Lake Monsters: Where Are The Bodies?

Posted by: Nick Redfern on July 18th, 2013


“Just the other night, while I was promoting my new Monster Files book, the host of the relevant radio show asked me why, if lake monsters are real, don’t we ever find hard and undeniable evidence of their existence? He was, of course, talking about a living specimen or a corpse. Okay, it’s a fair question, and many might take the view that the lack of a creature – alive or dead – is suggestive of the whole thing being nothing more than folklore, mythology, legend, hoaxing and misidentification. Right? Wrong.

“There are many reasons why, even in lakes close to highly populated areas, we might never find hard evidence of the existence of such creatures. Let us focus primarily on the world’s most famous lake monsters of all, the Nessies of Scotland’s Loch Ness.”

The above-quote is taken from my latest Mysterious Universe article, which you can find right here…

Nick Redfern About Nick Redfern
Punk music fan, Tennents Super and Carlsberg Special Brew beer fan, horror film fan, chocolate fan, like to wear black clothes, like to stay up late. Work as a writer.

12 Responses to “Lake Monsters: Where Are The Bodies?”

  1. DWA responds:

    Well, even for somebody like me who has no interest in the paranormal, there’s food for thought here.

    Look at the incredible variety of forms among the world’s fishes. Why couldn’t lake monsters – even Nessie – be fishes?

    And this may stretch things a tad. But dinosaurs are now accepted to be…um….warm-blooded reptiles. Is it really such a stretch to think that another reptile might have greatly improved its ability to draw oxygen from water, or otherwise to use it more efficiently to minimize the time it needs to spend at the surface? If some fish, such as eels, mudskippers and lungfish, have gone the other way, well, why not?

  2. dconstrukt responds:

    how does someone take a photo of champ… OUT OF THE WATER, yet no one else in DECADES has been able to do the same?

    if an animal is above water, it must need to breathe air…. why isn’t anyone else seeing these creatures more often?

    its not like these lakes are in the middle of nowhere… there’s boats and ppl on these lakes daily.

    to me, this is a HUGE sign something isn’t right.

  3. cryptokellie responds:

    I am all for evolution of species to adapt to environs but it is the time-line that bothers me at Loch Ness. It took millions of years for true sea snakes as an example, to evolve into a fully committed aquatic life. Yet after all that time – tens of millions of years – they did not change their respiratory system to process oxygen directly from the water as fish do with gills. While I don’t discount the possibility of that eventually happening, the Loch is only 10 thousand years old – not enough time for vertebrate evolution to do anything really. I’m leaning (after 55 years of following this) towards the Loch Ness phenomena being explained by a combination of occurrences including; Folklore/Religious history, true encounters (single humps) and hoaxes/misidentifications (multiple humps & long-necked). Taking only the true encounters into effect, I feel that Nessie could be a form of eel or cartilaginous fish. Not too much evo-changing would had to have taken place and could happen within 10,000 years and the rare sighting ratio would jive. Also, no bones…no bodies. But if pressed for an answer, I would say that most – 95% or higher – of the occurrences at Loch Ness are misidentifications of natural existing wildlife/Loch conditions or outright hoaxes/canards, fueled by the lure of a good story. The remaining 5% of sightings and evidence as small as it is rules out the majority of popular and more sexy explanations such as plesiosaurs and long necked pinnipeds. Unfortunately, I also feel that these fish would have been caught and known to the locals over the long time the Great Glen has been populated.

  4. marcodufour responds:

    cryptokelie – these animals are also seen in the sea and in the sea lochs too.

  5. cryptokellie responds:

    Yes they are seen…as are ghosts (which I believe in), UFOs (one of which I saw in ’64), Mermaids (which I don’t believe in) and many other things, but while seeing unfortunately CAN be believing, it is not proof. Although I still keep hope, 55 years and counting, any one of these things will only be proven when one is captured – definitively – on demonstrative video/photography or physical presence – alive or deceased.
    BTW…The sea lochs were created at the same relative geological time – thousands of years ago by glacial action, not tens of millions of years ago. On the other hand, something living in the sea (marine environs) could possibly exist – probably does. The only reason I hold that as a most probable is due the vast size of the world’s seas and oceans which will perhaps never be fully explored. Compared to the oceans, Loch Ness is a cup full of water and comparatively well explored considering one can actually stand on one side of the Loch and see the other side at almost any point.

  6. Goodfoot responds:

    cryptokellie: See the other side? Yes. I don’t understand the relevance. Can we see down INTO it?
    No, we cannot.

  7. marcodufour responds:

    cryptokellie – I also have seen many ghosts, found very good evidence of the Yowie and anecdotal evidence of Sasquatch and good video proof of Mhorag 9 which my ex stole from me ) but i digress, the sea lochs are connected to the sea, Loch Scavaig had many a good sighting as had the North sea and the Atlantic. I don`t pretend to have an explanation of the Nessie, all i do know is my friend`s were very reticent about telling me about the sightings, one waited a few years till she knew me better, maybe a connection via the Caledonian canal or underwater passages to the sea ? The Rines photos do appear to show a Plesiosaur like animal and of course they were linked to sonar and were only worked on as much as the lunar landing photos , yet another conspiracy there maybe ?

