Loch Ness Monster Mysteries
Of all the cryptozoological creatures reported around the world, the lake monster of Loch Ness, Scotland is surely the most well known and beloved of them all.
That a possible prehistoric creature still shares our world in the deep, murky waters of this long lake fuels not only our imaginations but also a vast tourist industry.
The first recorded stories of a water dwelling beast in this region comes from the tales of the "Life of Saint Columbia" by the 7th century writer, Adomnan. The holy man reportedly saved the life of a swimmer from the attack of a "water beast" in the River Ness in the 6th century. Nothing more was heard officially about such a creature again until the early 20th century.
On June 5th of 1933, Margaret Munro said she watched a beast on the shore of the lake for over twenty minutes. She said it had elephant-like skin, a long thin neck with a small head and two short fore-flippers. In late July of 1933 Mr. and Mrs. George Spicer reported a large, unknown creature running across the road in front of them. They said the creature was perhaps 4 feet high and about 25 feet long. It had a long, sinuous neck and disappeared into the Loch that was about 20 feet from the road. The next month, August, and Author Grant claims to have almost collided with the beast with his motorcycle before it ran back into the lake.
After that, reports of sightings of the Loch Ness monster came in sporadically from a multitude of people. Occasional photographs and grainy film of something unusual in the waters of the Loch began to materialize. Probably the most famous, the "Surgeon's Photograph", taken in 1934 endured much publicity both good and bad until a deathbed confession by Christian Spurling debunked it as a model built onto a toy submarine.
Less easily ignored though are some of the sonar readings that have been taken in the lake by modern scientists. Robert Rines managed to take a few underwater photos of what appeared to be a large flipper at the same time as sonar recordings were registering movement by something between 20 and 30 feet in length. Other sonar searches of Loch Ness by different expeditions also recorded various anomalous sonar readings. In 1987 the director of "Operation Deepscan", Darrell Lowrance recorded an echogram of a large object moving near Urquhart Bay at a depth of 600 feet. In conclusion he is quoted as saying, "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. I don't know."
Skeptics insist that the causes of all the Loch Ness monster sightings are either, hoaxes and lies, the misidentification of sturgeon, eels, seals, deer, moose, floating logs, or temperature differentials in the water itself. No one has yet to present a body or a live, captured beast and biologists say the lake is incapable of supporting a creature or creatures of the size reported for the Loch Ness monster. They say that even were the ancient dinosaur, plesiosaur, of which descriptions fit the closest, it would take a minimum of ten creatures to maintain a viable community and that the lake could not support or likely hide that many such beasts.
Barring further data to conclusively prove or disprove the existence of the Loch Ness monster, we are left with a continuing mystery and the hope that even in this mundane world, such wonders as "Nessie" can survive in more than just our imaginations.