Loch Ness Monster

The first tale of a monster living in the water originates in AD 565 and features Saint Columba, who rescued a swimmer from the beast’s advances. Experts now generally feel that Saint Columba actually encountered a known, normal, marine animal that had ended up outside its natural environment. Although the loch continued to be the focus of strange sightings, it was not until the 20th century that the phenomenon really flourished.

The world learned of something unusual in Scotland's Loch Ness in the spring of 1933, after the Inverness Courier reported the experience a couple had undergone while traveling along the lake's northwest edge two weeks earlier. On April 14, the sight of an "enormous animal rolling and plunging" in the water caught their attention. Stopping their car, they watched the st range sight over the next few minutes. The newspaper account called the object a "monster," and the episode was covered in other Scottish papers.

In the July a family from London were driving along when they almost crashed into a massive dark, long-necked animal that strolled across their path and then disappeared into the water. Similarly, early the next year a young veterinary student was riding his motorcycle along the road when he almost struck a creature. He said what he saw had a large bulky body, with flippers, a long neck and a small head. Over the years, many people have tried to capture the creature on film. One Nessie witness managed to take a rather inconclusive photograph of something appearing from the water in 1933.

The first photo of the Loch Ness Monster, which
sparked the current ‘Nessiemania’. 

In 1934 a London doctor released a most mysterious photograph of the monster to the public. It showed a strange head and neck appearing from the water; 60 years later it was revealed to be a fake.

In 1936, Glasgow filmmaker Malcolm Irvine filmed a dark blob, approximately 30 feet in length, moving slowly across Loch Ness and offered what he believed to be proof that the most famous monster in the world actually existed in the Scottish lake where it had been sighted since the fifteenth century. With that brief filmstrip, Nessie mania had been brought into the twentieth century and has never subsided, seemingly growing stronger each year. And in spite of Irvine’s intentions, his cinematic record of the Loch Ness Monster did not put an end to the controversy over the creature’s existence.

In April 1960 an aeronautical engineer used a 16mm movie camera to film something moving through the loch’s waves.

Although it has never been established exactly what is captured on the film, experts at the Royal Air Force’s photographic department have verified that the footage is not a fake and has not been tampered with. Dinsdale himself devoted the rest of his life to finding Nessie. Recent years have also provided new sightings.

In June 1993, a couple were on the bank of the loch when they saw a huge, strange creature lolling about in the water. They said it must have been about 40-feetlong, with a giraffe-like neck and very light brown flesh. Later that same evening, a father and son were on their way home when they spotted something odd in the water. They later told reporters they saw an animal with a neck like a giraffe swimming swiftly away from the shore. Because of the evidence accrued during these two episodes, bookmakers William Hill slashed the odds of there really being a Loch Ness Monster from 500-1 to 100-1. Despite over 3,000 similar sightings by private individuals, Nessie has always been coy about exposing herself to dedicated, scientific research teams. The Academy of Applied Science from Boston, Massachusetts operated the first extensive expedition in the early 1970s.

Using underwater cameras and sonar equipment, the project captured images of what looked like an eight-foot-long flipper, an unusual 20-foot-long aquatic body, and even a hazy photo of a creature’s face. However, an organised, structured sonar sweep of the loch in 1987, named ‘Operation Deepscan’, revealed the earlier portrait picture of Nessie was actually a tree stump. That said, Deepscan did report various, unaccounted-for, large sonar echoes moving about in the extreme depths of the loch. Although these hunts have proved inconclusive, other recent scientific evidence has been more hopeful.

In March 1998, Scottish pet food salesman Richard White won a prize award of $825.00 for the best photograph of the Loch Ness Monster of the year. White had been on his way to the village of Foyers above the loch when he noticed an unusual disturbance in the water halfway across the loch toward Urquhart Castle on the opposite bank. He stopped to take a took, grabbed his camera, and began snapping photos of the monster in the water.

In March 2000, a team of Norwegian scientists, the Global Underwater Search Team, picked up bizarre noises in the loch’s water. At one point whatever was making the sounds even crashed into the team’s underwater microphone. This group had already recorded unusual sounds from another mythically monster-infested lake in Norway. The strange noises found in Loch Ness are described as a cross between a snorting horse and a pig eating, closely matching the experiences in Norway. Not only does this suggest there are unknown creatures in both lakes, but they might actually be related.

In recent years, sonar equipment has also discovered huge underwater caverns opening onto the bottom of the loch. These structures have been termed ‘Nessie’s Lair’, and may well be large enough to house and hide a whole family of monsters. It is agreed that a breeding colony of beasts would be needed to continue its existence, and some witness accounts have reported more than one Nessie appearing on the water’s surface. Nessie’s actual species is still unknown although experts have suggested it may be a manatee or type of primitive whale. It my also be a large otter, a long-necked seal, a huge eel, or even a giant walrus.

Within the following six months more than twenty sightings of the creature had been duly reported, and thus an industry was born. Scientific expeditions have been mounted on, around, and in Loch Ness, sophisticated photographic and sonar surveillance has probed every nook and cranny of the lake waters, and still Nessie refuses to reveal herself—or themselves, popular sentiment declining to entertain the notion of only one bizarre loathsome worm infesting these murky northern waters. 

However, Nessie seems to bear a much stronger resemblance to a creature now thought to be extinct. This is called the plesiosaur, a marine dinosaur that has not been found on Earth for over 60 million years. It had large flippers, a small head and a large body, and some experts believe a few of these animals were stranded in the loch after the last Ice Age. None of these suggestions are completely plausible. Even if the plesiosaur did survive the disaster that wiped out the rest of its fellow prehistoric creatures, it is generally believed to be a cold-blooded animal, and would find the chilly environment of a Scottish lake too cold to survive.

100 Strangest Mysteries by Matt Lamy; 

Cryptozoology A to Z by Loren Coleman and Jerome Clark; 

The Gale Encyclopedia of the Unusual and Unexplained Vol. 3 by Brad Steiger and Sherry Hansen Steiger

Pic Source:

100 Strangest Mysteries by Matt Lamy page 9

1 comment:

  1. my grandpa told me stories about nessie since i was a kid... and since then i've been hoping it's true. ;) even up to now...


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