Sunday, 12 October 2014

The Hugh Gray Picture And Turtles

So this monster starts popping up in Loch Ness and the articles and letter begin to fly off the typewriters (remember them?). By the time the media speculation began to subside in late 1934, just about everything that was big and could swim had made it onto the Nessie identity parade.

The turtle was no exception and got into the public Nessie consciousness as early as 8th December 1933. This clipping from the Daily Record is reproduced for your edification. Note the editor throws in a few antediluvians while he is at it (namely, the elasmosaurus, clidastes and mosasaurus).




A TURTLE IN LOCH NESS?

Polmont Man's View Of Photo

Close study of the exclusive Daily Record photograph of the Loch Ness monster, together with a considerable knowledge of the habits of certain amphibian animals; has led to a theory being propounded by Major Meikle, Governor of the Borstal Institute at Polmont.

Major Meikle, who has done a fair amount of travelling, in an interview with the Daily Record, last night, said he was of the opinion that the monster is a giant turtle.

"I strongly believe that it is the Leathery or Green turtle. The former species can grow to a gigantic size, and often weighs over a ton."

Pointing to the Daily Record photograph, Major Meikle said that the shadow at the right hand end of the object bore an unmistakable resemblance to the head of a turtle.

"The white expanse could be accounted for if this was the case,  because it would be the shell of the creature. Of course, I am not a naturalist," continued Major Meikle, "but when I was in the United States, during the last year of the war, I had a Terrapin, which is another of the turtle species, gifted to me by an old General of the American Army, and who described in detail to me the habits of these animals.

"I consider the report in the Daily Record of a London director's experience, to be something in the nature of a testimonial to my turtle theory. Mr. Spicer states that, in crossing the road, he saw the object had a long protruding neck, with no mouth. That coincides with the turtle which walks with its head and neck rigid."

"What Mr. Spicer saw was not a deer on the creature's back, but probably the turtle's hump. The turtle moreover enters the water without a splash, and swims with a swaying motion, which seems to correspond with the various reports which have appeared relating to the monster."

The Atlantic Green Turtle and Leatherback Turtle are indeed big creatures. Though the Green Turtle is the largest hard shelled turtle, it rarely gets longer than five feet. It also tends to inhabit warmer waters, but some could make their way to more northern waters. 

The Leatherback Turtle lacks a bony shell but is the largest turtle at lengths approaching ten feet. Again, a Leatherback could be found as far north as the seas around Loch Ness.

But the reason for Major Meikle's letter is his observation that a turtle like head can be seen in the picture.  He is no doubt referring to this image which has been promoted at this website. However, if he was looking at the inferior image printed in the Daily Record then I take my hat off to him.



The reason for that is simply because various modern sceptics who have looked at this image profess to see nothing, say nothing or declare it is nothing (this despite it casting a shadow). Strangely, they have no problem seeing a dog which has no visible back or paddle wake.

Now I have compared this head to an eel and other fish previously. How does a large turtle fare in this regard? I found a suitable picture which I show here compared to the Hugh Gray picture.




Clearly, there are differences in the two specimens. The eyes look roughly in the same place, but the turtle eye is larger. The Loch Ness Monster's buoyancy capabilities also exceed that of the Leatherback (an ability we have spoken of before on this blog). There is also the matter of the tail which we see above the surface here. A look at the Leatherback's tail shows there is not much there to speak of.



So if the Loch Ness Monster is a variant of the turtle (as discussed in a previous article on the "plesio-turtle"), the Hugh Gray photograph is perhaps not the best place to start. Neither can it be convincingly argued that the Spicer creature could be a form of turtle. Though Major Meikle speaks of the turtle neck being held rigid, the neck described by George Spicer was in fact undulating in a most un-turtle like manner.

A lot of the theories which arose in the ferment of 1934 are now long gone whilst some still provoke debate. Indeed, whatever the time or place, let not any sceptic (or believer) stifle the conversation which clothes this phenomenon known as "The Loch Ness Monster"!

POSTSCRIPT: By coincidence, a leatherback has just turned up on the Scottish coast.




61 comments:

  1. Besides the size of the tail there is also a problem with the size and placement of the flippers on the Gray "turtle".

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  2. this is all good and well, but what are your thoughts on the recent facebook posts on the "Lake Monsters" page, claiming the gray photo is a hoax?

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    1. I don't really check the Lake Monsters page now.

      There are plenty of claims about this picture being a hoax, that is a given from the sceptics. I am familiar with the old arguments against it and have covered these in the past. But what is "new"?

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    2. I've never said it's a hoax, or a dog with a stick.

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    3. I've just seen a couple of posts I made here copied and pasted onto the Lake Monsters Facebook page. That feels a bit creepy.

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    4. You mean pasted in as if it was a new comment made to facebook?


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    5. No, just quoted on there.

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    6. I see Dick Raynor has all guns blazing on that Facebook page. As a sceptic I agree with virtually everything he's written on there. He's an intelligent man.

      I can now see why you don't enjoy his posts there GB, it's quite full-on....

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    7. I have engaged him on various things there with no fear, once he began to not answer or waffle over some more precise questions, I decided it was a waste of time.


