It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

St Columba and the Monster of Iona

page: 1
12

log in

join
share:

posted on Sep, 14 2015 @ 05:38 PM
link   
Saint Columba was born in 521 in Gartan, County Donegal in Ireland, He studied at a monastic school at Clonard Abbey and soon after his studies became a monk and was ordained as a priest.

In 563 he travelled to scotland and soon after was granted land on the Isle of Iona and founded a monastery there which he used as a base of operation to launch his famous evangelising mission against the native picts of Scotland. He was very successful and became a political figure in the area meeting with the pictish king Bridei who although liking him immensely was not interested in converting himself. With the kings permission Columba preached his message amongst his kinsmen looking to convert as many as possible to Christianity

The main source on the life of Columba was the chronicler Andamann who was Abbot at the monastery founded by Columba on the isle of Iona from 670CE until his death in 704 CE. Andomann could not be what is called an unbiased source being himself related to the saint by descent from Columbas cousin. He set about writing a chronicle of Columbas journey starting at Iona as Columba had and following his route through scotland in order to pick up stories by the local tribes who had met him. One of the first accounts he wrote was from the archives of the Iona monastery which gives us this account of a monstrous whale

"CHAPTER XIII.
How the Saint knew and told beforehand about a great Whale.
ONE day when the venerabIe man was staying in the Iouan island (Hy, now Iona), a certain brother named Berach intended to sail to the Ethican island (Tiree), and going to the saint in the morning asked his blessing. The saint looking at him, said, "O my son, take very great care this day not to attempt sailing direct over the open sea to the Ethican land (Tiree); but rather take a circuit, and sail round by the smaller islands, for this reason, that thou be not thrown into great terror by a huge monster, and hardly be able to escape." On receiving the saint's blessing he departed, and when he reached his ship, he set sail without giving heed to the saint's words. But as he was crossing over the larger arms of the Ethican sea, he and the sailors who were with him looked out, and lo, a whale, of huge and amazing size, raised itself like a mountain, and as it floated on the surface, it opened its mouth, which, as it gaped; was bristling with teeth. Then the rowers, hauling in their sail, pulled back in the utmost terror, and had a very narrow escape from the agitation of the waves caused by the motion of the monster; and they were also struck with wonder as they remembered the prophetic words of the saint. On the morning of that same day, as Baithene was going to sail to the forenamed island, the saint told him about this whale, saying, "Last night, at midnight, a great whale rose from the depth of the sea, and it will coat this day on the surface of the ocean between the Iouan and Ethican islands (Iona and Tiree)." Baithene answered and said, "That beast and I are under the power of God." "Go in peace," said the saint, "thy faith in Christ shall defend thee from this danger." Baithene accordingly, having received the saint's blessing, sailed from the harbour; and after they had sailed a considerable distance, he and his companions saw the whale; and while all the others were much terrified, he alone was without fear, and raising up both his hands, blessed the sea and the whale. At the same moment the enormous brute plunged down under the waves, and never afterwards appeared to them."

The relevant details here are that a monstrous whale, most likely a sperm whale was banished by the power of Columbas God. The monks of Iona were familiar with sea creatures being both educated and islanders and easily recognised tha creature for what it was. That it could be dispatched by the sign of the cross "raising up both his hands" and with a christian blessing.

Later on Andamann visited the Picts at the shores of the River Ness and collected this story from them

