Written by Rick Archer, May 2007
Story contributed by Gareld McEathron
I have obsessed over this
picture ever since I first viewed it. I hope
it is a trick picture. Unfortunately the
shadows made by the dog and the people make this
picture extremely believable... and therefore very sad. How can anybody be so stupid as to
throw a frisbee and risk the life of a trusting dog?
However I remain suspicious of this picture for a
simple reason - why were the three people next to
the dog so completely oblivious to the danger?
And who would throw a frisbee in a canyon? If a picture totally defies all common sense,
chances are good there is something sneaky going on.
Therefore I think this picture is a fake.
add that after a brief Internet Search, I found this
picture as an entry in a 2005 contest to create a deliberately faked
See for yourself.
Here were some of the
comments on the fake frisbee dog picture:
JClark said - Not really, the bush looks
like it could stop him. If that bush wasn't
HotChef said - now that's funny. . . . got to be the best out of some poor
Escape said - LOL! best work!
lalaland - could have been done better but
the idea was priceless
godzillatemple said - Masking around edges
of dog could be better, but a truly
hilarious idea and generally well done!
jachang said - Funny! (Not for the dog...)
Penbender said - This is genius! Great idea and execution (no pun)
KiwiHarpoon said - this one made me laugh
man, very novel idea.
Raindrop said - Something unique!
Bast said - That one is cool but the dog
looks too blurry, especially his tail. :)
Mandirio said - Awwwww!!!! The dog's
rear-end looks a little blurry, though.
casey said - This is the funniest foto i've
seen. Good job
A Sad Footnote to the story
of the Grand Canyon Dog
October 21, 2011, Kevin
Kitchen wrote me to say that
he had been forced to put
his beloved heeler dog Ben
to sleep due to cancer at
age 9. I could tell
that Kevin was deep in
obviously loved his dog
and his wife Keri own a
ranch in Pilot Hill,
other things, they breed
pictured on the right, was
one of their prized Heeler
dogs. Apparently a
heeler is an Australian
cattle dog in the same
tradition as the border
collie in Scotland.
Ben is none other than the
celebrated "Grand Canyon
Dog". Ben is dog seen
leaping to his death.
wanted to assure me that the
picture of Ben was
definitely a fake.
Furthermore, Kevin explained
that he himself had nothing
to do with the infamous
Grand Canyon picture.
youth, Ben was quite an
athlete, so they posted
pictures of Ben leaping for
Apparently someone noticed
the picture of Ben on
Kevin's website and used it
to create the Grand Canyon
Kevin has no
idea how Ben's picture came into
use. In his own words:
have no idea who did that to our
dog. I received
word of it from a friend of a
friend of a Ö They didnít even know
our dog or our website."
borrowed the picture certainly did a
good job. As you can see, the
ball was removed and replaced by a
frisbee, plus Ben's body was rotated
slightly. The picture was indeed
effective in fooling countless of
unsuspecting Internet viewers into
thinking someone had cruelly sent a
trusting dog to his death.
It was nice of
Kevin to contact me and clear up the
mystery. As a result of
Kevin's thoughtfulness, Ben's memory
will live on as the famous Grand
Canyon dog taking the deadly leap of
faith. Thank goodness it was
just a joke. It is sad that
Ben passed away, but at least we can
remember him as one of the most
famous dogs on the Internet.
Surely you have heard the saying, "Don't
trust anything you read or see on the
Thanks to modern computers and photoshop
programs, it is actually fairly easy to
create fake pictures using digital
As one example, I do not believe this
picture is real. It was sent to me as
a joke with the caption, "Can you find
the hidden waterfall in this picture?"
I enjoy the joke, but assume it is a clear
example of someone merging two completely
different photos to make us laugh.
As I study the picture, the background and
the foreground do not seem to agree.
It appears the woman has been "pasted" onto
the waterfall background.
Let me also say that given the silly context
of the picture, this adds to the likelihood
that someone has created a fake picture for
the fun of it.
Since no one is
harmed, who cares? As long as
things are done in fun or for a good
purpose, I have no problem with digital
Many people try
to manipulate pictures for political
particular photograph just makes me
I am also a
little envious - so well done!
This is my
favorite "fake picture" of all time.
Story: When Images "Lie":
Dancing with Sarah Palin and
In October 2008, at the height
of the gear-up for the November
presidential elections, Martin
Rice, a Tampa Bay musician and
graphic designer, vented his
frustrations visually and
digitally. He created an image
of Barack Obama dancing with
Sarah Palin, and captioned the
pic with "unfortunately, this is
what the country wants."
