Justified & Ancient
- May 30, 2009
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I looked at that photo and thought: "Wrong!", so I decided to do some research.The lost sea serpent photograph of 1936 https://strangereality.blog/2020/10...9jWPUOh-f-VLDCeSqxBR6z4yEFm2WPYE_9eWNdGGLnta0
Here's the quick 'n dirty translation of the linked webpage's text (from Google Translate).The lost sea serpent photograph of 1936 https://strangereality.blog/2020/10...9jWPUOh-f-VLDCeSqxBR6z4yEFm2WPYE_9eWNdGGLnta0
A "sea monster" photographed in 1936
This story is first and foremost that of Mr. Laurent Pelletier, as it is related in this article in the West Flash on Sunday, December 13, 1936.
This engineer from the Bridges and Roads Department left France a few years earlier for Saigon. There, he managed several plantations, in addition to his work for the colonial administration. Mr. Pelletier cannot return to France every year, it is too far away, but now there is this newly created airline, Air France, which offers an air link. He does the math quickly, these countless flea jumps in the air (the number of stopovers is indecent), all the same save him ... 3 weeks compared to a sea trip!
On October 1, 1936, there was still a long way to go from France, when he took his seat in this small plane that took off from the modest runway in the town of Djask, in what is now Iran. In the aircraft, there are two other passengers, and there are the two crew members. 5 people in total. The cockpit is very close, and it is not separated from the rest of the plane. Laurent Pelletier attentively follows the maneuvers performed by the pilots, then he gazes at the sumptuous landscape offered by his porthole.
The journey will be long and boring he thinks, then he sees Hormuz looming. This island was already an important trade hub 500 years ago, and it is home to many historical remains. Not wanting to miss the opportunity to take a snapshot of these ruins, he digs through some cardboard box suspended above his seat by a net, and grabs his camera. Because Mr. Pelletier, we can give him infinite grace for that, is a photography enthusiast. As proof, at the end of his journey, he will have impressed around forty films!
The plane now flies over the island of Ormuz and Mr. Pelletier is captivated by this bright ocher coast, dotted with white veins, these piles of rock salt in the hollow of the ravines. With his eye in the camera's viewfinder, his right hand on the focus ring, Mr. Pelletier is about to capture this moment. But something stops him, and calls out to him. Now let him tell us about his observation in his own words:
"It was then that the most exceptional event I have ever witnessed in my life occurred!
I saw it first, quite far from the coast - at a distance I could not appreciate - a long bubbling foam, surprising the dead calm in the middle. This eddy moved from west to east, in a wide arc.
My Contax still in hand, I followed this inexplicable curve with my eyes. When at a certain distance from her, I saw a dark, very long wavy shape slip by then disappear, something that moved… meandering, something much larger than the largest cetaceans that we can meet in the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea.
From this distance, such a disproportionate appearance testified to a monstrous reality!
No one on the plane was paying attention to me or what I was looking at… (…)… I didn't want to stop staring at the sea where that white swirl still seemed to be. Even, I was ready to trigger my lens and I waited passionately for the phenomenon to happen again.
My hope was not in vain ... for the second time I saw a sort of snake emerge from the bubbling, this time very black, although submerged. You know that from an airplane you can clearly see what escapes ordinary observation, up to several tens of meters below the surface of the sea. The beast was soon fully visible. I quickly took two photos.
I could make out a small bulge, the head no doubt, a very long neck, then a more pot-bellied ring -exactly like these photos of a boa digesting a sheep- finally a very long tail, much longer than the neck, almost equal even to the length of it plus what I call the belly. I cannot tell if the ripples in the step were horizontal or vertical, due to the sharpness of my visual angle, but the monster was progressing steadily in ripples.
A small stream of foam followed the anterior end for a moment, probably the beast stuck its head out of the water at that moment. "
Mr. Pelletier is convinced that what he saw is the same type of creature as the Lochness monster, (born just 3 years before) in which he had hardly believed until then. According to the newspaper, Mr. Pelletier provided the original photograph which technicians and photographers meticulously inspected and enlarged. They are formal, there is no trace of deception or rigging. This photograph is real. Its interpretation is necessarily open to debate, but it is astonishing that this document has gone completely unnoticed for nearly a century.
Because, we can agree, the supposed photos of sea monsters are very, very rare. This is far from anonymous, and accompanied by a testimony from someone curious and educated. There is even a certain precision made as to the location of the shooting location: 56 degrees east longitude, 27 degrees north latitude.
The only trace that I have found, subsequent to the publication of 1936, is in an article on the appearances of sea snakes which appeared in the review Indochine, in 1943. Mr. Pelletier's observation is baptized "Le serpent de mer de the Air France plane ”. Then it looks like the Ormuz sea monster has completely disappeared from radar.
According to his published account he was admiring the scenery from his window. Given the time of day, sun position and heading the photo indicates he was on the port side of the airplane.1. How did M. Pelletier manage to take a photo of the object out of a 1930s aeroplane, from apparently nearly 90° above the object?
