Thursday 19 April 2012

A Story about Ted Holiday

Ted (F.W.) Holiday was one of the best known Nessie Hunters but his views on a paranormal Nessie may have earned him a few odd glances. However, he is to me a figure to be respected and I did hold similar views to him once upon a time.

I found this amusing anecdote about him as related by the late Ronnie Bremner, owner of the Loch Ness Monster Exhibition Centre. I would note I never employed the Nessie hunting technique described. How true is the story? Perhaps someone can enlighten us!

Original story is here.

Some years ago I spent an afternoon with the late Mr. Ronnie Bremner, founder and then curator of the Loch Ness Monster Exhibit and Museum in Drumnadrochit, Scotland. He'd overheard me mentioning to another tourist in the museum's gift shop that I had a copy of a book on Nessie written by the equally late Mr. F.W. Holiday. When I was a kid I had a fascination with the Loch Ness Monster and at one point I systematically had gone through the local bookstore's book catalog and had bought a copy of every book then in print on the subject as I could raise the cash.

That book never sold well and by the time I was old enough to finance my own trip to Scotland, it was out of print and considered quite rare. Mr. Bremner took from the fact that I should have a copy of what he called, "the Holiday book" that I must have had a serious interest in the mysteries of Loch Ness so he graced me with the nickel tour of his private collection.

One of the stories he told me was about this Mr. Holiday, who just recently had died. Mr. Bremner said Mr. Holiday was a touch eccentric and completely obsessed with finding Nessie. He apparently believed that the creature had a sort telepathy and could sense when anyone was watching for it. So when he went Nessie-watching, he'd set up his camera and tripod with the lens trained on the loch, then he'd sit down next to it with his back to the water. At irregular intervals, he would snap his head around, hoping to catch a glimpse of Nessie in a moment of inattention.

And if he took the notion to drive around the loch for a while, searching as he drove, he would stand and shout toward the loch, [Scottish Brogue] "Right, I'm giving up the searching now. I'm getting into my car and driving straight away from the loch, so if Nessie should come out now, I'd be far away and have no chance atall to see her." [/Scottish brogue] Then he'd get into his car and spend the rest of the afternoon driving the roads that circle the loch, with one eye on the road and the other trained on the water.

So maybe Mr. F.W. Holiday was just ahead of his time. Maybe he should have been a chupacabra hunter instead.


  1. Chasing Leviathan19 April 2012 at 14:45

    Sounds about right to me. People I've spoken to who knew Mr Holiday have said much the same. He was apparently known to suddenly change the direction he was driving in when circling the loch because he felt the beast had sensed he was coming!

  2. The Art of Searching Without Looking.

    It's the Zen approach to Nessie-hunting.

    It's also got Monty Python and John Cleese written all over it. One eye closed, one eye peeping from behind a scrawny bush, "Right! I am no longer looking for you Nessie, You win! I am walking away forever. Look at me walking...away."

  3. Enjoyed that! I've been re-reading the 'Orm' and enjoying it very much - I like Ted's tone.

    Ted's behaviour in your article reminded me of 'Sheldon's' behaviour in a Big Bang Theory episode...

    Scene: The apartment. Sheldon is stood in the middle of the room. His whiteboard is behind him. Every few moments he turns round suddently.

    Penny: Whatcha doing?

    Sheldon: I’m attempting to view my work as a fleeting peripheral image so as to engage the superior colliculus of my brain.

    Maybe Ted was aware of this method?!

    1. Well, he was certainly a novel and lateral thinker!

  4. I think there's a fine line between madness and genius. Maybe Ted will be come to be seen as someone who, while certainly eccentric, was closer to the truth than not. As it stands, I can certainly see how his view progressed as it did, ending at what is essentially a version of 'The Matrix'. At least he never stood still!