3/20/16  #853
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In a dark, smoke-filled room, somewhere deep in the bowels of an secret government agency, electronic spies quietly monitor all communications throughout the planet. When key words are detected, programs go into action to trace the source and destination of the targeted communication.  And now, red lights are flashing, tapes are spinning, secret intelligence operatives are scrambling, and the black helicopters are flying.  All because once again, cyberspace is filled with your number one source of information on conspiracies, UFO, the paranormal, and much more - Conspiracy Journal!

This week Conspiracy Journal takes a look at such surveillance-society stories as:

A Strange Tale of Murder, UFOs and the CIA -
-  Tatzelwurm: Dragon of the Alps -
- Six Out of Ten Say They've Had Contact With a Dead Partner -
AND: Great Water Monsters and Mer-Folk

All these exciting stories and MORE in this week's issue of

~ And Now, On With The Show! ~


Here is a direct link to Issue # 45

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 Timothy Beckley, Publisher
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A Treasure Hunters Dream Come True!


Everyone has fantasized about finding buried treasure. It’s a child’s dream and many a grown person’s obsession. Thousands own metal detectors and regularly scan the shore line, creek beds and out of the way mountain crevices looking for that proverbial treasure trove of all time.

In the summer of 2015, a salvage company recovered treasure worth $4.5 million off the coast of Florida, a fortune in gold and jewels that had sunk with a Spanish galleon in 1715. In an amazing case of synchronicity, the vast riches were recovered 300 years to the day – July 31 – after the shipwreck. The CEO of the salvage company told the media at the time that he felt a mysterious “energy” had wanted the treasure found and led them to it on that precise day

But there is more. Inside the pages of this book, the reader will be given the opportunity to unlock the mystery to discovering some fabulous fortune that has lain hidden away for decades, perhaps even centuries. Join Tim Beckley, Sean Casteel, Paul Eno, Dr. Nandor Fodor, Scott Corrales, Preston Dennett and Paul Dale Roberts as they provide guidance in searching for million of dollars or more in gold, diamonds, rare doubloons or old art masterpieces.

But above all else you will learn of the “supernatural treasure hunting connection” that includes the appearance of UFOs, ghosts, spirits of deceased Native Americans and even Bigfoot, all of whom are either guarding vast treasures or have been known to lead deserving souls to the end of a rainbow and vast wealth.

This volume will surely be a prize possession of anyone interested in the connection between UFOs, ghosts, curses and the paranormal. Or anyone just looking for a spooky story that they can relate to.

Shiver me timbers! It’s all here – and a heck of a lot more, matey.

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So don't delay, order your copy of Spooky Treasure Troves
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A Strange Tale of Murder, UFOs and the CIA

The weird world of UFOs is filled to overflowing with people who offer up bizarre stories in an attempt to explain the reality of the phenomena as they see it. One such interesting example is Jo Ann Richards, who runs the not-for-profit Earth Defence Headquarters.

Jo Ann tours UFO conferences trying to convince the audience her husband, Mark Richards, who is serving life for murder, was once a special forces agent who attended as a child with his father, a 1961 intergalactic conference about the future of the Earth, and met juvenile raptor aliens, who could speak English, and a string of other ET species.

At a UFO conference in Watford, UK she told of a story about how Mark Richards and his father, Ellis Lloyd Richards Jnr, were both involved in secret research involving aliens.

She added as a young boy in June 1961 her husband had attended a covert conference in a castle in England, involving the “leaders of Earth and hundreds of species of aliens from all over the galaxy”.

Her story, which would defy belief to even the most ardent of alien believers, claimed among the alien species were the raptors, that looked exactly like those seen in the Jurassic Park movies, but who could speak English.

She said: "These originated from the dinosaurs on Earth. Some of them left Earth before the comet came and had occupied another planet."

Mrs Richards also uses the platform to gain support for a campaign that her husband is innocent of the shocking murder he was convicted of planning 1n 1982, and, instead was framed by the CIA, because he was about to expose the fact that aliens are real.

