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A black lion: real or fake?
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Eccentric's last prank, 66 years after his death, 1900
Loch Ness Monster Captured -- April Fool's Day, 1934
The Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung (Mar 31, 1934) ran a photo-feature reporting the capture of the Loch Ness Monster. Hunters, it was said, had been searching for the elusive sea monster for months. Finally lookouts on shore reported seeing Nessie make a rare visit to land. So fishing vessels moved in to prevent her from returning to the water. Then a steel net was thrown over her.

The capture proved surprisingly easy. She was taken alive to an aircraft hangar in Edinburgh. Tourist revenue from her display was expected to be enormously lucrative.

"The moment that the zoologists of the world have eagerly anticipated: The capture of the sea serpent of Loch Ness!"

"The hide-out of the Loch Ness Monster — Fourteen hours before the capture of the animal, the Scottish Wildlife Photographer MacKeenkool succeeded in taking this close-up picture with an automatic camera."

"The observation posts on the high banks at Loch Ness, which are mainly responsible for the capture of the monster. The two look-outs, the Irishman O'Widow and the Scotsman Rurson Depp were made honorary members of the Institute of Zoological Research."

"In Edinburgh: The monster is brought to the airship hangar in the Scottish capital, the only room that was large enough for the animal. Hundreds of thousands lined the road leading from the port to the airship hangar. Surveying engineers of the technical college determined the size of the giant beast to be 31 meters in length and 7.8 meters in height. It also had an impressive total weight of around 36 tons."

Das Untier vom Loch Ness gefangen!
Die Ueberwältigung des Ungeheuers gelang den Jägern, die monatelang auf der Lauer gelegen hatten, auf überraschende Weise.

Auf hohen Uferleitern sitzende Beobachtungsposten hatten einen der seltenen Landbesuche des Tieres Fischdampfern gemeldet, und diese steuerten nun sogleich die angegebene Uferstelle an, um dem Tier den Rückweg in den See zu verlegen oder es im Rotfall zu harpunieren.

Mannschaften mit riesigen Stahlnetzen bildeten eine seitlich vorgehende Schwarmlinie. Die Ueberrumpelung des Ungeheuers erwies sich gegen alle Voraussicht als verhältnismäßig leicht, da dem Tier jegliche Landerfahrung fehlte (eine Tatsache, die auch bei den Riesenechsen auf den Galapagosinseln beobachtet wurde).

Noch nie ist für ein lebendes Tier eine so hohe Summe geboten worden wie für den Reosaurus, der als "Ungeheuer vom Loch Ness" Weltberühmtheit erlangt hat. Eine Woche lang füllten die Berichte über den abenteuerlichen Fang des Untiers und seinen Transport nach Edinburgh die englischen Blätter -- und nun erregt das Kaufangebot des amerikanischen Schausteller-Konigs Barnum die Oeffentlichkeit. Uber der leidenschaftliche Einspruch der Wissenschaftler läßt erwarten, daß man die von Barnum gebotenen 2 1/2 Millionen Golddollars ausschlägt und das einzigartige Tier auf der britischen Insel beläßt, deren Fremdenzustrom es vervielsachen dürste.

English translation:
The Loch Ness Monster captured!
The hunters, who had been lying in wait for months, succeeded in capturing the monster in a surprising way.

Lookouts seated on high ladders on shore had reported to fishing vessels (steamers) a rare visit to land of the animal. These immediately set course for the indicated shore point to block the animal's return to the sea and to harpoon it if necessary.

Teams with huge steel nets formed a line. The capture, against all expectations, turned out to be relatively easy because of the animal's lack of experience on land (a fact that was also observed in the giant lizards on the Galapagos Islands).

Never has such a high sum been offered for a living animal as for the dinosaur, which gained world fame as the "Loch Ness monster". The adventurous capture of the monster and its transport to Edinburgh filled the reports of the English papers for a week — and now the offer of the American "king of the showmen" Barnum excites the public. But it can be expected that scientists will passionately object to Barnum's offer of 2 1/2 million dollars in gold and the unique animal will remain in the British Isles, where the tourist influx will yield a multiple of that amount.

April Fool Categories: Loch Ness Monster, Germany, 1934.
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All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.