Sunday 1 September 2013

Dinsdale, Dashcams and Paint Trays

If was off to Loch Ness again as the tent and equipment were packed for four nights by the shores of the famous loch. Being August and a good Summer, I expected things to be a lot busier around the loch than they were compared to our last visit in April. That was certainly true as we headed north on the A9 to join the bustle of tourist traffic making its way to the splendid vistas of the Highlands. Don't you just hate being stuck behind a slow caravan on a road which is mainly single carriageway? Fortunately, such holdups were tolerably rare and mobile home vehicles are faster than they used to be.

This time round, I decided to book with the new campsite that had been opened at the village of Foyers on the south side of the loch. It is an area with its fair share of general and monster history though the main reason I was there was its close proximity to the loch shore.

This is the area where the famous Dinsdale film was shot as well as the first ever picture of the monster taken by Hugh Gray in November 1933. So, even here, there were things to pursue. 

The campsite is run by Donald Forbes who is the son of the late Jock Forbes who has an interesting sighting to his name. I would be asking him and others a few relevant questions over the next few days. On arrival, I set up the tent with as good a view as possible so that the loch was readily seen from the comfort of the tent (as the picture below shows).

From there, I could scan my own little portion of Loch Ness with my pair of 10x50mm binoculars, camera and camcorder at hand. Nice, I think I will be coming back here! 


I mentioned Tim Dinsdale in the post title and I was already aware that this field played a part in the Dinsdale story.

According to Tim's book, "Loch Ness Monster", after he had shot his famous film, he stopped and tore down the hill to the site of this present day campsite in the hope of getting more valuable footage. He describes driving downhill like a man demented and going round a circle of house before stopping on a nearby field. When he rushed to the shore with binoculars he scanned the loch and saw nothing - not even a boat. This panoramic shot I took of the area highlights a few things (click to enlarge).

The place marked "A" is the circular road of houses that Tim went around. He then drove over to some point near the area marked "B" (though I could not be dogmatic on the exact spot). As you can see, there is a line of mature trees blocking the view to the loch but they would not have been as high in 1960 as they are now. However, the area marked by "E" to the right is still quite open as you would have seen from my previous tent picture (which was pitched at point "C").

Now I scanned part of the opposite shoreline with my binoculars and I would have had no trouble picking out any boats. Sceptics of Tim Dinsdale's film say the opposite - that the alleged boat would have simply melted into the background of the opposite shore when Tim got to roughly eye level with the loch. Sorry, I don't buy that explanation based upon my own on the spot observations. Any competent observer with binoculars (or even the naked eye) would have spotted a boat.

I know that some will retort that Tim had poor eyesight and had inferior binoculars. I believe he had 2.5x25mm glasses similar to the ones below. If anyone thinks different, post a comment or email.

Could Tim have failed to have spotted a boat from the opposite shore with binoculars that magnified 2.5 times? I ask the same question about how he could have failed to have spotted a boat before filming. I am not convinced by the sceptical arguments but you can see the opposite shoreline in question in the picture. By the time Tim was out his car and scanning the far shore, the object would have been somewhere to the top left of the picture. Reader, form your own opinion on that matter.

Moving on, I got talking to the campsite proprietor and his wife about the monster of the loch. Donald was sceptical but kept an open mind whilst his wife believed there was something strange in the loch. 

There was one question regarding Tim Dinsdale that I had to ask Donald. Now I would note here that Donald had not heard of Tim Dinsdale but that was not relevant to my question. Sceptic Maurice Burton had claimed in a 1969 article that Jock Forbes was in the habit of motoring his boat across the loch at the day and time with cargo and that Tim had filmed his object. The implication being that he had filmed Jock's boat. Donald's response was forthright - his father had never owned a boat and, moreover, he was not the type of person who would be on the loch. As it turns out, it was another local and not Jock Forbes himself that Burton claimed as the source. I will be writing on the matter of Maurice Burton in a future article.


Donald's family had farmed the land for generations but for economics reasons, he had now turned to the tourism side of loch business. Foyers is place that is contracting. I was told there was a time within recent decades when there was a more thriving community which expressed itself in the presence of three churches and three pubs. There used to be a butcher's shop and the other amenities you associate with small communities. 

That is all gone now as buildings were closed or turned into tourist accommodation. Meanwhile, who needs a local shop when the Tesco delivery van can come straight to your door from Inverness? In fact, why need such a delivery service when you can just move to Inverness itself? Perhaps dying is a better word than contracting, sad though it may be.

