Nessie: It’s big, it’s heavy, it’s wood

The local nature conservancy group has proposed that runoff into the Loch Ness may spark reports of the mythical monster because people mistake logs as the creature.

Has the mystery of the ‘Log Ness Monster’ been solved? – Environment – The Independent.

After an unprecedented 18 months without a “confirmed sighting”, several people have come forward in the past few weeks with reports of mysterious beasts emerging from the waters of Loch Ness.

[ ] The Woodland Trust conservation charity has come forward with an infuriatingly humdrum explanation – they’re just logs.

The charity claims that “deadfall” washed out by rivers from nearby Urquhart Bay Wood would explain the recent sightings – and possibly why the monster has been spotted so often in the past.

“Large amounts of wood flows out of the woodland through the two winding rivers that flow into Loch Ness each year, peaking when water is high in late autumn and spring.

gargoyle tree stumpThis makes excellent sense. Many monster sightings like the infamous Champ photo and many Nessie claims greatly resemble pieces of wood – branches, trunks or roots. One of the most popular photos of Nessie, the “gargoyle” head, looks to be a tree stump on the lake bottom.

This is profoundly unsatisfying for Nessie proponents and will be pooh-poohed, I’m sure. But the truth is, it is likely true. Sorry.

log ness monster

Tip: Matt Crowley via Group of Fort

{Reference for the Title if you don’t get it is here.]

  12 comments for “Nessie: It’s big, it’s heavy, it’s wood

  1. Chris Howard
    November 22, 2014 at 5:21 PM

    Great. Now I’ve got the log song from Ren & Stimpy stuck in my head!

    On the upside at least it’ll drown out all my crazy relatives silly conspiracy theories come thanksgiving!

  2. Perry
    November 22, 2014 at 6:13 PM

    I’m from a logging town on the west coast of British Columbia (Ogopogo myth is in central BC). .

    Log booms dot the harbour here, ready for processing in the local sawmills, or exported as raw logs (which should be illegal, but that’s another subject). Occasionally logs break loose and drift with the tides. A couple weeks ago I was riding by the mouth of the river that empties into the harbour, right where the river current and ocean tide collide. I saw something in the water I couldn’t immediately identify because it was acting very odd. I did not think it was a log, because only a small portion was showing and that part was bobbing up and down, in and out of the water. It almost appeared to be the head of a person being dragged back and forth and up and down by the turbulent force of the current and changing tide. I followed it for about a half a mile along the river bank just in case it was a person, but in a clearing on the bank I was able to see that it was a log that was almost upright rather than horizontal. What I saw as the head of a person was just one end of the log bobbing in and out of the water.

    Those loggers in the Monty Python logger song could never have walked such a log.

  3. David H
    November 23, 2014 at 1:36 AM

    The discussion of mysterious floating logs brought to mind the Old Man of Crater Lake, Oregon. The Old Man is a mountain hemlock that has been floating upright in the lake for over a century. The oldest mention of it goes back to 1896.

  4. Perry
    November 23, 2014 at 1:46 AM

    Fascinating story and fitting example of myth-making.

    “It is certainly no surprise that a landscape so awesome and primaeval has given birth to numerous myths. What’s intriguing, at least for the purpose of this blog, is that just such a legend is showing signs of building around the Old Man of the Lake itself.”

  5. November 23, 2014 at 8:29 AM

    I used to help out with the Loch Ness and Morar Project, and took part in Operation Deepscan in 1987. During that expedition, we recovered a waterlogged log from the bottom of the loch in Urquhart Bay at about the spot where Rines took his famous underwater photos. The resemblance was startling. See Fortean Times 50 (1988) for a photo.

  6. spookyparadigm
    November 23, 2014 at 11:46 AM

    Someone should take them up on this hypothesis. If logs are a major factor, and they are issued into the lake on something of a seasonal basis, then there should be a seasonal uptick in “honest” sightings (ie, those that seem to be misidentifications and purposeful fictions). This may be detectable in the sightings literature.

    I hate to say it, but this sounds like an attempt to gain attention for a (worthy) cause by using the monster legend. I can think of worse uses for it.

  7. November 23, 2014 at 1:36 PM

    I do recall that which is why my conclusion that the gargoyle pic was a stump was reinforced.

  8. spookyparadigm
    November 23, 2014 at 2:06 PM

    This may provide some additional context. Interesting approach

  9. November 24, 2014 at 4:56 AM

    Logs and other tree debris have undoubtedly led to some reported sightings. What cannot be determined is how many of the total number of claimed sightings are down to this explanation.

    In terms of a potential uptick in sightings during debris producing weather, that is lost in the seasonal variation in numbers of visitors to Loch Ness, so reports rise into July/August and drop off to a low in Winter.

  10. Mike Dash
    November 24, 2014 at 5:55 AM

    Broadly speaking, the conclusion that we came to was as follows: Rines and his team had an inadequate anchoring system. This meant that with a change of wind direction, the boat from which they had suspended their cameras in mid-water was pushed closer to shore in an area where the loch bottom shelves steeply. Because the boat and the rig was only rotating around the single anchor point, and hence the movement was of the order of maybe a couple of dozen metres, it wasn’t apparent to the team on the surface what was happening. But as it came in, the camera rig came into contact with the bottom and the still camera started bouncing across it, still taking photos, as it was set to do, every minute or so. At one point, the camera happened have reached a spot adjacent to the log when the camera triggered – and the rest is history.

  11. Chris Howard
    November 24, 2014 at 8:19 AM

    If I’m reading you right there are fewer sightings in the winter months, no?

    If that’s the case the simplest explination would be fewer people go to Loch Ness in winter, therefore there are fewer people to report a sighting.

    Actually, the simplest explination is probably that there is no Loch Ness monster. 😉

  12. November 25, 2014 at 4:10 AM

    Yes, winter sightings are way down on summer but there are also less things to fool people, less boats means less boat wakes, animals such as birds, deer and otter are less active, though tree debris will be up.

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