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Could this be Nessie lurking in the deep?

By Neil MacPhail

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Loch Ness sighting
Loch Ness sighting

An Inverness man on a dreich day beside Loch Ness popped off a couple of shots on his camera before swiftly retreating to the shelter of his parents’ car.

It was only later back home in Milton of Leys when he was reviewing his photographs that Toby Christian began to wonder "Have I captured the Loch Ness Monster?"

Two frames seemed to show a dark shape in the water, perhaps indicating something lurking just below the surface.

The second shot in particular which is reproduced on this page with Toby’s permission shows a dark patch on the water in the foreground which looks particularly mysterious.

Toby (47), a keen amateur photographer, said: "I was out in the car for the day with my parents Robert and Mary and we stopped just off the A82. I quickly got out and took two photos 14 seconds apart on my Nikon D500 SLR camera then quickly got back in the car it was so wet on that day back in May 21.

"They were colour photos but the weather was so bad they look almost like black and whites.

"It was later back home when I was editing pictures on Lightroom that I thought ‘Hold on, that looks like something under the water.’

"I’m not sure if there is a monster out there in the loch, but something like a very large eel would be more feasible. I ran it past the guys in Jessops and they spoke about people thinking there could be something like a large eel living in the loch."

Sadly, cold water has been poured on Toby’s "sighting" by none other than Gary Campbell of the Official Loch Ness Monster Sightings Register, and who has been analysing photographs of mystery objects in Loch Ness for decades.

He said: "I am afraid that is a common weather pattern on the surface caused by the wind gusting up against the waves.

"Going from the height above the water these photos were taken from, if it was something swimming below the surface, it would be huge."

Gary has logged three possible sightings on his webpage so far this year, the most recent being something photographed by moonlight.

On June 1 Natalie Hodgson, on holiday from Yorkshire, took a picture of the head of an unknown creature in the water at 10.30pm from the Highland Lodges holiday park.

A 10-minute video was shot on April 30 by Eoin O’Faodhagain from Co Donegal from the Loch Ness webcam about midday. The "creature" moves from right to left but as it swam towards Urquhart Bay,two cruise boats appeared and it vanished.

On March 26 a holidaymaker from the USA, reported seeing a shape, roughly 40ft long moving about in the water close to the Urquhart Castle jetty between 3pm and 3.30pm.

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