She claims he was previously covertly involved in secret space programmes involving several alien species, but he was framed by the so-called men in black when he was about to blow the whistle on everything.

She opens her talks outlining why the man she married while he was in prison is "innocent" of the shocking crime of planning the murder of his friend before disposing of the body and spending his cash.

She claims Mr Richards is not the manipulative fantasist he was said to be when he was convicted of first degree murder and describes her husband as  a "political prisoner”.

She said: "My husband was framed for murder he had nothing to do with in 1982 so he would get out of the hair of the New World Order as he would be fighting their efforts at this time.

“My husband has been in prison for almost 30 years for something he had nothing to do with."

She said in 1979, Richards led a squadron in a legendary alleged underground battle between humans and sinister aliens who had been experimenting on people in a secret base in Dulce, New Mexico, and rescued hundreds of people there.

The battle of Dulce is a myth within some UFO and conspiracy theory circles.

The truth about this battle was one of the key things Richards was about to expose to the world when he was arrested over the murder, she claims.

But records of the trial showed Richards used none of the fantastical story during his defence and never once claimed to have been framed in court.

In fact, the court heard about a very different fantastical story.

On July 13, 1982, the body of Richards' friend, vintage car restorer Richard Baldwin, 36, was found weighted down by an outboard motor in water near the Sisters Island in San Pablo Bay, San Francisco, Marin County, California.

He was wrapped in plastic tarpaulin and a bamboo screen and bound around the neck and ankles by TV cable, rope and duct-tape.

Mr Baldwin had a fractured skull and was stabbed in the heart.

Her story, which would defy belief to even the most ardent of alien believers, claimed among the alien species were the raptors, that looked exactly like those seen in the Jurassic Park movies, but who could speak English.

She said: "These originated from the dinosaurs on Earth. Some of them left Earth before the comet came and had occupied another planet."

But the crazy tale about the madcap interplanetary conference was not the only extraordinary allegation Mrs Richards regularly makes.

She runs the Earth Defence Headquarters, what she calls a not-for profit organisation, in the US, which sells reports on alien encounters written by her husband in prison and raises awareness about the "injustice" he has faced.

Richards, then a 29-year-old home renovator, and two 17-year-old employees of his, were arrested on suspicion of the murder.

They had been upgrading the victim's property in San Rafael, California, at the time.

When Richards' home was searched police found several documents and photographs that suggested he was planning a coup to take over Marin County and establish a separate kingdom known as Pendragon.

The case became known as the Camelot murder as a result.

Investigators found evidence of the existence of a secret organisation, with other members, called Pendragon led by Richards that was planning the takeover.

Detectives found maps, aerial pictures of Marin County and plans to make a laser-gun and machine-guns.

Richards claimed he had no intention of staging an armed coup and that it was all research for a sci-fi book he was planning, but the bizarre discovery made its way into the trial.

One of the teens, Crossan David Hoover, later confessed that he battered Mr Baldwin with a baseball bat, then stabbed him with a knife and screwdriver.

He said that Richards had planned the murder, saying Mr Baldwin owed him $3,000, and told if they also burgled the victim's home, Hoover could have a $5,000 share, but that he would also be given a prominent role in he new kingdom.

In interview, Richards admitted burgling the home and spending cash on Mr Baldwin's credit cards, because of the debt, but he claimed the two teenagers had confessed the killing to him and he played no part in it.

But it emerged that after the killing Richards had bought a boat, video equipment and jewellery and even tried to obtain credit in his former friend's name.

He was charged after the other 17-year-old, referred to only as Andrew, agreed to testify in return for immunity against prosecution.

Another former employee of Richards also came forward to state his boss had earlier tried to get him to kill Mr Baldwin.

Prosecutors said they did not seek to prove he was planning a takeover, but that he had used the possibility of one as another way of manipulating the easily influenced youngsters into murder.

Richards has failed to appeal his conviction.

He did not begin discussing his "history with aliens" until 1997 when he met Jo Ann, his second wife, who visited him in prison.

He now writes reports on his alleged involvement in secret military and space operations, which are then sold at UFO conferences by Mrs Richards, as part of her campaigning for justice for him.

