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Nessie hunters claim possible sighting at biggest Loch Ness Monster search in 50 years

Volunteers lined the banks of Loch Ness as others scoured the depths with sonar equipment as they searched for the elusive Nessie.

Volunteers took to the water in the boat Deep Scan equipped with hydrophone technology. Image: Jasperimage.
Volunteers took to the water in the boat Deep Scan equipped with hydrophone technology. Image: Jasperimage.

Eager volunteers had their binoculars at the ready whilst braving the rain as crews scoured the depths of Loch Ness in the biggest monster hunt in decades.

The Loch Ness Monster, better known as Nessie, has attracted millions to the dark waters in which she is said to hide.

Many have dedicated their lives to finding her, with the mysterious creature a household name in Scotland.

Volunteers gathered outside the newly refurbished Loch Ness Centre to be briefed ahead of the search. Image: Jasperimage.

The Nessie Hunt, dubbed the biggest in 50 years, took place this weekend with many people out trying to spot the elusive monster.

The legend of Nessie stretches back 90 years when the first recorded sighting was made in 1933, when hotel manageress Aldie Mackay said she had saw a whale-like creature in the loch.

Craig Whitefield keeps watch for any surface activity on the loch. Image: Jasperimage.

Since then the myth has captivated travellers from across the globe, eager to confirm the rumours that a giant sea creature lurks in dark depths of Scotland’s deepest loch.

Craig Whitefield, from Tighnabruaich, has always been fascinated with the legend and could not turn down a chance to take part in the search.

He said: “It’s growing up with all the myths and legends surrounding the monster, and being Scottish and living within the area has really capture my imagination to think there is something unexplained in the loch.

“It’s definitely been a big group effort, there’s been around 300 people online virtual spotters and there was about 100 today and yesterday.”

Most of the weekend was cloudy, with fog and rain failing to dampen the spirits of the monster hunters with Mr Whitefield saying everyone was “upbeat and positive”.

Small crews of volunteers were ferried out into the loch guided by Loch Ness Exploration guide Alan McKenna on the vessel Deep Scan, as the rain poured down.

Out in the middle of the loch, the crew used hydrophone equipment to detect noises or movements far below the water’s surface.

From strategic vantage points along the lochside, more volunteers kept a close eye for any movement despite the “horrific weather”.

Mr McKenna says they had already captured four distinct noises on Friday which was exciting for the 12 people who heard it.

Alan McKenna of Loch Ness Exploration with the vessel Deep Scan. Image: Jasperimage.

‘There’s something down there’

He says while it might not be Nessie, it did pique everyone’s curiosity and so the search continued over the next two days.

The Loch Ness Centre has been providing updates via Facebook, including a possible sighting at 6.30am on Sunday.

Volunteers MattyΒ  and Aga Wells, cancelled their trip to the Lake District to join the hunt.

They describe seeing something in the water that they couldn’t explain but said it was “impressive”.

The search has raised some hope there may be something lurking in the waters, with the aim to inspire the younger generation.

Mr Whitefield said: “The big takeaway is knowing that more people believe in the legend and that the legend regardless of what happened this weekend will continue.

“Having the hydrophone results has definitely kept the interest and the legend alive.”

Mr McKenna says he “of course” believes in the Loch Ness Monster.

He added: “I don’t know what the Loch Ness Monster is but there is something down there, and if there is something in there, we all know that it doesn’t play by the rules.

“We keep getting second chances and that’s all we can ask for at the moment, so we will keep on going until we have more answers.”

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