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Lake Monsters and Mermaids

Dirk Vander Ploeg's picture

From Scotsman.Com

WATER-DWELLING beasties abound in Scotland. Monsters and mermaids frolic and swim in our lochs and seas from the Highlands to Lowlands. Some are shy, while others seem to bask in the limelight.

The one thing that connects them is that they've all been spotted. They've all been recorded and noted. And, furthermore, there are people out there who believe they exist. 

No review of Scottish beasties could start anywhere else but with the Loch Ness Monster, or "Nessie" to her friends (and there are many of them). She has appeared in legend since the sixth century, but the building of a new road around the loch - just southwest of Inverness - in the 1930's brought her international fame. Sightings of this long, humped lady have been frequent ever since she was famously sighted in 1934 by a London surgeon who had the foresight to snap off a couple of photos – and the sense to sell them to a daily paper. 

Nessie's less well-known cousin is "Morag", who is said to inhabit Loch Morar, northwest of Fort William along the west coast near Mallaig. There have been fewer sightings around Loch Morar, being altogether more remote than Loch Ness. Yet when she has been seen, descriptions are very similar to Nessie. 

Take the most famous sighting of Morag. It was 1969 when two local people - Duncan McDonell and William Simpson - were fishing in the loch. Suddenly they saw a long creature approaching their boat at great speed. It rammed them, and fearing they were to be capsized, the terrified fisher-folk started shooting. The beast disappeared into the depths of the loch but left them with the impression that it was between 20 and 30 feet long and had three humps. Sound familiar? Well it does to Neil Bass a biologist and member of the Loch Morar Investigation Team who spotted a "hump-shaped black object" and is convinced it's another Nessie.

Article continues here: http://www.scotsman.com

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