Thursday, 19 July 2018

Upcoming Interview on the Loch Ness Monster

I will be a guest on the Paraversal Universe radio show tomorrow discussing you know what. Details are below.

Join Paraversal Universe this Friday, July 20th (2018) in North America at 2pm pst/3pm mst/4pm cst/5pm est, in Europe at 10pm gmt/11pm cet, & in Australia (Sat) at 8am aest on the Late Night In The Midlands Radio Network ( as we talk to Cryptozoologist & Author Roland Watson about his research into the Loch Ness Monster. We'll discuss his books "When Monsters Come Ashore" & "The Water Horses Of Loch Ness". Join us live in the chat room to ask questions & make comments at Listen live from your phone at (701)-719-9704. Check out our archives at Paraversal Universe Show Archives.

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Arthur Grant gets his own Plaque

It was with some satisfaction that I read Wednesday's Inverness Courier and a plan by local businessman, Willie Cameron to place plaques around the loch giving information on famous Nessie sightings. First I reproduce the story here from the original link:

Businessman pushes for 'Monster Trail' to show Nessie at her best

Written by Val Sweeney

Willie Cameron hopes a new plaque installed at The Clansman Hotel will set a trend around Loch Ness.

BUSINESSES around Loch Ness are being urged to help create a new monster trail by sponsoring special plaques relating stories and anecdotes about the area’s most famous resident.

Despite countless reported sightings of Nessie – as well as several infamous hoaxes – little information is available at locations around the 23-mile long stretch of water.

Drumnadrochit company Cobbs has now seized the initiative by installing an engraved plaque at its lochside Clansman Hotel, relating the 1934 sighting by motorcyclist Arthur Grant who reported seeing a long-necked creature in the water on a January night.

Company director Willie Cameron is now urging other businesses and organisations to sponsor plaques relating to more tales of Nessie through the years.

"The majority of people who come to Loch Ness come here for one reason – the Loch Ness Monster," he said. "Yet when you go round the loch, there is very little indication relating to the mystery."

He envisages the installation of plaques at 25 different locations, depending on permission from agencies including Highland Council, Bear Scotland and landowners.

The ultimate aim is to develop an app which would contain further details as well as information about any sponsors.

"It is good for business and it is excellent for exceeding customer expectations relative to the sense of place," he said.

"I have driven around the loch and not found anything other than in the Loch Ness Visitor Centre.

"What signs there are tend to be negative – no camping, no litter, no parking, no this, no that. These signs would put out a positive message."

I say all this because back in April, when I was conducting a guided tour of the loch for a client, we began at the Clansman Hotel discussing the Arthur Grant land sighting of 1934. My own research had indicated that Grant more likely saw the creature that moonlit night close to the hotel rather than a mile up the road at Abriachan. That reasoning is laid out in my latest book on land sightings.

However, I noted that the hotel displays a large model of the Loch Ness Monster by one of the streams feeding into the loch and it struck me that this "Nessie" on land was a great reminder of the Nessie on land seen by Grant possibly just yards away from it.

So, after the tour, I emailed Willie Cameron recounting this and suggesting it would be a good idea to erect a plaque by the model to remind visitors of that monstrous event. Good for Nessie, good for the hotel. I am glad to say Willie took me up on the idea and we now have the plaque installed.

However, being the local businessman he is, Willie has seen the opportunity to expand the idea to the whole loch with up to 25 such plaques being placed at sites. I think it is a great idea and gets away from the sceptical idea that we need to concentrate tourism on other aspects of the loch and push the monster as far away as possible from the tourist eye.

If the various tourist enterprises with their Nessie oriented items is anything to go by, they completely disagree with that notion. Sorry. but Loch Ness is all about the Loch Ness Monster and anything that promotes that ancient link is fine by me.

It's early days and we may not see something looking like the proposed Nessie Trail until next summer. It may well have its issues such as famous sites which are hard to get to (e.g. Hugh Gray), some locals may object to plaques being sited near their homes and will sceptics fight it all the way?

My one hope is that these plaques do not include sceptical disavowments as a general rule. A plaque which says "so-and-so saw a six foot neck and ten foot hump here ... but it was actually just a line of ducks" is a pure anti-climax. Adding that so-and-so claimed to have seen this is okay, but we don't want a series of plaques which tries to debunk away the area's most famous resident.

Now don't get me wrong, you are going to get a spectrum of opinions from Nessie believers on what is and is not a true sighting. The point is one group's agenda should not be imposed on this. I don't think the Surgeon's Photo is real but I still think a plaque should be placed at Altsigh to mention it.   However, I assume a map or some form of literature will accompany the trail and that should point out that these sightings, photographs or films generate controversy and some accept them and some don't; let everyone make up their own mind.

