Sasquatch Coffee

Cryptomundo Exclusive: Thylacine Photos

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on July 27th, 2006

Aussie cryptozoologist Mike Williams shares the photos with the readers of Cryptomundo.

Finally found the thylacine photos with the story. Thought you might like to use it on your blog. The majority of the newpaper text is under the photos. I don’t believe the photos have ever appeared online together before.!!

The photos were released "Sunday Tasmanian" pages 10+11 April 16th 2006.

An interesting claim, from Mr Emmerichs, is that the photos are actually embedded in the hardrive of the camera itself which might make it harder to accuse the Emmerichs of computer manipulation.

The photos are pretty bad and the problems with the dates/camera settings etc are large.

But…the cynic in me suggests that because the story/photos stink they just might be real.

With crypto evidence, when its great… its probably fake..

Oh the paradox of it all.

Mike Williams

The photos have been removed from Cryptomundo at the request of Mr. Emmerichs. Please see the this post on Cryptomundo titled, The Case of the Missing Thylacine, for the reason why.

Sunday Tasmanian  
April 16th 2006 pages 10 and 11

TWO German tourists who say they have taken a photo of a Tasmanian tiger have returned to the state in a bid to prove the images are legitimate.

A relative of the couple previously tried to sell the photos to Melboume’s The Age newspaper for about $20,000.

The pair have supplied the pictures to the Sunday Tasmanian for nothing, but they still want to be paid $1000 if the images are published interstate.

Experts, including the Sunday Tasmanian’s chief photographer Leigh Winbum, have cast doubts over the authenticity of the blurry pictures because:

The images are blurred despite being taken by an auto-focus camera.. There is a discrepancy with the dates on the image and that of other images on the same camera.

The images are very reminiscent of a famous thylacine photograph taken in the 1930s.

The experts say current software packages mean such images can be made quite easily.

But Klaus Emmerichs and Birgit Jansen stand by their claim, saying they took the photos while in the Cradle.

They found a dirt road and pulled off to the side.

"We wanted to eat something and she [Birgit] must have water, we wanted to sleep there," Mr Emmerichs said.

Mr Emmerichs said he could hear running water and walked down an embankment about 20m to a creek.

There he saw an animal he said he had never seen before.

"I see him running, there was a log over the’ creek, he came snuffling along the ground," Mr Emmerichs said.

A similar snuffling was coming from behind the log and Mr Emmerichs said he believed it may have been another one of the creatures.

"The same noise was coming from near the fallen tree," he said. "I turned the camera on and it makes a noise when I turn it on and his head went up, I made one shot and then I take a second shot and he goes off in the bush.

"It was only about 30 seconds."

Mr Emmerichs said he went and got Birgit to look.

"It was an animal I never see before, so I got her and she came down to the water but then I thought the animal could be angry, it could be violent, if he have young," he said.

He said they then returned to the car and looked at the photographs.

"We decide not to sleep there any more," he said. "We drove to Zeehan and slept in the car."

The couple said they then spent another two weeks in Tasmania touring.

"We saw a picture on the Cascade beer of the tiger but we did not know it was so important directly, we thought it might be rare," he said.

They then flew out of the state and holidayed in Port Douglas before returning to Melbourne to .fly back home to Germany.

While in Melbourne they visited Mr Emmerichs’ brother, who has been livmg m Australia since the 1970s."I showed him all the photographs and he was very surprised, he said it was the Tasmanian tiger, 100 per cent.

A number of doubts about the images have been raised.

Photographers consulted by the Sunday Tasmanian say the extent of blurring in the images is not consistent with autofocus on a modern digital camera.

Mr Emmerichs, however, said the images are blurry because he used a function called night vision which simulates a slow shutterspeed and allows pictures to be taken without flash in poor light.

The function consistently produced blurry images and so the couple stopped using it.

Another criticism of the images is that there is a discrepancy with the consecutive dates of the images.

The photograph before the first thylacine image uses the abbreviation JAN for January.

But the thylacine image uses the numeral 2 instead of FEB for February.

Mr Emmerichs said the discrepancy was caused by Birgit changing the format while on the plane to Tasmania.

The camera was still set on German time and date and she tried to reset it coming into Tasmania.

There has also been some criticism of the images that they are very reminiscent of another famous thylacine photograph taken in the 1930s.

A strange play of light has also been suggested as flash flare off a shiny surface.

But Mr Emmerichs said the fact the photographs are embedded on the hardware in his Ricoh camera proves they have not been manipulated on a computer.

