Saturday, 9 April 2016

Yet Another Old Nessie Book

I maintain a list of books that fully or partially address the subject of the Loch Ness Monster and, though I am aware of most of these publications going back to 1934, some new ones do occasionally turn up on the online second hand book market. So, another turned up recently, and being the collector of Nessie memorabilia that I am, I put in an order for it. It is called "Bigfoot and Nessie - Two Mysterious Monsters" by Angelo Resciniti and Duane Damon, as you can see from the cover below.

It is a 125 page book split between the two great cryptids of our time, with Duane Damon authoring the Nessie portion. Now this is another of those "boilerplate" books that appeared in the 1970s with the aim of cashing in on the Nessie fervour of that decade fuelled by the Rines underwater photos. With a recent poll stating that 20% of Scots believe Nessie is a "real life beast" (though that covers a wide range of animals), one wonders what a similar poll would have said in 1979? Given the flood of such books, one would imagine a lot higher than today.

But the book does not really add anything to the mystery, rather regurgitating the facts and figures of the time, most likely culled from other books. However, it's a fairly accurate book, but it did raise a couple of observations as I read it through.

The first was its quote from the Time magazine from 1942 stating that a 24 foot basking shark carcass had been found on the shores of Loch Ness, thus solving the mystery of the loch. I have seen this before and am certain it is an inaccurate statement. No such carcass is mentioned in the Loch Ness literature and it seems it is actually referring to a carcass found at Gourock, on the Firth of Clyde in the summer of 1942.

The second question that arose in my mind was the Academy of Applied Science expeditions of the 1970s. Damon tells us how the New York Times paid the Academy $20,000 to have the exclusive rights to any discoveries during their 1976 expedition. Nothing turned up and nothing again in 1977. The 1978 expedition is mentioned as taking a few indistinct underwater pictures of the beast. That seems like news to me, does anyone know about these?

Finally, there was 1979 and the abortive dolphin project. That raised a final question. When did the Academy of Applied Sciences make their final trip to Loch Ness? Was it 1978, 1979 or later? 

All in all, another addition to the Nessie book collection.

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