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Eyewitness Accounts

While no hard evidence for the existence of the Loch Ness Monster has yet turned up, heaps of anecdotal evidence exist. Although such eyewitness accounts are of little value scientifically, they can be compelling nevertheless. Below, lend an ear to several native Scots who swear they saw something in the loch. These tales were collected by the producers of the NOVA film "The Beast of Loch Ness."

Note: We strongly recommend that you listen to rather than read these tales. Delivered in classic Highland brogue, the earnest recollections of these Scottish Highlanders, many of whom have lived on or near the loch for years, smack of the truth—and may leave you convinced that, indeed, something out of the ordinary lives in Loch Ness.

"I saw it, and nothing can take that away."

Cameron Ian Cameron
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Well, we're talking about an incident that happened approximately 32 years ago, almost to the very day—mid-summer, June 1965. I, along with a friend, was on the south shore of Loch Ness, fishing for brown trout, looking almost directly into Urquhart Bay, when I saw something break the surface of the water. I glanced there, and I saw it, and then it wasn't there, it had disappeared.

But while watching, keeping an eye, and fishing gently, I saw an object surface. It was a large, black object—a whale-like object, going from infinity up, and came round onto a block end—and it submerged, to reappear a matter of seconds later. But on this occasion, the block end, which had been on my right, was now on my left, so I realized immediately that while in the process of surfacing, as it may, it had rotated. And with the predominant wind, the south-west wind, it appeared to be, I would say, at that stage drifting easily across.

So I called to my friend Willie Frazer, who incidentally had a sighting of an object on the Loch almost a year ago to the very day. I called him, and he come up and joined me. We realized that it was drifting towards us, and, in fact, it came to within I would say about 250, 300 yards.

In no way am I even attempting to convert anybody to the religion of the object of Loch Ness. I mean, they can believe it, but it doesn't upset me if they don't believe it. Because I would question very much if I hadn't the extraordinary experience of seeing this object. If I hadn't seen it I would have without question given a lot of skepticism to what it was. But I saw it, and nothing can take that away.

#8212;Ian Cameron, a retired superintendent of the Northern Police Force, lives with his wife Jessie in Inverness, Scotland, at the head of the loch. A keen angler, he is an authority on the Atlantic salmon.

"I'm gobsmacked, I just didn't know what it was."
White Richard White
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Right, I'm driving along the Loch side, glancing out of the window. You can see the rock formation, I was just down on the road there, it just rises. I saw this boiling in the water. I thought, "No, it can't be anything," and I carried on a wee bit. Then I looked again, and I saw three black humps. I mean, you know, there's the chance, I've seen something in the water. But what is it?

So I'm gobsmacked, I'm looking out the window, I just didn't know what it was. Then the people came behind me, and they obviously wanted me to move. But I didn't want to lose sight of this thing. So I just pulled over to the side, grabbed my camera, and I thought I was being very cool and very nonchalant and took two or three photos. In fact, as I say, I had taken nine or ten, without realizing, I just punched the button. It was just a pity it was a small camera.

NOVA: Did anybody else see anything?

WHITE: Yeah, the other two people who were there—I was just so excited I didn't get their name and address or anything—they saw it exactly the same as me. Because the wee wifey, who would have been a lady in her fifties, on holiday, she was Scottish, she said to me, "I've not been in the bar this morning!" And her husband said, "Ach, it's an eel! It's an eel!" And I said, "There's no eels that big!" And he said, "Ach, it's otters!" And I said, "You don't get otters swimming out like that!"

I saw what I saw, and I'm not going to be dissuaded. It wasn't just an imagination. I'm a sane guy, and I've got no ax to grind. As I say I sell pet food! What use to me is the Loch Ness monster? Unless I can invent a food called, I don't know, Monster Munchies perhaps?

#8212;Richard White lives in the village of Muir of Ord, north of Inverness. He runs his own business selling pet food, and he also breeds dogs.

"When I got home I thought, 'I need a strong drink.'"

Moffat Val Moffat
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Well, the day that I saw the monster, it was the end of September 1990, and I was driving back from Inverness. I came up the hill where we came in sight of the bay, glanced out across it, and saw this large lump, is the best way to describe it. The nearest I can tell you is it looked like a boat that had turned upside down. Pretty much like that one out there, actually, same sort of size. If you took that boat and put it in the entrance to the bay, which is where I saw the monster, that's the size of it. About 30 feet in length, and nearly 10 feet in height from the water to the top of the back.

