Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Unlikely to be a ghost fox!

FoxI often see odd stuff from trains windows (see here for a recent example). I'm surprised more people don't report seeing anomalous phenomena from trains. Maybe people DO see such things but, because they only get a brief view, they're not sure enough about what they saw to report it. Or perhaps they just accept that, having not had a proper view, they must have been mistaken about what they thought they saw.

Anyway, the other day I was looking out of the window of a train when I saw what looked like a white fox. It was on a patch of derelict land where there were the remains of a demolished building. I say a 'white fox' but I was not sure what species of animal it might be, only that it was white and about the size and shape of a fox. Of course, ghosts are sometimes shown white in the movies though in real ghost reports that is seldom, if ever, the case. So it was unlikely to be a ghost fox.

The most obvious possibility is that the animal was an albino of some kind. I've never seen an albino fox but looking at photos of them, they look quite extraordinary. But the animal I saw didn't look like them. In fact, there was something rather odd about it. The animal was obviously moving but did not appear to be making any progress along the ground. Instead it appeared to be shivering violently. All very odd!

Luckily the train was going slowly and I had the animal in view for long enough to see what it was. In fact, it wasn't an animal at all. The 'fox' was a large sheet of clear plastic wrapped around some bits of metal sticking out of the ground. It was fluttering in the stiff breeze giving the object an animated look. Its size and shape certainly suggested something like a fox at first glance.

It's not the first time I've been deceived by plastic resembling animals (see here for instance). The way small bits of plastic flutter around in the wind that can sometimes suggest animals in appearance.

What this demonstrates is that not every report of an unusual animal is necessarily a living creature. Of course, most will indeed be animals of some kind. In many cases the animal will turn out to be a common species in its normal habitat that is simply not recognized by the witness. Many people pay little attention to the animals that live around them so it is little wonder that they may have trouble recognizing them.

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