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Thursday, January 28, 2010

LINDSAY SELBY: Loch Lomond Crocodile?

Located in both the lowlands and the southern Highlands of Scotland, Loch Lomond is second only to Loch Ness in volume of water. For years there have been reports by residents living near the loch of a strange creature seen in the water. Some eyewitnesses describe the creature as being like the Loch Ness monster, a plesiosaur like creature, others say it looks like a large crocodile.

Then several eyewitnesses in 1997 said they had seen a 12 foot long beast eating the ducks in Loch Lomond. This article appeared in the press:

Croc Lomond Monster ~ Mystery Of 'Beast' Caught On Film.

By Ray Notarangelo.

A mystery monster has been seen gobbling ducks in Loch Lomond. the 12ft long beast, now captured on video, has left scientists baffled.

One even said it looked like a giant crocodile? SSPCA chiefs yesterday confirmed they had received several reports about the new Nessie.

A five-minute film of the beast has been shot by pals making a pop video on the banks of Loch Lomond, near Rowardennan. Edinburgh freelance journalist Nick Taylor, who owns the film, said: "When the group were packing up they discovered this creature swimming in the water. The thing was gliding through the water slowly, but it often picked up speed and swam against the tide. They got quite a shock, especially when it started to swim towards them at one point. They thought it looked like some giant crocodile or alligator. They had never seen anything like it before.

SSPCE spokeswoman Doreen Graham said: "People came on the phone saying to us: 'I hope you don't think I'm mad, but I've seen a strange creature in Loch Lomond.' ~ One man told us they were looking at a flock of ducks on the loch when suddenly one was pulled under the surface. If anyone can solve the mystery we'd love to hear from them."

Source: Daily Record: 10th April 1997.

The film ended up on the desk of Dr. Andrew Kitchener, of the Royal Museum of Scotland. After viewing the tape he admitted that the creature it showed did appear to be a crocodile; however he made it clear that a crocodile would be unable to survive in Loch Lomond. Dr. Kitchener was able to rule out a mink or an otter as the creature in the videos identity.

So what was it? Well our old friend the sturgeon is a contender and does look reptilian , or even huge pike perhaps, they are known to eat ducklings. Could it have been an abandoned pet croc which got too big to look after? It would have survived for a short time but the cold would eventually have killed it. The mystery remains . If anyone knows of any more recent sightings please post a comment.

6 comments:

Richard Freeman said...

It could have been a sturgeon. These grow large and present a supaficially crocodillian outline.

Dale Drinnon said...

Piasts of Ireland had been called "Irish Crocodiles" and Afnacs were also compared to crocodiles: my interpretation has been to call them giant salamanders after parallel cases in North America. At the same time, that both sturgeons and pikes can be mistaken for crocs seems to be actually demonstrated in different cases. And there is another possibility still: the Master-otter or Water Panther has also been compared to a furry crocodile in some of its appearances, and it is in the correct size range whereas most of the others would fall short.

I would not care to hazard a guess without seeing the film first, though. "Salamanders" were reported at Loch Ness early on, but in Scotland generally I would have to say that evidence tends to favor the Master-otter category over the giant salamanders. And if it actually had the head that looked like a croc, paradoxically that would in turn favor the fishy candidates.

Max Blake said...

The only photo I can find from the footage is here: http://www.bigcatsinbritain.org/croclomondpic.jpg

Syd said...

"For years there have been reports by residents living near the loch of a strange creature seen in the water."
It is wonderful what you can see after over indulging in the local alcoholic beverage. (don't tell anyone but I once saw a purple unicorn swimming there).
To be fair, I doubt that there is any wild life left in or around Loch Lomond. What sort of beast, monster or other critter, could possibly tolerate having its ear drums destroyed by the wail of the bagpipes being inflicted upon it by some guy who seems to spend much of his time there practising. He never gets any better, it always sounds like he is using two bricks to castrate a tom cat.

shiva said...

Are sturgeons actually found in fresh water in Scotland? If they are, then i'd agree it's the likeliest candidate. But i haven't heard of, for instance, any sturgeon angling records from the UK...

Paddy said...

Pike or Wels Catfish are the two most likely candidates for pulling ducks under and eating them. That seems to be a separate issue to the film of a 'croc'. Thanks for posting a pic Max, but I can't say it shows much of anything really! A pike's head is similar in profile to a crocadilian, but not much else. Sturgeon do have the primeval look to fit the bill, but I also have never come across reports from this country of any large enough to fit the bill. Would need to see the film to conclude further