"Nessie" Hunter

As a Cryptozoologist and Lake Monster Hunter, I have written about "Nessie"-the reputed monster of Loch Ness in Scotland-in my books Entities (1995) and especially Lake Monster Mysteries (2006, co-author Benjamin Radford). The map of the loch and drawing of the ever-changing creature are from the latter book.

On June 1, 2007, I was asked by CNN International and again by CNN's Paula Zahn Now to view a video of a Loch Ness creature. I appeared live on the latter show in a debate with cryptozoologist Loren Coleman. He dwelled on mystery whereas I suggested the critter was a large otter. I later studied the video more thoroughly with video analyst Tom Flynn. The undulating locomotion, relative size, and fast speed were all consistent with the European otter, Lutra lutra. (See my "The Loch Ness Critter," Skeptical Inquirer special report, September/October 2007.)

In 2012-from March 14 to 17-I was at Loch Ness (with British investigator Hayley Stevens and her father Andy) looking for the fabled creature. We surveyed the waters from various sites on land, especially from near Urquhart Castle; monitored sonar scans onboard a boat (see photo); visited the Loch Ness Centre at Drumnadrochit, where we talked with naturalist and Nessie researcher Adrian Shine; and interviewed the world's only full-time Nessie Hunter, Steve Feltham, at Dores. Unfortunately, Nessie was a no-show.

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