Tuesday, 30 August 2016

A Fascinating Photograph




A very unusual picture taken on the 22nd August when NHS worker, Kate Powell, snapped this finned object in the loch. A slightly better picture in the Aberdeen Press and Journal shows the spray suggestive of an object moving in the water.



Naturally, when such a picture arises, you think of the F. C. Adams picture from 1934 which I wrote on here and which I speculated was indeed taken at Loch Ness.




Today's picture looks to all intents and purposes like a cetecean's fin. Dolphins or porpoises had also been claimed to have been sighted in Loch Ness before as the newspaper article below from the very same Daily Mail on the 16th September 1914 shows. However, the controversy about whether such creatures could get into Loch Ness was not conclusive. 





Steve thinks this is a reproduction of the 1868 hoax when fishermen dumped a bottlenose dolphin into the loch to fool the locals. However, can dolphins or porpoises indeed get through the River Ness complex to Loch Ness? Another thought is that dolphins regularly break surface and so where are the other pictures of this creature? Steve Feltham has posted that another person may have seen it, but a regular surface breaker such as this should turn up in further photographs. We shall wait and see (and I suspect that the seagull explanation will soon be winging its way in the same fashion as Jennifer Bruce's famous picture).

The account from the Daily Mail follows.




The uncropped picture has now been put online which is certainly suggestive of Loch Ness. A further examination of the Inverfarigaig shoreline via Google Street View confirms this picture was indeed taken where it was claimed.




The author can be contacted at lochnesskelpie@gmail.com




89 comments:

  1. To me, it looks like a thick neck turned to the right with body just breaking the surface, also interesting the light colour which I presume maybe the lower jaw?

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    1. Interestingly, that is how Peter Costello interpreted the Adams/Lee photograph. I think it is definitely a dorsal fin.

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    2. So one can presume..... "I think it is definitely a dorsal fin"... it must be a dolphin or porpoise? What else could be in lock Ness an explanation?

      I'm drawing you out on this, speak forth..... I'm a Nessie believer.

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    3. Well, Prof, a photograph of a dolphin in Loch Ness is even rarer than a photo of Nessie.

      Do I think it is Nessie? No, not yet. If it is a dolphin, I fully expect further pictures and videos to turn up (assuming it hasn't died). So I would rather watch how things develop.

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    4. I addressed the matter of fins on Nessie in the Adams/Lee photo article.

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  2. Looks like debris to me. Did she only take one photo? If so, why?

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    1. Haveyouseenityet...."Looks like debris to me"....Why does it look like debris to you? Please expand as to why.

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    2. I just think it looks like flotsam. Probably nothing more than a floating Nessie tooth or flipper from a carcass.

      Being serious for a moment, I have no idea. It certainly looks like a dorsal fin at first glance, but could actually be debris that looks like a fin. Could be charred wood. Such a shame only one picture was taken, but at least no case of "shock and awe" prevented this photo from being captured.

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    3. Why would shock and awe be involved?

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  3. Great photo. Having seen the Moray Firth dolphins in action, the amateur snapper at that kind of range would do well to capture a single pic showing an animal, never mind more pics.

    And I see there are other recent sightings coming to light that may corroborate the idea something is swimming about in there at the moment.

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    1. Remember muy snap from march, vía the webs camera. It looks like a fin. Take a look on th lochnessightings register .

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  4. Steve Feltham says it is indeed taken in loch ness? Is there more to the photograph that shows loch ness ? Well I will have to keep my eyes peeled to see if i can snap a photo of it if it is a dolphin that somehow has got into the loch. Strange one.

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    1. Yes, the uncropped shows the hills. Keep your eyes peeled, video is obviously better if you can keep it stable (i.e. not a zoom in). The object was just off Inverfarigaig. Steve says a boatman saw something off Fort Augustus.


      I'll be up in two weeks.

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    2. Could a saltwater dolphin survive long enough in Loch Ness for your trip?

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    3. I've seen the I cropped picture. There's zero doubt it's Loch Ness and to my eye it's too big to be a bird. I think it's a cracking photo - very compelling.

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  5. It is indeed a fascinating story if it is a dolphin. Steve Feltham's theory about the fishing nets is interesting, though maybe, just maybe if the dolphin has somehow got into the loch by itself from the sea then it could open up a whole new can of worms for the creatures of loch ness.

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    1. What new can of worms would that be exactly? There's absolutely no link whatsoever between the possibility of a dolphin in the loch and the chances of a "monster" existing in there, is there? Or are you about to make the connection?

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    2. Did i say that ? I suggest you read it again.

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    3. I asked you a question, Dream Hunter.

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    4. Like a grown man hunting imaginary monsters, would you say?

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    5. Can you give me a reason why I should continue to allow you to post such comments?

