Edwards unrepentant about his Nessie hump photo hoax

George Edwards’ Nessie hump hoax reads like Scooby Doo episode. Back in August 2012, Edwards came forward with this:

Photo credit: George Edwards/CASCADE NEWS

Photo credit: George Edwards/CASCADE NEWS

It was unimpressive and it took barely any time to discover it was indeed a hoax that was easily explained:

Doing the humpty hump: Edwards’ Nessie photo matches fiberglass prop | Doubtful News.

Steve Feltham broke the story and described the fiberglass hump which was used in a National Geographic documentary. Solved. So now, Edwards is admitting it was a hoax.

‘Best ever’ photograph of Loch Ness monster revealed as a fake – Telegraph.

The photograph hailed as “the best ever taken of the Loch Ness monster” has been revealed to be an elaborate hoax by its creator.

The picture appeared to show the curved, brown back of the monster submerged in the loch, and attracted world-wide attention when it was published last year.

Edwards guy is a cad. He did damage with this stupid stunt and his lies. Feltham calls him “nothing more than a faker and a liar”. He caused a ruckus with the local business group by throwing legitimate researchers under the bus in order to preserve his own stake in business at the Loch. (He is a tour boat operator.) And he is unrepentant about it.

“Why should I feel guilty for having a bit of fun?” he asked. “These so-called experts come along with their theories about big waves and big fish, and their visitor centre, but I’m sick to death of them.”

He added: “Where would Loch Ness be without the world’s best known forgery, the Surgeon’s Photograph?”

It’s clear Mr. Edwards is only concerned about the legend as it affects his bottom line. Truth be damned. The Loch Ness story is a long line of hoaxes (See Abominable Science). Sadly, when people have to resort to lame hoaxing (as they have been doing with psychics, ghosts, Bigfoot and many other lake monsters for decades now), this is a signal that people just want sensationalism, to keep the mystery alive. It’s very difficult to be on the side of science and reason when fantasy is more important than reality.

Addition – the business dispute we previously covered between researchers and Edwards has made it to the Wall Street Journal.
A Town on Loch Ness in Northern Scotland Deals With a Fake Photo and a Crisis of Confidence – WSJ.com.

Mr. Edwards’s photo has become the centerpiece of a fierce debate ripping through Drumnadrochit. It has exposed a bitter truth: Some key players in the Nessie industry don’t believe the Loch Ness Monster exists.

One Monday afternoon recently, Mr. Edwards lashed out at his critics to passengers on his tour boat. Nothing irritates him more than the fact that some of his customers have just walked over from the Loch Ness Center and Exhibition, which sits 300 yards from Nessieland, where they are told the monster may not be real.

Incredulous, Mr. Edwards in May escalated his complaint with the town’s fathers. “I carry thousands of tourists on Nessie Hunter every year and I am concerned when passengers tell me that after they have visited the self-proclaimed Official Loch Ness Exhibition and Center they come out feeling disappointed after [being] told that Nessie is a myth or a figment of the imagination.”

Link tip: Kevin O’Malley

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  6 comments for “Edwards unrepentant about his Nessie hump photo hoax

  1. Chris Howard
    October 5, 2013 at 11:42 AM

    I think Shock G’s original lyrics for Humpty Dance did go like this.

    “Alright! Stop what you’re doin’ cuz’ I’m about ta ruin the image of this hump that you’re used to…”

    But I could be wrong.

    ;-)

  2. drwfishesman
    October 5, 2013 at 11:45 AM

    And he would’ve gotten away with it too if it wasn’t for that meddling kid (Steve Feltham)

  3. October 5, 2013 at 1:37 PM

    Even more disturbing is the quote from self-proclaimed ‘Nessy expert’ Steve Feltham who was quoted saying the following in the original newspaper article;

    “So convincing was the photo that Nessie expert Steve Feltham called it “the best photograph I think I have ever seen””

    Really? I guess Mr. Feltham isn’t much of an expert, then.

  4. spookyparadigm
    October 5, 2013 at 4:20 PM
  5. neko
    October 5, 2013 at 6:40 PM

    mmmmm…. OK, this guy is a prankster, and a self-exonerating bore, but I don’t know how much damage he did, personally.

    I just feel, I don’t think it’s that hard to be on the side of science because there are hoaxers. It’s sort of a given.

    If anything, being forced to cope with bad data like this makes science stronger. That investigators actually found what might have been, decades ago, have like the S. photo, a widely accepted “mystery” and turned it into a known piece of fakery in less than a year means a lot. It means, although its harder than lying, the real answers can be found.

    It might seem like getting rid of wolves is good for deer, but in the long term this may not be the case. Mild hoaxes like this are a “teachable moment” that remind people that there is a difference between wanting something to be true and having good reason to believe.

    Would it be better if everyone was honest? I’m not even sure of that.

    But this fellow wasn’t stealing a pensioner’s life savings, either. He’s a jerk, but maybe he’s also a walking lesson that’s hard to ignore for the willfully gullible.

    I’m not much of a positivist, but in this case I think science proved much stronger than deceit, it actually made me happy. No one was hurt, either.

    Go scooby gang. ( is there a scooby gang sign? )

  6. spookyparadigm
    October 5, 2013 at 8:59 PM

    Yeah, pretty much. If you actually want to have a legend-spiced landscape (whether you believe the legends or not), then you should be angry with Edwards. His biggest victims are

    – Those like Feltham that believe in dragons enough to chase them

    – Those that don’t believe in dragons, but find the idea of such legends aesthetically pleasing. This group would include myself, and I suspect quite a few readers of sites like this one.

    – Those with a long-term interest in the monster tourism industry around the lake. From a short-term perspective, Edwards is quite right that any press is good press. But long term, loud hoaxes damage belief in legends, which will have a knock-on effect, but probably not until years down the road. People who visit paranormal sites want to believe in them, that’s why they go to such places and spend money rather than on an entirely fictional immersive experience (theme park, seasonal haunted houses, RenFaires come to mind). A loud hoax will damage tourism.

    All that said, every quote I’ve seen from Edwards on this contains angry digs at Shine’s museum. This WSJ piece I suspect paints a pretty decent picture

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304795804579099051192907582.html

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