Just the Facts?: The Journal of Cryptozoology -- Britain Prepared For Zombie Invasion -- Jesus Lived & Died in Japan
The Journal of Cryptozoology - Editor: Dr. Karl P.N Shuker
Reviewed by Matt Bille
THE JOURNAL OF CRYPTOZOOLOGY: Volume One
It’s been over 15 years since there was a peer-reviewed journal of cryptozoology. The often-excellent pioneering journal Cryptozoology shut down with its patron, the International Society for Cryptozoology, and other attempts have stalled. Now we have a new journal, with the well-known Dr. Karl Shuker as editor. (The peer reviewers are, as standard for a scientific journal, anonymous.)
If the first issue of this slender journal (3-4 papers accepted per issue) is anything to go by, it’s a worthy effort. After Shuker’s introduction (in which I appreciate that he specifies the Journal is only concerned with flesh-and-blood animals, no paranormal topics), we get to the first paper, on digital search techniques for finding an unknown object in its most likely range, using a probability map as a starting point for a Digital Search Assistant. This isn’t my area of expertise, so I’ll just say it makes sense the way it’s described. Malcolm Smith contributes a paper on identifying a “Queensland Tiger” footprint sketched in 1871. That seems a slender reed on which to base analysis, but slender reeds are often the starting point for cryptozoologists (and for "mainstream" zoologists, too!), so the “true unknown” conclusion is intriguing. Markus Hemmler writes on “pesudoplesiosaurs,” the oft-reported carcasses of decaying sharks which tend to look like prehistoric or unknown animals. Hemmler explains how varied these carcasses can be and how easy it is to misidentify them, particularly with respect to skull features. Finally, the always-formidable Dr. Darren Naish takes on an odd mammal carcass in Australia and identifies it with certainty as a domestic cat.
The journal is professionally done, with such features as keywords for each article, well-referenced entries, and drawings and B&W video/film images. It closes with Instructions to Contributors, the most notable of which specify that personal belief in a cryptid isn’t relevant to a scientific paper, and anyone who posits a particular identity for an unknown animal needs to argue scientifically for that identity, not presume it.
Overall, this journal is a big step in the right direction for cryptozoology as a scientific field of study. I’ll be getting every issue, and, hopefully, making some contributions in the future. - Matt Bille - mattbille.blogspot.co.uk
The Encyclopaedia of New and Rediscovered Animals
The Beasts that Hide from Man: Seeking the World's Last Undiscovered Animals
Dr Shuker's Casebook
Dr. Karl P.N Shuker's Reading List
National Geographic UFO Europe Untold Stories
Video: S01E04 National Geographic UFO Europe Untold Stories
Spaceships of the Pleiades: The Billy Meier Story
Nazi International: The Nazis' Postwar Plan to Control the Worlds of Science, Finance, Space, and Conflict
Looking for Orthon: The Story of George Adamski, the First Flying Saucer Contactee, and How He Changed the World
Britain is well prepared to fight apocalyptic zombie invasion
In the event of an apocalypse brought about by an army of the undead, civil servants would co-ordinate the military's efforts to "return England to its pre-attack glory", according to a Freedom of Information request that has revealed the country's contingency plans.
The MoD would not lead efforts to plan for such a zombie attack or deal with the aftermath because that role rests with the Cabinet Office, which co-ordinates emergency planning for the Government.
Details about the authorities' surprising level of readiness for a zombie onslaught emerged in a response to an inquiry from a member of the public.
The MoD replied: "In the event of an apocalyptic incident (eg zombies), any plans to rebuild and return England to its pre-attack glory would be led by the Cabinet Office, and thus any pre-planning activity would also taken place there.
"The Ministry of Defence's role in any such event would be to provide military support to the civil authorities, not take the lead. Consequently, the Ministry of Defence holds no information on this matter."
The Army is frequently called on to save the day in zombie films. Soldiers arrive in the nick of time, for example, to rescue the hero at the climax of Simon Pegg's 2004 comedy Shaun of the Dead.
This is not the first time that public authorities have provided tongue-in-cheek responses to Freedom of Information inquiries about zombies.
Last year, Leicester city council was forced to admit that it had no specific preparations for dealing with a zombie invasion, although the local authority stressed that certain aspects of its emergency plan would apply to any disaster. Bristol city council went rather further when asked what it would do in the event of an undead rampage through the West Country.
A senior official replied with a copy of a "top secret" internal strategy document setting out how the council would respond to a "zombie pandemic".
Staff were told to listen out for code words in radio and television broadcasts to warn them that an attack was under way, and given health and safety advice on the correct way to kill zombies.
Under the heading "procurement implications", the memo said Bristol city council had ordered suitable equipment for tackling the undead, "where possible, in line with our buy-local policy". It added: "A catalogue of standard issue equipment – cuffs, stun guns, protection suits, etc – is available on the staff intranet."
However, critics have accused people who make Freedom of Information requests about subjects such as zombies, wizards and vampires, of being time-wasters who are costing the taxpayer money.
Some fear that trivial uses of the recently won right to ask public bodies to release information they hold will give politicians an excuse to scale back the powers, which were introduced in full only as late as 2005. - Telegraph
The Little-Known Legend of Jesus in Japan
On the flat top of a steep hill in a distant corner of northern Japan lies the tomb of an itinerant shepherd who, two millennia ago, settled down there to grow garlic. He fell in love with a farmer’s daughter named Miyuko, fathered three kids and died at the ripe old age of 106. In the mountain hamlet of Shingo, he’s remembered by the name Daitenku Taro Jurai. The rest of the world knows him as Jesus Christ.
It turns out that Jesus of Nazareth—the Messiah, worker of miracles and spiritual figurehead for one of the world’s foremost religions—did not die on the cross at Calvary, as widely reported. According to amusing local folklore, that was his kid brother, Isukiri, whose severed ear was interred in an adjacent burial mound in Japan.
A bucolic backwater with only one Christian resident (Toshiko Sato, who was 77 when I visited last spring) and no church within 30 miles, Shingo nevertheless bills itself as Kirisuto no Sato (Christ’s Hometown). Every year 20,000 or so pilgrims and pagans visit the site, which is maintained by a nearby yogurt factory. Some visitors shell out the 100-yen entrance fee at the Legend of Christ Museum, a trove of religious relics that sells everything from Jesus coasters to coffee mugs. Some participate in the springtime Christ Festival, a mashup of multidenominational rites in which kimono-clad women dance around the twin graves and chant a three-line litany in an unknown language. The ceremony, designed to console the spirit of Jesus, has been staged by the local tourism bureau since 1964. Continue reading at Smithsonian Magazine
Jesus In Japan
Rediscovering Japan, Reintroducing Christendom: Two Thousand Years of Christian History in Japan