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Sunday, 25 August 2013

ShukerNature Loch Ness Monster sighting from Tim Dinsdale

Karl Shuker recently ran a notice about a sketch a witness had given Tim Dinsdale and which Dinsdale subsequently gave to Shuker. Since this was in 1986, the sighting was presumably recent from perhaps the earlier 1980s. Karl Shuker was putting the information out in hopes of receiving more details about the sighting and I thought it might help if I shared the sketches and the story here.

LNM sighting given to Dr Karl Shuker by Tim Dinsdale on 25 July 1987

 The sheet given to me on 25 July 1987 by Tim Dinsdale containing two sketches by a Nessie eyewitness

The eyewitness observed a typical 'periscope' shape projecting up through the water surface, yielding an outline reminiscent of the object in the controversial Surgeon's Photo. He/she also saw a very long hump visible above the water surface, approximately 25-30 ft in length and approximately 1.5 ft high, with what looked like distinct backward-pointing serrations running along the posterior portion of its upper surface.

If anyone has any further knowledge concerning this Nessie sighting, I'd be delighted to receive details here on ShukerNature

 It just so happens that only the day before yesterday, I posted some extractions of statistics on the Loch Ness Monster in reply to prodding by "Joe Richardson" (I have reason to suspect that is a pseudonym). These were posted in the comments section of "What is Nessie Really?"
Owing to a glitch in the comments section at blogger, I had to make repeated attempts before my comments in reply were even published, and they would only go out in small sections, such that it took four postings to get my entire reply up. Having the reply function for comments at the end of my blogs malfunction is an unfortunately common occurance here on Blogger.
  1. Do a majority of the sightings at loch ness occur at close range?

  2. In that Loch Ness is an inland area where most distances come with more close range reference points to judge distance by, as opposed to sightings at sea which are unbounded and without such reference points, it only stands to reason.
  3. The majority of all sightings are well nearer the shoreline than toward the middle of the loch. The majority of sightings occur in areas where the depth of the water is from 50-300 feet, hence more to the edges of the loch instead of in the deeper waters (in the middle). That's something like 70% of the sightings and very close to shore, when the information can be checked
  4. The majority of sightings occur near the concentrations of human occupation, at the settlement areas, and fairly close to the shore. These are also areas where rivers go into the loch and fishes can be expected to be travelling in and out the river mouths. Slightly over half the sightings are in the bay areas. Nearly all sightings are of a hump or back under 30 feet long, and just about a third say the length of an overturned boat between 10-20 feet (usually 15). Over half of the sightings also say this back or hump rose only about a foot out of the water. The Periscope sightings of the head and neck are most frequently 3-5 feet out of the water (just over 50% of sightings where an estimation was made) and less frequent the larger sizes you go up. Most of these estimates are pretty definite and consistent and the estimates seem to be reliable under ordinary circumstances.
  5. In all of these instances the percentages of cases shown are for the sample where the statistics can be extracted, hence sightings of objects like upturned boats are given a certain percentage of the sightings when an object appears above the surface at all, and so on down the line.
So it would seem that going by the statistics, the body or hump in this sighting was just over the average size at 25-30 feet long (probably the next category up from the most common one) while the head and neck "Periscope" is very likely to be just about in the most common category (the head and neck are 1/5 the length of the larger hump to scale and hence more than likely 5-6 feet tall.) This would do well to compare to the recent 'More Comparisons of Long necked Sea Serpent Models' blog entry, and the Periscope would be ahead of the hump for a fair length od submerged neck. This would be a very good sighting to have established and verified because it is basically very exemplary but a little bit larger than the average sizes estimated. For that reason I would urge anybody that recognizes this report to give the specifics to myself or to Karl Shuker's blog: and if I get anything important here I shall cheerfully notify him about it as well.


  1. The answers to some of these questions will be available when we publish a series of papers to celebrate 80 years of Loch Ness later this year. However some answers are not what you might expect. It is not so much settlement areas than "places where humans stop to look" so there are lots of reports from laybys etc. and from Urquhart Castle and also in the day from the LNIB HQ at Achnahannet and also the LNIB way stations. I am not sure Nessie reports can be characterised as mainly in the shallows or at close distances (although I am not sure what the original questioner meant by "close range"). Distance estimation by most people is not reliable over water, see discussion and refs in my paper
    ( )

    for an intro.. there is some more data on that coming soon too.

