Native Skeptic

Native Skeptic
Apache Crown Dancers 1887: http://www.firstpeople.us/photographs2/Apache-Spirit-Dancers-1887.html

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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The Greatest Accomplishments Have Humble Beginnings

One of my proudest accomplishments to date was for something that I did for the Committee for Scientific Inquiry and the Skeptical Briefs newsletter. I was asked to write some articles special for the subscribers to the Skeptical Inquirer Magazine. For my first article, I decided to investigate the subject of Native American Thunderbirds. 

I was proud of the work and how the piece came out, it was more exciting to see the finished product amongst other skeptics that I hold in high regards such as Sharon Hill of the Doubtful News website and one of the most prolific scientific paranormal investigators, Joe Nickell. I would print out copies to hand out to my friends and family. However, for this particular subject I got much more involved. For instance, I did not just include pictures for the sake of including them. I went out and around the city, even visiting a museum, to capture the Native American influences specifically depicting Thunderbirds.

Like most with most scientific investigations, I ended up spending most of the time in the library. I remember being excited to see that first issue come in the mail. It wasn't until months later that I received an e-mail from my then editor, scientific paranormal investigator extraordinaire Benjamin Radford, asking me if he could reference my article in his new book. I was floored. 

Somewhere down the line, I moved, got away from writing for a while and just when I forgot about the article, my Mom called me with the news that she had gotten the book, Mysterious New Mexico: Miracles, Magic, and Monsters In the Land of Enchantment. It meant more to me that she got to see it before I did. Once I got that copy in my hand, I found and flipped it to Chapter 7 Thunderbirds: Mysterious Giants in the Sky to find my name amongst the list of references. 

I guess there was never a feeling of real accomplishment until that moment. You don't really know if people are actually reading what you write. But, once someone contacts me or something like this happens, it makes it all seem like it was a successful endeavor. That was probably one of my most proudest accomplishments to date. It is weird to see my name in the work cited page of a published book, and at the same time, I always knew I would be in a book someday. Perhaps, I will write my own book next!

If you would like to read the Thunderbird article, click here.

Image from: http://benjaminradford.com/books-by-ben-radford/mysterious-new-mexico-miracles-magic-and-monsters-in-the-land-of-enchantment/an-excerpt-from-mysterious-new-mexico/