snopes.com Post new topic  Post a reply
search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hello snopes.com » Archived Forums » Spook Archive » Interesting theory on Loch Ness Monster

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!    
Author Topic: Interesting theory on Loch Ness Monster
Nonny Mouse, on Santa's laptop
Once in Royal Circuit City


Icon 03 posted      Profile for Nonny Mouse, on Santa's laptop   Author's Homepage   E-mail Nonny Mouse, on Santa's laptop   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
So what do you think?


Nonny

--------------------
When there isn't anything else worth analyzing, we examine our collective navel. I found thirty-six cents in change in mine the other day. Let no one say that there is no profit in philosophy. -- Silas Sparkhammer


Posts: 10141 | From: Toronto, Ontario | Registered: Apr 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Paul Unwin
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 1 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
An interesting theory. I wish that the image with the article hadn't posted the admitted hoax picture of a neck and body rising out of the water and had instead shown a pic that could be a result of an earthquake.

Paul "There's always sasquatch" Unwin


IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
IrateDwarf
Asparagus Spears


Icon 1 posted      Profile for IrateDwarf   E-mail IrateDwarf   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Man. They got rid of that goofy looking guy for this smilie.

You can search for Nessie right at your computer with The Loch Ness Webcam!


Posts: 2171.14159 | From: Michigan | Registered: Dec 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Jow Kewl
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 1 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
The earthquake theory still wouldn't explain many of the sightings of an actual animal in the loch. True, it's possible the earthquake phenomenon started the legend, and the later eyewitness sightings were hoaxes. But there is documented evidence (such as the famous short movie shot by Tim Dinsdale) which can't be attributed to earthquake burps.

Now for something completely off-topic:

Paul Unwin said:

quote:

I wish that the image with the article hadn't posted the admitted hoax picture of a neck and body rising out of the water...

The problem, Paul, is that the mainstream media accepted the "hoax" story with open arms, without subjecting it to any critical thinking. Some interesting information about the story:

1. The person claiming the photograph was a hoax was not the same person credited with taking the photo. The latter person (obstetrician/gynecologist Robert Wilson, a Lieutenant Colonel in the British army), was already deceased when the hoax story came out, and couldn't defend himself. It's somewhat curious that Wilson ducked publicity after the photo was taken, and never sought to make any money from it, had the picture really been a deliberate fraud.

2. Did you know that there were actually two photos of the monster taken at the time? Well, neither did the hoaxer, who repeatedly refers to just the one picture in his story. (Actually, four plates were exposed and submitted for development, but when they came back only two showed the monster.)

3. What's worse, the hoaxer claims to have sculpted the head and neck out of plastic wood, and mounted it on a toy submarine. Unfortunately for his story, the monster's head and neck change relative positions between the two photos, something a rigid sculpture couldn't do. I have a copy of the second photo, and if you're really interested I suppose I could post it.

4. When an investigator tried to reproduce the hoaxer's claim, he found the neck always caused the toy submarine to capsize due to its weight. Eventually, he had to resort to using a styrofoam sculpture instead of one made from plastic wood.

5. The famous head and neck photograph is usually shown in a closely-cropped format. When the full frame is viewed, and particularly when the second photo is viewed, it can be seen that the "monster" is quite far out from shore. This seems to cast doubt on the hoaxer's claim of conducting the scam in shallow water while wearing hip waders.

Now personally, I have my own doubts about the existence of the Loch Ness Monster. My complaint is with the media's blind acceptance of the hoax story without any attempt to independently verify it before spreading it around the world.


IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
IrateDwarf
Asparagus Spears


Icon 01 posted      Profile for IrateDwarf   E-mail IrateDwarf   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Jow Kewl:
The earthquake theory still wouldn't explain many of the sightings of an actual animal in the loch. True, it's possible the earthquake phenomenon started the legend, and the later eyewitness sightings were hoaxes. But there is documented evidence (such as the famous short movie shot by Tim Dinsdale) which can't be attributed to earthquake burps.

