The Sun and the Alibi have published a stories about artist and Nessie investigator, Steve Feltham — the world’s only full-time Loch Ness monster researcher — who has lived in a modest shack on the shores of Loch Ness since 1991.
Feltham’s lakeside home — minibus wrapped in faux wood paneling — serves as a monster research facility and curio shop dedicated to the enigma known as the LOCH NESS MONSTER. The interior is plastered with posters, photographs, maps and shelves with Loch Ness-related books and papers.
Growing up, Feltham claims that he had always been fascinated by LAKE MONSTERS and Scotland’s Nessie in particular, but never seriously pursued it. That was until he was struck the revelation that he was surrounded by people who were mired in regret over not having pursued their dreams.
In a flash, Feltham made the decision to seize his dream of searching for Nessie. So he left his career, friends and family to pack up and go live alone by the shores of Loch Ness in order to find a monster.
“I sold my house in Bournemouth, ended a seven-year relationship and bought an old library van for £1,500. I arrived at Loch Ness on June 19, 1991, and spent nine years moving around before pitching at Dores. I’ve no electricity or running water but there’s a wood-burning stove. It sounds awful but it never feels like a sacrifice. Being involved in the mystery is all I ever wanted, so I wouldn’t dream of doing anything else.”
Although, Feltham has yet to have a sighting of the enigmatic beast, he remains upbeat, if pragmatic, about his prospects:
I am optimistic, but after 19 years looking I’m aware the odds of seeing Nessie are stacked massively against me. I’m content to watch and wait… as a young man I was always up and down on the bus from London to Inverness. At 27 I’d had enough. I could either settle down and continue installing burglar alarms for the family business or go in search of adventure. There was no contest.”
This was a bold move, especially considering that Loch Ness has been searched for more than 70 years, using everything from miniature submarines to divers to cameras strapped on dolphins.
In fact, just three years earlier, a team of researchers sponsored by the BBC undertook the largest and most comprehensive search of Loch Ness ever conducted. They scoured the lake using 600 separate sonar beams and satellite navigation. Lead searcher, Ian Florence, was quoted in a BBC news release:
“We went from shoreline to shoreline, top to bottom on this one, we have covered everything in this loch, and we saw no signs of any large animal living in the loch.”
Feltham, however, is skeptical about the results of that investigation:
“It was flawed. Yes, it made the papers, but they didn’t scan (the loch) all at once, so to me the results are suspect. They searched it over three days in three parts, so the animals might have moved around between the searches.”
Sadly, Feltham — who remains confident in the creature’s continued existence in the loch despite dwindling sightings of the beasts over the last few decades — fears that these mysterious monsters may be on the verge of extinction:
“I think they’re out there, certainly… but there are probably a half-dozen creatures left in the lake… sightings have declined. They’re gradually dropping off of old age, I think.”