Sunday, 6 July 2014

A Review of Holiday's Great Orm Of Loch Ness

I am on holiday in Cornwall just now amongst such reputed cryptids as Morgawr, Owlman and the Beast of Bodmin Moor. If I catch a sight of any of them, I will be sure to let you know!

Meanwhile, I thought I would post an old e-clipping I found on a recent library visit. It is a review of Ted Holiday's book, The Great Orm of Loch Ness. The fascinating thing is that the review appeared in The Quarterly Review of Biology published by the University of Chicago Press (Vol.44, No.4 Dec 1969).

Amidst other reviews on books such as Cybernetics Simplified and Current Topics in Radiation Research we find a book on the Loch Ness Monster.  One wonders if such a thing would ever happen again in a scientific journal for a similar work? 

The reviewer was a Jane Oppenheimer, who I believe was a renowned embryologist who died in 1996. She reviewed more than 400 publications and looked for the following in a publication:

She respected others who were erudite and had little patience for those who lacked rigour in scholarship. Colleagues who were creative and imaginative as well as rigorous gained her admiration. Perhaps Holiday's lateral thinking struck a chord with here. 

She is careful not to admit to the existence of one or more large, unknown creatures in Loch Ness; but neither does she deny such a thing. However, Holiday's pursuit of the undeniable picture or film gets short shrift from the zoologist who says their community expects more than that. I would myself expect nothing less from them and smile when I see sceptical comments on this blog demanding better pictures. 

However, she ends on a positive note by agreeing that an open mind is required. If that is all that the scientific community showed, that would be enough for me.


  1. Was wondering how long it would take you to mention Morgawr GB, hope you enjoyed your holiday! BTW Cornish native as I am I've been interested with our county's Fortean cryptids since the mid-90s when I read about them in FT magazine. Apart from the 1976 Falmouth Packet photographs of our own Beastie, there's also a 'Doc' Shiels photograph that you can hunt down on google, where he enticed the monster to make an appearance in the presence of a friend, David Clarke. The photograph is in black-and-white, it's also a double exposure but there is a curious image of the Beastie...I'm off to Scotland this October for a five day coach tour holiday, my fourth visit since 1996 (back then I went with Wallace Arnold) Not going anywhere Loch Ness but will be taking a cruise on Loch Katrine on a steam boat. Looking forward to my holiday greatly!

  2. Enjoy cornwall GB. And yes some good sighting of strange creatures there too. And i believe that there are plenty of things in the sea that we dont know about and if nessie came from the sea then there are prob more of them in there!!! Hope u have good weather ! Enjoy

  3. Yes, I agree wholeheartedly. If the entire scientific community was open-minded towards cryptids, then I would be perfectly fine. It's not like I'm asking them to endorse the existence of cryptids or anything; I'm just asking them to remain open-minded.