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Still Waters

The Loch Ness Giant Salamander

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The picture in question is so amorphous.. it could be anything and any explanation would fit just as well as another... just pick which explanation you like best and stick with it... as for me.. i say it is a really bad picture that could be just about anything i would want it to be...be it ordinary/explainable/normal or extraordinary/unexplainable/paranormal.

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A few challenges with Nessie being a grey seal, or any aquatic mammal, is they do need to surface regularly to breath, and as many commenters know or suggest, this would likely give Nessie away fairly easy.

Second, historically, the sightings occur most often during the summer months of July and August, which is what you may expect with an ectothermic creature like a salamander. Seals could be active in the loch virtually any time of the year, and as grey seals live on the coast of Scotland and England, and I believe they do not migrate, the reason for them to appear in the loch would have to be seasonal to match the sightings. If not, the sightings would likely occur more evenly throughout the year. Perhaps this is due to movement of the fish population, but given the surrounding sea probably has much more sealife to feed on then the loch, the reason to enter it would have to be something other then food. Losing their way is a possibility, but seems unlikely to account all the sightings to lost seals.

A giant salamander is scientifically plausible, the Chinese Giant Salamander can reach 6.6ft (2m) in length and weigh 145lbs (65kg). The analysis of the Grey Photo suggests a specimen four times in length, which is not that unbelievably impossible, as that family of salamanders is almost exclusively aquatic, a large size and weight is not a hinderance. Also the family of salamanders can respire through their skin, called cutaneous gas exchange, so long as the water is sufficiently oxygenated. This means they can remain submerged as long as they can draw oxygen through their skin. Loch Ness, below its thermocline (~100 ft, or 33m), the water is highly oxygenated. Most often they still possess gills and lungs, and can gulp air to get extra oxygen when needed, either their activity as suggested in the analysis, or lower oxygen in the water. Colder water contains more dissolved gases then warmer, oxygen included. Loch Ness does contain plenty fish, clams, crayfish, and insects, all of which are eaten by these salamanders. Additionally all these food sources peak during the July and August months.

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^ A very constructive post insanity! Let's please have more like this!

I would say that the Giant Salamander Hypothesis is due for a full on revival -it was one of the first theories forwarded when the Loch Ness phenomena was initially publicised in the thirties.However, it quickly became eclipsed by the more glamorous, but shaky, notion that `Nessie` is some kind of pleisosaur: the popularity of this idea was probably helped much by the runaway success of the first King Kong film which was doing the rounds then.

It is interesting to see that much of the subsequent Nessie debinking has been centred around demonstrating that this idea of a large relict dinosaur in the Loch is implausible: viz Nessie can't be a dinosaur, ergo Nessie doesn't exist!

The Giant Salamander Hypothesis has the advantage of being exotic enough to account for the high -strangeness of some of the alleged sightings (including the oft forgotten land sightings!), but biologically plausible enough to be taken seriously. It also fits what people are actually describing. Even the encounters with long necked Nessies could be explained as being glimpses of the tail, not the head, of the thing.

Also, the idea that all people are seeing is just grey seals doesn't really cut the mustard for me. A lot of the sightings are from local residents familiar with the Loch who you would presumably know a seal if they saw one. In fact, this is the age of `Animal Planet` et al on TV - so we have all seen swimming seals at some point.It would make more sense to say that everyone is lying or suffering from bouts of insanity, as some braver sceptics would have it.

As regards the Hugh Gray photo: I am afraid that, ever since it was suggested to me by a sceptic, all I can see is the head of a labrador swimming towards me.Nevertheless, I am willing to accept that this may just be a case of pareiola. (Pareiola - how do you spell it? - can work both for and against the paranormal! When I look at the `face on Mars` all that I can see is, yep, a face... although I think it quite likely that the whole thing is an implanted suggestion and that there is nothing there but a natural rock formation.)

