Saturday, January 29, 2011

Morar Mystery

Loch Morar is a freshwater loch in Morar, Lochaber, Highland, Scotland.  Loch Morar's maximum length is 12 miles, and its maximum depth is 1,017 feet.

In Loch Morar there have been sightings of a strange creature(s) called Morag.  I would like to bring to your attention two sightings from Peter Costello's book, In Search of Lake Monsters.

In 1946, Mr. Alexander MacDonnell was taking a party of schoolchildren from the Comunn na h-Oigridh summer camp at Inverailort from Morar to Meoble in the Lovat estate boat.  As the boat was passing Bracorina Point on the northern shore, some of the children cried out, "Oh look!  What is that big thing on the bank over there?"  Mr. MacDonnell said he then saw an animal about the size of an Indian elephant, which plunged off the rocks into the water with a terrific splash.  Peter Costello, in his book, In Search of Lake Monsters, writes, "I think it must be the sinuous shape of the long neck, which looks rather like a trunk, as well as the dull grey colour [color], which brings an elephant to so many people's minds when trying to describe these animals.

On July 8, 1969, a regular visitor to Loch Morar, Bob Duff, was trolling down across Meoble Bay at about two knots.  The water at this point is very clear, about 16 feet deep with a white sandy bottom --- leaves could clearly be seen on the sand.  Looking over the side of the boat:

Mr. Duff saw what he described as a "monster lizard" lying on the bottom.  It was not more than 20 feet long, motionless, and looking up at him.  The shock of seeing it caused him to rev up and get away as fast as possible so that he only saw it momentarily.  As described and drawn by Mr. Duff, it appears he saw only the front part clearly.  The head was snake-like with a wide mouth and slit eyes.  As it was seen from above, the neck was not visible and its length could not be estimated.  It had four legs and the front legs were clearly seen to have three digits each.  The body, hindquarters and tail were only vaguely seen.  It was a grey-brown, the skin was rough like "burnt coke".

When Mr. Duff recovered his nerve, and came back to look for it, the animal was gone.

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