As it turned out, Donald had personally known Hugh Gray, who took the 1933 Nessie picture. I asked if he was the kind of man who would pull off the leg pulling stunt that sceptics claimed he did. The answer was a straight "No". That was not the type of person he had known. Sceptics would of course retort that he would say that anyway. You can't win with that type of poor critical thinking.

On the previous picture of the field, the spot Hugh Gray took his picture is traditionally placed to the left of the spot marked "D" on a ledge about 50 feet high. I accept that but I know of at least one suggestion that it could be around the area marked "E". I reject that as a misreading of the key texts. A it turned out, that spot is a beach putting any witness at loch level and much more convenient for photographing hypothetical labrador dogs. Nuff said!

I asked about his father Jock's  land sighting of Nessie between the war years. For those who do not recall this, Nicholas Witchell's book "The Loch Ness Story" recounts the tale of how Jock Forbes and his father were returning home late one night when their horse reared up and stopped as something large and dark crossed the road in front of them followed by a splash.

Donald was of the opinion that his father did not see anything - which is true as the form before them was not readily discernible and he offered the suggestion that they had actually seen a bull which had escaped from the market. An interesting suggestion, though one I would not accept myself!

Meanwhile, his wife told me the story years back of a local man, Alastair Roebuck. This man had been a vocal critic of the idea that any monster could inhabit Loch Ness until the day he was chopping wood at Inverfarigaig. When that long head and neck broke the surface near him, he was no longer a critic!

I could not get any more information on this sighting and it seems Mr. Roebuck is no longer around. I do not think this story is on the "record" and I cannot comment more as I have no further information, so I will leave it at that.

Later on I visited Steve Feltham at his home on Dores Bay. The place was milling with tourists and Steve was there working away at his Nessie models. I was invited in for a chat and we indulged in monster talk for a good while occasionally interrupted by a tourist wishing to buy a Nessie.

On the subject of stories, I had mentioned something I saw in the woods which led to a story about the late "Dave the Cave". Some years back, Dave was making his way to the loch side when an extraordinary sight came upon him. It was not a monster but a big, black cat the size of an Alsatian sitting on a rock looking at him. Now big cats have been reported all over Britain for decades, it seems Dave had come across one.

I remember how a puma had been caught in the area in 1980 and made the front pages. I also remember how I stumbled upon a depression in the ground that looked quite cat like on the shores of Loch Quoich during a monster loch tour in the mid 1980s. That was about 4 inches across. I took a picture with my comb alongside for comparison. Note what are presumably deer tracks below the "cat" print. If it is a track, it must have been more recent as the deer spoor look more dried out. Opinions are welcome, I have no strong view myself, though I thought them cat like at the time.

Various strange stories are associated with Loch Ness which seem to have no link with the monster. I don't think half the story has been told about them.

I also talked with Mr. Hargreaves from Foyers who had a head-neck sighting back in June 2011. He recounted the tale and he said that other locals had also seen things but they never get into the papers. A great pity.


Moving on from stories, I hit the loch road for the next few days doing various things. One experiment I indulged in was to do with an old paint tray. The question before me was whether anyone from the shore can see things under the water. That may seem a no-brainer, why wouldn't you? Jon Rowe, who took a recent picture at Loch Ness, said he saw a dark form moving just below the water and, going further back, witnesses such as Ted Holiday testified to the same thing.

Nevertheless, one Nessie sceptic says you cannot and I agree and I disagree with that assessment. It all depends on context. So I had packed a paint tray and a pair of wellies to wade out and try out a few things. Here are some pictures of the paint tray. 

One side is a kind of dirty bluish white while the other side is a mixture of dirty silver and brown (i.e. rust). Would I be able to see this from the loch shore if placed in about two feet of water? I waded out in my shorts and wellies, placed the tray on the loch bottom, retreated and took some pictures.

First up was the tray blue-white side up. This was easily visible to the naked eye and is the white streak in the centre of the picture. A zoom in is also shown. Note the camera position was an elevation of about 3 metres and the distance to the object was about 18 metres. This gives an angle of viewing of about 10 degrees.

I then placed the darker side of the tray in the water with these results. Clearly, the object would be less visible, but to the naked eye, it was still clear enough to make out. Indeed, the pictures here do not do proper justice to what the superior human eye could see. To me, both objects were  visible and were only obscured when a wave passed over them.

