Hoax Museum Blog: Nessie

Posted: Fri Nov 07, 2014.   Comments (4)

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Loch Ness Chip Monster — Artist Prudence Straite makes works of art out of fish-and-chip shop food. Below is her version of the Loch Ness Monster.

It's a chip monster, and it looks like the banks of the Loch are made from fried fish. [via Yahoo! News]

Posted: Mon Feb 24, 2014.   Comments (2)

Is Nessie Dead? — People who keep track of Nessie sightings are disturbed because last year there were no good sightings of her. The sighting from last year that got the most attention was an admitted hoax, and the other sightings were just feeble.

So what's going on? Some people are suggesting Nessie may be dead. Or maybe she's gone into hibernation.

The year Nessie went off the radar
The Herald (Glasgow)

THE Loch Ness Monster failed to make a single "appearance" in 2013 - for the first time in almost 90 years.
Last year there were just three possible sightings, but two were nothing more than waves or the wake from a boat. The third was a duck, said Gary Campbell, president of the Official Loch Ness Monster Fan Club.
The lack of possible appearances prompted William Hill to hold over its Best Nessie Sighting of The Year competition, which carries a prize of £1000. There will be £2000 for the best sightings this year.
Mr Campbell has checked past records and confirmed 2013 was the first year since 1925 that there had not been a registered sighting.

Posted: Mon Feb 10, 2014.   Comments (0)

Nessie Photo Fake — 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, Express]

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.

Posted: Sat Oct 05, 2013.   Comments (2)

The Log Ness Monster — While walking his dog, Patrick Cramer snapped a photo of something monster-like floating down the River Clwyd in North Wales. He concedes that it's probably just "a strangely-shaped log." But adds, "it could be the famed Rhuddlan River Monster." The Daily Post has a video of the thing floating downstream.

Posted: Wed Sep 25, 2013.   Comments (1)

Hello, Nessie! — Well, this is one of the lamer Nessie photos I've ever seen. Not even a head poking above the water! The video is even worse than the photo.

Hello Nessie, it must be that time of year...
Daily Mail

An amateur photographer has captured an eerie photo from the shore of Loch Ness which could encourage those who believe in tales of a monster living beneath the surface of the lake. The image was taken by David Elder at Fort Augustus, at the south-west end of the 23-mile-long body of water in northern Scotland. It shows a long bow wave apparently caused by some sort of disturbance on the surface of the loch.

Posted: Mon Aug 26, 2013.   Comments (1)

Yet Another Nessie Theory: She’s a Sleeper Shark — Alaska biologist Bruce Wright, writing in the Alaska Dispatch, offers a new theory to explain Nessie sightings — as well as sightings of 'monsters' in other lakes, such as Alaska's Lake Iliamna. He thinks people may actually have been seeing Pacific Sleeper Sharks. Despite the name, this type of shark is found circumglobally in northern waters and could have made its way into Loch Ness. Wright elaborates:
The idea of sharks possibly using Loch Ness is not new; that's long been one of the hypotheses explaining the Loch Ness Monster. But until now, nobody has suggested sleeper sharks, perhaps because they're secretive and so rarely seen.
Sleeper sharks can exceed 20 feet and weigh upwards of 4 tons. Sleeper sharks probably use rivers and lakes to find food, and there is an abundance of salmon and other fish in Loch Ness and Lake Iliamna.
Sightings are often consistent with descriptions of sleeper sharks in that the monsters' shape and colors usually match that of sleeper sharks. Salmon and lots of other prey species have been found in sleeper sharks' stomachs.

He's planning an expedition to Loch Ness in 2013 to see if he can catch a sleeper shark there on video. Given how many other people have tried and failed (or tried and hoaxed) to get photographic evidence of large marine animals there, he has a difficult task ahead of him.

Bruce Wright posing with a sleeper shark

Posted: Fri May 11, 2012.   Comments (2)

Sonar Image Shows Nessie… or Algae — Marcus Atkinson, skipper of a Loch Ness tourist boat, noticed something strange on his sonar fish finder: a long, snake-like object at a depth of 75 ft. (In the image, the green line to the left of the number 25.) So he quickly snapped a picture of the sonar screen with his mobile phone. The picture recently won him bookmaker William Hill's Best Nessie Sighting of The Year Award.

