I'm currently reading Malcolm Robinson's book The Monsters of Loch Ness: The History and the Mystery. In the book, Robinson says he doesn't put much credence in sightings of the monsters on land around the loch, since most of them occurred in the "heyday" of LNM sightings, in 1933 and 1934. I disagree with him on this, and I will explain why later in this post. But first, lets take a look at the two most famous land sightings of "Nessie" from that time period.
THE SPICER SIGHTING (1933)
On July 22, 1933, Mr. and Mrs. George Spicer were driving along Loch Ness, between Dores and Foyers, when they spotted what can only be described as a "monster."
The sighting was first reported in the August 4 edition of the Inverness Courier. Later, Rupert Gould, author of The Case for the Sea-Serpent and The Loch Ness Monster and Others (one of the first LMN books, published in 1934), interviewed the Spicers about their sighting. Below is what Gould wrote about the sighting:
"They had passed through Dores, and were on their way towards Foyers when, and the car was climbing a slight rise, and extraordinary-looking creature crossed the road ahead of them, from left to right, in a series of jerks. When on the road, it took up practically the whole width of it.
"He saw on definite head, but this was across the road before he had time to take the whole thing in properly - it was in sight for a few seconds. The creature was of a loathsome-looking grayish color, like a dirty elephant or a rhinoceros. It had a very long and thin neck, which undulated up and down, and was contorted into a series of half hoops. The body was much thicker, and moved across the road, as already stated, in a series of jerks. He saw no indications of any legs, or of a tail - but in front of the body, where this sloped down to the neck, he saw something flopping up and down which, on reflection, he thought might have been the end of a long tail swung round to the far side of the body. The latter stood some 4-5 feet above the road. The whole looked like a huge snail with a long neck."
After it crossed the road, the creature crashed through the underbrush and disappeared into the loch.
ARTHUR GRANT'S SIGHTING (1934)
The other most famous land sighting of a Loch Ness Monster occurred in January 1934 (which Robinson mistakingly says occurred in Aug. 1933 in his book). While Arthur Grant was driving home on his motorcycle one night, he almost collided with a creature that was making its way across the road when it jumped out in front of him.
Some people think Grant's sighting is a hoax. Tony Harmsworth has said:
"The version I had heard, from the late Joyce MacDonald of Drumnadrochit, was that Grant had fallen off his motorbike near what is now the Abriachan nursery and when he arrived home his mother asked how he had damaged his motorbike. Grant came up with the story that he had been knocked off the bike by the monster.
"A fiend of his, possibly many years later, told Joyce's husband, Willie MacDonald that he had overheard the story and told a journalist. The account then appeared in the newspapers.
"Today we have no way of discovering who that friend was. A more recent version which I heard from Dick Raynor was that Arthur Grant and a friend were calling the newspapers themselves from a telephone at a local garage owned by Alec Menzies who had overheard one end of the conversation and also heard Grant turn to his friend after the call and say, 'They've swallowed it.'"
Was the whole thing a hoax. Like Harmsworth said, we have no way of knowing. Now, back to the subject of Nessie on land.
|Grant's sketch of the "monster" - did he really see it?|
Those are not the only sighting of monsters on land around Loch Ness from around that time. Robinson doesn't believe them since there haven't really been any (at least with any frequency) since that time. That would be a good reason, but I do have something to counter that.
At the time (around 1933), a new road was being build along the loch, so there was lots of blasting of the landscape to make it. If there are monsters in the loch, I bet they would be a bit disturbed by the explosions and things falling into the loch because of them, which may have caused them to go onto the land.
So, do I believe at least some of the land Nessie sightings? Yes.