Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Finlay's Monster and Cobb's Speedboat




After speaking to Harry Finlay and reliving his famous encounter with the Loch Ness Monster in 1952, I thought I would do some follow up. These days, people can sit in the comfort of their armchairs and access many a resource online. In this case, that was not an option as not all newspaper year ranges are digitally online. In this case it was off to the local library to examine the microfilm rolls for the Inverness Courier and Northern Chronicle in August 1952.

As it turned out, there wasn't much to add to the story as the Inverness Courier from August 22nd 1952 gave a rather terse account below while the Northern Chronicle had nothing to say. My expectation was that the sighting by Dores school kids a few hours later may have appeared with further details, but alas, the clipping below does not add much to what was already known.




One thought that did pass my mind was whether the creature in question was actually entering the loch when it was seen by the Finlays. I say that because the entrance to the River Ness at Bona Narrows was less than a mile away and the creature gives the impression that it is making its way at speed from that point into the loch.

Of course, I cannot prove that but you will go on to read that John Cobb and his speedboat team were on the eve of arriving at the loch and the monster's spectacular appearance seemed almost portentous as John Cobb was to die in his speedboat accident on the 29th September, just over 5 weeks later.




Seasoned Loch Ness fans will know about the valiant but fatal attempt at the water speed record at Loch Ness by John Cobb. I have written about it before on this blog but it had not then twigged with me the proximity of the Finlay and Cobb events. Was the creature seen by Greta and Harry Finlay responsible for the death of John Cobb? The accepted explanation was that the Crusader had hit a wave caused by the support boat, the Maureen combined with a known weakness in the forward planing shoe of the boat (note the possible waves in the picture below).




The sequence of events is taken from this website:

When the morning of the 29th arrived conditions were far from perfect, slight ripples on the surface of the water .By almost 9.30 am conditions had worsened, then events took a turn for the better in that surface conditions had improved dramatically.  At 11.25 am 'Crusader' was again put in the water at Temple Pier and the official observers boat 'Maureen' set off to land the timekeepers at the Drumnadrochit end of the Loch. The 'Maureen' had reported the timekeeper were ashore at 11.50 am. At 11.55 am 'Crusader's' engine was started and she catapulted out at an angle from Urquhart Bay. Cobb came round to his starting point and revved his engine up to full power. 'Crusader' rose in the water and the attempt was under way, the time was almost 12 noon.

With a slight burst of spray in front and a trail of white foam behind she skimmed over the course and reached the second marker. As 'Crusader' reached 200 mph eyewitness accounts say she was hardly touching the water when she came out of the measured mile. Then 'Crusader' started to decelerate to make the second run but hit a wave causing her to bounce twice, she recovered for a second but the next moment the horrified spectators saw the boat plunge in a whirl of spray and foam, flaked with flying wreckage. There was no audible explosion but the boat gave the appearance of bursting apart. Hopes for Cobb's safety was roused when the yellow light attached to his safety apparatus bobbed to the surface. The 'Maureen' made her way to the floating debris and lowered a small boat which reported Cobb had been found. The news brought an immediate call over the radio for a doctor and ambulance, but later it became clear Cobb was dead, probably killed instantly.

Another site states that Cobb was "furious" with the late arrival of the Maureen and any residual waves left behind but pressed on regardless. One presumes from this that he did not regard it as a serious concern but the main theory of how this ended in disaster remains. However, for me, the sighting of a twenty foot plus creature entering the loch some weeks before should have put the brakes on this project from the start.

Of course, John Cobb and his team did not believe this and the Inverness Courier piece on the Finlay sighting was not taking it seriously enough to advise a cancellation. Indeed, another clipping from the time had some people convinced a series of wakes observed during the Crusader trials were monster related, but they were assured these were again just support vehicles. Were people that undiscerning?

On examining the story again, I tried to visualise the sequence of events. The "Maureen" pulled in at the "Drumnadrochit end of the loch" which to me was likely by the Castle, not far from where the Crusader took off from Temple Pier. So, the Crusader took off and headed south one mile to the marker. It then decelerated to turn round and run the second mile back when the accident happened.

