Monday, 10 December 2018

The Loch Ness Monster and the Unfortunate Goat




Another Nessie fan had mentioned a land sighting to me which had escaped my attention but I thought should check out. The story comes from a less well known book published in 1972 entitled "The Loch Ness Monster" by Elwood Baumann which runs thusly:

The next expedition was made up of two young Germans. Their plan seemed like a reasonable one. They were going to rent bicycles and pedal round and round the loch. Whenever they saw the monster, they would hop off and photograph it from different angles. They seemed rather startled when someone pointed out to them that a bicycle trip around the loch involved seventy-two miles of pedaling. Nevertheless, they rented two light-weight English bikes and set off on their big adventure. When they returned the following evening, they were flushed with triumph. Their expedition had been unbelievably successful. They had photographed the monster splashing playfully around only a few yards offshore. They had also managed to get pictures of the monster asleep on a sandbank and eating a goat in a pine forest.

An understandably cynical Highlander listened to their story and tried to hide his smile. It was a pity, he told them, that they hadn't been fortunate enough to get a picture of the monster climbing a tree or having lunch in the Drumnadrochit Hotel. Someone else gently suggested that the Germans have their film developed in Inverness. That way, the local residents could have a good look at the monster, he told them. This the two Germans refused to do. The editor of an important magazine in Germany was going to give them a great deal of money for their film, they said, and they were anxious to get home and collect it. Unfortunately, their departure from Inverness was delayed. The police had been informed that two young monster hunters had left the Foyers Hotel without paying for their rooms, drinks, or meals. It also developed that the two men had brought the rented bicycles onto the train with them. The Loch Ness Monster expedition from Germany came to an unhappy end when the heavy door of the Inverness jail slammed shut behind its two members.

If you peruse Amazon, you will see that Mr. Baumann was a busy author in the field of mysteries during the 1970s with books published on Nessie, Bigfoot, Monsters of North America, UFOs, Vampires, the Devil's Triangle and, of course, motorcycles. In other words, he was not a dedicated expert on the monster and most likely was either commissioned to write a series of books or wrote them on his own initiative. On my list of Nessie books, I say this about his book:

This was one of several mysteries books written by Baumann. It is another boilerplate book which basically surveys the sightings history though since Mr. Elwood was a member of the LNPIB there is a bit of extra emphasis on their work. The book suffers the indignity of the Hugh Gray Nessie photograph being printed upside-down and the front cover sculpture of Nessie by Dick Dulany is intriguing to say the least!

The 1970s saw a flood of books mentioning Nessie as monster fever rose to a crescendo with the 1975 Rines pictures before abating into the sceptical 1980s. It is therefore no surprise that any author with an eye for mysteries and a buck were busily deploying their typewriters in this pursuit. But what about the actual story?

The first problem is that Baumann nowhere states the source for this story, or any others for that matter. It is a story to excite rather than research. So, I have no way of investigating it further from a purely journalistic point of view. But it hardly needs to be said that this is a story which has its tongue firmly embedded in its cheek. There may well have been two Germans making sensational claims, but the tenor of the story clearly implies we should not take it seriously at all.

I don't think Baumann made it up, I rather think it is a story that is of the same genre as the German hoax story of 1934 and I think that is where we should leave this one. As for German on bikes in the 1930s, it is now established that a lot of German youth in the early 1930s were coming over to Britain as hikers and bikers in the guise of tourists to spy out the British infrastructure for war purposes. In that light, perhaps this concocted story was a cover for more sinister activities?


The author can be contacted at lochnesskelpie@gmail.com



Friday, 7 December 2018

Colonel Buckshot Wants You!



This email popped into my inbox recently:

Dear sir,

I wonder whether either yourself or any of your readers would be interested in my recent advert, (attached), the positions of which I am having difficulty filling. 

I am seriously considering rewarding, as further inducement, a sizeable crate of Tunnock's Snowballs to each of the successful applicants. (As you're doubtless aware, Tunnocks have been eaten, used as a binding agent re. footwear, and fashioned into bait traps during all successful monster expeditions.)

Interested parties may discover more at www.festicopia.com

Winter is almost upon us and the beast must be caught!

Yours in haste, 
Colonel Buckshot

If you are foolhardy enough, you know what to do! Sadly, I just fail to meet his age range requirements, but I find his Nessie on Land theory ... strangely compelling.