It was a bright, sunny day, the water was bright blue, and it really showed up against it. It was a mixture of browns, greens, sludgy sort of colors. I looked at it on and off for a few seconds, because I was driving. Must have seen it three or four times, and the last time I looked, it was gone!

NOVA: What did you think? What went through your mind at the time?

MOFFAT: Well, I thought to myself, "Oh, there's Nessie. 'Bout time I saw it, I've been living here a year." And then something in the back of my head sort of said, "That's not just Nessie, that's got to be the Loch Ness Monster that everybody has spent thousands of pounds searching for, and you're looking at the darn thing." I nearly drove off the road, but luckily I didn't because we had a fairly new car. Can you imagine what the insurance claim would have been like?

NOVA: What happened when you got home?

MOFFAT: When I got home I thought, "I need a strong drink." But there was none in the house, so I thought, "Right. Strong coffee will do."

#8212;Val Moffat has lived on the shores of Loch Ness for 11 years with her husband Ron. She helps her daughter Pamela run the village post office and tea room in Glen Urquhart, and she also does some charitable work.

"As far as I'm concerned, I've seen it."
Gary Campbell
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Okay, what happened was, it was March 14th, 1996. I was beside the Loch, I was doing my job. I'm the area manager of an insurance company, and I cover a large part of the Highlands. I sat beside the Loch and lay by just to do some—it was further up the Loch here around that corner—just to do some paperwork, and away up there you can see the dark bay coming out at the top of the Loch.

I was sitting doing paperwork, and I looked up at the Loch, and out of the corner of my eye, I saw this black hump come out of the water. I thought, "Heavens!" and looked at it again, and sure enough it went back into the water and came back out again and back down. I thought, immediately sort of looked ahead and thought, "I've seen it!" Good grief, after all these years being here and then thinking "Heavens above!" you know, "I've actually seen it!"

One of the interesting things was at the time there was another chap with me who had just disappeared. It's just typical of these things that I didn't have a camera with me (I carry one now obviously). At the time, this other guy, I had just taken a photograph of him for his family, and he just disappeared. He literally had just driven out just two minutes beforehand, so I had absolutely no one else to corroborate.

But on the hump, I would say it was black, sort of a dark black color, it had the water coursing off it, and it was just big, I think is the best way to put it. It certainly wasn't a seal, it certainly wasn't a fish. All I can say is that I suppose looking at the Loch, that somewhere in there is the Loch Ness monster. And as far as I'm concerned, I've seen it.

#8212;Gary Campbell, an accountant, lives in Inverness with his wife Cathy. He founded the official Loch Ness Fan Club, which includes a newsletter.

"It was gray-brown, massive, the size of a big bus."

Mackintosh Ronald Mackintosh
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Well, I've lived here all my life, so that's coming up for 59 years, I'm afraid, and I've fished this Loch here nearly all my life, for salmon. I've caught a few, not as many as I would have liked to have caught, and I basically know the place, just back to front really.

Well, I was about 14 years old, and we had a local farm down here at Drumnadrochit. My late brother and late mother were in the car, and we were driving to Inverness for messages on a Saturday. Beautiful day, flat-calm surface. About eight miles from here down towards Inverness, opposite Aldourie Castle, I happened just to look to the Loch and shout "Stop the car!" My brother stopped the car, and we all saw this huge commotion right in the center of the Loch.

It was gray-brown, massive. Now, I always try to relate it to the size of a bus, a big bus. It flipped over, just flipped right over like that, crashed down. You could see it, and the waves from that point were about three feet high and ebbed to each side of the Loch.

That's what I actually saw with my own eyes and my late mother saw and my late brother saw. We did tell one or two people, but we didn't tell too many. I myself obviously think I saw the monster, but I certainly saw that. Nobody to this day has been able to tell me exactly what I saw or what we saw. Therefore I must say that it was the monster, really. I mean, I actually saw it. It was an object, it was huge. What was it? It must have been the monster.

#8212;Ronald Mackintosh was born and raised in the village of Drumnadrochit on the shores of Loch Ness. He is a retired salesman for a Scottish beer company and a great authority on local history.

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