Gadling Blogger Snaps Photo Of Nessie (Not Really)

Nessie
On my recent trip to Scotland, I took this shocking photo of a strange creature out in the water. Is it Nessie?

Well, no, it isn’t. I won’t tell you what it is, except that the truth is hidden in one of the answers to the poll below. Vote for your most likely candidate and I’ll post the SHOCKING TRUTH ABOUT MY NESSIE PHOTO a week from now.

Sorry for shouting, I got carried away.

While I didn’t photograph the Loch Ness Monster (or did I?), a certain George Edwards did. The Inverness Courier published his photo last week and it’s been making the rounds on the Internet. It shows a fuzzy lump in the water that could be a species unknown to science or simply a fuzzy lump in the water.

Mr. Edwards says he saw the dark gray shape “slowly moving up the loch towards Urquhart Castle.” He watched it for at least five minutes but for some reason only took one photo. Edwards claims to have sent the image off to some experts in the U.S. military to have it analyzed.

Proof that Nessie exists? Maybe. Maybe not. The fact that Edwards runs Loch Ness Cruises makes me a wee bit suspicious that this is a publicity stunt. Even the popular monster hunting site Crypto Mundo cast some doubts on the story, asking why there’s no wake from a supposedly moving object and why a lifelong Nessie hunter only snapped a single photograph.

Whatever the truth behind Edwards’ photo, you’ll learn the SHOCKING TRUTH ABOUT MY NESSIE PHOTO next week.

Sorry, got carried away again.

UPDATE: The correct answer wins by a slim margin! Yes, this was a seal coming up for air. He’s poking his nose out of the water and looks remarkably like a shark, which is why 22 Gadling readers were fooled into thinking it was one. I’m a bit curious as to the six people who thought I swiped a “real” Nessie photo from the Internet. Are there so many blurry photos of the beastie out there that they all begin to look the same?

%Poll-76916%

Bureau Of Land Management Gives Advice On Finding Bigfoot


Last week we reported on how the U.S. National Ocean Service publicly denied the existence of mermaids in response to a joke documentary on Animal Planet.

Meanwhile, another federal agency has taken a different course. The Bureau of Land Management in Oregon & Washington has released this video titled “Bigfoot and the BLM.” In it, people, who I assume to be BLM staff, are asked about their belief in Bigfoot and the narrator gives handy tips about where to go looking for the mysterious creature.

Is this all just a bit of silliness at taxpayer expense? A cheap publicity stunt? Maybe. Maybe not. As Matt Moneymaker, president of the Bigfoot Field Researchers Association pointed out on his Twitter account, “Hmmm…The locations mentioned by this BLM Oregon dude all happen to be active Bigfoot areas. . .coincidence??”

Perhaps the agency hopes that by encouraging people to visit the Pacific Northwest’s beautiful natural areas, some lucky hiker will find definitive proof for Bigfoot? Hopefully it will be better proof than a pot-bellied guy wandering around in a gorilla suit like shown in this video.

Whatever the explanation for the BLM’s move, they’re obviously fond of Bigfoot. Even the banner of their blog features the creature. Click on the jump to see the image.

Bigfoot

Dull And Boring: Two Weird Town Names That Go Great Together

weird town names
What’s life like in a boring town? What’s life like in a dull one? Now a proposed trans-Atlantic collaboration aims to answer this important question.

Boring, Oregon, and Dull, Scotland, want to become sister communities. Local promoters say their towns are neither dull nor boring, and they should play on their weird town names to get more tourism.

One Boring website says the Oregon town of 12,000 is “an exciting place to live” and gets its name from early resident W.H. Boring. It’s unclear how Dull, a small village in Perthshire, Scotland, got its name. Similar words in Gaelic mean either “snare” or “meadow.” Indeed, there are some wonderfully dull meadows nearby. Boring has natural attractions too, including the Boring Lava Field from a boring extinct volcano.

If all this isn’t dull and boring enough for you, check out this list of weird town names. Too bad they missed my favorite, Knob Lick, Missouri!

[Photo courtesy C. Jill Reed]

Where’s The Pied Piper Of Hamelin When You Need Him?

Pied Piper Of Hamelin
Everyone knows the tale of the Pied Piper of Hamelin, in which the German town was plagued by rats and hired the Pied Piper to take them all away. The Pied Piper led them into the nearby river and drowned them, and then demanded his fee. The city government decided not to pay him, citing budget cuts and the need to curb deficit spending. The piper then piped all the children away. This was a big relief for the city government because they could eliminate the education budget.

Now the city of Hamelin is facing a new plague of rats. Local officials say they’re attracted to the food left out by tourists for the birds. One rat apparently didn’t get his share and instead chewed through a cable powering one of the town’s fountains.

There’s no word if the city will hire another Pied Piper.

Hamelin is a popular tourist attraction and holds re-enactments of the famous story during the summer. It also has a well-preserved Old Town with many elegant buildings dating as far back as the 16th century. The surrounding Weser Mountains Region offers hiking, biking and sights such as the Hämelschenburg Castle.

[Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons]

Roman Fort Attacked By Moles, Archaeologists Benefit

mole, Roman fortWhen you stroll through a museum, you generally assume that all those ancient artifacts you’re seeing were dug up by professional archaeologists or found by accident by some farmer plowing his field. Mostly you’d be correct, but researchers into England’s Roman past are getting some unexpected help. . .from moles.

Moles at the site of Epiacum, a Roman fort dating from the first to the fourth centuries AD, have been getting busy digging holes in the soil and turning up all sorts of archaeological goodies. The site is protected by English Heritage and nobody, not even the local farmers, is allowed to dig on it. The moles have apparently never heard of English Heritage and have been tossing out Roman pottery, jewelry, and even a bit of old plumbing.

Volunteers have been sifting through the moles’ backdirt, under the watchful eye of English Heritage, and the artifacts are being sent to a nearby museum.

Epiacum, known locally as Whitley Castle, lies twelve miles to the south of Hadrian’s Wall and protected some nearby lead and silver mines. Click here for more information about visiting the site.

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.