New Irish Lake Monster Video

Posted by: Loren Coleman on September 27th, 2009

On Thursday, September 17, 2009, individuals associated with the Centre for Fortean Zoology, including Jon and Corinna Downes, Tony “Doc” Shiels, and allegedly holding the camera, 19-year-old Max Blake, were above Lady’s View in County Kerry, Eire, viewing and filming the water below. The spot they were at overlooks the three lakes of Killarney. On the upper lake, they report obtaining some images of anomalous objects that appear to be animate.

Shiels has traditionally been charged with staging some dubious photographs and events in the past, developed out of his gaff-trickster background. He has made no apologies or confirmation of his creation of past cryptotheater events, and yet, has been mysteriously out of the limelight in recent years, since the time when much was written about him. Mark Chorvinsky (1954 -2005), the late editor/publisher of Strange Magazine, carried on a decade-long debunking of the Loch Ness and Owlman work of his fellow magician, Irishman Doc Shiels. Others appeared to agree with Chorvinsky’s conclusions.

An eccentric named Doc Shiels produced several dramatic examples in the late 1970s and early 1980s, most of them shot in Falmouth Bay during a wave of sightings of the local ‘sea giant’, Morgawr; but a lengthy investigation later suggested that Shiels’s long-necked, double-humped monsters were plasticine shapes placed on a plate of glass and held between the camera and the horizon….Doc, incidentally, has never confessed to this forgery, nor to charges that he similarly hoaxed his well-known photos of the Loch Ness Monster and rather obscure snapshots of fairies. ~ Mike Dash, Borderlands

Jon Downes acknowledges that background of Shiels, in passing, during his long introduction to this footage.

Without verifying the reliability of the footage, nevertheless, it is shown here, which, if it is not created out of digital magic, at least, is worthy of further review and critical examination.

Downes and his companions appear to have stumbled onto something on the surface of it that looks remarkable, and they have moving digital images to back it up for analysis.

What do you think?

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
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.

37 Responses to “New Irish Lake Monster Video”

  1. swnoel responds:

    They’re birds

    The final wake clearly shows a dark spot just ahead of the wake… most likely a loon or some other large aquatic bird making contact with the water in an attempt to gain flight.

    Nothing out of the ordinary!

  2. Richard888 responds:

    Even though I find it odd that the cameraman chooses to swing the camera right after the moment that some interesting event begins to happen, nevertheless I am at loss to explain what the torpedo-like object (that seems submerged and not a bird taking off) might be… I am interested to see how others will comment. That lake looks awfully small by the way… more like a pond. Also, I am surprised at how arid the Irish countryside appears.

  3. praetorian responds:

    Jon Downes and his Center for Fortean Zoology are, to my mind, extremely credible. He has done a tremendous amount of high quality work and the Centre’s publications, including the magazine “Animals and Men”, are very good. He has looked into the giant eel theory at some length.

    “Doc” Shiels, on the other hand, is an odd fish. His past lake monster exploits, while technically hoaxes, were actually something more complicated. Suffice to say they weren’t mean hoaxes intended to fool. He imbues things with a fairytale quality in an effort to tell a sort of three dimensional story. He operates in the same way as a magician who doesn’t really expect you to believe he just sawed the woman in the box in half. A temporary suspension of disbelief seems to be the desired effect.

    At any rate, Shiels has been off the radar for a long time and his presence shouldn’t reflect poorly on Downes, a highly respected researcher. He has clearly captured a large animate thing moving around in a place that shouldn’t be home to large animate things. When it turns dramatically towards shore creating a large wake, you can see a black object object emerge and then submerge. Definitely not wind patterns on the surface or tricks of light.

  4. littlefeat responds:

    Nothing more than a cormorant taking off. Watch the video on YouTube in the highest resolution and you can see the flapping wings. Here is a link to a video of a cormorant taking off and a link to the cormorant in Ireland.

  5. Richard888 responds:


    I watched the video for the 3rd time, this time with the volume turned off so as to not allow the narration to have an impact on what I perceived.

    What I found was that there is nothing truly anomalous in the video when the volume is turned off. There is no reason why any of those “lake effects” cannot be conventional creatures (large fish swimming under the surface and water birds taking off) filmed beyond the limit of resolution. And by the way, why is the filming done from such a great distance?

