Ronald Binns

Published 1983


Reviewed by Lana Nightingale

 (Investigator 13, 1990 July)



In August of 1972 two most amazing photographs were taken in the dark, cold murky waters of Loch Ness of the heretofore mythical monster.


After their publication the ‘monster’ was identified as a plesiosaur… or was it? 


In fact these two photographs, which have [since] undergone computer image enhancement and showed a flipper and neck, were tampered with. And so yet another hoax had been perpetrated in an idyllic Scottish country scene.


Ronald Binns has, in his very readable book, solved the mystery. And once having read his book one is left with an even greater mystery: how people believed the improbable for so long and wasted so much time, effort, and money in a fruitless search for the mythical beast.


The first surprise that the author springs on us is the complete lack of a monster tradition prior to the famed ‘surgeon’s photograph’ of 1934. This photograph, taken on April Fools Day, was the first ‘evidence’ since the ‘monster’ commotion started the previous year.


Modern monster hunters lead us to believe that there is a centuries-old history of sightings of a strange animal in the Loch. There isn’t.


Binns explains all of the numerous sightings and photographs as either misinterpretations or outright frauds.


Specially telling is his dissection of sightings. In one case there is an illustration of a ‘sighting’ through binoculars with the telltale double circles. Only that is a Hollywood fiction. When the actual sighting is drawn as it would have appeared to the viewer – as a single circle – one is left with the impression there is more deceit than delusion.


The Loch Ness Mystery Solved has one serious drawback in that it completely shatters what we have all passionately wanted to believe: an atavism a short drive from the city.