Saturday, March 23, 2013

Sorry its all connected, but here are the rest of my blogs!

I would totally take the time to separate these blogs, but I am late for work and I wanted to turn them in.  SORRY!

Jessi

·        Blog 1- Why I chose the Phoenix.         
o   I chose the Phoenix bird because it has been a popular creature in recent media, such as Harry Potter.  Secondly, I chose the phoenix because I think that there will be a lot of coverage on the topic, since it has become more popular.  As a bird that bursts into flames and from the ashes a new bird is born, the Phoenix seems very intriguing.  Personally, the Phoenix was also our logo for The Vagina Memoirs Production in 2012.  If you haven’t seen the production, it is life changing.  Especially for the people who put on the show.  This picture reminds me that like a Phoenix, things may go wrong in your life, but sometimes you have to shake it off and start anew.   Overall, I feel that the phoenix is a great mythical creature to research on and I think that I will have a great time analyzing the validity of said claims. 
·        Blog 2
·         The Phoenix is a bird with the head of an Eagle and the body of a Heron or Stork.  Even though the Phoenix is covered in fire, the Phoenix finds its food in the water.  The phoenix dies and catches on fire, resulting in being born again for the ashes.  Apparently, the Phoenix is so hot that even under water; its fire does not go out.  I also found this quick link that basically tells you the some information on the specifics of the Phoenix through the resent ages! Oh year, breaking out the classics!
·        Blog 3
·         Being that I have so many tattoos, I wondered if many people had tattoos of the Phoenix bird.  When I searched Google, I found a ton! I challenge you, if you like art, check out the tattoos people have posted of the Phoenix bird.  In addition to this, I thought that it would be interesting to compare and contrast the differences between some of the birds.  I know that this is not required in researching our mythical creature, but I do not know a lick about mythical creatures, so I figured the images would spark some form of debate. 
·         Here is the link if you want to look with me;

·        Blog 4
            In trying to research the origins of my mythical creature the Phoenix, I have become confused.  Every article I read overlaps with the same information as to who really was the home-base for the Phoenix.  I do understand that this is a mythical creature, but I guess for a legend, I wanted to believe in the magic if only for a little.  I believe that is article does a fantastic job at showing some, not all, but some of the different cultures that claim the Phoenix and this illustrates the specific story attributed to that culture. 
o    http://www.buzzle.com/articles/phoenix-bird.html#phoenix-myth-in-different-cultures
·        Blog 5
o   The web provided phenomenal support in the historical description of the Phoenix bird.  After grazing over several wiki, mythology, and mystical creatures books I was able to create a better understanding of my mythical creature.  One idea that I found very interesting is the idea that Phoenix’s live in colder regions.  I was genuinely surprised by this due to the fact that all of the originating countries containing the Phoenix are countries with excessively hot climates’.  Well, excessively hot for me anyways. J Here is that article I found.  I also like where it says that if the Phoenix chooses, it will pick a human as its familiar.  I think that would be one of the greatest things ever, to have a Phoenix next to you.  I see now why Dumbledore was awesome!
·        Blog 6
o   One of the problems that I had in going about different research methods was finding proper data that related to the actual Phoenix Bird.  Some of the results that I have gotten back were relating to the car, town, and Harry Potter.  When looking through possible newspaper articles, the Phoenix bird did not come up one time.  Many of the options were for local newspapers with a bird as a logo. However, once I started using EBSCO, I found two articles pertaining to the Phoenix.  Here is a link to journal describing the importance of the Phoenix regarding something as simple as a button. 
·        Blog 7
o   I went on Youtube to try and find a sighting of a Phoenix bird.  Naturally, I did not find any real conclusive videos.  However, I did find several videos that seem more like cloud watching then a Phoenix Bird.  Another video that I found was looked like a shooting star.  It looked way too far into space to be anything else.  It had me wondering if the Phoenix is a mythical bird, then how do we determine what should be deemed credible or not? One of the videos that I found pretty interesting is the link below. I believe that it is just an eagle, but it is up for discussion.  Any thoughts?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Final blog