So, the question for me was why the Crusader did not hit the Maureen's wake when it was at its strongest closer to the Castle at the beginning of the run? Perhaps because the boat had not picked up speed? But a mile down the water it was dissipating and indeed, it has to be surmised that it was a reflection from the sides of the loch that was encountered, not the original wake. For me, that is a weak explanation as reflections from the loch are not as strong as some make out.

Of course, even if the boat wake theory is proven inadequate, that does not mean it was the Loch Ness Monster as a freak gust of wind could have been enough. Over sixty years on, no further water speed records have been attempted and long may that continue while a large creature continues to move beneath the surface of Loch Ness.


The author can be contacted at lochnesskelpie@gmail.com




 




74 comments:

  1. The John Cobb story always makes me sad. I doubt Loch Ness will again be used for a water speed record due to the narrowness and the reflection of bow waves back from the steep sides of the loch, resulting in conditions unsuited to high speed record attempts.

    Whatever happened that day, we know waves do not dissipate normally at the loch sides, they reflect back in towards the centre.

    Anyway, Nessie spotting season is just beginning again. This blog makes me want to plan another visit!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I made the point that waves do reflect back into the loch the way they will in a perfect, controlled metal tank of water. There is no proof this would have happened. If the shore by the Cobb crash site was not as steep as made out by commentators, the waves would just dissipate amongst the pebbles and other absorbant material.

      Delete
    2. Yes that's all true. Apologies for the misrepresentation. Steep reflective sides along the entire length of the loch is another erroneous "fact" I've accidentally picked up from the pseudo-sceptics along the way!

      Delete
  2. Another interesting posting, Roland. Although I've been familiar with the John Cobb story for literally decades, I also never made the timeline connection with the Finlay sighting. As you say, it's a point worth considering. There may be no connection whatsoever, then again, who knows?

    @Naturewatch Eng, I don't think we can say that all waves at Loch Ness reflect back in towards the centre; it very much depends on which part of the loch you're talking about. I've been familiar with the Loch Ness shoreline as a fisherman since the 1970s and in my experience, waves typically do in fact simply dissipate on the shore, often with quite a bit of force. They only bounce back when they hit a sheer rocky outcrop, or when they cross another wake effect while they're making their way to shore. In my 40 plus years of visiting Loch Ness, I've only once had a strange (and for me inexplicable) wake encounter but I'll save the details of that for a later posting perhaps. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, they do not bounce back like a rubber ball.

      Delete
    2. OK Border Ranger - it's later. Now about that strange wake?

      Delete
    3. OK Hopkarma. As you've asked so nicely....

      The story I'm going to relate actually took place last year. As I mentioned, I've been a regular visitor to the Loch since the 1970s but I've never experienced anything that I couldn't explain; last year, this changed somewhat. Now, before I go any further, I need to be crystal clear that I'm not about to claim a sighting of a LNM. If that had been the case, you'd have heard about it long before now. All I'm going to talk about is a strange wake effect, which I couldn't (and still can't) fully find an easy explanation for.

      Anyway, this all took place at the beginning of last August. I was up at the Loch on one of my annual visits, fly fishing, generally de-stressing and spending time at a location I love. One evening (I think it was in the first few days of August but I'd need to check my diary to be sure) I was down on the south shoreline fishing dry fly. Location-wise, I was standing on the beach slightly downloch of Urquhart Bay which put me on the same shoreline but a little further west than the Cameron/Fraser sighting we all know and love. Anyway, it was a lovely sunny evening and the Loch was jelly calm. There were no boats anywhere in sight and I was happily casting my flies to some rising trout when I suddenly noticed that waves were starting to build up out in the middle of the loch. I couldn't see what was causing the disturbance but the water was lifting up and bulging and a wake was forming. This wake then passed from my right to my left and went into Urquhart Bay. I was fumbling for my IPhone to try and get a picture but to be honest, there wasn't all that much to see. Nothing ever broke the surface and the wake itself was over in less than 2 minutes. One moment it was there and the next moment it wasn't, but it was tangible and real; there was no question about it. Now, a couple of ancillary points which interested me at the time. When I saw this wake starting to develop, I was actually standing in the water and my immediate reaction was to get back on dry land. There was nothing remotely threatening about the experience and the water disturbance was a long way off, but it gave me an immediate and irrational attack of the willies. The fight/flight emotion kicked right in. Secondly, after the wake had subsided, a massive wash broke on the shore. It really crashed on the shingle and went up the shoreline stones a good metre or more. And then.... the loch returned to jelly calm, my irrational sense of nervousness passed and it was basically as if nothing had happened.

