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Loch Around the Clock: A Timeline of Events in Loch Ness and Other Alleged Monster-Havens



Loch Ness
Events and

Lake Champlain Events and Sightings

 Lake Okanaga Events and Sightings

 Ocean and Other Lake Sightings 

 External Links: Live Ness Cam












c. 250 million years B.C.: Scotland part of Pangaea; Glen Side Slip Fault formed.
c. 10,000 B.C.: Scotland covered in ice.
c. 8,000 B.C.: Ice retreats, forming Loch Ness; fish from the North Sea populate the loch
via the shallow River Ness
c. 8,000-7,000 B.C.: Picts enter the Great Glen and populate the area.
c. 460 A.D.: Drumnadrochit becomes center of power for the Picts.
c. 500 A.D.: Scots cross from Scotia (Ireland) to Scotland and mingle with Picts.
563 A.D.: St. Columba arrives in Scotland and supplants Emchath, leader of the Picts, in Drumnadrochit.
565 A.D.: St. Columba allegedly encounters and slays a water monster in Loch Ness.


Urquhart Castle constructed.


Urquhart Castle partially destroyed by Williamites to prevent it from becoming a Jacobite stronghold.


 Caledonian Canal completed, along with a weir at Loch Dochfour, which raises the level of Loch Ness by 9 feet.


Altsaigh, the last wolf in Scotland, shot and killed.


First modern reported sighting of the Loch Ness monster, deemed a "kelpie," a water-horse of Scottish folklore, by a Scottish newspaper. 


While driving the road along the banks of the loch, George Spicer and his wife spot a "dragon or prehistoric animal" carrying another animal in its mouth across the road.


The first reported photograph of the monster is published, taken by Hugh Grey.


Margaret Munro claims to observe the monster on land for 20 minutes before it enters the water.


Marmaduke Wetherell claims to find monster footprints on the shore of the loch; they are later analyzed determined to have been made by a hippopotamus-foot umbrella stand.  


Student Arthur Grant claims to see monster on land near Abiachan while motorcycling along road.


Marmaduke Wetherell and Christian Spurling perpetrate a hoax in the name of Dr. Robert Kenneth Wilson by photographing a wood carving fixed to a toy submarine, the "Surgeon's Photo."


South African tourist G.E. Taylor takes 3 minutes of color film of supposed creature in the loch.


C.B. Farrel of the Scottish royal Observer Corps claims to be distracted from duty when seeing the monster in the water.


Sir Edward Mountain begins a 5-week expedition on the loch to search for the monster, and ultimately declares it to be seals.


John Cobb dies on loch as his motorboat breaks up while he's attempting to set boat speed record.


Fishing boat Rival III makes a strange sonar contact of a large object keeping pace with the boat at a depth of 480 feet.


Aeronautical engineer Tim Dinsdale films a distinct hump crossing the water of the loch.


Loch Ness Phenomena Investigation Bureau (LNPIB, later the LNIB) is formed by David James and Sir Peter Scott.


Field researcher Andrew Carroll leads a sonar scan of the loch, and makes a contact later identified as having been caused by a 20-foot animal.


Dan Taylor pilots the submersible Viperfish through the loch.


Submersible Pisces makes a contact with a moving object 50 feet above the bottom of the loch.


Biologist Roy Mackal initiates "Big Expedition" using hydrophones and records a large number of unexplained chirps and clicks resembing echolocation and the swishing of a large aquatic animal's tail.


LNIB disbands.


Dr. Robert Rines obtains the "Flipper Photo"


Dr. Robert Rines obtains submersible sonar scans that show evidence of a large aquatic animal.


Several individuals attempt to create a stir by attempting to truck a dead elephant seal to the loch as an April Fool's joke. The attempt fails.


Dr. Robert Rines obtains underwater photographs resembling plesiosaurs.


Sir Peter Scott announces that the monster will henceforth be known by the scientific name "Nessiteras rhombopteryx."


Academy of Applied Science, led by Dr. Robert Rines, begins photographic and sonar search for monster.


Operation Deepscan is initiated, with oversight by local marine biologist Adrian Shine, deploying 24 sonar-equipped boats on a sweep of the surface. Two significant contacts indicating large moving masses are made, including one near Urquhart Bay at a depth of 600 feet.


Discovery Communications analyzes the loch in a study of nematodes and fish; a new species of nematode is discovered and the sampling results increase fish population estimates by ninefold. The team also encountered a seiche underwater disturbance effect caused by the thermocline, which resulted in apparent powerful wakes. 


Discovery Communications film experts analyze the Dinsdale film and detect previously unnoticed shadows resembling a plesiosaur shape.


