Wednesday 20 April 2011

Sighting of Loch Ness Monster from 1990

I sometimes wonder how many sightings of the Loch Ness Monster go unreported? There is the strange account of the seagulls I found on an Internet comment board (see link). I also spoke to someone originally from Inverness recently who claimed a friend saw something strange in the loch some years back. We only get the slightest details or they never fully surface. However, Chris Sharratt while working at Loch Ness in 1990 had a strange experience which he posted on his flickr account and which I reproduce here:

Ok, I will try to keep it short, but I will tell you the facts surrounding my sighting of what might have been the Loch Ness Monster!

The idyllic 3 years I told you about in my last post, looking after a new salmon farm on my own in the wilds, came to an abrupt end when we discovered the loch we had the fish cages in (not Loch Ness itself) had zillions of small water flea type organisms that were passing on a parasitic disease to the young salmon.

So all the fish were moved out, and I moved companies and became site manager on a similar juvenile-salmon farm which actually was (and still is) on Loch Ness itself, near the tiny shoreside village of Dores.

For a year or two I was still caretaker of the other site, even though all the fish had long gone.
This meant that occasionally I made the journey from the Dores farm at the start of Loch Ness, right along the road that follows the south side of the loch to the small inland loch near Whitebridge that once was my daily office.

Anyway, it was one such day while I was on my way to inspect the old site that I saw the Loch Ness Monster!

It was a crystal clear sunny day and Loch Ness was the calmest I'd ever seen. Like a mirror with steep green forested mountain sides reflecting above the dark depths below.
I was about half way down the side of the 37km loch and the car was climbing up from the loch side road where it meets the hill at Inverfarigaig. As I looked down admiring the calmness of the loch, something looking very alive, dark, solid and large broke through the glistening surface rose up for a second, then was gone!
I had stopped the car and watched with disbelief as the rings from the wake crept out not so slowly from the centre of the loch and spread far, reaching each side of the 3km wide loch within only a minute or two!

Now I have never believed in Nessie, but what I saw that day was bigger than any other creature that could possibly be there! Seals occasionally make it up the River Ness and can be seen where the river runs through the city of Inverness, but that is close to the sea! Where I was when I saw what I did was 25km from salt water, and anyway it was larger than any Seal!

So there is my story which is factual. The only question is ... what was it I saw??????

I asked Chris for more details and he essentially said it was a "single lump" which sounds reminiscent of the most common type of sighting which is one hump breaking the surface. What could surface and then submerge again so quickly? Some sceptics suggest some sightings can be logs floating to the surface from gas eruptions below. However, Adrian Shine's work at the Loch Ness Centre proves that very little gas deposits are produced from the sediments at the bottom of the loch. There is an area in Urquhart Bay which produce some gas from decaying material deposits but the sighting did not occur there. Besides, one would only anticipate small objects such as branches, etc being driven up and that from shallow areas.

In other words, it looks like Nessie had surfaced again in one of her fleeting appearances.