Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Creepy 'Horseboy' Photo On Scottish Road Becomes Latest Google Streetview Mystery

He only wanted to find an optician's to repair his glasses. But what Russell Moffatt saw on Google StreetView made him question whether he also needed to get his eyes tested. The bizarre sight, dubbed 'Horseboy', has become an unlikely internet sensation after being snapped by one of Google's cars on an otherwise unremarkable Aberdeen street. Now, the search is on to unmask the mystery prankster. Mr Moffatt, a 50-year-old IT manager, spotted Horseboy in Hardgate in Aberdeen. He said: 'I needed to get my glasses repaired and was looking for an optician's shop when I suddenly saw this crazy guy. 'I thought it was really funny; he obviously spotted the Google car photographing streets in the area, ran to get a horse-head mask and laid in wait for it. 'I bet he's been quietly smiling to himself ever since, waiting to be discovered.' The StreetView site will allow anyone in the world to type in a UK address or postcode and instantly see a 360-degree picture of the street, including close-ups of buildings, cars and people. Closer observation of the website reveals that the joker can be seen from further down the street pulling on the realistic-looking horse's head. But he is so far away from the camera that his face cannot be seen.Mr Moffatt, a father of one from Ellon, Aberdeenshire, was so amused by his discovery that he wrote about it on social networking site Twitter. Now, he is appealing for help to identify Horseboy, who is wearing a purple jumper and black jeans in the picture. But, despite the site being inundated with hits from an army of fans looking at the intriguing photograph, nobody has yet come forward to confess. The picture joins a list of unusual sights captured on Streetview. The most famous, from Norway, shows two men dressed in full scuba gear chasing a Google car down the road brandishing a harpoon. Two years ago in Australia, a man who fell asleep in a drunken stupor on the grass outside his home was horrified to find his embarrassment posted on the internet. The man, who has only ever been identified as 'Bill', had been drowning his sorrows over the death of a friend and collapsed after climbing out of a taxi. As he slept off his excesses, a Google StreetView camera passed by to record the street for its website. Google have since removed the image. Horseboy, by contrast, seems to have been totally aware that he was being filmed. Mr Moffatt said: 'I'd love to find out who this man is and I'm hoping he'll come forward. But for now he's a total, and very entertaining, mystery.'