The Creature in the Dark Lagoon
WHAT is the truth about the reported sightings of a mysterious creature lurking in the depths of the lake at Ruislip Lido, on the outskirts of north-west London? Ordinarily I'd be more than skeptical about such stories, remembering the old Scottish bricklayer from the vicinity of Loch Ness who told me there were usually a few sightings of the Loch Ness Monster towards the end of the tourist season, when trade was getting a bit slack.
Besides, the last time I heard of a creature being reported in a stretch of London water it was on the Welsh Harp, at Neasden, and that story, if not the mystery creature, seems to have died the death. Somehow I can't imagine a large beast of unusual appearance waddling or slithing its way along the North Circular and out through the suburbs to migrate, lay eggs or have live offspring in the Ruislip lake without someone saying something. There'd be talk in the pubs, in Wembley and at Rayners Lane.
Something weird is happening at Ruislip, mind. Ducks and even geese have been seen to
vanish from the surface, not snatched at the lakeside by poachers, but seemingly pulled down at the centre of the lake. If a mysterious creature has taken shape from the chemical-rich sludge it could be carnivorous.
The lido is not recommended for swimming, anyway, but if the tales were being told to attract the curious they would surely not include details bound to frighten away people who take their kids up paddling?
Could there be another explanation? Cast your mind back to the last time Ruislip featured in this blog. It was about the night that a stream of fire engines, ambulances and police cars headed up the road to the area of the lido and woods, where an aircraft had supposedly crashed. A young man who had been drinking in the Waters Edge pub said he had heard a plane come in very low overhead. But nothing reached the news that night, and we assumed it was some kind of exercise, until the local paper reported there had been a hoax sparked by some kids setting off beacon flares.
What if there had been an accident of some kind that night? Both the RAF and United States forces have a long association with the Ruislip area. During the period before the so-called "hoax" there were many night-flights from Northolt airfield, both of helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft. We have all heard of biological warfare, but the development of genetic modification science and techniques could offer frightening new possibilities in that department. Could an experiment have gone wrong, or its results have been accidentally been dropped in the lake, whether by a crash or a container being accidentally released?
The authorities have been saying nothing, but then it took a long time before the British Defence Establishment admitted what kind of research was being carried out at Porton Down, and even longer before they admitted servicemen who were affected might be entitled to claim compensation. Even last year's emergency 'hoax' was kept out of most of the news media.
The appearance on last month's Trafalgar Square peace demonstration of some distinguished looking individuals bearing placards concerning the 9/11 Twin Towers conspiracy was a reminder that many people no longer accept official explanations or even classic theories about the events in the world. Former MI5 agent David Shayler has gone from merely whistleblowing to lending his weight to the 9/11 conspiracy's exposure.
I don't want to see any more conscientious government scientists being found lying in a ditch, but if anyone can shed light on the Ruislip monster mystery now is the time to speak out.
(I would like to thank Avril Furst for help with research for this article).