I awoke to a dull kind of day this morning, stirred by the sound of caravan doors shutting, cars moving on and people on the go. Having been refreshed by coffee and Alpen, the weather began to improve until by mid afternoon, the sun was shining strongly and the occasional breeze gave some relief. It was a good day for Nessie hunting.
The first activity of the day was to take a walk around the shoreline of Foyers. That took us to the old Aluminium works which once employed about 500 people in the village and turned into a vibrant centre of community and commerce for several generations. That has all gone now, apart from some brick buildings and a rather disused playing field with rickety goalposts which must have once staged many an event under the Loch Ness sunshine.
Walking along from there takes one to the Tail Leat which is a river that feeds in the loch. It was here that Ted Holiday watched a dome like object through binoculars from somewhere near Foyers village in 1962. The object submerged vertically leaving a large concentric wave spreading out from where it once occupied. The photo below shows that area from the river looking out to the loch.
After that, it was but a short walk to the place where I visited Frank Searle's caravan exhibition in 1983. It is, of course, gone now, and I was not sure which of two sites it once occupied. Anyway, the photos below shows my favoured site and there is even groove marks there, which I doubt belonged to Searle's caravan; but it was interesting to muse on that theory.
Loch Ness lore suggests that when Searle left in 1984, some local lads decided to tip his caravan into the loch. That seemed an eminently feasible project as there was a nice sloping slip path right beside the caravan site leading right down to a mini pier for a caravan to take a flying take off into those deep, peaty waters. The photos below show that "runway" as well as the murky waters which presumably hold the remains of a caravan out of sight. They have used sonar to detect planes and monster props, but one thinks that no one is in a hurry to refind this particular aspect of Nessie archaeology!
After this, it was off to find the camera I had left on watch by the loch since early April. Having found it safe and sound, unstolen by tourists and ungnawed by Nessies, I plan to check its SD memory card later tonight. Whether I will leave it over June, July and August is debatable as the volume of people walking and canoeing past the spot will increase multiple times, and, yes, I do not trust them all to leave them alone!
After a combined lunch and monster watch, it was off to Dores to see if Steve Feltham was at home. He was not, and so that particular trip was reduced to a walk along Dores beach; which has its fair share of flies (not midges I would add). After that, I took a whim to revisit the site of the famous Lachlan Stuart photograph. A thought had seized my mind as we drove in which the sceptics' star witness, Richard Frere, had claimed that Stuart had shown him the alleged hay bales behind some bushes at the site.
I have already raised doubts about Frere's testimony in other articles, but I always thought this idea of the hay bales being hid behind bushes was questionable. The problem being that I don't think the foliage along this shore is thick enough to hide three or four bales of hay. A sample picture is shown below.
I walked for several hundred metres either side of where I took the path down to the loch. During that time I tried to imagine three bales of hays being hid from sight. Others may have an opinion, but for me, the bushes were too thin for the task and there is not much breadth of bush since there is a high gradient of grassland rising promptly from the pebble beach. And I say this, knowing that journalists from the Express came to investigate the site, as did Constance Whyte and Maurice Burton. No indication of any such objects are mentioned in their writings. For me, this is an indication Frere was wrong.
Anyway, a night investigation will ensue later tonight. I hope I can stay awake.
The author can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org