First and foremost - I'm not sure what type of airplane it was in which Mr. Pelletier was riding.2. Why does the shadow not resemble very closely the shape of the type? (Ignore the version with floats). ...
Based on what I've noted earlier:3. Most importantly: How did he manage to capture a photo of both the object and his aeroplane's shadow, when I estimate that the shadow should have been over 2 miles ahead of the aircraft? ...
I can't have explained myself properly. Issues regarding the route, the type of plane, etc. are moot: My central point is that Pelletier could not have taken the picture as described.Based on what I've noted earlier:
(a) I believe the photo is an enlargement cropped out of a larger original photo, and this gives a distorted impression of perspective / distance.
(b) The 2 mile estimate is based on an altitude of 10,000 feet, and I don't believe this flight was flying anywhere near that high.
There is definitely something 'off' about the photo in comparison with Pelletier's account of how, where and when he took it. However, the grounds for claiming it's suspicious also definitely pertain to the route, the aircraft, etc., making these contextual issues quite relevant.... Issues regarding the route, the type of plane, etc. are moot: My central point is that Pelletier could not have taken the picture as described. ...
December 1936 article, p. 3.Around 8:10 am, appeared on the horizon the small island of Hormuz and the southern extremity of the island of Kichm or Tawilah, the long island. Two or three tiny sails seemed motionless before Hormuz.
I took out of a box which contained a few clothes - the box placed above me in the baggage net - my camera to capture on a film what remained of the ruins of Hormuz ... The island already appeared, ocher red, with veins of dry leaves, veins miraculously white and shiny, those woven at the bottom of the roots by deposits of rock salt from elsewhere exploited: one more photo to add to the forty films impressed since my departure from Saigon!
December 1936 article, p. 3I saw at first, quite far from the coast - at a distance that I could not appreciate - a long bubbling foam, surprising in the middle of this dead calm. This (swirl; eddy) moved from west to east, describing a small arc.
My Contax still in hand, I was following this inexplicable curve with my eyes when at a certain distance from it I saw a dark, very long, wavy shape slip away and disappear, something that moved ... by meandering, something like much larger than the larger cetaceans that could be found in the Persian Gulf or the Arabian Sea. At this distance, such an oversized appearance testified to a monstrous reality!
No one on the plane paid attention to me or what I was looking at ... I wanted to alert someone, but I didn't want to stop staring at the sea where the white eddy always seemed to be. Yet, I was ready to target my lens and waited passionately for the phenomenon to happen again.
My hope was not in vain ...
For the second time, I saw a sort of snake coming out of the bubbling, this time very black, although submerged. You know that from an airplane one can perfectly distinguish what escapes the ordinary observer, up to several tens of meters below the surface of the sea. The beast was completely visible. I quickly took two photos. I could make out a small bulge, the head no doubt, a very long neck, then a more pot-bellied ring - exactly like those pictures of boas eating a sheep - well a very long tail, much longer than the neck, almost equal even. has the full length of it, plus what I call the tummy. I can't tell if the walking undulations are vertical or horizontal, due to the sharpness of my visual angle, but the monster was surely progressing in undulations. A small stream of foam followed for a moment the anterior extremity: no doubt the beast came out at that moment with its head out of the water ...
I've finally located absolute confirmation for this - an April 1936 Air France Far East Timetable that shows a photo of the Potez 62 and states this aircraft is employed on the Far East route between Syria and Indochina.RE: The Aircraft: The Potez 62
The available evidence overwhelmingly points to the twin-engined Potez 62 as the aircraft upon which Pelletier was riding in October 1936.
A complete tangent: The timetable you’ve dug up depicts an Air France float plane, and shows that it was used on the Mediterranean leg of the journey from London to parts East. lt also shows that the route involved a stopoff at Corfu.I've finally located absolute confirmation for this - an April 1936 Air France Far East Timetable that shows a photo of the Potez 62 and states this aircraft is employed on the Far East route between Syria and Indochina.
Excellent advice, which can only be improved upon by mentioning that Durrell actually wrote three books about his time on Corfu. The consequent Corfu Trilogy - of which the aforementioned MFAOA is the first volume - is indeed more worthy of your time than anything else you may be doing right now.BTW, if there’s anyone out there who hasn’t read MFAOA, stop what you’re doing immediately and order a copy. Thank me later.
I do lots of boating.Does a wake usually arc?
This prompts me to temporarily jump ahead in the exposition to an alternate explanation for what the photo may be depicting.A wake only breaks (making the white foam/bubbles shown) if the wave is collapsing. This might be caused by the object moving very fast through the water so that the water cannot flow smoothly away. It might also be caused by the wave moving into shallower water and turning into surf. ...
This was one of the first things I considered, but I can't see that as a likely configuration of waves over a shoal.I see scattered whitecaps in all directions from the focal arc shape.
I'm unable to convince myself the visible oddity can't possibly represent waves breaking over a shallow shoal or reef.
I'm not claiming that's what we're seeing in Pelletier's photo. I'm only saying I can't rule it out.