Wednesday, 1 February 2012

An Interesting Photograph


I am currently working on a larger article, but this came in and had "must blog" written all over it. It is a picture taken of something on Loch Ness, perhaps north of Invermoriston.

Is it a hoax? Is it a log or some ducks swimming past?

Perhaps it is some otters playing in a line while the leader performs a dive in a neck like manner?

Is it in fact a photo of Nessie? One clue, it is not a hoax.

UPDATE

So after various suggestions have been offered, it turns out, it is not the Loch Ness Monster but neither is it a hoax. It is the model monster made for the film "The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes" released in 1970. I thank Paul Cropper who runs a website on the Yowie for spotting this clipping from that well known cryptozoological journal, The Australian Women's Weekly of the 25th August 1971. A Jean Constable included this shot in her write-up about a trip to Scotland with her husband. They had just left Invermoriston when she spotted "Nessie" and urged her incredulous husband to double back. Astonished, he began snapping pictures but then they eventually saw the boat pulling the beast and the game was up. Nevertheless, it's a great picture for the Loch Ness Story archives. Below are two close up pictures of this wonderful prop but it is also very interesting to see it in "Nessie Sighting" mode.



The photograph at the bottom of this blog shows Holmes and Watson encountering the "monster" as the film reaches its climax. However, the "beast" in our photograph is not the "beast" in the film for it sank without trace in Loch Ness and lies somewhere at the bottom of the loch to this day (well I suspect after forty years it is now a very ragged wireframe). Two accounts here sum up the loss of the prop.
From TCM:

The production was a troubled one, full of technical snafus like having to reshoot the entire Loch Ness sequence (the real location was too difficult to properly light among other problems). Leading lady Genevieve Page recalled in Charlotte Chandler's biography, Nobody's Perfect: Billy Wilder, "When we lost our Loch Ness monster, he wasn't too concerned, even though he was also the producer. He was more concerned about how the man who made it felt when all his work sank to the bottom of the Loch Ness. He went over and comforted him." She was referring to special effects man Wally Veevers's elaborate "monster," which worked beautifully until they gave it a test run in the Loch Ness. After its failure, Wilder decided to shoot it in miniature in the studio."

From IMBD:

Originally, the scenes featuring the Loch Ness Monster were intended to be filmed in the actual Loch. A life-size prop was built which had several Nessie-like humps used to disguise floatation devices. The humps were removed, however, at Billy Wilder's request. Unfortunately, during a test run in Loch Ness, the Monster-prop sank and was never recovered. A second prop (just the head and neck) was built, but was only filmed inside a studio tank.

So the prop in the film was a head and neck only. What this photograph shows is the full monty head, neck and two humps being towed in a test run. In fact, it could be surmised that Wilder's instruction to remove the humps which aided buoyancy precipitated the loss. No doubt there are one or two tales yet to be told about this resident of Loch Ness.

What I would have found very interesting is the question of what would have happened if this picture had been given more publicity. Would the sceptics of the time have merely offered the usual deer, bird, otter, logs explanations with no real critical thinking? Clearly, they would have been as wrong as the believers who may have seen this as prime evidence!





32 comments:

  1. What's the source of this photo?

    Definitely looks like the Invermoriston area -- it screams "Surgeon's Photo."

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    1. it looks like its from a movie from my point of view-i might be only 10 but nessie is real- that picture is someting i think i saw in a movie preview.

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  2. Maybe a tree? Could be a tree floating, or one of Loch Ness's famous vegatable mats? lol. Not cinvinced it is of the real monster.

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    1. did you read the article?????

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    2. that looks like the people on the boat just put a wooden head and neck on their boat to trick people and say they saw it and almost caught.but some people have mistaken an elephant for nessie.people who truly think nessie,bessie,and no name are real would not of mistaken an elephant for one.when i grow up im going to search for them.i cant get over the fact that no name eats kids considering that im a kid.i wonder where nessie escaped to.i think to the burmuta triangle so that ships could couldnt find her and her babies without sinking and getting lost in the pacific ocean

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  3. This Terrible Monster seems to be wearing a wristwatch around her "neck", just below her "head". Dashing for tea?

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    1. it looks like headphones are on nessie.

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  4. I might order the DVD just for this bit....

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  5. This photo looks very similar to Mansi's photo of Champ in Vermont. I'm in favor of the giant eel theory, but this looks like an entirely different creature, IF it is genuine.
    Regards.

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  6. Ah-ha! You know, one of these days I'm gonna get around to watching that...Love me some Christopher Lee and Robert Stephens...

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  7. @DB I think it escaped during training / rehearsals, so it most likely won't be on any DVD.

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  8. It's an elephant.

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  9. It looks like it could be the arm of a swimmer...not sure what the other two "humps" might be....unless it's the rest of the swimmers body? D.C.

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    1. @DB - I can't even see Whitefield croft, it is out of shot to the left, so there's no chance of seeing yours.

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  11. The Sherlock Holmes model is also pictured in Tim Dinsdale's Project Water Horse. The model sank in Urquhart Bay soon after it was lauched, as I recall, and resides still on the bottom. Quite possibly an early publicity shot of it before this event.

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  12. to nessie believers, since lock ness has virtually no life in it, what does it eat?!

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  13. if you are a nessie beliver like me where do you think nessie went when she escaped???i think to the bremuta triangle

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    1. Nessie ain't going anywhere! But then again I have no idea if she escapes Loch Ness to go on "vacation".

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  14. I've always wondered if Robert Rine's photos were actually the remains of the movie model after being pushed around the loch currents for two years...

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  15. Frank Searle believed that Rine's photos were that of the "plastic" monster. he also claimed to have taken underwater photos of the "plastic" monster. in the Richard Frere book "Loch Ness" , there are a few brief mentions about the incident of the "monster" sinking, and never to be found again.

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  16. SHADOW: I dont doubt nessie is real eel or otherwise but that THAT is a big spoof

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  17. very interesting photo, thanks for sharing roland, great post...

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    1. Would that be the kind of standard of proof photo you would seek?

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  18. looks the the definitive loch ness monster to me, looks the same shape as most eye witnesses have seen.

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  19. the Sherlock holmes model doesn't match the picture in question, theres no horns and the shape on the Sherlock model isn't the same shape, definatly isn't the same.

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  20. I recall seeing a shot of the prop Nessie in a book as a child, a different photo in much more detail. The image had two men in a boat in it, but it wasn't a still from the movie, as the one they used in the Holmes movie was not convincing at all. I'd love to see that picture again. It helped stir my interest in Loch Ness even though it wasn't real.

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    1. I myself also remember that image from the very same book! It is what brought me to this page... I attempted looking for it but yeah the picture shown is definitely not the one from the book. the image was definitely very frightening!!

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