    The terrain towards lake shore seems convenient enough. Why didn’t these gentlemen start making their way towards the shore in order to film these objects from a closer distance? Did they fear that their movement might cause the creatures to submerge?

    Or is this an application of “advertising logic” in other words putting an extraordinary label on something ordinary to alter the viewer’s perception? It may very well be that these gentlemen are 100% credible and that what they filmed is genuine but I can’t be prevented from having these thoughts…

  6. alcalde responds:

    I’m more inclined to side with swnoel on this. I think Shiels played a mind game on an honest but eccentric and suggestible Jon Downes and a 19-year-old boy. He brought them to that spot at that time after a day of story-telling knowing he could convince them to believe they were seeing something unusual. There’s a reason they’re so far away from the lake. Downes’ line about Shiels taking delight in he and the boy getting so excited about something he “just took for granted” reinforces my impression. Shiels is still the showman, and managed to make Downes believe that a water bird taking off was something he’d “never seen anything like in his life”.

    The footage is genuine, as is Downes’ belief, but the show-stopper scene is a water bird taking off.

    Richard888, watch the footage around the time 6:50-6:51. What you’ll notice is that you still see the black shape, but no longer the wake, then you see sort of a rough splash again. The bird had risen above the water, and at 6:51 it had dropped slightly, its feet no doubt brushing the water and explaining the second wake you observe. After that the bird immediately adjusts, gains altitude and the wake, but not the black shape, disappear. If the kid had been following the black shape and not kept the camera on the wake, you’d have eventually seen the black shape continue on past the borders of the lake and it would have been clear to them what it was they were seeing. Shiels had them so wound up they failed to perform the simple act that would have given them the answer. Like any good magician, he engaged in misdirection to keep them focused on what he wanted them to see.

    Anyway, the disappearing/reappearing pattern in the water is far easier explained by an above-water object than a below-water one. I must also confess to not watching the final minute of the footage because Mr. Downes was making me cringe when he started proclaiming this as the most important piece of paranormal footage to ever be shot in the UK, etc.

    This ties in perfectly with something I’d complained about in the discussion of the orang non-footage… when there’s something genuinely unusual, there’s never a working (video)camera around. When there’s birds taking off from a lake, there’s a gaggle of illustrious Fortean figures and a camera trained on the spot! 🙂

    All that said, my second guess is a sailboarding orang pendek.

  7. wuffing responds:

    swnoel is right on the money – ducks mostly, then a cormorant taking off. You can see its black wings flapping as it curves round to the right.

    praetorian – you are entitled to your view about CFZ credibility. For many others it ranks right up there with MonsterQuest. Please look again at the video, study it, download it, to see not “a large animate thing moving around in a place that shouldn’t be home to large animate things.” but a cormorant doing a completely normal take-off.

    Whatever his value as entertaining company, Shiels’ monsters are all fraudulent. That should tell you something more about the CFZ.

  8. Ramskill responds:

    Great film. It does look a little “digital-magic” to me, but that is not to say it is not actual documentation of whatever phenomenon transpired on location. I simply find it hard to trust digital media in general, particularly with video compression because of slow frame rates and pixelation/ mosaic colors. I would like to see the master video.
    Another thing that makes this interesting is the participants and their own histories with the subject matter, adding legitimacy to this clip.
    I really like the “torpedo” section of the film, and also that two of my favorite words, “wizard” and “werewolf,” were uttered during the commentary.

  9. Dj Plasmic Nebula responds:

    it’s not a bird. It’s an unknown animal. i have never seen a bird or duck for that matter swim that fast like a torpedo. It’s something in the water Alright, but not a duck or bird.

    An unknown Duck that swims “torpedo” fast is an option. But all i can say is it’s not a known Bird,Duck,Eel,…

    My guess is also an Unknown Dolphin, that has adapted to both lakes and oceans. I know Dolphins swim fast. It could also be (taking a strong guess here) an unknown Penguin that’s can live in non icy area’s like this Lake.

  10. HasseZilla responds:

    Irritating, at 5:39 when his “über-predator” finally shows up the cameraman suddenly zooms out. Why? Seems like the smartest thing to do if a lake monster is spotted would be to aim the camera at the actual beast, not the ground.

