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Tags cryptozoology , devil's footprints , ufos

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Old 5th October 2013, 06:14 AM   #41
Alan Lowey
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Originally Posted by Alareth View Post
The person who took that photo says it was the size of a jetliner.

That's a damn big dragonfly.
Sure is. This is actually the size of UFOs that airline pilots report funnily enough.
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Old 5th October 2013, 06:21 AM   #42
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This is an interesting article The largest complete insect wing ever found

Quote:
When Harvard curator of fossil insects Frank M. Carpenter dug up this wing in an Oklahoma prairie in 1940, he held a piece of the first evidence that insects had once been gigantic. The wing belonged to an ancestral dragonfly, Meganeuropsis americana, with a wingspan of almost two and a half feet.

According to Nancy Pick in The Rarest of the Rare, a book about Harvard’s natural history museum, Frank Carpenter and a colleague, in just 10 weeks in the summer of 1940, collected more than 5,000 fossil insects in Noble County, Oklahoma, including this one. The modern dragonflies have wingspans of about four inches; the wings of the largest of today’s dragonflies measure roughly six inches across.

This formidable creature lived during the Permian period, from 290 million to 248 million years ago, before birds existed, even before dinosaurs, when amphibians were the dominant life form. Parts of Oklahoma and Kansas were a tropical coastal wetland, alternately brackish and then fresh as the epeiric sea withdrew. Meganeuropsis swooped over the swamps, snatching insects from the air and seizing small amphibians. (Were it still extant, it would be a terror to mosquitoes.) The Permian ended abruptly with the greatest mass extinction ever known, perhaps caused by a blow to Earth by a comet or asteroid: 70 percent of all land dwellers were goners, Meganeuropsis among them.

Perched on the fossil wing, for a spot of color and to provide scale, are modern-day descendants known as Blue Darners or Southern Hawkers (Aeshna cyanea). Like others of their kin, they spent their larval stage in water, eating whatever they could get their mouths on. As adults, they could beat their two uncoupled pairs of wings independently, an ability that makes the dragonfly a marvel of flight engineering and a master of the air. It can pursue insect prey at high speeds (35 miles per hour or more, in some species). It can change course 180 degrees in a flash. It can hover.

The respiratory biology of the dragonfly, the way it diffuses oxygen through its body, puts an upper limit on body size, a limit Meganeuropsis appears to have ignored. A controversial theory scientists have proposed is that the Permian atmosphere must have been richer in oxygen than ours for this giant to fly; it could not have negotiated today’s thin air. This wing is at rest on permanent exhibit at Harvard’s Museum of Natural History.
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Old 5th October 2013, 06:28 AM   #43
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Meganeura:

Quote:
Controversy has prevailed as to how insects of the Carboniferous period were able to grow so large. The way oxygen is diffused through the insect's body via its tracheal breathing system puts an upper limit on body size, which prehistoric insects seem to have well exceeded. It was originally proposed (Harlé & Harlé, 1911) that Meganeura was only able to fly because the atmosphere at that time contained more oxygen than the present 20%. This hypothesis was dismissed by fellow scientists, but has found approval more recently through further study into the relationship between gigantism and oxygen availability. If this hypothesis is correct, these insects would have been susceptible to falling oxygen levels and certainly could not survive in our modern atmosphere. Other research indicates that insects really do breathe, with "rapid cycles of tracheal compression and expansion". Recent analysis of the flight energetics of modern insects and birds suggests that both the oxygen levels and air density provide a bound on size.

A general problem with all oxygen-related explanations of the giant dragonflies is the circumstance that very large Meganeuridae with a wing span of 45 cm (1.5 ft) also occurred in the Upper Permian of Lodève in France, when the oxygen content of the atmosphere was already much lower than in the Carboniferous and Lower Permian.

