Is this Windermere's mysterious Bownessie monster?

Is this Windermere's mysterious Bownessie monster?

MONSTER? The picture taken by Tom Pickles

MONSTER? The full picture taken by Tom Pickles

First published in News The Westmorland Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A KAYAKER believes he may have caught Windermere’s mystery monster ‘Bownessie’ on camera.

This atmospheric photograph, captured by IT graduate Tom Pickles, 24, reveals a strange humped shape gliding through the still waters of the lake.

Tom said he thought it was a dog at first but soon realised it was the size of three cars.

He and fellow kayaker Sarah Harrington, 23, were so frightened, they raced back to the safety of the shore.

This is believed to be the eighth sighting in the past five years of the mysterious hump-backed creature.

The pair, who work for an IT firm in Shrewsbury, were staying at Fallbarrow Hall, Bowness, as part of a team-building residential training course.

They had paddled 300m out onto the lake near Belle Isle when they spotted a mysterious creature the size of three cars gliding across the lake.

“It was petrifying, we paddled back to the shore straight away,” said Mr Pickles.

“At first I thought it was a dog and then saw it was much bigger and moving really quickly at about 10mph.

"Each hump was moving in a rippling motion and it was swimming fast.

“I could tell it was much bigger underneath from the huge shadow around it. "Its skin was like a seal’s but its shape was completely abnormal, not like any animal I’ve ever seen before.”

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They watched it for about 20 seconds before it plunged out of sight.

Ms Harrington said: “It was like an enormous snake.

"It freaked us all out but it wasn’t until we saw the picture that we thought we’d seen something out of this world.

"All I could think was that I had to get off the lake.”

Mr Pickles’s picture perfectly matches the description of an earlier sighting from the shores of Wray Castle in 2006 by journalism lecturer Steve Burnip.

“I’m really pleased that someone has finally got a really good picture of it. I know what I saw and it shocked me,” said Mr Burnip, of Hebden Bridge.

“It had three humps and it’s uncanny the likeness between this and what I saw five years ago.”

Hotelier Thomas Noblett and TV psychic Dean Maynard have twice scoured the lake with sonar equipment.

“We’re convinced there’s something down there and we’re going to get straight back out on the water,” said Mr Maynard.

But sceptics remain unconvinced that something that size could exist in the 11-mile long lake.

Nigel Wilkinson, director of Windermere Lake Cruises, said his boat crew had over 100 years experience out on the water in all conditions and had not spotted anything unusual.

“We carry 1.3 million passengers, that is 2.6 million eyeballs, and none of them have ever brought Bownessie to our attention.”

Comments (32)

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9:19am Thu 17 Feb 11

happycyclist says...

Yeah, right.
Yeah, right. happycyclist
  • Score: 0

9:23am Thu 17 Feb 11

Ambience says...

It was probably Thomas Noblett out training for his next attempt to swim the English Channel.
It was probably Thomas Noblett out training for his next attempt to swim the English Channel. Ambience
  • Score: 0

9:26am Thu 17 Feb 11

tricky11 says...

The fact they work for an I T firm makes me somewhat sceptical
The fact they work for an I T firm makes me somewhat sceptical tricky11
  • Score: 0

10:35am Thu 17 Feb 11

churchy66 says...

I agree with Ambience, Bowness - has anyone checked that Mr Noblett is not doing a few laps of Windermere, after all he is short of some publicity!! I regularly sail the lake, and have never seen anything.
I agree with Ambience, Bowness - has anyone checked that Mr Noblett is not doing a few laps of Windermere, after all he is short of some publicity!! I regularly sail the lake, and have never seen anything. churchy66
  • Score: 0

10:42am Thu 17 Feb 11

Lord Lucan's missing watch says...

@Tricky 11

your right, you have to watch those I T types with their new fangled computers and such like.

By the way has anyone seen my king size brown quilt I left by Bowness recently?
@Tricky 11 your right, you have to watch those I T types with their new fangled computers and such like. By the way has anyone seen my king size brown quilt I left by Bowness recently? Lord Lucan's missing watch
  • Score: 0

11:09am Thu 17 Feb 11

useyourhead says...

Why would someone who works in I.T still be using a box brownie camera lol, pic looks like it was taken in the thirties. I'm not convinced!
Why would someone who works in I.T still be using a box brownie camera lol, pic looks like it was taken in the thirties. I'm not convinced! useyourhead
  • Score: 0

4:09pm Thu 17 Feb 11

wazoo says...

