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Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Comparisons with Original Munro Sketch of Loch Ness Monster

Jay Cooney called my attention to a new and prior version of the sketch accompanying the Margaret Munro sighting at the shore of Loch Ness and posted by Scott Mardis on Facebook. I did a photoshop job on it and eliminated the grey halftones on it, and this was my resulting cleaned-up image. Jay then added the photos of the 1972 Rines underwater flipper photos at Loch Ness to point out that the sketch had the same sort of flippers, as shown below:

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 original publication was in the Inverness Courier of June 5th 1934 :


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.
The story appeared in the newspaper The Scotsman  the next day.  Nicholas Witchell’s The Loch Ness Story adds further details in that he carries a sketch of what Margaret Munro allegedly saw (reprinted second below) as well as a photograph pointing to the probable location of the creature. (below)

The Scotsman report from the 5th June carried a  another drawing of the creature. The article states:

"Describing the animal to our correspondent, who drew a sketch of it from her description ...."

 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

Munro says directly that the head and neck were similar to the famous "Surgeon's photograph" and both sketches do show that.

"Surgeon's Photo", image reversed.
Steuart Campbell is his book The Loch Ness Monster - The Evidence calls this an Otter sighting and so does Maurice Burton: Adrian Shine favours the seal interpretation. Ronald Binns and Tony Harmsworth make no mention of the case. Witchell attempts to pin down the actual location while Costello in In Search of Lake Monsters takes notes of the arching of the back into humps. The creature was partially sitting in the shallow waters of the bay and did not fully venture onto land during the sighting. At a guess, the water depth was about one or two feet deep. This accounts for the lack of information on any rear limbs normally associated with the creature as they were still under the water. This all suggests that the creature was partly facing the woods with its back to the loch at some angle. The creature was seen to swinging its head and neck from side to side presumably scanning out the territory. She said it was“the biggest animal she had ever seen in her life” and Margaret Munro was presumably talking about something bigger than an elephant (Meaning bigger than something in the range of ten feet high and twenty five feet long). The lighter underpart of the creature has been reported in other sightings and the dark grey skin is commonly stated. Maurice Burton  says took out his own 8x binoculars to examine a tree in his back garden at a range of 220 yards and said he could not make out the bark detail. He thus reasons that Margaret Munro could not claim to talk about the skin being like that of an elephant: however, the statement is obviously meant as a comparison of the colour and not the texture.

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.)


  1. So basically someone plagiarised most of my work and you re-presented it here?

    Easy work if you can get it.

    1. No. As the entry clearly states this was based largely upon discussions of the picture from The Scotsman on Facebook and private conversations which came after that, from Scott Mardis, Jay Cooney and other parties, AFTER WHICH I determined that your site had been a source and 2) After which I added the link and gave you fair credit.

      Please note 2). I gave you the fair credit and it IS fair use. On top of which, the subject is not original to you, you are taking material from The Scotsman and other previously published sources and reporting upon it. I will admit that you did do some site checking and had that on your blog entry. NONE of that is included here, I cut it out of the copy I received. So basically you are complaining of a few column inches of your review of earlier sources not actually owned by you and presumably in the public domain. For which you still got the credit and still got the link.

      If you want me to rewrite the material I can easily do so, but it would still be the same information from the same originating sources, which you do not own.

  2. Thesubject matter was originally ONLY the "Original" drawing that had been posted on Facebook: I assume that it must have come from your site although Scott never told me that. Its attribution is from The Scotsman newspaper. From what I gather also, the neck would not have been as vertical as shown in the sketch either but inclined forward at an angle, to give more of the appearance of an obvious movement from side to side. However in all matters Cryptozoological, all of the researchers are continually quoting and re-quoting the same source material. It is the nature of the field.


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