Date: Tue Mar 15 1994 21:43:26 To: All Subj: Nessie Hoax? SKEPTIC - Chicago Tribune, 3/14/

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Date: Tue Mar 15 1994 21:43:26 From: David Bloomberg To: All Subj: Nessie Hoax? SKEPTIC ------------------------------- Chicago Tribune, 3/14/94 via Reuters 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 Sunday Telegraph. 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 Telegraph. 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 trickery. "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).

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