Sunday, 17 September 2023

Two more photographs from Loch Ness


Two pictures of something which may or may not be the Loch Ness Monster turned up on social media in the last few days. The first to look at was sent to Alan McKenna of the Loch Ness Exploration group who recently ran The Quest monster hunt weekend. It came from a Richard Wilson who had actually taken the picture in question on the 18th January 2015 just before noon. Richard filled in a sighting report for the LNE which gave the following details.

At Dores Beach, an object thought to be head like at a range of 70-100m was visible for several minutes. Richard and his wife walked away but returned fifteen minutes to find it had gone. The waters were calm and the object looked to be stationary. The appearance was of a green-gray color with a white band across its "face". There were no wakes visible caused by the object or any boats. Only one photograph is available or was taken at the time.

Alan checked the exif metadata associated with the original image and he says it looks okay. Now to all intents and purposes, the object looks like a floating sphere, which points to a buoy. That has naturally been suggested already and google image searches have already been done to find a picture of a buoy that looks the most like the one in Mr. Wilson's photograph. Of course, just because a striped flotation device can be found on the Internet, does not imply that one such item was floating in the loch about nine years ago,

The other thought that came to mind was the recent images taken by Chie Kelly which caused a stir a couple of weeks back, but which has gone quiet as we await more pictures. I say that because it also features a spherical type object with the suggestion of a lighter stripe against a darker area. But that is where the similarity ends as a cursory examination suggests they are not the same object. Having said that, it is admitted that the entirety of either object, taken over three years apart, is not seen. I would say that this image from 2015 looks more spherical than the ones from 2018, but is it a perfect sphere?

Perhaps it was the spherical similarity that prompted Richard Wilson to contact the LNE? If it is a ball buoy it has quite a mottled surface and I would expect the stripes to be better defined than this. Also, if it is a spherical buoy, it is not very buoyant as the extrapolated sphere drawing below shows with the waterline added. This suggests that less than a quarter is above the surface. Maybe that all points to a very old buoy or other flotation device? That being said, it looks a little too rough looking on the surface for a buoy. 

It would be good to get some clear images of the known buoys in the area. The fish farm just down the shore has some and there are some in Dores Bay. Note that the light is striking the object from the left. The stated date and time would give the sun's position in the chart below. I assumed the witness was on the top side of Dores beach to allow the direction of light to agree with the image, though other locations can also line up.

Alan McKenna produced a photo of a Dores buoy with a similar lighting effect. The buoy is clearly more buoyant, but what we need here is a clear picture of these buoys. Do they have the same pattern as the object photographed by Richard Wilson? If they are a plain colour like the other buoys in the loch, this is not a candidate.

Moving onto the second photograph, this was taken much more recently and was published by the Mirror newspaper on the 14th September. The witness gave her account to the newspaper, which I quote below. The last quote is from Gary Campbell, maintainer of the Loch Ness Monster Sightings Register.

A shocked woman is convinced she got a glimpse of the Loch Ness Monster after spotting huge ripples in the water. Siobhan Janaway first mistook them as coming from a powerboat. But taking a second glance she noticed no vessels were on the famous loch. Local Siobhan said what she thinks was the mythical beast was moving at great speed. She took a photo – showing a large trail of air bubbles visible to the human eye. Siobhan, from Inverness - near the loch - said: “There was something causing turmoil in the water off Foyers Point. Then it coalesced into a single object moving at speed just under the surface causing at least a 20 metre white wake.”

Siobhan made the sighting just before midday on 27 August. But she has only just reported it to The Official Loch Ness Monster Sightings Register. It is the seventh recorded sighting of what could be the Scottish folklore creature this year. Speaking about Siobhan’s sighting, he said: "From our perspective, this is a really unusual wake which at first might look like it was caused by a powerboat. But Siobhan has confirmed no boats were nearby and that whatever was causing it was just below the surface. Maybe Nessie was just popping up to see what the fuss was all about that weekend, but of course keeping her head down at the same time.”

When I saw this image, I discounted it as the creature pretty quickly, mainly because I was there the same morning on the 27th August at the Foyers campsite on the other side of the river. I quote from my trip report published four days before this photograph.

When I arose on the Sunday morning at Foyers, I looked out to the area where the River Foyers met the loch. The heightened flow of the river was rushing down to meet the loch and there was a lot of disturbance where the two collided. The general flow of the vaster body of the loch water was from the south west up the loch. However, the river water was hitting it at almost a right angle. 

The result was a wall of resistance as the river water tried to merge with the main waters. The dynamics of this interaction led to the river water rotating in the direction of the loch water but also turning back towards the river giving us a sort of whirlpool. I have seen this phenomenon before at this location some years before. It is not very dangerous as the waters are quite shallow there. I imagined our ducks having some fun with this, jumping onto it like a fairground carousel.

The previous time I had seen this turbulence was back in 2017 and I had driven up to the top of the hill by the old Foyers Hotel where Tim Dinsdale had stayed during that auspicious week in 1960. I too looked down on the bay and saw the water in turbulence in a manner similar to the photograph above. There was another factor in play and that was the water flowing from the hills into the Foyers Power Station, there is a discharge point that ejects water into the other side of the Foyers peninsula through a narrow channel called the Tail Leat. 

This would flow rapidly into the field of view of Ms. Janaway. Here is a photo I took of that area at another time showing a lesser disturbed flow of water heading out. After torrential rain, this compressed flow can increase many times over and look like something else, such as wake disturbances apparently produced by boats. So I do not think this was the Loch Ness Monster but the image from 2015 is more open to question for me.

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Sunday, 10 September 2023

The Quest for Nessie


The weekend of August 26th began what nationally was called "The Quest", the latest mass organised attempt to search for the famous Loch Ness Monster. This was a joint venture between the Loch Ness Exploration (LNE) group founded by Alan McKenna and the staff of the new Loch Ness Exhibition owned by Continuum Attractions. As a seasoned "monster hunter" myself, I had some input into the matter, though the whole matter was run by the LNE and Loch Ness Centre.

It was a convenient coincidence for me as I normally go up to the loch around late August for my own purposes but was happy to join in the search as things moved towards that weekend. So, in giving my own perspective on that weekend, I will mainly describe it in a travelogue manner, going through it chronologically. It was certainly the busiest time I had encountered at Loch Ness!