The suggestion that the photo shows two critters somehow swimming back-to-back seems over-elaborate to me. If there are two images then I think that this could be accounted for by double exposure. in the thirties, I imagine that cameras where much clunkier and slower devices than they have been since. If the thing was thrashing about, which is how the witness described it, then the same object might have appeared twice on the same picture, double-exposed.

However, I don't think the Gray photo on its own can ever tell us anything now. It might be one of the very few decent images of the Loch ness phenomena ever taken - but short of having been there while the photographer took it we'll never now know. This has no bearing on the giant Salamnder hypothesis, though, which has legs regardless of any dubious `photographic evidence`.

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I recall reading a book many years, which was mostly an analysis of the sightings to date; where the sighting was, when it was, weather conditions if noted, the description of the sighting. The two likely candidates proposed then were a giant eel or a giant salamander.

There is one sighting, from a diver who was diving to location a sunken vessel I believe, and he quickly surfaced in fright and described a 'beastie' like a frog sitting on a ridge or cliff along side the loch.

This would potentially match the hunting style of a large ectothermic salamander, sit and wait for food to come in range. Plenty examples of that among the animal kingdom, and some predators like this will sit motionless for days until prey comes in range.

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Call me a romantic but I still like the pleisosaur theory. :yes:

Edited by Harlequin Dreamer

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This thread is absolutely ridiculous. The image is clearly a dog (looks like a labrador) with it's head above the water holding a stick.

Edited by Zenegog

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As regards the Hugh Gray photo: I am afraid that, ever since it was suggested to me by a sceptic, all I can see is the head of a labrador swimming towards me.Nevertheless, I am willing to accept that this may just be a case of pareiola. (Pareiola - how do you spell it? - can work both for and against the paranormal! When I look at the `face on Mars` all that I can see is, yep, a face... although I think it quite likely that the whole thing is an implanted suggestion and that there is nothing there but a natural rock formation.)

The suggestion that the photo shows two critters somehow swimming back-to-back seems over-elaborate to me. If there are two images then I think that this could be accounted for by double exposure. in the thirties, I imagine that cameras where much clunkier and slower devices than they have been since. If the thing was thrashing about, which is how the witness described it, then the same object might have appeared twice on the same picture, double-exposed.

However, I don't think the Gray photo on its own can ever tell us anything now. It might be one of the very few decent images of the Loch ness phenomena ever taken - but short of having been there while the photographer took it we'll never now know. This has no bearing on the giant Salamnder hypothesis, though, which has legs regardless of any dubious `photographic evidence`.

Try reading other people's posts Zenegog! Anyway,I think most of us had long since moved beyond talking about the Gray photograph itself and were discussing the Loch Ness phenomena in general.

The Roy Mackal book mentioned above is probably the best book there is on the Loch Ness phenomena ad required reading for anybody who feels a need to express an opinion on the subject. I have often said that the problem with many posters on this site, and especially many sceptics, is that they don't do any background reading outside of the internet - and it shows!

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First off, and by way of introducing myself, I'd like to offer warm thanks to Still Waters for recommending my article A Beast With Two Backs - The Gray Photo Deconstructed, and refering everyone to my blog. I've had nearly 400 pageviews originate from this forum alone, so of course I had to come check things out and say hello. Ironically, you're having a more active discussion on my article here than on my own blog! Since this thread started I've written a follow-up article, A Beast With Two Backs - Part II - just follow the link if you're not overly bored with the topic.

Thanks to all for offering your comments, positive and negative, serious and funny. I'm going to try out the multi-quote feature and respond to a few below.

You know, in Australia a "beast with two backs" is a euphemism for people having sex...

Indeed! The first recorded use of this euphamism was by William Shakespeare in 1604. Iago uses it in a line of Othello, and that's exactly what it meant back then too. I suppose it also has behavioral implications for what I take to be a pair of giant salamanders in the Gray Photo - many salamanders perform often elobarate courtship dances (in the water) prior to mating, which include tail undulations and deliberate splashing. That may simply be coincidence in this case. That there are two dorsal lines visible in the clearer Heron-Allen contact slide print of the Gray Photo is really the reason for the title.