He said he did not know he still had the images after leaving Melbourne last year.

The images were left with his brother on a CD taken from the camera’s chip.

"But these images are still in the camera, we did not know until we got home," he said.

Mr Emmerichs said he had watched in dismay from Germany as the saga of the photographs played out.

"We came back to get proof," he said.

The Sunday Tasmanian did not pay for these images.

About Craig Woolheater
Co-founder of Cryptomundo in 2005. I have appeared in or contributed to the following TV programs, documentaries and films: OLN's Mysterious Encounters: "Caddo Critter", Southern Fried Bigfoot, Travel Channel's Weird Travels: "Bigfoot", History Channel's MonsterQuest: "Swamp Stalker", The Wild Man of the Navidad Destination America's Monsters and Mysteries in America: Texas Terror - Lake Worth Monster, Animal Planet's Finding Bigfoot: Return to Boggy Creek and Beast of the Bayou.


60 Responses to “Cryptomundo Exclusive: Thylacine Photos”

  1. Lee Murphy responds:

    Bloblacine.

  2. TemplarKnight21c responds:

    Well…I dunno. The top photo kinda looks like a large canine-like head, facing to the left with the mouth open slightly. It is very blurry, and I can’t tell anything for sure.

  3. shumway10973 responds:

    sorry guys, but I can’t make anything out. just too blurry to see anything. I can see why they were having so much trouble getting paid for the photos. why is it that photos of cryptid creatures have to come out blurry?

  4. acilletam responds:

    I don’t know. The whole thing reminds me of the hodag pictures from Wisconsin.

  5. youcantryreachingme responds:

    I’m glad these have finally reached some recognition here.

    As I noted elsewhere, “the explanations for the date differences sound plausible to me. It also wouldn’t surprise me if a large number of tourists did not realise the animal was extinct. Keep in mind, we Australians have had the thylacine in our brains since we were born

    and

    I think we should expect that any genuine evidence of the thylacine might come about in such a haphazzard way. Let’s face it, there must be hundreds or thousands more tourist point-and-shoot cameras out there in thylacine habitat than dedicated infra-red triggered systems or dedicated searchers at any given time

    I have had a quick look at these images and I find them very interesting. As I noted earlier on Cryptomundo, having two photos means you can take various measurements and draw conclusions which may support either theory – that they are genuine (or genuinely an excellent fake!), or they are fake.

    Let me do some work on these and I will get back to the Cryptomundo community with some conclusions.

  6. Jeremy_Wells responds:

    Nice anecdote from the tourists, but the pictures are too blurry. I couldn’t figure out if I was supposed to be looking at a thylacine head or (after looking at the second one) an obscured full body shot.

    When I have to ask “Is that a tooth or a leg?”, it’s too blurry.

  7. mooppoint responds:

    I just wonder how photos like this garner any attention at all.

    Jeremy is right; it is a nice anecdote, but it would almost be more credible without the pictures. Having said that, I can understand why someone would want to support such a story with any physical evidence at all.

    I guess if you’re telling the truth, you want to bolster your case in any way available, but these pictures can’t really be considered evidence because there’s really nothing remotely discernible in the images.

    Just an interesting story, in my opinion.

  8. Mnynames responds:

    I’m inclined to believe them, but that doesn’t make the pictures any less useless and fuzzy…

  9. fredfacker responds:

    I don’t think the pictures are faked, I just don’t think anyone will be able to figure what it is that was photographed.

    I wish people would invest a little more for digital cameras with ISO 1600.

  10. greywolf responds:

    Well they saw something but from the pictures I can’t tell what it is . Why is it that we see a bear or deer along the road or creek we get a picture in focus most often but a cryptid………wam blurred or dark or so far away that it looks like a rock etc…….does not make any logical sense

  11. jayman responds:

    I can’t make out a thing… the ultimate Rorschach. In the top one, are those stripe-like things supposed to be a back? Is the brown blob in the upper right part of a head, enormous and facing the wrong way? Or are there two of them? The bottom pic is even worse… a cougar head on the right?

    I wouldn’t pay twenty cents for them, much less twenty grand.

  12. youcantryreachingme responds:

    Fredfacker (9) – the photos were seen by Nick Mooney (amongst others) of the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service; he concluded the photos were obviously of a thylacine, but acknowledged that without proper analysis of the images, no claim could be made as to the authenticity of the photos.

    Keep in mind we’re viewing scans of newspaper prints of (presumably) the originals. The colours, for one, look totally out of whack, but if you read the articles, their camera was set to night scene, which in my experience distorts colour somewhat.

