Wednesday, 26 September 2018

A Nessie Photograph from 2015?




Here is an interesting photograph that has turned up in the media this week. The story from the Scottish Press and Journal goes as follows.

An American mother has turned up a mysterious image of Loch Ness by trawling through Google Earth shots taken three years ago. Lisa Stout’s startling discovery has now been accepted as the ninth sighting of the monster this year by the Official Loch Ness Monster Sightings Register – and further highlights more and more people are hunting Nessie around the world through the web. Ironically the 31-year-old from Bellevue, Ohio, has a monster – “Bessie” – on her doorstep, but has never seen it. According to Google there are 200,000 searches each month for the Loch Ness Monster.

“As a result of a recent loss of employment, I’ve had a lot of time open up. I had been searching for Nessie on/off for the past few weeks, spending an hour or so a week on Google Earth as well as other places I like to visit in the App,” said Ms Stout, a mother-of-one. “I had seen some of the latest Nessie sightings and thought that I can definitely find a better image of her than that which I used for motivation to challenge myself to find her! Last Thursday at 9.45am, I had got my daughter off to school and began to search for Nessie when I noticed a cluster of pictures taken by an Underwater Earth Contributor all in one area near the Loch Ness Highland Resort in Fort Augustus."

“I noticed what I believe may be the creature known as Nessie – or at the very least what makes up for most of the accounts of Nessie sightings that residents/ tourists are seeing and reporting.”

Ms Stout said she believes the dark figure protruding from the water is “at least three to five feet tall which I believe to be is Nessie’s neck and it also appears rather flat giving the neck a width of at least one foot.”

Gary Campbell, the recorder and keeper of the Official Loch Ness Monster Sightings Register said: ”This is a really unusual phenomenon and our panel can’t explain what Lisa has spotted therefore we are listing it as a sighting. However, it may be that by doing this, someone else across the world can come up with an explanation. “The great thing about it being on Google is that anyone with access to the web can go on and see exactly what Lisa has captured and then make their own mind up. This means that once again, you don’t have to come to Loch Ness to be a Nessie spotter.”

A zoom in of the object is shown below and, going by the Abbey steps to the right, I estimated the height of it as something below 3 feet and various theories as to its identity have already made their way onto cryptozoological forums:

1. A log
2. One of the Google diving team.
3. Something on the lens.
4. A "photoshop" creation.
5. A bird in flight.



The log explanation naturally leapt to mind although I find it a rather odd looking log compared to the ones I have seen at the loch or in pictures, plus it looks rather dark for a log unless there is strong sunlight to the left which I doubt considering the rain which appears to be impacting on the loch surface. However, nothing else is as black as this object in the picture. Nevertheless, such a theory cannot be totally discounted.

The opinion that it is a diver requires further explanation, namely what part of a proposed diver are we looking at? That is not clear to me. However, a diver's suit may have been as dark as this object. A piece of debris on the lens seems a big coincidence as the object is lying very nicely aligned with the water surface. Photoshop also seems unlikely as I went to the Google Maps website to retrieve the original image.

The bird in flight suggestion has some more merit if one imagines the "neck" is the right wing of the bird and the "body" in the water line is the left wing. In this scenario one would assume the head and neck of the bird are obscured by the right wing. The left wing looks a bit thin and I see no tail feathers, but the idea has more merit than most so far.

Or it could be the Loch Ness Monster, but that begs the question as to why the crew did not see anything at the time? At least, we are never told they did, but if they did I would expect something more than this. That aside, the neck length to width ratio is a bit lower than I would usually expect for the neck morphology. that is, it is a bit on the thick side. I wouldn't want to dogmatic on such a ratio though.

All in all, a curious picture which doesn't quite bow down to any one explanation.


The author can be contacted at lochnesskelpie@gmail.com


41 comments:

  1. I initially thought it’s a log and I’m still inclined to think that, but it looks odd. I’m wondering if it’s down to google software enhancing and sharpening images? That’s something I’ve noticed on Google Streetview before, that the software somehow exaggerates the edges of objects and enhances contrast. I’d still say it’s a log but I’m certainly not 100% convinced by that theory.

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  2. I second naturewatch. It's not an anomaly on the lens, it's not Photoshop. It doesn't look animate to me. Lighting is consistent with the surroundings, and it looks integral to the photo. I've seen a lot of street view, and it's weird warping of things.
    It's interesting nonetheless.

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  3. Look at the lower right edge where the "neck" meets the water, there's notch. Does that tell you something? I think it's a thick floating log with a heavier part below the water balancing the lighter necklike form above the waterline.