Bechly (2004) suggested that the lack of aerial vertebrate predators allowed pterygote insects to evolve to maximum sizes during the Carboniferous and Permian periods, maybe accelerated by an evolutionary "arms race" for increase in body size between plant-feeding Palaeodictyoptera and Meganisoptera as their predators.
I propose that meganeura has evolved a straight-through trachea system which doubles as a silent air-propulsion system. Blood from fish and amphibians prey species could be stored in the thick wing veins to increase oxygen uptake capability.
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Last edited by Alan Lowey; 5th October 2013 at 06:33 AM.
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Old 5th October 2013, 06:32 AM   #44
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Hi Alan/Mr Lowley,

Thanks for an interesting thread. Just a few pointers that I hope will help you on the Forums:

a) Before attempting to explain a phenomenon first of all verify that it is real - a lot of people omit this part and sometimes find that the phenomenon isn't real at all!

b) When the phenomenon has been proven to exist, use the simplest explanation (Occam's Razor) that fits the facts and don't invent things. Less is more.

c) You seem to be well-versed in this already - cite high-quality evidence. This is really important. High-quality evidence will come from reputable sources. Another thing - check that the source backs up your argument instead of refuting it. Some people have had that problem - cited things at random and found that they refuted their own point!

d) The only way to find the height of something in the air is to use a range-finder (usually a laser pointed at the object with doppler shift giving the distance and speed - expensive though). As I found out (I'm a pilot), guesses are invariably wrong.

e) Unidentified Flying Object is that - unidentified. Not an alien spaceship, giant dragonfly or indeed a floating teapot! Unidentified means unknown. It could be anything from a white blood cell in your eye to a plane (most of them turn out to either be Venus or a plane upon investigation)

Hope this helps.

PS: And welcome to the Forum
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Old 5th October 2013, 06:34 AM   #45
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He's right! Can't you fools see that this is a genetically-engineered cross between a Bigfoot and a dragonfly? It's Bigfly!
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Old 5th October 2013, 06:40 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by Alan Lowey View Post
This is an interesting article The largest complete insect wing ever found

So a giant dragonfly time traveled to England and pogoed around?
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Old 5th October 2013, 06:40 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
It is true that a giant dragonfly is not a "paranormal" or supernatural explanation, and is therefore more credible than, say, Old Nick right out of the gate when it comes to the culprit behind the footprints.

But at the same time, other non-supernatural explanations - for instance, small animals like rabbits whose tracks in melting snow look very similar to the "footprints" - are in turn more credible than giant dragonflies, because they're already widely known to exist and behave in the way necessary to cause the tracks.

The thing is, you've got an uphill battle here. You've got to not only establish the factual existence of the dragonflies, but you've got to explain why they would be structurally identical to smaller versions of themselves but display vastly different behaviors that don't seem to make sense. For instance, again taking them at face value, the witness reports of giant dragonflies do not describe them as hopping about on their claspers or flying during winter with repeated contact with the snow; so you must explain why you feel they are describing the same creature you are theorizing. Likewise, most blood-feeding insects keep the blood and other food they eat in their gut; you must explain why you think this food-blood would for instance be stored in other parts of the body where the insect's own hemolymph would be such as in the wing veins. Another problem would be how the insect keeps this blood warm enough to keep itself warm enough to be active during the winter.


Okay, thanks for the reasonable post.

Here's an interesting fact from this site Griffenflies:

Quote:
Of course, when griffenflies ruled the air they really ruled the air. Flying vertebrates, birds, bats, and pterosaurs, would not evolve for at least another 100,000,000 years, so the skies were free of more active fliers that might have preyed on griffenflies.

Why wouldn't a sub-species could have evolved to fly at night? This would have meant that it was free from the predation of early birds. It would have been too big for the later bats as well perhaps.[/quote]

A 100,000,000 years is a long time for evolution to take place. A hundred million years! They ruled the skies. No other flying predators even existed at this time!

Last edited by Alan Lowey; 5th October 2013 at 06:45 AM.
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Old 5th October 2013, 06:42 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
Like these rabbit tracks.

Or these.
Exactly. Though I'll grant that at least one animal in the second picture has cloven hooves even more like what one would expect from the devil than the "Devil's footprints."
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Old 5th October 2013, 06:49 AM   #49
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It's a fact that no known animal fits the evidence of the mystery tracks in the snow.
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Old 5th October 2013, 06:50 AM   #50
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The problem is that those insects were dead before the 1800s. And even the largest one appears too small to produce the footprints. I think it can be ruled out on the date alone. I'm not well-versed on cloven-hoofed animals so I can't be of any more help on that front, sorry.

