Sunday, 25 May 2014

Loch Ness Trip Report (April 2014)




I was over at Loch Ness for a long weekend back in April and so I thought I would report the highlights here. I begin with the photograph above which was taken near the campsite I was based at. If you had walked along this beach about 45 years ago, you would likely have come across a man watching the loch with his tent nearby. That man was Frank Searle and though he is long gone, his story forms part of the often quirky mosaic that makes the Loch Ness Story so fascinating and attracts multitudes of visitors every year.

For me, there are usually four aspects to any trip to Loch Ness. The first is to try and get a glimpse and perhaps some footage of the creature itself. That, we could say, is the least likely objective to be fulfilled, whether one believes in the Loch Ness Monster or not.

With that in mind, the second objective is to try out new equipment and ideas whilst there. The third objective is to look into old cases to see what new information can be gleaned and the last objective is simply to relax and enjoy the beautiful area that is Loch Ness.

As regards the first objective, nothing was seen which would make me think there was a monster in close proximity. I guess I will have to try and be more gullible when I am next looking at birds,  passing pieces of wood or boat wakes!
There was one experiment I wanted to finish off and that was whether objects are just visible just below the loch's surface. My contention is that they are, but only to a small depth. There are some cases (but not many) where a large, dark shape has been reported as being visible just below the surface. The late monster hunter, Ted Holiday, had such an experience in the 1960s and this continues up to the present day with such cases as Jon Rowe. 

I had previously and conclusively tried this with a silver-grey tray, but now it was the turn of a matt black tray I acquired at the local Fort Augustus stores. The video below shows the tray visible in over a foot of shallow waters. The stones below provide a lighter backdrop to increase the tray's visibility. This contrast would tail off as one moved such a dark object into deeper waters.


video


This experiment was conducted at the site of the famous Lachlan Stuart photograph taken in 1951. I include a clip of that scene below. I visited this area a few times when writing a series of articles on that picture. The contention is that his three humps were merely hay bales but I have my doubts about the source of that story. But come rayn or shine, I will continue to defend that doubt. :)



Now there was one ongoing experiment I have to speak of, and that is trap cameras. I consider them a valuable tool in Loch Ness research and the more of them around the loch the better. I had previously given one to Steve Feltham but the other I placed a year ago on the other side of the loch road to see what was happening on the land rather than the loch. In other words, it was not looking at the loch. I was just curious to see what passed before its lenses.

I placed the camera in a good location in April 2013, but when I went back to get it in August 2013, I could not find it! The reason being that the hillside had become like a jungle  over the summer months and had become unrecognisable. Despite taking a picture of the location, I looked around for a good while to no avail. I concluded it had either been nicked or it was hidden under some vegetation.

So I let this previous winter have its way and reduce the undergrowth, but this return visit still turned up nothing. It may yet be there, but I do not intend to waste any more time on it. Some you win, some you lose. I'll buy a new set of trap cameras for deployment over the winter when I go up again in August. As I said, the more the merrier.

As readers may recall, I posted an article some weeks back on Nessie as land predator. I kept that thought in my mind as I walked along the shores of the loch, testing it against what I saw at Loch Ness. Interestingly, this field at Borlum Bay had a good supply of sheep for an adventurous Nessie!



On the subject of sheep, I did stumble across a sheep carcass near the Lachlan Stuart location and it presented a bit of a minor mystery. Perhaps not a monster class mystery, but more like a "how did it get there" mystery. The carcass was readily identified but the skeleton was about ten feet from the shore where there was wool tufts caught on branches.




So, what accounted for the distance between wool tufts and main body? Did the sheep somehow stumble from the shore line, catching its wool in the branches before expiring further in? Or did it die on the shoreline only to be dragged further in by a predator?

Quite how the sheep got there was a question itself. I was not aware of any areas of sheep grazing nearby. Perhaps the sheep died further up the shore in the shallows and floated to that point, later to be dragged in shore by a predator. If so, what animal can drag a full sheep carcass ten feet? Well, that is one for further speculation.

