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Still Waters

The Loch Ness Giant Salamander

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Hi everyone,

I'm a casual Loch Ness Monster enthusiast and have been fascinated by the salamander theory, along with the opportunity to view the Hugh Gray photo in a larger and cleaner format.

I admit I've always thought it was a dog, but I never bought the "stick" idea. Those ends looked too soft to be wood, so I figured it was some unknown manufactured, boomerang-type object in his mouth that he was fetching.

Now that I see the photo more clearly, I've had a number of questions, which I've crudely added to this image:

lochnessquestionsimage.jpg

croppedgrayphoto.jpg

  • Why are there repeating shapes that appear manufactured, like windows or grids?
  • Anyone else see a very clear "nut" and a less-clear spout rather than a leg on the lower right?
  • There a few curves that look pretty clear to me. What are they? The one on the lower left (where the leftmost "leg" is) has other stuff under it (that kind of looks like the white shapes above it) but that could be photo trash. The two on the right (the "dog's" jaw) look the same, like the upper one repeats below

Also, another way I see the "dog" image, taking into account my skepticism about the "stick," is as a seal, which of course has a dog-like face:

lochnessseal.jpg

Look at that nice large image again and see what you think...my biggest issue is that nut/spout area. It might help if we can figure out what kind of 1930's-era object had a part that looked like that!

Edited by HerryGrail

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I've spent some more time with the photo and have some more questions. I definitely see an unmistakable system of unnatural lines throughout the image, making it appear to my admittedly untrained eye that we're looking at some kind of composite or multiple-exposure. I know the stories of Gray's highly-regarded reputation and that the newspaper "authenticated" the original, but what else explains these lines? That, plus the very mechanical-looking "nut and spout" I referenced before, make it look like more than just a single natural image.

In addition, it appears to me based on the reflections in the water that the waterline is actually under the strong color break that is usually taken to be the waterline. In addition, that color break is very strong to be a waterline, and in fact looks more like the top edge of a painted strip across the bottom of the object, like a boat has. I can't make out a complete and obvious secondary object, but much of what I see suggests parts of a boat.

One thing I can't account for is why that color-break edge (or the actual waterline) doesn't shift to account for the strong shadow beneath the spout area, but it could be a subtle indentation or raising of the edge that appears level at this angle.

Also, and this is obviously highly speculative, the trashy area below the left "protuberance" interested me, and I thought I saw a pattern that suggested letters in a way that was far too organized to be random trash. With a little contrast, I see the word "BRICK" or "JACK," and just as it's hard to "unsee" the dog face, it's hard for me not to see those letters now, even in the original, uncontrasted photo.

Here's a visual summary (it and the other images I posted link to larger versions)...I'd love to hear other thoughts:

morenessquestions.jpg

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One more...I got to looking at the head area and had another thought:

scaryhead.jpg

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I've spent some more time with the photo and have some more questions. I definitely see an unmistakable system of unnatural lines throughout the image, making it appear to my admittedly untrained eye that we're looking at some kind of composite or multiple-exposure. I know the stories of Gray's highly-regarded reputation and that the newspaper "authenticated" the original, but what else explains these lines? That, plus the very mechanical-looking "nut and spout" I referenced before, make it look like more than just a single natural image.

Well the horizontal lines correspond with the dorsal edges of the spines and tails. There's more than one pair because (as I see it) it's more than one animal. I see what you mean about the vertical lines, very faint, which I just took to be wetter streaks from previous splashes. Another intersting thought though is that they could be tell-tale sings of costal grooves which are a normal occurance on salamanders, more pronounced in some species than others.

I really don't see the text or numbers though, and still think we are dealing with natural objects. It's been brought up by others that it looks like a double exposure, however if this were true the waves would be out of phase with each other between the two shots, resulting in a huge blur where we actually see quite clear and sharp waves in the photo.

There's a new article on the salamander theory over at my blog now, for anyone interested: http://thelochnessgiantsalamander.blogspot.com/

Steve

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Shouldn't people be using the original photo?

I mean, if you use a version of the photo that's been altered then are you really studying it? To me, this "newer version" looks way too different from the stock to be taken seriously.

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I thought the one I was using (showing the line patterns and "spout") was the original...it isn't?

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Well the horizontal lines correspond with the dorsal edges of the spines and tails. There's more than one pair because (as I see it) it's more than one animal. I see what you mean about the vertical lines, very faint, which I just took to be wetter streaks from previous splashes. Another intersting thought though is that they could be tell-tale sings of costal grooves which are a normal occurance on salamanders, more pronounced in some species than others.

I really don't see the text or numbers though, and still think we are dealing with natural objects. It's been brought up by others that it looks like a double exposure, however if this were true the waves would be out of phase with each other between the two shots, resulting in a huge blur where we actually see quite clear and sharp waves in the photo.

There's a new article on the salamander theory over at my blog now, for anyone interested: http://thelochnessgiantsalamander.blogspot.com/

Steve

Thanks for looking, Steve! I appreciate your attenton and look forward to reading your new post. The thing that bothers me the most is that nut/spout area. How do you interpret its inorganic appearance, especially in the "nut" area?

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Maybe Steve can correct me if I am incorrect, but my understanding is that the original negative plate was lost many years ago. At the time, the reproductions were converted to half tones, and then had their contrasts darkened in order to be printed in newspapers. Most copies of the photograph that we've seen over the years have been copies of these half-toned, darkened reproductions. The copy of a copy concept goes here, and as such, the quality is not equal to the original plate.