Debunkers have pointed out how there is no record of his military service and that if he was being framed, this would have come up in his trial, and that he would have brought it up earlier than 1997.

They also point to the fact being in prison for life allows him, through his wife, to release much information about alleged alien activity - so the CIA plot to frame him, if true, would have been a drastic failure.

But Mrs Richards insists she is convinced by her husband’s fantastical stories.

She even claims to be psychic and that her late father-in-law accompanies her at conferences.

She said: "He has the air of captain about him. I think I have known him long enough to know he is not lying to me.

"I know there are people who don't believe me, and that's fine, and we say well try and disprove it, and no one has."

When asked if she feared for her safety or being framed by the CIA, now she has taken over her husband's work to expose the truth about aliens, she said: "No, I have a lot of good aliens that are around me, protecting me."

Source: Sunday Express


Tatzelwurm: Dragon of the Alps
By Lon Strickler

Here is a cryptid from the bucolic Swiss Alps, the home of my Strickler ancestors. An odd beast feared for its cunning skills and ferocious nature...known by many as the 'Dragon of the Alps'.

The Tatzelwurm is a mysterious beast that makes its home in the Alps...a legend in many Swiss communities. Reports of this mysterious creature vary in description, some witnesses claimed the Tatzelwurm to be lizard-like while others more bizarrely claim the features of a cat.

A common description of the enigmatic Tatzelwurm is that of a creature between 2 and 6 feet, completely covered in scales and with no hind legs but rather a long snake like body. The Tatzelwurm has 2 front legs and is said to have very big bright eyes and feline like ears which some witness’s claim gives the Tatzelwurm the appearance of a cat covered in scales rather than fur. Another notable feature is that the Tatzelwurm can apparently expel poisonous fumes that are strong enough to kill a human.

Hans Fuchs, a poor Swiss farmer was tending to his farm in the Alps. Suddenly he heard strange noises from his pig pen. He ran towards the pig pen to see what was attacking his prized pig and stopped in shock. What he saw that day in 1779 would not only kill his pig, but he would die the same day of a heart attack.

Before dying the man told of seeing a tatzelwurm (German for “worm with claws”) 5 – 7 feet in length with a snake-like body, clawed front legs and a large feline-like head with sharp teeth.

The creature can become extremely ferocious; If the creature doesn’t run away when it sees a person, it will turn and run toward the person emitting a high pitched call and would try to bite the person.

In 1828, a peasant supposedly found the corpse of a Tatzelwurm which by the time he had managed to bring it home crows had apparently eaten half of the creature. Even so, the Tatzelwurm built up quite a following of believers and was even considered fact in the nineteenth century. Its now believed that even if this creature did actually exist that because sightings are so rare now it may be completely extinct.

It is widely believed that the Tatzelwurm is actually some kind of rare salamander with characteristics resembling a Gila Monster, most notably the preferred habitat of underground burrows in mountainous areas. This could also explain the reports of poisonous fumes as the Gila Monster is extremely venomous and one of the worlds only venomous lizards, though it is not native to the region. The description of the Tatzelwurm even fits that of a Gila Monster even if it is some what of a loose fit. Another theory is that this creature could be some kind of giant skink, although skinks are also not native to the Alps.

The Tatzelwurm is said to have normal hibernation periods; sleeping during the winter in crevices on mountainsides (this is the reason for the name “Stollenwurm”) or they will even sometimes sleep in hay in a hay loft. In the following two centuries, many reports were received about a strange monster lurking in the Alps and attacking the livestock of farmers in remote villages.

There are many other tales of the legend of the Tatzelwurm. The first tale is that of a young girl who was working on a Swiss farm. While chopping down bean poles she accidentally disturbed the burrow of a Tatzelwurm and was attacked. The Tatzelwurm in this account was described as being of a gray coloration and about the size of a common domesticated cat with a fleshy hairless body and possessing only two front legs. According to the story the Tatzelwurm glared at the girl and she ran away describing big bright eyes to intense to meet.

