Thursday 26 January 2012

An interesting catch near Loch Ness

I found a couple of old clippings from 1934 which show that anything above a certain size found in that region of Scotland was up as a likely candidate for the Loch Ness Monster. So it was that this interesting photograph was published by The West Australian on the 29th June 1934 (click to enlarge).

The text reads:

"A strange sea creature caught by a fisherman in Moray Firth (Scotland). An opinion is held that it may have found its way into the firth from Loch Ness. The creature is 13ft long and about 1ft in diameter at its widest part."

A big beastie indeed for those parts of Scotland and the Singapore Free Press took up the story as well on the 13th June 1934 with this story (click image to read enlarged text). You may have also noticed by these foreign newspapers how much interest Nessie was generating worldwide!

The rather stiff looking nature of the beast is explained by the article's reference to the body being kept in an ice shed. A Mr. Cooper offered the slightly strained suggestion that the Surgeon's Photograph could be explained by this creature being caught in the act of diving with only its tail visible. This reminds us of a similar diving otter theory for the same photograph. However, as to its identity, an expert in the article suggests the oarfish (picture below).

I don't think that quite fits the bill as the head looks different in shape. However, a likely candidate is perhaps the conger eel though whether the eel can reach such a big size is a matter for debate. I mentioned on a previous post how eels up to 7 feet have been caught around the area but this one is nearly twice as long! One therefore presumes it was caught out in deeper water.

What do readers think?


The man who saw Nessie underwater
New witness corroborates 2011 sighting


  1. I'll go with the Professor. It is the right shape and colour and within the known size range for Regalecus. When found at the surface they are usually moribund. Congers are not known to grow that big and would in any case have been recognised.

  2. This report was printed in The London Times March 6, 1856:

    The Sea Serpent in the Highlands

    The village of Leurbost, Parish of Lochs, Lewis, is at present the scene of an unusual occurrence. This is no less than the appearance in one of the inland fresh-water lakes of an animal which from its great size and dimensions has not a little puzzled our island naturalists. Some suppose him to be a description of the hitherto mythological water-kelpie; while others refer it to the minute descriptions of the "sea-serpent," which are revived from time to time in the newspaper columns. It has been repeatedly seen within the last fortnight by crowds of people, many of whom have come from the remotest parts of the parish to witness the uncommon spectacle. The animal is described by some as being in appearance and size like "a large peat stack," while others affirm that a "six-oared boat" could pass between the huge fins, which are occasionally visible. All, however, agree in describing its form as that of an eel; and we have heard one, whose evidence we can rely upon, state that in length he supposed it to be about 40 feet. It is probable that it is no more than a conger eel after all, animals of this description having been caught in the Highland lakes which have attained huge size. He is currently reported to have swallowed a blanket inadvertently left on the bank by a girl herding cattle. A sportsman ensconced himself with a rifle in the vicinity of the loch during a whole day, hoping to get a shot, but did no execution.

    So maybe the stories of large eels being caught in the Loch could be true.In the 70s some locals would talk about when eel fishing had been popular in Loch Ness and their fathers/grandfathers catching huge eels over 12 feet(4 metres) long.I doubt anyone is alive now to remember that time but someone, somewhere may have an old photo in a family album of grandfather with a huge eel he caught. You never know.

  3. It's some kind of giant eel. Regalecus has a more bulldog-like shaped head than a sharply one as it is written in the article. Moreover The creature's head in the picture looks a lot like plesiosaur's.

  4. The shape of the head of this creature definately looks like the 'head' in the Gray photograph. If the LNM is an unidentified species of giant eel, maybe this was a young one and would explain why the LNM isn't seen very often.

  5. OK-Quick logical breakdown. The people of the time were speculating for purpose of expediency, as the stories of a creature at the loch( beyond the legends of the locals), can be traced to one year previous, 1933. All this proves is that the newsmen of the time included a semi-plausible segue in a story about an eel. It doesn't, by logic, dictate a reverse relationship, that an eel was responsible for any legitimate lake sighting. Perhaps there was an eel responsible for the Loch Ness initial sightings. Perhaps it was a publicity stunt. Either way, this simply proves it could be a plausible explanation for some lake monster sightings. Cool story.

  6. Picture the eel caught in the net in 1934, able to lift his head out of the water for a look around when it rarely surfaces, and you have the Lock Ness monster. Mystery solved!

  7. Like to add the Lochness nessie Phenomenon is real,anyone could go to loch ness and see there own monster,this video is proof of the nessie Phenomenon.

    1. I posted John Gillies' link here mainly because I allow all comments unless they breach common decency. But, John, email me at so I can ask you more about your videos with a view to a future dedicated article.

  8. i will definetly find her and be the first 10 year old arkeolajist

  9. This creature looks a lot like an oarfish: