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Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Loch Ness Underwater Photos from Scott Mardis, additional

The Rines "Two Bodies" photo, which correspond to a sonar trace showing the presence of two large features (about 30 feet long) in the scanned field simultaneously. The longer projection or flipper is estimated as being 6 to 8 feet long and corresponds to the separate "Flipper" photos (1975)

In 1975, vertebrate paleontologist L.B. Halstead pointed out that the rhomboidal flippers seen in the Rines Loch Ness underwater photos from 1972 did not match the hydrofoil shape of then-current reconstructions of plesiosaur flipper shapes, based on skin outlines preserved around some plesiosaur flipper specimens (Hydrodrion brachypterygius and Seelyosaurus guillelmi-imperatoris). A May 2013 Master’s thesis by vertebrate paleontologist Mark Cruz DeBlois may question that assertion. Using hydrodynamic principles in combination with advanced mathematical formulas, DeBlois has produced a predicted plesiosaur flipper shape for the front flippers of the plesiosaur Cryptocleidus eurymerus that is much closer to the rhomboidal shape of the Rines flippers, with a much larger trailing edge of flesh that extends beyond the flipper bones (see upper left, blue and red outlines). Read it for yourself at

 Traditional reconstructions of plesiosaur flipper morphology and plesiosaur flipper skin impressions: (clockwise from top left) the front and rear flippers of Hydrodrion brachypterygius, the right rear flipper of the "Collard plesiosaur" from the UK, a typical model of the traditional proposed plesiosaur flipper morphology and sketches of the skin impressions surrounding the flippers of the plesiosaurs Seelyosaurus guillelmi-imperatoris and Hydrodrion brachypterygius.

DeBlois' hypothesized front flipper of Hydrodrion brachypterygius overlayed on the second Rines "flipper" image.

In 1975 the biggest breakthrough for Dr. Rines and his team came when a set of close-up underwater photographs were taken which when released in December of that year caused a worldwide sensation. The pictures which show the head and body of one of the creatures in remarkable detail, were taken with the Edgerton strobe camera during the expedition the previous June.For several months the pictures were examined in secret in zoological centres in Britain, America, Canada and Europe. It was planned to release them in early December at a scientific symposium in Edinburgh to be attended by zoologists from all over the world under the chairmanship of the famous British naturalist and painter Sir Peter Scott. News of the pictures leaked out at the end of November, before the study of them was complete and caused such excitement that the sponsors of the symposium, who included the prestigious Royal Society, felt it would be impossible to conduct a proper scientific discussion in such an atmosphere. Consequently the symposium, at which the whole Loch Ness controversy would have been debated at length and hopefully resolved, had to be cancelled. In its place a meeting was held in the Grand Committee Room at the Houses of Parliament at the instigation of David James, the MP who had led the Investigation Bureau. Before a large audience of members of both houses of Government, scientists and journalists, the Academy team presented the results of their research, including the new underwater photographs, together with supporting statements from eminent zoologists who had been examining the material. Dr. George Zug, the Curator of Reptiles and Amphibians at the renowned Smithsonian Institution in Washington said in his personal statement : "I believe these data indicate the presence of large animals in Loch Ness, but are insufficient to indentify them ".

The nearly universal reaction is that the photographs show something which looks very much like a long-necked Plesiosaur. The photo sequence is shown here in two alternate orientations.

1 comment:

  1. It's interesting that I've never heard extensive attempts to debunk the "two bodies" photograph. It's a compelling image, in my opinion. You could make an interpretation of there being the hindquarters of an animal with the right hind flipper and tail at the left corner of the photograph and an appendage of another animal at the right.


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