On Scotland’s west coast, just south of Loch Morar and just west of Fort Williams, in Lochaber, Highland is a 17 mile stretch of pristine freshwater known as Loch Shiel. This loch is only marginally above sea level and a few thousand years ago, when sea levels where higher, was actually a sea loch. Not surprisingly, like so many other lochs in Scotland, Loch Shiel is the reported home of a humped back monster. Shielagh, as the beast is called by locals of the loch, is said to be roughly 70 feet in length and have roughly three large humps which run along the length of its back.
Accounts of Shielagh can be traced back to the early 1870’s; with many these being chronicled by Benedictine priest, Father Cyril Dieckhoff, before he passed away in 1970. Amongst the sightings documented by Father Dieckhoff is that of Ian Crookback and Ewan MacIntoch who, along with two boys, claimed to have seen three animate humps breaking the surface of the loch from the bow of a mail steamer named Clan Ranald.
Much of Loch Shiel’s shore line is considered a Special Area of Conservation and with the others shores consisting of rarely climbed mountains and well wooded forest, sightings of Shielagh have remained relatively sparse. In the late 1990’s boat trips for tourists began to operate in the loch leading to several new sightings in 1997 and 1998, including the reported sighting of no less than four of these creatures swimming on the surface of the lake.
There is currently no physical evidence to suggest the existence of a creature like Shielagh living in Loch Shiel.
The only documented sighting of Shielagh that could be found at this time was that of Crookback and Ewan MacIntoch who, along with two boys, claimed to have seen three animate humps breaking the surface of the loch from the bow of a mail steamer named Clan Ranald.
The Stats – (Where applicable)
• Classification: Lake Monster
• Size: Up to 70 feet in length
• Weight: Unknown
• Diet: Unknown
• Location: Loch Shiel, Scotland
• Movement: Swimming
• Environment: Glacial lake