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No. 38: Mar-Apr 1985

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Bad Year For Water Monsters

R. Razdan and A. Kielar describe in a recent issue of the Skeptical Inquirer the results of their 1983 experiments at Lock Ness with a sonar tracking array. Here are their conclusions:

"We have shown that continuous sonar monitoring for seven weeks to a depth of 33 meters in an area where many previous sonar contacts had been reported showed no evidence of anything larger than a 1-meter fish. The circumstances under which previous expeditions had obtained sonar and photographic evidence in support of the existence of the Loch Ness monster could not withstand scrutiny. The evidence itself revealed discrepancies. This is especially true of the Academy's flipper photographs, the published versions of which differ from the original computer-enhanced photographs. Careless deployment of equipment and over-zealous interpretation of the data account for much of the so-called scientific evidence. While it is not possible to prove definitely that the monster does not exist, the evidence so far advanced strongly suggests that the Loch Ness monster is nothing more than a long-lived and extremely entertaining legend."

The "Academy" mentioned above is the Academy of Applied Science. This article reproduced both the original JPL computer-enhanced photo of the famed flipper and the photo that was widely published. The "retouching" seems extensive.

(Razdan, Rikki, and Kielar, Alan; "Sonar and Photographic Searches for the Loch Ness Monster: A Reassessment," Skeptical Inquirer, 9:147, 1984.)

Reference. Some sea serpents may be mammals. These are cataloged in Chapter BMU in our Biological Anomalies: Mam mals II. A description of this book may be found here.

From Science Frontiers #38, MAR-APR 1985. 1985-2000 William R. Corliss