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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.
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"....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






Monday, January 25, 2010

 

-- FLASH! + addenda --

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First off, I've now received significant indication from a single source, but one I consider credible, that the Rainsong story could be a sincere effort, and the pics might even be interesting enough to warrant followup (they are certainly not slam-dunk photos of Ivory-bills). I'm unable to verify any of this yet, but at least it's a glimmer. Of course, even a case of sincere mistaken identification would be far preferable to a hoax, and if there is follow-up by the individuals I've seen named it would be an incredible turn of events, even if... once again nothing is eventually resolved.
Combining that with the fact that none of the named experts in the original press release has yet to openly rebuke the story, I can only say the plot thickens for the moment. It would be nice if someone in authority (a University figure) could step forward and make a public statement on where things stand. (And I'll apologize to Mr. Rainsong here if it is proven that his excursion was even a naive, misbegotten, but genuine endeavor, let alone if Ivory-bills arise from it.) There's still a lot of dust to settle.

To all those who have been sending me background material on the Hepperles, thank you; most of it I already had, but a few new tidbits keep coming in (and yes I'm now convinced that Dan/Joe are two separate individuals, almost certainly brothers, who have simply lived very parallel lives). Obviously though under the circumstances, I'll be holding my fire, no matter what their backgrounds look like, while awaiting for things to further clarify.

This is possibly the most bizarre story yet in 60 years of the Ivory-bill saga, regardless of how it ends.
Had some other things I was planning to discuss today, but the new turn of events puts those matters on a back-burner.

Quick Addendum: info is very much in flux at this point (I'm already getting some mixed signals) and may stay that way for awhile, so just want to stress for clarity that what is "FLASH"-worthy about the above news (from my standpoint) is NOT so much the possibility that IBWOs have been discovered (still unlikely), but the possibility that the storyline being told might at least be honest/sincere.

Addendum II: sorry for the insanity... but because of emails I'm getting, trying to walk a very fine line here and be clear: NOTHING has changed any of the earmarks of a hoax that surround (saturate?) this story; they still exist. What has been added though is that some key figures who have directly talked to Rainsong and seen his pics are showing an interest in his claims. The photos have not been technically analyzed and are not at all conclusive, and frankly for all I know the interested individuals could even be being played for suckers, but at least it is a first indication that the claim may not be immediately dismissible, and that could be encouraging.
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