12 April 2013
The story of the Loch Ness Monster has been around for many, many years. But, we all want to know whether this Monster is real or just a fake attention getter. From the stories to keep the children away from the Loch, to the stories that attract the tourists to the town, the Loch Ness Monster is one very famous character. Many stories, some that are true, and some that are not so true, hoaxes, and accidents later, you have the Loch Ness Monster.
When Romans first discovered Scotland in 1st century A.D., they ran into fierce, tattoo-covered tribes called the Picts, or Painted People. The Picts were clearly fascinated by animals, by the many stone statues that they had. All the animals depicted on the Picts’ stones were easily recognizable, all but one.
The mystery animal was a strange beast with an elongated beak or muzzle, a head locket or what we would call a spout, and flippers instead of feet. Some scholars described the “animal” as a swimming elephant. The Pictish beast is the earliest known evidence for an idea that has held sway in the Scottish Highlands for at least 1,000 years. The idea that says there is a mysterious aquatic animal living in Loch Ness.
In Scottish folklore, large animals have been associated wit many bodies of water, from small streams to the largest of lakes, often labeled Loch-na-Beistie on old maps. These water horses, also called water kelpies, are said to have magical powers, and bad intentions.
According to one version of the story, the Loch Ness Monster, or the water-horse as it was known back then, lured small children into the water by offering the children rides on its back. Once the children were aboard the beast, the children’s hands became stuck to the beast’s back. The children were then dragged to a watery death. The next day, their livers mysteriously washed ashore.
Another story involves the earliest written reference linking such creatures to Loch Ness; the biography of Saint Columba, who is the man credited with introducing Christianity to Scotland. In A.D. 565, according to this account, Columba was on his way to visit a Pictish king when he stopped along the shore of Loch Ness. Seeing a large beast about to attack a man who was swimming in the lake, Columba raised his hand, invoking the name of God and commanding the monster to “go back with all speed.” The beast complied, and the swimmer was saved. Unfortunately, the event was just based on what he says. Therefore, not making it hard evidence.
The latest legend of Loch Ness Monster dates from 1933, when a new road was completed along the shore, which offered the first clear views of the loch from the northern side. One April afternoon, a local couple was driving home along this road when they spotted “an enormous animal rolling and plunging on the surface.” A correspondent for the Inverness Courier, whose editor used the word “monster” to describe the animal, wrote up their account. The Loch Ness Monster has been a media phenomenon ever since. During spring the same year, public interest gradually build, then picked up quickly after a man and woman reported seeing one of the creatures on land, lumbering across the shore road. By October, several London newspapers had sent correspondents to Scotland, and radio programs were being interrupted to bring listeners the latest news from the loch. A British circus offered a reward of $20,000 for the capture of the beast. Hundreds of boy scouts and outdoorsmen arrived, some venturing out in small boats, others setting up deck chairs and waiting expectantly for the monster to just appear.
Others went to extreme measures, London Daily Mail hired an actor, film director, and a big-game hunter named Marmaduke Wetherell to track down the beast in December, causing a big increase in excitement over the monster. After just three days, Wetherell reported finding the