Posted by: Loren Coleman on April 29th, 2009
“A quaint notion of an even quainter nation.” – as uttered by a Nazi in Sherlock Holmes and The Voice of Terror (1942).
The April 23rd publication of the photograph of an alleged creature from Qatar kicked up a lot of sand from the present, and perhaps from the past.
All was not as it appeared:
Furthermore, this is not the first bit of strange photography, reeking of fakery, that has issued from Qatar.
I was reminded of an earlier photograph from Qatar, by Matt Moniz, while discussing this topic at the weekend conference at Mount Washington.
Matt Moniz, Science Advisor, Spooky Southcoast radio show. Photo credit: Barry Chin, Boston Globe.
The earlier image:
Moniz sent the above older Qatar photo he has on file, and paraphrased for me what he remembers of the tale from 15 years ago:
In the mid-1970s, two men were spelunking in the Mideastern country of Qatar, near one of it’s shoreline townships.
The two men entered the cave system, and proceeded a few hundred yards into it before it forked off. The men made a choice to spilt up and meet back at that spot after a short time just to be safe.
While exploring the branch of cave that one had chosen, a scream was heard coming from the other branch where his friend had chosen to venture. The man raced up the cave back to the split and then down the other pathway his friend had descended.
Upon reaching his friend laying on the cave floor, he found him covered in blood, with large gashes and torn pieces of flesh ripped from his body. After the surviving man regained his composure, he raced to the local police and informed them that his friend had been attacked. The police followed the man to to cave and found the body.
The police arrested the surviving man under the suspicion of murder, and recovered the body and personal effects of the dead man from the cave. Among the effects was a 35mm camera, and the police developed the roll. The last frame of the roll contained the image that is pictured [above].
Two strange pictures from Qatar? How bizarre.
Moniz also adds these disclaimers:
You will have people incorrectly say it is a statue in the “Hell Fire caves.” But the owner of the caves has written a statement saying this is a falsehood.
There is a group that also wrongly claimed that a woman on a “religious pilgrimage” took a picture of a light in a holy cave and this “demon” showed up when developed.
There are several other stories [attempting to explain its origins], as well.
Now I do not say that this 1970s spelunking story is true or that the picture is real, only that the above tale is the oldest that is associated with it. Your readers can make up their own minds, and my feeling is that we well never really know what the actual truth is about it.
No doubt, it will continue to live on in folklore. – Matt Moniz, Science Advisor, Spooky Southcoast.
Have you ever seen this earlier photograph? Do you know its true source?
Tick, tick, tick.
10, 9, 8
7, 6, 5,
4, 3, 2,