AN INTERNATIONAL paranormal investigator turned monster hunter has photographed what appears to be Nessie’s head emerging from the waters of Loch Ness.
And the image captured by Jonathon Bright, who is Greek but is known around the world by his English name, is remarkably similar to the underwater picture taken by a world-renowned scientist.
CONNECT WITH THE SCOTSMAN
• Subscribe to our daily newsletter (requires registration) and get the latest news, sport and business headlines delivered to your inbox every morning
Boston-based Dr Robert Rines spent years researching and searching for the elusive waterhorse and brought sophisiticated underwater camera and sonar equipment to the Highlands in 1972 in a bid to solve the mystery.
He died in 2009 never having obtained conclusive proof but his ‘gargoyle head’ picture and one of what appears to be a long-necked beast swimming through the water plus a close-up of a flipper remain the best images of what could be Nessie.
Although Bright is not claiming to have a photo proving Nessie’s existence, he plans to return to Loch Ness after examining thousands more photographs he has taken in and around Loch Ness on his second trip there this week.
• Newly discovered documents have revealed how the National History Museum (NHM) in London appealed to so-called bounty hunters to help secure the carcase of the Loch Ness monster, according to a new book
The 46 year old said yesterday: “I investigate the paranormal but I also investigate legends and Nessie is one of them. Among others I have looked at is the Dracula stories and I travelled extensively in Transylvania to investigate that.
“Three years ago, I came to Scotland to investigate the Nessie legend and took thousands of photographs. It took me six months to look at them all and I found this one which I showed when I spoke at the Scottish Paranormal Festival in Stirling this week.
“After I had finished there, I came north to spend more time searching for an answer to the Nessie story. My picture is a talking point. Some people will say it is physical and the monster, others will say it is a trick of the water, others will say it is a hoax.
“It is what it is and I hope to find more proof now and in the future about what the Loch Ness Monster really is.
“Alternatively it simply could be a force of nature or supernatural, whatever people believe in. I contribute to the Fortean Times so the paranormal angle is what interests me and on this occasion I have a film unit with me.
“I have contributed to many TV stations including the History Channel and I hope to have something interesting for viewers once I go through all my footage and if they decide to show my material.
“My next project is in Edinburgh where I am going to check out ghostly goings-on in the capital.” Mr Bright went on.
He says his most frightening experience was when he went to a derelict asylum in Eastern Europe to investigate terrifying screams reported to be emanating from the ruins.
“I recorded the sounds and I am convinced I have heard the voice of a Banshee (a spirit normally associated with Irish mythology and regarded as an omen of death.)”
Mr Bright’s experience is included in a comprehensive on-line register of Nessie sightings by Gary Campbell, the man behind the Official Loch Ness Monster Fan Club.
After 18 years of researching sightings of the Loch Ness Monster, Gary has made available the first full list of 1067 Nessie sightings on the web atwww.lochnesssightings.com
He said yesterday: “Jonathon’s photo bears an incredible similarity to Bob Rines series of pictures and will certainly further stimulate discussion about this enduring legend.
“It is of course included in the register which has taken a while to complete but I’ve had a lot of help from others over the years.”
After seeing ‘something strange’ in Loch Ness in 1996 and trying to report it to someone, 49 year old Mr Campbell realised that there was no single place recording sightings of the monster.
“No-one had done it since a group called the Loch Ness Investigation Bureau folded in the mid 1970’s” he explained “so my wife and I set up the Official Loch Ness Monster fan Club as a hobby to record what people were seeing every year. This has now evolved into the full online register of sightings”
The website includes the original Latin transcript of the very first record of a monster almost 1500 years ago.
SCOTSMAN TABLET AND IPHONE APPS