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Loch Ness Investigation
This is a factual web site detailing personal study of Loch Ness phenomena since 1967
by Dick Raynor
New book by Adrian Shine
learning curves -
check the BoatwakeISwanIBarge& Dolphin pics!
IMeasuring those Web-cam pics IPhotographic analysisI MeasurementI EclipseI
Those birds again ISea Serpents I Vertical EelsI
Gray 2001/ Johnston 2002 PicturesI UFOs at Loch Ness I Other duff stuff
Useful Books. Videos etc from Amazon INew Video IMedia Resources I
The River Ness - from Loch Ness to the Sea - a Virtual tourI
Explore Loch Ness area with this Nifty Little MapI The Fireside I Main Index
Loch Ness Investigation Bureau documentary on DVD
FAQs Loch Ness webcams Nessie's History
Constructor's Corner en francais
about the Surgeon's Photograph
The Loch Ness Investigation web-site boldly takes its name from the expeditions which ran from 1962 to 1972, and were organised by the late David James.The parent organisation was the "Loch Ness Phenomena Investigation Bureau" or "LNPIB", which later shortened it's name to "Loch Ness Investigation Bureau" or "LNIB". I was a volunteer observer & camera operator from 1967, when I filmed a disturbance in Dores Bay. I became a staff member in 1971. I have lived in the area ever since, and maintain a close interest and involvement in research here. I believe that my project continues in the true spirit of the original LNI.
is a term invented in the 1950's to describe the attempts to study animals of unexpected shape or size, or unexpected occurrence in time or space. It was intended to embrace scientific investigation whether carried out by formally qualified zoologists or amateur naturalists. Unfortunately, the term has become debased by publicity seekers and exploiters seeking to make a quick buck, and consequently I have abandoned its use.
I have been criticised for having too much text on this web site. I would direct those who support that view to the many brightly coloured but superficial "Nessie" sites on the internet, where their requirements will be met. Elsewhere you may read classic sighting accounts and see the classic photographs, without the essential information concerning their truth. Here, I can tell you the story without embellishment.
I am just an amateur naturalist. The purpose of this site is just "what it says on the label" - the Investigation of Loch Ness. It is not to "prove" or "disprove" anything - it is to "find out". I believe this is a correct zoological approach. When I find things which may be of zoological importance, I tell my qualified friends about them. I also have 30 years experience in photography and electronics, together with other work experience in underwater technology, diving and submersibles, which I apply to this project. This enables me to understand much of what is observed, photographed or filmed in or on Loch Ness, which might escape the observations of those who are more narrowly specialised.
So what am I trying to do?
I am trying to establish the facts about the Loch Ness phenomena in a way intended to create "building blocks" which can be used by other researchers. I hope to generate a few new pieces for the jig-saw puzzle. My efforts are focused by the work of others before me, and around me. I doubt that my work will solve the mystery, but I hope that at least it will help. After over 30 years of "holding this" while other people are "doing that" and getting their photograph taken, I have decided to go it alone. In order to stand any chance of success, it must be an exercise using common-sense and "joined-up thinking". These two ingredients have been noticeably absent from many previous efforts. If you have practicable and affordable research suggestions, let's talk about them!
What is on this site?
There is a record of what I have done, and been involved in, and am doing now.
I include photographs of what I do, as I do it, and also add photographs from my own archive going back to 1967.
There are links to other pages on this site with over 50 previously unpublished photographs of relevant activities at Loch Ness. There is a growing database of images and written information, explaining how some events, previously considered anomalous, might have their basis in known phenomena.
Summer sunrise: The L.N.I. "Dores" camera van on location in 1968 - operator Dick Raynor.
Photo Copyright © Dick Raynor 1968, 2000.