Talking about the dead, I was over the other side of the loch later on the trip and came across this curious sight by another part of the loch's shoreline. It was a rectangular arrangement of stones on three sides with the contours of the beach forming the fourth side. A cross made from branches was placed at the head of this "grave" at the far end of the photograph.



Was it a grave of some description or some area designated as "sacred" by somebody? I would hardly think anyone was buried there, but neither was I prepared to start digging! If anyone has an idea as to the possible purpose of this site, I would appreciate a comment.

Sadly, there are sights around the loch that are not mysterious and one would prefer were not visible. I refer to the garbage dumping that surreptitiously goes on annually around the loch. Some people regard Loch Ness as a gigantic waste bin. The photograph below was taken near Urquhart Castle.



I paid a visit to Steve Feltham after this and took in the lovely view from his home at Dores Bay. Note the lenticular cloud formation making its way over Loch Ness. Or should that be a fleet of flying saucers? After all, did not Frank Searle claimed to have once photographed a UFO flying over Nessie?!

Steve was busy putting up a wind turbine which powers his home and as we chatted a local friend of his turned up. Steve said his friend's mother lived just over the other side of Dores Bay and had a sighting back around 1992. She had looked out over the familiar sight of the bay one morning to see an object just under the surface swimming past. It was described as having a crocodile-like back and was estimated as being six feet long (the visible portion I presume). It was reported at the time, but the journalist seemed to have turned it into a crocodile sighting! Not quite the same thing.




After this, I dropped in on the local salmon farm and finally made contact with Jon Rowe, who took that interesting picture back in 2011. My presumption that the picture had been taken from the shore jetty was wrong. He was on the platform further out and closer to the cages. My one regret was that they did not have security cameras trained on the cages. My own feeling is that this place is a draw for Loch Ness Monsters who like a salmon or two. However, a short lesson on the structure of the cages suggested they would not be penetrable by our large denizen. It looks like Nessie is limited to window shopping when it comes to farm salmon.

EQUIPMENT

I was out again at night time with the infra red recording equipment to see if Nessie would pop up in the hours of darkness. However, I have to point out that even if she was ten times more likely to surface at night than at daytime, then the odds would still be around 2000 to 1 against a sighting for the duration and field of view in question. I ran the equipment at two sites for a few hours but I was beginning to like the idea of leaving it running longer term. How one achieves that without getting the equipment stolen or ruined by the weather will require some thought.

I bought two new pieces of equipment to try out for this year. The first was a Toshiba Camileo Clip recorder which was modified to record in the infra red for night use. Apparently, some ghost hunters like these devices. You clip it on to your jacket lapel, set it to record and it logs your activities as you move around the area putting your hands to other uses.

They are quite nifty devices which record at 1080p HD, 5x digital zoom, microSD card support and a resolution of 5MP. I suppose I would regard it as a human equivalent of a car dashcam; hook it up, start recording and get on with other tasks hands free.



The other item was a Trifield 100 XE electro magnetic field detector. This device detects and measures magnetic, electric and radio/microwave fields in three axes for more precise measurements. Now I am not exactly sure why I need this from a Loch Ness Monster point of view. If one was a paranormal investigator, it may be a required tool, but at Loch Ness, it was more a case of being curious as to how energy readings registered locally. 




Normally, one should not expect the needle to move much at all.  At home, it rose in the presence of an active microwave oven and close up to the house's fuse box. It would also rise slightly near electricity power lines. At Loch Ness, the needle barely moved (as expected), but in future, I intend to see how it performs at various selected areas.


OTHER THINGS

I popped over to Loch Ness Cruises based at Fort Augustus and boarded their well equipped Royal Scot boat. Some readers may recall that one of their crew, Marcus Atkinson, had an intriguing sonar hit back in September 2011, which I consider one of the best pieces of evidence for the Loch Ness Monster in recent years.



Apart from enjoying the trip up the loch, I was intrigued to have a look at their sonar-based seabed mapping Olex software, of which I show a shot below. One of the crew members, Ricky, explained more about it to me. The way it works is that it takes a continuous stream of readings from their Simrad sonar device. It is only interested in the depth readings, anything else is not important.

