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THE LOCH NESS ENIGMA

Xavier Perez-Pons

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Another of the famous expeditions of the Society for Psychical Research was the one organized to unravel the mystery of the Loch Ness “Monster”. I place the word monster between quotation marks because Conan Doyle was exasperated when he heard that they called it that way. He said that it was an inconsiderateness and a great lack of respect towards a creature that they didn't even know if it exists. “And how the hell do you want us to call him?!” Gurney blurted out. “The Enigma!”, he answered. The same thing happened with the “Abominable” Snowman. He thought it was a lack of respect towards a stranger to call it "abominable". He also wanted them to call it "The Enigma". Doyle was a hypersensitive man. Even the word "ghost" was offensive to him: for him a ghost was also "The Enigma". The truth is that it was quite difficult to have a conversation with him, because he was always talking about the enigma and you never knew for sure what he was talking about. It could be the Abominable Snowman or an alien or the Loch Ness Monster… or even Gurney himself, whom he also called “The Enigma”, nobody knew why. (Gurney didn’t like Doyle because of his fixation with digging holes wherever he went in the hope of finding some buried treasure).

But I'm digressing. I was about to report the expedition of the SPR to Loch Ness in search of “The Enigma”. Gurney, who was not afraid of anything, insisted on spending the night in a boat adrift in the middle of the lake. As he wouldn't listen to reason, Dr Lodge was forced to dissolve some potent sleeping pills in his tea. It was a great annoyance when he woke up three days later. The truth is that Gurney was the only one who wanted to get into the lake. The others preferred to stalk the monster from the shore with binoculars. Gurney, however, rented a boat and spent all the day long paddling around the lake. But “The Enigma” was not easily seen. Conan Doyle attributed it to shyness. Dr. Lodge to non-existence. They also interviewed the inhabitants of the area, who spoke of a huge creature similar to a plesiosaurius. Doyle was increasingly outraged by the increasing disbelief of his colleagues and began to see plesiosaurius everywhere. In the end, however, they returned home empty-handed. But Myers was forced to go back a few days later when they realized they had left Gurney paddling in the lake. From the shore, Myers started yelling for Gurney and that's when, according to his testimony, he saw the monster a few meters from the shore. He even claimed to have interacted with it. And as proof of this, he brought a stone from the vicinity.



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