  13. MattBille responds:

    I have to go with the cynics on this one. The story might be true, but the photos are useless as evidence.

  14. oldbutnotstupid responds:

    I had great expectations for this, as I believe the tiger has a good chance of being still alive. But these photos let me down. The first one is the best. But simply enhancing it by increasing the shadow depth brings out two details that are hard to dispute, the strips are green not white. It is a serrated type leaf in front of the object and not the stripes on the hind quarters of the beast. Also the part of the so called animal on the left comes up showing a sharp right angle edge on what looks like the leg portion. No animal has a right angle edge running down its leg unless the leg were in a box splint. What ever these photos show it is not a living animal of any kind. What a disappointment. Just darken them and increase the shadow. The details I mention are obvious. I won’t say fakes but mistaken identity maybe. Wishful thinking maybe.

  15. Alton Higgins responds:

    I don’t see anything in the second photo, but I think the first one could very well be that of a thylacine.

    Or else a very good hoax.

    I’ll play around with it.

  16. JRC responds:

    I’m sorry folks but these are not evidence of anything. I don’t know how anyone can look at these and say that they are obviously something when clearly they are nothing. That could be a rock, tree bark, dirt, or nessie gettin’ it on with bigfoot. You shouldn’t have to “play around” with the image. The images should stand or fall based on their own merit. My feeling on this and every other supposed cryptid photo is that if I can’t tell what it is then it is nothing at all. In the cryptozoological world, the burden of proof is just too high. I agree with greywolf, 9 out of 10 times a complete photo amateur armed with a basic point and shoot will get a clear crisp photo of everything except the cryptid they happen to come across. Cameras do not fail or malfunction often enough to explain this odd phenomenon. I think that if you offer up a supposed cryptid photo, you should also have to supply the negatives for the entire roll that the picture come from or in the digital age, other photos shot on the same day on the same memory card (check the metadata). While researchers out tilting at windmills (i.e. bad or faked evidence) the real deal may be just arms length away.

  17. Alton Higgins responds:

    Well, maybe you don’t see what I see.

    I see interesting stripes and part of what appears to be a thylacine-like body shape.

    All I or anybody here can do at this point is speculate with regard to the photos themselves.

  18. Craig Woolheater responds:

    As youcantryreachingme presumed, these are scans of the photos from the newspaper article provided by Mike Williams. They are more than likely of too poor quality to do much with them.

  19. JRC responds:

    With regard to Alton Higgins, maybe you are seeing what you want to see. If this field is ever going to be respected by the broader scientific community then researchers, both professional and amateur, must simply become more discriminating. Every time some blurry image of this, that, or the other emerges segments of this community jump all over it and begin crafting it into exactly what they want it to be. We all want evidence but we must demand good evidence and cast aside all other types. If you cannot tell immediately and without the use of imagination what a photo is supposed to be then I feel that you must disregard it. This approach will obviously void 99% of all supposed “evidence” but so be it. Good research demands skepticism but tempered with the belief that there is something to be discovered.

  20. youcantryreachingme responds:

    Patience, JRC. Images will stand or fall based on their merit. But they will stand or fall in our judgement and for that reason we are examining the images – so that we can make a judgement.

    Take a look at one of the image analyses I carried out as part of the search for the missing person Solitaire Meissmer.

    To cut the long story short, a photo was taken the day after her disappearance and allegedly depicted her, turning up nearly a year later. Due to the circumstances the family had no more than a half dozen known photos of her.

    The photo analyses alone took in the order of 80 hours or more.

    These photos of the thylacine are interesting (to me) because so many of the elements (leaves, log, thylacine – in at least three planes) are in different positions between the frames. There should be enough data points there to determine whether or not the animal moved between shots.

    Of course, if it did, it would still not prove it’s a thylacine – it may still be a taxidermy. If it didn’t then that would also not prove that it’s not a thylacine.

    However, it takes time, and not all “playing around” is of the image-editing-filter variety. Some of it involves measurement and reconstruction in three dimensions.

  21. smylex responds:

    could be anything.

  22. twblack responds:

    I could stare at these all day and still see nothing.

  23. jayman responds:

    As Craig pointed out, printing a photo in a newspaper or magazine essentially destroys its information content. The pic has to be turned into a matrix of dots, and any enlargement is then worse than useless. All sorts of blocky shapes appear from nowhere.

