The modern legend of the Loch Ness monster was born when an observation made local news on May 2, 1933. The newspaper Inverness Mail tells the story of a local couple claiming to have seen “a huge animal rolling and diving to the surface”. The story of the “monster” (a nickname chosen by the Mail publisher) becomes a media phenomenon, the London newspapers sending correspondents to Scotland and a circus offering a reward of 20,000 pounds sterling for the capture of the beast.

After the April 1933 sighting was reported in the newspaper on May 2, interest continued to grow, especially after another couple claimed to have seen the animal on earth.

Amateur investigators have maintained an almost constant watch for decades, and in the 1960s several British universities launched sonar expeditions to the lake. Nothing conclusive was found, but in each expedition, the sonar operators detected a certain type of large moving underwater object. In 1975, another expedition combined sonar and underwater photography in Loch Ness. The result was a photo which, after improvement, appeared to show what vaguely resembled the giant fin of an aquatic animal.

Other sonar expeditions in the 1980s and 1990s led to more conclusive readings. Revelations in 1994 that the famous photo of 1934 was a complete hoax only slightly dampened the enthusiasm of tourists and investigators for the legendary beast of Loch Ness.


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