Nessie caught on sonar [Debatable]

This story appeared in the Scottish edition of the Daily Mail for Thursday 15th September 2011. It looks like it did not make the UK website of the Mail, so it is reproduced here for those outside of Scotland.
From Scotland print edition of The Daily Mail:
There is no sign of the trademark elongated neck, or the signature green humps. But the experts believe this almost unfathomable sonar image could be a breakthrough in the hint for Nessie that began in earnest in 1934.
Includes sonar images and reproduces the article. But, it’s just not that impressive. Too bad.

  13 comments for “Nessie caught on sonar [Debatable]

  1. Roland Watson
    September 20, 2011 at 12:10 PM

    What does an impressive sonar image look like?

  2. idoubtit
    September 20, 2011 at 12:40 PM

    Well, for most people who use sonar, I suspect a good image looks like a school of fish, not a log, which is what this looks like to me.

  3. September 20, 2011 at 2:10 PM

    A log at a depth of 70 feet?

  4. idoubtit
    September 22, 2011 at 7:30 AM

    Sorry it took me so long to reply but I was looking for a reference. Found it. Page 61 of Radford and Nickell’s Lake Monster Mysteries. Jerry Monk, a British hydrographic surveyor notes that when a piece of wood is immersed in water, over time, it sinks. If there is a thermocline, it is possible for the log to float in mid-water on the denser layer of cold water. Or, the log may sink, decay and form methane, which makes it rise again. The log idea, sinking and rising, degassing and sinking again was used to explain the Mansi sighting on Lake Champlain.

  5. Roland Watson
    September 22, 2011 at 8:18 AM

    Plausible – but is it probable? Two different words.

    You have presented a theory but that is only the half of it. You now need to apply it to the data in this situation and see if the theory has some reasonable probability to it.

    You’ll need to figure:

    The relation of the object’s depth to the depth of the summer thermocline at Loch Ness.

    Decay rates in the high oxygen, high acidity environment of Loch Ness.

    Incidence of logs at Loch Ness.

    Seiche factors and how they overcome the tendency of the log to sink.

    The apparent minimum 2.5 feet height of the object in relation to how big a log can be carried by currents.

    There are probably more factors to consider …


  6. idoubtit
    September 22, 2011 at 8:59 AM

    It’s highly plausible and probable. Lots of logs. A known thermocline. Certainly, there are a myriad of other possible explanations but log is a damn simple one. What is NOT probable is that they captured a sonar of an animal that has remained undetectable and undiscovered for centuries.

  7. idoubtit
    September 22, 2011 at 9:01 AM

    And I didn’t present a theory necessarily. That word is grossly overused and misused. I presented a quite logical interpretation of the image considering the context. I wish it were better evidence for a living creature but it’s so poor that it hardly merits much attention.

  8. Roland Watson
    September 22, 2011 at 9:27 AM

    Well, I’ll do the interpreting of your theory/intrepretation for you.

    I’ll post on my blog in due course.

  9. September 22, 2011 at 9:51 AM

    I know this is a serious thread – but if my kids eat/drink too much blue food coloring their poops look like that green thing.

    Doctor Atlantis – striving to elevate the discourse since 1997.

  10. September 22, 2011 at 11:13 AM

    Sharon’s correct about this. Mr. Watson is wrong in suggesting that a detailed study of all the environmental factors in Loch Ness need to be considered. We do not need to do an exhaustive inventory of every log or tree in the lake; it is a known fact that there are trees and logs in the lake, and I personally saw and photographs several when I was at the lake. We do not need to do a detailed study of Ness’s themoclines at the exact time of year, because we know they exist in the lake, and it’s irrelevant because logs can and do move up and down through thermoclines in all seasons. Some are more likely to cause log bouyancy than others, but the phenomenon can happen at any time of year. This is merely a transparent attempt to shift the burden of proof. I don’t know if it’s a log or not, but until someone offers better evidence for an alternative explanation, Occam’s Razor suggests this should be the best answer.

  11. Roland Watson
    September 22, 2011 at 11:41 AM


    You exaggerate to make your argument look better.

    Where did I say an “exhaustive inventory of every log or tree in the lake” was required? You can get the information off the web.

    Where did I say you need to do a “detailed study of Ness’s themoclines at the exact time of year”? You can get the information off the web.

    You talk about logs moving up and down the thermocline but the sonar trace moved horizontally.

    You talk about seeing logs in Loch Ness, were any at least 2-3 feet thick and did you observe them floating underwater?

    You get nearer to the truth when you say you don’t know if it’s a log or not. It’s okay to say that – there is no need to feel compelled to offer solutions that only look plausible on the surface. I am not even saying it is the LNM (but I do not discount it).

    Occam’s razor doesn’t state that any old explanation will do so long as it is not the “monster”.

    Unlike you guys, I am attempting to contact the witness to get more answers.

  12. September 22, 2011 at 4:45 PM

    “Occam’s razor doesn’t state that any old explanation will do so long as it is not the “monster”.”

    Actually… I’m pretty sure that is exactly what Occam’s razor says. Unless the monster is a known, real, proven entity then any plausible explanation based on viable causes would be more likely than a monster in the loch.

    But I hope you’ll share the outcome of your witness interviews. I fear that the ephemeral nature of the sonar strike won’t be much help – but if you find otherwise I’d like to hear about it.

  13. September 22, 2011 at 5:29 PM

    I will endeavour to keep you informed of my search for the man on the boat. He may yet have something to add (or subtract) from the story. After all, not all newspaper accounts are concise and accurate.

    I invite you to peruse the rest of my blog maintained for the defense of the Loch Ness Monster!

Comments are closed.