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Saturday, December 04, 2010

DALE DRINNON: Could Nessie REALLY Swim through the City of Inverness Unnoticed?

I am surprised at how often I hear it raised as an objection that if a large animal swam up the River Ness through the metropolis of Inverness it should attract some attention at least.

The best reply to that is an analogous case of a large released captive crocodylian (called an alligator by the press) into the White River some twenty years ago. White River runs through the city of Indianapolis and the city of Indianapolis is about three times the size of Inverness. According to Wikipedia, Inverness had an estimated population in 2008 of 56,660 while Indianapolis had an population estimate of 1,774,665 in 2007.

And Literally NOBODY in Indianapolis was aware there was an 'alligator' in the White River at the time. There were not even any rumours circulating about it: our press services picked up the story from the National Press services. Periodically there are large sea animals (whales) that go up the rivers in the middle of big cities like San Francisco or New York City. Unless somebody lavishes a lot of press coverage on the event or writes a book nobody pays any attention. The tendency to disbelief is THAT strong.

So actually it is not difficult to believe that it happens every so often Nessie goes swimming down the centre of Inverness (usually in choppy floodwaters and at night, according to some of the witness reports when something actually was reported) and nobody even bothers to go take a look. As a society, we are THAT apathetic.

[Many instances of errant crocodylians are listed in L. Coleman's Mysterious America among other sources. The instance I mentioned in Indianapolis was after the publication of that book. I subsequently read about it in FATE magazine; the story had not been carried locally. I live in Indianapolis.]


Geordie-dave said...

It seems Nessie is pretty much boxed in Loch Ness because if she tried to swim the other way towards Fort William she would have to pass through...(Cue the music) Dan,dan,dannnnnn.Neptune's Staircase!Gasp,gulp,shock,horror!

Dr Dan Holdsworth said...

On a similar note, some months before the first Gulf War, a bright orange light was observed by a very few ground observers to pass overhead, over Liverpool, North Manchester, over the Pennines and past the Leeds-Bradford conurbation, and was last heard of somewhere out near Hull. The wind was not a westerly that night, and air traffic radar did not detect the object, though it notably did not cross any active flight paths at a height where it could have been in danger.

The best explanation, little green men excepted, was that the device was a fairly primitive drone aircraft launched by the UK (or US with the connivance of the UK) military, to see how much notice people take of bright UFOs which are obviously not civilian aircraft. I am fairly certain that the military involved would have been pretty chuffed at the overwhelming lack of interest taken in the thing, and remember, this was well before the reprehensible practice of releasing fire lanterns into the night sky became common.

People are simply not all that observant at night. Generations of poachers have always known this, and no doubt many metal-detecting nighthawks also know that at night, people are remarkably unobservant. Indeed, the crop circle talks at the Weird Weekend also demonstrate this fairly conclusively as well; even when people are out looking for folk who shouldn't be around and are up to no good, it is very easy to disappear.

A naturally cryptic water-living animal ought to have no problem at all staying out of sight of people.