Tuesday 13 September 2011

Latest Nessie Sighting?

Jon Rowe claimed to have spotted two humps in the water on the 7th September (story below).

(Also updated for Daily Mail coverage at end)

Long time Loch Ness researcher Adrian Shine thinks it may be a pair of birds diving for fish. The question I need to know is really how long did the witness watch this spectacle? If nothing came back up after a long enough time, then the bird explanation is unlikely. In fact since Mr. Rowe says "It wasn’t up for a long long time" then one wonders how it could be birds (unless they decided to drown and sink!).

Mr. Rowe's statement about a "really large dark shape" makes one wonder whether two birds could fulfill such a description. There is also the question of why this person who works as a fish farmer on the loch could fail to identify two birds local to the area?

However, the photograph itself needs some clarification. The two white dots I can see in no way suggest a large dark shape. There is however a large dark shadow bottom centre - so where exactly does one focus their attention and is this photograph uncropped to begin with?

This is a black throated diver pictured below. A quick check on their habits suggests they only submerge for half a minute or so. A bit hard to reconcile with a "really large dark shape" but there you go ...

Original story from Inverness Courier here.

'Nessie' spotted going for a dive

By Rosemary Lowne

A FISH farmer could not believe his eyes when two unexplained ‘Nessie-like’ humps appeared from below the surface of Loch Ness.

Jon Rowe, from Lewiston in Drumnadrochit, was working at Dores Fish Farm when he decided to take a picture of a stunning rainbow.

However, after taking the picture, something unusual caught Mr Rowe’s eye.

"It wasn’t up for a long long time," said 31-year-old Mr Rowe. "It was a really large dark shape and I’ve not seen anything like that on Loch Ness before."

Asked if he believes it was the elusive Loch Ness Monster, Mr Rowe said it is a possibility as he does not believe it was a buoy or a mooring as it is in the wrong place and ropes would be visible in the water.

"I think it’s interesting, that’s how I take it and I would like the photo to be checked," said Mr Rowe, who took his snap on Wednesday at 8.30am.

However, Adrian Shine, from the Loch Ness Project based in the Loch Ness Centre in Drumnadrochit, cast his expert eye on the picture along with his colleague Dick Raynor.

He believes one possible explanation for the photo could be that it was two black throated diver birds captured diving for prey or emerging after a dive."It’s an interesting picture," said Mr Shine. "My colleague Dick is a skipper at Urquhart Bay and last week he spotted two black throated divers which are quite big and they have white undersides which you can see in the picture," said Mr Shine.

Previously there have been two possible sightings of the Loch Ness monster with white undersides.

But Mr Shine said if the birds were diving, which they often do in pairs, then it would explain their disappearance beneath the surface of the water.

"If it was one object with two humps and it dives, you would not see two undersides.

"You couldn't have one object with two humps having two bits of underside."

Mr Shine explained that the birds often dive in pairs

The Daily Mail has added its story here:

It's been said before and it's being said again .. Nessie is alive under the waves of Loch Ness.

Once more the notoriously shy Loch Ness monster has been reportedly sighted in Scotland's deepest loch. This time close to a commercial fish farm.

Jon Rowe, from nearby Lewiston in Drumnadrochit, took the eerie snaps moments before the mysterious shape slipped beneath the water.

And the stunned fish farmer is convinced that the shapes he saw in the morning light are Nessie.

He said: 'It was a very strange morning. It was misty with a bit of rain and sunny at the same time.

'There was a rainbow so I got my camera out to take a photo and noticed this really large dark shape in the loch with two humps that were barely out of the water.

'My instant reaction was "That's Nessie".'

Mr Rowe has dismissed claims that the shapes he saw in the water were not the legendary beast of the deep said to stalk the atmospheric Highland loch.

He added: 'I have no doubt, I work on the loch everyday and I've never seen anything like it.

'Almost as soon as I took the shot the shape disappeared under the water and out of sight.

The 31-year-old told how he had not believed that a monster swam the depths of Loch Ness until he captured Nessie on film.

'It can't have been a buoy or a mooring as it's in the wrong place and the ropes would be visible in the water.

'A few people have said it was birds diving under the water - but I didn't see any birds fly by. It can't have been birds - the whole thing went down into the loch.

'It was quite spooky but I think it's really interesting.

The Daily Mail also provides this zoomed in photograph below:

Mr. Rowe answers one question and that is that he does not think the two humps were birds because they disappeared under the water. As I said above, birds tend to come back up. That does not mean we immediately say "Loch Ness Monster" but then again, the alternatives are diminishing.

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