|Koi Alien Photo 08|
Koi Alien Photo 08 is a photograph of a shaved monkey, used as part of a UFO hoax by Edward Watters (a barber from Atlanta, USA) in 1953 that made the headlines of various newspapers..
To win a $10 bet that he could not get his photograph in the newspaper, Edward Watters bought a monkey, killed it by hitting it over the head with a bottle and placed it on a highway. He and two friends waved down a passing car (which turned out to be a police car...) and told a story about seeing a spaceship and three little men.
The Air Force's Project Bluebook opened a UFO file on this incident and had investigators speak to the men involved.
Edward Watters subsequently admitted the hoax and was fined $40 for obstructing the highway.
The image labelled "Koi_AP_08_o" shows the monkey used in this hoax, preserved in the the mini-museum of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
The image labelled "Koi_AP_08_g" shows the monkey used in this hoax, as it appeared in one of the newspaper reports in 1953 relating to this hoax. Images of various relevant newspaper items appear below.
On 7 July 1953, two barbers and a butcher from Atlanta (Edward Watters, Thomas Wilson and Arnold Payne) reported that they were riding in a car when they saw a red saucer shaped object and three little men on the highway. Two of the little men got back into the saucer which flew away, but the third creature was hit. The animal was taken to a newspaper office in Atlanta. A reporter for the newspaper called the FBI, who in turn called the Air Force.
The first vet to examine the animal said that he had never seen such an animal before.
Edward Watters, a barber, shaved a dead monkey as part of a UFO hoax in order to get his picture in the newspaper to win a $10 bet.
Mr Watters paid $50 for the monkey, killed it by hitting it over the head with a bottle, shaved it and put it on the road. He and his friends waved down the first car that came along, not realising until it stopped that it was a Cobb County policeman. Mr Watters initially put forward a story about a space ship and little men. However, after several scientists confirmed the animal was a shaved monkey that had had its tail removed, he admitted creating the hoax.
Mr Watters was fined $40 in the Cobb County superior court for causing an obstruction of the highway.
Edward Watters said that he had also tried to create other stories about UFOs and had found it easy to do. He told one newspaper that he had told people to look up at a thing in the sky and they would look and say that they could see it too.
The files created by the United States Air Force's Project Bluebook included a file on this hoax.
The conclusion reached by Project Bluebook was that this was a hoax, with the Project Bluebook summary of this case stating that "Investigations proved that the sources were trying to get publicity by building up a hoax. Animal was examined and identified as a shaved monkey. Sources admitted that story was a hoax".
The relevant file created by Project Bluebook largely comprises press reports, including the admission of a hoax.
The Project Bluebook files also include several images of the relevant dead monkey.
The Project Bluebook files indicate that "upon investigation by the 35th Air Division, Intelligence Office, and pressure from local and national news agencies" the witnesses "confessed the whole story to be a hoax in an attempt to gain publicity":
An article on the MSNBC.com website, dated 29 July 2008 (and subsequently published on various websites, including a webpage entitled "the Butcher, the Barbers and the Fake Martian Monkey" on the Fox News website) includes the following:
"Monkey from Mars graces Ga. crime lab display
Carcass was part of 1953 hoax at height of UFO hysteria
DECATUR, Ga. — Other museums might have more or flashier items to display. But only the mini-museum of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation can boast of possessing such an other-world oddity as the monkey from Mars.
The bureau's state crime lab lobby has its requisite displays on forensic science, including an illegal moonshine still and the microscopic fibers that solved the 1981-82 Atlanta child murders. But tucked away in a glass cylinder are the preserved remains of a monkey that three pranksters passed off as an alien 55 years ago in a UFO hoax that drew headlines worldwide.
At the height of UFO hysteria then sweeping the nation, two young barbers and a butcher took a dead monkey in 1953, lopped off its tail and applied a liberal dose of hair remover and some green coloring to the carcass.
Then they left the primate on an isolated road north of Atlanta in the pre-dawn hours of July 8, 1953, burning a circle into the pavement with a blowtorch before a police officer came around the curve in his patrol car.
"If we had been five minutes earlier, we would have caught 'em in the act," said Sherley Brown, the officer who happened on the scene.
The barbers, Edward Watters and Tom Wilson, and the butcher, Arnold "Buddy" Payne, told the policeman they came upon a red, saucer-shaped object in the road that night. They said several 2-foot-tall creatures were scurrying about and the trio hit one with their pickup before the other creatures jumped back in the saucer and blasted skyward — leaving the highway scorched.
'Like something out of this world'
Soon after his shift ended, he said, "the phone started ringing off the hook."
"They had the Air Force and everybody else trying to find out about it," said Brown, since retired in 1985.
Word of the discovery spread like wildfire.
Just the night before, some Atlanta area residents had reported seeing a large, multicolored object flying in the sky. A veterinarian who examined the corpse said it looked "like something out of this world." A newspaper put out an artist's drawing of the saucer that the men described.
But within hours the monkey business unraveled.
Dr. Herman D. Jones, the founder and director of the GBI lab, and Dr. Marion Hines, an anatomy professor at Emory University, examined the creature that evening and proclaimed it to be a hoax.
"If it came from Mars, they have monkeys on Mars," Hines was quoted as saying in an article at the time by The Associated Press that is set beside the monkey in the appointment-only museum.
Where the men got the monkey is not clear. Watters, Wilson and Payne eventually admitted to the hoax and Watters paid a $40 fine for obstructing a highway.
As for Jones, his name is now on the GBI crime lab as the man who introduced modern forensic science to the state."
Please use the comments section below to share references to any particularly interesting relevant articles.