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Loch Ness Monster experts left stunned after another sonar sighting

By Andrew Dixon

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Sonar reading taken by Ronald Mackenzie. Picture: Ronald Mackenzie/Cruise Loch Ness
Sonar reading taken by Ronald Mackenzie. Picture: Ronald Mackenzie/Cruise Loch Ness

Another startling image of a large creature inhabiting the depths of Loch Ness have been captured on sonar.

It follows the revelations last month of the "most compelling" and startling evidence of the existence of a Loch Ness Monster after an unusual recording more than 500ft below its cold surface.

But now another contact with a large creature just above the 607ft loch bottom was recorded on October 11.

It has again left experts stunned.

Excited by the recording, leading sonar expert Craig Wallace said he was willing to come to Loch Ness with sophisticated sonar equipment to try and find what was inhabiting the depths.

Mr Wallace, marine robotics senior application specialist with Kongsberg Maritime AS, has surveyed Loch Ness half-a-dozen times.

Four years ago, using ground-breaking sonar and camera equipment, he famously detected and discovered the lost model of Nessie, which was used during the filming of 1970's The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes.

Of the latest images, he said: "They are very curious. These are of course large, clear and distinct contacts, all strangely near to the loch bed.

"It is very well known that Loch Ness has been subject to several excursions with sonar to find Nessie, but the technology used – although cutting edge at the time – was designed for bottom mapping operations.

"Hence it would try to track the seafloor and not necessarily find mid column targets. Modern technology employs new techniques where by the entire water column is mapped accurately and perhaps in the future we will start a program to capture this data correctly in Loch Ness.

"While we could never rule out Nessie's existence – as our swath or coverage at any one time would be too small – perhaps the extra scientific data would justify the venture.

"If any groups would be willing to sponsor the attempt, I would love the opportunity to attend with these types of sonar.

"It is hard to tell if it is a single creature or a large shoal of fish, which in itself would be unusual for Loch Ness. You don't normally find such a shoal in that loch and so far down.

"These fascinating images are genuine and unexplained contacts that would merit further investigation of the loch by more sophisticated sonar.”

Craig Wallace. Picture: Peter Jolly
Craig Wallace. Picture: Peter Jolly

The latest images were again captured by Cruise Loch Ness run by Ronald Mackenzie and were a mile apart off Invermoriston.

His previous startling contact on September 30 was also described as "100 per cent genuine" by Mr Wallace.

The sonar manufacturers have now told Mr Mackenzie that the contact is a single, animate object, estimated to be between 15ft to 20ft long. Initially Mr Mackenzie thought it was 32ft long. It was captured hovering 62ft above the bottom.

Mr Mackenzie (49), who has worked on the loch for more than 30 years, said:"This second contact was one mile south west of the first.

“I would welcome Mr Wallace bringing his equipment and we will take him out to try and find out what’s going on. I have no idea.

“I just wonder if it is due to lockdown. There’s been nothing moving (boats) on the surface of that loch and I wonder if that has encouraged it to move about. I just don’t know. I can’t explain it. I was reluctant to even make it public.

“I sent the first images to the sonar manufacturer who has told me the contact was 15-20ft long and a single creature. It is too big to be a salmon and at that depth. There is no way it’s a very large salmon.

"It could be something that has come in to the loch. I have spent more time on Loch Ness than anybody I know and I can’t explain why suddenly we are getting these sonar contacts all of a sudden. It’s just incredible. I honestly think it’s a big fish of some sort, known or unknown to the loch.

"I have been over that area for decades, tens of thousands of times. Now we have two similar contacts and in the middle of the loch. The latest looks the same. I've no idea what it is."

Nessie expert Steve Feltham, who has set a world record for the longest vigil of looking for the Loch Ness Monster, says Mr Mackenzie's sonar images are the "most compelling" evidence of the existence of the legendary creature.

"These latest images help put together the most compelling case for a big creature swimming around Loch Ness," he said. "All the contacts are near the bottom or in the first 100ft up. It is a game changer – the first indisputable sighting of something very big and unexplained that's in there.

"It is not explainable by any known phenomenon in Loch Ness. That's why I have sat and waited here all these years. We have had so many rubbish sightings over the years – of boat wakes or logs. But this is in a different league.

"I am not keen on the idea it could be a sturgeon, but it might be a Wels catfish. It is possible. I would think there's very few of them, though. If there's been a small population we could be looking for the last one left. We don't know how long they live for – at least we know there is this one and it would be nice to find it before it's too late, because it seems to inhabit the bottom and rarely come to the surface."

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