Loch Ness Monster

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"Nessie" redirects here. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_0

For other uses, see Loch Ness Monster (disambiguation) and Nessie (disambiguation). Loch Ness Monster_sentence_1

Loch Ness Monster_table_infobox_0

Loch Ness MonsterLoch Ness Monster_table_caption_0
Other name(s)Loch Ness Monster_header_cell_0_0_0 Nessie, NiseagLoch Ness Monster_cell_0_0_1
CountryLoch Ness Monster_header_cell_0_1_0 ScotlandLoch Ness Monster_cell_0_1_1
RegionLoch Ness Monster_header_cell_0_2_0 Loch Ness, Scottish HighlandsLoch Ness Monster_cell_0_2_1

The Loch Ness Monster, or Nessie (Scottish Gaelic: Uilebheist Loch Nis), is a cryptid in cryptozoology and Scottish folklore that is said to inhabit Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_2

It is often described as large, long-necked, and with one or more humps protruding from the water. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_3

Popular interest and belief in the creature have varied since it was brought to worldwide attention in 1933. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_4

Evidence of its existence is anecdotal, with a number of disputed photographs and sonar readings. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_5

The scientific community regards the Loch Ness Monster as a phenomenon without biological basis, explaining sightings as hoaxes, wishful thinking, and the misidentification of mundane objects. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_6

Name Loch Ness Monster_section_0

The creature has been affectionately called Nessie (Scottish Gaelic: Niseag) since the 1940s. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_7

Origins Loch Ness Monster_section_1

The first modern discussion of a sighting of a strange creature in the loch may have been in the 1870s, when D. Mackenzie claimed to have seen something "wriggling and churning up the water". Loch Ness Monster_sentence_8

This account was not published until 1934, however. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_9

Research indicates that several newspapers did publish items about a creature in the loch well before 1934. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_10

The best-known article that first attracted a great deal of attention about a creature was published on 2 May 1933 in Inverness Courier, about a large "beast" or "whale-like fish". Loch Ness Monster_sentence_11

The article by Alex Campbell, water bailiff for Loch Ness and a part-time journalist, discussed a sighting by Aldie Mackay of an enormous creature with the body of a whale rolling in the water in the loch while she and her husband John were driving on the A82 on 15 April 1933. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_12

The word "monster" was reportedly applied for the first time in Campbell's article, although some reports claim that it was coined by editor Evan Barron. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_13

The Courier in 2017 published excerpts from the Campbell article, which had been titled "Strange Spectacle in Loch Ness". Loch Ness Monster_sentence_14

According to a 2013 article, Mackay said that she had yelled, "Stop! Loch Ness Monster_sentence_15

The Beast!" Loch Ness Monster_sentence_16

when viewing the spectacle. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_17

In the late 1980s, a naturalist interviewed Aldie Mackay and she admitted to knowing that there had been an oral tradition of a "beast" in the loch well before her claimed sighting. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_18

Alex Campbell's 1933 article also stated that "Loch Ness has for generations been credited with being the home of a fearsome-looking monster". Loch Ness Monster_sentence_19

On 4 August 1933 the Courier published a report of another alleged sighting. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_20

This one was claimed by Londoner George Spicer, the head of a firm of tailors. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_21

Several weeks earlier, while they were driving around the loch, he and his wife saw "the nearest approach to a dragon or pre-historic animal that I have ever seen in my life" trundling across the road toward the loch with "an animal" in its mouth. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_22

He described it as having "a long neck, which moved up and down in the manner of a scenic railway". Loch Ness Monster_sentence_23

He said the body "was fairly big, with a high back, but "if there were any feet they must have been of the web kind, and as for a tail I cannot say, as it moved so rapidly, and when we got to the spot it had probably disappeared into the loch". Loch Ness Monster_sentence_24

Letters began appearing in the Courier, often anonymously, claiming land or water sightings by the writer, their family or acquaintances or remembered stories. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_25

The accounts reached the media, which described a "monster fish", "sea serpent", or "dragon" and eventually settled on "Loch Ness monster". Loch Ness Monster_sentence_26

Over the years various hoaxes were also perpetrated, usually "proven" by photographs that were later debunked. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_27

History Loch Ness Monster_section_2

Saint Columba (565) Loch Ness Monster_section_3

The earliest report of a monster in the vicinity of Loch Ness appears in the Life of St. Columba by Adomnán, written in the sixth century AD. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_28

According to Adomnán, writing about a century after the events described, Irish monk Saint Columba was staying in the land of the Picts with his companions when he encountered local residents burying a man by the River Ness. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_29

They explained that the man was swimming in the river when he was attacked by a "water beast" that mauled him and dragged him underwater. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_30

They had tried to rescue him in a boat but he was killed. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_31

Columba sent a follower, Luigne moccu Min, to swim across the river. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_32

The beast approached him, but Columba made the sign of the cross and said: "Go no further. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_33

Do not touch the man. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_34

Go back at once." Loch Ness Monster_sentence_35

The creature stopped as if it had been "pulled back with ropes" and fled, and Columba's men and the Picts gave thanks for what they perceived as a miracle. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_36

Believers in the monster point to this story, set in the River Ness rather than the loch itself, as evidence for the creature's existence as early as the sixth century. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_37

Sceptics question the narrative's reliability, noting that water-beast stories were extremely common in medieval hagiographies and Adomnán's tale probably recycles a common motif attached to a local landmark. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_38

