The Fireside
It grows from the top down, so the newest is at the bottom.
There is probably space on this web site for a small amount of thinking aloud, commenting on recent events, and mention of other matters which I am not directly involved in.

I am not consistently good at replying to emails, and I sometimes think that I could share those thoughts with more than the one person who prompted them. So, at some unspecified times in the future, I will add bits to this page which don't seem to have a natural home of their own elsewhere on my web site. It will simply be a place to relax with a pint of homemade beer, (or whatever is legal where you are,) look at a couple of new pictures, and perhaps consider a technical problem or two and share some of the solutions suggested. It won't be a chat room, just a kind of omnium gatherum, a strand line, a place where stuff gets washed up.

There may be a modicum of background music which you are welcome to turn off, and if any of you feel compelled to write to me about the contents of the page I will be pleased that at least someone is reading it.  In case you cannot get the music started, click on the right-pointing arrow on the tape deck console, and alter the volume by sliding the speaker icon along the line to the right.  The midi files can be saved in the usual way if you wish to, and played back on your default player. Alternatively, to hear the true genius of the writers, download "Melody Assistant"  - it's shareware - from your favourite download site for an awesome display.



 I would be delighted to hear from any old associates (or friends!) from the Loch Ness Investigation days who stumble into this site. I was very pleased to meet up with some last year after 30 years...it is very interesting to learn what hand of cards Life has dealt each of us.  If enough people get in touch it may eventually turn into something of a reunion page..who knows what may develop. Some of you will be more interested in contacting your own Expedition Member friends - tell me who they are and I will add them to the list. Perhaps the Internet has a use after all.

To start things off, I will just mention a handful of names as the starting point of a "Wanted" list. If you are out there please send a short message to


telling me as much or as little as you like. Any restrictive or specific locations, e.g. Broadmoor, Holloway, Parkhurst or St Andrews House, will be kept confidential if you so wish.

Where are you now?:
Peter Davies, Martyn Wilde, David James Clark, Bill Smallfield, David Wiseman, Murray Stewart, Rick Rueking, Lennart Andreasson, Dave Bear, Ron & Don Day, Diana James, Hillary Ross

Operation Cleansweep


During Operation Cleansweep this unusual Swedish registered vehicle - strangely reminiscent of a Cleansing Department's street-sweeping truck - was often parked next to the large cabin cruiser used by the visiting monster hunters. Perhaps this suggested  the name for the expedition.

Now things have returned to what passes for "normal" up here it is probably safe to try a few new ideas.

On the practical side I am in the final stages of assembling some new underwater tv equipment - even before I have broken the old stuff! As soon as I have pictures from the bottom I will show them to you. If it works, they will be in colour! If you have a y-c divers helmet camera lying around please email me!

On the analytical side I have produced a few web pages on the subject of measuring the objects in photographs, whether the print media or web cam images. This work complements the practical approach of the Loch Ness Project, and has the advantage for most people that the analysis can be done without leaving one's armchair. To see what the Loch Ness Project is up to - take a peek!

Conger Eels

My own pictures of one of the congers found at Loch Ness haven't come back from the chemists yet, but to get the full gen just visit the Loch Ness Project site.

Other Exotic Fish

On Saturday 2nd June I saw another dead fish -this time floating right next to the "Nessie Hunter" - which weighed about 1 / 500 of the weight of the conger. Read about it here.


Surplus divers helmet-mounted colour tv camera in any working condition , or parts to rebuild one. Please email me
mail@lochnessinvestigation .org (remove that space before .org when using the address!)
if you can help out with an extended loan. Thanks.


Having got very bored trying to set email filters  to delete messages selling books about hairy fairies or telling me about escaped alligators thousands of kilometres from Loch Ness, I finally set up a newsgroup of my own. It is  LochNess@yahoogroups.com and I haven't done anything with it yet!

If you find my approach to the subject of Loch Ness research of any interest, you may wish to join it.

