There was news a week or two back that made the papers (yea OK, so I’m a slow reader, I’ve only just caught up). In essence, Thorpe Park are building a new Water Ride and have apparently been forced to move it due to sightings of a headless monk. The claim is that the workmen involved first became aware of spooky happenings and so the discovery was made that they were building on an ancient buriel ground associated with a church that was built in AD 666. The Daily mail reports …
Mike Vallis, divisional director of Thorpe Park, said: ‘It became apparent that something strange was going on when teams started clearing Storm Surge’s initial site.
‘Staff reports of eerie goings-on shot up and the only physical change in the park, at that time, was the beginning of ground preparation work for the new ride.
‘As employees were getting freaked out, we decided to call on an expert to see whether there was anything to report but had no idea of the dramatic effects.’
Jim Arnold, of South West London Paranormal, said: ‘We carry out these kinds of investigations quite regularly, with medium to weak results being reported on a weekly basis.
‘Thorpe Park, however, was more striking as results were picked up immediately, with orbs, ghostly images in photography and ouija reaction results being strongest around the site where they were proposing to build Storm Surge.
You can read the above and also gasp in awe at the paranormal pictures in the Daily Mail here that was published on 8th Feb, or Reuters here, or The New York Daily News here, or The Canadian Press here, or The Sun here, etc… I think you get the idea. Basically it went viral and so the story is all over the place.
OK, so thats the background. Now, lets pop on our very best pair of bullshit filtering glasses and apply a bit of critical thinking.
Where did this story start?
Well, guess what … here is the original press release dated 4th February. This is Patient Alpha for all this, and so where exactly do we find this? Its on the Thorpe Park website, the folks who need to drum up advertising so that the punters will be motivated to come visit and hand over their hard earned $$$.
If you read the original, then compare it to the news articles, you quickly discover that all the papers have done is to rewrite it a bit.
Now lets make a few more observations:
They claim to have had all this investigated and confirmed by a Senior Paranormal expert. So how exactly does one become a paranormal expert, and not just any expert, but a senior one, what qualifies you? You should of course appreciate that anybody can own this title or any variation of it, it is a totally meaningless term.
The church associated with this was supposed to have been built in AD 666. Seriously now, think about it. Think theme park, think scary rides, oh look, the number 666 … is your bullshit detector going off the scale yet? I know mine is.
Hopefully by now you will have clicked. Its a complete fantasy, they simply made it all up in the hope that it would go viral and give them lots of free publicity for their new ride which opens in a couple of weeks on 17th March. It worked a treat, they did indeed get an undreamed degree of publicity that no amount of advertising could buy.
The final bit of irony must of course be the observation that as I’m ranting on about their manufactured press release in order to simply generate publicity, the net effect of me doing this is that I’m just generating even more publicity for them … sigh!.