2012: The Loch Ness monster, a mythical creature that has haunted the minds of explorers for nearly a century, is once again making headlines after a Scottish boat captain presented to the press what he claims is photographic proof of Nessie’s existence. George Edwards, who runs a tourist business focused on the monster, sold his photos to the Daily Mail, along with details that leave experts suspicious. Discovery News explains:
Edwards said he waited to release the photograph until after unnamed experts had examined it. Oddly, he is quoted in the Daily Mail as having had the photograph “independently verified by a team of US military monster experts.” In fact, the United States military does not have a team of “monster experts” that it dispatches to investigate huge, unknown creatures around the world. Nor, for that matter, is it clear what “verifying” his photo would mean other than suggesting it was likely a real (i.e., not digitally faked) image of something in the water — though what that “something” might be is, of course, the relevant question. The shape could theoretically be anything from a fish to a floating log to a lake monster.
1849: Sea monsters are not contained to the Scottish Isles. During the mid-nineteenth century, the Chicago Tribune excitedly reported an unidentified creature spotted during a Gulf Coast fishing voyage:
Captain Adams, of the schooner Lucy and Jane, gives an account in a late Florida paper, of having, during a recent trip from New York to the Gulf, fallen in with a nondescript creature, supposed to be the sea serpent, about which so much has been said and been written for twenty years past. He states that, on the morning of Sunday the 18th of February, when off the South point of Cumberland Island, the attention of those on board his vessel was suddenly riveted upon an immense sea-monster, which he took to be a serpent. It was of a dirty brown color, had a tail like a snake, was provided with a formidable pair of claws or fins, and was supposed to be about ninety feet long and seven feet across the broadest part of the back. At one time it shot athwart the hows of the schooner; but the Captain, unwilling to come in actual collision with this snakeship, prudently sheered off, and took a different course.
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