According to sceptics, Adomnán's story may be independent of the modern Loch Ness Monster legend and became attached to it by believers seeking to bolster their claims. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_39

Ronald Binns considers that this is the most serious of various alleged early sightings of the monster, but all other claimed sightings before 1933 are dubious and do not prove a monster tradition before that date. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_40

Christopher Cairney uses a specific historical and cultural analysis of Adomnán to separate Adomnán's story about St. Columba from the modern myth of the Loch Ness Monster, but finds an earlier and culturally significant use of Celtic "water beast" folklore along the way. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_41

In doing so he also discredits any strong connection between kelpies or water-horses and the modern "media-augmented" creation of the Loch Ness Monster. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_42

He also concludes that the story of Saint Columba may have been impacted by earlier Irish myths about the Caoránach and an Oilliphéist. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_43

D. Mackenzie (1871 or 1872) Loch Ness Monster_section_4

In October 1871 (or 1872), D. Mackenzie of Balnain reportedly saw an object resembling a log or an upturned boat "wriggling and churning up the water". Loch Ness Monster_sentence_44

The object moved slowly at first, disappearing at a faster speed. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_45

Mackenzie sent his story in a letter to Rupert Gould in 1934, shortly after popular interest in the monster increased. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_46

Alexander Macdonald (1888) Loch Ness Monster_section_5

In 1888, mason Alexander Macdonald of Abriachan sighted "a large stubby-legged animal" surfacing from the loch and propelling itself within fifty yards of the shore where Macdonald stood. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_47

Macdonald reported his sighting to Loch Ness water bailiff Alex Campbell, and described the creature as looking like a salamander. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_48

George Spicer (1933) Loch Ness Monster_section_6

Modern interest in the monster was sparked by a sighting on 22 July 1933, when George Spicer and his wife saw "a most extraordinary form of animal" cross the road in front of their car. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_49

They described the creature as having a large body (about 4 feet (1.2 m) high and 25 feet (8 m) long) and a long, wavy, narrow neck, slightly thicker than an elephant's trunk and as long as the 10–12-foot (3–4 m) width of the road. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_50

They saw no limbs. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_51

It lurched across the road toward the loch 20 yards (20 m) away, leaving a trail of broken undergrowth in its wake. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_52

It has been claimed that sightings of the monster increased after a road was built along the loch in early 1933, bringing workers and tourists to the formerly isolated area. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_53

However, Binns has described this as "the myth of the lonely loch", as it was far from isolated before then, due to the construction of the Caledonian Canal. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_54

In the 1930s, the existing road by the side of the loch was given a serious upgrade. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_55

(Just possibly this work could have contributed to the legend, since there could have been tar barrels floating in the loch.) Loch Ness Monster_sentence_56

Hugh Gray (1933) Loch Ness Monster_section_7

Hugh Gray's photograph taken near Foyers on 12 November 1933 was the first photograph alleged to depict the monster. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_57

It was slightly blurred, and it has been noted that if one looks closely the head of a dog can be seen. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_58

Gray had taken his Labrador for a walk that day and it is suspected that the photograph depicts his dog fetching a stick from the loch. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_59

Others have suggested that the photograph depicts an otter or a swan. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_60

The original negative was lost. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_61

However, in 1963, Maurice Burton came into "possession of two lantern slides, contact positives from th[e] original negative" and when projected onto a screen they revealed an "otter rolling at the surface in characteristic fashion." Loch Ness Monster_sentence_62

Arthur Grant (1934) Loch Ness Monster_section_8

On 5 January 1934 a motorcyclist, Arthur Grant, claimed to have nearly hit the creature while approaching Abriachan (near the north-eastern end of the loch) at about 1 a.m. on a moonlit night. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_63

According to Grant, it had a small head attached to a long neck; the creature saw him, and crossed the road back to the loch. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_64

Grant, a veterinary student, described it as a cross between a seal and a plesiosaur. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_65

He said he dismounted and followed it to the loch, but saw only ripples. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_66

Grant produced a sketch of the creature that was examined by zoologist Maurice Burton, who stated it was consistent with the appearance and behaviour of an otter. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_67

Regarding the long size of the creature reported by Grant; it has been suggested that this was a faulty observation due to the poor light conditions. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_68

Palaeontologist Darren Naish has suggested that Grant may have seen either an otter or a seal and exaggerated his sighting over time. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_69

"Surgeon's photograph" (1934) Loch Ness Monster_section_9

The "surgeon's photograph" is reportedly the first photo of the creature's head and neck. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_70

Supposedly taken by Robert Kenneth Wilson, a London gynaecologist, it was published in the Daily Mail on 21 April 1934. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_71

Wilson's refusal to have his name associated with it led to it being known as the "surgeon's photograph". Loch Ness Monster_sentence_72

According to Wilson, he was looking at the loch when he saw the monster, grabbed his camera and snapped four photos. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_73

Only two exposures came out clearly; the first reportedly shows a small head and back, and the second shows a similar head in a diving position. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_74

The first photo became well known, and the second attracted little publicity because of its blurriness. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_75

For 60 years the photo was considered evidence of the monster's existence, although sceptics dismissed it as driftwood, an elephant, an otter or a bird. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_76

The photo's scale was controversial; it is often shown cropped (making the creature seem large and the ripples like waves), while the uncropped shot shows the other end of the loch and the monster in the centre. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_77

