Loch Ness may not have exotic dancers (although the idea has now been planted) nor the marketing effort behind its Storm Loch Ness event as compared to the big one at Area 51, but it does have one thing – plenty of sightings of something not easily explained away that could make 2019 a record-breaking year for Loch Ness monster encounters. Would an Inverness Strippermobile and a Watching For Nessie’s Head and Tailgate Party bring the creature up from the depths – not to mention plenty of other creatures with currency to rain on the dancers? Or is the real cause for the increase in sightings in 2019 the unusually hot weather in the area making the loch too warm for this cold-blooded (unless it’s a mammal?) creature?
"It was a dead calm, warm night and this thing broke the surface a few hundred yards away. I couldn't make out a head or anything - but there was something in the middle that was different to the rest of it. I watched it for about 90 seconds. It was moving and disappeared. I don't believe Nessie is a dinosaur or anything like that - but there is something in there for sure."
New eyewitness Richard Cobb from Bradford, England, told the Daily Record he was staying at the Craigdarroch Inn in the Highland village of Foyers (“spectacular views over Loch Ness, the perfect place to sit, relax and do a spot of Nessie hunting”) on July 25th when he saw something is the water at about 9:30 pm that he couldn’t explain. (Picture here.)
"I've been coming to Loch Ness since 1992 and I know what a boat wake looks like. But there were no boats around when this thing surfaced. I never believed in Nessie - but now I'm not so sure. What I saw was just weird.”
Well, that account plus a photo (which definitely looks like a boatless boat wake) was good enough to add Cobb’s sighting to the list maintained by the Official Loch Ness Monster Sightings Register, which puts it at 2019 sighting #12 after adding a photo taken by Tracy Power (see picture here) on July 13 of a dot on the surface that, as a geomorphologist, she’s sure was not a buoy. That followed two sightings by armchair CCTV watcher Eoin O'Faodhagain and the rare sonar sighting by boat captain Mike Bell
Speaking of CCTV, that camera is managed by Mikko Takala, head of the Loch Ness Monster Fan Club and a longtime researcher and scientist, who thinks Nessie is heating up the local tourism trade and sightings business because it’s hot.
"There has been a slight increase in surface temperatures in Loch Ness due to climate change. It is possible that a cold blooded creature like Nessie may be encouraged to return and or stay longer in the warming waters of Loch Ness.”
Back just a few years ago when there were no sightings, Takala blamed Nessie's disappearance on cold weather, excess road salt in the loch and noise from wind farms. He obviously prefers more sightings, but not at the expense of the climate.
Is weather or climate change the reason for this one-more-and-it’s-a-record year for Loch Ness monster sightings? Is it more tourists with more cellphones and more brief pictures of wakes, logs, fish and other things that can be mistaken for a monster?
Would a Strippermobile bring more sightings or distract the boat captains from watching their sonar for monsters, underwater logs, sand bars and piers?