The photo Steve is using for his analysis is of glass lantern slides made from the original negatives in 1933. This copy was in the Fortean Picture Library since the 1960s and for whatever reason overlooked, while the half-toned versions were the ones seen by most of us.

The photo Steve used is then the closest to the original that anyone can get, and is closer then what most of us as probably seen.

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If that's a stick in a dog's mouth, it's one odd looking stick. Maybe someone (but not me) will propose it's a writhing salamander in a dog's mouth :yes:

Nah. Bigfoot femur.

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There is already an explanation for this creature: It doesn't exist.

Did you study all of the available evidence in a scientific manner before coming to that conclusion? Or did you just assume that it doesn't exist?

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Thanks for looking, Steve! I appreciate your attenton and look forward to reading your new post. The thing that bothers me the most is that nut/spout area. How do you interpret its inorganic appearance, especially in the "nut" area?

All I can say is, it never looked inorganic to me. I see the "upper arm" of a limb! :-*

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Maybe Steve can correct me if I am incorrect, but my understanding is that the original negative plate was lost many years ago. At the time, the reproductions were converted to half tones, and then had their contrasts darkened in order to be printed in newspapers. Most copies of the photograph that we've seen over the years have been copies of these half-toned, darkened reproductions. The copy of a copy concept goes here, and as such, the quality is not equal to the original plate.

The photo Steve is using for his analysis is of glass lantern slides made from the original negatives in 1933. This copy was in the Fortean Picture Library since the 1960s and for whatever reason overlooked, while the half-toned versions were the ones seen by most of us.

The photo Steve used is then the closest to the original that anyone can get, and is closer then what most of us as probably seen.

Yes, that's the print from the Heron-Allen glass slide you're referring to, and as close as we can get to the original negative. And that is what HerryGrail has used here. The mouth and probable eye are first indicators it's the Heron-Allen print, as they can't be recognized in the newsprint versions.

Still a good idea to check the whole image against the original though because in this modern age anyone could tamper with one part of a jpeg while leaving the rest intact. Not the case here though, the details HerryGrail is examining look identical to the image from the Fortean Picture Library of the Heron-Allen print.

Steve

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Shouldn't people be using the original photo?

I mean, if you use a version of the photo that's been altered then are you really studying it? To me, this "newer version" looks way too different from the stock to be taken seriously.

By all means originals should be used whenever available. The author and Nessie researcher Roland Watson discovered the long forgotten Heron-Allen print of the Gray Photo only about a year ago. The full story is here: http://lochnessmystery.blogspot.com/2011/06/hugh-gray-photograph-revisited_26.html

Until then, as Insanity pointed out, all researchers were stuck working with copies of copies of copies for the last several decades.

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my problem is that i would find it hard to believe a large amphibian could live in those temperatures

but then again koolasuchus did

so it is possible but unlikely

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my problem is that i would find it hard to believe a large amphibian could live in those temperatures

but then again koolasuchus did

so it is possible but unlikely

The Japanese giant salamander inhabits rivers and streams that around 8 - 18 degrees celsius which is about the range of at least some parts of the loch. Interestingly enough, this largest known salamander is also probably the origin of one Japans mythical water monsters the kappa.

Not to say that I think Nessie is a giant salamander, but I do think that it's a fun theory.

Edited by PlanB

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The Japanese giant salamander inhabits rivers and streams that around 8 - 18 degrees celsius which is about the range of at least some parts of the loch. Interestingly enough, this largest known salamander is also probably the origin of one Japans mythical water monsters the kappa.

Not to say that I think Nessie is a giant salamander, but I do think that it's a fun theory.

huh i always thought it was warmer there

but i agree it is pretty neat idea

but all i think happened is a that a large eel got loose in there and scared some people for a couple years and then died

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As someone with a little knowledge and experience with image manipulation, photography and digital media i cant 100% assure you that the process used to "evaluate" this image is nothing more than playing around with values until you get something that looks right....

The final "proof" image at the bottom of the article is significantly modified: the creator has even added in their own sketches of the salamanders over the top of the image as an overlay to further help the viewers brain see what has been suggested the image is showing.

I can do this too, and arguably to much more plausible effect: Its a dog swimming with a stick in its mouth, probably a retriever or labrador.. It's just taken with a very old and bad camera and blurred significantly. Oh and im not buying the whole "check the original image" argument, not even a little bit.

stickdogmonster.jpg

Edited by The Metal

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As someone with a little knowledge and experience with image manipulation, photography and digital media i cant 100% assure you that the process used to "evaluate" this image is nothing more than playing around with values until you get something that looks right....

The final "proof" image at the bottom of the article is significantly modified: the creator has even added in their own sketches of the salamanders over the top of the image as an overlay to further help the viewers brain see what has been suggested the image is showing.

I can do this too, and arguably to much more plausible effect: Its a dog swimming with a stick in its mouth, probably a retriever or labrador.. It's just taken with a very old and bad camera and blurred significantly. Oh and im not buying the whole "check the original image" argument, not even a little bit.

Are you not doing the same sketching of a dog on it as well?

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i think most of us can agree

its a dog

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One more...I got to looking at the head area and had another thought:

scaryhead.jpgthe mouth you outline is too wide. refer instead to the Roland Watson version. other than that, your analyisis is intriguing. are you proposing the idea of a mechanical entity, ie the "nut" outline?

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