The computer software then translates that to a map location and adds that micro-contour detail to the overall map. Indeed, the map is a work in progress. The more sonar pings it processes, the more detailed the map becomes. We chatted about carcasses on the loch bed and he reckoned it could pick up such detail.



Ricky himself seems a bit of a character and has a few Nessie tales to tell. The most interesting was the time he was out kayaking when he looked at the water below him and saw a long neck, then a body and flippers and then a tail passed right under his vessel. I forgot to ask whether he subsequently broke all kayak speed records. Sceptics are free at this point to submit enraged comments about why he did not have a helmet video attached to his head!

Meanwhile, I waited in vain for a Jonathan Bright type water hump to appear on this cruise and another cruise I took in Urquhart Bay ...


At the Clansman Hotel, I also saw this old promotional poster for a Nessie comedy film made back in 1961. I reckon "What A Whopper!" cashed in on the Dinsdale film taken the year before. I bought this DVD some time back and I love those old Ealing type British comedies, so I enjoyed watching that genre include my other favourite subject matter. Nessie is depicted as green again. Why green?



So a busy enough time at the loch, but also time to relax. I hope to be back up later in the Summer and I wish all monster hunters at the loch success in the months ahead.


67 comments:

  1. I saw several Jonathan Bright water humps as the Jacobite Queen passed me on the canal banks at Dochgarroch on Saturday, never mind on the Loch. Move along, nothing to see there i'm afraid.

    As for sheep carcasses - i think i mention elsewhere that i've stumbled upon sheep carcasses all over the wilds of Scotland, often in the most apparently unlikely positions. So again, i can't read too much into any littering the Loch Ness shore.

    I know i sound like a sceptic. I'm not really. I don't really accept there's a breeding herd of large animals in the loch, but i do think there's something there worthy of investigation. I guess the salamander theory is the closest i can accept to a 'Nessie'.

    Foyers is a nice campsite though. Much nice that Invermorriston now in my opinion. In fact, Foyers full stop is nice. If only it wasn't for that godforsaken road! I'll stick to Dores.

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    1. trevorthecat, its interesting to hear that you saw 'several Jonathan Bright water humps' last Saturday. Pity that you weren't carrying a camera, or a mobile equipped with one. And so is the fact that despite Glasgow Boy's and my own persistent challenges to those believing it to be a 'wave' to produce a picture that looks like that, we still have not seen any... But well, at least You have seen them, so I guess, I should be glad to hear that what appears at my photo could have been a water simulacra and that my 'paranormal' hypothesis is likely working...

      Glasgow Boy, nice report. For shooting infrared at night, you will also need an infrared illuminator (try a large one with a 12V battery). This will increase the depth of your camera's visibility. Also the Trifield meter is not useful only for finding certain spots with a constant high energy flow, but also for detecting strange fluctuations that -in theory- may be an alarm for something else that may be happening...

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    2. Your photo is a wave. I'm not really in the habit of standing poised with a camera taking photos of waves to be honest.

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    3. As for 'water simulacra'.... is that another term for a wave? If it is, then i agree - that's what you shot.

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    4. I'm sorry that your 'habits' do not allow you to provide the data required to support your opinions. Unfortunately, until then, your opinion can not be valued more that the one someone else has expressed some time back asserting that it is...an octopus.

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    5. You don't provide any data to support your opinion either, bar a photograph of a wave caught in a moment.

      It looks about as much like an octopus as it does a monster cocking its head back over its shoulder at the boat. ie. not really like it at all, unless that's what you're determined to see.

      A wave is a transient, fleeting thing. I see waves like the one in your photograph all the time on the loch and the water around it. Could i capture one on photo - even if i had the time and inclination to try, probably not. You caught a wave in a moment. You could try again a million times and never capture quite the same image again. Doesn't mean it's not a wave, because clearly it is.

      Your thesis of 'heres a photo i think is the LNM - now you prove it isn't' is feeble stuff, and i find your photo and the wordy article you published in support of it, frankly, desperate. It does nothing to enhance the debate about the Loch Ness phenomenon. Quite the contrary - stuff like that undermines the debate. And it's clear from the comments on your photo thread it isn't just me who thinks that.