This nonsense might appear to be a bit of fun but it is exploitation of the area in order for certain people to make money. If these people cannot run their businesses without resorting to cheap, tacky rubbish like this then they must be doing something sadly wrong.
This nonsense might appear to be a bit of fun but it is exploitation of the area in order for certain people to make money. If these people cannot run their businesses without resorting to cheap, tacky rubbish like this then they must be doing something sadly wrong. wazoo
  • Score: 0

5:56pm Thu 17 Feb 11

lakesailor says...

Of all the hundreds of people who spend a lot of time on the lake (fishermen especially) how come the only people who see these things are visiting fleetingly.
It always seems to be a calm day. One of those days when reflected wash builds into a rolling, breaking wave.
If I see a monster when I'm out on the lake I'll take a proper picture.
Of all the hundreds of people who spend a lot of time on the lake (fishermen especially) how come the only people who see these things are visiting fleetingly. It always seems to be a calm day. One of those days when reflected wash builds into a rolling, breaking wave. If I see a monster when I'm out on the lake I'll take a proper picture. lakesailor
  • Score: 0

6:33pm Thu 17 Feb 11

Pete W. says...

… and today's team-building exercise was to construct and navigate a raft using a plank and 4 car tyres ... now unfortunately Team Pickles did not complete the task, but they did manage to get a photo of it just before it sank, using the pinhole camera that they successfully made yesterday!
… and today's team-building exercise was to construct and navigate a raft using a plank and 4 car tyres ... now unfortunately Team Pickles did not complete the task, but they did manage to get a photo of it just before it sank, using the pinhole camera that they successfully made yesterday! Pete W.
  • Score: 0

6:43pm Thu 17 Feb 11

wezzyk says...

After a closer inspection of the picture using some of my IT equipment i have come to the conclusion that it is a one eyed lake with lumpy iris and some other debris floating around the edges after a late night out.
After a closer inspection of the picture using some of my IT equipment i have come to the conclusion that it is a one eyed lake with lumpy iris and some other debris floating around the edges after a late night out. wezzyk
  • Score: 0

7:42pm Thu 17 Feb 11

useyourhead says...

Pete W. wrote:
… and today's team-building exercise was to construct and navigate a raft using a plank and 4 car tyres ... now unfortunately Team Pickles did not complete the task, but they did manage to get a photo of it just before it sank, using the pinhole camera that they successfully made yesterday!
PMSL!!!!
[quote][p][bold]Pete W.[/bold] wrote: … and today's team-building exercise was to construct and navigate a raft using a plank and 4 car tyres ... now unfortunately Team Pickles did not complete the task, but they did manage to get a photo of it just before it sank, using the pinhole camera that they successfully made yesterday![/p][/quote]PMSL!!!! useyourhead
  • Score: 0

8:53pm Thu 17 Feb 11

Chiron_of_Mann says...

One wonders what was on the menu at the team building exercise to cause weird sightings - perhaps a grey squirrel omelette?
One wonders what was on the menu at the team building exercise to cause weird sightings - perhaps a grey squirrel omelette? Chiron_of_Mann
  • Score: 0

9:22am Fri 18 Feb 11

churchy66 says...

There I was enjoying my cornflakes - and it was mentioned on Day Break!! The presenters did have a good laugh at the quality of the photograph - that it always appears to be misty and dark when 'a monster' is sighted!
There I was enjoying my cornflakes - and it was mentioned on Day Break!! The presenters did have a good laugh at the quality of the photograph - that it always appears to be misty and dark when 'a monster' is sighted! churchy66
  • Score: 0

2:39pm Fri 18 Feb 11

bates_ says...

Johanna Tukiainen! :D
Johanna Tukiainen! :D bates_
  • Score: 0

3:22pm Fri 18 Feb 11

zaney5 says...

Some people will do anything for publicity. Even make total arses out of themselves. Still, it gives us level headed folk something to laugh about!
Some people will do anything for publicity. Even make total arses out of themselves. Still, it gives us level headed folk something to laugh about! zaney5
  • Score: 0

6:35pm Fri 18 Feb 11

listenhere says...

As a few have already said, how convenient being an IT graduate!! At least its sticking to the speed limit.

"Bownessie taken to court over lake speeding offence"

(a monster is the solution for the downturn after the ban?)
As a few have already said, how convenient being an IT graduate!! At least its sticking to the speed limit. "Bownessie taken to court over lake speeding offence" (a monster is the solution for the downturn after the ban?) listenhere
  • Score: 0

11:38am Sat 19 Feb 11

luxwindermere says...

