Friday, February 15, 2013

More on Robert Rines

So this week I've been reading some of the materials I got from WWU's library, primarily Dennis Meredith's Search at Loch Ness and Tim Dinsdale's Loch Ness Monster. These two books are accounts of two different sets of expeditions to find the monster, the first in the 1960s and the second in the 1970s.
Dinsdales's account begins with his examination of another publication on the monster from the Loch Ness Investigation Bureau by Constance Whyte and his systematic analysis of all sightings of the monster before he actually begins looking, to decide what exactly he is looking for. After creating his "map", he goes to Loch Ness and begins his own investigation. I thought his conviction that the Surgeon's Photograph was undeniably real and not a hoax was telling of when the book was written, since the photograph was revealed as a hoax in 1975, more than a decade later.

In Meredith's book, Robert Rines' presentation of evidence to Parliament in 1975 is the focus, with the account of the proceedings interspersed with explanations of Rines' expeditions and use of new technology, most of which he either invented or pioneered the use of. One thing I thought was intriguing was Meredith's assertion that the reason that Rines and his colleagues weren't taken seriously by 'serious scientists' and the zoologists they presented the evidence to was that those people were afraid of being labelled as crackpots or otherwise damaging their reputations, and that the zoologists in particular were wary of all the different types of technology Rines used, including sonar and strobe lights underwater.

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