New photo of Nessie and Video !!!
Loch Ness is a large, deep, freshwater loch
in the Scottish Highlands extending for
approximately 37 km (23 miles) southwest of Inverness. Its surface
is 15.8 metres (52 ft) above sea level.
It is connected at the southern end by the River Oich and a section
of the Caledonian Canal to Loch Oich. At the northern end there
is the Bona Narrows which opens out into Loch Dochfour, which feeds
the River Ness and a further section of canal to Inverness. It
is one of a series of interconnected, murky bodies of water in
Scotland; its water visibility is exceptionally low due to a high
peat content in the surrounding soil.
Loch Ness is the second largest
Scottish loch by surface area at 56.4 km2 (21.8 sq mi) after Loch
Lomond, but due to its great
depth it is the largest by volume. Its deepest point is 230 m (754
ft), deeper than the height of London's BT Tower at 189 m (620
ft) and deeper than any other loch with the exception of Loch Morar.
It contains more fresh water than all lakes in England and Wales
combined, and is the largest body of water on the Great Glen
Fault, which runs from Inverness in the north to Fort William in
Underwater photo of Nessie
|The Loch Ness Monster is a creature believed to inhabit Loch
Ness in the Scottish Highlands. It is similar to other supposed
lake monsters in Scotland and elsewhere, though its description
varies from one account to the next. Popular interest and belief
in the animal has fluctuated since it was brought to the world's
attention in 1933. Evidence of its existence is largely anecdotal,
with minimal and much disputed photographic material and sonar
readings. The scientific community regards the Loch Ness Monster
as a modern-day myth, and explains sightings as a mix of hoaxes
and wishful thinking. Despite this, it remains one of the most
famous examples of cryptozoology. The legendary monster has been
affectionately referred to by the diminutive Nessie (Scottish
Gaelic: Niseag) since the 1950s.
The term "monster" was reportedly coined on 2 May 1933
by Alex Campbell, the water bailiff for Loch Ness and a part-time
journalist, in a report in the Inverness Courier. On
4 August 1933, the Courier published as a full news item the
claim of a London man, George Spicer, that a few weeks earlier
while motoring around the Loch, he and his wife had seen "the
nearest approach to a dragon or pre-historic animal that I have
ever seen in my life", trundling across the road toward
the Loch carrying "an animal" in its mouth. Other
letters began appearing in the Courier, often anonymously, with
claims of land or water sightings, either on the writer's part
or on the parts of family, acquaintances or stories they remembered
being told. These stories soon reached the national (and later
the international) press, which talked of a "monster fish", "sea
serpent", or "dragon", eventually settling
on "Loch Ness Monster". On 6 December 1933 the
first purported photograph of the monster, taken by Hugh Gray,
was published, and shortly after the creature received official
notice when the Secretary of State for Scotland ordered the police
to prevent any attacks on it. In 1934, interest was further
sparked by what is known as The Surgeon's Photograph. In the
same year R. T. Gould published a book, the first of many
which describe the author's personal investigation and collected
record of additional reports pre-dating the summer of 1933. Other
authors made claims that sightings of the monster went as far
back as the 6th century (see below).
The earliest report of a monster associated with the vicinity
of Loch Ness appears in the Life of St. Columba by Adomnán,
written sometime during the 7th century. According to Adomnán,
writing about a century after the events he described, the Irish
monk Saint Columba was staying in the land of the Picts with
his companions when he came across the locals burying a man by
the River Ness. They explained that the man had been swimming
the river when he was attacked by a "water beast" that
had mauled him and dragged him under. They tried to rescue him
in a boat, but were able only to drag up his corpse. Hearing
this, Columba stunned the Picts by sending his follower Luigne
moccu Min to swim across the river. The beast came after him,
but Columba made the sign of the cross and commanded: "Go
no further. Do not touch the man. Go back at once."
The beast immediately halted as if it had been "pulled back
with ropes" and fled in terror, and both Columba's men and
the pagan Picts praised God for the miracle. Believers in
the Loch Ness Monster often point to this story, which notably
takes place on the River Ness rather than the loch itself, as
evidence for the creature's existence as early as the 6th century.
