HISTORY OF INVESTIGATOR
(Investigator 50, 1996 September)
How Investigator started was described in PAW (Port Adelaide Writer) in 1990 in the article Investigation as a Hobby:The idea for Investigator Magazine began in 1973. I was a labourer who hung up sheep skins to dry and packed them into bales for export. A fellow worker named Bluey used to say "Flying saucers are real". Another used to say "Blood transfusions kill more people than they save." Several sought to get rich by buying lottery tickets and several more believed in fortune telling. I used to think to myself "Why isn't there a magazine that sorts these things out and shows who's right and who's wrong?" I began to collect press clippings, magazine articles and anything relevant for future use.
Fifteen years passed. University, the travel bug, and lots of ups and downs came and went.
One day acquaintance Alan Winters said, "Let's start a magazine." I had $80 to spare, a second-hand typewriter and some spare time. So I replied, "O.K. It would be a good hobby." In this way INVESTIGATOR was born and the first edition of 25 copies was produced in July 1988 using a photocopier.
Over the years Investigator hosted many debates and disagreements:
- Carl Wieland (Scientific Creationist) disagreed with Allan Lang (scientist) about the age of the Earth.
- Peg Radcliffe (astrologer) disagreed with Michael O'Leary (astronomer) about the validity of astrology.
- Peter Thomas (co-founder of the Flying Saucer research Society) disagreed with Alan Brunt (meteorologist) about flying saucers.
- "Anonymous" disagreed with Burjin Kotwall (former bank manager) about the literal accuracy of the story of Jonah.
- Krystal Starshine (self proclaimed prognosticator) disagreed with Harry Edwards (an editor of the skeptic) over the paranormal aspect of her predictions.
- Jim Luke (Christadelphian dentist) disagreed with John Hutchinson (Baptist sheep- shearing coach) on whether the Bible teaches God is a Trinity.
Investigator has published numerous investigations including investigations into:
Angels; Astrology; The Bible; Blood Transfusions; Cults; Evolution; Ghosts; Levitation; Miraculous Healings; Jehovah's Witnesses; Monsters; Mormons; Prophecy; Psychics; Superstitions; UFOs; Vampires; Witches; etc.
Probably the most harassed writer is "Anonymous". To write year after year in support of the Bible in a magazine for skeptics surely requires resolution and cockiness!
Lots of people have helped Investigator to keep going and improve.
For the first three years printing was done at the office of psychologist Laurie Eddie. Mr Eddie was also the first subscriber.
Peter Thomas helped with long letters of advice and constructive criticism after each of the early editions.
Andrea Rankin has talent in drawing and helped out with a dozen drawings which still get reused.
The most important helpers are the writers. Without writers there's no magazine! The most regular contributors lately were "Anonymous", Jerry Bergman, Laurie Eddie, Harry Edwards, Burjin Kotwall, Vic Lloyd, Bernhard Stett and Kirk Straughen.
Most of the readers and writers are in the "mature" category and so there have been a number of deaths.
These include Peter Thomas, Leroy Gholson (branch director of the Mount Carmel Outreach ministry in Illinois, USA), and Gaetano Boccaccio (1906-1996) founder of the Christian Millennial Church.
Two others are presumed deceased:
Neil Bruce of New South Wales donated a stack of old Jehovah's Witness books in 1990 for Investigator use. A letter by Mr Bruce (#18 p. 4) apparently anticipated the explanation of Genesis 1:2 given by "Anonymous" in No. 38.
Dick Burge of Queensland subscribed in 1989. He wrote:I read it [No. 8] from cover to cover with sustained interest… I am a T.P.I. war veteran, eighteen months off eighty years of age. I have been made a member of The Australian Society of Authors Limited. I am also a member of the Fellowship of Australian Writers. In reading No. 8 I recognised a thread of cynicism woven into many of the articles. Wishing you every success for the future of your splendid magazine. (Investigator 9 p. 6)Investigator tries to be fair to everyone and rarely is any article rejected. However, skeptical values are starting to predominate. It's getting harder to find believers in things paranormal who are willing to stick their neck out.
Investigation as a hobby continues to be challenging. Now that fifty editions have been published dare we hope for one hundred?