Tuesday 1 December 2009

Take Loch Ness research seriously and stop messing about!

Part of the problem at Loch Ness is it attracts the weird and wonderful which makes serious scientific research more difficult and makes any mention of the creature a reason for sniggers. This is an example from 2008:

French connection tries to make contact with Nessie

Madcap performance artist ‘could feel presence’ of elusive monster after diving into loch

By Neil MacPhail Published: 02/10/2008

A MADCAP Frenchman braved the rain and chilly water of Loch Ness yesterday to strip to his shorts and jump in to say “bonjour” to Nessie. But before plunging in, the eccentric visitor beat a tattoo on his two large kettledrums mounted on the foredeck of a borrowed cabin cruiser and uttered strange incantations in his native tongue. The French connection with Nessie was by Don Jean Habrey, 56, who back home in Paris gives one-man theatre performances and teaches people to breathe properly. The spells and drumming-up of the monster appeared to have done the trick, for, as he emerged shivering with the cold, Mr Habrey announced: “I could feel the presence.” Yesterday’s visit was a trial run for another visit to the loch later this year which, he says, will be a “sacred collision with Nessie”. He is no stranger to cold water, however, having in a previous stunt jumped from a helicopter into the sea off Greenland. He said: “What I would like to do is to provide the children of the Earth whose living conditions are badly endangered by pollution, wars, and violence, with breathing, poetry and imagery.” Mr Habrey, whose performance name is Hors Humain (beyond human) added: “Hors Humain will breathe with the monster to send ultimate breathing to the world of childhood.” The next visit on Christmas Eve promises to be even more dramatic when he plans to conjure Nessie from the loch with chants, drumming, burning flares, and bonfires round the shore. He said: “On December 24, at the stroke of midnight, Nessie is expected to appear amid the black and boiling waters of Loch Ness. “Nessie will breathe golden pearls for all the children from the Earth, this endangered innocence that badly needs air. “A boat equipped with a sound system will air the great organs of Notre Dame de Paris on the waves of the loch and the oratorios by Mozart, Handel and Johann Sebastian Bach will resound, together with the Hors Humain’s chants and kettledrums. “Ghost spirits will attend this poetic mass. They will breathe with Nessie.”


A lot of people who do this sort of thing are publicity seekers and have no thought for what this means for those who study the Loch seriously. I am sure part of the problem at Loch Ness is no one takes it too seriously because of the hoaxes and silly seasons of people casting spells and so forth. I have no objection to their beliefs or their right to do so, but if they did it privately so it did not attract a media circus I would have more respect for them and it would mean other research would get support and funding instead of ridicule. I am all for tourism for the area as it brings in much needed cash to the local economy but this sort of thing simply makes life for serious researchers that much more difficult.

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