Drone hunt for Loch Ness Monster finds its film double

Wed Apr 13, 2016 1:29pm EDT
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LONDON (Reuters) - A high-tech marine drone scouring the depths of Scotland's Loch Ness for one of nature's most elusive beasts has found a "monster" - but not the one it was looking for.

Rather than the fabled Loch Ness Monster itself, the probe has discovered a 30-foot (9 meter) replica used in the 1970 film "The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes," which sank nearly 50 years ago after its buoyant humps were removed.

Undeterred, the enthusiastic monster-hunters steering the drone are continuing their two-week search for any evidence that might prove the existence of "Nessie".

The survey by Norwegian company Kongsberg Maritime has been the most detailed to date of the Loch's icy depths.

The Munin drone is capable of mapping vast areas down to 1,500 feet and is often used to locate downed aircraft.

"The vehicle allows sonars to scan just a few meters from the loch floor, giving resolution several orders of magnitude greater than anything before," said Kongsberg Maritime engineer Craig Wallace.

Along with the movie replica, it has also found a 27-foot shipwreck as it maps the Loch floor.

Far from being disappointed by the findings, Steve Feltham who has been hunting Nessie for 25 years, says the maps will help him in his quest.

"I think the findings are fantastic," he said. "We now have a more detailed map of the rock bottom than ever before, which will show us the location of every lump and bump.   Continued...

Subsea engineer John Haig launches Munin, an intelligent marine robot, to explore Loch Ness in Scotland, Britain April 13, 2016.  REUTERS/Russell Cheyne