Friday 25th was mainly a day off packing and travelling the 160 odd miles from Edinburgh to Foyers. I had previously posted on Facebook a selection of items that I was bringing with me. There was a thermal video camera, night vision binoculars, trap cameras, maps and an assortment of other items including some obligatory liquid refreshments. To that could be added camping equipment, books, etc. Thus packed, I headed up the M90 and then A9 where I encountered heavy rain.

Rain and the Highlands go hand in hand, so one just has to put up with it as I arrived at the campsite late afternoon. This was the kind of weather ducks love as you can see below as they paraded across the pitches. After sorting out some issues with camping I jumped back in the car and headed south to Fort Augustus to meet up with Alan McKenna and a filming team who had invited me to participate in the making of a documentary which followed The Quest and included some of their own work. On the way, I stopped off for a quick look at the Falls of Foyers as the heavy downpour would make for a more spectacular fall and I was not disappointed.

It was there that I finally met up with fellow Nessie fan Andy McGrath who was part of the documentary team and who I had only communicated with beforehand via social media. I was also pleasantly surprised to meet cryptozoologist Ken Gerhard who was also part of the team and whom I had also communicated with remotely when he was writing his book, "The Essential Guide to the Loch Ness Monster". Good to meet both of you and everyone else!

It was a good evening of banter about mysterious monsters and how we hoped the weekend would pan out. I has brought my Flir thermal video camera with me to scan over the waters of the loch afterwards so Alan and I took advantage of the drop in rainfall to scan the dark waters of the loch from the distant north shore towards Inchnacardoch and over to Borlum Bay on our right. We were standing at the jetty where the old monks of Fort Augustus Abbey used to launch out their boats to fish going back to the late 19th century.

We were fishing around for something larger as we scanned a loch surface that was cloaked in darkness to the naked eye but was lit up in the infra-red eyepiece. It wasn't long before we noticed something on the loch which moved from our left over to the distant edges of Borlum Bay. It was a string of bright dots and it didn't take long to figure out it was those damned ducks again. Well, not the same bunch, but another six or so of them. One would have thought they would have gone back to base by nightfall, but they just love that rain I guess.

Well, it shows you how useful such a device is at night time if the creature is indeed more active at night. I took some thermal pictures of our feathered friends and we called it a night as things would start up early the following day. It was my intention to bring the thermal camera to the work the team hoped to do with the thermal drone later on. On the way back to bed, I stopped off at the River Tarff which flows past the Abbey. It was loudly flowing into the loch as the rains filled the surrounding rivers and took a look at the dark torrents through the thermal camera and then onto slumber.


Saturday was the beginning of the hunt as I drove over to the Loch Ness Centre at Drumnadrochit for the morning briefing at 0830 given by Alan. It was when I got there that I realised how much media interest there was in this event. The Loch Ness Monster never fails to attract attention across the world. There was representatives from the UK, America, Germany, Japan and so on there with their cameras and microphones thrust in the direction of our man from the LNE. I soon found out I would be involved and asked to give some words on the subject. 

It was a bit of a miserable day as the rain continued to descend upon us, no doubt damping some of the occasion. The volunteer monster hunters had turned up, though some had decided to just go straight to their watch stations from their accommodation, while others would not turn up at the loch until later that day and the following day. I also discovered we had various impromptu hunters who knew about the hunt but were participating incognito.

I also met Dick Raynor who has long associations with the monster, but is now on the sceptical side. He wasn't there for the media circus but to offer his help to Alan as they went out on the Loch Ness Centre boat Deepscan, to use hydrophone equipment to revive the old science of picking up any audio signals from the loch below which may or may not be associated with the creatures. Hydrophones have been used at the loch ever since the days of the first hunts in 1933-34. They were used again around 1970 and some interesting sounds were picked up, but nothing more happened and I was glad to see their use  again after fifty years.

At that point, I did not actually have an exact plan for the day. I hoped to first go out on the boat with Alan and Dick to merely watch and learn as the hydrophone was employed, but that would not be until about noon. So I went into the café beside the Loch Ness Centre for a coffee where I first made the acquaintance of a journalist working for the Daily Telegraph. We had a fifteen minute chat about the loch, the monster and my own hunt for it. When I saw the final article the following week, the only part that got into the paper was my own possible sighting a few years back when I heard a large splash and turned to see a large vertical column of water dropping back into the loch!

I say "sighting" but no visual contact was made with whatever physical object threw up the water. It is one of those events where you think it was the monster on a Monday but something else on Tuesday. Next up was a camera crew from the German RTL TV channel. Having chatted with one of them, they invited me to do a segment with them beside the loch answering a few basic questions about the weekend hunt.

This was filmed at a layby a mile or so beyond Temple Pier which commands a good view of the loch. Time was a bit tight as I did not want to miss the hydrophone boat trip, but it finished quick enough and I had time to chat with one of the volunteer watches called Craig who was there keeping an eye on the waters. After that, I dashed back to Drumnadrochit to join Alan and Dick on their second trip out on the boat. We were joined by various paying customers to whom Alan would demonstrate the hydrophone.

As we motored out to the centre of the loch beyond the castle, the engines were turned off and a speaker was attached to the now underwater hydrophone and we listened for any noises. Now the use of this equipment is in its early days and Alan with his LNE team will be using it in the months ahead as he attempts to gather recordings of the noises around the loch and catalogue them. To recognise that which is unknown, you first have to gather the known noises and there is no shortage of them. Daytime during the tourist season is not the best time, but this is all part of the wider experiment.

So the speaker would play out the noise of passing boats as well as the water lapping against the sides of the boat. There are other audio sources which will be explored going forward such as the Foyers power station, the water flowing into the loch from the many streams and so on. The loch is a noisy place, all such sources of noise need to be recognised and recorded. Ideally, you gather these and then change context to the night when all these distractions are gone and perhaps new sounds will emerge. As the loch gently rocked the boat, I kept an occasional eye on the loch for something, somewhere to agitate the waters beyond the expected. After all, I was there to watch the loch as well.

Once the boat docked back at Temple Pier, I watched some of the passengers being interviewed by the waiting media and then got back in the car and headed up the A82 towards Inverness. The intent was to ultimately get back to Foyers but also look for other volunteers and watch the loch myself. So I kind of stopped at various laybys, trying to look like a recognisable volunteer (i.e. holding a pair of binoculars) and looking for anyone else who looked recognisable (i.e. also holding a pair of binoculars).