    The classic example of this, as it relates to cryptozoology, must be the the notorious “bell” a researcher claimed to find on “Patty”, thereby “proving” it was a costume. He had simply blown up a scan printed in a book.

    So, trying to manipulate these prints or scans is a complete waste of time.

  24. simian1 responds:

    the blurry blobs need to stop. With today’s digital cameras, the image should be too clear, if anything. Even a chimp could take a clear picture, if you get my drift.

  25. aaha responds:

    Sorry – not seeing it.

  26. Nerull responds:

    I see a moose head.

  27. Alton Higgins responds:

    Apologies for vagueness. When I said I would “play around with it” I didn’t mean to infer that I would manipulate the image via Photoshop filters or whatever. I meant that I would play around with the idea that the image is what it is purported to be.

    I don’t know if he’ll choose to use it, but I sent some stuff to Craig that, in my mind, at least lends some degree of credence to the photographer’s statements. Your milage may vary.

  28. JRC responds:

    youcantryreachingme,

    I commend you and your work. But at least in all of those photos you had a discernible human form to start with. My eyes may not be as trained as yours but simply put, any perceived “thing” in these photos is in my opinion a flight of fancy on the part of the viewer. However I am not out of hand disputing the claims of the photographers (using the term very loosely) responsible for these pictures. I am simply saying that these photos do not under any reasonable circumstance illustrate what they claim to have seen. It does no good to the cause of cryptozoology to spend valuable time and resources attempting to distill clarity from this kind of mess. I doubt that even by applying the most advanced techniques to the originals (if you could get them) you would be able to pull the form of a thylacine from them. Not without requiring a tremendous leap of faith by any viewer of the results. Leaps of faith do not add up to scientific proof. And proof, that is to say irrefutable evidence, should always be the goal.

  29. Ken Gerhard responds:

    Enough with the blurry cryptid photos, already. I wish more researchers would spend their time out in the field, rather than analyzing and then debating the validity of photos that are such poor quality. To me, this is yet another example of why cryptozoologists should start carrying rifles, rather than cameras.

  30. DWA responds:

    I continue to be amazed at people’s inability (or unwillingness) to grasp the obvious: it’s the closest thing to impossible to get a clear photo of a cryptid.

    The reasons for this I could spend all day on. But anyone well versed in dealing with animals whose specialty is Not Being Seen wouldn’t need the lecture. Something like 99% of all the wolf and mountain lion photos you have ever seen are of captive animals. There’s a reason why. Right, many more than one. The most obvious, other than elusiveness, being: NO ONE EVER HAS A CAMERA AT THE READY — AS IN, RAISED, LOADED AND POISED — TO TAKE A FLEETING PHOTO OF A MOVING WILD ANIMAL. Camera traps aren’t even that clear. In the cryptid-photo field, there’s Patterson. And I predict, other than camera traps, he will be It — the incredible fluke that proves by its uniqueness how impossible it was.

    It’s much harder to shoot ‘em than it is to see ‘em.

    And consider this: if you didn’t have a pretty solid sighting to back up those shotz…well, ask yourself. Why would you bother?

    Aaaaah, if sightings were evidence…

  31. JRC responds:

    DWA,
    I have done my share of nature photography and cinematography. I know that it is difficult. It is not however impossible. But we are not discussing planned trips into the bush with that goal in mind. We are not discussing hidden creatures captured from afar. We are talking about folks who purportedly stumbled upon the creature and took it’s picture. Even the most basic auto focus camera should be able to grab a picture better than what we have been presented with. The man who took the photos claims to have been out in the open and that the creature was at the time stationary. He says the encounter lasted thirty seconds which, if you have ever photographed wildlife in the wild, can feel like an hour. We also know that he was using a Ricoh digital camera which was undoubtedly auto focus. Even taking the lag between the camera turning on and the man aiming it into account, you still have ample time for the camera to focus and for him to push the shutter button. Now I ask you: Does that story match up with the evidence before you? I don’t believe that it does. Reexamine their story also. They claim that they knew that the “night vision” mode produced blurry images so they had stopped using it. Was this before or after these pictures were taken? From the way the article is written it sounds like they were aware of the problem prior to the encounter and one must assume they had not used that feature as they claim to have done. The date explanation is reasonable but one must admit quite convenient. Now to answer your last question: Money. Do not forget that they have tried to sell these pictures and are purportedly still asking a fee for their additional use.

  32. Sky King responds:

    Worst pictures of all time, so bad that mere incompetence cannot account for them. You’ve got to WORK for something THAT bad.

