; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Monday, February 03, 2014


Every couple of years or so, Bownessie supposedly shows itself...usually someone associated with the lakeside resort. I've been watching this tale develop and continue for about 5 years. Frankly, I think this 'cryptid' is for tourist's consumption. Why? Well, in 2008 I was asked by a LakesTV representative to publish the screen captures from the original video on my blog. The video was located on the LakesTV website at the time. I asked if I could use the video and was denied...I was told that they wanted to 'market the video and it would be copyrighted'. I declined to publish the screen captures and decided to wait until something else popped up on this 'creature'. Then in July 2009, the owner of the Langdale Chase Hotel, Thomas Noblett, conveniently experienced a 'rogue wave' while swimming in the lake. It could very well be a large eel or fish...but using the 'Nessie' moniker as part of a name is somewhat disingenuous. Anyway, you make your own determination on this 'cryptid'. I would like opinions on this, especially from those who have investigated the sightings...Lon

Scotland has its legendary Loch Ness Monster and Windermere has the equally enigmatic ‘Bownessie’ – but has the creature from the deep been spotted ‘again’?

Ulverston-based Matt Benefield might have had an encounter with the mysterious creature while out and about on a ‘calm’ Sunday.

As a petrophysicist, Matt has a special interest the physical and chemical properties of rock and their interactions with fluids.

On January 12, 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.”

The first reported sighting of Bownessie was in 2006 when journalism lecturer Steve Burnip described seeing a 30ft snake-like beast with humps from the shores of Wray Castle.

The belief that a monster is living in the lake was fuelled further when holidaymakers thought they spotted the creature in 2011. Over three years ago, keen enthusiasts even went hunting for the creature. In 2010 Lakeland hotelier Thomas Noblett and celebrity psychic Dean ‘Midas’ Maynard embarked on their second journey into the depths of Windermere in search of the fabled monster.

Mr Noblett was prompted to prove the existence of the creature when he was hit by a three-foot wave whilst swimming on Windermere in 2009.

“I hadn’t really heard of Bownessie that much previously but I guess it was in the back of my mind when I saw the photo,” said Mr Benefield.

“I’m not saying it is it but I have no idea what it is – I can’t explain it.”

Sarah Johnson from the Freshwater Biological Association offered her expert opinion. She said it could possibly be ‘one or more catfish, also called a wels or a decaying bow wave from a powerboat passing anything from 30 seconds to five minutes before the image was captured’. - The Westmorland Gazette


From 2/28/2011

newsandstar - The hotelier had thought he and colleague Andrew Tighe were alone on the lake when, out of the blue, he suddenly realised something powerful was going past him.

Early morning conditions couldn’t have been calmer – with waters mirror-like – as the managing director of Windermere’s Langdale Chase Hotel continued his training for an English Channel swim, accompanied by Mr Tighe in a rowing boat.

“We were going across the deeps, the deepest part of the lake,” he recalls.

“It was really calm. Then, all of a sudden, I felt something go past the back of my legs. It felt like a cruiser had gone past.

“Suddenly, this wave then lifted me up. I stopped and asked ‘what the hell was that? Get me out of here’.”

Mr Tighe, the Langdale’s general manager, feared for his friend as the follow-up ‘bow wave’ rose.

He said: “Looking back at that morning it is all a bit surreal. I was most concerned about Thomas. I didn’t know what it was.”

The whole experience, between 6.45am and 7am on July 29, 2009, lasted about 30 seconds.

After the drama unfolded, the lake went back to being completely flat – with the men confused as to what had just happened.

At first, Mr Noblett, 48, thought a submarine had passed him – with the Ministry of Defence perhaps doing some kind of secret testing. He described the feeling as “awful”.

It was only after another colleague at the hotel overheard them talking afterwards, that the realisation that it could be something else struck.

“We didn’t know what it could be. We were chatting about it in the kitchen and our chef said there was a report of something being sighted in the lake,” said Mr Tighe, 35.