      Now, one last thing to add to all this. Fast forward to February this year when I was visiting the loch again. I spent a day at Urquhart Castle and I had the opportunity to watch one of the big tour boats which dock there. These boats usually do a big half circle before they stop at the pier and this causes a wake effect. I was down on the shoreline at the foot of Urquhart Castle tower when the wake rolled in and although it was sizeable, it was nowhere near as big as the wash I'd experienced the previous August. This gave me some food for thought... but as with so many things at Loch Ness, it's hard to draw any firm conclusions.

      So... there we have it. A strange water disturbance and a sudden attack of the willies. I wish I could say that I'd seen a hump but I can't- all I saw was an odd, but very powerful wave effect, which came out of nowhere and went back to nowhere just as quickly. The Loch Ness seiche effect perhaps? I simply don't know....

      Delete
    4. Really interesting post, Border...was the boat a Jacobite or one of the smaller Drum boats?

      Delete
    5. Cheers, Riita. It was one of the Jacobites I think; the ones that start out at Loch end. I'd need to check the size but these are pretty substantial craft. That's one of the things that made the comparative wake experience so noteworthy for me. The wave that came in near the castle was hefty but nowhere near the magnitude of the mini seiche that I'd experienced the previous August.

      Delete
    6. Thanks for sharing, Border Ranger. If there is an unknown animal in Loch Ness, it obviously does not not need to surface; this is exactly the kind of "sighting" I think GB is trying to capture with is drone. I wonder how many people at the Loch are not really looking/observing, but just waiting for that head/neck with humps to cruise by, and therefore miss this kind of event? I've read a few other sightings that end with a huge wash on the shore...

      Delete
    7. Great story Border Ranger, good you could share it with us.

      Delete
    8. Creepy story..and it's good that you shared it.
      Unknown large monster - 1
      Undulating hay bales----0

      Delete
    9. More than happy to share, but as I've been at pains to point out, my experience in itself doesn't mean there is a large monster in Loch Ness. If I'd seen a large hump or a head and neck, I'd be taking a very different line, but as it is, I can only report what I saw and what I felt. As I've said on this blog already, my personal stance is that there is a case to be answered at Loch Ness which goes beyond common misidentification and deliberate hoaxes. What this means in practice though, I simply don't know.... and to date, neither does anyone else, so to my mind, there's no point in us getting into the sceptic vs believer wars because that's when Loch Ness starts becoming more like a religion or some kind of cult. If people think I'm loopy because I believe there is more to Loch Ness than media hype, it bothers me not a jot; I get more concerned when people take their beliefs to fundamentalist levels and then close their minds as a result. Let's all stay as open as we can until we reach a position that we can be reasonably sure one way or the other. In time, this day may still come.

      Delete
  3. Intriguing but it's a no from me on the Nessie hypothesis. I am speculating but the Loch must have been the most watched it's ever been during these moments and as far as I'm aware there are zero accounts of the monster being sighted during this time. No evidence = zero chance of it being the monster.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I often wonder the reason Loch Ness was chosen for the attempt rather than the lakes in Cumbria or Loch Lomond.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's maybe the most famous in Britain? Better for publicity perhaps.

      Delete
  5. It is curious all the same,the correlation between the Finlay sighting and this tragedy.
    The official verdict as to what happened is "unknown".
    Looking at British Pathe news it's very hard to deduce a wake as having had any effect in what happened.
    Despite the colossal speed I think it's hard to get away from thinking that something just below the surface may have been hit. It looks like a slight forward upwards motion,as opposed to a side "wake" impact.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't see why a wake couldn't be possible. 200mph is a hell of a speed to hit anything that might disrupt forward travel, and who knows how stable the boat was under these conditions. For a lot of these record attempts there's a good deal of experimental physics. That's why I tend to watch them on TV rather than partake.

