AN American has logged the third official sighting of Nessie in 2016, after spotting her on the Loch’s webcam.
A PARANORMAL investigator believes he has a picture of the Loch Ness monster — captured from his home in America.
Jim Winiski from Iowa claims to have made the first sighting of Nessie on the webcam in more than a decade.
In the captured image, he said he saw a long, neck like object rise up at least 10 feet out of the water.
It will count as the third official sighting in 2016, after the official register has logged Jim’s sighting.
Mr Winiski was watching the ‘Nessie on the Net’ webcam during his lunchtime on Tuesday when a neck popped up.
The sighting lasted between ten and 12 seconds and there was no boat activity at the time.
«I’m into the paranormal, so at lunchtime every day I have a series of sites I like to check out — one being the Loch Ness cam,» said Mr Winiski.
«I was eating my lunch and watching when suddenly the frame showed up with Nessie.
«I wasn’t even familiar with how to take a screen capture, but I just hit control/screen print — and I was able to get it.
«Then I went back and took a picture of the normal view for comparison.
«Whatever that is, at the distance out from shore, I’d say it has to be eight to ten feet out of the water.
«It was there for one single frame, then gone. There were no boats in the area at the time, so if Nessie wanted to come up and have a look around, that’s probably when it would happen I suppose.»
The Nessie webcam is situated above Urquhart Bay — one the famed favourite haunts of the monster — and looks east over the loch.
The webcam, www.lochness.co.uk, is run by Mikko Takala, who said: «I’m delighted that a good image of Nessie has been seen again on our cameras.
We get thousands of people around the world visiting our site every week and many of them submit sightings.
«We compare and correlate these with known local boat timetables and also look out for typical boat wake signatures and other known phenomena, but this is something special and it needs detailed analysis.
«It is clear that Nessie is still alive and well and probably migrates to and from the loch — much like salmon and other creatures.»
Gary Campbell, keeper of the official sightings register, said the report was credible.
«This is quite unusual but fits with many of the classic Nessie sightings,» he said.
«It looks like a large neck coming out of the water and in typical fashion, she didn’t hang around too long.
«We discounted all the normal explanations for webcam sightings like birds flying past or insects landing on the lens so it does appear to be Nessie that Jim has snapped.
«This shows the power of the web — it means that people can hunt for Nessie wherever they are in the world as long as they can log on to the web. It’s also the first real sighting from the webcam in over a decade so hopefully it’ll encourage others to watch as well.»
Sightings of Nessie were at their highest in more than a decade last year — and already there has been three in 2016, the first recorded by an Aberdeenshire family in April and the second by a visitor from Texas, who took pictures last month of a «dark creature» just under the surface following the boat she was on.
Mr Campbell said the fascination of Nessie was showing no signs of abating.
He accepted five sightings for 2015 — the most in 13 years.
Mr Campbell stressed that the majority of claimed sightings do not get included on the register — as most can be explained.
«Anything that is later proved to a hoax or can be subsequently explained is removed from the register,» said Mr Campbell, 51, a chartered accountant from Inverness.
«The sightings are getting more credible all the time because everybody seems to have a smartphone with a camera these days.
«The reports also show that Nessie doesn’t just hide out in one part of Loch Ness — she’s just as likely to appear at either end so I suppose the message for monster hunters is to keep your eyes peeled no matter where you are at the loch.
«It’s 1450 years now since the first report of a monster in Loch Ness — it doesn’t look like Nessie’s going anywhere just yet.»
It was in 1996, Mr Campbell saw something resembling a «mini whale» — with a black shiny back — at the south end of the loch.
I have spent the last 20 years trying to explain it,» admitted Mr Campbell.
«Like most sightings I only saw it for a few seconds. When I went to record it, I found there was no register, so I started one, the following May.»
Since then Mr Campbell has logged more than 1070 sightings.
«When I had my only sighting I went into things with an open mind. But I don’t believe Nessie is a prehistoric monster,» said Mr Campbell.
«Loch Ness would have been a block of ice 10,000 years ago — but whatever is in there dwells at the bottom.»
According to Google, there are around 200,000 searches each month for the Loch Ness Monster, and around 120,000 for information and accommodation close to Loch Ness.
The monster mystery is said to be worth £30m to the region.
rish missionary St Columba is first said to have encountered a beast in the River Ness in 565AD.
Among the most famous claimed sightings is a photograph taken in 1934 by Colonel Robert Kenneth Wilson.
The image was later exposed as a hoax by one of the participants, Chris Spurling, who, on his deathbed, revealed that the pictures were staged.