Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Did Nessie pass under their Boat?

By accident, I came across this letter to "The National" newspaper dated the 6th March this year. It was in response to an article on the beast's truly iconic nature, but this time it was something of a more solid nature. I reproduce the text of the letter here (original link here).

I AM intrigued by Pat Kane’s piece on a new ten pence coin bearing an image of Nessie (Here’s to Nessie! Why we’re all in thrall to Scotland’s mystic monster, The National, March 3). 

While not putting forward any theory, I did have a strange experience on Loch Ness. We were spending a holiday weekend with friends in Turriff, and were invited to visit another friend who had a cabin cruiser, the Rubicon, on Loch Ness. 

It was a lovely day and we cruised down the loch to Drumnadrochit, where we had lunch. In the late afternoon we cruised back and just off Foyers the boat’s owner, Jim Hunter suddenly said: “We’re running out of water!”. He switched the depth sounder from fathoms to feet and it was as if we were approaching the shore, but we were in the middle of Loch Ness! 

The ladies came out of the cabin to see what all the excitement was about, and we watched the depth sounder coming up and sticking until there was only eight feet under the keel. There were six adults, four of whom have since died, and three boys – I am talking at least 30 years ago. 

In any event the eight feet depth lasted probably about five minutes, then the echo sounder went back to no recorded depth; as soon as this happened Jim opened the throttle and we departed the scene, sharpish. We saw nothing, we heard nothing, and we discussed what had happened. My Turriff friend finally said: “There was something big underneath the boat.” 

I sent a letter to the Loch Ness Investigation Bureau in Foyers recounting this experience but I did not receive an acknowledgement; I know I have a copy somewhere in my loft as I came across it some years ago – I am not in the habit of throwing things out, as my wife continually reminds me.

Jim Lynch, Edinburgh.

There may be some small inaccuracies in the letter (the LNIB were not based at Foyers) but the drama of that day is I am sure etched onto his mind. However, it would be great to see the original letter which would carry more details for us to ponder. So if Jim Lynch is reading this, let me know if you have anything further to say.

This actually gives me some greater anticipation as regards the use of a drone. Whether the 4K video recorder could register anything definitive eight feet under the surface of the loch, I am not certain. However one wonders how often the creature drifts towards the surface but no one is any the wiser as to its presence?


The author can be contacted at lochnesskelpie@gmail.com


21 comments:

  1. Spooky! Interesting though in that the general believe is that Nessies would be inclined to shy away from motorboats...maybe that's not as true as we thought? Good article.

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    1. The Rubicon is a large cabin cruiser not a noisy motorboat. It was sitting idle (full stop) on first sonar contact before the skipper applied full throttle. That implies that Rubicon was not cavitating (aka propeller noise) and was not scaring the creature below. It was probably only checking out the Rubicon's keel (as if it were a big tasty fish?). The Rubicon's sonar was ostensibly = or below 100 khz hence the beasty could hear it and was driven off or it would have hovered checking out the nosy humans above. Nessie is still exant!

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  2. Interesting account, I wonder if that model depth sounder was tricked by the lochs steep sides. What if they had dropped anchor to see if it made contact with anything solid underneath their boat?
    If something large was only 8 feet beneath them couldn't they find anything long enough to probe the water ? Drop the anchor in several places slowly around the bow and starboard ( multiple spots for good measure ) and see for sure.
    Nobody probably volunteered to dive in and have a look!

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    1. I am not sure how powerful 70s/80s commerical sonar was, but if they were mid loch, that puts the sides half a mile away. Also, the boat was owned rather than rented, so I presume the owner had some skill in the use of it.

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    2. The story reminds me of the Dinsdale/Rines acocunt where they lowered a microphone cable into the loch only to land on something 200 feet down before the cable eventually proceeded to drop to the true depth much further down.

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    3. Hitting the beasty with an oar proved to be a bad move as proven at Loch Morar by two deer hunters once. It led to gun play. The beasty struck back!

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  3. It’s probably the most believable story The National has run in a while.

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  4. Simon Dinsdales book recalls an account of two scuba divers returning to the surface of the loch around Urquhart bay with their arms linked together and each man feeling something solid touch their feet. They thought it could have been the mast of a wreck that was in the water of a boat leaning on its side but soon after realized that was highly unlikely.

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  5. Does anyone know how many occurrences of this kind have happened at Loch Ness (weird sonar contacts)?

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  6. Interesting but inconclusive , a monster swimming 8 feet under your boat for a full 5 minutes or an intermittent fault on a depth sounder ?
    What would an impartial jury decide if called upon to decide the likely reason for the occurrence ?

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    1. I would hope a jury have more information than we have, such as asking the owner of the sonar whether it was prone to failure before, etc.

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  7. It's interesting but a lot of these pieces of information do not have any point of reference. Could it have been equipment failure? In light of the creature's alleged aversion to sound, would it have come so close to the boat, then hung there for 5 minutes?

    I believe I have read about the problems interpreting information from these types of 'consumer' sonar units. Although the premise is simple enough, so the era should have little bearing on things. I just wonder about people who use these units for a living, in areas where they are not expecting any large unknowns. What do they see day and daily?

    However, if I had been in the same situation, I certainly would not have dropped anything onto this 'mass'!

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  8. It goes without saying that if there is a monster in the Loch then it will often be just a few feet under the surface often. I do not think it's an air breather so underwater reconnaissance (via drone) is a very shrewd method of searching.

    The story itself is a fun one. Anecdotal and vivid whilst offering no real recordable data.

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    1. The Loch's peat staining would make a drone sighting problematic, but not impossible. BTW Nessie is an air breather. No gills...

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  9. Would it not just show up as a large sonar contact like all the other sonar images?

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    1. It may have only given basic stuff such as the pinged depth. Posting from Loch Ness!

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  10. Have you got the drone working GB and the thermal camera ?

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    1. Yes and yes. Just back article to follow.

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  11. I would point out one error in my blog having just reread Holiday's Great Orm at Loch Ness. The LNIB were indeed based at or near Foyers for a while before moving to Achnahannet.

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  12. Moderator Note: There is a person labelled "Tony r" who has been posting since January who may not be aware that after the "soutar" incident, no one who has registered with blogger since Jan 2018 can comment unless they verify their identity by other means. So none of his/her comments has been published (though they seem to be blithely unaware of this as they continue to submit comments).

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    1. Glasgow Boy - I hope you post mine. You already know me from Scott Mardis's Facebook Page about Lake Champlain Monster CHAMP (ZPS).

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