|Loch Ness Monster, Nessie & Me by Tony Harmsworth is the first comprehensive Loch Ness
book for more than a decade. It exposes fakes, hoaxes and pseudoscience and
shows how the story grew from an interesting local story into the most famous
mystery of the twentieth century. Whether or not you believe in the mystery, how
that mystery grew from humble beginnings to world fame is a fascinating story in
its own right and this book explains all.
However, it contains more than just the monster. It is a GEOGRAPHY of Loch Ness; the BIOGRAPHY of the world's favourite monster and the AUTOBIOGRAPHY of the best known Loch Ness commentator.
A SUPERB READ FROM BEGINNING TO END! Click this link to hear the author reading the book.
This book takes the story of the monster from its early mythological beginnings through to the present day.
Initially it explains how the Highlands were formed and what has changed the scenery and the people from cataclysmic geological beginnings in the southern hemisphere through the changing cultures of Pict, Scot, Viking and modern Highlander.
You are taken on a journey around Loch Ness, learning about its geography, the heritage and attractions which surround it and the villages and glens which are all part of the wider Loch Ness region.
Then the story of Nessie begins. From humble origins of descriptions of big fish in the loch it suddenly burst upon the world as the Loch Ness Monster in 1933.
This heralded a period of farce and hoax when supposed researchers tried to scam the press and even the press themselves tried to outdo their competitors. Inevitably there were fakes and hoaxes almost too numerous to catalogue.
In the nineteen sixties, inspired by the film taken by the famous and well-loved researcher, Tim Dinsdale, an influential group of interested parties, established a serious organised attempt to get to the bottom of the mystery. Surface observation, hydrophones, sex lures and sonar were among the methods applied. Nothing matched the characteristics of the monster shown in the Dinsdale film. Why? Joined by Professor Mackal, the Investigation Bureau turned its attention towards increasingly sophisticated technology.
Unfortunately this also ushered in pseudoscience and Mackal's truly scientific approach was shelved for a decade as expeditions mounted by credible, and often famous scientists led to the poor application of resources and resulted in careless experiments being carried out in the loch's murky water. Exaggerated claims for their success, combined with the fame and kudos of the researchers, meant that those who challenged their findings put together such weak and, more importantly, uninformed arguments that faked photographs, pictures of débris and amateurish sonar expeditions managed, until now, to avoid the detailed criticism which they certainly deserved. They continue to confuse the story to this day.
British research took an alternative route, working in other lochs with monster traditions in order to build up the support and help of universities who were enabled to conduct work on these deep freshwater environments.
They also began a project to analyse all of the previous evidence which had been collected, but with a sceptical eye. They wanted to eliminate anything which could create false trails. This often made their leader, Adrian Shine, unpopular with the growing band of cryptozoologists who had an interest in the loch. Instead of rejoicing when the Loch Ness Project uncovered another fake or hoax, many reacted as if this were a personal attack on Nessie!
Eventually, ready to tackle Nessie head on, the Loch Ness Project introduced scientific methodology to the their work and came back to Loch Ness where the author part financed their twenty-four hour patrols which scanned the deep water with sonar. An in-depth study of the biology of the loch was also begun in earnest.
This culminated in Operation Deepscan which seemed to reveal, despite all the hoaxes and fakes, that something seemed to be lurking in the deep water. The story was reaching its pinnacle.
Understanding the food-chain in the loch became critical to analysing whether there was sufficient food for a monster. The results narrowed down the number of candidates.
Gradually their study discovered problems with all classes of Nessie candidates - reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates, mammals and even fish, but one of these was beginning to stand out from the crowd as being more likely than any other.
This book gives you all of the arguments above, explains how mistakes were made and false trails followed and leads you inexorably to a logical and probable solution. Some will find that the solution satisfies their inner desire for a monster in the loch, but not all, for that is the nature of the subject.
In the meantime the tourist industry will continue to work around the truth, exploit weaknesses in arguments and explore methods of continuing to promote Nessie as some sort of prehistoric aquatic reptile. It does no harm, provides a great deal of fun and, today, Nessie, through the Loch Ness Centre, is actually funding an exploration of its own environment. Who would have believed that twenty years ago?
The author has taken on huge questions in this book. Can Nessie be killed by science? Can the myth be exploded? He has put his best efforts into answering these questions and others truthfully and fairly. If you really want to understand the subject, this is essential reading.
The book's conclusion, however, shows that Nessie can remain as real as ever and that there is no chance of proving she is anything other than the creature each of us wishes her to be. After all, logic and facts must not be allowed to spoil a good and fascinating story which has run for nearly eighty years!