I have learned a lot from this class. As a freshmen, I think that knowing about all these resources at the library will be very beneficial throughout my education. I know I wouldn't have found half of the things I did without this course. My favorite lesson was the special archives. The old book and all the little pop up books were so interesting to see and I never would have even known it was there. I liked this course a lot and am glad I took it.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Monsters of the Sea

The other book that came in from Summit was entitled Monsters of the Sea. It had quite a large section on mermaids. Most of it was the recollection of all the cultures who had mermaids in their history. It also included all the famous hoaxes. It gives a full account of the differences between Stellar's sea cows, manatees, and dugongs. It is quite obvious the author believes they are the explanation for the sightings of mermaids. I didn't find this book very helpful. All I got from it was the earliest listing of a mermaid which was 5000 bc.

The field guide

My summit books came in earlier this week so I will write about one this time. It is called The Field Guide to Lake Monsters, Sea Serpents, and Other Mystery Denizens of the Deep. A very long title for very little useful information.The only discussion of a mermaid was one paragraph. They were trying to prove the existence of a mermaid near Papua, New Guinea but instead discovered a dugong. They successfully identified it and that's all that happened. Very uneventful story.

I have no excuse

I got curious where our idea of a gorgeous woman in a sea shell bra came from so I went to Google  I didn't find what I was looking for but I found this forum with videos attached.

http://www.unexplained-mysteries.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=226816

The first video is a man who apparently caught mermaids on film off the Great Barrier Reef. The second is some performers at an aquarium. They move quite similarly to the "real mermaids" the man saw. He distinctly points out that it would be difficult to swim like that without using your hands but the women did just fine. Also, the first video was originally from a film editing company. I think this "real mermaid sighting" is a total hoax.

I have no excuse

As I went back through my syllabus to be sure I covered anything, the blogs came up. I smacked myself in the head and here we are.

Last year, the National Ocean Service released a statement saying mermaids do not exist. They released this statement because of the mockumentary on Animal Planet that many believed to be real. They didn't give any reasoning other than "No evidence of aquatic humanoids has ever been found." While I'm not sure if they are real, I believe the government was simply getting tired of the questions. They cannot know without a doubt that no humanoid creatures have ever swam the oceans of Earth.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

No government Docs on the Mothman?

Why are there no Government Documents on the mothman?

That is a good question and can be answered in various ways. As with many other cryptids it could be that the government doesn't see the Mothman as a topic worth investigating or hasn't been around long enough to  incite an investigation. On the other hand it could be that the Mothman is being kept under wraps by the government itself. A lot of sources around the Mothman mention sightings of the Men in Black who appeared to be government agents and tried to convince reporters and other witnesses not to write or bring up the mothman. It is possible the government knows the mothman is real and have some involvement in its creation or whereabouts. It could also be that the Men in Black are aliens themselves who are out to silence humans who are onto their plans.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Patterson-Gimlin


Perhaps the most important video concerning Bigfoot is the Patterson-Gimlin film, mentioned earlier. There is a lot of controversy surrounding this video and people have been arguing for years about whether or not it was a hoax. I found one article on the Cryptomundo website that tackled the argument from a completely different side. Photo analyst, Marlon K. Davis, believes the footage showed a wild human. M.K. explained that there was evidence to support his claim that it was not a Bigfoot, but rather a large hairy human that has become out of contact with society (Coleman, 2006). Davis writes,I know from the film that it is human, and that it manipulates its environment and has a culture of some sort” (Coleman, 2006). 

While his explanation is incredibly vague, I personally thought this was a somewhat credible source and M.K. Davis provided a good theory. It is quite possible, in my opinion, that Bigfoot could be an older race of human that somehow managed to stick around without evolving into the modern human race of today. I am no expert on evolutionary theory, but this seems like a solid explanation of the Bigfoot phenomena. I do wish he had supported his claims further, though. Is lack of evidence makes me much more skeptical, but not enough to completely disregard the argument.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Presentation

After finally finishing my research I started my presentation. I found myself with alot of ideas after watching other presentations as far as what to talk about and what I found difficult and easy. The presentations also helped me do a little bit of last minute research, especially involving newspaper research.

I am almost finished with my paper, which the presentations also helped me. The presentations really gave me some insight on what inform the reader about including terms I used to research the beast and making a specific distinction between the Puerto Rico and Texas Chupacabra.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Summary

Here is my research summary!


