Posted by Adam Wills
Gawker published photos on Tuesday of what’s being dubbed the Monster of Montauk—or the Montauk Monster—under the headline: “Dead Monster Washes Ashore in Montauk.”
Three friends walking along the beach apparently stumbled onto the creature, which some have described as a turtle that lost its shell or a raccoon.
GeekHeeb hoped to talk with Rachel Goldberg, whose camera is said to have been used by Jenna Hewitt to take the photo on July 13. Instead, Courtney Fruin, one of the three friends who said they found the monster, took the call.
“We think it’s a mutant from Plum Island,” she said, referring to a USDA animal disease research center. “It had a beak, and it looked like a reptile in a dog’s body.”
Fruin said Hewitt took a couple shots with Goldberg’s camera, and then they just “dismissed it and walked away.” She said the photo was sent to their local newspaper, The Independent (“The Hound of Bonacville,” page 10), which Fruin supposes is how Gawker got the image.
According to New York magazine:
The photo had come over e-mail to Anna Holmes, the managing editor at Jezebel, from an employee at Evolutionary Media Group, in Los Angeles; Holmes passed it on to Gawker. Because it came from a marketing company, Gawker surmised, “our guess is that it’s viral marketing for something.” They later pointed to a Cartoon Network show, Cryptids Are Real, which features similar-looking chubby monsters. We called Evolutionary, where a woman named Alanna Navitski, who claimed to be responsible for the tip, swore it was not a viral-marketing campaign. “This is what happened,” she said.
“I got this e-mail and opened it from my girlfriend who works at Harris Publications, which has nothing to do with anything. Anyway, my girlfriend’s sister was there with her friends and one of them took the picture. And we were like, ‘This is the scariest shit we’ve ever seen.’ And so — I’m in marketing — we were like, ‘Maybe we should send it to a few blogs and see if anyone else is as freaked out as we are.’ We had no idea that it would turn into this. Now it’s literally a beast of its own. But it has nothing to do with any kind of campaign.”
In fact, this turned out to be true. A number of eyewitnesses say they saw the monster with their own eyes. “I saw the monster,” says Michael Meehan, a 22-year-old waiter at the Surfside Inn, which sits above the beach where the monster washed up. “I just came walking down the beach and everyone was looking at it. No one knew what it was. It kind of looked like a dog, but it had this crazy-looking beak. I mean, I would freak out if something like that popped up next to me in the water.”
While Fox News wasn’t able to find the carcass, GeekHeeb got some answers:
“A friend has the carcass,” Fruin said.
She wouldn’t give up the friend’s name or his phone number, but Fruin says he’s waiting to hand the monster over to the proper authorities for an autopsy.
The assumption would be that the “proper authorities” would not include the Plum Island Animal Disease Center. Dr. Larry Barrett, the center’s director, has denied the mutant abomination originated from its facility:
“It is impossible to accurately identify the species of animal from the photo. There is no scale from which to judge its size. Additionally, when a body has had prolonged exposure to water and predators, it can be altered or appear different from its normal form. If we had the actual body, we could tell you what it is; however, from viewing a canine tooth in the picture, we could guess it may be a cat or raccoon. I can state categorically that it is not associated with the work performed at Plum Island Animal Disease Center (PIADC). PIADC serves as the nation’s first line of defense against foreign animal diseases of livestock by identifying such diseases through diagnostic testing and by developing vaccines to protect livestock from those diseases.” (Associated Content)
So is this the real deal or just some Photoshop scam?
The Jewish Journal’s own resident Photoshop experts are divided. One says the shadow cast from the head looks wrong when compared with the other shadows and mentioned that the sand around the neck would make it easy to fake the photo. The other said the shadows looked to be about right, depending on where the light source was.
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July 29, 2008 | 9:45 pm
Posted by Adam Wills
The Bell Textron Jet Pack in the James Bond film Thunderball (yes, and Die Another Day) might look like fun, but it’s only good for about 30 seconds and it’s incredibly expensive to run. And the jetpack featured in The Rocketeer would probably burn your legs off faster than it would boost you into the sky … if it were real.
Today, New Zealand inventor Glenn Martin demonstrated his Martin Jetpack—the first jetpack with 30 minutes of flight time—at the EAA AirVenture show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. It has a patented fan jet technology, operates on run-of-the-mill gasoline, complies with Ultralight regulations and is easy to fly after completion of a training program.
“We’ve made it possible to fly the dream,” Martin said.
The thing is also loud, bulky and runs about $100,000 (donations should be sent to the GeekHeeb Martin Jetpack Fund, c/o The Jewish Journal, 3580 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1510, Los Angeles, CA 90010).
John Schwartz of The New York Times took it out for a little spin:
On a couple of test runs in the yard of a home here belonging to a friend of Mr. Martin, the jetpack jumped off the ground as if impatient to get moving, scattering a cloud of dirt and grass clippings.
With the startling power of its twin rotors and its 200-horsepower engine behind my shoulder blades screaming like an army of leaf blowers, it felt almost as if I were doing the lifting myself, with muscles I did not know I had. It felt like living in the future — and, even better, the future we imagined back when it was something to be hoped for rather than feared.
Pressing the left-hand stick forward caused the device to pitch forward slightly, and the jetpack began advancing, a few feet above the lawn. Mr. Martin and a colleague steadied it by grasping hand rails and trotting alongside, like parents teaching a child to ride a bicycle without training wheels.
Then, coming around a curve, Mr. Martin jogged to the right to avoid some equipment on the ground, bringing the jetpack too close to an overhanging tree. The limb was sucked into the rotors with a brief but sickening sound, like a blender trying to make a margarita with twigs. Luckily, he had spare parts and access to a workshop to replace a chipped rotor.
July 8, 2008 | 8:18 pm
Posted by Adam WillsA meteor entered the skies of central Israel on Tuesday night at about 8:15 p.m. Astronomers had failed to predict the arrival of this large hunk of rock, which apparently freaked out a number of Israelis, JPost and Haaretz reported.
Yigal Pat-El, chairman of the Israeli Union of Astronomers, told Army Radio that the meteor was exceptionally large, and that its entry into the atmosphere was not expected.
Nevertheless, he emphasized that this was not an uncommon occurrence.
"Meteors enter the Earth's atmosphere all the time - it's not a rare phenomenon. The meteor was relatively large - most do not weigh a thousandth of a gram, and it seems this meteor would have weighed a few grams," he said.