The Ballycastle sea monster – on camera

Andrew Harrison and I spent Saturday up at the north coast, where our friend Harry Hamill runs Ballycastle Film Club. Nine kids, aged ten to fifteen, showed up, and we filmed a short monster movie that I had scripted earlier in the year: The Siren, loosely inspired by Philip Henry’s novel Mind’s Eye. It was a hard day’s work getting everything done on time, but it was a whole lot of fun – especially watching Emma drag Alex into the freezing cold ocean on his back. Such enthusiasm! We also had a chance to use some excellent cameras, supplied by the Film Club.

The photograph (kindly supplied by the Ballymoney Times, who showed up to cover the event) shows Harry, myself and Andrew, with Alex, Emma, Lee and Alanna. If you look closely, you’ll notice the grotesque fingers from Don’t Look in the Attic. Those are actually the legs from a life-size model kit of a facehugger from Alien!

Andrew and I will be editing the film over the next two weeks. It will be premiered at a Halloween festival in Ballycastle on Friday 2 November. Right after that, we’ll be sharing it online, of course.

5 thoughts on “The Ballycastle sea monster – on camera

  1. Darryl,
    I confess that I am not commenting on the Ballycastle sea monster, although it does sound fascinating. You posted this personal blog on the long list of comments to your other blog.

    I just want to commend you for allowing the discussion to take place on your blog and most of all for your comments. You demonstrated a genuine desire to listen and learn.

    Since I want to make this brief, I hope to say at least one thing to catch your interest. I had the luxury of passionately pursuing, in the quiet of my study, the answers to many of the questions posted without the many various personal opinions of others getting me off track. I just started working my way back through church history asking questions that would lead me into truth.

    I don’t have a concise biography to send you but I am willing to share transparently with you my journey from devout, pro-life, committed Christian of a Baptist heritage to a devout, pro-life, committed Christian of the Catholic heritage. I’m 40 years old.

    My challange to you is to ask the right questions. Distill the 1000 questions down to a few of the most essential that make or break the vast majority of the other questions. If anyone is genuinely willing to seek the truth, it will be found. I went to the source documents myself, scripture, Catechism of the Catholic Church, Encyclicals by Popes, and the earliest writings of arguments against the Catholic Church. I was able to weigh the evidence in meditation, reading, and discussion with my wife and oldest children.

    I would have never considered or read anything Catholic simply because it never crossed my path until I became convinced by the Holy Spirit that contraception was part of the culture of death. Every branch of Christianity opposed all form of contraception until the Church of England broke in the 1930s. My own heritage of Fundamentalism mostly opposed it until the 1960s on a purely scriptural basis. The contraceptive pill was the step that landed in abortion. This is fact I will back up with all the logic, statistics, and reasons you require. It is true. One Church stood alone in opposition to this intrinsic evil and recognized it for what it was and is. Amazingly, its leadership (nearly one man, Pope VI) stood in opposition to internal acceptance. He clearly stated what was wrong with contraception and what would happen with accepting its use in the encyclical Humanae Vitae. When I read it , integrity and a genuine desire to walk in the truth would not let me rest until I had confronted every opstical in my path to Catholism. It was either the greatest fluke of all time or the real deposit of faith.

    My brother in Christ, I am not trying to convert you. I am merely proclaiming what I believe to be the truth and I am willing to back every claim. My 15 year old could answer each and every claim herself. Put her to the test. The sad reality is so many people refuse to test what they say they believe. You can attack every claim by the Catholic Church with my 15 year old and she will answer every one them because whe is grounded in the truth.

    I guess in some way I am throwing down the gauntlet. If you are curious link to the “young apologist” from my blog or engage me. She is much more generous and gentle than me, but I don’t waste any time in asking the real tough questions.

    May the peace of Christ be with you.
    David Ulmer

  2. I’m sorry I meant to say Pope Paul VI, and I don’t waste time since I usually go directly to the heart of the discussion and ask the tough questions.

  3. Hi, David.

    Thanks for taking time to write. You brought up the matter of contraception. Interestingly, I don’t take the typical Protestant position, but for a completely non-relifious reason. I’ve blogged about it here.

    As for accepting your challenge, I’m respectfully going to decline, and I hope you will understand my reasons. In my early years as a Christian, I studied by heart out. While I thought I was on a fast-track to enlightenment, I was really an inexperienced, ill-mannered jerk with a head full of concepts, some of which were quite wrong. I have since matured as a Christian, and have developed a razor-sharp “BS-detector” (vulgar expression, I know, but I like it).

    This means that I rarely read Christian literature any more, except when they are biographies, or especially fascinating works like Gabriele Amorth’s. This is as true of Protestant literature as it is of Catholic. I find Protestant Christian bookstores the most depressing kind of shop, because all I see when I walk in is a mess of truth and rubbish sitting side-by-side on the shelves: the Fundamentalists and the Charismatics, and everything in-between. One of the best things I ever did as a Christian was to put my Christian book collection of over 100 titles aside and get stuck into learning the Bible itself, using only such useful books as Bible dictionaries and commentaries to aid me.

    What I need to say is that after reading all those responses to my review of An Exorcist Tells His Story, my BS-detector is on red-alert. Just this morning, I read a new comment by someone saying that Jesus died of a broken heart because we didn’t love him enough. I just can’t abide mellodramatic statements like that, which completely misrepresent Jesus’s purpose on earth and the sacrificial nature of his death.

    Whilst I am commited to learning the truth, whatever that truth may turn out to be, I am also wary of falling into a trap (because I’ve been there). I am interested in learning, but I am also wary to avoid the dangers that come with learning at speed.

    I should also confess that at present I don’t have the heart for long debates. More than that, the idea of having my faith changed so dramatically scares me. Over the past year or two, I have grown away from the Protestant Church, out of disappointment. Presently, I have almost decided to commit myself to being a non-religious Christian. That’s just about all the change my heart can take right now. I will continue to learn at my own speed.

    God bless.

  4. David Ulmer

    Your decision is understandable. In fact, as I reread my post it sounds confrontational almost. “throwing down the gauntlet”. Even though I was trying to not sound that way I usually do, unfortunately, because I am one to respond to challanges. Still, check out my daughters blog if your curious in how 14 -15 year olds think; she is a good writer.

    If dialogue ever seems desirable with a real live Catholic, who understands protestant terms and theology, I hope that you send me an email. I do understand how draining long debates can be. That wasn’t my goal, but the words I used like “engage” do sound like a contest. You are on a journey of faith. I am on a journey of faith. Keep pressing on. Phil. 3:13-14

    In Christ,
    David Ulmer

  5. David Ulmer

    Oops, I forgot to mention that I read your post on homosexuality. Whether you know it or not you are wandering into some of John Paul II’s Theology of the Body in your arguments. Clearly, the body design says, “do not enter” in some areas. Your right in thinking this is “commen sense”. It is actually “natural law”.


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