By Tim Binnall
Sonar equipment aboard a Loch Ness tour boat picked up an unusual and rather sizeable object in the water that some suspect could be the site's legendary monster. According to a local media report, the intriguing anomaly was spotted as Ronald Mackenzie of Cruise Loch Ness was leading a small tour of the location last Wednesday afternoon. As his guests were watching a sea eagle flying in the area, the captain looked down and "saw on the sonar something more eye-catching."
In the middle of Loch Ness at a depth of approximately 558 feet was a curious spot on the sonar that, by Mackenzie's estimation, measured around 33 feet in length. After a few seconds, the boat passed over the oddity and, as such, the equipment lost sight of it. Fortunately, the equipment captured a snapshot of the potential underwater sighting which left the ship captain scratching his head. "I’ve been on the loch since I was 16 years old," he said, "and I have never seen anything like it."
Mackenzie went on to stress that "we have real state-of-the-art sonar on the new boat. It doesn't lie. It captures what's there." To that end, a sonar expert who examined the image concluded that it is "100 per cent genuine." As one might imagine, the remarkable sonar return has generated an enthusiastic response from Nessie hunters, including longtime Loch Ness observer Steve Feltham, who described the image as the "most compelling" evidence he's seen over the course of his decades-long search and marveled that "it is extremely exciting."
Amazingly, it would seem that the image has not just captured the imagination of Nessie researchers as, in response to the news, Irish bookmaker Paddy Power announced that they were slashing the odds of the monster being proven to be real this year from 10/1 to 4/1. The company went even further for next year, setting the odds of Nessie being discovered in 2021 at a jaw-dropping 2/1. According to a spokesperson for the company, the newly-adjusted odds are "the shortest price they've ever been" that the legendary monster's existence will be confirmed.