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The Loch Ness Story

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Unknown Binding
  • Publisher: Corgi Books; First as Such edition (1982)
  • ASIN: B002KDMOEA
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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By DAVID BRYSON TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 22 Jun. 2005
Format: Paperback
The whole saga dates basically from 1933, when the most famous photograph, apparently showing the head and neck of the alleged beast, was taken by one Colonel Wilson. Sightings, dim photographs and echo-soundings have continued ever since, but the story still has the status of myth rather than anything else in both the popular and the scientific view. Loch Ness is the largest and deepest of a chain of ribbon lochs, connected by the Caledonian Canal, stretching along the geological fault-line between Inverness and the Atlantic across the width of the Scottish highlands. At its deepest it may be a full 1000 feet, and its lower regions are almost impenetrably murky owing to saturation of the water with particles of peat. Nicholas Witchell is a BBC journalist who has taken an interest in the issue from his teens, and his book is an admirably thorough, balanced and honest account of the history of the investigations from 1933 to at least 1989, the date of my edition.
Is there or isn't there some colony of strange creatures down there? It really comes down to who and what we are prepared to believe. If they exist, the creatures are shy of human beings. They appear to be frightened off by noise, for instance, and of course the area has great attractions for tourists as well as investigators. However if they do exist, it seems certain that they have to come up for air at times. Reports indicate beasts of up to 30' in length, which I gather is over the maximum theoretical size for anything that can breathe with gills. Witchell assembles the evidence with great thoroughness. Hoaxes there have been, and in particular one exceptionally determined investigation in 1975 seems to have made an honest but serious mistake that did nothing to assuage scepticism.
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Format: Hardcover
Many years ago, while still at primary school, my interest of the goings-on at Loch Ness were stirred by the dramatic underwater photographs taken by Bob Rines & Co. A few months later, my curiosity took a hold and a visit to Scotland and the Loch was made. No luck in finding the beast, of course. Instead, though, I found this jewel of a book written by BBC News correspondent Nick Witchell. This kept me enthralled on the long jourey home and for weeks, months, years and now decades later. It tells not just of pictures, but of people. Not just of sightings, but surroundings. Witchell manages to convey the dark, almost eerie atmosphere that inhabits this part of the Highlands. His research is meticulous, stretching back as far as 565 A.D. and St. Columba's encounter with the creature. Eye-witness accounts, interviews and reports right up until the late 20th Century are put together in a most compelling way. As the title suggests, it reads almost like a novel, with Witchell providing you with clues and information every step of the way. The edition I have was, however, may be a bit premature. "Postscript: The Solution" proudly proclaims the last chapter, detailing his first view of those extraordinary underwater photos of 1975. Although later editions have this chapter removed, I prefer this edition as it captures quite wonderfully his obvious excitement about the subject. The pictures are fairly standard, the usual black and white reproductions of the most famous sihgtings such as the Surgeons classic head-neck shot but the quality of writing is simply first-rate. It will have you hooked and is one of the books you read again and again and again. As this thirty-something will certainly testify to. If you are remotely interested in the Loch Ness Monster, you could hardly do any better than this tome. Buy it!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
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