Tuesday 25 April 2017


Loch Ness at Night
Photo by Andy McGrath, 2012

In 2012, I visited Loch Ness with my wife as part of our belated honeymoon for a cryptozoology trip of a lifetime. As you might have detected from the context of the trip and my relationship to my travelling companion, I do indeed have a very understanding wife, a must have for any cryptozoologist. 

We stayed for 1 week at the Loch Ness Lodge near Drumnadrochit, for what was to be a very 5 star Nessie expedition with all the comforts and trimmings tacked on for good measure. Searching for Nessie by day, and indulging in spa treatments and tourist trips to the towns by night.

Brackla Harbour
Photo by Andy McGrath, 2012
We thoroughly explored the towns surrounding Loch Ness and were impressed by their beauty and friendly welcome. What did surprise us however about this popular tourist destination was brought home to me when travelling around The Loch at night and that was the utter blackness in the area after dark. Without a good full moon and a cloudless sky (not a common occurrence in Scotland) you literally were looking out onto complete darkness when trying to see the water at night. 

Photo of the Jacobite Cruiser at Bracla Harbour
 by Andy McGrath, 2012
In fact, we remarked upon the beautiful starlit skies (when visible) and how there was no light pollution of any kind. It truly is lights out at The Loch after dark and it came to me very quickly that even a large  creature such as Nessie is purported to be, would be able to move around in near anonymity on the waters and in the woods and hills without ever being seen in this rural darkness that covered everything as far as the eye could see (which was not very far). It seemed very plausible that if this creature was a temporary resident, moving between Ness and its other connecting lochs, rivers and the sea at night, the local population and even researchers would be none the wiser. 

As I stood and gazed out into the darkness at Brackla Harbour I suddenly became keenly aware that a submerged animal would be able to come very close to me without my seeing it, I became so nervous in fact that I briskly walked back to my hotel for a better and more comfortable (safer) look from my hotel window.

People unfamiliar with rural Britain do not realize just how underpopulated and dimly illuminated the countryside really is and that one could easily pass within feet of a Bigfoot or a Brachiosaur, without seeing either.

The very first 'Beasts of Britain' expedition to Loch Ness,
Photo by Nily Ron, 2012

To this end, an all-night vision expedition, a sedentary sit in on a stationary boat on any of the lochs, would be advantageous and for the creatures, perhaps even a little curiosity provoking. A silent crew sitting in the dark on a calm summer night in the centre of the loch may even tempt 'a creature' long enough to pop its head up for a look at the silent sailors, sitting in their cabin with cameras in hand and sporting a pair of 'see in the dark specs' per person, to see this famous starlet in its watery surroundings.

If we are fortunate enough to capture Nessie or any of her friends on camera, we'll become stars overnight, famous and celebrated and shortly afterwards discredited and vilified, within days of our 'Reveal'. Another notch on the belt of the hide and seek champion of the world herself -Nessiteras Rhombopteryx, The Loch Ness Monster, LNM or as she's best known to her friends and fans... Nessie!