The author can be contacted at lochnesskelpie@gmail.com


Saturday, 1 December 2018

Snaring the Monster




A news story from August 1984 exemplifies the story of a laudable attempt to capture final proof of the monster of Loch Ness. The text runs as follows:

CIVIL servant Stephen Whittle plans to solve the riddle of Loch Ness - by catching the monster. Armed with a 60ft long "monster trap" Stephen and his dedicated band of helpers will set out on their six-week quest to net Nessie. The £20,000 cost of the expedition is being put up by Warrington based Vladivar Vodka, a company noted for sponsoring some of life's more eccentric ambitions. But Stephen, aged 25, from Blackpool is serious about his plan to crack one of the world's greatest mysteries. "I am convinced there is something down there - but the only way to prove it is to catch it." he said.

The trap is being built to Stephen's specifications at the lochside and will be lowered into the water by helicopter when the hunt begins on August 28. The glass fibre tube will be suspended 30 feet below the surface. Live fish will be inside to tempt Nessie inside. A four-man crew aboard the floating platform above will monitor the tube 24 hours a day through cameras and electronic sensor equipment. When they detect something swimming into it a lever will be released to close the trap door. The plan is for Nessie to be winched to the surface and photographed, filmed and examined. Afterwards the monster will be lowered back into the loch and released.

"We don't want to harm it in any way,- said Stephen. "as soon as we have filmed and photographed it we will let it go"

Stephen has chosen a point on the eastern side of the loch about 100 feet from the shore to set the trap. The water is more than 200 feet deep at that spot. The device will be serviced from a base camp on shore. Stephen is still recruiting students for the 30-strong team who will take turns manning the trap during the hunt.

Stephen said "The various scientific exercises and sonar readings which have been made of something large moving in the loch convince me there is something down there, though I don't know quite what. The one way to find out is to catch a live specimen. There has to be some kind of breeding colony down there. We will probably find they grow to a maximum length of  25 feet. The creature obviously feeds on fish because there is insufficient plant life down there to support anything that big.

It will take a little while for it to get used to the trap being in the water, but I think six weeks should be long enough to pull one in. If we fail it won't change my mind about their existence. But until it gets a scientific name and credibility, I know most people's tongues will remain firmly in their cheeks when they talk about the Loch Ness monster".

The expedition is being aided by members of the Loch Ness Project, a scientific team engaged in a long term investigation of the mystery. Project leader Adrian Shine said "We're the most sceptical investigators so far. But we are greatly impressed with some eye witness accounts and strong, deep sonar contacts. Until we have resolved what they are, we will continue our research. There is no scientific reason why there should not be a relatively large animal in Loch Ness".




I had previously written on various attempts across the years to physically capture the creature and this was certainly one of the most ambitious. You can also read Adrian's reflections on the Loch Ness Project's involvement here which also reveals their part was more complex than the newspaper article suggests. The above photo of the trap being dropped is taken from the same website. Adrian has misgivings about such efforts due to disruption to boat traffic, possible danger to other species and the introduction of invasive species (used as live bait).

I previously gave the Vladivar trap minimal odds of 250-1 for succeeding. The trouble is I don't think the creature is a frequent occupant of the upper pelagic zones down to 30 metres and  I disagree with Stephen Whittle that there is necessarily a breeding colony of such creatures in the loch. Some other technique is required and we await the possible "capture" of Nessie in the form of micro fragments of DNA floating in the water.

But there is one thing I disagreed with Adrian on and that is the matter of dredging for Nessie bones. Adrian's main argument against this is the valuable resource that the undisturbed depths of silt provide as a chronological record of the loch environment going back thousands of years. I do agree with him in that regard, but the silt bed of the loch must be about a dozen square miles or more in extent, so why can't a designated but small area of the loch bottom be reserved for the purposes of dredging and analysis?

Admittedly, care would have to be taken that the uplifting of samples did not result in silt clouds contaminating the surrounding area too much. However, even dredging up 100 square metres would constitute a minuscule portion of over 30 million square metres of loch bottom. The problem is of course the logistics of drawing up such large amounts of silt and debris. 

The alternative is the more surgical approach wherein sonar targets on the loch bed are identified and probes such as ROVs or the more recent Munin AUV are sent to investigate them. The first problem here is that only more recent carcasses could be explored as older ones are below the silt. The second problem is that a general sonar survey of the bottom may lack the required resolution to identify potential targets - hence the need for AUVs and ROVs in the first place. However, it is a viable technique that has been used in the past. 

