Tuesday 29 October 2013

Oldest Nessie Sighting Witness?

Date: July 1933
Time: afternoon
Location: Dores Road opposite Castle
Witnesses: Margaret Aitken and others
Type of sighting: Single hump in water

Regular reader, Ed, sent me this link which I thought was worthy of inclusion. In the manner of our recent video clip of a witness to a strange sight in Findhorn Bay, we have here an account of a Loch Ness Monster sighting from July 1933 by the witness recorded in April 2013!

Margaret Aitken, was recorded by her grandson, Willie. She tells of how she was out on a Sunday afternoon car trip on the Dores road with her boyfriend that summer eighty years ago, when they were flagged down by a couple. They were told they had just seen the monster playing in the water but when they looked out all they saw was a wash and a splash.

Their luck was in though as the familiar form of the upturned boat arose from the water and then headed off in the direction of Urquhart Castle. Listen to Margaret herself as she recounts her tale below.

Amazing, and all this a mere two or three months into the modern era of Nessie! At the time of the recording, Margaret must have held the record as a witness to the oldest report of the Loch Ness Monster. In the video, Margaret is 97 years old, also making her a contender for the oldest Nessie witness.

I had a look at the sightings record and see no mention of this report in the literature or newspapers with her name or at that location in July 1933. So it seems new sightings of the monster can turn up even eighty years after the event! One wonders how many others like this went unreported during those incredible years of 1933-34?


  1. Chasing Leviathan29 October 2013 at 15:32


    This is a new one on me. Amazing and humbling to hear fresh first-hand testimony from a witness from the initial big flap.

    Thanks to Ed for linking, to you for posting, to Willie for filming, but above all to Margaret for recording her experience for posterity.

    Tim Dinsdale was right - there's nothing like listening to a witness speaking about their experience to bring it to life.

    Makes you think, doesn't it..?

  2. Awesome! I'm very interested in very old people! I even have an account on this forum: z3.invisionfree.com/The_110_Club

    1. Well, I can guess what some sceptics are thinking - how can she remember that after 80 years?

      Put it this way, when you see the Loch Ness Monster - you don't forget that so easily.

    2. I liked that she remembered small details like the sun shining off the animal's back; and that the story didn't feel like it had been embellished over time - Mrs Aitken pointed out that she didn't see a neck or other features.

  3. Oh how fantastic -- even humbling to be listening to her first hand account of an event that's older than all of us!

    But the bare bones of the story must have been set down somewhere, although I can't find it now either. One couple flagging down a second couple, who think they've missed the show but then a hump emerges... now where did I read that? Hmmm...

    Anyway, these multi-witness sightings (especially where the parties don't all know each other yet all agree they saw an animal) are far and away the hardest to ignore.

    From the date, that could have been the same animal the Spicer's encountered.

    1. This could have happened very close to the Spicer incident in terms of date and location.

  4. The "upturned boat" single hump, or body mass, is now, in my opinion, the archetypal Nessie image. Less evocative than the "head and neck" perhaps, but it seems to be the most reliable example of this creature's behaviour that we have.

    My own assumptions, and that's all they are, are that whatever this creature is, it buries itself down in the silt and ambushes eels and other bottom dwelling fish. This is how it has evaded reliable detection for so long.

    Whether I'm right or wrong about that, the creature clearly needs to surface on rare occasions and when it does it suspends its body on the top of the water in this manner. If we could understand why, then we might be a lot closer to locating the animal. It seems it's unlikely that it is feeding, else it would be seen much more regularly; so perhaps it needs to exchange gasses in the atmosphere? Maybe mating behaviour or avoiding other Nessie's require it to come to the surface? Perhaps, like frogs and newts, the creatures metamorphose between different life stages and this surfacing is a part of that process?

    Either way, accounts like Mrs Aitken's do seem to describe a behavioural trait that we can hang our hat on, rare as it is. If, like the famous cicadas that emerge every 17 years, Nessie has a brief, rare but regular increase in visible activity, I wonder when it will happen again?

    It's not just because she seems like a nice old lady, but Mrs Aitken does not seem to be lying, and her story could not be a misidentification, so I'd be interested in what a sceptic would brush this off as.

    1. Yup, Nessie is not the kind that regularly surfaces. Defintely a bottom and side dweller for me.

  5. It's a bit difficult to pick out "Nessie cycles" over a period of time, although if 1885 was "a very good year", the period around 1912 fairly decent and 1933/4 little short of stupendous then we might be on to something. In some ways the cycles of human thought may be more important. For example, it would be quite interesting to get someone like ageing hippie :) Dick Raynor to write something on the Zeitgeist of the Loch Ness Investigation Bureau. Maybe too simplistic to classify them as beardie lefties as a Tory MP was one of the leading lights but something of the flavour of the in-house chat would be interesting.


  6. At 97 years of age, is it possible she is the last eyewitness of that era and thus the last link to that long ago time? Possibly even out living some of the creatures of that time!

    1. I can think of no other candidates. This could be a milestone video.

  7. Hello
    can you translate the recorder in writting because i am french deaf.
    thanks you.