  11. HasseZilla responds:

    I agree with Swnoel, the final wake is just a bird. It´s kind of hard to see in this shrunk-down version, click on the video after it has started playing and view the blown up version, it´s easy to spot the bird taking off at 6:50.

  12. romany12 responds:

    Its a bird. if you go to you tube and expand the video its easy to see a dark bird just above the water at 6.51 seconds into the video. I know the lake ( im writing from Ireland) it has no reputation for monsters. Its a tourist hotspot. The arid look is just dead grass. This guy Jon Downs should know better.

  13. Cropper responds:

    I’d agree with swnoel – birds. The quick movements, rapid forming wakes look pretty much like water birds taking off to me. Maybe we should get Dick Raynor’s opinion?

    The CFZ gang are great guys. I’ve always wished they’d taken a firmer stand on Doc’s hoaxing, but I think they take a similar view to Doc that much of cryptozoology is paranormal – eg their “Zooform” theory, and as a result they give him the benefit of the doubt. Have I got that right CFZ team?

    Anyone uncertain of whether Doc hoaxed his material should check out Mark Chorvinsky’s masterful article on Doc in Strange Magazine. Its an absolutely comprehensive exposure of Doc’s hoaxing of various famous UK lake and sea monsters. While he sounds an extremely entertaining guy, its clear hoaxing has been a major part of his work. Read the article – Doc just about confesses to Mark in it.

    And while we are on it, I’m amazed that many researchers still talk about the Owlman, when 99% of the material on it came anonymously via Doc Shiels!

  14. alcalde responds:

    “it’s not a bird. It’s an unknown animal. i have never seen a bird or duck for that matter swim that fast like a torpedo. It’s something in the water Alright, but not a duck or bird. ”

    DJ, you’re assuming that the animal is swimming in the water. If it’s skimming the surface of the water in an attempt to get enough speed to take off (see the pics and videos myself and others linked to), then it’s moving at quite normal speed for a water fowl. It then becomes quite plausible to be a bird. (I refrained from typing “if it walks like a duck…” 🙂 )

    “My guess is also an Unknown Dolphin, that has adapted to both lakes and oceans. I know Dolphins swim fast. It could also be (taking a strong guess here) an unknown Penguin that’s can live in non icy area’s like this Lake.”

    Hmmm… this was shot in Ireland… so you’re suggesting that once St. Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland, the penguins moved in? 🙂

    The principal objection I’d have to both those inventive suggestions, DJ, is that as mammals, both dolphins and penguins need to continually return to the surface to breathe. That would make them rather unlikely to have been hidden until now. As far as I know, all species of penguins need to lay eggs on land to reproduce, and while penguins “catnap” more than sleep, they’d naturally need to do this either on land or on the surface of the water, which would make it even more unlikely that an Irish group of Leprechaun Penguins (that’s what I suggest you call them if you prove their existence) could remain unseen.

    If, solely for the sake of argument, one was going to reject water fowl and an above-water object, what is evidenced in the video that would lead one to believe one was observing a super-fast underwater animal at all? In that case, it could just as easily be a model boat or submarine, given the relatively straight trajectory.

  15. Desert Dave responds:

    I do not see anything “unusual” in the video. I have often observed similar occurrences. Large schools of fish swarming in circles and being attacked by larger fish. This is happening near on just under the water surface.

  16. EastTexan responds:

    Interesting video and I agree with the above comments, as to there being a non-cryptid explaination. What I wonder is why, why, why, when people are planning to watch and video an area, do they not use a tripod? If they are staying in one place, they should use a tripod, or at least a monopod, for image stability. Unless they don’t want a clear image so as to make their sighting more “curious”.

  17. Kelly responds:

    Seems to be waterfowl taking off, skimming it’s legs and tail across the waters surface.

  18. steele79 responds:

    could it be possible that their are birds as well as something under the water?
    that torpedo object at around the 7 min mark is no bird shooting under the water or a salmon if it is its one hell of a salmon and i’m getting my rod and going to this lake !
    some of the wakes near that little rock in the lake do seem like birds taking off very fast but could that be because they notice something under the water disturbing the birds
    why does it have to be birds or unknown lake creature why cant it be a little bit of both not just either or ?

