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Oleg Moiseyenko's Stock Photography | all galleries >> masters >> 13 Photographs That Changed the World > Loch Ness Monster a.k.a. The Surgeonís Photo - Ian Wetherell, 1934
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Loch Ness Monster a.k.a. The Surgeonís Photo - Ian Wetherell, 1934

Loch Ness Monster a.k.a. The Surgeonís Photo - Ian Wetherell, 1934

The Photograph That Lied

While strange sightings around Scotlandís murky Loch Ness date back to 565 C.E., it wasnít until photography reached the Loch that Nessie Fever really took off. The now-legendary (and legendarily blurry) "surgeonís photo," reportedly taken in April of 1934, fueled decades of frenzied speculation, several costly underwater searches, and a local tourism industry that rakes in several million dollars each year.

But the party almost ended in 1994, when a report was published saying that model-maker Christian Spurling admitted to faking the photo. According to Spurlingís statement, his stepfather, Marmaduke Wetherell, worked as a big game hunter and had been hired by Londonís Daily Mail to find the beast. But rather than smoke out the creature, he decided to fake it. Wetherell, joined by Spurling and his son, Ian, built their own monster to float on the lakeís surface using a toy submarine and some wood putty. Ian actually took the photo, but to lend more credibility to the story, they convinced an upstanding pillar of the community Ė surgeon Robert Kenneth Wilson Ė to claim it as his own. Just goes to prove the old adage, "The camera never lies." People, on the other hand, do.


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