Thursday, 1 December 2016

Interview With Affleck Gray

After reviewing Nick Redfern's Nessie book, I realised I had a couple of items to post. This was mainly inspired by Nick's investigation into other strange phenomena that haunt the general Highland region and may or may not have anything to do with the Loch Ness Monster.

The first of the two items is the Am Fear Liath Mor or Big Grey Man which is said to inhabit the area around Ben MacDhui in the Cairngorms mountains. This spot lies over 30 miles south east of Loch Ness. The Grey Man is a phenomenon that is more often heard than seen amidst the lonely peaks. However, a friend of Nessie sceptic, Richard Frere, did claim to see a large, brown humanoid figure heading down the hill.

A Scottish version of Bigfoot or something that has a more normal explanation? Affleck Gray was the man who wrote the definitive book on the subject in 1970 entitled "The Big Grey Man of Ben Macdhui" and back in July I stumbled upon an interview with him in a magazine found in a Stornoway shop.

The magazine was the Spring 1995 edition of "Tocher", which covers various Scottish folkloric and cultural subjects. The interview was conducted by Roger Leitch in 1994 when Gray was 87 years old. He died two years later in 1996 and so the interview probably gives us his last thoughts on the subject of the Gray Man and other matters. The scan of the pages can be viewed at this link.

I will post the second item on a possible UFO report from near Loch Ness presently.

The author can be contacted at

Saturday, 26 November 2016

A Review of Nick Redfern's "Nessie"

Having reviewed Malcolm Robinson's book on Nessie, I now move onto another recent publication by Nick Redfern entitled "Nessie: Exploring the Supernatural Origins of the Loch Ness Monster". Now, Malcolm's book had its fair share of references to the psychic, paranormal and supernatural. But, if that book was the starter on this subject, Nick's is definitely the main course.

Following in the tradition of Holiday's "The Dragon and The Disc", "Goblin Universe" and Shiels' "Monstrum!", we have waited over 25 years for another like minded book, and Nick Redfern is the man to continue this centuries old thread in the tale. Now, one would normally expect such a book to be rubbished as the majority of Nessie people continue to look to the biological for a solution.

I, too, seek an answer in the realms of zoology, but I can view myself as being able to critique Nick's book to a certain degree as I was in the paranormal Nessie camp many moons ago. In fact, if you want to read my views back in the 1980s, I refer you to one of the archived Nessletters from Rip Hepple here.

I also recently gave a talk at the Scottish UFO and Paranormal Conference in which I examined the links between Nessie and Ley Lines. Well, actually, I was regurgitating stuff I had done back in the 1980s. What I exactly think of those results, I am not sure myself!

Anyway, I move onto the book. If one is going to talk about supernatural Nessies, one must start at the beginning with St. Columba and progress through the tales of water horses, kelpies and other such mingled constructs of overlaid truth.

Opinions vary as to the nature of these beasts as perceived by those who once told tales of them to riveted audiences. Nick takes a view which is, shall we say, all encompassing as to their nature and relation to other Highland phenomena of the time and their shape shifting tendencies. You could probably call it a paranormal Grand Unified Theory.

Indeed, there is a large degree of overlap between my own book and Nick’s as the folkloric landscape is surveyed. The question is how literally should one take these tales? How big was the kernel of truth that was too often obscured by ancient raconteurs? That answer very much depends on who you ask and Nick supplies his own opinions on these pre-industrial demons. 

Taking those demonic forms into the modern Nessie era is not normally done by the majority of researchers, but Nick takes this oldest of Loch Ness Monster theories and attempts to map it onto the modern phenomenon.

But how does one go about proving that the Loch Ness Monster is a supernatural beast? What exactly does that mean? Is it a product of the human mind or another mind? Is it a real sentient entity in its own right or does it even have a substantial form? Nick homes in on his answer as the book progresses.

Though having proven beyond his own doubt that plesiosaurs are not the answer, how do you do the opposite for a paranormal cryptid? The evidence is circumstantial. But then again, is that not the way of it with Nessie theories of all shades?

From that period and 1933 onwards, Nick narrates the Nessie story to the present day. There are the usual suspects plus a few minor typos on the way. Willox the Warlock did not battle the Loch Ness Kelpie, his ancestor did. Marmaduke Wetherell did not find the hippopotami spoors, he created them. Moreover, Loch Latch is written as Loch Laide.

