Jun 03, 2022 I Nick Redfern

The Controversy of the Loch Ness Monsters Seen on Land Continues

In a new article at his Loch Ness Monster blog, Roland Watson tackles the controversial saga of Arthur Grant, who claimed to have seen a long-necked creature on the land, no less, in the early hours of January 5, 1934 at the loch. That's right: a monster that left the water, albeit briefly. The issue of the Nessies being seen on the land is probably the most controversial aspect of the overall controversy of the Loch Ness Monsters. So, with that said, let's have a look at some of these off-land cases, which, so far, are well into the thirties in numbers. Roland says: "I have to say that Arthur Grant is one of my favourite accounts of the Loch Ness Monster. A giant creature lurching across a lonely road under a full moon before a befuddled motor cyclist? What's not to like? Of course, the dramatic story line makes some think it is just that - a made up story." Roland gives us some of Grant's words: "I had a splendid view of the object; in fact, I almost struck it with my motor cycle. It had a long neck with an eel-like head and large oval-shaped eyes, just on the top of the small head. The body was very hefty, and I distinctly saw two front flippers. There were other two flippers, which seemed to be webbed behind, and there was a tail, which I estimate would be from five to six feet long. The curious thing about the tail was that it did not, so far as I could see, come to a point, but was rounded off. The total length of the animal would be from 15 to 20 feet." It did not stay long. With that all said, let's have a look at other cases of the Nessies leaving the loch.

There’s no doubt that, in terms of Nessie lore, July 22, 1933 was both history-making and groundbreaking. That was the date upon which Mr. and Mrs. George Spicer had an encounter with a large and lumbering beast at Loch Ness that, clearly, as Mr. Spicer’s words demonstrated, they wished had never occurred. Most people would likely love to see one of the Nessies. Not the Spicers: it was a traumatic and terrifying event they tried their very best to forget. Unfortunately for them, they failed. George Spicer was a man with a busy job: he was a director of a well-respected tailors in London, called Messrs. Todhouse, Reynard and Co. So, when the opportunity came up for a vacation, the pair jumped at the opportunity. They chose to take a trip to Scotland, for a bit of tranquility and relaxation. What a mistake that turned out to be. 

Heading towards land?

The day began as any day does. It was, however, around 4:00 p.m. that the Spicers’ final day in Scotland turned into a veritable nightmare. As the pair drove along the road that links Foyers and Dores, and in a southerly direction, Mrs. Spicer suddenly screamed. And she had a very good reason to scream. Somewhere in the region of 600 feet in front of them a bizarre-looking animal loomed out of the bushes that dominated the roadside. At first, all that could be seen was what looked like a large trunk. As they got closer, however, situation quickly changed. George Spicer described the animal as being hideous, an absolute affront against nature. What particularly struck Spicer – and which provoked his comments – was the way the thing moved. It did not do so like any normal animal. Rather, it lumbered across in a series of odd jerks and coils; something which, for Spicer and his wife, was reminiscent of a massive worm. He continued that by the time the shocked pair reached the section of the road where the monster appeared, it was already gone. Nevertheless, evidence of its presence was still there.

The surrounding bracken had clearly been flattened by something large and heavy; that much was certain. Of two other things the Spicers were sure: the beast was at least five feet in height and could easily have inflicted severe damage on their car. Spicer added that its skin was a grey color, not unlike the dark grey skin of an elephant. Oddly, Spicer also said that the monster seemed to be carrying something on its back. Spicer admitted that both he and his wife remained traumatized by the awful sight for weeks. While skeptics suggest that the Spicers saw nothing stranger than a line of otters or deer, for the monster-hunting community, the case remains a classic. It must be said that the story has been expanded over the years – although not by the Spicers, it should be stressed. The issue of the beast carrying something on its back, has led to controversial assertions that the something was the body of a lamb. True or not, it’s an intriguing thought that the monsters, on rare occasions, may take to the land to secure a tasty meal or several.  

And here's another classic example: the witness was a Lieutenant McP Fordyce and the date was April 1932. At the time, Fordyce was living in the English county of Kent, but, along with his fiancée, traveled by car to Aberdeen, Scotland, to attend a family wedding. Given that the drive was such a long one, instead of simply driving immediately all the way back home, Fordyce decided to show his fiancée a bit of his homeland. The young lovers had a late-evening, a romantic dinner, took a stroll through the town, and encountered a band of men playing bagpipes. It was a perfect slice of ancient Scottish tradition, one that Fordyce’s girl would never forget. There was something else she would never forget, too. Neither would Fordyce. On the following morning, the pair decided to hit the road running and hopefully make the journey back to Kent in good time. It was a bright and sunny day for the drive; a drive which took them past Loch Ness, as far as Foyers, at which point they turned onto the road to Fort William, away from the loch side,  and into the heart of the wooded areas that dominate certain portions of the loch.    

(Nick Redfern)

According to Fordyce’s memory, he was driving at around twenty-five miles per hour at the time, when he and his fiancée were shocked and amazed by the sight of a large animal appearing from the dense woods and then making its way across the road, at a distance of around 450 feet. He added that the beast moved like an elephant, but appeared to be something akin to a strange combination of a camel and a horse, even to it having a camel-like hump on its back and a small head positioned on a long neck. Displaying welcome gumption, the adventurous Fordyce stopped the car, jumped out, and decided to pursue the monster on foot. As he got closer, but still kept a respectful distance – just in case the creature turned violent – Fordyce could now see that the rear of the animal was gray in color and had wild and shaggy hair, while its long neck reminded him very much of the trunk of an elephant. Unfortunately, and surely to the consternation of monster-seekers everywhere, Fordyce had left his camera in the car. He then realized the somewhat precarious position he was in – stalking a large and unknown animal in the woods – and decided that pursuing the thing was perhaps not such a good idea, after all. So, if, one day, you decide to make a trip to Loch Ness, don't just focus on the deep water; it might be a good thing (or a very bad thing) to go searching among the trees and the shores.

Nick Redfern
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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