In September, approximately 52
million people watched the first
debate between candidate John
McCain and then-candidate Barack
Obama. A few weeks later, 18
million people watched a single
episode of Dancing with the
Rice sent the pic to a few
friends. Within a week, the
photo had been picked up by
multiple new sources, including
CNN and ABC, had been posted to
more than 1000 blogs, and turned
into an iPhone wallpaper. Within
2 weeks, a Google image search
for "obama palin dancing"
returned more than 1.5 million
What are some of the dangers and
powers of photo parody in a
"viral" world -- that is, in a
world where an image can become
popular, downloaded, and
reproduced on thousands of web
sites within minutes? What are
some of the dangers and powers
of photo parody in making
Some people fake pictures to
hurt people. Take these
Jane Fonda and John Kerry pictures.
These are not
my words, but I definitely agree.
"I donít care which
side of the political coin you are on Ė
fakes to this extent are just wrong.
They amount to nothing more than
slanderous cheap shots by people who
donít have the intelligence to debate
the legitimate issues at hand. Just as
candidates for public office should be
questioned about their stances on the
issues, so should imagery of them that
gets passed around the internet. It is
up to the public and news organizations
to do the questioning on all fronts.
I personally have
absolutely no artistic talent.
So I admire anyone who can.
I am pleased
to say I can take partial credit for
creating the most famous "dance
cruise" picture in the world.
I created the picture on the
right... well, sort of.
If you type
"dance cruise" into Google, then
click "images", my picture usually
comes up on the first screen. Today
- November 8 - it was the first
For about 20 years, I subscribed to a
graphic art service known as
The four pictures below were all sent to me
in different issues. The art service
was very protective of the identity of their
artists. Therefore I have no idea the
name of the man or woman who created three
of these pictures, but I admire his work
greatly. Another artist whose work I
admire greatly is
Fruzyna. Frank created the
picture of the senior citizens on the cruise
ship that I used as the background for my
"dance cruise" picture. You can read
Keep in mind that I am an amateur. If
I can manipulate images this easily, a real
pro can create something that you or I would
never know was a fake.
I began creating
fake pictures in the mid-2000s as a
way to solve simple problems.
Whenever I finished my various
cruise trips, I
enjoyed publishing pictures of the
people who went on the trips with
What do you do
when you try to
create a close-up of a man who is 6'
7" and standing next t his 5 foot wife?
I have to back so far away to get
them both in the picture that it is
no longer a close up.
answer is to raise the lady's head in the
picture. Now it becomes a
close up. As
you can see with this picture of my friends
Pat and Jess Carnes, that is exactly what I
I was in a bit of hurry
and didn't disguise my work very well.
But I doubt that they minded.
Now their close-up was the same
distance as my other pictures.
While I was at it, I solved another
problem as well.
Can you see
that the lighting on their faces is different? Pat, who is
an attractive woman, was frowning in the
original. So I simply found a second picture
where she was smiling and combined the two.
I promise you it is not difficult to create
fake pictures. I create fake pictures myself
all the time, but in the process I follow a
personal credo to never do harm.
Here is a goofy picture from our 2008 cruise trip.
On our 2008 Cruise, Steve Gabino gave me two
pictures of him jumping. So I combined
the two pictures to make it appear he was
jumping on top of his friends in the pool.
An obvious fake, but who cares?
Let's say I have
a group picture of 12 women. Eleven are
smiling and one has her eyes closed. I
simply find another picture where the same
person has open eyes and paste it over
their closed eyes. Now I have created a picture that
makes everybody look good.
In the picture above, Lori had her eyes
closed. I gave her open eyes.
This was a good job. The only clue is
that her eyes appear a little "sharper" than everyone
else's. Plus you can see she is
looking at a slightly different angle than
the other women. If I hadn't pointed it
out, no one would have ever noticed.
Again, a fake picture done as a good deed
hurts no one and creates a better picture.
I see no harm in it.
another example of my work. Study these three
pictures I took on my 2007 Hawaii trip. That
is my wife Marla plus my friends
Denise and Jim Duncan
The four of us went on a waterfall tour on
the Big Island in Hawaii. Our day ended with
a dip in a pond. There was one
particular spot that served as the
perfect launching pad. All three people
used that spot to go in one at a time.
I took an individual picture of each person.
All three pictures above are "real".
When I looked at the three pictures I took,
I laughed at the similarity. Then I
decided to have some fun - I merged the
three pictures. The picture on
the right is a complete fake. However
I took my time and tried to make it a
perfect fake. Decide for yourself how well I
Pretty sneaky, huh?