How come no locals have seen this supposed monster.members of my family have been fishing on there for years...nothing seen! Many of the locals used Millerground for swimming..again no sightings!! Load of twaddle Mr Noblett!!!!
How come no locals have seen this supposed monster.members of my family have been fishing on there for years...nothing seen! Many of the locals used Millerground for swimming..again no sightings!! Load of twaddle Mr Noblett!!!! luxwindermere
  • Score: 0

4:07pm Sat 19 Feb 11

zaney5 says...

There's only one geriatric dinosaur swimming in the lake. And it ain't Bownessie.
There's only one geriatric dinosaur swimming in the lake. And it ain't Bownessie. zaney5
  • Score: 0

6:57pm Sat 19 Feb 11

wazoo says...

Is this Windermere's mysterious Bownessie monster? No.
Is this Windermere's mysterious Bownessie monster? No. wazoo
  • Score: 0

11:29pm Sat 19 Feb 11

pp5870 says...

It is either a bottom feeder(fish) or a eel. I have seen Carp, 6-7 feet in small ponds and rivers in Connecticut/US.
It is either a bottom feeder(fish) or a eel. I have seen Carp, 6-7 feet in small ponds and rivers in Connecticut/US. pp5870
  • Score: 0

9:22am Sun 20 Feb 11

zaney5 says...

So it was the size of 3 cars. Could we be more specific here? 3 Smart cars perhaps? Fiat 500's? Or maybe we're talking something the size of your average family 4x4 or god forbid a Hummer.
The public need to know!
So it was the size of 3 cars. Could we be more specific here? 3 Smart cars perhaps? Fiat 500's? Or maybe we're talking something the size of your average family 4x4 or god forbid a Hummer. The public need to know! zaney5
  • Score: 0

10:11am Sun 20 Feb 11

Mutantmoments says...

Mr Pickles made the raft while on a team building day, even the photo was doctored to make it look more spooky.
Mr Pickles made the raft while on a team building day, even the photo was doctored to make it look more spooky. Mutantmoments
  • Score: 0

8:49pm Sun 20 Feb 11

Pete W. says...

zaney5... Mr Pickles said “ he thought it was a dog at first but soon realised it was the size of three cars” … an easy mistake to make according to the guy at Specsavers, but what if it turned out to be 3 Rovers!
zaney5... Mr Pickles said “ he thought it was a dog at first but soon realised it was the size of three cars” … an easy mistake to make according to the guy at Specsavers, but what if it turned out to be 3 Rovers! Pete W.
  • Score: 0

3:58am Mon 21 Feb 11

ExCastleStudent says...

There's a copy of the photo on the Sun newspapers website, credited to the Westmorland Gazette, which has a little more visible on the right hand edge of the shot - in that photo there's a small pointy object just sticking into the shot on that side, at roughly the same distance from the camera as the 'monster'... evidence of a slightly more run of the mill explanation perhaps? Something being towed by a boat maybe...?
There's a copy of the photo on the Sun newspapers website, credited to the Westmorland Gazette, which has a little more visible on the right hand edge of the shot - in that photo there's a small pointy object just sticking into the shot on that side, at roughly the same distance from the camera as the 'monster'... evidence of a slightly more run of the mill explanation perhaps? Something being towed by a boat maybe...? ExCastleStudent
  • Score: 0

3:56pm Tue 22 Feb 11

KendalMintCrackers says...

Well we think this is just the kind of news the Lakes needs - tourists love to come monster hunting. Look at Loch Lomond - a famous monster there is a real money spinner for the welsh, why not for us as well? With the mysterious black panther and bownessie the area could be a real magnet for monster hunters everywhere. Bravo bownessie, just the news we all need!
Well we think this is just the kind of news the Lakes needs - tourists love to come monster hunting. Look at Loch Lomond - a famous monster there is a real money spinner for the welsh, why not for us as well? With the mysterious black panther and bownessie the area could be a real magnet for monster hunters everywhere. Bravo bownessie, just the news we all need! KendalMintCrackers
  • Score: 0

7:23pm Tue 22 Feb 11

zaney5 says...

