Mainstream Media Blackout On Chris Bowd Ends

by on July 10, 2009 · 20 comments

in Ocean Beach, San Diego

Chris Bowd

Chris Bowd

OCEAN BEACH, CA.  Up until a few hours ago, no major mainstream media, print, online or television had covered the tragic and still unfolding story of Chris Bowd – the OBcean who was knocked unconscious after the fireworks on July 4th. Bowd is still unconscious and in the hospital, although as of this writing, he is in a stable condition.  This mainstream media blackout on him is finally ending.

The OB Rag blog has been the only media covering this story trying to get the word out in order to find witnesses or somebody who knows something about what happened to Chris the last hour of our Independence Day festival at the beach.  This has been crucial to the police investigation and to his family and friends.

This afternoon, SignOnSanDiego – the online version of the Union-Tribune – ran a short piece about Bowd, but apparently the initial version of the article had several inconsistencies or inaccuracies. But it is here.

To follow soon after, a report about Bowd will appear tonight on Fox News Channel at 10pm.  This will be one of the first televised news story on Chris’ predicament.  Other media are, thankfully, hopping on this news wagon. I just got off the phone with Fox News, the Union-Tribune, Channel 10, Channel 39, the Beacon newspaper, most of whom plan to run stories about Chris this evening, tomorrow or by this weekend.

But these media reports on Chris, although welcomed, are coming after Chris has been unconcious for nearly a week.

It has been a very frustrating week. We were first contacted by a good friend of Chris’ on Sunday, and I called Detective Patrick Hall of the SDPD on Monday.  Hall did not have any information or know if a crime had been committed.

Friends of the blog, friends of Chris, have individually contacted various press friends and contacts. Strangers of Chris have taken it upon themselves to contact the media, asking them when they could expect a report about their fellow OBcean.

The reluctance of the mainstream media to do any stories is partially based on the fact that Chris’ family has not been talking to the press. His mother, Molly, came down to San Diego from LA to see Chris at the hospital.

One reporter I talked to in trying to get him to cover the story, kept falling back on the excuse that he didn’t have any family to interview.  Well, I said, go to the hospital.  There’s a media blackout at the hospital, he replied.  Go to the police, I answered.  He said that there is a police investigation.  “Isn’t that enough?” I asked in an exasperated tone.

“We need confirmation,” he said.

Right now, all the major media outlets are getting much of their information from this blog.  They’re welcome to it, plus they can copy his photo right off our page, I’ve told them all.  They are doing some of their own investigating. I was told by a reporter for Channel 39 that there is a trail of blood leading from the alley out to the corner of Bacon and Newport, and that somebody who works at Bravos restaurant saw a bloodied guy leaning up against a telephone pole in that area.

Apparently, San Diego Crimestoppers has offered a $1,000 as a reward.  Somebody suggested that’s why the media are catching the story.

Why it has taken this long, I’m not very sure. But the media blackout on Chris has ended.  Maybe now somebody will step forward who saw something.  It was packed on Newport and Bacon at 11pm on the 4th, and there just has to be somebody with the guts to tell the rest of the world what happened.

A bit about Chris from the UCSD Hamilton Glaucoma Center website;

Christopher Bowd, Ph.D.

Assistant Research Scientist (Visual Psychophysics, Optical Imaging)

Research Interests:

Optic disc and retinal nerve fiber layer analysis in glaucoma
Structural and functional relationships in glaucoma
UCSD Optic Disc Reading Center

Christopher Bowd is Assistant Research Scientist in the Department of Ophthalmology. He received his PhD in Experimental Psychology/Neuroscience from Washington State University in 1998, after which he completed a 2 year post-doctoral fellowship in the UCSD Department of Ophthalmology studying optical imaging and visual function in glaucoma.

His current research involves assessing and improving new techniques for the detection and monitoring of glaucoma, as well as investigating the relationship between anatomical damage caused by the disease and its effect on visual sensitivity. Bowd has published over 30 manuscripts and several book chapters on these topics. Much of his recent work has involved the application of machine learning classifiers (advanced non-linear analysis techniques) to combine the large amount of data available from optical imaging devices to increase these techniques’ ability to discriminate between healthy and glaucoma eyes. This work is done in conjunction with personnel from the UCSD Institute of Neural Computation. Bowd also is the Co-Director of the UCSD Imaging Data Evaluation and Analysis (IDEA) Center that is designed as a reading center for clinical trials/large studies using optical imaging data including that obtained using stereophotography, confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscopy, optical coherence tomography, and scanning laser polarimetry. Recently, Dr. Bowd has begun investigating electrophysiological techniques for detecting glaucoma.

WWW Profile:

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar not a redneck in east county July 10, 2009 at 5:24 pm

It’s about freaking time.


avatar Frank Gormlie July 10, 2009 at 6:14 pm

I was just interviewed by Tony Shinn from Channel 39 about Chris Bowd. I agreed to do it only because at this moment the family is not speaking to the media. It will broadcast tonight at 11pm. I’ll have to tear myself away from Jon Stewart to watch it.


avatar Reesa July 10, 2009 at 6:42 pm

Thank you for the updates, and for everything you are doing.