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    8. Ask me again, then :-) By the way, you refer to the Hugh Gray image as containing something 'casting a shadow'. That is not possible on the surface of Loch Ness.

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    9. Are you being entirely objective now, Roland? I notice that when people like myself ask you more awkward questions you often cut the conversation dead, often by saying you've already covered it, even when plenty of us think you haven't covered it at all. I might say you're evading the tough questions, you'd no doubt say you don't need to cover old ground.

      Perhaps Dick stops responding when he feels the discussion has become pointless? Just a thought about how he may possibly view it?

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    10. Yes, it is a reflection, which actually backs up Hugh Gray's 1pm statement better.

      What I would like to see from you (or any sceptical person qualified in Loch Ness research) is a more detailed exposition of how people can mistake known objects seen in favourable viewing conditions for "monsters". The Munro and Finaly cases were highlighted in recent Facebook exchanges.

      In fact, it is an important facet of a sceptical approach to Loch Ness and is worthy of more than just passing comments on blogs, you should have the equivalent of a position paper on your own website. I am not talking here about standing waves, deer and seals, this is a psychological and perception argument.

      While I am here, at http://anotherescape.com/loch-ness/ you are quoted as saying "There are some stories that I cannot explain". Would you care to say what these stories are?

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    11. GS, give me an example of an "awkward" question which has not been covered previously either in an article or commenrts by myself.

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    12. What exactly did robert butler see that was rough textured and 2 meter s thick and long and swam past him in the murk just 15 feet away? Do you have the courage to call him a liar to his face? Answer these questions GS inc.

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    13. You ask for a ... more detailed exposition of how people can mistake known objects seen in favourable viewing conditions for "monsters".' I am not a psychologist, eye or brain expert; if you can find one they may be able to give an explanation of the processes involved, but I doubt either of us would understand it. If someone sees something that they don't recognise, the memory is left spinning in neutral and recollections will be vague. Examples of hard to recognise things are on http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNsUSt9nEJ5kstb5ArtLAvA

      For the answer to your question on Jamie Stokers page, just read the two sentences after the one you quoted above :-)

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    14. We may well not understand more detailed treatises, but my concern is that this approach to sightings is given a "one size fits all" template. It will be a factor as the object in question is further away, or seen briefly or obscured by fog, rain, etc.

      So, the applicability of this approach decreases as time, distance and other factors dictate.


      As for the Stoker page, I was hoping for actual sightings by name, etc.


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    15. http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=b2aB8MZ73HE

      Hey, this is interesting. Watch this video Dick R made, and keep pausing it every couple of seconds. Amazingly you will often capture "Jonathan Bright Monsters" when you freeze the frame:



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    16. Back on that photo, are we, GS? I made my arguments as to why I din't think it is a wave. That video changes nothing. No point in flogging this one anymore.


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    17. GB I was showing people something new and insightful. I know you won't ever be swayed about Bright's photo. What I have suggested above is interesting and does indeed reveal several monster like waves when you freeze the frame. I can understand why you don't like it, but me posting that is hardly flogging a dead horse, is it?

      I tell you what IS flogging a dead horse though, and that is the Anonymous poster referring to what the diver said he saw. We have stated on numerous occasions that anecdotal evidence cannot be tested or verified, yet you are more than happy for these same old stories to be trotted out repeatedly.

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    18. Probably why I allowed it to be posted .... but why does the Bright "hump" stand out so much in an area that has a wider field of view than the busy area you link to? I estimate it to be just under a metre high. How high are the waves in the clip?

      And can you test or verify anything you say about these Loch Ness Monster stories? Eyewitness testimonies count for something to many, but obviously not to all.

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    19. GB I have sent you an email which I believe is a game changer as far as the Bright photo goes. I would greatly appreciate it if you published the contents of the attachment I sent you.

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    20. I think you should publish it on your own blog!

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    21. Ok if you won't publish it can you at least post this:
      Anyone who wants very clear evidence that Bright photographed a wave, please email me at geordiescep@gmail.com

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    22. Don't forget you did ask us to find a similar wave photo. I've found the smoking gun.

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    23. Anyone is welcome to email GS, my own opinion is that his "hump" lacks the defintion and uniform shape of the JB object. Moreover, I would like to know GS' calculations as to the distance and size of his "hump".

      Readers can refer to my original article for more details.

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    24. I would add I do not post sceptics' articles on this blog. They can have their say in the comments section. Nothing to do with cowardice or "lack of guts". There are plenty of sceptical websites out there - go and use those. If you're so evangelical about helping us poor benighted believers, start your own blog, it easy to do, no excuses.


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    25. I've just received a copy of Geordie Sceptic's document and it's frankly startling. He has found a wave in a video which so closely resembles the object in the Bright image.

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    26. Eyewitness testimony is valid g.s.stop dictating the rules of engagement.tell us what the dive saw 15 feet away with rough textured skin,2 meters thick.stop your text gas lighting and tell us what he's saw,be it a floating sequoa tree,giant shaved beaver or Unique Gas Bubble(U.G.B)!

