How hard is it to find the Loch Ness monster? Well, first you need to spend some money and get to Scotland … right? Not any more. A woman in Ohio got a photo of Nessie while sitting on her couch at home for free … a photo that is good enough to be added to this year’s list of Nessie sightings, pushing the 2018 total to nine and increasingly closer to setting an annual record. If it’s that cheap and easy, why are we all spotting the Loch Ness monster?
“As a result of a recent loss of employment, I’ve had a lot of time open up. I had been searching for Nessie on and off for the past few weeks, spending an hour or so a week on Google Earth as well as other places I like to visit in the app. I had seen some of the latest Nessie sightings and thought that I can definitely find a better image of her than that which I used for motivation to challenge myself to find her.”
Lisa Stout from Bellevue. Ohio, may have found a great way to supplement her unemployment checks if her photo of Nessie wins the £1500 ($1971 US) prize offered by the Inverness Courier newspaper for the best Loch Ness monster photo or video of 2018. According to The Scottish Sun, Stout noticed something unusual in pictures taken near the Loch Ness Highland Resort in Fort Augustus at the southern end of the loch. The photo (see it here) taken in April 2015 was clear enough for Stout to see (or imagine to see) details that convinced her it was the monster.
“[The object is] at least three to five feet tall which I believe to be Nessie’s neck and it also appears rather flat giving the neck a width of at least one foot. It looks like the inner part of the neck and at the top there is a glare on the right side of what appears to be her head but on the left side there may be evidence of an eye and partial lining of the mouth. There appears to be a large crease in her neck and skin appears rough/scaly whereas the rest of her body appears smoother.”
She sees a neck, an eye, skin … and even the lining of its mouth. She even believes that part of the monster’s body is showing next to the neck.
“I was unsure at first if what I was seeing was a right side ‘fin’ in the image but now I more so believe that it may be more of the ‘main body’ that you can see along the surface of the water.”
What is Stout seeing in the Google Earth photo?
“This is a really unusual phenomenon and our panel can’t explain what Lisa has spotted therefore we are listing it as a sighting. However, it may be that by doing this, someone else across the world can come up with an explanation.”
That comment comes from none other than Gary Campbell, the recorder and keeper of the Official Loch Ness Monster Sightings Register, who actually has a panel that helps him decide what these photos are not. This one is not a log or a branch, so it’s either Nessie or a hoax.
“Anything that is later proved to a hoax or can be subsequently explained is removed from the register.”
Stout just needs it to stay on the register for the rest of the year to be eligible for the £1500 ($1971 US) prize.
Is it getting too easy to obtain alleged Nessie photos that are vague enough to avoid being identified? Earlier this year, a man sitting at home in Ireland watching the live feed from the official Loch Ness CCTV livecam recorded a ten-minute Nessie-ish anomaly that Campbell accepted and called a “feature film.” Now a woman in Ohio finds a three-year-old Google photo of something slightily more monster-like than branch-ish, seal-ish or bird-ish.
Shouldn’t you at least have to be standing on the shore?