This story has been floating around forever I can't believe a News Paper ran it :shock: :lol:.A. Ray: An “urban legend”
By D.A. Ray, outdoors correspondent
The Sunday Sun
Although this is a strange title for an outdoor article, it is an appropriate one. It seems that an article I submitted to the Midwest City Sun newspaper was in deed an “urban legend.” A story that is called an urban legend can be described in several ways but the most accurate one would probably be most understood by a fisherman. You catch a fish that is a little larger than usual and with the retelling of the catch and the related story, the fish gets larger and larger until it is beyond belief.
The article in question is the one that dealt with the mammoth grizzly bear that was killed by a U.S. Forest Service employee and the bear was taller than a single-story house and consumed at least parts of two humans. After numerous calls were placed, several e-mails sent, and some other means of communication, the editor of the Sun was told truthfully that the story I submitted was indeed an “urban legend” and was not true. Although the story cannot be deemed a hoax, it probably is the next best thing.
The details of the bear story were sent to me by email and after reading it, I thought it might be of interest to folks that happen to read the column. I did some background checks with a source that I felt was entirely credible but it seems that the two of us were duped into thinking the urban legend was credible.
I violated the rules that I established when I began writing outdoor articles for various publications and the last 15 years for The Sun. The rules I worked by for all that time were simple and easy to do. I only wrote about what I personally experienced or witnessed and not to report on anything by any other means.
I would personally like to thank the Alaska Fish and Game people that contacted the Sun and told the editor about the “urban legend” and the rest of the folks that contacted the paper. I for one do not want or intend to report anything that is not accurate and want to set the record straight. No one likes to have egg on his face but in this case it contained a valuable lesson.
In the future I will not report anything in the outdoor field that I have not personally experienced or witnessed. I would like to apologize to the editor of the Sun, the Alaska Game and Fish Commission, U.S. Forest Service, and readers of this column for this blunder. I value credibility with readers, peers, and professional organizations and will strive to achieve the same with each and every article.
As a sidebar to this fiasco, the part in the article about the black bear across the river from me while salmon fishing is entirely true. I know, I was there. Anyone who gets to experience the Last Frontier state knows that there are bears in the wild. They need to be respected and given room when they are encountered. Alaska is one of my favorite destinations to visit because of the great fishing, hunting, site seeing, etc. I plan on going there again next year and hope to catch a record King salmon but I don't think I have to worry about an “urban legend” of a bear.