Originally aired as coming from Berwick, the quite fascinating image of “something” has already come to light as actually coming from a property in the Antioch Community, Louisiana.
It was originally posted on Dec 2 by “Hillbilly Willi” over at Archery Talk, with the whole background story:
“Very freaky trail cam picture…. dont know what to think..? Don’t know what to think about this one fellers…. Went and checked my camera today and this is what it had on it…. The ground directly in front of my tree was completely tore up, the trail cam had been torn off the tree, straps were popped and everything. Camera was laying face down about 10 ft. from the tree it was attached too. Bark was knocked off the tree where the camera had been, like something had knocked it off while trying to twist camera off the tree. This was the only picture I got of "it" as I had it set on a 2 minute timer. The first picture is of "it", and the second is a picture from a lil while ago of the same spot, just for reference. Checking this right at dusk with a 3/4 mile walk out ahead of you will scare a feller….. When I saw it, my blood ran cold. Still gives me shivers…. What do you guys think??”
The image is a damn fine job, but the story is just terrible. And Hillbilly Willi made the mistake of posting along with it that second picture “just for reference”:
The mistake is on the date: the reference image is supposed to have been taken over a week before the freaky one, and yet, as forum members noted, the leaves in the small tree at left look exactly the same. This is actually evidence that the time lapse between the two images is very small – hours, perhaps even minutes or seconds – and the dates have been altered afterwards to go along with the story.
This is clear when we see three other reference images the same author shared afterwards, dated November 26 and 27, and those do have the leaves in different positions. Apparently on November 30, they returned to the exact same position they were nine days earlier.
Or these dates are simply bogus.
messing with the date on any camera is not per se evidence of hoaxing, but the third image shared by the author is also revealing because it shows him in the scene:
Which allows us to have some idea of scale, and what was the size of that creature if it was indeed real. And if it was indeed real, it wasn’t very big, as it looks almost half the size of “Hillbilly Willi”, with extremely thin arms.
Here too, there is a simple explanation that can be found on somewhat careless digital tampering. The creature is small not only because the author didn’t care very much in having it at the correct scale, but also because he must have used an image of a real deer to create his monster.
The texture, the size, length and width of the creature’s arms and body match those of a real deer, and it was by altering this real image that he got this level of creepiness. The arms were probably legs, and even the glowing eyes were copied and altered from real glowing deer eyes.
I made the comparison below, in the exact same scale, to highlight how the creature’s arms and overall texture matches those of a deer body and legs. In fact, the creature may have been created from another image of that exact same deer, as the leaves in both images suggest the time lapse between the two images — which are indeed two different images as the background is slightly different – is short.
That is, the terrible swamp monster may be simply an altered image of a deer.
But unless the author steps forward with details of the hoax, all we will have will be a story full of holes and a very dubious digital image.
Meanwhile, speculations are going around claiming this is part of a viral campaign either for the “Super 8” movie or “Resistance 3” videogame. The deer cam company, “Wildgame Innovations”, seems to be the profiting a lot from the case too, but none of these have been confirmed as the source for this.
From my part, I think this is just a prank from a hunter who also happens to be a talented graphic artist. He created his account on Archery Talk over a year ago, and posted his image more than a week before someone sent them to the TV station. He also doesn’t seem to capitalize on it for any movie or videogame.
Some have also been associating the image to this infamous 2007 clip:
Much as the “fallen angel” in this video looks like the Louisiana creature, this video was indeed part of a viral campaign, but for Diesel, having certainly nothing to do with this recent picture, except perhaps as an inspiration.
Night vision pictures are somewhat scary, something the Blair Witch project explored more than a decade ago. Even a common child may look somewhat creepy.
An altered image of a deer, then, will not take much to look like a scary monster. Kudos to Hillbilly Willi nevertheless, the image is actually quite fascinating.
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