Thursday, January 15, 2015
Put Up Or Shut Up
Health care update: I got my refund check from Mutual of Omaha, along with a letter confirming the termination of the accidental death coverage I never wanted in the first place. So that’s over with. I’ll be keeping a close eye on my checking account balance around the first of February, just in case. The arm of the octopus that goes for the money may not have gotten the memo. I still haven’t gotten any paperwork from Highmark. No policy number or ID card. I’ve been having throat problems and would like to take advantage of the co-pay, but first I need a way to prove I have insurance. I could always show the doctor my bank statement with the withdrawal Highmark made back in December. Think he’d buy that?
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Earlier in the week the History Channel ran the finale of their Curse of Oak Island series. Supposedly, centuries ago some mysterious bunch buried a load of treasure at the bottom of a booby-trapped 300-foot shaft. I don’t know all the details because I was never a regular viewer. I’ve only seen snippets. I do know this one crew’s been looking for the treasure, or any proof such treasure exists, long enough to squeeze at least three seasons out of this concept.
I tuned in because a) nothing else was on, and b) all the promos promised they were finally going to solve the mystery of the island. Like I said, I was never a regular viewer, but I’d seen enough off and on to be curious. I wanted to find out what’s down there too.
And did we? Welllll …..
Here’s the recap. I skipped the first half of the show. It sounds like they sent a couple divers down the main shaft, but they hit a thick slab of debris and couldn’t get to the open chasm where the alleged treasure chamber was located. However, there was a second, narrower pipe that went all the way to the bottom. They lowered a sonar device and took readings. (Why not a camera with a light on it? They’ve got all sorts of camera equipment, filming them and their efforts. You’d think there’d be a handheld camera around they could tie a line to. Maybe I should have watched that first half hour.)
At any rate, preliminary sonar readings did show possible other openings, possibly manmade. They decided to send the divers down the second shaft for a first-hand look around. Then they changed their minds. Too much chance someone could get stuck in the narrow pipe, too much risk to the divers. The second dive was scrapped, along with any chance of true verification.
\As for the sonar readings, an expert verified the existence of at least two chambers branching off the chasm. One of these had a square opening, which suggests human creation. “Nature doesn’t do square,” one expert said. Other square readings turned up on the sonar, and a pillar of some sort that could have been a beam. Or a tree. Sonar doesn’t give you photos, only shapes based on echolocation. A square shape can be a box, a treasure chest, a concrete block, or somebody’s old TV. Why the hell didn’t they try lowering a camera down the pipe?
Because a camera might have actually showed them something. And once you find something, the mystery’s solved and the series is over.
The upshot: human activity may have once taken place in the chasm. There might be something down there. Is there treasure? No way to tell. The crew vowed to keep excavating. That was how the season, possibly the series ended. No big discoveries, no real answers. The mystery is still intact.
And I was pissed.
This is the problem I have with all these shows, like Finding Bigfoot and Ghost Hunters and Monster Hunters and their ilk. Some of them have been on for several seasons. They’ve got a team toting cameras and night vision goggles and all this state-of-the-art equipment. They’ve spent hours tramping around in remote locations recording every little rustle in the bushes. And they still can’t find anything.
Reminds me of that Supernatural episode where the UFO hunter proudly tells Sam, “I have over 30 years of collecting eyewitness accounts.” Actual, concrete proof? Not so much. “Did it ever occur to you,” Sam says, “that maybe you suck at hunting UFOs?”
You’ll have to forgive Sam; he had no soul in that episode. But I know where he’s coming from. I’m getting tired of blurry photos and blobby thermal images and indecipherable murmurs on a tape recorder. I want bones. I want DNA that doesn’t match up to anything known on Earth. I want deer hunters posing with a dead Velociraptor. I want ET photobombing a wedding. I want absolute proof.
I want to believe. Shows, you’re not helping.
Getting solid proof can be done. I’m reminded of an incident about two years back. Some guy was up in the Rockies or somewhere else inaccessible, dressed like a mountain goat and following a herd around. He’s out in the middle of nowhere with a goatskin on, no other humans present. Except for the hiker who spotted him. And took pictures. They weren’t blurry, either. The guy was outed and had to go public. That “mystery” was over in a matter of days.
There you go. Some amateur found and exposed Goat Guy without any trouble. And yet the "experts" can’t find Bigfoot after years of searching? Did it ever occur to you that maybe you suck at hunting Bigfoot?
I’ll give ‘em this: they can’t find irrefutable proof that ghosts or Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster exist. On the other hand, they can’t disprove it either. Just enough is left unexplained to keep the legend alive. Because once you solve the mystery, there goes your job. And your paycheck.
I think I’ll jump on the bandwagon. What the hell, I’ve got nothing better to do. I’m going to hunt for the reptile people. The ancient, possibly-alien race that inspired Quetzelcoatl and Kukulcan and the Biblical Serpent and dragons. I’m thinking of writing a YA book about a girl who discovers the existence of shapeshifters who turn into dinosaurs. This will be part of my research. Whatever “proof” I find I’ll hang onto until right before the book comes out. Who knows? I might get a show on the History Channel. I hear the camera crew from Curse of Oak Island might be looking for work.