Hunters ‘excited’ by underwater noises in biggest hunt for Loch Ness monster in 50 years
Loch Ness monster hunters in Scotland have heard noises beneath the water during the biggest search for ‘Nessie’ in 50 years
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Loch Ness monster hunters have heard underwater noises they hope are from the mysterious beast during the biggest search at the Scottish lake in 50 years.
Enthusiasts* from around the world arrived at Loch* Ness, near Inverness, at the weekend with boats and drones equipped with gadgets to detect body heat in the hope of solving the mystery that has captivated* the world for centuries.
One hunter picked up mystery sounds while dangling a hydrophone, which is an underwater microphone, into the lake from a boat.
“When we were testing the equipment we heard four distinctive* noises,” Alan McKenna, of Edinburgh, told The Sun newspaper.
“We didn’t know where it was coming from. We didn’t know the origin, which is quite exciting,” he said.
Mr McKenna was one of 200 searchers who joined the hunt for ‘Nessie’.
“We’ve all kind of banded* together. It’s been fantastic,” he said.
Paul Nixon, the general manager of the Loch Ness Centre, said he believes something exists in the water.
“It is still one of our biggest questions – what is the Loch Ness monster?” Mr Nixon said.
“All I know is that there is a big something in Loch Ness. I have seen sonar* scans of objects the size of transit* vans underneath the water moving.”
The searchers believe thermal* scanners could be crucial for identifying body heat from strange objects in the murky depths.
Stretching 36km and with a maximum depth of 240m, the freshwater loch is the United Kingdom’s largest lake by volume.
“This weekend gives an opportunity to search the waters in a way that has never been done before, and we can’t wait to see what we find,” Mr Nixon said.
HISTORY OF NESSIE
Reports of a monster lurking* in Loch Ness date back to ancient times, with stone carvings in the area showing a mysterious beast with flippers.
The earliest written record of the creature dates back to AD 565 in a biography of the Irish monk, Saint Columba.
According to the text, the monster attacked a swimmer and was about to strike again when Saint Columba commanded it to retreat.
More recently in May 1933, the local Inverness Courier newspaper reported a couple driving along a newly built road seeing “a tremendous upheaval*” in the water.
There are now more than 1100 officially recorded Nessie sightings, according to The Loch Ness Centre in Drumnadrochit. The monster brings in millions of tourism dollars to the Scottish economy* each year.
WHAT COULD IT BE?
Over the years, scientists and amateur enthusiasts have tried to find evidence of a large fish such as a sturgeon living in the depths of the loch.
Some have suggested the monster could be a prehistoric marine reptile like a plesiosaur.
In 1972, the Loch Ness Investigation Bureau carried out a huge search but returned empty-handed.
In 1987, Operation Deepscan used sonar equipment across the width of the loch and claimed to have found an “unidentified object of unusual size and strength”.
In 2018, researchers conducted a DNA* survey of Loch Ness to determine what live in the waters. No signs of a plesiosaur or other such large animal were found, though the results indicated the presence of numerous eels.
- enthusiasts: people who are very interested in a particular activity or subject
- loch: a large lake
- captivated: holding the attention of someone
- banded: joined
- sonar: a system for the detection of objects under water by emitting sound pulses and detecting or measuring their return after being reflected
- transit: moving
- thermal: to do with heat
- upheaval: a violent or sudden change or disruption to something
- economy: the way people spend and make money in cities or the nation
- DNA: nickname for deoxyribonucleic, which is the genetic information inside our body’s cells which provide instructions for how to make our body
1. What type of water is Loch Ness filled with?
2. In what year was the last huge search for Nessie conducted?
3. Name three devices searchers are using to try and find the monster.
4. Who authored the earliest known text about the monster?
5. How wide and deep is Loch Ness?
LISTEN TO THIS STORY
1. Evidence of Loch Ness monster
The article states a long history of the search for the Loch Ness monster.
In the columns below, record known sightings and facts, and other evidence or hearsay about the existence of the Loch Ness monster. Make sure to read the picture captions, too.
Time: allow 20 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Science, Critical and creative thinking.
Sketch your vision of what you believe the Loch Ness monster could look like. Share your artwork with your classmates.
Time: allow 20 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Visual Arts, Critical and creative thinking.
1. Myths and Legends
The biggest hunt in Scottish history is on … but what happens if they find no sign or evidence of Nessie? How do you think the locals will react?
What will happen to the tourism in the area, including the gift shop?
Do you think they should continue hunting, or some things are better left to the imagination?
Write a letter to the local council of Inverness expressing your thoughts.
Don’t forget to re-read your letter aloud to edit it. Check it makes sense, the grammar and spelling are correct, and all your points of view are clear.
Use your VCOP skills to check the piece is engaging to the audience and edit accordingly.