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Tony Grist

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Talking About Pterosaurs... [Sep. 16th, 2011|03:59 pm]
Tony Grist
There are several photographs going the rounds showing characters from the Old West strutting their stuff with a dead one. This is the latest to appear.  It featured last month on Loren Colman's Cryptomundo site.  It's provenance is unknown.

I'm no expert on photo-fakery, but those guys look authentically 1900ish to me- as does the style of the image. The beast is believable- and seems to be in the early stages of decomposition (so not recently shot).

But there's something weird going on with the background.To the right we have what looks like a barn door. To the left there's a surface with rungs embedded in it that might be concrete or plaster were it not for the waviness of the bottom edge. And where exactly does the barn door end and the other surface begin? Then there are the slanting features behind the legs of the guys to the left. One commentator suggests they're disembodied deer's feet- and proof that what we've got here is a picture of a boring old hunting party that has been whizzed about in the computer. 

So almost certainly a fake... yes?
 
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: chiller
2011-09-16 03:17 pm (UTC)
Yes. Alas. ;)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2011-09-16 04:05 pm (UTC)
But cool, huh?
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[User Picture]From: daisytells
2011-09-17 03:22 am (UTC)
Looks like. Actually, those guys could be very contemporary. As for the pterosaur, it could be a movie prop. In fact, the whole picture could be a promo...maybe?
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2011-09-17 08:43 am (UTC)
I've no idea what it is. I think the main argument against it being genuine is that pictures as sensational as this just don't stay hidden for 100 years.
There are eight people present + plus the photographer- and none of them told the press? I don't think so.
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[User Picture]From: michaleen
2011-09-17 11:29 am (UTC)
Certainly a fake, yes.

I think those are indeed disembodied deer legs, behind the shooting party. Two of the ropes behind the beastie seem to be under tension, yet they suspend nothing.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2011-09-17 01:33 pm (UTC)
Well spotted. The rope on the extreme left is under tension for most of its length then goes all wiggly.
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[User Picture]From: michaleen
2011-09-18 11:38 am (UTC)
Exactly!
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[User Picture]From: heleninwales
2011-09-17 12:36 pm (UTC)
Sadly it's bound to be a fake. It's just too easy to fake things these days. In recent photo I removed an annoying post that was bang in the middle of the picture. I had to replace the paving and construct the end of man's left foot, but it didn't take me all that long and compared to some, I'm a mere novice at this kind of thing.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2011-09-17 01:36 pm (UTC)
Sadly, people are still being fooled. I found a photo on-line today that purported to show a car from the 1950s in an Edwardian street scene. It was being presented (apparently with complete sincerity) as evidence of a "time slip".
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[User Picture]From: wolfshift
2011-09-17 02:11 pm (UTC)
I'd think we hardly need to pick apart the image itself to know it's a fake. If we do, though, I'd simply point out that the pterosaur casts no shadow.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2011-09-17 04:19 pm (UTC)
Ah, but neither do the men. I think that might be explained by the use of a flash gun.
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[User Picture]From: wolfshift
2011-09-17 10:21 pm (UTC)
Yes they do; pretty distinct shadows from the 3 men on the right, and the wooden structure from which the beast is supposedly suspended.

On the other side of the photo, the shadows are much smaller, suggesting that the enigmatic white backdrop is much closer to them.
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[User Picture]From: xiphias
2011-09-18 12:45 pm (UTC)
There are two different ways I can interpret your "is this a fake?" question.

The question, "Is this an actual photo of people posing with a pterosaur" can pretty much be dismissed. It's not.

However, if your question is, "Is this a modern photoshop, or is it a bunch of guys in the early 20th century who built themselves a fake pterosaur to pose with?" -- that's a more interesting question. There were some great fake cryptids built around that time, and people have always had fun with that sort of thing.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2011-09-18 02:06 pm (UTC)
I'm interested in the beast. It's a pretty good model (we'll assume it is a model) and it would be nice to know who made it and for what end. I'm inclined to think the picture itself is very recent- if for no other reason than that it has only just shown up. Its creator used what looks to me like a genuinely old photograph of a hunting party, but where did the pterosaur come from?
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[User Picture]From: endlessrarities
2011-10-01 03:02 pm (UTC)
Love the deer hooves! They messed up on that little ommission, didn't they?
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