Thursday, January 21, 2010

Daniel Rainsong's Craiglist Ad about Ivory-billed Woodpecker Expedition!

Posted by Kirk Mona
News broke today that someone by the name of Daniel Rainsong claims to have seen and photographed an Ivory-billed Woodpecker. There is much skepticism. One interesting tidbit is that there was a Craigslist ad by Rainsong on the Houston craigslist. It has been deleted and there is not a cached version on Google.

Or is there?

When you do a search for Daniel Rainsong you get the following

$10000.00 Reward - Wildlife Research Expedition
Dec 3, 2009 ... My name is Daniel Rainsong. The first thing I need to tell you about ... Daniel Rainsong. Location: Texas; Compensation: All expenses will ...

Above is the snippet of text google shows. What I noticed was that as I did more searches with other words the summary changed slightly. It seems the whole page is in fact cached but Google only shows you what it thinks you want to see. So, I undertook a painstaking process of searching for “Daniel Rainsong” plus a bunch of other words one at a time and more and more of the original ad appeared a few words at a time. (I did the same thing on Yahoo)

Just when I thought I had a whole thing I would stumble upon a new sentence or direction. Turns out it was a long ad. I’m likely still missing pieces but it is late and I’m going to bed. It took me a little over and hour to get this much. If you do use my searching technique and come up with more of the ad let me know and I’ll update this.

I should note that I have no way of knowing if these sentences are in the correct order.

"$10,000.00 Reward - Wildlife Research Expedition in Texas
Photographer and Travel Assistant Needed (December 21 thru January 3, 2010)

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

My name is Daniel Rainsong. 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. If you cannot commit to the forgoing conditions (missing the holidays and being in Texas) this position may not be for you.

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…[section missing]…nesting season; being more noisy (vocal) being easier to locate.

Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa holds the $10000.00 reward poster for this expedition and Dr. John M. Burnett, Department of Natural Resources, 124 Science II…[section missing]

You do not have to do anything to prepare for the trip's 14 days.

The job's main and only goal is to get photographs, along with possible video, of a discovered population of Ivory-Billed wood peckers along the Sabine River bordering south eastern Texas and Louisiana.

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.

Base camp will be established at Niblett's Bluff State Park, Mr. Keith Armstrong and his wife are the park's managers.

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.

And the fishing is great too! If you want to continue with your with your application for this…[section missing]

Other noted things and some other information about this expedition are; expenses will be paid with a final added pay compensation of $1,000.00 for the Photographer and Travel Assistant position - upon completion of the trip

Daniel Rainsong. Location: Texas.

That's what I have so far. See if anyone can fill in the missing pieces.



Joe Hepperle said...

That's funny... I have the whole thing... word for word, in the correct, exact order. Why didn't you just ask Rainsong for a copy? He's not that hard to find. And I'm sure he'd send one off to you too. Good detective work though!

Ooops- he can't send you one right away though - he's currently away from his home on the necessary journey to have the actual pictures of a living Ivory-Billed Woodpecker examined by those who can pronounce judgement on their contents.

Again, great detective work!

Joe Hepperle

Nate said...

If Joe has the whole thing, why doesn't he just send it?

Kirk Mona said...

Hello Joe, thanks for stopping by. I'm not going to judge anything ahead of time on this one so I'll just wait to see if photos come to light. I can certainly see how a person would want to get everything correct up front. There are times when just dumping your photos onto the internet is not the right call. Daniel is right to be be methodical and careful and everyone else in the world is right to be highly skeptical. That's how science works. Even if someone catches a IBWO in a mist net, puts a radio telemetry pack on it and releases it and documents the whole thing on video there will be those who see it as their duty to be skeptical and that's a very good thing. True skepticism (as opposed to denialism) is the bedrock of the scientific process.

Perhaps you can tell us though, the craigslist ad specifically notes the desire to capture the birds on video. Does Daniel Rainsong claim to have video as well?

Joe Hepperle said...

(quote)If Joe has the whole thing, why doesn't he just send it?(end quote)

I will-it's coming to Kirk within the hour (because he now has emailed me and asked).

Did you miss my question though? If you wanted it, why didn't you "just" ask for it? Although I have no reason to believe Kirk was intentionally trying to be disparaging, his cryptic post here makes it seem like Rainsong is trying to hide something. Kirk relates how he spent a lot of time "piecing" this old CL posting together, as if Rainsong somehow got on Craig's List's Server Computers and "scrambled the evidence" so no one could find it. Huh?

