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Friday, May 21, 2010

LINDSAY SELBY: Loch Ness in recent times

With the summer almost upon us, can we expect more sightings to be reported from Loch Ness? The number of sightings of the Loch Ness creatures varies on whose work you read. Some say as little as 2000 sightings since 1930s; some say as many as 4000. Since 2002 I can only find a recorded number of 20 sightings. It may be that people aren’t reporting it any more, of course, or it may just be there are less sightings. Possibly less people are looking for anything; certainly there aren’t the expeditions there used to be. I would have thought with modern technology there would have been more photos people had taken on mobile phones etc. Here are some examples of the sightings:

August 2002: A man travelling on the A82 towards Fort Augustus saw an unknown object going at speed through the water across the loch

February 2002: Two local residents of Dores saw something move quickly from Tor point to the Clansman Hotel. They said that it created a wake and there was definite splashing from the head of whatever the creature was.

June 2003: The captain of local cruise boat The Royal Scot reported seeing a fast moving v-shaped wake on the surface of the loch at 2.10pm. The water was very calm at the time.

May 2003: Local coastguard skipper George Edwards saw a six-foot-long creature surface for about 2-3 minutes close to Urquhart Castle at around 1.00 in the afternoon. He said it was dark grey in colour and had a rough texture to its skin.

August 2004: At 4pm Tom Clegg of Worcestershire saw three dark humps out from the shore between Invermoriston and Fort Augustus. He said there were no boats in the vicinity at the time.

August 2005: Mr Bell and his family from Newcastle watched what they described as the head of a large animal move through the loch at 6pm in the evening.

May 2007: Gordon Holmes of Shipley, Yorkshire, took a video of an unknown creature at 9.50pm from a layby at the north end of the loch.

March 2007: Sidney and Janet Wilson photographed a strange animal from the back of cruise boat near Urquhart Castle.

February 2008: Brenda Ellis from Foyers took four snaps on her mobile phone of a creature moving north in the water near Inverfarigaig on the south side of the loch. She said the creature was black/brown in colour and was moving in the water for 10-15 minutes.

June 2009: Douglas MacDougall spotted a hump in the water near the Clansman Hotel.

I haven’t included them all or all the details, I am sure you can find them on the web. They vary from seeing wakes to seeing creatures. There seems to be a lack of interest in Loch Ness but maybe some media hype (I know of one journalist who is going up there to write a piece. Good Luck with that!) or some good sightings may persuade people to restart another Loch Ness investigation and put the mystery to bed once and for all. At the moment there is no compelling evidence either way. There are people I have spoken to - local people - who know what they saw. These are not people who would tell their stories to the media or even tell many people. Most of these sightings are not recorded anywhere. I respect their privacy. I think they are honest and believe they saw something. On the other hand we have the non-believers; many who were once believers I might add; who deny existence of anything in the loch. I think to deny there has ever been anything in the loch is rather short-sighted of them as no one knows what lies in that 25 feet (8 metres) thick layer of silt at the bottom. I still hope something will be found but suspect it will be much more mundane than the monster people hope for. Like many who have heard the local stories of large eels being caught in the loch years ago (up to 16 feet [5 metres] long ) I suspect that may well be the answer. Mundane or not, I still would like the answer!


Dale Drinnon said...

Sounds mostly like wake reports although some reports of SMALL Monsters might be interesting. It must have been twenty years since I heard any definite "Periscope" sightings 6 feet out of the water from Loch Ness. What is being reported there now could be mostly sightings of seals or otters, or small families of the same.

Incidentally at my yahoo group Frontiers-of-Zoology, we have been having a discussion on whether "Nessie" is actually intermittent instead of being a permanent resident of the Loch. It has been just ages since anybody reported the 60 foot "Old Bull"

borky said...

Lindsay: "I would have thought with modern technology there would have been more photos people had taken on mobile phones".

Lindsay, people say of astronomers, they're the guys with the telescopes, why aren't they reporting flying saucers?

But telescopes and binoculars only magnify the tiny bit of the sky they're pointed at - the rest of the sky they block out.

Ditto modern technology like mobiles - yes, they can record remarkable types and quantities of data, but most people use them for emails, tweets, videos of monkeys licking their nuts.

I watch my kids using these things and marvel at their ability to simultaneously hold twelve ongoing texted conversations, take in an endless barrage of must see/hear videos, latest hits, do their homework assignments, and covertly switch between the websites they don't mind you knowing they visit, and the ones they distinctly DON'T want you knowing they visit.

I could take the pair of them to Loch Ness and have Nessie lap dance for 'em, but unless they were tipped off what was happening by a text, tweet, or Youtube clip, they wouldn't notice a thing.


borky said...

Dale: "at my yahoo group Frontiers-of-Zoology, we have been having a discussion on whether "Nessie" is actually intermittent".

Dale, I was recently reading an account of the Hindu Krishna story.

The thing's absolutely chocker with cryptids, (especially giant ape man like critters who go round raping human women and cannibalising human males).

But there's one particular account concerning Krishna's subduing of Kaliya, a serpent like demon who, until he and his family got their ars*s whupped by Krishna, lived in fresh water locations, but thereafter were punished by being exiled to the saltwater realm of the ocean.

It just struck me as kind of curious a tale many thousands of years old could conceive of a gigantic 'serpent' that spent part of its existence in its 'preferred' lake location, the rest of the time 'exiled' to the sea.