How would a black to grey object do? Not as well, but better if it was even closer to the surface (e.g. a foot below). If I can find such an object which would not be ruined in the water, I'll do that next time. But I don't doubt the human eye would be able to make something out, especially if it was large and easier to follow.

Of course, once the object descended deeper, it would be lost to view. But that is not my point. This is all about the top one or two feet of the surface. As I see it, peat particles that flow into the loch are of different sizes. The heavier ones sink deeper before they achieve buoyancy but the lighter ones will suspend closer to the surface. However, because they are smaller, they will let more light pass between them. In other words, the opacity of the loch is proportionally less at the top surface compared to below and hence objects can be seen better.

Anyway, I shall consider these results provisional until I get some better materials for next time.


I also visited some sites gathering data for future articles, so I will leave those for later. I also brought out the night vision binoculars again. As stated before, it is my opinion that Nessie is more a nocturnal creature and surfaces more at night time. That is an opportunity but it also presents the problem of seeing the loch at night. 

I took the equipment out about 11pm to the shore beyond the tent view I showed above. At this area is a small beach where the locals keep their boats. It was a good place to put down the tripod. So, I  ran the output from the binoculars to a recording application on a laptop. One interesting clip that came out of this is shown below.

As I panned around the loch, a long object protruding out of the water came into view. I focused my attention on it for a time wondering what it could be. Looking out onto the loch with the naked eye was futile as it was too dark to make out anything.

After some minutes, it had not moved in any way which began to arouse my suspicions. So, I panned away to record other parts of the loch but would occasionally pan back to see this object in the same position.

By now, it was clear it was not likely to be a living creature, so it was a matter of eventually packing up and resolving to check the area in broad daylight. When I went back to the beach the next morning, the picture below shows you how the matter was resolved. There was a branch sticking one or two feet out of the water at the same place.

Of course, if I had published a short 10 second clip of the night object without further explanation, it could have generated a lot more interest .. but we're not into hoaxes at this blog! The upshot is that if this had been a 20 foot creature with hump and long neck at the same distance, I reckon the night vision equipment would be up to the job. But like daylight recordings, it's all about distance.


It was during this trip that I introduced a new piece of equipment to the hunt - the dashcam. Put simply, a dashcam is a video recording device that attaches to your windscreen and essentially records what you see as you drive. This gadget first grabbed my attention when a large meteor passed over Russia back in June. Many Russians who fitted dashcams to their cameras caught the passage of the fireball across various locations.

Of course, they did not fit these devices onto their cars to record natural events but rather car accidents in which they could use the video footage in their defence. My intent was to use it in the pursuit of the Loch Ness Monster. To that end, I purchased a Livue LB100 video recorder from eBay for less than a hundred quid. It's a 2 megapixel camera which can record at high definition 30fps to a micro SD card (in my case 8Gb capacity). It got good reviews on the web, so went with it.

Tests at my home in Edinburgh went well. The only gripe I had was its "event" detection trigger which basically is used to auto-record a clip if the car is hit by another motorist. Unfortunately, this also triggered on rough bumps at about 40mph or more. However, this was a minor inconvenience. 

In terms of Loch Ness, the obvious lottery win for me is this device capturing the Loch Ness Monster in a "Spicer" type event as it crossed the road in front of you. What a diamond of a video that would be. However, just like a lottery win, the likelihood of achieving this is remote. But, if the device is not attached, you certainly won't record anything!

The device had to be road tested in situ, so I ran the camera through the entire trip recording the various sights around the loch. One sample video clip is included below. This was taken down "Monster Alley" as I call it. This is the quieter road on the south side of the loch which runs from Foyers to Dores. Along here have been reported a disproportionately higher incidences of reported land sightings. This is mainly due to the fact that the loch shore is closer to the road along this stretch hence facilitating monster excursions ashore (sceptics will suggest it also facilitates deer reaching the shore to drink but there is an argument against that which is for another place and time).

The original video is better as I think YouTube reduces the resolution, but you get the sense of the usefulness of the device.


Picture the scene. You believe there is one or more large creatures in Loch Ness. You also believe they occasionally come ashore. You further hold to the view they are more likely to come ashore at night along a stretch of road between Foyers and Dores. Would you drive along that same road in the middle of the night? Yes, we did.

