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Was Nessie just an invention?


Anomalocaris
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Was Nessie just the invention of a boozy London pub lunch by hoteliers keen to drum up custom for Scottish hotels?

The much loved and mysterious Loch Ness monster may have been invented by a cunning British public relations consultant, who dreamed up the idea of the creature in a London pub.

The claims were made in a new book which suggests the story of the monster was started to encourage people to visit the Scottish Highland following the difficult years of the Great Depression.

The monster was invented by DG Gerahty, who was recruited by several Scottish hotels to improve the area's tourism, claimed Professor Gareth Williams.

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Was Nessie just an invention?

Answer: Yes.

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This was first brought up in Henry H. Bauer's (1986) "The Enigma of Loch Ness: Making Sense of a Mystery" but that author did not necessarily see it as a slam dunk against Nessie's existence:

Lester Smith(*) and his colleagues in 1933 found a way to attract wide public attention to the claims of a monster in Loch Ness; were it not for their efforts the sightings might not have continued to be of passing local interest only. But whatever spurious reports Smith may have created, the result in my view was that it stimulated the recounting of genuine earlier and contemporary sightings and a determined effort, by many more people than ever before, to keep a watch. Quite in general anomalous phenomena are often what Westrum has called “hidden events”; and even a fraud or a hoax or a mistaken observation can then lead to genuine information becoming public. That a fraud may have brought about the public flap of 1933 does not entail that Nessie does not exist. Indeed, it may have required such an artificial stimulus to generate sufficient interest that people would be prepared to spend time in pursuit of such an elusive phenomenon.

(*) Steuart Campbell, who saw an earlier draft of this book, pointed to my lack of consistency here. I have commented that Dinsdale and Whyte, for example, by protecting the identity of witnesses, would inevitably carry less conviction with their readers, yet I have done the same thing in referring to “Lester Smith.” The latter’s death now, I believe, made it legitimate for me to be more explicit. The quotation in chapter 1 is from Marise (London: Peter Davies, 1950, p. 95), by Stephen Lister. In corresponding with me, Lister revealed that his name was actually D. G. Gerahty. He was an acclaimed novelist, not only as Stephen Lister, but also as Robert Standish.

[Source]

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Was Nessie just the invention of a boozy London pub lunch by hoteliers keen to drum up custom for Scottish hotels?

No, because people have reported seeing Nessie for at least 1,500 years.

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I've heard the claim about St. Columba and sightings for 1,500 years and all that, but I've never seen any direct evidence of it. Does it exist?

Although I'd still be skeptical, because the idea of tourism is hardly a 19th or 20 century invention. But I'd like to examine the evidence for myself.

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Having visited Loch Ness on a number of occasions, I can tell you that there is a direct correlation between single malt whisky and monster sightings.

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No, because people have reported seeing Nessie for at least 1,500 years.

Mass hysteria and/or misidentification - do you know that other animals live in the loch?

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I've heard the claim about St. Columba and sightings for 1,500 years and all that, but I've never seen any direct evidence of it. Does it exist?

The sighting is mentioned in the Life of St Columba, written by Irish abbot Adomnán in the 7th Century.

Mass hysteria and/or misidentification

Where's your evidence for this? And the fact that people have reported seeing Nessie for centuries doesn't quite tally with the dubious tale that it was all the invention of a public relations consultant in the 1930s.

Edited by Black Monk
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I did look up the "Life" - it's given here in one translation http://www.ucc.ie/ce...1040/index.html There's one mention of a whale (but not Loch Ness), no mention of the Loch, and no other thing that looks close.

That's the sort of thing I mean. And from your link (Part 1 concerning miracles):

When returning from the country of the Picts, where he had been for some days, he hoisted his sail when the breeze was against him to confound the Druids, and made as rapid a voyage as if the wind had been favourable. On other occasions, also, contrary winds were at his prayers changed into fair. In that same country, he took a white stone from the river, and blessed it for the working of certain cures, and that stone, contrary to nature, floated like an apple when placed in water. This divine miracle was wrought in the presence of King Brude and his household.

For the first sentence, any good sailor could do that. "On other occasions..." just means that the winds change.

I see no reason to believe miracles as related in old stories, as entertaining and valuable as old stories can be.

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Where's your evidence for this?

Since you asked so nicely...

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3079234/Nessie-just-otterly-wrong-Expert-reveals-photo-purporting-Loch-Ness-monster-instead-shows-playful-otter.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loch_Ness_Monster#Misidentification_of_known_animals

It's safe to say that their 'sightings' were also misidentifications.

And the fact that people have reported seeing Nessie for centuries doesn't quite tally with the dubious tale that it was all the invention of a public relations consultant in the 1930s.

These sightings have only recently been associated in recent times - the term 'Loch Ness monster' is a recent invention (hence the reason why you never see the name 'Nessie' in Life.

In my eyes, this just sounds like denialism of Nessie's non-existence.

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Probably accurate to a degree. I don't doubt somebody saw something. Obviously, somebody else thought it would be a good idea to make some money ... and bam!

Tourist trap.

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It is probably a human invention, but I doubt it was a conscious thing that someone sat down and invented. More than likely, it is a mythological character that developed over the centuries, based on misidentified swimming animals, logs, currents, and other floating stuff. Eventually, it got away from us, as most legends tend to do.

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Has there been any recent sightings of her? I haven't heard anything now for years.

I remember, way back in the 70's and '80's, there wasn't a week that went by when we didn't get at least 2-3 reports of 'we saw Nessie'....now, not so much.

Maybe I am just missing it and they haven't been reported, or I just haven't seen where they are yet....

Or maybe, with all the advances in Sonar and Oceanographic technology, Nessie has gone into hiding somewhere where our precise and acute scientific instruments cannot detect a 30ft sea monster.....not.

Edited by The Necromancer
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Was Nessie just an invention?

Answer: Yes.

Is the topic still wrung out for every last scintilla?

Answer: Duh

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Given the internet and its abundance of resources, we have emerged a far more skeptical if not cynical society. Would we be surprised should such a creature exist or do we even care?

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Given the internet and its abundance of resources, we have emerged a far more skeptical if not cynical society. Would we be surprised should such a creature exist or do we even care?

If a animal did survive extinctions then it would be suprising. Most sea animals have not changed

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Look, Nessie is always good for bilking a little bit more cash from visitors who can't tell the difference between a large branch floating in water. Okay, she/ it/ whatever brings jobs to the loch as part of the tourist market - one of Scotland's money spinners - and helps out Drumnadrochit no end, but if the monster ever lived, it's dead by now.

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  • 1 month later...

It was a conspiracy theory organized by drunks in a bar. This so-called solution is more ludicrous than the idea of Nessie. Sounds like a professor who ran out of ideas publicizing a new book in order to make money off the legend.

When did "I speculate it was a vast conspiracy even though I don't have any direct evidence" become scientific reasoning?

I speculate this professor found his degree in a crackerjack box! Oooh, look at me - all sciency n stuff -

Edited by Jungleboogie
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I like nessie. Obviously doesn't exist but, still a good story. Though I like mythical creatures in general (in a "what was that!?" while sitting around the campfire sort of way).

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