Today is the third and final part of my survey of the opinions of those who believe that sightings of lake monsters can be put down to water spouts or water devils.
In the volume 12 no. 122 issue of The Journal of Meteorology pp 269-271 Michael W. Rowe discussed this issue in an article titled 'Whirlwinds, Sea-Serpents and the Loch Ness Monster.' He wrote:
'In 1976 Dr. Meaden published a paper in this journal in which he propsed that some reports of `monsters` in Loch Ness and other lakes and rivers could be explained as sightings of whirlwinds, particularly water devils… In a later issue Sir Peter Scott, who has studied the problem of the Loch Ness Monster for many years, agreed that Dr Meaden`s theory could well be the explanation for a number of sightings… He proposed several questions, which were answered by Dr. Meaden.
'Until recently there seemed to be no records of whirlwinds on Loch Ness, but in the past few months I have received two reports. Both are unfortunately very lacking in detail, but they are worth putting on record, in view of Dr. Meaden's theory.
'The first report was sent by Mr. Peter Moore, who had seen a whirlwind in Urquhart Bay (NH5329) on the western side of the loch. The whirlwind was seen for only about two seconds, but Mr. Moore recognised what it was, as he had seen whirlwinds on Loch Lomond on at least five occasions.
'The other whirlwind was seen by Clare Page, a pupil of mine at Priestlands Comprehensive School, Lymington. Again there are few details, as Miss Page was only about eight years old when the incident took place (probably in 1983). From a rough sketch map it appears that the whirlwind was not far from Urquhart Castle, and hence in the same general area where Mr. Moore's sighting took place…
'Later, in the summer of 1917, there was "a… sighting in Loch Brittle (NG 3918), Skye.”
'It appeared as a high column, said to be a great deal higher than the object Sandy (a 1910 witness to another object) had seen in Loch Scavaig, and light flashed at the top of the column as though a small head were being turned from side to side. There was a considerable commotion of water astern of it, but no other portion of the body was visible above the surface. It submerged slowly until nothing was left showing above the sea, and it seemed to descend vertically and without flexuion.”
'Heuvelmans comments, "This time we seem to have the long-necked sea-serpent again.”'(1)
Rowe puts the light down to “electrical discharge.” (2)
1. B. Heuvelmans (1968) In The Wake of The Sea Serpent
2. M. Rowe Whirlwinds, Sea-Serpents and The Loch Ness Monster, Journal of Meteorology vol.12, no.122 October 1987 pp 169-271