Researching Bigfoot forced me to broaden my horizons and dive into many different forms of information. In the past, I had relied mainly on web sources and occasionally books, but I viewed the library as an intimidating and overwhelming place rather than a great tool. I didn’t know how to the use the resources to my advantage and spent far too long searching for the information I needed. Now that I have completed my research, I was able to develop the skills to research smartly and efficiently.

Now that I have spent a lot of time utilizing different research methods, I am able to distinguish the pros and cons of each and which would be best for different topics. In the case of Bigfoot, I found the Internet to be the most helpful and abundant source of information. Because the topic is taboo to most academics and scientists, other forms of peer-reviewed sources didn’t yield very many results. This was frustrating to me because I tried my best to find scientific evidence pointing toward or away from the existence of Bigfoot. Other than a few articles written by the same authors, there was not of lot of support for the species from peer reviewed journal articles.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Monster blog Research after presenting- Griffin


In doing my research after doing my presentation, I looked into the google UK. This came about after listening to other presenters and the resources that helped them to do better research overall. When finding the google UK website I had a little more success in the books that contained more information on the actual griffin monster. I was warned that this topic would a little difficult to find valid information on but, so far things have been pretty great on websites. The books that I did find were fantasy based still but there were some more options on the potential sightings of the griffin from the past history of London and around the European regions. I also looked onto the western library page for the fantasy genre that is limited for folktales and such and it was a little helpful. I still was not able to find any newspaper articles on the griffin no matter what I did to find  articles on the griffin it was limited to only griffin technology and or company names.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Books about Mermaids



During our trip to Special Collections, there was a pop up book called Dr. Ernest Drake's Monsterology : The Complete book of Monstrous Beasts that had a general description of a mermaids and “The Siren Song” which was a little spell.  What caught my attention about this book (aside from it being a pop up book) was the mermaid catcher’s guide in the back. Legend has it that the use of the following items will guarantee you the capture of a mermaid.
-A sample of white Yeti fur- presented by the Monks of Dragon Mountain.
- Spell- casting parchment paper
-Hippogriff feathers- invisible and insubstantially light.
-A prehistoric phoenix parasite trapped in amber.
-A handy ogham translator
-A piece of shed fin scales 
Although these books are entertaining, most of them are fiction and written for enjoyment. I had a hard time finding books that were scholarly and could really be used as evidence that mermaids exist due to the fact that Mermaids are very popular in young adult literature.



Articles? What Articles.


In my search for the thunderbird, the sources that I have struggled with finding the most were journals and magazines.  Thunderbirds as actual birds, apparently, are not common in these types of materials.  Thunderbird searches for magazines and journals resulted in probably about 95% cars.  Being very specific in my searches lead to more promising results, however not always what I was looking for.  Most articles about the actual bird pertained to pieces of art – which thunderbirds are fairly common in– and not so much information about the bird itself.

I read about one account of a magazine article in 1848, although the actual magazine was not cited (Unexplained America).  Beyond that however, specific articles and journals were nearly impossible to find.  I found an article that looked very promising; it’s title being “Thunderbirds, Thunder-beings, Thunder-voices: The Application of Tradition Knowledge and Children’s Rights in Support of Aboriginal Children’s Education”.  I assumed that this would lead to some sort of valuable information pertaining to thunderbird history incorporated into the education of children.  Alas, past the title, there was no mention of the thunderbird.  This happened in most of the seemingly encourages articles.

Another article reported a sighting of a thunderbird in September of 2001 where four people sitting in a yard heard a great noise and supposedly saw a bird with a wingspan of over 20 feet fly past them.  The article explains the noises of the bird as it flew past, and the estimated height of the bird (Salem-News).  I Googled the news source, Salem-News, only to find that the only information about the site I could find was what was provided on the site itself.  There is a newspaper titled The Salem News, which is located in Massachusetts.  With this information, I am left unsure as to how credible this source is.
            
There was one article that did serve some importance; it was an article about World War II and a totem pole that resided on a ship.  While the story of war had no special significance to my search, the article did contain valuable background information to the thunderbird itself.  Granted the main information was knowledge that I found on every other source on thunderbirds, however this article made a connection between the bird and the war that was quite interesting, and also provided a small tale about the thunderbird.