Another story tells that of a man and his son out gathering herbs in the mountains when the man suddenly heard his son scream and seemed to be paralyzed in fear staring at a rock. The man sprinted to his son only to see a ‘gruesome monster’ under the rock near his son which hissed like a snake and had the face of a cat with big bright eyes. The man managed to stab the Tatzelwurm with a sharped stick easily fleshing the flesh. According to the story the ‘green blood’ of the creature sprayed out and burnt the mans leg making his journey home long and painful due to his limp.

In July 1883 or 1884, Kaspar Arnold saw a Tatzelwurm on the Spielberg, near Hochfilzen, Tirol, Austria. He watched it from a mountain restaurant for twenty minutes and was certain it only had two legs.

A two-legged Tatzelwurm leaped 9 feet in the air toward two witnesses near Rauris, Salzburg, Austria, in the summer of 1921. It was gray, about 2–3 feet long, and had a head like a cat.

In 1924 the five-foot-long skeleton allegedly was found by two men, who said it resembled a lizard’s.

In 1934, a Swiss photographer named Balkin claimed to have photographed a Tatzelwurm near Meiringen, Switzerland, but his photo was probably a faked image of a ceramic fish.

In the summer of 1969, a local man reported a 30-inch-long animal with two hind legs near Lengstein, Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy. It seemed to be inflating its neck.

In 1990, two naturalists found the skeleton of a lizardlike animal in the Alps near Domodossola, Italy. Giuseppe Costale saw a gray, crested reptile moving in a zigzag fashion on Pizzo Cronia in the same area on two occasions, in October 1991 and September 1992.

In the 1960's a photograph emerged which was supposedly taken of the mysterious creature. This was given to a Geneva newspaper from a source unknown. Most researchers and cryptozoologists who have seen the photo are in agreement that it is probably a hoax – most likely by a mayor of a Bavarian town attempting to attract tourists.

In 1970, reports of an alleged Tatzelwurm were published in the Swiss newspaper La Tribune de Geneve by Georges Hardy.

In 2000 a strange skeleton was forwarded to a local college. Some scientists said at the time is the first physical proof of the Alpine Tatzelwurm. Along with the skeleton came a sizable donation as well. The original owner of the skeleton remains a mystery. The law firm of Gunterhaus Ltd. in Germany handled the donation and refuses to divulge the name of the contributor or why the Geneva Institute was selected to be the recipient.

As recently as 2009, many reports were made in the Tresivio area of Italy, near the Swiss border. Authorities chalked up most of these reports to "missing monitor lizards" that had escaped their masters. Some of the sightings were even said to be of "raptor" dinosaurs! Only the oldest residents of Tresivio called the mysterious creatures by the name they always knew them as..."basilisco" or basilisk. That was the Italian name for Tatzelwurm...a creature almost faded into non-existence.

The Tatzelwurm is also known in other European countries under different names:

* Stollenworm (Tunnel Worm)
* Bergstutzen (Mountain Stump)
* Springwurm (Jumping Worm)
* Daazelwurm
* Praatzelwurm
* Arassas (French Alps)

Source: Phantoms and Monsters


Professor Helps People Connect with Coincidences
By Brit Moorer

Chances are most people have said "what a coincidence" or "maybe that's a sign" at least a few times.

A University of Virginia professor and psychiatrist is making it his mission to find out the science behind coincidences.

Is it simply right time, right place or do we actually have some sort of control over these so-called mysterious events?

"It's about a common experience that most people have but don't talk about that much," said Dr. Bernard Beitman.

He says we can use these so-called random occurrences to our advantage.

"Making coincidences work for you require tuning to your intuition, noticing feelings that may tell you that you're in the right place at the right time," he said.

In Beitman's new book, Connecting with Coincidence, he helps people recognize what's happening around them.

"The first purpose of my book is to say excuse me there are these coincidences out there, maybe you can use them," he said.

It's like a sort of human GPS.

"I have this theory that we have in us a capacity we don't yet appreciate, the ability to find our way to places people and things we need," said Beitman.