Their experience, along with other sightings, have left the pair convinced there is something in the waters.

“One hundred per cent. There is something in there,” Mr Tighe said.

His colleague added: “We were non-believers beforehand. We didn’t give it a thought before. I was more concerned that a pike would bite me.”

Speculation as to whether Cumbria could have its own Loch Ness monster-type creature in Windermere has grown in the past week after a photograph emerged of what looks to be a four-humped creature in the water.

It was spotted by Tom Pickles and Sarah Harrington, who were kayaking across the water. They captured the image on a camera phone.

Theirs is thought to be the eighth report of so-called Bownessie being seen in the past five years.

Mr Noblett, who has swam in Windermere hundreds of times, believes this latest sighting adds weight to what he and his colleague have been saying since 2009, adding: “We’re quite pleased about it. It shows we were not using this as self-publicity for the hotel, area or the lake.”

Sporadic sightings of the creature have been made since the 1950s.

Various descriptions have seen its size range from anywhere between 25ft and 70ft and of being snake-like in appearance.

Although there is the old Nessie theory of the creature being something prehistoric that has somehow survived in the lake, both Mr Noblett and Mr Tighe believe the creature is most likely to be a giant eel.

Other theories are that the “monster” could be a giant catfish or a large pike with the creature feeding off char

Since their experience, the hotel bosses have worked with north east-based psychic Dean “Midas” Maynard on trying to unearth evidence about what is lurking in the waters.

Today they will join him on a boat conducting a sonar search of the lake to see if they can spot Bownessie or any more clues about its existence, using 3D imaging equipment.

Another boat search with more passengers joining them will be carried out tomorrow.

But, with Windermere 10.5 miles long, one mile wide and plunging to 220ft at its deepest point, with various caves and shelves, Mr Noblett, who has been at the Langdale 20 years after working in Bermuda, Dubai and London, admits the search is the proverbial needle in a haystack.

Whatever they do or don’t discover, however, his view about whether there is a creature in the water will not change.

And the businessman has information that there are others who have has possible sightings, but haven’t wanted to speak out about them.

He added: “Some have said they are glad we have brought it up. One sailor has said it was like a side of meat turning over and going underneath. He didn’t want to tell anybody in case he was ridiculed.

“You’re always going to get two camps in whatever you do in life. The ones who don’t believe will boo-hoo everything. If they haven’t experienced it themselves, they will say it is an old wives’ tale.”

Many of those who are believers or have spotted something suspicious and believe there is something in the water are people who are completely serious about the lake.

“That has made our experience a little more concrete,” Mr Noblett said.

Dan Nield, 30, an operations supervisor with Windermere Lake Cruises, will be among those on the boat searching the lake tomorrow.

He admits the speculation about what may be in the lake is interesting, but is a sceptical of whether there is a “monster” in there.

“Everyone loves a mystery. It would be nice if there was something out there, but I’m a sceptic,” said Mr Nield, who spends his working day on the lake.

“Some have said there are big catfish in there. They can grow as big as a couple of metres in length. Others have said it could be a string of otters. It’s interesting. The picture that came out last week surprised me. Lots of people have been asking about it, but whether it brings more tourists to the area, I don’t know. I wouldn’t think it would do tourism any harm.”

There’s no doubting that the intrigue surrounding what may lurk beneath the waters of Windermere could be lucrative.

A whole industry has spawned from the mystery at Loch Ness, with a visitor centre, souvenir shops, television documentaries and even a Hollywood film staring Ted Danson.

Cumbria Tourism bosses, whose headquarters are on the shores of the lake, say they are as keen as anyone to establish “whether the Bownessie phenomenon is fact or fiction”.

A spokesman added: “The truth is Windermere and Bowness are incredibly popular destinations and don’t need gimmicks to get people to visit.

“Nonetheless, at the start of the tourism year, it doesn’t do the industry any harm to have this kind of profile around the world.”

Mr Noblett believes Bownessie could become a visitor attraction.