  19. ktamsor2 responds:

    I was wondering who taught the cameraman to adjust the focus, turn away from the action, and generally do a really crappy job filming? I do believe in crypteds but this film really ticks me off considering it’s supposedly filmed by a pro. I agree that MOST of the things are ducks, and fish jumping, however, I did see something else. Not sure what considering the poor quality of the film.

  20. Count Nayrb responds:

    That moment which is supposed to be the climax of the entire event is very clearly instigated by a bird; I can see it flying away and dipping an appendage onto the surface. There is nothing magnificent about this event other than the countryside in which it takes place. Here we have yet another cameraman who assumes that we, as citizens of an age in which cameras are so common people accidentally take good pictures of themselves while talking on their cell phones, will still believe some intentionally shoddy camera work. Why on Earth would all three of these characters just stand there? None of them thought to try to get a closer look? I am hardpressed to find credible any argument made by a man who went with a known fabricator of such material (and called him a dear and close, fatherly friend) to a lake in which cryptids are supposed to be living with a camera, having no expectations of seeing anything–and lo! What is still more remarkable is his insistence that because “this is the time that the fish are moving” we should believe that it is more sensible for a giant, unknown eel species to be roving around eating the fish than for BIRDS to be taking advantage of the fact that the fish are dining on insects at the surface–like birds have been doing since before the dawn of humankind.

  21. praetorian responds:

    As far as a bird identity goes, it’s interesting that Downes correctly identifies birds as birds early in the video. This indicates that he is able, in real time, to compare them to the other objects in the footage.

    He also makes the point that the distance between the lake and the camera seems much closer than it actually is because the video is being shot at maximum zoom. The sudden interruption of the filming seems to be an attempt to reestablish just how far away from the lake he actually is.

    It’s easy to dismiss most controversial video and photographic evidence if you’re willing to completely ignore the testimony of the photographer and other witnesses. But videos aren’t shot in a vacuum. They are accompanied by the observations of witnesses. In the rush to put a label on a piece of evidence, the human component oftentimes gets brushed aside.

  22. praetorian responds:


    “I was wondering who taught the cameraman to adjust the focus, turn away from the action, and generally do a really crappy job filming? I do believe in crypteds but this film really ticks me off considering it’s supposedly filmed by a pro”.

    In the interest of accuracy, the film was shot neither by Downes nor by a professional. The commentary states that the camera was handled by a 19 year old member of the party named Max. I find that interesting because it enabled Downes, the “pro”, to make his observations with the naked eye while the video was being shot. The eye sees in much clearer detail than a digital camera.

  23. rbhess responds:

    Having lived around lakes all my life, it never ceases to amaze me how people who know nothing of said lakes can observe something on or in them and then lay claim to what they believe it to be.

    What is seen in this video is interesting and cool, but hardly something very mysterious. Yes, the most likely answer is waterfowl–I’ve seen similar things myself, and similar behaviors. As for the speed of the “torpedo”-like object, I would hasten to point out that loons are pretty goddamn fast divers–(they can also dive pretty deep, and stay under quite a while) or at least seem to be. I’ve seen them go under for long periods of time, and also seen them dive, then come up a considerable distance away in no time. Not that the animal in the video is necessarily a loon—we don’t, in fact, even know for sure that it was *under* the water. The simple fact is that this video is taken altogether too far away to say anything definitive about it. Holding up such a near-worthless video as indicative of *anything* in a solid sense is just bad science, therefore.

    And the nail in the coffin here is that Tony Shiels has anything to do with it. That makes it doubly worthless (if such a thing is possible). Shiels is a known hoaxer, pure and simple. I don’t care why he’s done what he’s done–he has, to be blunt about it, taken false and contrived photographs of objects that he has engineered, and represented them to be something that they are not. He should therefore have zero credibility in any scientific sense; and I hate to say it, but anyone who claims to be an investigator of the strange, or a cryptozoologist, who in turn trucks with Shiels—well, such a person puts their own credibility in dire question.

  24. JMonkey responds:

    I will confess my sins, and put this to rest al; the same. I am a duck hunter. I have seen thousands of water birds, and like everyone has said this is a Comerant, and nothing more. I know this because you cannot shoot them, and I have trained myslef to see and identify them from long and short distances. I feel that the distance played a lot of mind games with these guys just like others do. In case you are wondering how many of theses I have seen the number would be in the millions. Hundreds of thousands flock through Oklahoma every year.

