Is this the most convincing Loch Ness Monster proof yet? Nessie hunter shares photos of creature in ‘most exciting ever’ sighting – as large animal is also seen on ‘thermal image’ cam
- Volunteers descended on Loch Ness over the Bank Holiday to search for Nessie
- The major hunt resulted in three sightings including the first ever film footage
Loch Ness Monster hunters claim to have made three separate sightings of the illusive creature including what has been described as the ‘most exciting’ glimpse of the legendary animal yet.
Hundreds of volunteers this weekend descended on Loch Ness, in the Scottish Highlands, to search for signs of the monster in the lake, in the biggest hunt for Nessie in 50 years.
The search expedition led to three reported sightings of the Loch Ness Monster including the ‘first ever video’ of Nessie, taken by a film crew using a thermal imaging drone, alongside pictures dubbed the ‘most exciting’ photos of Nessie ever.
The photos taken by translator Chie Kelly show an eel-like creature slowly spinning on the surface of Loch Ness, shortly before it disappeared underwater without resurfacing.
A 58-year-old civil servant searching for the monster over the Bank Holiday also reported spotting Nessie swimming in Loch Ness, before sketching a picture of the world famous monster.
This weekend’s hunt for the Loch Ness Monster started on August 26 as hundreds of volunteers travelled to Scotland for the biggest search for Nessie in decades.
Those hunting included a film crew from British production company Dragonfly Films, who used a thermal imaging drone to search for the famous monster.
Their search in turn led to them capturing footage they believe could show the elusive Loch Ness Monster near the Scottish lake’s shore.
The project’s producer Tim Whittard said: ‘These thermal drones allowed us to see the loch in infrared.
‘With this equipment we were able to see immediately if any animal breaks the water’s surface.
‘This thermal imaging technology has been available for several years now, and it seems remarkable that no one has yet deployed such equipment in an effort to investigate this mystery.
‘It did detect an unusual heat signature on one of the thermal imaging drones – a large mass near the shore.’
Translator Chie Kelly, 51, later caught what she believes are photos of the Loch Ness Monster, while taking pictures of her husband Scott, 68.
She quickly started taking pictures after seeing a strange animal move across a distance of around 100m at a ‘steady speed’ from right to left about 200m from the shore.
‘We had lunch in the Dores Inn and then started walking around. I was just taking pictures with my Cannon camera of Scott and our daughter Alisa, who was then five, when about 200 metres from the shore, moving right to left at a steady speed was this creature,’ Ms Kelly said.
‘It was spinning and rolling at times. We never saw a head or neck. After a couple of minutes it just disappeared and we never saw it again,’ the Japanese born translator added.
‘At first I wondered if it was an otter or a pair of otters or a seal, but we never saw a head and it never came up again for air.
‘It was making this strange movement on the surface. We did not hear any sound. There were these strange shapes below the surface. I could not make out any colours – the water was dark.’
‘I could not accurately assess its length, but the two parts that were visible were less then two metres long together.
‘I don’t know what it was but it was definitely a creature – an animal. At the time I did not want to face public ridicule by making the photographs public.’
Loch Ness Monster expert Steve Feltham described Ms Chie’s photos as ‘the most exciting surface pictures (of Nessie) I have seen’.
They are exactly the type of pictures I have been wanting to take for three decades. It is rare to see something so clear on the surface.
‘They are vindication for all the people who believe there is something unexplained in Loch Ness. They are remarkable. I have studied them and still do not know what it is.
‘We are lucky the Kellys have decided to go public at last. I have met the Kellys twice and they are absolutely genuine.
‘I persuaded them that these pictures were so important they should make them public. They warrant further investigation. It is not driftwood – it is a moving creature and totally unexplained,’ Mr Feltham said.
Civil servant Alastair Gray. 58, also claimed to have spotted the Loch Ness Monster over the Bank Holiday Weekend, as he claimed to have seen a pointy head and a pair of bumps bobbing above the surface of the lake.
The sighting came just nine days after father-of-four Steve Valentine took photos of what he believed to be Nessie, while on a boat trip with his children.
‘I saw this black shape, it was a bit of a distance, about 200 metres away, near Urquhart Castle,’ Mr Valentine said.
‘I thought I needed to get a photo of it, which I did. But one of the kids jumped on my lap and the boat turned around.’ I showed the photo to the driver and he was quite taken aback. I am quite open-minded, I was genuinely shocked.’
The hunt for the Loch Ness Monster marks 90 years after the first sighting of the elusive creature was reported in 1933.
