Tuesday 20 June 2023

First Photograph of 2023


A tourist from France presents us with the first claimed Nessie photograph of the year as the Daily Telegraph relates from the 16th June:

A tourist visiting Loch Ness has claimed to have seen a 65ft-long dark shape moving just beneath the surface of the water for several minutes. Etienne Camel, a pharmacist from Lyon and his wife Eliane were taking holiday photos from the west side of the loch near Invermoriston when they made the latest sighting of the long-reputed “monster”.

He said: “It was quite strange. I am a man of science so I never believed that the Loch Ness monster is a prehistoric animal. But when I was taking a picture I saw this long, long shadow. I called my wife over and we saw the shadow move. I thought maybe it was a cloud, but there was none, or a boat, but none was near or reefs. There were small waves, like something was moving. It was 15-20m long and was about 150m away. It was quite strange and then it disappeared."

He added: “We could not tell if it was an animal, but something was moving under the water. I have never seen such [things] in lakes – and we have many where we live – before.”

Now the kind of photographs I like show something solid and animate on the surface, but disturbances of the water surface still need an examination. Since there is nothing visible on the water, you can't really argue for it being anything unusual unless the water is being disturbed in unexpected ways which brings us to the various natural explanations suggested in these situations.

Differentials in water turbulence left by boat wakes, windrows, catspaws and wind slicks all figure and sometimes groups of small animals, though this picture is detailed enough to exclude birds. I don't know how windy it was that day, but Loch Ness effectively acts as a wind tunnel channeling the general south-westerly wind up it and magnifying wind flows across the large surface area. That can lead to inconsistencies in the dynamics of the wind distribution.

In other words, localised and large areas can experience more or less turbulence than their surrounding waters and give the appearance of something underneath disturbing the surface or perhaps looking darker is seen at a longer distance. The fact that they will stay for a long time and be bigger than any monster (the witness said it was up to 60 feet long) is normally the give away features.

It was said to move, but alterations in wind flow can give that effect too. So, an interesting image which can be banked in the catalogue of things to look out for. These kind of pictures have been published on this blog over the years. This link tells the tale of another such image taken by Ken Ross in October 2012. 

That one was estimated to be about 200 feet long. We even have some videos as shown below. The first was taken in April 2010 at Urquhart Bay.

The second was taken in the same area later in August 2010 by some Italian tourists.

Now all these do not need the same explanation and indeed perhaps amongst all these there is one caused by a large object under the surface. It has to be said however, that Nessie must be some kind of buoyancy expert if she can consistently disturb the water surface without ever breaking it and exposing a neck, back or tail. Until that happens, at best file these pictures as inconclusive.

One final thought did occur to me. Take Etienne Camel's picture, zoom it out, put it at a much further distance to flatten it, image it on a low resolution webcam rather than a camera and you will likely end up with something like the picture below. They won't explain all of Eoin's pictures - some, but not all.

But keep looking, keep snapping and who knows? Get back to us when y'all get something like this.

... or this ...

... or this. And if you believe that no good, clear pictures of the Loch Ness Monster have been obtained in the last ninety years, then you simply do not believe in the Loch Ness Monster!

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The author can also be contacted at lochnesskelpie@gmail.com