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1888 (ca.): Alexander Macdonald’s Sightings

The following was extracted from a letter printed in the newspaper Northern Chronicle in 1933; this snippet was later reprinted in Rupert T. Gould's book on the Loch Ness 'Monster' published in 1934 (from which I get it). It was presented there -- and here -- as an example of the many sorts of claims that were being made in 1933 for sightings of a large animate object in Loch Ness previous to the 1933 'discovery' of the 'monster' that made the story a worldwide sensation.

"...it appears that some forty-four years ago an Abriachan mason, Alexander Macdonald, often saw a strange creature disporting itself on the loch in the early hours of the morning.

"Mr. Macdonald, who was a regular travellor on the Loch Ness mail steamer between Abriachan and Inverness, was often known to arrive at Abriachan Pier in a state of subdued excitement, and after having boarded the steamer he sometimes volunteered the information that he had seen the 'salamander,' as he called it.

"...It should be added that Mr. Macdonald died a good many years ago..."

...which makes the above account someone's story of what someone else saw; which means it's not good evidence for proving something was in Loch Ness at the time. This problem is the reason why research into the matter generally relies on the reports made from 1933 on, when statements were first reliably being made by the people who claimed to be witnesses within a short time of their experiences.