Tuesday, 3 October 2017

The William Jobes Photos




On the 23rd May 2011, William Jobes took a series of photographs of the Loch Ness Monster. I have covered this story from the start when it first came to the attention of the media, which then led to a follow up article. Late last month, I published some more of William's pictures taken on a subsequent visit in August 2011.

But I would like to visit the original report as there was some confusion around it at the time. First, I would like to reproduce William's own recounting of the experience which was printed in the February 2012 issue of the "Fate and Fortune" magazine:

The wind whistled round my ears, as my friend Bruce, 20, and I stood at the top of Urquhart Castle in Inverness, gazing out at the water below. It was April 1969, and we'd come in search of the famous Loch Ness Monster. I'd been determined to catch a glimpse of Nessie since reading about her in a book when I was 14. Most people didn't believe she existed, but I knew there had to be some truth to the dozens of reported sightings.

However, despite taking numerous trips to the loch to look for her over the years, my search had been in vain. Just then, I spotted what looked like a grey hump breaking the surface of the water about three quarters of a mile away. 'Can you see that?' I gasped, looking through my binoculars as a second hump appeared.

'I don't believe it!' Bruce gasped, peering through the camera lens. We began snapping away furiously, until it disappeared a minute later. I was buzzing with excitement. Had we caught Nessie on film? We had the pictures developed the following day, but all they showed was a lens flare from where we'd shot towards the sun. 'Maybe next time,' I sighed. But we had no more luck on any further trips.

Still, I didn't give up hope, even though my wife, Joan, now 58, thought I was nuts. I persuaded her to take yearly trips to the loch with me, where I'd spend hours gazing out at the water, armed with two digital cameras - a small one for taking close-ups and a bigger one for snapping long-distance pictures. Then, on the morning of 23 May 2011, I was on my usual Nessie stake-out when I decided to pop into the nearby village of Fort Augustus for a break.

Dropping off my bigger camera at the holiday cottage where Joan was watching telly, I headed off. On my way back along the water's edge, I heard splashing and turned to see a head poking out of the water about 300 yards away. As it turned towards me, I stared in disbelief. There, looking back at me, was the strangest creature I'd ever seen. It had a protruding snout, like a horse, a sheep-like head, and brown feathery hair, which glistened in the sunlight.

The creature stared right at me with its black bulging eyes the size of apples. Shaking, I fumbled round for my smaller camera and took a snap just as the creature dipped back into the water. I checked my camera. 'Damn!' I cried. The lens was just for close-ups, and I'd only caught the tip of the creature's body. But I was certain of what I'd seen. Grabbing my phone, I rang Joan. 'I saw its head and neck!' I spluttered.

'That's amazing,' she said, although she didn't sound too impressed. No doubt she thought I was imagining things! But now I didn't just believe Nessie existed... I knew she did. The next day, I got up at the crack of dawn and kept watch from the side of the loch. Hours passed, and the sky began to turn dark. I was about to give up and head back to the cottage when I heard a splashing sound and turned to see a huge hump-like shape, 500 yards away.

I was astonished - it looked as if it was over 20ft long! With my heart racing, I fired off some shots as the hump slid in and out of the water before disappearing a minute later. Afterwards, I checked my camera Had my 45-year search finally paid off? I frantically flicked through my pictures. And there, in the middle of the choppy loch, was a clear image of the creature's body and tail sticking out of the water. I'd caught it! I was over the moon as I raced back to show Joan, who was very impressed. That's not to say my monster-hunting days are over. I won't rest until I've captured a photo of Nessie's face and proven to the sceptics that the Loch Ness Monster really does exist. Watch this space!

William is shown below in a photograph taken at the time. Now the issue with the debate over these pictures at that time was the presumption that William had seen the same "object" over two days. This led to the assumption that since the creatures are not going to appear to anyone two days in a row, then it must be something inanimate floating around which had come in from one of the rivers at Fort Augustus.




However, it is clear from William's own words that the media at the time had mangled his words somewhat and got some things wrong (such as stating his wife was with him at the time). The idea that this was just a piece of garbage floating by does no credit to someone who has made multiple visits to the loch and has accumulated observational experience of the loch over that time.

As he said himself, he thinks he has grasped the ability to tell the difference between a piece of wood and a particular animal. Unfortunately, sceptics do not seem to take an eyewitness' observational abilities into account, which is a most odd omission. William pointed out to me what he thought were ridges on the animal's back and I can certainly see what he is referring to in the photo at the top of the article. I also include these two further back photos taken on the 23rd May 2011 for your consideration which William estimated to be 4-5 feet long.




The final picture below was taken the following day and was estimated to be 20-25 feet long.