Meantime, and as said above, we await the results of the eDNA survey.


The author can be contacted at lochnesskelpie@gmail.com

 

















Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Harper Smith and his Periscope Nessie

Some time back, I wrote on that curious subset of monster reports that are likened to poles or periscopes. I had listed 17 eyewitness accounts or about 1% of the entire sightings database and 8% of all head-neck reports, but one eyewitness account was missing from that list which I include today. It was a report known from the literature but it came to my attention a while back when perusing old copies of the Scottish Field magazine. The sighting was by a Mr. J. Harper Smith on June 27th 1951 as he and his son fished off Tor Point. I reproduce his letter to the magazine below:




THE LOCH NESS MONSTER 

SIR, - On Wednesday, June 27th, I arranged to fish Loch Ness with my son, who is an officer stationed at Fort George. It rained heavily in the morning, and was still drizzling steadily when we set out after lunch for Dores, which is two miles down the Loch. We took a boat from Dores Inn and fished till 9 p.m. About that time we were taking our rods down in the boat about 300-400yds. off Dores Point. The weather had improved steadily and it was quite fine and visibility was good, but there was a flat calm which was useless for fishing.

My son suddenly said that he thought he could see a periscope off a headland about a mile further down the Loch, and on the opposite side from Dores. We both watched it carefully, and saw something coming up out of the Loch. After a few moments it clearly became a large black head with a considerable length of neck below it.

No body could be seen, but the object, immediately began to move forward towards the centre of the Loch at a great speed. We estimated the speed as similar to that of the average lake steamer (say 12 knots), and there was a great wash behind it. It went roughly as far as the centre of the Loch and then turned and headed straight towards us. We decided that if it came within about half a mile we would pull into the shore. It came to what we judged to be about that distance, but just as we were preparing to bend to the oars it turned round and went back in the reverse direction. Having covered about the same distance in that direction it then did a great sweeping circle (the centre of the loch being the centre of the circle) and finally moved off towards Whitefield Point, where it submerged.

We watched it with amazement for well over 15 mins. We were both agreed that it bore no resemblance to any creature known to exist today, but that it was very similar to some of the prehistoric monsters depicted for example in Conan Doyle's The Lost World. The size of the head (bearing in mind our distance from it), its speed, and the size of the wash all clearly indicated an enormous creature. Until then I was more than sceptical of the existence of " the monster," but I now know it exists. I hope to resume the hunt for it on some future occasion with a cine camera, which 1 unfortunately left behind this time because of the rain. For the same reason I even left my binoculars. 

J. HARPER SMITH 


As it turned out, this periscope sighting was hiding in plain sight in Nicholas Witchell's "The Loch Ness Story" and I had just forgotten all about it. This is the account from the first edition of the book:

We went over to the village of Dores to enquire about hiring a boat. After arranging this we had a chat with the old lady who runs the Dores Inn. I asked her if the locals believed in the 'Monster'. She looked at me very seriously and said: 'It isn't a question of believing in it — most of us have seen it at one time or another and we know it is there.' Unfortunately (for me) I still remained sceptical. The next afternoon we went out fishing but because it was wet when we set out I left my cine camera and binoculars behind.

By about 9 p.m. the loch was like a mirror. We were just starting to take down our rods when my son pointed with his arm and said: 'Is that a periscope over there?' I looked and realised something was coming up out of the water. Within a few seconds a black head was followed by a similar coloured neck several feet long. While we were eagerly looking for the body the head and neck began moving forward at a very fast speed followed by a huge wash.

As it came nearer we noticed some oscillations of the head and neck. We began to edge in nearer the shore but when it had come to within about 800 yards 'it' turned and went back up the centre of the loch and shortly afterwards submerged. We put the length of the neck at about five feet and the diameter at about a foot . . .

Here is my map of the event based on these two reports. The witnesses were located at the star symbol while the creature went from A to E in its various motions. One gets the impression the creature was heading across the loch but took a temporary diversion north to see what the boat was before resuming its original route. Of course, there is no way of ascertaining the truth of that speculation.




Needless to say, this kind of motion is hardly reminiscent of water birds which are known to inhabit the loch. Rapidly swimming across nearly a mile of loch at about 14 miles per hour does not remind me of any such bird. Going round in a circle before heading in a straight line again is also curious and makes one wonder if it had spotted something edible within that circle? As an aside, I note that the creature submerged very close to the point where Lachlan Stuart would take his famous three humped photograph only seventeen days later. 

