Loch Lochy, a ten mile long one mile wide body of water located just a stones throw from the famous Loch Ness, is the reported home of Lizzie, a creature described as closely resembling that of the Loch Ness Monster. Lizzie was first sighted in 1929 by two game wardens near Spean Bridge, a full four years before the first internationally acclaimed Nessie encounter. The Great Glen’s Loch Lochy is only separated from Loch Ness by Loch Oich, the bottom of this Scottish Loch is said to contain several holes reported to go as deep as 2000 feet. The two game wardens who originally sighting Lizze believed at first that they where looking at nothing more than debris from a large fallen tree. When one of the two men took a closer look through his telescope they soon realized that they where looking at much more than a fallen tree but a large unidentified beast, they continued to watch the creature swim for about a mile before it submerged back into the depths of the loch.
Upon news of the first sighting was documented it wasn’t long before more people began to come forward with there own stories of what they saw in the Loch. So many reports came in that in 1933 the monks of Fort Augustus Abbey began to chronicle known sightings. In 1960, while staying in a caravan near Glen Fintaig, Eric Robinson, his family, and nine other witnesses, spotted what looked to be a standing wave in the center of the loch. Much too every ones amazement Mr. Robinson claimed that the wave was actually a moving creature. Viewing the animal through his binoculars Robinson estimated that the animal was between 30 and 40-feet in length, with a dark spine and a paler underbelly. Robinson and the other witnesses claimed the creature began to roll in the water exposing a huge flipper before disappearing into the loch.
In 1996 while fishing for pike in the loch, angler Alastair Stevenson encountered a creature approximately 18-feet in length and roughly the shape of an overturned rowboat. The creature reportedly took Stevenson’s bait and began to pull the vessel. Stevenson was quoted as saying, "I knew immediately it wasn't a pike with that ferocity. I had to stop the line but when I did the power started dragging the boat behind it. All the time I'm thinking it was like a scene from Jaws. Fortunately my line and rod snapped and that was the end of that. I have no idea what it was, but it was a lot bigger than a pike." This incident and several others prompted the member of the Official Loch Ness Monster Fan Club to launch their own expedition into the loch that very same year.
On the first day of the expedition the team, led by crypto zoologist Cameron Turner, had a massive contact with an object near Spean Bridge, where the very first reported sighting took place. The contact was estimated as being between 18 and 20-feet in length, and was moving at a depth of 160-feet below the surface. Approximately two minutes later, after the boat sharply turned starboard in order to pursue the contact, a second contact was made, this time at a depth of 200 feet. As the boat approached the center of the Loch, above an abysmal trench which is reportedly over 300-feet deep, the objects disappeared. Eager to continue the hunt for Lizzie Cameron returned to the Loch in September 1977, he hired a boat from the family of Alastair Stevenson, the same man who had the 1996 encounter with the creature. Nearest the north end of the loch, close to Letterfinlay, the same place they had made contact with an unknown object during the previous expedition, the team had another strong contact, this time approximately 270 feet down in the loch. During the 3 minutes the team managed to follow the contact they where able to get clear pictures of the sonar screen and shortly after returned to the same area and found nothing. The only other strange readings they obtained during this trip was sonar hits of over 2000 feet deep, which appeared to be holes in the bottom of the Loch, something never reported before, and later confirmed by the manager of the boat rental firm who had also gotten strange readings in the past, showing deep holes in the bottom of the Loch. If this is true it makes Loch Lochy by far the deepest inland lake in Europe.
Besides the sonar screen pictures and credible eye witness accounts no physical evidence of Lizzie exists to this date. The discovery of massive holes in the bottom of Loch Lochy however could prove to be the perfect place for a large aquatic animal to go undetected.
• 1929: Two local gamekeepers saw what they thought was a floating log in the loch. When they looked at it with a telescope they could see that it was actually a large living creature which they followed for one mile before it dived, never to resurface.
• 1930: A man living on the loch side saw a strange creature in the water one day - he told his wife never to wash her clothes there again!
• 1960: In July of that year Eric Robinson and his family were staying in a caravan near Glen Fintaig when they saw what they thought looked like a standing wave but through binoculars could see that it was a large living creature. As it started to move south a huge back rose and looked to roll over. At this time they saw a fin or paddle appear. The creature had a main body length of 15-20 feet and an estimated overall length of 30-40 feet. It was dark on top with a light underside. This sighting was witnessed by nine other people.
• 1975: Mrs. Margaret Sargent of Fort William was passing the loch with her husband and family near the Corriegour Hotel when they saw an unusual wake on the flat calm loch. A long black shape could be seen moving through the water. As she took a photo, the object disappeared below the water and the subsequent picture showed only the wake.
• 1996: Staff and guests at Letterfinlay Lodge Hotel saw an unidentified creature moving in a strange fashion through the waters of Loch Lochy opposite the hotel.
• 1997: Local gamekeeper Alastair Stevenson reported that a 15-20 foot creature had taken his rod and tackle while he was fishing by the loch. He said it was something akin to catching a rowing boat.
• 1997: The first ever expedition to look for Lizzie was organized by the Official Loch Ness Monster Fan Club in July. On the first day of the search an 18-20 foot object was detected on sonar 160 feet down in the loch out from Letterfinlay Lodge Hotel. On turning the boat to follow the creature, it was re-located at a new depth of 200 feet only two minutes later. The contact was then lost. This encounter took place in the middle of the loch above a trench where the depth of the loch falls to over 300 feet.
• 1997: Upon returning to the Loch, Cameron Turner, the expedition leader of the pervious Loch Ness Monster Fan Club search of Loch Locky, documented a large sonar contact in the same area as the one recorded before, this time at a depth of 260 feet.
The Stats – (Where applicable)
• Classification: Unknown
• Size: reports range from 10 to 40 feet in length
• Weight: Unknown
• Diet: Unknown, Alastair Stevenson, encounter would indicate fish.
• Location: Loch Lochy, Scotland
• Movement: Swimming
• Environment: Lake bottoms