 "Surgeon's Photo" revealed to be a hoax, when Christian Spurling confesses before dying.


Dr. Robert Rines and the Academy of Applied Science videotape a V-shaped wake and a object on the loch floor resembling a carcass, in addition to clam shells and fungus that show evidence of a connection to the sea.


Two conger eels are found on the shore of the loch; Adrian Shine later confirmed they were moved there from the sea, apparently by hoax perpetrators.


Gerald McSorley finds a plesiosaur fossil after tripping and falling in the loch. It is later determined that the fossil was moved there from elsewhere.


Lloyd Scott completes a 12-day walk along the bottom of Loch Ness in an antique diving suit, breaking the record.


A Channel 5 documentary team uses movie special effects to construct an animatronic plesiosaur, "Lucy," and places it in the loch, generating 600 sightings before losing the robot at the bottom of the loch.


Two students claim to find a giant plesiosaur tooth embedded in the carcass of a deer on the shore; the tooth is later determined to be a section of antler from a muntjac, and the students later admit the hoax is a publicity stunt to promote a horror novel by Steve Alten titled The Loch.


Lab technician Gordon Holmes video tapes a fast-moving object he claims was 45 feet long.


The Water Horse, a movie featuring a computer-generated image monster and set on Loch Ness, is released; footage of the movie is posted on YouTube prior to the release and believed by some to be real.


Dr. Robert Rines expresses fear that the monster is dead.

SIGHTINGS IN OTHER LOCATIONS                              TOP OF PAGE

Lake Champlain,

The Mansi Photo (1977)

Prehistory: Iroquois and Abenaki tribes carry on legend of a creature in the lake called "Tatoskok."
1609   Samuel de Champlain is said to have reported a creature in the lake while fighting the Iroquois;
the report was later found to have been fabricated in 1970.                                                                                  
1883 Sheriff Nathan H. Mooney sees a "gigantic water serpent" 50 yards away, some 25-30 feet long.
1900 P.T. Barnum offers $50,000 to anyone who can produce the carcass of the monster.
1977 Sandra Mansi takes a color photograph of what she claims is the creature; her picture remains the most compelling depiction of a large unknown aquatic animal to date. 
2003 The Fauna Communications Research Institute records echolocation noises made by an unidentified animal.
2005 Fishermen Dick Affolter and Pete Bodette videotape footage of what appears to be a large plesiosaur-like creature; the footage is examined by FBI analysts and determined not to have been tampered with, though not definitively of any animal.


Lake Okanaga,
British Columbia (Canada)                                             

Ogopogo reconstruction (2008)

Prehistory: Natives carry on a legend of a creature in the lake called "N'ha-a-itk," or "Naitaka."
1860 A man leading horses across the lake claims they are pulled under by an unseen force,
possibly a monster.
1872 According to proponents of the monster's existence, the first sightings occurred as the area                         
was being colonized by Europeans.                                                                                                          
1926 30 cars full of people claim to see the monster at an Okanagan Mission Beach.
1968 Art Folden films the alleged creature from a hill above the shore.
1977 A group of three give a detailed account of having seen the monster.
1989 Used car salesman Ken Chaplin and his father, Clem Chaplin, film what they think is a snakelike monster flicking its tail. After observations that it could be a beaver, Chaplin returns with father and daughter and films it a second time. 
2005 Fishermen Dick Affolter and Pete Bodette videotape footage of what appears to be a large plesiosaur-like creature; the footage is examined by FBI analysts and determined not to have been tampered with, though not definitively of any animal.