Of course, the scientists have to throw cold water on the excitement of all the Nessie fans. Dr Simon Boxall, of the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton, says:
The image shows a bloom of algae and zooplankton that would exist on what would be a thermocline. Zooplankton live off this algae and reflect sound signals from echo sounders and fish finders very well. They will appear as a linear “blob” on the screen, just like this. This is a monster made of millions of tiny animals and plants and represents the bulk of life in the Loch.

Links: express.co.uk, dailymail.co.uk.
Posted: Mon Apr 23, 2012.   Comments (1)

Is Nessie a Phantimal? — An article by Nick Redfern on mania.com discusses the theory that the Loch Ness Monster (and Bigfoot) may be "phantimals". That is, "the spirits or ghosts of creatures that became extinct thousands of years ago." This theory is promoted by paranormal expert Joshua P. Warren, author of Pet Ghosts, who argues that "the world’s most famous lake-monster, Nessie, might actually represent some form of 'ghostly plesiosaur,' rather than a literal, living animal or colony of animals."

Nice theory. But what I found more interesting was the next part of the article, in which Redfern discusses the research of Jim Marrs, author of PSI Spies, who learned that during some of the U.S. government's experiments with remote viewing (the Stargate Project perhaps?) remote viewers were asked to focus on Nessie and detail what they saw:

Several sessions targeting the famous Loch Ness monster revealed physical traces of the beast – a wake in the water, movement of a large body underwater. Their drawings even resembled a prehistoric plesiosaur, often identified as matching descriptions of Nessie. But when the viewers tried to discover where the object came from or returned to, they hit a dead end. The creature seemed to simply appear and disappear. Considering that reports of human ghosts date back throughout man’s history, the Psi Spies seriously considered the possibility that the Loch Ness monster is nothing less than a dinosaur’s ghost.

And here I went all the way to Loch Ness to see Nessie. I could have just stayed in San Diego and remote viewed her.
Posted: Wed Aug 31, 2011.   Comments (8)

What really lurks in Loch Ness — Apparently, it's golf balls. From cnn.com:

It seems the simple plastic golf ball is increasingly becoming a major litter problem. The scale of the dilemma was underlined recently in Scotland, where scientists -- who scoured the watery depths in a submarine hoping to discover evidence of the prehistoric Loch Ness monster -- were surprised to find hundreds of thousands of golf balls lining the bed of the loch. It is thought tourists and locals have used the loch as an alternative driving range for many years.

It would be kind of sad if Nessie died choking on a golf ball.
Posted: Tue Nov 10, 2009.   Comments (8)

RIP Robert Rines — Nessie Hunter Robert Rines died of heart failure yesterday in his Boston home. From Boston.com:

He was 87 and had spent the past 37 years lending his hefty intellectual bona fides to the search for a creature in the waters of Loch Ness.
"It looked like the back of an elephant," he told the Globe in 1997, recalling that moment in 1972 when he looked out the window of a friend's house in Scotland during a tea party and watched the curve of something he couldn't identify repeatedly disturb the water's surface. "I know there was a big unknown thing in that lake. That's why I haven't let go."

Posted: Mon Nov 02, 2009.   Comments (3)

Natural History Museum to provide positive identification of Nessie — According to the Daily Mail, recently released documents from the archives of the British Natural History Museum reveal that in 1987 the Museum struck a deal with the bookmaker William Hill. The Museum agreed that, should the body of the Loch Ness Monster ever be found, the Museum would provide "positive identification." Only if it receives a positive id, will the bookmaker pay out on bets about the creature's existence. (It offers odds of 500/1 on the Loch Ness Monster being found within a year.)

It seems like a pretty good deal for the Museum, since the bookmaker pays them £1,000 per year to maintain the contract.
Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2009.   Comments (6)

Loch Ness on Google Earth — I missed this while on vacation. A security guard looking at Google Earth in his sparetime found what he believes might be evidence of the Loch Ness monster. Almost everyone else thinks it looks obviously like a boat, except for Loch Ness researcher Adrian Shine who is quoted as saying it looks "really intriguing" and deserves "further study."
Posted: Fri Sep 04, 2009.   Comments (4)