Sounds of Nessie, Update
May 22, 2000
Interview with Jan-Ove Sundberg, after analysis of the sounds he recorded at Loch Ness in early April, 2000.
by Lois Wickstrom
What kinds of sounds did your record in Loch Ness?
- Snortings, gruntings, odd sounds which no one can explain, neither us nor
the scientists we consulted but some of them seem to think that what ever
made them could be related to pinnipedia, i.e. the seal species.
Did you recognize any of them?
- We recorded a total of 49 sounds and some of them was in our sound
library of European fishes, like eel, pike and brook char. One sound we
heard could have been a catfish, but if it really was that´s a sensation
because catfish need 22 C to breed and Loch Ness never get that warm even
in the summer.
Originally, you said one of them reminded you of a sound from another lake
that is home to another legendary monster. Did your computer program find
that these sounds were similar? If so, in what ways?
- The one sound off Abriachan was very similar to the sound we recorded in
Lake Seljordsvatnet, Norway, in August last year. It was very much the same
Are there distinctions in sound between mammals and reptiles?
- They are very different. Marine mammals have a deeper, stronger sound while
most reptiles have a weaker one. However, crocodiles have strong sounds too
but they are all in the tropics.
Did the snorting sound you think might be Nessie sound more like a mammal
or a reptile?
- According to the scientists we consulted the snortings are more
mammal-like than reptile-like and many other features on Nessie (and
others) also support the mammal theory; like the vertical undulations in
the water, bubbles seen from time to time, surfacing in general, short
walks on the beach, etc.
Since nobody has a recording of a lake monster singing into a microphone,
do you ever expect to be able to make a definitive statement -- this sound is
from a lake monster of a certain size? or this sound is from a mammal? or
this sound is from a reptile?
- We have a new strategy that we are working on and which will be tested in
Norway shortly and if it works out the way he hope, we will be able to say
much more about what is making the sounds we got. (We did get) a confirmation that
there are similar sounds in both Norway and Scotland.
What were you looking for?
- The similarity in sounds between the two countries.
Do you have any charts that illustrate similarities and differences
between the database recordings and the Loch Ness recordings?
- Yes, but we will publish them at our own website to begin with. We have
not had time to do this yet because another expedition is coming up shortly.
How many points of similarity were there between the Loch Ness recordings
and your other lake recordings? Can you put this in perspective? For
example, how many points of similarity are there between a child and and
adult human? How many points of similarity between a seal and a dolphin? A
fish and a bird?
- All I can say is that both the team and the majority of the scientists we
consulted thought there was a similarity between the two sounds and we
can´t get any further until we have more sounds to analyze.
Do you intend to record sounds from other lakes that have legendary
- Yes, we´re going back to Loch Ness in October.
Will more recordings from lakes with legendary monsters help you form a
better pattern of what to listen for?
- Sounds will only get us so far, that´s why we have developed a new
strategy. In order to identify these animals you need a lot more than
sounds but we´re working on it.
Are the people at some lakes easier to work with than others when you tell
them you want to listen for monster sounds?
- People who live at these lakes are always willing to help out no matter
what search methos we use, I guess they are as curious as us to find out
what is really down there.
Will you be modifying your equipment for future sound-gathering adventures?
What lakes do you intend to visit next?
- Lake Seljordsvatnet, Norway, is next in August. In mid-September we will
search Lake Storsjön in Central Sweden and, as I said, in late October we
will return to Loch Ness and try to pick up more sounds. NESSIE2000 Part II
will also pave the way for a major international expedition at Loch Ness