Sunday, 13 March 2016

Frank Searle's Newsletters




This blog has brought you Rip Hepple's Nessletters and Tim Dinsdale's Operations newsletters. Now it is the turn of Frank Searle.

Back in 1969, Frank Searle arrived at Loch Ness with nothing more than a camera, a tent and a lot of hope. Seven years and several alleged monster photos later, he was elevated to the status of famous monster hunter which led to the publication of his book and the start of a quarterly newsletter sent out to a crowd of subscribers.

I haven't read all the newsletters, but they tend to start with Frank's own investigations as well as stories of other sightings from those who came to his camp. As the years pass by, the tone changes as he begins to criticise the activities of the media, commercial operations and other investigators. The last newsletter is dated December 1983 as he announces his impending departure from the loch. This final newsletter was published between the "petrol bomb" attack on Adrian Shine's boats and the fire at the Loch Ness exhibition that Frank Searle so hated.

The newsletter roster is incomplete as it lacks the issues for December 1981, all of 1982 and March 1983. The issue for 1976 is undated, so I am uncertain what may be missing for 1976 or whether the presumed missing dates elsewhere were actually published. If readers have any missing issues, feel free to send me scanned copies for inclusion.

The archive can be explored at this link.


11 comments:

  1. Frank sounds like he was a colourful character in the monster hunting world. I can take to him because he did then what im doing now. I just wonder why he resorted to so many hoaxed photographs? Maybe he got bored, but i tend to think he stopped believing in the monsters and maybe felt a bit annoyed with himself after all the years and time dedicated to the subject.But like him or loathe him he will always go down as part of the story.

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    1. This is why I look forward to Paul Harrison's biography of him in his final years. We may perhaps get closer to the real Frank Searle.

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  2. Yes well along with Tim Dinsdale he was a real monster hunter of his day. They were the hunters of the 60's and 70's. But its good to know there are still people doing it to this day, Gordon Holmes is busy at the loch and Steve Feltham is still there. I have been a monster hunter for about 15 years now but I like to keep it mostly private and without any attention. I have met many wonderful people connected with the mystery of loch ness, believers and sceptics.I have spoke with Steve a few times over the years and i bumped into Gordon once plus i have boarded George Edwards's boat and Dick Raynor's wihout mentioning i was a monster hunter.All these mentioned will always have a place in the loch ness monster story.

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  3. I have not delved deeply as to photos taken (Nessie)by Searle. In fact I'm thinking 'sour grapes' by persons/Nessie hunters in those days. GB do you know who 'outed' Searle's photos as fakes?



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    1. Off the top of my head, the first rumblings were in Nicholas Witchell's "Loch Ness Story" in 1974. Frank Searle had decked Witchell when he found him snooping about his camp. I presume this assault happened before the book was published.


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    2. Thanks for the info GB. Makes me think, was there any technical studies of Searle's photos?

      Please don't consider me being pedantic, I believe something (unknown) swims in the Loch

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    3. Darryl, the 1980s and the arrival of crypto-scepticism in the form of Adrian Shine and others prompted a sceptically oriented re-appraisal of the classic photos. I believe some form of committee was set up to do this, including a Ricky Gardiner who investigated the Searle photos. This was nothing ground breaking since the Sunday Mail had done an expose of Frank in 1976. However, they sought to determine how thew other pictures may have been taken. The most convincing one (for me) was the submerged post in the loch at the same location for one of Frank's long necked photos. Some of this was covered in the TV documentary, "The Man Who Captured Nessie".

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    4. At least, that's how I remember it off the top off my head. I would have to consult some documents for accuracy.

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  4. 15 years? Impressive! I'm curious, have you had an experience with the animals?

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    1. Nothing I would swear by. I once saw fish leaping out of the water just yards from my observation spot near Invermoriston. The camcorder was primed to go, but no predator broke surface.

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  5. Thanks GB for the newsletter link , yet more interesting reading... can't wait for the book to come out.

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