I was alerted by Michael Alberty that there were some stories of the Loch Ness Monster by residents of the loch published in a local newsletter back in 2004. This was the Boleskine Bulletin which ran from 1997 to 2014. A letter was published in the Spring issue requesting any readers to write in with their own sightings of the monster. A few brave souls were prepared to put their heads above the parapets. The first letter ran the request and note the writer adds the postscript that they may have seen the beast themselves from the Foyers Hotel.
The Loch Ness Monster seems to make a tantalising appearance on occasion. By all accounts quite a few people in the area have seen it. These sightings would make an interesting article for the next BB. Please contact Buddy MacDougall, Coach House, Foyers, Tel. 01456 486366. P.S. My late husband, Stewart and I were sure we saw something (through binoculars) back in the 70's from Foyers Hotel.
The next issue details a clutch of reports numbering five in all:
Following my letter in the last B.B. asking for sightings of the Loch Ness Monster, there has been some response. The objects vary considerably. Our sighting was from the Foyers Hotel and could be seen out in the middle of the loch. We watched with two hotel guests and passing binoculars around we saw a strange object the size and shape of an upturned cabin cruiser. It was a dark grey shiny colour and you could see little waves lapping against it. It submerged for a few minutes and then came up again for a time before submerging again and disappearing completely.
A friend from Inverness, Elma Kay, saw, along with a group of friends, a long neck topped by a small head emerging from the loch at Dores Bay.
Travelling from Ardachy back into Fort Augustus, at Borlum Bay, I spotted what appeared to be a black long neck of some creature about 4 to 5 feet out of the water which at the time was flat calm. I stopped the car and it remained in view for several seconds; it then went down leaving behind ripples on the surface.
Within a few days of the above sighting, Ana and I were in the car at Borlum Bay and clearly saw a shiny black semi-circular hump probably about a quarter of a mile to the North. By transit observation on the far shore, we established that this hump was moving in a north-easterly direction. At this distance it is difficult to estimate size but would think that the hump had a length of about 5 feet and stood some 3 feet out of the water. We can only conclude that what we saw was some form of sinuous creature.
Ana & Peter Arrowsmith
In the early 1980's, I was with a friend having a picnic by the ferry pier at Foyers when I saw three distinct shiny black humps followed about six feet behind by two further similar humps moving through the water towards Dores and about 30 feet from the shoreline. Shortly afterwards, the humps submerged at which point I turned to my friend enquiring if she had seen what I saw - she confirmed that she had. I wondered at the time if I had witnessed Mother Nessie being followed by her offspring.
Muriel Lees, Inverness
Finally, the Autumn issue had another three sightings, including one from the pre-Nessie era of 1916:
I write this in reply to your request for Monster sightings - with some reluctance for I have only discussed these matters with my family and close friends. My father, whilst on leave from the Lovat Scouts in 1916 had a sighting near Urquhart Castle.
Then 30 odd years ago, en route to Inverness, my sister, nephew and I saw a black shape with a long neck and head with a considerable wash behind it in Urquhart Bay. But when we reached a lay-by, we could see nothing.
Then on a sunny morning in July 1979 when the loch was flat calm, I was rowing on the other side with my husband. When we were in mid loch, I suddenly saw what appeared to be an upturned boat just beyond Foyers Point. I handed the binoculars to my husband who said he was looking at a black shape like an upturned canoe and handed the glasses back to me. Shortly after the object submerged and we both agreed we had not been looking at a freak wave but the back of a living creature. And so we agreed with the late Sir Peter Scott and the naturalist Gerald Durrell that there may be a small breeding herd of these creatures which has survived for centuries in the loch.
Kay McGee, 36 Scarba Drive, Glasgow
This small number of accounts is doubtless the tip of the iceberg of encounters that will go unreported and never go beyond the family or perhaps even the eyewitness themselves. I suspect there are overall more unreported accounts than those reported to the media and other publications.
As far as I can tell, these eight accounts do not appear on the database I use and can be classified as single hump (3), long neck (2), multi-humps (1), back plus neck (1) and unclassified (1). Two sightings involved binoculars.
Of course, some locals will go their entire lives by the loch never seeing anything unusual which makes me wonder what proportion of the population have seen the beast? I would guess the proportion has been going down over the decades as people live more hurried lives and spend less time looking at the loch, but I am speculating.
Copies of the newsletter can be viewed here.
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