The Inverness Courier
Wed, 27 May 2009
Photo:The sonar image taken from the Jacobite Queen (Click to Enlarge)
The cast of the UK stage adaptation of sitcom Allo ‘Allo got slightly more than they bargained for while cruising Loch Ness – catching a glimpse of what could be the elusive Loch Ness Monster on the ship’s sonar screen.
The sonar images reveal five Nessie-shaped images, which a trusted Loch Ness expert cannot explain.
The cast, including television series favourite Vicki Michelle, had been taking a break from performing at Eden Court Theatre last Thursday, when the spot was made.
The crew of the Jacobite Queen witnessed highly unusual readings on the ship’s sonar screen, somewhere between Dores and Urquhart Castle.
According to captain John Askew, it was the first-time in his 15-years working on the loch that he successfully picked up images of this kind on any of the Jacobite fleet’s sonar screens. The images have now been sent for scientific analysis.
An expert in sonar who has been studying Loch Ness since 1973 couldn’t explain the sighting.
“This has got me puzzled and has every appearance of a genuine sonar contact,” said Adrian Shine, of The Loch Ness Project. “The fact there’s five items on the screen can be explained, as a single object often appears again as an echo.
“This certainly adds to the Loch Ness mystery and will be the subject of further investigation.”
Vicki Michelle, who was aboard the boat as it traveled from Inverness to the historic Urquhart Castle, commented: “I went down to the boat’s cabin and caught an arch shape on the monitor, followed by four more. The whole cast had been hoping to see something on the trip and, if it was Nessie, that positive energy probably brought her out… or perhaps she’s just a fan of the show!
“In all seriousness, whether it was Nessie or not, we all definitely saw something on that monitor,” she added.
Recorded sightings of the Loch Ness Monster go back nearly 1,500 years, although many photographs of the legendary ‘Nessie’ taken in the past century have proved to be either hoaxes or simply optical illusions.