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    6. Not monsters, just creatures that thousands of people have seen.

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    7. And I felt bad for calling him a troll. But he's proved it time and again.

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    8. I consider you to be a troll, Ron. You're focusing on the person, not the debate.

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  6. That is a very strange photo. It almost looks as if the tip of the fin is not only discoloured on one side but thickened, as if it had something stuck to it. Any ideas?

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    1. I saw your drawing on Steve's group. That's how Peter Costello interpreted the Adams/Lee photo.

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  7. I was never a fan of the Adams / Lee photograph as it was impossible to establish the provenance of the image.

    However there will be no such doubt with this image once the uncropped version is distributed. It is unequivocally Loch Ness.

    Or it's a very well constructed fake.

    It's also a very sharp image.

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  8. Looks like Dickie Raynor is saying that this photograph is not in loch ness. Well, as he always points out he has 50 odd years of experience of the loch so surely he must be right!

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    1. Do you ever let up with your negativity towards Dick? It's relentless.

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    2. Im just pointing out it cant be loch ness because the experienced and king sceptic tells us so, so lets not fuss over the photograph.

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    3. He may have said that, but Dick sometimes couches things in terms which lead one to think that rather than saying it out loud.

      I have deleted some comments from both "sides" which were getting personal and nothing to do with the subject in hand.

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  9. Added uncropped image and confirmatory google street view image.

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  10. To me it's too big to be a bird. I've also never in many years of loch side living seen a bird swoop into the water in the manner you associate with sea birds diving for fish. I'm not sure the loch lends itself to that kind of seabird activity as - as far as I'm aware - the fish aren't that close to the surface and the water is dark.

    It's definitely one of the most interesting images of recent times.

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  11. Does anyone know what camera (or was it a phone?) the lady took the photo on? The object in the full frame is clearly quite a long way from the lady, yet the cropped version shows a great amount of detail. It would be very interesting if this was on a camera phone, as it would finally ratify that technology as viable for capturing images of distant Loch Ness objects. Perhaps it was on a DSLR instead though.

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    1. Phone camera.

      If the animal did not have a dorsal fin, there would not be much to talk about.

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    2. It shows the clarity. If a head and neck stuck out, or a hump swam through the water from this distance and you had a phone camera, bingo. Clear photos, preferably a video, for everyone to see and analyse.

      This is a positive conclusion from the hunter's perspective, surely?

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    3. I don't deny that, I just do not expect a Nessie to be as frequent as a dolphin.

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    4. Most camera phones work at a 'wide' angle, making a scene appear approximately twice as far away than it actually is. I would say, based on my knowledge of photography and how clear the object is, it's not far from the observer at all.
      Yes, technology has increased, but wide angles are worse than useless for capturing shots of animals, unless they are elephants standing in front of you. I did an experiment with my phone camera recently, a 16 mp galaxy s6 (one of the top camera phones, as of last year), and shot a picture of a car from just less than 200m. It was clearly visible as a car, with almost no fine detail, on a good bright day. As far as I know, the vast majority of sightings are at much more of a distance, and many are in poor light. As a photographer (I photograph animals), I know that you need ideal front lighting to illuminate a dark animal, and this needs a variety of circumstances to be correct. So really, camera phones are only useful under a very limited (and rare) set of parameters. I suppose they are better than nothing, but only just as it stands at the moment.

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    5. I'd totally disagree. The full frame of this photo shows that the object is quite far away, even taking into account the exaggerated perspective of a phone's wideangle lens. Then when you crop the small object and blow up the crop, a great amount of detail is still present. If it was actually as close as you're implying, the lady would have surely seen it. It doesn't appear to be a small object. Hardly like requiring an elephant to be standing right in front of you, is it? For me (and I suspect many others), this photo exemplifies how camera phones are in fact very useful tools for Loch Ness visitors to be armed with.

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    6. Sir / madam, I work with photos daily. I process them and take them daily. I have been doing so for around 6 years now with professional equipment, and am very familiar with perspective and landscape photography, different lenses and the like. I don't know everything, but I do know some things.
      Immediately as I look at this shot, judging by eye the elevation, wave type and angle of view, I can see that the object is pretty close. How do I know this? Because I work with images like this regularly. One of the greatest revelations to a new landscape photographer is just how small everything can look on a wide angle lens. I know instinctively that this photo is taken on such a lens because of the perspective.
      But, knowing you would not be content with my opinion, I carried out my own little experiment. I photographed a street with my phone, and at the end of the street a man was standing. On my 16 mp phone camera, all detail on the man was gone, and there is less pixelation on the 'fin' in question. Meaning one of 2 things : the ladies phone is better than mine to a fair degree (mine has one of the best cameras, but not the current best), or the 'fin' is closer to the photographer than the man I photographed was to me. Distance to said man from me was approximately 80 metres (measured twice using Sports Tracker app and GPS). When photos were scaled to the same size, a direct comparison showed the man to be approximately twice the height of the 'fin'. Approximating a fin height at 2-3 ft (this was visual and based on the approximate length of a bottle nose dolphin) and the man at 5 and a half feet, my best guess would be that the 'fin' is closer to the photographer than the man was to myself. This can also be inferred judging by the level of detail visible on the 'fin' and surrounding waves, which is more than I can see on a man at 80m distance. Only some of the information is available, so it's impossible for me to completely prove what I am suggesting at the moment, but given my best guess, that 'fin' is likely to be less than 100m from the photographer, and possibly substantially less.