I sometimes feel compelled to respond to postings on other lists, but when I do so I am sometimes criticised for being too sensible and boring. To get round this irritation, I will start to copy the provocative postings from the other lists, (sometimes naming them, sometimes not,) and add my own responses. In this way, my information on relevant topics is available to real investigators via this "Views from Cyberspace" page while those people who run or set up newsgroups, societies or clubs with a view to compiling a book or two from the proceeds will be invited to comply with normal Copyright arrangements when using my writings and images. Who knows, it might even turn into an FAQ list in time.

Lake Dogs

In looking at the award (£500) winning picture of "Nessie" downloaded by Gavin Joth of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club from the scotland-online web cam last year, I cannot help noticing a distinct similarity with an earlier Nessie (Lassie?) snapped by Hugh Gray of Foyers in 1933.

Has anyone noticed any other similarities? Apparently Loch Ness is as far North as Labrador.

 Jeff Paul - Author
Investigators at Loch Ness had noticed that following his 2000 visit to the loch Jeff's emails had been getting shorter and less frequent. I can now reveal that he is guilty of joined-up writing and is a published author. His novel "Harry McCreedy" is a racy social satire set in Washington DC, and well worth a read. You can borrow my copy or buy your own from Amazon.

Now Jeff, that manly, handsome fellow in chapter 8...he is so obviously modelled on me...in the sequel could I...

Future Developments
Significant trials of new systems have been carried out recently, notably the first ever webcast of live pictures from the bottom of the loch, followed by cabin shots from MV Deepscan, a passing cruise ship, and a fireworks display at Urquhart Bay...all freely downloadable from the Internet. A few sample frames are shown on this page.

Hope for McRae Film
If it ever existed, we need not abandon all hope for the survival of this material. Although I point out that nitrate film stock used in that period can become unstable and spontaneously ignite, I discovered some 100 or so Eastman Nitrate Kodak half-plate negatives among a customer's material on November 9th  2001 which were entirely printable and had been exposed in the mid-twenties of the last century.

 Old Friend in Inverness again

Copyright 2001 Dick Raynor

Passing Muirtown Basin ( a wide part of the Caledonian Canal, in Inverness) one evening in early January 2002 I saw this ship tied up. It seemed a bit familiar, so I took a closer look.

Copyright 2001 Dick Raynor

It was the "Scot II", the Canal Company's ice-breaker / tug which had also been used as a pleasure steamer in the 1960's. It had a walk-on role in my 1967 Nessie "short", but I hadn't seen it for years. It appears to be undergoing some sort of refit and I will report back in due course.

Dead Nessie Story - Inverness Courier 15th January 2002

Amazing how thirty years have passed - I remember the day very well, including an exciting drive halfway round Loch Ness in pursuit. Read Alex Main's article at http://www.inverness-courier.co.uk/profile.asp?storyvar=57

Cuckoo's Nest
An unguarded sneeze recently set off a minor avalanche in my "archive department", resulting in a box of slides spilling onto the floor. As I scooped them up, I realised that a few might even be of interest. I took them during breaks in the filming of the series "Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World" back in the early 80's when I was among a group of "monster witnesses" interviewed on a boat from Fort Augustus. They are of spectacularly poor quality, so I will show but one here. Looking back, I am reminded of the scene in the classic movie "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest" in which the asylum inmates managed to gain control of a boat and went fishing. From left to right, Peter Smith (or at least his suit), Gwen Smith, Alex Campbell, Peter MacNab & Mrs Robertson.

Copyright,  Dick Raynor 2002

A while later, Mr MacNab kindly sent me a copy of his famous picture, which I am sure he will not mind my sharing with you. Beneath it is a snap taken from the roadside near the castle just a few months ago. If you compare the two and can see anything significant, please email me.( Hint - look at the relative positions of the top of the castle tower and the far shore...)

Copyright P.A.Macnab (top) and Dick Raynor (bottom)

"Man, Monster, and Mysteries" and the Dinsdale Film

I saw a mention some months ago that the Dinsdale Film was available on a programme attached to a DVD of the 1970's Walt Disney classic  "Pete's Dragon". I have just persuaded a friend to buy it from Amazon for me, and it is very interesting indeed.

