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'Whatever it was broke water and was the length of two cars' - was this the Loch Ness Monster?


By Val Sweeney

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Francesca McGarvey (13) captured a photograph of an unexplained object on Loch Ness.
Francesca McGarvey (13) captured a photograph of an unexplained object on Loch Ness.

A sharp-eyed teenager on holiday with her parents in the Loch Ness has photographed the first 2023 'sighting' of Nessie.

Francesca McGarvey (13), from Paisley, saw something in the loch while the family was travelling in their car along the A82 towards Fort Augustus.

She quickly took a picture on her phone and afterwards drew a picture which were accepted by the Official Loch Ness Monster Register.

The first 'sighting' of 2023 logged by the Official Loch Ness Monster Register occurred on April 5.
The first 'sighting' of 2023 logged by the Official Loch Ness Monster Register occurred on April 5.

It is the first sighting since last October when the sixth Nessie sighting of 2022 was registered.

The latest encounter happened late morning on April 5 – and comes as the 90th anniversary approaches of the first modern-day sighting of the Loch Ness Monster when a couple driving along the shores of the loch on April 14 1933 saw a whale-like beast.

Francesca's family has links with the Inverness area.

Her mum, Susan McIlveney, was previously an anaesthetist at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness and they have family in the area.

"We came to Loch Ness many years ago even before Francesca was born," she said.

"Francesca has always been fascinated with Loch Ness and the Loch Ness Monster."

The family was enjoying an Easter break in the area when the close encounter occurred.

Ms McIlveney was driving towards Fort Augustus and was a few miles north of Invermoriston when Francesca saw a dark shape emerge from the water, travelling north towards Urquhart Castle.

"She told us and I looked for a place to pull over," she said. "At that point my husband also had look.

"I didn't see it because I was driving.

"We asked her to take a picture and she took it with her phone.

"Whatever it was broke water and it was about the length of two cars.

"It must have been there for about 20 to 30 seconds."

She described seeing humps, possibly like back of a whale.

The drawing by Francesca McGarvey of what she saw on Loch Ness.
The drawing by Francesca McGarvey of what she saw on Loch Ness.

"I suppose we don't know what it was for definite," Ms McIlveney said.

"But it was definitely something."

And the photographs certainly interested long-time Nessie hunter Steve Feltham, of Dores, and the skipper of the Deepscan boat at Drumnadrochit, who advised the family to contact Gary Campbell, keeper of the Official Loch Ness Sightings Register.

Subsequently, Francesca's photograph and drawing have been added to the list, bringing the total sightings count to 1145.


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