This week a number of things have bugged me about the way the media reports on paranormal issues. I am not talking about the usual pooh-poohing of UFO reports, which I have to admit seem to have got a bit better recently, I am talking about how they hype things that are blatantly NOT paranormal.
The first gripe I have is over the Chupacabra reports. Over the past couple of years, the media has covered reports of ‘chupacabras’, usually in Texas. They have covered sightings, dead bodies and autopsies. But the blatantly obvious problem is that the creatures they report as ‘chupacabras’ are not! Here is an example reported just these past few weeks.
The creatures that the media portray as ‘chupacabras’ are also known as ‘blue dogs’ which is a lot closer to reality. They are often dogs with severe mange, or dog / coyote hybrids, which account for their odd features. This is established fact by DNA testing of the remains of these creatures once shot or discovered dead. These dogs have absolutely nothing in common with what the ‘real’ reported chupacabra looks and behaves like.
The result of this sensationalistic reporting in the media is just hurting the true investigations into the REAL cryptid. As a result of this reporting, people see ALL chupacabra stories as merely ‘dog stories’.
Another example of this is the persistent reporting on ‘ghosts’ caught on camera. Just today was another such report in the Daily Mail.
The problem is that once a reasonable person views the footage, it becomes blatantly clear that the ‘ghost’ is nothing more than an errant moth who happened to be flying close to the lens. Why the media persists in reporting these as ‘ghosts’ is anyone’s guess.
In both instances, the media doing a great deal of damage to credibility of real paranormal activity and investigations into that activity. When normal people see these blatantly inaccurate reports being labelled as ‘paranormal’, they are more inclined to be skeptical with any other footage shown to them – regardless of how good or bad it is.
This kind of reporting also adds evidence to the arsenal of the skeptics who will quickly use these reports as evidence that all paranormal activity is merely explained away by every day events. For those of us in the paranormal field who have seen, either by the other excellent evidence out there or through our own experience, know that not all things can be so easily explained away and dismissed. But good luck convincing these people of it.
In recent years, we have seen an increase in reports of the paranormal due to the increased interest amongst people at large. It is unfortunate that this interest is being dashed by the inaccurate and shoddy reporting by the mainstream media, and yes also some paranormal alternative media too!
It would not surprise me if the media started reporting that large raccoons with skin diseases were in fact Bigfoot!