Proof Nessie is an eel? Not exactly, but not a bad guess.

The Scotsman newspaper regularly posts stories on its favorite lake monster just so she stays in people’s minds and brings tourists to the shores of Loch Ness. It’s unclear why this story of a video from 2007 is now making news again but it is, as are all Nessie claims, less than impressive and certainly not “proof” of anything.

Loch Ness Monster ‘could have been a giant eel’

Gordon Holmes, who filmed jet-black shapes moving in Loch Ness from the roadside in 2007, agrees a US computer expert who analysed the footage has likely solved the mystery.

Mr Holmes, of Shipley, in West Yorkshire, now believes the creatures are eels between 10ft and 15ft long.

Here is a news report that contains Mr. Holmes sighting of 2007.

Yes, it does look like an animal but there is no good indication for us to judge size. Plus, the resolution is too low to make out details. It could be an otter as well as an eel. Eels are indeed found in the Loch but it would be a bit weird to be skimming along the surface like this as eels are bottom dwellers (though they can come on land). So, this is a perfectly plausible explanation though the size might be a bit exaggerated. No additional support was given on the finding that the things in the video (he said there were two) were really large eels. So, we are left with pretty much just an educated guess. A stabilized version of the video was said to be the key to determining the eel conclusion. That version does not seem to be available for anyone else to judge it. (Please link if you find it.)

Can't make out much of anything in the video.

Can’t make out much of anything in the video or this still taken from an enhanced version.

There is nothing new about the idea that Nessie sightings could be explained by eels or a dozen other possibilities as have been suggested. Surely, the phenomenon has more than one source of sightings including boat wakes, large fish, swimming deer, water birds and outright hoaxes. In the video above, Mr. Holmes finds the monster credible but it isn’t. No remains have ever been found, previous good evidence has been found to have been hoaxed or enhanced. We can not count witness reports, as reliable as they may seem, to be any more than hints of where to look. Sonar sightings have not, contrary to Mr. Holmes opinion, shown a monster. Several serious attempts to search for large animals in the Loch have had their nets come up empty.

  12 comments for “Proof Nessie is an eel? Not exactly, but not a bad guess.

  1. jerrywayne
    January 7, 2016 at 9:49 PM

    If I remember, Dick Reynor has argued that the video shows no actual mammal, reptile, amphibian or fish crossing the loch. His reasoning: the “object” leaves no wake of any kind.

  2. jamesrav
    January 7, 2016 at 9:55 PM

    Nessie has always been a favorite topic, now relegated to nostalgia since it’s quite apparent there is and never has been anything truly ‘monstrous’ in the Loch. What’s somewhat amusing in this new report are references to ‘computer expert’ … well we all know that the Dinsdale film was analyzed by experts and they clearly came to the wrong conclusion. And although never recording a film, the Rines expeditions did use some experts to magically turn nothing into a clear flipper shot, an entire body (!) and even a head. So it seems every 20 years the computer experts are brought into play to lend legitimacy to basically nothing.

    Now as far as eels … I fondly recall an old episode of Kukla, Fran, and Ollie, a foreign film featuring some kids, a quarry (I think) and a huge eel. I must admit it scared me back then, the eel appeared quite real and must have been 10-15 feet long. I can’t recall the outcome, whether it was a hoax or something else. I need to find that film!! 🙂 I tried a few years ago but got nothing more than a title, would be nice to go back and re-live the past.

  3. Tony
    January 7, 2016 at 11:15 PM

    “… agrees a US computer expert…”

    I know the newspaper business has been suffering from hard times, but can’t The Scotsman afford at least one proofreader?

  4. Loren Petrich
    January 7, 2016 at 11:19 PM

    Has anyone tried to estimate how many individual “Nessies” can possibly exist in Loch Ness at any one time? That would be an interesting exercise in quantitative ecology. I’ve tried that myself, from scaling from Lake Baikal’s seal population: 60,000 over 31,494 square kilometers, or 2 seals per square kilometer of lake. The seals weigh about 75 kg on average, though they can reach 150 kg. That makes them roughly lake-monster-sized.

    Loch Ness has an area of about 56.4 square kilometers, yielding 107 seals. That’s too small to keep genetic drift from happening.

    There’s a problem with the plesiosaur theory that nobody mentions very much. Plesiosaurs were air breathers, like every other aquatic amniote. So they’d have to come up to the surface rather regularly to breathe. This would make a plesiosaur easy to spot, just like a sea turtle or a dolphin or a whale. Also, unless the plesiosaurs were dwarfed, there would not be enough lake for them.

  5. jamesrav
    January 8, 2016 at 12:44 PM

    Analysis has been done, and that was actually one of the first ‘death blows’ to the Monster theory. There just isn’t that much good stuff in the loch to eat, certainly not to support a family of large creatures. As far as plesiosaur, after watching some of the great BBC Dinosaur episodes on YouTube, I’d feel very sorry for a plesiosaur stuck in Loch Ness. Murky, cold, and hardly any food – that’s a far cry from the life the typical plesiosaur lived millions of years ago. The LNM is a wonderful British amalgamation of: bad journalism, hoaxes, tourism, the occasional otter/seal, birds, waves, and endured due to the status London has in the world.

  6. Paul Sidwell
    January 8, 2016 at 3:46 PM

    Some turtles use their anal tissue like gills…. so not “every amniote”, just sayin….

  7. David Arnspiger
    January 11, 2016 at 1:34 AM

    I saw the same episode when I was a kid, one day when I was home sick with the flu. As I had never seen any mention of it anywhere (even in cryptozoological literature), it’s nice to know I wasn’t experiencing a fever dream.

  8. jamesrav
    January 12, 2016 at 2:38 AM

    for some reason I had a harder time locating it several years ago, this time it took one minute! I have a ‘hunch’ it’s this one: The Giant Eel – Czech, 1971 🙂 and on YouTube here. Will it live up to my expectations 45 years later (ha ha)

  9. jamesrav
    January 12, 2016 at 3:05 AM

    The giant eel makes an appearance at around 54:30 and then 58:00. I give the kids credit for good acting, not easy making a rubber eel seem like it’s putting up a fight :). Funny thing: even 40 years ago American TV networks were more than slightly deceptive , this film had very little to do with the eel, which was on-screen about 1 minute. Clearly the theme of the movie was the kids and their friendships and rivalries during summer vacation. I’m pretty sure I was solely interested in the eel 45 years ago as well LOL

  10. Loren Petrich
    January 12, 2016 at 8:23 AM

    Do you have any sources for that ecological analysis? I’d like to see how they did it.

  11. D Group
    January 12, 2016 at 4:20 PM

    If I’m not mistaken, plesiosaurs were tropical salt-water creatures, quite a different environment from Loch Ness. Plus, any sustainable population would have to be significantly large to avoid succumbing to genetic mutations, and any creature would need a biomass of at least ten times its weight as a food source in order to survive.

  12. jamesrav
    January 13, 2016 at 9:38 PM

    this link gives a summary in plain language by a key proponent of the ‘there is a monster in loch ness’ theory – he’s a good writer and his posts (although I no longer believe there’s anything odd in loch ness) are enjoyable to read. If the amount of food is a mere 11 tons, then that *really* kills any thought that a family of large animals could live there. If it’s 100 tons, then maybe a small group of relatively small ‘creatures’ , but that was never the idea of Nessie – she was 20-30 feet long and weighed many tons … as any plesiosaur would.

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