Nessie doesn't exist!

iBrian

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Well, a BBC team claim to have done a thorough sonar scan of Loch Ness - and found no "monster"!

BBC 'proves Nessie does not exist

Anyone think this will actual put an end to the sightings and speculation?

Or was the method likely flawed?

:D
 
Namaste Brian,

funny enough.. over here (Eastern US) we have a bay called the Chesapeake Bay. in said bay, there is, reportedly, a "sea monster" in all respects similar to Nessie. it's called "Chessie" :) there are some pics and so forth...

naturally, no scientist has seen it and no verifiable evidence.. but still... it's rather interesting.

on a related note... there is a lake in upper New York state, called Lake Champlaign. this lake also has a "monster" said to inhabit it. there's even some video footage of the "monster" swimming/moving through the water.
 
I've heard of "Chessie"! :)

Something interesting about these Sea Monsters is that they appear to have strong folk roots. By that I mean it's almost as if a certain form of archetype, or strong folkloric motif, has evolved with us and been redirected into a different form. From dragon to plesiosaur?
 
I said:
I've heard of "Chessie"! :)

Something interesting about these Sea Monsters is that they appear to have strong folk roots. By that I mean it's almost as if a certain form of archetype, or strong folkloric motif, has evolved with us and been redirected into a different form. From dragon to plesiosaur?

Namaste Brian,

since we're speculating....

i've always wondered something...

you know that we've recently found creatures that we thought were extinct from the age of dinosaurs... i've wondered if the "myth" of dragons isn't due to some dino surviving the impact and living for a time whilst humans lived.

even a small dino would look huge and dragon like to a medieval peasant, wouldn't you say?

probably not... but it would make for a fine fantasy novel :)
 
Hi! I'm back!
And interesting question. I've actually wondered if perhaps it's not more likely that the discovery of dinosaur fossils didn't play some significant part in the development of dragon legends - after all, they would be accessible across all continents. And imagine what ancient peoples would think of finding a fossilised skull of a Tyrannosaurus Rex! Without evolution theory, there would be the prevailing idea that any fossilised remains would have to belong to a current species of creature. And the variety of carnosaurs would present a highly varied range of dragon forms.
Just a thought, anyhow. :)

 
Here’s some added fuel for the speculation.

In about 600 B.C., Nebbuchadnezzar had bas reliefs fashioned for the brickwork on the Ishtar Gate of Babylon. They show three species of animals, large numbers of each in each brick row. The rows alternate between depictions of lions, the rimi, and the sirrush.

Lions, of course, are real animals. The rimi was extinct in Mesopotamia at this time, but may have been remembered or known through specimens brought in from Eurasia. We know them today as urus or aurochs, and they became extinct only in 1627.

So what is a sirrush?

The bas reliefs show a slender, scaled body; a long, slender, and snaky tail; clawed feet that appear almost birdlike; a serpent’s or dragon’s head with a forked tongue; flaps of skin attached to the back of the head; and a single straight horn. Archeological commentary calls them “dragons” and assumes them to be mythological. So why have two real animals and one imaginary one?

In the apocryphal Book of Bel and the Dragon, the writer relates how the priests of Nebuchadnezzar kept “a great dragon or serpent, which they of Babylon worshipped.” They challenged Daniel to dispute this god, “who liveth and eateth and drinketh; you canst not say that he is no living god; therefore worship him.” According to the story, Daniel poisoned the beast.

And then there is Behemoth, mentioned in the Book of Job. Modern scholars assume it refers to the hippopotamus, but . . .

“Behold now Behemoth . . . he eateth grass as an ox. Lo now his strength is in his loins and his force is in the navel of his belly. He moveth his tail like a cedar: the sinews of his stones are wrapped together. His bones are as strong as pieces of brass, his bones are like bars of iron . . . He lieth under the shady trees, in the cover of the reed, and fens. The shady trees cover him with their shadow . . . His nose pierceth through snares.”

That comparison of the hippo’s tail to a cedar makes me wonder.

The guy who discovered the Ishtar Gate openly wondered if the Sirrush was a real animal, now unknown. There are other depictions of the beast across a span of centuries. Unlike other fantastic beasts of Babylonian mythology, however, these depictions remain anatomically consistent.

The idea that our ancestors gathered fossils and speculated about them is a good one. Scholar Adrienne Mayor has written, “Reliable ancient sources relate that, when fossils were discovered in antiquity, they were transported with great care, identified, preserved, and sometimes traded. Reconstructed models or remains of ‘unknown’ species were displayed in Greece and Rome.” She adds that ancient writings seem to indicate that “some representations and descriptions of crypto-animals in antiquity were based on reconstructions from skeletons of living or extinct animals.” [Mayor, Adrienne. “Paleocryptozoology: A Call for Collaboration Between Classicists and Cryptozoologists.” Cryptozoology 8 (1989): 12 – 26.]