Doubtless, the uneven nature of the back was also something that prompted ideas of irregularly shaped garbage floating into Loch Ness. But the natural question to ask is whether anyone else photographed this "garbage" in the loch? The answer appears to be a big "No" and when you consider that people at the loch have been quick to publish their own pictures of logs and debris allegedly linked to other sightings in recent years, one wonders how they did not manage to repeat the feat for this object?

But, now we move onto the controversial part of this account and that is William's sketch of the head and neck he observed on that day. You may say what could be more controversial than what has already been published, but you will understand when you see the drawing below and realise what William has sketched is decidedly un-Nessie like.




However, when one says un-Nessie like, we are of course referring to the "received wisdom" as to what Loch Ness Monsters should look like. Plesiosaur like with that smooth reptilian skin and barely perceptible eyes. The creature depicted in this sketch is nothing like that and has more of the "water horse" about it.

Now if William was making this all up and trying to convince us of the reality of his fake news, he has gone about in entirely the wrong manner! If you want to fool people, you stick to plesiosaurs and antediluvian monsters. So, I have no doubt that William claimed what he claimed to have seen. But what he saw breaks the Nessie mould. Or does it?

A look at the overall sightings database has eleven eyewitness accounts describing the head as like that of a horse. That may not sound a lot out of over 1500 reports, but head-neck reports constitute a minority of all reports. Indeed, only 76 of those reports describe the head, making "horse-like"  about 15% of such reports. One could also argue that heads described as like a goat, giraffe or deer could be close to "horse-like". As for hair, less than 10 reports mention hair or matted like features while about 17 reports mention a mane or mane-like frill or growth.

No report mentions mane/hair alongside a horse head description, but it could be that the witness implied hair when describing such a head. However, when I was considering William's drawing, I was reminded of another sketch from over fifty years before found in Bernard Heuvelman's book, "In the Wake of the Sea Serpents" which is reproduced below.




This was one of Heuvelman's seven archetypal sea serpents and went by the name of a merhorse. People have since argued for their own classifications and what species such a creature could occupy. But did William Jobes see a merhorse in Loch Ness on that day six years ago?

William has no problem accepting that there may be more than one unknown species of large animal in Loch Ness, be they permanent or visitors. I can see his point of view, but only from a rare visitor point of view. Which begs the question as to what the permanent resident of Loch Ness may be?


The author can be contacted at lochnesskelpie@gmail.com




70 comments:

  1. Intriguing and convincing, those are my initial reactions. Agree that if he was trying to fool people he'd have drawn something like the surgeon's photo or a plesiosaur. Roland, have you considered intervening him on video and putting it on youtube?

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  2. The first two photo's in my opinion are more convincing than the original humped photo we saw. Why havnt we seen these until now?

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    1. The media only ran the top picture and they lose interest pretty quickly after such events.

      There are plenty of sequence pictures which never see the light of day for years after, if at all.

      Cockrell's 2nd pic, Surgeon's 2nd pic, McNab's 2nd destroyed. In this Internet age, these can come out more readily, but you need a website to publish. I was happy to do that for William.

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    2. Imo,surgeons photo may be genuine.

      If someone confesses hoax,believe the opposite.

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    3. I agree. While I do not know if the "surgeons photo" is genuine, I do know that the "hoax" theory attributed to Spurling by Boyd et al is itself a hoax...

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  3. I didnt know McNab had a second photo, any more on this?

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    1. See Roy Mackal's findings based on the image that McNab sent him. It makes a very sketchy story even more so...

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    2. My article on the macNab picture takes a different view on that.

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  4. All in my article: http://lochnessmystery.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/analysis-of-peter-macnab-photograph.html

    MacNab threw the second Kodak picture away when he got derided so much when he showed it to people. Sceptics help destroy evidence ...

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  5. If these new photos are zoomed in is there a bigger picture?

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  6. The sketch is very stylized. Most obviously, at that distance he would have seen water behind the head/neck as well as in front of it. And those waves don't look like anything I have seen at Loch Ness.

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    1. Yes, a drawing will never be the same as a photo.

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  7. Its slightly confusing all these photographs.Are the first two the same object as his original photo?

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    1. From the top, the first three are from May 23rd and the fourth from the next day.

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  8. Well the last one is the same as the first one minus the first hump.

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    1. Its the same photo under a different wave, same hump same tail, or rightly said,same branch of tree or wood stump.

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    2. In the first photo, the gap between the hump and the protruding tip is the same as the length of the hump. In the last photo the gap between the hump and the protruding tip is approximately a third of the length of the hump. If they were both the same object such a discrepancy wouldn't exist.

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    3. Oh come on Will its the same object. The tip is the same and the hump is too. Dont tell me you believe a creature popped up twice on different days in the SAME place in the SAME position and at the SAME time the SAME man was there with his camera?

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    4. So, GEZZA, you think this is fake news?

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    5. I think Jobes is a hoaxer.

