The Loch Ness Monster
Speculation is that the Creature Represents a Line of Long-surviving Plesiosaurs

The Loch Ness Monster
Speculation is that the Creature Represents a Line of Long-surviving Plesiosaurs

The Loch Ness Monster is a cryptid that is reputed to inhabit Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands.

The scientific community regards the Loch Ness Monster as a modern-day myth, and explains sightings as a mix of hoaxes and wishful thinking.

The Loch Ness Monster is a cryptid that is reputed to inhabit Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands. The most frequent speculation is that the creature represents a line of long-surviving plesiosaurs.

It is similar to other supposed lake monsters in Scotland and elsewhere, though its description varies from one account to the next.

Popular interest and belief in the animal has fluctuated since it was brought to the world's attention in 1933. Evidence of its existence is anecdotal, with minimal and much-disputed photographic material and sonar readings.

The scientific community regards the Loch Ness Monster as a modern-day myth, and explains sightings as a mix of hoaxes and wishful thinking.

Despite this, it remains one of the most famous examples of cryptozoology. The legendary monster has been affectionately referred to by the nickname Nessie since the 1950s.

The term "monster" was reportedly applied for the first time to the creature on May 2nd, 1933 by Alex Campbell, the water bailiff for Loch Ness and a part-time journalist, in a report in the Inverness Courier.

On August 4th, 1933, the Courier published as a full news item the claim of a London man, George Spicer, that a few weeks earlier while motoring around the Loch, he and his wife had seen "the nearest approach to a dragon or pre-historic animal that I have ever seen in my life", trundling across the road toward the Loch carrying "an animal" in its mouth.

Other letters began appearing in the Courier, often anonymously, with claims of land or water sightings, either on the writer's part or on the parts of family, acquaintances or stories they remembered being told.

These stories soon reached the national (and later the international) press, which talked of a "monster fish", "sea serpent", or "dragon", eventually settling on "Loch Ness Monster".

On December 6th ,1933 the first purported photograph of the monster, taken by Hugh Gray, was published, and shortly after the creature received official notice when the Secretary of State for Scotland  ordered the police to prevent any attacks on it.

In 1934, interest was further sparked by what is known as The Surgeon's Photograph. In the same year R. T. Gould published a book, the first of many which describe the author's personal investigation and collected record of additional reports pre-dating the summer of 1933. Other authors have claimed that sightings of the monster go as far back as the 6th century

In 1933 the suggestion was made that the monster "bears a striking resemblance to the supposedly extinct plesiosaur", a long-necked aquatic reptile that went extinct during the Cretaceous–Tertiary extinction event.

At the time this was a popular explanation. The following arguments have been put against it: Plesiosaurs were probably cold-blooded reptiles requiring warm tropical waters, while the average temperature of Loch Ness is only about 5.5 °C (42 °F).

Even if the plesiosaurs were warm-blooded, they would require a food supply beyond that of Loch Ness to maintain the level of activity necessary for warm-blooded animals.

In October 2006, the New Scientist headlined an article "Why the Loch Ness Monster is no plesiosaur" because Leslie Noè of the Sedgwick Museum in Cambridge reported, "The osteology of the neck makes it absolutely certain that the plesiosaur could not lift its head up swan-like out of the water".

The loch is only about 10,000 years old, dating to the end of the last ice age. Prior to that date, the loch was frozen solid for about 20,000 years. If creatures similar to plesiosaurs lived in the waters of the Loch Ness, they would be seen very frequently as they would have to surface several times a day to breathe.

In response to these criticisms, proponents such as Tim Dinsdale, Peter Scott and Roy Mackal postulate a trapped marine creature that evolved either from a plesiosaur or to the shape of a plesiosaur by convergent evolution.

Many believe that huge unidentified monsters lurk in the world's oceans and waterways. Do remnants of the dinosaur age still exist, and is this what people are seeing off the coast of Wales in Britain and in San Francisco Bay in the USA?

So much of the ocean is still unexplored. Could there be a large species we are yet to discover?

