Racing legend John Cobb died on Loch Ness on this day in 1952 after his 200mph boat hit a ripple that Nessie hunters say was caused by the lake’s reputed monster.
The 52-year-old Englishman’s Crusader vessel disintegrated and sank to the bottom after striking an unexplained wake during his bid to set a new water speed record.
Believers in the Loch Ness Monster claim the alleged creature caused the rogue ripple by moving just beneath the surface of the Scottish lake.
The wake was not caused by his boat. But it was a wave that sent the boat careening and Cobb to his death. It is commonly assumed that one of the other boats caused the wake. But, Loch Ness researcher Tim Dinsdale claimed that particular wave did not behave like a boat wave but could have been created by the monster. Dinsdale later filmed the “monster” in what appears to be a wake without a source.
Is this evidence for a monster? Hardly. There are many other possible explanations for wakes on the lake and in this incident, the margin for catastrophe was increased due to the high rate of speed by the boat. By 1952, the Loch had a reputation and the “curse” of the monster was a convenient story that attracted more attention.