Wednesday, 26 July 2017

The Return of Mr. Binns




It is the age of the sceptic and don't we know it as they attempt to impose their way of thinking on the rest of us in not only the domain of cryptozoology but matters far and wide where they think theirs is the superior intellect.

However, one name I thought had retired to his armchair with his slippers and pipe is Ronald Binns. Nessie fans will know him well for his less than satisfactory book from 1983, "The Loch Ness Mystery Solved", which failed to live up to its title as it descended into a diatribe of exaggerations, misrepresentations and dubious interpretations.

I have covered the flaws in that book on several occasions on this blog with respect to the classic Mackay sighting and his treatment of the late Alex Campbell. The promotion for his new book, "The Loch Ness Mystery Reloaded", goes thusly:

On the fiftieth anniversary of the local newspaper report which made the Loch Ness Monster world famous, Ronald Binns published his classic but controversial book The Loch Ness Mystery Solved. Over three decades later it remains both influential and a source of fierce debate. In this new book Binns takes a fresh look at Nessie in the light of later evidence and recent analysis of the classic photographs and film. He considers the relationship between the Loch Ness Monster and the water kelpie tradition of Scottish folklore. He also scrutinises the role played by central figures in the Loch Ness story such as Rupert Gould, Tim Dinsdale and Ted Holiday. Ronald Binns is a former member of the Loch Ness Phenomena Investigation Bureau. He has made numerous visits to the loch in search both of the Monster and a greater understanding of this enduring phenomenon.

This is the latest book in a line of recent sceptical works will be released on the 8th August. That line includes Loxton and Prothero's "Abominable Science" (reviewed here), Tony Harmsworth's "Loch Ness Understood" (reviewed here) and Darren Naish's "Hunting Monsters" (reviewed here). That will be four sceptical books in seven years, too frequent in my opinion.

I am not sure how pleased they were with my reviews ...

They have all so far pretty much said the same thing and rehashed the old arguments but added more ridiculous ones such as the swan interpretation of the Hugh Gray photograph. I wait to be surprised and will post a review in due course (though that may unfortunately involve buying the book).


The author can be contacted at lochnesskelpie@gmail.com



39 comments:

  1. Reloaded .... must be a Matrix fan, this sequel will probably bomb as well.

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  2. No use grumping about the revent trend for Nessie debunking books, public gets what the public wants.

    We need a scientific and serious pro Nessie book, How about it GB ?

    Fame awaits, a spot on This Morning or worse, [ gulp ] The One Show.

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    1. i request a large chapter also on the Canadian okanagan cryptid as well,( arlene gaal source).

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    2. To be honest, I think the public has been directed over years to ask no questions.

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  3. It will be utter drivel just like his first one.

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  4. So, if he's written another book, the mystery is clearly not solved as he stated. Or he's running short of dollars?

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  5. Hi Roland. It is, in fact, easy to find out what I thought of your very odd review of my Hunting Monsters, since I posted a response here... https://www.amazon.com/Hunting-Monsters-Cryptozoology-Reality-Behind-ebook/product-reviews/B01B867JTO/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_hist_2?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1&sortBy=helpful&filterByStar=two_star&pageNumber=1

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    1. Oh boy, rebutting of the rebutting of the rebuttal now required. Odd is a subjective term - as ever in this field.

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  6. The Amazon listing now has a description of the book contents - see https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1999735900. It reads, "On the fiftieth anniversary of the local newspaper report which made the Loch Ness Monster world famous, Ronald Binns published his classic but controversial book The Loch Ness Mystery Solved. Over three decades later it remains both influential and a source of fierce debate. In this new book Binns takes a fresh look at Nessie in the light of later evidence and recent analysis of the classic photographs and film. He considers the relationship between the Loch Ness Monster and the water kelpie tradition of Scottish folklore. He also scrutinises the role played by central figures in the Loch Ness story such as Rupert Gould, Tim Dinsdale and Ted Holiday. Ronald Binns is a former member of the Loch Ness Phenomena Investigation Bureau. He has made numerous visits to the loch in search both of the Monster and a greater understanding of this enduring phenomenon."

    I am a little surprised by the insulting comments above, which appear to me to be very closed-minded in advance and rather on the defensive. I should imagine that any book-length discussion of the LNM would be welcomed by all interested in the issue, whether or not it is sceptical. Binns did spend a lot of time at Loch Ness in the hunt for the monster, so his scepticism cannot be dismissed out of hand. I also doubt if he smokes a pipe or, if he does, whether that is relevant.

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    1. Thank you, I have updated the article accordingly. If Binns now treats "believers" with more respect, he would have earned it in return. We shall see.

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    2. I have read his earlier book. I don't see any "disrespect" as such. If you knowingly expose deliberate lies and hoaxes, I don't think respect is due to their perpetrators or those who continue to believe in them irrationally. The matter may be different with respect to issues on which there is no objective position and in which people differ as a matter of belief. For example, the famous Dinsdale film may or may not be subject to "objective proof" (I don't think it is, either way) but no one doubts the sincerity of Dinsdale's belief. Binns came to think (though he did not always think) that Dinsdale's belief was wrong. But I don't think he treated him disrespectfully. He didn't call him delusional or a hoaxer or a charlatan. He accepts that Dinsdale believed passionately in the LNM and does this belief justice while offering reasons why it was misguided. That seems to me quite a respectful method of analysis. I certainly intend to read the new book as it seems to promise a review of the evidence in the decades since his previous book. That is surely something anyone interested in the LNM should welcome, whether or not they believe in it.

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    3. Have you read my two articles on his treatment of Alex Campbell and the Mackay sighting?

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    4. No, but I see the links to them in your post above and shall read them now. Thanks.

