"....The truth is out there."
-- Dr. Jerome Jackson, 2002 (... & Agent Fox Mulder)
“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
"All truth passes through 3 stages: First it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as self-evident."
-- Arthur Schopenhauer
Friday, August 18, 2006
I'd been trying to avoid all this but for anyone not already aware of it, "Bill 'Magic Guy' Smith" has long claimed Ivory-bill finds in Florida and has now posted a fuller-sized version of his controversial photo from many months ago here:
His no-longer-active website is here:
And if you haven't been following the current debate on BirdForum (Ivory-bill 'formerly Updates' thread) you can go here and read backwards to try and to play catchup on Bill's claims.
I remain highly skeptical of his picture and reports for reasons I won't elaborate, but am glad to see he is at least finally taking time to defend his position publicly and thereby possibly persuading myself and other doubters of his unusual claims at some point. But I place the links here only for my readers' interest and so they can make up their own minds, NOT as an endorsement of his claims which I don't find credible thus far (though I'd be thrilled to be wrong on this), and which will likely be made somewhat moot in the near future anyway.
Also, on another BirdForum Ivory-bill thread 'Insights and Current Reports,' for any obsessive-compulsive folks not already aware of it, there is ongoing discussion/analysis of Mike Collins' latest video claims from his Pearl River search last season:
or, go directly to his site: http://www.fishcrow.com/winter06.html
ADDENDUM: I think I'll carry this one step further -- "Bill" has repeatedly indicated contacts with Fla. state officials (FWS and/or others) who are aware of his claims and know of the presence of IBWOs and may in fact even have their own photos. I would be interested... needless to say... to hear from any such official through email (confidentiality assured) who can verify the agency he/she works with, and who has met with Bill and is willing to vouch for the credibility/veracity/validity (whatever) of Bill's claims: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or, any such official who has met with Bill and cares to pass along information otherwise may also write.
If Bill is, in fact, familiar with a quantity of Ivory-billed Woodpeckers in Florida, what he has learned could prove quite valuable toward the conservation of the species. In that event, Bill should be treated with respect by the broader birding and ornithological communities so that he will be more forthcoming with details, whatever those may be.
Could you put a percentage to likely?
And near future is that 1,2,6 months a year or more.
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