Apr 08, 2022 I Paul Seaburn

Loch Ness Monster Captured on Sonar?

Loch Ness monster seekers come in multiple flavors. There are the traditionalists who stand on the shore of the loch and scan for Nessie with their eyes, binoculars or cameras. There are the armchair watchers who spend their time in front of TVs or computers viewing the 24/7 Nessie cam. There are the biologists who study the waters for unusual DNA. And there are the technicians who cruise the surface in sonar-equipped ships pinging the depths for images. One of those technicians just pinged something that experts are describing as “very curious.”

Are we going to need a bigger boat, Captain? 

"We decided to take one of the regular cruises from Fort Augustus to get some scenic photos of the loch whilst we are here. At around the half way point, just off Invermoriston, we were alerted to a strange shape forming on the sonar.”

Tom Ingram, a tourist from Portsmouth, tells The Mirror he was on the 'Spirit of Loch Ness' tour boat on April 4th and watching the large screen displaying live images from the ship’s sonar system. The “strange shape” was 410 feet beneath the surface, appeared to be about 30 feet long … and was moving. (Screen shot of the sonar here.)

“At first, we thought it was part of the cruise - something for the tourists - but it quickly became apparent that what we were looking at was in real time and big.”

Not only was it big and moving, this spot just off of Invermoriston is where the same 'Spirit of Loch Ness' boat captured another strange 30-foot-long image on sonar in 2020 at a depth of 558 feet – almost to the 620 foot bottom of the loch. In fact, 2020 was a big year for sightings by sonar of the legendary monster in that general area. Many of those images were studied by sonar expert Craig Wallace, who described them in The Mirror as "very curious" because they were "large, clear and distinct contacts, all strangely near to the loch bed." At that time, Nessie expert Steve Feltham, who has been searching for the monster for over 30 years, claimed that those sonar images were “the best evidence of something big and deep down in the loch.”

"At first, we were excited and then puzzled as to what we had seen. It certainly adds to the mystery!"

Latest witness Tom Ingram hits the conundrum right on the head – these sonar images are exciting … and puzzling. If there truly is a lake monster or a large eel or Wels catfish or sturgeon or other known marine creature in the Invermoriston area, why not cover the surface with sonar devices and solve the mystery?

There are a number of challenges with this approach. Sonar merely gives a depiction of a shape – it’s not like a clear photograph. These sonar images are generally moving, so it’s difficult for ships to keep up and stay over the object. If it should stop, there is little time to send a diver or a remote-controlled underwater vehicle down to inspect it. that’s why none of these “best evidence” sonar images have ever led to a photograph of an actual Loch Ness monster.

Can sonar tell if Nessie is pregnant?

And yet … the lure of the monster keeps hunters like Steve Feltham and sonar boat operators combing the loch for the elusive Nessie. This makes the third official sighting for 2022 – a year that started out with three months of nothing. Could this sonar detection make this the year someone finds the Loch Ness monster? If nothing else, Tom Ingram is right …

“It certainly adds to the mystery!"

Paul Seaburn

Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious.

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