It's like a kid scrounging around under a dinner table, looking all sad-eyed while he tries to scrape together enough crumbs to make a whole cookie to eat. Why doesn't he just stand up and ask for a cookie?

If you want to get an answer, try first where the answer would be expected to be found. My previous post here was an attempt to point that out. If you want a copy of Rainsong's CL posting why would you not ask him first? Dan Rainsong, of necessity, is basically incommunicado right now, but his email address is out there... uh... like on my website? I'm not sequestered though. I wrote the original Press-Release and my name is freely plastered all over the internet. I've been around quite awhile. I did not just "pop-up" on the scene at the beginning of this issue. You can find me here, and HERE, and HERE, and HERE, and HERE (where I gave my now famous answer to one of their needling questions. That answer (my answer) can be found HERE. And any Google search for "Joe Hepperle".

It's bad enough that I have to deal with several of the irrational people over at Cyberthrush even shut down his comment submissions right after I blasted him and Bill Pulliam at the bottom of this page here (LINK). Both Cyberthrush (blog owner) and Pulliam make immature (like in little girl, "hee hee" immature) claims that Rainsong's find is clearly a hoax because Rainsong authored a book on Blackjack. Huh? That's what their veiled comments about, "...the odds are...", and "...I'll wager..." are all about. Oh and to them this new find is doubly a fraud because I edited that book's 2nd printing for spelling and grammar for Rainsong. WTF? They were told from the git-go that I know both Rainsong, and Goldstein. I've known them for decades. Now, you'll see that Cyberthrush is flitting around to many IBWO sites and making the short, cryptic claim that this is a fraud, and he's got proof, but he can't divulge it now.

Right... sour grapes if I ever saw it.

Nate said...

@Joe- This is what you say on your website with regard to Rainsong's email.

As of now (238 messages in Dan's email Inbox within a 2 hour period) Dan is ignoring his email (Summarily deleting most, actually)

So why do you now insist that e-mailing Rainsong directly is the best way to get anything, especially since you insist on keeping these photos so tightly under wraps?

If all it takes is asking, then, let's see the photos. I'm asking.

Kirk Mona said...

Joe: Actually I have not contacted you via email so it is strange you would say I have. Anyhow, feel free to email me with the complete Craigslist Ad. I'd be interested to see it. The reason I did not simply go to you and ask for it in the first place was that there was no reason to assume you would have it. I agree that it does seem a little disingenuous to tell us to simply email Rainsong when you also say on your website that he is deleting all his email without reading it.

Go ahead and send your copy of the Craigslist ad to

Joe Hepperle said...

Delayed by conversions on phone with people interested, and then talked by phone with Dan Rainsong. The copy of the CL article was sent by email from me to Kirk just before I started typing this response here.

For Nate: At the time Kirk was studiously and ingeniously piecing this together, Rainsong was still taking his email. The snippet of my web page that you posted here was posted in the evening of the 21st, which is after Kirk started working on his reconstruction.

As far as the pictures, I am not Dan Rainsong, and I don't have them AND they are not being kept tightly under wraps. They are currently being hand-carried by Rainsong to the different places he must take them to get confirmation of the content & authenticity of the pictures. If you (Nate) can get just a measly 25% of birders to agree that they will accept them as real, and undoctored solely on Nates' word alone, I'll have Rainsong swing by your house so you can see them. Until then, I don't know what to tell you. The pictures are being shown to those people whose judgment and opinion will be accepted by the majority of the birder and Ornithology worlds.

Nate said...

@Joe- I'm sorry but your explanation doesn't make any sense.

If Rainsong is traveling from Iowa, why weren't the Iowa experts shown the pictures first?

If the photos aren't being kept under wraps, why didn't Rainsong just make several copies and send to all of the experts simultaneously using certified mail that can be tracked and verified?

And if you claim to have contacted said experts, why do people at the Cornell Lab of O say no one has contacted them?

Bjorn said...

Anybody remember this story from a couple years ago?
Notice any similarities?

Bill Pulliam said...

Some background on Hepperle and Rainsong at my blog:

Strong indications that Daniel Rainsong is actually Daniel Dean Hepperle, who has a less-than-stellar history with macaws.

Allison said...

I would like to know more about this person. My daughter went on a "researach" project with him and it did not turn out good. We are now investigating this person and any help would be appreciated!!

Allison said...