Tuesday, 29 April 2014

New Sonar Image of Nessie?

I noticed this image appeared on the Highland News today. It was captured on the sonar equipment of the cruise ship, the Jacobite Queen which runs along the top half of Loch Ness. You can read the article here. Jacobite Cruises also mention it here, but currently without further detail.








Somewhat frustratingly, no analysis is done and so one is left wondering what is being looked at. Clearly, the crew who use the sonar are not used to seeing such a trace, hence their curiosity but also their non-commitment to an interpretation. If I may add my own observations, the "753" in the bottom left presumably refers to a depth of 753 feet which places us firmly in the deepest parts of the loch, perhaps around Urquhart Bay. In fact, the maximum depth of Loch Ness is a bit of a movable feast, Wikipedia states it as 744.6 feet but another source states 786 feet. Wrongly configured sonar can record excessive depths.

I have seen several sonar traces presented by cruise operators over the years with interpretations which ranged from "the monster" to "zooplankton on the thermocline". More often than not, a simple "I don't know" is the response. Given that we don't even know if the Loch Ness Monster has a swim bladder, lungs, inflatable humps or no gas filled sacs at all, this would seem the best response.

POSTSCRIPT:

Thanks to regular reader, Jake, it has been established this sonar image was recorded in 2009 when British actress Vicki Michelle was on the Jacobite Queen. The original story is here. Sigh! We had the old Apple satellite image and now this. How about something new, media?





14 comments:

  1. This image is from a while back isnt it GB ????

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  2. Strange one this but the one by urquhart castle is more impressive as it baffled the experts. The only answer one sceptic gave was algae full of plankton but i doubt this as the skipper said he went over the area a few times to try and pick it up again so surely it would still be there. And if it was algae then surely these would be picked up in sonar more often!!

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    1. This is a new image, Jake. The general scenario is that it is out of the "ordinary". That doesn't mean it is the monster. Neither does it mean it is not the monster. After fifty years of hitting the loch with sonar, one would have thought all the "known unknowns" would have been sorted out, but apparently not.

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  3. I have seen an image like this before GB a few years ago. Very similar

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  4. Image like this ive seen before about 4 yeaes ago and it was the jacobite vessell GB. If i remember rightly sumone famous was on board ! Sumone from the programme allo allo vicky sumthing!!

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    1. Well spotted, Jake. I have updated the article.

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  5. Ive just googled it GB cus it was nagging me id seen it before! Found it and its on jacobite queen 2009 with allo allo star vicky michelle!!!

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  6. Hmm, given it's on Jacobite's facebook page i think it's probably them re-circulating the story using pals in the Highland News. Just in time for tourist season ramping up!

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  7. Geordie Sceptic1 May 2014 at 02:51

    Interesting theory about lungs and swim bladders. Is there any other creature on earth of 30ft plus which can rise and fall within 700ft of water which would not give a sonar trace? I can't picture how such a creature could be possible. Or are we again tailoring our Nessie in an unrealistic manner to fit the lack of evidence?

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    1. Well, if you are talking of a specific case of rising over 700ft, then perhaps gas filled sacs are required.

      In terms of creatures without swim bladders, sharks can actually change depth quicker because they do not risk sac rupturing.

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    2. Geordie Sceptic1 May 2014 at 03:37

      Sharks definitely show up on sonar.

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  8. How can sonar tell you the size of something?

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  9. I notice Highland News printed an apology for using this old imagery by mistake. In the same article they printed the new imagery. Have you seen it Roland?

    For some reason your blog won't let me post the link here, but if you Google Highland News Nessie Blunder you will find the article in question, complete with new image.

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    1. Thanks, got that and will update soon.

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