Thursday, 9 December 2021

New Book on the Loch Ness Monster


I am pleased to say that Joe Zarzynski, as one of the monster hunters active from the 1970s, has decided to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and write down his memories and thoughts on his life searching for Nessie back in the day when all the famous monster hunters such as Dinsdale, Rines, Mackal, Holiday and so on were still active at the loch pursuing their common quarry. His personal timeline began 1974 to 1991 and it should be an interesting read from an interesting period which Joe Zarzynski called the "Golden Age of Monster Hunting". I wouldn't especially argue with that statement (though others may think the 1960s edge it).

Joe was not as well known as the Dinsdales and Rines of the Nessie world, but he has a story to tell and was a seasoned cryptozoologist in his own right having focused his main attention on the monster of Lake Champlain or Champ and written on that subject extensively in "Champ - Beyond the Legend". I had written some years back on Joe's other Loch Ness related book on underwater wrecks. This combined his love of aquatic cryptids and searching for sunken ships. The promotion for this new book reads thus:

Cryptozoologist-turned-maritime-archaeologist Joseph W. Zarzynski's new book LOCHEND -- MONSTER HUNTING ON THE RUN is about the golden age of monster hunting at Loch Ness, Scotland. The Saratoga County, New York author chronicles the late 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, when sophisticated technology was first employed trying to solve the Nessie enigma. That specialized equipment was developed because Cold War tensions necessitated advanced remote sensing to probe the deepest oceans.

Since April 1933, when Aldie and John Mackay, Drumnadrochit, Scotland residents, sighted a strange creature splashing about on the surface of the 22 ½ mile-long Loch Ness, the world has been fascinated that the waterway might be the habitat of a colony of large unidentified animals. Soon afterwards, expeditions were organized to the Scottish Highlands trying to solve the world's most challenging zoological puzzle.

Beginning in the 1960s, more advanced scientific equipment was brought to the deep waterway hoping that state-of-the-art electronics and optics might decipher the scientific mystery. In the 1970s, some of the best scientists in the world traveled to the legendary loch with teams of scuba divers, side scan sonar, customized underwater cameras, and other remote sensing apparatus. In a sense, well-publicized Loch Ness became a testing ground for some of this cutting-edge underwater technology.

The 200-page book, with over 90 photographs and illustrations, likewise tells the story of a little-known athletic accomplishment at Loch Ness. In 1984, Joseph W. Zarzynski, a self-described "average" marathoner and ultramarathoner, completed a 28.5-mile solo run along the loch. He may have been the first person to have run the full length of fabled Loch Ness. The author uses his overland jaunt to tell anecdotes about the heyday of pursuing the elusive Nessie animals.

Included in the book are also stories about other Loch Ness mysteries. These include: an ancient artificial island called a crannog, a hill where local lore has it that a dragon is buried there, possible monster hoaxes perpetrated at the waterway, a reputed 1934 sighting of a Nessie monster crossing a shoreside road, strange stone circles found on the waterway's bottomlands, a full-scale movie monster prop that sank in the loch, a giant fiberglass net sunk in the loch to snare a beastie, and a rare World War II bomber discovered during a Loch Ness monster search. Moreover, Zarzynski provides a primer into other denizens of the deep known by these nicknames―Morag (Loch Morar, Scotland), Seileag (Loch Shiel, Scotland), and Champ (Lake Champlain, New York, Vermont, and Quebec).

From 1974–1991, Joseph W. Zarzynski conducted numerous cryptozoological expeditions at Loch Ness, Scotland and at "North America's Loch Ness"―Lake Champlain. Readers will enjoy this real-life adventure set during the high watermark of seeking Nessie.

I have one photo of Joe from that period (courtesy of Tony Healey) pictured on the right with the man himself, Tim Dinsdale. Doubtless we will see more photos of interest in Joe's book. 

Joe's "Lochend - Monster Hunting on the Run" will be published on December 13th just in time to end up in your Christmas stockings. I will bypass Santa and pre-order it now. It is available to order at and

The author can be contacted at


  1. Great..looks worthy of adding to m nessie book collection..i love a book by someone who has bin there and done it.. Cheers

  2. Perfect for those cold dark winter nights dreaming of the next visit to the loch....

  3. Never heard of the guy .
    Such a pity the utterly discredited fake photo of a toy submarine is emblazoned on the cover.
    I'm sure it will be interesting to read and find out if he can add anything new.

    1. Perhaps Joe is one of those who thinks the Surgeon's Photo is genuine?

    2. Im in the "It probably is a hoax" camp.

      Going by the logic that so many people have said its a hoax, then it probably is, but, seeing as nobody got their story straight over how it was hoaxed, surely that's reasonable doubt. Perhaps the announcement of the hoax, is the hoax itself, purely to muddy the waters over the subject.

      I guess we will never know for sure.

    3. I have to say folks, I'm familiar with sea patterns, and Nessie in the surgeons photo is clearly pretty small. Maybe a very young juvenile. Maybe a hoax. I'm surprised other people don't seem to mention this.

    4. Agreed, Martin...always thought the waves looked 'wrong'.

    5. To my understanding many people have commented on the objects size and the size of the waves or water disturbances surrounding the object. This is exactly what Alastair Boyd pointed out.

      I remember reading or hearing Loren Coleman's opinion on the hoax. He believes that the actual hoax is a hoax and he based this on the lack of material that wasn't available back then (1930s) to create such a toy submarine. Humans built the pyramids roughly 2550-2490 B.C and he's claiming that two or more men couldn't build a small floating toy? I'm not buying it and I personally feel his argument is weak.

      I would love the photo to be real but my gut tells me it's fake and believe me that's painful to admit. Either way it still remains a beautiful and iconic picture.

    6. Thank you Riitta. A.R., I totally agree. The photo still gives me shivers, even after all these years.

  4. I guess the surgeons photo will always be iconic tho to be fair. And it's part of the History of the Loch

  5. This book is popular!...currently out of stock at Amazon.

  6. Article on book and author here:

  7. It is now a month since I pre-ordered this book - still no news when it will dispatch! I wonder what the problem is?