Loch ness monster
The Nessie also referred to as Loch ness monster is said to be a large dinosaur-like creature which resides in the Ness. Its existence has been justified by a series of sightings throughout the centuries. Sighting of this monster have been recorded as early as 6th century when an Irish monk, St Columbaconverted most of Scotland.
The legend claims that he also converted the creature by going out to the waters and commanding it to stop killing people.
Dr. Robert K. Wilson a physician from London began the modern legend by claiming to have photographed a beast with a long neck emerging from the waters. This photograph generated a lot of debate about the existence of such a creature and it is still at the centre of controversy. Chief Constable Williams Fraser wrote a letter in 1938 stating that he was without sure the creature existed. Fraser was concerned about hunters who had set up camp at the loch with harpoon gun and a great determination to catch the creature against all odds. In his letter he lamented that he was doubtful if it was within his ability to fully protect the animal.
In 1943 a Royal Observer Corps serviceman C.B Farrell is said to been distracted from his task by the Loch ness monster sighting. He said that a creature protruded from the lake at about 230 meters from where he was. It was a finned large-eyed beast measuring about 6 to 9 meters with a 4-5 feet neck emerging from the lake.
Rival III, a fishing boat in December 1954 made sonar contact of a huge object travelling at the same pace with the vessel at about 480 feet underneath. The object kept up with the boat for half a mile before breaking contact which was later picked up again.
Tims Dinsdale an aeronautic engineer made a film of a hump moving across the lake while leaving powerful wake behind. He recorded this event on the last day of his hunt for the creature describing it as having a red spot on the side. As soon as he got his camera ready the beast began moving and he captured it on 40 feet of film. While some people were skeptical claiming that the hump could have been a boat others declared that the movements were similar to those of an animal. The film was later enhanced by Discovery Communication and made into a documentary about the mysterious creature. The IT expert who was charged with enhancing the film noticed a shadowy appearance in the negative that was not previously seen. As he overlapped the film frames he noticed that that something resembling the rear body of an animal appeared underwater.
On 24th of August 2011 a local boat skipper, Marcus Atkison took pictures of a sonar image measuring 5 ft wide of an unidentified object which followed his boat for about 2 minutes at 75 feet underwater. Atkison said there was no possibility that this was a seal or a small fish hence he believed that this must have been the famous Loch ness monster. Scientists from National Oceanography Centre argued that the image was a bloom of zooplankton and algae. This theory was hotly contested by a crypto zoologist known as Roland Watson who claimed that the image could not be algae since these organisms require sunlight to thrive and Loch Ness waters are too dark at 75 feet to allow such growth to occur.
Between 1967 and 1968 vigorous sonar studies were conducted by Loch Ness Phenomena Investigation Bureau (LNPIB). Professor Gordon Tucker from the University of Birmingham, England volunteered as a sonar expert and developer at Loch Ness. Tucker had picked a prototype transducer with a range of about 800 meters. The device was deployed in the waters at Temple pier and the beams directed towards the opposite shore. This meant that it drew an acoustic net across the width of Ness and nothing could pass it undetected. Throughout the 2 week trial period various animate targets measuring about 20 feet could be identified diving and ascending from the bottom. These creatures never moved to shallower waters or surfaced thus ruling out air-breathers.
The LNPIB thus gave a short press release saying that the solution to the issue about unusual existence in Loch Ness pointed to large objects which had to be animals but they were highly unlikely to be fish. Fishery biologists who were consulted could not suggest what kind of fish that could make such movements. The only feasible explanation was that the activities of the legendary Loch ness monster had been observed underwater at last.
In 2003 a fully-sponsored search of the legendary creature by BBC using 600 sonar beams as well as satellite tracking systems was put into motion. The search equipment had the ability to pick up even small buoys. The sonar beams did not pick signs of a substantial animal in spite of the high hopes held by the scientists involved that the mystery would be finally solved. The scientists therefore concluded that no such creature existed in the Ness and the stories about its sightings were only a myth.
Many explanations have been offered by various scientists either disputing or explaining the mystery surrounding the Loch Ness monster sightings. Some scientists have claimed that seiches and wakes are responsible for the unusual ripples that are witnessed on the lake. Seiches are large oscillation of water bodies caused by water reverting to natural levels after getting blown to another part of the lake. This impetus from the reversion proceeds to the windward side of the lake end before reverting back. Loch Ness is said to experience this phenomena every 31.5 minutes.
Optical effects are part of the explanations offered by scientists about the hump-like sightings at the lake. Wind effects often give a choppy look to the lake surface making the occasionally calm areas the appearance of dark ovals which usually appear as humps to an observer from the shore. This might look like humps to people who are not familiar with the lake as demonstrated by Lehn in 1979 who proved that refraction from the atmosphere could distort the size and shape of animals. He later showed an image of a rock illusion on a lake that looked like a neck and a head while in essence it was caused by optical distortion.