Fish farmer snaps photo of Nessie

NessieLoch Ness has been getting into the news a lot lately. There’s been a rise in sightings this year, Nessie was photographed in July, and a UFO was spotted over Loch Ness last month.

Now a new photo of Nessie has emerged. You’ll have to go to the link to see it because we don’t get a photo budget here at Gadling and Nessie photos don’t come cheap. Instead you get to marvel at this fine Lego Nessie photographed by David R. Tribble. At least it’s exactly what it looks like.

The “real” monster was snapped by commercial fish farmer Jon Rowe when he got out his camera to take a picture of a rainbow over Loch Ness. Rowe says he, “noticed this really large dark shape in the loch with two humps that were barely out of the water. . .Almost as soon as I took the shot the shape disappeared under the water and out of sight.”

Personally I’m skeptical, and so are the experts. The leading cryptozoology website Cryptomundo opines that the image shows a pair of water birds diving for prey. Adrian Shine of the Loch Ness Project says the same thing.

Rowe insists that they weren’t birds, however, so the mystery continues.

At least all this activity is putting to rest the idea that Nessie is extinct.

Unidentified Falling Object seen over Loch Ness

bolide, Loch NessScottish police are scratching their heads over a mysterious occurrence at Loch Ness this weekend, The Scotsman newspaper reports.

On Saturday night several eyewitnesses saw an object falling into or near the loch. Some describe it as a white light, others as a blue light. People said it was a balloon, or an ultralight, or a parachute. Some people said it didn’t fall at all, merely passed over the tree line.

In other words, nobody has the faintest idea what they saw.

So many people called emergency services, however, that it’s certain something strange was going on in the skies, and the police, the coastguard, a lifeboat crew, and the Royal Air Force went in search of it. Several hours of looking in the water and along the shore turned up nothing.

So what was it? Possibly a meteor. Meteors often cause UFO flaps. Large ones called “fireballs” or “bolides” can light up the sky and even change color as their various minerals get ionized from the heat of entering our atmosphere. Since they streak across the night sky so quickly, it’s hard to judge distance or location. This photo, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, shows a bolide. It’s not a photo of whatever was over Loch Ness.

Sadly, there were no reported sightings of Nessie this weekend. Some people say the poor Loch Ness Monster may be extinct.

Kayakers photograph famous English sea monster

Two kayakers were able to take this photograph of the sea monster known as BownessieTwo British kayakers recently had the surprise of their life while paddling on Lake Windermere near the village of Bowness. The duo were briefly shadowed by a legendary sea monster, and even managed photograph it with their mobile phone, before it disappeared back under the water. The photo is described as the best image ever captured of the beast, but as is typical with these kinds of sightings, it isn’t all that conclusive either.

Tom Pickles and Sarah Harrington were taking part in a team building exercise with their company when the encounter occured. That had paddled about 300 yards out on to the lake, when suddenly something broke the surface next to them. The two co-workers spootted several humps cruising across the surface of the water, covered with skin that appeared to be much like that of a seal. The creature was long, about the length of three cars, and a massive shadow was spotted just beneath the surface of the water. The sighting lasted just 20 seconds, but that was long enough for the photo to be snapped.

Known as “Bownessie,” this lake monster isn’t quite as famous as its Scottish cousin the Loch Ness Monster. None the less, there have been sightings of the beast dating back to the 1950’s, although this is by far the best photo to date. Still, as you can tell from the image above, it is hardly a great photo, and it is difficult to tell exactly what we’re looking at. Expert analysis of the image says that it appears to be a genuine photo, although the file size on the camera phone is too small to tell if it has been digitally manipulated.

So? What do you think is in the image? A sea monster? A log? Something else?

[Photo credit: Tom Pickles]

Durham: castles, cathedrals, and monsters in northern England


Ever hear of Durham? Unless you’re British or a church historian, you probably haven’t. That’s because a disproportionate number of visitors to England never get beyond London and its neighbors Oxford, Cambridge, Bath, and Stratford-upon-Avon. This concentration on southern England means that many visitors miss out on seeing the beauties of the country’s north.

Durham is one of the north’s most important towns. Never an industrial powerhouse like Newcastle or Manchester, its influence was as a cathedral town. Durham is built on a hill dominated by a cathedral and castle, both built by the Normans. Together they’re a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The cathedral dates to the 11th century and was built on the foundations of an earlier church. It’s one of the most important pilgrimage sites in England because it houses the remains of two great church leaders. Saint Cuthbert was a seventh century missionary who performed miracles and helped spread the rule of the church over the chaos of Anglo-Saxon England. The Venerable Bede lived a generation later and was also an important religious figure as well as writing one of the earliest histories of England.

The castle has been used for various purposes over the centuries and is now part of the local university. The guided tour will take you past a collection of armor, a giant dining hall, and into a Norman chapel. This chapel is in almost perfect condition and while it’s Norman, it was decorated by Anglo-Saxon artisans. Each pillar carved with animals and warriors. The reason it’s so well preserved is that the learned scholars at the university didn’t recognize its importance and used it for years as a storage room!

The River Wear wraps around three sides of Durham and there’s an attractive river path that offers fine views of the city’s historic center rising above the trees. Don’t swim in the river, though, because you might comes across the Lambton Worm, a sort of Loch Ness Monster. While Nessie may have become extinct, keep a sharp eye out for this local beastie.

According to legend, one Sunday a long, long time ago a local boy named John Lambton went fishing instead of going to church. His only catch was a strange, ugly little thing that looked like an eel. Angry, John cursed it and threw it down a well. When John grew up he left Durham to become a soldier. The worm grew up too and started eating local children and terrorizing the city. When John came back from his military service he heard what was happening and went off to see a witch for advice on how to slay the monster. The witch gave him magical armor that would protect him from the worm’s attacks, but also warned him that after slaying the worm he must slay the first living thing he saw.

%Gallery-100819%John found the worm and after an epic battle managed to kill it. As soon as he was done his father ran up to congratulate him. John Lambton couldn’t kill his own father and ignored the witch’s warning. Since he didn’t fulfill the prophecy, the Lambton family was cursed for nine generations.

Of course you can’t believe everything these silly old folktales say. While most of the story is obviously true, it is very hard to kill the average English river monster, and so the Lambton Worm may still exist.

Durham acts as a gateway to the North of England. Newcastle is only a 15 minute train ride away, and Hadrian’s Wall can be visited on a day trip. Being close to the Scottish border there are plenty of castles and attractive countryside. So if you’re done with London, head north and check out Durham. There are high-speed trains from London’s Kings Cross station that only take three hours but get you a world away from the crowding and pollution of the big city.

“Lough Ness Monster” scares locals

The Loch Ness monster may have gone extinct, but there are still mysteries in the lakes of the British Isles. Residents near Stonebow Washlands in Loughborough, Leicestershire, have been warned to keep their children away from the water after a mysterious beastie devoured some ducks.

There’s no clear description of the “monster”, but a witness tells a grim tale of seeing ducks get sucked into the water, never to be seen again.

Nobody is sure what it is, but the chairman of the Charnwood Wildlife Protection Group has confirmed that the lake’s duck population has decreased noticeably since the sightings. While most observers believe it to be some sort of locally uncommon fish like a catfish or pike, there’s also the hint of a good old-fashioned mystery.

Considering how much money the residents around Loch Ness have made off of unconfirmed sightings of their own lake monster, even creating a Nessie Museum and the statue pictured here, the folks at Loughborough might just be onto something good.

Pity about the ducks, though.