But Nick follows a parallel course as he presents stories from in and around Loch Ness that suggest there is more to this area than just elusive aquatic beasts. With that in mind, we are regaled with stories of ghosts, the Loch Ness Hoodoo, UFOs, out of place cats, Aleister Crowley, exorcisms, Men in Black, witches and other strange people with somewhat magical designs upon the place.

Indeed, Nick will answer such questions as why researcher Jon Downes was butt naked at Loch Ness and what Boleskine House has to do with the Disney cartoon, The Jungle Book! But this all culminates in the sinister suggestion that a serpent worshipping cult may have operated at the loch, and may even do so today. The evidence for this is somewhat tenuous, but considering men are inclined to worship almost anything past, present and future, why should that surprise us?

After all, we have had the rituals of Donald Omand, Doc Shiels and Kevin Carlyon. Have we missed anything out? To this end, Nick refers us to further clues which I leave to your judgement. 

Ted Holiday and Doc Shiels, of course, figure highly, as does Tim Dinsdale. Holiday’s untimely demise is viewed with suspicion. Shiels’ activities are not viewed with the same eye as Nick embraces him. His 1977 Nessie photos are generally rejected, but Nick puts up a defence, omitting to address the matter of the audio tapes featuring Shiels and friend Michael McCormick in 1977 which records them discussing how to fake monster photographs. Nick needs to reply to that before we proceed further with Anthony Shiels.

We know Tim Dinsdale was a member of the Ghost Club and had his own fair share of spooky stories (as well as an alleged demonic attack). However, Tim’s public opinion very much stayed in the biological domain. Did Tim secretly believe in a supernatural Nessie? Only his family and closest confidants can come clean on this, thirty years after his death.

As one that continues to believe in paranormal phenomena in other domains, I accept that strange things happen around Loch Ness. The question for me is how statistically significant they are compared to other geographical regions and what is the relation between increasing distance from the loch and diminishing relevance to the loch?

Moreover, having accepted the premise of a supernatural Loch Ness region, how do you use that to make the leap to a supernatural Loch Ness monster? And here’s the rub. Putting aside old tales of talking kelpies and indirect stories of other things around the area, what exactly is it about the modern monster itself that speaks of a paranormal nature?

The answer is precious little as Nessies don’t vanish like ghosts. They don’t do unnatural feats like fly off or speak to you. They don’t look as weird as werewolves or mothmen. They don’t give off sulphurous smells like devils or cause any strange synchronicities.

Maybe they don’t have to, but there are one or two things with better promise. The shape shifting thing; is that paranormal or normal? Nick points to variations in appearances described by witnesses. Perhaps so, but how much of that is accountable by intra-species variations due to sex, age or seasonality? How much of the variation is just down to the fact that eyewitnesses cannot deliver a 100% accurate description (but still accurate enough to point to a large creature inhabiting the loch)?

But all is not lost. As I close, there are some strange things that defy explanation for me. Ted Holiday’s weird experiences after the 1973 exorcism are not so easily dismissed and that strange figure he met near Urquhart Castle may not just be a mad motor biker. There are other tales that also make you think twice. I refer readers to the story related by Tim Richardson, which does not make it into Nick’s book, but points to something perhaps beyond the normal.

Is the Loch Ness Monster a demonic form, a psychic projection, a zooform or something else that is currently beyond scientific explanation? I know there are many people who class themselves as paracryptozoologists. It is up to them to continue to make the case for such a thing. I suspect their number is increasing; they just need to increase the arguments in line with that.

The author can be contacted at

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Helping Loren Coleman

There are two things cryptozoologists can be fairly certain of. They can be sure that some ailment will eventually overtake them in old age and they can also be pretty sure that there is not much money in cryptozoology to pay the bills. Long time cryptozoological researcher, Loren Coleman, has come up against the realities of both as he recently went into hospital for another operation.

The concept of medical bills is a bit foreign to me as a citizen of the United Kingdom where the State funded National Health Service picks up the tab, but that is not the way it happens in the USA. However, the concept of not paying the bills from cryptozoological work is not foreign to me. So, with a bill of over $7,000 to pay, he has set up this funding webpage to seek help from compassionate people. I have paid something in to help a man who has helped keep the mystery of lake and other cryptids in the limelight.

I hope you can too.