“It will attract a different type of visitor. You are going to get people who say we don’t need any more tourist attractions here. They are the non-believers,” he said.

“But it can only help the businesses and the infrastructure of Cumbria. This is a happy story versus the catastrophes of the last couple of years in west Cumbria.

“People think Cumbria is an island. When the bridge went down in Workington they thought they couldn’t get in. It’s just the British way of thinking.”

Mr Tighe, the Langdale’s general manager for the past four-and-a-half years, also believes interest in what may be in the lake his high and added: “Most of our guests are interested.”

Executives at Windermere Lake Cruises, whose boats ferry people to stops up and down the lake, are not convinced Bownessie exists, but believe passengers will enjoy trying to spot it. They are offering a golden ticket prize of a year’s free cruises for anyone who captures a picture of the beast from one of their boats.


Bownessie Rears It's Ugly Humps Again

The image of 'Bownessie' taken by IT worker Tom Pickles on Lake Windermere

The Bownessie Search Continues....

Sky - Monster hunters have used sonar equipment for the first time to search for a mysterious creature reportedly living in England's largest lake.

Sky News filmed out on Windermere with the team looking for proof that the beast exists.

In the last four years there have been seven reported sightings of a long humpbacked animal, now nicknamed Bow-Nessie.

Windermere hotel owner, Thomas Noblett, described his strange encounter in the water, saying: "All of a sudden I felt something brush past my legs like a giant fish.

"And then I was lifted up by a 3ft wave. I've no idea what it was."

During the sweep of the lake, the team spotted a strange 14 metre long disturbance in the water but were unable to detect anything on sonar.

Searching Windermere is a huge task as the lake is 220ft deep in parts and over ten miles long.

Hunt organiser, Dean Maynard, said: "We've had more creature sightings here than at Loch Ness in recent years so we think it's time that Bow-Nessie received more attention."

Last year, a local film crew spotted a 20 metre long object below the surface of the lake but sceptics believe the footage shows a wave from an unseen boat.


thewestmorlandgazette - A team of monster hunters will set sail on Windermere in a fresh search for ‘Bownessie’.

Lakeland hotelier Thomas ‘The Gladiator’ Noblett and celebrity psychic Dean ‘Midas’ Maynard will embark on their second journey into the depths of Windermere in search of the fabled monster.

The two men led a team of investigators to the lake to look for evidence last year but returned empty handed.

“Since last year, a lot of local people have told me they have felt something in the lake but have been too scared to say anything,” said Mr Noblett, owner of the Langdale Chase Hotel.

“There is obviously something large in there. You just have to look at the depth, width and length of it to know that.”

Bownessie was first spotted by tourist Steve Burnip in 2006. Mr Burnip described a serpent like creature, around 15-feet in length, at the north end of the lake.

Mr Noblett was prompted to prove the existence of the creature when he was hit by a three-foot wave whilst swimming on Windermere last year.

“A lot of people boo-hoo it but they are mainly people who have never set foot in the Lakes,” said Mr Noblett.

“Those who have seen it describe it as a very long and eel-like. One sailor told me he saw what looked like a big slab of meat roll past his boat and disappear underneath the boat.

“It could be a very large catfish that has just grown to be really big. Some of those fish do live for a very long time.”

Mr Noblett and his crew of three will set out on a £300,000 yacht using sonar equipment to try and track Bownessie.

They will explore the deepest part of the lake and sail to a spot near Gummers Howe, where the creature was snapped by Winderemere photographer Linden Adams in 2007.

“Whenever I swim across the lake I always get the heebys jeebies at that part. There is a real eerie feeling around there.”

Mr Maynard said: "The last Bownessie investigation was very memorable and we are hoping to have the same if not better results this time around.

"Since last year I have been contacted by many members of the public who have told me that they have also witnessed seeing something large in the lake over the past few years and we hope to get more evidence to back up these claims."

The Bownessie hunters will set sail on September 11.