  25. whiteriverfisherman responds:

    Don’t know on this one. Not enough there to give an opinion. Bird, possibly. Interesting though.

  26. chabuhi responds:

    Without question it is a bird of some type. It is not submerged at any point.

    As littlefeat suggests, click the “HQ” (high quality) button and then maximize to full screen. Before I did this, I really thought it could be some fast-moving creature under the water or, possibly, a diving bird. Full screen at higher quality there is just no mistaking that it is a bird skimming the water.

  27. dobher-chu responds:

    well im from ireland and i know the lake it has no reputation for monsters but other irish lakes like this do

  28. cryptidsrus responds:

    Most of the footage probably is Birds taking off, admittedly. However, some of it is not. I’m not totally dismissing this just yet. Ktamsor is on to something here. There IS something else.
    Although I do agree the person holding the camera could have done a better job. Absolutely.
    I’m waiting for DWA and Mystery_Man and their input on this. 🙂

  29. loopstheloop responds:

    Hello all- first post ever on your site, but felt compelled as an Irishman, and excited that there’s actually a discussion on here so close to home.

    A couple of points. First the gent’s commentary sounds like a rather poorly written short story. Second, we’re dealing with a known fantasist/hoaxer in this clip. So you’d be foolish not to be highly dubious.

    Then the static marking on the lake’s surface. These change in the various shots, and don’t seem to represent either a monster or an obvious natural phenomenon.

    I have to admit, I was looking at birds landing and fish jumping, but when I saw the torpedo section I thought either a digital effect was in place, or some kind of remote-control submarine, if such things exist. It doesn’t look like a cormorant or any water-foul going at that speed. Actually doesn’t look like an animate object at all. The commentary suggests it’s both animate, black and huge, but it seems a blurry sweep, which appears to break the water once early in the sweep, and makes a splash at the end. It arches in a parabola… really not sure a cormorant taking off could look like that, could it?

    I suspect modern camera trickery. Opinions?

  30. loopstheloop responds:

    p.s. trust me, Ireland is anything but arid! 😉

  31. alcalde responds:

    Downes himself is begrudgingly moving to a half&half position himself now

    …namely that it was probably a bird, but maybe a giant unknown aquatic creature was actually trailing the bird. 🙂 I just don’t know how he’s ever going to live this one down, meaning the hyperbole about the importance of the footage that he says in the narration.

    Chabuhi, what you wrote speaks to something that puzzles me. Granted, there’s a few cameras now that do direct YouTube upload, but for the most part one has to transfer the footage from the camera to the computer and have it converted. The resolution of the original footage has to be better than the YouTube clip. Why didn’t Downes at least look at the footage once, full-res, full-screen (maybe on a television screen) before uploading? I got the impression that the narration was added after the video was shot, which means he had to spend some time with the footage before sharing. As you say, there’s really no mistaking the fact that it’s a bird, so why didn’t he catch this before sharing the video? The kindest explanation I can think of is that he saw what he wanted to see (where’s you-know-who who loves to talk about the infallibility of eyewitness reports? 🙂 ). Like I said before, I don’t think this video is “fake” or that Shiels in any way altered it; but I think he filled the heads of suggestible people with impressions of what he wanted them to see, brought them to this spot for a reason, then their imaginations did the rest.

  32. springheeledjack responds:


    take it frame by frame and look at the dark shape at the front. The illusion from the distance is that it is something churning beneath the water…but, looking at the dark spot at the front, it follows on top of the white water, then continues on after the surface water settles…until that later spot where it touches the surface again. The white is not water churning from under the surface, but water churning from the surface.

    First, I have not come across reports of water cryptids that were completely white…as we know, albinos or even just lighter colored critters in any environment are at a disadvantage (except for maybe the population of white deer in wisconsin, but that’s another story…), and a white, water cryptid would be much more visibile more often…and we would have been hearing a whole lot more out of it.

    Second, the distance is another one. As is said on the narrative, the kid and older observer are excited, AND seeing something totally foreign…their first real response would be to move in closer to get a better look with the camera.

    Third, when the camera is following a wake early on in the footage…to the right side of the big island…the narrator talks about the wake as probably being a cryptid, but our cameraman who is only 19 follows it for a bit and then pans away…and if he really thought he was seeing a water cryptid, do I really think he’d non-challantly watch it for a bit and then move on…yeah, whatever.

