Sunday 8 June 2014

The Mysterious "Footprints" of Loch Ness

While I was researching a previous article on the search for the elusive Nessie carcass, I came across this sonar image of the underwater contours of the loch. The author of the article bearing the image was the well known Robert Rines and he had been discussing his own quest for Loch Ness Monster bones in 2005. In the course of that article he said this: 

In addition to ROV-optically inspecting further sonar targets of this expedition, it remains for us to explore this year the further mystery of the lines of similar-dimension and uniformly spaced 10-meter diameter sonar targets - "circles," ("footprints") at 700 foot depth. These were first detected and published by our Klein team of 1976, and have strikingly been re-imaged on the '05 side-scan map at spaced intervals along both sides of the loch - northerly and southerly.

The anomalies he refers to can be clearly seen forming a line of vertical dots on the left hand side of the image. The black strip in the middle is the blind spot below the side scan sonar device. My estimates suggest this sonar image was produced around the area marked in the map below, a few miles south of Foyers.

Robert Rines refers to a series of sonar images discovered by the Klein team back in the mid 1970s during the famous (or infamous depending on your point of view) Academy of Applied Science expeditions of yore. These were described as stone circles and that particular story can be found in Meredith's 1977 book, "Search at Loch Ness". 

Marty Klein speculated that these could be submerged megalithic constructs and they were even dubbed "Kleinhedge I" and "Kleinhedge II" referring to structures found at depths of 30 and 70 feet respectively. These are depicted below from 1976 images.

It has since been speculated that these are in fact more recent artifacts created by dredging operations. How that was deduced and how that would form circles I would like to know but Klein tells us that divers went down and identified them as stones formed in a circle.

However, that does not mean they are megalithic in origin (which Klein admitted) and one wonders if operations during the creation of the Caledonian Canal 200 years ago or the widening of the A82 road in the 1930s are more relevant?

Be that as it may, Robert Rines in our 2005 sonar image links the two. I am not sure if that is the only conclusion to be drawn. The line of anomalies we see is south of Foyers but Klein's objects were over 10 miles away to the north at Lochend.

Moreover, Rines places them at a depth of 700 feet. That in itself would be extraordinary but I doubt that is true and think this is a typographical error based on the fact that the maximum depth in that area is nearer 600 feet. The sonar plot that came with the image suggests something less than 600 feet but still very deep.

So what could be responsible for this line of "footprints"?  When one comes across a mystery at Loch Ness, then one may be inclined to implicate our famous denizen of the Ness deeps. But at this point, I cannot think of a reason why the Loch Ness Monster(s) would indulge themselves in the habit of digging out a line of depressions (or mounds) for miles. Readers are welcome to come up with a theory.

By coincidence, and just before I read the Rines article, I was at Loch Ness speaking to one of the operators of the Loch Ness Project cruise boats. I asked what was current in their research and he raised this very topic. He mentioned that it may be underwater operations linked to the Foyers Power Station.

Foyers Power Station was first constructed as part of the aluminium works built in 1896 and survived its closure in 1971 to be upgraded and form part of Scotland's hydro-electric scheme. How that could be linked to surface anomalies deep down is not clear to me. If they are 600 feet down, then they will be difficult to examine and Robert Rines' ROV operations do not mention them in detail.

I wonder if they have their origins in World War II operations at the loch? What that could be and how it would survive decades of silting is not clear to me. It is a mystery at Loch Ness and we await further information and developments.

(Public Announcement: Can P.C. get back to me about the "painting" at


  1. Trying to sort this out because it's a bit confusing...

    1) Evenly spaced 'circles' approx. 10m (32+ feet) in diameter at bottom of loch whose depth should be roughly 600' if its near Foyers. OK, but wondering where are the corresponding circles on the opposite side?

    2) These are apparently a separate phenomenon from the circular type stone structures, dubbed Kleinhendge I & II which are found totally apart from the former and at depths of only 30' & 70' respectively.