The author can be contacted at

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Some Thoughts on the Peter MacNab Picture

This photo needs no introduction to any seasoned Nessie fan. Peter MacNab's picture of the Loch Ness Monster was published by the Weekly Scotsman just seven days after they ran the story on the H. L. Cockrell picture on the 23rd October 1958. I ran my main article on that photo here and you can refer to that for background information on the main objections to the photo. Today, I will address another objection, end with a question, but I first start with a story.

I am going to pretend to be a sceptic and then debunk myself. I know, I know, how can a simpleton believer reach the intellectual heights of even the average sceptic? Well, I will try to leap that mighty chasm. The book below is a rather non-descript affair entitled "The Mystery of the Loch Ness Monster" by Jeanne Bendick published in 1976.

I bought a copy of the book, mainly because I collect such things, but the title doesn't make my list of Nessie books because it is a book written for children and it is one of those pop-books written on the coat tails of the surge in Loch Ness interest into the last half of the 1970s. However, while I was flicking through it, my attention was arrested by the picture below.

It is a picture of Loch Ness, I am not sure where it was taken and that is largely irrelevant. The thing that grabbed my attention was the text below it saying "Copyright, P. A. MacNab". The same copyright message is seen under the famous MacNab photo in the same book. Okay, well that proves to some extent that Peter MacNab was at Loch Ness. But when was the picture taken? The car in the picture provides a clue.

Not having any expertise in the matter of classic cars, I emailed the picture to someone who runs a Classic Cars website for his expert opinion. His reply was "Looking at the general shape, I’d plump for an Austin A40 Farina.". Okay, a quick look on the Internet tells me that is a good fit and so I'll go along with that.

However, these cars did not appear until 1958, the same year that Peter MacNab's photo hit the headlines. So the photo was taken no earlier than 1958, but I (pretending to be a sceptic) will point out that MacNab claimed he took his famous picture in 1955. Has Peter MacNab been caught out? Was his famous picture and the one above in fact taken a short time apart in 1958?

Cue images of sceptics jumping up and down like kids in a sweet shop singing "We've got MacNaaaaaaaab!". Of course, any interval of time could have passed between the Nessie picture and this one, but now it is time to debunk myself. The car was indeed introduced to the world in 1958 and so, going by this photo alone,  Peter MacNab must have been at Loch Ness no earlier than that year.

But looking at the car's wikipedia entry, I note that it was introduced to the world at the London Motor Show in October 1958. You can see the cover of the Daily Mail's review of the show below which states the show ran from the 22nd October to 1st November. Since Peter MacNab's Nessie picture appeared in the 30th October issue of the Weekly Scotsman and he was prompted by an article dated the 23rd October, it is highly unlikely that an Austin A40 Farina was motoring along the shore of Loch Ness when (it is alleged) Peter MacNab snapped his Urquhart Bay background photo for his alleged fake setup.

The sweet shop is now closed.

What we can deduce from this picture was that Peter MacNab revisited the loch, perhaps as early as 1959. Why would he do that? Well, wouldn't you if you had previously snapped a picture of a large and mysterious beast (or two as he thought)?

Peter MacNab; bank manager, local councillor and President of the Clan MacNab Society was still sticking to his story when he appeared on Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World over 20 years later. The psychological profile of the one shot hoaxer rather demands that they just quietly and voluntarily drop out of the picture. After all, sceptics always tell us that these photos are a "joke that went too far".


As an addendum to this little tale, you will have noticed I volunteered information that could be detrimental to a cryptid interpretation of the photograph. Do sceptics act the same way? To whit, Roy Mackal declared in 1976 that the MacNab photo was unacceptable as evidence based on the two apparently divergent pictures below.

In my main article on the MacNab photo, that argument was summarily dismissed once an overlay was done on the two versions. The top one was a slight enlargement and crop, leading to the foreground bushes being cropped out. End of argument (though that does not stop sceptics still pushing it, such as this website).

Now, I am no expert on photographic forensics, but one Loch Ness sceptic claims to be one. He shall remain nameless, but we shall call him Dick Raynor. On his own sceptical website, he includes the MacNab photo and a short analysis.

I was then struck by a minor revelation. If this self proclaimed photographic expert had spotted this non-argument as well, why didn't he put us all to rights on the issue? Why perpetuate a false argument against one of the best Nessie pictures? One can only make two conclusions. Either he was not expert enough to spot the non-problem or he did spot it but decided to keep silent about it. The end justifies the means? Draw your own conclusions on that one.


