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)
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: http://myprofile.cos.com/cbowd