    Good try…but no great white eel…

  33. praetorian responds:

    This thread troubles me a bit, but it is revealing.

    Downes never refers to the objects in the video as lake monsters. He labels them “anomalous objects” and prefaces his comments with phrases like “is reminiscent of”, “seemed to be”, “could be”, and “would suggest that”. Although he is clearly enthused by what he saw, he maintains objectivity.

    Downes is completely up-front about the circumstances surrounding the video. He openly discusses the presence and clouded history of “Doc” Shiels. He states exactly what was and what wasn’t done with the video and identifies the camera and editing software used. All you need to do is listen to the commentary.

    Downes made observations in the field, generated a hypothesis, tested that hypothesis by making the video available in a public forum, and has now modified his hypothesis. He acknowledges the probability of a large bird, but remains intrigued by other things in the video that aren’t large birds. That isn’t “begrudgingly moving to a half&half position”. It’s the Scientific Method.

    If there’s a sin here, it’s that Downes’ enthusiasm led him to make the video public before having it scrutinized privately. Perhaps he viewed that as an efficient way of assessing its validity. Maybe he wanted to generate discussion. Maybe he simply allowed a misinterpretation to get the better of him. Whatever the motive, honest mistakes aren’t “bad science”. They’re learning opportunities. Making “mistakes” is a key component of the process that turns a hypothesis into a theory.

    Downes is well-known in cryptozoology. He heads an organization that is respected, has published much well-researched material, and for the past seventeen years has produced the world’s only regularly published cryptozoological magazine. Why the willingness to attach sinister motives to a man whose sincerity has never before been questioned? Remote control submarines? Modern camera trickery? Intentionally shoddy camera work? Advertising logic? A good try? Mind games? What on earth has this man done to have his character impugned like that?

    If a touch of eccentricity and an honest misindentification is enough to get an otherwise respectable researcher pilloried in the cryptozoological community, then I would suggest that there’s a rather long line waiting for their turn in the stocks.

  34. TheHighlandTiger responds:

    It seems that Mr Downes is getting quite upset, with the comments people are leaving about this footage. Anyone who disagrees with him or has had anything negative to say about it, are now “gobshites” and they should “get stuffed” according to his blog.

    Unfortunately for Mr Downes this whole sorry episode is entirely of his own making.

    1. He continues to associate himself with Tony “Doc” Shiels. A man who is a self-confessed hoaxer. So much so, Jonathon Downes proudly proclaims Mr Shiels as being the Eire Representative of the CFZ. He cannot complain when people question the integrity and motives of the CFZ when they allow someone with such a dubious past to be a high profile member. Nor should he complain if people question any evidence where Mr Shiels is in any way connected.

    2. By quickly releasing this footage with its sensationlistic voiceover, without it appears, actually looking at the footage closely, again he has left himself open to criticism. A few hours going through the footage frame by frame, something you’d expect a professional organisation, (as the CFZ cxlaims to be), to have done, would have shown that the ripples and wakes were made by fish and waterfowl. Nothing more nothing less.

    In the world of cryptozoology, people’s reputations rest on the things they associate themselves with. With his backtracking of epic proportions, his failure to allow certain peoples comments, pointing out his errors, on his blog, (only allowing the ones that seem to praise him or agree with him), and his foul language aimed at anyone who dares to disagree with his emminance, he has let himself down.

    His actions and the actions of other members of the CFZ, have diminished the already crumbling reputation of his organisation in the eyes of many people

  35. Dr. Strings responds:

    More nonsense from a knucklehead with no credibility. To those of you nailing the cormorant and the hi-res version of the video on YouTube, outstanding call. I watched the smaller video here and couldn’t explain the “torpedo” event, but it all becomes crystal clear in the hi-resolution version; you can see the bird leading the wake.

    It’s sad that people like Shiels continue to sully the field of cryptozoology with their garbage like this. You have to seriously question Jon Downes’ judgement for associating with a known & admitted hoaxer like Shiels(especially one who is famous for Ed Wood-quality results, lol). Why Downes would bother with this guy when he’s trying to run a supposedly legitimate organization is beyond my comprehension.

