The Legend Of The Loch Ness Monster

Hi, I’m Robin and welcome back to All Time Conspiracies Today we’ll be looking at Scotland’s most famous mythical monster

We’ll look at its origins, sightings over the years and the ongoing controversy over whether or not it exists This is the Loch Ness Monster: Declassified Loch Ness is a lake in the Scottish Highlands that runs 37 kilometres long For over a millennium legend has claimed the lake is home to a mysterious and dangerous beast, but its existence has never been verified The first recorded sighting probably took place in 565 AD by the Irish missionary Saint Columba

According to his biographer Saint Adamnan, Columba came across a funeral on the lake’s banks He then discovered the dead man had been killed by a “monster” while he was swimming in the lake Allegedly, Columba instructed another man to enter the water When the monster resurfaced to attack the man, Columba invoked the Lord’s will to banish it forever Although this account was written a century after the event itself, it has been used as proof for the legend’s authenticity

It was next sighted over 1300 years later in 1933 by George Spicer He witnessed an enormous long-necked creature, with a huge body and no limbs, slither in front of his car before sliding into the Loch Weeks later it was spotted again by a roving motorcyclist, who described it as a plesiosaur – a four-finned marine creature known only to exist in prehistoric times The legend was reborn The following year, the Daily Mail newspaper printed the first photograph of the monster

It became known as the Surgeon’s Photograph after the man who took it refused to have his name associated with it For decades this haunting picture was considered the most reliable proof of the monster’s existence But, in 1994, the stepson of the photographer admitted that it had in fact been an elaborate hoax The “monster” was actually a plastic and tin model attached to a toy submarine The hoax had been plotted in revenge by Marmaduke Wetherell, who had been hired by the Daily Mail to find the monster but fired by them when he didn’t

The next major piece of evidence was found in 1954 A sonar scan of Loch Ness by the Rival III fishing boat identified a “large object” 480 feet below It appeared to be following the boat, although no solid data was recovered In 2011, a sonar scanner team led by Marcus Atkinson found another mysterious object 75 feet below the water’s surface, which kept pace with the boat for two minutes This controversial image was initially dismissed by some as an algae bloom

Yet, it would be almost impossible for algae to survive at such depth, as it requires sunlight to survive In Loch Ness, it is very hard for sunlight to penetrate even slightly beneath the surface But sonar scans became even more sophisticated in the 1970s In 1972 sonar operated by members of the Loch Ness Investigation Bureau captured a strange, large object disturbing shoals of fish One camera image showed the flipper, hind quarter and tail of a huge creature with rough, green flesh

Experts estimated the flipper length at between 6 and 8 feet long The team captured a more detailed image of the creature in 1975, which was hotly debated in the UK’s Houses of Parliament Dr George Zug, a Reptile Curator at Washington’s Smithsonian Institute, said, “I believe these data indicate the presence of large animals in Loch Ness, but are insufficient to identify them” Since then, there have been fewer sightings and no significant evidence of the beast’s existence Robert Rines, former President of the Academy of Applied Sciences in Boston, suggested this was due to global warming

Before his death in 2009, Rines alleged that the monster was unable to adapt to changing environmental conditions, and had died He claimed to have identified 100 mysterious objects at the bottom of the lake that could feasibly be its corpse There are certain historical problems that make the monster’s existence highly unlikely If the beast is a lone plesiosaur as many claim, its species would have had to survive 66 million years longer than the other dinosaurs That said, there are several sea creatures and descendants of amphibians – like sharks or crocodiles – whose ancestors lived alongside dinosaurs

But they are much more widespread than a lone monster in a lake Even so, Loch Ness was covered in a layer of ice over one kilometer thick until just 20,000 years ago There is only one possible explanation for how a plesiosaur would get there Nessie would have had to lurk in the Atlantic Ocean for nearly 66 million years The monster would then have had to navigate through a tiny, treacherous and extremely shallow corridor of waters to make it to the Loch

In 2003 the BBC tested this theory, sending a team of scientists on a sonar expedition to map the entire Loch They used highly sophisticated equipment capable of picking up breathing creatures But, after scanning the entire body of water, expedition member Ian Florence admitted they had been unable to find any evidence of large undocumented animals lurking within He suggested that the proliferation of sightings over the years was due to “People seeing what they want to see” Indeed, to test this hypothesis, the same scientists hid a fence in the Loch, which they raised as a tourist bus drove passed by

When questioned, a significant number of these tourists indicated that they had seen the serpent-like monster, showing how perception is distorted by what we want to see The Loch Ness Monster has baffled people for over a thousand years No tangible evidence of the creature has come to light, its existence appears to be the stuff of legend Yet, amongst those that claim to have witnessed it are high profile members of the scientific community, with their reputations on the line With this in mind, maybe it is only a matter of time before the proof we need to verify the monster’s existence is found

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