The ripples in the photo were found to fit the size and pattern of small ripples, rather than large waves photographed up close. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_78

Analysis of the original image fostered further doubt. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_79

In 1993, the makers of the Discovery Communications documentary Loch Ness Discovered analysed the uncropped image and found a white object visible in every version of the photo (implying that it was on the negative). Loch Ness Monster_sentence_80

It was believed to be the cause of the ripples, as if the object was being towed, although the possibility of a blemish on the negative could not be ruled out. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_81

An analysis of the full photograph indicated that the object was small, about 60 to 90 cm (2 to 3 ft) long. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_82

Since 1994, most agree that the photo was an elaborate hoax. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_83

It had been described as fake in a 7 December 1975 Sunday Telegraph article that fell into obscurity. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_84

Details of how the photo was taken were published in the 1999 book, Nessie – the Surgeon's Photograph Exposed, which contains a facsimile of the 1975 Sunday Telegraph article. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_85

The creature was reportedly a toy submarine built by Christian Spurling, the son-in-law of Marmaduke Wetherell. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_86

Wetherell had been publicly ridiculed by his employer, the Daily Mail, after he found "Nessie footprints" that turned out to be a hoax. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_87

To get revenge on the Mail, Wetherell perpetrated his hoax with co-conspirators Spurling (sculpture specialist), Ian Wetherell (his son, who bought the material for the fake), and Maurice Chambers (an insurance agent). Loch Ness Monster_sentence_88

The toy submarine was bought from F. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_89 W. Woolworths, and its head and neck were made from wood putty. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_90

After testing it in a local pond the group went to Loch Ness, where Ian Wetherell took the photos near the Altsaigh Tea House. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_91

When they heard a water bailiff approaching, Duke Wetherell sank the model with his foot and it is "presumably still somewhere in Loch Ness". Loch Ness Monster_sentence_92

Chambers gave the photographic plates to Wilson, a friend of his who enjoyed "a good practical joke". Loch Ness Monster_sentence_93

Wilson brought the plates to Ogston's, an Inverness chemist, and gave them to George Morrison for development. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_94

He sold the first photo to the Daily Mail, who then announced that the monster had been photographed. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_95

Little is known of the second photo; it is often ignored by researchers, who believe its quality too poor and its differences from the first photo too great to warrant analysis. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_96

It shows a head similar to the first photo, with a more turbulent wave pattern and possibly taken at a different time and location in the loch. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_97

Some believe it to be an earlier, cruder attempt at a hoax, and others (including Roy Mackal and Maurice Burton) consider it a picture of a diving bird or otter that Wilson mistook for the monster. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_98

According to Morrison, when the plates were developed Wilson was uninterested in the second photo; he allowed Morrison to keep the negative, and the photo was rediscovered years later. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_99

When asked about the second photo by the Ness Information Service Newsletter, Spurling " ... was vague, thought it might have been a piece of wood they were trying out as a monster, but [was] not sure." Loch Ness Monster_sentence_100

Taylor film (1938) Loch Ness Monster_section_10

On 29 May 1938, South African tourist G. E. Taylor filmed something in the loch for three minutes on 16 mm colour film. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_101

The film was obtained by popular science writer Maurice Burton, who did not show it to other researchers. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_102

A single frame was published in his 1961 book, The Elusive Monster. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_103

His analysis concluded it was a floating object, not an animal. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_104

William Fraser (1938) Loch Ness Monster_section_11

On 15 August 1938, William Fraser, chief constable of Inverness-shire, wrote a letter that the monster existed beyond doubt and expressed concern about a hunting party that had arrived (with a custom-made harpoon gun) determined to catch the monster "dead or alive". Loch Ness Monster_sentence_105

He believed his power to protect the monster from the hunters was "very doubtful". Loch Ness Monster_sentence_106

The letter was released by the National Archives of Scotland on 27 April 2010. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_107

Sonar readings (1954) Loch Ness Monster_section_12

In December 1954, sonar readings were taken by the fishing boat Rival III. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_108

Its crew noted a large object keeping pace with the vessel at a depth of 146 metres (479 ft). Loch Ness Monster_sentence_109

It was detected for 800 m (2,600 ft) before contact was lost and regained. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_110

Previous sonar attempts were inconclusive or negative. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_111

Peter MacNab (1955) Loch Ness Monster_section_13

Peter MacNab at Urquhart Castle on 29 July 1955 took a photograph that depicted two long black humps in the water. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_112

The photograph was not made public until it appeared in Constance Whyte's 1957 book on the subject. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_113

On 23 October 1958 it was published by the Weekly Scotsman. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_114

Author Ronald Binns wrote that the "phenomenon which MacNab photographed could easily be a wave effect resulting from three trawlers travelling closely together up the loch." Loch Ness Monster_sentence_115

Other researchers consider the photograph a hoax. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_116

Roy Mackal requested to use the photograph in his 1976 book. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_117

He received the original negative from MacNab, but discovered it differed from the photograph that appeared in Whyte's book. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_118

The tree at the bottom left in Whyte's was missing from the negative. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_119

It is suspected that the photograph was doctored by re-photographing a print. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_120

Dinsdale film (1960) Loch Ness Monster_section_14

Aeronautical engineer Tim Dinsdale filmed a hump that left a wake crossing Loch Ness in 1960. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_121