It's only the most parsimonious explanation if you start from the assumption that there is a large unidentified creature in Loch Ness. If you don't assume that, then the most parsimonious explanation is that there is no large unidentified creature in Loch Ness.

Well... no. The more explanations needed, the less parsimonius the theory. If you can account for all (1) surface sightings (2) land sightings (3) photos and videos (4) sonar contacts (5) hydrophone recordings and (6) recorded historical accounts going back hundreds of years with ONE SINGLE explanation other than an unidentified species of aquatic animals, well then you only tie the unidentified animal theory, which by itself can account for all six things with one explanation.

I was under the impression this picture was already explained... It's a dog swimming back to shore with a stick in its mouth.

Now I have seen the image after hearing the 'dog theory' I cannot see anything but a dog with a stick in its mouth. Before this I was open to it being an unidentified aquatic animal. The power of suggestion is strong with this one...

As regards the Hugh Gray photo: I am afraid that, ever since it was suggested to me by a sceptic, all I can see is the head of a labrador swimming towards me.Nevertheless, I am willing to accept that this may just be a case of pareiola.

This thread is absolutely ridiculous. The image is clearly a dog (looks like a labrador) with it's head above the water holding a stick.

I didn't spend any time debunking the dog theory in my own article because it's already been done, quite thoroughly and scientifically by author Roland Watson in his own analysis of the Gray Photo. Have a look at his work here, and you might just stop seeing dogs. If that doesn't work, then take 2 aspirin and chant over and over "It was never a dog, it was never a dog.."

As I mentioned on another thread, the Grey photo most closely resembles a grey seal, Halichoerus grypus, in my opinion. They're endemic to the North Atlantic, and have been documented as appearing occasionally in Loch Ness. Given it isn't indigenous to the loch, it's not hard to believe that the locals could very well misidentify a 3m-long, grey, flippered animal as a monster of some sort. The Grey photo looks to me like a grey seal playing in the water; having spent some time studying grey seals, I can say that if I took a still photo of one playing on the surface of the water, it would look very much like the Grey photo.

Seals are not indigenous to Loch Ness, but that's why the locals are hyper-aware of them when they do stray into the loch. They keep an eye out for them, and shoot them when they spot one. The number one industry at Loch Ness isn't tourism, it's actually fish, and as cute as seals may be the Highlanders do not take well to poachers. Surely a seal has been mistaken for a Nessie sighting at least once, but it would have been by a tourist and not a local inhabitant. I don't think there's been a single case of any cryptid finally being found and classified where the locals turned out to be wrong.

The worm-like and horizontally flexing tail in the Gray Photo also has a caudal fin -- nothing like the tail of any aquatic mammal. And again, as Insanity pointed out, Nessie can't be a mammal, because then it would live near the surface for frequent respiration, and we'd have caught one long ago.

Siberian newt (Salamandrella keyserlingii) can move at 1 C, so there is a precedent at least.

That's hitting it on the head. Amphibians in general, and salamanders in particular are the most cold-tolerant tetrapods of us all, and venture where no reptile goes, and other animals either migrate away or hybernate. The Siberian salamander is the extreme example, being the only known vertebrate that freezes solid and waits in the permafrost for spring, at which time it defrosts and walks away. It doesn't hybernate in the formal sense, it actually freezes. There's an anecdotal case from Russia where one was still alive and came out of it's suspended animation after 90 years, but unfortunatly there's no documentation for that one, but other cases of recovering after two or three years of being consecutively frozen are known.

{SNIP} Second, historically, the sightings occur most often during the summer months of July and August, which is what you may expect with an ectothermic creature like a salamander. Seals could be active in the loch virtually any time of the year, and as grey seals live on the coast of Scotland and England, and I believe they do not migrate, the reason for them to appear in the loch would have to be seasonal to match the sightings. If not, the sightings would likely occur more evenly throughout the year.

