‘Biggest Nessie search in decades’ begins in Scotland

So far, there is no evidence of a sea monster in Loch Ness, but no evidence against it either. On Saturday, the biggest search for ‘Nessie’ in decades will begin at the world famous lake in Scotland. For two days, scientists and enthusiasts search Loch Ness.

The most thorough search operation since 1972

Monster Manhunt’s headquarters is the Loch Ness Centre, located in the quiet village of Drumnadrochit, right by the lake. The action on August 26 and 27 will search the lake more thoroughly than it has done since the large-scale survey by the Loch Ness Bureau of Inquiry in 1972, the center said. In addition, they will use technologies that have never been used at Loch Ness.

Monster hunting with high technology

For the first time, drones equipped with thermal cameras would be used and hydrophones – that is, underwater microphones – would be lowered into the lake so as not to miss any possible vocalizations of a possible monster. Volunteers are also expected to search the loch from the shore, many of whom are part of Loch Ness Exploration (LNE), an independent, volunteer search team.

Profitable “aquatic beast” spotted

The Loch Ness Center – the navel of the world for true ‘Nessie’ fans – is housed in the building that was once the Drumnadrochit Hotel, whose manager, Aldie Mackay, reported in May 1933 that she had seen a “beast of water” in the loch.

Long before that there were reports of a sea monster, but it was Mackay’s report that sparked worldwide interest in the alleged monster and genuine ‘Nessie’ tourism, from which the hotel in Drumnadrochit also benefited. The most famous photo of “Nessie” to date appeared in the “Daily Mail” in 1934.

A dinosaur – or a circus elephant?

Since then, hundreds of eyewitness accounts have reported sightings of the Loch Ness Monster. Over the years, the craziest theories have been put forward about the monster, ranging from a remnant of Plesiosaurus, a prehistoric marine reptile, to giant eels, to abnormally large seals, porpoises or just plain… circus elephants running fast and bathing in the lake.

Even without a monster, we hope for new perspectives

“We hope to inspire a new generation of Loch Ness enthusiasts,” said Alan McKenna, project leader of the Loch Ness Exploration volunteer search team, of the new large-scale search.

“Finding the monster would be nice,” he said. But it’s really about “understanding the lake”. So they plan to set up an audio library in which all the sounds of the lake are recorded, even if no monster sounds are heard there. It will take years, McKenna pointed out.

In the event that a monster is actually discovered, everything is regulated: there has been a law in the United Kingdom since 1934, according to which “Nessie” is then under the strictest nature protection.

With information from dpa and AP

Mathew Baynton

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