Now for something completely off-topic:

Paul Unwin said:
The problem, Paul, is that the mainstream media accepted the "hoax" story with open arms, without subjecting it to any critical thinking. Some interesting information about the story:

1. The person claiming the photograph was a hoax was not the same person credited with taking the photo. The latter person (obstetrician/gynecologist Robert Wilson, a Lieutenant Colonel in the British army), was already deceased when the hoax story came out, and couldn't defend himself. It's somewhat curious that Wilson ducked publicity after the photo was taken, and never sought to make any money from it, had the picture really been a deliberate fraud.

2. Did you know that there were actually two photos of the monster taken at the time? Well, neither did the hoaxer, who repeatedly refers to just the one picture in his story. (Actually, four plates were exposed and submitted for development, but when they came back only two showed the monster.)

3. What's worse, the hoaxer claims to have sculpted the head and neck out of plastic wood, and mounted it on a toy submarine. Unfortunately for his story, the monster's head and neck change relative positions between the two photos, something a rigid sculpture couldn't do. I have a copy of the second photo, and if you're really interested I suppose I could post it.

4. When an investigator tried to reproduce the hoaxer's claim, he found the neck always caused the toy submarine to capsize due to its weight. Eventually, he had to resort to using a styrofoam sculpture instead of one made from plastic wood.

5. The famous head and neck photograph is usually shown in a closely-cropped format. When the full frame is viewed, and particularly when the second photo is viewed, it can be seen that the "monster" is quite far out from shore. This seems to cast doubt on the hoaxer's claim of conducting the scam in shallow water while wearing hip waders.

Now personally, I have my own doubts about the existence of the Loch Ness Monster. My complaint is with the media's blind acceptance of the hoax story without any attempt to independently verify it before spreading it around the world.


That's very interesting, I've never heard those arguements before. Do you think you could post the non-cropped picture and the 2nd one, or E-Mail it to me at rmuskett@mediaone.net

thanks,
ID


Posts: 2171.14159 | From: Michigan | Registered: Dec 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
IrateDwarf
Asparagus Spears


Icon 1 posted      Profile for IrateDwarf   E-mail IrateDwarf   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Loch ness Monster Sighted!

Loch ness Monster Sighted!


Posts: 2171.14159 | From: Michigan | Registered: Dec 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
The perverted Scarlet Collector
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 01 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by IrateDwarf - Nuff Said:
Loch ness Monster Sighted!

Loch ness Monster Sighted!



So that's where my socks went! *See picture


-Fallom "Like your new zig"


IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Paul Unwin
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 1 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Jow Kewl:
I have a copy of the second photo, and if you're really interested I suppose I could post it.

Yes, please do.

You're right, this was, for me, definitely a case of seeing what I expected to see. Since I some time ago lost all belief in Nessie myself, I was uncritical when the picture was said to be a hoax. I'm the same way with crop circles.

Still, grainy photography is far from what I would call "extraordinary evidence" and I feel confident in my rejection of the Nessie hypothesis at this time.

Paul "oh wait a minute, this isn't the Monsterometer, it's the Frog-Exaggerator Mm-hai" Unwin


IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Jow Kewl
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 1 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Okay, I was able to find both pictures on the net. (This is good - why get sued for copyright infringement when you can let others do it for you. )

The uncropped "Surgeon's photograph" can be viewed at

http://cgi.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/lochness/legend3.html

approximately half-way down the page. I have the following comments with regard to the accompanying article on that site:

1. I think they're being very generous when they offer the thin black line of shoreline at the top of the photo as proof of Wetherell's statement that the photo "included the scenery of Loch Ness in the background."

2. The authors view it as corroborative evidence that Wetherell's story involved Maurice Chambers. Unfortunately, it proves nothing of the sort. Robert Wilson (the "surgeon" credited with taking the photos) stated in his accounts of taking the pictures that Maurice Chambers was present. Wetherell needed a way to connect himself to Wilson, and to explain why, if Wilson hadn't really taken the photos, Maurice Chambers hadn't publicly denied the incident. He had to implicate Chambers in his story. As far as I know, there's never been any evidence that Wetherell and Chambers even knew each other (Chambers was conveniently deceased when Wetherell came forward with his claims of a hoax).