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    7. Maybe I should say that of course camera phones are a useful tool, but only under quite limited circumstances, and the photographs may lead to more questions than answers (which ones don't?). Maybe the elephant analogy was not the best one to make, and I would be as happy as the next man if Nessie was photographed with a camera phone.

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    8. Martin, you've emailed me before, so I will PM you further image details and you can give me your opinion for a follow up article.

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    9. Martin said: "Maybe I should say that of course camera phones are a useful tool, but only under quite limited circumstances"

      Given the range of interpretations given to this image - which is quite clear by Loch Ness standards - it is clear there are limitations! Though I suspect some of these limitations are to do with personal bias ...

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    10. Once again, we keep missing the point.

      The cell phone argument has never been that their should be better photos: the argument is that there should be MORE photos, regardless of quality.

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    11. And certainly Roland, would be glad to help if I could.

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  12. I am lucky to own a house in SW Florida on the ocean where there are tons of porpoise that come right up to your dock. I've also had them playfully bump my jet-ski when I go out for a ride and interact with me in a fun loving way. Even seen them do flips in the air behind passing boats. There is never any question that there are porpoise around when they are. I would be more inclined to believe that this is a porpoise if someone came up with a short video that shows them surfacing and blowing, which they do quite often. We even know when they are in the bay while sitting in the house, that's the kind of noise they sometimes make. This mystery of there being porpoise in Loch Ness seems odd to me, in that they should be positively identified very quickly if they are there. They are not some kind of stealthy animal that would evade detection by folks even standing at the shoreline for a few minutes.

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    1. I am thinking that way too. But a dolphin/porpoise in a colder, less saline, murkier Loch Ness. What does that do to it?

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    2. Even if they underwent a personality change they would still have to surface quite regularly to breath. That's when they would get busted.

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    3. The lochs quite choppy at the moment, which would go some way to concealing a lone animal from view when it surfaced to breath.

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    4. GB... Salt water species don't do well in fresh water. Although they can survive for some time, they will be exhausted by the lack of buoyancy in fresh water. Also, after a while their skin will start to slough as the fresh water does not support their skin or eyes and they can develop serious infections.

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    5. Prof, I am familiar with seals that have made their way up the river Lagan in Northern Ireland, from Belfast Lough, which is a sea lough and therefore salt water. In fact, I've seen one with my own eyes and there are reports of others quite far from the sea. But I wondered too how this would affect them long term

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  13. Has anyone of you detected a kind of digital crescent smudge/haze above and the object? Is that spray or an anomalous glitch or perhaps a sign of manipulation? Seems strange when I compare it to other areas of the photo and don't see it there. Delighted to track this fascinating discussion.

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    1. Spray I would say. The water behind the "spray" looks to be contiguous with that beyond the "spray" area in question.

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    2. I was looking at the smudging myself, which initially made me think it may have been manipulated. But there would be no reason to manipulate it in this way, except to obscure an item rather than place it there. The smudging also occurs across the whole frame, but it's harder to see, and it leads me to believe that it's some digital compression or noise reduction. An older digital camera of mine had a similar smearing effect. This may just be from a camera phone or a lower end camera, and was reminiscent of the very poor image processing coming from the webcam. It even looks like part of the fin has been merged with the background in a kind of an 'approximation' of the data. It would be interesting to know what camera it came from, but in fairness, it's pretty heavily cropped, so the cracks will start to show eventually.

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    3. I meant to say, if there is spray present, as Roland suggests, this may account for a higher smudging in that area as the camera struggles to interpret data at the edge of its limits.

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    4. I'd agree it's probably under 100m away. I don't have a lot of knowledge about photography. However, I do believe that a phone could make a USEFUL (but not pin sharp) video of an object 200m away in daylight. I know that because I've made so many sports videos on my phone that I keep running out of space! The detail at that distance is still impressive, even if it appears pretty small due to the wideangle effect.

      What I think we'd see from 200 yards at Loch Ness is something worth analysing. Definitely not just a blur. We'd have something which either supported or refuted an eyewitness report. I'm certain of that. From 300 yards, probably not much.... but from that distance I think eyewitness testimony is far more fallible anyway.