Sadly, there is no sketch to accompany this report as one feels this sighting occupies the ground of pole like but also classic head and neck as Mr. Smith goes from "periscope" to "large black head". Was this a result of a change in the creature's shape as we also read the statement "we noticed some oscillations of the head and neck" in the Witchell account. If that is an accurate observation, are we seeing a very malleable head and neck, if they be head and neck at all?

Or was the creature initially seen with its head looking away from the observers only then to turn perpendicular to their line of sight? Could this change in perspective account for some of those sightings which are solely periscopal in nature and thus harmonise them with the classic long necked reports?

Watching the creature at a mile away is not exactly close up but when it came to within 800 yards of the boat, we are beginning to talk about a more meaningful event. Which naturally brings us to the reliability of the witnesses. I like stories which involve anglers as witnesses as I regard them as a better trained class of observer. Was Mr. Harper Smith a seasoned Loch Ness angler who would therefore be someone familiar with the so called deceptive nature of the loch and its various aspects?

The answer would appear to be "no" as he signs off his letter as coming from Bracebridge Heath, near Lincoln in England. That of course does not make him an incompetent witness as his angling skills may nevertheless have been honed elsewhere. So the best we can assume is that he probably had some competence gained as an angler, but the degree of it is not known. His son, who was from nearby Fort George, is a different matter. It is possible he was a regular angler on Loch Ness and in fact his son was first to spot the creature. Again, there is no way of knowing.

It should be added that the creature was in view for at least 15 minutes which allows plenty of time for normal candidates such as logs, birds and boats to be considered and eliminated from their on the spot enquiries and we have two eyewitnesses assessing what was before them. Ultimately, you either believe they saw a large five foot neck with a large head speeding across the loch or you believe they somehow misinterpreted what they saw or even lied. The choice, as ever, is yours.


The author can be contacted at lochnesskelpie@gmail.com




Monday, 29 October 2018

The B.A. Russell Sighting




I was drawn back to this classic sighting of the Loch Ness Monster by a recent e-clipping I got from the Scottish Field magazine dated 2nd June 1934. In that journal, Mr. Russell wrote to the editor describing his sighting and which appeared in the Letters column. There are several sources for this account, but this one is primary being in the witness' own words and is reproduced below.


THE LOCH NESS PROBLEM 

The following is another letter from an eyewitness.

SIR, - on the morning of  Sunday. October 1st, 1933, I had taken my dog out for a walk across the rocky knolls that lie above the south-west corner of Loch Ness. I had previously heard a good deal about the large creature that was said to have taken up residence in the loch and, after a period of complete scepticism, was, at the time, inclined to the belief that some large marine animal, probably a very large seal or a small whale - had entered the loch, the general descriptions, I had heard of it as resembling an upturned boat, more or less pointing to one of these. I had, it is true, also heard stories about the creature as possessing a long neck and resembling an enormous eel but, having been unable to verify these descriptions, I did not, at the time, attach much weight to them as I knew of no creature that would answer to the description given. I was thus quite unprepared for what I was fortunate enough to see.

On reaching a high rocky point about 300yds from the water's edge I saw a huge neck and head extended from the water about 800 - 900yds, from where I was standing and about 400yds. from the waters edge. The creature was moving slowly and steadily towards the southwest, that is, at right angles from left to right across my line of sight. Its progress continued, more or less in a straight line, for twelve minutes (timed), after which it sank almost exactly half a mile from the point at which I had first seen it.

Conditions for observation were, as nearly as may be, perfect. The loch was dead calm and the water pale grey. There was no shimmer or glare from the water. The sun was shining from behind and to the right of the creature so that head and neck were visible as a dark silhouette against the pale water.

The head was small compared to the thickness of the neck and, so far as could be seen at a distance, wad rounded or oval, not angular. It was not set on the neck at a distinct angle, but appeared more or less as a continuation of the neck slightly thickened. It was carried well forward and was, I judge, about 5ft. clear of the water. The neck was serpentine and carried at an angle to the water, not upright. It tapered a good deal, being distinctly thicker at the water's edge than just behind the head. At the distance it was, of course, quite impossible to make out any such detail as eyes or mouth, as I had no glass with me. But the general appearance of head and neck was smooth. I am satisfied that, had there been any conspicuous appendages, I could not have failed to see them as some irregularity in the outline.

