I always 'knew' they were there though. Anglers have caught shark species unknown to science off the south of England and more mysteries are yet to be revealed. Giant sturgeon have been stranded far up rivers like the Stour, miles inland. Gigantic leatherback turtles have regularly been washed up on shores around the south west coasts. Giant tuna well over 500 pounds in weight are still seen off the Yorkshire coast. Even Gavin Maxwell's book "A ring of bright water" describes a creature resembling the fabled 'Loch Ness Monster' with a long neck off barely inhabited Scottish islands. I myself experienced the creature's presence while standing by the freezing cold flat calm Loch on a bright sunny morning in February 2002.
The day was calm and sunny but temperatures were cold following a hard frost that morning. Standing on the jetty by the castle in Urquahart bay I felt an unprecedented irrational fear sweep over me and I backed off the jetty fast. I walked up the grassy slope feeling foolish not having felt such a feeling ever before strong enough to move me from standing over the cold peaty red - black water.
Now as a very serious fisherman I have spent 30 years intensively spending a great proportion of this time on the banks and shores of hundreds of lakes, lochs, rivers, seas, ponds, and stretches of water, most often all night long. But I've never experienced such a unique feeling of fear before even at 'haunted' locations or in fierce lightening storms or on the darkest of nights miles from civilisation.
I know fish behaviour pretty well and felt something was very 'wrong' when just then I observed trout leaping high out of the water. This was only 200 metres away from my position over far deeper water and these fish were in such a highly excited state, darting about everywhere as if looking to escape something unseen below them. I quickly felt in my bag for my binoculars when I realised I did not need them...
I am more than scientific when it comes to the 'unknown,' requiring measurement and evidence and past records to verify anything unusual. I preferably would experience things 'first hand' before analysing and concluding anything substantial. I did not really think the mythical 'Loch Ness monster' existed except in the minds of fantasists or locals benefiting from the tourist trade in the area.
The major 2 reasons for this was that the entire loch had been under ice during the last ice age, so most likely preventing anything from remaining from previous times. Not only this, but detailed surveys show 'insufficient' fish stocks present in the loch which would appear to not be able to support a population of large animals for sustenance.
Please picture this now, because this is what I observed next: As a fish turns its flank over and rolls just under the surface of the water, it raises the water above it. I have observed this hundreds of times over the years being a big fish angler (mainly of giant catfish and big carp) of 30 years experience. The width, depth and length of the fish is indicated by the dimensions of this water movement discerned by the experienced eye. What this indicated was a massive creature.
For example an average sized large 30 pound carp may move a significant oval shaped area of water at the surface of perhaps to 3 feet. Such a fish would be about 3 feet long and between a foot and a foot and a quarter deep. The surface water movement I observed was about 15 feet long by 10 feet across... I never saw what caused it but I've fished right next to large seals, seen deer swimming in a lake, know very well the depth of sturgeon and dolphins compared to carp and whatever caused this phenomenal water movement was none of these possibilities. This was no killer whale or known cetacean either if that's what you are thinking...
There was a weird fact about my camera which is not uncommon at this loch. It has never failed me in thousands of photographs taken on thousands of bright days or dark even misty nights or on the hottest to the coldest of winter night temperatures. I am very careful to keep the battery at least new or at least 'half full.' On attempting to photograph the water anomaly, the camera failed completely despite calmly retrying. Filming under pressure of speed is not at all new to me with this camera. No photo was achieved.
Once all was calm, as if nothing had ever happened to disturb the completely calm surface of the thousands of feet deep bay without even a ripple present, I tried the camera again. This time it worked; in the 5 years since then, it has never failed either. There is definitely far more to this place than is yet known and not merely electrical anomalies. As someone has actually touched a ghost person - I therefore KNOW not merely just believe they do indeed exist, just like our 'electro-magnetic energy body' exists.)
I conceive that this Loch Ness creative could possibly be a 'ghost' or some kind of recording released by the electrical energy produced by gigantic forces caused by the faults and rocks movements present beneath the entire length of this long loch. (This does not explain sightings by police and military in waters with no faults present.) However, there are unusual lights occasionally observed in the Loch Ness area attributed to electical effects from the rocks and fault below the loch.
Whatever happened, this is my experience. This was no 'giant bubble' of gas escaping from the depths. I do not subscribe to the 'plesiosaur' theory - having seen in close detail the fossil skeletons of plesiosaurs and plesiosaur-like animals in the 'Natural History Museum' here in the UK. The chest and abdomen dimensions were not correct for the depth of water movement I saw and there was no evidence of water disturbance from flipper appendages either. I feel this creature I experienced is a different one to the popular 'mythical' version altogether.
One of the most puzzling aspects of this whole 'mythical' creature and its sightings, is that when Urquahart Castle was inhabited for generations (overlooking the very deepest water at the mouth of Urquahart Bay) this phenomenon was never reported. So what is really going in this ancient place?
By Tim Richardson.
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