"When you get to a turn, do you turn right or left? Even if you're not sure where you're going, what makes you go one way or another, there's something pushing you in that direction," said Simona Holloway-Warren, a believer in coincidences.

It's like finding that new job or a soulmate you randomly meet at a coffee shop.

"Coincidences alert us to the mysterious hiding in plain sight," said Beitman.

Through his lectures and new book, Beitman suggests that we have a lot more to do with coincidences than we really think and random acts might not be so random. We just need to pay better attention.

Source: Newsplex


Six Out of Ten Say They've Had Contact With a Dead Partner

We never forget our loved ones once they have passed away.

But for as many as six in ten of us, the memories become something much more tangible.

According to a study, most people who have lost a partner will see, hear or sense them in some way.

Researchers said the level of these 'hallucinatory experiences' - for example seeing a loved one in their old chair or hearing them call their name - was 'strikingly high'.

They said the phenomenon is much more common than we might think because many bereaved people are reluctant to report their experiences for fear of being looked upon as mentally unwell.

The team at University of Milan said: 'Post-bereavement hallucinatory experiences (PBHEs) are abnormal sensory experiences that are frequently reported by bereaved individuals without a history of mental disorder.

'Overall, evidence suggests a strikingly high prevalence of PBHEs - ranging from 30 per cent to 60 per cent - among widowed subjects, giving consistence and legitimacy to these phenomena.'

The researchers, whose study was published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, came to their conclusions after compiling the results of all previous peer-reviewed, English language research that has been carried out on PBHEs.

Jacqueline Hayes, an academic at the University of Roehampton, has also studied PHBEs for many years, but prefers to call them experiences of continued presence (ECPs) because of the negative connotations the term 'hallucination' can have. She has carried out extensive interviews with people of all ages and backgrounds across the UK, who have lost spouses, parents, children, siblings and friends.

She said: 'People report visions, voices, tactile sensations, smells, and something that we call a sense of presence that is not necessarily related to any of the five senses.

'They happen involuntarily, and, for example, not while someone is deliberately "remembering".

'They are always significant to the bereaved and continue some aspect of the relationship with a loved one; sometimes they also magnify it.

'For example, someone who experienced a problematic relationship with her mother while she was alive now experiences hostility through hearing her mother's voice.

'I found that these experiences could at times be healing and transformative, for example hearing your loved one apologise to you for something that happened - and at other times foreground the loss and grief in a painful way.

'People's selves are not separate from others, particularly not significant others. It is therefore quite natural that these close relationships continue after death, and that interactions may occur as before.

'It would in fact be quite strange if such interactions, that we come to expect as part of our everyday lives, suddenly stop.'

Some researchers have theorised that the experiences are similar to flashbacks experienced by sufferers of post-traumatic stress disorder, but Dr Hayes said they are more complicated than that.

'[ECPs] can occur for many years afterwards, and even when the bereaved are no longer experiencing trauma and they are usually not in the form of flashbacks but can be quite new experiences,' she said.

'Whether they are helpful or unhelpful depends on the nature of the relationship with the deceased.'

Many who have had positive encounters with their deceased loved ones say they have been soothed to sleep or been given the encouragement to achieve a difficult task.

Some say they have even been helped to complete a mundane chore, such as a man whose grandmother - who had been dead for four years - told him to fix the kitchen waste disposal system for his grandfather who was finding the task very stressful.

Dr Hayes added: 'The form [ECPs] take also fits the relationship with the deceased. It's like they walk on to the stage, on cue, and play the part the bereaved would expect them to.'

Source: NZ Herald


On the Surface of it, UFOs Could Lurk

For nearly 60 years, rumors have circulated of strange flying objects emerging from the ocean off our coast and disappearing in a fantastic flash of speed and light.

Sailors, fishermen, dockworkers, police officers, coastal residents and others have reported eerie otherworldly ships emerging from and submerging into local waters.

UFOs, it seems, have established an underwater base somewhere in the deep, dark recesses between the Channel Islands and the coastline between Long Beach and Santa Barbara.

Despite a tendency to scoff at such conspiracies, I decided to do a little investigating. You know, just to be sure.