  8. cryptokellie responds:

    I’m not sure I understand your response but what I tried to relate to Marcodufour was that seeing a phenomena of any kind, be it physical or paranormal, can be a personal reason for belief but not a reality for proven existence.

    Marcodufour stated that creatures have been reported in the sea and sea lochs as though sightings alone are an absolute…they are not although sightings will create personal belief. I believe that the spirit of my golden retriever Kellie visits (no haunting here) my home. I and my family members have heard many of the sounds habitually made by her during her life which cannot be duplicated when there was no dog in the house. So, I believe it but – is it proof of some sort of after-existence? No, it is not.

    Seeing is believing – but it is not proving…

  9. springheeledjack responds:

    I buy into Nick’s arguments as far as a body not being found. As for what Nessie and other lake critters are and so on–until we have a body, we’re not going to know what is really going on: whether it’s an invertebrate, reptile, mammal, fish, and so on. There’s a lot of speculation that goes back and forth, but at this point, while I have ideas about what I think they could be, I’m not ruling anything out–because, after all, I don’t have the proof to back it up.

    If life has taught us anything, it’s that animals grow and evolve and they can do it in almost any environment. Just because an animal doesn’t fit our “ideas” about what it should do and should be able to do, doesn’t mean it can’t. Remember how recently it was pretty much accepted knowledge that the bottom of the ocean was lifeless because we couldn’t get there and couldn’t conceive of life existing at such extreme pressures, with little food and no light. And guess what–we were wrong.

    Of the theories about what is living in these lakes and lochs, most of them seem to have at least one “hole” and that means to me that we’re dealing with something that while it fits a lot of parameters of several animal types, it doesn’t fit all of them, and it makes me even more inclined to believe we’re dealing with something outside of our normal “animal” types. We have lots of dinosaur bones, but we really don’t know a lot about them and they way they operated and lived–we make assumptions based on what we know about biology from animals around us, but we apply those known patterns to unknown creatures asssssuming it’s exactly the same. Until something new comes along that blows the old ideas out of the water–like that dinos were related to birds in many ways (or vice versa).

    Ah, but I digress. Lack of carcasses doesn’t bother me that much because of the food chain and the cycle of life. And I always get back to this, but Ness, for example, is far larger than what people realize and even during the height of monster season, there are not eyes on every square meter of the loch 24/7. There are still plenty of remote areas of the loch for critters to hide, come to the surface, and even come to shore.

  10. cryptokellie responds:

    Go look at the original – un-retouched – Rines images …they show little, almost nothing. The “Gargoyle Head” photo has been proven to be a rotting stump on the bottom of the Loch.

    The sonar images are suspect in interpretation. There is no conspiracy here only, plain old over enthusiasm. Your comparison of the Lunar Landing photos being worked on as much as the Rines images is ridiculous. Even with no retouching, if there was any, the Lunar landing images clearly show easily recognizable objects with no doubt possible as to what they are. Un-retouched, the Rines images look like whatever you might want them to look. If you’re seeking plesiosaurs you’ll find them there, helped with very subjective editing. Really, questioning whether or not the NASA moon landings are factual or not (they are by the way) is not the issue here, but the NASA images recognizably show what they are supposed to show…astronauts and a lunar surface.

    My point again is that eyewitness sightings are important in as much they may open doors to further discoveries BUT, alone by themselves, eyewitness sightings are not positive proof.

    I do not discount the Sea Loch sightings or many other sightings of unusual things. But they are just that – sightings…nothing more. They alone do not constitute proof that those things exist.

    Difficult to be much clearer here.

  11. springheeledjack responds:

    I just stumbled across a headline tonight:

    Basically arguing that dinosaurs would have been warm blooded to be able to maximize their energy and hunt and run down prey. Whether the study is valid or not, time will tell, but this is not the first time or the last time that the argument for warm blooded reptiles will surface, and may further push lake/loch cryptids as viable reptiles.

    cryptokellie–I don’t think anyone’s arguing that sightings serve as proof–that’s not the way I took the responses. The sightings are what start people looking in directions for cryptids. Whatever is being seen in Ness, it’s been going on, over time and with enough sightings that make it worthwhile to study. It may well be a combination of all kinds of phenomena, but to date it certainly hasn’t been proved one way or another. I do agree that the pictures to date are sketchy at best–pictures oft times, I think, are a great example of people seeing what they want to see–for further evidence of that look at any blobsquatch photo.

    I think that it’s one of the best known cryptids, making it a hot spot for tourists and cryptid hunters, and Ness is reasonably accessible to hunt cryptids, and in the great scheme of things, it’s not as large as some of the other cryptid infested places (assuming you’re willing to cross the Atlantic if you’re in the U.S.).

    I do think the most viable place for water cryptids are the oceans, but hunting those is a waste of time in my estimation because there’s absolutely so much water, it’s worse than a needle in a haystack…I’ll wait for ROV’s to do the work for me on that front.

  12. Steve Plambeck responds:

    It gets overlooked a lot, but plesiosaurs weren’t actually dinosaurs, so invoking the metabolism of dinosaurs does nothing to revive the plesiosaurs or other aquatic reptiles as candidates for inhabiting Loch Ness.

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