The other day I wrote this post about Hemingway and the expatriate writers I fell in love with as a child.
Today I will share one of my other childhood obsessions with you.
I read every book in every library of every city we lived in about Loch Ness. I studied photos, planned my own excursions to Scotland, dissected the possibilities and the skeptics questions in my head over and over again.
Although I loved looking at the photos, I was much more interested in eye witness accounts. I just couldn't understand how skeptics could count out 90% as these witnesses as being 'crazy' or 'lying'.
I have never seen anything 'extraordinary' in my lifetime, but if I did I would certainly hope to tell people about it and share my story. Why would normal everyday people risk being seen as 'crazy' just to tell their made up stories? So, I find validity in a lot of them.
The first recorded sighting of the Loch Ness Monster is recorded in the book The Life of Saint Columba sometime in the late 7th Century and is often connected with later sightings in the in the nearby lake. The passage states that in 565 A.D. Saint Columba saved a swimmer from a hungry monster in the Ness river.
More modern sightings led to a Scottish Law in 1934, making it illegal to harm or capture the monster.
Here are some snippets of accounts that led to the writing of the 1934 law protecting my friend. (I copied these from a report I did in the 8th grade, they were properly cited then, but I didn't feel like adding the bullshit in, considering I HAD to do that in high school and college...but I don't HAVE to do it now. The passages are from a 1995 book by Clark and Pear, if you are Clark and Pear and are pissed at me for not properly citing these passages, take it up with my lawyer.) :
"In 1933 after a new road was built along the edge of the Loch, the number of reports soared. The first of these came on April 14 when the owners of an inn in Drumnadrochit, the Mackays, observed an "enormous animal "rolling and plunging" in the Loch. They reported itto Alex Campbel, the man in charge of regulating salmon fishing in the Loch. Campbel spent a lot of time at the lake and observed the monster himself several times after being told of the Mackay sighting.
Campbel described the creature as having "a long, tapering neck, about 6 feet long, and a smallish head with a serpentine look about it, and a huge hump behind..." Campbel estimated the length of the "monster" to be about thirty feet. "
"Early in 1934 there was a land sighting of the beast. Arthur Grant, a young veterinary student, was out on his motorcycle one evening when he almost ran into the monster as it crossed the road. Grant's description of the thing, small head, long tapering neck and tail with a bulky body and flippers, seemed to match the appearance of the plesiosaurus."
"Colonel L. Fordyce’s account of a land sighting that he and his wife had experienced in April 1932: Driving through the woods one morning along the south side of the loch, they saw an enormous animal cross the road 150 yards ahead on its way to the water. It had the gait of an elephant, recalled, but looked like a cross between a very large horse and a camel, with a hump on its back and a small head on a long neck… from the rear it looked grey and shaggy. It had long, thin legs and a thin, hairy tail. Because it was a year before the loch ness monster was publicly recognized, the couple had no clue as to what they were seeing. They thought it was a freak animal escaped from a zoo."
"In the June 7th 1933 issue of “Argus” a man and his friends said that while they were flying over Ness he saw what they thought was a large gator under the surface of the loch. They said it was around 25 feet long and 4 feet wide."
"In July 22, 1933 “Mr. and Mrs. F.T.G. Spicer said they saw a strange animal 200 yards ahead of them. It did not move in the usual reptilian fashion, Mr. Spicer said, but with these arches. The body shot across the road in jerks, but because of the slope we could not see its lower parts and saw no limbs… elephant grey color, a bulky body, and a long neck. We saw no tail."
Because I'm a reader I love to read the eyewitness accounts and imagine what was going through their heads when they were seeing what they were seeing. Can you fathom seeing a monster right there in front of you?
First you'd be astonished.
If the sighting lasted long enough, you'd be able to gather your wits and really start to think about what you have just seen. I would think that the part of your brain that has never seen anything like what you've just seen would try and rationalize the occurrence. I would also assume that most people that encountered phenomena would either not tell anyone or just tell their family or confidants.
Have you ever had any strange encounters? I've never stopped being interested in stories of unexplained phenomenon.
Oh!!!! I've got a great idea!!!
We'll make this sort of a meme, write your story on your blog (or a story you've heard) and I'll link all the stories in another post.
It will be fun...bloggers unite and tell scary (or not so scary) stories!!!!!