The Reel Nessie: a seek’em article by: GF Wilmetts.

May 2, 2016 | By | Reply More

With the recent discovery of the 1970 Wally Veevers Loch Ness Monster prop at the bottom of Loch Ness in April, one has to remember two things. The one in the 1970 film of ‘The Private Life Of Sherlock Holmes’ does actually show it. The one in that photograph was added in post-production from a studio tank. When you look at the two photographs, neither model is alike.

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This is the one in Loch Ness before its buoyancy humps were removed.

This is the one in Loch Ness before its buoyancy humps were removed.


This is the studio version not the one in Loch Ness/

This is the studio version not the one in Loch Ness/

You do actually see the first version in the film briefly 79 minutes in and at 89 minutes in but not with any detail. Blink and you could miss it. However, the more detailed head and long neck are the later prop. Considering the cost, Nessie gets very little screen time but that can be accounted for by the prop, with its buoyancy coils removed sank like a brick and the final shot hastily put together. When the Jonah submergible is shown, you do see the actual head and neck used in the studio which wasn’t scaled down and probably explains it looking as, shall we say, not ‘realistic’.

However, it isn’t the first film prop at the bottom of the Loch., The comedy film ‘Oh! What A Whopper’ (1961) had a rubber Nessie which also sank. I’ve been trying to find confirmation of this but I also suspected that the 1970s photo the Rines Loch Ness expedition showing Nessie’s head was a photo of its head, with much of the rubber destroyed. You should be able to spot the resemblance to it from the photo from the film and Rines photo. One can only hope this underwater survey will find this one at some point. Loch Ness has a peat soaked water which would have preserved the rubber long after its sale-by-date.


Spot the similarities.

Spot the similarities.

This doesn’t explain the sonar scans or the other two photos Rines team took but it always took that photo out of the equation.

After ‘The Surgeon’s Photo’ was proven as an undisputable fake, even the ones I felt that weren’t fake were even less reliable. More so as their configuration of long neck and humps tended to match it rather too well. Putting my scientific cap on, if Nessie was a reptile, then it would be surfacing regularly for air. If it was truly amphibious, then it would only need to come to the surface periodically. Either way, you would eventually have multiple sightings of the colony across the Loch than just a single one with an unlimited life span. It might explain the land sightings but you would have thought there would be more of them if it needed to get to the coast periodically. As other studies have shown, there isn’t sufficient food in the Loch to supply one let alone a colony of large beasties, although one could conclude not all of them would be the same size. Even so, you would expect multiple sightings not one at a time. Even if it was a large fish, there would have to be more than one and with all the fishing in the Loch, sooner or later an angler would have had a tickle by now, especially with anglers in other places capturing large fish.

I did wonder at one time that if Nessie or Nessies existed, that it might have been using Loch Ness for only a short time before returning to the sea, even as a potential breeding ground. More so, as there were supposed to be reports of such creatures in other Lochs in Scotland. However, even with a limited human population as Scotland, someone would surely have seen them moving across the Highlands by now and I doubt if there’s much in the way of hidden underwater tunnels to give safe passage. There’s only one passage out, the Caledonian Canal, to the River Ness and the Moray Firth to the sea and, again, you would think someone would have noticed something large going past in the last century. One only has to look at how whales and dolphins have been spotted in the Thames in more recent years to realise that.

Alas, the older I get, the more I’m believing the evidence that Nessie and other such sea creatures across the world doesn’t really exist and we’ve all been caught in the illusion that we would like it to be far too long. Something that big and plentiful as a migratory colony would have come to the attention of oceanographers by now.

(c) GF Willmetts 2016

Category: MEDIA, World getting weirder

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About UncleGeoff

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’
If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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