Mhorag (or Morag)
Mhorag (or Morag)
A Loch Ness-type monster observed and photographed in Loch Morar, West Inverness, Scotland. Accounts of sightings go back to the late nineteenth century, but attracted attention only in the wake of the better-known Loch Ness monster. In 1970 members of the Loch Ness Investigation Bureau formed a Loch Morar Survey to begin study of the possible creature in the lake, which is 12 miles long, up to 2 miles wide, and 1,017 feet deep. Investigators Elizabeth Montgomery Campbell and R. Macdonald Robertson collected and published stories of Mhorag over the next several years. Their work was stimulated by a 1969 sighting by two fishermen, Duncan McDonell and William Simpson, which was one of the few sightings reported worldwide.
The magazine Fortean Times (no. 22, summer 1977) reproduced a photograph taken by Hazel Jackson (of Wakefield, England), who stayed at Morar with her husband on a touring holiday. The Jacksons, who are skeptical about monsters, took two photographs of their sheepdog by the side of the loch, and both pictures showed what appeared to be the head of a monster in the loch. Two other photographs reproduced in the same issue of Fortean Times were taken by an M. Lindsay of Musselburgh, and these were also somewhat ambiguous.
A Loch Morar Expedition headed by Adrian Shine tested underwater surveillance equipment, including a spherical submersible designed by Shine. There are hopes that such equipment may identify the Mhorag monster, since the waters of the loch are crystal clear. But as of the mid-1990s, no clear evidence of Mhorag has been produced.
Campbell, Elizabeth Montgomery, and David Solomon. The Search for Morag. London: Tom Stacey, 1972.
Clark, Jerome. Encyclopedia of Strange and Unexplained Phenomena. Detroit: Gale Research, 1993.
Robertson, R. Macdonald. Selected Highland Folktales. North Pomfret, Vt.: David and Charles, 1977.