Loch Nest Monster – Most Famous Hoax
The Loch Ness Monster is a mysterious creature that is rumored to occupy Loch Ness which is located in the Scottish Highlands. Although its description varies from one account to the next, it is comparable to other hypothetical lake monsters said to be found in Scotland and elsewhere.
Brought to the world’s attention in 1933, interest and belief in the creature has fluctuated. Actual evidence of the creature’s existence is largely subjective and somewhat undependable. With actual documented evidence of the creature minimal and much dubious photographic material, the scientific community regards the Loch Ness Monster as a modern-day myth, and explains sightings as a mix of hoaxes and wishful thinking.
The Surgeon’s Photograph – Most Famous Hoax
In April of 1934, Robert Kenneth Wilson who at the time was a British surgeon claimed that he took the above photo while driving along the northern shore of Loch Ness. When asked, he said that while driving he noticed something moving in the water and stopped his car to take a photograph.
As you can see, the resulting image showed the slender neck of what appeared to be a serpent-like creature rising out of the water. For many decades, this photo was considered the best confirmation of the actual existence of a sea monster in the Loch. However, interestingly enough, when Wilson submitted the photo he refused to have his name associated with it. Therefore, it came to be known simply as “The Surgeon’s Photo”.
It was not until sixty years later in 1994 that the image was revealed as a hoax when a man named Christian Spurling, who shortly before his demise at the age of ninety, made a confession. He stated that big-game hunter Marmaduke Wethere put together a plot that involved himself and Wilson. According to Spurling, Marmaduke was seeking revenge for having been publically embarrassed when he had earlier claimed to have found Loch Ness Monster tracks along the side of the Loch but unfortunately for Marmaduke the tracks turned out to have been made with a desiccated hippo’s foot.
The plot involved having Spurling make a model of a monster-like serpent. Spurling did this by attaching a fake serpent’s head and neck to a toy submarine. The model was then placed in Loch Ness and photographed. Wilson’s sole purpose in the hoax was to serve as a credible front-man.
Various (claimed) Photographs of Loch Ness
References: Martin, D. & Boyd, A. (1999). Nessie: The Surgeon’s Photograph Exposed. Thorne Printing.