Daily TWiP Archives

Something interesting has happened on (just about) every day of the year, and Daily TWiP provides the proof. An offshoot of my local events column The Week in Preview (affectionately known as TWiP), Daily TWiP was published April 2008-Aug. 2011 and is still giving readers reasons to celebrate.

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Daily TWiP – Nov. 12, 1933: First photograph of the Loch Ness Monster taken

On Nov. 12, 1933, Hugh Gray spied an “object of considerable dimensions – making a big splash with spray on the surface” of Loch Ness in the Highlands of Scotland while he was walking home from church. He just happened to have his camera on hand and snapped the first known photographs of the Loch Ness Monster.

Although legends of lake monsters have circulated since ancient times, the first recorded sighting of the Loch Ness Monster (affectionately known as “Nessie”) occurred July 22, 1933, when George Spicer and his wife witnessed a very strange creature crossing a road near the loch.

The creature passed right in front of their car. They described it as being about 25 feet long with a ten- to 12-foot-long neck. The neck was a little bit thicker than an elephant’s trunk and similarly flexible. It was hard to tell whether or not the creature had legs, due to a dip in the road.

Several other people claimed to see the Loch Ness Monster in the months following the Spicers’ sighting, but Gray was the first to provide photographic evidence. His photo, however, is now thought by many to be a blurred shot of a dog swimming through the water with a stick in its mouth.

Since then, many have pursued the Loch Ness Monster, enlisting everything from sonar to video cameras to Google Earth to prove its existence, but verifiable proof has yet to surface. Skeptics have postulated that those Nessie sightings that have not been outright hoaxes could be anything from eels (which do live in Loch Ness) to the wakes of boats that have been mistaken for signs of the creature.

Until it can be proven that Loch Ness is home to a surviving plesiosaur or tullimonstrum (the creatures Nessie is most commonly thought to be), the Loch Ness Monster remains a member of the cryptid family, sharing the realm of the unexplained-yet-not-impossible with the likes of Bigfoot, the chupacabra and the Abominable Snowman.

– Teresa Santoski


Originally published Nov. 12, 2009.

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