14 Dec Part 2 – Myths, Legends, and Stories
We’re continuing the amazing story of the myths and legends of Loch Ness from our previous blog post. The first part of the story ended after the sighting by Aldie Mackay and the story by Alex Campbell which appeared in The Inverness Courier, that was the trigger for the world wanting to know more about the Loch Ness monster!
Media attention was raised by The Daily Mail newspaper and the arrival of big game hunter Marmaduke Weatherell, who claimed to have found footprints around Loch Ness, but when casts were made, they turned out to be those of an umbrella stand made from a hippopotamus foot.
With the new road proving better access to the Loch, more sightings were being reported and the story of The Loch Ness Monster grew arms and legs, feet, flippers, long a neck, three humps and anything else one could think of!
The greatest hoax of all was “The Surgeon’s Photograph” which remained undiscovered as a hoax for nearly 60 years. This was stunt accredited to eminent surgeon Robert K Wilson, who lent his name to a set-up photo by Christian Spurling and others, who concocted a toy submarine from FW Woolworth with a long neck and head, created out of plastic wood. They immersed it in the Loch and photographed it, then forwarded it to The Daily Mail stating it was taken at Loch Ness by Mr Wilson. Of course, in those days nobody would believe that an eminent surgeon was telling fibs, so it was put out in the press as being genuine and was believed to be so until 1994 when it was revealed by Spurling it was a hoax.
However, that did not take away from the fascination that the world had for Loch Ness and sightings are still being reported all the time and are carefully logged by Mr Gary Campbell of The University of The Highlands and Islands.
After all the excitement of the thirties period, the next tipping point regarding the story took place in 1957 when a lady called Constance Whyte wife of the manager of The Caledonian Canal wrote and published a book called “More than a Legend”.
The book detailed more than 60 sightings, showing that the monster was not mere ‘thirties frivolity’ but a puzzle the world must investigate. So, in the sixties, The Loch Ness Bureau of Investigation was set up by Member of Parliament David James MP.
Stay tuned for our next Highlander Ways blog but until then, the mystery remains still wide open to the possibility of what is in Loch Ness! Perhaps this could be solved on your Highlander Ways cruise and tour?