The Loch Ness monster phenomenon really kicked into high gear in 1933, when three sightings turned an obscure Scottish legend into national news.
Now, as the reopening date for the mysterious loch’s tourist centre is announced, the executive in charge of the facility’s refurbishment insists the search for the mythical beast is “ongoing”.
Hotel manageress Aldie Mackay first reported seeing a "whale-like fish" in the waters of Loch Ness on April 14, 1933. She said the massive beast was “black, wet, with the water rolling off it”.
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A few months later George Spicer claimed to have seen the monster on land – describing it as a “massive reptile”.
Finally, in December of that year, London gynaecologist Robert Wilson captured the iconic image that became known as ‘The Surgeon’s Photograph' when it was published the following year.
But 90 years later, despite thousands of hours of investigation and a 24-hour webcam being trained on the loch’s murky waters, no better evidence of a giant beast has emerged.
Juliana Delaney is chief executive of Continuum, the company behind the refurbishment of the visitors’ centre at the old Drumnadrochit Hotel, where Aldie Mackay once worked.
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She has pledged to continue the search for the elusive Nessie.
"The real story and the truth is that Loch Ness has phenomena that nobody can yet find the answer to. So we don't say there is a monster or there isn't a monster," she said.
"But what we do say is something is happening here. Something unusual is happening here."
Julianna added: "I want the search to be ongoing. I don't want the search or the research to stop. That's really important, I don't want the Loch Ness investigation to stop. And so we are now encouraging a new generation of you might like to call it Nessie Monster spotters.
"Every guest who comes through and buys a ticket to the Loch Ness centre will for one year become part of our Loch Ness quest. So we will send them updates, we'll send them any sightings, we will keep them up to date with what's happening on Loch Ness for 12 months after they visit."
The newly refurbished Loch Ness visitor centre and attraction will officially open its doors on June 10.
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