Sceptics regularly dismiss the Loch Ness Monster (LNM) on the grounds that there is no tangible, physical evidence for such a creature's existence, evidence that could be subjected to formal scientific examination in order to determine its originator's taxonomic identity. On one very notable occasion, however, some such evidence was indeed obtained, nothing less, in fact, than sizeable samples of flesh from an apparent Nessie - only for them to be carelessly thrown away!
Here's what happened.
In 1978, a holiday cruiser owned by truck driver Stanley Roberts, rented out to a family that included an elderly grandfather, collided heavily with a substantial unknown object while sailing on Loch Ness near Urquhart Castle. As later recalled by Roberts in a Daily Record interview (click here to read it in archived form online):
The propeller stopped turning. The family were very alarmed. The old man had a heart attack and seemed to have died. There was no radio on board so they let off distress flares to get a tow back to Fort Augustus. The grandfather was taken by ambulance to hospital where he was found to be dead.
Roberts was duly informed by the rental managers. However:
They simply told me there had been an accident. It was only later that I learned more - what had been found on the underside of the boat when they pulled it out of the water.
Boatyard workers who examined the cruiser had found:
flesh and black skin an inch thick along the propshaft. [However,] the workers chiseled the flesh away and threw it into the Caledonian Canal. I said you stupid b-----s. It would have proved that Nessie was here.
Indeed it might. Certainly, to quote Adrian Shine of the Loch Ness Project when told of this incident:
Very frustrating. With modern DNA techniques we could have learned a lot about exactly what had caused the damage.
This ShukerNature blog article is excerpted from my book Still In Search Of Prehistoric Survivors.