Lai See salutes the People's Liberation Army. Any nation can claim to have soldiers who march in step, but how many can boast combat helicopters whose blades whir in unison? This synchronicity was captured on the front page of the China Daily last Tuesday. The photo shows a flock of choppers hovering over an unidentified air base. Some of them are just dots on the horizon. But three are afloat in the foreground. The trio's propellers are frozen in exactly the same spot. Sunlight cuts an identical path down the lower left blade of each. Amazing. What are the chances? Pretty slim, say Post image experts. Pretty non-existent, says photographer Phil Day. 'This would be the effect achieved by taking a picture of one helicopter and using a photocopying machine to resize copies of it which could be superimposed on the true picture of the military base,' he told Lai See. 'A one-eyed child of five could spot that fake.' Shocking. The caption on the pic-in-question says: 'Speeding up the introduction of high technology has enabled the PLA to make significant progress in its modernisation and combat capacity.' If Phil's suspicions are correct, Lai See suggests speeding up the introduction of photographic technology to enable the PLA to make significant progress in its faking of modernisation and combat capacity. We spoke to Hong Kong China Daily editor in chief Liu Dizhong about it. He said he'd examine the photo and call us back. That was the last we heard of him. Still, we're giving his paper the benefit of the doubt. And even if it IS a fake - so what? It's not like this would be the first time a state-run Chinese newspaper has been caught publishing fiction. A monstrous mistake popped up in the Beijing Evening News a few years back. It was headlined 'Loch Ness Monster Caught'. Readers were informed that 'international researchers' had ensnared the Scottish beast. A British team member was quoted saying: 'It had sharp teeth and didn't look very friendly when it first saw me, but after a while it allowed me to rub its nose'. Sort of like Lassie. Journalist Yang Yueming proclaimed the mainland had similar creatures in a lake somewhere in the remote northwestern region of Xinjiang. But you're probably wondering how ol' Nessie managed to paddle into the Beijing Evening News in the first place. It seems the wife of China's Science and Technology Daily correspondent in London had faxed over a copy of the Sunday Sport. Sport reporters are dedicated to pursuing the truth. But if they can't catch it, alien abductions and Elvis sightings will do at a pinch. Turns out the Beijing journos were unfamiliar with the antics of Britain's more colourful tabloids. But they did wonder why no other news agency had reported this great discovery. They asked, and were told it was because the Sport was the only paper to penetrate a news blackout imposed by the Loch Ness research team. The Beijing boys were satisfied. This was a genuine scoop. So they ran the story without crediting the tabloid and, inevitably, confusion reigned the next day. 'What is all this about the Loch Ness monster?' a mystified British tourist asked. 'All week I've had people coming up to me and saying 'At last, I see the Loch Ness monster has been caught'.' Still, it was a pleasant break from the usual fare of crop and Committee stories. These days, it's the North Korean Central News Agency that's being plagued by troublesome creatures. Apparently 'the war hysterics of the arrogant Japanese reactionaries overheated with the fever of reinvasion reminds the DPRK of a puppy that knows no fear of the tiger'. Other North Korean Snippets-of-the-Week: 'As all the people are united close around the leader like one great family and have powerful military forces, Korea has turned into a socialist power that no one dare pounce upon. 'At that time the US weekly Time [magazine], commenting on the incident, said that the US should draw lessons from the stark fact that it was beaten to a pulp by North Korea. 'They stressed all the servicemen will become human bomb and make suicidal attack, ready to dedicate their youth and lives in defence of their Supreme Commander,' it trumpeted. Sounds like someone forgot to take their happy pill this morning. Those North Koreans could learn a thing or two from the Beijing press. Say what you will about mainland newspapers - at least they show a little friendly Ness.