Robert Rines: Much More than a Monster Hunter

The lore of the Loch Ness Monster has intrigued and entertained since the early 1930s, when a husband and wife allegedly watched a large, long-necked creature lumber across the road in front of their car, headed toward the deep dark waters of the loch it called home.

Surgeons Photo of Hoaxed Loch Ness Monster
Surgeon's Photo of Hoaxed Loch Ness Monster

The following year a surgeon brought forth a photograph he had taken of the alleged creature, which has become one of the most iconic images attached to the legend. That photo has been subsequently proven a hoax — nothing more than a sculpted neck and head attached to a small toy submarine, being towed, or tugged along the surface of the loch.

Anecdotal evidence, and interesting photographic evidence has piled up since then, but many are proven hoaxes, and others are not substantial enough to be considered difinitive proof of the existence of a mysterious loch-dwelling monster fondly referred to as Nessie.

Fin photo taken during Rines Loch Ness Expedition.
Enhanced 'Fin' photo taken during Rines' Loch Ness Expedition.

One image does stand out as at least more perplexing than others before, and it has become another of the most famous photos associated with the mystery of the Loch Ness Monster. It was captured during an investigation of the loch by Robert Rines.

A true renaissance man, Rines was founder of the Academy of Applied Science, and held a Bachelor in Sciences from M.I.T., as well as a Ph.D. He helped devlop the Microwave Early Warning System during his service in World War II, as a U.S. Army Signal Corps officer.

Rines was also an accomplished musician and composer, creating music for Broadway and off-Broadway plays. He held over 800 patents, and his inventions are at work behind technologies like high-resolution image-scanning radar and ultrasound scanning, the ladder of which has been used for both underwater searches for the wrecks of the Titanic and the Bismarck, even the Loch Ness Monster, as well as ultrasound imaging of the internal human body.

Rines passed away on November 1, 2009, at the age of 87.

The original version of Rines’ photo does not truly reveal much more than bubbles and underwater turbulence. Subsequent enhancements of this photo have produced an image that bears an incredible resemblance to a diamond shaped flipper. But it seems that these enhancements were made to bring out what people wanted to see.

Rines’ contributions to science, education, and his other areas of endeavor somewhat overshadow his investigative acheivements at Loch Ness, but he was part of the hunt as it were. And is heralded by many as someone who has brought great proof to light in support of the existence of the Loch Ness Monster. But when his findings are looked at for what they are, we see that he actually may have done more in proving there is really nothing there.

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