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A Catalog of Creepiness at a Famous Lake

Nineteen-seventy-four was a year in which Loch Ness Monster authority, Tim Dinsdale, made a notable, but carefully and tactfully worded, statement to Nessie-seeker Ted Holiday on the paranormal connections to the mystery of the Loch Ness beasts. As far as the monster-hunting community of the day was concerned, Dinsdale was firmly and forever in the flesh and blood category, when it came to the nature of the creatures of the loch. Many within that community are still of that opinion today; chiefly because they are unaware of what was going on behind the scenes. “Firmly” and “forever” however, are far too rigid and incorrect words to use. Privately, Dinsdale had a sneaking suspicion that something else was very possibly afoot, even if he preferred to not overly broadcast his views publicly. In April 1974, Dinsdale had some notable things to say. He admitted to Holiday that he had crossed paths with what appeared to be a paranormal component to the mystery of the monsters of Loch Ness, but he remained baffled regarding how something of a supernatural nature could provoke such things as wakes in the water, photos, and sonar-recordings. Indeed, that is one of the most baffling aspects of the Loch Ness Monster(s) phenomenon.

It’s very instructive to note that Tim Dinsdale’s thoughts on the supernatural theory for the Nessies went right back to 1965. That was only a few, short years after Dinsdale’s  long-championed film-footage was secured. In September of that year, Dinsdale traveled to the loch, for the ninth time, with the hope of securing high-resolution imagery of the creatures – specifically from the south shore, east of Foyers Bay. It wasn’t just Dinsdale’s ninth expedition. It very nearly proved to be his final visit to those notorious waters.  Indeed, the trip was plagued by an extraordinary amount of escalating disasters. His small boat was capsized. He was quickly laid low by a viral infection. He suffered repeated problems with his electrical equipment (something that is often reported in both UFO- and Bigfoot-themed encounters, too). And he badly damaged one of his hands; almost losing the tip of one of fingers in the process. Some might put this catalog of disasters down to just unfortunate circumstances and nothing else. Dinsdale, however, felt very strongly otherwise. He said, of this fraught and weird time, that having suffered such health-related calamities he knew it was time to leave behind him both Loch Ness and the distinct sense of unease he experienced whenever he visited the loch. “It was,” said Dinsdale: “as though some awful influence pervaded the atmosphere. Something evil.” Those are quite astonishing words for a man who, publicly, saw the Nessies as flesh and blood animals and nothing else.

Half a decade later, Dinsdale crossed paths with Winifred Cary. She was a psychic who Ted Holiday came to know well. The home she shared with her husband, Basil, overlooked Loch Ness’ Urquhart Bay and she claimed no less than sixteen sightings of the Nessies over a period of almost sixty years. Winifred Cary was also a highly skilled dowser who said she could use her powers to seek out a Nessie. Apparently, she did exactly that. And she did far more, too: she found evidence of no less than two creatures in the loch. Dinsdale, very impressed by Cary’s psychic skills, raced to the water’s edge, jumped in his boat, and headed out to the two spots where Cary identified monsters apparently lurking. Amazingly, Dinsdale’s sonar-equipment picked up something only 600 feet from Cary’s first site. More impressive, another sonar image was picked up exactly where Cary said a monster was present. Again, this demonstrates that not only did Dinsdale recognize the supernatural aspects of the Loch Ness Monsters themselves, he also recognized that they could be tracked down by supernatural means – in this case, by water-divining.

Then, late one night in 1975, while negotiating the precarious hills that stand west of Urquhart Bay, and while making his way to his boat – the appropriately named Water Horse – Dinsdale experienced something strange. He was shocked and terrified by the sight of a weird blue light that, very curiously, appeared to come out of the very soil itself, and around 120 feet in front of him.  Rather notably, the flash coincided with Dinsdale checking his watch. It was precisely midnight. Finally, in 1983, the late Eric Beckjord – a researcher who believed that just about every weird critter under the sun had supernatural origins – visited Dinsdale and learned something fascinating. Dinsdale told Beckjord how, one night, while moored near Aleister Crowley’s Boleskine House, he encountered all manner of supernatural entities trying to attack him and board his boat, including specters, demonic things, and ghoulish creatures. Dinsdale stressed they did him no physical harm, but as Beckjord noted, “they finally killed off the plesiosaur idea for him.”

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Nick Redfern works full time as a writer, lecturer, and journalist. He writes about a wide range of unsolved mysteries, including Bigfoot, UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, alien encounters, and government conspiracies. Nick has written 41 books, writes for Mysterious Universe and has appeared on numerous television shows on the The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and SyFy Channel.
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