  33. oldbutnotstupid responds:

    JRC I got two words for you A-men brother /or sister as the case may be. I agree with you 100%

  34. youcantryreachingme responds:

    JRC (in message 28) – have you looked at the enlarged versions? I have spent a fair amount of time researching the thylacine, viewing videos, visiting museums, reading books. I can clearly make out the tail, rump and hind leg in both photos.

    I have attempted to contact the photographer via an independent third party, but have not had a response. Of course if I could source the original digital images I would be delighted.

    If anyone reading this post is able to assist, I’m sure you could pass your contact details on to the Cryptomundo editors who could forward them to me.

    Ken (29), I too wish I could be out in the field searching. Unfortunately, offering constructive criticism of alleged evidence is about the extent of my budget at present. The photographer was a tourist, by the way, not a cryptozoologist. And a trap is probably more animal-friendly than a rifle (though just as illegal I should add).

    JRC (31) – they used the night-scene mode before, and when these photos were taken. They changed to another mode after these were taken because they realised that mode was producing less than optimal images. Those who have publicly criticised the photos (ie the media for example) questioned why the photos of the thylacine were in night mode, and other photos were not.

    The couple who took the photo did not want any money. They had a plane to catch back to Melbourne then back to Germany. Mr Emmerichs’ brother lived in Melbourne so they downloaded the photos from the camera directly to a CD. The brother then flew to Tasmania to get an opinion on the photos. The experts agreed it depicted a thylacine but couldn’t comment on the authenticity of the image. The brother flew home and sought to sell the photos. The couple who themselves took the photo were back in Germany watching the story unfold in the media. They also realised when back in Germany they still had the original images on the camera.

    The reason for their publication in April is that the couple flew back to Tasmania, this time armed with a video camera, to attempt to prove that their original claim was correct. Sure, we might still be talking about attention-grabbing jetsetters, but the behaviour is typical of dozens of people who’s lives change after believing they’ve sighted a cryptid.

    Also, these people were not nature photographers. They were a couple on a holiday in a wilderness environment, without any technical camera skill, with a new camera they didn’t know how to use. Even if the sighting was 30 seconds, who’s to say they didn’t think to take a photo until, say, after 20 seconds? And who’s to say the camera was within reach?

    I reserve my judgement at this point on their authenticity, but I don’t think you can dismiss the claim with the arguments you (plural) have presented.

    However I will also admit up-front that *no* image will ever provide conclusive proof – even one that is clear as day. This opinion on 2 dimensional photos was shared by forensic experts during the missing persons search also.

    In that respect, as Loren has often commented in his pieces, this blog and our commentary is (at least in part) about speculation, theorising and *maybe* gaining new insights every once in a while.

    Attracting new witness accounts would be a bonus also.

    Thank you for the healthy and constructive debate! Keeps all our minds sharp, I say :)

  35. swnoel responds:

    I see it … I really do see it.

    A thousand dollars, huh.

    Boy am I in the wrong business!!!

  36. DWA responds:

    JRC:

    Maybe you’re right…but I don’t think autofocus cameras are particularly more infallible than any other kind.

    And I always try to make sure not to put too much stock in the details of sighters’ stories. They had, um, a lot going on at that moment, I’d say.

    Looks like a grabshoot through dense foliage. Good luck with that one.

    Oh these photos are AWFUL. No rational person should be trying to claim they’re anything. So, I can’t help but wonder….why ARE they? They really have nothing better to do?

    I’m just prepared to accept more possibilities here than (1) publicity seeking whackos and (2) idiots.

    Synonym? Whatever do you mean…? :-D

    I’m just not 100

  37. DWA responds:

    Um, and disregard that “I’m just not 100.” Not only am I nowhere near close to 100, I figured out another way to end the post…and forgot the trailer…heh heh…

  38. DWA responds:

    OK, one more thing.

    Unlike the case with the Oregon game-camera blobsquatch, for which I saw all kinds of huh? explanations here (A DEER?!?!?!?), the tail, rump and legs in that first photo jump right out at me.

