- Paperback: 128 pages
- Publisher: Birlinn Ltd; 3rd Revised edition edition (July 1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1874744610
- ISBN-13: 978-1874744610
- Product Dimensions: 21.2 x 13.8 x 1 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,531,079 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Loch Ness Monster: The Evidence Paperback – 1 Jul 1996
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About the Author
Steuart Campbell is a freelance science writer.
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Top Customer Reviews
The only real fault of the book stems from the author's determination that Nessie not only does not exist, but cannot and indeed jolly well MUST not exist. This belief is pretty much evident from the tone and slant of the writing right from the beginning. Though the author purports to be completely objective, his take on the matter stands out precisely because he is NOT objective. How can he be? As Connor Cruise O'Brien pointed out in his essay on the French historian Michelet (in his collection of essays "Writers and Politics"), no-one writing a book about any given subject can really be objective, because anyone propelled to write a book on a subject must have some passion about it, and therefore some bias, in the first place. I could write completely objective books about, for instance, the history of Australian farming or Norwich City football club, but never would because I haven't got the remotest interest in either subject. This inbuilt bias leads the author to miss one or two aspects of the matter.
For instance, he states that Loch Ness has no egress to the sea.Read more ›
The problem I have with this particular book is with the author. By his own words he has never spoken to any eye-witnesses who claim to have seen the monster and has no intention of ever doing so. The evidence discussed in this book, such as photographs and films, just seems to consist of anecdotes copied from other works, the author adding a few comments of his own at the end of each one. This isn't journalism or investigating - it's just a cut-and-paste job. I'm all for constructive criticism, but every piece of evidence is dismissed out of hand as either faked or hoaxed often without any convincing reason. Or in many cases without any reason at all. There are plenty of other books on the Loch Ness Monster out there, and they're far more objective and wrtten with much more care than this.
Oh, and if you already have an older edition of this book then don't bother with the 'new edition'. The only new things in it are a few extra lines on a few of the photographs and a few lines concerning a film taken in 2002.
If Nessie exists, then its ancestor must have entered Loch Ness at some time in the past, when there was a tunnel from the loch to the open sea. But since Loch Ness is 16 meters above sea level, any tunnel large enough to take Nessie would drain the lake down to sea level. There is no tunnel, and probably never was a tunnel. And for the creature to have survived for centuries, there would have to be a breeding herd of at least twenty individuals. But Loch Ness is too cold to support any cold-blooded species, and also does not have the capacity to feed such a number of large lifeforms. Campbell shows that all alleged positive results of sonar, radar and photographic imaging, on close inspection, in fact prove to be negative. Not only does the loch not have the capacity to support a herd of monsters. No legitimate evidence exists that it does contain them. And given the thousands of man-hours devoted to loch watching by serious researchers, photographers and tourists, the logical conclusion is that, if Nessie existed, someone would have proven it by now. But the more Loch Ness is watched, the less the alleged monster shows itself.
Campbell concludes that there is absolutely no reason why anyone should believe in lake monsters. If anyone doubts that conclusion on the basis of any specific evidentiary claim, the chances are that it is one of the dozens of claims that the book examines and demolishes.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Later,I realized that when examining the evidence,it is very important to look at both sides of the story.For instance,regardless of my pro-monster status,I now concede that the "Surgeon's Photo" is in fact a hoax,as well as Lachlan Stuart's "3-hump" photo. The famous "gargoyle head" photo snapped by an underwater camera most likely shows an engine block used as an anchor (but the other underwater phots arte still very interesting).
As to the book itself,it is a bit difficult to read-the author refers to the Monster as "N",the loch as "L. Ness",and uses a whole series of abbreviations,which make for some interesting,as well as confusing sentences. He also make many seemingly solid declarations without giving sources,the most common being that a film or photograph (pick one,any one) has "long been rumoured to be a hoax."
Summing up-if you a Monster enthusiast,by all means,read this book,but be prepared for a completely negative view of the whole matter,and remember that it is important to examine all sides of the issue.