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Loch Ness Monster Caught on New Photos Sparks Online Debate

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  • But we haven’t caught Bigfoot or Sasquatch… yet.

Is there a monster lurking in Scotland’s famous Loch Ness? New pictures of a strange creature swimming through the loch’s waters snapped by a British tourist have reignited the debate over whether Nessie might be real.

The photos were taken by Southampton resident Steve Challice, who was visiting Urquhart Castle on the shores of Loch Ness with brother in September 2019.

Wanting a break from a crowd of other tourists that had just arrived at the castle, Challice began taking pictures of the opposing shore of the loch when he noticed what he described to the Daily Record as a “sort of ripple in the water.”

“I started taking a couple of shots and then this big fish came to the surface and then went back down again. It only appeared in one shot and to be honest that was something of a fluke. I watched for a while … but didn’t see it again,” he said.

He described the gray, dark-spotted creature emerging from the waves as having been around 30 feet away and approximately eight feet long.

Once the coronavirus quarantines hit, Challice was going through his vacation photos and rediscovered the pictures among the hundreds of others he had taken during his trip. The pictures were uploaded onto the Anomalous Universe Facebook group, where they caught the attention of other cryptid enthusiasts.

Many in the group questioned the authenticity of the pictures and even suggested the use of photomanipulation techniques, such as CGI, to which Challice responded that he “loves the idea of CGI” but is “not that good at it.”

Even the photographer himself does not believe he caught something otherworldly in the pictures. “Personally, I know there has been some interest and some people are saying it’s the monster but I don’t believe that.

“I have to say I don’t believe in the Loch Ness Monster and frankly I think if anything is there then there is a logical explanation for most of the sightings. My guess would be that what I captured was a catfish or something like that. As seals get in from the sea then I expect that’s what it is and that would explain why these sightings are so few and far between,” he told the Daily Record.

 

The Watson Investigation

Some on the internet began to make deeper inquiries into whether or not Challice’s pictures are genuine. Author Roland Watson, who runs the Loch Ness Mystery blog, began examining the photos in close detail. He describes what he has found so far in his blog.

After looking into Challice’s history, Watson discovered that he does indeed make CGI artwork for a living. When Watson asked him about this, Challice explained that he “didn’t say he didn’t do CGI, just that he’s not that good” at it.

Then, Watson requested for the original photos of the creature, but was instead delivered pictures that were quite clearly compressed. Additionally, the pictures’ internal data showed that they had been edited in the popular photo manipulation software Photoshop.

Watson asked Challice about this. “He replied that the image file had been opened by Photoshop and then saved as another file asthe original files were too big to send by email. That being said, a day or so later he sent links to download some larger files.”

But these new pictures posed another difficulty. From the data of the earlier pictures, Watson had been able to discover the type and brand of the camera they were taken on. The new pictures were in a wrong file format for them to have been taken on Challice’s camera.

Watson contacted Challice again and in the meanwhile continued his investigation. He found out from the new picture’s internal data that they too had been processed in Photoshop.

In fact, Watson suspects that they are the same pictures sent to him earlier, only blown up in size and converted to a different format.

“I could have performed further analysis, but at this stage, there are discrepancies which need to be answered first and which currently render this photograph unusable as evidence for a large creature in Loch Ness. However, I am in still in communication with the photographer about the issues raised,” said Watson.

He told the Daily Record, however, that if the pictures prove genuine, they would “easily rank among the top three” Nessie pictures of all time.

 

Just a Big Fish Story?

Challice still defends his photos as authentic and unedited, even when he doesn’t actually believe the creature in them to be anything strange.

“There are pics on Google showing large monsters with lots of loops like a snake or something and my image is nothing like that. I genuinely think, to this day, it’s just a big fish,” he said.

The oldest story of a monster living in Loch Ness dates all the way back to the 6th century, when the Irish monk Adomnán described a man having been attacked by an underwater beast while swimming.

One of the most famous photographs of the monster, knows as “the surgeon’s photograph,” was taken in 1934 and has been widely circulated, even though it has been proven to be a hoax.

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Man Rides Horse Down Highway in Chicago

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  • But he does it for good reason, and we really can’t be mad about it.

Just yesterday I wrote about a woman who fell out of the car she was riding in, all because of a Snapchat video. And today? A man riding his horse down the Chicago freeway.

What is with people these days? Oh ya, it is 2020.

It was 4:30 p.m. when police responded to the southbound lanes of the Dan Ryan Highway.