"CHAPTER XXVIII.
How an Aquatic Monster was driven off by virtue of the blessed man's prayer.
ON another occasion also, when the blessed man was living for some days in the province of the Picts, he was obliged to cross the river Nesa (the Ness); and when he reached the bank of the river, he saw some of the inhabitants burying an unfortunate man, who, according to the account of those who were burying him, was a short time before seized, as he was swimming, and bitten most severely by a monster that lived in the water; his wretched body was, though too late, taken out with a hook, by those who came to his assistance in a boat. The blessed man, on hearing this, was so far from being dismayed, that he directed one of his companions to swim over and row across the coble that was moored at the farther bank. And Lugne Mocumin hearing the command of the excellent man, obeyed without the least delay, taking off all his clothes, except his tunic, and leaping into the water. But the monster, which, so far from being satiated, was only roused for more prey, was lying at the bottom of the stream, and when it felt the water disturbed above by the man swimming, suddenly rushed out, and, giving an awful roar, darted after him, with its mouth wide open, as the man swam in the middle of the stream. Then the blessed man observing this, raised his holy hand, while all the rest, brethren as well as strangers, were stupefied with terror, and, invoking the name of God, formed the saving sign of the cross in the air, and commanded the ferocious monster, saying, "Thou shalt go no further, nor touch the man; go back with all speed." Then at the voice of the saint, the monster was terrified, and fled more quickly than if it had been pulled back with ropes, though it had just got so near to Lugne, as he swam, that there was not more than the length of a spear-staff between the man and the beast. Then the brethren seeing that the monster had gone back, and that their comrade Lugne returned to them in the boat safe and sound, were struck with admiration, and gave glory to God in the blessed man. And even the barbarous heathens, who were present, were forced by the greatness of this miracle, which they themselves had seen, to magnify the God of the Christians."

As you can see the story sounds very familiar, a Monster presents itself to a holy man and is despatched by the sign of a cross and a few words. That this incident happens in the river Ness and not the Loch, which is further south, is sometimes glossed over by later writers who use it to establish the presence of a monster in Loch ness at such an early date. But consider, it had been almost two hundred years since the visit of Columba and the follow up by Andamann and that had allowed a very recognised cultural phenomena to happen.

That phenomena is known as "cultural transmission" and it is often responsible for changing the details of factual stories. In this case a story told by Columba to the picts had so impressed them that they retold it including themselves in it. The details changed ever so slightly, the location changed from the sea off Iona to an area they recognised, the river Ness. Likewise the whale which is a creature unknown to the Picts, must have simply been described to them by Columba as a huge aquatic animal with a mouth full of big teeth and an agressive nature. To them this was simply a monster and they described it as such.




posted on Sep, 14 2015 @ 05:40 PM
link   
The story which didn't even register in the public imagination for 1500 years until 1933 when there were three reports of an unidentified animal in the area of the Loch. Still this didn't gain much attention until 1934 when this photograph of the monster gained international attention, and the local media put it together with the St Columba story and the rest as they say is history



at least it was until 1994 when it was revealed to be a hoax. Over the years since the 1930s there have been numerous sightings and photographs some turned out to be deliberate hoaxes and some turned out to be simply misidentified things like boats and logs, to this day there isn't a shred of credible evidence that anything large has ever lived in the Loch and the monster has been termed "elusive" for this reason.

There are many reasons that a creature could be elusive but the most obvious is that there isn't anything there to see in the first place, but people believing there was are quite happy to make their own minds up based on what they believe. Do you people reading this believe that a sperm whale intent on protecting its spawning ground from perceived threats can be affected by blessing and the sign of a cross. Do you believe that a Sperm whale can swim up a river. Do you believe that the monster is capable of eluding the most sophisticated of sonar equipment and that people who have a vested interest in propagating this mythology would ever be capable of giving you an unbiased opinion. You could always go ask the Scottish Tourist Board if there's anything in there, But don't expect a straight answer from them any more than you would if you asked the Archbishop of Canterbury if Columba was stretching the truth just a little in order to gain converts from the pagan tribes of the Picts.

Almost every year there is a sighting of the Monster which the original source never said was there. The sightings most often come from owners of businesses that line the shores of the Loch, like cafes and hotels and tour boats. Now they surely can't be motivated by anything but the truth. Its just a coincidence that they never seem to have a camera handy when it happens.

You can read all of Andomanns Vita Columbae here
www.ucc.ie...

Note to Mod team. This is about St Columba, not cryptozoology
edit on 14-9-2015 by Marduk because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 14 2015 @ 06:04 PM
link   
Have you seen The Secret of Kells? It's a children's animated movie, though I love it, dealing tangentially with St. Columba and the eye of Crom Cruach. It was so good it got me to delve deeper into some of the stories.



posted on Sep, 14 2015 @ 06:20 PM
link   
nessie has never existed,there is not enough biomass in the lake for it to survive.And they must be very slow breeders,or live a long time if they did exist.



posted on Sep, 14 2015 @ 06:31 PM
link   
a reply to: Marduk

What a wonderful concoction, that reminds me I need to go pick up a copy of Alice and Wonderland!



posted on Sep, 14 2015 @ 06:47 PM
link   

originally posted by: chelsdh
Have you seen The Secret of Kells?


