Loch Ness Monster could have been dreamt up by local hoaxer


AN American writer has claimed the Loch Ness Monster is an elaborate hoax – dreamt up by a water bailiff trying to save local jobs.

In a series of articles written for the Canadian press, writer Josh Bazell, called the story of Nessie, “the archetypical hoax of the 20th century”,  alleging the hoaxer was a water bailiff named Alex Campbell.

He claims Mr Campbell created the story to attract attention to the area after the  stock market crash of 1929 meant the numbers of visiting tourists to Loch Ness dwindled.

The situation was so dire that a local railway to Fort Augustus was stopped.

Mr Bazell made his claims in a series of articles to the Canadian paper, The National Post.

Mr Bazell highlights an article that appeared in an Inverness paper on August 27 1930, which claimed three unidentified anglers had seen a fish so big it could be seen from 600 feet away.

The next issue of the newspaper has three anonymous letters that also claim to have seen the sea creature, with one using the word “monster.” Bezzell said: “The author of the report and the three letters, all similarly worded, was Campbell.”

Bazzell also claims an anonymous aricle in the Inverness Courier reported that a “businessman and his wife witnessed a creature rolling and plunging for a full minute, its body resembling that of a whale” was also written by Campbell.

Mr Bazell said the hoax worked wonders for the local tourism industy, almost immediately, with visitor numbers soaring.

Rumours and myths surrounding the Loch Ness monster bring thousands of tourists to Loch Ness every year and have led to a number of scientific searches of the loch.

In 1987, Operation Deepscan, saw 24 boats equipped with echosounder equipment deployed across the width of the loch sending out acoustic waves. It was reported that the scientists had made sonar contact with a large unidentified object of unusual size and strength

In 1993 Discovery Communications began to research the ecology of the loch. Using sonar, the team encountered an under water disturbance.


Mr Bazell said it would be fair to call Mr Campbell a hoaxer, adding: “I think it would be unfair to call him anything else. It hardly seems trivial that the railway’s final run was in December 1933, the month the first photo of the monster appears.

“The Loch Ness monster has brought a lot of joy to a lot of people, and it saved Alex Campbell’s community. Personally I believe those were his goals from the outset.”