Friday, December 17, 2010

Forest ghoul?

(Picture found here)

This made the rounds of UK newspapers a few days ago. It is allegedly a picture taken by an American hunter in Louisiana.

One commenter on the story says it's an advert for a computer game and cites the bottom-left tag 'Wildgame Innovations' as evidence. Nope. Wildgame Innovations is a hunting supplies company, not a games manufacturer. The picture appears under their 'success stories' listing, is taken using an infrared camera and was put there by someone who says it was taken by 'a friend of a friend'.

I am unconvinced.

First, if you were alone in the woods on a dark night, equipped for hunting, and that came at you - what would you grab first? The camera or the gun? I mean, it doesn't look as if that thing wants a conversation, does it?

Second, look at the arms. Huge shoulders with thin arms poking out of them. The musculature makes no sense. Its right arm has straight bones, its left arm has rubber bones. The right leg appears to be much thicker than the left.

My suspicion is that it was a photo that included an interestingly shaped object, perhaps a fallen branch, and that the head was added later. Or maybe it's a totally digital image.

Real? Not impossible, but I'd rate this as having no more than a 5% chance of being real. A second photo would improve that rating, preferably by someone completely unrelated to the first photographer.

Unknown large animals are certainly possible. There are many wild places on the planet where nobody ever goes. In recent years, a new species of ape has been found in Africa and it's only a few decades since the discovery of the giant and colossal squid species.

The thing in the picture, though, looks to have such odd musculature that it would be unlikely to thrive in woodlands. Its arms don't have enough muscle to be much use, it appears to have no fur or scales, its teeth don't look very big and its jaw isn't strong enough to rip through much of anything.

So, for now, I'd file this as 'not very likely at all'.

Unless someone else from Louisiana has seen one?


Regina Richards said...

Looks like a human teenager wearing round (probably wire-rimmed) spectacles that have caught the available light just right. Teen boys shoulders sometimes bulk up that way before their limbs thicken. But I'll go read the article and see what the speculation is.

The Louisiana wild is a strange and mysterious place. Lots of moonshiners and drug cookers. That hunter might have been being watched to be sure he was a hunter and not a lawman.

Romulus Crowe said...

I hadn't thought of that. It could have been a deliberate attempt to scare off someone who was getting a bit too close to a still.

If it was, it backfired. The place will be full of trophy hunters, cryptozoology fans and alien-chasers!

Regina Richards said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Regina Richards said...

True, but drug cookers are not the smartest folks and whatever brains they were born with don't tend to benefit from thier occupation.

Maybe it's a wily landowner who is sick of having to tiptoe around his own property and has decided to purposefully attract all those alien-chasers as a way to run off his undesirable neighbors.

Romulus Crowe said...

If so, he might regret that.

Ask the French.

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