Wednesday 22 May 2013

New Picture of Nessie?

A YouTube clip is now doing the rounds which shows something strange in Loch Ness. The photographer is Dan Sohan and you can view the clip below. Dan says he took the image on the 9th May or 13 days ago.

I have contacted him for further details and hope to say more but expect explanations such as it is a picture of a bird in flight in the tradition of the Jennifer Bruce picture taken in 1982. For now, I would prefer to get more info such as whether this is a still from a video clip. 


Loch Ness researcher, Dick Raynor, got in touch with me and says the image was actually recorded somewhere between Onich and North Ballahulish which is over thirty miles south of Loch Ness. This is based on a comparison between the hills in the picture's background and what can be seen using Google StreetView.

Dan has also got back to me and says that the image was a single shot and he thinks he was actually driving along Loch Lochy at the time.

Tuesday 21 May 2013

The Elf-Cattle of Caithness

I was going through some of my old emails when I came across this old newspaper clipping. I had found it as part of my earlier research into my book "The Water Horses of Loch Ness" but had not used it. So now is a good time a time as any to look at it. It is taken from the John O' Groats Journal dated the 31st December 1852.

Our story concerns a type of loch beast called the Water Bull of which Loch Ness itself was reputed to host one. However, this story is set in Caithness, the northernmost part of mainland Scotland (the green tip on our map below).

The lochs in question are not named, though my own research unearthed only one monster loch in Caithness and that is Loch Na Cloiche. Whether this was in mind or not, the elf-cattle pretty much follow the Water Bull type in inter breeding with land cattle but keep their abode in the waters of the loch. Other sources tell us that the hybrid product of land cows and water bulls were called "corcach" in the Gaelic whilst the aquatic beasts themselves were more docile than their more fearsome counterparts, the Water Horse and Kelpie.

The other interesting term is "elf-cattle" and one wonders if the locals were attempting to envisage a parallel world of creatures to those in the natural world. Just as there was the Cu-Sith or fairy-dog and the feline Cat Sith, was there also equivalent livestock in Scottish lochs?

Finally, you may wonder what the author means by the "much maligned development hypothesis"? It is in fact a precursor to Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection and pre-dates it by over ten years. You can read more about it here. As it turns out, the author of the article was arguing that the mythical beast may actually have some basis in the idea that a creature had developed in the Highland lochs from a more humble fish form.