43-year-old Fort Augustus resident and Loch Ness boat captain Marcus Atkinson has made a truly remarkable discovery: the Loch Ness monster. That is to say, he's produced sonar images that seem to show a serpent-shaped... something underneath the water.
The bright green shape on his readout has been measured up as 5ft wide - length can't be measured using this equipment - moving 75ft under the surface, seeming to follow his boat into Loch's Urquhart Bay for over two minutes.
Skeptics might be keen to point out that this object needn't necessarily be the fabled aquatic beastie, but certain Nessie experts are keen to claim its veracity. Others, including Dr Simon Boxall of Southampton's National Oceanography Centre, point out that it could just be a body of algae and zooplankton.
The truth? Well, that remains to be seen. To help you make up your own mind, here's Atkinson's words on his discovery, and after that, the classic photograph of what many believe to be Nessie herself.
"I was dropping customers at Urquhart Castle and then got my boat out of the way of the other tour companies. I moved out into the water and looked at the sonar and saw this image had appeared. The device takes a reading of the depth and what is below the boat every quarter of a second and gradually builds up a picture, so it covered a time of about five minutes. The object got bigger and bigger and I thought "bloody hell" and took a picture with my mobile phone."
"There is nothing that big in the Loch. I was in shock as it looked like a big serpent, it’s amazing. You can’t fake a sonar image. I have never seen anything returned like this on the fish finder. It is a bizarre shape to me. I have shown it to other experienced skippers and none of us know what it was. I have seen a lot of pictures in 21 years of being here but this is the most clearest image yet. Undoubtedly, there is something in the loch"
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