      Delete
  6. The issue of how 'tangible' the creature is interests me. It clearly has shown the ability to react to noise and appears to be solid (from sonar traces and the ability to generate a wake, among other things). There are people like yourself Roland who believe it to be a logical progression from the kelpie myths, and Ted Holiday who shifted his view to that of a more unknown act of physics (as I understand it). Either / or view still lends itself to an object that is tangible in the here and now (for how the here and now exists could be another issue).
    Although I would imagine if the creature was sensitive to vibration and noise, as was strongly believed by the golden era investigators, I would imagine it would have stayed well out of the way on this occasion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't forget the 10,999 sightings ,some of which saw a snakelike,whale sized dino-like animal.

      Delete
  7. I did a bit of digging for Nessie reports in 1952 and it turns out that there were sightings in February (Dundee Courier, Feb 29), and April (Aberdeen Evening Express, April 11 then Dundee Courier, April 29) before the Finlay report hit the headlines on August 21. Although this doesn't necessarily discount the possibility of Greta and Harry's monster having just entered the Loch at Aldourie, it makes it less likely I think. The April 29 sighting was at the Fort Augustus end it seems. A couple of points of passing interest though: in the Dundee Courier report of the Finlay sighting on Friday August 22, at the very end of the piece, they make direct reference to the fact that this 'scene of the monster's latest appearance is several miles from the area likely to be selected by John Cobb...'. In the report from the Aberdeen Evening Express on April 11, we learn that one of the witnesses was Mr William Fraser of Drummond Road Inverness. Monster buffs will recognise this as the same Willie Fraser who was to have the famous sighting with Inspector (at that time, sergeant) Cameron on the shoreline opposite the Clansman some 13 years later....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for those additions. Well, it really depends on whether there was more than one creature in the loch at that time...

      Delete
    2. Yep, that's true... which was why I said that having those earlier reports doesn't necessarily discount the hypothesis that the Finlay beast was making its way up the Loch. It makes it less likely for me though. That said, this idea of LNMs going on a journey has popped up in the literature before. There's a report in Holiday's Great Orm book from a Tom Skinner which suggests this very behaviour.

      Delete
  8. '<<<<. In the report from the Aberdeen Evening Express on April 11, we learn that one of the witnesses was Mr William Fraser of Drummond Road Inverness. Monster buffs will recognise this as the same Willie Fraser who was to have the famous sighting with Inspector (at that time, sergeant) Cameron on the shoreline opposite the Clansman some 13 years later....>>>>>>>

    Yes, this is just the type of serendipitous fortune that pops up rather too frequently for my liking in the annals of Nessie lore.
    Two sightings in 13 years, when not even trying, doesn't sound too suspicious, but when compared to no sightings in many years of concerted Nessie searching by the likes of Dinsdale, Holiday, Witchell and many other dedicated hunters it seems somewhat perverse.
    Such is the curse of Loch Ness I suppose.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In the case of Willie Fraser, the good fortune extends even further as I believe he had at least 1 other reported encounter between those years when he was fishing. If you watch the original old black and white newsreel of the interview with him and Inspector Cameron (I think it was by Dimbleby) when they describe their experience opposite the Clansman, reference is made to that other encounter. That makes at least 3 hits for Mr Fraser. I'm not suggesting any of these claims are spurious, but as you say, the serendipitous fortune enjoyed by some stands in marked contrast to the rather barren lot of the others. I'm sounding like a sceptic here, but it does sometimes seem that the more you search at Loch Ness, the less you find :-(

      Delete
    2. I think about8 or 9 people saw the same thing as Cameron and Fraser so it wasnt a made up story. It would be interesting to see if the times of Fraser's 3 sightings were roughly the same? Mornings , afternoons or evenings.

