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Physicist and monster hunter dies at 87

By Hamish Johnston

There’s a fascinating obituary in the Daily Telegraph of Robert Rines — the American physicist, lawyer, inventor, award-winning composer and hunter of the Loch Ness monster.

The Boston-born polymath studied physics at MIT and worked on radar imaging technology at the institute’s famous radiation laboratory. This technology has since been used in a wide range of applications from missile guidance to medical imaging — and monster hunting.

Rines then went on to become a lawyer specializing in intellectual property and spent much of his working life in this profession.

But Rines did find time to write several Broadway productions — winning an Emmy award along the way — and dedicated much of his spare time to searching for the Loch Ness Monster.

His interest in the mythical — or perhaps elusive! — creature began in 1972, and his sonar and photographic images of objects resembling Nessie were the subject of great scientific debate.

It’s hard to believe today, but some images were even published in a 1975 news story in Nature.

The article is entitled Nessiteras skeptyx, perhaps a “scientific” name for the monster! Amazingly it wasn’t the 1 April issue of the journal!

I tried to read the article online but I could seem to access it via my subscription, maybe you will have better luck.

Rines died on 1 November at the age of 87.

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One comment to Physicist and monster hunter dies at 87

  1. Robert, England

    Does anyone know the truth behind naturalist Sir Peter Scott’s choice of name for “Nessie” in the Nature papers in the 1970s: Nessiteras rhombopteryx – “diamond-finned creature of Ness” – which perfectly describes the creature shown in the images, but which also happens to be an anagram of “Monster hoax by Sir Peter S”.


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