When Dr Rines involved his Academy of Applied Science in the search at Loch Ness, there was great hope that the introduction of American technology would usher in a new era of Loch Ness research. Rines brought a new optimism to the search, a new enthusiasm to the search and a new attitude to the search.
Let's start with the 1972 chart. It was obtained on an LNI/Academy joint expedition in August 1972. The echo sounder equipment used was mounted so that the beam would be sent out horizontally beneath the surface towards a camera mounted 120 feet in front of it under a boat. The sonar was mounted on a metal pole strapped to the back of a boat.
On the night of the 8th August, at 1.40am, a dark sonar trace began to appear. It is interesting that the trace was similar to one which occurred earlier, but which is rarely seen in print. When one obtains contacts with the Loch Ness Monster with such frequency, perhaps it is normal only to publish the better ones? The following are experts comments on the contacts, but be cautioned, read the analysis on our sister Loch Ness Information Website before taking what is said too seriously.
"The animal(s) has(have) a dimensional extent of 20 to 30 feet as determined by the length of the echo ...", says P. Skitzki of Raytheon.
"... about 30 feet long ... with projections or humps", says R. Eide of Simrad.
"... real ... large ... moving ... trace indicating that the creature has several segments, body sections or projections such as humps.", says Marty Klein of Klein Associates.
"... there are at least TWO large things moving.", says Klein again.
"... another large marine animal or a school of fish.", says Skitzki again.
"A sudden echo protuberance exists with a dimension of about 10 feet ... would appear to be an appendage ...", Skitzki continues.
".. target projections ... are five feet or more apart", says I. Dyer of MIT.
It all happened so long ago that it would now be difficult to ask these scientists to remember how the chart was presented to them. Were leading statements made like "We would like your opinion of a sonar trace which shows what we think are large animals in Loch Ness." or "We've shown this chart to a number of experts and we want to know if you agree that it shows large animals in Loch Ness."? This is exactly the technique used to "sell" something implausible to someone susceptible. Exactly how a lawyer would defend a client in front of a jury. Coincidence, isn't it, that Dr Rines was a very accomplished lawyer.
Academy expeditions obtained other sonar contacts. Two traces in deep water from a Klein side-scan sonar are interesting and we must reserve judgement for now, but other traces can all be put down to side echoes (to be dealt with under the Loch Ness Project) or wave effects.
However, one other Academy trace obtained by Dr Rines really does deserve a mention. It is important to remember that Dr Rines was honoured by President Carter for inventions in the field of sonar. He should know what he is talking about then. So how did he interpret side echoes in this final trace as being evidence that the walls of the Great Glen extend thousands of feet into the silt? Firstly, the appearance of the apparent extension of side walls into the silt is a well known side-echo effect when using echo sounders with a long range, and secondly the sonar used was of far, far, too high a frequency to penetrate the silt. Only very low frequency sonars can penetrate the bottom of Loch Ness and, even then, only so far to a maximum depth of about 15 to 20 metres. Dr Rines really should have known all of this or he should have found out BEFORE allowing such absolute garbage to enter the public domain. This whole sorry affair truly demonstrates the PSEUDO-SCIENCE of the Academy at its ridiculous best.
I would encourage the reader, however, by saying that I am not a disbeliever in the monster, only in the monster commonly portrayed. I suggest you look at the "Underwater Photography" section now for further disappointments.