      Delete
    3. Yes, the Cameron/Fraser sighting had multiple witnesses, so it definitely wasn't made up. While they were watching from the south shore, Ted Holiday was busy following the hump's progress from Strone. Off the top of my head, I don't know the exact time of day of Fraser's other fishing sighting, but the encounter on April 11 1952 was in the morning. This was also a multiple witness event, as it took place on a bus near Croft Brae at Dores. I never met Willie Fraser so I can't personally vouch for his honesty, but my impression is that he was sincere. My comment about him having 3 sightings wasn't meant to cast any doubts on his veracity per se; I was just agreeing with John that there is sometimes an odd pattern at Loch Ness. Some people get multiple sightings, even when they're not trying; others live there their whole life and/or actively hunt for the LNM and see nothing.

      Delete
    4. John Rutherford said: "Two sightings in 13 years, when not even trying, doesn't sound too suspicious, but when compared to no sightings in many years of concerted Nessie searching by the likes of Dinsdale, Holiday, Witchell and many other dedicated hunters it seems somewhat perverse. "

      There is a sense in which not all Nessie witnesses are created equal. Holiday had 4 sightings, Dinsdale 3, Witchell 0. You add the good fortune of Fraser. The reasons for this "inequality" is undirected circumstances. Dinsdale put himself in the contrary dilemma of spending a lot of time on water. This is great for close up sightings but lousy for long distance and people with a bigger vista are going to see more. But as a tactic, Dinsdale was spot on as it was the close ups that would provide the best evidence.

      Also, some people are just going to have more sightings purely by unintended activity. It may boil down to their movement or non-movement in which the monster may be more likely to appear by time, season or location. They may just be better observers as a lot of people can be in the right place at the right time but just don't look at the loch much ...

      Delete
    5. Dinsdale had three sightings? He filmed one, and there was a brief head/neck sighting after that one. I don't remember another. There was Tim's first film, which he later realized was rocks - whatever happened to that bit of footage? When/what was the third sighting?

      Delete
    6. If there is an unusual creature in Loch Ness I have always felt the best time to see summit is early mornings or evenings.. So frasier being a fisherman wud have a better chance of seeing sumthing than most.. Lots of witnesses for his major sighting so not a liar for me... Cheers

      Delete
    7. I've personally been trying the early morning thing for years.... but so far no luck. I've seen plenty of deer and a couple of otters, but nothing else :-(

      That said, being down by 'The Wall' around 5am on a summer's morning when the mist is still rising brings its own rewards. Monster or not, Loch Ness still exerts a magic all of its own :-)

      Delete
  9. fatal error to use Loch Ness (no doubt for the bonus publicity it would cause), as someone who lives in San Diego (home of the Hydroplane Races in September, when the weather is perfectly calm and Mission Bay is like glass), I'm well aware that wakes are bad news when it comes to racing. Had Loch Ness been used (often) before for record-setting attempts, or was this a one-off situation? With modern cockpit safety features he might have survived, but 60 years ago a crash at that speed was going to be fatal.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Yes, taking up fishing is obviously the answer.

    Although as a fully hopeless non-swimmer and long term feartie, bobbing about on a loch 750+ft deep in a boat the size of a settee does give me a severe case of the willies.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Didn't Holiday later muse his hour long sighting of a yellow/brown object a mile away was probably a distant yellow/brown boat sighted end on ?

    Although Fraser being much closer, surely would have recognised a boat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Binns made great play of this in The Loch Ness Mystery Solved. The yellow colour has also led some to speculate that what they were in fact watching was a large, semi-submerged hay bale; one of the big wheels that we find in the upper fields around the loch. Cameron and Fraser's testimony contradicts this though. They were both adamant that they were watching a live creature, not something inanimate.

      Delete
    2. Badly written book,non scientific rag full of lunatic suppositions.ignoring facts.
      And I owned the book.

      Delete
    3. Not sure why you feel the need to attack Ronald Binns so vehemently, John. Like Dick Raynor, Binns put in his time as a member of the LNIB. Were you there with them at that time? The positions that a number of these former believers have reached are based on long years of firsthand experience. This doesn't necessarily mean that everything they say is gospel- they're human like the rest of us- but it doesn't make them lunatics either. I don't think Binns has ignored any facts, he's just given us his own interpretation of them and that's fair enough, isn't it? Whether we believe that interpretation or not is entirely our own affair is it not... Anyway, congratulations on owning the book. Not sure why that's even worth mentioning. If you'd just borrowed it, would that make a difference? :-)

      Delete
    4. Binns is the worst of them, Border Ranger, and that is saying something.

