Operation Deepscan © Rex / Shutterstock

Operation Deepscan: The hunt for the Loch Ness Monster

In 1987, Adrian Shine led Operation Deepscan – disproving once and for all the myths of the Loch Ness Monster

Given that Loch Ness is so large, the idea that rare, elusive animals might only be seen on the odd occasion when they break the surface seems reasonable.

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But this ignores the fact that the loch has been subjected to a surprising amount of close examination.

Read more about the hunt for the Loch Ness Monster:

At the height of monster fever during the 1960s and 70s, the loch’s surface was observed perpetually for weeks at a time by banks of people armed with telescopes and binoculars.

They failed to observe or record any compelling evidence for the monster.

Adrian Shine runs the Loch Ness Project and directed Operation Deepscan © Getty Images
Adrian Shine runs the Loch Ness Project and directed Operation Deepscan © Getty Images

Things were stepped up a notch in October 1987, when Nessie hunter and marine biologist Adrian Shine led ‘Operation Deepscan’ – at the time, the most extensive search of Loch Ness ever conducted.

Over the course of two days, a flotilla of 24 boats equipped with echo sounders carried out a full-length sonar sweep of the loch.

£1m of equipment was used in the hunt for Nessie © Rex / Shutterstock
£1m of equipment was used in the hunt for Nessie © Rex / Shutterstock

On three occasions, contact was made with objects in deep water that couldn’t be identified, nor relocated when investigated later.

While unexplained and unlikely to represent fish, these ‘contacts’ were probably debris or thermal effects, or possibly even a seal.

Indeed, nothing that can be interpreted with confidence as a giant animal has ever been encountered in any of the several sonar sweeps performed since.

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