The History of Loch Ness Photography
Posted: May 19, 2015
The history of Loch Ness photography started in 1933 the minute a road was built along the shores of Loch Ness, offering easy access and unobstructed water views. It was on this road that a couple driving by spotted a strange animal in the water. This was the first sighting of the monster, and a huge media interest ensued. Thus, photography and photos of Loch Ness monster, in particular, started circulation.
During the same year, the infamous Daily Mail jumped on the bandwagon of photographs and hired a world renowned hunter to investigate and establish whether the claims were true. The hunter was called Marmaduke Wetherell, and he was supposed to check all the photos of Loch Ness and travel to the area himself to see if he could see the monster. Even though by December of that year he had not seen the actual monster, he found what seemed like its tracks.
These were huge footprints that were leading to the water. These new findings about the Loch Ness photographs were also investigated by the History Museum. Upon examining the tracks, the museum experts said that the tracks had been made by a hippo. Humiliated and embarrassed, Wetherell retreated away from public life.
However, only a couple of months later, photos of a Loch Ness monster surfaced again. The new photos were taken by a highly esteemed British surgeon known as Colonel Robert Wilson. He brought a photo that showed a unique sea serpent with its head rising above the Loch water. Wilson claimed he shot the photo in the early morning on 19th April, 1934 as he was driving alongside the shore.
He said that he noticed movement inside the water, which made him stop the car and take photos of the Loch Ness monster. For years, the photos by Wilson were considered to be some of the best evidences that there was a living sea monster within the Loch. Nevertheless, despite the importance of this finding, Wilson refused to associate his name with it. Thus, the photo was called as just "The Surgeon’s Photo".
Sceptics of Wilson’s Loch Ness photography believed that it was only a hoax, and it was not a real photo. However, no definitive studies were done on the image until 1984. During that year, Stewart Campbell put the photo through a thorough analysis and then published his findings in a British photography journal. He concluded that there was no monster and that the figure captured in the image was likely a seabird or an otter. He also suggested that Wilson also knew that his famous Loch Ness photography was a hoax.
However, Campbell was incorrect in his final conclusion about the photographs. The figure showed in the image was not any kind of marine species. Actually, all the photos based on the image were not really of a monster but a simple toy submarine that was fitted with a creative sea-serpent head. The true facts about photos of Loch Ness were revealed by Christian Spurling in 1994 before he passed on at 90 years. He confessed about how he took part in a scheme to create the world renowned Surgeon’s Photo. This conspiracy also involved Colonel Wilson and Marmaduke Wetherell.
Margaret Soraya is a professional photographer who lives beside Loch Ness. To see her Photos of Loch Ness visit the Loch Ness Photographs website at http://www.lochnessphotographs.com/
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