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    6. Just because there is a gap it doesnt mean its not the same object. We dont know what material it is so it could be bendy or stretchy therefore moving closer to the hump or away from it under the currents or wind. Come on lads look at the hump its the same, and the tip of the tail is the same shape. Roland, is there any chance you have got this information mixed up and the photos are on the same day? Im sorry because if they are taken on different days then its obviously debris in the water.

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    7. GEZZA I'm afraid to say you're ranting, you're not addressing the considerable discrepancy between the two objects which I pointed out in my last post.

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    8. Ranting? No Will just stating the obvious. I cant believe you think Nessie popped up in the same position in the same place on a different day in front of the same person. I will leave it at that. Mr Jobes might have pulled the wool over your eyes but not mine .

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    9. I don't think the hump is exactly the same shape in the two photos, GEZZA. I also think it's disingenuous to say that they're the same object but when the difference is pointed out then suggest it's a rubbery, changing object. The objects are either the same or they're not. I say they're not. Out of interest, why do you mistrust Mr Jobe? Is is because of his dyed hair? It's the social norm these days for men to fight the signs of ageing. It's not in any way a mark of dishonesty.

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    10. Its obvious Will. How many Nessie's did he see? What a lucky guy.

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    11. Looking more closely at the dark object in the photo, I'm pretty certain it's not a toupé.

      I think we should all embrace these images. We complain when there are no images, we complain when someone offers them. In my opinion Mr Jobes has done a lot to reinforce belief that the animals of Loch Ness are alive and well.

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    12. Okay, so Gezza does not accept it is possible for a person to see the creature two days running (assuming it was the same creature).

      I would say over the 84 year sighitngs record, it is within statistical bounds, though obviously a lot rarer than single ones. There are other instances of people claiming multiple sightings within days of each other - I think of the Mountain expedition.

      So, you may say William Jobes is "too lucky", but that is a bit like saying lottery winners are "too lucky". They are not, it is just a matter of enough people are looking at the loch over a given period of time - someone will eventually get "lucky". Unfortunately, people have to be a lot luckier to get decisive photos.

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    13. GEZZA is just stating the obvious. I agree with just about all his points. Just look at the sketch compared to the photo; exactly where on the body does the hair/fur end and the sleek, black, body begin?

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    14. Where does William mention the "sleek, black body" in his testimony?

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    15. The object in the photos is hairless, black, and shiny GB; a "hump" that matches many descriptions and photos. So if his description of his head/neck sighting is of a true story, I want to know at what part of this creature's body does the hair stop and the bare skin begin?

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  9. People may ask why video was not used. I have gone over the pros and cons of that before, but the solution to me is a camera that records both still and video images at the same time. My trap cameras offer this option, but do more conventional SLRs offer it?

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    1. My Panasonic GX8 can record short video clips and extract any frame as an 8 megapixel still. I've tried it, the quality is quite good, Alternatively it can shoot 20 megapixel stills at 10 frames per second. I don't know which would be better for Nessie.

      The more recent (and very expensive) Sony A9 can shoot 24 megapixel stills at 20 frames per second. I imagine these abilities will become standard, and cheaper.

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  10. The more I look at the photos and the more I read Mr Jobe's testimony, the more convinced I am of the authenticity of the images. Congratulations on your scoop Roland. Yet more strength added to the Nessie fortress.

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    1. Which Nessie photo do you believe in, GEZZA? Are you a sceptic?

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    2. So if i dont believe in EVERY photograph does that make me sceptic?


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    3. That didn't answer my question. Which Nessie photo or photos do you believe are genuine, GEZZA?

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  11. His account says he saw the creature's head from a distance of 300 yards, and he doesn't mention that he was looking through binoculars.

    Would it be possible to see "feathery hair" and "bulging eyes" at such a distance?

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    1. I doubt it. The whole story is dubious, i cant believe anyone is taking it seriously.

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  12. WILL, have you been to loch ness during a storm when there is debris all over the loch? well i have and i can tell you drift wood can change size and appearance within minutes. I have seen wood 10 ft long go to 5 ft long when half of it goes under a wave.If you have seen this you will know that Mr Jobes photographs are nothing more than this.

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    1. I don't think the top picture looks like driftwood. Too bulky for me. Of course, if you could find some example images ... as said above, our usual on location people singularly failed to find and photograph this debris. I would have thought this was not too difficult considering the other finds that end up on facebook.

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    2. You will not find a lot of driftwood because after a while it could sink to the bottom.

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    3. you're working too hard gezza.

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    4. It will eventually sink, but I find it strange such an alleged log which would have floated around for days and was begging to be snapped as Nessie-simulacra .... never was at one of the most watched parts of the loch.

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    5. .. or indeed that no one contacted the Daily Mail, etc with their own snaps.

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    6. How do you know it floated around for days? If the wind was strong it could drift inshore not to be seen again.

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    7. Days only needs to be two or three, long enough for other Nessie snappers...

