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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.

Want to tell your strange story? Tell us about it and it could be featured on Oddee. You can remain fully anonymous.



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Odd

Alien Monolith Discovered in Utah Desert

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  • Dear extraterrestrials, please stop leaving your weird metal constructs on public land.

Are we alone in the universe? Or do alien creatures occasionally – or maybe even regularly – descend from the skies to walk on Earth?

Some people certainly think so, and not all of them are UFO-hunting crackpots either. For example, you could go read our story of the ex-U.S. military boss who thinks we should have a defense plan against UFOs.

But if aliens do visit Earth, why don’t we ever see anything they might’ve left behind? Sure, there’s an occasional purported alien artefact – in addition to whatever what was involved in the Roswell crash – but if there were regular extraterrestrial visitors to Earth, you’d think they’d leave behind otherworldly sandwich wrappers or something.

But now we may have just found something. State officials in Utah have discovered a strange object sticking out of the ground in the middle of the desert.

What they found sure looks alien. It’s a 10-foot-tall shiny metal monolith, jutting out of Utah desert.

Anyone who’s watched 2001: Space Odyssey should be having chills right about now. The find is eerily similar to the black ominous rectangle responsible for human evolution that was depicted in the movie.

But what on Earth is the strange object? Is it even from Earth?

Photos courtesy of Utah Department of Public Safety.

A Strange Discovery

The strange object was discovered on November 18 by officials from the Utah Department of Public Safety, who were giving a helicopter ride to their colleagues from the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.

They had taken to the air to perform a count of bighorn sheep in a part of southeastern Utah. As they were flying over the Red Rock Country – a particularly famous desert landscape – one of the biologist onboard the chopper noticed something on the ground.

Between the red rock faces, something metallic was shining.

“One of the biologists is the one who spotted it and we just happened to fly directly over the top of it,” the helicopter’s pilot Bret Hutchings told KSL TV.

“He was like: ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa, turn around, turn around!’ And I was like: ‘What?’ And he’s like: ‘There’s this thing back there – we’ve got to go look at it!’”

Not one to turn down such an enthusiastic request, the pilot identified a suitable landing spot. He brought the craft down, and the officials began to walk toward the thing they’d found.

And there it was. In the middle of nowhere, hidden between tall cliffs, stood a rectangular, polished silvery metal monolith.

“I’d say it’s probably between 10 and 12 feet-high,” Hutchings said.

The Out-of-place Oddity

Not only was the monolith itself strange, but its location made it even more eerie. There was no immediate indication of who had brought it there.

The officials found no footprints or car tracks. It was as if the thing had fallen out of the sky and buried itself in the ground.

What’s weirder, the soil around the spot is particularly hard-packed. It would’ve taken some serious effort to dig and cut a hole big enough to hold the monolith upright.

Yet, there was no sign of such activity either.

“That’s been about the strangest thing that I’ve come across out there in all my years of flying,” Hutchings told KSL TV.

“We were kind of joking around that if one of us suddenly disappears, then the rest of us make a run for it.”

The crew couldn’t figure out the purpose of the object, either. They speculated that it might have some space-based applications.

“We were, like, thinking is this something NASA stuck up there or something. Are they bouncing satellites off it or something?”

Maybe it was NASA. Or maybe it was… Aliens.

Alien Artwork?

Well, probably not. At least the helicopter crew doesn’t think so.

The thing is definitely an artificial construct, but the helicopter crew figured that it’s more of an art piece than any alien object.

“I’m assuming it’s some new wave artist or something or, you know, somebody that was a big Space Odyssey fan,” Hutchings said.

Whatever the monolith’s purpose, Utah Bureau of Land Management is currently determining whether it warrants a further investigation. Meanwhile, they’ve decided not to reveal the object’s exact location to the public.

“It is in a very remote area and if individuals were to attempt to visit the area, there is a significant possibility they may become stranded and require rescue,” Utah Department of Public Safety said.

Yeah, right. That sounds exactly the kind of story they’d come up with to keep us in the dark about alien encounters!

Speaking of aliens, if the monolith is of extraterrestrial origin, its owners might be in for a hefty fine if Utah officials catch them trying to retrieve their metal rectangle.

“It is illegal to install structures or art without authorization on federally managed public lands, no matter what planet you’re from,” the Department of Public Safety reminded.



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Eel Refuses to Die, Busts out of Heron in Aliens Reenactment

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  • If you’re body-horror adverse, tread no further, it’s as gruesome as you think.
  • Snake eels are hard-to-kill with hard heads and iron wills, they often burrow back out of the predators who consume them.

