It’s 2014, and after an absence from the media of quite some time, the Bownessie lake monster has made headlines once more. Mr Matt Benefield got in touch with the West Morland Gazette to say he thought he might have captured the mysterious beast in a photograph he took when walking in Windermere on January 12th.
The paper reports that ‘he was at the north of the Lake, taking various photographs. When flicking through the photos back at home, he noticed something odd in the water. The 43-year-old said: “It was a really calm day and the water was very still. There was nobody out in the water, it was very quiet. When I was looking back through the photos, one caught my eye. I wouldn’t normally think anything of it but it was the two ripples in the water that got me thinking there was possibly something strange in the Lake.”
I got in touch with Faye Greenwell of the Gazette who sent me the original photograph (not the one seen in the report which has been edited) and a few things became instantly clear to me about what we were seeing when I examined the photo.
1 – the photo was taken from behind a reflective surface – possibly glass. This isn’t so obvious in the smaller version used by the newspaper. There is light reflected on this surface that comes from behind the photographer, and out of focus black dots that could be mud, water or similar on the surface.
This gives some perspective on the distance between photographer and oddity and suggests that the break in the water is quite close to the shore and smaller than they first seem to be.
2 – The larger breaks in the water are just waves. The water on Windermere is always moving and the bow waves of boats that have long passed can take some time to travel to the edge of the lake. These waves could have been caused by a boat or by the wind. You can see other waves further out on the lake too.
3 – The smaller pair of ripples moving away from the bigger wave are quite small. They remind me of underwater driftwood being moved by water currents but it’s hard to say for sure. It could also be wildlife.
One thing I am certain of is that what we’re seeing in this photo is not as big as it first appears, and I do not believe it to be mysterious or monstrous in origin.