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Scotland and elsewhere, and is often described as being large in size, with a long neck and one or more humps protruding from the water. Popular interest and belief in the creature has varied since it was brought to worldwide attention in 1933. The creature commonly appears in Western media where it manifests in a variety of ways. Londoner George Spicer that several weeks earlier, while they were driving around the loch, he and his wife saw “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 with “an animal” in its mouth.
In 1934, interest was further piqued by the “surgeon’s photograph”. Other authors have claimed sightings of the monster dating to the sixth century AD. They explained that the man was swimming in the river when he was attacked by a “water beast” which mauled him and dragged him underwater. Although they tried to rescue him in a boat, he was dead. Columba sent a follower, Luigne moccu Min, to swim across the river.
Do not touch the man. The creature stopped as if it had been “pulled back with ropes” and fled, and Columba’s men and the Picts gave thanks for what they perceived as a miracle. Believers in the monster point to this story, set in the River Ness rather than the loch itself, as evidence for the creature’s existence as early as the sixth century. Adomnán’s tale probably recycles a common motif attached to a local landmark. According to sceptics, Adomnán’s story may be independent of the modern Loch Ness Monster legend and became attached to it by believers seeking to bolster their claims. Ronald Binns considers that this is the most serious of various alleged early sightings of the monster, but all other claimed sightings before 1933 are dubious and do not prove a monster tradition before that date. The object moved slowly at first, disappearing at a faster speed.
1934, shortly after popular interest in the monster increased. Modern interest in the monster was sparked by a sighting on 22 July 1933, when George Spicer and his wife saw “a most extraordinary form of animal” cross the road in front of their car. It has been claimed that sightings of the monster increased after a road was built along the loch in early 1933, bringing workers and tourists to the formerly-isolated area. November 12, 1933 was the first photograph alleged to depict the monster. It was slightly blurred, and it has been noted that if one looks closely the head of a dog can be seen.
Sketch of the Arthur Grant sighting. Grant, a veterinary student, described it as a cross between a seal and a plesiosaur. He said he dismounted and followed it to the loch, but only saw ripples. The “surgeon’s photograph” is reportedly the first photo of the creature’s head and neck. Wilson’s refusal to have his name associated with it led to it being known as the “surgeon’s photograph”. According to Wilson, he was looking at the loch when he saw the monster, grabbed his camera and snapped four photos. The first photo became well-known, and the second attracted little publicity because of its blurriness.