A fresh search at Loch Ness has uncovered an underground cave system – which could be a perfect lair for the monster.
The caves have multiple entrances and include flooded underground passages and is situated adjacent to the loch shore and linked by just 100m of river. The expedition organised by TikTok’s @lochnessmonsterofficial was planned a number of months ago but took place this week.
It was led by Paige Daley, who runs the TikTok Official Loch Ness channel which has over 15,000 followers and millions of views on videos about Nessie. Mrs. Daley said: “The subject of the Loch Ness Monster has global appeal.
“I had been asked by Nessie followers if there were caves at Loch Ness and through subsequent research I found that subterranean caverns had been mentioned in the past, so we decided to add a search to a pre-planned visit to the loch”. Mrs. Daley, 29, who was brought up near Loch Ness but now lives in Colchester, Essex, was in the area for a couple of weeks filming for her TikTok community. Newly discovered caves which lead in and out of Loch Ness
She took local advice on the likely locations of caves and with the help of a trained guide and drone pilot, finally located the underground system this week. “Having spent my childhood near Loch Ness I was always fascinated by Nessie’s story,” she said.
“When the chance came to see if the caves were real, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. However, it’s not at all obvious where the caves are as they are well hidden by undergrowth and quite extensive forestation. I was really hoping to find at least one cave at the site and from that, might conclude that if there are caves above the loch water level, maybe there would be more underwater at the same shore.”
She was surprised to find that there is an entire cave system which is linked to the loch by a short stretch of river. “There were multiple entrances and it was clear that these were linked up to each other within the hillside,” said Mrs. Daley.
“What also be came apparent was that pools in the river were also linked to almost bottomless caverns, again connected to the caves above ground. There was no apparent sign of life in the caves, but then again, it was just a black watery abyss close to the loch.”The expedition was planned a number of months ago but took place this weekPaige Daley runs the TikTok Official Loch Ness channel
Gary Campbell, Keeper of the Register of Sightings at Loch Ness said:”This is really exciting news. Local folk have spoken of caves for hundreds of years but it was never clear where they might be and more importantly, if they were connected to the loch.
Also, as it’s now clear that they are in a remote, uninhabited area which is virtually inaccessible, if Nessie did need a hiding place this would be the perfect location.
“In terms of backup for such caves being Nessie’s lair and whether Nessie might make the journey up the river or over the rocks to the cave system there have been written reports recorded since 1879 of Nessie being seen on land.
In 1933, on the same shore of the loch a Mr. and Mrs. Spicer had a famous sighting of a Nessie like creature crossing the road in front of their car and only a few years ago, a tourist also reported seeing a similar creature on the beach, so it’s possible that this really is where Nessie goes to hide.”
But like Nessie, the caves may prove hard to spot. “We’ve decided to keep the actual location a secret.” said Mrs Daley. “This is because access is very difficult and without the proper knowledge, could be quite dangerous. Of course, we also don’t want Nessie and her family to be disturbed if in fact they are living there”.
This coming weekend also sees the biggest organized Nessie hunt in the last 50 years taking place at various locations around the loch. The Loch Ness Center has partnered with Loch Ness Exploration, an independent and voluntary research team, to scour the waters for Nessie starting this Saturday.
Scientists and volunteers will scan the waters in the biggest search since the Loch Ness Investigation Bureau studied the loch back in 1972. The plan is to combine new technology to scan and listen to underwater signals from Nessie while volunteers watch the surface of the water to spot any monster moves.
The Loch Ness Centre wants to solve the age-old mystery once and for all. But, if Nessie is not found, they hope to at least inspire “a new generation of monster hunters” to carry on the search.
Drones using infrared cameras will capture thermal images from the water, and a hydrophone will detect acoustic signals – such as Nessie-like calls – from under the surface.
“I’m gutted that I can’t stay for it as we’d organized our visit long before the hunt was announced,” said Mrs. Daley, “but I just hope that the discovery of the caves gives extra hope of success to those who are searching this weekend”.
Loch Ness is 23 miles long and up to 889 feet deep, with more water in it than all the lakes and reservoirs in England and Wales combined.
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. The official register has now logged 1158 sightings from records and other evidence stretching back through the centuries.
There have been three sightings so far this year of the Loch Ness Monster. The last on June 15 Nessie was photographed by a French tourist. Pharmacist Etienne Camel from Lyon said he and his wife Eliane were baffled by what they saw.