This week I thought I'd update about a subject that's particularly popular with our guests; the Loch Ness Monster!
Nessie has been a much debated subject for many years, since the 6th Century enthusiasts have been exploring Loch Ness, attempting to catch a glimpse of the legendary Monster. Does she exist? What is she? How long as she been alive? Is there more than one "Nessie"?
Did you know you can study about Nessie in America?
The oldest written source for Nessie dates back to 595 AD, but modern interest was sparked when George Spicer and his wife claimed to have spotted the beast in July 1933. The Spicers described the creature as having a large body and a long, narrow neck, thicker than an elephant's trunk. They saw no limbs.
"The nearest approach to a dragon or pre-historic animal that I have ever seen in my life" - George Spicer
Soon after Spicer's sighting, a small, grainy picture was published in the Daily Mail, attracting the interest of people around the globe. People described the creature as a "sea serpent", "dragon", and even "monster fish".
This grainy photo was taken by Dr. Wilson, who claimed to be looking at Loch Ness when he saw the monster. He was able to snap 5 photographs of the creature.
Since the photo was taken and published in the national newspaper in 1934, Dr. Wilson refused to have his name associated with it. It was then renamed "Surgeon's Photograph".
Interest for the Loch Ness Monster suddenly peaked and from that moment, sightings of Nessie reached an all-time high.
The Secretary of State for Scotland was forced to serve an official notice to the police to prevent any attacks on the monster.
However the inconsistancies of the strange circular ripples around the creature in contrast to the large waves, in addition to Wilson's refusal of association caused many to doubt the photograph's authenticity.
Eventually the photo was exposed to be a hoax and was in fact a toy submarine with a sculpted head attached.
Sceptics have given countless explanations for sightings of the Loch Ness Monster:
- Bird wakes
- Resident animals
- Swimming elephants
- Seiches & Wakes
- Optical Effects
- Seismic Gas
So the photo was a hoax, does this mean Nessie doesn't exist?
Not at all. Alastair Boyd, one of the researchers who uncovered the hoax, strongly believes Nessie does indeed exist. He sustains that even though this one photograph was fake, it does not necessarily mean all the photos, eyewitness reports and footage of the monster are also.
There have been many recorded sightings of Nessie both on land and water.
One motorcyclist claimed he collided with the Loch Ness Monster at approximately 01.00 hrs on a moonlit night. He described it as a hybrid between a seal and a plesiosaur, however most believe this story was intended to be a humorous explanation for a motorcycle accident late at night.
Canadians have their own Nessie, "Ogopogo", who is reported to live in Okanagan Lake, British Columbia.
Nessie has even been detected by sonar. In 1954 a vessel made contact with the creature. Crew described a large object that kept pace with the boat at a depth of 480 feet (146m) and was detected for 1/2 mile.
So with photo, video and sonar evidence, perhaps catching a glimpse of Nessie isn't quite so unlikely as you may have thought.
Happy Nessie Hunting!