Ward's Book of Days.

Pages of interesting anniversaries.

What happened on this day in history.

MAY 2nd  

On this day in history in 1933, occurred the first modern day sighting of The Loch Ness Monster.  

The Loch Ness Monster, affectionately known as Nessie, is a giant unidentified creature, or creatures, which inhabits Loch Ness, a large freshwater loch, near Inverness. The monster is very rarely seen and when it appears, it is only for a brief interval. Attempts to capture it, or to make a scientific record of its physical form, have all resulted in failure leading some mainstream scientist to doubt its existence.  

Nessie has been around for some time. St Columba saw it in 565 A.D. when he ordered it back into the loch when it threatened the life of a Pict. This is how the Life of St. Columba records the event. ‘Columba raised his holy hand and invoking the name of God commanded the ferocious monster saying “Thou shalt go no further nor touch the man”. The monster was terrified and fled.’ Since Columba’s time, there have been isolated reports of the monster, but it was not until the Twentieth Century that sightings occurred regularly.  

On 2nd May 1933, Mr and Mrs John Mackay spotted Nessie, while out walking. The Inverness Courier reported ‘an enormous monster rolling and plunging on the surface of the loch’. Several London newspapers sent reporters to investigate and rewards were offered for the monster’s capture. In 1934, by coincidence on April Fool’s Day, the eminent surgeon, Dr R K Wilson, photographed the monster giving the first absolute evidence of its existence. It had a long neck and head rising out of the water with other protrusions from the water indicating a snake like creature. There have been since then many reported sightings by reliable witnesses. One scuba diver got close enough to report that the creature was covered with scales.

Most biologists believe that there must be a colony of prehistoric dinosaur type creatures inhabiting the loch. They cannot be seen because the loch is tremendously deep and no remains have ever been found because the steep sides of the loch mean that it would not give up its dead. The loch was created following the Ice Age, when it was cut off from the sea leaving these prehistoric creatures left inside.  

In 1975, the eminent naturalist, Sir Peter Scott, pronounced the creature’s real existence and gave it the scientific name Nessiteras Rhombopterx, thereby allowing Nessie to be placed on the British register of protected species. Some cynics have pointed out that this name is an anagram of ‘monster hoax by Sir Peter S’.

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