Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Simulacrum: The "Man of Quives"

Perhaps one of the best known sections of the UK's Fortean Times magazine is its Simulacra Corner, which invites readers to submit their photographs of natural or artificial formations that resemble something unusual. For many years I've been meaning to submit a photo of an alien creature whose visage has been part of my breakfast table for many years - a clever trick of light, shadow and formica.

But on April 20th this year, Prof. Ana Luisa Cid uploaded images to her website (www.analuisacid.com) that some readers may well remember: the figure of a shadowy imp-like creature captured briefly in the tall grasses of PerĂº. Dubbed "El hombre de Quives" (KEEH-vess) the image made the rounds of South American websites until a disclaimer was presented yesterday. The Quives Man is just a tree branch.

Prof. Cid's site presents letters from Peruvian TV producer Percy Bolarte and UFO researcher Anthony Choy that dissipate the air of mystery surrounding the image. Says Mr. Bolarte: "I'm a TV editor and I can tell you with all certainty that the "Quives Man" is a tiny 2 centimeter branch [...] If you see the full photo, you will realize that there's a shrub on the lower right hand of the person shooting the video. The shrub sends out a branch nearly mid-screen. The alleged alien is at the end of that branch, which is no more than the tip of the branch. Why does it move? Because when the cameraman moves forward, he creates a left-to-right motion in the object until it disappears. That is to say, he [the cameraman] walks toward the subject and the branch brushes past him. The branch is in front of the subject rather than behind him. If we freeze the image at the appropriate site, you'll realize that the branch is in front. The branch should be approximately 1.5 meters from the subject and must measure one or two centimeters. It's all an optical illusion."

As always, our appreciation to Prof. Cid for sharing this information with us, and to Messrs. Bolarte and Choy for their diligence.