The Case of the Missing Thylacine

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on August 14th, 2006

The thylacine photos that were bandied about here on Cryptomundo last month, have been removed from the site pending the actions mentioned in the email below.

Cryptomundo Exclusive: Thylacine Photos.

Thylacine Photo Overlays.

This morning, we received the following email.

I replied, telling Mr. Buergin that we would be happy to discuss this with Mr. Emmerichs directly. Until that happens, I have taken the photos off of the site.

Dear Sir

I write you as editor of the swiss-german journal "mysteries" and on behalf of Mr. Klaus Emmerichs from Germany. As secound publication after the "Sunday Tasmanian" we published the pictures of Mr. Emmerichs exklusively in Europe (No. 4/2006). Mr. Emmerichs still owns the copyright of his pictures!

We appreciate your interesting webpage. All the more we were very astonished to see the pictures published on your website without Mr. Emmerichs allowing this. That’s why we request in his name to delete all of his pictures IMMEDIATELY from your webpage within the next 24 hours – or to pay him the amount of 400.- EUR for publication online on the following bank account:

Klaus Emmerichs
Dresdner Bank AG, Filiale Geldern
Issumer Str. XX-XX
D-47608 Geldern, Germany     
Konto-Nr.: X XXX XXX XX
Swift-Bic.: XXXX XX XX

We count on your understanding. Otherwise Mr. Emmerichs would be afraid to employ a lawyer in this matter.

Kind regards from Switzerland

Luc Buergin (Editor)

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.

19 Responses to “The Case of the Missing Thylacine”

  1. greywolf responds:

    Well sounds like a rip off.. Never deal with a unknown middle man and only with the owner and by all means remove the pictures just in case the complaint is valid.

  2. jjames1 responds:

    Well, Loren, if you take them at their word, you have nothing to worry about. The letter says, “Otherwise Mr. Emmerichs would be afraid to employ a lawyer in this matter.” If he’s afraid to employ a lawyer, I say go full speed ahead as is! 😉

  3. moregon responds:

    There’s probably concern that if the pictures are proven to be fake here, it might damage future sales of his magazine.

  4. jjames1 responds:

    I don’t think this is a situation like the Johor Hominid photos, though. From looking at the thylacine photos when they were posted, I don’t believe you can really see much of anything in them. They’re simply too fuzzy and indistinct. Are they a “hoax?” Who knows, but, at least to me, they’re not even really worth discussing much, since the picture quality is so poor.

  5. youcantryreachingme responds:

    jjames1 (4) – as I wrote on previous threads, the fact that there are two photos allows us to ask whether the scene is consistent between shots.

    This would firstly let us have a better idea on whether the images were digital manipulations or not. See for my analysis.

    Secondly, if they are consistent with a real scene, then we can ask if the animal moved.

    None of this requires the original images.

  6. youcantryreachingme responds:

    Let me add that I have also said from the beginning that no photograph, no matter how clear, will constitute proof of the species’ existence.

    The reason I am bothering is that I enjoy it, and I may be happy to form a personal opinion on the liklihood of their being genuine or fake based on the results of such an analysis and in consideration of other factors such as the witness’ credibility and claims.

  7. MountDesertIslander responds:

    Welcome to the wild, wild world of the internet. We saw them, they ain’t all that; not worth 400 euros. Don’t go away mad, just go away.

  8. chrisandclauida2 responds:

    what happened to fair use. no one is selling the pics and is only using them for study and learning purposes.

    yet i assume it is better to pay then to spend money on lawyers and possibly harm reputations or burn a bridge.

  9. dewhurst responds:

    Crikey-Reminds me the of publican in New Zealand that published the ‘photos’ of the MOA he had seen strutting around his pub of all places they ended up in the national press and caused a hullabaloo if I remember correctly.

    Also I think that they where proven to be dodgy and the chap was accused of basically trying to drum up trade.

    Although he had constructed a couple of live sized Moa’s outside his bar which I found very interesting.

  10. fredfacker responds:

    Well, if you remember, the guy was trying to sell them to the newspaper in the first place. He’s been out to make a buck from the beginning.

  11. Dark-Obsessor responds:

    They weren’t of a Thylacine, anyway, so, IMHO, it’s not much of a loss; it only shows that the owner may be apprehensive of people who know what they are talking about perusing images he knows to be fakes.

  12. twblack responds:

    I remember these pics and the longer I looked at them, the more I saw nothing. So I agree, if he gets any $$$ from them I would be in shock, there was nothing to them in my view anyway.

  13. youcantryreachingme responds:

    No, Fred (10), that’s wrong; they were never after any money (until April 2006 – 14 months later – when they asked for $1000 if they were published outside Tasmania).

