One of the most iconic images of Nessie is known as the 'Surgeon's Photograph' which many consider to be good evidence of the monster, although doubts about the photograph's authenticity were expressed from the beginning. The image was revealed as a hoax in the 1990s. The photographer, a gynecologist named Robert Kenneth Wilson, never claimed it to be a picture of the monster. He merely claimed to have photographed "something in the water". The photo is often cropped to make the monster seem huge, while the original uncropped shot shows the other end of the loch and the monster in the centre.
The ripples on the photo fit the size and circular pattern of small ripples as opposed to large waves when photographed up close. Skeptics in the 1980s argued the photo was that of an otter or a diving bird, but after Christian Spurling's confession agree it was what Spurling claimed - a toy submarine with a sculpted head attached.
Analyses of the original uncropped image have fostered further doubt. Just a year before the hoax was revealed, the makers of Discovery Communications's documentary Loch Ness Discovered did an analysis of the uncropped image and found a white object evident in every version of the photo, implying that it was on the negative. "It seems to be the source of ripples in the water, almost as if the object was towed by something", the narrator said. "But science cannot rule out it was just a blemish on the negative," he continued. Additionally, analysis of the full photograph revealed the object to be quite small, only about two to three feet long.
Spurling was the son-in-law of Marmaduke Wetherell, a big game hunter who was deceived into searching for the storied Loch Ness monster based on evidence which turned out to be a children's prank. Wetherell was publicly ridiculed in the Daily Mail, the journal which employed him. Spurling claimed that to get revenge, Marmaduke Wetherell committed the hoax, with the help of Chris Spurling (a sculpture specialist), his son Ian Marmaduke, who bought the material for the fake Nessie, and Maurice Chambers (an insurance agent), who would call to ask surgeon Robert Kenneth Wilson to display the pictures. Some doubt Spurling's confession because of the involvement of several people not connected to Wilson.
Believers are not discouraged by the fact that this is a hoax. In fact, one of the researchers who actually uncovered the hoax is sure the monster is real. Alastair Boyd saw small moving disturbance that went up and down, doing a turn underwater. The he told his wife Susan about it and they both saw a huge hump, just static in the water. They tried to get a camera but the hump sunk into the water. Boyd is sure what he saw was a living creature.
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