  2. I did my statistical analysis back in the 1970s and doubtless a more refined update will be forthcoming. Since most of the information came to me via previously published material (I did no interviews myself) doubtless many of the estimates were rather crude. However when cross-checking was possible (depth of water at the location as correlated to distance from the shore), that was factored in.

    For the most part the figures on size, distance from the observer, etc, were in agreement with Roy Mackal's tabulation in The Monsters of Loch Ness, although once again cross-checking against the other published sources as of the 1970s.

    In regards the present sighting I feel pretty confident the estimated length of back as 25-30 feet is rather too long and that the real measurement would be closer to the norm at up to 20 feet long. That is from checking back from the other reports and the more common estimates from the greater number of reports. The gap between the periscope and the hump I would think would be about ten feet, that is also going by the measurements estimated in other reports.

    Damn it Paxton, why can't you use your real name? You know by now that submitting anonymous comments on this site is the next thing to asking to be deleted. And we have discussed estimations of distances at Loch Ness as opposed to estimating the distances at sea before. I am making those same statements here and I am adhering to them. Your statements of the unreliability of estimating distances at sea do NOT apply when we are talking about estimating distances on enclosed freshwater bodies of water. The estimations might well be off, but they are a good deal more accurate and made with a greater degree of confidence in freshwater lakes, particularly when we are talking about the locals that live and work on the lake.

  3. More accurate in freshwaters than marine...yes you would think so because of cues but it appears from the data it is not as clear cut as that...not least because there is a confounding of several things
    a) depth
    b) errors in measurement
    There may be some other things going on in freshwaters which complicate matters as well.
    It becomes even more complicated if secondhand or anonymous reports are considered (which I would not advise considering anyway but some folk like them.)

  4. In the book by Mackal I just mentioned, there were tests made to measure exactly the situation that you are speaking of. Mackal reports results that are quite at variance with what you are saying and in fact I pointed this out to you before when this discussion came up on another occasion. Its good that you are ding tests along those lones, but if your results come out at variance to the other published resultsthen all of the results must be reconsidered and weighed the one set against the other

  5. My data set is
    a) bigger
    b) corrects some data errors in Mackal.
    c) uses current methods.
    d) asking some different questions as well.

  6. Could well be but A) Other workers have tended to confirm Mackal's statements working in other (landlocked) locations, B ), You have an ax to grind on this and you have been wanting these results for several years now, which tends to bring up questions about possible bias in the matter, and C ) My own results separately tend to substantiate those same statements made by Mackal. So until youb actually publish something different, I believe you are still at the disadvantage in this discussion.

  7. I haven't told what my results are so how can you say I disagree with Mackal? All I am saying is that the story is rather more complicated than one (myself included) at first thought. Mackal and Dinsdale did some interesting work on this and our stuff is a follow up. I may be wrong but I I don't recall that Mackal or Dinsdale directly compared distance in freshwater and marine accounts anyway. I don't think I am biased with regard to this? Why should I be? I don't have any vested interest in any sea serpent classification systems. However the one group of things which are biased and magnificently so are eyewitness reports.

    1. All right I apologise. I naturally assumed that when you said your results were different than Mackal's then what you meant was that your results were different than Mackal's.

      Cut to the chase here, you seem to be consistently misinterpreting what I am saying. I am not saying that sightings made in landlocked freshwater lakes are made under ideal viewing conditions with invariably accurate judgement of the witnesses concerning scale and distance. Hardly. What I am saying is that upon comparison of the figures (MY part and not Mackal's) it seems to me that the sightings made in freshwater landlocked locations are MORE reliable than sightings made entirely at the open sea, at an increase of half again to twice as accurate generally. That is actually saying something different than what you are saying and where you are going with it.

  8. "Joe Richardson" has not learnt his lesson yet and he has attempted to re-enter one of his questions which has entered several times before and which was answered several timres before. Joe you just do not LISTEN and it is useless to even TRY to talk to you. I have deleted your comment on those grounds. THINK before you do it again next time.


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