Robert Rines, a prominent inventor and patent attorney best known for his decades-long effort to prove the existence of large unknown animals in Loch Ness, has died. Rines was 87. Rines and his wife were convinced they saw a "monster" in the Loch in 1971, and he poured considerable money and time into developing sonar and camera systems that would obtain proof. It was his expeditions that obtained controversial underwater photographs in 1972 and 1975, along with some sonar readings that are still unexplained. Rines was still making expeditions to the Loch in his 80s.
COMMENT: Rines never got the unambiguous proof of Nessie (a species he lately feared could be extinct) he was seeking, but his is the story of a determined man who put his money where his heart was and tried to bring a legend into the light of science. The world needs people like Robert Rines, and he will be missed.
UPDATE: The distinguished international news magazine The Economist published an affectionate obituary to the man and the dream.
THANKS to Kris Winkler for that link.