Nessie Vs. Kelpie

Posted by: Nick Redfern on December 27th, 2013

Tim Dinsdale, The Story of the Loch Ness Monster

“…it is true that Nessie has been seen, photographed and sonared but that can also be said of ghosts, fairies and boggarts. Isn’t it possible that what we have here is not a ‘cryptoid’ at all, but a local kelpie legend (mythical Gaelic water beast) that caught the imagination of the world’s press before getting a little out of hand? Perhaps the single most impressive thing about Nessie is that prior to 1933 accounts are hard to come by: in fact, they are almost embarrassing in terms of their absence (another post, another day). However, there are a handful of kelpie accounts from Ness.”

So writes Dr. Beachcombing in a new article titled Was Nessie A Kelpie?

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.

6 Responses to “Nessie Vs. Kelpie”

  1. Wee Falorie Man responds:

    No, Dr. Beachcombing, ghosts, fairies, and boggarts have never been sonared – and I’m pretty sure that boggarts have never been photographed, either. Arbitrarily putting the Loch Ness Monster in the same category as ghosts, fairies, and boggarts does nothing to disprove the existence of the Loch Ness Monster. The Loch Ness Monster either exists or does not exist, regardless of anybody’s opinions.

  2. Troodon56 responds:

    I disagree. There have been numerous sightings of the Loch Ness Monster before 1933; they were just less frequent and less widely-publicized. The reason why sightings became more frequent after 1933 is because that was when a new road was built along the side of the loch, which allowed people to have more sightings.

  3. Wee Falorie Man responds:

    That’s right Troodon, the new road increased the likelihood of sightings. Also, after all the publicity, more people would be actively looking for something in the loch and that would, of course, increase the number of sightings. The publicity also made it more likely that a person would actually report a sighting instead of just keeping it to themselves or merely telling a small circle of friends. Of course, none of this proves that the Loch Ness Monster exists, it just shows some of the reasons why there were fewer reported sightings prior to 1933.

  4. NMRNG responds:

    Or, it could be that prior to 1933, people felt less of a need to see a wave, log, large waterfowl, errant seal, etc… and claim it was a monster. There is a far greater likelihood of misidentification with Nessie and other lake monster sightings than with sightings of pretty much any other cryptid. I really don’t understand how Nessie believers can ignore the fact that such a small body of water could not sustain a breeding population of a very large animal. Think about other species of large marine creatures – whales and great white sharks migrate thousands of miles to have a sustaining food supply. But I suppose fantasy is a lot more interesting than biology and zoology.

    I don’t believe that Nessie was ever real, but if I am wrong, no one will ever prove it because there is nothing in that loch in the 21st century larger than a white sturgeon.


    I’m still humorously amazed that this web site’s spell checker does not recognize either “cryptid” or “Cryptomundo.”

  5. silverity responds:

    The Kelpie was no more mythical than the Loch Ness Monster. The “myth” tag was put there by academics but was real enough to the local inhabitants around the loch. What we call the Loch Ness Monster, they called the Water Horse or Kelpie. They claimed to see it not just hear about it by winter fire places.

    As for paucity of reports, to be frank, we would have nothing at all if Victorian writers had not taken the time to travel to the Highlands and collect and publish these oral traditions. Otherwise, there would be even less to talk about.

  6. Troodon56 responds:

    Yes, I do agree that the majority of sightings are most likely misidentifications. However, there are some sightings that do appear to describe genuine unknown aquatic megafauna living in Loch Ness, as well as in other lakes (such as Lake Champlain). So I do believe that there are (or were) genuine unknown animals living in Loch Ness, as well as in the other lakes in which similar creatures have been sighted.
    In regard to your second point, I do also agree that it’s unlikely that there are breeding populations of the animals resident within the lakes. If there were, indeed, breeding populations of such large animals within these lakes, then they should probably be seen more often, and the amount of food within the lakes might additionally become an issue.

    Therefore, I subscribe to the “Rogue Nessie” hypothesis; I think that Nessies (as well as Champs, Morags, and all the other reported freshwater cryptids throughout the world) are inhabitants of the oceans, and that some individuals occasionally swim into these lakes, and become trapped. Once they become trapped, they could remain there for several decades before eventually dying. In addition to providing a neat explanation for the skeptical arguments regarding the amount of food and capacity to sustain a breeding population within these lakes, it also elegantly explains why sightings are sometimes plentiful in some years, and scarce in others.

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