    I think it’s a given, something that has been seen many times before, that you must be immediately suspicious when video or photographic eyewitnesses seem to do everything they possibly can to mar the quality of the film(bad focus, shaky cam, chaotic shots of the ground when there’s a “monster” right in front of them, etc.) and keep a pointless distance between themselves and this amazing discovery. As previously said, there was absolutely no reason to film from that distance, since the video itself indicates no impediments en route to the shore. Of course, we do know their is a point to keeping that unnecessary distance; it skews perspective, perception, and doesn’t allow the viewer to see what’s actually there. That makes it much easier to “see” a monster when you can’t really see what’s going on and the narrator is telling you that you’re seeing something extraordinary. I can tell you this much; if I saw something strange and had a camera or camcorder handy, you can bet I’d be right down on the banks or in the shallows, getting as close as safely possible to see what’s what.

  36. alcalde responds:

    A few thoughts. First, I learned of Mr. Downes’ existence this year through comments by Nick Redfern on his blog and reference to his books. I added some of them to my Amazon wishlist. Seeing that Mr. Downes made a misidentification didn’t make me want to no longer read those books. However, if Mr. Downes is indeed censoring his blog and coursely insulting people who have differing opinions, that would make me reconsider purchasing his books.

    Mr. Downes’ best actions he could take would be to sheepishly admit his mistake, make a few jokes about it, and move on. It happens to everyone and he needs to show he can take it as well as dish it out (Downes had an article by CFZ member Richard Freeman on his blog September 6th which contained lines like “[Michel Meurger] dismisses native testimony and has no zoological experience or qualifications to back up his absurd theories. In his book Lake Monster Traditions he tried (and dismally failed) to dismiss Canadian lake monsters…. Rubbish! Meurger is sorely lacking in any zoological experience.”) and take a ribbing at his expense.
    I remember at my previous position complaining to IT about an error message the reporting software had generated. After the person in charge of that software spent about 5 seconds looking at my report, he declared “It should give you an error message, considering the end date you entered was February 31st.” Yikes! I owned up to my error and not spotting it, and kidded myself about it for a few days afterwards (“We need to set up a meeting. Does March 40th work for you?”). Everyone moved on and soon no one remembered it and my boss’ label as “the most technically knowledgeable employee he had, in two states” remained relatively intact. If I’d refused to own up to my error, complained the error message was too cryptic, the software shouldn’t have let me enter that value, etc. and refused to make light of it, I’d only have been seen as a sourpuss and an egotist and people would probably still be whispering about the incident. Downes’ jousting at windmills is only going to entrench this episode in people’s memories and this, rather than his book “The Owlman and Others”, will become his legacy. Hey, some of us have to sit in an office running reports, or have lost our jobs, while others get to run around Ireland looking for lake monsters. He should put it in perspective, be thankful for the good things in his life, not get hung up on this, and move on.

    Failing to take the advice about moving on myself 🙂 , I saw this bit in CFZ’s press release this morning from Mr. Redfern’s blog, which I now see is also covered here on Cryptomundo:

    “Footage from the expedition and from the Irish lakes are being submitted for inclusion in a major BBC documentary about the CFZ, which is being made by Minnow Films, an award winning British film production company, over the next eight months.”

    Now, we all know from Mr. Coleman’s crypto-union organizing post that members of the CFZ need to eat, but it certainly doesn’t help to hype Doc Shiel-inspired footage beyond the facts at the same time a documentary is beginning to be made about your organization. At the very least, it might suggest a bit of gung-ho “aggressiveness” on Mr. Downes’ part to find something of major significance during that eight month window and could have colored his perceptions.

  37. ktamsor2 responds:

    praetorian responds:


    I was wondering who taught the cameraman to adjust the focus, turn away from the action, and generally do a really crappy job filming? I do believe in cryptids but this film really ticks me off considering it’s supposedly filmed by a pro.

    In the interest of accuracy, the film was shot neither by Downes nor by a professional. The commentary states that the camera was handled by a 19 year old member of the party named Max. I find that interesting because it enabled Downes, the “pro”, to make his observations with the naked eye while the video was being shot. The eye sees in much clearer detail than a digital camera.

    Thank you, I stand corrected. He was speaking of “Don” being the “Expert”, LOL. Corrected my spelling as well.

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