Tuesday 28 July 2020

Audio Interview on the Famous Nessie Fakers

My latest online interview is with Scott Mardis on his "Monster X" channel and you can listen to that here. It is entitled "Fearless Frank and the Fakers" and I guess you can figure out who the Frank is in that title. We cover recent fake news photos from the catfish fraud by Steve Challice all the way back through Loch Ness Monster history including the infamous Frank Searle. By way of a bonus when I was at the loch last week, I produced this short video clip of where Frank used to be stationed and I give a commentary on his last days there.

During the interview, I told Scott I had met Frank Searle back in the 1980s but the details were vague now. However, I later on recalled I still had my monster watching log book from those days and dug it out to find out what I had written about Frank. Sure enough, the entry for 19th July 1982, day 4, details my bike hike over to Foyers from the Youth Hostel at Altsigh. Not an easy trip by bike, but I quote:

Decided to cycle to eastern side of loch, or Foyers, to be exact which was 24 miles away. The gear wire gave me some trouble but after miles of bike pushing I made it to the Foyers beach at about 1:15pm or a  hour trip. I set up my equipment on this pebble beach near the old aluminium works and watched till about 3pm.

Then I visited Frank Searle's exhibition just round the corner. It was an old hut affair which has newspaper clippings, drawings, articles, information sheets and his photographs on the wall. Some of the material was anti-propaganda on THE Loch Ness exhibition and Rines' expeditions. When I talked to him in his drab, adjacent caravan, he was critical of the British media and his own critics; saying that he had given up on showing his material to British newspapers, etc and now only shows them to Japanese, American and other media.

As to my suggestion that he was a complete faker, he just said that he saw what he saw (in his belief, an evolved member of the plesiosaur family) and photographed them (and in one instance, a cine film). So I bought two of his photos, stated my beliefs (shrugged his shoulders) and left.

It was not exactly an epic meeting and I never went out to meet him again. The only thing of interest to me now was this claimed cine film he took. I would like to see how that was produced but I am not aware of any medium on which that is available to view.  I am glad I get around by car now, that is for sure. As you can see, it is a good idea to keep a log of your activities around the loch as the details are sure to fade over time, especially after thirty eight years in this case.

I made three trips to the loch over that time when I was a student at Glasgow University studying Astronomy. Getting a degree from there was easier than seeing Nessie! After I graduated, the trips stopped when I started my computing career down in England for the next ten years. I probably only visited the loch a few times and certainly not for two weeks of monster hunting.

Enjoy the talk.

The author can be contacted at lochnesskelpie@gmail.com