Loch Ness Monster ‘caught on sonar’ 500ft below water during tour boat trip

The Loch Ness Monster has fascinated the world for centuries – but beast hunters are convinced they have new proof Nessie exists.

Believers claim they have the “most compelling” evidence of the creature dwelling more than 500ft below the surface of the water.

The sonar image was captured by the Cruise Loch Ness director Ronald Mackenzie who said he knew he had found something “eye-catching”.

He told the Daily Record: “It was a bit of a dreich day and we only had 12 passengers. We were at our halfway point off Invermoriston, where we turn around. The water is 189m (620ft) deep there.

“The passengers were quite excited because we had just spotted a sea eagle, but then I saw on the sonar something more eye-catching.

“It was right in the middle of the loch at about 170m (558ft) down. It was big – at least 10m (33ft). The contact lasted 10 seconds while we passed over.

“I’ve been on the loch since I was 16 years old and I have never seen anything like it.

“We have real state-of-the-art sonar on the new boat. It doesn’t lie. It captures what’s there.

“All the dots nearer the surface are shoals of Arctic char and deeper down there are ferox trout, so it gives you a good idea of the size of this large crescent shape.

“I believe there’s something in the loch that nobody knows what it is, be it a big eel or a sturgeon or a big fish of some sort – or even Nessie.”

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Nessie expert Steve Feltham, who has set a world record for the longest vigil of looking for the Loch Ness Monster, said Ronald’s sonar image was the “most compelling” evidence of the existence of the legendary creature he had seen.

He said: “It is extremely exciting. I have known Ronald Mackenzie for 30 years. He’s a Highland lad who does not seek publicity and shies away from the fanciful Nessie theories.

“He’s not somebody who would cry wolf – or Nessie – but within seven minutes of getting the sonar contact he messaged me.

“I definitely think Nessie is an animal. I think we are getting closer to finding the answer.”

Leading sonar expert Craig Wallace described the image as “100 per cent genuine”.

The marine robotics senior application specialist said: “I do believe large sturgeon do enter Loch Ness. It may be a sturgeon or a small shoal of fish.

“But it is certainly a fascinating and interesting contact and without doubt it further adds to the debate about Nessie.”

The Loch Ness Monster has been described as a huge long-necked beast with humps that protrude from the water.

'Nessie’ was brought to worldwide attention in 1933 and has fascinated monster-hunters ever since.

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