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Loch Ness Monster

Loch Ness Monster

The loch Ness monster, nicknamed Nessie, is the most famous attraction of the Scottish world. There are isolated words of witnesses who have seen or approached it, and photographs of which some have been authenticated. However, can we say that a beast, whose species is not known but whose fame is today global to the great satisfaction of the National Tourism Agency in Scotland, sleeps in the deep waters of the lake?

The legendary lagoon

Located north of the country, Loch Ness is a lake that sinks into the Highlands from the outskirts of Inverness. Long of more than thirty kilometers, its depth can reach 250 meters. The thick fog that regularly covers its surface, the opacity of its water and the ruins of the Urquhart castle that border it are elements that are at the origin of part of its mystery. The legend of a monster living in this region is very old. Already in 565, Saint Colomba would have met a strange aquatic beast in the river Ness. The archives show us that, throughout the 19th century, many witnesses will spread the idea that a monster lives on the lake. The first spectator to have left his mark in the legend of Nessie is a certain Jimmy Hossack in 1862.

First sightings

The existence of the beast is announced by official voice in the press, through an article by Alex Campbell published in the Inverness Courier May 2, 1933. The columns of the newspaper reflect the story of a couple of witnesses who seen an astonishing bubbling of the water before being amazed by the appearance of an enigmatic animal. It had a small greyish head, a long neck and a body of about 9 meters long. As soon as this statement is published, the whole region is in turmoil and receives a steady stream of curious people who are determined to observe the event as well. The recent road that borders the lake is experiencing significant attendance and the testimonials from journalists are increasing.


International notoriety

Finally, on November 13 of the same year, a first shot is taken of the famous beast. Authenticated by Kodak Labs, Hugh Gray's world-wide photograph gives the monster and the site around it international renown. It also triggers a controversy. A large part of the scientific community is skeptical and asks for more convincing elements to look at what they consider to be a circus freak at the moment. A new photograph of the loch Ness monster, that of Dr. Robert Wilson, is published in the Daily Mail of April 21, 1934. Its details impress readers and keep the debate going. We can see very precisely a neck coming out of the water. Better still, a movie is shot sometime later by Malcolm Irvine but the film is lost.

A living legend

The conflict of the Second World War does not extinguish the legend. Testimonies, civil and military, continue to be recorded and another shot, made by Lachlan Stuart on July 14, 1951, reveals the presence of several bumps on the body of the beast. It is at this time that the first observation of the lake is made using a sonar. Commissioned by the BBC in 1958, the experience that reveals the existence of a mass of 7 meters long is unveiled in a TV show that has a large audience. The channel no longer abandons the subject when, in 1960, it broadcasts images of Tim Dinsdale's film showing the displacement of a bump on the lake.

The case has become so serious that a Loch Ness Investigation Office has been set up and is organizing several observation missions on the lake. On several occasions, dark and unknown masses are highlighted without being identified. In the absence of convincing results, the Office closed its doors in 1972. Its intentions are reflected in the many expeditions led by Dr. Rines who continues to use sonar and camera to flush out the beast. In 1975, the scientist managed to take two interesting snapshots that he interpreted as the neck and the head of the monster. The latest sonar observations do not allow significant progress. The last major expedition in October 1987, Operation Deepscan, covers most of the waters of the lake and arrives at the same fuzzy conclusion as previous missions: the presence of a mass in the depths of the lake.


A plesiosaur?

Even if new elements trying to prove the existence of Nessie still arrive on our screens today, the dream of discovering the beast seems extinguished. Recent information has increased the disillusion of the most passionate. While the clichés of Robert Wilson and Lachlan Stuart proved to be fake, a scientific publication reported the impossibility of the presence of a beast of more than three hundred pounds in the depths of Loch Ness because of the lack of food resources for the survival of it. Other studies have clearly discarded the hypothetical presence of a large Baltic sturgeon, a gray seal or a plesiosaur, a prehistoric animal. As for the results of the sonar experiments, they are to be put in perspective and compared with the observation of simple schools of fish. Nevertheless, these theses do not extinguish the ardent flame that animates certain enthusiasts, passionate about cryptozoology. They are still hellbent on discovering what lies beneath the surface of the Loch Ness: perhaps an unknown species or in the process of transformation?