1. Lake Baikal
4. Lake Tahoe
5. Lake Wallowa
6. Loch Lochy
7. Loch Lomond
8. Loch Morar
9. Loch Shiel
Lake Baikal is located in Russia and is enormous in comparison with Loch Ness. Large sturgeon are found here which may explain sightings of large animals. The largest sturgeon in the world was one found in Russia. It measured 27 feet long and was estimated at over 240 years old. A real monster indeed, but, being a fish, it lacks the romance of the Nessie image.
On the United States, Canadian border, Lake Champlain is considerably larger than Loch Ness. Joe Zarzynski has written a book on the subject of Champ the monster.
Located in western Canada, around a thousand feet (300m) above sea level, this lake is supposed to be the home of a monster called Ogopogo.
The southernmost of the monster lakes, Tahoe has been the location of a number of sightings of strange water creatures.
In the west of the USA, Wallowa is the home of Nessie's cousin Wally. Recently hoaxers came forward to admit that they had invented Wally for a bit of fun!
Situated in the centre of the Great Glen, Loch Lochy is 600 feet (180m) deep and similarly shaped to its more famous neighbour in the glen, Loch Ness. A relation of a friend of mine had a sighting of something in Loch Lochy in the seventies.
There have been no modern sightings of large water beasts in Loch Lomond, but there was talk of waves without wind in this loch in previous centuries.
Britain's deepest body of freshwater, Loch Morar is over 1,000 feet deep. Owing to the steep sided walls of the surrounding hills, there is no time for the rainfall to become peat stained and the water of the loch is crystal clear.
In the seventies Adrian Shine ran underwater observation experiments in the loch making good use of the clarity. The submersible Machan, built and manned by Adrian, sat at the limit of surface visibility and allowed him to observe fish moving against the surface brightness. This silhouette technique would, if successful, have provided a full profile of any large creature to swim overhead. These trials never provided any evidence for large animals.
During the Project's time at the loch, they discovered the truth about one of the more spectacular encounters with Morag as the local monster is known. Two local men encountered the monster in the centre of the loch and had to beat it off with an oar. The event was witnessed by people on the shore. The truth, however, was that the men had been trying to make a poached stag carcase sink and broke the oar in the process. They could hardly admit the truth to the witnesses on the shore!
Loch Shiel is situated on the west coast of Scotland and is supposed to contain a beast called Shielagh.
It was near here, on a rise opposite St Mary's Catholic church, just beyond the Glenfinnan monument as you drive from Fort William. To find the spot, park in the church car park and cross the road, passing between the house and the steading (barn). You will then find a path winding up the slope to the right. Follow this path for about 50 metres (yards) and you will find a rocky outcrop with an inscription. The inscription is contemporary, but this spot is the most likely place for the raising of the Stuart standard in 1745.
From here you also have a tremendous view of the viaduct on the Fort William to Mallaig rail line. Essential for railway buffs.
Sightings of unusual creatures in Loch Shiel are few and far between, but there was a strong local tradition.