To learn more, I contacted UFO researcher Preston Bennett of Los Angeles, who appeared on the recent History Channel special "Deep Sea UFOs."

Bennett reports more than 40 documented sightings off SoCal's coast since 1947, including several in and around Long Beach-San Pedro.

"In these types of cases, UFOs are seen moving into and out of the water, floating on the surface and also traveling beneath the surface," Bennett said via e-mail. "Many of these cases are well-verified, with witnesses including police officers, lifeguards, military personnel and other professionals."

Intrigued, I contacted Lt. Chuck Engbring of the U.S. Coast Guard.

Engbring wasn't familiar with any recent UFO sightings at his agency, but recalled an incident not long ago where passengers on a commercial flight departing LAX reported seeing an unfamiliar object ascend from the sea to the sky off Point Vicente in Rancho Palos Verdes.

That incident sounded strangely similar to a sighting in early November at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. I called LAX.

Although no one could recall the Pointe Vicente incident, I was referred to a July 22, 2002, sighting of a flying triangle off the coast.

My next inquiry was to the LBPD.

They had nothing recent to report, but there's always the famous images captured by LBPD helicopter pilots on Dec. 25, 2004.

At around 11:30 p.m. that night, the chopper's videocamera recorded a strange glowing object floating through the Long Beach sky. They forwarded the tape to local military officials, who couldn't - or wouldn't - identify it.

A copy of the tape was even given to KABC and broadcast around the world, but nobody could figure out what it was.

Maybe there was something to this UFO stuff after all?

My next inquiry was at Long Beach Airport.

Airport Spokeswoman Sharon Diggs-Jackson said that in December, a resident reported seeing unusual lights moving erratically across the night sky.

Airport officials couldn't explain it.

As I learned during my research, such sightings date back to World War II, when reports of UFOs and USOs (unidentified submarine objects) began surfacing around the area.

The mother of all sightings probably occurred on the night of Feb. 24-25, 1942, in what became known as the "Battle of Los Angeles."

Jittery from the recent attack on Pearl Harbor, military personnel manning anti-aircraft weapons along the coast were ready for action when reports spread of "unidentified aircraft" approaching from sea.

When a bright object was spotted above Santa Monica Bay, shooting began, and "the air over Los Angeles erupted like a volcano," according to press reports at the time.

No enemy plane was ever found.

Many more incidents followed in the succeeding decades, though thankfully none involved heavy weapons.

On Aug. 8, 1954, a Japanese steam ship, Aliki, was floating off the coast of Long Beach when several crew members observed an underwater UFO, Bennett reported in a February 2006 article titled "Is There an Underwater UFO Base Off the Southern California Coast?"

As the intercepted radio message from the ship reads, "Saw fireball move in and out of sea without being doused. Left wake of white smoke; course erratic; vanished from sight."

This was all getting a bit too weird.

The Press-Telegram's new offices high above downtown Long Beach provide a perfect view of the port, harbor and beyond to Catalina Island.

Despite my deep skepticism during research into this column, I found myself staring out the window across the bay, hoping to catch a glimpse of something strange emerging from beneath.

I'll let you know if anything pops into view.

Source: Press-Telegram


Great Water Monsters and Mer-Folk

Water-dwelling beasties abound in Scotland. Monsters and mermaids frolic and swim in our lochs and seas from the Highlands to Lowlands. Some are shy, while others seem to bask in the limelight.

The one thing that connects them is that they've all been spotted. They've all been recorded and noted. And, furthermore, there are people out there who believe they exist.

No review of Scottish beasties could start anywhere else but with the Loch Ness Monster, or "Nessie" to her friends (and there are many of them). She has appeared in legend since the sixth century, but the building of a new road around the loch - just southwest of Inverness - in the 1930's brought her international fame. Sightings of this long, humped lady have been frequent ever since she was famously sighted in 1934 by a London surgeon who had the foresight to snap off a couple of photos – and the sense to sell them to a daily paper.

