In journalism the mid to late summer is sometimes referred to as "Silly Season". Mostly because the dog days of summer tend to offer up few major news stories and so serious media sometimes turns to something frivilous to hold reader interest. This summer, I think the season has started early. Bigfoot, Men In Black, UFO sightings, vampires, and other spirits of the night have all made appearances and we're only in early July.
Perhaps we need "Silly Season". With the other news so dreadful these days, especially with two wars, and suffering economy, and an oil spill which just keeps on giving, we can use some distraction.
So what "Silly Season" tales have been hitting the headlines?
One story which hit the press last week involved a woman who crashed her car by ramming it into reverse to avoid hitting a vampire. As I mentioned in tweet, thank god it wasn't a zombie.
one newspaper recently provided information of a sighting involving a 10 foot tall creature described as having "beautiful hair." I wonder if it was in a mullet? Another story, this one from North Carolina (no, I'm not going to insert a snarky comment here, it would be too easy and you deserve only snarky comments where they reflect wit and true snarkiness) involves a 911 call. It's a compelling listen. As hilarious as the caller is, asking: "Would I get in any trouble if I shot and killed this beast?", the 911 operator is priceless in her attentiveness.
The always reliable Fox News this June published this non-sensational headline for the discerning reading audience: Vast UFO Cover-Up a 'Cosmic Watergate,' Says Nuclear Physicist.The headline says it all. Even the other, more reliable Rupert Murdock toy, The Wall Street Journal, recently jumped into the season with this headline: Italian MEP Worried About UFOs.To be fair, it was a covered by many different news sources.
In you were reading the Tucson Citizen this week, you would have seen a story about a haunting at a Bank of America. The banks have been haunting me for some time, so I was pleased to read this. Turnabout is fair play. Another newspaper, on a different haunting, led off with headline: Possible signs of ghosts found at museum. The story, run by the Washington Examiner from an Associated Press feed, was an account of a Mason Dixon Parnormal Society investigation.
Finally, I'll fess up to my own Silly Season tale. Below is from a blog posting a year or so ago.
In 1995, while living in Detroit, I remember turning on my radio in the morning and hearing that something had crashed in Windsor. Apparently a fireball had been seen over Ohio and travelled over Michigan before crashing into a trailer park there. Later that morning, a second story followed where a representative from emergency services told the press a craft had been found in the wreckage. He later denied this, claiming to have been joking at the time. By late afternoon the radio stopped broadcasting information about the story. News of the fireball was played down and the fires in the trailer park were instead attributed to arson.
I don't know what happened, but such a story was grist for Silly Season. It should have been plastered everywhere. And while CNN and few other sources gave mention to the incident, it received none of the attention one would have expected. It amazingly whispered into nothingness.
Some UFO enthusiasts have started calling this "The Windsor Incident"
One website even has a blurred videoclip.
Most Detroiters I talk to scratch their heads when I bring this up.
It was Silly Season, after all, and we all know what sort of stories play in Silly Season.