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on 19 July 2017
This was a present to help my granddaughter with some research
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on 26 July 2009
This book purports, not without justification, to be the definitive assessment of all the evidence for/against the existence of Nessie. By and large, it does an admirably thorough job, examining all of the available theories and trashing the most obviously ludicrous ones (I particularly like the way he treats the stupid hippy-idea that Nessie's image appears translucent on some photoes not because they are forgeries but because she comes from another dimension). He also mentions the tantalising existence of at least two films, apparently never viewed, that might conclusively establish the existence or otherwise of the beast, but which, due to a legal Snafu, are doomed to be locked away for ever in a London vault.
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. This is incorrect; the river Ness runs from the Loch to the sea - how does he think the migratory salmon get in and out? It follows that, if salmon can get to and from the sea, so could other organisms. Ones that live on them, for instance - though I concede that the likelihood of Nessie not being spotted in hot pursuit of salmon up a pretty small river is remote. Also, he claims that, if Nessie exists, she must have been spotted and even caught before now. This is a similarly fallacious belief; the recently-identified Megamouth shark has been around for goodness knows how long but was only discovered a few years ago, while the Coelacanth, thought to have been extinct for aeons, was discovered in the 1930s alive and well in the Indian Ocean, where it still thrives. There is an old Chinese saying - "What is the wisest animal? The animal that no man has seen". Nessie may yet exist, and prove to be smarter than anyone yet suspects. If those films ever get out, maybe we'll know for sure.
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on 12 June 2010
The Loch Ness Monster continues to mystify the world to this day, opinion divided on whether or not an unknown species inhabits the dark waters of the mysterious Scottish lake. This book is one of many published on the subject.

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.
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on 27 December 2002
"The Loch Ness Monster" is a detailed evaluation of every photographically supported sighting of the loch's alleged denizen since 1933. Campbell offers the most plausible explanation of each, and concludes that none survives close inspection. While he lists the ancient mythology that has been retroactively postulated as evidence for Nessie's existence, he finds that it is nothing more than a desperate ploy to reinterpret older fairy tales as earlier sightings.
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.
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on 4 December 2002
This book details the majority of sightings, sonar evidence and video footage and takes them apart in the hope of finding the truth. A must for cryptozoology fans
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