Nessie, The Loch Ness Monster -


The Loch Ness Monster, affectionately known as Nessie by the locals, is said to live in the large Loch Ness Lake in Scotland. Loch Ness Lake is 22 miles long, about a mile wide, and at it's deepest point it is 950 feet deep. In a nearly inaccessible, remote area up until the early 1930's, Loch Ness Lake is part of the Great Glen which runs like a deep crack clear across Scotland. A small town, Fort Augustus is located at the southern end of the lake, and the town of Inverness is located at the northern end of the lake.

Nessie has been seen in the Lake for a very long time, it seems. Sightings of Nessie have been reported in print as early as AD 565 in the manuscript of Life of St. Columba (vol. 6, book 11, chap 27). It seems that a water monster had bitten to death a man in the Loch Ness Lake. St. Columba made a sign of the cross, sending the monster away. In 1871 or 1872, a Dr. D. MacKenzie, who lived in Balnain had seen the Loch Ness monster, described as looking like an upturned boat, speeding through the water, "wriggling and churning up the water."

Nessie was first spotted in a modern report in the 20th century in July of 1930. Three young men were fishing in a boat out on the lake, close to Dores in the southern part of the lake. Suddenly, 600 yards the water became disturbed as a large creature just under the surface of the water was swimming toward them. It turned away about 300 yards from their boat.

On April, 1933, Nessie was seen by Mr. and Mrs. John Mackay as they traveled along the newly made road from a trip to Inverness. In the middle of the lake, they saw a large animal disturbing the water, with two humps which then made a half turn and disappeared from sight.

In fact, in the very warm summers of 1933-34, Nessie was seen a lot by people, perhaps due to the heat, which seemed to make the creature less shy. Throughout the 1940's, 50's, 60's 70's, 80's & 90's, sightings of Nessie continued.

In 1960, Torquil MacLeod had seen a Nessie almost out of the water. It was between 40 and 60 feet long, with a long neck, like an elephant's trunk, and had paddles at its front and back.

Another interesting sighting happened on June 7, 1974 by monster hunter, Frank Serle when approaching a barbed wire fenced area near Foyers, by the beach front. As he walked by with a woman from Quebec, they both heard a splashing sound. Peering over the barbed wire, they saw two baby creatures near the edge of the shoreline. "They were about two feet long, had dark gray, baby elephant-like skin, fat bodies, long necks, small heads with protruding eyes, and snake-like tails. They each had two stump-like appendages on either side of their bodies." When Serle tried to get by the fence, they scuttled away in a crab-like fashion back into the lake.

The first pictures of the beast were taken by amateur photographers. Near Foyers, Hugh Gray was walking on a bluff, fifty feet above the Loch. When the creature suddenly made an appearance, rising up out of the water, about 200 yards away, the startled man took some pictures of the beast, while it was 2 or three feet above the water. Only one of his pictures came out, and it was a bit blurry because he let the film sit in the camera for two weeks, having ambivalent feelings over what he saw. He did catch a vague, grayish bulk of the creature on film, but this picture was not accepted as scientific evidence by the scientific community and learned zoologists, who debunked the existence of this creature for decades.


The most famous photo, supposedly taken of the creature happened on April 1, 1934 by a surgeon, about 2 miles north of Invermoriston.

He was planning to take pictures of birds, but was in for a surprise when first arriving at this spot, so the story goes. He saw the customary disturbance in the water that is always reported when Nessie makes an appearance. Using a telephoto lens, he managed to get a clear head shot of the "serpentine head," a dinosaur-like neck and its tiny head before it slipped into the lake once more.

At this time, the scientific community declared it a fake, nothing more than an April fool joke. Many years later, another Nessie investigator, Tim Dinsdale made a startling discovery. If one looks closely at the entire picture frame, one can see from a distance the faint "concentric circle" of rings around the head of the creature, and if you look closely, you can see another circle in the background to the creature, indicating that a body is just below the surface. In 1972, this photo was enhanced by a NASA computer, and whiskers were seen hanging down from its mouth. However, in March 1994, it was revealed that the "surgeon's picture" was a practical joke after all by his son, Ian. Using a toy submarine and a fake head, a picture of Nessie was taken, creating the mother of all most successful practical jokes!

