The Loch Ness Monster versus the Lake Michigan Monster: A mythical battle
By Andy Kaiser
Article ID: 1248
What follows is an analysis of the Lake Michigan Monster. But before jumping into this amazing tale, let’s start with a better-known legend, that of the Loch Ness Monster. I’m not sure how popular it is in other parts of the world, but in the United States the Loch Ness Monster is a permanent part of our culture. Existing solely in folklore and a few grainy pictures, the Loch Ness Monster is an animal of unknown species, hiding somewhere in the dark waters of Loch Ness, a deep lake in Scotland.
Nicknamed “Nessie” by people with too much time on their hands, it exists in pop culture as one of the most well-known and entertaining legends of mythical creatures. For me, its popularity lies somewhere between Bigfoot and Scooby Doo: You know, where if you saw it on TV, you’d probably watch it for a while before getting lunch.
The Loch Ness Monster has never been proven to exist, and is most likely a tale that grew exponentially in its telling. Photos abound. The most popular photo (usually called the “Surgeon’s photo”) was taken in 1934.
In 1994, the image was revealed as a hoax. The picture of the monster’s head, long neck and body rising majestically out of the water was found to be a toy submarine attached to a sculpted neck and head.
In addition, researchers uncovered an uncropped version of the original image:
When you look at that version, you get a better idea of the size of the “monster”. Analysis reveals it to be only a couple feet long. Also interesting is the new view you get, compared to the greatly zoomed-in original. Cropping so close removes detail that normally gives measurable perspective and size.
Okay, you argue, fine. One picture of the Loch Ness Monster was probably faked. But there’s a mountain of data out there! What about eyewitness accounts? What about the sonar readings showing that something’s down there? How can we discount everything?
I’ll tell you why: because none of that evidence is conclusive. Eyewitness accounts are nice. But they don’t prove anything. How do we know those eyewitnesses weren’t lying or exaggerating? Or, let’s give those people the benefit of the doubt. Say they’re all perfectly honest and well-intentioned. How do we know they weren’t simply mistaking what they saw?
Supposed “evidence” like sonar readings or grainy photos and film falls into this same category. The probability of a hoax or misidentification is far higher than finding a previously unknown species doing the backstroke around a lake.
So what does it take to convince the stereotypical skeptic? To that I say: “Poop”. That’s right, “poop”. There should be plenty, available either in analysis of the lake water, or hundreds of feet down, just outside the monster’s bedroom. But whatever you’re looking for, your goal is to produce physical evidence. Yes, animal spoor. A corpse, or any bit of the monster itself, with a little DNA attached. Something that would allow for scientific analysis and classification in the animal kingdom.
The Loch Ness Monster does exist, but only in imagination and myth. Like Bigfoot, a lack of any verifiable physical evidence is a madly waving red flag.
With this in mind, let’s switch focus to Lake Michigan.
Lake Michigan is a huge freshwater lake on the west coast of the state of Michigan, in the north-northeast United States. Its maximum depth is over 900 feet. It covers over 22,000 square miles. For comparison, Loch Ness’s maximum depth is over 700 feet, and covers over 21 square miles. Yes, that’s right – Lake Michigan kicks cryptozoological butt. In there, you could hide almost anything.
Case in point: I’d like to introduce you to the Lake Michigan Monster. Or, as we’ll affectionately call her, “Mishy”.
There I was, admiring the beautiful Michigan coastline, when I saw something far out in the water. It was indeed the Lake Michigan Monster! “Mishy” surfaced with a rush of water streaming off her body. I scrabbled for my camera, and managed to snap these two pictures before Mishy went back below:
You can clearly see Mishy’s body on the right, and neck and head rising out of the water on the left. Look closely, and you can even see the eye in profile – it’s reflecting white against the bright sun.
Use this description and pictures of the Lake Michigan Monster as an exercise in critical thinking and skepticism. Would you say my description and pictures contribute proof of Mishy’s existence? Why or why not? If this photo evidence isn’t enough, what more would you like to see? I’m claiming that there is a giant sea creature huddling in the depths of Lake Michigan. How can I prove that to you? If – for whatever reason – the Lake Michigan Monster won’t show itself, what evidence would lead skeptics to believe the creature exists?
To help in the analysis, and to conclusively prove the existence (or not) of the Lake Michigan Monster, here are the original uncropped photos from the two above pictures:
Like the famous picture of the Loch Ness Monster, you get a much better understanding of what you’re seeing when you get the uncropped image. A sense of scale, for one thing. Being able to tell size and distance is critical to understanding these pictures of monsters.
In the world of hoaxing, you often need planning, money and precise timing. With misidentification, you need appropriate conditions and motivation. In my case with the Lake Michigan Monster, I got lucky: I just found a funny-looking stick.
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- Kicking Bigfoot – The Patterson Film and M.K. Davis stabilization enhancements
- Photo evidence of ectoplasm and ghost orbs explained
- Book review of “The Flight of Dragons” by Peter Dickinson: How dragons could have evolved and existed
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