This week I have chosen a story about The Loch Ness Monster.
The Loch Ness monster, also called “Nessie”, is a creature that is supposed to live in Loch Ness, the largest lake in northern Scotland. Since Roman times the legend of a mysterious sea creature has been alive through numerous sightings of the animal.
When the Romans came to Scotland in the first century the Picts were the main inhabitants. They were fascinated by animals and spoke of a strange beast swimming in one of the lakes in the Scottish highlands. The first references go back to the sixth century when a man was supposedly saved from the swimming beast of Loch Ness.
Over the centuries the legend of the Loch Ness monster has never gone away. In the 1930s a new road was built along the shore of Loch Ness. In 1933 , a couple who was driving along this road reported an enormous animal splashing on the surface of the lake. In the following months newspapers sent reporters and photographers to the lake to make observations. Even footprints of an enormous animal were found.
In the following decades most scientists declared the sightings a fake and claimed that it was impossible for a dinosaur-like creature to have survived for millions of years. However, most of the people who went to Loch Ness were serious and honest and, for sure, were not interested in producing a scam.
Many books were written about the monster of Loch Ness. Several photographs made it to the front pages of the newspapers. The most famous photograph came from a British surgeon in 1934 . Robert Wilson, a London doctor, took a photo of a creature with a long neck that stood out of the water. In 1975 the Sunday Telegraph proved that this photo was fake.
As time went on investigation became more serious. Scientists from all over the world started coming to Loch Ness to investigate the phenomenon. The BBC and four universities led expeditions to the Scottish lake to find out more about the monster. They were equipped with scientific instruments and machines that could be used in the deep water of the lake. Although the expeditions came up with no real results they did find out that something was moving in the lake , which they could not explain.
In 1975 an American-based expedition used underwater photography and special sonar to examine the Loch Ness. The underwater camera was able to take images of a moving object that had flippers. Based on these photos some scientists concluded that the 20-foot long creature was possibly an ancient reptile that became extinct with the dinosaurs some 65 million years ago.
In the last three decades more sonar observations were made with even more advanced equipment. And still, they produced objects that could not be identified. Whether fact or fiction, Loch Ness has become a tourist attraction in northern Scotland, and even if there is no monster, the legend lives on.