CryptoGadget News: Nessie Expedition Planned

Posted by: Loren Coleman on February 6th, 2008

Gordon Holmes Loch Ness Monster

The man behind May 2007’s video is returning to Loch Ness. Gordon Holmes is going to experiment with new technology to try to capture Nessie, at least with a camera.

Gordon Holmes Loch Ness Monster

Holmes has emailed me with the breaking news he is going back to Loch Ness this year with “NET –> NESSIE 2008.”

He writes it will be the…

…’smallest’ ever attempt to obtain proof of any large unknown Creature swimming in Loch Ness. Basically, it is a radio-controlled boat with sonar and a wireless-linked CCTV camera monitoring the sonar screen. The idea is, I stand on the shore obtaining video footage on my laptop from the camera inside the boat. As you will appreciate, this is cutting edge science so there is no guarantee the gear will operate when required.Gordon Holmes, February 6, 2008.

The cryptogadget has been christened the “St. Columba.”

net nessie08

On August 22 in AD 565, at the River Ness, St. Columba came across a group of Picts who were burying a man killed by an unknown creature that today is linked to the Loch Ness Monster. Art by Bill Rebsamen.

st. columba br

Below is the CNN report on Holmes’ earlier video. This is the media report that stimulated these two quotations:

Jerry Clark noted that what was operating here, in counterpoint to my view, was, The Nickell principle: “We will take up an existence by its otters.”

Coincidentially, another friend and coauthor, Patrick Huyghe emailed me: “Joe was otterly ridiculous.”

field guide lake monsters

Please refer to “The Nessie Story,” in The Field Guide to Lake Monsters, Sea Serpents, and Other Mystery Denizens of the Deep, for more historical details.

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

23 Responses to “CryptoGadget News: Nessie Expedition Planned”

  1. pcs800 responds:

    That video shown on cnn is pretty cool. I do not think the skeptic guy is making much sense, since it is obvious even at first glance that it is not an otter. Looks more like a very long snake to me.
    I do agree however, that in order for something like nessie to exist, there must be a population and food supply among other requirements.

  2. eireman responds:

    “As you will appreciate, this is cutting edge science so there is no guarantee the gear will operate when required”

    Why am I picturing something more out of the clearance bin at Radio Shack than the opening scene to “Titanic”?

    RC Boat – $49.95
    Digital Camera – $200
    Your photo of the Blob Ness Monster all over the internet – Priceless.

    All sarcastic remarks aside, I’ll await the final results…

  3. DARHOP responds:

    Kool. Hopefully some good video will be shot with this plan. A Nessie expedition would be kool. If all goes as I plan, I will be on both the Washington Bigfoot expeditions this summer.

  4. pcs800 responds:

    Yes, isn’t this “As you will appreciate, this is cutting edge science so there is no guarantee the gear will operate when required”
    Kind of like “jumbo shrimp” or “mail lady” 🙂

  5. red_pill_junkie responds:

    Well, let’s hope the radio-controlled toy boat doesn’t make so much noise that it actually ends up scaring Nessie, as I’m convinced has happened with every effort made to try to locate it using loud motor vessels.

  6. Cryptid Hunt responds:

    I like Coleman’s theory that these creatures swim around Loch Ness and into the oceans.

  7. cryptidsrus responds:

    Great article!!!

    RED_PILL_JUNKIE: That was funny. Heh-heh-heh.

  8. plant girl responds:

    Cool Boat! But if i were a lochness monster I would not go anywhere near it.

  9. red_pill_junkie responds:

    Thanks cryptidsrus… although I wasn’t really trying to be funny! Well, at least not in this occasion 😉

    Think about it: the loch’s water is murky with the color of tea; divers can’t see anything past their noses, so to me it is obvious that any succesful predator (as I’m implying Nessie is) would therefore depend more on other senses to hunt than vision.

    Eco location?

    electric impulses?

    Maybe. Maybe not. What I do think is that anyone interested in finding this cryptid might aswell try to use less disruptive methods that cause as little noise as possible.

    After all, the most convincing evidences (IMO) have been gathered when the boats were standing completely still at night, in the middle of the loch.

  10. CamperGuy responds:

    Red pill Junkie has a very valid point.

    Anyone familiar with the outdoors knows as long as you are walking around and making noise the amount of wildlife around your area tends to hide and be quiet.

    Best method for viewing wildlife is to pick a spot with a good vantage point sit there quietly for a bit and just observe.

  11. jerrywayne responds:

    A few observations…

    1. The Holmes film is compelling. To my eyes, the film depicts an image that I’ve seen before, allegedly representing Nessie (such as eyewitness sketches found in books such as Whyte’s More Than a Legend.)