Another thing to bear in mind is the fact that people are often mistaken in eyewitness reports. It's human nature and probably every human on the planet will do it. Anecdote alert: When a burglary occurred last year on a neighbour's house, my character description of the perpetrator I saw was incorrect on several counts - height, hair colour, face shape and locale accent. Fingerprints and DNA evidence proved who it was and he didn't match my description that well! I did get build, age and sex correct though.
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Old 5th October 2013, 06:58 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by Alan Lowey View Post
It's a fact that no known animal fits the evidence of the mystery tracks in the snow.
Except deer or rabbits, judging by the photographs. Musk deer (extinct in Europe but could be an escapee from a zoo) or muntjac deer have the right size, footprint shape and stride length to make the tracks. Rabbits hopping in the way described by Pup and MikeG could also make the tracks.

Theorising entirely new species on the strength of some drawings, some urban legends and a couple of blurry photos with no scale information might be fun but it's not a sceptical or scientific way of approaching this.
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Old 5th October 2013, 06:58 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by Alan Lowey View Post
It's a fact that no known animal fits the evidence of the mystery tracks in the snow.
Except for those shown to match elsewhere in this very thread.
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Old 5th October 2013, 06:59 AM   #53
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Okay, this going to get really weird now. There's a video of a strange dragonfly-like entity which is unique in that:

(i) A luminous dynamic two-pronged web-like decoy structure is emitted from the back of it's body
(ii) It has a bright circular structure at the top of each compound eye
(iii) Just before take off, a second pair of eyes emerges up from between the normal two in a helmet-like fashion.


See here: Strange Dragonfly


Now, compare the two light circular structures on the eyes with this reconstruction of a helmeted hairy entity terrorizing the inhabitants of New Delhi:


New Delhi Helmeted Bugman

......
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Old 5th October 2013, 07:01 AM   #54
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You do realise that the New Delhi bugman was a mass delusion right? Mass hysteria was to blame.
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Old 5th October 2013, 07:04 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by tuxcat View Post
You do realise that the New Delhi bugman was a mass delusion right? Mass hysteria was to blame.

Lol. The authorities would say that if they didn't have an explanation wouldn't they.
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Old 5th October 2013, 07:09 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by Alan Lowey View Post
It's a fact that no known animal fits the evidence of the mystery tracks in the snow.
No, it's not. Did you see my posts and the photos that MikeG posted?
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Old 5th October 2013, 07:10 AM   #57
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In this case the authorities *do* blame the attacks on unknown insects!


Indian villagers blame UFO for attacks, but police blame insects


Quote:
SHANWA, India (AP) -- It comes in the night, a flying sphere emitting red and blue lights that attacks villagers in this poor region, extensively burning those victims it does not kill.

At least that's what panic-stricken villagers say. At least seven people have died of unexplained injuries in the past week in Uttar Pradesh state.

"A mysterious flying object attacked him in the night," Raghuraj Pal said of his neighbor, Ramji Pal, who died recently in Shanwa. "His stomach was ripped open. He died two days later."

Many others have suffered scratches and surface wounds, which they say were inflicted while they slept. In the village of Darra, 53-year-old Kalawati said she was attacked last week and displayed blisters on her blackened forearms.

"It was like a big soccer ball with sparkling lights," said Kalawati, who uses only one name. "It burned my skin."

"I can't sleep because of pain," she said.

Doctors dismiss the stories as mass hysteria.

"More often than not the victims have unconsciously inflicted the symptoms themselves," said Narrotam Lal, a doctor at King George's Medical College in Lucknow, the state capital.

The police have another explanation: bugs.

"It is a three-and-a-half-inch-long winged insect" that leaves rashes and superficial wounds, Kavindra P. Singh, a superintendent of police, told the Press Trust of India news agency.

Police drew this conclusion after residents of one village found insects they had never seen before.

Villagers are unconvinced. In the most affected area, the Mirzapur district, 440 miles southeast of New Delhi, people have stopped sleeping outdoors despite the sweltering heat and frequent power outages.