My guess is you would never suspect my
combination picture is fake if I hadn't told
you ahead of time. After all, there is
no reason to "fake" such a simple moment.
So what about the picture of Ben the dog jumping
after a frisbee into the Grand Canyon?
It certainly looked real, didn't it?
However, if an amateur like me can create a realistic picture like the
one on the right, I just know it would
be very easy for me to create a similar dog
jumping-to-oblivion picture if I put my mind to
You can't believe anything you see on the
Denise, Jim all in one merged picture.
THE GRAND CANYON IDIOT
Our next situation is a true story.
As you will see for yourself, the
pictures you will see were definitely not doctored.
labeled a case of "photographer photographs photographer".
The following photographs were taken by
a professional photographer
Hans van de Vorst at the Grand Canyon in Arizona.
Mr. van de Vorst was out on his own photo shoot when he
witnessed a man taking a huge risk. He swung his lens
and took the amazing shots you are about to see.
descriptions below are his own.
Let me add the identity of the
photographer being photographed is unknown
Hans Van De Horst: "As I
walked to the edge of the canyon to take my own
pictures, I was simply stunned to discover this guy
standing on this solitary rock high above the Grand
The canyon's depth is 900 meters here. The rock on
the right is next to the canyon. At the
moment, the man is safe, but his position seems
Watching this guy on his thong sandals, with a
camera and a tripod I asked myself 3 questions:
1. How did he climb that rock?
2. Why not take that sunset picture on that rock to
the right, which is perfectly safe?
3. How will he get back?"
I found myself unable to move. A morbid
fascination came over me. Was I about to
witness a tragedy? And should I do something
to prevent it?"
"I was not alone. The
man's folly had captured the attention of dozens of
onlookers. Now the sun completed its descent
behind the canyon's horizon. The man picked
his gear and tucked it under his arm.
Having only one hand available, he prepared himself
for the jump. This took about 2 minutes. At
that point he had the full attention of the crowd,
most of whom had their hands covering their mouths
I gasped. He was actually going through with
this! I lifted my own camera and braced myself
for whatever might happen.
He got a little running start and jumped on his
thong sandals... The canyon's depth is 900 meters
here." (900 meters is over half a mile)
"I estimated the gap between
the rocks to be four feet apart. After he
jumped, for a moment, his body was suspended in
flight. I could not help but gasp.
Nevertheless, I continued to take photos.
Now you can see that the adjacent rock is higher.
I had wondered if the jump down from the higher
ledge was so easy that he didn't think about the
jump BACK in the other direction.
Unable to jump upwards, this man tried to land lower
and use his one free hand to grab the rock.
I hoped he found something easy to grab.
The rock was quite steep. If he didn't get a good
grip, he wasn't going to get a second chance."
"We've come to the end
of this little story. As
you can see, he made it. Amazing.
Look carefully at the photographer. He has a camera,
a tripod and also a plastic bag, all on his shoulder
or in his left hand. Only his right hand is
available to grab the rock. Plus the weight of his
stuff is a problem.
He lands low on his flip flops. Both his right hand
and right foot slips away... At that moment I take
He pushes his body against the rock. He waits for a
few seconds, throws his stuff on the rock, climbs
and walks away.
Some people should not be allowed out alone!"
Note: I checked out this story on the Internet. Van de
Horst did indeed post these four photographs on the Internet
at Flickr.com. I found this information by googling 'Hans van de Vorst grand canyon'. If you wish to learn more about this story, you should be able to do the
However, there is a Twist to this story.
Remember the Rule:
You can't believe anything you see on the
As I was writing this story, I had just
added the suggestion how a reader could use Google to learn more
about anything that seemed curious.
I was just about to publish this story and wrap it up.
But just before I hit the 'PUBLISH' button, I got a
little more curious about this situation... so I decided to do some more research.
If you are
interested in what I found, just scroll down a bit.
You will be very amused.
TO THE STORY OF GRAND CANYON IDIOT
Before posting my story, I asked my wife Marla to take a
look at the pictures of the Grand Canyon Idiot.
Marla gasped. Her first word was,
But then she got suspicious. Marla said, "No one in
their right mind is going to risk a jump like that with
thongs and one hand! You need to dig a little deeper."
Taken aback by her admonishment, I decided to double-check.
So I went back and clicked a
couple more sites that I had previously ignored.
