A man who once rented boats on Loch Ness has come forward, claiming that "flesh and black skin an inch thick" was found clinging to one of his vessels after a tragic collision with an unknown object. Alas, there's no proof, since the incident happened nearly 40 years ago.

Still, that hasn't stopped Stanley Roberts from sharing his tale. Scotland Now reports:

An elderly man aboard the cruiser suffered a heart attack and died following the incident around 1978, says Roberts, who had rented the boat to the man's family.

Four bolts were stripped from the propshaft and the propeller was damaged after the boat was pulled from the water at Fort Augustus.

Boatyard workers who then examined the cruiser "found flesh and black skin an inch thick along the propshaft,"said Roberts. "The workers chiseled the flesh away and threw it into the Caledonian Canal. I said you stupid b——-s. It would have proved that Nessie was here."

[Recalling the accident, Roberts said,] "The propeller stopped turning. The family were very alarmed ... There was no radio on board so they let off distress flares to get a tow back to Fort Augustus. The grandfather was taken by ambulance to hospital where he was found to be dead."

The rental managers phoned Roberts to tell him what had happened. "They simply told me there had been an accident. It was only later that I learned more — what had been found on the underside of the boat when they pulled it out of the water."

Roberts also shared his own Nessie-encounter tale with the paper.

"I had just bought the boat and my family were up at Fort Augustus for a two-week trial run. The water was rough but the boat handled really well. That night I couldn't sleep so around 5am I got up to stretch my legs. The water was dull silver, flat as a mirror. I looked down the loch towards Foyers and I saw a black dot which I thought might have been a local fisherman. The dot continued to grow taller as it came towards where we were moored .

Then I thought to myself, 'There's no outboard motor!" It was then I realised its head and neck were like polished black leather. It gently lowered its head - and not a splash. It was so beautiful, you wouldn't believe it. It was like a nuclear sub going down. The bow wave traveling across the loch, bounced my boat like a cork. My wife was awakened by the commotion. And she told me off for rocking the boat."

Roberts' boat-collision claim isn't the first time Nessie has been accused of getting in the way of a watercraft; according to Scotland Now, in 1943, a Royal Navy patrol boat also ran into ... something ... maybe ... on the loch.

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Classic Nessie image via NY Daily News.