      As for my opinion on this being 'valued'. My opinion is no more or less valuable than yours on the subject. However, i've a feeling it isn't me who'd have trouble having his opinion on this taken seriously.

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  2. Great article. As for the mysterious disappearance of the trap camera - could Sasquatch have been riding on Nessie's back, and reached up and pulled it off the tree maybe?

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  3. What are the possibilities of walking a few miles on the roads on the south side of the loch at the moment? Odds of getting mown down?
    Not just the low road -- the high road by Loch Mhor ought to be great for the scenery if not for monsters. I think they're about to widen part of it?

    *AnonStg*

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    1. Safe enough, but the blind bends need to watched. Great for scenery further up, but too far for monster pix.

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  4. South side road is fine for walking. North side definitely not.

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  5. Nice report.
    I'm curious as to what cameras you carry for the possibility that Nessie will pop up in daylight. I have a DSLR with a long zoom lens and a bridge camera with a very long zoom. My nightmare is that the bridge camera will lose focus and take ages to get it back (as has happened a few times). The DSLR doesn't seem to do that, and it's also better at focusing manually.

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    1. Well, I now use an entry level Coolpix DSLR but I tend to carry the analog camcorder at the ready. It's the motion v still image issue.

      The camcorder will give you that dimension of a (hopefully) moving creature but the downside is the loss of detail on close up inspection of still images. Motion blur is always a potential killer as well.

      You may note from this article that I tend to put more emphasis on more exotic solutions such as trap cameras and IR scopes.

      Perhaps a better solution would be a rapid fire DSLR rather than movie footage? You get the crispness of the still image but also a sequence that delivers motion as well?

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    2. Geordie Sceptic26 May 2014 at 05:38

      You have to wonder what technology people will be pinning their hopes on in 2095 - the same amount of time after 2014 as 2014 is after 1933. Will the people still be watching and hoping? Strange to imagine really.

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    3. Or the mystery is solved by 2095 ...

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    4. Geordie Sceptic26 May 2014 at 06:54

      Let's create a time capsule for the people of 2095. Just a note saying "If you're still searching for Nessie, please give up, it's obviously just a myth or you'd have proof by now. Signed RW."

      Delete
    5. Better still, GS. Send you off in a time machine to continue your campaign with a new set of "gullible" bloggers?

      Delete
    6. Geordie Sceptic26 May 2014 at 07:20

      You enjoy my company, GB, my presence makes your blog complete ;-)

      Delete
    7. Geordie Sceptic26 May 2014 at 10:01

      And GB, I was asked on a previous post whether I am 100% sure my sceptical position that there is no monster is correct. I replied that I cannot be 100% certain.

      So, same question to you - are you 100% certain that Loch Ness contains a species of animal unknown to science?

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    8. A bit hard to quantify, like asking how British and Scottish I am.

      Probably 90+ % certain, but I would not discount a known species being found. I have 0% certainty in the sceptical position.

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    9. Geordie Sceptic26 May 2014 at 10:51

      The "sceptical position" is in fact more than 1 position.

      I think several known species probably have accounted for many reports. So in a way you are acknowledging my sceptical position.

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    10. The "monster posiition" is also more than one posiition. I was not referring to seals or the like.

      Delete
  6. Hi GB,
    I guess the trap camera that send and e-mail with the pictures would be a good idea so if it got stolen at least you would have pictures up to that point. This would be expensive though, but since they can send to multiple e-mail it might be worth exploring a group buy where several people "chip in" for joint ownership and they all get the pictures sent.

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    1. I already plan to buy some UM565 cameras.

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  7. Regarding the idea that since everyone is walking around with a phone camera nowadays, why no proliferation of sharp images. Well, if any of the pics I've seen taken by family, friends and others are the norm, the point is moot. ;-D

    Jon

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    1. Geordie Sceptic26 May 2014 at 09:27

      Phones these days take videos as easily and quickly as still photos. We should have images - even not particularly good ones - to back up virtually every sighting nowadays. Could that be the real reason behind the huge decline in reported sightings? "Ok, you say you saw Nessie rolling around on the surface, close enough for you to be certain it was no known animal... so can I see what you captured on your phone please?"