However, sceptics question the narrative's reliability, noting
that water-beast stories were extremely common in medieval saints'
Lives; as such, Adomnán's tale is likely a recycling of
a common motif attached to a local landmark.
According to the skeptics, Adomnán's story may be independent
of the modern Loch Ness Monster legend entirely, only becoming
attached to it in retrospect by believers seeking to bolster
their claims. Additionally, in an article for Cryptozoology,
A. C. Thomas notes that even if there were some truth to the
story, it could be explained rationally as an encounter with
a walrus or similar creature that had gotten up the river.
Binns acknowledges that this account is the most serious of
various alleged early sighting of the monster, but argues that
all other claims of monster sightings prior to 1933 are highly
dubious and do not prove that there was a tradition of the monster
before this date.
Modern interest in the monster was sparked by the 22 July 1933
sighting, when George Spicer and his wife saw 'a most extraordinary
form of animal' cross the road in front of their car.They
described the creature as having a large body (about 4 feet (1
m) high and 25 feet (8 m) long), and long, narrow neck, slightly
thicker than an elephant's trunk and as long as the ten- to twelve-feet
(3.0–3.7 m) width of the road; the neck had a number of
undulations in it. They saw no limbs, possibly because of a dip
in the road obscuring the animal's lower portion. It lurched
across the road towards the loch 20 yards (20 m) away, leaving
only a trail of broken undergrowth in its wake.
In August 1933 a motorcyclist named Arthur Grant claimed to
have nearly hit the creature while approaching Abriachan on the
north-eastern shore, at about 1 am on a moonlit night. Grant
claimed that he saw a small head attached to a long neck, and
that the creature saw him and crossed the road back into the
loch. Grant said he dismounted and followed it to the loch, but
only saw ripples. However some believe this story was
intended as a humorous explanation of a motorcycle accident.
In another 1933 sighting, a young maidservant named Margaret
Munro supposedly observed the creature for about 20 minutes.
She claimed it was about 6:30 am on 5 June, when she spotted
it on shore from about 200 yards (180 m). She described it as
having elephant-like skin, a long neck, a small head and two
short forelegs or flippers. The sighting apparently ended when
the creature re-entered the water.
Sporadic land sightings continued until 1963, when a poor-quality
film of the creature was made from a distance of several miles.
C.B. Farrel (1943)
In May 1943, C. B. Farrel of the Royal Observer Corps was supposedly
distracted from his duties by a Nessie sighting. He claimed
to have been about 250 yards (230 m) away from a large-eyed,
'finned' creature, which had a twenty- to thirty-foot (6–9
m) long body, and a neck that protruded about 4-5 feet (1.2-1.5
m) out of the water.
Sonar contact (1954)
In December 1954 a strange sonar contact was made by the fishing
boat Rival III. The vessel's crew observed sonar readings of
a large object keeping pace with the boat at a depth of 480
feet (146 m). It was detected travelling for half a mile (800
m) in this manner, before contact was lost, but then found
again later. Many sonar attempts had been made previously,
but most were either inconclusive or negative.
Photographs and films
The 'Surgeon's Photograph' (1934)
The Surgeon's PhotographOne of the most iconic images of Nessie
is known as the 'Surgeon's Photograph', which many formerly
considered to be good evidence of the monster. Its importance
lies in the fact that it was the only photographic evidence
of a “head and neck” – all the others are
humps or disturbances. The image was revealed as a hoax
Supposedly taken by Robert Kenneth Wilson, a London gynaecologist,
it was published in the Daily Mail on 21 April 1934. Wilson's
refusal to have his name associated with the photograph led to
its being called "Surgeon's Photograph". The ripples
on the photo fit the size and circular pattern of small ripples
as opposed to large waves when photographed up close. Analyses
of the original uncropped image have fostered further doubt.
A year before the hoax was revealed, the makers of Discovery
Communications's documentary Loch Ness Discovered analysed the
uncropped image and found a white object was visible in every
version of the photo, implying it was on the negative. "It
seems to be the source of ripples in the water, almost as if
the object was towed by something", the narrator said. "But
science cannot rule out it was just a blemish on the negative",
he continued. Additionally, analysis of the full photograph revealed
the object to be quite small, only about 60 to 90 centimetres
(two to three ft) long.
