New Zealand Mystery Monster

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New Zealand mystery monster reported in The Aucklander and published on rense.com 29 Jun 2005, was accompanied by a photo of a scientist examining a dinosaur like footprint. The original article from rense.com reads:
"Something mighty strange is at large in Auckland and appears to be making its home in the Domain. The creature, for it is definitely an animal, only comes out at night. Then, it roams free through the huge park, leaving behind large, never-before-seen footprints, and unusual, unidentifiable droppings.
Alarmed early-morning joggers say trees are freshly scratched when they run the paths in the early morning. It's as if someone, or some beast, is trying to climb the trees. Of course, there must be a perfectly good explanation for all this. The problem is, nobody knows what the answer could be. Even the boffins in the white museum at the top of the hill, who are surely the best people in town at nutting out the mysteries, are at odds over what kind of brute could have taken up residence nearby. They agree on only one thing - it's a life form. But not as we know it. Glenys Stace is the museum's spokesperson on the new park resident. She pauses gravely before speaking. Her usually twinkling blue eyes are subdued as she gives full weight to the puzzle that experts like her have been asked to solve. "It's come to our attention, from people using the Domain, that strange things have been appearing," she begins. "It's possible this creature is hanging around." Her caution is understandable." (end of article)

On July 1 2005 The New Zealand Herald published a photo of a woman sitting on a park bench reading a book with a dinosaur peering over her shoulder. The photo was captioned: "Jo Lees has an unexpected visitor in the Auckland Domain. Dryosaur is a new attraction being launched today at the Auckland Museum. Picture / Brett Phibbs." There was no associated article.

It turned out both the article and photos were a publicity stunt by the Auckland Museum for a series of school holiday displays and activities about dinosaurs. The star attraction was a model of a Dryosaur. The website rense.com has acknowledged this, but the Auckland Museum's website kept up the pretence of having captured a real live dinosaur in its publicity about the school holiday activities.

Editorial Comment: If creationists used these kinds of tactics to get publicity for the Creation based Dinosaur museum in Glendive Montana (see www.creationtruth.com for details), they would be condemned in the most vitriolic terms. Museums are supposed to be places where people can learn about the real world around them, so they should concentrate on presenting facts. Otherwise they become Amuse- eums. The real world is interesting enough, and educational institutions should not have to resort to fantasy to attract students to learning about it. (Ref. deception, education, media)

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