Adam Hollingsworth, 33, now known as the “Dreadhead Cowboy,” is facing three charges after the incident. Hollingworth was charged with reckless conduct, disobeying a police officer and criminal trespassing.

He rode around for 30 minutes or so as traffic slowed to a halt. Illinois police and Chicago police were following close behind.

Hollingsworth and the people with him were asked several times by law enforcement to leave the expressway, and they did not. Finally after exiting at the 35th St exit, Hollingsworth was taken into custody.

Darron Luster, 55, attempted to gain control over the horse after Hollingsworth was arrested. Luster was charged with obstructing and resisting arrest.

Chicago’s Mayor Lightfoot dubbed Hollingsworth “The Census Cowboy,” in efforts to bring awareness around filing out the census. Hollingsworth’s ride Monday was with the goal to turn more attention to the recent slaying of so many children over the summer.

“The thing is to send a message that our children are dying,” activist Mark Carter said. “That there are no resources coming to our communities.”

The mayor and governor are calling for funding for mental health, education and social programs and development in neighborhoods they said have been neglected.

Chicago Animal Control was called to the scene in regards to the horse. They took the animal to their facility.

The horse, named “NuNu,” had multiple injuries when animal control arrived. NuNu was bleeding from the left hoof, its right hoof was injured and the right side of the horse’s body had saddle sores.

Police were notified of Hollingsworth’s plan on Sept. 9th. His plan was denied.

The mayor’s office issued the following statement Monday.

“While the Illinois State Police (ISP) is directly leading all police matters around this incident due to the jurisdiction, Mayor Lightfoot has been briefed by the Chicago Police Department, who are assisting ISP. What is clear is that this stunt not only seriously endangered the horse but also the rider and all travelers on the expressway. There is a right way and a wrong way to call attention to issues of great importance and this stunt was decidedly the very wrong way. Furthermore, the Chicago Animal Care and Control (CACC) was on-scene arranging for the treatment of the horse which was injured as a result of this stunt and are now working to transport the animal to a temporary shelter where it can receive proper care.” 

 

 

 

 

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One of You Should Buy the Lizzie Borden House

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  • The 7-bedroom estate is back on the market for $890,000.
  • The current owners claim to have heard Lizzie Borden’s spirit, which means you can turn this into a profitable reality TV enterprise.

Just in time for the spoopy season, the Lizzie Borden house is back on the market. It’s not the house where the infamous murders took place, but Maplecroft. It’s where Borden lived in Fall River, following her acquittal for the ax-murder of her parents. It sold most recently in 2018 to Donald Woods and Leeann Wilber. They operate a Lizzie Borden themed bed-and-breakfast in the area. Until COVID, Wood and Wilber were renovating Maplecroft to become a similar venture, expanding their Borden empire. But the project got to be too expensive, and now they’re unloading the proper for $890,000.

 

I mean, I’ve seen worse properties go for more? Just look at the real estate market in Los Angeles. 

The Infamous Borden Murders

Photo by Benjamin Balázs on Unsplash

If you’re not familiar with Lizzie Borden, she stood trial for the ax-murder of her father and step-mother in 1892. The truth of what happened remains a mystery, even though the murders took place in the middle of the day with many members of the Borden household home. (Jk, Lizzie totally did it.) In part because of contradictory testimony by investigators and a second ax murder in the area, a jury acquitted Lizzie Borden. 

 

The live-in-maid at the Borden house, Bridget Sullivan, gave a deathbed confession to her sister. In it, she admitted changing her testimony to protect Lizzie. At the time of her death, Lizzie had amassed considerable wealth and several real estate holdings, but Maplecroft was her home. 

Definitely Not Haunted, Unless It Is

Photo by Benjamin Rascoe on Unsplash

There’s absolutely no reason to believe the ghost of Lizzie Borden is haunting Maplecroft. She was, by most accounts, not discontented when she died. It’s also very unusual for spirits to move properties–so Borden’s father and step-mother probably aren’t still seeking revenge at the estate. 

 

The current owners claimed to the Herald News they’ve picked up paranormal activity, registering as many as 50 voices in the home, including Lizzie Borden herself who was, “not particularly talkative.”

 

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Richard Nixon’s Unfinished Sandwich Celebrates Its 60th Anniversary

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  • But unlike those McDonald’s burgers that never rot, this lunch has been kept in a freezer

We, the people, like to process history through anniversaries. For one reason or another, we tend to put special emphasis on how many years it’s been since something happened.