      Delete
    5. I know Ronald isn't exactly on your Christmas card list, but I wouldn't myself pillory him to the same extent. He's entitled to his views and I don't think he's ever been hugely disparaging of anyone- he just offers some alternative explanations. When I first read the 'Solved' tome, shortly after its first appearance in paperback (about 1983, I think) I was quite surprised by his conclusions because they jarred with just about everything I'd ever read up to that point, but this in itself has never made me feel hostile towards him; If anything, I'd welcome a proper sit down discussion. Anyway, keep up the good work with the blog. Your tracking down of Harry Finlay has been a major highlight this year. I wish some of the sceptics would come forward and share their reactions. The radio silence has been deafening in that regard.

      Delete
    6. I consider binns to be a Trojan Horse.
      He Comes out with a book that purports to examine Nessie objectively but inside is full of lies.

      Delete
    7. Like I said.i bought the book hoping to learn something,instead it turned out
      to be a badly researched propaganda piece.
      Basically a trojan horse.
      I was young and had all the Nessie books,including Gould's and mackels books.
      I even had the filmakers magazine that had the detailed breakdown of the rings expeditions.with excellent photographs,including the "gargoyle " photo ,which I'd,IMO,NOT s tree stump,but a real animals head with top to bottom bilateral symmetry,which the "stump" did not have.
      Nessie,is like the ogopogo,which has body chameleon effects where it can portrude it skin musculature to hide amonst tree branches and rocks.
      I have several Andrew Bennett photos of female ogopogos on land where they hide looking like a tree branch,except for the eye and nostril and mouth slit.
      The ogopogo an also ruffle it's skin to look like tree bark.
      Many Nessie can do the same.
      I read one cryptid encounter in a flooded lake,where a kayacker paddled amongst several dead trees and attempted to tie up to one ,as his rope touched it,an eye opened,and it dropped down like a rocket scaring the hell out of the kayacker.

      Delete
  12. Cameron said in his interview it sunk and didnt come back up again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. There's a clip of the original interview with Cameron and Fraser towards the end of the documentary 'secrets of Loch Ness' from GMTV Gold. You can find it on YouTube. Fraser starts by describing his earlier sighting then they discuss the 'whale-like object' that went past them opposite the Clansman.

      Delete
    2. The 1st clip with Cameron is at the 45:45 minute mark:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYnZoQ9E17Y

      There are other historical clips that follow, with Fraser's interview as well. Compelling eye witnesses, both.

      Delete
  13. Yeah intrestin account.. Dick Raynor favoured the haybale.. Its possible . Cameron said it was dark and holiday said one side was a yellowish colour. Cameron said it went up and down as it crossed the Loch and Dick said a soaked hat bale wud do that.. My only problem is Cameron said it was 30ft roughly.. Surely he wudnt mistake a hay bale for 30ft long plus he said as it neared the shore they were fishing it stopped and turned the other way.. Surely a haybale drifting and bobbing wud end up washed up on the shore they wer on..another great mystery on the mystery itself lol...cheers Roy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A soaked haybale would NOT undulate.Rayners daffy.

      Delete
    2. Well, I think Dick is long long way from 'daffy' as you put it. I have the greatest respect for his views. He's put in the years at Loch Ness and he comes up with what I think are sane and reasonable explanations for what people might have seen. However, this doesn't necessarily make them cast-iron correct. The hay bale hypothesis works.... until you truly listen to what the multiple eye witnesses are tellIng you. It's a bit like someone commenting on my wake story a few years from now and saying that I 'obviously' must have seen a boat. This would discount the fact that I've clearly stated there were no boats present- in either direction. It's always possible to put an alternative spin on things.

      Delete
    3. Explanations such as hay bales never fully answer the question of what was seen. There is always a requirement that the witness(es) failed to properly describe what they saw to bridge the credibility gap. That is an untestable premise which is easily filled in by the confirmation bias of the sceptic.

      Delete
    4. Imo,the hay bales silliness does not work,not in lochness nor in the comment section.And Roy says Dickie Raynor proposed a hay bales as the proper explanation of an object undulating while crossing the loch( Cameron's reported sighting)?
      Absolutely ridiculous!