I wanted to see how the dashcam performed in night conditions but also to see what was out there. So, my son and I arose at one o clock in the morning and began the round trip from Foyers to Dores and back again.

Though a chance encounter with a 30 foot beast on a dark Scottish road looked unlikely, I must admit there was a certain buzz which prompted various reactions. What exactly should I do if something large loomed ahead of  me in the darkness? I had half jokingly told Steve Feltham before this that I would run it over if it meant solving the mystery. Would I actually do that if the opportunity arose? Would you?

The video clip below shows a segment of that journey which lasted from 1am to 2am. I would probably gone out later about 3am to 4am but perhaps next time. Go full screen, turn off your lights and join me in a late night drive down Loch Ness!

That sense that "something" may loom out of the darkness ahead was always there, but would it record? I had to drive with headlights on full beam to maximise the area of video coverage as there was next to no light anywhere else and we never encountered another vehicle driving ahead or behind us (though there were a surprising number of vehicles parked for the night all along the road). That was the way I liked it and some things did happen. I encountered two badgers, one rabbit, one frog and a deer. No animals were harmed in the production of that film.

Now this was the second time we saw deer on this stretch of road. The previous encounter was between Foyers and Boleskine. This night encounter was somewhere north of Inverfarigaig. The disappointing thing was that the dashcam had not captured it when I reviewed the clips later. The reason was the difference in performance between the human eye and a digital video recorder.

To my eye I saw a shadowy but familiar outline of a deer half obscured by bushes. It two eyes gleamed back at me as they reflected the car headlights. However, the deer was just beyond the main beam and so just registered as darkness in the video. Did I jump out of my seat when this form appeared? Not quite, but the alertness levels jumped as I slowed down and assessed what was before me. Yup, you got it, I didn't floor it and claim my carcass as previously threatened!


Was the dashcam any good? Well, yes and no. The night drive made me realise that anything of interest would have to be quite close to record. Even with the naked eye, the monster could have lumbered a 100 yards in front of me and I would be none the wiser. I ran YouTube's enhancement tools through it and got this clip. A bit better but not what I want. Of course, I could mount a searchlight on the bonnet! Any credible suggestions to increase night range are solicited from readers.

The other thing you may have noticed on the daytime clip was how the video seems to darken and then brighten again. Certainly, on a sunny August afternoon, the car was constantly moving in and out of shade and this actually caused me to miss the recording of the other deer crossing because they were in shade. The device did not adjust to this and the area was too dark again!

Perhaps there is a configuration option on the device's firmware to compensate for this. So mixed results for the dashcam, though I may be expecting too much but I will certainly continue to run it on future road trips around the loch.


As it turned out, we were driving along the same road as the Spicers' famous 1933 land sighting and we were there at around the same time. They were there in late July and we were there mid August. We also had periods of bright sunshine as they did. This was ideal to compare and contrast what sceptics have said about this case.

The first point concerns deer. It was clear that deer are a common sight in this area at this time of year. I saw a deer and its fawn crossing the road in daylight and there was the one which I saw at night.

Some claim that the Spicers saw a huddle of deer crossing the road. My question is what constitutes a huddle? I only saw one or two at a time and the surprising thing was that they were quite nonchalant about my car approaching. They just basically trotted at a slow rate across. The impression I always got from sceptical arguments was a group of four of five deer dashing across the road so as to not be easily identified. I did not see any huddles and I did not see any dashing across.

Well, perhaps I will in future and the dashcam may catch it. For now, I am not too convinced about these dashing huddles.

The second point concerns the idea that the Spicers saw some animals like otter or deer under heat haze conditions. In other words, the open road is heated by the sun to produce a temperature inversion. In reality, I found that driving along this road was often shaded by the high and heavy Summer growth of the roadside bushes and trees. Not a condition suitable for mirages I thought.

So here's a not so simple question. Was the object the Spicers witnessed in shade or light? I suspect that answer depends on one's state of bias regarding this case.


And so the journey ended and it was back to Edinburgh to work and school. I hope to go back around Easter to finish off some things, perhaps get that dashcam in a better configuration and talk to more people. In the meantime, there is enough material to finish off a few articles. So watch this space!


  1. Thanks for the vicarious trip, I particularly enjoyed the night drive! I think you're on the right track about trying to capture footage at night, despite the obvious difficulties.

    1. Thanks, Ed.

      Ye, I am going to try and develop that for the next trip, so thinking cap is on.

