The “most compelling” evidence of the existence of Nessie has been recorded more than 500ft below the surface of the loch.
Monster hunters are astounded by the clarity of the image of an object, estimated to be 33ft long – although an expert said it may just be a shoal of fish.
The sonar image was captured by the director of Cruise Loch Ness, Ronald Mackenzie, while commanding a catamaran on Wednesday afternoon (9/30).
The 49-year-old man said:
It was a bit of a dreich day and we only had 12 passengers. We were at our halfway point off Invermoriston, where we turn around. The water is 189m (620ft) deep there. The passengers were quite excited because we had just spotted a sea eagle, but then I saw on the sonar something more eye-catching
It was right in the middle of the loch at about 170m (558ft) down. It was big – at least 10m (33ft). The contact lasted 10 seconds while we passed over.
I’ve been on the loch since I was 16 years old and I have never seen anything like it.
We have real state-of-the-art sonar on the new boat. It doesn’t lie. It captures what’s there.
Sonar expert Craig Wallace described the image as “100% genuine”.
The senior specialist in marine robotics applications said:
I believe there’s something in the loch that nobody knows what it is, be it a big eel or a sturgeon or a big fish of some sort – or even Nessie.
But it is certainly a fascinating and interesting contact and certainly adds to the debate about Nessie.
Nessie expert Steve Feltham, who set a world record for the longest watch looking for the Loch Ness Monster, said the image of Ronald’s sonar was the “most convincing” evidence of the existence of the legendary creature he has ever seen.
It is extremely exciting. I have known Ronald Mackenzie for 30 years. He’s a Highland lad who does not seek publicity and shies away from the fanciful Nessie theories.
He’s not somebody who would cry wolf – or Nessie – but within seven minutes of getting the sonar contact he messaged me
I definitely think Nessie is an animal. I think we are getting closer and closer to finding the answer.
The official Loch Ness Monster Sight Registry has accepted eight sightings so far this year.
Among the most famous sightings is a photograph taken in 1934 by Colonel Robert Kenneth Wilson, which was later exposed as a farce.