England’s version of the Loch Ness montser — dubbed “Bownessie” by locals — is hogging the spotlight after a kayaker’s recent cell phone photo of something strange in Lake Windermere has gone viral on the web.
The photo — which shows an object with multiple humps rising above the surface of the lake — is said to be the best evidence to date of Bownessie, and reminiscent of similar photos that some have alleged were of the Loch Ness Monster.
The picture is stirring up a lot of of controversy, as the grainy image makes confirming any of the contents relatively impossible.
It was taken on Friday with a camera phone by 24-year-old Tom Pickles and 23-year-old Sarah Harrington, while they were kayaking on the lake as part of a team building activity with their IT company.
The unidentified swimming object (USO) was spotted at 10.35am on the last day of the residential ‘team-building’ course. They had kayaked about 300 yards from the shore near Belle Isle when ‘something the size of three cars’ sped past. It glided through the still water at 10mph, clearly leaving a rippling wake.
“It was petrifying and we paddled back to the shore straight away. At first I thought it was a dog and then saw it was much bigger and moving really quickly at about 10mph. Each hump moved in a rippling movement and it appeared to have a huge shadow around it suggesting it was much bigger underwater. Its skin was like a seal’s but it’s shape was completely abnormal – it’s not like any animal I’ve ever seen before.”
Sarah said: “It was like a huge snake. It freaked us out and it was not until we saw the pictures that we believed our own eyes.”
Enormous rippples can be seen in its wake as the dark shape passed in front of foliage growing from the misty lake. But can it really be the beast of legend?
This is the eighth sighting of a long humpbacked creature in the past five years. It’s known by locals as “Bownessie”.
The photo taken by Pickles matches the description of an earlier sighting by journalism lecturer Steve Burnip. Mr. Burnip says of the picture: “I know what I saw and it shocked me, it had three humps and it’s uncanny the likeness between this and what I saw five years ago.”
Does the monster really exist? Or is it just a myth like the Loch Ness monster?
Sceptic Dr Ian Winfield, a lake ecologist at the University of Lancaster, said: “It’s possible that it’s a catfish from Eastern Europe and people are misjudging the size but there is no known fish as large as the descriptions we’re hearing that could be living in Windermere.