One day more than a decade ago, I had lunch with Bob and he
told me about an upcoming trip to Scotland's Loch Ness. In 1972, Bob had what he always
believed was a sighting of an enormous creature in Loch Ness, and ever after,
one of his greatest passions was searching for the so-called Loch Ness monster,
With his talent for drawing the best and the brightest into his circle, Bob assembled a team of faithful followers and lots of high powered electronics to help him in his search. On the team was my husband, Sheldon Apsell, like Bob an MIT alumnus and an inventor. Sheldon accompanied Bob to Loch Ness for many years, and he was there in 1999 when, as a result of the enthusiasm generated at my luncheon with Bob, we made a NOVA documentary about the search for Nessie.
Sheldon Apsell comments:
Although no concrete evidence of the existence of a large creature living in Loch Ness was ever found, our expeditions did result in numerous unanticipated findings. Among these was a sonar image of a large four engine airplane resting on the bottom of the Loch, which turned out to be a British bomber missing since World War II; the remains of marine life which we determined to be about 10,000 years old through radio carbon dating, thus disproving the commonly held belief that the Loch is an inland lake formed by receding glaciers; a form of primitive sponge-like organisms that live deep in the Loch where no light or oxygen penetrates and which have not previously been observed by biologists; and most mysteriously, the sighting of a large wake on the Loch made by something traveling just below the surface of the water. This event I saw with my own two eyes and to this day have no explanation as to what may have caused it.
The legacies of Bob Rines are many, but among the most important are the educational opportunities he initiated. Long ago, Bob founded the Academy of Applied Science, which mentors high school students in the sciences, among them underserved youth. Working with the U.S. military, the Academy holds science competitions on a regional and national level for 12,000 students every year. For more information, please check out the Academy website at www.aas-world.org.