A depressing new survey published in the United Kingdom finds that almost two-thirds of Britons (64%) claim not to believe that dinosaurs once existed. The survey results do not explain why Britons doubt the reality of dinosaurs, but it added that nearly as many adults believe in ghosts (30%) as dinosaurs (36%). The only good news is that the survey had a small sample size (1,003 adults) and was conducted by e2save, an online mobile retailer, as a promotion for their 4K cameras. They had a vested interest in overestimating controversial statements as part of their campaign to use conspiracy theories in their advertisements for their cameras.
Historically, denial of the existence of dinosaurs has been associated with Christian conservatism, going back to the bastardized form of the argument that fossils were God’s rough draft (“archetypes”) of modern animals. That argument was that the Devil planted fossils to fool Christians into doubting creationism. But that can’t be what’s going on in Britain, since only 29% of survey respondents claimed to believe in God.
Here in the United States, L. A. Marzulli is busy promoting a new anomaly that he claims will undercut science and prove the Bible true. Weirdly, it reflects the historically British obsession with fairies.
You’ll remember that earlier this week I noted that Marzulli had announced that he had DNA tests conducted on the preserved corpse of a fairy in Mexico. Well, he has now released a longer segment from his Watchers X DVD in which he explores the hoax corpse, currently in Mexico.
The conservative Christian extremists believe that the body is not that of a fairy but of one of the locusts described in Revelation 9:7-10:
The shape of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle. On their heads were crowns of something like gold, and their faces were like the faces of men. They had hair like women’s hair, and their teeth were like lions’ teeth. And they had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots with many horses running into battle. They had tails like scorpions, and there were stings in their tails.
He talks to a woman who takes overexposed night images of bats and bugs, which she mistakenly believes are supernatural demon-locusts heralding the End of Days. It’s worth noting that the fairy skeleton does not have a scorpion’s tail. He also speaks with Jaime Massaun, the Mexican UFO TV show host who has repeatedly endorsed hoaxes and frauds, not least of which were last year’s so-called Roswell Slides, which were claimed to be 1940s photos of an alien corpse but which were tourist shots of a known child mummy from a U.S. museum.
Massaun believes that the fairy must be genuine because the teenager who brought it to him did not ask for payment and was too stupid to have faked it. It does occur to him that the teenager might merely have been passing on a hoax created by someone else.
The so-called “fairy” is one of several specimens that appear to be fabricated using small animals, and a few that look like complete New World monkey corpses. The DNA specialist, whose credentials are not explained (he seems to actually be one of Massaun’s assistants wearing a white lab coat), claims that testing of the specimen that looked like a fetal monkey revealed a 98.5% similarity to human DNA, just about what you would expect from a monkey. “It’s very strange,” the supposed DNA specialist said.
An x-ray of the so-called fairy reveals bright spots that appear similar to the brightness under x-ray of pins, wires, or other artificial joints that are used in taxidermy. Neither the man in the lab coat nor Marzulli consider the possibility of using animal parts to craft the creature (at least not until the end of the clip), introducing the false dilemma that the little body is either entirely made from artificial materials or is a genuine monster, thereby allowing them to dismiss the first straw man by virtue of the presence of small animal bones within the body. The man in the lab coat said that an independent laboratory confirmed that the tissues and bones were “not related to the mammals.” Neither he nor Marzulli considered the logical possibility that the hoaxer might have used reptile material.
Marzulli’s narrator claims that further DNA testing could not be done because the TSA confiscated their DNA samples upon returning to the United States despite receiving oral permission by phone to bring the samples into America. Even I know that you need documentation, not just a phone call, to bring biological samples across the border. Marzulli asked for a new sample, which was flown into America, but these samples could not be tested because Massaun keeps the fairy corpse in formaldehyde, which conveniently destroyed the DNA.
At the end of the segment, the narrator acknowledges that an artificial origin from small animal parts is a possibility and then teases the rest of the Watchers X DVD by asking us to buy it to find out what an anonymous veterinarian (who refuses to appear on camera or even state his name) had to say about the creature and the white dots that appear on its x-ray.
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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