I would like you to work your way through this site, but if you don't have the time, these are the page links and a search facility...
|Listening Underwater||Early Days||Recent Work|
|Arretec DolphinEar Hydrophones|
|Sonar Investigations||Unusual sonar contact||Simrad SM2000|
|Surface Photography - Practical||surface photography||fixed station - lapse-time cam|
|long range photography||photographic experiments|
|30/10/2000 Achnahannet Video||seeing things under the surface|
|Surface Photography - Webcams||Temple Pier Webcam (off-site visit)||Measuring those Web-cam pics|
|Surface Photography - Analysis||Bavister Picture (2000)||Gray & "Johnston" Pictures (2001/2)|
|Joth Pictures (2000)||mathematical analysis of recent image|
|1967 Raynor Film||The 1977 Mansi Photo|
|Cruisers and inflatables||Barge Photography|
|Underwater Photography||1972 Flipper Picture||submarines part 1|
|submarines part 2|
|computer enhancement||Stills from the Dores U/W Camera|
|Underwater Video||underwater research||100 metre dive (18-June-00)|
|tv camera goes to 234 metres||fixed Underwater TV (March 2000)|
|measuring lasers||Infra-red tv experiments|
|2001 colour tv camera progress||new deep tests to 230 metres|
|towed camera rebuilt 21 August 2000|
|Remote Control Vehicles||rov's||rov's 2001|
|Miscellaneous||AnglerCam Wanted Dept||experimental movie clip 1 clip2|
|catfish||cattle||common seals and a recent video|
|common seal moulting||deer(ordinary little ones) and...red deer||dolphins|
|eels ,more eels & vertical eels||floating objects||goats|
|grey seals||gulls and swans||mergansers update 23-4-00|
|pumas & other big cats||sea serpents||sturgeon|
|odd fish||kraken & sea serpents||dogs|
|tunnels from Loch Ness||mysterious object|
|Tim Dinsdale and his 1960 Film||McRae - Dallas Story (1936)||News-June 2000- seals, divers, pumas!|
|Books, videos, DVDs on LNM etc||Links to other sites||UFOs at Loch Ness (19 Oct 2000)|
|What do I think?||The Fireside||Duff material on the web|
|Map of Loch Ness & everywhere else!||Media and Consultancy||Gary Campbell|
|Dores & Steve Feltham||Loch Ness Project reference material||Buy from Amazon - help my research!|
|Physics is Fun - Learn more here|
Nothing to do with Loch Ness
|Animal Ethics Issues||National Pure Water Association||Photographic stuff for sale construction stuff|
|Bushmeat Project - your help needed!||Powerisers
||Click to help give them clean water|
If what you are looking for is not in these boxes, carry on down this page...or try the search thingy
If you are new to the Internet, these underlined words are called "links" to other pages on this site. They are found throughout my site. To visit any of these pages, which contain many previously ( one generous soul added "and understandably") unpublished photographs, simply position your mouse arrow over the word so that the arrow turns into a hand with a pointing finger, then click the left-hand button on your mouse, and you will be taken to the page you requested. To come back to this page from the new one, simply left-click on the "Back" button on your browser.
"Only by learning to recognise the ordinary can we distinguish the extra-ordinary."
This is the mountain we have to climb...
The first task is to try to ignore all non repeatable material and events from the past. The investigation will try to "travel light", leaving behind all the baggage of history. Of course, those participating might have an interest generated by what has gone before, but that should not affect the objectivity of the work.
The second task is to build a database containing:
1.A list of all the living creatures which are found in or near to Loch Ness, or have been found there in the past, or could reasonably be expected to stray into the area.
2. A comprehensive list of the normal, seasonal and abnormal patterns of behaviour of all these creatures.
3. A list of physical events that create a visible or measurable effect on the surface of the loch, or on equipment used to investigate it, including the human eye, surface and underwater cameras, sonar etc.
4. A list of those effects as far as they are known, with a visual archive.
Details will be recorded as links to archive documents, as they are created.
The third task is to install passive recording equipment in and around the loch to record surface and underwater optical, acoustic, and other events.
The fourth task is to use suitable equipment, particularly underwater television cameras, in the loch in a mobile mode to look around various areas, just to see what is there.
The fifth task is to make the investigation enjoyable, and accessible to people without formal "qualifications", while giving a warm welcome to those who do have them. In nearly a third of a century at Loch Ness I have found the most important "qualifications" to be enthusiasm, an open mind, and a sense of humour. If I can bring together - either intellectually or physically - a group of interested individuals then we can pool our talents and resources and, in David James' words, "add to the sum of human knowledge."
Eventually, by a process of elimination, I hope we can arrive at the Truth, whatever that may be.