In 1979 it was claimed to be a picture of an elephant (see below).
Other sceptics in the 1980s argued the photo was that of an otter
or a diving bird, but after Christian Spurling's confession most
agree it was what Spurling claimed - a toy submarine with a sculpted
head attached. The details of how it was done have been given
in a book. Essentially, it was a toy submarine with a head
and neck made of plastic wood, built by Christian Spurling, the
son-in-law of Marmaduke Wetherell, a big game hunter who had
been publicly ridiculed in the Daily Mail, the newspaper that
employed him. Spurling claimed that to get revenge, Marmaduke
Wetherell committed the hoax, with the help of Chris Spurling
(a sculpture specialist), his son Ian Marmaduke, who bought the
material for the fake Nessie, and Maurice Chambers (an insurance
agent), who would call to ask surgeon Robert Kenneth Wilson to
offer the pictures to the Daily Mail. The hoax story is disputed
by Henry Bauer, who claims this debunking is evidence of
bias, and asks why the perpetrators did not reveal their plot
earlier to embarrass the newspaper. He also claimed that plastic
wood did not exist in 1934, although it was a popular DIY and
modelling material in the early 1930s.
Alastair Boyd, one of the researchers who uncovered the hoax,
argues the Loch Ness Monster is real, and that the hoaxed Surgeon's
Photo is not cause enough to dismiss eyewitness reports and other
Taylor film (1938)
In 1938, G.E. Taylor, a South African tourist, filmed something
in the loch for three minutes on 16 mm colour film, which is
now in the possession of Maurice Burton. However, Burton has
refused to show the film to Loch Ness investigators (such as
Peter Costello or the Loch Ness Investigation Bureau). A single
frame was published in his book The Elusive Monster; before
he retired. Roy P. Mackal, a biologist and cryptozoologist,
declared the frame to be "positive evidence".
Later, it was shown also to the National Institute of Oceanography,
now known as the Southampton Oceanographic Centre. It was agreed
by the experts that the film clearly showed an ordinary inanimate
object floating in the Loch.
Dinsdale film (1960)
In 1960, aeronautical engineer Tim Dinsdale filmed a hump crossing the water
in a powerful wake unlike that of a boat. JARIC declared that the object
was "probably animate". Others were sceptical, saying that the "hump" cannot
be ruled out as being a boat, and claimed that when the contrast is increased
a man can be clearly seen in a boat.
In 1993 Discovery Communications made a documentary called Loch
Ness Discovered that featured a digital enhancement of the Dinsdale
film. A computer expert who enhanced the film noticed a shadow
in the negative which was not very obvious in the positive. By
enhancing and overlaying frames, he found what appeared to be
the rear body, the rear flippers, and 1-2 additional humps of
a plesiosaur-like body. He said that: "Before I saw the
film, I thought the Loch Ness Monster was a load of rubbish.
Having done the enhancement, I'm not so sure". Some
have countered this finding by saying that the angle of the film
from the horizontal along with sun's angle on that day made shadows
underwater unlikely. Believers (and some non-believers) claim
the shape could have been undisturbed water that was only coincidentally
shaped like a plesiosaur's rear end. But the same source
also says that there might be a smaller object (hump or head)
in front of the hump causing this. Nonetheless, the enhancement
did show a smaller second hump and possibly a third hump.
Holmes video (2007)
On 26 May 2007, Gordon Holmes, a 55-year-old lab technician,
captured video of what he said was "this jet black thing,
about 45 feet (14 m) long, moving fairly fast in the water." Adrian
Shine, a marine biologist at the Loch Ness 2000 centre in Drumnadrochit,
has watched the video and plans to analyze it. Shine also described
the footage as among "the best footage [he has] ever seen."
BBC Scotland broadcast the video on 29 May 2007. STV News'
North Tonight aired the footage on 28 May 2007 and interviewed
Holmes. In this feature, Adrian Shine of the Loch Ness Centre
was also interviewed and suggested that the footage in fact
showed an otter, seal or water bird.