There are so many different products, companies, and concepts with the name 'Thunderbird' that finding that actual bird has proved to be very difficult, especially when looking at articles and journals.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Newspapers


After searching older newspapers, in Washington as well as nationwide, with the key words “wildman”, “wild man”, “hairy”, “large”, “creature”, and “sighting”, I did not have much success. Wildman is an extremely common last name and returned hundreds of results, which was a quick disappointment. In order to avoid all the results for the surname Wildman, I added a space between the two with the hopes of finding reported sightings of the creature we know today as Bigfoot or Sasquatch. By combining “wild man” with other descriptions such as “hairy” or “large” I was confident the results would yield articles detailing Bigfoot sightings, but despite the article titles, “wild man”, in one newspaper, was the name of a criminal running the streets of Tacoma, WA ("Is wild man," 1916). Another article that caught my eye with the following opening sentence: “A strange, wild, hairy, creature, bearing some semblance of a man and some semblance of a wild creature…” ("Wild man of," 1917). I thought for sure I had found something good at this point, but sadly as I read on the description went on to depict the “creature” as a small man with a cane, curved back, and who posed no threat at all. A similar article from the Washington Times began with another misleading description: “Strange, hairy creature gives quartet of fisherman scare of lives” (“Lair of wild,” 1919). This article, along with a few others, turned out to just be mentally ill individuals who escaped their institutions and found refuge in wooded areas or caves.

I found the most success using Newspaper Source Plus to search more recent newspapers for the common terms “Bigfoot” and “Sasquatch”. I was able to find a few interesting articles that discussed sightings and motives or lack there of for hoaxing.

move film- Griffin

So in doing this blog post I found a video on my creature actually it is called the "Attack of the Gryphon" it was a television film that came out in 2007 so this is a fairly new and recent movie on my creature. The film is about two princes that fight over their father's throne and one of the princes kills the other and since that day the kingdom has been divided into two rivalry areas. The prologue is before the kind passed away he gave blood that activated a stone statue of a gryphon to come to life and to attack whoever the person who activated it desires. The loyalty aspect of the gryphon and fighting is known in the film according to wikipedia. This film fully demonstrates what a gryphon does and looks like.

The griffin is used also in tv shows and other movies. The Chronicle of Narnia is a great example of how it is used and then you have family guy which has nothing to do with the gryphon legend in which I am researching it has made looking for the griffin if you use "griffin" spelling  challenging.

Popular Culture

In my searches for the illustrious Thunderbird, I have encountered a few issues.  There are so many things in society now with the name ‘thunderbird’, that finding the actual BIRD has been made very difficult for me. There is the well-known car, the school of “global management”, the alcohol, the Air force team, mascots (including my own high school mascot), and even the new email program recently released by Mozilla.

All these things are what show up on my searches in thunderbirds on Google. Only one link was the actual cryptid, and it was the Wikipedia page.  I was not even fully aware of the fact that thunderbirds are considered a cryptid until rather recently.  I always just saw it as my high school mascot, and a made up version of an eagle.
Granted, the genuine things that I do find on the actual thunderbird are good, though it is rare to find good information without really having to dig it up.

It is not so much the fact that there is a lot of popular coverage of thunderbirds, it’s more of the fact that the name itself and the concept of the bird is interesting enough to people for them to adapt it to their idea that makes searching for the original thunderbird so difficult to track down.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Roy Mackal

So as I've been wrapping up my research, I've been reading Roy Mackal's book, The Monsters of Loch Ness. The body of the book is only 218 pages, but the book is 400 due to the extensive appendices. Mackal, instead of chronicling one or a handful of expeditions or observations like Dinsdale and Meredith, uses his book to analyze the data that has been collected already, only using data that is actually useful, which whittles down the observation pool to around 250 sightings out of thousands. By carefully analyzing these observations, he attempts to compare what has been observed with the theories about what Nessie is, including suggestions of plesiosaurs, seals, otters, and worms. In the end, he posits the most probable option as being a giant eel, as collected specimens from the loch are of a reasonable size.