Moving on, since I published my previous words on the photo, another objection cropped up on Internet discussion forums. The argument basically ran that the image of the hump was too uniformly dark and it should have shown some degree of variation in reflection or tones due to the water lying or running off the skin surface. This was clearly an argument setting us up for the "painted on monster" hypothesis.

Well, this is one of those plausible as opposed to probable arguments that all too frequently crop up. As a comparison, I show you two pictures of another large, dark object that used to move past Urquhart Castle. I am referring to the dark hull of the Gondolier steamer ship.

Quite frankly, I see no variation in its tones either, despite the water crashing off it or differences in its surface texture or shades. The issue here is simply that both objects are too far away for any finer details to be resolved on what are less than superior images. If we had the original MacNab negatives, we may get somewhere, but it is clear that is not likely to happen.


And finally, as they say on the News, in our main analysis of the famous Peter MacNab photograph, I raised a question about a mystery within a mystery. Had Peter MacNab taken a second photograph of the creature at that time? To refresh memories, some accounts of the story state that MacNab took a picture with a telephoto lens camera and another with a simpler Kodak. The problem is this second picture has never been proven to exist. The continued absence of this picture has led some critics to comment that it further proves MacNab's deceit in the whole affair.

That remains an unresolved subplot, but I almost thought I had found it a while back! As I was researching a separate subject, I noticed a Peter MacNab photograph on a website that looked different to what I expected. On a closer inspection, I realised the differences between it and the "standard" pictures seen in books and magazines were not reconcilable. Unlike the alleged differences in known prints which were explained in the aforementioned article, this one was definitely different. That image is shown below, with the "Whyte" version added for comparison.

There are clear difference in the foreground and in the castle itself. An overlay test gave the result below. Now the fact that creature's position relative to the castle has not appreciably changed suggests this cannot be the second mythical photograph. So what is going on here?

A clue may lie in the dark area to the right of the castle. This was not, as I first presumed, the right side of the castle lying in shadow. Indeed, the time of the photograph would preclude this. In fact, this dark region covers an extended area that includes the castle wall and the surface of the loch. In other words, it is an artefact.

Allied with this was the observation that one of the foreground "bushes" tracks the reflection of the castle on the waters so well.  Furthermore, the contrast of all these extra images are so dark in comparison to the rest of the photograph (which is darker itself than the "Whyte" version).

These observations lead me to conclude that this was an image of the "Mackal" version of the Peter MacNab photograph that somehow got corrupted during an image processing procedure. Most likely, this may have occurred when it was being scanned from a book or magazine. Given that the websites carrying this distorted image go back over 15 years ago, a paper scan looks more likely than an image copy from another website.

However, I would still like to know where the original image came from to complete the circle. A quick perusal of this errant image using Google Images reveals nothing of note. If any reader with a bent for research can add to this little story, send me an email or post a comment.


These were a few things I dug up over the months and years as I continue to research Nessie cases old and new.  Back in 2008, Adrian Shine gave his opinion on this picture to the BBC on the monster's 75th anniversary. He admitted that "there is no definitive proof that the image is a fake" and that is the way it stands today.

There is no documented instances of a "Christian Spurling" coming forward and given the passage of time, I doubt there ever will. Perhaps new evidence will turn up, in the meantime, I continue to hold this up as one of the best pictures of the Loch Ness Monsters.

The author can be contacted at

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

A Few Loch Ness Items

Just a few things that I noticed in days past. 


Firstly, congratulations to Steve Feltham on being just awarded the "Ambassador of the Year" at the Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards. Having spent a quarter of a century at the lochside looking for that conclusive evidence to prove the existence of the Loch Ness Monster, his activities have attracted thousands of visitors to his home at Dores Bay and generated a large amount of articles on himself, the loch and the monster worldwide. You can't deny that this has added global interest to the phenomenon.

I remember watching his "Desperately Seeking Nessie" program on the BBC back in 1992 and was impressed by the dedication and sacrifice he had put into that decision. Of course, over 25 years, things change. His roving round the loch in his converted mobile library home ground to a halt when the MOT finally failed. He is now searching more for catfish than plesiosaurs and (the last time I checked) he has been married for at least eight years.

In between all that, he has had one Nessie sighting. Given the decrease in sightings due to the drop off in general fish stock countrywide since the 1980s, that is no surprise. One feels, it would have been better to have set up camp in 1934 rather than 1992, but there is nothing any of us can do about that (though stocks are beginning to recover).


