U.K. tabloids abuzz with Canadian's 'Loch Ness monster' photo

Parry Malm and Shannon Wiseman aren't sure they photographed the Loch Ness monster, but say they are open to the idea. (Submitted by Perry Malm and Shannon Wiseman - image credit)
Parry Malm and Shannon Wiseman aren't sure they photographed the Loch Ness monster, but say they are open to the idea. (Submitted by Perry Malm and Shannon Wiseman - image credit)

U.K. tabloids and Loch Ness monster believers are abuzz after an expat Canadian couple photographed what some say could be the legendary water creature.

Parry Malm and Shannon Wiseman aren't fully convinced themselves, but say they are coming around to the idea — particularly if it keeps their kids happy.

The family, which currently lives in the English city of Wimbledon, spent Easter vacation sightseeing in Scotland. To prepare for the trip, they loaded up on books about the Loch Ness monster.

While staying in a nearby cabin on a cold, blustery day in early April, the couple decided to visit a body of water where the sea creature is rumoured to live.

And that's when they saw something moving through the waves.

"Its head was craning up above the water and it was slowly but gradually moving toward us," Malm, who is originally from Coquitlam, B.C., said, quipping that it was "bigger than a Sasquatch but smaller than Ogopogo."

WATCH | Malm and Wiseman speak about the sighting: 

"So we obviously play it up. We have two little kids who are almost three and almost five," he continued.

Wiseman, originally from Calgary, asked her sons, "Do you think it's Nessie?" while taking a picture of the blurry object.

Little did they know that the image, and their names, would soon be plastered in U.K. tabloids as the first sighting of the Loch Ness monster of 2024.

Hundreds of years of history, but no official proof

Sightings of some sort of unexplained creature in Loch Ness date back to around 500 A.D., though modern sightings re generally traced to 1933, when a local newspaper reported a couple's claims of seeing "an enormous animal rolling and plunging on the surface."

Some have argued it's a freshwater plesiosaur, though studies have found the creature went extinct before Loch Ness was formed. A DNA study of hundreds of water samples from Loch Ness found that if anything, sightings of the creature were most likely a giant eel.

Even a massive hunt in 2023 using state-of-the-art technology failed to turn up anything definitive.

WATCH | The business of Loch Ness monster sightings:

But the allure remains, with hundreds of tourists visiting the water every year in the hopes of seeing the creature — or at least coming away with a story to tell.

Among the believers is Gary Campbell and his daughter Page Daley, who have maintained a website since 1996 titled "The Official Loch Ness Monsters Sightings Register," which aims to document all potential sightings of the creature, filtering out photos they are able to identify as waves, logs or other animals — as detailed on their page, "What's not a sighting."

Malm submitted their photo "just for a bit of a laugh" and, the next day, he says he got a reply telling him he had taken "the first confirmed sighting this year."

The photo was posted to the website and picked up by U.K. tabloids including the Scottish Sun, Irish Star and the Daily Mirror.

'We're not tinfoil-hat-wearing people'

The couple is enjoying the attention and say their boys are fully on board with the notion they saw the Loch Ness monster, even if the adults aren't quite convinced.

"My instinct says it might have been a seal but I am told that seals do not go in that lake," Wiseman said.

The Daily Mirror/The Scottish Sun/The Irish Star
The Daily Mirror/The Scottish Sun/The Irish Star

"I mean, we're not tinfoil-hat-wearing people," Malm added. "There's probably a perfectly logical explanation for what it was. Maybe species X lost its way home or something like that."

But he says he's not completely closed to the idea.

"There's every possibility that there's some sort of unexplained species that, from time to time, makes an appearance."

For Wiseman, the fun comes in sharing an extraordinary memory with her kids.

"I want their childhood to be filled with the magic of the unbelievable," she said. "And this is just one of those things: It is unbelievable, and they believe it so I believe it — and I am all in on that."

Malm agrees: "What it sort of reaffirmed for me is there's still things in the world that can surprise and delight you," he said.