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The evolution of technology reflected in the search for the Loch Ness monster


The classic photo of 1934 that supposedly shows the Loch Ness monster Source: Archive

On January 4, 1934, Samuel Brennan was arrested in Manchester for stealing a tire. His arrest appeared in the local edition of
The guardian of the next day. Brennan, who had in his record no less than 124 arrests for drunkenness and theft, confessed at the moment: "Yes, I stole it. He had a few drinks and confused him with a lifeguard. He was going to look for
Loch Ness Monster".

If the beodo and the wheel had reached the lake, the scene will not be the rarest that the monster has seen in the past 86 years. In the event that it exists, the beast will have attended all kinds of nonsense designed to find it. And another thing that Nessie has seen – be it a seal, a catfish, a bank of eels or a log – is almost a century of technological progress plowing through the dark waters of Scotland's second deepest lake.

Since in May 1933 a businessman and his wife
the legend was resurrected after declaring to have seen a huge creature "with a body similar to that of a whale", all kinds of expeditions have approached the highlands to try their luck. The last one, this year.

But, let us start at the beginning.

1933: Reluctant aircraft

In December the year that gave new bro to the monster's search,
The guardian He published the result of a debate in the House of Commons on the relevance of dedicating Royal Air Force (RAF) aircraft to track down Nessie. "The honorable gentlemen shall invite the assistance of the area force to observe and
photograph this creature, so that the unique opportunity to increase our scientific knowledge is not wasted? "

The question aroused laughter and the flights that were made later saw no more than floating objects that might have been confused with an animal.

1934: 'Fake news', jump to the screen and lethargy

The next summer there were already announcements of cruises in the highland lakes in the newspaper. "A walk that now becomes a glamorous adventure, since at any moment the monster of Loch Ness can decide to show itself," announced Royal Mail Steamers. Now we call it experience tourism.

In September, Kodak Studios in Kingsway showed the first 60 seconds of what appeared to be the moving monster. Three things stood out
The guardian: his speed, the wake he left and an apparent hump. "Certainly there was no suggestion of the long neck of the brontosaurus. The film will soon be shown to a group of experts who may be able to identify it once and for all." Illusive


Loch Ness and its castle in ScotlandLoch Ness and its castle in Scotland Credit: Shutterstock

After the initial furor, which was accompanied by some other photographic montage and false footprints made with hippo legs, they would reach quieter years. In 1937, Sir Arthur Keith wondered if the monster's problem would not be a more interesting matter for psychologists than for zologos. Twenty years later, the monster will return to the House of Commons, by Hector Hughes, who asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he planned to take advantage of recent great advances in underwater photography and television techniques to investigate the lake. Captain John MacLeod suggested to Hugues that he himself go to look for the monster. I swim.

1961: The landing of the Academy

Almost three decades later, the interest resurfaces, this time with the endorsement of the then new rector of the University of Aberdeen, Peter Scott. "The time has come when serious zoological attention should be paid to this matter. I would like to start with a general survey of the lake, planned in such a way that if Nessie does not appear, we have at least some interesting language results," he said in his inaugural speech This last idea now becomes a constant: regardless of what the lake has in its belly – if it has anything – the scientists who have ventured to study it have not returned with empty hands.

Scott's posture was not isolated, a year before, little research had already been done on the lake promoted by the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. And other respected voices had sounded, such as that of the zologo Denys Tucker, crying out of necessity and investigating the lake. l was convinced there was something inside: a
Plesiosaur

1962: All meat on the grill

In June 1962, the thing got interesting. "We don't want any more theory, we want proof," said Lt. Col. H. G Hassler, leader of one of the two expeditions that searched the lake that summer. In that search for evidence no resources were spared.

To begin with, they wanted to hear the sweet voice of the monster: underwater listening devices of different frequencies were installed (in case Nessie had echolocation skills like those of dolphins) and another microphone hung on the surface of the lake. "An electronic device translating any ultrasonic sound into audible ranges that will be recorded," he explained
The Observer, which also sponsors both campaigns.

Echosounders were also used, such as those used by Norwegian fishing boats, designed to operate in the narrowness of their fjords. The plan was to sweep the lake in search of schools of fish, waste and any entity that entered its ranges (about 450 meters). Nor did they disgust binoculars and cameras, which were installed in five observation posts around the lake. "The main need now is for more detailed tests: a closer look at the phenomenon, better quality photographs and study of the width and length of the lake with the latest electronic techniques."