EXISTS NESSIE; or at Least She Did 50 Years Ago, Archives Show

Article excerpt

Byline: RAY MARSHALL

HUNDREDS, if not thousands, have tried over the years, but it was left to a Gateshead fireman to unlock the truth about the Loch Ness monster.

And the truth, according to ex-Royal Marine frogman Peter O'Connor, is that Nessie exists - at least he did on June 11, 1960, 50 years ago yesterday - and Peter has the picture to prove it.

On Saturday, June 11, 1960 (no, not April 1), the Chronicle printed Peter's fabulous picture of the Loch Ness monster gliding through the water. He claimed he photographed Nessie between 6am and 6.30am on Friday, May 27, about half a mile north east of Foyers Bay on Loch Ness.

He was part of a survey team and alongside him was Fred Fulcher, of Hebburn.

His sighting was given such credence that the Northern Naturalists' Organisation even gave Nessie a scientific name - Nessiesaurus O'Connori, which commemorated the name of Peter O'Connor.

Pete r's next step was to try to raise funds to capture poor Nessie.

"I have worked out a perfect method of catching it," he told the Chronicle. "It involves getting the creature into a cage. What we need is a sponsor to finance the purchase of proper equipment for the trip. Recognition will help in that direction." On his sighting and photograph of Nessie, Peter said that although conditions were not ideal and the monster appeared in the half-light, they were satisfied by what they saw.

"It was exactly what we had been looking for," he said. "She was riding high in the water with 2-3ft of head and neck and about 3ft 6in of the back showing."

I have perfect catching it.

"He said the team of naturalists he worked with had built up a good picture of the monster's habits and mannerisms and that Nessie had a large broad flattened body with four paddlelike limbs. getting the into a cage.

need is a finance the proper the The monster, said Peter, had a short and otterlike tail, a small head set on a long thick neck. It was blackish-gray and the texture of the skin appeared smooth but could probably be composed of fine scales. According to Peter the monster lived at a depth of between 40ft and 150ft and occasionally surfaced during the day to bask. It was more active at night, said Peter, when it was looking for food. By nature it was timid and shy of man and out a method of involves creature noise. Its strongest sense appeared to be smell and it was capable of speeds between 20 and 30 knots.

What we sponsor to purchase of The picture was shown to the curator of the Hancock Museum, Mr AM Tynan, who said: "In view of the unsatisfactory condition of the evidence, we are not prepared to make any pronouncement." To buy pages from the archive, visit www.chroniclelive.

equipment for trip co.uk/buyafrontpage, www. …

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