More daylight and many more people at the Loch in those months as well. Adjusting for those variable probably shows a more even distribution in other months.

Insanity, that was such a great post I wish you'd put it in the Comments to the article at my blog. The same is true for U. N.Owen's post, which makes a number of the same points I'll be covering in future articles (and a few I hadn't thought of yet!) I'll also quote and address some snipettes from that:

The suggestion that the photo shows two critters somehow swimming back-to-back seems over-elaborate to me. If there are two images then I think that this could be accounted for by double exposure. in the thirties, I imagine that cameras where much clunkier and slower devices than they have been since. If the thing was thrashing about, which is how the witness described it, then the same object might have appeared twice on the same picture, double-exposed.

It's very true. My Dad had one of those things and when I used it as a kid I often took double exposures by accident. I thought about that when I realized there were apparently two animals in the photo. But here is why it can't be an accidental double exposure of a single Nessie: the waves in the two exposures would be out of phase with each other (unless a trillion to one coincidence occured) and we'd have ended up with just a gray blur where we have quite crisp and distinct waves in the actual photo.

One question though for U. N.Owen: was the "Giant Salamander theory has legs" an evolutionary pun? I hope so, that's brilliant! :yes:

Thanks to all, and warm regards,

Steve Plambeck

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It's a fish! An Oar Fish.

Nope, sorry - they are a marine species, salt water only, and feed mainly on zooplankton, the latter requiring adequate sunlight. The peat-rich waters of Loch Ness are totally dark below the top couple feet.

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Have a look at his work here, and you might just stop seeing dogs. If that doesn't work, then take 2 aspirin and chant over and over "It was never a dog, it was never a dog.."

Lol, just off to get the aspirin and begin chanting. :)

Thanks for responding to my comment though Steve. Its difficult to shake the 'Dog with stick' image from my mind. I believe the image quality is to poor to draw definite conclusions from it, it is also easy to 'see' something you are more familiar with in an image (dog with a stick in my case) than something you might be less familiar with (salamander). The article you linked to is a good read but the overlaying of another 'dig with a stick' image does does more to confirm it could be a dog in my opinion. The biggest hole in the 'dog with a stick' theory is the lack of water disturbance behind the 'dog' (IMO).

I do think I am past the point of no return though, now the dog theory has entered my head I cannot look at the image without seeing the dog. I am quite open to this being pareidolia rather than fact though.

Either way it is an intriguing image and I appreciate the time and effort you have put into deciphering it contents.

Also, welcome to UM Steve, hope you stick around beyond the discussion of this image. :)

Edited by Junior Chubb
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This thread is absolutely ridiculous. The image is clearly a dog (looks like a labrador) with it's head above the water holding a stick.

If it's a dog, then it's a dog with a pinhead and a ridiculously long back. Standing still. To me it's either a shockingly bad picture of a seal hauled out on a sandbank with the tide coming in, or a pic of a cetacean fluke that's had a bad exposure.

I mean why do people even give the benefit of the doubt that this was actually taken AT loch Ness?! Could be the sea, a garden pond, a bathtub, a bucket of water, anywhere! I could take a really bad picture of a thing in a puddle with super macro on, in black and white, all wobbly and say it was taken at Loch Ness.

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It looks like an out of focus boat to me. You can even see a person standing at the side looking overboard.

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Lol, just off to get the aspirin and begin chanting. :)

Thanks for responding to my comment though Steve. Its difficult to shake the 'Dog with stick' image from my mind. I believe the image quality is to poor to draw definite conclusions from it, it is also easy to 'see' something you are more familiar with in an image (dog with a stick in my case) than something you might be less familiar with (salamander). The article you linked to is a good read but the overlaying of another 'dig with a stick' image does does more to confirm it could be a dog in my opinion. The biggest hole in the 'dog with a stick' theory is the lack of water disturbance behind the 'dog' (IMO).

