Mhorag (or Morag)
A Loch Ness-type monster observed and photographed in
Loch Morar, West Inverness, Scotland. Accounts of sightings go
back to the late nineteenth century, but attracted attention only
in the wake of the better-known Loch Ness monster. In 1970
members of the Loch Ness Investigation Bureau formed a Loch
Morar Survey to begin study of the possible creature in the
lake, which is 12 miles long, up to 2 miles wide, and 1,017 feet
deep. Investigators Elizabeth Montgomery Campbell and R.
Macdonald Robertson collected and published stories of
Mhorag over the next several years. Their work was stimulated
by a 1969 sighting by two fishermen, Duncan McDonell and
William Simpson, which was one of the few sightings reported
worldwide.
The magazine Fortean Times (no. 22, summer 1977) reproduced
a photograph taken by Hazel Jackson (of Wakefield, England),
who stayed at Morar with her husband on a touring holiday.
The Jacksons, who are skeptical about monsters, took two
photographs of their sheepdog by the side of the loch, and both
pictures showed what appeared to be the head of a monster in
the loch. Two other photographs reproduced in the same issue
of Fortean Times were taken by an M. Lindsay of Musselburgh,
and these were also somewhat ambiguous.
A Loch Morar Expedition headed by Adrian Shine tested
underwater surveillance equipment, including a spherical submersible
designed by Shine. There are hopes that such equipment
may identify the Mhorag monster, since the waters of the
loch are crystal clear. But as of the mid-1990s, no clear evidence
of Mhorag has been produced.
Sources
Campbell, Elizabeth Montgomery, and David Solomon. The
Search for Morag. London Tom Stacey, 1972.
Clark, Jerome. Encyclopedia of Strange and Unexplained Phenomena.
Detroit Gale Research, 1993.
Robertson, R. Macdonald. Selected Highland Folktales. North
Pomfret, Vt. David and Charles, 1977.

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