Friday, February 13, 2009
The Loch Ness Monster
One of the favorite creatures and perhaps the best known is "Nessie" the Loch Ness Monster given the nickname lovingly by the residents of the nearby town many decades ago.Indeed,one of the chief sources of income for the area.
When the Romans first came to northern Scotland in the first century A.D., they found the Highlands occupied by fierce, tattoo-covered tribes they called the Picts, or painted people. From the carved, standing stones still found in the region around Loch Ness, it is clear the Picts were fascinated by animals, and careful to render them with great fidelity. All the animals depicted on the Pictish stones are lifelike and easily recognizable—all but one. The exception is a strange beast with an elongated beak or muzzle, a head locket or spout, and flippers instead of feet. Described by some scholars as a swimming elephant, the Pictish beast is the earliest known evidence for an idea that has held sway in the Scottish Highlands for at least 1,500 years—that Loch Ness is home to a mysterious aquatic animal.
The Loch Ness Monster has been first cited in the Life of St. Columba, written by Adamnan somewhere around the 7th century. There, it is explained how Columba rescued a Pict, who was supposedly attacked by the monster.
According to Adomnán, the Irish monk Saint Columba was staying in the land of the Picts with his companions when he came across the locals burying a man by the River Ness. They explained that he had been swimming the river when he was attacked by a "water beast" that had mauled him and drug him under. They tried to rescue him in a boat, but were able only to drag up his corpse. Hearing this, Columba stunned the Picts by sending his follower Luigne moccu Min to swim across the river. The beast came after him, but Columba makes the sign of the cross and commanded: "Go no further. Do not touch the man. Go back at once." The beast immediately halts as if it had been "pulled back with ropes" and flees in terror.
The account was later decided to likely be just another account in the lives of Saints purporting various struggles with large or mysterious beasts and not true(Wikipedia)
On 4 August 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 6 December 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 made claims that sightings of the monster went as far back as the 6th century.
In 1933, several people saw the monster. One was a patrolman in Inverness-shire, who described it as a series of humps above the water preceded by a long thin neck on which there was a small snakelike head. Its skin was gray-black. On May 22, John Mackay, who ran the hotel at Drunnadrochit, saw it, too. The water frothed as it vanished, he said.
Two months later to the day, a couple from London saw the monster cross the road. Its size astounded them--its body was 5' high and as wide as the road. It moved like a big snail in a picture of a plesiosaurus marine reptile, the man said the monster looked like it.
During the early 1930s, several photographs were taken of the monster. Sir Edward Mountain, who lived near the lake, arranged for people with binoculars to watch the lake for appearances of the monster. The vigil paid off. A few weeks later, he was even able to take a movie of it.
Intrest Grows Internationally
Since W. W. II, the monster has been taken very seriously. In October, 1954, the passengers on a bus driving by the lake were able to observe the monster for 10 minutes as it surfaced not more than 100 yards away.
In December, 1954, a fishing boat was crossing the lake when its echo-sounder began to chart something swimming at a depth of 540'. It was recorded as a creature with a small head on a long neck, 8 short legs, and a 15' tail. It measured about 50' in length. Experts who analyzed the chart said it was a living thing.
Four years later, the British Broadcasting Company, attempting to produce a program about the monster, recorded an object on the echo-sounder that moved 12' deeper, then disappeared at 60'. Two days after, 4 men riding by on a bus saw humps emerging in the same spot; there was a big wash as the humps submerged.
Since then, various scientific teams have investigated the monster. In 1973-1974, Japanese scientists using deep-water equipment began a major study.
Possible Solutions: There seems to be little doubt that there is something big living in Loch Ness. What manner of creature is another matter.
Lt. Comdr. T. R. Gould, an expert on sea serpents, felt the creature was a huge newt, perhaps a leftover from prehistoric times, which had been trapped in the lake. Others, including Dr. Maurice Burton, think that it is some kind of otherwise extinct reptile, possibly a plesiosaur.
It is possible, experts believe, that the monster divides its time between the lake and the ocean, going from one to the other through an underground water route. It might seek the lake at breeding season or to escape predators in the sea.
The loch continues to yield intriguing sonar hits. In 1987, an expedition called Operation Deep Scan used a flotilla of 20 sonar-equipped boats to sweep the loch with a curtain of sound; the operation yielded three underwater targets that could not be explained. In the early 1990s, the BBC's Nicholas Witchell helped organize Project Urquhart, the first extensive study of the loch's biology and geology. Although they weren't looking for monsters, the expedition's sonar operators detected a large, moving underwater target and followed it for several minutes before losing it. And during the 1997 expedition featured in NOVA's Loch Ness film, Rines and his longtime colleague Charles Wyckoff detected yet another puzzling underwater target. According to the expedition's sonar expert, marine biologist Arne Carr, it was a moving target, appeared to be biological in nature, and was about 15 feet long—the size of a small whale.
What about you? Myth or Real?
"Nessie pictures are included in the video posted below.The earrings pictured are from kimazier at Etsy. http://kimazier.etsy.com
The Water Dragon lighter cover ftom MistyCreations http://MistyCreations.etsy.com
There are some other items just use the search feature there.
I am working on a pendant which may be up with a bracelet next month...