Last week, I wrote about the giant squid that washed ashore in South Africa, and how interesting it was that I was concurrently reading Nick Redfern’s new book, Monsters of the Deep. Well, today my feed is abuzz about this new photo allegedly showing the Loch Ness Monster, which is obviously also covered in Nick’s book. I’ve always been a bit dubious about the existence of Nessie. I believe something is occurring in Loch Ness, I just don’t know if it’s a monster. Years of photos that either fall into the “too good to be true – and they are” or “here’s a blurry photo of something taken from 6 miles away” categories have done nothing to really help the case for her existence either. But I guess we were due for another photo that will divide the internet. Read and see for yourself, and my thoughts will follow…
Now, this photo is problematic on many levels. The first is the “too good to be true” caveat. It’s nice and clear. It seems to be very close. On a superficial level, this looks to be an amazing, once in a lifetime photo. But let’s dive a little deeper (no pun intended). First of all, there’s nothing really to use for scale in this photo. This could be 4 feet long, or 20 feet long. Who can tell? Okay, maybe we can extrapolate an approximation of size from the waves in the water, or the tree. Maybe. The next thing that bothers me is the color. The purple immediately draws the eye – almost as if that was intentional. Odd, but okay, maybe a surviving prehistoric monster would have some bizarre coloring. Fine. Let’s continue analyzing. The wake the creature is creating, or rather, not creating, just looks wrong. There is some disturbance in the water, but also, in some places where it looks like there should be water disturbance, there is none. So is this creature moving and creating a wake? Or simply bobbing up to the surface gently? It can’t be both simultaneously. Lastly, I’m a little suspect of Mr. Challice himself. He says doesn’t believe in the Loch Ness Monster, but admittedly posted this on Facebook (other articles state the Facebook page was a phenomenon page, ostensibly about Nessie) and says he just wanted to know what kind of fish this was. And why is he posting now, rather than in September, when he initially saw the creature and photographed it? Perhaps most eyebrow-raising is the fact that Mr. Challice works (i.e., earns his living) as a 3D graphical artist. Roland Watson does an amazing, in-depth analysis of the photos Mr. Challice submitted, and to put it bluntly, there’s some glaring inconsistencies in Challice’s Nessie photo. Read for yourself if you want to see a thorough accounting of the problematic issues he found.
I’m not saying the photo is fake. I’m not saying Mr. Challice PhotoShopped this. Individually, none of the talking points I mentioned are completely damning, but when taken all together, the details surrounding this photo just don’t make much sense. And as Judge Judy likes to say, if it doesn’t make sense, it’s not true.
What do you think this is? Catfish? Clever PhotoShop hoax? Or the real Loch Ness Monster?