Pretty soon, I spotted a chap wielding his binoculars and went up to have a chat. He was actually an unofficial volunteer as he wanted to participate in the hunt, but keep a distance from the scrum down at Drumnadrochit. He told me he had a sighting back in 2021 and I soon realised I was speaking to fellow Nessie Facebooker, Colin Veacock. We had spoken many a time on various cryptozoological groups on social media, but it is always best to meet and talk face to face. As we chatted a young lady approached us and asked if we were volunteers as she was a journalist from the Independent and wanted to chat with one of us on how things were going. Colin deferred to me and I again answered what was pretty much a similar set of questions about the loch, the creatures and its hunters.

After that I did some more watching of the loch, specifically at the spot where Aldie Mackay had her famous 1933 sighting and visualised in my mind the changing appearance of the animal as it traced its route near Tor Point before submerging. After Foyers, I drove back for Alan's second debriefing of the weekend around 1745. Some observers reported some unusual sights and a couple had taken a video clip of something of definite interest from the beach at Dores which looked like a double humped object and can be viewed on this YouTube link.

There is also the suggestion of something smaller to the right of the two hump-like objects. You will also notice in the video what appears to be a floating island in the farthest distance. This is actually a mirage which can happen given the right conditions for a temperature inversion to occur. One may then ask whether the two humps are part of the mirage effect? I don't think it is, but I would like to see the entire video rather than the truncated ten second clip available.

There was also another observer who thought he might have seen something akin to a double hump and long neck. He was speaking to a couple of media representatives who were interested in running his story. Looking at his sketch and hearing his account, the main issue was that the object was described as moving backwards, that is, humps then neck moving right to left. I suggested then and there that it was either the Loch Ness Monster or the Log Ness Monster and the backdrop to that statement was the fact that the heavy rains of the last two days had led to an increased influx of tree debris from the connecting rivers and streams. In fact, the volunteer's position was near the mouth of the River Moriston.


The other reason for being in Drumnadrochit was an invitation by the Loch Ness Centre to take part in a Q&A session at 1900 with Steve Feltham and Alan McKenna in front of twenty-five guests in the "underwater" room. What format this might take varied a bit until it was agreed that the emphasis should be on the audience asking questions and so we were each given an initial question by way of introduction asking something specific about our own research into the mystery. The question assigned to me was:

What was it about the legend of the Loch Ness monster that inspired you to research more about other myths and legends in the area? Do you think these could help us in solving the mystery of the monster? 

The background to this question was my book "The Water Horses of Loch Ness" and the relation of the past mythical creatures to the present day ones. I told the audience that the main motivation was the fact that in the 1930s, many were saying this was a new phenomenon and an example of mass hysteria. For me, demonstrating there was a viable and noteworthy tradition before this disproved this "new" form of hysteria to some extent. The second point was to demonstrate that each age carried its own cultural version of the creature with the storytellers of that time layering literary devices over the real phenomenon according to the prevailing beliefs of the relevant communities. 

The storytellers of the 18th century created the Each Uisge based on the horse like appearance of the creature they sometimes beheld and turned it into a devilish opponent to good Christian people everywhere. Today's storytellers are the media and some influential authors who imported the plesiosaur, appropriately changed to accommodate what people said they saw. 

In fact, I called this current ninety year old phenomenon, the newest cycle of man trying to frame this mystery to the context of their age. In fact, this is the third cycle if we include the indigenous Picts prior to the arrival of Christianity whose animistic culture would have framed those distant humps and long necks into yet another context which is only preserved for us today in the symbol stones variously scattered across the North of Scotland.

So we have the Animist, Christian and Secular cycles of the Loch Ness Animal. I wonder when this current secular cycle will end and what will replace it? Thereafter, the audience asked various questions and a lad asked us if we would ever give up. The answer was a collective no and I speculated my son would probably place a fluffy green Nessie toy in my coffin! I hope not, there is more to life than the Loch Ness Monster.

But that was not the anticipated highlight of the day for me as it was planned for us to go out with the documentary team to watch the thermal drone in action. But bad news came as we were told this was being moved to the following evening. That was too bad as I would be back in Edinburgh by then. So with some disappointment, I drove back to Foyers and decided to do my own thermal imaging work with the Flir camera around 2200.

A quick scout around the pitch dark loch revealed more of what Alan and I had seen at Fort Augustus as the ducks were out on the loch. I snapped the image below showing a similar sized group of ducks swimming past me towards Dinsdale Island. Once again, looking out onto the loch with the naked eye showed only darkness. I did various sweeps of the loch looking for anything unusual out there. Clearly, if a hump several feet high and twice as long had surface near the ducks, it would stand out a mile on the thermal imager if it exuded any body heat.

But therein lies the question, what kind of body heat would it emit? One wonders what an ectothermic pike or salmon breaching the surface would have looked like compared to the endothermic ducks? Whether the Loch Ness Monster is endothermic or ectothermic is a matter of opinion. My own view is that it is mainly ectothermic but has limited endothermic capabilities as most animals do metabolize their own degree of heat emission amongst a variety of strategies to keep their core temperature within a certain range.

Above is a video of the Flir camera scanning the loch at Foyers Beach and you can see the ducks on the go but this time colour coded for temperature (red hottest) and that concluded another night. The documentary did their filming the following night and captured something of interest which has received some publicity. I will cover that in a later blog posting.


The final day was more devoted to specific projects and the first was meeting up with the Dragonfly filming team at the Clansman Hotel about 1000. After a general chat about the past couple of days, it was decided to film me being interviewed by Ken Gerhard at the locations of the Arthur Grant land sighting and the Aldie Mackay sighting further up the loch.

By a happy coincidence, there was already a Nessie on land very close to the spot where Arthur Grant had his close encounter of the Nessie kind ninety years before on a moonlit night when there was no Nessie model and no Clansman Hotel. The lady in white below was not part of the filming just in case you wondered. By this time the other monsters known as midges were out in force. This was the only good thing about the heavy rain, midges do not go out in it for the same reason we would not go out if the raindrops were the size of cars.

I explained how I interpreted the event and defended Mr. Grant against all comers. I suggested the creature may have disembarked from the shore seventy yards further along before lumbering to the point where we were standing near a stream and then Grant turned up to send it bounding back over the road into the loch.

It was then back up to Tor Point where I had been the day before to likewise describe the sighting Aldie Mackay had seen about nine months before Arthur Grant. The traffic was quite heavy along the A82 and was actually quite busy over all that day around the loch, as if tourists were making up for the wet Saturday. If I was Nessie, I wouldn't be crossing this road in 2023. Maybe in 1934, but not today! She may be big, but a car moving at 60mph packs a lot of punch even for a thirty foot creature.