I think this book will be invaluable in writing my paper, as it is essentially a summation of the research and observations that have been referenced in other sources that I've found but haven't been able to get.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Doubtful News

I found a website today called Doubtful News, which has an "alien big cats" tag, and obviously, they're skeptics. They have a list of all alien big cat stories reported in newspapers, and one of the ones that I had not seen before was titled "A joke? Black panther toy surprises observer", and while it is not about a claimed ABC sighting per se, I thought it was something to note: it raises the point that people are aware that others believe alien big cats truly exist and so play tricks on those believers because they think it's amusing to make fun of that fringe belief, which results in mainstream science/culture becoming even more skeptical of ABCs' existence. Now, I haven't decided whether I believe alien big cats truly exist or not, but that's not the point of this class; the point of the class is to learn to evaluate resources and use them to one's advantage. I just wonder: How is science supposed to believe in the existence of alien big cats if people are drowning possible potential evidence in practical jokes like the one above?

Thursday, February 28, 2013

I can't count! And I got another library book

I thought I had all my blog posts up to date but I missed one. Woops! Anyway I got another library book so I will use it to catch up on my blogging.

It is titled Monster Hunt and it has one blurb about mermaids. It's centered around a letter written in the Eighteen Hundreds that was reposted in a Scottish newspaper. The letter is a statement from one of six men who were out deep-sea fishing and caught a mermaid. The statement goes into great detail and claims that the mermaid talked to them. They released it back into the water as it is bad luck to kill a mermaid. The author of the book goes on to say that dugongs and seals don't make sense for this description. He goes on to share facts on mass hallucinations and how even if mermaids aren't real, there are many who will swear on their lives that they saw one. I really like the quote he uses at the end of the blurb:

"' This is a question which, after five thousand years is still undecided;'"

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

5. What is the most useful video you have found pertaining to your monster?

     I recently discovered the documentary "Eyes of the Mothman" which has proven to be most useful to my research. The intro to the movie introduced me to a related story I had never heard of before. The story of Chief Cornstalk of the Shawnee tribe and the curse he put on the Point Pleasant area. The story drags on much longer than I'd wish but it does set up for an interesting tale. The movie features first hand accounts and testimonials from locals of point pleasant as well as appearances from other prominent figures from the Mothman culture such as John Keel, author of The Mothman Prophecies. Besides the introduction most of the information regarding the Mothman I have heard and read elsewhere but it was nice to have locals to the area actually talk about it. Althought the documentary was a tad on the long side it was well made and interesting nonetheless.

Link to the movie website: http://www.eyesofthemothman.com/

also this movie is available on netflix.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Archive Findings

I found a few interesting things after visiting the archives. The folder I was given included a collection of various newspaper clippings regarding Sasquatch sightings, handwritten personal accounts of sightings, hair samples, and a map with a marked sighting. It was highly interesting to view these pieces because they were extremely personal, which gave some credibility to the evidence. These items were part a part of someone's personal collection, so what reason would they have to fabricate information? In my opinion, this a collection from someone who genuinely believes they saw Bigfoot, however, whether or not they actually did is unknown.

This is where the lack of credibility comes into play. This was not a scientific collection of evidence. While they included hair samples, there is absolutely no way to be sure where they got them or what they actually saw. Oral history is an extremely frustration part of this research project. While oral histories provide fascinating accounts of incredible sightings, I am not ready to easily accept their views. The handwritten accounts found in the archives was especially frustrating. It was extremely difficult to decipher their handwriting and it was a jumbled collection of fragmented sentences. While interesting and convincing, the personal accounts are difficult to accept because they don't come with any background information, sources, or anything.

Hunting the Thunderbird

If I were a monster hunter in search for a thunderbird, I would most likely value personal accounts of different Native American tribes.  The Thunderbird originates from Native American culture, and while there may be other races/cultures that believe in the existence of the thunderbird, it can all be traced back to those tribes.  I believe that the direct, original source may give me the most information that would be helpful to me.

In these accounts, I could get a rough idea of the size, habitat, call, diet, and the spiritual background of this bird, which all are very valuable if I am hunting one.

