June 11, 2015
Sick Five Year Boy Has Wish
Fulfilled When Bigfoot Appears
By CHRIS BUCHER
Daily News of West Bend
West Bend WI (AP) When 5-year-old Linkin Eger set out in mid-May to search for the illustrious Bigfoot at the Kettle Moraine State Forest’s Pike Lake Unit in Hartford, nobody could have predicted the tearful reaction it set off.
``It still chokes me up talking about it and brings tears to my eyes,’’ said Linkin’s mother, Kelly Eger of West Allis.
Three years earlier, Linkin was diagnosed with a brain tumor and was put through a series of surgeries and medical procedures to reduce the size of the growth. The process resulted in many side effects, including seizures and eye surgery that paralyzed the right side of his body temporarily.
Despite the long process of getting healthy, Linkin has always kept a strong demeanor, the Daily News of West Bend reported.
``He continues to have the greatest attitude,’’ Kelly said. ``Anybody who meets him knows he’s full of love and laughter ... he reminds me of a mini Chris Farley.’’ Because of the strength he’s shown, the Make-A-Wish Foundation agreed to grant Linkin just about any wish he could dream up. Typical wishes Make-A-Wish grants range from a trip to Disneyland to meeting famous celebrities and athletes, but Linkin had bigger ideas.
He wanted to be the first person in the world to find Bigfoot.
``It threw us off,’’ Kelly said of Linkin’s wish. ``It wasn’t something we discussed as a family.’’ Kelly said she thinks Linkin is fascinated by Bigfoot because of the trips they’d take as a family.
Linkin Eger meeting Bigfoot
``We’ve seen a couple of episodes of `Finding Bigfoot,’ but it’s not something we’d watch every week,’’ Kelly said. ``I think he has great memories of us going camping and hiking, and Bigfoot must’ve been something he took interest in.’’ Linkin surmised Bigfoot’s diet consists mainly of sweets, but especially marshmallows.
Regardless, right when Allie Christman, a volunteer wish granter for Make-A-Wish, heard of Linkin’s desire, she was determined to make it a reality.
``It was a different wish from what I’ve done in the past,’’ Christman said.
``Linkin is a man of different taste. He loves adventure, hiking and camping.
``We knew that this one would be extra fun to plan.’’ Christman and her coworkers got right on it, making calls and laying the groundwork. She connected with Roskopf’s RV Center in Richfield, who donated a camper trailer to the Eger family. She said the donation is intended for the Eger family to go on a camping trip to Yellowstone National Park.
Next, Christman contacted Bob Kohn of Bayside for assistance in providing a proper character to portray Bigfoot.
Kohn is a member of the 501st Legion, an international fan-based organization dedicated to creating and wearing film-accurate Star Wars costumes. He offered up a Chewbacca costume and agreed to play the role of Bigfoot for the big day.
``When I got the call, I said `absolutely,’’’ Kohn said. ``Make-A-Wish is a thing for our organization and I was privileged to lend a hand.’’ Next, Christman connected with the Pike Lake unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest in Hartford, where staff helped arrange a half-mile hike through the forest on a search for Bigfoot.
Once the day for the hike finally came, everything was set and ready to go.
Staff mapped out a half-mile trek the led Linkin and his family directly to the brand new camper, with Bigfoot inside.
The Pike Lake unit also provided Linkin with a park ranger for the day -- Ranger Sara Roxbury -- and a toolkit loaded with a magnifying glass and other tools necessary to locate the 8-foot-tall beast.
``When I first got asked to do it, I said `yes’ without hesitation,’’ Roxbury said.
On the hike, clues were placed along the route, including footprints of the mysterious beast.
``Our trick for catching Bigfoot was putting a pile of flour in the woods,’’ Christman said. ``We put Skittles in the middle, so when he walks through to get to the candy, he left footprints.’’ Ranger Sara and Linkin walked through the woods, following the clues along the way.
``He was so excited the whole time,’’ Roxbury said. ``He’d stop and pull out his toolbox where he had his horn to make Bigfoot calls. It was a moment that Ill never forget.’’ Soon enough, Linkin discovered the camper at the end of the route.
Instinctively, Linkin let out Bigfoot calls, looking for a response.
It came as a shock to him what happened next.
``When he got to the camper, he noticed the prints leading up to the camper went to the door,’’ Kohn said. ``He started to call for me, so I responded.’’ Naturally, Linkin opened the camper’s door and was face-to-face with an 8-foot-tall Bigfoot, whose mouth was jammed full of his favorite food -- marshmallows.
Kelly said the look on Linkin’s face when he first saw him was one she won’t be forgetting anytime soon.
``If there was a memory I could hold onto for the rest of my life, it’s when he called for Bigfoot and Bigfoot called back for him,’’ Kelly said. ``The look on his face when he opened up the camper and saw Bigfoot in there eating marshmallows gives me chills. Everyone there was in awe.’’ Linkin immediately rushed to Bigfoot to give him a hug and hang out with his new friend.