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    8. It could drift within hours, even less if the wind was fierce. If it was early or in a quiet time maybe it was only him who saw it,and i think your just trying to find answers here.
      Im not going to dwell on this story, by the response here its only you and Will that has fallen for it. No hard feelings to you both, after all we all believe in Nessie but sadly these photographs dont show a nessie. I look forward to better photographs and stories in the future.

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    9. Yes, well that's the point, our judgements on any given event will shape to varying degrees how long we think driftwood stays afloat. But again, one could argue the 2nd day picture is low enough in the water to be almost anything. I am not so convinced of that as an explanation for the first day photos.

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  13. A very unusual gathering of information and photos. The one thing I notice regards the drawing is that Mr Jobes said that the distance to the creature was 300 yards, but the level of detail I think I could manage at that range would be very small indeed. The sketch looks like it's based on a distance of maybe 20 or 30 yards, and not much more. It's unusual that someone would try a hoax with such a deviation from the 'norm' certainly. I've recently become of the opinion that there are more than one odd thing in Loch Ness. It's all food for thought.

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    1. UNUSUAL is a very appropriate word Martin. ha ha.

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  14. Soz i cudnt add till now but working in wilderness and hardly a good signal.... i was in fort augustus beginning of september and heard william jobe was there again taking fotos! Ive seen him two or thre times over the last few years in fort augustus and i actually saw him in 2011 in august as i left the boathouse restaurant so i take it this is when he took these fotos!! I must add ( cus sumone asked) that yeah there was a lot if debris in the loch at this time on the back of the worst winds that i have seen in my time going to loch ness!! In fact as i was watching mr jobe there was a huge log floating past and moving slowly towards borlum bay. Now i wudnt call someone i dont know a liar or hoaxer but maybe mr jobe was taken in by some of this debris that was all over the loch!!! Word has it in fort augustus he is very keen to see something!! Or maybe like me he had had one ir two too many tennents lol...only joking lol maybe dhe did spot a creature only he will know but i wanted to add there was a lot of unusual debris in the loch at this time. I checked my facebook yesterday and i was defo there towards the end of august 2011. Cheers lads ......ROY

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    1. I have to ask some simple questions Roy.

      How did you know William Jobes was at Loch Ness at the beginning of September?

      What do you mean by "the word in Fort Augustus"?

      Anyway, your reference to storm debris is not so relevant as we are talking about pictures taken in May, not August or September.

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    2. Sorry to butt in before Roy replies but your first paragraph states he took further photographs in AUGUST.

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    3. He did and those are in another recent article and I take no definitive position on those pictures, indeed I don't think William does. Just ifs, buts and maybes.

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    4. What a lucky guy getting all these photographs of Nessie. The last person to see Nessie so many times was Frank Searle. I rest my case.

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  15. Now should I allow through some of the less than edifying comments that are in the queue?

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  16. As the resident Nessie fence-sitter I ask that we engage in a little critical thinking folks. Giving Mr. Jobes the benefit of the doubt that he did in fact see the head, let's ask ourselves a question: What aquatic animal, that is covered in fine fur, that has a horse-like head, that has round black eyes, and that is known to occasionally get into the Loch could be the prime candidate for what Mr. Jobes saw? Answer: Grey Seal! If you want to say that his drawing doesn't look like a seal's head then my response is: His drawing is an artistic rendering after the fact with probably some creative license added, as I doubt someone could see such detail at 300 yards with the naked eye.

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  17. This is my last take on this story. I bet William Jobes is sniggering away that he actually tricked TWO people into believing his story and photographs of wood and branches. Well its up to you guys what you think and we are all entitled to an opinion but i await some proper photographs and realistic stories of these great animals in loch ness. Hoaxers like this spoil the quest for the truth.
    Good day gentlemen.

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  18. Could be a swimming stag or deer, not that unknown.

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  19. It is fairly evident, due to lighting and surface conditions, that (if we number 1 to 4 from top to bottom) photos 1 and 4 were taken at the same time, and photos 2 and 3 were taken together, but at a different time than 1 and 4. This would confirm GEZZA's point about the subject many comments above...

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  20. Nor does there appear to be any signs of independent motion of the subject in any of the photos; no wakes to be seen...

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  21. Some comments are getting too personal as people take strong but opposing views on these photos. That never ends well, so no more comments please, they'll all end up in the bin.

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  22. Can I just say the drawing looks cute and I'd like one as a pet?

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  23. As they say on W12, that's all good then.

    More important matters beckon, as the blog's resident expert on lager, ales and beers I should highly recommend the Light Ness Pale Ale brewed by the Drumnadrochit Brewery, a bit pricey at £2.50 a 500ml bottle but after a few of them you'll be doing a Greta Finlay and start seeing upturned boats and plesiosaur necks everywhere.

    Cheers.

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