    2. This image may very well be of an otter and this has ramifications, to my mind, as to the origin of the Nessie legend (or myth).

    3. This image is plausibly of an otter, but not conclusively so. The notion that it represents an otter simply does not deserve the ridicule heaped upon it by comments in the original post above.

    4. Why does the “Field Guide” concerning lake monsters by our kind host and Mr. Huyghe have a cover photo of the Ness “surgeon’s photo,” if one of the authors has identified the photo as that of an otter? (I’m otterly perplexed!)

  12. Loren Coleman responds:

    No need to be otterly perplexed, but please check your assumptions at the door: Since when do authors of books published by major publishers (such as Penguin, in this case) get to hand-pick what designers wish to put on the covers of their books?

    Book covers are created for marketing reasons to communicate quickly, with icons and symbols, the subject discussed in the text. The cover of this field guide does that.

    While I was extremely happy with the Champ photograph for the cover, I probably would have selected a Sea Serpent wood carving for the second illustration to reinforce that topic mentioned in the title of the field guide.

  13. red_pill_junkie responds:

    You mean the publisher didn’t bother to consult with you about the design of your own book’s cover Loren? Now I’m otterly appalled!

  14. Loren Coleman responds:

    LOL. “Consulting”? Informing, showing after the fact, discussing, mentioning, and several other words come to mind in an author’s relationship with a mainstream publisher and their designers (whom you never met or can talk to), but consulting is not one of those words.

    Do you think CNN told me that Joe Nickell was going to be on this program before I went on?

    The realities of life for an author seem to be much different than the conventional wisdom, I guess.

  15. darkshines responds:

    “As you will appreciate, this is cutting edge science so there is no guarantee the gear will operate when required.”- this quote screams to me “even if we film a blurry sturgeon, a piece of weed, or several otters, we will still claim its the monster. Failing that, we may get a 3 nanosecond clip of a flipper and blow it out of proportion”.

    Not getting my hopes up.

  16. Dr. Strings responds:

    Hi folks,

    I’m new here, and would like to say hello to everyone. This seems like an enjoyable and informative site, and a great place to discuss cryptozoology. Nice to be here.

    I must say I fall on the side of those who view this video as yet another ambiguous piece of evidence on the existence of Nessie. I can’t really see much in the video that I find compelling; it is small, shaky, and grainy, and I couldn’t see an example of a neck rising out of the water. To my eyes, it doesn’t show much more that a small unidentified creature swimming in the loch, which also allows one who is inclined to believe it is Nessie to do so, as there can be no clear identification of what type of animal it is from the film alone. I want to believe as much as anyone, but I need infallible evidence before I can say a monster or unknown animal exists in the loch, or anywhere else for that matter.

    It’s good to know that Mr. Holmes is making another effort to find evidence of Nessie with a potentially better method, but his disclaimer is disheartening. I think darkshines nailed it on the head; Mr. Holmes saying that the gear is not guaranteed to work at the crucial moment does set the expedition up with wide latitude, allowing him to present any grainy, fuzzy, or blurry image of anything or nothing in the loch as proof of a monster.

    To Mr. Coleman, I’d like to say it’s nice to see you posting here. I can see why CNN would not reveal that Joe Nickell would appear on the program with you; the theme of confrontation seems to be pervasive in modern media, and what better way to create genuine confrontation than to have somebody with a dissenting view of the video waiting in the shadows for you? They’re more concerned about ratings that uncovering the truth about a mystery such as Nessie. I can also see why your publisher would use the “Surgeon’s Photo” image of Nessie; hoax or not, it is the most iconic and recognizable image of a lake monster across the world.

  17. CryptoGoji responds:

    What I find interesting is that the techno gear is out there for an individual to sweep the entirety of the Loch by ones self…. For a price. Some of the gear as far as digital cameras and camcorders out there is by far better than we had even a year ago. HD cameras with millions of pixels in resolution and up to 50x optical zoom lenses would make filming a bird on top of the Sears tower grand by comparison from what we have seen thus far. Now this also leads to the use of digital tools like Photo Shop and others that allow manipulation of the image to look like what ever the photographer would want us to see. So what I don’t understand is how he says this “cutting edge” gear would not perform when operated right, even under the worst of conditions that might be out on the loch. With water proof camera housing, digital and optical stabilizers out there on all but the cheapest of cameras now, remote control on camcorders and cameras, getting a poor result is either bad luck or bad timing, but really not because of the gear in most respects. But then again, anything built of human hands is bound by Murphy’s Law at the most inopportune time. The best bet would be to use active sonar to drive Nessie out of the loch the way California is saying the military is doing to whales off the coast. Perhaps then we would get proof of what Nessie is or isn’t, that is if it uses sonar to find its way in the loch.
    On a side note, I agree with red_pill_junkie, perhaps we should just scourer the loch with sail boats and sonar just once or twice to see if anything would be willing to play with out all that noise generated by a 250 or more hp outboard motor.