After saying my farewell to the filming team around lunchtime, it was time to conclude the business of the day, and that meant installing various game cameras around the loch. I scouted out a few new spots as I had extra cameras. These were loaded with 4, 8 or 12 AA batteries and generally 16Gb micro-SD cards. Some will last longer than others, but it depends on the location and settings. While walking various beaches, it became evident how much debris had been washed into the loch as seen in the photo below.

Now back in April, I had collected the previous run of cameras but a couple had gone missing. I actually went back to that site and found them, which was a mixed blessing. One was still attached to the tree, so it beats me how I missed it first time around, but it was still there. The second I found lying on the grass near its tree but there was no sign of the strapping that had held it to the tree. I opened it up and found it was beyond use having succumbed to months of rain and rusted somewhat, though it is more likely the water ingress into the electronics had done the damage.

But the memory card was missing and I realised what had happened. This camera had not been pointing at the loch but along the shoreline to see what wildlife approached the loch by night or day. Well, you can guess what happened. Somebody had come off the road to visit the shore and while walking around saw this camera pointing at them. They concluded it must have snapped them and they did not want their picture to be recorded. The result was a game camera taken off the tree, opened up, card removed and then dumped on the ground. Why didn't they just tie it back to the tree? 

Anyway, the lesson was learnt and I will have to position that kind of camera more sensitively in the future. One of the other cameras did record some wildlife near the shore at about three in the morning last year as you can see below with the deer with its back to the camera looking intently at the dark loch. Ignore the dark hump like object in the water near the centre. It is a rock sitting in less that a foot of water.

So my time at the loch was coming to an end. I spent a final hour or so watching the waters from the quieter south side of the loch. The beast made no special appearances for me and so about 1700 it was time to hit the road south - via Burger King. Yes, Loch Ness trips do have their benefits. Various people have posted their thoughts and reports regarding that weekend. The Loch Ness Centre has its own report at this link and Alan McKenna has posted here

But what about the "whirlpool of evil" that was foretold in the media if we tried to find a supernatural Nessie? Well, I did see a whirlpool, though it was not particularly evil. When I arose on the Sunday morning at Foyers, I looked out to the area where the River Foyers met the loch. The heightened flow of the river was rushing down to meet the loch and there was a lot of disturbance where the two collided. The general flow of the vaster body of the loch water was from the south west up the loch. However, the river water was hitting it at almost a right angle. 

The result was a wall of resistance as the river water tried to merge with the main waters. The dynamics of this interaction led to the river water rotating in the direction of the loch water but also turning back towards the river giving us a sort of whirlpool. I have seen this phenomenon before at this location some years before. It is not very dangerous as the waters are quite shallow there. I imagined our ducks having some fun with this, jumping onto it like a fairground carousel. But in the main, I was not aware of anyone being seriously injured during this weekend of observation.

But now is the time to assess and reflect. What can be done to improve the process if it is done next year? What could be tweaked, dropped or something new added? That is a matter for discussion and is best done now while the memories are fresh of the past weekend. I have a few thoughts and hope to pass them onto to Alan and the Loch Ness Centre at some point. In the meantime, it was a great but busy weekend for me. Most trips are just me and the loch, but it was good to experience the camaraderie of the hunt and a shared belief.

Those thermal drones look interesting, though I wonder what the cost of such an item would be. The documentary team had also mentioned underwater ROVs which are accessible to a lot of people like me today. The issue was where to maximize their utility as a lot of shoreline is shallow and consumes a lot of cable before you hit the deeps. So certainly food for thought as the Winter approaches and most activity winds down at the loch.

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Monday, 4 September 2023

The Clearer the Picture ....


The set of photographs taken by Mrs. Chie Kelly that appeared a few days ago continue to generate interest and debate. I penned my own initial reaction having found five of the fifteen images amongst various media articles but though they generated a degree of anticipation, I wasn't going to dive in deep without seeing the complete run of images. In the meantime, as I await such a development, I looked to see what other people were saying.

If they are images of the Loch Ness Monster, their detail and clarity may never have been surpassed - depending on what you think of others alleged monster photographs. So the clearer the picture, the more unanimous and convergent the opinions? Nothing could be further from the truth! These are some of the interpretations I found on some Facebook forums:

  • giant eel
  • seal(s)
  • crocodile
  • otter or seal being attacked by a reptile
  • a big cat carrying prey
  • leatherback turtles
  • water snakes
  • salamander
  • two bin bags
  • half-sunken dinghy
  • tarpaulin
  • pareidolia
  • dog carrying something
  • dead deer
  • degraded two man kayak
  • two people swimming with rucksacks

Clearly, a lot of these ideas are non-starters but the Daily Mail ran an article which gave us the opinion of Ben Garrod, a biology professor at the University of East Anglia:

However, biologist professor Ben Garrod told the programme that the thinks the humps are something far less exciting - such as debris from a boat or a lump of wood. He added that he doesn't believe that Nessie would be a prehistoric monster - as these were huge and sometimes violent, quick creatures, which would have made their presence known by now.

'As a biologist I would say if we're looking for an animal and we haven't seen it in approximately 50 years or we haven't got conclusive proof it's there, it's extinct.'

However, he thought it might well be 'a massive fish'.

So, a piece of floating wood and not a prehistoric monster as we would have some bodies dotting the shoreline by now - and I don't mean sunbathing. No aquatic dinosaurs but a vague reference to massive fish. Perhaps someone could clarify this as another later Mail article quotes a Hayley Stevens, identified as a paranormal researcher (though actually a sceptic of the paranormal):

But after their publication, paranormal researcher Hayley Stevens said: ‘I personally think it is most likely they saw a large sturgeon in the loch. The photos were taken in August and sturgeon migrate into fresh water in late summer and early autumn to mate.’ 

She added that native sturgeon are large – growing up to five metres in length.

I suppose the Daily Mail regarded these answers as expert opinion, but they come across as ill-informed and hasty. Now if the two had been presented with only the image shown at the top of this article, you might give them some leeway, but how can this two humped object possibly be called a sturgeon which has no such contours (compare below)? In fact, when the second image below is brought in, driftwood and sturgeon look like wholly inadequate explanations. 

If one takes a look at Hayley's original piece, she attempts to answer why she thinks this is the best explanation.

