The photo captured by Charlotte on her phone. (Red circle added for clarification by The Singular Fortean Society)

12-year-old Charlotte Robinson was recently on vacation with her parents when she captured what some are calling the best picture of Loch Ness’ famous monster to be taken in years.

It was around 7 p.m. on August 17th–the first day of their vacation in Scotland–that Charlotte spotted something unusual in the loch, and like many kids her age, she reached for her phone to take a picture.

The creature appeared approximately 50 feet offshore for about a minute before submerging and surfacing again 10 feet or so away.

“There was something in the water about 50 feet from the shore. I took a photo,” Charlotte said. “It had a neck and its head was in the shape of a hook.”

“I just took what I saw. It was black–I just don’t know how far it was out of the water. I’m not good at judging distances,” Charlotte explained. “But after about a minute it disappeared and then came back up again in a different place. It was up for less than a minute the second time.”

“I kinda believed in Nessie,” she said. “But I wanted to see the proof. I always imagined her as having a long neck and flippers.”

But Charlotte isn’t entirely sure of what she saw.

“I have seen something, but I’m not sure what,” she said.

“Charlotte said she had taken a photo of a creature in the loch and I said ‘right, sure you have!'” added Charlotte’s mother, Kat.

“For weeks she’s been going on about seeing the Loch Ness Monster,” Kat said. “But when I saw the picture, I couldn’t believe it. Something’s there. With all the sightings over the years there must be something in the loch.”

Nessie expert Steve Feltham expressed his excitement for the photograph by declaring it “the best of Nessie in years.”

“There is clearly a solid object in it and it is relatively clear. It warrants further study,” Feltham said. “There may be a mundane explanation such as a seal, but I have not heard of a seal in the loch this year. For my money it is larger than a seal or an ottter. It is a fantastic picture by Charlotte.”

“This is just the image we have been waiting for–for years,” Feltham continued. “Congratulations Charlotte. I am totally excited by it.”

Stories of a beast that dwells in Loch Ness have remained popular since 1933, when a couple claimed they spotted an “enormous animal” in the loch. That year also saw the introduction of the famous ‘surgeon’s photo,’ which later was found to be a hoax. Speculative explanations for the so-called monster range from large lake sturgeons to giant eels to a surviving population of plesiosaurs.

Recently, a team of scientists have set out to sweep the loch for any unknown DNA in the hopes of discovering a new species.

This is the second photo of Nessie to make the news this year, since hospital clerical worker Eoin O’Faodhagain used the Loch Ness webcam on April 30th to capture a ten minute video of an unusual creature swimming in the loch.

Sightings of Loch Ness’ elusive monster are on the rise, with 11 accepted sightings in 2017–the highest number of sightings in a single year so far this century–and four official sightings reported so far in 2018.

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