Nessie: A Matter of Faith

image4I have seen the Loch Ness Monster.

Don’t believe me? That’s cool. I am not out to prove anything to you, nor do I expect you to believe me anyway.

Let me explain.

Several years ago, I took a short break at Loch Ness in Scotland. I did the usual things, checked out the local historical buildings, followed the Whisky Trail and indulged in a spot of dolphin watching on the Moray Firth.

But what I also did was take a few minutes to stand on the banks of Lock Ness and gaze out over the water. A lone piper started to play, as he does every day, but he was so distant that I couldn’t really hear him, it more like I could sense the sound of the pipes right at the edge of my consciousness.

The place was otherwise silent, no traffic, no birdsong, just the subtle hint of the bagpipes lament over the wind. It was a this moment, I saw the huge dark shadow of Nessie gliding along in front of me, just below the surface of the water.

In the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, such as the complete lack of an ecological chain of life within the Loch to support a large life form and the implausibility of such an allegedly huge creature surviving undisturbed even in such a rural location.

Allied to that, the Loch would need to be home to a colony of such creatures, rather than just one. And even though it is a huge body of water, it has been intensively searched many times. To illustrate how large, if you drained Loch Ness completely of water, you could fit the entire human population of the Earth into it. It would be cosy, but you could do it.

image3The most famous photograph of Nessie has been shown to be a fake and no physical traces have been found… Ever. No footprints, no bodily waste, no dead Nessies… Nothing, except a few uncorroborated eye-witness accounts, most of which are from locals, who it must be said, have a vested interest in keeping the story of Nessie alive.

Regardless of all of that, I saw the Loch Ness Monster right in front of me.

Reality Check!

Did I really see the Loch Ness Monster? Of course not. What I saw was actually an effect of light on the surface of very dark water, add to that the subtle hint of traditional bagpipe music and the sheer natural beauty of the environment, I saw simply what I wanted to see.

I would love for Nessie to be a living, breathing thing. I truly would. I would also like the mystery to endure without Nessie actually being proved. Why? Because if Nessie were to be discovered, she would be captured and either placed in a zoo or killed and dissected for research purposes.

But in my heart, I know that the available evidence strongly supports the more realistic probability that Nessie is a complete myth.

Even if we look at the mountains of literature covering the subject, it all amounts to conjecture and fallible (or even dishonest) witness accounts. There is absolutely no peer reviewed research or physical evidence, let alone compelling evidence.

In the face of all of that research and physical searches of Loch Ness with no result… ever! Certain people continue to perpetuate the myth. Either for profit, as with the locals, whose economy relies, to a certain extent, on tourism.

And also more credulous individuals, perhaps with vivid imaginations and a need for mystique to exist in a world that is already overflowing with incredible sights and sounds, both man-made and natural. For instance, the Pyramids, the Temple of Chichen Itza, the music of Mozart, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Mynah Bird that can recreate almost any sound known to man, a pod of dolphins facing down a killer whale and the Giant’s Causeway.

People whose desire for preternatural occurrences and events outweighs facing the reality that going by the current evidence and provably factual information, on Planet Earth, what you see is what you get.

Some people believe that the Loch Ness Monster exists, contrary to all the available evidence, based purely on faith.

Remind you of anyone?

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