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The sound of a sea serpent or just a bubble of methane from the lake depths? DolphinEar hydrophones are used by crypto-zoologists in an attempt to find answers.

PASSIVE SEARCHING WITH HYDROPHONES YIELDS RESULTS:

It was the hydrophone that provided the first clues at 10.39 PM on Friday, 20 August 1999 when unusual sounds started to be heard and recorded. Sundberg, leader of the team, said "the sounds came and went, as they were to do in the days to come, and sometimes they seemed very close, sometimes further away. It was regular because we recorded a certain amount each day, and irregular because we never knew when the sounds would be there. At some point we heard one large sound and a little later two faint ones, one after the other." Team member and sound engineer Eele Jansma said: "you could count on hearing them at least 5-8 times a day. When I heard the sound for the first time, I went outside and studied our buoy (where the hydrophone was located) in the field-binoculars ... but neither that time nor later I saw as much as a ripple on the water by the buoy and therefore it could hardly be a sea-lion". There had been speculation that the 'monster in the lake' might have been nothing more than a seal-lion, but the absence of any surface breathing tends to rule that possibility out.

Another interesting observation was made by Sundberg: "Passing boats were a nuisance and when there was a lot of propeller noise in the water, the sounds could not be heard. This was both due to the strong propeller noise and, it seemed, because whatever was making the sound was frighted away for at least an hour and a half before we could hear and record it again." Which seems to rule out the possibility that the sound was caused by some natural phenomenon - like the sudden release of trapped gases from the bottom of the lake.

HEAR IT YOURSELF!

The sound recordings are still being analyzed and compared to known sounds (natural and biological) as we write this in at the end of October. We'll bring you more details as they become available.  The spectrogram of this sound is shown at the top of the page. Click the spectrogram or the sound bar play button to Listen!

SCIENCE or PARANORMAL?

The GUST team operates in a gray world between science and paranormal occurrences. As such, they can be assured of incurring the wrath of both! Yet, they are developing and refining techniques that will be useful to researchers in other areas of the world.

In February and August 2000, our DolphinEAR hydrophone system were be used in the search at Lake Seljordsvatnet. This is the same hydrophone system used by NATO and available 'over the counter' to the public. Being extremely rugged and portable DolphinEAR was used by mobile teams trying to pinpoint other sound 'hotspots' within the lake.

Passive monitoring of a body of water with a hydrophone produces results that other detection systems don't equal - simply because it emits no signal to scare off the 'target' of a search. As land creatures, we human folks are at a great disadvantage when it comes to exploring the underwater world. We rely on our eyes - which is only natural. Underwater it's a world of darkness where creatures use SOUND to navigate, hunt and communicate. Sounds travel long distances in water - much like light travels long distances in air - so it's natural that water creatures would use sound for their own needs.

Sound of a Sea Serpent? Cryptobiology