3. I'm not sure where the illustration of the toy sub mock-up comes from. The article (and every other place I've seen the picture on the net) never says. I'm a little suspicious of the "lead ballast strip" because I don't remember it being mentioned in the original Christian Spurling quotes. At any rate, an expert on 1930's vintage toy submarines has stated that lead ballast sufficient to keep a one-foot neck from overturning would cause the whole submarine to sink to the bottom. Submarines of that period were designed to be neutrally bouyant only a couple feet beneath the surface.

The second picture can be viewed at

http://www.lochness59.freeserve.co.uk/nessieup.htm

Scroll all the way to the bottom of the page - it's the second image from the bottom, on the right side. Click the picture for a larger image. Try to ignore the text typed in all caps.

A debunking of the hoax story, in the form of a letter to CSICOP written by Richard Smith, can be found at

http://www.csicop.org/sb/9609/nessie.html

Pay careful attention to the response from CSICOP's Joe Nickell. Decide for yourself whether Smith or Nickell is approaching the question more scientifically. Note Joe Nickell's endorsement of the quote:


"...given an explanation which fits virtually all the facts, and meshes in so neatly with what are known of Duke Wetherell [a previous Nessie hoaxer] (and the gullibility of tabloid newspaper editors) it seems positively perverse not to accept the Spurling account."

First, he implies the photo must be a hoax, because Duke Wetherell is "a previous Nessie hoaxer." Um, but the only proof you have that Duke Wetherell was involved in any way with the surgeon's photograph is Wetherell's own word. If he's a "known hoaxer," why believe him now? On the other hand, there is no evidence at all that Robert Wilson was ever anything but honest. Then he complains about the "gullibility of tabloid newspapers," and implies it's "perverse" to believe the photo could possibly be genuine. This is our old friend the ad hominem attack in about the purest form you're ever likely to encounter it. It's crap like this that made me cancel my subscription to The Skeptical Inquirer.

More CSICOP "investigation" can be found at

http://www.csicop.org/sb/9603/nessie.html

Joe Nickell states:


The second Wilson photograph obviously portrays a different object photographed in different weather conditions (and I suspect from a different angle). It may have been a cruder model, or it may have been a bird. If it is "rarely seen," as Smith claims, that is because it is a bad photo of a very dubious object. Since it obviously isn't the object shown in the more famous photo, the obvious question is how did Wilson manage to photograph two monsters?

Nickell really puts his foot in his mouth here. In the process, he proves his considerable ignorance of the entire story of how the photographs came to be. The second photograph only still exists because a man named George Morrison made a contact print of the negative. Morrison was the man who developed all four of the plates at the same time, at a store named Ogden's in Inverness, Scotland. Now Wilson claims to have taken all four plates within a span of a few minutes. Wetherell and Spurling (the hoax advocates), claim the surgeon's photograph was given to Wilson to have developed so that it would look like Wilson had taken the photograph. But the fact remains that Morrison received the plates for photos 1 and 2 from Wilson at the same time. So if Wetherell was the true photographer, why didn't he know about the second picture? Or if he did know about it (and was the one who took it), Nickell himself says it's a different model photographed in different weather conditions (i.e, on a separate day). Why would Wetherell/Spurling construct two separate models, and then why would they only claim to have made one? But any way you look at it, Nickell's inference that photos 1 and 2 were made at separate times doesn't agree with either version of the story, and in fact contradicts the known facts. And he admits that a static sculpture couldn't account for both photos.

The truth is that both pictures were taken at the same time. The second looks so different initially because it's out of focus, and from a contact print which greatly increased the contrast. Compare the general direction of the foreground waves, the framing of the object in the scene, it's relative size in both pictures, and even the similarity in the light-fogging on the right hand side of the frame (although this last item may just be an indication that they were developed at the same time).