      Delete
    5. Indeed. As I said, the hay bale hypothesis is reasonable enough as an explanation to account for something large and yellowish in the water, but it doesn't square with the other side of the equation which is what the eye witnesses themselves say they saw. And therein, it seems to me, is the nub of the sceptic-believer divide. This doesn't, in itself, lead me to attack the likes of Dick Raynor though. People are free to believe whatever they want. I myself think there is still a case to be answered at Loch Ness; others think it's all nonsense. Either position is fine. Each to their own.

      Delete
  14. Glad you found it interesting hopkarma. As I said, I'd hesitate to call my experience a 'sighting' because it was so inconclusive (all I sighted after all was a water disturbance) but I found the experience intriguing for the reasons I've already given: no boats anywhere in sight; sudden sense of irrational fear (I've never had that before or since at Loch Ness.. and I'm no stranger to being alone there or out after dark) and a truly massive wash crashing on the shore. If my experience WAS caused by a LNM, then I think you're right to flag how easy it could be missed. The whole thing was over within 5 minutes or less and if I hadn't been exactly where I was, I doubt I'd have noticed anything at all. Anyway, things like this keep my interest in the mystery alive. I still think there is a case to be answered at Loch Ness- it's not all hoaxes and mistaken identity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 11,000 sightings,6 hoaxes(?),and nobody confusing a 40 foot animal with a deer.

      Delete
    2. 11,000 sightings, John? Would you care to enlighten us on how you arrived at that number? I've been following the Loch Ness story since about 1975 and I don't think I've ever seen any claims like 11,000.

      Delete
  15. Yeah. The haybale is/was a good explanation and nicely logical... a bit like Burton saying that the 'horns' on the Finlay monster suggest it was a young deer, but the problem with both of these interpretations is that they fall right down with a splat when you listen to the eye witnesses themselves. As Roland has now documented, Harry Finlay's reaction to the deer idea was 'piffle'; I think Cameron and Fraser would say the same about the hay bale. They were both satisfied that they were watching something alive, not something waterlogged and inanimate. Something like a floating hay bale would have been at the mercy of the wind and the water currents and would have landed on the south shore right at their feet, as Cameron has consistently pointed out in all the interviews I've ever seen (to be fair, he doesn't name haybale directly, but he's clear that had the object been inanimate, that's what would have happened). As it is, we have an account of something large and living; something which changed direction a number of times and submerged then resurfaced. I don't subscribe to the idea that they were watching an elasmosaurus swimming past that night, but I also don't think that 2 local countrymen, completely familiar with the loch, wouldn't be able to recognise a floating bale of hay when they saw one :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, they do. As I said, 'a floating bale of hay' :-)

      Delete
    2. The hay bales is a good/ logical explanation?
      Of what?
      Lunacy?

      Delete
    3. Not sure how to react to such antagonistic posting, John. As I said, I don't myself believe that Cameron and Fraser saw a hay bale but the suggestion that something yellowish floating in the Loch, on the face of it, is a reasonable enough explanation, except.... that it doesn't fully square with what the eye-witnesses were telling us.

      Delete
    4. Sorry,been studying psychological warfare and been trying out some of my lessons.
      This technique was in the discredit catagory.
      There is also the repetition category,to plant an idea or word in the readers head...but I digress..Nessie has repeated her appearances 11,000 times and it ain't " hay bales".

      Delete
  16. Thanks, Gezza. I read this blog regularly but don't often comment- mostly because I'm based overseas and the internet access is a nightmare, requiring the use of a VPN. I've commented more in the last 5 days than I have in the past 5 years :-)

    The posting about the John Cobb wake just seemed like an opportune moment to share my own water disturbance with a wider audience.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I wonder if the big round bales we see now would have been prevalent in the mid 1960s, would they not be of the smaller rectangular Lachlan Stuart [ allegedly ] variety.

    This Nessie malarkey eh, it's educational if nothing else.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a good point about the bales, John. I never though of that. We should be able to ascertain when the 'big wheel' variety of hay rick first started appearing. If I think back to my childhood, you're right, I only recall the rectangular variety. Even if one of these had been lobbed into the loch, it wouldn't equate to something 30 feet long.

