Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Complete Ivory-billed Woodpecker Ad

Posted by Kirk
As promised, Joe Hepperle sent me the complete version of the ad placed on Craigslist for the Photographer and Travel Assistant. He says the ad was placed on Craigslist in both Ames, Iowa and Houston, Texas. I can see it was also posted to Mr. Hepperle as sent me two versions, one with the names removed and one complete but has asked that I not use people's names as their inboxes are filling up. This seems pretty silly as the original press release is now copied in dozens of places around the internet such as here for one example. I have kept in the names of institutions but omitted individual's names even though they are the same people mentioned in the press release. Also, anyone can find the names with google the same way I pieced together the original parts of the ad so it isn't like this is secret information.

I present this purely as documentation and will leave the speculation over hoaxes to others aside from pointing out that healthy skepticism is the bedrock of science. I'd be skeptical anyone claiming to have seen an Ivory-billed Woodpecker regardless of their qualifications as should we all. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. So far we have the claims.

Here is the complete ad, presumably as it appeared.

Two Week Wildlife Research Expedition - in Texas
Photographer and Travel Assistant Needed

(December 21 - January 3, 2010)

Thank you for your inquiry about the expedition and this "Photographer and Travel Assistant" job offer.

The first thing I need to tell you about this job is that the assignment goes from December 21, 2009 until January 3, 2010. So as you can see it covers over the Christmas and the New Years Holidays. And the second thing you need to know is the expedition's location is along the south eastern Texas Sabine river border area down to the Gulf of Mexico and covers over that afore mentioned time frame. So... if you cannot commit to the forgoing conditions (missing the holidays and being in Texas) this position may not be for you. A third thing to note, I might add, is that you would be the only other assigned person on this trip, for those fourteen days. So please consider these three points carefully prior to applying any further for this expedition's work.

Some of the expedition's tasks will require extensive canoe trips for several days on the southern Sabin River, some backpacking and hiking will be needed too, with both day and night camps prepared and established. Camouflage requirements will apply most of the time. You will be outfitted with all those things. (Uniform, hat, camouflage body paint, et cetera…) Chronological record keeping and note taking in the trips log, as instructed, is to be maintained by the Photographer and Travel Assistant along with navigation and location of where pictures and videos were taken along with the dates and times recorded. Base camp will be established at Niblett's Bluff State Park, on the Sabine River, in Vinton, on the Louisiana side of the river; Mr. ===== ========= and his wife are the park's managers. Camp set up, tent, cooking fire, meal preparations, caring for all equipment and other stuff (helping as needed) are included in these duties. Will provide training for right person.

Other noted things and some other information about this expedition are; all expenses will be paid with a final added pay compensation of $1,500.00 for the Travel Assistant position - upon completion of the trip. You do not have to do anything to prepare for the trip's 14 days except virtually "bring your tooth brush" as that everything is been planned, prepared and will be made ready.

The job's main and only goal is to get photographs, along with possible video, of a discovered population of Ivory-Billed woodpeckers along the Sabine River bordering south eastern Texas and Louisiana. This time of year with a lot of leaves off the tree canopy there in Texas makes it an ideal time to see them and capture their pictures, the birds are seasonally more active at this time too in preparing for their early southern spring nesting season; being more noisy (vocal) being easier to locate. Other pictures of the birds' location, natural habitats and surroundings also will be needed for inclusion into the book (to be published) titled, Ivory-Billed. (There is a $10,000.00 reward to claim for a successful identifying picture or video footage of the birds also, of which reward will be divided equally; being $5,000.00.) Please keep in mind any pictures and videos taken on this expedition are the property of this work exclusively and not any photographer's.

Dr. ==== =. =======, Department of Natural Resources, 124 Science II, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa holds the $10,000.00 reward poster for this expedition and Dr. ===== =. ======, Museum of natural Science, Foster Hall 119, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana will act as communication liaison for this expedition's assignment (called "Indigo") along with Ithaca University in New York.

I hope this gives you a good overview of this expedition's goal and project. Over all it will be a very adventurous, exciting, fun and enjoyable work assignment with a lot to experience and see in the warm southern Texas' outdoors. And the fishing is great too! If you want to continue with your application for this Photographer and Travel Assistant assignment please submit a request with a letter of interest and/or a resume for an interview to:; before December 18, 2009 (No phone calls please). I will be happy to provide further details and answer any questions you may have.

Again, thank you for your interest in this expedition project.


cyberthrush said...

So glad to know that Ithaca University in NY is involved ;-), and the forthcoming book sounds absolutely fascinating... assuming you're a lover of fiction.

Nate said...

This is morbidly fascinating. Of all the sketchy parts in this ad, this one raises the biggest red flag:

Dr. ===== =. ======, Museum of natural Science, Foster Hall 119, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana will act as communication liaison for this expedition's assignment (called "Indigo") along with Ithaca University in New York.

Assuming that he meant Cornell instead of "Ithaca University", claiming that anyone at these two organizations, let alone Remsen himself, would agree to act as his communication liaison is at best misleading and at worst, a bald-faced lie.

It's a hoax.

cyberthrush said...

FWIW KIRK, I just discovered he apparently ran another ad (with a different email address) in Ames, IA on a site called "RealMatch," but it too of course no longer exists in cyberspace:

Nature Photographer Job in IA-Ames - RealMatch

Please email for information and compensation: or mail resume: 1916 Ferndale Ave., Ames, IA 50010. Position ID: 4087318 ...


Meghan O'Connell said...

found this add recently...very sad to discover its a hoax :(