The Weekly World News, which is one of the few magazines I find myself actually tempted to buy while standing in the supermarket checkout line, is ceasing publication. They’ll maintain their online version, but the old familiar paper edition, with its headlines about the Angel of Death visiting Earth, Mother Nature endorsing Al Gore’s presidency, a boy who swallowed a seed and now has a tree growing out of his mouth, Elvis sightings, beer cans found on the moon, the discovery that the Earth’s core is actually made of candy, and, of course, Bat Boy, the big-eyed, big-eared, big-mouthed child found living in a West Virginia cave, will no longer be for sale.
Bat Boy was perhaps the paper’s most famous “scoop”, spawning everything from a comic to a musical. Bat Boy would meet Queen Elizabeth, and also eventually be enlisted in the search for Osama bin Laden because of his familiarity with caves.
Those of us who loved the paper, who wanted so desperately to believe its claim that it was the world’s only reliable news source, will miss it. Since 1979 the Weekly World News has been making the news, but its disappearance will have an even more profound effect than any of the events it reported–including the 9-month old baby who got a black belt in karate. One question remains, though: why is it coming to an end? No one seems to know why. Could it be…aliens?