Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Malcolm Robinson's The Monsters of Loch Ness

Malcolm Robinson's book on Nessie will be out soon, so look out for it the usual outlets. Two thoughts struck me. The first was how Malcolm managed to use the same title as an existing Nessie book? I refer to the book by Roy Mackal from 1976. I guess you're allowed to do that sort of thing. With 66 titles on the beast, I guess authors can only juggle the words "loch", "ness" and "monster" so much!

Secondly, I note that Frank Searle's infamous February 1976 Nessie picture features on the cover. I look forward to Malcolm's treatise on Frank Searle and his book in general!

POSTSCRIPT: I note the book is now available at Lulu here.

The author can be contacted at

Friday, 15 July 2016

Barry Blount RIP

Loren Coleman has informed the cryptozoological community of the death of Barry Blount at his news website. I had been in correspondence with Barry a few times over his love for the Loch Ness Monster mystery.  By the time he had touched base with me, he was living in the province of British Columbia involved with the various cryptids in that part of the world. Now, if I had to leave Scotland, the beautiful province of British Columbia with its Sasquatch, Cadborosaurus and Ogopogo would be a pretty attractive option. Perhaps I'll get there one day.

Barry told me of an experience he had with Nessie once while pursuing the beast with a friend back in 1964. I published that account on this blog in 2013 and you can read it here. Barry also communicated some ideas to me including a novel one on the Lachlan Stuart photograph. You can read his document on that here.

Once again, rest in peace, Barry.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Five Hundred Posts and Counting

As the title says, this is the five hundredth posting I have made to this blog since its inception. Also, if this blog manages to survive another six days to reach the 18th July, that would mark six years of blogging on the Loch Ness Monster.

Now I recall years back when this blog was bright eyed and bushy tailed that somebody of a sceptical persuasion suggested I was wasting my time with such a thing and should employ my talents elsewhere (perhaps being a sceptic?). That advice was declined and I am glad I did it as the website has gone on from strength to strength.

The visits to the blog began slowly enough, but now it enjoys thousands of hits per day with Google ranking it high on a search of "loch ness monster". Sometimes the blog manages to rank as high as third (below), most of the time it is lower down as it competes with the latest Nessie stories from the more popular pages of the mainstream media. But the main thing is that it has a presence that ensures the alternate sceptical view is not dominant.

But, as said before, that is not so much as a matter of boasting but rather the recognition that people find what I do interesting enough to revisit the site on a regular basis. I am happy to oblige them as I find the whole subject of the monster a fascinating business myself, bolstered by the fact that I continue to believe that a real creature of monster proportions inhabits the loch.

And I would say that I increasingly believe that proposition to be true as I have re-examined old monster reports, films, photographs and looked at them from a fresh perspective. Classics such as the Hugh Gray and Peter MacNab pictures have gone up in my estimation as have others.

This also includes reports from sincere and experienced witnesses who bolster the argument despite the withering attempts of sceptics to put down witnesses and portray them as incompetents and liars. I have spoken to some of these people myself and I do not get the impression that they are fools who can't tell a bunch of birds flapping about from a large, dark hump bigger than anything known to be in the loch.

The strap line at the top of the blog to reclaim the monster from the current tide of scepticism has included reviewing past eyewitness testimony as well as critiquing not so convincing sceptical theories. Those arguments are laid out elsewhere, but as time has progressed, I have increasingly seen their ideas as hollower and hollower.

If the idea of a colony of aquatic dinosaurs can be seen as naive, then the idea of boat wakes, birds and logs solving the mystery is simplistic to say the least. The solution lies in between and as you can see in the picture below, there is no lack of candidates! Each theory has its shortcomings and therefore the search continues.

This has led to conflict, especially when the comments section of the blog was left open to all and sundry. That left the door open to sceptics who, when they lacked a rational argument, resorted to ad hominems. Admittedly, those on the other side of the debate were not averse to the same approach, so now that part of the blog is tightened.

You still get the odd nutter sending glib and insulting comments. They even pose as believers and say solemnly that my own arguments have convinced them there is no Loch Ness Monster! These get binned and never see the light of day.

