Photo credit: Russell Cheyne/Reuters
By Daniel Victor
After many decades of folklore and research, the Loch Ness monster has finally been found by an underwater drone.
O.K., it was just a movie prop version of the fabled sea serpent that sank to the bottom of the Scottish lake in 1969 discovered by researchers hunting for Nessie’s lair. But still, that’s also pretty cool.
Researchers found the 30-foot prop, made for the 1970 Billy Wilder film “The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes,” 180 meters down on the bed of the lake in April. It had sunk during production in 1969 and a new Nessie was created for the film, which starred Christopher Lee and Robert Stephens.
It was not, to the disappointment of believers, the actual sea creature of legend that has attracted hordes of tourists to Scotland since its first sighting in 1933. Though its existence is largely considered to be a myth, over 1,000 people claim to have personally seen it, according to Adrian Shine, the lead researcher at the Loch Ness Project.
Researchers from Kongsberg Maritime sent the robot underwater to previously unreached territory in search of “Nessie’s Trench,” a crevice that a tour boat operator claimed to have found in January. Maybe, just maybe, that was the hide-out of the elusive sea serpent?
Nope. The marine drone, with its sonar-imaging technology that is otherwise used in searches for downed aircraft and ships, did not find an anomaly or abyss in the area thought to contain the trench, but it did happen upon the old movie prop.
“Nessie’s Lair didn’t exist,” Mr. Shine said in a phone interview. “The Loch Ness Monster, kind of, did.”
Continue reading by clicking the name of the source below.