Along this same idea, there is good reason to believe that Chinese ideas about dragons were at least partially born of the discovery of fossilized remains. There was until quite recently a rather horrifying trade in the pulverized fossil teeth, bones, and horns of "dragons," "giants," and other mythological beasts to cure various maladies . . . and the practice may not be ended yet.

So, what was the sirrush? A creature based on recovered fossils? It’s possible, though we should remember that there are no dinosaur remains in Mesopotamia. Wrong geology, wrong period. They would have had to have found them elsewhere. Also, many of the details from the bas reliefs--skin flaps, tongue, scales--could not be recovered or guessed at from fossil remains.

Another possibility; Babylonians are known to have penetrated parts of Africa in search of gold and ivory, and we have the modern-day reports from natives of a small sauropod surviving in the Congo, called mokele-mbembe.

Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?
 
That's absolutely fascinating - I had no idea about the Sirrush - I'm going to have to chase that down.

Immediate thoughts about that account makes myself wonder if perhaps there was an ancient sea-monster tradition in Mesopotamia - brought in through sea faring? How deep is that kind of legend in the human psyche?

I'm not too sure how applicable it is, but are there not also various "obviously" mythical (or symbolic) beasts carved high in the stones of Persepolis? Or are we talking about the much earlier city of Babylon from the Akkadian/Sumerian period (3000-1500 BC), rather than the Babylonian Empire (think that was around the 7th or 6th century BC)?

I'll see if I can find out more about that...

As for the dinosaurs idea - it simply seemed obvious. Besides, I've heard claims before of mammoth skulls forming a basis for the legend of the cyclops - because of the way the mammoth head is biult, apparently their a monster of a hole at the front of the skull - looks right for a giant eye, I hear...

A good subject to look into overall. Not something I'd every thought to pay attention to before. :)
 
The Lake Champlain 'monster' is called "Champ" LoL. I've never believed it was real. I'm not surprised by the "Nessie" findings, or lack of findings, either. OTOH, part of me thinks it would be pretty cool to actually find such a creature living in the big lakes.
 
The material posted above on Nebuchadnezzar dates from the Neo-Babylonian period, 6th or 7th century BCE. Do a search on the Ishtar Gate and you’ll likely find photos of the Sirrush.

Regarding sea monster traditions in the area—the closest I know of is the Tiamat myth, which describes the goddess/elemental Tiamat as a titanic sea monster or dragon. The name means “Maiden of Life.” The story comes from Babylonian myth—old Babylon, this time—as recorded in their creation myth “Enuma Elish.” There may have been an antecedent in Sumerian myth—from about 4000 BCE; later versions of the myth have Marduk killing her and dividing up her body to create the earth and the heavens—in much the same manner as the Norse saw the world created from the body of the slain giant Ymir.

One other fascinating bit of Sumerian mythotrivia: the Neo-Babylonian historian Berossus wrote—in about the 6th century BCE—of the arrival of a demigod known as Oannes. The story is quite specific that this entity was not a god. He and his kin are described as amphibious beings who came ashore out of what is now the Arabian Sea to teach the natives medicine, writing, science, animal husbandry, and agriculture, and returned each night to their home in the sea.

Oannes was described as like a fish, but with the head of a man, and human legs beneath a fish’s tail. Assyrian bas reliefs and carvings show what look like humans wearing the skin of a fish like a cloak. Berossus called Oannes “an animal (or creature) endowed with reason like a man.” In Greek, the beings of which Oannes was the leader were called “annedoti” (Sorry; not sure of the spelling here.) The word means literally “the repulsive ones.”

These beasties aren’t anything like dragons—and so may constitute a hijack of this thread—but it does speak of a very old tradition of sea monsters in the region. I particularly enjoy them because they figure in one of my ongoing SF series, as aliens who tried to civilize humans a few thousand years ago. While I don't usually go in for the van Daaniken schtick, the tradition is an interesting one and COULD point to a prehistoric contact with visiting aliens.
 
I've just being doing a search on the Ishtar Gate. I'm having problems finding a erally good pic of the creatures. I've also found the Sirrush also going under the name of the Mushrushu. I'll try and find out more about this topic - and also get around to checking up on the Oannes (especially before the Dogon peoples get a mention!).

Anyway, here's the pic:
 

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I said:
Well, a BBC team claim to have done a thorough sonar scan of Loch Ness - and found no "monster"!