Villagers also have formed protection squads that patrol Shanwa, beating drums and shouting slogans such as, "Everyone alert. Attackers beware."

Some accuse district officials of inaction and failing to capture the "aliens." One person died Thursday in nearby Sitapur when police fired shots to disperse a 10,000-strong crowd demanding that authorities capture the mysterious attackers.

"People just block the roads and attack the police for inaction each time there's a death or injury," said Amrit Abhijat, Mirzapur's district magistrate, who claims he has captured the UFO on film.
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Old 5th October 2013, 07:12 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by Alan Lowey View Post
A 100,000,000 years is a long time for evolution to take place. A hundred million years! They ruled the skies. No other flying predators even existed at this time!
A hundred million years......and not a single fossil! Well, who'd would ever believe that? Amazing....
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Old 5th October 2013, 07:14 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by Pup View Post
No, it's not. Did you see my posts and the photos that MikeG posted?

The Centre For Fortean Zoology (CFZ) has studied the phenomena and hasn't come to the conclusion that it's from a commonly known animal. They say it's a real mystery.


THE CFZ INVESTIGATES: Mysterious footprints in Woolsery

......
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Old 5th October 2013, 07:17 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
A hundred million years......and not a single fossil! Well, who'd would ever believe that? Amazing....

Cannibalism would solve the fossil enigma. If a night flying meganeura which emitting colored lights for communication, indicated it was unhealthy and about to die, then others could intercept and devour the individual. Cannibalism is common place in the dragonfly community.
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Old 5th October 2013, 07:18 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by Alan Lowey View Post
The Centre For Fortean Zoology (CFZ) has studied the phenomena and hasn't come to the conclusion that it's from a commonly known animal. They say it's a real mystery.......
Oh OK then. We were all completely wrong then. These guys are obviously the bee knees when it comes to scientific enquiry. That seals the deal. We're clearly from Jupiter......oh sorry, wrong thread.........bigfoot lives........what, wrong thread again? Sorry....... Oh OK then, these rabbit footprints were clearly made by a tail-hopping giant dragonfly.
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Old 5th October 2013, 07:18 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by tsig View Post
So a giant dragonfly time traveled to England and pogoed around?
Please watch "Primeval". It'll explain all your doubts, answer all your questions.

Its true! The entertainment industry is preparing the public for the huge shock of the incoming revelations about the weird nature of our world.
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Old 5th October 2013, 07:20 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by Alan Lowey View Post
Cannibalism would solve the fossil enigma. If a night flying meganeura which emitting colored lights for communication, indicated it was unhealthy and about to die, then others could intercept and devour the individual. Cannibalism is common place in the dragonfly community.
You've just done makey-uppey again. I've told you about that already. Rule number one: if you haven't got any evidence, don't make yourself look foolish. Stop digging when you're in a hole.
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Old 5th October 2013, 07:22 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
Oh OK then. We were all completely wrong then. These guys are obviously the bee knees when it comes to scientific enquiry. That seals the deal. We're clearly from Jupiter......oh sorry, wrong thread.........bigfoot lives........what, wrong thread again? Sorry....... Oh OK then, these rabbit footprints were clearly made by a tail-hopping giant dragonfly.

You know where you heard it first. Time will tell whether I'm right or not. I'm not in any rush nor do I need to convince skeptics on this site.

Thank you for your posts.
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Old 5th October 2013, 07:23 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by Alan Lowey View Post
.........I propose that meganeura has evolved a straight-through trachea system which doubles as a silent air-propulsion system. Blood from fish and amphibians prey species could be stored in the thick wing veins to increase oxygen uptake capability.
Makey uppey tosh.

Oh, and did you miss this bit in the piece you quoted:

Quote:
scientists have proposed is that the Permian atmosphere must have been richer in oxygen than ours for this giant to fly; it could not have negotiated today’s thin air.
Edited:Thought better of it

Last edited by MikeG; 5th October 2013 at 07:44 AM.
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Old 5th October 2013, 07:25 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by Alan Lowey View Post
.....Time will tell whether I'm right or not. I'm not in any rush
You'll be waiting a damn long time. No evidence in support of your case in the last 100,000,000 years. Why would you expect any to turn up in the next 100,000,000?


