Invisibility cloaks and Bigfoot found? WTF??

For those of you who are still glued to the television, devouring the hype and “isn’t it lovely, despite what’s actually going on in China” fest that is the Olympics, here are a couple of news items that may have escaped your attention.

From the land of the sometimes downright odd, otherwise known as the US of A, two interesting reports have surfaced in the past couple of days.

Firstly, the “greatest discovery of the millennium” (according to those who made the discovery … uh, right), has appeared in the shape of an alleged corpse belonging to that elusive and somewhat tricky to document group of creatures, known as “Bigfoot”. (See Times Online article here)

Supposedly the creature’s body was found in the forests of Georgia (USA) by two “Bigfoot hunters” (one of whom is currently on leave from police work after accidentally shooting himself while chasing a robbery suspect … okaaay) at a time that has not been specified (but we presume was fairly recently).  The photo that has emerged online is somewhat questionable, with many likening it to a moth-eaten “Halloween costume” adorned with “some animal entrails”.  Having seen the photo, I have to say the skeptics have a point.

Not that I don’t necessarily believe that ol’ Sasquatch is out there.  My mother has a rice paper painting from a Native Canadian Elder that depicts Bigfoot, which she helpfully hung just near by bedroom door when I was a kid – and then wondered why I was scared of the dark and didn’t like going to bed – so I know that those native to North America certainly believe that he is real.

I’m just not sure that this particular discovery is legit, particularly when you take into account that someone who is widely regarded as a known hoaxer in the Bigfoot world has taken up the cause and is now running the show.

Anyway, we’ll find out one way or the other within the next 12 hours, when they hold their official press conference in Palo Alto, California (why there specifically one wonders?), where they say they will provide DNA evidence that the find is real.

Although, as one astute commentator pointed out – what are they going to match the DNA evidence to?

Amazingly, far more viable is the news that scientists at the University of California think they’ve found a way to master the art of invisibility.  The research has been funded by the Pentagon (of course it has – and if they thought that Bigfoot could help them dominate on the battlefield, they’d be funding the Bigfoot searches as well), and articles about this more legitimate discovery will be published in various science journals this week.

This breakthrough doesn’t originate in America, however.  Sir John Pendry, Professor of Theoretical Physics at Imperial College, London was the first scientist to propose this technology (it involves metamaterials, and lots of other sciency things that I don’t understand because I gave up studying science as soon as I could at high school), which the US then picked up and developed further.

I imagine that celebrities everywhere are rejoicing.  Just think what Lindsay Lohan could do with an invisibility cloak?  Angelina Jolie?  Paris Hilton?  Oh, wait, not Paris – what was I thinking?  Like she’d ever embrace anonymity.  But you get my point.

Of course, it’s unlikely that this technology will be on offer to the general public.  I suspect the idea of the general populace having access to a way to make themselves disappear would not sit comfortably with any government.  That said, if the US Government think they can make money out of it, you could see Harry Potter-style invisibility cloaks available at your nearest Walmart very soon …

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