Holmes's Loch Ness video shows an object (or, as claimed, Nessy) floating in the Loch Ness.

What is the origin of what was captured on video?

enter image description here

It's at 1m02s in this video.

  • 6
    If lots of people are debating whether this is Nessie or not, how can we know what the object is? If we knew what the object was, there would not be a debate. So the fact that the debate exists, means we don't know what the object is. This question is unanswerable.
    – user22865
    Commented Dec 10, 2015 at 9:56

1 Answer 1


On 26 May 2007, Gordon Holmes, a 55-year-old lab technician, captured video of what he said was

jet black thing, about 14 metres (46 ft) long, moving fairly fast in the water.

However, there are many problems with Holmes, his claim and the video. Here they are:

Nessie, a modern-day myth

According to The Skeptic's Dictionary: A Collection of Strange Beliefs, Amusing Deceptions, and Dangerous Delusions, the scientific community regards the Loss Ness Monster as a modern-day myth

Much of the scientific community regards the Loch Ness Monster as a modern-day myth, and explains sightings as including misidentifications of more mundane objects, outright hoaxes, and wishful thinking (1)


Evidence of its existence is anecdotal, with minimal and much-disputed photographic material and sonar readings.

Holmes credibility doubted

Holmes's credibility has been seriously doubted (2) (3) by a researcher named Loren Coleman. Coleman noted on Cryptomundo, web site devoted to mysterious creatures, that Holmes has a history of reporting sightings of odd and unusual creatures like cryptozoological creatures, and sells a self-published book and DVD claiming evidence for the existence of fairies. Take a look at this example, Holmes tells us he’s filmed fairies:


Booklet + Video CD £4.00

Video Evidence of Fairy like people on Ilkley Moor & Cottingley Beck CD includes Video extracts and images of Fairy-like figures. Im not the type of Person who believes in UFOs, Fairies and the like, so my Camcorder must be lying.

Beware of the Newby Cote Black Cat!

Here, Gordon Holmes has invented theories linking megalithic art to patterns in the sky. He writes:

Self-published my ideas and theories about the Carvings in book form:

  • ‘2000BC A Neolithic Stone Age Odyssey’
  • ‘2000 BC A Cup & Ring Stone Trek’.

    Latest Book:

    • ‘Trice Visualisation’: which describes a sort of medical condition I have for visualizing a sort of frame from a Dream whilst being conscious. Intricate Patterns rotate, or the inside of a room appears to be within arms length of me, also Cartoon-like Sketches. These images only last about 40 seconds before fading and usually the experience occurs every few months on average.

Invisible color, size and distance

According to Benjamin Radford (3) , who has conducted field research at Loch Ness looking for its reputed denizen, the video shows no creature color, size or distance:

Holmes described it as jet black and about forty-five feet in length, yet the video shows neither the creature's color nor its size; it is simply something moving in the water, leaving a typical long wake. Size and distance are notoriously difficult to estimate on lakes unless there are objects nearby of known size such as a boat or buoy.

Furthermore, Radford makes an observation saying that the creature:

Could be nearly anything, and most likely are natural phenomenon or known creatures. There are many fish and fauna around Loch Ness that could look easily create the image Holmes taped. The only reason anyone is claiming the video may be of a monster is because it was shot at Loch Ness; on any other lake the object would be assumed (probably correctly) to be a normal animal.

So, Radford's observation suggests there is no answer to this question:

What is the origin of what was captured on video?

Origin alleged to be a beaver or an otter

enter image description here

In a video uploaded on YouTube by CNN (4), Joe Nickell, a prominent skeptic and investigator of cryptozoological Myths, suggested that this footage cloud be showing a beaver or an otter, swimming in the loch. He added:

In fact the large European otter Lutra Lutra is in the the lock in is responsible for many sightings.

In addition, Adrian Shine of the Loch Ness Centre was interviewed and suggested that the footage showed an otter, seal or water bird. (5)


Due to Holmes weak credibility (2) and the fact that there is no hard evidence that a Nessie exists (1) , it is less likely that the video shows Nessie and more likely that the footage shows an otter, steal, water-bird or a beaver (4), as experts suggest. 8 years passed since this video was shot, and apparently no creature was identified in this video. As skeptics we can say that we can probably never know the origin of what was captured on video, due to the fact that color , size and distance were not visible in the video. (3).

(1) Robert Todd Carroll, The Skeptic's Dictionary: A Collection of Strange Beliefs, Amusing Deceptions, and Dangerous Delusions. pp. 200–201 (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2003). ISBN 0-471-27242-6

(2) Coleman, Loren (4 June 2007). "Nessie Footage Questions Focus on Filmmaker". Cryptomundo.com. Retrieved 28 April 2010.

(3) Radford, Ben (5 June 2007). "New Video Likely Not Loch Ness Monster". LiveScience. Retrieved 13 July 2015.

(4) "stv News North Tonight – Loch Ness Monster sighting report and interview with Gordon Holmes – tx 28 May 2007". Scotlandontv.tv. Archived from the original on 28 May 2009. Retrieved 28 May 2009.

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    "Take a look at this example, Holmes tells us he’s filmed fairies and seen black cats." Are people.. not supposed to see black cats? Do I need to check myself in to an institution? Commented Dec 13, 2015 at 20:34
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    Yes please, black cats do not exist. Commented Dec 13, 2015 at 20:39
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    @ChrisHayes Obviously, black cats don't exist, it's a zoological impossibility :-). But it's popular in the UK for people to claim to see pumas on moors and other such places pumas shouldn't be. Such claims always interest the local press and give a certain type of person a certain type of attention. Holmes' personal page elaborates: "...I saw a Black Cat stalking Sheep ... it only looked to be a young and lean Adult, possible a Puma or another type of Wild Moggie". WARNING - that web page is painful on the eyes. Commented Dec 14, 2015 at 0:01
  • Thank you @nomenagentis for awarding the bounty. Let me know if you have concerns about the answer. Commented Dec 14, 2015 at 20:05
  • Plus, you know, the fact that the original photo that started the whole "Loch Ness Monster" hype was an admitted hoax tends to detract from the credibility of subsequent claims. video.nationalgeographic.com/video/loch-ness-sci Commented May 2, 2017 at 19:14

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