It turns out include classic documentary footage shot by Ken Peterson in 1969 / 70, and includes interview sequences with  Hugh Ayton, Lady Maud Baillie, Alex Campbell, Isobel Cameron, Freddy Cary, Tim Dinsdale, David James, Ted Holiday, Roy Mackal, Ivor Newby, Dan Taylor and non-speaking shots of Holly Arnold, Peter Davies, Christine Elmer, Rip Hepple, Clem Skelton, Ken Wallis,  a whole crew of LNI volunteers, and lots of Drumnadrochit school-children.

And yes, there is some of the "crossing the loch" footage from Tim Dinsdale's 1960 Film.

If you would like to know what it was like to be there at the LNI in 1969 and 1970, you need this DVD.
If you were there, you'll enjoy it even more!

Recommended Equipment

Either I am getting very clever as I get older (unlikely) or modern technology is getting so user friendly that it is no longer rocket science to put together an underwater tv, hydrophone or sonar system that will fit in your holiday rucksack. Now you can really explore and monitor your environment. With the equipment described - and which I can supply  - you can carry out your own investigations as well as reading about mine...and it costs no more than a Playstation!

The underwater television:
This is so much fun you will wonder why you never got one before. The black and white version is better for most purposes, as it is much more sensitive than the colour and so can often be used with ambient lighting. Apart from lake work, use it in canals, rivers, wells, chimneys, wall cavities, rabbit holes and anywhere else that a rat could fit. View the image with a small portable 12v monitor, record it onto a 12v VHS video recorder, or into a MiniDV camcorder with analogue input like I do. You can even tape it to a pair of binoculars to make a super-telephoto system. Email me for current prices for the various configurations.

The hydrophone:
I am incorporating an Arretec Dolphinear hydrophone into my new underwater tv system. Read about the range of units available on the Arretec web site. There is a surprising spectrum of applications underwater, underground, and in air.

More to come soon.

New Plaque erected at Bomber Lay-by

Sorry about the low quality "still" - better to follow.

Latest on the "Johnston 2002 Pictures"

I have been roundly criticised by the usual parties for my assessment of the "Johnston Pictures". As before, the criticism employs defective logic, an inability or unwillingness to learn the details of the story, and inaccurate information mixed into a rather coarse coating to hide the cracks in the supporting story. The original story and the links to my critics pages, with my responses, are here.


In the same web site update - 9th October 2002 -  in which I and my associates have been the butt of some "Swedish Humour" - GUST has had the misfortune to have had its " electronic newsletter"  deemed to be "unsolicited bulk email" and it has unsubscribed 400 of it's "members".

All at Sea - GUST adrift with the United States Navy!
Sorry to bang on about  our Swedish colleagues,  but they now  - 15th October 2002 - claim to have recruited the United States Navy to support their dubious assertions regarding the Academy of Applied Science's pictures of 30 years ago. Read the original at the GUST site and my response here.

UPDATE 23-10-02  A few days later the same web site published another article...

The person responsible for the "computer enhancement" of the Academy of Applied Science / Loch Ness Investigation Bureau "Flipper Pictures" of 1972, in a recent interview, concurs wholeheartedly with the assessment I published a few months ago to mark the pictures' 30th birthday.  I pointed out that the comtemporary assumption of simultaneity between sonar and camera was not justified. It is satisfying  to read the same comment coming from the USA, followed by "
naturally, this removes our ability to relate what was on the sonar to what was photographed."

My own assessment was that
 "The enhanced "flipper" photographs show incongruous shadow features which I cannot explain other than as deliberate artistic improvement, i.e."retouching","

while the gentleman interviewed says "
I never did like the 1972 flipper picture that much -  that's one in which some kind of film enhancement Bob Rines did (or Charles Wycoff) made the edge stand out a lot better than anything I could do. But in the raw image, it was hard to see."

As for the 1975 photographs, the interviewee was never informed that the camera was in contact with the loch bed.

UPDATE 24-10-02 This same web site has now set up a page called, with great originality, "The Loch Ness Investigation Bureau" filled with "scientific files"... but will it tell you about the exploits of its leader.?

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