|Elle Williams' recent Nessie photo|
Nessie, a favorite among cryptozoologists for over 80 years, is in the news again-- this time making an appearance in Lake Windemere, some 150 miles from Loch Ness. According to the UK Mirror, the creature was recently photographed by Elle Williams, a 24-year-old professional photographer.
James Ebdon, of Autographer Camera Company, told the Mirror: “On closer look we thought it could be a larger animal like a horse with a saddle pack or something. Then we wondered if it was an old giant eel or catfish as seen on TV documentaries." He concluded, "Who knows what it is - maybe some kids messing about - whatever it is we will leave it to the experts.”
Well, until the alleged experts chime in, Journal of the Bizarre would like to take this opportunity to offer three points which point to the non-existence of this famed creature.
1. A thousand year vacation and the miraculous saint.
The first Nessie sighting took place in 1933, when John Mackay and his wife saw "something resembling a whale" while driving past Loch Ness. While some argue that Nessie was first seen by St. Columba in the 6th century, the source for this account seems hardly credible; according to the 7th century Life of St. Columba by Adomnán, Columba was also said to have resurrected dead humans, expel demons, and change the weather. Unfortunately, Adomnán's account of Columba is strewn with historical inaccuracies and blatant butchery of contemporaneous accounts of various battles, dates, and personalities. In other words, Adomnán had a rather hard time with telling the truth.
Inexplicably, Nessie pulled a disappearing act for some 1,300 years, before being spotted in the 1930s by just about everyone in Scotland- most of whom would be surely familiar with the legend of St. Columba. Not surprisingly, many of these early sightings contradicted each other. For instance, in 1933, George Spicer and his wife saw the creature... on land. That same year Arthur Grant nearly hit the terrestrial Nessie with his motorcycle. Based on these early accounts, sometimes Nessie had limbs, sometimes she didn't. Sometimes Nessie had flippers, sometimes she didn't. No two accounts were alike. Nonetheless, tourism around Loch Ness flourished during this time period. Kind of a strange coincidence, isn't it?
Now, compare the early Nessie sightings with early North American Bigfoot sightings. Bigfoot has been seen by various people as early as 1811, in Jasper, Alberta. Bigfoot has been spotted continuously ever since, and often in places which would make absolutely lousy tourism destinations. It wasn't as if Bigfoot was in hiding for a thousand years before having a massive coming out party, as was the case with Nessie.
2. A seven hundred foot deep money pit
Untold sums of money have been spent on the hunt for Nessie, with zero definitive results. There was the Sir Edward Mountain Expedition (1934), Loch Ness Phenomena Investigation Bureau (1962–1972), the LNPIB sonar study (1968), the Andrew Carroll sonar study (1969), the Viperfish submersible expedition (1969), the Roy Mackal Expedition (1970), the Robert Rine studies (1972, 1975, 2001, 2008), Operation Deepscan (1987), Discovery Loch Ness (1993), the BBC study (2003), and the list goes on. These searches have involved thousands of volunteers, dozens of scientists, sonar, boats, submarines, satellites, massive multi-million dollar corporations and tens of millions of dollars... but, to date, the most famous evidence of Nessie still remains the 1934 "Surgeon's Photograph" which has been proven to be a hoax.
Loch Ness has a total surface area of 21.8 square miles, so if we were to estimate that the total funding for all Nessie expeditions, adjusted for inflation, to be 20 million dollars (a conservative estimate), we can estimate that a minimum of $917,430 per square mile has been expended in the fruitless search for the Loch Ness Monster.
Once again, let's compare this to Bigfoot. Based on BFRO statistics, the top 3 states in terms of Bigfoot sightings are Washington (587), California (427) and Florida (287). The combined surface area of these states equals 298,773 square miles. If the same amount of money was spent in just these three states alone as was spent on Loch Ness, we would arrive at a figure of just $66.94 per square mile.
The bottom line is this: Taking all of the United States into account, the quest for Bigfoot has cost pennies per square mile, yet has produced a significantly greater amount of evidence than the massively-funded search for Nessie. This means that either Bigfoot hunters are dozens of times more efficient than Nessie hunters, or that there are incredibly miniscule odds that Nessie exists-- even when compared to Bigfoot, Yeti, chupacabras and other cryptids.
3. A stretch of the neck is a stretch of imagination
The prevailing theory is that Nessie is either a plesiosaur, the extinct long-necked aquatic reptile, or a relative of the plesiosaur. However, there are numerous reasons why Nessie cannot be such a creature.
For starters, the osteology and anatomy of the neck makes it impossible for the plesiosaur to lift its head up out of the water. This much has been proven in 2006 by Leslie Noè of the Sedgwick Museum in Cambridge. As this is the most common type of sighting, the facts fly directly in the face of witness accounts. Since Nessie would have to surface several times a day in order to breathe, statistics should reveal a significantly higher number of credible Nessie sightings than what exists.
These three points strongly refute the existence of Nessie and other similar lake monsters. But if you still believe in the Loch Ness nonsense, just ask yourself this question: If Nessie exists, where was she hiding prior to 1933?