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    5. Sorry,"NOT influential at all,but a forgettable book,( which I actually owned.)

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  7. I'm re-reading Loxtom and Prothero and was struck by this (p146 of the paperback). Quoting a Sunday Telegraph article on the alleged hoaxing of the Surgeon's Photograph, they have Ian Wetherall saying "I had the camera, which was a Leica" and "I took about five shots with the Leica". But every account of the Surgeon's Photograph that I have seen says it was taken with a plate camera. Are we to suppose that an image was somehow transferred from 35mm film onto a glass plate, and if so, what would be the point?

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    1. i think the hoax is a hoax.

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    2. I think the Sunday Telegraph article suffers from a lot of false memories forty years after the event remembered.

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    3. I am very certain that the hoax is a hoax...

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  8. Has he solved it again? ;)

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    1. Undoubtedly! I will be interested in what he has to say about Ted Holiday, but I suspect it may be a holier-than-thou panning of Holiday's somewhat eccentric views of the monster.

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  9. There was a time when I'd have been rushing out to buy any new book on the LNM story. However these days the books keep coming but none are bringing anything new to the table.

    I don't see what new spin Binns can possibly put on the subject. I'll wait for the reviews on here I think.

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    1. I know, I know. These sceptical books all tend to look alike, each vying to be king of the pile. But, I still buy them, fool that I am.

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  10. It's understandable GB.

    It's the Daily Mail syndrome, liberal lefties will read the DM merely to get their daily kick of outrage. Believers will buy the latest Nessie debunking tome merely to harrumph and scoff at the fatuous otter and wave theories.

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  11. Sceptic Darren Naish has tweeted:

    "Yes, Loch Ness Mystery Reloaded includes discussion of #HuntingMonsters. And a certain pro-Nessie blogger doesn't come out of it that well."

    Let's just say I wasn't expecting Ronald Binns to be at the forefront of praising my work.

    Lock and load.

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  12. I see that it is now available for purchase on Amazon as today is publication date. https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1999735900/

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    1. Yup, thanks. May wait a week and see if I can pick it up in a book bin sale for a pound. :)

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  13. The big question for me is does a book add anything to the mystery? Sadly in my opinion Binns doesn't , or at least his last book didn't. What can his new book bring? I don't mind reading a skepticsl view and a book by Dick Raynor or Adrian Shine would be well worth a read and would add a lot to the mystery. But Binns?? No. I thought his book was rubbish to be honest and came across as a man with an axe to grind!

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  14. I'd like to read the new Binns book. I really can't see how one can call his first book on the Loch Ness Monster rubbish. He developed his sceptical argument very thoroughly and the book is well written and organised. Even if you are a believer, I think you'd have to concede that the first Binns book is a well considered effort.

    Has anyone actually seen the new one yet?

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    1. I was waiting till copies appeared in the one pound book bins next week.

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  15. Mike, how did he develop his argument thoroughly ? I cant understand how anyone can think its a well considered effort.

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  16. My feelings on the original Binns book is that it was largely flawed but made a few good points. I don't remember too many specifics now, but there were a number of points at which he seemed to suggest that his hunches were proven facts. I like reading everything I can get hold of about Loch Ness and I will be buying the new book. It's the right thing to do as a researcher to consider all angles. Even though I'm certain the angle Binns looks from is almost entirely wrong.

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  17. P.S. According to the Browns Books for Students website, this book comes in stock on 15th September. If I buy it and it's mostly the same text as the original I will be very disappointed.

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  18. It says on my copy of The Loch Ness Mystery Solved that Binns first went monster-spotting when he was 16 and has taken part in many monster hunting expeditions. He wasn’t someone who was against Nessie from the start, he obviously changed his mind. The level of abuse directed at that book together with his new one which no one has yet read shows that some minds are very closed.

    Just to go on shouting that something is rubbish without offering anything by way of reasoned argument suggests that Binns has struck a raw nerve. He argued that the surgeon’s photo was probably a hoax and Dinsdale filmed a boat, he wasn’t exactly wrong there, was he? The Loch Ness Mystery Solved is well written. I think it’s particularly good on the history and the social context. My paperback copy comes festooned with rave reviews from a wide range of reputable publications. If the book was as bad as some suggest I don’t think it would have been well received by professional reviewers.

    In the thirty years since the book came out the case for Nessie remains threadbare. No film, no close-up photographs. Just eyewitness statements. Binns was good on explaining why a monster based on just eyewitness claims lacks credibility.

    My main point, however, is that no one can say a book is poor until they have read it and, as far as I can see from the comments above, only one person commenting here has as yet read it.

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    1. I guess you didn't read my rebuttals on Binns then.

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  19. But that is just your opinion, not everyone shares your opinion. The title in itself is ludicrous, SOLVED.There are plenty of people who have spent far more time studying the loch than Binns and they dont come out with MYSTERY SOLVED. And your strong point for a good book is he says Dinsdale filmed a boat and the surgeons photo was a hoax, well im afraid a lot of people could have told you that. I think 80% of folk guessed the same. And yes ive read the book and yes i thought it was rubbish compared to most books ive read.

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  20. I do have to agree with Gezza about the title. Mr Binns must feel frustrated that he solved the mystery all those years ago, but people don't seem to agree. If the mystery was solved by his book, why have so many books on the subject been published since I wonder. Then there are websites like this one and documentaries. There are also people who take a sceptical approach still heavily involved. The mystery has been neither proven nor disproven. That's why the activity and interest continues. Mr Binns is acknowledging that fact by publishing another book on the subject.

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    1. well lets hope its better than his last one. Maybe you could tell me Will because i wont be reading it.

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