I mentioned in my reply comments to him that the diamond shape for the flippers were long established at Loch Ness and that Torquil MacLeod's sketch of his land sighting reconstruction also featured the rhomboid flippers some twelve years before the Rines photos were taken.
The information on the sighting is as follows, quoting from an email letter I received from one of the other Friends of Scott Mardis on Facebook while discussing the matter:
The sighting took place on Sunday 3rd June 1934 at 6:30 AM for 25 minutes. It was at Kilchumein Lodge just east of Fort Augustus. The witnesses was Margaret Munro, a maid at the inn. It is notable for being a sighting on shore at Loch Ness. Contemporary to this account is the diary entry of Dom Cyril Dieckhoff, a monk at Fort Augustus Abbey and a keen Loch Ness Monster investigator. His entry is also dated the 5th June and was first printed in Constance Whyte's book More Than A Legend in 1957:
The next story was recorded by Dom Cyril Dieckhoff under date 5th June 1934: Margaret Munro, daughter of Dan the Miller and a native of Fort Augustus, was maid to Mr. and Mrs. Pimley, Mr. Pimley being a master on the staff of the Abbey School and living at Kilchumein Lodge, (close to the Abbey turbine house).
The Lodge overlooks Borlum Bay and one Sunday morning Miss Munro was looking out of a window at about 6.30 a.m. On the shore of the Bay she saw, as she put it, the biggest animal she had ever seen in her life. Using binoculars she observed that the creature was almost, but not entirely, clear of the water. It was 300 yards away and she watched it for twenty-five minutes, from 6.30 to 6.55 a.m.
Asked afterwards why she did not wake Mr. and Mrs. Pimley she said that, being new in their service, she did not care to, as it was so early in the morning. Her description runs: 'Giraffe-like neck and absurdly small head out of all proportion to the great dark-grey body—skin like an elephant—two very short fore-legs or flippers clearly seen. The animal kept turning itself in the sunshine and at times arched its back into one or more humps.' Finally, 'it lowered its head, quietly entered the water and disappeared'.
Soon after 9 a.m. Mr. and Mrs. Pimley went down to the beach to examine the spot. There was a slight impression on the rather heavy shingle and in the centre a small branch had been pressed into the gravel. Before this experience Miss Munro had not believed in the Monster.
And the Witchell sketch is shown below for comparison. It seems both sketches were done by reporters of The Scotsman but approved by Miss Munro. The second one has been "cleaned up" more
|"Surgeon's Photo", image reversed.|
Margaret Munro's mention of the back arching into humps is important since variable-contour humps would be ordinarily dismissed as nothing more than witnesses being deceived by standing waves as they wash along the loch. Transforming humps are one of those features well known to Loch Ness Monster researchers and a point of controversy. James MacDonald, a local worker for the Forestry Commission, observed the monster seventy hours before Margaret Munro on Thursday May 30th. He reported a hump about 400 yards away surfacing near Cherry Island which then moved off. James was a trained observer with the Lovat Scouts during the Boer War and back then as a forestry patrolman. He was also a salmon fisherman of Loch Ness with forty years experience. He said, "Twice it flattened out itself, then, apparently contracting, resolved itself into two humps, each nearly as big as an upturned boat, and several feet of water separating them." There was also a sighting of the creature the day before John MacDonald's experience (Wednesday) by a Miss Fraser and others who saw nearly the same thing as his sighting but without the humps changing shape. Their sighting saw the monster appear in Borlum Bay and then trace a route to a point between Cherry Island and the old Railway Pier. Mr. MacDonald saw the reverse route. It was almost as if the creature had submerged in front of Miss Fraser and stayed there until the next morning to resurface in front of James MacDonald. Mr. MacDonald's sighting was chronologically before Margaret Munro, but the story was not made public until the same day as Munro's story when it was printed in the same edition of the Inverness Courier. So, it can be argued that Munro's story receives corroboration from two additional reports, the MacDonald story and the beach inspection by the Pimleys.
(This article came to me as a submission but most of the information is at the site
And I have checked the information I received against that article, correcting the submitted informaton in places.)