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The Loch Ness Monster Underwater Photographic Evidence from the Academy of Applied Science

All of the underwater photographs which are part of the Loch Ness story were obtained by the Academy of Applied Science of Concord, New Hampshire. The 1972 pictures were obtained in conjunction with the Loch Ness Phenomena Investigation Bureau. The 1975 pictures were obtained independently by them.

Please be sure to read the sonar section before reading this material.

The 1972 Loch Ness Underwater Photographs

Dr Rines always made a great deal out of the fact that the 1972 evidence comprised two scientific practices each complementing each other ... in his words "checking on each other". This quote from a TV interview of Dr Rines becomes absolutely fascinating. He was talking about the famous flipper picture :

"... this picture we enhanced and it shows a flipper some two to three feet across and six to eight feet long at exactly the time there was a ten foot appendage recorded by the sonar."

In fact there is nothing to show that the sonar and the photographs coincided. Check out the Loch Ness Information Website for a greater understanding of the problems. This site really just shows the pictures with a minimum of comment.

If the chart has nothing to do with the pictures, then the 1972 pictures must stand or fall on their own merits.

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Above you can see two of the unenhanced pictures provided by the Academy for me when I was setting up the Loch Ness Monster Exhibition in 1980.

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Both of these pictures are supposed to have been taken while the sonar showed a large appendage but if the sonar is discounted they must stand alone.

The Academy claim to have passed the original pictures to Gillespie at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratories in Pasadena to be computer-enhanced. This was duly done and the enhancements returned.

However, the enhancements produced by JPL are coarse grainy pictures. Any budgeting for the technology that goes into creating such images is worth the effort if the budgeting takes into account the sonar as well. The one on the right is the genuine article and is the JPL enhancement of the right of the two pictures above. I have shown it inverted as the print produced by JPL was in reverse and I believe that it is important to see all the images the same way around.

By what miracle, therefore, did this picture change into the so-called "computer-enhanced flipper picture" which Dr Rines gave to me for the Loch Ness Exhibition, shown below.

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Ricky Razdan and Alan Keilar of the Iscan Project spoke to Gillespie at JPL and he said that this picture of a flipper bears no resemblance to the computer enhancement he produced ... something which I think is very obvious from looking at them both on this page. Something must have happened to the actual computer enhancement in order for it to become as unambiguous as it now appears.

At a tense meeting at the Official Loch Ness Exhibition Centre between Dr Rines, Adrian Shine and myself, Adrian quizzed him about the sequence of events regarding the flipper pictures. Dr Rines admitted that the picture shown here may have been retouched by some magazine editor and the retouched version returned to the Academy.

However, Charles Wyckoff said that he had made a composite enhancement himself by superimposing several enhancements over the original picture. Again the total sloppiness of the Academy and its cavalier attitude to scientific practices comes to the fore.  It must be remembered that it was Dr Rines who provided the picture shown above left for the exhibition I was staging without any comment about the possibility of it being retouched.

He still allowed this fake, for let's call it what it is, to be reproduced and it even formed the frontispiece of his prospectus for his expedition in 2007. Why did he do this? Why admit it is faked in the eighties and continue to use it as if it is genuine in the nineties and noughties?

The fact of the matter is that the only evidence we actually have is the unenhanced picture, top right, and the course grainy computer scan above right. Any procedures involving blending of numerous enhancements with original pictures must be considered totally unscientific and invalid. However if we were privileged enough to of had actual video surveillance camera footage, that may have changed everything.


The 1975 Underwater Photographs

The next great fiasco of the Academy was in 1975. Sonar-triggered cameras had been brought to the loch and mounted on the bottom. None of the film exposed by them showed anything other than clouds of silt which Rines implied had been stirred up by the large unidentified animals which had caused the sonar to be triggered in the first place. There may have been a more logical explanation as we shall see shortly.

The old Edgerton elapse-time camera and strobe had been brought along on the 1975 expedition as an "old faithful" back-up. It was mounted 40 feet beneath a boat which, as can be seen from the diagram, was 1975diag.jpg - 22.2 Kmoored in 80 feet of water. Anything photographed by this unit, therefore, must be in mid-water. As logs and other types of debris do not move around in mid-water in Loch Ness (except rarely in temperature layers), the Academy could be pretty confident that anything photographed would be alive. A number of photographs were obtained. The first of these, encountered on play-back by Charlie Wyckoff, was described by him as "like the surface of the moon". An interesting description of what should only be part of an animal.

Two of the pictures obtained were described as like the body and neck (below left) and gargoyle head (below right) of a large unknown animal. These pictures were hawked around various scientists who were given the details of the experiment and were therefore under the impression that the objects must be in mid-water and, as inanimate objects do not move around in mid-water in Loch Ness, probably alive.

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Given those circumstances and the aura of credibility which Rines exuded, it is not unexpected that scientists and naturalists like George Zug of the Smithsonian and Sir Peter Scott of the, then, World Wildlife Fund were prepared to say that they could see Loch Ness Monsters within the pictures. Again Rines, pseudo-science as his ally, found various persons who were prepared to see things like bi-lateral symmetry in the gargoyle head picture, yet the head was not square-on to the camera and any symmetry had, therefore, to be wholly imaginary.

What is really quite incredible is that Rines and his ilk seemed to see monster-like characteristics in all of their pictures, but never noticed un-monster-like characteristics. Just look at the body and neck picture ... yes there is a vaguely neck-like object and a protrusion more or less where you might find a flipper, but what about the lump on the "chest" area (referred to as "pendulous breasts" by one of the academy team.), the log-like appearance of the skin texture and the mass of sediment in the bottom left. Finally, when you really LOOK at the picture it is obviously not an animal. Seeing plesiosaurs is nothing but wishful thinking.1975diag.jpg - 22.2 K

As regards the gargoyle head, there is nothing in it which is similar to the head on the long neck or any eye-witness account. I have never been able to see anything but a lump of wood in this picture, but how could this be? The cameras were in mid-water and logs do not float around there.

The answer, of course, is actually plain for all to see. Look at the diagram again. What happens if the wind blows from the right? The boat swings around on its mooring and the cameras move up to a hundred and fifty feet closer to shore depending on the slack in the mooring line. Loch Ness shelves very steeply and the cameras would be rolling around on the bottom.

The underwater pictures you have just seen on this page yield interesting facts and information. They give you a glimpse of what bodies of water can offer. Next time, you go on your elegant river cruise, be more observant and attentive and never miss the fascinating underwater world. See the Loch Ness Information Website for information on what was actually photographed in 1975 as Dick Raynor actually found the object.