Dinsdale, who reportedly had the sighting on his final day of search, described it as reddish with a blotch on its side. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_122

He said that when he mounted his camera the object began to move, and he shot 40 feet of film. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_123

According to JARIC, the object was "probably animate". Loch Ness Monster_sentence_124

Others were sceptical, saying that the "hump" cannot be ruled out as being a boat and when the contrast is increased, a man in a boat can be seen. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_125

In 1993 Discovery Communications produced a documentary, Loch Ness Discovered, with a digital enhancement of the Dinsdale film. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_126

A person who enhanced the film noticed a shadow in the negative that was not obvious in the developed film. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_127

By enhancing and overlaying frames, he found what appeared to be the rear body of a creature underwater: "Before I saw the film, I thought the Loch Ness Monster was a load of rubbish. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_128

Having done the enhancement, I'm not so sure". Loch Ness Monster_sentence_129

"Loch Ness Muppet" (1977) Loch Ness Monster_section_15

On 21 May 1977 Anthony "Doc" Shiels, camping next to Urquhart Castle, took "some of the clearest pictures of the monster until this day". Loch Ness Monster_sentence_130

Shiels, a magician and psychic, claimed to have summoned the animal out of the water. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_131

He later described it as an "elephant squid", claiming the long neck shown in the photograph is actually the squid's "trunk" and that a white spot at the base of the neck is its eye. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_132

Due to the lack of ripples, it has been declared a hoax by a number of people and received its name because of its staged look. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_133

Holmes video (2007) Loch Ness Monster_section_16

On 26 May 2007, 55-year-old laboratory technician Gordon Holmes videotaped what he said was "this jet black thing, about 14 metres (46 ft) long, moving fairly fast in the water." Loch Ness Monster_sentence_134

Adrian Shine, a marine biologist at the Loch Ness 2000 Centre in Drumnadrochit, described the footage as among "the best footage [he had] ever seen." Loch Ness Monster_sentence_135

BBC Scotland broadcast the video on 29 May 2007. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_136

STV News North Tonight aired the footage on 28 May 2007 and interviewed Holmes. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_137

Shine was also interviewed, and suggested that the footage was an otter, seal or water bird. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_138

Sonar image (2011) Loch Ness Monster_section_17

On 24 August 2011 Loch Ness boat captain Marcus Atkinson photographed a sonar image of a 1.5-metre-wide (4.9 ft), unidentified object that seemed to follow his boat for two minutes at a depth of 23 m (75 ft), and ruled out the possibility of a small fish or seal. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_139

In April 2012, a scientist from the National Oceanography Centre said that the image is a bloom of algae and zooplankton. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_140

George Edwards photograph (2011) Loch Ness Monster_section_18

On 3 August 2012, skipper George Edwards claimed that a photo he took on 2 November 2011 shows "Nessie". Loch Ness Monster_sentence_141

Edwards claims to have searched for the monster for 26 years, and reportedly spent 60 hours per week on the loch aboard his boat, Nessie Hunter IV, taking tourists for rides on the lake. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_142

Edwards said, "In my opinion, it probably looks kind of like a manatee, but not a mammal. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_143

When people see three humps, they're probably just seeing three separate monsters." Loch Ness Monster_sentence_144

Other researchers have questioned the photograph's authenticity, and Loch Ness researcher Steve Feltham suggested that the object in the water is a fibreglass hump used in a National Geographic Channel documentary in which Edwards had participated. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_145

Researcher Dick Raynor has questioned Edwards' claim of discovering a deeper bottom of Loch Ness, which Raynor calls "Edwards Deep". Loch Ness Monster_sentence_146

He found inconsistencies between Edwards' claims for the location and conditions of the photograph and the actual location and weather conditions that day. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_147

According to Raynor, Edwards told him he had faked a photograph in 1986 that he claimed was genuine in the Nat Geo documentary. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_148

Although Edwards admitted in October 2013 that his 2011 photograph was a hoax, he insisted that the 1986 photograph was genuine. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_149

A survey of the literature about other hoaxes, including photographs, published by The Scientific American on 10 July 2013, indicates many others since the 1930s. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_150

The most recent photo considered to be "good" appeared in newspapers in August 2012; it was allegedly taken by George Edwards in November 2011 but was "definitely a hoax" according to the science journal. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_151

David Elder video (2013) Loch Ness Monster_section_19

On 27 August 2013, tourist David Elder presented a five-minute video of a "mysterious wave" in the loch. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_152

According to Elder, the wave was produced by a 4.5 m (15 ft) "solid black object" just under the surface of the water. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_153

Elder, 50, from East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire, was taking a picture of a swan at the Fort Augustus pier on the south-western end of the loch, when he captured the movement. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_154

He said, "The water was very still at the time and there were no ripples coming off the wave and no other activity on the water." Loch Ness Monster_sentence_155

Sceptics suggested that the wave may have been caused by a wind gust. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_156

Apple Maps photograph (2014) Loch Ness Monster_section_20

On 19 April 2014, it was reported that a satellite image on Apple Maps showed what appeared to be a large creature (thought by some to be the Loch Ness Monster) just below the surface of Loch Ness. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_157

At the loch's far north, the image appeared about 30 metres (98 ft) long. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_158

Possible explanations were the wake of a boat (with the boat itself lost in image stitching or low contrast), seal-caused ripples, or floating wood. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_159

