The Loch Ness Monster: The Evidence

The Loch Ness Monster: The Evidence

The Loch Ness Monster: The Evidence

The Loch Ness Monster: The Evidence

Synopsis

The possibility of a monster inhabiting a deep, dark Scottish loch has fascinated believers and sceptics for decades. In this volume, Steuart Campbell critically examines the facts and fictions regarding the mysterious creature of Loch Ness. He reviews the film and sonar evidence, analyzes underwater photographs, reflects on the origins of the Loch Ness monster stories, and gives a short survey of evidence from lakes all over the world. The text also provides references and a bibliography.

Excerpt

The existence of N was announced in 1933, apparently after a spectacular demonstration (though see p. 18), but the announcement owed much to the personal beliefs of a local water bailiff, Alex Campbell. Among other things (he distorted the account in a number of ways) he alleged that what had been seen was the 'water kelpie', a 'fearsome-looking monster' that had 'for generations' been credited with living in L Ness. Many readers of his report must have wondered why, if N had lived for so long in the lake, they had not heard of it before. In fact there had been previous reports, but for various reasons these had not been relayed by newspapers outside Scotland. Others have dealt with the reason for N's sudden notoriety and here we are more concerned with the evidence for its existence. However, it is relevant to ask about the tradition to which Alex Campbell referred.

There was a widespread Highland belief that a water horse or kelpie inhabited not only L Ness but nearly every lake in Scotland. It was said to be an evil spirit which not only lured travellers to their death by drowning but took a delight in doing so. Because this explained why people drowned in lakes it may be concluded that the myth originated from a need to explain such drownings. Moon records that when a swimming horse disappeared in the middle of L Okanagan (see p. 90) the drowning was attributed to the presence of the lake demon, later identified with the monster Ogopogo. Often the body never reappeared and it must have been assumed that it had been taken to some other world. This is certainly true of L Ness, which is wrongly thought never to give up its dead.

In Ireland, where the Scots originated, the country people supposed that this world is duplicated underwater, and they told tales of cows, bulls, dogs, and horses from that other-world. Sometimes these animals were captured, the water horses being broken to the plough. In certain . . .

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