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The Bones Of Loch Ness
By Jordan P. Niednagel
©TrueAuthority.com - 8/03
I've learned a lot since my early days as a cryptozoologist (one who studies cryptozoology). I've learned not to jump to conclusions, not to overly exaggerate scientific truths, and not to let my personal bias give birth to an agenda, and for that agenda to power my research. In essence, I've learned to not make something out of nothing, and, in contrast, nothing out of something.
I wish to bring to light a possible case of making nothing out of something. What do I mean by that? Simply this: When something significant is found or discovered, yet is casually overlooked as insignificant.
Could it be insignificant and not worth our time? Absolutely. Yet, for the sake of unbiased science, something so very rare in this day and age, it is only becoming of us to look into a recent discovery that, if nothing else, is nothing less then "simply ironic."
"I literally tripped over the fossil in the water. When I put my hands down to steady myself I saw something unusual and picked it up. Once I had cleaned off about an inch of green algae, and I could see the texture of the bone, it became clear I had an important fossil." 
Such were the words of Gerald McSorley, 67, a retired scrap merchant from Stirling, Scotland. What he found were four perfectly preserved vertebrae of a large animal. Set in gray limestone, complete with spinal chord and blood vessels, the fossil was labeled "a very good find" by Lyall Anderson, a curator at the National Museum of Scotland. "Professional palaeontologists go out looking for things like this and usually find nothing," he said.
But what kind of animal was it? After all, there are millions of species, both great and small, that have inhabited this planet since the beginning of time. McSorley himself didn't know what it was, so brought it to authorities who could positively identify it. After careful examination, they did just that.
You have a plesiosaur on your hands, they told him.
Almost like finding gold fish bones in a gold fish bowl, I would have replied.
"I have always believed in the Loch Ness monster, but this proves it for me," said McSorley. "The resemblance between this and the sightings which have been made are so similar."
Regardless of whether one believes the fossil to have originated in the Loch or not, one thing is certain: It's an ironic discovery. Of all the animal remains that could have been found in Loch Ness itself, McSorely found a plesiosaur. A rough, uneducated estimate would label such a finding at least at a 1 in a 1,000,000 chance (very generous). That is, of all the millions of species that roam the earth today and have roamed the earth from the beginning, leaving millions upon millions of their fossilized remains for us to find, McSorely found a plesiosaur . . . in Loch Ness. He did not find it near Loch Ness, or on the banks of Loch Ness, but in Loch Ness.
McSorely could have brought to the museum the backbone of a blue whale. He could have brought fossils of a seal, sea lion, or bottlenose dolphin. McSorely could have brought to the museum the vertabrae of a fossilized kronosaurus, ophthalmosaurus, or liopleurodon (marine reptiles that don't resemble Nessie). Yes, indeed, he could have brought a host of animals with absolutely no resemblance whatsoever to the infamous Nessie of Loch Ness.
Gerald McSorley, however, brought back the vertebrae of a plesiosaur. For lack of better words, he brought the vertebrae of a Nessie.
There are arguments, of course, and endeavoring to be an unbiased researcher, I will examine them carefully, and let readers decide for themselves.
Argument #1: It's Just A Planted Hoax
Because, per say, of its ironic stench, many have labeled the finding a hoax. Someone obviously planted the fossil, waiting for the first gullible passerby to find it and fall for the clever prank. After all, there is indeed a long history of hoaxes associated with the Loch Ness Monster phenomenon.
There are a number of problems with this idea, however.
1. Plesiosaur fossils are not very common, and for someone to actually possess one and use it for a hoax is quite unlikely.
2. Although it is possible to purchase such fossils, they're worth hundreds of dollars, making the prank a rather expensive, and rather idiotic, endeavor.
3. The fossil was found in shallow water, and to plant it in such an unlikely location for someone to find would be a great risk.
4. Why choose vertebrae? A prankster would obviously want the fossil to be recognizable to the common eye. He or she wouldn't bank on the fact that the discoverer would take it to a museum for positive identification.
5. There is no suggestion at all that Mr. McSorley was involved in a conspiracy. He was even reported as cleaning off "about an inch of green algae," suggesting that it had been lying in the water for a long time.
All in all, it is quite improbable that the discovery was the fruit of a cleverly devised hoax. Even many scientists don't believe such, and so the idea should be discarded completely.
Argument #2: The Fossil Is 150 Million Years Old, & The Lake Formed Only 10,000 Years Ago
I have often said that the greatest detriment to the study of cryptozoology is the theory of evolution; and so again has my saying been proven true.
