Posted tagged ‘Weird or What’

Creative Taxidermy…

July 17, 2013

20130717-134207.jpg— As an episode of the Weird or What series hosted by William Shatner would remind us (Aliens Walk Among Us), some candidates for new and unknown species have been nothing more than the products of creative taxidermy, fueled by the simple public desire to believe. The desire to believe is an incredibly powerful thing, intoxicating and seductive. If we are not careful, that desire can cause us to suspend reason and logic.

I would like to believe in monsters. They are intriguing, can be romantic, and give me a warm fuzzy feeling inside! Existentially, we all ask, “Is that all there is?” Assuming the existence of monsters can give many of us the intangible thing that we seek, the hope that there is something more beyond the evidence of our senses. Feeding the public desire and demand for monsters has been a lucrative occupation for centuries, leading in the era of P.T. Barnum to the manufacture of the Fiji Mermaid, a sewn-together linkage of a monkey’s upper body with the lower body of a large fish.  In far more recent times, the Metepec Creature served a similar function, with the skinned and otherwise altered remains of a spider monkey or similar primate masquerading as an unknown species or alien.

To show the relative ease of creating an otherworldly-appearing corpse, a taxidermist on the Weird or What Show took a skinned squirrel and paired it to the skull of a small primate which had been additionally modified to make it appear even more human-like. The results were both stomach-churning and disquieting, looking as convincing as many specimens submitted as “proof”of unknown life or aliens.  Dare to believe, but never forsake science and credibility.  Occam’s Razor is a good litmus test; the simplest explanation is usually the correct one…

 

Shadow People on “Weird or What?”

May 14, 2013

shadow – – Pity or perhaps envy William Shatner, who just can’t seem to get away from aliens and other unexplained phenomena; on the new Syfy show Weird or What?, the man best known for playing James T. Kirk on the original Star Trek series seems to be thoroughly enjoying himself!  The show makes for enjoyable viewing if only to see Shatner, who knows better than to take this stuff or himself too seriously.

An  episode of the show concerned parallel dimensions, touching also on crystal skulls and shadow people, who are the stuff of urban legends.  Speculation is lively as to whether the dark, featureless silhouette-type figures are spirits, aliens, or visitors from one of those alternative dimensions.  Commendably, a scientific explanation was offered by a credentialed individual that perhaps reported sightings of shadow people are really, after all, shadows, with the human brain hard-wired to see patterns in ambiguous stimuli presented to it.  Still, eyewitnesses reporting having seen such figures refuse to believe that they are a mere trick of the light.

As William Shatner himself has noted in an interview, the line between being amusing and intriguing is a fine one, and the show is successful in presenting weird stories in an entertaining fashion.  For a guy who’s 82, “the Shat” is where it’s at!