Originally Posted by Alan Lowey View Post
Thank you for your posts.
The pleasure has been all yours.
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Old 5th October 2013, 07:27 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
You've just done makey-uppey again. I've told you about that already. Rule number one: if you haven't got any evidence, don't make yourself look foolish. Stop digging when you're in a hole.

More Dragonfly Cannibalism: Dragonhunter devours Darner
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Old 5th October 2013, 07:28 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by Alan Lowey View Post
The Centre For Fortean Zoology (CFZ) has studied the phenomena and hasn't come to the conclusion that it's from a commonly known animal. They say it's a real mystery.


THE CFZ INVESTIGATES: Mysterious footprints in Woolsery

......
How does that show "It's a fact that no known animal fits the evidence of the mystery tracks in the snow." It merely shows that one group of people--who are biased toward wanting to find mysteries--have decided it's a mystery.

Originally Posted by Alan Lowey View Post
In this case the authorities *do* blame the attacks on unknown insects!
I don't believe I've ever actually seen an appeal to authority introduced with the actual word "authorities" before.

Why did you ignore the other "authorities" quoted in the article, the doctors rather than the police?

Quote:
Doctors dismiss the stories as mass hysteria.

"More often than not the victims have unconsciously inflicted the symptoms themselves," said Narrotam Lal, a doctor at King George's Medical College in Lucknow, the state capital.
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Old 5th October 2013, 07:30 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by Alan Lowey View Post
Okay, this going to get really weird now. There's a video of a strange dragonfly-like entity which is unique in that:

(i) A luminous dynamic two-pronged web-like decoy structure is emitted from the back of it's body
(ii) It has a bright circular structure at the top of each compound eye
(iii) Just before take off, a second pair of eyes emerges up from between the normal two in a helmet-like fashion.


See here: Strange Dragonfly
It looks like a blurry video of a female Brown Hawker, with a bit of spiderweb/a mayfly/a dandelion seed blowing in the breeze close to it towards the end of the video. Brown Hawkers have a pair of spots on their thorax behind their eyes, which accounts for your point iii. The sun could easily account for your point ii and I'm afraid I'm not sufficiently familiar with dragonfly anatomy to address your point i, particularly given the blurriness of the video. Why is it that blurry videos are always of odd creatures, and well focussed ones are of common creatures which are easy to identify?

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_sm_x2DGvVf...7b+(Large).jpg

This photo of a female brown hawker demonstrates the shiny patches very well. Brown Hawkers are over 7cm long, which fits with the size of the one in the video assuming the bench is a standard size.
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Last edited by Agatha; 5th October 2013 at 07:32 AM.
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Old 5th October 2013, 07:52 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by Alan Lowey View Post
The Centre For Fortean Zoology (CFZ) has studied the phenomena and hasn't come to the conclusion that it's from a commonly known animal. They say it's a real mystery.
So it's not "a fact that no known animal fits the evidence of the mystery tracks in the snow", it's just the opinion of a bunch of people with a known predisposition to see mysteries where none exist?
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Old 5th October 2013, 07:54 AM   #71
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Alan, one problem with your claim is that your dragonfly was dead long long before the 1800s and 2000s! After cutting through the rhetoric devices, all I can see is that an unexplained event occurred (or is alleged to have occurred - you haven't demonstrated that it did occur).

The other big problem: Occams Razor - the most simplest explanation that introduces the least unknowns, suppositions and variables tends to be the correct one.

In another thread I have stated the following piece of logic: before attempting to explain a phenomenon first of all verify and provide evidence that it does exist. Without that, you may find yourself chasing hoaxes and mass hysteria.