Originally posted 7/23/2009

'Windermere Monster' Wake Pummels Swimmer

A bizarre swimming incident on Windermere coincided with the announcement that a team of paranormal investigators will plumb the lake’s depths in search of a giant creature.

Thomas Noblett, 46, was swimming the lake this week when he was suddenly swamped by a three-foot wave of unknown origin.

A spate of eyewitness sightings reported by The Gazette during 2006-2007 described a 50-foot long serpent-like animal surfacing on Windermere.

Psychic Dean ‘Midas’ Maynard, who came to prominence by accurately predicting sports score lines and X factor winners, will join The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ), in the hunt for the beast in September.

Mr Noblett trains on the lake for four hours every day in preparation for a channel swim.

Never having had to deal with anything more than the odd passing trout, the 46-year-old said he had since reconsidered the legend of the Windemere monster.

“I didn’t entertain it before. Now when I’m in the lake it has my full attention,” he said.

Mr Noblett, managing director of The Langdale Chase Hotel, was swimming close to Wray Castle at 7am on Wednesday morning when the 3ft swell hit.

He and swimming trainer Andrew Tighe – paddling in a boat beside him – were the only people on the lake.

“We had gotten up early and Windermere was crystal clear. The lake was totally empty apart from us and all I could hear was the slapping of my arm against the water,” explained Mr Noblett.

“All of a sudden this wave just hit us. Andrew said ‘where the hell did that come from?’ and it made the boat rock from side to side,” he continued.

Treading water, alone, in the centre of the lake, Mr Noblett watched as two large waves sped towards either shore.

“It was like a big bow wave; a three-foot swell at least. There was two, as if a speed boat had sped past, but there were no boats on the lake,” he said.

Previously an escape from the jellyfish he dodges while training at sea, Mr Noblett said the lake’s depths were not so inviting anymore.

“I always look forward to swimming in Windermere, now I’m starting to get the fear. Twice I have looked down and seen fish, but only small trout. The reeds sometimes scare you, because they suddenly appear like triffids.”

Devon-based CFZ are the world’s only full time cryptozoology organisation for the study of unknown animals.

Dean ‘Midas’ Maynard will join CFZ in September to search the lake for the monster.

Mr Maynard, with a background in ghost hunting, is currently searching for a sonar-equipped boat to use in the search.

“It’s a fascinating subject. I’m not saying there is or isn’t something down there. Most eyewitness accounts describe some sore of eel, which if living in open water can grow very big,” said Mr Maynard.

Mr Noblett is swimming across the English Channel in mid October. He hopes to raise £10,000 for Richard Rose Central Academy in Carlisle and the Cyctic Fibrosis Trust.


Monday, February 26, 2007

Suspected Monster Spotted in Lake

Windermere, UK - Sightings of a suspected monster in Windermere have prompted claims that it could be the English equivalent of Nessie.

The 50ft long "creature" was snapped by photographer Linden Adams, 35, who was out walking with his wife near the lake recently.

They were at a secluded spot more than 1,000ft up a mountain when they spotted a dark shape moving in the water.

"It just came out of the blue," said Mr Adams. "The water was incredibly peaceful and then this huge thing appeared, diving and thrashing around."

He thought it was 50 ft long when compared to boats nearby.

He said it had a head like a labrador, only "much, much bigger".


Mr Adams, from Bowness-on-Windermere, said he knew the lake well and what he saw was not a freak wave or boat. His sighting comes just months after scientists visited Windermere to examine claims by a tourist that they saw a 20 ft "serpent-like" creature.

A team of scientists visited the site last October to interview eye-witnesses and sent divers to Coniston Water to investigate reports of similar sightings there.

Mr Adams has christened his find the Bowness monster. "When I looked at my pictures on my computer I realised I had something," he added.

He sent his picture to a forensic photographer who confirmed it had not been digitally enhanced.

Richard Freeman, of the centre for Fortean Zoology which researches mystery animals, said the sightings could be giant sterile eels which, unlike normal eels, stay in fresh water and "get bigger and bigger".

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