The second thing I received was a bunch of venomous emails deriding Dr Ketchum from people that I have never heard of. I deleted them and got on with my morning activities.
However, events have trundled on, and now an online publication called Denovo claims to be publishing the paper. The Journal of Advanced Multidisciplanary Exploration in Zoology certainly seems to exist (despite claims on the internet) but their website is rudimentary and the links are dodgy. It seems to be published by a bunch called SCHOLASTICA (who sound somewhat like a Britpop band from twenty years ago) who claim to provide a service whereby you can...
"Manage and publish your existing journal, or lead the Open Access movement in your field by starting a new journal. Scholastica makes it easy to collaborate on a journal and publish scholarship at the click of a button. Scholastica puts control over scholarly publishing back into the hands of scholars."
Gosh. And Denovo? They appear to be a website which it is claimed is owned by Melba Ketchum. I tried to log in to their press room, but I have no press card, and apparently as I am not a journalist I am not trustworthy enough to have access. I used to do contract work for the News of the World so my honesty and probity should be above suspicion. So I wrote:
To whom it may concern:
Whilst I do not have an accredited press card, I am the editor of the world's oldest cryptozoological journal, and the daily online magazine http://forteanzoology.blogspot.com/ which gets hits of between 2-5,000 every day. I also present a monthly webTV show about cryptozoology, which has preoduced more than 60 episodes.
Would it be possible for me to have access to your press room?
(Director of the Centre for Fortean Zoology)
I totally agree with Loren who writes that he looks forward to reading the entire paper. So do I. And, I would like to state publically that no-one would be happier than me if this paper does prove the existence of the elusive North American manbeast. However, the confusion surrounding the journal which is doing the publication, the fact that the original citation says that the paper was published last month, the fact one of the journals claimed for publishing the thing seems to be a website owned by the main author, and the other appears to be an open access POD operation which doesn't actually show the title in its catalogue does not do the credibility of the paper any favours.
I want to stress that I am not mud slinging. No-one knows better than me that the internet is a bloody bear pit, and that it is very easy to become the sacrificial victim of a self righteous mob. I have been in that position on several occasions, and it is not a pleasant place to be. I would urge everyone to sit back and wait for the paper to be published. The personal attacks on Dr Ketchum are completely out of order, and I think that those responsible should be ashamed of themselves.