Thursday 31 January 2013

Nessie Symposium and Edinburgh Science Festival

The 2013 Edinburgh International Science Festival has just published its brochure and the Symposium on the 80th Anniversary of the first modern sighting of the Loch Ness Monster gets a slot on page 42. Further details can be had at the official "Nessie 80" website and I add some words of my own here.

I am beginning to gather my thoughts for my own talk on the pre-Nessie era prior to 1933. There is a spot of "limbering up" as I currently engage Dick Raynor in a little exchange on Richard Franck's  "floating island" at Loch Ness. But that will expand into other areas such as Ulrich Magin's sceptical study on pre-1933 sightings written for volume seven of "Fortean Studies" (published by Fortean Times). What doesn't get used at the lecture will still be used on this blog for your interest.


  1. Laurence Clark Crossen2 February 2013 at 13:03

    I am reading your book on the water horses of Loch Ness and have read Magin's article and other criticisms along the same lines. I am sure they are mistaken. I think the kernal of truth to the skeptic position is that there were no newspaper articles on the creature before 1933. That was due to Enlightenment influence that made belief in water monsters a silly superstition. It was not due to lack of sightings.

  2. I would draw your attention to further discussion on this point at Matt Bille's blog as he challenged this point.

  3. Why is it that there were no sightings reports of Nessie in the newspapers before 1933 when there were many sightings before 1933? There were many reports of the "New England Sea Serpent."

    1. By way of introduction to this question, check out the comments section of my article at:

    2. Actually the oft quoted "no contemporaneous reports before 1933" is not strictly true. There was a newspaper report from 1930.

    3. Paul Harrison in "The Encyclopedia of the Loch Ness Monster" claims that the Inverness Courier of 6 Nov 1926 reported a single hump sighting viewed by one Simon Cameron from Cherry Island.


    4. I recall looking for this without success. It turned out it was a typo (1966 I think).

  4. i have one problem with nessie that is a requirement of any natural animal,there must be a minimum population to avoid extinction. i would guess 25- 50 adults. could you speak to this as that many nessies is a tough sell. thx

  5. Laurence Clark Crossen9 February 2013 at 13:32

    Rupert Gould wrote that sea serpents occasionally get into the loch and get stuck. I think they only visit briefly. Since the canal and lochs were built and modern development, their habits may have been disrupted. I do not believe they live in the loch for long. Often it is suggested they have been in the loch for millions of years and skeptics point out they would not have survived the last glacial.
    See: by Gould=
    The Loch Ness Monster and Others
    The Case for the Sea Serpent