The golden rule for solving ghost and monster mysteries is to keep it simple. Although it can be tempting to let your imagination run wild, the simplest solutions are almost always the correct answer, so start with those. Lay out what you already know and more often than not, the knowledge gaps fill themselves in.

Instead, when Nessie makes the news, people rush in with wild theories about what’s in a photo – theories that often have very little evidential basis to them. I’ve seen it suggested that this could be a deflating inflatable raft or an otter sitting on a ray. These suggestions may not be as farfetched as the idea that a dinosaur survives in the Loch, but they’re still pretty wild…

So, keep it simple, it's a sturgeon .. except the photos look nothing like a sturgeon and no sturgeon has ever been caught in Loch Ness. Apart from these minor points, it's a great theory. Perhaps sturgeon have made their way into the loch at some point in the past but their depleted numbers today suggest this is even more unlikely than past decades. I also doubt a sturgeon getting into Loch Ness to mate (with what?) is ever going to get back out.

So the clearer the picture, the more convergent the opinions? Not likely, it looks more like an exercise in hammering your favourite square peg into a round hole! Hayley even accuses Nessie believers of infighting over such images. I beg to differ, I see the discussions as largely civilized with the odd cross words being the minority. Of course, the vast majority of ideas are wrong, only one or none of them can be right. 

What we have here is the marketplace of ideas on the Internet and like a real marketplace the worst ideas don't sell much, are ignored and fade away. Of course, some bad ideas still get bought like cheap pairs of shoes, nothing is perfect where people are involved. But driftwood will eventually sink and sturgeon will eventually stink. Will this winnowing of ideas eventually leave us with the true explanation? The answer to that is no, but I would hope that if and when we see more data, an awful lot of dross would have been cleared out by then.

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Thursday, 31 August 2023

Some Noteable Photographs from Loch Ness


I thought this week would see a general winding down from the Quest monster hunt last weekend as I wrote up my own views on the event and moved onto the next thing. But the next thing arrived rather quickly when Steve Feltham received a visit from a local by the name of Chie Kelly who said she took something like sixteen photographs of an object in Dores Bay five years earlier and the weekend hunt motivated her to come forward. The story is related by the Scottish Sun:

THE "most exciting" photographs ever of the Loch Ness Monster have been revealed after a woman too scared to show them before came forward after last weekend's massive search for Nessie. In startling images, Chie Kelly captured an unidentified large eel-like creature slowly spinning on the surface of the legendary loch.

Translator Mrs Kelly, 51, was taking photographs of the area at Dores when she and her businessman husband Scott, 68, saw a strange creature move right to left over a distance of about 100 metres. It then disappeared and never re-surfaced. Mrs Kelly was so shocked by what she saw on August 13, 2018, that she feared public ridicule and did not share the images.

But she was inspired by the biggest search for Nessie in over 50 years at the weekend, in which hundreds of volunteers took part. It was then that she plucked up the courage to show her startling photographs to veteran Nessie hunter Steve Feltham, who has set a world record for the longest vigil of looking for the Loch Ness Monster - now over 30 years long from his Dores base. He was astounded. Mrs Kelly was on holiday with her family from Ascot in Berkshire at the time of the sighting. The family have since moved to near Fortose on the Black Isle.

"My husband was originally from the Inverness area and Dores beach is a very special place to me as it is where he used to take me when we first met, We had lunch in the Dores Inn and then started walking around. I was just taking pictures with my Cannon camera of Scott and our daughter Alisa, who was then five, when about 200 metres from the shore, moving right to left at a steady speed was this creature."

"It was spinning and rolling at times. We never saw a head or neck. After a couple of minutes it just disappeared and we never saw it again. At first I wondered if it was an otter or a pair of otters or a seal, but we never saw a head and it never came up again for air. It was making this strange movement on the surface. We did not hear any sound. There were these strange shapes below the surface. I could not make out any colours - the water was dark. I could not accurately assess its length, but the two parts that were visible were less then two metres long together. I don't know what it was but it was definitely a creature - an animal."

"At the time I did not want to face public ridicule by making the photographs public. But I met Steve Feltham at the weekend and showed him the images and he said immediately that they were 'very interesting'. I have always believed there was something in Loch Ness. There is something unusual there, but I don't know what it is. What I saw looked like a serpent. It was definitely a creature and it was moving."

Mr Feltham said: "These are the most exciting surface pictures (of Nessie) I have seen. They are exactly the type of pictures I have been wanting to take for three decades. It is rare to see something so clear on the surface. They are vindication for all the people who believe there is something unexplained in Loch Ness. They are remarkable. I have studied them and still do not know what it is. We are lucky the Kellys have decided to go public at last. I have met the Kellys twice and they are absolutely genuine. I persuaded them that these pictures were so important they should make them public. They warrant further investigation. It is not driftwood - it is a moving creature and totally unexplained."

So much for the story, but the photographs I have found required more than just a cursory examination. In fact, all sixteen need to be examined in sequence. From my initial search of the Internet, I think I have found five of the sixteen photographs as newspapers and media sites take their choice of images from the agency handling Mrs Kelly's photographs. The one at the top looks to be getting the most coverage as it shows two hump like objects close together in the water. One's initial impression is that they are two rocks in shallow water, but the wider view of the photograph below suggests this is way further out into the bay.

The estimated distance given by the witness was 200 metres which on a nautical map of the loch is a depth of at least 20 to 30 feet, depending on the location. The size of the object or objects was further estimated to be 2 metres. The length of what was not visible below the surface is a matter of speculation. I do not know the precise location of the witnesses, but the distance and size of the object  could be calculated if one had an uncropped image, some camera details and the location. At this time, I do not have all the required information to do this.

The line of water disturbance to the right of the object does indeed suggest it is moving from right to left. The second of the five images I found shows a water disturbance which is further to the right than the previous image. You can line it up with the opposite shoreline to confirm this (assuming the witness did not move very far). The third image I found is (I think) an enlargement of this wider view and is shown further down showing perhaps something solid or just troubled waters. Mrs. Kelly stated the object moved about 100 metres and it was observed for two minutes which would give us an average speed of less than two miles per hour.

To this we can add another image which just shows a single hump below, though it is unclear whether the two humps are one overall object. The images going from two to one or one to two humps may suggest separate objects, but I would not dogmatic on that. Indeed, the chronological order of the images is difficult to determine at this point. I would say though that the single hump is likely the larger hump of the two hump image. 

