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. kamoeba responds:

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

  2. 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…

  3. 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.

  4. sschaper responds:

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

  5. 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

  6. youcantryreachingme responds:

    Thank you Col for your extremely helpful and insightful input!

  7. 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.

  8. 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. 😉

  9. 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.

  10. 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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