Author Topic: Nessa -- a submarine to hunt Nessie  (Read 1737 times)


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Nessa -- a submarine to hunt Nessie
« on: January 10, 2005, 03:33:50 PM »
Let's hope Nessie will smash it !


In a 60-by-80-foot hangar in Hardeeville, Dan Taylor is putting the final touches on Nessa, a 44-foot submarine designed to go to the depths of Loch Ness, in Scotland, to search for the mythical beast, Nessie.
Taylor, 64, who lives in a Bluffton apartment with his wife, Margaret, hopes the name he's given the submarine will bring him luck. In 1969 he took another sub, the Viperfish, to Loch Ness and came home empty-handed.

He's planning another expedition this spring, one he hopes will provide clues to one of the world's most enduring mysteries. There are hundreds of theories on what Nessie, the Loch Ness monster, could be. The most popular contends it's a plesiosaurs, a dinosaur long-extinct elsewhere on earth.
Taylor dismisses that notion: "Plesiosaurs are air-breathers, so if it was that, it would have to come up at least every couple hours," he said. "It couldn't be any kind of mammal like that because it would be spotted a whole lot more."

He believes that Nessie is a giant eel.

Whatever it is, if anything, it has captured the imagination and wallets of millions. The Scottish Tourist Board estimates that about $48 million is spent every year in and around Loch Ness. And every year, about 600,000 tourists visit the highland lake.

Earlier in his life, Taylor served aboard Navy vessels, including a submarine. After being discharged in 1963, he studied aerospace engineering for 18 months at Georgia Tech before leaving the program.

"I had no idea what I wanted to do," said Taylor, who added that "school is kind of dull" after life at sea.

He did odd jobs while working on the Viperfish, a 22-foot, one-man submersible that weighed 3,500 pounds. News of the work he was doing on submarines surfaced after the Viperfish was seen being hauled down Interstate 95 on a truck, and a media storm erupted. That slowed progress on the Viperfish, but brought Taylor into contact with John Perry, a Florida businessman who also was interested in submarines.

Taylor began building, repairing and piloting boats for Perry in Jacksonville, Fla.

In 1969, Taylor took the Viperfish to Loch Ness. The boat made 50 or 60 dives in six months but didn't come up with much except a few unusual sonar readings.

Taylor's new sub, Nessa, is twice the size of Viperfish and can go to depths of 2,000 feet, he said.

Vicki Leonard Mudd, an Atlanta biologist and friend, will pilot Nessa during this year's expedition to Loch Ness.

"As a biologist, there are a lot of things out there -- a lot of species research scientists discover every day. It's arrogant of humans to think they know everything out there, especially with the ocean," Mudd said.

The Holy Grail for Nessie enthusiasts is a tissue sample. The Viperfish was equipped with two four-foot harpoons and dozens of "biopsy rods" -- sharp, hollow four-inch spears for grabbing flesh.

"They won't be launched," Taylor said. "I'll have to depend on running her down."

He's acknowledges that he might not find anything at all.

"I don't know," he said. "We'll probably find a lot of junk on the bottom. We'll be mainly after sonar and photographic evidence."
The greatest trick the devil ever played was convincing the world that he did not exist. - Charles Baudelaire (French and monstrous poet).