This seemingly convincing photograph of a Plesiosaur in Loch Ness is in reality a hoax by Marmaduke Wetherell, a big game hunter who had earlier faked monstrous paw-prints on the shore. Already discredited, Wetherell fooled the public by persuading a friend, the surgeon Dr Robert Wilson, to claim he had taken it; such respectability was trusted. The monster, which was only a few inches high, was made of a model neck and head mounted on a toy boat or submarine and photographed close to the shore. A closely-cropped version of the shot appeared in The Daily Mail in 1934 and was only revealed as a scam in the 1990s. Conspiracy theorists insist that the claims of hoaxing are themselves a hoax.

Image capture and text by Simon Cooke. This image is in the public domain.

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The Daily Mail (21 April 1934).

Created 6 July 2021