Wednesday 2 April 2014

Nessie on the Allies Side!

During World War Two, even the Loch Ness Monster was not immune to the propaganda of the Axis powers. Previously, I had written of a Nazi Germany April Fool about Nessie being captured and displayed in Edinburgh in 1934. Not quite wartime propaganda, but Goebbels went to war on Nessie in 1940 with a dismissive article about the monster being a tourist trade scam. So now you know how to answer in future when anyone asks you what Nessie debunkers and Josef Goebbels have in common.

I also mentioned the Italian spoof about one of their bombers taking out Nessie in 1941 and cryptozoologist, Paul Cropper, sent me further details from this article from "The World's News" of Sydney dated 22nd November 1941. I love the picture of patriotic Nessie cocking a snook at the Fascist plane as its bombs miss her!

Of course, the article is not going to reveal much about the identity of the Loch Ness Monster. However, since this blog tries to be holistic and seek out the folkloric, historical and cultural as well as the analytical and scientific, then such newspaper clippings are always welcome.

The good thing was that Nessie made a triumphant return with a sighting from the 18th August 1941 being reported in the Daily Mail. A Mr. MacFarlan-Barrow, his wife and three children were out in a dinghy when the creature broke surface near Glendoe Pier. It was described as having a long, snake like neck with 15 to 18 feet of body showing in the classic "upturned boat" fashion. For ten minutes, Nessie moved around before it disappeared half a mile from Fort Augustus.

Critics will be enraged that the MacFarlan-Barrow family did not bring their box camera with them and will therefore dismiss the sighting. Josef Goebbels would no doubt have decreed the sighting to be a line of merganser birds. Goebbels himself would nod approvingly at the need for witnesses to be re-indoctrinated, ermmm, re-educated in what they actually saw .....




  1. I don't think I've read of the MacFarlan-Barrow sighting before, despite owning a number of Nessie books. Is there anything like a comprehensive list of sightings anywhere?

    1. They do turn up, don't they?

      There is no up to date and publically available database. There are three databases I am aware of held in private hands. I have one but under an agreement not to use it in a public fashion without the compiler's nod.

      The one at the back of Henry Bauer's book is comprehensive up to the mid 80s.