Saturday, September 8, 2018

The yawn of the Thylacine

"Animal X Natural Mystery Unit" is an American edition of an Australian series dealing with crypto-zoology and the paranormal. In this episode, the "unit" travels home to Australia in search of the Thylacine, a carnivorous marsupial extinct since the 1930's. Yet, people still see them - not just on the island of Tasmania (their former native habitat) but also on the Australian mainland.

As usual, the physical evidence is scanty, but the Tasmanian authorities admit that *some* witness reports sound credible. However, the animal is still officially extinct, and conspiracy theorists claim that the Tasmanian logging industry is behind it all. Logging might be threatened if the "Tasmanian Tiger" is still out there, awaiting legal protection...

The Natural Mystery Unit interviews witnesses, environmental activists, a representative of the logging industry and crypto-zoologists who believe that the spooky creature is still out there. One researcher claims that an "ark" was built at some point during the 1930's by local enthusiasts who saved a few Thylacines and implanted them on the Australian mainland!

Interesting. Unfortunately Daniel and Nathalie (the two unit members) are extremely uncharismatic and even somewhat embarrassing. By contrast, the so-called mission controller Bill Kerr is less "out there" than usually, and actually sounds quite normal in this episode. These guys have a way of making a genuine mystery seem boring! The yawn of the Thylacine? Geezus, can't they send Josh Gates or Bobo to Tasmania?! They'll flush the creature out...or throw a big party, LOL.

Two stars.

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