No sign of a body was visible, but the creature left behind it a V-shaped wake which was very noticeable on the flat water. One or two seagulls were in attendance on it, swooping down and circling round it. I could see the gleam of their wings they wheeled. The progress of the animal across the water was smooth, without any up and down motion but, so far. as could be seen, with a sideways, swaying action. From time to time it turned its head and neck from side to side. The head did not seem to pivot round on the neck but the whole head and neck swung round together.

At its nearest it was, so far as I can judge, about 700yds. from where I stood, and when it sank it did so quietly, making no great disturbance in the water. After it disappeared, I went home and returned with a telescope but failed to see any further sign of it. I was very much impressed by the size of the mass of the head and neck which I saw and concluded that, to maintain so much clear of the water, the body must either be very bulky or exceedingly long.

 I should add that all measurements of distance have been checked, so far as possible, from the O.S. 6in. map, that my estimate of the creature's head is based on a comparison with the height of a man standing in a skiff and that the period during which I actually watched the head and neck was timed accurately.

 As to the identity of this strange inhabitant of the loch the only thing of which I am satisfied is that none of the "explanations" which I have I seen in the Press - they range from killer whales to logs of wood and from walruses to masses of peat - seems to me to satisfy the descriptions given by scores of witnesses whose integrity and credibility are beyond question. And to my mind not the least noteworthy fact connected with it is that, so far as I know, not one of those "explanations" or "identifications" comes from a person who has been sufficiently fortunate to have had an opportunity of personal observation of the creature in question.

Your faithfully,

B. A. RUSSELL,

The School House, Fort Augustus, Inverness-shire.




Thus runs one of the first classic long neck sightings of the modern Nessie era. The creature was sighted at not less than 0.4 of a mile away as it progressed at a leisurely 2.5 miles per hour to its point of submergence. The map below gives a rough idea of Mr. Russell's location up in the hills and the arrow shows my guess as to the creature's south westerly swim past the observer. The yellow line shows the sun's position at about 10:10am according to Russell's own testimony gleaned from elsewhere which agrees with his statement that the sun was behind and to the right of the creature. The others sources for this story are Rupert T. Gould's "The Loch Ness Monster and Others" which was published within a short time of this letter and Whyte's 1957 "More than a Legend".




The sketch at the top of the article is taken from Whyte's book and purports to be taken from the diaries of Fort Augustus Abbey's Cyril Dieckhoff. Being a monk at the Abbey and near to the school where Russell worked, Dieckhoff was handily placed to get a first hand account. It may well be an accurate copy from his diary, although I suspect it may be redrawn. The second sketch below is from Gould's book in which he says that Russell preferred this as the most accurate of the selection of sketches extant at that time. There is also an earlier report from the Scotsman newspaper dated 15th November 1933 which I have not seen. Both sketches come out with a five foot neck protruding from the surface.




I accept this as a genuine sighting of the Loch Ness Monster but clearly others are not going to take that position. One would suspect that a misidentified bird would be a leading contender, but two points in the letter suggest this is a naive interpretation. Firstly, Russell states that some seagulls were swooping down and circling around the beast. This obviously provided a size reference for the monster and if we assume it is the common herring gull, it will have a wingspan of up to about 60 inches, almost equal to the length of the monster's neck. The second and more important size reference was Russell's comparison of his sighting with a man standing in a skiff. I don't think this distant man was nearby the passing monster, so I am assuming that this boat was observed near the monster's path but later on when he returned to the spot with his telescope.

The observation of gulls around the monster is an interesting and perhaps unique event. Sea birds are known to fly around large sea animals such as whales and dolphins in the hope of getting some fish left over from the hunting of the ceteceans. One might be forgiven for thinking the gulls had got it wrong here in expecting to get a bonus from the Loch Ness Monster, but the point is they are behaving in the same manner as they would for other large aquatic animals. In this case, their expectation regarding this giant is doomed not to follow the pattern of others. Be that as it may, the seagulls' reaction is consistent with the presence of a large creature.

The full length of the neck extending to six feet suggests we have at least an eighteen footer here, average in Loch Ness Monster terms, but a beautiful creature nonetheless. Eighty five years on, the B.A. Russell report stands out as one of those classic long neck and head accounts that typifies the classic view of the monster as a plesiosaur-like creature.