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    2. If anyone wonders why I am not going to answer this .. it's been done here via article and a multitude of comments. I refer anyone interested to previous words.

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    3. Keep in mind that way back in the 30's with the Edward Mountain project it was shown then that the more the Loch is watched, the less Nessie is seen. The idea resurfaces now and again, firstly quoting the proliferation of compact digital cameras and now with phone cameras.

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    4. I refer you to previous articles and comments.

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  8. I bet Mr Sceptic was waiting with his video camera on his numerous visits to Loch Ness and steve feltham hmmmmm .

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    1. Geordie Sceptic26 May 2014 at 12:48

      John, you're right. Like almost every adult in the UK I carry a mobile phone.

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    2. Actually if you are daytime shift Geordie skeptic,maby,but nightshift Geordie skeptic,no way.BTW,what happened to the female geordie skeptic poster with all her hey guys postings?

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    3. Geordie Sceptic27 May 2014 at 07:51

      Anonymous, female GS had to take a break from this site. She's currently working on an Illuminati aeroplane hologram project using alien technology harvested from the Roswell crash.
      So I'm afraid you're stuck with me for a while (male Geordie Sceptic). I'll let you know when she's back, but you're right, she does give the game away sometimes with her "Hey guys" comments.

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    4. Oh worshipful GS,do the ascended masters pay you on crows feet or eye of newt?

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    5. Well GS,at least you have a sense of humor,now back to your posts,hup two!!

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  9. Devils advocate. We all know that if a sighting also comes along with some far off, blurry, grainy, pixelated photo, we all know it will be regarded as worthless in backing up a story.

    I've been doing photography both as a living and for personal enjoyment. There is this thing, for example, when I used to bring a camera to concerts. The time spent looking through a camera, is the time you miss the event itself!

    I'd suggest that anyone witnessing a very unusual event will go through a 'deer in headlights' phase. Not knowing, or rather knowing, how extremely fleeting such an event could be, I might chose to disregard fumbling with a camera altogether being that, as I say above, miss the experience of the event altogether. Honestly, I couldn't care less about 'proof' of what I witnessed for the rest of the world. I just care that "I" did.

    However, if it turns out the event seems to be lasting more than several minutes, then, I'd think about the camera.
    Jon

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    1. I agree, a sighting of the Loch Ness Monster is firstly a personal and (for the vast majority) a unique event.

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    2. Ironically we're at a time where still and video photography will never be proof of anything being digital is the definition of manipulation. And you know that too good a picture is immediately dismissed as fake, lol

      Jon

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    3. Geordie Sceptic26 May 2014 at 13:31

      Agreed - for those sightings of 10 seconds or fewer. I just can't quite work out why Nessie used to apparently put on spectacular surface displays lasting several minutes and often pretty close to multiple witnesses, yet as soon as cameras and phones started to be carried by almost all tourists and visitors, these sightings dried up. Nowadays it seems all people get is a glimpse too short or too far away to capture on film, yet long enough and close enough to positively identify as an unknown species.
      Also seems so odd that (we are told) the likes of Gray, Stuart, Wilson, MacNab, Dinsdale were not struck down by this "shock and awe" syndrome, and had no problems at all pointing and pressing the button when Nessie appeared. Is this sudden freezing and being unable to take a photo a modern phenomenon? I believe we asked GB for examples of people describing this occurring a while ago, but he was only able to name the nervy Boyd who wasn't holding a camera anyway.

      Any reports to back up this theory yet, GB?

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    5. Jon, it's a case of Damned if you do and damned if you don't!

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    6. GS, we've done all that. Go and trawl thru the older posts/comments. Is your memory as defective as the eyewitnesses you claim have?

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    7. Geordie Sceptic26 May 2014 at 22:28

      You said you'd find examples, yet none have been forthcoming. So we're not really done with that part of it, are we?

      Delete
    8. Geordie Sceptic26 May 2014 at 22:44

      And how odd that Jon posts his comment which backs your theory and you welcome it, agreeing with it and not responding with any sarcasm.

