It makes less sense to me that a deer would bolt towards the loch on a car approaching rather than stay in the hillside where it has more options for escape routes.
Why deer would go it alone when heading to the loch for a drink is less certain to me. Comments from aspiring animal behaviorists are welcome. The deer theory is now theoretical roadkill, let me move onto another theory attempting to debunk the Spicers.
THE OTTER THEORY
The problem with the otter theory should be apparent on a cursory inspection. The problem being that otters are small and Loch Ness monsters are large. I highlighted this issue when the otter explanation was examined in the Harvey-MacDonald land sighting from January 1934. That particular creature was claimed to be up to six feet high and ten foot long and I reproduce the relative sizes of a typical otter and this creature from that article below.
One would not expect somebody to mistake one for the other. However, the sceptical analyst will usually regard the witness as honest but would then interpret their “extraordinary object” as an “ordinary object” seen in “extraordinary circumstances”. The extraordinary circumstance suggested in this case would be a heat haze.
The most current proponent of this theory is Aleksandar Lovcanski who wrote an article entitled “Monster or Mirage?” on this subject back in 2010, which you can find here. Aleksandar raises some general objections to the Spicer account which I address in another section of this article, here we focus on mirages.
The idea of illusion brought about by light refraction due to a temperature inversion over a surface is not a new theory in the realms of cryptid scepticism. It goes back to 1979 and beyond when W. H. Lehn tried to use it to explain the H. L. Cockrell photograph. Lovcanski re-applies it to the Spicer sighting and uses the otter as the “ordinary object” while the “extraordinary circumstance” is the extremely rare observation of an otter in a heat haze.
Now, I say an otter is an “ordinary object”, but it is no mean feat to actually see one as they stick close to the water and are more active at dawn and dusk. For the Spicers to actually see one in a heat haze is an improbable event in itself as I discussed in a previous article. It would seem strange to replace one improbable event with another one.
Leaving that aside, Lovcanksi begins to set up his parameters in a way that is not acceptable. Firstly, he dismisses George Spicer’s revised estimate of at least 25ft and sticks to the original 6-8ft. However, for some reason, Lovcanksi prefers to go with the revised distance of up to 200 yards rather than the original 50 yards.
Aleksandar suggests an average otter length of 1.1m but hints at the need for something bigger by quoting Burton on one unverified specimen of 2.4m. Why say that if his theory purportedly works with an average otter? More importantly, since the main direction for mirages here is in the vertical, this 1.1m length would only translate to a height of 0.2m.
Let me tell you, no mirage is going to magnify a 1.1x0.2m otter into an 6x1.4m monster, hence the need here to shrink the monster as much as possible as demonstrated in Aleksandar’s “revised” drawing below and compared with the original Gould sketch. His reason for this is that he claims the Spicers only said the monster filled the road but not the grass verges.
To be continued