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Friday, December 30, 2016

Archaeologists Find Mermaid Skeletons? Well, not exactly. This story is a little bit old but I must have missed it, so I guess others did as well. But it appears it was a pretty hot item for a while.

First lets start with the story that circulates with the photographs. It go something like this:
 "Ancient skeleton of a mermaid before the Flood 8 millenniums ago was found near Sozopol Beach by Professor Dimitrov."

The story caught fire after it was shared on facebook by journalist Petar Genchev. Some reports say the journalist's name was Peter Dale. The photographs and story instantly caught fire and spread quickly. It also caused a debate about mermaids being real and the new findings seemed to confirm it for many people. But were the story and the findings actually real? The short answer is no but there is more to the story. It appears this was not really an attempt to hoax, originally.

It appears the above images were actually created from an original photograph for a digital designers contest. You can read more about that by Clicking here.  

To the left you will see the original picture, that was later manipulated into a mermaid skeleton. As you can see the original image was of a normal looking skeleton.

Later on some would be hoaxers add the "Professor Dimitrov" name to the image and the phony back story. Then all it took was getting the story on social media and boom you have a viral story about mermaids.

The phony story and images also made its way onto several legitimate news websites, so that only helped fuel the story.

Social media can be a wonderful news source but unfortunately it can also push fake stories and news. So, it is always good to check into it more.

Before I get into my final thoughts about this type of thing, I want to share the other original picture that was photoshoped into a mermaid skeleton. On the left you will see it. This image, transformed into a mermaid,  is sometimes passed around by itself with various different stories. But the original images is of a normal skeleton and not a mermaid.

Now, for some final thoughts.
I'll be the first to admit I'm not a person who goes out and researchers for mermaids on a regular basis. I will and have worked on cases, videos and claims about mermaids as an independent investigator. Many people believe mermaids are real, and some actually research regularly for evidence of them. I think it is worth looking in to and there is a large history of reports. I would not want to totally dismiss the idea that there could be real mermaids. But many people do totally dismiss mermaids, much like they do bigfoot.

So, what effect does fake stories about mermaids or bigfoot have on research and opinions?
Well, to some it may be nothing but a fun hoax or a fake story to get a few website views. It may seem like there is no harm, but it does have an effect. If folks buy into a hoax and then later find out it was a hoax, then they some times think all stories are a hoax. They may even lose interest in the subject completely.

Hoaxes in the bigfoot field have a very negative effect, in my opinon. It adds to the skepticism. It gives the skeptics more rocks to throw at research and researchers. It makes the scientific community back away and not give it the proper consideration. The field of cryptozoology is grossly underfunded already. Most researchers have to be self funding and work normal jobs. Yes, a few of us write books or do videos, but the incoming funds are almost nonexistent compared to time and expenses. Hoaxes are normally created to serve the hoaxer and not the research field.

While it may be a joke to some people, a lot of us have a real interest in these subjects. We have invested large amounts of time, energy and money pursuing these oddities. We have endured criticism and been ridiculed but yet we keeping doing it. So, anything that could possibly cause our findings, or our efforts to be taken less seriously should be frowned upon, in my opinion.

But we all understand that hoaxes, and fake reports are all just part of the territory. It is just something we have to deal with. I don't think hoaxes will be going away anytime soon. We just try to steer people to good information and researchers.


This post by Thomas Marcum, Thomas is the founder/leader of the cryptozoology and paranormal research organization known as The Crypto Crew. Over 20 years experience with research and investigation of unexplained activity, working with video and websites. A trained wild land firefighter and a published photographer, and poet.

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