Last August, a Loch-Ness-Monster-sighting picture was published that some declared to be the best picture of Nessie ever taken. Now (in a shocking revelation!) the photo turns out to be a fake. The picture really only shows a fiberglass hump that had been created for a 2011 National Geographic documentary, The Truth Behind the Loch Ness Monster
The photo was taken by George Edwards, who operates a Loch Ness tour boat, the Nessie Hunter
. There's some relevant Museum of Hoaxes history here, because back in 2005 the Museum's first-ever Loch Ness expedition took a ride in the Nessie Hunter
— with video to prove it! I remember we were all very impressed by how much Edwards sounded like Sean Connery. You can hear a bit of Edwards narrating the tour in the video below.
Edwards is entirely unrepentant about his photo hoax. He's quoted as saying: "Why should I feel guilty for having a bit of fun? Where would Loch Ness be without the world’s best known forgery, the Surgeon’s Photograph
? These so-called experts come along with their theories about big waves and big fish, and their visitor centre, but I’m sick to death of them. People come here for a holiday and a bit of fun. I’m one of the people who has brought thousands of people to the Highlands over the years, and I can tell you they don’t come here for the science." [Daily Mail
The Wall Street Journal notes
that Edwards' photo hoax reveals a deep divide within the community of Loch Ness over how to deal with Nessie. One faction, represented by the Loch Ness Exhibition and Center (operated by Adrian Shine), feels that visitors to Loch Ness should be given the scientific facts about the legendary monster (i.e. that there's no evidence for her existence). The other faction, represented by Edwards, feels that Nessie is basically fantasy and should be treated as such. In other words, that visitors to Loch Ness want the fantasy, and that's what should be given to them.