The next step? I had considered starting a Society. But there are so many "official" sounding clubs all trying to attract your money that I decided not to! I don't want to spend my time running a club or a tee-shirt business, I want to investigate Loch Ness!
So I will just get on with the job because...
*Academic institutions looking for research support are fully aware that the Loch Ness Project can meet their needs.
* Interested individuals can keep up to date by subscribing to Rip Hepple's "Nessletter", which has been published regularly for about 25 years.
* They can also join the International Society of Cryptozoology, to keep in touch with global research, although there are difficulties at present due to staff illness.
* Tourists wishing to report Nessie sightings can go to the Visitor Centres in Drumnadrochit or to the newspapers as they always have done, or use this online sighting report form.
I have no wish to try to copy any of these facilities. Instead, I will simply call my new work "Loch Ness Investigation". An earlier Loch Ness Investigation ended early in 1973 when, working with Bureau Secretary Holly Arnold, one of my last jobs as Resident Technician was to sell the caravans and vehicles, and pack up the cameras in boxes for David James to take to London. That was the end of that Investigation. The result of it was an understanding that 10 years of surface watching had been, in Tim Dinsdale's words,"99.99% futile".
I have no plans to re-invent that wheel.
There is no need to make plans and organise dates for "expeditions" because the new Investigation already exists.
Parts of it are completely automatic. The equipment ( well, some of it ) is already built and was tested in August 1999 with generous and essential help from Rip Hepple, Adrian Shine and George Edwards. The underwater tv system is similar to that which I built for the Drumnadrochit-based pleasure cruiser "Nessie Hunter". Passengers on the boat see the camera system, and see the video pictures from the loch bottom.
Contacts (see also the links, below) :
The Loch Ness Project can be contacted at
"The Loch Ness 2000 Exhibition Centre"
Inverness-shire IV63 6TU
"Nessletter" has been published for the last 25 years.
To subscribe, just send a US$10 bill (worldwide) or £5 (UK) to:
Mr Rip Hepple
7 Huntshieldford Cottages
St. Johns Chapel
Co. Durham DL13 1RQ UK
Steve Feltham is usually to be found at his vehicle parked on the beach at Dores, and will be pleased to meet you.
See also some links to other sites you may find instructive.
How can you help?
1. You can offer advice in various subjects, like electronics, underwater acoustics, freshwater biology, animal behaviour, hydrodynamics, underwater archaeology etc. from anywhere in the world.
2. You can suggest suitable equipment, or help to build it. You can give me instructions how to do it, or you could lend items to me.
3. You can contribute useful material and components.
4. You can send suitable information for inclusion in the database. This could be, for example, data on the different types of surface waves caused by objects moving on a water surface, or the mating displays of common seals and otters. A provisional species list is given for guidance as to the species recorded, or suspected, in the area. Please email me if you have interesting pictures of any of the species listed, doing something unusual or not looking normal. Only when we know what known animals can look like can we begin to separate out anything which might be NOT normal.
5. You can ask about coming here and taking part in the operations.
6. You can offer to support the work by buying copies of the underwater videotapes of the loch side and bottom, and the lapse time surface recordings. These are compulsive viewing and seem to have a useful secondary function of sending small children to sleep. I hope to have them available by March 2000. The new Investigation has already started. As you read this, there is monitoring equipment working away, night and day.These are just some of the ways you can take part, and your support, interest, or contributions can remain confidential.
The videos are now available - see the update. If you would need either an NTSC or SECAM version please email me - once I have orders for 50 copies I can get them made without losing money on it!
Please send in your comments, queries and offers of help to
Projects and Essays
Students wishing to obtain colourful material for projects and essays can enter the words "nessie", and "loch ness monster" into their favourite search engine and they will be transported into a brightly coloured world where unlikely animals swim around, and slither across roads unchallenged by Truth, Reality, or the Laws of Physics. I can offer no guidance! Many sites compete to present the "myths" or "legends", which, by very definition, cannot be true. In general they do not make any attempt to distinguish between fact and fiction, and a fraction even seeks to create friction. The history of the search at Loch Ness is described in several books, with intelligent discussion of the zoological possibilities in two of them, Gould 1934 and Mackal 1976. In time, I may have a few facts to add, but not yet! If you can obtain my videotapes you will get an idea of the difficulties we face. The length of Loch Ness is slightly greater than the distance between England and France. The yarns that have been spun are vastly longer. I have the opinion that authors on this subject should nurture their readers on the milk of their experience, rather than regurgitated, fictional, pulp.
