has happened to anyone else.

I found all of this out during the course of regular research into online sources for information on thunderbirds. I simply Googled a number of different search terms (“thunderbird sightings,” “thunderbird legends,” etc.) and looked at anything interesting that popped up.

My original post was published on April 16 and titled “2002 Thunderbird sighting reported in Alaskan daily newspaper.” In it, I summarized a story of a thunderbird sighting that had been picked up by a number of local and national news outlets, including CNN and Reuters. I also explored some potential explanations for sightings of these mysterious bird-like creatures.

On May 15, the entirety of my post was published by an anonymous “administrator” on a blog called The blog includes my byline at the top, under the byline of the re-poster, and also links to our class blog at the very bottom. I also recently noticed at the bottom of this blog page, there is the following disclaimer: FAIR USE NOTICE: These pages contains copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. This website distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107.

One interesting thing is that the re-post of my original removed the 2002 date from the headline. This carries through the rest of the blogs that also re-posted my entry.

Also on May 15, less than 10 minutes after the re-post went up on, my post was re-published in its entirety on a blog call by a guy name Dirk Vander Ploeg. This re-post contained a link to, but not to our class blog. It also contains my byline under Vander Ploeg’s name and photo.

The UFODigest blog has the exact same layout and disclaimer message as the Monstertracker blog, and as I poked around on both sites a little bit more I found that Vander Ploeg is listed as the publisher of both blogs.

On May 17, my re-posted blog entry on was linked off of another blog called, which I had actually checked out before for information on thunderbirds. This blog simply gave a brief teaser of my entry, which it credited entirely to UFODigest, and then sent you back to

I haven’t found any other cases of this happening, either to this post or any others I have made this quarter.