Apr 23, 2022 I Paul Seaburn

Secret Scottish Monster Files Released by the National Museums of Scotland

We now know that the U.S. government has files on UFO and ET sightings, but what about data on Bigfoot, lake monsters, still-living dinosaurs and other cryptids? It appears the U.S. is lagging behind Scotland when it comes to “monster files” – the National Museum of Scotland just made public a large cache of national cryptid data … and there’s much more besides blurry photos and early drawings of the Loch Ness monster. While those do show variations on the original “hoax” photos of Nessie, the best part of the files are accounts of little-known Scottish creatures like the Stronsay Beast. The what?

“'I was quite staggered when I first saw the sketch. My first reaction was that such a creature would explain a lot of the apparently odd descriptions of the Loch Ness Monster and also such photographs as the three humps taken by Lachlan Stuart in 1951. The odd fleshy lobes hanging from the head have also been variously described by witnesses.”

The Daily Mail obtained access to the “monster files” and revealed the 1936 drawing of what looks like a flabby, overweight dinosaur with floppy basset hound ears and a mouth built like a vacuum hose rather than a monster’s maw. (See it here.) Said to have been drawn by local resident Alastair Dallas, it surfaced in 1975 (the drawing, not the monster) and expert Ian HJ Lyster of the Royal Scottish Museum was “staggered,” claiming it must be real because hoaxers would not go to “all the trouble.” The belly-rolled beast supposedly came ashore near the village of Drumnadrochit in September 1936 – three years after Aldie Mackay reportedly saw something like a whale in Loch Ness and two years after London gynecologist Robert Kenneth Wilson began the now famous “surgeon’s photo” hoax.

A monster sketch from 1934.

“Originally kept by the keepers of the Natural Sciences department, the files contain letters written by seemingly baffled – and in some cases seemingly shaken – citizens who have contacted museum keepers in a search for information.”

The Scotsman reports the files describe encounters with the Black Dog of Lochbuie, a ghost dog said to roam around Lochbuie House on Mull, scaring guests with its “horrible” appearance. Then there’s the Stronsay Beast, a 55-foot-long unidentifiable carcass reported to have washed ashore after a storm on the  island of Stronsay in the Orkney Islands – the Natural History Society (Wernerian Society) of Edinburgh could not identify the carcass and decided it was probably a sea serpent. While some accounts gave it a long neck and three pairs of legs, scientists later said it was more like 36 feet in length and probably a decayed basking shark. Yet another sea serpent drawing (see it here) dated 1950 came from a sighting in the Gulf of Corryvreckan off the west coast of mainland Scotland. Adding to the non-Ness loch monster list was a sea serpent spotted at Loch Craignish near Oban in western Scotland.

1808 sketch of the Stronsay Beast

The papers and letters are predominantly from the 1930s to 1950s when the modern Loch Ness monster sightings began and monster mania spread across Scotland. The files were kept in dated folders marked “Letters about Alleged Monsters” – not exactly a vote of confidence for believers. The files also include some responses sent to inquiries about eyewitness drawings.

“I do not think they will prove to be any relics of the past, but of course there are still creatures in the sea we do not know about. It is possible the creatures you describe are some deep-sea fish like the Muraeid Eel.”

Dr. Stephen, Keeper of the Natural History Department, sent that response to the people who mailed in the 1950 drawing of the sighting in the Gulf of Corryvreckan – the Muraeed he refers to is the Moray Eel.

It is indeed ironic that such files exist of so many cryptid sightings and Inverness residents celebrate the third Loch Ness monster sighting of 2022, while at the same time politicians claim the Scottish government is using the Loch Ness Monster as propaganda in schools in the debate over Scotland leaving the UK. How can they politicize one monster while ignoring stacks of data on so many more?

Which brings us back to the U.S. government. Where are OUR monster files? What are you hiding from us? The public awaits your response.

Paul Seaburn
Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious.

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