Sunday, 14 June 2009

Close Encounters With Nessie

The Loch Ness Monster is a creature believed to inhabit Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands. Whether you buy into the story, or not, it makes for a fascinating legend. Lets face it we all want Nessie, as it is affectionately known, to be found one day. Today's article examines some of the claims made by people who profess to have seen the monster, some even claim to have photographed or filmed her. Popular interest and belief in the animal has fluctuated since it was brought to the worlds attention in 1933. Evidence of its existence is largely anecdotal, with minimal and much disputed photographic material and sonar readings. The scientific community regards the Loch Ness Monster as a modern-day myth and explains sightings as a mix of hoaxes and wishful thinking.
The term 'monster' was reportedly coined on 2 May 1933 by Alex Campbell, the water bailiff for Loch Ness and a part-time journalist. On 4 August 1933, the Inverness Courier published as a full news item the claim of a London man, George Spicer, that a few weeks earlier while motoring around the Loch , he and his wife had seen "the nearest approach to a dragon or pre-historic animal that I have ever seen in my life," trundling across the road toward the Loch carrying an animal in its mouth.
In August 1933, a motorcyclist named Arthur Grant claimed to have nearly hit the creature while while approaching Abriachan on the north-eastern shore, at about 1 a.m. on a moonlight night. Grant claimed that he saw a small head attached to a long neck, and that the creature saw him and crossed the road back into the Loch. Grant said he dismounted and followed it to the Loch, but only saw ripples.
In another 1933 sighting a young maidservant named Margaret Munro supposedly observed the creature for about 20 minutes. She claimed it was about 6.30 a.m. on 5 June, when she spotted it on shore from about 200 yards. She described it as having elephant=like skin, a long neck, a small head and two short forelegs or flippers. The sighting apparently ended when the creature re-entered the water.
On 6 December 1933, the first purported photograph of the monster, taken by Hugh Gray, was published.
In 1934, interest was further sparked by what is known as 'The Surgeon's Photograph' (pictured above). It was supposedly taken by Robert Kenneth Wilson, a London gynaecologist, it was subsequently proved to be a hoax. In the same year R T Gould published a book, the first of many which describe the author's personal investigation and collected record of additional reports pre-dating the summer of 1933.
In May 1943, C B Farrel of the Royal Observer Corps was supposedly distracted from his duties by a Nessie sighting. He claimed to have been about 250 yards away from a large-eyed, 'finned' creature, which had a twenty-to thirty-foot long body, and a neck that protruded about 4-5 feet out of the water.
In December 1954 a strange sonar contact was made by the fishing boat Rival III. The vessel's crew observed sonar readings of a large object keeping pace the boat at a depth of 480 feet. It was detected travelling for half a mile in this manner, before contact was lost, but then found again later.
The earliest report of a monster associated with the vicinity of Loch Ness appears in the Life of St Columba by Adomnan, written sometime during the 7th century.
So, there we have it. Is Nessie for real or a figment of imagination. If she is real and still alive, she must now be a little old lady of at least 80 years old.

Maxine's World

Pilots And Mechanics

After every flight, Qantas pilots fill out a form, called a 'gripe sheet' which tells mechanics about problems with the aircraft. The mechanics correct the problems; document their repairs on the form, and then pilots review the gripe sheets before the next flight. Never let it be said that ground crews lack a sense of humour. Here are some actual maintenance complaints submitted by Qantas pilots and the solutions recorded by maintenance engineers. By the way, Qantas is the only major airline that has never had an accident.

Pilot: Left inside main tire almost needs replacement.
Mechanic: Almost replaced left inside main tire.

Pilot: Test flight OK, except auto-land very rough.
Mechanic: Auto-land not installed on this aircraft.

Pilot: Something loose in cockpit.
Mechanic: Something tightened in cockpit.

Pilot: Dead bugs on windshield.
Mechanic: Live bugs on back-order.

Church Signs

Banksy Makes It Big In His Home Town

On 6 May, I published an article about an artist known only by the name of Banksy. He originated from Bristol and became involved in street graffiti during the Bristol aerosol boom of the late 1980s. No one, apart from a small band of friends, knows his true identity, not even his real name. His talent was born out of the Bristol underground scene, which involved artists and musicians. Incredibly, his work is now being displayed in a Bristol museum. To find out more click on the link below and watch a video clip about this amazing story.


Today's brainteaser has a musical flavour.The following story asks you to name the song what was sung. Can you work out the answer?

A man is sitting in a pub feeling very poor. He sees the man next to him pull a wad of £50 notes out of his wallet. He turns to the rich man and says to him, "I have an amazing talent. I know almost every song that ever existed." The rich man laughs. The poor man says, "I'm willing to bet you all the money you have in your wallet that I can sing a genuine song with a lady's name of your choice in it." The rich man laughs again and says, "OK, how about my daughters name, Joanna Armstrong-Miller?" The rich man goes home poor. The poor man goes home rich. What song did he sing?

Check your answer in tomorrows Journal.

Katie Price And Peter Andre

It is now a month since the news broke that Katie Price and Peter Andre , who met on I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, announced their marriage was to end. Even now hardly a day goes by without some reference to the split appearing in the press or some magazine. The couple had been married for four and a half years. They began a relationship after being contestants on 2004's I'm A Celebrity and were married the following year. Since their marriage the pair have lived very much in the public eye, appearing in the ITV2 shows When Jordan Met Peter, Jordan & Peter: Laid Bare, Jordan & Peter Marriage Mayhem?, Katie & Peter: The Baby Diaries and Katie & Peter: The Next Chapter. Their latest ITV2 reality show, Katie & Peter: Stateside attracted more than one million viewers. Can associates Limited, the couples management company, announcing the separation, ended the statement by saying: They have both requested that the media respect their families' privacy at this difficult time. It is hardly surprising that after such a high profile marriage the media are continuing to run stories surrounding the couple.