The State Journal-Register March 16, 1994 via The Associated Press Researchers say famed '

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The State Journal-Register March 16, 1994 via The Associated Press Researchers say famed 'Nessie' photo a hoax LONDON -- The purported Loch Ness monster pictured in a famous 1934 photo was just a toy submarine fitted with a fake sea-serpent head, two Loch Ness researchers say. Researchers Alastair Boyd and David Martin claim one of the conspirators in the hoax told them about it just before he died in November at the age of 90, The Sunday Telegraph newspaper reported. The photograph, depicting a sea beast with a hump back and long neck, was attributed to Robert Wilson, an eminent London gynecologist. He said he took it April 19, 1934, after his companion saw a commotion in the water and shouted: "My God, it's the monster!" The London weekly newspaper said Boyd and Martin learned that Wilson was part of a hoax hatched by his friend Marmaduke Wetherell, a filmmaker and self-styled big game hunter hired by the Daily Mail in 1933 to hunt Nessie. Wetherell's son Ian and stepson Christian Spurling were also in on it. Boyd and Martin said Spurling, a skilled model maker and the last surviving conspirator, told them he build the model for the 1934 photograph at Wetherell's request, the newspaper said. Spurling created a "monster" 1 foot high and 18 inches long, it said. The keel of a toy submarine was fitted with lead to make the model ride steady in the water. The fake Nessie was taken to Loch Ness in Scotland to be photographed in authentic surroundings. The Daily Mail ran the photo as a world exclusive, arousing huge public interest. Some researchers used the picture to back claims that Nessie is descended from plesiosaurs, large reptiles with small heads and long necks that died out 65 million years ago. The hoax has not dealt a fatal blow to those who seek the truth behind the Loch Ness legend -- or those who profit from the world's curiosity. "It's a breakthrough" in the scientific research, said David Cotton, chief general manager of the Loch Ness Center at Drumnadrochit, which welcomes tourists to an exhibition on research and theories about the "monster." "This head has always been a wild card to us...It was the only sighting of its sort and always caused us enormous problems," he said Tuesday. "Our resident biologists have never been happy about this." It did not fit in with the majority of reliable sightings, Cotton said. And because the photo was taken so long ago on a film plate rather than a modern roll of film, it could not be subjected to ultraviolet tests or computer enhancement, he added. ========== Well, at least this one gives a bit more info than the Reuters article, and makes it clear that Loch Ness researchers, not a newspaper reporter, were given the confession.

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