      Delete
    2. More hay bales,except this time it's round?
      Your comment certainly plants Doubt in the "undulating hay bales( rectangular classification)
      Ha,ha,me and my lads would dump a Round hay bale( undulating type) in the loch,and read about all the tourists calling in lochness monster sightings..ha ha good times.you can't beat a round ( or retangular- Stuart) hay bales for hoaxing the monster.of course we used only the " undulating type"..good times!��

      Delete
    3. Why do you keep using the word 'undulating' John? Did Cameron and Fraser describe what they saw using that term?

      Delete
    4. Hay bales don't "undulate".

      Delete
    5. I find the adverb "undulating" intriguing.
      It conjures up images of Professor Tucker's Elasmosaurus,gliding through lochness,dragging undulating hay bales (round or square) into the depths!( Nessie doesn't like competitors.)

      Delete
  18. Fascinating story border ranger..cheers for sharing it! The cruise boats are big so if the wake u saw was bigger that's some wake! I take it it was going at some speed to cause that big a wake and can I ask u did u feel that u at the time it was a creature making it? If so then uve had an experience myself and a lot of people have spent a lot of time lookin for! I've seen nothing unusual on my trips so far but the beautiful place and the magical around it makes up for it.. I'm up again soon and I'd love to see what u did I admit! Though I'm afraid once I get there the tennents takes over any serious monster spotting lol..cheers

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheers, Roy. I wrote a longish response to your posting earlier but I think it was mangled by the Internet Gods and never got through. If I'm wrong about this and the comments survived, all well and good; if not, then this will need to be a truncated second attempt.

      I just wanted to say that all I saw was a strange water disturbance. I couldn't say whether or not a creature caused it, as nothing ever broke the surface to prove that hypothesis. It was just a strange, but very sizeable bulge of water which passed from my right to my left and caused a truly massive upsurge of water on the shore.

      The bit that intrigues me still is the sense of unease that this generated. I know Loch Ness like the back of my hand and as someone country born and bred, im not afraid of being out in the woods alone. This sense of disquiet was unprecedented and very real and completely chimes for me with the earlier posting on this blog by Tim Richardson. How interesting to read of his feelings as a fellow outdoorsman and fisherman. The armchair sceptics can chuckle and frankly I don't care- I'm just reporting what I honestly felt.

      As for the Tennants Roy, we need to widen your appreciation of Scottish ale. Have you tried Fraoch or any of the craft brews? If you're ever up at the Loch at he same time as me, I'd be happy to share a pint :-)

      Delete
  19. Nice one border ranger.. Ur right it doesn't matter what anyone thinks u know what u saw! And yeah I've sampled a few ales but I love the tennents and as ya can't get it in Cymru I always drink it in Scotland.. Lovely drink . And yes I would defo share a pint or 10 with u if we wer up at the same time.. I'm about to book my next trip at the Fort Augustus cabin Park.. Roll on... Cheers

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All good, Roy. I won't get back to the loch this summer sadly, but i hope we can meet up on another occasion. 10 pints sounds like a definite winner :-) Enjoy your time at the Fort and if you're walking round Borlum Bay, keep an eye open for our friend. That part of the loch is as good as any for a potential encounter. Father Gregory.... Mrs Robertson... Bill Jobes- the list continues.

      Delete
    2. I love walking around there Border ranger.. Though last time I did I got a tick in my leg lol. .no shorts next time ha.. I love going round the other side as well to lncharnadochh bay and cherry Island.. Love sitting there with a couple of cans of tennents.. Prob my fav spot..so peaceful... Cheers

      Delete
    3. Yeah, the ticks can be a problem. I picked up 3 of the little buggers last summer when I was clambering about in the ferns up near the Hambro monument. Home surgery with darning needles isn't the best way to spend a holiday, especially after a few cans of grog. It's still a great place to walk though and so far, there's been no sign of Lyme disease so it's all good. Have a safe trip mate!

      Delete
  20. john, some of your comments have not made it to this forum, you're getting too touchy!

    ReplyDelete