KendalMintCrackers - You need to go and check out the story on some of the national papers websites and see some of the comments being made. Our area has the potential to be turned into a laughing stock because of this. Locals are being made out to be desperate for trade (and they are some of the nicer commets being made.)
Also I think you need to brush up on your geography.
KendalMintCrackers - You need to go and check out the story on some of the national papers websites and see some of the comments being made. Our area has the potential to be turned into a laughing stock because of this. Locals are being made out to be desperate for trade (and they are some of the nicer commets being made.) Also I think you need to brush up on your geography. zaney5
  • Score: 0

10:23pm Thu 24 Feb 11

wazoo says...

Those supporting this type of trash woiuld probably be up in arms if a lap dancing club opened in Bowness or a burger van on waterhead promenade, If you think Windermere is there to be exploited, abused, de-based and generally used to make money then go for it, otherwise but an end to this tabloid crap.
Those supporting this type of trash woiuld probably be up in arms if a lap dancing club opened in Bowness or a burger van on waterhead promenade, If you think Windermere is there to be exploited, abused, de-based and generally used to make money then go for it, otherwise but an end to this tabloid crap. wazoo
  • Score: 0

1:04pm Sat 5 Mar 11

timbk says...

Quiet day in the office for Kate perhaps?
Quiet day in the office for Kate perhaps? timbk
  • Score: 0

7:33pm Fri 6 May 11

Pukkap12 says...

It's so easy to be skeptical about such things (and a skeptical position has the added advantage of making the nay sayer feel superior to what they think are the incredulous believers, this applies to so many things in life) but there is a long & rich history of lake monster sightings across the Norther hemisphere from the infamous loch ness to lake Champlain in north America.

Regardless of whether these things are real in the sense of being actual creatures people continue to report them from across the globe over hundreds of years & will continue to do so. That is perhaps the real mystery!

Something odd is going on and I'd advise people to enjoy it and keep an open mind about such things.

It has the added advantage of actually bringing money into the area (look at the tourism created by loch ness) so stop moaning & enjoy the fact the world still throws up surprises & mysteries even if they do on occasion turn out to be a hoax!

Great story which made me think & smile!
It's so easy to be skeptical about such things (and a skeptical position has the added advantage of making the nay sayer feel superior to what they think are the incredulous believers, this applies to so many things in life) but there is a long & rich history of lake monster sightings across the Norther hemisphere from the infamous loch ness to lake Champlain in north America. Regardless of whether these things are real in the sense of being actual creatures people continue to report them from across the globe over hundreds of years & will continue to do so. That is perhaps the real mystery! Something odd is going on and I'd advise people to enjoy it and keep an open mind about such things. It has the added advantage of actually bringing money into the area (look at the tourism created by loch ness) so stop moaning & enjoy the fact the world still throws up surprises & mysteries even if they do on occasion turn out to be a hoax! Great story which made me think & smile! Pukkap12
  • Score: 0

9:41am Tue 16 Apr 13

Kendal Jock says...

I think, all this carping about about it being a publicity stunt is monstrous!
I think, all this carping about about it being a publicity stunt is monstrous! Kendal Jock
  • Score: 0

12:43pm Tue 16 Apr 13

jazzactivist says...

The funniest thing is their descriptions of being "petrified" and "rushing off the lake". So much for the quality of the team-building exercises to enhance confidence and skill! I'm sure if anyone did see anything unusual in the lake the ordinary response would be curiosity and to try to get a better look.
The funniest thing is their descriptions of being "petrified" and "rushing off the lake". So much for the quality of the team-building exercises to enhance confidence and skill! I'm sure if anyone did see anything unusual in the lake the ordinary response would be curiosity and to try to get a better look. jazzactivist
  • Score: 0

10:07am Wed 17 Apr 13

Kendmoor says...

Hmm, I don't think so, if it was genuine I think most people would be fearful of something so big and unknown right underneath the water - *however*
as it was moving away from them the natural human instinct in this modern age is to take as many photos as possible and then video the **** thing.

Just one photo and no link to the 'full size' image anywhere?...screams suspisiion

looks like the whole thing's been blown open anyway...and this probably explains why there are no further images..

tinyurl.com/d7hznu3
Hmm, I don't think so, if it was genuine I think most people would be fearful of something so big and unknown right underneath the water - *however* as it was moving away from them the natural human instinct in this modern age is to take as many photos as possible and then video the **** thing. Just one photo and no link to the 'full size' image anywhere?...screams suspisiion looks like the whole thing's been blown open anyway...and this probably explains why there are no further images.. tinyurl.com/d7hznu3 Kendmoor
  • Score: 0
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