I do think I am past the point of no return though, now the dog theory has entered my head I cannot look at the image without seeing the dog. I am quite open to this being pareidolia rather than fact though.

Either way it is an intriguing image and I appreciate the time and effort you have put into deciphering it contents.

Also, welcome to UM Steve, hope you stick around beyond the discussion of this image. :)

Thanks for the welcome JC! Surpised I hadn't found this site before, but it's a good one and I'll definitley be around. I probably spend an inordinate amount of time over at cryptozoology.com already, but it's always good finding new territory and interesting new people.

If that's a stick in a dog's mouth, it's one odd looking stick. Maybe someone (but not me) will propose it's a writhing salamander in a dog's mouth :yes: Now this seems a good place to also point out, at any of the estimated distances from which it was taken, the hypothetical dog would have a head as big as Godzilla's! A dog large enough to flatten Tokyo hiding in Loch Ness seems, well, mildly less likely than anything else.

If it's a dog, then it's a dog with a pinhead and a ridiculously long back. Standing still. To me it's either a shockingly bad picture of a seal hauled out on a sandbank with the tide coming in, or a pic of a cetacean fluke that's had a bad exposure.

I mean why do people even give the benefit of the doubt that this was actually taken AT loch Ness?! Could be the sea, a garden pond, a bathtub, a bucket of water, anywhere! I could take a really bad picture of a thing in a puddle with super macro on, in black and white, all wobbly and say it was taken at Loch Ness.

To the last point, because Hugh Gray was a reliable and apparently a wholey unbiased witness. He was inconvenienced by the sighting and gained noting, and in fact at this stage of the game in 1933, before the Loch Ness creature was known outside the immediate area, before the press nickname of "Nessie" had been invented, there was nothing to gain by hoaxing or lying. He couldn't exactly get the location wrong, because this is where he lived and worked, and he used the path on that particular bluff over the Loch to walk home from church every Sunday afternoon, which is when and where the picture was taken. In subsequent decades he was visited and interviewed by Tim Dinsdale, F.W. Holiday, and Constance Whyte among other researchers and writers, and his story never changed nor held any inconsistencies. There has been valid criticism that the shoreline doesn't appear in the photo, but then we also know we don't have the full frame because the press cropped the photo and the original negative was never recovered from whichever newspaper had it last. It's also true the photo was taken from a more acute angle than earlier researchers estimated, between 20 and 30 degrees in fact, which means the far shore should probably not appear in the photo even if we do have nearly the full frame.

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If that's a stick in a dog's mouth, it's one odd looking stick. Maybe someone (but not me) will propose it's a writhing salamander in a dog's mouth :yes: Now this seems a good place to also point out, at any of the estimated distances from which it was taken, the hypothetical dog would have a head as big as Godzilla's! A dog large enough to flatten Tokyo hiding in Loch Ness seems, well, mildly less likely than anything else.

Think I spotted a typo in your post Steve, did you mean Dogzilla? ;)

One question though, looking at the date of the encounter, would you say these creatures are no longer with us?

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Could somebody please outline this "dog" for me because I dinnae see it. Is it only the head, and the dog's moving towards the camera, or is it a dog moving away, and the dongle bottom left is its tail?

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Could somebody please outline this "dog" for me because I dinnae see it. Is it only the head, and the dog's moving towards the camera, or is it a dog moving away, and the dongle bottom left is its tail?

Here you go Urisk, its a bit crude but this is what I cannot avoid seeing. Funnily enough though to create this image I Googled for a better quality version to work with and found one, looking at the larger version the 'dogs' head seemed less obvious and something more 'aquatic' was more apparent...

