A massive new search for evidence of the Loch Ness monster hasn’t turned up any solid proof of Nessie just yet ― but the team behind the hunt says there were some enticing signs that something could be out there.
“We heard some fantastic bizarre sounds on Friday,” Alan McKenna from Loch Ness Exploration said in a news conference on Sunday. The Loch Ness Center in Inverness, Scotland, described the sounds as “four, very distinctive noises” in a Facebook update.
The noises were not captured on audio as the recording equipment was not plugged in.
McKenna offered some theories behind the sounds.
“It may well be gas escaping from the bottom of the loch,” he said. “It could be an animal or, of course, it could be the elusive Loch Ness monster.”
The Loch Ness Center said on Facebook that it is currently reviewing some “unexplained” footage turned in by volunteers who took part in the expedition.
McKenna said about 100 people assisted the search in person each day over the weekend, with some 300 more searching webcams for signs of the infamous monster.
They also sent out a thermal imaging drone to scan the waters.
“There’s a lot of data. It’s going to take us time to get through all of that,” McKenna said, promising to make it public once they’ve had a chance to review it.
Nessie sightings have been reported for centuries, and the notion of an unknown creature lurking in the loch has been part of the public fascination for more than a century ― especially since the famed “Surgeon’s Photograph,” which was later exposed as a hoax.
A view of what was said to be the Loch Ness monster, near Inverness, Scotland, April 19, 1934. The photograph, one of two pictures known as the "Surgeon's Photographs," was allegedly taken by Colonel Robert Kenneth Wilson, though it was later exposed as a hoax by one of the participants, Chris Spurling, who, on his deathbed, revealed that the pictures were staged by himself, Marmaduke and Ian Wetherell, and Wilson. References to a monster in Loch Ness date back to St. Columba's biography in 565 AD. More than 1,000 people claim to have seen "Nessie" and the area is, consequently, a popular tourist attraction.