Nessie's less well-known cousin is "Morag", who is said to inhabit Loch Morar, northwest of Fort William along the west coast near Mallaig. There have been fewer sightings around Loch Morar, being altogether more remote than Loch Ness. Yet when she has been seen, descriptions are very similar to Nessie.

Take the most famous sighting of Morag. It was 1969 when two local people - Duncan McDonell and William Simpson - were fishing in the loch. Suddenly they saw a long creature approaching their boat at great speed. It rammed them, and fearing they were to be capsized, the terrified fisher-folk started shooting. The beast disappeared into the depths of the loch but left them with the impression that it was between 20 and 30 feet long and had three humps. Sound familiar? Well it does to Neil Bass a biologist and member of the Loch Morar Investigation Team who spotted a "hump-shaped black object" and is convinced it's another Nessie.

Across Scotland there are monsters aplenty lurking in deep, dark water. So, just what's going on? Is it collective hysteria or is there really something down there? There have been a number of theories put forward to explain the animals' existence but the current top five claim they are either:

• A zeuglodon – put forward by biologist Roy P Mackal who thinks the monsters are a type of giant prehistoric snake-like creature thought to have become extinct about 20 million years ago.
• A plesiosaur – very similar to the above. Just substitute the word plesiosaur (a water-dinosaur) for zeuglodon.
• A log – what more is there to say, except that there are plenty of trees in Scotland.
• A sturgeon – biologist Adrian Shine thinks these creatures are nothing more exciting than a great, ginormous sturgeon - a freak-fish if you like.
• A bona fide monster – yes, yes, well, all right, it's possible.

Another creature currently living in Scotland's lochs is the kelpie, or water-horse. These watery quadrupeds wait by lochs for unsuspecting mortals. Should you ever mount a kelpie, then prepare for a watery doom, as the kelpie will canter into deep water and drown you. They can also take on human form, so should you spot a brooding man by the side of a loch with seaweed instead of hair, then you'd be well advised to run away. Fast.

The kelpie is transposed in the Highlands into the Each Uisge (sea horse), who lives in seas or lochs. If you see one, do not approach. Their fur is like Velcro and once you lay so much as a pinkie on its hide … then it's off to the deep with you. There he will devour you from top to toe, leaving only your liver to wash up on the shore as a warning to others that the Each Uisge has struck again.

Kelpies are not the only watery beasties living in Scotland. We are also awash with tales of finned people and mermaids. Finned people have often been sighted in Orkney close to their home at Eynhallow village. They are dark and swarthy with long fins, which they can cunningly disguise to look like cloaks. They are also rather modern, in that they are twinned with the underwater city of Finfolkhaheen – where they go to spend the winter.

Finmen often harass local fishermen and are known to abduct local men to provide husbands for their finwomen who had a vested interest in finding a mortal husband. If they did not, they have to settle for marrying a local finman and degenerating from a beautiful woman into an ugly crone. Marriage to a mortal man ensures their lovely looks last forever.

Similar to finpeople are mermaids, who have been bewitching mortals with their beautiful singing voices and exquisite beauty for hundreds of years.

If documentation is proof of existence then you could be fairly assured of the presence of fish-folk in our midst. The Aberdeen Chronicle is particularly fond of mermaid sightings, but stories have appeared in the London Times as late as 1809.
From the archive

What is interesting with all the reports is the consistency of the description. The mermaid is always young, beautiful, with soft white skin and long dark hair. Surprisingly the person reporting the sighting is not an old drunk who has left his glasses in the pub, but is often an upstanding and respected member of the community.

If you're beginning to think that there might be something in these fishy-stories, then you'll need to explain why it is that the mermaid is often to be found speaking Latin or singing hymns. Presumably she's been well educated at the "Underwater Church Academy" for young mermaids.

    * The last reported sighting of a mermaid in Scotland was in 1947 on the isle of Muck when an 80-year-old fisherman saw a mermaid combing her hair.

    * The most famous sighting was in 1900 by Alexander Gunn, who insisted he saw a mermaid in Sandwood Bay. He died in 1944 still believing in what he saw.

Source: The Scotsman

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