The Loch Ness Monster…caught on Sonar?

The Internet is abuzz with the latest Loch Ness Monster news coming out of Scotland. It seems a ship captain named Marcus Atkinson snapped a picture of a sonar image showing “a long, 5ft-wide serpent-like creature.” Furthermore, this creature was 75 feet below water level, deep enough that it’s fairly unlikely to be a normal school of fish.

Proof of the Loch Ness Monster?

“The object got bigger and bigger, and I took a picture of it with my mobile phone. I was in shock as it looked like a big serpent. You can’t fake a sonar image and I’ve never seen anything like this on the fish finder. I’ve shown it to other experienced skippers and none of us know what it is.” ~ Marcus Atkinson

At least some cryptozoologists are convinced Atkinson has captured proof of the Loch Ness Monster.

“It’s very exciting and the best evidence we’ve had in donkey’s years. It’s images like this that will keep me going with my hunt for the next 20 years.” ~ Steve Feltham

Does the Loch Ness Monster really Exist?

One of the running themes here at Guerrilla Explorer is our deep skepticism toward most so-called cryptids. Not all cryptids, mind you. But many of the popular ones.

“If undiscovered megafauna still exist on Earth, the most likely place to find them is in the ocean. After all, in the past twenty years, scholars have discovered eight large previously-unknown marine animals. Thus, from where I stand, the most believable cryptids are so-called sea monsters such as the Daedalus Sea Serpent and the Valhalla Sea Serpent.” ~ David Meyer, Bigfoot Lives…!

Unlike the ocean, Loch Ness is a closed body of water. And researchers have scoured its waters for decades, searching for proof of the Monster. But evidence remains scanty. That’s not to say the Loch Ness Monster is impossible. Loch Ness is plenty deep to hold an unknown creature, reaching 755 feet at its lowest point. In all the British Isles, only Loch Morar is deeper, at 1,017 feet (incidentally, Loch Morar contains its own monster, the little known Morag).

Guerrilla Explorer’s Analysis

Still, proof remains elusive. And unfortunately, there is plenty to question about this latest sonar image. First, a monster is not the only feasible explanation for the image. Plenty of similar sonar images have been misidentified in the past. For example, it might be nothing more than algae.

“The image shows a bloom of algae and zooplankton that would exist on what would be a thermocline. Zooplankton live off this algae and reflect sound signals from echo sounders and fish finders very well.” ~ Dr. Simon Boxall, National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, Hampshire

The second problem relates to motive. Marcus Atkinson isn’t just some innocent fisherman. He stands to benefit handsomely from all the news surrounding the sonar image.

“But perhaps truly damning, this year ‘Cruise Loch Ness’ are running special monster hunting trips with underwater cameras on the boat skippered by…Marcus Atkinson – the man behind all the publicity of this new ‘discovery.'” ~ Loren Coleman

The best we can say about the sonar image is that it’s interesting. But it certainly doesn’t constitute proof. However, that doesn’t mean we should reject Nessie out of hand. Like Bigfoot and other so-called cryptids, we should always keep an open mind about it.

“But while I’m extremely skeptical of Bigfoot, I certainly don’t reject the possibility of its existence. One of the things that frustrates me about modern science is the built-in disdain many researchers hold for fields like cryptozoology. Regardless of our opinions, we must continue to evaluate any and all scientific claims with an open mind…even if its about the legendary Sasquatch. After all, that’s what science is all about.” ~ David Meyer

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