If you are desperate for informed comment on the "classic" Nessie material, check out Tony Harmsworth's web site when you have finished on mine. It's a jungle out there, but Tony Harmsworth is an experienced guide!
The Contents of Loch Ness - a Database.
We must start on the database. The technical construction will be worked on later, and suggestions are very welcome. Please email your comments to me. The site will be updated as new data become available. We will start with a list of vertebrates known to be present. "Suspected" or "possible" species from similar environments will be listed in italic script. In some cases, the presence of a species at one time of the year, engaged in some special activity, may have generated a well-known observation or "sighting" which has not been recognised as normal animal behaviour. It will be our task to identify these events. Where I have information or photographs, the name is written as a link to that page.
As an example, I would list under "Deer", the facts that (1) they are known to swim in Loch Ness, (2) in the month of August their horns are small and knob-like, and (3) "evidence" from the past reveals that animals with short horns in Loch Ness have usually been seen in August!
Living Vertebrate Creatures ( and dead ones too) capable of creating a surface effect will be in these groups:
Horses, Cattle, Deer (Red Deer, Roe Deer, Sika Deer, other species) Donkeys, Humans, Grey Seals, Common Seals, Goats, Leopards, Pumas, Sheep, Pigs, Dogs, Foxes, Badgers, Otters, Wildcats, Pine Martens, Stoats, Cats, Weasels, Ferrets, Rats, Squirrels, Voles and Mice. Of these, Deer, Cattle, Humans, Seals, Dogs and Otters are known to enter the loch of their own volition. Some of the others fall in.
Golden Eagle, Buzzard, Osprey, Red Kite, other raptors
Mute Swan, Goose species , Goosander, Merganser, Diver species, Grebe species, Cormorant, Shag, Gullspecies, other Duck species
Salmon, Sea Trout, Brown Trout, Pike, Eels, Char, Lamprey, Minnow, Stickleback, Sturgeon, Wels, Flounder
Frog, Toad, Newt
Adder, Grass Snake, Slow Worm, Sand Lizard
That's about all the vertebrates I can think of...
6. Insects on the surface, water beetles, swarms of bees
7. floating wood , sunken wood.....pollen... leaves, marsh gas...
8.Atmospheric/ Weather effects/ Seismic or other geoactivity
wind-produced waves... windrows, water spouts, mirages.....
Disturbances of human origin
Physical ....boat wakes ....unrecognised craft, discarded material, wreckage, objects intended to deceive,
Non-physical ...visual disturbances e.g. "hallucinations", "imagination"
Database Pages - what has been achieved so far.
|common seal moulting||deer||dolphins|
|eels ,more eels & vertical eels||floating objects||goats|
|grey seals||gulls and swans||mergansers update 23-4-00|
|pumas & other big cats||sea serpents||sturgeon|
|odd fish||kraken & sea serpents|
In case you are looking for the pictures that used to be here at the bottom, there are now here.
It has been suggested that this web site should be entitled "The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Loch Ness Monster". What a great compliment! However, I hold the genius of Douglas Adams in such esteem that I could never nick the essence of his title. I remember listening to the original BBC broadcasts of H2GT2G almost 25 years ago, as I drove from Drumnadrochit to Loch Duich through the snow , to go scuba diving! The radio reception faded infuriatingly somewhere near the top of Glenmoriston, and I recall driving like a madman past the the Clunie Inn to get a better signal. I can think of no other reason for not stopping there. For me, The Eagles "Journey of the Sorcerer" is always linked to the original BBC Radio broadcasts of Douglas Adams work, and the fascination I found underwater in Loch Duich, Wester Ross, Scotland.
Journey of the Sorcerer" we must thank The
Eagles. For "hiker.mid", we must thank
I found a great MP3 of JOTS to keep your head right (and the midi file) at : http://www.thebigcdomain.com/media/hhgttg.html
Dedicated to entities with DNA, everywhere, on 22nd December 2002..