Google Street View (2015) Loch Ness Monster_section_21

Google commemorated the 81st anniversary of the "surgeon's photograph" with a Google Doodle, and added a new feature to Google Street View with which users can explore the loch above and below the water. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_160

Google reportedly spent a week at Loch Ness collecting imagery with a street-view "trekker" camera, attaching it to a boat to photograph above the surface and collaborating with members of the Catlin Seaview Survey to photograph underwater. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_161

Searches Loch Ness Monster_section_22

Edward Mountain expedition (1934) Loch Ness Monster_section_23

After reading Rupert Gould's The Loch Ness Monster and Others, Edward Mountain financed a search. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_162

Twenty men with binoculars and cameras positioned themselves around the loch from 9 am to 6 pm for five weeks, beginning on 13 July 1934. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_163

Although 21 photographs were taken, none was considered conclusive. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_164

Supervisor James Fraser remained by the loch filming on 15 September 1934; the film is now lost. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_165

Zoologists and professors of natural history concluded that the film showed a seal, possibly a grey seal. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_166

Loch Ness Phenomena Investigation Bureau (1962–1972) Loch Ness Monster_section_24

The Loch Ness Phenomena Investigation Bureau (LNPIB) was a UK-based society formed in 1962 by Norman Collins, R. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_167 S. R. Fitter, politician David James, Peter Scott and Constance Whyte "to study Loch Ness to identify the creature known as the Loch Ness Monster or determine the causes of reports of it". Loch Ness Monster_sentence_168

The society's name was later shortened to the Loch Ness Investigation Bureau (LNIB), and it disbanded in 1972. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_169

The LNIB had an annual subscription charge, which covered administration. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_170

Its main activity was encouraging groups of self-funded volunteers to watch the loch from vantage points with film cameras with telescopic lenses. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_171

From 1965 to 1972 it had a caravan camp and viewing platform at Achnahannet, and sent observers to other locations up and down the loch. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_172

According to the bureau's 1969 annual report it had 1,030 members, of whom 588 were from the UK. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_173

Sonar study (1967–1968) Loch Ness Monster_section_25

D. Gordon Tucker, chair of the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at the University of Birmingham, volunteered his services as a sonar developer and expert at Loch Ness in 1968. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_174

His gesture, part of a larger effort led by the LNPIB from 1967 to 1968, involved collaboration between volunteers and professionals in a number of fields. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_175

Tucker had chosen Loch Ness as the test site for a prototype sonar transducer with a maximum range of 800 m (2,600 ft). Loch Ness Monster_sentence_176

The device was fixed underwater at Temple Pier in Urquhart Bay and directed at the opposite shore, drawing an acoustic "net" across the loch through which no moving object could pass undetected. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_177

During the two-week trial in August, multiple targets were identified. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_178

One was probably a shoal of fish, but others moved in a way not typical of shoals at speeds up to 10 knots. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_179

Robert Rines studies (1972, 1975, 2001, 2008) Loch Ness Monster_section_26

In 1972, a group of researchers from the Academy of Applied Science led by Robert H. Rines conducted a search for the monster involving sonar examination of the loch depths for unusual activity. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_180

Rines took precautions to avoid murky water with floating wood and peat. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_181

A submersible camera with a floodlight was deployed to record images below the surface. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_182

If Rines detected anything on the sonar, he turned the light on and took pictures. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_183

On 8 August, Rines' Raytheon DE-725C sonar unit, operating at a frequency of 200 kHz and anchored at a depth of 11 metres (36 ft), identified a moving target (or targets) estimated by echo strength at 6 to 9 metres (20 to 30 ft) in length. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_184

Specialists from Raytheon, Simrad (now Kongsberg Maritime), Hydroacoustics, Marty Klein of MIT and Klein Associates (a side-scan sonar producer) and Ira Dyer of MIT's Department of Ocean Engineering were on hand to examine the data. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_185

P. Skitzki of Raytheon suggested that the data indicated a 3-metre (10 ft) protuberance projecting from one of the echoes. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_186

According to author Roy Mackal, the shape was a "highly flexible laterally flattened tail" or the misinterpreted return from two animals swimming together. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_187

Concurrent with the sonar readings, the floodlit camera obtained a pair of underwater photographs. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_188

Both depicted what appeared to be a rhomboid flipper, although sceptics have dismissed the images as depicting the bottom of the loch, air bubbles, a rock, or a fish fin. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_189

The apparent flipper was photographed in different positions, indicating movement. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_190

The first flipper photo is better-known than the second, and both were enhanced and retouched from the original negatives. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_191

According to team member Charles Wyckoff, the photos were retouched to superimpose the flipper; the original enhancement showed a considerably less-distinct object. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_192

No one is sure how the originals were altered. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_193

During a meeting with Tony Harmsworth and Adrian Shine at the Loch Ness Centre & Exhibition, Rines admitted that the flipper photo may have been retouched by a magazine editor. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_194

British naturalist Peter Scott announced in 1975, on the basis of the photographs, that the creature's scientific name would be Nessiteras rhombopteryx (Greek for "Ness inhabitant with diamond-shaped fin"). Loch Ness Monster_sentence_195

Scott intended that the name would enable the creature to be added to the British register of protected wildlife. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_196

Scottish politician Nicholas Fairbairn called the name an anagram for "Monster hoax by Sir Peter S". Loch Ness Monster_sentence_197

