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Cameron Thylacine
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Kevin Cameron's thylacine photos - click to enlarge


Kevin Cameron's photographs of a thylacine are, at the least, very interesting. They appear to show the rear half of a juvenile animal, its head obscured behind the butress root of a tree.

The photograph shown here (click to enlarge) was published in New Scientist 24 April 1986 and taken in February 1985 in south-west Western Australia. From the accompanying article,

"Accepted scientific knowledge is ... completely against Kevin Cameron, but he has a set of five photographs taken in dense forest in the south-west of Western Australia, and some casts of the animal's footprints. The scientists may be incredulous, but I believe Cameron's finds are authentic.

Kevin Cameron is of Aboriginal descent. He takes pride in his ancestry, his bushmanship, and his knowledge of Aboriginal culture. He is intelligent, but until recently was illiterate. So he could not have learned about the thylacine in libraries. I find it inconceivable that anyone with his background could possess colour photographs of a thylacine as well as the casts and his detailed and exact knowledge of the animal, unless he has actually seen a thylacine.

The photographs are genuine. Dr Ronald Strahan, formerly director of the Taronga Park Zoo in Sydney and now at the Australian Museum, has also seen the pictures. He agrees with me that they are authentic and could be nothing other than a thylacine."

Despite this show of support for the authenticity of the images, other reports on the web claim that readers of that issue of New Scientist wrote quickly to point out that the shifting shadows in the image indicate the photographs must have been taken up to several hours apart - an unlikely situation for a living thylacine.

Had Kevin Cameron shot the animal? One photo in the magazine clearly shows (and describes in the caption) a discarded rifle in the foreground. Killing thylacines is illegal and it seems that following these photographs no further information was revealed.

An earlier news article is included in the New Scientist piece with the title "Tracker's claim ignored". An emphasised caption reads "Government is blocking hunt because habitat is mining land".

Could this be the real reason nothing more was said by Cameron regarding the location of these photographs? Dead or alive - does anyone know what follow-up investigation was conducted on the basis of these photos? Back to the question at hand - are they in fact genuine?

(More to come - an up close analysis of the Cameron photographs and comparisons with known thylacine images)

The comments are owned by the poster. We are not responsible for its content.
Great Article
Posted on: 2008-04-16 16:44:55   By: Vinh
Very interesting, I'm glad that you finnaly did a page on Cameron's photos. Has anyone ever tried approaching cameron on the photos/ what he did with the thylacine?

Good article
Posted on: 2008-04-17 04:23:03   By: Mobofg
Hey Chris,

Congrats for the nice article. Don't forget to post more photos, since at least one more is very good.

I think it is really a Thylacine on those photos. The question may be if it was a stuffed one or a real live one. The fur looks too fresh for a stuffed one, the colour is very alive and also the animal is on an odd position for a stuffed one.

I think a thylacine was shot by Cameron so we could take the photos. The differences on light are clearly seen for those that I've seen the all set of photos.

I would say a dead or dying thylacine, killed in 1985 is on that photos. The head is never seen cause it could have been shot in the head or it could be injured or even maybe hold by his head (someone or a rope could be on the other side of the tree) which is never seen. Also that burrowing position can also be the position of a struggling animal, trying to release himself from someone/something holding the head.

If it is a dog or other animal I admire Cameron's hoax hability.

Nuno Miguel Tavares

    Re: Good article
    Posted on: 2008-04-17 04:42:23   By: admin
    Thanks Nuno,

    definately more to come on this one - a decent look at these photos is long overdue and to the best of my knowledge, this is the first time these photos are being published online.


      Re: Good article
      Posted on: 2008-04-17 09:15:26   By: kittenz
        Edited By: kittenz
      On: 2008-04-17 09:18:23
      Terrific article Chris!

      This is the first time I have seen any of the Cameron photos, although of course I have read of them. The photo does look like a photo of a genuine animal. If Cameron or one of his associates actually killed a thylacine to photograph it, that's a shame - but perhaps they did not realize that killing one is illegal. After all, according to the article, Cameron was illiterate until sometime after becoming adult; in light of that, possibly he could be forgiven for killing one. If one was killed, I hope that its body was preseved in some way.

      I'm definitely looking forward to your forthcoming posts about this!

        Hmm... Interesting...
        Posted on: 2008-04-18 03:54:21   By: Anonymous
          Edited By: mingle
        On: 2008-04-20 21:07:24
        Hi Chris,

        Good one! It's the first time I've seen (or heard of) these images.

        At first look, it does appear to be genuine. The shape definitely says "Thylacine". The markings are noticeably different from the recognised Tasmania specimens (broad, almost 'patchy' bands... So it's unlikely to be a 'stuffed' model..

        The only thing that makes me slightly dubious is the fact that the head is (conveniently) not visible... Which is a real pity...



No Subject
Posted on: 2008-04-21 06:08:25   By: Anonymous
I have these photos saved to my laptop as well as the newspaper (or magazine) article photo regarding it. To my knowledge, it definitely appears to be a Thylacine. The head is not visible, no. But the rear end is remarkably similar to the thylacine. Many people stated that the Thylacine in the Cameron photographs did not move. I opened up photoshop and outlined the rear end from two of the photographs a while back out of curiosity. Seems to me that it did move at some point or was somehow "molded" into a different position. I made the outlines of the rear the same size and the hunch position was not the same, the leg positions in the photos were not the same, nor did the position of the tail match up. My little comparison is probably crap to what you have in store, but I look forward to seeing and reading it. Cameron's photos are extremely interesting and intriguing.
Looking forward to it

    Posted on: 2008-04-21 06:27:05   By: admin
    Hello Loryn,

    your description of comparing the photos sounds exactly like where I was going to start. By all means, if you'd like to contribute them to the website I'll be happy to look at them and consider using them - just contact me via the contact form and I'll forward my email address to you.

    At a glance it seemed to me too that the tail and body are in a slightly different position between shots. The claim that the photo shoot took at least an hour was based on (to the best of my knowledge) the position of the shadows moving between photos. If that's true (and that's another aspect I'd like to examine first-hand) then the general consensus is that Cameron photographed a dead body. Whether it was a freshly killed bona fide WA thylacine, or a museum specimen, is left open to question. Although the article mentions 5 photographs, I believe only 2 were shown at any size. If you have any others, please do let me know.


cameron photos
Posted on: 2008-05-19 21:17:28   By: Anonymous
Three Pictures here, one with the rifle. Article not written in english, so that didnt do much for me, but the pictures were interesting.


    Re: cameron photos
    Posted on: 2008-05-19 21:34:33   By: admin
    Yes - those are the three that I have available. More to come...

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