extinct or at least that the evidence released to date to prove they are not is inconclusive.

Minnesota’s stake in this discussion centers on the testimony of Jim Fitzpatrick, recently retired director of the Carpenter Nature Center near Hastings, whose eyewitness report is part of the Cornell team’s published evidence.

Despite the controversy and absence of subsequent confirming evidence of the species’ presence at the refuge, Fitzpatrick stands by his sighting. According to a St. Paul Pioneer Press news story, Fitzpatrick said he knows what he saw.  “They (critics) can have their opinion,” he said.  “It’s very, very hard to misidentify that bird.”

Because “certainty” regarding the truth of the proposition is not the same as indisputable proof, interested, but less informed, people must remain agnostic or side with one faction or the other as a matter of faith.