However, Rines countered that when rearranged, the letters could also spell "Yes, both pix are monsters – R." Loch Ness Monster_sentence_198

Another sonar contact was made, this time with two objects estimated to be about 9 metres (30 ft). Loch Ness Monster_sentence_199

The strobe camera photographed two large objects surrounded by a flurry of bubbles. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_200

Some interpreted the objects as two plesiosaur-like animals, suggesting several large animals living in Loch Ness. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_201

This photograph has rarely been published. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_202

A second search was conducted by Rines in 1975. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_203

Some of the photographs, despite their obviously murky quality and lack of concurrent sonar readings, did indeed seem to show unknown animals in various positions and lightings. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_204

One photograph appeared to show the head, neck, and upper torso of a plesiosaur-like animal, but sceptics argue the object is a log due to the lump on its "chest" area, the mass of sediment in the full photo, and the object's log-like "skin" texture. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_205

Another photograph seemed to depict a horned "gargoyle head", consistent with that of some sightings of the monster; however, sceptics point out that a tree stump was later filmed during Operation Deepscan in 1987, which bore a striking resemblance to the gargoyle head. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_206

In 2001, Rines' Academy of Applied Science videotaped a V-shaped wake traversing still water on a calm day. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_207

The academy also videotaped an object on the floor of the loch resembling a carcass and found marine clamshells and a fungus-like organism not normally found in freshwater lochs, a suggested connection to the sea and a possible entry for the creature. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_208

In 2008, Rines theorised that the creature may have become extinct, citing the lack of significant sonar readings and a decline in eyewitness accounts. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_209

He undertook a final expedition, using sonar and an underwater camera in an attempt to find a carcass. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_210

Rines believed that the animals may have failed to adapt to temperature changes resulting from global warming. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_211

Operation Deepscan (1987) Loch Ness Monster_section_27

Operation Deepscan was conducted in 1987. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_212

Twenty-four boats equipped with echo sounding equipment were deployed across the width of the loch, and simultaneously sent acoustic waves. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_213

According to BBC News the scientists had made sonar contact with an unidentified object of unusual size and strength. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_214

The researchers returned, re-scanning the area. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_215

Analysis of the echosounder images seemed to indicate debris at the bottom of the loch, although there was motion in three of the pictures. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_216

Adrian Shine speculated, based on size, that they might be seals that had entered the loch. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_217

Sonar expert Darrell Lowrance, founder of Lowrance Electronics, donated a number of echosounder units used in the operation. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_218

After examining a sonar return indicating a large, moving object at a depth of 180 metres (590 ft) near Urquhart Bay, Lowrance said: "There's something here that we don't understand, and there's something here that's larger than a fish, maybe some species that hasn't been detected before. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_219

I don't know." Loch Ness Monster_sentence_220

Searching for the Loch Ness Monster (2003) Loch Ness Monster_section_28

In 2003, the BBC sponsored a search of the loch using 600 sonar beams and satellite tracking. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_221

The search had sufficient resolution to identify a small buoy. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_222

No animal of substantial size was found and, despite their reported hopes, the scientists involved admitted that this "proved" the Loch Ness Monster was a myth. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_223

Searching for the Loch Ness Monster aired on BBC One. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_224

DNA survey (2018) Loch Ness Monster_section_29

An international team consisting of researchers from the universities of Otago, Copenhagen, Hull and the Highlands and Islands, did a DNA survey of the lake in June 2018, looking for unusual species. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_225

The results were published in 2019; there was no DNA of large fish such as sharks, sturgeons and catfish. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_226

There was no otter or seal DNA either. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_227

A lot of eel DNA was found. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_228

The leader of the study, Prof Neil Gemmell of the University of Otago, said he could not rule out the possibility of eels of extreme size, though none were found, nor were any ever caught. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_229

The other possibility is that the large amount of eel DNA simply comes from many small eels. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_230

No evidence of any reptilian sequences were found, he added, "so I think we can be fairly sure that there is probably not a giant scaly reptile swimming around in Loch Ness", he said. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_231

Explanations Loch Ness Monster_section_30

A number of explanations have been suggested to account for sightings of the creature. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_232

According to Ronald Binns, a former member of the Loch Ness Phenomena Investigation Bureau, there is probably no single explanation of the monster. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_233

Binns wrote two sceptical books, the 1983 The Loch Ness Mystery Solved, and his 2017 The Loch Ness Mystery Reloaded. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_234

In these he contends that an aspect of human psychology is the ability of the eye to see what it wants, and expects, to see. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_235

They may be categorised as misidentifications of known animals, misidentifications of inanimate objects or effects, reinterpretations of Scottish folklore, hoaxes, and exotic species of large animals. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_236

A reviewer wrote that Binns had "evolved into the author of ... the definitive, skeptical book on the subject". Loch Ness Monster_sentence_237

Binns does not call the sightings a hoax, but "a myth in the true sense of the term" and states that the "'monster is a sociological ... phenomenon. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_238

...After 1983 the search ... (for the) possibility that there just might be continues to enthrall a small number for whom eye-witness evidence outweighs all other considerations". Loch Ness Monster_sentence_239

Misidentification of known animals Loch Ness Monster_section_31

Bird wakes Loch Ness Monster_section_32

Wakes have been reported when the loch is calm, with no boats nearby. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_240

Bartender David Munro reported a wake he believed was a creature zigzagging, diving, and reappearing; there were reportedly 26 other witnesses from a nearby car park. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_241

