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The Loch Ness Monster

Although Nessie was sighted as far back as the 6th century a.d. it is b-and-b-scotland the modern day sightings that have captured the public imagination. In the early part of the 1930's a new road was built around Loch Ness which in turn brought in a spate of new sightings from road users and sightseers. Up until this time stories of the monster circulated more within the local community but talk of other sightings were spreading outwith the village.

The first recorded sighting b-and-b-scotland of Nessie on land was made by Mr Spicer and his wife, on July 22nd 1933, who were driving down the road between the Loch Ness side villages of Dores and Inverfarigaig. They caught sight of a large cumbersome animal crossing the road ahead, which was some b-and-b-scotland 20 yards from the water. They first saw a long neck, forming a number of arches, a little thicker than a elephant's trunk and a huge lumbering body heading towards the Loch. It disappeared into the bushes out of sight. After this sighting reports flooded in and interest grew on an international scale. Speculators offered huge prizes for the animal, dead or alive. Circus owner Bertram Mills promised a sum of 20,000 to any man who could bring the creature alive to his circus.

Probably one of the first photographs to be taken of the monster was snapped by a British Aluminium Company worker, Mr Hugh Gray, near Foyers. It showed a writhing creature creating a considerable disturbance on the surface of the Loch. He only saw part of the animal which he estimated to be around 40 ft long, which included a thick rounded back and also a muscular looking tail.

In December of the same year a hippo's foot had been planted by a prankster and all was taken seriously until officials finally uncovered the truth. This had an affect on future reports of sightings, as they were taken less seriously.But still reported sightings were becoming increasingly common and more intriguing.

On the 5th of January, 1934, a motorcyclist almost collided with the monster as he was returning home from Inverness. It was around 1a.m. and was bright due to the moonlight. As Mr Grant approached Abriachan on the north-eastern shore of the Loch he saw a large shape loom on the right side of the road. As he approached the object he saw a small head attached to a long neck. The animal saw Grant and promptly crossed the road back down to the Loch. Mr Grant, by this time, had jumped off his motorbike and followed the path it took to the Loch only to see the rippling water where the creature had entered. In April,1934 the most famous photograph was obtained by a London surgeon as he heading towards Inverness along the new road.

This event encouraged more people to come forward with their tales of sightings.

An event on the 5th of June, 1934 was considered to be of importance but was not widely publicised. It involved a young girl from the Fort Augustus area who was employed as a maid in a large house close to abbey. It was about 6:30 a.m., the maid was looking out of a window down the Loch. She saw on the shore, ' one of the biggest animals she had seen in her life, ' at a range of about 200 yards. Her description was similar to those of others, giraffe like neck, small head, skin like an elephant and two very short fore legs or flippers. She watched it for around 20 mins when it re-entered the water and disappeared.