    3) The Klein photos only says Kleinhendge I. Where's II? Unless, The Klein circles and lines of circles are grouped together and one set is at 30' (Klein I) and the other at 70' (Klein II)

    4) The Klein circles are coincidentally both estimated at 10m (32+ feet) in diameter

    5) The Klein circles that overlap each other..... they are also said to be stone. Then how does that work out if its made of stone bits?. Their structure should look more like just a line of stones instead if you catch my drift. IOW, what is defining the circular edgings? Stone as well, or mud depressions?

    The overlapping circles look more like as if a large circular hose was being scraped along vacuuming up the bottom. Do dredges work that way?

    If so, perhaps a dredging operation using very large circular hoses, as it's moved along the bottom and sucking up mud, is exposing previously buried rock?

    6) The other 600' deep anomalies.... as far as I understand, evenly patterned structures are not naturally formed geologically.
    Could they be the tops of something erected by pre ice age man poking up from the silt? But how could these things have possibly survived the glaciers? They'd have been obliterated.


    1. I would not imagine pre-glacial structures. It's a pity Rines' ROV did not get down there to inspect one of them, or did it?

    2. Don't know. Guess best bet would be something to do with WWII operations. Can't imagine yearly silt layers can be very much since even WWII or else the loch would've been completely filled by now, no?
      So if those objects have any height, they'd still be partially uncovered and sonar reflect.


    3. Well, that Wellington Bomber was not silted over after 40 years, but I would not expect it plus it was in shallower waters?

      I reckon it would take about 63,000 years for Loch Ness to completely silt up. But who knows, perhaps the next glacial period would have arrived to bury it in ice again!

  2. I understand that a lot of waste at the east end of the canal was used to create a peninsula out of which the Clachnaharry sea-lock was cut. But some material could have gone into the nortrh end of the loch. I don't suppose that the repeating circular pattern could have been caused by something as banal as the shape of a hatch on a boat dumping waste?
    The other thing is weird even by Loch Ness standard. My feeble suggestion is a melting glacier dropping rocks as it retreats each year…but why always forming a straight line?? Will need to refuel and think that one over.


  3. If these anomalies really are 600 feet down, I can't imagine them being 200 years old when the canal was built as I would expect them to be silted over.

  4. I've read about these pillars before. Interesting stuff. Some sort of legacy from glaciation was one of my thoughts too, or perhaps the legacy of some volcanic activity given the fault line in the Great Glen.

    Would definitely be worth studying though.

  5. If one is open enough to allow for the possibility of the so-called Loch Ness creature, then one can allow for this source as well

    We spoke once about the Ness Sea, therefore Loch Ness in Scotland, in connection with so-called Nessie, whereby it is supposed to deal with a saurian, for which, however, up until now, no proof of existence could be brought forth.
    But you have said that such an animal does actually exist in Loch Ness and that all that, therefore, it is not about a fairy tale.
    I would like to see the beast.
    Can you take me to it sometime?

    109. Actually, two parent animals and a young do exist.
    110. It thereby deals with an aquatic predatory saurian, therefore about Plesiosaurus which have sustained themselves for many generations.
    111. However, proving their existence will be very difficult, because the animals themselves only seldom make their way into the higher waters, or even to the waters' surface in such a way that they can be sighted.
    112. We have observed these distant saurian descendents for many years and have, during the course of our research, also found petrified fossils of their distant predecessors, which we left where we found them where they will perhaps be found some day by terrestrial palaeontologists or other Earth humans. .
    113. Naturally I will take you there so you can see the animals, however you must not make that public for the next 12 years.

    1. Well, the only thing I agree with is the infrequent sorties to the surface. Billy Meier was a contactee I presume? That has little to do with the Loch Ness Monster for me.

