As dawn broke on June 3, 1973, Frederick “Ted” Holiday took a stroll down to Loch Ness, Scotland. There was nothing strange about that: at the time, Holiday was a well-known and dedicated Nessie-seeker/researcher and spent significant amounts of time at the legendary loch. He was an author, too. His books included The Goblin Universe and The Dragon and the Disc. As he got closer to the huge expanse of water, Holiday noticed a man, who was close to 100 feet away from him. Or, was the “man” something else? A supernatural entity that was posing as a regular person? Maybe so. Holiday took a few more steps. What a disaster that turned out to be. It became clearer and clearer to the horror of Holiday that that the sinister character was not a man, after all. “It” was something definitively paranormal in nature. Whoever or whatever this strange figure was, he was dressed entirely in black, from the top of his head to his foot and wore dark goggles, Holiday said in The Goblin Universe. He was not an MIB of UFO lore, however. No: this Man in Black was very different, as will quickly become apparent.
Whereas most people who go to Loch Ness focus their attentions on the deep waters, in the hope they just might be lucky enough to see something monstrous rear its head and long neck, this character had his back to the loch and was staring directly at Holiday, who later commented that as the figure focused on him, “I felt a strong sensation of malevolence, cold and passionless.” Holiday said: “It was a man dressed entirely in black. Unlike other walkers who sometimes pause along here to admire the Loch Ness panorama, this one had his back to the loch and was staring at me fixedly as soon as I turned the corner. Indeed, to all appearances he was waiting for me. We were about 30 yards apart, and for several seconds I just stared back wondering who the hell this was. Simultaneously, I felt a strong sensation of malevolence, cold and passionless.”
Holiday continued: “I walked forward warily, never taking my eyes off the figure. He.was about six feet tall and appeared to be dressed in black leather or plastic. He wore a helmet and gloves and was masked, even to the nose, mouth and chin. The eyes were covered in goggles, but on closer approach, I could detect no eyes behind the lenses. The figure remained motionless as I approached except possibly for a slight stirring of the feet. It didn’t speak and I could hear no breathing. I drew level and hesitated slightly, uncertain what to do next, then walked past at a range of about a yard. I stopped a few feet beyond him and gazed down at Loch Ness.”
Even when Holiday was mere feet away, the MIB neither moved nor acknowledged his presence. Most terrifying of all, there appeared to be no eyes behind the goggles. Shocked, Holiday continued walking for about ten feet and then stopped. It was Holiday’s quickly thought-out intention to pretend to fall on the grass and reach out to the man for support as he did so – specifically to see if he was physical in form, or some kind of intangible specter. Holiday was prevented from doing so, however, when the sounds of whistling and unintelligible whispering filled the air, and the MIB vanished – as in dematerialized. Yes, literally. As Holiday – now petrified out of his wits – shakily scanned the half a mile of open road that dominated the landscape, it became clear to him that there was simply no way the man could have made good a stealthy escape in conventional fashion. Stunned to his core, Holiday tried to reconcile the whole thing as nothing but a bizarre hallucination – a theory that, he knew deep down, simply wasn’t viable.In his private papers, Holiday pondered on the possibility that the “man” was actually a shape-shifting Kelpie – a supernatural being that, centuries ago, played a big role in the beliefs of the local people. The Kelpie was said to take on multiple forms, including that of a large black horse. Or a beautiful woman. In light of that, read on.
Of equal fascination – and of deep relevance to this story – back in late 1866 there occurred the sighting of a man in black attire [italics mine] on hills near Lochindorb, Scotland. He was seen – by a terrified farmer – strapped to the back of a large, devilish hound that was prowling the same hills. Thoughts of shape-shifting Kelpie’s flooded the man’s mind. The farmer didn’t wait around to see what might happen next and he fled the hills for the safety of his home, fearful that the morphing kelpie-hound/MIB might wish to make him its next victim. It was probably a very wise move. Can it really be a coincidence that two encounters with kelpie-type creatures in Scotland – separated by a time-span of more than a century, it should be noted – both had sinister black-garbed components to them? Sure, I guess it could be a coincidence and absolutely nothing else at all. I’m inclined, however, to suggest there was much more to it all – and that the entities were one and the same, despite such a long amount of time between the two incidents.
There is a decidedly sinister sequel to this aspect of Ted Holiday’s quest for the truth of the Loch Ness Monster and his Man in Black experience. One year later, in 1974, Holiday’s creature-seeking excursions were suddenly cut short by a serious heart-attack – right at the very spot where the MIB manifested and then vanished around twelve months earlier. A warning, perhaps, to Holiday that he should walk away from the matter of the Loch Ness Monster. And walk away now. While he still had the chance and before the reaper came calling for his very mind and soul. Ted Holiday died in 1979, still only in his fifties.