Jul 29, 2022 I Nick Redfern

About That New Nessie Story: Why I Still Say the Loch Ness Monsters are Paranormal

I'm sure that many of you will have seen the new story concerning the Loch Ness Monster: it makes for fascinating reading. But, it doesn't take away the fact that, as I see it, the Nessies are not just strange but, they are really strange. By that, I mean the creatures of the loch are supernatural. There is no doubt about it. Here are some of the reasons as to why I conclude that the Nessies are not flesh and blood animals. Many people may not know that the supernatural side goes back centuries. Welcome to the world of the Kelpie. Within the folklore of Loch Ness and much of Scotland, there are centuries-old legends and myths concerning supernatural, violent, shape-shifting creatures known as kelpies. Or, in English, water-horses.  It should be noted, though, that although the creatures are assumed to be one and the same, there is one noticeable difference between the tales that specifically refer to kelpies and those that talk about water-horses. Typically, water-horses are far more at home in deep, sprawling lakes, while kelpies prefer pools, rivers, marshes, and lakes of a particularly compact kind. Then, there is a variant of the kelpie known as the Each-Uisge, which is a far more murderous monster than the kelpie, but which is clearly of the same supernatural stock.

The term, Kelpie, has unclear origins; although the most likely explanation is that it is a distortion of the Gaelic calpa, which translates as heifer. Kelpies are terrifying, murderous creatures that lurk in the depths of Scottish lochs, canals and rivers – and more than a few of them in Loch Ness. Not only that, like werewolves, kelpies are definitive shape-shifters; creatures that can take on multiple guises, including hideous serpentine monsters, horses, hair-covered humanoids, beautiful maidens of the mermaid variety, and horse-like creatures. The kelpie is solely driven to by a crazed goal to drown the unwary by enticing and dragging them into the depths, killing them in the process. Moving on...

(Nick Redfern) The Nessies: paranormal creatures

The late Nessie seeker F.W. "Ted" Holiday was someone who began by believing that the creatures were flesh-and-blood animals, although of an unknown nature. Holiday's theories soon changed, however. Even though Ted Holiday sincerely believed that the Tullimonstrum gregarium theory had merit, he wasn’t able to shake off that deep, foreboding feeling that there was something more to the Loch Ness Monsters, something which – rather paradoxically – implied they were flesh and blood animals but ones possessed of supernatural qualities. It was a feeling that would, ultimately, become a full-blown, unhealthy obsession, and one that pretty much dictated the rest of his short life and research.

By the time Holiday's book, The Great Orm of Loch Ness was published, Holiday had not only been to the lair of the Nessies on numerous occasions, he had also had the opportunity to speak to many witnesses to the beast. In doing so, he noticed a most curious, and even unsettling, pattern. There were far more than a random number of reports on record where eyewitnesses to the creatures had tried to photograph them, only to fail miserably. As time progressed, it became abundantly obvious to Holiday that this was not down to nothing stranger than chance. When an excited soul on the shore went to grab their camera, the beast would sink beneath the waves. When someone even just thought about taking a picture, the monster would vanish below. On other occasions, cameras would malfunction. Pictures would come out blank or fogged. It was as if the Nessies were dictating, and manipulating, the situations in which the witnesses found themselves. That is exactly what Holiday came to believe was going on. 

On August 13, 1971, a notable encounter occurred at Loch Ness. Not with a monster, but with a UFO! No, that's not a joke.The witness was one Graham Snape, who told Ted Holiday that he saw an unidentified object crossing the skies above Loch Ness in a left to right fashion, quickly, and with not even a bit of accompanying noise. The somewhat circular-shaped UFO was purple with a white center. By his own admission, Snape was unsure of the size of the object but suggested it was around five-feet in diameter.  Holiday was, by now, so deep into the world of the paranormal that Snape’s report scarcely phased him in the slightest. Snape’s encounter, however, was nothing compared to what occurred just three days later.

Nineteen-seventy-four was the year in which Tim Dinsdale made a notable, but carefully and tactfully worded, statement to 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 Loch Ness Monster seekers 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. While Dinsdale’s stance of large-scale silence on the matter of the supernatural aspects of the Nessie controversy may be understandable to some, it also smacks of a man unsure of himself and lacking in strength of character to say, publicly, what he really thought. Or, at the very least, what he suspected.

