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Loch Ness Monster eyewitnesses to star in special event to mark 90th anniversary of first photo of Nessie

By Neil MacPhail

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Loch Ness and inset the image taken in 1933.
Loch Ness and inset the image taken in 1933.

It is 90 years since the first ever photographic evidence of Nessie the Loch Ness Monster was snapped, sparking a frenzy across the world and the modern fascination with whatever is lurking in the deep.

This blurry image was captured by Hugh Gray on November 12, 1933, and now to mark the momentous occasion the newly imagined Loch Ness Centre in the lochside village of Drumnadrochit is launching a Meet the Eyewitness series, where famous spotters will visit and share their unique stories and experiences.

The Loch Ness Monster is a global phenomenon which has captured the world’s imagination and hearts for centuries, with the first ever recorded sighting dating back to 565 AD.

Since then, Loch Ness has been shrouded in myths and mysteries and taken a special place in Scottish folklore.

To this day, people flock to the water to try and catch a glimpse of Nessie. The number of registered Nessie sightings in 2023 have reached double figures, contributing to a total of 1,155.

One of them was recorded by Richard White, who guests will be introduced to at this first Meet the Eyewitness session which will take place on Saturday, November 25. The session will be running from 11am -1pm and tickets are £20pp.

Richard White at the Loch Ness Centre.
Richard White at the Loch Ness Centre.

Richard of Muir of Ord was catapulted into the spotlight in 1997 after his image of Nessie caught the attention of media around the world, with a Canadian TV network even flying him over to talk about his findings live on television.

He was travelling down the south side of the loch when he saw a number of black humps moving through the water about 200m from the shore near Foyers, and for many years it was labelled as the clearest image of Nessie yet, appearing in news publications across the globe.

Richard said: "On a cold dreich morning, I was driving along the lochside, and like most folks, glancing at the water at infrequent intervals, hoping I might see something extraordinary.

"Suddenly, there was a disturbance on the surface. I stopped the car and reached for the camera I always carried, a habit from my Army days in Germany when the police advised it as a precaution. It was a small Olympus with an auto function, so as I pressed the switch, and it fired off the last 10 frames on the film.

"What I saw was distant and unclear, but undeniably unusual. It was only a couple of weeks later when the film was developed that the true significance became apparent. This chance encounter changed my life, and I look forward to sharing this incredible story with visitors at Meet the Eyewitness later this month."

Paul Nixon, general manager of the Loch Ness Centre, said: "We’re really excited to start our Meet the Eyewitness series, which will take place once a month, here at The Loch Ness Centre, the home of the legend.

"We are passionate about storytelling, bringing people together and learning all we can about Nessie and the rich history of the loch. The 90th anniversary of Hugh Gray's famous sighting is the perfect time to look back at past sightings and possibly even spot something yourself!"

The Loch Ness Centre is giving Nessie lovers the opportunity to meet Richard, listen to his captivating story whilst diving into years of history.

As well as the talk, visitors will be able to experience the Loch Ness Centre tour, which features seven stories told in a variety of exciting ways, including This Majestic Place, Scottish Myths and Legends, and the scientific search for The Truth; just three areas of the attraction which features real artefacts and peoples’ witness statements.

The centre is also doing an exclusive discount for IV postcode holders. Locals can receive 25% off standard tickets for adults and children.

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