Scientists answer 'yes - it's most likely', and they've even recorded sounds from the depths of the ocean that they can't explain.

The Bloop

The Bloop is the name given to an ultra-low frequency and extremely powerful underwater sound detected by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in 1997.

The source of the sound remains unknown.

The sound, traced to somewhere around a remote point in the south Pacific Ocean west of the southern tip of South America.

It was detected several times by the Equatorial Pacific Ocean autonomous hydrophone array, which uses U.S. Navy equipment originally designed to detect Soviet submarines.

According to the NOAA description, it "rises rapidly in frequency over about one minute and was of sufficient amplitude to be heard on multiple sensors, at a range of over 5,000 km." The NOAA's Dr. Christopher Fox does not believe its origin is man-made, such as a submarine or bomb, or familiar geological events such as volcanoes or earthquakes.

While the audio profile of the Bloop does resemble that of a living creature, the source is a mystery both because it is different from known sounds and because it was several times louder than the loudest known animal, the blue whale.

Five other significant unexplained sounds have been named by NOAA: Julia, Train, Slow Down, Whistle and Upsweep.

Dr. Christopher Fox of the NOAA speculated that the Bloop may be ice calving in Antarctica. A year later Dr. Fox was paraphrased speculating it was likely animal in origin.

The Surgeon's Photo - Loch Ness Monster Hoax?

A famous black-and-white photo fueled the search for the Loch Ness Monster ... until the truth came out nearly 60 years later.

One of the most iconic images of Nessie is known as the 'Surgeon's Photograph', which many formerly considered to be good evidence of the monster.

Its importance lies in the fact that it was the only photographic evidence of a head and neck all the others are humps or disturbances.

The image was revealed as a hoax in 1994. Supposedly taken by Robert Kenneth Wilson, a London gynaecologist, it was published in the Daily Mail on 21 April 1934.

Wilson's refusal to have his name associated with the photograph led to its being called "Surgeon's Photograph". The ripples on the photo fit the size and circular pattern of small ripples as opposed to large waves when photographed up close.

Analysis of the original uncropped image have fostered further doubt. A year before the hoax was revealed, the makers of Discovery Communications's documentary Loch Ness Discovered analyzed the uncropped image and found a white object was visible in every version of the photo, implying it was on the negative. "It seems to be the source of ripples in the water, almost as if the object was towed by something", the narrator said.

But science cannot rule out it was just a blemish on the negative", he continued. Additionally, analysis of the full photograph revealed the object to be quite small, only about 60 to 90 centimeters (two to three ft) long.

In 1979 it was claimed to be a picture of an elephant. Other sceptics in the 1980s argued the photo was that of an otter or a diving bird, but after Christian Spurling's confession most agree it was what Spurling claimed - a toy submarine with a sculpted head attached.

Possible Sighting of the
Loch Ness Monster?

Was this a brief encounter with the Loch Ness monster during the filming of a documentary?

The details of how it was done have been given in a book.

Essentially, it was a toy submarine with a head and neck made of plastic wood, built by Christian Spurling, the son-in-law of Marmaduke Wetherell, a big game hunter who had been publicly ridiculed in the Daily Mail, the newspaper that employed him.

Spurling claimed that to get revenge, Marmaduke Wetherell committed the hoax, with the help of Chris Spurling (a sculpture specialist), his son Ian Marmaduke, who bought the material for the fake Nessie, and Maurice Chambers (an insurance agent), who would call to ask surgeon Robert Kenneth Wilson to offer the pictures to the Daily Mail.

The hoax story is disputed by Henry Bauer, who claims this debunking is evidence of bias, and asks why the perpetrators did not reveal their plot earlier to embarrass the newspaper. He also claimed that plastic wood did not exist in 1934, although it was a popular DIY and modeling material in the early 1930s.

Alastair Boyd, one of the researchers who uncovered the hoax, argues the Loch Ness Monster is real, and that the hoaxed Surgeon's Photo is not cause enough to dismiss eyewitness reports and other evidence.