FOR the first time, a comprehensive database of all reported sightings of the Loch Ness monster is being complied.
The creators of the Nessie Files hope their work will shed light on the hundreds of strange sightings of the mythical creature.
Dr Charles Paxton, an ecologist and statistician at St Andrews University, who is carrying out the project, has so far uncovered around 853 reported encounters with Nessie over the past 80 years.
He will undertake a statistical analysis to see if there are any distinct clusters or patterns which could be explained by natural phenomena, such as a site where unusual waves are frequently formed.
Paxton takes a scientific approach by collecting 80 years’ worth of sightings report data and analyzing it for clusters. One cluster that should be expected is that based on media reports. That is, when a new sighting is reported, do other sightings follow? That sort of media contagion has been seen before in what UFOlogist coined as “flaps”. It appears to be a cluster that represents something real but that may only be that more people are out looking for what they expect to see. Anyhow, Paxton is attempting a comprehensive database which is worthwhile effort. Paxton also is of the opinion that there is likely not a monster behind these sightings but that reports may represen natural phenomena like a wave.
Dr. Paxton plans to publish on his work.
For a new journal on cryptozoology that adheres to scientific standards of publication, check out volume 1 of the Journal of Cryptozoology.
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