Notice in every article regarding the fossil discovery that they do not say the vertebrae is 150 million years old simply because it's fossilized. Many folks, to this day, still believe it takes millions of years for fossilization to occur. Nothing is further from the truth. Given proper burial, pressure, and water, fossilization can happen in less than a few decades.
In any case, the scientific establishment has firmly put down the Nessie / plesiosaur comparison. Why? As MSNBC put it: "While the fossil is about 150 million years old, Loch Ness was formed only 10,000 years ago, at the end of the last Ice Age."
Oh, well then, I guess that settles it.
Or does it?
If you're familiar with TrueAuthority.com, then you're familiar with the inaccuracies and dangerous assumptions of dating methods. Regarding dating methods, please visit here. Regarding the geologic column, please visit here.
What if, in fact, the Loch didn't form 10,000 years ago? What if, in fact, the fossilized vertebrae aren't 150 million years old? If they aren't, in fact, this finding could be observed in a whole new light. Perhaps, just perhaps, this plesiosaur didn't die millions of years ago. Perhaps, just maybe, it died one hundred years ago, five hundred years ago, or one thousand years ago. Maybe its home really was the Loch. In fact, maybe its home still is the Loch.
The possibility is indeed possible.
Argument #3: Borings On The Fossil Show It Comes From A Marine Environment
This is the most valid of the arguments, yet is still open to interpretation. “Chances that the fossil originated where it was found are very slim. ... It was deposited there either by natural or artificial means,” said Hannah Dolby, a museum spokeswoman. “Borings on the fossil show it comes from a marine environment rather than a fresh water environment like the loch.” 
From her quote we can see that Miss Dolby is open to the fact that the fossil could have been planted by a hoaxer. In any case, what are these "borings" she speaks of? And are they conclusive? In her quote, also, we notice the phrase "very slim," which indicates that the fossil could have possibly come from the loch, though in her opinion, it is unlikely.
These borings are made by sponges, which are primarily marine (sea) dwelling. However, sponges are found in virtually all aquatic habitats. There are, in fact, around 150 fresh water species known today. Do any exist in Scotland? Yes. On the Scottish Wildlife Trust Website, the following is stated:
In many of the rivers, burns and lochs the bottom is covered with films or mats of bacteria, diatoms and algae, with a "plankton" of algae floating in the open water. Feeding on these are thousands of species of one-celled protozoa which in turn are fed on by hydra, rotifers, nematodes, flatworms, bryozoans, sponges and other animals.
Do borings indicate that the fossil came from the sea? They could, but as shown, they do not absolutely prove such.
One point of interest is that the fossil itself is in good condition, with little evidence of prolonged erosion. The conclusion, therefore, is that it is a new arrival to the area. Question is, how new? Perhaps there is little erosion simply because the fossil itself is relatively new.
Scientists at the National Museum of Scotland confirmed that the find is the first of its kind in Scotland for more than a century, and the first ever at Loch Ness. Interestingly, according to BBC News, scientists there even agree that it is evidence that the 35-ft-long monster once existed in the area. Gary Campbell, the president of the Official Loch Ness Monster Fan Club, also said it was possible that it was a fossil which originated in the local area, though he thinks it could also have been planted.
"The find is very interesting because nothing of its nature has ever been discovered on the shores of the loch before, " said Lyall Anderson. “The plesiosaur is the image people have of Nessie. It was found at Loch Ness, so people can say it is the original monster. It is interesting.”
So what's the consensus? Can we draw one? Personally, no, I cannot. I cannot definitively say that the fossil came from a plesiosaur that died within the last few hundred years. Is it a possibility? My friend, yes it is. Don't be darkened by the establishment that tells you plesiosaurs lived millions of years ago. This is what they told us about the coelocanth, until one was caught alive in 1938. This is what they told us about the Chacoan peccary (pig), until in 1975 they were discovered still alive in Paraguay. Yes, my friend, don't be darkened.
As emphasized in the title of this article, so I will emphasize yet again. The discovery is ironic, and when probabilities and percentages are carefully considered, it is downright mind blowing. Plesiosaur vertebrae? In Loch Ness?
Almost like finding gold fish bones in a gold fish bowl.
1. BBC News, Pensioner Finds "Nessie" Fossil, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/3069803.stm.
2. MSNBC, Dino Fossil Found In Beastie Country,
3. Scottish Wildlife Trust, Wetlands,
Available online at www.trueauthority.com/cryptozoology/nessiebones.htm