Wow, this post got to be really long! (Totally unlike my usual one-liners.) And I didn't even get to the discussion of the water ripples or the NASA computer analysis. Oh well, maybe another time.

I'll leave you with one final link:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/transcripts/2601lochness.html

Notice how the skeptic trying to "prove" the hoax story is using a model head and neck constructed from styrofoam instead of plastic wood. But why?


Please remember, I'm not convinced the Loch Ness monster exists. I just wish the skeptics would play fair with their analyses.

Paul Unwin said:

quote:

Still, grainy photography is far from what I would call "extraordinary evidence"...

How can you say that after seeing IrateDwarf's picture? It sure convinced me.


IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
sureshot
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 1 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
British Geological Survey dismisses earthquake theory: http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_340198.html

sureshot


IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
The perverted Scarlet Collector
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 37 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 

IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Baikal
Happy Holly Days


Icon 01 posted      Profile for Baikal   E-mail Baikal   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Now, first off, I'm not a scientist, nor am I a trained photographer. Moreover (perhaps more importantly) I have never been to Loch Ness.

Still, looking at the pictures several things just say "hoax" to me. When you think about it, it isn't really about whether the guy who revealed the hoax was the perpetrator or not, whether the neck was made from plastic wood and a toy or plastic wood and the USS Ohio. The issue is whether it's fake. It seems to me that for some reason, the second image that purportedly shows the creature, she seems to be rolling to one side. Maybe Nessie's ballast tanks aren't balanced and she's listing, I don't know--but it looks suspiciously like it's unstable, something you would expect not from a graceful sea creature but from an unbalanced, topheavy submerged object.

Secondly: take a look at the first picture, the most common one. You can clearly see ripples, of the sort that again, sea creatures don't make (Keiko never did, as far as I can remember). Bathtub toys do, though. Here: I'll point them out for you.

If this image isn't displaying, my revision is also here.

Or, since apparently Geocities (yes, I know, that's who I use. Fire away) won't let me link to my site, try this URL (cut and paste) if you absolutely have to see the picture.
http://www.geocities.com/raketny_kreyser/Nessie.html

See 'em? And do the waves look rather disproportionately large to you? Or is it just me. Like I said, I've never been there--what does the water look like. If it's like any of the lakes I myself have visited, then Nessie is awfully small...

Now, I believe in the monster itself, but this photograph is, IMH(and perhaps incorrect and uninformed)O, a fake.

-Bai"open to criticism: all hours"kal

--------------------
I'm just a typical American boy from a typical American town.


Posts: 1463 | From: CU, Boulder Campus | Registered: Feb 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Jow Kewl
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 01 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Baikal said:
quote:

Still, looking at the pictures several things just say "hoax" to me. When you think about it, it isn't really about whether the guy who revealed the hoax was the perpetrator or not... The issue is whether it's fake.

I've thought about this question before. If the photo is indeed a hoax, does it matter if people are lying about their supposed participation in the hoax?

To me the answer is yes. I think the thing that bothers me the most is the general tone the newspaper articles took. In articles such as the one Nonny posted, the tone of the story is usually along the lines of "Here's a new theory from a researcher. It may or may not be correct." You'll notice a similar tone in the stories snopes likes to post about new theories in the JFK assassination. But the first time I heard about the Loch Ness story, the headline declared "Famous Monster Photo Exposed As Hoax," instead of "Researchers Claim Famous Monster Photo Was A Hoax," which it should have. As I read the story, I kept thinking,"Um, okay, but what about the second photograph." Well, they never mention the second photograph, and the deeper one looked into the "hoaxer's" claims, the more they clashed with the facts. Now I would think that any conscientious news service would do a little investigating on its own before declaring that a story is true, especially since those claiming a hoax didn't offer one shred of corroborative evidence. But the truth is, the news people didn't care. And, like you and Paul Unwin said, most people's opinions of that photograph and of the Loch Ness monster herself tended toward high skepticism. So basically, the public was ready to accept a story unquestioningly because it agreed with their preconceived notions. I've been guilty of the same thing in the past (e.g., the debunking of the "Minnesota iceman").

quote:

Secondly: take a look at the first picture, the most common one. You can clearly see ripples, of the sort that again, sea creatures don't make (Keiko never did, as far as I can remember). Bathtub toys do, though.

