Man Claims He Knows Nessie's True Identity
Nessie is probably a catfish, says Steve Feltman
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 17, 2015 11:16 AM CDT
The photo taken by a surgeon in 1934, now known to have been a hoax.   (AP Photo, File)

(Newser) – In 1991, Steve Feltham said sayonara to his girlfriend, home, and job in England to hunt for the Loch Ness monster in Scotland. His big revelation after 24 years of searching: The beast is probably a catfish—though a big one, obviously. Feltman, 52, has spent much of the last quarter century living in a converted "mobile library" in a carpark near Loch Ness in the hope of catching a glimpse of the alleged creature, report Reuters and the Scotsman. His efforts have now led him to conclude that various sightings of said monster were probably of a Wels catfish. The fish were introduced into the loch in the Victorian era and can grow up to 13 feet long. "I just don't think that Nessie is a prehistoric monster," says Feltham, who holds a Guinness World Record for the longest continuous monster watch on the loch. "What a lot of people have reported seeing would fit in with the description of the catfish with its long curved back."

Feltman says his theory explains why Nessie sightings picked up in the 1930s. Of course, the mystery began well before then. In the 6th century, Irish monk St. Columba was said to have exiled a "water beast" to the River Ness. What of the famous 1934 surgeon's photo apparently showing a beast's head sticking out of the water? It actually shows a fake monster head fixed to a toy submarine, as disappointed hunters discovered 60 years later. So does Feltham feel like the last 24 years of his life were wasted? "Never, not for one second," he says. "I'm in my utopia living here on the shores of the loch," he tells Sky News. And he may spend another 10 years probing the case. "I'm not saying the mystery's solved ... I'm still looking for a better explanation." (Read about another secret of Loch Ness.)