With the recent (fake) news that the Loch Ness monster may well have been, and still is, just a large eel, we look at the strangest sightings of the mighty beast – those that occurred on land.
Yes, ol’ Nessie has not been confined to the loch for the last century, he has in fact made numerous appearances on land.
Here are his/her most brazen attempts to be photographed in their best light....
1. Margaret Munro, Borlum Bay.
Miss Munro, from 300 yards away - and with the benefit of binoculars - described the animal as having a "Giraffe-like neck and absurdly small head out of all proportion to the great dark-grey body—skin like an elephant—two very short fore-legs or flippers clearly seen. The animal kept turning itself in the sunshine and at times arched its back into one or more humps." Finally, "it lowered its head, quietly entered the water and disappeared."
Miss Munro had only been in employment with the Pimley’s for a short time when this sighting occurred, and at the time she said she was too scared to wake them so early, even for the Loch Ness monster no less. It would be a curious tale to tell for a young maid, relatively soon into a new job. However, after Mr. Pimley rose, he was told about the sighting and duly went to the bay to investigate and observed there, a large impression in the shingle.
2. The Fordyce Case, Foyers.
He said:"It had the gait of an elephant, but looked like a cross between a very large horse and a camel, with a hump on its back and a small head on a long neck."
Fordyce, not satisfied with his view from the relative safety of his car he decided to give chase. Commenting further he said: "I stopped the car and followed the creature on foot for a short distance. From the rear it looked grey and shaggy. Its long, thin neck gave it the appearance of an elephant with its trunk raised.”
An artists impression gave the following, slightly extreme caricature of the beast. We think it’s pretty safe to ignore the legs in this picture as little was spoke of them in the report other than to say it had an elephants gait.
3. George Spicer
On the afternoon of July 22, 1933, Londoners Mr. & Mrs. George Spicer were driving along the east side of Loch Ness when they claim that a creature, so vast it took up the entire road in front of them, crossed their path.
The Spicers were on a motoring holiday – which it turns out was quite popular back then given the lack of traffic – when they encountered the beast, and boy they he not hold back on the description.
Mr. Spicer said: "I saw the nearest approach to a dragon or pre-historic animal that I have ever seen in my life. It crossed my road about fifty yards ahead, and appeared to be carrying a small lamb or animal of some kind."
"It seemed to have a long neck, which moved up and down in the manner of a scenic railway, and 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. Length from six feet to eight feet and very ugly."
No wonder the monster is so illusive with comments like that.
Furthermore Spicer not only thought it was butt ugly but also clearly dangerous "Whatever it is, and it may be a land and water animal, I think it should be destroyed..."
4. Torquil Macleod
The sightings of ol' nessie continued past the 1930s and we come to another familiar sounding experience in 1960, when Torquil Macleod, a local man and Nessie hunter, spotted the beast from 50 yards away with the aid of binoculars.
He observed the beast for 9 minutes as it flopped on the shore line, where with the benefit of 'graticules' (small black lines which indicate the size of the object if the distance is known) he placed the monster at approximately 60ft, before watching it gracefully slide back into the water.
"I saw a large grey-black mass (I am inclined to think the skin was wet and dry in patches) and in the front there was what looked like an outsize in Elephant's trunks Paddles were visible at both sides but only at what I presumed was the rear end, and it was this end (remote from the "trunk") which tapered off into the water."
Massive [tick], Elephant Trunk [tick], Grey/Black [tick], Paddles/Flippers [tick]. Macleod certainly described a familiar creature.
So, there we have it science, the mighty water/elephant/land/camel is clearly not a ruddy eel.
For even more fantastic (and much more in depth) reading on the subject please go to Loch Ness Mysteries blog here and read Nicholas Witchells' The Loch Ness Story and Tim Dinsdale's The Loch Ness Monster.
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