Over the years, I think most people have heard of the Loch Ness Monster. Most people have formed their own opinions as to what the monster, dubbed “Nessy” was. Many people have called it a hoax. Others have said that people imagined it. Still others thought it was a big fish or just a log. Whatever it was or is, the legend has endured for a long time now. In fact, the first “sighting” was reported on May 2, 1933. When the news broke, the newspaper, Inverness Courier told of a local couple who told of “an enormous animal rolling and plunging on the surface.” The story of the “monster” which was added by the Courier editor, becomes a media phenomenon, with London newspapers sending correspondents to Scotland and a circus offering a 20,000 pound sterling reward for capture of the beast.

The sighting, which actually occurred in April 1933 sighting was reported in the newspaper on May 2nd. After that, interest steadily grew, especially after another couple claimed to have seen the animal on land. I don’t recall ever having heard of the Loch Ness Monster being seen on land, but I suppose that if it is real, it could be seen on land too. What is really amazing, however, is the fact that the story, real, imagined, or faked, has endured through the years…90 of them to be exact.

Since the first sighting, amateur “investigators” have for kept an almost constant vigil, and in the 1960s several British universities launched sonar expeditions to the lake. None of the universities found anything conclusive, however, in each expedition the sonar operators detected something large, moving under the water. Still, they couldn’t identify the objects they saw. In 1975, another expedition combined sonar and underwater photography in Loch Ness. A photo resulted that, after enhancement, appeared to show what vaguely resembled the giant flipper of an aquatic animal. Nevertheless, the people who participated in the expeditions believed that there was something there, and they had no reason not to believe that the “monster” often called “Nessy” was real. So, the speculation continued.

In the 1980s and the 1990s, additional sonar expeditions were conducted. These also brought inconclusive readings. It was revealed in 1994 that the now famous 1934 photo was a complete hoax, but people still believed. It did little to dampen enthusiasm of tourists and investigators for the legendary beast of Loch Ness. The search continues to this day.

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