Friday, 28 February 2014

Loch Lomond Monster

Information from the Unknown Explorers site:
Located in both the western lowlands of Central Scotland and the southern Highlands Loch Lomond has the largest surface area of any loch in Scotland and is second only to Loch Ness in volume. For centuries residents of the loch have reported sightings of a strange creature living in its waters. Though sightings of this creature are very rare, those sightings that have been reported seem to vary greatly when describing the creatures overall appearance. Some eyewitnesses describe the Lomond Monster as the traditional prehistoric plesiosaur like creature thought by many investigators to dwell in several of the Scottish lochs, including the most famous of these creatures, the Loch Ness Monster. The second description of the Lomond Monster, which seems to be unique among Scottish loch monsters, gives it the appearance of a large crocodile, an animal not known to live in Scotland. According to several eyewitnesses in 1997 a 12 foot long beast, described as a crocodile by one eyewitness, began devouring ducks in Loch Lomond. SSPCE spokes woman Doreen Graham received several calls in regards to the creature including one man’s report that he was watching a flock of ducks on the loch when one was suddenly pulled under the surface. Before long a group of friends shooting a video on the banks of Loch Lomond, near Rowardennan, claimed to have captured the creature on film. Edinburgh freelance journalist Nick Taylor, who was producing the film, claimed that while the group was packing up their gear they noticed the creature swimming not to far off shore. According to Taylor the beast was gliding through the water slowly, but often picked up speed and swam against the tide. The group had never seen anything like it before and described the creature as looking like a giant crocodile or alligator. Their tape found its way to the desk of Dr. Andrew Kitchener, of the Royal Museum of Scotland, who after viewing the tape admitted that the creature contained with in did appear to be a crocodile; however he made it clear that a crocodile would be unable to survive in Loch Lomond. Upon further inspection of the video Dr. Kitchener was able to rule out a mink or an otter as the creature in the videos identity. With all the attention given to the Loch Ness Monster very view scientific investigations into the Lomond Monster have been conducted, leaving the question of what is living in its depths a complete mystery. As it stands the only two descriptions of the beast seem to defy nature and time by thousands of miles and millions of years. The Evidence There is currently no physical evidence that would suggest a creature like the Lomond Monster is living in the cold depths of Loch Lomond. The Sightings In 1997, a film crew making a music video captured something unexplainable on film, possibly the Lomond Monster. The Stats– (Where applicable) • Classification: Lake Monster • Size: Roughly 12 in length • Weight: Unknown • Diet: Carnivorous (Includes fish and ducks) • Location: Loch Lomond, Scotland • Movement: Swimming • Environment: Loch (Freshwater lake)

Monster lakes in Scotland, Loch Lomond double-circled. All of these lakes including Loch Ness seem to host sightings of the "Master Otter" sort. Indications are that the beast encountered by St Columba at Loch Ness was also a Master Otter and  Viking-age artwork seems to confirm that notion.

                                    Early Irish depictions of Water Monsters (Piasts)

From the online dictionary of Celtic Supernatural creatures:


(DO-wuhr-ckuh) "Water Hound"
Also known as the King Otter, this creature resembles a cross between an otter and a dog, but is larger than both. It inhabits lakes and large rivers, and behaves much like a crocodile, lunging out of the water to seize prey and drag it under to down it. However, it feeds on the shore, so remains can usually be found. It is said to have Faerie powers, and its pelt magical abilities, but it may be based on a real creature, a cryptid that may now be extinct.


LINDSAY SELBY: Loch Lomond Crocodile?

Located in both the lowlands and the southern Highlands of Scotland, Loch Lomond is second only to Loch Ness in volume of water. For years there have been reports by residents living near the loch of a strange creature seen in the water. Some eyewitnesses describe the creature as being like the Loch Ness monster, a plesiosaur like creature, others say it looks like a large crocodile.

Then several eyewitnesses in 1997 said they had seen a 12 foot long beast eating the ducks in Loch Lomond. This article appeared in the press:

Croc Lomond Monster ~ Mystery Of 'Beast' Caught On Film.

By Ray Notarangelo.

A mystery monster has been seen gobbling ducks in Loch Lomond. the 12ft long beast, now captured on video, has left scientists baffled.

One even said it looked like a giant crocodile? SSPCA chiefs yesterday confirmed they had received several reports about the new Nessie.

A five-minute film of the beast has been shot by pals making a pop video on the banks of Loch Lomond, near Rowardennan. Edinburgh freelance journalist Nick Taylor, who owns the film, said: "When the group were packing up they discovered this creature swimming in the water. The thing was gliding through the water slowly, but it often picked up speed and swam against the tide. They got quite a shock, especially when it started to swim towards them at one point. They thought it looked like some giant crocodile or alligator. They had never seen anything like it before.

SSPCE spokeswoman Doreen Graham said: "People came on the phone saying to us: 'I hope you don't think I'm mad, but I've seen a strange creature in Loch Lomond.' ~ One man told us they were looking at a flock of ducks on the loch when suddenly one was pulled under the surface. If anyone can solve the mystery we'd love to hear from them."

Source: Daily Record: 10th April 1997.

The film ended up on the desk of Dr. Andrew Kitchener, of the Royal Museum of Scotland. After viewing the tape he admitted that the creature it showed did appear to be a crocodile; however he made it clear that a crocodile would be unable to survive in Loch Lomond. Dr. Kitchener was able to rule out a mink or an otter as the creature in the videos identity.

So what was it? Well our old friend the sturgeon is a contender and does look reptilian , or even huge pike perhaps, they are known to eat ducklings. Could it have been an abandoned pet croc which got too big to look after? It would have survived for a short time but the cold would eventually have killed it. The mystery remains . If anyone knows of any more recent sightings please post a comment.
At the time I mentioned reports of "Salamanders" in various places (including Loch Ness) but on looking back over this it seems the size is more consistent with a "Master-Otter" It does not seem that a sturgeon would be likely in this location and the size is too great to be a pike.

 Atlantic Sturgeon washed ashore in New York state in 2013: they dont usually grow anywhere nearly as large as they used to get. Below, an ordinary otter looking very much like a log in the water.

The reports of a longer necked creature also in Loch Lomond could be a swimming deer: One youTube video seems to show a longer necked creature appear in a spray of water and then go under again shortly after that. However certain aspects of the transfer process as mentioned in the comments make this seem to be due to clever editing and digital manipulation

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