Although some sightings describe a V-shaped wake similar to a boat's, others report something not conforming to the shape of a boat. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_242

Eels Loch Ness Monster_section_33

A large eel was an early suggestion for what the "monster" was. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_243

Eels are found in Loch Ness, and an unusually large one would explain many sightings. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_244

Dinsdale dismissed the hypothesis because eels undulate side to side like snakes. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_245

Sightings in 1856 of a "sea-serpent" (or kelpie) in a freshwater lake near Leurbost in the Outer Hebrides were explained as those of an oversized eel, also believed common in "Highland lakes". Loch Ness Monster_sentence_246

From 2018 to 2019, scientists from New Zealand undertook a massive project to document every organism in Loch Ness based on DNA samples. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_247

Their reports confirmed that European eels are still found in the Loch. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_248

No DNA samples were found for large animals such as catfish, Greenland sharks, or plesiosaurs. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_249

Many scientists now believe that giant eels account for many, if not most of the sightings. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_250

Elephant Loch Ness Monster_section_34

In a 1979 article, California biologist Dennis Power and geographer Donald Johnson claimed that the "surgeon's photograph" was the top of the head, extended trunk and flared nostrils of a swimming elephant photographed elsewhere and claimed to be from Loch Ness. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_251

In 2006, palaeontologist and artist Neil Clark suggested that travelling circuses might have allowed elephants to bathe in the loch; the trunk could be the perceived head and neck, with the head and back the perceived humps. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_252

In support of this, Clark provided a painting. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_253

Greenland shark Loch Ness Monster_section_35

Zoologist, angler and television presenter Jeremy Wade investigated the creature in 2013 as part of the series River Monsters, and concluded that it is a Greenland shark. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_254

The Greenland shark, which can reach up to 20 feet in length, inhabits the North Atlantic Ocean around Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, and possibly Scotland. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_255

It is dark in colour, with a small dorsal fin. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_256

According to biologist Bruce Wright, the Greenland shark could survive in fresh water (possibly using rivers and lakes to find food) and Loch Ness has an abundance of salmon and other fish. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_257

Wels catfish Loch Ness Monster_section_36

In July 2015 three news outlets reported that Steve Feltham, after a vigil at the loch that was recognized by the Guinness Book of Records, theorised that the monster is an unusually large specimen of Wels catfish (Silurus glanis), which may have been released during the late 19th century. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_258

Resident animals Loch Ness Monster_section_37

It is difficult to judge the size of an object in water through a telescope or binoculars with no external reference. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_259

Loch Ness has resident otters, and photos of them and deer swimming in the loch, which were cited by author Ronald Binns may have been misinterpreted. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_260

According to Binns, birds may be mistaken for a "head and neck" sighting. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_261

Misidentifications of inanimate objects or effects Loch Ness Monster_section_38

Trees Loch Ness Monster_section_39

In 1933, the Daily Mirror published a picture with the caption: "This queerly-shaped tree-trunk, washed ashore at Foyers [on Loch Ness] may, it is thought, be responsible for the reported appearance of a 'Monster'". Loch Ness Monster_sentence_262

In a 1982 series of articles for New Scientist, Maurice Burton proposed that sightings of Nessie and similar creatures may be fermenting Scots pine logs rising to the surface of the loch. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_263

A decomposing log could not initially release gases caused by decay because of its high resin level. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_264

Gas pressure would eventually rupture a resin seal at one end of the log, propelling it through the water (sometimes to the surface). Loch Ness Monster_sentence_265

According to Burton, the shape of tree logs (with their branch stumps) closely resembles descriptions of the monster. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_266

Seiches and wakes Loch Ness Monster_section_40

Loch Ness, because of its long, straight shape, is subject to unusual ripples affecting its surface. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_267

A seiche is a large oscillation of a lake, caused by water reverting to its natural level after being blown to one end of the lake (resulting in a standing wave); the Loch Ness oscillation period is 31.5 minutes. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_268

Optical effects Loch Ness Monster_section_41

Wind conditions can give a choppy, matte appearance to the water with calm patches appearing dark from the shore (reflecting the mountains). Loch Ness Monster_sentence_269

In 1979 W. H. Lehn showed that atmospheric refraction could distort the shape and size of objects and animals, and later published a photograph of a mirage of a rock on Lake Winnipeg that resembled a head and neck. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_270

Seismic gas Loch Ness Monster_section_42

Italian geologist Luigi Piccardi has proposed geological explanations for ancient legends and myths. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_271

Piccardi noted that in the earliest recorded sighting of a creature (the Life of Saint Columba), the creature's emergence was accompanied "cum ingenti fremitu" ("with loud roaring"). Loch Ness Monster_sentence_272

The Loch Ness is along the Great Glen Fault, and this could be a description of an earthquake. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_273

Many reports consist only of a large disturbance on the surface of the water; this could be a release of gas through the fault, although it may be mistaken for something swimming below the surface. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_274

Folklore Loch Ness Monster_section_43

In 1980 Swedish naturalist and author Bengt Sjögren wrote that present beliefs in lake monsters such as the Loch Ness Monster are associated with kelpie legends. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_275

According to Sjögren, accounts of loch monsters have changed over time; originally describing horse-like creatures, they were intended to keep children away from the loch. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_276

