The Loch Ness Monster is a creature that many believe to inhabit Loch Ness in Scotland, a 36 kilometre long lake with an average depth of 132 metres. The monster was first brought to world attention in 1933 and various photos and sonar readings have ensured that interest in the monster of Loch Ness remains to this day. The most popular thoery is that Nessie is in fact a family of surviving Plesiosaurs, a carnivorous reptile from the Triassic Period which is believed to have become extinct 65.5 million years ago. The wider scientific community, and general society, reject the idea of the existence of a Loch Ness Monster as a myth spawned out of a number of hoaxes.
Nessie: The Loch Ness Monster
A look back at the history of the Loch Ness monster, with a focus on the various sightings which have occurred in recent years. Including photos and videos!
The story of a Loch Ness Monster was first reported in the local Inverness Courier in May 1933 by a part-time journalist Alex Campbell after a London man had encountered a prehistoric animal whilst travelling around the Loch in a motor boat with his wife, he claimed to see the animal walking across a road out of the Loch with an animal in his mouth. Following this article several letters appeared in the paper from others who claimed to have encountered the animal either in the water or on the banks of the Loch; the story soon reached the International press and the first alleged photograph of Nessie emerged at the end of the same year, this photograph by Hugh Gray can be seen to the right. Scottish politicians took reports seriously with the Secretary of State for Scotland issuing a order for the countries law enforcement agencies to protect the creature against attacks or attempts to capture it.
The Surgeon's Photo
In 1934 The Surgeon's Photograph appeared, the first photograph which featured both a head a neck. Taken by a man named Dr. Robert Kenneth Wilson, and published by The Daily Mail, the photograph was declared a hoax in 1994 and is believed to be a small object being towed. It was later revealed in a book to be a head attached to a toy submarine. The man who uncovered the hoax, Alaistar Boyd, stated his belief that the Loch Ness Monster does exist despite the existence of numerous hoax photographs.
Hunting The Loch Ness Monster
In the late 1930's there were various reports of hunting parties with large harpoon guns preparing to take to Loch Ness to hunt Nessie, in 1938 the Inverness Shire Police Chief William Fraser wrote a letter which expressed his belief that the monster existed and his concern that he didn't have the resources to protect the animal from hunting parties. This letter was released for the first time by the National Archives of Scotland in April 2010. The next prevalent sighting of Nessie occurred in 1943 when C.B. Farrell of the Royal Observer Corps claimed to have been distracted from his duties by a sighting of Nessie who he claimed he had seen from around 250 yards away; he estimated the size of the creature at around 20-30 foot long.
Loch Ness Monster Sonar Reading
In December 1954 a fishing boat, theRiver III, made sonar contact with with a large object which kept pace with their boat for half a mile at a depth of around 146 metres before sonar contact was lost. This was the first reported Sonar reading of Nessie, despite numerous attempts. In 1960 an engineer named Tim Dinsdale filmed Nessie crossing the water, the video was later dismissed as a hoax; a later digital enhancement of the video (1993) led many to believe that it was in fact genuine and it was at this stage that some experts made the suggestion that Nessie is or was a Plesiosaurs. You can see the video for yourself below.
Recent Loch Ness Monster Sightings
The most recent major evidence emerged in 2007 when Gordon Holmes, a 55 year old Lab Technician, captured a video of a large black animal moving very quickly in the water. This video was shown on various International news programs however Adrian Shine, a marine biologist at the Loch Ness 2000 Centre, stated that the video probably showed a large otter or a seal. It later emerged that Gordon Holmes had previously claimed sightings of mythical or cryptozoological creatures and had self-published a book which claimed to provide evidence for the existence of fairies. The video was also analyzed for the TV show Death of Loch Ness which discussed the likelihood that the Loch Ness Monster is in fact now dead.
Gordon Holmes Loch Ness Monster Video
Possible Explanations For The Loch Ness
Skeptics have offered a wide variety of possible explanations for sightings, hoaxes being the most common. Others have included suggestions that sightings may be misidentifications of common animals or objects. Other suggestions include Bird Wakes, travelling circuses allowing Elephants to refresh themselves in the water (as per the 1934 Surgeon's Photo), and birds or otters seen through a telescope. There is a strong possibility that the creatures spotted have actually been seals which have been proven to visit the Loch for periods up to months at any one time, it is widely accepted that Seals are an infrequent by definite visitor to the Loch rather than remaining as a permanent colony. More optimistic, or perhaps hopeful, explanations include the possibility that Nessie is a large Amphibian, a Plesiosaur, or a large Invertebrate. Perhaps one of the more likely suggestions is that Nessie was in fact a giant eel, as there is no doubt that eels exist in the Loch; this explanation would however make every head and neck sighting a hoax or false. In 2001 two dead Conger eels were found washed up on the shore of the Loch, it has also been concluded that this too was a hoax as Conger eels are saltwater fish and Loch Ness is a freshwater lake.