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  4. What depth is the water where the mystery object is? The object resembles a neck protruding from the water but the scale is not easy to judge. The rain drops on the loch surface to me make this object smaller by comparison but I'm not an expert at gauging distance.

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  5. I am fully prepared for the LNM to be a creature that science has never recorded before. What I'm not prepared to accept is that it 1) looks nothing like any eyewitnesses have reported or 2) unlike anything in the history of biology.

    I'm a believer but all these unconvincing photos recently are really stretching credibility. The LNM has never felt more like an invention to fill newspapers columns and generate tourism than it does right now.

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    1. My favourite recent abomination was the 3 shots of the seal stitched together. Seriously, did the creator think no one would notice?!

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    2. Ha ha - was it stitched together from a single seal in Photoshop? That's pretty hilarious.

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    3. Well that's what it looked like to me. The stitching was ok, but visible if you looked closely. But it was certainly a seal.

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  6. Looking at this photo again I get the feeling it's a small object in shallow water not far from the shoreline. It appears to be less than one foot above water to me, not very far away either.

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    1. You can see the Abbey steps in the picture, if you assume a typical value for the height of one step, you can apply a ruler to scale up to about 3ft for the object - give or take.

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  7. Why is this not a bird in flight, wings up, arcing to the left? Nothing about the image looks like a large object in the water to my eyes.

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    1. OK, it does, now that you mention it.(Left wing parallel with the water line) Given a suggestion like you just did and an imaginative mind, it could be anything. ;)

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    2. I can see what you mean now, bird in shadow banking to left. Okay, I just don't see the tail feathers or neck of the bird and the left wing looks a bit thin though you could argue the head is obscured by the right wing.

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    3. Updated article to include bird hypothesis.

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    4. I see what you mean. Funny how it’s yet another object photographed at Loch Ness which people can’t identify with total confidence.

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  8. Bird in flight seems to be a good explanation. There does not seem to be any interaction with the water.

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  9. I've spoken with some of the boys that drive the tour boats out of the fort, not the one who was driving this boat on that day, although, this boat does belong to them,they say there was no three foot high, foot wide bit of driftwood pushed up in that corner of borlum Bay at the time, and there is no doubt at all in my mind that if there was then they would certainly have known about it, and if it looked like a nessie neck then someone on their various daily cruises would have snapped it and we would have already seen pictures of it.
    I do like the bird in flight explanation, there's plenty of crows for instance around about the Abbey,however an estimate of one wing as about 3ft might be a wee bit optimistic .
    As to the comment about the remarkable amount of truly awful pictures coming out of Loch Ness, there are a couple of explanations, firstly, the national press will buy anything currently that will fill a few column inches, whether it is good or bad they will print it, and secondly most of these stories lately have come through the same journalist, and even though he knows they are rubbish he is making a tidy living out of it because the nationals buy it. I don't think he's particularly motivated by a desire to increase tourism that's not his income stream.
    Also when the public see the standard of photographic evidence that is getting traded, they may understandably think "well if that's all it takes for a picture to be debated, then I might as well give my picture of a stick in the water (doctors photo from Dores beach the other day, see my blog that I mentioned earlier) a punt.
    We are in a spiral of mundane pictures of various types of nonsense, and the only way to pull us out of it is to take a good photograph of something truly mysterious.

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  10. Another thought, this scholarly sounding statement, "if you assume a typical value for the height of one step, you can apply a ruler to scale up to about 3ft for the object - give or take."
    Fair enough the 'give or take' does sort of translate asthis could be a wildly inaccurate calculation of size method. But surely that kind of size comparison only works in 2D,not so well in 3D, after all a fly walking across a pane of glass when photographed close up could look bigger than say a 100ft long boat if in the same picture it is far far away?
    'give or take' acknowledges that it could actually be 3ft,3inches,or a bird, so cannot be reasonably taken as meaning anything.

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  11. I think someone on the tourist boat seeing it would depend on wether the boat was passing at the time.The cruise boat goes every hour so there is a great chance nobody would see the object if it came up briefly. It does not look like a bird to me. Interesting photo.