The most successful mission to photograph the real Nessie was the 1975 expedition, sponsored by the Academy of Applied Science, in cooperation with the Loch Ness Phenomena Investigation Bureau. One camera with high speed film activated by sonar was placed on a bottom ledge, 80 ft down in the lake. Another camera, taking pictures on a preset interval, hung 40 feet down from the boat, and 40 ft up from the bottom camera, as a back-up system for a 24 hour period; from June 19th to June 20th.

While sonar repeatedly showed large objects near the bottom camera, something had stirred up the silt on the bottom of the Loch, blacking out all the pictures. The camera that was forty feet above this bottom camera, using a took some amazing pictures in the area of the strobe light beam. Pictures of a portion of a pinkish body, an upper torso, neck and head of a living animal, with two stubby appendages are seen. The most startling picture is a clear image of an underwater dragon looking at the camera, in half profile, showing its nostrils, an open mouth and several horn-like projections . After studying several frames of its various body segments, it is suggested that this curious animal has an overall length of 20 feet, with an 18 inch neck, a 9 inch long, 5 inch wide mouth and 6 inch long horns, about 10 inches apart.

Other clear pictures of the animal were taken by Dr. Robert H. Rines, who led a team of investigators from The Academy of Applied Science at the Mass. Institute of Technology, in 1972 and 1975. One of his 1972 pictures shows very clearly an 8 foot long, flipper-like object. A 1975 photograph of his clearly shows a long-necked creature and its front flipper.

Some of the scientific community, as represented by Roy Mackal, a director of the Loch Ness Investigation Bureau and a professor of Biochemistry at the University of Chicago concludes that "a population of moderate-sized, piscivorous aquatic animals is inhabiting Loch Ness." In his 1976 book, "The Monsters of Loch Ness," he thoroughly examines all of the evidence of this unknown species of animal with a critical eye, and still comes to this conclusion. Despite this 1976 book, many in the scientific community are still doubtful about the animals' existence, which has been the traditional view, despite credible evidence.

There are several theories as to what kind of animal / creature, this Nessie may be in reality. One theory claims that pictures of Nessie are identical to a plesiosaur of the Mesozoic era, that was supposed to be extinct for more than 70 million years. Specifically, some scientists think Nessie is an Elasmosaur, a member of the Plesiosaur family.

The original theory of monster hunter, Ted Holiday, who spent time from 1962 - 1965 investigating Loch Ness lake, concluded in his book, The Great Orm of Loch Ness, that the creature was simply a giant version of the common garden slug, an ancestor of the squid and octopus. A type of "Tullimonstrum gregarium, a creature with a shape of a submarine, with a broad tail." Holiday argued that these creatures were in ages past all over England, and were the basis for the dragon legends.

He also came up with another more eccentric theory about the Loch Ness monsters connected to black magic and spells. Intrigued by the horror of people who see Nessie, and similar creatures in Ireland lakes, where an animal couldn't possibly survive, he began to theorize that Nessie-like monsters were merely projections of evil doers who dabble in the black arts. Toward the end of his life in the early 1970's he wrote two books on the subject. "The Goblin Universe" and "The Dragon and the Disc."

Interestingly, later in their investigations, in the late 1980's, both Tim Dinsdale and Erik Beckjord, a "hunter of unexplained mysteries" both came to believe that Nessie was a paranormal phenomena. Erik Beckjord showed a film he took of the creature, that the people who saw it agreed that the creature was a white, shape-shifting thing that wasn't a reptile."

Meanwhile, Nessie continues to this day to appear on the lake, especially when the water is calm, much to the delight of not only lucky tourists, but also the local people, who depend on the tourists coming to investigate for monetary income, which helps the local economy. Nessie is an unknown animal / creature / thing, that stimulates the public's imagination to thinking that there is a element of danger and terror about its character. All the evidence, with the exception of the paranormal theories, suggests, however, that Nessie is "a shy, amiable and quite harmless" creature, that doesn't pose a threat to people.

Something in the lake near Urquhart Castle.

An underwater photo that appears to be a large flipper.

Nessie, Still In The News