Friday, January 25, 2013

It's all in the papers...

The newspapers, that is. Although I mentioned in my last post that the Loch Ness Monster has been referenced as far back as the seventh century, the monster wasn't referred to as the "Loch Ness Monster" in the press until 1934, when the famous "Surgeon's Photograph" was taken by a London gynecologist. Although this was revealed to be a hoax in 1975 (referenced in this book review), proponents at the Loch Ness Phenomena Investigation Bureau and the Natural History Museum did not give it much importance. This NYT article from 1994 is an explanation of the hoax, written just after the last of the principal hoaxers had died. However, at the end of this article, David Martin (with the Loch Ness and Morar Project) comments that "It just means this photo is a hoax, along with the line that the monster is a plesiosaur...There are thousands of eyewitness accounts, and they cannot be taken away."

So although certain aspects of the legend are disproven, believers take them to heart as dismissal of a certain aspect, not the cryptid in its entirety. 

I also found a really interesting-sounding article from a journal I can't actually read (abstract here) because it's in Italian (I will be skeptically running it through google translate, though. The full text  is here) that posits that the legends of the Loch Ness Monster, especially the 7th-century version, are based on the loch itself shaking, and that the Great Glen Fault, over which the loch is positioned, is the source of that shaking. The study also draws connections between major seismic activity and other monster legends, especially in Greece. I thought this was really intriguing, because I had no idea Loch Ness sat on a fault line. This is one debunking theory I didn't expect. 

I also went to Western's library and checked out basically all the available loch ness monster books, and one film, Incident at Loch Ness, a 2004 mockumentary. 

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