One sceptic even said that restricting comments would send web traffic down so much the blog would die. Since that comment was made, web traffic has doubled. The problem with sceptics was that they valued their comments higher than the content they were trying to discredit. Sorry guys, we're here for the Monster, not you.

Of course, the blog is not all about sightings. We have discussed theories, folklore, cultural and media representations, the people and personalities behind the whole mystery, book reviews, upcoming events, my own trips to the loch and other mysterious beasties from around the world. It's all there and if it isn't, I hope to include it in the future!

As ever, there is a backlog of subjects to address, investigate and write up. This is a subject that just keeps on giving as new reports and photos roll in, old material comes to light or a new angle is found on an old subject. While other websites grind to a halt, rarely update or just try and present tired, sceptical opinions as objective data, I will aim to continue to provide more material on this centuries old topic.

What is the conclusion of the matter? Someday this blog will have a final entry and I would like to think it would be a welcome message completing the circle on the first post back in 2010 as it introduces the website and directs future enquirers to the various sections.

But when that end is near and faces the final curtain, the record will show that I did it my way and not the sceptics' way!

Thank you for your support.

The author can be contacted at

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

A Loch Ness Monster Sighting from 1993

I found this Nessie report while I was doing my usual rounds of the Internet a few weeks back. It is taken from the Highland News dated 28th August 1993. It is a known account and Gary Campbell has the sighting listed on his sightings register site for the August 10th.

Steve Feltham, stationed at Dores Bay, has known Roland O'Brien for 25 years and I asked for his opinion of this report. He certainly regards this as a very good sighting by a local fisherman who has fished on the shore extensively.

And I would agree with him. I have said it before, but I always give more credence to people who have a long track record of watching the loch (for whatever reason). They are the ones who are more than familiar with the moods of the loch and are far less likely to be deceived than someone just off a tourist bus who has never lived near a body of water in their lives.

The original clipping is below with the text of the report further below for ease of reading.

A SCANIPORT man has broken his silence on a rare double sighting of the Loch Ness Monster. He is 41-year-old forestry and landscape contractor Roland O'Brien of Balmore Farm, Scaniport.

The memorable night Nessie gave him an encore was Tuesday August 10 but he said that, like most country folk, he's been reluctant to talk about it. He told the Highland News he was waiting for a fishing mate at the 30mph limit sign on the Foyers side of Dores when he had the biggest shock of his life. 

 "I had baited my rod and had been fishing for 10 minutes. and there were quite a few fish rising," he said.

"Something caught the corner of my eye, but I didn't pay it too much attention to start with. It was its strange behaviour that made me look again. I saw a large dark hump about 500 yards out from the shore and heading toward the buoy in Dores Bay. From the size of the buoy, I would estimate that what I saw was between eight and 10 feet long." Roland revealed.

"It was about four feet out of the water at its highest point, making it larger than the buoy. It moved rapidly for about five minutes and seemed to be making lots of splashing in front of it. It came to a stop, then started again. It stopped again, then started off again a third time." Roland said.

"About 50 metres from the buoy it stopped. appeared to turn round, then headed back. Then it sank on the spot without a trace." Roland said he did not know what to do, because he was simply shocked rigid by his experience. But he was to receive a second helping! 

I'd been watching for about four minutes before the creature went down," he said. "then, about a minute later, up she came again! The second time, there was no great commotion. It was moving reasonably slowly back towards me in about a 60-degree angle. The shape was the same as before. It looked fairly bulky.

Swimming back from the buoy, it came to about 350 yards from me. I watched it again for about five minutes. About halfway into the second sighting, there was a big splash beside the hump," Roland said. "The splashing continued for a couple of minutes, then it sank again, and again it left no trace."

Again he was not frightened, just shocked rigid, not knowing what to do. Altogether, he had had a grandstand view of Nessie for something like 10 minutes in excellent visibility with the loch calm.

