Friday 11 October 2013

Loch Ness Monster seen in Moray Firth?

Date: 17th April 2013
Time: 2pm
Location: Findhorn Bay
Witnesses: Celia Hawe
Type of sighting: Head, neck and back in water

I spotted this one on the CFZ blog and thought it worthy of passing on to readers. Strictly, this is a not a Loch Ness Monster event as it did not happen in Loch Ness. The claimed sighting was in Findhorn which is a village further along the Moray Firth coastline (check first map below for circled location with Loch Ness in the bottom left corner).

Nevertheless, I have addressed this subject of Nessie-like creatures being seen around the Moray Firth in a previous article and we can now add this one to that list.  My own opinion was that it seemed unlikely we had several different species of cryptids in the same small locality (Loch Ness and up to the adjoining sea). So Celia could be right in claiming this as a sighting of Nessie. I thought things were a bit quiet at the loch this year, was Nessie away on vacation?!

So, Celia Hawe has put together a video clip of her experience which is a good way of getting her story across. I do not think she is pulling our collective leg and I have no reason to doubt her sincerity - especially as practically all hoaxers are men. The object she saw certainly sounds like a classic Loch Ness Monster with its long neck and single hump.

She also says she regularly watches the wildlife and boats on the waters, so it seems unlikely she was fooled by any of these objects. Of course, it cannot be entirely excluded that some normally recognisable object in an unusual context was involved but the duration and proximity of the sighting would exclude many of the usual "suspects". Until a sensible and alternate explanation is forthcoming, I will leave that aside.

She further puts up a general view of the bay in the video (below) and you can just see her PC cursor pointing to the area where the object was observed which is more or less just above the line of the bushes. The object then disappeared behind the treeline. Unfortunately, Celia did not have a camera to hand during the sighting, though given her comments about being "mesmerised" by the sight, I wonder if she would have remembered to use it!

The position of her bay photograph can be located using Google StreetView. The first StreetView image shows the same tree and distant view of the waters.  It seems the bay was not as busy in April than the StreetView shot taken in warmer months.

A look at the bay on the other side of the trees shows a beach. One wonders if the houses closer to the shoreline were occupied at the time and had seen anything?

The comment by Celia that the head-neck took on a twisted kind of appearance is one I personally find interesting as I have commented before on the extreme flexibility of the Loch Ness Monster's signature profile. I still wonder if it really is the classic neck with bony vertebrae that is normally assumed. I have sent a message to Celia hoping for more details and perhaps a sketch, so watch this space.

So, I will call this an honorary Nessie report. But if this was a genuine sighting, what was the creature doing in this enclosed bay? Why did no one else apparently see this creature? Could it be that this bay conceals the entrance to that infamous tunnel that connects Loch Ness to the sea? 

Am I over-indulging in speculation? Considering such a tunnel would be over thirty miles long, I may well be. But if I had scuba-diving gear, I know where I would be heading for my next session!


Celia got in touch with me and explained that she tried to draw what she saw but gave up confessing she was useless as an artist.  That's a pity but I am sure that if Celia was making all this up, she would have come up with some kind of picture!

She also added this interesting postscript to her experience which this time involved her husband as they were packing the car for a pre-dawn trip to England:

It was dark still, then we heard this noise, once, it was like nothing we have ever heard before. It was scary but we just had to carry on with what we were doing and get going as it is such a long drive. We of course discussed it later. What it could have been.  We went through everything we could think of. Drowning dog, seal, everything we could think of, But this sound was, and I use this word carefully, unearthly. It was incredibly loud, deep and reverberated over the water. I had no idea at the time at what level the bay water was at, but later checked and at 4.54am it was full tide.

Make of that what you will!


  1. Good point in noting that it is not a Loch Ness event. So often I see reports of "Loch Ness Monster sighted in such and such a river or lake" in scattered areas of the world as if Nessie were a world traveler. The "tabloid" news media sensationalize such events. If Nessie was leaving or returning to Loch Ness, assuming there are no underwater tunnels, how would she get through the locks of the canal or the shallow river Ness and negotiate Telford's Weir without being noticed? The occurrence of such a possibility has been deemed untenable by some researchers. One possibility is under the cover of night and a short excursion on land when she reaches the weir, (one wily creature). Another possible explanation, if the sighting is genuine, is that there are sea creatures of the same type or morphology still roaming the oceans.

  2. This seems to be one of those type of sightings where either the person witnessed something extraordinary or has to be lying but obvious to most its not the latter.... which leaves you know what.

    Roland... I'm confused. Why you say its an enclosed bay when the map shows open to the sea..... which is what a bay is by definition.... open to the sea.

    Maybe it was actually Morgawr!


  3. Forgot one more thing....what, no sketch of the creature?? C'mon lady.... you're on video... at least do a few drawings, lol


  4. Yes no drawings of what she saw would have been useful

  5. A coiuple of times she says something about "seeing through the hump".... What does she mean by this - that the hump was semi-opaque; or that the hump was less a hump and more a "loop" in a serpentine dorsal shape and she could see "under" ("through") the loop?

    1. I'm rather confused by the same thing as Steve Bastasch -- hopefully while it's all still fresh in Celia Hawes' mind, someone can interview her in person about a couple details.

      To Jon: I missed this at first and had to look at the maps again, but the sighting occurred inside a small side bay, not the Firth proper. The second map is a detailed view inside that side bay. I wondered what she meant by the thing draining completely at low tide, as the Moray Firth itself never does that of course, but this is a relatively tiny side bay, so I get that now. A very interesting place to have a sighting. The location and the weather conditions might be trying to tell us something, but what I don't know.

  6. I don't believe her I think she'e either trying to create some promotion for Findhorn or its something to do with her Yoga teaching . Just my gut feeling don't we know that serpentine animals don't swim with 'loops' anyway ?

  7. STEVE: Maybe she saw Cockrell's stick floating in the water. The non-airbrushed version.

  8. "I don't believe her I think she'e either trying to create some promotion for Findhorn or its something to do with her Yoga teaching."

    What on earth is the final clause supposed to mean? Do yoga teachers who claim to have spotted sea monsters do a better trade than those who have not?

  9. " What on earth is the final clause supposed to mean? Do yoga teachers who claim to have spotted sea monsters do a better trade than those who have not? "

    I was referring to Ethereal mumbo jumbo not self promotion . My Yoga teacher often talks about Spiritual entities that don't exist in my narrow little world :) No offence intended

    However I have been visiting Loch Ness for 20 years and despite never having been graced with a view of anything larger than a Pike I still live in hope !

  10. I used to regularly visit the coast near my former home in the eveningtime. A sound that would describe as haunting would echo across the sea. Not every evening, but many. It sounded like a cow, in mourning. But it came from the sea, and given the scale of the sound, it must have been big. And I never saw anything, just heard the noise. I had no idea where it came from either, as it seemed to come from everywhere. Strange but true.