I like the old stuff to do with Loch Ness, even if it is not monster related. I pointed out an old painting of the south side of the loch previously, but another has now popped up on eBay. For a mere £6,950, it is yours. It would look good over the fireplace whilst you lean on the mantle admiring it with a dram of Glenfiddich in your hand. 

Admittedly, I have no idea where at the loch the painting is meant to be set. The artist, Alfred de Breanski Jnr, could have painted it at the beginning of the 20th century, but given the dirt track that passes for a road in the painting, I would guess the south side approaching Foyers from the north, but post your own comment below.

While we're on the subject of old things from Loch Ness, take a look at this eBay item. It's a chopping block taken from a 17th century farmhouse at Drumnadrochit. Yours for £250! I am not sure I would pay that much for a block of wood!


Perhaps even less relevant to Loch Ness is Jeremy Clarkson and his team arriving at Loch Ness on the 2nd or 3rd of December to film the studio audience part of their upcoming episode of "The Grand Tour". What they will actually be doing at the loch is uncertain and will presumably have already been filmed before then.

Fast cars around the loch looks eminently impractical, but who knows what they could do around the quieter roads to the west? My bet is on them hiring the loudest, fastest boats to terrorise the loch with and send Nessie to the lowest depths. There may be a token appearance by a resident Nessie expert for them to guffaw over, but we shall wait and see ....


While I am here, I may as well blow my own trumpet as I noted today that this blog reached third on the Google rankings for a search of "loch ness monster". Like Andy Murray, it would be nice to hit No.1 spot, but, as far as I know, this has never happened. Mind you, I continue to wonder how "The Legend of Nessie" website manages to retain No.1 spot consistently - despite not having updated their website for years. Anyway, both websites put out a distinctly pro-Nessie message, and that is what matters to me.

The author can be contacted at

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

A Review of "The Monsters of Loch Ness"

The month of August saw the publication of Malcolm Robinson's "The Monsters of Loch Ness" and I have only just finished reading this rather prodigious work. Being a Scotsman, like myself, and one interested in mysteries, Malcolm has long had a fascination with the Loch Ness Monster and this year he finally got round to writing the book he had always wanted to write.

At 581 pages long, it is certainly the biggest book on the mystery, though I suspect in terms of word count, Roy Mackal's similarly titled 401 page book still holds sway due to its smaller font and more densely packed text. However, publishing a book on Nessie isn't about beating records, it's about adding to the reader's experience of the whole phenomenon.

As I said in my section on Loch Ness books, I look for at least one of four things in a Nessie book:

1. It adds to the storehouse of data such as new sightings, films, sonar, photos, etc.
2. It adds to the speculation or theorising about the subject.
3. It adds to the human side of the story (culture, folklore, biographies).
4. It may not add to the above but it present the story in an entertaining and engaging way.

I would certainly say that Malcolm's book adds in three of the four areas. For a start, the book is a partly an autobiographical affair as Malcolm recounts his various trips to Loch Ness (and Morar) since the 1960s when he first went as a boy with his family. Indeed, he thinks he may have had his own sighting, but leaves readers to form their own opinion (as he does on various aspects of the mystery in his book).

Malcolm is the founder of Strange Phenomena Investigations (SPI), which has been running since 1979, and includes the strange phenomena at Loch Ness and Loch Morar in its provenance. You can read about these trips in his book, and be prepared for some "left of field" investigations as Malcolm probes the more paranormal depths of these waters.

That does not imply that Malcolm is about to plunge us into the world of paracryptozoology, rather he attempts to present the subject in an even handed manner across a variety of thoughts, accounts and interviews.


But there is one thing Malcolm has to be thanked for and that is bringing the history of the mystery right up to date. Recent publications on the beast and its pursuers have done a good job in informing the debate, but for me there was still a void between the present day and Witchell's history written in "The Loch Ness Story" thirty years ago. In other words, what exactly has been going on at Loch Ness since the late 1980s to the present day? One or two sceptically oriented books have filled some of the gaps, but they don't present the monster side (because they don't accept there is a monster).

Malcolm's book has now largely fulfilled this task. Of course, one may say "So what? We now have the Internet.", but that is a fragile statement. As my own list of defunct Nessie websites shows, nothing is guaranteed permanence on the World Wide Web. One day, this website will disappear and all the others and there is no guarantee that their data (pro- or anti- Nessie) will survive. I would also note that even if the information is out there on the Web, its diffuseness may not guarantee you have everything you need to know.

