Monday 26 October 2020

Adrian Shine describes a good Nessie sonar contact


Back in October 1987 we had the million pound Operation Deepscan run by Adrian Shine. It was a worldwide media event as attention focused on what a line of cruise boats armed with Lowrance sonar units would reveal in the depths of the loch below. If you jump four minutes and zero seconds into this typical media piece on the Loch Ness Monster at this link, it shows an archive piece of Adrian discussing the kind of sonar contact the operation would be looking for. To quote Adrian:

What we really want to see right now is a lovely crescent shape about half way down the chart.

So has Adrian's wish now been fulfilled? That looks like a lovely crescent shape to me. Now speaking of Adrian, in the light of Cruise Loch Ness producing a second, but not as good, sonar image, Craig Wallace of Kongsberg sonar products has offered their services in a more precise search. It looks like my previous article where I suggested his company's products could make a return visit has become a bit prescient.

Well, not quite, he also added "If any groups would be willing to sponsor the attempt, I would love the opportunity to attend with these types of sonar". Sponsors means money and since I stated previously that renting out their equipment and experts could run into the hundreds of thousands of pounds, that needs a commercial company or government agency to stump up the cash. Like Operation Deepscan, the equivalent of the Highland and Islands Development Board could stump up the cash to restimulate the Highland economy after the covid-19 recession. If they get stingy and just go for a week's operation, this could backfire.

Going back to Adrian, Kongsberg used the local expertise of Adrian and the Loch Ness Project when they last ran tests here. If this becomes an "official" search for the Loch Ness Monster, who do you want as the spokesman for the hunt? A believer or an unbeliever? My money would be on Steve Feltham. The Loch Ness Project can still offer their services, but they are never going to interpret any sonar data as a large, unknown animal! And, Steve, catfish do not tend to be 15-20 feet long, the record for a catfish is about nine feet long. Whatever this is, it would eat that catfish for lunch.

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