Open Ocean
and Other Lakes

c. 722 B.C.: King Sargon II of Assyria claims to see a sea serpent while sailing in the Mediterranean Sea.
1734 Missionary Hans Egede reports seeing an enormous sea serpent near Greenland.
1848 Off the coast of South Africa, Captain Peter M’Quhae and the crew of the H.M.S. Daedelus see a sixty-foot sea serpent for 20 minutes.
1896 Over 200 people claim to see a giant sea reptile off the New England coast.
1905 Off the coast of Brazil, members of the Zoological Society of London observe a large plesiosaur-like creature. The creature has a large fin on its back, a long neck, and a turtle-like head. The next day the crew of the ship report seeing a strange creature. There are several other plesiosaur sightings off South America at around the same time.
1915 Captain Georg Von Forstner of the German submarine U28 claims that 25 seconds after torpedoing the British steamer  Iberian, there was an explosion, and a "gigantic sea animal" jumped out of the water: 60 feet long, crocodile-like, with four webbed limbs and a long tail.  At around the same time, the British Navy records dozens of submarine periscope sightings where there are no submarines.
1918 Commander Werner Lowisch of the German submarine U-109 and another crewmember reportedly see a giant, crocodile-like monster nearly 100 feet in length.
1964 On Lake Khaiyr, Russia, during an expedition led by geologist G. Rukosuyer, biologist N. Gladkika of the Yakut Branch of the Academy of Sciences sees a strange creature on shore. It has a small head, long neck, black skin, a fin on its back, and large flippers. Later Rukosuyer and several others see the animal in the center of the lake, slapping the water with its long tail.
1977 Japanese fishing trawler Zuiyo Maru discovers what appears to be the carcass of a plesiosaur, with flippers and a long neck, off the coast of New Zealand; scientists later claim it was the remains of a basking shark. 
1983 In Gambia, Africa, zoologist Owen Burnham and several of his family members discover a dead reptile laying on the beach, about 15 feet long, with four large flippers, large jaws, and a short neck, resembling a pliosaur. Natives take the creature away, but allegedly, Burnham buries the head of the creature in the sand and claims he will find it again.
1983 On Lake Tele, Africa, during an expedition, scientist Marcellin Agnaga sees legendary Mokele-Mbembe swimming in the lake. The creature is halfway out of the water and resembles a sauropod dinosaur. Agnaga allegedly leaves the lens cap on his camera while attempting to film the animal.



EXTERNAL LINKS (including 24-hour Ness-cam)

Loch Ness monster facts

Recent Loch Ness monster sightings

Live 24-hour Webcam feed: Loch Ness 


















All original artwork, narrative text, and graphic design by Robert Grofe and James A. Rock & Co., Publishers. Note: Product names, logos, brands, and other trademarks occurring or referred to within the pages of this website are the property of their respective owners.

Additional images by Mark Pellegrini (2005), Arthur Weasley (2006, 2007, 2008), Dmitry Bogdanov (2008), Henry Alcock-White (2005, 2006), Tamas Iklodi (2008), Wikimedia Commons user MANOJTV (2006), and any others for whom identification was unknown and/or unobtainable are published by their respective authors under the following conditions: permission is granted to copy, distribute, and/or modify these images under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.3 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license can be found at the following location:

Additional images by William Tait (1842), Phillip O'Donnell, Timothy O'Donnell, and Garth Guessman (2008), Adam Stuart Smith and
www.plesiosauria.com (2002), Sam Fentress (2005), Pierre Brial (2008), Hugo Heikenwaelder (1999), Henry Alcock-White (2006), Zachary Davies (2007), Andrew Dunn (2004), Zach Tirrell (2005), Wikimedia Commons users "Celtus" (2007), "RJFerret" (2004), and "Wars" (2006), and any others for whom identification was unknown and/or unobtainable are published by their respective authors under the following conditions: permission is granted to copy, distribute, and modify the image on the condition that the author is accredited as specified in the Creative Commons Attribution Unported License, Version 3.0 or any later version published by the Creative Commons. A copy of the license can be found at the following location: creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/.

Other images by Bishop Erik Ludvigen Pontoppidan (1975), Albertus Seba and J. Fortuÿn (1734), Pierre Denys de Montfort (1802), Conrad Gesner (1558), Olaus Magnus (1555), Hans Egede (1734), Gustave Doré (1865), Robbie Cada (2007), Tobias Jakobs (2006), Tina R. Lamb (2002), Brian Adler (2007), and others are believed to be in the public domain.

"The Surgeon's Photo," purportedly copyrighted by Robert Kenneth Wilson (1934), "The Flipper Photo," copyrighted by the Academy of Applied Science and the Loch Ness Investigation Bureau (1972), and "The Mansi Photo," copyrighted by Sandi Mansi (1977), are presented here as faithful representations of these three unique historic images; the image of "the Abominable Snowman of the North" is a screenshot from the film Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, copyrighted by Rankin/Bass (1964), and is presented here solely because it makes a significant contribution to the reader's understanding of the descriptive text, which could not practically be conveyed by words alone, with the understanding that the use of this image for this purpose does not compete with the purposes of the original work, namely the creator providing graphic design services to film concerns and in turn marketing films to the public; it is believed that the use of all of these images qualifies as fair use under United States copyright law.

The image of blackberries isbelieved to be copyrighted by High Hopes Gardens (2008) and is presented as shown on the website www.highhopesgardens.com to illustrate the descriptive text with the understanding that the use of this image for this purpose does not compete with the purposes of the original work, namely the creator providing graphic design to market produce to the public; it is believed that the use this image qualifies as fair use under United States copyright law.

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