Holmes's credibility has been doubted by an article on the Cryptomundo
website, which states that he has a history of reporting
sightings of cryptozoological creatures, and sells a self-published
book and DVD claiming evidence for fairies. His video also has
no other objects by which to discern size. The Monster Quest
team investigated this video as well in their TV episode "Death
of Loch Ness", where they examine evidence that Nessie has
died, as well as other photos.
The infamous Surgeons photo
| Searches for the monster
Sir Edward Mountain Expedition 1934
Having read the book by Gould, Edward Mountain decided to finance a proper
watch in which 20 men with binoculars and cameras were positioned around the
Loch from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., starting 13 July 1934 and running for five weeks.
Some 21 photographs were taken, though none was considered conclusive. Captain
James Fraser was employed as a supervisor, and remained by the Loch afterwards,
taking cine film (which is now lost) on 15 September 1934. When viewed by
zoologists and professors of natural history it was concluded that it showed
a seal, possibly a grey seal.
Loch Ness Phenomena Investigation Bureau (1962-1972)
The Loch Ness Phenomena Investigation Bureau (LNPIB) was a UK-based society
formed in 1962 "to study Loch Ness to identify the creature known as
the Loch Ness Monster or determine the causes of reports of it."[citation
needed] It later shortened the name to Loch Ness Investigation Bureau (LNIB).
It closed in 1972. The society had an annual subscription which covered administration.
Its main activity was for groups of self-funded volunteers to watch the loch
from various vantage points, equipped with cine cameras with telescopic lenses.
Its founders included MP David James and naturalist Peter Scott. From 1965
to 1972 it had a caravan camp and main watching platform at Achnahannet,
and sent observers to other locations up and down the loch. According
to the 1969 Annual Report of the Bureau, it had 1,030 members, of whom
588 were from the UK. Its directors were listed as Norman Collins (Chairman),
Lord Craigmyle, Prof. Roy P. Mackal, R. S. R. Fitter, David James, MP, and
The LNPIB sonar study (1967-1968)
Professor DG Tucker, chairman of the Department of Electronic and Electrical
Engineering at the University of Birmingham, England, volunteered his services
as a sonar developer and expert at Loch Ness in 1968. The gesture was part
of a larger effort helmed by the LNPIB from 1967-1968 and involved collaboration
between volunteers and professionals in various fields. Tucker had chosen Loch
Ness as the test site for a prototype sonar transducer with a maximum range
of 800 metres (2600 ft). The device was fixed underwater at Temple Pier in
Urquhart Bay and directed towards the opposite shore, effectively drawing an
acoustic 'net' across the width of Ness through which no moving object could
pass undetected. During the two-week trial in August, multiple animate targets
six metres (20 ft) in length were identified ascending from and diving to the
loch bottom. Analysis of diving profiles ruled out air-breathers because the
targets never surfaced or moved shallower than midwater. A brief press release
by LNPIB and associates touched on the sonar data and drew to a close the 1968
“ The answer to the question of whether or not unusual phenomena exist
in Loch Ness, Scotland, and if so, what their nature might be, was advanced
a step forward during 1968, as a result of sonar experiments conducted by a
team of scientists under the direction of D. Gordon Tucker... Professor Tucker
reported that his fixed beam sonar made contact with large moving objects sometimes
reaching speeds of at least 10 knots (19 km/h). He concluded that the objects
are clearly animals and ruled out the possibility that they could be ordinary
fish. He stated: "The high rate of ascent and descent makes it seem very
unlikely that they could be fish, and fishery biologists we have consulted
cannot suggest what fish they might be. It is a temptation to suppose they
might be the fabulous Loch Ness monsters, now observed for the first time in
their underwater activities!" ”
Andrew Carroll's sonar study (1969)
In 1969 Andrew Carroll, field researcher for the New York Aquarium in New York
City, proposed a mobile sonar scan operation at Loch Ness. The project was
funded by the Griffis foundation (named for Nixon Griffis, then a director
of the aquarium). This was the tail-end (and most successful portion) of
the LNPIB's 1969 effort involving submersibles with biopsy harpoons. The
trawling scan, in Carroll's research launch Rangitea, took place in October.