    2. Further to my comments about the questionable visibility of "Sand Point" from the road down from the Waterfall Cafe to Lower Foyers, as per Mr MacGruer's observation of a creature with an eel-like head, I trust you will be uploading video of the drivers side view from one of your many descents of that road to settle the matter ?

    3. I am afraid not, I only turned it on when I joined the main road. But I will do it next time.

    4. To help matters along, I will drive over there on my next day off to get a video of my own.

    5. You're welcome to try, but you should try and contact the witness first to get the location fix (as I tried to do).

    6. Roland, I have now completed that task. If you could kindly contact the witness and ask him where he was at the time of his observation, I will post my video of that location.

      Regards, Dick.

    7. I was hoping you would do that. You're the local man!

  2. Once again, thank you for fulfilling my dream of doing a Night Hunt. As both a lifelong Nessophile and insomniac, this would definitely be my kinda research. The Yellow Face, it burns our Gothic skin, Precious!

    You, Sir, are the awesome dog's bollocks.

    Your Pal,

    Storm in San Diego

    1. I was thinking about the 1880 underwater sighting of something like a giant frog on a shelf of rock at Fort Augustus. Near the Caledonian Canal and by implication the River Oich. Now, after reading Mr Plambeck's posts I'm largely sold on Mr Plambeck's theory, although perhaps featuring a variant with a long neck. [Does this make me more unscientific?] In a vain attempt to be a scientist I'll suggest that "it" might have been well positioned to absorb extra oxygen from the fast-flowing River Oich.
      And why shouldn't we think that its descendants aren't there right now? If it works...
      So, as I'm not a proficient swimmer, I've volunteered to send GlasgowBoy on his next expedition. :)


    2. Night hunts are great. Just watching "Finding Bigfoot" there. Those guys inspire me that bit more. Wish I had one of those FLIR thermal cameras.

  3. Tim's youngest son, Angus, has just published "The man who filmed Nessie: Tim Dinsdale and the enigma of Loch Ness". Best of all, at the book's website
    there is a link to Tim's film. NOw everyone can watch it, over and again, and see that the hump was not a boat

    1. Yes, I have finished reading the book and will post something anon. I don't see any alleged helmsman on the full screen view of the link given.

    2. Greetings Dr Bauer!
      I have not yet received my copy of Angus' book so I cannot comment on its contents, but I can point out that the informed conclusion that TD filmed a boat is not based on looking at the film - although a helmsman is there is you look for him even in this version. The critical evidence comes from an image stacking process carried out by the Loch Ness Project. As you will know, the grainy black and white enlargements of frames from Tim's film have a low signal to noise ratio, and the "data" grains are virtually indistinguishable from the "noise" grains. However, when 100 or so consecutive frames are overlaid in register with 1% opacity each, the random "noise" grains blend to a mid-gray tone, while the "data" grains are preserved at their real value. The results can be seen on my web page and the pale figure of the helmsman is clearly visible, together with a hint of a second person further forward in the boat. The presence of this person would tend to keep the bows down and account for the slapping of the waves clearly visible in the projected film; whereas a single-manned boat would tend to pitch more. In any event, "paddle strokes" proposed at the time are out of the question for a "completely submerged" creature which did not make them when 1/3 out of the water.
      I look forward to your comments.

      Best Wishes, Dick

      PS I came across the list of attendees for the 1972 LNI Christmas Party recently, and was pleased to see your name on it.

      PPS I work as a boat skipper on Loch Ness and am in a position to make daily observations of boats and wakes and other surface effects on the loch. Many videos are to be found on my website.

  4. Congratulations Roland. Some people who live very close to Loch Ness should learn from you... no more comments.

  5. Love the drive down the road both day and night - but how did you pass two people who had pulled over on the side of the road looking at the loch with binoculars without stopping or at least slowing down?

    1. I must admit I did glance over to check the loch out ... not a thorough approach I must admit.

  6. Hope you didn't leave the paint trays in the water and disposed of them proper, lol.

    Hey, nice post. Loved the vids!


  7. Just watched the film anew at the link Mr Bauer provided. I just cannot see how that is a boat, regardless of (nowadays) skepticism regarding a large creature in that loch.