The final two images just made me that bit more perplexed when I found them. The fourth image I found is shown below and the rough dark humps have given way to a couple of smooth lighter coloured  objects. I thought, am I looking at the same thing here? The answer would appear to be yes as I examined the testimony of the witness and the images further.

Mrs. Kelly said "It was spinning and rolling at times ..." and if you look at the first image at the top of the article you may notice that behind the rough textured humps is the hint of rounded and lighter surfaces behind them. That is certainly suggested to the left side of the larger right hump and maybe less so on the left of the other smaller hump. So perhaps there was a degree of rotation that moved the object from a smooth side to a rough side? That would seem to be the case to me and there is also a hint of this smooth and rough combination in the single hump image.

The final image I found looks again somewhat different to what gone on before and is below with a zoom into the object. One may presume again that this is another single hump image but it looks decidedly more head-like to me with that bright spot suggestive of an eye. But then again, it may merely look like head and the witness did say she did not see a head or neck, but perhaps that meant a head on top of a long neck. However, I would say that this object in view does look somewhat different in appearance to the humps.

So, all in all, these handful of the images from the larger unseen total are a fascinating collection. I suspect that the other ten or so images may not be better than these as the media do tend to pick the best ones for publication. Nevertheless, it is important to evaluate these images in the context of the whole and I appeal to Chie Kelly or her agent Peter Jolly to release the set for serious study by those on either side of the debate as to whether a monster does indeed inhabit Loch Ness.

What do I conclude from these images? Simply that what we have motivates one more to see the complete set and no final or tentative conclusions can be made without them. I used the word "humps" because that is exactly what they look like, but what could they be? A perusal of comments from readers on the Internet offered up various opinions such as waves, bin bags, otters, dogs, a sturgeon, seal, a bear, plastic debris, a deflated dinghy being towed by an out of sight boat, rocks, a lump of peat, a fake stunt by divers or just divers and, of course, the Loch Ness Monster. 

A lot of these comments were based on viewing only the picture at the top. Most can be dispensed with although the bin bags theory got quite a few mentions which reminded me of the similar explanation that Maurice Burton had offered for the 1938 Taylor film which also went through various appearances. Another set of photographs which came to mind when I saw these were the ones taken by William Jobes in 2011 which showed a rough surfaced hump but were also dismissed as flotsam and jetsam by many at the time.

In fact, William had reported seeing a horse like head and one can imagine seeing such a thing in the last photo from 2018. But I digress and further speculation is no more than that while we wait for the complete set of pictures and hopefully a number of serious people apply their minds as to possible explanations as to what is in these pictures. Certainly, one thing I checked was what was happening at the loch back in August 2018. Back then, I wrote of a claimed head and neck sighting nearby by two local women as they walked in the wooded area at Tor Point and that is documented here and occurred only three days later and perhaps only hundreds of metres from the object seen by Mrs. Kelly.

The eDNA experiment team led by Professor Neil Gemmell had been at the loch weeks before in June to collect water samples which would seem to add a twist of irony to these photographs. I am not aware of any other events, but others can inform me what else may have been going on at that time at Loch Ness.

So, something was moving down the loch against the general south westerlies blowing up the loch. It submerged, rolled, changed its aspect from rough to smooth, went from two objects to one. Was it just bin bags and plastic waste doing a good job of looking like a monster or is it the ubiquitous "photoshop" job or perhaps something more mysterious? Once I get my hands on the uncropped images, further deductions may be possible.

But I agree with Steve Feltham, if you were looking to take some monster photographs, they may look like this but I would add perhaps with that famous long neck for good measure. It is a curious coincidence that half a mile away and 90 years before this new story broke, Aldie Mackay saw her "Strange spectacle on Loch Ness" which was also one then two humps and which also perplexingly rolled in the water. If this is an animal, I do not know what to make of it.

P.S. There is also talk of a thermal drone video of an object near the opposite shore of Loch Ness. I cannot really comment on that without seeing the complete video.

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Sunday, 13 August 2023

Loch Ness Expedition in Danger?


A news item from the Scottish Sun took me by surprise today as it spoke of an "urgent warning as extensive Loch Ness Monster search could stir up a 'whirlpool of evil'". The text of the article was an interview with paranormal researcher, Ron Halliday and written by Oliver Norton (original link here).

A MASSIVE search to find the Loch Ness Monster could stir up a “whirlpool of evil”, a leading paranormal investigator has warned. Ron Halliday fears plans to flush out the elusive beast with drones, infrared cameras and underwater sound detectors later this month will lead to spirits being unleashed. Organisers are calling the two-day operation the biggest search for the monster in more than 50 years. But Mr Halliday, who has been investigating the paranormal for 30 years, said:

“I’d suggest this project be called off or at the very least there’s some psychic protection for anyone involved. I was concerned to read about plans for a massive search for the Loch Ness Monster. I’m not convinced this search is a good idea. We could be stirring up a whirlpool of evil.”

An army of volunteers is also set to watch the loch from safe vantage points on land surrounding Loch Ness on August 27 and 28. They have been warned to “stay vigilant” and bring binoculars and cameras to gather evidence. The effort is being organised by the Loch Ness Centre in Drumnadrochit and a volunteer research team called Loch Ness Exploration. The organisation’s Alan McKenna hoped the “large scale surface watch” would inspire a new generation of enthusiasts.

It’s understood to be the biggest search for the monster since the Loch Ness Investigation Bureau studied the waters in 1972. It will also involve technology not previously used before. But researcher Mr Halliday, who has published books including The A-Z of Paranormal Scotland and Scotland’s X-Files, warned the plans could backfire. He added:

“The truth is there’s little evidence that we’re dealing with a flesh-and-blood creature. It’s more likely that the loch is home to an unknown spirit form.”

Paul Nixon, General Manager of the Loch Ness Centre, said: 

“The watch is designed to be observational and not invasive. The Loch is home to a whole host of wildlife and it is very important this does not become disturbed. Whilst we appreciate the offer of psychic protection we are confident our robust safety procedures will ensure a positive weekend for all involved in what will be the largest surface level search for Nessie on over 50 years.”

Now, speaking for myself, I have some experience in the paranormal theory of the Loch Ness Monster. I have studied the works of Ted Holiday, Anthony "Doc" Shiels and others such as Nick Redfern. I have also held to such views in earlier decades. My own contribution has been the book "The Water Horses of Loch Ness" which looks back on the ancient legends of the loch and elsewhere in the Highlands and the pre-Christian animism that pervaded the worldview of the inhabitants. 