One sweep of the loch made contact with a strong, animate echo for nearly
three minutes just north of Foyers. The identity of the contact remains a
mystery. Later analysis determined that the intensity of the returning echo
was twice as great as that expected from a 10-foot (3 m) pilot whale. On
returning to the University of Chicago, biologist Roy Mackal and colleagues
subjected the sonar data to greater scrutiny and confirmed dimensions of
20 feet (6 m).
Earlier submersible work had yielded dismal results. Under the sponsorship
of World Book Encyclopedia, pilot Dan Taylor deployed the Viperfish at Loch
Ness on 1 June 1969. His dives were plagued by technical problems and produced
no new data. The Deep Star III built by General Dynamics and an unnamed two-man
submersible built by Westinghouse were scheduled to sail but never did. It
was only when the Pisces arrived at Ness that the LNPIB obtained new data.
Owned by Vickers, Ltd., the submersible had been rented out to produce The
Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, a film featuring a dummy Loch Ness Monster.
When the dummy monster broke loose from the Pisces during filming and sank
to the bottom of the loch, Vickers executives capitalized on the loss and
'monster fever' by allowing the sub to do a bit of exploring. During one
of these excursions, the Pisces picked up a large moving object on sonar
200 feet (60 m) ahead and 50 feet (15 m) above the bottom of the loch. Slowly
the pilot closed to half that distance but the echo moved rapidly out of
sonar range and disappeared.
"Big Expedition" of 1970
During the so-called "Big Expedition" of 1970, Roy Mackal, a biologist
who taught for 20 years at the University of Chicago, devised a system of hydrophones
(underwater microphones) and deployed them at intervals throughout the loch.
In early August a hydrophone assembly was lowered into Urquhart Bay and anchored
in 700 feet (215 m) of water. Two hydrophones were secured at depths of 300
and 600 feet (180 m). After two nights of recording, the tape (sealed inside
a 44 imperial gallon (55 US gal/200 L) steel drum along with the system's other
sensitive components) was retrieved and played before an excited LNPIB. "Bird-like
chirps" had been recorded, and the intensity of the chirps on the deep
hydrophone suggested they had been produced at greater depth. In October "knocks" and "clicks" were
recorded by another hydrophone in Urquhart Bay, indicative of echolocation.
These sounds were followed by a "turbulent swishing" suggestive of
the tail locomotion of a large aquatic animal. The knocks, clicks and resultant
swishing were believed to be the sounds of an animal echo-locating prey before
moving in for the kill. The noises stopped whenever craft passed along the
surface of the loch near the hydrophone—and resumed once the craft reached
a safe distance. In previous experiments, it was observed that call intensities
were greatest at depths less than 100 feet (30 m). Members of the LNPIB decided
to attempt communication with the animals producing the calls by playing back
previously recorded calls into the water and listening via hydrophone for results,
which varied greatly. At times the calling patterns or intensities changed,
but sometimes there was no change at all. Mackal noted that there was no similarity
between the recordings and the hundreds of known sounds produced by aquatic
animals. "More specifically," he said, "competent authorities
state that none of the known forms of life in the loch has the anatomical capabilities
of producing such calls."
Robert Rines's studies (1972, 1975 and 2001)
In the early 1970s, a group of people led by Robert H. Rines obtained some
underwater photographs. Two were rather vague images, perhaps of a rhomboid
flipper (though others have dismissed the image as air bubbles or a fish fin).
The alleged flipper was photographed in different positions, indicating movement.
On the basis of these photographs, British naturalist Peter Scott announced
in 1975 that the scientific name of the monster would henceforth be Nessiteras
rhombopteryx (Greek for "The Ness monster with diamond-shaped fin").
Scott intended that this would enable Nessie to be added to a British register
of officially protected wildlife. Scottish politician Nicholas Fairbairn pointed
out that the name was an anagram for "Monster hoax by Sir Peter S".
