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feathered "dinosaur"

Thanks to one of our subscribers, I've discovered the story behind the
large feathered dinosaur.  Not as interesting as one might hope...
However, in digging it up, I stumbled across something else which
might be of interest.  The following information was posted in

post 1 (Message-ID: <38oe9q$3d6@salmon.maths.tcd.ie>):

     Did anyone hear about a 'dinosaur' remains washed up on a beach
     in Russia somewhere a couple of days ago. I heard an article on
     BBC Radio that lasted all of 10 seconds and that's the only
     mention made of the subject in this part on the world anyway.
     Has anyone else got any info on this?  Guy.

     Dublin University Science Fiction Society,      (sfsoc@maths.tcd.ie)
     6.31 Trinity College,             /\    /\    /\    l /    !  !
     Dublin, 2,                       l  l  l  l  l  l   l<     !  !
     Ireland.                          \/    \/    \/    l \    o  o

There were a couple of followups, but these three seemed to be the most
appropriate for a summary:

post 2 (Message-ID: <ef$hk0rCr2l8071yn@oslonett.no>):

     I gave it a cursory glance. <g> It was in the morning paper but I
     have that at work.  If no one beats me to it, I'll post it (with
     a reasonable attempt at translation from norwegian to english).

post 3 (same author, see signature below -- MR
         Message-ID: <YRIik0rCr-q0071yn@oslonett.no>)



        News agency ITAR-TASS reports that the remains of an unknown
        creature was washed ashore on the russian north coast.  The
        creature is reported to be 12 meters lang and 1.5 meters broad,
        was covered by either feathers or wool and reminded of the
        creature in Loch Ness.
        Experts from the marine biological institute in Murmansk
        received the report with scepcism (sp?) but will be sending
        scientists to examine the creature.

       James Huang ** Scandpower A/S ** PO Box 3 ** N-2007 Kjeller ** Norway
       (W) jhu@scandpower.no  Tel: Int +476 381 4920  Fax: Int +476 381 8822
       (H) james@oslonett.no       Int +472 216 2435       Int +472 216 2435

post 4 (written by dhwilcox@cix.compulink.co.uk "David Wilcox"
        Message-ID: <CyJrBv.8F0@cix.compulink.co.uk>):

  According to a later BBC news it was a Sperm Whale!

Sorry about the false alarm.  In any case, while I was looking for the
above, I also saw (apologies if this has been mentioned here before,
but it didn't look familiar to me):

post 5 (by Resinfo@resinfo.demon.co.uk "Resinfo"
        Message-ID: <783099407snz@resinfo.demon.co.uk>):
     MARTIN SIMPSON is trying to raise 10,000 to buy Spike the
     Polacanthus and keep him on the Isle of Wight. So far he has been
     promised L3,000 and is looking to private companies, universities
     or seriously rich dinosaur fanatics to provide the
     remainder. News agencies are keen to promote the story, which
     will benefit a potential sponsor or benefactor seeking publicity.
     Spike the dinosaur was obtained in March this year on a legal dig
     with the permission of the landowner. The finder, Mrs Lin
     Spearpoint, wants to sell the fossil but is anxious that it stays
     on the Isle of Wight so she can continue to be involved in the
     restoration work. Spike has been valued at L 20,000 by the local
     museum, but as Martin is a co-owner he only has to raise half to
     own the whole! Then all he has to do is build a dinosaur museum
     from scratch.
     So, does anyone out there have any ideas how a company may
     benefit from dinosaur publicity? Building society helps find a
     home for dinosaur maybe? Is there an English equivalent of Steven
     Please, all comments welcome...
     and to Fosman@resinfo.demon.co.uk
     .............Original text...........
     >>>L10,000 is required to prevent a unique dinosaur being lost to
     Polacanthus foxi is a very rare, armoured vegetarian dinosaur
     from the Isle of Wight.  In March 1994 a third example, the most
     complete yet, was discovered by amateur collector Lin Spearpoint
     and was nicknamed 'Spike'.  Local palaeontologist Martin Simpson
     organised a dig with Lin and became co-owner of the 4,000 odd
     pieces of bone.  Since March 'Spike' has caused a lot of
     excitement amongst palaeontologists worldwide.  'Spike' has been
     'marketed' by Martin on T.V. and in the local and national press.
     The skeleton has even appeared on Blue Peter and more recently
     has been featured in the Independent Sunday Review.  All summer
     the dinosaur has been on show at Blackgang Chine Theme Park, one
     of the Islands top tourist attractions, where visitors have
     watched its discoverers begin the process of cleaning the fossil
     Lin now wishes to sell her share of the dinosaur.  Martin's plan
     is to buy her out and make 'Spike' the centrepiece of a large
     exibition of fossils at Blackgang.  By keeping 'Spike' on the
     Island and establishing a display of museum status, this dinosaur
     will be available to tourists, Islanders and scientists alike.
     Martin, 35, is well known for his unconventional approach to the
     subject, which has attracted considerable media attention.  A
     blend of 'scholar and salesman', he makes his living by running a
     fossil shop and by organising fossil hunts for school parties and
     tourists.  Martin has now set himself a task of raising 10,000 to
     buy the Polacanthus, and is seeking private sponsorship.  He is
     offering the relevant company a chance of national press and
     T.V. coverage, with an opportunity for further publicity by way
     of an association with the dinosaur.  Martin has future plans to
     appear again with 'Spike' on Blue Peter and Tomorrow's World, and
     is confident that a private company would benefit from the short
     term sponsorship deal.
     Looking ahead it is estimated that the cleaning process and
     mounting of the skeleton will take 3 years, during which time
     there will be further opportunities for publicity.  The Isle of
     Wight has now become known as *DINOSAUR *ISLAND* and will surely
     take advantage of its unique fossil heritage in the future.
     Martin has big plans to be part of the dinosaur scene.

Mickey Rowe     (rowe@lepomis.psych.upenn.edu)