Even the cryptid news items on established major media websites will eventually get deleted. We do have web archiving projects, such as the WayBackMachine, but it won't have everything and paywall newspaper archives have not digitised the more recent years as newspapers from the 19th century and so on draw a larger audience of historians and genealogists.

In other words, there is still a place in the modern world for the paper book and its ability to collate and condense information into the hands of readers, no matter what the state of the Internet is. To that end, Malcolm's store of newspaper clippings from the 1970s to the 1990s is a valuable resource.

I would also add to that his various tape recorder interviews which include Frank Searle, Adrian Shine and Alex Campbell amongst others. And, finally, there are the transcripts of his own onsite investigations. So, thanks again, Malky. As regards his interview with Frank Searle, I found it amusing that Frank accused Dick Raynor of throwing paint over the sign that led tourists to his caravan site. Oh well, just as well that Frank Searle never told the truth at any time ....

In the weird world of Nessie, Malcolm reveals the weird world of people who inhabit it. Have you ever heard of Lambert Wilson? Or the story of the local who claims there is a UFO base beside the loch?

Add to that Malcolm's own ideas on how to catch the monster (as endorsed by Steven Spielberg) allied with his trip in a submarine down into the depths of Loch Ness,  and you begin to get an idea of the rich tapestry being woven.


That leaves us with the monster itself. Malcolm begins with the old Kelpie legends as well as spreading his net to other lake monsters in Scotland and beyond. Going over Malcolm's collation of stories, I realised there were some eyewitness reports which were worthy of further follow up by myself. Indeed, one claimed photograph of Nessie appears to yield nothing on a Google search, which just goes to prove my above points.

Of course, Malcolm goes through many reports which are the bread and butter of Loch Ness Monster research, and we would not expect these to be edited out because of the familiarity seasoned researchers may have with them. In fact, I can help him out with some of them! For example, on page 115, Malcolm wonders what became of a photograph taken by a Morayshire couple in 1934. Wonder no more, Malky, and go to this link!

One thing I did not agree with Malcolm on is the vexed subject of land sightings. He has his doubts about them and is wary of such tales. On the other hand, I do accept them as a viable part of the Nessie database, but who said Nessie believers had to agree on everything? It is the sceptics who all march in monotonous time to the same beat and theory. Malcolm's problem with this is the issue that the creature seems to be a water-breather which seems at odds with lumbering about on land.

As I said, Malcolm covers some photos and videos from the 80s and 90s which are worth following up again in this Internet age, so watch this space. Malcolm ends his book by covering the beliefs of various people from mind-bending paranormal manifestations to boring old waves and logs. He rates each "monster" theory and then muses himself at the very end. Don't expect new revelations on this matter. After all, we've had 82 years of speculation and most of the theories were suggested within the first two years!


All in all, I enjoyed my trip through the Loch Ness of the past with Malcolm. His style of writing is certainly of a folksy, conversational genre which makes you feel that he is talking personally to you rather the usual delivery of modern books. Some may find that irritating, I was okay with it and found it amusing in parts.

Others have complained, with some justification, regarding the spelling and grammar of the text. Yes, there were spelling mistakes and I jokingly wondered whether Malcolm believed in Nessie more than he did in commas and semi-colons! I did have to double take on a few sentences, but once I got into the book, that particular problem went away.

There were other mistakes, such as placing Lake Champlain in Canada and a couple of instances where the same story was repeated in a short space. Well, actually, a small part of Lake Champlain does cross into Canada, so I guess it is partly correct!

I was hoping that Malcolm would have addressed the issue of Dr. James Lee from Hastings who took the "F. C. Adams" monster picture from 1934. Hastings has been Malcolm's stomping ground for some years and I wondered if his local connections may dig up something. Perhaps another day.

So, I give the book four stars out of five and thank Malcolm for his effort into putting this together. As a fellow Scot, I am glad to see someone from north of the border putting some expertise into the subject. As Malcolm well knows, we have too many Sassenachs crowding the Nessie arena!

The author can be contacted at

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Contour Map of Loch Ness

You may think the above 3D contour map of Loch Ness was derived from some modern sonar study or similar. However, the data points used to generate the image were from the 1903-04 bathymetric survey of the loch conducted by Murray and Pullar. The total number of soundings was 1700 and those have been fed into the plotting software which you can examine at this link. Similar maps for Loch Morar (below), Lomond and  Leven can be viewed as well as the 2D representations.