Popular opinion - Emmerichs thylacine
There is a new poll on the WLMD homepage - do you believe the Emmerichs photos genuinely show a live thylacine?
In the comments attached to the poll, I have been asked whether I can reproduce the photos.
Read the rest of this announcement to find out my answer, and get a summary of points as to why I personally am convinced they are genuine. (You might like to do that before voting :) )
The copyright on the images belongs to Klaus Emmerichs. The digital versions which were for a time published on the internet, were produced by scanning newspaper print. The newspaper print versions were intentionally degraded (and cropped) versions of the originals.
Mr Emmerichs feels (rightly, in my opinion) that if the original images are published, then the media which publish them will profit from them. In his opinion, if others are to profit from his photographs, then he should receive profit from them as well.
In addition, he feels that the propogation of the degraded digital versions devalues his originals. He has said to me numerous times that in the original images you can see detail to the point of distinguishing hair on the animal. As reported elsewhere, professionals who have viewed the originals (including Col Bailey - researcher of 40 years, and biologist Nick Mooney - researcher of 21 years) have no doubt the images depict a thylacine. Their only initial question was whether the images were genuine. In the case of Col Bailey, he has (I believe) reached a position where he feels Mr Emmerichs' story, and photos, are both genuine.
Last year Mr Emmerichs was open to selling reproduction rights. I have not yet spoken with Mr Emmerichs this year and don't know his current stance on that.
My own analysis of the images was based on the digital scans, although I also have the newspaper print version (thank you to Klaus for mailing a copy to me from Germany). Despite not seeing the originals, I am convinced of their authenticity for several reasons:
1) I believe as a result of my analysis that the geometry between the two scenes is consistent with a real-world environment (ie, they are real photos of real objects - now the question is whether the thylacine-object is a real, live thylacine)
2) Nick Mooney and Col Bailey (at times publicly divided on their opinions of the thylacine persisting to this day), having seen the originals, both agree they show a thylacine
3) Ricoh - the camera manufacturer - confirmed that files cannot be uploaded to the internal camera memory (which is where the photos still reside to this day) - they can only be put there if the camera itself takes the photos.
4) Other members on a camera forum of which I am a member, tested this claim on their own Ricoh cameras and found likewise.
5) I have found Mr Emmerichs' story to remain consistent and believable from the outset.
6) I have found Mr Emmerichs' personality to be sincere.
7) Mr Emmerichs has claimed numerous times that he would be incapable of producing fake images. He has explained that he has minimal PC experience and that the camera was purchased as a present for his partner, Birgit, just before their trip. My experience regarding his use of email technology, and my discussions with him regarding the camera, image filenames and timestamps, etc, is consistent with his claims
8) Apparently disbelievable details to the story (such as how a tourist from Europe can plan a holiday to Tasmania and not know enough about the state to realise that the thylacine is extinct when he sees one) have all had reasonable explanations (they had planned a trip to Sri Lanka, but the Asian tsunami of 2004 devastated that destination, so at the last minute they decided to visit Klaus' brother in Melbourne. Only after arriving in Melbourne did they decide on an impromptu tour of Tasmania - and were on their flight within hours)
I guess some people who vote on this poll will have the luxury of having seen the degraded digital versions. At the time they were available, however, there was a very distinct trend of opinion (on discussion forums such as Cryptomundo) that they showed nothing conclusive.
Whether or not you have seen the digital versions, you at least have my own reasoning, summarised above, to consider.
TIP: If a longer article is available, then the title here will be a link.
Posted by: admin on 31st Jan 2007 07:36 PM
Updated by: admin on 31st Jan 2007 07:36 PM