There were plenty of allegations about what was faked in the fake documentary by Animal Planet about Megalodon. Here is a piece of clear evidence.
The suspicion that the Discovery Channel had abandoned its professed editorial standards was a powerful one. As I mentioned in my earlier blog, its documentary claiming that the giant shark Carchardon megalodon still exists contained images which gave a strong impression of being faked; reports of incidents which don’t appear to have happened; and interviews with “marine biologists” no one has been able to trace.
But allegations of fakery are very hard to prove. As you know, absence of evidence doesn’t mean evidence of absence. Just because no one has been able to find the news reports the Megalodon show claims to have found, or any record of the deaths of four people in an attack by a giant shark off South Africa last year, or any trace of the suspiciously handsome experts it used to confirm its thesis doesn’t prove definitively that all of them are inventions, even though it’s hard to see how they could not be.
This is the picture in question.
As the author notes, there are already several points that strongly suggest it was altered from an original:
no U-boats of this class are known to have been close to South Africa on the given date, that everything about the shark fins looks wrong, that at 64 feet between the dorsal fin and the tail this monster was twice the size even of the actual creature (which every expert on Earth, except the two mysterious “marine biologists” in the film, believe became extinct about 2 million years ago), and that the great beast creates neither bow wave nor wake, [...]
Also, the swastika and toned sepia were ludicrous.
Since Discovery Networks were not saying everything in the piece was real (did they ever allege ANYTHING was real?), there was already a sound foundation to conclude that this picture was a fake, too, and believe NOTHING in the show at all. But Mombiot has located the original picture. No surprise. There is no shark. Smoking gun found.
But here is the kicker and the point that angers most people who were enraged at the Discovery Network. They have deceived people for dollars and have failed miserably in their mission statement: To satisfy curiosity and make a difference in people’s lives, by providing the highest quality content, services and products that entertain, engage and enlighten.
It’s not entertaining, engaging or enlightening to be played for a fool for advertising dollars. Discovery channel is fiction, just like the rest of television land.
I think we had plenty to scuttle “Discovery Channel as factual science” with before this piece. It’s rather unneccesary but it provides another dig at a anti-science fakery in the media.
Thanks, Dan @mootcycle