I'm downloading it now and will watch it with my wife on Friday
thanks



originally posted by: soulpowertothendegree
a reply to: Marduk

I need to go pick up a copy of Alice and Wonderland!

Good luck finding that

edit on 14-9-2015 by Marduk because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 14 2015 @ 07:30 PM
link   

originally posted by: hiddenNZ
nessie has never existed,there is not enough biomass in the lake for it to survive.And they must be very slow breeders,or live a long time if they did exist.


Time slip's, reported by paranormal researchers around the lake and other fault zones around the world as well as orbs and other UFO phenomena.

Time is a dimension in some theory's and some ghost encounters such as the ghosts of the Roman Soldiers in York are thought by some to be recordings made on some unascertained Etheric substance, possibly magnetic or even emotional in nature (given quantum theory not that far fetched).
www.ciaranbrown.com...

If this is the case then maybe Nessie is actually a triggered ghost that becomes more visible or present at times when the fault is active or under immense stress, remember the fault in which the lock is sitting is not inactive just dormant and still holds immense geological pressure as the two plates are pushed against one another and maybe this creates the necessary electromagnetic or other unascertained etheric energy's necessary to power these apparitions of the plesiosaurs ghost.

As for St Columbas whale it sounds like maybe a blue whale to me but the teeth bristling is interesting as they use fine structures more like a combe to filter krill from the water, still maybe they interpreted it as teeth and bristling certainly fits that image though it may not be an accurate translation of there sighting.

Interesting and not the first time a huge whale has made an appearance in biblical and post new testament Judeo Christian theology, remember Jonah.
edit on 14-9-2015 by LABTECH767 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 14 2015 @ 07:52 PM
link   

originally posted by: LABTECH767

As for St Columbas whale it sounds like maybe a blue whale to me but the teeth bristling is interesting as they use fine structures more like a combe to filter krill from the water, still maybe they interpreted it as teeth and bristling certainly fits that image though it may not be an accurate translation of there sighting.

.


I don't agree, Sperm whales are frequently spotted in the area and there is no difficulty translating Latin. Sperm whales have big teeth, the largest in the animal kingdom
see picture
www.latitude38.com...
Bristling right ?



posted on Sep, 14 2015 @ 08:05 PM
link   
a reply to: Marduk

On the whale point I concede, still the northern coastal waters are teeming with plankton and very rich feeding grounds or they were before overfishing and modern pollution which also posits the possibility of an now extinct genus of whale, we only know of those species we are familiar with but it is conceivable at least that some other sub species of whale may have lingered into more recent times, that said also it is believed that whales evolved from a hoofed predator that when on land was something like a cross between a pig, deer and a wolf but that became amphibious before adapting entirely to the sea in a now lost and once shallow ocean that existed between the continent's of India and Asia (it is now the Himalayan mountains) and many genus of early proto wale were a little more like the Nessie type creature also but far smaller, long necked and narrow bodied if the evolutionary model and fossilised specimens are correct that is.



posted on Sep, 14 2015 @ 08:18 PM
link   
ok,sorry guys,i cant buy into believing any of that. cheers for the story though,its all a bit beyond how i see things.



posted on Sep, 14 2015 @ 08:46 PM
link   

originally posted by: hiddenNZ
ok,sorry guys,i cant buy into believing any of that. cheers for the story though,its all a bit beyond how i see things.

I agree with you, Nessie didn't really exist until that faked photograph and then Columbas history was used to validate it. No one ever actually bothered to check the source



posted on Sep, 14 2015 @ 08:50 PM
link   
yep,thats the one man. How come you have no flags when this thread you started has 5?



posted on Sep, 14 2015 @ 09:00 PM
link   

originally posted by: hiddenNZ
yep,thats the one man. How come you have no flags when this thread you started has 5?


Some sort of glitch
I'm not really motivated by flags...




top topics



 
12

log in

join