New Nessie Photo: Proof of Loch Ness Monster?

The photo of the "monster" was taken from the woody shoreline of Loch Ness lake in the Highlands of Scotland, shown here with Urquhart Castle in the background.
Benjamin Radford


- A Scottish skipper who spent decades searching for the Loch Ness Monster claims to have finally spotted his elusive quarry.

- The Daily Mail published the skipper's photograph of a single hump in the water.

George Edwards, a Scottish skipper who spent decades searching for the beast said to inhabit Loch Ness, claims to have finally spotted his elusive quarry and gotten what he calls photographic proof of the monster.

On Nov. 2, 2011, Edwards photographed what appears to be a single hump in the water from the deck of his boat, "Nessie Hunter." Edwards said that "It was slowly moving up the loch towards Urquhart Castle and it was a dark grey color. It was quite a fair way from the boat, probably about half a mile away but it's difficult to tell in water," according to the Daily Mail, which has posted Edwards photo. He watched the object for five to ten minutes before it slowly sank and did not resurface.

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Edwards said he waited to release the photograph until after unnamed experts had examined it. Oddly, he is quoted in the Daily Mail as having had the photograph "independently verified by a team of US military monster experts." In fact, the United States military does not have a team of "monster experts" that it dispatches to investigate huge, unknown creatures around the world. Nor, for that matter, is it clear what "verifying" his photo would mean other than suggesting it was likely a real (i.e., not digitally faked) image of something in the water — though what that "something" might be is, of course, the relevant question. The shape could theoretically be anything from a fish to a floating log to a lake monster.

Edwards' description of his sighting raises more questions than it answers. For example, if he had the object in sight for five to 10 minutes, why is there (apparently) only one photograph of it? That's enough time to capture dozens or hundreds of photographs. And though the unknown object seems large, there's no way to determine its size since we don't know the exact distance to the object (though he's quoted as saying it was a half-mile away), and there's nothing of scale nearby to help judge. Depending on how close it is to the camera, it could be 5 feet long or 50 feet long.

There are many unknowns, but if Edwards' account is accurate, it may provide an important clue as to the "monster's" identity. Other mysterious objects floating in lakes have been known to behave exactly as Edwards described — for example, the most famous sighting of "Champ," the monster said to live in Vermont's Lake Champlain. A woman named Sandra Mansi sighted and photographed "Champ," resulting in what was called the "best photo" of the monster, and indeed of any lake monster anywhere. (Our 10 Favorite Monsters)

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