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  12. Good reading Mr Feltham..i agree that most recent pics are poor though one or two intrest me! Can i ask wat is ur opinion of the video taken off the webcam a few moths ago???? Cheers ..Roy

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  13. Interesting new sightings/photos of Canada's Ogopogo lake monster in Lake Okanagan BC. I post this here because these lake monsters may all be the same or similar species...
    https://www.news.com.au/technology/science/animals/new-video-of-canadas-legendary-ogopogo-lake-monster-surfaces/news-story/c81bf6fd15b59a2e4e3e845c99206584

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    1. They seem very different.
      Andrew Bennett thinks of is a northrosaurus or cadborosaurus.ogo eats people( at times),Henry Murdoch,Mr skarbo.
      www.sunnyokanagan.com
      www.sunnyokanagan.org

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  14. If I did my homework right, the images that I have been speculating were taken from a team of divers from the Seaview Survey that the Catlin Group provided funding for at the time that would team up with Google themselves in early 2015 to take photos on Loch Ness ironically on or about the anniversary that the "Surgeons" photo of the LNM was taken and published some 81 years ago. In order to get the full 360 visual effect you must use the Google Earth application and specifically locate the "Underwater Earth" photos provided in the Street View (person icon) feature of the App located near Fort Augustus, UK. Do not click on the streaming boat, you want the half dozen or so blue dots near the Monastery Tower** that were contributed on behalf of Underwater Earth. I can assure there will definitely be some amazing things appear if you use your imagination!! As a matter of fact I have seen something in the image that I overlooked at first and could definitely use some more of your help!!! I will provide the links with you here. If you are still having trouble navigating through the App you can manually input the coordinates 57.145016°N, 4.674302°W into the search engine. Google Earth is free to download it can be found in your app store on any smart phone. I suggest that you go into your app settings under your installed Google Earth app> click storage> select "clear data/ cache" as this will help remove some defects in images but I have found these bizzare figures to still exist in the images themselves. Zoom> screenshot> zoom etc.

    http://fav.me/dco4r0y

    http://fav.me/dco4tif

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    1. Thank you, Lisa. The image has certainly generated a lot of opinions. Concerning the other two images you post here, the objects near the diver are no doubt debris, there is a lot of stuff floating on the loch, you just never see it until you are close up. The second distant image lacks enough detail to form an opinion.

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    2. Thank you for viewing the additonal photos, I was wondering if they were both the same pieces of "debris" they both appear to have that strange shape sticking out in front of them

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  15. To me it looks much closer to the lens - about the same distance as the closer rain splashes. Sycamore helicopter seed maybe (If there are any sycamores lochside?)

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    1. I mean the one olrik put up of ogopogo.

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  17. Phew Gezza, was about to question your judgement there for a minute .

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  18. Haha. I dont know what the photo is but if its a bird then it must be a big one with them wings.The wings are too big for a crow.

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  19. That’s exactly what I thought when I saw it.
    A sycamore seed in front of the camera.

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  20. Yes i agree it could be a sycamore seed. I dont see anything else. Its baffling how some think its a log or a crow!

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  21. Do sycamore seeds appear in March? Not sure about that.

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  22. I was curious so I looked it up. Rain happens because of low pressure, also it creates high humidity, it is for this reason birds void flying in the rain, some do fly in it, but the majority perch themselves out of it. Also, I don't I think sycamore seeds would be that aerodynamic in wet conditions. Could this be a cormorant, it's head pointing straight at the camera?

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  23. It's depressing that this inconclusive image is considered an official sighting of the creature, even though the witness was 4000 miles away gawping at a computer.

    Sorry, and you can call me Mr. Fuddy Duddy Luddite but this is the thin end of the wedge, the least we can ask of a witness was that they actually visit the loch, smell the heather, walk on the shingle, buy overpriced tat in Fort Augustus, and get big freezing drops of Great Glen rain down the back of their neck.

    Are we all OK with the Google Earth cartoon nessie wearing a "See You Jimmy" bunnet ?

    I am usually OK with Scotland being seen as as a Brigadoon theme park full of bearded haggis botherers, but them yankee doodles go too far sometimes.

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    1. I agree that this type of shot is a relatively poor show compared to the 'Ogopogo' shots of recent times. I'm not really a follower of Ogopogo, but when you look at the photographic evidence, it is stronger for Ogo than Nessie. The latest shot of Ogo, taken a few weeks ago, clearly shows texture. Which is something unfortunately missing from any Nessie photos I can think of. It could be the latitude or the topography, or a different species of unknown, but it seems that it's harder to get a good Nessie shot than a good Ogo shot.

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    2. Yes, and several sequential photos of a head sticking out of the water, with one with a bit of neck. Could be faked though...

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  24. Hi Roland and community, fascinating photograph as relates to Nessie. Would the same facility be available on any of the other Scottish Lochs to search for something of a similar nature, as I'm sure Loch Ness would be fairly well covered by researchers, I would like to search Morar in the same way.
    I enjoyed your book on the Water Horse legend Roland and it was with this in mind that I thought I would share this account I just happened on by chance in my own country N.Ireland just across the pond. I will place a link below to it, but lets just say the similarities are uncanny, it does make one think

    Tim Campbell
    https://www.gianttoursireland.com/the-grey-mans-path-fair-head/

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    1. Interesting story, Tim...quite eerie!

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