Just let the original people tell their story without any revisionism. As Willie says. we want "to put out a positive message"!

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Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Loch Ness Monster Filmed from Air?

A reader of my blog just drew my attention to a comment made by a "William Smith" some months back on a Nessie video clip. What he said sounds astounding but I myself have no recollection of such a TV event back in 1981. To quote his words:

I was in the US Air Force in England circa 1981. The BBC used to broadcast the news at 9pm. They would always run a teaser just before 9 at the end of whatever program that was on before that. We lived in a dorm on base and there'd always be TV's on while we did whatever we were doing. One night, there were 4 or 5 people in my room and the TV was on.

It was also on in our dayroom, which was a communal relaxing room on the floor. ANYWAY,,,,,the teaser for the news came on. It totally blew us away. There in front of us on the TV was footage,,,,not video,,but film,,,taken from inside an RAF helicopter over a shallow area of Loch Ness. The guys in the copter were yelling and the camera was pointing below them. You could see the wash from the propeller on the water and in the middle of it was a creature. It looked like a small dinosaur,,,it had four flippers, a long neck and a somewhat short tail. It was thrashing about in a panic under the helicopter. The footage was real. They didn't have CGI back then, the inside of the copter was real,,,the men were yelling, the noise was loud,,,and the scene on the water was real.

The announcer was saying something to the effect that the RAF had found Nessie and details would follow at 9. Of course we all freaked out. We watched at 9 and absolutely nothing was said. We were completely perplexed. Many people saw the clip,,,I know of at least two of my superiors who contacted the BBC and the RAF and no one seemed to know anything.

We'd all seen it. I met locals who saw it as well. There was no internet then,,,no phones to text with,,,,so word couldn't get around like we can do today. I talked to people about it for weeks and many people saw it. The story faded away and one can only wonder what the hell happened. But for me,,,,the creature,,whatever it is, exists.

By some coincidence, a seperate facebook post from yesterday stated this:

I have not been able to find it again but I saw a video a few years ago taken from a helicopter hovering over Loch Ness and a sturgeon, from 20-25 feet long, was just under the surface of the water. Parts of its back were above the water. It is a perfect candidate (use Occam's Razor) for the Loch Ness "monster." It settled the matter for me.

It sounds like they are referring to the same video but with a differing interpretation. But anything 20-25 feet long filmed in the loch is a must see, sturgeon or not. So there are two questions here. Does anyone remember seeing this alleged clip back then and if it really was recorded, where is it now and why was it pulled?

Let's see how far we can go with this and see what turns up. I blogged on some airborne sightings a few months back.

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Sunday, 15 July 2018

No, Dr Burton!

For your interest, I publish yet another article on the Loch Ness Monster from decades past. This one was published in May 1962 by The Scots Magazine and the author was no less than Alex Campbell, water bailiff at Loch Ness, multiple witness to the creature and an expert on the lore of the monster.

The title is a pointed reply to the writings of the monster's first major sceptic, Maurice Burton. He had just published the first sceptical book on the subject entitled "The Elusive Monster" and was active in pushing his views in various publications. It was Burton's predilection for vegetable mats that particularly drew Campbell's objections and to which he relates his own experience.

Campbell covers other topics such as pre-1933 reports which later made their way into Nicholas Witchell's 1974 "The Loch Ness Story". Giant eels also get a mention as well as a night time sighting from 1938. I am not sure if Campbell wrote any other magazine articles, if so let me know.

Depending on your browser, click on each image below to expand it and also expand it further by right clicking to "view image" on Firefox or "control-+" to zoom in for MS Edge.

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Monday, 9 July 2018

Who is Mickey Weatherly?

I now quote an article from the Adventure Club of Europe.

This letter from Mickey Weatherly was written in 1940, but was handed over to the members of the Adventure Club of Europe in 1994.

Dear friends and colleagues of the ACE,

I would like to apologize to you all with all my heart. When you will get this letter, then my secret is probably somehow betrayed. Yes, I falsified the photograph of the creature in Loch Ness. But, to my soul, I would like to say heartily that I have personally seen this being and proved its existence. In 1932 the great goal of my life was fulfilled, I found the evidence of a being in Loch Ness. I had risked my life there several times in dives since the difficult tectonics under water, the sharp-edged stone slabs and an opaque arrangement of caves make the superficially quiet lake a subterranean labyrinth.

Loch Ness is dark waters and I meant not only the color. The lake holds a secret. It is deep, gloomy, and unyielding, like the sea itself. I don’t have to tell you how much this mystery kept pushing me into the highlands of Scotland, is it not an incentive for all of us to curb these secrets of the world? On one of my dives on 21.08.1932 a white plate shone through the dirty, gloomy water. I tried to grab this plate, but it was heavy, very firm and unusually furrowed. Nevertheless, I could grab it, and from the entanglement of mud, algae and the tribulation of the lake a huge egg-shell appeared. Yes, my dear colleagues, a bowl of ice about 1 meter long.