On April 14, 1933, hotel manageress Mrs Aldie Mackay reported seeing a ‘whale-like fish’ in the waters of Loch Ness.
As she and her husband drove, she glanced out across the still calm waters of towards Aldourie Castle. There, in the water, she saw something.
Mrs Mackay’s sighting was reported in the Inverness Courier on 2 May 1933 by Alex Campbell, the water bailiff for Loch Ness and a part-time journalist.
It is widely regarded as the first ‘modern sighting’ of a monster in the loch.
In 2019, Prof Neil Gemmell, a geneticist from the University of Otago in New Zealand, trawled Loch Ness and found no evidence of plesiosaur DNA.
However, he found lots of eel DNA, and posited that there may be giant eels in Loch Ness which might be behind the Nessie sightings. Unfortunately, DNA gives no indication of size.
In 2020 startling images of a large creature inhabiting the depths of Loch Ness were captured on sonar off Invermoriston by skipper Ronald Mackenzie aboard his Spirit of Loch Ness tourist boat.
They were said by Feltham then to be the ‘most compelling’ evidence of the existence of a Loch Ness Monster.
It left experts astounded by the clarity of the image of an object, estimated then to be 32 feet long, hovering 62 feet above the bottom and over 500 feet down.
Leading sonar expert Craig Wallace described the sonar images as ‘very curious’ ‘large, clear and distinct contacts, all strangely near to the loch bed’ and ‘100 percent genuine’.
According to Google, there are around 200,000 searches each month for the Loch Ness Monster, and around 120,000 for information and accommodation close to Loch Ness. The monster mystery is said to be worth £30m to the region.
Irish missionary St Columba is first said to have encountered a beast in the River Ness in 565AD.
There have been five official sightings this year of the Loch Ness Monster.
The official register has now logged 1160 sightings – including webcam images – from records and other evidence stretching back through the centuries.
One of the most well-known photographs of the Loch Ness Monster later proved to be a hoax.
British surgeon, Colonel Robert Wilson, came forward with a picture that appeared to show a sea serpent rising out of the water of the Loch.
Wilson claimed he took the photograph early in the morning on April 19, 1934, while driving along the northern shore of Loch Ness.
The object in the water was not a form of marine life. It was a toy submarine outfitted with a sea-serpent head. This was revealed in 1994 when Christian Spurling, before his death at the age of 90, confessed to his involvement in a plot to create the famous Surgeon’s Photo, a plot that involved both Marmaduke Wetherell and Colonel Wilson.
Rumours of a strange creature living in the waters of Loch Ness have abounded over the decades, yet scant evidence has been found to back up these claims.
One of the first sightings, believed to have fuelled modern Nessie fever, came in May 2, 1933.
On this date the Inverness Courier carried a story about a local couple who claim to have seen ‘an enormous animal rolling and plunging on the surface’.
Another famous claimed sighting is a photograph taken in 1934 by Colonel Robert Kenneth Wilson.
It was later exposed as a hoax by one of the participants, Chris Spurling, who, on his deathbed, revealed that the pictures were staged.
Other sightings James Gray’s picture from 2001 when he and friend Peter Levings were out fishing on the Loch, while namesake Hugh Gray’s blurred photo of what appears to be a large sea creature was published in the Daily Express in 1933.
The first reported sighting of the monster is said to have been made in AD565 by the Irish missionary St Columba when he came across a giant beast in the River Ness.
But no one has ever come up with a satisfactory explanation for the sightings – although in 2019, ‘Nessie expert’ Steve Feltham, who has spent 24 years watching the Loch, said he thought it was actually a giant Wels Catfish, native to waters near the Baltic and Caspian seas in Europe.
An online register lists more than 1,000 total Nessie sightings, created by Mr Campbell, the man behind the Official Loch Ness Monster Fan Club and is available at www.lochnesssightings.com.
So what could explain these mysterious sightings?
Many Nessie witnesses have mentioned large, crocodile-like scutes sitting atop the spine of the creature, leading some to believe an escaped amphibian may be to blame.
Native fish sturgeons can also weigh several hundred pounds and have ridged backs, which make them look almost reptilian.
Some believe Nessie is a long-necked plesiosaur – like an elasmosaur – that survived somehow when all the other dinosaurs were wiped out.
Others say the sightings are down to Scottish pines dying and flopping into the loch, before quickly becoming water-logged and sinking.
While submerged, botanical chemicals start trapping tiny bubbles of air.
Eventually, enough of these are gathered to propel the log upward as deep pressures begin altering its shape, giving the appearance of an animal coming up for air.