Tuesday, August 29, 2006

A beast is dead, long live The Beast

The mystery of the beast found earlier this month in Turner, Maine, is laid to rest with the results of DNA testing pinpointing the remains as being those of a member of Canis, the dog family. [Source]

While for many of us it was confirmation of theories already held, others are not letting go of the mysterious nature of the beast so easily. Phinneus of Howland, Maine, comments on the Press Herald article that "this is the usual coverup. We must reject this conclusion that the beast is but a dog!" While this sounds like an over-the-top protest about the reality of the situation, further into his comment Phinneus makes a very important and valid point: "We need these hazy mysteries to stimulate conversation, encourage imagination..."

In today's Press Herald there is an editorial on the intriguing subject of the mysterious in Maine, in which the author assumes that speculations about the dead dog actually being "the Beast of Turner" are fact, and that the legendary Beast is dead. The author of the editorial informs readers that "[Writer Charles] Fort felt that people with a need to believe in the marvelous were no more prejudiced or gullible than those who need to deny that marvels exist."

What he misses is that beyond the people who have a "need to believe," there remains that fact the marvelous DOES EXIST. The world is full of things that defy what we perceive as reasonable. The human body alone is a system that seems miraculous, let alone the full wonder of the rest of the natural world that we interact with day by day.

Here is to many future hours spent in conversation about those hazy mysteries of Maine, beyond the flash of Fortean fame!

Special thanks to Loren Coleman for tipping me off to today's editorial.

1 comment:

downeast misanthrope said...

Totally in agreement-- real life has plenty of amazement.

I am interested in cryptozoology, not in hopes of learning that Bigfoot exists, or the Loch Ness Monster isn't a hoax... It's far more fascinating to me when a new species of deer is found in cambodia, or a giant squid is finally hauled up from the briny deep.

People tend to lump the unknown into familar buckets, and when one item is proved wrong, they perceive every other belief in that bucket is now suspect. Far from it! I believe extraterrestrial life exists out there in the universe, but that doesn't mean I have to believe they're responsible for crop circles, or that they're even visiting our planet at all.