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IVORY-BILLS  LiVE???!  ...

=> THE blog devoted to news and commentary on the most iconic bird in American ornithology, the Ivory-billed Woodpecker (IBWO)... and... sometimes other schtuff.

Web ivorybills.blogspot.com

"....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.”

-- Hamlet

"All truth passes through 3 stages: First it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as self-evident."

-- Arthur Schopenhauer

Thursday, January 28, 2010


-- And Back to Rainsong (More Questions) --


[Other posts covering the Daniel Rainsong yarn run from Jan. 19 to Jan 26]

Just some questions rhetorically posed to those in charge of the investigation:

What sort of forensic analysis of the photos has been, or is currently being conducted (if any)?

Have any individuals been dispatched to the GPS coordinates for the Sabine sighting site (to look for rope, climbing gear, tools, footprints leading to the tree of interest, whatever, or hey, Ivory-billed Woodpeckers)?

Have you traced Rainsong's travels, whereabouts, timeline, contacts, since he left the Sabine River Basin?

How does Rainsong's storyline match up to that of any claimed traveling partners?

Have all the other frames of Rainsong's photoshoot been studied at this point?

What (if anything) do the timestamps reveal?

Any linkage yet uncovered to still other family members besides Dan and Joe?

Have you interviewed "Joe Hepperle" at length?

How many total prior trips did Rainsong make to the specific Sabine River Basin location before the fateful 2-week holiday excursion?

What are Rainsong's woodworking skills (or maybe plaster-of-Paris)?

(some of these I actually already have partial answers to, but still worth putting in print)

Can't verify it, but according to at least one source (who I'll simply call "DeepBeak" ;-)), Rainsong's storyline has suffered significant inconsistencies under the scrutiny of interrogation. And yet, it appears that investigators are trying to cross all their T's and dot all their i's before making any public pronouncements. Since hardly anyone is taking the case very seriously in cyberspace maybe it doesn't even matter, but I would so like to see this over before the weekend is over, and Mr. Rainsong can go back to dabbling in silly Blackjack theories (or, if this proves to be fraud is it legally prosecutable?).

Over the decades many Ivory-billed sightings have been followed up on within 48 hrs., always to no avail (as far as definitive confirmation), and yet to believe Mr. Rainsong's bravado he is going to lead investigators back to find a lone bird he spotted over 30 days ago in a vast area (actually he DIDN'T spot it, it just showed up when reviewing his film later). If the bird was there it would be an incredible task... with the bird not there, it's more like... an impossible bluff.
I think you're putting way to much thought and energy into this, ct!
no doubt (problem is, a few key people seem to be taking the story seriously)

You're way over the top on this one. Just let it play out, a fraud will become apparent in the light of day.

However, if this blackjack dude really did luck into an ibwo you will be another example of a skeptic spitefully and prematurely rejecting a claim. Kind of ironic since your blog is dedicated to 2 others whose claims were scornfully dismissed.
actually Dave, I'm probably being too restrained, because there's too much I can't disclose... but yeah, it'll eventually hit the light of day.
I probably should've added that while there were some scornful takes on the specific IBWO claims of Dennis and Lowery, both were acknowledged outstanding and experienced ornithologists of their day, totally unlike the current claimant.
Lowery did not make a "claim" about ivory-bills, other than his vivid descriptions of the birds in the Singer Tract, which are not in dispute as far as I know. He merely presented photos taken by another and argued for the integrity of his friend Fielding Lewis. He looked at the evidence and made his assessment. Whether he was right or wrong, that is all any of us can do as scientists.
Right, "scorn" was directed at Lowery for believing the story and pics of Lewis (who's identity he wouldn't reveal, and who's story remains controversial). Dennis was doubted both for his claimed Big Thicket sighting/auditory encounter and also for his initial high estimate of the no. of IBWOs there, which he himself later admitted was too optimistic. He did, by the way, also study living Ivory-bills in Cuba.
Both are interesting figures who made several contributions to ornithology besides their IBWO involvement.
This blog is my ivorybill hotline and I'm grateful you do such a good job with it.

I don't think it really matters what the real or websearch qualifications/slime of this guy (or any other) are. The only thing that matters is the evidence he claims to have and its legitimacy.

If one has to be an "outstanding and experienced ornithologist" to have your claim analyzed with respect then we aren't going to have many leads.
I understand your point Dave (in fact I already have a post written for next week touching on it), but the fact is that 'qualifications' DO matter (a LOT) -- if Pete Dunne said he'd seen and photo'd an IBWO his reception would be justifiably far different than that of John Doe, even though ultimately J.Doe can make his case with sufficient evidence.
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