Tuesday, November 16, 2004

I know what I saw…

This morning my dad and mom and I drove to the Manhattan Beach pier. The weather was more beautiful than it was in June when we went for a vacation. There was a one-legged surfer headed down the sand and we watched him from the pier. The ocean was very flat and he was the only one on a board. He caught a few waves, sort of kneeling on the board and then finally gave up. The most interesting thing occurred this evening when we were discussing our day with my brother who showed up. My dad saw a one-legged young man with a metal prothesis. I saw an older guy – he had white hair and a white beard--with two metal crutches. I know that he had crutches because I was watching the muscles in his back and shoulders ripple as he made his difficult way across the sand with them, and I also watched as he dug a hole and buried them in such a way that they were standing upright. My dad saw something totally different. If the police had questioned us about what we had seen, our “eyewitness” testimony would have definitely conflicted. I have read of studies showing that eyewitness testimony is very unreliable, now I know it. We were able, however, to agree that we did indeed see a small pod of porpoise.

1 comment:

Elli said...

That reminds me at the time when I was studying law in Germany. We were at the University and while the professor was giving a lecture, a woman came in and made him sign a paper, then she left.
After a while he made us describe the woman and what she looked like - I can tell you that from 100 students we had 120 different opinions.
That taught us, how little you you can trust an eye-witness.