Wednesday 14 April 2010

Loch Treig monsters frighten divers.

Loch Treig is a freshwater loch east of Fort William, in Lochaber, Scotland. There are no roads that run alongside the loch but there is  the West Highland Railway Line which runs along the  eastern bank. Loch Treig is accessible only by a single track road which ends before the dam at the north end. There is a tidal nature to Loch Treig ,the causes of  this tidal effect are the wind acting on the surface of the east west orientated Loch and thermal stratification. Surface oscillations(Seiches), are seen on the loch. The building of the Laggan dam by Balfour Beatty which is 700feet (213metres) long and 180feet (55metres) high, is part of the hydro electric scheme in the area. 1933 Mr B. N. Peach an engineer in charge of the hydro electric  scheme claimed some of the divers working on the project had said there were monsters inn the depths and had left or asked to be moved to other jobs.

There is a long history of kelpies or water horses in the Loch:

The Rev. Dr. Stewart gives the following particulars about water-horses and water-bulls in his "Twixt Ben Nevis and Glencoe." They are thought of "as, upon the whole, of the same shape and form as the more kindly quadrupeds after whom they have been named, but larger, fiercer, and with an amount of `devilment' and cunning about them, of which the latter, fortunately, manifest no trace. They are always fat and sleek, and so full of strength and spirit and life that the neighing of the one and the bellowing of the other frequently awake the mountain echoes to their inmost recesses for miles and miles around. . . Calves and foals are the result of occasional intercourse between these animals and their more civilised domestic congeners, such calves bearing unmistakable proofs of their mixed descent in the unusual size and pendulousness of their ears and the wide aquatic spread of their jet black hoofs; the foals, in their clean limbs, large flashing eyes, red distended nostrils, and fiery spirit. The initiated still pretend to point out cattle with more or less of this questionable blood in them, in almost every drove of pure Highland cows and heifers you like to bring under their notice." The lochs of Llundavra, and Achtriachtan, in Glencoe, were at one time famous for their water-bulls; and Loch Treig for its water-horses, believed to be the fiercest specimens of that breed in the world. If anyone suggested to a Lochaber or Rannoch Highlander that the cleverest horse-tamer could "clap a saddle on one of the demon-steeds of Loch Treig, as he issues in the grey dawn, snorting, from his crystal-paved sub-lacustral stalls, he would answer, with a look of mingled horror and awe, 'Impossible!' The water-horse would tear him into a thousand pieces with his teeth and trample and pound him into pulp with his jet-black, iron-hard, though unshod hoofs!"


The loch being so isolated and the stories around it may have preyed on the men’s  minds. (In 1933 the divers would have all been male.), but if they were not local they were unlikely to have heard the stories. The loch being so isolated and it appears to have little habitation around it , means something could live undisturbed in the water. An intriguing one ,if anyone has any information please post a comment.

The story of the divers is similar to the one about Wastwater in Cumbria  here:

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