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  • Writer's pictureAbby Brenker

Haunted History: The Loch Ness Monster 101

Updated: Aug 8, 2022

When I was a kid I had a thing for the Loch Ness monster. I had a shoebox full of articles I had printed from the internet about the legend. Oh, how I wish I still had that now…

Loch Ness is located in the Highlands of Scotland, I found this very pretty video of the Scottish Highlands to set the scene. The first sighting dates back to 565 AD, yes you read that right. If Nessie is alive, she is very, very old. The story goes that a man had been attacked and killed by the water monster, none of his companions able to get to him in time to save him.

The Loch Ness monster first peaked modern interest in 1933. An article hit the local papers, a woman had claimed to see a whale-like creature in the lake. It was this article that coined the term ‘Loch Ness Monster.’ However, the woman who claimed to see the monster later admitted that she had previously been aware of the oral tales of a monster dwelling in the lake. Does that make it any less true? We shall never know.

Very quickly after this article came a TON of photographs, encounters and other types of proof. Many of these have been proven to be hoaxes, but it’s fascinating when adults try to fake the existence of fantastical creatures, isn’t it?

The most important of these is the ‘Surgeon's Photograph.’ It’s supposedly the first photo of the monster’s head and neck, published in the Daily Mail in 1934. You’ve definitely seen this one before if you’ve heard of the Loch Ness Monster, this one was plastered on the cover of my shoe box. Someone wrote an entire book on how this photo is a hoax, which I have not and will not read. Either way, this photo defines the way we all picture this probably-fictional creature. A pop-culture moment!

Next, let’s discuss the Taylor Film from 1938. Which has since been decided to be a ‘floating object’ and not an animal. Fair enough.

In 1954 someone had the bright idea of conducting sonar readings! The ship’s crew noticed a large object floating about 500 feet below the surface that was keeping pace with the vessel. Terrifying. All other attempts to capture proof through sonar have come back empty or inconclusive.

The Dinsdale film is interesting. Critics are divided, some think it must be a living creature with a hump on its back while others say it could definitely be a boat. What do I think? It looks like a whole lot of grainy footage. It honestly looks worse than the Taylor film which was from 30 years earlier.

In 2011, along comes George Edwards who claims that he’s taken some real photos of Nessie. Most people think the hump seen in these photographs is a prop that was used in a National Geographic documentary that featured George Edwards. If you clicked on my link, you will see that would make a lot of sense.

In 2014, an Apple Maps photo shows what looks to be a large fishy creature below the surface of the lake. It could also be the wake from a boat.

There is also this video from September 2019, where local officials claim to have solved the puzzle. According to them, it’s actually a giant eel.

There are a ton of other encounters that I am leaving out, including mini-submarine missions and tons of modern investigations. I will leave you to make your own decisions and with this video. It changes everything.

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