'Nessie' Voices Recorded (?)
Might Be Relative Of Walrus?
Forget the terror of the deep. Nessie could be from the shallower end of the gene pool. A team of Swedish scientists has revealed that the Loch Ness monster may be a distant relative of the walrus, writes Stephen McGinty. While theories abound that the fabled inhabitant of Scotland's most famous loch may be a trapped dinosaur, a giant sturgeon or even an aquatic ghost, new scientific research has suggested a more mundane solution.
A sonic survey carried out by the Scandinavian Global Underwater Search Team found that a series of unidentifiable sounds fell into a frequency matched only by the elephant seal, the walrus or the killer whale.
The sounds, which were described like a pig grunting or a person snoring, were recorded by highly sensitive hydrophones lowered to a depth of 65ft in two spots where sightings have been recorded.
The Swedish team, which carried out the research in March on the Loch's west side, said the sounds were similar to those found in Swedish and Norwegian lakes also rumoured to be populated by water monsters.
Jan Sundeberg, the expedition leader, said the sounds had been analysed by both marine laboratories and the Swedish defence intelligence agency, known as FOA65.
"Most of the noises we picked up in the loch we can identify as eels, pike or trout, but this noise was a sort of grunting, very like sounds we recorded in Lake Seljordsvatnet [in Norway], although shorter and sharper."
The analysis revealed that the noises were in a frequency range 747-751Hz and only the elephant seal, walrus or killer whale make sounds that fall into that category. "Let's say these sounds were from Nessie - she could be a relative, a sub-species," said Sundeberg.
The expedition, called Nessie 2000, was organised by the Official Loch Ness Monster Fan Club, based in Inverness.
Gary Campbell, an accountant who launched the Official Loch Ness Monster Fan Club, believes the research may prove correct. "I think Nessie is unlikely to be a dinosaur but I do think something got into Loch Ness 10,000 years ago and has evolved."
Sundeberg's expedition has also included a trip to Ireland, where the scientists surveyed Sraheens Loch, also rumoured to contain a mythical beast. The team expects to continue studying Loch Ness in October.
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