While there may be more recent sightings of thunderbirds, and the information that I could derive from these sources may have some value, I personally would value the “original” sources.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

No Bellingham Werewolves

Sadly during the visit to the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies I wasn't able to find anything about werewolves in the materials we got to search through. I guess there aren't any werewolves in Bellingham. I started to think about the disease Hypertrichosis (which is also referred to as the werewolf syndrome) and how that might come into play with the different sightings throughout the united states or the werewolf killer in London. Trying to decide whether or not I will find anything related to sightings or if I should even talk about the disease in my paper.

Friday, February 22, 2013

No monster and still a mystery

So far in my research of the Loch Ness Monster there is only one thing that remains consistent. There is a shocking lack of evidence that it is a wonder anyone still believes in this monster. Despite the countless sonar scannings of the lake yielding no evidence of any large creature living in the depths, there are still those who have an unwavering faith in the existence of Nessie. Unlike other monsters, such as Big Foot, that have provided some evidence, the Loch Ness Monster has none and yet the mystery lives on. That in itself is a mystery to me.

Sensationalism

I'm a bit frustrated with my research right now. I used three newspaper articles in adding content to Wikipedia, but I'm not convinced I did it right; all three articles were written within a handful of days of each other, and seemed only to be repeating what the others had said. Rather than new information being reported, it was repetition of the same, which inclines me to believe that they were simply trying to capitalize on the hype surrounding the Beast of Bont.

Then I went to YouTube, since I hadn't done that yet, and looked at videos about phantom cats. I found the information hard to take seriously because the presenters were definitely playing to peoples' fears, calling the endangered black leopard (assumed to be among the alien big cats sighted) a man-eater and that the UK government is being deliberately negligent when they ask for proof that phantom cats exist. I'd just finished looking at Wikipedia: there have been only two documented big cat attacks on people in the past forty years,  so to claim that the government is being negligent is wildly out of proportion, particularly without proof.

That's the other thing I'm finding hard: the amount of evidence for phantom cats is pretty darn small, particularly when there have been sightings for forty years or more. Why hasn't someone managed to capture one?

Search at Loch Ness

While continuing to read Dinsdale's Search At Loch Ness, I have to begin questioning the credibility of these claims. It's obvious that a lot of research has been done and quite a lot of it has been inconclusive. From the books I've been reading, there's a pattern in the 1960s and 70s where several expeditions are made, each trying to be more 'scientific' than the last, and when the evidence is presented to the scientific community it's still discredited for one reason or another.

Part of me wants to fall on the side of the scientists-I get that obviously you don't want to officially endorse something that might turn out to not be accurate, and that at that point a lot of the methods the research teams were using were really new technology, or old technology used in a way that hadn't been done before. The researchers were almost rebelling against the old guard of science, trying to get them to recognise the fallible human observation as being as reliable as an observation made by completely objective instruments. There's also a sense that the researchers were incredibly susceptible to their own bias-even though they're trying to be objective, they still film boats and logs in their excitement over seeing the Monster.

However, from the two books I've read already, it's pretty obvious that these people really did believe in the Monster and were only trying to get the mainstream media and scientific community to agree with them that *something* existed in the loch, monster or not. Both expedition accounts illustrate the lengths that the researchers went to to be utterly scientific-Dinsdale talks about training himself to shoot film in any situation, like a solider trains to reload a weapon and fire under any circumstances. Meredith tells about how the expedition in 1976 was not to "solve the mystery of the Loch Ness Monster" as it had been, but to "obtain further evidence relating to the aquatic animals at Loch Ness", a change that reflected the attempt to give science the kind of evidence it understood in order to make it recognize the value of a human evidence of sightings where it hadn't before.

British Folktales

Through checking the citations of numerous sources, I came across a noted author on the subject.  So I tracked down her book entitled "A Dictionary of British Folk-Tales".  This work is an excellent source on my subject as it has numerous accounts of Black Dog sightings, as well as the history of such sightings.  It also highlights the common nature of these stories, as there are several variations on the same story.  It is also useful in that it categorizes the stories into motifs or types, allowing for cross-referencing.
The book also clarifies between Black Dogs, which are generally phantom-esque and can even be beneficial, and Hellhounds which are used to chase down the souls which are sentenced to Hell.
All in all, a very useful resource.