Tuesday, 8 December 2015

The Latest Nessie Photograph




Or is it? Well, Gary Campbell, who runs his register of Loch Ness Monster sightings, was recently talking about the five sightings he had logged for 2015. Amongst them was this curious photograph taken by American tourist, Crystal Ardito, on July 1st as she was on one of the cruise boats that regularly make their way up and down the loch at that time of year. According to the Daily Mail:

Among them was that logged by American tourist Crystal Ardito who recently found pictures of 'Nessie' after studying her summer holiday snaps.

'I went to Scotland to go on the Loch Ness boat ride on July 1. I took photos of the loch and I was just looking at my photos and I found one photo where I saw a grey thing sticking out of the water, so I zoomed in,' she said.

Ms Ardito said she had only seen the object for 'a few seconds' and 'did not notice the grey object in the photo until months later...in the middle of the loch.'

Gary's website adds a little more detail:

1 July 2015 - Somewhere between 15.00 and 15.30, Crystal Ardito of New York snapped an unexplained creature from a boat on the loch. She said that it was only a few seconds and weather conditions were about 10 degrees celsius and a little windy

From what I can understand of this brief account, Crystal had seen the object for only a few seconds at the time, and so the brevity of the sight was insufficient to have made an impact on her. It was then ignored until she saw it in one of her photographs. The actual location would seem to line up with this picture from Google Streetview. Perhaps she was on one of the Jacobite Cruises that heads south to Urquhart Castle before turning back north.


A zoom in of the picture adds some detail, but not enough to decide whether this is monster or other.




So it was time to run the image through some deblurring software. Various parameters were tried mainly trying to compensate for focus or motion blur. The results were mixed as you can see below.




The best one is compared with the original below.







Non-monster candidates could include a buoy, water fowl, seal or tree trunk given the lack of clarity. I would not have thought a buoy would occur in mid-loch. The shape does not remind me of a bird, though some may interpret the two white "lobes" as wings. They could also be wash or waves. A seal is a possibility - if there was one in Loch Ness. Given the density of traffic around the loch at that time of year, I suspect something about seals would have appeared on social media by now. A tree trunk is possible, but again they tend to hang around rather than disappear from sight.

The object is very dark in comparison to its surroundings which made me wonder if it was in shadow (i.e. the object was between the sun and the observer). Since the time was stated as being between 1500 and 1530, the sun's position for July 1st 2015 can be calculated and shown as a yellow line in the diagram below. The additional green line is the direction of sunrise and the red line indicates sunset.




Such an azimuth would not put the object in shadow unless the cruiser was further up the loch than I thought. However, going back to the original photograph at the top, if that is the sun behind the clouds in the top centre, the time is more likely to be about noon. If it is indeed the sun behind the object, then this would also explain the darkness of the object. 

Certainly, there is an impression that the two white "lobes" are wave action caused by the object, be it by breaking from the surface, moving across the surface or dropping into the water. That would seem a more likely explanation than something descending into the loch.

Theories are invited from readers.

The author can be contacted at lochnesskelpie@gmail.com






19 comments:

  1. Are you running out of ideas?

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  2. Nice work as always doing the research and photo work, but in this case I ask why? What aspect of the image in any resembles what Nessie is said to look like? No hump(s) or overturned boat aspect, no long neck - what makes you think this is Nessie, and just about anything else?

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    1. Well, if we were to speculate on Nessies, tail or flipper would be worth exploring.

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    2. That implies you're focusing on the dark bit but ignoring all the pale bits of the object. If you take the object in its entirety into account this cannot possibly be a tail or flipper. Are you selectively seeing what you want to see again, Glasgee lad?

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    3. The pale regions would be considered as water movement in such a scenario. There are of course other scenarios. I opened comments up to get others opinions on what they thought they were seeing, but nobody has stepped up yet.

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    4. It looks like an object making a splash, the raised water would be the white regions in the photo. Could be a bird, could be a seal (although in my experience seals tend to not splash very much when they're in the water), could be a fin...the object is too small to determine what it actually is.

      The photo is yet another picture of an anomalous object in the loch.

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    5. I thought, as per Rines, Nessie flippers were diamond shape. If you are suggesting a tail I'm not quite sure how Nessie got a tail up without the body having surfaced first - unless it swam backwards to the surface and stuck its ass in the air. Surely the photographer would have noticed either. It is probably a bird landing in the water, which would have been viewed as nothing usual at the time...

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    6. Bob Rines used brush strokes to turn a photo of the bottom of the loch into a fake diamond fin. Case has long been closed on that one.

      The object in this photo does not appear to be an animal and nothing about it suggests a Loch Ness monster.

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    7. Lots of creatures can stay still and just move their tails up and down, so yes i could see a creature lying just under the surface with its tail up. However, i think the object in question is not the right shape or size for a tail. At a guess i would say debris in the water.

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  3. No suggestions off the sceptic experts?

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  4. Something is making a splash, It's so frustrating, one day the perfect video will be filmed.

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  5. Chasing Leviathan13 December 2015 at 13:41

    As said above, the image is really too indistinct to draw many conclusions.

    I could be wrong, but I'm not convinced the object in question is actually in the water. My best guess would be one of the local oystercatchers maybe?

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  6. Recommended Reading: Peter Costello, In Search of Lake Monsters. The book covers everything from suggestions that photos of the animal show a "lesser rorqual whale" to Hugh Gray and Tim Dinsdale's highly debated photos and films. This book was published just a year or two before the Rines photos arrived.

    Another must-read book is Nicholas Witchells' The Loch Ness Story, about the Rines photos. Both books take dead aim at fakery and hoaxes.

    So, what are they? There is a third school of thought that Nessies, Sasquatch, modern-day Pterodactyls, and even T-Rex critters are coming through portals "between dimensions". I would recommend that even satellite photos might show "something".

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    Replies
    1. Sounds like the BBC dino series "Primeval".

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    2. Sounds to me like someone has a little too much spare time on their hands.

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  7. Tis weird. If it's a part of an animal, it appears to belong to a sizeable animal. It certainly looks like part of an animal, to me anyhow. What is utterly confusing is the lack of definition under the water. The 'animal' seems to cease abruptly with depth. Although camera sensors can only resolve so much (and sharpening algorithms approximate that data), I would have expected some darkness to have been present to indicate the presence of a larger body just below the surface. Based on all of that, I suppose the best guess is 'not a very large animal', so probably not nessie. Maybe.

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