The underwater photos were reportedly obtained by painstakingly examining
the loch depths with sonar for unusual underwater activity. A submersible camera
with an affixed, high-powered light (necessary for penetrating Loch Ness' notorious
murk) was deployed to record images below the surface. Several of the photographs,
despite their obviously murky quality, did indeed seem to show an animal resembling
a plesiosaur in various positions and lightings. One photograph appeared to
show the head, neck and upper torso of a plesiosaur-like animal. A rarely publicized
photograph depicted two plesiosaur-like bodies. Another photo seemed to depict
a horned "gargoyle head", consistent to that of several sightings
of the monster. Some believe the latter to be a tree stump found during Operation
A few close-ups of what is to be the creature's supposed diamond-shaped fin
were taken in different positions, as though the creature was moving. But the "flipper
photograph" has been highly retouched from the original image. The Museum
of Hoaxes shows the original unenhanced photo. Charlie Wyckoff claimed that
someone retouched the photo to superimpose the flipper, and that the original
enhancement showed a much smaller flipper. No one is exactly sure how the original
came to be enhanced in this way.
On August 8, 1972, Rines' Raytheon DE-725C sonar unit, operating at a frequency
of 200kHz and anchored in Ness at a depth of 35 feet (11 m), identified a moving
target (or targets) estimated by echo strength to be 20-30 feet (6-9 m) in
length. Specialists from Raytheon, Simrad (now Kongsberg Maritime), and Hydroacoustics,
Inc.; Marty Klein of MIT and Klein Associates (a producer of side scan sonar);
and Dr. Ira Dyer of MIT's Department of Ocean Engineering were all on hand
to examine the data and come to this conclusion. Further, P. Skitzki of Raytheon
suggested that the data showed a protuberance, 10 feet in length, projecting
from one of the echoes. Mackal proposed that the shape was a "highly flexible
laterally flattened tail" or the misinterpreted return from two animals
In 2001, the Robert Rines' Academy of Applied Science videoed a powerful V-shaped
wake traversing the still water on a calm day. The AAS also videotaped an object
on the floor of the loch resembling a carcass, found marine clam-shells and
a fungus not normally found in fresh water lakes, which they suggest gives
some connection to the sea and a possible entry for Nessie.
In 2008, Rines expressed his fear that the monster may have become extinct,
citing the lack of significant sonar readings and a decline in eyewitness accounts.
Rines plans on one last expedition to look for remains of the monster before
he gets too old.
Operation Deep Scan (1987)
In 1987, Operation Deepscan took place - the biggest sonar exploration of Loch
Ness. Twenty-four boats equipped with sonar were deployed across the whole
width of the lake and they simultaneously sent out acoustic waves. BBC News
reported that the scientists had made sonar contact with a large unidentified
object of unusual size and strength. The researchers decided to return to
the same spot and re-scan the area. After analysing the SONAR images, it
seemed to point to debris at the bottom of the lake, although three of the
pictures were of moving debris. Shine speculates that they could be seals
that got into the lake, since they would be of about the same magnitude as
the objects detected.
Darrell Lowrance, sonar expert and founder of Lowrance Electronics, donated
a number of sonar units used during Operation Deepscan. After examining the
echogram data, specifically a sonar return revealing a large moving object
near Urquhart Bay at a depth of 600 feet (183 m), Lowrance said: "There's
something here that we don't understand, and there's something here that's
larger than a fish, maybe some species that hasn't been detected before. I
Discovery Loch Ness (1993)
In 1993 Discovery Communications began to research the ecology of the loch.
The study did not focus entirely on the monster, but on the loch's nematodes
(of which a new species was discovered) and fish. Expecting to find a small
fish population, the researchers caught twenty fish in one catch, increasing
previous estimates of the loch's fish population about ninefold.
Using sonar, the team encountered a kind of underwater disturbance (called
a seiche) due to stored energy (such as from a wind) causing an imbalance between
the loch's warmer and colder layers (known as the thermocline). While reviewing
printouts of the event the next day, they found what appeared to be three sonar
contacts, each followed by a powerful wake. These events were later shown on
a program called Loch Ness Discovered, in conjunction with analyses and enhancements
of the 1960 Dinsdale Film, the Surgeon's Photo, and the Rines Flipper Photo.