The Loch Ness Monster Story

This is just one of the over 1000 sightings of the Loch Ness Monster recorded in the Official Loch Ness Monster Sightings Register. The register records encounters with the Monster that go back almost 1500 years to 565AD.

On the 22nd of August in that year the Irish Saint Columba encountered a creature, not in the loch itself, but in the River Ness that flows out of the loch to connect with the North Sea. Although known for a host of other deeds that included bringing Christianity to the Picts, St. Columba not only saw the monster, but spoke to it. In a story told over 100 years after the event, the saint saved one of his followers from being attacked by the creature. He made the sign of the cross and commanded it to "Go no further. Do not touch the man. Go back at once."

This is the only sighting recorded until 1520 and through the next 300 years descriptions of Nessie are sporadic.

But in the early 1930s a road opened around Loch Ness and sightings poured in. In 1933 the Inverness Courier told the story of Mr. & Mrs MacKay’s encounter with what they called the Loch Ness Monster for the first time.

Since then there have been sightings, films, and sonar recordings of unexplained phenomena that have become part of the Loch Ness Monster myth. Many of these describe a long-necked creature that resembles the plesiosaurs of prehistoric times.

The encounters are usually distant sightings on the waters of the loch but among those 1000 sightings are some that are more unusual than others. There is the 1959 story of Beppo the Clown who saw the glowing eyes of Nessie underwater whilst engaged in a publicity stunt for his circus. Or one of the encounters of Nessie on land—like that of Arthur Grant in 1934. He described how he almost hit the monster with his motorcycle while Nessie was crossing the road. There’s even one swimmer in the 70s who claimed the creature touched him, although this seems to be the only example of physical contact on record.

While many people claim to have seen the Loch Ness Monster, almost as many claim to have explanations for the sightings. The people explain away the sightings as logs in the water, seals or otters at play in the loch, wind-blown waves or boats. There are also theories the monster has a supernatural or extra-terrestrial origin.

The story of the monster has also attracted high profile hoaxes over the years. These hoaxes have done little to stop the army of monster hunters trying to find undeniable proof of the monster’s existence.

See you all tomorrow.



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