Robot Finds 'Monster' Remains In Loch Ness

Adele Robinson, Sky News Correspondent

Scientists have discovered the remains of a 'monster' in Loch Ness, but it’s not the one they were looking for.

An underwater robot has found the model used in 1970s film The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes.

Once filming was finished, its humps were removed and it sank.

The discovery was made by an underwater drone, which has been carrying out what has been described as "the most in depth survey of Loch Ness ever".

Initial findings from Operation Groundtruth, involving an intelligent marine scanning device, claim to disprove the so-called 'Nessie trench'.

Earlier this year a retired fisherman said he had discovered a new crevice large enough to fit the legendary monster.

Sonar imaging now claims to show that there is, in fact, no anomaly or abyss in that specific location.

Adrian Shine, leader of the Loch Ness Project, said the robot, which is called Munin, can approach areas of interest and image them at "extremely high resolution".

It uses sonar imaging to map vast areas to depths of 1,500m.

He told Sky News that Loch Ness is 230m deep but that there had been claims it was deeper and had a "special trench".

However, he added that the torpedo-like robot had searched the area but "sadly the trench is not there".

"So the Nessie's lair of a few weeks ago does not exist," said Mr Shine.

The loch has been notoriously difficult to survey in the past because of its depth and steep slopes underwater.

Visibility is also extremely poor because of the peat content of the water from the surrounding soil.

The underwater robot is usually used to search for downed aircraft, sunken vessels and forensic marine investigations.

The team behind the search say they are confident more discoveries will be made in the loch.

In the past, a Wellington bomber from World War Two was found, as well as a 100-year-old fishing boat and debris from a fatal speed record attempt in 1952.

Malcolm Roughead, chief executive of VisitScotland said: "We are excited to see the findings from this in depth survey by Kongsberg.

"But no matter how state-of-the-art the equipment is, and no matter what it may reveal, there will always be a sense of mystery and the unknown around what really lies beneath Loch Ness."