    One thing though. While I understand Mr Dinsdale probably couldn't estimate the size perfectly at the time, disregarding the prop wash anomaly for the moment, I'd think using a smaller outboard powered 6-8 foot skiff might've been a better comparison. (I forget, perhaps those other two fellows....Carter and Boyd, iirc, did in their experiments)

    Again, despite my overall nessie skepticism, I'm having a real hard time with the idea that he filmed a boat.

    Plus, everyone seems to be in agreement that Tim's honest reputation was irrefutable that his having another sighting (head and neck) can/should be taken as word.

    There's also the fact that any single crank or hoaxer would not be able to keep up 27 years of such reserved devotion to the pursuit as Mr Dinsdale... because he saw and experienced something truly extraordinary


    1. Indeed, Tim was no hoaxer. He had two further head-neck sightings over 27 years. Shwo you how difficult it is to spot these creatures, let alone get a shot of them.

  8. One other thing. Once the object was traveling parallel to the shore and a supposed boat would show its full length to the camera.... where is it??

    It's one thing having a boat filmed from its back end giving the appearance of a hump, but not from its side view you'd suppose


    1. Jon - those whose say Dinsdale filmed a boat explain it like this: the object does not submerge at all, but due to the limited range of the B&W film it simply blends into the shadowy side of the loch as it enters the shadow. The light had changed when the control footage was shot. My problem with this theory is that Dinsdale was seeing it live and in color, not in B&W, which means either the object submerged or Dinsdale was flat out lying.

    2. Yes hopkarma, that bothers me too. Plus GB says he's had two other non filmed sightings where I thought it was just one. Also the loch is just not that wide to mistake a boat. I think a range stated was around 1300 yards which translates to .74 miles. You'd have to be blind as a bat.... lol


  9. This link will get you to the page where you can click on the famous Dinsdale film, and which is shown in MUCH longer form than I've personally ever seen:

    Clearly those debunkers who've been using a side shot of the filmed 'control' boat footage from later the same day, claiming it's new, startling proof that Dinsdale only filmed a boat, can have no response to the actual animal footage, going away from the camera and almost totally submerging from the side view. Seeing this full film has absolutely made my day/week/year.

    1. I seriously doubt Adrian Shine mixed up the two films, the original and the control, when he ran his image stacking experiments. Actually it would hardly matter, as he applied the technique to both films for comparison, and you can find side by side examples of results from both if you scroll down a ways at:

      In the end the boat in one looks so much like the boat in the other because, well, in this case they're both boats.

  10. Roland, this jam-packed article is very informative and the whole site is just a gem. Long may you wave!

  11. GB-

    A wonderful presentation of your time at the loch. As always, your observations are insightful and thought-provoking. Thanks for continuing to maintain such a marvelous blog.

  12. A fine expedition Roland, and a great travel report. This particular article was an especially good read, with the night time drive down Monster Alley a major highlight indeed. Thanks for sharing the thrill of that with us all.

    As for the Dinsdale film, offhand would you or anyone here recall how many seconds of filming were lost each time Tim paused to wind his camera? Now why do I ask that?

    While we have the full film up at I've been getting the best look at it I think I've ever had, and I think I'm ready to suggest something to upset my friends on both sides of the monster/boat debate. Everyone could be right.

    Adrian's image stacking methodology is perfectly sound and technically rigorous, and I stand with Dick's analysis and interpretation of those image results. It's a boat in those frames, headed south west and parallel to the far shore. That's not going to get refuted, not scientifically, because it's irrefutable. The skeptics are correct.

    But the object filmed crossing the Loch north westwards, headed away from Tim in the first 17 seconds of footage really, really appears to be a different object. I'd like to see the image stacking process applied to these earlier frames, to see if it can refute what my eyes are telling me: THAT is an animal. Not just because of the lack of the propeller wake, but because I see a dark hump, a (big) head raised and turning at one point, and even a sinusoidally flexing tail scraping the the surface behind the hump at one point. That's what my eyes are telling me, and if that's true then the non-skeptics are also correct.

    (continued in 2nd comment)

  13. (continued from above)

    I would draw everyone's attention to Seconds 17 and 18 of the film (or 41 and 42 if you don't allow for the 24 seconds of documentary text preceding the footage at the site for Angus Dinsdale's book). At the bottom of Second 16 the object we've observed swimming away from us so far raises its head or front end a second time and plunges or dives with a notably big splash. Checking Tim's account in his book Loch Ness Monster, this corresponds to the point he said he filmed the submergence. In second 17 we no longer see the object itself anymore, nor continued progress across the Loch, only a fair disturbance in the water where the animal sounded. It's only a second, one scant second preserved on film, but if in that second Tim was filming a boat, what's it doing under water?