Where might the belief that the loch is a place not to be meddled with come from? Going way back to the beginning, what exactly the indigenous Picts of two thousand years ago believed was living in Loch Ness is not known. If they believed in some version of animism, then they may have regarded the entire body of water to be imbued with a spirit which was either part of its essence or distinct from it in some way. The practise of other cultures would suggest they may have offered gifts to the "spirit" of that water by throwing into it offerings of agriculture, livestock or even perhaps other humans in return for favourable outcomes such as fishing, good weather and so on.

The arrival of Christianity in the 6th century overturned that order and any spirit in or of the loch was demonized and subjugated to the God of the Christians. Over time, that "demon spirit" which continued to occasionally show itself to the perplexed natives with that long neck and horse like head became an infernal steed which preyed on unsuspecting travelers in a supernatural bait and switch tactic where its pseudo-equine form would transform from a saddled temptation for the weary walker to a terrifying plunge in its monstrous grip to depths unknown but always fatal.

Such was the Each Uisge of Loch Ness which held such a spell over the locals that it compelled them to keep silent about its appearances lest its curse broke forth upon them. Surely then such interventions as drones, cameras and sonar will once again stir up this "whirlpool of evil" which will do ... what?

Now I must admit when I read the headline, I immediately thought of the occultist, Kevin Carlyon, who has been known to cast a few spells over the water. That is nothing new as the loch was exorcised back in 1973 by the Reverend Donald Omand and doubtless various other incantations have been uttered over the cold, volatile waters. But this was Ron Halliday, Scottish paranormal researcher, who I have met on at least one occasion. Now if one believes there is something paranormal down there, you may be inclined to stay away from it.

Lat year, Ron was quoted as suggesting that the monster may be a creature inhabiting a parallel universe which can be seen when eyewitnesses inadvertently step into a "portal" between the two realms. That could even manifest as a view of a dinosaur from the distant past, though one may retort that dinosaurs belonged to our inverse, not a parallel one. Is he suggesting that the act of observing the loch could open such a portal and unleash something undesirable?

The problem with this theory is that it is essentially meaningless and endlessly malleable. How do you put it to test? What predictions can you make from this hypotheses and what experiments should be devised to verify it or correct it? The malleability is demonstrated to me in the quotes ascribed to Ron this week and last year. This week we are told "the loch is home to an unknown spirit form" but last year it inhabits another parallel universe - "something that looks solid but isn’t actually in our world". You can't have it both ways, which one is it? 

Now perhaps Ron is being misquoted and he is welcome to clarify his views, but my own experience of the world of paranormal theories is that you can say almost anything and get away with it if you cloak it with some scientific terms such as parallel universes (which of course, have not been proven to exist). Now, some may hurl the same accusation at zoological Nessie theorists, but it is clear that speculating about giant eels and plesiosaurs is a far cry from creatures popping out of portals to parallel universes. 

Paranormal theories go too far in what they employ to explain strange phenomena. Sure, you can use them to explain issues about food stocks in the loch or the lack of physical traces, just so long as you are happy importing another entire universe to explain what happens over a 26 mile stretch of water. This is not so much using a sledgehammer to crack a nut, but an entire division of tanks. In employing such theories, you destroy what you are trying to explain at the same time.

But the historical evidence does not back up such a statement about unleashing a "whirlpool of evil". Go back to the first extensive searches of the 1930s. The surge of people that rushed to the loch in the hope of seeing the monster. The various expeditions that occurred from 1933 into 1934. What evidence is there that evil was unleashed as a result of these activities? 

Now jump thirty years to the 1960s and the large expeditions of the Loch Ness Investigation Bureau. The various watch stations with cameras, the surface watchers, the large number of volunteers involved, the publicity that surrounded them and the various experiments that developed as more experts got involved. What was unleashed back then? What tales of evil ensued that merited the cancellation of future work?

Moving into the 1970s with the large expeditions mounted by the Academy of Applied Science led by Robert Rines and the help of many based in Scotland and beyond. What misfortune came to pass that could even be classed as statistically significant beyond the normal run of good or bad luck people encounter in these ventures? For goodness sake, they even had a psychic in the form of Winifred Cary helping them with her dowsing! In fact, did not Ron Halliday go to Loch Morar armed with dowsing rods?

We could go on, what about Operation Deepscan in 1987 or the multiplicity of other incursions into the loch? But then again, if one wishes to scan these things in a paranormal manner, did not the Warlock Gregor MacGregor render the Loch Ness Kelpie impotent when he stole its bridle around the beginning of the 19th century? Well, at least, that is what he claimed. Or perhaps the threat of any whirlpool of evil was neutralized by the Reverend Omand in 1973 as he sprinkled the holy water over the loch?

One suspects that the recommended "psychic covering" is not needed. If there is a Loch Ness Spirit, it would probably rip through it like a wet paper bag. The news from the battle front of old was that the locals would send the Kelpie packing by invoking the name of the Holy Trinity. Perhaps they were following the example of St. Columba, who:

Looked on, while all who were there, as well the heathen as even the brethren, were stricken with very great terror; and, with his holy hand raised on high, he formed the saving sign of the cross in the empty air, invoked the Name of God, and commanded the fierce monster, saying, Think not to go further, nor touch thou the man. Quick! Go back! ' Then the beast, on hearing this voice of the Saint, was terrified and 'fled backward more rapidly than he came, as if dragged by cords.

Either that or you run your ass off. Either way, people, go prepared. Take all the usual precautions, be suited and booted, be aware of your surroundings, employ your concentration and don't play the fool. Call upon your god, be it deity or reason for Loch Ness, with or without a spirit can be an unforgiving environment to those who fall into its clutches.

And having done all that, enjoy yourselves, partake of the craich and don't forget to take that lens cap off.

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Thursday, 27 July 2023

The First Loch Ness Sonar Contact?


Recent publicity about a strange looking sonar image from Lake Champlain brought to mind another sonar image from another time and from another place - namely seventy years before at Loch Ness. I became familiar with this story back in the 1970s as a kid when Nicholas Witchell wrote about it in his book "The Loch Ness Story". I quote from page 115 onwards of the first edition which in itself quotes the Daily Herald from the 6th December 1954:

During recent years the underwater radar mechanism known as Sonar has played an invaluable part in the research at Loch Ness. The first real indication of the potential of this sort of equipment as a "monster hunting" tool came in December 1954 when a drifter picked up a  strange outline on its echo sounding apparatus. At about 11.30 a.m. on 2nd December, the Peterhead drifter Rival III was approaching Urquhart Castle on its journey south through the Caledonian Canal to the West Coast fishing grounds. 