I agree with you about the ripples. I have always agreed with you about those ripples. They make the object look small. Your picture didn't show up in your post, but I'm guessing it's the extremely close-cropped version of the surgeon's photograph. I've found that viewing the same photo in its uncropped or semi-cropped state makes the object look a little larger in comparison to the surrounding waves. A good "semi-cropped" version can be viewed here:

http://www.net-monster.com/images/surgeonsphoto_medium.jpg

For what it's worth, two guys performed a computer analysis on the ripples and determined the object protruding from the water was about 1.2 meters (47 inches) high. Nothing guarantees their analysis was correct, of course.

Regarding those ripples, they're another problem in the hoaxer's story. The claim that the false neck was mounted on a toy submarine implies the sub was used to propel the neck though the water. The ripples in the picture are of an object rising up in the water, not moving horizontally. When a researcher attempted to reproduce those ripples with a fake neck on a toy sub, he was continually frustrated. Finally, one of the hoax advocates decided the picture must have been snapped just as the sub was thrown into the water.

I've said previously that I think Nessie probably doesn't exist. So how do I explain the surgeon's photograph? I think it's exactly what he claimed it was - a photo of some unidentified animal on the surface of the lake. But if we're going to analyze it, let's analyze it honestly.

Before I end, I just wanted to share one more example of the kind of pseudoscience one encounters from some of the allegedly scientific skeptics. There has long been debate among skeptics and believers over the possibility of undersea caves linking Loch Ness with the ocean. Although there is some anecdotal evidence supporting this possibility, nothing definite has been found (to my knowledge), and some experts view the prospect as highly unlikely. Obviously, if such caverns exist, some of the biggest strikes against the possibility of Nessie's existence are suddenly erased. But I must admit I got a good chuckle from the following logic, found in a recent skeptical book on the Loch Ness monster:

Because Loch Ness is 51 feet above sea level, if there were any caves connecting it to the North Sea, the loch would drain completely.

Oh boy...



P.S.: Who the hell is Keiko?


IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Baikal
Happy Holly Days


Icon 01 posted      Profile for Baikal   E-mail Baikal   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Keiko was the orca we know more commonly as the one from the Free Willy movies. He's living in Europe now, but for a while he was in Newport, OR--that's where I saw him.

And speaking of the lake's elevation...does anyone remember the town of Lakeport--also in Oregon? Or has anyone ever heard of it?

And as for believing what newspapers say (we ourselves or the media)...well, snopes page on False Authority Syndrome (here) deals with the subject quite nicely...taking anyone at face value--hoaxer or researcher, student government treasurer or the president of the United States--is a poor way of going about things.

As humans, as sentient beings, one of our greatest gifts is our ability to reason, and to think rationally. It's a shame when we don't use it, really.

Another strike against the possibility of Nessie's existence was, from what I've read, the ecology--the lake simply couldn't support the creature, let alone enough of them to maintain a stable population.

But if you could get your questions answered, if you could press a button and know, beyond a doubt, the truth behind Ogopogo and Nessie, Chupacabras and Mothman, Bigfoot and Judge Crater, the Matto Grosso and the Bermuda Triangle, ghosts and ESP, Jimmy Hoffa and Roswell, kappa and even giant catfish--would you? I know I wouldn't, and I can't say why precisely. It's the mystery, and perhaps the desire to explore--the desire to have something to explore. But I don't speak for everyone.

-Bai"And what if the answer was just '42'?"kal

--------------------
I'm just a typical American boy from a typical American town.


Posts: 1463 | From: CU, Boulder Campus | Registered: Feb 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.

Instant Graemlins
   


Post new topic  Post a reply Close topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Urban Legends Reference Pages

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2