Body of Nessie Found, 1972
On the day before April Fool's Day, 1972, a team of British zoologists from the Flamingo Park Zoo found a mysterious carcass floating in Loch Ness. Initial reports claimed it weighed a ton and a half and was 15 ½ feet long.
The Brooksville Monster, 1959
Reports of a giant monster with glowing eyes stalking the woods of Central Florida at night aroused the curiosity of two Tampa Tribune reporters. But after interviewing locals, they discovered that the creature was actually a "homemade spook" created by a housewife who had fashioned it out of a bed sheet, a cow's skull, and a flashlight inside the skull. She had tied her monster to a 100-foot rope between two trees and pulled it from side to side with a fishing line.
The Birth of Bigfoot, 1958
While working on a rural road construction project near Bluff Creek, California, tractor-operator Jerry Crew found a series of massive footprints in the mud. Due to the size of the prints, the media began referring to the creature that created them as "Bigfoot." The name stuck and soon became the most widely used term for North America's legendary ape-man. However, it was suspected that Crew's prank-loving boss, Ray Wallace, created the prints by strapping carved wooden feet to his boots and stomping around in the mud. Wallace's family confirmed this after his death in 2002.
The Giant Penguin of Clearwater, Florida, 1948
In February 1948, giant three-toed footprints were found on a Florida beach. They looked like they had been made by an enormous sea turtle, except for the fact they were spaced too far apart. Over the following months, more prints continued to be found. In Nov. 1948, naturalist Ivan Sanderson examined some of them and speculated they had been made by a "vast penguin," 15-feet tall. The mystery wasn't fully solved until 1988 when a local prankster, Tony Signorini, admitted he had made them with the help of a friend. He had strapped cast-iron monster-print shoes to his feet and then stomped up and down along local beaches. [Tampa Bay Times, Orgone Research]
The Surgeon’s Photo, 1934
In April 1934, Colonel Robert Wilson, a respected British surgeon, came forward with a picture that appeared to show a sea serpent rising out of the water of Loch Ness. Wilson claimed he took the photograph early in the morning on April 19, 1934, while driving along the northern shore of the Loch. He said he noticed something moving in the water and stopped his car to take a photo. For decades this photo was considered to be the best evidence of the existence of a sea monster in the Loch. But Wilson himself refused to have his name associated with it. Therefore it came to be known simply as "The Surgeon's Photo."
The Loch Ness Monster
Ancient Scottish legend told of a "beast" that lived in the waters of Loch Ness. St. Columba, for instance, was supposed to have encountered a large serpent in the River Ness over 1400 years ago. But the modern history of Nessie began in 1933 when a new road was completed along the northern shore of the Loch, providing easy access to unobstructed views of the water. Soon after this, a couple spotted an "enormous animal" in the Loch. The Inverness Courier wrote up their sighting, describing what they saw as a "monster;" intense media interest followed; and thus was born the modern Loch Ness Monster.
On July 4, 1884 the Daily Colonist paper of British Columbia reported that a strange creature "of the gorilla type" had been captured by railway workers and was being held in a local jail. It was given the nickname "Jacko." Decades later, during the 1950s, this story was found by Bigfoot researchers who speculated that Jacko must have been a Bigfoot. This was seen as early proof of Bigfoot's existence. But subsequent research revealed that other newspapers of 1884 treated the Jacko incident as a hoax. The British Columbian had reported that over 200 people, their curiosity aroused by the story, had gone to the jail to see Jacko but found no creature at all. [Cryptomundo]