Like I said originally 'The power of suggestion is strong with this one'.

nessi-dog.jpg

And here is a link to the larger (unaltered?) original image. (http://1.bp.blogspot...Allen+Image.jpg)

Edited by Junior Chubb
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As with all things of this nature; we will have to catch one to find out what it is.

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This thread is absolutely ridiculous. The image is clearly a dog (looks like a labrador) with it's head above the water holding a stick.

Honestly, it is not clear what it is.

More daylight and many more people at the Loch in those months as well. Adjusting for those variable probably shows a more even distribution in other months.

Insanity, that was such a great post I wish you'd put it in the Comments to the article at my blog. The same is true for U. N.Owen's post, which makes a number of the same points I'll be covering in future articles (and a few I hadn't thought of yet!) I'll also quote and address some snipettes from that:

Greetings Steve, I am new here as well, but have read about the Nessie phenomenon for several years.

Correct, simply having more people with more time to observe the loch would increase sightings. I am not sure if that alone accounts for the large increase, from the small sampling of recorded sightings, those two months account for half the sightings almost.

This site here has a some info on the loch, and the fauna section shows that the fish population grows during the same months.

Makes sense to me for any predator on the loch to become more active during the same months when the food is plentiful.

**edit** It would be helpful if I pasted the link, wouldn't it?

http://www.ilec.or.jp/database/eur/eur-08.html

Going with the salamander, its possible those few months could provide with enough food for the rest of the year. Large ectotherms don't require much food, and even more so if its metabolism is lower due to the environment.

If you truly wish my comments on your blog, I will do so.

As with all things of this nature; we will have to catch one to find out what it is.

You are correct. Again, going with a giant salamander, probably the best technique would be similar to catching alligators or crocodiles. A large metal cage partially submerged, one end clear of water and with some bait dangling just touching the water surface. I believe existing giant salamanders are not above scavenging.

Edited by Insanity
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First off, and by way of introducing myself, I'd like to offer warm thanks to Still Waters for recommending my article.

Seals are not indigenous to Loch Ness, but that's why the locals are hyper-aware of them when they do stray into the loch. They keep an eye out for them, and shoot them when they spot one. The number one industry at Loch Ness isn't tourism, it's actually fish, and as cute as seals may be the Highlanders do not take well to poachers. Surely a seal has been mistaken for a Nessie sighting at least once, but it would have been by a tourist and not a local inhabitant. I don't think there's been a single case of any cryptid finally being found and classified where the locals turned out to be wrong.

Hello there, welcome to UM :)

Your reference to seals in Loch Ness I found interesting, although I think it would be the fishermen that would shoot any, and not the locals. There's a lot about seal sightings in this article which might account for some Nessie sightings too.

"A Common or Harbour Seal Phoca vitulina L. lived in Loch Ness, Scotland, for seven months from November 1984 - June 1985. Photographs of the seal are presented. This is the first time a seal has been proven in Loch Ness. Fishermen's reports indicate that Loch Ness is visited by a seal approximately once every two years."

http://www.lochnessi...n.com/siln.html

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One question though, looking at the date of the encounter, would you say these creatures are no longer with us?

It would be terribly sad not to mention ironic if the first photo taken was of one (or two) of the last living specimens. There are however still a few sightings per year, as well as tantalizing if not definitive sonar contacts from time to time. There's a lot more traffic and noise around the Loch than in former times, and perhaps that keeps them from showing themselves as often when near shore. It's also possible sightings were normally this infrequent, and the 1930's were the exception for a number of possible reasons, including a hypothetical infusion of wels catfish washed into the Loch from private estate ponds during flooding in the mid 19th century; catfish aren't indegenous to Scotland and can't reproduce at the water temperature of Loch Ness, but under such circumstances any that got into the Loch would have reached enormous sizes by the 1930's, and could account for some of the hump sightings in that period (but not for long-neck or any of the land sightings). Those catfish would be dead and gone now, reducing the number of "false positive" sightings. I think what may be more telling is that land sightings have become more infrequent (only one in the last two or three decades) which certainly implies a change has occured. Worlwide, amphibian populations have crashed during the last couple decades, which is very alarming.