Nature is a brutal, unforgiving place. The fact the sun goes down at 3:30 in the afternoon should be reason enough to accept that as fact, but if you’re unconvinced (or a masochist), I present to you the eel. Researchers published a study in the Memoirs of the Queensland Museum journal about snake eels. They’re hard-headed, tough-to-kill guys who burrow out of the stomachs of the fish who eat them.

Make Sure Your Food is Dead

Photo by Roman Klimenko on Unsplash

Not to victim-blame here, but if you’re not going to chew your food, then you have to accept that some horrific things can happen–like your brunch shreds your innards. In these circumstances, the snake eels rarely make it back out into the world. The predator’s immune system encloses them in a cyst or abscess, where they’re mummified. Presumably, the predator dies as well. 

 

John Pogonoski, one of the snake eel researchers, told Live Science that their colleague once found a snake eels writhing around inside of a fish they caught and were about to eat. That sight alone would put me off food for a good long while. 

 

A few weeks ago, Sam Davis, an engineer by trade who takes wildlife photos to relax, got the shot of a lifetime. He took a series of pictures of a Delaware heron flying around with a snake eel wriggling out of her neck. Traumatizing. 

Just Out for a Nice Flight

Photo by Thomas Millot on Unsplash

Both the heron and the eel look remarkably casual in the photos, which are worth checking out on Live Science. Pogonoski even gave the heron even chances of surviving the encounter, as long as the wound didn’t get infected. The fact an eel-sized hole in the neck isn’t an instant death sentence for an animal is further evidence of how brutal it is. 

 

However, the eel may have been in worse shape following its madcap dash for freedom. They require specific salinity if you remember our story about the freedom fighter dumping 100 eels into a Brooklyn lake. So if the two animals finally parted over land or a freshwater lake, the snake eel would still die. 

 

Chew your food, folks.



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Man Leaves 42,000% Tip For Servers of Shuttered Restaurant

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  • Want to be a hero this holiday season? Be like this guy and tip generously for your takeout.
  • The anonymous man tipped $3K on a $7 beer the day before the restaurant shuttered for coronavirus.

If you’ve been following the ongoing devastation from the pandemic, restaurants are heading into a long, cold, dark winter. Usually, corporate holiday parties, family get-togethers, and drunken revelers fill their dining rooms this time of year. With the increasing danger from COVID, states are making the tough decision to halt indoor dining hoping to tamp down the ever-increasing daily record for total cases.

Restaurants are Suffering

Photo by Sam Dan Truong on Unsplash

Alongside the restaurant owners devastated by the pandemic are the restaurant workers. Servers and bartenders depend on tips for their survival, and with takeout only, they’re struggling to make ends meet. For one restaurant in Cleveland, the struggle became insurmountable.

Nighttown opted for a voluntary shut down to protect its employees and guests in the face of rising infection rates in Ohio. Their last service, for the time being, was brunch on Sunday.

An unnamed gentleman stopped by for a single beer, which came to $7.02. He filled out the receipt, told the server to split the tip with the rest of the waitstaff, and carried on with his day. Brendan Ring, Nighttown’s owner, ran after him when he saw the amount. The guest left a whopping $3,000 tip on his seven-dollar beer.

Ring chased down the man to make sure he didn’t mean $3, $30, or even $300. The anonymous hero said it was no mistake when Ring caught up with him and that he’d be back when Nighttown reopened.

You, Too, Can Be A Hero

Photo by Jay Wennington on Unsplash

For a country struggling to pay its mortgage or put groceries on the table, $3,000 is make-or-break money. According to the Associated Press, four servers worked the brunch service, but $750 might be their rent for the month.

The landscape of the restaurant industry is dramatically changing. If you only eat at Olive Garden and PF Chang’s, you may not notice. But 100,000 restaurants closed between March and August of this year, and the number’s just going to keep growing. It’s not the big chains feeling the pinch of the recession either, it’s all the awesome neighborhood spots with the best dumplings, wings, or tacos.

Even for long-established neighborhood spots, increasing rent, razor-thin margins, and having to shutter or limit service for months at a time without sustained relief from the government has just been too much.

Takeout will be the only way we can enjoy our favorite spots this winter, so show your neighborhood restaurants some love.

And if this guy can leave $3000 to help a restaurant in his community, then we can all leave at least 25 percent when we pick up our takeout.

 



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