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My Amazing Nessie Photo!

Updated on August 23, 2017

Is the Loch Ness Monster Real?

I've loved the Loch Ness Monster ever since I was a child. I had books about Nessie. My grandparents brought me back a Nessie sculpture and Nessie playing cards which lived on my desk for years. I studied all the Loch Ness Monster pictures that were available in the seventies, avidly waiting for Woods Hole or one of the other scientific groups surveying the loch to get the first photos of the Loch Ness Monster.

No such luck. I'd given up hoping that Nessie was real after the famous "Surgeon's Photo" was revealed to be a hoax, and the Loch Ness flipper photo was explained away.

Then I moved out to California, closer to the ocean than I'd ever lived before. Southern California is a far cry from the bleak beauty of Scotland! And yet...

My Picture of the Loch Ness Monster...

It's NOT at Loch Ness... Not Even in the Same Hemisphere... But What IS It?

1997. It was a cold winter's day, and there weren't many tourists or locals out. The beach was nearly empty. I had come to watch the sunset from an overlook on the limestone bluffs, where a cave in the cliff below always makes me think of the sea-cave in Susan Cooper's Over Sea, Under Stone. I was looking down towards the entrance to the marina... and snapped this picture.

I posted this photo on my second website, but that site's been gone for years. I just had to dig it out of my old Mac Clone (talk about a mythical beast!) to find it. Until now, I've only shared this picture with a few friends and relatives. So...

Is It "Nessie" or "Nonsense"?

What do you think?

More Information About the Loch Ness Monster - Nessie Lovers and Loch Ness Monster Hoax Hunters

Nessie by Heinrich Harder, 1916. From this excellent article on the Loch Ness Monster.

The Conclusion of the $5 Nessie Challenge

And a Big Cheer for Janusz

In my Guestbook, I posed the following challenge:

Yep. If you can show me one thing about my "Nessie" photo that proves, beyond an absolute shadow of a doubt, that "this is fake", I'll give you $5 via Paypal. (Which means you'll have to have a Paypal account and be willing to give me your Paypal username or email via the "Contact Me" button on my profile.)

I'm not talking reasonable doubt. I'm not talking "It looks fake." I'm talking proof that my grandma could see without her glasses proof.

If you find it, post what you found here. More importantly, tell how you found it.

Good luck, hoax hunters. ;)

Many people made keen-eyed observations. However, the things people pointed out really WERE part of the original photo! There was one exception. Janusz observed: "I thought maybe it´s a Rock, that is really there with neck & head added..."

He got me! I'm sure some other people suspected it, but he was the first to say it. However, when I caught up with him asking for his Paypal addy so I could give him his prize, here's what he said:

"Thanks, could you donate it to 'First Coast No More Homeless Pets'? The donation box is on my Angel Lens."

Isn't that sweet? I donated $10 instead. Let's support critters closer to home in honor of Nessie!

But WAIT! That Was NOT the Easter Egg!

How to Prove My Loch Ness Monster is Fake (Awww)!

In 1999, a member of my online forum kept posting photos "proving" the existence of Nessie and other paranormal phenomena. I finally retouched and posted a photo of Corona Del Mar I'd taken, in order to make a point. When someone started posting similar photos in SquidU, I was inspired to dig out my old "Nessie Photo" and teach the same lesson.

We need to be aware that anything we see on TV or on the web could be digitally enhanced or created from scratch. After all, I'm not a pro! Think what someone who knows what they're doing could accomplish. Heck, think of Gollum in The Lord of the Rings!

Just in case someone took my photo and posted it elsewhere, I slipped an Easter Egg into it for experts to find. If you put the picture in Photoshop or another graphics program that lets you change the saturation, here's what you'll see (scroll down):


I think even my grandma could tell that "this is fake". ;)

I love Nessie! Even though I don't think the Loch Ness Monster is real, I would love to be proved wrong. But I'm not going to believe in Nessie just because of pictures or videos posted on the internet that "prove" she's real. Nor, for that matter, do I trust everything I see on the news, which routinely employs photomanipulation, sometimes to the point of distortion.

The contest is over, but I'm very happy to hear from you all! And I'm saving your clever comments.

How did I get that Easter Egg in there?

That's the oddest thing about this picture. I'm guessing I did it with Selective Colors, but I can't seem to duplicate the effect!

© 2009 Ellen Brundige


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