Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

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Saturday, May 29, 2010

LINDSAY SELBY: The Tim Dinsdale Film

Tim Dinsdale shot a film in April 1960 that many believed was proof that the Loch Ness creature existed. In 1965 it was examined by the Joint Air Reconnaissance Centre (JARIC) and for those who have never seen the report I have scanned in the main points, from the HMSO document for you to read.

The film is dogged by controversy as there are those that say it was a boat filmed under bad light conditions. See : http://www.nessie.co.uk/htm/the_evidence/analysis.html
(you will find many other sites with this analysis, this was just the first I googled)

And those that say that is rubbish and it shows an animate object:

The only non-Nessie explanation the disbelievers have been able to put forward is that Tim filmed a boat which, under the lighting conditions then prevailing, somehow didn't show up on the film while the wake did. However, various computer enhancements of the film have failed to reveal anything like the shape of a boat. Tim had given me a 16mm copy of his film, and I recently had it scanned onto DVD. Frame-by-frame viewing of the right-to-left wake confirms that there seem to be fairly regularly spaced splashes, every few seconds, that seem to be TO THE SIDE OF THE WAKE, consistent with Tim's interpretation of them as "paddle strokes". However, the resolution of this commercial scan is not sufficient that I could be completely certain about this.

However, it IS certain that there is no boat making this right-to-left wake. A faculty member in the Computer Science Department at Virginia Tech was good enough to scan a number of frames at higher resolution and to examine them under various types of enhancing techniques to look for shapes and to vary the contrast. There is no boat making that wake.

Source; http://henryhbauer.homestead.com/DinsdaleFilm.html
(with kind permission of Henry Bauer)

In 1993 Discovery Communications made a documentary called “Loch Ness Discovered” .They featured a digital enhancement of the Tim Dinsdale film. They said a computer expert had enhanced the film and noticed a shadow in the negative which was not obvious in the film. The expert enhanced and over layered frames and then discovered what appeared to be the rear body and flippers plus two humps of a plesiosaur type body in the shadow in the water.

Tim Dinsdale also filmed a boat to compare the wakes with, so there could be no mistake. I suggest you read the two sides of the argument and make your own mind up. I found Tim to be honest but however a little naive , in that he thought that if he believed it was proof , others would too. Sadly we live in a modern sceptical world with computers and lots of technology, if only that technology had been around when Tim took the film, we might have proof one way or another now. I am glad he is no longer with us to read the controversy around the film as I think he would have been upset.


Dale Drinnon said...

As soon as the Dinsdale film came out, Ivan Sanderson was on the case. He wrote the introduction to the American edition of Dinsdale's book.

Ivan Sanderson wrote about the film in his book Investigating the Unexplained shortly after that, in 1972. Beginning Chapter 2 he talks about this film, especially on pages 17-20 and including figure 3. Figure 3 demonstrates quite simply and distinctly why (Drum roll, please) it cannot have been any kind of a boat. And the object submerged while it was on film, as Bauer also specifies.

The odd part is, it need not actually have been a plesiosaur to be a large swimming animal in the Loch, but that is what nearly everybody always assumes. And saying that it was a boat is not the only alternative, but that is what nearly everyone always assumes. For my part, I think it represents a large Plesiosaur-shaped creature swimming at a good clip and NOT any kind of a boat. And I find the insistence that it MUST have been a boat when it clearly was not one to be puzzling.

I was asked point-blank on one occasion if a moose could show a red-brown hump three feet out of the water and swim at ten miles an hour. I answered truthfully that such a thing could actually happen, going on what is known about mooses swimming. I did not consider that to be an adequate explanation of the Dinsdale film and in fact when I mentioned the discussion to Jon he said it was "best to drop that matter"
However I mention that at this juncture just to say that the object shown in the Dinsdale film need NOT have been a boat, and insistance that it MUST be a boat is rather wrong-headed IMHO.

Tabitca said...

Hi Dale. We do not have moose in the UK so about as likely as the elephant theory.We do have deer. I did scan in the Jaric report for Jon to add to the blog but it hasn't appeared.you can find it here on my blog:http://cryptozoo-oscity.blogspot.com/2010/05/did-tim-dinsdale-film-nessie.html
I know Tim believed it was a large creature and I believe it was an animate object, but what is anyone's guess. Why people have sought to discredit it, is again anyone's guess.Thanks as ever for your comment.

Jon Downes said...

You are completely right. I got sidetracked by the dog (that's right Jon blame poor Biggles) and forgot to upload them. That has now been remedied. Whoooooops

Dale Drinnon said...

Au Contraire, Tabatica: Moose have been repeatedly introduced into Scotland for hunting, notably in the 1800s but again more recently. And when I first posted on Water Horses, I included a photo of a Scottish moose for reference.

BUT as I said, I did not consider that the moose theory was adequate to make the amount of displacement shown and my own opinion is that the film shows a Plesiosaur-shaped creature. That may not necessarily even have hung around in the loch for long thereafter.

Tabitca said...

These Elks(moose) where introduced to the Highlands in 2008. They were the first for 1000 years according to all reports http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/apr/15/wildlife.endangeredspecies
It you know of any others in the intervening years I would love to know about them Dale Thanks.

Aaron T said...

In 2006 Adrian Shine published his booklet "Loch Ness" ISBN 978-0-9553115-0-5. On page 12 there are 2 images produced my the established "image stacking" process. One is a stack of "monster frames", the other is a stack of "Hugh Rowand + boat" frames.
Only the desperate can look at either and say "It's not a boat".

Aaron T said...

"On page 12 there are 2 images produced MY the established "image stacking" process." should have been BY the established "image stacking" process.

Sorry for any confusion. ATN

Tabitca said...

Only the desperate would pile photos on top of each other to prove it was a boat. That arguement works both ways I am afraid. Insulting people is never good thing. If people present reasoned arguement fine, but what is it about cryptozoology that every passing person thinks they can insult others for their theories?

Aaron T said...

Tabitca - 1 Please explain where I have insulted anyone at all, and yourself in particular. If you can I apologise in advance. 2 Is cryptozoology a religion or a scientific endeavour? If the latter, then any "theory" can be challenged. 3 "That arguement works both ways I am afraid." - please explain.
I have found the images I was talking about at
Image stacking is a process more usually used in astrophotography and similar fields where images have a low signal to noise ratio, and far from being "desperate" it is actually scientifically "elegant". If Ivan Sanderson, JARIC and Henry Bauer's friend at Virginia Tech had been able to make a 100 frame stack they would have got the same result. I am not familiar with Sanderson's book so "Chapter 2 pages 17-20 and including figure 3" doesn't convey anything to me; perhaps Dale will expand on this. Several critical errors crept into JARIC's calculations, including getting the camera altitude wrong by 50 feet, omitting the camera winding times from their distance/time speed calculations and perversely using Y-axis measurement, 17 times less accurate than the X-axis, as a basis for the distance travelled. Having said that objects can sometimes not be visible in a photograph, their main grounds for a "probably animate" tag was the 10 mph speed which came from their own flawed calculations, as a 15 ft boat tends to go at 7 mph - the same 7 mph they measured for the more accurate right to left segment of the film!

Look up Henry Bauer on wikipedia.

Can anyone name any large aquatic - I mean living normally under the water - creature which can swim for half a mile on the surface with over half of its body continuously out of the water? Any that splash with their paddles as they go along? A