My previous article demonstrated how and why there was, in the 1970s, a strange connection between the Loch Ness Monsters and UFOs. Today's article, however, shows that yesterday's story was not alone - as you will see right now. We have to take a look back to the summer of 1973 and the legendary loch. And, also, to the sinister Men in Black of Ufology. As dawn broke, Nessie seeker F. W. "Ted" Holiday took a walk down to the loch. It was then that something bizarre and creepy occurred. Holiday could not fail to see a man, at a distance of around ninety feet, standing atop the slope that led directly down to Loch Ness. This was no normal man, however. It may not even have been a man, at all. Whoever – or whatever – this curious character was, he was dressed entirely in black, from head to toe. 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, 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.”
The man appeared to be dressed in what Holiday described as black plastic. His hands were gloved (black, too), and his head was covered by something that looked like a motorcycle helmet. No surprises on its color. Goggles covered his eyes, and even his nose and mouth were covered – by a black band, possibly made of cloth. Holiday tentatively walked towards the definitive Man in Black. 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 Ted Holiday’s quick 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 whisperings filled the air, and the MIB vanished – as in dematerialized, literally. As Holiday – now terrified 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.
Of equal fascination – and of deep relevance to this story – back in September 1866 there occurred the sighting of a mournful-looking Man in Black attire on hills near Lochindorb. He was seen – by a terrified farmer – strapped to the back of a large, fiendish dog that was prowling the same hills. 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 a shape-shifting kelpie-hound might wish to make him its next victim. It was probably a very wise move. Can it be mere coincidence that two encounters in Scotland – separated by a time-span of more than 100 years, it should be noted – both had Men in Black components to them? I strongly suggest that no, it cannot be a coincidence. 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.
For most people, any mention of the Men in Black conjures up imagery of the dark-suited secret agents portrayed by Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones of the blockbuster movie series. The reality of the situation is far stranger, however. There is zero evidence that the MIB have any connections to agencies of government, the military, or the intelligence community – of any nation. Rather, there is strong evidence to show that the Men in Black are of other-world origins. One of the first people exposed to the Men in Black was a UFO researcher of Bridgeport, Connecticut named Albert Bender. When, in the early 1950s, Bender began to dabble – and dabble recklessly – in the world of the supernatural, he was visited by three men dressed in black, who materialized in his bedroom, amid a foul odor of devilish brimstone. There are reports of the MIB threatening users of Ouija-boards. They have vampire-like parallels: they generally surface only at night. Their skin is milk-white in color. They will not enter a person’s home until they are specifically invited to do so. And, they have the highly disturbing ability to drain people of energy – mirroring the old legends of black-garbed vampires draining unwary souls of their blood, while they slept. There seems to be little doubt that the foul thing Ted Holiday encountered on that fateful morning was a definitive example of a supernatural MIB. And still on the matter of that menacing motorcyclist in black.
Now, let's look at UFO encounters at Loch Ness in modern times. More Loch Ness/UFO weirdness hit the news in 2011, specifically in August of that year. The UK’s Daily Express newspaper splashed a headline across its pages that read: “Alert as UFO is sighted over Loch Ness.” The story was, undoubtedly, an odd one. That something occurred does not appear to be in doubt. It is, however, the nature of the “something” that remains open to debate. It was on the night of August 20, 2011 that a number of people –many being completely independent of each other – encountered something unusual in the skies over Loch Ness. Witness descriptions of the movements of the object fell into two camps: those who said they saw it descending into the loch and those who maintained it was actually hovering above the expansive waters. As for the appearance of the UFO, it very much depended on who one asked. But, whatever it was, it quickly caught the attention of the emergency services, who were contacted by worried locals.
Martin Douglas, of the Loch Ness Life Boat crew, told the Daily Mail that someone in the area had seen what, superficially at least, resembled a microlight or a hang-glider, and that actually seemed to enter the loch in a controlled flight. Oddly, however, others who saw the unknown craft described it as being somewhat balloon-shaped. Then there were those who opined it looked eerily like a fully-open parachute. There was, then, no real, solid consensus on what was seen – or on what wasn’t seen. Crew member Vivian Bailey added that although the mystery was not resolved, the emergency services were pleased that concerned people had quickly contacted them. There is, however, a very odd afterword to all this.
Exactly one month previously, on July 21, law enforcement offices in the vicinity of 125-miles-long Lake Champlain - that covers parts of New York and Vermont, and portions of Quebec, Canada - were inundated with calls from worried locals, all who had seen a balloon-like object fall into the huge lake, near Rouses Point, New York. Police and Border Patrol personnel were quickly dispatched and scoured the area, but with no luck. After around four hours, the search was called off. It remained a mystery. It should be noted, however, that, just like Loch Ness, Lake Champlain has its own resident monster. Champ, as the creature is famously known, is, like Nessie, a large, long-necked leviathan that has taken on near-legendary proportions. Is it only coincidence that two lakes on opposite sides of the world – both with resident monsters – should have been the sites of unusual, and very similar, UFO-like activity within a month of each other? Or is this yet further evidence of profound paranormal weirdness wherever lake monsters lurk?
And, we're still not over. In the summer of 2015, the controversy of the Loch Ness Monster was taken to a new height – as in literally. That was when the mystery was yet again linked to the matter of high-flying UFOs. The three people in the story were Alan Betts and his wife, Anna, and Anna’s mother, Tatiana. The family, from the English city of York, were holidaying in Scotland. It was April 2015, and the three were staying at a cottage near Loch Ness' Urquhart Castle – an undeniable hotspot for Nessie encounters. While at the loch, and as is the case for practically everyone who visits the loch, they took a good number of photos. It wasn’t until the Betts returned home, however, that they realized just how weird one of their vacation pictures was. Taken by Tatiana, it appeared to show a pair of anomalous objects in the sky, right over Loch Ness. As if Nessie wasn’t enough of a mystery on its own!
Alan – the director of a refrigerating company - said when the story hit the headlines two months later that the timing of their vacation was fortuitous. The weather was pretty much perfect: that’s to say it was bright and sunny for almost the entire time. However, on one particular day, and after the Betts spent hours of checking out the area, things changed. The sunny weather was suddenly gone and everything quickly became dark and gloomy and the rain poured in definitive deluge style. Tatiana decided to take a photo of the moody skies – something which proved to be crucial to the story. It was only after the family got back home, and downloaded their holiday pictures onto their PC, that they noticed something odd on that particular photo. It was a pair of brightly lit objects that appeared to be flying over Loch Ness, but which weren’t seen at the time Tatiana took the picture. Alan was a self-confessed skeptic, but admitted that he was at a loss to explain what the camera had captured. Interestingly, Alan added: “Our Akita dog, Yuka, was strangely unsettled that night.” It was yet another case of Nessie and UFOs.