Here you go Urisk, its a bit crude but this is what I cannot avoid seeing. Funnily enough though to create this image I Googled for a better quality version to work with and found one, looking at the larger version the 'dogs' head seemed less obvious and something more 'aquatic' was more apparent...

Like I said originally 'The power of suggestion is strong with this one'.

nessi-dog.jpg

And here is a link to the larger (unaltered?) original image. (http://1.bp.blogspot...Allen+Image.jpg)

That's the real deal alright. Working backwards, author Roland Watson discovered the Fortean Picture Library held this original version of the photo and obtained it for his research. It had been donated to the FPL by Steuart Campbell (according to Aleksandar T. Lovchanski). It was given to Campbell by Maurice Burton, who had obtained it in the 1960's, made from a glass lantern slide that E. Heron-Allen had made from the original negative in the 1930's. The Heron-Allen image contains all the detail lost in the press reproductions and their overwhelming contrast adjustments throughout the years; what's in most of the books are photographs taken of old newspapers, then turned into half-tones for reproduction by printing press.

And what a difference it makes it terms of clarity and detail. It was working from this that R. Watson discovered the true head appears at the right-hand end of the "object". You can also see how the motion-blurred spray tossed up by the rear appendage gives us the "ear" of the "dog". The humps of the two animals have moved relative to each other since a dowsing, so that the line between shiny wet skin and darker drier skin has become disjointed; the darker spots being out of alignment gives us the "eye" of the "dog" (darker spot on the side of the further animal) and "snout" (darker spot on the side of the nearer animal).

Edited by Steve Plambeck
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This site here has a some info on the loch, and the fauna section shows that the fish population grows during the same months.

Makes sense to me for any predator on the loch to become more active during the same months when the food is plentiful.

**edit** It would be helpful if I pasted the link, wouldn't it?

http://www.ilec.or.jp/database/eur/eur-08.html

Going with the salamander, its possible those few months could provide with enough food for the rest of the year. Large ectotherms don't require much food, and even more so if its metabolism is lower due to the environment.

That's my gut feeling exactly: these creatures take advantage of the salmon runs, fattening up for the rest of the year like bears do. My guess would also be that reproduction then occurs shortly after these months, when energy reserves are highest. The known giant salamanders swallow their prey whole, so I'm not sure even the largest of the known ones, the Chinese Giant Salamander can tackle full grown salmon. But there would be the impetus for evolving an even larger form of aquatic salamander, to exploit salmon, which are such a rich food source the extra size needed to prey on them could pay for itself.

Cold-water amphibians do have very low metabolisms, and with char and other species available when the salmon aren't around I do think Loch Ness can support giant salamanders in permanent residence.

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Here you go Urisk, its a bit crude but this is what I cannot avoid seeing. Funnily enough though to create this image I Googled for a better quality version to work with and found one, looking at the larger version the 'dogs' head seemed less obvious and something more 'aquatic' was more apparent...

Like I said originally 'The power of suggestion is strong with this one'.

nessi-dog.jpg

And here is a link to the larger (unaltered?) original image. (http://1.bp.blogspot...Allen+Image.jpg)

Brilliant! Thanks for clearing that up. :) Great rendering, so thank you for that.

So now what could the fairly solid thing bottong left of the object be?

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Brilliant! Thanks for clearing that up. :) Great rendering, so thank you for that.

So now what could the fairly solid thing bottong left of the object be?

I'd say its open to interpretation.

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I'd say its open to interpretation.

That sums up the entire Loch Ness Monster story. To me, there is a fish/eel/amphibian like head to the right. Forget about dogs, this is a more mysterious animal.

I like the Siberian Newt now, I can imagine Nessie snuggling down for a deep freeze snooze buried in that thick silt far from prying eyes and sonar.

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