Has the Loch Ness Monster, also known as “Nessie” died in Scotland? Nessie watchers are distraught over reports that the famous lake critter has not been spotted in over a year and a half—the longest known gap of time within the last 90 years that has passed with no Nessie sightings . Gary Campbell, who has been keeping a log of every Nessie sighting that has occurred in the last 1,500 years, is concerned that some terrible tragedy may have befallen the solitary animal, explaining:
It’s very upsetting news and we don’t know where she’s gone. The number of sightings has been reducing since the turn of the century but this is the first time in almost 90 years that Nessie wasn’t seen at all.
He was speaking, of course, about “confirmed” sightings, and not the large number of proven hoax sightings that have occurred since the Loch Ness Monster was first believed to be recorded in AD 565. While the beast was initially rumored by the Catholic Church to have assaulted a man in Loch Ness, Nessie did not achieve widespread fame until the early 1930s, when a couple reported seeing a large monster in the lake and a local paper ran a report on it.
Sightings in Inverness, Scotland, where Loch Ness is located, have been pouring in heavily since then, with this current lapse in sightings arousing suspicions that the Loch Ness Monster may have passed on to the Great Beyond. If she dies, her death will leave a major gap in the lives of her avid fans; people who spend all of their free time searching for the elusive lake dweller.
Past hoaxes have included people staging photos with items like sticks, logs and even stuffed animals. Recently, a boat captain who runs tours on Loch Ness admitted that he faked what had, up until his admission, been called “the most realistic photo ever taken” of Nessie. George Edwards went through a lot of effort to create the fake Nessie picture, even going so far as to fashion a fake hump made out of fiberglass that he then photographed sticking out of the water.
Edwards made up an accompanying story that he had seen the hump moving along slowly in the lake. His tale was so convincing that he even fooled seasoned Loch Ness Monster hunter Steve Feltham, who had originally jumped on the bandwagon and praised the picture as the best photo he had ever seen of the legendary creature. Now, Feltham says Edwards is a phony and a fraud. Edwards says he was just looking for a way to have “a bit of fun” with the story, and he says he does not feel guilty about the fact that he constructed a hoax.
The most famous picture of Nessie, which shows the animal’s head and neck sticking up out of the water, was taken in 1934 and was also proven to be a hoax. That hoax, also known as “the surgeon’s photo,” was concocted by numerous co-conspirators and the photo was later found to have been created with a toy submarine attached to a fake serpent head. In between these proven hoaxes, there have been several sightings considered to be “real” by Nessie experts, but none in the last 18 months. So, has the Loch Ness Monster died in Scotland? As long as there are jokesters around with time on their hands, Nessie’s demise itself is almost sure to be very short-lived.
By: Rebecca Savastio