Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Burglar Shoots Dog, Gets Himself Killed

Shawn Michael King

Home Invasion Goes Bad for Intruder
by Robert A. Waters

Summerfield, Florida sits about ten miles south of Ocala, in Marion County.  A farming community, it is unincorporated. 

At around 11:00 p.m., on August 15, 2017, a car drove up to Shawn Peterson's isolated home in Summerfield.   

The Ocala Star Banner reported that Peterson, "his girlfriend and his 4-year-old pit bull named Zeus, were inside the bedroom when he heard his back door being kicked in.  Peterson said his dog ran out of the room and went toward the noise." 

Suddenly, gunfire sounded inside the home.  After hearing several shots and scuffling in another room, Peterson noticed a shadow moving toward his bedroom.  He locked the door and told his girlfriend to hide in the closet.  As she entered, she tossed him his shotgun. 

Peterson said he shouted twice, "What's this all about?"  The intruder did not answer. 

Then, from outside the bedroom door, a gunshot rang out.  The bullet ricocheted through the door and into the bedroom, but did not strike the occupants. 

As Peterson's girlfriend hid in the closet, the intruder kept banging on the door.  Finally, Peterson fired a blast through the door.  The intruder ran from the home and Peterson called 911. 

The Star Banner reported that "Zeus was shot three times, with one of the bullets hitting the 85-pound dog in the head.  The dog is alive, Peterson said.  He said his back door has three bullet holes and he believes more than one person entered the home." 

Later that night, a car pulled up to the Ocala Health Care emergency room in Summerfield.  Video surveillance shows the driver getting out of the car and dragging someone from the passenger side.  He then goes to the entrance, knocks on the door, and flees. 
Shawn Michael King, the intruder, was a stranger to Shawn Peterson.  He died of wounds to his face and chest.  He had served two years in Florida State Prison for grand theft of a motor vehicle and burglary. 

Without a protective dog and a firearm, Peterson and his girlfriend would likely have murdered. 

Zeus is expected to survive.   

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Bigfoot Hunters and Hoaxes

Stranger than Sasquatch 
by Robert A. Waters 

At around midnight, Gawain MacGregor, dressed head-to-toe in raccoon skins, wandered into a dense North Carolina forest to "connect" with Sasquatch.  At the same time, in the same locale, a group of Sasquatch hunters who call themselves Bigfoot 911 gathered with cameras and film to record proof that the creature exists. 

According to MacGregor, it was there that he and the group stumbled on each other. 

MacGregor seeks to become one with nature by worshipping a figure called Enkidu.  This part-human, part-animal, as recorded in the "Epic of Gilgamesh," pre-dates the Bible.  On his blog, MacGregor writes: "Enkidu was created by the Goddess Aruru in response to the prayers of the citizens of Uruk, to act as a counterbalance to their king, Gilgamesh, who had lost his connection with nature[Enkidu] is described as extremely powerful, being two-thirds beast, one-third man and having a body covered in thick hair.  He drank from the rivers, grazed from the fields and galloped through the forests, sharing a union with nature long lost to humans."  MacGregor believes Bigfoot is Enkidu. 

After a brief encounter with the team from Bigfoot 911, MacGregor says he escaped deeper into the forest and never saw them again.   

Wandering around in the forest wearing a full regalia of raccoon skins isn't a smart thing to do.   

A great debate rages among the thousands of Sasquatch hunters.  Should we capture Bigfoot, film him (or her), or shoot him dead?  Many claim the only way to definitively prove the existence of Sasquatch is to kill him.  After all, films have been faked, and capturing a creature the size of Bigfoot has thus far proven implausible. 

While many groups, such as North Carolina's Bigfoot 911, only wish to verify the existence of Sasquatch, others want to put a bullet in its brainMany teams of Bigfoot searchers wander the forests at night carrying high-powered deer rifles and having itchy trigger fingers.  The raccoon skin-clad MacGregor would be wise to stay away from forests where people believe Sasquatch may exist. 

In Flathead County, Montana, Randy Lee Tenley donned a camouflaged Ghillie suit that resembles heavy foliage.  Generally used by military snipers or hunters, the head-to-toe attire could easily be mistaken for Sasquatch.  Tenley took off into the night, hoping to spark a "Bigfoot sighting." 

Unfortunately, on Highway 93, Tenley stepped into traffic and was killed. 

Montana State Trooper Jim Schneider explained: "He was trying to make people think he was Sasquatch so people would call in a Sasquatch sightingYou can't make it up.  I haven't seen or heard of anything like this before.  Obviously, his suit made it difficult for people to see him.  He probably would not have been very easy to see at all." 

This story is tragic indeed. 

Yet it might have been worse.  What if some hunter had mistaken Tinley for a Sasquatch and shot him dead? 

It goes back to the question of whether it's moral to kill Bigfoot. 

Skeptical Inquirer magazine editor Benjamin Radford frames the question this way:  “Would it be ethical to shoot and kill a Bigfoot?  Some say yes, because that’s the only way to prove they exist, and once proof is found, funds could be made available to protect them as an endangered species.  Others say no, that because Bigfoot sightings are so rare, they must have very small populations and killing one might drive the animals to extinction.  Ecological ethics aside, aiming a gun at a Bigfoot could be a bad idea.  You simply can’t know for sure if the mysterious, burly figure you have lined up in your sights is the real beast, or a bear, or a hoaxer in a costume.”