"I have been watching Loch Ness for something like 10 years," Roland said, "I had seen something twice before, but never anything like this. Any talk of logs, dogs, cattle or deer swimming is nonsense. What I saw was large and capable of going from standstill to extremely fast in seconds. Not only that, but when it turned, I seemed to see something light. There seemed to be a lighter underside to the creature."

His main regret is that his fishing mate Kenny MacKenzie, who has had a classic sighting himself, missed Nessie's double show by 10 minutes.

"Mind you" he laughed, "it was even worse for monster hunter Steve Feltham. He was on the wrong side of the loch, at Fort Augustus, at the time!"

So ends the report and consider that statement, "any talk of logs, dogs, cattle or deer swimming is nonsense". I like that. This man is a "knower" and not just a "believer". I don't actually know Mr. O'Brien's view on his sighting 23 years on, but I suspect he hasn't decided on logs, dogs or ungulates.

Or perhaps, as some sceptics like to aver, this is another of those local "jokers" who love to pull our legs and have a laugh behind our backs. I think I will reserve judgement on who is actually joking here.

The author can be contacted at

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Revisiting the William Jobes Photograph

Do you remember this picture from back in 2011? It created a bit of a stir back then and made its way into the national newspapers. At the time, I published a couple of blog articles (here and here), but I stated that until I heard from William himself, I couldn't really say more. 

That time came last Saturday as William came up to talk to me at the Scottish UFO and Paranormal Conference in Glasgow. I am glad he did as I now have a much clearer picture of what happened over those days in May 2011 straight from the man who witnessed and photographed the Loch Ness Monster.

Right enough, I am now moving from somewhere between neutral and the theory that this was just a piece of garbage that had floated into the loch. I now take the view that William took a series of photographs of Nessie and that his account was distorted and downgraded by the media  (despite the sceptics telling us that the papers have a habit of "bigging up" Nessie reports). William told me that the tip to the right of the picture is the tail of the creature.

Of course, speaking face to face with a witness makes a difference and I was convinced of his sincerity and genuineness. That may not stop sceptics saying that he genuinely misinterpreted something he saw, but based on what I heard and saw from him, that does not look likely. The thought that struck me was why no one else had come forward with a photograph of this so-called piece of rubbish floating around in the loch? After all, it wasn't going anywhere and there are more than enough tourists around Fort Augustus Pier in late May watching the loch with their cameras.

Anyway, the story is not for me to tell at this point in time. William told me that his story and photographs will be appearing in Malcolm Robinson's soon to be published "The Monsters of Loch Ness". I spoke to Malcolm at the conference on Saturday and it looks like it will be out in about a month. I won't steal his thunder and I will comment further once the book has been published and reviewed here.

The author can be contacted at

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Carcass at Loch Ness

Just saw this on Facebook. The things you find at Loch Ness (I think this is Dores beach). Apparently there is some filming going on there and it looks like someone made a visit to the local abbatoir. As explained in a previous posting, scenarios such as this are not likely due to the loch's topography and chemistry.

The Daily Record catches up with the story here.

Steve Feltham also reports from the scene by video here.

Details about the TV drama series behind this publicity stunt can be found here.

Meanwhile, what is this that has just been photographed at the London Docks? Was it the cause of the previous humps videos? Going by the photos I have seen it looks about three to four foot long.

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Video Lecture: A Paranormal History of The Loch Ness Monster

For your delectation, here is the video of my lecture given 25th June on a paranormal history of Nessie. This was part of the 2016 Scottish UFO and Paranormal Conference. It was a good time as I revisited my old Alma Mater, Glasgow University, where I studied Astronomy, Mathematics and Natural Philosophy under such people as Professor Archie Roy (who was unbeknown to me at the time a leading psychic investigator). This time I came to learn about demons, poltergeists, sasquatch, UFOs and mushrooms.

I decided to give the paranormal view on the Loch Ness Monster by way of a history of such thinking. Given that many attendees may not have been fully familiar with the subject, I also began with a general history of the subject. The Sunday Herald newspaper ran an article on the conference, which you can read here.

The author can be contacted at