A RETIRED vicar and his wife say they have spotted a mysterious creature in the waters of Windermere.

The Westmorland Gazette carried a story last week about Ulverston petrophysicist Matt Benefield taking a picture of a strange ripple on what was an otherwise flat, calm lake.

It prompted Colin Honour, former vicar of Urswick, Aldingham and Rampside churches, to trawl through past picture and diary entries and recount and encounter he and his wife, Christine, had with the legendary ‘Bownessie.’

The couple, who now live in Heversham, were out walking on November 17, 2012 on the north side of the lake by Wray Castle when something caught their eye.

Mr Honour, who retired as a vicar in 2009, said: “It was a very calm and clear day. We were looking at the Lake and my wife spotted something in the water. She thought it was a log at first but then it moved.

“There were no boats around and we could see three definite humps in the water – it must have been about five or six metres long in length.

“Shortly afterwards a large bow wave from a large boat came to shore but we definitely saw the 'creature' in calm water well before the bow wave appeared.

“We didn't do anything with the photographs at the time because we felt they weren't terribly conclusive, but in the light of your article, perhaps they provide further evidence of Bownessie.

“I have no problem believing that there is some sort of deep sea creature in the lake or some kind of big fish living there.”

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

The renewed wave of interest has had celebrity and sports psychic Dean Maynard eager to get on the lake and search for the monster again.

In 2009, Mr Maynard was joined by Windermere photographer Linden Adams who said he had seen Bownessie from a viewpoint at Gummers How in 2007. They scoured the lake in search of the creature.

In March, Mr Maynard hopes to get a team together to go on the hunt again.

He said: “I think what is really interesting is that the people who have ‘spotted’ Bownessie have been people who have a lot to lose. Steve Burnip who sighted the creature in 2006 is a university lecturer and now we have a reverend coming forward.”

Hayley Stephens, a paranormal researcher and co-host for Merseyside Skeptics Society’s ‘Be Reasonable’ podcast, has been researching the monster for years.

She said: “The picture can be explained. It looks like a delayed boat wake. You can tell because the top of the wake is curling and this typically happens as the wave picks up momentum as it reaches the shore of the lake.”