Not that there’s anything wrong with the practice. When it comes to big anniversaries, 2020 has some good ones.

For instance, this August marked the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II. In January, the World Trade Organization celebrated its 25th birthday.

Meanwhile 2500 years ago – in 480 B.C. – King Leonidas of Sparta led 300 warriors against the might of the Persian Empire in the Battle of Thermopylae. What, did you think it was just a movie?

But in addition to history-shaping wars, 2020 also marks the anniversary of a slightly less significant event. More precisely, 60 years ago today – on September 22, 1960 – then-presidential candidate and later US President Richard Nixon didn’t finish his sandwich.

We know this because an Illinois man has preserved the half-eaten bison barbeque sandwich. It has sat in his freezer ever since Nixon walked away from his lunch decades ago.

The man in question is Steve Jenne, 74, of Sullivan, Illinois. This is his story – his, and Nixon’s partially consumed sandwich.

“I am not a crook. I am not going to finish that sandwich, either.” Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress.

A Trip Down the Memory Lane

But how come Jenne came to possess the lunch of Nixon, whose legacy would years later become forever tarnished in the Watergate scandal?

For answers, let’s accelerate to 88 mph and take a trip back in time. We find ourselves in the city of Sullivan on that more or less fateful date: 9/22/1960.

In case any Europeans are reading this, that’ll be 22/9/1960. Don’t get too confused, now.

On this date, Nixon was out on his presidential campaign. He was running against a Massachusetts senator, one John F. Kennedy.

As we know from history, a couple months later Kennedy would win the presidency. Nixon would have to wait until 1969 for his turn in the White House.

But on this September day, Nixon was in Sullivan on a campaign trip. For lunch, he was served the aforementioned bison barbeque sandwich.

Whether he wasn’t all that hungry or just straight-up didn’t like the sandwich has been lost to history. The facts are that he ate about half of it before proceeding to the park where he was supposed to debate Kennedy. However, Kennedy failed to show up, so Nixon took the chance to give a speech of his own.

While he was speaking, Steve Jenne – then a 14-year-old Boy Scout – kept an eye on the Senator’s unfinished lunch.

“Being the good Boy Scout that I was, I stood there and guarded that sandwich,” Jenne recounted to the University of Illinois.

Eventually, though, it became clear to Jenne that Nixon wasn’t coming back to clean his plate.

“I looked around and thought, ‘If no one else was going to take it, I am going to take it,’” Jenne told Herald & Review in a separate interview.

And so he did. The sandwich ended up in a glass jar in the Jennes’ freezer.

Onto the TV Screen

From Sullivan, the sandwich eventually relocated to Springfield when the Jennes moved house. When Steve Jenne eventually left his parents’ home to start a life of his own, the sandwich went with him.

In 1988, the aforementioned Herald & Review wrote a story of the sandwich, which at the time was of the ripe age of 28. The story went viral (or whatever the 1988 equivalent is), and Jenne ended up showcasing his artifact on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.

The famous comedian Steve Martin was also a guest on the show that night. Always ready to crack a joke, Martin signed a paper plate he had eaten a chicken salad sandwich off of and handed it to Jenne.

Probably to everyone’s surprise, Jenne happily accepted the plate. He still owns it.

A Memento for the Ages

Let’s zoom back to the present day. Nixon’s sandwich and Martin’s plate are today part of a collection that has expanded to include scrap food from musicians Tiny Tim and Henny Youngman.

Jenne said that he never wanted to become famous by preserving celebrities’ half-finished snacks. It’s just a fun quirk, and undoubtedly a great conversation opener.

He has enjoyed the opportunities Nixon’s unfinished lunch has opened for him, though. In addition to The Tonight Show, the sandwich has brought Jenne into contact with other famous people and even an appearance on the I’ve Got a Secret game show in the 2000s.

With the sandwich’s 60th anniversary, he hopes that it will draw attention to the Nixon visit plaque in Sullivan’s Wyman Park. Maybe the city could use some extra tourist income.

When it comes to the sandwich itself, Jenne has no plans on getting rid of it.

“As long as I am living, that sandwich will be stored in my freezer in a container that is labeled, ‘Save, don’t throw away,’ ” Jenne said.

And really, why would Jenne throw the thing away? It’s come in handy enough in these past 60 years, so who knows what tomorrow might bring.

Actually, it’s election season right now. Wonder what Trump’s or Biden’s lunch would be worth in a few decades…

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