The author can be contacted at lochnesskelpie@gmail.com





Friday, 19 October 2018

Steve Feltham - The Film




I have been wondering if Steve would ever write a book on his life at Loch Ness in pursuit of the monster, but it appears the film of his life will appear first! According to the Herald, Ridley Scott's advertising company will shoot a seven minute advert of his life for computer hard drive companies Lacie and Seagate with the theme "nothing is impossible - dream big". I look forward to seeing this.




The author can be contacted at lochnesskelpie@gmail.com


Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Loch Ness Trip Report September 2018




It was back at the loch last month as I spent a few days camping and roving around the famous body of water looking for its even more famous resident. I brought the drone, the thermal camera, trap cameras and the old fashioned hand held camera and binoculars. It was also the weekend of the Loch Ness Marathon which kept me off road for most of that day. The extended weekend was a generally quiet time due to the reduced number of tourists who were all back at work and school. However, that had to be balanced against the colder, wetter conditions. So, I may well go back a few weeks earlier next year.

Sunday was drone day as I strapped the backpack on and went off in search of a suitable site. Dinsdale Island was now off limits to a wellington boot crossing as it had been during the dry spring. Waders will be required next time as I regard it as a good drone site in terms of isolation and a flat beach for safe landings. A walk around the wider area did not provide any adequate take off points and so I headed off to the location of the Lachlan Stuart photograph a few miles up the road and flew the drone there. With a nice backdrop of the castle, no Nessie outlines were discerned just below the surface, so I drew a blank (snapshot of drone video below).




On Monday it was time to don my tour guide hat as I took fellow Nessie lovers, Phil and Cathie around the loch on a tour of their design and with me as their guide. This involved various stops and chats and so we began at the spot where Peter MacNab took his famous 1955 photograph and heading onto other sites after that. Seeing we are on the subject of Peter MacNab, one sceptic declared some time back that the photo had to be a fake because the black hump didn't look glistening enough as he would expect from water splashing and running off it.




So is the photo debunked in one fell swoop? Shall we now consign it to the bin of hoax history? Not if we compare it with an old picture of the Gondolier cruise boat passing the castle in a similar setting. I think you would agree its black, water splashed hull is not giving off much in the way of lustre either. As a side note, if any sceptic tries to gainsay this elsewhere, please feel free to copy and paste their counter arguments here to be dealt with.



Stopping at the site of the famous Arthur Grant land sighting, I got my first chance to see the new plaque erected to commemorate that event at the Clansman Hotel. Fortuitously, there was a life size model of the monster there to add a sense of reality to that moonlit night of January 5th 1934 when Grant chanced upon the creature as he approached it on his motorcycle. As mentioned in a previous article, I had suggested erecting the plaque to local businessman and Nessie promoter, Willie Cameron. It seems this had always been on his mind and this was the catalyst to get it done. The words you can read on the plaque are the exact words I supplied to Willie, so I was pleased with that.


 


Onwards and as we passed through Fort Augustus and on our way to the southern shore, something was pointed out to me, or rather the absence of something. That something was Kilchumein Lodge, the residence of the Pimleys, from where their employee, Margaret Munro watched a strange creature on the shore of Borlum Bay for 30 minutes through binoculars in June 1934. All that remained was a large tanker of some description with some building materials now lying on cleared land. I recall the house being there on my last visit in June. I am sure some local will help fill in the gaps as to what happened and the site's future. Either way, a piece of Loch Ness Monster history has gone.




And here is the old house photographed seven years ago for Google Streetview.



Visiting the site of the famous Hugh Gray photograph, the site was being surveyed when an unusual object was spotted rising up and down in the water, which I show below. This was in quite deep water and could not have been a rockbed log sticking out of the water, but after a close inspection with binoculars, it was undoubtedly a large piece of tree debris with a squared off end bobbing up and down in the water. It was presumed that the log had been sufficiently saturated with water to achieve this near submerged appearance with the bulk invisible under the water. The media and forums often put up pictures of Nessie like logs as if this was some slam dunk explanation for sightings, but the truth is they are easily enough discerned after a short time.




Having said all that, the patience of this hunt of hunts was driven home again that weekend as the drone, thermal camera, trap cameras and good old fashioned eyeball watches produced no decisive evidence. So, it is time to hunker down for the winter and try again next year. Nevertheless, I hope to be back up at the loch with hopefully good news for Nessiephiles later in the year, so watch this space!


The author can be contacted at lochnesskelpie@gmail.com