      I found your post informative by the way, Martin. Thanks.

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  14. I think this looks like a dolphin / porpoise but I am struggling with the notion that it got through the river ness of the Caledonian canal, at this time of year especially, without being seen. And not seen once but multiple times.

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  15. I'm impressed by the fact that no one seems to be saying it's a Loch Ness Monster. Well done everyone.

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    1. It might be the Loch Ness Monster.

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    2. Not sure if you're joking Martin? If anyone thinks this could be Nessie, they must be rejecting all the decades of reports where no dorsal fin was seen.

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    3. The only way I could see this being Nessie related is if this dorsal fin is actually a caudal fin attached to the end of a long tail.


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  16. If Steve Feltham's theory is correct and this poor animal was dumped in Loch Ness by fishermen, then those people make me sick. What an abominable and disgraceful thing to do to the animal.

    It does seem very unlikely that the animal could have made its own way up the Ness and through the locks.

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    1. Have to admit i don't think that's very likely.

      Most fishermen are very respectful of the maritime environment i just sounds a very unlikely scenario to me.

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  17. Ive been up at the loch today, its very quiet and nobody has seen any signs of a dolphin/ porpoise.

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    1. Wonder what it was. Possibly a dolphin which has since croaked. Or a bird or debris.

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    2. Personally I dont think it was a dolphin or porpoise. Loch ness at certain times of the day and in a few different places is crowded with tourists, so I dont see how it would not be sootted more often. I think it could be debris.

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  18. I too am weary of the personal attacks, mostly emanating from one prolific poster. If one can type with a 'sneer', he's mastered it (or she). Roland, you have my vote to hit the 'block' button so we can get back to civil discourse. As to the photo - this thread IS supposed to be about the photo, yes? - There seems to be an area of disturbed water to the right, which presumably is larger, but is cut off by the right side of the photo. Does the photographer mention whether they saw it at the time, or whether anyone thinks it's associated with the hump/fin? Thanks.

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    1. I wholeheartedly agree, and I hope he or she can relax a bit going forward. Also agree with your point that polite debate from Nessie advocates and sceptics is what this should be all about. We're on the same page MD.

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    2. Water does tend to throw up patterns which look like they are caused by an external force, but which must really be caused by a large number of random events. I don't think the patch to the right is anything to do with the alleged animal, as I've seen (and photographed) water making all sorts of pattern that look tangible, but aren't. As for the democracy of a blog, I think this one is pretty democratic given the bilge that some of the participants get away with.

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  19. May be the Loch is connected to the wide open sea...(?)through a tunnel.

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  20. Its okay folks, a certain well known sceptic has beamed down from the USS Critical Thinking and issued the decree to us benighted shit-for-brains - its a bird.

    Anyone who thinks this picture bears the slightest resemblance to a fin is obviously a cretin. All other interpretations are null and void. It's official.

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    1. Honestly, you and Dick should meet for a few beers or a stroll around the loch. Break this hard barrier that's formed between the two of you.

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    2. We have met several times. He's civil enough in the real world, but online he is a terrier!

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    3. A bird ? I take it he is joking ?

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    4. Can I please ask what species of bird we're potentially looking at? I understand the argument from the general shape of the object, but I'm having some difficulty when it comes to species. The apparent colouration and shape of the 'wing' is giving me some problems as well.

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    5. A falcon or other predatory bird in the act of rising out of the water with its catch.

      You couldn't make this up.

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    6. So it has its "back" to you with outstretched wings. Cough!

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    7. Doesn't look like a bird to me, but I'd need to look at the analysis. Where is it?

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    8. Zombie Plesiosaur Society:

      https://www.facebook.com/groups/1474466226107588/

      You need to apply to join.

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    9. I have a passing familiarity with ornithology and the raptors of Britain; not too much, but it's enough to make me laugh out loud at this interpretation. Not only do you have to ignore the lack of any resemblance to a falcon's wing - apart from 'it's grey in places' and 'it's vaguely half-crescent shaped' - in the reasonably clear photo, but also the behaviour and ecology of the possible candidates. Maybe a Merlin got bored of dragonflies...

      And these people deride others as 'seeing what they want to see'.

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    10. I'd agree with Warren. To say this is a bird is scraping the barrel IMO. Sounds like an idea from someone who cannot bring himself to admit he doesn't know what it is.

      To me it looks far more like a fin than a bird, by a big margin.

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  21. The sketch of Alistair Dallas' animal does indeed have a dorsal fin not unlike this new pic. It's archived on this site, with an extensive article:

    http://lochnessmystery.blogspot.com/2015_04_05_archive.html

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    1. Well,that is true. It is now down to whether you believe him!

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