Night Parrot debate

To: "'Ian May'" <>, "'Birding Aus'" <>
Subject: Night Parrot debate
From: "Tony Russell" <>
Date: Wed, 16 Oct 2013 09:40:00 +1030
Just as an aside, has anyone noticed that it's most frequently John's images
that are subjected to such intense photographical scrutiny whilst others,
perhaps depicting birds of a lesser rarity, ie unusual seabirds, notoriously
difficult to ID, often slide through without too much discussion and
certainly less fervour. John will reveal all if and when it suits him.
Meanwhile there do seem to be some tender agendas at work out there.
Patience people, patience. 

Tony, Adelaide.

-----Original Message-----
 On Behalf Of Ian May
Sent: Tuesday, 15 October 2013 6:26 PM
To: Birding Aus
Subject: Night Parrot debate

Hello all

After revealing irrefutable evidence about the existence of Night Parrot,
including hundreds of photographs, video, call recordings, DNA specimens and
backed up with credible confirmation by another respected observer, what
more could a reasonable person want.  


But John Young's antagonists now try to justify their personal nasty stuff
as quasi scientific discussion.  But the irony of it all is that most of
their comments are based on completely unsupported speculation. 

Quick searches of Birdforum archives, shows there are a couple of prominent
critics pursuing this thread; mostly the same names previously generating
this insensitive queasy agenda on birding-aus.  One can only 
speculate why?   Are there some mean spirited individuals out there 
trying to force John Young to reveal more information so as to defend 
himself or could there be someone with a personal "axe to grind".   
Either way, I reckon there should be no place for it here on the birding-aus

Ian  May

St Helens, Tasmania


Geoff Price wrote:

> Well said Stephen. I for one have been wondering why some cannot 
> differentiate between personal attacks and scientific debate.
> Certainly, there have been more personal attacks from the pro-Young 
> camp than those who question the scientific validity of the pictures.
> As you say - we are entitled to question, especially given the man's 
> history. As I see it, many respected scientists are questioning 
> certain behavioural aspects of the finder, such as suppressing the 
> call and altering images. This is scientific debate, NOT casting 
> aspersions on the validity of the find. So why are so many getting so 
> heated up when anyone dares question this, and the assumption that he 
> alone knows what is good for this species?
> On 15/10/2013 12:29 PM, Stephen Murray wrote:
>> Lloyd. Thank you for sharing this information.
>> However, I have to say that say I am completely taken aback by the way
>> people have been demonised for daring to ask a few questions about  the
>> photos. These are the first pictures we have  ever been shown of a live
>> Night Parrot. Did Mr Young really think people were not going to look
>> closely at the photograph?  People just wanted to know was why was it
>> altered, how much of it was altered, and did the publishers know it was
>> altered.   For that they are told to 'shut up', 'get a life' or worse,
>> accused of slander.  The religious fervour building up around this 
>> event is
>> starting to cloud people's judgement.  All the information about what 
>> a good
>> bloke John is, and how much he has sacrificed to get to this point, is
>> totally irrelevant to the discussion about the photo.
>> I particularly don't like the implication that because the photos 
>> were only
>> for public consumption it doesn't really matter that they were 
>> altered. You
>> have to remember that, until this discovery makes its way into a 
>> scientific
>> journal, members of the public have very little to go on.  Just a few
>> altered photos and what we have been told.
>> Steve Murray
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: 
>>  On Behalf Of Lloyd 
>> Nielsen
>> Sent: Monday, 14 October 2013 6:39 PM
>> To: 
>> Subject: [Birding-Aus] Night Parrot debate
>> Someone asked for the truth in this matter so please read below. I 
>> should
>> add that I have known John for about 30 years, have worked with him 
>> on many
>> occasions and regard him as a close friend.
>> John finally got the photos of the Night Parrot with the help of a 
>> birding
>> friend who has accompanied him on many of the trips (and who also saw 
>> the
>> parrot during that time). After the night of photography and some 
>> sleep was
>> had, they packed up and headed for home - a 15 hour drive. As soon as 
>> John
>> got within mobile range, he phoned me to say "We got it!" He was so 
>> excited
>> that he could hardly get the words out. They arrived back in Cairns late
>> that night. Next morning around 9.00 am John arrived up here at my 
>> place and
>> we sat at my kitchen table and spent a couple of hours going through 
>> about
>> 50 or so of the best photos as well as the video. I was the first to see
>> them. I had already heard much of the sound that John had got on 
>> previous
>> visits but we went through some of that again. Over previous years, I 
>> spent
>> time with him out at some of the sites where he has been looking for the
>> parrot, including the one where he finally got the photos. I have not 
>> been
>> fortunate enough to see the bird myself but know the exact site where he
>> photographed it - in fact the very spinifex bush the bird disappeared 
>> under!
>> As far as John altering the photo digitally is concerned, all he did 
>> was to
>> take a small spinifex twig off the birds back which was spoiling the 
>> photo.
>> I have just spoken to him again and he assures me adamantly that 
>> before he
>> sent the photo that is all he did (not that I needed that assurance). 
>> The
>> photo (a jpg!) was not for scientific consumption but for PUBLIC
>> consumption! What is the drama over that? Some people seem to have 
>> problems
>> differentiating between the two - just read the debate on Bird Forum. 
>> It is
>> something which happens a million times a day in the publishing 
>> world. There
>> are another hundred plus original Raw files which will be available for
>> publication at a later date with a scientific paper if needed.
>> I really can't believe some of the comments and doubting from some 
>> people
>> which has made its way onto Birding-aus!! John Young is one of the most
>> remarkable and talented field ornithologists Australia has ever seen 
>> and yet
>> there are people out there (mostly those who have never met
>> him) who still try to put him down at every opportunity.
>> And as far as the "debate" on the Bird Forum website is concerned, after
>> reading a few of those postings, I quickly hit the delete button - I 
>> have
>> better things to do than to waste time reading discussion such as 
>> that which
>> at times denigrates Australian birding and birders, with some 
>> bordering on
>> defamation. Why don't these people take some notice of the Aussies? A 
>> few
>> noted Australian ornithologists made an attempt to convince them that 
>> the
>> sighting and photographs were genuine but that seemed to be ignored 
>> but a
>> number of contributors.
>> Finally, a message to the doubters and knockers - for goodness sake, 
>> go take
>> a cold shower and give the man a break!! Recognise his ability, what 
>> he has
>> achieved and what he is doing. Allow him to make more data available 
>> in his
>> own good time. He is already working on the parrot and its welfare
>> (voluntarily with no financial remuneration) with others including 
>> some from
>> the scientific community. The object of this is to determine the 
>> status of
>> the bird etc etc, trying to locate it in other areas, to determine 
>> the best
>> ways to protect the bird, AND ways in which others might see it without
>> endangering the species. You are not helping either the cause 
>> (especially
>> when and if funds need to be raised at some time), the future of the 
>> Night
>> Parrot or the chance for others to see it!
>> And for those people asking (almost demanding) him to divulge all 
>> that he
>> has gained, discovered and learned so far - does one immediately write a
>> paper at first encounter with a species? He has already conducted a 
>> public
>> forum at his own expense for the benefit of birders.
>> Just remember this - John derives a living from consultancy etc. in the
>> natural history field (he does not have a highly paid government or 
>> other
>> job) and the quest for the Night Parrot has already cost him more than 6
>> figures of his own money as well as thousands of hours in the field for
>> which he has received very little remuneration to date. Are these people
>> going to contribute to some form of remuneration. Give the man a break!
>> Lloyd Nielsen,
>> Mt Molloy, Nth Qld
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