Incidentally, going off topic slightly, have you taken into account culture? Indian culture is heavily geared towards superstition and nonsense. British culture in the 1800s was infested with religion and imaginary friends. In the 1500s it was witches. In the 21st century, unexplained footprints in the snow (or mud) is a fictitious monkey (or a man in a monkey suit) in the USA. Culture plays a large role in a lot of things - including people's interpretations of unusual events.
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Old 5th October 2013, 07:57 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by Pixel42
Originally Posted by Alan Lowey View Post
The Centre For Fortean Zoology (CFZ) has studied the phenomena and hasn't come to the conclusion that it's from a commonly known animal. They say it's a real mystery.
So it's not "a fact that no known animal fits the evidence of the mystery tracks in the snow", it's just the opinion of a bunch of people with a known predisposition to see mysteries where none exist?
Again demonstrating the need for GOOD evidence - peer-reviewed credible sources. Not hocus pocus from a group of psueodscientific woos. This is where most people who make claims fall down - by presenting poor "evidence." Yes, finding good sources that stand up to scrutiny is a difficult thing but it's what you have to do.
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Old 5th October 2013, 08:10 AM   #73
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So it's a giant blood-sucking dragonfly that hops around on its tail... It's Bigflypogocabra!
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Old 5th October 2013, 08:24 AM   #74
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Originally Posted by Alan Lowey View Post
Okay, this going to get really weird now. There's a video of a strange dragonfly-like entity which is unique in that:
I believe all of these things can be explained thusly:

Originally Posted by Alan Lowey View Post
(i) A luminous dynamic two-pronged web-like decoy structure is emitted from the back of it's body
As initially shown, it does seem puzzling. However, it soon becomes clear that the feathery object is not actually attached to the dragonfly, but the fencepost behind it. Beginning at about the 3:30 mark, when the dragonfly has briefly flown and landed on another portion of the fence rail, you can see the same feathery object still attached to the fencepost behind the dragonfly's leftmost (from our perspective) wings. When the dragonfly takes off again, it remains behind! It is obviously a bit of spiderweb or animal hair clinging to the fencepost and wafting in the breeze.

Originally Posted by Alan Lowey View Post
(ii) It has a bright circular structure at the top of each compound eye
This seems to be nothing more than the reflection of sunlight off the shiny surface of the eyes.

Originally Posted by Alan Lowey View Post
(iii) Just before take off, a second pair of eyes emerges up from between the normal two in a helmet-like fashion.
Not quite. Look at the entire head, not just the eyes. What's happening is the dragonfly is tilting its head upwards; the structures which end up between the eyes from our perspective are merely the front most parts of the dragonfly's "face". In similar fashion a nose sprouts between humans' eyes when they look up at the ceiling!
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Old 5th October 2013, 08:35 AM   #75
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Having rewatched the video, exactly what Checkmite said with regard to your point i.

It's a female Brown Hawker dragonfly, behaving in normal dragonfly fashion, next to a fence post to which is attached a bit of spiderweb or hair or similar, which reflects the sunlight as it moves in the breeze.

Next blurry video, please.
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Old 5th October 2013, 08:42 AM   #76
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I think it's fair to say that this dragonfly supposition has been refuted - despite the fact that it's been dead long BEFORE the "Devil Went to Devon" in the 1800s and the Indian mass hysteria in the 21st Century.
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Old 5th October 2013, 08:55 AM   #77
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Originally Posted by Alan Lowey View Post

It's probably a matter of one's own upbringing and belief system. If you're religious then perhaps a supernatural cause is more probable. If you're an atheist, then a new species of giant dragonfly is more likely, despite the bizarreness.
Here are our choices:
  1. It was Satan that made the tracks.
  2. It was a new species, undocumented before or since, that made the tracks.
  3. It was a known animal that made the tracks.
  4. It was a prank that made the tracks.

I think we can safely rule out number one, since Satan doesn't exist. We can rule out number two because the proposed creature is a giant insect that supposedly travels using a mode of travel seen in no other creature anywhere else in the world. And unless someone comes forward admitting to making the tracks we can rule out number four. Which leaves us with number three.
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Old 5th October 2013, 11:00 AM   #78
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I think it's safe to say that you'd never get a phrase like "endowed with the power of ubiquity" in a modern newspaper.
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Old 5th October 2013, 12:07 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
I think it's safe to say that you'd never get a phrase like "endowed with the power of ubiquity" in a modern newspaper.
Although it wouldn't surprise me to see it in certain sorts of spam email targeted toward men.
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Old 5th October 2013, 12:07 PM   #80
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That giant beetle seen by the guy on an airliner. Did he see it outside the aircraft while it was in flight?

That's a hell of a fast beetle!
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