    Because they had to return to work in Germany, and because their English was not as good as Emmerichs’ brother’s, and because his brother lived in Australia, they left it to his brother to handle, and it was the brother who then decided to see if he could sell them. This has been clarified in both media reports and the comments on earlier posts here on Cryptomundo (in particular, comments by Col Bailey).

    And again – for those who don’t see the animal, keep in mind the images we had available were intentionally degraded before print publication in order to protect the integrity of the originals.

    Field experts who saw the original images had no trouble seeing a thylacine in both photos.

    Even though I have not seen the originals, I can see the animal quite clearly in the degraded versions.

    Perhaps that’s because I’ve been reading about thylacines (and seeing photos and videos) on-and-off for about 10 years?

    (I know, I know, you’ll answer “perhaps it’s because you’re seeing what you want to see!” 😀 But do keep in mind that biologists who viewed the originals had no problems saying they clearly showed a thylacine!)

    As to the actions of this magazine in writing to Cryptomundo? Well technically, if they share the exclusive publishing rights with the Tasmanian newspaper, then they have every reason to ensure they (together) remain the sole publishers. What we don’t know is whether or not they *do* own that right (and whether or not they paid for it, for that matter!)


  14. Chinagirl responds:

    Send us 400 pounds, or we will employ a lawyer? To get the 400 pounds? Where I live, lawyers cost $250 USD an hour. A pound is around $2 USD. So a lawyer, working two hours, is already more costly than the photos are worth. The lawyer would work many more hours than that on this case. This looks like a net loss to me; not much of a threat.

    I am sorry to see the photos go from this site, however. Whereas I could not see anything in them until the overlay series with a known archival Tasmanian tiger photo, they are nonetheless of enormous interest. Just because they are poor quality here does not mean that the originals are of equally poor quality. These were scans of newspaper copies that had been distorted. I have no idea how the originals really appear.

    Thylacine experts, including Col Bailey who posted here, feels that these photos are of a thylacine. While I have no idea if they are of a thylacine or not, I am hoping that they are what the photographer says that they are.

    Too bad that the person who sent this email is not allowing for scientific study of the photos, which usually has nothing to do with copywrites. Of course, I have no more way of knowing if the writer of this email is genuine anymore than I have of knowing if the photos themselves are genuine.

    I hope I can see the originals, to see better versions of the photos than we could get here. I am also looking forward to Col Bailey meeting with Klaus Emmerichs later this year, when they are planning to look for thylacines. Let’s hope that Col keeps us posted here on how that works out. In the meantime, I will miss checking out these blurry photos every day.

  15. mbw responds:

    Fredfacker, just pretend for arguments sake, if you took the photos of a thylacine, you would give them away then?

    Thats fantastic. 🙂

    Imaginary philanthropy is never dead..

  16. Jeremy_Wells responds:

    Well, for one thing, Crytptomundo, because of the advertisements, is basically a “for profit” site even if it only generates enough revenue to keep the site open (imagine your local “free” newspaper that makes all of their operating revenue through ad sales).

    That said, those photos were EXTREMELY poor quality and I find it horrible that (as “youcantryreachingme” post # 13 claims) the images were intentionally degraded before print publication to “protect the integrity” of the originals.

    Sounds fishy to me “oh well, you can’t see it in the newspaper and magazine versions, well that means you have to buy this book when it comes out to see the original, clear versions of the photos.”

    Sounds like our thylacine folks have caught the dreaded “Mawas Fever.”

  17. Chinagrrl responds:

    I tried to write to the magazine, to see if I could buy it and see the original photos. They never wrote back.

    Does anyone know where I could write and buy this magazine? I did searches based on the letter at the top of this page. Is there some other place to contact?

    This also makes me wonder if the writer of this letter is affiliated with the magazine that published the photos. If so, it is odd that there is no way to buy the magazine.

  18. jimnypivo responds:

    Darn! Missed my chance to see the pix. Thylacine was my first & favorite cryptid.

  19. youcantryreachingme responds:

    I’d like to correct part of the comment I made on August 15th, 2006 at 4:28 pm (above)…

    I had written that “the images we had available were intentionally degraded before print publication in order to protect the integrity of the originals“.

    That is partly correct, partly incorrect. Yes, they were degraded, but it can’t be said for certain whether the degradation was intentional or not, nor whether there was a reason for it (if intentional).

    According to Mr Emmerichs (personal communication, 2006), the degradation occurred when the images went to print, but not at his request, and not with his knowledge. He certainly wanted better quality versions to go to print, and communicated to me he couldn’t understand why the printed quality was so poor.

    The error in my comment came about because I knew the images were degraded but I made the assumption that Mr Emmerichs was the person responsible and that he intended to protect the integrity of the originals. (Sorry).


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