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The Loch Ness Monster

    Naturevolume 134page765 (1934) | Download Citation



    AT a general meeting of the Linnean Society of London, held on November 8, the Loch Ness ‘monster’ was for the first time discussed by a scientific society. Sir Edward Mountain gave an account of his en deavours to settle the creature's identity by employing twenty watchers distributed around the Loch under the supervision of Capt. Fraser. These watchers were suppJied with cameras on loan from the Kodak Co. Ltd., and also with field glasses. During the first two weeks of last July, the creature was seen by the watchers twenty-one times. In September a film was taken by Capt. Fraser with a telephoto lens at a distance of about a mile from the creature; it was stated that the portion of the creature visible in the film had been estimated by the Kodak Co. to be about eight feet in length. The film was run through the projector several times and a discussion followed. The first impression of most members of the audience was probably that the movements of the creature shown on the film suggested those of a seal, but some of the speakers pointed out difficulties in the way. Commander R. T. Gould did not believe that the creature was a seal; he felt sure that the watchers would have readily recognised it as such. Further, he considered that it could not be a killer whale. Sir Sidney Harmer thought that until further evidence had been produced the verdict should be ‘not proven’. He thought that the creature was not a cetacean, but would probably prove to be a seal. Mr. M. A. C. Hinton and Mr. F. C. Fraser felt certain that the creature was a seal, with which opinion Dr. Stanley Kemp disagreed; nor did he believe it to be a cetacean. Sir Arthur Smith Woodward, referring to the popular belief, said that it was hopeless to com pare the creature with a Mesozoic reptile as no traces of these reptiles had been found in Tertiary rocks in any part of the world. Capt. J. G. Dollman was firmly convinced that the creature was an otter. The president (Dr. W. T. Caiman) and Mr. A. J. Wilmott expressed doubts as to the size of the creature as estimated by the Kodak Company. Enlargements of some of the ‘still’ photographs taken by the watchers were also exhibited at the meeting.

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