To my surprise, I found another picture of the exact same spot taken
by someone else. Unlike the Van de Horst pictures, the photo
below came with some
explanations. From what I was able to gather, the rock formation
is actually a very well-known spot in the Grand Canyon.
I found this
picture on the Internet with the title
Leap of Faith.
So that's what
we will call this spot.
What is odd about the picture is the presence of a young lady
watching "the Leap" who
isn't even fazed. She doesn't bother to help or show
I learned this particular jump has been tried many times.
The leap creates
spectacular pictures such as the one at right.
It makes for a great picture indeed because it appears the
consequence of failure is almost certain death.
But guess what?
There's a secret to this picture you will want to know
reality, it turns out there is a wide ledge about eight feet below
that is conveniently out of the camera's eye.
Although a fall
might result in some bruises, there is definitely not a 900
meter plunge to the bottom to fear.
Below is a picture that will give you a distinctly different
Hmm, now this kind of
changes things, doesn't it?
Thanks to some more Internet search, I found the
picture on the right of the same Leap of Faith rock. I'm not
sure, but that shimmering gadget might be a tripod.
You don't suppose that is the same guy out there from the
Van de Horst photos? This might be another picture of the same guy in
the original photos. Same jeans, same tripod, same
I had wondered why there weren't more Van de Horst pictures.
Why just four? Because pictures like this one were
conveniently omitted to keep the suspense alive.
So in the case of the foolhardy photographer, it
seems our friend Mr. Van de Horst was having a
little fun with us. I think he played a
joke on us. In fact, I think his buddy was in on it.
And I am glad they pulled it off. It was a fun story.
Good April Fool's Joke.
I was sent this photo of the "Leap of Faith" by Bill
He and I
both agreed that maybe this jump is a lot more
insane than I first realized.
not realized just how narrow that promontory was.
now know there is a ledge below the leap, but that
ledge is at most 10 feet wide.
"nets" go, one bad mistake on the jump due to a case
of nerves and some could easily fall awkwardly to
the ledge below and then on down to the canyon
another, that Leap is still pretty risky.
INCREDIBLE CAR ACCIDENT
Talk about lucky!!
Note that the truck is facing the wrong
direction to the damaged barrier above. Traveling
from the right side of this picture to left at a
high speed, the driver lost control and hit the
the angle he hit the concrete barrier, his truck
went airborne! When the truck came down, the back of
the truck landed on top of the crushed concrete
second later the nose of the truck hit the ground
where the second arrow begins.
The force of the
two impacts bounced the truck back up in the air and caused
it flip in mid-air like some Evel Knievel daredevil stunt.
driver screamed and held on for dear life as his truck flew
across the culvert upside down and backwards.
landed on its side, teetered for a moment, then came
down to rest where you see it in the picture.
Magically, the driver walked away unhurt. But my guess
is he has nightmares.
Crime Scene Investigators!
Do you like solving mysteries?
I read the accident description, but was
never able to make any sense of it.
Unfortunately, I have
no way of determining if the description is
I tried recreating the description of the
crash above with a toy truck and never did come up
with a satisfactory trajectory. But I am
certainly no expert.
At this point I completely admit I am
stumped. I have illustrated three
scenarios to help with visualizing possible
See if you can figure it out!
the mystery. The most likely scenario doesn't
work. The car has a bashed-in front, so the
nose had to hit the ground at some point. In
this scenario, I have the nose hitting the area next
to the broken barrier and flipping.
The only problem is the truck
would land facing the wrong direction!
hard to believe the car did two flips, but in this
scenario I have the back end of the truck hitting
near the broken barrier first. The major
problem with this scenario is that the back of the
truck has no damage. If you can figure it out,
please email your scenario to
As if the
accident isn't remarkable
enough, now take another look from a different perspective
in this picture.
Unbelievable. The truck
landed just feet from the gorge. wow!
this picture staged? Possibly, but not likely.
This is one picture I don't think was faked.
to say, the presence of the emergency vehicles lends
a great deal of credibility to the picture.
this accident picture is real.
another part of my website, I have pictures of an
extremely gruesome motorcycle accident.
motorist's body appears to be severed in half.
pictures have been on the Internet since 2007.
They have caused a huge Internet controversy... was
the accident real? Were the pictures faked?
years have passed and the jury is still out.
Snopes, the well-known Urban Legend page, says the
authenticity of the pictures is still undetermined.
are up to the challenge, you are more than welcome
to go look and make up your mind. However, I
promise you these are highly upsetting pictures.
I was very disturbed when I saw them for the first
time. So if you do decide to go look, brace