    Second 18 of the film resumes AFTER Tim paused for one of the camera winds. How much time had lapsed here I wonder? We now have a boat, and it's proven to be a boat, speeding southwest, parallel to the shore, it's wake perpendicularly intersecting the previous direction of the subsided but still visible disturbance where the object in Second 17 submerged. If these are the same object, then it resurfaced while Tim was winding the camera, and executed an almost perfect 90 degree port (left) turn. We see that in the film, and in Tim's diagram in his book. He took this second object to be a re-emergence of the first, having made that acute turn.

    Unfortunately Dinsdale was panning to the left, so the disturbance where the first object submerged is sitting right on the right-hand border, the very edge of the frame. We can't see what's in the water to the right of that. If we could, I'd conjecture we'd see the wake of object #2, the boat, extending further to the right, back the way it came. Tim would have overlooked the boat until then as it would have been very inconspicuous sitting motionless, before it started it's motor as it must have while he was busy winding up the camera during the break in filming between Seconds 17 and 18. Perhaps the helmsman of object #2 had even seen object #1 approaching and decided to get the hell out of there. Perhaps the animal heard the engine start, knew the boat would cross its path, explaining why it picked that very moment to heave up and dive fast.

    And so perhaps everyone is actually right. Or is it just that I like happy endings?


    1. I'll do my own image stacking when the time comes, science is a discipline that demands reproducability. However, 60 seconds of film at 24fps is 1440 frames, so that will take some time.

      A boat and a monster? You would make a good ambassador, Steve!

    2. Steve - I doubt that image stacking would tell us much in the first part of the film as the object is well-defined without it. Close examination of the film suggests to me a rolling motion consistent with a light displacement boat but not consistent with a mainly submerged object, and of course rolling would mess up the stacking process.

      I did have one thought while at Foyers a few days ago and that was that Tim described the object as being of a mahogany colour, and the rock faces along the opposite shore are also of a reddish colour, making image recognition difficult.

      Before anyone asks, I have experimented with image stacking on my own 1967 film, but with no useful result. Birds running on the surface would - and did - simply make for a grey blur.

    3. GB: The Bolex does NOT shoot at a consistent 24fps, making both sync sound AND Nessie analysis very difficult, indeed!

      Using 24fps as a consistent model is going to yield a flawed result.

    4. So ... how would you retrofit that to previous analyses?

    5. Hard to say, as I'm not a mathematician. The issue is further compounded by the fact that JARIC studied stills rather than the actual motion picture (!).

      But the deal is this: the motor is wound and then runs for roughly thirty seconds. Sometimes twenty-eight. Or twenty-nine. Or thirty-one. Or thirty-two. Couple this with the fact that as the motor winds down, the frame rate changes as the film speed is compromised.

      I used this camera in film school, and external audio recorded on a seperate unit doesn't always sync, as it captures at a consistent speed, while the camera does not.

      The Bolex was designed for wartime filming, in remote locations: no power source needed. Crank, then shoot for half a minute. This offered the ability to shoot in the trenches or the wild, but for speed measurements, it can be unreliable.

      May be a minor issue, may not. Regardless, I've not seen this mentioned in any of the literature.

    6. This is fascinating information, ekm. I've wanted for some time to know more about the workings of the camera used. Many thanks.

  14. Something(s) bugging me about this image stacking business and I'm trying to figure it out.
    I for one can not quite make the jump that the object in Dinsdale's film one to one corresponds with the control image stack of the boat.
    Again, we are subject here to the human brain's desire for pattern making. To those that say Dinsdale filmed a boat, they see a man in a boat (with apologies to various regional analogies to a certain female body part), while others see the creature.

    Now how big to you reckon Dinsdale's 'boat' is? Because that 'person' seems to be freakishly large in comparison to the person in the control boat.

    Everything in a (film) photograph is real, not only the boat, so everything in a frame is going to be composed of film grain and in the case of movie film, it'll always be shifting from one exposure to the next. However, there should be a difference when image stacking with regards to a fixed solid object (boat, rock, house, shore, etc) and that of objects constantly in flux (water falls, waves, clouds, nessie's wake? etc).
    This is why you will get that blurred misty quality from moving water while stationary objects stay in sharp focus in time exposed photographs we are all familiar with.

