Friday, February 22, 2013

Search at Loch Ness

While continuing to read Dinsdale's Search At Loch Ness, I have to begin questioning the credibility of these claims. It's obvious that a lot of research has been done and quite a lot of it has been inconclusive. From the books I've been reading, there's a pattern in the 1960s and 70s where several expeditions are made, each trying to be more 'scientific' than the last, and when the evidence is presented to the scientific community it's still discredited for one reason or another.

Part of me wants to fall on the side of the scientists-I get that obviously you don't want to officially endorse something that might turn out to not be accurate, and that at that point a lot of the methods the research teams were using were really new technology, or old technology used in a way that hadn't been done before. The researchers were almost rebelling against the old guard of science, trying to get them to recognise the fallible human observation as being as reliable as an observation made by completely objective instruments. There's also a sense that the researchers were incredibly susceptible to their own bias-even though they're trying to be objective, they still film boats and logs in their excitement over seeing the Monster.

However, from the two books I've read already, it's pretty obvious that these people really did believe in the Monster and were only trying to get the mainstream media and scientific community to agree with them that *something* existed in the loch, monster or not. Both expedition accounts illustrate the lengths that the researchers went to to be utterly scientific-Dinsdale talks about training himself to shoot film in any situation, like a solider trains to reload a weapon and fire under any circumstances. Meredith tells about how the expedition in 1976 was not to "solve the mystery of the Loch Ness Monster" as it had been, but to "obtain further evidence relating to the aquatic animals at Loch Ness", a change that reflected the attempt to give science the kind of evidence it understood in order to make it recognize the value of a human evidence of sightings where it hadn't before.

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