If you thought the long-awaited announcement by the team searching Loch Ness for monster DNA – the study that concluded it’s probably an eel – then you underestimate the lure of 15 minutes of fame, the power of the businesses dependent on Nessie hunters and the thrill of making 2019 a record-breaking year for sightings. Those all came into play with two more recent sightings – complete with photos and videos – which pushed the 2019 total to a record-setting 16. And that doesn’t include the video of what appears to be a giant eel leaving the loch for the River Ness – the owner of the video has apologized for it. Did you have ‘16’ in the Nessie pool? Don’t try to collect your winnings yet … we’ve got three months to go!
“15 August 2019 - Alena Horka, visiting from the Czech Republic took a video of something unexplained in the loch at 15.45 in the afternoon The object is visible in the video for only 3 seconds. This is a still from the video.”
The Official Loch Ness Monster Sightings Register is obviously thrilled that Nessie seekers have not stopped seeking Nessie. Alena Horka took her video (you can see it here) from the prime spotting spot at Urquhart Castle. The Daily Record reports she claimed the ‘creature’ was 30 meters (98 feet) long and she thinks she knows what it is.
"It is unbelievable. I found out that Nessie is a mystical creature - from a higher dimension. So everyone can't see it, only sensitive individuals."
Or individuals plopped in front of their televisions 24/7 watching the round-the-clock Nessie cam near Urquhart Castle. That would describe Eoin O'Faodhagain, whose fourth sighting (once-removed) of the year was also the one that pushed the 2019 total to 16. He made the sighting on September 2nd at 11:38 am, commenting that the loch was calm and the creature looked to be about 20-25 feet (6-7.6 meters) in length. To make the sighting extra-special, it appears to him to rise three feet out of the water. (Watch the video here.)
"It's hard to believe I am the 16th sighting, and my fourth for the year. I suppose when you sit down and think about it, it's hard to grasp the achievement, while other people have never got their first sighting.”
“Sit down” in front of the TV – that makes it a lot easier to grasp. While Eoin doesn’t apologize for his method of Nessie spotting, the Ness Fishery Board has.
“If you look at the original post, it was a bit tongue in cheek. When you work on Loch Ness you're always thinking of the monster.
It’s very surprising, we just made a reference to the Loch Ness monster and its amazing how seriously people take [the video]. People have dissected it! In no way were we trying to do a hoax. I think people got the wrong end of the stick."
If it was tongue-in-cheek, perhaps Chris Conroy the director of the Ness Fisheries Board, should have said that people got the wrong end of the “shtick.” He’s referring to a video taken by one of the board’s fish cams located on the River Ness to track spawning salmon. Admitting it was a slow day, the Board tweeted that an eel-like thing swimming past some startled fish might be Nessie. Conroy told ABC News that it's really too long to be an eel and was most likely a tree branch.
“There is probably not a giant scaly reptile swimming around Loch Ness. Plenty of uncertainty remains.”
Perhaps feeling bad that he found no monster DNA in the loch and speculated most sightings were just eels, scientist Neil Gemmell left an opening that maybe there is a monster but it wasn’t around on the days they collected DNA.
Next time he should check with Eoin O'Faodhagain first.