Answer to Quiz #15 - June 29, 2005
What's wrong with this series of pictures?
(Click on thumbnails to see larger versions of each photograph.)
Answer:  The last photo is a fake.
Once again, our readers showed great creativity in their responses to our quiz:

Well, you left out the last picture of the townspeople happily fishing from the new dock
built over the steel underpinnings happily contributed by the out of town towing
services!                                                              Dick Coveney, E. Falmouth, MA

This one is too obvious.  What's wrong of course is the Keystone Cops are not visible
to witness and participate in the charade of the series of vehicles going into the drink.
Here's a web site from which the appropriate character can be incorporated into the
pictures. See
                                Dennis Bussey, San Diego, CA

Well, the only thing I figured out was the horrible day those people were having, what
with the tow trucks (2) ending in the drink along with the original car.  But I think you
are saying there is something fishy about the photographs?
                                Mary Grindol, Gaylord, MI

Nothing, if they are trying to create an artificial reef!     Marilyn, Grand Rapids, MI

Other interesting answers:

The fact that both cranes were working way off their load charts leads me to believe
the drivers were not certified crane operators.        Mike Williams, Los Angeles, CA

Looks like it was topsy turvey. Cranes not big enough to do lifting. Too close to the
edge.                                                                 Roland Kantz, Lafayette, IN

The shadows never moved even though it must have taken a long time.  Some of the
people didn't move from frame to frame and weren't even watching the action.  Do you
know a man who won't watch heavy machinery, especially if it's tipping over?  Some
of the pics looked "photoshopped"--with features blurred to hide them.  The other
vehicles never moved during that whole time.        Marilyn, Grand Rapids, MI

The only thing I can say about #6 is that I believe after close examination that it was
created in the darkroom from an actual photograph. There appears to be too much
similarity between #4 and #6.                                             Jim Hills, Houston, TX

Most complete answers:

Leah Mangue, Orange Co., CA wrote:

The last photo has been manipulated/doctored.  One dead giveaway is the shadow of
the light or mirror (driver's side) on the green truck.  It's in exactly the same spot as the
previous picture. The light source is coming from above and a little to the right.  If
that's the case then the shadow of the light or mirror on the picture below (the last
picture) would have been at a far different angle, logically the light source on the last
photo would have to be coming from above and to the left a bit.

Also the braces that keep the green truck on the ground while it lifts would have looked
a little different had it started to fall into the water.  You can see that the brace on the
left side is in front of the truck that is in the water, that just wouldn't happen like that
unless the green truck had been dragged to the edge and even then a shadow would
have appeared somewhere to the left below the green truck and would also fall on the
red truck already in the water. Another thing if the red truck being lifted was too heavy
and tilted the green truck there would have been a shift in the red truck's position.  One
can clearly see that the red truck hasn't budged at all.
Anthony Smart, Costa Mesa, CA wrote:

The event took place in Dock Street, Roundstone, County Galway on a Saturday
morning in October 2004.  The white car was bumped into the water by a parking
accident.  The first rescue vehicle is “Walsh’s Recovery” and is not up to the job, or
perhaps its operators are too dim to have deployed the outriggers if there were any.  
The second rescue vehicle is Michael Long “Truck & Crane Hire” with right hand
drive, but European registration plates.  No police or Gardai appear to be present during
the recovery.  The blue van in background is identified as “Redmond Brothers” a local
building firm.

The final picture (#am) is an edited spoof.  Here is the evidence:

The white Zodiac is seen along side the red fishing boat in pictures #ac, ah,ai,aj and am
is missing from picture #am.  If it sailed before the Michael Long Truck & Crane Hire
truck arrives in pictures #ak, it would have had to return to its identical mooring before
the final alleged disaster.

The placement of the people in picture #aj indicated that this was the frame used as the
background from which to edit the final alleged disaster . . . much to the detrimental
image of poor Michael Long, whose conduct seem to have been otherwise competent
and exemplary.

June M. Evans, Lacombe, LA sent in a link to the web site http://www.snopes.
com/photos/accident/crane.asp that gives the full story:

A Series of Unfortunate Events

Origins:   The first eight photographs in this series — showing a crane attempting to
retrieve an automobile from a body of water, the crane tipping and falling into the water
itself, and a second crane fishing both vehicles out of the water — appear to be genuine
photographs of an incident that reportedly took place in Ireland at Roundstone Pier,
Conemmara, Galway, around September 2004 (as described in one breathless,
paragraph-long sentence):

We have certainly have had our ups and downs in the village this year what with
somebody falling off the village wall, thank god not killed, and then in the wee hours
of Saturday morning, a car goes into the Harbour, with a young man at the wheel, the
car landed upside down and if it was not for the vigilance Mary King who alerted Sean
de Courcey, Sean fair play to him pulled this man out of the car, which was nearly
totally submerged in the tide and pulled him to safety, what ever way you look at it,
Sean saved his life, yet again another near fatal accident, and then I suppose on the
slightly humorous side and to add insult to injury, a tow truck was called out to pull the
car out, now get this, the truck fell in while trying to lift the car, no don't worry there
was no one in it, it was remote controlled, but the machine was not heavier enough to
lift the car out, therefore, a proper professional machine had to be called in, and the
job was done, no loss of life, what was interesting the amount of people that came to
have a look at this task you would think we had another social event going on.

However, the last photograph — showing the second crane also tipping and falling into
the water — is what makes this series particularly appealing to viewers, but it's clearly
just an altered version of the fifth image. (Among other tell-tale signs, the bystanders to
the right of the crane are in the very same positions in these two photos, and the small
white boat seen in the left-hand portion of these pictures has disappeared in the
penultimate photo but oddly reappears in the last frame.)

Last updated:   10 December 2004

Urban Legends Reference Pages © 1995-2005
by Barbara and David P. Mikkelson
Congratulations to our winners:

Leah Mangue
June M. Evans
Anthony Smart
Jim Hills
Marilyn, Grand Rapids, MI

If your name has been omitted from our list of winners, it was unintentional.  Please let me know.
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Quiz #15 Answer