In the wheelhouse was the 46-year-old mate Mr Peter Anderson. The skipper, Mr Donald MacLean and the seven other crew members were below having a cup of tea. Mr Anderson glanced at the echo sounder, a Kelvin Hughes "Fishmaster", and stiffened:

"Suddenly the printer arm on the machine started to draw this thing on the roll of recording paper. As it sketched it out I couldn't believe my eyes. For several minutes the arm went on moving and the outlines of the thing below the water were drawn on the paper. I shouted to the crew and they came crowding up to the wheelhouse. They were as amazed as I was. At once we turned the boat about and tried to track the 'Monster' again. But it was no use, whatever it was had gone."

Mr Anderson tore the chart from the machine and as the boat passed through the locks down to the West Coast he brought it out and showed it to the Canal staff. By the time the Rival III reached Oban the Press was waiting for them and negotiations began for the exclusive rights to the chart. The Daily Herald eventually won and while on the 5th December, the Sunday Mail reported rather sourly that the chart "is not for sale" representatives from the manufacturers were examining it under the Daily Herald's auspices.

Mr L. A. Southcott, the firm's District Manager and Mr A. Sutton, the Technical Development Director, both examined the chart and certified that it had not been faked or tampered with in any way. From the calibrated scale they could tell that the object was 480 feet deep and 120 feet up from the loch bed. It was moving from left to right on the chart, i.e., in the same direction as the boat and was approximately 50 feet in length. Mr Sutton stated, after a long study of the graph that: 

"It is definitely not a water-logged tree or a shoal of fish. These give entirely different signals. If there was a large animal in the loch this is the kind of image you would get from an echo sounder . . . I can't explain it away. I have seen thousands of recordings — but nothing like this."

Mr Southcott said:

"This is definitely animal matter of some kind . . . in all my experience I've never seen anything like this. The object certainly is not like any other kind of fish that has been charted." All that could be said about the shape of the object was that it was elongated and probably irregular."

Among the people consulted by the Press for an opinion on the chart was Dr C. H. Mortimer of the Freshwater Biological Association who had carried out a temperature survey at the loch in 1953. He was quoted in the Daily Herald of 7th December as saying:

"I too got some unusual recordings on Loch Ness. I explained them away to my own satisfaction then as echoes from the side of the loch superimposing themselves on the sounding chart. But from the graph description the object appears to be clear of the sides of the loch. It is extremely puzzling."

One person feeling more frustrated than puzzled by the event was the wife of the Rival III's skipper, Mrs Betty Maclean. She was quoted as saying:

"I am the laughing stock of Peterhead. Everyone looks at me and smiles. While I was out shopping, fishermen and their wives were looking at me as if I had got the 'Monster' in my shopping bag."

Unfortunately, whatever serious interest was re-aroused was marred by yet another hoax. On 8th December, a Royal Naval mine laying vessel reported to Canal staff that they too had picked up a strange echo whilst on passage through the loch. As soon as the Press arrived the Commander admitted that it was all a joke and the cursing reporters left to express their disgust with the whole matter.

One newspaper carrying the story was the Aberdeen Press and Journal two days later as seen below. The actual image on the sonar image occupied a space of one and quarter inches or just over 3cm and it stated a depth of 90 fathoms or 540 feet.

Since then, the image has generally been regarded as a fake and I certainly found such a clearly delineated image unconvincing. Now I must admit, I am not particularly familiar with sonar technology from the 1950s so I turned to the documentary of the BBC's expedition to the loch three years later in 1957 (more info here) where the presenter Raymond Baxter took viewers through an explanation of the latest in this technology with David Anderson, the representative of Marconi with their latest  fish finder machine.

He explained their "noise generator" was only effective if the target was directly below but there was newer technology which would sweep out to the sides with a similar range. The BBC did have an interesting sonar hit which was displayed by opening the front of the machine and hand rolling the paper back to that point. The quality of the overall film was poor but good enough to see what was going on.

The actual image was likened to a "shadow" seen at the top and left from centre and the Marconi man could not give an adequate explanation in comparison to other recordings he had seen elsewhere in his work. It was picked up seventy yards north-east of Urquhart Castle at a depth of three to ten fathoms moving further into the deeps and causing "considerable agitation of the water". Anderson estimated the length at twenty feet and unlike the fish contacts also seen on the trace.


The "shadow" is certainly more in keeping with what I have seen elsewhere and should be considered as the first arguable sonar contact with the monster. The Rival III contact image is not so much "too good to be true" but more like "could never be true". The almost face on side view of the "object" with even limbs visible is incongruous with something which is below you, no matter the angle. In that edition of Witchell's book, we also get a clear photo of the BBC contact shown below. 

The image from the Rival III crew was again in the 1975 edition of "The Loch Ness Story" but had been quietly dropped in the 1989 edition and the BBC contact retained. How the image was put on the paper could boil down to inking it on with the same pens used for the device, though that does not appear to be a trivial task - depending on what you are trying to achieve. That would seem to be mandatory as the one outstanding issue with the image is that we are told that a Mr. Sutton, the technical development director of the echo sounder manufacturer, Kelvin-Hughes, examined the paper trace and declared it had not been "faked or tampered with in any way". 

Now we like our experts when it comes to Loch Ness accounts, no matter what side of the debate we are on. We quote them in defence of our positions and feel the better for it. The Daily Herald had bought this piece of paper from the owners of the drifter, but was this contingent on a favourable expert opinion? You would have thought so, but I cannot verify that. Was the Kelvin-Hughes technical man fooled or complicit and does that mean we need to more circumspect about who we look to as experts?

The other thing to note about the image is its resemblance to another image which caught the public imagination three years before. That was the Lachlan Stuart photograph of 1951 and the two are compared below. The three humps of the two images are clearly there and even the middle hump of both is the highest. If you are going to fake a Nessie sonar contact, why not link it to the latest and greatest photograph of the monster?

So the image is dubious and the BBC contact is of more interest. Going back to the Lake Champlain sonar contact that brought back memories of this 1954 incident, I would ask the same questions of that more modern image. But I will leave that for others to develop.

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