The Nessie Hunters
The Search Begins
In April of 1960 Dinsdale drove to Loch Ness, and there at the end of a week's exploration, on the very morning of his departure, Dinsdale shot a brief piece of film of a mysterious object churning its way across Loch Ness. The Dinsdale film is credited with being one of the most convincing pieces of film ever shot. The film was taken with 16mm equipment, using black and white film, Dinsdale's footage showed a dark indistinct blob moving across Loch Ness at a distance of 1 mile, then changing course and travelling parallel with the shore.
In 1966 the status of Dinsdale's film soared when it was analysed by R.A.F. photographic experts at the Joint Air Reconnaissance Intelligence Center (JARIC) who commented that what the film showed was "probably an animate object". Here at long last was conclusive proof of the monster's existence. It was a turning point in the investigation. In the Spring of 1961 Dinsdale returned to Loch Ness full of enthusiasm. He later wrote "There was every reason to suppose that close-up cine film would at last be obtained." At the end of March he spent day after day watching the Loch from a variety of places along the shoreline. 1961 had drawn a blank, but Dinsdale put a brave face on the failure. It was a great boost to his morale to learn that some important people had been greatly impressed by his film. In 1962 the Loch Ness Phenomena Investigation Bureau was formed by various prominent public figures, including Peter Scott and David James, a conservative MP. Dinsdale joined as a "Field Associate" and began a collaboration which was to last for over a decade. 1962 promised to be a very exciting year indeed. There were three major expeditions to Loch Ness, together with a number of one-man investigations. Dinsdale himself carried out two further expeditions in the Spring and Autumn of this year, he failed to obtain any film of the monster. He made two expeditions to Loch Ness in 1965, continuing his lonely vigils from the South shore but he drew no results from either of these. Dinsdale continued with the Loch Ness Investigation Bureau until 1971 when their headquarters site at Achnahannet was abandoned and the camera equipment sold. Throughout the 70's and early 80's he continued to watch the Loch but in that time he witnessed two more sightings, and on each of these occasions unfortunately his camera was not available. There ends the tale of one of Loch Ness's greatest searchers, almost.
In July 1987, at the National Museums of Scotland in Edinburgh, The Society for the History of Natural History and the International Society for Cryptozoology held a symposium on "The Search for Nessie in the 1980s"; the reception given there to Dinsdale's election to Honorary Membership of the ISC testified to the wide-spread affection and respect that he had gained. Dinsdale had become synonymous with the quest at Loch Ness, respected universally for his sterling qualities even by those who had scant respect for the significance of the quest itself - as attested, for example by the obituary in The Times. Dinsdale's own words are perhaps his most appropriate epigraph: "The cost has been great - at a private level seemingly impossible to meet in time and money, and yet, in meeting it, by some strange alchemy I am the richer for it, and my family no less independent.
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