  39. JRC responds:

    DWA,
    You’ve hit on it. Auto focus cameras aren’t more infallible than any other camera. As I stated before, cameras just don’t fail often enough to explain the glut of bad “cryptid” photos. Also, as youcantryreachingme is suggesting, I am not assuming that they did have any technical prowess or wildlife experience. However with the camera they had chosen none is really needed, because modern cameras of the consumer variety are not all that complicated. They are by design pretty idiot proof. These folks weren’t stalking this animal with the intent of photographing it they stumbled upon it, or so they say. They were well enough outfitted for that. And if you’re going to disregard the “sighters” stories then we might as well throw out the hundreds of years of good evidence that we have. Eyewitness accounts are almost all we have. Yes this does look like a “grabshot” but that is not jiving with the story we have been told. But let us follow you’re advice and toss the story out the window. What are we left with? Just these photos. Do these photos stand on their own? No they do not. If I handed you these photos and told you they were of my cat what would you say? HA! The joke’s on you, I don’t own a cat. You see a thylacine because that is what you were told these are of. I see nothing because even though I hope and pray that this animal somehow escaped extinction, I will not allow myself to be swayed by bad evidence and inconclusive testimonial.

  40. DWA responds:

    Well, hold on here. I didn’t say “toss the story.”

    I said let’s not worry too much about the ultimate exactitude of fine details. I sort of expect a little blathering, blubbering and CRS under these circumstances. (For sure, if you toss the story what DO you have here? My seeing the tail, rump and hind leg notwithstanding? :-D)

    They sure seem to be worked up about something. And while I sure won’t be swayed by what we have here either, I …well, there. I can’t toss it.

  41. youcantryreachingme responds:

    I can’t believe there are people who can’t see the thylacine! Open the enlargements and compare them to known photos! And no-one seems to take note of the point I am now making the third time – Nick Mooney and others from Tasmanian Parks said (from the original images) it was clear this was a photo of a thylacine.

    JRC (39) – are you kidding me? Most cheap cameras are appalling in low light, not the technical wonder you describe. (And I can still get appalling photos with an excellent camera even if I have 10 minutes to take the shot!) And you mentioned “with the camera they had chosen” – to the best of my knowledge, the camera has not been described beyond it’s make. Please update me if I missed something.

  42. JRC responds:

    Yes fine Nick Mooney (a man whose work with wildlife I have a deep respect for) says that based on the original images this is a thylacine. Several leading primatologists have looked at bigfoot “evidence” over the years and seen that creature as well. While others look at the same evidence and see at the best nothing and at the worst a hoax. It’s all subjective. I’m not saying these aren’t pictures of a thylacine. What I am saying is that these aren’t pictures of anything clearly distinguishable.

    What exactly about my description of a basic auto focus camera made you think I was describing a “technical wonder”? Any camera cheap or otherwise manufactured within the last couple of years will turn on, focus, and take a legible picture in less than the described thirty seconds. Even a “disposable” digital camera from CVS will accomplish those modest tasks. Also we don’t know what the light conditions were. They don’t make mention of it. If the light was low then I would think that the so called “night vision” mode would have been ideal. And no, I do not know the exact Ricoh they were using but take a quick trip and see if you find any of the company’s current models all that mind boggling. I am willing to bet that it was a model from the Caplio (their best selling) line which besides being prized for their speed, are also quite simplistic. I will be overjoyed as will we all if the thylacine is discovered safe and sound in Tasmania. I am simply making the argument that for the health of cryptozoology, we must insist on higher standards with regard to evidence and accounts. Cryptozoologists must shake the chip off their shoulders with regard to not being a respected science and the first way to do that is to stop chasing down every half formed bit flotsam that drifts through the door. If that is a stand that others disagree with fine.

  43. Alton Higgins responds:

    JRC(19) said:

    “With regard to Alton Higgins, maybe you are seeing what you want to see. If this field is ever going to be respected by the broader scientific community then researchers, both professional and amateur, must simply become more discriminating. Every time some blurry image of this, that, or the other emerges segments of this community jump all over it and begin crafting it into exactly what they want it to be.”

    We can’t change the circumstances of this situation. I wasn’t shown a random photo without comment and asked to provide an opinion on an unidentified animal; I visited Cryptomundo and saw “Thylacine Photos” and clicked on the article. I looked at the photo of a purported thylacine and saw what I thought looked like a thylacine. I then compared it to other pictures of captive thylacines. Nothing that I thought or did was based on a professionally inappropriate or unseemly emotional desire for the photo(s) to be genuine.

    As for your comment regarding crafting blurry images into something, I can assure you that my habit is always to assume that cryptozoologically-oriented images do NOT show undocumented species, particularly with regard to the sasquatch, the only crypto subject of real interest to me.

  44. Lorenzo Rossi responds:

    “Cryptomundo Exclusive: Thylacine Photos”

    Why these fair tones pictures which don’t show anything?

