Date: Tue Mar 15 1994 21:43:26 To: All Subj: Nessie Hoax? SKEPTIC - Chicago Tribune, 3/14/
Date: Tue Mar 15 1994 21:43:26
From: David Bloomberg
Subj: Nessie Hoax?
Chicago Tribune, 3/14/94
Nessie the monster only 'a little joke,' paper says
LONDON -- A famous photograph purporting to show the
mythical Loch Ness monster was a hoax, according to the
The 1934 photo, which shows the long neck and head of
the fabled beast rising from the murky lake in Scotland,
actually was staged using a toy submarine, according to the
The newspaper said the last of several men involved in
creating the fake monster, Christian Spurling, confessed his
role just before dying last November.
Reports of a sea monster in Loch Ness date back to the
third century, but feverish speculation about its possible
existence erupted with publication of the photograph in a
London newspaper in 1934.
Some experts who examined the fuzzy black-and-white
plate photograph said it could be a plesiosaur (an extinct
dinosaur), a tree trunk or an otter.
Spurling said he used a 14-inch toy submarine and used
plastic wood to build the long neck and small head. "In a
quiet day the monster was floated out into the shallows,"
the newspaper said.
The newspaper said the men were so overwhelmed by the
resulting fuss that they were afraid to confess to the
"Their little joke had got out of hand and the least
painful solution was to keep quiet," it said.
Personally, I'm rather skeptical about this report. First, I'm ALWAYS
skeptical of deathbed confessions where it seems that only a reporter happened
to be there (without a tape, of course). Also, if it happened in November, why
did it take 'til MARCH to report? Finally, it seems to me that British papers
are rather known for being rather tabloid-ish, and while I do not know the
reputation of this particular paper, it wouldn't seem beyond the realm of
possibility that something like this could be dreamed up (not necessarily by
the author or even with his knowledge).
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank