Skeptophilia (skep-to-fil-i-a) (n.) - the love of logical thought, skepticism, and thinking critically. Being an exploration of the applications of skeptical thinking to the world at large, with periodic excursions into linguistics, music, politics, cryptozoology, and why people keep seeing the face of Jesus on grilled cheese sandwiches.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Weird news out of Whitby

In what is probably nothing more than a coincidence, but might have to do with hallucinogenic drugs in the water supply, today we have three stories from Whitby, England.

I remember Whitby as a lovely town, and one that I was mighty glad to see when I visited England, because it represented the end of my 110 mile solo hike across England, which had begun three weeks earlier at the Irish Sea in Blackpool.  The last part of the hike was across steep moorland country, and I still remember my relief when I saw the North Sea glittering in the distance, under virtually the only sunshine I'd enjoyed during the entire trip -- Britain was, according to a news report I saw, experiencing the rainiest summer since 1865, and I spent a good bit of the hike soaked to the skin.

So, anyway, my associations with Whitby are pleasant ones, and nothing odd or unexplained happened during my visit there.  But in the last few weeks, there has been a sudden spate of weirdness that makes me wish I could go there and investigate in person.

First we have two stories (source) regarding strange sightings.  In the first, Whitby resident Caroline Russell reports seeing an animal she describes as a huge, jet-black "cat-like creature" on February 29.

"It was my dog that flushed it out of next door’s garden," Russell told reporters.  "It flushed out a pheasant and at the same time it flushed out this black creature.  Where this had come from and why my dog didn’t chase it I’m not sure – my dog could have been scared of it.  I’ve never seen anything like it before."

The sighting, Russell said, occurred at two o'clock in the afternoon, and there's no way she's mistaken about what she saw.

"Whatever it was it disappeared.  It just shot up into the woods and it was jet black.  If it was a cat we would have heard it hissing but it was really, really quiet."

This is not the first time that there have been sightings of large black panther-like animals in the Whitby area.  In fact, the RAF base at nearby Fylingdales is rumored to be the site of a Roswell-style UFO conspiracy, but instead of bodies of aliens, the British military is alleged to be storing "the carcass of a puma-like creature."

For the record, I'm not making any of this up.

Russell, however, isn't saying whether she believes what she saw is an Alien Space Kitty.  "I’ve heard people talk about them and I’ve heard previously of someone walking through Mulgrave Woods and actually seeing a cat- like creature," she said.  "I walk along the ridge with my dogs and I’ve never seen it before or since."

It was only a day later that another Whitby resident saw a UFO in the skies above Port Mulgrave.

"I was coming out of Boulby Potash last night and had just pulled up at the junction," she told reporters, on the condition that her name not be released.  "I saw orange lights going round in a circle and I said to my daughter in the back of the car, ‘Blimey that’s a UFO’.  I did a big U-turn in the middle of the road and it had gone.  I looked into it and there was a young chap in 2007 who had seen something round about the same place on the second of March.  This was the first of March, but it was a leap year so it would have actually been the same day.  It was not an aeroplane and not a helicopter and there were about six big orange lights around it...  I got a tingle down my spine."

Myself, I wonder if what she saw was a Close Encounter of the Third Kind between Whitby councillor Simon Parkes and (literally) the Mother Ship.  This past Monday, Parkes stunned his colleagues on the Whitby Town Council by publicly stating that his mother was a nine-foot tall green alien with eight fingers on each hand.  (Source)

Parkes said he first saw his alien mum when  he was only eight months old.  Despite being only a wee baby, he recalls “a traditional kite-shaped face”, with huge eyes, tiny nostrils and a thin mouth appearing over his crib.

“Two green stick things came in," he said, in a YouTube video that you should all definitely watch.  "I was aware of some movement over my head.  I thought, ‘they’re not mummy’s hands, mummy’s hands are pink’."

He then said, "I was looking straight into its face. It enters my mind through my eyes and it sends a message down my optic nerve into my brain.  It says ‘I am your real mother, I am your more important mother’."

He also stated that he's seen his alien family many times since then, and in fact was taken for a tour of a UFO when he was eleven years old.  But, he stated reassuringly, and probably because anyone in the room at the time was inching their way toward the door by this point, no one should be worried that his mother is an alien.

"It’s a personal matter and it doesn’t affect my work. I’m more interested in fixing someone’s leaking roof or potholes.  People don’t want me to talk about aliens.  I get more common sense out of the aliens than out of Scarborough Town Hall.  The aliens are far more aware of stuff.  People in the Town Hall seem not to be aware of the needs of Whitby."

Myself, I think that a flying saucer would be handy thing to have if you were trying to fix a leaking roof.  You could simply hover over the house, and lower yourself down from a ladder.  Or possibly just fix the leak by materializing tar paper and sealant in place over the spot and fusing it with a ray gun.  So maybe it'd be useful to have alien connections on your town council.

Not that this is any comfort for the residents of Whitby, who apparently are reacting with some horror that the guy they elected is babbling like a loon.  And as for the rest of the town councillors, they seem a bit at a loss as to how to react.  There has been no official statement from the town council regarding the matter, although Parkes' fellow councillor Terry Jennison did tell reporters that he had no idea what Parkes was going on about.

"I'm completely in the dark about this," Jennison said.

So, anyway, that's the news today from lovely Whitby.  Giant extraterrestrial space pumas, orange UFOs, and aliens on the town council.  Hearing all of this makes me want to go back for a visit.  I would, however, make sure to drink only bottled water while I was there.


  1. So let's suppose a large green alien comes to you and claims you are her son; just suppose. Are you obliged to believe her? I'd like to think I'd have the presence of mind to respond, "Hm, I don't really see the family resemblance here."

  2. Freud says that every man wants to bed his own mother, which in of itself is a twisted notion... let alone if that mother was a bug-eyed, green Alien.

    Then again, waltz into the wrong Mc-Mansion in Los Angeles on a typical day and you just might see the aforementioned scenario (and yes, God would still be in the corner with a camcorder).