  18. jerrywayne responds:

    Kind host,

    Your suggestion about assumptions is valid, although we all bring assumptions to the table unwittingly. For instance, you assumed my question implied the cover design was endorsed by you and your co-author. Let me make the following assumptions: the cover editors for the Field Guide did not read your book, or the book’s text did not identify the “surgeon’s photo” as a diving otter, or the cover editors ignored the text and designed what they thought would sell best. In any event, I’m otterly concerned why a book about “lake monsters” by advocates would have a diving otter on its cover (even if beyond the control of its authors).

    And I’m curious. What is the current status of the Holmes film in crypto circles? It seems that it has been discounted somewhat at Cryptomundo.

  19. Loren Coleman responds:

    Regarding the Surgeon’s Photo, of course, the designers and publishers of my field guide could hold a belief that this is a real photograph of a Lake Monster. Considering the evidence pro and con that actually exists about the two photos, their thoughts could be as valid as mine that the more well-known of the two shows a diving otter or a diving seal or a water bird.


  20. dogu4 responds:

    Dr Strings makes a pertinent observation regarding the media manipulation of stories in order to stress the tension. It’s tension that we watch, not the news, per se. Selling the sizzle..and it’s all about selling, in contrast to what broadcast journalism used to be; a public service in exchange for a lucrative license to sell advertising on the public’s airwaves. Now “news” is a profit center so don’t expect there to be news to cover unless it also creates the tension to draw in the viewer which is what the advertisers want.

    As for the Loch Ness Monster. Even if he gets another picture, the mystery will remain. As long as they keep looking for something that can’t be there, such as a giant reptile or mammal, I suppose they’re bound to fail, I’m afraid. Better to do a truely comprehensive study of the lake’s muddy bottom with an eye towards signs of a creature that needs only a rare and occasional feeding, has indeterminate growth, and is inactive for most of its life as it waits for food to sink, decay and trigger appropriate responses. I do like little remote control thingees, however.

  21. cryptidsrus responds:

    Dr. Strings:

    Welcome, Sir!!!


    I would second what you are saying although I would also submit to you that ANOTHER reason the media is “confrontational” is the fact that, at least in cases like these where there is “maybe/maybe not” aspect to the subject they’re covering, they DO NOT want to be seen as being “biased.” (We’ll leave out FOX NEWS for a moment, OK?). In cases like this or paranormal, UFO-related, or just plain out-of-this-world bizarre, the major Networks and Cable News Shows would have skeptics, scientists, cynics and debunkers all over their tails screaming “You’re biased! You’re pushing nonsense on the public” if they were to (let’s say) have Loren Coleman or Craig Woolheater on exclusively. Nobody likes to be accused of only favoring one point-of-view over another (again, FOX NEWS is an exception). So they make sure the skeptic side is shown. If they happen to be confrontational, well, that’s ratings…

    As a caveat, I would say CNN, MSNBC, and other networks are ALSO biased in one way or another towards certain points of view, just NOT as pronounced as FOX NEWS.

  22. cryptidsrus responds:

    Anyway, good article…Good discussion.

  23. Megatherium responds:

    As a person who deals with technology on a daily basis I understand completely where Mr. Holmes is coming from when he mentions the potential problems with cutting edge science – i.e. the technology he plans to use in search of Nessie. Heck, there’s a reason that the “Murphy’s Law” books (“If anything can go wrong, it will…”) proliferated in the 80s – the dawn of modern technology. Cutting edge or not, technology in general can be rife with issues and knowing whether or not you are going to be able to integrate pieces from two or more different camps can be a missed shoot as well – not to mention the complexity of doing so within the murky depths and otherwise harsh environment of Loch Ness. Whether Mr. Holmes comment was one of admission of ignorance or one of experience doesn’t really matter. The fact still stands that the best laid plans of mice and men are still often at the mercy of whether or not HAL decides to perform on cue.

    For something as potentially as big as Nessie? The creature may not give a darn about noises from a radio controlled boat so who knows – Mr. Holmes could get lucky and get the Video of the Century. The fact is most if not all suppositions on why Nessie does whatever are just that – suppositions – so why let that guesswork get in the way of discovery? Personally, I envy the gent for having the opportunity to make such an attempt and wish him the best of luck in his endeavors. Lord knows, when he flicks the switches on his new (or old) fangled contraptions, he’s going to need it.

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