Illusions play a great part in our lives particularly in the childhood. When drapes in the room flap, child may imagine someone lurking behind those drapes. Sometimes we see images of animals and human figures in the clouds.
In 1952, Bank of Canada commissioned George Gunderson of British American Note Company to male the design for new bank notes with Queen Elizabeth II head in the inset. The artist used the picture of queen taken by Peter-Dirk Uys, who was one of Her Majesty’s photographers.
He did great deal of work and notes were printed and issued in 1954. The same year someone noticed that if one looks intently at the queen’s head hairs behind the ear, there is a devil shape lurking in. He informed the bank and all hell broke loose. On seeing the image closely the devil’s shape became visible.
Naturally who done it questions began. Someone has to be the culprit. Was it Mr. Gunderson, or was it in the photo he used and reproduced with complete honesty without touching it ? Or was IRA involved? or Was it some bank employee who played a prank.
Nothing came out and things subsided. Notes were recalled and stamped cancelled and notes without the image created by darkening the portion were reissued. Even today the notes with devil’s head are in demand and fetch higher sums than the denomination.
In 1984 the scandal once again resurfaced when the photographer died and with the recovery of pictures of the photoshoot. This coincided with the release of his memoirs called “Her Majesty’s Image – The Life Of The Official Photographer Of Elisabeth The Second”. In this book he openly talks about his homosexual relations with the hairdresser of the queen. It is also revealed in the memoirs he was one of the disciples of Aleister Crowley who was an English occultist, ceremonial magician, poet, painter, novelist, and mountaineer.