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2017, October 2: The Fin

Rebecca and Paul Stewart were on their honeymoon on October 2, 2017, at Loch Ness, in Scotland... and most of you can already guess where this is going.

       The couple were standing on a jetty at Fort Augustus when they spotted an object protruding from the surface of the lake near the opposite shore. Their first impression was that the object looked resembled a shark-like fin... but it was humongous in comparison to what they would have expected a shark to display. The actual size was hard to determine at the distance they saw it, but they watched birds fly near it and quickly fly away... and the birds looked small in comparison.

        With no binoculars, the best Mrs. Stewart was able to do was zoom in tight and get a picture with her iPhone which, of course, was not an ideal situation.

The fin.
The 'fin'. [Larger version here]

After about five minutes of observing the thing a boat came from the canal, and the object disappeared. Mr. Stewart expressed in an interview later that, if the object was a fin, then the animal attached would have to have been bigger than he'd believed possible.

        The story, first released by The Sun website on October 6, also included an interview with Gary Campbell, described as the recorder and keeper of the 'Official Loch Ness Monster Sightings Register.' Campbell is quoted as saying "What they saw ... was clearly animate and something quite large [sic]."

A Different Point of View

        Not surprisingly, the account of the fin was seen by user 'Glasgow Boy' at the Loch Ness Monster website -- which is a pretty definitive site for studying the phenomena [Link here!] -- and they set out to document and investigate the matter.

        As it turned out, Glasgow Boy found something useful by the simple expedient of calling the manager of "Cruise Loch Ness" boat tours. The manager stated that the captain of the boat that was on the loch on October 2 had taken a picture of an object that sunk after the boat went by... and this would appear to mean they were the boat that the Stewarts saw come from the canal before the object they were looking at disappeared. So Glasgow Boy got what is likely a close-up picture of what the Stewarts had spotted at a great distance!

The object.
The captain's photo. [Larger version here]

        It's a piece of driftwood, though it is shaped roughly fin-like as described and would have looked more so at a distance. Bobbing in the water would have created an illusion of a more animate object since the Stewarts had already assumed they were looking at a largely flat object, rather than a three dimensional one.

        While it's a bit disappointing to find that this was another non-event, it was useful in showing that Loch Ness has a good team of people keeping a critical eye on it... and when something more interesting does turn up, the odds are good that Glasgow Boy will be among the first to confirm it!