They just keep coming thick and fast these Nessie stories. On the back of two intriguing photographs these past four months and a head-neck sighting, a sonar contact has entered the fray.
This story appeared in the Scottish edition of the Daily Mail for Thursday 15th September 2011. It looks like it did not make the UK website of the Mail, so it is reproduced here for those outside of Scotland.
But first the basics on sonar. I do not claim to be an expert but it is an important tool in the hunt for the Loch Ness Monster. However, like normal photographs and pictures, there are degrees of interpretation, misidentification and, yes, hoaxes.
A sonar contact is a picture made from sound waves instead of light waves. The sonar device sends pulses of sound at various frequencies depending on how deep one wants to go. The reflected echo is processed to form a snapshot of the area within the sound beam.