A girl has claimed to have spotted the Loch Ness monster in the same week other newly released photographs were taken allegedly showing the legendary beast.
Charlotte Robinson, 12, from Leeds in Yorkshire, was recorded in the official sightings register as having seen the mythical creature emerge from the loch around 50ft away.
She said that it had a “a neck and head was in the shape of a hook” and that it disappeared, before reemerging elsewhere for about a minute.
She took a picture on her mobile phone that appears to show something protruding from the loch’s surface, although it is unlikely to settle the decades-long debate over whether a serpent-type creature is living in its waters.
Charlotte’s picture was taken on Aug 17, 2018, four days after other images that were hailed as the “most exciting ever” when they emerged this week.
Chie Kelly, a translator, who took those photographs, said she had witnessed the creature moving at “steady speed” on the banks of the loch while she was holidaying there.
Her images were only published this week as she feared public ridicule at the time.
Ms Kelly was eventually persuaded to release them by Steve Feltham, who has spent more than 30 years searching for Nessie.
‘I couldn’t believe it’
Charlotte’s sighting came on the first day of her holiday at Loch Ness Highland Lodges at Invermoriston with her parents.
“There was something in the water about 50ft from the shore. I took a photo. It had a neck and head was in the shape of a hook,” she said.
“I just took what I saw. It was black – I just don’t know how far it was out of the water. I’m not good at judging distances. But after about a minute it disappeared and then came back up again in a different place.
“It was up for less than a minute the second time. I kind of believed in Nessie, but I wanted to see the proof. I always imagined her as having a long neck and flippers. I have seen something but I’m not sure what.”
Her mother Kat, a business intelligence data analyst, told reporters at the time: “Charlotte said she had taken a photo of a creature in the loch and I said ‘right, sure you have!’ For weeks she’s been going on about seeing the Loch Ness monster.
“But when I saw the picture, I couldn’t believe it. Something’s there. With all the sightings over the years there must be something in the loch.”
Charlotte’s sighting was accepted by the Official Loch Ness Monster Sightings Register, while Ms Kelly’s four days earlier has just been added.
Gary Campbell, the keeper of the register, said: “It was some extraordinary week because as well as Charlotte’s sighting there were three others of an unexplained creature.
“It appears that the creature was moving between Dores and Fort Augustus. These pictures by Ms Kelly and Charlotte are the best of Nessie ever taken and are totally baffling. It all adds to the evidence that is definitely something unexplained in Loch Ness.”
Mr Feltham said the photographs taken by Ms Kelly were “the most exciting surface pictures I have seen” and “vindication for all the people who believe there is something unexplained in Loch Ness”.
The first recorded sighting of the Loch Ness monster was made in 564 but the legend captured the public imagination in the 1930s.
It followed Mrs Aldie Mackay, a hotel manager, reporting seeing a “whale-like fish” in the waters of Loch Ness on April 14 1933, which was featured in the Inverness Courier. The story was quickly followed up by the national press.
The following year, the most famous image of the monster, known as “The Surgeon’s Photo”, was captured and published in the Daily Mail. For decades it was seen as evidence of the monster’s existence.
However, it was described as a fake by The Telegraph in 1975, and is now believed to have been created as part of an elaborate hoax.