The depth of our love for this guy is beyond measure. I can only hope he’s heard me calling out to him to over the miles and miles.

Get well my brother!


avatar Frank Gormlie July 10, 2009 at 7:18 pm

It has been suggested by more than one that perhaps the reason that the family is not talking is because they have been asked not to speak to the media by the police – who are still conducting their investigation.

Why the media has to interview a “family member” in order to publish a story like this is beyond me as it hurts the cause of getting the word out.


avatar John warner July 10, 2009 at 8:16 pm

Being a member of the OB community for several year until 04 when I moved out of state and being close friends with chris for many years, I will say one thing, something does not ad up. My queston is, chris is hurt badly and my experiance with SDPD, has always been dubious at best, july 4th on bacon and newpor is PACKED and there is no way Chris could have been hurt as bad as he was with no one seeing a thing or a criminal investigation going public right from the get go. None of this makes any sense whatsoever. I’m pleased to hear his condition is stable and I’m paying and hoping he has a full recovery, this sort of thing shouldn’t happen to anyone, ever and in the unfortunate instance that it does the police should do their job and the media sould be accountable for accurate coverage of the complete and unbiased story, an accedent or a fall?, come on. I’ve falled drunk more than once, I do not believe that a fall can cause the sort of condition chris is in.

I just want my friend to recover and whover did this brought to justice, that’s all that matters


avatar Dave Gilbert July 10, 2009 at 9:06 pm

Great! Faux news does a story and there’s no sound, brilliant!


avatar Wireless Mike July 10, 2009 at 9:07 pm

Fox 5/69 just did the report about Chris, but their sound has been dead for the entire newscast so far. Both over the air and cable and at a friend’s house, no audio.


avatar Frank Gormlie July 10, 2009 at 9:10 pm

Both of you guys beat me to it. Good job, Channel 5!
Meanwhile, Patty posted an excerpt from UCSD’s Hamilton Glaucoma Center website about Chris Bowd at the bottom of this post above.


avatar Wireless Mike July 10, 2009 at 9:13 pm

Sound is back on, just in time for a commercial.


avatar Frank Gormlie July 10, 2009 at 10:12 pm

Thanks Channel 39 for the first successful TV news report about Chris. And thanks for the plug.


avatar Wireless Mike July 10, 2009 at 10:47 pm

The KNSD 7/39 news report is now on YouTube. Email this link to anyone who might know anything.
My apologies to KNSD for copyright violation, but this is important.

Here’s the link:


avatar Editor July 11, 2009 at 7:50 am

Here’s a link to MSNBC’s local report on Chris.


avatar Sunshine July 11, 2009 at 7:04 am

Thank you Reesa for your kind words. They speak volumes of truth. What his family must be going through emotionally right now touches all our collective OBcean hearts.

And thank you to everyone who persisted (and will continue to persist) in getting this story out there to the main stream media. The OBRag rocks!

What happened to Dr. Chris remains a mystery for now, yet the truth is out there and we must continue to believe it will come to light.

Any way we could come together at a certain date and time to hold a vigil for him?


avatar Reesa July 11, 2009 at 9:15 am

Brett and I will be arriving in Los Angeles next Saturday. We are hoping to be able to see Chris during the week, but do not know what visitor status will be.

I will be watching this blog for updates. Thank you all for your concern.

We are trying not to disturb Chris’ mom too much during this difficult time, but have not heard any updates on his condition. Our friend Danny called last night, but no new information.

There are many praying for you, Chris.
Many positive thoughts being collected for your recovery.
I just know you are feeling it.


avatar Sunshine July 11, 2009 at 10:33 am

I posted something on Newsvine about all this. Feel free to follow the link and add your own comments there….


avatar Frank Gormlie July 12, 2009 at 1:41 pm

We received an update from our contact close to Chris’ family early this afternoon: Chris is still unconscious, he is stable, and under heavy sedation. His mother is still with him as much as she can be.


avatar Reesa July 12, 2009 at 1:44 pm


Thank you for posting an update.
I really appreciate it.


avatar Rob and Debbie Hovell July 13, 2009 at 11:05 am

From concerned cousin in Brighton, England.

Thanks for all of you being there for Chris – we

appreciate your support for Chris throughout this ordeal.

And for being there for Aunt Molly.

Please dont give up on him. Thanks.


avatar Brian Bleetz August 28, 2009 at 10:19 am

Any updates on Chris lately? I recently came up on this news, he is an old college friend of mine from WSU.


avatar Frank Gormlie August 28, 2009 at 10:38 am

Brian Bleetz – yup, sure are. See the most recent article about Chris where he has left comments himself twice.

Go here at


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