      Here is another take on ETs and Nessies:

    2. yes, Billy Meier the contactee

      that was from a 1989 contact report ... don't know if there have been updates since ... but I did find it interesting and logical that the alleged creatures would be Plesiosaurs, particularly from the descriptions and murky photos in circulation, not to mention that it was the parents with one offspring ... that really would be something if they could have survived undisturbed in that particular Loch all these millions upon millions of years .

      I find that other story not only too far-fetched but ridiculous, even as I find the Meier report possible.

    3. @Bruce. The LNM couldn't have survived undisturbed in the loch for 'millions upon millions' of years as the loch 'only' came to be 10,000 years ago as a result of the last ice age. :-)


    4. Jee whizz Bruce - and you claim the other report was "too far fetched (and) ridiculous"!!

    5. Here is a quote from another of Meier's reports,

      "On a broader scale, expect a coup involving the USA and its president, in the year 2003, in march, which will stun the entire world."

      Wow! How did I and everyone else fail to notice that one?

      Elsewhere he flatly states that the Apollo 11 flight was a hoax. Sorry, it wasn't. Meier has no credibility at all.

    6. GB, you should ask Bacofoil if they're interested in sponsoring your site.

    7. Yes, back to these footprints, please.

    8. Back to these Loch Ness "footprints", please.

  6. Derek "Sweet D" McIntosh10 June 2014 at 04:17

    I think these anomolies could be hatches leading to each family of nessies cavernous homes. When word gets out that someone is sweeping the loch with sonar, all the nessies dart for their homes and slam the hatches shut.

    This would explain the total lack of sonar hits during Rines work and the BBCs work in recent years.

  7. Just found this page. I lived lochside from 1971 (from age 20) to 1990. I'm shocked people haven't quit the search yet.

    I saw it all in the 1970's and 1980's and by the time the 1990's arrived we all knew the monster was simply a myth which caused false sightings.

    You are all free to do what you want with your lives, but believe me, you will NEVER find a monster in that loch.

    A.R.C. BSc (Hons)

    1. Oh well, I guess we won't be hearing much more from you then!

    2. Probably not, no. If you knew exactly how much fruitless effort took place back in those days you'd know where I'm coming from. One by one we saw believers turn sceptical as the years went by.

      There was one very famous hunter who had turned about 99% sceptical by the late 1980's but he'd invested so much time and effort by that point he was too embarrassed to admit it. I know this from our conversations but I will not divulge his name.

      It really is a fruitless search at the lovely loch. Whenever I return now I am much relieved at being able to view the loch for what it is, a dramatic stretch of water. I no longer have an eye scanning my peripheral vision for non existent monsters. It's a far more beautiful place to me now.

      A.R.C. BSc (Hons)

    3. I can guess at the effort, but not all turned sceptic.
      Roy Mackal springs to mind.

    4. But why all these incoming tinfoilers and sceptics [in the sense of climate change den...sceptics]?
      Are we in the stage of "Tut,tut" or "Ha,ha"?

      *AnonStg* [MA (Hons) i.e. properly educated :) ]

    5. What on earth does that mean, anonstg?

  8. The footprints were featured in the Discovery channel documentary 'Loch Ness discovered', they sent a ROV down to one of them and it was a wheelbarrow, they didnt investigate anymore.

    1. That was just the one footprint they investigated, they implied they were to do with military activity at the Loch during the 2nd World war.


  9. Believers turned sceptic ? Yes indeed. But we also have sceptics turned believers!!! And i know that through conversations ive had up there over the years!

  10. Arthur C Clarke made mention of becoming almost fully sceptical as an older man, despite his previous fascination with mysteries, and his famous TV shows. That said, some of those shows still contain mysteries which have not been solved, and as I see it, call into question how we view the world we live in.

    As for the regular repeating pattern, I don't think that there's any way it could be natural in origin. If you consider Nessie a part of the natural world, that would include her. Explosives testing maybe? Or explosives dumping. A lot of explosives.....