Top Ten Nessie Stories for 2009
by Gary Campbell, President, Official Loch Ness Monster Fan Club
The Year 2009 was a relatively quiet one on the Nessie sightings front.
1. There was only one confirmed good sighting of our old friend – on June 6th, just out from the Clansman Hotel.
2. There were, of course, a couple of apparent “sightings,” such as the cast of “‘Allo ‘Allo,” a touring production who were conveniently lucky enough in May to see some unidentified sonar blobs.
“’Allo ’Allo!” actress Vicki Michelle took a pleasure cruise on Loch Ness and had a close encounter with Nessie.
The Jacobite Queen cruise ship, with the “’Allo ’Allo!” cast on break on May 21, 2009, was on its way to Urquhart Castle when the crew picked up a strange signal on their sonar. The unusual readings on the ship’s sonar screen (actual video capture above) occurred between the village of Dores and Urquhart Castle. Ms. Michelle dashed below decks for a look, and was amazed to see five mysterious “arch shapes” on the screen.
3. Back in March, the most ludicrous passing off of another blob, this time just some light on a black background by some tourists even made it on to US TV (ABC News’ “Good Morning America”).
4. In August, Google Earth came to the loch with an apparent worldwide exclusive of what is clearly a boat going up the loch which the boys at Google thought must be Nessie! If you look closely enough at the picture though, they seem to have missed a trick as there are some slightly more unexplainable traces of something in the water just to the side of the boat.
5. In September, we discovered that the Natural History Museum in London had done a deal to permanently exhibit any Nessie carcasses caught at the loch. (This came from a review of their archives and apparently was influenced by some money being offered by our old friends, William Hill the bookies.)
6. Towards the end of the year, we were all saddened to read of the death of Bob Rines. A colourful character, Rines was a dedicated Nessie hunter for many years and there is no doubt that his efforts at the loch spurred many others on in the quest for Nessie and her family.
Robert Rines at Loch Ness, in his last television appearance before his death, during “MonsterQuest.”
To round out the top ten, Loren Coleman adds four more.
7. In April, the History television show “MonsterQuest” revealed that they had made a previous, surprising discovery at Loch Ness. When the expedition’s US scientists lowered their high tech, cameras 800ft into Loch Ness, they were prepared for anything – except tens of thousands of golf balls.
8. “MonsterQuest” kicked off their Season III on February 4, 2009, with their program “Death at Loch Ness,” looking at the theory that the Loch Ness Monsters might be extinct. Adrian Shine, Gordon Holmes, and Robert Rines were involved with the episode.
Adrian Shine plays with a new toy at Loch Ness.
9. The unexplainable Monckton Loch Ness photograph opened the year. Ian Monckton, from Solihull, and his fiance Tracey Gordon, on a romantic weekend at Loch Ness, were driving to Invermoriston at about 11pm, when they pulled into a lay-by (a pull off along the road). Before the couple stopped their auto, they heard a noise in the water. Using their vehicle’s headlights and the flash from his camera to check their footing on the rocky shores of the loch, data analyst Ian unwittingly recorded this picture which he thought could be the elusive monster.
10. Beside Robert Rines, another death linked to Loch Ness happened earlier in the year. James E. Colvin (pictured below, in the US Navy, 1943), 96, who was the director of two expeditions in search of the Loch Ness Monster for World Book Encyclopedia, died of natural causes, on January 4, 2009, in Greenville, South Carolina.
The Loch Ness launch in July 1969 of the World Book Encyclopedia Expedition’s Viperfish involved minisub builder Dan Scott Taylor, Dr. Roy Mackal of the University of Chicago, and Harry Reucking, Vice President of the World Book Encyclopedia. James Colvin ran the operation from Chicago.
Best to all for 2010.