  45. youcantryreachingme responds:

    JRC (42) – It is one thing to say Nick Mooney has seen the original photographs and concludes they depict a thylacine – an animal which has been photographed and filmed, disected and taxidermied, scientifically described and discussed for over two hundred years.

    It is another thing to say that “leading primatologists” look at bigfoot “‘evidence'” and see a bigfoot – an animal for which not one specimen exists.

    Regarding lighting conditions, my assumption, based on Mr Emmerichs travelling down an embankment to a creek in the Cradle Mountain area which contained as many broad leafed plants and fallen trees as depicted in the photos, is that there was a fairly dense canopy as is typical for the area; as such, it wouldn’t have been broad daylight. Acknowledged, in the absence of confirmation, this is my assumption.

    Regarding the request to insist on higher standards with regards to evidence and accounts – I’m afraid we get what we’re given when it comes to evidence and accounts.

  46. JRC responds:

    I will concede you the point as regards Mr. Mooney’s opinion on this matter. However I must reiterate that in my opinion if you look to see a thylacine in these pictures then you will undoubtedly see one. Even Mr. Mooney is not above suggestion and desire. We all want this animal to be around in the wild still. Mr. Mooney, I would imagine, feels that way most of all.

    “Regarding the request to insist on higher standards with regards to evidence and accounts – I’m afraid we get what we’re given when it comes to evidence and accounts.”

    I agree with you wholeheartedly here. That is the unfortunate fact of the matter. However one must admit that what we are given is 9 times out of 10 either complete fabrication or mistaken identity. My point is that we should not give such unprovable shreds even the faintest interest as it simply waists both time and resources.

    I believe that I have made my point here. If you care to comment back that is your right. I however will close this issue on my end and await further evidence or at the very least full quality scans of the original material. Thank you all for the rousing debate.

  47. DWA responds:

    Just looked at it again. Almost instantly I saw the whole body – head to tail. Only the tip of the muzzle is cut off.

    Thylacine.

  48. DWA responds:

    1. I meant the first photo; the second could be anything.

    2. The tip of the tail is cut off, too.

    3. And they’re bad shots.

    But that first photo is either (1) a thylacine or (2) a stuffed thylacine or (3) a thylacine sculpture. Whatever, it keeps the pot boiling….as some, harrumph, photos from OK recently do not, exactly.

  49. Jeremy_Wells responds:

    re: # 10, Greywolf

    “Why is it that we see a bear or deer along the road or creek we get a picture in focus most often but a cryptid…?”

    Its wild conjecture on my part, but I’m going to say its the law of averages. For every good shot of a deer taken out of a car window there are 100 that are blurred, show glare off the window, etc. but these images of mundane animals that we see everyday (I mean, I’ve counted up to 13 sets of deer eyes shining back at me from a field planted in alfalfa when a kid), when they are blurry, they are thrown away.

    But take a creature that is 100 times more rare (just grabbing a number out of the air here), you reduce your chances of even spotting one by 100, multiply that over missed opportunities (that 100 in a million shot opportunity that comes along when no one has a camera handy or can’t get the lens cap off) excitement causing the photographer to shake, and opportunities for lens flare, motion etc. (the kinds of things that get other photos of more mundane animals thrown out with he trash) and well…

    Really no need to beat a blurry dead horse (I swear its a dead horse, you can see the outline of its muzzle right here!)

  50. Dark-Obsessor responds:

    Doesn’t anyone find it… convenient how the photos of ‘cryptids’ are always – without fail!- terribly blurry, unable to be made out, or have key features unable to be seen? Like the Oklahoma Bigfoot…It’s face…Not there. And this… It looks like anything from a butterfly to a dog… Tsk, tsk, photographers!

  51. kamoeba responds:

    These are the worst photos of any subject I have ever seen, newspaper scans or not.

  52. Mnynames responds:

    Alright, Craig, Loren, I think it’s time for you guys to trot out some oldies but goodies here, lest we all become too jaded at all the blobsquatches, blobdactyls, and Thylablobs that have popped up recently (And may I just say, thanks for sharing them, it’s certainly not your fault that they suck. We must all take what we can get).

    I’d be very interested to see what, in the existing literature (Barring Patty, because we all seem to be using her as a good example already), you guys would consider GOOD photographic evidence of cryptids. Surely there have been a few promising pics over the years, and now seems to be a good time to remind ourselves of them. Just a friendly suggestion…

  53. George Wagner responds:

    Photographs this blurry can be used to “prove” just about anything.