``He was instantly shocked and looked like he wanted to jump out of his skin,’’ Roxbury said. ``It was priceless. The whole experience was rewarding.
``I couldn’t tell he was sick, he was just a normal kid having a blast searching for Bigfoot.’’ Just like that -- with the help of many along the way -- a child’s dream that seemed inconceivable came true.
``Linkin is a brave kid and has a great sense of adventure,’’ Christman said. ``He wanted to find Bigfoot and he did. Other kids may be scared, but not Linkin. He wanted to meet him and give him a huge hug, which shows what kind of kid he is.’’ Kelly said Linkin hasn’t stopped talking about the day he found Bigfoot.
``He still walks around with his toolkit,’’ Kelly said. ``He’s got his investigator badge, magnifying glass and specimen jars with him all the time.’’ Nowadays, Linkin is getting healthier. Through the procedures he has about 20 percent of the tumor remaining. Kelly said once he grows, doctors will attempt to remove the remainder of the tumor.
``Our hope is that it doesn’t do much until he’s 8,’’ Kelly said. ``Then we can start talking about chemotherapy and radiation.’’
Federal Study Confirms Global Warming Has Not Slowed
By Seth Borenstein
AP Science Writer
Washington (AP) Global warming has not stopped or even slowed in the past 18 years, according to a new federal study that rebuts doubters who’ve claimed that that heating trends have paused.
Scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration readjusted thousands of weather data points to account for different measuring techniques through the decades. Their calculations show that since 1998, the rate of warming is about the same as it has been since 1950: about two-tenths of a degree Fahrenheit a decade.
The so-called hiatus has been touted by non-scientists who reject mainstream climate science. Those claims have resonated; two years ago, the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change felt the need to explain why the Earth was not heating up as expected, listing such reasons as volcanic eruptions, reduced solar radiation and the oceans absorbing more heat.
``The reality is that there is no hiatus,’’ said Tom Karl, director of the National Centers for Environmental Information in Asheville, North Carolina. He is the lead author of a study published Thursday in the peer-reviewed journal Science.
One key to claims of a hiatus is the start date: 1998. That year there was a big temperature spike; some of the following years were not as hot, though even hotter years followed in 2005, 2010 and 2014, according to NOAA, NASA and temperature records kept in England and Japan. This year is on pace to break last year’s global heat record.Scientists keep updating the way they measure Earth’s temperatures. This study focuses on the effects of the way ocean temperatures are taken. The old way, going back generations, is with ships. Sometimes people would dip a bucket in the way; other times they’d measure water that came into the engine. They also did it at various times of day.
The new way is on buoys at the same time of day. Karl said the buoy measurements are more accurate, but can’t be compared directly to the ship measurements for a trend without making adjustments, because that would be comparing apples and oranges. So to come up with a trend using comparable numbers, NOAA increases the buoy temperatures a bit.
A few years ago NOAA made similar adjustments to make land temperatures more comparable decade-to-decade. But that also caused some non-scientists who reject climate change to cry tampering.
Several outside scientists contacted by The Associated Press said the new and previous adjustments are sound. Kevin Trenberth, climate analysis chief at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, said the new work was ``good and careful analysis’’ but only confirms what most scientists already knew, that there was no such hiatus.
A few years ago, a group out of University of California Berkele—funded in part by the Charles Koch Foundation, whose founder is a major funder of climate doubter groups and the tea party—took what was initially billed as a skeptical look at the previous NOAA data. But they pronounced the earlier adjustments legitimate. The same scientists now say the new NOAA adjustments are also proper.
``NOAA is confirming what we have been saying for some time that the `hiatus’ in global warming is spurious,’’ Berkeley team chief and physicist Richard Muller said in an email. Muller said global warming continues but in ``many fits and spurts.’’ John Christy of the University of Alabama Huntsville, one of the minority of scientists who dispute the magnitude of global warming, said the Karl paper ``doesn’t make sense’’ because satellite data show little recent warming. ``You must conclude the data were adjusted to get this result’’ of no warming pause, Christy wrote in an email. ``Were the adjustments proper? I don’t know at this point.’’
Others who reject warming, especially non-scientists, point to satellite records by Remote Sensing Systems that appear to show no change in temperature since 1998. Satellites measure a different part of Earth’s atmosphere than ground and ocean monitors that NOAA, NASA and others use. Carl Mears, senior research scientist for RSS, said those rejecting climate change based on his work or any one dataset are wrong and ``seek to deny the reality of human-induced climate change by grasping at straws.’’ Mears said the overall data consistently show long-term global warming and that it really hasn’t stopped recently. The NOAA adjustments make sense, he said.
Karl said NOAA didn’t adjust datasets in the Arctic, where it is warming even faster, because there is a lack of reliable long-term records to compare. Had NOAA made those adjustments, the recent warming trend would be slightly larger, he said.