'Nessie' is sighted in Green Brook school

Thursday, February 9,1995

A lot of people poke fun at the Loch Ness monster, making the elusive creature the butt of many jokes.

But Isaac Blonder of Marlboro takes it seriously.

The retired physicist yesterday told an audience of 100 pupils in the Irene E. Feldkirchner School in Green Brook that he has visited Scotland 13 times searching for the legendary reptilian beast.

"I did not see it, but I've met people who did," he said. "I believe there is one."
Blonder asked the children whether they believe the Loch Ness monster exists. Most raised their hands.

'There is a sighting practically every week. Most people who see it are on the road, which is far away. Even if they take a picture, it's hard to get a clear shot.'

Blonder visited Loch Ness, a 600 foot-deep basin that is 24 miles long and 1.5 miles wide, with 8 group of scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

"We used scientific equipment, and we did pick up some pictures," he said.

He showed a slide presentation of underwater pictures.

"If that doesn't look like a flipper of a plesiosaur, I don't know what does," he said, referring to one of the slides.

Blonder fielded many questions during his presentation, which he delivered in front of a life-size model of the monster crafted out of foam board by David Lande of Medford. It was supplied to the school by Ed Krause of Green Brook, who works with David's father.

Fifth-grader Justin Scocchio asked why the lake has not been drained to catch the creature.

"The loch is close to the largest body of water in Europe; it's 600 feet deep," Blonder said. "The only place the water could go is the North Sea, which is 250 feet deep. Seven rivers flow into the loch. You couldn't build pumps big enough to empty it."

The Loch Ness monster reportedly was first spotted in 565 AD, when St. Columba is said to have rescued a farmer from an ogre's grasp.

Nearly I million tourists visit Loch Ness each year hoping to catch a glimpse of "Nessie." While there, they pump $37 million into the area's economy.

One pupil asked about the latest sighting.

"There is a sighting practically every week," Blonder said. "Most people who see it are on the road, which is far away. Even if they take a picture, it's hard to get a clear shot."

Having been in a boat with sonar detectors sensing underwater sound, he said he once observed "a big thing moving" 400 feet beneath the surface.

"But how could I go down to look, when the water is so dense with peat that you can only see 10 feet?" he asked, adding the monster moves faster than a submarine.

Children asked what the monster eats. Blonder said it most likely consumes salmon and eels.

They wanted to know if the monster is smart.

"Anything that is able to live hundreds of years has got to be smart," be said

Blonder was accompanied by his wife, Lois. She said she believes there is more than one monster lurking in the murky depths of the loch

The first sighting was so long ago, and no creature can live that long, she said.

"If they've lived that long, there has to be a colony," she said "But the big question is, why can't we find them?"

  Copyright  Isaac Blonder
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