BBC 'proves Nessie does not exist

Anyone think this will actual put an end to the sightings and speculation?

Or was the method likely flawed?

:D


I grew up in GlenUrquhart, and I'm here to tell you Nessie most certainly does exist - she's just shy.
 
Hi minnimus - and welcome to comparative-religion.com!

Sounds like you grew up in a very special part of Scotland - love to go there myself. I'm sure I'll get up Inverness way soon enough. :)
 
I will be happy to believe that Nessie possibly exists if someone would explain how she (or they) survived all the Ice Ages.

Presumably the loch would have been somewhat solid, beneath a couple of miles of ice.

:)
 
Vajradhara said:
Namaste Brian,

since we're speculating....

i've always wondered something...

you know that we've recently found creatures that we thought were extinct from the age of dinosaurs... i've wondered if the "myth" of dragons isn't due to some dino surviving the impact and living for a time whilst humans lived.

even a small dino would look huge and dragon like to a medieval peasant, wouldn't you say?

probably not... but it would make for a fine fantasy novel :)

Or maybe medieval people found dinosaurs skeletons and assumed those "beasts" actually lived... just a congecture.
 
Some years ago, I read several articles uncovering the mistery of Nessie.

They said that two men created the whole myth, also using mechanical devices and modified boats.
The two men promised each other that at the death of one of the two, the other would have unveiled the mistery. And that's what happened, according to the articles.
The surviving man also showed the press his boats and monster's heads.

The local authorities and tourism office were not pleased at all with this fact, and they didn't want to publicize the thing at all, for obvious reasons.
 
True, Darkyl. That is the explkanation of the most famous of the Nessie photos--the rather blurry one with a head and neck extending straight up out of the water, looking remarkeably like what they used to call Brontosaurus. I believe the photo was from the mid-thirties. Purportedly, they used a toy mechanical submarine fitted out with a rubber head and neck to create a "monster" less than a foot high. Since the photo in question shows no horizon or other recognizeable features against which to compare size or detail, you can't really tell how small it is. Recently, a second photo in the same series surfaced (pardon the pun), which is a bit clearer and MUCH less convincing. It really does look like a toy in a lake. A second story has surfaced (ahem) about one of the other famous photographs--made by a man swimming with a rubber monster over his head.

However, two fakes do not a myth explode. There have been many hundreds of modern sightings, and dozens of well-attested historical ones, going back to -- I believe it was Saint Columba. Many photos have been taken, as well as several amateur motion pictures, including one startline one that shows a very strong wake halfway out in the loch, moving against the wind. Looks like a boat wake, but with no boat.

I'm most intrigued by various modern scientific attempts to locate Nessie. A couple of decades back, a team used sonar to pick up several very large objects moving around deep in the loch, DESPITE what the BBC says. One researcher used a sonar-triggered deep water camera to get several photos of something moving close by. One--supposely showing a long head and neck--is in my opinion highly questionable and, indeed, a few years later someone recovered a rotting stump from that part of the loch that looked much like that photo. However, two other pictures show a VERY clear diamond-shaped fin, and the two photos, taken 45 seconds apart, show that the fin is moving; it's hard to imagine what ELSE it could be down there, other than the flipper of a fairly large marine reptile. The team even gave Nessie a scientific name at that point. I can't track it down at the moment, but the species name meant "diamond-finned."

Loch Ness was created about 300 million years ago, well before the age of the dinosaurs, but aged hippy is right; the area was under heavy glaciation off and on over the past hundred thousand years until about 9000 years ago. The usual assumption is that Loch Ness is periodically open to the sea, and that critters get in, dining on the large local population of salmon. If so, Nessie could be a representative of that larger and vaguer class of mysterious beings--sea serpents.

One other aspect to wonder about . . . and that is the theory that certain places on Eaarth have--call them "gateways" into another world or dimension, and that a whole zoo of cryptozoological critters come through from time to time--yeti, the American Sasquatch, the British "black dogs" and mystery cats, the inexplicable kangaroos that were bounding around in the U.S. midwest in the 1970s. On at least one occasion, Nessie was summoned by the famous magician Aleister Crowley in a working he performed at Boleskine, on the Loch. Perhaps Nessie's elusiveness has more to do with the fact that she's from a parallel world, than her shyness.
 
When we holidayed in Scotland by the loch, my daughters used to put food out for Nessie every day - and every morning it was gone!

Surely that proves it?

Apparently Nessie's quite partial to pasta.

Thomas
 
That's assuming it wasn't the Kelpie that ate it! :)
 

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Hm...we are going to need an expert dietician on matters of mythology here. :)
 
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