      I then reply but in a way which is opposite to your view and suddenly you say we're going over old ground, and make a sarcastic comment about my memory.

      Rather inconsistent, don't you think? I know you want this topic to go away because it's the one you've dealt with most unconvincingly.

      Delete
    9. Nice blog GB ! Its always great to see current images of The Ness and know that someone of your experience continues to try new techniques in obtaining evidence. Good on you ! Reason for going no.4 is also reason enough ! Beautiful place ! Where the midgies biting much this year ? :0) My 1st visit Lochside I stayed mainly south side & the views were excellent.The last time I was up this shoreline had become incredibly overgrown, which was a shame. Enjoy reading your blog, very positive and keep those sceptics in their place ! There may be a Geordie Sceptic on here but this Geordie Ghost is very much more open minded !

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    10. Thanks, Ghost. No midges to report this year (so far).

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    11. "You said you'd find examples, yet none have been forthcoming. So we're not really done with that part of it, are we?"

      That depends how many you would be convinced by. I give one, you ask for two. I give two, you ask for three ... I haven't bothered looking to tell the truth, I hope you understand that I do not leap into research mode every time a sceptic asks a question. Time is precious and if I come across such reports during general research, I will highlight them.

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    12. "And how odd that Jon posts his comment which backs your theory and you welcome it, agreeing with it and not responding with any sarcasm.

      I then reply but in a way which is opposite to your view and suddenly you say we're going over old ground, and make a sarcastic comment about my memory.

      Rather inconsistent, don't you think? I know you want this topic to go away because it's the one you've dealt with most unconvincingly. "

      Unconvincingly, in your opinion. Naturally, it is easier to agree with a fellow believer than a sceptic. I am sure you find it easier to agree with other sceptics in the same manner.

      Are you denying that I have written on this topic before and fielded plenty of comments? If you don't like my answers, we'll just have to agree to disagree. Simple.

      Delete
    13. Geordie Sceptic27 May 2014 at 04:15

      GB I think you came up with a grand theory to explain sightings without photos in the age of the smartphone, but when we asked for examples to back it up, you went cold on the conversation and decided to move on. If believers bring up the theory again, then surely sceptics can respond?

      Delete
    14. I've looked at Mackal's statistics. It seems that up to 1976 the median duration of a sighting was 67 seconds, and 12% of sightings lasted more than 15 minutes! I'm pretty sure that I wouldn't be fumbling with a camera for 67 seconds, and that any shock and awe I might feel would have dissipated after 15 minutes.

      Delete
    15. I find it quite depressing that I could be Nessie The 25-foot Lizard walking the streets of Onietoun and get so many people would have their heads down texting and be oblivious.
      But, to respond to GS in the spirit of investigation, how does the % of surface sightings lasting > 10 minutes break down over time?

      *AnonStg*

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    16. I did not say that, I said I do not have the time to rake through all the books looking for examples. The sightings databases I use do not specify if a person did or did not have a camera or their emotional reactions. That means going thru all the literature afresh which I do not have the time for.

      As I said elsewhere, if I come across such reports as I generally do research, I will put up an appropriate comment/article.

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    17. David,

      Mackal's list is obviously selective but at least he attempts to filter out hoaxes and misinterpretations. Only about a quarter of sightings report a duration and the raw data has an average duration of 10.5 mins and a median of 6.5.

      Your conclusion does not take into account what proportion of reports had a camera to hand, whether they tried to use it, whether the object was too far to photograph or how report durations have varied over the decades.

      Without these variable factored in, any conclusion cannot be taken as dogmatic.

      Delete
    18. Funny you should ask, AnonStg, but sighting durations have trended downwards over the years.

      Delete
    19. You guys need to bring GS tactics to bear on him.put the focus on him,that's the tactics of synergy,promoted by guirdjeff,and explained in occult science dictatorship PDF free.I'm sorry GS,but I see the same comments on other blogs of different subjects.gs,are you guys so lacking on confidence in yourselves that you feel the need to control everything even thought?