 In April 1974 - and in a private reply to a letter that Holiday had sent to him, describing the most recent weirdness at the loch - 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. It’s very instructive to note that Tim Dinsdale’s thoughts on the supernatural theory for the Nessies went right back to 1965; which was only a few, short years after his 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.” 

The mid-1970s, when Tim Dinsdale found his mind in a supernatural whirl - are noted for something else with a supernatural Nessie-based tie-in. That was when the U.S. Government – and predominantly the CIA, Defense Intelligence Agency, and the U.S. Army – began to secretly fund extensive research into the phenomenon of what has become known as remote-viewing. The goal was to have skilled psychics utilize supernatural phenomena, extra-sensory perception, and out-of-body episodes to spy on – amongst others – the Russians, the Chinese, and various troublesome nations in the Middle East. The remote-viewers were, then, Uncle Sam’s very own paranormal 007’s. In many respects they were the 20th century equivalents of Dr. John Dee, mixing espionage and the occult in strange and swirling fashion.

One of those who sought to understand the full scope of the remote-viewing program was the well-known conspiracy researcher/author Jim Marrs. During the course of his investigations, Marrs learned something incredible. Namely, that the RV team, at one point, had focused their psychic skills on the Loch Ness Monster. In doing so they stumbled onto something amazing, and which added much weight to the argument that the Nessies are supernatural in nature. Marrs said that over the course of a number of attempts to remote-view the Nessies, the team found evidence of what appeared to be physical, living creatures – ones that left wakes and which could be photographed and tracked. They even prepared drawings which suggested the Nessies might be plesiosaurs. But, there was something else, too: the ability of the creatures to vanish – as in dematerialize.

(Nick Redfern) Jim Marrs, who came to believe the Nessies were supernatural

The remote-viewers were in a collective quandary: their work certainly supported the theory that some seriously strange creatures dwelled deep in Loch Ness, but they were creatures that seemed to have supernatural and abnormal qualities about them – which is precisely what both Ted Holiday and Tim Dinsdale finally came around to believing. Jim Marrs noted: “Considering that reports of human ghosts date back throughout man’s history, the Psi Spies seriously considered the possibility that the Loch Ness monster is nothing less than a dinosaur’s ghost.” Now, let us make some conclusions. They are filled with controversy, and just as they should be, considering what we have already seen.

Our strange and at times turbulent story is finally at its end. As we have seen, time and again, the real story of the Loch Ness Monster is very different to the one presented by countless cryptozoologists and monster-hunters over the years and decades. It’s also a story that many of those same cryptozoologists and monster-hunters have clearly ignored. Or, perhaps, even deliberately suppressed. That is evidenced by the fact that the supernatural data is out there, to be seen by one and all, yet it has barely been touched upon at length or discussed in the vast majority of Nessie-themed books. The reason why it has been ignored is abundantly obvious: mainstream cryptozoology does not wish to see the down to earth theories challenged by the world of the paranormal. I understand that cherished beliefs suggesting the Nessies are plesiosaurs are important to many. However, ignoring key data will not help solve the mystery. In reality, such an approach will have the polar opposite effect: it will stifle research and push it down the wrong road. Time and again, we have seen the monsters of Loch Ness tied to the domain of the supernatural. 

Something else which cannot be denied is the fact that when the term “Loch Ness Monster” was created in the 1930s, it prompted a multitude of reports that described the Nessies in wildly varying ways. Arthur Grant encountered a monster with distinct flippers and a long neck. Hugh Gray’s famous photo shows a creature that pretty much lacks any kind of neck; as for its head it’s beak-like. Lieutenant McP Fordyce’s monster had long legs (rather than flippers), walked on the land, and was somewhat hairy, rather than dark and serpent-like. Add to that the tusked and frog-like Nessies of earlier years and what we have is a modern incarnation of the old kelpie – a creature that could morph into multiple forms. The implication is obvious: the shape-shifting kelpies of old never really went away. They were merely upgraded for new generations and given a completely new name: Nessie.

Make no mistake, the Loch Ness Monsters are real. They exist. But, it’s the nature of that reality, and the nature of that existence, that so many Nessie chasers need to come to grips with and learn to accept. Yes, we really are dealing with monsters in those dark depths. But, as just about every aspect of this article has demonstrated, monsters are not what they appear to be. They are, in fact, far more sinister and much stranger…

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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