Wednesday 9 May 2012

Frank Searle and Baby Nessies

I spotted an article by a Malcolm Robinson who writes on mysterious and paranormal subjects. This part looks at the Loch Ness Monster and although much of what he says is not new, he does include the transcript of an interview he did with Frank Searle some time in the 1970s or early 1980s.

You can read it at this link and I make a few observation here. 

Firstly, Frank claimed 38 sightings of the monster which of course will be subject to some dispute by Nessie cryptozoologists. This is more than double the total claimed by such Nessie personalities as Alex Campbell and Winifred Cary. How many of these might have been genuine, I have no idea.

Half he claimed to have a co-witness with him but Lieve Petin whom we mentioned previously said she never saw anything (as far as I can tell). If anyone did co-witness a sighting with Frank Searle, send me an email!

The other interesting piece (which was also in his book) was the claimed sighting of some "young" Nessies in a river measuring about four feet long. Now one may scoff at this report but the general theme holds - if there is a breeding population (as opposed to a visiting creature or something paranormal) then there will be smaller, juvenile creatures.

Here's one particularly cute version (credit to artist Tom Barnfield at

Another more plesiosaur like one is here, though I cannot be sure who painted it.

Clearly, these smaller versions of Nessie have proven to be even more elusive than their adult counterparts as very few reports mention creatures of that size. However, this is to be expected for several reasons.

The first is because of their small size and this means they are just harder to spot. Compare it to how rarely otters are seen at Loch Ness and then extrapolate that to an animal that rarely surfaces (Searle himself saw the creatures as water-breathers with surfacings being purely accidental as they pursued fish, etc).

Secondly, apart from being difficult to spot because of their size, they are also less likely to break the surface.

Thirdly, since we have no idea of the life-cycle of a Nessie, who knows whether they spend the first part of their lives remaining in the depths, out of the way of potential predators.

Just my rambling thoughts ....


  1. Your otter analogy is a good one. I was an exceptionally keen angler for 20 years before I had a moral change-of-heart about such activities. In all that time spending days on end in rivers, streams, ponds and lakes I never once saw an otter. The other month my girlfriend, who has never fished or sailed in her life (in fact she is scared of deep water) saw a pair of otters run in and out of the culvert in our village. I think this is a good metaphor for how Nessie sightings sometimes work!

    As for baby Nessie’s – I’d say they are more difficult to spot than baby otters! Such juvenile aquatic creatures would keep out of open water like other known species do.

  2. I'd also imagine that juveniles would be easier to mistake for known creatures (otters and such) because of their smaller size.


  3. Wow I haven't seen the bottom pic in some years now. It was in National Inquirer, one of those tabloid magazines in the 90s. Of course Ness is too dark to get a descent pic unless the family was closer to the surface like 10 feet and above. Like what was ahown in the MacNab picture where instead of a singular hump there are two humps moving parallel to each other. Love the thread and good hunting on your expedition!

    1. No ,it was the Weekly World News in 1972. I had it on my bedroom wall for years

  4. Actually, I am of the opinion that sightings in Loch Ness are of juveniles. Nearly identical sea serpents are seen in the area but are usually said to be much larger. I have most of my thoughts on the subject explained here:

    Best regards,
    Tyler Stone

    1. Thanks, Tyler. One would imagine the larger ones cannot make it onto land but can do a "Torqil Macleod". However, I have other thoughts on this which I will detail in another posting in my land series.

    2. My pleasure, and yes, that's the basic idea - the little ones can maneuver fairly well on land, while the big ones end up being like beached whales, the difference being that they can use their flippers to push themselves back into the water.

      Personally, I think it could help explain why land sightings are so few and far between. If it's only the juveniles clambering out onto land, then land sightings will naturally be less common. And, if there haven't been any youngsters born recently, that would explain the lack of land sightings since the 60s. Of course, this is all just a guess.