      Delete
    20. Geordie Sceptic29 May 2014 at 06:11

      Well anonymous john, we have to try. After all, you guys already worked out 9/11 and Area 51. The last thing left for us to conceal is the shape shifting alien hologram water dinosaur. You can see why I'm trying my best, surely?

      Delete
    21. Um ... is it just me.... or has this site been taken over by a troll who is posting WAY TOO MUCH and much of it off topic?? GB, I love this site, but you have my "vote" to do a little commentary pruning :)

      Delete
    22. Nessiteris Rhomboctertwit29 May 2014 at 15:23

      I agrer with md Just don't post up those skeptics comments. Let them post eslwhere !!!

      Delete
  10. Quite a few "Tin Foil Wearers" commenting on this blog. No surprise given the subject matter.

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  11. "In practical terms, the more people focus on aspects of their visual world other than the detection of unexpected objects, the less likely they are to detect such objects. Recent evidence suggests that talking on a cell phone, for example, dramatically increases the probability of missing an unexpected object (Scholl et al, 2003)" For more on that, it's from an article on "Inattentional Blindness" you can read at scholarpedia.org.

    My point in quoting this is that many of the additional cameras at Loch Ness today are built into smart phones. And even the people carrying real cameras are likely to also have phones. So all these people are statistically LESS likely to notice An Niseag make a surprise appearance at the surface than all their predecessors in decades past. Perhaps we shouldn't directly equate "sightings" with "appearances". And of course if you didn't notice anything unexpected, you aren't going to try for a picture of it :>

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    1. Ogopogo witness30 May 2014 at 04:01

      Also the modern and increasing obesity crisis affecting not only the UK but also many of the countries where tourists originate from. Visitors to the loch are much more likely these days to be looking down at a burger and fries in their hands, or maybe distracted by a lochside fast food van.
      When we take into account the increased distractions of phones and high calorie consumables, we can easily envisage that the monsters are probably in fact surfacing MORE regularly than ever, but people are too busy looking elsewhere to notice.

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    2. Yuo make a valid point, Ogopogo. There are more distractions for the modern tourist and with more traffic on the roads, their attention is more required on the road than on the loch, etc, etc.

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    3. I posted before about the increase in cruising boats and the consequent increase in cryptid-unfriendly noise at the surface.
      Now, the usual stale (and uninformed) comment about an occasional Nessie sighting is "Start of the tourist season, haw, haw". But wouldn't it be ironic if a certain type of tourism were killing off sightings, if not the creature?

      *AnonStg^

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    4. Ogopogo witness30 May 2014 at 07:04

      I think you're right AnonStg. Another factor could be the global recession which could have reduced sightings by people being unable to afford to buy new spectacles as their eyesight deteriorates. The recession could also reduce the sales of SD memory cards, so people probably run out of space on their cameras and are unable to take a photo when our favorite loch inhabitant pops up.

      If we keep at it we can come up with so many reasons for reduced sightings and no photos that the meddlesome skeptics won't have a leg to stand on!

      Great blog Glasgow Boy.

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  12. Many of the tourist boats on the Loch are using sonar and this may also be contributing to sightings becoming more scarce. It's a well known fact that marine creatures are sensitive to the usage of such equipment so who knows what the effect may be on creatures that may be living in the loch. On the subject of boat traffic increasing, I think that it is still quite a lot less than it was 80 + years ago as boats were used more to convey goods etc. prior to road traffic increasing. Of course none of these boats would have been fitted with sonar so they may have had less of an effect back then.

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    1. Going back to Cameron's book on the canal, e says that the no. of fishing boats passing through fell from over a thousand in 1931/32 to under 400 in 1938/39. (The Depression gets the blame.) I must admit that I'm still a bit sceptical about the sheer number of sightings in the Thirties, but something like this, might offer a partial explanation.

      *AnonStg*

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  13. GB - your experiments with tin trays in the shallows don't really counter Raynor's tests in deeper water. Maybe next time you could photograph a black tray suspended a couple of feet below a float at Foyers jetty?

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  14. As intimated in the article, there is the matter of deeper water to look at. But I think it has been demonstrated that any talk about not being able to see an object underwater has to be a qualified statement.

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