Lair of the Beasts: A Ghost at Loch Ness (

By:Nick Redfern
Date: Saturday, April 28, 2012

No less than 250 million years ago, massive and violent changes in the Earth’s crust carved a gigantic rift across a specific area of the landscape of Scotland, which has since become known as the Great Glen. Over countless millennia, the huge, basin-like Glen began to fill with water, and eventually transformed much of the country into an area populated by countless lakes – or lochs, as they are known to the Scots. 

And, without doubt, the most famous and mysterious of all those many and varied bodies of water is Loch Ness, the dark and mysterious abode of the legendary long-necked monster dubbed Nessie. In excess of twenty miles long, nearly a mile wide, more than seven hundred feet deep and home to the famous Urquhart Castle – the origins of which date back to the 6th Century - Loch Ness is a distinctly eerie and magical place.

For decades – some would argue for centuries – numerous sightings have been made of what appear to be large, aquatic animals living and thriving in Loch Ness. Typically, witnesses describe seeing a beast with a humped back, an elongated neck that stands proudly out of the water, powerful flippers, and sometimes a thrashing tale. Incredibly, a handful of reports exist of people even claiming to have seen the beast basking on the ancient shores of Loch Ness, seemingly sunning its elephant-like, gray skin. 

So, unless all of those people are simply hoaxers, the victims of pranks, or have innocently misinterpreted sightings of known animals such as seals, sturgeon and catfish – which have all been put forward as candidates to try and explain the controversy – the biggest and most important question is: what are they seeing? The theories are many. The hard evidence, unfortunately, is far less so. 

There can be no doubt that the most popular theory is that the creatures of Loch Ness represent a colony of plesiosaurs, aquatic reptiles that science assures us met their collective end during the Cretaceous period, some 65.5 million years ago. 

Certainly, the long neck, the back and the flippers that were all typical of the plesiosaur suggest this creature, perhaps more than any other, would be a viable candidate for Nessie. And, the country’s tourist-board, is, of course, always pleased to promote the idea that Jurassic Park-like monsters dwell deep in the loch. 

There are, however, big problems: plesiosaurs are believed to have been coldblooded animals requiring distinctly tropical climates in which to live. They also lived in the oceans, which are of course filled with salt-water. Averaging five degrees C, Loch Ness is anything but tropical, and is fresh-water in nature. And the resident fish population of Loch Ness is hardly sufficient to nourish, on a daily basis, a large colony of flesh-eating creatures, some of which, the fossil record demonstrates, grew to lengths in excess of twenty meters.

Then there is the theory that the beasts might be gigantic eels. An engaging idea, and not impossible, but eels do not typically have the ability to raise their heads and necks out of the water in the fashion famously attributed to Nessie. 

Others have suggested whales as candidates. As whales are mammals, however, they would need to surface for air on regular occasions, thus ensuring they would be seen far more than they actually are. So, we have a big conundrum. And it’s a conundrum that has led more than a few people to conclude that the creatures of Loch Ness may not be flesh and blood beasts at all, but might have paranormal origins.

While digging deep into the subject of the U.S. Government’s secret research into the realms of so-called remote viewing and psychic spying, the well known authority on conspiracy theories, Jim Marrs, learned that elements of the official world had secretly attempted to focus their skills upon solving the riddle of what it is that lurks within the deep and dark waters of Loch Ness. 

It was a very controversial operation, however, as Jim noted. And it led to an amazing conclusion, as he revealed in his 2007 book, PSI Spies: “Several sessions targeting the famous Loch Ness monster revealed physical traces of the beast – a wake in the water, movement of a large body underwater. Their drawings even resembled a prehistoric plesiosaur, often identified as matching descriptions of Nessie. But when the viewers tried to discover where the object came from or returned to, they hit a dead end. The creature seemed to simply appear and disappear.”

Incredibly, Jim explained, it was this curious issue that led the remote-viewers to form the opinion that Nessie might actually represent the ghost of a long-dead dinosaur. Most people might scoff at such a theory, but if true, it might well explain Nessie’s illogical and unlikely “existence” deep in Loch Ness.

Nick Redfern is the author of many books on paranormal phenomena, UFOs and strange creatures. His new book, The Pyramids and the Pentagon, will be published in June by New Page Books.