THE largest search for the elusive Loch Ness Monster in decades will get under way later this month.

Staff from the newly revamped Loch Ness Centre (below) at Drumnadrochit have teamed up with a group of independent and voluntary researchers, Loch Ness Exploration (LNE), to conduct the biggest surface water survey in more than 50 years.

The centre is seeking more budding Nessie hunters to get involved in the search, which is planned for August 26-27.

The search is expected to be the largest of its kind since the Loch Ness Investigation Bureau studied the loch for signs of the mythical monster in 1972.

The National:

Surveying equipment that has never been used on the loch before will be deployed to uncover the secrets of the mysterious waters.

This will include drones which will produce thermal images of the water from the air using infrared cameras, as it is believed observing heat from above could provide a crucial component for identifying any strange anomalies.

A hydrophone will also be used to detect acoustic signals under the water, listening for any Nessie-like calls, as well as other technology that could prove useful in the search.

The Loch Ness Centre and LNE are looking for volunteers to keep an eye out for any breaks in the water or any other inexplicable movements over the weekend.

Each morning, Alan McKenna from LNE will brief volunteers at the centre on what to look out for and how to record findings. There will also be a debrief in the afternoon to go through the day’s events.

The Loch Ness Centre is located at the old Drumnadrochit Hotel, where it is said manageress Aldie Mackay reported seeing a “water beast” in Loch Ness 90 years ago.

McKenna said: “Since starting LNE, it’s always been our goal to record, study and analyse all manner of natural behaviour and phenomena that may be more challenging to explain.

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“It’s our hope to inspire a new generation of Loch Ness enthusiasts and by joining this large-scale surface watch, you’ll have a real opportunity to personally contribute towards this fascinating mystery that has captivated so many people from around the world.”

Paul Nixon, general manager of the Loch Ness Centre, added: “We are guardians of this unique story, and as well as investing in creating an unforgettable experience for visitors, we are committed to helping continue the search and unveil the mysteries that lie underneath the waters of the famous loch.

“The weekend gives an opportunity to search the waters in a way that has never been done before, and we can’t wait to see what we find.”

To get involved in the search, click HERE