An exploration of our Earth's ever-captivating fauna through musings on the bizarre side of Zoology, Cryptozoology, Paleontology, and Paleoanthropology

Friday, April 18, 2014

Apple Satellite Image of Alleged Loch Ness "Monster" Is A Boat

A satellite high in the atmosphere, accessed using Apple's satellite map app, may have provided proof that the legend lives on - with amazing images of a creature swimming below the surface of the world famous loch
The preceding image taken by Apple Map satellites over Loch Ness has been making the rounds recently as possible evidence for the presence of unknown animals in the Scottish body of water. To my eyes, and to those of many others, it appears to be a boat with a bow wave and trailing wakes coming off of it. Skeptical investigator Sharon Hill pointed out that the apparent transparency of the object is most likely due to processing glitches, as happens quite often. Loch Ness investigator Roland Watson has suggested that the object's apparent large size may be accounted for by one of the Jacobite cruisers which head south from the locks near Inverness. As this is most probably not evidence for the existence of Loch Ness mystery animals (the recently alleged lack of sightings of which may simply be due to the animals heading up the River Ness into the ocean), let's pass this unnecessarily hyped image by and get back to serious research.
This enhancement by cryptozoological researcher Sebastian Wang appears to bring out some of the recognizable features of a boat.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Blog On A "Log": An Analysis of The Mansi Photograph By Scott Mardis

Illustration of a Lake Champlain mystery animal, by Thomas Finley.

A few weeks ago, Scott Mardis sent me an article on a photograph which he and several other researchers think may show a long-necked unknown aquatic animal caught in the act of surfacing. The image which I am referring to is none other than the well-known and oft-scrutinized Mansi photograph taken at Lake Champlain in 1977. The picture was obtained when Sandra Mansi and her family took a stop by Lake Champlain during a trip. Her children were playing in the water when, suddenly, an animal with a long neck and head atop a rather large body surfaced about fifty yards away from them. For several years after this event, Sandra Mansi kept the photograph hidden from others due to fear of ridicule or harassment. Regardless of the animal-like features described by Sandra Mansi, there has been some recent suggestion that the object may simply be driftwood which burst to the surface and startled her. I once agreed with this line of thinking, but Scott's article and my research into worldwide longneck reports have made me start to think otherwise. While I am still open-minded towards the driftwood hypothesis, the details of what Mansi reported the object was doing (e.g. moving its head around and submerging in a vertical manner) and similarities with other promising reports and photographs make me think that the animal hypothesis is quite plausible as well. Although the probable length of the object (as mentioned in Scott's article) may seem small for an animal which is behind reports of "lake monsters", it is worth noting that some plesiosaurs such as Umoonsasurus only grew to around eight feet long and the "animal" in the photograph may very well be a juvenile. It is also worth noting that some known species of animals, such as turtles and crocodiles, can exhibit a wood-like appearance. But enough of my introductory rambling; please enjoy this excellent guest post by Scott Mardis.

This is a guest post by Scott Mardis. Scott has been an active field investigator of the Lake Champlain “Monster” since 1992. He is a former sustaining member of the defunct International Society of Cryptozoology and a former volunteer worker in the Vertebrate Paleontology Dept. of the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences (1990-1992). He co-authored a scientific abstract about the Lake Champlain hydrophone sounds for the Acoustical Society of America in 2010. He currently lives in Bradenton, Florida.