Posted by: Loren Coleman on April 14th, 2009
Unfortunately, the worlds of the Bigfoot, Yeti, and Yowie are not without an undercurrent of racist hoaxing, now and then.
There is the incredible de Loys photo and its ties to eugenics, and the “Digger Indian” episodes linked to the false Bluff Creek theorizing.
Now from Australia, comes the horrible “Blackfellas” fakery associated with a notorious piece of “photographic evidence” with origins in North America.
The label “Blackfella” (also “blackfellah,” “black fella,” or “black fellah”) is a condescending Australian racial designation for the country’s original Aborigines. (Blackfellas, Whitefellas, and the Hidden Injuries of Race by Gillian Cowlishaw, Carlton South, VIC: Blackwell Publishing Asia 2004, details the covert issues of racism now being debated in Australia. The rationalizations for the use of “blackfella” in Australia are about on the level with the arguments for calling people by the “n-word” or “colored” in America in the 1940s, and to similar fashions in South Africa’s past.)
What is being used is the old Wild Creek fake photo.
A few days ago, the following was published:
Some Doomadgee residents have dubbed it the “Water Blackfella” but we at The North West Star are not so certain.
A couple came into our offices this week claiming to have an image of a mysterious creature sighted in the Gulf of Carpentaria.
According to the legendary tale being told around kitchen tables in the region, a Doomadgee man was trying to take a photo of a large snake at Drum Yard Station, which is about 50 kilometres outside Doomadgee, when this creature emerged from a billabong.
The quick thinking man supposedly hid behind a tree and took this “photograph” before the monster slinked past him and out of sight.
The picture is currently being passed from phone to phone throughout Doomadgee as residents debate its authenticity.
Is it bunyip, a gorilla, a water blackfella or just simply (and most likely) a hoax? The picture looks pretty suss to us, but we’ll let you decide – believe it or not.
The North West Star [Mount Isa, Queensland] | 9 April 2009
The photograph being used is well-known as a fake in the field.
The slide of that photo was included, for example, in Benjamin Radford’s lecture in which he debunks Bigfoot. Nothing like using an obvious fake, humm?
The image is the so-called “Wild Creek Bigfoot photo.” It is one of a series of 14 photos supposedly taken by an off-duty forest patrol officer near Mt. Ranier on July 11, 1995. They were allegedly purchased by Cliff Crook, although some have felt that Crook allegedly created them. The pics are generally thought to have been made using a small model posed in a watery setting, such as a small creek. Or merely digitally “painted” from computer software onto a real photograph background. Note the size of the blades of grass in the foreground of the photograph compared with the supposed “Bigfoot”?
As T. Peter Park editorializes about this new report from Australia: “The name ‘Water Blackfella’ reminds me a lot of South America’s ‘Negroes of the Water.’ Those are short (3 1/2 to 4 feet tall) black bald amphibious creatures with webbed feet and hands, generally described as nocturnal and aggressive, reported from Argentina, Paraguay, and southern Paraguay. Loren Coleman and Patrick Huyghe classified them as “Freshwater Merbeings” in The Field Guide to Bigfoot and Other Mystery Primates (Anomalist Books, 2006), pp. 82-83, citing Fabio Picasso, ‘Infrequent Types of Southern American Humanoids–Part III,’ Strange Magazine 11:19-20 (Spring-Summer 1993).”
Trouble posting today, but I got the above through, finally.
Help out chaps and mates, please…
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.