    My first impression on glancing at the photographs was that they displayed the remains of a very decayed tent left out in wind and storms for far too long.

    I strongly suspect that thylacines survive but these blurs aren’t viable evidence in favor of that view.

  54. sschaper responds:

    Autofocus cameras tend to focus on the wrong thing. My biggest irritation with my Oly D-725, in fact.

  55. Col Bailey responds:

    I can give you an unambiguous answer to Klaus Emmerich’s two thylacine photographs.

    On his return to Tasmania earlier this year, he engaged me to assist him in his efforts to gain credence for his photos.

    Because his command of the English language is only fair, he found difficulty in expressing himself and felt frustrated because he felt no one belived him.

    Acting on his behalf, I have thoroughly investigated his claims and interviewed him at length, as well as visiting the location of his sighting, and I am of the opinion he is an honourable man and is telling the truth about this matter.

    I must point out that financial gain was never his motive, and he has so far not recouped the expense involved in pursuing this matter, which I might add is quite considerable.

    It is therefore a quest of passion to prove to the world that the thylacine still exists.

    These two photos are most definitely of a thylacine, there is absolutely no doubt about that.

    The fact that the photos reproduced here appear out of focus and of poor quality is because they have been reproduced from a tabloid newspaper which had in turn had distorted the photos somewhat to guard against reproduction.

    This was after a somewhat watered down story appeared in a Tasmanian newspaper that in my opinion did not give a fair and unbiased appraisal of the story.

    They were up to that time the only published examples of the two photos taken by Mr Emmerichs near Tasmania’s Lake St Clair in February 2005, and which have since been published in a European magazine.

    I have been investigating claims of thylacine sightings for almost 40 years after I believe I saw the animal in 1967.

    Mr Emmerich’s photos are some of the best evidence I have seen regarding a post-1936 extant thylacine survival.

    My research has taken me to most parts of the island in search of this animal and I firmly believe it still exists.

    There are of course doubters and unbelievers of the continued existence of the Tasmanian tiger, as there are of a host of other cryptic animals the world over.

    But, having thoroughly researched Mr Emmerich’s claims, I am looking forward to joining him in a search for his tiger when he returns to Tasmania next year.

    Col Bailey; Tasmanian Tiger Research & Data Centre – New Norfolk, Tasmania 7140

  56. youcantryreachingme responds:

    Thank you Col for your extremely helpful and insightful input!

  57. youcantryreachingme responds:

    PS – I’m glad to hear it was the newspaper which distorted the images somewhat.

    Without that clarification, their colouration can add to the impression that Mr Emmerichs had attempted to manufacture the photos (albeit somewhat poorly).

    Let me add one more comment about the criticism that the thylacine looks very similar to a 1930s print. In all honesty I still cannot make out the front half of the animal in detail. But if I am interpreting the posture correctly, then it appears to have its head lifted and be sniffing the air.

    Robert Paddle’s book has a very similar image on the cover, but I don’t think you can say that a 1930s photo was used for a forgery in this case. My reason is that that posture was often adopted by thylacines.

    The 7 published videos at The Thylacine Museum, showing living thylacines, show many of the animals briefly engaging this posture. For having only a few hundred frames of this animal, we have quite a significant number of instances where it has adopted this pose, therefore it’s not unreasonable to expect it might be captured in a photo in this way.

    If anyone sees the posture (in Mr emmerichs’ photos) differently, please let me know.

  58. DWA responds:

    Let me just say this: I HOPE no one who’s saying Oooooh-puh-lllleeeeeze here was going on and on about the Oregon game camera shots being deer!

    I see what you see, Try. Exactly.

    How they got the image? Couldn’t tell you. But I see a thylacine sniffing the air.

    NOT a deer. ;-)

  59. mikeCorbeil responds:

    Firstly, hello, folks.

    I don’t know if it’s because my web browers is not rendering images or pictures as well as it should, however I make rather nothing at all of the second photo, while perceiving some features in the first one.

    In the first, I see what is or at least appears to be the head of the animal, light greenish eyes, which I presume is due to lighting reflecting off the eyes, and then, to the left and upper side of the head, I see what looks like or something like what could be mistaken for an antler, a bit like that of a moose.

    Perhaps some people already mentioned that, for I haven’t taken the time to read all of the reader comments; but then even if someone else has, then you’ve now another one.

  60. youcantryreachingme responds:

    For ongoing discussion, check out the latest Cryptomundo update where you can view Alton Higgins’ series of photo overlays



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