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  3. Cant find this facebook lake monsters page! Can sumone enlighten me.pls ???? Cheers

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    1. It's at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-Monsters/537100722991730

      It's one of the current sites that Dick Raynor uses to criticise this blog.

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  4. After seeing on here that someone said the photo and vid i was going on bout was mentioned on lake monsters facebook as summit to do with george edwards. Ive had a good scour and i cant find it! As i suspected it had nothing to do with him. But this photo gets ducked ! Wonder why???? And as for the lake monsters well it really is old hat! Same old pics bin discussed again !! Pity we cant discuss newer ones......or maybe sum people cant find an answer to them ...!

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    1. I've been begging you for a link to "the photo" and "the video" for literally months Jake. Roland said he'd post the photo. Where is it?!!

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    2. spoken as a true gentleman...

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    3. I thought I had a picture from the Baxter tourist book, but apparently that is not it. So I don't know what is being referred to.

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    4. Have to confess I'm getting rather bored by hearing about an incredible photo and video but never being given any link. This has been going on for months now.

      Jake, may I politely suggest we return to this subject once you are able to provide links? We cannot discuss (or duck) something we haven't seen, can we?

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  5. Jake - the picture in the Colin Baxter book is a staged photo using inner tubes and rebar. The contraption drifted ashore and got buried in the driftwood about ten years ago. I exhumed it earlier this year. It's mine now :-) If you email me I'll send you the original photo. I don't think any video of it has ever appeared.

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  6. Well geordie i have given links and info on pic and video even page number in booklet and as i said numerous times i cant put links up. If ur getting bored with it then just ignore it...simple. im just trying to get info on new and updated photos and pics instead of the old hat we keep talking bout!!!! I thought this is what these blogs were for. Surely ur more bored of the hugh gray photo or surgeons photo still bin talked bout for 80 years or dinsdales boat????? I was asked months ago to provide new information so i did!!!! What about the 2010 video GB put up here not long ago ??? Did we discussd that ??? Did we get answers ??? Ok lets go back to dinsdales boat...yawn yawn....!! As a humble reasearcher ( with a tennents in hand) lol :)) i look to get answers! But ok, if im boring you all i will stick to asking Dick by email on photos or latest info. Ok folks ciao for now and keep smiling...believers or non believers :))))

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    1. I'm not bored by YOU Jake, I'm just finding it frustrating that I have never seen the photo or video you keep talking about. I'm not going to buy a Colin Baxter booklet just to see the photo.

      The 2010 video - what was the name of Roland's article which featured this? Let me know and I will take a look.

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  7. Im as frustrated as you that i cant put the pic and video up geordie. But after a couple of exchanged emails with Dick i can say the staged photo he said was in Baxters booklet is not the same one as im going on about!!! And thankfully he knows about the video im on bout aswell. I have the video now on my phone but i havnt a clue how to link it on here via my mobile !!! As for the GB video i think it was in the new sighting chapter, something moving into urqhuart bay, dont know much bout this video my point was it wasnt discussee much. Personally i wud rather find newer stuff to discuss rather than the old hat photos that have bin talked bout for years. People will still be arguing over hugh grays photo in another 80 years and still be none of the wiser!!!

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    1. http://lochnessmystery.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/a-new-sighting-from-2012.html

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  8. Last message on subject as dont want to bore anyone but Dick has informed me he has uploaded the video to his website ! He is going to look in booklet for photo . I think if video and picture is the same object then we have a very interesting one here! Cheers lads!

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    1. Jake is this the one? http://www.lochnessinvestigation.com/creature090814.html

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    2. Great! What's the web address?

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    3. That video is known to feature a remote controlled boat. The contrast and greyscale were adjusted in the video editing software to make it look more ambiguous.

      Next!

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    4. I am intrigued. Please share with us how it is "known", where the data were published,and everything else you know about it, in the interests of science :-)

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    5. Some remote-controlled boat that is! Manages to behave just like a seal.

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    6. Ive never seen a seal move like that lol

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    7. More chance of an otter than a seal but again the movement is diffrent. Otters move up and down and swim with head out the water. The photo in the booklet looks more like a hump...... ive seen otters and giant otters in the zoo near me and they wudnt look like that if u videoed them.

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  9. Brightonlad - it is http://www.lochnessinvestigation.com/aas01.wmv

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    1. That looks like a remote controlled boat like some1 above says

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    2. I dont think the AAS would video a remote controlled boat and claim they videod something unusual on the loch.

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    3. What is AAS?

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    4. Academy of Applied Science

      http://www.aas-world.org/

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    5. Why is the video so short? Suffers from the Dinsdale giveaway where filming stops before the boat can submerge.

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    6. I dont know anon im trying to get more info on it and photo. All i heard that it was 38 seconds long on video. If the photo is same object then for me its clearly not a boat.

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  10. Well when you see the photo that goes with the video im sure u will agree its no boat or duck! Im sure you will all draw ur own conclusions !!!

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  11. Pity these anons cudnt put their real identities up so we can see who we are discussing with! We are left guessing as to who they are ;)

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  12. I find it interesting that the "gray photo hoax" posts on the "lake monsters" page on facebook have mysteriously vanished...

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    1. Hugh Gray was going to sue them ....

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