Posts Tagged ‘Loch Ness Monster’

Do lake monsters take sabaticals? It appears that they do. In May, a Nessie sighting was reported on Loch Ness, after an absence of 8 months. The last previous sighting was in August of 2016.

Rob Jones, a tourist from Wales, recorded a strange object while visiting the mystical lake. It moved in front of a boat, then disappeared from view. You can view the images here at The Mirror’s website.

The cynic in me thinks the “strange object” looks a lot like a navigational buoy, the type installed to warn of submerged hazards. It’s claimed that the object moved in front of a boat, but if you look at the foliage on the lake shore, it’s clear that the object is stationary. Only the boat is moving.

What really interests me is the second half of the coverage. The Mirror interviewed a man who keeps a web site where anyone can report Nessie sightings. Gary Campbell once experienced a sighting himself. His search for information led him to establish his web site, The Official Loch Ness Monster Sightings Register.

Over the years, hundreds of reports have been cataloged. With the popularity of smart phones and similar devices, more and more photos and videos have been uploaded. Although most are quickly explained, Campbell is able to maintain something of an online journal around Nessie’s supposed activities. This is how we know that Nessie had “been away” for 8 months.

Even cryptids can’t escape the paparazzi!

A few of my other books:

Aunt Ursula’s Atlas, Lucy D. Ford’s short story collection and Masters of Air & Fire, her middle-grade novel.

The Grimhold Wolf, my Gothic werewolf fantasy, and my epic fantasy, The Seven Exalted Orders.

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Perhaps the most famous dragon hoax is that of the Loch Ness Monster. Legends of lake monsters had been circulating around the Scottish loch for centuries, but they spiked with a series of reports in 1933 and ’34. Among the most notable and controversial evidence is the so-called Surgeon’s Photograph.

A London physician, Robert Kenneth Wilson, allegedly photographed Nessie at play in April of 1934. He reported that he had been viewing the loch and noticed the creature, whereupon he started taking pictures. There were four exposures, but only two were clear enough to be published. Because the photographer didn’t wish to be associated with such a topic, the best shot was published as “the Surgeon’s Photograph.” It’s the archetypal Nessie image: turbulent waters, a long neck with tiny head, and suggestions of a humped back behind.

Its publication in The Daily Mail created a sensation and firmly fixed this image in the public mind. There were skeptics from the outset, however. Dozens of theories have been floated in the decades since: a submerged log, a bird, an otter, a large fish or eel, even an elephant from a passing circus. Some said the physician innocently took photos of an object without knowing what it was. Others believed the newspaper created the hoax to sell copies, and that was why Dr. Wilson would have no part of it.

During the same decades, technology for analyzing photos has also improved. Since the mid-1990s, the Surgeon’s Photograph has been known as a fake. Analysis showed that the photo had been cropped to make “Nessie” appear much larger, and the ripples surrounding her were also consistent with a small object. A 1999 book, Nessie — the Surgeon’s Photograph Exposed, related a complicated plot.

According to the author, a reporter named Marmaduke Wetherell had been duped by a hoax of alleged Nessie footprints. He was publicly mocked when he tried to sell pictures to The Daily Mail and set out to get revenge. Together with his co-conspirators, he build the Nessie model from a child’s toy submarine and wood putty. Dr. Wilson was another friend who agreed to sell the photos to The Daily Mail, so the editors wouldn’t know Wetherell was involved.

Despite this apparent resolution, claims and counter-claims have continued to surface. New science, such as sonar, is periodically employed to investigate the famous lake. Each adds a new ripple to the mystery of Loch Ness.

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