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Issue 89 - February 2008 - Page 14

Pages in this month's issue:
  1. Dial Before You Dig - Gas Pipeline Explosion Photographs
  2. Islamic Punishment Protest Email - Photos of Boy's Arm Being Crushed Under Car Wheel
  3. Federal Reserve Bank "Phishing Attack Warning" Scam Emails
  4. Difference Between http & https
  5. Photos of Koala Escaping Heatwave
  6. Furong Reservoir - Giant Man Eating Catfish Hoax
  7. U.S. Customs and Border Protection Advance Fee Scam
  8. Carissa Malanitch Missing Child Hoax
  9. Plastic Containers - Chasing Arrows Symbol Reveals Plastic's Chemical Makeup
  10. Hodgkin's Lymphoma Prayer Request Email
  11. Obama Acceptance Speech Trojan Horse Warning
  12. Photographs of an Excavator Climbing a Tower
  13. Google 10th Anniversary Awards Lottery Scam
  14. Rebirth Of The Eagle Hoax
  15. Armless Girl Jessica Cox Gains Pilot's License
  16. Animal Rescue Site Email Forward
  17. Amirtha Make-A-Wish Foundation Email Hoax

Issue 89 Start Menu

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Rebirth Of The Eagle Hoax

Example:(Submitted, January 2009)
Subject: Rebirth of the Eagle...

Transcript of slide show:

This is the stroy of an eagle
The Eagle has the longest life-span of it's species
It can live up to 70 years
But to reach this age, the eagle must make a hard decision
In it's 40th year its long and flexible talons can no longer grab prey which serves as food
Its long and sharp beak becomes bent
It's old-aged and heavy wings, due to their thick feathers, stick to it's chest & make it difficult to fly
Then, the eagle is left with only two options: DIE or go through a painful process of CHANGE which lasts 150 days
The process requires that the eagle fly to a mountain top and sit on it's nest
There the eagle knocks it's beak against a rock until it plucks it out
Then the eagle will wait for a new beak to grow back and then it will pluck out it's talons
When it's new talons grow back, the eagle starts plucking it's old-aged feathers
And after 5 months, The eagle takes its famous flight of rebirth and lives for 30 more years
Why is change needed? Many times, in order to survive we have to start a change process. We sometimes need to get rid of old memories, habits and other past traditions. Only freed from past burdens, can we take advantage of the present.

Note that several slightly different versions of the slide presentation are circulating



Commentary:
This rather fanciful tale, which circulates in the form of a slide presentation, claims that eagles can live for up to 70 years if they go through a prolonged and painful process of rebirth during their 40th year. According to the story, to be "reborn" at forty, the eagle must retreat to its nest on a mountain top, first knock of and then regrow its beak, then pluck out and regrow its talons and, finally, pluck out and regrow its feathers, a process that takes 150 days. Thus renewed, the eagle can take its "flight of rebirth" and go on to live another thirty years.

However, the information in the message is false. Eagles do not undergo the process of rebirth described in the slide show. In fact, the story is simply an allegory about change and does not reflect the real life style of eagles. Presumably, the creator of the slide show invented the eagle rebirth story as a means of illustrating his or her concepts regarding the role of change in our lives. Unfortunately, the author has presented the rebirth story as if it was factual and therefore many recipients tend to take it literally.

Of course a closer review soon reveals the absurdity of the tale. The story does not explain how the eagle could possibly survive without food or water for the five months of its transformation. Moreover, an eagle's talons and beak continue to grow throughout its life and therefore do not grow old and unusable as claimed in the story. And its feathers are also continually replaced. The American Bald Eagle Information website notes:
For those of you who have e-mailed me wondering if it's true that an eagle goes into seclusion, plucks all of its feathers, sheds its beak and talons, and then renews itself, is a myth. An eagle's beak and talons grow continuously, because they are made of keratin, the same substance as our hair and fingernails. Eagles molt in patches, taking almost half a year to replace feathers, starting with the head and working downward. Not all feathers are replaced in a given molt. An eagle without feathers, talons, and a beak would die of starvation and exposure.
Bald eagles typically live between twenty and thirty years in the wild. The lifespan of other species of eagles may vary, although none are known to reach seventy years in the wild.

Although scientists have studied eagles of various species for generations and much has been published about them, no credible sources back up the "eagle rebirth" story in any way. There are, however, plenty of reliable sources that dismiss the story as a foolish hoax.

Rebirth stories, such as that of the mythical phoenix rising from the ashes of its funeral pyre, have been part of human cultures for thousands of years. The philosophical message behind the story - that we often need to undergo a painful and prolonged process of change in our lives in order to spiritually grow and move forward - is certainly worth heeding. However the nonsensical story used as a vehicle for the message all but destroys its credibility.

And there are other anomalies in the presentation. In some slides, the eagle shown in the photographs is a Bald Eagle, but in others a different species, the Golden Eagle, is shown. The story also sprouts the scientifically meaningless claim that "the eagle has the longest life-span of its species". The author perhaps meant to say that eagles live longer than all other kinds of birds, but this is also incorrect. Parrots and other species of birds are known to live longer than eagles.





References:
Eagle Myths, Folklore and Legends
Bald Eagle: Frequently Asked Questions
Rebirth of the Eagle aka False Load of Crap
Parrots of Australasia

Previous Article            Next Article

Issue 89 Start Menu

Pages in this month's issue:
  1. Dial Before You Dig - Gas Pipeline Explosion Photographs
  2. Islamic Punishment Protest Email - Photos of Boy's Arm Being Crushed Under Car Wheel
  3. Federal Reserve Bank "Phishing Attack Warning" Scam Emails
  4. Difference Between http & https
  5. Photos of Koala Escaping Heatwave
  6. Furong Reservoir - Giant Man Eating Catfish Hoax
  7. U.S. Customs and Border Protection Advance Fee Scam
  8. Carissa Malanitch Missing Child Hoax
  9. Plastic Containers - Chasing Arrows Symbol Reveals Plastic's Chemical Makeup
  10. Hodgkin's Lymphoma Prayer Request Email
  11. Obama Acceptance Speech Trojan Horse Warning
  12. Photographs of an Excavator Climbing a Tower
  13. Google 10th Anniversary Awards Lottery Scam
  14. Rebirth Of The Eagle Hoax
  15. Armless Girl Jessica Cox Gains Pilot's License
  16. Animal Rescue Site Email Forward
  17. Amirtha Make-A-Wish Foundation Email Hoax