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No. 40: Jul-Aug 1985

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Nessie photos not retouched

Above, we reported the Skeptical Inquirer charge, by Razdan and Kielar, that the famous "flipper" photos taken at Loch Ness were retouched fraudently. This charge has now been answered by R.H. Rines, et al, of the Academy of Applied Science. It is true that the very convincing "flipper" photo is not one of the computer-enhanced photos provided by JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory). Rather it is a composite of the original negative and several JPL computer-enhanced negatives.

Negative compositing is another kind of enhancing; and it is considered perfectly proper and ethical since new information is not added. It works because a detail that is faint in one negative may show up better in another. No fraud was involved and the innuendos in the Skeptical Inquirer (also Discover) were uncalled for. Discover has refused to publish any rebuttal.

(Anonymous; "Retouching of Nessie Flipper Photo Claimed -- Denied," ISC Newsletter, 3:1, no. 4, Winter 1984.)

From Science Frontiers #40, JUL-AUG 1985. 1985-2000 William R. Corliss