I noticed how the wave movements in the water grew stronger, as the pressure changed, and in the cloudy a still more turbid being swam towards me. I swear to God, I looked the dam straight into the eyes. My lungs were filling with water, dirty, muddy water. I wanted to spit. On a sharp edge my air hose had blended. I would not give this egg for my life, but I had to get to the surface. The wave movements made the orientation difficult for me, and the egg shell I held were pushed repeatedly, as if this Loch Ness creature would want to prevent the proof of its existence at all costs.

I lost consciousness when I saw the sunbeams of Scotland in front of my eyes. When I woke up and was still alive, I also had the egg next to me. Heureka! But my euphoria was suddenly quenched by the reactions from the presumed research. But what kind of researchers are these, what servants of the truth are they, who accused me of lying? They claimed that my lack of oxygen had dampened my senses, that my craving for attention had invented the piece of evidence, and that my relic, the egg, whose battle I had almost lost my life for, was a simple stone showing its age.

I went for diving several times at the place where I found the egg, but could never again look into the dark eyes of the Loch Ness. This disgrace, this disappointment and then this rage. They drove me to this. Yes, I displayed the photo some months later and today I feel ashamed about it. But at that time, I wanted to give the research, what they returned to me only with mockery. It would give me some peace of mind, if Nessi’s egg, would get exposed at an exhibition venue here in the Adventure Club of Europe, where it would be taken more seriously by real adventurers.

Your ACE friend,

Mickey Weatherly

Quite a story you may think albeit with various errors. Just in case you think we have a Nessie egg in a similar fashion to "The Water Horse" film, it is all just a fiction. The Adventure Club of Europe is a new addition to a German theme park, so you can go along and see the egg for yourself if you are nearby.

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Thursday, 5 July 2018

Two Nessie Talks

Firstly, I had a telephone interview with Richard Syrett of the website "Conspiracy Unlimited". You can click on this link to hear our chat on the Loch Ness Monster which covers a range of topics over about half and hour.

Meantime, I am also pencilled in for yet another talk at the Edinburgh Fortean Society on Tuesday July 10th of which details can be had here. I will be looking back on the year past with an emphasis on a few subjects of recent note such as the eDNA search.

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Sunday, 1 July 2018

A Loch Ness Monster Article from 1967

I have an old copy of the Readers Digest dated February 1967 in my possession which carries an article on the search for the Loch Ness Monster entitled "Closing In on the Loch Ness Monster" authored by a David Scott. The article is actually based on an earlier article dated November 1966 from the journal "Popular Science" of whom David Scott was the European Editor.

You can find that original article here, and it is interesting to see an article on the creature embedded amongst other features on space exploration, car technology, practical devices and electronics. Back then the Loch Ness Monster had more respect amongst scientific thinkers, partly driven by such items as the Dinsdale film, the O'Connor photograph and the Loch Ness Investigation Bureau.

The JARIC report on the Dinsdale film had been published earlier in 1966 and this seems to have also added grist to the mill as people began to focus more on the mystery of Loch Ness.  The optimistic title of the article laid out the various tactics and technologies that were in use and hoped to be used in what was seen as the final and definitive search for the monster.

To be more precise, it was the first and inconclusive search for the monster. Sure, we had people scanning the loch in the early 1930s and there was the brief Mountain Expedition, but nobody had seriously undertaken any kind of search as advocated by the likes of Donald Munro in the 1930s.

Then came the Whyte book, "More Than A Legend", the Dinsdale film and things began to gather pace with the formation of the Loch Ness Phenomena Investigation Bureau in 1962. They had been at the loch for four years when David Scott visited them, but still no film or photograph of any substance had been produced.

The article images follow below and you can click on them for enlarged views, but what of that oft used phrase connected with the LNIB that the more the loch was watched, the less the monster was seen? Yes, people outside of the LNIB continued to see the creature, but nothing came within range for the LNIB. This is seen as a disproof of the monster's existence or is it?

I say that because despite this being one of the biggest undertakings of the hunt, there is surprisingly little written in retrospect about the operations of the LNIB that allows one to evaluate the sum of the parts. We have various members of the organisation still alive and around today, but nobody has seen fit to write a detailed history of the organisation - warts and all.

Rip Hepple would occasionally refer to the workings of the group in his Nessletters, others incidentally referred to its operations such as Ted Holiday in his book, "The Great Orm of Loch Ness", so what we do have are some annual reports published by the Bureau which were sent to members far and wide. Someday we'll get greater clarity on the "eyes on the loch" in those days, in the meantime, enjoy an article from more optimistic times.

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