There’s a lot of it about, hoaxes that is. In recent weeks we have seen a ridiculous doll touted as being some kind of unknown primate and, hot on the heels of the discovery of Titaniboa a badly photo-shopped picture of a giant snake swimming up a jungle river. Then the ‘water blackfella’ reappeared. I recall seeing this in Fortean Times in the 1990s and thinking it was an obvious fake back then.
As it happens I believe in both unknown primates and giant snakes, but neither of these pictures showed one. I also believe in sea serpents but as it happens there is a new hoax doing the rounds at the moment. Mark North warned me about it. He had an e-mail to his Dark Dorset website hat ran thus…
> Hope you don’t mind me getting in touch. I’m from Unruly Media, a
> viral marketing company in London, and we’re currently running a
> campaign for the Association of Marine Research, a small, non-existent
> organization which is currently conducting research into possible
> sightings of suspicious sea creatures in the English Channel. The AMR
> has asked us to contact bloggers asking for any information that could
> be helpful.
> I thought the story might go down well on your site, and was wondering
> if you’d be interested in writing a sponsored post about it, for which
> we can pay you £75. 30 days after the campaign ends via Paypal.
> If you’re interested, please drop me a line and I’ll send you the
> assets so you can get the blog underway- it will need to be proof-read
> by us before going live, which needs to happen before Friday 1st May.
> The sort of posting we are after:
> Our videos/images are clearly marked as commercially sponsored and we
> adhere to a strict code of ethics, which you can read here:
> We'd love you to be involved,
> Kind Regards,
> Salwa Azar
> Salwa Azar
> Campaign Manager, Unruly Media
> Unruly Media
> 91 Brick Lane, London E1 6QL, UK
> +44 (0)207 247 4176
> +44 (0)7515 543 598
I had never heard of the ‘Association of Marine Research’ and thought the whole thing sounded very suspicious so I visited their website www.thechannelcreature.com
Here was posted an unconvincing photograph and a piece of film purporting to show the monster. It is some of the very worst computer animation I have ever seen. If Frank Searle had been alive today and computer literate this is the sort of crap he would be churning out.
There are two filmed interviews on the sight one with ‘Audrey Du Pre’ a supposed member of the ‘Association of Marine Research’ and obviously someone putting on a bad French accent and an ‘eyewitness’ called Matt Williams (no not our crop circle making, micro-light flying, sunflower shirt wearing Matt Williams!). He claims to have seen a fast moving creature 300 meters or 1000 feet long! The very concept that a Godzilla sized beast is swimming around of the coast of Dover is absurd. What the hell would it ea for a start?
They also have a Facebook page with an even less convincing piece of animation on it.
Stuff like this, and that ridiculous bigfoot costume stuff with animal gut that was been touted as a real sasquatch corpse, do us no favors. They put the idea in the heads of the general public (most of whom have he attention span of an invertebrate) that all cryptid sightings must be hoaxes. They also queer the pitch for real researchers. What kind of a chance of funding or support can we expect with rubbish like this polluting the collective brains of the masses. When, one day, someone does find a genuine cryptid most people will dismiss it at a hoax.