A monster hunter who has spent over two decades seeking the famous beast of Loch Ness has offered his own conclusion regarding the lake's legend, asserting that the creature may be nothing more than a large catfish.
Steve Feltham gave up a home, girlfriend, and job in England in 1991 to travel to Loch Ness and solve the mystery of the lake's famed monster, according to the Huffington Post. While he holds a Guinness World Record for the longest Nessie-hunting vigil, Feltham now concedes that the legendary monster may be something far more mundane than the prehistoric beast rumored to be swimming the loch's waters.
"I have to be honest. I just don't think that Nessie is a prehistoric monster," Feltham asserted. "What a lot of people have reported seeing would fit in with the description of the catfish with its long curved back."
— CNN (@CNN) July 17, 2015
While his conclusion is unlikely to deter the most vehement monster hunters that flock each year to Loch Ness, Feltham also points out that Nessie sightings are dwindling in recent years. According to Yahoo News, when Feltham first started looking for the beast, as many as a dozen good sightings per year were reported. Now, that number has declined to just one or two.
"Whatever Nessie turns out to be, it is dwindling. We are looking for the last one or two now," he observed.
The leading Loch Ness Monster expert thinks he's finally solved the mystery http://t.co/5nnMGQ9SaN pic.twitter.com/WdvbD2zMup
— VICE (@VICE) July 18, 2015
Feltham points to the Wels catfish as the most likely culprit for the Nessie legend. Though there are no records of the fish being released into the lake, he believes owners of local hunting estates may have brought the species to the loch for sport. If they were released during the late Victorian era, when those estates were at their height, Feltham notes that the catfish would have fully matured in the 1930s, just when the Nessie legend took off.
"I'm not saying it's the final explanation. It ticks most of the boxes with sightings -- but it doesn't tick them all."
Though media reports claimed this week that he would end his search, Feltham denies that is the case, asserting that he will remain at the loch in an attempt to reach a definitive conclusion regarding the monster.
"We still have this world-class mystery and for the next several decades I hope to carry on trying to find the answer," he noted.
— The Australian (@australian) July 16, 2015
The legend of the Loch Ness Monster spread so widely in the last century that major museums in London even sought out the beast, as the Inquisitr previously reported. Though the most famous photo of the beast, taken in the 1930s, proved to be a hoax, faithful hunters still visit the shores of Loch Ness, hoping to catch a glimpse of the monster.
[Image via Twitter]