‘Budding monster hunters’ sought for giant Loch Ness search
‘Budding monster hunters’ sought for giant Loch Ness search

The legend of the Loch Ness Monster has captivated people for years, and now Scotland’s Loch Ness Centre plans to use 21st-century technology to solve the mystery once and for all.

The center seeks “budding monster hunters” and volunteers for a weekend in late August as it mounts its largest search for the mythical animal in 50 years.

The hunt will involve surveying equipment that has never been deployed on the lake before, such as thermal drones that will use infrared cameras to capture heat-generated images from above the water, and a hydrophone to detect acoustic signals under the water, in case “Nessie” wants to chat.

The fascination with Nessie started in 1933, when the manager of the Drumnadrochit Hotel, which today houses the center, reported seeing a “water beast” in the loch. The lake is the deepest and largest-volume freshwater body in the United Kingdom.

The ensuing decades have seen as many hoaxes as reported sightings. Tourists flock to the lake in search of the mythical beast, which has been posited to be a plesiosaur, a prehistoric marine reptile or a giant eel.

“We are looking for a new generation of monster hunters to help uncover the truth, 90 years after famous sighting,” the center says on its website, alongside a signup button.

FILE - This undated file photo shows a shadowy shape that some people say is a the Loch Ness monster in Scotland. The Loch Ness Centre in Scotland is calling for “budding monster hunters” and volunteers to join in what it dubs the largest search for the Loch Ness Monster since the 1970s. The visitor attraction said Thursday, Aug. 3, 2023, that modern technology such as drones that produces thermal images of the lake will “search the waters in a way that has never been done before.” (AP Photo/File)

The search, in partnership with research outfit Loch Ness Exploration, is being billed as the biggest push since 1972.

People interested in participating in the search are being invited for a weekend of activities on Aug. 26 and 27. Volunteers will conduct a “giant surface watch of the Loch, keeping an eye out for breaks in the water and any inexplicable movements,” the center said.

“It’s our hope to inspire a new generation of Loch Ness enthusiasts,” Alan McKenna of Loch Ness Exploration told The Associated Press.

“By joining this large-scale surface watch, you’ll have a real opportunity to personally contribute towards this fascinating mystery that has captivated so many people from around the world.”

With News Wire Services

Theresa Braine

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