Sjögren wrote that the kelpie legends have developed into descriptions reflecting a modern awareness of plesiosaurs. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_277

The kelpie as a water horse in Loch Ness was mentioned in an 1879 Scottish newspaper, and inspired Tim Dinsdale's Project Water Horse. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_278

A study of pre-1933 Highland folklore references to kelpies, water horses and water bulls indicated that Ness was the loch most frequently cited. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_279

Hoaxes Loch Ness Monster_section_44

A number of hoax attempts have been made, some of which were successful. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_280

Other hoaxes were revealed rather quickly by the perpetrators or exposed after diligent research. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_281

A few examples follow. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_282

In August 1933, Italian journalist Francesco Gasparini submitted what he said was the first news article on the Loch Ness Monster. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_283

In 1959, he reported sighting a "strange fish" and fabricated eyewitness accounts: "I had the inspiration to get hold of the item about the strange fish. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_284

The idea of the monster had never dawned on me, but then I noted that the strange fish would not yield a long article, and I decided to promote the imaginary being to the rank of monster without further ado." Loch Ness Monster_sentence_285

In the 1930s, big-game hunter Marmaduke Wetherell went to Loch Ness to look for the monster. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_286

Wetherell claimed to have found footprints, but when casts of the footprints were sent to scientists for analysis they turned out to be from a hippopotamus; a prankster had used a hippopotamus-foot umbrella stand. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_287

In 1972 a team of zoologists from Yorkshire's Flamingo Park Zoo, searching for the monster, discovered a large body floating in the water. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_288

The corpse, 4.9–5.4 m (16–18 ft) long and weighing as much as 1.5 tonnes, was described by the Press Association as having "a bear's head and a brown scaly body with clawlike fins." Loch Ness Monster_sentence_289

The creature was placed in a van to be carried away for testing, but police seized the cadaver under an act of parliament prohibiting the removal of "unidentified creatures" from Loch Ness. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_290

It was later revealed that Flamingo Park education officer John Shields shaved the whiskers and otherwise disfigured a bull elephant seal that had died the week before and dumped it in Loch Ness to dupe his colleagues. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_291

On 2 July 2003, Gerald McSorely discovered a fossil, supposedly from the creature, when he tripped and fell into the loch. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_292

After examination, it was clear that the fossil had been planted. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_293

In 2004 a Five TV documentary team, using cinematic special-effects experts, tried to convince people that there was something in the loch. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_294

They constructed an animatronic model of a plesiosaur, calling it "Lucy". Loch Ness Monster_sentence_295

Despite setbacks (including Lucy falling to the bottom of the loch), about 600 sightings were reported where she was placed. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_296

In 2005, two students claimed to have found a large tooth embedded in the body of a deer on the loch shore. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_297

They publicised the find, setting up a website, but expert analysis soon revealed that the "tooth" was the antler of a muntjac. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_298

The tooth was a publicity stunt to promote a horror novel by Steve Alten, The Loch. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_299

Exotic large-animal species Loch Ness Monster_section_45

Plesiosaur Loch Ness Monster_section_46

In 1933 it was suggested that the creature "bears a striking resemblance to the supposedly extinct plesiosaur", a long-necked aquatic reptile that became extinct during the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_300

A popular explanation at the time, the following arguments have been made against it: Loch Ness Monster_sentence_301

Loch Ness Monster_unordered_list_0

  • Plesiosaurs were probably cold-blooded reptiles needing warm tropical waters; the average temperature of Loch Ness is only about 5.5 °C (42 °F). If the plesiosaurs were warm-blooded, they would require a food supply beyond that supplied by Loch Ness.Loch Ness Monster_item_0_0
  • In an October 2006 New Scientist article, "Why the Loch Ness Monster is no plesiosaur", Leslie Noè of the Sedgwick Museum in Cambridge said: "The osteology of the neck makes it absolutely certain that the plesiosaur could not lift its head up swan-like out of the water".Loch Ness Monster_item_0_1
  • The loch is only about 10,000 years old, dating to the end of the last ice age. Before then, it was frozen for about 20,000 years.Loch Ness Monster_item_0_2
  • If creatures similar to plesiosaurs lived in Loch Ness they would be seen frequently, since they would have to surface several times a day to breathe.Loch Ness Monster_item_0_3

In response to these criticisms, Tim Dinsdale, Peter Scott and Roy Mackal postulate a trapped marine creature that evolved from a plesiosaur directly or by convergent evolution. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_302

Robert Rines explained that the "horns" in some sightings function as breathing tubes (or nostrils), allowing it to breathe without breaking the surface. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_303

Long-necked giant amphibian Loch Ness Monster_section_47

R. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_304 T. Gould suggested a long-necked newt; Roy Mackal examined the possibility, giving it the highest score (88 percent) on his list of possible candidates. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_305

Invertebrate Loch Ness Monster_section_48

In 1968 F. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_306 W. (Ted) Holiday proposed that Nessie and other lake monsters, such as Morag, may be a large invertebrate such as a bristleworm; he cited the extinct Tullimonstrum as an example of the shape. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_307

According to Holiday, this explains the land sightings and the variable back shape; he likened it to the medieval description of dragons as "worms". Loch Ness Monster_sentence_308

Although this theory was considered by Mackal, he found it less convincing than eels, amphibians or plesiosaurs. Loch Ness Monster_sentence_309

See also Loch Ness Monster_section_49

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loch Ness Monster.