    Same holds true for image stacking. Successive stacking of film frames will make the water blur while more or less the 'solid' object (the boat, as long as its in register) should show up more defined/sharper. Which the boat does in the control image stack.
    However, in the Dinsdale film, it does not, except perhaps for the head of the wake (the bright spot being touted as the supposed license disc).

    On a side note... one person engaging in an image stacking experiment (Mr Shine) does not make for good science ironically. Maybe 10 non biased photoshop experts provided with the still frames and have them all image stack separately?

    I'm also a bit dubious of this image stacking which seems to taken from a videotape recording of a televised recording and then photographed off a tv screen. Hmmmm


  15. Jon - There were substantial waves at the time of the Nessie filming, evidenced by the splashing of the bows - the "paddle strokes". These would cause the boat to go through more than one pitch cycle during the >4 seconds of frames used for the stack, so distorting it in the vertical plane. The frames were only registered in the horizontal plane and not in the pitch axis. The wave height had reduced considerably by the time of the comparison boat sequence, as can be seen from the areas of "catspaws". Now that the Dinsdale family have made a better quality version of the film available "duty-free", anyone can do their own measurements of the object's speed once they are told that the height of the road where the white vehicle is travelling is 28 -29 metres above sea level,(from spot heights) and that the loch surface averages 16 metres a.s.l. This means that the distance between the shoreline and the road level is for practical purposes 13 metres. That gives you a scale by which you can calculate the speed of the object, realise that it is within the hull speed of a light displacement angler's boat, and so negate the JARIC conclusion that it is "probably animate".
    This in no way "disproves" anything about strange things being observed at Loch Ness, except that this particular one has now, after 53 years, been finally explained.

    1. Thanks for the reply Dick. I understand what you're saying regarding your explanation as to why the object Dinsdale filmed wasn't as distinct as the control boat subject and have taken that into further consideration.

      However, let me dig further.... or nitpick as the case may be. Theoretically, unless multiple experiments are done as close as possible with regards to lighting, time of day and year, equipment, film stock... what you wind up with is what we have now.... a good enough representation for the boat advocates to say its a boat and not good enough for the contrary view.

      Something else. Now who exactly was it that was boating their way in that area at that day and time? I'd imagine any resident with a licensed motorized skiff in the habit of cruising the loch would pretty much be a well known an easily identified person.
      IOW, there probably isn't a single person on this planet unaware of the Dinsdale film, let alone a motor boating Loch Ness resident, that they would have come forward at some point and say, "hey lads... that was me!"

      Maybe some one has but the only mention of such a thing that I can recall is that some gentlemen, whether operating in some sort of official loch caretaking capacity or a private citizen, was said to usually travel across the loch around that time. But, I've never read anything to my knowledge about an actual person claiming to be the boat operator that was filmed.

      Anyways, I wish I lived there and be able to hang with all you guys. I imagine you all as very interesting characters to be with. I guess I imagine Scots as some version or another of Billy Connolly, lol


    2. Jon, It may come as a surprise but I think there are many people living in Foyers today who have never seen nor even heard of the Dinsdale Film. Thirty or forty years ago it would have been a higher proportion. A keen salmon angler would be out fishing, not watching television, and I am not even sure that there was any reception in that area back then. There are several boat launching places at Foyers, and none are in the general view of residential properties, so comings and goings by boat were and still are a commonplace event, but mainly unobserved. There was a suggestion that Jock Forbes had a boat, but I think that story has been roundly denied. If it were true I suspect he would have needed a larger than usual one :-)

      PS I am not a Scot.

    3. Sorry, my faux pas. Hope it isn't some regional insult I committed by my ignorant ugly amerikan self. ;-D

      Anywho, more questions I'm raising regarding this particular image stacking but I don't want to expound on it if this particular thread has run its course. ;)

      Appreciate the back and forth with you all nonetheless

      Jon (half wop, half ukey)

    4. Jon - Feel free to email me or ask questions at the Great Loch Ness Monster Debate Facebook page if you don't want to ask here.
      As for the regional insult question, I'm not offended at all. We of Anglian descent - with the names Raynor or Watson :-) have ancestors who came from the Jutland peninsula = modern Denmark in the post Roman period.

    5. Appreciate the invites Dick. :)


  16. Interesting read. I've been to Loch Ness many times as I only live a few miles away. It's a beautiful place to visit, with or without Nessie.